Wednesday, April 30, 2008
No this is not meant to be obscene. Jack's been hibernating all winter. Perhaps he's had too many butter "needles" (noodles as pronounced by Jameson) or perhaps the wrong pants?
It takes a mighty kind sister to help button up your britches. That's definitely going above and beyond. She's been dressing him since he was 2 and she was 1. Anyone need a size 10 pair of Levi's?
It sure feels to me that everytime we start really bonding, she pulls away from me. No, not pulls away. More like runs away, kicking and screaming. It's mostly directed towards me. Jeff gets it because he's associated with me. I have so many thoughts running around in my head about what's going on in her little head.
Does she hate me? Does she love me? Does she even know what any of that means? Does she feel guilty for loving me? Is that a betrayal to her mother? Am I like her mother? Am I the opposite of her mother? Does she remember much about her mom? Or is it a magical fantasy perfect mother she remembers? She was 4 when her mother died, however she had been ill for awhile before she died. What kind of relationship did she have with her? I think about poor little Justine who still needs so much of me... what on earth would she do if I just left her one day? Or any of the kids who have had me all of their lives. I just can't imagine.
I know she is hurting. I know she misses Ethiopia. I just wish I knew a way to help her deal with that in a more positive way. She keeps calling me her step-mother. (Is that because she believes me to be evil like the step-mothers invented by good old Walt?) I tried to explain that I was her adoptive mother. I tried to explain that she had two mothers: Nebiat and myself. I may not have had her as a baby, but I love her and waited a long time for her. I wanted to tell her I wish there were no need for adoptive parents. No need for orphanages. I wanted to tell her I wish she were with her mother because in all truthfulness that is what would be best for her. I wanted to tell her that I wish there were no AIDS, no malaria, no illness, no poverty... no need for adoptive parents. But instead I just told her that her mother loved her and that she was in heaven. In a very angry, curt tone, she said, "No she's not." (**Back turn** ** Stomp off mad**)
So in the end, we all went to bed mad, and we all woke up mad.
Susan (my surrogate sister) who is the mother to Jameson and Joshua's cousins and I made a pact last week that we would do one thing for ourselves each day. Today it was U2 as loud as the kids would allow during the carpool extravaganza this morning instead of Hannah Montana or a movie. What song would I find most comfortaing? "Some days are better than others." You go Bono!
Staff Sergeant Ronald C. Blystone, 34, died Wednesday, April 23, 2008, while on his third deployment to Iraq. "RC" was born on February 11, 1974, in Springfield. He was a lifelong resident of Springfield, and a 1992 graduate of Glendale High School. He joined the United States Army in February, 1994, and married Kelly Connell, of Strafford, June 13, 1994.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We had a great day today... this is a sure fire sign that a melt down is coming. Our 3 month post placement visit was today. The kids were cute and engaging. The visit went well. I spent 2 hours braiding Jameson's hair and "beading" her. I really thought this blog post was going to have a different tone. I don't know if she just didn't like her hair. She did initially. I don't know if it reminded her of Ethiopia. I don't know if the wind was blowing from the northwest or the magentic pull of the earth is off, but after we finished her hair, she was crying for her mom who died 4 years ago and wanted to "go back to Ethiopia." And now she won't speak to me. God give me strength to hold on to this emotional roller coaster. I think I'm going to barf. And I want off.
Happy birthday to Jameson.
We celebrated Jameson's first birthday in America on Thursday.
I love this picture.
I love her hair.
I love her smile.
I love her.
Jack was so sweet to help her read her cards!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Before you get the straight jacket and anti-depressants, let me explain... there have been many times during the past few months where I have felt so overwhelmed and under prepared for what God has given me.
When I played this for Jordan, she had this horrified look on her face like I was going to go postal soon. What I tried to explain to her is that I have been trying to do all of this on my own. I haven't had time for my daily walk with God for the last several months... I haven't made time. I thought cleaning and running kids was so much more important than taking care of myself. And this song has reminded me that only God can rescue me when I feel overwhelmed. The lyrics are here, or you can hear the song here.
Lyrics - ‘Rescue’ – Seabird
I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
I feel like I’m drowning, but nobody knows it
I’m pushing up daisies, I wish they were roses
I feel like I’m dying, just want you to notice
Somehow the grave has captured me
Shown me the man I used to be
Just when I feel my breath is running out ...
The earth moves and You find me
Alive but unworthy
Broken and empty, but You don’t care
'Cause You are my rapture, You are my Savior
When all my hope is gone, I reach for You
You are my rescue
I’m swimming to safety, but even with my best
If I don’t see that rope soon, this might be my last breath
Don’t let me drown
Can You hear me cause I am calling out?
I’m underground, would You pull me out?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I have many examples to back this up... our Ethiopia pictures that were deleted on accident, the DVR that is full of Corey in the House, America's top model and some biker show, and my computer that we had to put a password on after a complete recovery effort was made to save it. I mention these things not to place blame because they are as much my fault as his as I didn't lay down the rules very well from the beginning, but these examples are meant to lay the groundwork for the story of today. Because Josh is the one who has scheduled timers on our DVR to tape everything under the sun, and he is the one who ALWAYS has the remote in his hand, he is winning the prize for this one because when we asked who did it, we got the usual: "What? I don't understand."
Jeff opened the DISH bill, which is usually the same amount every month. This month, however, was a different story.
While leaving church tonight, Jeff starts opening the mail. We're still in the parking lot, and Jeff turns to me and says...
"Did you order $58 in pay per view movies?"
"NO, what were they?"
"Something from the Ecstasy channel, the Fantasy channel and for only $34.95 Yamma Ultimate Pit Fitting."
"NO, if I'd ordered the pit fighting, I would have watched it."
So now, once again, we are having yet ANOTHER teaching lesson about the remote, the TV in general and not hitting buttons if you don't know what you're doing. Not to mention that Jeff and I are one by one, pain stakingly putting parental locks on all the channels we don't want the kids to have any kind of access to. This has never been an issue before, and it's making me a little crazy. I hope that with repeated teaching lessons and reinforcement, Josh will learn what he is allowed to do with the remote and what he's not allowed to do with the remote.
And I am praying that he only watched the pit fighing and not the porn. I'm pretty sure with 6 kids sharing the TV in the basement, we would have heard them fighting about what they were watching. That's the usual.
In the meantime, Jeff is on the phone with the DISH people trying to convince them that we did not order any porn or pit fitting. It will be interesting to hear his defense on this one...
"I can rember all of you
I rael mise you gais
I think I weil see you later
Habutamu and Kalkedan also they ask me about you I teal them thay are fine
I like socer team We have socer game Saterday and we practis fraiday
did you rember tim and juily they atapetd mahalet now her name is jaiden and my name is Joshua and Merkebs name is Jamson
is that coal
Jaiden malet come now fat and big
now we can swim
my birtheday was after one mothe
Merkebs birtheday is naixt week
From Josh Ellerbee Filemon
and Jamson Ellerbee Merkb
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday the kids made terrariums out of 2 liter bottles with the tops cut off. They placed rocks, charcoal, soil, a plant and a generous helping of water (Justine more so than anyone else) inside the bottle and then replaced the top part back on to make it look like an intact 2 liter bottle. Stick with me, this part is important. I said it looked like it was intact. If I said it once, I said it a hundred times, "Pick it up from the bottom, or it will fall apart and spill everything." I hate to say it, but EVERY single child picked theirs up from the top, causing the bottle to come apart, the bottom to drop out, and all of its contents to spill all over everywhere.
Come on people, it's science, but it's not rocket science.
Well lucky for me, Justine was the last one to destroy her science project, and it just happened to be on my carpet... while I was at work... which means Jeff had to clean it up... which means he had to use the wicked, wicked vacuum. Do you see where this is going?
He called me at work and said,
"The vacuum just turned itself off, and it won't come back on."
"Yeah, it does that all the time."
"But I need it now."
"Yeah, that sucks."
Let's just say that the next day, I received my animal Dyson vacuum cleaner as an early Mother's Day present. And I couldn't be happier. And it's purple.
I seriously think Jeff may have been a vacuum cleaner salesman before we met. We got home and he immediately started taking it apart and figuring out all the gadgets. I personally am going to have to enroll in a technical college to figure out what this thing will do. I'm running around trying to get ready for work... late as usual and he's doing a demonstration for me.
He vacuums a spot in the living room, and then comes in to show me how much dirt and dog hair he got out of the carpet. He does this like 7 times, and I begin to chastise myself for being such a hack at housecleaning. I'm wondering if he's going to find our cat Lucy in there somewhere. (She ran away 3 years ago) I finally just came to the conclusion that we are filthy people.
BUT I LOVE MY DYSON!
Check it out here: http://www.failblog.wordpress.com/.
It was difficult, but we picked out some of the ones that really made us clutch our sides.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Every week, Justine begs me to help her make something with her Easy Bake Oven. I always find a way to get out of it... The main reason I don't like the Easy Bake Oven (otherwise known as EBO) is because the food packages used to make the food are gross. So I had a great idea that we would make real Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix and put it in the EBO. Evidently, Betty Crocker cake mix rises a little more than the EBO mixes. The chocolate cake mix overflowed the EBO and was running out the sides... along with a horrible smell, a little smoke and a hysterical 5 year old. It seriously made me wonder:
Has anyone ever burned down their house with their EBO?
As if that wasn't enough for the week, I found that one of our children is training as a pyrotechnician. Let's just say it's a boy and he's 9 years old. I bought several candles this week because frankly our house (the bathrooms) smell like... well poop. I lit the candles and we went about our business. I smelled something burning and went to investigate.
I found this:
...a trashcan full of burning toilet paper. The bag had completely melted to the sides of the trashcan and it was on fire! It takes a little to get me excited, but let's just say I was screaming.... "Who did this?" And of course I had several little people saying, "It wasn't me."
Finally the guilty one stepped forward and admitted that he had been lighting toilet paper on fire. It got out of hand and he freaked out. He said and I quote, "It started burning and I didn't know what to do so I threw it in the trashcan and poured water on it." (I don't know what he thought was going to happen when he lit the paper with the candle lighter...)
He was hysterical and crying, "Don't tell Dad. Don't tell Dad. PLEASE DON'T TELL DAD."
Poor kid. When I calmed down and started taking pictures, he started crying again and said, "You're going to blog this aren't you? Dad will know for sure."
In all honesty, we were so lucky because the trashcan was right next to the shower curtain. Our whole house could have burned down! Thank God for His blessing over all of us; once again. Luckily he was very convicted about what he had done, and we're hoping this is the last of his pyrotechniques.
My elderly, over-achieving, obcessed with their yard, retired neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Chachka (names have been changed to protect their identity), came over today with a long list of complaints against us.
I can completely defend our position in almost all of these situations.
Our dogs bark too much.
This is probably because the kids put the dog in the bathtub with his shock collar on, and now it doesn't work very well. The big dog only barks because the little dog barks because he is now sans shock collar.
Our basketball goal is lying in the yard (on the side of the house).
You can't even see it from the front yard. It's only there because a few months ago, when Jordan first started driving, she ran over it and drug it through the yard. Eventually the base ran out of water from the huge hole she punctured in it, and I found it lying over my car. It's not fixable, and I don't know how to get rid of it. Plus, it reminds Jordan of the importance of paying attention while driving everytime she pulls into the driveway.
And lastly, our cat needs a collar with a bell.
Evidently, Mr. Fluffers has been killing birds in her yard. My 10 year old senile, arthritic, overweight, incontinent, declawed cat has been preying on the birds in her chachka yard.
So this was the one complaint we thought we might be able to work with.
So here's what we came up with:
Or maybe this one?
What do you think?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So back to my drama. I asked my dad to come over and take a look because he's always taking crap apart at their house, and I assume it gets put back together correctly... so he comes over... STARTS the dishwasher a couple of times, gets tired of waiting for it and goes home.
Jeff calls me at swimming lessons (the kids not mine) and asks me,
"Did you fix the dishwasher?"
"Yes, and I also grew a mullet, lost some teeth, lost about 50 IQ points, and the ability to speak proper English. I took over Billy Bob's job."
"Honey, really. It's running..."
Sure enough when I got home, the son of a gun was working. There was something jammed in the drain (just as I had mentioned to Billy Bob the repairman) and my dad wiggled and jiggled and clicked his heels together 3 times, and TA DAH it worked! There was probably food or playdoh or a Barbie head stuck in the drain... who knows. The wonderful news is that I am doing dishes again, and I will never take you for granted again wonderful Whirlpool Gold dishwasher.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"Sounds like you were lucky to get 5 years out of 'er. I'd just go get a new one."
"Dude, it's a Whirlpool GOLD. It's not like I bought it at your uncles SWAP meet last weekend. GEEZ."
Doesn't anybody want to work in this town?
Editor's Note: This blog entry was written entirely out of anger and frustration at the "man" and was not meant to make anyone feel bad about living in a trailer, incestual family trees or poor dentition.
Monday, April 14, 2008
What did we do before the time of dishwashers? I say we, but I actually never lived in the time of handwashing dishes - did the dinosaurs lick the plates clean first?
We called one repair place, and their advice was, "Here's what I would do... Lowe's has those on sale right now. I'd go get a new one." Well thank you Mr. Appliance Repairman. I bet you do a lot of business with that line. So we have someone else coming out today to look at the thing.
On a good note, we are getting a new freezer for the garage. It's a stand up freezer large enough to store food for all of these children. Our freezer now is a big box. You practically have to climb in to reach what's on the bottom, and there's no way to organize it other than throw everything on top of everything else. Not to mention the really heavy door that falls on your head when you get anything out. I'm always afraid it's going to fall on me, trapping me inside and turning me into a mom popsickle. So in a way, getting a new freezer is actually saving my life.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I want to share my love of the arts with the children, so we have been going to see as many productions as possible this year. My mom and I have been trying to take one child to each event.
There are many benefits of this plan:
a.) I get to spend one on one time with each child.
b.) We get to spend time with my mom.
c.) It doesn't cost an arm and a leg to take 8 people to each production.
d.) I get to see a lot of different productions!
So today we went to see Swan Lake at the ballet with Nana. As soon as Justine sat down, I knew we were in for it.
"This is boring."
"This is really boring."
"I'm ready to go home."
"This is the worst day of my life."
She'll appreciate it later in life...
Editor's note: The ballet did a contemporary version of Swan Lake - which peaked the dissatisfaction level of my daughter. When it came around to the traditional production with the feathery costumes and fog machine, Justine did come around and even remembered Odette's name. I felt some degree of satisfaction with that.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Editor's Note: Yes that is my husband's head cut off in the picture. My hands were frozen at this point, I was half asleep, and I needed to pee. Sorry Jeff.
Today was an utterly ridiculous day. Here is it the middle of April, and it is snowing!
Jeff and the kids picked me up after work this morning, and we all went to the YMCA bundled up as if it were January.
Jack, Jameson, Jaiden and I were all sitting in the car trying to stay warm while Justine and Jeff got their soccer team pics taken. I hate working the night before soccer, but since I only work weekends and soccer is on a weekend... I am lacking a solution to that dilemma. But once again, I digress.
We are all sitting in the car trying to stay warm, as I previously stated. The heater in the car was on. It was so warm and comfy. I couldn't help but lean against the freezing cold window, find my comfortable spot on the cold leather seats and enjoy the non-reclining 90 degree position of the seat. My eyes couldn't/wouldn't stay open any longer. I kept falling asleep and drooling on myself. Quite a sight, I'm sure. Thank goodness my husband's not into blogging, or I'm sure that would have been a post immediately.
I found myself in such a predicament. I had drank so much coffee at work to stay awake and at again at the game for warmth; I was doing the pee pee dance. There was no way I was going to shed all my layers of clothes in the port-a-potty. It was miserable, but I will spare you from the details. Luckily, the kids are in preschool and didn't realize that the coaches and refs were cutting their time on the field in half. Thank you coaches and refs.
We were all freezing to death. Justine kept running over to the sidelines each time with a different ailment, "I can't feel my toes." "I can't feel my fingers." "My ears are going to fall off." It went on and on. Kids today... they complain about everything.
Yes, this is a windshield full of ice pellets and snow. This is utterly ridiculous. When is this weather thing going to stop? I'm freezing to death!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I hate my vacuum and I'm getting rid of it!
This time I mean it.
Jeff and I made the mistake of buying this STUPID vacuum from one of those door to door salesmen early in our marriage. It was one of those situations where the salesmen gets your information from the newspaper right after you get home with your precious newborn baby, the time when you're feeling most postpartumish and maternal.
The salesmen invites himself in, you don't have the kahuunas to say no, he vacuums your nasty carpet, pulls out a filter to show you how dirty your house is, and generally makes you feel like a neglectful parent if you DON'T buy his product.
So Jeff and I paid A LOT for this piece of crap - 4 digits! I have tried everything to get rid of it... do you see the lime green duct tape holding it together? Jeff can do anything with a little duct tape - any color, any surface. And the new plug in my clever husband was smart enough to replace... well now the son of a gun keeps turning itself off and on. I think it's possessed. I am over it. I am going to put it out with the trash before Jeff finds it and figures out what's wrong with it. This is its last life!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Josh and Jameson's cousins Kalkidon and Hoptommo now live in Louisville. We drove to St. Louis to meet them on Sunday at the zoo. While we were waiting for them to get there, we watched the front gate with much anticipation. Jaiden asked me, "How will we know who they are?" I replied, "Well, they will be a family with light skinned parents and some dark skinned kids." And her reply is what makes me love her so much..."Mom, I've seen a million of those."
Waiting for our new family members to get to the zoo....
Hoptommo wouldn't let go of Josh's hand for the first several hours. Hoptommo said, "Josh. I like that name. That's a good name. You can call me Tommy."
This was news to his parents. He hadn't wanted to change his name up to that point...unless they changed it to Mickey Mouse.
Jameson and Kalkidon giggled and giggled, and giggled some more.
A picture of all 4 of the kids to send to grandma. Don't they look so happy? We were so worried about what would happen when they had to say goodbye. We made a plan to just say it and then go our separate ways. They totally did fine with it. There were no tears, no whining, no pouting at all. We had a great time, and we can't wait to see them again.
I feel like we've gained 7 new family members, and we look forward to getting to know them even better.
This could be a headline in the Springfield Newsleader. Well I doubt they print profanity, but if they did, it would definitely be a headline. (Is butt a profane word? I mean I know it is at our house, but what about the publishing world? I digress.)
Our first soccer game was Saturday. We won 10 to 0 (zero, zip, nadda, nanno, nothing).
Josh scored 2 of those goals and Jack did an awesome job defending the goal.
From what I have heard, it is every Ethiopian boy's dream to get to play soccer in a real uniform, with a real team, on a real field. Ours did it and kicked butt.
We were so proud. Jack was so excited for Josh. It was absolutely awesome. My friend Julie had a hard time not crying through the whole thing. And we get to experience this every weekend for a really long time!
"Merkeb" means "ship" in Amharic. We think her name is beautiful, but couldn't quite figure out why Eyob and Nebiet would have named their daughter "ship."
At the guesthouse, Helen said to me, "Do you know what Merkeb means?"
When they went to the orphanage, the people there either didn't understand what her name was because it was not an ethiopian word or changed it once she arrived.
Evidently, her given name is actually "Menkem." The name comes from their tribe - the Tigrin. The name actually means "like." Her name was intended to be "Menkem Eyob" or "like Eyob."Eyob - her father.
A friendly house elf who gladly cooks, cleans, does laundry, plays with the children, and can occasionally apparate a child to soccer, swimming, school, baseball or gymnastics.
Must be a self-starter, good under pressure, independent worker.
No pay or clothing, but room, board, and occasional vacation provided.
Inquire "in person" at our home in Springfield, Missouri U.S.A.
I need HELP with this: