Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Been in denial...but I have to leave tomorrow

Loving Lydia will probably be down for about a week as I have to go on a business trip. If I get a chance to blog, I will...but it will not include pictures of Lydia doing wonderful things...because I won't have her around to take picture of...

This sucks

Working mom sucks sometimes ya know...

If there wasn't a Lydia all I'd be doing is twirling around talking about how I was gonna get to go to Disney and see Cirque de Soliel and meet Anne Bogart.

But I don't wanna go to Disney...I don't wanna got see Cirque and so what about Anne Bogart!!

I wanna change dirty diapers, I wanna get baby spit on my clothes and wash crayon stains out of tiny purple and pink outfits.

Poop! <--Said while stomping my foot.

This gets easier right? The whole going away on business trips thing? Doesn't it? Someone please lie to me and tell me it does.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Andrew Lloyd Webber strikes again!

I'm gonna tell a secret I've kept for over 30 years. On Christmas Eve of 1974 my brother was home on break from college. With him he brought a lot of dirty laundry and a cassette tape. (I'm sure he brought other stuff too...but that's all I remember as I was the tender age of eight.) We'd finished our Christmas rituals; eating chili for dinner, reading from the bible and opening one present and the children were down in the den playing while Mom and Dad were off doing boring parent things. My brother then brought out a cassette tape of some "forbidden music" and if I told he'd rip out my intestines. (To this day he still uses this threat. I'm no longer impressed by it, but at eight--even though I had no idea what intestines were--it seemed quite intense and so I would obey.) The tape was of Jesus Christ Superstar...and before the Overture was over I had sold my soul. It's a moment that years later when I discussed it with my brother he had no recollection. Why would he? His life didn't change that night...but mine did. Years later I became a professional director. I've directed Jesus Christ Superstar twice now...I could direct that show for the rest of my life. I know every note, ever syllable by heart.
Tonight I had Phantom of the Opera on HBO. Lydia heard it and came running in and plopped down on my lap and watched. She watched the whole thing. THE WHOLE THING. Well...okay, the whole thing until Raoul is taken prisoner...her little 16 month old body just zonked after that, but not because she wanted to sleep. She fought it bigtime. I'm not sure, but I think tonight Andrew Lloyd Webber claimed another soul.


Neither one of these pictures is too great as I took them in the bathroom mirror but I just had to share! Here she is world...and in an all time first!!! PIGTAILS!!!

...and there was much rejoicing!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Left here to be found?

I've been doing more and more research recently about where Lydia was from and what her life would have been like had we not adopted her. This inspired Russ to do some searching too, and he thinks he's found a picture of the dam where Lydia was left to be found. This is a dam in Xingye, so it is likely...but we also know China has the most dams of any country in the world. The country with the second most number of dams has less than half the number found in China...so while it's likely her spot, it's not definate.

It's beautiful there though isn't it? The temperature on October 13 2004 (the day she was found) was brisk for that time of the year in Xingye...around 34 degrees, but it was a clear day. No rain, light wind. It bothers me that it was so coldas it's likely she was left on the 12th (a mere 3 days old) and spent the night there. It was probably a very long, very cold, very lonely night. And she must have been terrified.

But those days are over now. And while it makes me sad to think about how she was left...I hold onto the fact, that she was left with a note...in a place where her faraway mommy knew people would be the next day to work...that she was truly "left to be found", and WAS found in a beautiful place.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Our future phone bills are gonna be high!

If Lydia's current fascination with phones continues that is!!

Lydia loves her toy phones. She loves the real ones too. She loves the remote control, not because she likes to control the TV, but because she likes to pretend it's a phone. When it's a toy phone (or a phone not currently connected to a call) Lydia chatters endlessly. When it's a real phone and there is someone talking, she is totally silent. Her eyes light up and she is completely spellbound. We're hoping one day she'll talk and listen into a phone at the same time, but for now we're content to watch her "pretend converstions" about the goings on at daycare.

'Scuse me Mom...I gotta make a call!

...and then Zeshawn said to Jackson, "You aren't the only baby with an attitude here mister!"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What ifs...

Where Lydia would have likely gone to school.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Top Ten Reasons I Think I May Be Raising a Tom Boy

Her table manners are atrocious
She likes toys with wheels
Why walk when you can run!
Extreme sports = Extreme fun
She hates to have her hands and face washed
Why have it loud when you can have it louder
She wants constant control of the remote control
The world looks better when your hanging upsidedown
She's not afraid of the dark
Chasing the cats isn't just a good cardiovascular workout, it's fun too!

Top Ten Reasons I Think I May Be Raising a Prissy Pants

She loves to go shopping
She loves jewlery
She likes to play with hair
She'd eat chocalate constantly if we let her
Cats are her favourite animal
Looking in the mirror is one of her favourite pasttimes
She loves her shoes
The phone is her life!
She likes to carry a purse
Little blonde boys are a source of constant fascination

Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting in some early practice

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in the slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

- Jenny Joseph (1961)

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Friday, February 17, 2006

Looking more and more like she'll grow up a Kentucky gal!!

Or at least I hope so!
Here are a couple of pictures of where I work. This is the actual building I work in everyday and I love it. It's a good arts facility...but really what makes it a great place to work is the people I get to interact with on a daily basis. These are some of the best artists and colleagues in the world and I appreciate them, their talents and their camaraderie. Daily I am awed by their accomplishments and their eagerness to support the school, their students and their peers.
This whole year, in addition to adopting, I have been going through the tenure process. I am hoping daily that my dream of becoming a tenured professor will come true.
Well...it hasn't happened yet...but it's one step closer. I just passed the Provost's level.
Now onto the President's Office!!

"Oh! What big teeth you have!!"

I just wanted to take a moment and comment on the picture "A better grin for Grandma". Those little pearly white things glistening in Lydia's mouth are not merely "photospots" or food she hasn't swallowed. Those are he teeth! Russell and I got a bit obsessed with one of her front teeth as it had been giving her a spot of trouble for a looooong time. We've had many crying jags over one very pointy tooth in the front!! And it is...VERY pointy. It almost looks like an upsidedown vampire fang.

Anyway...I digress. Because we became so concerned about helping her through that one tooth, we totally missed the other four (you heard me FOUR!) that were also coming in! So baby Lydia now has 12 teeth!!

She's got hair, she's got teeth...soon she'll be driving!! Okay, maybe I'm rushing that driving issue a little? But you get my point. It all goes so fast doesn't it??

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A better grin for Grandma

Raiding the Pantry for Goodies!!

Short Documentary about China's Orphanages


As a Woodrow Wilson scholar, Heather Campbell decided her major project would be researching conditions inside Chinese orphanages, a daunting task given the government restrictions on foreigners getting inside orphanages there.

Reports several years ago alleging poor conditions for orphans prompted the government restrictions, but Campbell, a junior international studies major, thought some of those reports might have been overstated. She wanted to see first hand, but on her first trip to China, all attempts to get official permission to visit an orphanage were fruitless.

On her return trip this past summer, Campbell came at the problem at different way: Instead of asking permission from the government, she just showed up at the gates of an orphanage in Shanghai. By volunteering to work there, she gained unprecedented access and recently spoke about her experience and her observations.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Grandma Requested a Grin!!

Here ya go!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Our Little Valentine

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives, shaped to make your one...
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
One gave you up ... that's all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and was led straight to you.
And now you ask me, through your fears,
the age old question unanswered throughout the years...
Heredity or environment? .. Which are you the product of..
Neither, my darling .. neither..
just two different kinds of love.

~ Author Unknown ~

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My greatest love meets my first love

Lydia saw her first play today. At 16 months I didn't think she'd make it through more than a few minutes...but I was wrong. She made it through the whole play. She was really frightened of backstage. It spooked her bad. The costumes and the sets confused her...but the play itself mesmerized her. She loved the colours and pointed at all the changes in scenes and babbled to me excitedly as she watched. And I was so happy. Hopefully one day backstage won't scare her so much and she'll ba able to enjoy that more...but for now being in the audience is enough. Seeing her was magic to my soul.
Lydia on the set of Wiley and the Hairy Man with Mama and Daddy.

The future director helping mommy direct one of the actors.

In the dressing room with daddy.

Waiting for the tech hold to end so we can see the show!

A scene from Wiley and the Hairy Man.

A veritable Rapunzel!!

Lydia has short hair. Not because we cut it short, but because she is "hair challenged". She's a gorgeous gal, no matter the length or state of her hair, but on this--our 4 month anniversary of becoming a family...I thought I would share with you the chronicals of of Lydia's hair growth.

This is Lydia's referral picture. She is 6 months old here. When I was begging Russell to describe her to me on the phone. (Since I was in Alaska at the time.) He described her as beautiful with male pattern baldness.

This is Lydia's hairline on Adoption Day October 12 at 3 am. She is just over 1 year old, and not yet our daughter...but will be within a matter of hours!

This is Lydia today Feb. 12. Just over 16 months old. Oh see how her hair has grown!

Our little beauty yesterday on the 4 month anniversary of Gotcha Day. It won't be long now until mommy will be pulling that hair up into pigtails!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Okay...I know the Winter Olympics are going on right now, but Lydia remains uninspired. I guess she's more of a Summer Games Gal!! (Summer 2008 in Beijing!)


I got to stay home last night from rehearsal due to heavy snow fall. It was snowing pretty much all night and the roads got bad. Lydia didn't get to see much of the snow as it fell, but this morning both she and Oz were greeted by a blanket of white outside the window. Here are my two "special buddies" checking out the snow and each other.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I must have done something good

My husband loves me. It is the ONLY explanation why he is still around after 8 years of marriage to me. See I have a really time consuming job. Like BIGTIME time consuming job. It takes me away from home a lot. When we received our refferal for Lydia we weren't even together. He puts up with that well. He also puts up with my disdain for housework, my moodswings, my love for taking in strays, my students (who aren't alwasy polite to him) calling at all hours, and countless other unreasonableness that comes with loving me.
Because of this mysterious love he holds for me...Russell does a lot around here. He is the calm drink of water in the ocean of chaos that is our lives. When I just can't take it anymore, Russell takes over and makes it better.
Several of my friends were talking about their husbands the other day and they were commenting about how they got little to no help around the house or with the baby. And honestly, the conversation was foreign to me because Russell helps so incredibly much.
He has taken up the extra house work so I can have more baby time. It's in part because he's done that I credit Lydia's swift and firm adjustment into our family. While I am the principle caretaker of Lydia...Russell is an integral part of the care of the baby. After sharing bathing duties he puts her to bed everynight. A task for which I am ill suited as I always seem to wind her up no matter how hard I try to calm her down. Russell has the patience I lack and Lydia needs to enter into the land of Nod. I rarely see a diaper on weekends. He will scoop her up and take her to be changed and tell me to take a break. When I am at a burn out point, Russell is always there...ready to play with his daughter, ready to distract her attention away from whatever it is she is doing that she shouldn't be doing.
Anyway...I just wanted to thank Russell and tell him I love him completely. While I tell him I love him several times a day, I don't thank him enough. Mostly because I could thank him every second and it still wouldn't be enough praise for everything he does for me and Liddy. I don't know what I did to deserve him, but I sure am glad I did it!

Something Good
Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somwhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Funny Faces

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Lydia has been sick and in my arms almost constantly for the last 4 days. And honestly, I've been feeling the strain. Constant non-stop Lydia is a whole lot to deal with. SO when it became apparent we were out of just about everything Russell offered to stay with baby so I could got to the store and get a Lydia break. Very relieved to have an hour to myself (even if it was at the grocery store) I took him up on it greedily! While I was out, Lydia got her ball trapped behind the TV. She was already upset about being sick...and even more upset because her main source of comfort (me) wasn't at home with her. She got frustrated fast and began to wail. Russell (uncharacteristically) did not snap directly into "fix it" action to help her out, but instead snapped this picture. When I asked why, he told me he wasn't sure. But then I looked carefully at the picture and I knew why. Behind Lydia in the television is a beautiful Asian woman who looks like she is about to kiss her head and comfort her as she cries. And this image made me think about her far away mommy and how much she misses her baby. And I felt a little ashamed. It reminded me how lucky I am to have her in my life. And I hope Lydia always knows, no matter what happens, she is always in her mama's heart. Both of ours.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Couch Potatos

Lydia didn't feel well today, so I took off work and she took off daycare. (Sure hope they don't "dock" her.) She doesn't have a fever, but it looks like she may be getting an ear infection. The doctor prescribed her some meds and she's not cranky any more, I know she still doesn't feel well because my normally very active daughter was very content to "veg" out most of the day on mommy's lap.