What A Handsome Guy

What A Handsome Guy

Halloween as Spiderman

Halloween as Spiderman
with my big sister, Spidergirl

Turning 2 in St. Maarten

Turning 2 in St. Maarten
Happy Birthday

Addison on the 1's and 2's - Following in Daddy's Footsteps

Addison on the 1's and 2's - Following in Daddy's Footsteps

Addison's First Sledding Adventure - in his bathtub!

Addison's First Sledding Adventure - in his bathtub!

Where's My Hair, Mom?

Where's My Hair, Mom?

Me and My New Bald Head

Me and My New Bald Head

Two Gorgeous Kiddies

Two Gorgeous Kiddies

Me and My Friend Alex

Me and My Friend Alex

Our First Christmas as a Foursome

Our First Christmas as a Foursome

My New Fav Pic of Mommy and Ella

My New Fav Pic of Mommy and Ella

Addison Is Officially Addison Now

Addison Is Officially Addison Now
We finalized his readoption on Mon, Dec 14, 2009

My First Halloween

My First Halloween

Enjoy a little video of our new little guy

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Check out Addison in his new Hugh Hefner-esque kung fu outfit Radames brough him back from China! So hilarious!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Year Ago Today

On August 31, 2009 we met Addison for the first time. Today, it's so hard to believe, but it's been one whole year! Happy "gotcha" (although I hate, bc he's not a loaf of bread), "forever", "union", "family", etc. day...or whatever we'll end up calling it. We love you, buddy! And, oh, how time plays tricks on your mind. How crazy is it that we can't even remember what life was like with you!? :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Addison Starts "School"

This week, Addison started "school." It's the same day care/pre-school Ella went to, so we're really happy. We put him on the waiting list a few weeks ago in hopes that 6 months or so from now, they'd have a spot. But we got the call last week that someone was moving and he could start on Monday. So, on Thursday, February 18th, he went with daddy to the Child Study Center for 1 whole hour. So adorable. I'll uplaod pix later of him from his first day of "school." He's SO ready. It'll be great for him to be around other kids and not be bored here all day while he watches Radames do dishes or laundry and listen to Howard Stern. Yikes! :)

He goes again this week for little 1 and 2 hour clips, and then Radames will probably start to leave him for 3-4 hours a day just so he can get some things done and we don't have to continue to watch our home crumble down around us (not really, but sometimes it feels like it! Today I just found a whole clementine under the kitchen counter! Who knows how long it's been there!).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Addison and Ella are Doing Really Well

Addison turned 15 months on the 12th (of Jan) and things are going really well these days. Going to NYC for two weeks was great for Addison, b/c he got hooked on Radames' dad and he got to be "passed around" to lots of relatives. He spent a lot of time playing with his cousins and watching us come and go. He's doing such a much better job with his attachment issues. He used to be glued to Radames in a debilitating (for Radames) way, but now he's just walking around, chillin', going to others, etc. It's SO much nicer now. It's been a LONG four months.

Ella is also doing better with her jealousy issues. Now we don't feel scared to leave two of them alone in the same room for 30 seconds for fear that she'll "accidentally" drown or smother him. :) She still has little sad spells here and there, but her sleeping is getting back to normal and she's been a lot less likely to act out for attention. She seems to just be settling into him being her little bro.

And did I mention how friggin' adorable Addison is getting!? I accidentally shaved all of his hair off when i bought some clippers to give him a trim before our trip (on a sunday when the barber shop was closed). It actually looks pretty cute really short, bc you just focus on his big eyes and long eye lashes and his big white grin. Here's a few recent pics without the hair. :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Addison's First Christmas

Welp, we had our first Christmas today as a family of four. I was a really nice year with a few different Christmas get togethers, and we'll be leaving to go to NYC on Monday to celebrate with Radames' family and a bunch of our friends.

Ella was way more into the big day than Addison, but I think that's to be expected. She got so much stuff that she went ga ga for, but Addison pretty much tried to eat wrapping paper, walked around in circles tripping on empty boxes, chased the dog and tried to eat our cell phones, as always. He was pretty oblivious to the big day, but it was still a great treat to know that we got to share in his first Christmas....finally. :)

We'll upload more pix soon. Hope you all had great holidays. Happy early New Year. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Re-Adoption is Complete!

So, we had our time with the judge this morning and he made us raise our right hands and swear that it was true that little Addison is now ours. :) He's now officially Addison Miles Tyree-Rodriguez and no longer Eyob Radames Rodriguez, and now he's an internationally born resident of the state of Tennessee. Woo hoo!

The judge was very sweet and made us take pictures with him. We met back in his cheesy conference room that smelled like vanilla and had ugly posters in frames, but he couldn't have been nicer. He said that of all the nonsense he'll hear the rest of the day, he'll go home feeling great about his job because of little Addison. He carried Addison all around the room, spent time just chumming it up with us and was sincerely moved by his story. All in all, it was a smooth process, and our lawyer was competent and everything. :)

We're confused now about all the gazillions of papers we now have to file to get him a US birth certificate, SS card, etc., but one day at a time. We're still just trying to keep our heads above water b/c he's so demanding and exhausting. He couldn't be sweeter, but he's a LOT of work.

One major milestone reached for December 14th, 2009. Little Addison legally became our son according to US law! :) Finally!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Two and half month personal progress report

Hi, friends,

It’s hard to believe, but Addison has been home with us for 2 ½ months already! We’ve been total slackers about sending out updates, because:
· We’ve been focused on bottles, naptime, bedtimes, baths, feedings, shuttling ella around and getting into a routine
· I’ve been back at work for a while, so during my non-work time I just want to be with the kids
· Holy shit! No one warned us that having two kids would be so overwhelming!

So, we thought it was time to say hi to everyone and to let you know how things are going.

· First and foremost, Addison is happy and healthy and a great kid. The poor guy has been poked and prodded so many times and checked for everything imaginable, and he’s 100% healthy and on track, even by US standards. He weighs 23 lbs and is 29” tall (at 13 months).

· Addison is 100% attached to Radames like you wouldn’t believe. Radames just walks around all day with him on his hip, and then Addison screams bloody murder when he puts him down. Ah, good times. [insert sarcasm]. He definitely knows we’re his parents, but he’s so much more connected with Radames, which is understandable since they are together from 6am until 8pm every day. It sounds weird to say, but we don’t even remember that he’s adopted. He’s just our son, and it feels like he’s always been with us. The adoption seems like a foggy memory from SO long ago.

· Radames has turned into a crazy housewife who complains about dishes and me “messing with his routine”. I think he’s losing his mind, b/c he’s being the best, overachieving parent you could ever imagine. The other day, he went to his man-cave in the basement and watched an entire football game. He emerged elated and claiming that he felt like he’d grown a few new hairs on his chest. (Needless to say, we’re working on him giving himself permission to relax and be a man again!)

· Ella is 100% attached to me in a way she never has been before. Thank goodness we can divide and conquer, but she is SO exhausting. Addison has been a really tough transition for her, b/c she’s so jealous of the attention she now has to share. If I kiss Addison, I have to kiss her twice. If he’s on my lap, she wants to be on my lap. When he gets out of his highchair, she wants to sit there, when I put Addison down she wants to sit in the room in the corner in the dark and watch me rock him to sleep (like a creepy horror movie). She’s starting to loosen up a bit, but the first month or two were pretty unbearable, b/c SHE was so needy, not Addison. It’s getting better though.

· We had his 1 year birthday in NYC on October 12th. We were there to see Radames’ family and go to a wedding, so we got to have a quiet celebration with a few cupcakes and hugs with family. [Note to self: don’t ever drive from TN to Brooklyn with two kids in the backseat again!]

· When we were in ny/ct, we got to see a lot of friends and let Addison do a bit of road show. He got to hang out in the burbs of CT, meet all of his extended Brooklyn family, see people who felt like they knew him already through pics, and eat lots of Spanish food. J It was so nice to see everyone; we can’t wait to go back to see everyone we didn’t get to connect with.

· We just had his 3 month (yikes!) check-in with our social worker who has to send reports back to Ethiopia at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months and every year until he’s 18. I think we “passed” our first check-in. It was really funny because we met her at a Cracker Barrel on the side of the road near Knoxville. As we pulled in, I couldn’t help but think, “little did this kid know he’d leave Ethiopia and end up at a Cracker Barrel in Tennessee!” It was a really funny meeting, complete with Radames sucking on some country ham while I tried to spare the official paperwork from getting country gravy on it. :)

· Addison had his first Halloween; he was Robin. Ella was Batgirl, and they were too cute. there’s a good pic of them attached.

· We are finally meeting with an attorney tomorrow who is helping us with the re-adoption process. Addison is a legal, permanent resident, but he’s not officially a US citizen until we “re-adopt” him via the US courts. That way he can get a US birth certificate, SS number, etc. We aren’t looking forward to all the paperwork and drama again, but we’ve been procrastinating long enough and need to get it done. Next thing you know, he’ll be officially Addison Miles Tyree-Rodriguez. (Now, he’s still legally Eyob Radames Rodriguez.)

· Addison took his first steps on Tuesday evening (Nov. 17th). He’s been teetering and standing, but he finally took his first drunk ol’ man steps across Ella’s bedroom floor. And we got it on video, so we’ll hopefully upload that to our blog soon.

So…we’re here. We’re alive. We’re trapped and will never leave the house again after 7pm, but we’re happy to be a family of four. :)

PS. THANKS so much for the visits, calls, cards and gifts! We are SO behind on the thank you cards, but I promise we’ll get them all out soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Addison Took His First Steps

On Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 2009 (at 13 mo. + 5 days, I guess it would be), Addison finally migrated from his imbalanced stance into a 3-step, drunken old man stupor across Ella's bedroom. He did it several times, and he's been off to the races ever since. Exciting and scarey all at the same time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Off to See the Social Worker

So, tomorrow we are headed to Knoxville to meet up with our social worker. It's hard to believe, but it's time for her to write up our 3 month "progress report" that we have to send back to Ethiopia. We have to do one at 3 mo, 6 mo, 9 mo, and then every year until he's 18! And I just can't believe he's already been with us over 2 months and it's time to write up our first one. Where did the time go!?

In many ways it feels like Addison just got here, b/c he's still just such a peanut. But in other ways, I can't ever remember our life without him. He's definitely our son, and, honestly, I rarely even remember or think about the fact that we adopted him. It just feels like he's always been with us. I can barely even remember going to Ethiopia. It feels like such a foggy dream, and I have to remind myself that it really did happen.

We also finally made an appointment with an attorney for the week after next. He'll be helping us do our TN re-adoption. Addison is legally ours, but his adoption isn't official in our home state (e.g. no US birth certificate, SS card, etc. can be issued) until we re-adopt him in TN. I ventured out the county courthouse last week to pick up petition filing paperwork, and needless to say, that was a futile exercise. I can understand why people would go postal. I was ready to "go legal" after 15 minutes of dealing with Betty and her idiotic co-workers who had no clue in hell what I was talking about and how to be of any help. Even after being re-directed to the "new courthouse where all the fancy offices are", I still ran into nothing but roadblocks as the nasty bi-otches at every counter were like, "honey, I have no idear whatch you'ra talkin' 'bout." I lef there thinking, "Why!? Why!? Why, Wynne, did you even come here!? Why would you waste 1 minute of your work day trying to deal with this?" We're excited for our lawyer's meeting is all I'll say. He was referred to us by our pediatrician who has an internationally adopted daughter, and from what I understand he's even done Ethiopian readoptions. Fingers and toes crossed.

Every thing is going well with the fam. Addison had his (belated) 1 yr check-up this week, so we had to hold him down while they drew even more blood from him poor little arm. Ugh. I hate that more than anything. I just want to burst into tears. They also gave him four shots in his chubby little thighs. :( And I'm not a big vaccine fan, but I just sucked it up knowing it was best for him. :( I hope we don't have to go for a long time. It's just so unbearable every time we're there, b/c he's getting 3 different types of HIV tests, 4 types of Hep A, B, and C tests, checking his titers to see what vaccines "took" and which didn't (so we don't over-immunize him), etc. I hate it, because he hates it.

Ella is doing a lot better with him now. She is acting a little less jealous and getting in the groove of him just being her little brother. She was driving us crazy for a while, but things are calming down now. Radames has this place on 100% lock-down. He's running the house like a military camp. 6am up, 6:30 feeding, 9:00am nap, 11:30 up, noon feeding, 3:30 nap, 6pm feeding, 7:30 bath, 7:45 bottle, 8:00 in crib asleep. He does NOT like his schedule being deviated from in any way. And he pretty much won't let anyone do anything for him. He is in "I've-got-this" mode, and I'm clearly the window dressing. I'm pretty much taking care of Ella as much as I can, so he's not too overwhelmed, but every time I try to take care of both of them he freaks out and tells me he's got it.

I actually had to tell him the other day that he needed to lighten up (imagine me telling Radames to lighten up!), because he's being super hard on himself and uber martyr-like about the chid rearing. I've been working a ton these past few weeks since I've been back at work, and his feeling is "you take care of the business; I'll take care of the family b/c that's my job." How could I ever begin to have to have a problem with that, b/c what woman in the world is so lucky, but...jeez, he's gotta give himself some respite. He needs to call a friend, go to a game, go play some music in the DJ room, something...he's turning into a crazy stay-at-home mom who complains that the bottles aren't in order and that Ella is in bed 5 minutes late. And he's actually quite miserable, b/c he isn't getting his fuel. Work is my fuel, b/c I love what I do and I get to do it with friends all day, but music, movies, friends and sports and solitude are his fuel, and he hasn't been getting any of it. And since we live in a place where none of his close friends live, and it's not a walking city, he's cooped up like a crazy housewife from the 'burbs that's going crazy and complaining about how she can't remember things and how she feels alone.

We're working on it. I've been forcing him to leave us alone and let me do my other job (or being a mom!), just so that he'll go in the basement and watch a game or something. We'll get it worked out. He has to just let go after 5pm; and I've gotta push him outta the mix more often.

Oh, totally random, but if I owe any of you a thank-you card for goodies you've mailed us, I'M SO SORRY. I promise it's on it's way. I've just been swamped at work, and traveling, and then spending every spare minute I can with the kids (did i just say "kids"?!), so I've been writing like 1 per week. We've gotten everything, and are SO thankful. Sorry we've been so rude about that. Well, that I've been so rude about that. Radames isn't really the card-writing type. And he totally get a pass on this one. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Superheroes

So Ella was Batgirl today and Addison was her adorable little sidekick, Robin. We did a little community trick-or-treating, and it was so fun to get them all dressed up for the first time. We'll upload some pix asap. I'm sure we'll take 1,000 more pix tomorrow on Halloween. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yes, we're alive

It's been forever since we've posted, but it's been a function of 1. Holy shit! This two kids thing is NO joke! 2. Ella was on fall break for two weeks, so we went to NYC on "vacation" and 3. I've started back to work and haven't had time to update the blog.

We took Addison swimming for the first time while we were DRIVING up to New York. It was so adorable. I'll try to upload a picture soon. He was so excited...well until I accidentally put his head under water while I was spinning him around in circles and he coughed so badly that he threw up in the pool! Needless to say, we did a casual exit from the pool at that point. :)

Everything is going great, though. Addison turned 1 on the 12th. :) So hard to believe. And Ella is doing a way better job with him and with the fact that he's here to stay. It's just been such a major adjustment for her and we've had to give her lots of TLC.

Radames is being a single dad of two now while I'm at a conference in Vegas this week, so I can only imagine how he's holding up. He's just so amazing, and I'm so fortunate that he's my husband. He holds us all together and never bats a lash. I have no clue how I would be doing this without him these days.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We've Made It Through Another Week

Wow. This new life is demanding. Hats off to people with more than one child! One seems SO easy now. And life pre-kids seems like such a foggy memory. Are we really the parents of two kids? How did all of this grown-up stuff happen? Aren't we still 25?

Ella is settling into a groove and gettig less jealous this week, so that is good, but Addison has had a fever for the last 2-3 days, so our house has been a wreck! He isn't sleeping through the night anymore, so that is messing up Radames and me big time. Yesterday was not a good day at the Tyree-Rodriguez hosehold, to say the least. Ella went on a very long playdate after school, just so that we could catch our breath and not make her have to have a miserable day, too. (Thank you, Polly, for taking care of Ella on Thurs! You have no idea!) Radames ad I took naps in shifts after being up all night, and I pretty much barked at everyone who came within my path. Poor Addison cried almost all day long and couldn't sleep, so Radames took him to the doctor while I took my fat ass to bed...for the good of all mankind. Today we found out he has a urinary tract infection. :( We feel SO bad for him. He got some Septra this afternoon, so hopefully he'll be able to get some more sleep tonight. I don't know if poor Radames could make it if he doesn't, since he volunteered to do last night b/c I did the night before.

Tonight we all got dressed and went to dinner with friends. It was a big deal for us, since we are homebound these days like we are on house arrest. We decided to call friends and ask them to join us, since it was one of the first times we'd all been showered and out on the same day. :) We had a great time. Lots of food and funny stories while the kids entertained one another. It was just so nice to veg out for a little while, let Radames drink and beer and let me gossip with a grown up. We stuffed ourselves silly, then piled in the car to come home and raved about how we had so much fun as we drove home. Then we looked down at the clock and realized it was 7:58!! And our night was over! Gosh, how times have changed! Did we really just have a rockin' night that ended before the time we would even left the house in old days!?

Monday, September 21, 2009

We ARE alive

Sorry it's been so long since we've posted. We are alive. :) But we are in over our heads over here. This two kids things is a whole hell of a lot of work, so we've just been hibernating, doing what's necessary, bonding, satisfying (what feels like 20) kids who want attention and just enjoying the time off of work.

Addison is doing great. He sleeps 11 hours a night, then takes two naps a day... and is completely on Eastern time. He eats like a champion and is just such a smiley, happy-go-lucky kid. He's TOTALLY hooked on Radames, which is just so amazing to see. He grabs Radames' neck when anyone comes around, and he even looks to Radames for approval when he comes to me. It's just so beautiful to see these two adorable guys so connected so soon. Radames walks around with him on his hip all day long like a girl from around the way (insert LL Cool J lyrical flashback). And then at night time, Addison wants nothing to do with me. He just wants Radames to put him down. The other night when I sat and rocked him in the dark like I used to do for Ella, it was so hard to watch him wiggle and worm around twisting his neck to the door, just waiting for Radames to come in...so completely disinterested in me and so in need of his daddy to shhh shhh shhh him to sleep. It's taken me a few days to realize that in this process I can't have an ego. If that's what Addison wants and needs; then that's what Addison is going to get. It would be pretty unfair to make him the slightest bit uncomfortable after everything he's been through so that we could go half-sies on the childrearing so that I don't feel left out. And knowing that I'll be going back to work soon anyway, it probably is best that he's latched onto Radames if he needed to pick one of us to bond with more quickly.

The opposite is going on with Ella. She is in full-on give me my mommy every minute of the day! Overall, she's doing a great job of being sweet and helpful and playful, but she is clearly adjusting and trying to deal with the fact that daddy and (mostly) mommy are giving their attention to someone else, too. She now wants me to wake her up, put her to bed, snuggle with her in bed, read her more stories, take her to karate, come to her snacktime at school, pack her lunch, etc. But, again, if that's what she needs right now, then so be it. It's meant that we are settling (at least for the next week or so) into a Radames-is-primarily-in-charge-of-Addison- while-Wynne-is-primarily-in-charge-of-Ella groove. According to our new family spreadsheet (insert laughter), we try to flip it each day, but by the end of the day, the two little ones end up defaulting back to whom they are digging most right now.

So, all in all, things are going really well. We're trying to get a system down pat and trying to keep our heads above water. Every minute is a bottle, cereal, making baby food, doing dishes, doing laundry, take a work call, Ella's lunch needing to be packed, going to the store for random things, dropping Ella off, picking her up, reading stories, changing diapers, practicing words of the day, going to karate, more laundry, helping Ella perfect her post-#2 wiping skills, and on and on and on. How single women (or men) do this, I have NO idea. It's taking every hour for both Radames and me to do it.

But we wouldn't change it for the world. This is exactly what we wanted, and we would definitely deserve to burn in hell if we even began to complain about anything in our lives at this point. We are so truly blessed in so many ways. I love Radames and Ella and Addison so much, and I just couldn't ask for a sweeter, more comfortable life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One week and counting

Addison is doing such a great job. He's been with us in TN for a week now, and it feels like he's always been here. He sleeps and eats like a champ, and we're all starting to get into a groove. Sorry we've been quiet, but no news is good news these days. :) Just enjoying our new family and learning to juggle like never before. We did get our photo montage done, though. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Acclimated

Hey, friends and family. Sorry we've been so remiss in posting, but this "new job" is no joke! Boy, do we have a whole new respect for anyone with more than one kid! Our lives have been nothing but wake-ups, bedtimes, feedings, changings, nap times, laundry, bottles, cereal, babyfood, jet lag, and sneaking a shower with regard to Addison and cooking, packing lunches, wake-ups, bedtimes, stories, "homework", karate, participating in the school fund raisers, fending off jealousy urges, and making playdates with regard to Ella. This makes having one child seem like a cake walk! Jeez. This life is no joke!

Yesterday, Radames had a meltdown because I wanted to drive Ella to school and he thought he was driving her and it "threw off his whole morning", to use his words. We ended up having to sit down and create a giant spreadsheet that has every 30 minute interval of the day planned out with who is doing what! We realized that we either need to run this place like a ship or we're gonna sink! There's just so much to do!! How do people do this!?? We're just "learning" basic things like okay-we-must-have-the-diaper-bag-prepacked-at-all-times-because-it's-taking-us-two-hours-to-leave-the-house and the we-must-have-a-bedtime-rotation-schedule-because-we-can't-have-simultaneous-wake-ups-or-put downs. Our whole lives have been flipped upside down. But in an amazingly cute, bit if-I-weren't-married-to-Radames-I'd-have-no-idea-what-I'd-do kind of way. Our body clocks have completed shifted. We accomplish more before 8am than we used to before 8pm! You guys know me...I used to be in bed at 3am and up at 9am. Now i'm in bed by 9pm and awake at 5 or 6am. Ah, what a whole other world. I am one domestic diva these days.

Most importantly, Addison is doing SO well. He's so chipper and easy going. He's completely adjusted to the time difference and is now (like in Ethiopia) down by 8pm and up at 6am. Then he naps from 9-11am and again at around 3:30pm and does it all over again. He really doesn't even cry. He knows the system and just so chill about everything. He's definitely attached to us. When we put him down or give him to someone else, he freaks out, so that's a wonderful thing! He just smiles and babbles and crawls all around the house. He LOVES Brownie and the cats and basically keeps trying to eat them! He's definitely one of the gang. :)

Ella's being a great big sis. She loves with the feeding and diapering and is enjoying with his teacher on any and all matters. She's having a blast at kindergarten and is enjoying telling all of her teachers about her new baby brother from Africa.

More to come. But for now, we're a-okay. :) Thanks for all of your love and support! :)
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.