Friday, November 30, 2012

In Which I Have Trouble With Needles

Today was another day for reorganizing and cleaning; I'm the kind of person who likes to cram things in random drawers, so sorting it all out is taking a while.  It's a project that I do a couple of times a year and it needed to be done regardless of whether or not we were adding a new person to our household, but the adoption is a good excuse to motivate me to buckle down and make it happen. 

I cleaned out our medicine cabinet today, which is something that hasn't been done since before Jer was injured.  Cleaning it out was the easy part-- discarding everything turned out to be way more of a project than I anticipated.  It turns out that none of the local pharmacies or hospitals take expired medications, and several that I called and asked had no idea where I could take them. 

I finally called up Connor's doctor's office and asked their pharmacy, and they told me the police station had a drop off box for them.  So I took them down and they were more than happy to take everything except for our injectable drugs, like Connor's expired EpiPens.  They had no idea where I should take those.  Sigh.

So after a lot of phone calls and research, I think that I can take his EpiPens to the local fire station and they should be able to accept them.  I think.  I'm going to call ahead first just in case.  At least I've got everything else out of the house.

Ten days!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Which I Work On My Child's Instruction Manual

I spent the vast majority of today organizing things in our house, making a giant checklist of what I still need to do and working on finishing my massive handbook of All Things Connor for my parents and mother-in-law to reference while they're watching the little guy during our Thailand trip. 

It's a massive piece of anal-retentive and relatively dry reading, but hey-- my kid is complicated and I'm a paranoid helicopter mom.  I'm pretty sure they're all used to it by now and will indulge me.  I've installed Skype on our iPad so I can check in with them a few times during the trip.  I believe this is by far the longest we've ever left the little guy, and I'm going to miss him bunches!  Luckily we'll have plenty of things to keep ourselves occupied with on the trip.  Like, you know, suddenly becoming a family of four. 

Eleven days!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Which We're Back Home

We finally got back to Puyallup late this afternoon, and while it was lovely to travel and see everyone it's good to be home!  I've got a ridiculous amount to do before it's time to board a plane for Thailand, and that's a mere twelve days away.  Doesn't seem like that's possible, but we're really down to the wire!

Connor did extremely well on the plane and the bus to our car; he's really a veteran traveler at this point and it doesn't seem to bother him at all.  He napped for a while en route, and so now of course he's determined to stay up forever.  I'm not surprised by that though; it usually takes him a few days to settle back in after a trip.

I'll be plunging right back into things; I have to put the finishing touches on Ellen's room, pick up the last things we need before we travel, put the house to rights, and if I have any extra time I'd like to try and decorate for Christmas before we go.  We'll be coming back two days before Christmas, so it would be nice to have everything set up and waiting when we get home. 

If we don't manage to finish decorating I can leave it for my parents and mother-in-law to do, but we'll at least have the tree.  If Connor didn't love the Christmas decorations so much I'd be tempted to keep things really low-key, but he gets so much joy out of our tree every year I can't let him down.  I'd like to keep things as normal as possible for the little guy since there will already be so many big changes happening with Ellen's arrival, and normal for him means a Christmas tree on Christmas.  Usually we pick one out the day after Thanksgiving, so we're already late this year.

I guess we should probably buy some Christmas presents too, come to think of it.  That might be a good idea.  So much to do!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In Which We Went Roaming

Hello there!  We're alive!  And we're fine!  I'm so sorry I made all of you worry. 

We are now back in the Land of Reliable Internet Access, which is a lovely place to be.  We've been down in San Antonio, Texas having one last vacation with just the three of us before we become a family of four!  We had an absolute blast and now feel more relaxed and ready to tackle the last things we need to do before we leave in, um, less than two weeks.  Because I hop on a plane for Thailand in thirteen days.  Wow.

Anyway, so we went to SeaWorld on Thanksgiving, the highlight of which was Connor getting to help hold a giant boa constrictor.  He was extremely interested in feeling the snake, so in the picture we got (which I will scan in at a future date and put a warning on, for those who are Not Snake Inclined) he has this extremely intrigued look on his face, like he's trying to figure out what the heck the thing is.  He also helped feed the dolphins, which he was much less excited about.  Apparently dolphins fall into a lower category than boa constrictors on the Six Year Old Boy's Hierarchy of Cool Animals. 

But overall we were kind of underwhelmed by Sea World as a whole.  We were much more impressed with Morgan's Wonderland, which is by far one of the neatest places I've ever been to in my entire life. 

Morgan's Wonderland, for those of you not familiar with it, is an amusement park entirely dedicated to children with special needs.  All of the rides are completely accessible.  It's got three playgrounds, a huge sand pit and a water play area, all of which are wheelchair friendly.  The pond is stocked with fish, and there are remote control boats to drive and water cannons.  There were absolutely no lines, and every time they asked Connor if he wanted to go on the ride again-- no waiting needed.

His absolute favorite ride was the carousel, which he loved so much we rode it three times.  There was a platform the volunteers strapped his wheelchair down on flanked by a pair of sea dragons, and we sat on a bench directly behind him.  The whole thing went up and down just like the other animals on the carousel!  He really enjoyed himself and loved watching the world go by.  He also rode on a train around the park and got to sit right behind the engine, and we took him on a jeep ride (around a track) in an accessible jeep, too.

The sensory room was also really neat; they had interactive screens and if you stood in front of them they would react to your shadow; butterflies would land on it, tadpoles would swim to it, etc.  They had some imaginative play areas, a nice walk with plenty of well-placed rest areas, and, wonder of wonders, really truly completely accessible public restrooms.  I think we would have visited for those alone, because seriously those things are nearly impossible to find.  

I think Connor really felt like the star of the show; everyone was extremely friendly and took the time to talk with him and ask him how he was doing.  We're definitely talking about visiting again next year; one of us might take Connor there while the other one takes Ellen to Six Flags if she likes roller coasters.  While Connor absolutely loved Morgan's Wonderland, it's definitely geared towards kids who are a bit younger on the developmental scale-- depending on where Ellen falls in there and what she likes to do, roller coasters might be a bit more her style.  But I'm pretty sure that any time we visit San Antonio from now on, we'll be hitting Morgan's Wonderland for sure!

Let's see; so we also visited with friends, strolled around the Alamo, watched a movie and had dinner along the river walk.  We spent some time in Dallas visiting family, too.  And of course we explored new and interesting coffee shops and bookstores, because that's just how we roll.  On the way back home we stopped in at a Luby's Cafeteria, which is a kind of a Texas staple, and some nice gentleman paid for our meal and left before we had the chance to thank him.  I'd forgotten just how friendly and welcoming small Texas towns can be, and that was just the icing on the cake of a fantastic trip.

Overall I think Connor had a lovely time.  There were a few late nights as traveling always throws off his routine, but he settled in pretty quickly and I think just really enjoyed having the undivided attention of both of us.  That isn't something that happens for him very often, and it's going to suddenly become much less common in a few weeks when we bring home his sister. 

A few weeks?  Make that less than two.  We can't wait!


Monday, November 19, 2012

In Which We Hang Out With Family And Skip A Holiday

It's holiday time, and that means it's time to get together with family!  We'll be seeing various relatives over the next couple of weeks, and are really looking forward to getting together with everyone and catching up.

My mom, sister and I all went out Christmas shopping together today, which was a lot of fun.  Normally I wait and get all my shopping done at the last minute, but that won't fly this year since we leave exactly three weeks for Thailand and won't get back until two days before Christmas, when it will be a bit late to mail everybody packages.  So I'm trying to get as much done as I can now while it's easy to hand presents off, and then we'll probably order the rest online. 

Connor put up with the shopping surprisingly well because all of the stores had up their Christmas displays, which seem to happening earlier and earlier each year.  Christmas is by far his favorite holiday, since it involves lots of sparkly things, lights and music.  The only part he doesn't really care for is the presents; having new stuff he's expected to touch is not exactly his idea of fun. 

Judging from the stores, Thanksgiving doesn't even exist anymore.  Apparently we're just skipping that holiday entirely now, or maybe blending it in with Halloween or something.  Thanksween.  Yes.

But anyway, about Christmas.  I'm having a hard time restraining myself from buying All The Things for Ellen before she gets here, but goodness knows the kid is going to have enough new things to get used to.  You know, new family, new country, new house, etc.  So I got both her and Connor a Christmas ornament today and otherwise we're holding ourselves back.  Since her birthday is only three weeks after Christmas, if we're not careful she's going to think that America is The Land of Presents.  That's not really an impression we'd like to give her.

Seriously though- three weeks!  Tomorrow I'll officially be able to count the number of days before the trip on my fingers and toes.  As we get closer and closer it's becoming more difficult for me to talk about anything else, so sorry if you talk to me and I start sounding like a broken record. 

But seriously, three weeks people.  That's soon!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

In Which We Keep Late Hours And Connor Has Yet Another Chair

It's about half past two in the morning right now, and I'm still waiting for Connor to go to sleep.  There have been a couple of false alarms where I thought he was down, but it turned out he was just faking it and as soon as I tried to go to bed he woke up again.  I am not thrilled with this, as we've got a rather busy day tomorrow.  Oh well.  The pattern seems to be established that on weekends, Connor Parties All Night.  At least I get five good days of sleep a week!

Today we went and picked up Connor's bath chair, which was the last major piece of equipment we were waiting on in the large group of items we'd ordered in the last couple of months.  Connor had outgrown his old one-- his feet hung over the edge in a way that was probably pretty uncomfortable for him, and the velcro strap preventing him from falling off would barely fit around his waist.  So this is a nice new roomy one for him. 

The really nice thing about it is that it comes with a wheeled base, so I'll be able to get him in and out of it with the lift instead of having to bend over and pick up a damp, wiggly and as he gets older, increasingly heavy child.  I don't think our bathroom tile would be particularly forgiving if I slipped and fell carrying him and/or dropped him, so this is a very good thing.

The kid is now completely outfitted in chairs, by the way.  He has a wheelchair, toilet chair, bathing chair, corner chair, and leg positioning chair.  They all do a different job, of course.  All Jer and I have is a kitchen chair and an easy chair each, so it's official: five out of ten chairs in use in our household belong to Connor.  All he needs is a throne in the middle of our living room and he'll be good to go. 

I got the chance to go to a get together for a little bit with the lovely ladies on my roller derby team for a while tonight and really had a blast!  I'm seriously missing skating and getting the chance to hang out with them on a more regular basis, though I know that now isn't the right time to dive back in.  Hopefully once things settle down around here I'll be able to pick up my skates again. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

In Which We Get Squared Away And Put Up The Camera

Connor went to school today and apparently made it through slightly more of the day than yesterday before falling asleep.  We've got a busy week coming up, so I'll try and let him sleep in tomorrow.  Hopefully he'll be able to catch up a bit and get completely over this bug.

We got some great news today; our Article 5 has been issued!  That was the very, very last piece of important paperwork we needed for our trip.  I'm really glad it went through, since I was worried that we were running out of time before we travel.  We've got an appointment set up with the embassy for Ellen's visa, and also received confirmation of the date we'll go before the adoption board. 

I'll be taking my laptop with me and blogging in Thailand-- provided I can find an Internet connection, of course.  We'll also be using it to keep in touch with how Connor is doing while we're gone.  I don't know if I'll be able to get online and blog every day, but I'll do my best!

What you won't see during our trip (or after it for quite some time) are pictures of Ellen.  Our agency and the Thai government ask us not to post any identifying information or pictures of her in public places on the Internet until after our adoption is finalized, which won't be for at least six months after we bring her home.  And of course "Ellen" is an alias for her as well.  The United States has the same requirement for children families are fostering-to-adopt: no identifying pictures or information until an adoption is finalized. 

Once our adoption is finalized, I'll ask Ellen whether or not she's comfortable with having her real name revealed and/or pictures up on the blog.  She's old enough to have input in that decision. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

In Which Connor Feels Better And I Am Forced To Shop For Shoes

Connor was sounding well enough to return to school today, which was nice.  He apparently slept through a good portion of it though, and when he got home he absolutely crashed.  So I might have been better off keeping him home one more day.  Hindsight is 20/20, of course.

I spent the time he was at school catching up on errands (such as restocking my chocolate supply), getting some chores done and doing a bit of shopping for our upcoming trip.  I needed a good sturdy pair of shoes that were good for walking, relatively dressy and also easy to slip on and off.  In Thailand it's polite to take one's shoes off before entering many buildings, so it's a good idea to have shoes one doesn't need to untie.  I hate shoe shopping with a burning, fiery passion, so I basically pounced on the first set of shoes that fit the bill, threw some money down and got out of there as fast as I could. 

So, mission accomplished.  I found a comfortable pair of Mary Janes that I think will work well.  I was careful not to get shoes that are too expensive, though.  I have been warned about shoe thieves: apparently they will occasionally abscond with particularly nice brands if given the opportunity. 

Finding some good walking shoes for Jeremy might prove a bit more challenging; usually he wears sneakers these days if he's going to be going any distance, and those won't really work for this as we'll need to be dressed up for several meetings.  I'm sure we'll figure something out before we go!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In Which Connor Is Still Sick And I'm Impatient

Connor stayed home from school again today; he slept until two in the afternoon, woke up for an hour and then slept again until around half past five, when he woke up and decided to be Crabby McCrabberton for the rest of the evening.  So I spent pretty much the entire day watching him sleep on the couch (since he was refusing to sleep in his room with the monitor), which is not nearly as fun as it sounds-- especially since I ran out of chocolate around noon.  That, my friends, is a very sad state of affairs.

Anyway, even though he slept forever and was grumpy this evening I still think he's feeling better than he was yesterday, and I'm hoping he'll be well enough to go to school tomorrow. 

So I spent time today working on our packing list for Thailand, Connor's Book O'Instructions that I'll be leaving for my parents while they take care of the little guy during our trip (yes, my child requires an instruction manual) and starting to wrap up the last details of our travel plans.  I feel like I should make one of those paper countdown chains they're always telling us to do to help our kids cope in the army pre-deployment meetings, only in this case it would be counting down to us leaving instead of coming home. 

Seriously, I swear the wait gets harder every day.  So glad we're in the home stretch!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Which Connor Is Still Sick And I Think About Things I Can't Fix

Connor was sick and stayed home from school today, so I spent a whole lot of time sitting on the couch with him sprawled out across my chest.  I made a big pot of ox-tail soup during one of the breaks where I actually managed to get him to sleep in his bed, but otherwise spent pretty much the entire day in the living room.  I think Connor was conscious about three hours total during the whole day, and the rest of the time he was busy snoozing away and snoring to beat the band.

So since I wasn't going to get much accomplished today, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about our upcoming journey to Ellen.  I'll be on a plane in a mere three weeks and five days, and I'm not remotely ready; there's still so much to do.  At the same time, I wish I was on a plane to her now instead of having to wait a whole twenty-six more days. 

I've been reading a lot of blogs by Asian Americans who were adopted, and a theme that comes up again and again is how out of place a lot of them feel.  Many seem to perceive themselves as not belonging in either the country of their birth or the United States.  Of course these are people who for the most part were adopted at a very young age, and it's been a little difficult to find perspectives from those who were adopted in their teenage years, like Ellen will be.  Ellen already has a strong identity as a Thai person, and so she won't be in quite the same situation as the children who grow up not speaking the language of their birth countries or knowing anything about their first parents' culture. 

Still, things won't be easy for her.

There’s a little gray bird called the American Dipper that lives near fast flowing mountain streams in North and South America.  It’s an unpretentious, rather stocky little thing that possesses an extraordinary ability—it hunts for food by diving into the rapids and flying underwater to search for grubs and insect larva.  This is a bird that is completely at home in the both the air and the stream, and it’s able to effortlessly transition from one to the other without hesitation.
And that’s what I want for my daughter.  I don’t want her to be stuck in an awkward in-between state where she doesn’t fit in anywhere; I want her to be able to move between Thailand and America with the same graceful, natural motion that bird uses to navigate its dual world of water and sky.  This may be entirely impossible; not only are the two cultures very different, but as a person with a disability the reality is that society will try and set her apart no matter where she may find herself.
But I'm learning as much about Thai culture as I possibly can right now, and will continue to do my best to create connections in not just the Thai-American community here, but also the community of people with disabilities as well.
There are things that I can't give her.  I am not-- and will never be-- either adopted or Asian American.  And while there's always the possibility that I could eventually have a disability, it's not something that I've experienced to date.  So I want to do my best to surround her with successful, well-rounded people who are traveling through life with one or more of those personal experiences, so they can give her the perspective and the understanding that I can't.  And while I can never tell her that I "know what she's going through," I can be as educated and as empathetic as possible so I can help her along as she navigates her own road through life.
If I'm honest with myself, what I'd wish most for her and also for Connor would be for them to be ordinary.  I'm not saying that I want to change either of them in the slightest-- I absolutely don't.  But I would love to change the world's perspective so they would be able to move through a crowd, one face in a sea of faces, and not be set apart by their disabilities or life circumstances or by the color of their skin.  I would like my children to be able to travel through the world and be viewed as just people-- not looked down upon or sanctified because of events beyond their control.
I don't want my children to be seen as ugly ducklings or as swans.  I'd like them to be little gray birds half-hidden in twilight, flicking their quiet way low over the water, headed for home.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Which Connor Feels Under The Weather

Connor did not have the best of days today; he woke up this morning with a stuffy nose that got progressively worse all day.  Currently he's still awake, and he's snorting like a little baby water buffalo.  I'm glad the night nurse is here tonight, because I have no doubt that once he actually goes to sleep the snoring will be. . . impressive.

So he's coughing and hoarse and throwing up a lot and also running a low temperature, which was discovered when he had a small seizure in the middle of the grocery store.  Luckily he didn't have school today because of Veteran's Day, but I'd say off the top of my head that the odds of him going in tomorrow are not very good.  If he's not better in a couple of days I'll take him in to the doctor and make sure he doesn't have strep throat again or something. 

Hope he feels better again soon!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Which I Practice My Yodeling Skills And Connor Sees A Sermon

We had a busy, busy day today!

I spent this morning at the local Thai wat, where they were celebrating a festival called Thod Kathin (ทอดกฐิน).  This is a holiday that heralds the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent season.  I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I somehow ended up in the middle of a crowd surrounded by people carrying alms bowls, silk parasols and wire trees covered in money.  I was carrying a saffron monk's robe, processing around the wat to the sound of Thai drums and yodeling at the top of my lungs with the other women while being pelted with hand-folded paper bows and coins wrapped in aluminum foil. 

I am now officially convinced, by the way, that all holidays should include yodeling as part of their repertoire.  Yodeling makes everything more fun. 

Anyway I was a little nervous about going at first; there were people attending from as far away as Oregon.  I wasn't sure I would see anyone I knew and I would be pretty well completely lost as far as what to expect.  Normally I'm downstairs in the library studying Thai; I don't participate in the religious ceremonies at the wat as I'm not Buddhist, so I don't know very many people at the temple.  Luckily I found my Thai teachers pretty quickly and some of the other students as well, and they were gracious enough to let me tag along with them and to explain what was going on to me. 

It was interesting sitting and listening to the speakers around me-- most of whom were conversing in Thai-- because I could pick out the occasional word but otherwise was completely lost.  I imagine this might be a little bit like how Ellen might feel when she gets here and is surrounded by English speakers, though her English is probably considerably better than my Thai is right now. 

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable experience and I've now officially survived my first Thai holiday celebration.  I'm so glad that we have such a vibrant Thai community here and that they've been so welcoming and open hearted.  I can't wait to try out my yodeling skills with Ellen next year!

I left before the ceremonies inside the wat began and headed back home to relieve our respite care worker and get ready for church.  Sundays are full days in our house around here.  It's the first week I've been able to go for a little bit because Connor goes with me, and the past couple of weeks he's been either sick or recovering from a seizure so we've stuck close to the house.  When the minister saw that Connor was attending this week, in addition to speaking the sermon she also signed it as well!  She's fluent in ASL, which is similar enough to SEE that Connor seems to get the gist of most of what is said.  Granted, Connor is way more interested in the music than in the sermon right now, but what six year old isn't?  It's still pretty fantastic, and as he gets older he'll probably pay more attention. 

After the obligatory after-church Connor Fan Mobbing that I've come to expect (I swear the kid attracts grandmothers like bees on a beer can) we headed for home.  We got there at about seven in the evening, and the little guy promptly crashed. 

It was a very full day!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

In Which I'm Running On Coffee Fumes And We're Down To The Wire

Yesterday Connor stayed up until 5:40 in the morning, so my brain was a tad bit fried today.  I'm not sure what the deal was with the kid, but he seems to have quite a bit of trouble sleeping on the weekends-- especially on Friday nights.  I think it's because he knows he doesn't have school the next day and he gets all freaked out because he knows his routine will be different.  Or maybe he just misses having someone sitting in the room with him since his night nurse isn't there-- who knows? 

At any rate, I consumed a lot of caffeine today.  I had errands I couldn't put off despite getting, um, no sleep.  Luckily all of them were in the local area and I'm still relatively used to functioning on very little shuteye.  I dressed up a bit before we went out, so even if I felt terrible I still looked nice.  It's one of the tricks I use to make myself feel better when I'm short on sleep and feeling less than chipper.  I'm not saying I'll spend two hours over the vanity or anything, but I know I'll always feel better if I'm in a nice dress with my hair up than if I'm in yesterday's sweat pants and sans shower.

Despite the whole slightly-delirious-due-to-lack-of-sleep thing, today was still a good day.  I realized when I woke up this morning that in exactly one month I will be boarding a plane for Thailand!  All of the sudden the trip is right around the corner.  We made the decision to pursue her adoption in October of 2010, so we've been in the process over two years now.  After all the months we've been waiting, it seems pretty surreal to know that I can measure the number of weeks until we meet our daughter on one hand! 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Which We Feel Better And I Hope For A White Christmas

Connor returned to school today; he seems to be pretty much fully recovered.  Honestly I'm loving this whole 48-hours-and-done illness thing, because it used to be that he'd get sick and it would linger for weeks and weeks.  So his immune system seems to be functioning pretty well right now.  Hooray for that!

It looks like mine is going to be a pretty short bug too, which is nice but less unexpected.  I started out the morning feeling lousy, but by the end of the day was feeling quite a bit better.  I don't have quite the cast iron immune system that Jeremy does-- that man gets sick maybe once a year-- but I generally don't have illnesses linger, either.

I had to scrape ice off the windshield this morning; it looks like our weather is finally turning.  It's supposed to be a fairly mild winter, but it will still probably be about thirty degrees cooler than Ellen is used to.  She'll be coming right at the beginning of our worst season; January through April are pretty miserable here even for people who are used to it.  We moved here in the late October time frame, so we at least had a glimpse of what the weather would be like the rest of the year before we had to endure The Rain That Never Ends.  Hopefully she'll be too distracted by everything else to mind the weather too much, but we're stocking up on winter gear for her as she's likely to be pretty cold.

I'm actually hoping we might get a bit of snow, though nothing like last year.  There's a good chance that Ellen has never seen real snow; there's an amusement park in Thailand that has a room with the artificial stuff, but as a general rule snow doesn't fall there.  I think that would be a pretty neat welcome home!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Which Connor Shares

Connor seemed to be feeling a bit better today; he slept in until noon and then was progressively more chipper as the day went on. 

I, however, have been hit by a mack truck.  Connor either shared generously with the germs or I managed to find some new and creative ones of my own.  He has what's probably a stomach bug, and I've got some sort of upper respiratory bug.  So either it's hitting us differently or we've just both managed to get sick.  Whee!

We spent the day on the couch, wrapped up in blankets, drinking tea and watching Thai soap operas.  Hope we both feel better tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In Which Connor Is A Sickykin

Little guy was not feeling well today, I'm sad to say.  He didn't want to wake up at all in the morning-- so much so that I ended up deciding to let him stay home from school, because there wasn't any point in taking him when he was just going to spend the time sleeping.  He ended up snoozing until almost 11:30, and then he got up and perked up a little bit before dozing off again around three. 

He slept off and on pretty much the whole day, and in the evening he started running a low-grade fever.  I think he's just got some sort of little stomach bug.  So other than a quick run outside the house for groceries, to drop off some library books and my voting ballot, we spent the day at home.

By the end of the day I was feeling a bit under the weather too; I suspect I may be coming down with the same thing.  We'll just have to see, but I think we'll probably be sticking close to home again tomorrow. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

In Which We Say Adieu To Friends And Look Forward To Our Adventure

Ruth and the baby took off this morning to head back home.  It was so great to get to spend some time with them!  I calculated it out this morning and realized that she and I have known each other for going on 22 years now.  This makes me feel kind of old, but it also makes me happy that I've been able to be friends with such a fantastic person for so long. 

Connor had a good day at school today, and then when we got home he kind of crashed.  He may possibly be coming down with something, or he might have just been tired from the busy weekend.  I guess we'll see.

I hit the grocery store while he was at school and snapped up some lovely ripe Fuyu persimmons, which I was delighted to see.  My grandparents had a persimmon tree in their front yard, and I remember eating them straight off the tree like apples.  I ate a few fresh today, and then peeled and cut up a couple, cooked them in coconut milk with a bit of palm sugar and salt and then ate them over sticky rice.  They were pretty tasty like that.

It seems crazy that I can officially tell people we'll be traveling to Thailand next month!  The days are just flying by.  I heard back today from the travel agent we'll be using to help us get around the country, so that's one more thing crossed off our list. 

In just five short weeks we'll be meeting our girl!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

In Which We Do All The Things

We had a very busy day today!

I had no Thai lessons this morning but still had respite care, so Ruth, the baby and I all left Connor at home and took off for the Tacoma Art Museum.  Art museums in general are not something Connor particularly enjoys as they usually have a sad lack of music, lights or explosions, so I didn't think he'd mind.  The baby is still in the Everything Is Interesting phase, so he was equally delighted with his view of the artwork and of the floor tiles, people's knees, etc.  So it worked out well.

The art museum was having a Dia De Los Muertos festival today, so admission was free.  We saw the new Andy Warhol exhibit, looked through the Dale Chihuly collection, and saw a really neat sand painting and some cool ofrendas that children from various schools around the city had created.  The museum is pretty small and was a bit crowded today due to the festival, but we still had a good time.

After that we walked around in downtown Tacoma a bit, caught some lunch and then headed back to the house to pick up Connor.  Then we were off to the Pacific Science Museum for some more fun!  We met up with Daniel-- another friend from my hometown who lives up here-- and wandered through the butterfly house, the dinosaur exhibit, and (Connor's favorite) the naked mole rat exhibit, where they had a new litter of pups.  The kids were a bit overtired by the end of the museum trip, but still seemed to enjoy themselves.

After that we met up with Daniel's significant other Mel, and we all ate some delicious Korean barbecue before calling it a day.  So it was a very busy time, but a whole lot of fun! 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

In Which We Play Some More And Connor Doesn't Sleep

Today we drove down to the farmer's market in Olympia for some shopping and sightseeing.  Connor's favorite market regular band was playing, so he was pretty excited about that!  The baby seemed to enjoy the music too; he cracked up whenever the flute started in.  It's always nice to start appreciating good music early, right?

And that's about all I've got; Connor stayed up until two in the morning last night, and tonight he seems to be sleeping in ten minute intervals.  So my brain is fried!  Good thing I've got a lot of caffeinated tea, right?  Luckily his night nurse is back tomorrow, so I won't have another late night.  I don't want our adventures cut short because I keep falling asleep!


Friday, November 2, 2012

In Which We Toodle Around And Connor Is On Strike

This morning we dropped Connor off at school, ate some breakfast and then took a trip up to the Asian supermarket to pick up some supplies for dinner.  We found the biggest avocados I've ever seen in my life while we were there, so we had to buy one to try it out.  The consensus: it tastes like an avocado.  A really, really big avocado.  It was rather anticlimactic, but still delicious.

Anyway, then we hit the regular grocery store, stopped at a restaurant for lunch, and went to go pick up Connor from school.  The little guy still isn't sure what to make of our guests, but the cats have made their opinion abundantly clear.  At one point they were sitting on opposite ends of the mantle staring down at the baby with the same expression people usually reserve for gum on their shoes.  They are Not Amused. 

The baby is still delighted by them, however.  He's still certain they want to be his new best friends.  The cats are going to need a whole lot of convincing on that front.

Connor is protesting in a more subtle fashion; he's simply refusing to go to bed ever, ever again.  It's well past midnight now and he's still awake.  I think his strategy is to make it to where I'm completely unable to function tomorrow, so maybe our guests will get bored and go home. 

Oh well.  I'm having a blast with them, even if I'll need a lot of caffeine tomorrow!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

In Which We Have Guests

One of my best friends is visiting us from out of town for the next few days, which is pretty exciting!  I've known Ruth since fourth grade, so we're not so much friends as relatives by this point.  So I was pretty excited to finally meet her little guy for the first time.  He's almost a year old now, so the meeting is long overdue!

So they got in fairly late tonight, and the baby spent some time exploring the house before bed.  Connor is not particularly thrilled with this whole development.  The cats are not particularly thrilled either.  The baby seems to be delighted with all of them-- especially the cats-- and so we'll see how the next few days go!  I suspect that Cricket and Loki will be spending a whole lot of time in the laundry room behind the baby gate.

Of course, the way Jer explained the visit to Connor didn't help matters.  I believe the quote was something like "Mommy's going to the airport and bringing home a baby today!"  I believe Connor thought his daddy meant that the baby would be moving in permanently.  He was not excited. 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to catching up with Ruth this weekend and getting to know her little guy!  It would be pretty neat if he and Connor could be as great friends as Ruth and I have been over the years, though with as far away as they live it's sadly not likely.  I just need to convince them to move up this way, right?


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