Weekend Recap

We had a jam-packed weekend. Saturday we had a little friends birthday party to go to. Mama’s birthday to celebrate. And Grandma and Grandpa California were supposed to fly in for a week-long visit but their flight got cancelled and now it seems flights to Milwaukee from LAX are impossible to get for the next week. Big, Huge Bummer! And now we have lots of extra cake to polish off by ourselves.

Sunday we headed to temple for a Purim carnival and Shpiel (skit like thing). I was excited because Carter loves singing and dancing and music. Well, they had all the prizes for the carnival games out front, he saw cars were there and that was all he could think of for the next half hour. We were able to get him to sit for about 3.5 minutes and then the whining began, and we got “the look” from an old Jewish lady…the look old ladies give us on the plane. What is it with old people?  You would think they have been there, done that…but it turns out you get cranky towards children who make noise when you are old. I know, I know, it’s a generalization…but I’m just sayin’…the carnival games were fun. Turns out Carter is a champ at carnival games…so if college does not pan out for him at least I know he can always hit the carnival circuit and win some fuzzy dice and mirrors to keep him going.

Carnival game master

The director of the temple made sure to tell each family with adopted black kids to find us. It was really nice, and the other parents with black adoptees were so excited to meet the kids. It’s kind of like a special little club…as we were equally enamoured by their kids and one couple even gave us their digits…so we can get together. In all my excitement of feeling accepted and diverse I almost ran up to two men I thought for sure were a gay couple…boy was I wrong (or was I?) and I am so glad I held back. Talk about embarrassing. But seriously, the guys wife has no idea he is gay. I’m just sayin’.

We then headed out to Babies R Expensive to get a toddler bed as I had a special 20% off coupon that was only good through today. We came home, out it together and right now my little boy is sleeping in his new “big boy” bed. It might very well be the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Trying out the "big boy" bed before bed time

We rounded out the night with Z having the gross explosive vomiting that Carter had last week, thank goodness she did it at home and not in the car, store or temple. And then she seemed to be a new person, laughing, running and playing. HOW do toddlers do that? If I would have puked the way she did I would be in bed for the rest of the night. But, I guess if you are a toddler you barf and carry on!

I have a few ideas for posts in my head that I may have to post about…so there may be a few more posts coming up.

He got a lot of compliments on his new attire…

He insisted he wear one of his sisters headbands because she was wearing one.

Mama’s Birthday

Today is my birthday and I was awaken by Carter and Zoe singing “Appy Bird-day to ewww”, mostly from Carter, Zoe has the tune but not the words. Adorable! Mellow day planned, just finished my birthday cleaning of the quest room/office for Grandma and Grandpa California to sleep in. They arrive tonight for a week long stay. The kids will be off the charts hyper when they arrive, which is right around bedtime, so things will be off kilter around here. This afternoon we have a birthday party for Isabelle, the granddaughter of the next door neighbor. So that will be energy packed I’m sure. But it does have the advantages of being right next door.

And then I have the big decision between red velvet (my favorite) birthday cake or marble, as Staci bought a small one of both for my birthday. You know you are a mom when you buy Car’s candles for  your own birthday cake, to make it special for your kids too.

Wow, have my birthdays changed.

Appy Bird-day to meeeeeeee!

It’s Really Hard Not to Laugh

at moments when I am parenting. When I am trying my best to be serious he does something that makes me have to stifle the giggles.

Lately we are battling with Carter (28 months) because he is doing a lot of defiant behavior. He is acting impulsively, kicking, throwing, not listening in general. It’s likely negative attention seeking since his sister is becoming more interactive and therefore getting more attention. Or this could just be the terrible twos. He is doing this at Day Care and we are certainly getting our moneys worth there! They have told us they have stopped saying his name when he does something and instead go to him and talk to him…that eliminates the, “Carter, Carter, Carter, CAR-TER, put the toy down, no throwing…etc.” So we have started doing that here too.

Last night Carter throws his toy. I watch Supernanny…how hard can this all be if I am consistent right? So I grab him, redirect, pull him close to me, get on his level and say, “Carter look at mama.” He looks at me for a second, we are face to face. And then I start going into the song and dance about how we don’t throw, it’s not ok, it hurts mama when you hurl a monster truck at her shin, etc. And he starts rolling his eyes all over the place. I say, “Carter look at mama.” He looks far left, far right, up down, swirls his eyeballs around his head. With a giant grin on his face.

Outwardly, I have cool, calm, assertive energy.

Inside I am laughing my ass off!

To Toddler Bed or Not, That is the Question

Carter is 28 months old and has been sleeping with the guardrail of his crib down for the past two months. We keep the rail down because he had a scary incident while trying to climb out of the crib where his foot got caught, he was half over the rail and just barely holding on, balancing himself on the top of the rail. We didn’t go check on him, because it is not uncommon for him to cry when he does not want to go to sleep…well, we checked on him to find that he was growing tired of trying to hang on while his foot was caught. We figured we would make climbing out easier so he would not hurt himself. He has not tried to climb out since.

Now we are toying with the idea of getting him a toddler bed. Part of me would love to give him a little more freedom and space. The other part of me thinks he would get up and play whenever he felt like it, and find all kinds of trouble that we don’t know exists in his room.

When did you switch your kids to a toddler bed? What was the outcome?

New Uses for Decorative Bowls

Tell me your homes have decorative bowls of confiscated and forbidden items on the mantle.

I crack up every time another article makes it into one of these bowls on the mantle. To qualify to make it to the bowl you have to be:

  • thrown
  • put in mouth and “a chokable”
  • unsafe
  • sharp
  • medicine
  • or something that just needs a “time out”

At one time one of the bowls housed desert sage and the other, seasonal candies. Now as you can maybe decipher from the pictures they are currently home to:

Bowl #1 houses:

  • Wooden bead necklace that was being swung around like a nun chuck
  • Cat toy that was being chewed on, not by a cat
  • Choke hazard toy measuring device
  • Magnets
  • Oral Gel
  • Cars pieces that are way to small
  • Nail clippers
  • Thermometer

Bowl #2 houses:

  • Two bundles of desert sage
  • Lip Balm
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Two Pez dispensers (Mini Mouse & Pooh)
  • Pez refils
  • Ping Pong ball
  • Mrs. Potato heads ear ring

When in doubt, if you cannot find something…check the bowls on the mantles.

Black/White It’s Alright

There is a blog I follow (what’s the word for a blog “friend”?) www.rageagainsttheminivan.com and today she posted about an experience her black boys had on the basketball court, they are 2 and 5 years old. This stirs up so many feelings for me as a mother of two african american (black, really because they are not african, they have no immediate african ancestry) adoptive children. I posted awhile back about a run in I had at Gymboree (I Had a Moral Obligation). And today reading this blog stirs it all up for me again.

You see, I see things like this happen already. We are blessed because our day care the children attend is an awesome day care on the campus my partner teaches at. It is also smack dab in the heart of downtown, and has a large african american population. So our children have  very mixed classrooms. But, we take our kids to so many places and have seen the looks.

There is a mall in Thousand Oaks, CA we go to quite a bit, it has an indoor tot area. We love to let the kids run some crazies out there. And I can see the parents look at our kids and then scan the area for the “black parents” that must belong to these kids. I can then almost see the sigh of relief when they realize we belong with them. It’s like they say, “Oh, good! The are adopted by white people, it’s ok.” But then, there is the added judgement that gets thrown in when they realize they are adopted by two lesbians…

I have parents wonder who our kids parents are at the children’s museum, and are always kind of shocked when its us. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people endlessly scanning the room when there are no african americans in it, wondering where the parents that belong to these children went.

I have run into children who say, “Is that your son?” When I say, “Yes” they say, “Cool”. I have run into kids who have said to Carter, “where is your mom?” When Carter points to me, he said, “Where?” Carter just kept pointing to me and then the little boy said, “The white one” to which Carter is just too young to understand that question. Staci ran into a child at one of the playgrounds who said, “Is that your little boy?” And when Staci said, “Yes” she said, “Oh, he looks like you.” Which is hilarious!

What to do? I worry about it a lot, our kids being ridiculed for not only being black but also adopted AND by lesbians to boot.

According to the 2000 Census over 46% of the children being raised by same sex couples are children of color. This gives me hope because according to a study done by Ellen Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, that studied and followed more than 500 children to adulthood that were raised by same sex couples, found that children of same sex couples do just as well as those raised by heterosexuals. But more astounding to me are these findings;

  • “There are interesting suggestions that these children are more tolerant of differences.”
  • “The children of lesbian couples also appeared to be less aggressive, more nurturing to peers, more tolerant of diversity, and more androgynous,” playing with toys for both boys and girls.

So, yes, it is up to us. To make the differences, to prepare our children for the world they are in. To think that the large majority of children being raised by same sex couples are of color and will be raised in an environment that is more tolerant of differences, less aggressive, more nurturing and diverse is so very hopeful and positive. Shame on others who are not raising their children as accepting.

We talk about it now with our kids. We say, “Carter, look at your beautiful black skin.” “Mommy is white, Carter and Zoe are black, Isa (one of their friends from Guatemala) is brown. And it’s ok. Everyone is different.” We talk about being adopted. They get none of this yet. But the point is, it will be their normal. It will not be foreign or scary. And it shouldn’t be. We talk about their hair and how beautiful it is, coarse and curly. As much as combing Zoe’s hair is a major battle and struggle in our home, I do not ever want her to feel that she has “bad” hair.

I know that Carter will also have greater difficulties because he is darker than his sister Zoe. The fact that I worry about them is a good thing, it is not a paralyzing fear but rather a cautionary fear that moves me to action. It moves me to make every encounter count. Every encounter with other children that are different  a learning experience and a positive one.