Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat

The kids went trick or treating tonight. I got my teeth worked on. I'm in pain so there won't be much humor here. Just letting folks know that I've come up with reason #4,000,615 why adoption is a good idea.

The dentists blame my teeth problems on pregnancy. Seems the babies sucked all my calcium from the teeth and used it to grow or something. Either way I'm in pain and not happy about it.

But then I saw these pictures and suddenly, I feel better...or it's the Tylenol 3, hard to say.

Preparing for candy.

Dailah "Cinderella" and auntie Leslie.

She "insisted" on make up.

Trysten "Batman"

I know, he's uuber cute. Tariku "Superman".

The troops ready to march on the Davenport streets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Couple 'Tings

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday. I'm kinda in love with the guy. I love birthdays. I love calling people and leaving birthday songs on their answering machines. I also REALLY love going out to eat at a great local restaurant (Woodfire Grill) to celebrate said bro-in-law's birthday with great company, terrific food and yummy loads of love.

Secondly, Leslie called today with the fantastic news that as of tomorrow they will be officially dossier approved waiters for my niece in Ethiopia. All that's standing in their way is about 200 other people and 12(ish) months and we'll have a picture to go with the person we've been dreaming of. These kinds of days get me all nostalgic. Ironically, (or not) we turned our in dossier almost exactly 1 year ago (October 30th to be exact) and this is what I wrote:

"So we mailed it. It's no longer staring at me, by tomorrow at noon, it will be staring at Jan our Ethiopian Program Coordinator. By tomorrow at noon, we should get an email saying we are officially on the waiting list. This email might make me cry. It represents a beginning of sorts, as well as an end. An end to paper chasing, an end to me being able to have any bit of illusion of control. Even more remarkable is the beginnings it represents. The beginning of being a family of 5. A multi-racial/multi-cultural family. We will go from a one-on-one defensive strategy with our kids to a zone defense, which I was never as good at. This is the beginning of our continual emergence in Ethiopian culture. The beginning of wearing my heart outside of my body for another child. The beginning of a new sibling for my children, a new son for my husband and a new baby for me. :) I am excited about it all. The challenges but more importantly the joys, however few and far between they might be in the early months."

Man I am one well written woman.

No seriously, hard to believe that was just a year ago; I remember those feelings so vividly it's amazing.

And P.S. zone defense is not nearly as bad as I remember.

But the joys, the joys are even better than I could've dreamed of.

Monday, October 27, 2008

No More Roommate

So my sister is in her house. (Well, she's actually watching TV here now but she'll be staying the night at her place tonight).

The end of an era. It was fun having her.

Tonight when we were taking the kids to help her move some stuff in I was telling them how they would get to have a slumber party at her house. Tariku asked what a slumber party was and after I told him he said, "Well that sounds nice!" I laughed so hard it was so cute.

My mom told me that when we stay at her house Tariku always walks up to her bed in the middle of the night and says, "Grandma, I sleep with you." To which she opens the covers and lets him snuggle where he lays his head on her pillow and buries his feet in my dad. Too much cuteness.

The kid is too much. I just read a blog about the attachment process and though I realize it's not over, I'm so very thankful it has been so easy this far.

That face makes it very hard not to love him and he's a pretty forgiving guy which works out nicely for this hotflawedmama.

I love Tariku, he's one of my people.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We had such a great time this weekend. It was relaxing and wonderful. My grandparents came down for the game and it was so much fun getting to spend some time with them. They are big card players (I am not usually but always make an exception for them) so we played for the better part of a couple hours last night. My grandpa is a man of few words but his sharp card playing speaks volumes and I got lucky enough to be on his team last night.

Makes me very thankful I have so many memories with them.

We are trying to get some family pictures taken for the camp's brochure...I'm not hooked on them but they'll do for now.

My brother. It was senior night at his game today. Somewhere around 60mph winds (or it sure felt like it). Good guy that one. They gave a little speech about each senior and of course, I cried when they talked about my little bro. But I totally pulled it off behind glasses and a camera.

Dailah and my cousin's baby girl Isabella. Isn't she lovely?

My parents and my kids.

3 generations.

It's hard to get a bad picture of that little gal.


What do you think of the family pic?

My two angelic boys. They are tooooo cute.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I'm better now. Especially because my mom is making us a Thanksgiving meal for tonight since we'll be in Mexico for the actual Thanksgiving festivities.

And then there's the fact that I'm surrounded by love. At least that is something Tariku has known is whole life.

Then there's the fact that we got the kids their costumes, you should probably be excited for those pics.

Until then, happy thanksgiving!

At the 'Rents

We arrived at my parent's house last night. We were greeted by a roast, potatoes, carrots, biscuits and Bailey's. This feels like a vacation.

And high speed internet so that is fantastic as well.

Tariku has been playing "house" with his siblings and cousins and I've overheard some of it. It's heartbreaking to realize the realities that existed in his "house" in Ethiopia. I guarantee this particular game of "house" does not exist much around America and what is commonplace for little boys and girls around Ethiopia would be a tragedy worth putting over the Nation's airways here.

Alas I can only listen to my kids playing house with various family members in heaven and a paternal figure who has to choose who can eat this particular day.

Somedays it's all I can do to combine the worlds and still be happy with my bacon, sausage and toast this morning.

Add to that a blog I ran across of some animal rights activist who went to Ethiopia and saw how they were treating donkeys and proceeded to yell at a man for using the donkey to carry so much grain. I almost junk punched her. The writing went on to say the man she demeaned felt, "ashamed" I am completely ashamed at her mishandling of the situation.

So that's me...bright and early and ticked off. Perhaps the day will get better with all of this love around me.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So legos are a Godsend. Often when Trysten comes home from school he's a bit of a bearcat. Long time at school with lots of stimulation equals lots of fighting between my boys when they get home. But not with legos. Legos are amazing. I heart legos. I'm buying stock in legos. That's it, I love legos.

If you all could smell through the computer you would probably gag. As of yesterday there is a very distinct smell in our house. I think it's death. I think a dead mouse is hiding somewhere and I've turned over every couch, bed and closet to try to find it to no avail. Zach got in the vent that I thought was the source and saw nothin'. Any ideas?

While you think of the smell of death (mmmm) here are pictures from our day.

So she "talked" me into putting makeup on her today and look at her lashes. SERIOUSLY. She gets those from her daddy.

Oliver in his cheetah costume.

This kid LOVES animals. Need proof?

Oliver let Tariku borrow his Spiderman costume for Halloween and Tariku's only taken it off for the 3 hours he took a nap today.

Snugglebugs with her aunt KK.

It's coat season...and red kool aid season apparently.

SOOO excited about his orange coat!

My bro-in-law, Frankie andhotflawedmama.

This is where Puddin' and Doozie were all night at Frank and Emily's. They're BFF AND cousins. How lucky!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


"Twas looking at old pictures and, since our computer crashed just before Ethiopia, we only have them since March. But the difference in them is remarkable.

All that hair and innocent expressions.

Do you SEE how tiny he is?

Still a princess.

Competitive Much?

Trysten had swimming lessons tonight so I decided to stay and check it out. And

Kick contest to and fro? No problem.

He seriously would swim really hard, stop and look back, then swim really hard get to the end and wait for the other kid. Once in awhile he'd throw in a yawn for good measure.

I don't know who he gets it from but the kid NEEDS to get first.

Tonight he even threw in a "Mom, I'll win this time for you."

Ain't that sweet.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This kind of goes off the "tag" that is going around. The 7 things you may not know about me tag.

1) I kind of love cleaning. It's mindless, it is instant gratification at its best. I pretend like I don't like it (and I actually would still rather have someone do it for me) but I kinda do.

2) I would start another adoption tomorrow if I could. Zach has this weird thing about something called "waiting". He forgot who he married. Me and "waiting" do not tango together real well or real often. He's asking a lot of me to make me wait another year or so. He keeps mentioning something about "not being able to afford it". I don't know, I think it's crazy talk.

3) I kind of have a "dirty" mind. I didn't used to. My old self would've been horrified by some of the things that come out of my husband's family's mouths but alas I've become one of them. I'm the girl who laughs when people say "balls" or anything like it. Not so much laugh, but certainly giggle. (But hot cheese sandwich always gets a laugh outta me).

4) I LOVE to dance. Every day, the kids and I dance for 5 minutes. They get to pick the song (for the most part) and have to dance the whole time. Dance, structured or not, is the best. I always laugh, never stop smiling. In fact, I've figured out that I think that is my best way to worship. In the Bible it says people will sing and dance as acts of worship...and since I'm a truly heinous singer I'm fairly certain I was meant to dance. So I do. In church (it's dark during worship) I'm constantly moving. I rarely do the raise the hand thing and only once in awhile sing louder than "under my breath" but you'll find me dancing. I owe the Guy something, it really is the least I could do.

5) I'm kind of an emotive gal. People know how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. I have friends who are better at hiding things but everyone knows what kind of mood I'm in when I answer the phone or in the first few minutes of seeing me. Most of the time I like that about myself but I do wish I could catch a grip once in awhile. Must stop crying every Sunday during Extreme Home Makeover.

6) Contrary to popular images in the media, I believe people are good. Sure, there is darkness in all of us (just ask Dumbledore) but I think we're good. I'm counting on people, regardless of who wins the election, to change things in America and around the world. Start taking care of each other in a way government never could. The way we were made to do, that's what I want. I realize it might be naive but I see no harm in believing in this dream. Who would need welfare if we finally stepped up to our full human potential?

7) I use my dogs as footstools. I love them, don't get me wrong. But they are terrific to rest my feet on at night. Aristotle is the best for it because of the extra weight around the middle. Abe is getting to be a decent foot rest but he's growing so fast it's all ribs and skin now and who wants that for their tootsies?

Now don't you feel better? I don't want to name 7 others to do this so if you have a blog and need something to talk about, go for it.

I'm hotflawedmama and I approve this message.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The P Patch

We had been waiting to go to the patch until Jake and Leslie and the kids could go with us so tonight was our night. Just some good ones of the awesome afternoon.

The boys in the bounce house.

Trysten shooting a bulls eye at the archery range.

Doozie's reaction to Trysten's bulls eye.

Dailah giving it a shot.

She can't help herself.

And who is that? Well that's Leslie! Who knew she could handle a bow and arrow. Not bad!

I can't believe I get to live here. Told you it's beautiful.

I mean, really.

Tariku and uncle Jake.

Trysten concentrating while painting his pumpkin.

Tariku concentrating.

Doesn't he look like a future artist?

Isn't this just a great picture of boys being boys?

I just wanted to point out that Leslie doesn't ALWAYS eat homemade, farm fresh goodness. There's a literal chip on her shoulder to prove it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

You Guys...

Must know me. It turns out most of you check my blog after 9pm. You must've figured out that I blog later at night, after the kids are in bed, when we're watching TV. But I might surprise you, so just keep checkin'.

So today was Trysten's last soccer game. Zach had to work, Kara (my sister) had to work. So I coached, by myself, with Dailah in a backpack and Tariku holding my hand. That will never be done again but it did remind me of why moms should probably get the Nobel Peace Prize every single time. Are we seriously not the most amazing species in the world? Cure for cancer? How about coached a soccer game AND mommed the poo out of two other kids.

We received our paperwork to finalize Tariku's adoption. Surreal. When leaving the restaurant last night, it hit me that it feels like he's been in our family forever. Hard to believe that I couldn't just head over to the shelves and, in a moment of pure nostalgia, look at the baby pictures of my Tariku. Fresh from the womb, all icky sticky gross but cute as a button. Incredible.

In other news, tomorrow we are finalizing the details of next month's project. Are you beyond excited to hear about it? You should be...if I have anything to do with it, there will be dancing involved. And that, my friends, should get you so excited you can't stand it.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 17, 2008


PLEASE go to Jody's blog. There is some really great info about supporting an amazing group out of Sierra Leone. And it's as easy as purchasing a beeautiful bag. It's not our next monthly project but it certainly changes "orphans" lives which is what we are all about.

So will you go? Will you find out how you can help our brothers and sisters half a world away?

I knew you would. Much obliged.

Fall at Camp

I LOVE fall at camp. The colors, the sounds. The frost on the ground that makes me hear the deer that are quite far away (despite my "small" hearing disability). I mean it really is brilliant and I can't imagine living anywhere but out here this time of year.

And did I mention the pumpkin patch? Love it too.

Besides I get to see these people and that makes everything worth it.

Evidence of her highness being spoiled by her big brother, Tariku.

I've become obsessed. Someone take the oil and comb away from me.

But last night he did thank God for me doing his hair so I guess that justifies it then.

This is how she gets us to forget about her indiscretions.

We went to Happy Joe's Jungle Bungle tonight and the kids had a lot of fun. They got trick or treat bags and Tariku started a revolution by putting it on his head.