Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sam flooded the house today...

...and it's my mom's fault :) I was downstairs in the basement and Sam was upstairs in my bedroom watching the Wiggles. All of a sudden she comes down and says she needs help. I told her to wait a minute and she got very agitated and said, 'no mom, I need help now, I did something bad-hurry up" Well that peaked my interest. So I went upstairs and our bathroom sink was running fast (and we have a slow drain) so the water had overflowed on the floor and was proceeding to go through the floor (through a vent I think) and came through the ceiling in the living room. Fortunately (I think) we had a small hole in the dining room ceiling from where G had tried to hang a pinata once (don't ask). So all the water was coming out fast through the whole. I imagine if we didnt' have the hole, then it would have pooled in the ceiling and caused water damage. Hope we don't get mold now. Thank goodness she had enough sense to come and get me-that could have kept going for a long time.

Oh, why was it my mom's fault? Because Samantha was in the bathroom trying to wash her hands because they were sticky 'cause my mom bought her a bag of candy today-even though she already had ice cream earlier.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just saying hi

Not much to talk about here. I did need to announce that Abera lost his tooth last week. I have a picture of his new smile but it's not on the computer yet. I'll post it soon (yeah you've heard that before). When it started to get really loose, I went to the bank to get a silver dollar (they're not silver anymore-but you get the point.) Anyway, we were all set for the toothfairy to come and wouldn't you know it-he lost the tooth one evening after I had gone to work :( (And I had left the coin in my wallet )Since I want' coming home till the next morning, we werent' able to use the nice dollar we got. So Gerald just used 2 quarters. Abera didn't know the difference. He was excited anyway. The next day at school the teacher got him in front of the class and he walked up to all his friends to show them his missing spot in his mouth. It was so cute. All the kids were saying, "ooh, wow", and stuff like that.

Also, can you tell, I wasn't working this past summer. I was looking at the link to my posts on the side of the blog. There were so many more posts in July and August. Then it totally drops off after that. Oh well. At least I got some laundry done today. Brandon wants to play on Noggin's website right now, so I guess I'll go.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Halloween Pics-I finally did it!!!!

Guess I don't need to say much-the pictures say it all!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

Anyone still out there!

To anyone who's still reading.........I'm so sorry about the lack of activity. Yeah I know I do this all the time. Things finally have started to settle down with work. I finally have gone to nights and am working only 3 nights a week. I just started this past week but already it feels more normal to me. I have much more time with the kids than when I was working 4 day shifts a week. When I told the kids that I'd be going to work at night when they sleep Gerry, shouted out, ' oh I know mom, that means you're nocturnal!" Guess he learned that one in kindergarten.

Now about those pictures, those are pictures of Gerald when he was little, I think he's screaming in the one pic 'cause the boy behind him is his brother and he was tormenting Gerald at the time. Why are they there you ask? Because I was looking for our Halloween pics but G downloaded them onto his computer so I can't access them right now. When I was looking for the pics, I came across these pics and couldn't stop laughing so I posted it. Sorry, Shea, I will try and get on G's computer later tonight and post the Halloween pics.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One thing accomplished

We bought everyone's Halloween costumes today.

Sammy will be a yellow Power Ranger (I thought for sure she'd pick a princess again). As soon as she tried the ranger costume on she started doing karate kicks and going hi-ya hi-ya! I hope she doesnt' kick anyone at school when they have their Halloween parade.

Gerry will be a blue Power Ranger. He is very happy with his choice now, but originally wanted to be a Star Wars storm trooper. Not just any storm trooper -but the 'deluxe' storm trooper. It cost $5o!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He refused to choose the cheaper storm troopers and pouted for a while but then came around. That boy always picks the expensive stuff. The last time we went shoe shopping he went straight to the $70 pair. I guess he has expensive tastes.

Abera ended up choosing the Dark Knight Batman. Funny, cause for weeks he's been saying he wanted to be Iron Man or Optimus Prime (or a lion or a pumpkin or an "A" for Abera) but once we got there, he chose the Batman.

And Brandon got his first choice. There was never any doubt...he wanted to be the Hulk and he got what he wanted. He got one with fake muscles-it's hilarious. He kept making a tough 'hulk' face.

We took some cute pictures today but I won't post any costume pics until Halloween. It should be interesting this year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life Goes On

Everyone seems to be settling in better at daycare. We've spoken with them more about the teasing issue and are dealing with it. The kids actually say they like it there and I think I"ll leave it be if they seem genually happy there...that's what counts I guess.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Daycare Ranting

Here I go again, complaining about having to work and complaining about daycare. It's been one catastrophe after another. First thinking I would only have to work one month of day shift and then finding out my first week that it would be at least 3 months of days. So we frantically look for daycare and find a great nanny who quits when she walks in the door on her first day. She gave us 2 days notice. Then we find a daycare center which seems nice but I have a few complaints. Friday was their first day. I had to work 7am-7:30pm so Gerald had to drop them off and pick them up.

1.) They told me when I visited them the first time that they serve healthy full meals, not just snacks. Well, the kids told me they had poptarts for breakfast. Great, real nutritious. I"m pretty desparate for daycare right now (and this is a temporary situation) so I"ll live with it...but why say you serve real meals and then serve poptarts? Strike one.

2.) Abera and Brandon don't have preschool on Fridays so they were at the center all day. Abera excitedly told me he watched "The Jungle Book", a movie with alot of cats, and Tom and Jerry. Grrrr, I really hate Tom and Jerry!!!!! Oh did I tell you that they advertise that they are academically based. I thought, 'great, these are more than just babysitters-they'll be more structured than that'. Guess I was wrong. It kills me that I have to pay them more than half my paycheck just so they can sit my kids in front of the TV. And come on, now --days,IF you're going to do TV, there are soooo many better options that Tom and Jerry-really? Tom and Jerry?!?! Strike two.

3.) We got an incident report about Samantha (and they spoke with Gerald about it when he picked them up). Apparently, a kid called Samantha the 'R' word on the bus on the way to school and Samantha punched him in the leg (please imagine me jumping up and down with a huge smile on my face, screaming "THAT'S MY GIRL!!!!!!!) Of course, I didn't say that to her face. Gerald said, the boy got spoken to on the bus by the adult with them and they were going to address the issue with his parents. That's good. But Gerry told us that 3 kids were teasing Sam in the morning before the bus. Calling her a baby and a Kindergartner (she's in the second grade). We only knew that from Gerry. No one told us that. I'm pretty sure if she hadn't hit the boy and they werent' forced to write out an official incident report, then we would have never known Samantha was being teased at all. Pontential big strike three!

So, if anyone's reading this. Do you think I should look elsewhere...give this place some time? I MAY have a potential lead on a home based daycare. I ran into an aquaitance at church today and of course was mentioning my daycare problems and she said she had a friend who is going to have openings soon (preferably preschoolers, and she does before care too for school-agers). They are in our school district and could be bussed to school. What would you do? Gerry is not happy about going to daycare tomorrow. It makes me so sad. They loved the nanny we had for 2 days. They werent' wierd about me leaving them with her the second day (they were excited). Now none of the kids are thrilled with going to the center tomorrow :( At least I only work 8-4:30 tomorrow so I get to drop them off and pick them up and can speak myself to someone there. If this were permanent, then I would surely be looking elsewhere but I keep thinking, it's only temporary, let's see what happens. I'm pretty sure I'll be calling that home daycare mom this week to see if she would even take us-then I"ll go from there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here's some pictures!

The first one is Brandon's from school. Don't know why it came out sideways. Monday, Brandon came home talking all about Humpty Dumpty. He thought it was so amazing that I knew who Humpty Dumpty was :)
This pink and black one is Abera's caterpillar and something to do with a kickball too. Abstract I guess
This one is Gerry's. He drew everyone in the family including Jake (the dog). He also has Grandma and Grandpa and his kindergarten teacher. He started it last night but it wasn't complete until he woke up this morning and drew beds for everyone too. Too cute.
Samantha drew some family members too, although I'm not sure who's who. I love her smiley faces and curly hair. Oh and the crayons below. I have no idea who took that picture, but Gerry and Abera are at the top of list of suspects.

OK, these wonderful pieces of artwork aren't all from school but I thought they were cute. The kids were coloring the other day and wanted me to put their pictures on the computer. Also, a little daycare update. I think we found a daycare provider that will work for us. We originally wanted a nanny 'cause we thought it'd be cheaper but we could not find one on our own and it would have taken too long to find one through a nanny-finder service. We also couldn't find any home daycare that had room for all 4 kids and who could transport everyone everywhere. We found a daycare center that came recommended from a friend. I went to visit and liked what I saw (especially compared to the last crappy place I visited). They will transport all the kids to the public school in the morning and take care of the preschoolers throughout the day. Our friend who uses this center has a girl with DS. When I told the director that Samantha had DS and asked if they'd have a problem with that. I got a, 'no problems here. We believe in mainstreaming. "Jane" who comes here now with DS, we excpect her to do her homework just like all the other kids in the afternoon. We will make accomidations at parent's suggestions but we believe all kids will achieve if the excpectations are there" AMEN sister!!! Gotta love that . I hope this works out. I like the place but I'm still nervous as I've never used a daycare center before. It's all so new and rushed. I had to take off work today because I was getting the health forms together from the pediatricians. Luckily I have off tomorrow and I'm planning to take the kids to the center on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed. This will be temporary until I start working nights in Dec.......Anyhooo, here's the pictures. Oh well, the pictures came first. I'm no good with the computer. It's a miracle I have a blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This job is kicking my butt!!!!

I'm still alive!!!! I just have not had time to post. I have been keeping up with my email and 2 forums that I frequent, but I keep forgetting to post here. I just got off of a 12 hour shift (really ended up being 13 hours). It's my 3rd day working in a row (not all 12 hours though). I am pooped! I can't wait till I'm done with this training program so I can set my own hours. I don't know why I'm posting - I think I"m falling asleep right now. I was apparently nominated for a blog award from a sweet fellow blogger but for the life of me I can't follow up with the rules of 'accepting the award'. Sorry Shea-you understand, I hope :) We had a nanny for 2 days but then she quit (no my kids aren't that bad!!!). She got engaged and was moving to be closer to her fiance. It's a shame cause the kids really liked her. Grandma's watching the kids tomorrow (yeah, I have to work tmr too :( Then we have until Wednesday to find another babysitter. The kiddies are doing great but I can't think of any cute things they've done lately. Oh, I did take pictures of some of their cute artwork from school but I don't have an example of each kid's work yet so I can't post them yet. Next time I post I"m going to show you all funny smiley faces Samantha draws and other cute stuff from the kids. Good night for now.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Never underestimate Samantha :)

Sorry I haven't posted much. This new job is messing up my routine. Can't wait till I'm working my normal night shift and not 5 days a week.

Today I had to laugh. Gerry and Abera are video game gurus. They know what they're doing and they take it seriously. Samantha rarely plays but sometimes gets into the Wii. Today Sam was playing a game against Abera and I don't know how she figured it out but she kicked his butt!!! Just the other day, I was kind of bummed that she still needed a lot of help with the controler and figuring out the game. All of sudden she just got it -she figured out how to do the Hammer Throw and the Long Jump and kept winning. The boys were dying. She was getting tough too. She started talking trash to them. Saying 'nah, nah, nah ' in a real teasing way and then (I shouldn't be writing this ..but) sticking her booty out and making a farting noise in there direction. (No I don't tolerate that , I told her to stop) But it was funny. Then she played another game and lost and she started yelling at the TV and saying 'stupid Wii!'. We are trying so hard to stop that word (stupid) in our house - it seems to be a losing battle but we're trying.

Never underestimate Samantha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I have a new job!

Well, I started my new job on Monday. So far it's all been orientation and such. I"m actually getting more excited about this new job. If anyone doesn't know, I"m going back into nursing after a 7yr break. After nursing school 10yrs ago, I worked 3 yrs at a county Health Dept. I loved that job but had an opportunity to work from home after Samantha was born. Unfortunately that opportunity was gone as of last July and since we need the money, I have been forced to return to nursing. I would have loved to go back the the Health Dept but seeing as I have 4 kiddies at home and the health dept pay stinks, I would have lost money due to daycare. So now I am getting trained at a hospital to work on an oncology floor. It is a far stretch from the health dep. A big learning curve, but I am part of a long-term training program, so I'll be in good hands. I will be working 3 nights a week and my mom and sister will be helping to watch Brandon and Abera so I can nap a little during the days after I work. I"m going to try and work mostly weekends.

Bad news is I have to train on days. I wasn't given any concrete info on how long the day training would be. I was thinking it would be 4 weeks of days but I found out this week that I will be working days for 9 whole weeks. We are in the process of finding temporary daycare for the kids until I go on my night shifts. We mostly need someone to watch the kids from 6:30am until they get dropped of at school at 9:15 am. This daycare stuff can get confusing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Abera's first day of school

Sorry, no pictures...I"m such a bad mommy. I forgot to take pics of Brandon's first day also. It was a long, tiring day today. 9:15 drop Sam, Gerry and Brandon off at their school. Home till 12 noon to pick up Brandon. Had to be at Abera's school by 12:15 to help set up (it's a co-op and it was my turn to set up/clean up). Then back at Abera's school by 2:30. By 3:15 we were done cleaning up at Abera's school. Then off to pick up Sam and Gerry at 3:50. We would have been too early if we had driven strait to pick them up, but it didn't seem worth it to go home with Abera and Brandon just to get back in the car like 20 minutes later. So we parked at the bottom of the big school hill and walked to school. OMG it was hot this afternoon. Everyone was exhausted by the time we got home.

So anyway, Abera had a great day. He went in to school fine. The teachers said he had a great day. Since I had to come early to help clean up, I got to see him at story time. He seemed to be sitting still and listening and answering questions. I asked him if he wanted to go to school tomorrow and he smiled and said "Yes!".

Brandon's teacher said he had an excellent day!!! Boy she's a miracle worker :) I told Brandon how I heard he had a great day and he said, ' yup mom, I didn't make a big mess with the water today"

Tomorrow, will hopefully be a little calmer as I don't have to work at Abera's school, but I'll still have a lot of driving around to do. It may be a pain to have the 2 little ones in preschool at different times but already I can see it's good for both of them to have some one on one time with me.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nothing exciting but I said I'd post

It's been a couple of days now. Nothing exciting going on at home. I went to a lovely wedding of an old friend from nursing school tonight. It was good to see some old friends. And it was very nice to come home to 4 sleeping kids! I guess I should get some sleep tonight. We have cousin M's birthday party tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary and some random thoughts

Today is our anniversary. First of all, I forgot all about it, but in all fairness, I had no idea what date it was. I just knew it was Thursday. If I had realized it was the 28th, I would have remembered. Gerald remembered. I didn't think much else of it. We usually don't do anything too fancy and this year money is tight right now, seeing as I"m temporarily unemployed (and loving it-I'm dreading Sept 8th but that's another topic). So, G comes home from work today with a card, a cake, and the best present ever...a pint of Ben and Jerry's Brownie Fudge Ice Cream -with a cute little bow on top. I felt really bad that I didnt' at least get a card. Usually, I always do cards. He's having fun making me feel bad that I dropped the ball today. I can't wait to eat my ice cream tonight-it really was a good gift. Thanks G. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now some random thoughts

1.) An update on Brandon's first day (yesterday). According to his teacher, there was some oppostional/defiance issues. And some kind of incident with water at snack time. Yeah, I kind of forgot to tell her that he has an obsession with water. He could make a mess with water all day long. The first day he refused to hold any kid's hand. But teacher said today wasn't perfect but it was better and when I dropped him off I saw him walking in to school holding hands with 2 little friends. Not bad Brandon. Yesterday, I asked him about school and he got mad and said, 'I don't like my teacher'. I asked him why and he said 'she won't let me have water' in a very pouty voice. Luckily she had already told me the water story and I knew he couldnt' have more water only after the 'water incident' had occurred.

2.) Gerry likes school and is doing well. Thank God for that.

3.) Samantha is doing well. Not perfect but good. She's had 2 pee pee accidents and thrown up once all in 4 days. They don't pay those teachers and aids enough money!

4.) I just realized that Samantha talks like a pirate. Tonight she got out of bed and said, "My blanket be falling off" I couldn't stop laughing and just kept imaging her saying that with a cheesy pirate accent....arrrr my blanket be falling off!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School!!!

What a wonderful title-what a wonderful day! The kids were so great getting ready this morning. Today was Samantha and Gerry's first day back. Over the summer, we didn't have much of routine and it seemed to take us like 2 hours to get out of the house. I was determined to start the school year off right. We woke up and they all ate together. Then all the kids got dressed at the same time and all brushed their teeth and made their beds without any fights. I think Gerry was really excited and so he was compliant and the others kind of followed along. Everything was going well until we stated to walk to school. We got to the end of our street and Gerry said his pants were falling down. Sure enough they were and I couldn't send the poor boy to his first day of Kindergarten in that condition. I ran back home and got a new pair. By then I was worried about being late if we walked. I like to start walking early so we don't have to rush-it makes everyone happier. Then we get to the end of our street again and Abera says he has to go #2 and it can't wait. Ahhhh I hate being late. I started getting rushed and told them all that we now don't have enough time to walk-we'd have to take the car. Sammy lost it. She wanted to walk so bad. She sat down on the sidewalk and just started screaming. So after the potty, I decided to take a chance and still walk. We had to rush and Sammy unfortunately cried almost the whole time because she couldn't keep up with her brothers. Usually it's not a big deal because we make it a slow walk but she just couldn't keep up the pace. She had composed herself by the time we got to school. She found her teacher (whom she adores) and never looked back. Gerry was actually excited. He's been so nervous about things lately but today he didnt' seem that scared. He let me kiss him goodbye and found where his class was waiting outside and found his old friend and that was that! They both had good days today they said. Gerry said kindergarten is very fun!

So in the afternoon, I decide to walk to pick them up and we finally get to school and Samantha wasn't there. After checking with a couple staff members I discovered Sammy was put on the bus. I have no idea why but she was listed as a bus rider and even had a bus #. We don't get bus service from our house because we live so close to school but Samantha qualifies for the special ed bus. But I told everyone and their mother from last spring on that she wouldnt' need the bus because I'd be taking Gerry to school everyday anyway and they won't let him ride the special ed bus so no use in sending Sammy on the bus if I have to take Gerry anyway. Anyhooo, the bus came back to school quickly and Samantha got right off and saw me and said hi. She didn't think it was strange that the bus took her and brought her back. She had had fun. The whole walk back Gerry and Abera kept saying "next time please take the car". It was hot out by then and they were being lazy... Oooh and Abera picked up a dead bird!!! Luckily it was near our house so I grabbed his arms and ran inside and scrubbed his hand off for a long time. I don't like dead animals!

Well, sorry this was so long. Just felt like blabbing about the first day back. I'll have all the details of Brandon's first day back on Wednesday(should be real interesting). Abera starts after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Major Award!

All I could think of was the dad from a Christmas Story when he won that lamp. The other day the library called and said Brandon won a raffle prize from the summer reading program. He won a goody bag from the library. I told him about the prize and he was sooo excited. We didn't know what would be in it and the next day we went to the library to pick it up. When we got it and he opened it up he kept saying, 'I'm so happy!' and 'This is my lucky day!' He carried that bag around the whole rest of the day and showed it off to everyone he saw.

There was a wooden puzzle. 2 books. A coloring book with crayons. Lots of rubber bath toys. A beach ball and an inflatable spider. I hope I didnt' forget anything :)

Here's a picture of him with his 'surprise' (not prize) from the library.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What do these things have in common?

I was changing Brandon yesterday at the pool bathroom and there is an echo in there so he started having fun and screaming random words. This is what he screamed:

Daggone Cars!!! (that's what we call the Disney/Pixar Car movie)



goldfish crackers!!!!!!

It reminded me of that old gameshow where you'd have a word and the person kept naming things to describe the word so the other person could guess.

Oh and I also forgot another conversation we had:

Brandon: Mommy, I have girl friends
Me : Oh good, it's nice to have boy friends and girl friends
Brandon: Yeah, I'm not afraid of girls anymore.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Samantha's Birthday

Samantha had her party this weekend at a local petting farm. It was a beautiful day-a tad bit on the hot side but only in the sun. It could have been alot worse. I'm too tired to run upstairs and get the camera so I don't have any pictures to show. Maybe tomorrow night. Samantha did get a bicycle with training wheels and is doing really well. Her right foot was having some problems slipping out and she would end up pushing the pedals backwards and braking when she was trying to pedal forward. She was getting frustrated easily but ended up doing much better by the end of her first ride. Other than that, we went to the pool this weekend (very cold water!) This week we will be getting ready for school. School doesnt' start until the 25th but this week we have an open house/meet your teacher day. I also need to get all the last minute school supplies that we need. Oh and I never ordered a Care Bears backpack so I guess Brandon will have to use his ugly scary Incredible Hulk backpack. Sorry, nothing exciting going on lately.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One mom's review of Tropic Thunder

A very wise mother went to see the movie the other day and wrote her review. I think it was very well written. This will probably be my last Tropic Thunder post and then I'll go back to my usual postings.


It's a very well written review-please take the time to read it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

He said it better than I could have-Tropic Thunder

The following is from a Washington Post editorial by Timothy Shriver. I have put it here but the original can be found at

What 'Tropic Thunder' Thinks Is Funny*By Timothy ShriverMonday, August 11, 2008;

I've been told to keep my sense of humor about the film "Tropic Thunder,"which opens this week. Despite my requests, I have not been given the chanceto see the movie. But I've seen previews, read about it and read excerpts ofthe script. By all accounts, it is an unchecked assault on the humanity ofpeople with intellectual disabilities -- an affront to dignity, hope andrespect.Consider this exchange:Ben Stiller's character: "There were times when I was doing Jack when Iactually felt retarded. Like really retarded."Robert Downey Jr.'s character: "Oh yeah. Damn."Stiller: "In a weird way, I had to sort of just free myself up to believethat it was okay to be stupid or dumb."Downey: "To be a moron."Stiller: "Yeah."At another point, about acting like a person with intellectual disabilities,they say:Stiller: "It's what we do, right?"Downey: "Everybody knows you never do a full retard."Stiller: "What do you mean?"Downey: "Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, actretarded, not retarded. Count toothpicks to your cards. Autistic, sure. Notretarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe.Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pongcompetition. That ain't retarded. You went full retard, man. Never go fullretard."I worked with the Farrelly brothers on a film on this topic. I know aboutedgy comedy. I'm also told that movies are equal-opportunity offenders.So here's an equal-opportunity response to the equal-opportunity offenders:People with intellectual disabilities are routinely abused, neglected,insulted, institutionalized and even killed around the world. Their parentsare told to give up, that their children are worthless. Schools turn themaway. Doctors refuse to treat them. Employers won't hire them. None of thisis funny.For centuries, they have been the exception to the most basic spiritualprinciple: that we are each equal in spirit, capable of reflecting thegoodness of the divine, carriers of love. But not people with intellectualdisabilities. What's a word commonly applied to them? Hopeless.Let's consider where we are in 2008. Our politics are about overcomingdivision, our social movements are about ending intolerance, our greatphilanthropists promote ending poverty and disease among the world's poor.Are people with intellectual disabilities included in the mainstream ofthese movements? For the most part, no.Why? Because they're different. Their joy doesn't fit on magazine covers.Their spirituality doesn't come in self-help television. Their kind ofwealth doesn't command political attention. (The best of the spirit neverdoes.)Sadly, they're such an easy target that many people don't realize whom theyare making fun of when they use the word "retard." Most people just thinkit's funny. "Stupid, idiot, moron, retard." Ha, ha, ha.I know: I could be too sensitive. But I was taught that mean isn't funny.And I've been to institutions where people with intellectual disabilitiesare tied to beds or lie on concrete floors, forgotten. I've heard doctorssay they won't treat them. I know Gallup found that more than 60 percent ofAmericans don't want a person with an intellectual disability at theirchild's school.I've talked to people with intellectual disabilities who cry over beinginsulted on a bus. I've received too many e-mails from people who aredevastated not by their child's disability but by the terror of beinglaughed at, excluded and economically devastated.It wasn't funny when Hollywood humiliated African Americans for ageneration. It's never funny when good and decent human beings arehumiliated. In fact, it is dangerous and disgusting.This film is all that and more. DreamWorks went so far as to create amini-version of Simple Jack and posted it online. The studio has sincepulled it down, realizing it had gone too far, even in an age of edgy,R-rated comedies.So, enough. Stop the hurtful jokes. Talk to your children about languagethat is bullying and mean. Ask your friends, your educators, your religiousleaders to help us to end the stubborn myth that people with intellectualdisabilities are hopeless. Ask Hollywood to get on the right side ofdignity.I hope others will join me in shutting this movie out of our lives and ourpocketbooks. We don't live in times when labeling and humiliating others isfunny. And we should send that message far and wide.

*The writer is chairman of Special Olympics and a columnist forwashingtonpost. com's On Faith discussion site.*

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Remember my post about Emma!


The little girl having the very risky heart surgery. Well, amazingly she is home from the hospital. The surgeon said it was 'unexplainable' how her pulmonary pressures were so low. They were supposedly extremely high from the heart defect that should have been corrected at birth. The pressures were one of the reasons the one surgeon wouldn't operate and why she was not given a good prognosis by anyone. Before surgery the family was warned that she may need a trach or be in the hospital for 6 months IF she survived at all. She is home now! The surgery was a big success-thanks to all the prayers...I guess that's the only way to explain her unexplainably low pulmonary pressure.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Comment #2 and 3 and (31/2?)

Remember every time someone makes a comment regarding the # of kids I have, I'm documenting it on the blog and I'll see how many we can get up to.

2.) Today at Chick-Fil-A (surprise, I went to Chick-Fil-A!) the cashier asked if they were all mine. I said 'no, the oldest isn't mine but the other 4 are all mine' (I had Gerald's 8yr old niece with me). She said, 'you're a busy woman'

3-(3 1/2) Later on at the grocery store the checkout guy says.'you have your hands full'. Then like 3 minutes later he said the same thing!
Today Samantha told me to close my eyes. She took my hand and took me to the other room. She then said 'suprise'!!! And showed me this. She was so proud of it. She had tried to put all the supermen in the car but only their toes would fit.

So after getting dinner ready, I go into the living room and this is what I found. The salad is in a salad spinner. When I asked why the figurines were in there, Gerry said they were spinning-well, duh, what else would they be doing in there?

We went to a farm today to go berry picking. The kids loved picking blueberries. True to form, Gerry had only 5 blueberries in his bag when we were done. He ate the rest as he was picking. Gerry looooves blueberries. We have tons of blueberries now and I think I'm going to make blueberry delight tomorrow (yummy). We also got a huge box of peaches. I didn't mean to get so many but all the kids just kept adding peaches and before I knew it, the box was filled. Sorry no pics - I forgot to bring the camera.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Note to Ben Stiller

Hey Ben Stiller- You're a Simple Jack-Ass! Up yours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I said it.

Samantha's nails

The other day Samantha found some nail polish and did her own nails-and yes she did get some on the carpet but not as much as it could have been.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I was tagged by Shea

Well, I was tagged the other day. Apparently I have to list 6 "quirky yet boring and unspectacular things about myself." Then I have to choose 6 other people to 'tag'. I'll leave a note on their comments section to let them know they were tagged.

1. I have to eat junk food at night after all the kids are asleep. Usually chocolate chip cookies or Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

2. I drive a minivan and love it. Cliche as it is, I said I'd never drive one but when you have 4 kids, you're options are limited. DH has a big SUV and I hate getting the kids in and out of that thing.

3. I love to watch House Hunters.

4. I could eat spaghetti every day of the week.

5. I never wear make up. Just never got into the habit. I guess I'm too lazy.

6. I would love to learn how to surf.

I"m going to tag Gerald, Steph, Jen, Laura, Rebecca and Christina

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nothing in Particular

Abera is learning English so fast. And it's cute to hear his little accent-although that is getting less noticable lately. There are a couple of funny words that come out because of his accent.

The first is how he says 'ridiculous'. This is what he said to Gerald the other day, "Daddy, you so dikless" :)

He likes to eat 'slimy' (salami)

And speaking of speech problems. I cant' roll my r's and in Ethiopia they are rolled. Unfortunately I can't properly say Abera's name because of that. Abera thinks it's hilarious that I can't roll my r's and today we were playing around - I was trying to say his name with a rolled r (and failing miserably). And he was just cracking up. Finally, he got up and said, "mommy, I think you need new batteries" LOL

Today, Brandon fell asleep on the landing of our stairs (he usually doesn't nap so this was unusual). While he was sleeping he kept saying "oreo cookies, oreo cookies" I guess he was hungry.

We went out last night to dinner and a movie (Stepbrothers-wasnt' that impressed. Why does every comedy out there lately have to use the R word!!!-that wasn't the only reason I wasn't impressed. It just wasnt' that funny. There were some good parts but mostly really crude humor).

Pray for Emma

There is a family that needs your prayers. Little Emma was recently adopted from the Ukraine. She has Down syndrome and a heart defect that should have been repaired a long time ago. She was adopted by a wonderful family and Emma has changed so much since coming home. This is very high risk surgery - so high risk that one cardiac surgeon refused to do the surgery and said there was no hope. They have found another surgeon who will be operating on her heart this Monday. Please say lots of prayers for Emma and her family. She has come so far.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guess what we did today?

Spent most of the afternoon at the doctors. Last night Brandon started wheezing and coughing. Nothing horrible but it was still there this morning so we went to the pediatrician. He had one other 'reactive airway episode' last September. It was much worse then, probably 'cause I let it go longer before I took him in last time. This time wasn't half as bad. But since it was his second time we got to buy our own nebulizer so we won't have to go running to the docs everytime he gets a little wheezy (Last time we just rented one). Brandon loves the treatments and Gerry and Abera are very jealous-they want to try it too. I think that's why Brandon likes it so much because they are jealous (that and it helps him breath!).

Fun in the Sun

Sorry that came out sideways but isn't that enough to give you a heart attack! Sam has learned how to hold her breath under water and loves to just float like that. I have to watch her like a hawk now. It scares me to death but I'm glad she's getting comfortable in the water. Maybe next year we'll do swim classes. Just couldnt afford to send all 4 for lessons this year.

Monday, July 28, 2008

That girl drives me crazy!!!

You remember those backpacks we bought-brand new ones? Today we bought all the kids' school supplies and when I came home I got all the backpacks together to pack them up and I opened up Samantha's and the worst smell came out of it! She had taken a sippy cup full of chocolate milk and put it inside the bag. I've been looking for that cup for a few days now. The milk had spilled out everywhere. I may try to clean it out just to say I tried but at this point it looks like I have to buy her a new one. (Her bag from last year has a hole in it 'cause she likes to drag the backpack-that's why I was glad she picked out the one she did for this year that has wheels).

Oh and I bought a 6 pack of Coke and only came home with 5. I didn't even notice they werent all in the pack.

But on a good note, I finally found the Ethiopia collector Coke cans. Gerald gets to drink all except one that I hid. (No I'm not talking about the lost bottle of coke. I bought a 6 pack of bottled and a pack of canned cokes).


Oh forgot to add. I'm going to post whenever someone says something like "My you're very busy" or My you have your hands full.

#1 Today at the post office. The lady behind me in line says "Wow, you have quite a gang there. Bet they keep you busy.

Annoying People

First of all, sorry for no pictures lately. I don't have batteries for my camera. Don't worry I'm going to Target tomorrow and I'll pick us some then (surprise!!! I'm going to Target!)

So today we are at the library. It took forever to get everyone out of the house so it was really close to lunch by the time we got there. We were going to redeem our coupons from the summer reading program to get the last prize. It started off bad because the lady there said they weren't doing prizes for coupon #3-the names would be put in drawing for some gift certificates. I think they were running low on prizes and had to institute this little change. I was prepared for the worst- a major meltdown- because that was the only way I could get them out the door today, by saying over and over again "lets get going to the library so we can get our toys!" Miraculously, no meltdowns. I think they were in shock and it didnt' sink in right away that there were no prizes.

So today I actually wanted to get a book for myself so we had to go upstairs to the 'grown up' part of the library that is really, really quiet. I was sweating bullets as we headed up those stairs. My kids (especially Samantha and Abera) have no 'indoor voices'. I finally find the call number for my book and Brandon starts losing it and whining loudly about how his shoes hurts him. He starts saying he needs a bandaid. And wanted me to take the one off of his arm to put on his foot. So I stop and this librarian is just standing there staring at us. She finally asks if I needed a bandaid and I said no, he has an extra (cause the one from his arm was just for show-he didnt' really have a boo boo there-he just likes bandaids). She proceeds to tell me in a very snooty voice that the problem was he had to left shoes on. And the shoes dont' match. Well duh, lady. You think I didn't know that. (well actually that has happened before where I didnt' know but whatever...) I really wanted to just get my book and get downstairs to the kids part of the library. So I quickly said (which was true) , " I know they're the wrong shoes, he insisted he wear these before we left the house. I figured he would learn his lesson and let me pick out his shoes next time" I was polite about it, I promise. I swear above, she just stood there and stared at me with her mouth wide open. Oh come on, is it that horrible that the boy had 2 different shoes on and both the left feet. She didnt' say another word-just stared. I got my book and down the stairs we went.

Hold on Tight!

Today was a good day. I havent' really talked about this much on the blog but I had a really hard time adjusting after Abera came home. I had a nice case of Post Adoption Blues. I was crying at the drop of a hat. I was sure I ruined our family because all the kids ever did was fight. And Abera was still prone to 'meltdowns' if he was too overstimulated or tired. One thing in particular that made me so sad is that the kids couldnt' even listen to music in the car without it being a huge fight. They would disagree on what music to listen to and before I knew if Gerry and Abera were physically fighting in the back of the van. They were still in their car seats but could reach each other enought to actually pinch arms or scratch faces-I mean really scratch and bleeding. I would have to stop the car and break it up. We live like 30 seconds away from school and I used to love picking out a song and driving to school and singing away in the car. I love to sing kids songs in the car! I finally gave up music and started listening to talk radio

1.) as a punishment to the kids-if they couldnt' agree on music then no music
2.) I didnt' feel like singing anymore and that made me more sad :(

I remember thinking I'd never sing in the car again. (Gerald - if you're reading this, I know you're making a snide comment right now like "thank God, no more singing from her")

Well today we were driving and listening to the Backyardigans. "Hold on Tight" from the Viking episode (yes we watch a lot of TV and yes I'm a loser for knowing all that but I dont care!) All of sudden, I realized all 5 of us were singing along -happily-Actually screaming along, but that makes it more fun. Now, things have been better for a while (both depression-wise and fighting-wise) but this was a moment of great joy for me to realize how far we had all come.

We also have fun singing the Amharic version of "Old McDonald had a Farm". I don't have the words handy right now (they are out in my car). I'll have to write out the lyrics some time.

Big Butts

Today, Gerry and Abera come running down to the basement with their backpacks and start collecting toys and putting them in the packs. I asked them what they were doing and Gerry said, 'playing doctor'. OK I thought I guess I have to follow up on that one. So I asked what the toys have to do with doctors. Gerry said that needed the toys for the waiting room. They love the waiting room at the pediatricians office. So they fill the bags up and put them on their backs and Gerry starts laughing and says, 'it feels like I have a really big butt'!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Backpacks

Well, I really don't have anything exciting to write tonight but I'm going to stick by my every other day posting rule. Today we went to Target and got backpacks for school. I'm so ready for Fall. We would have gotten school supplies but the store didnt' have copies of all the class school supply lists and we didnt' bring our own. Samantha grabbed a pink one that has a handle and wheels so she can drag it. Gerry got a Spiderman one (surprise, he had Spiderman last year). Abera picked out Speed Racer. And Brandon, well he ended up with The Incredible Hulk. He really wanted Care Bears and we found some cute Care Bears online but when he was in the store he just had to pick out one there-he needed instant gratification. Gerald was happy 'cause he thought Care Bears are a little too girly. Well too bad, G, I'm going to get Brandon the one from online and we'll see which one he picks for the first day of school. None of my kids have ever had a security blanket or stuffed animal. But Brandon got a green Care Bear for his birthday and sleeps with it every night so I'm excited about that. The other day he said he didnt' want regular mac and cheese. He wanted Care Bear mac and cheese. LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are they triplets?

Well, yesterday I was asked that question. We were at a library storytime and they were all sitting around me on the floor. I had to laugh. I just said, 'no, they're all one year apart". The reply I got was, 'wow, you're busy'- If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that one!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Beach-warning this post gets gross

OMG-It's been almost a month since I posted last. Is anybody still out there. I know I give up checking out people's blog if they don't bost all the time - oh well. And I have no excuse now that I'm temporarily unemployed. We went to the beach last week (or the week before) -all the days seem to run together lately. The kids had fun. Poor Abera gets to see the beach for the first time and he ends up with a fever of 103. Luckily it was just a 24 hour thing and had no other symptoms. He did throw up on the drive up but I think it was nerves/motion sickness. I don't think he really knew what was going on. He knew we were going to the beach and had seen picturs of the beach and he knew everyone was excited but he seemed really mellow. At first I thought he was scared but in retrospect maybe it was the fever. Luckily he didnt' get sick in the car. We had stopped for a potty break and as soon as we got out he got sick all over the sidewalk. Kindof embarrassing but after living with Samantha for 6 yrs you get used to public vomiting..............which reminds me...fast forward a few days. We are at the beach, uptown on 96th street. We had just had pizza and were at Springers going to get ice cream (yeah Springers). Well, Samantha was really excited about the ice cream and you all know what Samantha does when she's really excited about food. Yup, she puked all over the sidewalk. Luckily I was inside getting the ice cream so Gerald had to deal with it. He made it to the side of the building besides Springers and The WaWa so at least it wasnt' right in front of the place. Oh and did you know that seagulls will eat chuncks of food that have come back up. Yes, those scavengers were happy to eat Sam's vomit. NASTY

The weather was great. It would have been perfect if B hadn't been sick still. It just wasnt' the same without Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle B and family. But the other cousins were there and Uncle J and M.

Enjoy the pics and from now on I am going to post every other day. Even if just a quick note without any pictures.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Drought in Ethiopia/You can help

It's not really being talked about in the media but there is a drought going on in Ethiopia right now. This combined with rising food prices is causing starvation in Ethiopia. It's getting worse everyday. Some of the hardest hit areas are in Southern Ethiopia, which is where Abera is from. We feel pretty helpless, and at this point have chosen to donate to Doctors Without Borders. We chose them because of their reputation and because they are working right now in the area where Abera is from. He is from the Tembaro district and they have set up emergency clinics there. I've posted a link to Doctors Without Borders. If I did it right, there should be a video and an article about the food shortage. On their website is information on how to donate. Also, keep Ethiopia in your prayers.


Monday, May 26, 2008

The Pool

Well, the neighborhood pool is open!!! Yesterday we went and all the kids were great! Gerald actually came (he hates the pool). The kids all had fun in the baby pool and Gerald finally took the boys over to the big pool. We tried to get Samantha over there but she insisted on going to the baby pool. She wasn't afraid of the big pool, she jumped right in when I was there to catch her. She just prefered to splash around in the baby pool. In the big pool Gerald got the boys to sit and wait on the steps while he took one of them on a ride across to the other side of the pool and back. Amazingly, they all sat there nice and quietly when it wasn't their turn (where are my real kids?)

One lady asked Gerald if the boys were triplets!!! LOL She also asked him how we got them so well behaved (really LOL now). Eventually, Gerald went home to get dinner ready (cook out) and I stayed with the kids in the baby pool. I was pretty nervous when it was time to leave because I didnt' want any meltdowns or defiance. There were a couple of initial "no's" when I told them it was time to leave but I explained to them that if they don't all listen then we can't come back to the pool (wasn't just a threat-there's no way I can drag all of them home kicking and screaming across the street). They seemed to understand and were content in knowing we would come back the next day. Thank goodness!!!!!

The only thing that ruined the day is that silly me forgot to put sunblock on my legs!!!! I got Gerald to put some on my back and I remembered my arms and face but completely forgot my legs :( OMG, I didnt' even know I was burnt until I got home. It's pretty bad-really bad! Reminds me of my childhood. At least it's just my thighs and not my back! BTW, even though Samantha had 4o spf on her she still got a beautiful tan. She can thank Daddy for that. Glad they don't have my pasty skin.

I'll try and remember to bring a camera today at the pool (for the kids, not my legs)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some of the dumb things my kids fight about

Gerry:"My head is bigger than yours"
Abera:" No, my bigger"

Abera "Brandon, you a machina (meaning car)
Brandon (crying hysterically) "I'm not a machina- You're grumpy!"

We ran into one of Gerry's old preschool teachers at school. As we drove home the fight went as follows:
Brandon "Miss D is my teacher"
Gerry "No, she was my teacher:
Brandon (once again crying and screaming) NOOO she's my teacher!!! (maybe next year she will be his teacher-God help her.)

Samantha "Abera's a poopy, baby, diaper head"
Abera "You grumpy"
Samantha "You grumpy poopy baby diaper head"

The good news is that most of these fights stay verbal fights. Just a few weeks ago, silly argument like these would have ended in a WWF-style cage match- especially between Abera and Gerry. They seem to be getting used to each other and dont' have to resort to physical fighting to solve all there problems. I hope I don't jinx myself-today was a really good day.

Also, here's how it went putting Samantha to bed tonight.

Walking out of her bedroom the first time: " Mommy, I have to pee"

2nd time out: " Mommy, I have to go poopies" (she didnt really have to go)

3rd time out: "Mommy, I throw up (she pretended to but didn't really have to- she gets sick alot and for a while, we would let her stay in our bed after she got sick. Now she thinks if she throws up, she'll get to stay in our bed

4th time out: "Mommy, I love you"

5th time out: "Mommy, I need more water" after I gave her more she said "Aww mommy, you so nice to me, thank you so much"

6th time out: "Mommy, I go to sleep now-see you later"

And she did go to sleep-Thank God!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just some random pics

Just a boring day around the house. The kids always have fun posing for the camera. Don't ask about Brandon and the puzzle pieces. I'll have to make sure I find a pic of Brandon actually smiling next time-if that's possible. Can't you tell Abera is pretending to be asleep! Don't you love the smiling ninja Gerry and the smiling pirate Samantha (when she really smiles hard, she closes that left eye-dont' ask me why.).

Friday, April 25, 2008

A new mommy in the house

We had a good day today. It started off rough. There was no school today so all the kids were home. By 10am Gerry and Abera were fighting and after I got that under control, Gerry decided he wanted popsicles. I told him at least 20 times to get out of the fridge and physically had to take him out of the kitchen several times. We tried time out but he still kept trying to get in the freezer. After giving him several warnings, it was time to get serious. All the popsicles when down the kitchen sink. It was extremely traumatic for Gerry to see all those yummy popsicles go to waste but I think he got the point that I was serious. I'm usually not that strict but it was getting out of hand. At that point it was time to get out of the house or I was going to go crazy. After a good long cry up in his bed, Gerry recovered well and we all actually had a good time at the playground. Abera didn't have any meltdowns (we had a bad one the other day at the playground).

But the afternoon was the best. We got back from the playground and then played some more outside at home. When we got inside we actually did NOT turn on the TV. I was playing dolls with Samantha in her room and I decided to see why it was so quiet. I went out in the hallway and Abera said, "shh-babies sleeping. I mommy, you daddy". I looked down and Gerry was pretending to be asleep in his sleeping bag. Brandon was pretending to sleep in his bed. Abera then picked up a toy and tucked it under Gerry's blanket. He then pulled back the blanket and showed me like 10 other toys tucked in with Gerry as well.(Abera likes to go to sleep with a toy, so I assume he was showing me what a good mom he was by supplying all those toys for his "baby"). The best part is that Abera then bent down and kissed Gerry and Brandon on the forehead while they were "sleeping". I then went to kiss Brandon too and bumped my head on the top bunk. I asked Abera if he would kiss my boo boo and he happily kissed my forehead and started laughing. That just melted my heart.

The rest of the afternoon went really well with only one other fight between Gerry and Abera.
We'll see want tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If anyone's still reading

It's midnight now and I can't go to sleep. Because the house is so chaotic during the day, I'm forced to actually do my work at night instead of finishing it up at the last minute on Wed morning. There is just no way I can be on the computer for 2 hours in the morning. For one, the boys will destroy the house. I'll also be having to stop every five minutes to break up a fight and then I'll feel really guilty that I'm not paying attention to them.

Besides the chaos and fighting (actual fist fights and scratching going on) things are going well. Abera is learning English very quickly. Although I have to admit that we watch waayyy too much TV. Even if they are not really watching, it's usually on anyway. This morning Abera was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for breakfast and he started saying, "Little Bear is coming up next" like a TV announcer. He also goes around the house saying "We did it, we did it, we did it , hooray!" Today, I was on the floor playing Trouble with Gerry and Abera came out of no where and plopped down on my lap and let me hold him like a baby...it was sooo cute. He had a big smile on his face!

Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful, so we will be going to the playground. Hopefully everyone will play nice.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finally an update!

This was an Easter sunrise that we saw as we were driving to Hosanna

Mr. Abera with his cool sunglasses. He kept trying to wear my glasses so I bought him some sunglasses from a street vendor-it was worth every Birr

A traditional straw and mud hut called a tukul

chillin' on the couch (Samantha was at school when I took this-sorry Sam)

Well all the kids are asleep and I'm still awake. I think the jetlag has finally worn off. We got home Friday morning and until last night I couldn't stay awake past 7pm. And there is no way I've been able to post anything significant during the day. I'm not sure where to start. Ethiopia is a wonderful country. I can actually say right now that I miss it. The countryside is beautiful. The people are so friendly. I was part of a wonderful travel group. I traveled alone but never felt lonely (except the first night I arrived when I lost it emotionally). Everyone in my travel group was so helpful to me- I could not have done it without them. Especially in the airport (Abera is a runner and he was testing me big time in the airport-try lugging two pieces of luggage and having your passports handy while trying to keep a "spirited" 4yr old with you-a 4yr old who doesn't speak English!) It was an emotional trip-Ethiopia is so culturally rich but still so poor-it was hard to deal with such a culture shock. I really miss playing at the care center with all the kiddies.

I don't miss the plane ride. It actually went relatively well as Abera slept most of the time-but, man, a 17 hour planeride is a killer. It was great flying Ethiopian airlines though because the staff was very helpful with translating for me and Abera when necessary. The other passengers were so helpful too. Ethiopians love children and by the end of the flight, most of the airplane knew Abera's name and were best buddies with him.

It's been a hard week. It's not easy bringing a scared 4yr old into a family. Brandon has not helped. For those who know Brandon well - this is not a surprise. He is not friendly to other kids (he's gotten into fights with kids at church) and hates to share and can get very spazzy when he's upset. He has come a long way though but Abera brings out the worst in him. There has been a lot of fighting in this house. (including hitting, pinching, and kicking). For the most part Gerry is great with Abera-Gerry thinks Abera is the best kid in the whole world which is not a surprise if you know Gerry. He's the complete opposite of Brandon. Gerry thinks everyone is his best friend and loves to please. But they've had a few brawls too. Samantha and Abera pretty much leave each other alone-although they had a breakthrough tonight. Abera loves "Little Bear" (Samantha's favorite show). Tonight they were sitting together laughing hysterically while watching that show.

Abera is not afraid of Jake and will yell ,"Mommy, mommy" to get my attention and then lean over and give Jake a big hug. Poor Stinky is no longer with us. We ended up returning him to his previous owner. Which really is a good thing because originally we were only keeping him temporarily until the previous owner got her housing situation worked out. It's for the best because I don't know how I would have dealt with Stinky this week.

Abera was mostly very happy and excited in Ethiopia and even gave me spontaneous hugs and one kiss while there. Once we got home though, he was different. For one he totally loves Gerald and has wanted mostly his attention at first. He also got very sad the first few days (for obvious reasons-lack of communication-moving to a strange country in a strange house with complete strangers). He would flinch away if I tried to hug him or rub his back etc... But today he really seemed to open up. He was much more smiley and was singing his happy song (a cute little Ethiopian song he sang all the time in Ehtiopia). I was sad he wouldn't sing it once we got home but tonight he was singing it as he went to bed and he kept smiling at me as he sang. He actually asked me to pick him up today a few times and let me rub his back while he was going to sleep. I'd call that progress. He loves spaghetti and beef noodle soup so no complaints there!

Now I'm getting tired. Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Leaving Tomorrow

Well, the big day is almost here. I had been hoping to use the blog while in Ethiopia but since I'm not bringing a laptop and because blogspot is blocked in Ethiopia, I will only be able to email people while I'm there (with the computer provided by our agency's guesthouse). I hope to post lots a pictures when I get back. I'll be home March 28th. Please pray for a safe journey-please :) I will leave the US on Wed evening and it will be Thursday evening when I land in Ethiopia. So Friday I will see my son for the first time----eeeeeeeeeehhhh it's so exciting.

And if you're reading this Dad-I will make sure to stretch my legs and get up and walk frequently on the plane.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Brandon!!!!

3 yrs old!!!

Gerry and cousin M already using Brandon's gifts
Don't look so excited M

Doesn't he look cool? It was a Power Rangers/Transformer party

He got cake and ice cream all over his shirt

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Travel date, travel date, travel date!!!!!

Well we finally found out today that we will be traveling on March 20th. I made the mistake of befriending other people who cleared court on the same date as us and they all found out earlier today that they were going on the 20th. So of course I was a mess today, wondering why they found out and not me. After several phone calls to my rep (not my usual style) I finally got the confirmed travel date. I'm in the process of buying my airline tickets now. I'm sad that I won't be home for Easter but Abera's worth it. It will be a wonderful Easter in Ethiopia. Interestingly enough, Ethiopia is on a different calendar as us so it actually won't be Easter in ET- I think it's in April this year - I think.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Birth certificate!!!

We got Abera's birth certificate today. That comes with a new picture of Abera and, man, he looks even bigger now. I don't know what they feed him over in the care center! Tomorrow we will find out what our travel date is. I was told there was still a chance we could travel as early as March 20! We won't know for sure until tomorrow - if not the 20th then March 27th. I will surely post tomorrow when I find out the date. I can't believe tomorrow I will be buying airline tickets to fly to Ethiopia-I've never been out of the country before! I am sooooo excited. There's still so much to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Introducing Abera

Sorry this took so long. This is our beautiful new son!!!
We've been trying to keep ourselves busy while we're waiting for a travel date. I started making lists. I bought some clothes and jammies for Abera and a little backpack for him to take on the plane ride home. I bought some great Ethiopian books from www.ethiopiareads.org and a CD of Ethiopian children's music. We have a bed but not a mattress -that's our mission for tomorrow. We put his carseat in the van (it was a great excuse to clean that thing out). Gerry is officially moved to the 3rd row with Samantha (they were holding hands the other day in the car). Right now Brandon is all alone in the 2nd row. He was upset at first because he wanted to sit in Abera's carseat but I told him he was too small for that seat (kind of a white lie)-eventually he gave up. I still need to buy some stuff to keep him busy on the plane (playdough, coloring books)-I'd love any other suggestions. It's a looong plane ride.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We made it through court yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yippeeeeeeeee!!!!!! We found out today that the court case went well. Abera is legally our son. I will try and post a picture soon. But I don't have the time for that right now (it takes me a long time-I'm really no good with technology :)

We have to still wait around 6 weeks until I actually travel to Ethiopia to bring him home. We have to wait 2-3 weeks for a copy of the birth certificate and then our agency will give us a 3 week notice for a travel date.

I need to start making lots of lists and do lots of shopping :) We did get his carseat delivered today. Now he has a bed and a carseat and a toothbrush that Gerry picked out for him. Still have lots to do.

:) :) :) :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Samantha's Wedding

Had to write this one down before I forgot it. Sam and I were reading a book and in the book there was a picture of a bear in a wedding dress (the book was Goldilocks and the Three Bears). Sam knows that ladies dressed up in white dresses with a white veil are "marrried". When she sees a wedding picture she says "married!!!". So she said," me married. I wear dress and knock knock shoes" (that's what she calls fancy shoes that clip clop when you walk). So I told her that after you get married you have a big party with lots of food and music and dancing and a big, big cake. She covered her mouth and said, OOOOOOOH! all excitedly. She also said, "toys and dollies too" so I guess her dream wedding reception would have toys and dollies-huh. I then told her she had to pick a man to marry. She quickly said, "Gerry". I told her she couldn't marry her brothers, it's just no allowed. I said you have to marry a friend. I was waiting for her to pick a boy from her class, but she quickly responded, "Spiderman!" Daddy would be proud. So there you have it folks-get ready for Sam's dream wedding:knock knock shoes, dancing, a big cake, toys, dolls and a Spiderman groom. Gotta love that girl!

Don't forget to read my last post before this one!

Pray for us-tomorrow is the big day!

Well tomorrow, Abera's case is being heard in the Ethiopian courts. If everything goes well he will be legally ours at that point and in a few more weeks I can go to bring him home. Hopefully the case won't be postponed (as can happen sometimes) and hopefully there won't be any surprises (except maybe a same-day birth certificate- a girl can dream). Usually the birth certificates take a few weeks after the court date to be issued and we can't get a travel date until the birth certificate is issued. Unfortunately, we know we won't be notified tomorrow of the results. We were told we would be contacted a few days after the court date to be notified of the results. I'll be sure to post as soon as we know the outcome..........so exciting!!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yippeee-We have an update!

Today we received an update on our little boy. We have a new picture and updated weight and height. He looks bigger already. I can't wait to meet him in person and hug him and kiss him. It was very nice to get the update today because the wait is just driving me crazy. Now that I have an updated weight and height I can be pretty confident in what size clothes to bring for him. I'm so excited the court date is THIS monday!!!!! Hopefully all with go well, with no delays. Guess I'll go now and start doing my work. It's 11pm and I haven't started yet.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cabin Fever

I hate Winter. I can't wait to get outside and go to the playground. But until then, we're trying to keep busy in the house. Samantha had a tea party. Please join strange-looking Snow White, no-hand naked girl, and Miss Dinosaur for an afternoon of tea and music. Please, per your host Samantha, "NO BOYS - GIRLS ONLY!!!". Unfortunately, right after this picture was taken, the tea party was raided by 2 evil Power Rangers. It wasn't a pretty sight.
Can't wait to show this pic to his prom date. He is so cool.
These pictures were from our game of hide and seek
You always know where Sam is hiding because she giggles the whole time