Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


Puke, Parties, Presents, People

She is a morning person people. A MORNING. PERSON. Yeesh. Ick.

The cuteness in the am is almost overwhelming.

Ari and I recently spent some time in Texas with Aya and Papa. They are also morning people. The morning love fest was exhausting to watch. But at least one day I got to go back to bed and leave them to it!

These are some early am pre-breakfast photos at Aya's table. Does she smile for photos at a sensible time of day, like, oh say 2pm? Nope. 7am and earlier? Bedhead and all - absolutely!

A few weeks ago Ari and I said goodbye to daddy at the departure gate (he got permission to see us all the way to the gate) and walked down the ramp to board our flight to Austin.

Halfway down the ramp the little one threw up all over herself and her stroller. I didn't realize it at the time (I think that's a good thing actually) in my frantic juggling of wheely bag, diaper bag, stroller, baby and boarding pass. Have I always wanted to be that mom-jaunting off on a trip with her sweet baby? Yes. Was it idealic in reality. Hell no.

Once on the plane we found our seat and I discovered just how hard it is to hold a squiggly toddler while hefting a gigantic carry on into the overhead compartment.
I think I squeezed her too hard. I know I football carried her down the aisle of the plane so that probably didn't help.
WHY can't they make those plane aisles wider? There is no humanly possible way to pull a carry on AND carry a baby one one hip with a diaper bag on the other. We got stuck on every single seat we passed. "sorry, oh, excuse, me. oh. damn. Um. I mean sorry. ACK. (uncomfortable laugh) heh heh. HOW do people do this? It's harder than it looks. Heh heh. Sorry again. Ouch! Oopps so sorry!" UGH.

Now I have a vomit phobia. You all know that. Whether I know you in my work life, my personal life, my family life or my online life - you all know I am scared of vomit. I run from it. I am not the sympathetic friend you should count on to hold your hair back over a toilet. (gag.)
I even once ran from J on our anniversary when he got really sick in a park. RAN. As in I was halfway down the block shouting over my shoulder that I would go get the car and a barf bag and be back soon.

So. Vomit. Plane. Baby. Me. Alone. (insert sad mewing defeated sound.) The second we sat down in our seat she threw up again - all over the two of us and our seat. It was our first vomit experience together if you don't count our first night together when she threw up her meal into her bib pocket. (Very clean and easy.)

The flight attendants kept yelling at me to remove my tiny little bottle carrier from the overhead bin and put it under my seat because I wasn't allowed to put more than one carry on above. Honestly? The thing holds a bottle and her meds. It is tiny. I am covered in vomit. Baby is screaming. It was bad. I kept asking for something to clean up with and they brought me dry paper towels. How are scratchy dry paper towels going to help? They did a lovely job of dryly smearing everything around.

Worse was the 30 minute delay after everyone boarded. Which took place 30 minutes after regular bedtime. Which lead to Ari pinching the elderly woman's arm next to us. And pulling the hair of the woman in front of us. And screaming. A LOT.

It was so hot. It was the 8th circle of hell (if Addis immigration is the 7th.) We were practically sweat glued to each other.

It was really terrible. It deserved a blog post all its own. I will not forget that flight for a very long time. There was a moment when I thought "I can't do this. No. I really cannot. My feminine parts are soaking with vomit juices (she puked down her front onto my lap.) My baby stinks and has grown from a manageable 20 pounder to the size of a poopy diapered linebacker on my lap. The woman next to me actually has her FINGERS IN HER EARS. And I will be trapped on this plane until we all die."

An hour and a half later we landed.

On the flight home I told our seatmate before he even sat down that he did not want to sit next to us. I think Ari really kicked it home for him when she looked up, screamed in his face, pressed the cookie monst.er (haahhh haaahhh hahhh) laugh button on her toy and laughed maniacally while jumping up and down on his seat. (Our flight home was also a half hour past normal bedtime.) He found another seat.

Flight home with extra seat next to us was marginally better.
In between these flights from the depths of hell we had a wonderful time!

My mom's friends threw us a welcome home baby shower which we attended in full party dress.

Ariam received many toys, chewed on wrapping paper, hand fed me frosting, met Ellie T. and had zero meltdowns.

I've noticed that in party situations she doesn't smile much. She is very serious and hyper alert. I think this is a normal side effect of having lived with large groups in an institution. But I do really look forward to the day when she can laugh, smile and relax at a party.

Despite my concerns about leaving daddy behind, Ari did great at Aya and Papa's house. She loved the soft carpeted floor, watching the "DAW" out the window, sitting at the big people's table, receiving adoring visitors, and sleeping in my room at night in a pack and play. She even napped twice/day, slept through the nights, and handled the heat with grace. I was sort of blown away. She did ask for "dah dah" a few times but seemed happy enough with looking at our family pictures with him on the walls.

A highlight was Saledo Creek. We began with top on, bottoms off. Then went to full swimsuit mode!
We had a great visit. Loved the party, presents and people. (Could have done without the puke.) THANK YOU mom, dad, and friends!


  1. Not sure if you meant for your readers to laugh out loud at the description of your misery but that's exactly what I did. Maybe it's because I could picture myself in your situation... so far I have not been brave enough to go to the grocery store alone with the kiddos, let alone get on another airplane. It looks like a fabulous time in the lonestar state. Blessings!

  2. Ah travel with babies. Believe it or not you will look fondly upon that memory in a few years (although not wish it back) as your kid plugs in her headphones and stares off into space (as you wisk away on a fabulous vacation because you are no longer terrified at the prospect of a long plane ride:)

  3. Sorry about the puke. You are one brava lady! Its amazing to me how different Ari already looks since home.

  4. I will, from here on out, stop glaring at parents who travel with their kids who scream, kick, vomit, pee, poop and generally make the entire experience exhausting for all involved. Now, I will look at them with sympathy, knowing that they too are just as irritated if not completely mortified. I may actually ask if there is anything I can do to help. Thank you for educating me and making this issue personal for me. (gawd, how did I get so jaded?)
    Darby - who is still single and childless.

  5. Oh dearest, the plane sounds dreadful but everything else sounds lovely. Some kids are just morning people. Willa wakes up fully caffeinated:)

  6. You, girlfriend, are one of the funniest people on the planet. Loved the description of the flight to Austin! Do you know that I'm from TX...graduated from Baylor University...parents lived in New Braunfels? Could we possibly be related???? I could be the Great Aunt once removed...or something like that. Can you tell that I'm trying to cover my bases in case A & K don't wind up together?!

  7. eee-gadds...that's just terrible. Hopefully laughable some day (once the fog of exhaustion lifts, that is). Your girlie just keeps getting cuter!

  8. Oh NO! I'm laughing really hard, but through a squinched up sympathy-face.

    I just lOVE those pics at the creek! How adorable is that little baby swimsuit! **melts**

  9. omigosh, Amanda. Great post- I was laughing so hard as I could imagine the whole scene on the plane. That sucks and I do always wonder how moms travel with a baby!! I swear- you need to transform all of your blogs into a book about your journey into motherhood!!! You are an EXCELLENT writer!


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.