Archive for the 'Adoption' Category

Will Graduates!!

OK, it’s only kindergarten, but still pretty cool.  Because we adopted Will when he was 4, and he was in an orphanage his whole life, he was really behind the other kids on language and other skills.  In January we had a meeting with his teacher, who warned us that she might have to hold him back.  Well, with the help of one-on-one tutoring, he progressed just enough to move on.  This way he avoids having to be in the same class with Anna, who I think is already ahead of him as far as academics goes.

Working at Home Pitfalls

OK, this morning I’m paying bills - I do the books for my wife’s vet clinic.  Checks come three per page, so if you print three at a time it’s easy.  However, we have eight people who get paychecks, so I had one left over.  So I set up a page with one check taped to the top, and then a sheet of three checks, and pay four bills.  My son and daughter are upstairs eating breakfast, but are making noise.  I click to print the checks and get the next window, but Will is hollering that “I’m done, I’m done”.  I had to go upstairs and settle things.  When I got back downstairs, I had lost my place.  I was in fact at the critical point where I tell Quickbooks that my first page only has one check on it, but I forgot this and just hit the print button.  So only two of my four checks print properly, and I have 2/3rds of a sheet left over.  So I tape this partial sheet on a piece of printer paper and try again.  I just keep getting paper jams, till the printer finally eats the two checks.   So now I decide to pay another bill so I have three checks to print, and can just feed in a sheet of three.  Unfortunately, the old print job is still in the print buffer, so it prints wrong.  I had to do it again.   So a process that would have taken two mouse clicks to finish had I not been interrupted took 45 minutes of hair-pulling.  I can see why working at home is discouraged sometimes.

Will Swimming

Hi.  I think I referred earlier to Will swimming at Shea’s birthday party, swallowing water and then falling asleep on his little raft.  I’m finally getting some pics up just to let you know that it wasn’t totally miserable for him.  Sorry for the poor quality - I don’t know what was set wrong with my camera.

Will in the pool, part 1Will in the pool, part 2Will in the pool, part 3Will’s friend

And for an off - topic note, here’s my Facebook profile pic, a bit of political humor, and an excuse for heterosexual males to watch Olympic figure skating.





Ok, in what has been a traumatic week, with Renee leaving, Eileen having complications after delivering her new daughter (my niece) - I hear from Jon she’s OK now - and me having two lectures on a business trip to deal with (turned out great, but there was some drama involved beforehand), it seems odd to post about youth soccer, but that’s what parents do.

Will has been taking a soccer skills class on Saturday mornings (heaven forbid anyone should sleep in) and today was the culmination, a GAME.  At first, Will didn’t really know what to do - they started him on defense and he was just standing there.  When I told him to go get the ball he ran forward and picked it up with his hands.  He did that one more time and then we finally it into his head that he had to kick the ball forward.  Oddly, things kicked in after that; he  was moved to wing and he did a good job of dribbling and kicking.  He was smiling and was all over the pitch.  I was meantime trying to deal with Anna - who was cold and letting me know about it.  I put my jacket over hers and that helped for a while; it was rainy and ugly out.  OF course - you know this is coming - as we retreated to a nearby dugout to warm Anna up, Will had his big moment.  He dribbled in front of the goal and then kicked it in.  I barely saw it, but Will had scored a goal.  Yeah.  He had fun, and now we’re home.  He doesn’t yet get the team idea (once he started going after the ball, he would take it from his teammates as well as from opponents) but not bad for a four year old.  He was mixed in with first and second graders, and I swear one kid was actually TWICE as tall as he was.

Ithaca Science Center

While in Ithaca, I took the kids to the Science Center.  The center has alot of exhibits that the kids can interact with, like building a dam or rolling pennies down a parabolic incline.  It is basically a glorified playground for them, and there is an enclosed outdoor area with climbing ropes.  They had a good time.  Here are some pics.

sc11.jpg  At the Entrance

sc31.jpg Anna on a triceratops head

sc2.jpg Will and Anna dancing in the mirror exhibit

sc5.jpg  Anna and Will building a dam with some other kids

sc42.jpg  Monkeys having fun

Material Safety Sheets, and Anna-isms

For any of you who have ever worked in a lab or taught a science class, you’ll get a kick out of this article on Material safety data sheets for standard chemicals:

The author looks at the warnings accompanying sand:  prolonged exposure causes cancer, it can only be used in a fume hood, and - let’s post this on the beach - people who come in contact with sand should  “Immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes.”.

He also sites the situation where a bridge in SF was shut down while a special squad was called in to clean up a hazardous spill of iron oxide - aka “rust” - because the MSDS said you had to have protective gear to handle it.

*** Anna -ism ***

I realize that no one actually reads my posts unless I put some Anna news in, so here it is.  Anna likes to pretend to be a monkey, and Will likes to pretend he’s a dog.  I was refilling the water bowl for our real canines and the kids wanted to know why Porter was drinking the way he did - lapping with his tongue.  After I explained, Anna then noted that William will be able drink this way once he grows up and becomes a real dog. ;)

Odds and Ends

Anna and Will had a nice “play-date” with Grammy and Nonno on Friday.  The grandparents are amazed with the kids growth and the improvement in their language skills.  Sorry I have no pictures, but I just don’t get along with cameras apparently.

I’m closing up the semester, but I actually had THREE students who didn’t  even bother showing up for their final exams.  I’ve never had that before.  I’ll give them till Monday to contact me, then it’s off to F’s-Ville for them.

 My dad and I were reviewing the so called “first 100 days”, and I still can’t believe we spent nearly $1 trillion dollars just for the sake of spending it - as though it were burning a hole in our creditors’ pockets.  So far it’s the worse of both worlds for me, with Obama making all the lefty domestic policy errors while pretty much maintaining Bush’s absurd (IMHO) foreign policy.  I hope I’m wrong, or this is just a temporary political cycle, but I fear that by the time my children grow up China will actually be a better country to live in than the US, and they will have to regret Billie and I taking them.


Well, we had our parent-teacher meeting regarding Anna today (Will’s is on Wednesday), and she is apparently doing very well.  She is above her age level for most academic interests (numbers, letters, etc.) and is now doing much better socially - she has made friends with other children and so on - something that went slowly for her at first.

I spent much of the day playing with her - it was a special situation because Will went to school and playcare but Anna has a cold so I didn’t send her.  We tried to fly a kite (wasn’t windy enough), played on the swings, walked around the yard, and I caught her when she went down the slide.  Then we pretended to have lunch outdoors - she played two roles: herself and the waiter.  it was cute the way she’d lower her voice while pretending to be the waiter.  She covered everything - the main order, the desert, the check, and the credit card payment.  I really enjoyed her for the most part today. 

 We had one snit over dinner, during which Will said something very nice, that all four of us (mama, baba, anna, will) had to be best friends. 

Other than that, not much is new except I finally have my laptop back up and running a fill SEVEN days after it crashed in Bartlesville.   What a hastle.  Now to catch up on center activities.  Also, Will registeres for Kindergarden on Friday.

Adoption - We’re Home

We made it!   We left at 6 AM Friday, China Time (5 PM Thursday, Eastern Time) and got to Manchester NH last night after midnight - Some 32 hours of travel.  We stayed with my parents overnight (they like Will, by the way, and continued to spoil Anna with extra helpings of butter and ice cream) and then left for home this afternoon.  Finally, we are here.

Will wasn’t afraid of the animals - he seems to like them so far.  They don’t know what to make of him, but no problems yet.  Billie and Anna went to the St. J Band’s annual dinner (notice how Anna is all but officially a member of the band) and I worked on unpacking, laundry, and feeding Will and I.  It took Will five minutes after mama left to earn a time out - he spilled cat water all over himself, his and Annas new electric cars, and the living room floor.  He’s been ok since, though, and is playing in the basement now.

Two things I forgot to add.  One, we’re all limping home with bad colds;  Two, Will is about to earn another time out - he’s on the tricycle (actually, Anna’s tricycle) saying “Wa-ka” (”It’s mine”) to Anna.  Little Brat (  

Testing a Movie Upload

Billie took a really neat movie of our children getting to play with Monkeys at the Guangzhou zoo. I’m uploading it (it’s a Quicktime file) to see how it works.


It’s a 2.5 M file, so give it time.