Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Past

Happy Halloween everyone!! Since today is my favorite holiday, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures. What is Aviana going to dress up as tonight??

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Can I Have Some Barium Mommy?

Why yes you can baby girl!! While at UC Davis the speech therapist used a Dum Dum sucker and licorice on Aviana. You know, all of the things I would never give her prior to the accident : ) I take that back, I actually did give her a sucker last Halloween after trick or treating. It was her first one and she enjoyed it thoroughly!! She was saying, "Kama, I'm watching you, you better keep your distance!" "No Kama, Avi's sucker!!"

Anyway, we have been working extensively with the candy regime. My Uncle Roger and my Mom always say, “Do you want to Dum Dum her now?" She swallows all of the candy goo and even began to want to chew on whatever we were giving her. My Mom and I asked the doctor what the next step would be in order to get this girl back on the food eating path. He immediately sent a referral to the speech therapy department. We anxiously awaited our appointment.

We met with the therapist on Tuesday. His plan was to evaluate her to see if she was ready for a barium swallow test. If you are not familiar, they put the barium in food or beverage and have the child eat it. They complete an x-ray simultaniously. The barium creates a contrast within the esophagus and beyond. They do this to make sure she is not aspirating any given substances. The therapist said they want to make sure the test will be a success because they prefer not to expose people to barium more than once.

He evaluated her and gave us the green light for the barium swallow test. He thought she would do really well. My mom and I were over the moon. He had given her a small amount of pudding and she definitely wanted more. He was not able to give her anymore, but Aviana was looking at him like, “Hey Mister, where you goin’ with that pudding cup.” We are not on the schedule yet, but hopefully soon. I am ecstatic at the prospect of being able to start giving her some food. I think once she gets the hang of it again, visions of bananas and peach yogurt will dance around her head!

Hot Off the Press

Week in Pictures

Go Avi, Go!! Who can resist a puppy with crossed paws? Not me. Not ever :o) Even Kama says, "Enough is enough, please put the camera away!" Crawl Avi, crawl! So cute! That's a bee in her hair, I accidentally put it in backwards! Therapy almost always ends with a nap.

Monday, October 26, 2009


A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I learned of a site called Baby Center. I call it a galaxy far away because there was this girl I used to know. I remember she was young and naïve. She wandered free, while carrying this simple belief, "if you want something bad enough, you could have it."

At the time, the girl decided she wanted to be pregnant. She naively thought she was not only going to get pregnant, but (are you ready for this?) she was going to plan the month too! Do you know this girl? Yes, this goof was me.

Anyway, Baby Center was right up my pregnancy planning alley. This site provided week by week information. You imput the date you think you'll be having your baby, and email updates magically appear letting you know exactly what's going on with your child.

Over the years, and unbeknownst to Baby Center, we've had a strained relationship. Ours is a one-sided love/hate connection. I loved the site while trying to get pregnant, but hated it when I couldn't. I again loved it when I might be pregnant, but hated it upon finding out I wasn't.

Baby Center never knew of my struggles with infertility. The emails kept pouring in - one as painful as the next.

When we received our referral for Aviana, I began to fall in love with Baby Center all over again. A real life baby. Supposedly - our baby. My hands danced the keyboard as I provided her birthday. Away we'd go. We were off together on sometimes hours long journeys of what is, and what would be. Even though our girl was in another country, and what felt a million miles away, I kept track of her every progression. I remained guarded throughout our adventures in cyberspace though. I knew the bottom of our adoption could drop at a moment's notice, but still, I had to look!

We finally traveled home with our long awaited girl, Aviana. I remember she would act a certain way and boom an email would arrive. It was as though Baby Center was reading my diary. They spoke of the exact occurrence and explained, what, why, when, etc. Baby Center and I had finally found our way. More than ever, we'd found pure, and only love. The hate had vanished. I looked forward to our daily communication. She filled me with knowledge and helped me with how to proceed in each new and exciting or even scary endeavor. By morning, she would welcome me with something like, “Why your 3-year-old repeatedly wants the same book read aloud.” My thought, "Oh my gosh - does Aviana ever! I was wondering"

She would not only tell of everything that was, but also what should and would be. Fascinating at the time. Now, not so much. These emails continue on a daily basis. Baby Center never got the memo. Truth is - I can't bear to tell her our sweet girl was hit by a car - that our 3~year~old can no longer walk, talk, hold the wight of her own head, or eat by mouth. No, Baby Center, our little one isn't a chatterbox right now, nor do we have bedtime battles.

After 3 ½ months of receiving, perusing, and deleting these emails, I have come to the conclusion - they are just too painful. They tell of another little girl, a girl I used to know, a girl who was stopped in her tracks on June 17, 2009 at 12:17pm.

Baby Center, I'm forced to sever our six year relationship.  I know you don’t understand. I know you thought you were nothing but good to me, to us. I know you did all you could. Trust me, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I’m sorry, but I must finally press the unsubscribe button.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


"Don't let the fear of "what if" rob the joy of "what is."

~ Dr. Wright

Friday, October 23, 2009

You Save Me

Washing machine, ohhh washing machine, I love you so. I could never get through the day without you. You complete me!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have a hard time relaxing. I guess I should say I have a hard time relaxing in the way in which many do. You will almost never find me getting a manicure, pedicure, going to the movies, getting a massage or anything along these lines. I get my hair done as little as possible. While I want the end result of all of these things, it is the means to the end that I cannot bear.

 One day, I was watching TV and saw an ad for RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). From that day forward, I have been self diagnosed with this condition. I feel this is the reason I cannot sit back and relax. Once Aviana arrived from Guatemala, I began to realize with each passing day that I desperately needed to get out and do something. I knew I needed some ME time, but what was I to do?

 My friend Summer asked me to go scrapbooking with her. I always wanted to learn how, but knew if I even scratched the surface I would dive in head over heels. Since I was a kid, I have loved anything and everything to do with paper. I have always been fascinated with everything “office.” I can lose myself for hours in such a supply store. Envelopes, paper, pens, tape, paperclips, notepads, you name it, I love it.

 In my defense, this particular quality is hereditary. My dad is the exact same way. I think if you combined the number of different pens we both have in our houses it would number in the thousands!! I am not even kidding. I do not have an addictive bone in my body, but actually feared the thought of beginning this hobby. I knew it would be my Jack Daniels.  Sure enough, one day at the scrapbook store and I was hooked.

This is crazy, but before I even went that first day I had decided I was going to start a small business where I would scrapbook for other people. It wouldn’t stop there; I was going to make cards and invitations too. I remember sitting there that first day with my friend. I did not know what I was doing, but I was explaining my "business" in full detail to her. I can only imagine what she was thinking. I was going on and on. “People want scrapbooks, but many times there is not enough time in the day to create them.” “Many people want the books, but do not know how to create them.” “What should I call my business?” “Will you be my first customer?”

Oh my goodness, if I could have only read her mind. This poor girl had to listen to all of this as I sat there staring at one 12 X 12 piece of paper and 3 pictures not knowing what the hell I was doing!!!

This endeavor was going to accomplish so many of my own personal goals. I would create these books so family and friends would no longer have to gather around the computer screen to look at the slew of pictures of Aviana, I would be fulfilling the hobby hole in my heart; I would be able to stay at home with Aviana and do a job which I loved and was passionate about.

I surrounded myself in everything scrapbooking and card making. I learned everything I could. I meticulously crafted album after album. I spent hours working on a website. I was so excited. I would completely lose myself in this new found world. I could spend hours and hours listening to my favorite music while crafting projects. I always felt completely relaxed and at ease during this time.

I have barely picked up a piece of my beloved paper since the middle of June. Recently though, I did make 60 invitations. I quickly realized that I now more than ever need to get back into it. It takes me to another place. It’s therapeutic. Oh, and of course my muse has returned!!! I just purchased some stamp sets and paper that I have wanted for a very long time. I am anxiously awaiting their arrival. Just the thought alone of a delivery which is not from Apria Healthcare makes me giddy : )

I love spending every waking moment with Aviana, but I know I am going to burn myself out. I know I need to be careful and take some time away. I am excited to jump back in the scrapbook game. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year with Halloween being my favorite holiday. I hold the process of decorating my house for the season responsible for this overwhelming urge to create.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Little Cheerleader

I promise you, I did not position her fingers like that! I think it is either how she feels about physical therapy ~or~ me : ) As part of Aviana's daily therapy, we pull her arm down, hold it and then lift it over her head. She used to not even be able to do the first part of this. While we would hold her arm above her head, she would cry the entire time and just want to bring it down immediately. My Uncle Roger was working with her on Friday and after he let her arm go, she left it above her head. We were shocked. She kept looking from her arm to my Uncle Roger. She looked like she was saying, "Do you see that? Do you see how well I am holding my arm?" We couldn't believe our eyes. She was moving her arms all around. She must have really enjoyed this new skill because she continued doing it the entire weekend. She looked so cute, I couldn't stop taking pictures! She also did quite a bit of sitting on her own. She is getting stronger and stronger with each passing day!! I think both of them are getting a little tired of the "Aviana & Kama" photo shoots. I have to admit, for every picture I post....I took at least 15 more.