Monday, December 31, 2007

Praying for America

If you would like to join me in praying for our country, please visit my new website.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New post & photos

New post & photos--Lookin' Good-- at Matthew's site

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Matthew's favorite song

New Christmas photos posted at Matthew's site

I've posted before about Matthew's favorite song...Divine Romance by Phil Wickham. Seriously, this kid loves this song! I call it his siren song because it will even lure him away from intense play. I caught it on video and wanted to share....sorry about the crazy camerawork...I was trying to be sneaky!


video

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Come and listen...


I wanted to post a video of our adoption for Thanskgiving...but that didn't quite happen as hoped considering I remembered it the night before around 10:00pm! Then time slipped away from me while preparing for Christmas...but I wanted to make sure and post it this week because as I reflect on 2007 and what a BIG year it has been for us (Scott's 1st year of full time self-employment, a new home, working on 2 adoptions, the arrival of sweet Matthew, and the passing of our Pa), I am in awe of how faithful God has been through it all. Sometimes gently leading us...sometimes carrying us...and all the time loving us.

OOPS! I'm not sure why the right side of my video is cut off when shown on the blog...I'll figure it out later...gonna go hang out with my husband now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New post & photos

New post & photos - Baby's First Christmas - at Matthew's site.

Christmas morning video

Just wanted to post this video really quickly...it's the uncut version, especially for the grandparents! Photos will follow later...gotta get back to the festivities!
video

Monday, December 24, 2007

New post & photos

New post and photos -- 11 Months Old on Christmas Eve -- at Matthew's site.

NOTE: I accidentally used the wrong clipper attachment on Matthew's hair so he now has a military 'do!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A precious gift & the Perfect Gift

Scott and I were talking the other day about "What if we had given Matthew a different name?" and we tried to picture this little guy as a Sherman...a Vince...a Leo, etc. The name Matthew means "gift of the Lord" and, while we are biased, we think it suits him perfectly. He is a precious gift that God has entrusted us with, and he blesses us each day. We pray that as Matthew grows his name will reflect his relationship with all of the people in his life.

At Christmas we celebrate the Perfect Gift of God...the gift of Jesus. Yeshua is the original Aramaic proper name for Jesus and in Hebrew Yeshua means "Salvation." What a big name for a tiny baby...and yet that is the name given to Him by God:

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Mt 1:21

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ; however, we cannot do so without reflecting also on His death...since Jesus was born that He might die. Even as the Babe lying in the manger, His life was purposed for the salvation of others:

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born (Lyrics, Welcome to Our World)

There is no other name ...by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

So as we wake on Christmas morning may we celebrate with JOY the Perfect Gift of a Perfect Son...Jesus, our Salvation!

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God, Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world (Lyrics, Welcome to Our World)


MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Scott, Tish and Matthew

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Readoption Information

I believe all states have different readoption requirements, but I will tell you the process we have gone through so far:

1. The baby will receive a Certificate of Citizenship shortly after arriving home. For Taiwan adoptions through JOH Program 3, this COC will be issued in the baby's BIRTH NAME.

2. Depending on your local Social Security Office you may or may not be able to get a SS# in the baby's ADOPTED NAME when the COC is listed in the BIRTH NAME. I have heard of some families in other states being able to do this but, because we live in a high immigration area, our SS Office would not allow. The strange thing about this is that when I gave the SS worker my info, he said that Matthew is already listed in the database under my name as "Matthew" but he still couldn't issue the number.

3. For readoption, we created a petition and an order indicating our desire to have a state birth certificate issued for Matthew and took them to our District Court. This will help down the road when he needs a BC for school, etc. I have copies of our petition and order if anyone needs them for a guide. We did not use an attorney, so our filing fee was $107.


4. When the judge signs off on the order, you take that document and an application to the Vital Stats Office to get a state recognized birth certificate.

4. Once you have the order for readoption signed and a state BC, you can take them along with the VISA, COC, etc to the SS office to apply for a SS#. It will take about 2 weeks to get the card.

This is all we have completed so far...I'm not sure if we need to have Matthew's COC changed. I'll have to do some research!

Gimme more, gimme more...

Here is Matthew signing for "more." His technique needs some refinement, but he understands what's going on...little genius that he is! Funny thing is he never signs more for vegetables or cereal...only for treats like puffs, baby mum mums, and biter biscuits. God sure put him in the right family!
video

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The young and the restless...




I think this is my millionth post about sleep. Or actually about the lack of sleep. Since Matthew has been home, he has had 3 periods of decent sleep...each lasting about 4-5 nights. Then he has times of crazy restlessness where he doesn't actually get up, but he lays there and yells "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH" very, very, very loudly. And he also has his stretches of time where every night he gets up for 2-3 hours per night to play. It seems as if it is starting to show as a cycle: night playing leads to exhaustion which leads to good sleep which, when well-rested, leads to the restlessness. Last night he was up almost the entire night with short "catnaps" throughout...and today it is showing! For example, he burst into melodramatic teenage girl tears when he was playing with my perfume and I said "Be gentle."
I keep checking his gums for teeth...but, so far, there's nothing. Scott says this is good because then he has less time to get cavities! He is starting to want what we eat instead of his baby food and, for some unknown reason, he does NOT want to drink out of a cup at all. Well...I hear him crying...he's only been down for 30 minutes...not nearly long enough for him...or for me!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Signs of the times...

You may remember that Matthew has learned to sign "bottle." This morning when he woke up I was still beat, so I gave him a toy hoping he would play and I could rest for a few more minutes. He looked at the toy, looked at me, and then started signing like crazy for a bottle! No tricking this one! Then tonight at dinner he finally started signing for "more!" Must have been those oh-so-delicious dried sweet corn snacks that pushed him over the edge! It is really cute because he gets a little excited and starts the sign for bottle and then works his way into the sign for more.

We had a busy weekend, so I don't have new photos to post. I finally watched The Notebook for the 1st time. A little late, huh? I usually don't watch love stories...they WRECK me...I get so into the movie & characters that it's like my heart is ripped out of my chest and is sitting next to me...completely exposed...waiting to be pummeled by the story's rollercoaster of emotions. Scott already said I shouldn't watch The Notebook again...guess I'll just stick with Nacho Libre. So anyway here are some old videos I dug up of Mateo!

video

Being a turkey on Thanksgiving Day at Grandma Goff's

video

Now this one is rated E for EXCITEMENT! Don't blink or you might miss the hint of a grin on Matthew's face!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A far cry from Baby Gap

Who dressed this kid?

When I was BK (before kids, not Burger King...although I love the smell of a Whopper) and I would see a kid who was in mis-matched clothes I would wonder "Why didn't the mom just take the time to put on clothes that match?" Ahhhhh....how naive I was. Now I understand that while the pajama top might make it through the night, the pajama bottoms might not....or while the jeans might make it through lunch, the sweatshirt might not...and so unless the baby's whole wardrobe is Garanimal-ized, you end up with clean clothes that don't quite go together. But mostly you end up not really caring.
BTW, does anyone know how to rotate photos in Blogger?

New Photos & Post

EVEN MORE new photos and post -- 4 Month Anniversary!-- at Matthew's site

New Post & Photos

More new photos and a post -- Christmas is coming! -- at Matthew's site.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New photos & post

New photos & post -- The Aquarium -- on Matthew's site

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Special video

UPDATE - sorry the link wasn't working! Please try again!

In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah Psalm 44:8

I would like to direct your attention to a great video posted today on the website of a special family. I encourage you to also read the post entitled "Our son."

The Spin Doctor

As I have mentioned before, Matthew doesn't show any interest in cute little songs with hand movements or naming body parts or anything like that...but boy does he like to spin things! Spinning bowls, balls, cups, wheels...he loves it all! We end up turning over toys and strollers so the wheels are exposed....because that's where the party's at! Here's a video of our spin doctor (sorry it's dark!)

On a side note, when I went in to get him up from his nap he was standing up and his pants were off. I asked "Matthew where are your pants?" and he looked down at them laying by his feet. Then I asked "Who took your pants off?" and he immediately picked up Lamby and handed him to me. Little tattletale!
video

Monday, December 10, 2007

Designer's Challenge

Token baby shot to appease my mom! In PJs from GA Theresa!
Family room (we do have blinds now!)
Kitchen

Uhhh...Matthew's playroom? Dancing with the Stars Practice Room? Or Living/Dining Room?

We moved into our new home the day we accepted Matthew's referral, so home decorating has taken a back seat to the adoption...and to being a mama. The family room and kitchen are really the only rooms somewhat finished, so I have my work cut out for me. Not only do I need to think about furniture but, as you can see from the photos, wall paint. The paint is going to be a huge job because the rooms flow and have some different architectural features...and I better stop on that because it makes my head spin! From where I stood to take the photo of the family room is the same location I stood to photograph the Living/Dining...so you can see from one into the other.
SO...all you HGTV fans, I am accepting any ideas! I like the styles of West Elm (Store) and Nicole Sassaman (Designer). I like muted colors...the way a spa feels. I was thinking of an off-white leather couch for the LR and a espresso colored dining table for the DR. But I am also on a budget since we still have another (or maybe many more!) adoption to pay for! So if any of the 50+ people who visit daily love to decorate, please share your talent!

Can't touch this - update

After a couple times of showing Matthew the "Can't touch this" video of the wreath,I decided we would give it another try. I opened the front door and showed him the wreath, and he got a big silly grin on his face. He tentatively touched it, so I took his hand and ran it over the branches... he laughed!

Does anyone else think that Matthew's facial expression in the header photo has a strong resemblance to the guy in that old commercial with bitter beer face?

Does anyone else think that the little baby marching across the caterpillar in the ticker above is moving WAY TOO FAST???

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Can't touch this!


video

video


Matthew loves to touch EVERYTHING, so I was surprised at his reaction when we received this beautiful wreath in the mail from the Johnsons. I'm too busy (read "lazy") to put this to music right now, so while you are watching it just sing MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" to yourself.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Helping the Orphan

I will be doing a post soon about how many potential adoptive parents are scared away by adoption costs...and I wanted to post this video...perhaps as an encouragement that behind the agency fees, country fees, travel fees, and processing fees are little lives...real little lives waiting for love.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Only by God's grace...

Matthew has not been having good sleeping nights lately and then today his naps took a turn for the worse. A turn for the worse!!! It was like someone snuck in and gave him some Vivarin or No-Doze or whatever it was that people took in college to stay awake during finals. Not to say that he wasn't dog tired...just that he wouldn't sleep. Let me say that I now understand why sleep deprivation is used as TORTURE in some countries (I was actually wondering today if I would rather undergo sleep dep as torture or have my fingernails pulled out one by one). I get frustrated when he is awake night after night, and irritated when I can't make appts/plans because I never know how his night will will affect his day, and selfish when I have to sleep on the little twin in his room that feels like it's giving me bed sores. Normal? Probably. Ugly? For sure. So I was thinking about all of this in the shower tonight when this thought came to my mind: "Lord, I don't want Matthew's sleep to get better until you change me!" This is not to say that I don't want my baby to be rested and healthy...but to say that I want my baby's mama to look more like Christ. Compassionate. Unselfish. Long suffering. A Servant's heart.

Only by God's grace can one say, "Please don't take away the thorn in my side until You use it to take away the sin in my heart." Only by God's grace.

UPDATE: Sometimes I think his sleep issues stem from the high doses of caffeine running through his veins??? He slept decently last night...was AWAKE at 5:30. I did finally get him to go back to sleep after his 6:30 bottle...in my arms. Then at 7 something before his eyes were fully opened, he "bounded" (not exaggerating) out of my arms, had crawled to the end of the twin bed, and was trying to bounce his bed with his arms. This was literally within seconds of waking. Maybe even milliseconds. He is just one busy boy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

UPdate!




(I'm going to get my hair done today and taking this photo to the stylist)

RE: Matthew's atopic dermatitis - His skin is looking better since we started running the humidifier, using Aquaphor, and cutting back on baths. Since I went gangbusters and tried all remedies at once, I can't tell you which is the secret weapon!


RE: Matthew's super soaked diapers - At the recommendation of a few wise mamas I started double diapering him at night. Most mornings I find him with dry sheets, so that is great! During the day if we are out at a place where changing him isn't easy or sanitary, I sometimes still end up with a wet shirt if I am carrying him...even if he is wearing plastic pants over his diaper. But who has the money to double diaper your baby 100 times a day, so I will settle for doing extra laundry.


RE: Matthew's disinterest in doing hand movements to songs - It continues. He is flat out unconcerned about any spider going up a water spout. While he is starting to point, he finds no pleasure in clapping.


RE: Matthew's teeth - Still none.


RE: Matthew's talking - He continues to say "dada" indiscriminitely. It also seems as if has learned a variety of other sounds which he practices a lot. We think he sounds like The Cheat on Homestar Runner. He is very talkative in the morning!

New post & photos


New post & photos ---Adventures in babysitting -- at www.youbelong.net/goff.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hope

I rec'd an Advent book in the mail yesterday from Buckner Int. The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." For Christians, the focus of the entire season is celebrating of the birth of Jesus in His First Advent and anticipating Christ's return in His Second Advent. The 4 weeks of Advent reflect the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

Because of Buckner's ministry to orphans, they have a special love for the fatherless and for the families who adopt them. I would like to share the prayers found in this Advent book for orphans and families.

Yesterday's prayer: HOPE FOR THE FATHERLESS
Sovereign God, please wrap Your loving arms around Your fatherless children. Provide them the HOPE of an eternal Father, the HOPE of being part of a Godly family, and the HOPE of having a family of their own. Please show them the HOPE of the Savior as we celebrate the birth of Your Son.

Today's prayer: HOPE FOR THE FAMILIES
Father, there are so many families looking to take children into their hearts and homes. Give HOPE to the childless and HOPE to the adopting parents. Help the families know that You will work out all the details to Your glory. Provide HOPE in order that these families can make a difference in the lives of that special child You have chosen for them.

New post & photos

New post & photos -- First Fingerpainting -- at www.youbelong.net/goff

Monday, December 3, 2007

Don't hate me because my blog is beautiful!

Check out my new look! I feel like a new woman! A much needed improvement, for sure! If you are now experiencing blog envy...don't worry...you can have a new blog look, too! Just contact my BBFF Rebecca. While my blog was constructed by Rebecca under the "Blogs with Love" organization (www.blogoverswithlove.blogspot.com), Rebecca has since started her own design site to help fund her family's adoption expenses. It's a win-win thing because, no matter which way you go, you are supporting adoption and you will get a beautiful web site!

Rebecca's new site is www.designsbyrebecca.blogspot.com, and it has great examples of the diversity of her designs. Be sure to check it out!

Matthew Pao-palooza

OK...more video...and one of them is long...but my mom loved the last one so much that she called and wanted to buy me a Crate & Barrel gift card!!!! Expect a lot of videos from now on!
Just jokes!


I call this video montage "shake it, don't break it, took your mama 9 months to go through the adoption process." Matthew loves to shake everything he can....the cart at Target, the kitchen table, and especially his bed. When I go in to get him up, he is usually shaking his bed, so then I do it too. It never fails that when I shake it...because I shake it harder...he becomes quite concerned about "Lamby" (his little lamb that we sent him while he still lived in Taiwan), and he always wants to kiss him! So here are the videos!



video

video

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ghetto Christmas Parade

All bundled up!
Playing among the luminarias before the parade.

Tonight we walked up to our "Main Street" to watch the town Christmas Parade. Matthew was waving and waving. Some of the highlights were the Waste Collection trucks and a long line of low-riders decorated with lights. One "float" was a big truck full of girls listening to a Fergie-sounding song. I thought they were going to jump out and Ghost Ride da Whip (if you are unschooled in da Whip, just search it on youtube). There wasn't even a Santa...but did I mention all the low-riders??? We love, love, love our town...and what the parade lacked in class, they made up for in candy. Lots and lots of candy! Scott started picking some up and then that was all Matthew wanted to do. So we came home, put the baby to bed, and had a festive dinner of popcorn, Chips Ahoy, egg nog and parade candy!

Happy December!

Hooray for December...and celebrating the birth of our Savior! We kicked off the month by watching the Nativity Story movie. We were going to go to our little town's Christmas tree lighting (it is like a little 4' tree in front of town hall), but inclement weather kept us in. People who live in places like Minnesota would have called us wimps.

Now that we have a little one the thought of establishing family traditions, as well as keeping some of our own families', becomes more important...so if anyone has a neat tradition they would like to share..I would LOVE to hear it! I'm not ashamed to say that I am a total plagiarizer and need help being creative about such things!

New post and photos - Signs, signs, everywhere signs - at www.youbelong.net/goff.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Biscuit head






When Matthew saw that Reed (http://www.jeffandabbey2001.blogspot.com/) had a biter biscuit, he wanted one too. They freak me out a little with their potential for chokiness, but if super-parents Jeff & Abbey recommend them, then we'll try 'em too! Here are some photos of our biscuit head boy.

Earning his keep


video


Here is a little video of Mateo drying the kitchen floor for his allowance. It is kind of long, but I know my mom will savor every second.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby Showers for Adoptive Mamas

Disclaimer: I am only sharing my experience as a first time mama. Our family and friends have been more than generous both before and after Matthew's arrival. I write this post simply because through my conversations with other adoptive parents, I find there to be uncertainty about "party protocol" for adoptions. Visitors to the site, feel free to add your opinions!


Baby showers for adoptions can be a strange topic. Even though you are adding a child to your family just as with a bio baby, there seems to be a question as to whether or not showers should be thrown for adoptive parents. First, on the side of the adoptive mother, there can be a feeling of not deserving a shower, feeling awkward registering for gifts when you aren't pregnant, or feeling like with an adoption you should be responsible for all purchasing all other necessities. (Don't ask me why, these are just some things people have shared).

For family/friends there can be questions of "party protocol" such as who has the shower, when is it held, what kind of games do you play when you can't wrap the toilet paper around the mama's big belly, etc. While we were waiting for Matthew to come home, I had a large number of people tell me, "Oh, you should have a shower!" I wasn't sure if they meant I should throw a party for myself...???



SHOWERS: A big issue with showers is when to have them...before of after the child comes home. Here are some thoughts.


BEFORE - Before you leave to travel you are going to want everything ready for that baby (the nursery set up, the car seat in place, the necessary items for travel). A shower prior to travel gives you time to get necessary items and get them in place (with time to make adjustments/returns if needed). Believe me, you do not want to be installing a car seat the night before you leave for a foreign country. Believe me! Also, I have found that things that didn't get done prior to travel are definitely not getting done now. Furthermore, a "before" shower lets you enjoy a party in your honor...one last time to just relax and have fun. The downside to an early shower is that it is difficult to buy some gifts because the actual size, interests, etc of the baby are not known. When we brought the boy home at 6 1/2 months he was ready for 9 month clothes.

AFTER - Many people like the idea of having a party after the baby arrives so everyone can meet him/her. An "after" party also allows you to see the size and developmental abilities of your child so that people can give appropriate gifts. The downsides to this choice are first, you may have already purchased everything you registered for by the time of the shower (like I said earlier, you will want everything ready before you travel)...and second, you may be dealing with bonding, jet lag, time zone, and other adoption issues which may make attending a party more hectic than fun.

SHOWER INVITES: There are now plenty of shower invitations for adoptions...just throw the words into google. For our shower, the lovely hostesses made an invitation with one of Matthew's update photos on it. Too cute! It also gave the attendees a keepsake photo of our boy.


GIFT IDEAS: Some people choose to ask for donations to an adoption charity in lieu of presents. What I have found though is that family and friends really want to either buy something special for the baby or help the parents with the adoption costs. I know it seems so impersonal, but gift cards are wonderful: VISA gift cards for the family to use during travel, Target, Babies-R-Us, Amazon.com, etc. I would suggest not buying gifts of baby food, bottles, diapers, pacifiers, etc. simply because of the unknowns in size, baby preference, allergies, skin issues, etc. If I was going to attend a shower and planned to spend $50...and there was something specific I wanted to buy for $25, I would get the other $25 in a gift card rather than finding other items to purchase.

I think the main point is if you are a friend wondering if you should host a shower for an adoptive mother, I say "YES!" And if you are an adoptive mother feeling like you shouldn't take up your friend's offer to throw you a shower, then read some articles on "entitlement" in adoption and say, "YES!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Would you like a little toxin with your toy?

With all the crazy recalls and questions concerning the safety of toys made in China (love their babies, not their toxic toys), I visited some web sites to research alternative sources for buying toys. As expected, prices are quite a bit higher, but these companies seem to be committed to selling safe items for children.

http://www.moolka.com/ - has a "top 20 holiday gifts" section


http://www.willowtreetoys.com/ - has neat advent spirals, as well as toys


http://www.northstartoys.com/ - located here in NM!


http://www.oompa.com/ - has cool furniture by offi and notneutral, as well as toys

I'm an adult! I can talk like an adult!


I needed to stop by my former workplace (www.calvaryabq.org) to have some readoption paperwork notarized, so I dropped off Matthew at Scott's office. I knew my co-workers would be bummed because they would rather see him than me, but it was easier this way.


Well...what I found out was that I can still have an adult conversation! Really! I can have a whole conversation without speaking in a high-pitched voice...without saying "no no"...and without reaching over to wipe drool off the person's chin. And even when the conversation shifted to topics other than diapers, formula, and sleeping through the night, I could still keep up and participate! I was so excited! I felt so grown-up!


Here's a photo from Daddy's office. Next time Matthew goes to work, he needs to come home with a paycheck because after we left the office we spent $50 on formula, baby food, and rash-stopping lotion.

Funny little things

One of Matthew's favorite things to do is open and close the little speak- easy door in our front door. He smiles the whole time! In these close-ups you can see his poor rashy face...ugh...and a crusty nose!



Having some morning fun...in the walker and chewing on a bib!

Last night while I was feeding Matthew his face turned beet red like he couldn't breathe...and then he let a big grunty yell. I wasn't sure if he was choking or just didn't like the meal....but it turned out he had just realized he could do that "trick"...and so he practiced it all through dinner. This morning I got it on video so I will try to upload it soon.



Whenever I happen to walk out of a room that Matthew and I are in, he will start crying and crawling after me. Last night I was putting his pajamas on him in his room and, as soon as i finished, he bolted for the door. When I realized he wasn't stopping, I started crying like he does...so he stopped, turned around to look at me, smiled a huge smile, then kept on going!



I am also trying to get him to crawl more rather than carrying him all over the house...so when we go from room to room, I will have him crawl after me. He hates it. Hates it! He will start crying, close his eyes, and crawl....which makes him look like he is in a "dizzy bat" race because he can't crawl straight with his eyes closed.



Our Thanks-for-the-Day
When daddy goes into work late and we get to spend the morning with him!

Monday, November 26, 2007

New post & photos

New post & photos --The Art of Self-Feeding-- at www.youbelong.net/goff

Atopic dermatitis - what a bummer!

This is his artsy NYC look....dressed in black with hair brushed forward!
Poor baby belly!

When we received Matthew's referral it came with many questions and errors concerning his medical history. We are so very grateful that, upon returning home and being examined, he has a very healthy report! So the only medical issue that we are aware of at this point is his ATOPIC DERMATITIS. From what I have read, his Asian ethnicity and male gender are both associated with an increased risk of atopic dermatitis.

We have noticed lately an increase in the number of rashes on his body, as well as their "intensity"...for lack of a better word. We are wondering if it is due to the onset of cold, dry weather here. (Perhaps the doc will prescribe that we move to a more temperate climate...such as San Diego!). We use a free & clear laundry detergent, slather him with lotion and dab him with prescription hyrdrocortisone, keep his bath temp low, and only use a hypoallergenic bath soap. I was watching his diet closely, but his doc said that isn't the issue.


Today I am starting a humidifier in his room...and I guess the next step would be buying 100% cotton clothes. I'm grateful that he doesn't seem to be itchy but, by the looks of his skin, it has to be uncomfortable.
FOR PARENTS YET TO TRAVEL: I recommend that you get some OTC hydrocortisone and Eucerin to take to Taiwan as, from what I understand, quite a few of the babies have skin issues. When we picked up Matthew he was digging in his ears so much that we thought he had infections, but it turned out to be this atopic dermatitis...it would have been great to have some ointment with us while traveling.
Our Thanks-for-the-Day
For a long weekend that allowed me time to get 2 Christmas trees up and a start on Christmas cards!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Photos - Day after Thanksgiving

This is the awesome Costco chocolate cake...had it for breakfast after hitting a few stores.
Snow! The snow made it an great day to stay indoors and start decorating for Christmas! I was able to enjoy the snow only because I knew that today it would be melted away...and we'd have sunny skies! I tried to get Matthew to eat some snow off a yucca brach, but he wasn't too crazy about it.
I decided to make some ornaments using clear balls and metallic paint...here there are drip-drying.

The precious one all bundled up. He really enjoyed the day: the trees with lights, the snow, the fireplace, the Christmas music...it was a great day!
I made a good salad for Thanksgiving...if you like that kind of thing (I don't like to waste precious stomach room with green leafy things). It was baby spinach, Bosc pears, feta cheese, pinon, and a vinaigrette. I think it would be great with chicken added, too. Trader Joe's is supposed to have a pear champagne vinaigrette, but I couldn't find it...so just used raspberry.

New Post & Photos

New post & photos -- Matthew's 10 month birthday -- at www.youbelong.net/goff

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


Matthew at his grandma's house for Thanksgiving. The bib is from Great Aunt Theresa...he doesn't look like he enjoys being called a "little turkey!"

A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100
Our Thanks-for-the-Day
God's abundant blessings!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sleep + sleep = happy baby

Here are some photos that didn't make the cut for previous posts



In the very rare occurences that Matthew has slept well (relatively speaking) through the night, we have seen a different kid the next day. The night before last was one of those nights and yesterday he was much happier (no crying during diaper changes, no crying when put down for naps, no crying when waking up from naps, no crying in the car seat, etc).
Unfortunately, last night we were back to a not-so-sleepful night. Typically he goes to bed around 7:30, starts stirring around 11:00 something, wakes up anywhere from 1:00-3:00 and stays awake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, then keeps waking the rest of the night. During his awake time at night, we have tried both helping him get back to sleep and letting him do it on his own but, no matter what, he is awake for a long period of time. We have tried cutting back on naps and encouraging longer naps (the sleep begets sleep idea). On one hand it's easy to think he'll just work it out in his own timing, but when I get the chance to see him fully rested --and how much happier he seems--I can't help but want to fix the problem.


Our Thanks-for-the-Day
Last night we attended our first official dinner party, and Matthew was SUPER! He was a dream baby...eating some real green beans, being nice to the dogs, and even playing on the floor while we finished our meal. It was a good practice run for the holidays!



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

D'oh!

If Matthew was a Simpson's character, this is what he would look like! To "simpsonize" yourself, just go to http://simpsonizeme.com/

Botox for your Blog

Is your blogsite looking blah? Would you like to start the new year with a new blog look? Well, you should consider getting a little bloggy facelift! My BBFF Rebecca (www.untilwemeetintaiwan.blogspot.com) has all the skills to give your blog a fresh new look!

Her design site is http://remdesigns.blogspot.com/, and blogovers are done in exchange for donations to benefit children in orphanages in Taiwan! Sweet!

You may be asking why my own site is looking rather "plain Jane" and has yet to become a beauty blog. Well, when it comes to anything having to do with decorating anything, I am a TOTAL commitment phobic. But I have resolved to put my blog in Rebecca's trusty hands and help out those babies in Taiwan who are still waiting for their mamas!

Precious face


Our Thanks-for-the-Day
That Costco bakes Thanksgiving pies so I don't have to!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Matthew's doll


I have noticed that I play with Matthew differently than I would a girl. Less conversational play and more rough & tumble play. Less role play and more racing trucks down the hallway. Less touchy-feely talk and more explaining how things work. And I was thinking about how women often complain that men don't communicate...don't talk/share feelings/nurture/etc...and I thought "Oh no! I'm raising a boy whose future wife might feel that way!" So I thought about getting Matthew a doll...like a boy Cabbage Patch or something...with which I could model nurturing and conversation.
I tested the whole doll thing out by introducing Matthew to two of my old dolls. Much to my dismay and Scott's secret pleasure, there was no love. There was no interest. He just grabbed them by the hair and swung them back and forth like he does his trucks. So...in lieu of a baby I began using a blue puppy dog...kissing the puppy, clothing the puppy, etc.
Well, this weekend Matthew rec'd a package from his Great Aunt Theresa, and inside was "Sweet Pea"...a little soft doll in a pea pod. As I pulled Sweet Pea out of the box to show Matthew, he kissed it! Not only once, but twice! Completely unprompted! Ahhh...early intervention! Haha! And one day his wife will thank me!

Our Thanks-for-the-Day
Getting a check back from your insurance company for overpayment! It's like FREE MONEY!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Random stuff (how many posts are you allowed to have with the word "random" in the title?

The other evening Matthew's temperment was pretty much summed up by the above photo. So after I put him in bed, Scott and I were in the kitchen and I glanced over at the refrigerator...which showcases the photos of Matthew sent to us by the Taiwan agency...the photos...all sweet...calm...smiling...and I said, "False Advertising!!!!"

He has become the King O' Lunge lately...whenever you are holding him he is lunging out of your arms. It could be to direct you to move, to try to grab something he thinks is in reach, or just because he is feeling lungey... I'm not sure how long this phase lasts, but I hope it is over before I need back replacement surgery. Can you replace your whole back?

We are trying decide which things we think are important to say "no" to and which aren't...so that we will be consistent with our "no's." For example, the outlets (even though they are plugged) are always NO...but staying out past curfew on Friday nights isn't something we're too worried about. We have a home office, and that is where things get fuzzy. No matter how many super cool toys you have for Matthew, of course he always wants to play with the cords and gadgets that go in a home office. SOmetimes when you are trying to pay bills or work on readoption stuff, you just need to get things finished...so those can be times when a typical "no" gets overlooked...so we are thinking we need to get our acts together on this. Tonight Scott firmly told Matthew that, when in the office, the only thing he is allowed to play with is the carpet. We'll see how that goes!

Our Thanks-for-the-Day

The sweet little giggles that come when mama dramatically shoos away a bug.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Santa baby...


Matthew met Santa today! I dressed him in his fancy duds and rushed him (between naps) over to the mall to get his photo taken in the Winter Wonderland (in the desert). There was only one kid in front of us and all he wanted was a blue ninja turtle, so the line moved really quickly (not quick enough for Matthew's diaper which I had JUST changed before we walked into the mall).
Matthew didn't cry at all, but it was hard to get a photo because he kept looking back at Santa. It was a stare-down of some sorts that only the two of them understand...I guess we'll see what Santa leaves in his Christmas stocking (or "sock" if you read the previous Christmas post).

Since no one else was waiting in line, I asked Santa if he would mind watching Matthew while I did some shopping, but he said he had a date with some egg nog in the JC Penney's parking lot. I didn't get the $20+ photo cd, so here is a photo of the photo!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Please pass me a tissue...

In our hotel in Taipei
On the way back to Taipei from picking up Matthew in Fengyuan
At home in his Ikea chair!


My eyes are all teary! Since the dictator is sleeping I thought I would take a moment to check my email and blog and, when I saw that 1st photo in the last post I thought "Gosh, Matthew sure looks big!" SO I looked at some photos from when we met him in Taiwan...and he has grown so much! BOO HOO HOO...my baby is growing up!

Photos that don't make the cover shot

The good shot: Matthew in new outfit from Aunt Pat & Uncle David KYB. The not so great shots are below:



BTW, anyone recommend diapers other than Huggies Natural Fit? Even though I change Matthew every 5 minutes (or so it seems), the Huggies don't seem to be holding up their end of the bargain. Perhaps my boy is "The Urinator" and I'll have this problem no matter what diaper we use??? And while the subject is diapers, why don't babies ever pee and poop in the SAME diaper?

Our Thanks-for-the-Day
Digital cameras! I can't imagine how much money I would have wasted by now if I was using a camera with film!