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.

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.

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.


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.


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.



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!


“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 he…is…competitive.

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.