Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In Memoriam

James E. Hawkins
1949 - 2007

Our favorite uncle (beloved father and brother).. you will never be forgotten.
We will find comfort in our memories.

Wishing today as we wished before
That God could have spared you many years more.
In our heart your memory is kept.
To love, to cherish and to never forget.

As Uncle Jim would have wanted.. let's remember him in ways that make us smile and laugh:

FOOD ~ The Star Wars movies ~ His 'Star Wars' painted truck that went to Alaska ~ The 'McRat' ~ Funny and obnoxious Xmas gifts (Xmas truly will not ever be the same w/o him) ~ jokes ~ his dirt-bike days ~ WAZY Radio and all the silly things we did as kids to get on-air and amuse him (and probably embarrassed him - ex: rock 'n roll version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) ~ FOOD ~ Alf (did anyone besides jim luv that silly puppet?) ~ the day he drove a couch down to us in Cincinnati in the biggest snowstorm in years.. and then drove back home the same day b/c it was 'just a little snow for god's sake' ~ jim's stories of being kicked out of all-you-can-eat buffets ~ .. and many more that I'm just not recalling at the moment!

The last time that I saw him - the weekend of Maya's baptism - he told me repeatedly: 'I swear Amo, I do not ever remember being this happy in my entire life...I can't stop grinning!!'
And while it is sad that he was so tragically taken from us at this point in his life, I feel comforted in the fact that he had found happiness in many ways recently.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine upon your face
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again may God
hold you in the palm of His hand.


~ 'Amo'

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Spoonful of Sugar...

Good grief. How is it that two well-educated, at-least-moderately-intelligent people can suddenly lose all basic common sense? How is it that we forget life lessons that we learned as small children?? How is it that we could possibly forget Mary-freaking-Poppins!!!
Poor Maya.. sick and needing her medicine (cold liquid bubble-gum tasting Amox.).. and hating the taste of it sooo much that it was an insanely painful struggle to get any of it down her throat. She loves the mild cherry flavor of infant Tylenol and Motrin (tis almost frightening actually).. but not strong bubble-gum.
So to give us credit, we did not completely forget the teachings of Mary Poppins.. we just did not brainstorm the idea. We were firmly planted inside the box and forgot to venture outside of it a bit.
We tried and tried to get the teaspoon of pink liquid into our child's stomach.. mixing with ice cream, mixing with applesauce, holding her nose and forcing it into her mouth (I did NOT like this one, but it was nanny's solution and actually worked better than all our other ideas, tho causing mental scarring for everyone involved and leading to dad's quick exit from the room and streaks of pink down mommy's shirts).
We tried rewarding with special treats, stickers, hugs and kisses. We tried explanations and bribery. We called it Princess Pink Yumminess and explained that her friend, Princess Ava, loved it. We sang songs and made faces. We made loud animal sounds and we wore silly hats and we danced around the room.
To no avail.
{stop laughing you experienced moms out there!!}
Finally I asked the on-call nurse at the pediatrician's office.
After asking what we normally do when our child is sick and then shockingly finding out that this was our first sickness requiring mandatory medication.. the nurse read us ideas from the computer screen in front of her.
Ahh.. mix the medicine with something strong and sweet. So we were 1/2-way there, trying sweeten things.. we just had not taken the mental leap to figure out that it needed to actually MASK the flavor rather than 'dress it up'.

So for any other not-thinking-clearly parents out there.. these worked for us (FINALLY!!!):
* Mix medicine with powdered Kool-Aid (this worked once)
* Mix medicine with strawberry-flavored syrup and then mix with strawberry-flavored 'Moo Juice' (aka yogurt smoothie drink with cow cartoon on packaging). Put on 'moo' hat (be creative), sit on floor, make 'moo'ing sounds, pretend to drink the 'moo' drink in order to inspire child to want to share. (this worked twice and was somewhat embarrassing for parent involved, so use at your own risk (hopefully with no onlookers))
* Mix medicine with strawberry-flavored syrup and pour over small amt of strawberry Haagen-Daz ice-cream (full-fat) and make this a special treat. (this is the BIG WINNER!!! *note to self: might also work for sick, whiny husbands!)

So finally, one week later, our baby is mostly recovered. She is now down to just having a cough and runny nose (I guess she was slammed with a few different viruses at the same time). Yay! She is back to her happy, personable self. And only 4 more days of strawberry ice-cream treats. Phew!
Maybe the ice-cream will double as a weight-gainer. The on-call pediatrician seemed to be judging us a bit when we took her in on Monday. She gave me an odd look and said '..please try to feed her as much as possible'. I was a bit confused and assured her that we were trying to feed her quite frequently, but she was sick and didn't have an appetite. Later, I thought that maybe this look and comment were due to the fact that Maya was only 20.5 lbs when weighed with all her clothing/shoes and holding her big stuffed bear. Oh well. I'm sure it won't be the first time that someone thinks we aren't doing our job and causing her to be super-skinny. And maybe I'm paranoid.. but the look that she gave, along with the slow and methodical tone of her voice.. were not normal. Even Aj noticed this. Well whatever.. at least she's doing her job and caring about the kids.
Happy Saturday! :)
Looks neglected, doesn't she? haaahaaa!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tick.. Tick...

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking.. into the future...
Another blog entry so soon? Well.. I just realized that I forgot to update on the adoption process. I received an update yesterday.

I can't believe this, but it looks like we are heading into the same time frame that we were headed into 2 years ago. Sigh sigh sigh. I was hoping so much that it would not work out this way, but I guess I'm not in charge of this plan am I? So difficult for a control freak to sit back and have no control. Thank god for Maya, or I would be completely obsessed and a bit depressed like I was in September of 2005.
We completed our dossier a couple of weeks ago, but our agency needed to get some final authentications completed on their end before it was officially complete. These final steps are being completed right now, and the dossier will end up being finished just in time for
the courts in Kolkata to be shut down for a month in celebration of Durga Puja and Diwala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja, http://www.diwalifestival.org).
This means no referral for us during this time.

There are also some good things and not-so-good things going on with the process. First, we found out that {not so good} the Kolkata judge was not replaced in August, so he will most likely be the judge who reviews and hopefully approves our case. This judge has been a nightmare (if you have been following my posts regarding other families stuck in loooooong delays due to his not-showing-up-to-work and not-reviewing-adoption-cases-for-no-known-reason and nit-picking-tiny-details-causing-months-of-delay) since being put in place just after we brought Maya home. We are trying to prepare ourselves for a long wait for legals, but we will surely be completely crazed when the time comes. Legals, btw, are the 2nd-to-last step before traveling. This is after you have accepted your referral, so you are insanely anxious to meet your baby.
We also found out that {good!!} the visa process within India has changed a little. When we traveled last time, we had to go to Kolkata to pick up Maya, fly to Delhi to file for her Visa, and then fly home. This req'd a flight within a couple of days of picking up our baby - I'm sure a traumatic, terrifying experience for her.
The new process dictates that we file for the visa in Delhi and THEN go to Kolkata to pick up the baby.. and complete the visa process in Kolkata. This means that we ca
n stay longer in Kolkata getting to know our new baby before subjecting the poor thing to a complete change of environment, an airport, and airplane flights.
This is also very cool for
us as we are planning to incorporate a bit of site-seeing in India prior to picking up our child. No, we don't want to wait to bring our child home.. but we do have family in India that we would like to see (in my case, meet for the first time).. and I would LUV to visit Kerala or Goa for a couple of days. It will also be nice for Maya to visit the family and her home country - even though she will be too young to fully appreciate it.
Yes, we are taking Maya with us. I know this is a highly-debated topic, but there is just no question for us. We want to travel as a family to bring our new child home. I know it will be difficu
lt to travel with a toddler.. but hey - what doesn't kill us will only make us stronger!! :)

In other news.. I cancelled/am rescheduling my party tomorrow night b/c Maya is still sickly. :(( No fever, but VERY irritable and groggy. Hoping the meds start working soon.. poor little thing.

Here are some cute photos of her hanging out with her cousin, Andrew (who, btw, is my 5-yr old Godson that I referred to in previous post)..

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So Little Time

.. to update my blog lately!!

Life has been a bit hectic. First, we had friends visiting us during the week of the 1st - 8th. Todd - Maya's Godfather, his wife, and their 2 adorable little girls (age 2 and 5). It was a very fun week - nice to see and spend time with them, and interesting to watch Maya's unhappy introduction to the world of SHARING. It is bad enough for her to share her toys during short playdates.. it was almost too much for her to share for several days. By the end of the week she was a tad better.. I think she had stopped punching the other girls in the face for touching her toys. .. I think. Maybe she just became more subtle?
The girl might be small, but she can sure pack a punch!
Anyhow, sharing aside, Maya loved having the girls here. We also traveled at the end of the week with everyone to Vail for a couple of days. The weather was amazing - too bad the aspens had not begun to change color. We did, however, manage to make it to Vail's Oktoberfest, so that was a bonus! Maya and her new friends were quite entertaining with their dance moves. Maya kept dancing in circles in front of the band and then running toward the seated audience and doing some type of arm-waving/hand-shaking move at them, and then running back to dance in circles. Sadly, all of us forgot our videocams on that evening - doesn't that figure??
After our friends left, I flew back to my hometown in IN on the 9th. My dad had knee-replacement surgery on the 8th, and I wanted to help he and my mom during that week. My mom is still going thru chemo and doesn't drive. Plus, control freak that I am, I could not be 1000 miles away when my dad went thru this! He is, luckily, doing very well. No complications and he is recovering nicely (though painfully). He was lucky to have a very nice roommate - a guy who had the same operation on the same day. They were so hilarious - it was like a slumber party in their room! I don't know what type of drugs the nurses were slipping them, but they were MUCH too jovial during their first few days of recovery! They had 'walker-races' down the hallways every day and probably both gained 10 lbs with the number of ice-cream shakes they conned people into bringing to them. A bit scary, but nice to see my dad finally in a good mood after being grumpy due to his immense knee pain this past year. :))
So I returned home last Saturday evening, and was met by a sick baby. :(( My hubby, btw, did an amazing daddy job while I was gone. I was most impressed - though I never doubted that he could do it! He is praising God that Maya didn't get sick until mommy returned. Maya's temp shot up on Saturday night.. and then even higher on Sunday (up to 104.5 - owch!). Come to find out, she has an ear infection and roseola. Poor baby!! This has been a long week for everyone. We had a couple of nights that she woke constantly and required rocking. Definitely the worst sickness she has had since coming home. I guess we are lucky in that regard, but I wish she would start feeling better! Her fever is finally down today, but she is still irritable/groggy/not eating or drinking. Her 19.5 lbs has probably gone down a little.
I'm hoping Maya is better by tomorrow. We have tickets on Friday to ride on Thomas the Train at the Train Museum. It's a once-a-year train visit, and I know she would love it. Hope she is no longer rashy with the roseola so that she can be around other kids. I'm also hosting a 'Moms Night Out' cocktail party on Friday night for moms in my neighborhood. It isn't easy to meet other moms in our neighborhood - our houses are spaced pretty far apart. I thought this might be a nice way to finally meet some other moms. Should be a good time - hoping I don't need to cancel due to sick baby.
We also had to keep putting off Maya's 2nd Birthday celebration because she hasn't felt well. She is finally feeling a little better today, so we are breaking out the cupcakes and the presents! Her big exciting gift is a CAR! :) She LOVES LOVES LOVES cars, so I'm sure she will be glued to it immediately.
Last - please keep baby Emy and her family in your prayers: emysjourney.blogspot.com. Emy's parents adopted a child through the same agency and orphanage that we used (Mia). They found out later that they were pg, and the baby recently arrived 3 months early. Reminds me of when my nephew/Godson was born 2 months early. Lots of scary health issues.. but he is 5-yr old living proof that miracles happen and prayer works!