Monday, August 25, 2008

Dancin' to Shaggy!!

I took this video the other day in the car....apparently Brady likes Shaggy!!! He was "jammin" to many of the songs, it was really pretty cute. (to hear the music in the car, pause the songlist on the left of the page) Jim and Sherry...you've got to be happy about this!!! : )

video

Thursday, August 21, 2008

CONFERENCE CALL!

We had a conference call with our soon to be new agency, Gladney, this evening. In my opinion the call went very well. We spoke with the President and Vice President and they were both very open and honest...something they promise to be throughout the rest of our process. They also promised to "over-communicate", if there is such a thing and I think this is a big key factor because if there is one thing that our other agency lacked, it was communication. The biggest news of all is that there will NOT be any extra fees associated with this transition if/when it happens...they are absorbing ALL of Commonwealth's debts and will honor all payments made to date! As far as the transition happening, both gentlemen feel that it will indeed go through as Gladney has already been communicating with the Taiwan partner agency and they have also made some good faith payments to the orphanages. It is of their opinion that Taiwan would not be communicating with them and inviting them over if they weren't planning on going through with the transition, and I have to sort of agree. The VP is leaving for Taiwan tomorrow with Ray, from our "old" agency so we're hoping for the best while they are there. The plan is to have another conference call with Gladney in about 2 weeks once they have returned from Taiwan so they can address further questions at that time. Assuming the transition goes through we should have a new case worker by the first week of September!! All in all, I am taking this as good news and feel very good/relieved about this transition. I'll keep you all up date on any further developments.

MOMMY'S HAT!

While I was getting ready to go out for dinner tonight Brady took one of my hat's off of my dresser and proceeded to put it on backwards!! He wore it for a good while and I managed to get him to put it back on once we were downstairs so I could take a picture. He's a character, that's for sure and he always keeps us laughing!!



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FEEDING CHELSEA!

Brady likes to help us feed Chelsea...in fact he gets SUPER excited when we ask him if he wants to feed her!! Take a look at this video and see for yourself!



video

HAIRCUT!!

These are mostly for the grandparents, but....Brady FINALLY got his hair cut Sunday morning and it looks really cute! Of course it makes him look older, but still cute as can be!



NATIONALS GAME!!!

On Sunday we went to the Washington Nationals game with Vivianne and Monica and some of Monica's family. While the game itself was not good, we had a good time. It's A LOT of work to take an 18 month old to a baseball game though!!!

Daddy and Brady outside the stadium


not the best picture, but its the only one we got of the 3 of us.
the new Nationals Stadium...which is very nice, but I have to say, being from Tampa and going to Rays games which are indoors and air conditioned, you get pretty spoiled!!! We could have all done without the sweat on Sunday!!!


Brady with Monica's nephew Andrew, who was SO good with him. Brady really liked Andrew too!! Surprisingly, Brady passed on the cotton candy Andrew tried to share with him!


Someone fell fast asleep once we were in the car!! All the food, fun and heat did him in!!!

RESTON ZOO!!!

Over the weekend we went to the Reston Zoo. Brady had such a good time the other week at the zoo in Dumfries, that I thought Alan would like to see Brady in action!! Even though Brady wasn't feeling too great due to some bottom teeth coming in, he still had fun!!

Taking a peek at the Macaw as we entered.


Checking out the Giant tortoise


Once again feeding the sheep and goats was a big hit for Brady!


On the "hay ride" where we saw zebras, bison, camels, an ostrich, and a bull. It's pretty cool because the animals come right up to the tractor and eat the food that people have (it's animal food, not people food)
the whole time we were in the "goat barn" Brady was "yelling" just like them...it was pretty funny actually!!

We were only there for a couple of hours, but we all had a nice time. It's so much fun to see the excitement in your kids eyes and to hear that joy in their voice!!! I'm looking forward to more family outings like this!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

LOST BALL!!!

Last night Chelsea's ball went under the couch and as soon as Alan got on the floor to get it, he had help!!! This was just too funny to not take a picture of!!!



PARTY!

Our good friends Brian and Kristin and their kids Satya(9) and Brendan(6) were in town so we had a little gathering at our house on Saturday. They will be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary later this month so it was basically the group of us that went to their wedding who were here remembering the good ol' days! The way we met Brian was completely and totally random: Vivianne, Norman, Shelly, Mo, Michael (my brother) and I all played soccer together on a co-ed team called The Intruders. We were a good team but we were missing one key player...a goalie. The guy who ran the league ran an add in the paper recruiting players for teams and as luck would have it Brian answered the add and even luckier for us he was a goalie and a very good one at that!!! Not to mention that Brian fit right in with our team from the very beginning, and that wasn't an easy thing to do because some of us had been playing together for a few years at that point and we were all very close. Anyway, to sum it up, we all became fast friends, Brian met Kristin, they got married and moved to NJ so we haven't seen them in YEARS!!! Needless to say, we had a great time catching up and watching all the kids play together! My brother even brought over the bottle of vodka that we finished the night of Brian and Kristin's rehearsal dinner!!! (not sure why he has kept it for 10 years, but.....).

The kids had a blast playing with the water toys (borrowed from Mark and Margi). That's Nyah in Pink, Brady on the slide and Ewan just right of Brady. (Nyah and Ewan are Norman Shelly's kids)
Nyah in Pink, Brady, Satya, Ewan, Brendan and you just see Chelsea's head


Brendan, Brady, Mia (Mo and Bill's daughter), Satya, Nyah and Ewan


Brady, Brendan, Mia, Satya, and Nyah. Norman tried forever to get the kids to pose and it just wasn't working out quite the way he wanted, but the pics still turned out cute!!

*I realized after making this post that I have to be better at taking pictures of the adults in certain situations...and I think this would have been a situation that would have warranted a picture of the adults....oh well, next time!!!

OLD MINE RANCH!!

On Friday Kristi, Margi and I took the kids to Old Mine Ranch in Dumfries. None of us had ever been there so we weren't really sure what to expect but turned out to be just fine. It's basically someones house and they charge $6 for anyone 2 and over and you get to go on a pony ride, feed sheep and goats, play in the bounce house, take a walk through the barn and go on a hay ride. It just so happened that we were the only people there on Friday so it was even better than it probably should have been!!!

Blake, Ty and Brady on an old covered wagon


Brady "riding" a fake horse


Kristi, Kyle and Kayla on the hay ride


Margi took Brady down one of the slides so I could take a picture


Brady checking out the swans....unfortunately one of them snapped at Brady a few seconds after this, but Brady was fine, just scared!

Brady wasn't so sure about the pony ride so I walked along side of him and that seemed to help.. most of the time he had a smile on his face!


I LOVE this picture of Blake on top of the horse.


Brady's favorite part of the day was feeding the sheep and goats...probably becuase it's a lot like feeding Chelsea!


All of the boys had a great time in the bounce house (that's Kyle next to Brady)


Okay, so I know this isn't the best picture, but it's the ONLY one I've got of the 4 boys together!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

NOT THE NEWS WE WERE HOPING FOR

This past Monday we received the unbelievably bad news that our adoption agency was closing it's doors!! When I first read the news I really thought I was going to throw up. It was pretty much the same feeling I had after each failed in vitro...total devastation. Times are tough enough in the International Adoption community and it didn't help that our agency didn't receive Hague accredidation. They eventually went bankrupt after spending money to appeal the decision, with no luck getting it overturned. SO, what does this mean for us? Well, right now we're being told that we are being transferred to a new agency, Gladney Center for Adoption, in Fort Worth Texas. The agreement is that we will not incur any further costs and that our fee schedule will remain the same, as well as the fact that we will all retain our spots "in line", all of which are good news. Now, the bad news: none of this has been finalized and it will not be finalized until the end of the month at the earliest! Our current Program Director/caseworker (Ray) and the Gladney President are traveling to Taiwan the week of August 20th to finalize the transition with the partner agency (TWCA). Until we have heard that TWCA has approved Gladney we're all pretty much in limbo, but we've been told by our agency that they see no reason that Gladney won't be approved. The only thing I know about Gladney is that they've been around for 100 years, something I see as VERY positive. It makes sense to me that TWCA would be more than willing to work with a US agency that's been around for 100 years, so I have high hopes that this will all go through. This is going to be a long, hard month for us, but thank goodness I've got my Blogettes from my Yahoo Group, a group I have found to be a truly invaluable resource/support group!! In the meantime we're going to continue working on our homestudy and doing whatever we can do without naming an agency. (Some forms/applications require you to name the agency you are working with, so I'm guessing we'll have to wait for approval to file those). And last, but certainly not least, we have a very cute distraction to keep us busy!!! That being said, I'm greatful that we aren't in the process of chasing baby #1, because this setback would be even more heartbreaking if that were the case.

They say that change is the nature of International Adoption and this is certainly proof of that! I think we're trying to see this as a bump in the road that in the long run will just put us a month behind schedule, so in the big scheme of things that's not too bad. We're trying to stay positive and hope that by this time next month we will be moving forward with a new agency. So, check back early next month for the final update!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BUCKET HAT!!

Not the type of bucket hat you were probably thinking of, but this is Brady's version!! He appeared from his toy box like this just a few minutes ago and I just happened to have the camera handy (for once!!). He's a funny little boy who makes me smile a lot throughout the day!




Tuesday, August 5, 2008

NO PANTS!

I think Brady is trying to tell us something because this is how I found him when he woke up this morning.... with no pj bottoms on!!!


And just look how far he launched them out of his crib!!! Looks like some of his friends were evicted too!!


He still thinks he's cute though!!!

LOVE!!!

A group of 12 of us went to Peking Gourmet on Sunday and the highlight (besides the food and good company) was watching Brady and Peyton (the 3 1/2 year old daughter of our good friends Billy and Heather) together. These two are just so cute together!!!

You can't quite see it, but they are holding hands...and just look at that smile on Brady's face!!


Peyton showing Brady something very important!


Hugs!!


Do you see Peyton's arm around Brady??!!! SO cute!!

AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM

Over the weekend we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy branch, which opened in 2003 and is only about 20 minutes from our house. It was pretty spectacular and Brady seemed to enjoy looking at the planes.

Daddy and Brady in front of an F-16 Tom Cat


Not sure exactly what this is, but it's cool and it was hanging from the ceiling.


Not sure what this is either, but I thought the eagle on it was pretty amazing.


Space Shuttle Enterprise


A replica of the Wright Brothers plane.

RANDOM CUTENESS!!

I think this picture speaks for itself!!


This is a bear that Alan's parents gave Brady and we keep it in the car and every now and then Brady asks for it...on this particular day I looked in the rear view mirror and this is what I saw, so I promptly took the camera out and took this while driving!! (that explains the crookedness!)


This is just funny...the other day Brady asked to sit up on the chaise and I guess I must have had a catalog sitting out so he started shopping!!! What I find most interesting is that I usually sit on the couch holding a pillow and apparently Brady has noticed that too!!


I guess I left some more good reading out!!!


SO cute!!!