Wednesday, October 20, 2010

India comes to Kentucky on horseback

For two weeks Lexington played host to the World Equestrian Games; an Olympic-styled competition of equestrian arts featuring riders from around the world. In fact, this is the first time that the competition has traveled outside of Europe. Lexington was bustling with events and new visitors, with a buzz of excitement everywhere you went.

As luck would have it, we stumbled upon the Indian Tent-Pegging team. Tent-pegging is an ancient cavalry maneuver turned competitive sport. While watching, Manu was noticed by the Colonel in command of the Indian team. He motioned to Manu to come over, and then he picked him up and shared his horse. This made a great day at the games even more special.

Manu with the Commander of the Indian team.

Manu and Haley pose with the rest of the team.

Friday, September 24, 2010


In July of 2008 we headed for our summer vacation on Hilton Head Island, having just hours before leaving, completed our dossier and mailed it to India. I remember vividly how excited we were to be finished with the paperwork, as well as how exhausted we were after months of shuffling it. We clang tightly to the few pictures we had of our future son as we lounged on the beach and explored the island.

What a difference two years can make :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wonderful news for one of Manu's "cousins"

We are relieved to learn that Nisha, one of Manu's "cousins" from Ashraya, got a very good report from the doctor. You can read about this medical miracle here:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friends in India

Please join us in congratulating our friends, the Stums, as they travel to Ashraya, Manu's children's home, to meet their new son Vismay. You can follow their journey here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Very Special Reunion

Last weekend we headed north to Cincinnati to spend a few days getting acquainted with some very special families - families who adopted children from Ashraya, Manu's children's home in Bangalore, India. What's even more special is that, of the families who could attend, all of our children were residents of Ashraya at the same time, and now they are together again, a couple years later, and half a world away.

We met up with the Stafford's, and their 3yo little girl Anju, on Thursday night at the hotel. Manu and Anju are the youngest of the four adopted kids who attended. They played in the "kiddie" pool while the adults got to know one another. The Next morning we met up with Jennifer Carr and her troupe of children, which included 5yo Bailey, and we headed to the Zoo. After navigating miles of stalled interstate traffic on the way, we were welcomed to the park by a torrential downpour that completely soaked everyone. Hey, when life gives you lemons...Thankfully it also cooled down the weather and made for a pleasant afternoon once the showers moved on past. Back to the hotel to freshen up a bit before heading to an Indian restaurant for dinner, and then back to the pool for another evening of swimming and socialization.

Saturday morning we were joined by the Brooke Tague and her familiy who were delayed by an unexpected surgical procedure for their daughter Nisha, not to mention simply getting the dates of the reunion wrong ;-) Thankfully Nisha was doing well enough that they could make the drive down from Indianapolis. We headed to Big Bone Lick State Park to see a herd of Bison that included some very young calfs. Later we took over the back room at a LaRossa's Pizza parlor and lunched while discussing our experiences in India and our time at Ashraya. It was fun listening to other stories of people who have experienced the same journey that we have. Afterward we said goodbye to Jenn and family, who were headed home, and we broke away from the rest of the pack to do a little shopping at IKEA while the others visited a museum. Dinner downtown and then back to the pool where we talked with Amy and Brooke for a few more hours.

It was a very touching meeting these children, knowing their past circumstances and seeing how well they've adjusted in their new lives. It was fun watching them interact with each other, and especially watching Manu mimic the actions of the older kids. The kids seemed to bond almost instantly, and it was sad when we all had to go our separate ways. Sometimes it's nice to know you're not alone in the world, and we hope this and future get-togethers will give Manu a sense of community and a better understanding of the past he left behind. I know it was good for us.

Anju, Bailey and Manu at the zoo

Follow me!

Our future engineers

Or marine biologists

Tough day at the zoo

Bailey (5), Nisha (4), Anju (3) and Manu (2)

Ever try and get 3 kids to all look at you at the same time?

Anju and Nisha say goodbye

Hugs all around

Anju and Manu, hey that rhymes!

The gang's all here!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A day out with Thomas

This past weekend we took a little trip to New Haven, KY, home of the KY Railway Museum, and the 2010 Day Out With Thomas celebration. If I haven't mentioned it already, Manu loves Thomas the Train, and all of his railway buddies, so it was no surprise that he had a great day. We got to ride on a train car that was pulled by Thomas himself, plus play on lots of train-tables that were set up with different train sets. Manu got to "meet" Sir Topham Hatt, the railway director on the Island of Sodor, plus he enjoyed story-time and watching Thomas Videos. All in all a very useful day indeed!

Manu playing at one of the many train tables.

Here comes Thomas!

Mommy and Manu after our ride was over.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bad, bad blogger daddy!

So it's been a little while since we last heard from our hero, through no fault of his own. His official biographer has been letting life get in the way. Daddy, it seems, is an eternal procrastinator, and finding time to blog, as well as keep up with "Nu Nu", is a bit overwhelming at times. Not trying to make excuses, just giving you the facts. No matter, the blog posts may be fewer and further between, but they'll be just as cute :-)

Well let's see, since the last time you've heard from us we've had a Birthday, an Easter, a Mother's Day and a Memorial Day. Too much to try and sum up in one post, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are several to catch you up on our comings and goings as of late:

Haley takes Manu for a spin in her Escalade.

Manu opening one of his gifts on his Birthday.

Our future train engineer practices on his new train set.

Mesmerized by the sheer number of candles. Happy 2nd Birthday!!

Picking "flowers" for Mommy.

Mommy and Manu share a smile at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Haley teaching Manu the basics of the trampoline

Manu's first pony ride!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Wild Wild West

In a scene reminiscent of the shootout at the OK corral, they meet upon the field of battle; fierce competitors bent on conquest, eyes locked on one another with an unflinching determination to claim what both believe is rightfully theirs.

You can almost hear the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly playing softly in the distance. Soon the maneuvers will begin; each exploiting the other’s weaknesses. The old guard eyes suspiciously the Johnny-come-lately who seeks to challenge tradition and upset the balance of power established long ago. Although the young one brings to the battle a feisty passion and nimble quickness and spirit, experience is wielded by the old-timer.

BAM! In the blink of an eye it’s over. As the dust settles, the rookie looks toward the horizon to see his foe riding off into the sunset. In a moment of sheer frustration and panic he sounds his mournful battle cry: “MOMMY!?!?!?!?”—as the dog chomps down on the peanut butter sandwich that he had just snatched from Manu’s little hands.

Hey, you win some, you lose some. That’s how it goes in the Wild Wild West that is our house; it’s every baby and animal for himself! Manu has become increasingly irritated any time the dog comes near. Not that he’s afraid of Casey, but he knows Casey wants whatever Manu’s got, be it food or plaything. A stuffed animal becomes a chew toy quicker than you might think. One treat of Manu's that Casey isn't interested in is ice. Yep, just ice. For a while now he has shown interest in drinking out of a big boy cup, and occasionally we let him sip out of our water glasses. Well, our cups have ice, so he wants ice too! We have a little ice cube tray that makes tiny little cubes; cubes that are too small to be a choking hazard (we watch him carefully anyway mom!) We'll put a few in a little cup and he's content to chomp on them like they're candy. I guess he doesn't have sensitive teeth! We figure with all of the crap out there he could be snacking on, ice is a pretty good compromise. Cutest part of it is, every time we open the freezer door, he starts shouting, "ithe ithe ithe."

Fierce competitors for sure!

Big shoes to fill.

Joe Cool.

How did you find me down here?

Studying for the advance placement exams.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back by popular demand!

Hi everyone, sorry for the delay in updates. The weather and early nightfall of the past few weeks has made us less than motivated to take many pictures nor do anything else interesting worth writing about. We did venture out to a neighborhood park last weekend when the temps broke into the fifties for a day or so, but all of the snow melt made it a sloppy mess, so we didn't play too long. That park is however located very close to an interstate overpass. Why is this interesting? Because we sat Manu in one of the little kid swings that faced the interstate, and he had the time of his life watching the semi-trucks go over the bridge. Every time he saw a new one he would point and say "WOW" at the top of his lungs. So much so that other families at the park would stop and look to see what was so exciting. He did that for about 45 minutes, and we had to pull him away!

Manu has really taken a liking to all sorts of mechanized vehicles, but trains in particular. We try not to let him watch too much TV, but there is a new show in the Disney Channel called Chuggington that he loves so much, we have every episode on DVR, and let him watch one every day. It's basically a knock-off on Thomas the Train, which he is fascinated with too. Our local Barns and Noble has a Thomas the Train wooden setup in the children's section that he would play with for hours if we let him. Leslie has taken him there a few times and just sits and reads a book while he "choo choos" around the tracks. Can you guess what he's getting for his Birthday? If any grandparents, aunts and uncles need gift ideas, make sure what ever you get are part of the "wooden" series, as I think there are 3 or 4 different lines of trains.

Manu continues to love school, at least after the obligatory crying fit at drop-off is over most mornings, LOL. It gets mentioned every day, how much energy he has. They tell us they've never seen anything like it before; he's so fast. We did have one interesting report a week or so ago. Apparently one day Manu took to pushing other little children down and laying on them until they cried! We were concerned about this, as we had no idea how to try and correct such behavior, as obviously he doesn't do that at home. They said that it looked like a new type of play for him and nothing malicious toward the other children. They asked us if we let him watch professional wrestling, LOL! No. Apparently that was a one day thing and he's back to playing nice again.

Finally, he's growing like a weed and talking up a storm. He's just starting to put multiple words together to express his desires. It's still confusing, but getting easier to understand what he wants...usually something we don't want him to have. He loves the word no, and uses it frequently. He says "peas" and "tank ooh", almost to a fault. "Luv ooh" is our favorite though!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It's hard to believe that a year has passed since we first held our new baby boy. At times it seems as though it was only yesterday, but in our hearts he has been there forever. It is amazing how someone so small can have such an enormous impact on the world around him. We hope that one day we'll be able to adequately express to him how we felt on that special day, and that his presence in our family has changed our lives eternally. We love you Manu.

And to close out what has been the best year of my life, here are a few more pictures of the most wonderful two people in it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Me, You and Manu, The Year in Review: Part Two

It was obvious to us by the time we started towards Delhi that this parenting thing was going to take a little practice in order to get it right. Click here to read our account of Manu's first road trip. We arrived in New Delhi over a long holiday weekend, so there was plenty of time to check out the city and all of its sights and attractions. Our embassy visits were relatively painless, and with Manu's Visa in hand, it made the last few days before returning home very relaxing, knowing that he was now ours to take home! Here are a few more pictures of our Delhi adventure.

Mommy and Manu enjoying a mid-afternoon snack.

The three of us near the entrance to the Taj Mahal grounds.

The Taj from a different perspective. It was one of the most beautiful sights we have ever seen.

One of two identical mosques as seen from the Taj platform.

Workers demonstrate the art of marble inlay, similar to that adorning the walls of the Taj.

Daddy and Manu at a restaurant in Agra.

School children on a field trip to Humayun's Tomb.

Humayun's Tomb. Similar in architecture to the Taj, but constructed of red sandstone.

Mommy and Manu sit down and relax after a hard afternoon of sight seeing!

These ladies all but begged us to take their picture, and then wanted 100 rupies each as their fee, LOL. We gave them 10 each.

This is the room in which Ghandi spent his last days before his murder. It contains all of his worldly possessions

Haley meeting her new cousin for the first time at the airport.