Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bitter Rivalry

It begins at 2:30 this afternoon.

It begins on a beautiful, sunny, warm day.

It begins on a field in Evanston, IL.

And when it ends . . .

When it ends there is a very real possibility that my husband and I will not be speaking to each other.

When it ends one of us will be dancing around the room, arms raised victoriously, singing a fight song.

When it ends the other will be muttering under his (or her) breath, cursing bad calls and missed opportunities.

It is big. It is important.

It is a football game.

It is not just any football game. It is the game. It leads to bragging rights.

It is the battle of our alma maters. It is the battle of my beloved University of Wisconsin Badgers versus Frink's Northwestern Wildcats.

It is a battle between two outstanding academic institutions. It is the battle of an elitist private school versus an institution dedicated to educating the public. It is the battle of expensive versus affordable.

It is the battle of a football power versus a scrappy upstart. It is the battle of number 17 in the nation versus "that team that beat Iowa".

It is the battle of a cool, hip college town versus a college town that used to be dry. It is the battle of liberal versus conservative. It is the battle of Cheeseheads versus Flatlanders (FIBs or FISHs).

It is a battle between Bucky Badger

and Willie the Wildcat

It is a battle that Bucky will win. It is a battle in which the University of Wisconsin Badgers will emerge victorious.

On Wisconsin!

Jump Around!

(I love you Frink.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

I love Wordless Wednesday, just a picture, no words. I love looking at all the pictures and imagining the story behind them. I love seeing a glimpse into what someone's world looks like, what they like, what they find beautiful or important.

I have a picture I want to share. A brand new picture I am dying to share with all of you. I want to, but I can't. Its against the rules.

So I am going to use words to describe it. I know I will fail because a thousand words, a million words, all the words in the world are not enough to capture the essence of this picture. They are not enough to describe the beauty, the feelings it invokes. Words cannot capture my little Lion.

The first thing you notice is the eyes. They are the biggest eyes I've ever seen, beautiful, deep and dark eyes. The kind of eyes you could get lost in. The kind of eyes that if you stare into them long enough you think you might just find the secrets to the universe. I know I've found a piece of my soul there.

Next is the smile. Its a beautiful, baby smile. You notice the teeth, oh my goodness he has two teeth. You can't wait to see that smile in person, to hear him laugh or giggle.

In one of the pictures you can see the future. Through the look in his eyes and the sly grin on his face you know that he will make all the girls fall in love with him. I know I surely have.

He is small. I want to wrap him in my arms and never, ever let go. He is strong. I can picture him tearing around my house, chasing his sister and the cats.

This is a picture of my son. My words do not do him justice. He is beautiful. He is my heart. He is my Lion.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Waiting Is the Hardest Part

I waited 37 years to become a mother.

I waited 10 years to become a mother.

I "officially" waited 13 months to become a mother.

And then I waited 2 months more to meet my child.

The wait was hard. The wait was long. The wait was difficult.

However, in a way, the official wait was also easy. Once we had decided to adopt a child, I knew I was going to become a mother. There was a child waiting for me a the end of this road. I had not had that certainty before.

I had to jump through hoops but my life really didn't change all that much. I went to work, I hung out with friends, Frink and I traveled a bit. We did the same things we would have done even if we weren't adopting. We were waiting to be parents of a non-existent, hypothetical child but we were also living our lives as a married couple with two incomes and no children.

One phone call changed that all. We got the official word that we were parents. There was a child, a little girl, waiting for us on the other side of the world. Once I heard that and saw her picture I was done. My life as I knew it was over and my life as a parent began.

Well it was ready to begin, I just had to wait a little bit longer. Two months. The longest two months of my life. Eight weeks. Sixty days. An eternity. Forever spent staring at that picture, the picture of my child.

Then, finally, I was a parent. The next three years were a blur of activity, laughter, sleepless nights and joy. It was every thing I had imagined and more.

Even though we were happy, we knew our family wasn't complete. There was one more child, out there somewhere, waiting for us. Or maybe he wasn't out there yet and we had to wait for him. We began the process and began to wait once more.

We made the decision to move forward last fall but had some false starts. We started again this year. We could have finished the process earlier but I always held off. I was waiting for something, I didn't know exactly what, but I was waiting.

I was waiting for something to push me forward. I was waiting for a phone call, THE phone call. The phone call that said you are a mother. I finally knew that there is a little boy waiting for me on the other side of the world. And I knew why I had been waiting, I was waiting for him. Once I heard that and saw his picture I was done. My life as a parent of two children began.

Well it was ready to begin, I just had to wait a little bit more. WAIT. I had to finish some paperwork on my end. WAIT. We have to get a court date in Ethiopia and pass court. WAIT. We have to get a visa appointment with the American embassy. WAIT. We have to get travel dates. WAIT. We have to wait an unspecified amount of time for someone half a world away to tell me its time.

The wait this time is excruciating. I have his picture. I love him. I am his mother. However, I have to wait to hold him in my arms. And that is the hardest part.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not Again

I posted on November 1st. I posted again on November 2nd. I posted two days in a row, which is pretty good for me lately.

Two days in a row wasn't that hard. I thought I bet I could do this every day this month. I could join National Blog Posting Month and write a post every day for the entire month of November. I even signed up for it. I could totally do this.

I could do it. (insert hysterical laughter from every one who knows me and who has ever read this blog). Shut up, I could totally do it.

I could but I did not do it. I didn't even make it to the third day. I skipped 5 days before I posted again, and that post was about football and snakes. Then I didn't post until today. That is 4 days out of 12 in the month, not even close to every day.

If they did a National Post Blogs Randomly Every Few Days Month, I could totally do that. But then most of those posts would be about my football picks. In fact, this post is about my football picks, because the fine folks at the NFL have started Thursday night games. You knew that didn't you?

I'll bet that some of my loyal readers are feeling a bit like this fine fellow

a bit put out that they were forced to wear a birthday hat for a stuffed parrot's birthday party.

For that I'm sorry, but this is my blog. I've been working on a few posts but I haven't been able to finish them so football picks it is (winners in bold and red):

Thursday Night
Chicago @ San Francisco

Atlanta @ Carolina
Tampa Bay @ Miami
Detroit @ Minnesota
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Buffalo @ Tennessee
Denver @ Washington
New Orleans @ St. Louis
Jacksonville @ NY Jets
Kansas City @ Oakland
Seattle @ Arizona
Dallas @ Green Bay
Philadelphia @ San Diego
New England @ Indianapolis

Monday Night
Baltimore @ Cleveland
Combined MNF Score = 45

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a Charmer

Why yes that is Bunny with a juvenile Burmese Python. Why do you ask?

We were at Snake Day at the museum and of course Bunny was in heaven. For me it was infinitely better than bug day, snakes are not nearly as creepy as bugs.

Now on to the BFL picks (winners in bold and red):

Houston @ Indianapolis
Washington @ Atlanta
Arizona @ Chicago
Baltimore @ Cincinnati
Miami @ New England
Green Bay @ Tampa Bay
Kansas City @ Jacksonville
Detroit @ Seattle
Carolina @ New Orleans
San Diego @ NY Giants
Tennessee @ San Francisco
Dallas @ Philadelphia

Monday Night: Pittsburgh @ Denver
Combined MNF Score = 45

Check out the rest of the action here.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I've had this song stuck in my head for days.

I am sure you can all sympathize. It happens to everyone. And its always an annoying or slightly annoying song. If it were a cool song you wouldn't mind one bit, you'd just sing along. A cool song would be like having your own personal soundtrack.

An annoying song is different. You don't want it in your head. Its there and its threatening to stay. Forever. And it just might drive you crazy in the mean time.

Now the annoying song can be anything. It could be a catchy pop song from an artist you hate or from an artist you are not willing to admit to liking to anyone (not even your diary). It could be a jingle for a local bank, restaurant or the like. It could be a theme song for a television show you hate or are not willing to admit to liking to anyone (not even your diary).

In my case, it is a song from a children's cartoon. These songs are the worst to have stuck in your head. They are designed to be catchy. They are designed to be easy to remember. They are designed to be annoying because they are aimed at toddlers and pre-schoolers.

You can't fight that. The writers of these songs have research on how to make them memorable to children (and adults). Think about it, I'm sure you can remember the words to songs from shows you watched as a child that aren't even on the air anymore. These songs stick like glue.

The worst offender, in my book is Word World. Now I love Word World. Its helping Bunny learn her letters, the sounds they make and it is helping her to learn to read. So its a great show. A great show with annoying music, starting with the theme song and moving on to so many other annoying songs.

We've all heard the advice, to get a song out of your head you just sing it out loud. In theory this releases the song to the universe (or to the person sitting next to you) and frees your head. I follow this advice diligently. You can often find me breaking out in:

"You can never have too many OOs. Doodlely oo, doodlely oo, doodlely oo."

It should work. It should free my mind from this song. It should but it doesn't because Bunny thinks its hilarious that I am singing this song.

"Sing it again momma! Sing it again."
No, I will not sing that infernal song again.
"Please, momma."
Oh all right. "You can never have too many OOs. Doodlely oo, doodlely oo, doodlely oo."

And now its stuck again. It also doesn't help that Bunny requests to watch this episode over and over again, thereby insuring permanent residence in my brain.

Thanks, sweetie.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Just in under the wire. Winners in red and bold.

Houston @ Buffalo
Cleveland @ Chicago
Seattle @ Dallas
St. Louis @ Detroit
San Francisco @ Indianapolis
Miami @ NY Jets
Denver @ Baltimore
NY Giants @ Philadelphia
Minnesota @ Green Bay - This is huge. This is my Super Bowl.
Oakland @ San Diego
Jacksonville @ Tennessee
Carolina @ Arizona

Monday Night
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Combined MNF Score = 54