Sunday, March 22, 2009

These Three Words

A little over two years ago Pat and I were walking our greyhounds along the waterfront park by our house. It was our usual weekend morning trek that happened to fall a day or two after St. Paddy's day. With steaming cups of our favorite Starbuck's drink warming our hands, our conversation was consumed by an all too familiar subject - our upcoming adoption. We hashed and rehashed the whens, whys and hows of every last detail, passing the time, as the poochies sniffed and trotted along beside us. We had been waiting for a referral for nearly 18 months and the feeling that this-may-never-happen was mutual and discussed openly.

Along the way, we passed a couple of fellow walkers who had paused amongst a patch of clover. The man and woman were on their knees sweeping the patch with an eagle eye and ungloved hand, searching aimlessly for the illusive 4-leaf clover. Well within ear shot, I shouted, "If you find an extra one, we could use some luck!" They smiled in acknowledgement as we continued to stroll on past. With our child-ready mini van finally in sight, we sipped the last of our coffee and made haste toward the warmth of the car. From behind,
we could
hear the rhythm of pounding feet approaching...not surprising, since this is a
popular jogging spot. "Wait!" we heard. Glancing back, we noticed it was the same couple we had passed. "You need this!" they said as they caught up to us. There in my hand, was placed a real, genuine, nature-made 4 leaf clover. They trotted off in the opposite direction, never even introducing themselves, as we were left staring, dumb founded at this stroke of luck sitting in the palm of my gloved hand! On March 23rd, 2007, that luck came in! We received the referral of a baby girl named Bhargabi. Since that day our "bit-o-luck" has continued to fill us with joy, laughter and love.

Today, we are blessed with a little girl who is outgoing, confident and funny. Home with us only a year and a half now, we are still experiencing "firsts". The other day Devi and I were going somewhere and just as we were leaving through the back door I remembered that I had to go back for something in the kitchen. I told Devi to wait for me at the door. I could hear her saying something to me, by the time a reached her I realized she was pointing at my feet in a very authoritative manner and saying, " Be patient, mommy!" Okay how does one not laugh at that?

Forever a thumb sucker, she recently has started to complain of a sore thumb. I took a look at it the other night, and this poor little digit is wrinkled, cracked and somewhat elongated, resembling a finger. She told, me, "My thumb is sore". I told her it is from sucking it and perhaps she should quit sucking her thumb,
after all, she is getting to be a big girl. She put both hands into the fists with thumbs extended...looked at them both, then promptly put the sore one down and said, "No, momma, I'll just suck the udder one!"

Daddy, Devi and I were sitting on the front stoop enjoying a rare ray of sunshine. Devi asked me, "Mommy, am I a princess?" I said, "Yes, Devi is a princess." She asked, "Is mommy a princess?" I answered, "Yes, mommy is a princess too." Next, Devi asked, "Is daddy a princess?" I replied, "No, daddy is not a princess?" Devi pondered this for a moment and looked at daddy and said, "Daddy, are you jealous?" This one was a howler to which Devi giggled and said, "I am funny!"

The biggest recent transformation is her understanding of the concept of a family. She likes to name the
members of her family, including the dog! and finishes it off with the statement, "We are a family!" She likes to say our last name and recite our address. The two things about this that I love most are when she grabs Pat and I by the hands and yells, "Family Hug!", which is so cute and always brings smiles. The other is when she takes each of us by the hand and wants us to sit together on the couch. She'll ask us, "Can we cuddle?" That just warms a mamma's heart!

My all-time favorite "first" occurred on March 1st. The little turnip and I were going through our bedtime routine. We had jammied up, brushed teeth, applied lotion, read our two books, sang "Lovely", said our God blesses and as I placed her in her crib, she reached up and hugged me one last time and (unprovoked) uttered these three words for the first time...I LOVE YOU! I melted. It isn't as if she had never said them, but this was the first time that is was solely her idea to say them. Hugging her back, I breathed in her scent, trying to hold onto that moment as long as I could.

These three words;
Sweet and simple.
These three words;
Short and kind.
These three words;
Always kindle
An aching heart to smile inside.

-Stevie Wonder

As we cross that threshold in time for a second year - March 23rd, 2007 - the day we first laid eyes on our Indian princess, these are the things that now fill my world. These are the things that make me smile each and every day and make the days when we questioned the possibility of ever becoming parents simply disappear.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bura Na Mano, Holi hai!

Roughly translated, this means "Don't be offended, it's Holi."

Holi falls on the day after the full moon according to the Hindu calendar and celebrates the arrival of spring. This year the actual day of celebration in India was March 11 and is another of the many Indian holidays that we are so fortunate to now call a part of our Ross family tradition. It is a time to throw off the gloom of winter and rejoice in the colors and liveliness of spring. It is also a time when people forget their differences and come together and frolic; a time of true merriment. Brightly colored powders called gulal are thrown on one another to emphasize the beautiful color of spring and vibrant life.

We were all set to enjoy some frolicing and merriment, however, our weather is not cooperating and our day couldn't be more gray. Today we awoke to 3 inches of snow, followed by sleet, rain and now hail. The tiny daffodils, who were just trying to peak their buds out have made a hasty retreat! Our spring planting of Holi primeroses is temporarily going to be put on hold :) Our merrimaking and frolicing was going to be
dancing around a vase of beautiful flowers, but I'm in a cast from the knee down, where frolicing is probably not a good idea. So tonight in honor of Holi, we are going to gorge ourselves with Indian casserole and samosas, compliments of our friend Denise. Devi gets to use paints, our make shift gulal, in the bath tub! A couple of made-up bed time stories telling about the arrival of spring will round out our Holi celebration. With that Bura na mano, Holi hai everyone!!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Milk and Cookies....

milk and cookies, yummy in my tummy! These lyrics are from Devi's music class and are sung often!!! Somehow they managed to subliminally make us ALL crave a warm chocolate chipper. We decided yesterday was the perfect day to give in to the temptation and bake. Aprons all around and we were set. Devi cracked the eggs giving the cookies a little added crunch, but they ended up being delicious all the same.

Taking in their reflection in the mixing bowl!

Is it possible to share a chocolate chipper?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Jaw Droppers

First self portrait- February 2009

I don't see the likeness... ;)

Whether it is a blessing or a curse to have your child in daycare, we happen to be a family who has to rely on these services. In the beginning, I was racked with guilt that I would allow someone else to "raise" my child. After a while, the bigger picture set in, at least for me, that part of my job as a parent was to expose my child to an environment that was teaching, nurturing, and supportive of the values and morals that we teach at home. And, although I wish I were the best candidate at doing all of those things, I've come to realize that there are many other authoritative figures in her life that offer her these things with more experience and in different situations than I could ever offer. Devi is an extremely social person too, so with no other children at home yet, she rises to the occasion every day that she gets to spend time with her little friends by announcing, "Hey ebby body....I'm here!", when she gets dropped off. (Yes, her parents feel like chopped liver!)

We have been fortunate to find our childcare services to be just a couple blocks from our house and Devi and daddy walk there together most days. Rainy days require holding an umbrella and when you are two this is the most exciting part of the day - not the slightest bit inconvenient, as daddy might think.

Because of our daycare situation and the fact that Devi is very articulate, we occasionally hear pieces/parts of lessons they have been learning that leave us giggling, some times having to bite our cheeks to keep a straight face in front of her. So between her daily routine and what she picks up from us, these are our latest jaw droppers.

After steak night a few weeks ago I was backing out of our parking spot into traffic when Devi said, "Be careful mom, don't bump into any one." Lovely, another back seat driver!

Pat injured his calf muscle in a recent soccer game. Devi is quite concerned about her injured daddy and has been asking daily, " Daddy, you feel better? Do you need ice? I kiss it?" She loves to put her leg next to his on the heating pad at is pretty cute.

She has figured out our first names so it is not uncommon to have her enter a room and say, "Whatch doin' Jules?" or "Hi Patrick". Although we correct her every time, she knows we almost always are surprised and break a smile so therefore the class clown continues with this one.

Patrick and I had just finished her bath time one night. Both of us were standing over her on the changing table, swathering her with lotion and putting on jammies when she said, "Daddy, pinch mommy's cute buns!" We were choking with laughter as daddy obliged her, so she followed it up with, "Mommy, pinch daddy's cute buns!" I hadn't heard a better idea in a long time, so I took that opportunity too :)

Around President's day, Devi and I were sitting together and there was a penny in front of us. Devi said,"Mommy, what is President Lincoln doing on that penny?" Guess they were learning about presidents at daycare that week and she recognized the profile from an art project they had done :)

Driving home from daycare last week, we were discussing her day when she announced, " George Washington Carver made peanut butter." Then followed it up with a raging chorus of "Peannnuuuut, peanut butter......JELLY;
Peannnuuuut, peanut butter......JELLY!" That one was a gut buster, and I was behind the wheel.

I love to sneak outside of her room when she is not quite ready to get up and listen to her talk to her stuffed animals or sing. "This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth..." Those totally candid moments can melt a heart.

So go our days, although we have our struggles with her fight for independence, foot stomping demands, and
occasional whiny melt downs, most of the time we are still marveling at the wonder of parenthood that gives far more smiles and jaw dropper rewards than hardships.

Daddy helping to make Valentines

Saturday morning fun

This weeks Gallery...learning about dental hygiene,
animals that hibernate, shepard's, more animals and winter time.