Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And the Award for Biggest Jackass goes to...


 I was nominated for something other than World's Worst Mother! Vote for me!? What'll I win? I wonder. Maybe I won't win anything. Maybe just being nominated is winning?

Leaving now to vote for Claudia.

You Can Make Injera- Really.

Meghan has helped produce an incredible new cookbook. It is a resource that is invaluable to adoptive families with children from Ethiopia. You will easily be able to make your kids one of their favorite things- Injera.

 I was quite intimidated by the idea. I knew there was some fermenting involved, and special pans, and days upon days of preparations. Not so much. Easy, Peasy. Yummy, Delicious. Steven was the main chef, I was the sous chef. It was so easy, I'd be surprised if Meazi isn't making it by herself by the end of the school year.

Last Thursday night, after the kids and I fell asleep, Steven prepared the batter.





He used the Maskal brand teff, just the brown kind. I believe the recipe calls for a mixture, but he just used the brown. (Remarkably this teff flour belonged to Chris. He took it from her home after she died).

We tucked it in an open space on our very cluttered counter.

 It is supposed to ferment for up to 48 hours, but ours worked longer. I was worried that if we waited too long it would turn into beer or something. Not all would be lost, but still, it was a concern.

On Memorial Day, Steven added the hot water, which you have to do six to eight hours before you want to start making the bread.
  Our dear friends came over with their brand new Injera pan around 4:00 pm. Steven treated the pan with salt.

Doesn't it look yummy?

This pan was fantastic, but Meghan assures me that you absolutely do not need it. A simple frying pan, without a large lip, dedicated solely to Injera making, will work just as well.  (But if you were desperately trying to find me the perfect gift for, well, uhm, Father's Day? This Bethany pan would suffice). We didn't have a lid, so we just used one from another one of Heather's frying pans.

Here we go...






 I made Shiro from some powder I had, and the yellow split pea recipe from the Injera cookbook. I did not realize that in addition to easy, detailed, instructions on how to make Injera, the book contained tons of yummy recipes for many of our favorite Ethiopian dishes.
The Injera was great. It was the real deal. The dark teff gives it a richer, stronger, taste in my opinion, and next time we will try a mixture of the light and dark teffs.
It kept comin'. We kept eating. The kids loved it.




There is something incredibly satisfying about making injera for our kids. Meazi kept raving, "I can't believe you made injera!" She'd run out of the kitchen, and then run right back in to rip off another piece. She took the injera with some leftover Shiro in her lunchbox today. Earlier on Monday, she had told me how her family made injera in Ethiopia. She gave me some pointers. We live 15 miles from Little Ethiopia. We are incredibly lucky to have access to injera and other products, but now we know that no matter where we are, we can recreate this incredible gift of food, culture, family- living and departed- and friends.

Here is a lovely article about Meghan, Mulu, and their book. All proceeds go to building and improving health clinics in Ethiopia. Great idea. Invaluable resource. Delicious injera. Here's the link again.

Happy Fermenting.

MFG!

Melissa Fay Greene is in LA tonight!

I would like to go, but I'm not sure Melese will let me.

Have you read the book yet?

Maybe you'll catch her in your city.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And it's Just too Bright...


So I guess I'm not ready to give up the blog just yet. I will just have to figure out what to share. I have a feeling Meazi will help me with that. I hope that she doesn't mind that I share the following.

Today was the two year anniversary of our referral for Meazi and Melese. I had mentioned that fact to Meazi early on in the week. I asked her if she remembered what had happened on May 27th. She didn't. I showed her this video again. Then she remembered. Last night, for the first time in months, we talked extensively about Ethiopia. Meazi told me a couple of happy stories that I had never heard before. Then she asked me why her new friend Aster needed a family. I told her that I wasn't sure. We agreed that she must feel really scared, being here in Los Angeles for only a couple of weeks.



This morning Meazi slept in. We had talked about playing Pippi Longstocking again in the morning. I am always Pippi, Meazi is Annicka, and Melese is Tommy. We play this a lot. I lift our rocking horse over my head repeatedly, and we eat a lot of pancakes. This morning we made a huge stack with a slab of butter in the center, doused in syrup, and smothered in whipped cream. While I was cooking I asked Meazi to choose a not so loud cd for us to listen to. We have a messy collection of about 30 miscellaneous cds in our living room. Amazingly enough she chose a cd I made for myself and my waiting friends while we waited, and waited, for children. The songs are about waiting, and At Last is at the end. Cue ugly happy cry number one. Meazi asked me again to describe what happened on May 27th, 2009. I got to the part about "A 2 1/2 year old girl and her baby brother" and completely lost it- big, heaving, sobs. She just smiled at me, knowing that I was crying because I was happy and grateful. She has been especially sweet to me, and to her baby brother all day.


 I was thinking that we might not pay much attention to this date in our family. Really, probably not a happy day to mark for M&m. But, now, as with many things, this date has a new significance for all of us. Meazi, the perceptive wonder that she is, realizes fully that this day was a REALLY big day around here. As we sit together in the same room where all our friends came to celebrate, I think we will definitely use a sharpie marker to mark this day on our family's calendar.

This has been a day so full of happiness that I feel like I may actually burst. Yes, there are problems. Yes, there is sadness. Yes, there is loss.

But not today.

Today is pancakes and Pippi, libraries and parks, picnics and playdates. Today I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Today I am sure that I must be the luckiest mom on the planet.

The very luckiest.

 Another song from the cd...



For Bridget. Hold. On.

May 27th

Upon Referral, May 27th, 2009.

Meaza.

Height: 36 inches.

Weight: 29 pounds.

Today.

Height: 47 inches.

Weight: 47 pounds.



Upon Referral, May 27th, 2009.

Melese.

Height: 25 inches.

Weight: 14 pounds.

Today.

Height: 36 inches.


Weight: 31 pounds.

Happy best day of my entire life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

BBB + Mean Reds

The amazing Rebekah often graces us with a Bad Blogger Bullet point post. I love those. I thought that I would attempt one since I have a dozen posts in my head and about twenty minutes left before Melese wakes up from his nap. Here goes-

Marshall Garlington, one of the amazing photographers from our fundraiser is dying his hair blue for Charity Water. Will you consider helping him reach his goal? We all know what a great organization that is and how much the gift of clean water will change a person's life. I read a statistic the other day that $35 can provide a lifetime of clean water for someone. Can that be true? Anyway, please help him if you can. He is a good egg.

Speaking of help, thank you for all of your advice about the situation with the two-year old. What would I do without you guys? I'd be a disaster. Things are better and this is going to sound absurd but I am trying to just REALLY listen to him- What is he saying? What is he trying to tell me? Today, while biting me, I'm pretty sure he was saying, "I am furious that my dad is back to work today, and that the girl I love most will be gone for the next six hours." I also signed him up for Mommy and Me Gym class at the YMCA, which is helping both of us. He can knock the shit out of some puffy blocks, and I can at least see the inside of a gym again.

Still think something is up with Amelia Bedelia, but Meazi adores her.

I am thinking constantly about Lori Rooney and Aster's mommy as they begin their lives as moms of five-ish year old girls. I can't stop thinking about when I first met Meazi.


Family History will be reprinted in Adoption Mosaic's, The Adoption Constellation Magazine this summer. The editor has asked me to expand the piece, and I seem unable to. It seems so long ago that Meazi needed to lie on me to fall asleep. I can't remember what it felt like, and what I can remember feels too private to share.

I have been thinking a lot about privacy/ blogging etc. Meazi wasn't writing in a journal I gave her. When I asked why she told me she was upset that I copied something she drew. I am getting to the point where I feel like maybe it is time to not share anymore, meaning...

Perhaps this blog has run its course.

Perhaps I just have the blog blahs.

And he's up!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Et Tu Amelia Bedelia?

I've never liked her. I think the idioms are over kids' heads. "Dusting" the furniture with powder, um, yeah, not funny.

These are the first characters of color that I have seen in AB books, and they are up to no good.
Anyone else find this odd? And racist?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photo Every Hour (ish)- May 11, 2011.


 5:30. Steven says goodbye and heads for the door. Meazi wakes and I say, "Hurry and catch daddy before he goes." I go back to bed, and then find Meazi here. 6:00.


Himself trundles out of the bedroom, having already removed his silky sleep cap.


We have breakfast, cheesy eggs and chocolate croissants. I eat mine and Melese's, down three cups of coffee and three advil. Cramps.


7:00. We leave for school, Melese surveys the damage from what will now be referred to as, "The Great Chair Debacle of 2011". Don't ask. He is insisting on wearing his "Beeswax" which are light up antennae from the dollar depot. It's P.E. day so Meazi gets to wear sweats.

 I only get exasperated with Meazi once, as we frantically go back in the house to search for a book she needs to return to her school library. It was in her bag the whole time. We get into the car and hear the incredible voice of this woman. Steven got me this cd for my birthday. Meazi says, "Mom, why do you want those kids in the new school to learn English?" And so it begins, the big questions right away. And why do I want them to learn English anyway? I say, "Well Meazi, I want them to learn Amharic too. The more languages they know, the more opportunities they will have." She says, "So they will know Kembatissa, Amharic, and English?" I say, "I hope so." She says, "Mom, I think we should have another fundraiser to build another school in another village and the kids can learn Kembatissa, Amharic, English, and Spanish, and maybe French too!" I tell her that I think it is a fine idea. Then we have a long conversation about coat tail riding and that guy that always sings on AK's albums and how he is really lucky that AK gives him work. We agree that we don't like his voice and we skip right over his tracks. Melese yells, "Make it YOUDER mamma!" I turn it up and we pull into the school parking lot.

We wait with her until the last possible second. I walk Melese to the Kindergarten door so he can, take a yittle peek. We drive home. He says he'd like a yittle walk.


8:00.

We are having a lovely time visiting the neighborhood dogs, picking flowers, etc until Melese becomes startled by a neighbor and falls apart, making me think again about this powerful post that Julie wrote yesterday, and some suspicions I have about my beautiful son. We go in and I make us some decaf, chai tea with lots of milk and sugar.


He feels better. We sing a few songs on the rocker and watch the fish.

9:00.
He asks for some dried cherries, and his playdoh.

  He makes me an ice cream cone, while I answer a couple of e-mails, and attempt to finally finish my thank you notes for the fundraiser.

10. 11. More of the same. More dried fruit. Lots of dried fruit. Some singing, some trucks, and some more playdoh. I search online for airline tickets for what will now be referred to as our upcoming, Summer of Love tour. Two weddings. Four trips. Trains, planes, and boats. Papa's boat.

12:00. He tells me he is ready for his nap. I'd love to say that we now just kiss each other 'Good nap!' and off he goes, but, well, I still lie down with him until he falls asleep. I know two years. He also still has a sippy cup of milk (rotting his teeth and impeding his speech I am sure). I turn on the space heater, and put his three favorite lullabies in a loop on my I-Phone. I lie next to him. He grabs my hand. We both fall asleep.


12:15. The mailman wakes me up. I receive the Rosemary oil I ordered for their hair but can't remember what exactly I am supposed to do with it. I eat some salty items, some chocolatey items, and have a mini ugly cry. Ah hormones.

1: something. He wakes up. I change his sweaty clothes. He gives me a look that seems familiar, but I think Nah, I haven't changed a poopy diaper in months. I will spare you the rest of this hour but just remember these two words: dried fruit.

I make him some pasta. He eats a little and then goes back in for more playdoh fun. He hasn't played with it for months, so I am surprised that he continues.

2:20. At long last. His favorite part of the whole day...

video

We drive off to get Meazi, our konji.


I bring our library books. Meazi has a star chart and every seven stars she gets a treat of her choice. Melese had been talking about Pinkberry all day, and I knew Meazi wouldn't need much persuading for a Pinkberry, park, library trifecta, celebrating her good behavior. (I am not thrilled with this reward system that we have going, besides the fact that I am getting fat, I don't want to keep this much longer. Does anyone else do reward chart sorts of things? Any better ideas? Oh, I know, I know, she should just listen and do whatever I want her to do. That doesn't really work in our house).

3:ish.
 4:ish.

Melese keeps getting youder and youder so we have to leave.

5:ish.

6-ish. I defrost some processed foodstuffs for dinner, and have a chat with my good friend, Fess Parker.

 They eat. Melese only gets up three times, which is pretty good, and I only have to utter this mothering gem once, "Melese, this is it. After dinner the kitchen is closed and you will get NO MORE FOOD." He replies, "The kitchen doesn't have a door mamma," and walks off.

Ted wants to know where his dinner is.


7:ish. Homework.

Hugging.


Imaginative play. Melese wearing Meazi's school shoes and mumbling about kindergarten.


7:ish. Miraculously, Meazi spends a great deal of time helping me tidy up the house. She tells me a long involved story about the Holy Family, and how Mary is everyone's mother. I scan the calendar to see just how many days of Catholic instruction she has left. Then she says, "I'd like to get some flowers for Mary's statue momma. Can we do that?" If you had seen her sweet little face, you would have said yes too, atheist or not.

The wee Gobez is now ready for slumber.



8:ish.

8:30 ish. Steven arrives home, takes our photo.


Bonne nuit.

10:52 pm. I am up again. Steven is out back pouring our honey harvest into bear jars, I just uploaded all the photos and ate 75 Easter jelly beans. Ahhh, hormones.

Here is last year's post.

Here's the year before that (when I forgot to take my medicine).