Thursday, November 27, 2008

giving thanks

I have so much to be thankful for this year.  First and foremost, I am so thankful for Sadie.  She is more amazing than I could have ever imagined and being her mom is the best thing I will ever do.

I am thankful for my family.  Without my family, namely my mom and dad, I never could have adopted Sadie.  Being a single parent is not easy, but I knew that with their help and support, I could do it.  They couldn't love her more than they do and they help me more than I can say.  I can never thank them enough.

I am thankful for the beautiful country of Vietnam.  I am thankful that they honored me with this amazing child.  The people there were so kind to us.  I can't wait until Sadie is old enough to go back.  I want her to know where she came from and hope she will always feel connected to her country even though she lives so far away.

I am thankful for my amazing friends, both real and "virtual."  My friends have always been a source of support and guidance for me, but never more than during the adoption process.  In addition to my real friends, I am thankful for my "virtual" friends who I met online.  There were so many people that helped me during the horrible wait to travel.  None more than K.  I wish she didn't live so darn far away.  Will we ever get to see you and the mini muffin again?

I am thankful for my job.  Yes, some days are not great.  But there is so much that I love about my job.  Mostly, the amazing people I get to work with.

I am thankful for my kitty, Bailey.  Poor Bailey never saw this coming.  I have really rocked her world.  She pretty much lives in my bedroom now and comes down occasionally when Sadie is awake, but mostly when it is very quiet downstairs after she's fallen asleep.  Bailey is 13 1/2 years old so I'm not sure she'll ever adapt to Sadie since it was just the two of us for so long.  I hate that she is stressed out and not as active, but I still have hope that one day she and Sadie will be the best of friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

daycare thanksgiving

Sadie's teachers made a Thanksgiving lunch for all of the kids today.  On Monday, when one of the teachers mentioned it to me she told me I should feel free to come over to take pictures.  Frankly, I'm free to go there anytime.  They have an open door policy which is great!  And since the daycare is at the hospital, it's pretty easy to sneak away to see the munchkin.  So, around 11:15am, I headed over with my camera and some treats for her teachers.  When I walked into the classroom, this is what I found.


How sweet is that?  They really went all out to make it nice for the kids.  The kids were playing in the gym when I arrived since it was cold and wet outside so I went to hang with Sadie and the others while the teacher finished heating up lunch.  Let me tell you, Sadie is a daredevil.  She climbed up this pad and slid down it on her tummy, her back and ran down it.  She would almost always lose control at the bottom and fall down but the whole room was padded so it was totally safe.  She had a blast. 

sadie up close


When it was time to eat, they served roasted chicken, macaroni and cheese and yams.  Sadie used to love pasta, but all of a sudden she shakes her head no when she sees it on her plate.  I finally got her to taste a spoonful, but after that, she'd have nothing to do with it.  How can my child not like pasta?  Who doesn't like macaroni and cheese?  Anyway, she ate a little chicken and every bit of yams on her plate.  Her teachers were so sweet to me.  Turns out I was the only parent that came so I sat with Sadie and they fixed me a plate.  Everything was yummy! 


After lunch, it was nap time so I got out of there as fast as I could since Sadie will not go down if I am there.  I guess when they woke up they served the pumpkin pie.  I asked if Sadie liked it and they said she scarfed it.  In fact, she tried to take another kid's pie.  That's my girl! 

Tonight I made the cranberry sauce while Sadie was eating dinner and the pumpkin pie after she went to sleep.  I'll make brownies in the morning and then we'll head to grandma and grandpas.  I'm going to try to get some nice family pics, maybe even one for a holiday card.  We'll see!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

sadie is 18 months old!

How did this happen?  How did she get to be a year and a half so quickly?  She's my baby!  She's still my smart, amazing child but she is definitely starting to test limits.  She's started whining when she wants something - not fun!  She will also look at me as she is about to do something she KNOWS she is not supposed to do, shake her head no, then do it anyway.  I know this is totally normal and developmentally appropriate, but I swear I must have said no to her about 100 times last night.  It can start to wear you down after a while.

But let's focus on the positive.  She still only says a few words: hi, mama and yeah, but she can now tell you what sound a cow, frog and duck make.  She can sign more, all done, milk, drink, mama, dog, diaper, please and thank you, but she rarely does them on her own.  If I ask her to show me, though, she will.  She gives kisses, both blown and on the face, when asked and spontaneously.  She blows her teachers a kiss when we leave every day!  She has totally mastered eating with a fork and is getting so much better with a spoon.  She still spills down the front of her, but not nearly as much and so much more food is actually making it into her mouth.  She is completely attached to a silky blanket that I bought for her at the swap meet last year.  She always has it with her, except when she is at school.  She sleeps with it, holds it during breakfast, carries it to school, drags it on the ground, drools on it, wipes her face and nose on it, etc.  The thing is so dirty after a few days I had to do something.  So, I found the vendor online and ordered 3 more.  The new ones are slightly different, but thank goodness she hasn't noticed!

The most amazing thing about her has got to be her comprehension.  I swear she understands pretty much everything I say to her.  The other night we were sitting on the couch and I asked her if she could go and turn the kitchen light off and she did just that.  I didn't have to point to the kitchen or anything.  AMAZING! 

I have no idea how much she weighs now, but she is definitely putting on weight.  I feel it when I pick her up!  She has 4 molars.  She still has a very good appetite and will try anything and likes most things.  Some current favorites: mandarin oranges, green beans, tomatoes, bananas, hot dogs, chicken and apple sausage, waffles, potstickers, Pinkberry, cherries, cheese and Gerber's fruit snacks (they're like gummy bears for kids!). 

Sleep is still a bit of a struggle, but it's getting better.  I promise to post about this soon.  I'm hoping for some feedback and suggestions!

Tonight we were making a little project for her teachers for Thanksgiving and she totally got into it.  I had her color some little notes for them and she had a blast.  She has used crayons just a couple of times at restaurants, but she's usually distracted by food, people and music.  Tonight, she just colored and loved pushing the crayons all over the tray.  Here are some cute pics from tonight. 




Tomorrow her teachers are making a Thanksgiving dinner for the kids for lunch.  They won't let anyone bring anything...they want to do it for the kids.  I think Sadie is going to love it!  I'm going to go over and take pictures so stay tuned. 

And before I go, here are a couple of cute pics from this weekend.  I LOVE this girl!!!





Monday, November 24, 2008

my first tag!

How fun!  I've been reading blogs for a little less than 2 years now and I finally got tagged.  Thanks K!  I'm supposed to post the 4th picture in my 4th file.  So, here goes...

moms pics 004

So, my fourth photo file was actually pics from my mom's camera.  This is me in April 2007 after our big volunteer event at work.  I have to plan and host the entire event for over 280 volunteers, staff and our Administration, so when the event is over, I'm wiped out.  That's me finally sitting down with Pogo, one of our therapy dogs.  He is such a sweet dog! 

It's kind of funny that this would be the pic that would come up since we just had this year's event on Wednesday.  As much as I enjoy getting to celebrate and acknowledge our amazing volunteers, it is always such a relief when the event is over.  Here I am this year!

me and sadie 

I'm supposed to tag 4 people now but the problem is I don't really know who is reading my blog.  I think there are two people who check in every now and again so I'll try tagging Mer (Lulu's mommy) and Sharon.  : )

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

que sera, sera

I stole this from Secret Agent Josephine.  I have always loved Doris Day.  I have to say I agree with some of this.  Especially the part about being a parent and not being able to say no.  I don't think I'm nearly as needy or insecure as it indicates, though.  Oh well, it's all in good fun and since I don't have any new videos or pics of Sadie from today...this is today's post!

You Are a Doris!


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."

Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me

* Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.

* Share fun times with me.

* Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.

* Let me know that I am important and special to you.

* Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships

* Reassure me that I am interesting to you.

* Reassure me often that you love me.

* Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris

* Being able to relate easily to people and to make friends

* Knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better

* Being generous, caring, and warm

* Being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings

* Being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris

* Not being able to say no

* Having low self-esteem

* Feeling drained from overdoing for others

* Not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish

* Criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should

* Being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them

* Working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often

* Are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism

* Try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding

* Are outwardly compliant

* Are popular or try to be popular with other children

* Act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention

* Are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents

* Are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)

* Are often playful with their children

* Wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?" * can become fiercely protective

Find out who you are at


Monday, November 17, 2008





diversity parade

On Friday, my work had a diversity parade as part of mission week.  All of the children from Sadie's daycare participated.  Parents were invited to come and we were asked to send our child with a piece of ethnic clothing.  While in Vietnam,  I didn't buy any dresses or ao dai's in Sadie's current size but I did buy a small conical hat to hang up in her room.  Side note: I always thought the conical hats were a stereotype but EVERYONE wore them in Vietnam.  That's why I wanted Sadie to have one.

Anyway, I dressed Sadie in her regular clothes and put the hat on her.  She was such a trooper.  She actually liked wearing it.  I put a ribbon around her neck so the hat wouldn't fall off and get stepped on.  Could you makes it safely home all the way from Vietnam in my carryon but gets trampled at work.  Sadie looked adorable and my CEO and COO and most of the Sisters finally got to meet her. 

sadie and i in hat

Here we are before the parade. 


This picture makes me giggle.  Sadie held my hand most of the time because there were a lot of people there.  At one point, however, she walked a little ahead of me and this was my view.  Why was her hand on her tush? 

It was a really fun event.  Some of the children were so decked out.  I didn't take many pictures because I didn't think it was appropriate to take pics of other people's kids, but I had to snap these two.  I've edited them so the girls' faces are unrecognizable.  The first dress is from Korea and the Kimonos were so cute.  The girls walked together holding hands.

korean dress


It is so wonderful that Sadie has all of these little Asian girls to look up to at daycare.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

cookie face

Sadie has always been a very good eater.  Lately, however, she's been leaving more and more on her plate.  Well tonight she ate every last bite on her plate.  Every green bean, every bit of squash and every piece of turkey sausage.  So, after she had some mandarin oranges for dessert I treated her with a mini Oreo (OK, I gave her two!).  She definitely enjoyed them!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

she's got the music in her

About a month ago, Sadie and I went to lunch at Red Robin.  I have to say they played the best music!  Sadie thought so too because she couldn't stop dancing in her seat.  Here she is with her grilled cheese in one hand and a french fry in the other.  How cute is she?

making sadie's lunch more fun

I'm sending Sadie's lunch in little bento boxes and they're just too cute.  She probably doesn't even notice.  In fact, I think her teachers take the food out of the bento box and put it all on a plate.  But who cares?  Eventually, she'll pay attention to how her lunch looks and I think she'll love it!  Today I sent a hot dog and I knew she would like it more if she could dip it in ketchup.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a container small enough for ketchup.  So, I just placed an order for some items to make Sadie's lunch more fun.


Hello Kitty muffin pan - Seriously!  How cute is this?

egg molds

Bear and Bunny egg molds

They turn a regular hard boiled egg into a fun shaped treat!



Fun shaped mayo or condiment holders.  The monkey ones have a little spoon to scoop out the condiment. 

I can't wait for everything to arrive.  I bought them from this fun site.  They have the coolest Bentos and accessories.

Monday, November 10, 2008

can i just brag for a minute?

Sadie is a really bright little girl.  Although she still only says a few words (hi, yeah, ow, momma) she understands A LOT and she babbles all the time!  She can tell you what sound a cow and a frog make and we're working on a duck.  She can point to her eyes, nose and belly button.  I can recite a book and she will go to her huge book bin and find that exact book.  She has figured out how to turn on every one of her electronic toys, as well as all of the tvs in the house. 

This weekend she actually freaked me out with how smart she is.  We looked at a large "My First Signs" book in her room yesterday.  We brought it downstairs and I showed her the signs for more, momma and milk.  Within a few minutes, she was signing and say momma.  It was adorable.  Then, tonight at dinner I asked her if she wanted more and she signed more.  Seriously, I showed her this once!  After dinner we looked at the signing book again and I showed her how to sign "Thank you."  She pulled her thumb out of her mouth to make the sign and smiled.  We'll see if this one sticks. 

happy referral day!

Exactly one year ago today, I received Sadie's referral. 

Thi 1


It makes me a little sad to see how small and young (she was only 5 1/2 months old) she was in these pictures.  I'm still angry that it took nearly 8 months to get approval to bring her home.  So much time wasted! 

I carried these pictures with me everywhere I went.  I loved how her hair stuck straight up and her little dress was adorable.  When we went back to visit the orphanage to take pictures of other waiting babies, one of the babies waiting to go home to a family from my agency was wearing that dress.  I took her picture and it made me smile.  Though the nanny didn't look like the warmest person in the referral photo, I can tell you that she was there when they handed Sadie to me, and she cried the entire time.  She obviously felt great affection for Sadie.  

I tried to get a picture of Sadie holding her referral photo tonight, but she was not in a cooperative mood.  She does not yet smile on command.  If I'm holding her, I can always get her to smile, but she usually is reaching for the camera when I'm trying to photograph just her.  These are the best I could do...




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

you're never too young to make a statement



I'm sure tons of kids wore this shirt today but she looked so cute, I had to share.

Monday, November 3, 2008

weekend outing

On Saturday, Sadie and I went to the Fall Festival at a local elementary school.  The poster said they were going to have a petting zoo, games, food, face painting, etc. so I thought it might be fun.  The weather has been pretty odd the last few days and there was a good chance it could rain, but I decided it would do us good to get out. we went. 

When we pulled into the parking lot, I immediately saw the petting zoo.  The first thing I noticed?  A zebra. 


How cool is that?  Well, let's just say I was more impressed with the entire event than Sadie was.  But we still had fun.  We went to check out the animals and in addition to the zebra, they had a piglet, chickens, ducks, tortoises, sheep, a goat, a swan, a cockatiel, a darling puppy and rabbits.




I decided to just let Sadie look from her stroller for a few minutes to see how she reacted.  She didn't have much of a reaction.  We went around to look at the zebra and she just sat there.  The zebra was eating grass and I took a couple of pictures when, before I knew it, the zebra had it's face in the cup holder of Sadie's stroller.  I so wish I had gotten a picture.  She wasn't really fazed, but it was hysterical.  I got this picture right after.


I decided that maybe she couldn't really see the animals through the fence so I went to buy some tickets so we could go in.

I ended up buying way more tickets than we needed but it went to support the school so it wasn't a big deal.  On the way back to the petting zoo, I stopped at the bake sale booth and bought Sadie a sugar cookie. 


This may have well been her favorite part of the day.  She finished her piece of cookie and we went in to see the animals.  She had absolutely no interest in petting any of the animals.  This surprised me because she is dying to get her hands on Bailey. 




She really wanted to play in the animals' water dish and get up in the chair that was in the animal pen.  The large tortoise was quite interested in Sadie.  It walked right up to her and sniffed her leg, but she didn't do anything. 



When it sank in that she just wasn't into it, we left and headed out to explore what else was available. 

The games and rides were for kids a little older than Sadie so we just walked around a people watched.  They had a Rock Band booth so we watched the kids playing for a little while and then ran in to one of my former volunteers.  I started to get hungry so I bought a lemonade and slice of pizza.  Sadie had her first pepperoni pizza and she loved it. 


And every time I would bring the cup of lemonade to my mouth, she would open hers and stare at me.  Needless to say, I had to share. 


As soon as we were done eating, it started to rain so we headed for an awning to wait it out.  It didn't take too long, but she fell asleep in the stroller.  I ended up using the rest of the tickets to enter a couple of raffles (for an Eric Carle book and a Wii) that I didn't win, bought some bottles of water and soda, an inflatable giraffe ball and some more goodies from the bake sale.  Even though the event was meant for slightly older kids, I had a good time being out with my munchkin. 

When we got home, Sadie decided that despite a house full of toys, the best thing to play with would be the box that my new bed rail came in.






Is she not the cutest?!