Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meeting with Friends

Saturday we had the opportunity to meet with two other families who have recently adopted from Russia. We actually met Meghan and Bill while we were in Moscow finishing up our paperwork to bring Daniel home, while they were there on their journey to meet their son Nick. We hadn't met Karyn and Norm yet, only seen each other through the glass at the airport when we were getting off the plane on our way home and they were boarding to take their first trip to Russia to meet their son Ilya.

We had great plans to meet at a pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins, but the weather didn't cooperate. Instead we met a the Virginia Discovery Museum for children and let the kiddos play and play and then we all enjoyed a lunch out. It was wonderful to connect with others who have been through the process and to be able to talk about our experiences and our children who have a lot in common.

I'll leave you with son pictures of Daniel, Ilya, and Nick. I know everyone can appreciate how, shall we say, impossible it is to get a picture of three children looking at the camera at the same time??!!
The train table was a big hit, especially for Daniel!
On stage checking out the things to do.
Daniel loved the ball that balanced when air flew up.
I love how he wanted to make sure Papa was watching!

Future accordian player? Daniel loved this!

Ilya had a good time playing!

Nick and Daniel still checking out the train table!

And just in case you wanted to see the parents...

Monday, October 20, 2008

At the Pumpkin Patch - Number 1

Before I start about the pumpkin patch I need to say that as of yesterday, Troy and I have been married for 12 years!!! It was a special day because for the first time we got to spend our anniversary with our child!! It was a good day!

This weekend we ventured out to a local farm for the Pumkin Fest they hold there every year. We had a great time. Daniel took his first hayride and his first walk through a pumpkin patch. The vines were pretty thick so he actually did a lot of falling all over the place and giggling. We took FOREVER to pick out a pumpkin, one for each of us, that even the guy driving the tractor gave up on us and left us to finish up and wait for the next tractor. I think we walked the entire field about three times! Daniel finally settled on a small green pumpkin which I thought was a great addition to the orange one Troy picked and the green and orange one I picked.

Next week we are meeting Meghan and Bill at a different pumpkin patch. I hope to get a nice one there to carve. We are looking forward to meeting them and their precious Nick!!

Oh and at the bottom I am posting a picture of my very first diaper cake that I made for my sister's baby shower. It's not perfect. but I was proud of myself. (I'm not usually so creative!)She's due in about three weeks! We can't wait to see our new nephew! I had fun making it, but it was harder than I thought and next time, I will use wider ribbon. But it was fun and a big hit at the party!

Don't know why that picture turned pink, but there's his pumpkin!

Today, I let Daniel decorate his pumpkin with stickers! Since we'll be carving a different one, I thought this would be fun! He seemed to enjoy it!

And here's the diaper cake. I used 3 bottles of baby washes on the bottom with the little hand mits on the caps. Also in the center of the bottom is a large baby powder to hold the second layer. There are fifty diapers total, the top layer has a large baby oil in the center. There are also four washcloths on the second layer. An elephant on top completes it! I think I'll try it again in the future - also, isn't my sis adorable?!?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time Flies

Six months ago today we were nervously getting dressed for court in a hotel room in Izhevsk, Russia. We had gone over our speeches about a million times. We could barely eat our breakfast and we had even practiced our speeches in the little café while we tried to eat.

We were escorted to the Russian court and ushered into a bland room with small benches for us to sit on and small tables for the orphanage director, the social worker, the prosecutor, the clerk, and podium for the Judge.

I spoke first talking about our family, our home, our finances, and everything in between. Troy spoke about our jobs, our hobbies, our lives. We were asked many questions. Troy was so quiet and nervous that they had to keep asking him to speak up. Finally in answer to one of the Judge’s questions, Troy simply said “Because we love him.”

After four hours, we were finally announced Daniel’s parents. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the smile plastered on my face. It was one of those you just can’t wipe away and the kind that hurt because you can’t stretch it any farther. I remember looking at the social worker and orphanage director, who we really, really liked, and seeing their big smiles also.

What a day. What a change to our lives and the life of a little boy from Russia. I think that day will always be one of the most remembered and one of the best days of our lives. Daniel is a true joy. He makes us laugh, his personality fits right in with our family. There have been tears and frustration too, but the smiles and laughter far outweigh them.

As an update on attachment I thought I would list a few things that have happened recently.

1. At the library I was sitting counting his jumps on the trampoline when he got off and started toward a table with play-doh. Halfway across the room, he stops suddenly turning, so fast he falls. He gets right up, finds my eyes, and says “Come on, Mama”.

2. We had guests for lunch a couple of weekends ago including his beloved Granny and Grandpa and Troy’s boss. When he was done, he fussed to be out of his chair so I picked him up and sat him in my lap facing away from the company holding him on my shoulder. He actually stayed in that position, laying his head down for a few minutes, letting me hold him, without feeling the need to turn around and be in the middle of the conversation.

3. Daniel and I went to Burger King and after he finished his lunch, instead of the normal, crawl under the table back and forth and see what everyone else was into, he sat down and put his head on my arm and let me hold him against my side while I finished eating.

The last two things are not only good attachment signs since he feels comfortable and secure but they are showing us that Daniel is not as overwhelmed anymore as he initially was when we would take him out. He’s becoming quite the little shopping companion for me (must to Troy’s chagrin) and I love it!!

So without further ado – These are photos I have posted before, but I think they show the real changes we have seen. Here is Daniel six months ago and then today!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Egg Story

Daniel loves to watch me cook. He pulls his stool up to the kitchen counter and listens to pans sizzle and watches me stir things. A few nights ago he watched me crack eggs into a bowl while we were making cookies (I sound so domesticated with the last sentence!) He reached out for the egg, but I told him it was yucky to touch and we stirred it in the pot. Little did I know that Daniel filed that away in his 'it may be yucky, but I must try it sometime' file.

Fast forward a day and my mother and I and Daniel are grocery shopping together. My mother picks up a huge 2 and 1/2 dozen eggs carton and lays them in the cart. Daniel turns to look and I say "Please don't touch those" and I hand him some other things he can hold in the front of the cart. A few minutes later, I leave Daniel with my mom and walk two feet away to a freezer section and my mom walks about a foot away to grab something. I return to the cart (keeping in mind I was only 2 feet away) to see something in my son's hand. It must have taken me 20 full seconds to comprehend what he had. He had an egg and he had punctured a hole in the side, but still managed to have all of it in his hands.

I reached out my hand, like any good mother would do, and said, "Please let me have that." Daniel turns his hand over and pours the cracked egg into mine. I stand there for quite possibly another 20 seconds not believing that I am holding a raw egg in my hand. (I really don't care too much for eggs). By this time my mom is standing there taking it all in. Thankfully instinct (of some sort) kicked in and I ran to the hall where the bathrooms were marked. Well, the first trash can I see is the big trash can in the store's breakroom, which door happened to be opened. So I barge in and drop the raw egg in the trash can. I surprised a lady who quickly pointed out to me that the bathroom was just down the hall. I thanked her and went to wash my hands and get stuff to clean Daniel's hand with.

My mom and I laughed about it once Daniel's hands were cleaned and joked about how we were both standing right there and he still got the egg. My mom said that for some reason she was not meant to eat that egg.

What's even funnier is that there is a Part Two to this story. When we arrived home, my mom put her eggs in my refrigerator while we all had lunch together. When she left, she forgot them. The next day she went by the house to pick up the eggs and drove home. I get an email at work the following day (yesterday) that says:

"You are going to love this !!! I left the doomed eggs in my car til now. They go in the trash. For some reason the Lord does NOT want me to eat them."

My response to her was:

"See, Daniel was only trying to help you out!"

What a good boy I have!!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Daniel's new favorite word is bicycle. I must hear it 2,000 times a day. He also calls motorcycles, bicycles. He has taken to carrying around a small toy bicycle with him everywhere he goes. First thing in the morning he asks for it. We even make a big production of setting on his windowsill every night and at nap time so he knows just where it is when he wakes up. Now if only we could teach him how to ride. He doesn't quite understand the concept of the pedals yet and mostly when we push him his feet slip off the pedals or the pedals turn under his feet. If anyone has a recommendation for a easy to ride tricycle, let me know!

Daycare is going well. Last week he cried on Tuesday when I dropped him off, which seems to be the norm. I think after the 4 days at home, Tuesdays become more of an adjustment. On Wednesday and Thursday I got hugs and kisses and smiles and I left. I'm still waiting for his artwork folder, which I have been anxious for, but they are re-doing the room for fall and haven't placed any art in the folders yet.

Our first post pacement report arrives tomorrow (finally) I won't go into details there, and I plan to overnight it to be apostilled and then to our agency for arrival by Friday. I'll be glad to get that out of the way.

Now - a few odd and end pictures!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I got tagged by Amy - thanks!

Six Random things about me:

1. Before I met Troy, I swore I never wanted children. Every time I got around children they seemed to cry. My firends used to tease me about it all the time. Now I can't imagine life without my son and secretly dream of heading back to Russia for another child. Boy things change don't they?

2. I swore I would never watch a realty show and now I'm hooked on Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor. Even playing in the background now is America's Got Talent. Help me please!!

3. I love animals. I talk to all of them. I even think groundhogs are cute. Troy thinks I'm a nut and rolls his eyes when Daniel sees a groundhog and says hi to it (from the car). He jokingly refers to me as the 'animal whisperer' and asks me not to pass it on to Daniel who he hopes is a hunter like himself. (I do allow deer heads on the wall, but he can't sop me from apologizing to them! It's an interesting mix - an animal lover and a hunter. It's true that opposites attract.)

4. I hate sea food and mayonaisse, but I love tuna fish salad. I know it doesn't make any sense. Is there a law that says everything has to make sense??!!

5. Troy and I met at a party about a year before we met again. I didn't remember him, until he told me who he was. Then he claims I blew him off and went dancing with my friends. The truth is he just stood there so I basically said 'see you later'. I was the one who asked him to dance later on. He used to be shy - what happened?

6. I worry about everything. I do mean everything. The tiniest little thing and I'm on it. Troy swears I am going to drive myself batty. I jokingly tell him that one day he's going to come home to find me stroking a My Little Pony mane (yes, I still have that darn collection) saying "nice pony" over and over.

I'm going to tag the following people. Hopefully you haven't already been tagged and if you have, consider yourself popular with the natives!!


If I have tagged you, here are the rules!
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4.Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.

These are always a fun way to get to know each other and to take a step back from posting adoption news!