May 10, 2012

As if I have time to blog for free anymore. Now I get to rush the crowds in downtown DC and sit my ass in a windowless room all day with my legs all badly crossed under me until they hurt so bad I limp around the building and get paid to blog, and even edit other people's blog posts. Somehow it always sounded glitzier when I imagined it under this blog's influence...if only I could earn money to dance.

By the way, once a very bad walker indeed, Sira now runs his way to everything. No more laying down on U street. The stroller sits in a shed. Miracles keep happening.

Jan 31, 2012

His love is infectious

What can I say? An oozy ear infection has never looked more sweet.

The Van est Morte

Here we are in the other family car.

Notice the boys rubbing elbows.

Tsega has tears. He usually does in the car. Can you guess why?

I know what he's thinking. Sabatoogie.

The minivan died. It had been ours since we became a family. It was kind of a twisted symbol of our life in Kansas. The boys used to spit milk all over the back seat. I remember milk streaks all over the inside and a very funky smell. Oh yeah, we locked a cat inside by accident once or twice for a long time (cat OK). My dad refused to drive in it and the smell or pet hair made my mom sick once. I feel like my America Dream is going up in smoke. We went from minivans, rural life and working on our own house to...


Squishy! Each of my little triplets has no idea about personal space and each learned how to talk really loud or else let the stimulation swallow his voice. I picture the boys screaming at their friends in college, "HEY!! DUDE!!!!! HEY DUDE!!!!!????? YOU GOTTA PENCIL!!!??? We're really loud on the metro too. It's like they still share a womb. They just can't keep their adorable little hands off each other or be quiet for just a little while longer...

Jan 23, 2012

Teeth: an update

Taking a break on U Street.

Remember when they are babies and every tooth eruption is important? Like, whoa, my kid is so talented, he already has 6 teeth! Whoa, we are so in a bad way because he is cutting molars. I'm not sure how much teeth were responsible for making Bereket's eyes so big and quiet during his teen months. But I forgot that at a pretty young age all those little perfect baby teeth start falling out. Kind of gruesome. I filed that one away until last year when I started noticing all these 4 and 5 year old kids in Pre-K with mouths full of missing, differently sized, and jagged teeth.

And, true to order of teeth eruption, we are losing those lovely pearls beginning with Bereket (lost first tooth during the end of his fourth year). Sira is a close second and Tsega is trailing far behind (zero loose, zero out). Funny, the big kid (and he is getting quite huge while the little guys are still the littlest people in their class) with all the hair gets his teeth last and loses them last.

Number of teeth lost so far: 6.

Bereket is the cutest with one of the two front ones gone (that's him with the red shorts). For some reason he has not stopped smiling ever since and if I could draw a few freckles on his cheeks, he'd be perfect. We had a toy vacuum once, it had a toothy smile. It looked just like Bereket's baby-toothed smile. I kind of miss that stupid vacuum.

Jan 8, 2012

Some time later...

Aug 2011. First day of Kindergarten. Still in DC.

Nov 5, 2010

Halloween II

The earliest Halloween I can remember, I was no more than five, since I remember my neighborhood and friends before we moved during kindergarten. I had a bag of candy, we always used pillow cases, and I ate all I wanted and stuffed my lunch box with candy and by day three it was all gone. I had a friend, same name as me, who claimed to still have Halloween candy 6 months later.

Last year was the first Halloween we took the kids trick or treating. I love Halloween. By November 1st the kids didn't remember or maybe didn't realize they had any candy left and stopped asking for it (I think we allowed them each 3 pieces Halloween night) and they didn't get much anyway because they were so spooked and moved so slow. Anyway, again, by day three the candy was gone, Jerry and I ate it all.

This Halloween we are in a DuPont Circle hotel in DC. Jerry and I have been watching slasher movies on cable for days. The house cleaners had the kids' costumes in a bag destined for the dumpster, but I rescued them anyway. Like last year, the kids dress up in whatever I scrounged up from this and that. Since we are within walking distance, since the neighborhood is crawling with homes and kids, since the streets are full of fall leaves, we cruise Georgetown Halloween night. God, what did these people do to get so much money? I couldn't help but stare past the door and the person holding the door, past the candy bowl, and into these prosperous homes. The beauty compels me. (I have to mention that my mom and I and then Jerry and I climbed the infamous M Street steps in Georgetown made famous by the Exorcist and Alfred Hitchcock.)

Tsega as giraffe hybrid, Sira as lion king hybrid, Bereket as the 4 eared puppy dog.

The sun shone when we started in our costumes, so, needless to say, people smiled and laughed as they passed on the streets. This made Tsega nervous, he asks, why are they laughing to me? Funny he cares, since lately they think everybody on the street wants to be entertained by them. Waving, greeting, gesturing, posing, posturing, performing. I am the one in front with the face, looking back and shouting, avoiding eye contact. I'm not exaggerating. I feel bad because I can't control my kids very well, they frighten me on the street (danger! danger!), then a stranger shoots me an engaging smile, means to say through a glance, You've just made my day by exposing to me the cutest damn kids, perhaps triplets, at least twins, that I have ever seen. And that winning smile and bright eyes meet my unattractive grimace. My mouth cracks to smile.

Anyway, Day five after Halloween. Hell of a lot of candy left. Contemplating throwing it away. Kids demanding candy candy candy, crying, insulted, injustice. Unlike my mother, I take their candy bag, hide it, eat it, Jerry eats it, I pretend there's none left, Jerry and I pass each other pieces behind their backs, make loud noises as I tear a wrapper off. I can't keep eating this stuff. They can't keep eating this stuff. Maybe I'll donate it to the hotel lobby. I think it's faded from memory by now, anyway, I just tell them it's all gone now. I love Halloween. Like, spooky.

Oct 22, 2010


So, Cindy, how is your second month in DC going?

Well, haha, the row house adjacent to ours burned to the ground, our house suffered heavy smoke and soot damage, we're staying in a hotel for about a month, and our dog died of smoke inhalation. Other than that, swell!

Fire. It is late morning, we are all out, except our 2 dogs, Louie and Clementine, and cat Annie. I return to find the street blocked off and full of fire engines. I am walking in a heavy downpour with my heart leaping at my throat and down to my feet, barely sheltered by a ridiculously broken neon-green umbrella, sure that it is my house in danger. No, it is the adjacent row house to the west, we are the lucky ones. I am home just after the fire is extinguished and Clementine is dead on the back porch and Louie and Annie missing. The whole scene, made more depressing by the heavy muddy rain, was a mess. I remember slipping in the mud, in flip flops, as I made my way to Clementine's body.

House. Our house was filled with impossible black smoke something awful. The adjacent house is a dismal, total loss. She, with no insurance, is left with next to nothing. The singed shell of bricks sits boarded up. Our house is a rental and thanks to renter insurance, pros are cleaning our belongings along with the house, and while some things are lost, we'll be OK (except for perhaps the constant drift of smoke smell from next door, surely a health hazard).

Clementine. The fire fighters did all they could to get the dogs out. The smoke was real bad and both dogs were barking and fighting for their lives at the back door. The crew gave oxygen to both but Clementine died anyway. They tell me Louie was pretty bad too but he revived then ran away. When I arrived a marshal gently showed me Clemmy's body and I just cried. I felt so bad for her. The smoke was so bad even the inside of the microwave was black.

I had Clementine for about 11 years. Got her as an older puppy from the shelter. A red coonhound. God she was an awful puppy. Nearly couldn't potty train her. Tore up a new couch and the front seats of my car. I was often asked, Why are your front seats blue and your back seats tan? Always running off, terrible on a leash, baying at everybody, scaring people, although she couldn't hurt a fly. She followed her nose always. She wasn't much a better adult dog, but she was gentle and mine, and I loved her. In Kansas she and Louie ran that countryside like no dog ever did. At first we tried to contain her, but as long as we received no complaints, we let her and Louie do as they pleased to make them happy. I figured if she got shot or ran over, at least she lived a long dreamy dog's life. And she did. Rest in peace Clemmy. Get that rabbit. Will I really never hear that coonhound howl again?

Louie. Soon after Jerry came home to join me, we found Louie cowering under the shed out back. We never truly claimed Louie as our own. He showed up one day and wouldn't leave, so we let him stay on because he fell so hard for Clem. She eventually came around to him too. Physically he is fine since the fire. But that scrappy funny dog is so sad and serious now. He is clinging to us and we are clinging back. I never felt so sorry for a dog before and since the kids our pets have lost a lot of status with us. But we feel his pain and he has instantly risen in significance with us. Now I don't want to go out without him. My heart swells for this silly little sad dog.

Annie. I couldn't remember if she was in the house or not, nobody had spotted a cat. That evening we were back in the house looking for something and suddenly as if nothing happened she scampers on her little squirrel feet across the kitchen floor. Geez, cats are so resilient. I don't believe she is affected at all by the fire. Gotta love a cat.

Kids. They were in school at the time. We picked them up and told them everything and showed them the house before moving on. There were some tears and Bereket was pretty scared when we approached the house. But they are resilient too and doing amazingly well. We're commuting to and from school right now in our van, so we may be a bit messy and our homework missing or sloppy, but they're pretty happy through it all. They tell everybody in that unintelligible preschooler way they have, Our house is broken and Clementine died.

The what-ifs. Plague the imagination with horrifying drama. What if . . . the neighbors were home and didn't make it out. . . or the fire happened at night as we slept or when Jerry was in Nepal and my mom was sleeping in the basement (the worst of the smoke was in there) . . . What if I was home and got stuck downstairs trying to get the dogs out, or our house burnt down too? What if I was home and got the G-damn dogs out???

All in all, tis only a minor curse for us, obviously it could have been so much worse.

The following are happy images albeit bad smart phone quality (camera temporarily out for restorartion):


A moment of peace. The boys are maniacs on the metro.

Clementine (right) with pal Louie before furniture.

Most likely, a multiple time out in public and ineffective.

A little wild in the city.

Still this beautiful.

Sep 29, 2010

In the City

We still like to play in the dirt outside, pretend to be Pinocchio, make goofy faces, and freeze in bizarre poses in the middle of a busy sidewalk. Or wear a dress. Or hop around on all fours barking. You might have seen us exit the ice cream store playing dog. (Don't go in there if you fear the same may happen to your kids.)

We wear uniforms to school. And spend insane amounts of time in Pre-K. Monday thru Friday 8:40 until 3:10. They're only four and always over tired after school and hate walking the three or four blocks home. Naps at home have ceased for the most part. It's cool having all this time to myself, but I think it's too much. They're so little! At school, tongue lashings are not uncommon, which is new for me. I mean, I yell at home all the time, but I'm not used to seeing other people -- preschool teachers, staff -- raise their voice or use harsh tones. Luckily its balanced with sugary sweet personnel as well. And really, the boys' language and comprehension are again exploding. Oh, and we get homework too. Sigh. I didn't sign up for big kids . . . not yet. DC public neighborhood schools are, allegedly, among the worst in the country. Interesting times . . . I feel inspired to do something . . . what?

I moved my kids and they did just fine . . . this we heard a lot. Yeah, but I think you forgot kids also have hair triggers and throw a bobby pin into their world, unravel their knowns, and the crying, oh the crying, the tantrumming, peak at alarming rates. I heard myself say yesterday, time to call in the shrink. Sira is beyond crazy and cracks up all the time and always gets Bereket into it. I love a funny kid, but they are impossible to parent at these times. I think my parenting act is a disaster lately. I do see light ... somewhere down the hill. Deep breaths.

We miss home, we miss old teachers and baby sitters. But we are also having a blast in the city. We love our skinny little house, friendly quiet neighborhood, and I feel a huge unburdening of guilt that my kids' skin color is now the majority in our community. I do love the city and the country will be that much sweeter and DC has amazing urban parks with native vegetation and creeks. Except now . . . you're really going to feel sorry for me . . . baby sitters are hard to find still and charge outrageous fees. The chance of Jerry and I getting a night out alone -- and God do we need one -- are not looking good at the moment. Ah hell, he's in Nepal right now anyway. So I'm moaning a little inside and repeating a favorite phrase in our house, what about me? Me needs a long walk in the woods with the dogs and start dancing again . . . work comes later. Easy to do! Lucky mama overall!

Sep 19, 2010

We're here

The loudest family on the block settled into their new DC home. Our volume penetrates this kind and gentle neighborhood. These country people stand out. Who brings hound dogs to the city? The boys are in school, pre K, 5 days a week, all day until 3:15, integrated into a big kid public school. What. Your kids are in a local public DC school, oh God, they make movies about these very schools, yet they are singing and talking more than ever. There is not one single white kid in school (preschool - 8th grade), some Hispanics, a little bit of Ethiopians, and the rest AA which reflects our immediate neighbourhood.

The boys' charm is catching. Some older girls were calling Corbin Bleu one morning as I dropped them off. Dork, I had to goggle him. Very hot.

Despite bad insect bites - I mean, what are those things biting me - $70 in parking tickets, yeah, forget the car, sunburns, heat and dripping humidity, horrible triplet moments, and rare nastiness, we have experienced incredible kindness from our community and the district. DC is laid back, full of color, kind, happy, with beautiful people and endless rockin AA hair.

Readers, bare with me. I'm still living off a smart phone -ewww she's gone mobile - but soon this site will back and running and full of detail antics and gorgeous. I miss you ...

Aug 11, 2010

Three Little Days

In 3 little days we and 3 little boys move from Kansas to Washington DC.

Jerry and I thought our roots were here. We built our house and planted trees and a garden. Three wild grape vines have taken over parts of our fence. The Kentucky coffee trees are huge now. I planted a rose bush that never did much, except there were 3 plump roses just blossomed on the day we received our adoption referral. Drops of my sweat are sealed into the wood stain. Jerry killed his back with drywall. But in 3 days we leave behind a house empty of people. I think it will sag with silence and neglect.

We leave a house, but it's still ours. We leave our jobs, but they'll be here. I leave my career temporarily (temporarily!) to stay home, Jerry begins again with the Feds. For one year we are city people in the Nation's capitol. Who knows after that . . . a return to home base? Stay? Off to another adventure?

It's a mixed bag. Excitement, romance, melancholy, wonderment. We're up for anything . . . I'll miss my dance classes, my little community of friends, co-workers and even acquaintances, and the biggest loss, our yard -- the place where wild things run free -- but surly I will find replacements. And thank you gods, we found a row house with a decently sized fenced in yard (a few midnight panic attacks -- kids, dogs, cats, no yard, no freakin way -- focused my house hunting energies!) and our new community is a place of groove and racially rich. May the gods be with us and the dollar thrive.