the last one

As Keta and Francine become better aquatinted with the English language they make fewer of these funny and entertaining mistakes so, sadly, this could be the last one of these I do.

aim-chimpt echimpt = ancient Egypt

Princess Parapatra = Cleopatra, both K and F want to be for Halloween

rufus = ruthless, how we sometimes play marbles

eleventy-three = 113

Nancy Drool = Nancy Drew

Junie B. Jones = that lovable character in children’s books

Junie B. Jones = Jimmy Johns, the new sandwich shop in our town

Charlie Wompa = Willie Wonka

booby tracks = booby traps

get the heck out of dogs = get the heck out of Dodge

brat-roast = bratwurst

bratlers = bratwurst

buckwheat = bok choy

buck chop = bok choy

buck celery = bok choy

this leafy greenish stuff = bok choy

stick thing with fluff on it = make-up brush

pazoo = kazoo

teen-five = 15

perfavume = perfume



walkie talkie 101

Parents of children who can often not be very far from you, I know you’d likely never do something like give your 5 and 6 year olds walkie talkies, but there might be someone in your lives who would.  Someone maybe like a granddad.  Or someone else maybe.  It’ll be the granddad.  Anyway, when this happens, stall as long as possible claiming to not have the right size of batteries and then, oh no, you forgot to pick them up at the store.  Again.  Sorry.  When you can stall no longer and finally give in to the inevitable yet nonspecific torture that will follow you’ll find the batteries really weren’t needed anyway.  One child will be at one end of the hall and the other at the other end near the front door.  You cannot escape to either end or the middle of the house and you know if you go downstairs or outside you’ll be followed.  You suggest walkie talkies are so much more fun  when you cannot see the other person so maybe one should go in the front yard and one in the back or maybe one in the back in the playhouse and the other in the back somewhere else, like on the patio or maybe even both of you in the playroom downstairs.  It’s important to be specific but in such a way they think it’s all their idea.  This of course will be rejected but they turn around so they can no longer see one another.  Thanks mama, it is more fun when we can’t see each other.  And it begins.




So can everyone else on the block.

This amazement and wonder will continue for some time.  You’ll be laughing or crying by now.  You’ll give a short lesson on when to push the button and when to not push the button and there’s no need to shout.


Now they’re still shouting and both at the same time.  Again, this continues for some time.  It’s a blast.

Lesson number 2 includes a refresher of lesson 1 and some new stuff like saying something specific when you’re done so the other person knows you’re done and that so important pause before you push the button and start shouting and one more thing, you don’t need to shout.

Once the newness wears off a bit they’re comfortable enough to be out of your sight so now one will be in the bedroom while the other is in the family room.  The shouting will continue.  Nothing can be done about the shouting.  Embrace the shouting.  Eventually the one in the bedroom will be distracted and completely forget about the walkie talkie.  This will cause the other to shout louder and louder when there’s no response.  You’ll have hope at this point she’ll think the walkie talkie is broken and become completely distracted too.  That won’t happen.  Remind yourself to laugh.  It really is funny that the loudest these two have ever been is when they’re eight feet away from one another using walkie talkies.  And they’re happy.  So it’s all good.  There’s no way to get even with the granddad, but think of it as one of those pay it forward situations.  It’s pretty funny now, but it will be so much funnier when it’s your grandkids.





So, there was a live baby chipmunk in Keta and Francine’s bedroom the other day.  Keta thought Tiger wanted to cuddle.  She didn’t.  She had a gift!  There was a lot of chaos.  The cat was confused.  The baby chipmunk was panicked.  Keta and Francine were screaming.  I was chasing the cat with the chipmunk then I was chasing the cat chasing the chipmunk then I was chasing the chipmunk trying to play defense against the cat.  I was holding a bag.  Thankfully the little guy escaped under the door into the next room.  Pretty sure neither of us would have been thrilled for him to be in the bag if by some miracle I was able to get him into it.  Then I couldn’t find him.  So I  locked the cat in the room with Keta and Francine and  locked the dogs in the backyard and opened the front door and left the room to let him escape without fear, but he didn’t.  I didn’t know if I should hope to find his decaying body at some unknown point later in the summer or hope he was alive and no doubt waiting to pounce on me in my sleep.  I finally found him maybe an hour later and got him back outdoors with him and Keta and Francine screaming the whole time.

They might not look like it, but they’re screamers, both of them.



summer fun

Hiking, camping, and fun with cousins, it’s been an amazing summer so far!










To the PA who thinks that since my daughters have been home for three years there’s nothing wrong with telling them they aren’t in the same family and that there’s no longer any need to reinforce to them about family,

I don’t keep secrets from my daughters.  They know everything about their past and their adoption that I know.  It’s not a lot, but I never want them wondering if I’m keeping things from them, adoption related or not.  They know they were adopted.  They know that they have different first mamas and talk a lot about what this forever mama thing means.  At times, it seems they’re not paying attention.  You might not think they heard you tell them they’re not in the same family and you might not think they know what that means, but they were paying attention.  Sadly, life has taught them to keep an eye on adults, to be wary.  Certainly they’re more trusting and less hyper-vigilant than they use to be, but they’re mostly paying attention.

After we returned home from that appointment the questions started and the confusion began to be expressed and that night we had a wet bed which we haven’t had in six months.  So, thanks.

F- Mama am I in your family? Well then who is in Keta’s family?  So, you’re OUR real mama?  Well, if something happens to you whose family will I be in?

Even though you didn’t mean to be offensive, your comment was.  It was offensive and insensitive and confusing to kiddos and not without consequence.  I promise you don’t know more about my daughters or their international adoption than I do.  Please when I tell you something is insensitive believe me.  I’m not trying to be combative or mean, I’m trying to help you better understand the people who are right in front of you.

I think my daughters are back to believing, as much as they did before anyway.


mama bear

We went to a new pediatrician today and I sort of lost my cool.  The first thing she says is, “So they’re not in the same family.”

I don’t think I remained stoic.  Pretty sure my jaw dropped, my eyes got huge, my face turned red, and my heart rate increased.  They are absolutely in the same family, mine, ours.  I’ve worked really hard to express this to Keta and Francine and continue to do so, DAILY.  No, they are not biologically related, but don’t walk into a room and tell my two kids that they aren’t in the same family.  She was shocked that I was defensive.  I understand she wasn’t trying to be rude, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is rude and completely insensitive.  I very calmly explained that although not biologically related, they are indeed in the same family and I would always stand up for them, especially in front of them!  I tried to convey that kiddos with adoption in their background, especially ones not adopted as infants, likely never get to that cozy I belong 100% and everything is just as it should be place and if they do get to that point it’s not when they’re as young as my daughters. Her response (not without attitude), “Well, I have 25 years of experience with pediatrics.  They’ve been here three years so I cannot imagine there’s ANY need to reinforce to them about family.”


She went on to say that if I didn’t want to answer questions about them we should have talked privately before and I could leave if I was going to continue to be defensive and why did I not bring all of their adoption paperwork?    How was I to know she’d walk into the room and tell my daughters they’re not in the same family?  They’ve done and are doing exceptionally well, but comments like this are hurtful and confusing.  We’re living it, so maybe we’re a bit sensitive.  The intention might not be negative at all, but I have to help my family recover from the consequences of comments like this.  We’re more and more able to brush off a lot with nothing more than a quick discussion.  I guess I was caught off guard.  Sigh.



Keta “gradulated” from kindergarten and was pretty thrilled about it.   The class of 2027 sang a few songs and each was presented a completion certificate.  I was proud, and all too aware I’ll blink and be  watching the class of 2027 “gradulate” from high school.  I like to think that I’ll be sitting here on my patio that day in 2027 marveling about how quickly time flies and how proud I am.  We’ll compare a photo from that day to this one….




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