Monday, January 26, 2009

First Day Of School & Chuc Mung Nam Moi

"Back to school, back to school ... I've got my lunch packed up boots tied tight, hope I don't get in a fight oh back to school, back to ........" Billy Madison

Yes! That is right! Momma heads back to work after the never ending weekend and SLB heads to school. She had a rough night last night for some reason, so we are hoping she will not be cranky at school. She is only going 1/2 days for a couple of weeks.
Ready to go with my backpack!


Also, here are some pictures from her birthday (sorry not sooner, but Trish had the camera in Tulsa).
Sophie makes her grand entrance to the shin-dig in her pretty party dress

Kisses to Mimi and Moots!

With cousins Jack and Mason (www.ourlifeasriley.blogspot.com)

Proud Grandad with Sophie and Mommy!

Poppa's girls!

Smiles with Poppa's buddy Uncle Mike McIntyre.

WHERE IS THE CAKE?!?!?!?! GOOD LORD!!!!

Oh thanks Mommy! HEEEEELLLO KITTY! MEEEEOW!


And Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Year) This is the year of the water buffalo!!! Tet or Lunar New Year is celebrated by Vietnamese people all over the world. It begins on the first new moon of the new lunar year. The Tet celebrations began toady and run thru Friday night. We plan some fun things this week with Sophie and we plan to continue this for many years. More on Tet can be found HERE

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trying To Wrap Things Up

Even though we are home with Sophie we still have some loose ends in the whole adoption process. Things that many people may not know. Since Sophie Lee-Nguyen Belz is her "American" name it is not her legal name. As far as the US Government and other entities are concerned she is still known by he birth name which is confusing to say the least.
Yesterday we received her Certificate of Citizenship and a letter from former President Bush (Both are really cool), so yes, she is a US Citizen and has been since we cleared immigration at LAX on 12/21, but we still have to go through the State of Missouri to complete the name change and the Recognition of Adoption papers in the courts. Sophie's adoption was completed in Viet Nam and thus we do not have to re-adopt her in the US. The recognition of adoption is a viable solution which will allow us to obtain her social security card and State of Missouri birth certificate.
Once all of this is complete the "adoption" really is not 100% over. As a family we have a legal obligation to the Vietnamese government, where we will provide yearly progress reports and photos until Sophie turns 18. We do not handle sending these over to Viet Nam, Holt does, which is good. Holt remains with us for the rest of our lives and Sophie's. They provide wonderful post placement services and programs, camps, trips back to Viet Nam, etc. We are so very glad that we did our homework on adoption agencies and that we made the right choice when we chose Holt.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Family Photo Time

We had our family photos on Wednesday and got the proofs back today! WOW! They are super! Our little Vietnamese angel is so beautiful! Below are just a sample of the ones we have to choose from! Today is Sophie's party so we will have a house full of kids and adults! It is Hank's last days as he goes back to work on Monday and Tricia heads to Tulsa with Sophie to meet more family.

We HAD to do the box thing

Wow! I love the US!!!

Surprise!!!!

So precious!

Ao Dai and all......

Poppa's girls!

Here Mommy you try it on!

Who could resist this look!

Those DARK DEEP HUGE EYES!!

The Belz family.......

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOPHIE LEE!

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY DEAR SOPHIE LEE-NGUYEN BELZ! WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!




I'M 2 TODAY!















Monday, January 12, 2009

Folks...we now have a butterfly!

Yes, the cocoon has opened and we have a beautiful butterfly. Sophie has really came out of her shell. The laid back quite gal we all knew and loved a week ago has broke through the shell. She is very much 2. She wants to grab everything she sees (including the computer I'm using right now). She has little tantrums and gets very upset when she does not get what she wants. She is very much testing us right now... and I tell her "Sister, I'm pretty good at tests so you ain't gettin that cookie, or that pretty vase or crystal frame or....." you get my point.
However, she is such a ham and LOVES to show off. We sing "Wheels on the bus" a million times a day and each time she gets more and more dramatic with it. We even have our own verse (contact us for the video). It is so funny.
But the biggest milestone is ..... SHES USES THE POTTY!!! I was not planning on starting potty training this soon (I mean heck she doesn't even understand the word potty), but she decided she wanted to use the potty (by the way before I became a Mother--I hated the word potty). Every time I take her in the bathroom for her nightly bath she always points to the "potty". She tries to lift the lid and wants to flush the "potty". So Saturday before bath, I was feeling kinda of wild, and thought I would sit her on the potty and see what she does. So I did, and much to my surprise she went to the bathroom! So..... I was so excited! I thought well I guess we can try this potty training thing out. All day yesterday she went to the potty, she did not go in her diaper all night (well at least until 6:00 a.m.) And she has continued to use the potty this morning. So hopefully this will continue.
We will head back down to Cardinal Glennon today to drop off the yummy stool samples. I'm sure Sophie will scream her head off the minute she she's the place, I just might! Then it's off to lunch, nap and finally Toys R Us! Her birthday is Thursday and we have to get ready for the party, so I'm hoping Toys R Us will have Hello Kitty things. She loves Hello Kitty!
Enjoy video and some pics. of last week. Hope all is well with everyone!

Happy girl.. loves to eat!

Where's Sophie? Poppa showed her this..
Say Cheese!
Celebrating 5 years...now full circle. The worst day of my life now became the best!
Poppa and Sophie!
Sophie wanted to give BFF Olivia some cheerios!

video

Friday, January 9, 2009

Docs & Holt Visits

Yesterday we visited the doctor. There is a special department at Cardinal Glennon Children's hospital here called FACES and they only deal with Internationally adopted children. We saw Dr. Ladage who is the best in the business and everything is going well with our girl. She is above her age in social skills and on track with everything else, except language for obvious reasons. She is learning though and seems to understand things that we say. Her vocab now includes, Mom, Poppa, dog, meow, please, and she tries her hardest to say all the words we are teaching her. Little known to Sophie she would be a pin cushion as well with 5 shots and blood work. She screamed bloody murder but slept soundly last night! We go back in a month for a follow-up.
Today we had our 1 month visit from our Holt social worker. She was very happy to see Sophie for the first time and that things are going well. Sophie is getting better with Poppa. Each day we are seeing more interaction. She will laugh and play with him when they are alone especially when they eat or just hang out.
Our eternal weekend is slowly winding down though. Hank goes back to work on the 19th and Tricia phases back on the 26th, She will be back full-time at the end of February. A wonderful school is lined up for Sophie and we will begin introducing her there next week.
We are really loving this parenting thing and the joy this little angel has brought.
Today, we have had Sophie for 1 month. Today 1/9 also marks another milestone in our family life. It was five years ago today that Tricia was diagnosed with cancer, and God has blessed her with good health ever since!

Smiles at the doctor's office..........

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snack Nap

Snack time turned into a little cat nap time. Trish was upstairs getting ready, I was reading Holt blogs, looked over and she was zonked out! :-)

video

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

From today....

I just wanted to share some pics. from today. Today Sophie and I went and had lunch with my dear friend Heather. First of all I would like to say THANK YOU HEATHER FOR LUNCH.. I had a blonde moment and forgot my wallet in my other purse ... at home!! She was very happy to meet Heather and of course was such a ham.

She also received another gift today from my friend Ashley....an apron!! Such a perfect gift since! Sophie loves to be in the kitchen with her Momma and we all know I only cook the best meals with my monogrammed apron. It only fits that Sophie have one too! Thank you Ashley.

Right now Sophie is sitting at the island waiting for her dinner... wearing her coat. For some reason she wanted to put it on (no it's not cold in here either). She loves to wear coats and gloves in the house. She had a good day with Hank too. This morning I went to the gym and she was a little moody towards him, but after nap she was a peach to him. She sat with him in his "man cave" and flipped through a magazine. I was no where near her and she just chilled there with Poppa. Finally, I walked into the room and she continued to sit with him for another hour! So we are making progress. She is also sleeping through the night and taking naps as well. I think she is finally adjusting to her schedule. However, she is a moody waker upper. She does not like to wake up (just like her Momma). She has a crazy attitude on her (hmm, like me? No!). She knows what she wants and is NOT patient at all (O.k. so I'm not either). Sophie continues to crack us up daily and is walking more too. Tomorrow it's off to lunch with a good friend and some Vietnamese food! Until next time...

This is what she does when I say "cheese"

Thank you Ashley!



Heather and Sophie
video

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NEW YEARS PICS-- FINALLY

Pretty quite NYE for our family. We went over to a friends house for a bit and rang in the New Year quietly at home. Sophie is getting along very well. She loves her cousins and her new B.F. Olivia. We went to Build a bear on New Years Day and Sophie picked out a nice Hello Kitty to stuff (just like her cousin SWG). She really loves Hello Kitty. She was a little scared of the loud blowing noise that goes along stuffing the Kitty. We even got to name the kitty---(Jackie and Rich I'm sure you can figure out the name). We went to see Olivia last night and the girls had a fun time playing together. They even had play time in the bath tub! They are both such hams.

Everything is running smoothly here. This week we take her to our jobs to meet our friends there! Can't wait. Until then enjoy some pics. and videos!

Just wait until this comes back around 20 years from now!
Flock of Seagulls..
Olivia Walker, Uncle Mike Walker and Sophie on NYE

Mommy Walker, Olivia Walker, Sophie and Mommy B

Check out my new Ughs!

Sophie, Pappa and Mr. B

Aunt Erin made me this tutu!

Thanks to the Hognon's for my Rose Petal Cottage!

Before we stuffed Mr. B
video