A note about my whereabouts

A very bad blogger, indeed, I am.

I know. And I really wish I could say that what I’ve been doing since my last post (April, I think?) is spending all sorts of quality time with my two boys, and THAT’S why I haven’t blogged. But I don’t want to lie. Not today, anyway.

While it’s true that I’ve been spending lots of QT with the boys, work permitting, what I’ve really been doing is finishing up my manuscript. NOT EASY. Writing was much easier than revising. Seriously. Anyway, I’ve started a new blog–jkinkade@wordpress.com, that will follow my humorous attempts to get a literary agent to represent my masterpiece, a novel I’m calling THE ZERO LINE. But I digress…

So, Alex/Bao is doing great. No surprises there. Things we’ve learned about him:

-He loves roller coasters, but wishes they were faster. And bumpier.
-He loves pizza. And says so. Non-stop.
-He loves “girly” cartoons (Cinderella, etc.) and girly toys.
-He loves girls.
-He loves Spongebob.
-He is afraid of nothing.
-He loves being a big brother.
-He loves ice skating.
-I’m starting to think he loves everything (except anchovies and wasabi peas).

His favorite and most uttered comments:

I’m telling mom.
I love pizza!
Thank you, mom.
I don’t know.
Stop it, G!
Ow, G!
I’m telling mom.

Alex starts first grade in September. He and G will be going to a new school, and G will be in kindergarten. Kind of exciting for everyone involved, I think. I hope Alex does well, but we’re kind of having concerns about his speech. And he can’t, for the life of him, learn his colors. It’s weird, like he just doesn’t get the concept of colors. Yeah, I had him tested for colorblindness-came back negatory. Numbers arene’t all that better for him. He has a really hard time memorizing them. Everything else is good though, like letters and shapes. He’s a very quick learner–I taught him to tie his shoes in one lesson, for instance. But, I don’t know. A teacher might know better. We’ll see. Not too worried right now.

Ugh. So how has everyone else been?? I’ve missed reading your blogs, and stop by when I get a free moment (not often) to read up on what you all have been doing. Glad to see you’re all still at it.

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A Quickie

Okay, busy busy, but thought I’d jot down a few things before Bi-Polar Express (we watch it like four times a week), is over.

Bao continues to do well. He said today, “I’m so tired!” That’s a first as far as sentences go. He’s also learning more (ooh hahaha, he just said, “You need more altitude!” haha!) okay, anyway, he’s learning more letters, and knows his numbers by sight. Five of them anyway.

He still weighs as much as G and I’m thinking he’s just always going to be a skinny little toothpick man. Could be worse, I suppose.

Um, what else? I’m sick of the rain. But we really need it. But I’m still sick of it, and if I’m sick of it we probably don’t really need it, so enough already!

Grandma and Grandpa from CA will be coming in about three weeks. This will be their first time meeting Bao, and Bao’s first meeting with any of the grandparents. We’re all very excited about that.

We’ll be starting Bao in first grade in September. Yikes. But I think he’ll be ready by then..that’s what? four months away? Not a problem. Hopefully. Anyway, G will be starting kindergarten at the same school, so it should be fun for them.

Gotta go. Daddy just got home. Miss you all. Wish I could post more. Thanks for stopping by and Mindy–his English is going well! Thanks for asking! I can’t wait for your little one to arrive…bless his tiny little heart. 🙂

Hugs to everyone…

So it’s been 30 days since my last entry

Wow.

Sorry to have such bad manners! Since a couple of my dearest friends have called me on not blogging, I will do that now, and update everyone on what’s been going on.

Bao is great. He’s continuing to adjust well to his new life in the US and even likes school, once he gets there, that is. He wrinkles his nose and gives me a grimacing smile when we drive up to daycare, but never puts up a fuss about going. The boy doesn’t know how to throw a fit, it seems. Can I say, YAY TO THAT? A child who doesn’t throw fits. Wow. Ever. Maybe this is just the honeymoon stage and he’s saving up for when he speaks fluently. I don’t know, but I don’t think so. He just has this sweetness about him that I know is for real.

Little Boy G is doing well, too. Actually, he loves his brother, but he does, like little brothers do, pester him to no end. They play well together, however, and are getting along better each day. Warms my aging heart.

Bao can count to five, but has difficulty saying the letter “F.” Coming from a country where the main meal is pronounced with an “F” sound (Pho), I can’t help but wonder if he has some sort of speach impediment. If he holds his lip up, and puts his teeth on his lip, then he can say it. Otherwise, it comes out as “B” or “D.” Odd.

He can tell the difference between an A and a B, but only sometimes, so I think he’s guessing. Hopefully, that will get better with time.

Bao hasn’t gained an ounce since he’s been here. I was hoping he would. He still weighs only 36 pounds, which is what his 5 year old brother weighs (Bao is now six and a half.) He eats well enough, so I’d think the weight would go up, but so far, nada.

I’ve caught him doing nice things around the house, which is really nice. Sometimes, he’ll make his and LBG’s beds. Other times, I’ll find him picking up the toys in the living room. And then I’ll see him setting the table for dinner. All unsolicited, too, which is nice. He’s a wonderful kid. He really is.

Things he can say now (but with quite the accent):

  • I love you.
  • Thank you.
  • You’re welcome
  • The end.
  • Bless you.
  • I don’t know.
  • Pizza.
  • Hello.

So. He’s learning. Day by day.

He came to me a minute ago with a tissue and pointed to his loose tooth. I said, “Do you want me to yank it out?” He nodded enthusiastically. I said, cringe, okay. I got the tissue, held it over the tooth, and yanked. Nothing. I tried again, but nothing. I guess we’ll have to wait until “Aunt” Andrea, the local tooth yanker, comes over on Sunday, for….drum role please…

LITTLE BOY G’S FIFTH BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!

His birthday is actually Wednesday, but the party is Sunday. So after we eat cake, maybe Andrea can do some more yanking.

And that, my friends, is all I have for you. I will try to be a better blogger in the coming days. I couldn’t be much worse, now could I??? 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hope everyone is enjoying this very special Hallmark occasion… I took my family out for lunch to the boys’ favorite place, Macaroni Grill. It was lots of fun. I had just come from the dentist’s office where I had work done on both the tops and bottom teeth. Yes, my mouth was still numb, but novocain has a delightful botox effect–it relaxes the wrinkles surrounding your mouth so you look about five or ten years younger. I’m not about to complain about that, even if I do drool when drinking a glass of cabernet.

Bao continues to do well. You know, when we first met him, I recall that his skin was ghastly. Imagine how a fabric sofa would feel…a tweed one. That’s what his skin felt like. I’ve been applying cocoa butter twice a day on him and you know what? It’s working! His skin is nearly as soft as Little Boy G’s. I’m sure it was the first time lotion had been applied to his tiny little frame.

Hubby took Bao (and G) to get blood drawn while I was at the dentist’s. According to poopsie, it didn’t go well. Bao only has so much blood, evidently, because it just stopped flowing. They ended up trying different locales, holding him down and moving the needle around in his arm. You know the drill. Hubby says that Bao cried the whole time, sniff, crying “mommy! mommy!” Sniff, sniff, sniff. Glad I wasn’t there to witness it. 

I can’t stop thinking about Sue who is in Hanoi with her family and new boy, Hung, now. Loving him. Learning about him. Enjoying him. Soon, they’ll come home and it will all seem like a dream.

Once adoption has touched your life, you’re never the same for so many reasons. My little valentines gave me the cutest card today, and signed it XOXOXOXOXO. Melted my heart. I love them so very much. I have been blessed with their presence. —-er, Hold that thought. G just showed me that he bit the erasers off all the new pencils he got for Valentine’s Day. Grrr. Well, lucky for him I have a short memory. Now back to love…

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February made me shiver…

It was 10 degrees outside this morning…glad I didn’t go out. Sad that it was because both boys had a fever. They seem to be doing better, although Bao threw up twice. Then G got a splinter in his foot. A big one. Ever try to get a splinter out of a four year old’s foot? Quite the adrenaline producing adventure that was. My arm hurts from holding him down. The removal took all of a half a second, but the attempt to get him in the position to do so took a long time and several attempts spread over an hour. A very unpleasant experience for all involved, except Bao, who just smiled and laughed. In the end, I won and the splinter lost. Whew. 

My arms still hurts so I think I’ll just post a few pictures and call it a day…thinking about Sue who is leaving tomorrow to go fetch her sweet, 7 year old son, Hung. Yippeeeee! 

Impressions of my family–By Bao (He’s now drawing four of us, but this first one was just the three of us and our two cars 🙂 )

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Fun on the ice

Fun on the ice

 

Pretending to have fun together

Pretending to have fun together

 

Sponge Bob Square Cat (One of our cats and their food/water area)

Sponge Bob Square Cat (One of our cats and their food/water area)

Settling In…

So sorry for not posting lately. But I know you all understand. 

Bao has been settling in very well. He’s fighting with his brother, so I know things are going as they should. 🙂

He’s a very good boy. Brushes his teeth, gets dressed, goes to the bathroom by himself. Makes it all very easy on this little old lady. He has no problems eating–often asks for seconds, and when he’s done, he comes to me, lifts his shirt up, and shows me his “big fat belly.” I have to laugh, because I would do anything to have a flat stomach like that. He is only 36 pounds, which is as much as Little Boy G, a five year old in two months, weighs. I can touch my thumb and pointer finger around his upper arm. Very skinny. But in no time, I’m sure, we’ll fatten him up to be closer to thin than emaciated.

Communications issues are non-existent. We use sign language, most of it involving his pointing at G for something he did, but also other things like what he wants to eat/drink, play with, etc. Works well for everyone. He’s also learning English pretty quickly by copying what we say and mocking what G says. Kind of funny, really, but not to G.

Bao has taken to the snow with unusual abandon for someone from the tropics. He continues to enjoy it but nonetheless chooses to wear his coat around the house, especially in the early morning hours when it’s 18 degrees or so outside. Can’t say as I blame him.

I took him for a visit at G’s school the other day. Most of it went well, then things went south and he began to cry–first time with us. He must have been overwhelmed at all the attention. I had my Vietnamese friend talk to him about it and he’s okay now. While he wasn’t all that interested in attending school, she asked him if he thought G should go alone, and he said no, that he should go and look after him. Very sweet. No surprise that the name “Bao” means protector.

They’re undressing their Marine action figures right now. Go ahead and chuckle. I am.

I better go make sure nothing untoward happens to these Marines. My husband would not be pleased if they were violated in anyway. 

More later. With Pictures 🙂

We’re Baaack…

And my house is a mess. Two boys. What a mess. It’s like they pull out a toy/toys, play with it for 30 seconds, then pull out another and do the same thing, and then repeat ad nauseum. What tha? Toys are stretched from one end of this house to the other. Legos, puzzles, transformers, fire trucks. All of them. It looks like a toy grenade went off. Egads. What have I done? As soon as I put them all away, they’re replaced with new ones. Resistance is futile. I’m done for.

And dishes? Every dish I’ve ever had is used–we’ve done about two dish washing loads a day since we’ve been back. What’s up with that? Nobody told me about that. It’s crazy.

On the good side of things, Bao is doing extremely well. You’d think he’d been living with us for years, except for the no English speaking aspect. He talks on the phone to grandparents and friends. He’ll actually take the phone out of my hand as I’m talking and walk off with it, fully engaged in conversation with the person on the other end. He’s a trip. The boy rarely stops talking or smiling or laughing.

We took him to Cartoon Cuts yesterday and gave him a needed trim. He looks great and loved the experience. We also bought him some new shoes–since he had been wearing a size too small, so we found out.

Coming home from Vietnam to 18 degrees was interesting. Bao just laughed. He loved picking up snow in his hands and then placing his hand on my face to show me how cold it was.

He loves playing our piano. Odd, since he’s likely never seen one before. He loves playing with G’s guitars and harmonica too. Maybe he’s musically gifted or something.

What else…..oh yeah, he’s practicing some English words like, hello, bye bye, okay, and thank you. Not bad. I set him up on Rosetta Stone with the Vietnamese lessons so he could practice using a mouse. He loves it.

We still are experiencing the horrors of jet lag, but are slowly getting back to normal.

The flight back was a breeze. And shorter than going over too, SueCQ, which is a nice surprise. 3.5 hours from Hanoi to Seoul, and then 12 hours 45 from Seoul to Dulles. On the way over it was 14.45 to Seoul, and 5 hours to Hanoi. It’s a gift I warmly embraced. You’ll appreciate it, Sue, I’m sure.

G is slowly coming around. Starting to share more, but still not buying into Bao’s being around for evermore. Friends tell me that it will come soon. But they won’t tell me exactly when. Rather rude of them, I think.

So when we got home, I was thinking, man, it’s going to be so cold and unwelcoming when we come inside. But at least our cuddly kitties will be there. So we drive up and in the yard is a sign, saying “It’s a BOY!” and a welcome home banner on the porch. We walk inside the house and who is there but our dear friend, Karen (Moosie)! The fireplace is roaring, flowers are on the table and the fridge is packed full of delicious food. She’s also in the process of making a lasagna. Now I ask you, is she not sent from heaven above? The answer is, yes. And Andrea, the ice cream idea was a big hit with the two boys! G said, “Mama…can we have some kem?” (Kem is Vietnamese for ice cream. Too funny.) And so they both got a cone of their first Neapolitan ice cream ever. And they loved it. You girls are so great and we love you so much! Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you.

One of my relatives just informed me that he needs to take a nap, so I better go tuck him in. It’s good to be home. I missed you guys.

Goodbye Hanoi

We’ll be leaving the hotel at about 8:00–that’s 2.5 hours from now. Mom, how bout I call you when we land? 🙂

We’re happy to be coming home. Can’t wait to see the kitties–McHenry and Sabine. I hope Bao likes them. G says he doesn’t really miss them at all. No surprises there.

So Hanoi. Interesting place. Will we come back? Probably not. Too crowded. Too fumey. Too eh. I would love to visit Saigon one day, but odds are we won’t. You’ll never believe it, but two kids is like twice as much work as one. !  (Glenn, that was for you).

Scratch is counting his dong right now. Andrea, (and Glenn!) mind out of the gutter, please. We have way more than we need and are trying to spend it. We’ll be having a quick dinner downstairs so maybe we can spend some there. I had an Aussie Pie yesterday. Can you believe it? Aussie Pie.Here in Vietnam. Pretty cool.

I hope this two kid thing works out for us. It’s harder than I thought–looking after two young boys. At least the new one knows how to dress himself. And doesn’t throw fits. And doesn’t hate vegetables. Yet.

On that  note, I’ll sign off…with a picture that sums up just about everything. And this one, Clan, is for you 🙂

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Ha Long Bay–Bao

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Ha Long Bay

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Ha Long Bay–Coupla Cuties

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Ha Long–Just a typical view of the bay

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Ha Long Pictures–Our Vessel

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Ha Long Bay

Dragon Descending is what Ha Long Bay means. What a beautiful, enchanted place it is. We boarded a 40 passenger boat on Sunday morning as rose petals fell on us from above. Our host, Enrique, reminded me of Ricardo Montalbon (may he rest in peace). He was a handsome Cuban who wore an ascot and sported a neatly trimmed beard. Very charming. And single, Andrea 🙂

Describing Ha Long Bay only diminishes its enchantment. The waters were so smooth and the karsts so plentiful, that it felt like a dream sailing through them. The ride on our three level boat, the Bhaya, felt like a cruise right out of Indochina. Pictures don’t do it justice. We had two rooms–spacious rooms–and slept with the windows open when it was time for bed.

We and an older couple from France were the only passengers on board. We had the run of the entire boat and the attention of the entire crew. We had a cooking demonstration on Sunday afternoon that let us take part in making fried Vietnamese spring rolls. And then we got to eat them. Yummy.

The French couple, who were in Vietnam for three weeks, had stayed at a different hotel every night. In Hanoi, they were at the Sofitel Metropole. Clearly they were blessed with good taste. They dined with hubby on Sunday night (I was with sleeping boys in our cabin) and told hubby how happy they and the world were that Obama would be our next president. They looked forward to him improving the economy, the environment, and the situation in Iraq. Hubby smiled and nodded graciously. Other than that, they were quite nice. 😉

The boys had a good time, but they each complained about the 100 steps that we had to climb when arriving at the famous caves of Ha Long Bay. The steep climb up to the cave was, indeed, tiring, and I had to stop for a rest once myself. The view from the top was lovely, but as for caves? I’m not a fan, no matter how beautiful they are, so we made the appropriate sounds of appreciation and then gladly returned to the boat.

Bao just woke up and he sat down next to me. We high fived. He’s a happy boy. Not yet a fighter. G is still sleeping. His cough is still getting the better of him, but otherwise both boys are coming along just fine.

I’ll post some pictures of our weekend trip. Tonight, we leave for Seoul. We’ll return to Baldymore (that’s for you, Bev) on the 21st. I’m so glad we’ll be in the air on the 20th and away from TV. I hope the traffic from Dulles won’t be too heavy–I’m imaging his minions will all be leaving the day after and we’ll be forced to endure their celebratory retreat.

Last post before Ha Long Bay

We’ll be leaving for our weekend trip tomorrow and I doubt the boat has wireless (!), so this will be the last post until Monday night for us, (Monday morning for you)…See the many photos I posted before this one, however, and the longer textual post before that…Miss everyone!

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And more…poor baby

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More…

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More…

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More pictures

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All Better

So both boys had what appears to be the flu. High fevers. Coughing. Extreme fatigue. Stomach upset. Thankfully I brought enough medication to heal an army. We survived the worst of it, but had to postpone our trip to Halong Bay. We’ll be going tomorrow instead. The overnight stay on a boat promises some amusing times.

I went out on my own yesterday and did some shopping. Someone even offered to shine my shoes. They’re suede. Hubby has had the same offer about 50 times. Kind of funny. Everyone thinks his shoes are dirty. Hubby says they’re sposed to look that way.

I bought some gifts for people back home as well as for myself 🙂 Everything is really very cheap here, so even if you give them what they’re asking the first time around and pass on the bartering, you still get a bargain in my opinion.

Thank you all for the pep talk about those two boys getting along. It really helped and I know that, eventually, things will get better. Today, they’re okay. Actually sharing paper to draw on. Bao is quite an artist and loves to draw and color. G not so much, but he likes to watch Bao do his thing.

We’re trying to pick a good restaurant to go to tonight, since we have only two nights left in Hanoi (one in Ha Long Bay).  Maybe the Mandarin. We’ll see. Josh ( the family that brought Bao his jacket) said it was beautiful.  I need beautiful right now. Hanoi is starting to wear on my nerves. Every Vietnamese person alive is here for Tet. And they are constantly driving somewhere. And honking. It never ceases. The movement never ceases. I need some space and a little less pollution. Ha Long Bay sounds good to me right now.

We saw Ho Chi Minh today. Interesting place. Ran into some Americans or Canadians, don’t know for sure, and we were going into the wrong building to see him. They were talking about the cost to get in and I said something like, well, how often do you get to see Ho Chi Minh? And they said, oh, he’s not here. He’s down the road in another building. So we gave them our tickets at a discounted price, 50 cents vice 70, and headed down the road to see HCM. He looks pretty good after all this time and it’s a very nice mausoleum, if you like that kind of thing.

We had lunch by the lake (Hoan Kiem), which was nice. And we saw a giant turtle swim by. A group of large, good looking men sat down next to us. About twenty of them. We’re still trying to figure out what their story was. They looked like Mossad to me.

So I’ll try to post some more pictures. It’s best when I do them one at a time. Miss everyone. Ready to come home! Not work, but home! Sorry Liz and Amber and Kathleen  and Russell!

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Quick Pics

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Quick Pics

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Quick Pics

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3 AM

Good morning everyone…Last night at about 6 PM Bao came down with a fever. We gave him Tylenol and a lukewarm bath and he dropped down to a more acceptable temp. Half hour later, G gets a temp and we do the same thing.

G just came into our bedroom at 2 AM on fire. We went through the same process and checked Bao too, same thing. So we got his temp down and now they’re both sleeping peacefully.

Oi vey. We have the embassy interview at 10 AM. Nothing else seems to be going on with the boys–no nausia or bowel troubles. I’m not sure what’s wrong  with them, but I think it’s a little that what ever it is, it hit them at the same time. Of course, we were at the SOS clinic this morning getting our required check up for Bao. Maybe they cought something there.

Hopefully this is as bad as it gets. We might have to postpone our meeting today and cancel the Halong Bay tour if things don’t improve markedly.

I’ll try to add some more pics now. Internet has been unreliable of late…

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Some more photos…

dscf1818dscf1848I’m feeling better today. G is still being contary, but he’s agreed to a truce for now. I promised I’d buy him one of these little pecking chickens that ladies have been offering us on the streets. Bribery. Bad. I know.

Anyway, here are some more pictures. I’d caption them, but then the picture doesn’t show. For some reason. Sigh.

Changes

Bao is becoming more and more involved in our family now. He is not, in any way shape or form, shy. Not in the least. Shy boys don’t try to open every hotel room door as you walk down the hall. Shy boys don’t try to take beer mugs off a waitresses serving platter as she walks by. Shy boys don’t run laughing down the hallways of the hotel and shriek with delight. Shy? No. Not Bao.

It’s becoming clear that he is a very sweet and easy going boy. He seems to find humor in everything and we believe that, based on what we’ve seen, he’s extremely intelligent. He also has the longest fingers I’ve ever seen on a human being. Good thing we have a piano.

He and G are getting along well most of the time. But during certain situations, G has been having some uncontrollable meltdowns. It’s almost like he’s grieving. and it is so painful to watch. I hold him and rock him, but he just can’t stop crying.

I know this must be difficult for him–all the new changes and him not being the center of our world anymore. It’s hard on me too. I know I’ve spoken to some of you about how the G I know and love would no longer be around once Bao got here. And it’s true. He’s gone. I know at some point the greaving will stop and he’ll accept his new life and his new brother. But he will be different. We will be different.

Right now, all I can do is cry. I lay in bed with him and rubbed his back so he could fall asleep, the tears still filling his eyes. They soon filled mine as I sang his favorite lullabye. I wish I could help him through this time and wipe away all the pain and confusion that he’s feeling. I do what I can, but I have  to think of Bao now too.  He seems to be weathering the changes just fine and barely notices G’s meltdowns. Thank goodness he doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. But for me, it’s not so easy. My heart is breaking.

Bitter Sweet

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Photos

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Above–

*At Hue’s Citadel. Brothers.

*Where else would you watch a movie at 4 AM?

*At the G&R ceremony–don’t we look pleased? Every time I tried to pull G off the table, he would scream. Nice.

 

 

Our first full day together

Thanks to all for continuing to follow our journey! It’s been a wild ride so far. So many firsts for little Bao. He had a bubble bath with G last night and it was so funny to watch. His shock at being put into a huge tub filled with warm water and tons of bubbles was very endearing. I took lots of pictures and videos too, because the joyous giggling coming from that room was simply irresistable. Bao loved the bath and kept thrusting his head directly in the water and then laughing. too cute.

After the bath we went out to dinner at a place called Brother’s Cafe, which was recommended by our coordinator. It was very nice, and interestingly,outdoors–although when you walk in, it looks like a normal restaurant (except for the glowing, sparking cone of fire that you must walk by to get inside the dining area). The food was okay, but the presentation was really neat–it was mostly a buffet, but little ladies also sat just next to the buffet making pho and Hue pancakes.

As soon as we sit down, G, my little angel, drops his fork on the floor. Instantly, I hear a voice that says, “We happen to have an extra fork if you need it.” I turn around to accept and am and I stop in amazement. I recognize the woman who had offered the fork. She is a blogger in Canada named Bev who I’ve been following for a while now. I knew she was already in Hanoi and wondered if I’d see her but, wow! It was amazing. Anyway, I said, “Hey! I know you! You’re Wonder and Wait!” She laughed and said, “And who are you?” I said, “Im A Table 44!” She laughed again and we stood amazed looking at each other. She hadn’t seen a picture of me before this moment, so she had no idea who I was in person. She has the CUTEST little boy and the nicest people were with her. We chatted all night. Very memorable.

I also ran into another couple in our hotel–the Perrymans, whose adoption I’ve been following for awhile. It’s nice to finally meet these folks in person after all this time.

Okay, so Bao is really fitting into the family very well. He has taken on the big brother role very willingly and is always looking after G, or helping him with things that he has difficulty with (like opening the wet towel package on the airplane.) I love it. Really do. He’s so sweet. It’s hard to keep it in mind because he seems so ‘normal,’ but he really has no idea about how our world operates. The boy lived on a boat for his entire life before coming to the orphange in July of last year.  Opening doors, pressing elevator buttons,  going to the bathroom. These are all things that are new to him. But he’s learning quickly, so I’m not worried.

I’ll  post some pictures next. Stand by..dscf1745

G&R and R&R

In the last post, I talked about that first visit to the orphanage. I posted that just after the visit and right before the giving and receiving (G&R) ceremony, where Bao officialy became a part of our family.

We couldn’t have been at the orphanage for more than 20-30 minutes, so it all feels like a blur, to be honest. I truly wish we could have stayed longer to visit with the little ones left behind. Most of them are disabled in one way or another and just the sweetest little tots you’ve ever seen. They sang and recited poems for us and we loved every minute.

The G&R ceremony was also very quick, thank goodness. I don’t think Little Boy G is handling jet lag or becoming a new brother well at all. He was the devil incarnate. He was jumping around during the ceremony and saying “no” to everything we asked. SO UNLIKE HIM. I honestly wanted to take him outside and skin him alive. I didn’t. Don’t worry. But I so imagined myself doing it and it calmed me  enough to get through the ceremony. Really. He was so bad.

After the G&R we went back to the hotel, and both boys crashed. Bao was a delight waking up. G not so much. I think he was still on Maryland time because he just couldn’t wake up. A nice guide named Huang drove us to this restaurant where we were fed several courses of local Hue food. I can’t remember much since I had the lowest blood sugar I’ve had in a long time (29) and it took me a b it to recover from that. G had woken up and was throwing a fit, hubby didn’t want to bring him in like that, I was too low to know better, so I grabbed him out of hubby’s arms (he stops crying immediately, you see, if I hold him), and we walk up some pretty steep stairs to the restaurant. At that time I was about 33 in the sugar department. For those who don’t know, 33 is DANGEROUSLY low. By the time I got seated, it was 29. You get the picture.

So, I passed on the after dinner Perfume River cruise and took G back to the hotel where I flogged him (kidding). Hubby and Bao went on and enjoyed the cruise without us. Ugh. What a night.

We hoped G would improve in temperment the next day, when we were to get a tour of Hue’s Citadel and the Thein Mu Pagoda before our return flight to Hanoi. The Citadel is huge and G was as bad as he was the day before. Bao was good, but not sure as to why he couldn’t touch everything in the Citadel. We were kept busy making sure they didn’t destroy the precious artifactsof Hue. Not easy.

The Pagoda. Very nice place! Very serene. Happy. Zen like. So we’re walking around looking at the sites, and G looks like he is in desperaate need of a nap. He gets really animated when he’s tired and cries easily. So, we’re at the most sacred of the sites–where we have to take our shoes off and all–and G starts crying because of something Hubby said. Don’t remember what, but it was probably, “G! Don’t touch that ancient vase!” In fear that we were about to cause a international incident, I take G from hubby and walk away from the sacred area toward the wall. I said, “G. You are the only one here crying. This is a place of happiness. You are insulting the monks, honey!

I soon sense a large gathering of people approaching. Hubby comes over and says under his breath. “Uh, oh. The chief monk is coming.”

I breathe deep and look around. Hubby was right. The monk was walking toward us, smiling and looking questioningly at G. Dear Budda, I thought. Please save me.

The monk starts taking to G and asking him, likely, why in the heck he was crying in such a serene location. G was dumbfounded. I was mortified. Lots of laughs and back patting. Then it was finally over. Hubby told me later that there appeared to be some professional video crew with the monk, and that they videotaped the entire drama. Good Grief.

I have a feeling that raising two boys is going to be fun with a capital F, if you know what I mean.

The flight back to Hanoi was blissfull. Both boys were strapped in a chair for one hour. Bao loved his first airplane ride and laughed much of the way. He and G are really getting along well and despite G’s (hopefully) temporary behahavoir, I think things will only get better.

That’s enough for now. There’s a glass of wine with my name on it. Love everyb ody! The next trip is to Halong Bay. That ought to be remarkable.

Meeting Bao

dscf1764It’s done! We finally met the new member of our family…

The drive to the orphanage was quick–15 minutes maybe. When we pulled up, out came two kids I’ve only known from pictures–first KimAnh and then Bao. They were smiling and waving immediately.

We got out of the van and approached the two little ones,who were bundled in coats despite the warm weather (to us!) To these folks, 75 degrees is cold. Hard to fathom.

Anyway, so Bao had been told that we were coming so he knew about our arrival and appeared very much okay with it. He let me hug him and he smiled right away.

The coordinators have told us that Bao and KimAnh are actually cousins. COUSINS. The last time they took Bao to see his grandparents, KimAnh went with him because, like I said, they are cousins (!)

So, we’ve got pictures of his and her entire large family on the boat on which he lived for the first six years of his life. His mother was there, but from what we hear, they really didn’t have a relationship. His uncle played a big role in his life, and Bao is coming home with a very well cared for doll that his uncle gave to him when he was one year old.

The family picture album that we sent Bao several months ago is remaining with his family in Hue. They requested to keep it. Tears in my eyes…how about yours?

Amazing. Anyway, I don’t have a picture of us all together yet, but I can add this one, that hubby took this morning. G can’t stop from hugging Bao. He touches him gently on the arm and just smiles. I said, “You love your new brother, don’t you?” He just smiled and nodded. They’re watching Cars right now and Bao seems to really like it.

We’re off to lunch in a few minutes. What a day.

The Countdown

Okay, we’re at our hotel in Hue. It’s just after 8 am. We’re leaving at 8:30 to go to the orphange.

Yesterday’s trip to the airport was memorable. I’ll tell you about it later.

So, here’s the thing. Bao doesn’t know that we’re coming. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Well, I don’t feel comfortable with it, but maybe that’s how they do it with the older kids. I just don’t know.

Our coordinator said that someone took Bao to see his grandparents one last time last week. Neither he nor they knew that it would be the last time.  That kind of makes me want to cry.

G has been pretty good. But last night I felt like he was the enemy using the well known torture tactic of sleep deprivation. By 4 AM I was ready to tell him everything and did. But he kept on going. Running. Singing. Jumping on me. It was in a word ghastly. Finally, he settled down. But he’s still acting odd–probably because he’s twelve hours off, he hasn’t eaten much, and he senses that we’re about to do something big.

So, the next post will be of all of us. A family of four. We meet Bao and the other orphans at 9:00 or so. Then we go to lunch, him with us.Then at about 2:00 we have the G&R ceremony and he’s ours. Tonight we’ll have dinner with our coordinators then take a music cruise on the Perfume River. Sounds delightful.

Gotta run…my new boy is waiting! Love and hugs to everyone!

Wide Awake

So it’s just after midnight here and I’m wide awake. Not sure if it’s jet lag or the fact that we’ll be meeting Bao tomorrow morning. Probably a little of both. We were all fine yesterday throughout the day until about 6:30 PM when G fell out. He was really animated before that, like a light bulb that gets brighter right before it burns out. We were on our way to dinner when it happend. So, we ate at the restaraunt downstairs rather than lugging around 36Lb bag of sugar. (

Hubby and I fell out just after 8 PM. I got up just after 11:00.

Oops, G just joined me!) More later…

Back! They have the cartoon network here, which is what we’re watching right now while I finish up this post. I have some pictures below, but will try to add more later. (These are in reverse order…sorry!) (Oh, and dad just joined us. Funny 🙂

Pho for Breakfast

Pho for Breakfast

dscf1655

In Seoul

In Seoul

Reviewing the safety precautions

Reviewing the safety precautions

 

Lunch on KAL: dscf16481

A post from Hanoi

dscf16421It’s so hard to believe it, but we’re finally here! It’s Saturday morning as I write this, and we’re about to go out and get acquanted with Hanoi.

As far as getting here, the 15 hour flight was a breeze. It was no more painful than a flight to Europe, which surprised both hubby and me. KAL had so much to do on the plane that we rarely got bored. I didn’t get a wink of sleep, despite my intense desire to do so. Every time I got close, one of my relatives would saythings like, “Um, mommy? I don’t like this movie.” Or, “Um, mommy? This is taking a lot of minutes to get to Vietnam.” It worked out okay, however. I was very able to fall asleep when we arrived at the hotel just after midnight.

If I only had one airline that Icould fly for the rest of mylife? It would be KAL. Honestly. It was that good. Plenty of space, great food, nice employees. And hubby said it was the best landing of a  jet he’d ever experienced. I think he said that the pilot “greased the landing,” or something like that. Evidently, that’s good. And he’s right–it was smooth.

We met with our coordinator this morning, and our G&R ceremony has been moved up to Monday (!) So, we will meet Bao at 8:30 on Monday morning, go to lunch, and then at 2:00 have the ceremony, where he officially becomes a part of our family. That evening, we will take a cruise on the Perfume River as a family of four.

When we woke up this morning (little boy G, that is), G went to the window, looked out, and exclaimed, “motorcycles!”

We looked out and, as expected, hundreds of motor scooters were cruising by with people on their way to work. Ladies in their coned hats were carrying fruit and other identifiable items  on the street corners. It was a nice view. Hubby said that the building we could see just below us is the Hanoi Hilton where John McCain spent some time back in the day.

So we’re off to explore this beautiful city. Can’t wait to post more later. Comment at will. Thanks for following our journey!

Getting Closer…

I’m home with a “sick” little boy today. Quotes because I’m not really sure if he’s sick or not. I decided to trust my instincts though and stayed home with him. It at least allows me to finish packing for the big trip.

So tomorrow we go to Dulles and get a hotel (didn’t feel like commuting the morning of the flight and risking the notorious traffic jams in the DC area.)

On Thursday, we fly out at about noon and head straight for Seoul. After that breezy little 15 hour jaunt, we take a quick five hour flight to Hanoi. So, by Friday noon for you, we’ll landing. 

We have a G&R scheduled for Tuesday, the 13th, but we get to meet sweet little Bao on the Monday prior at about 8:30 in the morning. Then we got to lunch (without him) and cruise the Perfume River, and then go back to our hotel. I wish he could come with us that first day, but maybe it’s for the best–for him anyway. You know, meeting us and then leaving right away might be kind of weird for him. 

I hope he’s as excited as we are. I smile just thinking about it.

I’ll do my best to post and will likely be able to, at the very least, post text. We’ll hope for pictures, too.

I think I might be bringing too much stuff for the little ones at the orphanage. I have a huge black bag filled with toys and chocolate. My husband is going to squawk, I just know. But there are so many kids who will be left behind and I didn’t want to leave any out, you understand. You’d do the same, right? 

Anyway. Maybe he won’t notice the extra 50 lbs. 

Please pray with me that everyone is healthy for the flight. That’s all I’m asking for these days. 🙂

Almost there…

Wow, it’s been so long since I posted. Sorry. Busy busy busy!

The Party. Our yearly Christmas party was fantastic and I am so glad that we were able to see everyone before we got the big news on the 23rd. We’ve been having the same wonderful people, and every year some new folks too, come over for six years in a row now. We are so blessed to have these folks as friends. 

More tears fell at this party then at any other, however. From Meg falling up our very unforgiving slate stairs, to Alex having a corner of a chair run into her eyes, to Meg courting (and marrying) disaster by balancing a cup of Sprite on her head while running up the stairs.  And then, to Meg’s mom mistakenly asking the proverbial question: If you spill a Cosmopolitan on a white shirt, will it ever come out? Let’s just say the night was both blessed and eventful and filled with stories that will be retold for years to come. Sorry Meg, Alex, and Andrea. 🙂

But the best thing that happened at the party is that our friend Marvin showed up this year. When he didn’t show up last year we didn’t know why until later. He had had a massive seizure and drove his car into a 40 foot ravine. Miraculously, he survived. But he found out later that he had a very rare brain tumor. An oligodendroglioma. See his website on my blogroll, The Power of Survivorship. He’s an amazing man, a wonderful father, and a lifelong friend to many. May God continue to bless us with his presence. 

Adoption. So, anyway, in adoption news, our visas are on the way. My bags are pretty much packed. I think I’ve done everything I need to do before we get on the plane ride of our lives. I’m trying to imagine how long 15 hours on a plane is.  At least I’ll get to see some movies though. I haven’t seen a movie in a really long time. It’ll be nice. The time will fly. I’m sure.

New Years Eve. Tomorrow we go to our friends house for our yearly New Years Eve celebration. We rarely stay up until midnight ever since we had kids (okay, I never did, even before kids), but it’s still fun amazing. Here’s to 2008–a pretty good year. And here’s to 2009. May it only get better. For all of us.

Happy New Year!

A Perfect 10

The number 10 has been floating around in my mind now since at least November. When December 10th came and went, I though, hmm, okay. It was a fluke. 10 was no big deal. Or maybe it would be. Time would tell.

So today, when hubby (Poopsie) called me and said that we need to be in Vietnam by 10 January, I said, “Ah….January. Of course.” 🙂

So, we will fly out on 8 January and will stay at the Somerset Grand at prices that do not, sadly, reflect the low season. But never mind that. In two weeks, we’ll be meeting sweet little Bao.

Could I be happier? Nah.

Now where are my suitcases…..???

Update

Evidently, we need to get approval from Hue, before we get our G&R date. Didn’t know that! Our agency says it could take two weeks. Either way, we’re going to see if we can go ahead and make our travel plans anyway…since Tet is coming up, we want to make sure we have a hotel room and seats on a flight.

Thanks everyone for the support! SueCQ, we might see you there yet! 

Sorry for the short posts–there is just no time these days to wax prolific. To some of you, that might be a welcome change!

APPROVAL!

We got approval from USCIS this morning! I’m hoping for a 1 January travel date, but it could be sooner. Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS!!! He’s COMING HOME!!! Bao is finally coming home.

Now we just need a Giving and Receiving ceremony date and our airline tickets. I should clean the house. Let him think that the house is usually clean, of course, when he gets here.

I’m shaking. WOW!!!

Adoption News

Things are getting better on the adoption front–we’re actually getting some time frames for travel. Here is what we expect:

22 December: I-600 approval

23 December: G&R ceremony scheduled

23: December: Arrange for travel and apply for Visas

1-6 December :  January (Thanks, B. Yeah, I’m sick.) Travel

So, it looks like the 6th Annual Christmas Party is on. And Christmas is on. And to start the new year? A sweet, sweet boy, named Bao. I’m so looking forward to this trip. And I’ve never been to Asia, so it will be doubly fun in that regard. My Vietnamese is coming along pretty well. I know as much as, say, a 18 month old might know. So I’ve got that going for me. 🙂 By the time we get to Vietnam, I’m hoping to know as much as a three year old. I think any amount of communicating we can do with Bao will be helpful.

Little Boy G has already given me a present for Christmas: his bum-kicking cough and cold. I’m miserable. I woke up at 6:00 just to get some Theraflu, and while I was drinking it, I checked my email. I received a wonderful note from Josh and Julie who are over in Hanoi right now, staring at their new baby, Ben. They’ve been posting pictures and videos….right, VIDEOS of our son, Bao, and I can’t tell you how cool it is to see him in motion and to hear his sweet voice. It’s pretty awesome. What would we do without the Internet and kind people like Josh and Julie?

Well, I’m going back to bed. Have a fabulous day everyone!

First Paragraph Contest

Over at Nathan Bransford’s website (he’s a literary agent for Curtis Brown), he has a contest going on to find the best first paragraph of a work in progress. I entered it and fully expect to either win or be totally overlooked. Currently? There are over 1115 entries, but don’t let that stop you! I know many of you out there have works in progress, if not totally finished works. Elaine? Christina? Kweenmama? Would you like to see what I entered? Why sure. Here it is. Thanks for asking….

Gus Jordan never intended to be a spy. Money certainly wasn’t the motivation—he had plenty of it. Likewise for excitement—it just didn’t play a role in his ultimate decision. Sailing his Dickerson on the icy chop of the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of a winter squall gave him all the excitement he needed. If he did have a motivation to get involved in the shady world of espionage, he couldn’t recall it.

“THE PRIZES: The grand prize super awesome winner of the contest will win their choice of a partial critique, query critique or 15 minute phone conversation in which you and (Nathan) can discuss topics ranging from reality TV shows to, you know, publishing. Your choice. Runners up will receive query critiques and/or other agreed-upon prizes.”

So don’t delay! The contest ends tomorrow at 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Winners will be revealed on Friday. Too. Darn. Exciting. Well, not really all that much, but it is fun to read through some of the entries. You’ll see what I mean….

A bold meme

Have You Ever….

A blogger I read posted this and I thought it looked like fun. 

How to play: BOLD anything you have done

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (It was called Cold Shot.)
4. Visited Hawaii (Got married there)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (In-Laws live in Orlando, so we get to go a lot!)
8. Climbed a mountain (In Alaska!)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (At my friend’s wedding. Scary stuff).
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (Twice!)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (And one more is on the way!)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (Just maters.)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (Not a big deal, really.)
20. Slept on an overnight train (Now, that was a big deal.)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (You were thinking I was a saint, weren’t you?)
24. Built a snow fort (I lived in Alaska.  There’s not much else to do!)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Ja wohl!)
35. Seen an Amish community (I live right next to PA, after all).
36. Taught yourself a new language (A few, da, ja, si, oui).
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (Man, that thing is going to fall one day. I swear.)
39. Gone rock climbing (Well, sort of. Nothing impressive.)
40. Seen Michelangelos David (Amazing.)
41. Sung karaoke (who hasn’t?)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (A few, I think.)
46. Been transported in an ambulance (Yeah, but it wasn’t for what you think.)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person (Amazing.)
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Too High for someone who is afraid of heights, by the way).
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Didn’t like it.)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (Awful. Dachau.)
67. Bounced a check (more than one, actually. I’m not very detail oriented.)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (Often. But now that I know that he had a high, whiney voice? He kind of creeps me out.)
71. Eaten Caviar (Wish I could afford to eat more.)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (Knee cap, actually. Ouch. It didn’t get a cast until a week later. Ouch.)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (Going around a tight curve with a guy who claimed to know what he was doing. The bike slid into oncoming traffic when it hit some water. Lucky to be here. That was the last time for me. The first time was with my uncle on Germany’s winding, cobblestone streets. Now that was fun.)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Loved it, too.)
80. Published a book (working on it!)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper 
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House  
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (Yeah, my sister’s, and she still hates me. Go figure.)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I worked for Tommy Lee Jones once.)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person (Yes, but only after I lived in San Antonio for several years).
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Adoption Status

Okay, well, the DNA arrived in HCMC on Monday morning. We received an email from HCMC last night saying that they received it and that if they make a decision, they will be contacting us again. “IF” they make a decision? Okay. Whatever. I’ll presume that was just a bad choice of words and that what they REALLY meant to say was “WHEN” they make a decision.

My guess? Any day now we should hear word. We are considering traveling on Christmas day, but we will just have to wait and see. It’s very expensive to travel just before Christmas and not that much better just after.

Regardless, at least one of my relatives is ready to go…

Another Reason to Love Target

I was shopping at my favorite store the other day and to my delighted surprise, I saw Tim Tams in the cookie section. If you’re not familiar, Tim Tams are a product of Australia and are even called Australia’s favorite cookie. 

A Tim Tam is composed of two layers of chocolate malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate cream filling, and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.

According to its maker, Arnott’s, around 35 million packs are sold each year – nearly 400 million biscuits, an average of approximately 1.7 packs per Australian and 2.5 packs per New Caledonian. Tim Tams were first put onto the market in 1964. They were named by Ross Arnott, who attended the 1958 Kentucky Derby and decided that the name of the winning horse Tim Tam was perfect for a planned new line of biscuits.

Tim Tams are great with coffee and the Australians even have their own ritual when eating them. The Tim Tam Slam is the practice of drinking coffee by sucking it through a Tim Tam  with both of the ends bitten off.

The Tim Tams here are made by Pepperidge Farm and are sold exclusively at Target. They come in original, chocolate cream, and caramel. In a word? Delicious. Give them a try.

DNA to VN

According to Lab Corp, the DNA results were FEDEX’d to Vietnam today. I have no idea how long it will take to get I-600 approval, but I can’t imagine that it will be long now.

Freaking out a little….

Fun at 4D

4d-polarWe had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. Grandma was up from Florida and we took part in a lot of fun things together. Seeing the Symphony of Lights in Columbia was very nice, as was getting Little Boy G’s first Roy Rogers at The Cheesecake Factory. One of the best things we did was go to the Polar Express 4-D Experience at Baltimore’s National Aquarium.

Talk about fun. Wow. I was simply hoping that it wouldn’t be lame. Instead, it was the most I’ve laughed in a long time. And the feature is only about 20 minutes long. TOO DARN FUNNY! Little Boy G had his ears plugged with his fingers the whole time (typical of him), but he was howling with laughter. Grandma and hubby were also laughing their hair off.

According to their website, “The Aquarium’s 4D Immersion Theater combines the visual drama of a 3D film with a variety of sensory effects, which are built into theater seats and the theater environment. Most films are transformed into 20-minute or less experiences and will virtually bring on-screen images to life with added effects such as: water mist, wind, a neck air blast, snow, bubbles, steam, leg ticklers, scents, enhanced floor lighting, and seat vibrations!”

These 4-D immersion shows are played in other areas, I’m sure. You’ll just have to do an Internet search for your area. At Baltimore’s Aquarium, they have several shows that play all year, so if you’re ever in the area, don’t miss it. The kids (and you) will love it.

Ten Years ago today…

In Kona, Hawaii, I said “I do” to my dear husband, “Scratch.” Happy Anniversary, Poopsie! I love you. A lot. Even when you’re bad.

That DNA, That DNA

Well, the bad news is that Bao did not get his DNA tested today. The good (great) news is that it was done on Wednesday! Evidently, the Embassy wanted to push up the test date for some reason. You read that right. They didn’t delay the testing, they moved it up a day. Am I in another dimension? The twilight zone maybe? This was totally unexpected. I mean, come on. We’ve read all the horror stories. Right?

Why they moved it up a day (since they’re not involved in the testing), I don’t know. I’m imagining, as you might guess, that they want to speed things up so that Bao is home before Christmas. But I have often been called delusional, if not down right nuts.

At any rate, our little guy took his very first train ride and went all the  way to Hanoi with, presumably his mom and someone from the orphanage.

They stayed two nights in a hotel in Hanoi and, from the looks of his face on the five pictures we received, he had the absolute time of his life. I’ve never seen the boy smile so much. It was amazing. He was actually laughing from what I could tell. 

He had on some PJs that I had a new parent from our agency take over with her just recently. There was a package of toys and clothes waiting for him in Hanoi. The package I wrapped was behind him in the picture, newly opened and surrounded by all the boy toys we got him (bulldozer, airplane, fast car, etc.) He looked totally delighted. Kind of like me right now.

As John McCain would say, the (Christmas) party is starting to look like a washout, my friends. We shall see. We wait for the results of the DNA test over the next week or two, and then we pack, and then we travel.

Sounds simple enough,  but I’ll hold off on buying those tickets just yet….

Behold, his happiness…

bao-at-post-office-2bao-at-hotel-1

Still going strong

Happy Easter, everyone!

Things are still going well here at A Table For 4. Bao has lost four teeth since he’s arrived, so he’s a rich young man. Little Boy G is jealous, I think, since his teeth aren’t quite ready to pop out. Soon, though. Soon.

It turns out that Bao is a pretty good eater. There are some things that he doesn’t like, and he’s very vocal about it. He’s a good sport though and tries just about everything. The two things he doesn’t like? Anchovies and dill pickles. He laughed when he tried them, made a very scrunchy face and wiped out his mouth with a napkin. (Please don’t side with him and attack my beloved anchovies! I know, I know. They have a bad rap. But they are so good IMHO.)

I think he’s finally putting on weight. He’s gained at least one lb, so he’s up to 37 lbs now, just like his brother, who is but five. I’m constantly having to readjust his adjustable pants, because he’s getting wider. Still very skinny, mind you. But wider. The pants are so puckered up when he wears them, that I have to stop myself from laughing.

We took Bao to a little petting farm the other day, because he can’t stop talking about horses. Every time he sees a book with a horse in it, he points it out and starts babbling something about it. I say, “Yes, yes, I know, I know. Isn’t the horse beautiful?” He nods his head hopefully and smiles big as if I just agreed to buy him a horse, which, of course, I could have, if that’s what he is asking me to do.

Anyway, he loved riding the horse, and petting the goats, and feeding the sheep. He’ll love my sister’s house in Texas, that’s for sure.

He’s doing pretty well in school. Knows quite a few letters, but has kind of stagnated. Hubby isn’t concerned, but naturally I wonder if he’ll ever learn C, or Z, or R, or P. It could be worse, I suppose, so I just let it go.

Little Boy G is becoming a very nice little boy again. He still pesters Bao and hits him on occasion, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. Most of the time, they get along very well and it warms my heart to see them playing together. We can hear them at night from our bedroom, giggling in their bedroom before they fall asleep. Little angels.

All right. I have to go clean up this house. Fold more clothes. Prepare dinner and play Zingo with the boys.

Have a blessed weekend!

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