Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Catching Up

I am going to attempt to catch up the past couple of weeks if the gremlin can stay sleeping for a while. Yesterday was daddy's first day back at work so we are trying to get on a good schedule... uh oh, I heard a noise. Nope, she is quiet again. Anyway, the last few weeks have been really busy. We visited CHI on the 13th to show off Norah. She was NOT happy and screamed a lot of the time we were there. She seems to have developed a fear of strangers, especially blonds which of course includes her doctor. She screams at the slightest glimpse of her. Crap, she is awake. Argh. Maybe she will just play in there awhile. So below we have a pic of Norah with Nicky Losse, our Viet Nam program director.

And with our SW, Nichole Deal. We won't talk about what happened next. ;-)
Then after exhausting herself from screaming at the agency she was all smiles on the way home.
That night we went out with Norah's Aunt Lauren & Uncle Gil for sushi to celebrate the 1 month anniversary of our G & R. Norah was great through the entire dinner and we all know sushi takes a while. Below Norah eats her first sushi. Okay, no, she didn't really eat it but I learned I could use chopsticks with my left hand and take a picture with my right! All of us together, just for my mother!
Then on the 14th Karen & Khai came over for a visit. The kids were very interested in each other and man is Khai cute. His photos don't do him justice, he is adorable! They played a little while while Karen and I talked about our trips to Viet Nam and the current adoption situation. We both feel very lucky to have our little ones home. Oh, Karen, I found your chapstick in Norah's drum after you left.

Then later in the afternoon, Gran Becki arrived to meet Norah for the first time! Norah learned all kinds of manipulation skills over the next few days with Gran Becki. She also learned to use her hands to reach for us and beckon to us. I think she picked it up from Khai. Also, we had our second pediatrician appt that day. Norah weighed in at 15 lbs 4 oz, which was a 10 oz gain. The doctor was thrilled with this, although I have to admit it freaked me out a little. It seemed like a lot in just a few weeks but we were told she is just catching up. She of course screamed the entire time and got 3 more shots and a 3rd round of antibiotics for her ear infections. The good news was she also got a clean bill of health! Woo hoo!
Meeting Gran Becki.
Trying to determine if grandma is friend or foe.
Honorary grandma Val stopped in for a visit over the weekend. Norah screamed at her too.
Then it was all smiles in the Exersaucer.
And drool of course. Her first tooth is breaking through the gums, it has really made progress over the last few days. Oragel is our friend.
Here she is beckoning... Mama come closer so I can drooooool on you.....Norah is talking tons and constantly says dada although I don't think she associates it with a person yet... it could me me or dada or baba or just random babble. Daddy recorded a video of her talking and we put it on our TIVO. When I play it for her she turns immediatly and watches, smiles, and laughs. It is the cutest thing.
Later that evening we went out to Chevy's.
Daddy, baby and Gran Becki. We did not take enough pics of the visit.
Whew, what is next.. oh yeah, St. Patty's day. Again, Norah was not a smiley baby that day but Granny Janny sent her a bib for the occasion. The next day Gran Becki left us and we had our first Parents as Teachers visit. Norah liked our PAT rep. and had a good time smiling and talking to her.
Then on the 19th we took her into my work to meet the co-workers and she was very good and patient the entire time we were there, even when others were holding her. She got a new panda toy as a reward on the way home. She loves that critter and it's crinkly ears. It is giving Ellie, her elephant, a run for it's money. She also started fruits and tried her first banana, it did not go over well the first or second time but on day 3 she seemed to be coming around. Then friends Sarah, Eric and Connor came from KC to visit and we went to the zoo on Friday. It was a little chilly and I am not sure the kids had a much fun. Norah tried peaches. Below is Connor looking sad. I think he may have fallen. He did that a lot when he was here. But it was great too see them and we had a fun time together.
The new penguin exhibit is very cool. You can practically reach out and touch them.
Happy Feet!
Connor, Sarah and Eric.

Malasian Sun Bear. Eric reminded us that the last time we went to the zoo this bear puked on itself and then licked it off. Yuck.
The lone prairie dog that ventured out for breakfast.
Rabid camel.
Tired baby.
Oh yea and of course daddy keeps messing with Norah and his WOW obsession. Now she is on the vent server? Whatever daddy.
And then it was Easter and I already posted about that. She also discovered her tongue on Easter evening and it was very very funny. It looks like she can roll it and do clover leaf. Since then she has also tried Prunes and Apricots and a tiny tiny bit of Kheer. (Hey, gotta start her early!) On Monday we had our Shriner's appt. for her hands. The doctor would like to do the first surgery mid-May to early June. I am not sure how that is going to work out yet but if that is what she needs then so be it. The surgery will be to separate her index fingers from the others so that she can learn the pinching motion. Most likely it will be a few years before she has to have any additional surgery as the bones need to be at least 1/2 a cm long and they are so so tiny in those fingers. Right now she does not seem to have many problems using her hands at all. It is a bit difficult for her to grab larger blocks but small objects and toys are not a problem.
Then when we returned home we found that Norah's citizenship certificate had arrived. That was very exciting and did not take anywhere near the 3-6 months they told us.
So that is about it. Mommy and baby are just chillin' for a while before Granny Janny arrives Thursday night. We have another ped. appt. on Friday to check on her ears. I am not sure if she is getting 4 more shots at this appt or the one after that. She will not be a happy girl for sure. I just wanted to thank everyone again for their comments and emails. I don't always have time to reply these days but I try! It will be better once our laptop gets fixed. I hope.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Norah's 1st Easter

We are so behind at blogging it is ridiculous. We have had visitors, out of town company and family, more doctors appts and a couple of day trips. Norah appears to be a celebrity! One of these days I will get caught up but for now I know the grandmas wanted to see easter pics.

Norah's first Easter basket (from Gran Becki) filled with presents from mommy, daddy and Granny Janny, Papa NeNe and Great Grandma Katie.
Her first cell phone was a big hit ... and of course a bunny teether... there must be lots of bunnies on easter!
After a nap she got all dressed up in her carrot outfit. We got this outfit 8 years ago, before we were married. It was the first thing we bought for our future child. Even though it is several sizes too big it made me so happy to see her in it today.

Above she is eating the card from her grandparents and below she has a false tooth from a piece of the envelope.


Tummy time.
Soooo BIG!



Buddy Connor saying goodbye after a great visit.
So sweet.
The End. (Norah says, "enough pictures, I want to play with my toys!")





Saturday, March 15, 2008

Leaving Vietnam

Finally, here are the last group of pictures from Vietnam, from the last couple of days in Hanoi. At the time, we really were exhausted and tired and we were ready to come home. Now, just a few weeks later, we do miss it and wish we could go back (although the thought of the flight is a bit daunting--too bad nobody's developed a teleportation device yet).

There's a wonderful french bakery at the bottom of the Hanoi Hotel that served excellent cakes and pastries and the like for an extremely low amount of money.


This was at a Thai restaurant (yummmmmmmmy).


Hue definitely took good care of us all.

Packed and ready to go to the airport to begin the LONG journey back to St. Louis.

Some shots of the Hanoi Hotel lobby.



These trees are maintained throughout the year and controlled so that they will all bloom on the first day of Tet.


Our little pink-striped inmate.

Goodbye to the Capps.

On the road to the airport.



This ad was EVERYWHERE in Hanoi.









Looking over all the pictures, it was funny that this was the last picture we took (this was at the Hong Kong airport) until we got home. ComPLETEly exhausting trip back home. Norah was great (there was an hour between Hong Kong and L.A. where she was crying, but otherwise she was great) but after all the madness of Vietnam, all of those flights with the layovers and the security checkpoints were just too much. Don't even get me started on LAX airport. Seriously. If you can ever avoid LAX, avoid it. Seriously.

I had my one near-breakdown going through the security checkpoint at LAX. After getting our bags (you have to check your bags to LA since they must be taken through customs), going through customs (to get Norah into the country there is a packet of information that must be given to them) and waiting in line to check in for the flight (all of this took about two hours or so) I was DONE. We finally got all checked in and had to go through security. We walked up (Norah is strapped onto my chest as we had spent most of our trip) to the security checkpoint. Norah is starting to cry. Not fuss, but cry. I had my laptop bag on me, so the laptop had to come out. Oh yeah, we're in the States again where our freaking SHOES have to be taken off. We had travelled through however many countries that don't require the super-duper-extra-secure step of removing SHOES, so I had forgotten about this. So, Norah's crying, laptop has to come out of the bag, gotta take off my shoes. I don't know. I was very close to screaming and telling the security guy to shove off (a much less polite version of what I was thinking) but I figured it wouldn't be the best move on my part. Deep breaths saved the day.

Anyway, we made it back home. All in one piece and life is different, but somehow the same--or at least it is as it should be.