Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our School Boy

I realized, a bit late, that I never did a "Year of Daniel" post around his 7th birthday. So... Here is a "School Year of Daniel"!

He finished up 1st Grade today. Amazingly, he's really reading now, and his writing is moderately decodable and he's pretty much the man on campus. Next year he moves up to the "big building"... and no mommy will be around to remind him to bring his lunch box or give him kisses in front of his friends. Sigh. No more spying on him during my bathroom breaks. I'm going to miss that.

Looking back at photos of my son from this past year it really is remarkable how much he has grown and changed.  He's definitely not a baby anymore. (I also get a kick out of seeing the various hairstyles we've tried...)

my sweet baby boy in September

making injera at last!
losing a tooth

flat top haircut

there goes another tooth!
Mr. Muscles carrying our Christmas tree

grrrr... arghhh....

and another tooth!

dance show!

so ready for summer...

last day of First Grade. And look! front teeth!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I'm so happy to have one of our favorite family stories included in this special issue of Adoptive Families magazine. There are hundreds of fantastic stories here... check it out!

Adoptive Families Special Edition: Celebrating Adoption

if link doesn't work, copy and paste the following into your browser:

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Blogger tells me I last wrote on May 25th.

Yup, that sounds about right.  June is, more than ever, kicking my behind. What, it's only the 8th you say? Well, yes it is, but somehow this year June started in about the middle of May.

My fellow teachers need no explanation. For the rest of you: The last month of the school is hell, no matter if your year ends in May or June. NYC's school year usually ends on June 28th. Yes, the TWENTY-EIGHTH. (To be fair, we start after Labor Day, but still, June is a looooooooooong month.)  20 odd school days to do about 30 days worth of work.  As I tell my (poor, patient) husband every year, when he expresses concern about my ragged, slightly deranged appearance in June:

Imagine packing up your entire office. Everything- lamps, boxes, staplers, tape, computer files, desktop photos, everything. Pack it up, while also continuing to do your job. While also it's about 1,000 degrees and there is a swarm of bees buzzing around your ears.

Teachers- can I get an Amen? That is what the month of June is like. Plus report cards, end of year assessments, record keeping, attendance review, end of year rituals and parties, memos about where to store your computer and how to lock up your student files.

Some of you are now saying to yourselves... I thought this was an adoption blog?!

Lily always tries to be at her cutest when Daniel is at his grumpiest. Little minx!

I'm sorry, bear with me. I'm getting to that.

Turns out that June is not just hard on me, it's hard on my kids too.  Daniel has been 7 going on 13 for a few weeks now. Ornery, challenging, grumpy.  So bad that I took away all his electronics and instituted a star chart for him to earn time with them.  So bad that I've started sending him to bed at 7:30.  We are quite the pair right now. Grumpy-tired-sweaty mommy yelling at angry-defiant-sweaty kid.  It's not pretty.

Our kid is typical of many adopted kids. He doesn't handle transitions well.  Big changes are big triggers for him. This year not only is he going to be changing teachers and classes, he's also going to a new building: The Big Kid building.  Cue stress. Cue fear. Cue defiance and wall building.

oh, yes, and we're moving. and that is a whole other post. or maybe a blog. Has anyone written a blog called "How to Move While Parenting Without Losing Your Mind."?!?

You would think that knowing all this I would be more patient and loving and kind towards my children right now.

But I'm not. It's June. I call it success when they go to bed bathed, fed and with all of their limbs intact. I'm not aiming high right now. It's too hot and I'm tired.  In July I plan to clean up my act. And also pack my house, because we're moving in August.

oh dear.

Mommy's going to need a lot more wine.

How's your June going?