Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hand, Foot, and Mouth

Hand, Foot, and Mouth is a disease, not a Dr. Seuss book, and my children have it (the disease -- but they also have a couple of Dr. Seuss books). It's just as gross and uncomfortable as it sounds but not as serious. 72 hours of fever, a few days of blisters ( you might have inferred, one's hands, feet, and mouth), and the virus expires. At least that's the prognosis. From where I sit, among blistered hands, feet, and mouths, and blazing foreheads, 72 hours feels long. But, I'll take it. I know I've spent three days in worse ways.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My life as a Mistint

Fact: I shop at the back of the store -- not a particular store, mind you, or any special store during sales or seasonal clearance -- every store -- all of the time. As a result, my walls are painted with other people's mistints, my favorite couch relocated from someone's front curb, my kids and I run around clad -- almost exclusively -- in other people's discarded clothing. My face wash, fancy shampoo, and hair accessories all came from either thrift stores or garage sales -- half-empty or expired. I buy torn things (because I'll likely tear them within a wear or two anyway) and stained things (because I'm the grossest person I know ....seriously......think: just months ago I had three babies in cloth diapers --- gah-rOHs). I splurge on snacktastic foods only when they're nearly expired and therefore half off. I buy ALL of the dairy-just-beyond-sell-by-dates, because, first of all, we consume more than 10 gallons of milk per week....but second, and more to the point, because it's cheap. Because I'M cheap. The walls around me gleam with the sheen of someone else's high-gloss not-quite-taupe, my dumpster-salvaged bookcases are crammed with thousands of children's books that have other peoples' names scrawled in the front cover, and my floors are littered with other peoples' discarded toys -- my kids' Christmas haul. This is not a political statement. It is a disease. And today, I realized while picking through overripe fruit, that I am sacrificing nothing to cater to my symptoms -- mistint is, and likely will remain -- my very favorite color.

P.S. Don't mistake my....mania....for a morality or martyrdom. I'm not frugal (frugal people buy only what they absolutely need at the lowest possible price -- I buy things I don't need just because they scream "low price!" I am the demographic targeted by the As-Seen-On-TV marketers -- I just don't call because they all involve "clubs," which I am notoriously bad at quitting (due to extreme laziness). And a martyr enjoys suffering -- I enjoy --- I THRILL at -- the procurement of extreme bargains -- no martyr here -- just a cheap-stuff junkie trolling store backs and ebay for my next fix.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amharic for Olivia

I have ordered a couple of books for my Amharic-hungry 8-yr-old! I picked them up on the site, and I can't wait until I can go back and order more! She's been teaching herself phrases from our travel phrase book, and we all watch our Tsehai video (from -- and from Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas:) together. The babies can count to ten, and my big kids can make it to 20. They've also incorporated as many words and phrases as they can understand into our everyday vocabulary. Olivia, though, has taken a particularly avid interest in learning Amharic (and in all of the traditions of Ethiopia, for that matter). She is directing our celebration of Fasika (Easter) this weekend and is already making big plans for Meskal! We gathered with other Ethiopian and Ethiopian adoptive families last month, and I think the experience has had a profound effect upon her appreciation for a culture that she has adopted as her own. Ameseganalu, Olivia.