Friday, December 10, 2010

December 2010
Well, I guess I need to update this thing, or just stop all together. Daniel is doing great, he started a new school back in August, so that I could start back to work part-time. We decided to hold off on sending Daniel to Kindergarten this year, and I believe it was the best decision. He is really thriving at his new school, and he loves his teachers and new friends (even though he continues to tell us that he misses his old friends and teachers). His teachers really enjoy having him around, and they all tell me, "He is such a great helper". I love hearing stuff like that.
We are gearing up to Christmas, still have no shopping done yet, and we have not taken Daniel to see Santa Claus yet, so I hope that Hermy the Elf, has been paying attention to what Daniel is telling him he wants for Christmas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

About Time!!!!

May 2009
Hello everyone, I am sorry for not putting anything out here for soooo long. Things have been busy and I never seem to find time to sit down and just do it. Well, finally I will give you all an update.

Daniel is doing wonderful. He has completed his 1st year of preschool, and he loved it. He will be going to a few weeks of school this summer to keep him in the habit. We will also be celebrating on June 4th, this will be the 2 year mark of his adoption. It does not seem like it has been 2 years since Kyle and I left the US to travel to Vietnam and complete our journey to become a family with a little boy we had only seen pictures of.

Daniel will be turning 4 in August. He keeps talking about his birthday and wanting to go to Chuck E Cheese!!! Every once in a while I will hear him singing Happy Birthday to himself. It is really cute to hear it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Christmas 2007

Hi there everyone. We are finally getting time to put some pictures from Christmas. We have to say that this has been the best Christmas for both of us since we were kids. Daniel really enjoyed seeing the presents under the tree. He has enjoyed playing with everything he got from everyone. Here are some pictures, a few of them are at Kyle's sisters house and it was so warm in there, that I ended up taking Daniels shirt off because he was sweating like crazy. Hope to have some more pictures soon.

Bob the Builder kit

Lego Wagon

Daniel Loves his Backpack - Thanks Stephanie!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dec 2007 Update

I am sorry for not posting in a while, we have just been very busy. Daniel has been going to a playgroup at our church since September, and he is absolutely loving it. He has just exploded with trying to talk to us, but unfortunately we have not been able to understand much of what he says. There are times though, that we just get it, and you can tell it makes him so happy that we are understanding him.
We had a great Thanksgiving with both of our families. We had lunch with Kyle's family on Thursday, then we ate lunch with my family on Friday. It worked out really well except that Daniel did not get to start taking his nap until like 3 or 4 in the afternoon on both days, but fortunately Thursday he was able to sleep almost an hour and a half because of the drive home. Friday he only ended up sleeping about 30 minutes. He did very good both days, and did not have any meltdowns from being very tired. The only bad thing was is that Daniel did not want to eat anything. He ended up eating leftovers at home, which made me happy because he seemed to enjoy all the different foods.
Daniel had a very good time at Halloween as well. He did not want to put his mask on, but we finally got him to put it on just to take a few pictures and then it had to come off. We only went to about 5 houses, and then we went to a block party where they had one of the inflatable bouncers. He had a blast in it until a teenage boy with scary face paint decided he wanted to get in and scare all the kids, and of course Daniel was so scared, he did not want to move. We finally talked him over to the side where we could maneuver him over to the opening. Once he got out he was fine.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

More pictures

We have had several people ask us for updated pictures. Daniel is doing great. He has really opened up more since we enrolled him in a playgroup at our church. He really seems to enjoy the other kids. He goes 3 days a week for 2.5 hours each day. His verbal skills are really getting better. He can attempt to repeat anything we say and most of it is understandable. He is not really using words to communicate yet other than some basic stuff like "more" or "up". But that is getting better too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Daniel's 2nd Birthday

Daniel turned 2 on August 20th, 2007. We had two birthday parties. One with Renee's family and one with mine. He got lots of toys and books and he had lots of fun. Our big present to Daniel was an battery powered train that he can sit on and ride. It rides on a round track. He rode it for over an hour solid the first time he got on it. On his actual birthday, I took vacation and we spent the entire day doing fun things with Daniel. After going to the park, we let him play with a bucket of water and some sand toys. Kids seem to enjoy simple things like that. Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Getting Closer to the big 2.0

We have received several requests to create another post. We have been filming mostly video of Daniel instead of pictures, so I don't have tons of pictures to choose from but I did put some below. This is a wake up call that I need to be taking more pictures.

Daniel is doing just fine. He has tons of toys and he makes use of all of them. He plays a game of pulling out all of his toys and display them in the floor as if taking inventory. It is difficult to even walk through our living room sometimes. So Renee and I play a similar game of putting them all up either at night after Daniel goes to sleep or early in the morning.

We got him a little Kawasaki four wheeler that you just sit on and push with your feet. It has several sound affects. He absolutely loves it. He kept wanting us to put him on it and take him off. After about an hour, we decided not to help him, and sure enough he was able to figure multiple ways to get on and off by himself. We also got him one of those little popper things you push around and the little balls pop up. He loves that too, but it drives us crazy because it is so loud.

Daniel has gained 1.5 pounds since we arrived home. He has also grown about 1/4 inch by my unofficial measuring tape when he is standing in the kitchen. We have been trying to feed him all that he wants to eat. It is very unpredictable what and how much he is going to eat. He will sometimes eat nearly anything you put in front of him and lots of it, then at other times he will not want anything. It can sometimes take 30-45 of him fooling around with his food and not wanting to eat then all of a sudden he will dig in and eat it all! It can be frustrating, but we just stick with it and he eventually will eat enough. He has been struggling with some constipation. We have started mixing some prune juice with apple sauce and feeding him this after every meal which has really helped. We have also tried to find fun ways for him to drink more. We will share a bottle of water, take a drink and then let out a big "Ahhhhhhh". We will do that back and forth for a while. He also loves chocolate milk (which can add to constipation). We use Nestles Quick and we barely even put any in it. Just enough for a taste of chocolate, but it makes a big difference, he will just guzzle 8 ounces in a few minutes. It has been bothering us that he will not eat vegetables. So we have been trying to mince up some and put it in the things he will eat. Sometimes we put too much and that's the end of that. We had a bag of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. So we tried to cook it thoroughly and then mix it with Velveeta. Eureka, he at two plate fulls. We feel much better.

It is simply amazing that we have only been back for roughly 6 weeks. He gets around so much better than he used to. He can run very fast and he can climb up and down stairs all by himself. Of course we are right there with him, because he is not that good at it yet. He loves to climb up and down off the couch and chairs. Daniel is a daredevil. He will stand up on the couch and run across it to the other side. We are stricken with fear while he does this. He has occasionally fell off the couch, but he bounces right back. When he does this, we put big pillows around the coffee table for protection.

Daniel understands a lot of what we are saying and asking. And he talks and yells all of the time. But we don't understand much of it. He knows "Da Da" and "Mum". Renee and I are also called "BaPa" for some reason. He can say our dogs name (Brandy) but it comes out somewhat different. He watches Mickey Mouse playhouse nearly every morning on the Disney channel and he loves to say "Oh Tootles" whenever they say it. He also watches the "Little Einsteins". He loves to clap along with them. He also says "Uh Oh" whenever he drops something or knocks something off. He does not watch much TV. Usually only in the mornings when he is trying to wake up.

In less than a month (Aug 20th) Daniel will be two. I guess that is the point where we stop referring to his age in months and start with half years (2 and a half, etc). He has no idea that we will be having a birthday party and that he will have friends over and that he will be getting plenty of gifts. We can hardly wait.

Enjoying plenty of messy yogurt. He can eat it all by himself, but it is a messy site.

A hardened warrior resting after battle.

This is at my sister's 50th surprise birthday party.

He loves to sit on the counter while we get things done in the kitchen.

Playing with some new toys from some people I work with.

Next post will probably be his 2nd birthday party (After Aug 20th).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just a few pics from home

We are all doing great. Daniel is one happy kid! (As long as we do exactly as he wants)

Daniel has finally accepted his car seat.

Daniel sitting in the big boy chair.

Daniel (Lance Armstrong) Lawrence getting ready for a big race. Renee is making last minute adjustments to the bike.

Daniel and Kyle relaxing on the front porch.

Third times a charm. He now loves his pool.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Daniel Settling In

So far everything has been going pretty good. Daniel runs all over the house and grabs everything and wants to move it from one place to another. Then he wants to hand it to me or Renee. We have to be very careful what we teach him. For example, we showed him how to throw a tissue in the garbage. I can't believe we did not see it coming, but everything needed to be put in the garbage after that. After I took some things out of the garbage that did not belong in there, then he wanted to take everything out of the garbage. We are learning just as he is.

Daniel is playing and having lots of fun. He is eating well. We bought nearly everything in the store trying to figure out what he likes and dislikes. We finally found a breakfast that he likes. He likes Cream of Wheat with a side of eggs (w/cheese) and sausage along with a cup of milk. Then followed by some yogurt. He likes tiny bites and he almost refuses to be fed anymore. He wants to control the fork and spoon. Then after the meal, it is a challenge to get him to relinquish the utensils.

Daniel's first car seat experience was from the airport to our house and it did not go well. He screamed the entire time and seemed to have almost gone into convulsions. Yesterday we decided to finally venture out into the world with him, so we went to McDonald's then Kroger. The car seat experience was the same. But after McDonald's and Krogers, he seemed to not fuss to much in the car seat. When we went to the doctor later on in the day, he seemed to be just fine in the car seat. Hopefully, that will remain the same.

We went to see Dr. Teresa White on Monday and we both really liked her. We plan on her being Daniel's primary pediatrician. Daniel has a minor ear infection. Everything else looked OK. We will be taking Daniel to a certified international adoption pediatrician next week. He will do a complete workup on him then. I hope the ear infection is what is causing his sleeping issues.

We are all still suffering from jet lag. None of us are getting enough sleep. Daniel usually gets up around 6am and takes a 2 hour nap during the day. They he heads to bed around 9pm. We start trying to put him to bed around 7:30pm, but it takes a lot of effort and fussiness before he finally settles down to go to sleep. The problem starts around midnight with Daniel waking up screaming and we have to get up. He usually goes right back to sleep but it is enough to keep Renee and I up. Then around every few minutes to an hour, he wakes up again screaming in that cycle over and over until about 4 or 5am. Then he sleeps 1- 2 hours before getting up. This of course means very little sleep for Renee and I. I hope the ear infection or the jet lag is the cause. I am so glad I am off work for a while until he works out these issues.

Daniel has a temper. If there is anything that we stop him from doing, with just the slightest amount of the word "NO", he gets mad, runs to the nearest carpet and throws himself to the ground and starts arching his back and throwing his head back and kicking and slapping anything around him. The first couple of days home, this was accompanied with lots of crying. But as every day passes, these tantrums are less severe. There are not even tears anymore. So Renee and I have decided to just ignore him while throwing these tantrums. It seems to be working. The last few tantrums have only lasted a minute or two. They initially lasted nearly 15 minutes.

Daniel is still a daddy's boy. For some reason, he will not let Renee pick him up other than to feed him. She plays with him a lot and he loves it. But when it comes to just relaxing or going to bed, it has to be me (Kyle). We are not sure how to handle this. Yesterday we tried a situation where I went upstairs and hid. Renee was left with him trying to put him down for a nap. He screamed for 45 minutes until he went to sleep. After waking, Renee was able to carry him downstairs and when he saw me, he screamed until he got in my arms. It almost seemed to make things worse. So we are a little perplexed on this. He also pitches a little bit of a fit when Renee changes his diaper. If I am there, then all is well. We will just continue with what we have been doing, hopefully that will start to work over time. We may call our social worker at the adoption agency today to see if she has any ideas.

Daniel started trying to talk yesterday. He has been having outburst of noise and then laughing. This morning Renee and I thought we heard him say Mom, but we can not be sure if that is what he said. We have been trying to point at each other and say Mommy and Daddy over and over, thinking this will help. Also, everything that he has been pointing at, we try to say the word of the item, if we can tell what he is pointing at. Sometimes there are several items around and it is hard to tell what it is he is pointing at.

I understand now when people say parenting is tough, but it is all worth it. Its the little moments that make it worth it for me like when he first wakes up and we are greeted with a little smile. I look forward to all the pleasures parenting brings.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Were home!

We arrived home Thursday morning around 9am. Our CHI social worker (Sara) was there at the airport greeting us with a teddy bear for Daniel. That was very nice of her. We were so exhausted at that point, I don't know if our appreciation showed through. One of our good friends came to the airport to pick us up. Daniel did well on the one long 12.5 hour flight, but the 3 other shorter flights were tough on him. He was screaming several times and just having a tough time. There was one point in the L.A. airport that I thought I might just snap, but I held it together. Other than that the flight was uneventful. Daniel had never been in a car seat before, so you can just imagine what happened on the ride home from the airport.

Daniel has settled in remarkably fast. Its as if he has always been here. He seems to be very comfortable in his new surroundings. He is almost non-stop walking around. We took a 3 hour nap Thursday afternoon and forced ourselves to get up for dinner Thursday night. It was tough on all of us, but it paid off. Daniel and Kyle slept all night. Renee had a tougher time sleeping, but she got some rest. One scary thing happened when we woke up. There was a small quarter sized spot of blood under Daniel's face when we got him up. His nose had bled and was still bleeding when we got him up. We checked the humidity in the house and it is low at around 36%. Much less than what he was used to in Vietnam. We hooked up the cool mist humidifier in his room and it has made a noticeable difference in the humidity in his room.

We are still exhausted, but we did manage to unpack. My Mother bought us some groceries and came down to stay a few days to help us out. One of our friends brought a prepared lasagna that my mother just had to heat up for us. Our neighbors all pitched in to help take care of our pets while we are out. They also got us several gifts. We also came home to a kitchen table full of baby care products and goodies for Daniel from one of our friends. We feel very blessed to have such friends and family.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Farewell Vietnam

As we prepare to leave tonight, I feel that I would love to stay and see more of this beautiful country. This could be the last time we ever get the chance to come back. But at the same time, I realize the real reason we are here. When Daniel gets older and he wants to come here to visit, we will be coming back to show him his birth country. The people here are really nice. Lots of people come up and ask about Daniel. I am just getting to be comfortable here among the Vietnamese people and I feel just a little sad to be leaving. On the other hand I can't wait to get home and continue our lives together in our home and among family.

This was Daniel's play room at the orphanage and the friends he left behind.

When Daniel looks into something he has the cutest facial expression. It took several minutes and several pictures before I finally captured it.

Farewell Vietnam!

Monday, June 11, 2007

All Done!

We had the Visa interview at the U.S. Consulate on Monday which was really easy. They just wanted to check his medical exam results and asked us if we had any questions or concerns about the adoption process. Thuy will pick up his Visa today (Tuesday) and we will be heading home tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Two families are leaving tonight and the rest of us tomorrow. Some of the families that were planning to leave tonight moved to Wednesday because of various reasons. We cannot wait to get home.

We stopped off at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum after our Visa interviews. It may be too hard to see in this picture, but there are two guards by the door dressed in white. They apparently never move all day. I thought about testing them, but then I decided being stuck in a Vietnamese prison was a real possibility and I better hold off.

Here is a shot of our travel group from CHI.

Here is us and Thuy. She is the primary CHI Vietnam contact. We really like her. She is great.

Monday night we all went to a kind of grand finally dinner at a brand new Vietnamese buffet restaurant that was really good. They had some great dishes, but they also had some stuff that I have no idea what they were and I don't really want to know.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

All about Daniel

I know that some of you have been wondering about Daniel. So here is a few things that you might like to know.

Daniel likes to do things himself. He would rather feed himself, but it would take an hour to get a spoonfull down. So, we usually struggle with him so he willeat more. He is shy around new people, but some people here somehow make a connection with him and he is not so shy around them. When he is in "shy mode", he puts his hands in front of his face and rubs his eyes over and over sneaking a peak through his fingers. He is also laughing more and more now.

Well, he is a very picky boy when it comes to food (actually just like his Mom). There are some things here that we have found, that he likes really well, then there are some foods that he absolutely will have nothing to do with. He will just shake is head away from the food. We have found out that he absolutley loves yogurt though. He seems to really like the Strawberry, Orange and Banana. He likes a local brand of baby food that is tomatoe based sauce with ham, noodles and vegetables.

We found out last night that he likes wheat bread dipped in ketchup. We also found out that he does not like french fries. It has been like an act of congress to find some food that he will eat. At one of the restuarants, someone in our group ordered some type of soup, and he just could not get enough. But I can say, that when he is done, you know it.

Daniel does not like to have his clothes changed, just like his diaper (unless it is a messing one).

We have to struggle just a little to get his clothes on him. The day we got him from the orphange he had on a pair of little sandles. We can not tell what size they are, but he really likes to wear them even though they may be a little big.

He is wearng size 18 month clothes. We have also been putting some 24 month clothes on him, to see if the bigger size helps give a little air circulation of some sort, to keep him from getting so hot.

He pretty much likes small toys. He loves the little cars we got him. We brought 2 books with us, and he seems to like the Animal Tales book the best. We also got him to watch most of a Baby Einstein dvd. He was just watching the screen, he seemed to enjoy it, but I can tell you, it definitely calmed him down so much it put him to sleep. His favorite toy so far has been an empty box.

Last hurdle!!!

Today is the day. We are getting ready to go and have our VISA interview. After this is over Daniel will be able to come home with us and be a US Citizen. We are hoping that it will go smoothly. We have no idea of what to expect. We just hope that we do not have to answer a lot of questions.

Welcome to Hanoi

We arrived in Hanoi around 4:00pm on Sunday afternoon here. By the time we got settled in the room at the hotel it was after 6:00. We were all tired and hungry, so we just ordered some room service and then just layed around for just a little while then went to bed. We had to get up fairly early this morning to go and check on our plane tickets. We had been on a wait list and we were told they did not know when we could get our flight out. When we got to the Cathay Pacific office this morning (Monday) we worked with the reservation attendant, we will be leaving Hanoi on Wednesday night at 7:10 and we will be home around 8:40am on Thursday morning. We are excited to be coming home, but it has been a very nice trip except for the heat and humidity.
Hanoi is quite a bit different than Ho Chi Minh City. I can not quite put my finger on it, but the atmosphere around here is different. It is not as hot either.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Just a few pics

Here we are getting ready to head out of Nashville.

This is a picture out of a window at the Hong Kong airport.

Renee and Daniel at the market.

Here we are just after signing the adoption paperwork at the G&R ceremony.