Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bits of Randomness

I have not worked in the last couple of weeks, and my brain has been on a bit of a vacation, hence the sporadic blogging.  A couple of updates for the grandparents:

The boys had their very first dentist appointment with my wonderful dentist.  They did GREAT.  Even Aidan.  Better than I ever would have thought.  They each got to pick out a movie to watch during their cleaning, and they even allowed for xrays to be taken.  Dane was very excited about the bubblegum flavored toothpaste, and marveled at how he could watch a movie and have his teeth brushed at the same time.  He is such the multi-tasker!  When they were done, they each got a goody bag with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and tokens for the goody machine by the check out counter.  Dane wants to go back tomorrow.

Brandon got accepted into graduate school!  He will be doing distance learning at Fuller Theological Seminary, getting his Master of Arts in Global Leadership (or "Master of World Domination", as I have come to call it.)  When he applied, we had no idea how competitive this particular program is.  Apparently, out of a couple hundred applicants, they only take 30-40 per semester.  Hot Brandon is just so smart.  They must have sensed his numerous abilities in the field of World Domination.  He will start soon, and take a 2 week trip out to Pasadena, California in January.  We might get to go with him...we'll see.

The boys start school Thursday of next week.  They don't know this yet.  Perhaps I will tell them on Wednesday.

Aidan's birthday party is Sunday.  Every day this week he has woken up and asked "My birthday party is today?"  He's a little bit excited about all the cake and such.  We are having a house full of kids and family and friends and such, and instead of actually, you know, entertaining everyone, my plan is to stick all the kids in the backyard with a Slip-n-Slide and a bunch of water guns while us grown-ups stay nice and dry inside and have some cokes and such.  

So next week I will bore you with multiple picture-posts from Aidan's party so my brain doesn't have to, you know, think.

My Grandma and my uncle left today for a Cozumel cruise.  Gustav, we ain't skeered.

We found a full-size tube of toothpaste in our couch the other day.  Huh.  Usually it's just change and matchbox cars and one of six TV remotes...I have absolutely no explanation for how it got there.

I hope all my teacher friends are having great first week at school.  I have been thinking of you as I sit at home breaking up Ninja Turtle fights all week.

See you Sunday!  Hopefully after an intellectually stimulating day at work on Saturday!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Guess Who's 3!

My Aidan is 3 today.  Three years ago today I was desperately pushing my "happy button" that shot morphine into my veins and tried to forget about the huge incision in my belly that brought this big-headed chubby screaming baby into my world.  I don't remember much about his birthday, but I definitely remember the look on Dane's face as he met his new brother:
Okay, these pictures may have been taken the day after the birthday, as evidenced by my actually sitting in a chair and not doped on morphine:
Hot Brandon with the new kid:
I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, as I think back over the last several birthdays Aidan has had.  Here he is in a brief happy moment (Aidan screamed nonstop for the first 2 and a half years of his life) on his first birthday with his little hat that lasted approximately 1.6 seconds on his head.
Checking out the cake, not entirely sure what to do with it:
He figured it out in the end:
By his second birthday last year, he had the cake thing down pat.  He was very excited about his Madagascar cake with all the colorful icing and plastic animal decor.  

We (okay I) am not what you would call "crafty".  (Or "patient" as long as we're being honest.)  No intricate home made cupcake-caterpillars creations for this child.  Oh no.  We are strictly Wal-Mart store bought cakes all the way.  He was 2, and he doesn't know the difference, and he wanted the Madagascar cake.
I miss his curls.  Even if they did look like Sally Hair.
Warning:  this is about to get really disgusting.
Here is my 3 year old today.  The request was for "orange cupcakes", but by the time we got them home he wanted the red one.
He's so grown up.  
Practically an adult.

I'm not sure why he nursed the cupcake the entire time, never actually picking it up.  Or eating the cake part, for that matter.  He was an icing-only man today.
Classy.  Very classy.  And he has the longest tongue I have ever seen on a child.

Does he look like someone from a rock band with that huge tongue and red lips?  Which one?  I'm not exactly up on my rock bands, but I vaguely remember someone with a tongue...

But I guess it would be hard to sing in a band if you didn't have a tongue.

We are doing Aidan's big birthday party next weekend, the one with all the cake and presents and friends and cousins and Slip-n-Slide.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From the Mouth of Dane

Dane's had a busy day today.  I'll start with the sweet stuff that makes mommies proud.  Here was his prayer tonight while we were putting him to bed:

Dear God,
Thank you for this food.  And thank you for our house.  I love my parents, God.  And I love my little brother.  I love our house, and I love my toys.  And I love you, God.  And I believe in you, God.   Amen.

Immediately followed by, "Dad, when I'm five, am I going to have some really cool toys?"

Like, perhaps, throwing spears?

Earlier today, Dane and Aidan embarked on a little adventure. 

Dane:  Mom, me and Aidan are going up to the attic because there is a dead dog up there.  And a dead lion.  But you need to stay down here, because it is going to be freakin' weird.  So just stay down here, okay?

30 minutes later...

Me:  Dane, tell me about the attic.
Dane:  There was a dead lion.  (Rubbing his stomach) But I just ate all the meat off of him and threw his bones in the big trash can.
Keep in mind, my home does not have an attic.  When we were in Kentucky, Dane noticed that my cousin's home we were staying in had one of those pull-down-from-the-ceiling attic accesses with the built in ladder, and Dane was pretty darn interested in what was up there.  

I'm sorry.  

Pretty freakin' interested.  

I don't know why the most bothersome part of this story to me is the fact that we don't have an attic.  I seem to have no qualms about my son inventing dead lions and feasting on their carcasses ala Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love this Kid

My Dane is such a cool kid.  He says the funniest things.  Since I don't scrapbook, (or keep a baby book, as long as I'm being honest), I wanted to record some of my favorite Dane-isms so I don't forget them:

Lately he has been very concerned about germs.  I don't exactly know where this is coming from, because we do not harp on germs often.  He was about to drink out of Aidan's cup and he wiped the lid off before he would take a sip.  Nasty little brother cooties.

He knows 15 Bible verses, not including the Lord's Prayer.  They are:
1 John 5:3
1 John 4:11
Hebrews 10:24
Joshua 24:15
Phillipians 2:5
John 3:16
John 3:17
Isaiah 66:1
Acts 2:38
Psalm 34:8
Proverbs 22:6
John 11:35
Matthew 7:1
Hebrews 10:9
Psalm 27:4
and the Lord's Prayer

He uses big words he hears out of context.  I was snuggling him the other evening pre-bath time, and I said to him, "Dane, you smell like a little boy.".  He promptly snuggled me right back and said, "Mom, you smell like an obstacle."

His father has introduced him to all of the weird cartoons he himself was hooked on until inappropriately late in life (like into his 30s).  Dane now loves Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, and playing Pokemon on his father's 1989 Nintendo Gameboy.

When he gets a cut or a scrape, he frantically finds a bandaid for the minor wound.  The next day, the bandaid has been removed, and Dane in his childlike faith marvels that "Look how fast God is healing my elbow, mommy."

At bedtime the other night I was tucking him in and he says, "Wait, Mom.  I forgot to take off my bionic arm."  So he takes it off, and hangs it on the wall next to his bed.

Love you, Dane-o!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What We've Really Been Up To

For the last several years, Brandon and I have been talking about adoption.  It was always something we assumed we would do "someday", we just always pictured our family with biological children and adopted children.  "Someday" always seemed way more convenient than "now".  For the last year or two, we have heard God yelling at us a bit louder about the whole adopting thing, but we have ignored it because we are not independently wealthy and have no idea how to pay for it.  The money thing has been a big mental block that I have had trouble seeing around.  

When Brandon got back from Thailand, we decided it was go time.  Time to poop or get off the potty.  Let's quit talking about it and perhaps actually do something about it.  Take the first step and see what God does with our willingness.  Our first instinct was that we wanted to adopt from Thailand.  So Brandon got in touch with some of our missionaries who have previously adopted from Thailand, and got the name of an agency, Holt International, that deals with Thai adoptions.  We filled out a lengthy application, and paid a chunk of change as an application fee, only to learn that they are not accepting any new applications for Thailand at this time.  

Excuse me, what?

But we applied!  

They were, however, accepting applications for their Ethiopian adoption program, which is similar in cost to their Thailand program.  While still overwhelmingly expensive to us, much cheaper than many of the other countries.  So, apparently, we may be adopting a child from Ethiopia in the next several years.  We are prepared for a very long, expensive, unpredictable journey that may or may not result in us actually bringing a child home.  

We are praying that God closes doors that need to be closed, and opens the ones that need to be opened, and shows us exactly what He wants us to do.  We are praying that the money for the adoption is there when it needs to be there, and I am excited to see how God will make that happen, because in my mind that is our biggest obstacle.  (I have a funny story about the word "obstacle" for another time).  We are also praying that God reveal to us "Why Ethiopia", because I have a feeling that the answer is something other than "Because it's cheaper".

We are very, very early in this entire process.  We will be sending in a family picture (which our babysitter will take for us tonight because our last family picture was Christmas of 2006) and our tax returns later this week, and then wait further instruction from the very helpful people at Holt.

Maybe we won't send a new family picture.  Maybe we'll just send this one.  Brandon in his "long hair" phase, me in my "overly blonde" phase, and Aidan in his bald phase.  Don't we look like a normal family?  Doesn't Aidan look thrilled to be in his mother's arms?  Dane's not choking Brandon that hard.  
What do you mean our future child might be better off taking his/her chances in Ethiopia?

Monday, August 11, 2008

As Told in the Book of Aidan

The boys and I were telling stories tonight, and Dane made up a very elaborate tale involving snakes and swords and "a big gang of my friends all grown up."

For the first time, Aidan, my not-quite-three-year-old, decided he had a story of his own.  Here's how it went:

"Once upon a time Jesus made a baby go under the water and then the mommy got the baby out of the water.  Then the king gave the baby a bare butt spanking and the baby ran away.  And then there were two bad guys with swords.  Then he went under the water and went on a ship."

Should this worry me?  Does anyone else's two year old make up stories that do not involve cute farm animals or Winnie the Pooh?  For a very brief second when he started I thought he was trying to tell me about Moses. 

Guess not.

Friday, August 8, 2008


The other night we were putting the boys to bed and we got a little distracted.  I don't quite know why I love pictures of Brandon reading to the boys so much.  This particular story comes complete with animal noises from everyone involved.  
This is what happens when they realize that Mommy is taking pictures of them:
I call this one "Animal Noises in Black and White"  And Dane is apparently playing air guitar.
Then Brandon took the camera.  Look!  I do exist!  Why some of the only pictures of me on my own blog feature me with no make up and all-day mom hair, is unexplainable.  
So I decided I deserved some Photoshop Botox.
Does anyone know how to Photoshop in some mascara?  Help a girl out.
And if we weren't distracted enough at bedtime, book reading and impromptu picture taking quickly digressed to this:
These children are out of control.  Don't they have parents?  Oh, yeah, they were sitting 3 feet away.  30 minutes past bedtime.

You can't tell from this picture, but Dane's head is planted firmly in the ceiling here.  He jumped a bit too high...
Nighty night.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Eduoard, You Dissappoint Me

Dear Houston Area News Media,

Thank you so much for alerting me regarding the formation, tracking, projected path, possible destruction, wind speeds, expected rain amount, and bowel movements of Tropical Storm Eduoard. I really enjoyed all of the vintage footing of prior destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. And of course, I think it is very appropriate to compare landfall of a Category 5 Hurricane in a sub-sea level town to a Tropical Storm headed directly for a wildlife reserve on the Texas coast. Also helpful was the advice regarding where to buy plywood and how much bottled water I needed to stock up on. Quick question: if this storm is going to be destructive enough to interrupt underground water lines and/or cause contamination in the water system, are 3 gallons of water really going to be sufficient? Aren't we better off just getting out of Dodge for a few days?

Thank you very much for keeping me posted on the fact that every school, daycare, and apparently, post office in the entire Houston area was closed for the day. Boy howdy, we sure do get excited about our possible storms here. I also appreciated the interview with the ill-informed vacationer in Galveston who notified your entire viewing area that she had "stocked up on cokes, chips, and snacks, and is ready to ride out the storm." Because that is truly the most helpful piece of information I could have received regarding storm preparation. (Note I did not say "hurricane preparation". It was NEVER A HURRICANE, HOUSTON NEWS MEDIA!!)

I guess all of the Wal-Mart shoppers in my area heeded her advice. On my Tuesday morning trip to Wal-Mart for chicken and a People magazine (don't laugh), I was startled to see that, yes, indeed, all of the chips were gone. I'm sorry not all. There were plenty of Cool Ranch Doritos. Apparently even people who anticipate starving during a storm will not even eat Cool Ranch Doritos. The bottled water/soda aisle and soup aisle had taken a hit as well. The inside of my Wal-Mart Tuesday morning was more of a disaster area than the outside was.

Thank you also for notifying me that my home 75 miles inland could expect up to 5 inches of rain yesterday. I was getting excited that perhaps I would not have to water my dead grass for a few days. Instead, we got a measly 1.5 inches of rain. It rained more than that on a wet day last week with much less fanfair. Excuse me for a moment while I go set my sprinklers to water today.

Okay, I'm back. Moving on.

The ramifications of your over-dramatized and innacurate reporting do not just affect us locals. The consequences are nationwide and far reaching. We have a college boy from Missouri who is interning at our church living with us for several weeks this summer. He was so excited about riding out his first tropical storm, and his sweet mother back in Missouri was worried about his safety, after seeing all of the re-run Hurricane Katrina footage and all. I think Josh was getting a little excited about the possibility of climbing to the roof in the midst of rising floods with only his 3 gallons of drinking water to sustain him. Well, that, and the protein bars he eats all the time.

Alas, we were not climbing to the roof yesterday, or even putting sandbags around the doors (you know, we may have gotten 5 inches of rain, people!) I spent the day popping popcorn for the "movie party" and playing about a dozen games of Candyland, since the swingset was too wet to play on.

Because, fellow Wal-Mart shoppers, Candyland and microwave popcorn are the real necessities of storm survival.

Someone should tell that vacationer in Galveston.