Category Archives: Adoption

BABIES OR BULLDOGS?

sleeping dogs and baby

When I turned 40, I stood before my husband, a large box under each arm.
“Pampers or Depends, sweetie, you pick. But one way or another we are heading towards diapers.”

A few years earlier, I had lobbied for French bulldogs.  So cute!  But we already had a dog, not to mention my father’s 23-year-old incontinent cat (we get a lot of incontinent animals), and my husband’s response was…not really printable.

So, I moved onto kids.  That day in Wal-Mart when I showed him our diaper options, I think he was leaning toward Depends. We’ll never know; I started gathering information about adoption the next day.
I had always wanted to adopt. I’m not sure why, but for decades the desire played like background music in my brain. I knew my child was coming to me via adoption. Child. Singular.  Tim agreed to ONE CHILD AND ONE CHILD ONLY, either homegrown or adopted.  And then he wheeled and dealt:  “I will say yes to two French bulldogs instead of one child.”  (He was a little nervous about the parenting gig at that point.)  I don’t blame him.

When we were in our twenties, he wanted two children. We were living in apartments (not very nice ones) at the time, eeking out bad livings as actors/couriers/waitstaff/reception/whatever we could get. When he said he wanted two kids by the time he was thirty, I thought, Suuuurrrrre. As if I’d become a mother under these circumstances. There’s plenty of time for that. Career was still far more important to me than motherhood. I was still far more important to me than motherhood.

And then my own parents died. And my uncle. And my aunt. That left me and my brother. Today is, in fact, the 18th anniversary of my beloved mother’s passing, Z”L (may her memory be a blessing).  At that point, Tim had lived through years of cancer and hospitals and my grieving.  He’d been gentle and strong and present for me, but he was tired.  We both were.  We needed a break and to get our happier lives back.  But when my parents were gone, I was thirty-five, and I realized that being a daughter was one of my favorite things ever. No career could come close to that feeling of unconditional love. I wanted it again, this time on the giving end.

We waited and we talked and we wrestled with the idea of a baby (if you read Carolyn’s last post, you know I do not make decisions easily…although not about clothes, Carolyn.  Please.  Look at my wardrobe.)  Nonetheless, at the ripe old age of 42 and 4o, respectively, Tim and I started the adoption journey.  And magic happened.  The kind of magic I think only God can orchestrate.  Carolyn and I got both got babies, and our lives truly began to intertwine.

–to be continued…

–Wendy

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Adoption, friendship, parenthood

Change of Life Baby

Kids, this is where Wendy comes into your Dad’s and my parenting picture. You see, before you were born, Dad and I didn’t think we wanted you. Remember, we were young. And brain-damaged. Anyway, we thought we wanted someone else’s kid. We weren’t sure that bringing someone with our chromosomal predisposition to lunacy into the picture was such a good idea. We thought, why inflict the world with more of…us. Why not give a home to a pre-owned kid? Didn’t that just scream altruism? And if there was one thing we cared about, it was appearing as if we cared about other things.

So, before we birthed you, we collected a ton of adoption data. Keep in mind, this was before the Internet, and we actually had to sit down and write with a pen and paper and use the U.S. Postal service and everything. But, as you know, that dream sort of fizzled when we decided that though the quality might not be there with a homemade kid, the price was right. So there you are. Literally.

One day, I told Wendy about my laundry basket full of adoption materials that we’d never be using. Since she and her husband, Tim, had wanted to adopt forever, I offered it to her. She took it and put it to good use and I got to live vicariously through her thrilling search. After all, I was so done having kids.

Then one day, Wendy called. It seems she’d been offered a baby through a private adoption. Squeee! I was over the moon excited for her.  An infant! A boy! He was so cute!  I’d be the best Auntie ever!

Now kids, this might be a good time to take a rabbit trail and talk about how Wendy and I shop. I am the kind of shopper who sorta knows what I want when I get to the mall. If I see it—or something vaguely similar—at the first store and it fits my body and my budget, I buy it, and take it home. I may look somewhere south of stylish, but at least the tedious search is over.

Wendy on the other hand, will go to all the stores, and when she can’t decide, will visit all the other malls. Usually, in less than a year or so, she will finally select a store, tentatively make her purchase, take it home, try it on, decide it is not right and return it.

Same thing with our writing. I’m a fan of the “lick-and-a-promise” school of editing. Wendy is more the considerate, “anguish-over-each-word” school.

I think that we can thusly surmise: I am an ill-dressed purveyor of schlock and she is a semi-nudist with a shelf full of writing awards.

So, I was not totally surprised when Wendy wasn’t sure if the baby she’d been offered was…hers.

Kids…it turns out the baby was mine. But that story is going to have to wait until next time.

Carolyn

2 Comments

Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Adoption, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, The Bi-Racial Family, Weight gain

Before We Were “Too Hot” Mamas

Dad, Libbi and MomCarolyn suggested we tell you all the story of how we met (standing in line for lasagna at a publishing party in Florida), how we discovered we had a lot in common (high anxiety…we are oodles of fun on a plane together), and how, after that first meeting on the opposite side of the country from where we both lived, our lives as writers and mothers began to intertwine in the most wonderful of ways.

I liked reminiscing about it all. Then she said, “Begin with your marriage. That’s how motherhood started.” Yeah, that’s a little harder, because now I have to be honest, and, well…eew.

Being honest about my husband is easy; he’s one of the most transparent people I’ve ever known. But we met when I was twenty-three, and I cannot say that transparency was one of my salient qualities back then.

I grew up hiding—or trying to hide–big chunks of myself. I was a people pleaser, a classic human chameleon. I stumbled into the real me, turning holes in my character into a whole human bit by fumbling bit. And for nearly thirty years now, my beautiful, honest-until-it-hurts husband has ridden shotgun.

When we met, I knew what I wanted in a boyfriend—a sense of humor, intelligence, a creative spark, strength and mystery. (I have no idea what I meant by mystery, and note to my daughters: That is a really asinine trait to look for in a life partner.)  He and I had crossed paths a couple of times. We were both acting in theatre and had been cast in the same plays twice, but either I took the role offered while he turned his down, or vice versa. And then we both auditioned for Of Mice And Men.

He remembers watching me at the audition as I was playing with a little girl in the lobby of the theatre. In that moment, he knew I’d make a great mom someday. Ooookay, here’s where the icky, eewie truth comes in. That little girl was the director’s daughter. I was playing with her because I thought it would score me some points if I was nice to his kid. I DIDN’T WANT KIDS. Well…someday. About ten or twelve years from that night. Maybe fifteen years. Possibly twenty.   It took a lot of time, a lot of tears and a very, very cool plot twist that involved Carolyn to get to the point where we squished that adorable baby in the photo between us.

To be continued on Thursday, because I promised Carolyn I wouldn’t get diarrhea of the keyboard.

Wendy

2 Comments

Filed under Adoption, friendship, Marriage

Change A Life–Yours

For several months, I’ve been mentoring a young boy who is in relative foster care.  More on that in a future blog, but for now, I want to say simply that working with an “older” kiddo has been one of the most profound and moving experiences of my life.  He understands exactly how precious a family and/or mentor relationship can be and his gratitude for the time we spend together is matched only by mine.

If you want to grow your heart and spirit in ways you may never have imagined, MENTOR a youth in foster care.  It may take as little as four hours a month or as much time as you and your mentee choose to spend together.  There are some wonderful organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters to guide you.

Here in Oregon, we have Christian Family Adoptions and A Family For Every Child–both these adoption agencies have mentor programs and are eager to hear from adults who want to learn more about mentoring.

Most of you probably already know that Carolyn and I are adoptive mothers, so I want to touch a bit on adoption today, too.  Every now again, we’re going to start featuring on the blog kids who might age out of the system with no family unless someone steps forward to make a connection.  More details and statistics, too, in a future post regarding what happens when kids age out without a stable adult in their lives (unfortunately, it won’t be funny).

For now, there is a young man in China, who is about to age out of the  system there, which allows for adoption only until the age of 14.   He is blessed with a great foster mother.  He needs a permanent one.  

“Jordan’s” video grabbed my heart.  Take a look and see if he grabs yours, too:   http://coleman-bunkbeds.blogspot.com

Do you know anyone who might want a fantastic son?  If so, share the link.

Lot of love,

–Wendy

Leave a comment

Filed under Adoption

We’re Baaaaaack!

Wonder where we’ve been?  Us, too!  The rumors of our break up have rivaled those of the Beatles, and I’m here to assure you, all is well!  Sort of.  Okay, the truth?  I think Wendy’s a bit miffed with me.  It all started about a month ago when she let me have a little peek at her work in progress.  I read it.  I wasn’t bowled over.  I may have been a tad snarky with some of my comments.  Perhaps the Zzzzz’s indicating the places where I’d drifted off to sleep weren’t exactly…helpful.  Or…polite.  Wendy laughingly referred to my remarks as passive aggression.

So, when she had to leave town and wanted to drop her little dog at my house, I thought, sure!  I’m a dog lover.  Bring it on.  For years I’ve looked after her big dog, Autumn, whenever they are on vacation.  Wonderful animal.  Love her.  Don’t really want to give her back when Wendy comes home.

How shall I describe Wendy’s new doggie?  The term Parana comes to mind, but that’s not really fair to the poor, sweet fish.  Wendy arrived, docile pile of poodle in hand, and she, all smiles, assured me that, “Oh, noooo!  Your comments were really helpful!  Wonderful!  Insightful!”  Yeah.  Right. I should have known something was afoot.  Before she drove away, she gave us a few minor warnings about this newest member of her family, “He tends to be a tad grumpy sometimes…Oh, and he loves to run, so be careful not to let him out.”

The burning rubber of her tires hadn’t even stopped smoking as she peeled out of the driveway, before Bailey (aka: Beelzebub) drew blood.  Seemed he didn’t like the idea of a walk and let us know it by taking a chunk out of one of our thumbs.  Screaming ensued and Beelz…er…Bailey’s lips curled back as, snarling and snapping, he treed all of us (my three dogs included) on the dining room table.  Thankfully, my eldest daughter (age 18) took matters in hand by announcing, “I’m not afraid of this bleeping animal.  Come here, you!  I’m alpha dog and you are going outside to the pen!”  She jumped off the table, bravely grabbed the leash and dragged Baily outdoors…where…his head slipped out of the collar and he took off.

More screaming.  A new version of the Incredible Journey was born as Bailey began his 20 mile quest for Wendy’s house.  Luckily, my 3rd daughter, age 13 is not only brave, but fast.  Arms waving like an outboard motor, she managed to head Bailey off at the pass, while daughter number 2, age 15, grabbed a brick of cheese and hefted it into the pen.  “Here, Satan!  We have cheese for you!”  The boys slammed the door and when the dog had finished the cheese, it sneered at us, passed gas, and passed out.  Being a terrorist takes the starch out, it would seem.

When Wendy and her husband, Tim, (who starred on a recent episode of Grimm, by the way) returned, I regaled them with this tale and Wendy seemed appropriately shocked…but she’s nearly as good an actor as her husband.  He on the other hand looked outraged…that we’d managed to catch the dog and bring it safely home.  Apparently he wasn’t very complimentary about Wendy’s latest manuscript, either, and shortly thereafter, she adopted the little dog.  Coincidence?  I think not, Timmy.

Carolyn

2 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Children, Dogs, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

What do

 BILLY THE KID

SADDAM HUSSEIN

SIRHAN SIRHAN

ADOLPH HITLER

ROBERT GRAYSMITH (ZODIAC SERIAL KILLER)

MARC LEPINE(MASS MURDERER OF 14)

JACK THE RIPPER

LEE HARVEY OSWALD

JOHN WILKES BOOTH

JEFFREY DAHMER

CHARLES MANSON (CULT LEADER)

“MONSTER” CODY (L.A. CRIPS GANGLORD)

HAVE IN COMMON?

They did not have a father!  Here, at TooHotMamas, we salute:

OUR FATHERS (for keeping us out of prison)

OUR HUSBANDS (for keeping our kids out of prison)

And every involved father, grandfather, mentor, big brother, uncle who is making a difference in the life of a child.  Because, without your time, energy and love, this is what we are seeing:

Sad Statistics

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)

Here’s to you, Dad!  Thank you and we love you,

Toohotmamas


1 Comment

Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Adoption, Dads, Fathers

PREGNANT AT FIFTY

Too Hot Mamas has an announcement:  One of us is pregnant.

I looked that word up, and the dictionary definition is:  Heavy with child, significant, expectant.  I, Wendy, am all those things.  At fifty-two and fifty, respectively, my husband and I are in the process of adopting from U.S. Foster Care.  Our daughter is delighted and very ready to share her life with a sibling.  My husband is as scared as he was the first time around, I am cleaning out the basement (nesting), and our friends are, variously–supportive, excited, confused and aghast.

I understand the aghast part; I really do.  Our daughter is pretty darn easy, a delightful child with whom we share a terrific relationship.  Our careers are in flux—not easy, not secure, not gifting us with financial resources to spare.  And, WE ARE IN OUR FIFTIES.  So what are we thinking’?

I have many responses, but it all boils down to this:  It’s important to have parents acknowledge your birthday with joy.  To know you can go “home” for Thanksgiving and every other holiday.  To know that unconditionally loving parents accompany your walk through this beautiful, complex, wonderful, treacherous world.  And, far more selfishly:  Becoming adoptive parents is the best thing that ever happened to my husband and me or ever will.

It boils down to the article below.  I invite you to read  about Steven K. Walker.  Whether you’ve ever considered adoption or not, or are a parent or not, his story is a wonderful reminder that the greatest “success” in life is loving someone.

Wendy

From Summer 2011 Adoptalk

by Steven K. Walker

Steven was adopted from foster care at ten. Below he tells of the events that transformed him from an abused child to a national adoption advocate. Follow Steven on Facebook at the official page of Steven K. Walker, Adoption Advocate.

“He’ll never amount to anything.”

Would those words destroy or motivate you? For me, the words simply seemed true; I should be a failure. Statistics would predict that I’m in prison, but that wasn’t my destiny, was it? Who can know for certain if I will amount to anything, and why would they say that?

My story started in August 1987 when Alice, a mentally challenged alcoholic, gave birth to an undersized baby boy (me) in Niagara Falls, New York. There was no father listed on my birth certificate; it could have been any of the men she brought home from the bar most nights.

From the hospital, my mother brought me to a filthy four-room apartment that had only one outside window. There was no crib or baby formula, so Alice fed me whatever she ate. I often slept on a makeshift bed on the kitchen floor while strange men came over to abuse and take advantage of my poor drunk mother.

In November 1988, Alice gave birth to another boy, David. He and I shared everything and it was great because David gave me the attention my mother gave to strangers. Soon, however, life turned into a nightmare.

Alice kept bringing home men and some of them abused David and me physically, sexually, and emotionally. I tried to protect David by hiding us under the kitchen table, me covering him, and a blanket over us both.

If we refused to get out from under the table, the men would swear, rip me off of David, and beat him. When I tried to defend David and fight back, they beat me even more severely. Though I don’t remember specific men, all the abuse is like a vivid Van Gogh painting in my memory that can’t be forgotten or erased. Inevitably it defines, in part, who I am.

Memories ate at me and made me second-guess everything. Was the abuse my fault? What about my mother-why didn’t she defend me against abuse that left me with a dent in the back of my head and hand tremors? Alice never abused us, but she did not keep us out of harm’s way. Later, I came to realize that it wasn’t her fault, and believe now that she tried the hardest she could to keep David and me safe.

Through all the abuse, I cared for David as best I could. I always made sure he was fed before I was. I made certain he had a coat to keep him warm during the cold winters. Soon I became malnourished.

David and I moved into foster care when I was four years old. With our things in black trash bags, we were shoved into the back of county cars, and said goodbye to our mother. It was confusing. I felt like a prisoner, but prisoners know where they’re going and we didn’t. What if we obeyed instead of fighting and hiding?

David and I ended up at a farm, with a mother and father who seemed nice. It was a hardworking Christian family who prayed with us before bed and got us up early to work in the barn. David and I did as they asked.

One morning, the foster mom assigned us to milk the goats. We didn’t understand why this needed to be done and were struggling to comply. The foster mom tried to make it fun by squirting us with milk from the goat’s udder. Unfortunately, the raw milk hit me in the eye. Six years and several surgeries later, I became legally blind in that eye.

With my belongings in another trash bag, I went to the next foster home. My third foster home was supposed to be therapeutic. The mother had a Ph.D. in psychology and was a special education teacher. She claimed she knew how to care for David and me, but also told us that she really wanted a baby girl, not boys.

Just when I started to get close to the father, they pulled the rug out from under me. They claimed that I was a bad influence on David and sent me away. David stayed behind.

From this home I moved to a Pennsylvania group home. At age six, I was the youngest kid there. We had to complete chores to earn rewards but no one taught me how so I often had to do chores over when I messed up the first time. The head of the facility told me I should never have been placed in the group setting.

Imagine my mindset. I was separated from my brother, lied to, and kept in the dark about my future. When I asked where I was going, the response was often, “Do you like ice cream?” People were saying they loved me, but then giving up on me in less than six months.

Next, I moved in with an older couple in Buffalo, New York. They made it clear they didn’t intend to adopt me; they were only fostering to get money for the husband’s heart surgery. I was eight, but was treated worse than the couple’s five-year-old granddaughter because I was “not blood.” This saying irks me. When humans get cut, don’t we all bleed the same color?

On weekends, I visited potential adoptive families-too many to count. They all gave up on me, even the three families who signed the adoption papers. My feelings of hurt and distrust grew.

Just before my ninth birthday, I moved in with a family in North Tonawanda, New York. I knew them a little from having been in respite care with them a few times, including a time when David was there because his family went to Florida. Before I moved in, the family sent me a letter with pictures of the family, house, and school. The letter ended with a question: Did I want to adopt them as parents?

I was hesitant to fall in love, but this family reached out to me. They wore patches to see what it is like to be blind in one eye. They put ice on their hands to simulate tremors. Still, I could not give in. I hit, kicked, spit, bit, and swore. I told the mother that I didn’t have to follow her rules because she was not my real mother.

Her response was always, “I love you no matter what.” She got to know me and saw my broken heart. She learned that I loved sports and invested in hockey goalie equipment so I could take shots at her whenever I was angry. Afterward, she would rock me in her arms, give me a freezer pop, and tell me she loved me.

The mother was always open and honest with me. She and the father tried to answer my questions as best they could without lying. Around the time of Halloween, after I turned ten, they told me that they would only answer my questions if I called them Mom and Dad.

On New Year’s Eve, Mom and Dad took me to Niagara Falls to see the ball drop. At the time, they said, “How great it is to be celebrating both our anniversary and our son.” The words caught me. I chose to be adopted. I got to pick a court date and even change my name. To honor my dad, I took Kevin as my middle name.

On Tuesday, April 1, 1997, I went into the Niagara County Court House as a foster child and came out as Steven Kevin Walker, son of Kevin and Jody Walker. It was a relief, though I still wish I could have been adopted with my brother.

Since my adoption, my family has grown to include another boy and six girls. I graduated from high school at the top of my class, was Student Council president, captain of the football team, and a three-sport athlete. At community college, I was in more than 20 clubs, served as an officer in the student government, and earned my associates degree.

Today I am an adoption advocate. I share my story in the U.S. and Canada, have been published widely, and have appeared on television and in videos. A man in Florida who heard my story donated more than 400,000 suitcases for youth in care so they can move with some dignity instead of having their things stuffed in garbage bags. In 2001, I helped write legislation to keep siblings together in foster care in New York State. In 2006, I got to share my story with then-Senator Hillary Clinton and leave copies of my speech with all 100 senators (including Barack Obama).

The message I hope to convey is: Don’t give up on us. You never know who we can become. Accept each of us as your child; I am simply your son, not your adopted son, or foster son. All of the adoptive families who stick with the children they adopted from foster care are my heroes! Walk in our shoes and you will understand; our love is deep and the best place we have ever lived is the place with the family who keeps us forever.

5 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Children, Motherhood, parenthood

Toohotmamas Celebrate Mother’s Day!

Wendy may be menopausal, but she can still swang her thang!        Carolyn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academy Awards, Adoption, aging, Anxiety, Bathroom Humor, Children, Death, Exercise, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, Writing

Leggo of my Lego

My youngest son, age 8, is a Lego addict.  He is willing to admit that he’s powerless over Legos.  This is an expensive habit.  Needs to be fed often.  I don’t get it, but then chocolate is my drug of choice.

Yes, members of my family have spent hundreds of dollars, satisfying his Star Wars Lego fanaticism.  His latest kit is an extravaganza my sister spent at least $50 bucks on, but the joke is on me.   Seems it’s payback time for the multi-piece toys I naively gifted her children with, a decade ago.  Alas, there are over a gogillion pieces in his latest set for my new puppy to chew. 

New puppy you ask?  Yes, long story, but I digress.  Anyway, ever since my little darling has endeavored to build the Star Wars Deluxe Battleship with the triple phaser stun guns (ages 9-14) this is all I hear these days:

Him:  “Mom!  I can’t do this!”

Me:  “Yes, you can.”

Him: “Mom!!  I’m not 9 yet! Come and help me!  How do I start?”  He is staring dazedly at the directions.

Me:  “Gimme the manual.”  Hmmm. 

A HALF HOUR LATER

Me:  “Okay.  Look, I think we might have better luck if we sort the pieces.”

Him:  “I don’t know how.”

Me:  “Like this.  Dark here, small here, etc…”

AN HOUR LATER

Me:  “Son?  SON! Where are you?”

Muffled voice drifts from somewhere far away.  Perhaps from the trampoline outside?

Him:  “Are you done yet, Mom?”

Me:  “YES!  GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND BUILD YOUR SUPER FUN STARWARS LEGO BATTLESHIP THINGEE!”  (I get cranky when I’m stiff and in pain from sorting).

Him:  “Okay!”

TEN MINUTES LATER

Him:  “Mom!?  Where’s the first piece?”

Me:  Searching for my antacids.  “Here.”

Him:  “Mom!”  Where’s the second piece?”

TWO HOURS LATER Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Adoption, Anxiety, Children, Dogs, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood

Goodbye Teddy Bear…Hello Tiger

I have Carolyn’s youngest son at my place for a sleepover.  He’s one-day younger than my daughter.  Carolyn and I adopted the kids when we were mere seconds from menopause (a great story we’ll have to share sometime).

The two kids adore each other; they get along famously.  Always have.  Like brother and sister without the fights.  So, when they asked if they could sleep in my daughter’s room on the same bed, Carolyn and I decided that would be okey dokey.  They’re a few weeks away from turning eight, and not the most sophisticated flowers in the garden.  Very innocent.  Lucy and Ricky Ricardo are their media marriage role models.

My DD, however, upon hearing that they could indeed share the twin bed and kick each other silly all night long, suddenly turned coy.  “But that’s so romantic,” she giggled.

Romantic?  She just dared him to eat a caterpillar. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Adoption, aging, Children, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Young Love

Wild Kingdom

Yeah, you're laughin' now, fatso.

  Help!  My daughter is not home today!  She left me to baby-sit her mutt.  She should know better, as I am HER mother…

The new dog–Genevieve–woke me up and since I’m NOT a morning person, I stumbled to the bedroom door, opened it and shooed her out.  Fell back in bed.

TWO HOURS LATER

Opened the door.  Stumbled downstairs for coffee.  Thurston followed me.  He’s not a morning person either.  Genevieve was in the kitchen licking a plastic container that had been sitting on the counter filled with beans and rice.  Man, I hope she’s not allergic to rice.  Anyway, I squint at her. 

She cowers. 

“Did you eat the beans?”

No answer.

She spots Thurston.  As is her habit, she attempts to make love to his head. 

He growls. 

She breaks wind.  On his head.

I’m thinking she ate the beans.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Carolyn

1 Comment

Filed under Adoption, Children, Dogs, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

Happy Anniversary, TooHotMamas!

Here's to another FABULOUS year of Hot Flashing!

  Wendy, I simply cannot believe  that we have been blogging for a solid year now!  And, what a year it’s been.  Wendy has sold three books and her husband has starred on LEVERAGE (on TNT). 

I managed to unclog a stubborn drain and my hubby cut off the tip of his finger.  What will the coming year bring?  I shudder to imagine.

At any rate, this explains Wendy’s rather sporadic contribution to the blog.  She’s working.  I, on the other hand, remain firmly attached to her coattails, dreaming of the day when I’m sitting in the front row at the Academy Awards, sobbing ala Chad Lowe, while she accepts the Oscar for best screenplay adaptation of a novel.  I only hope she remembers to thank me.  You know, for handling the blog while she works on a paying gig.

Since we are embarking on a new year here at TooHotMamas, I thought I’d like to try something I’m going to call: The Story Of Us.

Basically, it’s gonna be a soap-opera type serial blog.  Cliff-hangers, love, live, death, barf, marriage, menopause, kids, George Clooney, you know, stuff about our dysfunctional—and oddly identical—lives and how we met and forged a sisteresque friendship.  This is going to be really fun for me, as Wendy is too busy earning a real living to actually check in here, at TooHotMamas, and so, I’ll be able to really dish the dirt.

For example:  Wendy used to go to school with what musical super star??

I’ll have that juicy answer…on the next episode of THM’s!

Carolyn

2 Comments

Filed under Academy Awards, Adoption, Geroge Clooney, hot flash, Humor, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Pillsbury Bakeoff, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing

The Bi-Racial Family

This pic is 4 years old.

One of the fun things about having a bi-racial family is listening to the kids talk about their heritage.  My youngest son (now age 7) hails from Guatemalan ancestry.  Tonight at the dinner table he announced that he was born able to understand and speak Guatemalan.

 “Show us,” one of his sisters encouraged.

 “Guackalita causalita Kaleakilauqukita wackima chicho meeko.  Aleeche toto, kay toto,” he said.  “But don’t ask me to spell it.  I can’t even spell in English yet.”

 “Cool,” she said.  “I’m from African/Irish heritage so I’ll demonstrate African first.”  She cleared her throat, thrust her hands into the air (holding an imaginary lion cub, I guess) shouted, “Cowabunga!” and proceeded to sing The Circle of Life.  After some research, I think the actual lyric is “Ingonyama!” but hey, whatever.

I really need to take a pic of ALL the kids together in this lifetime

 

“That’s English,” her Irish/Italian sister said.  “If you really want to sound African, do a bunch of clicking sounds with your tongue.”  They all proceed to click with their mouths full and laugh.  It was nauseating.

Because three (?)–I can’t remember–of the five are adopted, ‘adoption’ is another subject they don’t tiptoe around.  “Hey,” youngest son shouted after being provoked half to death by his brother as we drove down the road one day, “why don’t you go back to the people that borned you?”

Before I could jump in and smooth things over, my older son nearly died laughing and said, “After you go back to the ones that borned you.”  That cracked them both up and they wrestled the rest of the way home.

I love that there is no political incorrectness or fear in the things they can discuss.  They know that they are physically different and not born from my womb, but my heart (which makes them super-cool).  They talk about it, point it out, laugh about it, admire it, but mainly don’t notice/care about it.  They see family. 

So beautiful.  So free.

 

Carolyn

1 Comment

Filed under Adoption, Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, The Bi-Racial Family

Yurt Locker

OMG! I'm so totally beautiful!

 I just spent the week in a Yurt at the beach with 6 middle school girls (one of them was my daughter) for a Science Field Study.  Ohmigosh.  The shrieking, the mess, the ADHD, the horrible house-keeping skills and that’s just ME. 

 The girls?  Hopeless.  

OVERHEARD IN MY YURT:

“I’m incredibly beautiful.  Not to brag or anything, it’s just true.  But, when I straighten my hair?  I’m even more beautiful.  Not to sound vain.” 

“That’s okay.  It’s good to be vain.  And you are really beautiful.”

“Yeah.”

 WHAT DATING IN 6TH GRADE REALLY MEANS: 

 Sit at the opposite end of the cafeteria and don’t look at each other.  Ever.  (Looking is for 7th grade).

 Getting to wear the boy’s hoodie?  You’re as good as married.  Pick out the china.  

 OVERHEARD IN THE CAFETERIA: 

“I gave his hoody back!”  Mass hysteria and giggling.  “And I loaded the pocket with candy!”  More mass hysteria. 

“Ooo, tight move!”

“Yeah!  He like said, I love candy!”  MASSIVE HYSTERIA.  “He said love!”

 DURING TRUTH OR DARE:

“Next time?  I dare you to give his hoody back and tell him you never want to wear it again because it totally smells like B.O.” 

 OVERHEARD ON THE BUS:

“Don’t worry, Mr. Smith, but you might want to count noses again…” 

 Alarmed, Mr. Smith asks, “Are we short a student?” 

“No.  But I’m pretty sure I saw that guy–don’t look now–the one sitting in the back of the bus–I said don’t look–The scruffy one with the flies buzzing around his head–don’t look–yeah, that guy, I saw him hitch-hiking about an hour ago…” 

“No, no.  That’s Carolyn.  Gracie’s mom.  She’s in a Yurt with all 6th graders.” 

“Oh, right.  That explains it.” 

 ON ORGANIZATION: 

 Kid: “Has anyone seen my flashlight/pillow/towel/sleeping bag/makeup/backpack/sleeping mat/text book?” 

 Me:  “What did you do with the last six flashlights/pillows/towels/sleeping bags/makeup/backpacks/sleeping bags/text books I gave you?” 

 Kid:   “I dunno.” 

 ON BEING SEXY: 

“I know everyone thinks the boy I like is a total Spaz–”

“Because he IS!”

“But that’s only because you don’t KNOW him!”

“I know he eats his boogers.”

“He’s still sexy.”  

Going on a field study is a great way to get to really know not only your own child, but the kids he/she pals around with all day at school.  It’s comforting to know that when you get home, you can lock your darling up and home school them until they are 35 and have completed basic training for nunnery boot camp. 

Carolyn

1 Comment

Filed under Adoption, Anxiety, Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

I Forgot What I Just Remembered

I’ve battled my weight all my life.  Not that I was obese exactly, but nobody would ever mistake me for Kate Moss.  The only way I was able to keep it under control was by working out 3 hours a day and counting every calorie.  That worked until I got pregnant with my first baby.  I gained 40 pounds with each of my five kids.  And, since three of them were adopted, this was… well, a bummer.  I managed to lose most of it, but now, as the years pass, it gets tougher and what with menopause, gee whiz, it just seems hopeless. The Kate Moss thing, I mean.

I’m big into self-help tomes and have tried all the diet books with varied but temporary success.  And then, a friend told me about Suzanne Sommer’s books on menopause and how they revolutionized her life.  So, I bought two.  They have done nothing for me.  But then, I haven’t read them yet.

However, I have high hopes.  From what I understand, bio-identical hormones will give me so much energy that I’ll no longer need sleep.  This will come in handy as I also hear—when I’m not training for a marathon—I’ll be busily ripping my husband’s clothes off in a dither of connubial bliss.  No more personal summers.  No more brain fog.  And skin?  Dewy as a rose petal at dawn.

 I think my family might be happier if I don’t replace the est-road-rage-en, but hey, anything has got to be better than the…the…uh…oh…the…uh, you know…the…               what was I talking about?

Carolyn

2 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Children, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood