I hope you've been able to sort out your travel plans. I thought you might benefit from a couple of pointers regarding American Airlines awards bookings.
First of all, once you have a AAdvantage frequent flyer account, you can log on to their website and search for award availability with a few airlines (American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia, US Airways, Air Berlin, Alaskan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Jordanian). Once you've selected award flights, you can continue through to the 'payment' page and you'll see how much the taxes and charges are. I did this a few times at the start of my AA experience to get an idea of the different taxes that various airlines charge (and there is HUGE variance between them, due to fuel surcharges).
Secondly, the American Airlines site allows you to HOLD any award reservation for 5 full days without paying a cent. I've found this REALLY useful in the past when you come across award availability on a route that you want, but need to discuss it first with someone else. In those cases, I put in all my details, and on the final page where payment is offered, you'll see an option to HOLD the reservation. Importantly also, you don't need any points in your account to hold an award. As such, you can be in a position where you have 0 points, find an award flight that tickles your fancy, place it on HOLD, then immediately go and purchase the miles you need (if there is a good deal on). I've managed to do this twice in the past year with great success. Of course, the 100k miles per year purchase limit still applies, so family members might be able to help you out ;)
Keep that in mind when looking around AA, and best of luck!