Not Much

of anything was done this weekend. It could be sized up as such.

Saturday was pajama day at the Klipschs. We played quite a bit of Wii as a family. It sounds silly but it’s amazing how fun it is to cheer each other on and such. Anyway, we did lots of that and little of anything else. We got about 4 inches of snow on Saturday which was our excuse for the laziness. Seriously 4″ of snow in late March. Though I can’t complain because a good friend is dealing with the worst in North Dakota.

Saturday night Zach was nice enough to stay with the kids while I went to a movie with my sister. Duplicity, not bad. I don’t know if I’m as good of a judge as I used to be. With 3 kids truly not having to think about anything for over 2 hours is a real treat.

Today we went to church then met Frank and Terre for lunch. We then went to get me a new phone which is like Christmas for me. Though I still don’t have texting (who needs it?) I do now have access to internet and therefore email (and by “email” I mean “blogger” and “facebook”) all day. Which will be nice for me and less than nice for the kids.

Since we’ve done nothing to take pictures of, here are a few that I haven’t been able to post yet. My parents brought these hats back from Texas. Enjoy.


Say, What?

This morning Dailah was asking me to read her a book. Zach and I had been talking about various items over a steaming cup of coffee so I “asked” her to wait a few minutes. A few minutes later I hear,

“Look mom, my penis!”

I don’t turn around, just say, “No, Dailah, you have a vagina remember?”

“Moooom, book is my penis.”

I turn around oh so scared. And see it. She is dangling the book between her legs. And she is calling it her penis.

Must go read up on educating our children about proper genitals and such. What with my son saying this and now Dailah, we’re in real trouble.

Sunday

I can hardly believe I’m 2 days late in posting this. Sunday morning we celebrated Tariku’s birthday…again. It was also kind of an excuse to get everyone together one last time after Saturday night’s celebrations. Tariku didn’t mind we “used” him in this manner.

Alas, it was loads of fun even if I hardly remember it since I was so sleepy!

Sleepy…but with a boy this excited about a $10 lego Star Wars. Blessed, truly.

Can you feel his excitement?

Tradition in our family, the cookie cake. The cookie cake that I ate half of the next day. If I only had some sort of self control…

Brother-in-law, Jake and father-in-law, Frank playing the Wii. Hilarity all around.

Frank is surprisingly flexible for a 6’1″ man. Here he proves his skills with Trysten and Oliver.

It was a fun morning but apparently not enough to deter Frank from “resting his eyes” a bit.

This was the food. There was a lot. You might look at this and think we had a lot leftover but we didn’t. Apparently no one in either of our families has any self control.

Eli, my nephew, apparently thought my dad’s lap looked too comfortable to resist. Nevermind they’ve met each other a handful of times. My dad just oozes good grandkid snuggles, I guess.

I really could celebrate Tariku’s birthday every weekend!

Saturday

Yesterday my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who got married in Mexico had their reception out at camp. It was a perfect day with food, family, fun and so much more.

Leslie and I were talking about how we remember how special wedding receptions were as kids. Staying up late, dancing, endless amounts of sugar and soda. Time spent with cousins and friends and loved ones. So I tried to recreate that magic with my kids last night. At the end of the night, Tariku exclaimed, “That was the best night of my life!” So I think it was a success.

I got to see so many family members (from Zach’s side) that we don’t see very often. It was fantastic getting to talk to them so much. Fun times all around. So here’s a picture parade on our day.

Zach’s aunt Lori and cousin Amy (though I claim them both as mine) made the trip to and fro Chicago all in one day. Amy, as it turns out, is just as beautiful and skinny in person which is highly unfortunate.

Aunt Julie (also Zach’s aunt but whatever) brought the most amazing spring giftbags for the kids. Some of the stuff in there were these slingshots, which were a huge hit.

Aren’t they precious?

Tariku was completely smothered in love by everyone yesterday. It made my heart just burst to see everyone love on him so much.

My parents. Aren’t they beautiful? Love them, lots.

And my brother and his girlfriend, Lindsey, also beautiful and loves of mine.

All of Zach’s family. I didn’t get a good one with all of the St. Louis family (email me one please, Lori!)

My sister and hotflawedmama (I’m in brown, just in case you couldn’t tell). She may have longer eyelashes but I got height which has to count for something.

My kids had been practicing dancing for the last few weeks. They took full advantage last night. I was beaming, let me just tell you. All my Single Ladies, anyone?

My mom and Dailah, who looked particularly cute if I must say so.

Zach’s aunt and cousins. The youngest one was actually our ring bearer in our wedding. He is now taller than me. Talk about surreal.

This to show you beauty and evidence of sugar shock.

They were amazingly precious together. Here they are inside, opening bubbles. See, told you we let them loose!

And the boys eating the scrumptious food.

Haregewoin Teferra

For those that are in the Ethiopian adoption world, this is old news to you. For those that aren’t, it might be something you haven’t heard yet.

Haregewoin Teferra was an Ethiopian woman. Not just any Ethiopian woman; she was an Ethiopian woman who, when every single person in her country was fleeing from the AIDS epidemic and anyone remotely associated with it, jumped right in. She’s the “star” of the book, There is No Me Without You. This book is one most of you have probably read. If you know someone who has adopted, they have probably told you to read it. Particularly for Ethiopian adoption, it seems we all have at least one common denominator in our choice to adopt from Ethiopia and that is this book.

I’ve waited to blog about Ms. Teferra dying until now because the truth is I’ve been pretty sad about it. In quite a few respects she is everything I want to be. She’s not famous (at least, not to many people outside the adoption world and even I’m famous to some people…or at least my mom’s been telling me so for many years). I want to be like her because she chose to stay and fight when everyone else was choosing to flee. She gave up EVERYTHING (wealth, prestige, houses, cars, clothes) to save her fellow countrymen (mostly children but it could be argued she was a lifeline to adult friends of hers living with AIDS as well).

That’s what I want to do, I suppose. Stand and fight, for as many things as I can. Of all the things I want said about me upon my death (there will be lots! I’ve already started writing my eulogy, now to who shall I entrust these great words?) I hope it will be that. Simply she was a lot to a few. Instead of moving so injustice could continue on, she became even a small barrier to be broken through. Those things could definitely be said of Ms. Teferra and I know no matter what I do, it’s literally nothing compared to what she has done.

I have no doubts Ms. Teferra can be accredited with making international adoption more of a possibility from Ethiopia and thus I thank her memory for my Tariku.

Now what to do. I’m going to copy this directly from Melissa Faye Greene’s blog (she’s the one that wrote that book).

Dear Friends,

By now you may have learned the shocking news that Mrs. Haregewoin Teferra has died suddenly after a short illness. We don’t know what caused her death; she felt sick for a couple of days, went to the doctor, came home without a diagnosis, felt sick again, and that was the end.

We are grieving, yet we have no time to spare: 59 children survive her, many of them toddlers and babies, the majority HIV-positive.

World Wide Orphans–the New York-based organization that has overseen the medical care for Haregewoin’s children for many years–has stepped into the breach. They have assumed full custody of the 42 HIV-positive kids.

These heroic measures come at high cost: we estimate $200,000 will be required in the coming year (about $4,600 per child) to cover food, healthcare and medicine, education, clothing, and caregivers for the 42. Once their basic needs are met, the childrenโ€™s paperwork will be sorted out; some may be eligible for adoption, others may have extended families in a position to allow the children to return. But that is for the future. The crisis is now: keeping these children fed and clothed, paying the salaries of loving caregivers to act as stand-ins for their late parents, making sure there is no break in the life-saving healthcare provided by WWO.

Haregewoin lived with these children seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for ten years. She is irreplaceable. The smallest ones, of course, have no idea what has just happened. Please let us work together to act as foster parents in absentia for these little ones. Thank you in advance for any amount you can give.

Online contributions can be made at http://www.WWO.org.
Specify Campaign for Haregewoin’s Children.

Or checks may be sent to:
WWO
511 Valley Street
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040

Sincerely,
Melissa

Tidbits

–I just finished reading my book club’s new book, The Girls. It was awesome. It’s a fictional autobiography of conjoined twins. I gave it to my sister, so I can’t tell you who the author is, as it’s slipped my mind. But seriously, if you’re like me and enjoy having a list of potential reads (cathy) put this on your list. It’s real rad.

–I love random gifts. Just little things people give you to let you know they were thinking of you. Notes sent, food picked up, etc. Today it happened to me twice. The first time was from a fellow Bodyflow instructor who gave me a precious little locally made necklace. The second time was from one of my participants who had told me last week she owned one of my favorite local restaurants. So tonight she brought me two subs from her restaurant (Grinders, for you local folks). I love that, love them (thanks Lisa and Gino!)

–I love Lily Allen’s new single, “The Fear”. Have you heard it? If not, here are a few of my favorite lyrics. But sing them with a British accent, dripping with sarcasm.

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I dont care about clever I dont care about funny
I want loads of clothes and f***loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

Ill take my clothes off and it will be shameless
Cuz everyone knows thats how you get famous
Ill look at the sun and Ill look in the mirror
Im on the right track yeah Im on to a winner

Chorus
I dont know whats right and whats real anymore
I dont know how Im meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
Cuz Im being taken over by The Fear

Lifes about film stars and less about mothers
Its all about fast cars and passing each other
But it doesnt matter cause Im packing plastic
and thats what makes my life so f***ing fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
and its not my fault its how Im program to function
Ill look at the sun and Ill look in the mirror
Im on the right track yeah Im on to a winner

Chorus
I dont know whats right and whats real anymore
I dont know how Im meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
Cuz Im being taken over by The Fear

Bridge
Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause Im killing them all on my own little mission
Now Im not a saint but Im not a sinner
Now everything is cool as long as Im getting thinner

Chorus
I dont know whats right and whats real anymore
I dont know how Im meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
Cause Im being taken over by fear

–I’m feeling sassy, can you tell?

–We got an email from our adoption agency saying they are looking for teachers at their Ethiopian school. Darn-it if I’m not doing calculations to see if we can swing it.

More tomorrow about a “legend” from Ethiopia who passed away and a way you can help. Because I know you’re packin’ plastic and that’s flippin’ fantastic.

And We Have…

It was 77 degrees outside yesterday. 77 degrees. I loved it. We weren’t inside at all except to take naps. We were having too much fun so I only snapped a few pictures, here’s Dailah fake smiling for me.

The boys had swimming lessons. I was a bit nervous about this one’s ability to listen seeings this was how squirrley he was from all the fresh air.

Today wasn’t quite as nice, still 60 degrees so I really can’t complain that much. After naps I made some bread then forced the kids to go outside. They went up to the basketball court while I started dinner. I went up to make sure all was ok. This is where I found the boys…

And the grill…or coat rack, depending on your perspective.

After some really good cheeseburger soup for dinner, we decided to spoil the kids. I gave the kids a bath while Zach made bowls of ice cream. We brought them upstairs and watched Kung Fu Panda. Lots of laughter, some chocolate spills but definitely made me ridiculously happy.

This group eating their ice cream.

And the eldest. Loving how zoned they are on the TV.

Then afterwards, we were dancing and the dancing led to kung fu fighting (that was the song so, naturally).