Friday, August 24, 2007

We will always be friends

August 24, 2007
Your Mom reminded me of something that happened your very first night in Texas. On the way home from the airport we were trying to keep you awake until you could sleep in your own bed. We couldn’t think of anything and for some reason your mom started humming the theme from “Batman” which of course you had never seen or heard and you just giggled – you thought that was soooo funny. She hummed it over and over.
Then last night at the meeting during the song, you were being very affectionate and told me “We will always be friends” – I sure hope so.
Yesterday and today, you have stayed with Jack and Courtney because Sugar Mill is closed for inservice. You guys have had fun playing and Courtney says everything is a race to you guys – who can get dressed fastest, who gets to go first on everything – she took you to a bounce house and you guys kept wanting to compete on who could go up first – she said you couldn’t even enjoying sliding because you were to worried about being first. Also, there is a really tall slide and Courtney says you hold your nose like you are going underwater when you come down. Really cute.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I slept like a cucumber

August 13,2007
So we went to San Antonio for the weekend. We went to the splash park at Sea World and to a Comets game (vs. San Antonio of course) we had a good time and you really said a couple of funny cute things. So we get to the hotel very late on Friday night. You had fallen asleep in the car but wake up some when we get to our room. We had a 2 bed/2bath suite. You are so excited because every room has a TV (so we had 3 TVs). On Saturday night you slept with me and when you woke up Sunday morning, you point to the TV and say “Turn that on” I thought that was funny. Then your mom comes in and says “I slept like a rock” and you say “I slept like a cucumber”…we just laughed and laughed. I can really see you growing up. On Saturday at the water park, we are in this kiddie pool that has a small water slide and we are letting you float around by yourself. Next thing we know you are making a beeline towards something. So I go over to where you are and ask you where you are going. You point to the water slide and say “how do I get to that”. I thought that was so grown up. You saw something you wanted to do and you just started working your way over to it. So you and I went down together and then you went down by yourself. You really enjoyed it. I think you are going to like roller coasters and stuff.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I want to Hold You

August 8, 2007
A couple of really cute things that you say right now are: If you want to be picked up or carried – you say “I want to hold you” It is really precious and of course who could resist that. Also, you love delivery trucks, UPS, FedEx, and the mailman. You call UPS “P-U-S” and right now you tell us when you grow up you are going to be a pilot for a FedEx airplane.

Back to your adoption: Finally, everything is finalized in Russia and you get to come home. You fly from Vlad to Seoul, Korea then to Los Angeles, CA (Nana flies to Chicago from there ) and you fly to Houston. During the flight you get sick and throw up on everything and on Mom. (you always talk about throwing up – it is funny or you will say “I didn’t throw up” you are kind of fascinated by vomiting) They said you were such a good boy on the flight. I pick you up at the airport and this is the first time I meet you. You have been traveling for more than 24 hours and you are still so precious and excited about everything. You want to show me the baggage claim carousel right away. We bring you home and you do fine with you first time in a car seat. The first week you have jet lag but every night gets easier and easier and within 1 week you are adjusted to our Texas time. You come home on November 21st a Saturday. The very next day everyone comes over to meet you and we have your first party. The Suttons, The Noltys, The Winslows, The Legas, The Saouds, and the Dancers all come over – you got presents and everyone thought you were adorable – YOU WERE! You start settling in to your life here much easier than your Mom thought you were. For about a month or so you are afraid to take a bath but we work with you and get you toys and now you love it completely and we can’t get you out. In December, Mom takes you to Chicago so you can meet all your relatives. You have a party while you are up there also however, you got RSV while you were there and you were in the hospital for about 7 days. You went by ambulance – you were a sick little baby and we were all worried. I hated that I couldn’t be there but you were in good hands and your mom never left the hospital the whole time.
In Jan, you, your mom, your Nana and Papa and I go on a Carnival cruise. You loved it. We had a good time. In Cozumel, we went to a beach called Natchi Co Com and it was just a spectacular day – we have some really cute pictures of you there.
You went to your first meeting at the Kingdom Hall, your first Memorial, your first District and Circuit assemblies. You immediately were a good boy and got the routine. Everyone at the hall loves you. You are the “Kingdom Hall Baby” right away. Right now Elton Brown always gives you a piece of candy so he is your favorite and you share a birthday – Elton and his boys love you.
Every September, Nada, your Mom and I rent a beach house at Surfside. You absolutely love it and you settle in to this routine with us also. We are so glad you love the things we love so much. You love to find the moon at night and during the day. You always tell us how good food smells and how pretty things are. You are very dramatic – I think I have rubbed off on you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dale Ernhart Jr.

August 7, 2007
You have a battery powered jeep that is used and you ride it around the cul-de-sac. Well, it finally quit running over the weekend. So yesterday, your Mom took you and let you pick out a new battery powered car. You picked a red NASCAR with the number 8 on it. You love anything with a number right now. Your mom and I assembled it last night after you went to bed. You are so excited about it. You will probably get to ride it a little tonight before the meeting. Last night, we went to Chuck E Cheese. You love going there right now and actually it is fun. You are great at the basketball game and just love it. People are amazed when they see you make baskets.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Weekend Recap

Monday, August 6, 2007
You are 4 – we are going to Chuck E Cheese tonight. That is what you picked. You did not get to go to Jacks – he was very sick and running a fever. So on Friday night we ate at Potbellys and went to a comets game and you caught a t-shirt for a new Football team. You love getting these t-shirts and you ended up wearing it to bed. Saturday, you, me, your mom, Aunt Nada and Jane Red went for dinner at Correllis. You had to have cannoli because Curious George had some in a show you watched. You liked it OK. Then on Sunday we went and you and mom had pictures taken at Oyster Creek park and in front of the City Hall in Sugar Land. You rode your bike with the training wheels and really for the first time you seemed to get the concept of pedaling. You are really proud of yourself for figuring it out. I am proud of you also. On Saturday, we took a nap together – you like to “spend the night” with someone and on the weekends we will let you every now and then. You are fascinated by the brands of cars right now and want to know what all the logos mean. You are so funny you can identify a Ford, a Toyota (that is actually what started it – the Comets play at Toyota center and you started recognizing the logo – it was really amazing because we never talked about it; you just recognized it), Lexus, Honda, Chrysler. We are trying to teach you Mitsubishi but it is hard for you to say. So last night you saw one and you told your Mom – lets talk about that one later. You are 39.5 inches tall and weigh 33.5 pounds.

Friday, August 3, 2007

It's a Boy!

August 3, 2007
We started looking up all kinds of information about babies. Since we didn’t know how old you were yet we couldn’t start buying you presents…we wanted to though. Nada and I decided to give your Mom a shower when everything was set. Your Mom would get updates for EAC very regularly and as soon as they found the right baby they would contact her. Well on Friday, August 6, 2004, your Mom turned 40. It had been 6 months since her paperwork had been turned in and she was expecting a call anyday. She asked them if they had found the right baby and they say they had not and to not expect it soon it would be a few more months. We had a Prince concert that night but we both thought about you a lot. On Monday, August 9, 2004, your mom had a business trip. She gets to the office and gets signed on to the internet and EAC has tried to contact her – they have found her baby. She sends me the first picture I see of you and I can not believe it – you look just like your cousins (Kody and Caleb and all the rest). We both cry for happiness and know that you guys found each other and it is right. EAC sends us a video you have probably watched it a million times by now and we did to – we noticed everything little thing about it. How much you enjoyed playing and how you noticed things that were handed to you. How smart you were to press that button for the toy to make music and how you walk along the rail of the playpen. Your mom starts planning her first trip. At this time, you had to make 2 trips – the first to visit and start the process and the second to come back and make it legal. Now that we know you are 12 months old and a little boy we can really start planning. We have people come out and add built in shelves and window seat, drawers and a desk to your room. Eric Sutton comes out and paints it a nice yellow. Your Mom starts picking out the fabric for the nursery. Joyce Dancer lets her borrow the crib Hailey slept in for you to use. We install gates on the stairs so that you don’t fall down the stairs. We start Baby-proofing the house so that nothing will be dangerous. Now that we know where you live, your mom gets a clock and sets it with the Vladivostock time so that we always know what time it is to you. In October, 2003, your Mom comes for her first visit. You guys love each other immediately. You love that she brings you snacks to eat and everyday you remember that they are in her bag and go and get them. Mom comes to the baby home everyday to visit, play, read and just get to know each other. She is so very sad when she has to leave you but promises she will be back soon to come and take you home. Between the 2 trips, we have a shower for you at Ninfa’s and you get a lot of presents. Everyone is so excited about you coming to live here and can’t wait to meet you. We all get to see pictures so we feel like we know you. About 3 weeks later, Your Mom and Nana fly to Vladivostock to make you an official member of your Mom's family. You stay with them in the hotel for 3 weeks. Your mom got to see you take some of your first steps. They would email very regularly and tell us what was going on – we had a hard time talking on the phone. You were getting to know them and learning English very quickly (up to this point you only spoke Russian). Your Mom had learned some sign language and you picked it up quick too and you communicated that way also. There was another family adopting a baby from the same baby home – so you guys played together some and would go out to eat. They would take you for a walk in the stroller everyday – it was very cold but they would go outside as much as they could. You loved to sit in the window of the hotel and look at everything. You were fascinated by it all. You were afraid of the bathroom and mom and Nana worked with you to try to not get you to be afraid. Mom had brought you toys and the hotel had some also. When you guys would go out to eat in Russia – everyone always noticed you – you have always been charismatic. When everyone would sit down you would try to control everyone – even the adults. So that they would play with you. At the table you would say “Da” and raise one of your arms and you wanted the other people to do it also and usually they would. When you were still a baby and Mom was feeding you babyfood – you wanted her to hold it in a specific hand and you would say “Da” and point to the other hand. Usually your mom would do it. (Need to get back to work – I will write more later. Today is Friday and we are going to a Comets game tonight – right now you love those and are so into basketball. Tomorrow you are supposed to have a play date with Jack and your Mom, Nada and I are going to go to the movie.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The new adventures of Old Henry

August 2, 2007

Sweet Henry, my friend Allison Sutton, mentioned that I should keep a journal for you. So as I think of things over the last 4 years or as they happen, I will write them down. You are about to turn 4 on Monday. It has been a miraculous journey watching you grow up. Just recently, you really started looking like a little boy not like a baby anymore. You are very handsome and charismatic. No matter where we take you people are drawn to you even if they have their own children.

It was in Feb, 2004 that your Mom decided she really wanted to be a Mom. Somewhere, there was a baby for her. We went to Dallas so she could attend a seminar held by EAC (European Adoption ). She liked what she heard and started doing a LOT more research on agencies etc. She started her paperwork and we started to discuss what all needed to happen when you arrived. On Feb 14th, we were at dinner with Aunt Nada and your Mom told her she was adopting a baby. Aunt Nada was so excited and supportive. She wanted to help however she could. I found these really cute shirts and mugs that had a map of Russia with an arrow that said “Baby here” and I bought them for your Mom. When we went out to tell Courtney & John and Grandma and Grandpa Winslow she wore her shirt to tell them. They were all so excited and Jack was only 7 months old…little did we know that you were too.

I don’t remember much about her telling the rest of your family. She will have to tell you that. But I know they were all real supportive and excited also. They knew your Mom would be a great Mom.

We both had to have background checks and get fingerprinted. Your mom had to have a home study and the house and dogs had to be checked out to make sure everything was safe and ready for you. You deserved a great place – and they had found it.