Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No more fofee thank you momma

Isn't that just the most polite way to turn down a sip of foffee? It's true, Lucy gets a couple sips of the morning brew ... I call it bonding time. Daycare might not like to hear this! The other day she turned it down. I have a sneaky suspision that she's been ruined for home brew ever since the picnic weekend where she had a tast of heaven in a paper cup. The Caribou Campfire Mocha.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Picnic photos






Thanks to Mel ... no way could I have captured too much while chasing Lucy!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Annual Ethiopian Kids Community picnic

Whew am I ever tired!!! So is Lucy, she fell asleep at 7:14 while I was taking the hair snaps out of her hair. We spent the entire weekend communing with Ethiopian adoptive families. We arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon ... we shared a room with Mel and Morgan. Amazing how much stuff a toddler and a baby take up! I was totally unprepared. I thought I had packed early in the week so Friday after work I just shoved some "extra" stuff in our big yellow bag. Turns out all I had was our swimming stuff, towel, our Ethiopian Kids Community tshirts and the "extra" stuff I shoved in. That meant I had no clothes for me. No biggie, I am pretty low maintenance. Friday night we swam and swam and swam and swam. Lucy and Morgan were good little travellers and slept through the night ... Mel and Morgan had one side of the room and Lucy and I shared the other side. I believe that Mel and I slept very little as we were on high alert so we would be able to respond quickly if one of our kids woke up in order to prevent that kid from waking up the other person's kid! It was fun to see all the families that had gathered from across the states to attend the picnic. Saturday morning we were all about swimming and down for an early nap before the picnic. The picnic was great fun! Tons of families were in attendance just a huge swarm of beautiful loud happy children. Lucy was in her element running around being social and active. After the picnic it was back to the hotel for more swimming then sleep. I felt like we had an encounter with the Ethiopian adoption superstars (the Triplets) ... Lucy and Tsega obviously have some sort of cosmic connection, she was actually diverted from her beeline to the pool to hug Tsega and participate in some chase running/crawling down the hall. Talk about cute!!!! There were so many others that I have felt connected with through the forums and through blogs that we were able to meet in real life. Obviously as we all had children to attend to our conversations were always quick and either on the run or in a loud swimming pool area.

I arrived home exhausted ... and about 5 minutes later the phone rang, it was some one from our agency calling asking if I would be willing to be interviewed about Lucy's adoption in my home. She said the Ethiopian government can see families in their own home and how the children are thriving, and I could show them a single mom perspective. I said "sure". She said "it'll be today". I almost fainted. I cleaned like a madwoman. I got Lucy down for a nap. For some reason she woke up after only one hour. The crew arrived. They had lights, a huge camera, an interviewer ... they moved my furniture around and moved stuff around so the background was better. I myself was decorated with makeup and a scarf. Lucy was at her most uncooperative (like at the photo shoot). I still think the interview went well ... I almost teared up at the end and probably the only think stopping me was that I was talking to a camera and couldn't see the person behind the camera at all.

It's now 8:22pm and I am about ready for bed!

Sorry no photos tonight ... can't muster the energy to find the camera. Trust me, she's adorable.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

When you have 16 minutes

I realize that some of you might not have 16 minutes to look at photos of Lucy! I just wanted to present you with the option. The montage is of the 2nd year of Lucy's life from her 1st birthday to her 2nd birthday. She grew so much!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The outfit part 2 the Pink Elephant connection







So she continues to love her pink elephant dress. Here's the fun thing. Lucy's "theme" is pink elephants. It all started before I was even thinking of adoption. My mom got me this big plastic pink elephant as sort of a joke. I kept it in my front window for years ... it became sort of the sign for my house. One time party goers ended up knocking on my neighbor's door (mistakenly going to the pink flamingo house instead of the pink elephant house). When I knew Lucy was Lucy ... I decided that pink elephants would be her theme. Mostly so I had somewhere to put the big plastic pink elephant but also because pink elephants seemed hard to find thus preventing an overload of pink elephant gifts from well-meaning relatives. Well ... I was a little wrong ... if you pay attention you can find pink elephants almost everywhere. She has a lot of them. In one of those stop your heart moments ... the day I met Lucy she was sleeping face down in her room at the care center ... I picked her up out of bed and she was wearing a striped sleeper with a PINK ELEPHANT on it!!! I couldn't believe it! So it's fitting that I found this nightgown at target with pink elephants and Mel bought it for her and now she wants to wear it all the time. OH and by the way ... I really honestly didn't register the connection between being inebriated and seeing pink elephants until I started googling pink elephants in search of room decorations.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The outfit





I have done enough childcare to know that a lot of kids go through a stage where they want to wear the same thing EVERY DAY. I think Lucy has entered the stage. Leave it to her to choose the impractical ... and guess what??? It's two sizes too big so this could go on for a long long time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ethiopia


I realize I don't write about Ethiopia much. I think about it all the time. I honestly don't know what to say about it. Carrie called it something like "achingly beautiful" I feel that is a very accurate/short description. It's hard because the fakey part of me wants to go on and on about how lovely the country was and how beautiful, breathtaking amazing etc ... but I didn't get out of the city ... and honestly I didn't find the city beautiful at all. I haven't written much about it because it's so complicated, the city and the people and my feelings and reactions to it. Tonight I read another mother's entry about her feelings ... I felt like she took the thoughts out of my head and wrote them. If you want to read something "achingly beautiful" please click here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Housesitting




This weekend we sat on a house. Nahhh ... we house sat and dog/cat sat again. Thank goodness I have a nice flexible child. She sleeps wherever and makes herself right at home. Lucy loved having a dog to play with again. Poor Parker was the object of peek-a-boo play with the scarf being over Parker's whole head. He took it well. Later he kissed Lucy in appreciation. When I carried Lucy upstairs for bed she would look down the steps and blow Parker a kiss "night night Parker." So cute. We went to a water park. Lucy didn't seem into the water play toys just into playing in the pool part of the water. Good to know, we can have just as much fun in the free neighborhood wading pools. The photos are of Lucy playing peek-a-boo in her closet. She was laughing so hard as I would open the door and act scared when she went "boo".

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

weekend getaway







Last weekend we escaped the hustle of city life and went to southern Minnesota for some small town relaxing. One of our favorite people in the world Sara invited us to her family's house. We had such fun in the outdoors. We spent some time swimming in a big outdoor pool where Lucy demonstrated her braveness by jumping off the edge into momma's arms. She also did a short back float, lots of kicking, some underwater head dips and participated in a couple wet rounds of ring around the rosie. We dried off and headed to a park by a lake for playing and picnic dinner. Lucy played and played and played. The park was old-school with a merry go round and the old school animal swings (see photos). Lucy fell off the beaver shortly after I snapped the photos. Falling doesn't deter her from re-endangering her self on some other precarious playground equipment. At the end of all that swimming and playing guess who had a hard time falling asleep???? Yup, Lucy.... even my super example of falling asleep with her squirming away did not seem to help encourage slumber in my little 2 year old and once she did fall asleep she was raring to go once again at six in the morning. What's up with that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

2 years ago ... and now




Hard to believe that 2 years ago I was pretty much crazy. I had a referral for a beautiful baby girl. I was so floored that I had a daughter. I was certain I would get a referral for a boy. I was now free to buy clothes (I knew the age and gender). Waiting was so hard. I waited from July 8th until October 22 to travel. Lucy got sick during this time and lost weight from 2 months old to 5 months old ... I was pretty scared. Looking at those photos now, I can see the sick in her. I gasped when I read the note from the doctor in the care center ... upon placing Lucy in the hospital: "I hope she makes it".



Well she certainly "made it" and continues to grow and thrive. We've had the best three days. Lucy has been so communicative. It's a lot of fun having a kid who can tell you things ... her new favorite sentence is "No, I don't like that." She says it very clearly. Tonight we went to an ice cream social at a neighborhood park. She was in her element. They had cotton candy, lots of people, a live band and a playground.... she would have been in heaven if I would have let her go into the wading pool. She played hard and had fun (except when the cotton candy ran out).



Lucy made it through daycare today with no potty related accidents. Of course she totally peed (immediately after she got off the potty chair) in her underwear once we got home. Frustrating ... but it's a combination of her not being all the way ready and her naturally oppositional personality (and age .. bad combination). She'll get it. I think I'll have to break down and buy another pack of diapers before she cracks.




The photos are of Lucy enjoying an apple at the Midtown Global Market.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Referral

I can't believe I didn't blog about this on the actual anniversary! Well here is the referral story. At my agency (unless you are going through Waiting Child) you aren't ready for referral until your dossier is completed and turned in. I worked on the dossier over the 4th of July holiday and turned it in around 11:00 Friday morning July 8, 2005. I drove back to Minneapolis (about 8 minutes) got two coworkers Risa and Mel and headed out to lunch at Green Mill. At about 11:45 a.m. as we were waiting for our food to be delivered, my phone rang. I answered and it was my social worker from my agency. I was annoyed at first because I was sure that there was some technical problem with my dossier and I was SO DONE with paperwork. She ask if this was a "good time to talk", I said sure... She said "I am calling with a referral." I almost passed out. I COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS WAS HAPPENING. It had only been 45 freaking minutes. Deep breaths. She then said, "you indicated on your paperwork that you were open to limb deformities." I said "yeeesssss" she told me about Lucy's foot. I said I was interested in looking at the referral. Mel and Risa figured out what was going on and they were practically jumping across the table. Social worker said that the baby was beautiful, her name Eskedar, two months old. I could not eat a bite. I was so so freaking excited. We left the restaurant and raced back to work where I sat at the computer waiting for the referral info to come. OF COURSE we had internet problems. Finally it came through ... we were trying to open the photo .. it came so huge that we could only see about one facial feature in each screen .. but each facial feature was just so beautiful. Then I get a call. A teacher was on a home visit at one of my clients houses and there was a crisis. I had to leave before I could see the whole photo. I was sitting outside her house with all of her kids and the police absolutely unfocused on what was going on. I was a BAD BAD SOCIAL WORKER. Finally we got it sorted out and I raced back. And there she was .. printed out and taped together on six sheets of paper, larger then life ... so so beautiful. The rest is history .... oddly enough I was at that same client's house when I got the travel call. Here are the photos I received from Ethiopia ... starting with the referral photos.


Hair


Hair care comes up a lot in our Ethiopian adoption groups and forums. Discussions about products, "no poo" etc happen almost on a weekly basis. We've discovered that products and routines that work for one kids hair don't work for another. After a year and a half with Lucy I have found some products that really work for her hair (Carol's Daughter, straight olive oil) and others that don't (anything from Target). I have also found that by rarely washing her hair (just using conditioner) it stays in better condition. I have also become better at different styles (twists, ponies, box braids). I really LOVE just combing it out and leaving it loose and beautiful .. but this style quickly dissolves into something that looks disheveled when really it takes more time then the other styles. Lucy is NO help. She is typical of a two year old and can not stand the idea of sitting still for very long. Her complaining and twisting combined with my lack of skill and my lack of desire to force her to sit usually means we get two and sometimes four puffs in her hair before total meltdown. I love her hair. I love that it's tight curly and thick. I think it's beautiful. Before I was even considering adoption a friend of mine was complaining about white people adopting black children and completely messing up their hair (a pet peeve). This conversation came back to me the second I considered Ethiopian adoption. "I won't be that white person who messes up her daughter's hair" I thought. Well ... I say, occasionally I do mess it up, sometimes she goes out and it's all over the place and occasionally it gets a little dry. I think this is more about lack of time and lack of cooperation. Mostly we have our morning ritual and her hair looks fine. I am learning and she is becoming more tolerant. Someone on the adoption forum posted a link to an op-ed about why all of this is so important. Click HERE for the article.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Lucy had an idea ...

We were a little bored this evening. It's about 900 degrees outside and even our little wading pool is too hot (hotter then the bathtub). Going to the park was out of the question. I was too lazy to go to a beach (it was after 6pm). What to do what to do? I sat at the computer to see if there was any outdoor live music anywhere. I said to Lucy "I am looking for something to do." She ran up to me and said "ducks ducks eat eat" while motioning to her mouth. I said "you want to go feed the ducks?" and she said "yes" and ran to the kitchen shouting "bread bread". I was so amazed. It's been at least 2 months since we've fed ducks. I never mention it ... we've had no recent duck encounters. She totally remembered from a long time ago .. and she wanted to do it. This is such a different stage for her. A request. Of course we went in the 900 degree day to feed the ducks (Lucy ate about 3 brat buns ... the ducks didn't get much). It was so fun. We saw baby ducks. Lucy had a blast. I love that girl.

Long weekend!!!!





Long holiday weekends are great. What fun to realize that it's only SATURDAY. Ahhh yes, I was made to be a stay-at-home mom. We've had fun just hanging in our little corner of the world. We really partied on July 4th. We went to a little parade in St. Paul ... it wasn't exciting but we got a free freezie pop. We went to a BBQ at Lucy's friend's house (Bennett .. her roommate in Ethiopia and one of her possible future husbands). We stayed up LATE and watched fireworks. True to form, Lucy LOVED the fireworks. It took a few minutes for her to stop shaking from the noise but once she was used to it, she had fun naming the colors of the "hot" fireworks and asking for more more more. Have to say (as you'll see in one of the photos) that Lucy is turning into a real drama queen. Sometimes even I don't know if the tears are real or fake. She definately puts on a show for grandpa ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Teamwork

I have been working hard trying to live on a budget. I haven't even been to TARGET lately! I have been skipping coffee shops ... babysitting for extra money in my spare time etc. I figure it's time that Lucy steps up to the plate and contributes to the slimmed down budget plan so I sent her to daycare in underwear today. I don't think it will go well. As I was leaving daycare she was peeing in her first pair of underwear. Hmmmm. I think she has the ability I believe she lacks the desire. We'll see what happens. Either way ... I saved a diaper today. Let's all send Lucy some positive potty vibes during this holiday weekend. We'll be working hard.

OH and if Libby can get pardoned (and you know the full pardon is likely)... well then I suppose we can give Lucy a break for peeing in her panties right?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Lucy has a little foot.


We are getting close to our referral call anniversary. I remember the call so well and will likely blog about it in detail on the date. For now ... I will say that my SW said "but ..." and went on to say something about a foot deformity. I was sort of basking in the surprise of the phone call (45 minutes after i turned in my dossier ... story later) so I only partially listened to her describe the foot of what was probably my new 2 month old daughter. Of course I accepted the referral and brought home my perfect daughter Lucy 3 1/2 months alter. Lucy has a "congenital amputation" of one of her feet. Her foot is very small (smaller then a newborn) and her toes are not fully formed. Despite this, she walked within normal range, climbs fast enough to give me a heart attack at least 100 times a day and basically can do everything but wear the shoes that she has developed quite a fetish for. ... that's ok Lucy... momma has things she wants but can't wear either. The only "problem" with her foot at this time is the HIGH price of the insert that goes in her shoe so she can wear shoes without them spinning around and so that she doesn't have to overcompensate too much and mess up her leg muscles/bones. This insert for some reason is not paid for by insurance and my kids feet are growing fast. Normally no one even notices ... but last summer and this summer we've spent a lot of time barefoot ... sandels don't work on her and her hightops are just too hot. Kids are the ones who notice and ask questions. I love that they are just so open and inquisitive. Lucy gets to experience a very safe interaction when the kids ask about her foot and I explain about how she was born with her foot like that ... The kids just move right on ... and Lucy seems to love the attention (for now). Today a little girl was swimming with us in the lake. Lucy was kicking away in the water trying to swim when the girl asked about her feet. I explained and the girl wanted to look at her feet closer and closer. Lucy got tired of being still and yells "swim feet swimm feet" and starts paddling her hands and kicking those feet ... the little girl goes "I think that little foot works just fine!" and I said "ME TOO" and Lucy said "Mine foot, mine foot, not yours mine foot ... NO go in, no no .. mine water, Lucy swim, mine lake" I don't think anything is going to stop Lucy from doing what she wants ... Nope. It's most definately her world right now.