Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is It Still Camping...

when you're 200 yards from your house?

This weekend was our last weekend before Zach officially starts camp season. This Friday the counselors come, next Monday the kids come. Zach is no longer Zach, he's Maverick (his camp name). He's no longer daddy, he's boss. We're happy to share him, because he's great at what he does and we believe in getting kids away from the gameboys and into nature, but we miss him...lots. So we celebrated Father's Day and went camping last night.

Truth be told hotflawedmama is never excited about camping. Zach asked how I could know I don't like it since I haven't gone in, oh, 10 years. It's simple. I like sleeping in my own bed, I hate bugs, I love uninterrupted sleep and I like having something more than a glorified sheet between me and hungry animals. But, since I love that guy so much I agreed.

And it turned out fun (except for the sleep thing). After a yummy cookout, some games, and some books we tucked the kids in. They wanted to sleep in the same tent together so we let them try. After an hour of their precious giggles coming from the tent we separated them. Dailah and hotflawedmama in one tent, the boys in the other. Which basically means Dailah and I froze with 0 body heat and Zach woke up dripping in sweat. Anywho, worth the memories. And the pictures.

What Zach did when we first got out to the site.

What I did..indulged.

The moment the tent was up, the kids were playing some UNO.

Doozie during gametime.

After books and before all the giggling. Pardon the shot of my legs (seriously?) but they looked so excited to sleep together.

How they were "sleeping" originally.

It was cooooold in the morning.

But warm with lots of love.

Just my lovies.

Not bad for our first ever family camping experience.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I need to take blogging breaks more often. I received a number of emails, comments and facebook messages asking where I went and why I'm not telling you about our days anymore. I really felt the love, people, and appreciate that! So mostly just enjoying life over here in flawedmama land. Here are a few reasons why.

1) Baseball. Though the coaches leave a little to be desired, Trysten is having a hoot of a time. And look how precious he looks in his little uniform.

2) More baseball. Trysten loves playing catch with his dad. His dad loves playing catch with his son. Dad often gets a face that exudes more pride than a man his age should ever show. Though we're trying very hard not to put all of our passions on our children, when a kid has this arm it's hard not to. :)

3) Wedding receptions. Had one for a high school friend of mine last Saturday. I hadn't seen her or a few of the other girls there in a LONG time. I'm one of those women who believes very strongly in the power of females and specifically, the power of female friendships. I didn't know I was missing something in my life but after having spent some time with these girls I realized I missed them more than I thought. My cup runneth over. (sorry bad picture, it was from my phone)

4) The lake. Last weekend after said wedding reception we went to my parents' lakehouse. Decent weather, lots of fun. Proof is, as they say, in the pudding. Thus, the pudding:

5) Dailah got a hair cut. It was traumatic (for me, not her) but it's oh so cute. There's a decent chance it'll be grown back by tomorrow morning with her hair's tenacity but I must say she's cute regardless. And the girl simply loves to be doted on.

What else? Oh yes...

6) Celebrating Julie's referral for her precious little boy and girl. As you can see from her 126 comments (seriously, 126! If you lined everyone I've ever known up, it might reach to 126!) the adoption (and entire cyber) world celebrated with her.

That's it in a nutshell. Still loving life over here, even more so because the sun is out. The sun is out, I have a husband with the sweetest butt in the world who I happen to love more than anything, kids who could win best children ever and 2 four legged friends who are presently begging for some lovin'. Not a bad life indeed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Watch It

I don't know if you all have seen this or not but just watch it. Brings it all home for a lot of us. Why water matters. Why people, regardless of where they live, matter. Why Christmas is just 7 months away and there are already people gearing up for the next Water for Christmas season. Why we need you and everyone else to "get" this. Because it's not about us, it's about them. And they are so worth it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Today Trysten and Tariku were playing with some figurines while I was coloring with Dailah. I hear "gunshots" during their game and just kind of watch them. All of a sudden Trysten yells,


Which is hilarious for a girl like me but I felt I owed it to my future self to nip this one in the bud, so to speak. Not knowing how he would even talk about spanking (we're not a spanking family) or nuts (we typically refer to them in their real term "testicles" or "testies" sometimes a mishap happens and it's "tesi" which is slightly offensive to me but, I digress). Trysten goes on to explain that nuts were what squirrels ate, obviously. Why didn't I think of that? I offered that perhaps we just shouldn't talk about spanking things and leave the nuts to the squirrels.

After baseball practice Trysten was feeling like some catch with daddy. I tagged along for the fun of it. Both Zach and I were athletes, I even played softball for a time so the last week or so I have been interjecting with my own words of wisdom. Typically he looked at Zach with his big doe eyes all lovey and looked at me with as close to an eye roll as I allow.

When it came time to practice hitting off the tee, I just said, "Remember, keep your eye on the ball the whole time." (See, mom, I was listening too!) He turns to me and says, "I know mom, it's not how hard you swing but how well you swing." I was impressed! I ask, "Who told you that? Your dad?" "No mom, you did."

I'm so good I don't even remember how brilliant I am sometimes.

It's pretty easy loving this kid.

The Reason

for the lack of pictures is because the camera is getting fixed. Nothing big, warranty will cover it, but it was a sad day handing it over nonetheless. (Note: The camera I use is actually property of Camp's so it disappears during camp season to its rightful owner).

I know you guys are just here for the pictures so here's one before Dailah got her stitches out.

We have our old camera as well but it is dying a slow, painful death. I have money saved for a new one since my old new one broke (my parents and sister were generous people) so will be looking into a new camera.

Any recommendations? I know you bloggers love cameras, if you love yours or have heard of good ones, leave a comment or shoot me an email. Always open to suggestions! Oh, but it must be digital and must not take a large learning curve, it also must take pictures of my "good angle" only, whatever that is).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Relaxed Fun

That's how I would describe today. We didn't do much at all, but got some time outside and the whole day was spent as a family, my kind of day. We are quickly approaching summer camp season and thus less daddy time so getting to spend an entire day with him felt like Christmas!

In other news, we are enjoying our cable. The day it was getting installed I picked Trysten up from school and told him the news. His reaction was hilarious.

Trysten: Now we can be a real family!

Hotflawedmama: What do you mean a real family? What do real families do that we don't?

Trysten: Well every family I know, the kids wake up early and turn on cartoons and the adults sleep later.

That is just funny to me. And, sounds like something I'd be interested in. Between that, and the other fun things he's brought home from school. Small and incomplete list below:

--Talk to the hand (though he doesn't quite know how/when to say that)
--What in the heck?
--You're stupid (though those last two he's never actually said to anyone, he just told me someone said something mean to him and that's what it was).
--Mom you can't beat up that kid (to be fair, he said that AFTER I asked him who called him stupid and then TRIED to say under my breath, "I'm going to hit that kid.")

There are many more. My kids are all at hilarious wording phases. Dailah because she's just learning the english language. So she seems to say "penis" a lot but it's rarely exactly what she wants to say. Tariku because he also is learning the english language. Trysten because he is learning the somewhat adult version of the language.

Good stuff this parenting.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Let's See...

Do you guys know on the news sometimes how they do the "Around the World in 60 seconds." bit? Well here's my version..


--Trysten had his first baseball practice yesterday. Before practice he told me he was a little excited and a little nervous. He didn't know if he could hit it that hard. Thought it was pretty cute. Came home to find out his jersey number was 15. This was both Zach and my numbers throughout our lives in sports. Could it be fate? Seriously.

--Taught Tariku how to tell a joke. The best joke, really. The one about tickets to the gun show. After he tells it he throws his hands in the air and says, "hey yo". Kind of makes me pee my pants a little bit every time.

--We broke down and bought cable for our television. We recently paid off a few bills and found just enough spare change in the couch to work it out. They come today. Zach woke up early to break in the new horses out at camp (so he says) but I happen to think he couldn't sleep with all the excitement and promise of watching the Cubs play in our own home.

--Dailah bumped her head again IN THE SAME FLIPPIN' SPOT. It got a nice goose egg and probably ruined her chances at those little kid beauty pageants. Lucky for her we had no intention of entering her in one but since she keeps hitting her head we are thinking of outfitting her with a snazzy helmet, which I'm sure is second best to beauty pageants.

I'm sure there is more but it finally stopped raining outside and the kids' giggles are beckoning me to join them. Hope your day is tops!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday

To my Abe. Our "baby". He turns 1 today. Hard to believe this guy is only 1-years-old.

He is a full head taller than me when we dance. He is 36" at his shoulders. He is lovable and hilarious. He is also quite a little speedster when an animal crosses his path. Most of the time he seems like a wise soul (very Abe of him) but once in awhile he'll get his puppy streak and it looks simply hilarious on a 200lb dog.

Love him. Look how much he's grown!


Around the house (some pre and some post stitches)...

Two Great Links

Here is a link to a woman on the news. Her group is Project Hopeful and she is just one awesome lady!

Here is a link to Julie's article. Great rebuttal to another woman's article that is referenced in Julie's. Confusing enough?


Sunday, May 10, 2009

This Lady

is my mom, Connie. (Sorry about the picture of Doozie's food, it was just the most recent picture of my mom). Isn't she gorgeous?

Today is mother's day and I can't help but think of this lady on this day. Sure, this day is loved by Hallmark and such, but I also happen to love this day. It's a day I can remember to thank the moms and grandmas in my life, but I typically get ridiculously spoiled so I also enjoy that.

Back to my mom. Here are some reasons why I love her and why she is deserving of a whole day just for her:

--She is uber supportive of her kids. Even if she completely, whole heartedly disagrees, she supports us. Which is tough to do, I'm sure. She's been known to travel great distances just to see us for a few minutes. She'll make across the state treks (with my dad in tow) to watch soccer games and various other activities throughout her 29 years of motherhood.

--She is a HARD worker. Say what you want about this woman but she knows the value of an hour. She and my dad once went to my sister's house for a weekend, knowing she had to work the whole time, and painted her whole house. Mom hates painting. But knew Kara wanted it done and wanted to help her.

--Every year on mother's day she gets me plants. But she doesn't just get them in their little plastic glory but she plants them in beautiful arrangements too. Yesterday I woke up thinking the dogs were getting into something on the porch at 6:30 am but instead it was just mom and dad, filling my mom's day planters full of the brightest hues of flowers. They had snuck out of Dailah's room while she still slept to get it done before they had to leave.

--She has a loud, wonderful laugh. One of those you kind of can't help but join in on.

--People say I look like her. I truly hope I look as good as she does when I grow up.

--We share a birthday (June 5). Story has it that she tried to hold me in, not wanting me to have share my birthday with her. I value that day so much more because I share it with her. In fact, I often would hope I, too would become a mother on that day so it would be 3 generations.

--Mom believes in family. She will do ANYTHING to keep her family, extended and all, together. She tries to the point of exhaustion, even when it might not be reciprocated. This confused Zach when we first got together but it's certainly something I've learned from her. See this post as a reminder.

There are 400 other things I could write about her that explain why she's tops but it turns out I need to go mother my 3 right now. Suffice it to say, she is a great mom. You should all meet her and find out for yourselves.

Happy mother's day also to my mom-in-law who is by far the best mom a woman could marry into and to my grandma (the one who was getting her nails done while drinking a mimosa). Grandma is my mom's mom so we could probably ascertain from the above details that she is tops as well.

I love you ladies. Thank you for loving me, guiding me, being an example for me and for setting a pretty high standard for mother's all around!

And thank you, of course, to the woman who gave my Tariku life. His other mommy. The one who I think about more than I care to admit. The one I imagine in his eyes and his laugh. The reason for his super sweet personality and love for all things big and small. This woman, I owe so much. I cannot wait to meet her on those streets lined with gold. To her I also owe much strength and gratitude.

To all you moms both in the literal sense and to those women who bleed and cry and blog for the children you will one day hold. You have given me more strength than you can possibly imagine by being the epitome of strength; showing how amazing you'll be as mothers because of the way you fight for your children. Happy mothers day to you too!

Much love today,

Friday, May 08, 2009

To the ER We Went...

Last night started like every other Thursday night. With us at the Y. Kids in childwatch, Zach playing raquetball and me teaching 2 of my classes. I finished up teaching, got the kids then we went to watch Zach finish up. He went to the locker room to grab his stuff and we headed to the front door.

"Walking feet", I say to my three turning a corner at the Y. The boys slowed but I hear a little girl's feet still moving rapidly. I turn to tell her to slow down and she trips and falls face first into an end table.

I drop everything, seeing how hard she hit it.

In the 2 seconds it takes me to get to her there is blood EVERYWHERE and she's screaming her little head off.

I grab her and cuddle her, the boys get a panicked look so I look at them and say, "Go get your sister some help."

Trysten runs as fast as he can to the front desk (I can see the desk from where I am) and says,

"My sister needs help! Page my dad!"

I got all teary just seeing him jump into action.

By the time Zach came out of the locker room the lifeguard staff had come out with gloves, bandages and HAZMAT bags and a laundry guy came out with paper towels. Seeing the wound, I knew we'd have to go get stitches.

So off we went to the ER. I took a picture, wanting to document it (slightly ridiculous, I know) and I showed it to her. Zach thought it unwise but she turned out to be just like her mom and wanted to see it. Here it is:

She was pretty quiet so I was a bit nervous about a concussion. So after much discussion with the PA about NOT needing a plastic surgeon to take a look at her (dude's dig scars, right?) they put some numbing stuff on her and we waited. Zach took the boys to Leslie's house and grabbed some McDonald's.

After a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake she perked up to her normal Doozie self.

Once it came time for the stitches they had to wrap her arms down tight with a blanket and then covered everything but one eye with sterile towels. She did so well the first 2 deep stitches and then the first 5 outside stitches. Didn't cry, just watched us with her one eye. Then the last stitch she was just done and starting crying a bit.

The doctors said she did the best they've seen, which obviously they tell every parent, but I'm choosing to believe them. And alas, the final product.

In the end, she did so much better than I did. It is painful watching your children go through it. I've never wanted to switch places with someone so badly (except for maybe when Tariku broke his arm). I'm not sure how my heart can take a lifetime worth of this stuff!

And seriously, how is it that the princess is the first one with stitches in our family?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

World AIDS Orphan Day

Today is the day designated to bringing awareness to the OVER 15 MILLION CHILDREN ORPHANED BY AIDS.

It's kind of a tough day, quite honestly, because the results of this disease have kind of swept me away. I'm simply overwhelmed by it all. How in the world can you even grasp that many children? Erin wrote about it really well, which I'll copy and post below.

All I know is that I haven't slept much the last few nights. Zach keeps telling me I can't put my values and such on other people. Which is great, and true but absolute crap. I don't really know how the world has stood by and allowed all of these people (not just children, obviously) to die of a perfectly manageable disease. We're all, "It's not in our backyard," when in reality it is in our backyard and we're still turning our backs on it.

I'm not perfect, I've certainly not given nearly enough of my time, money or energy to this global pandemic. I'm learning, as is everyone else. I just wish today everyone would become obsessed with educating the public on HIV/AIDS. I wish, as I watch the Today show, that they were spending every 30 minutes with at least one spot on AIDS. There are certainly enough stories to last multiple hours for that.

Alas, the 50% chance of rain here is getting more air time than a disease that will wipe out entire countries worth of people.

I digress, Erin says it best so listen to her.

Tomorrow, May 7, is World AIDS Orphans Day. World AIDS Orphans Day is a grassroots campaign to draw attention to and advocate on behalf of the millions of children orphaned by AIDS.

Here are some of the staggering facts. Please read them... please really stop and think a minute about these statistics.

--There are over 15 million children orphaned by AIDS living around the world RIGHT NOW. 15 million is the equivalent to the number of all of the people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined. That is an awful lot of children.
--Well over 12 million AIDS orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa, alone.
--Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
--At least 10 million more children will be orphans by AIDS by 2010.
--Do you know how many TOTAL global confirmed cases of the swine flu there have been? As of today (May 6), there have been 1,516 cases. Do you know how many people, world wide, have died of the swine flu as of today?? 31. And look at all the hype... all the action... all the caring.

Do you know how many people around the world DIED of HIV/AIDS in 2007? An estimated TWO MILLION people. That is over 5,400 people a day, dieing of HIV/AIDS. It has been estimated that now, in 2009, 6,500 people will die every day from AIDS, and an estimated 6,000 of those people will leave behind children when they die.

So today, another 6,000 children will be added to the already 15 million children world wide who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The result of being orphaned by AIDS is heart-breaking for these children. From the World AIDS Orphans Day website:

In addition to the trauma of losing a parent, orphans are often subject to discrimination and are less likely to receive healthcare, education and other needed services.
In HIV affected households lacking community support, food consumption can drop by 40% putting children at risk to hunger, malnutrition and stunting.
Impoverished and often without support to educate and protect them, orphans and vulnerable children face increased risk of HIV infection. (And there are already an estimated 2 million children currently living with HIV).
Orphans are often easy prey to many forms of exploitation: forced labor, prostitution and child soldiering.
In the United States, if a child loses a parent to accident or illness, it is considered a terrible tragedy. Such stories are covered by the media, communities mourn and show their support, etc. In Sub-Saharan Africa, parents dieing is a normal part of life. It is still a terrible tragedy for those children, but it happens so often that no one else really pays any attention.

And do you know what makes this really, truly horrible? Do you know what makes my gut twist and my heart ache? HIV IS COMPLETELY TREATABLE.

If a person contracts HIV in the United States or another country where there is treatment readily available, they have an excellent long term prognosis. Most HIV+ people receiving treatment now have close to normal life expectancies and can live in good overall health. With treatment, HIV+ children can be healthy and happy. They can go to school, grow up, go to college, have (healthy!) children, and live long enough to raise them and beyond. Without treatment, an estimated 50% of HIV+ children will die before the hit their second birthday. My Solomon was almost one of those 50%.

HIV does not have to be a death sentence, and yet for thousands of people every day, it is, because the world doesn't care enough to really do something about it.

Can you imagine for one minute if some terrible disease struck the United States (or whatever country you live in) and was killing thousands and orphaning thousands every day? Can you imagine if another country had treatment that could lead to good health and a long life, but it just was too expensive or too difficult or too much trouble to get that medicine to us? We wouldn't stand for it.

So why do we stand for it now?

I can't wrap my head around what 15 million orphans looks like. I can barely wrap my head around the 100 or so HIV+ orphans that I am trying to find adoptive families for. The numbers are staggering, and so is the need for action. Children are the future of our world, and I shudder to think about what this world will be like with so many millions of children growing up without the love and security of a family... and way too often growing up without adequate food, education and medical care. Where does that leave all of us?

Rich Stearns, President of World Vision, US said,

"I believe that this could very well be looked back on as the sin of our generation. I look at my parents and ask, where were they during the civil rights movement? I look at my grandparents and ask, what were they doing when the holocaust in Europe was occurring with regard to the Jews, and why didn't they speak up? And when we think of our great, great, great-grandparents, we think how could they have sat by and allowed slavery to exist? And I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask me, what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?"

I know that it feels like the problem is way too big for us to really do anything to make a difference, but I know with all my heart that touching the life of just one, just ONE, child can truly make a difference. And if everyone touched the life of just one child, we could reach them all.

Here are some ways that you can help touch the life of an AIDS orphan this World AIDS Orphans Day.

- Get educated. One of the biggest roadblocks in getting people to care and take action is the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. This is not a disease that only strikes those who "deserve it" (yes, that is really how some people think!). This is a disease that strikes men, women and children... it strikes heterosexuals and homosexuals, it strikes people of all races and social classes and it strikes people in all countries. HIV/AIDS is a HUMAN problem.

Fear is another big roadblock. HIV can not be transmitted in any casual way, and people that are HIV+ are not a threat to those around them. HIV can only be transmitted through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).

I have written a ton about HIV/AIDS, and you can find those posts here. Once you are educated, join my Tell Two Campaign and share the truth about HIV/AIDS with others.

Two excellent books to read about the HIV/AIDS crisis and the orphan crisis are There is No Me Without You and 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa.

- Sponsor an AIDS orphan. There are many wonderful organizations out there that allow you to sponsor a child for a very low cost per month. Doing so makes a great difference in the life of that child, and getting to know the child you sponsor through pictures, updates, letters, etc. will have a great impact on your life as well. I promise. Two wonderful organizations that I work with are AHOPE for Children (which supports AHOPE Ethiopia, a home and community support program for HIV+ children in Ethiopia) and Hardthaven, a home for AIDS orphans in Ghana. I know that financially times are hard for many right now, but we live better than most people in the world and would have to sacrifice very very little to sponsor (and truly help) an orphaned child.

- Consider adopting. Adoption is only an option for a tiny percentage of the 15 million AIDS orphans around the world and it is certainly not the solution to the AIDS crisis or the orphan crisis, but for the tiny percentage of children who do get adopted, it changes their world and their future dramatically (and for the adoptive parents, it is equally amazing). There are agencies and programs placing healthy and special needs orphans from all over the world with new families. If your heart may be open to adopting an HIV+ child, I have about 100 amazing children of all ages waiting for a second chance at love, family and life.

You can read here why I believe in adoption, and you can read here why I feel so passionately about adoption for HIV+ children.

- Support From HIV to Home, an organization that helps provide care for HIV+ orphans and supports and helps parents adopting HIV+ children. They have a wonderful program to help raise money for parents adopting HIV+ children called Kids Walking Kids Home.

- Support Project HOPEFUL, whose mission is to "encourage, educate and enable parents adopting children with HIV/AIDS".

- Visit the World AIDS Orphans website for other ways to touch your heart, get educated and get involved.

Please feel free to share this post anywhere you see fit. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hitting Our Stride

I think Tariku and hotflawedmama have officially hit our stride. It's strange how comfortable it's getting. How I thought it was great a month ago and then it gets better. The last few weeks it's as if he's come to terms with the fact that I'm not as pretty, funny, nice or good smelling as the mommy he had dreamed about. He's all, "You're not who I thought you'd be but I think you'll do just fine."

My sister commented on how he doesn't give hugs and kisses just because you ask him to anymore. You really have to work for them (just like most 4-year-olds). He's really letting his personality come through more and has dropped the pretense of having to be the cutest kid in the room (though, as it turns out, most of the time he just naturally is).

With that said, part of his personality is still to just make people happy. People might say that is a natural middle child thing (we do so enjoy making you happy!) or a result of his upbringing in Ethiopia. Either way, today was cleaning day. I came up the stairs to see him organizing the Wii area. I hadn't asked, he just did it for me. I told him, thanks but he could go outside and play since it was so nice. 10 minutes later I come back upstairs to find him organizing the shoe closet. "I know how much you don't like to do that, mommy." Seriously, he said that.

And no, I don't like to do that.

But I do so love that boy. He melts in my arms and it's just the most perfect fit.

The last few days I've reflected on the awesomeness of God with regards to my little habesha. Most of you know I miscarried between Trysten and Dailah. I don't think I'll ever get to a point where I'm thankful for that miscarriage but I've gotten ever so close recently when I realize we would've never been open to a boy up to 3 had I not miscarried. And what a blessing he is!

Then there's the fact that we were open to Hep B. There were couples waiting for a child up to 3 when we turned our dossier in. None of them were open to Hep B but us. Thus, after a few days of our dossier being in (without even our homestudy complete!) we received our referral for Tariku. When we got home we were shocked to learn he wasn't, in fact, Hep B+ and even more so to find out 2 other couples in our travel group found the same of their newly adopted children. But it took both us being open to it and a false positive for Tariku for us to find each other.

There are more, certainly, but some of it is his personal story that he might choose to reveal on this here blog at a later date.

All this to say there is so much thankfulness in this body of mine for that boy. So, so much.

Lately, hitting our stride has never felt better.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

For Cathy

Cathy, since you asked and the new Harry Potter movie will be out in less than 100 days I thought I'd do this post for you.

You remember this post about ants, right?

It got worse. Much worse.

Opened the oven door today to cook an extravagant dinner (or a Tombstone pizza, you decide which is true) and found this. It was like a family of ants. Not just any family, it was like the Kennedys or something. They were flippin everywhere. I would have dry heaved but I'm kind of tough. Anyway, Cathy had wanted pictures from my last ant post so I thought I'd do this.

That ant guy is full of crap.

Dailah was equally impressed with the sheer number of ants.

Zach might have been the most precious person ever. He decided to trap them in a ball-o-ants in a wad of paper towels. Then left said paper towel on the counter (time for them to tell their American royalty family) and then took the ball-o-ants to the fire pit. And burned it. I could hear the ants scream and I giggled. And I'm not even a mean person.