I so, so, so want to adopt an HIV+ child from Ethiopia. There! I said it. (David just fell out of his chair as he read this I'm sure.) Of course, we are done with kids. Unless we win the lottery or I grow 2 more arms, it won't happen. But the ache is still there. I don't think it will ever go away.
Still looking for that video to post. It's so precious, I will waste an entire day uploading it and making sure you get to see it. We are celebrating Z home ONE YEAR today!!!! I am speechless. I look at him and just get all teary and gooey inside. I'm pretending it's my allergies everytime he asks me, "What's wrong, Mom?"

And for fun, I Love Giveaways is featuring my Etsy shop this week. Go HERE to check it out. You may win (that's for you, Heather)!


Thinking of Last Year

One year ago I posted this:

I am one of those freaks that is somewhat anti-cell phone and doesn't feel the need to have one. But I tell you, today I am singing the praises of technology because I just spoke with Zinabu on the phone. David called me (on our $4.99 a minute) international phone, and Zinabu is with him now at the guest house. David has full custody and the boys are together in the room. All through our brief conversation, I could hear Zinabu in the background babbling like a normal 3 year old boy. In fact, he was talking so fast, so loud, and so excitedly David and I were laughing till tears were running down our faces. Such joy! David put the phone up to Zinabu's ear and I said, "Selam, Zinabu! Mommy!" I heard him scream, "MOMMY."Okay, I am ready for them to come home now.

It brings back memories I can hardly describe, and the knowledge that we are just days away from our one year anniversary of bringing Zinbau to America is wonderful. I'm looking for a specific video to post and will hopefully get that uploaded in a day or two, but for now I am just goofy happy that we can celebrate this milestone!


Different Strokes for Different Folks

What is true love? For Lily it is this:

For Carver it is this:

For Zinabu it is this:

For David it is this:

And in case you even had to wonder... for me it is this:

It's no secret from David. He knows. In fact, yesterday he told me I should have a bumper sticker that says, "My other husband is Mr. Darcy." Which is why I married him in the first place. Smart man, that one!


What Weekend?
48 hours can go by so fast. The weather has turned from the dark side back to good. This entire week is going to be beautiful and warm. I might have to suck it up and start getting the garden ready. It's one of the many items in a long, long list of things to do. I always forget that once the weather gets warm the yard suddenly needs lots and lots of attention (read: work). The highlight of our weekend was seeing Finding Nemo on Ice. Any Disney show is worth it, as the special effects are usually great. (Hayat: you would have loved it!) The fireworks that went off nearly scared the you-know-what out of Lily, but everything else was superb. We had warned the kids beforehand that there would be lots of toys and snacks for sale but we WOULD NOT be buying any. It's really over the top, if you ask me. Men and women roaming the aisles, hawking $20 Nemo cups of frozen lemonade and hats. Zinabu got the idea that if he smiled his 100-watt smile at them and gave a friendly wave someone might just give him a free toy. I think he was genuinely surprised when it didn't work. My brother the police officer stopped by that afternoon and let Z flash the top lights of the squad car. Does it get any better than that?


She Is Almost 7

I don't know how it happened, but in just a few more days Lily will be 7. I'm dying inside, but can't wait to see who she'll become. And we're already pushing for a college track scholarship because she is the dang fastest child I have ever seen.


From this...

To this...

And now I am like this...


Oh Yeah... This Is Why I Like Being A Mom!

Today was like the perfect storm: balmy weather in the 70's, a welcome lull in my jewelry orders, a stocked refrigerator, and no errands to run. Z and I walked to the park where we just played and laughed and had a picnic together. It seems like forever since I've had a day like this with him and I had a blast. It renewed my soul and gave me hope that summer really will come this year and that being a mom is not so bad.


Recently Overheard

I swear I could post one of these every day, but I'll try to keep it to once a month. In the car on the way home from church...

Lily: Zinabu, here's what you do when someone is being mean to you.

Zinabu: What?

Lily: I just look at them, and I push up my eyebrows and I tell them to stop it or I'm gonna tell on them!

Zinabu: (speechless silence--as he's seen her lift her eyebrows and he knows she means business)


I'm The Cool Mom With Fries

Today Carver's 3rd grade class had a field trip, and I volunteered to be one of the drivers and chaperons. Carver vacillates between still wanting me to hold his hand and wanting me to stay as far away from him as I can when he's with his friends. So he was almost making himself bi-polar over the angst of my coming along today. Happy to be with me, but not wanting me to be there to remind him to stay in line and be quiet, blah blah blah. I drove Carver, 2 boys, and 3 girls, and I was responsible for them as we toured a really beautiful historical mansion here in town. I am overjoyed to report that I lost NO ONE! On the way back to school, the girls broke out their High School Musical trivia book and gave me the multiple choice quiz. I passed! And in a burst of kindness, I drove through McD's and got each of them french fries to munch on.
So now I am, like, so totally cool to all of them.


How Does The World View Our Upcoming Election?
I have sweet (and I mean sweet--there is no one like them) friends living in Jordan right now. They recently posted this on their blog. Very interesting. If I don't read about what's going on in other parts of the world, my universe gets about this small. I too easily focus on my own issues and lose sight of a larger perspective. Granted, the current infractions in this house that Zinabu is annoying and looks at his sister wrong is edge-of-your-seat exciting, and I can't wait to find out who The Biggest Loser is next Tuesday night... but still, I need to stay relevant.
In other news, it rained this afternoon and rather than spend the after-school hours at home I took the kids to an indoor put-put golf place. I could have offered my kids some of my airplane meds and we would have had the same experience, because this place was lit with black lights and painted in day-glo paint. By the end of our hour there, my kids were sneaking peeks down their pants to see if their underwear glowed in the black lights and I felt like my eyes were going to explode. Lily quickly informed me she wants her birthday party there so there is a good chance I will be back in a few weeks, watching kids whack glowing golf balls around. I bet you can't wait for photos.


What do you get when you cross 3 children who are hungry, one exhausted woman, 2 stuffy noses, nothing for dinner, and the grocery store? A really bad idea, that's for sure. At one point my child pushing the cart actually hit a little old woman!!!! I wanted to die of embarrassment. Then we get to the checkout where Zinabu was convinced we needed the M&Ms at his eye level and Lily felt I was giving Z too much attention and Carver wanted to "help" type in my info on the credit card pad... Then they all started arguing and crying and sneering and (be still my heart) tattling! I was one of those women who looked like she had no control over her kids (well, let's face it--I didn't) and the older gentleman in line behind me could not have been more displeased with my parenting skills. Just about the time I think I have this mothering thing figured out, right after a really good weekend when I was able to connect with each of my kiddos, this grocery expedition throws it all out the window and I feel so crummy. I keep clinging to what my mom tells me... that they won't remember this when they're older. Please let that be true.
Waiting for Spring

It just does not seem to want to come. Spring, that is. I keep waiting, shaking the lucky 8 ball, praying, hoping, looking--but alas, spring is taking its sweet time arriving. The blessed part about Colorado is mild winters and warm days that come between snow storms. But then there is the downside--the expectation that it should be warmer than it is. I so desire warm afternoons, but so far all we've had is cool, windy afternoons. Snow and rain expected this week, and 2 of my kids have colds again. It feels like January! The photo is of the tree in our backyard--looking as bare as ever. C'mon spring! Where are you?
What do you do to keep from going nuts at this time?


Parenting Tip #341

The days after Halloween, hit Target and grab as many costumes as you wish for 75% off. Also hit Goodwill for wigs, princess accessories, superhero garb, etc. Let your kids dress up whenever they want and let the good times roll.


Someone Dropped The "B" Bomb

I knew it would happen... someday. "I wish I lived with my birth mother!"

Said this afternoon by a child in utter exasperation, after a long conversation about computer time and computer privileges. It came out as child was stomping up the stairs. And for all my fears about that phrase, it didn't ruffle my feathers at all. Given the circumstances leading up to the blowout, it was said in total frustration and was really no different than saying, "I want to live with Grandma" or "I want to live somewhere else." Because certainly we are the only house in the universe with rules about the computer. Every other kid in the world gets to stare endlessly at inappropriate games on the screen while drinking straight Coca-Cola and shoving candy in their mouths. Why do my children continue to believe the lie that we are the only parents who have rules? Who is feeding them this propaganda?

Of course I refrained from saying, "Go ahead!" because that would not be a good mothering moment. Right now I am letting the child cool off, and we will talk about it later. But secretly I am glad to have that phrase out of the closet and in the open, and I don't have to worry about "someday" anymore.