"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Monday, March 31, 2008

Eureka! He's Found It

Thanks to good ol' Dr. Anderson we now know why Zoe had such a horrid night sleep last night - she has a really bad ear infection in her right ear. Poor thing! Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in quickly and we will all sleep better soon! Just to make her day even "better" she had to get two shots and three vials of blood drawn. She will quickly learn to hate the doctor's office if they keep tormenting her like this! Marcus got four shots at the doctor today. Although he cried when he got them, he was pretty proud of the fact that he got four and Zoe only got two.

Well, since the sleep last night was lousy, I better get in bed now!

So, How Did You Sleep?

Most nights have gone very well around here, but last night was an exception. For some yet unknown reason, Zoe woke up about every five or ten minutes between 12:00 and 5:30 (when we bought her into our bed) crying. Not hysterical crying, just crying. I'm not sure if she is sick (she does have a runny nose), is teething (she's getting her molars) or is just grieving in a 1 year old fashion. Anyway, they both have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so we'll see if the dr. discovers the cause.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nina's Made Her List

Well, Nina has finally made her list (after I tagged her) go to her blogand check it out!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Let's Play Pick-A-Pile

I was out on a friend's blog the other day and she had a post called Pick-A-Pile. Here's how it's done. You take a picture of a pile of stuff in your house and post it on your blog. Then, when you have cleaned up that surface, you take an after picture to show how nice it looks. Now, on this friends post she picked a pile that had, like, five items in it. That is NOT a pile (as you will soon see). I know a pile when I see one, and I see one about everywhere I turn around here :)

It would be nice to blame all my piles on my eight kids or my husband, for that matter, but I had piles long before any of them came into my life, as my sisters and mother can attest to. This is going to be a humbling game for me - letting the whole world see my piles, but hopefully some of them will soon be gone.

The first pile we will tackle is Chris' dresser. I told Chris that I would let you all know that 90% of the stuff on his dresser is NOT his. It is just a convenient (large) flat space that is not seen by everyone that walks in our door. Okay, here it is...
Check back later today (hopefully) to see the after picture.

OOOh, bonus! You can see another pile in the reflection in the mirror (on the nightstand). Now I have to clean up two piles!

Okay, here it is, the finished product.....drum roll please....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Events of the Day

We had our first post-placement visit with our social worker today. It went well and the kids all behaved well (you want to look good for the social worker :) ). She needs to visit once more at about six months and we need to do oodles of paperwork and finalize the adoption in court and then we are done. I lack the motivation to do the paperwork, but I know it needs ot get done. It was so much easier to do the paperwork early in the adoption process when we knew it would get us our kids sooner. Now that they are here, I am not nearly as motivated to fill out a gazillion pieces of paper (twice since we have two kids).

Tonight was family night (every Friday night) and we played charades. I think Marcus thought we were a bunch of loonies (which isn't far off), but we did get him to act out 'horse', 'snake' and 'sew'. The sew one was hard as I don't think he has any idea what that word means. After charades we had kettle corn and some leftover cheese balls (leftover from New Year's Eve - GROSS!). I should have taken pictures of the charades; particularly Molly acting like 'water.'

Emily is sick today. We have had at least one child sick for about a week now and on most days two or three have been sick - nothing serious, just normal winter crud. Anyway, even though she isn't feeling well, Emily still takes a great picture!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

That's Good, That's Bad

We found out today that Zoe and Marcus are cured of their giardia - that's good.
Three of the other kids may have contracted giardia - that's bad!

Last week we received Marcus's immigration papers - that's good.
Today we received a letter from USCIS saying that they are missing Zoe's "biometrics" and so they can't process her immigration papers - that's not only bad, it doesn't make any sense since we gave them the same stuff for her as for Marcus!!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What SHOULD I Be Doing

Here are the 5 things I SHOULD be doing instead of blogging and checking my e-mail
1) Preparing a lesson for the science class I teach at co-op tomorrow.
2) Filling out adoption paperwork. Yes, there is more paperwork even after the kids get here.
3) Cleaning off my kitchen counters. I know I have counters under all that stuff...
4) Taking a nap. That would be productive because I will be up late preparing for co-op.
5) Folding laundry.

Okay, now I feel guilty, so I think I will go ..... eat some chocolate. You thought I was going to say " get to work on those things," didn't you????

Nothing to Say

So, what do you blog about when nothing is happening around here??? Oh, yeah, you just post a picture :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grandma's Quilts

Zoe & Marcus got their quilts from Grandma yesterday. Marcus absolutely LOVES his quilt and he takes VERY good care of it; folding it up very neatly whenever he is done with it. Since he was enjoying his quilt this morning, several of the other kids got out their Grandma quilts. Here are a few pictures of my beautiful kids with their beautiful quilts.

Family Photo

Easter and Thanksgiving are our family photo ops. They are two of the few days when we are all dressed up!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Maggie's List

Hey, thanks, Molly, for motivating all these people to complete their lists for me :) Dad - I'm STILL waiting for yours!!! And what about the rest of you I tagged??? Anyway, here is the list for my wonderful, just turned 14 year old niece, Maggie.

1) I worry. A LOT about pointless things. However I don't normally tell people because I don't want to worry THEM.

2) When I grow up I want to be either an author, a chef/baker, or a fashion designer

3) I would love to be a singer but I won't be for obvious reasons

4) I LOVE SHOPPING!! love it love it love it

5) I love big cities but I also love small towns

6) I'm a book worm. 'nuff said

7) I love making up magical worlds (See why I want to be an author)

8) I have an issue with obsessions...*blush*

9) I am very diverse when it comes to music, I love everything from rock to classical. The only music I can't stand is rap, and metal.

10) I am a hopeless romantic. (emphasis on the HOPELESS) I love cheesy romance movies, novels, stuff like that...

And here is a pic of Maggie with her cousins, who love her dearly!

My Amazing Mom's List

Spurred on by Molly's list, my mom has completed her list. She doesn't have her own blog, so I will post her list here. When you are done reading it you will understand why she is my AMAZING mom.

Hi Barb, I finally have a list of 10 that most people may not know about me. You probably know them all.
1. When I was a teenager I went to stock car races with a friend whose brother raced.
2. I dreamt of going to Texas on a motorcycle (at first it was a horse until I figured that would take too long).
3. I got a D in PhyEd in college. My advisor thought I had skipped all of the classes (which I had not)because she could not think of any other reason a person would get a D in PhyEd.
4. I see images of animals and other things in ceramic tiles.
5. I like raw oysters and eat them often when in Alabama.
6. Same goes for boiled crawfish.
7. We still give our grown kids Easter Baskets with lots of candy. And we hide them.
8. I planned to run the Twin City Marathon when I was 50. But during training I developed a severe case of shin splints and had to cancel my plans. My longest run was 11 miles.
9. I received a PhD in Educational Administration when I was 50. That was a good year.
10. Although I take canoe trips in the Boundary Waters, I still do not know how to swim (and I do not wear a life jacket while in the canoe unless the water is very rough).

What my mom didn't tell you about her Boundary Waters trips is that she still carries the canoe over very long portages at 71 years old!!! And here is the picture to prove it! I told you she was AMAZING, didn't I?

Oh, and I should add that she has the IQ of a genius and she majored in math AND physics in college and ....I could go on and on...

Molly's List

Well, Molly has made her list of ten interesting facts about herself. Visit Molly's blog and check it out.

To the rest of you I tagged.....where are your lists???????

Check Out This Article

I thought I would post the link to an article in the Waseca paper about my friend Tina and her family. Click here to read it. They're awesome!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Strange, But True

Okay, here's the deal. When I need to change Zoe's diaper or get her dressed or put lotion on her or comb her hair or....you get the idea....she pitches quite the little screaming fit. You would think I was torturing her or something. She doesn't do this for Chris at all. Hmmmm. The really weird part is I can tell her, "no fuss," or "hush," a thousand times and get no response, but when Chris or EVAN even walk in to the room her little tizzy fit stops - immediately! She is as happy as can be. They leave the room and the fit resumes right where it left off. They walk in - it stops - and so on and so on. If I am combing her hair and she is crying, Chris says, "No fuss, Zoe," and presto, no fussing is heard!!!!!

So, I sit an analyze this...did she have a good OR bad experience with a male or female???? Could go either way on that one. Maybe she loved her nannies so much and she knows I am NOT one of them so she is punishing me or maybe she hated her nannies and I am female like them so she is punishing me. Okay, the latter is so not true, she adored her nannies! Who knows? Chris thinks its a hoot. I am not quite as amused for obvious reasons

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Here We Are At The Zoo

I ventured out to the zoo today with all eight kids. We had a great time and Zoe & Marcus did great - even the wolves didn't scare them (too much).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Winter Wonderland

It's a good thing snow in March is so beautiful; otherwise it would be a real drag.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me

Okay, Since my dear friend, Tina, tagged me a few days ago, I need to list ten facts or oddities about myself.

Here we go....

1) I almost joined the Marines when I graduated from high school. The only thing that stopped me was when we (the US) sent Marines into Granada at that same time. It occurred to me that I may actually get killed if I joined the Marines - ah, duh???

2) I don't spend money very easily. I call it thrifty, some call it a tightwad. Chris has to kick me out the door to go buy clothes for myself. I NEVER pay full price for clothes - EVER!

3) I have clothes from 1987 that I still wear.

4) I have old clothes of Tina's that she gave me in college and I still love to wear. This is particularly strange since Tina is about six inches shorter than me and many pound lighter. My dad refers to her as "Little Tina."

5) I secretly wish I was a ballerina or a figure skater, but I have the flexibility of an oak tree.

6) I got an F in my Fluid Dynamics class in college. When I retook the class I got an A, so on my transcript it says "A"

7) I know how to twirl a baton and I still go out in the yard and do it on occasion. Okay, that's really embarrassing!

8) My husband says I have obsessive compulsive "hoarding" habits (I think he's exaggerating!). Just because I have about 40 bread bags in my cupboard - you never know when you might need one of those things...

9) Before we left for Ethiopia, I was doing about 150 sit-ups four times a week. Since we have come home I have done a grand total of ZERO sit-ups.

10) I never babysat when I was a teenager - not once. I did de-tassel corn one summer and I delivered newspaper flyers for some little company and I worked and McDonald's for four years. At one point in college I had three jobs at one time and worked during my Psychology 1001 course. I only showed up to the class on test days.

Okay, now I get to tag people, but most of my friends and family don't have their own blogs. If you don't blog you can post your list in my comments or email me and I will post them here.

I tag my dear hubby, Evan, Nina, Molly, Kim F., Jean S., Mom, Dad, Maggie, Deb, Jim & Kathy. I know that's more than ten, but half of these people won't even do this :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How'd You Spend Your Saturday?

Wow, my Saturday is gone already! It's one of those weekends when you feel like you didn't even get a weekend. I spent a majority of my Saturday driving a group of bagpipers around St. Paul :) This is what happens when your son is taking bagpipe lessons. Since St. Patrick's Day is on Monday, St. Paul decided to celebrate on Saturday so as not to interrupt Holy Week. I didn't see too much of the festivities since my job was to be at the end of the parade to pick up the pipers and take them to their next gig. Aside from the parade, all the other gigs of the day were in bars and pubs. Evan got the dubious distinction of being the guy who holds open the pub door so the pipers can enter while playing. It was an eye opening experience for him.

My dear hubby managed the household just fine in my absence and here are the pictures to prove it....

Okay,maybe not, my pictures aren't uploading and Zoe is getting tired of blogging.....I'll try to post them later.

Here they are.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My dear friend, Tina, has tagged me. For those of you who don't know what that means, I am supposed to list ten facts, habits or just plain odd things about myself. I am then supposed to chose ten people to 'tag' and they do the same. I will have to think on this for a few days, not because I am not odd, but because I have to figure out which odd things or facts I should share. Since I am having a shortage of thinking time around here this may take a few days.

In the meantime, those of you close to me, beware, as I may tag you next!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

News Flash!!

The mysterious word that Marcus utters over and over when he is told to do something he doesn't want to do does NOT mean, "Stick it in your ear, Pinky!" It has come to our attention that what he is really saying is, "I don't want to!" Now that makes sense, doesn't it? A special thanks to Steve Brown for translating for us. It's nice to have friends who speak Amharic!

For those of you curious sorts, the word sounds something like "em-bee." Now we all know!! On a related note, Marcus's new favorite English word is "NO!" He has gotten really good at that one. Why is it that all kids learn that word first? Wouldn't it be better if they learned, "Sure, Mom, whatever you say!" or "Your wish is my command, oh wonderful mother!" A mom can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just a Picture

Just a picture today. I'm going to bed. Several children had a hard time sleeping last night which means that dad (and eventually mom) also had a rough night sleep. Chris is in bed already and I will now follow.

This picture was taken at Christmas time and includes my entire family. Aren't we a good looking bunch?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day One Down

Okay, everyone (except Chris and Evan) are tucked in bed and asleep (or at least quiet). We made it through the first day and my friend Tina, with 14 kids, has assured me that the days will get easier, so I think I will make it through the week. Okay, if you want to read about Tina and her 14 kids, go to my link section in the right hand column and click on the Frye's Blog. You won't be disappointed - they're amazing and wonderful people! ( I love you, Tina!)

Now for some pics from our day....

I'm Still Alive

Well, I thought I would give a half-time report from our house. We have all survived the morning/early afternoon and have accomplished the following
-everyone is alive
- everyone was offered a (semi) well rounded lunch - and 5 of the 8 actually ate it
- two loads of laundry have been completed
- Everyone completed their school work
- The dishes for breakfast ad lunch are completely done (thanks to my kids)
- All kids are "enjoying" their mandatory hour of "room time" or nap time for the little ones
- I am enjoying a cup of tea

So, despite some rocky moments and a few tears (mine and the kids) we are fairing fairly well. The rest of the day should be smooth sailing!

Oh, I forgot to add that we have also completed the collection of all specimens required by the doctor's office (if you get me drift) and boy am I glad to be done with that!!

All By Myself

Well, Chris is back to work today, so this will be my first full day all by myself with all the kids :) Pray for me! Actually, I have high hopes for everything to go smoothly. I will report back later to let you know if my hopes have been fulfilled.

Here's what I'm focusing on today -
"But He (God) said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I find this mighty encouraging because I am very weak :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Do Have Other Kids

Feeling like my other kids are not getting their fair share of blog space :( So, here are a few pictures of some of the other faces around our house.

Okay, 14 year old boys don't like their little sisters taking pictures of them, so instead of seeing Evan's face you can see the back of his hoodie.

Dogs and Kids

And to think that we were worried about our kids being afraid of the dog...

So What Do Hamsters Eat?

So, before we left for Ethiopia, we "lost" our dear hamster, Blackberry. We thought he was eaten by a very voracious dog we were dog-sitting. We set the trap to catch Blackberry, in hopes that we were wrong, for three nights. In the past when he has escaped (his nickname is Houdini) he has always appeared in the trap the next morning, but this time he did not reappear. We left for Ethiopia assuming that the said dog had consumed Blackberry in one bite and therefore left no evidence of the crime (blood or fur).

Zoom ahead two and a half weeks - Aidan comes up from his room around 6:30 one morning and says, "I think I saw Blackberry walk across the floor." Dad says, "Okay dear, go back to bed." FIfteen minutes later, Aidan reappears and claims he's seen the missing hamster again. That evening we set the trap and go off to church. When we arrive home from church, who should be in the trap, but Blackberry, looking no worse for the wear. Which leads me to the question in the title, "what do hamsters eat when their supply of seeds is out of reach?" I would love to know what he has been chewing on in our basement and even more perplexing, what has he been drinking for 2 1/2 weeks?

I guess now we will call him Lazarus as well as Blackberry and Houdini.

News Flash!!!!

Blackberry (the hamster that was thought to be eaten by a visiting dog) is BACK! Hard to believe - stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Words For Marcus

As you can imagine, every day brings new language development with Marcus. He is really a sponge when it comes to learning new things. Anyway, the whole language barrier thing is quite an issue at time. He will talk and talk and talk to us in Amharic and we just smile and say to each other, "so, what do you think he just said?" It has worked well for us at times because I think he's told us off a few times, but since we don't know what he's saying we just smile and tell him we love him :) Chris thinks he's saying, "Stick it in your ear, pinky!" Probably not, but it keeps us laughing.

He did tell Chris and one of the other kids that he loved them this morning (in Amharic - we do understand a few words) that was a huge blessing! He also gives lots of hugs and kisses. He really is a very sweet kid.

Anyway, I thought I would share his progress in the English language. Here are the words he will spontaneously say: horse, E-I-E-I-O, B-I-N-G-O, thank you and something about pinky (just kidding). As you can see, nothing really conducive to meaningful conversation, but at least we're coming along...

As long as we're talking about language development, here's what we know how to say in Amharic: stop, don't touch, I love you (to a boy or girl), truck/car (this one is VERY important to Marcus), good boy, be brave, come, thank you, and "who are you calling pinky."

okay, this strange post has been brought to you by my dear husband, Chris. Keep him away from the computer at all costs....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hallelujah The Laundry's Done

Okay, so that may not seem like a big deal to you, but I have been doing laundry, more or less nonstop, since we arrived home on Friday night! After load upon load, my laundry basket is empty (okay, it was empty until everyone got ready for bed). Just one more way that life is returning to normal (as normal as it gets around here, which would seem rather bizarre to most people).

We are very, very thankful for so many things in the past few days. It is amazing the difference a couple days makes in the adjustment of these two new kids. They learn things so quickly and they really are just wonderful children. Our concerns over them being terrified of our dog never materialized. They are both relatively comfortable with Snickers - no freaking out and climbing Mom & Dad like beanpoles :) Zoe actually likes the dog and tries to pet her - just no where near her head - although Snickers did lick Zoe in the face today and that didn't even produce the least bit of hysteria.

We had our first trip out as a family tonight as we went to the library. It was a success; without any meltdowns or other side effects. Zoe & Marcus both submitted to seat-belts and car seats without the least bit of fussing or fighting. The only issue that arose was that both Marcus and Raelea wanted to push Zoe's stroller. They are both learning how to share!

Well since I know you all want pictures, I will try to post a few.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We're Back

Just a quick post to let you all know that we are safely back in MN and very happy to have our whole family under one roof. We are tired from the long trip and the mounds of laundry seem endless at the moment. Marcus and Zoe are adjusting very well and the many meltdowns during the plane ride seem very long ago and far away (thank heavens). One tip - I don't recommend traveling for 22 hours with a 1 1/2 yo and a 4 yo :)

Okay, I will post more some other time, but I thought I should give you all a pic or two of the kids...