Sunday, June 29, 2008

Still Showerin' in Vancouver

Well, last Friday was shower #2, aka "the office". And what a show it was. We have 4 offices across the country, so it was video-conferenced. There was an agenda. I've never attended a shower that had an actual agenda before. There were kind words delivered by a few friends and colleagues in each office, a "celebrity adoption" powerpoint (you just know that every work shower is going to feature a powerpoint), a quiz on Ethiopia and - wait for it - a song from the Toronto office. Sadly, I don't have a recording (although that may be a blessing - hee hee - ok, ok, I'm sure y'all sounded great and it was just the quality of the video-conferencing equipment that brought you down). But, I do have the lyrics. I was going to include just a few verses, but frankly, the whole song was so awesome I just couldn't edit any of the verses out. So here it is, sung to John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (and, just as an aside, I am a wee bit alarmed that when matching me to a song, you chose country...)

"Life in Lotus land is kinda laid back
Ain't much a suave lawyer like me can't hack
But gettin' bored shoppin' for Prada slingbacks
Thank God I'm a mama now

A simple kind of life was never for me
Now raisin' me a family and workin' at "V"
Days are now filled with diapers n' doggies
Thank God I'm a mama now

When I got me a daughter I got me my dream
When she smiles at me, she's my little sunbeam
Don't ever ever want my old regime
Thank God I'm a mama now

Well I got me a house and got a baby
By the time the suns up she's in dress number three
Life ain't nothin' but loads of laundry
Thank God I'm a mama now

In just a few months I'll be back full tilt
For now by eight I start to wilt
Amazin' how much milk a child can spill
Thank God I'm a mama now

When I got me a daughter I got me my dream
When she smiles at me, she's my little sunbeam
Don't ever ever want my old regimeeeee
Thank God I'm a mama now

Miss drivin' my Mer-ce-des rag top
And ridin' my bike to Whistler nonstop
But I found a lot of cute kid shops
Thank God I'm a mama now

When the works all done and I've thrown in the towel
I pull out my bottle of Burrowing Owl
Makeda's asleep and I'm prayin' for no howls
Thank God I'm a mama now"

Thank-you all so much for the great party. I did my best to suss out the main culprits, but I'm sure I've missed some. Thanks El, Jim, Ungad, Joseph, Deanna and everyone else who wrote the fantastic lyrics, Delilah for the celeb powerpoint, Kev, Ungad, Joanne, Mani and Sylvain for the kind words and Jen and Erin for generally organizing and doing invites. If I've missed anyone, please help me do a shout-out to them.

Last but not least, this was a "no gift" shower as the Vancouver office had already showered me with 5 duffel bags of goodies for Makeda's orphanage. I couldn't canvas any of the other offices for contributions 'cause I knew I'd never be able to carry it. BUT, the Montreal office got ahold of the orphanage "wishlist" and did another big shop for me. The spoils were all piled on their boardroom table and they're even taking care of delivery. Merci Montreal - you rock!!

Love you guys (I'd say I miss you but let's face it, I'm either on a call or email with most of you most weeks anyway, and plus it's really hard to miss anyone when I'm out under the sun in 25 degree weather at a park with my baybee.) See you all way, way, way too soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Raining Showers!

Well, now that Makeda and I are back and largely settled in, it's time to party! She has been blessed with not one, not two, but THREE baby showers. The first one, this past Saturday, was the "family and family friends" shower. Which means, to a large extent, parents and friends of the parents. Which also means, "women of a certain age" and therefore "real women who can actually do stuff". These are the women who, when the earthquake hits and I'm on the floor in fetal position because there's no electricity for my blow dryer, will be reroofing their houses by hand from the detritus left behind. In other words, many of Makeda's gifts were handmade treasures that I will keep forever. I can't possibly show them all, but I've taken a couple of snaps of Makeda in two of the outfits. This dress and hat was knit by Marilyn.

And this poncho and hat was knit by Lynne. And this is what happens when you're so busy taking pictures you don't notice your child is falling asleep in the sitting position - ass over teakettle.
Plus, aside from this and all the other great stuff, I got FOOD!! All I've tried so far is brother-in-law's chile, which rocked, so let's just say the bar has been set high. Much like the hungry caterpillar, I intend to slowly munch my way through the goodies for many weeks to come.

And I know I keep saying this kid doesn't stop smiling, and I suppose you're all getting skeptical, since none of my photos actually show this happening. But it's true - really. It's just that as soon as my face goes behind the camera, no more smile. Soon, soon, when the sun comes out, real friends with real cameras will come to the Insley household and do a better job, I promise.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Message to Fozia

Well, I've thought long and hard about posting this entry. A toss up between celebrating the great gift given to me by a perfect stranger thousands of miles away, and respecting her right to her privacy. I know she worries that I've forgotten her. And we don't have a really reliable way to keep in touch. It also seems appropriate to acknowledge her publicly, since she is, after all, the birth mom to a baby whose arrival has been celebrated so widely and by so many people. A lot of people have asked about Fozia. But, frankly, a lot of the information I have about her is most appropriately shared first with Makeda, who in time will decide what she wants to share with others. After all, it's Makeda's story. But I will say that Fozia is a beautiful young woman who determined that her current circumstances did not lend themselves to raising a child alone. She has great hopes for Makeda's future - hopes that could not be met in Ethiopia - and I've committed to ensuring that Makeda will be able to fulfil those hopes here, in Canada. Her legacy to Makeda was her name - Animo - which is now Makeda's middle name. Animo means "like me" in Fozia's language. I can't think of a greater gift than a name like that - one that forever connects mother and daughter. So, Fozia, be assured that not a day goes by that I don't think of you and thank you for the gift you gave me. Makeda is thriving and loved. Like I promised, I will send pictures. They're printed and ready to be mailed. And there will always be more on the way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lessons in Motherhood

To all you new moms and moms-to-be out there following my blog - a hot tip. When you look at your new baby and notice what appears to be crusted blood on the insides of both nostrils - DO NOT PANIC! You have not caused her first nosebleed. You have merely omitted to properly clean out the remnants of this evening's spring vegetable medley from her nose.

No need for thanks. Just doing my job.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Great Bumbo Escape

Well, it's happened. I had her pinned down nicely in the Bumbo seat, table attached, where she could watch me get ready this morning, when I heard a light clunk. Table was off, and Makeda was rolling out of the Bumbo. I did what any responsible parent would do - plunked her back in and provoked and taunted her into doing it again. But she didn't/couldn't/wouldn't. I spent 60 bucks on that baby trap - i mean comfortable seating device -and I've only been using it 2 weeks. She can't sit up straight for more than 10 seconds. How the hell did she manage that little bit of contortion? Anyway, I figure I've only got another week or two. Anyone want to buy a gently used Bumbo? Table attachment optional...

Oh, also, technology issue has been resolved, so here's a few more pictures of the historic "Meeting Makeda" event of a few weeks ago.

I like this one best. It is an artistic rendition titled the "Mighty Spit-up of May 22nd".

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Little Update on my Sweet Thing

Well, we've reached the 7 month mark now and Makeda is just blossoming with all the attention she's getting. We're still not on a really fixed schedule, but regardless of how the day goes, she manages to squeeze in 3 (homemade - I'm such a sucker for an appreciative audience) meals plus about 5 bottles. She's in bed between 7 and 8:30 and I wake her up at 11pm for a bottle. She usually wakes up once around 4, but she doesn't need a bottle anymore, and is usually able to put herself back to sleep. Then she sleeps til 7 or 7:30. Much of the time she now has one or two hands on the bottle, and for the first time last night she held her bottle all by herself for a few seconds. She's firm when she stands on her legs and is managing a nice tripod position, even getting her head up quite high sometimes. She's trying quite hard to crawl, and has assumed the position, but we still have a ways to go yet til we achieve mobility.

Tomorrow we're off to Children's for another bloody blood draw. All of her test results were great, but with the unexpected result that she is NOT immune to Hep A and B. So, either the vaccine batch was no good, or the Vancouver lab screwed up the test last week. Since Hep B vaccinations are done over a course of 3 shots, it's more likely the lab has screwed up. In any event, someone hasn't done their job properly, and Makeda gets to take the fall. If the lab results come back consistent a second time that she's not immue, I have to alert her agency, as many other little residents of the transition home will have received vaccinations from the same batch as hers, and they too will not be immune.

Here's a new pic, courtesy of Grandma!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thank-you Auntie Wendy

ok, so this is coming a bit late, since she exited the premises many days ago, but I've been too under-the-weather to get out and get the thank-you gift I had in mind, so this will have to suffice for awhile longer. Anyway, as many of you know, Wendy came and looked after me while I got into the rhythm of looking after Makeda, and we couldn't have managed those first days without her. Thanks Auntie Wendy!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Still having trouble sharing pics from each others' cameras, but here is a very early shot of me and Makeda, the first time we met, standing in front of the swinging bench at the transition home in Addis.

Tomorrow is the follow up visit from my social worker. I am very sick these days, having contracted a cold with a nasty hacking cough, a couple of days after getting off the plane. To top that off, my eyes had a severe allergic reaction a couple of days ago to some unknown airborne nastiness that has left me with vampire-like squinty bloodshot eyes and reduced me to wearing my 10 year old wire frame (crooked) glasses out in public. If it looks like I'm going to fail the good housekeeping test tomorrow I plan on using all this germy ugliness to my advantage to hasten the departure of any overly judgmental social worker before she has a chance to get to the dustballs under the couch.