Friday, July 16, 2010

The birthday weekend/week

Last weekend was full full full! Friday was little guy's first official haircut. Here is a before and after shot:

Then Saturday it was off to pick up my mother for a 4 day visit. We've decided to teach Van to call her Ba (there should be an accent but my keyboard can't add it) which is Grandmother in Vietnamese. This was my mom's first time meeting him and she was thrilled. Here is a nice pic of Ba O'Toole and Van:

After picking up my mom we made our way to an adoptive family gathering in Greely. It was great to finally meet some of the families I have gotten to know through blogging:

Then we headed back home to host a bbq for Pat's 40th and Van's 1st. I decided to bake a cake for Van and settled on a carrot cake recipe that uses apple sauce instead of sugar (I figured he's energetic enough as it is). Frankly I'm not much of a baker (Martha Stewart I am not...far from it) so it was all uncharted territory for me. It was not pretty by any means but it tasted pretty good if I do say so myself. Van seemed to like it too. He better have as I sliced open my finger trying to slice the carrots lol. Anyway, here are a few pics of the evening:

He just couldn't blow the candles out himself...go figure.

Starting to dig in.

Sharing with Auntie Mo.

All over the face as it should be!

Then the next day we headed over to Sam and Woody's for the twin's turning two birthday bash. Once again we got to spend time with some families we have known for awhile but had never met. Unfortunately Van slept through most of it. We had fun though :)

Backyard fun.

Hanging out in the pool.

The twins waiting to dig into their cakes.

Van is finally awake...well kind of...

Wednesday was Van's actual birthday so we had to let him open some gifts (from us and his many admirers) and enjoy his new presents on that day too.

We decided to put on his traditional outfit for a bit. Until it became apparent that the material was too slippery for proper present enjoying fun. A truck from Auntie Mo and Uncle Rob.

A ball tent from us. Fun fun.

The Alphabet Train from Aunt Joan, Uncle Glen and cousins Maura and Natalie. He really loves this toy. Kept him entertained for almost half an hour the other day!

Unwrapping it with Chibi dog looking on.

Playing with it.

Note the concentration.

Then to top off our week, yesterday the Stanley Cup was in our neighbourhood so we just had to go see it. Ben Eager (formerly of the Hawks but recently traded to the Thrashers) grew up down the street so he brought the Cup. When we got there the lineup was crazy so we snuck around the back and took some surreptitious pictures of Eager with the Cup from behind.

Pat got a sneaky shot with Van lol (who does not look too impressed. "Stanley Cup? What's that?". Oh you will know all about it little man, all about it :) ).

And that was our weekend/week. Van is now 1 year old. He is babbling like a crazy man but no recognizable words yet (maybe some Vietnamese words, hard to tell lol). He takes numerous steps a day, the most was 6 at one time, but has not started walking yet. He still sleeps well through the night, sometimes fights daytime naps, likes to feed himself some days but needs to be spoon fed others, and changes his food likes to dislikes and visa versa daily. He has 6 teeth now, 4 upper and 2 lower, and appears to be showing "teething" signs often. He is very active, particularly when he is tired and can't sit still for a minute. He is, I would say, a pretty average one year old. We are still getting to know him everyday and him us. It has been quite a journey so far I must say. I wonder what he'll be like when he's 2...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tired all the time

No not me...well maybe lol. Little bum is tired all the time these days. He wakes up tired and shows tired signs throughout the day. Anybody else experiencing the same thing with their youngsters? He was teething last week but we can't see anything this week. Could be the heat. We had him in for his first adoption clinic visit at CHEO on Tuesday which went well. We asked about the recent tired all the time issue and the Dr. thought it was due to adjustment....hmmmm, that seems like the automatic response to any questions we have about our little man's health. In any event, we have to return next week so they can take his blood and do some standard tests. I think daddy is going to have to be with him during the needle part because I will be too upset if little guy gets upset and I've heard it is quite an ordeal as they have to take a lot of blood. Yikes! Anyway, maybe the tests will show an iron deficiency or something that may explain things.

This weekend is going to be a fun but exhausting one for him. My mother arrives Saturday then we will be driving to a home just outside Ottawa for an adoptive family gathering. Then we have a Pat and Van birthday BBQ Sat night and a joint birthday party Sunday afternoon with the Samantha and Woody's twins who are 2 years old on the 19th (Van is 1 on the 21st). Other adoptive families will be there too, yay. I will be sure to take lots of pics! We actually just bought a new and better camera today so are looking forward to testing it out!

Oh and tomorrow is his first official haircut so there will be new camera testing then as well!

In the meantime, here are a few summer pics:

Into the flower pot! (taken with my IPhone so not the greatest quality):

Testing, tasting and not really liking a popsicle (a little problem with the brain freeze):

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New referral news

It is such a special time in our community when someone gets a referral. It brings back all those emotions that we had when we first saw our referral pictures. It is a moment of pure elation. You spend hours looking at the pictures and memorize every aspect of your child's face. I've decided in honour of our fellow adoptive friend Francesca's referral of a beautiful baby boy I am going to post a few of the pictures we got of our little man during the long months of waiting. The pictures I was not allowed to post on the blog before and now I can because he's officially our son now (has been for almost 2 months!)!

Our first look at him (3 days old!):

One of the pictures that came with his medical. Happy boy (2 1/2 months old):

A precious picture sent by a Danish family on a homeland visit with their child. Note his wonderful nanny (2 1/2 months old):

Picture of him with a sweater we sent over for him taken by our agency. He is with his wonderful nanny again. Note his hair has obviously been cut (6 months old):

Picture taken by another family who was there adopting their daughter. He is with the little stuffed toy we sent over (6 months):

He's finally our son! The G&R (10 months old):

Home finally (one month) and hanging out at Starbucks (11 1/2 months old):

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The good the bad and the not so ugly

Well week 4 back home and quite a difference. Things have been improving steadily and we are feeling much better. I want to send huge thanks out to all the people who came forward with support and stories of their own. You have all been so very very helpful!!! I can't even begin to explain how helpful. Better than any type of counseling. Sometimes we think we are alone with our thoughts and experiences only to find out we are not. Much of the support and stories came from within the adoption community but some came from outside. I had many funny heart to hearts with birth parents who expressed many of the same feelings. But of course it is the adoption community who gathered around so tightly. I cannot thank you enough. We have met so many wonderful people and we can't wait to get to know everybody even more than we already do and to see our children grow up together!!

So I have some pictures and a little humour to give my loyal and kind blog readers some insight into our day to day:

The good:

Losing my job. Yep I said it. I would not have had the opportunity to spend so much time bonding with Van if I had of still been working!

Van. Obviously.

Van's smile and laugh. Melts my heart, even when it involves something mischievous like chewing on our dog Chibi's gross, dirty tennis ball.

Hanging out with my great hubby Pat everyday and seeing him grow as a dad. Priceless!

Playdates with wonderful people, especially those who don't mind that us showing up every other day (you know who you are).

The bad:

Losing my job. Purely for financial reasons but the good outweighs the bad!

The weather!! The Hanoi weather followed is here. Hot hot weather makes for a sticky, sweaty and cranky baby who won't eat lol.

Poopy diapers! WTF, how can such a small human crap so much. Actually I leave many of them for daddy ;)

The not so ugly:

Van is a very cute kid! I may be biased but there is nothing ugly about this child!

Here are some pics of playdates and hanging out:

Hanging with the twins, well one twin and I think it is Vanh...or is it Max...

Brunch with Cam, Tracey and their daughter Laura and new son Jeremie

At the water park (thanks for the pic Sam!)

Windy on Sparks Street

Hanging with Hudson