Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

I'm still around. Just too many things going on to post but I'm ready to jump back in!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Other People's Kids

Last Saturday I took Sammy to Nest (, an indoor playhouse because Chris was working in the morning. The grandparents, my in-laws, met us there. Usually Chris takes Sammy to Nest on the weekend and I take him either Mon or Fri when he’s out of daycare. This was my first time on a Saturday and I’m pretty sure I’m not going again. When we arrived there were a million, ok - a dozen or so strollers in the stroller park area. That was enough to make me want to leave. We arrived at noon when the crowd is usually heading home for lunch and naps. I expected the place to be pretty empty, say no more than five or six families in the downstairs play area. Turns out there was a cooking class going on upstairs for the 4+ year olds. We get our coats off and head downstairs where I can see an unexpected crowd of parents and children. Sammy’s excited because he loves the place. We get our shoes off and head into the play area. I felt like I had to dodge crawling/newly walking kids as well as all the dads who thought it appropriate to lie on the floor and let their kids play on them. Fifteen minutes in the grandparents arrive - yay! Grandmom Carol pops off her shoes and joins us in the play area where Sammy is having a great time sliding, playing with blocks, running around, and mainly sliding ☺ Still, I’m silently (probably not) praying for Chris to get there so I can get out of the mosh pit of kids. Finally he arrives - yay - and I take my leave to drink some coffee. Unfortunately, my little “break” is short lived as Sammy is calling for me. Back into the fray I go. Because I love Sammy to pieces and he’s having such a good time, I suck it up and put on a happy face. That is until the cooking class upstairs lets out and many of the older kids come downstairs, completely running amok, and changing the energy of the play area. The space is really for younger kids and not for six year olds who are too big for the tree house, which houses the slide, and for the toys and books geared towards the younger kids. At least you can sort of reason with them when they start getting out of hand on the slide, trying to cut in front of the little kids. However, there was a set of brothers, probably 3-5 years of age, who were animals and their parents didn’t seem to care. In fact the dad was encouraging their wild ways. One of the problems with these kids was the slide. It didn’t matter who was ready to slide down, they pushed past them to go first or they didn’t wait for the last person to move out of the way before barreling down. Chris had to grab Sammy out of the way because the older of the two boys almost plowed into feet first. Sam is only 20 months old and doesn’t understand that you have to get out of the way once you hit the bottom of the slide. It’s something we’re working on but older kids should know it’s not right to plow someone down, especially a little kid and particularly when the little kid’s parent is telling them to wait for the all clear. So these two bruisers just kept pushing past people at the top and plowing folks at the bottom if they weren’t fast enough. Several times I had to restrain the youngest boy (3 or 4 y.o.) so that Sammy could go down safely, without being pushed, and retrieved by Chris at the bottom. Meanwhile, the parents are there, cheesing it up and not paying attention to what their kids were doing. At one point Sammy was playing elsewhere and when we came back to the slide another parent, a dad, was looking furious as he was carrying his toddler away. He found his wife and was relaying to her that one of the bruiser must have bumped, pushed, plowed into, or somehow injured their little guy who was crying his head off. I think the wife either kept him from talking to the bruiser’s dad, or they didn’t know which one was the dad. The other problem with the bruisers was, they were throwers. Something else the dad encouraged and was a part of.

There was another kid, Ezra (4 or 5 y.o.) who was also unpleasant. He was standing inside the tree house on one of the landings that heads to the slide with a wooden tool box. Every time Sammy was headed to the top of the slide, Ezra thought Sam wanted the tool box and would scream mine. I thought he was a little too old for this but hey I’m not his mother who was nine months pregnant and not able to control Ezra. Although, it seems that she probably didn’t have much control over him prior to the pregnancy. If that wasn’t bad enough, Ezra kept swinging the tool box around, in a small space, with small children around. I was so happy when Sammy was tired enough for us to leave.

Long story short, I generally don’t like other people’s kids when it comes to crowd/group situations. I think it’s because I feel that some parents feel it’s ok to let their kids run wild because they are in a child safe environment. I’m pretty much ok meeting kids on a one-to-one basis, but that’s no guarantee I’m going to like them. This is something I’m going to have to work on as Sammy gets older and starts making friends on his own. Thankfully, I have a little time to work on my game face


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ladies & Gentlemen, we have a walker!

Sammy has been taking a few steps here and there since about two weeks ago. He’s taken several steps in Rittenhouse Square (which I didn’t witness) and more at home. Well, he really got brave on Memorial Day evening and walked from the coffee table to the other side of the living room. Granted, the living room is not gigantic, but he did it! And then he walked some more, and chased after Mr. Smith cat. I couldn’t believe it! But of course, there is video footage of some of the walking. We were too stunned to get a lot of it videoed.

When we picked him up from school/day care the next day, his teacher said he’d been walking all day!He walked while we were there and again at home. It was so exciting I had to call my mom and my sister Jackie. We all predicted he would probably start walking by the end of the month based on his previous attempts.

Today I had lunch with a few former co-workers and took Sammy along. At lunch he ate about a quarter of my spinach & mushroom quiche. The quiche was pretty small but that was a lot of food for him. I fed him from my plate, with my fork, which he seemed to enjoy. Sweet potato puffs and cheddar bunnies rounded out his meal.
I walked them back to the office building where there is a beautiful fountain in the plaza. I set Sammy free from his stroller and he had a great time crawling (fastest mode of transportation) and walking. There are three shallow steps that lead to the fountain and the sitting area which surrounds it. He tried going down the steps alone but needed my help to keep him steady. Then he walked all around the fountain, stoping to both marvel at and figure out a way to get to the water. He was adorable! Alas, I don’t have pictures because I was too busy following behind him

Once we got home and cooled off I changed his diaper and fed him yogurt. I tell him yum when he eats and he’s trying to repeat it. After yogurt there was crawling, walking, and general mayhem. He treats every toy like a ball, throwing it down, expecting it to bounce. Then he wanted to eat share my banana. Instead of breaking off a piece as I normally would, I let him bite it. It’s amazing the progress he’s making in eating table foods. Last week I cut a banana into small pieces for him and all he did was play with them. Today he’s taking bites directly from the banana and begging for more.

So far, age one is pretty good. I feel as if a light bulb has gone off in his head and he’s suddenly able to do a host of new things that he wouldn’t/couldn’t do before, like leaning in for me to kiss him when I ask for a kiss. It’s like wow! What’s he going to do next?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Teaching Moment - Dishwasher Installation

Thursday I had a new dishwasher installed. The two installer guys were in their late 40s to mid 50s, and nice enough. I sat in the dining room with Sammy so that he could watch the installation and I was chatting with the guys as they worked. Both of them had kids so they would talk to Sammy, trying to get him to smile. Tall guy commented on Sammy's hands and said that they were big and that Sammy would probably be a big guy. Then he asked if Sammy's dad was big, to which I replied, he's adopted and his birth dad is pretty tall. Both said I did a great thing and tall guy said his sister had adopted children. Taller guy said that he thought people who gave their babies up for adoption were cowards and that they wanted the fun without the responsibility. I countered that it's very tough for parents to place their children for adoption and that most would keep their children with them if they could. I shared that Sammy's parents were already parenting two children and that they knew they couldn't give a third child all that he needed at this time. I also said that it's better for parents to place their children for adoption if they know they aren't equipped to take care of them. Taller guy then sort of backpedaled and said something like, oh, i guess it (adoption) isn't what I thought now that I know. After that he asked about the process, how long, paperwork etc. So in the end, the conversation ended on a positive note and he is now a little more educated about adoption. This was my first adoption "teaching" moment outside of my family. And I jumped in because I felt protective of Sammy's first parents and of adoption in general.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Finalization!

Finalization was great! Friends and family were there to share to the joy of the day. Here's a quick picture of Sammy at our after finalization lunch.

There will be many more photos to come!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Sammy's First Christmas

Despite the fact that Chris & I are both sick, because of Sammy :), we had the best Christmas ever! Sammy's 1st Christmas started on Christmas Eve when the grandparents, Carol & Angelo, came to the house to bring presents for the baby. I have great pictures I can't wait to post. Anyway, we put Sammy into his highchair and grand pop handed him gifts which he promptly put into his mouth. Once the paper was wet I took the package so that he didn't choke on the wrapping paper. Sammy had great fun slobbering all over his christmas gifts. Grand mom Carol & grand pop Angelo were very generous - Sammy received lots of books and a few toys. After that we went to dinner with them and their friends Lily & Ming and their children David & Elise, who are like their grandchildren. We went to their favorite diner and a good time was had by all. Sammy survived the whole night without any major meltdowns or extra wet diapers. You know, the kind of diaper that is so soaked you have to change the outfit. Yay Sammy! On the oh Sammy! side, there was a pooping situation after dinner but before dessert and we had to change him right there on the booth seat because the diner doesn't have a changing station in its bathroom. Chris did the changing and I provided cover for Sammy and diaper disposal.

Christmas part 2 was at my mom's (aka mom-mom) house on Christmas day. We all had a great time! It was just us, the fam, this time with no "extra" folks so that made it more special. The only regret I have is that my Aunt Marion (aka Mert), who passed away in 2005, wasn't there. She would have loved Sammy so much and been so happy that we adopted him. Dinner was delish as usual. The family had a great time, I think, buying Christmas gifts for a baby. The last baby in my family was my niece Courtney who is 19 yrs old. Sammy received pajamas (much needed) and a couple of outfits. In fact, he is going to wear one of his new outfits to his finalization. It's a cute three-piece pants, shirt, and sweater vest outfit from his aunt Jackie. Totally adorable. Pictures will be posted once we get back from court on Tuesday. Like I said, Sammy had a great time and the aunts, cousins, and mom-mom are totally in love with him. He did really well with all of the excitement of the day and the Christmas tree lights. Chris was worried that he might have a meltdown because the last few times we've been there he's been overstimulated, couldn't get to sleep at nap time, and then cried and needed momma and/or poppa soothing. I think today showed that he's getting more used to my family, whom he doesn't see as often as the other grandparents, and he's dealing better with the stimulation level. We tend to be a loud talking and laughing bunch when we're together and there's always a tv or radio on for added background noise. Sammy is a trouper and is fitting right in!