Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Aristotle.

Well, I sure don't presume to be smarter than Aristotle, but I think this is the dumbest quote ever. Why on earth would I want to be married to myself? I'm quite enough to deal with, thank you. I rather like being married to someone different than moi. I like this quote:

Love is an act of endless forgiveness. A tender look which becomes a habit. Peter Ustinov

On March 31, David and I will have been married for 13 years. Lucky, lucky 13. Lucky me. As we have not been in the same room together for the past year, I have to use a photo from last spring, but no big deal. He's still pretty cute.


Recently Overheard

Lily: Mom, why did God invent the word "boogers"?

Me: Uh...

Zinabu: Of coursely*, because that's what they're called!

*a new Zinabuism: of course + ly


I read someone's blog today whose son died young, from cancer. I can not even stand the thought. As it is, I have a hard time even imagining sleep away summer camp. I so love this boy. I am so blessed.

Hunkered Down
We are awaiting a big snowstorm--typical for Colorado in the spring. And we welcome it, as we have not had a drop of moisture in months. It is so, so dry here. But I did what everyone else in our city decided to do today... go to the library and Target to stock up! The library was actually wall-to-wall people and it took us much longer to navigate the shelves to get what we wanted. Lily was determined to find all the books on polar bears and Zinabu wanted to "help" her. From there we went to Target, which was not as bad but the kids got extremely hungry so I caved and we had lunch. I feel it is my duty to tell you that the soup bread bowls at the Target food cafe are actually good! In an emergency, you know.
I am trying to muster up the energy to keep painting, but there's not much energy there to muster. I'm about half way done with my list, and I feel like just hanging up my paint brush. I did re-do the upstairs bathroom though and it looks quite nice. So, yay me.
My friends Ali and Shannon are supposed to come over for a PPP (Pride and Prejudice party) but if we're all snowed in, I sure don't mind watching a little Mr. Darcy by myself. He's good medicine.


News From The Rails

David and Carver made it to San Francisco and had a blast on their train ride. The above photo was taken with David's cell phone, so it's a little dark. Their sleeper compartment was small but hosted nooks and crannies and storage compartments that kept a 10-year-old boy pleasantly busy for hours. They've played card games and read books and goofed off and rested. David said the ride through the Rockies and the rest of Colorado was spectacular. Carver slept like a log. David slept like...well, a grown man on a moving train. But he said it was so nice to not worry about a thing. Each car has its own "steward" to answer their questions and tend to their every need. Apparently, you get an endless supply of apple juice (see above) and Carver is trying to drink it all.

The dining car provides all their meals, as well as interesting conversations with strangers. Since space is limited, David and Carver were always seated with 2 other guests. David said they have met and eaten with all sorts of characters: a World War 2 veteran, an elderly woman and her son traveling to see her sister, a Buddhist monk, an ACLU worker traveling to California to work on Prop. 8, and a music professor from UC Davis. David... loves... it!

David and Carver are staying in downtown San Fran, in an old historic hotel that makes me jealous. Unfortunately, David forgot to have the talk with Carver about seeing lots of homeless people until they began walking from public transportation to their hotel. While David and I have lived in very urban places in our lives, our children have not. That is one part of the suburbs that I hate. By not living in a place where homelessness and poverty are very visible, my kids are unaware of it. And when they are then exposed to it, they are afraid of it. I do NOT want my children to be afraid of poverty, or the human beings they see who are living in poverty. I do NOT want my kids to look down at their feet and pretend not to notice despair. David has a big job on this trip--to have a delightful getaway with his son, and to impress upon our son the value that each and every person on our planet has, no matter what their circumstances.

Suddenly, my painting projects sound easy.



Tomorrow David and Carver are taking a grand adventure together: a trip to San Francisco. David promised each child that when they were 10 years old, they would take a train trip somewhere. They depart from Denver, have a sleeper cabin, and are all hopped up for some male bonding. I am very, very excited for them--especially Carver, as he has not been "super keen" on his younger siblings as of late and needs a break from them. He and David have some great plans for their time together, like biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, a ferry ride, museums, and trolley cars.
I am just now emerging from this blasted illness that turned me into a pitiful lump of pain for the past several days. I woke up yesterday, discovered I could breathe through half my nose, and rejoiced! I tried to do too much, though... I was at Target picking up more of this and that and suddenly hit the wall: I contemplated curling up in a ball right there on the floor. I was dizzy and tired and wanted to crawl back in bed. But today is better and I hope to be 100% tomorrow. I have the loveliest hack. I sound so Charles Dickens ill! But I figure I've earned it.
And what are my plans for the week? Painting. And more painting. Our goal is to put our house on the market May 1, and I have about 5 weeks to clean and paint and get it ready. I promised Lily and Zinabu we would do something fun every day during spring break, but I also told them I would have to work a little each day. They looked at me skeptically, as if daring me to bribe them to be good. No bribes yet, but it is certainly not beneath me.



If you walk by a mirror in a public place

Then you must stop and make ridiculous faces.


Still sick.

Still really sick, if I am to be completely honest.

Zinabu just topped off his afternoon with 3+ hours of computer time. Normally he gets 30 minutes a day. It has not dawned on him yet that I am letting his time go on and on to infinity. His eyes must be incredibly bloodshot and tired. I can only guess, though, since I am upstairs in bed.

I got Lily and Carver set up with things to do after school so they don't have to come home and listen to me hack and snuffle. Last night Lily started crying and when I asked her why she said, "Are you going to die?" I assured her I wouldn't, but even now--based on how I feel--I suppose it's a possibility. David would not miss the wads of tissues littering the floor on my side of the bed.

And yet, despite my weakened state and horrible appearance, I still have the gumption to tell Lily we are naming the dog Mr. Darcy.


The Fever, Colorado Style

My blog friend Vivi has been battling the "fever" at her house for a long, long time now. I had to laugh that she dubbed it such. Here at our house the fever has taken hold and will not let go. Carver and Lily and Zinabu all had bouts with really bad colds, recovered, then began round two. Zinabu has not officially breathed through his nose in about 25 days. Lo and behold, Carver just started sniffling and sneezing once more. I, myself, am getting nervous that I have the flu and not just a really, really bad cold. A really bad cold does not make you feel like dog doo underneath a garbage truck. I now understand why they put horses with broken legs down. Please, somebody, come put me out of my misery.

I could not sleep last night I was so congested. I watched an infomercial on acne products. I also have aches and chills and have not eaten much other than some grapes and dry Cheerios. I am chugging tea and juice, though, so even though all I want to do is lie on the couch and moan, I have to get up and empty my bladder every hour.

This is the hardest part of motherhood--being sick and still needing to feed and water my children. When I woke up this morning I spent a good 10 minutes telling my stomach not to vomit, and it has been downhill from there. David left this morning at 6:45 and will not get home until 10:30. I kept looking at the clock, telling myself "Just get through the next 5 minutes." Made breakfast. Packed lunches. Got kids to school. Collapsed in bed. Picked Z up. Went to Target for drugs. Noticed I was wearing 2 different shoes. When the salesperson said, "How are you today?" I actually looked her in the eye and said, "HORRIBLE!" I believe I scared her. If not my attitude, then the mismatched shoes and sweatshirt covering my pajama top. I feel a little unbalanced.

Right now I am letting the kids do pretty much whatever they want, except eat sugar straight out of the sugar jar. But who knows... when I'm moaning and writhing they might be sneaking spoonfuls in. All I have to do now is watch the clock and keep plugging along, 5 minutes at a time. I am dreaming of bedtime like there's no tomorrow.


Happy Birthday, Jack and David

My brothers just celebrated their birthdays. They are one day apart from each other. I love them dearly, but when I was little it had to be my least favorite time of year. They each got birthday cakes (or birthday donuts, by the looks of this photo) and gifts and parties. I held it together each year until we sang Happy Birthday to Jack. Then I would bawl. I would be pretty fed up with birthdays at that point. So in our vast collection of family photos, I am crying in all the boys' birthday pictures. Lovely.

Which is why when we adopted Zinabu and we got to "assign" him a birthday, I made sure it was not near anyone else's.


We're in for another week of glorious weather! Since that is half the reason we moved to Colorado, we're always pleased when mother nature complies. The kids spent the entire day after church building a fort. Never mind that they have a perfectly assembled one already. They wanted to build their own. They needed snack breaks throughout the construction process.

Below is the finished product. It includes a flag, too. I was a little surprised (and horrified) at the junk they were able to gather together from our backyard--the detritus of firewood and who knows what else. It made me feel like we were living with Sanford and Son.



What happens when Zinabu has a full bladder and David begins tickling him?


Guilty Pleasures...
My BBF (best blogging friend) Heather recently tagged me for the following fun assignment: share 5 of my guilty pleasures. I had to think for a while about what to share, since my deep-dark secret guilty pleasures more or less peg me as a nerd. Gasp! Dare I share such trivial nonsense with my readers? However, after thinking for a while I came up with 5. Achtung! Here is your official warning that I lead a very boring and non-descript life and you will be let down if you think I'm going to confess to clandestine meetings with the mob or that I own a tea cup chihuahua and carry it with me to the grocery store. Uh... no.

If I am alone in the car (I think it happened once back in 2003) I lurrve listening to the BBC broadcast on NPR. I am in love with all things England, especially their delish accents. So I listen to the BBC news and repeat aloud what they're saying and pretend I live in London. So posh.

Books. I am a book fiend. I keep a stack just like this next to my bed. I need, need, need to have 2 books going at the same time and at least 4 in the wings waiting to be read. I get antsy if I don't know what I'm going to be reading next week. How is this a guilty pleasure? Because I am often reading when I should be doing other things, like parenting (did I just say that aloud?). Reading is the most divine form of escapism.

The Office. I bought David seasons one through four for his birthday and we had the greatest time working our way through them. Alas, David and I hardly see one another these days--let alone have time to watch any tv--so when season five comes out on DVD we'll buy it and get caught up. The writers for this show are bloody brilliant! (See? The BBC influences me all the time.)

My running play list. When I run, I prefer to run alone and listen to really great music. I should probably use that time to pray more or organize my thoughts, but I get sucked into my play list every time. I have a weakness for inappropriate rap music (Eminem, Kanye West, ahem). In my defense, though, you really need someone hollering at you with a steady rhythm to finish mile 10.

Sugar-cinnamon roasted almonds. We are frequenters to the Colorado College hockey games, and when we walk in the doors to the arena, we are always assaulted by the most amazing cinnamon smell. One day we went all out crazy and followed the smell. There was a vat of almonds being turned in a roaster and they were coated with cinnamon and sugar. We bought a bag, and after David and I each tried some our eyes met over the tops of our kids' heads and it was like we both had the same thought at the same time. This is nirvana. We will always buy these. Oh, sweet nectar of the gods, how have we been missing these all this time? I have since found a recipe to make them at home and they are just as yummy. I could eat 6 pounds of these in one sitting.
If you've read this, consider yourself tagged. Do share! Ooooh Vivi, Melodie, Kristin... do you have any?



I had horrible insomnia last night. My brain just wouldn't shut off. At 4 am I finally fell asleep. Unfortunately my internal alarm clock that wakes me up without fail at 6:30 every morning had not yet adjusted to daylight savings. Neither have my kids, who also have internal alarm clocks that go off at 6:30. So imagine my horror when I opened my eyes and the clock said 7:45!

Guess what time school starts? 7:55.

No, wait. It gets worse. I was scheduled to work in the library this morning.

No, wait. It gets even worse. I was also scheduled to bring snacks in to Carver's class for an event they're having today.

I feel like the world's most incompetent mother. You can just imagine my hair today, can't you.


After a week of sunshine and temperatures in the 60s and 70s, Saturday was cold, overcast, and wet. Unfortunately, the kids still had all their regular energy and were not really interested in quiet activities. After dinner, David and I took them to the mall for a scavenger hunt. I came up with 12 clues and they had to read the clues and figure out where to go. They had a great time and it was a fun and cheap evening together. The last clue led them to ice cream, which was (no surprises here) a big hit.

Riding the escalator

Carver digging in




U2's new album + Really loud speakers = Great Dancing


Interview With My Child

The following questions have been floating around Blogger and Facebook for a while now, and I have laughed until I've cried reading some children's responses. They are priceless. I thought Zinabu would answer the following questions predictably and his responses would be dull. Boy was I wrong. He did not disappoint. Remember he's my chatty one? At times I had to tell him to stop talking so I could get to the next question. Here is our interview:

1. What is something mom always says to you? Don’t play with my bellybutton. (This was not a good start, in my opinion, as I cannot ever recall saying this to him… ever!)

2. What makes mom happy? Eating fruit

3. What makes mom sad? Punching

4. How does your mom make you laugh? Like when last time you did a really funny thing to me (he cannot speak anymore because he’s laughing so hard. I wait for him to finish and then he continues) I just can’t remember but it was soooo funny (Dissolves into laughter again.)

5. What was your mom like as a child? In kindergarten

6. How old is your mom? “ 37

7. How tall is your mom? Right up to here (pointing to his cheek) on Ababa (meaning I am as tall as David’s cheek)

8. What is mommy’s favorite thing to do? Give me a hint

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Doing computer

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? You’ll be famous for drawing

11. What is your mom really good at? Reading and typing

12. What is your mom not very good at? You’re not good at doing like on the baddest thing or like a skatebord. You really have a hard time. (I had to raise my eyebrow to this one)

13. What does your mom do for her job? Your job? To be the mommy

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Pasta

15. What makes you proud of your mom? When you play

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? I would say… Mickey Mouse clubhouse

17. What do you and your mom do together? Lay down and watch tv (Really? This is all he remembers that we ever do together?)

18. How are you and your mom the same? We both like to work --like I work on doing reading… it was monsters everywhere in my house and you took that back to the library. Why did you do that? (This means he is still very mad at me that the book “Monsters Everywhere” by Mercer Mayer was due at the library today and he has not forgiven me for such a cruel injustice!)

19. How are you and your mom different? Give me a hint....(I give him a look) We have different bodies (Bingo!!!)

20. How do you know your mom loves you? Because you want me to enjoy the evening and the day (What?)

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Souper Salad (I about wet my pants I laughed so hard over this. It’s all about the food with him)


I Don't Know

I know a lot about Zinabu. We are coming up on our two year anniversary of his adoption. But there is a lot about Zinabu I don't know. For example, he has a large scar on the back of his hand, wrist, and arm that looks like a severe burn. I don't know how it happened. He probably put his hand in the fire--or fell in the fire--when he lived with his birth family. His family lived in a small farming community and cooked all their meals over a fire. It's our best guess, but we really don't know. We are overjoyed to be celebrating his two years with us, but we are not yet to the point that he has lived with us longer than anywhere else. He came to our family when he was three and a half, so he's lived more than half his life not with us. The "I don't knows" seem to bother other people more than they bother us. It drives one of my friends crazy that we don't know Zinabu's actual birthday. She cannot fathom this. Perhaps because we focus on what we do know about Zinabu, we are better able to deal with the mysteries of the unknown. We focus on what is real and true and so undeniably him. His smile, his giggle (oh, if only you could hear it!), his sense of humor, his non-stop talking, his love of adventure, his love for his daddy... This is what makes up our Zinabu. I treasure each and every moment we've had with him.


Weird Things I Said Today, Vol. 2

Put the pickle-picker down! (don't even ask what this means!)

Chew what's in your mouth before you talk to me. No, really chew it. That's not chewed yet!

How did it feel to pet the skunk?

Were you chased by the girls again at recess?

Zinabu, you don't have to tell me what the speed limit is. I got it.

Just eat your pudding without a spoon.


Thinking Happy Thoughts

Hooray for me! I packed 8 boxes yesterday. David cheered me on while he was working on a paper, but getting those few boxes done felt great. If I can take a couple of hours each weekend to pack, I think we'll be fine by the end of April/early May. And at one point, I'll have to wait to pack until we actually move, since I can't very well box up our clothes and dishes yet. I also need to make my "to do" list and spread it out over the next several weeks. It's mostly painting, but I think I won't feel so overwhelmed if I can tackle it a bit at a time.

I MUST get to my mom's and take some "before" pictures. The construction starts March 15th, and we are so excited. Bless my mom's heart, she has to live in the house with all the noise and dust, but she's just as excited as we are.

It is 72 degrees today. I don't know what on earth we did to earn such sublime weather, but it is heavenly. It also caused me to eat extra helpings of ice cream today (sorry David), but how could I not?

In other unrelated news, Zinabu starts soccer this week. It's through the YMCA and very low-key, but his coach's name is Billie Joe. She's a woman--named Billie Joe. I didn't know whether to laugh or give her a hug.


It is now March. Where did it come from? This means I can no longer pussy-foot around and kind of get our house ready to move and sell. I need to actually get our house ready to move and sell. Yikes.

We have had a wonderful weekend. Zinabu is fighting the cold Carver had. It went straight to his chest and he sounds like a pack-a-day smoker. However, it did not slow him down for the big event last night: charades! After dinner we let the kids put on a talent show (Lily chose burping as her talent, if that helps you picture the moment) and then we played a raucous game of charades. I don't know what it is about charades, but Carver and Lily and Zinabu could play forever. I came up with 25 different topics to act out--from eating a lemon to a pillow fight--and we took turns acting them out. Very, very fun.

Right now Lily is back to work trying to make money in any way, shape, or form. She's creating art to sell. And how could I turn her down? She's too cute.