November 2006


It’s November 30th. Last chance to click on the poster—————————————>

You’ll have to be at the main blog site for this to make since (sorry feed readers).

Well it finally happened.  I figured we would have until she was at least old enough to have a science lesson about where kids come from until we’d have to deal with this.  But it’s started in kindergarten.  No, not that.  I’m talking about having to deal with the fact that were not related biologically to our children like (probably) everyone else in her class.

We got this note the other day about how the class is going to be studying the backgrounds of the kids, so would you please fill out this form with your heritage.  Great, except there’s two lines: one for Mom and one for Dad.  Yeah, like that information is really going to help to study the heritage of my kid.  Pondering what to do for a minute; we decided to just make a 3rd line for her and filled out all three lines.  After all, while she’s not biologically Swiss, Italian, Croatian, Polish, British, Portuguese, etc (yeah, we had to write small on the paper), she certainly has integrated many of our traditions in the short time since she’s been with us.  And we have adopted many things from the Ethiopian culture into our family.

I’m sure this is probably just one of many times we’ll have to deal with not being “normal”.  Oh well, such is the things you have to deal with when adopting.

While we’re on the subject, check out this great article about a N.O. Saints linebacker who’s Japanese by adoption (hat tip Martha).

So, two weeks ago, I tried to convince you that you should switch your browser to Firefox because it’s so much faster (and suggested a few add-ons to make it even faster). This week I’ll tell you how to make it prettier so you enjoy your browsing experience and next week we’ll add even more function to it.

I’m not one for beauty, but you can actually customize your firefox browser to look like almost anything. Want a pink browser?

Maybe you like to change your browser with the season:

or perhaps you’re just into cats?

Maybe not, but you can search/browse the other themes here. Just a word of warning, the newest version of Firefox (2.0) is fairly new, so many of the themes have not upgraded yet. Check the “works with:” line to make sure it will work with 2.0.

If you like the browser the way it is (me too, gray is just my thing). These other ideas are a little more subtle:

colortabs.jpg

This picture of my actual browser…a window into what I was browsing yesterday a week ago (since there was no WFMW last week) shows two add ons, Colorful Tabs and FaviconizeTab. Colorful Tabs does just what it says, it makes your tabs (you are using tabs, aren’t you?) colorful. It’s really helpful for being able to click on a specific tab, especially when you’ve made them small with the Faviconize add-on. If you’re like me and you have a habit of having a lot of open tabs, faviconizing the tabs will give you a lot more room. One hint for Faviconize: the preferences allow you to set a click (I have mine set to Alt-click) so you can Faviconize a window without dealing with the Ctrl-click menu).

If you’ve got buttons in the top section of your browser that you don’t use (like the homepage button, who ever uses that button?), you can get rid of them fairly easily using the steps outlined here. It’s not for the faint of heart (requires some editing of a text file), but either is plucking your eyebrows and I see women with plucked eyes all the time.

And here’s some additional tweaks that are less intense. I did these two:
Tab width before scrolling kicks in
Tab close buttons (I turned it off (2) because I use Tab Mix Plus which I’ll talk about next week.

And I also did the session restore trick which isn’t really a beauty thing, but why wait a week.

That’s it for looks. If you’ve got a beauty add-on that I missed, leave it in the comments. Next week (and probably the week after since there’s a lot), getting your browser to do cool things for you. Beautiful browsing works for me.

Mary asked for opinions on how you know if you should expand your family or not.  The Lord (I’m assuming She reads this blog) knows I need to win that book on blogging Mary is giving away, so here’s my thoughts:

Deciding to go from 0 to 1 was easy.  Susan and I talked about being parents before we got married, so there wasn’t really a decision to make.  Or rather, it was made independently before we met each other.

Deciding to skip 1 and go straight to 2 was also fairly easy.  We had waited to have kids until I was out of grad school and we had a house and 2 jobs.  Then we waited quite a bit more while we pursued  adopting in Panama.  So by the time we decided to switch to Ethiopia, we were in a better place financially and desiring children even more.  I remember being in our kitchen (awe, the joys of a time when you could cook with your spouse) when Susan brought it up.  It seemed like a bad idea for a few moments (two kids are more work than one, after all) but after thinking about it a little more, it seemed to make more and more sense.  We called our placement agency and changed our request the next day (our homestudy already said 2 since our social worker told us to get approved for one more than you’re expecting to take…just in case you change your mind).

Going from 2 to 3 was not as easy a decision.  I guess if I could have seen into the future and seen that everything would be fine (knock on wood, we’re only 3 months into this), we would have just made the decision quickly.  Instead, we hemmed and hawed until our placement agency said Yordie really was available for adoption.  Part of the indecision was probably us protecting ourselves from the chances of her not really being adoptable but a bigger part was us not being sure that we wanted to sacrifice (mostly financial, but also the older kids getting less attention) for a baby we had only briefly met.  Ironically, the doubt we had about whether could handle it (like we had going from 0 to 2) was completely absent.  At that point, we knew that we wanted at least 3, but money would be (still is) extremely tight for a while if we went to 3 so quickly.  In the end, we basically decided that (even with all the sacrifices) there was no way we would regret the decision to take Yordie.  And honestly, that was the way we were leaning all along, we just kind of needed our family to tell us that we weren’t crazy (which they did).  Yordie has brought so much joy to all of our lives in the little time she has been with us, I really can’t believe we even considered not accepting her referral.

There’s already talk in the house about going to 4.  But, assuming there’s no more siblings out there, we’ve decided to wait until the kids a quite a bit older (and we have quite a bit more money) before we add to our family again.  So I really have no idea how you know if you are truly done.  Presumably there’s some feeling of contentment you get…but I don’t know what that feels like.

Things I’ve learned during the long weekend:

Thursday: Business schools have good marketing departments. After reading through my brother-in-law’s materials, even I wanted to go to UCLA and/or USC for business school and I’m totally burned out on school after 11 years of higher education.

Friday: Pool parties aren’t very fun when your kids can’t swim. Especially when it’s 70 degrees out; too cold for you to get in, but too warm for them to think it’s a bad idea. At least they had a hot tub (at pool temp), so the kids just bounced around in there and we didn’t have to get it (although we still watched them like a hawk and between them and Yordie, didn’t get to talk to other adoptive parents much).

Saturday: If your almost 4 year old is on a ride by himself at an amusement park, make sure he sees you before it’s his turn to get off the ride lest you have a crying freaked out kid when the amusement park worker goes to undo his seatbelt.  He had fun while he was on it though:

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Sunday: Clifford, Emily Elizabeth, Cleo, T-Bone and the rest of the gang live on an island. I guess I always knew it was a coastal community since they go to the beach, but I never realized it was an island.  (Hey, what can I say, it was a slow news day)

Short week (I prepublished on Wed), so it’s a short list.  The top 3 things I found on the web this week; all food related because that’s apparently all I was thinking about this week.

  •  Need a substitute for an ingredient you don’t have, check out the Cook’s Thesaurus (hat tip lifehaker.com)
  • Holliday drink recipes (I think this one was from lifehacker.com too)
  • Pieces shares a simple recipe for overnight pull aparts.  Heidi’s extra rich christmas rolls actually sound a little better to me, but we do a big Christmas Eve at our house, so I don’t think there is enough time to be making anything that requires rolling dough.

Go ahead, click away.  I promise I won’t share which ones are your favorites.
You should really be hanging out with your family on this long weekend, but if you need more web surfing, check out previous Web Round Ups.

You should really be with your family right now, not reading blogs of random semi-strangers.  Hopefully you’re reading this in a tryptophan induced coma sometime later in the weekend.  Anyway, happy Thanskgiving from my family to yours.

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