Category Archives: Parenting

Dear Mama: First Foster Care Placement

May 26, 2016 · 8:15 am

Dear Mama: First Foster Care Placement

Dear Mama of the sweet little girls in my care,

I love your children.  I didn’t know I would so soon.  I worried about your kids and my kids, tangled together in daily activities. Could I treat them fairly?  How would I react when your youngest pushed my youngest? Or when my son wouldn’t share with your daughter?

I didn’t know how long I would have these children when I picked them up in the middle of the night, my hair and clothes in disarray. They reached for me so eagerly, and I was afraid.   I’m not your mother, I thought to myself, and in the back of my mind lingered the word, yet.  How long does it take to feel like a mother? How long will they be mine? Read More →

Comic Relief

March 15, 2016 · 3:09 pm

Our family has suffered through two cycles of viruses in as many weeks. This week’s cold/flu seems to be tapering off, and thankfully it did not have the shock and awe force of last week’s stomach bug.  Did I mention that our clothes dryer is currently out of commission? Read More →

A Book A Week: January 2016 Reviews

February 1, 2016 · 11:19 am

A Book A Week

The January book reviews are here!

Favorite read: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Most Informative read: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Read More →

Project 2015 Results: Failure and Success

January 6, 2016 · 2:12 pm

Shoot for the Moon`

In 2015, I decided to edify myself by trying to read a book a week. I knew going in that it was extremely ambitious and I don’t have a great track record with following through on my grandiose goals. But I do love grandiose goals. Read More →

On Terror, Grief, and Love

November 14, 2015 · 7:30 am

On Terror, Grief, and Love

Dear children,

Last night I told you that there’s a darkness in this world.  Sometimes people can’t get past the pain, and the anger, and the wanting to be right.  Sometimes people hurt each other. Yesterday a lot of people were hurt and killed.

Today people are grieving. Grief if what happens when you lose something or someone that you love. Grief can make you feel sad and angry and empty all at the same time. Grief can make you want to hold on tightly to the people you love and the things that you know.  Grief can make you want hurt whoever hurt you.  Grief can make you feel anything.  You don’t get to choose how you feel when you’re grieving.   Read More →

My Son’s Memoirs: First Grade Orientation and the Zombie Apocalypse

August 25, 2015 · 11:47 am

My Son’s Memoirs: First Grade Orientation and the Zombie Apocalypse

In the summer of 2015, I was five years old and gearing up for first grade.  I had been looking forward to orientation for weeks, and I couldn’t wait to meet my new teacher and see my classroom.  As luck would have it, I came down with a fever a few days before my orientation, and a sore throat crept in on its heels. The day of my scheduled orientation, I woke up with a fever of 102 degrees, severe pain in my throat, and a painful cough.  Read More →

Obama and Pixie Dust

March 14, 2015 · 2:12 pm

Obama and Pixie Dust

Today I woke up at 5 am to take Yohannes to the airport, and then came home and went back to sleep because I had a fever.

I  woke up again a little while later with two little children running and jumping on my bed.  I fed them breakfast, (graciously made by Solger) and then went back to sleep because I had a fever.

In my fevered sleep, I dreamt that we lived in an apartment complex with the Obamas and the cast of Boyhood. Read More →

A Nativity Story

December 24, 2014 · 9:30 am

That Time I Got Stuck On The Balcony

November 19, 2014 · 2:13 pm

That time I got stuck on a balcony.

A few months ago Yohannes and I went to the Bahamas for a work conference.  I was especially excited, because the last time he went, the conference was on a Caribbean cruise and I didn’t get to go.

That time I got stuck on the balcony.


It was a four day trip and  we left the kids with my parents [insert lots of anxiety here].  The longest I’d ever been away from them was overnight, so this was huge. Aside from the almost $200 we accidentally spent on international phone calls (read ALL the instructions on the phone card!), and a whole lot of mom-guilt, it went very well.

On the first day of the conference, I went back to our room shortly before the keynote speaker began his address.  Yohannes stayed. I heard later that the speaker was quite good, but I think I’m generally too cynical to appreciate a good motivational speech, and I didn’t want my uncontrollable tendency to whisper snarky comments to diminish anyone else’s enjoyment. (“Achieve World Peace In 10 Easy Steps.” How conveniently simple.) Read More →

Nati: A Birth Story

October 13, 2014 · 10:56 am

Nati: A Birth Story


8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 10, 2009 – The nagging abdominal pressure is back for the fifth or sixth time in half an hour, so it’s probably time to get up. I assess the aches and pains in my back and hands before scooting myself to the edge of the bed and trying to get enough leverage to roll into a sitting position. Yohannes is still fast asleep, so I hobble to the bathroom to take a bath which is becoming part of my daily routine (sometimes twice daily). Getting in the bath feels like trying to get a turkey into a two-quart saucepan, but the hot water feels great, and I can hardly bring myself to get out again. I’m 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and the timing is perfect. My sisters are visiting for the weekend, and all I have to do is get through a wedding and a birthday party and then I’ll be ready. And if the contractions feel like this the whole time, this whole “having-a-baby” thing might not be nearly as bad as people make it out to be. The pressure turns to a dull pain, and continues to ebb and flow every 7 minutes or so, but it’s mild, and hardly worth mentioning to Yohannes, who will no doubt take it as a sign of the impending Armageddon. I decide to wait until we’re walking into the wedding before mentioning it. Read More →