Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Walk in the Park

I told Brian that since Molly went to bed early, I was going to update the blog while I'm still somewhat coherant. Molly had a rough time going to sleep last night--I think we really messed up whatever nightly routine we've established by taking her to the Water Puppet Theater. We decided from now on we'll be spending our evenings in the hotel. She went to bed with no problem tonight, so Brian's getting us pizza (an interesting break from our usually Kiti dinner)

It rained this morning so today was a little cooler. We decided to buy Molly a stroller, mostly to use as a high chair as I'm not comfortable crossing Hanoi streets with her in it. But today we took a nice, long walk around Hoan Kiem Lake since it was so nice out and Molly got to actually RIDE in her stroller. She liked watching everyone and had a good time. I couldn't believe how much cooler it was without my little personal heater attached to me--but I kind of missed having her so close. She apparently missed being so close as towards the end of the walk, she wanted Mommy. She got back in the carrier for her bottle and I carried her for the rest of the outing.

Molly and Daddy

Pictures from our walk including Ngoc Son Temple

Back in the carrier for her bottle.
And just for fun: A picture of Kiti--where we get take out almost every night.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Water Puppet Theater

Well, this is going to be a short post as it's very late (7PM!) and we're all ready for bed. The highlight of today was going to see the Water Puppet Theater. We went with Patrick, Janet, and Clara and while it was a cute little show, Molly and Clara didn't care for it so Brian and Patrick spent the show walking outside with the babies.

Some not so clear pictures:

What good dads!

And just a couple of cute Molly pictures:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Day!

Today was the best day we've had so far in Vietnam! The biggest reason for this is that Molly's sleep is getting better. She fought a little at nap time and went to bed with no problem. I can't tell you how excited this makes us! It's so hard to see her so sad and not know what to do to comfort her. We're so happy that she did better today!

We also tried a new restruarant for lunch called Al Frescos. It's kind of like a TGIFridays so they have an assortment of food. But we went because I heard they had Mexican! That's right, folks! I managed to find Mexican food in Vietnam! I ordered enchilladas and they were pretty good, but didn't taste much like Mexican. It was pretty much vegetables stuffed in torillas. I guess the torilla was what made it "Mexican." :-)

The other reason we liked Al Frescos is because they have high chairs! Hooray for high chairs! In Vietnam it's coustimary for the waitresses to hold the babies while you eat. Which is fine, except that Molly won't stay with them for long before she wants Mommy. So today Molly had her first experience in the high chair and it was a more pleasurable dining experience for all of us!
After lunch we met up with baby Clara and her mommy Janet. Clara's daddy Patrick was doing some work, so Janet hung out with us for awhile. We went shopping at Trang Tien Plaza which was a really nice, AIR CONDITIONED mall. We had a really good time hanging out and getting out of the heat for awhile.

Can you believe it?! It's 7:30 and I'm still up! But not for long--I'm fading fast. You remember our gifted child? Well, I will leave you with a short little series of pictures displaying one of her gifts--getting her own cheerios! Enjoy!

Look, Mom--I know you hide the cheerios in this yellow box.
If you're just going to sit around and take pictures, I'll just help myself.
You have to open the box like so....and....
Almost there....Ahhh....sweet success!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Out on the Town

We decided to brave the streets of Hanoi today to do some shopping and site-seeing. We went to a place called the Intimex which was a huge grocery store to buy a few things we needed. Then we had lunch at Highlands Coffee. It's so funny--we've eaten almost every meal either at Kiti or Highlands Coffee now that we found it. Eventually we'll venture out a little more. :-)

We also did a little shopping. We bought Molly a little painting for her room and a few children's books that written in both English and Vietnamese.

We found out what our itinary will be for the rest of our stay. Monday, we pick up Molly's passport, Wednesday we have her Visa medical appointment, and Friday we have her appointment at the US embassy. PLAN Vietnam feels like we should have our Visa Friday, but I'm a little worried because some families who have traveled before us have said that sometimes it can be the next day and we are scheduled to leave next Friday. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.

Here are some pictures from today:

Ready for a day out and about

Eating Cheerios at Highlands Coffee

Ready for a nap

Everyone who comes to Vietnam has to wear the hat!

Our gifted child--she's already reading!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Exciting Day

Well, I'm slightly less exausted writing this post than the one I wrote last night. I slept until 4:30 AM which is the best I've done so far. I'm sure I'll finally adjust about the time it's time to go home. Well, this post at least has a title! :-)

Today we met up with some other adoptive families for lunch which was SO nice. It's fun to compare notes on how the babies are adjusting and such. We at a restruarant called Hoa Sua which was a Vietnamese French cooking school. The food was excellent and we had a great time.

This afternoon Brian and I FINALLY found Highland Coffee. Highland Coffee is like Starbucks and we'd heard from other adoptive families that it was really good. Yesterday, we weren't quite sure where we were going, so we decided we'd take a taxi the first time. Well, the driver took us to to Highland Coffee--but it was WAY across town. So Brian got a map this morning and we navigated our way there today. I think the hardest thing for me to get used to (other than the time change of course) has been the streets! I just can't get used to walking out into traffic and just expecting the cars and scooters to go around us.

Molly is still adjusting well. The only problem we've had is that she fights going to sleep. She gets so tired, but she won't go to sleep. She ends up getting herself pretty worked up and has a hard time calming back down. It's so hard not knowing what her sleep routine is or what exactly the problem is. Unless she's really tired and we can trasfer her to her crib (which has only happened once or twice) she sleeps with us. Once she's asleep, she's out for a good little while, but getting there has been hard. I'm sure it's hard for her to be with new people, in a new place, in a new bed. I think it will get easier when we get home and she's into more of a routine.

Her little personality is really starting to come out. She's been laughing all day today which makes us laugh. She's mimicking us a lot which is so cute. I've even been able to get her to make a "kissy" face which is the cutest thing you've ever seen. She babbles a lot and mimicks the sounds that we make. She's such a sweet girl with a sweet little personality. We love her so much--It feels like she's been ours forever. :-)
Kissy Face

Who? Me?


Molly and Momma at Hoan Kiem LakeProof that we made it to Highland Coffee--finally! :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today was our first full day as Molly's parents and it was great! She has been SUCH an easy-going baby so far. She just kind of goes with the flow for the most part. She has quickly figured out that I am her Momma and now she won't let me out of her sight. It's really cute because even if I'm playing with her on the floor and she's in my lap, she will crawl out of my lap, get whatever it is she's after, and crawl back in to play with it. If I walk across the room, she crawls along behind me. Of course, I'm loving it! She's also spent some good time with Daddy--he even taught her how to bounce a ball! It was very cute! :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

She's OURS!!

Wow. I can't believe how much has happened in one day. It feels like we haven't stopped all day today--we went to the orphanage, Brian went to apply for Molly's visa, and then we had our Giving and Receiving Ceremony. The ceremony was nice--and it's so great to know that she is officially our daughter!! She's been such a trooper today. After her meltdown in the van, we've had no tears--she's just taking it all in. I've got several smiles out of her and even a few giggles. She's babbling a little bit--I have a feeling she'll start "talking" up a storm after she adjusts to us a little more.

Her skin looks good. Dr. Hong said that she does not have scabbes which is very good. I'm anxious to see how much she weighs at her Visa medical appointment. She also had her first bath tonight which she really enjoyed. She's been a very happy baby so far and of course we are a very happy Mommy and Daddy! :-)

All dressed up for the G&R

Signing paperwork at G&R
She's OURS!!!

Molly's first bath

All clean and ready for bed!

We have Molly!!!

We have our baby girl!! The trip to the orphanage was so amazing! She very happily went to both me and Brian. I felt like she had been my daughter forever. Our agency's coordinator in Vietnam was walking through the room finding the different babies and I immediately spotted Molly when we got to her room. It was AMAZING to hold her for the first time--it felt so surreal. She happily went along with me until we got into the van to leave and I'm not sure if she was realizing she was leaving or afraid of the van (it was probably a little of both) but she was NOT a happy camper. She cried most of the way back to the hotel. :-( It was so sad, but I have to say it was a good feeling to get to be the one to hold her while she cried. I feel like I've missed out on that for the last 10 months. She feel asleep in the van and she's now sleeping peacefully in the crib that the hotel brought in for us.

We have a busy day ahead of us. We have to go apply for Molly's passport at 2:30 and then we have our Giving and Receiving Ceremony after that. We'll post pictures from that soon! :-)

Okay--I know you guys are anxious for pictures, so here they are! Is she not the most beautiful little girl you have ever seen?!

This was the first time I held her.

The nanny fed her and changed her into the outfit we brought for her.

It was so obvious how much the nannies loved her.

Daddy's girl.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In a few hours.....

Our lives will change forever! It's about 4AM here in Vietnam and I'm ready to go! Unfortunately, we don't leave for the orphanage for another 4 hours. :-)

We got some good advice from several friends who travel internationally a lot to try to stay up the first day we are here and go to bed at a normal Vietnam time. Well, we TRIED--but only made it until 3:00 in the afternoon. So I woke up at around 1AM wide awake and ready for breakfast--we were so exhausted, that we didn't eat anything yesterday after breakfast. Thanks to my Benton Heights buds, we had an assortment of snacks so I had a pack of crackers and and a soda at around 2AM. :-)

I remember my friend Dana who traveled to Vietnam in February saying that her husband did a lot better with the time change than she did. And sure enough--as we speak, Brian is snoring away! No doubt I will be ready for bed after lunch again today!

In all reality, I'm a little surprised I managed to sleep 10 hours last night as excited and anxious as I am! I can't believe after all of the waiting we will finally have Molly in our arms in just a few hours! We drove through Dong Anh yesterday on our way home from the airport. It's such a funny feeling to know that Molly is just around the corner!

I have no idea what our plans are for the rest of the day. I know that Brian has to go apply for Molly's passport at 2:30, but I don't know what other (if any) appointments we have today. Hopefully we'll have an update and pictures up soon!

We're in Hanoi!

I'm typing this from our hotel room in Vietnam! Woo-hoo! :-) While we are VERY jet-lagged, we are very excited to be here so close to having Molly. We are leaving for the orphanage in the morning at 8:00AM Vietnam time! We're SO excited! :-)

The rest of our flight went well. The airport in Taiwan was fun! Hello Kitty was EVERYWHERE! The terminal for Hong Kong was even a Hello Kitty terminal. How fun is that? It's like Hello Kitty land! :-)

Since we left Taiwan, everything has been very smooth. Someone from our hotel was there to pick us up when we got there and we got our luggage without any problems. It was so nice to get to the hotel and get a shower! Our hotel is very nice and we've spent our time here so far getting unpacked and putting together everything for the orphanage tomorrow. Tomorrow is the big day! We'll post pictures as soon as possible!I can't believe we finally get to meet our daughter! We are so blessed! :-)