Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Day To Remember

March 28, 2008. Approximately, 6 pm. We got the call we'd never forget. Our agency was in Thailand and saw a lot of children that day. They mentioned one little girl in particular: Suphawadi, born April 11, 2007, age 11 months. It's funny how just knowing her name and birthday sparked such feelings in us. Excitement. Certainty. A deep knowing that this was the child that was meant to be our daughter. I will never forget Jeff calling me while I was working that day and the happy tears that flowed. We both knew you would be our baby!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Backed up!

The weather has been gorgeous here and we have been at the park or outside at home every day. Just too nice to find time to sit at the computer! Going to try to play catch up here and back-date my entries so they are in order for Ruby's book...stay tuned!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Back

Giardia. Ugly word for an ugly parasite. I was at wits end when we got the call last night. I could hardly keep myself from crying while on the phone with the Dr's office. My poor baby STILL has giardia and I feel like the world's worst mom for putting her on homeopathic for a month. I really believed it would help. I really, really did. She was doing so great at first that I was sure I had done the right thing. Her immune system seemed stronger, she had more energy, less colds, and was learning new things and talking up a storm. I thought we were finally in the clear! But then the restless sleep came back. Followed by even MORE restless sleep - to the point of us being up 3-5 times a night. And this last week she hasn't had much appetite. I suspected something was up, but I didn't want to believe it. Still, we retested for giarida just to make sure. Well, we know for sure now and I feel so horrible! That poor kid. And even with less sleep and her symptoms coming back she has still been such a sweetie! A little more cranky here and there, but not like the last time the symptoms came back. I hate that she's felt yucky for so long!

Feeling desperate, I contacted Dr. Jane Aronson from NY. She is the doctor I wanted to go with originally, but we went with CHOP because they were closer...and a little less expensive, easier to get to, local affiliates near us, etc. Another choice that SEEMED like a good idea at the time. Anyway, Dr. Aronson is the one that reviewed Ruby's info when we first got it years ago so I had her email. I wrote her a letter at 8:44 pm saying that I would call her office in the morning but I was so at wits end and could she help. She wrote me back 10 MINUTES later saying "first of all, she will be fine, calm down,...don't worry, I can help - I promise". Okay, LOVE HER! She went on to ask for Ruby's labs, weight, info, etc. and made me promise that I would call the office and make an appt to come in to see her. I promised and I did. In the meantime, she called in a 21 day prescription for a stronger dose and version of her medicine from her pharmacy in CT that makes it taste real good for kids. We got in overnighted and it arrived the next day. Talk about service! Now THAT is the way a doctor should be! On the ball, ready with the remedy, and she even emailed me the next day - all while she was out of town and after hours! What a great lady! I am so grateful to have found her and only kicking myself still a little for not going to her in the first place. Ruby & I will treck up to NYC in May to meet her and get a full check up. She should be cured of giardia by then, but it won't hurt to get checked by a doc that knows what she is doing.

Advice to anyone whose child gets giardia:
-Make sure your Dr. has dealt with this before! Chop downtown did but our pediatrician did not. It would take them days to get with each other and discuss before coming up with a new plan every time she'd get it back!
- You do not necessarily have to have the runs to have giardia. Her biggest symptoms have been lack of sleep and appetite when it flairs up. The stools have been almost the same.
-Do NOT have a gap in between meds. If they prescribe 5-7 days, ask for more or retest after 4-5 but don't stop taking the meds until you know the giardia is gone. This is the biggest mistake our doctor (and we) made. It comes back and grows stronger if you stop and then start again.
- 14-21 days works best with strong cases of giardia and metronidazole benzoate sits well with children. It is chemically different than the generic brand, Flagyl that is generally used.
-Call Dr. Jane Aronson for any and all info on international adoptive medicine!!!
(see her website at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Best 6 Months of Our Lives

The 14th marked the 6th month anniversary of the day we met our sweet Ruby. So incredible. So much has changed since that long awaited day! We are a family! Our days are filled with giggles and smiles and all the joy that a toddler can bring. Our shy baby girl has blossomed into this fun, funny, sweet, loving, and adventurous little girl. It's great to see her growing and coming into her own! Such a personality she has!
It is remarkable to think about how many wonderful times we have had and how close we are in such a short time. The transition was so easy. And all those months last summer I worried so much! There are no words to perfectly capture the days and the moments we share with her. I still just stare at her in awe some days. The magic is still there and I don't think it's ever leaving. Sure there are sleepless nights and chaos here and there. But life is good and this special day was spent with family. Jeff's parents were up and Ruby loved her time with Grammy & Pappy. We did too!

Things about Ruby after 6 months as a family (and 3 weeks shy of her 3rd birthday):
Recognizes all the alphabet (except E)
Saying more 3 word sentences
Tackles the jungle gym like nobody's business
Is using her left hand predominately
Eating just about anything we put in front of her (new things include: turkey sandwiches/wraps and fajitas)
Recognizes many shapes and colors
Puts her shoes & socks on herself (especially her boots!)
Counts clearly to ten most of the time
Loves her music class CD and know a lot of the songs on it
Finally sings along in class every time
Loves animals, shoes, bubbles, Dora, swings, slides, balls, her baby dolls, and all the stuffed animals she sleeps with.

(So proud of you, Ruby!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Boots & The Alphabet

Ruby's favorite things at the moment. First, the boots. Could they be any cuter? Got them for her upcoming party but gave them to her early. Had to know if they fit, and figured me might as well get some use out of them. She wore them to music class today. She loves to pick out her shoes. Still has them on...with her jammies again. It's so funny cause they nearly come up to her knees! Got some appreciative smiles and a few laughs today. :-) I can tell we are gonna get some good wear out of them which is great cause they cost far more than a kids shoe should cost! But, hey, I'm a sucker for a theme and they were the only girlie red boots I found after weeks of searching online. I bought them a size bigger, too, so she'll be able to wear them for a good while. In case anyone is interested, I bought them from a company called and they come in pink, too!

Now for the alphabet. I am floored. I can not express enough how great is! Ruby requests it nearly every day. If I point to a letter and ask her what it is she will answer nearly all of them correct. She doesn't always know E (says eh), Q, S, T, V, & X and she has trouble pronouncing F, S, X, & W. But coming along really well. She's mildly obsessed with the letters A, O, and U. Think she likes the pics and graphics. It's really so great. Believe it or not I have really changed my tune about TV - as long as it is somewhat educational. Ruby has learned so much from her Baby Einstein music dvd. She counts to ten clearly now. She learned tons of words from Dora, Mickey Mouse, and Little Einsteins. Along with lots of music on the last one. The other day a song was playing and it was a violin part. They didn't mention any instruments but I recognized it as a violin. I look over and Ruby is playing an imaginary violin! I was like YES, RUBY! That is a violin playing! Nearly fell off my chair.

I know I gush on and on but I am so proud of every little achievement - great or small. It's all new to me, too, so I didn't know what to expect. Thought it would be much harder for her. It's just such an incredible thing to watch a child learning and growing and enjoying the world around her. When I think about the grave reports we got on her last year, I feel so blessed. She can hear, she can understand us and communicate what she wants, and she is happy!

Her early intervention teacher gave us a great report yesterday. Her fine motor is caught up and on target! And language is very close, too! I am so thrilled. She said recognizing and saying the alphabet is actually not just on target, but advanced! Wow, we have come a long way. Every day she is saying more short sentences and clearly asking for things. WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU, RUBY!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Countdown Is On!

Only one month till Ruby's birthday party! And one month and a day until my baby turns 3! So hard to believe. She is growing up so fast! Had to go get her some new pj's and leggings today cause she is outgrowing her current ones! Got some really cute stuff for her party, too. Horses on sticks (for only $1 at Dollar Tree!), stuffed pigs and cows for favors, and a big sheep planter thing for the yard. The sheep is way cute! Not sure what I am gonna put in it yet. Also got some containers and stuff like that. Online I ordered more favors and the cutest Petting Zoo sticker book from Birthday in A Box. Also there, I found some great farm themed favor boxes to put everything in. Think I am going to tie the horse/stick things on each kids chair. Still have to find a company that rents kids tables and someone who rents or sells hay. Going to order the cow cake and cupcakes this week. So a lot of the plans are well under way!

I decided on a bike, too. The classic Radio Flyer Red Tricycle. Still searching for a cute bike helmet in red that's not boyish. I may get a plain one and get crafty with some stickers and make it all flower-power. We'll see!

Anyway, it has been so fun planning her special day. Jeff watched Ruby for a couple hours so I could run around and get some stuff done. She is fine with me leaving now and knows I will come back. She greats me with the biggest smile and hug! What a feeling that is to hear her yell MOMMY! and run into my arms. She is the best!

Goodness, I forgot to mention the boots! Her cowboy boots came in today and I was just as excited as she was! They are SOOO super cute! There are stars and flowers on them and they light up as she walks. She was thrilled and even had them on with her jammies tonight. So glad they fit and she loves 'em so much!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Should I Be Worried?

After watching the opening number of the Oscars last night, Ruby stripped down to her diaper, put on red sparkly shoes on and started dancing around the room! LOL! The girl is a hoot!

She loved the Oscars as much as I do and was running around talking and singing into her "mic" (a drum stick). Of course, we had to go to bed so I still have no idea who won the big awards, but still it was fun. We HAD to watch something other than Elmo and Dora for a night lest I go mad. Dora is cute but the Elmo theme song is starting to wear on me a bit. Funny that we are planning a farm/western party and Ruby's favorite video is Elmo's Wild Wild West. Someone gave it to us and she asks for it every day -sometimes twice. I only let her watch once, though. For both of our sakes! LOL. It is cute though and it's all farm and western theme. I am so super excited for her birthday party!!!!!

Tommy Tang

We LOVE this guy. Love his cute Thai sense of humor and his great recipes. Lots of good footage and background on Thailand on the show, too. Check out his website HERE and catch the show on PBS. We tape the series, but may end up buying it (if you can) because of all the nice background info on Thailand. You can get recipes off his website, but the show is GREAT and worth a watch. Of course, it makes me hungry every time. After watching yesterday during Ruby's nap, Jeff and I wrote down a few recipes then decided we HAD to go to our favorite new Thai place for dinner. The weather was nice (well, relatively) so we took Ruby to the park first. Had a blast and she loved all the seagulls lined up in the lake. (Wait till she sees the beach this summer!) It was also so great to see her boldly jump and climb and go down the slide by herself. What a difference from a few months ago when we last went there.

After the park we headed on over to Thai Noodle Fusion. In a word, YUM!!! Love this place as they actually have Thai people working there and authentic Thai food. Ruby loves it, too. The people are so sweet and remember us. They let us know about stuff going on at the temple and upcoming holidays and such and are always so nice. Going to hit the Asian grocery store this week and pick up all the goods to make our own Thai food this week.

I leave you with a poem from Tommy Tang's website on the elements:

Earth Ocean Wind & Fire

Earth, we don’t really know when it will move.
Ocean, we don’t know when there will be a flood.
Wind, we don’t know when and where it will hit.
Fire, it can happen anywhere.
Earth gives us vegetation and meats.
Ocean gives us water and sealife.
Wind allows us to breathe and to live.
Fire allows us to cook.
They are good and they are bad.
They can give and they can take away.
Either way we cannot live without them.
Don’t take things for granted, be gracious and be respectful.

Food for thought and thought for food. Nice!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

There's Nothing Like Love

I am burning the midnight oil tonight. Ruby woke up around 2:30 am. She was not scared tonight. Just soaked. And sweet. She gave me the most darling, content little smile after I changed her diaper and jammies. Just needed a change and some love and fell right back to sleep. Me, I am wide awake so I snuck out and grabbed my loyal companion, Mr. Macintosh, for some early morning blogging, FB, and email. A friend saw me online and let me know that our mutual friend's baby pics were up. I couldn't get to her blog fast enough! Is there anything more exciting than knowing another beautiful child has his/her forever family? Especially when you happen to know the loving parents and think they are an incredible couple? I don't think so! They are going to be the BEST parents!

HUGE congrats to Rosemary and Brian and their gorgeous new son, "Button". Incredibly happy for you and look forward to hearing more about your new life together as a family! Also looking forward to a play date this spring or summer somewhere between Philly and VA!

Love. It's pretty great. But, loving your child... There is no other feeling like it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fantasy World

In my fantasy, I wake up at 7 am. Maybe earlier. I take a long, hot shower, deep condition my hair, and have time to blow it out. I put on some make-up, pick out a nice outfit, and go downstairs to tidy up the place. I do the dishes and throw in a load of laundry. I set the table for breakfast, I plan my day and plan my meals. The house looks lovely and perfect and is freshly decorated for Spring. Fresh flowers on each table. By the time Ruby gets up I have had my Starbucks and am armed and ready to start my day with grace and confidence. Yes, this is my fantasy.

Not that I haven't ever had mornings like that. (Minus the house looking perfect and already decorated for Spring). Okay, and the meal planning. Some mornings I am up and "together". But not lately. Instead we are up several times in the night so I cling on to every last minute of sleep I can get till she is up. I wake up groggy, get Ruby bathed, dressed, and ready, then throw my hair in a pony and take a 5 minute shower. We rush downstairs to eat and go to whatever class we have that day. This week I look like "THAT" mom. The one I swore I would never be. Little to no make-up, looking tired and disheveled and late to any morning event we have. We are both sleepy yet somehow Ruby manages to be charming, happy, and utterly adorable under these conditions. Me, not so much! By nap time I am exhausted and yet wired. I want to sleep, but the house is calling. Some days I have ignored that call and plopped myself in front of the computer or tv instead because I am just too dang tired to do much else. When Ruby is up I want to be with her. She has been more needing of me the last 2 weeks and I don't want to resort to sticking her in front of the tv just so I can get work done. She already watches more than I'd like. Not sure if it is nightmares or the giardia again or what but something has changed. She had been doing so well on the homeopathic remedies, sleeping great, and feeling great. Starting the remedies up again for 2 weeks and hoping it will help her sleep. Will restest for Giardia next week, too, just to make sure that is not the issue. Sweet little thing. How I hate to see her crying in the night. I feel so helpless that I can't do anything but reassure her that we are there. One night she hopped out of her crib and ran to my arms. She's done that before, but this time she held on to me so tight. We laid like that for nearly an hour. Her little head right on my heart. Those are the moments you could hold on to forever and the reasons you plug along with a smile on your face, even when exhausted.

So the house waits. Some days I do clean during her nap, but it just scratches the surface. I need a maid. A 5 bedroom, 3 story farmhouse was not meant to be cleaned alone! Jeff helps a lot around here and cooks often, but he has been swamped with work lately. Overwhelmed, I called for back up...Mom to the rescue! I called her Thursday afternoon and by that evening she was here. Hooray! Ruby LOVES her and we had such a nice visit. Just having another person here to keep Ruby company so I could clean up made such a HUGE difference. She gets quality time with Grandma and I get some time to get caught up. I got 6 loads of laundry done, the downstairs back in order, and some adult conversation to boot! Low and behold, we even all got some sleep last night! I am still fantasizing about a maid, new spring sheets, a home made quiche in the oven, more sleep, and warm weather. But for today, I have enough. Although my home and myself are not looking picture perfect, both are a bit better (okay, really the house is) thanks to a helping hand. I have a beautiful little girl that is the light of my life, a hard working hubby, and wonderful mom that was a total lifesaver this weekend. Thanks Mom!!! We love you!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Spring Dreaming

This time it's about the fashion! Love some of these fab new looks! Almost all from Anthropologie or Bannana Republic. Except for the shoes which I think I found at Nordstrom. Oo-la-la!

Got a nice big taste of spring yesterday at the Philadelphia Flower Show. They did an Asian theme this year and it was spectacular! Didn't see anything from Thailand, but a lot from China, Japan, and India. Beautiful! Ruby and I met my friend Tammy for lunch and then we went in for a look around. Such a nice time in the city. Ruby seemed to enjoy it. Didn't have time to take a lot of pics with the little one in tow, but here were a few favs I managed to snap quickly...
Love yellow. It just screams SPRING!
This one was really pretty, too.
But the great big elephant (chaang!) was absolutely our favorite!

So, hey, did anyone notice it's already March? Easter, Songkran, Ruby's birthday, and Spring are just around the corner! Yea!

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