Friday, November 30, 2007

To follow the "other" blog

shoot me an email with your info (who you are, why you are interested, etc.). Check under the comments section on this post for my email.

Also, I am in the SLOW process of switching over to a PW protected site. Expect that up in the next month or so. I'll warn you before I switch over, and give you an opportunity to come along on that one too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

private VN related "stuff"

posted to my "other site". Anyone intersted in the next few steps in our adoption will want to check this out.

Shower pix (finally)

yummy cupcakes.

This is a friends beautiful baby girl (isn't she a cutie?!!). She's the same age as Minh. I was SOOOO excited to get to play with her, and somehow it made me fell close to my Minute.

Ten girls, and a lab.

Me and the big box...

Thanks again, Miss B. For the pictures, for the day, and for your friendship. You rock!

holiday times

I did it. I ordered specialty Christmas/Holiday cards!! I am SOOOO excited to actually have a baby picture to put on our family card this year! For the past few years, I've done a family/friends holiday letter. I may do one again this year too, I'm not sure. I have much going on, I might just send the cards. But this year, we've had our biggest news yet! We've moved into a new beautiful house, we've gotten our referral, Tod DIDn't have heart surgery... it's been a fantastic year, but I don't think I have the energy it takes to write the letter, comb through my address book, etc. etc. etc. So, I think it's a fair trade off. I DON'T send a holiday letter, but everyone gets a picture of my baby boy! The cards are lovely, and I'll post a picture as soon as I get them in. Some of you out there are even on the list, so you'll get one in person!!

Sunday, Tod and I are putting up our tree, and I am almost 100% done with my shopping...not too bad. Last Christmas was insane with the selling and buying of a new house, plus all the family visits, etc. I don't even REMEMBER having a tree up, although I know we did. And EVERYTHING came down on the 26th 'cause we had less than 2 weeks to move at that point. This year I plan to relax. I plan to enjoy myself!

You know, I started this post with the intention of bitching about my monster-in-law (another post for another day, I guess), but somehow it turned into a nice post... good for me. I still have to post about my MIL, and how awful she's been about our adoption and referral. Do you think there's a support group for adopters who's families aren't supportive? Or just totally suck? I guess in our case it's just the MIL who isn't supportive, and totally sucks... we're fortunate, I guess. The rest of our family is excited, supportive, and well, REALLY REALLY happy. What I struggle with is, however, how to deal with an awful, selfish, and bratty MIL. Actually, I don't struggle with that. I know how to deal with her. What I struggle with is how to deal with her bing like that after we bring The Minute home... I don't want someone like that anywhere NEAR my child. Is that unfair to Minute? To my DH? Anyway, I said I wasn't going to post on this now. I'll post on it later. AFTER I put up shower pictures, tho'!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm alive...barely

I'm still here. I owe like 1000 people emails, phone calls, etc. I am so totally swamped right now, that you will have to forgive me. I've been sick. Oh, and my insomnia is back full force. So that makes me sick AND tired. I've been spending hours at work on weekends. I haven't seen my house by daylight in 3 days. I haven't spoken actual words in a sentence to my husband in like, 3 weeks. Work is absolutely consuming me right now. I have taken some time to go out and have some fun, but MAN does that take a toll too!! Being sick, tired, AND hung-over is NOT helping me get through my day...

I had a great thanksgiving. We had 8 people over to the house. It was a great time. My brother and sister in-law-came. That was great. But we also had company the previous week (note to self: put up baby shower pix), and THAT was also wonderful, BUT, I want my house back. I want to sleep. I want to stop coming into the office and having my BOSS say "you look like shit. You must not feel well..." He's right damn it, but I don't need him to effing point it out to me!!!!

Anyway, I'm surviving. One day at a time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all. Take a minute, if you haven't yet, to think about what you are thankful for. Me, well, this list would get so tedious if I listed everything. I'll list a few before you fall asleep reading:
  1. Minh, and his double chin...SO kissable!
  2. The nannies taking care of Minh; they are obviously feeding him well, and appear to love him too.
  3. My husband Tod, and my best friend Phil. Two of my three fav boys ever!
  4. Autumn - Our city is beautiful this fall, and I try to spend some time each and every day enjoying the beauty.
  5. All my friends. You know who you are.
  6. My job. I love it. My boss is great (mostly), (most) of my coworkers are great, and the hours aren't too bad either.
  7. My bloggy friends. Thanks, y'all, for reading.

Great Question

I had an email this morning from a friend who asked a great question. (I know you said you were sensitive, but this is a GREAT topic for my blog, and I think it's a wonderfully insightful question, so I'm giving A. full credit for this good topic!! I hope this is ok.).

I've actually gotten this question a few times lately, and have had a long discussion with another PAP (potential adoptive parent) about this very thing: names and adopted kiddos.

To answer the first question many people ask, so kindly (as A. did - "I love his name. I'm glad you kept it".) and others NOT so kindly ("what? That's his name? You're not going to give him a "normal" name?"): Is Minh's name his birth name? Did we change it? How did we decide?

Here's the answer - It is not his birth name. It is CLOSE to his birth name, but we changed it to another common VN name because we felt that we liked the sound of this one better than his birth name (americans can be so awful when pronouncing foreign names!!). However, Tod and I didn't actually PLAN to use this as his first name as we had had another "american" name picked out, but when we heard his birth name, the one very likely given to him by his birth mother, we fell in love with the whole package. We didn't even really discuss it after that!! He was just Minh!!

We had always intended to keep him VN birth name as his middle name, but as I said, when I looked at Tod and told him "We have a son. His name is Minh*" And it was.

I have appreciated when a few of you have emailed me privately to ask "Was this his birth name" or "How did you choose to keep his name". I've always thought (FOR US) it was important to keep some of the birth heritage alive in his name (or in Magic's name too), so that if and when my little ones go out into the wide world, and people see them as Vietnamese (or Chinese), then if they choose to, they will still have their name, to go with their face, their heritage, thier country of origin... Because as much as I hate it, we are ALL judged by others by our face, our skin, our eyes... I've heard other adoptees (from Asia) say that when they were "out in the world" be it collage, or just out and about with friends at the movies, other asians look at them as assume they are "asian"... that they are immigrants with chinese/korean/vietnamese speaking families. That they are EXPECTED to be what people see. Whatever that means...

Anyway, I don't know if this makes any sense. The long and the short of it is this: I wanted my son to have a name that worked in BOTH worlds. I just couldn't bring my obviously vietnamese baby back to the US and name him John. Or Stephen. Or Patrick. When Baby Magic comes home, we have a name picked out for her that we'll use, and it also works in both worlds. She'll get to have her chinese name too. If either of my children at some point when they are older decide they want to change their name back to their birth name, or change it all together, I'll try to be supportive. It's their name. If they want it back, I won't keep them from it.

In vietnam, often times the only information they have in the hospital where the babies are born are the parents names (which are fake, for obvious reasons), and the name of the baby. This, along with her DNA, might be the only thing Minh has from his Mother, and I would hate to take it away from him. That said, we did change his first name a little, and I hope he'll forgive us if it comes to that. But we are fortunate to have his original birth certificate (albeit in Vietnamese and French) but it holds his birth name. I'll keep this for his life book, so at least he'll have that if he wants it.

Anyway, I hope this answers the question in a reasonable way. It was one I personally struggled with, so it is nice to get positive feed-back! A few assholes did ask "But what's his AMERICAN name?"... And as gently as possible I say: Minh. My son's name is Minh.

Bless his heart.

* I'm not giving his birth name here, as I'm not sharing that unless you're family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another day, another chance to get thrown out of the lab

It's sort of become a joke around my house. How many times can Nesh get thrown out of the lab in one week?? Seeing as it's only Tuesday, you'd think I wouldn't have had the chance to break my previous record...and yet, somehow, I've done it. That's right. I'm at home, in my jammies with a dog on my left, and a cat in my lap...while everyone else is still at work. Yup. My mouth got me thrown out AGAIN. Unlike usual, when it's a good natured "get out", today was not fun for anyone involved... but, alas, it does happen. When you get a personality like mine (read mouthy and sassy) and a personality like my boss' (read overbearing and ass-y), well, somedays go better than others. But, for now, I'm home safe and comfy, while my boss is still at work. HA!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Going Down Under, Mates

Just received this today:

I would now on behalf of the AGCSA like to invite you to speak at the 24th Australian Turfgrass Conference to be held in Melbourne from Monday 21 July to Friday 25 July 2008.

This is a major turf-conference in Australia next summer. My boss at Bayer suggested my name a the key speaker at this conference. It's been in the works for a while, but we hadn't worked out all the details until now. My expenses will all be paid, plus they are paying me to speak (a few grand, actually). I guess I better start buying a few new business suits, so I can look the part!!

Woo-hoo!!! Australia, here I come!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday already?!

Well, bloggy people, it's Sunday. My champagne headache/hang over is FINALLY gone... Although, I started my day today with the left over mimosas so I expect it to revisit me this evening. In case you didn't guess, the baby shower was a hit. It was held at Chez Carley so I didn't have to drive, be responsible, or clean up. The fabulous ladies throwing me the party did it ALL. Including mixing me good strong drinks. I had a FANTASTIC time; I have the greatest friends in the whole world. Absolutely WONDERFUL , creative, thoughtful, and fun women. I am so lucky.

Anyway, I WILL post pictures later this week (as soon as I get them), and will fill in the blanks then. For now, I'm going to stay in my PJs all day, drink lots of coffee, and RELAX. Woo-Hoo!

Cuteness for the day: Just finished a little quilt for The Minute Man. Here's a picture of Red Dog "trying out" Minute's quilt.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sorry Bloggy People. I've been swamped. I'm STILL swamped. Nothing much to report, actually. Today is some month anniversary of our DTC, I can't bring myself to count how many...I don't read about China anymore; I don't visit blogs, chat rooms, etc. I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I'm trying to focus on the positive, and I can't do it under those circumstances...

Also, I heard interesting news from my agency this week. We will only have 2 weeks notice before we travel to Vietnam. TWO WEEKS!!! That alone makes me crazy(ier). Is that normal?? I figure, 'round about early January, I'll start gathering items for packing, making lists, putting together baby items, buying clothes, diapers, formula, etc. and let it sit in Minute's room until we get the call. I'm fortunate that my boss is incredibly understanding, but what do OTHER people with REAL jobs do?? I can't imagine going to my boss and saying, um, I have that HUGE report due at the end of January, I won't be turning it in b/c I just found out I'm leaving for 2 weeks (or 3 weeks)... EEK!

I'm so melancholy this week... too much going on in my own head. Maybe I'll post about it, maybe I won't. I haven't decided yet. Just don't give up on me!!

I've got a wonderful weekend coming up; baby shower, good friends, babies, oh my!! I am SO looking forward to this weekend you don't even know!!! I'll certainly post pictures for those of you who can't make the shower. Look for them next week though! I have a ton of work to do in the next few days.

Now, back to work for me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New picture is up

On the other site, I have finally posted a new picture of Minute. Again, the picture is awful, but you can certainly tell it's him!! I am stuck already by how much he's changed in such a short time. My heart is sad that I am missing these changes, but know that I will hold him in my arms soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We are NOT with a NOID agency

For anyone out there in the VN adoption community, or anyone researching VN adoption, I'm just posting quickly to let everyone know that while other adoption agencies are having to close their doors (so to speak), our agency has NOT been flagged as a NOID agency. NOIDs are "notice to deny" possible orphan petitions due to "possibly unethical actions" to be able to get out more referrals. I am first going to say that I have a friend who was with one of these flagged agencies, and I have no doubt that she (my friend) is someone that I believe researched agencies carefully, and would never have gone with an agency she felt was unethical. And furthermore, our agency is not on this list (thank god) and I am remaining somewhat ignorant of all this since I can NOT give anymore energy to worrying or speculating. There's enough of that in the China community, and I've tried to remove myself from that as well.

So, I'm not going to make any further comments on this issue, other than to say, our wait has likely extended due to the over-all atmosphere of unethical adoptions, and questionable practices POSSIBLY going on in VN. However, as I have said before, and I will say it again, if I have to wait an extra month to pick up Minh to make dead sure he's a true orphan and NOT a baby taken under unethical circumstances, I will wait my extra month happily. Or 2. Or how ever long it takes. Our case is fairly cut-and-dry, and those of you with whom I have shared Minh's story know what I mean. There is little doubt that he's a "true orphan", and I'll leave it at that.

With that said, I'll put a new picture up something this week, but don't have high expectations. the pictures are awful. But hey, he's my baby!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

new pix of Minute

Ok, in case it isn't obvious, we're calling our little one The Minute Man as a quickie nickname. While we appreciate the other names put forth (while not chosen, the 2nd best included: Minnie the Pooh) this one stuck. So, today (in fact this very hour) I received new pictures of my little Minute!! I'll post one on the other blog later (I'm at the airport, and don't think I'll have time to post here). Look for it tonight. The pictures are actually not very good, but it is obviously my chunky monkey! Yay!! Of course, if you are family (like you, Big Mama!!) you'll get the next email with all the pix!! Lucky lady.

I'll also share the rest next weekend at the baby shower, so if you are on the list, you'll get to see them then.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

VN update...sort of

Our program director is back in the States... Due to technical difficulties on their end, we don't have any news or pix of the Minute Man, but hope to soon. What they did say (in a very general email) was:

...all of the children in our program are well and
thriving and are the most beautiful children in all of Vietnam. Those of you
who have been matched with children will receive pictures soon but please be
patient as we have had some technical difficulties with equipment. Blame
American Airlines for postponing our arrival in Vietnam for three
days and our luggage for five days. We shot video on a borrowed camera but
cannot transfer it to our computers so we will have to wait for the family
to return with the program we need to install. We had to borrow cameras for
still pictures also and are just sorting out which pictures came from what

There is also some sketchy news on the I600 debacle, but again, very little ACTUAL info in the recent email. I hope to hear more soon...Of course I'll post pictures to the "other blog" when I get them; but I'll let you know first.

On another note, we fly back tomorrow... a good week, but I wish I were flying home today. I'm ready to see my puppies, Uncle Phil, and my bed, and not necessarily in that order.

The Big Easy

I am in New Orleans... and have obviously NOT learned my lesson when it comes to drinking. Tuesday night (and I mean ALL NIGHT) was spent out and about in the French Quarter - bar hopping and listening to some (strange) good live fusion-rock. A good time WAS had by all, but wow was Wednesday a LONG day. Most of the pictures could be used for blackmail purposes (and have been safely stored elsewhere), so I'm only posting ONE Tuesday night picture (I wonder which one that is...?) and a few other mics. pix from other trips out and about.

I've spent a lot of time in the French Quarter, which is very near to where I'm staying, but I also also spent a morning touring some of the areas that were the hardest hit by Katrina. It was very emotionally draining due to the sadness I felt over the loss of lives, homes, culture, etc., but also amazing to see how the city is slowly coming back. Unfortunately, there are very few "coming back" pictures... since those homes are truly few and far between in much of the worst-affected areas. Pictures include a shot or two from Jefferson Parish, upper and lower ninth ward, the Mighty Mississippi, and other around town shots. As always, the pictures are large, so click on them for a larger and better view. The pictures of the neighborhoods are very typical shots for what I saw over and over and over... Hey, FIMA, you did a heck of a job...who WOULDN'T want to live in that trailer for 2 years?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why oh why...

did I think, at 31, that I could play the DRINKING games I used to play when I was 21???

Ok, some history:
So, back in the day, I went to France to hang-out with my BFF, and lick my very raw wounds from being dumped by my then (ex)fiancee. It was one of those "best times of my life" events in my life, and a LOT of it was spent playing drinking games...One of our favorite movies at the time was Tombstone (for those of you not in the know, it's the story of Wyatt Earp and his crew). We used to drink every time someone would say WYATT on the movie...back then it was fun. Back then, I had very good-looking 20-something year old guys to make sure I got to ... bed safely...

Jump to last night: Phil and I were home alone (Tod was at yogi training) and decided to bring out Tombstone...and the beer. Ok, so, I AM NOT 21 ANYMORE!!!

BTW - would someone turn out the sun, just for today???

Thursday, November 01, 2007

finally, mystery dinner pix

Forgive the lousy quality of these pix, my camera is adequate, but not fantastic... (click on photos to see a bigger version!).