The Second Dresser Drawer: A Heartwarming Story of Childhood Terror

“Fine,” said the younger daughter with great reluctance, “you can look in my room. As long as you don’t open the second dresser drawer.

She looked at us with her I’m Not Kidding face, and her Don’t Try Me Right Now lip-pursing, and the I’m a Preteen And I WILL Knife You in Your Sleep stare, and we knew she meant business. ...  read more

Turns Out I’m a Werewolf with a Giant Drug Problem

I’m going away for the weekend. My daughter gave me this note:

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I Love You — Super Doper Loper Cuper Mom.

I have to say, 

I love it when my kids think I’m a Super Doper. 

That’s so much better than being an ordinary doper, don’t you think?

Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.


………. ...  read more

5 Tips for Planning a Homeland Trip

We adopted our oldest daughter from Vietnam and our next two kiddos from Guatemala, so we regularly consider ways to incorporate their birth countries into our family life.

Now, because I’m me and you’re you and we’re not good at facades around here, I’ll tell you I sort of suck at the more common or, shall we say, consistent ways other adoptive families blend cultures. None of my kids have had language lessons. We rarely remember to participate in adoptive family group gatherings. We once, ten years ago, celebrated a Vietnamese holiday but we’ve never managed a repeat with a Guatemalan fiesta. And we haven’t done well at participating in our local Asian or Latino communities. All of those are good ideas. I fully support them. I even intend to keep making attempts. But the current reality is, we don’t manage to do them. ...  read more

Six Thousand Lives to Live

My friend sent me a prayer on Sunday. It came as I rushed to prepare for Miss Aden’s trip to the country of her birth. And as I berated myself for my lack of planning. And as I wondered again, for the billionth time, why I’m always rushing and busy and not attentive enough and not present enough and lots of other things with the words not and enough...  read more

Just Plane Sick

In a few hours, we’re going to meet people we don’t know who’ve generously offered to let us stay in their home in Guatemala. I’m bringing vomit-laced clothes as a thank you gift because thank you gifts are important if you ever want to be invited back.

It’s good to make trips memorable, though, right? Otherwise, what’s the point? And taking a 10-year-old kiddo back to visit her birth country for the first time since her adoption at a year old? Well. THAT I want to make extra memorable. Yes, I do. ...  read more

My Crystal Ball Is Broken. Waiting Sucks.

My crystal ball’s been on the fritz ever since I accidentally left it in the backyard and my son peed on it. Be careful with your crystal ball is what I’m saying; apparently your fairy godmother is only allowed to issue one per mama (would’ve been nice to know that ahead of time), and if you don’t care for yours responsibly you don’t get a new one no matter how many letters you write or how much you beg. Stingy creatures, fairy godmothers. Probably related to that unreliable, late night beer-drinker, the Tooth Fairy...  read more

There’s poop and a full-ride scholarship under my porch.

There’s poop under my front porch, and it’s not from an animal, folks.

I know; it’s tacky to write a mommy blog and be all Braggity McBragpants about my kids, but there’s a season for everything, and it’s time to brag.

There’s poop under my front porch, and more than one of my kids manufactured it and put it there. ...  read more