Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa meet Misho, Misho meet some crazy guy in a slightly yellowing beard

20 December 2008 - Misho had his very first consultation with Santa. Quite the moment. Handled it very well. Stared at him with his now well known "what the...?" look, and then looked at us for explanation that we could not provide. Yes, it's a man in a red suit who smells like whiskey. Ask him for things, and he'll bring them. We don't know why.

The best part of the day was the Santa meltdown. Apparently, Santa needed a break and a poor security guard let two more families in line (we were one of them) after break was supposedly called. Santa briefly sighed, and began a rather extensive, and animated hissy fit. Now mind you, this was an authentic looking Santa. Real beard. Old. White. Crusty. So the hissy fit was priceless. When he looked at the back of the line at the two additional families not previously approved before breaktime (I waved at him), he blew a gasket. Got all like "no you didn't" on the elves and white gloved hands were a'flyin and I believe I heard him say "fuck." So, I did not think our "consultation" would go very well. I'm assumed he probably had to pee really bad, and most likely, did not have the prostate to support the urgency. Finally get to the front of the line, Santa beckons us. I'm thinking, we're going to get plummeted by this elfin moron. He takes a look at Misho and melts before our eyes. "This is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. Where ever did you adopt him from?" Proceeded to go on about his love of adoption and how proud he was of us as parents, and blessed our child and us infinitely and beyond.

Now, I know, dear readers. We are the lucky ones. I know the debate about how to handle people who think you "saved" a child. We did not save Misho. We love him and hopefully one day, he will love us. But there is something kind of nice about Santa, a potentially violent Santa with a small prostate, telling you he's sending you something extra nice this year because he thinks your baby is cool. It's a very strange anthropological interchange that truly made the day quite special.

A very strange, yet memorable first Santa visit. Not to mention the family in front of us who dressed their two sweet innocent boys in white turtle necks and maroon sweater vests. I mean, what the..?

The voice of Nat King Cole is the salve for all that ails me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just cuz...

This photo is cracking me up.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prepping for Xmas and Learning to Multitask with Mr. M

Oh dear lord the holidays are a comin. And even in the best of times, I'm seriously challenged in the area of holiday prep. I'm talking the basics like shopping, cards, party attendance, tree trimming, decorating a sweatshirt with sparkles and puffy paint, etc. As you can guess, this year it's even worse. My infant multi-tasking skills are seriously in their beginning stages so juggling the regular holiday tasks with the basic infant dance is stretching my gills. Fingers crossed, I'm moving up the learning curve, but most likely at a snail's pace.

Primarily, I've been focusing on the basics. Keeping him fed:

And warm:

Everything else gets left half way done on a table to gather dust while I chase another thought that came into my head. The number of half-organized closets in our house is astounding.

Things left to do for Misho's initiation in the absurdity that is the American Holiday tradition include - scary Santa photo shoot, purchase of crazy holiday onsie, family photo holiday card, a consult with Santa about what Mr. M wants this year, an actual plan for how he will spend the holidays, and about 7 other things I have now forgotten. Not a big list, but things that remind me that I'm no Claire Huxtable, and that remind Claire Huxtable that I am not and will never be C. Huxtable. However, I did get a shot of a Santa with nail polish on:

Teaching Misho that even Santa likes to dress in drag every once in awhile.

We finally got the tree up and decorated. Trying to post a video of the tree trimming haps last night, but having some serious technical difficulties. Here are a couple of photos in the meantime. David looks like a father from the 50s, freshly home from work and bonding with his son. Misho and I look very festive or like we're headed to class at clown college.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Woo Appeal for IOFA!!!!!! - in Ethiopia!

Hi all,

Wanted to interrupt this normally silly and shallow blog for a Big Woo Holiday Appeal to help an incredible organization called IOFA - the International Organization for Adolescents.

IOFA is an independent, nonprofit Chicago-based organization advocating for the rights of adolescents. Our current initiatives include the prevention of child exploitation, especially human trafficking, promotion and support of girls’ leadership, and the empowerment of orphaned youth. Currently, I am serving on the board and working with IOFA and potential partner organizations to expand its activities to Ethiopia, particularly in the area of orphanage transition.

As many adopted parents experience, when you pick up your new son or daughter you see and interact with the older kids. It's probably reasonable to guess that these kids might very well stay in the care center or orphanage without a permanent family for most of their childhood years. The orphanage becomes their home. Most often, when they become adults, they are forced to leave this "home" and make do on their own. Without ongoing support, they struggle with self-sufficiency, including finding a job, managing finances, securing a place to live, health care, finding friends, building relationships, and basically keeping safe. This leaves them incredibly vulnerable to crime and exploitation, including human trafficking, prostitution, the drug trade, and begging on the streets. Every organization I spoke with in Addis, including AHOPE and CHSFS (and a brief conversation with Melissa Faye Greene) said that this was one of the most pressing and most neglected issues in working with the orphaned population.

In response to situations like this, IOFA developed and implemented a creative and comprehensive orphanage transition program called Project Prepare!, first in Serbia, and now hopefully in Ethiopia. Project Prepare! is a multi-facted support program that meets the vast needs of this vulnerable population. The Project Prepare! curriculum teaches youth how to search for jobs and manage finances, how to differentiate between safe migration and human trafficking, how to avoid drugs and violence, and to create a safe and supportive network.

My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit centers where Project Prepare might take place in Ethiopia. Below are some photos of us at Children's Heaven - a wonderful program that works with adolescent girls, providing them a safe and loving place to call home. We would love to bring Project Prepare to these fantastic women!

I know the holidays are upon us and the economy is rough. However, I just realized that Big Woo gets about 150 to 200 hits per day. If each Big Woo reader would click on the link below and donate maybe $5 to $10 dollars to IOFA, we could raise a good amount to support the launch of Project Prepare in Ethiopia. If you have any questions about the program, my experience in Ethiopia, or IOFA, let me know ( All support, no matter the amount is most welcome!

About IOFA -

To donate -

Thanks for your support and readership! Now back to gratuitously cute pictures of Little M and my hubby.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Proof that we made it outside

We did it. You can see tiny little M in the leftside mirror for proof. We're waiting for Daddy to get out of the ChicAveDominicks. We're in the car, but we're out there people...dear lord, we're out there.

Temp at time of photo - 12 degrees.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Condo Fiebre

Here's what cabin fever looks like today:

We've had a reverse-evacuation to the confines of the condo. Its 20 or so degrees out. We've got unbearable wind chills, little heartiness to the cold from this CA gal, and a baby who prefers, no, demands to be naked. Our skin is about to peel off from the fake dry air. We've run out of things to talk about and the silences are muy awkward. I can't verify this but I think Little M may be petitioning to go back. He didn't bargain for extreme weather conditions that kept him locked up like an ailing hermit.

What would C. Huxtable do in this situation? Manhandle Mr. Huxtable into moving to a more moderate and sensible location.

Fine idea.

In the meantime, I've taken to Little M's method of pacification. It's actually quite nice.

S & M (oh my - just realized that I've been signing alot of things with those initials that represent something a bit different than the mother/son relationship. Nice.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical

Musical theatre trumps bigotry every time.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Home and Clown Free!!!!

We just got home from the hospital!! Looks like little man had a very resistant form of bacteria and went through most if not all of the more widely available antibiotics - none worked. We had to get some underground, rarely used, antibiotic with CDC approval since all the others were no match for our boy's goods. I think it is the only antibiotic in the US arsenal that could save us from alien attack if the aliens come bearing alien bacteria.

All is set now, he's on the mend but will be on additional alien-prevention-crud for about a year.

But most importantly, we were able to escape the mirth and merriment of the clown rounds.

Thanks again to everyone who sent emails and such!!! We will be in touch once we get ourselves back together again.

Have a great Thanksgiving week!!! Here are some more photos of Little M on the Mend.

Sick but still sweet.

David trying to pull the infection out of Little M's head.

I was known as the bra-less woman who roamed the floors at night spraying for clowns.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finding the Right Antibiotic Bullet

Looks like we've finally located the right antibiotic for Little M's seemingly indestructable bacteria. Took a few tries, much to our chagrin, but think we have the right thing now. Still day by day, still in the hospital, but he's in a much better mood and adapting to looking like a scene from a sci-fi film. Tomorrow, he has one more draconian medical procedure to determine the anatomical issue that may be causing the vulnerability to infection. I'll be bringing whiskey; for him and us.

More importantly, we've kept the clowns out of the room.

By the way, I don't watch too much Grey's Anatomy, but enough for me to think that all the medical personnel are doing it in the broom closet all the time. They always come in looking disheveled and with a tell-tale glow. I shudder to think how the clowns are involved.

To erase that picture from your mind, here's our little guy hopefully on the mend:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pedialyte, laser beams, and Clown Rounds

Fast update on the Mr. M kidney infection scare situation of 2008.

We're at the University of Chicago, Comer Children's Hospital. Fever is going up and down and Mr. M is still feeling quite funky, but overall is doing better. He's taking some pedialyte (which is seriously gross) and a bottle of formula here and there. Tubes, monitors, and lasers beams are still being applied all over his body. May have to have surgery to repair underdeveloped bladder that could be causing the vulnerability to kidney infection. Daddy got one smile today; he keeps looking at me like this event is bound to come up in therapy, oh let's say 10 to 20 years from now. Not sure when we're coming home since it's an hour by hour, day by day situation where his fever has to stabilize over a period of time before they can release us. We're not quite there yet, but hopefully by the beginning of the week (Mon or Tues).

Thank you to everyone for your love and support, emails, phone calls, and messages - it is hugely appreciated by all of us. This has been one scary m*ther f*ck888 ride (please see post about my potty mouth below). And a big shout out to Tracy, Jeff and Samuel - Samuel and Mr. M slept next to each other at the care center in Ethiopia and seem to have plotted hospital stays at the same time. As Tracy mentioned, we have to revoke their blackberry privileges so as to unravel the conspiracy to kill us via stress.

Now on a more scary note, Comer Hospital is designed specifically for children. This is why I am more than perplexed by their choice to let clowns loose on the floors. That's right: clowns. They call it Clown Rounds. Two women (we think) are dressed up like hobos, or homeless talking mimes as I like to call them. So far, I have protected Misho from these smiling, psychotic beasts, but they frequent the halls and who knows if they can hear us breathing behind the closed door. I'm trying to get a photo of them to post, while not getting too near them for fear of them sucking out my soul. Clowns? Seriously? Wasn't the spinal tap enough for the little guy. Pray for us.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mishamo in the Hospital

Hi all - just wanted to give everyone a heads up that our poor little Mishamo was admitted to the hospital today. After many hours of projectile vomiting and a high fever, we took him to the ER. He's okay now but has a complicated kidney infection related to something in his anatomy. For awhile they thought it might be bacterial meningitis - which is a whole load of hell that we didn't even want to think about and almost threw me over the edge. He's still miserable, still throwing up, but it is a diagnosis that is treatable over the next year. He already has the latent TB treatment so this is another load of goodness to throw on top of that. It was horrible today. He had a spinal tap, a tube stuck down his throat into his intestines, an ultrasound, five or six chest and abdomen xrays, and a catheter.
With this much poking, prodding, and probing, we might as well have gotten his nipples pierced and a picture of the Ethiopian flag tattooed on his ass. It was horrific.

I wasn't sure who to kill first. What would Claire Huxtable do? Exactly what I did I am confident to say; assert my self loudly yet diplomatically (with a dash of "I'm actually truly crazy" thrown in) when my child is almost in convulsions and no one seems to sense the urgency. It was a nightmare.

It's 1:30am, and I'm home dealing with the dogs for a few hours - David's at the hospital and I'll be back there in a couple of hours or so. Please keep us in your thoughts. It looks like we're out of the woods but will probably be in the hospital for a couple of days.

The house is really quiet and sad without Little M. The dogs can feel it.

S & D

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The F-Bomb

It is very possible, very predictable that our son's first word may very well be the F-word. We aren't crude people necessarily, but we do use profanity when and if it is absolutely necessary; which equates to, in this raw city of Chicago, about a dozen times a day. Its a hard world that calls for a hard response.

At times.

So, the trick here is to teach our little guy to use profanity as it was meant to be used; wisely, poetically, and only at the right time.

For example, if you are on the playground and some clod womps you on the head to get to your legos, you don't pull out the f-bomb right away. You wait. Quietly. And if he or she does it twice, internal mental negotiations take place. And you may have to pull out the big guns.

Now, I can feel the hard, judgemental gaze of Claire H. over there on the sidebar: "any child of mine that used the f-bomb would find some sort of mom bomb coming right at them." (that is a direct quote from the Cosby show). Obviously, my profanity strategies would not bode well in the Huxtable household, and I'm fearing my muse is quickly turning into my Superego. I can feel her; assessing me from her law degree-ed, I-can-easily-handle-more-than-one-infant, tightly belted high horse.

She's judging me people. I can feel it. What do I do? Ignore it, or continue to have conversations with the Great Claire H in my head until a resolution is reached.

As you can tell by the direction of this entry, I'm sleep deprived. And by the way, Claire Huxtable was from the 80s, so I did break some rules to get her nominated. Bitch.


P.S. - I'm assuming I will receive some hate mail for calling Claire Huxtable the B-word. But, I'm in a mood, and she has been given me some high and mighty looks lately, and it's pissing me off.


Gratuitous Misho shot:

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Men of the House

Here they are in all their penile glory. Daisy and I are now outnumbered. All three leave the toilet seat up, use aggressive forms of communication, eat meat raw and off the bone, and are emotionally challenged. Don't feel sorry for us; Daisy and I still have our feminine wiles - plus our cycles are in sync so we attack in perfect precision. Here is an example of such an attack:

Miraculously, my son is allowing me to work on the computer (like I actually have a wrench and am working on the motherboard) and update the blog. Soon I will be starting a weekly segment called: WWCHD - What Would Claire Huxtable Do?

I have many scenarios that need reckoning from my new motherly muse. If only I can live up to the task.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Origin of Love

With all this Prop 8 bigotrycrapsuckitstuff - time to bring out a song that captures depth, love, and heart. Trying not to get blindly angry, but I'm ready to get all Norma Ray on someone. In the meantime, listen to Hedwig.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big-Ass Shoes

Holy god. Claire Huxtable? Seriously people? I'm a maternal embryo here and the majority have chosen the mother of all mothers as my inspiration? Did any of you know that she was actually chosen as the mother of all time by the kings of the universe? Not that I'm questioning the poll, but it's clear that most participants don't really know me. I'm lucky to keep a plant moist and motivated.

Dear social worker monitoring the contents of my blog, I make this statement purely in jest - there are many organic and living materials alive in my home, including our beautiful new son. Our plants and dogs will vouch for us.

I'm grateful to the two who went with Lillian Munster (thanks Ariel!!!)since on my most mornings, one could mistake me and my house for the housekeeping strategies and tactics of the Munster family.

Anyway, the poll is open for another 50 minutes. Interesting that no one went for Carol Brady or Edith Bunker. Says alot about the state of the nation(whatever that means). New Misho footage on its way this weekend, but here's a new photo in the meantime:


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mom Icon Survey to the Right...

Alright. Here are the suggestions from you all on a possible maternal deity (from the 70s mind you) for personal worship. Let me know what you think. Feel free to explain your answers in the comments section. And in the meantime, here's a photo of me at my maternal best and Misho appearing rather freaked out by it. As you can see, I need a protege.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Night That Made Misho Smile...

Ever seen a look of satisfaction quite like that before? Thank you Obama for helping us catch the elusive Big Foot!

I'm so happy I could squeal. And have been for the last 24 hours. It's starting to hurt.

Despite the look of happiness and balance above, little guy is still on a rather rigorous sleep strike. I have easily aged 5 years since this weekend. It appears that Mr. M does not like it when I tend to my own affairs such as peeing, tooth brushing, showering, sleeping, breathing, or eating the occasional piece of stale bread. I feel like a hostage with Stockholm syndrome. I've chosen to fall in love with my captor to avoid the deep rooted madness that is hovering around my head like a horse fly. Seriously, I never thought I could be brought to the brink of crazy quite like this. I've brought in reinforcements; Nonnie is here and loaded Mr. M up in the carriage and they're off to Guam or somewhere near there. In the meantime, I'm slipping in a quick blog entry, and checking in on poor Ellen Degeneres who must be so friggin pissed that California has proven itself so backward and bigoted. I mean the other half of California that I never met when growing up there. Cruel and unnecessary.

In the meantime, cheers to my sweet sweet crush Obama and a year where I don't feel the urge to say I'm Canadian to seatmates on international flights.


Monday, November 3, 2008

vote, do it, or I'll be angry

...and while we're at it, vote for the guy I want. The Big O. He is splendiforous. He's a mighty mighty man, whose hand I have had the pleasure to shake. I could go on, but I am going on very little sleep and sanity so my words are few and probably in the wrong order. Mr. M regressed a bit. One too many doctors visits with an unfortunate chest xray. Little M is fine, but he's got a bout of the latent TB. Nothing horrible - no trips to Tuscon wrapped in a scratchy wool blanket for recovery. But still, a bit anxiety producing. Especially for him. It's 1am and I just got him to sleep...and he had one eye on me the whole time.

I have some lovely blog entries lined up but finding the key board in my sleep deprived state is challenging.

For now, here is a random photo of the boys getting their music on. The Jam to be precise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Demeans Us Both...(the search for a smile and the ultimate mother icon)

I've heard the call for more photos! Here's our man dressed in his reptilian finest, with a look that does not hide his opinion of the whole affair. Finding photos of Misho smiles is like searching for Big Foot. I swear to god they exist (he does it often!), others have seen it, but some said it was another baby in a Misho suit (the zipper was exposed).

So in the meantime, I will start sharing the plethora of sour faces that we've captured on film, and there are a number of them.

The Transition of Misho is going well. Well...well and then not so well at times. This poor little one has been dropped into a cold bucket of new smells, sounds, and sights. My family is loud. If any of you are reading this, don't deny it - most family affairs are boistrous events where you have to aggressively vocalize to get into the game. Misho was used to very sweet smelling, sweet talking, respectful nannies who cooed lovingly at him at low volume. Sometimes he looks at us like we're a bunch of uncivilized beasts. I think I actually heard him refer to us as "white trash", but then again it could have just been a gurgle.

Transitioning into motherhood is another to-do all together. Sometimes, I'm sweet smiles, kisses, and lollipops, ready to hold my son for hours while I shower him with smooches and nibbles. Other times, I'm hiding in the closet, rocking back and forth while he launches into his third hour of crying, thinking about when a respectable time would be for the first glass of wine.

I'm looking for a mom icon, a muse, a figure of divine motherhood that I can emulate and pray to. Now, before we start mentioning mother figures of depth (Hindu gods, unmentionable actresses who are way too friggin fertile), I'm going back to the time and source that makes me most comfortable - TV moms from the 70s.

Here's who I'm working on so far:

Anne Romano - aka Bonnie Franklin (One Day at a Time) - single mother extraordinaire from One Day at a Time - I'm not single but this little lady had pluck and a fine looking bowl bob.

Carol Brady - aka Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch) - kind of an obvious pick, but any woman who could smile incessantly around 6 children and invent the mullet is someone to look up to.

Florida Evans -aka Estelle Rolle (Good Times) polyester pantsuits and a no nonsense attitude. Florida is currently in the lead in my book.

So my friends, help me find my diety of motherhood. Mama needs a mentor. And I promise that once chosen, I will post a picture of me dressed as this new muse; hair, attitude, and all. Leave your suggestions - I'll tally up the results and set out a poll.

In the meantime, please help the mother of this lost little boy find some direction...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gnomes and such in Ethiopia

Most of you know about my often debilitating fear of gnomes. I believe gnomes are tiny, nasty little creatures that run havoc with our lives (refer to entries of July and August 2008). Well, just imagine what could have been running through my mind when I ran across a virtual "gnome-fest" at the Sheraton in Addis Ababa. I thought for sure the adoption would have been halted and we would have been arrested by the Ethiopian authorities for some unknown reason. Luckily, nothing of the sort happen, but I was able to capture the pure gnome magic on film. I've also added a few shots of random Ethiopian priests we found tucked away in the church caves of Lalibela. I believe they were the antidote to what could have been a unmitigated gnome-generated disaster. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Zombie Baby

Mr M is demonstrating some weird ass behavior. It's all very fishy. I found a post it in his onsie with my blog password, and some notes jotted in Amharic. There may be some sort of conspiracy going on. He's really jet lagged, so take what he puts out there with a grain of salt.

Additionally, he has recently taken to sucking, eating, or devouring my face. I'm thinking he does this with love, but there is a look in his eye that says, "hey lady, I could take off your cheek in one bite." He's either so in love with me that he could ingest me whole OR....he's a zombie baby. David is banking on the latter.

Caught in action. It starts off as an innocent cuddle, and then....well...please see below (not for the faint of heart). By the way, this is me with absolutely no sleep, so do not send this to Perez Hilton for commentary about my lack of personal care & style.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A letter from Mishamo Inc.

Dear Shareholders (and those with vested interest in Mishamo Incorporated),

This open letter will provide an update on the current state of affairs for the company of Mishamo Inc. As with the rest of the US economy, our portfolio has entered a bearish market of intense fluctuations and seemingly unexplainable changes. For instance, I, as CEO of Mishamo Inc., at one time lived in a comfortable room with 6 or so other CEO's who were fed, diapered, and bathed on a regimented and predictable schedule. This schedule has been abruptly altered, against my will. It appears that I have been victim of a bloodless corporate takeover by two new board members, and abruptly taken to a new headquarters in a land that I know not much about. The aforementioned schedule seems to have been completely disregarded and no longer applies to my clock and parameters of time. Additionally, I'm often required to pose for repeated photos with these said board memebers; individuals that I do not know, nor do I know if they have any vested interested in my work or the interests of the company. I often have strong, vocal opinions, and wish to share these opinions with those who I believe should hear them. I am now often shushed, repeatedly, and bounced around in a swaying and/or up and down like motion, like this will change my perspective or create some sort of comfort and stability in this time of great flux. Moreover, my daily meals have taken on a duller and blander taste and texture. Gone are the days of spice and pungency; replaced with gruel that supposedly is good for the lining of my stomach. I strongly feel this should be my decision, and yet, I am silenced.

I write to you, not for pity, but to alert you to the intense shake up of the basic foundation of the company. I implore you to check in repeatedly to assure that these new drivers of the organization have my best interests at heart, and understand that I still do and will forever lead this company into glory. I am more than willing to adjust to change - because as someone I never read once wrote: if you do not change, you will die (or something like that). I for one, want to thrive. So, with your help and support of the new regime, I feel that this may, in the end, be a win-win situation. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I refer to the photo below:

Yours in service,
Mishamo French Pehlke, CEO
Mishamo Incorporated

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We're Home!

Howdy everyone!! First, I apologize for not posting from Ethiopia. It was certainly not from the lack of trying. I set up the email update account, but everytime I constructed and seemingly sent out an entry, it sat quitely in my sent box and wouldn't go out. Conspiracy theories abounded but I think it was just a slow mouse working in the Ethionet internet power box.

That said, we had such an amazing time!!! Mr M. is the most wonderful little man. He has such a wonderful disposition, and is a dead ringer for Tiger Woods, who may also be Ethiopian, if he would just own up.

Currently, M-boy is undergoing a fun but rather tiring transition period here. He is almost dead set on staying awake and looking at every piece of lint, dot, and flicker of light on the wall. He's truly the CEO of this operation, and we're flutting around like serfs trying to please him. His social report (verified by direct observation) says that he "prefers to be naked", and does not cry for "simple reasons." Just like his mom. We're so in love, it will make you ill. More to come.

I just came out of a 5 hour coma and finally, Little M has fallen into a 7 hour sleeper, with currently no end in sight. I am obsessively checking out his breathing and making sure he doesn't snap a limb in the Cirque du Soleil positions he seems to sleep through. The trip home, or rather the last third was rough. A airplane toilet exploded upon my feet and legs, Misho decided to give up sleep for Lent (early), and I ended up having an "we're almost there" breakdown to some sort of angel stewardess on the last leg. And please, do not let me forget to update you all on the gnomes (dozens of them scattered willy nilly) that I came across at the Sheraton in Addis. Talk about a freak out.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and support!! More photos on their way!

Big shout out to the rule-breaking, rule-creating October 2nd group! All I can say is that we were "dangerous." You all know what I'm talking about line-crossers.

One more shot....

Love, Shelby, M, & D.

Friday, September 26, 2008