2011 Top Tens

31 12 2011

It is the time of year to post Top Ten lists.  Everybody is doing it.  So I will, too.  Afterwards I will be looking for a bridge to jump off of (… because if everybody was jumping off a bridge…)

Theoretically these lists are about the entire year of 2011, but the truth is I can barely remember the last 12 minutes let alone the last 12 months.  So, MY first three lists are probably more Top Ten of the Last Ten Days.



Top Ten  Most Endearing Things About My Daughter

10.  She has learned to go to bed in her own room

9.  She loves to “read”

8.  She always asks to listen to classical music in the car

7.  She is very proud of all things Ethiopian

6.  She likes school

5.  She is friendly and for the most part polite

4.  She is relatively easy going and enjoys novel situations

3.  She is both intentionally and unintentionally funny, but is not easily embarrassed, so it is all good

2.  She potty-trained easily and does not need reminders

1.  She is my daughter – the best ever



Top Ten Most Endearing Things About My Son

10.  He gallops everywhere

9.  He is super polite and his current way of asking for something is “May I please have X? Please?”

8.  He gives the BEST kisses

7.  He is relatively easy going and enjoys novel situations

6.  He is both intentionally and unintentionally funny but is not easily embarrased, so it is all good

5.  He is tolerant of his sister’s bossy-ness

4.  The way he says, “My Mommy” and “My Daddy”

3.  His amazing memory

2.  His smile, his eyes, his smell, his skin….

1.  He is my son – the best ever



Top Ten Most Endearing Things About My Husband

10.  His cleaning

9.  His cooking

8.  His technical abilities

7.  His laugh

6.  His driving

5.  The way all animals love him

4.  His patience when I am at my worst

3.  His relationship with PJ

2.  His relationship with Little Dude

1.  The fact that he hasn’t left me despite me giving him plenty of reason to



Top Ten Great Things That Happened To Our Family

10.  We got a property manager and renter for our home in Oregon (he is now being evicted, but hey…)

9.  We got part of our 2010 tax refund (not the big part because the IRS hates adopters, but hey….)

8.  We were able to pay off the money we owed my sister

7.  SAG learned to successfully navigate the stupid politics of his job

6.  SAG and I were able to get away as a couple for a quick weekend

5.  An old friend moved to our new town significantly increasing the laughter in our house on Saturday nights

4.  We developed new friendships with people we really, really like

3.  We spent lots of time with the kids’ cousins and other extended family

2.  We bought a house that really feels like a home (really, really, I feel a sense of peace in this home that I have not had in any other home)

1.  Despite a variety of viruses, a bounty of bruises, a gazillion goose-eggs, an angry absess resulting in a raging root-canal, we have our health.  This is something that is noted and appreciated daily.  We are lucky in so many ways.


I Can’t Stop Haiku-ing

30 12 2011

I was recently challenged by The Lost Planetista, a REAL LIFE ARTIST, to create a Haiku.  I had to be reminded of exactly what a Haiku was.

Oh how I long to be the woman who curls up with a book of poetry, a cup of tea and a cat on my lap.  Instead I am the woman who hates tea, doesn’t have time to read because she is too busy changing the litter-boxes and honestly, if it is tougher than Shel Silverstein, she probably won’t understand it.

Still, I rose to the challenge and wrote some bad poetry.  Now, here is the strange thing – I am addicted.  I am thinking in pentameters.  I can’t stop counting syllables.

Five – Seven – Five

Five – Seven – Five

“Wait a second, Honey, Mommy is concentrating.”

“Con-cen-trate-ing – Four, it doesn’t fit.”

So, I am issuing a challenge.  Write a Haiku, about your kids, your adoption, your New Year’s resolution, your rude neighbors.  Anything – write a Haiku about anything.

Post it here.

There will be a prize (randomly drawn because if I can’t WRITE poetry, I certainly can’t JUDGE poetry).  But I must receive at least 20 submissions (because I am the Groupon of my own blogging world).

I would love it if you would invite others to participate.  I will keep the contest open until Melkam Genna – Ethiopian Christmas, which is celebrated on Saturday, January 7th.

The prize will be a new, hard-cover edition of “This Is A Soul:  The Mission of Rick Hodes” by Marilyn Berger.  This book is life-changing.  It is sooooo good, but your poetry does not have to be.

Did I mention the Haikus don’t have to be good?

To show you just how bad they can be, here are two examples of my brain on Haiku.

December 30, 3 am

By day a small child

By night a restless, snorting

Water Buffalo

Reminder To Self

Still so very young

Stretching her mind, her skills, my

Patience, She is Three

My first blogging contest – and it is poetry.  I think 2012 is looking awesome already.

Which Came First

29 12 2011

Holidays often make me feel guilty and put me in a funk.

Spending time with my family (of origin) often makes me feel guilty and puts me in a funk.

Being sick often makes me feel guilty and puts me in a funk.

This past weekend I was with my family for the holidays and I was sick.  The perfect Christmas storm – bah humbug.

The clouds should be parting.  I am no longer with my family and the major holiday, for all intents and purposes, is over. 

I am, however, still stupidly ill.  My voice sounds like it is coming out of the top of my head.  If it becomes any higher pitched I am sure only my dog will be able to hear me.

I think I am feeling better then I get out of bed and try to get something done – like vacuuming – or brushing my teeth – and I break out into a sweat.  Then I try to talk and I break out in a squeak.  Then I go back to bed where I wallow in my guilt, my funk and a mountain of used tissue.

My husband has been staying home in an effort to help combat the funk and the guilt and also to take care of the kids (see I am not the center of the Universe – I know that I still have kids).  I feel guilty when my husband stays home to take care of the kids.  It puts me in a funk.

I am in a funk so I feel guilty. 

I feel guilty because I am in a funk. 

If the chicken and the egg argument is all about which came first, the guilt and the funk conversation should be all about how to end the cycle.

If the guilt equaled the chicken and the funk equaled the egg, I would scramble the funk and eat it.  As for the chicken, well, I would like to cut off its head and eat it too, but after 16 years of being a pescatarian that would make me feel guilty. 

Damn chicken.

Wordless Wednesday

29 12 2011

PJ: "Now I look like a Cowboy." Me: "Yes, yes you do."

Wordless Wednesday

21 12 2011

Not even close to Wordless, but all about the photos.

Our Holiday Card out-takes were not as funny as last year’s (that I posted here.)

Maybe it is because we are all so darn beautiful and well behaved.

Maybe it is because we mostly wore hats.

Maybe it is because I promised candy (a trick I learned from Got Will Add.)

And finally – what was sent out.

For those of you who read my Bah Humbug post yesterday – I did get four cards in the mail.  But most importantly, I did decided to just get over myself.

I wish you the very best this holiday season.

If you celebrate the birth of Jesus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid – alAdha, Festivus, New Years or Solstice, and even if you celebrate nothing at all, please enjoy this time of year.

I hope it brings you a sense of cheer and peace.

What’s Up – Fun Size

20 12 2011

Fun Size Posts – Where my thoughts are not developed enough to be regular or king size.

Inertia – the desire to blog but the inability to get started because a blog at rest stays at rest.

Why Target Is Stupid – They don’t sell workout wear large enough for the people who really need to work out.  People whose asses are the exact size of my ass.  Thanks, Target.  Guess what?  Walmart sells it, and they call it a Large, so I feel skinnier and actually go to the gym.

A Weekend WithOUT Children – Yes, SAG and I had one.  In Houston.  As guests at a surprise party for my best friend.  It was awesome.  I ate a ton of Tex-Mex.  Our kids did just fine without us (the first time for Little Dude, the second time for PJ.)  I stalked Ethiopians. I tried a new approach instead of Selam-ing them, I Amasayganalo’d them.  As per usual, they were kind and patient with me.

Life Without A List – If I don’t have a to-do list I just bob around in the waves.  No direction.  No forward motion.  No sense of satisfaction when I actually do something and don’t have a place to cross it off.  When I finish this post I am going to make a list.  The first item on the list will say “Make A List.”  I always do that.  It makes me feel good to be able to cross it out.  The second item will be, “Write a Blog Post.”  Yep, my to-do lists are sometimes retroactive because it makes me feel good.

Holiday Cards – I sent out more than 60.  I hand delivered almost a dozen.  I have received less than 10.  The people on my card list are obviously assholes good enough friends with me that they know a card is not important in maintaining our relationship.

A Christmas Miracle – While we have been trying to develop an elaborate plan for months, we haven’t ever gotten past the first or second step.  Our goal to have our kids go to sleep in their own beds actually resulted in both of our kids going to sleep in our bed (clearly the wrong direction.)  Then both of our kids sleeping on an air mattress in the room now designated “the kids room.”  My chiropractor enjoyed this stage of the plan as it resulted in me having lots of neck pain from laying with them on the air mattress.  Yes, the plan keeps going the wrong way and we are completely at a loss with what to do next.  My fear of messing with Little Dude’s attachment helps to keep me paralyzed in this area.

Then, last night (because there was a hole in the air-mattress and we weren’t sure what else to do) we put our kids in their individual beds, sang a song and walked out of their room.  Something we haven’t been able to do with PJ in about 18 months.  Something we have never even thought of trying with Little Dude.  Guess what happened – They stayed in bed until they fell asleep and only came into our room in the middle of the night.

Usually I lay with them until they are asleep.  This takes at least 45 minutes on the average night.  It is possible that I just got 11.4 DAYS added to the next year.  A true Christmas Miracle.

The End Of Perfectionism – Releasing this quickly-written, poorly-crafted post into the blogosphere in an attempt to get inertia back on my side.  After all, a blog in motion stays in motion.

Best Childrens’ Book Ever Has A Companion

1 12 2011

My favorite children’s book ever is

I posted about it here.

This book is good for ANY CHILD.  Wait, that might not be totally true.  If a child is being raised to believe skin color is the way to judge a person, then his parents won’t want him to see this book.  Otherwise, it should be in the library of every parent and classroom around the world.

Guess what???

I just discovered,

the authors have

another book.







There is a God.

Same great photography.

Same straightforward text.

Language that VERY FEW people in the triad could be offended by.  (Of course there is always someone in the triad, somewhere, that wants to be offended.  And I will admit, this book doesn’t FOCUS on loss.  But it doesn’t make it sound like anyone should be grateful or that gumdrops, roses and unicorns fill the sky.  It does say that “Most” kids are happy.)

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for A TEACHER?  How about a friend with a new child?

Both of these books belong in the library of every educator and every child around the world.  Wait, I already said that.  Yeah, I am really repetitive when I am trying to make a point.