Monday, January 28, 2008

My Brain Is Full

You ever get that weight that settles down around you, like something significant is about to happen? It's like sitting poised on a sled at the top of an icy hill. It's like someone reaching toward you with a quilt in her arms--and not knowing if she's going to cradle you or smother you.

Our adoption hearing is three days away. I guess in this case we know something significant's about to happen.

We'll most likely have a few more hearings after this one, but there's also a chance the judge will have mercy and get things over quickly. How soon we move back home hinges on this court date. It feels like we've spent our whole lives leading up to this one point in time. I'm just hoping that Thursday will feel like a step forward, after standing still for so long.

It's not just the hearing on my mind this week. My mom's health is not good. Worse than usual, actually. I hate being so far away and unable to help.

My father-in-law got a concussion working in the yard this weekend. Apparently he went inside after and went to sleep, then later woke up with double vision and drove himself to the ER without alerting his wife or any of his kids. On the way home from the hospital he went to the store. Just another typical day in the Hayes family.

My younger son told me the other day I'm not allowed to call him "Baby" anymore. Sheesh. Kick a girl while she's down, why don't you?

President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away Sunday evening. He was an amazing man. His wit and wisdom deeply impacted my spiritual growth, just as his life and service touched millions across the globe. He will be missed.

And just to keep things interesting: my dad and his wife are coming to the Philippines next week. (This is actually a good thing. Just...Dad? While you're here? I'm 35. I always carry emergency money and lock my doors at night. Come. Relax. Have fun. Enough said.)

Change is in the wind.

And since I'm all about the metaphors and the purple prose: I'm hoping as I sit here at the top of this hill that my sled is the kind with runners and a way to steer, and plenty of room for a passenger. Forget the goofy plastic disk with the flimsy yellow handles. Ditto on the overstuffed inner tube with the poky metal arm that jabs you in the butt; those things toss you off at the first hint of trouble. And don't get me started on the drawbacks of cafeteria trays...

Okay, now I'm just missing the cold weather and getting all maudlin about childhood snow days.

Shutting up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Insensitive Clod for 1000, Alex

A few days ago I would have described myself as culturally aware. Insightful. Definitely not awkward, insensitive clod.

Then we had a nice Indian family over for dinner--my husband's co-worker plus the man's wife and daughter--and I made a total idiot of myself, exclaiming "Holy cow!" halfway through dessert when I saw the crumbling mess Son #2 had made of his cake.


I think only the wife heard me, and she was kind enough to pretend she didn't notice. I still wished the floor would open up and swallow me whole.

They've promised to host the next dinner, complete with homemade, authentic Indian cuisine. That's a good sign I didn't scare them away, I guess.

I plan to make sure I'm too busy eating to say anything incriminating.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One Last Holiday Hurrah

The malls do an amazing job with holiday decorations here. I never quite got around to posting this last month, but I was so impressed with this mall in particular (the Podium in Ortigas) that I had to share:

The Reset Button

I figured I'd better write something to keep my average above one post per month.

Sigh. I had such great plans for the New Year. Yet here I am mid-month, all those good intentions nothing more than a list I made and stuck in a drawer somewhere.

I blame it on that huge red Reset Button (which was pushed against my will, I might add). You know the one where life throws huge, uncomfortable changes at you, new problems and plot twists to throw you off your game, and you adjust, realign, make peace with How Things Are Now, and even manage to make wonderful new friends, amazing friends, and then THEY MOVE AWAY. To CHINA.

I feel like I'm eleven years old, looking out the back window of the car as we drive away from my childhood home to start a new life somewhere else. It STINKS.

Now that I've had my tantrum...

Yes, our most wonderful friends the Openshaws have moved to China. We went to Singapore together, shared Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, went to movies together and played goofy board games and generally commisserated about life here in this weird, weird place. Now we're left behind in the Philippines waiting for the glacially slow adoption process to be finalized before we can figure out where to go from here, and when. The lawyer says plan for June or July. We were hoping for April. And some dark, ominous murmur deep in my gut says it will never be over.

So I blame my lack of productivity on dragging my shredded resolve back together one more time, hitting Reset and gearing up for this final stretch of our time overseas. I have to keep reminding myself that there are lots of good things about being here, that ultimately we're happy, we're blessed, we have our little girl already and are just waiting for it to be official.

Plus there are things to look forward to: the court hearing at the end of January, my dad's visit in February, and a trip to China in March. And if any more Reset Buttons rear their ugly heads in the meantime, I'm slowly learning that instead of reaching for the Self-Destruct I can grab the controls and pull up, dang it, pull up, right out of that tailspin and into the great beyond.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


As a parent, I've suffered through a lot of terrible children's television.

As someone with an avid interest in children's literature--and, by extension, children's entertainment in general--I get excited when I find a true gem, a show that gets it right in every way possible:


It's adorable. It's simple, colorful, playful. Sly. Funny. Gentle. Incredibly original. From the music to the characters' facial expressions and body language...sigh. Masterful. It's never didactic, and it frequently makes me laugh out loud. The web site's nice too (
Go. Go watch this with your kids, or on your own. It's comforting to see stuff of this quality on the air for the little ones.
Oh, and another great show for guaranteed giggles: Shaun the Sheep. The lettuce-as-soccer-ball episode gets me every time.