Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hair cut and cuddles

All done! yep, these are not in sequential order, but I don't feel like reloading them.
Vroom Vroom!

Flashback to the 80's

I think I like mommy and daddy's bed better! - pre hair cut, what a difference!

Nick really needed a hair cut, however I was a bit concerned as to how he would react and waited, until, well, I couldn’t wait anymore. Turns out I had been worrying over nothing!

We went over to Cookie Cutters yesterday and he really enjoyed riding the red race car while the stylist gave him the cutest boy cut. Silly mommy over here had her camera in tow and what you see is the in progress, and final product.

I am finding less and less time to blog, as I want to spend as much time as I can with Nick before I go back to work. Also Bill went back to work on Tuesday, so I am on full mommy duty after 10:00 AM every day. We spent our time indoors this past weekend, just the three of us. Our boy was in a cuddle mode, more so than most days, and was quite the hug giver.

So, I have been toying with the idea of making a different blog, a private one, to keep friends and family updated on our daily, weekly, or however often I can update, adventures. If I go that route, I will still leave this one up. I know many PAP’s look at it, and having been in their shoes, I know it can be comforting to hear other families’ stories as they travel, meet their children, and bring them home.

The list of suggestions and tips for traveling that many of you have requested is about done, and I will post it soon. The jury is still out regarding the private vs. non private.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fast tracking through recovery

Funny thing is, Nick loves baby cookies... I think we have a cookie monster in the making. Thanks ExactTarget for the cool cookie bouqet!!! We enjoyed visiting with you on Monday.

Grandpa Brockmann, here you have it.

Thanks so much for all the calls and emails inquiring about Nick's surgery on Wednesday. Everything came out great, and one would never guess he had surgery just two days ago. He is going about his business of eating, playing and chasing the dog as if he didn't have a few stitches. The only set back was him vomiting a couple of times when he first woke up, but that was about it.

In between naps yesterday, I was able to go pick up a new camera cable. Here's the much awaited, well, by a few people really, picture of Nick in crimson and cream gear. He has become pretty good tossing his IU basketball (thanks Garry & Patti). I wonder if IU will be knocking on our door now that they are coachless. Bwahaha.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Missing: Nikon camera cable

It appears that in the midst of putting things out of Nicholas’ reach, we have done a very good job at hiding the camera cable. The thing is, I discovered that the cable that I use to sync my phone and my computer also works, but nope, can’t find that one either.

I figured I would at least post and come back to add pictures later, and I intend for that to be today…

It is safe to say that we have conquered the fear of water! Bill takes all the credit on this one, as he is the one who had been playing with Nick and his toys in the bathtub. On Friday I heard this giggling and splashing coming out of the bathroom, and what do you know… my child is having a good time getting his dad wet. Bill had his toys inside the tub with water, but the intent was for Nick to see them and play with them from the outside, apparently Nick had other plans. Now we have to convince him that is time to come out; but I rather have that.

We have been laying low in a effort of keeping Nicholas healthy for his upcoming surgery, and for me to get over this cold. I think we are succeeding on both fronts. On Saturday though, it was time for a long due haircut for me, and Bill had errands to run. So Nick got his first stay at Grandma Lucy’s. To our surprise he stayed without crying, and even went down for a nap. That is great news to us as I will be going back to work in a month and he gets to hang out with Grandma all day.

Well, is time for me to go on the search for that cable, and get a couple of things caught up before is time for Nick to start his day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Life with Nicholas

Playing in the tub, still no water

My future Boilermaker at his happiest, right after a meal...

Doing the baby waddle

Vroom, vroom!!

Hi everyone, we have had a hectic couple of days with appointments and what not. To complicate things, I came down with a nasty upper respiratory infection that landed me in bed for two days. Fortunately my mom came up to help us with meals and such. I have been a hand washing fool, and I think I have managed not to give Nick my cooties. It has taking a lot of self-control not to smooch him!

We have gotten the majority of Nick’s labs and all looks great, except for a little parasite in his tummy, which is pretty common in a lot of kids coming from Russia. Once we get rid of the little bugger, Nick will be getting ALL of the nutrients from his food in and start packing some weight.

We are also treating his cough so that he gets rid of it by surgery time next week. Yep, we are correcting his hernia next week (thanks Frank, we were very impressed by both Dr. Cain and Dr. Cummings!), as we have been told by three different doctors that it needs to be corrected “sooner than later”. Plus doing it sooner allows me to stay with him for a good amount of time before I go back to work.

Nick has also spent a good amount of time in the tub with toys, sans water! This is the approach the social worker told us to take in getting Nick to start liking water. Tomorrow we will add water to the tub, put the toys in, and then let him play from the outside… next step… add child to said toys in tub.

We got bye-bye down and he likes going bye-bye more and more. We will probably trek down to my office on Monday so he can meet the people that mommy works with. He has become more vocal in the past two days, even babbling so loud that Godmother Maribel could hear him over the phone as she talked with me yesterday right after dinner time, which is when this boy is the happiest.

Here are some pictures from the past couple of days… since he was going out with just mommy today; he is sporting a Purdue hoodie! Sorry B family! I picked this up while at Homecoming with my friend Katie last year. Speaking of pictures, I was out at the travel clinic today getting my last Hep shot and I spotted a picture of the playroom in Nick’s Baby Home in Novokuznetsk. A man holding a child was in the picture. I left our contact info for them to pass on to this family. It sure will be fun to meet a fellow BH#1 buddy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

An illness we can cure

We just got back from Cinci and all the way here we couldn't stop talking about how fortunate we are to have Dr. Staat and her staff at Cinci Children's Hospital so close to our house.

After a battery of tests, talking to a social worker, occupational therapist and nurses, and finally Dr. Staat; we were told that all he needs is love and lots and lots of food... definitely an illness we can cure. The biggest relief is that he has NO SIGNS of FAS.. which always weighs in the back of your mind when you adopt children from Russia... and that is not meant to have a bad connotation, is just a fact of life. Neither us, nor Dr. Staat thought he had FAS (from initial pictures she saw), but it was a relief to hear it from Dr. Staat after seeing the little guy in person. Yes he is small for his age, but like she initially told us in October, he will be caught up in six months or so. We will do a follow up appointment with her then.

The Social Worker was also pleased with how Nick interacts with us and how he is trusting of us, we are definitely on the right track towards attachment and were told to "continue doing what we are doing". Nick had a Russian translator during the appointment, who was of great help during the occupational therapist assessment. She would tell Nick what to do (i.e. stack these toys, put this inside of that, etc) and he would do it.

Yesterday Nick got to meet Grandpa and Grandma Brockmann... I think is safe to say that they are smitten. We are going to Bluffton next week and he will see them again then. In the agenda for this week is our appointment with a surgeon to address his hernia and then an initial visit to his regular pediatrician. I also need to do some grocery shopping for him and get his own supply of sour cream, mayo and cheeses... all of the full fat variety; which we will not be sharing since, well, Bill and I certainly don't need plumping up!

Time for me to go now and spend some quality time with my men.

p.s. Carrie - Nick was in Baby Home #1 in Novokuznetsk. If this is where your little guy is, please email me. I left a disposable camera at the Baby Home on trip 1 and I just got it developed. There are several other kids in the pictures with Nick.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It is 4:01 AM and I can't sleep...

Tickle tickle

Where's that airplane food? I already got my spoon....

Street scene in Novokuznetsk

Drama Theatre - this is can also be seen in the webcams

Not sure if it is adjusting to EST time, jet lag, or the fact that I knew I would have ample time to shower and give myself a mini facial uninterrupted. I am also catching up on email, so I figured I would update the blog.

We had another good day yesterday.... this little boy gets funnier and funnier by the minute. What a 180 from the little boy we met in October of last year. Yesterday we learned that he has no interest in broccoli, but who can blame him? He is also not so interested in chewing a lot of things, just some. They used to puree all of his food at the Baby Home, I pressume because they can feed more kids faster, so this is something we need to work on.

Today I need to take him to get yet more passport sized pictures. We need to register Nick with the Russian Consulate, so I am getting all the stuff ready to FedEx today or Monday. This is due to the fact that he has dual citizenship until he is 18.

I also need to start gathering paperwork for his appointment at Cincinatti Children's Hospital International Adoption Clinic on Monday. We are so fortunate to be just 2 hours away from one of the best IA clinics in the country. The IA pedi who we consulted with after we met him in October, will see him on Monday. We just want to do one final check to make 150% sure everything is good with him, and address anything that needs addressed.

Tomorrow the little man gets to meet Grandma and Grandpa Brockmann. I didn't get to talk to them, but Bill tells me Grandpa will be kicking Grandma out of bed at the crack of dawn so they can get on the road for the 2 hr drive down here. Unfortunatelly I will probably be at tennis when they first get here and will miss that first meeting.

Here are some pictures from Novokuznetsk and our ride home.....

Friday, February 8, 2008

We are home!

Actually have been since Wednesday night as originally scheduled, we are of course adjusting to life with little man and getting over jet lag.

He is doing better than we are on that respect. Slept from 11:00 till 7:00 AM yesterday, took his three hour nap after lunch like he used to in Russia, and then went to bed at 7:00 last night. He woke up several times last night but went back to sleep once he realized I was laying down in the extra bed in his room. So all is going pretty well with him as far as sleeping goes, I hope I don't jinx it!

He is also eating like a champ and loooooves mashed potatoes. Couldn't get enough of them last night. I am sitting in his bedroom typing and the little man is telling me is time for breakfast.

Have more pics to post, but that will happen at a later time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

We have been given the all clear!

All dressed and ready to go meet the US Ambassador to Russia... I mean, get my American Visa

St Basils - we just love this church.. we didn't go in because we didn't want to keep Nick out longer than needed, but it is just gorgeous
Bundling up after an ice cream stop for mom & dad, and lunch for Nick

Nick and dad walking around the hotel... Nick needs to grow fast, or we will have to get a stick for each one of these two to hold on to

Arabat Street - main shopping area near our hotel

We visited the American Embassy today and had our visa interview. We have a nice Russian passport with an even nicer American Visa that allows little man into the good ol' United States... which we are really missing, may I add. We have had a great time in Russia, and this country has given us the best possible gift ever; for that we will always be grateful.

Our agency staff here in country has been phenomenal, and we have been taken care of, that's for sure. Moscow is an amazing city, and someday we will bring Nick back for a visit. We also hope to trek up to St. Petersburg.

The lady at the American Embassy was soooo nice, and was gushing over our little man. It was so cool to hear her tell us that as soon as we clear customs at JFK, he will be an American citizen! What a better place to enter our country and become a citizen than New York!!! We met a lot of families there, probably 12 or so. Including several that adopted multiple children. One woman is bringing three home. Twins girls, and their younger sister. They are from Kemerovo, the city were we had to attend court.

Had a good day today. The men had some bonding time as I did some last minute shopping. We wanted go get enough gifts to present Nick with each year till he turns 18, and I think we have accomplished that. We will be giving him these gifts on Russian Christmas, which is celebrated January 7th. Today's bonding time included Bill changing his first poopy diaper, and it was a messy one. Given my inspection of the area after the fact, I must say he did rather well.

We are in for the remainder of the evening, it is almost 5:00 PM here. We just need to pack, give Nick a bath (which is a chore since he is not fond of water), feed him, and put him to bed. Our driver will be in at 8:30 to pick us up for our 12:10 PM flight. If all goes to plan we will be touching down in Indy just after 10:30 PM tomorrow.

As always, I leave you with some pictures.

Wish us extra luck for our trip tomorrow, hopefully Nick will do as well as in the trip from Novokuznetsk. Although, this is a wee bit longer one.

See you all soon!

Bill, Monica & Nick

Monday, February 4, 2008

Almost there!

Red Square

Red Square, National Historic Museum in the background, Gum to the right, Kremlin on the left.

In front of St Basils Cathedral

We have had a very very long day today, hence the lateness of this post.

For those of you who warned me about not skipping naps, now I know why! Due to our schedule, we had to skip his nap, and boy he was not happy about it later in the afternoon. We had to go take pictures for his visa, and then the medical checkup. This all ran over nap time, and of course, there's the stress of being poked by the doctor. Nick is now asleep, and should be good till about 7:00 AM tomorrow. He has been sleeping 12 hours at night, just like they told us he was at the baby home.

After the appointments today, we had our driver drop us off at Red Square, and of course we took the obligatory picture in front of St Basils Cathedral. We then rode the metro back to a stop near our hotel (Katie I think you asked, we are at the Arabat Hotel). The metro stations here are so ornate, just like we had seen in some History Channel documentaries. They are also very difficult to navigate, even more so than Munich or Rome. Well, Munich at least had signs in english! We found a very nice woman, with a gorgeous furr coat, who sent us in the right direction.

We have the morning free tomorrow, and then have our Embassy appointment, which we are told can last a couple of hours because of the number of Americans adopting from Russia nowadays. We met another couple at the doctor's office who adopted two boys from a region even farther away than Novo... and colder!

Time for me to go and start pre-packing. Will try to update the blog tomorrow, if I can make it in before they close at 8:00 PM. If we don't post, then our next post will be from Indianapolis with our new little citizen.

The Brockman Trio

Sunday, February 3, 2008

We are in Moscow!

Nick on the flight to Moscow

Sleeping in Novokuznetsk

Checking out the street scene - Novokuznetsk

Yeah, I still don't smile for the camera... we are working on that!

Hi everyone. We made it to Moscow yesterday morning, right on schedule at 8:14 AM... yipeee! Nick did great on the flight over, as he did the first day with us. He is slowly coming out of his shell and realizing that we are here for the long haul.

Because I had to wake him up so early to fly to Moscow (5:00 AM for a 7:40 flight), he was out by the time we lifted from Novokuznetsk. Slept for about and hour, ate (which he does very well), and played. The boy is fascinated with windows, so we spent a lot of time looking at the clouds and babbling.
We spent most of the day in. We grabbed lunch at Mickey D's, went grocery shopping for himm and came back to the hotel. Later on, Julie from Ohio (who is flying home with her daughter and husband today) and I power walked to Detsky Mir in search for baptism gowns..... and we found it! Detsky Mir is a huge, 4 story, children's store in Moscow just past Red Square.

Weather in Moscow is balmy compared to Novo. Its in the 30's today, it snowed some last night, but the sun is trying to come out, and the new snow seems to have melted.

Tomorrow we have his doctor checkup (part of the process for his Embassy Appt), and we will probably go to Red Square for the obligatory family picture.

Nick is sleeping right now, his schedule is off due to time difference from Novo. So for now we are going with the flow and we will settle into his regular schedule of naps, feeding, playtime, etc once we are home. After his nap we are going to trek down to Arbat Street for a bit of shopping and Starbucks!!! I saw the new Starbucks yesterday as we were walking towards Detsky Mir.

I better go see what my two men are up to, and see if my little man is up!