Friday, May 30, 2008

Shameless Plug

Remember when I said I was unemployed? Well, that's not technically true. I am an independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. It's just that I'm kinda a shy person and I'm not real pushy, so I don't say much about it. But if you'd like to support me in this endeavor, I'd be happy to help you with your skincare and beauty needs.

Mary Kay has a whole new line of eye shadows, cheek and lip colors. There are also some great new men's products just in time for Father's Day. And sunless tanners and some really cool bronzing powders to give you a kiss of color for summer.

If you're interested in trying something, you can visit my Mary Kay page. I offer free shipping for online orders! Or hold a "virtual party" and win free gifts!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Sheridan

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the third birthday party of one of my favorite little guys - Sheridan! We all had a wonderful time celebrating with him. Micah ate a half dozen of Aunt Kim's dumplings and a big piece of cake.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pause to Remember

To most of the US, Memorial Day marks that start of the summer. A time for family, picnics, parks and walks. As you enjoy your blessed family, please take a moment to remember the men and women who have died in the course of duty to their country. I have the utmost respect for those in our all-volunteer armed forces. I'd like to send special thanks and prayers to the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I can only imagine your pain.

Thanks to my friend at The Seventh Diamond for the picture.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brave Little Guy

We reported dark and early this morning to the hospital for Micah's ear tube procedure. He didn't really enjoy much of the morning, but, who would? After checking in, we were brought back to a room where Micah donned a cute little gown with whales and penguins. Mama donned a fashionable paper jumpsuit and cool blue footies so she could go into the operating room with Micah. He was pretty distressed about the whole thing, but I don't think he was actually uncomfortable. He hated the pulse oximeter and having his temperature taken and I KNOW those don't hurt.

After meetings with the nurse, the anesthesiologist, and the ENT, we were finally wheeled back to the OR. Mama and Micah rode together, waving at all the doctors and nurses along the way. I was allowed to be with him and hold him until he went to sleep. I think that helped him to be more comfortable, though he still shed many tears.
The procedure was fairly quick. They said he had lots of fluid in his ears, so I'm glad I pushed for them to put the tubes in. Though I was able to be with him before the procedure, he woke up in recovery without Mama or Baba and boy, was he pissed!

We're home and he's already had breakfast! Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Here's our little guy relaxing at home after the procedure.

Second First Haircut

I failed to take pictures of Micah's first haircut. Not to worry, because haircut #2 was just as dramatic. I was armed with the camera as he had his second "first haircut." We went to Snip Its, with its kid-friendly atmosphere, in hopes of happier haircut. No dice! He had a bit of a meltdown, but the stylist handled his squirming well. He looks very handsome with his new cut.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just Like Baba

Micah loves to be just like Baba! From the moment Hubby gets home from work, he has a little shadow, helping him change out of his uniform, grill food, walk the dog or whatever. If Baba does it, Micah wants to do it too!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Three Months

Our first picture of our little guy:And today:I can hardly believe that it's been three months since Micah was placed in our arms on a frigid morning in Tianjin. Thanks to Crick, I'll remember how I felt at that time (she told me to write it down) - I felt relieved. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it could be. The days and weeks following that day were worse than I had anticipated and almost more than I could take. But now, those days are a distant memory. I don't want to forget what we went through on our path to becoming a family, but I'm glad the pain has faded. I want others to feel free to express their pain and doubts while in the process and to understand that those pain and doubts can fade over time.

Micah continues to do really well overall. His language amazes me every day. He has dozens of words, maybe more. (Have you every tried to count every word your child knows?) His speech is still pretty tough to understand. While he knows and attempts to say all those words, only Mama and Baba understand most of them. I am learning the distinction between language and speech.

Micah can recognize some letters, specifically A, O & M. This one blew us away when he looked at Baba's USA shirt, pointed to the A and said "A, Ah" just like the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics thing. A trip to Office Depot resulted in pointing out every O in the store - lots!

Potty training is coming along nicely. We haven't had a real accident in quite some time and he has even started trying to potty by himself in the past few days.

His gross motor skills have almost completely caught up. He now runs fairly steadily and can climb steps using a rail, though he can't alternate legs on the steps yet.

He seems to have a firm idea of who Mama and Baba are, though he calls most women "mama" and many men "baba." We are still taking turns co-sleeping with him and that seems to have helped his sleep. He still rolls around for quite a while before sleep, but then sleeps through most nights. He doesn't like being put down for a nap, but has started asking me to leave the room while he finishes his tantrum and goes to sleep on his own.

The tantrums are fewer than before and he is learning the "rules" of our family. Though he still dislikes hearing no, and will usually assume that I misunderstood him and try to repeat his desire over in an attempt to get his point across. I have to assure him that I understand that what he wants, but I'm just saying no.

It's hard to remember a time when he wasn't in our lives. He's a perfect fit for us and a cool little guy. Please keep him in your prayers as he is scheduled to have ear tubes put in on Thursday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why it's so hard to post...

This is what I usually have to contend with when I sit down to write at my laptop.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Want to Ride my Bicycle!

We spent some time this weekend with Micah learning to ride his new bike (thanks Jorgene!). He is learning to move himself by pedaling rather than doing the Fred Flintstone thing. It's amazing how his accomplishment brings joy to my heart. He loves going over "bump bumps" so we spend a lot of time running over the man-hole covers, sticks, pine cones or anything that brings a satisfying "bump."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who is a mother, has a mother, or wants to be a mother. A special blessing to the moms-to-be who are logged in and waiting for the day they will hold their children in their arms. This can be a bittersweet day for so many. But the sweet so outweighs the bitter that it's worth the wait. I am so blessed to be a mother and wish that blessing to be passed on to all whose heart desires it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm a Real Mom

Teleflora, the sponsor of America's Favorite Mom has issued an apology for their insensitive labeling of adoptive moms as non-mom moms. I think their apology is sincere and their action is probably the best they can do at this point in the contest. They changed the category title from non-mom moms to adoptive moms.

Maybe in the future we can come to a point where we don't have to qualify moms. Families are formed in so many different ways, it seems rather primitive to continually refer to how a family came to be. Will Teleflora and others evolve to where they don't have to label adoptive moms as such? They're just moms like the others.

Adoptive moms are a little ouchy on this topic. When we choose to adopt, every aspect of our life is examined. We have to have multiple visits from a social worker who must approve our home before we're allowed to adopt a child. We have to comply with the laws of the State in which we live. For an international adoption, we have to qualify according the other country's (seemingly) arbitrary rules on age, weight, health and marriage. We have to travel and complete paperwork in multiple provinces. Just to be a mom.

We get home and there's more paperwork to secure citizenship and health insurance. And then we face subtle references to being a different kind of mom. One doctor's receiptionist asked me, "Is that your child? Can you prove it?" The snarky side of me wanted to say, "no, I just pick up random children and take them to the urologist." But my heart was sad. They didn't see me as his mom. They thought I was less than a mom.

Not that we want to be more than a mom. It sometimes makes me uncomfortable when someone says you're such a saint to adopt a child with a special need. He's so lucky to have you. I always answer, "we're just lucky to have him." I didn't set out to save the world or even a child. Am I glad that he won't grow up in an orphanage feeling like a second class citizen? Of course. I'm grateful everyday that he is growing up in a home where he's loved and cared for. But I'm not super mom.

So I hope Teleflora and NBC will understand why us adoptive moms took offense to being put in the category of non-mom moms.

I'm just a mom. A real mom.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I guess I'm a Non Mom

NBC is having an America's Favorite Mom Contest. Nominees come from several categories including the Non-Mom Mom. Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. What!?!?!? I've waited all my life to be a mom, only to find out I'm a non mom. Ouch. I'll bet those grandmas and stepmoms are a little sore too! A mom is a mom is a mom.

I'm not usually not one to get riled up about stuff like that, but this one gets my goat. I'm sending a not-so-happy response to NBC and Teleflora.

Cleft Speak - or - What I Wish I'd Known

Micah had his first evaluation by the speech pathologist. We went to visit him in his little speech lab. He walks in and says to Micah, "Hi, I'm Jay." I immediately love this guy! Micah? Not so much. He breaks into full meltdown mode. LOL

During the evaluation, Dr. Riski tells us what smart parents we are and how much we're teaching him. "Are you sure you're rookies?" he asks. We're beaming with pride at our success. Then he gives us the punchline. "You've got the perfect recipe for Cleft Speak. A smart child and two motivated parents." A backhanded compliment to be sure.

He told us that Micah is completely unable to make many of the sounds in the English language. But because he's a smart child he will figure out a way to accommodate and say the sound anyways. We have been so excited as Micah added new sounds. But with each new sounds comes a new bad habit that will have to be unlearned when his palate is closed. Who knew???

The doctor gave us some exercises to help Micah to learn better speech habits for the future. He is able to make many sounds correctly by plugging his nose so air comes out his mouth. We are practicing b's, p's and s's this way. He is also learning to blow on a whistle with his nose plugged. Yesterday we blew bubbles, again by plugging his nose.

There are some sounds that he is unable to make, even with his nose plugged. K's and g's are a couple. We're to avoid teaching him new words with these sounds. What do you tell a boy who loves Mickey Mouse? Another bad habit is saying "oh oh." Now Mama and Baba are trying to break that habit too.

I wish I'd know that going in. I'm not sure how much it would have changed what we did, but it would have been nice to know. Many children with open palates don't talk a lot so it's not an issue. But Micah talks non-stop. I'm posting here so others who find themselves with a highly verbal child with an open palate can be prepared.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Blog Makeover

Thanks to the Blog Fairy for my bloggy makeover. I really like the change. As we've transitioned from a waiting family to a family of three, it seemed time for a change. The Blog Fairy is doing blog makeovers to raise money for the Starfish Orphanage in Xian, Shaanxi, China. If you're in need of a change, I'd highly recommend letting her do it.

Even if you don't need a blog makeover, consider making a donation to this home that is dedicating to helping the most medically fragile children.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You're the One That I Want

Just for fun....
If you're a Grease junkie like me, you'll really appreciate this.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gorga Monkeys!!!

Last Friday, we took the boys to Gorga Monkeys. It was hard to get them to sit still for pictures, but I was able to get a few shots. They loved playing with the balls in the bouncy place.Hey Sheridan, go long!
There's always a soft landing.
Hi Sheridan!
Slide, Micah. Slide!!!!

Future Firefighter

Last week Baba had to go out of town to the Elmo Conference. Well, technically it was the Ammo Conference, but we thought he said Elmo Conference and that sounded like more fun. Micah and I bivouacked at Camp Sheridan. While we were there, we crashed the FCC playgroup's outing to the FireHouse. The kids had a wonderful time . First they watched a video on fire safety. Then we got to see the fire trucks!!!! While the trucks were a little intimidating at first, Micah finally got brave enough to touch the fire hose. Firefighter Allen showed us how he put on all of his clothing and equipment and while he might looks scary, inside he was still Firefighter Allen.
The kids had a wonderful time and it was nice to hang out with other moms, too.
After the tour, we had a picnic lunch and played at a local park. The boys have such a good time together!