Monday, June 28, 2010


Heidi took the most amazing pictures of her trip to Southern Ethiopia near Awassa lake, where her boys are from. LT is from this same area. She describes driving up to the local police station and being greeted by these interested faces. I love all her pictures but this one I found particularly special... maybe because the girl on the left with the braids really reminds me of LT. Thanks Heidi for a great post.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the 411 on LT

LT & stuff about her that I don't want to forget...

Favorite Books - Where the Wild Things Are & Please Puppy Please (Both are instances of children trying to control circumstances ;) She has WTWTA memorized and says it all with me and asks me to read it 15 times a day. Also loves Hairy MacLary from Donaldson's Dairy & Frida (Kahlo's story in a children's book)

Loves Peaches - "Mommy, I love peaches more than Pizza." now that says something

Hates her hair being done but likes when it's complimented and repeats comments at home

Eats meat more than anyone I know. Chicken, Salmon, Sausage, Beef = all the time and a lot!

She recently seems more interested in pleasing me with "ok mommy and good idea mommy & high fives". This is great news because I could never seem to motivate her by getting her to please me before. Hope this takes...

Night time regular prayer - She keeps adding her skateboard friends to the people who love her. Which makes me happy & surprised each night she adds "skateboarders". There's been other's added along the way by her too which makes me realize the impact people have on her.

She imitates my pet names for her, like when I open the car door to get her out she says, "hi honey" which always cracks me up

Loves to sleep - For about a year now sleeping 12-13 hrs/night with 2-3 hr nap - very consistent (I know I'm so lucky) with no fussing. Lucky lucky lucky me.

Molluscum: Oh how I never imagined you'd be a fixture in my life. We're reaching the end of the road and boy am I super thrilled.

Is an animal lover and asks me to go outside with her to look for snails. She doesn't touch them but talks baby talk to them - so cute. We have a Petco close so walking there to see the hamsters, fish and turtles are a regular activity.

She's starting to scream with excitement for little or no reason. I feel like I'm at a Justin Beiber concert.

Very strong willed, spirited, determined. very.

Love to make herself dizzy.

Time Outs are still working.

She likes: cuddle time, TV time, asking me to lay down go to sleep and says "sweet dreams", anything plastic (she has to hold), spilling drinks, singing & dancing, rapping the ABCs, screaming to 20, bubbles, swings, slides & sand, & process (she likes everything explained why and how), drawing & hiding.

Loves secrets

and stealing my Iphone

She's wonderful and I love seeing her personality grow.

The skateboarders:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So True...


10. There are half-full, brightly-colored plastic cups on the floor in every room. Three are in the bathtub.

9. There's always that one girl, bawling her eyes out in a corner.

8. It's best not to assume that the person closest to you has any control over their digestive function.

7. You sneak off to the bathroom knowing that as soon as you sit down, someone's going to start banging on the door.

6. Probably 80% of the stains on the furniture contain DNA.

5. You've got someone in your face at 3 a.m. looking for a drink.

4. There's definitely going to be a fight.

3. You're not sure whether anything you're doing is right, you just hope it won't get you arrested.

2. There are crumpled-up underpants everywhere.

1. You wake up wondering exactly how and when the person in bed with you got there.

Found at:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I feel like I have so much to say and I'm not sure where to start. Today lends itself to much reflection on fathers & single parenting.

Both of our fathers have passed (LT's & mine). Hers... before she was born. I know that he was a farmer, from the south of Ethiopia (and not that much more). I wondered about him a lot today. I wondered what he looked like and what about her is of him. I love him. I found myself missing him today. I know that sounds weird but he would be so proud of her. LT and I talked about him today. I have always explained that he lives in heart and is her guardian angel (which she doesn't understand really but gives us entry point for conversation when she's ready). I think about the juxtaposition of her life and his life. She's 27 months and doing so well. She loves to learn (numbers, ABC's, shapes, colors, process, books, feelings, expressions, etc.). It's hard to think about what her life would have been like in Ethiopia. I am glad she has two homes. Keeping her family present in our home is a goal. I want her to feel a part of them all the time.

In terms of single parenting, I feel simultaneously grateful and challenged. Challenged because of the enormity of raising a daughter. Being everything she needs while starting a business and juggling all that comes with life. And at the end of every day I ask myself what more could I do to be more present. Mindfulness (a term borrowed from Liz) seems to be more of a reflective concept rather than a active consciousness for me. Every day I work on this. I try to build in more time to explore rather than task master. To imagine rather than produce. To create happy memories. This is hard. Between work demands, exhaustion & taking care of her and the house - I struggle. It's easier on the weekends but during the work week WOW, I have a hard time. I do appreciate how partnership/marriage balances this out. I underestimated how efficient I would have to live to parent at my best being single. This encompasses both physical demands and emotional demands. Children are energetic suckers and get every ounce of "stuff" brought into their space. This was something else I underestimated and have learned the more that I am respectful of what I bring into her space, the more she's peaceful and has less needs. Ultimately, I have been forced to edit - to trim activities. To not produce like I used to in work. With that said, I'm still maxed out. A lesson I'm learning and will continue to transition into a more manageable life so that I can work in more undefined down time with LT.

"Consciousness of the divinity of children can inspire parents – and all caring adults – to lead more selfless lives." - Eknath Easwaran

On this day, I am grateful for all of LT's significant male influences - Ledamo (her father), Kris, Terry, Sandro, Brendan, Yaddi. Thank you on Father's Day.

A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child. ~Knights of Pythagoras

Friday, June 11, 2010


SocialVest - Changing the World just got a little more fun. Cause based shopping.

Needless to say, the last year has rocked my world. Going to Ethiopia and adopting Liv Tunsitu tops my life list of most amazing experiences catapulting me into an evolution that has reprioritized how I invest my time. I worked at a major movie studio as a marketing executive for 11 years (which I generally loved) but I knew that I needed to focus on something more meaningful. Which leads me to sharing with you my newest venture – SocialVest.

So many of you have heard a bit about the cause based shopping platform that my good friend Adam Ross founded. And I’m happy to share that this week is ready for all of you to experience. SocialVest’s mission is to create extraordinary change through everyday shopping. At it’s core, SocialVest is a solution for people to make donations to charities they care about by shopping with your favorite participating retailers. You earn money that you can give to any non profit you choose at no cost or obligation to you. Cool right?!?!

Please help us make SocialVest a success. We need you to:

1) sign up your credit card and shop through the SocialVest mall

2) tell your friends and family

3) post links/info on all your social networking channels-give us all your comments/questions so that we can better our platform & communication strategy.

We fundamentally believe SocialVest can bring a social good consciousness to shopping and has the potential to evolve traditional retailer business into a model that does good by empowering customers & their drive to make change.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.

Thanks everyone, we can not do this without you! -- Amy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things are Looking Up

Since I wrote this, the sky has parted and the NO's flew away. Maybe just my reflection helped...??? or maybe it's just a break when mommy needed it the most ;) Happy regardless.

and another reason things are looking up - Mimi's a Big Sister YEAY!!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

NO more

I have been struggling for the last month or so with how to deal with my babes serious commitment to the word NO. It's passionate, loud, comes with a head nod and often times scowl and starts in the morning crib until bed. I've counseled, disciplined, modeled, ignored yet she's dedicated to finding a way to use it with most all interactions. PLEASE let this be a phase (she's 27 months). As I was laying her tonight thinking about how I'd try to approach the NOs tomorrow I read this...

Sometimes you don't know whether to punish a child or hug him. If you punish him when he needed a hug, you've make a serious mistake. But if you hug him when perhaps you should have punished him, you've just brought some extra love in the world" - Tzvi Freeman, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth.

It made me remember the month of doctors and hospital and reminded myself that she could still be dealing with trying to regain control after that ordeal. I will try a more tender approach tomorrow.
p.s. I shot this pic today, she looks so grown up with a mission on her mind.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Celebrating Life

Today was my best friends Alexis fathers funeral. It was a lovely service. He was wonderful to me and his family is very special and I feel honored to be in their circle. After the service we went to visit my mother's parents graves - LT's great grandparents. There were 3 dandelions in bloom right next to great grandpa's and so we made a wish. Here's to Charles - RIP.