is there a dino doc in the house?

Apparently the holiday excitement was too much for some of our family members. You know that saying about being so excited you could just burst? Well, if you are a stuffed dinosaur, it can really happen.

Poor Mr. Blue required emergency back surgery late last night as he had busted a seam and was spilling his fluffy white innards all over the wee man’s bed.

Though he was a little pensive about the lack of anesthesia…

…he managed to power through and stayed remarkably still for his sutures.

He didn’t care for the itchy bandages,

but all was forgiven once he was returned to his rightful spot in the bed.

It’s about time my minor in stuffed reptile surgical techniques came in handy.




Leave a comment

Filed under a word from jess, firsts, parenting

suck it, iq people

The Dude’s overall cognitive abilities have never been in question. We have always known that his mind is constantly spinning and I would almost put money on his chosen profession being something in the engineering field. That said, due to the difficulty in diagnosing his speech issues he was recently subjected to a rather ridiculous IQ test. Said test had portions that I was struggling with (and for the record, my score is nothing to sneeze at) and even featured a series of questions regarding north, south, east and west. As in, look at the image below:

Which trees are directly south east of the mountains?

Mind you, there was no compass rose on the “map”, nor had anyone established where North was before beginning. Even if we throw those things out and assume that “north” was at the top of the picture, I doubt that many 4 year olds would be able to answer the questions with any degree of accuracy.

Lest you wonder, his score was fine but I took personal offense to how the test was presented as well as some of the content. I asked the tester if most kiddos his age know cardinal directions and she curtly replied that typical four year olds can identify NSEW on a map and then inquired as to whether we were actually getting ready for kindergarten. How I managed not to say something wholly inappropriate I will never know.

Cut to today: Bex has a new car seat and wanted to go for a ride to test it out. Since we had no destination in mind we asked him to pick a direction at each intersection. Halfway to our final destination we begain to suspect his plan and asked where we were headed. “Grams house” he said, and by telling Ken to “turn right” or “go straight” he managed to direct the car to my mom’s home. He probably didn’t know that we were heading west but he did know where he wanted to go and told us that necessary path to get there. Needless to say, Ken and I were impressed.

Hey IQ lady, suck on that.


Filed under Uncategorized

dear santa…

Seems that the dude worked on a wish list at school today. I love that they cut out items from catalogs to put in their lists. Based on the items included I truly believe that Bex selected the things pictured. That said, it looks like my 4yr old wants an iPad. I do not look forward to his future tech requests if this is where they begin!


Filed under a word from jess, firsts, giving, rituals, The Allen School

because you have a brain.

You have a brain, and your brain works!!

It is with that mantra that class begins each morning in Beckett’s room. He, along with 12 or so peers, start their day with an amazing affirmation of their abilities and potential. Imagine a dozen 4-5 year olds enthusiastically calling that out at the top of their lungs and you start to get the idea. Now imagine that the majority of these kiddos are facing significant physical, verbal, and developmental challenges and you will understand why such a phrase is so powerful.

If your brain tells you to do something crazy, what are you gonna do?

Stop. Think. Make good choices.

Why? Because YOU have a brain, and YOUR BRAIN WORKS!

Bex isn’t much of a talker, but he can remind me to “make good choices” and sometimes tells me that I should “Stop. Think. You have brain”… proof that he has taken the daily mantra to heart.

After just six months at The Allen School, Bex gained about 90% use of an arm/hand that his neurologist said would never work. Never.

After just weeks of intensive speech therapies tailored to his specific needs, he started to use intelligible words. After about 6 months he started to use full sentences. Though the speech disorder is still very much an issue, the progress he has made is staggering.

Needless to say, I love The Allen School.  The therapies they provide are great, but the environment in which they are provided is even better. As a result of the work that they do, my child is going to move forward in the world without thinking that wheel chairs are bad. He won’t think twice if a friend doesn’t talk, or if they have leg braces, or if they have a limb that just won’t cooperate. He is learning that everybody has challenges. Everbody. Best of all, he is able to achieve things in spite of what the rest of the world sees as his disabilities.

Because he has a brain, and his brain works.

Please, help me help The Allen School by making a donation of any amount on the FirstGiving site. It is safe, secure, & should be tax deductible.

Every dollar makes a difference.

Thank you!

1 Comment

Filed under a word from jess, adoption, giving, special needs, The Allen School

and then we were three.

Referral Day! December 2006.

12ish December 2007.

11ish December 2008.

11ish December 2009.

11ish December 2010.

Happy referral-versary Beckett Long!

It was four years ago today that we first heard his name. The next day we would see a picture of his face.  Six and a half months later we would actually meet.  If you want to take a nostalgia trip, click on the past year pics above, or the links below.

The referral. In Vietnam. Meeting the man. Homecoming. Referralversaries.

1 Comment

Filed under a word from jess, adoption, parenting, vietnam adoption

feed reader funkiness

I recategorized a number of old posts and somehow the new tags caused the 40 or so items to show up as new ones in the rss feed. Um… Oops. Sorry for the confusion.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

one, two, three, four…who knew we could love him more?

Four years ago today, our dear friends Rob & Tricia were in Vinh Long, VN meeting their oldest son. Wanting to get a pic of the woman who ran the place, T snapped these pics.  At the time, she didn’t know who the little dude was. She was in Vinh Long around 12/8/06, and we received our referral on 12/11. Crazy, right? She and I would discover him in her photos months later and realize exactly who was perched on that lap. Though they weren’t the first photos I saw, they have a special place in my heart because they were taken by someone I know. Somehow knowing that a real person had stood in the same room with him, shared the air, heard him coo, and then took a photo, well, that made him seem real too.

On 12/11/06 we received our referral info. The next morning we saw our son’s face for the first time.

We were lucky to receive a number of photos as we waited, including this one, taken a month to the day from when we would receive our travel clearance. Bex is posing with another Dillon Mom, to whom I will always be grateful for loving on my babe and taking the time to capture it on film.

The same family took two of our other favorite photos:

Oh… that pic still slays me. B and his main Nanny. Love. LOVE.  I so wish I knew her name. He loved his nannies, and her in particular. As we arrived to take the kiddos to the giving & receiving ceremony, she pulled me aside for  a chat.  She gave me a hug, pinched the back of my arm and said, ” VERY fat. Good life.  Baby same”. It will likely be the only time of my life that someone will say such a thing and not mean it in a disparaging manner. When we left for the G&R she waited until she thought I couldn’t see her and then collapsed into a sobbing heap on the floor. Just thinking about it still makes me cry. I am so thankful for the people that cared for my son while he was with them. I know it is a hard job, but I hope they know that their charges have found forever families in  no small part because of the care that they gave.

As fresh as all of those emotions can be, sometimes it is hard to imagine that it has been almost four years since we first heard his name and saw a picture of his face.






Filed under a word from jess, adoption, firsts, parenting, referralversaries, vietnam adoption