Friday, March 28, 2008

I Heart the I*R*S

I don't know who had the idea to introduce the adoption tax credit, but I'm having very warm and fuzzy feelings towards that person today. Our accountant finally wrapped up our taxes and gave us the big numbers. A full ONE THIRD of P's adoption expenses are being returned to us. I knew we qualified and would receive something back, but I was off by a serious chunk of change in my original estimate. Bye bye travel expenses, hello 'IRS for President' buttons. (Hey, at this point the IRS might have a chance of winning. This whole election cycle is making my head hurt.)

By the way, the adoption tax credit is currently set to expire in 2010 so perhaps we should make some noises towards our congressmen and senators to let them know what idiots they would be if they didn't renew it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All Roads Lead To Me!

I used to be a little envious, wishing I lived closer to our adoption agency and the many families who are in that area. I used to think how nice it would be to have other Vietnamese adoptive families so close, and how sad it was that P wouldn't have a lot of opportunities to be with those kiddos.

Now, I know that all roads lead to me and that if I just wait long enough, everyone will come here!

Today, Erin and Selah met us for a playdate. How can that be, you might ask, since Selah is currently a Canadian? Turns out, Erin's in-laws live here. In my town. How funny is that?!??! Erin is a complete sweetheart and we had such fun visiting while the girls played. A was very sad to leave her new friend, but I'm sure we're going to connect again and again over the years. I just love this extended family that we acquired when we decided to adopt. And unlike a few people I can think of, these relatives are actually welcome to drop by anytime!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We're Walkin', Yes Indeed...

P has been playing with the idea for quite some time now. Taking a step here or there. Pushing herself up from the floor and balancing. Stumbling from footstool to couch in a combination walk/fall. Today, all of the concepts came together at once and off to the races she went! P can now get from a sitting position to a standing position with nothing to hold on to and walk across the living room floor. And she is VERY impressed with herself. Little Miss P thinks she is hot stuff!

I think we're in deep trouble.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Short Post To Say...

Two years ago today, we mailed Application Part 1 to Dillon to start our adoption process.

And four months ago yesterday, P and I (and Grandma) came home from Vietnam.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Future Prom Date May Be In Question

Now THAT was a good time! It's really strange to 'meet' someone for the first time when you've been emailing and occasionally speaking on the phone for more than a year! Add in my almost daily stalking of Jess's blog and I feel like I've known Ken, Jessica, & Bex forever. It was so much fun to sit and talk and watch the kids run. Well, Beckett ran. And Ken chased. And P clung to me like a baby monkey.

We grabbed some seats in the baby play area at the mall and Beckett was off like a shot. It's a good thing Ken was there because he was in charge of heading Bex off at the pass while Jessica and I made witty observations like 'Wow, he's really fast' and 'You can tell that lady has kids... look how she blocked Beckett from the exit until Ken could catch up'. P wasn't impressed with anything for about the first 30 minutes. I'd woken her from a nap when we arrived at the mall and that may not have been the best idea. But after a while she warmed up and even tossed a couple of small smiles towards Jessica. We went to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch (which I think Ken enjoyed more than the kids - ha!) and talked about all of the cool things we missed in Vietnam. The breakfast buffet at the Rex won hands down! We wondered if the kids would freak out when the animals started moving and the thunderstorms rumbled around us, but both of them were enamoured of the gorillas (Not monkeys. Gorillas. Monkeys have a tail.)

All good things must come to an end and we parted after a quick visit to Build A Bear (I had to bribe... reward... the other daughters for staying home). Luckily, we'll be hanging out again in June at the Dillon Vietnam Weekend and I can't wait!

Oh... the prom date. I can't say that either P and Bex was highly impressed with their future escort. Bex was less than thrilled once he saw P wasn't digging the cool yellow car in the play area. But we're determined mamas. We'll try again! At the very least, we'll have good humiliation material when they hit the teenage years.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Go Ahead... Be Jealous

Guess who I'm meeting this weekend? Wanna guess? Huh? Huh? Huh?

BECKETT! AND HIS MAMA! And maybe even Ken (sorry Ken *lol*)

Oh man, I've been looking forward to this for more than a year. We're going to hang out. We're going to talk like there's no tomorrow. We might even... wait for it... SHOP!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Please Forgive Me...

I know I'm going to he** for this, but I laughed so hard when I saw this little gem that I snorted coffee through my nose.


Enjoy the 'peep' show.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Surviving Daycare

I'm a little behind in my promised post about P's first day of daycare. In fact, I'm so behind she's already had her second day at daycare!

For those of you who don't know, I'm incredibly blessed with my job and only go into the office twice a week and the rest of the time I work from home. For the last 3 1/2 months, I've been working from home all of the time, giving me more time with P and allowing her to settle in. But March was always the target date for my return and I was definitely ready for a little time away with adult company. P is attending the same daycare as A and has the extra bonus of having A's old teacher, who recently moved to the baby room. Last week, we visited on Tuesday and Thursday, hanging out for half an hour or so. The first day, P wouldn't leave my lap. The second day, she started to wonder about the toys the other kids were enjoying and was enticed to move about a foot away. With that major success under our belts, we decided to try 2 1/2 hours this week.

On Tuesday, I dropped the girls at daycare. I stayed for about 10 minutes with P and then distracted her with a toy while I slipped out the door. From what I understand, she cried for about 20 minutes until one of the teachers brought A over from her room. A played with P for a bit and then P was relaxed enough to hang out on her own. When I arrived 2 1/2 hours later, she was on the changing table. As soon as she saw me, P started crying which completely broke my heart. When I picked her up, she clung to me like a baby monkey in the jungle, but once we were in the car she grinned and babbled all the way home.

I may have mentioned that P doesn't react well to changes in her schedule - specifically she tends to have night terrors if we mess her life up too much. So we were prepared for a long night on Tuesday... but little miss surprised us and slept through the night! Evidently daycare is exhausting :)

Today she went back for her second shot - again, only 2 1/2 hours. Her face crumpled when I handed her to the teacher but they distracted her with goldfish crackers and I made my escape. According to the teacher, she did beautifully today, going so far as to smile and laugh a bit. When I arrived to pick her up, she was eating mashed potatos (which she refuses to do at home) and started crying as soon as she saw me. P repeated the baby monkey act, fell asleep in the car on the ride home, and slept for 2 hours. See previous comment in regards to daycare's exhaustive properties.

So, next week we'll shoot for a little longer timeframe - maybe 3 1/2 hours or so. The goal is that by the end of March, she's comfortable for full days on those two days a week that I go to the office. I have to say, although I have loved being home with her and getting to know her during this transition, I need my adult time. I enjoy the adult conversation and the feeling that I'm contributing to the working world in a tangible way and the interactions I have with my boss and coworkers when the ideas start flying and we come up with a whole new angle for an article. And it makes me a better mama to be away from my munchkins for a whole 6 hours on those two days a week (I don't actually work a FULL DAY when I go into the office - I'm not crazy!). When I get home, I'm ready to hang out and watch cartoons or read books or play with blocks and Littlest Pet Shop animals. I'm so lucky to have the best of both worlds!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Daycare and Politics

Today was P's first day at daycare... we'll know how it went after we make it through tonight, so I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Tonight I'm incredibly involved in the political coverage. Oh. My. Gosh. I'm a political junkie. Democrat. Republican. It's all fascinating. Give me a good analyst and a couple of debates and I'm ready to go. Texas. Ohio. How will it all fall??? What will happen in the next few days? Argghhhhh... I've chewed my nails to the nubs. I'm such a nerd.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunshine and Bathtime

On Saturday, our temperature hit 74. 74!!! And tonight it's going to snow. It's completely unfair. But the girls took advantage of the beautiful weather to hang in the great outdoors (otherwise known as our backyard).

Tonight, we had a major breakthrough with Miss P. She played in the bathtub. She didn't scream. She didn't stiffen her entire body and lunge towards me in a panic. After 3 1/2 months (4 actually, if you count the horrible bath-in-the-kitchen-sink experiences in Vietnam) of dreading bathtime, P decided it was kind of cool to splash around and check out those toys floating by. Thank goodness. We spend 2 or 3 days a week at the pool during the summer and I was getting worried!