Saturday, October 27, 2007

Our Birthday Girl

Our little girl turned one this week. We're still pinching ourselves, trying to figure out how the year zoomed by without our permission.

She wasn't too into the cake, though in fairness it was past her bedtime. I was expecting a lot more mess.

I had fun buying girl presents. I've been waiting 25 years to buy a Cabbage Patch doll. The Barbie Dream House and Easy Bake Oven will have to wait a little longer.

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No Safe Place

This is the mall where we took our kids to see Thomas the Tank Engine not so long ago. The mall where the boys have gotten their hair cut at the kids' salon, where we've seen movies and eaten at restaurants and attended birthday parties.

Nine dead, more than 100 injured.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb yet. Police say it could be a precursor to a larger attack.

It's not a mall we visit frequently. But it hits way, way too close to home. And I don't want to leave the house.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This will be our fourth Halloween overseas. Sadly, the first three were jack-o-lantern free. You just don't find pumpkins in the Philippines.

But lo and behold, what did we find at the store today? Actual pumpkins imported from the US! They were puny and a little deformed and there weren't very many, but...PUMPKINS! I did a happy dance right there in the store.

It's been a good day. I got up early (for me) to pick up a document for the adoption, and things have been going swimmingly ever since. The line at city hall was short, and no one tried to charge me more than the actual fee, and a couple of guys behind the counter actually FLIRTED with me. I nearly dropped dead of shock right then and there. Dear husband gets flirted with on a regular basis, because that's just the way things work here. For me it took 3 1/2 years.

So between the pumpkins and the flirting and the short lines, life just doesn't get much better.

Oh, and an update on our rat problem:

Rat 4, People 0

We're dealing with one cunning rat. I wanted to avoid poison if at all possible, so we tried a cage-type trap. Result: food gone, no rat. Twice.

Plan B: We picked up a few of the traditional mouse traps (industrial sized) and baited them with cheese and Chips Ahoy. Twice more: food gone, no rat. Grrrrrr.

Tonight we break out the poisoned rat treats. Sorry, Mr. Fluffybuns. It's us or you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

If all goes well, our adoption petition will go to the courts this week. It's been a long road, with its share of setbacks and heartache. But the joy of having our daughter with us throughout the process has made it worth every moment. We've learned a lot. We're stronger and hopefully wiser than when we started. We've nearly cleared that final hurdle, though a court date could still be several months away.

And now we wonder what the future holds. Will love and honesty be enough? What questions will she ask when she's older? What issues will she face as an adopted child? How will we handle those who are curious, or prejudiced, or misinformed?

Already we've had plenty of practice with the well-meaning but misguided, "Isn't she a lucky girl?"

That's an easy one. We let them know that we're the lucky ones. And we'll let our daughter know it too, every single day.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sad but True

I'm reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird this week. Here's a quote from the introduction:

"My writer friends, and they are legion, do not go around beaming with quiet feelings of contentment. Most of them go around with haunted, abused, surprised looks on their faces, like lab dogs on whom very personal deodorant sprays have been tested."

This book is laugh-out-loud funny. The conversations in her head sound a lot like the ones in my head. It's good to know there are other mentally unstable writers out there who still manage to live productive lives.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ant Warfare

I've blogged about bugs before. It's a topic worth revisiting. Because they just keep coming back.

Forget A Bug's Life. Forget the gentle, heroic ant in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. (How old am I?) Pay no attention to that catchy little song The Ants Go Marching.

Ants are evil.

They launched a full assault on the house today.

It's the rainy season, and for some odd reason the ants all want to come inside. They're not even after the food. If they find food, they eat it, but mostly they were just wandering around today making my life miserable. There were hundreds of them swarming around the front door, and from there they split off into a dozen strategic directions. They ambled across the marble floor in the living room, where our baby daughter spends a great deal of time crawling around. They surged through a crack in the kitchen window and set about exploring the sinks, countertops, walls, and cupboards. They had even built a network of roads where the walls meet the ceiling, with steady traffic traversing THE ENTIRE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE--wait, can a rectangular room have a circumference? Sorry--THE ENTIRE PERIMETER OF THE KITCHEN.

I had no choice but to bring out the big guns: Baygon (the Philippines equivalent of Raid) and Lysol.

The battle is over, but the war will continue.

I also have a bone to pick with those loveable rodents of Ratatouille. Just after battling the ants I walked outside to see an enormously obese rat waddle past.

Let's just hope he doesn't have a friend named Remy.