For Sale and Blue Poop

I'll get to the blue poop, 'cause I know that caught your eye. It's crunch time here on the home front! The For Sale sign is in, we are having open houses on Saturday AND Sunday (anyone want a displaced family from 2 to 5 this weekend?), and the marathon will begin, in a matter of speaking, on Friday. Whew! Finally. That's how I feel... finally! Now all we need is a buyer.

I have not found my brain yet. It is so far gone it's not even funny. Did you know that Baskin Robbins is having 31 cent scoops on Wednesday the 29th? They sure are. And did you also know that I thought today was Wednesday? Yep! I sure did. So we went to Baskin Robbins and drove the poor teenage boy behind the counter bonkers as it took us about 200 taste samples before my kids could decide. Well, the moment of horror occurred when he rang us up at the register and instead of the $1.50 I was expecting to pay it was $10. CRAP! Tomorrow is Wednesday.

Zinabu picked Pop Rock ice cream, which is a hideous neon green and purple. We have had experience with this particular flavor before. Lily tried it back in 2007. Two days after she ate it her poop was bright blue. She called me to the bathroom and I took one look at it and almost called 9-1-1. All I could figure was that we had radon in our basement or she had come in contact with a nuclear reactor. At some point I put two and two together and remembered the ice cream. I warned Zianbu that this could happen to him, and you'd have thought I told him Christmas was coming early. That kid has thrill issues.


Missing: One Brain

Last used sometime on Friday. If found, please return to Cathy.


I am surprised at and wary of how fast my kids are growing. I mean, yesterday they were babies with ear infections and tomorrow they'll be leaving for college. Ack! Before long, I will be losing my all-encompassing influence over their lives and they'll begin testing the waters of life, making bigger and bigger decisions, and probably making some mistakes. I can't help but wonder if I shouldn't have an arsenal of weapons to "help" them make better choices. For example, if they break curfew or get caught skipping class, I feel I need to have some consequences in place to ensure they won't be tempted to repeat the infraction. So far, here's what I've come up with:

I could start my own club to bring back the "jumpsuit" and have regular meetings at our home.

How about wearing an "I love David Hasselhoff" t-shirt every day for a week?

Even better, I dress up in full Southern Belle regalia to pick them up at school.

I could threaten them with a mural for the family van.

Stand across the street from where they're hanging out with friends and tell all their cute baby stories with a bull horn.

This is fetching...

I would only use this as a last resort, but I never say never.



Despite how insanely crazy our lives are right now, I've got a bee in my bonnet to adopt again. There are a chunk of adoptive moms that I know who are also facing this constant tug of the heart. The eternal "let's adopt just one more" mind game. The desperate longing to give a home to a child who needs one and to grow our family in an exciting way. Once you go through the adoption process--which is no picnic, I can tell you--but are rewarded for all your waiting and gnashing of teeth with the most amazing child, well... you find it hard to say "We're done." My heart is yearning for a 10 year old boy. I know David and I--and Carver and Lily and Zinabu--would make a great family for a boy of that age. I know there are thousands of boys that age waiting for a home, here in the U.S. and also Ethiopia. But I think we really are done. And that makes this so much harder.

Next week Zinabu will have been with us for 2 years. Hooray! He has grown and changed and thrived in ways I never could have imagined. Not even in my wildest dreams. And he's still that nutty, happy kid that walked off the airplane and into my heart.

I hate being done.


Earth Day

I guess for Earth Day I'll be cooking up lots of hamburgers. Lily was given the assignment to draw a picture of something that can be recycled. She wrote:
I can use a cow for cheeseburgers.


10 years since Columbine.

Uncle Jim, Aunt M, C, K, and K. I love you.


Tell me you've seen this by now. I have so much I could say, but it speaks for itself.

This article sums it up perfectly! Please read the whole thing.

I admit, I bawled like a baby when I watched her.


Allergies and Snow!

This is what is happening outside. It is supposed to snow for the next 24 hours.

This is what my family is doing. They pushed back all the furniture and are having a jump rope contest.

This is what I am doing--reading Harry Potter. Enough said.



I have never had spring allergies before. I can only assume the universe is trying to punish me because I am suffering big time! This morning, David said to me, "What's wrong with your eyes?" They're puffy and red and watery and on fire. I can' t breathe through my poor nose, and you really don't want to be near me when I do my one hundred sneezes per day. Allergy medicine has not helped at all. What is up?

We are T-minus 15 days until the house goes on the market. I have only one more room to paint, and then some odds and ends to tidy up. Next Thursday, though, the photographer comes to take the house photos--so I really need to have everything ready spot-on in 7 days. That's a good thing. I'm ready. Let's just get this done!

David took yesterday off from work so we could do a day's worth of yard work--and it really paid off. Things are greening up around here, and we have an amazing back yard that could really help sell the house.

The other night David took the kids on a hike. We are 1 mile from an open space with lots of hiking and mountain biking trails. When we move to my mom's house, the open space will be in our back yard. But one of our favorite family activities is to go pick a trail and hike for an hour. The kids always have fun. I mean always. David took this photo at mid-hike:

Our bathroom is finished and other than the fact that it is a very boring khaki color, the tiles look amazing. It was not a cheap process, but it was fast and has that "instant" improvement feel. Now I get to spend the next month screaming, "Don't touch the tiles."


True Confessions: We Have A Pink Bathroom

Our house was built in 1958--when bubble-gum pink and powder blue were all the rage in bathroom tiles. (Apparently no one slept in a Queen-sized bed, either, because we cannot get a box spring up our stairs... but I digress.) When we moved to Colorado, it was at the height of a seller's real estate market. There was so much competition for houses, especially in the neighborhood we wanted to live in, which was 2 blocks from the school where David was teaching. When we found out that the owners of this house were looking to sell, we pounced. It really didn't matter what the inside looked like: we wanted it!
It has been a great house, but, alas, the upstairs bathroom is very pink. Can you also see how small it it? All 5 of us share it. I, personally, think we deserve some kind of medal for that. Feel free to nominate me. The first few years we lived here, we invested our money in other house projects, and the pink bathroom stayed. We got used to it. It's quirkiness grew on us. Indeed, it became fun. It's also the place Carver and Lily were potty trained. It's the place I quickly learned that a certain un-circumcised Ethiopian should NOT stand to pee. It was the place to be for the Great Food Poisoning Epidemic of '02 and '07. It was a great place to stick the kids on a bad day--filling up the tub with bubbles and toys and letting them have at it. And it was the one room our realtor said, "Welllllllll......" (insert dramatic pause.)
Today there is a company coming that sprays an acrylic coating over tiles like ours and makes them look brand new and less appalling. Good bye, my pink friend. You've been good to us.


happy easter!


Dear Gifted and Talented Teacher:

Thank you so much for your note about my child. Of course we are excited that they did well on all your assessments and are now qualified as "gifted" and "talented." Forgive me, though, if I don't jump up and down and fawn all over my child as so many parents do when they receive news like this. You see, we have another child at home who has a learning disability. For them, school is a daily struggle... a mountain climb, if you will. We've been working with them all year to make school a place of excitement and joy, rather than something to fear.

I have one child who does really well on tests and standardized assessments. They know the answers and are blessed with the right amount of logic to get through tasks quickly. Learning comes easily to them and they have never known the "how do I do this?" feeling.

I have another child who cannot for the life of them remember how to spell "what" or "flavor" or "special." They work twice, sometimes three times as hard on their homework and schoolwork to get good grades. They struggle through assignments that take other kids 5 minutes. They get up every day and do it again, with a smile on their face because deep down, they have moxie, courage, and determination.

So you tell me. Who is the talented one?



If you used your own money to buy a dog collar and leash but don't own a dog yet,

Then you pretend you're the dog.


This, That, and Everything

Call the furnace guy: check
Call the bathroom repair guy: check
Make doctor appts. for me and Zinabu: check
Made dentist appt.: check
Pick out new sink: check
Pick out plumbing fixtures: check
Pick out back splash tile: check
Pick out new floor for Lily's room: check
Call Dell customer service about glitch in laptop: check
Wait around all morning for furnace guy to come: check
Fix computer: check
Look over paperwork from realtor: check

Pick out carpet: not yet
Paint office: not yet
Reseal grout in bathroom: not yet
Clean windows: not even close
Yard work: as soon as it quits snowing
Get my physical on Thurs: can't wait
Have filling replaced at dentist on Friday: ooooooh, lovely
Kindergarten registration paperwork: what????
Take Carver to appointment this afternoon: can't forget
Clean carpets: someday
Registration for summer day camps before they fill up: in my dreams

And that's just today. So it's a good thing that there are only 100 days until the next Harry Potter movie comes out. I have something to look forward to after days like this.


Zinabu with David at the guest house. This was the first day Z spent the night with David and I remember they called me on the phone and Z was laughing like a hyena: he was pretty hyped up. That's David's AMAZING sister in the background--my beloved sister-in-law Diana. Zinabu really liked the feature on the video camera where he could see himself in the screen. He also had a whopper of a runny nose, which we now know was the beginning sign of the mumps. Ahhhhh, memories!

*Zinabu is saying "Ababa"--which is Dad in Amharic.


In honor of Zinabu's 2 year "arrivalversary" I've been viewing video clips from David's trip to Ethiopia. I confess that it is very, very difficult for me to do. It makes me bawl like a baby every time. For different reasons... like the fact that Zinabu was still very much an Ethiopian and by coming to America he left so much behind. He spoke a different language, and he no longer remembers or cares much about Amharic. I also cry that he endured a lot of upheval and pain and loss for such a small guy. But look at that sweet face. He was so small... where has the time gone? I'll try to add more over the next few weeks. It is such an honor to have these glimpses of him on his native soil.



Today our realtor is coming over at 4:00 to walk through the house and discuss listing price and our schedule for the next 3 weeks before the house goes on the market. Our "realtor" is a real realtor, but she's also my friend Sue. David had wanted to interview several realtors and pick one, but I told him that because I would be the one who had the most contact with the person selling our house, I wanted it to be someone I like. A lot! And I like Sue. She has 2 young boys who go to school with Carver and Lily. She's funny and sweet and she's very, very cool. She wears high heels all the time. How could she not be cool?

At my mom's house, the renovation is moving along great. There are 3 main projects: new kitchen, 2 new bedrooms in the unfinished part of the basement, and tearing off a sunroom and building an office/guest room in its place. All the other projects are smaller in scale and are more cosmetic. Well, the boys' bedrooms are framed in! We love to go down to the basement and stand in their rooms and imagine what they will look like when finished. The sunroom was demolished yesterday. It is completely gone. They will lay the new foundation today or Monday, and they can start building after that. And the kitchen--well, it's going to be worked on in about 10 days. The cabinets are going to be delivered next week. I picked the counter tops. Tomorrow I just need to pick a sink and decide on a back splash so it can all come together. I took some "before" pictures and I can't wait to post them with the "after" photos.

The kids are doing well. We've been virus free for 10 days. Wooo hooo! Please, please, please let that be the last of it. I can hardly believe it, but it is time to start planning summer activities. Our area offers a wide variety of day camps and I need to sign the kids up for something to do. Since we really aren't going on a vacation this summer, I want the kids to have some fun memories. I found out that our zoo offers multiple day camps, and Lily is enthralled. She said to me, "I hope that they can shoot the lions with darts and make them fall asleep, and then I can go in and lay down with them and pet them." I don't think that's going to happen, but I love her grandiose dreams.

So a little more painting, a little more packing, a lot of cleaning, and we're going to get this house ready to sell!


These are not my children.

These are my children.