Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh, Hello Blog

It's been a while since I've written to you. Time is cruising at warp speed and I'm usually just trying to keep up. Sorry I've neglected you, it's nothing personal. We have had a 'sick house' for well over a month now. It hasn't been cool. We are all okay and grateful for that but not well, which is a major bummer. I guess it's just going around. We seem to have been hit with a nasty bug that just doesn't want to give up, try as hard as we might to fight it. I keep hoping the end is near and then my hopes are dashed by my husband's nasty cough coming from the other room, or running my only little fever or hearing Noah wheezing as I lie next to him on the couch.

I'm going to believe that this is our fall/winter cold and at least we are getting it over with now so we can enjoy the holidays! Sound good? Okay, good, I thought so too. Let's go with it.

Here's a picture I wanted to share with you, dear blog, of the person that this blog was started for in the first place. The one, the only, Noah Arone. This one is from yesterday in his Halloween inspired number. Noah is growing like a weed and when I tell people he isn't quite 2 they shutter in disbelief. He is now singing his abc's and counting to 20 and saying new words every day, some that we can understand and some that we can not. And climbing and running and jumping and diving all over the place. He's a blast, a true guy's guy, that's for sure.

I'll try to share some Halloween costume photos soon but for now, I hope this will do. Bye for now, blog. I'll try not to forget to write.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Then and Now

I'm glad I pulled out this outfit that his caregivers gave him in Ethiopia last year...just in time too. The lighting was nice outside so I decided to go grab it out of the depths of the closet, we had put it back there thinking it would be years before it would actually fit. If I had waited an extra week, it probably wouldn't have fit at all!

Noah Arone is growing like a weed and we are really wondering just how tall he is going to get. Everyone always comments on how 'big' he is getting, and it's very surreal. Looking at these photos and others from when we first brought him home brought his mom to tears this weekend. Now really beginning to get what people have been saying since we became a family about time just jetting by. Trying to stop and take in, appreciate, savour every moment with this wild, rambunctious, unique, simply amazing little boy, so that when he's not little anymore, I won't look back and wish I had done more of it. Noah is special and I think sometimes that he is so special that it takes me taking a step back from him and really looking to be able to really SEE without being overwhelmed by his specialness. He astounds me.

He's just starting to repeat a LOT of what we say and it sort of happened over night this past week while we were on our vacation week. Anil thinks it's because he wasn't around all the other kids at school and so had to start communicating with some more 'adult' language. Not a bad theory. Whatever the reason, it's fun to hear him say and do new things all the time. We are very grateful for our little man-to-be. He's a hoot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yaya's Visit over 4th of July

Always a good time when Auntie L comes to town. Nana (as he calls himself) and Yaya (as he calls her) had a ball, and so did we. A quick video of the photos Yaya took here - good thing too because I have not had the camera out in a while. I'm going to try to update a wee bit more often so come back soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One Year Ago Yesterday...

One year ago yesterday, we held our beautiful, insanely sweet and gentle, soft and cuddly, tiny little boy at 5 months of age in Ethiopia for the VERY FIRST TIME - in his basketball shirt and khaki shorts, just up from a nap and already smiling. You might have seen some of the images – it was surreal, amazing, beyond words – for us. As many have said before us, we really can't believe it's already been a year, as time continues to fly by.

Sweet and gentle, soft and cuddly has now transformed into happy and wild, hardheaded and defiant at times, tough and hilarious at others - he's a toddler and he enjoys his discovery that he is able to test our patience and tries often, and sometimes we pass; others, we fail. But all of the time, we find a way to enjoy it . Noah has so much raw energy that we are convinced he is going to be an athlete as it might be the only way he can get all of that energy out in a controlled setting. He's a BLAST. He's a RIOT. He's WILD. But all in all, he's that sweet soul we met one year ago yesterday, and he is all ours - and we feel like the luckiest people on this planet, in this universe, to have been given the gift of Noah Arone. He's a special boy and there really just aren't words to describe our good fortune and just how meant to be WE are.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not only OKAY, but Student of the Month!

Just a quick update to let you all know that Noah Arone is doing great. He has been seizure free for over a week now (hopefully at some point it won't be as fresh in our minds but for now, we are counting the days - at first it was seconds, then minutes, then hours, now days) - and when we took him back to daycare on Friday of last week, we discovered that he had been named STUDENT OF THE MONTH! Anil found out when he dropped him off (the ladies had been dying to tell us) and he called me immediately on my cell - I broke down and cried. It's been a long time coming for this little guy. He's pretty umm...'energetic and friendly' at school and it often times puts him in the 'handful' category so we had pretty much written off his chances of winning this prestigious honor...but lo and behold, the timing...right after our traumatic event, he is crowned with sweet victory as the big cheese in the baby room.

We are needless to say, very proud.

Stay tuned on St. Pat's Day - I plan to post a blubbering tribute to our little man as March 17 will mark our one year anniversary of learning about him for the first time. Hopefully I can get something together to provoke some HAPPY tears.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Febrile Seizure

Please forgive for the rambling - I'm on one hour of sleep and still in shock, I'm pretty sure.

I never imagined in a trillion years after my last Disneyland post that this next one would be so serious. No parent can know the true horror of what Anil and I went through last night unless they have been through it - and we were no different than those parents until last night.

Noah had a febrile seizure. At the time, we had no idea that's what it was. All I knew was I was going to bed and heard pretty soft but fairly strange noises coming from his first I assumed it was just him trying to get comfortable as he hadn't been feeling well, runny nose and stomach problems. But a moment later I decided to get up and just do a quick check to make sure, get him comfortable and that's it I thought. I walked in and knew immediately something was wrong.

Noah was shaking, convulsing, eyes open and all together wrong. For a moment I thought (HOPED) it was just a little night tremor and all I'd need to do was wake him up and he'd be fine. I tried for 1/2 a second and got nothing and screamed for Anil to come in, as he was coming back from taking our dog out. The next 5-10 minutes were intense. We both screamed, we kept trying to wake him up and we were getting nothing but arms and legs jerking wildly, his eyes rolling back into his head and not coming back, vomit, the most bizarre noises I've ever heard and a lot of us completely freaking out and not knowing what to do - screaming things like 'stay with us, Noah!' and 'Don't leave baby stay here' if that gives you any idea of where our fears went witnessing this horror.

Of the many things I'm now so grateful for as I lie here in bed next to the single most precious gift I've ever been given - who is fast asleep and still with a slight fever that we're keeping down with meds but fine- - at the top of my list is my neighbor who ran downstairs when she heard all the screaming. I believe her calm soul and mother's love (she has a 12 yr old daughter) saved us in that moment. I handed Noah to her seeing that she was clearly and by far the most contained in the room and she held him tight and spoke to him calmly, even as he was twitching and shivering, eyes rolling back in his head and noises coming from his mouth that didn't seem human.

Noah finally stopped convulsing when she held him, which was a miracle at that point, but he was still making those noises and completely non-responsive, eyes open and eyeballs to the side, listless, for the next few minutes until the paramedics arrived through the paramedics being here for another few, through the ambulance ride where Noah and I laid on a gurney while I tried everything to get him to come to - the alphabet song, yo gabba gabba, Dominic's bing bong nose trick, asking where 'puppy' is to which he usually replied 'puppy puppy puppy' with the most excited voice, singing Anil's mom's little song 'baby ba-bu', telling him I loved him, asking him to say hi to the paramedics who were trying to get him to respond to their fingers moving, begging him to come back. Finally as we pulled into the hospital entrance, I saw his eyes move ever so slightly following the hand of a very kind paramedic who said 'he followed, that's a good sign' first tiny sigh of relief. I kept asking the paramedics if he was going to be okay on the ride over but got no answer, thinking in hindsight and trying to tell myself at the time that they couldn't for legal reasons tell me he was going to be okay, but hard not to hear it from someone in that moment.

They pulled us out of the ambulance and took us inside and we waited a minute or so for a room, then they wheeled us in - all the while, Noah is still not coming to, barely aware of his surroundings, and shivering and sweating at the same time. Anil and I were just in a panic, I can not lie, and did not know what to do, what was happening or when this was going to end or HOW.

The nurse took his temperature and it was 104.3 - I'm certain it was higher when this first started and he had cooled down a bit, as his body was on fire when we found him. After what took like forever because as she explained they had to weigh him and be certain that they were giving him the proper dosage (which to me meant they were coming back with some heavy duty stuff to break the fever) - I kept asking "aren't you going to do something to bring the fever down?" to which they replied 'it's coming, we have to measure it out...blalblah' and much to my surprise they showed up 10 minutes later with a normal dose of children's tylenol!

No matter, it slowly and I mean slowly but surely did the trick. He started to come to, focusing in on people, on me, on dad, on the nurses and finally started to react to our constant prods. The first moment I saw a slight grin come across his face was a result of peek-a-boo I believe almost 2 hours into the incident and it was the single most amazing sight of all times. As the next hour wore on, he regained his personality and the grins became more frequent along with his cries and sleepy grunts - the sweetest sights and sounds I've ever heard.

Our dear friends, Chris & Heather, you know...amazing Mimi's mom & dad, really helped us by Google-ing febrile seizure and sending us info on it - which was our first indication that Noah was going to be okay - and we needed that like nobody's business.

And sweet Crystal came down to give us hugs and make Noah smile even bigger with her mad skills with the guy.

And in the end, Noah is okay as evidenced below - lounging in our bed in his new 'i'm at the beach soaking in the sun' pose, exhausted but without a care in the world by the looks of things.

To say that this was a game-changing, life-altering experience would be an understatement. As dramatic and blown out as my words might seem hear, they do nothing to describe the sheer terror and fright we felt in those moments last night. Nothing will ever be the same again. Just when we thought that we could not be more grateful for this little boy in our lives, we are a trillion times more grateful - for him, for us, for our friends, our family, our lives and I am personally grateful to you for reading this blog post. It has been therapeutic for me to write it so thanks for saving me the doctor bills (I hope!) and make sure if you're a parent, you read up on febrile seizures...we keep saying that perhaps if we'd known at least that it could happen like that and what our reactions might be, we may have been SLIGHTLY less flipped out, but no matter what you read, nothing can prepare you for anything like this happening to your child. It did prove to us again though how resilient they are, and for that we are also grateful. We'll be watching him like a hawk for a while (ok forever) but we know he's tough. Ironically, he was wearing his 'tough guy' Pj's with gorillas all over him last night too - that is for real.

Off to his pediatrician's now for a follow-up but will update again when I can. For now, the photos...

Update: First off, thanks for the comments - my gratitude is seriously overflowing right now. And thanks for the great tips Grace - I will follow them gladly, starting today. I actually forgot to mention that I was at one point while holding him flailing and trying to pour him a bottle of water thinking he might be dehydrated, trying to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation as another desperate, uneducated measure to bring him back to us. That was quite a sight and one that I'm afraid is sticking in Anil's mind a bit too well at this point.

So doctor said that we do not need to worry and that 94% of the time these seizures at not harmful which is the good news. The not so good news is that she said he is very likely to have a seizure again, possible multiple times. The type and length and other factors Noah has put him in a category where more often than not, they recur. This is mind-blowingly frightening for us as you can imagine, but at least now with the education and awareness, we can be ready...ish.

Here's a very 'factual' article from the NINDS on Febrile Seizures - it gives you all the facts. What it doesn't give you is the emotional toll that you may experience as a parent, if you are anything like me. Other articles mention the 'horror' & 'trauma' but I think you guys get this from my post. I hope I will be better equipped if there is a next time.

We are squeezing Noah even tighter today and know that he will be okay (and I've managed to get another hour of sleep and the boys are still sleeping now!)- Anil and I were both amazed at the flood of thoughts and just raw emotion that flooded over us last night - and through this, for the good, our lives will not be the same. As all of our adoption buddies know, even with our coined 'fast pass' it was still an intense process for us to bring Noah Arone home - and the very-real-at-the-time thought of losing him, even now knowing that it was unlikely to have happened, has changed us completely...and we are choosing to see this as another one of our blessings in disguise.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Noah's First Trip to Disneyland

Yesterday was Anil's birthday so we actually got it together well enough to jump in the car and go to Disneyland - they have a promotion this year that you can get in free on your birthday so we thought WHY NOT.

Later we admitted to each other that secretly neither of us thought we would ACTUALLY get out of the house and GO, but we did it! We were so happy that we did - Noah had a great time. We stayed for about 6 hours and rode 6 rides - Small World, Mr. Toad's, Snow White, TEA CUPS (Noah loved!), Merry-go-round (Noah did not love!) and of course, DUMBO! Afterward, we were exhausted but very pleased with our fun-filled day.

If you click on the photo, you can see close up all of the new expressions that Noah has recently acquired - he is quite the little clown! Also, he now SITS when we tell our little pup George to sit, and last night when Anil told Noah to GO TO SLEEP, he laid down right where he was (middle of the floor in our room) and acted like he was going to sleep. I'll try to capture some of this on video soon. Too funny to miss.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hope You Had a HAPPY Valetine's Day!

I know Noah did. He was paid a visit by one of his favorite little ladies, Miss Mimi, and boy, did he let her know that she was his Valentine supreme. Noah is very "affectionate" with many of his similar-sized munchkin friends...but there is something about this Mimi girl that he can't quite put his finger on. Heather mentioned that a book she's reading said toddlers are a lot like neanderthals, and Mimi definitely brngs out the neanderthal in him. He's all over her, and thankfully, she is starting to not be entirely put off by it, so we were able to get some cute shots of them this time.

My parents are in town and my dad made a great lasagna with garlic bread - I tossed up a quick salad and we all had a nice little dinner in the living room (we turned our dining room into a playroom for Noah so toys could stay confined to single spot - mostly!) - Grandma let Noah drink from her cup, Grandpa made Mimi giggle, we all watched and was a super fun night!

Now I don't want to upset all of the other ladies out there who Noah loves as well - Marlie, Gaby, Ty, Simone, Tunsitu, etc etc etc - but this Valentine's Day, Noah's heart belonged to Mimi. Don't fear though - his shirt says 'heartbreaker' so clearly things could be different by next February.

Heather & Chris said that they hope that in 20 years, Mimi & Noah are best buds and laughing together at all the funny pictures we are taking of them now. And we couldn't agree with that hope more. Raising a child so far away from family can be tough, so we are very thankful for our dear friends - and love it when we can blend the family/friend-family into one cool celebration.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Super Bowl Sunday




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We had a great Super Bowl Sunday - Noah got decked out in his little Ethiopian outfit brought back for him by his Aunt Heather & Uncle Chris & MIMI and we went to a shower for Julie O in Pasadena. It was a blast and we are so happy for her - she leaves to pick up beautiful little Ty in less than 2 weeks! I wish she had a blog so I could show you how amazing this little girl is.

Then we came back home, had some fun with Georgie and went inside to watch the Super Bowl. Great game. Best part for me was Jennifer Hudson singing the national anthem. Anil had tivo'd it and I begged him to let me watch that before we continued on with the game. She was out of control, inexplicably good. Even Anil said it's the best rendition he's ever heard - and I know he watches a lot of sports so that was a big compliment.

Life continues to move at an insanely fast pace for us - we are just trying to keep up and catch up on a daily basis at this point. Noah keeps us on our toes at all times and just when we start to think we might have figured something out, a new something pops up in its place to figure out. The wonder of a child - we are loving it.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Tree! (tee!)

Noah loves trees, almost as much as he loves hats. Here he is pointing to the tree in our backyard and shouting "tee!"'s pretty sweet.

As he grows, he just continues to amaze us with his energy, imagination, little words and funny looks! He's got the furrowed brow down when he doesn't understand or understands and doesn't like what you have to say!

Unfortunately, we had just taught him how to say touchdown ("tada" with his arms raised in proper form), only in time for the Giants to suffer a big lose yesterday. But that's alright - he's primed and ready for next season. And we'll just have to cheer on the Eagles for my Uncle's sake for the remainder of this one (although I'm not sure Anil will allow it)...
Next up is detaching the pacifier once and for all, and trying to get him to sleep through the night again. He has been waking up at least twice every night for a while now and we are not sure why. We have neighbors upstairs so it's hard to even consider letting him 'cry it out' - if anyone has any advice on either subject, please don't hesitate to write.

Monday, January 5, 2009