1) Procure babysitter for 24 hours. This is by far the hardest step. Luckily, it was a Christmas gift from Hubs' parents.

2) Find hotel within fifteen miles that is not gross, maybe even pleasantly posh, but won't break the bank. (Again, we are lucky since we are a Husband-travels-and-the-consolation-prize-is-buckets-of-hotel-points couple.)

3) Leave your house during the kids' afternoon nap. Or, while they are both crying and not sleeping for some ungodly reason.

4) Forget pack essentials for a 24 hour date like hairbrush, work out shorts, make up, and breastpump. Just run to the car as fast as you can and don't even tell anyone goodbye, kids, Grandma, etc.

5) Get to hotel, ponder where to have dinner, go check out pool and gym facilities, realize there is no make up, or gym shorts.

6) Go in shi shi mall to buy lip gloss and mascara and get distracted by other stores in mall. Because NO CHILD IS MAKING YOU LEAVE AND KEEPING YOU ON TASK. You can lolligag to your hearts' content! Finally realize the only place that is going to sell make up is Nieman Marcus and actually tell someone at the makeup counter with only a little embarrassment that this is replacement mascara and you don't want to spend $30 on it. She directs you to Clinique.

7) Back at hotel, start getting ready for dinner and call room service to bring up hair brush. They bring up this:

8) They obviously have not seen your amazing frizzy mess of death. Resort to twisty bun. Run like the wind to Tapeo. Eat.
Die of heavenly satisfaction.
Repeat nine times. (It was Tapas, afterall.)

9) Try for about forty five seconds to walk the 120 feet up Newbury Street to J.P Licks and decide that -6 degree temps don't so much make it too cold for eating ice cream, but rather too cold for walking to said ice cream shop.

10) Run while screaming from biting wind chill back to hotel.

11) In hotel room, contemplate the decor. What you want to change in your house. What is next on your list. Don't you love when you are relaxed enough to start discussing the merits of raising the drapery rods up to the molding above the family room window?

Oh my gosh, this is when you've arrived at relaxation. This is why normal four hour dates don't work. It takes six hours to really unwind, THEN you can actually start acting like you like each other and talking about things you enjoy.

12) Change into swim suits, head to the gym, since heaven knows when you'll get a chance to work out again. Suck up courage and hit the treadmill in nothing by swim suit bottoms. Luckily, it's mostly abandoned. Repeat over and over in your mind: marathon runners do this every day. (Try to forget that your butt does NOT look like you've run a marathon in the last decade.)

13) Back in room (which really really rocks America); shower. Talk about large windows and wonder if anyone can see in while you are naked. Wonder if you could see anyone else naked in their rooms. Look up and see naked man. Contemplate why most epople you wouldn't want to see naked. Most folks are pretty average. Contemplate if you are average naked.

14) Close some of the window shades.

15) Laughing, snuggling, surrounded by soft lighting, fluffy pillows, books you've been itching to read, realize that there is a reason your selectively childless friends from work seem so calm and have no under-eye-bags of death. They do stuff like this all the time.



87 days. That's how long we have been "officially waiting."

315 since we started our adoption process with a homestudy agency and applied with Dove Adoptions Intl.

780 days since the first time I sent away for an adoption agencies' info packets and we watched Ethiopia program DVDs.

2100 days since Hubs and I first discussed adoption for our family.

6205 (roughly) days since I attached emotionally to a child I was babysitting and thought that if anything ever happened to his parents, I would want our family to adopt him.

I've had adoption on the brain and soul for a long time!

So many kind, supportive folks have been asking lately about what's going on with adoption, so I thought I'd do a little Q&A. Enjoy!

Q: So, what is going on with your adoption process?

A: We are just waiting. It has been about 3 months since we submitted out dossier. Our agency says to be ready for a phone call at anytime, but realistically, we won't get a referral for another 2-6 months.

Q: Are the babies related?

A: We won't find out until the referral phone call. They could be siblings or two little ones who the powers-that-be feel would go well in our family.

Q: What do you find out when they call you?

A: We will learn their genders, ages, their medical and social histories, how they are doing, and a few pictures. (At least one will be a boy, but we left it open ended.)

Q: What do you do once you get the referral?

A: Freak out with happiness. Then we officially accept the referral by getting yet another paper notarized and our agency contacts the Ministry of Womens Affairs (MOWA) which oversees adoptions in Ethiopia. They get the ball rolling on taking our case to court, where a judge will hopefully find no problems with the placement and grant us legal custody of our children. That day, if all goes well, Ethiopia will consider us legal guardians of our children. And we won't even be there...

Q: That's it?

A: No. From referral phone call to travel could be anywhere from two to five months. Our agency says it's about 12 weeks right now, but we have to be open to a faster process or a slower one. Andrew and I will both go to Ethiopia and get to know the kids while Visas are processed. We hope to see the country a bit and give our camera a good time.

(Also, once back in the US, the US does not recognize our adoption process legalized in Ethiopia, and we have to readopt the children here. Thanks, Messed-up-Immigration-Laws, for making adoptive families do even more paperwork and pay more money. Oh well, it's worth it to make the little ones US Citizens...)

In the meantime, we pray. It's all we can do. We are pretty peaceful about the wait. I think the real anxiety and impatience will hit once we get our referral. Then, I will officially turn into a crazy mom who has two babies that I can't go hold, touch, feed, etc.

I have no idea how to handle that portion of our process.

Thank you so much to all the supporters out there. Your love, comments, questions, interest, friendship means a lot to us.



Christmas Eve we ate, we sang, we read the Christmas story from Luke, and kept the kids up a little too late.




A camel

Mary riding a donkey

A beligerent angel

A shepherd

Cousins Matching (Cookie thankfully didn't get a night dress, and was psyched about his fire truck jammies)

Leaving out the cookies and milk and carrot for the reindeer

Christmas Morning: A kitchen!





It's hard to share (which is why our kids usually only get "sharable" gifts. It's good for 'em!)


Oh yes, no need for tears, we still have stockings!







The look on our kids' faces at the single stocking present of an orange tells me we are doing ok with the "not too much materialism" at Christmastime thing. (Not that you're materialistic if your kids' got awesome toys, etc., in their stocking. This is just one of the ways we simplified this year.) We read this story Christmas Eve that helped made the oranges special.

Speaking of Christmas books, this is one of my new favorites. The rhyming verse and the pictures are hysterical, and the end has a suprisingly lovely message tying Santa into representing "Someone much greater." I highly recommend it.

After presents and playing and recovering from -not-enough-sleep fit throwing, I realized I had forgotten to pick up bagels and cream cheese for our Christmas brunch. I had to run to this place:
And with a name like Rosenfeld, you can bet your sweet yamica they would be open Christmas morning at 9am! Thank you, Jewish Friends in Newton Centre.

On the way home I had the best Christmas present ever: It was this cold,


and this is what I saw in the almost-empty streets.


Can you imagine if I hadn't brought my camera? I would have been so sad. I slowly drove by him like paparazzi. He was like, 70 years old, shirtless, running on Christmas morning.
It was awesome. (And I seriously want my back to look like that when I am in my elderly years.)

A happy Christmas indeed for 2009. And next year, we get to share it with two more little ones! Woo hoo!



Apparently we need a humidifier in our family room.





you know, the kind that takes a nursing home by storm.
she marches in, sings, dances and pulls out Fancy Nancy to read to them.
i tell her, doubting thomas that I am, "honey, if you really want to to this, you better read it loud, so they can hear."

she read - or rather, recited the memorized book-- loudly. they laughed as they listened.
i cried. (of course.)

sometimes i can't believe she's for reals. if your child is lacking confidence, spunk or showmanship and not a small amount of sass, come borrow some from my daughter. she's got plenty to share.



My number one emotion-inducing problem this week: Christmas songs.

It's reaching ludicrous proportions. Today alone I wiped away tears due to Christmas music at least five times. And the day -and John Rutter conducting Handel's Messiah- isn't even over yet.

If you don't have this CD, go do yourself a favor and pick it up asap. I haven't heard a better version.

Samantha singing to herself Silent Night or Josh Groban singing O Holy Night, or "For Unto Us a Child is Born" filling my house causes my throat to tighten and tears to well up. The words to some of these songs are so beautiful, and the familiar melodies leave me gaping, defenseless.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

It gets worse. Sharing with my kids parts of my childhood is a big issue for me, too. Like reading "The Night Before Christmas." Can I not make it through a simple poem about Santa without getting choked up, let alone reading to my kids passages from Luke 2??
If poor Samantha has to say "Mommy, are you trying not to cry again? Please don't cry!" one more time, I am going to scar her from loving this holiday.

Speaking of holiday I love this word. Holy Day. I am so grateful that the older I get the more sacred this time of year becomes. For what it is meant to celebrate, and for the multitude of blessings I enjoy because of the birth, life and Atonement of Jesus.

I think the great sadness of the universe is that we (and I do include myself) fall into the trap of going all out celebrating Christ only a few times a year, and that so many of us find it easier to relate to the story of his birth, rather than his life, his teachings, and the somewhat intense doctrine surrounding his death and resurrection.

The baby Jesus is so wonderful and magical. The adult Jesus is what is essential. I want to remember this and carry this conviction all the time.

I know not everyone is religious, or Christian, but I wanted to share a little of how I experience this time of year.

Speaking of Christmas and tears, this one gave me a run for my money. Please read, and enjoy!

**update a few hours later: Cookie just added to his tiny handful of words by proclaiming "SANTA!" tonight. I was both thrilled and embarassed after all my Reason-For-the-Season talk, I didn't teach him to say Jesus first. Anyway, I am psyched he tried a new word...



Church canceled, at least 12 inches. What oh what are we going to do???? Photobucket

How about indoor sled rides from Dad?


Maybe we can turn on some tunes and dance? I am gonna warn you, these kids have some sweet moves.
Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

Kissing Fifi is a good option. MMMMM-wah!



The Pats kept us entertained for awhile (Thank you defense for not blowing it.)

I got tired of the tangle-induced tears.

Photobucket Photobucket

Nothing drastic, but everyone is happier. Her thoughts: "I am pretty sure I look like a movie star."

And finally, this pic was an unposed moment that represents everything good about my life. Daddies like him and babies like him. YUM.

I love an entire day with just us. How did you spend your Sunday?


I sometimes feel strongly about things I spot around the house, whether it's needing someone else to say "yes, that seems a bit off" or wanting to recommend it.

Here we have three things on my kitchen counter today and accompanying thoughts.


Did anyone notice that this mustard has apparently been around for 260 years? Doesn't that seem a bit crazy that a company has been making mustard that long? If so, this had better be some DANG good mustard, right? I am here to say that it is good. My kids will actually stick their fingers into it for tastes. 260 years worth of preparation good? I don't know about that.

Next up:


I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume a product like Elmer's Glue can meet all my needs.
All my needs? Elmer, do you have any idea what my needs are? I can think of a few where you fall seriously short.

This is the finest, yummiest, bext textured, best complexity, pasta sauce I've ever encountered for under $4 a jar. We've tried everything in this house. For the last 5 years we've been on the hunt for the marinara-type sauce (and salsa as well) of our dreams. Often times I make my own but let's face it, that's not going to happen every time.

This sauce is downright delicious. It tastes homemade. I eat it out of the jar. And there is no shortage of food snobbery coming from my general direction. We will be only buying this for awhile. If we move on, I will let you know.