Monday, April 30, 2007


I took a one hour nap today. Pure bliss. I NEVER get to take naps. Whenever Grace is taking hers I always have something that has to been done. Well not today. I napped. Try it whenever possible. I highly recommend Sunday afternoon naps.

We had a great weekend...just by doing nothing. The princess is in bed now. I am on my way to bed as well. However I wanted to share a few photos with you.

Grace is quite sneaky. I love her, but it's true. She is a mess. She was a little bored and looking for trouble this afternoon.

The boredom sets in.

Grace thinks the living room curtains would be fun to pull on. She decides to nonchalently make her way to them.

Grace thinks she is undetected. She gives reaches out to give them a tug.

Then she hears the phrase she has recently learned "no no Grace" and she makes a quick, well relatively quick, getaway.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Small Gesture Can Bring Much Joy

As I have said before, the nannies at the orphanage loved all the babies tremendously. They were sobbing when saying goodbye to the babies that they had been taking care of for months. You could see the pain on their faces and in their eyes. Below is a photo of Grace at the orphanage. You can see the pain on the nanny's face as she gives her a bottle.

My dear friend Susan is in Vietnam as I write, she is bringing home her daughter Lily Ana. Lily Ana was only 2 1/2 months old when I went to the orphanage to get Gracie. Susan took a small photo album of pictures of Grace to the orphanage for me. Kelly also sent one of Lucy. I really tried to send photos that showed how much she has grown and how happy she is. I did not add the photos of angry, sad or pouty Grace. I left the pictures of those three personalities here in Tennessee.

Susan emailed me that the nannies loved them! She said they laughed and smiled while looking at the photos of Grace and Lucy. They were especially happy when she told them the albums were for them to keep. I hope that I can continue to send them updates. Susan was also sweet enough to send me pictures of the ladies looking at the photos. One of them is below. Their expressions are so happy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Life of a Single Mom

It seems like everyone is posting about child rearing and motherhood in general. I thought I would add my two cents. I am a single mom by choice. I have no husband, never have had one. Still waiting on my prince charming. Mmmmmm, maybe that's my problem...I am waiting on something that doesn't exist. I digress.

I decided to adopt because I wanted a family, a child who I could love and who could love me in return. At least until the teen years. Girls tend to go crazy at age 12, so who knows what will happen then! Again I wander off point.

Becoming Grace's mom is the best think that has every happened to me. However the life of a single mom is guilt ridden. That is one thing I was not prepared for when I was waiting to be united with Grace.

I have to work. Grace likes having formula, diapers, etc. I want to send her to college someday. An income is necessary. But I still cry sometimes when I have to leave for work. What is particularly hard are the days when she reaches for me as I am about to walk out the door. By the way; this was not one of those mornings. Grace has a new toy with a mirror on it. As I said, she is captivated by that beautiful baby and she can't seem to get enough of her. I don't think she even realized I was leaving.

I am very fortunate that my 22 year old niece comes into my home to take care of Grace each day. My daughter is surrounded by family- my sister and parents are always in and out during the day. Even so; the guilt is all around.

I only see her for about 45 minutes in the morning. Then I have to leave and go to work. Roughly 10 hours later I return home. Terrible I know but when you add work, commute time, stopping to pick up diapers or groceries...sadly enough it's true. Then in about 2 hours she is ready for bed.

I feel quilty if I try to keep her up later. She gets cranky and unhappy. I feel guilty when we've had so little time together. I feel like I am letting her down. Sounds depressing I know. But she is the light of my life and my little blessing sent from God. What is great is that we make the most of our time together and make the daily tasks special.

My favorite time of the day is bath time. Grace loves her baths. She can splash the water and the floor will get wet four feet from the tub! As I have said many times she adores her reflection. She has recently seen the baby in the little chrome thing that closes the drain. She has fallen over in the tub looking at her. Bathtime is the greatest.

A close second is bedtime. Grace lets me rock her to sleep at night. Most nights I keep rocking long after she is asleep. She is growing up so quickly. We spend all weekend together. That is so fun. Especially when we do nothing all weekend but hang around the house and go to church. We make the most of our time together. Do I wish I could stay home with her? Of course I do!

Sometimes I wonder if I am cheating her somehow. But I can't imagine that a father or a stay at home mom could provide Grace with more love than she already receives. My entire family simply adores her and spoils her shamelessly. Everyone in our little town knows who she is, even people I don't know. She is a celebrity.

She is definitely a celebrity to me. I loved her in pictures before I ever met her face to face.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Waiting for News

Susan posted. We learned a bit about Lily Ana. But sadly there were no pics. Susan is having trouble uploading. I remember that. HCMC will be better for communication, it was for us. I keep checking for pictures. I want to see Lily Ana!

To pass the time until I check Susan's blog again, I thought I would share some more pictures. I know...I haven't posted this much since I was waiting to travel.

Grace's cousin Kayla did her toes. They are quite lovely and she admires them so.

I know it looks like Grace is always in her Jumperoo. You have to witness her jumping firsthand to understand. She is constantly on the move. Honestly she won't sit still. Her are some snaps of her in her favorite. The Jumperoo.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I am going nuts!!!

I understand how everyone felt when I was in Vietnam. The internet connection was terrible. I couldn't get online until we moved on to Ho Chi Mihn City. People were dying to hear what was going on in Vietnam. Well now I am dying to hear from Susan. She's killing me! I got a very short email saying she was having computer trouble and will email me later.

On the bright side-I have a couple of pictures. Grace adores animals. That is great since we have the coolest dog in the world. She will watch Ellie as she moves around the house. Sometimes just watching and sometimes she will just laugh. Ellie may just be sitting on the couch, but Grace will giggle. My sister's dogs and cats are always around too. When we are outside and the dogs and cats are around she will just sit there and giggle. It is the most adorable thing you have ever seen. The first picture is of her sitting outside with my mother watching the animals and laughing.

As a single mother it is often very difficult to get photos-the second picture proves that. I did my best to get a picture of Grace and Ellie. But you try coordinating a baby, a dog and a camera. This is the best I can do. Ellie really needs a haircut.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Playtime With My Girl

I can't think of anything other than Susan and Sarah. They are in Vietnam and I am dying to hear from them! They will be going to Grace's orphanage to get their daughters and I can't wait to see pictures and hear the stories of their visit. I am so happy for them. I got to see both beautiful girls when we were there in December. I can't wait to see how they have grown and changed. I am going to go nuts if I don't hear from them soon.

Grace is working hard on a fourth tooth. Sadly she is not feeling her best. She doesn't really want any food, just bottles. She also grits her three teeth alot. I wish I could take away her pain.

Even though she has not felt great, we have had fun together this weekend. Grace and I have had alot of time to play together. Great times like this really make up for having to go out to work each morning. Today we pulled out a ton of toys and played in the floor. Here are some photos of our playtime.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fun in the Sun

It is a gorgeous day today! I thought it was a perfect day to have a little time playing outside. We took the Jumperoo outdoors. At first Grace wouldn't put her feet down and jump in the grass, she just held them up. It was hilarious.

We had a great time playing on an old blanket. Grace is quite enamored with her reflection right now. Check out the picture of my mother holding the little mirror. She just gets closer and closer until she is resting her head on it!! She must be trying to figure out who that truly gorgeous baby is.

After playing outdoors we went inside for some water and Grace's favorite new treat. Graham crackers. She loves them and gets furious if she can't manipulate the cracker quickly enough. She needs the next bite!!! Here are some photos of our morning.

We can't wait until Susan and Lily Ana come to visit and play in the grass with us! We are praying for their safe and speedy travel home from Vietnam.

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Calendar Girl

My mother has everything she could possibly want and if she doesn't she will go out and buy it herself. This makes her a nightmare to buy gifts for, truly awful. This year I decided to do a calendar with Grace as the star. Well I gave her the calendar yesterday. I simply couldn't help myself. She adored it. Here are the photos that have not been posted already.






Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gracie Girl is Nine Months Old!

It is so hard for me to believe that my baby is only three months away from her first birthday. She is definitely NOT a little baby. She has three teeth. She loves to climb. She thinks her activity table would be much more fun if she were sitting on top. Grace is about 29 inches long. Exact numbers are hard, she isn't very helpful with the measuring process. She still wears 6-12 months clothing, all her growth is in length.

My friend Susan is leaving for Vietnam this week to bring home her daughter Lily Ana. Yeah!!! It has made me reflect on my time in Vietnam. We have only been home since the middle of January, but it seems like Vietnam was ages ago. I held Lily Ana when I visited Grace's orphanage. I can't wait to hold her when she gets home to Tennessee.

Grace's roomie at the orphanage had a big day recently. Lucy was readopted and is officially Lucy Huong Elise. What a great day for her family. After all I went through in adoption, paperwork makes us feel secure. Now Lucy has her Texas birth certificate.

Such exciting stuff. Congratulations to these two great families. Our love and prayers are always with you.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pseudo Strabismus

As I am sure your have noticed, Grace has an eye that appears to be crossed. When I had a doctor review her referral photos, she said that it was a pseudo strabismus. That means that since the bridge of her nose is very flat and broad it appears as if her eyes are crossed.

Her pediatrician thought that it might be a crossed eye. If that was the case she would require glasses or surgery. She advised me to have it checked out by an opthamologist. We had the appt on Thursday.

She was such a big girl, she didn't even cry when the put in drops to dilate her eyes. The verdict is that her eyes are fine! I thought I was going to start crying right there. After that she got a round of immunizations, we went to lunch and shopped a little. All that and no fussing.

On Friday she was in the greatest mood. Grace is a very social little girl. She is always happier when she had been out and about. The next day she is all smiles. She will also let anyone hold her. However she is very guarded. If it is someone other than family or close friends, she stares them down and will not smile. People say "she is such a serious baby." They have no idea the character I have on my hands. This week I was holding her close to my face and making some funny noise. She would laugh so hard she would spit in my face. But who cares about a little spit, her giggles are priceless.

As you can see in the photo above, Grace is very proud of her two teeth. She is working very hard to get a couple on top. The other photo is her with her (and my) favorite toy. Baby Einstein toys are so smart. I am posting new photos in Flickr. Click on the badge on the right.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

No Longer a Baby

I brought home a baby from Vietnam. I now have a little girls who is into everything. The only time I get to cuddle is bedtime. The rest of her day is booked with plans of exploration and mischief. Here are some new pictures. Look how big she is getting!!