Monday, November 24, 2008

Having fun

Things are great here. It is so cool to see how much Oliver is changing. He is laughing like crazy. He likes to take one of our hands and use it to do or get whatever he wants. He is walking and blowing kisses. He loves to dance. These days it is usually to Christmas music. He is so cute wiggling his little butt. His big move is swinging his arms from side to side. He still hates shoes, socks, and bibs. He doesn't really like food with any texture. He has found my belly button and it just cracks him up. He peed standing up in the tub the other day. When it started to happen he pointed at it and just had the biggest smile. He really is a dude.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

11 months old

Wow Oliver's tenth month flew by. It is so different than when we were celebrating these monthly birthdays without him.

He is doing great. Very very busy. He is starting to walk. Although not in his costume. He loves yelling and chasing the cats. Most of all he loves throwing his toys through the cat door.

We had a full weekend. Halloween and his party at Frank and Diane's.

He seemed indifferent to Halloween. He didn't mind his penguin costume which was nice. He liked sitting in his stroller and watching all of the kids run around the neighborhood.

The party was so much fun. We were glad the rest of the family got to meet Oliver. He loved meeting almost all of his cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. We can't wait until Christmas when he can meet the rest.

A big thank you to Frank, Diane and everyone who did so much for the party. It means so much to us.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Help please

So Oliver absolutely will not keep his shoes and socks on. I don't know what to do. He makes it his mission to get them off as soon as they are on. Yesterday I wanted to take him out to play in the leaves and as soon as I put him down his took them off. It hasn't been so bad, but now it is so cold outside.

I would appreciate any thoughts and advice.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

good times

We are all doing great. Anthony and I are loving every minute with Oliver. He is a very busy boy and it has been hard for me to do anything. He is into everything. Loves climbing on things and has even taken a couple of steps.

This weekend my Mom had a shower for me. It was so much fun and great to see so many of our family and friends. This Saturday Anthony's brother Frank is having a party for us to meet all of the Licatas. Ollie had a great time this weekend with everyone so I know he'll just love Saturday. It is really an amazing feeling all of the love and support everyone has given us. We all feel so very lucky.

One shower game that Kim organized had to do with the size of Oliver's belly so I thought I would post a picture of it too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One week

I can't believe we have been home for a week. It went so fast. Oliver is doing great. We went back to the doctor on Monday. His lungs are clear. No more bronchitis. You can tell he is feeling better.

Ollie is such a cute and silly boy. He is really trying to walk. He is pushing a box and a car around the house. The car is really funny because it goes faster than him.

Anthony left for Sweden last night. He is going to be gone for a week and Oliver is already looking for him.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


We wanted to let everyone know we arrived home safe and sound. Oliver was given the all clear to fly. He was still sick, but so much better. He was a real trooper on the flight. He slept for a lot of it. We had some space by our seats so we were able to lay some blankets down for him to play on the floor. He got a kick out of that.

We are all having some trouble adjusting to the time change, but hopefully that won't be for too long.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Feeling Better

Oliver is doing much better. His breathing is better, he's happier, and he's playing quite a bit. He's still not doing such a good job keeping his bottle down, but he's eating cereal, baby food, and drinking juice. He's definitely getting better every day.

We go back to the doctor's tomorrow for a follow-up.

It seems like several of the babies from our orphanage had bronchitis. Most of them who were adopted with Ollie have coughs and are getting treated. Unfortunately Ollie's wasn't knocked out by the first round of anitbiotics and flared up badly right before we were to fly home. Oh well. The important thing is he's getting better. We'll be home later this week. I hope the poor babies still in the orphanage are doing ok.

Tony and Leigh

Sick in Hanoi

We should be in the air now on our way home. But we're still here nursing Oliver over his bronchitis. He's doing a little better today, but he's still having a hard time keeping down his bottle--I think every surface of this room has been puked on, including mommy and daddy about 10 times each. Thank god we have a washing machine; it's running nonstop. Oliver also has a raspy cough and pretty bad rattle in his chest. And you can tell he just doesn't feel very good.

But he's breathing a little better, and he is playing a little. The doctors and nurses at the SOS international clinic have been fantastic. They lent us the nebulizer (sp?), so we give him those treatments twice a day. Plus he has antibiotics and something for his fever. Hopefully he'll be getting better every day. And the Doctor thinks he should be well enough to fly by Wednesday.

We know he'll get better soon, but it's been a tough couple of days. Finally we realize what our parents went through every time we were sick. It's hard to see the little guy not feeling well, and it's a pretty hopeless feeling when you can't do anything to help him. It's been rough as new parents in a strange land with a sick little baby. But Grandma and Grandpa Frattolillio have been terrific. A huge help to us and Oliver. We're all very lucky they're here with us. And my mom gave a great phone consultation, since she's too far away to make a house call.

We've had such a great time here that I had been slightly sad to see our stay in Vietnam end--I guess it's true you should be careful what you wish for, eh? Right now I can't wait to take Ollie home. Soon enough.
Tony and Leigh

Friday, September 26, 2008

We could leave but

Oliver is sick again. We took him to the doctor this morning. He has really bad bronchitis and they don't want us flying with him. It was a long morning. The poor little guy had a chest x-ray, blood work, IV antibotics and fluids. He was very happy when they took off the bandages and he could have his hand back. He was pathetic trying to get his hand in his mouth. Within a hour after he had the medicine and fluids he perked up. We go back to the doctor Sunday and they think we should be able to fly on Wednesday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're done!

We have Oliver's passport and most important we have his visa to come into the US. That's it. He's ours and we can come home. Luckily, we were able to get on an earlier flight. We are leaving Hanoi on Saturday. We land late Saturday night in Newark.

We went out to celebrate with two other wonderful families. The Bensons and Harrisons. They also adopted beautiful babies from our orphanage (the beautiful Madeleine and handsome Nam) Along for the ride is Alexander, Katrina and Adam's son, whom Ollie just loves. Alexander is 4 and he thinks we have all moved to Vietnam. The babies are thriving. It was so fun to celebrate. We kept on saying that we couldn't believe that this is it. It felt like the last day of camp.

Mom and Dad are watching Oliver tomorrow morning while we go to our cooking class. We are going to the market too. I asked Anthony to steer me away from the dog section. Wish us luck!

Sorry for the lack of posts, but we're having problems charging our computer again. We'll see.

Today is our appointment at the US Embassy for Oliver to get his visa. It's the last step in the process. Everything should be all lined up, but we'll be glad when this last appointment is done.

Oliver has been really good. He's slept completely through the night the last five nights. He wakes up happy and ready to tear things up! Of course, I'm sure we'll be back to square one once we deal with the long flight, jet lag, and new adjustment back home.

Yesterday we did a lot of shopping. It was fun. There are a lot of good silk products, artwork, ceramics, and other handi-crafts. LEigh got a beautiful silk dress. I tried to buy a linen shirt, something cool and comfortable for this heat, but I guess I'm a little, ah, larger than the average Vietnamese man. It couldn't button the large across my chest.

We had dinner at a terrific place, and as usual, the waitress held Ollie while we ate. I could get used to this, but something tells me this won't be the way at restaurants back in America. For lunch we had bahn minh, Vietnamese sandwiches. We can actually get really good ones back in New York, but we wanted to get them here. This version really piled on the meats and pate, plus some cucumbers and greens, all on a really good baguette. A French influence, obviously. Goes good with a cold Tiger beer.

Ollie is really into taking a bath. He splashes like crazy, just like the pool. Wait until we get this poor kid some bath toys.

We found out more of how he was cared for at the orphanage. He was rocked to sleep every night by the nannies, fed every three hours, held constantly, and was almost never alone. Not easy being an orphan, but it seems like he was very well cared for. It's clear how everyone on the street reacts to him and us that the Vietnamese take very good care of their children.

Here are some pictures from Hanoi, plus a couple more from the orphanage.

Tony and Leigh

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Grandpa and Oliver

We're not posting as much as we'd planned, simply because we're having too much fun and are too busy.

Things are going very well. Oliver is a very good little boy. For the last three nights he has slept completely through the night. He takes a couple of naps during the day. He's a good eater (as his belly and chubby thighs prove), and he is very happy and laughs and plays. He is good when he goes out on the town with his parents and grandparents.

Grandma and Grandpa left for Cambodia yesterday. They've gone to Seim Reap to see the ancient temple complex at Angkor Wat. It sounds amazing. A little too much for a baby Ollie's age (and we can't take him out of the country yet anyway), but I'm sure Joan and Frank are having a great time. They're back tomorrow. We can't wait to hear about it and see the photos.

Ollie has really been having a good time with his parents, especially mom. He loves to be held by Leigh, and he likes to play with her. Leigh is terrific with him. A natural. He has a good time playing with me too, and often climbs all over me and grabs me when we sit on the floor and play.

We've been doing more of the same. Shopping, walking around town, going out to eat, and hanging out at the nice pool here at the hotel. There are a few day trips we'd like to take outside of Hanoi, but our schedule with Oliver's appointments makes it tough. I'm not sure what we'll be able to do, or if we're going to get to see the museum of ethnology that we wanted to go to.

One thing we are going to do is take a cooking class. We're doing that Friday. The food here is amazing, and we think it would be fun to learn some of the specialties and techniques. The class is combined with a trip to the market, which is half the fun. The markets are crazy. Long lines of stalls of women squatting on the ground selling everything imaginable: spices; greens, herbs and vegetables; all kinds of tropical fruits; slabs of pork, beef, and other meat; chickens, pigeons and unidentifiable sparrow-like birds; all kinds of weird looking eggs. We've even seen some insects and larva fried and for sale. And then there are the tubs of fish, still flipping and flopping in the water. And, of course, you can see most of this stuff being carried in hanging woven baskets slung from a bamboo pole across the backs of women. Lots of cool sights in the market but you feel a little funny snapping photos of people as they go about their daily business. But I enjoy the markets very much. Yesterday in one I bought these tiny crabs that had been coated with batter and chopped chilies and deep fried. You ate them whole. Yum.

Today Oliver was really into the pool. He was fearless--splashing, dunking his face, floating on his back. He's an adventurous little boy.

OK, Ollie is up from his afternoon nap, and we've got to figure out dinner. More tomorrow.
Tony and Leigh

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday in Ha Noi

Just a quick post this morning. Ollie is taking a nap, and we're trying to get stuff together so that when he wakes we're ready to hit the town and do some shopping. 

Yesterday we went to the literature temple, which was beautiful. And then we walked around a bit. It was hot and we were thirsty, so while Ollie slept in the sling, mom and dad stopped at a bia hoi place (means fresh beer) for a cold draft beer and a snack. The usual deal--small place, little stools, tasty food (we had fried rice and almost ordered the "rooster"), and again Ollie was the hit of the place. Once he woke up, the proprietor scooped him up and held him, carried him around the place, let all the other customers fool with him, while we ate. 

Here are some pictures from that, as well as a few from earlier in the week, including Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum. We'll try to write more later tonight, but today is my birthday, so we want to spend the day out and about, not in front of the computer. 

Tony and Leigh

Friday, September 19, 2008