I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How We're Passing the Time



Photo Courtesy of Happyworker.com

We leave in three weeks and six days!

Oh my gosh. One on hand it seems to be sneaking up on us. I still have so much to do. And on the other hand, really, is it ever going to get here?

Naveen received his travel clearance 10 days ago.

That hurts.

In hindsight, had I known it would've all moved so quickly, I probably would have moved hell or high water to stay in India with him. Of course, there are no guarantees, and had I chosen to stay, there would have been massive delays. Passport Office running out of passports. Or the guy who stamps "date received" would've been on vacation and it would take several weeks for him to get back and no one else in the whole place would be bothered to lift the stamp, press it into the ink, and then stamp the dang paper.

Ah, that was one of the many delays with Noah's paperwork.

Anyway,. what's done is done and the days are slowly passing by. But they are passing, so that's something to be positive about.

I don't have much time to blog this morning, so I'm just going to do some quick bullet points. Sorry for the massively boring blog/rambling/scatterbrained blog post.  But here's what we've been up to and what we've got left to do and just a general update on everything...

1. Our tickets and hotel are booked. Yay! And can I just plug Trip Advisor? I love Trip Advisor. We found our accommodations on there and I'm so excited. I get weird about posting where we're gonna stay ahead of time, but, let me just say that I'm so excited about our place in Delhi. I'll be sure to blog it towards the end of the trip.  Oh, and Howard at Azumano Travel is THE BEST. Love him!! He was super patient with all of our requests and he got us great tickets.

2. Naveen's been cleared for travel. Now we just have to make a gazillion copies of our dossier and all the important paperwork, etc.

3. I have to get Naveen's room ready. He'll be sleeping with us for awhile and then move into the walk-in closet that Nandi slept in for 2 years. That sounds horrible, I know, but it's a 10x10 and it's in our room, and it made Nandi feel really safe. After that... who knows. I don't know where we'll put him when he gets older. He may have to share a room with Eli a few years down the road.  Right now, though, the closet is our junk room and I just keep walking past it with my head down.  Someone come over and help me clean it. Please.

It's awful.

4. A friend gave us a ton of hand-me downs. It's a HUGE blessing. Now I just need to get simple stuff for Naveen... toddler bedding (although I think we'll just use a small, lightweight blanket. It's already summertime in TX and that's what he has at the orphanage.)  Diapers. Toothbrush. Socks.  And lots of little things to pack... lotion for dry skin, a thermos for the airport, coloring books and crayons and playdoh for the hotel. Last night I woke up in a panic. Nail clippers? Do I need to bring nail clippers? I seriously lost an hour of sleep over that one.

In the meantime.....

5. We've been working a lot with Nandi on her reading. Homework is taking at least 2 hours a night with her. She's working so hard, but she still failed reading this past term. It breaks my heart because she started the school reading on a 3 year old level and she's progressed to where she's only 2 points away from reading on-grade level (1st grade), but things just take longer for her to process. She can do it, but on her own time.

Honestly, I want to yell, "She's missing part of her brain, you #%#$#! idiots!!! She's doing GREAT!" but they might ban me from coming into the school if I do that, so I'll just type it instead.

I will say, though, that her teacher is fantastic. She's working so hard with Nandi and I'm going to attach myself to her with a bungee cord and duct tape until she promises to move up to second grade next year and be Nandi's teacher again.

6. We've been working a lot on Eli's behavior. I know I don't post much about the kids on here anymore because they're school age and I need to protect their privacy, but geez... I need some help. Eli is a TERRIFIC kid... to everyone but me. He finally admitted yesterday that he takes it all out on me because he has so much anger and he gets frustrated and he needs to take it out on someone,  and I'm his emotional punching bag.

Ah, how sweet. Should I be flattered?

Any suggestions on how to direct his frustration and anger somewhere else? He has no interest in taking any sort of classes. Sports, karate, music lessons have all been vetoed. His only interests are Angry Birds and imaginative play. He truly is a kid who plays with every single toy and stuffed animal in his closet. He's a smart cookie, so all that, "let's have your baby dragon talk to the mommy dragon and tell her what's bothering him" pseudo therapy play quickly turns into a "Hmmm.... what does Mom want to hear?" manipulative emotional toying session.

7. We're working  hard on getting Noah to learn some life skills. He's come so far, but he's still very infantile in so many ways. Right now, we're working on getting him to climb into the van on his own and get into his car seat. Then I help him buckle himself up hand-over-hand. We're also not letting him ride in the cart or his stroller in the store anymore. Its been one month and 3 days! Granted, I've only been to our local Walmart and Dollar Tree. Tomorrow, we head to Dallas and I'm hyperventilating over letting him walk by my side in Whole Foods.

Visions of shelves being emptied onto the floor are dancing in my head...

Yesterday, we had our shopping list and he helped me put the vegetables into the bags and then he put them in the cart. It was a lot of hand-over-hand, but, with practice, he'll get the hang of it. It means a quick 10 minute run to the store turns into a 30 minute run to the store, but he'll get there. We do generate A LOT of stares, especially as Noah walks through the store with his awkward gait and sucks on his fingers.  I nearly showed a particular finger to one vigilant gazer who kept giving me the evil eye, but I thought better of it.

I really should write a post on developing a thick skin. I've done so much better over the last few years, but the stares were out in full force yesterday and I did find myself tearing up at one point. It kinda hurts my momma heart that people are judging Noah just based on his appearance and behavior, and they have no idea what an amazing blessing he is to all of us.

8. We are doing the Paleo diet. Oh my gosh, this former card-carrying PETA member is about to die with all the meat I've been buying lately, but the Paleo diet is one step closer to the diet Noah needs to be on (noharmfoundation.org), so we're slowly easing into it.

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I have started and stopped Noah's diets over and over again. I usually last one month and then I get burned out. So this time around, we realized that we need to get the whole family involved.

a) You should've heard the scream of protests coming out of my younger two. And my husband. But the rule is that, although we won't bring any gluten or contraband items (I'm talking to you, Angry Bird gummies!) into the house, the kids and Sim can eat what they want at school or work or Nonna's house.

b) There will be no fast food. And, did you know, it's been one month and 3 days since I've driven through McDonald's? This is huge for me. Massive. I *think* I have officially kicked my Caramel Mocha habit!

c) We have to stick with it because, not only does it help Noah, but Naveen needs to be on a kidney-friendly diet (we have to ease off the meat) and fast food is loaded with sodium.  Plus, I can't tolerate gluten (my headaches are GONE!) and Sim's arthritis has eased up since he's gone off nightshades. Score!

d) It's expensive. Oh.My.Stars.  It would be so much cheaper to just buy two one dollar boxes of Hamburger Helper with some cheap ground beef and be done with it.  As it is, we can easily go through two cauliflowers and a dozen or more eggs a day. So, this last month has basically been about learning how to cook this way, learning what foods the kids will eat and what foods they won't, and trying to figure out a way to eat healthy on a budget. Our food budget is $100 a week and I dread to think what's going to happen when we have four teenagers in the house.

Anyway, so with the diet and the homework and the behavior and Noah's lifeskills (and his exercises and schooling (by the way, he spelled to me that " (emperor Nero was) A  I-D-I-O-T" lol), and getting everything ready for Naveen, things have been super busy.

But, for some reason, it also seems to be moving at a snail's pace.

I just have to tell myself that in 6 weeks from now, I'll be home and we'll be adjusting to our new normal.

And I absolutely, positively, 100% can't wait!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meeting Naveen



Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to leave you all hanging. Does anyone still read this blog? Have you all taken it off your google reader in disgust? I know that I was able to blog and Facebook practically every day while in India and now there are just crickets chirping over here. Goes to show how chaotic everything is at home. ha!

LOADS has been happening and, believe me, I'm certainly finding ways to fill up the next 7 weeks. Or, rather, 6 weeks and 3 days. But who's counting?  Anyway, if I go into everything that's been happening here then I will never get around to blogging about meeting Naveen and I really need to get it down on paper. So, here's the story....

Okay, if you read my last post then you know this adoption has been really emotional. Things were great in Mumbai. We were having a wonderful time sightseeing and kicking back for a few days while waiting until we could go to Pune.  But as soon as we actually got to Pune, my emotions started flaring up. Big time.

I had an appt to meet Naveen on a Thursday at 2.30pm - which meant Sandwich and Daisy had to somehow find a way to keep me from driving myself (and them!) crazy all morning and half the afternoon long. We went to breakfast, where I started to get teary-eyed. Then we decided to check out the local mall... where I also started to get teary-eyed (and it was not due to the fact that it was the lamest mall I've been to... it was mostly a food court with a movie theater and half a dozen closed shops).  Then, we went next door and ate at McDonald's. Hey don't judge me. Those Paneer Burgers are to die for. And spicy.  So  I started to get teary-eyed. (By the way, the music they played in the McDonald's was filthy! Man, they were dropping f-bombs everywhere! I was shocked. Do you think they realized what the music was actually saying?).  Anyway, then we sort of walked around... and I got teary-eyed. It was probably good because only one old lady and two young kids asked for money. I gave the elderly lady a few rupees because... hey, I was emotional and I have a soft spot for old people. Help the aged, folks! But we were getting into the rickshaw when the kids asked - and, darnit, don't you know I wish I could've run into McDonald's and bought them something really quickly? I know you're not supposed to do that and it's a big no-no on every tourism advice site, but dadgumit, I was emotional. What are ya gonna do?

Anyway, it was probably good that I was all weepy because people generally left us alone. I think all it took was watching one white woman walk down the street with red eyes and fanning both hands in front of her face while sniffling for everyone around to think, "Dang, that woman is batsh*t crazy. She might lose it any second and push me in front of a speeding car. It might be better for me to just walk on the opposite side of the road and ask one of the Germans from the yoga ashram to give me some money. They practice peace and all that shiz." 


Eventually, slowly, after 7 Christmases had already come and gone, and the ticking of the clock in the hotel room was starting to sound like Chinese torture, the van from the orphanage pulled up, we piled in, and made our way.... and I got all teary eyed.

I know this is going to turn into the blog post that spawned 1500 pages and takes you longer to read than a Harry Potter novel if I don't get on with it, so I'll skip the next hour (in which Sandwich & Daisy lucked out and got to spend the whole afternoon in the nursery with the babies... can I get a collective "ahhh"? Dude, brown babies rock. Don't hate me. I just speak the truth. They are ca-yute!) Anyway, they went to the nursery and I went down the stairs and....

There he was! He was with his group walking up the stairs, just as I was coming down and his ayah said in Marathi,

"Naveen! See that gawgeous woman right there walking down the stairs with her hair flouncing behind her and a chorus of angels accompanying her every step? That's your new mommy!"

Actually, I think she said,

"Um Naveen, that crazy white woman who's all teary eyed with red eyes who's fanning her face with her hands while sniffling is the woman who is going to kidnap you and take you away from me. And you'll never see me again. Now go give her a big hug and kiss!"

Because he took one look at me with those big, gorgeous brown eyes, slowly shook his head and started walking backyards down the stairs. Nothing and I mean nothing could get him to look at me. We tried playing in the playroom, but nope. He'd look at me out of the corner of his eyes and sadly shake his head as if he were saying, "Nope. I'm sorry. I don't accept this."

We tried sitting him next to me while I read a book to him, but he just looked at me and shook his head to let me know that, no, he did not approve.

I sat him on the table in front of me and handed him legoes to stack into towers, which he accepted one-by-one until he built a tower taller than he was (developmentally delayed, my rear end!). And then when he finished, I smiled at him and he just  solemnly shook his head while thinking, "You need just get on a plane and fly  back to where you came from. Because this? It's not gonna happen."

But, then, by the grace of God, and all that is filed in my brain under "Pre-K activities that work", I tried the one thing that actually got Eli to smile for me the first time and the one trick that got  Nandi to smile for me when I first brought her back to the hotel 4 1/2 years ago.

 This Little Piggy

And, let me tell you, this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way into a fit of giggles. Oh, he still wasn't happy with me, but he was intrigued enough to let me me tickle his (oh so stinkin' adorable) little toes and wee wee wee all the up his belly, under his arms, and under his chin.

Then, it was time to go outside and play and he took me by the hand (!!!) and led me to the courtyard, where he continued to impress me with how coordinated and clever and imaginative he is. I know I was supposed to play with him, but all I wanted to do was just watch him and soak up every single thing he did.  To be able to finally see him, after having his referral for a year? I can't even tell you how amazing that was.

I was starting to get paranoid that his ayahs would think I was some sort of horrible mother because I was just watching him, so I put him on my lap (where he immediately froze) and then I did the one thing that my dad has done with each of my kids  that they love....

Ride Little Horsey

Do you know that one? You have the child straddle your lap/legs while facing you and you say...

Ride a little horsey
Down to town
Ride a little horsey
Don't fall down!

And then you open your legs, while holding the child under his/her arms and they drop down a bit and then you fling them back on your lap and shut your legs together. And then you repeat it approximately 137 times and your thighs start to burn and your back starts to hurt and you wonder what idiot invented this nursery rhyme in the first place? But it's great for bonding. =)

At this point, Naveen was starting to warm up to me, but was still distant. I gave him a pack of Kleenex to play with. Nandi loved playing with travel-size Kleenex and it kept her occupied on one whole leg of the flight home. Naveen seemed curious, but quickly grew bored.

Really? You come from the land of Toys R Us and all you brought me was this stinkin' pack of Kleenex?


So I pulled out the last trick I could think of... I quickly knelt down beside him and took our picture together. And then I showed him.

Oh my word, I've never seen a kid's face light up like that. He wanted me to do it over and over again. So we did.
Here

And here

And here

And here's one more

And here's another one

More? Really? Okay, since you asked...

Awww, and here


Around this time, Sandwich and Daisy came down and played with the older kids. Daisy is soooo good with the kids. I want her to move in with me and help raise my children and play with them for hours while I sit back and watch and tell myself how lucky I am to have someone who is so good with my kids.

The kids at the orphanage loved her! And Sandwich was on photo duty and took tons of pictures of all the children and how much you wanna bet that she gets the adoption bug again? (I'm calling dibs on being your travel buddy, Sandwich!)

Anyway, by this point, Naveen and I were best buds.  He wanted to see everything in my little bag. I showed him my pen and he proceeded to show me that he knew exactly what to do with it by marking all over his hands and the arms of all his friends.

 Oooh! A pen! The ayahs never let me play with pens...

I can't wait to use these all over your walls, Mommy!

Then, the staff brought me some bottled water and I offered him a drink. Suddenly, he grabbed it and couldn't get enough.

 Oh, you want some of Mommy's water? Sure, baby.

 Here you go....

 Oh. You're gonna put your whole mouth on the bottle, aren't you? Uh, that's okay. We're family!

Mental Note. Cold water = Happy Baby. The plane better have cold water on it...

And I was so cool with it. Even though we had only just met and he totally covered the entire opening of the bottle with his whole mouth and completely back washed into the bottle, I had no problem with drinking after him. He's my son!  But, by golly, when the other kids came and grabbed the bottle and put their germy mouths on it and backwashed who knows what into it, well, I was done. Stick a fork in me. That's just nasty.

I later found out that the kids were clamoring for the water bottle because they'd never tasted ice cold water before. Their water is always tepid. Oh my gosh, don't you know I can't wait for that little boy to come home and never have tepid water again.  And his own cup. Because I might get tired of that backwash after awhile...


Anyway, pretty soon it was time to go. We knew we'd be back the next day, but I still got teary-eyed. By this point, every time I walked anywhere, Naveen would stop what he was doing and follow me.

Are you about to die from his cuteness?
Are you? Are you?

When they told him it was time for me to go, he ran to me and wrapped his arms around my legs. Oh. My. Breaking. Heart.  The workers were stunned because they said he takes a really long time to warm up to people. So I picked him up and promised I'd be back (all the while dying inside).  And then I passed him on to one of the Directors and he just looked so sad. I had to leave right away or they would've had to carry me out in a sobbing heap - and I know the rickshaw driver would've charged extra for that.  So we left.


 It's okay, baby. Mommy's coming back tomorrow. 

Oh, crap. You mean I have to leave him. Seriously? What kind of cruel joke is this? Why don't you just rip out my heart and stomp on it?  Sniff. I think I'm getting teary-eyed

And then we headed to Pizza Hut because you can get a personal cheese pizza for about 3 bucks and nothing cheers me up like a good pizza, and don't you know, the best pizzas in the world are made in India? That's not a joke. You have to try the Pizza Huts in India. They're incredible. Oh. And you can order paneer on it! Yes, it's called the "We Just Made Leslie's Day Pizza".  So we ate some pizza and got a potato vada for about 5 rupees from a little street stand and then we stopped at a chocolate shop and Sandwich bought me some Toblerone. (She totally speaks my Love Language). And then we went back to the hotel and I ate all the chocolate from the little basket that they put out in the hotel room (because my heart was hurting and my heart needed more chocolate) and I tried to sleep. My heart was breaking at the end, but it was pretty much the best day ever.

It was the day I got to meet my son!

P.S. The reason I'm able to post pictures is because we passed court! We passed court! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Do the Happy Dance! Slap yo' mamma and beat me with a wet noodle! (Or whatever it is that people say when they are exuberantly happy.)  Anyway, that's why I can post pictures, but I had to crop a lot and leave a lot out b/c I can't post pictures that have other children in them or ayahs or identifying features, etc.

P.P.S. Okay, so I know in the beginning of my trip I harped on and on about dressing appropriately. And I think I'm dressed appropriately. Sleeveless (not tight camisoles/spaghetti strap tanks that show off what the good Lord gave ya and 7 inches of accompanying cleavage) is okay in India (maybe not rural India), but you gotta keep the legs covered. As for the scarf, there was just no use in wearing it while playing with Naveen. Tip #310. If you plan on wearing a scarf, bring some safety pins to pin it to your shoulders or you'll be dragging it on the ground and fussing with it the whole time.

P.P.P.S. Should I do the countdown one more time? Okay, here it is...

6 weeks and 3 days.

Man, I'm getting all teary-eyed.


Monday, March 05, 2012

Prelude to Meeting Naveen

In the rickshaw on our way to the orphanage to meet Naveen!
(Because we're still waiting for court approval, I have to be careful about posting his pictures on my blog.)

Warning - mushy, gushy, sentimental post ahead. This is my "Prelude to Meeting Naveen". It gives you a bit of background about why this adoption has been so emotional for me.

Do you ever wish that you could just start over again? That you could have one more chance at life to make everything right? To soak it all in. To appreciate it. To capture every day, every moment as a snapshot in your mind, so that you'll remember it forever?

I have to be honest, I don't remember much about when the kids were little. Ever since Noah was a year old, his life has been full of therapies and doctors and worry. I look back on when he was was  two and I try so hard to freeze those memories so that I can hold onto them forever, but they just seem to slip through my fingers like grains of sand.

I don't remember much at all about Eli's first year home. That was the year that  Noah got really sick and I think I've blocked it all out of my mind. And when he was two, we moved in with my parents and, well, that started a whole new way of living for us all. The adult child becoming dependent on the parent again.

Nandini was in an orphanage when she was two, but when she was three, she joined our family and it was.. .well, chaotic! She and Eli are only 13 months apart and they're like oil and water. They can be best friends one minute and mortal enemies the next. The first 2 1/2 years of Nandi being home were just survival years. Things are great now, but I look back and I can't remember much at all.

My mom says that everyone looks back and wishes they did things differently. That's why so many moms get the baby blues when their youngest goes off to kindergarten. When your children are babies, you just wish they'd be older so they'd start sleeping through the night. And when they're two, you wish they were three so that the terrible two's would pass. And then three comes along and you realize the terrible three's are worse than the two's and wouldn't it be great if they were 4 and they could verbalize their wants more clearly and put on their sandals and brush their teeth and play a bit on their own?

And before you know it, they're in school! And they have friends! And they idolize their teachers and they start listening to other people besides just you.

Where did the time go?

I've been really emotional throughout this entire adoption. I think it's because I know this is our last child. This is the last time I'll get a referral picture (aka - the adoption sonogram), the last time I'll be paper pregnant, and the last time I'll get to see all those "firsts" with a little one.

And it has not escaped me how very very very lucky we are to get a second chance.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think we messed up with our other three. I think they're turning out to be wonderful, creative, funny, individuals.  But we get a second chance.

I know, in reality, that Naveen is going to grieve. And that grieving is going to be hard. And the nights will be long. And those first six months... oh those first six months. I know I'll be wishing we could skip to the next 6 months. I know what reality is.... but, I can't help but feel so blessed that we get to have a little one again. To experience the last few weeks of having a 2 year old. To celebrate his 3rd birthday. To introduce him to a swimming pool for the first time. To see the smile on his face when he has his first sno-cone or when he holds a puppy for the first time. He'll see his first fireworks with us. His first Halloween. His first Christmas. I can't wait. And I want to enjoy every second of these coming days. I feel better prepared this time  around.  I know the pain of wishing life away and I'm determined to embrace every moment with our new son.

This adoption happened so fast. It caught us all by surprise. A friend called me and wanted to know if I'd looked at some of the waiting children on our agency's site and I said I hadn't looked in ages because we were through. Our family was complete. This friend had requested a certain child's file and asked me to go and look at his profile on the website, and when I did, it pulled up all of the of the waiting children. And there in the middle of the sea of faces was Naveen. And both Sim and I just knew. We just knew. It wasn't lightening or a giant voice from the heavens telling us, "This is your son!".  It was just a feeling of peace and calm and truth. Like a gentle whisper saying, "Yeah. This is him. This is the one."

And then everything happened. We had our paperwork done in record time and then the laws in Ind*a changed. Suddenly, six months after we accepted Naveen's referral, we found out that these new laws in Naveen's province meant that our adoption would cost $10,000 more than we had originally thought. We had no choice but to back out. We were struggling to come up with the initial fees anyway... how could we come up with this extra money?  Then we were told that we received a small grant from our adoption agency. Our homestudy agency waived part of their fees. My best friend from high school... her entire family  gave up their Christmas and sent us the money they would have spent on presents. It paid for my entire flight to India this last time.  My sweet friend, Meredith, knitted hats and sold them and gave us the money. Two people who bought hats added extra money to their check to go towards our adoption fund. And a sweet, sweet friend, who is also adopting, sent us a check that will cover our hotels for our 2nd trip.

Have I mentioned how blessed we are?

It makes me cry thinking about it. It makes me cry to think how selfless the people in our lives are... Sim and I feel so unworthy of it all. It blows us away to think that people would help us like that.  And then I get teary-eyed because it's really for Naveen. I mean, this little boy, now has a family. And a future. And the chance to be so much and to do so much. And to think that we almost had to back out... to think that we get to be this little boy's parents.... it's too much sometimes.   I can't tell you all about Naveen's past... we don't have court approval yet and it's really a part of his history and I'm not sure I should share it anyway... but God's fingerprints were all over this adoption.  This little boy is wanted. We want him so much. And we feel so incredibly blessed/lucky/thrilled to have this second chance. To be his parents and to love him like there's no tomorrow.

And we're determined to soak up every day. Every minute. Every moment. Even when it's hard.  We don't ever want to forget how quickly time passes and how lucky we are to be given this chance.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Still Alive and Kicking

I know I've pretty much been silent since we returned from India. That last plane ride was a killer and, though this was my fifth time to India, I have never experienced jet lag quite like this. I'm still waking up around 4:30 in the morning, but it's a lot better than waking up at two.

I was telling a friend that I haven't quite confessed to my husband that I'm feeling a bit better. So far, I'm still able to pull the jet lag card around supper time, and it's gotten me out of quite a few responsibilities. I haven't had to wash up or put the kids to bed in a week. But Sim did look at me with a raised eyebrow yesterday and asked, "Shouldn't you be over this jet lag by now?" so I think my days are numbered...

Unfortunately, my jet lag has been replaced by a little friend I picked up along the way. His official name is intestinal parasite/virus/what-the-heck-is-going-on-down-there, but most people know him as Mr Delhi Belly.

Yeah, I'm prety sure it's a male because a female parasite would never do this to another woman.

So I know someone somewhere out there is pointing a finger straight at my gut and saying, " That's what you get for eating street food, you fool!" But I beg to differ.

I was reading online (who needs a doctor when you have google?) that if you get "the trots", as Sim lovingly refers to it, within 24-48 hours after you return home, then it's probably due to something you ate on your last day. And I would bet my last roll of toilet paper that it's from the potato pav (pronounced "pow") that I ate in the airport.

You see, I ate potato pav off the street in Mumbai, but didn't get sick. And I ate it off the street in Pune and didn't get sick. But, by golly, I'm certain the airport potato pav did a number on me.

I'm from the school that street food could actually be better than restaurant food - especially if you see it being cooked right in front of you and it's piping hot. You just need to be careful of eating it off the plate or drinking your sugarcane juice out of their cup because you don't know what they're cleaned in. And it's really not hard to stick a tin cup in your backpack or  tell the vendor that you want the food in a packet ( take away). So I think it's pretty safe.

Although I will admit that Sandwich has much more street cred (haha) than me and she wisely suggested that I not eat the street Rasgulla that I bought. It's a cold dessert and we don't know how long it was sitting there. Rule of thumb...made in front of you, fried, and hot...try it. Sitting there for who knows how long and cold...just keep on walking by.

She most definitely saved my butt. Literally.

But back to the airport potato pav...It was late evening and for all I know that sucker could've been sitting there growing bacteria for three days. And I know, I just know, it's the culprit.

But don't for one minute think this experience has weaned me off my newest obsession. Oh no. Me and my tapeworm are thoroughly going to enjoy some potato pav in New Delhi. Just not at the airport.

So. I'm pretty sure you're all wondering why I'm rambling on about such drivel when I haven't even blogged about meeting Naveen yet. Well, it's because I'm a immature brat who, when faced with emotional situations, likes to bury her head in the sand. But I can't do that for the next two months. And I am feeling a lot better now and will blog about meeting Naveen. I promise! I can think about him without crying now (yay!) and I've decided that it's muy importante to get Noah's diet back on track, so that'll occupy me for most of the months. So things are going to be okay. And before, you know it, the two months will have passed and I'll be on my way to India to bring my little boy home.

I will survive. I will survive. Hey Hey.