Elvis is alive!


We Did It!

Survive, that is. Zinabu gave Lily his cold for Christmas, and then managed to catch a new one. So despite more runny noses, we were all in good spirits today. I caught my breath and had to bolt to the kitchen to cry only 8 times today. Whenever Z didn't know I was watching him, the tears welled up and there was this ache in my throat. Last year he celebrated Christmas in the care center. This year with us.

He had a tremendous Christmas. The dinosaurs and the Lightning McQueen car and the Backyardigan Band-Aids (yes, I think Band-Aids make a great present) and the puzzles and the toys, toys, toys! Pure bliss. Carver and Lily were equally thrilled and happy and hopped up on too little sleep and too much wrapping paper. We had a white Christmas, too, with light snow blowing all day. Tonight was dinner at my mom's where the children all quickly fell apart, but still got lots of snuggles with Nana, aunt and uncle, and the dog. This kids are now nestled in their beds, coughing and wheezing and sniffing... but happy.

I am so, so glad to be Z's mom.


It's A Conspiracy
One of our fun family traditions is to put the kids in their pajamas, hit the donut shop, drink yummy coffee, and then drive around our city and look at the most extravagant Christmas light displays. It's a lot of fun, and since this was Zinabu's first time we really talked it up. So imagine his horror when he got his donut! He angrily yelled, "IT HAS A HOLE IN IT!"


Do NOT...
think you'll be able to get your holiday shopping done the week before Christmas because your youngest will get the cold of the century and you will not be able to leave the house for 5 whole days. We escaped to the library today and Zinabu about coughed up a lung--so all the other showered and coordinated, matchy matchy moms stared daggers at me and probably assumed I am a 2-pack a day smoker and that's why my child sounds so putrid.

So tonight, at 7:30, I left the house and tried to do all the gift cards for teachers and odds and ends for the kids and my brothers and great-great-great aunt somebody, but heaven knows I can't forget her. Tomorrow is the last day of school, which I LOVE, since it keeps my kids busy until right before Christmas so they're still in a good mood when the big day actually arrives. We will get our Christmas tree this weekend (no, Anne, you're not the last family to put one up). I will probably need to do a little yoga and deep breathing this weekend because I hate clutter and as pretty as Christmas is, there's only so much red and green and mistletoe I can stand in my living room.

Just 5 more days.


The best way I can describe the last 48 hours is SNOT. We (or Z, I should say) is swimming in snot. He is in the middle of a monster cold, and even though he could blow his nose perfectly fine last week, the cold seems to have wiped that ability away. He can't figure it out. He didn't sleep last night, and I really can't blame him. He felt awful and couldn't breathe. Just now he said to me, "Bud are you doing wid du combooder?" Translated: What are you doing with the computer? So I'm stuck at home with Z and Z is stuck at home with me. To be honest, it's a nice respite before the frenzy of Christmas. And I somehow made it though last week with packages to ship and school plays and teacher luncheons, etc. So I can tidy up my house a bit, and watch Christmas cartoons with Z, and just be a lump. But by the time David gets home tonight I'll be bolting for the door. There's only so much snot and CandyLand a mom can take.

Notice in the above picture that his cold has not slowed his appetite down one bit. He's shoveling in my turkey chili like I'm threatening to take it away from him.


Homicidal Bunny
This post is in loving memory of Beautiful the fish. He was a good fish. He was a brave fish. He died a senseless death by a rabbit. It seems that while we were eating breakfast this morning, Bun Bun knocked over the fish bowl (on a table in Lily's room) and Beautiful lay gasping for breath on the hardwood floor.

So here's to you, Beautiful!
and here's to me not having to clean the dang fish bowl anymore.


It's very cold right now, so the kids have reverted to animalistic behavior. (Lily covered herself in tattoos, as well.)

Z has made some important progress lately. I don't think we always realize an issue he might be having until we see a breakthrough. For example, in the past whenever Z got hurt, he might whimper a tiny bit or grit his teeth, but he rarely cried. He was very stoic. But just this week I noticed that when he's fallen or gotten bumped, he collapses into wails and tears. It's a beautiful sight, as he feels safe enough to let go of his tears and let them fall. And he also knows that without a doubt if you get an owie, Mom cuddles you and kisses it.

It's the little things!


Know any Ethiopian snowboarders? I do. Doesn't he rock?


All I Want For Christmas...

is for all the gun and ammo stores to shut down.


Zinabu is such a little stinker! (Aren't all kids?) His favorite game is Tease-Daddy-And-See-What-Happens. He also enjoys walking up to anyone in the house and blowing raspberries in their faces. We are trying to curtail that behavior, but it's a tough one.
We are now approaching 10 months since Zinabu's joining our family. It seems impossible that 10 months have gone by. How did that happen? And yet time is the greatest healer, the best medicine, the one element to bonding that helps the most, so I have to say I'm grateful for those 10 months. We have friends that just adopted a young girl (see my previous posts) and as happy as I am for them, I admit I am grateful to be done with the major transition Zinabu had!
Have a fabulous Saturday.


So it's been about 7 months since my last P&P reading and as I have not found any other books to lose myself in, I cracked open my old favorite and will spend the next several nights lost in England with a man of good fortune.

And it's with great excitement that I started reading Harry Potter aloud to Carver. We have a rule in our house that you HAVE TO READ THE BOOK BEFORE YOU CAN SEE THE MOVIE! And as he's now 9, I think he's ready for book #1 and the movie over the holiday break. It's incredibly fun to read it out loud to him. I get to do voices and everything.

Z, on the other hand, still stands by his love of dinosaurs. He has 3 books right now that we read over and over and over again. Once in a while I try to sneak in a Curious George or Make Way for Ducklings, but unless there's a flesh-eating giant lizard on page one, it's a no go. What's a mom to do?


Happy Hanukkah!
A happy Hanukkah to our friends the Boyds and the Samuels. The Samuels just returned from Ethiopia with their 3 year old girl. She is doing well, and her eyes about popped out of her sockets when she heard me speak to her in Amharic the first time. They live 3 blocks away from us, and we are so excited to have another Ethiopian child in our lives.

We're in the final countdown until the Christmas play at Lily and Carver's school. C is in the choir and should do a bang-up job. L is in the play and has a VITAL role. She is Elf #4 and has to say, "Yeah, you're the tiniest tree we've ever had in this lot." Personally, I feel that civilization as we know it depends on her line, but maybe that's because I'm her mom. Perhaps I've lost perspective.

This time of year is full of many incredible memories for me, as it was a year ago right about now that we officially switched from our old agency to CHSFS. I was cringing at the thought of (bad) legal action from our first agency, scrambling to re-do all our paperwork, update our homestudy, have papers notarized for the millionth time, and basically wondering if we would ever see this Ethiopian adoption through. I'm so glad we did.

And because Heather can't wait any longer to see some of my amazing Christmas card photos, here they are:


Just You Wait!
Wait till you get our Christmas/Holiday card this year. I attempted a nice photo, but quickly gave up. What I wound up with is nothing short of hilarious. I'll get them printed this week and start mailing them out. And I'll post the photo as a "Blog Holiday Card" in a week or so for all my blog friends.

We had a great weekend with Jessi--our Air Force cadet that we host on weekends. She loves kids and we love her. It's fun to have another person in the house that can contribute to adult conversation.

And in Zinabu news, it's all about meat-eating dinosaurs. All the time. And he makes sound effects. I just love him.