Thursday, February 26, 2015

4 Things to do BEFORE that Outing With Your Children

My first paying job after college (I had an internship prior) was a worker in a children's museum. I have often thought that some of my infertility had the groundwork in this work. Why, you wonder?  Simple. Often when I went home from my job I thought that I never wanted to see another child--not my adorable nieces, not a child of my own.

The museum was a great place for kids. There was a supermarket where they could "shop" and ring things up.  There was a "castle" where the kids could fight with sword and shield. There was a fire engine where the kids could climb all over, and fall off of it as well. There was a bouncy room. It was a great place.

I noticed though that the parents--were not all that great. They were so distracted--and this was before the invention of the smartphone. I didn't understand why some basic things were not done or discussed before hand.

Now that I am a parent, I realize the distraction is just a desire to think while the child is happily occupied. I also realize that you don't know what can or might happen at one of these places--so here are a few tips.

1) Put things back where they belong--even if the kids who came before didn't do the same. This is a version of the golden rule.  I'm not saying that you have to make the area sparkling--but if you came to the "supermarket" and everything was at the registers--don't say "It's the museum's job." and not do anything. It is busy and the people who work there can't be everywhere at once. Did you like seeing all the stuff at the registers? No? Then put it where it belongs and then your child can play with it.  Then after your child is done--have the child put things back.

2) Waiting has a place in any adventure.
 A lot of my parenting choices has to do with what I saw my brother and sister-in-law do. They are excellent parents. One of the most brilliant things my brother came up with was "The DisneyWorld Test". Once my nieces were old enough to ask to go to Disney, they had to pass the test. It consisted of standing in one spot for a minute without complaint. Then after one minute--they took one step forward and then had to stand in the new spot for one minute without complaint. This went on for 25-30 minutes. If they complained, they failed the test and could not take it again for a month. They were allowed to fidget, sing, and talk to dad. They were not allowed to whine. Once they passed the test, (at age 7 for my oldest niece, 8 for the younger) they went to Disney and had a great time. Anytime they saw a kid having a tantrum they wondered--how did that kid ever pass the test? Kids need to wait and take turns. It is not easy and I think for kids on the spectrum the fast passes are a godsend. But chances are they will need to wait sometime at the park--and this is a great way to teach it.

The scariest day at the museum--bar none--was when we heard this cry. There was a birthday party going on for a couple with two kids. The parents were distracted. The kids were distracted. A man--a cousin to the family--took the younger child, a little boy of about four years old, in his arms and was leaving the museum. The kid was screaming his lungs out. None of the workers there gave it a second's blink. Kids were always screaming when it was time to go. It was what the child was screaming that drove everyone into action. The child was screaming "THIS IS NOT MY DADDY!!!" The man at the front locked the front doors--and sent others around to secure the back. Someone tackled the man in question and brought the child back to his incredibly spooked parents--who hadn't noticed anything yet.  The police were called and I don't really know what happened after they took the cousin away. The parents were very glad they had taught their child this part of stranger danger, and it saved the family from disaster.

4) Make sure your child knows your names--not just Mommy and Daddy.
When kids got separated from their parents they were told to find people with red aprons--us.  We asked them what their mommy's names were. More often we got a look from the child as if we were the stupidest being on the planet.
"Mommy!" was invariably the answer.
Then we asked, "What does Daddy call Mommy." (Please note that this was the early '90's. Everything was hetero. Heather Has Two Mommies hadn't even been published yet.)
This usually got us a decent response and we could go to the PA system and call for the mommy in question. On one memorable occasion a little boy of about three was lost. We had asked his mommy's name and had gotten the "Mommy!" answer.
"What does Daddy call Mommy?"
The little boy thought about it for a moment and then smiled.
"Yo, Bitch!" was the enthusiastic response. The little crowd around the child collapsed in laughter, except for a few who were trying to figure out how to get the kid's mom on the PA system. The mother in question came to the front and after the enthusiastic reunion, we told her why we were all chuckling. She was horrified but then started to laugh. "It was one time--and he was joking!" It astonishes me that that child has probably graduated from college--and I'll bet it is still a big family story.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Learning to speak Lotus (part 1)

The word "asshole" aside, as Lotus begins to talk she is making sure we understand her. However her phrases and words are not exactly the same as the rest of the world and I wanted to do a small Lotus dictionary here.

Lotus:  I Do!
Normal people: I'll do that.

Lotus: Twinkle Little Little Star--as the title of the song
Normal people: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Lotus: Howzat?
Normal people: What is this?

Lotus: Slipperly
Normal people: Slippery

She is also learning the power of the word "Please." Today for the first time she combined it with doe eyes. Thank heaven she only wanted to watch another episode of Team Umizoomi. If she had asked for a car my response would likely have been "Foreign or domestic, sweetie?"

Monday, February 23, 2015

NiHao Kai-Lan, thanks for the window.

One thing about parenting that came as a surprise to me was the changes in children's shows. I grew up on Sesame Street and the Electric Company. I grew up without DVRs and VCRs showed up late into my pre-teen years. We did not have entire channels dedicated to children's programming.

This change is not a bad one I thought. I can park her in front of the TV like I was parked.

Well, except that there ware some kids shows that she doesn't like. There are some kids shows that I would prefer the tantrum than let her watch. Some though, after repeating and repeating and repeating, you would rather stick a fork in your skull than listen to it again.

Lately, Lotus likes to climb up on mine or D's lap and watch. We will often look at our iPad or computer but sometimes she says "Watch with me." and we do.

So her favorite show is NiHao Kai Lan. This has often been billed as "The Chinese Dora The Explorer" and while it is accurate, Kai Lan concentrates on emotions. You'll often hear her ask "Does Ho Ho look happy or sad?" Not a bad thing. I've found myself singing the songs to her. Like "Even when you're mad/hitting's always bad. Use your words." and it helps.

When we first brought Lotus home she adored Kai Lan. I imagine hearing the Mandarin made her feel at home. One deviation was when Kai Lan counted. I noticed it once, but didn't really think anything of it.

Another episode and Kai Lan counted to three and Lotus stiffened and looked around. The look in her eyes was terrified. She looked at me and held out her arms and I ran to pick her up. She was almost shaking. The look on her face was "What did I do?" Then I realized that Kai Lan had opened a window into her past.

We do it. Most people who work with kids do it. "If you don't do [blank] by the time I count to three you're in trouble." They must have done it at the SWI (orphanage).  Lotus heard the numbers and wondered what she did wrong. Once I understood I hugged her and told her what a good girl she was. How much she understood at the time I don't know but she calmed down.

I don't know what happened when the nannies reached three--which probably signaled (as it does with us) the end of patience. I hate the fear that was in Lotus' eyes when she heard it.

She seems fine with it now--with one exception. As Lotus' language has expanded she has added some of the Mandarin spoken on Kai Lan to her everyday vocabulary. Tuo-xie instead of the word slippers.

However when she counts--she counts in English, occasionally Spanish (Thank You Dora), but NEVER in Mandarin.

#Microblog Monday--For my husband, my dearest love

A while ago there was a brouhaha on the internet because someone said she loved her husband more than she loved her child. I remember going to the post in question and she said that if they were both drowning, she would save her husband first.

I told this to my beloved D and he said of course. "You'd save me, and then together we'd save Lotus." 

That ended it. 

To say that I have been--a challenge--to live with the last few weeks would be the king of understatement. As my unemployment has run out I'm panicking about money--though we have a cushion. I'm feeling low--though I have been considering becoming a stay at home mom. I'm a jittery mess. 

Yesterday I went insane trying to figure out what to do for dinner. I huffed at D. Yelled. Slept. Cuddled Lotus who was in a big "let's throw things at people" mood. I cried a lot. 

Through it all, my husband hugged me, calmed me down and let me lean upon his amazing shoulders. He makes it clear that he doesn't care what I do, as long as I do what I want. I have screwed up a lot of things in my life. I feel bad about a lot of things in my life--but I am so, so, very lucky that I took this man's hand under a wedding canopy and promised my life to him. I'm so very grateful he promised his life to me as well. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I watch the Oscars

I always have watched the Oscars.

I adore Neil Patrick Harris and I think he's doing a great job.

Bravo also to Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews--my favorite Oscar moment of the evening.

That being said, I am angry and annoyed that it is the whitest, male Oscars.


I don't know if I was more racist before we made the commitment to adopt an Asian child, but I know now that I can't go back to not noticing that Hollywood movies have gotten more white and TV has gotten more diverse. Maybe that's why TV is in a new golden age and movies--aren't.

I watch cartoons with my daughter and I marvel that Doc McStuffins is there. I see Sophia the first has a black friend and an asian friend. After Daniel Tiger went to the Dr's office, they had a real life little girl going to the doctor's office. She was asian and her father was caucasian. This was not lost on Lotus who said "Hey, that's like me!"

I hope Hollywood will remember that the world is changing and growing outward from the whiteness.  If they don't--well then the box office receipts will keep going down as I watch the amazing stories on TV.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pride of Daycare

I am a New Yorker. I should also state that I am a New York Mets Fan.

Why is this important? Because I speak English and I speak fluent fuck.  Since we got Lotus we have accepted the fact that she will be the child who will tell other children how to curse and what they mean.

As Robin Williams once said,

"Oh what a sweet little boy!"
"Oh, it's the Williams boy!"

This was always going to be our child, adopted, bio or both.

So when I swore in the car with Lotus in the backseat, I barely noticed how she picked up the word "Asshole."

Yeah, you know where this is going.

I was picking her up at daycare when one of her teachers motioned me over. This is Miss S. She loves Lotus as if she were her own and Lotus adores her. Having "aged out" of her care, Lotus runs to give Miss S. hugs when she sees her. It is wonderful knowing I'm leaving my child with someone who adores her so much.

"Did you hear about what Lotus did yesterday?" She said with a grin.
"No..." I said warily.
"So she was playing with a toy and a little boy walked over to her and grabbed the toy out of her hands." Miss S. said.
"Did she hit him?" I asked.
"Lotus? No. She looked after him, and said, perfectly, 'Asshole!', found another toy, then went back to playing. The lead teacher had to leave the room she was laughing so hard."

I can't say how proud I was. She not only swore correctly, but she used the word appropriately. Now to teach her about when not to swear.

Who I Am Now


This is for all the people who might not know me--and are arriving for IComLeavWe.

Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume.
That is a picture of a person I don't know.

I am, the mother of Lotus, the most beautiful child born in China--or anywhere else on the planet. We adopted her a few weeks after her first birthday. She is now nearly three, talking up a storm and refusing to nap with the best of them.

We adopted her after 12 years of infertility hell. This included IVF, IUI, and one miscarriage. That miscarriage happened, coincidentally--or not so coincidentally--on Lotus' birthday. We waited seven years to adopt a non-special-needs child from China. I have no issue with those who didn't choose to wait. I have no issue with those who adopt a special needs child. We are all parents.

I was let go from my job of ten years nearly a year ago.  Am I still bitter? Kinda. I'm trying to find where I fit in career wise and get money. So much of who I am was wrapped up in my career, I am still finding out who I am.

Mostly though lately, I'm a daughter who is grieving the loss of her mother. I didn't know how grief can touch everything. While I am much better than I have been, I still stifle the urge to call her to tell her something that Lotus did.

So, welcome to my blog. Glad to meet you.

More later.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Year of the Ram/Goat/Sheep

Happy Year of the Ram!
Happy Year of the Goat!
Happy Year of the Sheep!

Since we're not so sure what to call it--I wanted to cover all the bases. 

Speaking about being unsure, I have to admit to not knowing what traditions to uphold and how to make Lotus feel good about this holiday when I don't really knowwhat I'm doing. 

When I lived in England, my British family had a friend who had raised his child as a Jew but the rest of the family was Episcopalian. Rick, had served his country in WWII and had been at Bergen Belsen when it was liberated. He met the boy, Art, who he would take home and raise as his own. (There's a lot more to the story, but I'll post that another time.)

One of the ways they raised Art, was as a Jew. They had a lot of issues with that. First, a lot of synagogues would not let Art join alone, but only as part of a family.  That would be understandable but the family was Christian, raising a child as a Jew. They didn't know what they were doing. So they became friendly with a couple that would often take Art to temple services. They celebrated the holy days with guidelines from plenty of books. Art was a grown man when I met him, expecting his first grandchild who was due any day. I made potato latkes for him and talked about being raised as a Jew with Jewish parents. He loved his parents and he felt Jewish, but he also knew there were some goofs along the way.  When passover came, they thought that he only had to abstain from leavened items for two days.  (I never understood why the people who took Art to temple didn't disabuse him of this notion.)

I realize that when Lotus grows up and starts spending Lunar New Year with more Asians she'll be full of the goofs I make. I know that I'll never be able to make her a whole fish--as I'm allergic to it. I wanted to dress her in her silks but she wanted her "Pretty Dress" and hey, it's her holiday and she's two and I didn't make a thing of it.

For those reading this who are raising a child born of a culture that you're not--how do you handle this? What do you do?

For everyone wishing you a  Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Joy, and prosperity in the new year!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Booking and Cooking--Leaving Time, The Collector, and my favorite comfort food

This weeks books were very good. Both 4 stars, and I couldn't choose between them which to review on my blog.

The first is Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time.

Jodi Picoult is a unique author in my experience. She is consistently inconsistent. What do I mean by that? She's kind of like the literary equivalent of Star Trek movies--every other one is amazing. I can't  continue the analogy and say that the others suck--they don't, but they are neither as engaging or captivating.

Fortunately for me, this is one of the good ones. The twist at the end really knocked me for a loop and while I started to wonder about something off in the middle, I was surprised.

Leaving time chronicles the adventures of thirteen year old Jenna Metcalf who has been searching for her mother, Alice. Along on her search is a washed-up psychic, Serenity Jones, and the cop who botched the case in the beginning, Virgil Stanhope. Woven throughout is Alice's obsession with elephants and how they live, love, and grieve.

I gave this book four stars.

I love Nora Roberts. I was anxiously awaiting this one's paperback release, but I found it in the library and couldn't resist. The Collector is about Lila Emerson who--Rear Window like--witnesses a murder from the apartment where she is house-sitting. The victim is the brother of Ashton Archer, artist from a wealthy family and when she meets with him sparks fly as they try to find why his brother was killed. Trailing them is the murderer.

This started slow, so slow that I was wondering if I should put it down and then we got a scene from the murder's POV and it started to gel.  I definitely recommend.


It astounds me how often people think I don't like pasta or can't eat it when they hear I'm allergic to tomatoes. I love pasta. I eat tons.  Then people think, Oh, you like Macaroni and Cheese.  I do, but my favorite pasta sauce is one of my own creation.

I was living in England and my British Mum was making tomato sauce for pasta. She was caramelizing some onion and sautéing some garlic and realized that she didn't have canned (or fresh) tomatoes (Pronounced, of course, as to-mah-toes with the appropriate British Accent). She was going to throw it all out but I said I'd eat it and I did.

I added shredded cheese to it-and YUM!

I will make a picture post of it later. I suppose I am curious--what unusual things do you all eat?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Eddie Murphy

More on forgiveness, but first I want to tell a story.

I was around 12 and I went to visit my brother at college. He let me stay up very late and, with his friends, watch Saturday Night Live. It was the first time I saw it and it blew me away. The thing I remember the most was a young black man pretending to be something like Mr. Rogers--except it wasn't. It was Eddie Murphy doing Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood. I fell hard for Eddie Murphy.

I remember laughing so hard. As the weeks passed, at home, I would creep to one of the TV rooms in my house, wayyyyy past my bedtime and watch Saturday Night Live. After Eddie Murphy left I watched but like you never forget your first Doctor Who, you never forget your first SNL cast.

A lot has been said about Eddie Murphy's awkward appearance on the SNL40 show. I don't know what was expected. Some say that he should have done stand-up.  Those who think so have never seen Eddie Murphy's stand-up, because if they did they would know that it is not prime-time appropriate--not in the least. He should have come out as Gumby?  I agree with the commenter that said it would be like expecting the High School Quarterback to come back 30 years later and throw a touchdown.

If you know some of the bad blood between Eddie Murphy and Lorne Michaels this article can catch you up.

What I think happened, I think that Eddie Murphy took the advice he probably gives to his children which is, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

As for me, I'll be waiting for Beverly Hills Cop 4 and looking forward to it.

Edited to add

Now we know that Eddie Murphy turned down a bit to play Cosby.  When you consider the history between those two--that was a pretty damn magnanimous thing to do.

Monday, February 16, 2015

#Microblog Mondays--Forgiveness

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness for the things I've done you blame me for. 

But then I guess we know there's blame to share

And none of it seems to matter anymore. 
--Stephen Schwartz--Wicked

The last time I saw my mother she was unable to speak. 

I took her hand and she clenched mine back. She knew I was there. She knew who I was. 

I told her that I loved her. I told her that I would take care of my father. I told her that she was an amazing mom, and it was okay. She could go, and I would be okay. 

I kissed her hand and left her.  

I don't regret that last day. I don't regret what I said. I just wish I might have said that I forgave her for all the stupid stuff. I know she forgave me for the stupid stuff. And none of it seems to matter anymore. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

#Microblog Monday--Mommy's here

It's Saturday night and for reasons known only to toddlers Lotus will not sleep in her crib. After two tries and then an equal number of stern warnings that she is not to play vaulting over sleeping mommy and daddy we bring her into our bed.

Sometime around 3:00 am she wakes with a cry and tries to hit her way out of bed. More asleep than awake she's crying and shaking. I sit up and grab her and hold her.

"Mommy's here." I say lifting her little hand to my chin. She rubs my chin and starts to calm down.

"Mommy?" she asks. Her little voice is so scared.

"Mommy's here." I said. I put her other hand on D. "Daddy's here too." She hiccups once and then settles down. I rock her a little bit and then lay down, running my hand over her hair. I want to go into her dreams and take a baseball bat to whatever it that has terrified her. She gives a little moan and I whisper again, "Mommy's here." She drifts off into sleep and I'm now wide awake.

I get up for a little and start to cry myself. I wish with all of my heart I could pick up the phone and hear "Mommy's here." from my own Mommy. It's been 10 months and I miss her so damn much.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Five--Five Favorite Current TV Shows

I love television.

I admit I have watched my share of crappy reality shows. However right now I truly believe we are living in a golden age of television. I believe that in about a decade or less, college students will be watching full series of these shows as literature and be asked to comment about the themes. Anyway for my Friday five here are my favorite shows--they are currently on now--or waiting for the next season. 

1) Scandal
I LOVE my Shonda Rhimes. I love Kerry Washington. I love all the acting in this show. I love it that I can't watch it and tweet. I can't watch it with the computer on my lap. I have to pay full attention.  

2) Grey's Anatomy
Did I mention how much I love my Shonda Rhimes? Grey's has not been as even a ride as Scandal. I have gone large chunks of various seasons without seeing them and not even getting caught up later. That being said, recently Grey's has has a rebirth. I miss Christina, but I am still invested enough in the characters to watch. 

3) Agent Carter
The newest show on this list. I love watching a 40's era woman kick some serious ass!

4) Downton Abbey
I know it is not as good as previous seasons. I know it is kinda weepy. I know. I know. I know.  That being said I love Dame Maggie Smith. I was lucky enough to see her onstage in Lettice and Lovage. She is one of my favorite actresses and I would probably line up to hear her read the London Underground map. 

5) Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage. Enough Said. 

Runners Up:

  • How To Get Away With Murder--If the rest of the cast was as good as Viola Davis it would be on here. 
  • Castle--This season has not been as good. In fact calling it pretty bad wouldn't be overstating. I'm hoping they can get their act together. It is a comedy. Don't put all this high drama into it--that's what Thursday Nights are for. 
  • Doctor Who. I do not like the 12th doctor. I miss my Matt Smith.
  • Mad Men
So what am I missing?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Looking for my religion with a flashlight

I've been contemplating joining a temple.
I've been contemplating never joining a temple again.

I've been contemplating becoming more religious--more frum.
I've been contemplating leaving Judaism.

As you might have figured out I am conflicted about my religion. I should note that I am not conflicted about the existence of Gd. I have had enough proof to satisfy myself. Anyone who reads this who hasn't had that proof and doesn't believe in Gd--good on you! I don't have to disclose my proof--you don't have to disclose your doubts.

My religion--Conservative/Reform Judaism--that's another story. It fills me with conflicting emotions. I was raised in a Kosher home. I attended Hebrew School. I believed. I still do. Being Jewish is the way I worship. I feel clean on Yom Kippur. Lighting candles on Friday night comforts something in my soul. Going to services and saying the Mourners Kaddish for my mother is responsible for some of my healing. I know it is.

So why not join a temple?

Because when I needed them the most, I was abandoned by my religion and it made me feel abandoned by Gd.

Yes, I'm talking about Infertility.

In most religious ceremonies, Jewish ceremonies included, a lot revolves around the children. So what happens when you don't have children? Are you welcome? Well--kind of. You're welcome for the children that you might someday have.

Yes, when I was looking for temples, I was told by one that I should come back when I had children.
When I was trying to find a place to pray for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur I was told about one temple that had free services for young families. I said that I didn't have children. I was told that I could come too--like an afterthought.

When I attended services at my parents temple, on Rosh Hashanah, the new rabbi's sermon was about how women ran to the doctor too quickly to try to get pregnant. They should...wait for it...relax. I should mention that this rabbi was the father of six!

I went to services on Purim one year and I was asked where my kids were. I responded that if I was very lucky they'd be here in nine months. The person was insulted that I said that.

I had attended a new shul (new for me near our new house) and the Rabbi said I could come on Yom Kippur. She told me that she would leave word that I could go in. She forgot. I didn't have a ticket, my name wasn't on a list, and I was turned away from a shul on the holiest day of the year. Because my husband loves me, he got in the car and drove me to where I have been going for the past seven years. If I had not gone back to a shul that Yom Kippur--I would never have gone back again. My husband loves me and understand that being Jewish is as much a part of me as blue eyes. He didn't want me to lose that part of myself.

By the way--as a reminder--my husband isn't Jewish. A lot of these places he is made to feel like persona non grata because he married into the faith instead of being born into it. Many temples say he may be a "full member" except for religious attributes. That means they want him to pay a full membership, but not be a full member.

I want to raise Lotus to see the beauty in Sabbath Candlelights. I want her to feel like she personally was escorted out of Egypt on Passover. I want her to be Bat Mitzvah. I don't want her to be the only Asian in the congregation. I don't want her to be the only person of color in the congregation. I don't want her to be teased because she was adopted. Moses was adopted too.

I don't really know how to resolve these issues. I'm curious if others have ideas and how they have resolved them as well. Until then I will go one place to say Mourner's Kaddish. Bring Lotus to another for Tot Shabbat, and travel nearly an hour for the High Holidays. I'll do this until I find somewhere I fit in, or until I find somewhere that fits me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Booking and Cooking


So this week I read two books. One was interesting, one was great.

I'm going to talk about the great one.

Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Rating: 4 Stars
Will I reread? Probably not

I've been a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips (also known as SEP) for a long time.  Not from the first book, I actually didn't care for the first book I read of hers. Yet I was intrigued enough to try her again and I was glad I did. Some of her books I reread over and over, some I don't, but that doesn't mean I didn't like them, I just can't imagine rereading them.

That is the case with Heroes.  This is more gothic. It was obvious that this was her writerly tribute to Jane Eyre but with her own cutesy touches. The main character is a ventriloquist and her characters talk to her. The hero is someone who had a past with the heroine and may or may not have killed his sister. The setting is almost another character unto itself--an Island off the coast of Maine which is totally buried in snow. Mix these ingredients together and you have a wonderful book that will make you want to be buried under blankets while reading it.


This Sunday was my Super Bowl Experiment Day.  I experiment on different kinds of apps and finger foods.  One was good, one wasn't.

The good:

These French Onion Soup Wonton Bites.

Oh Dear Lord.

These were amazing.  I saved three to freeze but even if they don't freeze well, I know caramelized onions freeze well so I will give it a shot.  These came out AMAZING.

The bad:

This Beer Cheese Dip.

A Caveat here. I don't like beer.  (Rhyme not intended.)
Why then did I make this? Because I often love Beer-cheddar things. Beer Cheddar soup, beer cheddar fondue etc, I am THERE.  This one though--no, it wasn't to my taste.

The Keeper:
Martha Stewart's Black Beans and Sausage

While I didn't make this for Super Bowl Sunday, I made this last nigh. And a few weeks ago. And a few weeks ago. It is one of our go-to recipes.  It takes about 40 minutes and it isn't a big to do--never mind the fact that Martha Stewart's name is on it.
I HIGHLY Recommend this one for a quick dinner.

February 4, 2013

It was two years ago today. 
Because of a wonderful woman named Rumor Queen and her website I knew that our wait was coming to an end. I knew that our "date" was in the referral batch. I had been calling our agency daily--twice daily to see if there was any news. The answer was always the same, "as soon as we know something, you'll know something."  It was said with gentle patience by a wonderful person, Julie, who had a kind voice and a sweet sense of humor.  

I had waited a weekend and it was a Monday. I was at work. I had already called the agency twice. The second time Julie said that the mail had come and there was no packet from China. She was so sorry, but it was going to be another day. I was polite on the phone, I said I waited six years, what was one more day. 

I hung up and I was so furious that I couldn't stay at my desk. I went downstairs and walked around the building so I could calm down. I cried a little bit. I got back to my desk and tried to concentrate on my work when my cell phone rang. I looked at it and saw it was the agency. What could they want? It wasn't going to be today. I was less than polite when I answered the phone. 

"Hey," I said in a grumbly tone. 
"Hi," Julie said. "Can I ask, is this your first child?"
What the ever loving hell did she need to know that for? I thought. 
"Yes." I replied in a growl. 
"Well, congratulations Momma, it's a girl!"

I'm told I screamed. I don't remember screaming. I remember falling off my chair to my knees.

"She's healthy." Julie said as if I wasn't turning into a blubbering wreck. "She's nine months old and she is beautiful." I cut her off because I promised D that we would see the picture together. I called D and screamed through the phone, "It's a girl! We got the referral!"  He said "I'm on my way home right now!!"

I ran and told my boss and got on my way home. Nine months old, I counted. She was born in May--around the time I had my one and only pregnancy and miscarriage. I got in the house and D was cleaning the kitchen so he wouldn't open his email. 

Together we opened the document and saw her face. As I'm going to try to maintain her privacy, I'm not posting the whole picture here--but I'm showing one of the things that struck me. Her little hand--it needed someone to hold it. From this day forward, D and I were to be that someone. We were going to hold her hand when she needed it--and sometimes when she didn't.  I also noticed her feet--this had been taken three months before, in December, when it was probably cold--and someone had put these yellow socks on her feet, to keep her warm. Someone cared to keep her warm. Then we looked at her birthday, she had been born on the day I miscarried. 

We called grandparents and siblings and friends. We were so over the moon that the paper pregnancy of six years had come to this conclusion. There would be new dates and a trip to China, but February 4th is when I became a mom.

Monday, February 2, 2015

#Microblog Monday--Happy Imbolc

Happy Imbolc.

According to my Facebook feed our general celebration of Groundhog's day is from this ancient holiday.

For a while I made certain to celebrate the pagan holidays as I did my own Jewish Holidays.  Partially because D resonated more with paganism, partly because, hey who doesn't like Samhain? (aka Halloween)

I want Lotus to understand many religions--not just Judaism. I want her to find her own path to the Devine however she chooses. I get terrified when I read things like about losing your child to religious fundamentalism. I feel that Gd, or the Devine, or whatever you want to call her, is big enough to let everyone in. I hope I pass that along to my daughter.