Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Guess who led her new class into school ?

Go then little butterfly. Spread your wings.

I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Chrysalis: a protecting covering : a sheltered state or stage of being or growth.

Sunday Garden Tour

I haven't been writing much about the garden. The kids love the garden. Every day Melese takes my hand and says, "Gar?" He leads me in, and makes sure that every single blueberry and every single strawberry has been eaten. Then he plops down and plays in the dirt.

Here is the corn in June...

In July...

In August...

We slather it in butter and Berbere, wrap it in foil, and grill it on the BBQ. It is yummy, with a kick. We have always called corn by what we thought was the Amharic name for it, "Pocolo". Meazi corrected us and said we should be saying, "Bocolo." She told us that Pocolo is how you say corn in English.

That is a cute story about corn. What isn't as cute, is watching a girl her size and age harvest corn like a pro. Meazi has done this before in Ethiopia. Corn is what she ate. Corn, or lack of corn, is what made Meazi pass for a two year old at referral. Gardening for leisure is a lot different than gardening for survival.

But they do like it. So we will continue to do it.

Meazi with Pip and Squeak...

M&m harvesting Coriander...

Joy and sorrow, even in the garden.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Fun with Friday Friend and Family Features

We had a lot of guests this summer. I mentioned our best friends came to see us. We had a great time with them. The kids enjoyed their first fireworks...

They watched for about sixty seconds and then got bored.

There was beach going, zoo going...

And horseback riding...

Melese introduced everyone to the object of his obsession...

Our vacuum cleaner. Bob the vacuum needs his own post.

After M and H and N left, Petra and her kids came. Do you remember Petra? Her kids had grown quite a bit.

Domingo then...

Domingo now...

Meazi and Melese folllowed Domingo and Chiara everywhere they went. They were enamored with them.

Petra has not changed. She is as sweet, and kind, and funny as she was before. Her kids were so nice to M&m. They spent time doing things like playing Candyland, and letting Meazi lock them up in pretend jail (for not paying a speeding ticket) when what they really wanted to do was go hang out on the Venice Boardwalk.

After both sets of friends had gone, I would find Melese walking around the house holding their pictures. First it was Neve's photo, and then a photo (from eight years ago) of Petra with her kids.

Visitors. The kids did great. I think they are finally comfortable enough to know that no one is going to be taking them home with them.

That is a beautiful thing.

Culture Class

Every Saturday, for the past seven weeks, we have been attending culture classes in Little Ethiopia.

We are so grateful that something like this exists. I was always envious of people who lived in cities that had the organization Ethiopians for Ethiopians.

Initially we were going to sign both kids up. It became clear that Melese was a bit too young.

Meazi absolutely loved it. She would talk about it all week. She practiced the dances, and every Saturday morning would pick out her outfit. She would tell Steven exactly how she wanted her hair done, and he would quickly style it.

There were a couple of things that were hard for Meazi. The children's video they watched brought up a lot of memories from the care center. We talked about it after the class.

Melese got a lot out of just being there. We would see him doing the dance moves during the week as well. He seemed to be drumming and singing more too. And each Saturday he would get to see Tunsi. He was very happy about that.

If you are in the LA area and don't yet know about the school, send me an e-mail and I will send you the info.

We are so grateful for this new school.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Raising Butterflies

So if you guessed that yesterday's picture was of Steven and Meazi preparing food for 33 caterpillars, well, you were right!

I had this grandiose idea of raising butterflies to release on Meazi's birthday. I know, I know, it is a bit much, but this kid and her brother make me want to live in a constant state of hyperbole.

We received them on the 18th and they have already tripled in size. Meazi's birthday is the 12th, and we are having a very small party for her on the 11th.

Think we can do it?

One of Meazi's teachers told me that it is sometimes not as beautiful as one might imagine. The butterflies may be disoriented, and sometimes their wings get caught on things.

We will give it a go, and keep our fingers crossed that it is not traumatic for any living creature.

If you want to try it at home, this is where we got them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have some bad news. The bees are gone. Due to a series of unfortunate events, the bees are no more. Steven has explained over and over to me how it happened, but every time he starts describing it my eyes glaze over and the words, "No more honey, no more honey, no more honey" keep running through my brain. Here are the words that I remember, 'too many queens,' 'Absconsion,' and 'swarming'. Bad news. This happened back in July.

Dear Rooney Easter bees,
Thank you for all or your hard work. I much enjoyed your golden honey that had just the slightest bit of orange flavor. It was absolutely delicious. Thank you and farewell.

Steven would love to keep new bees here at the house. Moses is gone, so we wouldn't have to worry about him getting stung and swelling up like a Sharpei again (Moses that is, not Steven). However, I told Steven it would just cause me more mom anxiety. I am picturing M&m running toward me covered in bees, screaming at the tops of their little darling lungs (M&m I mean, not the bees). So we are looking for another foster family to keep new bees. It is a hobby Steven loves so I certainly don't want to spoil it for him. Anybody interested?

And oh how we love the honey.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Strangeness at the Souplantation

Can't we just eat too much at the all-you-can-eat salad bar in peace?

Woman #1 approaches our table:

"Oh, what a beautiful family. You are from South Africa?"

(Is there a period of South African history that I missed?)

Older Man #1 approaches our table:

"What a beautiful family. I just look at his big brown eyes and do you know who I am immediately reminded of?"

(I shake my head bracing myself for the worst).

"Buckwheat! He looks just like cute little Buckwheat!"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Friend or Family Feature

My friend Amy is a superhero. She is LT's mom. I heart LT. Amy, like many of us, went to Ethiopia and came home forever changed. Amy used to be a high powered executive at a major movie studio. How big a job did she have? Let's put it this way, one day I asked her if she could meet me for lunch. She said she'd love to but she had to meet John Cusack. Lloyd Dobler needed marketing advice. See, I told you, big, big, important job.

Amy gave it up. She came back from Ethiopia, and immediately began changing her life. She and a colleague have formed a new company. It is called SocialVest. It is such a smart idea...

"SocialVest is a cause based shopping platform, empowering people to contribute to social good by earning money for their favorite non-profit organizations through everyday shopping. SocialVest believes there is an opportunity to evolve traditional business by focusing on doing good in a sustainable way. SocialVest’s vision is to better the world by creating a new fundraising channel where each person has the power to become an active participant of charitable giving."

She is a social activist. She is helping us change the world by shopping. Everyone likes to shop right? Now you can shop and contribute to your favorite charity at the same time. You can order your child's school supplies and then donate a percentage to your favorite organization. Brilliant.

Hollywood, Schmollywood, Amy has bigger fish to fry.

Will you please join me in signing up? It is super easy. I hardly ever ask you for anything. (I did ask you to check your neck too, please don't forget to check your neck).

Sign up. Shop. Give. And support my superhero friend who manages to put her money where her mouth is.

Amy, you inspire us all. I am so lucky to have you as a friend.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Am I the Only One ?

Am I the only one who goes to the pediatrician appointment fully prepared to decline most vaccinations for the kidlets, and then slowly caves as said pediatrician tells disease horror story after disease horror story?

Am I smart to cave? Or wishy-washy?

What kind of idiot am I for thinking a five-in-one shot was the best thing for Melese this morning?

On the way home Steven says, "Don't freak out but look at your son." Sure enough I look at the car seat and Melese is completely passed out and much floppier than I have ever seen him. "PULL THE CAR OVER!" I yell. I quickly get him out of the seat, see that he is still breathing and I walk him around in a not so safe shoulder of the road. Meazi bursts into hysterics, "What has happened mom!!!" I put him back in his seat, get her, and give her a hug. I tell her everything is okay, and that I was just concerned because Melese fell asleep so quickly.( I was thinking back to when I had all of those travel vaccines in one day and was sick for a week). We continue on our way home. Steven takes Meazi into Jamba Juice to get a 'good job at the doctor' smoothie as I place my hand on Melese's chest. I quickly Google 'five in one vaccine' and begin reading horror story after horror story about vaccine side effects. Steven asks me what kind of Jamba Juice I would like. I say, " The scotch and vodka berry blend."

I am now lying in bed next to a sleeping Melese. I am hoping he wakes up soon so that I can stop worrying. I am pretty sure though that there is no end to the worry. Last night I had school anxiety dreams about KINDERGARTEN. I have already graduated from KINDERGARTEN. I can't possibly remain this anxious for my children.

How do you people do it?