Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a week!

Last week we barely had enough ground to start spring training. This week the road was dry enough for Christopher to get his first bike ride in of the season!

Today Alana went with me to get waxed. Self-imposed torture is a lot more fun when you bring a friend along. We had to explain to Sheila, my sadistic esthetician, what a blog was. Alana got a great recording of me screaming while she videotaped the gorgeous scenery outside the window: our mountain range across the bay.

Saturday I had 25 of Alana and Mindy's closest friends over for their joint 40th Birthday Bash. We had a rockin' good time! I never knew we had so much talent in our little circle. I asked to go last because I wanted to be THE DIVA, but there were A LOT OF TOUGH ACTS TO FOLLOW! Alana said I roasted her big time with my comedy routine. I roasted myself as well. For some reason, people find my experiences with self-medicating humorous! Here's Mindy and Alana being serenaded by Charlotte. The fruit kabobs were part of the routine. Mindy is dressed as Steve Heimel, public radio host for The Bush Line. She had some hilarious calls into the Bush line that night! For those of you in "The Lower 48": The bush line is where people who live in remote areas call in and leave messages for other people and it's broadcasted on the radio.

Last Wednesday Alana turned 40! Here's a picture of her and Marina at my house after Jubilee practice where she had not one, but TWO birthday cakes, thanks to Mindy for dropping off the pink one! I bet she didn't put this photo on her blog for her Weight Watchers friends to see!

On Friday Falcom nailed his performance at Jubilee. If Tina Turner could have seen him perform Proud Mary, she would have retired her sequin dress, her blond wig, her stilletos and never sing Proud Mary again because he owned it! It is hard to fathom the depth of his talent until you see hime perform live, on stage. He is truly a child prodigy. When he took the stage, the energy in the whole place was electric! He was in control the whole time. Mystique and Chasey were awesome back up dancers. Alana was an awesome stage mom. I'm glad I only have to be a hockey mom. I hope Maya takes to the ice instead of the stage!

Well, this is my last post before we leave for Vietnam. The next two days I'll busy doing last minute stuff like cleaning the fish tank, the cat's litter box and the guest room for Nanna. The boys will be with Grandma (my mom) by day. Then Nanna (Matt's Mom) will stay with them in our house at night. We are so fortunate to have not one but TWO excellent grandmothers in town. Hopefully, my next entry will have photos of Maya! Please pray for us to have a safe and uneventful journey.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Training in Alaska

Here's Riley and Chris starting their spring training. The boy that looks like Riley's twin is his friend Bradley, another sports enthusiast. Our dog Trevor makes a good outfielder, if we can get him to give us the ball back. Little League doesn't officially start for a couple of weeks but the guys have spring fever. The snowline is receding fast. I think the temperature hit the 40s yesterday, Woohoo!

Yesterday I picked up our travel meds: Oral typhoid vaccine and Cipro for Matt, topical, oral and ophthalmic antibiotics for Maya (per recommendations of our adoption pediatrician in Seattle), scabies medicine, and multivitamins. I wonder if we should bring worm medicine? Guess I should reread the papers from the International Adoption Clinic at Univ. of WA, and the Vietnam manual from Holt International, and the Manual of International Adoption for Health Care Providers.

As soon as I'm done with those, I have to relearn all the Vietnamese that I learned on the Pimsner CD that Matt gave me for Christmas 2 years ago. Once you get beyond the hello, excuse me, two beers please and thank you, it probably won't help me much when I'm dealing with a grieving child. The family that is picking up their daughter right now posted a list of comforting things to say to their toddler that they wanted translated to Vietnamese. I thought, what if I pronounce the words wrong and "We are your parents" sounds more like "We eat rotten fish?". I think the tone of voice and gentle touch will convey what we need to tell her. But I did print the list of phrases just in case.

How am I doing on my to do list? Well, I haven't cleaned the fish tank yet. Or organized the guest room. My mom assured me I don't have to do any of the 5 million things I thought I had to do before I leave because she and Nanna have got it all under control. It's not that I ever doubted them, it's just part of my pre-trip anxiety.

Yesterday I spent the day alternately trying to clean the house and having panic attacks. Everywhere I turn there are piles of stuff that I have neglected for 6 months or more. I open drawers to put things away and things pop out at me. I try to put things in closets and pantries but things fall out when I open closet doors and pantries. Why do I always feel compelled to deal with stuff I've neglected for months just before I go on a trip?

My mom used to do the same thing (except her house is always neat, all the time). I'd ask, "Mom, why does everything have to be perfect before we leave?" She'd say "In case someone breaks in while we're gone." Later on I'd wonder, why should we care if the robbers think we are slobs?" Now I realize it's not the robbers we are cleaning up for, it's the police that will come after the robbers! Seriously, I think we do it because we don't want to come home to this mess.

Matt was shopping on line for a baby carrier last night. We aren't sure we want to buy a carrier if we are only going to use it in Vietnam. Does anyone have a baby carrier we can borrow? We are looking for something that can be worn on the front or the back, for a toddler, 16 pound and up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We leave for Vietnam in 2 weeks!

At last, the long awaited phone call that we thought would never come...came on Monday morning at 7:30am. The coveted TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION! Monday: shock. Tuesday: Freak out. Wednesday: calming down, maniacal joy dissolving into tears at the drop of a hat. That's me. Matt's just happy all the time. Just made my travel plans. We fly out of Anchorage May 2 on China Airlines. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC from now on, which is Saigon to you old schoolers) on May 3. Get the baby May 5, run like hell, no just kidding. We go to Hanoi the next day to get our exit visa and finalize things. Okay, this is really boring... but hang with me. I promise to make this a kick ass blogspot. My friend Alana (the one with the original kick ass blogspot) is here to hold my hand because I am computer challenged.
Alana has an ulterior motive for getting my blog off the ground. You see, next week she turns 40 and I am supposed to be planning her Bitchin' 40 birthday party AND supporting her while Falcom gets ready for his big number in the Jubilee (e.g. Homer talent show), but I, selfish as I am, am preoccupied with planning my little trip to Vietnam.
Here's my to do list:
1. Get travel visas. check.
2. Buy plane tickets. check.
3. Organize Maya's room. half a check.
4. Organize Sarah/Guest room
5. Start blog.
6. Pack
7. Clean fish tank
8. Make 5 million arrangements for boys and "the nannas" while I am out out town for a month.
9. Clean my whole house so we can have Alana's aforementioned Bitchin' 40th Birthday Party at my house 5 days before I leave for VN.
10. Sign Chris up for Little League Tball (Riley is already signed up).

Disclaimers: Alana wants everyone to know she did offer to have her party somewhere else but I wouldn't let her.