Sky Made the Paper!

October 31, 2011

Sky and her best friend P walked in the Halloween costume
parade together and had their picture in the Hourglass this week!

Two Buckets

October 29, 2011

  There's a saying here:  When you get off the plane, you're given two buckets, one for money and one for BS and when one of the buckets gets full, you're ready to leave.  Well last week, one of our buckets got a lot fuller and I'll let you guess which one.
  D has had a lot of abdominal  pain lately, so bad that he has had to take some time off of work.  We initially suspected that his hiatal hernia had gotten worse and that it was time to have surgery on it and when D met with the surgeon here, he agreed and recommended D see a GI doctor in Hono about it.  Well, the CMO (the same guy who wouldn't let us return to Kwaj after Sky's diagnosis) decided he wanted another opinion so D started seeing a GP here.  She really seemed to care, which was nice, and ran every test under the sun.  They didn't find anything, but D was still in pain.  Lots of pain.  She finally agreed to recommend him for surgery as well and he was scheduled to fly out to Honolulu just before Christmas.
  Well, the pain's gotten better recently and when D mentioned this to the Dr, she in turn told the CMO and he decided to rescind D's referral.  That's right, weeks and weeks of fighting for this and they take it back right after it's scheduled.  The doctors here never found any causes for his pain and never actually resolved anything.  It went away on it's own and they feel that that's good enough for them. 
  We really love Kwaj and have been pretty flexible with a lot of the things that make living here a little more challenging, and would have been happy to stay here for 20 years.  But having something like this happen makes me really question this company (the hospital is company-run) and why we should be loyal to them.  If my husband  and I and our work and knowledge aren't worth a measly 3G (and yes, I know that sounds big but compare that to the loss of two good employees) in a plane ticket and hotel bill, than why should we stay?
  Have you guessed which bucket is full yet?

It's the Little Things

October 26, 2011

  It's the little things that make life here so much better, like the care package I got from my mom the other day.  Not only did it have barrettes and headbands for Sky and sewing fabric for me, both things I can't buy here, I found a Pearson's Nut Roll tucked in at the bottom.  They are my favorite candy bars and you can't buy them just anywhere.  My wonderful mom remembered how much I like them and sent one out to me and it made my day.  There was another surprise in the box that was just as great as the candy bar: two terry-cloth beach cover-ups from my mom's best friend.  Sky goes to the pool every week but has had to walk back and forth in her towel.  Thanks to the random kindness of Auntie L, she will be fashionably warm and dry between the pool and school. 
  In a faraway place like this, when even getting mail feels special, it's the little things that make it easier to be happy here.

Gearing up for Halloween

October 24, 2011

We've started gearing up for Halloween at our house. We put up our decorations and pulled out the pumpkin D bought to carve only to find that it had rotted. We were pretty surprised by that, and D was pretty sad, but I came up with a pretty good substitute, if I do say so myself: pumpkin coconuts. I picked out four nice-sized coconuts, painted them orange and then drew faces on them. I think they turned out pretty cute. Something else that's pretty cute is Sky in her bumble bee costume. Her fairy godmother gave it to her ages ago and I've been hoping that it would still fit her when we got to Halloween. It does and she is adorable! She wore it for the first time to a costume parade at the youth center. She didn't really have any idea what was going on but she loved playing with her wand and got a gigantic sucker out of it. Sky is going trick-or-treating this weekend with some friends of ours that have a daughter the same age as she is and one that's a little older. Their older daughter T is pretty excited to have two little sisters to show the ropes to. I'll definitely put up photos from that!

 Poor Pumpkin!  It didn't do too well in the pantry waiting to be carved

Sky's First School Pictures

October 23, 2011

The shirt stayed clean, the hairband stayed in but we didn't get a smile.  Still, not a bad picture.  Friends and family, email me by the end of the week if you want a copy.

A New Shirt and Sky Versus a Cupcake

October 22, 2011

D showing off his new shirt

What He Found

October 21, 2011

...when D thought it was a little too quiet in Sky's room. This makes me just about the happiest Mama in the world- my baby fell asleep reading a book to herself!

Playing Soccer

October 20, 2011

 Getting warmed up

General Cuteness

October 19, 2011

Manit Day and a Trip to Ebeye

October 18, 2011

 The photos below are what I got when I tried to get a picture of Sky in her guam:

D's 99 things

October 17, 2011

58, actually.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars... in Minnesota, Kansas, Antarctica (if you include the sun) and in the Marshall Islands
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii ... Every time I fly back to the states, but all I've seen of it is Waikiki

Decisions, decisions...

October 16, 2011

  For some reason, I feel compelled to make a big decision RIGHT NOW and because I can't, I'm worrying about it.  So, I'll tell all of you about it so you can worry too.   D's medical referral came through last week, which is good news, but we've been told by the less-than-helpful (seriously, it is her job to be unhelpful, and I'm not exagerating!) referral person that his appointment with a specialist probably won't be until December or January.  Unfortunately, we have a trip to Thailand scheduled in December, and we were hoping to start our next adoption after that.  Plans!  We have plans and this might derail them! 
  I know things happen as they're meant to but I want them to happen as I want them to.  We've considered flying D to Thailand before our vacation for the surgery but I think that's off the table since we got his referral approved.  Canceling the vacation to Thailand would free up a lot of money and vacation time for the next adoption but we were really looking forward to this vacation with Sky.  I really wanted her to have something that was just hers, even if she only sees the pictures and doesn't remember it. 
  Also, I'm having a hard time waiting for our next adoption and have been thinking about our someday-daughter a lot lately.  What effect will the timing of this referral have on our next adoption?
  Don't feel too bad for me about all this- usually my hardest decisions are like the one I had to make last night:  which window should I hang the Halloween pumpkin window clings in? 
  In case you're wondering, they went in the living room windows and no matter how things go with this issue, we will roll with punches.

My Daughter is a Vampire

October 14, 2011

  Just kidding!  That's what D called her the other day after getting a call from her pre-school that Dky had bitten another child there.  Unfortunately, this isn't a new problem.  Sky has always bit herself, usually her hands but occasionally her arms.  The Marshallese don't give their children teething toys so she used what was available (like her hands) and we haven't been able to entirely break her of the habit.  She has bitten both D and I in anger but mostly we get bit when she's excited and forgets herself.
   Sky went through a biting stage in August but we thought she was over it.  Back then, part of it was teething but all of her teeth have cut through now so that's not really in issue.  Most of the incidents stem from her trying to defend herself in some way, usually another child pushes her or takes something from her and she bites them in retaliation.  She is very empathetic and feels terrible about it afterward.  She will say that she's sorry and try to hug the child she bit, but in the moment, she can't seem to control the urge.  We're working on it at home, trying to get her to use words when she's mad and they're doing the same at school.  Hopefully this stage will pass as she continues to learn and use more English.

What a Great Weekend!

October 12, 2011

  We all had a great weekend!  Thanks to Christopher Columbus, we had three whole days off and we made the most of them.  D and I both got off work early on Saturday- he stayed home and took a nap and went to the beach by myself.  I layed on a towel in the sand, enjoyed the peace and quiet and read a new National Geographic.  It was fabulous.  After dinner, the three of us headed over to the skate park.  D still does a little skateboarding and Sky loves watching him.  We brought her helmet with us and she actually started doing a little skateboarding, mostly just rolling back and forth, but she held her arms out and hardly fell at all.  Sky and I left shortly after the highschool boys got there but D stayed for a bit and worked on being the cool old guy!
  Sky spent Sunday morning playing with Daddy while I went to church and bible study.  After her nap, we played around the yard and the house as the weather allowed and then had our friend Adam over for dinner.  He and D went to see the Captain America movie and I got to spend a quiet night at home by myself.
  Monday morning was laid back around the house.  My book club met on the back porch- we had bloody mary's and mimosas and discussed a biography of the band Queen.  That afternoon we took Sky to the beach and then spent the evening hanging out with some very good friends, who happen to be the parents of Sky's best friend.  It was really relaxing to just sit around and talk with them about parenting and life on Kwaj. 
  Tuesday was a big day for D and I: we ran in the Kwaj Running Club Columbus Day Runabout, a 6.5 or 13 mile run around the island.  We did the 6.5 and I think we were the only family that ran with their kid.  We ran then entire thing and finished in 72 minutes.  Neither of us had ever run that far before so we were pretty proud of ourselves that we did it.  Sky's favorite part of the run was the donuts afterward :) 
  We don't have any pictures of the wonderfulness that was our weekend but take my word for it, it rocked!

Family Update

October 10, 2011

Just to keep you all in the loop:

-D's medical referral finally came through!  After about 5 weeks of investigating possible causes for his abdominal pain and wrangling with doctors, the hospital has agreed to send D off-island to see a GI specialist.  We don't know when he'll be heading out- a friend has warned me that these kinds of specialists can be booked months in advance, but even the chance for D to see a specialist feels like a small victory for me.
-Sky just keeps growing.  She's still skinny, so she's still wearing 18M pants and shorts but I've added her 2T shirts, pajamas and swimsuits to her dresser.  It's so amazing to see her grow so fast!
-We've started potty training!  Ask me in a month or so and maybe there won't be an exclamation point after that but it's pretty exciting for now.  She has used the potty several times at school but last night was the first time she asked for it at home.  Of course, as soon as she finished using the potty and stood up, she bent over and swished her hand in it, but hey, it's a start.  I'd thought that it would take a lot longer to get to potty training but I guess she's ready.
-Sky's language is growing almost exponentially.  She said her first non-prompted, appropriately-timed and gramatically correct sentence yesterday: As I was riding away from her school, she waved and said, "Bye-bye school".  We're really proud of her and are trying not to brag too much about how smart we think she is, 'cause, you know, she get's it from us!
-I'm going to be running in Kwaj's Columbus Day Runabout.  It's a 6.5 mile loop around the island, longer than I've ever run before and I'm going to take the baby in her jogger.  I really think I can do the whole thing but I'm not going to be too upset at myself if I have to walk a bit.

  So, I guess that's the high points.  Other than that, it's the usual day-to-day.  Our day-to-days have been going okay lately and I hope yours have too.

99 Things

October 6, 2011

  I stumbled across this while looking at random blogs on the internet (you know you do it too!) and since I really don't have too much to post about and no pictures to share, I thought I'd give it a go.  Enjoy!


Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars... in Minnesota, Montana, Washington, Alaska, at sea, in Kenya, Australia, Australia again, Antarctica and in the Marshall Islands

A Big First in Our Family

October 4, 2011

  While we celebrate the usual "firsts", first word,  first day of school, first spicy chicken wings, we're also celebrating a unique first this week:  Sky's first Visa!

Look out Thailand, here we come!

Random Pictures

October 3, 2011

 Rainy Day  in our sweaters
Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.