Saturday, May 31, 2008

The weekend continues ...

Saturday started bright and early (5:30, the hair do threats have ceased to work, as I no longer have energy or will to do hair, she totally broke me). Thankfully Lucy was mellow and sweet. We went to Bennett's big 3.0 bash, super fun with lots of Ethio-adopt mommas papas and kids. I was the SUPER-STAR who got to show off a certain photo of a certain 5 week old girl who is the daughter of a certain someone who lives west of here. Yup I've gots me connections. After the party we had time for a quick mother-daughter nap and we were off to babysit the three boys.

There has GOT to be some sort of special place in heaven for a lady who got up at 5:30 in the morning, spent the day with her 3 yr old and then went to watch a 5 yr old, 3yr old (my own 3 yr old) and a 10 month old and ended up carting all 4 kids down two levels to the basement (just after we trecked up there to start p.j.s) for a tornado warning siren wailing. I mean, that was some sort of super-heroeic thing I think ... I totally can't believe people do this every day and every night with even more then 4 kids. But seriously people ... that was some serious transitioning for 4 young kids and one old tired mom and we did it with no tears AND being very compassionate and sensitive to the need for order and routine, I gave up all my hopes and dreams of an 8pm bedtime so we could do our normal bedtime routine. We didn't even head up stairs until 8:45. It was actually my first bedtime since baby Jacob came home and it was a rockin' bedtime. Seriously, it was fairly flawless.

That's it ... I am off to spend a few precious hours in bed before Sunday hits.

No photos from babysitting but I do have a couple from the party.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The weekend begins ...

It started with some basketball, tried on a hand-me-down outfit direct from Norway (the gingerbread get-up), ended with a movie/beer (for mom) night with the boy's parents and now we are home, Lucy is all tucked in and I am about to go to sleep too!

Our family ...

Our family, especially my cousin, is grieving the loss of her precious baby girl who was stillborn earlier this week. There is nothing like the feeling of not being able to fix something I so desperately want to fix. Her daughter was wanted and nurtured and her impending arrival was celebrated. As my cousin heads home with her arms empty and her heart hurting I ask you to please hold her and all those mothers with empty arms in your hearts, thoughts and prayers. It's going to be a long journey.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Parenting advice

The suggestion/threat

Momma: "Lucy if you wake up before 6:30, I will have lots of time to re-do your hair in the morning."

Lucy: "No do hair"

Momma: "No wake up before 6:30"

Lucy: "OK momma"

(she woke up at 7:00 this morning and yeah her hair is looking rough but the girl slept)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to work ...

Today wasn't so bad (going back to work). Lucy woke up bright and freakn' early so that I didn't have to miss out on too much time with her, thanks baby! I took a break from work to take her back to the doctor. Thankfully the blood count that was way way out of whack on Friday was closer to being in whack today ... After work we played outside and tested out the new tent we got for Christmas. I had to be sure it was big enough to contain 4 kids and 2 adults as the mommas and the kids (Lucy, Isaac, Nathan and Jacob) are fun (dumb) enough to continue the annual camping tradition even though we are out numbered 2 to 1 this year. As of tonight I have two camping trips confirmed and a possible stint at the boy's cabin. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have reserved one more camping weekend. I am pretty psyched about camping with Lucy this year. I think it will be a dang good time as she's old enough to withstand a night or two of bad sleep without completely falling apart, plus I feel like I can mosquito spray her without totally whacking out her nervous system OH and she eats more then spagetti this year.
So excitement abounds.

Some camping photos from years past:

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park swimming pond 2006

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park 2006

Mille Lacs Kathio State park - 2006, cute lil girl
In an eagle's nest at the intrepretative center
Group shot ... we survived our first moms and kids camping trip
Camping with Sara, William and Lucy 2007
2007 with Isaac and Nathan
Ice Cream pit stop 2007

Monday, May 26, 2008


It's Monday but it's like Sunday. Lucy spent the night at her grandparents last night so I got a good night's sleep and this morning is super-chill. The three-day weekend seemed longer (in a good way) because we've done so much and had so much fun. We celebrated Morgan's family day, had N and M over for two nights, went to the falls, played in the yard and just had fun together.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

N and M came on Friday night!
M helped Lucy get ready for Morgan's party

Lucy went down the huge slide about a million times

The kids "sharing"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Long Week-end

Trying to keep the blog on the positive but oh how many posts I started about the famine, 5 yr-old Maria, the disappointing call from post-adoption services etc etc. The world does not seem to be a positive place right now.

Re-grouping here ... I see the positive in up-coming three day weekend. I am starting a wee bit early as instead of going to the office I am going to my home visits directly from home. My clients live closer to my home then my office anyway.

Nancy and Makena are coming for a visit. On Saturday we will join Mel and Morgan at a great park to celebrate his family day. Lucy clarified this morning: "Nancy and Makena come but Tes-five stay in the car." I assured her that Tesfaye will not be living in the car on our street but rather staying in Chicago and she seemed happier about that arrangement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Park Nights

We've gone to the park two nights in a row. The weather has been perfect and the sun is shining until past bedtime. Gotta love it! Tuesday night I took Morgan and Lucy to a family night (through my agency). I've taken Lucy to a few work events and always find it interesting to parent my child in front of people I "social work". Lucy was great though, a real charmer and stayed easily within the limits I set (she put on her "social worker's daughter" hat for a while I guess ... thanks Lucy)! Tonight we went to dinner with aunt Jen. Jen and Lucy were traumitized by a finger smashing incident (Lucy's finger, Jen was in charge at the time) so the two of them needed some swinging and sliding to put the trauma behind them and move ahead with life. Once we got to the park Lucy regained the ability to use her right hand and Jen became visibly more relaxed. Bedtime was a breeze!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Imagine the reality

It it still so hard to believe ... imagine dying from hunger, starving to death. Sometimes it brings me to my knees, like I am hearing it for the first time every time.

From CNN:

Ethiopian children dying daily from starvationCNNEGU VILLAGE, Ethiopia (CNN) -- A year of drought and soaring food prices has threatened the lives of tens of thousands of Ethiopian children.
"We have nothing to feed our children," said Egu's village elder. "We are losing our children day by day."
Ethiopia's Health Ministry, along with UNICEF, monitors the health of thousands of children here, but the number of areas they have been able to regularly visit has been cut in half this year.
The small rains that normally allow Ethiopian farmers to plant a second crop each year did not come this year, adding to an already critical food shortage.
"It's an open crisis and there are more people than we expected, than the government expected, who need additional food," said Bjorn Ljungqvist, head of UNICEF Ethiopia.
There is a critical shortfall in the supply of therapeutic foods used to treat children with severe acute malnutrition, the UNICEF official said.
The UN's children's agency is appealing for $10 million to pay for emergency needs of more than seven million children under five as well as pregnant and lactating mothers in 325 drought-affected districts.
The World Food Programme (WFP) supplies the emergency food for UNICEF, but rising food prices mean it could not guarantee aid for all the areas in need.
"Unless you get immediate assistance the risk is, you fall into severe malnutrition and eventually death, so unless our supporters come in immediately for this we fear that is what is going to happen in the country," said Jakob Mikkelse, the WFP's nutrition and education chief.
Egu is a village UNICEF is no longer able to visit on a regular basis.
"If we were not here, those children who we had found now, with severe acute malnutrition would have died at home," UNICEF Emergency Nutrition Project Officer Samson Dessie.
UNICEF estimates six million Ethiopian children under the age of five are at risk and more than 120,000 have only about a month to live.
As the relief workers depart Egu, they leave behind a few emergency food packs and a promise to return.
The Ethiopian government has worked with UNICEF since 2004 on the Enhanced Outreach Strategy (EOS) to provide food for child survival. The effort distributes child survival packages that include vitamin A supplementation, de-worming, measles catch-up, nutritional screening and referral to supplementary or therapeutic feeding programs.
"EOS is really very important from many perspectives with regard to child survival," Dessie said. "The first is it brings high-impact, low-cost child survival packages like vitamin A, which can reduce child mortality by up to 35 per cent."

Monday, May 19, 2008


Had the boys over (no Nathan, he was home with his grandma recovering from a cold), but we had Morgan stay as a sort of Nathan stand-in. It was a busy evening but every one had fun and aside from some dirt in an eye (Isaac) the even went "event" free! Yeah the blurry photos PROVE how incredibly speedy these kids are.

Margaritaville Monday Morning

Thursday, May 15, 2008

10 Things I Love about Lucy

1. She loves people. She remembers people's names, notices what they are wearing, compliments them on their fingernails, earrings etc. I can get her to do almost anything by promising her she'll get to see Isaac, Nathan and Jacob soon.

2. She's silly. She makes goofy faces does physical comedy with her body movements, makes up words to songs and will often crack herself up the most. Once she starts giggling it's hard to stop her.

3. She is well-rounded in her genderfied interests. She loves hiking, bugs, mud, puddles, airplanes as well as dresses, painted nails, earrings, babies and jewels.

4. She notices the distress of others. As self-centered as she's supposed to be at this age, Lucy will hear the cry of a baby or kid rooms away, she'll speculate as to why they are crying and want to make them better.

5. She has remorse. It's so sweet. Sometimes it'll dawn on her that she did something not so great and she'll tell on herself but in a "oh my gosh I can't believe I did that" sort of way. Like one time her beloved aunt Jen tried to put her to bed and I guess Lucy put up a big fuss. The next morning I got her up and Lucy suddenly stopped and looked at me with big round eyes and said "momma, I cried at Jenny momma, I cried at Jenny"

6. Part of our bedtime routine is to go over the next day schedule. "First we go to Miss Gloria's room, then momma comes and gets you, then we go home, then we go to babysit Isaac and Nathan and Jacob", she wakes up repeating this schedule and will chant it in the car on the way to daycare. I love that she loves this little ritual.

7. Instead of asking me to turn the music up she says "more noise momma por favor"

8. "snuggliooing" in my bed in the afternoons

9. Her singing.

10. She kisses my owies ... "that's better momma"