Monday, August 27, 2007

First Trip to the Zoo

Sidamo and I took our first trip to the Denver Zoo today with my friend Sara-lou and the sweet little girl she nannies for. My philosophical/ethical feelings on the zoo are still being formed (I like the conservation aspect, but it's tempered by the clear injustice of forcing polar bears to live in Denver. In August. In other words, in 100-degree heat, pretty darn close to the sun.). But Sidamo seemed to enjoy it, and I guess that counts for something.

Actually, truth be told, he seemed completely underwhelmed when we first got there. He was hanging out in his stroller, leaning back, starting to fade. We were standing maybe 10 feet away from zebras, and he didn't react at all. A Golden Retriever would have elicited more excitement. Hell, the cars in the parking lot each got an individual mention, but the zebras? Eh.

Then I pulled out his animal picture book, which we read about 10 times a day, and pointed out the zebra-zebra connection, and the light bulb went off. From that point forward, he'd flip through the book like a take-out menu and make his requests. We couldn't always honor them (no pigs at the zoo, believe it or not), but at least it kept him engaged.

The start of the "things that roar" tour

Baby loves buffaloes. Guess whose daddy is proud.

All in all, though, the biggest hit of the day was the floating ball in the (empty) polar bear pool.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our Poor Garden

The other night we had a crazy, scary, wake up the house hail storm that kept me and Daisy up for much of the night. Morning revealed more damage than our puffy eyes though: our previously thriving garden was decimated. The tomatoes seem to have weathered the storm, but the melons, pumpkins, eggplant, rhubarb … well, pretty much everything was ripped to shreds. It looks like we let loose a herd of piranhas.

Ravaged rhubarb

Exterminated eggplant

Ghastly garden

Mangled melons

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pictures from our Ethiopia trip - Day 3

It's taken a lot longer than I expected to get the rest of our photos organized into slideshows, but the day-three slideshow is finally ready to go. This one covers the first of two days spent in Lalibela, which is perhaps the neatest place I've ever been. Lalibela, a World Heritage site, is named after King Lalibela who ruled Ethiopia sometime in the 12th or 13th centuries. Lalibela is famous for its 11 rock-hewn churches, which are absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. These churches were literally carved from solid rock. In other words, they started carving away stone from the top down, leaving an intricate series of interconnected passageways, drainages, and solid-rock churches. It must have taken thousands and thousands of people uncountable days to create these masterpieces of Ethiopian civilization. If you're going to Ethiopia, your trip will simply not be complete without a trip to Lalibela. Seriously.

Day 3 - The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

Click here for a larger version of this slideshow (depending on the speed of your connection, it can take a while for the slideshow to load... please be patient)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cutest Cousins Ever

Sidamo's cousin Scarlett, who is a few months younger than he, came for a visit the other day.
They're pretty much the exact same height, but it's distributed very differently—look at what a behemoth he looks like next to the dainty little girl when they're sitting down. His extra 7 pounds really show when gravity does its work.

In the second photo he's reaching back and saying, "Tickle, tickle!" Scarlett, meanwhile, is planning an escape route.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just so long as you call

I'm pretty sure Sidamo's first English word was dada, and he mastered it in his first week with us. Very cute, sweet for Greg, blah blah blah. Surely mama would be close behind, no? No.

A month in, even spending every day all day with me, he is no closer to saying mama. I'm determined to remedy this, so the other day I was carrying him around in the Ergo as I made dinner, and I kept offering up, "Mama. Mama. Mama." To which he'd respond, "Dada! Dada! Dada!" This went on for about five minutes, and then I said, a little impatiently, "Mama!" He paused, like he was finally digesting the lesson, and I thought, "Here it is! He's actually going to say it!"

Again, I say, "Mama. Mama!"

He takes a deep breath and blurts out, "Papa!"

"Okay, joker," I think, "Go ahead and learn two names for Greg before learning even one for me. Hell, recite his social security number before you utter a single ma for all I care. I'm not going to take it personally." Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not going to keep trying.

Our lessons have continued, and so has this papa business. And here's what I've figured out: He's not spiting me by learning another name for Greg. He actually thinks I'm Papa! In fact, he calls me that with a fair level of consistency. And you know what? I answer. There are worse names, right? And surely it's a step up from anti (Amharic for, "Hey you!"—which is what he had been calling me and the dogs until Papa entered the vocabulary.)

What can I say? This little boy has got his papa wrapped.

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Trip to Folsom Field

Yesterday I took Sidamo up to Folsom Field to watch the CU football team's first scrimmage of the fall practice season--partly to get an idea of how he might do at a real game later this year, but also because it was just something fun to do on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I snapped a few pictures to commemorate the first of what I hope will be many weekend afternoons together in Folsom.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Chickpea Rhapsody

There's one thing this boy loves more than hummus, and that's the sound of his own voice. Here's a combining of those passions.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Pictures from our Ethiopia trip - Day 1 and 2

I'm still working on sorting and organizing all our photos from Ethiopia (free time is at a premium these days), but I've managed to put together slideshows of the first two days of our trip through the historic northern part of the country. Hope you enjoy!

Day 1 - Bahir-Dar and Lake Tana

(click here for a larger version of this slideshow)

Day 2 - Bahir-Dar to Gonder

(click here for a larger version of this slideshow)