Sunday, January 25, 2009

Random Thoughts

I'm going to begin with a Daycare update. Things went much better last week with no biting incidents involving Nick. I am so happy about this and hope his good behavior continues. He did have a fall on Friday and got a nasty gash on the inside of his upper lip, but you can't even really see it and I think its healing fast. The teachers in Nick's class tell us that they think he is starting to understand how to play more gently with his friends. Apparently he is using his "gentle touches" most of the time.

Nick had his second hair cut last weekend. He was beyond looking a bit shaggy and past due. We took him to Sports Clips and first he watched Bill get his hair cut and then he sat on Bill's lap for his hair cut. He did really well, although you can't tell from the pictures! And, he looked really cute when all was said and done.

While we were out getting haircuts we made a quick stop at the mall to buy some new and bigger pajamas and pants. There was a great sale at The Childrens Place, and we really like the pj's there so we stocked up. Bill picked out the pajamas, which were the warm fleecy kind, and apparently they didn't have many left in Nick's size so we ended up with one set of PURPLE girlie pjs for him. The first morning when I went in to get Nick in the morning he was standing up, in his purple pj's with the biggest smile on his face, it was hilarious. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so we took a few this morning because he had them on again. I love a guy who can wear purple with confidence!

I was thrilled this week because Nick has finally started calling me Mommy. It doesn't happen often, but he will use Mommy to refer to me, which makes me so happy! The other day we were in the car and I said, "Hey Nick, who am I?" and he said "Mommy". I couldn't believe it. He has been calling Bill "Daddy" for a while now. He is also trying to say his own name, which he has some trouble with but its coming along. One of his favorite things to do recently is look at pictures and pick out Mommy, Daddy and Nick.

I've decided to start running again. I stopped last summer right before our second trip to Russia and haven't started back up again (isn't that terrible!). Anyway, I signed up to do a 10K at the end of March so I've got to get back out there to pound the pavement. I need some inspiration for sure! I want to get a jogging stroller and have my heart set on a BOB Revolution but they are pretty pricey and this isn't the best time to spend a bunch of money. If anyone out there is still reading this and has advice on a jogging stroller that you like, please let me know the model and brand!

That is it for now. I'll leave you with a picture of cutie pie from the past week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Doctors, Post Placement, Daycare and a Sad Day

We have been really busy since the holidays, hence the lack of posts. Although I hadn't been exactly cranking them out before the holidays either.

Nick has been sick, on and off, since January 2nd. It started with Pink Eye and a really bad cold. Right now he's got an ear infection but he seems to be doing much better since he went back on antibiotics. Somehow, I have been spared of the sickness but Bill has been almost as sick as Nick.

Earlier this week Nick had his 21 month checkup. Apparently this isn't a normal check but our pediatrician wanted to see him, plus we need to finish up the immunizations. Anyway, Nick really has a thing against the stethoscope. The minute it comes out he starts screaming bloody murder. I don't know why this upsets him so much, but it does and it makes checkups really fun (NOT). Other than the freakout with the stethoscope he did pretty well. He is now up to 24.5 pounds and is a little over 34 inches tall. This means that in 5 months he has gained almost 3 pounds and grown 2 1/4 inches. We had been noticing recently that his pants and pjs were starting to get a little short so this weekend we'll be stocking up on some longer/larger clothing.

This past Thursday we had Nick's first post placement visit. I have to say, we have the best Social Worker, whom I would highly recommend to anyone in the area. She is so nice and Nick took an immediate liking to her. I was a bit worried about how things were going to go with him during the visit because it was late in the day and Nick had what was probably his worst day ever at day care that day (more on that later).

I thought the post placement visit went really well. Our Social Worker seemed very happy with Nick's adjustment to his surroundings and attachment to us. She had some good advice for us to help with addressing some of the regular toddler behaviors and also offered to help us find resources if we need them in the future.

Our agency has given us two different dates for having the report to them, one of the dates is today, as communicated to us through email on Thursday (yes 2 days before it is supposedly due). The other date they gave us in a friendly reminder call on Wednesday is January 31st. This is also the date they communicated to us in writing back in August when we returned from Russia. I really had hoped they would get their act together but through this recent interaction I see that they haven't. It's a shame. We are hoping to get the report to them by the end of next week, which will be a week ahead of the date they gave us in writing. I think thats pretty good!

Back to the bad day at daycare. Normally, I drop off in the morning and Bill picks up at night. But on this day Bill was home sick, so I did both. When I went to pick up I noticed a bunch of sheets behind Nick's daily report but didn't think anything of it and just grabbed his daily report, artwork, and coat, and went into the other room to get him. His daily report noted that he had an OK day (this translates to bad) and had to have several reminders to use his gentle touches with his friends. So, I go in the room to get him and the discussion goes like this:

Me: "Nick, it sounds like you had a rough day buddy."
Teacher: "Well, the first bite was because his friend took his book away."
Me (totally flustered and thankful no other parents are in the room): "The FIRST bite, how many biting incidents were there?"
Teacher gingerly: "Three."
Me horrified: "Three, where are the incident reports?"
Teacher: "On the clipboard, we turn them over so no other parents can see them. We'll need you to sign them before you leave today."
Me: "Of course, I didn't realize, I'm going to get them now."

Oh my god! Three biting incidents in one day! Two of them were not even provoked. Not that it would be any better if they were provoked, its just at least then it would be slightly more explainable. But apparently, during morning snack Nick just leaned over and bit his friends back. Who does that? I was beside myself and so upset. The teacher said they were all really surprised because the little one whom Nick decided to bite not once but twice, is his buddy! So glad that we had to rush home for our post placement visit. Needless to say, getting a report like this was very stressful and upsetting. Not to mention that if I were the parent of a child who had been bitten I would be really upset too. I asked about the kids who had been bitten and the teacher thought the bite marks were all mainly gone by the end of the day. I hope so.

On Friday, I was so worried that Nick would start up the biting frenzy again. When I dropped him off the teacher said that they would keep a close eye on him. And I guess they did because they told Bill that he had made some (not sure how many) attempts to bite again Friday but did not succeed because they got to him before he was able to bite. They do some sort of discipline for trying to bite, not sure what exactly, we'll have to find out. Anyway, I really hope he will stop this behavior now, because I don't want anyone else to get hurt.

Finally, something else happened yesterday that makes me very sad. I don't think I ever mentioned it, but prior to this November I worked for Circuit City at their corporate headquarters. I was planning on returning to work at CC after my adoption leave in mid-November but thankfully found a new job and gave my notice 3 days prior to a massive layoff of 800 people at the Corporate Headquarters, including the team I had managed. This was very upsetting, to have so many friends lose their jobs right before the holidays. But some friends remained employed there and hopefully they would be able to turn it around. Shortly thereafter the company declared bankruptcy and filed for Chapter 11. I had high hopes for the company to fight its way back. Circuit is an institution here in Richmond and I really wanted them to succeed, for the 34000 employees, their customers and the Richmond community.

Unfortunately, yesterday, after failing to attract a buyer able to get financing to buy the company, Circuit City announced that it will have to liquidate its inventory and close all stores.

Say what you will about Circuit City, everyone has a story. I know there were issues, colossal missteps, etc. But, I can honestly say that the people I worked with there were some of the smartest, hardworking, fun and amazing people I have ever had the pleasure to spend my days with. I developed some wonderful friendships that I'm sure will last a lifetime. Not all companies are like that, fostering real teamwork and comraderie amongst their workforce, while still getting the work done.

It is a sad, sad day for the Richmond community and for many communities across the nation that had stores where 34000 people in total were employed.

With that said, I'm going to say bye for now.

Have a great weekend all!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year, we certainly did!

This was such a special holiday season for us. Everything seemed to go so quickly that I really had to make myself stop, slow down, and enjoy it in the moment. Nick didn't really understand what was going on with all the decorations, Christmas music, Santa Claus and presents. I think next year he will understand much more which will make it more fun for him. Its been a while since I've posted, but I'll try to give a rundown of the highlights of the past two weeks.

For us, I think the season really kicked in the weekend before Christmas. That Friday, I left work early to attend the Christmas Party at Nick's daycare. I'm glad I went as it was nice to see Nick interact with the other kids. I was hoping to meet some of the other parents but that didn't really happen, mainly because there weren't many parents there. The minute I got there Nick started showing off, for my benefit I think. It was slightly strange and I was glad to leave and go home to enjoy the last weekend before Christmas.

On Saturday morning Bill, Nick and I went out Christmas shopping. It was fun and festive and we were very efficient (we bought in every store we went it, Bills words BTW!). We were able to get most of the Christmas gifts for Bill's family and some for mine. Nick is good for shopping for about 2 hours, so I went back out Saturday afternoon alone. This time the shopping was frustrating and the traffic was crazy. I was completely unsuccessful which meant that I would be out shopping Christmas Eve. Oh well, whats a girl to do?

I spent most of Sunday finishing decorating the house and cleaning in preparation for lots of company. Bill spent the day making 2 lasagnes for a dinner party and cooking a special Georgian (Russian) dinner of Khatchapuri (a bread stuffed with salty cheese) and a Spicy Georgian Pork Stew. While in Moscow we really enjoyed the Georgian restaurants we visited and the dinner Bill made was fantastic. It brought back so many memories from our trip. Nick loved the Khatchapuri so that will definitely be on his rotation for meals. We are going to make the Georgian meal a pre-Christmas tradition!

On the Tuesday before Christmas we participated in a progressive dinner with our neighborhood friends and had about 20 people at our house for the dinner portion of the evening. It was fun to have everyone at the house and the dinner was a great success. In retrospect, hosting a large dinner party two days before Christmas, on a day that both Bill and I were working, on the night before another workday, probably wasn't the best call. Oh well, live and learn.

The net result of all the pre-Christmas activity was that I ended up having to leave work on Christmas Eve at 11am to do my Christmas shopping for Bill and Nick. I usually do my Christmas shopping late in the season, but I can't remember being so far behind, so late in the game. Somehow, it all came together and I wasn't even the last parent to pick up their child at daycare, thank goodness!

We had Christmas Eve dinner at my sister's house with my nephews, dad and stepmom. It was a nice evening although by the time we got around to exchanging gifts, Nick was on his last leg. So we opened gifts in record time and made a quick getaway. I spent most of the rest of the night wrapping gifts and watching Christmas movies, which is a Christmas Eve tradition for me. It was fun and I was up late!

We had a low key Christmas morning with just the three of us at home celebrating. Bill's Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother-in-Law came around lunch time. Nick took an extra-long nap and didn't wake up until 4pm. By that time, my dad and stepmom came and joined us for dinner and it was really great! Bill made garlic and herb rubbed filet mignon, roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary, sautee'd green beans and homemade parmesan and roasted red pepper bread. I think we were all exhausted by the end of the day.

I worked in the morning the day after Christmas, but was able to leave early and spend the afternoon with everyone at home. We had a nice afternoon opening gifts with Nick, eating and playing games. Nick received so many wonderful gifts. We had put musical gifts on his Christmas list, so there was no shortage of musical gifts. I think his favorite was the Little Tikes Guitar, it plays Message in the Bottle and Rockstar, too cute!

On Saturday Bill's family left and it was time to spend a little more time with my family. My brother -Pat, sister in law-Linda, and nephew-Jack, had flown in on Friday and were staying with my sister Jill. On Saturday afternoon I (it was during Nick's nap time, so I went alone without Bill and Nick) went to lunch at TJ's at The Jefferson Hotel with my family. The hotel looked spectacular and it was nice spending time with my family. Sunday afternoon, my brother's family came to our house to open more gifts, watch football, make cookies, play WII, and eat!

Nick handled all the company, attention and gifts really well. We definitely tried to space out the gifts in order to not overwhelm him. By the end of the weekend, we had gotten through most of the gifts from other people, but Nick hadn't opened one gift from Bill and I (long boring explanation that will go unexplained). We thought it was more important for him to open the gifts from our visitors. So now it is one week later and Nick has almost opened all of his gifts :-)

We had a great first Christmas together, the Christmas cards aren't yet mailed, but the Holiday letter is written, and hopefully I'll get everything in the mail on Monday! I truly hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and wish you all the very best in 2009!

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