Monthly Archives: December 2011

I Like to Make Stuff

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My friend Jude had contacted me a few months ago about making a quilt for her daughter’s birthday. She wanted it to have a horsy theme, because Sophie loves the ponies. I offered to make her a quilt. I have known Jude for almost 20 years. She is also an quite literally an expert on attachment and bonding. Not just someone who “thinks” they are an expert- we have all met them before, but and actual real-life expert. As you can imagine I called her everyday when Davy first arrived. I still talk to her all the time as Davy eases into toddlerhood. Everyone on the planet should have a Judith to call. Her advise is practical, funny, laid back and totally applicable.

When you are process with adoption they (social workers, your adoption agency, other parents, society in general) totally freak you out that your kid is NEVER going to attach to you. It’s nice to have an expert to just tell you that most of it is bunk. It really is. People who’s kids are having attachment issues don’t just wonder if they are having trouble attaching- they KNOW. In caps KNOW. But I digress….

This quilt has been the funnest project I have worked on in a while. I bought the appliqued horse heads (does that make me a cheater- i dunno). I did the rest of the quilting. Mostly I was really excited about the precision of the process. All the pieces were basically the same size and when I put them together they fit! Hurrah. Also I had no plan for the quilt. I just started with a tiny bit of fabric and kind of bought it as I was going along. It was a nice creative process. The quilt is freaking GIGANTIC its 63×94. I have no idea how I am going to cram it in my machine. I have another month to work on it. So it will be done soon!

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I have also been knitting like a fiend. I made three of these hats called Kane. Here is Andy’s made out of Madeline Tosh worsted. I think it makes him look like Opie from Son’s of Anarchy (minus the neck tattoos, prison record and gold teeth). I have also made several pairs of my friend Nancy’s Sally Gloves. I made a pair for my friend Nicole and she did a nice blog post about them. Also if you read my blog you should read Nicole’s blog. It’s really amazingly beautiful. I kind of wish she was my mom (even though she is younger then me and lives in the midwest).

Davy’s Laptop Has a Vagina

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Davy loves to bang on our laptop keys. Actually she likes to rip the laptops from our hands by its hinges and throw it on the floor, like Godzilla vs Mothra. We were hoping that if we got her one of her own to destroy that she will  be less interested in ours. I have a sinking feeling that this is a novice parental mistake.

Some folks have given us gift cards for the holidays.  I marched off to Target with Davy in tow to buy her a kid laptop. I know she is a bit young, but frankly she is our kid, and as a family we embrace technology.

I was standing in the kid toy department and I was a little surprised to see that kid laptops are already gender identified. Pink for girls, blue for boys. What happened to gender neutral green or just plain gray. I felt very weird about the whole thing and slightly ambivalent. I think slight ambivalence is my theme for parenthood. I feel often like I am picking between lesser evils. I picked the pink. Want to know why I piked pink? Because I remembered that Andy has a purple cover on his mac and I wanted her to match her Daddies. Gender identity in babies is a very odd and funny subject. For the record they did have some more neutral ones but they were $15 more and I am kinda cheep.

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Davy’s already texting and driving.

Tradishuns

 


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It’s been a really crazy few weeks. The holidays always kind of stress me out. I feel like I need to constantly go out and have “fun”. I have no idea what “fun” is but I think it’s suppose to contain things that we did in ye oldie times, like ice skating on ponds and sleigh rides. I am terrified of ice skating on ponds and sleigh rides, it seems like a good way to injure or kill yourself. I also hate being cold. Actually Andy HATES being cold -hates it like poison. Davy doesn’t quite seem like a fan either. We have been taking long walks on our cold sunny days and they usually end up with my poor girl freezing her tiny Ethiopian ass off and screaming at me while squirming out of her hat, gloves, coat and stroller blanket. Good times, good times I say!

This year, Davy’s first holiday season with us, was kind of stressing me out. I mean I am a Christmas Jew, but will it totally confuse Davy? I know that now we have to pay more attention to Hanukah then we have in the past. Truly Hanukah is kind of lame. Menorahs, while pretty, somehow lack the allure of christmas lights.
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However as a new mom, I am growing concerned about our Jewish identity- but still immensely skittish about organized religion. Is it enough to say to Davy- Im-a Jew your-a Jew, without anything to really back it up? I got a lot of my Jewish identity from my grandparents (Holocaust survivors), my parents and my community. For the record, I have always been a little uncomfortable with the Jewish community I grew up in; I felt like an outsider- still do. My religious/political beliefs (read that as Israel ambivalence) make me feel like an outcast. I couldn’t wait to get out of the town I was raised in. As an adult I view it differently and have more respect for West Bloomfield, Michigan and its place in the world. But it took me 25 years away from it to truly appreciate it.

Andy isn’t a Jew (though he’s a little Jewish – ha). He would say he was raised as nothing, meaning he was raised sort of half-assed-generic-southern Christian. He has no religious views, per se. He doesn’t even really care if we celebrate Christmas or Hanukah. He prefers to leave the religious angst to me. Thanks, honey.

I had a really great conversation with an old friend from high school about religion. She reminded me that showing Davy what being a Jew means doesn’t have to be that big of a deal. If I want to know the Jewish community I just need to dip my toe in where I feel comfortable. For example, we have been going to several indoor play parks in Church basements. Why not go to one at the JCC? Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I signed us up for some Jewish books to be delivered to our house and we will take it from there.

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My mom recently came over with a super excited gift for Davy. It is a menorah that celebrates the children of the world. On it there is a little Ethiopian flag and a statue of on Ethiopian boy in traditional clothes. It sums up our life pretty perfectly.

We are going to celebrate Hanukah AND Christmas every year. Our Jewish family will give her Hanukah gifts and our non-Jewish ones will give her Christmas gifts. We will also celebrate Genna, Ethiopian Christmas (in January) because it is also part of who we are as a family. We have a Christmas tree because I love them- and well let’s face it- its really pagan anyway.

When I grew up I was always told you had to be one thing – draw a line in the sand and say “this is it,” I am a Jew. My life is so much richer because I never quite bought that line of thought.
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This year we are going to celebrate the holidays in the truly haphazard and random non-traditional Weisman/Beach way. In doing so we get to define the traditions that celebrate and the uniqueness that makes us a family.

Just Sayin’

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Recently, my boss at my job (which I love SO much) commented that she thinks there is something really special about Davy. Well, as her mother I of coarse agree completely. Objectively there is something really unique about our girl. It’s her social skills. Developmentally she is totally on target, but socially she is really unusual. She really connects with people. She has the ability to make people feel special. She plays with kids. She shares. She loves people. She is an incredibly social animal.

Today I was with a group of mothers and they were talking about how their toddlers fought with them on every bit of change. They had a hard time transitioning from breakfast to play, from play to nap. They don’t like new people. They are having a hard time being weaned. Etc. As Davy transitions into a toddler- we may have problems in these areas (not the weaning part) but the rest. This group of mothers asked me if Davy was having issues in this area to- and I said not really.

The fist 7.5 months of Davy’s life was full of transitions. Although there is always a giant element of loss with all adoption (and I am not belittling that point at all). Davy has been loved by so many people. She has gone from place to place and the people whose lives she has touched have loved her. It think it has made her a pretty secure kid. Also the fact that she moved so much in her first year has made her be able to deal with change. I know a good part of this is just how her brain is wired. Many kids in her exact same situation may have a very different reaction. On top of it she has us for parents. Andy and I are both very social and flexible- so I think it’s something that just jelled as a family.

The folks who cared for our daughter for the fist part of her life built the blocks, we are just continuing on with what they built. Again, I feel incredibly grateful to the women in Ethiopia who cared for our daughter. I feel incredibly grateful that we get the honor of raising our kid. I don’t spend a lot of time bragging about our kid. I am so proud of our daughter. I am so in love with her and watching the person she is becoming. Just sayin’