Monday, August 25, 2008

sadie is 15 months old!



Sadie turned 15 months old today!  We celebrated with a sprinkle cookie and a new toy!  She went to town with the cookie.  It was all over her face and hair and her fingers were different colors from the sprinkles.  We went straight from dessert to the bath.

She is such an amazing little girl.  I honestly don't know what I did to deserve to be her mom.  Even during the difficult moments (which are few and far between), I just look at her and still can't believe we are together. 

We spent the day applying for her Social Security number, shopping for a few more bento boxes for her lunch and shopping for birthday gifts for some friends and family.  She was such a trooper. She charmed everyone who paid her any attention.  I had several people actually stop me to tell me how beautiful she is.  I have to say I agree!  I also had two people ask me if she is my baby.  Why does that matter?  Why can't they just say she is sweet or cute?  Whatever!

Sadie can now "give 5" (thanks to Auntie Y) and she gives kisses.  I can't possibly put into words how sweet it is when she leans over with her lips puckered to give you a kiss.  She does it out of the blue and I just melt.  I am ga ga for this girl!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

lunchtime rut

I need help.  When I go back to work (ugh) I have to send lunch with Sadie.  It will have to be finger foods that she can feed herself since she hasn't mastered the spoon yet.  I feel like I'm in a rut with her lunches and I need some inspiration.  I don't want to send the same thing everyday.  She's a really good eater at this point.  She'll eat almost anything.  A while back I found this blog of a mom who posts pictures of her son's lunches.  She has some great ideas!  I'm hoping to try a lot of the things she uses (including the cute bento box!) but I'm curious to know what others are feeding their kids.  So???

Friday, August 15, 2008

couple of fun days

Yesterday, my friend Y came over after work (where she's filling in for me!) and we went for a walk and to dinner.  Sadie's new "trick" is when you ask, "How big is Sadie?"  she raises her arms way up and I say "So big!"  It's adorable.  Here she is doing it at dinner.


She has also started putting her hands out when you ask her where something is as if to say, "I don't know."  I put a cracker under the clear plastic lid on the table and asked her where it went and she did this...


Could she be any cuter?  Here's one more just because.


Today, I got up early and showered before Sadie got up.  (If I don't do this, I have to wait until nap time to nap means no shower for momma.)  When I went in to her room I found her just sitting in her crib sucking her thumb.  She's so sweet!  We had breakfast and then picked up my friend Y and went to the mall.  I wanted to check out the Gymboree store because they were having a sale and I had a coupon.  I also wanted to go to Gymboree Play and Music to get their schedule and price list.  I want to start taking Sadie to some classes because hanging out at home is getting boring.  Well, Sadie made out like a bandit at Gymboree.  They have a line right now called Petite Mademoiselle and it was on sale.  OMG.  They had the cutest pieces.  I bought a couple of things, but my favorite by far has to be this dress. 

paris dress

We did a little more shopping and Sadie also got a cute Paul Frank monkey and a Harajuku Lovers tee.  (I know...she's spoiled!)  Then we stopped for lunch.  Y and I were both craving McDonald's so Sadie had her first Happy Meal. 


Please don't judge me.  I pulled all the breading of the mc nuggets and she ate almost all of the chicken and a few fries.  (She had a very healthy dinner - I swear!)

I've been trying to figure out what to do for my 40th birthday next month and I finally decided on brunch with a couple of friends.  I found some cute invites at the mall.  All I have to do now is find the time to print them, address them and mail them. 

We dropped Y off and came back home where we played a while.  Then grandpa came over to see Sadie.  It's so funny how he calls and says, "I thought I'd come by and see Sadie."  Not see "you and Sadie" or even "you guys," - just Sadie!  A little while later Sadie had dinner (guess who likes green beans) and then a bath.  After that, she climbed up in my lap and started sucking her thumb.  It was just after 8pm.  This is VERY early for my night owl.  I quickly fixed her a bottle and she fell asleep in my arms before 8:30pm.  It's 11:10pm right now and she's woken up twice, but went down again pretty easily.  Let's hope this is a new trend. 

Tomorrow is a big day.  Sadie's getting her first haircut!  Grandma (and probably grandpa) will be there.  I'll be sure and post pictures.  Then Sunday we are going down to see my grandma.  I can't wait for Sadie to meet her great-grandma!!! 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

good news for more families

A few more families from my agency received their approvals today.  Two of the families had acknowledgement dates of November 2007.  They had to wait 10 months to pick up their children.  I have no idea how they made it through the wait.  I'm just so happy that these families will finally be united and the children will get to come home. 

Unfortunately, there are still many families, a large number with babies from Tu Du Hospital, waiting for their approvals.  Let's hope that this week's approvals are a sign that things are finally getting worked out.  All of the waiting families deserve the overwhelming happiness that I am feeling now that Sadie is home!  

UPDATE 8/15: I just learned this morning that at least two of the amazing families I met while in Vietnam received their approvals.  I couldn't be happier for them!!!

catching up...Monday, July 14 Hanoi

Sadie woke up, as always, in a great mood.  We played for a bit and then went down to breakfast.  Afterwards, we walked up the street from our hotel to explore a bit.  The people here are very interested in Sadie.  They ask if she is Vietnamese and "How many months is she?"   Everyone smiles when they see her and the hotel staff is constantly fawning over her.  They literally leave the front desk to come over and see her and ask about her.  It's very sweet.  It was different in HCMC.  No one really seemed to notice. There were some little shops that we weren't interested in then we found a supermarket that had Gerber's puffs.  You should have heard me squeal when we walked in.  Sadie has come to love the puffs as much as Cheerios but we are quickly running out.  We bought 3 cans and also bought some different baby foods to expand her palate a bit.  Then we found a restaurant that I thought looked nice.  (My dad later read in the travel book that the food there is "spectacular!")  We peeked in the window and they invited us in to look around.  We planned to meet another couple from my agency with their little boy for dinner tonight so we made a reservation for all of us.  Then, as we turned down the street to go back to the hotel, we found this darling little store and I bought a couple of gifts and Sadie got 2 stuffed animals and a dress.  Spoiled much?!  After that, we went back to the room to cool down a bit.  I really can't explain just how hot it is.  The moment you walk outside you are hit in the face with this humidity that is overwhelming.  I haven't worn any moisturizer or makeup since we arrived because shortly after we go outside, my face is wet.  It is hotter here than it was in HCMC but we aren't going to let it stop us from doing the things we want to do. 


A little later we took a $3 cab ride to the Old Quarter to look around and do some shopping.  The hotel has some amazing artwork and we learned that all of it is for sale.  We went to the gallery that provides the artwork and all of us fell in love with different pieces.  I just adore this picture of a young Vietnamese girl with braids.  It is lacquer on wood and it is called "Waiting for Mum."  It's about $1300 plus several hundred to ship.  I'm not sure I can swing it right now but I would love for it to be my first official piece of art.  My folks fell in love with a painting of a girl in a red Ao Dai holding a red lantern.  The background is all black so she stands out in the painting.  It's really beautiful.  We walked to a bunch of galleries and then bought some little things here and there.  We really wanted to get Sadie a pair of shoes now that she is a walking machine but we couldn't find any in her size.  We bought one cute pair that should fit her soon though. 

After a couple of hours, once we had enough of the heat, we grabbed a cab back to the hotel.  I honestly don't think I have ever sweat that much in my life and I lived in Arizona for 4 years!  I was wearing Sadie in the front carrier and her little back was soaked with sweat.  We came back to the room, once again, to cool down.  My dad was getting antsy so he went to work out in the gym while my mom and I played with Sadie in the room.  I can't tell you how much energy she has.  She's a dynamo.  She will be sitting on the bed, stand up, and just start running.  She'd go right off the side if we weren't there to catch her.  So, we are constantly on watch when she is playing.  She's no better on the floor.   She tries to climb up on the bed and chair. 

222 224

She scares us all to death several times a day with her daredevil antics, but it is so good to see her so active and having fun! 

We had dinner at Vine at 7:30pm.  Unfortunately, the other couple couldn't make dinner that late so we are going to meet them for lunch tomorrow.  The restaurant was so nice.  They had a highchair and toys.


I can't tell you what a difference the highchair made.  I was able to eat with both hands and didn't have to sit an arms length away from the table.  The wait staff doted on Sadie.  She would drop a toy and they would rush over to pick it up.  She was amazing.  Such a good girl for her first time restrained in a highchair.  I decided to try giving her carrots but she was not a fan.  She spit them out immediately.  So, we  stuck to Cheerios and bananas and pears.  Dinner was delicious.  I actually had a glass of wine - splurge for momma!  I had prawns wrapped in bacon served over gnocchi and tiramisu for dessert.  The young girl who was our waitress LOVED Sadie.  At first she said, "She looks Asian."  I told her she is Vietnamese.  Then she asked if I adopted her when she was very little. I told her I adopted her less than a week ago.  She spoke about young women (students and factory workers) who get pregnant and don't have the money to raise a child.  She told me it was so nice of me to adopt her.  I told her I was the lucky one and I was so grateful that the government entrusted her to me.  She was very sweet and every time she would walk by, she would touch Sadie's face or hands.  We'll definitely be going back again before we leave. 

On the two minute walk back to the hotel, Sadie started looking tired.  She has some tells that let me know she is ready to sleep.  She rubs her face, kicks her left leg and sticks her fingers in her nose (very ladylike).  I desperately wanted to get her to the room, change her diaper, get her in her pjs and give her a bottle before she fell asleep.  It was a true test against the clock.  I got her changed and she took 5oz before falling asleep in my arms.  Woo hoo!  About an hour later, she got on her knees to rock in her sleep and hit her head on the crib.  I think it just scared her, but she started to cry.  I picked her up and rocked her but every time I would try to put her back in the crib, she would start to cry again.  This was not a cry I've heard before.  She usually only cries for a minute but this was different.  It broke my heart.  I just laid down on the bed and held her in my arms until 12:45am, when I was finally able to get her down.  It's now 1:30am and she's tossing and turning in the crib.  I guess I should go to bed.  I have a bad feeling we'll be up a couple more times tonight. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

catching up...Sunday, July 13 HCMC to Hanoi

We woke up and I had much packing to do.  I knew I couldn't watch Sadie while I packed so I left her in her crib with some toys and she was fine.  She didn't cry at all.  Around 9am we went to the yummy breakfast buffet one last time.  After breakfast I went back to my room to finish packing while my parents took Sadie to do some last minute shopping for gifts. 

At noon we met my agency rep in the lobby and he escorted us to the airport.  When we got there, another agency rep showed up to help.  These are the nicest men.  I can't tell you how much they helped us during our stay in HCMC.  I brought them UCLA tee shirts as thank you gifts and they were so appreciative. 

me mom and peter 172

We checked in and checked ALL of our luggage with no problem and then went to the business class lounge for a short time until our flight boarded. 


Sadie was amazing on the 1 hour and 45 minute flight.  The only time she cried was when I changed her diaper (still not a fan of that!).  Business class was worth every penny.  There were only a few other people in BC with us.  The leg room was AMAZING.  I could stretch my legs out in front of me and not touch the seat.  Sadie took a bottle as we took off and then we just passed her back and forth.  She ate some banana puffs and some of our lunch.  I hope the flight home goes as well, although I know 16 hours is quite a bit longer than 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

We arrived in Hanoi on time and were met by our agency staff!  Yippee - no stress at the airport!  She rode with us to the hotel and took all of Sadie's paperwork and her passport to take to the embassy the next day.  She told me to expect my embassy appointment Wednesday afternoon and then Sadie's visa should be ready later that day.  She left and we settled in to our rooms.  A short while later we had dinner downstairs then we walked around the hotel a bit.  The grounds are amazing.  We are right on a lake and there are all these amazing houses all around us. 

Hanoi is so different than HCMC.  The ride from the airport was spectacular.  I wish we had thought to video tape it.  We passed tons of rice paddies.  People were working with large animals and then there would be cows or oxen just along the side of the road.  Everything is so green and lush.  It's really beautiful here.

catching up...Saturday, July 12 HCMC

I want to try to get caught up on our time in Vietnam.  I was posting regularly for the first few days until Sadie really came out of her shell and suddenly, I had no free time.  I took notes while I was there but never had time to form full posts.  Sorry if this is boring after the fact, but I want to be sure to remember everything.  So, here goes...

Sadie went to bed the night before around 9pm and she woke up at 9am.  She really likes to sleep.  She is definitely getting into play time.  We spent the morning on the bed, playing with her toys. 

sadie 7.12.08

She smiles all the time and even giggles, which is as cute as can be.  We'll try to get it on video tonight.  At one point while she was playing on the bed, she just stood up and took two steps to me.  I was alone in the room with no camera handy.  It was amazing!!!  My dad was feeling a little under the weather so he decided to stay away for Sadie's benefit.  My mom and I hung out with her most of the morning.  Around 1pm we went to lunch and Sadie fell asleep in the carrier.  In true Sadie fashion, she awoke just as my food was being delivered.  So far we've been able to keep her occupied/distracted with Cheerios or some other snack.  I don't like using food to keep her busy, but at this point, it we're sticking to it. 


Speaking of Cheerios, she is addicted.  When she sees the container she gets excited.  She'll grab it and won't let go.  We're almost out so I asked on one of the Vietnam Adoption listserves if anyone knew where to find Cheerios in Vietnam.  I actually got quite a few responses with some suggestions so lets hope one of them pans out.  Otherwise, the long flight home will be...LONG! 

After lunch my mom and I went....wait for!  We bought some more dresses for Sadie in larger sizes and some gifts for her for when she is older.  I'm buying at least one thing from Vietnam to give her on her birthday until she is 18.  I've already got the younger years covered, but I'm struggling a bit with some of the middle years. 

We leave for Hanoi tomorrow, so I have some major packing to do.  I'm sad about leaving HCMC.  This city has given me the greatest gift ever!  I can't wait to tell Sadie all about it.  I wish we had done more sightseeing, but I know we'll be back one day and I'll get to see it all with Sadie by my side.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BIG mail day!!!

Today, Sadie received one of the most important pieces of mail she will ever receive.  Her Certificate of Citizenship arrived!  The envelope included the official certificate, with her adorable Visa picture, and a letter from the President of the United States, congratulating her on becoming a United States citizen.  Yippee!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

favorite pics from yesterday and today


I thought the new US Weekly would never get here!


Auntie Y - I'm almost ready to play Rock Band!


Finally a chair I don't have to climb onto!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

what's sadie up to?

Just wanted to share some of the many adorable things Sadie is doing these days.

She loves music and will start dancing when she hears it.  She'll even dance in a store if there is music playing.  I especially love watching her dance to the theme song to Gilmore Girls (one of momma's favorite shows!).

She loves to play peek-a-boo.  She'll do it with anything: burp cloth, blanket, toy, piece of clear plastic, sheer curtain, etc.  It's too cute!


She likes to play keep away.  She'll hold something out for you to take and then pulls it quickly to her chest.  She thinks it's hysterical.  The funniest part is that she slams it to her chest (like Celine Dion). 

She's learning patty-cake.  When I sing, she claps with the biggest smile on her face.  She especially likes when I use her feet to clap.

She just discovered how to make raspberries today and as a result was pretty much drooling and spitting all day.  (This one may be more gross than adorable.)

She cracks up when I curl my tongue.  Here she is giving it her best shot.


Her two favorite toys (that she can't have) are the phone and the Tivo remote.  She loves talking to my mom on the phone.  She'll listen with a huge smile and say hi.  When I let her have the phone for a brief moment, she's dialing some 20 digit number within seconds.  Today, when she got the Tivo remote before I could get to it she proceeded to hit numbers to take her to the Disney Channel then changed it to the Cartoon Network.  I swear to you....I'm not lying!  She's gifted!

She's quite the climber.  I already told you she climbed out of the play yard.  She can easily climb on to the couch, dining room chairs, my ottoman and now the toilet.  This is how I found her yesterday when I realized it was very quiet in the babyproofed bathroom.


She LOVES Bailey's cat toys.  I find them among her toys all the time.  A few days ago, she ate lunch with one of them in one hand while she fed herself with the other.  Poor Bailey...


We went to the park with my friend Y last week and while she was more interested in watching all the other kids playing around her, she loved being in the swing.  These are my two favorite pics!


swing  smiling lighter

Friday, August 8, 2008

One month!


One month ago today, Sadie was put in my arms.  We've officially been a family for one month.  I can't believe how fast the time has passed.  I can still remember the moment I first saw her like it was yesterday.  They just handed her to me and finally we were together.  I was pretty terrified I was doing everything wrong that first day (and a few days after that) but I'm finally feeling really good about my abilities as a parent.  I'm sure I'll feel even better once we work out the kinks with the sleeping issue. 

Sadie has grown and changed so much since that first day.  Honestly, I think she was in shock for the first 2 days, but after that, she truly started coming out of her shell.  Now she is a beautiful, sweet, smart, musical, strong, silly, adventurous, curious girl.  I can't believe how lucky I am to be her mom. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

holy poop!

Since this blog is a place to record memorable moments, I can't let the night end without posting about tonight's incident.  Sadie had dinner then we played for a little while and watched some of the So You Think You Can Dance finale.  Finally, it was bath time.  She loves bath time.  I started filling the tub and she chose the toys she wanted in with her.  She loves to have water poured over her head and she splashes like crazy.  She thinks it is so funny when I get wet.  She's all smiles and giggles.  I LOVE it! 

We were done washing and she was just playing when I heard her tummy rumbling.  Uh oh, I thought to myself.  I asked if she was ready to come out and she shook her head no.  OK, I thought...just a little while longer.  Then I saw the bubbles.  Holy *#?!.  I picked her up and what did I find?  Four little poops in the tub.  Ugh.  She was fine with me taking her out.  I diapered her quickly (thinking she probably wasn't finished)  and put her in her pjs.  Then I panicked.  How do I clean the tub and her TOYS?  She puts everything in her mouth.  How do you disinfect them?  So what did I do?  I called my mom and then my friend E.  They both had similar advice but I couldn't really do anything until she went to bed.  So, we came downstairs for a bottle and she fell asleep in my arms by 10pm (this is early for my night owl!).  I moved her to her crib and  I removed the poop, put the toys in a bucket and wiped the tub with Clorox wipes.  I was prepared to start the super cleaning, but then she woke up.  I got her back down a little while later but now I'm afraid to go into the bathroom since it's right next to her room.  So, I guess I get to look forward to completing this project in the morning.  Not sure how I'll do it with a very active toddler in tow, but it has to be done.  Welcome to motherhood!

Friday, August 1, 2008

sadie's first word!

Last night was another bad night.  I'm having a really tough time getting her on a schedule.  We had two good days so I was hopeful, but no such luck.  Sadie went down at 9pm then woke up at 10pm and was up until 1am.  Mommy is very, very tired!  There was a highlight though in last night's activities.  I was holding Sadie and swaying, trying desperately to get her to go to sleep and she lifted her head, looked right at me and said, "Hi."  She said it in this high pitched freakin adorable!  I smiled and said it back and then she just kept saying it.  I was so excited but wanted her to go to sleep so I was trying not to make too big of a deal. 

She definitely knows what it means.  She said it again many times today, including when she saw Bailey come downstairs.  I tried to get it on video but I swear she would say it 10 times and then as soon as I'd turn on the camera, she was silent.  I'll try again tomorrow.