Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend


Nature Masks

We had a lot of fun this weekend since our friends from Salisbury (soon to be from Colorado :-() and my sister and her family came into town. We spent a lot of time at my parent’s house letting the kids play and swim. We also went to a wedding on Sunday. Nikolai had fun at the wedding watching the band and running around in the pavilion thinking he was playing with the big kids (who were playing tag and hide and seek). The wedding started at 2 and we left the reception at about 7:30; amazingly Nikolai was only fussy towards the end of the hour-long ceremony and fine the rest of the night! The wedding was fun since it was two of my archaeology friends getting married and a lot of the guests were also archaeologists. The tables were named after projectile point styles.

Friday, May 22, 2009

China Update

Since swine flu hit the news there have been rumors floating around that China was going to hold referrals, TAs, etc. until as late as September, and that even if you had TA you would be unable to make appointments in certain regions. TAs, however, kept coming to most agencies, and some people were able to make appointments and even travel. Our agency has taken China’s request that parents delay travel to heart and is not letting anyone travel right now (this only affects SN adoptions as they have not had NSN referrals in a while).

Then, with virtually no advance warning, referrals arrived on Wednesday! They are nearly 3 weeks late, but China claims they were not held for any reason. This batch is about the same size as last batch (yay!!) which is encouraging. However, the fact that they arrived so late means they practically skipped a month. If referrals were held just because of swine flu, then there is a chance that they kept working business as usual, but just did not mail anything out until later. If that is the case, then we could see another batch of referrals in about two weeks, which would get everything back on schedule. If the next batch does not arrive for 4 or more weeks, then the benefit of this being a good sized batch is basically negated. So much speculation...

I think we are still looking at the end of next year as the most likely time for referral, with travel in early 2011. I have not given up hope for travel in 2010, though. Of course, it could be much later, but we will deal with that too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Rock Concert

We took Nikolai to his first rock concert on Tuesday. The music director at church is from Liverpool and he and three other guys performed songs from the Beatles. Nikolai was SO funny. At first he was content to stand on my lap (not sit, though) and sway back and forth with the slow songs or shake wildly and move his feet during the fast songs. At one point he grabbed Chris and my Mom’s hands, who were sitting on either side of me, to make swaying way to one side and the other easier. When a song would end he would clap along with everyone and yell “yay”. Eventually he had enough of sitting with his apparently too reserved parents and started making his way to the dance floor. He paused for a while to bang on an empty chair next to the senior pastor and right in front of us, so that was fine. Then he moved up another row and we thought he was just socializing. Finally, he made a break for it and crawled full speed onto the busy dance floor! Luckily the pastor’s wife grabbed him and picked him up to dance for the rest of the song. I went up to take him from her at the end of the song, but he refused to come! He wanted to dance more.

Friday, May 8, 2009

He Can Walk!

Nikolai took 10 steps independently today! He really has been able to walk for several weeks now, but would not let go and insisted on holding at least one finger. When we would let go, he would crumple to the floor instantly. Tonight he was leaning with his back against the coffee table focusing on the TV remote so I thought he might walk to me without thinking as much as normal. I called to him and he took three steps to me! He would not go back towards the table, so I propped him up against it again and moved further away. He took 10 steps to reach me! The next time, he got a little carried away and put a basket of toy beads over his shoulder and tried to walk. He fell over after a few steps, spilling the basket of beads, and resulting in an “uh oh”. He never dropped the remote, though. It took me nearly a half hour to get the TV back to normal, but that is another story.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Random Thoughts

Happy Birthday Alex!
Ryan helping


So Cool

Fun at the Park

At the Park in her New Polka Dot Dress

We went to MI this weekend for my niece’s third birthday. 3-year old girls are great for teaching language. Nikolai tried to imitate her a lot – including her screech, which sounds really funny in Nikolai’s low voice

As noted above, Nikolai has a low voice for a baby – I think he will be a bass. That should compliment his tenor father well for duets

Nikolai has learned to flush the toilet (over and over). Surely this means he is partly potty trained, right? Probably it means we need to be better about keeping the bathroom doors closed

My niece and nephew are SO cute

Alex is such a girly girl – through no real direction of her parents (e.g., my BIL insisted on dying the newborn onesies black). Alex got some pink doll house furniture for her birthday. After it had been put in her room, she asked “where is my pretty pretty bed?”. When she got up Sunday after her party, she was wearing her new butterfly necklace, which had been in a box on top of her (tall) dresser. We were drawing on her new easel and I drew a fairy and told Alex it was her (she had just drawn a picture of me). She said “that is me? As a butterfly? I want to be a purple butterfly with a purple face” Of course I complied and drew an all-purple fairy (face included).

Ryan is probably the sweetest 4-year old boy I know. He is so sensitive. At one point my sister made a comment that all of her portion of some food (I cannot even remember what) was gone, and Ryan said “you can have some of mine, I don’t need it all”. When Alex got in trouble for climbing on her dresser in the middle of the night to retrieve her necklace – and wearing a necklace while sleeping, Ryan was worried because Alex’s feelings got hurt.

Nikolai is obsessed with music. I know all babies love music, but I think his interest goes beyond normal. He sat through a 1-hour musical without taking his eyes off the stage. He signs “more” in the car when the classical piece ends. He will be entertained for hours in the basement alternating between playing the piano and guitar, and generally Mama gets bored first, causing a little tantrum when I bring him back upstairs. After watching the minister at church energetically play the djembe, Nik plays his toy drum the same way – shaking his head like a rock star.

I wonder if there is anyone in the area that teaches dombra lessons?

Nikolai has started hitting in the face when he is frustrated and/or over tired. What to do?

While he knows what the word no means, Nik does not seem to care. We learned in adoption parenting classes to visibly change your stance and say “no” forcefully to get their attention if they are doing something like biting or hitting. The problem is that Nik LOVES to be startled, so this just makes him laugh and try to get us to do it again.

It is funny to watch Nikolai try to categorize the world. We have an overhead light in the kitchen that is round. Nik calls it a balloon; and now he calls all lamps above his head “balloons” regardless of their shape. Animals are either “ooh ooh” (dogs), “baa” (sheep), “diiirdie” (birds), or fish – for which he does the sign. My sister’s Scottish fold cat was determined to be a “baa”.

I am sick of doing paperwork and social worker visits. We are definitely dragging our feet in renewing our home study this time. How do people manage to adopt 4+ children? They must just do paperwork in their sleep.

The positive vibe in the Rumor Queen June room is starting to make me nervous about getting our home study updated and submitting the I-800A. June 6 is the biggest LID in June, so that big group is really getting excited because they are maybe only a year or less away from referral. While we are June 23, for the first time we are actually getting CLOSER to referral, rather than further away each month.

Why is it that USCIS’s mistake is costing us $420.00? Everyone acknowledges that they made a mistake, but apparently there is no protocol for correcting mistakes without filling out more forms – with the mandatory fees of course.

Nikolai’s tantrums are so funny. He carefully lies down on the floor, and then begins to fake cry and kick his feet. Tantrums generally last less than a minute. Unfortunately he will probably perfect his tantrum technique as he gets older.

Someone took my lunch from the refrigerator at work yesterday. How can this happen? Do they not know what they brought? I was so looking forward to the leftover dahl and the tangelo.

Tangelos are my new favorite fruit – I cannot get enough of them. I became addicted on my last trip to the Gulf Coast. I am supposed to go back in the next few weeks (even though I see no point to the trip – the temp field director has things well in hand and he would have to get me up to speed if I went). Perhaps I will go just to buy fruit.

Nikolai does all the hand motions to Twinkle Twinkle – including making a perfect diamond with his fingers for that part of the song. He has started doing another set of motions, one of which is moving his arm back and forth in front of him. I have not yet figured out what song it is; my guess was wheels on the bus (with the swishing of the wipers) but I did not get much reaction when I sang that song. I will have to ask day care.

I hope Nikolai is always as good an eater as he is now. He really loves food. I am always surprised to find a food he does not like. The most recent rejected food was hummus – doesn’t hummus seem like a perfect food for a 1-year old? His current favorites are mac-n-cheese, refried beans, and spiced pumpkin from the Afghan restaurant – oh, and sugar in any form.