Sunday, October 28, 2007

First dumb me!!

Well who knew that the first really dumb comment would come directly from me! So, as you can see from the picture, we had our neighborhood Halloween parade today, which is always so much fun for the kids. We have a ton of kids in our neighborhood and our street leads down to a little beach where they have a candy hunt and the adults all watch the chaos and have a drink. Although our neighborhood is not exactly the most diverse our neighbors have been SO welcoming of Sophie and supportive in every way. It's really been a joy to share this experience with them. So John and I are standing down at the beach talking to a nice neighbor that we just met. I was holding Sophie in my arms. A 10-year-old girl in full costume (maybe an 80's roller queen?) comes up and says:

Girl: "Oh she's so cute!! What is she?"
Me: "Uhhh, I'm sorry?"
Girl: "What is she?"
Me: "Uhh, she is from Ethiopia"
Girl: "Oh" and goes on her way

Me (to John): "Well, I've never gotten that one before!!"
John: "Yeah, hmm" (both of us thinking, ok, she IS 10)

The nice neighbor we're talking with then touches the antenna on Sophie's head when it dawns on me. OH!!!!!! SHE'S A LADYBUG!!!!!!!!!!!

I am an idiot!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I know that songs weren't part of the original tagging, but that is probably much more part of my life than movies or books, so I am adding it. I went running today for the first time in about 2 months and realized how much I missed my workout music! I never used to run with an iPod when I was actually running long distances, or training for something, but now, it's one of the few times I can listen without someone asking for a different song, or little people talking/yelling/crying over my songs. So here it is (and I want to know yours too):

All Time Favorites
The Waiting is the Hardest Part - Tom Petty (not only do I love the sound of this song, I think you would all agree that it's so true - especially this crowd!!!) This was part of my high school yearbook quote and I have never wavered - love it.
American Girl - Tom Petty
Comin' in from the Cold - Bob Marley
Beautiful Day & Sweetest Thing - U2
Romeo & Juliet (live) - Dire Straits
Ant Marching & Crash - Dave Matthews
The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
Stay - Lisa Loeb

Relatively Current Favorites (remember, I mostly get to listen to my music while spinning or running, so cut me some slack :)
Mama Africa - Akon
Move Along - All American Rejects
Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie
The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
It's Like That - Mariah
Hey There Delilah - Plain White Ts
Streetcorner Symphony- Rob Thomas
Fix You - Coldplay
Over My Head - The Fray
With Arms Wide Open - Creed (those of you expecting a new child have to listen to this song - the first time I really listened to it, I was about 2 weeks away from giving birth to Matthew and I was bawling my eyes out. It's a sweet song).

My kids are also big music people, and luckily for me not just Barney. Here are their current favorites:

Matthew - anything by the Rolling Stones - especially, You Can't Always Get What You Want (did I brainwash him?) and Brown Sugar, but also very masculine favorites like Beyonce
Katie - California (the theme from the OC, but I promise she never watched it) and Black Horse and Cherry Tree - KT Tungstall (sp?)
William - We Will Rock You (must be from all the sports on TV at our house, b/c that is definitely not on my iPod during dance party dinner making time)!

Hope you are all hanging in there while waiting!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


For all of my family and friends, all of us adoptive families addicted to each other's blogs basically do the same silly email that often goes around, but just post it rather than email it. Carey (who, with her husband, Drew, will hopefully officially be mom to baby Zoe in mere days, who was with Sophie in the Gladney foster home in Addis) tagged me, so here goes:

- private equity associate
- equity research analyst (one summer)
- commercial banker
- bus girl (I lasted 1 day!)
- sunglass polisher in a factory (for a whole summer!)
- bank teller
- babysitter

-Darien, CT
-Chappaqua, NY
-New York, NY
-Toulouse, France
-Hanover, NH
-Hingham, MA

-at the beach (not too hot) watching my kids play
-a long weekend away with John
-a weekend away with girlfriends (only 3 weeks away - yahoo!)
-This is a hard one. After a week away from the kids, and traveling to Africa, I'm really perfectly happy right here at home for now!

-All Mexican
-Most Italian
-Nana's roast beef, beans, mashed potatoes with LOTS of gravy
- Any salad I didn't have to make
-Most comfort food - chili, thick soups, etc.
-Sweet potato fries
-Egg & Cheese on a toasted wheat bagel

- Brothers & Sisters (overall winner by FAR)
- The Office (although I liked it better as 1/2 hour)
- Grey's Anatomy
- ER
- lots of shows that I shouldn't admit - most were cancelled b/c I was the only loser that watched them! (Bachelor, What About Brian, Jack And Jill etc)
-Studio 60 - is it really gone?

- I really don't like to see movies more than once, and I'm a total sucker for romantic comedies (whether or not they're even good) so this may be lame
-Love Actually
-The Holiday
-A Lot Like Love (I may have a crush on Amanda Peet)
-I'm braindead - can't remember any others, but I'm sure there are more

- Many by Jodi Piccoult
- Jane Greene & Cecelia Ahern books (mindless, beach reading)
-There is No Me Without You (and I just met Melissa Fay Green at the New Canaan Library - she was so funny and great to hear speak - Her stories about her own Ethiopian adoptions were so heartwarming)
- The Kite Runner

AND I TAG the Jennifers - Ethiopian Mama & Runnion

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sitting is fun!

Well, I don't think that I've tried sitting her up lately (she's usually is on my hip, being carted around by Matthew or Katie, in the exersaucer, on her belly, or asleep). Who knew she could sit up!?!?!?! I know, I'm already neglectful - oops!! Katie was playing with her and decided to sit up and she just stayed there and played! She seemed very proud of herself - and is quite the poser too!

She also seems to have turned into quite the Mommy's girl. She has a cry/scream on her that could scare anyone, but if I pick her up, it melts away. Many of you may be saying awwwww, but with 3 others that also want my attention, it would be helpful if she was a Daddy's girl too! The transition continues to go well - Katie is so enamored, and I am thrilled with that b/c Katie can be very difficult when it comes to dealing with things/people she doesn't like. She has never liked kisses (even from me and Daddy), but ever since Sophie came home, she won't get on the bus or go to bed (or let Sophie go to bed) without kisses for everyone. It is truly a very welcome change!! We certainly feel blessed.

By the way - Happy Birthday Jocelyn! I'm going out on a limb and guessing that I'm older - the big 3-6. It was a very happy one with lots of songs from the kids, a wonderful massage and a very nice dinner with my husband. Can't get much better than this :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yahoo! No Rickets!

We got the results back from the leg xrays, and although there is evidence that she wasn't eating as much as she should have been in the beginning of her life, there is no sign of rickets and she is already overcoming any initial issues she had. Her skin is clearing up so well and she now wakes up every morning babbling, rolling around in her crib - very happy!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Life at home

Well, since I have been religiously checking blogs for court dates and referrals with no luck, I figured I should use this time to update our own blog. I'm feeling a little responsible for everyone being on edge. I really thought that things would move so much quicker once the courts reopened, but a week open with no news is really frustrating. The one thing that I did learn while I was over there (and during our process) is that Gladney tends to get everything buttoned down before getting ANY information out (most likely to avoid any potential and unnecessary disappointment). So for those of you waiting on various things, I have to believe that once you actually get a referral or court date, everything will move at lightning speed. I know that Belay, Ryan and Abby are working overtime trying to get the referrals ready and papers submitted to the courts, even though you aren't hearing anything yet. Hang in there - I can't wait to see the news coming pouring in!

As far as us, we have settled in nicely. It's hard to believe we've been home for two weeks. The first week was chaotic. It actually was really only hard trying to get everyone back to normal - go through all the mail, school papers, laundry, etc. I just kept piling the mail up and up until I couldn't ignore it anymore. I'm happy to report that that pile is now gone!

I think it was the first day that John left for work that I realized that I am responsible for FOUR little people. He was heading out of the kitchen and they were all eating and playing in the kitchen and I just looked at him like, you are really ok leaving me with all of them?!?!?! I feel like I'm still an irresponsible high school kid sometimes and couldn't possibly be in charge of all of this! Have no fear - they were all safe and we were able to keep everything under control!

The kids are doing so well with Sophie. It really makes all the difference when the new baby can laugh and smile immediately. They have all been so proud to get huge belly laughs out of her. I think Katie has made every bottle for her that she's been home for and Matthew and William love to read her books - see below :)

She has been a great baby. She sleeps about 13 hours a night - straight through. It's pretty unbelievable, actually. She also goes to bed SO easily. Pop in the pacifier, rub her forehead or belly for a minute and she's out! One night she even fell asleep while I was changing her diaper and putting her pjs on. She takes two naps and those were probably most affected by jet lag. They were each about 3 hours when we first got home, which was actually kind of a pain to be "trapped" at home for so long, but now she's settled in to about 1.5 hours for each, which is perfect. It took her about a week and a half, but she now actually wakes up happy in the morning. At first, she would wake up with this terrified cry. At first I thought she was starving, but then I realized that she calmed down as soon as we got her and was didn't need to eat right away. I don't know if it was being alone in the crib or room, but I think we're over that hump now.

The biggest issue has been all of the health stuff that they warned us to expect. The first day home I brought her to the city to a pediatrician specializing in adoptions. She was checked from head to toe. She had an ear infection, a terrible skin rash and possibly rickets (vitamin D deficiency). They gave her 5 immunizations and took a ton of blood. The shots were nothing compared to the blood work. Because they needed so much, they laid her on her back and had her head hang off of the table while they drew blood from her JUGULAR!! As horrifying as it was (although the "hanging" and being held down bothered her much more than any needle did), apparently it is the easiest and fastest way to draw that much blood due to the screaming and gravity. I'm not so sure about that! Anyway, she was 3% in weight, 12% in height and 45% in head circumference, so we're thrilled that she's even on the charts. The way she's chowing now, I bet she'll blow through these %s. Her birth mother was so tiny, though, so I don't know how big she'll end up (though her mom might not even be done growing). Looking at her most recent pictures, I think her face has already fattened up!

Last week we saw our regular pediatrician. In hindsight, I probably should have just started here since he seemed totally on top of any potential issues from Africa and that way he doesn't have to wait around for results from labs he doesn't know, etc. He was surprised to hear about the rickets and doesn't really think she has it. He had us take her for leg xrays (the least invasive and most conclusive way to check for rickets). He left a message saying everything was fine, but I'll speak to him in person today. The amoxicillan wasn't doing anything for her ears, so he switched her antibiotic, which had the added benefit of killing the bacteria that we found in her belly at the same time, so that's good. We had to treat the original rash with a pretty harsh cream that basically set her cheeks on fire! She also has excema, and it really flared up on her cheeks. We've been able to keep it calm since we figured out that it's just excema, but it's definitely still there. Given how many random little annoyances she's had in the past two weeks, she's really doing great. She is eating a ton and generally very happy. We'll see the Dr every month for a few months to check her progress, but he is optimistic that she'll continue to grow well.

Two days after we came home, we had the opportunity to see Melissa Fay Greene speak at a local library. She was even better in person than in her book – and she’s really funny! For those of you who don’t know it, or haven’t read it, I highly recommend Melissa’s book It was so great to see local families with Ethiopian babies at home. I even ran into a woman that I know from town that's seriously considering Ethiopia for adoption. I'm so happy to see this really starting to happen in our community.

Oh, and I almost forgot - this was a big week for TEETH! Sophie got her first tooth on our first Wednesday home and got her second this past Thursday. She has two more on the verge. And her biggest brother Matthew FINALLY lost his first tooth this week (he might be the last kid in 1st grade with all baby teeth!). I think Katie and I were much more excited about the tooth fairy than he was since he tried to give the dollar to Daddy in the morning!

Ok, that's all for now. I can't wait to see new baby faces on other blogs soon. Hang in there guys!

See the first one? It's there!