Saturday, April 29, 2006

Buttons Blowing Bubbles

 I have never been an outdoor person. I prefer inside pursuits like music, books, knitting and unfortunately a fair amount of tube watching. Although with Buttons around I feel the need to take her outside and let her explore the world a bit. She loves the outdoors and as sappy as it may sound, I've gained a better appreciation for it myself. She can spot birds and planes often before I do and she has even spotted the moon during daylight hours. She's a sky-watcher and a lover of rocks and bubbles. She is tentative when playing outside and I hope she hasn't learned that from me.

I know we can't be Supermoms, but I really don't want to make mistakes, yet I'm sure I'm making them daily. No green veggie at lunch or dinner yesterday. Possibly instilling an irrational fear of bees the day before. Worried about providing enough Chinese culture for her. Not sure if I have the right balance of activities, including making sure she has enough toys that reflect societies "boy" toys. I want to learn about the person she is, what she loves and what she's not so fond of (diaper changes are tops on that list right now) and I want to do it right. It's not always an evident feature on me, but I can be a perfectionist. However, I don't think parenthood or childhood are really good canvasses for perfectionism. I realize this is not a new dilemma for humankind, but it just seems so much bigger when the mistakes you make can really affect someone who doesn't really have a say in it. So, more green veggies, less "scared of bees" moments, more Chinese culture, more "boy" toys or nuetral toys and maybe less nuerosis and more enjoyment of the little moments that float away like bubbles.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Knit Post#2 The Jester Hat


Well, I broke down and purchased another baby pattern book. I really like it, but I think most of their patterns only go up to age 3. I made this hat out of this yarn. The other pom-pom is "limade" green and both of them come off for washing. In the future, I'd make it about an inch longer before putting the stitches on holders. Yes, I do realize that a sleeping baby makes the knit hat look very good. Next projects? Seaming a sweater I just finished for Buttons and making the bunny hat from this book using this yarn.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Travel and Wait Tips...Finally!

Before I get started, I just wanted to say Happy Spring! I had to share this picture of the weeping cherry tree in our neighbor's yard. Isn't it purdy? And here's Buttons examining the band-aid on her first skinned knee. We are gonna have fun outside this summer!

Now, I hate to make excuses, but I'm gonna anyway. I was in a musical for the month of March that took up most of my free time, so my posting became neglected. However, I have thought about this subject quite a bit and although I don't think I have anything earth-shattering to say, perhaps I can help someone. So, here goes...

Pack lightly, but include the phone number of your pediatrician, anti-biotics for everyone, cheerios, stacking cups and a dish and soap for washing bottles. We also coordinated taking items within our group. A few of the couples talked before hand and some of us took scabies medication while others may have brought band-aids or a an inflatable tub. We figured we wouldn't all need everything on the packing list, so we decided we would share. For more tips on packing, see this site.

Wait tips? Oh, it's just so hard, but here are a few things that we did or wish we did. We took courses in Mandarin, Chinese culture, raising adopted Asian children (seriously, that was the name of the course), and infant and children CPR. I can't tell you how much it helped us wait, helped us in China and continues to be a wonderful thing. Go to the movies! Every. Night. (Please know I am not complaining, but I do wish I would have taken that advice more seriously while I was waiting.) Travel, clean the basement, BABYPROOF YOUR HOUSE, and work on the nursery. The nursery thing was hard for me but once that baby is home you just won't have time. Do something you've always wanted to do but never had the courage to try. I auditioned for community theater and was able to be in a musical for the first time in my life and boy did it take up my brain and my time. Learn to knit, write a book, start painting again, or anything that might prove challenging with a young toddler. Once again, not complaining, but if you're having trouble waiting, spending some time on yourself can be an excellent way to kill time. You could do volunteer work or research various programs that benefit China's orphanages and think about what you might want to do for them.

As far as the actual travel is concerned, sleep as much as you can on the plane on the way over, drink copious amounts of water and walk around every hour or two for at least 10 minutes. We tried to pack lightly for the carry-ons, but we loved our inflatable pillows and a few high protein snacks we brought as well. Our agency was wonderful about making sure everything was taken care of while we were in China, so make sure your agency is on the ball about transportation from the various airports and hotels. Take more pictures than you think you'll ever have time to look at, because you'll still wish you had more. On the way back, have a seat for your child. We can be pretty cheap, but this was NOT negotiable and I highly recommend it.

Understand that the day you meet your child will be filled with every emotion you've ever had and then new ones will miraculously appear as well. Also understand that even though this will go down as one of your best days ever, your child most likely won't feel that same way. It's the hardest thing to do, but try not to go into that day with romantic expectations. Things will fall into place, but it will take time. Also, about half of the girls in our group favored their fathers and no matter how you try to prepare yourself for these possibilities, the theory is much easier than the practice.

If this helps you, please comment. If there is a question you have for me, please comment. Ok, just please comment 'cause it's so nice to know there are really people out there "stopping by" to read my blog.

Good luck to all you travelers!

Another tip is taking Pla*tex bottles with liners for easier clean-up.