Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A post is overdue!

Christmas pics - from the week. There's like 500 but here's a few!
Cuddling on the chaise (Kiki and Jim)...

First $5.00 video game - notice the Blackberry in his pocket, just like Moms!

I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it!!!! A matching oven mit! Whao~

Hanging out with Momo... good times!

I actually think we're starting to look alike!

Cousins! Look at my little peanut Tessa-roo. She's caught on to how to work a fake smile!

Who knows where to begin... After the ice storm we had a ton of snow that fell. And then Christmas! There are so many pictures that I don't know that if it's worth posting - but we had a ball. Tessa Bezu was fantastic and was the drama queen/star of the show (in a good way) anywhere we went! She LOVED getting presents and got several from all of our visits etc. and Santa (not too many from the big guy this year as we had a change of heart about Christmas and it's meaning after everything that touched our lives the past year and a half.)

But everyone around us was so generous with gifts for the children that it was still overwhelming with the amount of toys and clothing that they rec'd. Thank you family and friends!

This was an odd Christmastime for me. I had been expecting it to be the best Christmas ever, and in many ways it was, but there was still something missing for me. The true Christmas spirit never completely captured me as it typically does. "Stuff" just isn't as important as before. And even though we made some gifts this year for the grown ups in our lives it wasn't as I had hoped.

No matter what, you end up feeling like if you don't have an extra special purchased gift for people that you screwed up. You (or I) would watch people opening our "scaled down" gifts almost wincing with apology. It's hard to explain. It just felt sort of embarrassing since nobody else "scaled down". You see, I'm known in my family for being very creative and giving really cool gifts instead of grabbing crap off of end caps. But this year was different. We bought some for kids, we made some for grown-ups and bought some delicious treat too, and donated the bulk in different families' names.

We really wanted to do this and people seemed to enjoy the donations but they still didn't have a cool gift. It reminds me of how commercial I still am and how little my thoughts are. But don't we all care if someone likes what we give them? Sad, but true?? The ego kicks in now and then!

My heart was also pulled because I thought a lot of Tessa's family... Even though they haven't celebrated Christmas (Timkat as they call it) until January, I thought of them and wished that they could see her smiling and happy now. The photo album that we handed them at our birth family visit had pictures of Tarikua upset or vacant looking. They were only pictures that were given to us before we traveled by other wonderful families and of us as a family of three. She was not the same as she is now and I want her Mamoo to see her filled with life and not the dead look in her eyes that is in most of the photos.

I'm ashamed to say that I'm glad Christmas is over - I would almost cringe when people would say that in past years (sort of feeling it a little) but I really feel that way this year.

Perhaps the past few months have taken a bigger toll on me mentally than I had expected. Between the wonderful/difficult meeting and coming home, being ever so ill (still am) and then the holiday season sprinkled on top! Phew! This is coming from someone who cannot put too much on my plate without feeling the overload!

Light and wonderful things; Tessa is AMAZING me and us every single day. Michael said just two days ago that these are the happiest days of his life. We are so madly and crazy in love with Tessa. Her sentences are full and wonderful. Sadly she's losing a bit of her accent on several words. We began a little daycare a bit ago and she's loving the other kids. Not afraid that she's not coming home to us and feeling scared. The great thing about our life and the way we raise our kids is that life is pretty structured and predictable - perfect for a new member of the family to adjust to!

She is the biggest snuggle bug on the planet and cannot get enough of girly stuff and playing with my hair and letting me do hers. She's obsessed with anything pink and sparkly and insists on picking our her outfits each day. She is so content and easy to please, she is HYSTERICAL with her humor and makes up crazy songs every day (which mostly consist of repeating the same words over and over but in a different tune.) It's been odd that she is never (almost) speaking Sidamafoo (sp) or Amharic. She never really has much, even at first. If she can't say it in English she basically doesn't say it. We try to use some of the phrases that we learned to keep it up but sometimes she looks at me with her head tilted and says; "No thank you Ethiopia". It's sad. She says the same thing after looking at pictures from our trip too (we do not show her pics. of her family visit), "no thank you momma, no Ethiopia" she'll say after looking at several of them. We want to and will continue to instill that we love Ethiopia! She get's excited at first and then doesn't want to see them anymore.

On a Twilight front - still love it - crazed obsessed fan! Heaven help me! :)

I'm tired of writing and will stop now - Ciao~ I'll try to pull some recent pictures together soon!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

++++ EDITED ++++

Ok, the September campaign for Charity; Water is obviously over and I was hoping they'd do a new one every month but they don't! The founder, Scott Harrison's b-day is in September so that's that!

But this is to my friends and family who buy me birthday gifts... DON'T! Please, if you're someone that see's me and gives me a present I would ask, no BEG you to donate money to the link on the right or right here.

The original campaign asks that you give a dollar amount of the person's b-day age, in my case it would be $37.00 since I'm turning 37 on 12-29. But any amount would be wonderful, $5.00 or even $1.00!!!

I don't want anything else except that! It would make me the happiest 37 year old on the planet if you would do that - Mom, that means you too! NO PRESENTS!! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A post from 12-17-07 - WOW have things changed!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Adoption FUNK!
I don't know where I'm at today.... I've been very emotional lately and I think it's for a whole host of reasons. Ever feel like you on the brink of crying at every turn of your day? Or, if you're me, you cry at every turn of your day over anything, I should rephrase the word cry to "well up"! Well, for me the main two reasons are;1. Christmas. It always seems to make me the most "tender". I always tear up just shopping and looking at people and wondering about their life. Sound stupid? Probably is! I've always had an overactive imagination - I become overwhelmed with emotions, good emotions, not bad ones about being thankful and grateful and just plain happy to be alive... It makes me mushy! For anyone who reads this that knows me (and hardly any of those closest to me read this so it will fly) will think I'm lying about being sentimental because that's not the side I often am in the presence of others except for Michael. I'm typically the funny, sarcastic, and dry one in the room.2. I feel that our family isn't complete. Even though my sweet little babe Nick is my everything, just knowing that the final piece to our family is accross the world somewhere is starting to really take some of my enthusiasm for Christmas away.It feels like I'm just trying to "get through the holidays" and have them be done with. I don't want to be like that because it's my favorite time of year, but I can't help it. It's kind of like going through the motions but really secretly wanting January to get here so we're closer to our referral.It also doesn't help that I really don't think it's going to be anytime soon. That would be fine except when we started this process we were expecting to be home by Christmas with our little one. We had since resigned ourselves to thinking Jan/Feb. referral, but, to be honest, I really don't see that happening. Our agency seems to be just so dragging behind everyone else. It just doesn't make sense, but it is what it is. Why aren't all the other agencies having the backlog issues from the court closing and the red tape issues that ours seems to be having?? I'm just venting here, not really looking for answers because there are none.And here's the real raw gut truth about my feelings at this point...I'm not looking for sympathy or advice because I already know it all... I know that it will come, I know that he/she is going to be here before we know it, but for right now, this minute, this day, this week, it's hard being normal when you know that your babe might be hungry right now. It's tough wrapping presents when you know the heartbreak that your babe's family may be going through having just given up or planning on giving up their child. And it's hard walking by an empty room that we can't prepare or decorate because we don't even have a gender (this is the selfish one). It's just plain hard to think of any more time going by without them here as part of our family, bonding with us and making our first memories together. Next year will be lightyears away from this Christmas. I have not forgotten that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Christ and what a gift that was for me and mankind.I'm just sharing with you my randowm thoughts and I know that it will pass, but for now, I am sad for our little babe... and us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice Storm 08' - A weekend in pictures

Momma and her little girl! This is when life was regular - with power, just days before, IT! Do you think that's a fake smile she's doing? Well, I don't care, I look half way decent and it's my blog so I pick the pictures that flatter me (somewhat!)

This is what we woke up to Friday morning - the power went out Thursday night...

Back yard... Isn't the coloring wonderful!! I did NOT alter the color on these first pictures!
Trees were just bent over to the ground from the weight of the ice!
We left the house to survey the damage and stock up on stuff. We were stupidly thinking the power would be on soon so we just got a few things and went to lunch!

We began to think that we might be in for a little more than originally thought!

Night #2 with no power - we still had the core of the house at a decent temperature (meaning the floors didn't feel like walking on a frozen pond). The fire was going and we had fun listening to nothing but the fire crackle and doing trivia questions! Tessa and Daddy below!

And the next day we ventured out for more "stuff" since we were hearing that it would be days still! We were very discouraged to still see road down to one lane in places right at the end of our street - yikes! The house was freezing when we woke up - but we can do it, it's still kind of fun!
Ahhh, Bertolli in a paper bowl with a glass of wine - now that's gourmet, all the way!
Snoopy was in heaven on the kids bed on the floor - he loved no power. See the kids in the pic?
The kids were asleep like this - I had to lighten the picture to see the arms so sweet! Theirs is a love/hate relationship, it's pretty funny most of the time. And really annoying the rest of the time!
And the next day it was even more cold... and mommy started to get VERY cranky!
We had a cord of wood delivered and warmed up (in the decent weather anyway) by throwing it and stacking it all! It's time for a game plan Michael... like NOW - we need to leave! The interior of the house was down to 37 degrees and another night of camping was not going to be fun!

We (Michael) refused to be separated from Snoopy so we made a phone call and blasted out of here with a huge suitcase headed for a dog friendly hotel! Thank you Homewood Suites! We secured a two bedroom, two bathroom, kitchen, and living room suite for the night! It was NICE to lay down with the kids in another room and just be still... We all bathed and hit the sack very early (like 7:30!)

How often do you see a dog in a hotel - he was trying to attack me, so cute??? And a gitty momma with delivery food on the way! Is there a book on the nightstand? NOOO! For the first time in I don't know how long - I didn't read one page of my book. I went two days without reading (or re-reading I should say!)
Do you think I need a haircut?? It's only been six months - just call me Shaggy! I used to get my nails done (fingers and toes) often and had regular visits to the hair salon. The new year will bring back some attention to me... I think??! :) And the grays are letting me know! First grays started a couple months ago!! :0

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We are goofy ~

First snowfall that actually stuck to the ground! She LOVED it!

Trying to do a gingerbread house - it fell down twice. The second time it collapsed it was all decorated and we gave up and trashed it! Anyone know how to make good glue for these stupid things?? And I cheated by buying a kit to avoid this problem!!

As my sister so eloquently put; I'm a dork - that's a shocker to most of you right, NOT! I'm starting to get over my Twilight obsession.

And that is... a big fat lie!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Perfect Table...

Thanksgiving is a holiday that we took over several years ago when my Aunt Mary and Uncle Peter became snow birds. They did it BIG, like 30-40 people for a sit down big! It was chaos, it was delicious, it was the BEST! Growing up and going to their house for Thanksgiving was one of those things you always looked forward to for too many reasons to write.

MP and I began hosting for our immediate family in our first home in 2000. Almost married, new home, no children at the age of 29 was a pretty selfish time for us, our time was our own! We did what we wanted and when. We loved to "play house" and entertain friends. And I became little miss perfection (or tried to anyway) always experimenting with food and Bon Apetite recipes.
The perfect table - it was something I wanted so badly since living on our own, a nice table, pretty chairs (unlike the antique ones we inherited from one of our old homes) a warm and timeless centerpiece. Of course, no table/dining room is complete without matching water goblets and wine glasses of both sizes to serve twelve guests. And a chandelier with crystals dangling from it. I had the vision, I just had to create it. And I did. Eventually!

I ended up with my perfect table after years of marriage, bit by bit. It isn't extravagant or what I would do if money were no object (you should see the chairs I wanted-eegads.) I made the best with what we had to work with. The centerpiece, I made, we bought the chandelier from Home Depot, and we bought our chairs partially via a gift card. We purchased all the stemware from a place that sold them for like $2.00 a piece!! My perfect table finally came together last year. I was thrilled to just have stuff match! And - life was good as far as my dining room was concerned. And I was proud of my dining room, I had the perfect table.

This Thanksgiving was going to be different. Our guest list began to grow and MP and I struggled and went back and forth on how to do "the table"... We'd certainly have to rent some nice garden chairs (they wouldn't match, grrr) but we could still swing it no problem in our dining room. Then the guest list grew some more, and a little more. Enough that we couldn't fit everyone at one table in our dining room. So, what to do??? I thought about doing buffet style but I couldn't get my head around it, that's not Thanksgiving to me unless the guest list is overwhelming. And a kids table would be fine with me, but, the way our home is laid out would mean that the kids table would be out of sightline and earshot. NO! We knew pretty soon that we'd have to move the dining room into our great room! We rented chairs, borrowed a couple more last minute when the list grew a tiny bit bigger, and rented a folding table to add to our already 9' table! Then we moved some of our living room furniture out and into our current dining room! Seventeen people at one table! Do-able!

We hit TJ Maxx and bought a couple of $12.- table cloths, used different patterns of plates, put out plastic cups for the toast.
To be honest, I was a little bummed out that my perfect table wasn't going to be very perfect. And I said to my sister on the phone, "this year the table won't be picture worthy."

The guests rolled in and when it was time to sit down and eat our antipasto course, I looked around the tremendously long table, looked at the lit and decorated Christmas tree right next to us and the beautiful fire that was lit in the fireplace. It was beautiful. But what made it beautiful were all of the faces around the table, passing food, smiling, and talking. My husband, who is known for big speeches and putting people on the spot by asking them to say something about the true meaning of being thankful did his speech from the head of the table. Of course, as it is every year, it was very special and wonderful! And every once in a while my eyes wandered up and down each long side of our table, at our parents, my sister and her fiance, my nieces and nephews, and our own children... and do you know what I realized.

This was my perfect table...

I only wish I had time to take more photos/video!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Nicholas ~ Lots of pictures!

And she huffed, and she puffed and after a mere 27 hours, she pushed him right out!
This was taken shortly after his birth - I was a zombie, like you couldn't tell! It was incredible! The love that exploded in that room was nothing short of the miracle of a child ~ You'll notice I was able to have Kiki put lipstick on me!

Daddy holding his son for the first time...
At home, first bath...

Party time - FIVE YEARS OLD 11-20-03!!!

Kissing Papa ~
Bouncing with Grandma ~

Uncle Jim, Auntie Kiki (my sister), Nick, and cousin Christina (Beana)~

Yaya and Papa (my parents) ~

She's a devil! What fun!

Let's cut this cake so I can get the heck outta here! This was the first year I didn't make his cake, the guilt!!!!

Daddy, Nick, Mommy.... awww...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ketch-up post ~

My kids - it still kills me to say something like, "I'm upstairs with the KIDS". For the many of you with more than one child this seems small, but it's a wonderful BIG change in our home!

The weather outside is frightful... well, not really. I've begun listening to CHRISTmas music and I couldn't resist the cliche! It's getting pretty cold in New England, like 39 degrees cold most nights but in the fifties during most days (can't complain). But darkness hits real early this time of year here..... like 4:30 PM, yes in the afternoon. Here's a sampling of what's new at our house with TWO kids.

In health news; Tessa, Nick, and I are doing really good. My energy is getting very close to normal again! Woohoo!

This video is for Antie PQ - We made 12lbs of meatballs! It was a fun family event! ALL hands were washed well and Purell'd, no worries.... Everybody but Tessa got in on the fun of rolling!

I'll throw it at your face; you WILL NOT THROW IT AT MINE!

Tessa: "I just put a frog in your undies, heheheh......"

Behold the beauty of this girl - no jokes - she is amazing, inside and out!

Tessa's first half day of daycare! Good for me, fantastic for her. It's been three months since we returned home with Tessa and we felt she was ready to start interacting with other kids and Nick at pre-school! She did AWESOME and they LOVE her there! She still needs some work with things but she continues to blow us away with her adaptability. But don't ask me about naps or bedtime! No, just kidding, she's ok with them, but it's really the only time she shows any protest. And it's slight at that!

My baby girl in her first winter coat!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gross. Germs, germs, and more germs ~

Everyone is still sick! Upon return from Ethiopia you may remember that I fractured my tailbone the next day. Then I got a bad sinus infection. All seemed fine for a couple of weeks and then we all got really sick again, coughing, fevers, chills, sneezing etc. I had it more than everyone else but they still couldn't get rid of their coughs. My extreme fatigue and inability to carry on with everyday activities quickly went on from one week to the next until I saw the Dr. who thought whatever it was should pass soon. Well, it didn't and after having fevers on and off and exhaustion after six weeks I went back. Malaria test = negative. Chest X-ray = negative. TB test = negative... So after some bloodwork they found that I was positive for two different forms of Mono! I was glad for something to come back positive. So more rest is in order and I feel like I'm on an upswing!! Things are slowly getting better.

This past Thursday I brought the kids in for another check up for Tessa (shots etc.) and they were worried about Nicks persistant cough. Poor Tess had what many of your kids have had or are still having which is endless tubes of blood drawn and lots of immunizations! She failed both hearing tests which was not a big concern to the Dr. but we'll go see an ENT specialist to make sure. We have to do more poop samples because she was positive for a couple of different "things" when we came home that were treated. And they did the TB test on her as well...

After mass today we had to go by the Dr.'s office for the PPD to be read. I knew the answer by looking at her forearm and by the research I did on TB when I was tested. I was right... Tessa Bezu has Tuberculocis. They sent us to the hospital for a chest X-ray and we'll talk to the Dr. tomorrow about the course of action for her.

Everything I've read looks like it's most likely the latent form but either way she'll take medication for 6-12 months to eliminate all traces of it. The thought of all thoses harsh antibiotics is not something I want her to have to take, but it is what it is.

On a happy note, in my down time I've been working very hard on a video montage of the past year +. I'm really happy with it and will post it in a couple of days or so!

And if you're brave/stupid enough to enter through the doors of our home, be safe, wear a mask! :)

Most of the leaves are all gone now in New England... and it is pitch black by 5:30 pm! You know what that means.... bring on the Christmas music and decorations!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two words!

Double mono!

No wonder I've been in bed so much! That's all for now....

Monday, November 3, 2008

She's still si*k!! C'mon, enough already!!!!

Tell me these look like they're handmade and very well thought out costumes!!! Ok, I'm a Halloween loser parent! I get a big fat "F" in the department of the holiday fun. I must first admit that it's always been a holiday that never meant much to me - I don't know why, it just hasn't! Plus, drum roll, I'm still F*ck**ng sick ~ It's a good thing the windows are closed because I'd like to jump out of one but I'm too fatigued to unlock one!

Nick insisted on this Optimus Prime costume that is about two sizes too small and shows a huge wedge in the back and all of his junk in the front is squeezed in like he's a Russian dancer or something. I was literally in stitches and emailed close-up shots to MP and my sister (and others.) I don't dare show them on here and I swear I'm not a crazy lady - it's just so funny and something you'd only expect to see Will Ferell do as a joke in a movie! Poor little guy, he's going to hate me for allowing him to wear it someday... And he thought he looked so cool that he wants to wear it next year. Hey, it'll be double the laughs when it's smaller!


I'm in my costume too~ I was dressed as a Dave Matthews fan (I went all out and put on a cap for the look) who stayed home to pass out candy! ;) What a LAME mommy!
My excuse... Everybody, say it in unison..."she's STILL SICK!" More to follow on that!

Grandpa's birthday dinner!

The Princess Tessa Bezu~