Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 A Look Back













Thursday, December 23, 2010


"When is he coming, momma?"

"On Friday, sweetie."

"I can't wait for Friday. Santa's coming on Friday."

"Tee! Tee!"

"Yes baby, that's our tree. Isn't it pretty?"

"Pee tee. Tee!"

"Momma, I can't wait for Santa to come. He's going to bring me some new markers and a horse puzzle"

"That's wonderful, Bunny. But you know part of Christmas is giving presents to people you love."

"Oh I know momma. I made a card for Ama and Baca. And one for my cousins. Do you think I should make a card for Santa?"

"I'm sure Santa would love a card, sweetie."

Bunny runs up stairs to make a card for Santa.

"Nanta! Tee! Pee tee!"

"Yes Lion, Santa is coming and will leave presents under our pretty tree."

"Nanta! Tee! Ju! Momma ju!"

"Oh you want juice baby?"

"Ju! Ju!"

Lion then chucks a car across the living room and runs to the kitchen to get some juice.

Mommy looks at the tree and the stockings and smiles. This is a very special year. The first year we will all experience the magic of Christmas together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with markers, horse puzzles, juice and lots of magic as you open presents under your tee!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Lion In Winter

A lot of things have been going on with our family but I've been too whatever to blog about them. So I thought it would be a good time to update you on a few things Lion with a side of Bunny thrown in for good measure.

When we last saw Lion, he looked something like this:

He's just so cute and adorable.

But then I got a bright idea to do this:

So then he looked like this:

He's still cute and adorable but now he looks like a little kid instead of a baby.

And if that wasn't enough, we got this for him:

A big boy bed! Now he's totally not a baby.

And then there was his first snow:

Um, yeah. He totally loved it.

His other favorite thing (other than throwing things and destroying things):

Hanging out with his awesome sister.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Craftiness and a Giveaway

Thanks to Scotch(R) Double Sided Tape for sponsoring my writing about crafts. Add your comment below to be entered for a chance to win free sample rolls to help with your upcoming holiday needs. 10 lucky commenters will be chosen at random on Monday December 6.

This holiday season, I've been searching for a way to get the kids more involved / invested in our family traditions. They are all over traditions that involve ripping open presents and eating copious amounts of candy but the rest of it is just window dressing to them.

At this point Lion is too young to understand things that don't involve destruction of property or copious amounts of candy. Bunny, on the other hand, is eager to learn and get involved. I figured the perfect way to peak her interest (other than candy) was to do some holiday crafts.

The first craft up on the list was a kid friendly menorah for Hanukkah. We have a lovely menorah that Frink has had forever, but I figured we probably shouldn't let the kids (especially Lion) get too close to the flames. I really don't need or want my house to start on fire.

So the menorah needed to be flameless. I thought about having her draw one and add a new candle every night. But I really wanted something we could use year after year, so I decided on felt. I attached the menorah with Scotch (R) double sided tape. The candles and flames each have a small bit of velcro on the back so they are easily moveable and reusable.

So after Daddy said the prayers and lit his menorah, Bunny was able to add the candles and flames to hers. Lion then proceeded to take all of the flames off and tried to throw them away but he was coaxed back with promise of gelt and our beautiful felt menorah glowed once more.

Please learn more about Scotch(R) Double Sided Tape and other Scotch(R) Products, and join the conversation on the Scotch(R) Brand Facebook Page and via Twitter . I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Ready or Not

I live in Wisconsin. I've lived here for my entire life (save a few months here and there spent in Illinois and Europe). I have braved 40 winters and am ready to tackle my 41st.

I complain endlessly about winter: It's too cold. There's too much snow. There's not enough snow. Boo hoo boo hoo etc.

But in reality it's a fact of life you need to deal with. It happens every year whether you are ready or not.

This year I'm not quite ready. It's a miracle that we made it through November without any snow and it was a blessing for me because I wasn't ready AT ALL.

Did my kids have mittens and hats? Um I think so. I'm pretty sure I saw some around here. But maybe that was last year, I don't know.

Did my kids have snow pants. Lion did, I'm sure of that because a friend gave us a pair. Bunny had some hanging in her closet. Except they were 3T and she's almost 5.

Did my kids have boots. In a word, no.

Its supposed to snow today. According to the forecasters we can get anywhere from 2 to 8 inches. Do you know when I bought all of the above mentioned winter stuff for my kids? YESTERDAY.

But I was ready for the snow a head of time. Not like last year when I bought Bunny's boots during the first snowfall and I had to make her wear her rain boots to the store.

No this year I was prepared before the snow fell and it felt good. Until this morning when I went to the car to take Bunny to school and noticed frost on my windows. Holy carp! Frost in winter! Who knew?1? I didn't have a scrapie thingie in my car. And I didn't have time to let the defrost kick in. I had to get her to school, so I had to think fast. And I'm pretty sure I came up with the perfect solution in a pinch: a plastic toy sand shovel!

Like I said I'm totally ready for winter.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Four Years

It seems just like yesterday.

I woke up early, delirious. I am not sure if the delirium was from the lack of sleep, the jet lag or the sheer enormity of what was going to happen.

It was not how I had imagined it would be. It was chaotic. It was busy. It was perfect.

Four years ago on October 30th, I met my daughter for the first time.

I held her in my arms for the first time and I have never let go.

She is mine. I am hers.

We are a family. Now. Forever. Always.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Am That Mom, I Guess

I am a mom.

I live in the suburbs. (But I live like two blocks from the city so I am still a city mom. Right?)

I have a kid in school.

But I am not a suburban PTA mom. I am way too cool for that.

Except that I am not.

When Bunny started Junior Kindergarten this year, I was super excited. There were sign up sheets for activities on the table at orientation and I totally signed up for most of them.

Library walk, check. Halloween party, check. Holiday party, check. Field trip, check.

Room mom, check.

That's right I'm a room mom and I love it.

Wednesday was the Halloween party and I was in charge of it. I planned the crafts (making witches and decorating cookies) and the games (spoon races with candy corn and toss the ghost in the witches cauldron). The kids loved it. I loved it.

I loved everything about it. I loved hearing the kids say "Bunny's mom could you help me." I loved the smiles on their faces as they ate the cookies they decorated. I loved hearing the laughter coming from the games.

I am a suburban PTA mom and I am proud of it.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Imagine this is your house

Imagine your husband is a farmer, plowing the land with his oxen trying to make a living for your family.

Imagine this is how you carry what your family needs.

Imagine, if you are lucky, this is your means of transportation

Imagine that you have to walk for miles to the nearest water source to obtain water for your family. Imagine having to carry the 40 pound jugs of water on your back for the long return trip.

Imagine having to leave your children at home to make the journey for water. Imagine that you could not leave your younger children so you have your older daughter make the journey. Imagine that your daughter would often miss school because of this work. Imagine that your daughter could be abducted or raped during this long journey.

Imagine that the nearest source of water is a small unprotected pond or river. Imagine that you share that pond with animals. Imagine that waste from the surrounding areas is washed into your pond during the rainy season.

Imagine that the water you or your daughter worked so hard to bring home is contaminated. Imagine how the contaminated water could make you or your family sick. Imagine that your children's bodies are not strong enough to fight off diarrhea or another water related illness. Imagine that you had to bury your child because you could not provide him or her with clean water.

Imagine that there is a drought. Imagine that the water supply your family relies on dries up.

If you live in rural Ethiopia, you do not have to imagine this at all. It is a fact of your life. In Ethiopia, only 33% of the population has access to safe water. That is not acceptable.

Ethiopia holds a special place in my heart. The beauty of the country, the beauty of the people that I met will forever stay with me. When I saw that the theme for Blog Action Day was water, I knew this was my chance to do something, however small, for the country I love.

I want to bring clean water to my son's homeland. I want to insure that his birth family and others like them, do not have to travel so far for clean, safe water.

I am asking you to join me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Uncontrol

I am a control freak.

I want things to go my way.

I need things to go my way.

When things do not go my way as they usually don't, I kinda freak out about it.

Ok, I really freak out about it.

I try to control the uncontrollable and generally make myself miserable in the process.

Nap time is at 12 noon. Snuggle time starts soon thereafter. I love this time. I need this time.

Nap time isn't going to happen today. Despite waking up at 5:30, Lion has decided the 15 minutes he slept in the car is enough. I tried to force the issue. I tried to control the uncontrollable.

It didn't work.

I started to lose it. I wanted to cry. So I did the next best thing, I stepped back. I left the room. I let the kids play together. I cried for a few minutes then I just let it go. I breathed in and out. I was okay.

It was okay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Balance, What Balance?

In this post I ask for your help. I am truly, desperately in need of some advice.

I have two children. You can see their smiling faces in my header picture. I love my children, I truly do. But did you know that my children possess an evil super power? It's true.

My children possess the power to manipulate time. They can take a normal day with 24 hours in it and make all of those 24 hours all about them. Now they may leave me a spare 5 minutes here or there to go to the bathroom, but more often than not they don't.

I have told my husband of their evil time manipulation but he does not believe me. "Honey, there are still 24 hours in the day. No one can change it" he tells me.

"No you don't understand," I argue. "We woke up and I was going to do some laundry. We some how ended up in the car and there was some screaming and hitting. Every time I turned around there was a child at my hip looking at me with a evil smile and laughing. Before I know it it's 11:30 at night and I haven't showered in 2 days. They are doing something to me I just know it. They are stealing time."

Even when I can grab a few spare minutes for myself to write this post, I can hear my son laughing an evil laugh and throwing things in the sink. I think he may have even thrown the cat in the sink.

So here is my desperate plea, I need some advice on how to steal the time back from my children. I have looked in all the places where they normally hide things and it is not there.

How do you get things done? How do you find time for yourself? How do you find time to shower?

And if its hopeless, please lie to me. Please I beg of you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

One Night of Freedom

Once upon a time, a girl met a boy. They did the usual things. They fell in love. They got married.

They had fun together. They traveled to far off lands. They rambled around their city. They enjoyed each other's company.

Then they did the usual thing and brought a child into their life. They were happy. They loved the child with all of their heart. They found new things to do together as a family. On occasion, they were lucky to have a babysitter. They got to enjoy each other's company again. They had fun together as grown ups.

Then the boy and the girl the did usual thing and brought another child into their lives. They were happy. They loved this new child with all of their hearts. They found new things to do together as a family.

With this new child they did not enjoy the same freedoms as they had with just one child. The nights out for just the two of them were few and far between. You did not need all of the fingers on your hand to count how many times they boy and the girl were alone together.

They were happy with their family but they missed being just a girl and a boy instead of a mom and a dad. Then one wonderful day the magical Ama and Baca gave the girl and the boy a night of babysitting, a night of freedom.

The girl and the boy were happy. They went on a mini-vacation. They rambled around together. They held hands. They sat on a park bench overlooking the water. They had dinner in a grown up restaurant. They slept a peaceful sleep. They were not awoken to the sounds of crying. No one wanted anything from them.

The girl and the boy had fun together. They enjoyed each other's company.

Rested and relaxed, they went home to their beautiful children.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End