Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Love Markers

For a boy that doesn't like messes, he sure does love to color all over his skin. 
Have I mentioned my thankfulness when it comes to Washable Markers? 

Proud little man...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grandparent Lovin'

Brett's parents visited over the weekend and spent all their time lovin' on Jude.
...and we may or may not have gone on a date for the first time since Dubai back in February! we may have gone on 2 dates! :)

Grandpa brought his Ipad and along with it some really, really, fun apps.  Jude loved the "kitty cat!" 

We spent a lot of time at the park and enjoyed temps in the 60's and 70's.
This next pic is of Grandma singing to Jude.
Grandma's singing is magical for Jude. He's absolutely mesmerized by her singing.

The men relaxin' on a park bench...

This is our attempt to get a family picture for the Dossier to send to India. I need a picture of our family and thought it would be great to get one in front of our playground. But I think Jude looks like he's really confused as to why we stopped just feet away from happiness, and Brett looks like he's trying to coach his mom on when to push the button....

Well and this one, we just look a little crazy.
Maybe I'm too picky or maybe I just wonder what these strangers in an orphanage are going to think of us by a few pictures and a 10 page Home Study. Do I really want this picture to reflect us? I'm not sure...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home Study Complete!

We met with our Social Worker for the last interview last night, and are waiting now for her to get her report approved by her Director and our Caseworker. Once we have a notarized copy of the Home Study, we'll send it off with our USCIS paperwork to get pre-approval from immigration that we indeed are suitable for bringing home a child from a Hague country.
We're also finishing off the last of the documents to get the apostille seal. Speaking of apostille, I've mentioned here before that the mere thought of the word makes me want to vomit. Wanna know why?
Here's a glimpse into my day on Monday:

I had 12 notarized NY documents that needed that shiny seal from the Secretary of State.
We left the house at 7:45 in the morning, took 1 bus, and 2 subway lines to start the day at Police Headquarters. (It was then, when taking the J and the Z subway lines that Brett informed that's how Jay-Z got his name. Ya learn something new everyday.)
Anyway, we went thru airport-like security (with our 2 yr old and a stroller), picked up our background check, fingerprints, and mugshots at 9:00 am when they opened the doors. From there, we headed to the County Clerk, stood in an enormous line that went out the front steps, thru another airport-like security check, all to get the signature on the background check authenticated.
From there we walked a few blocks to the Secretary of State with our 12 notarized documents.
[And let the record be known that I woke up on Monday morning knowing full well there was no way any of this would be easy and there was no way I was coming home with 12 apostilles. I knew I would face lines, bureaucracy, and rejection.]
Sure enough, standing in line for 20 minutes, getting called up to the window, I hand the sweet lady my 12 documents. And stood there as she told me that all my notaries need a County seal before getting a Secretary of State seal. She then kindly explained that I had used 3 different notaries among my 12 documents and I would need to go to each county that the notary received her commission. I had three counties, New York, Queens, and Nassau. So I smiled, said thank you, and turned the stroller around to head back to the County Clerk office. We walked the 5 blocks back, stand in security line again, stand in an even longer line to get the authentications. We get half the needed authentication seals. And I'm pretty sure it was at this point in the standing-in-line-thing, that I handed Jude a pen and he drew "choo-choos" all over his legs and arms. Thus he was covered in pen scribbles the rest of the day.

We then take 2 subway lines back home. Jude falls asleep in the stroller on the second subway train, so there's no getting him out to get on a bus. So we walk home in the scorching heat. (It's about 1:00 now.) Jude wakes up on the transfer from the stroller to his bed and thus got a mere 30 minute nap.
I make a sandwich, change our sweat drenched clothes, get in the car and head to Long Island to Nassau's County Clerk. We get that seal, get back in the car, and head to Queens County Clerk.
We finally head home, I pull into a McDonald's drive thru order my 2 yr old his very own 99 cent vanilla ice cream cone. I hand him the heaping ice cream cone in the back seat and say, "Knock yourself out, you deserve it." Jude covers his face, hair, shirt, shorts, arms, shoes, car seat, window, door, all in vanilla ice cream. And he loves every minute of it.
We get home about 4:30. I'm wiped out and wish I could close my eyes. However, Jude's been in a stroller and carseat all day so he's ready to wrestle.

So no apostilles but lots of county seals. We'll wait to get the apostilles until we get the notarized Home Study. That way we can include it in our 12 documents and make just one more trip to the Secretary of State.

It was all exhausting and all so very worth it. I spent all day, walking from building to building, driving through traffic, sticking junk food in Jude's mouth, and standing in lines, all the while thinking about my little girl. All day long I wished she could somehow know we were working so very hard for her today. All day long I wanted to tell her, we're coming, we're coming, we're coming! Each new building I walked into I knew we were one tiny step closer to her.
My sweet little girl, it was all very tiring but all very rejuvenating!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2 Years and 6 Months

So here we are at 2 and one half years. July 8th came and went and I'm blown away by this little delight that lives in my home and I call my son.

His stats at his 2.5 year doctor appointment:

Height: 37 inches (72 percentile)
Weight:  30 lbs (53 percentile)

He's staying on the same curve as usual, pretty much right down the middle.

Jude has recently fallen in love with the bath tub. Or rather, "bubble bath" as he repeats throughout the day. When he actually gets plopped into the tub he lays on his tummy, rests his head in his hands, and just whispers over and over, "bubble bath", "bubble bath." He loves it.

He also loves being in the bathroom with Daddy when he gets ready for work. And sometimes Daddy obliges and lets Jude shave too.

He's started to say "sure" when I ask him a question. I asked Brett who uses "sure" and where did he get this? ...and then I realized that Brett uses it all the time. "Sure" is way cuter than "yes."

He calls any child, boy or girl, "kids." It kind of comes out sounding like, "keets." He always asks if the "keets" are going night-night, or if the "keets" are eating, or if the "keets" are playing.  I'm not sure who he's referring to, but whoever they are they're always doing the same thing Jude is currently doing.

He's obsessed with yogurt pops. He usually gets one everyday after nap time to bring him out of his crankiness upon waking.

Speaking of sleeping, on June 25th we started sleep training. We have now had 17 nights of this thing called sleep training and he has done remarkable. Night 13 proved to be the hardest. But we won and Supernanny would be so proud. He's still waking at least once in the night, but he's staying in his bed which is a far cry from where we were 2 weeks ago. Oh and sleeping thru the night means he wakes up before the birds at 5:30am. We'll take it.

We haven't officially started the potty training (I think we're a month or so from the real deal), but he's started to sit on the toilet. Nothing happens, but he's getting used to the idea.

When Jude tickles Mama or Daddy he tickles us on our faces. Not cool. Which is why I have scratch marks and tiny scabs on my face. We are seriously trying to teach him that the arms and the toes are the best place to tickle.

Favorite book right now is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Favorite cartoon right now Special Agent Oso.

Favorite toy continues to be the choo-choo. A close second would be his legos. He's always asking to "tall." Which simply means he wants to make a tall tower and then punch it.

He loves to use Markers, washable ones mind you. He recently got in a kick of coloring his entire hand.   And a few days ago when I walked out of the room, he decided to color the couch. Thank goodness for $6 washable markers. Our poor couch.

Oh and yesterday my little man had his first blue-raspberry Slurpee. 7-Eleven was giving away free Slurpees on July 11th, from 11-7pm. So I took him on a date, and my little cutie-patootie had his first deliciousness curbside. We're gonna mark the date for next year!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July at the Ball Park

We spent the evening of July 4th at the ball park rooting on the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Before going into the park we strolled the boardwalk of Coney Island in the scorching sun, eating hot dogs and doing some of the best people watching known to man.

For some reason the pictures are really deceiving as to the amount of people. In this picture it looks like we're the only ones there, when in fact there were thousands.

It was Jude's first time at a baseball game, and the Minor League game was just perfect for his initiation. Minor League games are so incredibly family friendly, it seemed like every few minutes we were dancing in the stands or watching men dressed up in hot dog suits running the bases. Despite the heat and lack of ocean breeze we had a blast.

Jude got very dirty and very sweaty that night and for some reason wanted his shoes off while crawling around the stands. Towards the end of the game he started to lose some steam and settled on my lap, shoes off, and propped his precious little sun tanned toes on the bleachers. I had the best seat in the house.

After the game we enjoyed front row seats to fireworks.
And Jude hasn't been able to stop talking about them.  Oh and the Cyclones won!

Friday, July 6, 2012

June Phone Dump

I'm a week late in uploading the pictures from Brett's phone for the month of June.
So here they are, with a few descriptions...

Tamales under the 7 train...

Brett's work trip to Salt Lake City. The view from his office...

A poster in the Salt Lake City airport from Make a Wish. It reads, "I wish to go to India to see the orphanage where I was born."

On our way to Kansas City to celebrate Jude's Great-Grandmother's 85th Birthday...

Playing with the cousins...

Trying to keep the early birds quiet so they won't wake the rest of the house...

On our way back to NY, he fell asleep in the terminal...

And he stayed asleep the entire flight. It was so unusual for us, that we assumed he was sick. He was not...

We got to exit the plane outside the terminal and all of Jude's dreams came true...

Jude hardly ever eats the piece of food that his hands are touching. We've endearingly called these pieces "the handles." Thus a plate full of apple handles...

How we spend our Sunday afternoons...

East River Park at sunset...

Jude woke up from his nap with his shirt like so...

East River Park with friends, and upside down mind you...