Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our amazing friend Di...

When we started this journey to Kavanna we thought we were just adopting a baby from China. Turned out we were joining a community of people around the world and that our lives would be enriched not only by the addition of our wonderful daughter, but by the people we've met on our journey. One of them is Sophie's mom, Di.

Some of you may know Di because she and her husband Dave began the petition which successfully helped keep a lot of people's adoptions on track. She's also a talented writer and baby-clothes designer and professor... and more. Somewhere out is a baby who will be lucky enough to have her as a mommy. David and I have really enjoyed getting to know Di and Dave over the last couple of years and we're really happy that we're now practically neighbors.

As I write this, Di is at my house taking care of Kavanna while David tries to meet a work deadline imposed on him suddenly (a project due in three weeks is now due on Friday). And when I say Di is "taking care of Kavanna", I don't mean playing nice little games of pattycake. I mean, holding Kavanna and rocking her as she screams her little lungs out. Kavanna is feeling better physically but she wants to be with her daddy, who needs to meet his deadline.

Di read my blog post earlier and called me to volunteer her help... Amazing!!

Di, I can't thank you enough. You rock!! And we owe you dim sum in Chinatown every Sunday for a year :).

Sick baby...

Kavanna has two teeth breaking through her gums, so when she was crankier than usual on Sunday I attributed it to teething. She had a slight fever, which she always does when new teeth are coming.

I took her to Montessori day care as usual yesterday and when I came to pick her up they informed me she had been unhappy all day and had a fever of 100. I said it was probably teething and they looked at me as if I was a bad mom. Okay, this is completely my own projection or fear (I think) but I felt as if they were thinking, "Why is she not more concerned about her baby?". They needed a doctor's note before they let her come back to school.

By some miracle I got an emergency appointment with the doctor and by the time we got there, Kavanna had a temperature of 102. She was listless and just lay cuddled against me, which made me feel incredibly helpless... They tested her for the flu and checked her for all kinds of other thing (walking pneumonia is going around) but determined she just had a bad cold. I told the doctor that she always has a high fever when she teethes and he said it was a coincidence. And yeah, I thought he was thinking I was a bad mommy, too.

Why did I want it to be teething? Is it partly because teething is a natural process of development and not sickness... or is it partly because I was thinking about myself, about how we'd deal with childcare if she were sick? The truth is, it's both... and I feel like a bad mommy for having any thoughts whatsoever about how her illness is impacting us, even as my heart aches for her when she is unwell.

She woke up today with no fever and seems almost her normal self, but David is staying home with her for two days... he's missing a very important meeting and there may be consequences. Apparently in this economy, missing two days of work because you have a sick child is not good in the corporate world. I can't take more time off or my practice would suffer... So really, we don't have any options. We have no family around us and all our friends work, and of course Kavanna is the most important thing... but at times like this I realize how hard it is to juggle parenthood and profession.

There's some accusing voice in my head saying, "Forget being a professional woman with your own private practice. You should be home with your child all the time!!"

I keep fighting that voice but it's still there. I keep arguing with it (a full time therapist only works about 25 hours a week to avoid burnout so I really only work part time, etc., and giving up my income is not an option either)... but it remains loud in my head.

Most of the time our schedule works great. Kavanna loves Montessori. She's there half the day and with us the rest of the time. I think she'd be bored at home because she loves the interaction and all the kids. But at times like this I definitely question myself.

My mother's generation fought for women's right to choose whether or not to work, but nobody ever talks about how tough that choice can be.

Can anyone else relate?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where is the time going?

I love this photo of Kavanna and me!
Okay, this is truly one of the worst photos of me ever taken (and I can't believe I'm posting it on a public forum, ugh... but vanity shmanity)... but it's a great photo of Kavanna and really captures what she really looks like in a way that a lot of photos just don't.  A lot of people have told me, "Oh, she's so much cuter in person than she is in photos," and here's a photo that truly captures her.    
And by the way, what do I do with that comment about her being cuter in person?  I decided to take it as a compliment.  But, yikes, what do you say to that?  
Sleeping in her stroller clutching a musical doll (it's supposed to be a worm that sings... what insane person decided that worms were cute???) and... a box of Johnson & Johnson lavender scented disposable baby washcloths.  She decided that box was her favorite thing on earth and wouldn't let it go all day.  I don't get it.  I don't think I ever will get it.  But sheesh, how cute is that?
Kavanna getting ready for a walk on another day, having replaced the singing worm and the box of disposable washcloths with two teddy bears. 
Bliss is two soft teddy bears...
Kavanna loves her carseat, now.
Ariel... the artsy, beautiful, smart and funny big sister.  I don't know why she's wearing this hat, since it's been 80 degrees for two weeks... but it looks good on her and when you're 15, style is everything.

How is it possible that we're hurtling towards the end of January?  It seems as if I blink and two weeks whiz past.  I guess time does fly when you're having fun - and chasing a 14 month old baby around the house, and playing pattycake, and having heart-to-heart talks with a 15 year old about boys and art and Life.

Life is good.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy 2009!!

Kavanna is the happiest person I know!
The now 15 year old Ariel (gasp! gulp!) with my parents.  Ariel's friends threw her a surprise party for her birthday.  First they did a scavenger hunt that ended with presents and a card that said they were sorry they couldn't be there for her.  She got home, went into her room... and they all jumped out at her.  It was perfect.  She has such wonderful friends.
Kavanna is not always happy...

But she IS always cute!
Happy 2009 everyone!!  
I'll be back with more photos when I get my new camera.  The old one broke, yikes.