Adoption Songs

I am on a quest. A search to find the most perfect song(s) for Cullen's video. We did a lovely video of Alex's placement day and her first year. It is such a treasure to me! And now it is time to start Cullen's. I have a huge list of songs I love. Yet I continue to search for the PERFECT one.

Although I still don't know that I am crazy about how the song is actually sung, I LOVE the lyrics of this one that Teri found for me.

They laid the baby in her arms
she watched her newborn son sleepin'
she bowed her head in silent prayer
and asked the Lord for his safe keepin'
you know his life has just begun
sometimes it won't treat him fair
so be with him when I can't
all I can give my little man
is this Mother's Prayer.


She tries her best to explain
as she holds his little hand
she says you're meant for better things
I hope that you can understand
all the papers have been signed
and your new home's waiting there
and one day they'll tell you soon
how you were the answer to
another Mother's Prayer



Click to play Toronto
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Ahhh, what a sweet word. Home. It was only three days, but it was exhausting. The conference was great. Good people, interesting panels, great dining and lots of fun. But it was challenging too. Cullen didn't do all that well in the hotel. Up 3 to 5 times a night, which is quite unusual. Just wasn't himself. The bad news is that it ended up being an ear infection. The good news is that hopefully is wasn't an indication of how challenging Disney might be.

Sounds like Daddy had his hands full back home as well. Alex didn't get to her required Taekwondo classes all week. She missed the bus for the first time on Thusday and ended up being nearly 2 hours late for school after Daddy ran back in the house to get something and locked the house and car keys inside. Thanks to a locksmith they were back in later that day. Friday seemed to go a bit more smoothly. And even though Alex wore big, clunky sneakers with her cute little skirt and top I laid out...the sky did not fall.

Now it is a mad rush to unpack from Toronto and pack for Disney. Only 11 days to go and I feel soooo enprepared.


Oh Canada!

My mom and I are taking a road trip for the rest of the week. I have a conference in Toronto that I was planning to skip, but really needed to attend. So I begged my Mum to come along and Nanny for me :-) She agreed without hesitation, of course. So she and Cullen will no doubt be hitting the local shopping centers by day while I attend the conference. I am really excited as my mom and I haven't done anything like this in years!!! I am super bad with directions so pray we get there without going too much out of our way.

Daddy is in charge of Alex for the next few days. So apologies to Miss C if Alex comes into school dragging on Thur and Fri. It's not likely Daddy will have her to bed too early. And I should check on her cafeteria balance, I am guessing he is planning that she will be a "buyer" of lunch those two days and not a "bringer". And her hair. Oh heavens, what will he do with her hair????? And she has gym. Will he remember her sneakers and her library book on library day? And her doc appt on Friay?

Let it go, Sue. Let it go. They will be fine.


A Day at the Park

Teri and I spent the afternoon at a local park with the kids. It was such a beautiful day and the kids really enjoyed the fresh air!
Click to play A Day at the Park
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Pumpkin Carving and More

Here are a few snapshots from this past week. We carved Alex's pumpkin on Monday. She picked out the shapes. I did the carving. Cullen did the supervising. We also enjoyed some tasty treats. Roasted pumpkin seeds for me and homemade pumpkin babyfood for Cullen.

The next day Cullen went for a ride. Grandma and Grandpa bought him his first set of wheels!

The vacation that almost didn't happen...

What a night it's been! As many for you know, both kids have been sick. Alex has had the worst of any of us. The latest started on Sunday with uncontrollable coughing, gagging (and eventually throwing up). After 2 days of this, she was given a breathing treatment and sent for a chest x-ray which confirmed she has pnuemonia. Lovely. That was as of 5pm last night. Then at midnight, she began violently vomitting. It continued every 5 to 7 minutes through 4am when we took her to emergency. We spent several hours getting her hydrated with IV fluids and an anti-nausea med was give, which helped immensely. They don't believe teh two were connected adn think it was/is some sort of a bug. Her school called and said 30+ kids were out today with something similar. (So consider yourself warned Heather.)

But the docs were all very confident that we should proceed with the trip as planned and that the zofran would work and help keep her comfortable until it passes. So off we go to Florida in hopes of leaving all of this poor health back in NY!

So, we are off! 12 uninterrupted days as a family!!!!! Life doesn't get much better than that. This evening we'll arrive in Orlando and embark our a cruise tomorrow.


Product Plugs

So it seems everyone has a different tone and agenda to their blogs. Some are informative, some controversial and some just plain funny. I am not really sure where this one lies other than to just chronicle our daily and often mundane lives. So I thought I may add some new features. Since most of my readers of parents of small children, I thought I might post a product each week that I have found helpful.

The product for this week is the Fresh Food Feeder by Munchkin. Although it was around when Alex was a baby, I never had the need for it. Now Cullen in another story. He is always trying to act a bit older and more mature than he really should.. Friends often joke about how Cullen seems so much older than other babies his age. One even asked if we were 100%certain about his age. Cullen has even earned himself the nickname of "The First Grader". So while most babies will suck safely on a biter biscuit until it in complete mush, Cullen will bite it in half with those two tiny teeth within seconds of getting his hands on it. And the Gerber wheels? Shoves the entire thing in his mouth at once. So this little gadget has been a lifesaver. Literally! You can stuff pieces of fruits or veggies inside (or even biter biscuits), and baby gnaws through the mesh releasing the food. Afterwards, you just rinse it out and throw it in the dishwasher. Now I have to admit, it may appear a bit creepy, but I can assure you that my seven month old LOVES it, it is safe and it allows me a few free minutes when we get home to get dinner on the stove. All very important on my list.

This feeder is sold locally at Wegmans, BabiesRus and Target.


Week in Review

Hmmm....let's see. It all started last Sunday about 7pm with a call from mother-in-law. She was frantic, but clear. Dad was bad. Send Shawn down NOW. I threw him his keys and he ran out of the house in sock feet. Mother-in-law thought this just might be "it". We all thought it might be. But once again, grandpa rallied and pulled through. And after a five day stay at Hotel General, grandpa is back home. Seems this is the new routine.

But the excitement didn't end there. Cullen has a never ending cold and Alex came down with her very first ear infection. After one completely sleepless night she was on meds and appeared on the mend. That is, until Thurs when her eyes started seeping with what looked like neon snot! Turns out, the antibiotic wasn't working and her ears were draining right in her eyes. EEEWWW! So another day home from school and another new med and they too started to cleared.

All was well and she was feeling better so we went to Booville at Darien Lake on Saturday. She had a great time, trick-or-treating, running through the maze and picking a pumpkin to paint. And then it happened. The hives. First with her face. Then neck, back and eventually her entire body. This isn't the first time that hay has caused such a reaction, but it doesn't always happen, which is puzzling. A security gaurd did mention that it was treated with a flame retardant, so perhaps that was the cause. In any case, she was one sorry looking little girl. Poor thing has been so uncomfortable. Fortunately though she is still symptomatic at times, the zyrtec and Benedryl seem to be keeping itching at bay. So now we realize that ontact with hay is simply off limits for her.

Despite our little run in with the contaminent, we were able to have a nice day. Here are a few pics.


To Cut or Not to Cut

Yes, that is the question of the day. Seems everyone has an opinion of whether or not it is time to cut Cullen's hair. Daddy has been ready for weeks, while Mommy was not in a hurry to say goodbye to those beautiful baby curls. But over the last few weeks I have had several comments from well meaning family members that, perhaps, it's time. So there lies the question. To cut or not to cut?

Seems like a simple enough question, but with it comes a bit more complexity. As I often do with his hair, I have consulted various African American friends and coworkers (as well as strangers) with this question. The answer from them was a resounding, NO! It appears that the first hair cut for AA babies is typically held off until one year of age. I have heard everything from it's tradition, to it will change the texture of his hair, it will give him "bad hair" and then my favorite....it will make him stutter. My conclusion? It is purely cultural.

Which is where the complexity and questions begin. Although Cullen is half black and half white, society views him as black. Fair enough, I'm cool with that. But the fact is that he is being raised in a white family in a predominently white neighborhood, and (with the exception of a few friends in the adoption community) around mostly caucasian friends. I get the idea behind fostering his pride is his heritage and culture. But to what extent? He is also half Italian. Does that mean I should serve sauce on Sundays? I guess my question is where/what is the appropriate balance?

So, to parents out there raising children of another culture, what do you do or do you plan to do in order to incorporate your childs heritage? How do you celebrate differences without making your child feel different?

As for the hair....Mommy caved. I called a local salon who specialized in AA children's hair, but they wouldn't give me an appointment :-( Said he was too young. So we stopped in a few salons at the mall. And guess what. Daddy chickened out! Appears he was all talk all along. I guess he isn't ready either. So for now, the hair stays, but the questions it raises remain. So I would love to hear from some other families out there!

Oh and lastly, Cullen started saying "Mumma" this weekend. Is it possible for my heart to swell any larger with love for this boy!