Saturday, January 30, 2010

Which picture should I use?

Ok, here's the background:

I have done online dating several times. Each time, I get discouraged after awhile becasue of the plethora of inappropriate responses. Either they seem like nice guys but I'm not interested, or they are perverts ("I'd like to rub my mandingo all over your body". Huh. Sure fella, that sounds like a great idea. Call me.)

In order to cut out the riff-raff, my family had the idea that I should post a picture of me, WITH Charlie, WITH the three dogs in the hopes that guys who wanted a one night stand would run to the hills as soon as they saw that. Theorectically, this type of picture would only attract responsible men who were compassionate, looking for a serious relationship, and slightly crazy but in a good way (like me).

So here are three pictures, which one do you think is better? I kind of like the eyes shut one, because it's sweet and heartfelt, and all three dogs look like they MIGHT listen to me on occasion. But then you can't see my eyes which are my best feature (imo). What do you ladies think? Can you get your hubbies and boyfriends over to the monitor and ask them?

What do you think about the whole idea of cutting out the riff-raff and showing the level of responsibility needed to be in a serious relationship with me? Good idea or too scary for the potential partner?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here We Go Again... in more ways than one.

It's 10 PM and I just shoveled 7 inches of snow off the driveway. I'm scared of waiting until the morning when it will be a colossal 14 to 16 inches. And I believe I'm living in The South. Yea....

Last month my mini-pines and bushes did not fare well (they look like God split them in half with a karate chop) due to the weight of the snow, so I also brushed them clean. I have about 40 bushes, so it's quite a job. I was unable to move the next morning when I did this last month... let's see if my body is in better shape tomorrow. Knocking the snow off the tall bushes is kind of fun work, like beating a rug but instead of dirty dust sparkly white flakes shimmer in the street light. Sometimes a short branch "domino effects" a tall branch and unexpectedly dumps a handful of snow down my collar, which cools me right down. Good times :-) Wish you were here.

Actually, this weekend will probably be the weekend I start the great "hunt for a partner". Being snowbound and all, there is no longer any excuse to procrastinate.

Maybe next winter I'll actually have someone around to share this heavy load. Stay tuned for an interactive post where you'll get to vote on my profile picture that I'll post on the dating website.

Stay warm and safe all of you in the path of this storm!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends. ~Allan Frome

I find it somewhat amusing that my mother (heretofore known as “Babcia”, the Polish word for “grandma”) is so completely besotted by Charlie that she is blind to any faults or less than perfect moments Charlie may have.

I’m wondering if most grandmothers are like that… or grandparents.Or perhaps it's just with the first grandchild?

Am I supposed to be like that? As Charlie’s mother? I know I’m supposed to be biased towards thinking she is wonderful, and I am and I do. But I’m not "blind" to her challenging moments.

The other day we were at Wal-Mart and Charlie had not had her nap. For the most part she was patient and good, but she had a meltdown in the cashier line. When we got home, Babcia described her behavior as “angelic. She was a perfect little angel. And without any nap too, can you believe it?”

Meanwhile, I’m thinking to myself: “Hmmm. Did I IMAGINE that shrieking, stiff-backed, head fling that caught me in the nose??? Nope… nose still sore… it happened….”

Or yesterday, when we were going through the toddler book, and Babcia was convinced my 16 month old was way ahead of her peers: “Charlie is at a 20 month level. She is sooo precocious!” I note that yes, she is very verbal and stringing along up to 3 words on a good day. But she is also not doing everything listed at the 17 month level, her next bench mark. Which is fine. There’s no hurry. Not a race.

The video of Charlie saying “thank you” is a good example of what I’m talking about… In the video, Charlie absolutely does NOT say “thank you” the first time, but Babcia hears “thank you, Babcia, for that succulent tangerine segment” quite clearly. Her Opa (grandfather) is also convinced she is a little genius. Which is cute.

And probably true ;-)

Are the grandparents in your family like that?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

At What Point Do you Let Your Kids Fall?

Ok, I'm donating $250.00 to Haitian animal relief. I didn't get anywhere near enough comments to reach my limit and I'm too impatient to wait for them either! Probably would never get that many anyway. I'm sure the animals don't want me to wait for comments either, really. So I'll get the money there today and move on blog-wise.

On to the next topic:

Charlie is climbing the furniture, like any good tomboy would.

At which point do I let her go for it?

How high before I take her down?

If she falls from one foot, it's probably a "lesson". If she falls from three feet, it's more of a danger. Is there a certain height where you as the parent draw the line? Or do you just not let them climb at all? I wish there was a guide that told you "anything over 1.5 feet the risk of breaking her neck overrides the benefits of learning about pain" but so far I have not found any studies like that. Well, I haven't really looked for them either ;-) That's what you guys are for.

She is 16 months and pretty agile, but still trips on occasion when running. She's all about getting higher and higher right now.

Do you let your kids fall? What about at the playground/jungle gym? When do you swoop in and rescue them? This is probably a question that will continue to arise throughout her childhood, and possibly adulthood, where I have to ask myself if I'm being too over-protective, or giving her enough independence to learn her own lessons....

Ugh. This parenthood thing. Why is EVERY decision so fraught with long term implications???

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Me Help Haitian Hurt Animals. With Update

UPDATE #2: I am nowhere near my limit. I will keep this post open until I get closer to my limit, or pass my limit. Please help spread the word. As the human aid starts to filter in and help, soon the animal aid will be ready to deploy.

UPDATE: I will now donate $1.00 per comment. Originally, I was worried this post might "go viral" as I saw other donation blog posts doing, but it's going slowly so I can afford to up my donation per comment.

For every comment posted on this entry, I will donate $0.25 to International Fund For Animal Welfare. I looked them up on and they rate well. I've seen some other blogs doing this for human aid to Haiti, and they got thousands of comments. I highly doubt that will happen here, as I'm not that popular of a blog... but I'm curious to see how many I can get. I also have been wanting to donate since the earthquake, so this can be a way to determine how much to give.

When I traveled to New Orleans, a month after Katrina, the people were all gone and the streets were empty... but behind locked doors were starving pets, underneath houses were hurt dogs, scared cats, carcasses.... It was awful and it seemed like the aid was only going to humans. Let's not forget there are other souls suffering. So AFTER we take care of the people please, let's not forget to help those hurt animals.

As printed on the Animal Rescue Site (please go there and click on their link daily):

"As is always the case with disasters like this, many animals are also suffering and in need of help and care. Haiti has an estimated 5 million head of livestock, a large stray dog population, native wildlife, and, of course, an untold number of companion animals.

IFAW has partnered with WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) to launch a coordinated animal relief response. Together they will lead a coalition of animal welfare groups to help the animals of Haiti. Their first priority will be to treat critically injured animals. They are also very concerned about the possible outbreak of rabies, leptospirosis, and other diseases that can pass from animals to humans, so they'll be vaccinating animals as quickly as possible, as well as be distributing food, water, and basic medical care.

Animal teams are in the Dominican Republic preparing for this critical mission. They're setting up a mobile veterinary clinic, and donations are needed to stock it with medicine, syringes, bandages, food, and other supplies.

Once human relief efforts have taken hold and security is in place, and depending on the needs found on the ground, animal teams will deploy and begin their lifesaving work. No one is certain of all the challenges to be faced,we need to be prepared."

So post a comment and I will donate. I'll keep comments open until I hit my donation limit.

And pass this along!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I already wrote about how impressed Charlie's extended family was over Christmas when she started saying "tank chew" after someone gave her something. Now I'm going to show off to the blog world ;-)

Here she is on video showing off her mad skills. Notice how her grandmother is ready to let her off the hook so easily? That is going to be the subject of a future post, coming up soon....

She also says "please" in sign language. Apparently I taught her the wrong sign for the world "please": it looks like she is scratching under her arms like a monkey whenever she signs "please".

Which is hilarious.

To me, at least. I will not be correcting her any time soon. As long as she's not doing that when she graduates high school, I'm going to enjoy a chuckle every time she asks for something.

So, is this advanced (as far as development goes) to be saying thank you? She is 16 months. Or is this "average"? When did your child start saying thank you or using manners in any way?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LUB CHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We all get starry eyed when the lubs a flowin'....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dance, Baby Dance

Today we went to Charlie's first "dance". It was held at the cool downtown rock spot where all the indie bands play. Basically, it was a fundraiser for a Montessori school, and probably a hundred little kiddos showed up with their parents to get their groove on. At first it was 99 white kiddos, but then, amazingly, I spotted M (a fellow Ethiopian adoptee that we know from our Ethiopian families gatherings) and had a mini-reunion.

Also included in the corners of the auditorium were soft play stations, including tubes the kids could climb through, and play objects they could explore. The organizers provided costumes and dress up materials, as well as hula hoops.

We all had a blast.

Too bad they only hold it once a year. Considering it was cold and rainy outside, this was a perfect opportunity for kids to run around and let out tons of energy in a fun and safe environment.

Here is a video of Charlie dancing. Notice the "Ethiopian shoulders" which must be genetically programmed into her, since she couldn't have learned that in Ethiopia (she was too young when she left.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Better Late than Never?

My parents are visiting and whenever they visit, there is a long list of "projects" to be completed ;-) I'm not complaining, I'm just sayin'. No time for posting or thinking about interesting posts.

So therefore I apologize for this somewhat lame post.... it's way late. But still cute. It's Charlie's first time out in the snow. This was back in December. Little did we know that soon we would be huddling in 35 degree temperatures inside the house for 4 days without power or heat.

In other news, she has started saying "I love you" back to me when I say it to her first! It sounds like "LUB CHEWWWW!" and is very cute. I will try to capture that on video.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti's Orphanages

From Martha Osbourne of Rainbow Kids:

Helping Haiti 's Most Vulnerable
Orphans in Crisis
January 02,2010 / Martha Osborne

In the midst of this crisis, many readers of RainbowKids have called and emailed, wondering what can be done for Haiti 's orphans. While it is not possible to adopt Haitian children who have been separated from their families (due to their undetermined orphan status), there is still much that may be done to ease the suffering of these children.

On a sad note, we have learned of one orphanage near the epicenter that has been completely destroyed. We were unable to confirm the name of the orphanage, and will add it to this article once confirmed. Several orphanages are taking the precaution of having the children and caretakers sleep outside in the yards or driveways. There are many orphanages that have been damaged, and are in need of the most basic of supplies, including diesel fuel to run generators, water and water purifiers, food, and antibiotics.

While the need to take in additional children is being considered by the orphanage staffs, it must also be noted that the caretakers of the orphanages are primarily Haitian women who have their own families to care for during this time of tragedy. Fortunately, we are hearing reports of local families coming forward in the less damaged areas to offer temporary care for the children of the orphanages. Though poor economically, it should be noted that the people of Haiti are a warm and loving people who recognize the needs of their community. They are reaching out to one another, offering their homes and care whenever possible.

Currently, the greatest challenge is getting the much needed supplies in and around the country. The easiest and most economic way to do so is to buy supplies in the Dominican Republic, Haiti's nearest neighbor, and use emergency transport (by air and land) to reach the orphanages. This requires monetary donations, and the coordination of existing in-country charities and humanitarian-aid organizations. In short, donations to small, established organizations that have been working with orphanages for years, is the best way for donations to reach the children in an expedient manner. Most of these orphanages are small, housing from 12 to under 100 children.

If you would like to donate, please contact one of the following organizations working with children in the orphanages of Haiti:

  • Carolina Adoption Services: Working with Maison des Anges in Tabarre. CAS reports that they have 90 children, with the majority under the age of 2 years. Thankfully, all of the children are unhurt. The orphanage has sustained some structural damage, but the extent of damage is not yet clear. CAS is concerned about basic supplies of food and water for the children.
  • Children's House International: Working with Creche Enfante Jesus. CHI reports little damage at the orphanage and no injuries to children. Major damaged to their office/receiving center in Port-au-Prince, but no one was injured. Greatest Need: Food and Water. They are recommending that all donations go through Chances for Children, to help the orphanages most in need.
  • Tree of Life Adoption Center: Working with HIS Home for Children in Port-au-Prince and Foyer de Sara. TOLA reports that all children are okay and, "The boys' house is damaged, one wall fell down. The children and staff are sleeping outside, afraid that the aftershock will crumble the house. Today they were planning to move the furniture out of that house and find another place to move them. There's about 100 (over) kids in the two location s for HIS Home". They are asking for prayers for their generator that is not in good condition, and that they are able to gather enough food and water to hold them over during this crisis.
  • Bethany Christian Services: Working with God's Littlest Angels orphanage and The Creche Enfants Jesus. Bethany reports that God's Littlest Angels received no damage or injuires, and little structural damage at The Creche. They also report that both orphanages are willing to take in more children as needed. They ask for prayers. Please designate gifts as "Haiti - Earthquake Fund".
  • Holt International: Working with Holt Fontana Village. Holt reports that the buildings received little damage, but that the children are in great distress. Holt is asking for financial assistance for the children and will also be offering assistance to the community.
  • Dillon International: Children are all fine, but disrupted. Many people are moving through the area where the orphanage and hospital are located, which is scaring the children. Some flooding within one building has occured. Greatest need: Gasoline for the generators and ongoing food/water supplies.
  • God's Littlest Angels: An orphanage in Haiti. All children fine, but 90 children sleeping outdoors as building damage is assessed. Children are upset and caretakers doing their best to gather supplies to provide for all needs.

We will be adding to this list as more information on reputable organizations and updates on specific orphanages is received. If you have information to share, please contact Your compassion is gratefully received by the orphans of Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crap-a-lap-a-ding-dong I crashed my car.

I'm sooooo pissed right now!

I know that is because anger is a secondary emotion, and I'm probably still scared from the crash.

But here's why I'm angry:

- I checked Charlie's school online, no closing or late opening.

-I looked outside, it looked clear as a bell, as did the road.

- 1 second after I crashed, as I reached for my phone to call the police, I see a text message from Charlie's school, they are closing early. Meaning I didn't have to be on the road at all.

- 5 minutes after my crash, I get an automated call from the Township saying "Don't drive, it's pure ice out there today." Ummm... thanks guys. Next time try for earlier than 8:30 AM when most people have already left for work, huh?

- the tow guy cannot make it close enough to my car to pull it out.

- my week at work has royally s_cked, stress-wise. And with Charlie being sick, and the dogs having diarrhea and/or puking on my bed and in the shower I've just had it up to here (points to ceiling) lately and was hoping for a "recovery" week where I could get caught up and relax.

- I had to use another 8 hours of precious vacation time today. My vacation is rapidly being used up by Charlie's school being closed, or her being sick, or my crashing my car. Not by actual vacation.


So here's what happened. I left the house as per usual. Two seconds later I slid right off the road, on my own street (which is on a hill) because I didn't realize it was a sheet of pure ice. The impact was minimal, since I crashed into a bush and into the cable/phone/Internet box. Luckily, my neighbors rallied like a Hallmark movie of the week and helped me before they realized I knocked out cable/phone/Internet for the whole neighborhood. Hence no American Idol for the entire neighborhood. I'm so sorry guys! The nice policeman came and said I was the third "Michelle" to crash today. By 8:30 AM. Isn't that weird.... the universe has it out for me today.) The tow guy came but promptly left when he couldn't drive up my street. He came back later. My car is drivable, thank God. My deductible is quite high though and the entire bumper will need to be replaced.


When does it get better?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yikes there's a mouse in my pantry!

I have known for years that I share my dwelling with mice in the basement and that was OK with me. I mean, I have a large house for one person (now two) and didn't mind sharing. He has as much "right" as I do to this space. Just because I pay a bank for my house, doesn't mean he hasn't lain claim to the same area through generations of mice before him. Someone built this house on his home and so I was ok with sharing. As long as they stayed away from my food.

I knew they were there because of droppings in one closet, and an occasional smell that told me one of them had reached old age. At least he hadn't frozen to death. Eventually the smell went away and I don't spend much time down there anyway. There never seemed to be a lot of them, I never saw one.

Well, tonight I opened the pantry and almost fainted from the shock of seeing something dark grey moving on the shelf. She or he was actually pretty cute, but not expecting to see any movement, I was startled.

So now I have to decide how to get rid of it.

I WILL NOT snap it's neck, stick it to glue paper, or poison it in an agonizing slow death. I'm looking for a humane way I can trap it and release it somewhere far away. It's really too cold right now to release it outdoors. I will have to find some abandoned building or something. Anyway, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I did a little research and this is one idea I could easily make, having plenty of boxes, books, and bottles. I just have to figure out how to do this without the dogs around or they will have a tasty treat.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Best Books of 2009

OK, so I'm way late on this post. Most of the "Best Of "lists come out on December 31st. A few late ones come out on January 1st. The really lazy writers may dare to post theirs on the 2nd.

Here it is, January 9th and I'm posting my book list. Oh well. I've been busy.

In 2009 I read 84 books, up from 2008 when I had read 59, so that's pretty good considering I became a mother in '09 and my reading time went WAY down. One thing I did was get a bunch of free audio books, so that helps with the numbers, but also with the enjoyment of my hobby. I listen on my way to work and back everyday.

I rate the books I read after finishing, with a star if they fit all or most of the following categories: "can't put it down", "weird lifestyle" "made me actually laugh out loud" "made me cry" "Extremely well written", "I'll remember for a long time" or " tells an amazing story". If they are poorly written, they don't get a star. If I put the book down over and over and it takes more than a week to read due to lack of interest, it won't get a star. I really enjoy reading about lives that are out of the ordinary, or different from mine... about things I will never experience.

So, without further ado, here is my list of the Best Books of 2009. Mind you, these books were not necessarily RELEASED in 2009. I just happened to pick them up in 2009.


Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant
- Ferrari Adler
A mishmash of foodie writers dispute, humorously or more self-seriously, the pros and cons of cooking and dining alone. Includes recipes from well known authors for dishes they enjoy eating alone.

Stiff - Mary Roach
"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. From her opening lines ("The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back"), it is clear that she's taking a unique approach to issues surrounding death.

The Girls - Lori Lansens
Conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen are linked at the side of the head, with separate brains and bodies. Born in a small town outside Toronto in the midst of a tornado and abandoned by their unwed teenage mother two weeks later, the girls are cared for by Aunt Lovey, a nurse who refuses to see them as deformed or even disabled. She raises them in Leaford, Ontario, where, at age 29, Rose, the more verbal and bookish twin, begins writing their story—i.e., this novel, which begins, "I have never looked into my sister's eyes."

There is No Me Without You - Melissa Faye Greene
All the Ethiopian adoptive families know about this one. If you don't, you should.

The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls
I could NOT put this book down. It helped me through the pain of a surgery in February. Thank you, Ms. Wells. Form Amazon: "She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents—just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book—were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus—they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents—walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star—was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure."

Confessions of a Medical Examiner - Michael Baden
This engrossing book covers: (1) several famous cases, including Baden's personal re-examination of the autopsy findings for Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy; (2) unusual cases Baden had as medical examiner for NYC, such as an autopsy on a dining room table at the Plaza Hotel; (3) how medical examiners decide on means of death, with a section on poisons; (4) the history of coroners and medical examiners since 12th century England; (5) disturbing politics involved in the office of the Chief Medical Examiner of NYC; (6) identification of the dead; (7) time of death; (8) multiple-murder cases; (9) an almost perfect murder; (10) close calls, including near deaths during sex; (11) cases of mistaken diagnosis; and (12) autopsy findings that shed light on what happened in the Attica uprising.

His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy - Susan Ray Schmidt
I read a bunch of polygamists' memoirs. I found them fascinating, maybe because it's so foreign of a culture and something I will never experience.

Against Medical Advice - James Patterson and Hal Friedman
I picked this up in the grocery store, read the first sentence, and couldn't put it down. Cory Friedman woke up one morning when he was five years old with the uncontrollable urge to twitch his neck and his life was never the same again. From that day forward his life became a hell of uncontrollable tics, urges, and involuntary utterances.

Into The Wild
- Jon Krakauer
My top favorite book of 2009. It still haunts me. The movie was great too. I now have a crush on Emile Hirsch who played the lead role in the movie. From Amazon: "God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a bright future--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in an abandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer.

There are actually many more titles I can recommend for 2009, but this post is getting long enough. Many of the descriptions come from Amazon, giving credit where it is due.

I hope fellow readers might put some of these on their wish lists. Enjoy :-)

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Absence, Charlie's Sick, I think.

Sorry for my slight absence. I've been trying to get annual inspections for work done, end of the month billing done, along with finding childcare for a sick Charlie and rushing home early everyday to care for her.

Actually, she has a fever, but no real other symptoms so I'm not sure this isn't a teething fever (although why that would happen I'm not sure...) but it was quite high for a teething fever (103). Thanks to Motrin, it was controllable for the most part.

I truly know the work/childcare dilemma so many parents lament about. I know it first hand. I was completely torn in two: this is the one day a year I NEED to be at work (people traveled from out of state to be there for the inspections) VS. my sick child. Of course, Charlie won out but it was soooo hard for me to look at my colleagues and tell them I would have to leave int he middle of these annual inspections. They were all gracious (which somehow makes it even worse!) and said we could continue the next day. Which delays everything for them by a day. Because of my sick child. But thank goodness they were as understanding.

I'll be back with some new posts this weekend.

Have you ever had super important work days be preempted by childcare issues? What did you do?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fattie Fattie Two By Four

I’ve been considering starting up the whole online dating thing again. Exploring some sites, reading some headlines, etc. I heard about one site that connects scientists with other scientists or “fans” of scientists. That sounds interesting, to connect based on occupation. (Tell me, where are the doctor dating sites?) Today on a headline caught my attention:

Dating site expels “fatties.”

Ok, how rude is that??

Or… is it rude?

We are, after all, a capitalist society in which businesses that attract people and keep folks coming back are the ones that succeed.

The dating site uses a voting system to allow new members. Once your profile is up, you get 72 hours for other members to vote whether you are attractive enough to remain on the site. Since the recent holidays, has booted 5000 members after those members gained weight and no longer qualified as “beautiful” in the eyes of other members. The managing director, Greg Hodge, said they have a “strict ban on ugly people.” OK, that language is clearly rude. He goes on to say: “Is it elitist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be. Is it lookist? Yes, it is, because our members want it to be. Is it PC? No, it's not, but it's honest."

Hmmm. Capitalism…I guess. If the site generates profit, I guess that speaks for itself as to whether the voting system works

The company said it "expelled" 1,520 users from the U.S., 832 from the U.K., 533 from Canada, 510 from Poland, 425 from Germany, 402 from Italy, 323 from France, 220 from Denmark, 176 from Turkey and 88 people from Russia. In the e-mail, it gave users suggestions for boot camps and workout facilities to get themselves back in shape. It must have enough members to comfortably take a profit hit of that size. There’s some weird psychological aspect to this dating site… like the polar opposite of “I wouldn’t want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member.” I suppose it boosts many peoples’ egos to be ‘voted in”.

Go here to read the whole article and tell me: Fair or not fair? Nice or not nice? Would you belong to this club?

On the other hand.... I wonder, would THESE models make it onto the site then???? JEEZ!

Wish me luck... it's a dog eat dog world out there in online dating....

(ok, pun intended. I know, corny, corny ;-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

6 Months Later.....

In the excitement of being snowbound for 4 days, followed immediately by the holidays, I neglected to blog about my 6 month anniversary of having met Charlie and becoming a family of two with her.

Things have changed GREATLY since that first day when she cried for 5 hours straight.

If you read some of the archives, I was an uncertain mother (still am in many regards, but different regards) learning to nurture a child who had been separated from everything she knew. Some of the posts talked of attachment parenting in the face of tantrums. Some posts asked for help with her fear of letting me out of her sight. Some days seemed like they would never end, as far as the crying and then Post Adoption Depression combined with maternity leave hit. Then some days felt like they would never end...

I've written about all of it, although it took me awhile to write about the depression, as one of the biggest taboos in today's society is being a "bad mother".

So, 6 months later, I can honestly write that I think I'm a "good enough" mother. I'm not perfect. There are still days when, like being stuck in the house for 4 days with no electricity, having to entertain a toddler for 16 hours a day, I thought I would lose it. But things have gotten MUCH better. For those of you suffering from PAD, get on some meds if your Dr. thinks that will help, and hang in there.

Today, Charlie is a precocious, happy child. She still has tantrums, but I walk out of the room (ala Supernanny) and that works almost instantly to quell them. Most of the time she is happy, affectionate, bright, curious, active, loving. She is confidant and will go with her babysitters when I need to leave without fear. She has a nighttime routine which is easy (for both of us) and consistent, whether she's at home or somewhere else. Makes traveling much less stressful. There have been a lot of changes, for the better.

The only "problem" we are still dealing with is biting at her daycare. I truly believe this is due to her having teeth coming out on all four sides of her mouth at once. She is getting better. I brought Ora gel to the school and her teachers give her a cold washcloth several times a day. Since then she has had a few "attempts" but no successful completions of a bite. I'm grateful the school is working with us on this, and there has been no talk of expelling her. Well, they'd lose $700 a month so I suppose they are loath to expel anyone. Not good business practice. But still, I appreciate it.

She is well bonded with me and her grandparents, who visit often. I probably am not the role model for attachment parenting, I do let her cry it out for 10 minutes at a time, but it works for us.

There are moments when she is absolutely the cutest thing on earth. Like when her little lips form to babble her high pitched baby talk, or when she points her chubby forefinger right into my eye and says "AIIIIIIIIII??????" When she points her finger and frowns sternly at the dogs and says "no no nooooooo" when they try and take her cookie. When she tries to rub lotion into her round tummy with her uncoordinated hands and looks up, pleased as punch, to make sure I noticed. When she says "mamamamamamamamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" until I look up, and then she asks "moh?" and makes the sign for "more" when eating tangerines.

I get enough sleep, but I am still tired a lot of the time. I'm lucky Charlie is a good sleeper. She has me beat by a few hours per day actually :-) I suppose the fatigue just goes along with single parenthood and all the responsibilities that need to be taken care of. It's endless. I'm on the 3rd load of laundry this weekend. One load a day really. But I knew most of this when signing on so I'm not complaining. In fact, I'm very lucky. Charlie is very easy for the most part. Many times, if she wakes up before me, she plays quietly in her crib until I get up. She has started saying "sank yooo" whenever you hand her something. My family was quite impressed with that ;-) considering she is only 16 months old. (I took all the credit for teaching her that, when really it was her daycare who taught her. Shhh! Don't tell anyone.)

When I think of parenting a special needs child... I just don't know how people handle that. Hats off to them. I couldn't do it without a very involved partner.

So that's where we are 6 months later. I'm not totally over my depression, but then, I don't know if I ever will be. I've had some low grade depression since my teens, so I don't know if that will ever totally lift. Charlie does help me find joy just in watching her.

Friday, January 1, 2010


This is it! No more pics of 2009 after this, I promise! But I have never really put pictures of myself on this blog and I finally had a few good ones taken of me. So I decided to unmask and great the new year in a more open way! Ta-da, here is your blog author, A1S.

So here's me, nice to meetcha, wishing you all a fabulous oh-ten. May all your kiddos find their way home this year.