The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Saturday, June 30, 2007


I'm sure that I don't have to tell anyone how important it is to start early with reading with children. It was very frustrating with Keira at first because she never wanted to sit still and a reading session would usually last about 10 seconds before she would start trying to tear the pages out of the book or would roll away to play with something else. Thankfully as she gets a little older, she is getting a little more interested in hearing stories. Aside from her attention span growing more and more, I think that another thing that has contributed to her growing interest is Pajamarama.

Pajamarama is a fun activity at Barnes and Noble for children. It's in the evening and children can wear their pajamas and hear Miss Andrea read bedtime stories to them. She is hilarious and really interacts well with the children. She never fails to crack me up since she always has a funny reaction to the little stories that the small children tell her about subjects that range from losing a tooth to what they ate for breakfast.

After she reads a couple of stories, the children can color with crayons and get stickers. Little by little, Keira is getting better at sitting still to hear a story...although sometimes she is all over the place and bouncing off the walls. Those are generally nights that we leave a little early :).

It's open to all ages for young children, so check out your local Barnes and Noble! Here are a few pictures of Keira at Pajamarama as well as one of her wearing one of Dan's hats. How is that tied to Pajamarama? It isn't....I just thought it was cute! lol

Friday, June 29, 2007

"Donny and Ginger"

Tom Biagini is a good friend from long ago that decided to follow a dream of his- acting! He owned a successful gym in Marin County up North and sold it a few years ago to move to LA to get more exposure and concentrate more on acting as a career. So far, he's doing great! He's been on The OC and has been in a couple of short films ("Favors" and "Donny and Ginger"). The latter is part of the HBO Shout Short Film Competition and is showing on HBO-On-Demand for the last time this weekend. I just found out that Direct TV (which is what I have) doesn't carry HBO-On-Demand, so if any of you have it and get the chance, make sure to check it out! It's only about 10 minutes long---thus the category of "short film" :). Also, let me know if you do...I'd really appreciate it if any of you can record it for me. I would hate to miss seeing him in this.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Packed Weekend

This weekend was a very busy one---and very fun! On Friday, we headed down to Admiral Baker Park in San Diego to celebrate Kellen Tolentino's birthday. Kellen is the son of Glenn and Carrie and it was the birthday boy's first birthday. I've known Glenn since Junior High and it's been so many years since I've seen him. We recently got in touch again through blogging. He has a great blog that I read everyday to keep up with all of the things that he and his family have been up to and just like with Chloe Cuizon, I feel like I've already known Kellen for a long time through reading all of the cute stories of his adventures. When we arrived at the park, the very first person that we see is none other than Kellen. He greeted us by immediately showing his walking prowess by taking Keira's stroller for a walk. Keira joined in as well, so we headed through the tables with the stroller like a bulldozer running people over. He's so cute! We had a great time catching up with people that I haven't seen in such a long time. I even ran into friends that I haven't even seen since Junior High! Amazing! It was alot of fun laughing, telling stories and finding out what everyone has been up to. There was a big play area and Keira was so freaked out by having her feet in the sand. You can tell that out of all the places that we've been to, she hasn't run around on the beach yet by her reaction. Guess where we're going this week? That's right! No time like the present to face your fears is what I say! :).

The next day was Chloe Cuizon's baptism. We headed down to the church in Chula Vista for the service then over to Ray and Denise's house (Arjay's brother and sister in law- as well as Chloe's new Godparents)for the reception. It was great seeing everyone again, however, Keira was in a really crabby mood! She got a few timeouts for bad behavior by Dan and was really fussy. I think that the lack of sleep had something to do with it.
Speaking of, she's been back to sleepless nights again for some reason this weekend. Friday night is when it started and for some reason, she decided to wake up every 15-30 minutes or so. I checked EVERYTHING to try to find out what was wrong. She wasn't wet (maybe because I changed her diaper a few times to eliminate that as a possible problem!), she wasn't hungry, she definitely wasn't in any pain. How do I know that? She would scream and cry and as soon as Dan or I would check on her, she would be laying there in her crib- eyes wide open and say "Hi!". Then she would want to be picked up so that she could play. 2-3 in the morning! ARGH!!! Well, she finally decided that she wanted to go to sleep at about 5:30am and guess what? I got her up at her normal time anyway to keep her on schedule. That's what she gets for wanting to stay up all night to party like a rockstar. lol. She looked at me when I got her up like, "Are you nuts??? I'm trying to sleep!" Well, she still after everything kept to pretty much her normal schedule...but on Saturday night, she was up again crying and wanting out of her crib to play every 30 minutes to an hour. At least that's better than every 15-30 minutes, right? :). Well, we decided that we needed to implement the plan of waiting certain increasing intervals of time between the crying before we went in to check on her. BOY the first 10 minutes was the LONGEST 10 minutes ever! By the time we got to the 15-20 minutes intervals of going back in, she would pretty much stop crying and go to sleep on her own. I got a little more sleep last night than the night before, but still not much. Where did all of this come from??? She was doing so much better with her sleeping...what happened???!?!?! Well, tonight I'm going to have to work on the intervals again. Although it's not letting her cry it out completely since the plan is to go into the room after a certain period of time and not to NOT go in at all ever, it's still rough hearing her cry. We'll get through it....we did before....

Anyway, thanks to everyone for a fun weekend! We had a blast, but unfortunately because of that, we didn't get many pictures. Here is one of the Cuizon Clan as well as Dawn, Chloe, Keira and I. Check out Keira's pose. She's either pointing at something or in the "No pictures please" moviestar stance. Also a couple of Keira enjoying the cake at Kellen's birthday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Baby Brawl!

You know how although you may try to keep an open mind about people, there are always times when someone may rub you the wrong way? Sometimes you may come across someone and decide "Hmm...there's just something about that person that I don't like". Usually it's unfounded once you get to know them, but sometimes it turns out that there really is a reason. Most of the time it's probably just a clash of personalities. That kind of intuition isn't something that I thought people start to do until they are at least teenagers. Apparently, it starts much earlier than that! Yesterday, Keira and I were out running errands. It was about an hour before her afternoon nap, so I decided to run her to the mall to let her play in the Playtown area to tire her out. When we got there, there were lots of children about her age running and playing. Some were a little older and chasing each other, but most were right around her age give or take a couple of months. Keira is generally good with sharing and playing with other children, although she will get possessive with things at times- like most babies will. One of the things that I never noticed until I had a child was that babies and small children will give the other children a little push when they are playing with something that they don't want to share. Other children have done it to Keira and she has done it to others. I'm usually right there to try to correct the action and she's gotten much better about not doing it. There she was sitting in a little play car when a cute little baby about her age walked up. She stood up and they both stood there staring at each other. I turned around for not more than a second to see if the stroller was still where I put it and when I turned back around there were the girls holding on to each other's dresses shaking each other and trying to push each other down. YIKES! I ran over as fast as I could and picked Keira up breaking up the little fight. After a timeout and letting Keira know exactly what I thought of her bad behavior, I let her back down. The little girls each stayed in opposite corners of the Playtown and by chance ended up playing close to each other after a while. As soon as they were near each other again, they started up again, trying to push each other screaming baby screams at each other. What on earth was going on?!?!?! They were near other kids and didn't have this type of reaction---why only to each other? I felt like Steve on the Jerry Springer Show! The other baby's mom and I both separated them again giving them each a timeout and apologizing to each other profusely. After a little bit, they ended up next to each other again and the little girl grabbed Keira's arm and pushed her down. Her mother took care of it right away and apologized again. After another period of time, they ended up next to each other on the little slide. They stood next to each other and looked at each other again. Her mother and I both had the same idea and moved closer to break up another fight before it started and to my surprise---it didn't! They both slid down the slide and from that point, the fighting was finished. Granted, they weren't buddies now, but they were no longer interested in fighting with each other. It was all so bizarre! I had never seen anything like that before in babies. Kids maybe...but not in babies this young. The other mother and I laughed it off. None of them were hurt and they are both babies, so I mean, what can you do? They were exactly the same height, same age and although they didn't look alike, they were both little asian babies. Was Keira the bully, or was the other little girl? I don't think that I'll know until something similar happens again and I can catch it. If it's Keira that was being a bully, that will DEFINITELY have to stop! If she wasn't the aggressor, I'm glad that she stood up for herself. I have a feeling though that she wasn't exactly completely innocent in the whole thing- you can call that MY intuition ;).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Yesterday was Dan's first Father's Day! We started out the day going to brunch with Uncle Mike and Auntie Lorraine. We had a great time and Keira got to spend some time playing with Uncle Mike. After that, we spent a nice mellow day at home. When we were getting ready to go out for Armenian food later that evening, Keira was playing on Dan's chair and fell off landing on the ground--- hitting the side of her face on a barbell hidden between the couch and his chair. She got a pretty icky bump and bruise on the side of her face. She cried of course, but was laughing and playing soon after. We kept an eye on her to see if we should take her to the Emergency Room, but she seemed fine. She also believe it or not was GREAT about holding the ice on her bruise! It's amazing that she would do that at such a young age. She did such a great job that this morning, the bruise is completely gone. The food at dinner was great and they had a belly dancer. We thought that Keira would love it and would probably want to dance along with her, but we were surprised that she was actually terrified of her. Everytime she would dance near Keira, she would turn to me crying for me to pick her up while patting her chest. That is her "sign" telling me that she is really scared. After that we took a walk along the beach in Carlsbad and headed home for the night.

Thank you for being such a wonderful father and a great husband Dan! Keira and I are so lucky and blessed to have you!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Long Time Friends

This week was such a fun week for us. We got a visit from family and we got to meet up with some very good friends!

First, Thursday Keira got to experience the Del Mar Fair. Oh wait..I think that it's called The San Diego County Fair now. They have a Kiddiezone where there are alot of rides and things for much smaller children. We ran into Terri, Rob and their children Analyn and Raelyn. The kids are getting so big. It's always great to see them and Terri and I caught up a little on the going on's with work. After that, Keira got to ride a pony for the first time. She had a great time and was laughing and petting the pony saying hi the whole time. Her pony was walking a little slow, so the pony behind her kept biting her on the butt!

On Friday, we got to meet up with the Cuizon Family (Arjay, Dawn and Chloe) at Sea World! Arjay(or Rod) and I were joined at the hip as kids all the way up to when we parted ways in college. We always remained friends, but lost contact for quite some time. It's always so great to see him because even after long periods of time pass, it's still like old times laughing and remembering funny things from long ago. I remember whenever he would come to visit the house when we were kids, my mom would always end up putting him to work cleaning the pool or helping her pull weeds in the garden. Very funny! I have so many funny memories of us singing and rockin' out in my old truck on the way to school and hilarious things that we said and did as kids. I still remember it all like it was yesterday and now here we are with our children. We made a promise to each other that we would make sure that our kids grew up together and that is a promise that will definitely be kept! Hopefully they don't give us headaches when we are older with all sorts of crazy things that they get into together! I didn't get a chance to take any pictures, so here is a picture that he took as well as Arjay's blog where he has posted a couple of pictures! (

Today, we got to meet up with my friends Anjela and Terri as well as Terri's daughter Romisha. I first met them back in the old days of when I used to work doing and selling cosmetics. It's so hard to believe that I first met Romisha when she was not much older than Keira and now she just graduated from High School! Wow how time flies! She is now a beautiful young lady that is on her way to nursing school. She was so good with Keira and she just loved playing with her.

Here are some pictures of Keira at the fair as well as having lunch today with Terri, Misha and Anjela.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Visit From The Curry Clan!

This weekend, Keira got a chance to meet all of her cousins on the Curry side of the family in one shot! The Dukats are from Virginia and are Dan's sister Laura, her husband Eric, daughter Hannah and son Noah. The Frucheys are from Arizona and are Dan's sister Christine, her husband Todd, daughters Fallon and Aria. Todd wasn't able to make it out, Christine and the girls stayed with us. The Dukats are doing a big West Coast visit, so they stayed centrally to all parties in Huntington Beach. Noah, Keira and Aria are all 2 months apart in age in each direction with Noah as the eldest and Aria as the youngest. When Aria got off the plane, Dan carried her which instantly set off the baby girl's competition. They were VERY competitive with each other for everything from affection to toys (especially Max's dump truck!) although they did get along when they played together. They did all learn to share everything- including a nasty cold, so you can imagine 3 very little ones with dripping snotty noses. Needless to say, we ran out of Kleenex FAST! Hannah and Fallon were both so good and patient with all of the babies and it was alot of fun! We got to go to (of course, Keira's favorite) Legoland as well as the beach. The last day that the Frucheys were here though was more of a resting day since Keira ended up getting pretty sick. It was alot of fun and we can't wait to see them all again! As you can tell from the pictures, with so much baby chaos going on, it was very difficult to get all of them looking at the same direction for pictures. Here are some of the pictures of them all playing as well as Keira and Aria watching the Wiggles together. This was one of the few quiet times with both of them together, although it didn't last long once Keira snatched the blanket away. The last one is one that Dan took when Keira woke up after her nap. She wasn't feeling good, but looked way too cute running around in her onesie and Uggs on. In August, she'll finally get a chance to see Auntie Gigi and Max as well as see Lola again!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lunch With Jen and Michelle

Jen and Michelle are great friends that I used to work with. We all started working together for SBC when it was still considered Pacific Bell. They always said to expect changes and to remain flexible and that ended up being with everything- including the name, which shifted from Pac Bell to SBC and now to AT&T. We all branched off into different jobs over the years, but we try and get to gether once in a while for lunch to catch up and for laughs.

We were invited to Jen's place in Leucadia for lunch and had a great time. Jen and her boyfriend Dave have a beautiful place that was from the 20's. Jen took us on a little tour and I think that it started off as a smaller place that they put alot of work on with expansion and renovations. All of the work was done by Dave and it's amazing! He even transformed an area of their bedroom into a fantastic closet space that someone could probably live in! lol There is a guest house as well as an entertainment area that could double as a complete second guest house as well. There is also a beautiful fish pond with a waterfall in the front of the house with lots of trees and plants.

When we first got there, I was knocking on the door a few times with no answer. Since I'm at home with Keira now, my days get confused, so at first I thought that I had the wrong day. I called Michelle and she said I had the right day and she was on her way. When she arrived, she gave Keira a cute little pink bear that she kissed and played with most of the time. I knocked a couple of times more and an older guy opened the door peeking his head out. Turns out that I had been knocking on the door at the guest house....oops! :) We finally ended up at the right place and Keira got to point at the fish.

Keira was pretty good during lunch and got to try Peanut Butter and Jelly for the first time. Michelle can't believe that I haven't given her this total kid staple yet!

Here are some pictures of Keira with Jen and Michelle. Thanks for lunch. It was great seeing the two of you!

On a completely unrelated note.....can you believe that every news station yesterday (including FOX and CNN) spent most of the morning showing Paris Hilton going to jail again??? eGAD! Ok...I'll admit it, I watched alot of it but HEY! It was only in disbelief that it was on...I promise ;).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Water Baby

Not that staying busy was ever a problem before, but I've been working especially hard on staying busy and being out and about since losing Jackson. The house just seems really lonely without him keeping me company when Keira would be taking her naps. Keira and I have been running around doing errands, going to Birch Aquarium and of course the weekly staple- Legoland!!! She has been having so much fun over there now since she realized how fun the water can be. She REALLY gets soaked now. Crowds of people will be walking by and most have to stop and laugh at how cute she is running through the water scream laughing. Every once in a while, she'll do something really funny like stick her head right on the spout just before the water comes shooting out or will sit on the flat ground spout. It's a good thing she didn't end up giving herself an enema! She really has a great time. At Birch Aquarium, she got to play with some of the exhibits and really loved touching the starfish. I'm also including some great pictures that Auntie Lorraine took when she was watching Keira. She was supposedly a really good girl, although there is an incriminating picture of her playing with Mommy's computer, which is a huge no no! lol One shows her crazy hair when she takes out her pony tails. She looks like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Either that or Sideshow Bob. The other picture is a great picture that she captured as Keira was doing her favorite thing....her random screaming and laughing. The ladies at the gym Kid's Club call her either Boo or Screamer....Hmmm...I wonder why :)

Sunday, June 3, 2007


A long time ago, back in the days of City College, I was approached by a dog on the lawn who was about 10 months old. He was pretty badly beat up, but a very gentle, sweet guy. After spending a little time getting him meatloaf sandwiches and getting him to trust me, I was able to coax him, along with the help of many others at school, into my truck. I was going to take him to the Humane Society, but knew that they would probably just put him down if he were as much of a mess as he was. I needed to take him to the Vet first to be treated before going to the Humane Society so that he could at least stand a chance of being adopted. There was no way that I could keep him since I was a starving college student living in a small condo. My sister Gigi loaned me the money to bring him to the Vet and my sister Lorraine came with me a few days later to pick him up from the Vet's Office. As soon as he came out into the waiting area---he walked over to me and put his head on my lap. I knew at that point that he was going to stay with me no matter what. I would make it work somehow. He has been with me since over the past 16 years.

He has been my "good boy", constant companion and a member of the family ever since. We went to the beach every day in his younger days and would take long walks down to Seaport Village when we lived downtown. Every night, he would sleep at the foot of my bed and wake me up in the morning by touching my face with his nose.

As he got older, his legs started to give out on him and he lost his hearing. He was no longer able to do so many of the things that I took for granted--but he was still there so happy to see me and waiting for his treats.

He no longer slept at the foot of my bed once it got too difficult to get up from his dog bed in the living room. He no longer woke me up for the same reason but for some reason, over the last few days, he started to hobble into the room to sleep at the foot of the bed and would come over to wake me up. He couldn't stand very well anymore, so he would lay on the floor while I pet him once I was awake.

With him getting on in age, I knew that the inevitable would one day come. I wanted him to be able to go on his own, but I also would never want to see him suffer. Because of that, I decided that he would have to let me know in his own way when it was time.

Lorraine stayed with Keira last night while Dan and I went out to celebrate our 5 year Anniversary. When we got back, late last night he woke up panting and whimpering. I stayed with him until his breathing came back to normal and he could relax. Dan and I fell asleep and woke up once again to him not only panting, but howling and sounding almost like screams. I stayed out in the living room with him and slept on the couch, until he woke me up one last time barely able to breathe. I knew he was telling me that it was time.

I brought him to the Vet at 3 this morning. I got to spend a few more moments with him thanking him for everything that he had given me and telling him how much I loved him. I stayed with him a little after he went to sleep.

It's hard to believe that he's gone. I will always miss him- my good boy.