Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ergo

Our Ergo arrived in the mail this week, and Robin and I are already trying it out.

I carried around a bag of flour all afternoon today. I'm quickly finding out which of my muscles need attention. The good news is they're now getting a workout.

It's a nice fit and there are a lot of options for carrying baby.

Of course, I can't wear this everywhere, but I wish I could. I've been looking for a way to get into shape without it costing me more of my time. Lugging around weight on my chest all day long would surly strengthen my back.

The diapers also arrived this week. Getting some practice with those could be an entirely different kind of adventure.

-Kyle

Edited by Robin: I came home from work tonight to find Kyle carrying a sack of flour in the Ergo. Ha! It's already a tad dirty ("I was cooking dinner!"). His back was starting to want a break, so I offered to wear it for awhile. While taking off the carrier, he DROPPED the 10lb bag of flour on the floor with a loud BANG! Yikes! More practice necessary for sure!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Alternative gift registry

Robin and I recently learned from some new friends (Jim and Courtney are also adopting through Thailand) about something called the "alternative gift registry".

We had been struggling with deciding how/where to register for gifts...and we knew we had to do something, because people were starting to ask.

Jim and Courtney recommended this site because it doesn't tie you to a specific retailer, so if you're not picky about specific brands, etc, it allows your friends and family to shop anywhere.

Better still, you can ask for second-hand stuff. It doesn't have to be "new" stuff. We are perfectly happy using well-loved items, and it keeps the landfills a little less cluttered.

We're still waiting to hear what friends and family think of it, but for our end, we're very happy with it.

-Kyle

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lists

I blogged back in September about making a list of things to get done around the house.

I'm happy to report that the list was executed pretty well. There are still house projects to be done, but when is that not the case?

With the house in good shape, this week Robin and I constructed a new list, focused more on all the specific things we need to do before T arrives.

While the items on this list are less intimidating than "cleaning out the basement", the list as a little daunting.

I *had* thought that if push came to shove, we could be ready to hit the road in a day or two. I *now* realize that there are a million little things to get done.

I'm not at all worried about getting them done. I can easily knock out a few each night. But any thoughts of kicking back this spring (since I'm not in class) are not realistic.

But, as I'm sure parents out there would agree, it's all FUN work, because it's all for T.

Every item checked off the list gets us a little closer!

-Kyle

Sunday, January 20, 2008

All talk

This week was filled with lots of adoption talk.

Tuesday night I gave a program on adoption to my P.E.O. chapter. I was delighted to be asked to speak, and they were a wonderful audience. I wasn’t sure exactly what to focus on (I could babble for hours, given the chance, as my poor lab-mate at work knows!). I spoke briefly about domestic vs. international adoption, but really focused more on our own process, since it’s what I know best. People asked lots of great questions, and I think T will be lucky to have so many super aunties in the group. I also discovered that some of my P.E.O. sisters have some really great connections to Thailand. One hosted an AFS daughter from Thailand, and one spent a month there with her sister (her sister worked in BKK for several years). I plan to pick their brains soon!

Saturday was equally fun. Kyle and I met a great couple waiting to travel to Thailand for their daughter. We met over coffee and traded stories. Kyle and I were excited to meet another couple who is: 1)young 2)adopting their first child 3)from Thailand 4)who live close by. We assumed we’d get along fine with at least these things in common. We didn’t expect to find so many other similarities between us, and we had a really lovely time. Oh – and we all decided our kids are going to marry each other. =)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Spiffed-up furniture, a jazzy rug, and Herman the Worm

My sister Meredith was invaluable with helping me tackle painting furniture for Thanu's playroom this weekend. The furniture was all stuff we had as kids that needed some serious freshening up. I picked the colors and she got me going. I would have hemmed and hawed about what exactly to do for another good month or two. Instead, we started Saturday around lunch time and we had more than first coats on everything before she left Saturday night. We even got cute fabric to make a back for the little bookcase. (Mod Podge is one of the greatest inventions of all time. How did I not know about this stuff?)

I was so pumped to finish the project, I painted most of Sunday (instead of doing other important things that needed attending to). The little chairs didn't make it into the after shot, as they still need another coat of orange paint. I adore the rug. It's a gift from my good friend Erika.

Do you see the "Herman the Worm" derby car I made as a kid? Did anyone else sing that song at camp? Thinking back, it's a little disturbing. Herman grows bigger and bigger as he eats his own family members one at a time. Hmmm....loved it as a kid, though!

I'm so pleased with how everything came out. I've never thought of myself as being creative or craftily inclined before. But it turned out cute if I do say so myself. Now bring on the books and toys to fill those shelves! (JUST KIDDING, GRANDPARENTS!)

-Robin

So I've got *that* going for me, which is nice

Baht hits new 10-year high against dollar
The baht currency appreciated to 33.13 to the US dollar on Monday, its strongest showing in 10 years against a continuously weakening greenback.

Bangkok Post, 1/14/08

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quote

From the Amazing Race tonight:

"Jen and I know absolutely nothing about Taiwan, except that Thai food is pretty good".

-Nathan

Friday, January 11, 2008

Random thoughts after shopping

I am not a shopper, but I love a bargain. (It's genetic - my grandmother's parents bought a whole barnful of insulation because it was such a good deal. No - they didn't need any of it.)

I hit a great clearance sale today and bought a ton of clothes for T for $30 total. With the final price tag so low, it's no tragedy if T can't wear these next fall/winter - I can always donate them.

Since I've gotten T's picture, I feel like I'm now "allowed" to be in that section of the store. In my (over-actively imaginative) head, there's a gatekeeper at the start of the kid's section:
"Excuse me, ma'am. You'll have to stop right there. You don't have a child, so you don't belong here. Move along."
(All of the mothers in the section raise their heads and narrow their eyes in my direction.)
"But sir, I do have a son - he's in Thailand. Look - here's his picture. We are bringing him home this summer."
"Well by all means, shop away! And happy travels!"
I have to admit, it was a little sad having to pass up all of the really small items because he's already past those sizes, and I missed seeing him that little. Standing there with my stack of clothes in 18-24 month and 2T sizes, I was a bit amazed. Will I *really* have a kid this big at this time next year? It's a bit surreal.

At the checkout, a very pregnant young woman was behind the register. She looked down at her large belly and said she'd love to stock up for next year, too, but didn't know what size to buy. I confided that I was just guessing, as we're adopting our boy and won't meet him until this summer. Her face lit up and she said, "Wow, that's so nice that you have it so easy and don't have to carry him around with you for 9 months!" I smiled and thought, well, easier in some ways, harder in others. I told her that perhaps that's true, but I was a little worried about how we'd carry around a one-year-old with no gradual buildup, and we've started to lift weights. She was really friendly and asked lots of questions about the adoption. It was kind of a funny encounter - 2 first time moms, both looking a little nervous about what they are in for. =)

Robin

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

TV?

Robin and I try hard not to watch a lot of TV, and when we do, we like to record and watch shows without the commercials as much as possible. I've installed a TV card in our computer that records our shows and we can play them back on the TV with the commercials edited out. I call it "poor man's Tivo".

With T's pending arrival, we're now realizing that we have little to no "kid-friendly" programming on the computer. I've got a ton of hard drive space available, so I'd like to start recording and archiving shows now so that we have things we can watch when T is around.

Apart from family-friendly programs, we're also looking for programs for kids that T might like. Robin and I are part of the original Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers generation, so we're a little out of touch with what kids are into these days.

Any recommendations?

-Kyle

Sunday, January 6, 2008

How we learned to pronounce our son's name

The weekend after we got T's referral, we celebrated by eating at Nee's Taste of Thai in Janesville. We showed the waitress a picture of T and asked if she could teach us how to pronounce his name. She gladly helped us out (of course, we'd been saying it incorrectly) and seemed truly excited for us. She came back to our table halfway through our meal to ask if we had any more pictures she could see, and we chatted for a long time about how she spent a few years working in an orphanage in Bangkok, her family in Thailand, and our mutual desire to visit Ching Mai (and avoid the beaches) this summer. She volunteered her family in Bangkok to help us out when we travel-Thai hospitality is amazing. She's hoping to visit Thailand this summer, too, so if we're REALLY lucky we could be there at the same time. She was so sweet, and we exchanged phone numbers. We went back for dinner this weekend and she recognized us immediately. Before we were even seated, she was asking if we had any more news about T. I hope we can work up the courage to have her and her husband over for dinner sometime.

-Robin

Friday, January 4, 2008

First ornament

I know it's past Christmas, but I couldn't resist this snowflake made of bow and arrows. (T means bow and arrow in Thai.) Santa puts one ornament in our stockings each Christmas, and since we didn't hang a stocking for T this year, he didn't have an ornament from his first Christmas. This is the perfect ornament to start his collection.

I can't help but wonder...

...how many Thai flags have icicles hanging off of them.

(High of 90F in Bangkok today.)

His first package

Yesterday we finally got T's package in the mail. We probably pushed the limits of the padded envelope but I couldn't help myself. We sent:
We also had to write a letter to T (which really is more for his foster family, I think) to sort of anonymously introduce ourselves and let them know we love him and can't wait to being him home!

-Robin