Friday, March 5, 2010

For Meg... what an amazing journey!

I stayed up late last night trying to get this video (that is long overdue) up and finished. What a challenge, it is definetly not a skill of mine. Hopefully you enjoy it. Mostly I hope Meg will enjoy it in the years to come. Be sure to pause the music in the side bar before pressing play.

video

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Moving to our family blog

I have kept this adoption blog since April 2007, when we first started down the wonderful path to our adoption - which led us to our amazing and completely captivating daughter: Meg. It is thrilling to me to know that I will have our whole journey documented. I plan on having the entire blog printed into a large coffee table book for Meg - something she will always have to see how much she was truly wanted and loved long before she 'officially' became our daughter.

That being said - Meg is a Lightfoot now and our family blog is where she belongs most certainly! From here on in... all news and stuff will reside at our original family blog that I've kept for several years. Meg is most certainly a big part of our family and a huge part of our hearts now - so its' time her news became just another part of "The Lightfoot" blog.

If you'd like to continue to follow life with the Lightfoots, please update your bookmark to HERE.

Meeting Great Gram

















As soon as we could get adjusted to the time change and life felt right side up again, we made a visit to Great Gram's apartment in Foxboro. Gram is 97 years old and the amazing glue that holds our family together so well. She held Meg - Keaton and Chloe were so proud to show their sister to Great Gram.

Some photos

Finally pulling out my camera to clear off my full memory card:

A couple days before we left Vietnam, Meg was playing on the duvet we laid down in the living room of our hotel room. Next thing you know I looked over and she was sitting - I snapped this quick photo of her before she toppled over. We later figured out (by observation) that she got to a sitting position by getting up from crawling position and sliding her feet through til she was sitting. Since coming home, she is now sitting up well on her own - a big accomplishment for our little gal!

























Meg, just before we left our hotel for the airport. We then passed the Canadian flag on to Renny - who hopefully will be home soon!

























Leaving Vietnam - at the airport, awaiting our flight to Hong Kong:

































Friday, July 24, 2009

Time is flying by

The summer is 1/2 over and I feel like time is flying by. Before I know it the kids will be back in school and hopefully by (or before) then I will be able to pull my head out of my butt and get organized. I admit that coming home has been a huge adjustment. In Vietnam we were basically tourists getting to know Meg and her birth country. We had house cleaning service in our hotel suite and we had someone making all our meals.

Well, it ain't like that anymore. We came home to 2 more beautiful children that require and need much of our affection and time too. They missed us terribly and we are still making up for being gone from them such a long time. Keaton and Chloe are so good with Meg and the biggest thing is reminding them that she is not a little doll to carry around the house. They are very helpful and are always running upstairs to get me a blanket or downstairs to fetch her soother, etc... no complaints - this is what they've been waiting for. I won't pretend though that things are perfect and stress-free around here. The first week was very hard getting our clocks turned around, even though Keaton and Chloe still had soccer games, birthday parties and social things to run to. I still sometimes get this overwhelming tired feeling in the pit of my stomach at around 2pm each day. Thankfully it goes away and I can now make it til around 930pm before I fall into bed.

Keaton and Chloe have been going to bible camp all week and they are loving it. They catch the bus and head to Prince Edward County to a day camp there. Keaton loves the water time and archery and his counsellors. Chloe loves the canoeing, songs and crafts. I love that they are happy and keeping busy. I am sure next week, when they are back home and bored with me and Meg... there will be lots of complaining and me trying to find things to keep them occupied. The weather has been quite chilly and so we have not been in our pool as much as usual - this sucks because that was always something they could do to pass the time and remain active. Hoping that this coming week gets warmer! Meg hasn't been in our pool yet - it is so cold and we haven't turned the heater on b/c it is so chilly at night that it would be a waste of $ right now.

Re: my camera - I've been awful. I think I have taken 5 photos since we got home from Vietnam. I just think I'm tired and burnt out and trying to prioritize all the things that need to be done around here. Our house is a disaster and needs to start receiving some TLC. The entire bottom floor needs to be painted, including the white trim - and this is not a job I plan to undertake - so we need to save up to hire a painter. The gardens in our pool area and front lawn are completely neglected and look wild! I just don't have a green thumb at all. Truth be told, if some money dropped in our laps right now (which it will not) we would probably clean the house up... put up a for sale sign and build a new home in a country subdivision that is bigger than the space we have now. Sadly, if and when we do this we would lose the inground pool and hot tub... the budget just doesn't allow a big new house and those perks too. Shaune says we are going to hire a house cleaner but truthfully we need to get this place organized and tidy first so she can find the furniture and floor (HA!)

Meg is doing so good. I am going to take her to a weigh-in clinic next week to see how much she has grown. We got her Health card no problem and all but her doctor is on holidays til August 17th so she still has not had a check up and blood work, etc... GRR. She seems good though and is adjusting so well. She naps 3x a day usually at 9/12/3 and goes down for the night at around 8pm now...sometimes this varies but it is working good. She wakes one time at around 2a.m. for a big bottle and then goes right back to sleep til around 7a.m. - so, I am getting plenty of sleep and starting to feel 'normal' again. This old lady needs her sleep more than she did when K & C were babies!

Meg is up to eating every 3-4 hours during the day and takes 6-7oz now with each bottle. She is on Good Start and likes it. She used to eat 2oz every 2 hrs so this is a huge improvement and you can really see how much she is sprouting up and growing. Her cheeks and neck roll is expanding and yesterday I saw a hint of what could become arm rolls!!! I am excited to see her doing so great with her growth. She still is very tiny especially now that we are home and babies in the 7 month category here seem to be over 20 lbs at times!!! She is beautiful and bright and happy and we love her so much. I promise I will get some photos of her very soon. Maybe this weekend I can get my act together!

That's all for now. Just taking advantage of Meg's first nap of the day! Must go shower quick!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Alive and kicking...

Sorry to have been such a bad blogger. I don't suspect this will change for a few more weeks though! Life is good and we are all home and a family of five finally. The flight went ok and I will write more on that and finally seeing Keaton and Chloe after the longest flight EVER in a later post.

It has taken a week to feel 'normal'. Jetlag hit me tough and it doesn't help when you can't just go and 'sleep it off'. Three children with very busy schedules are keeping us on our toes and I am falling into bed each night at 7 or 8pm (at the latest!)

Meg is doing great and and we are working on getting her a pediatrician appointment. With summer holidays upon us it seems like we may be waiting a while. SIGH! I should of taken care of it before we left for Vietnam but with our delay I guess we would of had to reschedule anyhow. Meg took a few nights to get her times turned back around but is now falling back into her 3 nap a day schedule (short naps!) and bedtime around 6:30pm. She loves the activity of our house and has her brother and sister wrapped around her fingers.

Keaton and Chloe have been wonderful helpers and really are enjoying having a baby in the house... Keaton has even helped me change a diaper and Chloe likes to help me with the bottles.

Life is busy. Gotta get going and keep Miss Meg entertained. She certainly lets me know when she requires my undivided attention! ;)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stuff

I have been lazy and not taken any photos the past several days. Hence me not blogging as much - I know everyone mostly wants to see Meg's photos :)

Random stuff:

*Shaune cannot wait to get home and have a home cooked meal of roast turkey, dressing and gravy courtesy of my mom. I'm sure he'll be hitting his mother up for a roast beef feast also. Although the food is very delicious here, he finds all the spices and flavourings to be of the same variety and is ready for some 'meat and potato' type food. I must admit that even though I am a huge asian cuisine fan, I too am missing the flavours of home finally.

*Flights are booked. We applied for Meg's Vietnamese passport on Tuesday and her Canadian passport this morning. We are booked to fly home Cathay Pacific next Tuesday evening through Hong Kong (leave HCMC at 655pm) and arrive in Toronto at the very early hour of 5:45am on Wednesday, July 8th. So... barring any 'further delays' (everyone say a prayer for us) we will be home as a family of 5 by mid day on Wednesday! We are so excited, as are the kids!

*Tampons are VERY hard to find in Vietnam. Just a warning for all my waiting mom's that may travel here and find themselves here much longer than they thought ;)

*Meg is a sleeping monster... as in: she does not sleep. I am thinking (and hoping) it is because she is growing and needs to still eat every 2.5 hours even at night. Seriously, this girl eats a ton and we are so happy. A little reprieve at night would be a blessing for her tired parents though. if anyone has any advice - we'd take it. I have got her taking about 4-5 oz and she eats every 2-3 hours all day. That is a lot of bottles. Her night time schedule lately is: Bed at 730pm at the latest. Wake for 1st night time bottle at midnight. Go back to sleep. Up again around 2:30am, eats again. Sleep zzz. Up again at 5 or 5:30am - wide awake and happy. Plays for an hour and then wants to nap for an hour. Then her day begins at around 8am. She naps a lot but only little cat naps when she is in her carrier. If I lie down with her or put her in her crib, she seldom sleeps for more than a 1/2 hr during the day. This means she has several naps a day and its not ideal. I guess we will get it all worked out once she is home and settled.

*The great news is she is growing so fast. I hardly recognize the tiny baby in those photos from June 7th. Her cheeks are getting huge and she is beginning to resemble that roly poly baby in her 2 month old photos before she was admitted to the hospital. She is also beginning to make strange if others (Loan for instance) hold her for longer than she'd like. She wants to be in her mommy and daddy's arms 24/7 and that is a great thing. She is a wiggle worm though and not much for just relaxing and cuddling into us.

*Tomorrow is Renny and George's daughters 1st birthday! They are hosting a birthday party for her and we can't wait to go celebrate with them. Lia is a beautiful little girl and has truly blossomed these past several weeks.

*Platex bottle users: If you are using Platex bottles and liners... pack WAY more than you think you'll need. I thought I'd brought way too much. But - the fact that Meg is eating so often throughout a day and that we have been here WAY longer than we anticipated - we are running out. I have saved enough drop in liners for the flight home because that will be easiest... but with 1/2 wk left here I wish I'd just brought a whole bunch more. The bottles she originally used only hold 4 oz and we are trying to get her to eat a bit more than that so switched her.

*In some ways you get used to the humidity and heat here. It is still so hot and uncomfortable at times but a little less that way each day. We are ready for some breezy Canadian summers though around our pool... where we can have ice in our drinks without spending a full day on the toilet ;)

*Shaune has had a hard go of it here. His health has not been great and the intense humidity is a killer for his arthritis. Add on to that some 'stomach issues' and he's been a very good sport (and help) considering.

*We have a few more souvenirs we'd like to get before we head home. I have bought a few things for Meg as she gets older for each 'family day' but I am thinking I should probably buy her an ao dai in every size up til about age 10 or 11? I know they are much more expensive in Canada (I saw them for $20 at a store in Ottawa, they are $5 here) and she will likely wear one at least once a year to celebrate Vietnamese TET and other functions we will attend. The tax center has some for about the same price as the Ben Thanh market... with out the bartering.

*We are loving the hotel we stay at. It is beautiful and modern and is in a good convenient location. The only issues we have had is that there is construction going on directly beside it... a tall office building going up from the looks of it. They are building the foundation the past several weeks and we have had a few days where the crane and cement trucks etc get on our nerves - most days it is ok though so we were too lazy to relocate to the other side of the hotel. The only other issues is the pool. It is big and clean but never used and not a 'social pool'. We have only went swimming 2x since arriving in Vietnam which for us water bugs is unheard of.

*The Highland Cafe is located within our hotel and is our 'room service'. The food is very good and quite reasonable. It has asian cuisine but also familiar stuff like Spagetti, Club sandwiches, omelettes, etc. The drinks they make are the highlight though - and the hot fudge chocolate brownies aren't so bad either.

*As much as we are desperate to get home, there is a part of us that will always miss Vietnam. It is the kind of place I could never describe and do it justice. It is full of lil' annoyances like honking cars, crazy traffic and intense heat yet you fall in love with this place easily. You get used to the cars and scooters honking every .5 seconds and by Day 3 you aren't closing your eyes as your taxi weaves in and out of traffic. It is easy to 'feel at home' here I guess is what I'm saying. It is also the place that blessed us with Meg and I will do everything I can to instill a pride and love in her for Vietnam - it will be easy. We plan on returning again here, our whole family and doing a tour of both North and South. I would like Meg to be around 7 yrs old when we do this so she can understand things and while Keaton and Chloe are still 'young enough teens' to want to join us on a family 'road trip'. There is so much we have not seen of Vietnam. Next time we will branch out and truly see the glorious landscapes this country has.

*Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon is very modern. It has been surprising to us just how trend and fashion obsessed many of the women are here and the amount of very high priced shopping plaza's there are to peruse. We have went in several and not bought a thing - beyond what we'd spend on things like purses and shoes for sure. Don Khoi and Le Loi street are full of big stores such as Louis Vuitton, Coach, Prada, Gucci, etc. - a shopping paradise for those that are into that.

*We prefer the other Saigon - the market and the small plaza's where things are very economical and you meet so many interesting people. Everyone has been very kind to us while we have been here with Meg. Yes, there are questions and lots of curiosity every where we go (especially when we travel as a group of 4 families) but people are kind and loving and they really love children here. It is rare to walk down a street here and not have someone stop you to ask about your baby and stroke her cheek.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Your Donations




















The donations have been very appreciated here in Vietnam. We were able to bring 2 very large suitcases full of essentials for the children of the orphanages including medications, educational toys, clothing, etc. One suitcase went to Vung Tau 2 and the other we gave to another orphanage that was in much need here. We also had the chance to hand out candy, pencils, balls and some older 'toys' to the older children at the orphanages of Vung Tau 2 and Vung Tau 3. They were so appreciative and excited! Another big thank you to so many generous family, friends and even strangers who donated to these children. You all made a difference and it was an experience we will never forget.

A wonderful group of family and friends at home also donated cash for us to bring to Vietnam and buy essentials for the children here. Originally it was going to go to Meg's orphanage - Vung Tau 2 but after touring Vung Tau 3 (another orphanage our agency works with)we decided that we wanted the cash to go towards buying items needed by the children here. The orphanage is quite run down and seemed to be the most in need of the essentials to help the kids there do well. Loan took the cash (we changed it into 5.6 million Vietnamese Dong and that buys a lot here in Vietnam) and did some major shopping with it. She was able to take our $350+ in cash donations and buy things like diapers and formula, noodle soup, etc for the babies and young children. Loan also had a wonderful idea: to buy all the text books the older kids would need for attending school this coming year. I absolutely love that 1/2 of the $ went to these beautiful older children who are schooled within the orphanage and help a lot with the babies and the day-to-day work around the place. Loan provided me with a Thank you letter that goes out to the following: The Aubertins, The Morins, Sheri Whyte, The Fabris, The church women of Tara's church in New Brunswick Canada, The Couplands, The Marshalls, and The Glenn family.
God Bless!



Saturday, June 27, 2009