unclejimbo: (Jim and Xander)
Well, Christmas is over and I think Xander is just about ready to head back to school. Poor little guy is getting cabin fever. I think he misses his friends.

He's looking forward to his "share day" when he gets back. His only problem, which toy does he bring first? He is now the proud owner of an Optimus Prime Transformer, a REALLY large firetruck, and Iron Man that transforms into an airplane and a Spider Man that transforms into a helicopter. Add this to LEGOs and a Nintendo DS, well, he had a good Christmas.

Best of all was that he slept peacefully all night long. I think he understands that Donna and I are his family now and that he's not going to be going away ever again. I am very happy about that. It hurts when he's that afraid. I'm glad to see that he's feeling more comfortable about things.

I found a new food processor for Donna, as well as a Tom Tom GPS for her car. She promptly found the file to add John CLeese's voice to the device which made the drive home from SIL's place much more entertaining. ("Bear Right, Beaver Left. Bear Right, Beaver Left") It was even more amusing because Xander wanted to know where the voice was coming from. We kept telling him that it was coming from the box mommy was holding, but I don't think it quite clicked. Ah well, another funny story to lock away for the future.

Donna surprised me Christmas morning with a flat screen HD-TV for our room. Only 19", but more than ample for our needs. We hooked up one of our DVD players as well, so we can watch movies when Xander is asleep. I am also the proud owner of a PSP. Pretty neat, now all I need is to find some movies in that format.

So next on our plates it the hearing in 3 weeks to make things official. Then Xander will be officially Alexander-Paul as opposed to Yang I. All we need now is someplace to get matching Hawaiian shirts to wear to court.

Also need to plan for next year... SIL gets the gag gift next. I'm still thinking wood.
unclejimbo: (Xander)
Well, today is a new milestone in more than one way. Today is 5 months since 'Gotcha Day'. It seems like no time has passed and an eternity at the same time. Donna and Xander are doing so much better together and he now identifies himself as Xander Bell. True, but he will always be Yang I.

This morning, he climbed into bed with us to snuggle which is becoming more and more his habit on the weekends. When I laid him down for a bit this morning, he said I was HIS BaBa (daddy). (Y'know, I'll probably miss him calling me that if/when he transitions over to daddy or dad or something. Donna likely will remain Mama for a while but he has been using Mommy on occasion too.)

Today I discovered he knows the days of the week. I asked him what day it was today and he said Monday. Then rattled off all of the days of the week. Holy Cow, man, this kid is a smart one and has only been here 5 months and can do that. Yikes! He can count to 20 on his own and is using more and more words every day. He even wanted to know last night about the Space Station. He knew it was REALLY high up and there were people in it and he wanted to know what they were doing.

Milestones. We measured him today and he's grown a full inch since he got here and when he eats, he eats it all gone. He'll even remind me if I forget his medicine. (I'll be happy when we can finish that course of antibiotics off and I'm sure so will he. Thankfully, Kaiser co-pay for the meds is only $5.)

Of course, I would be remiss in not mentioning that today is his 4th birthday. We have a party planned and there will be cake and ice cream and puppies. A good time should be had by all.

So happy birthday Xander. I love you.


Jun. 19th, 2009 09:06 pm
unclejimbo: (jim and xanxan)
Well, today was the 3 month anniversary of having Xander home here in California. The changes are amazing.

We went out to see the doctor for a follow up on the Scarlet Fever. He's feeling much better and his throat isn't red nor swollen anymore. His appetite has returned with a vengeance. (8 Gyoza's for breakfast.) As we walked back to the car, I pointed to the MOB (medical office building) where I work. I asked if he wanted to go to the car or see the folks I work with. His response? See the people.

Every time they make much of him. Today, he had his usual period of shyness but it passed quickly. In the Pain Block clinic, they have a skeleton hanging up so they can show people where the doctor is going to put the needles and stuff. So is my kid bothered by the skeleton? Nuh-uh. He had a wonderful time playing with the hands and stuff.

We took him out for yakitori tonight for dinner. He didn't care for the meatballs so much, but the other chicken skewers were eaten with great enjoyment and he also ate half of the soboro on my plate as well. He fell asleep a well fed, sleepy boy.

He took his medicine with little problems today. Even tonight, right after we got home, he sat in his high-chair and took his ampicyllin without batting an eye. He's still getting the rash at night, but it seems to be lessening. Need to remember to get more hydro-cortisone cream tomorrow.

Language and his adjustment to us is still progressing well. I still think that his having tantrums these last few weeks is in part due to his being more comfortable with us. He came running outside today as I was loading the car because he thought I was getting ready to leave without him... Yeah, as if.

Now for some much needed sleep.

New Phone

Apr. 10th, 2009 09:28 am
unclejimbo: (Default)
Ah yes, I almost forgot. The time came to retire the old Sidekick 3 last weekend. It served well, but had a few shortcomings especially with the web browser. It got the job done, but it was really slow like an old dial up connection.

So we went to the T-Mobile store and I acquired the new phone: the Google G-1. It is similar in nature to the iPhone, but has some features that I like. A keyboard for texting is just one of those features. It uses the 3G network, so Internet is fast and the browser runs really well. The touchscreen makes looking at things a breeze and I have the YouTube channel available. It has limits, but it is a cell phone after all, so I'll take it.

It has a memory card (1 Gig comes with the phone) that is upgradeable. I have to upload some music to it soon because I can use it to play mp3s and other music files. I've downloaded a bunch of free apps already, the favorite by far in Xander's eyes is the Cowbell. (Yes, I have a cowbell on my phone, much fun insued)

Now, if they would come up with an app for an address book and I'll be happy for quite a while.
unclejimbo: (Xander)
Well, so ends Xander's first week at day care. He is adapting to it very well. That they had an Easter Egg Hunt yesterday just before he left I am sure is going to be a major plus. He was a little hesitant at first, but when I led him into the playground and showed him what to do, did he ever get into the spirit of things. His basket was full in no time. Of course, the big trick is not letting him eat the whole thing all at once. He'd like to, but then again, so did all of us when we were little.

He found his play wallet just now. He loves to have money in hand for his own comfort. Don't know the origin of this behavior, but I think it is because one of the things his foster family did was take him to the local arcade to play the basketball game. (And he is a very good shot!) I think that is where that came from. The good news is that Kaiser came through with the insurance and we received his ID card in the mail yesterday.

Life is settling down into a routine finally. I'll be going back to work on Monday but I'll need to leave early to take him in for yet another physical. We got a copy of his last blood test, so hopefully he won't need to be stuck for a blood draw. He need to be immunized for meningitis. That will be a fun time, I'm sure.

This weekend we're looking for an Easter Egg Hunt to take Xander to. There's one at the Torrance Community Center I need to call about. Hopefully they'll still have space available.

And so it continues. Now I'm off to watch more Sponge Bob... Oh yea! Donna comes home early today because of Passover. It is definitely an interesting experience to be working for a company that offers the Jewish holidays off as well as the more traditional holidays. It should be quite a learning experience.


Mar. 23rd, 2009 09:53 pm
unclejimbo: (jim and xanxan)
Well, we've had Xander for a week and we've been home 4 days. It has been rough in spots.

Xander really loves his foster family. It was mutual and as expected was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. He is a loving little boy who didn't understand why he was being taken away from those he loved. I hope he will understand that there were reasons beyond anyones control. We will keep the pictures his foster family gifted us with and will endeavor to get good translations of the information written in the albums. This is but one of the things we will hold in trust for him as he get older.

He did incredibly well during the flight home. He thought the ginormous airplanes were the coolest thing evah. He slept a good portion of the flight including the take off and landing. (Serious beanbag as we got off the plane and headed for customs/immigration.) There was a meltdown during the flight because he wanted to take off his socks. Sadly the lack of communication made this a much more protracted event than it might have otherwise, the funny thing is; once his socks were off, he went right to sleep.

The last few nights have been challenging because he's been wanting to get up in the middle of the night and did not want to go back to sleep. This was of course the result of the jetlag of traveling from Taipei to LA. Definitely says something for ocean liners. You spend so much time on the boat, you gradually change the timezones and thus no jetlag. Oh well. We've been taking him to the local parks to play in the evenings. Found a nice one on Madrona in Torrance and Xander got his first chance to interact with children here near his own age. He had fun climbing and sliding on slides and going on swings and just having fun. I think I'll have a good roller coaster buddy once he gets older and bigger.

Took him to the pediatric endocrinologist today, she was very nice and even referred us to a good pediatrician who he can see for the more mundane things other than his hypothyroid condition. He had to have a blood test and did not like getting stuck with needles any more than I do. Poor little guy. Still, it will give the doctor a good idea of what his hormone levels are and if we need to increase the dosage of his thyroid meds. After the doctor, Donna needed to stop off at work to get some paperwork filled out so Xander will be on her insurance by Friday when we go and see the regular pediatrician. The folks at her job all agreed that Xander was the cute.

Xander is a good little boy. He's polite, fully potty trained, a bit naughty but sweet. I think we're getting closer to him being on LA time soon. I hope he does well in daycare, we'll start him a partial day on April 1st, so here's hoping he'll do okay.

As a last thing, here's a picture that [livejournal.com profile] silverkun took this weekend while he helped us get settled from our Odyssey.

unclejimbo: (Xander)
Up early, got to love jet lag. (Not!)

All the waiting and stuff is almost over. We meet our son today. *wow!*

Donna calling home on Skype to check messages to see if anything important has come to light. We're both up and ready to go for the most part, it is just so darned early, the only thing open is the 7-11. Ah well, that's what the Internet is for, ya?

It is going to be a busy day. First to get over to St. Lucy's to pick up Xander, then run back to the hotel to check out, Then head over to the High Speed Rail station for a quick trip up to Taoyuan and THEN check back into our first hotel... @.@ Plus I'll be lugging the Bruiser's (our luggage) along while Donna wrangles the kiddo. Ought to be an interesting day, now if only I could get rid of this headache and the butterflies in my stomach.

Do all expectant fathers/parents feel this way before things get started? I imagine so, it just feels weird. I suppose it is like when you're on a new roller coaster and awaiting your fate... ^^

More on the day later, I imagine once we get resettled. Hopefully we don't scare him too badly today. I hope he had a great day yesterday with his foster parents. Anything to make this transition for him easier is always welcome.

Time now 3:45 am on Monday in Taiwan.
unclejimbo: (unclejimbo)
Just got a call from [livejournal.com profile] kyburg, we recieved a bunch of new pictures of Xander today. All posted on [livejournal.com profile] xanxanbell but I'll post them here too for convenience.

OMG OMG, he's looking at us! And he's smiling!

Maybe, just maybe, he'll not want to run away in terror when he meets us in a little less than 3 weeks.

I can see the gears turning in his head from the pictures. I think he's wrapping his head around the idea. It looks awfully good from here.

I mean, wow! That's my son!

(Note to self, need new icons)
unclejimbo: (Stitch)
I was able to talk to my mom this morning about going to get Xander next month. She's thrilled and is going to be calling the family that I don't have e-mail/phone #s for. It sometimes is a bit rough to have so much of my family back east. The three hour time difference does make it tough to get hold of people at times. She's going to tell my 96 year old grandfather the good news today. I'm glad he gets to hear about it, I still wish my grandmother had lived to see this day. Seven years gone and I still miss her. I guess I always will.

My younger brother Richard is stoked (I called him last night) and I'll try and get hold of my older brother Chris and his family later today. Donna's family is already up to speed and she'll likely be working a plan with my BIL Brad to knock the price of the airfare down as low as we can get it. Even so, I found airfares to Taipei for around $800 before doing any mojo, so she'll most likely be able to find a way to drop it even more.

We'll be able to work AOD in San Fransisco next weekend. YEA! Once more into the Catherdral Hill, dear friend, once more...

Hmmm... Between the misquoted Shakespeare and the Lion King references in the last post, I hope I get this out of my system before we go and get the kid.

Still, need a few things for the trip. Donna's going to get some clothes and I'll need a good camera bag for the video camera and tripod so it will be ready for the trip.

So much to do, so little time. But at least we now know the time we will be seeing him. WOOT!
unclejimbo: (unclejimbo)
Our day to get Xander is March 16th 2009. So we will be traveling on the 11th or 12th of March to Taipei, Taiwan.

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

It is time, finally, it is TIME!!!!!

Further information will be forthcoming. Thank you all for the good thoughts and prayers!
unclejimbo: (OMG WTF!?)
Boy, 4, breaks into Texas store, plays with toys

BEAUMONT, Texas—Police called to a variety store by a burglar alarm overnight found a toddler inside, playing with the toys. Police said store surveillance video showed the unidentified boy trying to open one of the front doors to a Family Dollar store about 3 a.m. Monday, only to find it locked. But the second door was unlocked and the child went inside.

That triggered the silent alarm.

Detective Randy Stevens said the child apparently unlocked a door at his nearby home, got out, then crossed a multilane street to reach the store.

A canvass of the neighborhood turned up a family member searching for the child.

CPS spokeswoman Shari Pulliam said Child Protective Services claimed oversight of a 4-year-old boy during a review of the incident. The boy will be allowed to stay with other relatives, not the parents, during the CPS review period.

How did he get out and what was he doing up at 3-4 AM in the first place. I hope this is a big wake up call for his parents. this could have ended so badly... the little boy seemed to be very happy to see grown ups on the video.

The video is also available on Yahoo. ,a href="http://www.yahoo.com/s/1002927">Here's the Link
unclejimbo: (Default)

cross posted from [livejournal.com profile] kyburg's journal

Yes, here us our cake from the baby shower. Wish you could have smelled it. It just filled the room with the scent of chocolate goodness...

My SIL bought it so sadly I don't know which bakery down here did the work. It was decadently delicious, a mix of red velvet cake, butter cream icing and the chocolate shell. (Think Tootsie Rolls flattened out and shaped to fit, only better.)
unclejimbo: (Default)
Went to a class this morning about international adoption in Culver City today. Class was good and the fellow giving it, Dr. Feldman, looks to be a good resource to have on hand for the future.

Also saw an Irish Pub just up the street from the class... Lunch!

Donna had the ribs, but I decided to give bangers and mash a go... Mmmm...

We both agreed that the mashed potatoes were REALLY good, and I thought the sausages (bangers) were wonderful and savory. Only downside was the aftertaste: MORE!

The atmosphere was much like the pubs I used to frequent when I served in the Air Force at RAF Alconbury. (Hated the base, loved the area and people)

Was planning on getting the CIS fingerprinting done today, but sadly we ran into a snag - the 405 at rush hour. See Parking Lot for reference.

Today's weather... HOT. Really Hot... Thankfully we don't get the humidity like you get back east or it would be just about unlivable. SO we're off to see Kung Fu Panda at the theater.

Hope things are going good for you folks out there.
unclejimbo: (Stitch)
Well, after a fun-filled day at work on Sunday, hurried home to get a last few things ready for the Home Study update for the kiddo. We spent about 3 hours talking, poor lady had to get a second cassette, but all in all things went pretty darned well. Afterwards, Donna and I went out for Sushi. Mmmmm, sushi...

The effort to get the house ready definitely paid off. The back room, minus the crib which is likely to be removed for the near term, hasn't looked better. Still, it does need a toy chest and some kid-sized chairs. Need to look around, saw some at IKEA that might work as well as a nice bed to replace the one in there now.

Work was... Well, work. Another day in the life at Kaiser. What can ya do, eh?

Well, gotta run, more work...


May. 2nd, 2008 06:43 am
unclejimbo: (Default)
Well, we've signed our lives away. And what do we get?


Here's the older ones with much better resolution )

And yes, the one with him sleeping is one of our favorites! Now off to San Jose!
unclejimbo: (Default)
Went to Heartsent tonight to hand in paperwork and make first installment on payments for the adoption. Thankfully, a lot of what we've already done with the China adoption for our daughter can easily be copied and used on this one as well. Lots less things to worry about, about half I'd say.

Still need to file the I600A forms with CIS and need to get new reservations for LiveScan fingerprinting for us both. Probably will have to be next week after we get back from the Bay area after seeing my mom and brother Richard.

Had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] catsonmars at a nice little place in Pasadena whose name escapes me. (Donna, Tommy, a little help here?)

So far so good. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers folks. And of course, more news as it happens.
unclejimbo: (Default)
My wife Donna, (aka [livejournal.com profile] kyburg) scanned the pictures and posted them.

Yes, I too fell in love with his smile. And there is one heck of a personality there...
unclejimbo: (Default)
Donna, aka [livejournal.com profile] kyburg, broke the news this afternoon...

We've been approved as foster parents by LA County DCFS.

So now that's done we can proceed with our adoption plans.

Here's to having a kiddo of our own running around sometime in the near future.

In other news, I torqued my back preventing a patient from hitting the floor today. Sitting here with a hot pack on and hoping it'll settle down before tomorrow. My back decided to go while I was cooking dinner. I finished, but I didn't enjoy it much. Thank God for Motrin!

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