Friday, February 27, 2009


Thanks for all your supportive emails and comments waiting for me in my inbox today :-) I'm doing ok I think as far as the main operation. One of my stitches popped and I had to go back under aenesthiesa for him to fix it that was really painful and so I've basically had 2 surgeries for the price of one.
I'll be back to regular blogging, but not just yet. Just wanted to give a quick update to let you know I made it through the initial surgery.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Having surgery next week.... might be gone for a bit.

Hopefully not longer!

Some of my readers, those who have known me for awhile, might also know that I tend to "go there" in my head, to the worst case scenario (see post on air travel a month back for evidence of this type of thinking) (or this post). Anyhoo... I am having surgery this week and so where do you think my head has gone?

Banana peel on the operating room floor, surgeon with sudden-onset-Parkinson's, accidents on the way to or from the hospital, clotting.....

Actually, given my catastrophizing nature, I must be one of the bravest people I know. Seriously. Maybe it sounds like I'm bragging, but I' hope not. Because although I truly believe my plane will crash, I still get on it. That's pretty courageous, don't you think? If you KNEW it was going to crash??? And you got an ANYWAY? Or maybe it's just DUMB! And even though I truly believe something will jump in front of my car on the highway, I still drive to work everyday. And even though I truly believe something will go wrong with the surgery, I'm going to show up on the gurney. Having a brain like this is a huge handicap that I try to overcome. If I didn't force myself, I'd probably never leave the house. You know that saying "You're your own worst enemy"? Never truer in my case!

This weekend has been the SLOWEST weekend ever. I'm trying not to think of all the things that could go wrong, and instead I'm just tying to distract myself. I'm watching a lot of movies, I've taken the dogs out on a leash both days, I've packed. I've watered the plants. I've read two books. I've read every blog in the universe.... I find it very hard to believe it's only 1:30 PM on Sunday.

So, if you are religious, please say a prayer for me?
If you are not religious, please send some positive vibes into the universe for me?

I'll be back online as soon as I'm feeling better.

P.S. I have made arrangements and given the password to this blog to my father (in a letter he will find upon my demise) so he will inform you if I haven't survived. I'm telling you, I really worry about this stuff and I'm nothing if not prepared.

P.P.S. Don't worry, arrangements for the dogs were made years ago, I bought myself life insurance for them.

P.P.P.S Please leave me comments, it'll give me something to do while recovering.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Parenting Tips for White Parents with Adopted Children of Color

With gratitude for Sun Yung Shin of the website Harlow's Monkey:

"Parenting Tips for White Parents with Adopted Children of Color
by Sun Yung Shin, in the Summer 2007 issue of MN ASAP Family Voices newsletter.

1. Live in or move to, if you have to, a multicultural, racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood. Make sure your child regularly interacts with people of color in a variety of ways.

2. Study and learn about whiteness and white privilege. Don't waste time and energy in feeling guilty. Guilt is a luxury of those with privilege. Embrace the opportunity to work for social justice. Study and learn how to be an active anti-racist, and then do it.

3. Understand that even if your child is, for example, ethnically Chinese, she or he will be perceived as "Asian American" or simply "Asian" (or worse, Oriental). Understand the complex and interrelated history of various groups of color in America. Don't overemphasize traditions from the culture of origin at the expense of dealing with race in America.

4. Be prepared to teach your child how to directly respond to racist comments, questions and incidents. (You'll have to learn this from adults of color). Never make excuses for others. Never brush off these incidents as insignificant or isolated.

5. Be prepared for friends and family to be confused or even offended by your anti-racist work. Be patient with them and let them know about your new priorities. Continue to make friends of all races who are interested in making America a truly equitable nation.

6. Avoid saying or thinking that, "I'm ___________ too now that I have a child from __________." That's simply offensive and insulting to all the people who are really __________ and don't get to "choose." Understand the difference between nationality, race, ethnicity and culture -- and how they overlap (or don't overlap) for your child and your family.

7. Study and learn about your child's culture(s) of origin, not from North American and/or white writers but from writers and historians from within that (those) culture(s).

8. Understand how gender and sexuality operate in your child's culture(s) of origin.

9. Understand that even if your child is disinterested in her or his culture of origin, she or he will be impacted by how the American mainstream perceives that culture.

10. Support the artistic expression and adoption-related professional work of adult adoptees -- if only because your child will eventually be an adult adoptee.

11. Study the history of inequalities in terms of reproductive rights (who gets to have a safe abortion, who gets to keep their children, who is considered a socially accepted mother) in this country before criticizing the sexism or patriarchy in other cultures (or communities). Consider how you can invest in your child's home community so that women and families . . . people who look like your child . . . will not "have to" send their children away.

Sun Yung Shin is the author of the poetry collection, "Skirt Full of Black" (Coffee House Press); co-editor of "Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption" (South End Press); and author of "Coopers Lesson" (Children's Book Press) a bilingual (Korean/English) illustrated children's book for children. She is a 2007 Bush Fellow for Literature for Literature. For more articles and essays about transracial adoption from MN ASAP (Minnesota Adoption Support and Preservation) you can download their newsletter or visit their website. "

As far as #2 above, a starting point is reading Peggy McIntosh's "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" which I first read in my MSW program years ago. It's still one of the best articles on white priviledge I've ever read. The list "Daily Effects of White Priviledge"is such an eye opener, if you don't read any other part of the essay, please read the list.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nature vs. Technology

Not being a parent it's pretty easy to imagine what type of house hold I'm going to run when I become a parent! I can look at all the parental roles in front of me, and say: "Nope, nope, nope!" to any part of what I see. I realize, it's not going to be as easy as I make it in my head.... but one thing I feel very strongly about is T.V. and video games.

Do you think it's possible to raise kids with a minimum of these? Especially the video games drive me nuts. I think they cause ADD, they are isolating, and almost drug-like. T.V. at least has a FEW redeeming qualities, like Sesame Street teaching the alphabet. I guess video games can teach hand/eye coordination, but I'd rather my child learn that from sports. Out doors.

I remember when I was growing up my favorite pastime was smashing leaves with a "mortar and pestle" (rocks against concrete) and making "bug poison" (which I never used on bugs because my dad taught me *super* empathy at a very early age). This was the funnest thing ever! To make green juice out of leaves!

Being an only child, I know I had tons, piles, mountains of toys. But I cannot remember ANY of them except my Snoopy stuffed dog. Mostly I remember times I played outside. Bug poison was in the yard in Jakarta. So was collecting Rambutan fruit for my nanny to slice open for me, as I waited impatiently for the white-sweet-juicy-globe-of-tropical-flavored-goodness. Taking a bath in a bucket outdoors (note the Joy dishwashing liquid soap...) Collecting mammoth sized snails was in the village in Abidjan. Shooting marbles into stick-dug holes during recess was at French School. Riding my bike trying to get lost was in Bethesda. Also in Bethesda, I would rake the woods for the heck of it, to make paths!In the woods! In Princeton, I played with the family dogs, Buttons, Saskia and then later Biscuit.

On the other hand, denying a child access to technology in today's world could seriously stunt future job opportunities. I think it's neat my nephew figured out Pay Pal on his own and bought something the other day after hacking his dad's account! Smarty! Computers are a part of growing up, nowadays.

So what do you think... are video games, T.V. and computers helpful or harmful? Can I force my daughter to "go outside and play" when all her friends are indoors zapping Tetris and Wii'ing? Would I be dooming her to "loser-hood" to restrict access to American Idol? I know, "I'm the parent, and what I say goes..." but can I fight today's society and how much?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

African names

I love the sound of some African city names.....








Addis Ababa



Don't they sound so much richer and more exotic than, say, Detroit.




Here are some pictures to go with the African cities.... a little color in my day....




Assine Beach (Abidjan... We actually used to go here frequently when living in the Ivory Coast)





Don't these pictures just make you want to..... rush out to the mall and Home Depot and Friendly's??

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy....

I got a blogger award!

How sweet and kind of Single PAP to recognize me.

In order to receive this award I have to list 5 current obsessions in no particular order:

1. Reading

2. Dogs

3. My weight (sad but true)

4. Blogging

5. My little girl in ET!

Directions:You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous bloggers in a post. You have to list 5 of your fabulous obsessions in the post. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions. On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

Ok, I read about 50 blogs a day so this part is very hard. Also, some of my favorites have already received this award....

So here is my list:

1. The Wardrobe and the White Tree (updated daily and very exciting as they just got back from ET with their son)

2. Ethiopia Girl (so many pictures of the cutest little girl Gabre!)

3. Rooted in Love (just got back from ET with two sons)

4. ethiopia or bust.... (they wrote a book I love and their blog is funny and touching)

5. Family Without Borders (a family who's first (infant daughter) referral didn't survive and they are now in the process of adopting another daughter. This blog is heartbreaking, yet full of hope and grace at the same time.)

Congratulations winners! And thanks for teaching me so much and keeping me entertained during my waiting period.

Dossier being translated in Ethiopia!

I was told by my social worker that my dossier has arrived in Addis and is in the proces of being translated!

Next step: court date!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'd like you to meet Beulah.

Many of you already know Beulah in the flesh, but some of my readers may not. I have a story to tell about Beulah today, but first I'd like to introduce you.

Beulah was one of the few animal survivors of Hurricane Katrina. She was found in a house in the 9th ward on October 10. She was left there for another 2 days before being rescued.

She was found near the green plastic tub, barely able to move anymore. After all,this was 42 days after the hurricane hit. And there was no evidence that food or water had been left for her in the house.

After being glued to the T.V. for weeks, my heart breaking with every image of another dog trapped on an innudated porch, or swimming after Ann Curry's boat, I had traveled down to New Orleans as soon as I could get off work.... I camped for a week in a Winn Dixie parking lot with other animal rescuers and on my last day I met Beulah at a make shift triage center (otherwise known as an defunct gas station). I had never seen a more vulnerable, pathetic sight. Beulah was rooting around for anything she could find to eat, including paper and pebbles.

We had to load her on a tractor trailer to take her 2 hours away to a vet. She tried to howl, she didn't want us to leave her all alone again, but it came out as a croak... her vocal cords were too dehydrated from weeks of barking fruitlessly, and no water.

As determined as I had been NOT to return home with an animal, I could not turn my back on this dog. My family was less than pleased that I now had THREE dogs, and this one had heart worms, along with 4 different other kinds of parasites, and needed thousands of dollars of treatment that would take 6 months to make her better. She has no front teeth (I think from trying to gnaw her way out of the house)

But other than that there are few lasting scars from Katrina and her life before Katrina (which I do have reason to believe was not great). We did leave a note on the house for the owners and I was never contacted. Had I been contacted, they would have to sue me for her return. And even then....

SOooooo.... this brings us to today. For the past 4 years, Beulah has been living the life of Riley. She is my "heart dog", the special one, the soul mate of dogs. She sleeps by my head, and her snores and farts are as welcome as a fresh spring breeze. That's how much I love her.

On the weekends, we go for hikes on some trails near the landfill. The dogs can go off leash, since the trails are far away from any cars. We have been going several times per week for 4 years. With never an incident. Or not a major incident. Here is a picture of Beulah on her first hike, when she discovered running river water and spent 20 minutes barking at it. What a change from the Lower 9th Ward!

Today we arrived at the trails at 10AM. By 11AM we were heading back to the car. Beulah took off after some scent. And that was the last I saw of her.

I searched high and low.

I climbed that mountain from 7 different angles, on trail, off trail, up one side, down the other. I was parched, starved, had low blood sugar, had thorns tearing at me, was crying after about 3 hours of searching (I kept my cool for the first 3 hours). I kept thinking: "Is this how it ends for my girl? Alone in the woods? What if I don't find her by night fall? I'm NOT leaving her alone out here!" I went back to the parking lot and wrote a note pleading with hikers to look for her and left my cell number. I went off again, my legs barely able to move anymore. I called my neighbor to bring water so I wouldn't have to leave the site (her car was unavailable so that didn't work).

I had images of Beulah lying dead and that is why she could not hear my calling and my shrill whistle. It didn't make sense.... the trails are about 5 miles in all directions and I covered them all several times... why couldn't she hear me? Perhaps she was so exhausted, I thought, that she had a heart attack?

I was starting to feel nauseous, heat stroke in 50 degree weather is hard to acheive but I was getting there. It was almost 3PM.

I made deals with God: "If you let me find her, I will believe in You, I SWEAR." I wondered whether that prayer would actually work, since certainly it is the same prayer mothers of missing children say and they often do not find their kids.

I was just starting to plan how I would camp out that night, because sleep was not going to come to me, worried, at home in a warm bed. There was NO WAY Beulah was spending the night out there alone. Suddenly my cell phone rang.

"Hi, did you lose a dog?"

Yes, yes, yes, God, I did.

"Well, she's down here in the parking lot by your car."

I begged them to hold on the her and I ran down the mountain, slipping, tearing jeans, panting, crying. "Sure, honey, don't worry, we got her."

When I arrived at the parking lot, they had tied her to my car (DUMB!!! Her collar is so loose she could EASILY slip it!) but she was still there. Exhausted, bloody, torn up, muddy, tail wagging but not much. She could barely jump in the car, she was that tired.

We came home. She had a whole bowl of water, a banana for potassium, I cleaned her cuts and we all took naps. I can barely move I'm so stiff and Beulah is still sleeping.

My heart dog.

We are NEVER going to the landfill again.

Day Two of RAINY Long Weekend....

OK, I've done 2 loads of laundry, my taxes, watched a movie, caught up on 4 episodes of Big Love, and gone hiking in the rain. Of course it would rain all weekend, when during the work week (when I was stuck indoors working) it was warm and breezy!

So here are some You Tube clips I've sure you have seen before, but they make me laugh, so here they are:

I love how the parents are cracking up in the background!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I am NOT writing a Valentine's Day post!

Here I am, 38 and still single.

I'm NOT writing a Valentine's Day post.

Instead, I'm reminiscing about the blow out Anti-Valentine's Day parties I threw annually while in college. Black hearts, cobwebs, spray painted black roses, and guests were not allowed to bring a date.

Those parties were THE place to be on Valentine's Day night.

I had guests calling to BEG me to bring their date, lest they "get in trouble" for ditching them, and choosing a rocking party over a "romantic" and expensive dinner out. Nope, I said, that does not adhere to the theme of the evening, which was to celebrate singledom. Come alone, or not at all.
Apparently, I was WAY AHEAD OF MY TIME.

Perhaps the fact tht I'm still single now is the Love Gods' (Eros, Cupid, Aidan, Alalahe, Angus Og, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Venus and Zizilia) revenge? One must be careful about not angering the Gods. I remember this every time board a plane, but in my youth I was reckless and not concerned with Their Wrath.

Ahh, to hell with it.....


Friday, February 13, 2009


Here we go again!
There's nothing better than driving home from work on a Friday afternoon before a 3 day weekend!
It seems like such a looong time to enjoy not working!
I already know what it will feel like come Monday night... but right now, the Friday afternoon, the possibilities are endless.
Also, my i600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition approval form is now in ADDIS! This is just one more paperwork step, and all it means is that the U.S. Embassy in ET is aware that I will be coming with an orphan to have an interview. If I pass the interview they will issue a visa to my maybe-daughter.
Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Where the Wild Things Are...

Neat. O.

The New York Times profiled this cool house in the Czech Republic.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Calvin and Hobbes (15 years ago) like a crystal ball...

Calvin and Hobbes! How I loved them, and now I miss them!

Look how prescient Calvin was, 15 years ago.... or maybe this has been going on that long and we are finally paying the price. Just don't blame my Obama for this!

Click on pic to make it bigger.

Animal survivors of Aussie bush fire

This picture is amazing, and I thought I would share. My heart breaks for those thousands of critters who did not make it:-(

Whenever there is a fire or catastrophic weather, my first thoughts always go to the animals who have no understanding, just instinctive fear. Horrible. :-( I always think back to Katrina where thousands upon thousands of animals were left locked behind doors to slowly starve to death. We knocked down some doors, but there were just too many.... a city full of doors...

Here are some places you can donate, please do, the animals always need donations and people tend to donate to the Red Cross or other human charities and forget about the furry victims:

Wildlife Victoria
RSPCA Victoria

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The beauty of Social Workers

At the pizza parlor the other week, while paying, I was holding "There Is No Me Without You" in my hands. I overheard the woman ahead of me in line ordering. The pizza parlor employee greeted her with gusto and a smile, asked how she was doing, and she didn't even answer his question. She just commanded: "Gimme a slice and a Coke." I thought to myself: "Sheesh... rude!" but didn't say anything of course. Then she turned to me and asked me what I was reading. I told her.

"What's it about?" she asked.

"It's about the African AIDS orphans and this wonderful woman who takes care of them."

She curled her lip and said: "Eww..."

Flash forward in time to that afternoon.

I'm walking up the ramp at work and bump into a fellow social worker.(I always have a book while walking through the parking lot... it's a long parking lot and a waste of time not to be reading while crossing it.)

"Whacha reading?" he asks. I tell him the title. "What's it about?" he asks.

"It's about the African AIDS orphans and this wonderful woman who takes care of them," I tell him.


Aren't social workers awesome?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby wearing... great website for homemade slings

This site is awesome! It has "how to" videos, patterns for cutting (and sewing if you're in to that) a sling. But no sewing neccessary, there are plenty of ways to wear baby without sewing involved!

Go here to check it out!

Mama Toto.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Greece on a donkey

I just got an idea from the Bottomly's blog: go to the forth picture folder on your computer, and pick the fourth photo. Post it and explain it.

This is my mother and me, sometime in the 70's, on donkeys, somewhere on a Greek island. Most likely taken by my father, ahead of us. The walls were not really purple.

Sorry the explanation is not very accurate, but we did so much traveling back then, my memories of place names is non-existent. I only remember things like donkeys!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This is the woman who just had octuplets....

My spidey senses are tingling now that I see all the plastic surgery she's had done and where I think that is leading....

Time for someone to go to the psychiatrist and Angelina to hire more bodyguards.

What should I tell my child about why s/he was adopted?

First of all, good news to share: my dossier is in Washington, D.C! Which means it was approved by my state and is almost on it's way to Ethiopia. Hurry D.C!

Secondly, in preparing for this adoption, I have done HUGE amounts of reading about the process and effects on the child. Through this reading, I've come to believe that telling the child (in an age appropriate way) at a young age is the "right" thing to do. In reading my agency's binder this morning, some of the phraseology I was planning on using ("You are special because you were chosen", "Your birth mother didn't have enough food because there was a famine and everyone was really poor, but she loved you so much she gave you to someone who could take care of you and feed you." etc) I'm going to have to re-think.

Here is some of what I read, with apologies to not being able to give credit as none is cited except for within the text itself:

* It is important for you to sort out your feelings about the birth parents...the child will pick up on your feelings. If the birth parents are perceived as bad (or "less than"), the child will conclude that maybe she is bad too.

* "Your Birth Mother loved you but..." Experts disagree on whether to tell the child this. Dr. Denis Donovan argues it sends a confusing message to young minds that love comes to be equated with abandonment early in the child's life. Another problem with this explanation is that you love the child too. Will you also put him up for adoption?

* "Your birth parents were poor..." It is best not to emphasize the socioeconomic status of the birth parents because that may cause all sorts of negative feelings in the child. Why didn't someone help them? The child is likely to feel sorry for the birth parents, and feel survivor guilt hearing about other children left behind in orphanages. Another problem with the "birth parents were poor" explanation is what if you lose your job or even unthinkingly complain about finances? Your child might conclude he may be placed for adoption again.

* Telling your child she is "special" or "chosen" can also be problematic. (I really didn't know this one!) In most cases the child was not really chosen. Being "special" could be burdensome for the child, who may worry about living up to this label.

* Don't talk about adoption too often, it may annoy your child. Pay attention to her body language, you will be able to tell if she wants to talk. "If a happy medium can be achieved, with the child knowing about the adoption, understanding that it is an important part of her life, and knowing she can ask questions about it, but not believing it to be a primary family topic that underlies everything, that is best."

* Don't talk about adoption during times of family crisis (financial, health, relationship). For example, bringing up adoption right after a bad report card might make her believe you think she is not as bright as her adoptive family. Otherwise, why would you bring it up at this time?

* So what TO say then? We've heard about what NOT to say. Here are some things that are suggested:

- Explain that the birth parents were not able to parent. Keep it simple. For whatever reason (poverty, abuse, neglect, young age, cultural shame over single mothers, etc) the simple fact is they were not able to parent their child. At an older age, you can give more details if she asks for them and if you think she is ready to handle them.

- Explain that it was not your child's fault they were given up for adoption. It had nothing to do with how they looked, acted, or any other circumstances. Children often have magical thinking and believe they are the cause of deaths, divorces, and abandonment.

- If others heap accolades on you for adopting (for "saving a life"), especially in front of the child, make sure you explain that everyone in the family has gained from the adoption.

- Explain to the child that your family was "formed by adoption" which conveys the specialness idea. If you are religious, you may want to say that God sent the child to you, and that God sends some children biologically and some through adoption.

- Do not assume the child will bring up the subject of adoption. Some kids will act as though everything is wonderful, but have deep seated fears they are not talking about. Bring up the general topic and ask your child what she thinks. Birthdays are a day when thoughts of birth parents frequently come up. Find natural moments for discussion, like after an adoption special on T.V. It's always easier to start conversation with an pen-ended question than a yes/no question. So "Are you thinking about your birth mother?" might result in a short answer, while "I'm proud of you and I bet your birth mom is too. What are your thoughts on that?" might lead to a fuller conversation.

So I learned a LOT from this article and wanted to share it with my readers. Some of the things I learned go directly against things I've read elsewhere (like the "you're special because you were chosen" idea). And some things SEEM like common sense, but it's good to be reminded (like the report card paragraph) because there might not be a link in a non-adopted person's head where there would be one in the adopted child's head.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parenting Classes

"Why are you always in parenting class?" some people have asked (who follow my facebook status updates). "Is that an agency requirement?"

No, it's actually not an agency requirement.

I'm in parenting class because I started them a couple of months ago as a pre-requisite to become a foster parent, and now I feel I should finish what I started.

Over Thanksgiving, I first told my family I was considering becoming a foster parent. This news was met with great enthusiasm and, I think, some relief ("Finally! She's normal!") It was also suggested that I may want to explore other parenting options, such as adoption and freezing eggs. I thought those were brilliant ideas.

I decided to open all three parenting doors and see what happened. I knew that which ever child walked through the first door would most likely slow down the other options or stop them completely. However, I also knew that all three of these options can take years and so to get started and not wait to do things in any particular order.

When I get motivated to do something, I can be a woman possessed. And so I got my adoption paperwork done in 4 days, got the home study done in that first week, started parenting classes, got a IVF doctor's next available appointment, etc. "Project Parenting" was ON!

Little did I know that none of the three options would take very long at all. My referral came in just over a month. Parenting classes, started in December, are now almost over. The IVF doctor said he sees no reason I couldn't conceive and to come back when I'm ready.

Theoretically, I could have a house full of kids in a matter of months. Zero to 60 in seconds flat.

Realistically, two doors have been shut.

I can't foster with an infant in the house. I chose an agency that works with "hard to place" children, and they prefer a one child per house ratio in most cases. It would be unfair to all concerned to foster one special needs child, while learning to parent an infant. And the biological option is completely out the window... unless I was to get a nanny. Which I'm not sure is a good idea. Why have more kids than you can raise yourself? Being single, I have to think about these things. There is no one else to pick them up from day care, drop them off, take them to the doctor, stay home when they are sick, etc. Just me. I think it will be challenging enough with one.

We'll see. Maybe when she is a toddler these other options can be revisited.

In the meantime, I continue to attend these parenting classes three times a week AFTER a full day of work, from 6 PM to 9PM. On a typical day, I leave my house early and arrive at work by 8 AM. I work all day at a usually frenetic pace. I leave work at 5:30 PM and instead of heading home to my poor isolated dogs and American Idol, I drive the opposite direction and arrive at class by 6PM. I try to keep my eyes open until 9PM, but many nights that is difficult.

The awful thing is, I don't think I'm learning much. They take 3 hours to teach a concept that could be learned in 20 minutes... and they strrretch it out for 3 hours. There have been a few good moments, like a great video of an adult foster child recounting his experience with the agency, but mostly it is common sense stuff. I also don't think you can learn parenting from a book. Concepts, yes. How to react to a child throwing a tantrum in Kmart.... I think you just learn by being in the situation. Parents, what do you think? can you learn this stuff from a book?

I keep thinking this is the last week of classes, but then they spring a make up class, a CPR class, etc. So now I think NEXT week will be the last week of classes. It will feel like being on vacation to only have my 40 hour week and 4 hours of student supervision to conduct!

ETA: Regarding the post below this one, I received several comments and emails informing me there has been a year long repreive, and although second hand stores will still be affected after that year, they have time now to get their act together. The people most likely to be seriously affected by the law, and at risk to be put out of business, are the thousands of small time crafters in this country that rely on their handiwork to bring in income. The "committe" who came up with this new law is made up of TWO people. Seems an awful lot of power to give just two people. (I know it has to be passed by our representatives, but honestly, how closely do you think you they read the fine print?) I'm sure they are receiving no end of flak for this, and they voted (2-0) to put it on the shelf for a year. I wonder if either will retire in the next 12 months.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You won't be able to buy second hand clothes, or toys soon!

I can't believe this law ! It's absurd! We are supposed to become more environmentally sound this year, not less! According to this blog, this law will make it illegal to resell children's clothes, merchandise or toys. I can see why it's important to have safety information on toys, so that lead isn't used in the paint on Sponge Bob's shorts... but we need to talk to China about that, not make it illegal for consignment and second-hand stores to sell children's items! This could also make it illegal for individuals to sell these items at their own yard sales, for Pete's sake. Here is an article that explains the legalease and repercussions in simple English. Thanks agin, Mr. Bush, for taking something NOT BROKEN, and BREAKING IT.

So go shopping NOW, while you still can, especially for the big ticket items!

Here is a paragraph from 5 by faith, the blog I found this information on:

"HR 4040, the Consumer Product Safety "Improvement" Act of 2008. Sometime in February a new law is going to effect that will at this point make it illegal to sell ALL used children's items (ages 12 and under). Clothing, books,toys, baby gear...anything and everything. They (lawmakers/lobbyists?) are trying to get an amendment to this already passed law, that would make resale shops (goodwill, consignment stores, etc) exempt from this law and allow them to sell used clothing under specific guidelines. I think even then, it will still be "illegal" for everyday folks like you and I to sell our items on craigslist, eBay, newspaper, etc. makes me sick to my stomach. What are we all to do with our used items it is illegal to sell? Apparently, send it to the landfill. Perfectly good strollers, baby carriers, high chairs, toys, clothing, etc....all "illegal to resell". It's disgusting. Another way to force our nation to be consumerists and buy buy buy new things. PLEASE...research this, send a letter to your senators and congressman expressing how appalling this new law is. I think this is rooted in the big lead paint scare of recent years...but seriously. Here are a few links to articles about this (FYI- I don't share all of the same attitudes or views stated in these articles, but they do have good info about what this means) World Net Daily article- this one has info on how to make your opinions known at the bottom of article Duane Morris LLP siteLA Times "

She's got a lot of good points and I agree completely that this is moving in the wrong direction.

ETA: There is up to a $15 million fine in case you think you can get away with selling your play pen at your next garage sale. I'm just saying....
ETA: I found out this law goes in to effect on February 10, 2009 and thrift stores are already taking children's clothing and toys off the racks! Make sure you click on the above links at the top of the post to read up on exactly the repercussions of this law.

Here are some of the items thrift stores and consignment shops will need to have tested, or not sell (mind you this is not a comprehensive list:
- vinyl items when stabilized with lead & you can't tell by looking at the item what was used to stabilize the item, unless the vinyl is clear- clear vinyl doesn't have lead. So, vinyl can be found in faux leather, shoes, purses, toys such as dolls and dinosaurs, and similar items. Also look for vinyl wrapped wires or metal pieces in toys, such as those bead chasers that run on a vinyl wrapped metal piece.
- pearl like or pealized buttons on clothing.
- brass buckles on belts and similar items.
- crystal adornments or embellishments.
- paint on inexpensive toys, particularly camoflage paint for some reason.
- some snaps or similar metal closures.

Seems like thrift stores may err on the side of caution and just not sell any kids stuff for fear of the massive penalties. If I was a business owner, and I could be accused of knowingly selling one of the above items (whether I knew or not) I'd be very careful myself and just wouldn't sell any of it. this is also hurting small business and folks who are knitters and crafters, as all wooden toys will have to be tested. Cds and DVDs as well. Thank goodness books are safe.... I think.


I need to clarify (no pun intended) the statement about the butter! Some folks are thinking I was describing the color of my referral's skin when comparing her to "clarified butter"! No, that was not a comment on her coloring, it was meant to be a comparison to how smooth, creamy, and clear her skin is... not a blemish on it. It's like looking into the vast universe.

Her coloring could be compared to a Starbucks caramel-mocha-frappa-latta-chino. With cream. And a cherry. Delicious.

Does that help a bit?


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Six or maybe SEVEN new baby pics for me!!!!

Several of my agency's families who traveled this past week are AWESOME! Three of them took pictures of my (soon to be) daughter (God-willing and judge-willing, daughter) and she is soooo cute! Her skin is like clarified butter, it's so smooth and clear. In one picture, she looks as though the care workers have put gold eye shadow on her eye lids (which of course they haven't!) She's just a super model baby. There is one picture that is a 3/4's profile, so I can actually see the shape of her nose (a lil nugget nose) and ears and luscious Shiloh Jolie-Pitt-like lips. Unfortunately, my dear readers, I cannot share these pictures yet. And you all know why. But trust! She's gorgeous! She's gorgeous, and unique.

(The picture above is NOT my referral!)

Australian Tennis Open vs. Superbowl! Who wins?


Rafa vs. Federer!

Tied in the third set so far!

Hottie vs. Hottie!

Superbowl? What Superbowl???