Dec 29, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

Ewww, I just can't shake Christmas off, it was pretty spectacular this year celebrating with three threes. Except we are all asking for cookies like all the time suddenly. Like we just expect chocolate everyday.

Anyway, I was super jealous of one Super Mom's idea for the 12 Books of Christmas: 1 new book for baby each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. She started this tradition on her first Mommy Christmas and every year I've thought, damn, that's a good idea, why didn't I think to do this? Then seemed everybody was doing it. Trend setter!

Rant: OK, she is really starting to bug me . . . I mean fresh local vegetables and fruit always on big display (and her kids actually eat it!), organic this or the other whooped into delicious platters, home spun stocking stuffers, well adjusted children, you know, one of those mindful mamas. Sickening. (Hug, kiss, love you!)

But Jerry and I thought of a great new tradition of our very own beginning December 2010. Every day for 12 days until Christmas Day, we will break out a bottle of wine, one we've never tried before. That's 12 bottles in 12 days. Easy and special and meaningful seeing how we also celebrate our wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve. Feel free to steal my idea (I'll remind all next year) and I promise to blog about each day!

Dec 28, 2009

Christmas Gluttons

Christmas came with plenty of price tags, boxes and bags, and snow, lights, and heart-stuffed celebration too. I have a hangover's sense of rolling, rolling, wheels, blurry rolling wheels, and sugar cranked kids rolling rolling spiralling, spinning . . . a weird fuzz of three little shopping carts, shopping carts, everywhere shopping, extremely so.

Wee early morning, asleep in their beds, everything in place. Look, Jerry, Santa left me a stocking!

Rolling off with presents and balloons in cart. Tsega held his candy so long. Nobody had the right stocking. Bereket refused to wear Ethiopian pants. Later, Tsega wore a dress.

We rolled, shopped, wiped noses, resolved toy fights, hugged, played music, cooked play doe, and ate like pigs. Gluttony rules!

And new train parts too.

Happy New Year!

Dec 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Jerry: I look like a wacko.
Me: Oh, nah, well, a little.

He's beautiful.

Eight Christmas Eves ago Jerry and I eloped to Santa Fe and married.

About 5 years later we became parents. We left Thanksgiving decorations behind and came home in a time warp, everything had morphed into Christmas and we had three new family members. It really did feel like time skipped while we were gone. Blammo, we're a family.

Smile Tsega!

Who's Naughty

I love using Santa as a threat . . . oh, so naughty, Santa won't come tonight!

Santa, because I know you are reading (he sees everything!), please note the following bad behaviors last weekend as you check your list.

At the Mall. Funny, but embarrassing and quite defiant and overall pretty difficult. I knew it would be a bad exit, I knew. I had to drag Tsega from under a clothing rack, and I mean draaag, kicking and screaming under my grip in what escalated into a very public and royal fit. (Really folks, this is not an abduction!) Meanwhile, daddy was trying to put jackets on what appeared to be 2 clowns in full production of The Greatest Show on Earth: rolling, falling, bouncing, roaring, hysterical twin clowns. I liked the audience gathering for a laugh; the Salvation Army bell ringer, a clerk, in particular the lady describing the scene over a cell phone as I walked past, momentarily pretending I was not part of this circus act.

Please also note these good natured people on your list . . . I'll take a chuckle over the horrified holier-mom-than-thou (aka, control-your-child-you-hopeless-loser) glare anyday!

Then there was the grocery store the very next day . . . it's enough.

As for Jerry and I, we made it to the parking lot still smiling with a good tone and medium volume in our voice, so either we are crazy, dulled with fatigue, or incredibly patient (in public, ha!). Bless us.

OK, they are so freakin cute and excited lately, let's give them a break. They're only three. A whole lot of three! And way more nice than naughty. Well . . . not including this morning.

Merry Christmas!

Pictures from last fall. Man in orange shirt is not Jerry, FYI.

Hippie chick in background amused.

Dec 21, 2009


Ah yes, I am grateful too, since this is the time of year to fill it to the fullest. Never think that I don't count every day with my family as damn lucky, even when I complain and get all mean and naggy. Ewww, I do the scary daughter, sister, mom, and wife thing too well!

This is my boys' third Christmas and we have been together for every one of them. Sweeeet. We also just celebrated the third year anniversary of our family (Thanksgiving Day). Well, I use the term 'celebrate' loosely. Right now it's more limited to, well boys, it was three years ago today that we first met you . . . lame. Got to find more meaningful traditions . . .

Some things, conversations with 4 year olds or their parents at my boys' preschool have rubbed it in lately (see below). My boys attend Head Start where they mingle with a good diversity of people. Some kids are disabled, poor, or a little broken, although from what I see, most--all--are adorable lovely little people with a great appetite for love and learning. I like the super quiet ones when you think they are scared little mouses or unable to talk; I'll look at them and say a few things and suddenly out comes this little voice telling you about their lives: my mom's a nurse or my twin sister sleeps with me. Whoa, such little people with great big voices. (Two of my three have the littlest voices of all . . . a little girl the other day asked her mom why they wouldn't talk to her . . . I told her they don't talk much, but they are really nice!) Then there are the ones, always super excited, barely touching their feet to the ground (my boys!).

Conversations at Preschool:

Boy: Does Tsega have a mom?
Me: I'm Tsega's mom!
Boy: You're Tsega's mom???!!!!!
Me: Yes! Do you have a mom?
Boy: (Sad, head down.) She lives really far away. But I have a dad.

Me: Are you a parent or do you work here?
Woman: (Confused look) Well, I am her biological mom. [I am wondering huh, weird, why the emphasis on 'biological'?] But she's in foster care. I was so happy I was able to come today.

Note: Both foster parents came that day too and little girl called both women 'mommy' and both women adored her as did 'daddy'.

Girl: Mommy! Tsega has a daddy too!!!

Note: Single parent households dominate our preschool community so dads are sort of worshipped here. Not that I don't know some super single moms out there! ;)

I love most of all those cozy moments when you feel it overwhelmingly. Last night was like that. So, yeah, gratful.

Dec 15, 2009


I believe big in toy organization. Toy boxes should hold no more than one layer of toys. Use cabinets and shelves and boxes; each box holds only 1 toy type (like blocks in one box or train sets in another). This way us parents can avoid over stimulating or boring the child and we keep toys alive through rotation. So after a good morning of organizing the kids' closet (a kids closet we built in lieu of more hall closet space when we learned we were going to be parenting triplets), either I forgot to lock the closet door (oh yeah, locks everywhere!) or Sira scooted a chair up to unlock the door himself. My doing took about 5 minutes of undoing mixed with a bit of lack of supervision. Notice the children are not in the pictures. A quick angry howl from me and the little ones scurried the heck out of there, although humor quickly took over as I ran and grabbed the camera. What are you going to do?

Dec 14, 2009

Dad Fun etc

Don't let this post fool you, I'm the fun parent and I'm pretty sure face slapping was not happening, at least not by daddy (or papa, or whatever he's called).

BTW, this reminds me of a comment I recently received from a fellow mama who happens to also have adopted triplets from Ethiopia. Hey, everybody's doing it. She was wondering about sibling-sprung violence and general bad behavior originating out of the domino effect as it relates to multiples. You know, one kid hits or throws and gets punished while the other smiles and mimics the exact same deed despite the full awareness that punishment will follow. I can't really answer the bottom line questions on how to stop it or whether it ever stops, but I can assure her it's natural, biologically-derived triplet behavior. (Remember this old post? Watch the video, although don't judge, I was already chewed out by one humourless reader--God bless the humourless--and this was long ago . . . things are better these days but still not totally at peace). How do I know? Go on You Tube and start searching triplet videos. Channels are full of triplet brawls. And check out the preview for this upcoming movie: Babies. While those African dolls are not twins, I can sure relate! :) (And I love their homemade toys!) Peace out.

Dec 9, 2009

Dear Santa,

I have a modest, meager Christmas Wish, the perfect gift:

One dinner, just one, without anybody crying or screaming or spilling milk. Please, Santa? Oh, and maybe, since I have been very good this year, a few bites of green food from the mouths of my children?

I promise to be good next year too. Thank you.

Dec 7, 2009

The Bells of Christmas

From hell.

What was I thinking?! I hand over a set of (hard metal) bells to three year old triplet boys? (They love them!) Grandma "nanacake" held her ears shut and looked like she was going to be sick. And now Jerry's banned them (the colorful dents on the back door, not good). Warning, these bells require strict supervision, healthy ears, and the outdoors. Not to be used for banging on things or as weapons. And the craziness does not stop there. For Christmas the boys are getting a Remo gathering drum (extra sticks of course!),

play piano, and a guitar. I picked up the bells from Hobby Lobby on a whim. Let's get loud!

Dec 3, 2009

Ready for school!

Sort of . . .

Teachers, give their hair a fluff with the hand after hat removal to restore style, please!

Pre preschool era the boys were delighting us with after sun up wake ups. Note the word after, as in, the sun shines and maybe it's somewhere between 7:15 and 8:00. Now with regular 6:30 wake ups to get everybody ready for the bus by 7:26--like dragging cold bodies from beds across floors and onto potty chairs-- biological alarm clocks are going off at odd hours. Four o'clock, 5:00, 6:00 (I can live with 6:00), little pitter-patter so early makes our eyes go wild and red! This morning it was 4:30 and Bereket who could not keep his hands and feet off me. Then Sira at 5:30, so what the hell, get up Tsega and I'll give all you stinky butts a bath.

Oh, and the illnesses! The ever and never-ending sniffling and wheezing (and whatever else, last week it was pink eye). I (and everyone else) have been well for about a total of two blissful weeks since August (actually, more like June).

So that's all the bad news (as I wipe my wild runny eye and hack a lung). Oh wait, one more . . . Sira occasionally cries (screams?) before getting on the bus (no coo-buth, no coo-buth, stay ome) and Tsega likes to say, No scoo modow, I sick. And they are giving the sweet old bus driver major belly aches with their escape artistry. One co-worker of ours reported seeing the bus about a mile from home, stopped and pulled to the side of the road, with 3 boys crawling all over the dash. That's my boys!

Here's some good news. Despite grumbles about school, they all adore it. Report from school: all three always happy, always smiling; excited, engaged and thriving; couldn't be happier with progress in language (see above child quotes, this is a long way we've come!); darlings of the school. Indeed my visits confirm this. Big fat smiles, totally excited, totally smitten with teachers and activities. All numbers and letters and colors at home. And get this, they never hit bite pinch or scratch, they obey the rules to the letter, and mind the routine like good little conformists. Remember, they are separated into three different class rooms. They are only disruptive little puppy dogs when they are together on the bus and the walk to and from the bus (who can drag the bus walker's arm the farthest or get away the quickest . . . guess Bereket won yesterday as he ran off and hit a clear glass door smack on the face. Oi!). Now, how to capture their obedience (I've seen it for myself, the teachers have a golden touch!) and non-violence at home. . .

Sira and Bereket are pretty much the shortest boys in class (but taller than a few girls!) but they are also nearly the youngest, and still have that baby way, but get along, like I say, as best as can be in a class with kids as old as five. Tsega looks 16.

Sira: I accompanied him on a field trip to the fire station. His little quiet self hardly paid me any attention (and the smile never faded) and he was always the first, dead center, in the crowd of kids to go and try anything. He has friends, some who grab onto him always to play; brown, white, girl, boy, older, younger, talking & not-talking.

Bereket: Two older Latino girls adore him and he eats it up. They giggle over him and love him to death. At his field trip to a pizza factory we were the fun table. Those girls are a riot and they think he is the funniest thing ever. He's singing all the time now. Loves letters and is learning them quite fast.

Tsega: A door has opened in terms of language. He says stuff that makes you think he must have known these words and how to say all along, just didn't. He is over the top excited in class and a big helper. He helps the tantruming ones get up and get over it. His language is tripping my mind out! But now a little sass is growing as well; Let go of me!, his favorite thing to say right now. Nice thing for others to overhear at a grocery store when I'm trying to tell him not to run off from the cart. I swear I'm not stealing him!

I love hearing the little songs they sing, ones I don't know from school (something about a monkey whale and wicky water, although this can't be right!), and hearing names of kids they like. I asked Sira, is there anybody you don't like? No. And the library books they check out, so revealing. Sira loves books about families and farms. They often bring books home about animals or feature people of color. Sira's current book is in Spanish.

And for an ending . . . Suddenly Sira and Tsega are loving their brown handmade dolls I bought so long ago and the boys so ignored (other than to remove their clothing). Tsega's (girl) doll is Mimi although the other day he called her, very clearly, Maya. Sira calls his (boy) doll Leah (lee-uh). Not sure where that came from, but he calls it so sweetly with a sort of secret grin.