He’s Adopted?

Yesterday at the Y that’s what someone said to me about Tariku. They just couldn’t believe he hadn’t been in our family the whole time and/or that he didn’t have any “normal” orphan behaviors, whatever that means.

It got me thinking that, for the most part, she was absolutely right, in that he does feel like he’s been in our family forever. And for the most part, he doesn’t show a lot of behaviors that some people attribute to orphans. We’ve been very lucky.

The one behavior he definitely still does have that I relate to what’s happened to him in his 4 short years is how hard he is on himself. There are still many times throughout the day that he has kind of an “I’m not worthy” attitude. For instance, I’ll be giving Dailah a snack and preparing ones for him and Trysten. Before I can give him one he’ll say, “Oh, I don’t get one.” As if to say, of course I don’t get one, I don’t deserve it.

When he was at camp the counselor related the story that Tariku dove into the pool. Tripper (the counselor) said, “Tariku, you know you’re not supposed to dive in,” and turned around. When Tripper turned back around, Tariku had taken himself out of the pool and put himself in time out. Tripper was impressed that he put himself in time out but of course I was worried.

It’s a hard behavior to correct. Honestly, at times, it’s thoroughly annoying. I find myself asking, “Why would you think you didn’t get a snack, why are you going in time out?” But when I’m fully aware of what’s happening I know he’s still hurting. That inside he is still feeling the effects of what, to him, feels like being left. He remembers a lot about Ethiopia which is a blessing in some instances but can be really hard in times like this.

I’m really not sure how to help this situation, if you have ideas I’d love to hear them. All we’ve been doing is reassuring him that he is a fantastic boy and deserves all the best things in life. I’ve started to give him his meals and snacks first. But whenever he gets in trouble he is devastated. Cries, mumbles, the works. He has the same reaction whether he’s actually getting in trouble (taking a toy) or not (accidentally stepping on a toe). I’m at a loss as to how to be proactive about his reaction during discipline.

This is where adoption is hard. I just wish he could feel the intense emotions I have inside me for him. I wish that he knew that I would give him the stars if I were able. He is so, so precious I just can’t wait until he knows it himself.

God, I love this guy. Off to snuggle him, I see an opening.

The Party

Last night we had Dailah’s birthday party. Just a BBQ and some pool time. Good times but I was exhausted by the end of the night. So here are the pictures to speak for me.

She was a rockstar with her new guitar, glasses and high heels.

The cousins at the kid table. Outgrowing it quickly, once my sweet niece from Ethiopia comes we’re going to have to push two tables together, restaurant style.

The kids before the big candle blowout.

Doozie had lots of help opening gifts.

Her reaction to presents.

Dailah’s reaction to the most beautiful cake ever.

Thrilled about a microphone.

Doozie and her aunt Kara.

Look at this cake! It was homemade by my friend, Ann. Can you even believe it? She knows Dailah too well. Dailah put both hands on her cheeks and said, “Ohmygoodness!” So many thanks to Miss Ann!

And today we finally gave up the pacifiers. She had just been on them at nap and bed times so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But she was excited because she got to give them to her friend Baby Cates. She’s now taken a nap and went to bed without a pacifier and only minimal fussing about it. This parenting thing is a cake walk. Ahem.

Happy Birthday Miss Dailah

This post always seems so surreal. It does with all of them, mothers will tell you birthdays make us particularly nostalgic. But it’s different with Dailah, Doozie, the dutchess, the bearcat. This was my post from last year that explains her intense first moments of life. Here are the pictures that I couldn’t upload them.

Daddy and Dailah after some tubes were removed.

He was a great big brother from the start.

The first time I got to hold her, almost 2 days after she was born. I was so overwhelmed I cried the whole time. On a lighter note, those cheeks are just 1 reason I shouldn’t be able to house babies in this body.

Our first look at her.

Today we started celebrating with Casey’s donuts, per her request.

Then went to church, where she picked her outfit out herself.

Then normal every day happenings, nap, etc. I gave in to her request for pool time towards the end of the day.

The boys passed their swim test for the first time and were able to go down the slide. They LOVED it, obviously.

In the end, she is my heart. Going through a stage where at least once a day she just needs a good cry but we’re getting through it with a little bit of grace. She still makes us laugh more than any 3-year-old should. (Case in point: yesterday in the bath she says, “Mom, girls have penises and girls have vaginas.” “Yes, Dailah that’s right.” Tariku stands up to get washed up and Dailah says, “Sit down you silly penis.”)

3 years ago she entered this world like gail force winds and she’s still entering rooms that way. She commands attention either directly or indirectly and we seriously love her for it. Indescribable this one but I’m so thankful she’s ours. Happy birthday baby girl! Stay this precious forever!

Play Dates

About 2 weeks ago we had a play date. And I’m just getting around to posting about it. It was fantastic. The weather was perfect, the kids had a fantastic time and the moms might have enjoyed our freshly brewed coffee and made from scratch scones. Beth, Leslie, Becky and hotflawedmama (and respective children) had a grand time and are hoping to repeat it many more times.

I have to apologize to Beth that I can’t quite tell which twin this is but this picture was kind of too cute. MMMM chalk. PS, Beth and family recently announced their Ethiopian adoption! I’m so excited for them and humbled to have been a small part.

The wonder non-twins playing the piano.

Dailah LOVES baby Cates. Can’t get enough of her, can you tell?

More proof. And how could you not?


I have been watching re-runs of The Office and 30 Rock the last few days and have pretty much been laughing the entire time. Then last night we went to the local minor league baseball game with the rest of the Klipsch family. My brother-in-law, Jake, found Zach’s high school writing portfolio and seriously, this is what dreams are made of.

Let me start by saying I have a really intelligent husband. He just is. Unfortunately, after what you’re about to read you may question that. I urge you to consider the facts: he was 17, hormonal and precious.

My personal favorite is “A Ladies Man” (Note: I won’t change his punctuation):
–Many men believe that in order to get a women to like them that they need a Brad Pitt face and a Arnold Schartzennager body. Well, I am here to say that that is not entirely true.
–Nothing pleases a lady more than to sit down with a man and have a long, extended, deep conversation.
–Women are smarter than men think.

Here’s a few quotes from a gem titled, “Unknown Paradise”.
–I can almost taste the orange sherbet sun as it’s glow shines over the end of the break of water.
–Suddenly, like a squirrel showing his face from behind a tree, the sun peaks his face up to brighten what was once a dark lost world.

There’s more, of course, but those are some of my favorites. Just so we’re clear, those papers were for his Advanced Writing class.

That there is public school circa 1999. We’re so proud.

On "Where I’ve Been" or "A Week in Review" or "These Kids are Cute But Why Are They Calling Me Mom?"

Is Wednesday a lucky day for my blogging? I guess so. This might be a bit disjointed as I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance and just got over my ugly cry at the breast cancer dance by Melissa and Ade. Beautimous.

So let’s see. Tariku finished up his week at camp. I saw my first signs of what I like to call “bearcat-tastic” in Tariku. He swam twice a day, didn’t receive any nap time at all and this made for some interesting evenings. I must say I’d take his bearcat over a certain Ms. Dailah’s any day. But felt good (I guess?) that he’s feeing secure enough to show me this side. Am thankful it’s only when he’s super tired.

Work stuff is kind of (hopefully) working itself out. Lots of meetings on my part, not much sleep, a few tears and more frustration than one person should handle for 7 hours of work but it’s still totally worth it. Our YMCA is tops!

Got to see the Harry Potter movie. My only disappointment is that I’ve seen it just once. I’m consistently amazed at how well they get the movies when they basically have to translate a 1000 page book. I REALLY love Harry Potter and I was pleasantly surprised by it all.

This past weekend I was able to attend a shower/bachelorette party for a good friend from high school. It was SOOO nice to see her and a few others that I hadn’t seen in awhile. It’s one of those things that just about brought me to tears to be able to say that I knew all of them. Awesome people, good times. I’m sure you won’t be the only ones who are surprised to hear I saw 2am for the first time in awhile. As I told another friend of mine, the only time I’ve been up to see the clock strike 2am is when I’ve been birthing. I assure you, this was MUCH better.

A funny story…my mom was not blessed with great dental genetics. I can attest to the fact that she undoubtedly has better dental hygiene than I do. Alas, her teeth are, in a word, “crap”. So this weekend she lost one of her molars. Not surprising for her, as it was fake to begin with. This was FASCINATING to Trysten because he knows all about grown up teeth and how they’re not supposed to come out. After much discussion and staring at the tooth, he returns to his coloring. All of a sudden he looks up and says,
“I know what we should do with the tooth! We should make it into a necklace!”

That’s hilarious. Now would probably be a good time to tell you Trysten LOVES shark tooth necklaces. Now would also be a good time to tell you the wayward tooth made my brother’s girlfriend dry heave. The mention of a tooth necklace made her throw up a bit in her mouth. I found it gloriously funny.

Finally, my daughter turns 3 this Sunday. My daughter, my baby. The little girl who was born breathing by machine is now a living, breathing, thriving little girl. The thought is extremely hard to grasp. That and the fact that 3 years ago almost to the day I was swimming at my parent’s lakehouse and a fish came up and bit me on the belly button. That’s not a lie. I have a picture of the fish’s lip print on my outtie button. Interesting fact.

That’s all. It’s 11pm, now I’m seeing Conan for the first time since 2001 and I have no idea what I just wrote.

That was so crazy, I apologize. But stay tuned for tomorrow when I tell you about coming across papers written by Zach in high school. I’ll give you a little nugget of goodness, “The sun acted as if it were a buffet, distributing life to all living things.” Yup, he’s amazing and that’s hilarious.


One of my favorite authors is Barbara Kingsolver. In our book club we’ve read both The Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Both of these books come highly recommended by moi. Anyhow, was reading about her book, High Tide in Tuscon and came across this quote, which I love.

“Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job…And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another-that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.”

And then there was our lunch conversation yesterday. Tariku is at camp this week so it was just Trysten and Dailah and hotflawedmama. Somehow we got on the subject of heaven and hell, because it’s all light and fluffy with this family. A snipet of the conversation:

Trysten: So what’s hell like, mom?
Mom: Well, we don’t really know for sure because we’re alive but the Bible says it’s hot there, I mean really hot.
Trysten: Well it’s a good thing Tariku’s not going there, he’d be sweating all the time!

I don’t know why that’s so funny to me but it is. Tariku sweats…a lot. He can be found most days with a sweat ring on his shirt. Amazing. And his brother was most concerned that he not go to hell because he doesn’t want him to sweat all the time.

This week has given me a glimpse of what our life would be like had we not adopted Tariku and I gotta say, I am so happy we did! I miss him so much when he’s there. He’s my little softie that helps Dailah and keeps Trysten entertained. In 3 days I’ve heard from both Trysten and Dailah approximately 400 times that they miss him.

We all do.

A Great Article

I thought I’d go crazy and post twice in one day. Here is a great article written by another adoptive mommy from our agency we used for Tariku’s adoption. She made it in Vogue for goodness sakes! She says they edited quite a bit from it but I think she did a pretty terrific job.


I’m hotflawedmama. It’s been awhile. So long, in fact, that I have no memory whatsoever of what we did this past week. Isn’t that what my blog is for? Anyway, the week flew by in a blur of work, kids’ activities, hair appointments and parties. A good week indeed. My favorite husband kept forgetting to bring home the computer, so if you miss me on the blog, send him hate mail at…just kidding. I know he’ll get better because he loves me so much.

The few pictures I have of the week…

Our first tomato arrived. It was just the most beautiful thing.

Zach attacking it.

Me coddling it like it deserved.

The crew at our farmer’s market yesterday.

Abe’s following. We can’t get 2 feet without people wanting to pet my beautiful great dane.

We also got Tariku’s hair cornrowed for the first time. This is him before.

And after. 2 hours of tears and sobbing led to this. So cute but definitely not worth it for this lady.

Then went to my sister’s housewarming where I took a total of 1 picture. This one, with my family playing Rock Band. Good times either way.

On the 3rd of July

We have had the pleasure of spending some QT with Zach the last few days because camp closes on the 4th weekend on Wednesday. So yesterday we decided to have kind of a relaxing day.

We went to the minor league baseball game for approximately 5 minutes. It was packed, the kids were hungry and there was still 3+ hours until fireworks. So we decided to head to one of our favorite restaurants instead, Woodfire Grill. After that, we had just enough time to head to the Y. There are many perks about having a father-in-law/grandpa as CEO of the YMCA and one of those is sitting on the roof during fireworks display.

The kids had a great time and were extremely well behaved considering they didn’t go to bed until 10:30 which is a whole 3 hours later than usual. And did I mention they slept in until 8:30 today? Hallelu!

ETA: The boys decided to wear their Ethiopian sweat bands. When we were at the balloon table a woman and Trysten/Tariku had this conversation.

Woman: Where did you get those?
Tariku: Home
Trysten: Ethiopia

Woman: Ethiopia! Have you been there?
Tariku: No
Trysten: No, but he has.

Woman: You’ve been there? Are you just visiting?
Tariku: Yes
Trysten: No, he used to live there but now he lives with us. He’s my brother.

Needless to say, Tariku gets a little confused when asked questions from strangers and Trysten is both happy to translate and to show off his brother.


Tattoos of our most favorite organization.

Amid our 5 minutes of the game.

An awesome dad is he.

Of the kids during dinner.

Upon completion of his entire grilled cheese Tariku pointed to the empty plate and said, “That makes me very sleepy”. (Note: it was already 1 hour past bedtime at this point). So his idea was to go up to the Y, take a nap and then have me wake him when the fireworks started. Didn’t turn out that way but this was his A+ effort.

The kids are lucky to have this guy as a grandpa. He was a jungle gym most of the day and finished strong at the end of the night. I love this picture.