Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vaccines, Park & Frugality

**Referral Photo added to sidebar**

Today Daniel received his first two vaccines. We have decided only to do two shots at each visit. We don't want to overload his system and the doctor agreed after talking with him. So early this morning we headed out and we survived (yes - that includes me because I was so nervous about taking him by myself to have shots!) It was easy. He only cried for a second and then was "all done" and off we went to the park. Today we swang and met another mother with two children. One was a little girl only a month younger than Daniel. We fed ducks together and the kids threw the bread as far as they could. It was fun! (Note to self - when cutting off the crust of Daniel's sandwhiches - save it for the ducks!)

My mother "Grandma" came over for lunch today and we had a nice visit. Daniel loves to play with his Grandma and always waves "bye" to her and blows her kisses when she leaves. It's the cutest darn thing.

I thought he would go right down for a nap because of all the playtime and the vaccines, but he played in his crib for half and hour before falling asleep!! I'm so thankful that he plays. I rock him as long as I can but generally he will get really wiggly toward the end and I put him in his crib. Sometimes I'll get a cry or two (all of 30 seconds) upon leaving the room and then we hear him pushing his glo-worm a thousand and one times. I kid you not. He LOVES his glo-worm. We also keep a music box that he can wind up and a book in his crib. Some nights I'll check on him and have to pry the book out of his sleeping little fingers. It also is great because in the morning after he wakes up he will generally play for half an hour also. He sounds so adorable over the monitor. Troy and I get a big kick out him some mornings as the book is filled with animals and he will make all the animal sounds. The other morning Troy was sure Daniel thought he was a dog.

The following are photos from two separate trips to the park followed by my blurb on frugality:

Are we there yet?

Here I come, ready or not!!

Check me out - I'm in the tunnel!Of course I have to go down the biggest slide!

Lastly, many of you have read Chris and Jackie's adoption blog. Did you know that Jackie also has a blog about living frugaly called Coins in the Couch? Once I started reading her blog and then picking up a few others I have been learning a lot about the art of coupon cutting and taking advantage of the different stores and their different offerings. One of the biggest, most interesting stores everyone talks about is CVS with the Extra bucks. I vowed when I started reading that I wasn't going to buy 20 tubes of toothpaste to make a deal, but that if I saw some things I needed I would try it. Well today I made my first winning transaction!! I had $5.00 in Extra bucks already earned (they work like cash) and a $4.00 off $20.00 transaction coupon from CVS and a few other coupons. I desparately needed conditioner and CVS was on the way back from the doctor's office so this is what I got and I actually made money (breakdown of cost follows)!!

Herbal Essence Conditioner $5.99
Tums QuickPack $4.69
2 Airwick refills $2.99 each
1 Airwick Warmer $1.99
CVS moist towlettes for car $0.99

I used the following coupons:

$4.00 off $20.00 purchase
$1.00 off Herbal Essense
$1.00 off Tum QuikPak
$1.00 off 2 Airwick refills
$1.99 free warmer with purchase of 2 Airwick refills
$5.00 Extra Bucks

I only paid $5.83 for the whole purchase - that's less than the cost of the conditioner, BUT that's not even the best part - I receive back $6.49 in Extrabucks and another $4.00 off $20.00 transaction AND there was a rebate on the Tums for the full price (minus the coupon). So I will get a check back for $3.69. If you add all that up I actually made money - $4.35 to be exact!! I'm so proud of myself!!! After the adoption and higher insurance bills and upcoming child care every penny counts!!! YAY!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Right or Left?

Is Daniel right or left handed?? Well, we just can’t decide. He tends to eat with his right hand, but we wonder if he was taught that because when he scribbles or works with toy, he tends to use his left hand. He also seems to have more strength in his left hand. I suppose he could be ambidextrous, but I really think he will begin to use only one hand after a while. For now it’s interesting to see which hand he uses more.

He is now pretty consistently saying the words “up”, “juice”, “knock, knock”, “rock”, “light”, "scoop, dump" (Water play) and “boo boo” on his own. He also says "Ruby" one of our dogs name. Pretty much all the animals are Ruby now, but he does know the difference if I tell him to give Elka a pat, or Jerry, or whichever one. He also loves to feed the dogs. I make the bowls and he gives each dog their bowl. It's too cute!! With help he will say “please”, and “thank you”. Last night something must have clicked with him because at dinner when he finished his plate he pushed it to me and very clearly said "all gone" and then he repeated everything I said including “Woo Hoo!” “Uh Oh”, and when I said “I love you” he responded with “la lu”. I have it on video camera and if I ever figure out how to get it on the computer I’ll share!!

We find that he understands tremendously more. He knows where to head when I ask if he wants a bath or to brush his teeth. He even does the teeth brushing motion with his hands that I used to do when we first started. He understands all the basics like stand up and sit down so I no longer use the Russian versions at all. He also knows when I ask him if he wants to put on shoes to go find his shoes and then he pines a way by the front or back door waiting for Mama to be ready.

He will say “cheese” when I pull out the camera but inevitably will say it when the camera isn’t quite ready. He also knows how to fake snore sleeping and he is such a comedian with it. I took him into his room to rock for nap and as soon as he got comfortable on my shoulder he started fake snoring and I just had to laugh. He also plays a game with Papa that Papa isn’t to thrilled with. I got to listen to it over the monitor last night and it cracked me up. He pats Troy when Troy rocks him at night and says “Mama” and Troy counters with “Papa” (Daniel smiles when he does this) and this went on about 6 times when finally I hear Troy say “I’m not your Mama boy!!” followed by a giggle and then Daniel’s out. It is so funny!

We go for our first set of vaccines on Thursday – Yuck!! I have to go by myself and am not looking forward to it. We are only doing two shots at a time though. Everyone thinks I’m crazy but I really don’t want to overload his little system with 4 or 5 shots in one day. It means more doctor visits, but hopefully less reaction!!

Finally on Saturday night Troy gave Daniel his bath while I changed sheets in our bedroom. I heard him get Daniel out of the tub and then “Go find Mama.” This is what greeted me in the bedroom. It was so cute I had to run for the camera!!

Here’s a few more pictures from our week.

Lastly – I’ll be watching Becky and Keith’s blog all day to hear about their referral!! I can’t be happier for them to finally be in Russia!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Week Gone By

This past week was a very busy week for our little guy and I am hoping this week is a little quieter. As you already know we had our International Adoption Clinic visit which went very well (as did the Burger King stop afterwards!). We also made our first ever big grocery store expedition. Papa went along for this one. We have run in to the store before but this was one of those the cuboards are bare, need to shop desparately moments and it took a little over an hour. Daniel was so good. He sat in the cart and his Papa pushed him all over the place while Mama threw things into the cart. We were so pleased with how he did.

We also found out that our boy will eat almost anything. And I do mean anything!! He was fussing at me in the kitchen the other night while I was making salad for Troy and I so I gave him a piece of the dill pickle I was cutting thinking he would take one bite and spit it back out. Troy and I stood there waiting for the funny face we expected and instead we got a hand stuck out for more. He loves dill pickles!! He definitely gets that from me!!

One of the most endearing moments of the week was when I was rocking him to sleep for his nap. He had his head on my shoulder and all the sudden he leaned up to look at me and patted my face softly and said "Mama" and then gave me the best ever lip kiss. All this out of the blue with no asking and I just about cried in the chair. It was truly the most sweetest thing!!

We had a nice Mother's Day as Troy got up and made breakfast for all of us. Then we headed to my sister-in-law, Amber's house and had a play date with Daniel's cousin, Parker. They had so much fun and also a lesson in sharing. We think they did pretty well. Amber took some great pictures, which I'll pass on once I get them!! We even have an adorable one of Daniel sitting in his Uncle Stephen's lap and Parker sitting in his Uncle Troy's lap helping them play Wii together!!
Here are two of our funnier moments this week!
Can we say I'm cute?!?!

Can we say future plumber?!?!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

International Adoption Clinic Visit

Tuesday we went to the International Adoption Clinic to see the doctor and occupational therapist. We went in hoping for great news and that is exactly what we got!! After watching Daniel interact with the therapist and being asked about a million questions, we got the reults that his motor skills were right on target. They were impressed with his size (which is 25th percentile), his walking abilities (and running!) and overall good nature. They said we had a good one and we would have to agree.

Next we saw an auditory specialist to check his hearing. He was such a good boy that after doing the test with him on my lap just listening to the speakers he even let the nice lady put the headphones in his ears so they could determine if one ear was working better than the other. They also let him test his drums to be sure they were moving properly. The lady was so impressed and she said there wasn't a thing wrong with his hearing. He heard everything!!

Finally we had to have blood taken and that didn't go so well. They tried his arm first but only got one vial so they had to go for his foot. We think this must be how they did it in Russia because as soon as they took off his shoe and then sock he started sreaming. He turned so red and just cried and cried and sreamed and screamed. I was so upset and Troy was the brave one. Afterwards I scooped him up and took him right out of the room not caring if they were done or not. I just wanted him to know we could leave anytime. So...

We rushed him to Burger King, put a crown on him and gave him chicken fries, french fries and a small amount of an oreo sundae milkshake!! He deserved them and apparently he's not allergic to anything. What a way to introduce several new foods!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Week Two in Review

Wow - I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted already - Where oh where did that time go??

We had a great week with a few not so great moments as well, but who doesn't have those?

We are working on words, but mostly we're getting babble with a few words mixed in. His newest word is 'up' as before he would push on our legs when he wanted to be picked up and we just kept saying up, up, up when we lifted him for about 2 days and now he will say up instead of pushing us. We are working on animals but i'm mostly getting sound effects. So if I point to a cat he says "meow". I suppose this is my fault because I love to make animal sounds!!

This week we visited D's first plant nursery and bought some flowers which we planted yesterday with Grandma. We had trouble getting him to understand how not to step on the flowers. We pointed to his shoes and we tried showing how to be gentle. We also tried comforting the flowers he stepped on. No luck!! We bought him his own gardening tools - just his size but of course he only wanted ours and he managed to trip me with the handle of the rake. That was fun. We also managed to get onions planted and are headed out later today to get some tomato plants.

We went to my grand neices first bithday party and of course D's Aunt Cathy gave him an entire cupcake - pictures below!! He was up that night for over an hour at midnight - thanks Cat!!

Also a big congratulations to my sister Cathy as she and her husband are expecting their first child together!! WOO Hoo!! Daniel needs another cousin!!

Lastly we made a trip to visit Troy's parents - Granny and Grandpa. He did well on the drive (about 2 and 1/2 hours) and we stayed all day. We managed to get our first decent family photo there. There's just something about Granny!

This week proves to be pretty busy also. We have our IAD clinic appointment tomorrow and a few other things going on this week. We'll update again soon!!