Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If it's too quiet...

trouble is brewing. A couple of nights ago, I started Eli's bath and was picking up toys as the tub filled up. Usually Eli is very eager to help put toys away, but this night he was not helping and it was very quiet. Too quiet. I went into the bathroom and found him leaning over the tub playing in the water. No big deal, right? Well, somehow he had managed to turn on the shower and, of course, the shower head was cocked to the side so that water was spraying all over Eli and the bathroom floor. Eli thought it was the funniest thing!

This morning, once again, the house suddenly got quiet. Too quiet. Eli came out of the bathroom and Jason found him like this. Eli decided to experiment with Mama's mascara. He actually tried putting it on his eye...and nose...and cheek...and his hands.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


A fellow Guatemama, Terry, has started an amazing organization, Across All Borders (AAB), to help the children of Guatemala. Terry's journey to this point is so beautiful and inspirational. You can read more about her personal story here. And, my dear friend, Bobbi, is serving on the board of directors and taking her family on a mission trip for AAB this summer. How cool is that?!?!

Terry offically launched her organization this week, which includes a great fundraising campaign! Across All Borders is selling cookbooks full of recipes all submitted by fellow adoptive parents, including yours truly! The recipes include family favorites and some traditional Guatemalan dishes. The cookbooks are $15.00 and the proceeds benefit the work of AAB. Please consider helping out by purchasing a cookbook and telling all your friends and family to purchase a cookbook. Buy one for yourself and give a few as gifts!

You can purchase the cookbooks with a credit card or a check. Just click here or the link on the side of my blog to purchase a cookbook using your credit card. If you prefer to pay with a check, just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so we can make arrangements. If you are not interested in a cookbook, please consider giving in other ways. You can read all about AAB and the ways you can help out on their website. Thank you for supporting this wonderful organization and the children of Guatemala.

Across All Borders

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another one done, one more to go...

Some of you may recall when I wrote last year that I am the queen of unfinished projects. It's really true. I love starting new projects...the ideas, brainstorming, creativity, etc. But I often get bored when the tediousness sets in and then I am off to something else. Well, one of my unofficial New Year's Resolutions is to finish some of these projects, including this quilt. Now, this one did not sit around as long as Eli's, but it probably has a good 3 year shelf life! No more. It is done. Woohoo! I have one more unfinished quilt in the basement and it is a doozy. It is a queen size bedspread. I'll be honest, that one will take awhile. I may need a few kicks in the tush later on to finish it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Historic Day

What an amazing day. I am really having a difficult time wrapping my heart and brain around the HUGE significance of this day. It is much bigger than I think any of us can imagine at this moment. I feel so hopeful and inspired that perhaps, just perhaps change is possible. Just the fact we elected our first African American president is proof that change is possible. As President Obama (doesn't that sound awesome????) has said over and over, change will not happen overnight, will happen. It has already happened...the face of power has changed in this country.

I am not only hopeful and excited about how these changes may affect our nation and our world, but also about the significance of this day for my family and for my son. We do not take the fact lightly that we are a multiracial family. That we have a huge responsibility to deal with racism not just as members of this society, but as parents raising our son in a culture that does not value the color of his skin or his heritage. How do we raise our son to be strong, resilient, proud, and confident in the face of racism? I don't know, yet. But, what I do know is that the arguably most powerful man in the world is paving a path. Paving a path of breaking down power structures, challenging stereotypes, and redefining the opportunities available for people of color, for my son. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done, but this is a beginning and, for that, I am so hopeful, so grateful, and so proud of our country for taking a stand for change.

And, never before have I been soooooo relieved to say goodbye to someone...GOOD RIDDANCE, George W. Bush. It is a new day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


My blogging buddy, Aimee, sent me an interview! And, I know you want to join in on the fun. So,
here is how it works:

1. If you want to participate, leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” (And your e-mail address, please or let me know on facebook if that is easier.)
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Okay, here are the questions Aimee asked me:

1.If you could solve any world problem, what would it be?
Yikes! This one is tough because I strongly believe that most, if not all, of our world problems are interconnected so where is the starting point? There is none, I suppose. After deliberating for a little bit, at this moment I would eliminate capitalism as we know it today. Capitalism in it's purest form certainly has the potential to create opportunity and equality, but it has not evolved that way. Unfortunately, capitalism (along with racism, sexism, etc) has created a system of "haves" and "have-nots" and the "haves" stand on the backs of the "have-nots." It is pretty evident in today's economy that the backs of the have-nots have broken down. It's quite shameful, really. On Christmas Eve, we were driving around looking at Christmas lights and drove into a particularly obnoxious wealthy neighborhood and I just couldn't help thinking how different our world would look if even just a fraction of the wealth was skimmed off the top and equally distributed. I just have to believe there is a better way. A better way that would easily eliminate many of the world's problems. As an example:

2.What keeps you up at night?
What do I choose? Actually, I am by nature a night owl. I LOVE that time of night when the rest of the world is asleep. There is something magical about it. It is the time when I feel the most grounded and the most creative. I would much rather watch the moonrise than the sunrise. Unfortunately, I don't get to enjoy that time too much because of my work schedule, but I sneak it in here and there for my mental health! Even so, I believe the question is intended to mean what "keeps" me awake. Right now, the thing that weighs on me heavily is work. More specifically, I feel like I am coming to a crossroads regarding my work life and trying to figure out which direction to go, if any.

3.Describe your typical day
We're all up by 6am (usually!) and Eli is at the babysitter's by 7:15am. Jason and I both commute about 35-40 minutes. The next 8 hours is work, work, work. I am in the social services field so my day varies. These days, more often than not, I am in front of a computer. But, my day also consists of meetings, home visits, lots of paperwork, and a little crisis intervention thrown in there from time to time. We are all home by 5pm. I try to cook bigger meals on the weekends so we have leftovers during the week. That makes dinner time much quicker! The rest of the evening involves playing, reading books, bath time, and bed by 8pm for pea. I spend the rest of my evening doing about 2 or 3 things at once, like watching TV, being on the computer, working on a project, looking at a magazine, paying bills, etc, etc. Exciting stuff!

4. What is one non-motherhood accomplishment you want to undertake in your life?
Refer to #2. Actually, I would love to visit Machu Picchu someday. This seems a bit boring, I know. There are lots of things I envision seeing myself doing, but it is constantly evolving and changing so I don't cling too tightly to specific goals, unless it is really tugging at my heart. It sounds like a cop out, but it really isn't. The only constant in life is change so it is more important to me to keep my heart open for new possibilities than to cling to something that may not serve me anymore.

5. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
I had to really think about this one. I decided that I would be a Sea Turtle. For one, I love the water and I especially love that feeling of floating on ocean waves. I love the rhythm of the water and listening to the sounds under the surface. It some ways it is kind of eerie and in other ways it is like being transported to a whole new world. I love it! The other thing about a Sea Turtles is the amazing phenomenon that she is able to travel 1000's of miles back to the beach where she was born in order to lay her own eggs. I love that the Sea Turtle is able to venture far, far away from the place where she was born, but she is always able to find her way home.

Okay, who wants to be interviewed next? Come on! It's fun!! I won't be too hard on you. ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dada's boy

Eli and his "dada" having been spending a lot of 1:1 time together lately. Not only did they get to stay home together for two weeks during the holidays, but they were also home today due to the FREEZING temps and will be home tomorrow. Of course, mama had to drag her tookus out of bed and go to work while these two stayed at home. now, everything is about dada! It's very sweet, especially if Eli cries out at night for dada and Jason feels obligated to be the one to get up. Sucker. Heehee! No really, these are the days we longed for...

Their time hasn't all been about fun and games. Pea helped his dada out with the laundry today.

Let me tell you, we were so happy and relieved to see a smile today. Wow. The last couple of days have been a bit rocky. Eli has hardly been eating and just a tad cranky. We figured he was still getting over the icky sickies. Well, as I put him in the bath last night he just started SCREAMING and refused to sit in the water. No, no...the water wasn't hot. It was so weird because he loves to take a bath! But, he screamed all through his bath refusing to sit down. He finally calmed down and then went to sleep with no problem (phew). Well, this morning he pretty much woke up screaming and crying and we just could not figure out what was wrong. I left for work, feeling like I had the better end of the deal today, as Jason was giving pea some Motrin as a last desparate measure. Jason called about 20 minutes later to report that our sweet boy was back. Just like that. After further investigation, Jason also discovered that those darn 2 year molars are swelling up again. They still have NOT popped through! Man, these molars are rough! So, we are creating a shrine in honor of Children's Motrin. May it always be close. ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Busy Weekend

Despite being sick, little pea had a very busy weekend!

The weekend started off with some very important phonecalls on the latest new phone. You know you want one! The conversation goes a little like this: "Hi! jiberjaberjiberjaber...mama and (our dog)...jiberjaber...okay, byebye."

Next, pea ventured outside to see all of the "no." (snow)

Here he is testing the cold factor and depth.

Official taste tester.

Next, he ventured inside for a big 'o temper tantrum. This is after our trip to the store where he launched his sippy cup about 20 feet because I took away the bag of frozen peas so the cashier could ring them up. Bad mama! ;)

On Sunday, little pea needed to do a little more shopping.
And, most importantly, he let us know that Tyrone wanted to "eat."

All this in one weekend! Can you believe it? ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Go Steelers!

If I ever wonder how my son became a crazy football fan, just direct me to this video. ;)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back to the land of the living

Oh, we got hit hard with the stomach virus this week! It started with Eli on Tuesday night. He woke up about 12:30am whining a little. Now, we had several nights of this in a row and decided enough was enough. So, we let him whine. After awhile, Jason ventured into little pea's room to discover he had puked EVERYWHERE. Ohmygosh. It was disgusting. And, the smell...oh my...the smell was atrocious. It hit me like a brick before I even went into his room. There was puke on the wall, the floor, all over the crib, his bedding, and of course, all over Eli. Now, let me tell you, I felt like the WORST mom in the entire world letting him sit in puke when I just thought he was being a whineypants. Sigh...but, as we cleaned everything up, Eli was acting as normal as could be. It was the strangest thing. Jason stayed home with him Wednesday and he was back at the sitter's on Thursday. Does this look like a kid who had been throwing up all day?

I get a call at work on Thursday around 1:30pm from Jason. He's got it and going home. I don't think he left the couch until the next morning.

I woke up Friday around 4:30am. My turn. I did not get out of bed until 4pm and then I laid on the couch the rest of the night. How is it that Eli had the same level of energy through all of this and Jason and I were completely knocked out for 24 hours???

On to Saturday morning, I think we are all finally feeling alive again! Phew!

So, as we prepared for the day, Jason was getting pea dressed and went through 3 pairs of pants and 3 shirts before finding something that fit him. Sheeze! I swear all of these clothes fit him yesterday! So, we decided to go through his dresser as a good lowkey activity for the morning. Here is what we cleaned out.

He is growing way to fast! And, some of these things he only wore a few times. From now on, he is wearing one outfit until he grows out of it (which will be about a week.). ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Six years in the making...

and it is finally DONE. Six years ago my mom and I took a quiltmaking class together and I decided to start a baby quilt since Jason and I were at the very beginning of our journey to start a family. My heart was filled with so much hope and anticipation and I knew that this quilt was just the beginning of a huge change in our lives. Of course, little did I know where our journey to family would take us.

I was very close to finishing the quilt when we received the news that building our family was not going to be easy. Needless to say, we were stunned and heartbroken. So, the almost finished quilt got put away. It was just too painful.

I never forgot about the quilt. There were many times in which I considered finishing it and giving it as a baby gift, thinking someone should get some good use out of it. But, I. just. couldn't. do. it. I knew that quilt was meant for my baby and giving it away just felt wrong. It some ways, seeing that almost finished quilt on the shelf also gave me hope. I knew I would finish it some day. I knew that I would tuck my baby to sleep under that quilt some day. But, until that day arrived, that quilt had to sit unfinished, patiently waiting on the shelf in the basement.

Finally, that some day arrived and it was time. Time to finish the quilt. The quilt that was so long in the making, so full of hope, love, and dreams...that are now wrapped around my son as I write. So, that is actually how I welcomed in the New Year. Finishing that quilt for my son.

Happy New Year!

We had a very uneventful New Year's. In fact, for the first time EVER, we didn't even make it to midnight. And...I didn't care! Last year, we rang in the New Year in the parking lot of the Detroit Airport after flying in from Guatemala. It was snowing like crazy and our car wouldn't start! After about 30 minutes, it finally started and we made our way home in a terrible snowstorm. What a way to start the new year! This year came in much quieter.

In honor of the New Year, it's always great to reflect a little so I snagged this off of Aimee's blog.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Where do I start?! 2008 was an incredible year marked by significant transition. I started the most important job of my life…becoming a mom. It’s still a work in progress! ;)
2. Did you keep your New Years’ Resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I have no idea! I don’t think I made any last year other than to find a way to get through each day as we waited.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? We had three dear friends give birth and have many friends who expanded their families through adoption.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my grandmother.
5. What countries did you visit? Guatemala
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? More balance. I know, that is vague, but I am working on defining what that means.
7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? There are many!
3/19-3/25: Our 3rd visit trip during Semana Santa. We spent the week in Antigua and it was AMAZING!!
4/8/08: The day we finally heard the news that we were out of PGN after 7 months.
4/27/08: The day Eli was placed in our arms forever.
5/14/08: The day we arrived home as a family.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? The relationship I have developed with my sweet son.
9. What was your biggest failure? I really hate that word as I believe that “mistakes” offer us the opportunity to grow. I was certainly challenged in many ways this year. I struggled with finding balance, but I also see this is a natural part of going through huge life transitions. So, definitely not a “failure” but also definitely something I am aiming to find in 2009.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes – I got sick in Guatemala and a few times after coming home.
11. What was the best thing you bought? A one way lap ticket from Guatemala to the US.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Definitely Eli. He makes us laugh and smile everyday and gives us so much joy. He is a very resilient little boy already. He reminds us every day of what is precious in life.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Hmmm…unfortunately, terrible things happen everyday. All you need to do is turn on the news.
14. Where did most of your money go? No doubt about that! Eli.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting that call we were out of PGN. It still brings tears to my eyes. I will never forget that moment.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Hmmm…there are many! “The Wood Song” by the Indigo Girls will always remind of me of the last couple of years.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? happier
b. thinner or fatter? the same with fluctuations along the way
c. richer or poorer? Poorer financial, but richer in every other way
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading and writing and sleeping.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Hmmm…worrying.
20. How did you spend Christmas? At home, with family.
21. What on-line users did you meet? Oh my gosh!! I met so many people online. It is amazing the friendships, support, and opportunities that came to us simply through starting a blog.
22. Did you fall in love in 2008? I fell deeper in love with my son.
23. How many one-night stands? Stupid. Stupid question.
24. What was your favourite TV program? Hmmmm…I certainly don’t watch as much TV and when I do, I am usually doing something else at the same time. But, I love LOST and can’t wait for the season premiere. I also love to watch baseball. That’s about all we watch during the season. I hope to be watching it through October this year!
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No. (another stupid question)
26. What was the best book you read this year? Book? See #18. Actually, I read a couple of sleep books that really helped when Eli first came home.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? I can’t think of any one artist, but I have really been diggin’ The Coffee House on XM/Sirius radio.
28. What did you want and get?My family at home together.
29. What did you want and not get? A winning lottery ticket. But, I also didn’t play the lottery, so…
30. What was your favourite film of this year? Well, I haven’t watched many movies this year. I recently saw Mystic River for the first time, which was excellent and I was very moved by Martian Child, which we watched on one of our plane trips to Guatemala.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I spent my birthday in Antigua during Semana Santa with my family and friends. It was great! I turned 34.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Less stress and worry.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? I don’t even know what this means!
34. What kept you sane? I am indebted to so many! Jason, my family, friends, and the online adoption community.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Barack Obama
36. What political issue stirred you the most? The Presidential Election
37. Who did you miss? I missed seeing all of our Westsylvania friends! It’s been too long.
38. Who was the best new person you met? Even though we “met” Eli in 2007, 2008 was definitely the year we bonded together as a family at home. Eli is definitely the light of our lives and inspires us everyday!
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Oh boy…so many! This year has definitely been incredibly transformational in so many ways and has given me the opportunity to reflect and revaluate many things in my life. So, to pick just one valuable life lesson is tough! At the same time, life lessons are ever evolving so I am still figuring out what it all means. With that said, one lesson that stands out above the others at this moment is the importance of giving. We were simply astounded at the generosity of our family, friends, and complete strangers when we were in process. And, I don’t just mean financial generosity, but also generosity of the heart. This generosity affected me deeply and has truly changed the fabric of who I am.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Indigo Girls “The Wood Song”

"No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all our understanding
Watching closely over the journey, Yeah
But what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
Although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far, yeah
But the question drowns in it's futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just hold on for the ride"