Monday, November 26, 2007

Turning the Page to a New Chapter

Today was Devi's first day at the Chinese Christian Day Care and mommy's first day back to work. Mommy worried about everything from the time she got up...Devi's supplies, will she eat, will she nap, will she be missing mommy and daddy, will she be worried that we are not coming to get her....the list goes on and on.

After having watched the clock tick-tock my last hour away, work got hectic and I had to call Pat to go pick Devi up on her first day! Bad mommy. Meanwhile ideas like emptying the savings account and heading to the lotto ticket counter entered my mind or perhaps a big garage sale would earn us enough income to have a couple more months off with her. Amazing how creative one can be when motivated.

Truth be told, Devi had a blast. Somehow this does not surprise me much. Her report for the day, otherwise known as the "Daily News from the Toddler Class" stated the she went to sleep quickly at nap time and slept for an hour. She also received two stickers for being good and had these comments marked...

• I was kind today!
• I used good manners today!
• I enjoyed playing with my new friends!
• I chose wisely and played well with others!
• I enjoyed story time!

Well, if that does not make a mother beam :)!

My day was made when I arrived home to see my girl. She looked different. All grown up. How could this happen in just the few hours she was away from my sight? When she saw me she squealed with delight and grabbed my cheeks with both her chubby little paws and kissed me right smack on the lips (nice and wet like babies do) and it was wonderful. "Mama" she said, and kissed me again, this time patting my back....a family trait. Then it was non-stop babble and smiles about her busy day. I think she was quite proud of herself.

All three of us trotted off to steak night to celebrate our accomplishments. Thats when daddy told us about his tale of woe getting ready this morning. Realizing that bows don't usually go on one's back, Daddy noticed he had put Devi's shirt on backwards. Whoops! The sprout atop her head was suppose to be a ponytail...hmmm....I say it resembled some sort of sea life, but Devi didn't mind, in fact, she looked rather cute.

Closing the final book of the evenings' readings, and taking that last swallow of warm formula, Devi closed her tired eyes. She had a big day. It was a big day for all of us. It was hard, but we made it and tomorrow starts another day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy First Birthday!

We celebrated Devi's birthday with her extended family and friends on the November 11th and made it a combination Diwali Indian luncheon and First Birthday party. Guests were greeted by colorful rangoli around our stoop emphasizing hospitality. As they entered, we asked that they each light one of many lanterns or tea lights decorating our home as a symbol of how they bring light to our lives. When all the lanterns were lit inside, it was warm but beautiful!

We threw in part of a Annaprasana ceremony which is really done when a child has his/her first solid food, but because we were not able to share that time with Devi, we thought it would be fun to incorporate parts of the ceremony now. We had Devi crawl toward objects at the end of a blanket. If she reached for the bananas she could likely enter a career in agriculture. The dollar bills represented wealth and perhaps she would become a banker. Reaching for the books would ensure that she would be scholarly perhaps becoming a teacher and if she reached for the pen she would enter a profession like law or medicine. Well, I guess it was no surprise when our chow hound went for the bananas...something edible! I tried waving the dollar bills, but those bright yellow bananas won out in the end!

Samosas with cilantro and lime chutney, Ghee rice, Vegetable Korma, Tandori chicken and Naan made up our luncheon menu. The Indian cooking classes came in handy, but I wouldn't have been able to pull it off if it weren't for my friend Michele who is town from Virginia. As luck would have it, she is an excellent cook and is also a caterer! We worked her like a dog but it was so yummy in the end. Everything was just right with lots of left overs to remind us of this great day.

Birthday cake, hmmm, a food with an interesting texture and flavor. Devi loved having us sing, but honestly, I think she enjoyed the ice cream far more than the cake. Good girl!!! She did manage to have her little brown skinned face covered in white icing but it is debatable if anything actually went in her mouth.

We summed up the afternoon with a loud Happy Diwali shout outside with the popping of hand held mini firecrackers. For our first Diwali holiday, I think we did pretty good :)

Today, November 15th, we spent a quiet evening at home with our friend Michele as it is her last night with us. She treated us to one of her famous home cooked meals of fresh halibut with a Thai curry sauce that was absolutely delicious. Perfect for Devi too, as she LOVES fish. Devi had a small white cake with mango filling and seemed to be getting the hang of things far better on her second try, although "blowing out the candle" still has her baffled. We were joined for cake by our friends, Di Anna and Tim. Tim has given his own two girls roses for their birthdays since they were little and last night began that tradition with Devi, presenting her with her first bouquet of a dozen pink and white roses. Does this girl have the whole neighborhood wrapped around her little finger or what?

Tissue and wrapping paper everywhere, Devi delighted in opening a few small gifts. Pat and I gave her a charm bracelet to grow with. We both wonder what charms of interest will dangle from the chain as she matures. For now, it contains a single heart, formed by twisted vines and leaves of white gold. It seemed fitting, representing the growth and multi faceted depths of our love for her, each other and our family.

Happy First Birthday, my sweet DeeDee! I can hardly believe that today is just one year from the day your biological mother made the most selfless decision of her life; to give you the opportunity
to join and grow in anothers' family. To be loved and offered a life of experiences she could not provide is what she had hoped for you, I'm sure. The ultimate sacrifice.

We are so incredibly blessed to be on the receiving end of her wish. We love you so very very much. You amaze me with your wit, opinions, intelligence and love of life every day. In the spirit of Diwali, little princess, you bring light to our lives. Happy First Birthday!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Devis' Top Ten List

Just a quick update of Devi's top ten favorite things on this wonderful day of Diwali 2007.

10. Taking my own socks off even when mom is still trying to put my shoes ON!

9. Waving hello and goodbye to complete strangers because they almost always wave back.

8. Realizing that Oprah and the muppets are both hilarious.

7. Drenching mommy and daddy during bath time. Splashing water OUT of the kitchen sink is very entertaining.

6. Reading "B is for Bear" over and over because it is my favorite touch and feel book.

5. Admiring myself in the mirror because when I smile my reflection always seems to smile back.

4. Brushing all three of my own teeth by myself.

3. Giving wet kisses to mommy, daddy and Cayenne, the dog (plah, plah, the fur is not so great on my tongue)

2. Clapping my hands! When you're happy and you now it....I DO know it!!

And.... my number one favorite thing is

1. Now that I have a top tooth, I LOVE to hear the crunch of biting goldfish crackers in half before shoving them all the way in.

The delights of a nearly one year old....surely makes one grin from ear to ear.
Happy Diwali

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Our first Halloween!

Never has carving a pumpkin been so much fun! Devi loved it. She was fascinated by the goop and seeds. Naturally, it went straight into the mouth! She even got a little pumpkin guts between the toes.

We had very few trick-or-treaters this year, but all three of us had a great time handing out candy to 2 pirates, Elmo, a witch, a gypsy, Fred Flintstone and several other visitors! Devi was a bunny, thanks to the adorable bunny coat she received as a gift from her Great Aunt Barbara. A perfect fit!

Mommy and Devi had a busy couple of mornings taking Halloween treats to daddy at work, to mommy's workplace, to Grandpa and Gail, Oma and Opa's house and finally to Carol, our neighbor. She is always sending sweet treats our way and we love an opportunity to return the favor.

We can't wait for next year...will have to start practicing the words "Trick-or-Treat"....tomorrow :)