Monday, December 31, 2007

Kumar Visit :)

Yesterday the Kumars came to visit us :) If you're new to my blog... the Kumars are the family that we lived with for our first year here in M-town. They've been really wanting to come see Aashini, so they drove 3 hours to come and visit us :)
We hung out and chatted, ate and had fun :)
And, of course played some fooseball :) ( I still can't remember how to spell it)
And of course they came to see Aashini
It was sooo great to see them :)
And yet another picture...
Aashini really liked her aunt Mona :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winter in the Capital

Before I came here I didn't think it would get very cold here.... It can get up to 135 degrees in the summer, so there's no way it can get cold! Well, I was wrong... for a Florida girl, it can get pretty cold here :) During the day right now it can get up to 65 or 70 degrees but at night it's been about 40 degrees...

So, that may not sound like it's that cold... and outside it feels great! - but inside it can be really cold! Our houses don't have any insulation (only concrete/brick walls) and the floors are made of marble.... and that can make for a chilly house!

Aashini LOVES to be warm! We have a little space heater that can heat up a room really well, and we usually turn it on at night to heat up the room before we go to bed....
Well, ever since we've taken Aashini home from the hospital, she has HATED diaper changes... she will scream and cry through them! Well, a couple of weeks ago, we were changing her diaper and she got the whole changing area on our pack-n-play really wet, so we moved her to the mat we keep in our diaper bag and changed her on the floor... and since the floor is so cold, Adam turned the heater on her.... That was one of the best discoveries! She slept through the diaper change! She loves the heater!!! Now we use it for all the diaper changes and she loves it!!!

Here's a pic below:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas!!! (or Happy Christmas as they say here :)) - We got home tonight (Christmas) and we're celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus by having our baby home and almost well :) WHoo hoo! Hope you guys have GREAT Chrstmas' - You guys ROCK!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back in ICU

Aashini is back in the ICU... for more, check out our other blog: http://www.southasiashefs.blogspot.com/

Christmas Fun!

There are Christmas goodies on The Caravan site!!! You will find a Caravan Christmas story, computer desktop wallpaper (in Googly's Goodies section), coloring pages and more!

And don't forget about L0ttie M00n !!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

mmm...

So, today we saw a new pizza place and decided to try it... when it came to our house we really cracked up when we saw the box :) haha!I LOVE it when there are funny misspellings :) haha! Do you want some SMAKE'N LIP PLZZA?? So what is Dutch Flavoured pizza anyway?? hmm... Anyway, thought I's share :) It was funny :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Culture Fun!

There are a lot of fun cultural things going on this time of year. Right now it's "Wedding Season"... It's kind of like the summer months in America - but LOUDER and ALL WEEK LONG... not just the weekends...

So weddings are really fun (you can see one of my previous posts on weddings by clicking here: Wedding Post)... One part of the wedding, that is the loudest, is the part where the groom and his family arrive at the wedding... depending on how much money they have, depends on how extravagant it is. Typically, the groom will come in on a white female horse with the family and friends walking along side him. They will also have guys that are carrying a string of big lights that look kind of like chandeliers... (you can see an example of some in the picture below). Then they will usually have music of some kind. In M-town, the typical music was a couple of drummers - which was really cool!Another kind of music that is done for a wedding percession is a full-out band. This wasn't as common in M-town (although we did see it a lot), but it seems to be used more frequently here in the Capital. They will wear cool band uniforms and play popular radio songs. It's really fun!
Yesterday we were riding through the city and we saw this group of people going to a wedding... It's not the best pic because we were all driving in the crazy traffic (and it's super foggy because of the time of year)... but I thought it was fun :)
Birthdays are HUGE here! They are a crazy cultural event that I have really had to get used to :) Adam wrote a blog about it when we first really experienced birthdays here (before we really understood them :)) . If you want to read it, click here: Adam’s Birthday Blog . Our across-the-street-neighbors had a BIG birthday party the other day. Their house was super-decorated!! They had their party for one of their children... one that was too young to even know that the party was for him :) I thought their house looked cool :) It was a big party!
That's about it, just wanted to share a couple of fun things about our country :) You guys ROCK!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Trees & Other Traditions

There are a lot of traditions here in this country... Yesterday our friend Germeet came over to see Aashini. When he got there, we showed him right in to see her. He said, "no, I can't see her yet, you must sit me down and offer me water first"... we offered him water but he didn't want any... he said that he had to sit down first before seeing the baby and that we needed to do that with anyone that came into our house... we always offer people water when they come into our house, but this time he was acting a little strange about it... He goes on to explain that while walking on the road that people come in contact with ghosts, so when they come into our house we must let them sit down first... it was a little confusing trying to understand what he was saying, but something to do with sitting down so that the ghosts can come off the person or something and stay away from the baby... Traditions can be interesting... :)
So then Germeet came in to see Aashini (after sitting for a minute... we tried to tell him that we believed in J and we didn't fear the "ghosts" but he wanted to sit anyway)... So he came in to see Aashini and did something else that is a part of the traditions here. He pulled out 200 rps (about $5) and waves it in circles around her and tucks the money in her blanket (seen below in the pic)... by doing that he was giving her a blessing... We put the money in her cute elephant "piggy bank"... she might end up with quite a bit of savings before she even knows what money is :) haha!
And on to American Traditions... The Day After Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!!! It's not quite the same here... the biggest shopping day of the year fell on Aashini's birthday this year... but another reason I like that day is that is the day we always put up our Christmas tree :) Here's Adam putting it together :)
And.... the finished product! WHoo hoo!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HaPpY ThAnKsgiViNg!!

HaPpY ThAnKsgiViNg everyone !!! Today was Aashini's first Thanksgiving... we weren't expecting to have a baby this Thanksgiving - we weren't even expecting to have a baby at Christmas :) haha! Here we are traveling to meet up with our friends for Turkey day :)
After we ate (you can see the aftermath in the first picture)... we went to the park nearby. Aashini continued sleeping :)
What's Thanksgiving without a little football!! Whoo hoo!!!
This picture of Adam cracks me up! haha!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Hijras are Coming!!!!

Today we had a fun / interesting cultural experience :) Here in our country, there are these people called Hijras हिजड़ा .... or Eunuchs. Most of these people are true eunuchs - they were born without male or female parts. They all live together in their own ghetto. If you have a child that is a Hijra, then they will come and demand you for your child and people here will give them their child. They all live together and in order to get money, they mostly do a glorified sort of begging. They are always dressed to the hilt. They come and visit you when you've had something big happen in your life - usually weddings and.... NEW BABIES. They come and dance and make a HUGE ruckus. They ususally do this until they are given a large amount of money. Some of them can be quite crazy and violent, but mostly they will just annoy you to death, barge into your home (or wedding) and dance and sing around until you give them money (usually around $100-200 is their demand). Everyone gives them money because they are afraid they will be cursed by the hijras if they don't. Here's a pic below: So today, the doorbell rings. Adam opens the door and there was a huge crowd of Hijras at our door!!!! The news of our new baby had traveled fast! Well, luckily we had a big metal screen door thing behind our door, so they couldn't get in :) They kept ringing our bell and asking to come in... they even brought a balloon for Aashini :) haha! They were quite aggressive and really wanted to come in. Adam was going to give them some sweets (which is the custom here when you have a new baby) but as he reached to open the door, they all grabbed hold to try to barge in... haha! So needless to say, they didn't get any sweets. Adam just told them that it was not our custom to do this, and thanked them for coming and shut the door. They rang the doorbell for a while (and Aashini slept right through it) and eventually left. If we were in M-town we wouldn't have gotten off that easy - haha! I guess in the Capital they aren't as aggressive :) Anyway, thought I'd share our fun cultural moment of the day :) I love this country! haha!

If you want to know more about Hijras check out these links:
Hijras
Hijras in South Asia

Friday, November 16, 2007

WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!

Both Aashini and I were released from the hospital yesterday!!!!! I was in the hospital for 12 days!! A lot of great things happened yesterday!! My OBGYN was looking at my cardiology reports and thought that my cardiologist needed to re-review my charts. He re-reviewed all the findings and decided that I didn't have Post-Pardum Cardio Myopathy!!! He said it was all related to the pre-ecclampsia and the pulmonary edema and just looked like Cardio Myopathy at the time. That's HUGE!!!! If I had Cardio Myopathy then I wouldn't be able to have kids again, so it is definitely good news!!

Here's Aashini lounging at home :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First Family Photo

We got to hold her for the first time today and we took our first family picture together :)
Aashini Miley
Born: November 7, 2007 at 5:09pm
Weight: 5.43lbs Length: We have no idea ;)

Aashini
Pronounced: “Asha-knee”
Aashini is a hindi name that means Lightning :)

When we were picking out baby names, we started looking for name meanings that had something to do with Light. We love the Matthew 5.13-16 passage about being a Light for the World and wanted her name to reflect that. We saw the name Aashini and knew we just had to use it – Light with zap!

We also both love the 1 Kings 18 story of Elijah and Mt. Carmel. At the end of the story fire comes down from the sky (like lightning) and shows that he’s the one true G0d!

Miley
Miley (my-lee)
means smiley or one who smiles :) We wanted a middle name that started with an “M” so that her initials would be AMS. Those were Adam’s brother’s initials and we thought it would be a cool way to remember him with a smile :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

initial Aashini Pictures




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It's a ...

GIRL!!!
Aashini Miley (5.43lbs) was born on November 7th, 2007 at 5:09pm. This is Adam writing. Both Andrea and the baby are okay. Both have been placed on breathing assistance. After the C-section, Andrea had an asthma attack brought on by the pre-eclampsia. She was taken down to the ICU. Her oxygen levels have returned to normal after being put on a cpap (respirator type thing). The birth and condition put a lot of strain on her heart. The cardiologist came and decided that she has post-partem cardio myopathy. They are giving her some diuretic to remove the fluid, bp medicine, and meds to strengthen the heart.

Aashini came at only 34 weeks and 5 days. Andrea's pre-eclampsia had escalated so the docs decided to go ahead and deliver the baby via C-section. All went well with the surgery. I can't hold her yet because she's hooked up to this breathing thing to help her lungs. She is still breathing a little fast so that's why the doc put her on that. Hopefully she will be taken off of that in a day or so.

Anyway, this is just a quick note. Andrea will surely send more pictures and notes as soon as she gets released from ICU. Here are a few pictures that I was able to take. Andrea only got to see her just after she was delivered. Andrea touched her cheek before she was taken away. Our friend Scott printed up pictures like these and Andrea has them in the ICU.


Stay tuned for more info. Thanks for continuing to lift us up. God is so Good!
Adam (Aashini's Dad)

Friday, November 02, 2007

COLDSTONE!!!

I LOVE ice cream! I've especially loved it lately... Yesterday Adam and I were out and about and decided to get some gelato... we had only been to this store once before, but when we went in this time, it had changed!! It now has a part of it called "GelatOnStone".... like Coldstone or Marble Slab if you've had that... they have a big cold slab of marble there and they mix the ice cream or gelato on the stone with your toppings!
You can see the guy below making mine :) I got white chocolate gelato with oreos... but then he started adding all sorts of great stuff... he poured on chocolate magic shell stuff and white chocolate magic shell stuff (you can see it in the pic below)...
Man! Talk about sweet!! It was AWESOME!!! He mixed it all up and put it in a waffle bowl! It was great!!!
This store (below) is in the same market - it's called the "dollar store"... they sell everything for 99 rps.... which is closer to $2.50... but they do have imported things from America which is fun - you never know what you'll find... We just thought that sign was funny :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Karva Chauth 2007

Karva Chauth is the women's holiday here... in the last 2 years past, we have been in M-town with the Kumars... we missed spending this time with them this year :( To read all about this holiday, check out my blog post from the previous year: Karva Chauth 2006 - it tells you all about what happens in this holiday... This year we went to the market near our house and it was bustling with people getting their w'ship supplies for the holiday... The lady below is selling these hay stalk things that they use... during the w'ship time they throw some North, South, East and West...
Women get Mehindi done on this holiday... I had to sit on this stool while I was getting mine that was low to the ground - haha it was really hard for me to get up - thank goodness Adam was there to help me up :)
I had two guys putting the henna on my hands at the same time :) It was fun :) That pic below makes my skin look soooo white!
There were lots of women in the market getting Mehindi done :)
And, just for fun - some fun kids in the market :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dusshera Video

Here's a little video from Dusshera - just pause it and wait until it loads... then ENJOY!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dusshera 2007

Holiday season is pretty fun here. People are in good moods, the weather is nice and there's a lot of excitement in the air... as well as tons of stuff to do, see & eat :) Yesterday was Dusshera (or Dussehra)... It's a holiday with a long history based off of their stories from the Ramayana. It is a festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and marks the defeat and death of the demon king Ravana in the story. So, to celebrate this, they have a big festival and burn huge effigies of Ravana (which is actually pronounced more like Ravern). If you want more info on the holiday, click here: Dusshera Info. If you want to see our Dusshera blog from last year, then click here: Dusshera 2006. In M-town, this is a HUGE holiday... the stories say that Ravana (the demon g0d) married a woman from M-town...

So we first went to an area of town to see some of the effigies during the day time... the one in the middle is Ravana - the one with 10 heads - and the other two are part of the story.
This park was already filling up fast!! We got there 5 hours before they were going to burn the statues... and it was FULL! We had to wait in a line that was a couple of blocks long and before we left it was a REALLY long line.
Here's another picture of these statues... They're HUGE... someone told us that a lot of them are 10 stories high!!Later that evening we went to a park closer to our house to watch them burn... They have firecrackers inside of them and it's LOUD - but it's pretty fun to watch :) This one below is of one of Ravana's cohorts (one of the two on the sides).
Here's a picture of Ravana burning (below)...
Adam took some video, so I'll try to post a video of it in the next couple of days! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Birthday Part 2 :)

For my birthday, Adam wanted to buy me a Harmonium :) I love music and I love learning new instruments, so we thought that would be fun :) Our country has it's own style of this instrument and it's very popular here... it's kinda a cross between an accordion, a piano and an organ :) haha!
Anyway, to get it, we went to a cool old store that's in the old part of our city... We went to the store and looked at all the cool instruments and picked out the perfect one :) After we did that we were talking to the owner and we asked them where they made the instruments. He told us that all the instruments were made there on their roof! :) So we got to go up and watch them making instruments. It was cool because this store is across the street from the largest m0sque in our country, so it was really neat to see it from a totally different view :) It was Friday at almost 1:00 pm when we were there, so the call to pr was going off and if you look closely at the pic you can see people in there preparing for the pr time.Here's one of the guys making Harmoniums (below):
The way the do music here is very different from the way we do music in America... for any of you who have every had a music lesson in America you know all about playing with the notes A-B-C-D-E-F-G.... but here they use Sa-Re-Ga-Ma, etc.... it's kinda like the European "Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So", etc....(you know, like from The Sound of Music) and they typically don't use the the same music notations or even music notes! If you look below you can see the music (the top half - the bottom half are the words to the song)
OK, so here is my Harmonium!! If you look closely, you can see the accordion part in the back... you use your left hand to pump it, while you play with your right hand :) With the music here, you use the black keys more than the white keys - so it's really different from the piano :) haha!When I learn to actually play something that sounds good, I'll put up a video or something :)
Oh, and Jellybean loves it! haha! JB goes crazy when I play :)