Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas day we are enjoying some of the most lovely sounds of the season we have ever heard. In addition to the songs of Christmas that we love so much, we hear coos, gurgles, babbles and sounds we cannot quite describe and they are all lovely, especially when they come along with the smiles of our little Island Boy.

We hope that your Christmas is full of love and happiness! Merry, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Infamous Items

Here they are...the pictures some of you have been waiting for! These are the infamous items
one receives (probably) when one adopts a child from Taiwan: the formula (milk-based), the "surfboard" crackers and the magical pacifier that cannot be found (apparently) in the states.

Note: Missing from this still life photo is a water bottle, which I believe was in use during this photo shoot. :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Holiday Season

Island Boy and Mommy were out until well past midnight last night. What do you imagine we were doing?

Finishing up our Christmas shopping?

Celebrating at a holiday party?
If only!

No, for us the holiday season this year meant that Daddy got called out of the country on business and Mommy got to take Island Boy to the emergency room. That's right! Just to make sure we weren't bored while Daddy was gone, our little guy had to stir things up a bit. He managed to get a little infection in his tiny little fingernail and, just before bedtime, we noticed an alarming red stripe running up his little finger. We high-tailed it to the emergency room where we cooled our heels for three hours. Apparently the guy with chest pains got priority over a baby that was hours past his bedtime. Go figure!

We are quite pleased to have found a practical application for the "show me your tongue" thing. The emergency room staff was duly impressed to see Island Boy taking his medicine so well and I have to say Mommy was too.

We're doing fine now (other than being dreadfully tired). However, at this point there are no guarantees that we will be completing all or really any of our pre-holiday or year end tasks despite our best intentions. We can't wait until Daddy comes home!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Star Gazing

Last weekend, some very good friends gave hubby a fantastic birthday gift - they made late dinner reservations and brought their teenage daughter over to watch Island Boy sleep on the video monitor while we all went out and had the time of our lives. It was one month to the day since we returned to the US and the first time we had been away from baby. Our little dear one slept right through and didn't even know we were gone.

The evening was delightful with good food, good friends and spectacular people watching. I'm not one to name drop (much! ;-), but Morgan Freeman was there for goodness sake! Morgan Freeman!! (Incidentally, in case you were wondering, in person he looks exactly like he does on the big screen although he is surprisingly tall.)

p.s. This is Island Boy at the driving range. Isn't he just so LA?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Party Tricks

It is now clear to us that Island Boy knows what we want.

He will often (although not always) pause and look at us for approval before proceeding towards a prohibited area or object. He sometimes even accommodates us and responds to our requests to "clap your hands!" or "wave bye-bye!".

The one "party trick" that never fails is a request to "stick out your tongue". He even understands and indulges us with such variants as "show me your tongue" and "where's your tongue?".

We're so proud!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Days Last Forever

Sometimes it seems as though the days (or even the minutes) last forever.

Although Island Boy's vocabulary at this point is limited at best, he somehow manages to convey a multitude of demands throughout the day.

For example, we manage to understand that we are expected to read, nay sing, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (E-I-E-I-O!) a minimum of 42 times. In a row.

We are expected to walk endless laps around the house guiding our little one towards his first solo attempts.

We are expected to read minds, one in particular.

We are expected to constantly entertain without fussing too much - or too little.

We are expected to assist, but not too much, in conveying a reasonable amount of food, one tiny spoonful at a time, into one tiny little mouth three times a day. We are expected further to understand what type of food Island Boy is in the mood for and how much he would like and this includes determining how much food should be allocated for self-feeding vs. assisted feeding.

And, although we aren't expected to, we do understand that the tears won't last forever, even though it sometimes seems like they might.

Will all of these requirements filling our days, we're always mindful of what our friends with toddlers recently told us:

The days last forever...
but the years fly by.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


We did something on Saturday that people in LA just don't do: we rode the subway! Odder still, we did it as part of an art tour. Who knew??

The line is surprising in so many ways. First of all, it's very clean! It's also quite convenient, as the public transportation systems are in many parts of the world. And, shockingly enough, the line is on the honor system, so although there are ticket machines and you are expected to use them, there are no turnstiles and no one really checks. We've heard that an impressive 95% of riders actually pay for their tickets. That makes me feel good about people and their character.

Finally, the artwork. The line is full of it. Each station was designed by a different artist and to reflect the individual characteristics of the surrounding stop. Hollywood and Vine was our favorite with 19,000 film canisters lining the ceiling, among other things.

And why we were there? We were celebrating a friend's birthday. Island Boy had a ball. He was fascinated by the entire thing and even had a "chat" with another baby on the tour. He did great until we reached Union Station (Union Station, by the way, is grand and beautiful!) and the end of the line, appropriately enough.

So why doesn't anyone in LA ride the subway? That's just how we are.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rain in Los Angeles?


...and delightful!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Does this look like trouble to you?

Yes, it did to me, too! Especially when you realize that our little darling was playing with this empty crate in the middle of the room while Mommy mistakenly thought that she had found the perfect diversion for him. Instead, she watched as he flipped the crate over, pushed it over to the oven and proceeded to climb aboard. Yikes!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Island Boy is full of surprises. Shortly after we brought him home, we purchased a toothbrush for him and braced ourselves for a challenging experience.

We got ourselves ready. Mommy held him and Daddy brought the brush up to his mouth and then... Island Boy reached out, grabbed the brush, opened his mouth and began to brush!! We were amazed that our little nine month old was voluntarily brushing his own teeth! This was even more amazing to us given that the little guy has only TWO.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated hubby's birthday over the weekend. Island Boy isn't quite ready to grasp the concept of sharing the spotlight, but Daddy was perfectly ok with that, especially because Island Boy set a record for carrying something without putting it in his mouth - Daddy's birthday card!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ambassadors for Enlightenment

One of the "pleasures" you sign up for when you choose to adopt is the inevitable torrent of "interesting" comments by both friends and strangers regarding your child. Whether you want to sign up for it or not (and I can assure you most of us don't), it is inevitable.

I'm sure that most of the people making the comments have no idea that they are being hurtful, offensive or simply way off base. In most cases they simply don't know any better. So, while I don't really want to educate the world, I do what I can, when I can, to respond in a way that may educate at least one offending individual. I am hopeful that this strategy will lead to a more enlightened view of the planet one itsy bit at a time. *sigh* What can we do but try??

Here are just a few of the comments I've faced in the short time since Island Boy has been home:

Helpful person: "Oh, what an easy way to have a baby!"
Me (thinking): You've got to be kidding me!! (Ok, yes, that is a cleaned up version of what I was *really* thinking!)
Me (responding): It really wasn't easy at all. We waited over a year from the time we began and we had to wait over six months from the time we saw our baby's face for the first time until we were able to bring him home knowing he was growing older while we waited for the courts! (I didn't get into anything beyond that, thinking just that alone must have been bad enough to endure!)
Helpful person: "Yes, but didn't you just have to fill out some papers and you ended up with a baby?"
Me (thinking - sarcastically): Yes, you're right. It was very easy - just like applying for a bank loan.
Me (responding): You know the process really was very, very hard on us. It is emotionally draining and uncertain and nothing about it is easy.

Alas, I am sure the person walked away from that encounter none the wiser, but hey, I tried.

Another category of puzzling comments comes from those people that feel the need to remind you every time they see you (sometimes they are subtle, sometimes not) that your child is adopted. First of all, I already knew that, thanks! Second of all, pointing out to a child that he joined a family via adoption seems akin to saying, "did you know you arrived via C-section, little boy?". It's rude and completely unnecessary.

Of course, as one dear friend reminded me, I cannot shield our little boy (or myself, for that matter) from all of the stupid comments he will get in his lifetime, so the best I can do is try to educate him on how to gracefully deal with them. In the meantime, I'll try to figure that out myself. ;-)

So what type of comments *are* appreciated? Any type of comment that you would make to any family welcoming a child into their arms.