Sunday, April 27, 2008

2 incredibly silly kids!

I have PROOF that I have two of the silliest children ever to be in my home - or in a laundry hamper! The kids had a very silly day - and this is just a small sample. Aunt Meesh & Uncle Toenail were here for a visit and the kids turned Uncle T into a "Monster" who chased and tickled and roared and wrestled till the kids were exhausted - way to go Uncle T!! DH had to put in a day at the library and frankly the two of them are so... well, uh.. um... exuberant that I didn't know what I was going to do with them... so I popped over to good ol' Nana & Papa's and figured that there was some safety in numbers.... and it was a great idea! We just stayed for a couple hours and the kids played T' Ball and ran after the monster. I don't have T' Ball pics - because I was actually ... drum roll please.... KNITTING! That is right... a few moments of knitting happened today.. so sorry about that.

On happier notes - we have progress in so many areas with our amazing little boy. He is learning more words every day and he is speaking so well it is truly a miracle. He just realized today he can click his tongue to the roof of his mouth and it makes a noise (AWESOME). He is eating well - we still have him on a liquid diet but I let some pears ripen and peeled and sliced them and he was able to eat that with no possibility of damage. I really believe our surgeon will release him on Tuesday to go back to school and move up to soft foods. I look in there all the time and he is looking great. I know I should have taken some before and after pics... but he is already conditioned to open his mouth if a flashlight is in the vicinity - I didn't want to start him having that reaction to the camera. He is gaining in being affectionate (to me and close family) every day. He gave hugs and kisses to Nana and Papa yesterday for the birthday celebration and then again today - he now will let me hold and kiss him multiple times.. and runs to me when I come home from work or whatever. He is beginning to be a little assertive with EFP (particularly around his stuff) and stick up for himself - which is a good sign. He is able to stick his hand out for her to return something that is his - and he is no bully, which I am grateful for. She is still a little girl and so doesn't really understand how important his things are to him. They do play nice a lot - I just have to watch for the green-eyed monster on both sides. It is interesting though - that from totally opposite ends of the field - they both end up in the same place. She is so secure in her place and with her people and things and he is still thinking that this could all end tomorrow... so they are both territorial and jealous. I believe all will really be well.

On a final note - let me say for the record... I was right. He is a truly amazing child and he could not have been ANY ONE ELSE'S SON but OURS! He is my DH to a (much smaller) T and in a way - they are more perfect for each other than anyone realizes. As to this Mommy's heart - he is everything I could want in a son.... and then some. His smile just melts my heart. All is well and my dear dear children and simply the best best best decision I ever made. Both.

Big Cheezy Smile!

Mugging for Mommy

Believe it or not she did this herself - it is a hamper!

EFP thinks this is hysterical! What is it with kids and clothes hampers?

"Brudder" Can't figure out why she has done this, but he wants her to be out!
So he helps her out!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Blogaversary! (and 10th Wedding Anniversary!)

Well - out with the old and in with the NEW! My little blog is all new looking and very very spiffy! Thanks to Sarah of Blogovers with love we have been Spring-Blogovered!! AND IT IS SO PRETTY! Thank you so much Sarah!!! Please note - that the proceeds from these amazing blogovers go to excellent and worthy causes. This month and next - the proceeds will go to Half the Sky a cause near and dear to my heart. I must say - that the adoption community has to be, without a doubt, the most thoughtful and ready to aid of any community. I know I have witnessed miracles when adopty parents (especially the Moms!) decide to pursue a purpose. So - if you want to comment on the new look - please do - then take a few moments and look at the super-amazing work of the Moms and Moms-to-be over at Blogovers with love!!

While you are surfing - why not check out the annual "Born in My Heart" Art Auction that funds Love Without Boundaries' work in China with Children waiting for families.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

10 years ago April 25th - on a Gorgeous Day - much like today - I married the great guy I share my life with, adopted my kids with and adore. 10 years went so fast... 2 amazing children and life in the slow lane on LI - and there are times I literally cry that my life is so filled with unexpected goodness. Right now - the minor difficulties are so far outweighed by what is going right: here are a few gratitudes: my son hugged me after running to greet me when I got home from work, my daughter says I am the best Mommy in the whole world, my husband still makes my coffee every single day - even his day off when he could sleep in, he gets up and makes my coffee, perfectly; I got a (long overdue) promotion at work, all my loved ones are happy and healthy, the cats are now staying away from #1 Son and that is making him happy, #1 Daughter has entered the year of being 3 happy, healthy and SO IMPERIALLY DEMANDING - that I have decided the 2s were NOT so TERRIBLE! Yet, she is a veritable angel at childcare - what's up with that!

Yet - here we are. 10 pretty happy years together and although we have our moments - I wouldn't trade my life, my DH or my two kiddos for anyone or anything. For those of you in the know (meaning you were at my wedding or on my honeymoon) You will recognize the Life is Good - and yes, life IS still GOOD! So - thank you Me Honey - the last 10 were a piece of cake - what d'ya say to 10 or 20 more? (uh, years not kids!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scenes from a hospital....

Here are some of the images from our son's stay so far:

In the holding area - before drugs or going down to surgical suite (about 6:40 am)

About 7:00 - still no drugs and in the holding area... He is teasing me!

After Versed - down in Pre-op they kept his doggie with him the whole time!

This is after surgery - he is giving me the evil eye - he's in pain and somewhat confused. He will have morphine in a few minutes - he needed it.

Thank you for the balloons and teddy bear Aunti Col! He LOVES grabbing the balloons and he swats them.. just like he did when we had balloons at the house..................

He really loves the balloons AND animals!!

Now, here is my smiling boy!

He discovered he could blow and the feather will fly up - then he blows some more....

Only one day post surg - and he is BLOWING

And laughing........

The view from our room (you can't really see it, but the blue at the far edge is the Long Island Sound)

The view is stunning... my office is really far over to the left... LOL

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well Done!

I am only going to say that if it weren't for the parents who went before - that prepared us for the procedure (before, during and after) and for the recovery room... none of us would be doing very well, instead we are all as well as can be expected. The surgery was long (almost 4 hours) and his recovery room experience was traumatic... WE were prepared! HE was not.

The surgeon said it was a great procedure... his cleft palate is now whole (YAY!) and he should be able to hear. (YAY!)

We had to make a last minute change of plans.. (as you can see) I am home and DH (or Daddy of the year... ) is at the hospital. Unfortunately - in our decision making we decided that since I would be the better one to negotiate our complex University Hospital (I work at the University) I brought our son this morning and now he has not forgiven me. I am sooooo sad about that - but I think once again our best decision has made us make a better one... he doesn't cry as much when DH is there... he wails when I am... so I am home with the Empress.

Thank you to all who called or emailed... or left a message. I can't thank you all enough... it is truly during these milestones (Both the happy and the hard) that we come to learn what how big our circle of friends and family really is - and how much we NEED them all. EFP spent a very happy afternoon and evening with Auntie Ren and now is sleeping like the Empress she is. She is sad that daddy and "brudder" are not here and worries that "brudder" is ok without her... aaww!

I am so exhausted (had to be in Pre-surg by 6:30!) so I am calling it a night.. will post the few sad pics tomorrow... hugs to all... XOXOXOXOXOXO

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Zero Hour.......

In a few hours (too few!) we enter the hospital so our son can have his two required procedures. I am so anxious... and then I am so grateful to be feeling this way... grateful that our rocky start has completely disintegrated into a most enjoyable and loving relationship with our little guy. I know if I didn't love this child as much as I do that I would not be so anxious now... funny how that works.

He has had a day and a half of pre-school and he is in his element! He is so cooperative (still thinking it is temporary!) and sweet (permanent!) that his teachers adore him and the other kids are so accepting and kind that he just loves being there.... so of course we are not sending him tomorrow... ugh. I know in my head that this is right - we were so fortunate to get this spot (otherwise it would be July or August!) and have his surgery so quickly... I keep reminding myself (and others have also reminded me) that he had his first two surgeries in China with NO pain meds, no anxious Mommy & Daddy, no top Docs, no kind nurses (though I am sure there must have been some - but I work where we are getting our son's surgery - I figure that collegiality will count for a little something.....) and certainly no goofy little sister who will be so sad tomorrow - but happy to cheer him up when he gets home!

I know that even during our rocky start - I still held tight to the vision I had of that smiling little boy that I just wanted to hug and love..... I am still doing that but to THE BOY - and my vision was true - he really is the sweetest and most charming little guy... so if you have a second, spare a happy (healing) thought for our little son who has already been through so very much to get this far.... and a thought for his anxious parents, and all those who are in our corner... cheering us on. It is going to be a rough couple of days...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Of Toddler Beds and Pacifiers.........

I'm Ready for my Close-up Auntie Ren!

The Clothes make the Boy or the Boy makes the clothes?

Happy Birthday Dear Empress - Happy Birthday to you!


Vroom Vroom!

Ah - The Pacies - The Pacies! (Oh When Oh When Will these Pacies Leave - Oh When Oh When Will they GO!!!!???)

A view to a room!

Lots to tell these days. We are still settling into being a family of four! Let me tell you - going from no kids to one baby was tough. Going from one toddler to TWO - is like herding CATS!! (Grumpy for no reason cats!) But we are managing. Today we decided that it was time to get the futon out of there - so we took it apart and put it in the basement (which soon will be the finished playroom - hopefully). We set up the adorable Toddler Bed (Thanks Mr T!!) that my sissy brought during her recent drive by and then took the Emperor to choose bedding... Voila!
We also celebrated EFPs birthday at school this past week - cupcakes and ice cream cones as requested. A good and messy time was had by all! Especially EBB - who is still a little confused about the whole singing and eating - but he is nothing if not accommodating! He ate the cupcake and cone and smiled a lot! In fact he is starting at EFP's school tomorrow. We have decided to place him in pre-school for the remainder of this school year and the summer. It is a long story - but he is not ready for school at this point. With his surgery scheduled for Wednesday (4/16) and the recovery which will take a couple of weeks - there seemed little point in placing him in a school which has crazy ideas about which grade he should be in (there is that pesky birth certificate problem again). We think this is best - he has neither the language nor social skills to make a good start - we will see where we are after some ST and the summer.
Now on tap - me going back to work part time next week. DH and I have decided to split our time so each of us will work part time... and that should cover the next few weeks while EBB recovers. EFP is taking it all in, I know she is glad SHE is not the one spending so much time at the MD office. She has been pretty good about the whole business - but it is hard. She does get jealous and so far is acting out in minor ways - irritating more than anything else. Suddenly she has discovered the joys of Chinese Opera (singing in a high pitch at the top of her lungs about some dying cat - near as I can figure). She has been singing AND talking night and day for a few months now. I mean CONSTANT!! She is certainly following in the footsteps (wearing the latest shoes) of her beloved cousin Miss T. most of the time she is singing her own compositions - but occasionally she will sing something from another era - standards mostly - ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Old MacDonald, etc. which she has decided are HER songs - that is not to be sung by either Mommy or "brudder" - and since I have been trying to teach him the ABC song... which I am now forbidden (in her presence) from doing..YIKES!
We are working on teaching "Brudder" how to recognize names of stuff... it is weird - but if I tell him to put on his shoes - he will put on his shoes. If I show him a picture of shoes - and say "shoes" two second later he will point to some other object... don't know yet if this is cognition or language issues. Oh Well... we have bigger fish to fry. The child is scared of animals - ALL animals. If a cat is in the room he is afraid. He saw a little dog and I thought he would have a heart attack... so we are resolved to keep him away from the family dogs for a bit - and try walking around our neighborhood nightly - so he can see the dogs - but not interact with them as yet. It is so sad - that he had so little contact with the world that perfectly normal things are scary and unusual. So that is pretty much it for now... I am still organizing the pics from our trip and will try to back-post when I get a few moments.. (HA!).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thanks Sissy - Three Words...............

Pancake Puff Pan!

After you stop laughing... let me explain something. When PBS started having commercials the first were not appealing to children - like insurance etc. Then the next wave started - still not attractive or influencing children (OR SO YOU THOUGHT!) Honda Odyssey and the Pancake Puff Pan. Well, the first time that EFP saw the Pancake Puff Pan (hereafter P3) she was smitten - in a BIG way. "Mommy, I needa had that!" I looked at the TV and I couldn't figure out what she was talking about. I let it pass. Then the next time we saw the commercial "Mommy I need that!" and so on and so on and so on.

In passing one day - I mentioned my ire at PBS for airing ANY commercials and especially that there seemed to be no end of fascination with this pan for my daughter. She recalled that her own son was attracted to some strange (but convincing ads - like the Honda for instance) and that kids will pick up on the weirdest things...

Well - she never stopped mentioning the P3... and what do you think my dear sweet sister did? Yup - visited me, ostensibly to help with the new child and visit, briefly, but she had far darker motives, I assure you. She howled with laughter as she presented me with - you guessed it.. the P3! UGH!

So what did I do this morning? See for yourself:

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Quick Post from ONE HAPPY MOMMY!

I just thought I would drop a line to tell you all how WONDERFULLY WELL things are going!! EBB has finally turned the corner with me... and he is just the sweet and lovable boy I knew he would be. DH returned to the Library today and although there were a few tears... they vanished at my hug and (honestly I think having mei mei home helped a lot) and have not returned so far! The kids played together or separately and frankly - there was a lot less bickering than I would have expected.... it was a nice day!

We spoke to Baba on the phone a few times just so EBB would realize that he was not gone/lost and that seemed to go well. All in all I think things are looking up... EFP asked for a nap and although EBB doesn't always nap he had a short rest period and that worked wonders. We had a fun romp outside (it was GORGEOUS today) and that also was a big delight. After dinner DH took BOTH kids for a wagon ride and they kids had a blast.

What is not to like ??? I am getting to the picture situation... XOXOXOXOXO

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

Emerging from the darkness that is the return to reality - only a new reality as we try to adjust to being 4 instead of 3! One wouldn't think that 38" and 38 lbs could make such a big deal in a family - but I beg to differ. We have semi-adjusted to the time and jet lag has been a little worse this time... two small kids off kilter will do that. I am thankful my sister and niece were able to swing down for a short, but oh, so helpful, visit to help with kid-wrangling and other important chores. The two kids of mine are not settling into each other as well as I had hoped - but no more so than I expected. They are distinctly different souls and whereas the one has confidence in our catering to her every need - the other is so passively self-sufficient that we end up having to be watchful a lot of the time. Introducing a sibling is stressful for every family - and ours with its Topsy-turvy out-of-birth-order addition is no different. Luckily for us (but maybe not for him) our EBB is so small and somewhat behind in development that he really does seem more like a toddler himself and while that can cause other types of headaches - at least we aren't over-expecting from his capabilities. EFP is really a sweetie at heart so this current mean-streak is just temporary and formed from a difficult journey and the sudden (to her at least) addition of this "brudder" to her family. As I have mentioned she has never wavered in her commitment to renounce a brudder in favor of a small coterie of farm animals. Daily she renamed ALL the animals that were required and daily she decided ALL were more necessary than "brudder" she also had good company - since the other 3 year-olds we traveled with were also less than enthused about their siblings - even the younger and adorable ones! So in that at least she is not alone!

I am in a confused state. Given how much I wanted to adopt again my current state is curious. I find it hard to warm to this new child - in part because I think his very boyishness is just too jarring for me at this point. His screaming constantly at the two furry inhabitants first out of fear and surprise - and now in a bid to get rid of them - has not been fun for any of us. The kitties least of all. I can honestly say I love him - but all the other stuff will take some time. I suppose it is also that he gravitated toward DH and not me and while I am happy for them - they do seem to be kindred spirits - it is perhaps hard on a Mommy not be first with the new kid!

I will get over myself and have already identified some great characteristics in our new son: he has a quick sense of humor, he really does remind me of my DH (both annoying and endearing actually!), he does seem MUCH neater than the other people who live around here, and he is pretty bright - only needs to see something once to get the hang of it. While I think it may take some time - and work on my part - he really is a little charmer. His speech is much better than we expected and although at the moment he mimics rather than speaks of his own volition, he does seem ready to take off. Our new plan includes getting him into school ASAP. I will have to battle the school district but will do so because anyone who saw him would know he barely belongs in K - let alone 1st or 2nd grades. I do think it is important because I suspect he is lonely without other kids and the routine I think will help him adjust better. Perhaps the sense of normal - I don't know. I really don't but this seems to be the direction we are headed in. After we get his medicals underway... I know I owe LONG posts and pictures... and I will catch you all up on both... but for now this is how we stand!!

Empress Fussy Pants

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Emperor Big Brother

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker