Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hike For Music

Today at lunch I decided to enjoy the 70-ish degree weather and walk up to my favorite music store in town -- Luna Music. I used to be a Luna regular when they had a location on the north side of town by my old office. Every Tuesday I'd race over, drop a fortune on six or seven CDs, and then retreat to the solitude of my car for the remainder of my lunch hour, covered in cellophane and those annoying stickers that they seal CDs with across the top.

Today's journey was more about the exercise than the music, but there were some used CDs that I could have gotten excited about if found. Unfortunately, I made two disappointing discoveries on today's trip. The first was that Google Maps informed me that Luna was only about a mile from my office, yet it felt like I'd made a Forrest Gump-ian trek across America to get there. Since I started my new job, the only thing I've spent less time on than this blog is working out. Both things need to change. The second discovery was that this particular Luna no longer sells used CDs. Drats. I can't fathom why anyone spends $15.00 a pop on music anymore.

Thus, the whole trip turned into a major disappointment for me. In addition to wearing myself out with a mile long walk, I also felt as though the journey might has well have ended in a pit full of typewriters and rotary phones. A store full of physical CDs containing music just felt so...90's. It was crazy. For a guy who used to buy CDs with a far greater regularity than food and clothing, it was disheartening. It was like walking into a room full of old friends, each of whom had been informed that they had a terminal illness -- in this case, complete obsolescence.

So after lunch I returned to my office and checked Amazon's Digital Music department and iTunes for the music I so desired, in this case, a new album by The Posies and a box set by Robyn Hitchcock. I'll probably order a physical copy of the Robyn Hitchcock set, because I still value the notes that come with that kind of a set. But for the new Posies album, I'll probably just snag it from iTunes. The times, they are a-changin'...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Is Winding Up

(Daddy plays "I Get Around" on the stereo which prompts much dancing from Grant and Grace.)

Grant: Daddy, is this the Beach Men?
Daddy: Yes, Grant. They are now, indeed, the Beach Men. Or perhaps even more appropriately, the Beach Geriatrics.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More End of Summer Fun

We've had a busy end to summer, and it's just getting crazier! For the sake of our own record-keeping, here are a few highlights.

We visited with Grant's birthmom and sisters. Grant looks so much like his older sister Jaidyn.

We headed to the Chinese Festival, where Grace watched with KEEN interest the dancers (all those cute Chinese girls; I could just pinch their cheeks). Grant was more interested in the food, the face painting and the jump houses.

We've been watching Grant play soccer (which has not been going well). He cries all the time. He is so incredibly jealous if anyone else kicks the ball; it's a real problem. We're working on it and praying about it (daily). Let's just say, I'm not sure team sports are in the boy's future.

Grant is busy with preschool two mornings a week, and I'm involved with a weekly Bible study that has a great (and free!) preschool program for both Grant and Grace on Tuesday mornings. Just yesterday, Grant came out of class singing a hymn. It's just so cute... and so amazing to watch their little minds eat up knowledge.

And, Grant has started back up with another round of swim lessons (even though he assures me he already knows how to swim). No crying this time... lots of smiles (despite the near frigid water conditions). He has a great kid teaching him (very energetic), which I think helps. Grace is enjoying herself more too (old shots are back in the May folder).

I'm sure that Bret will be back soon with funny thoughts, but for now, you're stuck with pics of my kids.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Hold on to your blog seats...

1. Happy Birthday, Daddy. Bret joins the ranks of middle-aged today, and we want to say thank you to the best Daddy and husband ever! He is patient and loyal and supportive, and we are thankful how he tirelessly works for our family.

2. Here are a few pics from our recent zoo visit. We have a zoo pass, and we go all the time in cooler weather. But, I never seem to take my camera! Grant loves to "race the cheetahs" (a clever way to bilk parents out of money), and Grace loves the giraffes best of all. Mommy likes to be outside in cool temps.

3. Grant has long been scared of various childhood pleasures that most kids (including his younger sister) seem to enjoy. For example: tube slides. Grant has long been down right terrified of these things, but in one day, the switch flipped, and now, he's a sliding machine. He even tackles the massive indoor playground slide, which makes him look like a normal three year old; we're thankful, as we were about to get thrown out of Chic-fil-a because Grant would only go on the baby slide!

4. Bunk beds! Yep, that's right. We moved Grace and Grant in to the same room about a week ago. We expected this to be a tough transition (both in Grace obeying and in getting them on the same schedule), but it has been the best. Grace, after one evening of disobedience, now stays in her bed at all times (that's our rule: no getting out). And, Grant and Grace have miraculously moved their divergent sleep schedules in to one! It's magnificent. I only miss crawling into bed with Grant to read books (top bunk=no thank you). We purchased our beds off Craigslist, and they are near 50 years old! Now, we have a nursery that's empty... hmm... that's got me thinkin'.

5. Outdoor fun. I have had a serious hate relationship with this summer (hottest EVER). So, now we are thankful that we can spend sometime outside. Here are some pics of playing outdoors. I do have to post a naked booty pic below. We've been trying to teach Grant to pee standing up, and we've been practicing outside. Of course, Grace has to try it too! When we aren't peeing into bushes, we play in the playhouse, feed the ducks, herons and fish and play with (or eat) the sand in the sandbox. Thankfully, Grant and Grace are becoming better friends who enjoy playing together.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This week, we learned that friends of ours were in the middle of a terribly painful adoption experience. These experiences are rare, but they are often what people who are unfamiliar with adoption think of as the norm. Our hearts were extremely heavy for our friends all week long.

And, their experience got me to thinking of our two adoptions. I thought of seeing Grant for the first time in the hospital, a baby who was about an hour old. And, I thought of Grace, so scared and so skinny. I'm so thankful that their adoptions were so easy.

But, while the processes that brought us Grant and Grace were easy, it doesn't mean that raising adopted children is always smooth. There are hard discussions to be had, hard realities to face. Just this week, Grace said, "I miss my birthmom." Grace has no concept of what a "birthmom" is, but Grant does, and he says this phrase often. We have daily conversations about Grant's birth family, and he talks frequently about missing them. I know that most of the reason that Grant misses his birthmom is because he loves playing with his birth sisters and loves the gifts he gets. But, I can't also shove under the rug the reality that Grant, as much as his three-year-old self is capable of understanding, is processing his own adoption. We often hear things like "I want to be adopted again," or "why is adoption forever?" Many people think that having contact with Grant's birthmom must be tricky or hard, but it is the opposite. It is the best thing for her, the best thing for us, and most certainly, the best thing for Grant. I just finished watching a very interesting documentary called Off and Running, a story of an African American teen who tries to find her identity after being adopted and growing up in a trans-racial home. I was so thankful after watching the film that Grant has access to a loving and a smart birthmom who is ready and is willing to walk him through all the questions he will have.

And, that is why Grace's comment about her birthmom killed me. I know she was just parroting Grant, but in that moment, my heart sank. Grace will never know her birth parents. She will have no access to the nagging questions of her heart. She does have 70,000 plus other kids who have been adopted from China who are in the same boat, but when her heart aches to know the answers, I have very few to give her.

But, what I do know is that both Grant and Grace's birth mothers loved them very much, were very brave, and were able to make the hardest, most selfless decision imaginable. And, what I know is that I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Make it 110!

How many times...

I counted today how many times Grace mentioned to me (or anyone who would listen) that she was going to visit Mickey Mouse. One hundred and nine times. No joke. I kept track.

Grant, sadly, has moved well past the characters (the magic is gone), and now, it's all about the rides, namely Thunder Mountain Railroad which he talks about just as much as Grace talks about Mickey.

We don't leave for 30 days. It's going to be a long month.