Thursday, May 26, 2011

ER visit and "wishballs"

On the day her fever started, Anya Rashi happened to be playing hospital -- here is her "office", complete with doctor kit, telephone, and a waiting room full of furry patients. My first clue that she wasn't well was when she got very quiet in her tent, and I found that she'd fallen asleep on the carpet.

It's been an eventful week at the Appleton household. Anya Rashi experienced two firsts -- her first visit to the Emergency Room, and her first dose of antibiotics in four years. She had a cold all last week, but it turned into something else on Thursday, when she got really congested, started a cough, and began running a high fever.

On Saturday night, we woke her to give her some applesauce and next dose of ibuprofen. Well, her stomach decided it had had enough of all the medication, and she couldn't keep the medicine down. Without it, her fever quickly shot up to 105. Her poor little body was like a furnace, so we were off to the ER as fast as we could load her in the car.

The first order of business was getting a dose of Tylenol into her, drop by drop, ever so slowly, so that her body would keep it in. Then came x-rays of her lungs and a strep test, both of which were clear. Her ears were fine, so our kind doctor decided to give her a heavy-duty antibiotic to knock out the suspected infection. In hindsight, I suspect she had a sinus infection, based on a few days of projectile sneezing that came later in the week. :o)

I was so grateful for that antibiotic -- she clearly had an infection of some kind, because Monday was a completely fever-free day, with none of the tapering off, lowered fevers that usually come with a virus. We are so grateful that she bounced back like she did.

By Wednesday, we were back outside for wagon rides and the rediscovery of "wishballs" -- Anya Rashi's very own name for dandelions that have gone to seed. Hope you're enjoying a few wishballs in your own yards!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Look what Larry made!"

It's been a week of many highs and lows, capped off by some total hilarity today.

The lows started last Friday, when I opened an e-mail from our terrific caseworker. The gist of it was that the adoption process will likely get longer than we ever expected. Our orphanage's license will expire this month, making delays nearly a certainty. As always, they have diligently submitted the proper paperwork, but the powers-that-be often drag their feet with renewals for months.

That day was the first and only time I've cried during this 2-year odyssey. For some reason, my brain cells dredged up a song from a few years back called, "We Thought You'd Be Here By Now." Morale was bad.

Then over Mother's Day weekend, I was loved and pampered extra nicely by my sweet husband and kids. The three children I'm already blessed with pulled me out of my funk, not because they were perfectly behaved or anything, but just because they are mine. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for our three gifts from God, and significantly, for my own mother. An afternoon walking in the woods with my parents, my brother and my own family reminded me exactly how much I have to be grateful for. So many of my friends have already lost their moms, or are still waiting for their first child . . . although it's still difficult to wait, I have no reason to despair.

Anya Rashi's birth mother was on my mind this week too, because of the holiday. I told Anya Rashi I was thinking about her, and said that I bet she wonders where Anya Rashi is living now, or what she looks like now that she's four. But although she brings up her birth parents at times, Anya Rashi wasn't in the mood for talking about them that particular day -- the calendar doesn't mean as much to a 4-year-old, I guess. So I followed her lead and didn't push the subject.

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Then today I got to babysit my godsons, Liam (almost 3) and Quinn (1). Aside from their sheer adorableness, they also made me laugh out loud today. Their golden retriever Larry was part of the package too. While I was making lunch, I heard Liam say, with wonder in his voice:

"Look what Larry made!"

Dog owners know there are no good options here. I stepped into the living room to discover dog barf . . . and Peter offered to clean it up. (He said he'd rather do that than make lunch. Honestly.) He discovered the reason for Larry's sickness: three rocks, each bigger than a quarter. (Why, Larry? Why do you eat rocks?!)

I don't know why, but I can't get Liam's awestruck voice out of my head, and I've laughed many times today when I remember him saying, "Look what Larry made!" I guess I'll take my laughs wherever I can find them during this wait.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Since I posted last, we've enjoyed two family celebrations. First came Easter Sunday, which was extra-special this year because our kids were part of the services. Our church choir sing a song called "Baba Yetu", which is the Lord's prayer in Swahili, while people acted out the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ during the song. Our children and some dear friends' children got to be part of the storytelling.

Their part was to join a few other friends in hugging the man playing Jesus, then linking hands and going around in a circle together. Then, during the resurrection scene, the children waved gold ribbons and danced up and down the center aisle. The fascinating thing was that they needed no coaching whatsoever -- they were so excited to hug Jesus, and so joyful as they danced. That was a lesson in itself.

Anya Rashi was the youngest child to participate, and she understood that there was an ordinary man playing Jesus, but she responded to him as though he were a celebrity or something. It was very thought-provoking to compare her reaction to our Jesus character with the way our culture idolizes movie stars or pop singers . . . I sure hope that as she grows, she is able to retain her sense of wonder for the things that are truly wonderful.

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The other celebration was Nathan's 9th birthday! He is such a spark in our lives, bringing a lot of energy and laughter to our family. He was also our surprise baby -- after waiting a year to become pregnant with Aaron, suddenly we were shocked at a positive pregnancy test the day after Aaron's first birthday! I remember laughing with Peter and having happy tears when we found out we were expecting a second child. After wondering for a year if we were going to be able to have a baby at all, it was a total joy to suddenly have two sons within 19 months of each other.

On the night of his birthday, I told Nathan a few stories about his earlier years (which he LOVES hearing). How many two-year-olds do you know who have the vocabulary to say "Never!" when told to go to the time out chair? Or to pronounce, from the time-out chair, "This was a very bad idea!"

He is so creative -- the Egyptian birthday theme was his idea. He loves history, and ancient Egypt is his current fascination. Originally, I broke out in a cold sweat at the idea figuring out how to make some kind of Egyptian cake -- but we had a great time searching online for photos of sarcophaguses?? sarcophagi?? , and then it was great fun to take direction from my son as we put his cake together (not to mention the fun facts he shared about how mummies were prepared . . .).

Poor guy is home sick today with a fever and cold, his second day missing school this week. And you know he's really sick, because he's missing a field trip to a planetarium today. We will just have to go on our own when he's well again.

Nathan, we are so happy to have you in our family. Your sense of adventure, your tender heart, your funny streak, your creativity and your love of learning make us so grateful to be your parents. You fill a unique spot in our hearts and lives, and we thank God for you, dear son. Happy 9th birthday!