Friday, July 25, 2008

sadie is 14 months old!

Happy Birthday baby girl!  Finally, a milestone we got to celebrate together.  We went out to dinner with grandma and grandpa followed by gifts and cupcakes at home.






Thursday, July 24, 2008

we're home!

Sorry for not posting sooner.  We got home early Saturday night but have been having a really tough time with the time change and jet lag.  The clock in Sadie's head thinks it day when it's night and vice versa.  The last few nights she's gone to sleep at 8:30am, 6:30am and 3:00am.  So basically we sleep all day and are up all night.  NOT FUN!  I woke her up at noon today and she went down at midnight so I think we are making progress. 

We finally showered and left the house today to get some much needed baby things...more bottles, wipes, a play yard and some safety items.  We found everything thing we needed and ended up being out for several hours.  Sadie did fine in the car seat (with my mom sitting in back with her).  In fact, she fell asleep twice (hope that doesn't screw with tonight's sleep!). 

One of the things I needed was a play yard.  It's a gate that creates a safe play area in the living room so I can put her in and take a shower or make dinner.  My friend E used one with her 2 kids and it was great!  Well...we set the whole thing up and Sadie was sitting inside with us.  She was playing and all seemed well.  I got out to do something and then Bailey came downstairs.  She got so excited and wanted to get to Bailey.  So, the stinker used her "monkey toes" to climb up and over the gate.  Yep!  She climbed right out.  Now I get to go back to Torrance to return the gate and extension that we bought.  Not sure what to try next.

Bailey is doing surprisingly well.  The first day we were home she threw up 4 times.  She just kept coming down to eat and then a short time later she would throw up.  Clearly she was stressed.  Poor baby!  She has not been hiding like I thought she would.  She comes downstairs and sniffs Sadie's toys and gets surprisingly close to Sadie.  She will let Sadie touch her quickly if I'm sitting there, but when Sadie starts to chase her, she runs back upstairs.  My mom and been letting her sleep with her in my room while I'm on the futon in the baby's room.  I think she's going to be OK with  a little more time to adjust.

I have to mention my amazing friends before signing off for the night.  My friend E picked us up at the airport since she has a car seat.  She brought us home where I found a kitchen full of groceries.  What a nice treat to not have to worry about grocery shopping for a few days!  I also had a care package on my doorstep from my friend Y.  It included her yummy homemade pasta sauce, rice krispie treats and gifts for Sadie and me!  So sweet.  Other friends and family have called and emailed since we've been home but I haven't had a chance to respond to most of them.  I'm sorry!  Once Sadie is on a schedule, I'll have some time for myself to return calls and emails.  Hang in there....I promise you'll hear from me soon.

Well, I guess that's all for now.  I have a long post going about our days in Hanoi.  I'll try to get that up in the next or so. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


We got Sadie's visa today so she can officially come home to the US!  Now we get to spend the rest of our time here sightseeing, eating and shopping!

we're all fine....

I'm sorry if my absence has worried anyone.  We are fine.  Sadie is amazing!  However, she is officially walking and is constantly on the move.  That means I'm always keeping watch on a small person who can get into anything and likes to put everything in her mouth.  As soon as I finally get her to sleep each night all I can think about is going to sleep myself.  Hence....the lack of posts.  Here's a bunch of pictures from the last few days to get you through until I finish my very, very long update. 


First plane ride - Business Class, of course!


Playing in the room


First time in a high chair (they are very hard to come by in Vietnam!)


First bath in the big tub - LOVED IT!


Posing with grandma and grandpa on the hotel grounds


Dressed for my embassy interview

(posie thanks to Autie E and socks thanks to Aunti Y)


 Cooling off in the room after the Temple of Literature

and the Fine Arts Museum

Friday, July 11, 2008

the real sadie is shining through

Sadie woke up at 9am this morning.  She slept for 12 hours!  I got her changed and dressed and fed her a bottle.  Then it was play time.  Let me tell you this girl knows how to play.  She was smiling and laughing and exploring all of the toys.  I thought she'd go down for a nap a little while later since she has every other day, but not today.  We sat and played with her for a good long while and then fed her some rice cereal with bananas and pears.  Sadie also had more Cheerios and then we broke out the Gerber's Banana Puffs which were a huge hit.  We finally decided to tag team so we could shower and around 1:30pm, actually left the room to do a little more shopping and looking around.  My mom bought her a beautiful jade bracelet and we found some great wood puzzles; one with numbers in English and then in Vietnamese and another with pictures of animals with their names in English and Vietnamese.  We also found this great kids clothing shop and she got a dress, a shorts outfit, slippers and a purse for $18 US.  How crazy is that?  We went to the supermarket to buy some yogurt for Sadie and learned a couple of things about her.  First, she is very strong.  Trying to wrestle something out of her hand that she doesn't want to give up is no easy fete.  And second, she gets angry.  I had to take the water bottle out of her hands to go into the supermarket and she had a cow.  Crying like we haven't seen yet.  She is quite a hoot though.  I had her in the sling at the market and when I found the yogurt, she wanted to hold it.  Well she latched on like it was the last yogurt in the world.  I couldn't get it from her to put into a bag so she just held it as we left the market.  As we were heading back to the hotel, she fell asleep, leaning out in front of me with her grasp tight on the yogurt and her head on top of the yogurt.  It was hysterical.  Thankfully, we got a picture (see below).  I had to hold her head in place as we walked back to the room.   

At 3:30pm we met my dad back at the hotel for high tea.  Sadie woke up as soon as we got back to the room so she only napped for about 10 minutes.  I brought apple juice in a sippy cup and more banana puffs and was able to keep Sadie pretty well occupied during tea; which was yummy by the way.  She also got to taste her first scone and my mom snuck some whipped cream on it!  (This girl loves to eat!)  She smiled and played while we ate and then we came back to the room.  Well, we played some more and she just kept on going.  This must be the active girl the nannies were talking about.  My folks went to their room to take a nap (the humidity really takes a lot out of you) and I hung out with Sadie.  She was playing with a note pad and stated eating a piece of paper so I thought she might like a snack.  I decided to give her her first biter cookie.  She LOVED it!  It was messy as hell though.  When she was done I cleaned her up and picked her up to look out the window.  She loves looking at the view.  Well, she fell asleep in my arms.  It was 7pm.  This was not good.  We were supposed to go out to dinner, but I figured since she'd had no nap, she was probably out for the night.  My folks didn't want to go to dinner without me so we ordered room service.  About 8:30pm I decided that I needed to get Sadie into her pjs because it gets cold in the room at night and she was in short sleeves.  I figured she also needed a diaper change.  So, I took her out of the crib to change her.  I thought maybe she'd sleep through it, but not Sadie.  She woke up and it took me an hour and another bottle to get her to go back down.  I finally got to eat dinner and wanted to post again before dropping into bed. 

I'm kind of sad that we haven't been able to do much sightseeing in HCMC, but we have lots planned for Hanoi.  It's hard to be out with her during the day because it is so hot.  Her hair sticks to her head and today her cheeks got really pink.  I'm hoping we'll get into a routine in the next day or so so that we'll be able to do everything we want to in Hanoi. 

Here are some pictures from today:


Playing in the room


Chillin in the sling


Statue of Uncle Ho with City Hall in the background


Asleep in the sling with her head on the yogurt


First biter cookie - yummy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

more getting to know each other...

So, several hours have passed since my last post and I wanted to document the rest of our day.  Everyone is asleep and I'm exhausted so this will be quick. 

Sadie finally woke up and after holding her for a while I really wanted to try to get her to play a little.  Until now, all she's done is hold her toy links.  I haven't seen her crawl and she is definitely not walking yet, though she can stand unassisted.  So, I pulled out a few toys and sat with her on the bed.  It took her a little while, but she actually started playing.  She was chewing on the toys, hitting them, turning them around and was smiling.  It was great!  We all just sat around and watched her.  Then I thought I'd break out the Cheerios and see what she thought.  Well, I've created a Cheerio monster.  She couldn't get enough.  We finally had to hide the can.  I'm hoping we can find more while we are here because they will be a good distraction on the very, long plane ride home.  Since she was still looking for more Cheerios, I decided to fix her a bowl of rice cereal and I added some bananas and pears.  She ate it all.  Then I pulled out a book that I brought for her about kittens and she looked through it, touched the pages and even chewed on it a little.  She is becoming very animated and smiles often; so different than the first 24 hours we were together. 

Around 7pm we decided to head back to Mojo for dinner.  I packed the toys and the Cheerios and it was a good thing.  She was a busy girl.  I was able to distract her with Cheerios while I ate my dinner.  Then I gave her some apple juice and she actually shook her head "no" when she was done.  She's brilliant!  She charmed the staff, swayed to the music and even waved goodbye when we left.  We came back to the room and decided to give her a real bath.  She was a pretty dirty girl.  Well, we decided that the tub was just too big so we put her back in the sink.  She cried pretty much the whole time until I started washing her hair.  She really seemed to like that.  We finished her bath, put on a new diaper and pjs and brushed her hair.  She really likes to have her hair brushed and when I was done she actually took the brush from me and tried to brush her own hair.  She had another bottle and then fell asleep in my arms.  I put her in the crib and that was it!  Here are a few more pictures from tonight to tide you over until my next post. 


Tasting Cheerios for the first time.


Her first real bath.



My beautiful girl brushing her own hair.

getting to know each other

Sorry about missing a day.  Motherhood is exhausting!  Sadie (and grandma and grandpa) are napping so I'll try to catch you up.  First, how cute is Sadie sleeping!?


So where did I leave off?  Oh, that's right.  The first night, Sadie fell asleep at 5pm and ended up sleeping until we woke her at 5am.  She hadn't had much to eat and I didn't want her to be hungry.  She quickly downed 8oz of formula and then proceeded to go back to sleep for several more hours.  I forgot to mention in my last post that as we were leaving the orphanage with Sadie, my agency rep said that the nannies said to tell me she is an "active baby."  Oh really!?  My baby?  Are you sure?  The most active I've seen her so far is when she sleeps!  We all got up and showered and decided to head down to breakfast just after 9am.  I had Sadie in the sling and she didn't mind it at all.  Sadie ate an entire jar of plain yogurt and a mini mashed banana.  She loved it!  She is very curious and even nosey.  She was charming the people at the next table and was very interested in what they had to say. 

We then went back to the room and switched from the sling to the carrier to do some shopping.  We walked around the hotel and found great little shops where we bought more embroidered baby clothes, some gifts, hanging birds for her room, stuffed animals from Sapa and a few other things.  I haven't yet mentioned just how hot it is.  Honestly, the heat is not too bad but the humidity is a killer.  And holding a baby against your body doesn't exactly cool you down.  Poor Sadie was sweating up a storm.  I wanted to get her in some air conditioning for a bit and desperately needed something to drink so we popped into a restaurant for a break.  I had a yummy banana smoothie and Sadie watched intently each time I brought the glass to my mouth.  She totally charmed the wait staff and even smiled at them. 

Eventually we went back to the room where Sadie once again fell asleep.  I was supposed to go pick up Sadie's passport at 4pm, but my agency rep called an hour early and said it was ready so she came around 3:15pm to pick me up and I left Sadie behind (sleeping) with her grandma and grandpa.  Getting the passport was a piece of cake.  When I got back to the hotel, another agency rep met me to pick up Sadie's passport so he could go get her medical paperwork.  We arranged to meet the next day to buy our tickets to Hanoi.  I went back to the room and Sadie was still sleeping.  I didn't want to hold my folks back so they went shopping for a while, while Sadie and I hung out.  At 7pm we went down to the pool because one of the staff told my dad they were having a water puppet show for the guests.  Turns out it was  a private event so we just went to dinner.  All of a sudden, she was a different baby.  Grabbing things, kicking her legs and not interested in sitting still at all.  There was no way I could eat my sandwich while holding her so my dad ate his salad really fast then held her while I ate.  He also got her to take a bottle so her tummy was once again full.

After dinner we walked in to a few shops and I noticed that she was getting tired.  I saw her yawn for the first time and she started rubbing her eyes.  So, we went back to the room and I held her until she fell asleep.  This girl does not want to be put down which works out great for me because all I want to do is snuggle with her.  She fell asleep around 8:30pm and we all went to bed right after that.  We got to see her smile a few times that day which was great.

This morning, Miss Sadie awoke at 4:30am.  I was asleep but my mom noticed her sitting up in the crib.  She didn't make a sound.  My mom went over and started talking to her and I woke up.  Her schedule from the orphanage says that she was fed a few times during the night so I figured she was hungry.  She quickly downed 5oz of formula then proceeded to again fall asleep on me.  This girl likes to sleep!  I finally moved from the chaise we were on into my bed with her on my chest.  She then proceeded to roll and rock until she was laying across my chest with her legs in my face.  It was so cute.  We were supposed to meet my agency rep in the lobby at 10am to go get our tickets to Hanoi so we decided to go to breakfast at 9am.  I had to wake Sadie up, but she let me change her clothes, diaper and brush her hair.  She seemed to like having her hair brushed but is still not a fan of the diaper change.  In fact, the only times she has cried so far are when I lay her down to change her diaper and when I put her down if she is awake.  No matter what the circumstances, she stops crying the moment I pick her up. 

Sadie had another jar of yogurt and a mashed banana for breakfast.  Then we walked with the agency rep to get our tickets to Hanoi.  We booked the 1:30pm flight on Sunday and we're flying business class since it will be Sadie's first time on a plane.  It was only about $50 more per ticket.  We're hoping the extra room will come in handy on the nearly 2 hour flight!

On the way to the ticket office we saw some cute shops so we were going to go back for more shopping.  I decided to ask my agency rep if it would be easy to take a cab to Tu Du Hospital to take some pictures of the outside for Sadie's baby book.  He said we could go now and he would take us so we piled into a cab and were on our way.  While in the cab, I asked how we would arrange to go back to the orphanage to take pictures.  He asked if I wanted to go now.  I happened to have the emails from the families who I told I would try to get pictures for with me but I also had Sadie and I was worried that it might be difficult for her.  I didn't want to confuse her, but then she started to fall asleep so I thought....perfect!  So, we drove by the hospital to get some pictures then on to the orphanage.  As we pulled in, she woke up.  I figured there was no turning back now.  I know other families have gone back with their babies so I decided to just hope for the best.  We got out of the cab and we were taken to the baby room.  I have to say that I was so impressed with how clean and cool the room was.  There were a lot of babies!  Some were very small.  There were a handful of nannies who were so excited to see Sadie.  They started calling her by her Vietnamese name and she would smile at them.  They put their hands out for her to come to them, but she just held on to me, which of course made me feel good.  They took us around the two rooms with all the cribs and pointed out the babies that I asked to see.  We got a few really great pictures.  Unfortunately, one of the babies was sleeping on her tummy so we didn't get any good pictures of her.  They showed me Sadie's crib which still had her picture and name on it.  I can't tell you how sweet the nannies were.  It made me feel really good to know that if Sadie couldn't be with me all these past months, at least she was well taken care of and loved by these wonderful ladies.  We finally left the baby room and took some pictures in the play area and main office.  Then we were back in the cab on our way back to the hotel.  The agency rep came back with us and he gave me all he paperwork that I need for Hanoi.  All I have to do is hand it to my agency rep when we arrive.  I changed Sadie's diaper and tried to put her down to play but she just wanted to be held.  I saw her eyeing some mini bananas that we have in the room so I mashed one up and she ate the entire thing.  Then she cried when I put the empty bowl down so we opened some bananas and pears and she ate about 1/4 jar.  Now that her tummy was full again, you can guess what happened next.  We snuggled for a few minutes and I actually got her to laugh (adorable!) Then back to sleep.  I held her for a while then transferred her to the crib and that brings you up to date.  While I'm sure this was enthralling to read, I know that what you really want are pictures so here you go...


Heading out to go shopping and trying out the new carrier.  She really did like being in there!


Cooling down with a drink and giving a smile at Mojo Restaurant


Playing in the room.  Can you stand how mellow she is?!


Grandpa feeding Sadie so mommy can eat dinner.  


Sadie's crib at the orphanage.



Getting some love and attention from the nannies.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

best day ever!

What a day!  I went to sleep at 8:30pm last night and requested a 6:30am wake up call.  Around 5am, I woke up and just tossed and turned until 6:30am.  I jumped out of bed when the phone rang and got in the shower.  Around 7:30am we went downstairs for breakfast.  I have to take a minute to discuss the breakfast buffet.  Amazing!  They had pho, an omelette station, waffles and pancakes, tons of fresh fruit, pastries, some Asian dishes, bacon, hash browns and more.  Everything was great!  We were supposed to be in the lobby to meet my agency rep at 8:30am.  We grabbed all the donations and gifts and were waiting by 8:25am.  We were in the car just after 8:30am and on our way to another hotel to get a family who picked up their daughter (whose name also happens to be Sadie!) yesterday.  They were going to come with us to pick up my girl and then we were both going to have our G&Rs together. 

The traffic here is insane.  Motor scooters everywhere and no street lights or stop signs.  The intersections are somewhat controlled chaos.  We finally arrived at the orphanage but were stuck in awful traffic and couldn't pull in to the driveway.  Finally, we pulled in and got out of the car.  I turned around and saw a lady sitting with Sadie on her lap.  Clearly they were waiting for us.  From the way things went right after that, I'd say we were late.  They handed Sadie to me while my folks were still getting out of the car.  I started crying as soon as I saw her.  She is so pretty!  The nannies watched and talked to her while I held her.  When she would reach an arm towards them, they would put it on my chest and say "Mommy."  Shortly thereafter, I could see they were crying.  It was very clear that they loved her very much.  She didn't make a sound.  Just let me hold her and looked around.  We took a few pictures then I was asked to give the donations and gifts to the director.  Next thing I knew, we were getting back in the car to go to the G&R.  I didn't get the chance to look around at all, let alone get pictures of the other babies.  They said I could come back later in the week, but I'm trying to decide if that would be too hard on Sadie.  We were given a copy of her daily schedule (in Vietnamese) and two bottles (one with formula and one with water) and off we went.

So back in the car to the government building.  Sadie cried out a couple of times in the car, but I held her close and she stopped pretty quickly.  We learned right away that she is a thumb sucker which is fine with me.  Whatever helps her!  When we arrived, we were asked to have a seat.  We only waited a few minutes and then were called behind the counter.  There was a desk and chairs and I was asked to sit down.  My folks took pictures and video during this process.  Basically, I just signed a few forms, the director of the orphanage thanked and congratulated me and it was picture time in front of the famous green curtain.  Here I am signing the adoption papers.


The other couple went after me and then we were done.  We took a couple of group photos in front of the building and piled back into the car.  Next stop, the Immigration Office to apply for her passport.  The Immigration Office was packed.  I was told to hand Sadie off to my mom (which made grandma very happy) and then we went to get a number.  There were more than 100 people ahead of us!  Thankfully, things moved pretty quickly.  When my number was called, I went up to the window, gave them my paperwork and passport and they looked everything over.  There was a minor mistake on my paperwork but my agency rep was able to fix it right there.  We paid extra to have the passport expedited and will return tomorrow around 4:30pm to pick it up. 

After that we were able to come back to the hotel for a couple of hours.  Sadie just sat on the bed and looked around.  I gave her couple of toys and she just held one of them (the rings Alex & Jack gave her !) in her hand.  I tried to give her some of the formula that the orphanage gave us, but I couldn't get her to take her thumb out of her mouth to drink.  I figured if she was hungry, she'd take it out.  I didn't have any rice cereal (or anything else for that matter) to give her because we wanted to keep her on what she was eating and drinking in the orphanage.  We weren't going to be able to get out to the store until later.  I was worried she was hungry, but she really just seemed to be in shock. 

At 2pm we met another agency rep in the lobby to go get the kids' medical exams.  We drove to a very, very old hospital that has a Visa Department where people go for physicals before they can get their visas.  We waited a very short time and then went in to see the nurse.  She just checked that Sadie was the baby in the picture on her paperwork.  She tried to get her thumb out of her mouth, but Sadie would pop it right back in.  When we were done with the nurse we went back out to wait.  I was starting to get worried that it had been so long since Sadie had anything to eat or drink so I pulled out a bottle of apple juice that I brought with me.  She drank nearly the entire thing! 


Eventually we went in to see the doctor.  He told me that she was fully vaccinated and went over the medical records we received from the orphanage.  Then they measured her head circumference, weight and height.  Finally, she got a quick once over and they checked her heart.  He said she is on the very low end of the growth chart but with good nutrition, she should do fine. 

At this point we were done with our appointments for the day.  My agency rep agreed to take us to the store to buy formula, cereal and whatever else she needed.  Unfortunately, while we were on the way to drop off the other couple, Sadie started throwing up all the juice she had drunk.  I was ill-prepared for this in the car.  We aren't sure if she got car sick or if it was the heat or the stress but I wanted to just get her back to the room at that point.  So, I asked my folks to go to the store with the agency rep while I went back to the room. 

When Sadie and I got back to the room, I took off her wet clothes and decided to give her a mini bath in the sink.  She didn't cry at all, but she is a little big for the sink so it was tricky.  I washed her really quickly then got her in some clean clothes (she seems to be wearing 6-9 months) and a clean diaper.  She does not like being made to lay down.  Both times when I've changed her diaper and when the doctor tried to measure her height, she cried.  But as soon as I pick her up, she stops.  We played on the bed for a little while and looked out the window and then my folks arrived with the groceries.  We quickly mixed some rice cereal and she ate it all.  It was so cute.  She would barely open her mouth, then she would bite the spoon.  I haven't gotten a good look to see how many teeth are in there yet.


Around 5pm she fell asleep on my chest.  A short while later I put her in the crib and she's been asleep ever since.  It is now 12:15am!  She is a rollie pollie girl!  She tosses and turns like crazy but she is sleeping pretty soundly.  I have a feeling we're in for a very early morning!  Here's one last shot of my sleeping beauty.  I promise to post more pictures tomorrow.

sleeping lighter

Monday, July 7, 2008

we're here!

Nearly 24 hours after leaving my apartment on Saturday night, we have made it to Ho Chi Minh City and have settled into our rooms.  The local time here is 1:45pm on Monday, July 7th.  For us, it is 11:45pm, Sunday night.  Weird. 

When we got to LAX, it was packed.  I mean people everywhere.  We finally got checked in and made our way to the gate.  The airline was really good.  The bulkhead seats that the travel agent got us were a godsend.  The extra leg room was wonderful.  We actually got to see another family using the airline bassinet.  Their baby was really young though; I think Sadie will be too big for it.  Bummer!

We arrived in Taipei around 5:30am and had just over an hour before our flight to Ho Chi Minh City.  We struggled a bit finding the right gate, but finally found our way.  The airport was really nice.  Large, bright and clean.  They had an awesome Hello Kitty play area that I'm looking forward to taking Sadie to.  She's too young to really take advantage of it, but it should be good for a cute picture or two.  We were nervous about the "1 Carry On per person rule" on the flight from Taipei to HCMC.  I put my computer in my dad's carry on and my purse in mine but my mom still had one extra bag.  Luckily, when it was our turn for the agent to look at our bags, she was busy with another passenger and another agent just waived us through. 

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City around 9:30am and the first thing we needed to do was pick up our visas.  This was not as easy as we were told it would be.  The agents didn't seem so speak any English.  We showed them our documents and they gave us a form to fill out.  We weren't sure how to fill out certain sections, but we got it done.  Then, we turned in the forms and they handed us our passports with our visas inside.  We were told it would be $55 US each, but it was only $25 US each; what a bargain!  They are good until August 1st, in case our departure gets delayed.  Next we went through passport control (easy) and then to get our 6 suitcases.  I am not lying when I say that ours were the last bags off the plane.  It was very stressful seeing everyone else get their bags while we were left standing there.  Eventually, we got them all then went through customs.  We were then supposed to go outside and someone from my agency was supposed to meet us there.  I actually started stressing about this yesterday and called my agency contact's cell phone to confirm that someone would be there to meet us.  She never called me back.  Well, we went out in this mass of people and there was no sign with my name or my agency's name.  Nothing.  We looked and looked and couldn't find anyone.  Eventually we saw a representative from our hotel so we asked if he could arrange transportation for us.  He said he would call us a van.  At the exact moment we were loading all of our stuff in the van, our agency reps showed up.  Apparently they were delayed with 3 families who were traveling to Hanoi today.  Since we had already called the van, we piled in and one of the agency reps came with us.  On the way, he pointed out a couple of landmarks and even showed me where the CIS offices were, in case I wanted to drop in and thank them for my approval (kidding!).  He also told me that we would be picked up at 8:30am tomorrow to go to the orphanage to pick up Sadie.  Then we'll be meeting one other family and we will have our G&Rs together.  After that I guess we apply for the expedited passport.  I think that is all we HAVE to do tomorrow.  Let's see, meet daughter, take over care of daughter, get passport photos and apply for passport.  Sounds like a piece of cake, no?

We checked into our rooms and sat for a bit but I wanted to get out and explore.  I was afraid if we laid down, we'd fall asleep for the night and it was too early.  My mom and I were hungry so we ordered room service (I had fried tofu with noodles in a peanut sauce - Yummy).  After we ate, we decided to take a walk around the area.  We are right across the street from the Rex Hotel and I could see a building called the Saigon Center from my room.  I remembered Emily at Looking for Lulu talking about a great store called NKid, and I knew it was close.  So we went on a mission.  Let me tell you we were very successful.  We found this amazing store and I went a little crazy.  Sadie got a quilted jacket, two pairs of pjs, and 3 dresses.  They are all hand embroidered and so lovely.  I bought sizes 2, 3, 4 & 5 so she'll have them for some time.  I didn't really pay attention to the prices.  I suck at math so I had no idea how to divide everything by 16,000 or so.  So, I'm expecting to spend a couple hundred dollars.  Try $85!  We are totally going back for more before we leave.

We walked around a little more and found a little shop to buy some sodas, water and juice and then came back to our rooms.  We all showered then chilled.  I pulled out all of the orphanage donations and gifts for the orphanage staff and wrapped everything.  I also packed the diaper bag for tomorrow.  I'm quite certain I have forgotten something important but only time will tell. 

I took a long break in the middle of writing this post so it is now 7:30pm here - that makes it some ungodly hour at home.  Guess that means I should get some sleep.  I can't believe I am going to meet Sadie tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

oh boy...this is really happening!

Well, I leave for the airport in about an hour and a half.  OMG!  I feel like I have elephants in my stomach.  And a short time ago, I just started crying for no obvious reason.  Now I can't stop.  I think the reality of what is FINALLY about to happen just hit me.  I can't even explain all the things I am feeling right now - excited, stressed, relieved, scared and happy all rolled in to one.  I'm really getting nervous about the thought of raising Sadie all by myself.  If I didn't think I could do it, I wouldn't have.  But now that I am days away from being completely responsible for a little one, I'm freaking out a little.  I'm also feeling really sad about leaving Bailey, especially knowing how unhappy she is going to be when I come home with Sadie.  It is going to stress her out.  She'll probably hide for a long while.  I do hope she'll be able to adjust and that they can be friends.  Any tips on how to make it easier for Bailey would be much appreciated.  She's such a great kitty!

Well, the next time you hear from me, I'll either be in Taipei (on a layover) or in HCMC.  Here I go...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

no more work for me...for now

Well, I did it.  I worked my last day until September 29th.  It was hard as hell to get out of the office today, but I did it.  Granted I went in at 7am, since I woke up at 5am and couldn't go back to sleep, then I stayed until 5:45pm.  Long day...with no break, no lunch and several things left undone.  But, oh well.  My boss was really great!  I gave her my home number and told her she could call if we forgot anything.  She told me to go and don't think about work.  She told me I needed to take this time to focus on my daughter.  (That's pretty great coming from a boss!)  Y starts the big job of managing the department tomorrow.  I hope everyone goes easy on her; at least on her first day.

I met with the cat sitter tonight.  She seemed really nice.  Too bad she rang the doorbell when she got here.  Bailey ended up hiding pretty much the entire time she was here.  I finally had to go pull her out of the closet so the cat sitter would know what she looks like.  I hate to think about leaving her home alone for two weeks.  I've never left her that long before.  I always have someone come and stay with her but the person that usually does that for me, is staying with my parents' dogs.  Oh well...I'm sure she'll be fine.  She'll be fed and brushed each day and my neighbors said they would pop in on her too.  Honestly, I think she will be far more traumatized by me bringing Sadie home then she will by being left alone. 

So tomorrow should be quite a day.  I'm having the car seat installed, still have several loads of laundry to do and have to buy all the last minute items.  Then Friday will be packing day. I can't believe I'll be on a plane in 3 days!