Monday, July 30, 2007


We're here, but it's been hard to focus on much.

Rachael the Seattle ho and her shining hubby Tim came for the weekend.

We realized we are almost too smart to figure out the rules for Cranium. The questions, we get. The moving and drawing of cards and such? Hilarious mutiny, repeated reading of the one page of directions.

Also, J was not pleased that I ripped up a stupid card. He's funny about stuff like that, I think because he and his sister were on combat rules through childhood. So then I bent the corner of another to see what might happen. "Stop that! It's an expensive game- we bought it at Starbucks!"


I guess little sisters never change.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hoping it won't take 40 weeks...

M- Sighhhh.
J- What are you thinking?
M- What if we get her?
What if we don't get her?
J- Yeah.

Tonight I was totally blubbering watching Hotel Rwanda. I know it's an emotionally challenging movie (and an excellent one, at that) but it still felt out of character. My slow morph into my own violence-intolerant mother is taking over my mind, yes, but still, I am not a weepy woman. I distinctly remember giving J crap for tearing up at a movie when we were dating. I regularly laugh out loud when Toby pulls out his yelling-late-afternoon-bored cry after being bumped on the head with a feather or somesuch.

This whole picture-show motivated loss of emotional control tells me I can bet the next few months might be in crystal-intense focus for me. You know how photographers use a soft filter to make life look nicer? There won't be any of that.

People cheezily refer to the adoption process as a paper pregnancy. That kind of word goofery generally annoys me, but I have to say the weepy moodiness aspect is similar for the first day anyway.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dig n' Read

How ironic is it that as my 500th post approaches I'm getting anxiety about coming up with something cool? 497th time's the charm?

I've been painting our kitchen in Behr's Bon Voyage (it's a little bluer than in the pic), which happily matches the colors of a vintage globe I found at the Goodwill Dig 'n Save the other day.

The Dig 'n Save is a distillation of consumerism, a universe of materialism complete unto itself. Life, death, and boxes of junk. Goodwill occasionally takes an entire shipping container and delivers it to the store to be picked over and bought for pennies on the deeply-discounted dollar. Gramma's estate sale remnants and the twins' outgrown playthings all find their way to a blue bin on wheels stuffed with dusty goods. The pro shoppers patiently line up around empty spaces in the hangar-like facility to await another bin's emergence from slapping-open tan doors.

I have seen beautiful things: a hand woven rug, a like-new Brownie Movie Camera in its box. A woman buying clothes (1.49/pound!) for her grandkids and another for an orphanage. Children running wide-eyed and giddy from bin to bin, free for once to pick out what discounted treasures they can glean from the discarded detritus of suburban life. A box of another kid's toys holds a secret fascination, and a box of mysterious origins through which you must journey to overcome the worthless is the holy grail of kid materialism fantasies. It's the dusty old attic for kids of urban sprawl.

This week I took my mom along, because I knew she would love the thrill of the hunt and not be too put off by the need to Purell upon exit. We found some trinkets (the aforementioned globe lights up!), and a book shelf dealie I'll paint to match some room. We never have enough space for books, prolific little breeders that they are.

In short: Dig n' Save, I love thee. I told you I was cheap.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What are YOU for?

Adoption research involves learning about some of the saddest and cruelest things man does to his compatriots every day. Today, in fact.

I'll spare you the graphic- I'm sure you've heard plenty just being alive. One story I gotta tell you, though, sounds just like the set-up to a crummy joke: Did ya hear the one about the American parents who neglected their kids for video games, starving them with abundant food in the house? Child services found them in time, thankfully. Now that we're in the thick of looking at adoption, every news bit about international instability and poverty makes me wonder what is happening to the kids there, a though closely followed by, 'hmmm, do they have adoption programs for US families?' Did you even know that some insanely desperate countries still close their doors to adoptive families? Did you know that Romania is one of the worst countries in which to be an orphan, and yet a certain politician barronness (Cruella DeVille, we'll call her) pretty much single-handedly stopped foreign families from adopting -SAVING- those kids a few years back by suddenly closing that program entirely? Romania now records fewer institutionalized kids thanks to her efforts. Notice I said "records", not "has". Google it if you don't believe me.

You're thinking, blahblah dee blah. Everyone knows the world is depressing, what am I supposed to do about it? How about arranging something tax-deductable with monthly auto-giving available and extremely high ethics ratings? Seriously.

Please think about sponsoring a kid through World Vision or any other program you like. If you are sitting at a computer in a warm dry place and know you'll have food, friends, and safety for the next year, you know you should be giving back. World Vision is a good thing and I hope to get seven more kids sponsors this year- please do check it out and maybe tell a hundred friends.

The link is also in my sidebar.

Better safe than... oh, very funny.

J took this picture a few nights ago when it was still cauldron-like here and Toby was enjoying a piece of ice and running around the living room engaging in some serious nudie time. I couldn't figure out when I downloaded it why I look so ticked and tired. In retrospect it's clear I must have known that tonight I would be freaked out (pppbbbltltltlt to the nurse advice line) and take Toby to the emergency room only to find out he's got jock itch. Yes, jock... itch. He's too cute to have the word "jock" be used in reference to his, er, area.

At a year and a half, Toby is officially a toddler. Is his having the medical issues of an older, damper, wrinklier man part of some elaborate hazing?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Toddler Sitz, take 2

Today we tried rehearsing with Toby again and it was way more fun. This time I thought ahead and gave him some crack grapes & cheese in his high chair, and set him where he could watch Anne's fingers on the keyboard. Like a fancy wine and cheese chamber concertfor the one year-old set. He totally dug it, especially the Lyle Lovett and the Vivaldi.

In fact after Anne left with her magical musical toy he pulled me aside over by the toybox and said, "One word, Mama. Jawdropping."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Die, suckers!

We have sugar ants. Jerks.

I put Borax and sugar all around the outside of the place and continue to squish the suckers and wash 'em down the sink. What's that one about scooping up the fieldmice to bop 'em on the head? Anyway, just when you feel clean again there they come in their stupid little ant formations with their lameoid friends and neighbors. I hate them so very deeply.

Seeing those sickos sent me on a cleaning spree and we now need to have a garage sale. Our stuff- the piles and boxes and closetsfull- has finally seriously ticked me off.

That's it. I've forced you to read about grindingly boring cleaning and the infestation of casa del Ward. The end is nigh.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

100 degrees, 100 years old, same diff.

So guess! what the 8-year old boy said when the grumpy chick at the zoo told him to stop kicking his cohorts.

"You're not the boss of us."

And in his beady little miscreant eyes I saw reflected the stodgy old crone I have worked so hard to become in all her glory, straggly hair streaming proudly in the wind. I thought about shaking my cane and taking a victory lap around the entrance to the zoo, but it was wayyy too nice a day, so I shuffled off to the public transit I rode in on. Toby tried to hide under his hat but later on he helped me open the Metamucil, so I guess he's recovered from the shame.

Friday, July 06, 2007

J Version 3.3

Thirty Three!

I love you.
Happy birthday, and thanks for letting me rob your cradle, darlin'.
You amaze me daily.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


This evening at 6:18 pm Pacific, I experienced one of the best moments of my life. And I know it- how many are so lucky?

It was Toby, naturally. He was waking from a nap and I started singing his name from the bottom of the stairs, so by the time I made it to his door he was ready for our most recent game. He flings himself back down and pulls his blanket back over his tousled head. I drop down and crawl toward him, wondering aloud where Toby went.

He is a laugh prodigy, captivating. He kicks his feet, doing this move that looks like that break-dancing snake on the floor maneuver while the laughing cascades out. When he finally quiets down, flips over and reaches past the crib railing for me, I get a bouncing boy hug. If he's really happy he pats my back or leans into me and puts his hands behind his own back.

Seeing this for what it is... I'm grateful.

I'm not the only one in love- here he is with his girl Natalie.

Violence, Electrocution and Illegal Explosions

My husband is a winner, I've got proof!

He called the local AM(4-7 everyday!) talk show, answered two questions about the week's news and voila! we get free movie tickets and a dvd of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. I've heard it's incredibly graphic, so I'll make J watch first. I'm still completely pissed off that I saw Pan's Labyrinth. That director is a talented jerk. How do you say jerk in Espanol? Sadly, I know how to say slightly worse, but would rather not... anyway there's violence and then there's gratuitous self indulgence. Jerk.

We're heading to Aumsville for the 4th so we can set off our Washington State approved fireworks without worry of setting the rest of the townhomes on fire or getting arrested or something. Oh yeah, baby, we're wild.

Also, we have to make sure all the cows are still incarcerated at Casa del Heifers in Heat. I sure hope they are respecting the newly electrified fence, because what am I going to do, play a merry tune to lure them back in?

To my American contingent I say, Happy Fourth!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Break out the cigars!

A new blog is born. Bored!

I was tired of worrying whether all the adoption-talk was inducing a glazed-eye coma in all 2.3 of my readers. So I fired me up a brand new one!

It's linked in my sidebar, or click on over right...... HERE.

Cue these dudes,


The first and last time...

...he'll be put in the backseat of a cop's cruiser. Unless of course he decides to drive one after graduating as valedictorian and saving a pack of boy scouts from the jaws of a bear with nothing but a paperclip and three Weeble Wobbles.

The Nazarene church up the street had a block party today and they had us at "firetruck". It was a great setup, with dunk tanks and bounce houses and a big huge inflated slide thingy. I can't tell you how disappointed I was that Toby's too small for all that. Because I wasn't, not one little guilt-ridden overprotective parenting bit. I am a worrier, and a darn good one, and those kinds of toys make me think of the statistics on freak accidents resulting in a toddler with at least a black eye. Shudder.

He's repeating a lot more words lately. He says mama, but usually it's more like Moe mooooooe, with his mouth stuck out in an exaggerrated "o" as he staggers over to me in a silly mood. Then he gets a twinkle in his eye and hits me on the nose or clocks me with a toy. Did you know my sister nicknamed me Mean Streak when I was his age? Oh justice, thou art cruel.

I was asking J for some favor today while carrying Toby upstairs and he started saying "honnney" in such a way that I knew I was being petulant just from the way he repeated it. How embarassing. He also likes to say Go!!!!! in the car, which he apparently picked up from the exceedingly rare times I would eeever say something like that to my fellow very capable drivers. Not me, nope.

We are in a difficult (for me) limbo, staying or going, and I feel the capilaries I've put out in Portland shrivelling from disuse. J very logically pointed out that the roots are for me and the point is that I need to feel them, so why retract them yet. This is sounding like a bad Oprah, but anyway I thought at the time it made buckets of sense.

I hate to feel a lack of direction, and it's not easy for me to thrive without deadlines, connections and concrete goals. It's depressing, actually, and feeling dumpy makes me want to sit around on my butt all day, which feeds the blues and it's just such a bourgois problem to have I think I might have to slap myself. I suppose I could just enlist the kiddo there...

Toby and the Behemoth