Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So Russell was really excited about picking Lydia up at daycare the other day. He shared this with me enthusiastically. I smiled and asked him why. He shared with me how he was looking forward to seeing her and being able to say to people...I have to go pick my daughter up. And this made perfect sense to me because getting to do anything where you say you have a daughter is uber cool!
Anyway...the time came and he got her. Then I came home a few minutes later and I asked him...so was it everything you thought it was going to be?
And he made this little dissappointed face and said "No...it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be."
Why not? I asked.
And Russell said. "When I come home she kicks and coos and says Dada Dada. I just figured if I came home to wonderful, it was going to be even more wonderful to pick her up. Instead she whines and tries to make me feel bad for leaving her."
I smiled and told him I understood, but deep down I was really happy. Because when I came home I got the kicky feet, cooey, Mamama Mamama child. FINALLY!!! (HEE HEE!!)


Well, it was bound to happen. We've had our first Baby/Kitty incident. The strange thing is...it was a moment that I totally did not see coming. I mean the cats have been curious around her and she's been curious around them. Lots of mutual "checking out", and even a little tail pulling (Lydia pulling the cat's tails not the cats pulling hers. LOL)...but the cats have just sorta understood that this was their new mommy and to leave her alone no matter what. Well yesterday Lydia was playing happily with her elephant...she had just gotten settled down from the whole "I just got home from daycare I must run from Mom to Dad over and over" thing and was happily making her elephant trumpet while Daddy and I discussed the mound of paperwork we had to fill out from the daycare. All the way across the room Roxanne sits on the loveseat...she was being teased by OZ (our "energetic" cat) and suddenly she freaked and leapt across the room...not meaning to land anywhere in particular, she was just trying to get away from Oz. Well she landed...on top of Lydia's head. Seriously, direct hit on the baby. I think if she'd aimed for Lydia she couldn't have made that direct a hit. Well Lydia froze...but Roxanne freaked and used her face as a launch pad to the dining room. I screamed...Lydia screamed...Russell jumped. I ran for the baby...Russell ran for me...and then the scratch became very apparent. 3 1/2 inches of it across that beautiful perfect face. I wanted to kill Roxanne. Not figuratively either. Now, my family and friends know me well. I am the cat lady freak who loves animals and especially loves my animals...but Roxie if she had come within my grasp for that 1/2 hour would have been done for. Lydia is fine...her scratch is very superficial...it is already healing and will not scar. (We doctored it BIGTIME!) She happily went back into play mode within 5 minutes. Mommy had to have the cats "removed" for awhile while she and Daddy discussed options like killing the cats, which quickly calmed to the discussion of having them removed from our home, then finally settled down to real discussions about declawing or possibly having caps put on their nails. We are still discussing our options...but last night I was angry. I was angry at Roxanne for hurting Lydia, angry at Oz for freaking out Roxanne, angry at Russell for not ever letting me have them rear declawed, angry at me for having so many cats in the first place...but I think what I was most angry at now (as light of day hits)is the realization that I can't always protect her...things will happen I don't see coming. The world, as safe as I try to make it for her, will remain the world and I have no ability to stop "the forces of nature". When I realized that...I got a little older. I got a little wiser and I was able to forgive Roxanne, Oz, Russell and Myself. But I feel I lost a little innocence last night. While that's kinda sad...it's also a good thing to understand.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Our "other" girl

We don't know who she is yet, but here is a picture of the girls currently living in Desheng (where Liddy lived the first year of her life) who will be given an education due to the financial support of parents who have adopted girls from Desheng SWI. One of these girls is our foster child. We will be paying for her education for the next 10 years of her life in order to help her find a better life. She will be identified to us later next year and she will be learning English and writing to us to let us know how she is doing. I am excited to be helping, but I am also excited to have this tie to Desheng so Lydia can know what life in China is like through this girls eyes.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lydia WALKS!!

Proving yet again that Russell and I are the two biggest goobs on the planet here is actual video footage of Lydia taking nine...NINE...9 steps!!! Yeah, she has a problem with her aim. She veers to the right and it's more of a shuffle reminiscent to Boris Karloff's walk in The Mummy...but she's up, she's mobile, she's WALKING!!


Look Whose Walking

Nope not a new movie with John Travolta...but an ordinary extraordinary evening at my house. Again, it's not her main mode of transportation yet, but she's getting better at it everyday!

Friday, November 25, 2005

First Christmas Show

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The First Thanksgiving! (Well not exactly, but Lydia's first!)

Three of my favourite Thanksgiving images...
Lydia's first bite.
Lydia tries my deviled eggs. (Okay, so not a hit, but her father likes 'em!)
And meal over...ready for pie and a nap!

The two for whom I am most thankful!

I am in constant awe of them both.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

As if inspired by the Winter Warlock...

...Lydia "just put one foot in front of the other" today! No, she wasn't walking "out the door" but as the song promises, SOON! She only took 2 unassisted steps, but they were unassisted and the best part was, both Russell and I were there for it. After she fell two steps in she looked at me like; "DId I really do that?" and then returned to crawling, but it won't be long Lydia fans!! (We best finish baby proofing huh!?!)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Daycare and Daddy/Daughter days!

Before I talk about day care I just wanted to post a picture from our first daddy daughter day in China. I had a friend today who asked me if I let Russell "play with Lydia too". (Oh my is my possessivness showing? LOL) SO I figured I'd provide y'all with a picture of Lydia and her daddy in their "theme outfits". I got the "Whose you Daddy" at Hot Topic and "Lydia I am Your Father" Shirt from my friend Karen Petty who is the author of GwenBlog. Pretty geeky I know, but again Russell and I are "GeeksNLuv" who met in a comic book store and who own the entire first Star Trek series on DVD. Russell and Lydia have bonded now, but when we first became a family it was hard on Russ. (She adores him now!) Once we got home from China he started a brand new job with brand new hours so I saw Lydia far more than he. Daddy daughter bonding opportunities became imperative to create and maintain. Now they are tight and they played and wrestled and had a grand time today in order to celebrate Daddy's birthday today. (The extra sugar Lydia got in cake form helped add to the excitement of the evening!) But rest assured everyone...Russell gets her too. I'm not a total baby hog!

As for Daycare. Lydia did great. She had one hour long breakdown after 90 minutes. (The longest I've ever left her prior to today was 90 minutes, so I think maybe she got nervous.) After lunch time though, she settled down and played. When I came and got her at 4, she was happy and excited. She kept pointing to things around the room and wanted me to take her to them and look at them with her as she babbled. (I swear she was telling me about her day.) When we got home she was all kisses and crazy fun play, hurling herself at us and wanting to play with all her toys at once. It was like she was behind her play schedule and had to make sure she got play time in on all her toys. She was happy. She was well adjusted. She was not scarred for life. And I too survived. (I only cried for a half an hour! LOL) The real test is tonight. How she sleeps. I am hopeful and I am happy to have her home. It was a long day.

Off we go to Daycare!

Dressed and ready, Lydia is off to daycare. I brought a bag for her stuff and wrote out instructions about her bottle etc. We got there and I sat her down and she picked up a rattle and she was fine...I on the other hand bawled my eyes out in the parking lot. This is hard. Like hard like I've never done hard before.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Who will have a rougher time??

Well, this is it...my official maternity leave is over. I have two days of classes this week and then the Thankgiving holiday kicks in. At first I had decided to just take Liddy into work with me for my classes. Pretty much just hold my classes and then go home. My boss knew this was my plan and he was totally cool about it. (Have I said recently I have a really good boss? My work has been uber-supportive at all levels including the Provost's office so no complaints at all there!) Anyway, I thought better of it, and though it was too late to get her in for Tuesday they do have room for her on Monday at daycare. So tomorrow is her first full day of daycare. We've been taking her in 2-3 times a week for an hour or so at a time to get her used to the idea...and to get me used to the idea as well. She's not happy about going to daycare, but she's happy being at daycare. So I think she'll transition pretty well...as for mommy I have no idea. I'm getting teary just writing this. Since Oct. 11th 2005 that little girl has not been away from me and I'm dreading tommorrow. In some ways it's exciting. Lydia is a very very clingy child who gives me very little space. I will be able to go to the bathroom alone! I will be able to get up and get a drink of water without the draama of a child wailing because I dared to stand up in her presence. I will get to sit on furniture!! But the flip side is that little smile won't light up the room whenever I touch her nose or make a silly face. I won't hear constant babble in the background and I won't see her dance whenever there is a sound that even vaguely resembles music. (She dances to the sound of the computer connecting to the internet!! She loves sound a music that much!) So again...who will it be who breaks first tomorrow, me or Liddy. I'm taking bets now...but personally I'm betting against myself.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

After dinner activities

Between dinner and pre-bed bottle is major fun time at the Schneider house. Here we are learning to walk, playing pattycake and watching TV. (Lydia finds television more exciting when viewing upsidedown...don't we all really?)

Like mother like daughter

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

School Spirit!

"Hey everybody! Mom has passed the first two tenure committees! She's halfway there! Go Mommy, Go Mommy!"


So what's the funnest thing in the world to do? Sitting on your bathroom floor for two hours with a baby hoping tornados miss your house.. NOT!!! Obviously they did miss our house...missed our part of town thankfully. But I was really glad I am tornadophobic because I was totally equipped for baby in the bathroom. We had blankets, diapers, spare clothes, music, toys, heck we even had a picture book to keep us occupied. (I have no room in my bathroom cabinets as that is weather retreat station central.) I'm extremely thankful though for our weather radio as we heard about the tornados and the all clears before the in town sirens began to sound. Made our uncomfortable time a little shorter. Lydia did real well though...little trooper!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The sick leave sucks, but the rest of the benefits more than make up for it!

I've been sick since Wednesday with a sinus infection...but being a Momma is a full time job! Liddy didn't seem to mind when Momma had to have the occasional nap, she would just crawl on up and join me. I'm still pretty tired, but I'm getting much better due to the TLC from my wonderful hubby (who thankfully took night duty which helped ENORMOUSLY!) and of course lovey kisses from the greatest motivation to get well in the world. Liddy Nightengale.

Nothing is cuter than a baby in a hat!

I think I've proved my point.

Friday, November 11, 2005

One Month Anniversary

A month ago today Lydia came to us, scared, exhausted, hungry and sick.
When she came to us, there were no tears. It was almost like she knew she belonged to us and we belonged to her. There have been a lot of changes in the last month. Things Liddy can do she couldn't before...
Zerbert her parents
Hold her own bottle
Drink from a sippy cup
Wave Bye Bye
She knows her name is Lydia
She knows my name is MaMa
She has stood on her own (Still not real confident about it though.)
She can push buttons
She can hit her drum with a stick

Everyday, she changes and grows. Everyday we change and grow as well. But as we change, one thing is forever certain. We are a family.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

2 Geeks and a Baby

For those of you who don't know my and Russ' history...we met at a comic book store. Why? Not just some random chance meeting I assure you...we both hung out there! Yes, we were comic book store flunkies, aka. geeks of the highest degree. So it was only a matter of time before we intoduced our daughter to our sci-fi collection. Here she is perusing many of our sci-fi titles. She still has a lot to learn (She actually took Star Trek 7 and Star Wars Episode 1 and banged them together much to the dismay of this science fiction purerist! However Liddy finally settled on one. War of the Worlds!! Now there's a classic for you! Good Girl!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lydia has learned how to feed herself!


Third time is the charm

I am not the computer literate one in this family, Russell is, so I apologize for is the problems everyone has been having trying to access our Gotcha day video. Here is an e-mail from Russell to me telling me what to do to fix the problem. Hopefully e third time is the charm. The video isn't very long and I'm afraid after all this build up it may seem like a bit of a dissappointment, but here it is anyway!

Hey Baby,
The problem with the gotcha video now is that the link on the blog is mistyped. It should be members.aol.com/adoptliddy/Videos/LiddysGotcha.zip . The "s" got accidentally left off of LiddysGotcha.

Love you,

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Here she is on her first trip to the mall. It's official she's all girl and shopping is her thing! Liddy did really well...she ate traditional mall food and she loved the toy store! (BTW, this is daddy trying to convince his little girl that she wants the pirate ship playset over the magic castle playset: Silly Daddy!)

Friday, November 04, 2005


It's not just Liddy's body that's swinging it's her disposition as well. Last night was really hard after an incredibly good day. We had a wonderful day with daddy as he had to change to 2nd shift for training. We went out to eat and everyone fawned over Liddy. From there we went to Liddy's daycare to introduce her to Ms.Darlene and to meet the children and become accustomed to the space. Lydia did really well and one boy in particular, Jackson, really took to her (and me). Lydia was intrigued by Jackson as he had platinum blonde hair. She kept wanting to touch it and was alright with Jackson sitting in my lap with her. (A first!! No baby has been able to come near me previous to Jackson or Lydia would wail!) Lastly we went to the park and played on the slides and swings. She was pretty indifferent to the slides, but the swings scored big. Once we got home and daddy left for work WAY a different story. Lydia would not let me sleep. I had to hold her all night. I even tried taking her into our bed and she would have none of it...I had to hold her and I had to be in a chair waiting for her daddy. I was very happy when 3am rolled around and daddy finally came home and I Lydia calmed down enough to sleep.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Okay, so they aren't out romping and frolicing yet...but Roxanne is interested enough to get close. You can't tell by this photo, but she's making biscuits on the baby as well. I feel encouraged!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

At the end of the day

Isn't it painfully obvious why I'm totally in love with these two people?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


When we got Lydia we had no idea we would get a pet to boot. Well actually hundreds of thousands of pets in the form of Shigella and Giardia. Baby will be fine, but she is currently being medicated as the Schneiders firmly believe that 4 cats, 1 fish and a baby are all they can handle right now.

The Candy Crew!

Local Colour--Day 2 Nanning

Our "Day Two" was unlike the rest of our travels groups in that we spent it travelling to Nanning and exploring the city where we would receive our daughter. While it's sad we missed The Great Wall etc. it did give us some much needed down time to relax and get our bearings. Russell and I were even able to explore the city and the hotel some--a luxury the others in our group were not afforded. Some points of interest about Nanning (easily my favourite of the places we visited while in China) are that it is a medium sized city--by China's standards anyway--of 1 million people that own half a million motorcycles. Let me tell you, this is no exageration. Bikes and motorbikes are everywhere and in every state and condition. Many of the bikes have been converted into motor bikes and motor trucks by having lawn mower engines rigged up to them. It's incredible. The traffic is insane...but strangely enough I was never frightened by it. I felt very safe and quickly caught the flow of the movement of the city. Many of my friends who had previously travelled remarked on how dirty China is outside of Guangzhou but that was not my experience at all. What I found was a very old, very poor part of the world that was in need of repair, but kept very clean. There is a huge sense of pride in these people and they do what they can with what they have. The buildings (these are businesses and apartments) are in need of work and everywhere you see scaffolding up as they work to improve conditions. Construction was everywhere in Nanning and in Guilin--and he people worked quickly and efficeintly. Our hotel was gorgeous. Definately a 5 star experience but at rates you would pay for a Holiday Inn here in the states. Our room was equipped with a small crib which is fairly typical of the cribs in China. In the US we would consider them to be death traps. They are in disrepair and have hard boards for the babies to sleep on. (Hence my daughter's flat head.) The room came equipped with a bar with purified water both for drinking and bottle preparation which was extremely handy and there was a Wal-mart nearby for us to buy baby supplies. Wal-mart in China is incredible...and it is nothing like a Wal-mart in the United States. Many people told me it was 3 stories high. That is innacurate, actually it is 2 stories, but begins on the second floor. THe first floor, which was not a part of Wal-mart, consisted of about 50 clothing shops. They seem to really love small shops in China. Booths are everywhere selling orange drinks (there is no OJ in China they have Orange Juice subtitutes instead.) and you can even pay forrecreation at some booths where you play games and exercise etc. Large stores are very rare. (Making Wal-mart all the more unusual to the Chinese.) When you enter Wal-mart there is a very loud greeter announcing over a loudspeaker over and over Welcome to Walmart. Sound is incredible in China. It's an incredibly noisy place. It's almost as if there is a sound war going on...people trying to be heard over others in order to get your attention and thereby get your business. The Wal-mart has a huge fish section and the fish are all freshly caught and laying out. My first impression of the place was that it reeked of fish. The entire first floor is all food. Huge bins are everywhere. Frozen food is sold much the way you would buy candy in a candy store in the US. Instead of it being prepackaged, you scoop out as much as you need and place it in a bag to be weighed at the checkout. (A space saver this is not, but it definately cuts down on waste as you get what you need!) They also sold cereals, candy, spices, and nuts in the same fashion. The second floor is all houswares and electronics. It was an incredible experience and the prices for things were obscenely low. We bought enough groceries there to last us 3 day (with formula, bottled water etc.) and paid about $19 American. Wish I could do that here!