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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pig snouts


This is just for our girls......I thought they would enjoy seeing what they missed. You got it right. Pig snouts!

Update

We are having the time of our lives. I love the country of Vietnam. It means so many things to me, but the most important one is because of our little guy! We have a little firecracker on our hands, but we are slowly leaning what works best for us together. He doesn’t do well at meal times. The last two meals we have had were successful. He ate his rice in the room with yogurt for breakfast and rice and sausage for lunch. We then went out to eat as a group afterward (with the two other Holt families) and didn’t have a melt down! As long as he goes to a meal full, we seem to be fine. Last night was the culmination of all big meltdowns into one. I ended up taking him back to the hotel room early and giving him a bottle and he went to bed at 6 p.m. He has trouble eating while we are out where there is too much stimulation. Yesterday he drank two six ounce bottles about 4 French fries and a small 4 oz milk box. That was about it besides drinking lots of water. We are doing much better today!
Dave is out booking a trip for us to Halong Bay. The other couples and our family will be going for an overnight cruise. It is very reasonably priced. I hope that it doesn’t mess up little man’s schedule too much. I see that the photos are gorgeous and with all that I have seen in life, I can’t imagine that it isn’t 5 times more breathtaking in person. I can’t wait.
Tomorrow we take him back in to pick up his passport. I think he has his medical exam and then we file for his visa to come home. We have his visa preapproval, we just need the final OK after the medical exam. After the visa is approved, we will be free to come home. I am anticipating that to happen on Friday, although it will be earlier than on our itinerary. We have our trip to Halong Bay on Saturday and Sunday and we fly out on Tuesday! We are getting really close to the end of this. I know that I will miss being in Vietnam. But more than that, I miss our girls and can’t wait for them to share in this joy of a little brother. It will be quite an adjustment for us, but oh so good. Adoption is a miraculous thing. It is so much more than I can describe in words. Please ask God what your part in adoption should be. Weather it is financially supporting orphans or for your family to adopt their own little one. You will truly be blessed. I don’t feel like this little guy is any different than my biological girls. He is fitting right in.
I haven’t had the access to a computer, like I would like, so I know that I have forgotten to write so many of my thoughts. I hope to backtrack and get them on here soon.
Nathan continues to be a funny guy. He calls me mommy in Vietnamese….over and over and over. At first we weren’t sure what he was saying, but figured out it is his version of mommy. When two year olds talk they sometimes have to have mommy interpret. It doesn’t help that we have two language barriers!
He continues to have success with potty training. He stays dry during the day and is able to tell us when he has to go, but we quite often miss on the potty chair and have had lots of laundry sent out to be cleaned. He stays dry through the night, sometimes and sometimes not.
The pollution here is awful. The noise is never-ending. I have been waking up to a sore throat for the last couple of mornings because of all of the pollution. I look forward to getting back to my nice clean ocean breezes! There are horns continually honking. I’m not sure that even a video can describe it. I’m not the best videographer. The one that I did shoot of me crossing the street was so bad, that I couldn’t even stand to watch it replay once. I’ll have to try again. I have leaned to not make eyecontact. You don’t look…..you just step out and cross. It is treacherous! I’m learning. I need to have nerves of steel and I don’t!
We are going to try to get the other Holt families together to go to the zoo soon. We also don’t want to miss the water puppet theater. Dave and I spent yesterday and this morning walking around the city. We got a lot of walking done. The streets are so interesting and have something new and exciting on every one of them. We have shopped quite a bit, but still have so much more that we want to get. I’m not sure that we are going to get it all finished up.
Nathan is a local celebrity. We stick out with us being white and he being Vietnamese. Everywhere I go we are asked “Vietnam Baby?” and we say “yes” and then they tell us “black” meaning that he is darker than most of the Vietnamese babies they see…..that’s because he was from the southern part of Vietnam. He is darker….I love it. He will be even darker after a few more months on Guam!
One of the sagas of this week was our hotel room safe. I didn’t want to share it, because I didn’t want to have to face the fact that I was going to freak out if somebody else allowed me to . We had our visa interview documents in the safe…for safekeeping, along with some of the cash that we have not exchanged for Dong. The code on the safe never seemed to work, so the staff gave us the key to be able to unlock the safe. Well, about the second day here, the key became stuck in the safe and it wouldn’t come out. We called the staff up to look at it and they were not able to get it free. They called a locksmith the next day and THANK GOD we were able to get our stuff out of the safe. I wasn’t so worried about the cash, I could go to the ATM. I was concerned that I would have to hire somebody to carry the safe to the visa interview with us and explain that we do have the documents; they are just in the safe! I became a little concerned when the locksmith showed up with a rusty tool box and an old hammer that I probably would have found in my grandpa’s tool box. I stood in the back of the room just praying. Sure enough, the paperwork appeared. Dave explained to me later how it “went down.” ….if you stay at the Phuc Loi….don’t use the safe in room 301  The locksmith pounded out the lock and released the safe and in order to fix the safe, he placed a nice professional looking sticker right over the top. I think the safe may work with a key code now, but believe me, I haven’t tried it. Our paperwork goes everywhere with us in Dave’s backpack! Oh, and our military id’s were in there too….do you think the us govn would care if we lost our military id’s in a communist country?
The hotel staff is wonderful and I have no complaints about the price. I wasn’t able to get our first choice of hotels (next door at the Hanoi Elegance) I even gave it another shot yesterday…still booked. I don’t like being “stuck” in the hotel room with tons to blog and not being able to connect to the internet! It was fixed the night that the computer guy was called in and hasn’t worked but one time since then. It is a battle that I am not going to fight. I don’t want to pay twice the price and go through the hassle of switching and then being in a different hotel as our other adoptive families. So now I am blogging on Word and will transfer it over when I can run downstairs without the little man. I’ll try to get some photos here too. Not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

video

video

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pizza!

Very first bite of pizza. Never mind the spoon. He'll learn soon enough that he can eat pizza with his hands.
Pizza Nathan style. We gave him some of our pizza and his rice arrived right after. He immediately topped the rice with his pizza and ate the most that he has eaten since he has been with us!

Yesterday mom received her first kisses (other than the ones that I stole). It was right after his first bite of pizza!




We are staying at the Phuc Loi in the Old Quarter. It is right next to the Hanoi Elegance. The quaint hospitality is unmatched and the facilities are clean and nice.

A few more highlights:

We have never met a little boy who enjoyed changing his clothes so much and is delighted with every new little something that we have for him. He knows immediately that it is his and the excitement is contagious!

Mom's quote for the day...I've had better days--

"He fights everything, he won't eat and he pees all over the place!" We are blessed, but mom needed a break today!

We have internet again!

I thought it was going to kill me...not having internet access. We were able to talk to the girls at the coffe shop internet cafe today. We were going to change hotels if it wasn't straightened out today. Luckily it was!

But, now after chasing a 2 year old all day and helping him adjust to new boundaries, I'm pretty tired!

Here are some of the highlights:

He has mimicked several words to include:

Mom, Dad, Nathan, Kenzie, Sissy, thank you, good job, whoo hoo! and tickle. I am amazed at how smart he is. He is starting to learn his name and respond. I get his cues for potty, outside and hungry mixed up. I try to solve the potty and hungry and figure out when he wants to leave when he gets his hat and gives Dad his shoes!

I haven't ever had little boys so, this is all new to me. I am SO amazed at how much he wants to be EXACTLY like Dave. He was sitting on the potty and started to take his shirt off and I tried to convince him to keep it on. I looked over at Dave and he had his shirt off. I convinced Dave to put his on. This is not the only instance....everything Dave does, Nathan has to do as well. It is quite comical! I think Dave is eating every minute of it up!

We have cracked the code to eating. Let Nathan do it himself and he must use chopsticks! We have a couple of cute videos of him eating. I'll try to upload later, but atlas...I'm tired and won't wait up for them to upload! Here are a few more to keep you for now. If you are a facebooker, add me as your friend. I have a whole lot more uploaded there (it is a lot easier and faster) or add your e-mail in the comment and I will send it to you.

Ok...scratch that. The photo upload is not working and I need to sleep. I'll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A little shout out to our girls!

We miss you so much already. We can't wait for you to meet Nathan. You are going to be great big sisters!

We have a Mouse in the house..

Nathan is doing well, already getting comfortable and showing his 2 year old independance with Mom & Dad! He'll learn soon that we have been trained by the best (our two girls) and we are not pushovers :)

We are now in Hanoi and getting ready to go apply for his passport. There won't be any photos right now because the wireless is not workign in our hotel. Either it will get fixed, or we'll run down to the coffee shop on the corner later today.

Nathan's nickname in Vietnamese means mouse. We are so happy to have a new little mouse in the house! The little voice and feet running around is so much fun.

Nathan gets carsick!!!!!! He covered mom, himself and almost every carry on bag before boarding our flight and then again in the taxi. Lucky for us the taxi driver didn't want to take the long way :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nathan is Ours!!!!

We have a slow internet connection, so this will be short and sweet. I took over 280 photos today, so I'll just share a few highlights. I really wanted to post sooner, but was busy playing!

He is CUTE!
He LOVES his helicopter
He yelled "get out" (in Vietnamese)when we were getting into the van and leaving the orphanage.
He was given excellent care!
He is a great cuddler
He hasn't cried much, although he is a little more sad now that it is bed time
He LOVES 1-2-3...We hold his hands while walking and say 1-2-3 and then swing him...He giggled and giggled.
He is ticklish
He has eaten almost all chocolate today....we'll do better tomorrow!
(he did have a couple of bottles and some meat. I'm not that bad of a mom)
He LOVEs Nathan Bait (M&M's)
He hasn't had an accident all day! Toddlers who don't speak the same language still have a great way of telling you that they have to go!
He has had a bath and a bottle and is cuddling with Dad for bedtime.
He loves his new clothes and toys, especially his Elmo backpack and is very clean...I'm hoping he can teach my girls a few things!
He does not like socks
He sang on our walk this evening while he was snuggling in the Ergo. So cute!
That's all for now. We fly to Hanoi tomorrow. I'll try to update more then. Now what you are all here for....












Sunday, March 22, 2009

Still Waiting!


Our flight into HCMC has been delayed. We are hoping to board in about 20 minutes. We are getting antsy! And....it still doesn't feel real yet! We just got the call to board. We'll check in in HCMC!

Agh! Sleep Deprived!






We are trying to stay awake and get our time clocks reset to Vietnam time. We don't have nearly the jet lag that some do, but leaving for the airport at 2:00 a.m. is enough to throw your system off. We have slept on the flights and are having our longest layover in Taiwan. On our way home, we will not have to endure this layover! However, we are very thankful that our flight here was only 4 hours and the flight to HCMC is 15 minutes...Ok, probably an hour and 15 minutes, but the time change eats up that hour. I can't wait to get there and go shopping.

Give the girls' our love, we already miss them. They are probably having way too much fun to remember to log into Skype!

Hanging Out in Taipei,Taiwan

Dave is shopping and I am hanging out at the cafe. I still can't believe that we are traveling. This hasn't really sunk in. I'm guessing in about 24 hours when he is with us forever, it may sink in. I look forward to landing in Vietnam and settling into our hotel and then go out searching for Nathan's formula and potty bucket. We need to be prepared!

The girls are LOVING having fresh people for their "material." They were so funny last night giving their "babysitter" the rundown and breaking her in with Barbies and games. I'm guessing she is going to be worn out in a week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We're ready!

The house is almost homestudy clean! We are all packed and I am getting ready to make the girls and the housesitters/babysitters fondue for dinner. I wasn't going to make fondue until I got down to my before kids weight, but it isn't fair to make the girls wait for the last 4 1/2 lbs.

We'll be on the plane in 12 hours!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

McKenzie's Science Project












McKenzie's Science Project is completed. Her actual fair is while we are in Vietnam. I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to be there. She has taken it all in stride. I saw a photo of Miley with her guitar at it got me to thinking....why don't we do this with Kenzie? She is such a smart and ingenious girl. Gorgeous too! For all of you boys out there, her daddy wants you to know that he knows jiu jitsu!

Miranda is Preparing for Nathan's Arrival

We were cleaning up a bit and Miranda brought several books to me for Nathan. I told her to go put them on his rocking chair. A few minutes later, I was walking by and caught this....she was reading "to" Nathan!
video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Visa approval

We are approved to enter Vietnam! My list didn't shrink yesterday, it only grew with more things to accomplish. Although, I did get the girls' and my Easter dresses purchased. I still haven't found "The outfit" for Nathan yet. I think Dave is taken care of as well. I took the day off yesterday. I started the day with Bible Study at the chapel, and lunch with a "new" friend. We have chatted at church, but haven't taken the time to go out. I knew I better now, before I have Nathan in tow. We had lunch at the new Chili's here and plenty of shopping at Ross DFL. It was great! Now, back to reality of having a huge list of things to do!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How Much????

I received our final itinerary with hotel reservations and travel arrangements while in Vietnam. I got down to the point where we go to Nathan's orphanage and it read something like 5,600,000. Oh my goodness... I know there is an exchange rate that I need to get used to, but wow! Ok, it isn't as bad as the initial glance. It is around $300 for all of us to travel in the country and fly up to Hanoi. Phew!

Things are progressing well. I have completed a lot of my list(still have a lot more to do) and will be picking up our visa paperwork in a couple of days. I thought one day was strange. I guess I misunderstood. Things are going good. Now if we can just get Dave through the National Prayer Luncheon, we'll all feel a whole lot better. The timing is good,because he isn't gone for it, but it is one of the busiest times of the year for him. We'll make it. The big event is Thursday and we leave on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So much to do!

I should have our Visas in hand tonight. Our agency is the best...don't ever go with anybody besides Holt if you plan on adopting!

Still lots more to do.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Open Air Market

In preparation for our trip to Vietnam, I thought a trip to the market would help.
Note the chicken. This is not a cooler. I KNOW this does not follow the food handling guidelines and pretty sure the USDA has not inspected this. I did survive eating this and it was good.



We found Jackfruit! We didn't purchase any, we'll wait until Nathan is home.

It rained...I love our little Morton Salt Girl

Friday, March 06, 2009

Airline Tickets Purchased!

I have purchased our airline tickets. We have a finalized itinerary which is required for a Visa for Dave and I to travel to Vietnam. Now please pray that this is a quick issue. I am concerned because of our location and mailing our passports to the US and getting them back before we leave. I talked to our travel agent and she gave me a few options. Pray that it works easier than I anticipate tomorrow!

6 Weeks, 2 days and AIRLINE TICKETS!!!!!

Dave has a much better post planned, but I thought I would jump in really quick (while he is at work) and let you know that we did receive Travel Approval and Nathan will be ours forever on March 23!!!!! I'm off jetting around getting travel plans finalized!