Recently Overheard

Lily: Mom, I'm going to call you Sue Ellen.

Me: What????

Lily: You look like a Sue Ellen to me. I like that name.

I seriously don't know where this stuff comes from.



This is what Lily wants, plus maybe 4 more.

This is what I want to give her. She's not going for it. It's all she talks about anymore. She even wakes up at 3 am, calls me into her room, and tells me the specifics about dog behavior and how she'll take care of it. She is nothing if not obsessed. And determined.
I think I'm going down.



We've all been suffering from colds here in our cozy, germ-infested home. Not bad, but sneezing and sniffling and coughing. The coughing is getting annoying. Carver and Lily are finally well enough to go to school. Zinabu doesn't have preschool on Mondays, so he and I are enjoying hot oatmeal and hot tea and hot baths. My kids have always thought the bathtub is just a miniature swimming pool, so I plopped Z in with his bucket of animals and dinosaurs. Add some fun music and he's good for the morning.

I'll spend the rest of the day paying bills and getting caught up on chores. We're also enjoying light snow, with more to come tonight. Life is ho-hum right now, but I'll take it.



I don't mean this kind of stuffing--the kind that goes in a large bird and is baked. I mean my kind of stuffing. The stuffing that happens when I begin to think that we are going to move in 3 to 4 months. The sweating breaks out, the to-do lists flash before my eyes in technicolor strobes, the panic of selling our house in this market overtakes my intestines. So I stuff. I stuff all those unpleasant thoughts deep down in the basement of my brain and eat more chocolate chips.
The fact that the holidays came and went so fast, and they were the last ones we would spend in our little house together, makes me teary. We moved here when Carver was 2 1/2 and Lily was a newborn. I remember their little naps each day and the way our house felt so big then. I remember first teeth and learning to walk and learning to ride bikes and learning to not play with matches (a story for another day). Of course now, with 5 of us, our house feels like it is closing in on us. For Pete's sake, we all have to share the same bathroom! So, yes, the positive side of moving is that we will gain a little more wiggle room. But oh... the negatives of the whole ordeal.
Let the stuffing commence!


David and I successfully enjoyed a getaway to Denver this weekend. Chalk one up to marriage enrichment! Although David had to finish an enormous project and he spent most of the time working, I was able to be with him and relax and not cook, clean, or wipe noses. Really, my definition of relaxing has deteriorated, but that is neither here nor there. We stayed at a very funny hotel--its theme is pop culture, so the lobby and restaurant are very modern and streamlined. Each floor, though, has its own theme, and we were on the "Big Hair" floor.

Yes, the Big Hair floor, so it was decorated with pictures like this. As David and I have wicked senses of humor, we loved it.

We strolled around Denver when we could, because it was 65 degrees and lovely. We went to the train station to get some information for a train trip David and Carver want to take together in a few months. The building is impressive and inside it has the old wooden benches that you just imagine sitting down on and taking a midnight train somewhere.

One of our best meals was at a Mexican restaurant where I got enchiladas with spinach and blue corn tortillas. Here me now: it was so amazing! Just seeing the photo again makes me groan and salivate.
Coming home was hard, but of course I missed my sweet kids, their hugs and kisses, and their ferocious love for me. They express it so much more after I've been gone for a day or two. And I would not have been anywhere else in the world today, but with my children... watching history.
And seeing Carver's eyes fixated on the television as Obama was sworn in
and then Carver looked at me
and he grinned
and I cried
and we rejoiced.
Well, you can't really put that into words, can you?


Don't Take Me Too Seriously

I love reading blogs. I could whittle away hours just reading about other families and moms. I have also met some of the nicest women {ever} through blogs. But I tend to stay away from the blogs where the mom never has anything negative to say about her children. I just can't relate to that. No one has perfect children, so it feels phony to read repeatedly on coordinated outfits, stellar behavior, and grades and intelligence. I bet they're the kinds of people who cheat on their taxes, too.

I also don't need to read the overly-sarcastic and negative blogs. And after yesterday's post, I think I came eerily close to falling into that category. So I took a deep breath and looked at the sunrise and drank a little more coffee and just relaxed. I love being a mom. I love the challenges life throws at me. And I love that my kids are, sometimes, up to no good and are messy. We are as real as you can get around here.
I had to cancel our credit cards--David and I had a joint account. We'll live. Report cards come home today. They will be decidedly average and yet overwhelmingly precious at the same time. David and I are attempting to try for our getaway once more. Hopefully it will work out. I can't wait to show you pictures of the hotel. It's so funky! So we're good...
From this not-perfect family to yours, have a fabulous weekend!


The Mother of all Days

This picture is so funny. It was taken on the last day of school before the holiday break. Do you remember me saying Lily was pretending to be Rudolph? I wasn't kidding. She and her friends are a riot. You're getting this picture because I did not take any new photos today. And with good reason...

I will look back on this day and laugh, I'm sure... in about 20 years. If you read my previous post, you'll see that my day began at 2 am cleaning up puke. A whole trail of it. (sorry if you're trying to eat right now) And my day ended digging through bags of garbage trying to find my lost credit card. That's right. GARBAGE! It had been out in the alley in our cans for a few days, getting all ripe and nasty and I had to dig through it!

Am I secretly being filmed for a reality show? Isn't this the kind of challenge that should score me 100,000 dollars? Truly, it was beyond belief. At about 11:00 this morning I realized I couldn't find my credit card and began searching. Every pocket, purse, blanket, library book, pillow, cushion, mug, towel, and crevice was scoured to no avail. The last time I used it was on Sunday, so I had to figure out where the garbage from Sunday was so I could look through that. Yeah, the garbage from SUNDAY, people! Out in the alley in our trash can.

Because cancelling that puppy is a big deal and a royal pain and I was grasping at straws, hoping it was in the trash.

But no. It wasn't.

Let's see what's on tap for tomorrow, shall we? A slug eating contest? Oh no, how about sewage back flow in our basement? Better yet, my whole family will erupt in boils and we'll have to smear salve on ourselves!

Thank you for letting me vent.

We're 2 for 2 at our house now. Carver began throwing up at 2 am last night. Another night time vomit cleaning spree. I'll spare you the details but it was a doozie. I am considering tarps for the kids' floors at my mom's house instead of carpet. I think one of the harder things about motherhood is the way your days change on a dime. One day everyone is healthy and you make plans and appointments and play dates, and the next day kids are sick and you're trapped inside and start wondering how long this tummy virus will take to run through the entire family.

It's part of the job. I can't complain. Every other mom has done it too. It's possible I'll give the mop and bleach to David next time, though. I really feel like he's missing out.


6:30 am--right before leaving to ski/snowboard for the day.
Lily's first time.
Had a blast.
No one broke a leg. Hallelujuah!



1. Lily loves her rabbit. Pregnancy, though, does not look good on her.
2. Having a husband that works 60 hours a week and is working toward his PhD is impossible. Something needs to give, and we don't know yet what it will be.
3. Cleaning up vomit at 3 am is probably my least favorite thing in the universe. I think every time my kids have thrown up it has been in the dead of night.
4. If you don't go to Target, you will not spend money. Deep down I know this is true, but I'm really putting it to practice this month.
5. You can sneak pureed carrots into lots of recipes and your kids won't know.
6. Doing extra lunges at the end of your workout means you won't be able to walk the next day.
7. The older I get, the more pet peeves I have. I feel ashamed, as if I am less tolerant of people each year.
8. Zinabu does not throw temper tantrums. I just figured this out in the last month or so. Instead, he will argue with you until he is blue in the face. I would take a temper tantrum any day over his constant negotiations.
9. In less than 6 months, we will move into my mom's house. Where did the time go?
10. I wish my minivan could transform into a convertible MG when I am driving alone.


You Know You're A Bad Mother When...

you bribe your daughter to play with the youngest.


Big Sister

Lily has a sister. A biological sister. She is 8 and her name is Asia. Do the math. Asia is 8, Lily is 7. So Lily's birth mom had a 12 month old baby when Lily was born. David met Asia and Lily's biological mother when he flew to North Carolina to pick up Lily. We've talked with Lily a lot about her adoption story, but not a lot about her biological family because 1) we don't have a lot of information about them and 2) it's really painful. But out of the blue a few weeks ago a letter arrived for Lily (sent via her adoption agency) and it was from her sister Asia. It was the sweetest letter ever and it opened the door to more communication. The part that David and I marveled over was when Asia wrote, "I really love animal and I want to be an animal doctor when I grow up. Do you like animals?" Talk about a genetic disposition!!!! No one is more ga-ga over animals than Lily. Lily immediately wrote her back--all by herself. She is so excited for this new relationship.

Is it exciting? Yes! Is it hard? Absolutely! David and I have read plenty of books and articles on talking to your adopted child and bonding with your adopted child and how to relate to your adopted child. But books and articles really don't prepare you for the exact emotions and trauma your specific child may feel at any given time. So at times we feel as if we're doing the best we can as we go along.

One day at a time, right?


Happy New Year!

From Lily and Bun Bun.