Saturday, July 31, 2010

Talent Show

I've "complained" a few times about how difficult Marcie has been- mostly in the mornings. The other day, in between her fits of screaming, kicking and spitting at me while refusing to get dressed (even with help), she told me she wanted to go back to her preschool because she doesn't have any friends at the new school. I know this isn't so. But transition is rough. So I listened to her. I told her I understood. I explained that she's too big for preschool and that she will make new friends.

On Thursday evening, Marcie announced that she was in the summer talent show. She asked if Aunt Megan would come watch her perform the next day. Of course, Aunt Megan had already left town, so that wasn't possible. Jason couldn't get away for the 1:00 p.m. show either. So that left me. . .

I don't like leaving mid-day because, with the commute, it means missing around 2 or 2.5 hours in the middle of the workday, but it seemed important to her. And I was able to make it work.

I am so. glad. I. did.

The talent show wasn't very good.

But Marcie performed a dance. On. stage. In front of an audience of about 50-60. She didn't chew her nail, stand still, stomp, or even hesitate. She popped up on stage and did her thing.

She was so proud of herself.

And I was proud of her, too. Still am.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Smiley Tate

We received an update on Tate.

Here's his most recent picture:

You can read all about it over on Tate's Blog.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Break-in Update

We're mostly recovered from the break-in.
Jason's parents loaned us their wii.
My sister and brother in law loaned us their flat screen.

We recovered the Kindle (must have dropped it on their way out).
We'll replace the laptop this week.

And we'll replace the other stuff when the insurance stuff clears.

On to other concerns. . .

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm not sure what the proper legal term is-- but our home was robbed today.
Jason and the kids discovered the burglarization when they got home from work/school.

The thief or thieves took our flat screen, my digital camera, Jason's 3-day-old MacBook Pro and the wii (and the wii games). They also took some jewelry (namely a ring my grandmother left to me when she died), though they left most of my nice jewelry behind.

They ransacked the master bedroom-- is that where most people store their most important stuff? Other than the flat screen and Jason's kindle (also stolen), it doesn't look like they took much else from in there (and there wasn't much else to be taken-- though, notably, they did not take my Kindle).

It's hard not to feel violated.
The kids are pretty upset about the wii. But I think they are actually upset about not feeling totally safe like they used to. Jason's laying down with Marcie right now.

I am grateful they didn't find (or perhaps even look for) our passports. If they'd stolen our identities, that would be a nightmare. I'm even more grateful none of us was home. I'm sure this was by design- but I'm still grateful for that.

Home invasions in our neighborhood are very rare. And two neighbors across the street and one of our next door neighbors are home all day (and were today). So I have to wonder how much of it was luck and how much of it was that our home was cased. In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter.

It's not the loss of stuff that hurts (though, I'm not gonna lie-- it sucks and will take a while to replace). It's the feeling that I somehow failed the kids by "letting" this happen. I sure hope this becomes a long distant memory for them, a small blip on their otherwise carefree childhood.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


We spent the Fourth of July in Seattle. I attended college just south of Seattle in the early 90s and haven't been back in more than 7 years, but the real impetus was spending time with one of Jason's sisters- Jessica.

It was just like I remembered it-- cold and rainy-ish. But that didn't stop us from getting out and about:

On top of the Space Needle.

Inside Pacific Science Center (just before we entered the butterfly room).

On a Duck tour.

From this photo, you'd never know the weather wasn't beautiful-- the sun peeked out for just a few hours that afternoon. This was our view while we boated around Lake Union.

Our 4th of July barbecue was moved indoors for rain, but after dinner all the kids were outside, playing with sparklers and colorful smoke firecrackers (all totally legal), for about an hour until it started getting dark. Casey wasn't too keen on the sparklers, so this is the only one he held.

Marcie, on the other hand, couldn't get enough.

We had a really fantastic time-- and Jason's sister was such a wonderfully gracious host.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Big Changes

I have been remiss in my posting in large part because it's such a pain in the butt to download photos to include. I know, excuses, excuses.

Well, this post is all about Marcie. She's going through a rough patch right now. She has always been opinionated and sassy, but she's really been testing us in the past week and a half or so. Refusing to brush her teeth, comb her hair-- even get dressed. Throwing herself on the floor. Screaming at me. It's like having a teenager in the house. (I'm not-so-secretly hoping that us battling it out while she four and I'm thirty-something means I'll get a reprieve later on in life.)

But, in truth, Marcie is going through a lot of change right now.

Almost two weeks ago now, she graduated from preschool, where she's been hanging out with the same teachers and the same kids for almost 3 full years:

And the very next day (after a celebratory meal at Souplantation), Marcie started ESS, the local after-school care/summer camp program sponsored by our elementary school:

At ESS, Marcie is in a room with the other incoming kindergartners, and Casey is right next door. Each week has a theme, a trip to the movies and the community pool, a bring-your-bike-to-school day, and a field trip somewhere fun. The kids come home exhausted.

I know Marcie will adjust, but it's a big change for her. So we're trying very hard to be very patient. Even when she tells us she wants to go find a new family.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Here We Grow Again . . . Meet Tate!

Born October 26, 2009 in Henan Province and given the name Fu Long Jie by the caregivers at Jiaozuo City Welfare Institute, our son was transferred to Beijing at age 3 weeks, where he remains in a group foster home called Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (Langfang Village in China) and run by the American-based organization the Philip Hayden Foundation. This means he is receiving extra attention and his caregivers have been trained to work with kids, like Tate, who were born with a special need.

Tate’s special need is a cleft lip and cleft palate.

We think he’s just beautiful, and we can’t wait to meet the little guy in person.

We'll still be posting about our day to day life here (stay tuned for photos of Marcie's preschool graduation!), but because blogger is blocked in China, we've started a separate block to document our journey to China for Tate: