Monday, April 28, 2008

** tap, tap** is this thing on?

I just looked and it has been since April 3rd since my last post!? Yikes! We got a few emails from friends in the adoption community asking if everything was ok, and it is. Life has just gotten busy and now that the weather has finally shapen up, we find ourselves doing more stuff outdoors and going places with Nick.

Case and point... this weekend, we are currently in Chicago. I came up for the Fancy Food Show and we did some fun stuff as a family too. On Saturday we strolled around Lincoln Park. Nick was soooo visibly happy, doing a lot of "talking" and waving at everyone. We must have looked like locals because we were asked for directions.

In the afternoon we met my friends Shannon and Susan and we took the kids to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Had a blast there with Shannon's kids and Susan's niece. Nick is finally taking more to riding the carousel and did great. It has been hit or miss at the one in Indy (inside the Children's Museum). I can't rave enough about the Lincoln Park Zoo.. and free?!?! We will go back when we come up in May for another long weekend we already have planned.

On Sunday, while I was at the show, Nick and daddy headed out to the Shedd Aquarium and the Nature Museum... thanks Shannon! Bill insists we go back to the Shedd next year when is a little older. He had a great time and we are thinking in about a year will enjoy it even more. I guess you can see the animals really up close. Can't wait to go, I have never been.

Speaking of weekends in Chicago, I gotta put a plug here for the hotel we are staying at. It is right across from the Lincoln Park Zoo, two blocks from the heart of the Lincoln Park buzz, two miles north of downtown Chicago, free high speed internet, and the rooms are huge! It used to be all apartments, and now they have 1/2 the bldg as apartments and the other 1/2 is a hotel. Our room is just like a one bedroom apartment. Oh, yeah, what is it called? The Belden-Stratford Hotel. There's also a continental breakfast included, but we are skipping it for this...

So back to every day life... really nothing out of the ordinary. We took Nick for a follow up appt to check on his development and he is now caught up and on target for fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills. We had a feeling that was the case, but wanted a professional telling us. He is just saying three words, but they also assured us that it was normal considering that all he heard for 18 months was Russian, we have only had him with us for a little under three months, and we are teaching him two languages. What words is he saying? Bye-bye (which the doctor pointed he says with a Russian accent, too cute), agua (spanish for water), da (russian for yes). He is almost 26 lbs now and grew another 1/2 inch.

I now leave you with pictures.... and I will try and come back and fill in the gaps of the past three weeks. Seems Nick does something funny or has one new trick every week, he sure is a lot of fun.

The three of us strolling around Lincoln Park Zoo, along with Shannon's D & L.
We may have to take L with us. Nick really took to her and held on
to her hand/finger most of the time. D was a really sweetie sharing
his Spiderman doll too!

Yes, he is being trained early.

At the Conservatory, across from our hotel

Road trip!

We had a robin rent out some window ledge space this spring,
and Nick is fixated with the nest and the eggs.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Sad Day for Novokuznetsk Families

EDITORIAL NOTE - Adoptions that are already being processed; meaning families who have completed trip 1, are traveling or ready to travel on trip 2, will be allowed to continue their adoptions. This information was also shared by our agency. To the folks that panicked before I added this editorial note, I apologize.


While this has not received a ton of attention in the public media (at least it was news to the people I mentioned it to); another child adopted from Russia has died in the US. At this point, it has been ruled a homicide.

Some regions in Russia closed their adoption programs last week, some have added more requirements. Today we learned that as of yesterday, the Governor of the Kemerovo Region suspended all adoptions. This may be temporary, while the process is evaluated and perhaps additional requirements are defined; we just hope is not permanent.

The thought of all these children waiting for families and the possibility of even more delays in the adoption process is just heartbreaking. The latest statistics I read indicated that every 100th child born in Russia ends up in an orphanage.

The State of Kemerovo, particularly, the city of Novokuznetsk hold a very special place in our hearts. I just hope and pray that this hiatus in the adoption process only temporary.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I have been tagged... allright, I will play along.

1. Link to the person who tagged you: Carla
2. Post the rules - done
3. Share six unimportant habits/quirks about yourself: see below
4. Tag three other people - Nancy, Carrie, Becky
5. Make sure the people you tagged know you've tagged them - done

So on to those quirks -
* The clothes hanging in the closet must be grouped by color. I find it easier to pick out a pair of jeans, skirt, or pants and then just pick a color for the top. From there all I have to do is go to that "color zone", and voila!
* I remove book jackets from books. I don't like them to crease or get marks on them. When I finish the book, I put the jacket back on.
* I do not roll down the windows after running the car through the car wash. The little water marks drive me nuts. So I wait at least till the next day, unless it is a hot summer day.
* It kills me when Bill hands over my purse holding it by just one of its handles. Makes me think it inflicts pain to the purse. Kills me even more if it is a Coach bag, or one of the bags I acquired during one of our Italy trips.
* The tupperware type containers must be stored with their lids on. No lid? Goes in a holding area in a different cabinet till the lid is located.
* I like peanut butter, and chocolate, just not together. Not a fan of the peanut butter cup, or buckeyes.

Gotcha Day ~~ Two months later!

So I am lunching with my friend Katie today, and of course like everyone else we see, she asks about Nick and oh by the way "how long has he been home now?". It hit me right there, today is the two month anniversary of our Gotcha Day.

Life at home, adjustment, and attachment gets better every day. In the last month, Nick's receptive language skills have really improved. His receptive skills are better when we speak to him in spanish, but we have seen improvement in both languages. He has become more vocal, and has started to used the word "agua". He sounds so cute!... not that I am biased or anything... ;-). He intermitently also shakes his head "no" when he is done eating or drinking something. This is something I have been working with him on for some time. He used to just turn his head away.

On the health front, I am still coughing quite a bit, but feel like I am finally kicking the mono. Now I just have to battle a sinus infection. Oh joy. I am just glad that Nick continues to be healthy and that he hasn't picked up my cooties.

Bill, MrManlyMan, who refuses to attend any "hormone laden events" (i.e. baby showers), was surprised at work last week with a baby shower! I actually LOL at the office as I read his text message sharing the news. Nick got all kinds of cool gifts, but he was most happy about the balloons. He also got a really cute pair of slippers.

Modeling the new slippers

Balloons - always a hit!

Checking out his loot

We went to the mall this weekend, and got him his first pair of Stride Rite shoes. As we were strolling towards the store, he became super excited and was all giggles and smiles.... to the point where he got the attention of other shoppers. Can't blame him, I get that excited when shopping for shoes too!