Well, now that's the end of that.
Another door closed.
Well, now that's the end of that.
Another door closed.
A list of things going on around here, because it is January and my fingers are too cold to type much:
LT is still napping. Must go use some more bleach before she wakes up....
Some times when I get tired (i.e. when MT deserts me for days and days on end), I find myself getting impatient with LT. Sure, all mothers do this sometimes, right? We all have our bad days.
Today I am really tired, and wanted LT to take a nap. She is tired and a touch cranky, and I have a sitter coming tonight. I want her to be well rested and happy - meaning easy for the sitter. Anyway, she was screwing around in her room, and not napping. I called in to her a couple of times to get back into bed and go to sleep.
The third time I heard a loud noise and went to check on her. I was in motion to be short with her, maybe even raise my voice and tell her to get into bed and go to sleep NOW. I was a little tornado rushing in to her room.
When I got into her room, she stopped me cold. I had to pause and smile at my sweet, sweet girl. She had lined up her favorite doll and stuffed animals on a pillow in her bed. She had covered them with a blanket, and was patting them. It was pretty darn cute.
The cuteness of it all slowed me down enough to make me change my tone. I asked her to please get in bed and sleep with her friends. And now she is fast asleep in bed just like the rest of her animals.
LT received one of these from her aunt for Christmas. It is one of her favorite gifts. She has asked me to pose and say "cheese!" nearly every day since Christmas. It has been a hoot to see the pics she takes with the camera. She ends up with a lot of pictures of her own feet. Good thing she has some cute piggies.
Anyway, we had a playdate today with "the two little girls," and their mama. LT was most interested in playing with ChicagoMama, and I think has a little crush on her. At lunchtime she told C-Mama that she is "so cute."
LT and Zelda had a ball taking and posing for pictures with the pink camera. They thoughtfully documented today's playdate for the Internet to enjoy. So, enjoy!
*PS- thanks to Mortimer's Mom for pointing out my error!
This year is our 10th wedding anniversary. My biggest wish is to take a family vacation. LT is a fantastic traveler. She is flexible, likes to eat out, has a long attention span, and is content to do just about anything as long as she is with Mama and Daddy. She'll be three by the time we travel.
The drawback of my vacation dreams is that we only have one week to travel. That's it- one week. For a variety of reasons (too boring to discuss), this is non-negotiable.
So, our travel dreams do not jive with our travel reality. So we're stuck. We can't seem to agree on anything or plan anything. And late May is not too far off. I want to plan a trip!
Our top picks:
1. Beijing or Shanghai
Reality: One week is just not enough time to travel to Asia, recover from jet lag and actually enjoy ourselves.
So after these picks, we can't seem to agree on anything. Europe seems too expensive since the dollar is so weak. All I can conjure up about Mexico is tequila and Tiajuana. I don't know where to go in the Carribean. Canada seems to cold. Staying in the US seems, well, kind of ho-hum for a big anniversary celebration.
What to do? Where to go? Anyone have ideas? Resources? A great book or web site? A great trip that won't absoultely break the bank? Because we don't want to spend a billion dollars on this trip, but I'm also not so down with extreme "budget" travel.
This potty thing has me tired. Really tired. It's not going very well at all, which leads me to believe that LT is not ready. On top of the potty thing I am desperately trying to gain control of my house and laundry. I fear I am losing this battle.
When LT woke up yesterday morning, she was beyond thrilled to put on her fabulous Dora panties. I dressed her in fleece on top, fleece socks, and just panties (and turned up the heat!). We sat on the potty every 10-15 minutes. I read books, we sang songs, we played games. She peed in her panties moments after we would get off the potty and resume some activity. And inevitably she would pee if I looked away for 1.2 seconds. The kid is a stealth pee-er.
Moments before accident #4, she looked at me, started to cry, and wailed, "peeeee potttyyyyy." And the pee rushed forth all over her new booster seat and kitchen floor. On the bright side, the floor is hardwood which makes cleanup a breeze. But really it was just so sad as it was apparent that LT was getting increasingly anxious and upset by this potty business.
After dinner I was determined to end the day on a positive note. We pumped her full of fluids, and MT joined us in the bathroom for eight rousing rounds of "Wheels on the Bus" and 16 rounds of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" in Mandarin. Six books later, LT was having a blast, but still no pee. Finally she jumped up and got a funny look on her face. I sat her back down. She did it again.
It was at this point that I realized that LT wants to pee and poop standing upright. And is afraid, nervous- some sort of emotion, I don't know- about using the potty.
LT finally ended up peeing on the potty and we cheered! And she cried. We called both grandmas and told them. She was nonplussed. She practically hugged her diaper at bedtime. I have never seen a kid so excited to put on a diaper.
I'm thinking that perhaps we're not as ready as I thought. At this point I can push it, or back off. I'm giving it one more day, but I think it might be wise to back off for a while. I can't help but feel like I'm the one who failed here. I don't want to push her or create some defecation power struggle. And I don't want her to feel like she did something wrong.
I spoke to a few experienced parents yesterday about the PT issue. They all had varying advice and experiences, which led me to the conclusion that PT is as individual as each child. My child is shy and fearful of change...this might take a little while for her.
A few weeks ago I spent an evening with a family who also have a daughter adopted from China. We were chatting about this and that, and I mentioned that I had a baptism to attend the next day. The mom then proceeded to reminisce about her daughter's baptism, and shared that she had her (Chinese) daughter's baptismal dress made to look like a kimono. I thought she had misspoke, so I asked, "did you say kimono?" And yes, she meant to say kimono.
This is a well-educated family who own a small business. They are kind, loving, and very welcoming of their hearts and home. But when it comes to awareness of their daughter's race or interest in her culture - they clearly are on a different page than me. They take their kids to Epcot every year and visit "China," and bring home traditional Chinese "kimonos" for all the kids to wear. And I suppose that is all OK (who am I to judge?), but I wonder what their daughter is going to think of her baptismal kimono when she is older?
This conversation really got me thinking about pre-adoption education. This family adopted their daughter from China using the same adoption agency that we used. We went through the same (or at least similar) pre-adoption training. I assume we were given the same information, as we attended some of the same classes at our agency. Initially I came away with a high level understanding of what it might mean to be a transracial family. It was just a start, but the pre-adoption education at the very least clued me in about issues of race, racism and development of racial identity. The classes also motivated me to learn more - from sources other than my agency. I'll be the first to admit that the training was NOT exhaustive of all the issue that should be covered, but it at least got me headed in the right direction.
How is it that we sat in the same room, yet heard the information so differently? And whose responsibility is it to make sure that adoptive parents are really 'getting it?' And what would an agency do anyway - turn away PAPs who want to adopt a "China doll?" I can't help but think that there should be a formal exam for pre-adoptive parents that covers the issues that really matter, not just what to pack and what the food will be like in China. How is it that most pre-adoptive parents adopting from China all seem to know about p*ackmates, the Wh*ite S*wan, and the right meds to take along, but PAPs are not asked to articulate their plan to help their child navigate life as a Chinese kid with white family?
This issue has been top of mind as we plod along with our adoption from Vietnam. The agency we were first involved with had few education requirements, if any. It was yet another clue that something was amiss.
The agency we ended up using for the adoption has extensive pre-adoption education requirements. And I have to admit to groaning a little bit when I received a powerpoint presentation and DVD in the mail last week. Along with this presentation was a lengthy list of books and classes that are required prior to referral. I even have to do a couple of book reports.
I tried to stop rolling my eyes and acting like a know-it-all-been-there-done-that-adoptive-parent as I sat down to read the presentation. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. Sure there was the requisite information about traveling and orphanage conditions etc., but there was also an entire section on becoming a transracial family. And much to my surprise, the message of the presentation was right on. The agency talked about racial identity of transracial adoptees, and how racial identity is formed through meaningful relationships - not books, or dolls, or movies. Among other things, they encouraged families to evaluate their lifestyle, make friends of color, and seek out positive role models.
So there it is in black type for all PAPs at our agency to read. Now whose responsibility is it to make sure we all take this seriously?
Call me a sap, but I love the stereotypical new year's traditions. I love the idea of a fresh start, new beginnings, a second chance. The new year always feels hopeful to me. I can put aside the insanity of the prior year - the ups, the downs - and start over. Every 365 days I have the opportunity to really try to be the person I imagine I'd like to be.
Along with the new year, comes resolutions. I've never been a big believer in setting resolutions and announcing them to the world. But secretly I set a few anyway and use them to guide my own actions.
LT has been introduced to the idea of the new year...with a new potty! And a new Elmo potty DVD! And special feel n' learn D*ora pull-ups! Exciting times around here. Yesterday she brought me a changing pad, diaper and wipes and asked me to change her diaper after she pooped. Me thinks it's time to start potty training.
I'm off to wipe away all traces of Christmas cheer from our home and dig out from the toy overload. Happy New Year!
Some days I wish we had family living close by. I never imagined that I'd get to a place in my life where it would be so important to me. And by that I mean, I never gave it a thought. But now that we have LT, it sure would be nice to just drop her off at my mom's house when we had something to do.
We essentially have two sitters. Our #1 sitter is a grad student, very mature, and LT really likes her. She was referred by a close friend, so the only drawback is that when we have social events that involve these friends, we have to defer to the friends to call her first. Sitter #1 has been very available.
Sitter #2 is a college student. She is very sweet, religious, and LT likes her as well. She goes home for holidays and summers though. And when do we often need a sitter? Holidays and summers.
So we have plans Saturday night. And no sitter. Seems that Sitter #1 has taken on a seasonal job, and Sitter #2 will be out celebrating her birthday. We also have an afternoon event coming up on the 15th, and no sitter. It's an adoption related event that I'd really like to attend. Alas.
Other than these sitters, we have no on on the bench. We have close friends who will watch LT in a pinch, but I like to save these favors for real emergencies. You know, like ER type emergencies.
I suppose this is no one's fault but my own, but I'm a little down about this. It's frustrating. It's so hard to find a good sitter and break her in. And then when they aren't available - it's really disappointing. How do you all find good babysitters? Who do you ask for help in a pinch?
Oh well, we'll just have to do something fabulous and kid-friendly on Saturday. Any ideas?
Tonight was MT's company holiday party. It was a lame affair at an Italian restaurant that serves up super-size portions. Ugh, I ate too much. In the past the party has been a lovely sit down affair at the Prez's house. I think they were trying to cut back this year (and the office size has tripled since last year). It was all worth it though when I won a box of chocolates in the movie scramble contest.
Anyway, I got myself all whipped into a frenzy earlier today, convinced that I had nothing to wear. I was in AT Loft at 2:45 pm (it's closer to home than the mall), trying on everything in sight, and the sitter was arriving at 4pm. In the end I did end up buying a cute new top that looked nice with dressy jeans and boots. And I have to admit, that with my cute new 'do I was feeling kind of sassy.
But alas, now I'm home in my pajamas at 9:00. I had to relieve the babysitter as she had to get to a school meeting by 9:45. PM. I can't imagine scheduling something at 9:45 PM. Isn't that close to bedtime??