Monday, July 31, 2006

New Pictures

I took the kids to The Picture People today to take advantage of a free 8x10 offer. As is our usual M.O., my friend, Brenda, and her two kidlets met us there to do the same. On the way, K said he would really, really, really like a picture of him with his "best buddy", Carson. Since Brenda is leaving me and moving to California in 6 weeks, I thought K's idea was a good one. That way, as K put it, he can "always remember".

They were both less than cooperative when it came to holding their poses but at least we got one that K likes. :)

The second one is of my mighty two. Again, less than cooperative and I have definitely decided that red is *not* the best color choice for the little princess. And...if you look closely, you will see the K is battered and bruised from his many injuries over the past couple of weeks. The mark by his eye used to be a full-on black eye that he received by falling from a couch and slamming face first into a metal coffee table when we went to the beach. His feet took a beating from his water shoes which left amazingly large blisters after we walked to the from the beach and played in the water. The rest of the bruises...jsut regular wear and tear for a 4 year old boy. I had thought about photoshopping them out but since this is the way he is right now, why not remember it? :) I may change my mind later and hit the photoshop program but for now - there he is, in all his bruised glory.

Baby K isn't all that less bruised. It's just the her dress hides the many bruises on her legs. I swear it looks like these kids get beat with a stick but hand to God, they do not!

And now - the pictures:

Friday, July 28, 2006

Give Me 5

I got this from Caroline's blog today so here goes:

5 Things in my purse:
* size 4 Pampers
* a package of baby wipes
* way too many old receipts
* chapstick
* a couple binkies

5 Things always in my wallet:
*Debit Card
*"credit card
*Check book
*Medical cards

5 Things always in my refrigerater
*creamer for coffee
*Milk (may be spoiled, but it's still there)
*ice tea

5 Things in my closet
*laundry baskets
*pictures in frames that I have no room for in the house
*My clothes

5 Things in my car
*a Barney CD
*8 pairs of sunglasses
*water bottle
*a container of kid toys

5 Things on my desk
*clothes I tried listing on eBay but they didn't sell
*A clock
*Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo book
*digital camera
*an empty wrapper from fruit snacks

As I was told, if you are reading this, you are officially get to it. (but first - keep reading until you are caught up on my blog posts. *grin*)
Did she actually just say that??

Today, while the kids and I were on our way out of the mall, a woman stopped us and, as she was looking at the kids, said; "Do you think she will have that beautiful curly dark hair like he has or...*noticable drop in tone to disapproval* do you think it will stay like that?


Come on! Did she serisouly ask me that? Did she really and truly ask me something that sounded that horrible in front of my kids??

What was I supposed to say? "Oh it'll probably stay this ugly." (which is clearly how she thought her hair looked)

For crying out loud!

What did I say? I muttered something to the effect that I think she is beautiful just the way she is. I wish she hadn't caught me so completely off guard.....I could have come up with something clever to put her in her place. Holy crap - does she not realize that children can hear her and that even a 17 month old can understand her and figure out what her tone means? Wow. Talk about rude!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I received this from a list-serve I belong to. It seems appropriate for today, the day when the Supreme Court of Washington State upheld the ban on same sex marriage.

10 Reasons Gay Marriage Will Ruin Our Society

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things
like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that
hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy
behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing
and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all;
women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is
still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed;
the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples,
infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our
orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents
only raise straight children.

8 ) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the
values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have
only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at
home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt
to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector
economy, or longer life spans.

**I've been busy posting updates so if you haven't already done so, please be sure to scroll down for more posts.
Bees and Dryer Vents

I'm happy to report that the bee nest has been successfully removed from under the house and inside the dryer vent line. Apparently we had two little bee neighborhoods going on down there - eeek! At long last, the worry of bees invading the house is gone.

We have the new dryer vent line installed (and they removed the bee infested one and took it far, far away) and I have to tell you - the excitement I feel each and every time the dryer runs is obscene. I know that when the dryer cycle ends, I will open the dryer to find DRY clothing inside. No longer do I need to run the dryer through 140 minutes (or more) to have a dry load. The time it is saving me is incredible (and I'm sure my power bill will feel the difference as well....but never fear, I'm sure it will be countered with the increase from the new heat pump)! Instead of taking practically all day to run three loads of laundry, I'm now only focusing on it for half the day. What a nice, nice thing.

Had I known it was a clogged vent line, I would have had it replaced a few years back - instead, I just thought the dryer wasn't as efficient as it should have been and/or the vent line was just too long to be of much good for fast drying and/or the size of the loads were just too dang large. Of course, if I wasn't dealing with babies and such, I might have actually thought that it was a vent line issue but my brain just didn't care - I've been all about surviving babyhood over these past 4 years.

At any rate - the bees are gone and my laundry is drying in record time. Life is good. :)

The new heat pump is working out extremely well, too. Friday, which was adoption day (see below if you haven't already), the temperature was reading 107 in our backyard. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN DEGREES!!! That is INSANE!!!! The heat pump was a God-send for us. I can't even imagine surviving the last stretch of hot weather without it. I'm so thankful for even though I was cursing our radiant heat system last winter (when it would flip out and heat the house to 95 degrees at random times) I am so thankful that it stopped working. If it hadn't - I wouldn't be sitting in an air conditioned house right now.

All things somehow manage to come together for good, don't they?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Our Trip To The Coast

D's nephew, wife and kids came to visit from Texas so this past weekend we joined them and D's sister and brother-in-law for two nights of fun on the coast. We had a blast and it was a great way to celebrate Baby's K's adoption (see next post for details and pictures).

I hope you enjoy the montage I put together.

Create your own video for free at
The Adoption

It went without a hitch, thank God. There is always that chance, isn't there? But for now and ever more; Baby K has two legal parents.

Did you know?
Washington State is one of only 21 states which allows same sex parent adoptions. And in several of the 21 states, it is based on county and certain judges within those counties. Protecting children in same sex parent households is not a given. In so many states, there are no laws to protect either the child nor the non-birth parent. It is a huge thing that we live in a state where we are allowed to protect our children and each other.

A few of the rights that are legally given via second parent adoption:

medical/dental/life insurance for child
social security death benefit for child if the parent were to die
parent will be able to legally give permission for things from field trip to surgery, etc.
inheritance rights for child
custody of child if birth parent were to die
ability to take sick days off of work if child is sick
right to use Family Medical Leave benefits if child is very sick
rights to discuss child and give permission, etc. with any school, etc.
custody rights if relationship were to fail
child support

Shouldn't every child and parent have a right to be protected legally? I'm so thankful we live in a state where it is possible for us. Now if the entire country would just move in the direction of it being a given instead of needing to go to court, that would be good, right and fair.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Adoption Day Is Coming!

Friday at 2:30pm we will be standing before the judge and then Dakota will be forever more baby K's legal parent. If you are in the area, please feel free to join us in celebration.

I took the kids to the mall this morning for pictures of baby K in her adoption outfit (Cristin: this outfit happens to be the beautiful little dress you sent - she has now worn it three times, it will be four on Friday, and it will then be placed in her keepsake box. Again - thank you SO much for sending it!). The girl is nothing like her camera hound brother was at this age. She is so sullen and the photographer and I both were working up a sweat trying to get her to at least *look* happy. What a struggle!! You'd never know she was such a happy little thing away from the camera.

Of course I had to get one of the poses where she looks completely not amused. It's just SO her when she is in that particular "mood"!! :) I also got the packet of poses where she looked happy - I can't have the family thinking she is an unhappy little thing, can I? :)

So Friday is it. The cool thing is this is costing us a fraction of what K's adoption cost us (law school really IS paying off!) AND it took only two weeks from the day we filed the papers until our day in court and yes, that includes the home study and report that the social worker had to write up.


Monday, July 17, 2006

What A Difference A Year Makes

July 2005/5 months and 3 years

July 2006/17 months and 4 years

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Moments In Time

Just a little something I put together to celebrate our life as a family. I hope you enjoy it.

Create your own video at One True Media

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Super Quick Update

1. Bees not gone yet. Guy came out to re-spray this morning. He went down into the crawl space (ours is inside the house - imagine how fun the stress was of waiting to see if they would come up INTO the house. Eeeek!) and sprayed there as well as outside the house. definitely not as many as last time but even one is too damn many.

2. Dryer vent line hasn't been replaced yet. It was supposed to happen today but we are at a stand still until the bees are gone. The guy is coming back next Wednesday - he will check for bees and hopefully replace the vent line then.

3. Grandma came over and stayed with baby K this morning while big K and I went to the free family movies at the local theater. It was Jonah: A veggie Tale Movie. Even though K was super-duper excited about being at movie with me and no baby sister, we only made it to intermission. I'm with him though - that movie was B-O-R-I-N-G!!! Next week is the Clifford movie and Grandma is going to take him. I think that will be fun for him. He wanted her to take him this week but she wanted to stay with baby K and have some time with her since she never gets that. Baby K did amazingly well - which I worried about since she has never been left with someone without big brother.

4. Remember those 100 plus degree days we were having *before* the heat pump was installed? Oh sure - not that I have air conditioning to crank the weather has been cool and rainy. Go figure. :P I like the weather though so I guess I shouldn't complain. Just wanting to give the a/c a real work out, I guess. :)

That's about it for now. Oh - I'll go ahead and put up a few pictures from yesterdays dress-up play. Baby K, as you will see, wanted to be Robin and my big guy....well...he's Woody-Policeman-Bad Guy or something like that. :) Dress up is BIG around these parts. :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Finally; Getting Off Our Butts

We live in a state where second parent/same-sex parent adoption is legal. We are VERY fortunate and it is something I do not take lightly. However, the majority of me is ticked off we even have to have something like this on the books. For us, both of our children were dreamed of, conceived by, birthed by and raised by not just me but by both D AND me. Without D, there would be no K's running around the world.

But - no matter how ridiculous I think it is that D has to adopt her own children, that's the way the world is at this point (and like I said: I know how incredibly fortunate we are to live in the state we do so we can both legally be declared as parents to these children).

Our first child was legally adopted by D when he was 7 weeks old. We started the legal ball rolling when I was 5 months pregnant with him and had the "post- placement social worker visit" when he was 16 days old. We went through an attorney and spent a lot of money on the process.

Our second child....well......we jumped on the legal stuff when I was 6 months pregnant but decided to try to work through the hoops ourselves to save money. Seemed simple enough: a call to the courthouse, a trip to the courthouse to pick up the paperwork, filing the paperwork, social worker visit, court date for adoption... however......the paperwork wasn't a second parent adoption request. It was a step-parent adoption request (they assured us it was the same thing. Yeah - ok.). The paperwork was hard to make heads or tails of so we put it off, fully planning to consult an attorney down the road (which D did....only to be more confused). Maybe we'd go through an attorney....or maybe D would hit the law library to figure it all out.

Uh huh.

The baby came and, shortly there after, D was admitted to law school. Excellent! We'll wait until she has the information to be able to do this herself and we will come out ahead in the money department. After all, baby K couldn't be more D's anyway. No big deal to wait. (yeah yeah - I know....something bad could have happened to me and then what? Well - odds were in our favor of baby K being placed with D anyway since D is the legal parent of big K and she can prove intent to legally parent baby K based on sperm bank receipts, doctor records, etc.)

But now....the waiting is finally over.

A few weeks ago D took the file of paperwork from big K's adoption and this time, instead of looking like legal mumbo-jumbo it actually made sense to her! Score!! She started creating documents and making phone calls and today we journeyed to the courthouse to file the initial paperwork to open the case. This afternoon we met with the social worker for the post-placement visit (which was a joke of the highest order. Even she thought it was ridiculous that D has to adopt her own child. She's basically updating the report from big K's visit and will submit that to the court. The kids had a great time playing with her though - so I guess all was not lost.).

Once the report has been filed, we will return to the courthouse to sign a few more papers and to receive the hearing date. The turn around time for a date is really fast so we fully intend for the adoption to be legalized by the end of the month. Excellent!

The hardest part in all this (besides handing over the money) is trying to make it make sense to a 4 year old. He doesn't understand it at all. What do we mean that his baby sister needs to be adopted by mom? He wanted to know if adoption would hurt baby sister and if they would have to put her through a machine. (I never really understood what he was getting at.) We explained the best we could but dang if it isn't difficult to make it understandable in his mind when frankly, I don't really understand the why.

But in the end; our children will legally have two mothers and will be legally protected (i.e.: social security benefits, health insurance, child support, etc.).
All children have a birth right to be protected. It's crazy that same-sex parents have to go to such lengths to protect their children. And crazier still that it's still illegal to do so in many states.

As great as all this is....there is still a HUGE part of me that is angry about it needing to be done. So much red tape to have someone bang a gavel and tell us what we already know: We are a family.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Bumble bees, to be specific. Big, fat, noisy bumble bees. Lots of them. Far, far too many of them.

In our dryer vent.

Oh yeah - that was fun.

A few weeks ago I noticed a few bee's buzzing by me as I stood near the outside venting for the dryer. I *thought* I saw them flying up inside the vent itself. I mentioned it to D but really - what where the chances of anything serious being there? It was only one, two maybe three bee. And inside the vent? Nah. That just didn't make sense. (Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?)

Fast forward to last week when the heat pump guys where here installing the system. I hear "Hey Casey - I think you might have a bee problem over here. There are a lot of bees flying all over the place."

Freakin' great.

We called around and found someone to come out, confirm the problem and give us an estimate. They said if they were honey bees we were on our own as they cannot endanger honey bees (umm...ok...but it's ok for them to endanger my family? Doesn't seem fair but whatever....). If they were honey bees a bee keeper would need to be called to collect them. Honey bees they were not. Big fat bumble bees they were.

For a mere $225.00 those bees are history.
And for another mere $250.00 we will be having our dryer vent system redone. Apparently it's the old venting (and probably hasn't been cleaned since it was installed in 1978. Can you say "fire hazard"?) and should be replaced with new, non-corrugated venting since our dryer output is only about 25% of capacity (which is why it takes two cycles to dry a load. Huh. Go figure. It's also why the bees found it to be the perfect place to make a hive/nest.

Oy. Sometimes it would be nice to have a landlord to call and say "Problem here. Please fix." But on the other's nice to have a place of our own - bees and all.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Feel that? It's cool air blowing. The only thing I have to say about the heat pump is "Why on earth did it take us so long to do this?" What a difference it makes.

We're still futzing with the temperature. I'm sure we'll find out nitch soon but for those of you with a/c, I'm wondering if you'd share what degree(s) you have your thermostat set. Does this setting change for day vs night or do you leave it consistent? If it changes, what time of evening does to change?

I am SO loving being cool. It makes going outside in the heat much more enjoyable because I know that once I am hot and sweaty I'll be able to walk inside and cool down immediately.

Freedom! There is a lot of freedom to be had when you have air conditioning.

Oh - and seems decadent to have laundry running at any old time of the day or evening. It removes a great deal of stress form my life as I no longer need to figure out who to get laundry done when the temps will be in the 90's.

Coming up: We went to "A Day Out With Thomas" yesterday. Photos and details to follow as soon as I have time to put it all together. :)

PS...keep reading: Another new post is below.
Fun In The Sun

Just a few photos of my kiddo's having fun in the yard. Enjoy!

It's important to accessorize before entering the pool - even if you decide to go shirtless. Oh - and that tongue sticking out? That's what she does when you say "Smile!" Silly girl.

Goofy Boy

Taking a Dive!

Playing Together

Upside Down Boy

Sibling Love!

Once again - this is "looking happy". Go figure.

My teething baby girl

My poor baby is working on getting four new teeth....and she has been a miserable ball of unhappiness over the past few days. Hopefully soon they will be through and she can get back to the business of being happy. At least she manages to have fun with her big brother for a few moments here and there. Nothing like having someone make you laugh to help you cope. :)