Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Lollipop

Carter had his first lollipop today at the doctor's office. After he charmed all the the ladies and warmed the heart of his peditrician he was given a big orange lollipop. He was an angel-- nothing like he is at home.

We have had a fun time tearing apart the house, playing with pots and tupperware. (I am exhausted and trying so hard to get over a cold). He no longer cries when the food is gone (his Dr told me that I was feeding him too much! oops!) He eats whatever I cook- although he made some faces when I gave him broccoli. Tonight he had roasted acron squash and loved every bit of it. He adores bath time and for the most part is sleeping through the night.

Tomorrow is his first play date with Melia. He hasn't played with any other children since we were at the US embassy in Moscow.

I promise to post some new phots soon. For now here he is with his devilish look!! -Jodi

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally Home!

After a 10 hour flight and only a few melt downs we made it back to NY!!! I apologize for not posting any pictures any sooner. We are exhausted and are trying very hard to get Carter on a schedule.

Carter is full of energy and having a great time. He woke at 4am Thursday morning and took his 2 naps. He gave Mommy a break on Friday morning and slept until 5 but only took 1 short nap today. I am hoping he lets us sleep until 6 tomorrow. Tomorrow we are going to the mall for new shoes (for him not me) and a new jacket. Sunday is the start of a busy week. First Carter gets to meet his grandma and uncle. Then a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday for his 15 month check-up and then meeting with the international pediatrician on Thursday. Also early Thursday morning Grandma is flying in from Vegas to spend 4 days with us (maybe Mommy can get a little extra sleep).

I have no more enegry to type so instead I will leave you with the pictures I promised.

Daddy, CArter and Mommy in front of St. Basil's Catherdral

Hey check out my new hat!

Our favorite thing to do in the hotel- pack and unpack the suit cases over and over again!

Chillin' with Dad.

I love being upside down!

I need a rest!

Check me out!
Good night!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Productive Day

Hi everyone,
It is Tuesday morning in Moscow and Carter is taking his first nap of the day. We've come to realize that 2 naps is the way to go or else he is very cranky.

We still don't have the capability to post pictures but I promise we will as soon as we get home which will be tomorrow!!!!!!!!

Yesterday we went to see Dr Boris. The doctor has nicknamed Carter "Budda Belly"- (no explanation needed from me!) All went well until they had to take blood from him. Well here is this little thing sitting on my lap struggling like you couldn't believe. They tried to get a vein in each arm but couldn't find one past all the chunkiness so they went for the top of the hands. (Lori I do not know how you do it as a pediatric nurse) They still couldn't get it from the right hand so then tried the left and after a couple of drips came out they finally stopped. Needlesstosay he was screaming and Mommy must have sweated 10 pounds off. It was horrible. They don't use bandaids in Russia-- instead they wrapped both hands in gauze that if looked like he had mittens on. We took plenty of pictures. I was happy when that was over- now I know what to expect when he sees his Dr back home- fun for me! We went to the US Embassy after the Dr to start the process of getting his visa.

When we came back to the hotel he took a 1 hour nap, had lunch and we decided to take the subway to Red Square. Compared to the NYC subway- Moscow subway stations are beautiful. There is so much detail in the structures and the trains look like they are from the 50s but everything is clean and open--not dark and dingy.

We walked around Red Square and took a picture in from of St. Basils which I promise to post as soon as I get home. We say the Kremlin and then came ack tot the hotel.

Today we have our interview with the US Embassy at 2. Tonight we will pack and get ready for our big trip home.

All of the Russian women we encountered yesterday think Carter looks just like John. They believe they have the same nose!I also realized that Carter takes after his cousin Kenny--- Carter just like Kenny loves to whine and already knows how to manipulate us!!!! We are in major trouble.

I will try and send another post before we leave----Jodi

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1 step closer to home!

Hi Everyone,
We made it to Moscow. I am sorry to say that the hotel is having technical difficulties and I cannot get to the internet on my computer which means I cannot post any new pictures at this time. Currently I am using the computer in the executive lounge (Thanks to

Carter had his first plane ride yesterday. He was great in the airport- checking out everyone and walking all around. On the plane he started out OK strapped on his father's lap- I gave him some juice in a bottle at take off which kept him occupied. We were airborne for about 10 minutes when he started to crank (his new name is cranky-pants). Guess what happened-- after all that fuss once the food came around he stopped. I fed him a turkey and cheese sandwich for the next 30 minutes, then gave him some more juice. This knocked him out and he fell asleep on John's lap for the remaining 20 minutes of the flight.

Today (Sunday) was our only free day in Moscow. We were planning on taking the subway to Red Square to see the Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral but it was way too cold to take him out. We spent the day playing in the hallways, eating and napping. After our trip to the US Embassy we plan to take a detour to Red Square.

We met a family who just adopted a 16 month old girl who are also staying in the hotel. Little did we know that Carter is such a flirt! He took one look at the little girl and started laughing and jumping up and down. It was really cute.

That is it for now--- stay tuned for tomorrow's adveture at the US Embassy. I hope I can post some pictures then.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Carter's days and nights

I think Carter spoiled Mommy and Daddy the first night by sleeping 11 hours because it hasn't happened since and Mommy has the bags under her eyes to prove it!!! The two prior times we were in Russia I had a hard time sleeping-- I would sleep for 2 hours, wake up for two hours and continue that for the night. That was OK before when you didn't have to chase a 15 month old around all day!!! I am sure when I get home and get him on eastern standard time it will get better. (my fingers and toes are crossed)

Carter cries for 2 things- the first is when he finishes eating because he always wants more. After him eating everything the first day he was with us-- and after 6 poopy diapers later-- (John is a pro at changing those diapers-- and he is super fast- Anyone who knows John knows that he so precise with the things he does that he is never fast-- I am impressed), we've learned to feed him less and slower. The only thing he eats slow are animial crackers (thanks Aunt Debbie!) He loves to squish them in his hand and Mommy's hair.

He also cries when we put him down for a nap or to bed for the night. John and I decided we have to get a noise machine. We sit here and take turns making ssssshhh noises for 5 minutes while he fights to go to sleep. I think the noise is very calming to him.

I am testing out new nap schedules. Yesterday He napped from 11:15 to 1:00. At about 5 he was tired and crakny. We decided to eat dinner early and he was asleep by 745, but he was cranky most of the day. Today he went down for his nap at 12:20 after he ate lunch. He is still sleeping as I write this post and will probably get up at 2:15. We will see how his attitude is when he gets up.

Today is our last night in St. Petersburg. We are taking Carter on his first airplane ride tomorrow as we travel to Moscow. Yeah!!!!! It is only a 1 hour flight and a prelude to our 11 hour flight home. We arrive late Saturday afternoon and have Sunday to tour around. Monday and Tuesday we will be at the US Embassy and before you know it on our way home.

Here are some pictures of Carter playing in the hotel on our floor. There is a wide area by the elevator bank where he can run around without getting into trouble.

Check out that double chin!!

This is his new favorite spot in our room.

Next post will be from Moscow! Stay tuned!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Fun Filled Family Day

Hi Everyone!

We are having a blast-- but oh are we exhausted. Neither John or I slept last night and it wasn't Carter's fault. He slept for a full 11 hours-- but Mommy and Daddy--being the "newbies" that we are had to keep getting up and fussing over him. Not tonight-- I am sleeping.

He woke in a great mood. He was quiet and smiling. I took him out of the crib at 7 and put him in bed with us until 730. We all enjoyed that time. We fed him cereal and fruit for breakfast-- boy can this kid eat-- non stop. We then went to the cafe Johna nd I found on our last trip so we can have coffee and pasrty-- we guess who ate half of Mom's pastry--- I think I am going to lose weight this trip because he also ate half my lunch and dinner!!!

The baby home claims he naps 2 times per day- from 10 - 11:30 and 2 - 4pm-- so at 10:15 we say OK nap time-- he said yeah right! We tried and tried -- we put him in the crib, rocke dhim around the room and rubbed his back-- nothing worked. So we went into the hallway and ran back anf forth for an hour before lunch. (BTW I do not know why this text is underlined and I can't figure out how to remove it.)
Hey Dad get me out of here--- I'm not napping!!!!

After lunch and 2 poopy diapers later-- he finally decided to take a nap. I used Aunt Lori's suggestion for nap time-- put him in the crib with a bottle of milk and guess what in 5 minuted he was out--- see below!

He slept for 2 hours and woke up all smiles and ready to go, go, go!
We couldn't spend too much time outside as it was raining-- it is always either raining or snowing here. So we spent a lot of time walking around the lobby of the hotel.

Here's Carter and Daddy playing the cups.

He really enjoyed bath time tonight. Unlike last night he trusted us enough to fully sit in the tub. I love this tub-- it even quacks when you squeeze its beak!

We it was harder to get him to sleep tonight. He spoiled us last night by falling asleep immediately. Tonight he wanted to play and play and play. He sat on my lap for about 30 seconds while I tried to show him a book. Finally at 845 I put him in the crib, he cried for 30 seconds rolled over and went to sleep. What a cutie pie!
I hope you all enjoyed the pictures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Carter John

We are so proud to call him our son!!!!!! He is such a sweet boy!

Saying good bye to the head doctor.

Leaving the baby home for good!

First car ride!!

Playing with Mommy.

Posing with Mommy. (Daddy loves to take pictures!)

Sleeping with Mommy!

As I sit here writing this post both my boys are fast asleep. I'm not sure which one is snoring- maybe both! I am too wired to sleep. Carter feel asleep as soon as I put him on the bed. It should always be this easy.

Today was a day of firsts-- first car ride, first time in a hotel, first time fed dinner by Daddy (in a fancy hotel restaurant), first bath in a big blown up ducky (I promise I will post some pictures of bath time in a later post), first time falling asleep in Mommy's arms.

We had a great day--the best day of our lives. I cannot put into words the joy I feel when I look at him. He didn't cry when we left the baby home --he just took it all in stride. When he saw John for the first time today he gave him a great big smile. He knew we were there to take him home!

Check out how happy Daddy is!!! (this was before Carter made pee pee all over Daddy's lap)

We are happy that we have the next 2 days to ourselves as we wait for his passport and visa. Stay tuned for more pictures and tales of our adventure-- the fun is just beginning!!



We made it

Hi everyone,
we made it to St Petersburg. We met with our coordinator and guess what--- we get to get him out of the baby home 1 day early!!!!! OMG!!!!! Now what do we do???? We are going to get all the paperwork done in the morning, go to the store for diapers and baby food. We are bringing the tradiotional cake to the baby home as a celebration for his departure and as a treat for the workers. After that he is all ours!!!!! Stay tuned for the pictures!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We are so close.......

Our bags are packed (mostly), the house is clean (sort of) and we are ready to go (oh yes!) It has been a busy week. Both John and I worked late all week and then tried to get as much done as we could at night (which means very little!) so we ran around and did everything we could today.

I am overwhelmed with so many emotions that I can’t keep track of anything!!! In 4 days we will be a family of 3. This has been such an amazing adventure!

We are leaving tomorrow and will be returning on March 25. Our schedule for the next 10 days looks like this:

Tomorrow night leave JFK go to Paris (hopefully on time) change planes and get to St. Petersburg Monday afternoon.
Tuesday we are running around filing paperwork. Somewhere between today and Wednesday we will pick up some baby food and diapers.
Wednesday is gotcha day!!!!!!! I am not sure what time we are picking Baby B up—the sooner the better! I believe we have to get passport pictures taken of him today.
Thursday – I have no idea what we are doing—hopefully we will get quality time just the 3 of us.
Friday we pick up our paperwork.
Saturday fly to Moscow. (Baby B’s first ride on an airplane)
Sunday on our own in Moscow.
Monday and Tuesday US Embassy—Medical exams for Baby B and putting together his citizenship paperwork.
Wednesday we fly to home as a family of 3!!!

I will be updating the blog daily and John has packed the attached to download all pictures. Stay tuned everybody.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Getting ready for trip 3

Hi everyone,

We made it home. We miss him so much and it has only been 24 hours since we saw him. I took advantage of the time on the plan and made many lists of the things to do before he comes home. I will be very happy if we get through half the list.

I forgot to mention that they gave him a haircut. I think I did a better job cutting the hair of my Barbie dolls when I was 5. His bangs are so crooked –it is hysterical. BTW: for what ever reason-- the popular haircut for young men and boys in Russia is the mullet. I am happy to say his hair is not long enough for it to be shaped that way.

As most of you know I am a foodie. I’ve realize our nights of 3 hours dinners at trendy and not so trendy restaurants will be over when Baby B comes home. John and I are attempting to get it out of our system while being in St. Petersburg. The food is fantastic, although I refuse to eat cake for breakfast. Not that the cake is not good, I just like to start the day off in the right direction. As long as I have a nutritious breakfast—then it is OK if I have cake and cookies the rest of the day. My new favorite cuisine is Georgian/Azerbaijan also considered Central Asian cuisine. YUM! Think Turkish food with a mix of marinated and pickled vegetables and fishes and grilled meats, all with lots of fresh herbs. Also you can’t beat the prices. We are paying about half of what we pay going out to dinner in NY. I understand when we get to Moscow the prices are not the same—so we will be hanging out at the food court and the TGI Fridays that all the adoptive parents visit while in Moscow.

I also wanted to mention that to our surprise everyone we’ve dealt with in Russia during this process has been a woman (except) for our driver. All the Drs at the hospital, the judge, lawyers, directors, and social workers were all women. I’m still trying to figure out what the men do.

Over the next 10 days we will be very busy preparing the house, running around and working late nights so we can spend more time home when he is here.

I am in the middle of booking our flights and I am uncertain the best route to come home since we will have him. To all the adoptive parents out there—did you take the non-stop from Moscow on Delta or did you change planes. I was thinking that it might be good to change plans for the distraction- but I am not sure. Also I need tips on how to get him on the right time zone when we return so we’re not up all night.

Thanks for all your comments!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It is official!!!!!

We did it. We are now officially the parents of Baby B. As we expected the judge did not waive the 10 day waiting period. We are planning to return to St. Pete on March 16, start his paperwork on March 17 and take him out of the baby home on March 18. We will eventually make our way to Moscow most likely on the 20th until March 25.

As you can all imagine we are very excited. We can’t wait to get him home! We’ve waited a long time for this, starting with the fertility treatment, preparing and waiting for 2 years to go to China, then waiting a little less than a year to bring us to this point. It’s funny how sitting here today the waiting doesn’t seem that it was that long. I guess it is like what they say about child birth—you forget the pain. Well we forgot the pain and frustration of the waiting process and when we were greeted with those big cheeks with dimples today we felt even better!

We spent about 3 hours with him today. He is getting a lot more confident with walking and even did a fast walk today. He was very generous with his hugs for his daddy. It is amazing how quickly he has bonded with John. I felt very honored that at the end of our second visit today he threw himself on me for a hug. It made my year!!

We will be home by late tomorrow evening and back to work on Thursday. We will be very busy this weekend finishing the baby proofing of the house. This has been the most excited time of our lives!!


Tears and Smiles

We started the day with crocodile tears and ended it with lots of smiles. Baby B has attached with his caregivers more so than what he was during our first trip and it initially bothers him when they leave him with us. The first visit with him on Monday started with the pout, then a scream and then the tears. It lasted all about 1 minute until I could distract him but I have to admit I never thought a crying baby was so cute before seeing him cry. I know I am going to eat these words but he is so cute.

We had two really good visits with him on Monday—each about 1 ½ hours long. He spent most of the time walking back and forth from John to myself handing us blocks. He was enamored with lego like blocks called Clipo which I plan to buy as soon as I get home. Let’s hope by the time I buy then and time we pick him up he still likes them.

Prior to meeting with him we had our 8 Dr visit at the hospital. We brought our own x-rays and EKG reports so we didn’t have to do that again. We started with blood tests then we ate cake and coffee. (The Russians eat cake and pastries for breakfast). We then met with a neurologist, oncologist, dermatologist, internist and psychiatrist. In between meeting with each Dr, there was more cake and coffee. John and I were together the entire time.

We have our Court hearing this morning. John is prepared to make a statement about us and our intentions. We were told the hearing will take approximately 1 hour and that the new judge is very prompt and organized.

Unfortunately we forgot to pack the attachment to download any pictures to the computer, so I won’t be able to post any pictures of the proud parents after the hearing.

Wish us luck.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

What a difference 2 months makes!

After 2 months Baby B definitely looks older and is as cute as ever. He is walking with some apprehension and has a grip of steel. When it came to us he did not seem too happy to see us. He was very reserved and a little scared. I don’t believe he recognized either of us. He wasn’t interested in playing with any toys and seemed to be tired. The toys I brought on the first trip that he loved so much he wouldn’t even look at. Instead he wanted to be held and John was just the man to do it. He clung to John and kept his head on his shoulder most of the day. During our first trip he never cried. Today if we weren’t holding him he made the cutest pouty face and started to cry. As soon as you picked him up he stopped. It brought back memories when Kenny was a baby and he would only stop crying if you held him while walking around the room. You couldn’t even think about sitting with him or else he would start streaming. Baby B’s cry does not come close to Kenny’s screaming but I do see some potential. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes of our 2 ½ hour visit that he became interested in some toys. We will see how he is tomorrow.

After the visit and some delicious crepes, we met with the translator who will be with us in court. She explained to us what to expect and what questions will be asked. She does not believe the 10 days will be waived but we will wait and see.

Tonight John and I ventured out and found a very good Japanese restaurant. The sushi was just as good as our favorite place back home at ½ the price. You can’t beat that!

Tomorrow morning we have our 8 Dr exams starting at 8am. After that we will see Baby B and see if he likes us any better.

Until tomorrow.