A Cat And A Laser Pointer

29 04 2012

We had an epic garage saleing day yesterday.

By 2:30 p.m. the back of my van looked like I was on the way to the dump a thrift store instead of on my way home with a million new treasures.

In these photos alone you will see a new to us – pair of shoes, hat, sparkly skirt, backpack and baby-doll (in backpack).

The sun streaming into the bedroom bouncing off of the new skirt lit up the kids’ room in a sea of sparkles today.

Like a cat with a laser pointer, PJ was not content to stare at the enticing lights – she was determined to catch one.

Surrounded by the lights. The sparkles cover two walls and the floor in front of her.

In this picture she is honing in on a particular sparkle.

She commands the sparkle, "Stay!"

She makes her move.

Where did it go?

A new approach.

She stalks her prey.

She pounces, again.

Time for a new game.


730 Days

26 04 2012

730 days ago I drank this disgusting beer

on a flight from Chicago, Illinois, USA to Istanbul, Turkey – on route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Last year, I published my journal word-for-word from that trip.  The trip during which I finally met my son face-to-face and was allowed to bring him back to America with me.  The trip that started five days prior in Oregon, and would end almost two weeks later in Missouri.

In the blink of an eye my life changed….  first visit to one of the poorest nations in the world,  first time holding my son, returning to our new “home” in a state that I previously mocked.

In the blink of an eye his life changed…. first, well, pretty much EVERYTHING.  Except – not his first mother, not his first family, not his first language, not his first home.

This kid,

who is more adaptable than any human being should have to be.

This kid

who rarely slows down.

This kid

who has his own ideas.

This kid

who is stronger than he should be.

This kid

who completed our family.

You can find the entire journal, plus a few supplementary posts about the journal on the far right of the menu at the top of my blog.

Or, you can click here – it takes you to the same place – imagine that.

PLEASE if you are going to read it – read THIS POST FIRST – as it explains my state-of-mind and hopefully excuses my poor writing, and bizarro style.

Thursday Toddler Trick

26 04 2012

Wait – they are both 3-years-old.  Are they pre-schoolers?  Thursday Pre-schooler Trick does not have the same ring.  Maybe they will stop doing tricks.  In the meantime…

Thursday Three -Year-Old Trick

Yesterday, they decided to jump off this bar stool that was in my office.

Then they decided it would be better if they wrapped blue painter’s tape around their waistes first.

The tape apparently serves multiple purposes including protecting the jumper if he/she is going to hit his/her head on the ceiling.

It also helps you feel safer if you are going to do something dangerous.

And, I have just been informed, it helps you catch someone else if they are doing something dangerous.

Furthermore, you can tape yourselves together and jump on the trampoline.  Which, you know, might be dangerous, if it were not for the tape.

I thought about trying to take photos, then I decided to say in my office and just listen to what would happen once they got on the trampoline.

They laughed their heads off.

Wordless Wednesday

25 04 2012

The Things She Says

24 04 2012

PJ loves to hear stories and PJ loves to tell stories.

Her vocabulary growth boggles my mind, in both wonderful and horrific ways.

She has an opinion about most things, and is going to tell you in her own colorful or, perhaps, very direct way.

In the past couple of days she has left me nearly speechless a few times.

I will write the disclaimers first so you understand – these are funny.

And if you don’t understand that they are funny, I am sorry (for you).

Little Dude skinned his knee the other day.  PJ is a pretty tough chick, but is particularly squeamish when her brother is hurt. (Keep this in mind later on to remind you that she does in fact love him.)

She wanted to see his wound, then quickly turned away.

“You’re bleeding, Little Dude.” she said.

“It hurts, but isn’t that bad.”  I said.

“Yes, but blood sucks.” she replied.


I have been working out – ALOT.  And I try to be very conscious of how I talk about it.  Because, I am fat.  But, you know, fat isn’t such a great word.  And since my kid already says “sucks,” I am trying to draw the line.  Yup, our line runs somewhere between “sucks” and “fat.”

When the kids ask me why I am going to the the gym, AGAIN, I will respond with, “To work out.”  But, because they are three there is follow up questions #2 through #27.  “Why do you need to work out?”  That is when I have to try really hard not to say, “Because I am fat.”  So, I try to say, “So I stay healthy.”  Or “To keep fit.”  Or “Because it is good for me.”  With PJ that might lead to, “Oh, yeah, I learned about that on Sid.”  And it might lead to 26 more questions that have me expounding on exercise philosophy and wondering where the hell SAG went.

Yesterday instead of going to the gym I went for a run.  I wore one of those new-newfangled keep you warm when it is cold, cold when it is warm, wick the sweat and stop the rain shirts.  So when I came in the house I had to TAKE IT OFF.  After all, that miracle fabric did not do its job when I went from breezy and cool outside to stuffy and warm inside.

As I stood in the kitchen in my exercise bra and running pants PJ said, “Do you feel more fit?”

“Yes.” I replied.

“Cause you look fatter.”  She answered.

SAG and I both laughed.

“Well, I feel better.” I said.

So much for keeping that word out of her vocabulary…  And she did go on to say other things that lead me to believe she doesn’t have a firm grasp on what “fat” meant.  Still, she might think about becoming a personal trainer someday.

Moving on….

Yesterday, our friends were getting ready to leave our house following lunch and a play-date.  Little Dude followed them out the front door and immediately got in our mini- van closing the door after himself.  I was trying to keep our dog from following our friends down the street while keeping my eye on Little Dude and dealing with PJ’s questions.

Then she asked, “What’s Little Dude doing in the van?”

“Making naughty choices,”  I replied.

“Why is he making naughty choices?” she asked.

“Because he’s just being Little Dude,”  I said.  (In retrospect, I realize this sounds really awful and I need to rethink the way I talk about his non-stop antics.  Because I see them as endearing – exhausting, but endearing and I probably don’t always sound like it.)

“You should buy a different one,”  she said.

“What did you say?”  I asked – calmly.

“You should take him back and adopt a different one,”  she clarified.

“That’s silly.  Little Dude is the perfect kid for our family.  He is your brother and my son.  He is ours and we wouldn’t trade him for anyone,”  I answered.

I don’t think I have many readers who are super-sensitive.  But in case that did make you suck in your breath (look at that – I just used the word suck) please know it was said in the way that a 3-yr-old tells her mother to return the newborn to the hospital – a completely COMMON thing to have a child say in any family.  And the “buy” thing, well I appreciated the irony of it being said in an adoptive family situation.  I am sure most kids believe their parents bought their siblings at a hospital, mine just thinks I bought her brother in Ethiopia.

I reflect on these situations light-heartedly.  In general, they make me laugh.  And laughing at absurdity is what keeps me sane.  But I also turn a critical eye on myself as a mother…. I am quite certain she learned the word “sucks” from me.  While I doubt I have ever directed it at her or used it in a conversation I was having directly with her, I am sure I have used it many times within her earshot.  I am guilty as charged and appropriately mortified. On the other hand, I consciously try to avoid using the word “fat” and I know I have never suggested that we bought her brother.

One thing is for sure, the more I try to control, the higher the number of variables seem to increase, until the illusion of control that I was living under is completely blown apart. I simply can not control it all.  But, I can laugh at it.

Reason # 229

17 04 2012

that I love living in a University town…

… unique and FREE places to explore.

PJ is home with an ear infection today.  After a wonderful breakfast eaten with friends on the patio of our local hippie-breakfast-joint, we headed over to campus.  SAG told me about this cool little greenhouse and we stopped in.

This space featured a bunch of goldfish living in the ponds from which the plants grew.  They were not the big nasty terrifying disgusting carp Koi usually found in these places, just medium size, lovely little fish.

I believe small treasures like this exist in most communities, but they are probably easiest to find and access in a University setting.  Lucky us.

What’s Working? She Asked

13 04 2012

Claudia, who lives a Fascinating Life asked What’s Working?

And she created a link-up so all her smart readers could contribute.

She said it didn’t have to be about parenting and I thought, “Oh, I got one.”

See, I have been losing weight – without dieting.  And I thought I could write about that.  I was down 16 pounds.  I was feeling, what is that S word?  No, not skinny – self-righteous.  Yup, that is it.  But before I could put fingers to keyboard, I gained 3 pounds.

Still, Claudia’s link-ups are legendary. (Okay, not sure what would qualify as legendary in the adoption blog-o-sphere, but I say they are, so they must be.)

So when Claudia comes calling, I participate.

And I offer what I have to offer.

This time it is a poem.

A Haiku of course…





“So, what is working?”

she asks.  I open a beer

and reply, “Nothing.”