July 20, 2011

Political Correctness 101 for 2 year olds

Little Chicken Nugget was attempting to describe her VBS teachers tonight, not by name, but by their color - ie, "My White teacher," "My Brown Teacher". Thank heaven this was done in the privacy of our home during PJ time - so I started to explain that we needed to call people by their names, and to try and not identify them by their color. I was silently offering up a prayer that I had preempted some really embarrassing moments, when Chicken Nugget stared up at me in surprise and wonder, and stated "Mommy, you are WHITE!"
This is only a surprising statement to Chicken Nugget - I mean, seriously, have you seen me??
So I went along with it, and we proceeded to identify the color of all 5 members of the family. But then I threw her a curveball when I said "What color should baby brother be?" (NOT an annoucement by the way - just a hypothetical that she has been obsessed with lately).
Chicken Nugget shrugged her shoulders, and then thought. The smile on her face was huge a moment later when she shouted "Baby Brother will be BLUE!! and Baby Sister (whoa, totally out of left field) will be PINK!!"
And I thought we stood out as it is.....

May 13, 2011

Jesus laughs

During nightly prayers tonight, I decided that Chicken Little needed to be more engaged in the process, so I decided to mix it up a little. I asked her to pray for me....and this is what happened.

Chicken Little: Long Pause...."So, ummm Momma, what do you want me to pray for you?"

Me: Curveball...."Well, Chicken Little," think, think, think. No prayer for work - though I could use it after today. No prayers for boo-boos - I am currently boo-boo free. Quickly, I shot back, "Pray I get a good night sleep tonight".

No word of a lie, this is what she prayed.
Chicken Little: "Dear Jesus, please help Momma to sleep good tonight. Please help Dadda not to fool around with her, and help her just to sleep so good. Amen."

I think I heard Jesus laughing out loud on that one.

April 26, 2011

Brittany's Hope

Adoption is all about Hope. Hope for a child to have a family, and Hope for the parents to have a family. Brittany's Hope was founded to help give families that Hope by helping fund the adoption of special needs, older children and sibling groups. Last year, Brittany's Hope helped us bring our son, Pollo, home; and for that I can never thank them enough. The Walk of Love is an annual fundraiser for Brittany's Hope that enables them to continue the family grants that help offset the costs of adoption for special needs children all around the world. Please help our family help Brittany's Hope. We are walking on May 1st in PA, and would love to have you sponsor our Walk of Love - simply click on the link below.

deChicken Brittany's Hope Fundraising Page

April 25, 2011

Carrying Days

Tonight, when I pulled in the driveway from work, I noticed my suitcase sitting out by the curb. Now, this suitcase is not particularly attractive and is at this point, quite busted. And I am wasting no time going out and getting a fancy new one at TJ's. But, that ugly, green, busted suitcase was my suitcase. I bought it my first week on the job, 6 years ago. It has carried food for me to China so many times, particularly on that time when I was 12 weeks pregnant and the thought of any Chinese food only made the insane nauseau worse! It carried all my souvenirs in my around-the-world trip last summer. (Not as fun as it sounds, though I now know that everyone should visit the Netherlands at least once in their life!) It carried my clothes to the Grand Canyon, and to California, and to Germany, and to Tulsa, and all the states and cities in between. But most memorably, it carried bright pink flower pj's to Ethiopia to pick up my beautiful Chicken Little, and it carried Superman shirts and Batman pj's to Columbia for my handsome little Pollo. It's carrying days are over, but it saw a lot - I can only dream of what the next shiny new suitcase will see!

April 24, 2011

The Easter Miracle

Do you remember those days when you were a kid, when the whole day seemed magical, and you were just blissfully happy all day? These magical days typically involved tremendous amounts of sugar, and usually ended with enormous sobs as the sugar highs crashed. I remember those days, and apparently, all three of my little Chicks had that day today. Today was absolutely fabulous, but all three of them had complete meltdowns in the last hour, and are way overdue for sleep and a total sugar detox.

The sugar splurge started this morning with a jelly bean hunt in the deChicken living room:

Continued at back-to-back Easter services at church:

There was a small pause to eat at our local barbecue pit, and take quick catnaps,
Followed by a massive Easter Egg Hunt put on by our Besties, the M's:

This was the final tally tonight, and I can only imagine how big the pile could have been if AMP hadn't been secretly purging today:

So, our mini-Easter miracle? This morning and this evening during their candy hunts, all three little Chicks .... shared with each other. And helped each other find eggs, and made sure their buckets were...even. With no shouting, or snatching, or pushing involved. For the first time, it seemed like the three of them, as happy siblings together, not the Girls and Pollo scrapping and pushing his way in. My own small miracle, but it made the newer deChicken family of five, feel more real - and that was awesome to see.

But of course the real miracle of today - 2000 years ago, God's son, who had died for us, came back to life. Now that is amazing!

April 20, 2011

Wicked Smart Parenting

My oldest daughter is, to use a New England expression, "Wicked Smart!" She brought home a straight A report card last week, and to celebrate, tonight we let her pick the restaurant. AMP and I prepared ourselves mentally for a night of Applebee's, because Chicken Little is nothing but consistent. Only recently did we discover that her obsession was based on her belief that Applebee's was the only restaurant that served ice cream! Anyway, tonight she surprised us by insisting on a full course of pancakes at IHOP - though in all seriousness, the girl has a point. Syrup may be more fantastic than ice cream in terms of sweet fix. And, pancakes have been, since AMP and I's dirt poor early married days, the staple food of celebration in the deChicken family. New job, pancakes. Raise, pancakes. Grant funded, pancakes. When I was promoted to full Buyer, AMP and I drove to NYC for the weekend, just so we could get our favorite pancakes, at our all time favorite restaurant, Kitchenette! So it is no wonder Chicken Little picked IHOP.

Tonight, the instant after the food arrived, I noticed a sneaky little hand starting to dump syrup all over her 5 babycakes. I stopped her cold, but then in true nice momma fashion thought to myself "Hey, it is her celebration dinner - why not?" So I smiled and gave her a second shot of syrup after the first one soaked in. But, syrup for supper, 20 minutes before bed time? And I actually wondered why she was doing handstands while changing into her pj's? Hey, I only said one of us was wicked smart!

April 18, 2011

New Nest

AMP and I have been seriously hunting for a new coop for the deChicken family - thus the major reason for being AWOL from the blog since February. 8 weeks of spreadsheets, internet house researching, house tours with our fabulous real estate agent (thanks Lynda!) and endless rounds of "AMP, are you sure?" from me - maybe I was touch "Chicken" through this whole process, just a touch - and we have found THE ONE. So, we are packing the three little chicks up and moving coops in just 5 short weeks!
Your first thought - "time to start packing" is very appropriate, but somehow hasn't actually translated into action and stacks of boxes as of yet. As I sit here blogging while AMP catches up on the Colbert Report, the excitement for the new house is high, and the energy level is low. Wish us luck on actually getting this house full of plastic toy explosion packed up before closing day!
Free Range for Chickens

April 17, 2011

Knock yourself out

My son is more...active, than my girls. My son runs when he could walk, and leans into everything and everyone (ouch!) with a fierce "Bulldozer" force. My son wears his "Bulldozer" nickname with pride, not knowing that there might have been a touch of sarcasm in Momma when I blessed him with the nickname. My son turns into a Weeble when he is tired or excited, and can run 13 mph around the dining room table with his head completely tilted to one side and looking in, of course, the complete opposite direction. But last night, we reached a whole new level of wobblyness. "Bulldozer" dealt himself the knockout punch...on the toilet. We still can't tell you exactly what happened, but I know he went into to pee, and came out howling! Massive lump on one side of his chin, and after he came around (he was legit out cold on AMP shoulder), he swore up and down "I bang it on da Potty!" I know he is short, but in all seriousness, logistically how do you hit your chin on "da Potty"?

A toast of Injera

Four years ago today, I was in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, adopting the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen. I didn't know then all that I now know about her. What I saw was a small little girl, with barely any hair (oh for the days of easy hair again), in size 12-month clothes at the age of 2 and a half years old. I saw a little girl who already had slightly sassy eyes, I just didn't yet know the source of the sparkle in those huge brown eyes. I saw a curious little girl, who loved to dance and flip, and loved her "dabo" (bread) more than anything -somethings never change. I saw a little girl who didn't know or love us yet, but called us "Momma" and "Abba" and we loved her to pieces.

Tonight, as I sat across from a smart little lady, with long, beautiful braids at the Ethiopian restaurant, chowing down on her favorite, Injera, I thought of all I know about her. Her silly faces, her fabulous dances, her amazing sense of humor, and the wonderful magic that surrounds her every day.

First Picture Together

Chicken Little!

January 17, 2011

AMP goes Hollywood

In an hour and a half, my darling husband will be featured prominently on the evening news. He will be the unshaven man taking out his trash with the bright lights in his eyes, asked "How do you feel about the fact that the city hasn't plowed your road?" (the storm was a week ago), and answering vehemently, in the way that only prematurely old, cranky homeowners can. "Yes, I pay my taxes!" He will then mention our friend Becky nearly getting stuck on the road two nights ago - since she was utterly insistent that we should complain to the city (I didn't, but I have my suspicions which of my neighbors did). What makes this even funnier, is that when I called my friend Jamie to watch the 10 o'clock news, before I could tell her to set the DVR, she said, "I just saw a trailer for the news and they are talking about the worst roads to drive on since the storm, and they SHOULD have come to your street!"

January 13, 2011

Blizzard Party

I am a Southern girl at heart. I must admit to a little residual resentment toward AMP for moving me up North, into the land of accents (we don't have those in the South), chowder, and of Nor'easters.
But the North has grown on me, and despite the fact that my daughters pronounce the word mirror as "mira" (AHHHH!), I will say some of the best days of my life happened while we have been snowed in up here with friends and family. Several years ago, our good ole southern friends, Kevin and Angela, came with their son to visit us, and we were planning on showing them around the area. 28 inches of snow put a kibosh on those plans, so instead we made snow ice cream, a pot of beans and cornbread, 3 gallons of sweet tea, and sat in our pjs and played cards for 3 days. It was the best mini-vacation ever!
On Tuesday night, we slept over at some of best friends house and surprised our kids with a sledding party the next morning - but not before we loaded up the table with breakfast. Eggs, chocolate chip pancakes, hashbrowns, cheese danishes and muffins, bacon, sausage and coffee - all prepared during intermittent power outages. So the conclusion I now can draw, is that I am obsessed with food (Resolution #2 is going to be very, very hard), and I can't wait for Blizzard Party #3!

Live, Laugh and Love

These are my New Year's Resolutions - definitely a day, or two, late, but finished before my Christmas Cards, which, let's be honest, may never see the light of day. After two plus weeks of Christmas, of two sets of houseguests (but the really good kind), of cooking and cooking and cooking some more, of being blissfully snowed in, twice, of trudging into work after being snowed in, of 3 kids on roller skates at midnight (insanity?), these are things I want to focus on for '11:
  1. To be more patient - as three adorable, and complete monsters race in and around my legs, shouting for my attention "Mommy, Sissy just shoved my head into the wall", "Mommy, he just took my bear", "Momma, it's MINE!".
  2. To lose a few more pounds - This is after a full day of birthday cookies, cupcakes and icecream. After weeks of my mother-in-law's famous chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate glazed donuts, and Emily's Amazing Banana Bread! After I devoured a pancake, and bacon and eggs and a hashbrown for breakfast this morning and just dumped Belgian Toffee Chocolate creamer in my nightly cup of coffee - do you see a pattern here?
  3. To live every day to the fullest -On Christmas morning, my Grandmother passed away. I am glad she is with Jesus now, and that she got to see him on his birthday, but still, it reminds me to live it up everyday. And yesterday was a fabulous birthday (thanks AMP, the bag was definitely the fastest way to my little heart), but 31 years have come and gone, and I want to make sure that I enjoy every possible second of the next 31 - particularly with those little monsters described in Resolution #1.
  4. To blog everyday - It's January 12th. And the last blog was on Dec. 24th....Whoops.
11 years ago, before this phrase became insanely popular, my crazy blonde roommate and I had a favorite song - Clay Walker's Live, Laugh Love. This year on Christmas, we both, unbeknownst to each other, sent gifts to each other inspired by this phrase. And that is my thought for this year, 12 days in. More living and enjoying life with my fabulous friends and family. More laughing at all the joyful moments that fill my life, and always, more giving and sharing of Love.

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction. (Bessie Anderson Stanley)