Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home, digesting, and enjoying

Hi everyone,
I reached home about 10:30 last night. I had such a wonderful trip, so much to digest and then make sense of it all. But for now Liv needs my full attention, Vinay too. So I will return to blogging after the holiday weekend.
Thanks to everyone who prayed and kept me in their thoughts during this last week, it was an amazing experience.
Enjoy the long weekend!!!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update on Nik's Trip & a quick update from Olivia

I have been speaking with Nicole everyday. The trip is going well and they are getting a lot done at the orphanage. The trip however is somewhat bitter sweet because there is only so much the group can do in a week and even though she is excited to come home, it will be very emotional for her and her aunt to leave the kids.

She mentioned how well behaved the kids are and how much they appreciate things that we sometimes take for granted. Tommorrow they plan on giving out the gifts/donations that many of our friends gave to Nicole for the children. She promises to take alot of pictures so you all can see first hand the smile you put on these kids faces. I am sure that when Nicole gets back she will be able to provide more details as I am only able to provide you the cliff notes.

Olivia has a quick update of how her week is going with Dad:

Day 2 With Dad

Day two with dad was a little more challenging. I felt after day 1 Dad was getting a bit comfortable. So I decided to test his patience, I know it sounds a bit rough but it is what I like to call "tough love". It started first thing in the morning when I decided that I would not let him change me out of my pajamas. I have to admit I was pretty impressed he went for the usual bribe of giving me stickers (not today dad) you need to bring something a little more creative. Then he used a tactic I am sure he read in a book somewhere, he diverted my attention by letting me jump on the bed for a little bit and before I knew it I was in my clothes for the day.

Dad still has not eaten breakfast in the morning and I think he is losing some weight. I am not that concerned about this because mom says it wouldn't be bad if he lost a few pounds. I decided that I wasn't going to eat breakfast either, he looked a bit frustrated and tried some basic tricks. After a few failed attempts, he went for the old if I eat will you have something?? Mission accomplished I knew I would be able to get dad to eat breakfast!!

I figured that was enough "tough love" for the day. In addition, he started looking a bit flustered and I wanted to make sure that we had a good day together. We spent most of our time out and about and ended having ice cream with a few friends!!

This week has been a lot of fun and even though we both are missing mom terribly I am really enjoying my time with Dad!! Well only a few more days before mom gets home!!

Yours Truly,


Monday, August 25, 2008

And the Guest Blogger is Olivia!!!

So after much deliberation I have decided to allow Olivia to blog her perspective of the week with dad... She is not sure if she will be able to blog each day but promises to give a few updates during the week. So here Olivia is in her own words!!!

Day 1 with Dad:

Mommy left for her trip yesterday, daddy and I are so proud of her and know that she will put a smile on all the faces of the kids she meets at the orphanage. We miss her so much and are looking forward to her coming back at the end of the week.

This is longest mom has left me to watch dad, yeah I have done a few long weekends but this is the "real deal." Mom assured me that at 408 months dad is pretty self sufficient but has left me with some very strict instructions specifically around sleeping, eating , and bathing.

Today was a fun day, I was a little concerned when I woke up, dad looked a little tired and did not eat much for breakfast. It is a good thing that I taught myself how to get out of the crib so this way I can check up on him to make sure that he is not staying up to late. You should of seen the look on his face the first day I climbed out, after watching the gymnist during the Olympics I began practicing how to manuever myself out of the crib. If this was an Olympic sport I would most likely get the gold!! Now back to my day watching dad, mom said that it would be a good idea if I kept him busy so I decided to take him to the mall. He seemed like he was having a good time and I even convinced him to buy me a little toy (sorry mom I know you said not to take advantage of him but it really is to easy). While at the mall, all I kept thinking about was that he did not have breakfast so I took him to the Ruby Tuesday's. He really enjoys there mini burgers but I made sure that he orderd the salad bar as well, mommy always says make sure he gets enough vegetables. After the mall, I took him on his first play date!! He had a great time and I kept myself busy playing with my friend. After the playdate, he looked a bit tired, little did he know that I was probably more tired then him. Taking care of dad though very rewarding is a lot of work. For dinner we had some pasta, I figured carbs are good after our long day.

Well that is my recap of day 1 of watching dad, I can tell you that I am really enjoying the one on one time I am spending with him!! I look forward to sharing some more highlights of the week on my next post.

Yours truly,


Five more days till mom gets home!!

Here and safe

Hi everyone,
I am here and I am safe. With this report coming out yeaterday, Plane crash in Guatemala kills 10 - Vinay got some calls, asking if I was ok. Thank God I called everyone yesterday so my family had to not worry.
Leaveing was very hard for me and yeaterday was full of tears.

I felt so bad leaving because Saturady afternoon, Olivia decised that for the first time she would climb out of her crib during nap time. I was devastated, I raelly didn´t think that was coming for awhile. Then going to bed she trew a fit and was screaming and crying in the room but after 5 min, she stopped. When I went in to check on her there she was sleeping face down outside of the crib. All I could think was how can I leave Vinay to all this, but i had to. So after a restless nights sleep I boarded the plane.

Arriving in Guatemala was bettersweet. I missed Liv so much and all the emotions of our pick up trip came flooding back. Jeremy from Casa Angelina´s staff and his family picked us up and that got my mind off things for the drive into Antigua. The hotel is beautiful, like something out of a movie. No iternet though.
So once I sat down to unpack and out fell some pictures of Liv and the tears just started. How could I come here without her. She should be with me on this trip. Well my Aunt gave me a hug and I tried to pull it together.

We went out in search of buying a cell phone, we did buy one, which made us fell a litttle more connected to home, boy is our spanish rusty. Then we went to eat at Cafe 2000, we had a glass of wine, and watched the movie "Breaking up With Sara Silverman", and it was just the laugh I needed to get me over my blues.
We were back at our hotel and in PJ´s by 7pm Time change plus the traveling, kicked our butt. Just as I was about to brush my teeth, all the lights went out. I screamed and jumped into my Aunts bed. What in the world, we thought we heard thunder, but just rain could cause a blackout of the hotel. by the time I lit a candle, the lights went on and all I could say was "thank you Jesus". Yes I am that much of a wimp. Well the night was uneventfull and we both had about 10 hours of sleep so I am in better spirits. Today is a free day, more of the mission team is arriving so we won´t be at the orphange till tomorrow.

I will try to upload pics tomorrow or the next. You really forget how wonderfull this country is untill you visit it again.

Hope to blog again, soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

1 more sleep till Guat

I am all packed up and ready to go. 10 hours till we take off and I think I am fully ready.

I am full of both excitement and nervousness.

Vinay will try to fill everyone in on my trip, if I have no access to my blog. But I will try!!!

Buenas Noches Amigos

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My friends are awesome

Friends and family have been loading me down with donations. I must say I am in awe of everyone who is just so willing to help people they will never meet, know barely anything about, and without asking for a thing in return. No one even said "oh can you bring me something back". You guys have really made me get so excited for this trip. I am bringing a piece of you all with me to Guat!!!!

I wish I could promis to blog while I am away, but my sick computer is staying home. Vinay will be filling in, and I will call him daily to hear his and Liv's voice. Oh I am missing them already.
Here are some pictures of the loot!!!

Pocket full of toothbrushes
If I can't fit it all in my suitecases I will ship the rest down when I get home.
Everything in that box needs to fit in that blue suitcase.
Small suitcase full of donations for the Casa Angelina clinic that cares for the surrounding villages.
Just organizing and packing while Liv naps, otherwise she thinks everything is for her, and can't keep her little hands out of the packages!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Virus, stomach and computer

First and foremost thank you to everyone for their nice comments, emails, and calls. I know I am a big baby, and thanks for all the pep talks, you guys are fabulous

Yes we are infected.
My computer has had a virus since last week and McAfee does not want to get rid of it so I'm just living with it for now. I might have to ask for an early b-day present and get a new computer when I get home. This computer is old and Miss Liv took off a few of the keys, the enter and shift keys on the left side and the A, and I constantly eat while on the computer so there are crumbs stuck all in it, It's really a mess.

I think I also have a little stomach virus, up going to the bathroom all last night, and today my stomach is in pain. Not sure if it's something I ate or my nerves or a virus. So I'm just living with it for now also. I just hope Liv DOES NOT get it!!!!!!!!!!!

I am in awe of the donations that are coming in. Vinay's work each took a child's name and got them a gallon ziplock bag of goodies. My friends were in charge of getting needed things for the clinic Casa Angelina runs. Those have been coming in and wow everyone is just so generous. I didn't ask for donations on the blog because I knew that I would be overloaded with things and I would love for bloggers to concentrate on loading up Julia and

So I am officially starting to pack!!!

T minus 6 days and counting!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh selfish me!!!

Just when I should be focusing on leaving for my trip, I have immersed myself in everything but. I have been going crazy looking for a preschool for Olivia. Calling every school in a 20 mile radius, visiting schools, asking questions of the teachers, interviewing directors like Liv will be staying at the school till college. I mean come on she will be in a two year old class, all she is going to do is play.
I have also been surfing the Web for info about other mission trip. What other people did, who they went with, looking at pictures from their trip.

In other words I have totally created diversions for myself. Why? Because I am scared sh*tless. I am nervous about so many things, so let me just run with this and get it out of my system so that I can move on and get my act together.

I'm scared to leave Liv. I know she will be fine but I don't want to miss her. We are so attached at the hip, sometimes I feel like she is such a part of me, and that I am only half a person with out her. I am also wishing I could spend the week on vacation with Liv and Vinay. Vinay has been working so hard lately, and we haven't had much family time, and I would love to just have the time to hang out with them. I know it's a terrible way to think.

I'm scared to leave Vinay. It's been a long time since I've traveled without him. If things get rough, like the room next to ours is making too much noise, or I don't feel well and I need to find a DR, or I forgot to bring enough shirts, it's Vinay who makes it all better. He has been taking care of me for a long time and I'm scared to not have him by my side. The sad part is Vinay wanted to come with me, and I told him "No I need to do this for myself". Stupid move Nik

I'm scared to do hard labor. Now I am a hard worker, don't get me wrong. But real physical work, can be hard for me, I just don't have the stamina that a 30something woman should have. Partially because I don't work out, and partially because of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
My Aunt who is going with me is a hard worker too, but she is almost 60, and she has Epstein Barr Syndrome. What were we thinking signing up for this.

I'm scared of what it will do to me emotionally. I did see some of the poverty in Guatemala when we were picking up Liv, but I was in happy lala land of finally having my baby. This will be so much more, and I want it to be. But I know that once I have seen this I can't go back. Can't go back to thinking that everyone lives like us. Can't go on pretending that everyone has a stocked pantry like mine. Can't go on believing that everyone has the opportunity to live a good life. I know that I will forever be changed, and I'm scared to be changed.

I know that this is something I want to do, need to do, but the selfish part of me is so strong. I never pray for myself, I don't know why, I guess I don't want to be selfish, but I am praying lately, that I can do this.

Thanks for reading this rant, and seeing yet another horrible side of me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The many faces of Liv

Some more shots from our photo shoot

This is the "I'm not to sure of you look"
This is the "I'll show you my teeth, but I'm not smiling look"
This is the "shy smile look"
There she is the is the real Liv, when she is cracking up from Daddy giving her tummy raspberries, or when Mommy sings the mail song, a version of the Blues Clues "Here's The Mail" but I have actions to go with it.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Angel baby

I finally took Liv for her 2 year old pictures, I know i'm 3 months late. Here are a few in her wings and tutu!!!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Berry picking pictures and a tag award

On Sunday we went berry picking at a farm down by Princton. It was a really nice place. They had a cute market with some yummy homemade goodies. They also had some farm animals to pet and feed, but it was mostly to pick your own fruit. I bet apple and pumpkin picking are great in the fall. We picked our own blueberries and Liv loved the idea of picking it right off the vine and eating it. She probable ate her weight in blueberries that day.

Ride that tractor Liv!!!! they had mini tractors for the kids to try.
"You mean fruit grows on trees, it doesn't just appear in the supermarket."
A mouthful of berries
Vinay holding up his bag of berries like he caught a fish. See how empty the bag is we just kept eating everything we picked.
Me and Liv tired and sweaty from all the picking.
I came up with this thing to get Liv to eat. If she doesn't want to eat, I say, "want to eat like a little goat" and I put the food in the palm of my hand and she eats out of it and cracks up laughing. Problem is now she wants to eat like that out in public. I know we are a strange combo Liv and me!!!!
Ok Now for the tag award "Ellie the Great " and JuJu the Fabulous"gave me a tag award and I am to pass it along. Here it goes.

A. Attached or single?
B. Best friend? Vinay and my Mom
C. Cake or pie? pie
D. Day of choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? Snacks, I never go anywhere w/ out some sort of food for Liv
F. Favorite color? blue
G. Gummy bears or worms? neither
H. Hometown? South River NJ
I. Indulgence? A good glass of champagne
J. January or July? july
K. Kids? 1
L. Life isn’t complete without? My family
M. Marriage date? 7/20/2002
N. Number of brothers & sisters? 0
O. Oranges or apples? apples
P. Phobias? water, I fear drowning
Q. Quotes? "It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you." Randy Pauch, who lost his battle with cancer last week.
R. Reasons to smile? How wonderfully blessed my life is.
S. Season of choice? Summer
T. Tag your peeps! (see below)
U. Unknown fact about me? I am really a goofball at heart but only very few know it.
V. Vegetable? Spinach
W. Worst habits? procrastination
X X-ray or ultrasound? neither, I've had enough of both.
Y. Your favorite food? A turkey dinner made by my Mom
Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo
Ok Now for my peeps who I think are brilliant!!!! Here's who deserves the Brilliant Tag Award