Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye 18 months! I will not miss you!

Today is the last day Tigger will be 18 months old.  18 months was a very trying month.  I'm really not sorry to let it go.  Tigger finally came back from the land of 'strange' back to the land of normal.  Well sorta....normal for a tyke. 

This morning was all smiles and laughter.  On the car ride to daycare, the lighbulb finally turned on and she realized that if she does certain things with her nose, she can hear the mucous rattling in there.  It made for her entertainment and laughter and squealing with delight all the way to daycare.  Wow.  Really?  I guess it's only a matter of time before the infamous phase of picking one's nose becomes popular. 

Either way, I am liking this temperament more than what was going on with the excessive teething and downed immune system.  While our little one's grow up really really fast and we are all supposed to want time to stop, I do have to say 18 months was not my all time favorite.

So farewell....I'm sure other months/years will be more challenging....I just am getting used to that idea.  Let me bask in cuteness for a while longer before the real nitty gritty parenting comes into play.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Because I've been talking about passion in family lately....

Ok, I know my family and when we get together with more family invites egocentrism in our awesomeness, however, I would like to share some things that may get a chuckle out of you!  Taken from a configuration of lists out there from more egocentric, narcissistic, awesome Cubans....

You know you are Cuban when....(these pertain to our family)

-You grew up scared of something called ''el cucu'' (the boogie man...but oh so much more)
-Others tell you to stop screaming when you are really talking (all the time)
-You have ever left grass for the camels on the night of January 6th instead of cookies and milk for Santa on -Christmas eve. (my aunt still does this)
-Dinner usually consists of rice, beans, and some kind of meat. (in our case veggie meat)
-You have ever used your nose or lips to point something out. (pointing with your finger is rude)
-You have ever drop food on the floor, picked it up, and ate it after saying ''lo que no mata engorda'' (what doesn't kill you makes you curvier)
-You have ever been hit with ''el cinto'' a ''chancleta'' or ''un tareco'' (well no, but a chancleta or flip flop has flown around in the house a time or two growing up)
-Your mom yells at the top of her lungs to call you for dinner, even though you live in a one bedroom apartment.  (my dad is louder than my mom, but my aunt?  oh my....)
-Your house has all of those little figurines that take every inch of space in the house, and you have either one of the following: a porcelain cat, dog, or elephant in your living room (really? that BIG porcelain cat all throughout my childhood was popular in your house too?)
-You just cant imagine anyone not liking Cuban food. (it's the ultimate comfort food baby!)
You call your sneakers ''tenis'' or ''zapatillas'' (tenis....put your tenis was the common phrase)
-You have at least 30 cousins (these are usually not your first cousins....these are cousins...I don't care what you call them 2nd, 3rd, once removed WTH is that removed business anyways)
-You consider platanos to be a food group (well I like tostones or plantain chips, I'm not big on platano maduro frito...too sweet, Tigger loves it all though)
-You constantly say.. ''En cuba eso era mejor, en cuba no pasa eso'' (only in terms of family connections not freedoms or stuff like that)
-Your family`s reunions usually consists of all types of food, music, and lots of people screaming (oh and our family had an affinity...still invite absolute strangers to partake in our craziness...they even had to participate....poor people....our local homeless guy enjoyed the food though!)
-You have been on a 2 passenger car, with over 7 people in it, and still a person shouting ''caben mas'' (um well an incident with 9 people, 4th of July, and stacked 3 rows high in a small truck space comes to mind)
-Your idea of formal is wearing a ''guayabera'' (my grandfather only wears guayaberas)
-Your favorite words are ''Oye'' or ''Ven aca'' when you are right next to a person. (oye is a great means's awesome if you're shouting it across the room)
-You think the perfect family should resemble the ''Que pasa USA'' family (my parents loved that show)
-You are registered Republican ( mother and I are public employees so no, but others outside the immediate family are due primarily to this phrase "Kennedy and the bay of pigs")
-You have used the words '' Acere, mi socio, consorte, oye men'' within the last week (oye men is an awesome phrase too....exclamations are popular)
-Your favorite milkshakes flavors are ''mamey, papaya, or guanabana'' (I would kill for a mamey milkshake right now)
-Your favorite Sunday sport is dominoes (I'll wipe the floor with you in this game)
-You constantly say.. ''Fidel se cae este año'' (do you know how long we've been waiting for a certain person to die?)
-You go to your family or friend`s funeral to tell jokes and socialize (sadly many "awesome" moments of socialization and gossip catching up with friends happened during funerals)
-You pay money you don’t have for your daughter`s ''quinces'' (this is why my parents did everything or hired friends for my 15th....and my mom cooked for 150 people...she said never again and that we are catering the wedding if I marry)
-You use words like, '' bipeame, faxeame, shipeame, and taipeame'' (the strange and unusual Spanglish that comes out of our mouths)
-You clean your teeth with a toothpick in public after eating (my dad is the king)
-You call Publix; ''el publie'' (holds true for my FL family peeps)
-You grew up thinking that going swimming after lunch could cause you a ''sirimba'' , so it was best to wait at least 3 or 4 hours. (sirimba, aire, patatu, can I go on about made up ailments?  No shower or swimming after eating, you.will.die!)
-Your baby smells like ''agua de violetas'' (Tigger always has her perfume...I get made fun off by stuffy Americans that say cologne for babies is so person that opens their mouth about how my girl has perfume will be hit, my girl smells awesome and Cuban)
-At every B-day party there is an assortment of ''pastelitos de carne, guayaba, croquetas & bocaditos'' and they are all placed in the table next to the cake so they could come out in the picture for your cousins in Cuba. (I don't know how many times I posed for a picture or to send a message to a cousin i never met in Cuba)
-You have told your kid not to walk the floor barefoot or they'll catch a cold. (and people on wonder why I'm anal about having socks and shoes on my child's feet at all times....Tigger will catch an 'aire' man!  One time she was barefoot on TILE flooring and my mother came to my house that was not a pretty conversation)

-If you've ever gotten yelled at by your abuelos for spending mad money and then gotten a "Cuando llegamos de Cuba..."  (I don't know how many times I was told about how there was only the clothes on their backs when they came to the USA when I would complain about not having the latest cool thing)
-If you know your mom is near because you hear an "OYE!" (not my mom really, but my aunt!  OYE!)
-You know your mom is sneaking up on you cause you can hear her "chancletas" flapping on the linoleum floor. (feet cannot be bare on floor....hence the chancla or sandal)
-If your grandparents still have plastic on their couches. (*snickers*)
-If you live in Elisebe (Elizabeth), Junion Ceety, (Union City) or Wes Nu Jor (west NY) or even know where they are (Junion Ceety was visited every summer)
-If your family reunions consist of all types of food, dominoes, political talk, music and lots of people and screaming. (well what else is new?)

These are true but due to certain religious practices were not true in our family

-When your mom gets mad she yells ''Me c*a*g*o en la madre que te pario'' (vulgar language...unacceptable in our house, no I won't translate)
-You use redundant expressions like ''Me c*a*g*o en la m*i*e*r*d*a'' (same as above except this phrase happens to be redundant...however because it sounds more meaningful and flowery I guess redundancy doesn't matter)
-You have a chemical dependence on Cuban coffee after every meal (we drink very little coffee compared to most Cubans....some of my relatives don't drink any)
-Your tradition is to kill a pig and roast it in your back yard on Christmas eve. (against our health message)
-You wear several gold rings, a very wide gold watch, and a heavy gold wrist chain (even those of us with jewelry wear it minimally....)
-You can dance merengue, rumba, salsa, anything...without music! (he he he  dancing leads to premarital relations and drinking don't ya know?)
-You use ''manteca'' instead of olive oil, and still cant figure out why your butt is getting bigger (olive oil is healthy and we adhere for the most part to our health message)

my submission made it to mompetition

on the BIWAM section....before I was a mom  see it here

Just because I found it funny

Ok to deviate from both adoption and parenting snippets.....let me do something random and something that I laughed at really loudly.

You all know the "epic fail" blog?  it's a page just devoted to posting random or oxymoronic type pictures.  Well I usually laugh at what I see.  They also have a couple of pictures of "google fail", where you start typing up a question on the google page and you've all seen the various questions people have been recently asking.  Sometimes there is a complete random one.  Well the other day I was looking for some information via google and this is what popped up. 

hmmm apparently my cell phone didn't take a good picture, takes the fun out of my blog post now, however my starting question was "why is.." and all these possibilities came up...

I really don't understand why anyone would ask "why is there a dead pakistani on my couch"  umm 911 is a good start! 
Wait here I go...FAIL!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Enjoy it!

Well tomorrow is a legal holiday so hope you all have it off.  I do, and I've been having some serious "me" time tonight, reading and catching up on the show 'Fringe' which I had a couple of episodes on the dvr.....while I may pay for it early in the morning, I'm planning on napping when Tigger naps as well. 

Anyways just wanted to with you a great Monday and hope it's spent lounging around or at least a day where things don't have to go at stress pace!

DannieA and Tigger

Lunch Date!

I could give a rip who my friends are and what nationality/race they me people are people and good ones should be kept as friends. 

I met a friend of mine through an online adoption community and found out she was local.  Actually she lives in the city where I used to live a few years back.  Well she was placed with a darling baby boy in Aug. or Sept. of 09, and then I was placed with Tigger in Dec. of 09....even though she was placed first, Tigger is actually a month older than her little buddy.  Since then we've kept in touch and have had a couple of lunch dates. 

It's awesome.  We "joke" around that these meetings are actually dates for D and Tigger and it's just nice to get out and so something with people that get it.  I also love that she brings friends and her friends are funny and nice so it's a great time all around. 

Back to my first sentence...while it's not the purpose of us getting together, I also appreciate the fact that I'm the "minority" in this group of gals.  I don't consider Tigger to be a minority with us girls and her "man" because as a biracial child she fits in too.  Some people think parents of children that are transracially adopted care too much about this.  Sometimes I think some people care too little about these things.  It's a fine balance.  By all means don't go out seeking friends from a different racial/ethnic background just to score points on some scorecard, but actions speak louder than words, and it is important to really get to know and make friends with as many people as you can.  It enriches your life, it enriches their life, it enriches your child's life. 

By the way, this other mom and I are planning future dates for our kids...I think that's fantastic!  She's a no nonsense mom and I don't want my kid hanging out with just anyone (ok I can be that mom too, I need to know your friend's parents)...I'm glad this mom and I met...not just online but in person.  She and I have our adoption issues/topics that bring us together to be friends.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


February has got to be one of the worst months this school year for both Tigger and myself in terms of sickness.  It also seems to not have been the best month for people I know either.

1.  My friend's house burned down killing 3 of her pets....she's finally back at work, but you can tell it's been a stressor.

2.  I caught some sort of stomach bug and had to depend on my folks to help out with Tigger as I was feeling weak and would be on the verge of passing out so could not be a parent to an 18 month old for a couple of days

3.  Tigger caught a nasty bout of diarrhea....while I think it was related to her teething, still, we did the Dr. visits and everything else, and I've never done so much laundry

4.  Tigger has been teething and while I'm normally a patient person, today I was about to go a little nutty as I stayed home with her which brings me to my next point

5.  Tigger has never thrown up before and that's exactly what she did last night...oh laundry and word. 

6.  3 teeth have come in, in the last 2 days.  The last two days have been miserable.  One more to go and I think we're done for a while (before the 2nd year molars) She's almost ready to cut tooth number 4. 

7.  Many co-workers and their families have been struck down by illness. 

It's been a month hence the sporadic blogging, however, it's a month I don't mind if we just hurry up and get through to the "other side" of normalcy again. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kids and their words

So I have a normal and very average 18 month old.  This means she has some words, but not a whole lot.  However, she's now trying to communicate through the spoken language so it makes for fun scenes around the house.

Scene 1:  in her room after coming in the morning and smelling something that indicates a diaper change
Me:  Hi baby
Tigger:  NO!
Me:  yes let's change the diaper
Tigger: no, no, no, NO all the while wagging a finger in my face
Me:  change diaper, here we go
Tigger: waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

ah the toddler diaper hating years

Scene 2:  in the tub
Me:  let's wash the hair
Tigger:  giggles, uh oh
Me:  uh oh what?
Tigger: me
Me:  me what?
Tigger: me bye bye....waves hand

bath time yields so much!

Scene 3:  in the bathroom
Me:  Tigger get out of the bathroom
Tigger:  mami, mami, go peepee?
Me:  you go peepee?
Tigger: no, mami
Me:  I don't have to go
Tigger: mami, peepee
Me:  *sighs* ok mami go peepee
Tigger:  yay.....mami peepee
Me: (after an unprecedented privacy free time in the bathroom) ok all done
Tigger:  bye peepee!

Great my own cheering that she owns her own potty chair we'll see how interested she gets in herself.

Scene 4:  at grandparents house after spending the night and having Tigger in my bed for most of the night
wakes up to giggles and patting of face
Me:  Tigger go see grandpapa
Tigger:  no, no papa
Me:  Tigger go see the dogs and play
Tigger: no, no doggies
Me:  are you going to stay here and pester mami until I'm awake then?
Tigger:  *claps hands* yay
Me:  what happened to "no"?
Tigger:  MAMI.....*giggles*

apparently mornings are much cooler if mom is awake too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parenting is not.....Parenting is.....

Parenting is not trendy.....your child is not an accessory, you do not throw a child away or upgrade him/her like an accessory

Parenting is not hip--your child is yours for life, forget marriage where people can choose to get divorced, a child is yours forever.

Parenting is not a status symbol--honestly, having a baby doesn't fill any void or make you popular or make you wiser

Parenting is not convenient--try going on day 10 of diarrhea and constant bathing and laundry and convenience is far far far the farthest thing on your mind.

Parenting is not easy--your life worries really begin

on the other hand

Parenting is amazing--what else can bring a smile to your face other than a little face smiling up next to yours in the morning

Parenting is fun--suddenly bursting into song and dance is deemed "cool" and "funny"

Parenting is full of wonder--well a front row seat to wonder and amazement

Parenting is full of love--hand holding, counting toes, hugs, kisses, the leg hug and hiding behind your body

In short, there is happiness, frustration, love, and hard times associated with being a parent.  I wouldn't have it any other way and I hope you agree that it is the most intricate journey a person can be a part of!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

The obligatory holiday post!  Actually I found it ironic that my co-workers and I that are single were really in the Valentine spirit while all the married co-workers were um well not in the best mood.  Shouldn't it be the other way around?! hmmmm!  Well today I had a little Valentine.  She was very happy today and well must show off how cute she is. 

She's getting so big!  Look at that smile

Coming home after a day of party

Opening up Valentine's from School on the porch swing

Looking at her Valentine cards

well you do what you can when single and relying on a timer and toddler!

Hope this day was fun and memorable for you.

DannieA and Tigger

Oh Arizona, it's really not that simple

So in reading blogs and links....I come across this wonderful article from the AZcentral.  Isn't the title awesome "Sending Singles to back of the adoption bus".  Just as the title reads, there is a bill to say that ALL singles should be second behind couples to adopt in both state and private agencies as the following snippet implies:
For example, last week, one of the legislators supporting a bill that would make second-class citizens of single people who want to adopt children couldn't understand why there was any opposition to the proposal.

Single adoptive parent Susan Frank was there when SB1188 was being considered in committee. She has fought this battle before.
Essentially, the bill would direct the Arizona Department of Economic Security, as well as private adoption agencies, to give primary consideration for adoption to married couples, making single people eligible only if a qualified married couple is not available (with a few exceptions).
Frank is a lawyer.
She told me, “One senator said, ‘We're not saying that single people can't adopt.' It was later that it occurred to me – and I'm not at all comparing myself to (civil rights icon) Rosa Parks – but it occurred to me that it would be like telling Rosa Parks, ‘We're not saying you can't ride the bus.'”
The Children's Action Alliance of Arizona agrees with her.
After SB1188 was filed the Alliance, which since 1988 has been looking out for the interests of Arizona kids, issued a statement saying that the bill would “create barriers for special needs children in foster care.”
The system that currently exists in Arizona aims only to put together willing and qualified adults with children who are up for adoption.
Single adoptive parents are among the more willing to take in kids with special needs.
“If the legislature's goal is to get more children with married couples they may achieve that,” Frank said, “But overall there will be fewer kids adopted.”
Treating single people like they're less desirable or qualified isn't exactly the best way to encourage men and women to look into becoming adoptive parents.
According to the Children's Action Alliance, research has shown that single parents who adopt special-needs children have fewer problems than couples.
Now as a single parent myself, I obviously believe in it or I wouldn't have stuck it out in the process, but I'm not going to have a hissy fit over it.  People can disagree with what I did and I'm ok with that, no hard feelings.  What I don't like about this article is the inclusive ALL singles.  Really?  So we won't be looking at the best match for a child now, it will just be a blanket statement without really thinking about it? 

My daughter and I are a good match.  There are some children in this world of foster/adoption that need a good two parent home....some children that *I* as a single parent would not be a good match for.  Yet there are some kids in the world of foster/adoption that *I* as a single parent would be the best match for.  Blanket statements are never good.  It ceases to become about what is the overall good for a child in need and becomes about outward appearances.  It's a shame something like this even got introduced.  After all, I'm honored and humbled to have become acquaintances with single parents that have done an excellent job in parenting their child that has demonstrated RAD (reactive attachment disorder) behaviors and I have seen the difference in them from hard working single parents dedicated to make a child's life better....not because they had to have a child as an accessory.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When it truly sucks!

So most days....ok I lie....99% of the days I love my life as a single parent.  "Just you and me kid" fits the bill.  I have her on schedule, if it's broken it's for a good reason, not because someone else is undermining me.  Whatever I say goes, so when I've had to put Tigger on a time out, there's no one else to give in to her.  My parents live down the street, so Tigger gets plenty of "man" time as apparently my dad hung the moon or something in her eyes. 

Awesome stuff.  Then bam.....I develop a stomach bug that leaves me with unpleasantries of dehydration and feelings of wooziness and of thinking I will be passing out if not in bed.  This does not make for mommy to care for an active toddler who is too young to help get her meals on the table and who is now not liking diaper change time.  I think I barely made it up the stairs this morning back with her milk....

Luckily I'm feeling better, and luckily as not all single parents have this luxury, my dad came and took Tigger to daycare so I could rest and then picked her up and took her to their house so my mom could feed her dinner and give her a bath to spare me some energy.  I'm very thankful for all this help, but I won't lie, I missed the whole day with my little one and it wasn't fun.  So yeah in times of sickness...especially when they are little, it isn't fun to be alone. 

Yes I vented and I whined.  Blame the stomach bug, it had some nasty effects.  Still on a 7-up and cracker diet. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

When momma ain't happy.....

it's not that I"m not happy, it's just that I've fallen prey to some stomach thing and don't feel good.  Tigger and I had a lovely day today as we had a district holiday.  Tigger is feeling much better, and I well, I'm good except for this stomach thing which is just making me feel ugh. 

Thank goodness tomorrow and wednesday are easy days for me.  I have to take a conference in nonviolent's every other year for us special ed. folks.  Should have fun and hopefully will feel better. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I was talking with my aunt one time....irrational fears!

My aunt adopted my cousin many years back and he joined the family when he was 11.  He's a cool cousin and his wife and two kids are pretty neat as well. 

It just struck me this weekend that there may be some fears she had that have overlapped and I know that I do many things or re-check many things twice due to the same fears. 

A couple of points:

My aunt noticed my cousin had really bad teeth and spent a fortune making sure his smile was the best there was.....she had a fear that if she didn't take care of it immediately regardless of whether the money was there or not, that people would say that she didn't take care of his teeth because he was adopted. 

My aunt made my cousin get a 4 year degree and nothing less (even though my cousin wanted to be a mechanic or a computer tech) because she felt if she let him go get a trade vs. a 4-year college education then people would talk and say it was "because he was adopted".  Long story short, my cousin did get his 4 year degree, then got a certification in computers and became a computer tech.  He loves his current job better. 

I know for me:

I try to make sure Tigger is dressed well from head to toe because I don't want people to think bad things about a) the way I parent and b) because I'm not taking care of her due to whatever issues.

I try not to say too many things that could be perceived as "negative" (e.g. oh my word, I'm really tired and not loving that we haven't slept well for 5 nights and I'm not feeling my best) for fear that people would either a) say "you asked for it" or b) wonder if I'm complaining because I don't feel bonded.

Sometimes I wonder if we adoptive parents "think" too much or "care" too much about public perception of our parenting.  Will we ever just let it go and not be shaped by what we think others think about our feelings towards our children?  I hope so, because sometimes that's just a lot of baggage to carry around. 

And that is what an irrational fear sounds like.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My friend

My co-worker and friend, the school psychologist, was called in the afternoon while we were testing a student and told her house was on fire.  When she got home there was chaos, soot, broken glass, burned up furniture everywhere.  Two dogs and a bird did not make it.  One of the dogs happened to be her son's best companion. 

It's been a rough day for my friend.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family and may they be able to focus on what needs to be done short term and long term.  The house will take 6-8 months before it's fully renovated and livable again. 

Yesterday's tragedy has prompted me to phone in the bank to get a safety deposit box.  In a wildfire you can save your important papers.....random house fires are another along with SS#s and passports, I have a big packet of adoption information for Tigger in the future.  Actual birth records, names, dob, limited history but history nonetheless.  I don't want anything to happen to it.  It seems I may have more information available to Tigger than some adoptees I've spoken with.  Sigh.....we always think we are invincible.  Maybe it's time to have our house in order.