15
Sep
14

now we’re even!

A reminder beeped on my phone this afternoon.  It was for an event I had completely forgotten about.  It was probably added, along with one other, about two years ago.  It was likely one of those days I was back at work after bringing home my girls from DRC.  I was likely missing them and feeling kind of desperate and anxious about all the time apart, all the years of missed firsts and missed regular stuff and yikes! time goes so fast now that they’re home.  So I did some math and made up some big days we could share and it turns out today is one of them!

This little girl has been with her forever family just as many days as without.  We’re even!  Tomorrow she will have spent more time with me than waiting for me.  She wanted ribs and ice cream sandwiches to celebrate.  First words and steps and first tooth, missed, but we have a once in a lifetime we’re even day!  Today is awesome!

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14
Sep
14

learning the lingo

“Let’s splore the deep blue sea” –  K and F in the bath

“Mama, some day can you buy us a camping box?”  – F

“No, I’ll never spend my money on a camper, but you can when you get older if you want to” – me

“What?!? No way!  I wouldn’t have any monies left for toys!” – F

“We did some silence today in school just like you, Mama!” – K telling me about doing some science at school

farmer brown market = farmer’s market

unsnow = melt

unclimb = climb down = descend

cushy = tushy = bum = butt

“Keta, when we’re older we’ll just call our mother mom ‘stead of mama.” – F

“Mama, those olives are watering my mouth!” -K

K and F have been jamming to kiddo Christmas music lately which I love, in December, for about a week.  Finally today I had had enough and unclenched my teeth long enough to ask why we needed to listen to it for the fourteen millionth time.  “Mama, it’s so we can think about Christmas when we all get to be together.”

We went to the first home football game Friday at the high school where I teach.  It’s the first time K and F have seen football.  They had questions.  They had questions about the cheer-ling leaders, “those boys in the stripe-did shirts” and so many others.  Francine was standing the whole time imitating everyone, players, officials, cheerleaders, fans, me, her sister mostly asleep and snotting and drooling on my shoulder.  She took on this corpse like stiffness, pulled her shoulders up past her ears and asked why those boys went like this.  I told her, but she heard it was because of shoulder bads and now she thinks pretending to have shoulder bads is pretty hilarious.  The marching band performed at half time.  “Those mens have fancy hats.  Mama, are those mens for real?”

F’s birthday is coming up and she’s getting the hang of it, making requests already.  She wants a maxi skirt, book club, movies, scotch tape, salmon cakes for breakfast and strawberry mermaid cupcakes.

Our new house has a large yard with nothing right now except rocks and at least forty-two thousand different kinds of bricks and pavers.  We’re stacking and organizing the bricks and pavers to later make a patio, fire pit, and sidewalks.  When looking at the growing stacks of bricks F commented that she wants “a castle ‘stead of a patio.”

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01
Sep
14

we did it!

Right now I’m sitting here so thankful to have had an extra day to recover from week one and mentally prepare for week two, and do the laundry and food prep and planning and all that other necessary weekend stuff. Week one was rough. Francine truly believed that she had “lost mama forever” when she turned around on the playground and I was not exactly where I had been moments before. Keta thought she’d been abandoned and sat sobbing at the school office after forgetting she was to attend an after school program that day. At 6:03 on Tuesday evening both of them told me they needed to go to bed. When we were home I couldn’t be out of their sight. We were hanging on and holding it together, but just, and only most of the time. We did it though! We made it through week one of all three of us being in different places, not being with a sister or other family member, a first for the two little farmergirls. Week two is likely to be rough too, but a little less so. That’s the hope anyway. We’ll only have a two day recovery to prepare for week three. The fear of abandonment is still so present. Breaks my heart.

Looking cute, but not too happy to be going to school.

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24
Aug
14

business as usual

We’re not there yet.  Keta went to her new school Friday, but just for a few hours.  Francine has been to her new school, but just with the safety and security of her big sis.  Monday, it’s our first real full day.  Three stops in two towns by 7:15 and then a race to do it all in reverse later in the day.  We are stressed.  Coping skills have plummeted.  I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “Mama, are you going to pick us up at the end of the day?”  “You’ll still be my mama, right?” is a popular one of late too.  We need to get through this week, our new business as usual.  Thankfully both Keta and Francine love school.  Keta met her teacher and saw her classroom.  They practiced drop off and pick up procedures and how to line up for lunch.  She was beyond excited to tell me every single detail and was hugely relieved.  She’s so excited to go back tomorrow.  Francine “didn’t know school could be so fun” but will be going it alone tomorrow, a first for her.  She’s not excited.  We also had a race issue at preschool last week.  Not one of those friendly and curious I love your beads, why is your skin dark and can I touch your hair kinds of things.  It was hate.  Pure unnatural ugly scary hate from a little guy no older than four.  That my child will spend her days somewhere she is not one hundred percent embraced and safe and welcomed and nurtured by all is such a sad and tragic reality.   I’m naive, but I really thought that kind of hate would only be an ugly truth at an older age.  Why are people teaching their babies to hate?  I guess that is now part of our business as usual too.  Hideous.

As a parent, I’m thinking of all the parents out there this week doing their best to help the littles with the new business as usual.  As a single parent, I’m thinking of all the single mamas and daddies struggling to figure out how to get it all done and be everything and everyone that the littles need.  Stay strong and Hang.  In.  There.  This business as usual stuff is tough.

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16
Aug
14

diversity.

Let’s all love it.  Embrace it.  Celebrate it.

Thanks.

06
Aug
14

summer fun

Hard to believe another one is winding down, but it was a great one!  Here’s some of the highlights….

photo-17 The hot lips bedroom in our new house, as requested :)IMG_6046 We now have two little skiers!IMG_6090 We swam and swam and swam.  And swam.IMG_6144 We have new boots and pretty much only take them off to bathe and sleep.IMG_6170 They work for dress-up.IMG_6232 They work to go the fair, too.IMG_6240 Why would we play in a kiddie pool when we can play in a mud puddle?IMG_6245 Fun at the farmer’s marketIMG_6262 We have two new biker chicks in the fam!IMG_6264

IMG_6266 Love hiking around our new hometown!IMG_6152 More teeth are gone.DSC_0723 More Lake Powell funDSC_0679

IMG_5808 Pool time!IMG_5799 We made new friends and were flower girls.

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Monday we’re off to our new schools.  I cannot believe another summer has come and gone!

31
Jul
14

just sisters

I’ve mentioned it before, but probably the most frequently asked question is if my daughters are sisters. So, I’ll apologize in advance for another mama bear rant on the subject. I’m usually pretty patient and can kindly say yes and move along, but it’s a stressful time and my patience and understanding are in short supply, I guess. Since the other night I was asked three times in under five minutes, really, three times in less than five minutes, here we are again. Yes, my daughters are sisters. If you ask, and I don’t know why you would, but if you ask I’ll tell you they’re sisters because indeed they are sisters. Although it requires no explanation… They each have a first mama who is not me and their first mamas are not the same. This does not make them not sisters; it just makes them not biologically related. Yes, they are sisters. They are not adopted sisters or sisters with an explanation. It’s kind of an insensitive and invasive question and maybe my daughters don’t want to very frequently revisit that painful past just to appease your curiosity. I know your goal is not to offend, but it is kind of offensive. I would never, absolutely never, ask if your children are siblings. Why is it okay if you ask me if my kids are siblings? We’re a family.  If you’d like information on adoption or our own personal story about it I’d be thrilled to talk about it. I love to talk about it! In fact, I have a blog about it! I don’t mind sharing, obviously. At a backyard party with my kiddos right there is not an appropriate time. We stand out and I get that. We’re different and I get that. To us though and especially to my kids, even though they know as much about their pasts as I do, we’re just a regular family. Kindly let us be just a regular family at friendly get-togethers, please. Also, what does it matter to you? What do you intend to do with that information? Seems like it would be totally inconsequential to you.  If you really need to know maybe rephrase a bit, ask if they’re biologically related, if you really need to know.  How could I be their mama if they’re not sisters.  If I answer no, what? I’m not the mother to either?  Only the mother of one?  I’m their mother, they are both my children. They have to be sisters!  Please, don’t ask, at least in front them. They’ll forever experience loss, sadness and confusion and so much more from the loss of their first mamas. It’s hard enough for them without reminders from curious strangers or acquaintances. I am their mama. Children with the same mama are siblings. They are not sisters with an explanation. They’re just sisters.  Really cute ones, I think!

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