Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Wonderful World of Baby Food . . .

Okay, before someone says "What did you expect to happen if you bought and fed Josie Lentils and Vegetables?"

Here's a list of some of the baby food offerings . . .

1. Lentils and Vegetables (obviously)
2. Potatoes with Leeks and Rabbit
3. Vegetables and Veal
4. Pumpkin and Couscous (a favorite of Josie's, by the way . .)
5. Morrocan Lamb
6. Tuna ratatouille ( I'm totally serious!)
7.Tuna Mornay
8. Chicken and vegetable risotto

So-you can see why I bought the lentils right? I'm not feeding my daughter rabbit until she's old enough to order it herself. Same with veal and lamb. However-I have no problem with risotto, couscous, and until recently, lentils. The tuna ratatouille-well, if you can't figure that out-there's something wrong with you.

On that note (and I'd like to mention I'm a big fan of tuna-steaks, sushi, sandwiches)-they put it on all sorts of strange things here-there's Tuna Spaghetti and Tuna pizza.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Couple of things I've been wondering about . . . .

1. How on earth will I use the bathroom once I'm alone with Josie-I'm guessing holding her on my lap isn't a good idea.

2. Who decided that Lentils and Vegetables would be a good flavor for baby food? Josie totally smoked me out of the room.

3. Why do my hands still smell after changing the "lentil" diaper even after scrubbing my hands with soap and scalding water? Please don't tell me I'll get used to it. Who wants to get used to that?

4. Am I going to Hell for planning to dose up the child with Benadryl for the flight home? Before anyone answers in the affirmative-you must first try to get Josie down for a nap. Then-I'll hear your input.

5. Why do "they" insist on playing God knows what kind of music (patriotic?opera?karaoke?) at 110 decibals over a loudspeaker at 8am?

6. If sleep deprivation is a form of torture, is motherhood a form of terrorism?

7. I'm going to need a lot more clothing as Josie LOVES to do raspberries while she's eating. A pair of black pants lasts about 30minutes around her.

8. If nothing I typed here makes any sense, see #6.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Well-we had our second interview at the embassy today and will get Josie's visa tomorrow. We've changed our flight out of here (again!) and are leaving the 21st-arriving in Portland on the 22nd.

Mom and I are starting to get better-we feel better when we go out-so we think the air conditioning is making us sick. Then again-a cold or something is not inconcievable with the lack of sleep and stress going on right now.

Josie's doing great-slept 10.5 hours straight the other nite, and 8.5 last nite. And the last couple of nites I've put her in the crib awake and she cries a little of and on-but gets herself to sleep. Cool! Still doesn't really want to nap in the room-she keeps falling asleep in weird places-the highchair in the restaurant, in the snugli, the lounge chair by the pool . . .

We did some shopping today and hope to hit the museum of ethnology tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cute pics . . .

Well-first Mom had the crud, now I've got it. The only thing either of us really wants to do is sleep. And the only thing Josie wants NOT to do is sleep. So-all you get is some pictures.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Trip to the orphanage . . .

On Monday, about 9am as we were about to head out of the room-we got a call from Cherie that we were going to the orphanage at 10am. Okay . . . I was caught off guard and forgot to change Josie into a cute dress the nannies could fuss over. Not that she didn't look cute of course! I also almost forgot the bag of gifts for the nannies.

Cau Giay (pronounced Ko Zay-long vowels) was only a 15 min cab ride away. There was a gate at the entrance and there we were. The orphange is tiny-one really long room divided up into three rooms. One for very little babies (I didn't go in that room), one for older infants, and another for the older children.

One of the nannies saw Josie and came running out of the room to see her. She's the one in some of the referral photos holding Josie. It was sweet. She took Josie-and Josie let her, but she was very serious. Maybe concerned.

I got to see Josie's room which held maybe 6 children-they all had there own cribs. We also saw the room with the older children. Very beautiful children. But it was so sad-it looked a couple of queen size beds pushed together and they were all sitting on the bed. If I'd known-I would've brought toys and candy for them. They were cute-smiling for the camera. It didn't look like the kids got to go outside much, if at all. The orphanage was clean though-which makes it likely that the cause of Josie's skin issues was mosquito bites.

Some pics:

I've been having trouble embedding my video today-clink on the link to view one of the 10 short videos from Cau Giay . . . .if you click on the "more by this user" link-you can see all my videos. I apologize in advance for the quality . . . .i won't quit my day job. Also-i tried to keep them short so that they wouldn't be too big to upload to youtube.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Silk Village

Okay-here's a pic for all of you clamoring for a photo of Grandma and Josie . . . .
it took some doing.

On Saturday-we took a trip to the Silk Village with some other PLAN families along with Cherie (our in-country liason), her son Brian, and Cong (who does a lot of the driving). The Silk Village is comprised of at least one silk factory and a street full of shops. We ended up buying a bunch of beautiful Ao Dais for Josie. I think we have at least one for every year until she's four.

Josie liked the Snugli . . .she fell asleep on the bus and woke up halfway throught the trip.
Silkworms . . . .

More silkworms . . . .
After shopping we went to lunch with everyone at Wild Rice-where mom and I shared some spring rolls and she had some fried rice and I got noodles and seafood. Josie wanted our food-or maybe she just wanted the chopsticks. Not sure. So far-none of the waitresses at any of the restaurants have taken Josie during the meal. This was a time that would've been nice as she got quite squirmy.
Sorry for the lack of updates . . . .Josie got 2 more teeth over the weekend . . . . she was very cranky, didn't sleep much, and had a few bouts of inconsolable crying that almost sent me over the edge. However, it's getting better and hopefully I can post and put up pics and video of our trip yesterday to Josie's orphanage in Cau Giay.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A little about Josie . . .

I've been so concerned about making sure I get new pics and video up of Josie, I really haven't told you much about her.

She's covered in mosquito or some type of bug bites and skin rashes. They don't seem to bother her-she isn't itchy or anything that I can tell. We've been greasing her up in Aquaphor and putting a medicated cream on the bad ones. Looks like they are getting better. This is really common in children from the orphanges, and Josie was in the orphanage the whole time. We haven't gone there yet-I'm hearing it's not great. They said Josie was not thriving there. We're not sure what she weighs-we think about 14 pounds. She's got long legs though in comparison. We've got her in 9 mo clothing-though some 6 mo onesies also fit fine. Her legs completely stretch out the 9 mo sleepers-but they have plenty of room around. She's already eating quite a bit-I think she'll put on quite a bit of weight before we even bring her home.

She's started crawling yesterday-not sure she even realized what she was doing. She wasn't getting around too much the first day-but now if we put something she wants out of her reach-she'll start crawling to it. Her legs are not all that strong-but she's trying to pull herself up. She can stand and hold onto the couch pretty good-but I can't really let go of her for too long. She can pick things up pretty good with her hands. I'm not real good at knowing where children should be developmentally, but I'd guess she's a couple months behind. But -I bet she's going to catch up really quick. If not-they recommend early intervention right away. She has a peds appointment right away after we get home-and I'm sure we'll go over all that.

She has really taken to both Mom and me. She constantly checks to make sure she knows where we are. She's begun reaching for us to be picked up-and of course you've seen her smile. And laugh. She's really very happy and content. The only issue we've had is with sleeping. We can't get her to nap for very long-and at nite she wakes up after a couple of hours and it takes hours to get her back asleep. She doesn't really cry much during all of this-she's obviously tired, but she wants to play and be held. Held while standing/walking/swaying to be precise. She loves to be held and touched. So-thank God mom's here-we're tag-teaming at nite so we can get some sleep.

Crazy weather today-it's like a monsoon out there. I was going to go shopping for a stroller and more baby toys, but I'm going to hold off for a bit.

She's all mine!

This morning I applied for Josie's passport and in the afternoon we had the Giving and Receiving ceremony at the Dept of Justice. We signed a book and some paperwork and had to assure them that we would care for our children as if they were biological children and provide updates and pictures for the next 18 years.

Another dose of cute . . .

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The cute!

A couple of pics.

The moment we all waited for . . .

Well, I hate my speaking voice, and I pretty much look like a doof-but I guess it's not about me. They brought Josie and the Brown's baby to the lobby. The man holding Josie asked: who gets the bigger one? Well that would be me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gotcha Day-Wed, May 2nd!

So we got word that Josie will be brought to the hotel tomorrow morning at 9am. Wow . . . this is really happening. I need to stock up on some more diapers and some baby food.

Mom and I walked around Old Town some more this morning. By the way-they can't get the weather forecast any more accurate than in Portland. The last couple of days have been partly sunny, mid-to upper eighties, with some humidity. It was getting uncomfortable though while we walked through the streets. Pavement and no breeze and no where to just sit and people watch-which I could do for hours.

Mom and I have been real careful not to drink the tap water here or order anything with ice. (we've been drinking beer at most meals so far. And bottled water. tons of bottled water). We have to brush our teeth with bottled water and we're told not to open our mouths in the shower. When someone told me that, I thought, no problem . . . .who opens their mouth in the shower? Well-you know what" Apparently I do . . . .Never realized it before. I've really had to concentrate on not doing it. Also-we're not supposed to eat cut up fruit because the knives used to cut it may have been rinsed in tap water. We have whole fruit in the hotel room that I've rubbed Purell on and then washed with soap and boiled water before cutting up. After all that-i decided it smelled and tasted funny and threw it away anyway. Not sure how much fruit I'll be eating. Maybe it was just the mango-I'll try the Asian pear next. Or one of the other pieces I can't identify.

I did eat some of these tiny bananas i bought off of a woman off the street. Well, really i was more conned into it. A women was carrying these 2 baskets of fruit on a stick carried over her shoulders and as I tried to sneak past here-she literally threw the stick over my shoulder and put her straw hat on my head (gross i know!). She said-take picture! So-i told mom to take my picture-and she did, telling me i was gonna pay for it. So-of course, after the picture was taken, she put bags of bananas and cut up pineapple in my hand. I said no to the pineapple and put it back in the basket. She took it back out and put it in my hand again. This went on for awhile. I asked her how much for the bananas (figured they'd be safe to eat)-and she wanted 50,000dong (about 3 dollars). I told her no way and offered her a dollar (which really is still WAY too much!) and after going back and forth-she agreed to the dollar. It was worth it to get her to leave me alone-which they know and many use that same tactic. Wear you down til you buy something just to get rid of them. So-far the shopping is tiring-dodging the traffic in the street, the heat, feeling guilty when you don't buy something. I bought an awesome purse, but that's it so far.

I decided to spend my last afternoon as a non-mom sitting by the pool, drinking beer and reading a book. I can already tell i got a bit of a sunburn. I thought mom had brought sunblock-but i couldn't find it and she was taking a nap.

Okay- a couple more pics . . .

An intersection near the lake.

A parking lot . .

me holding baskets of fruit with a strange woman's hat on my head . . .