Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bedroom



Thanks for your help, Meredith!

-Kyle

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Guest blogger: Punkin

Hi again. Kyle and Robin have asked me back to write another blog post. I'm barely given the time to write for my own blog.

I noticed something interesting on the last set of pictures we received from Thailand. It would appear T is already familiar with dogs:I figure this is good news. Kyle and Robin have been a little concerned about how T will take to me, but if he's already used to having a dog around, that should help.

I'm usually pretty good around kids. I like to jump up on people when I first meet them (Kyle and Robin have not been able to break me of this) but with kids, I don't do that. Kyle and Robin figure it's because they're so much smaller (I don't have to jump to get their attention) but really, I just like kids.

Also, I take food VERY gently. Kyle and Robin cannot take any credit for training me on this. I've always been that way.

So, I'm looking forward to meeting T, although it sounds like I won't be allowed to return home until they've been home for awhile. I suppose T will be taking in enough changes without throwing me into the mix.

-Punkin

Monday, April 21, 2008

Embracing chaos

I live a pretty predictable life. It's mostly by design. Humans crave predicable routines...and I've created a pretty comfortable life.

Bringing T home will change all of this. I've decided that I'm going to embrace it.

The life I'm living now, while very comfortable, isn't a fair reflection of how unpredictable life can be. A child can teach parents to live with chaos, making it easier to live with change.

Back in college, there was a time when I lived with less predictability. It was liberating.

In a world religions class I took back in college I learned about an Eastern religion belief that happiness comes from the ability to accept change. We even watched a film where the narrator demonstrated the belief by sitting in a chair and explaining that no matter what happens, no matter what he or anyone else does...he cannot remain sitting in that chair forever. Believing that you can somehow control this will inevitably lead to disappointment.

Again, humans like to create predictability...we don't always like to accept that we're not in control.

I like to be in control, and have been fortunate enough to afford it and fortunate that I've not had to cope with dramatic change recently.

Bringing a child into our life will take away some measure of control over our own lives. I'm ready to embrace the happiness that liberation brings.

-Kyle

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Painting under the sun

Robin's sister Meredith returned today to continue work on the paintings for T's room. It was so nice out, I convinced them to work outside for a little awhile.

The pictures are coming along...they look great.

Meanwhile, I'm struggling to figure out what I should be doing to get ready for Thailand. So far, I've focused on many of the seasonal things that need to get done around the house (changing/cleaning windows, HVAC maintainable, gutter cleaning, etc....exciting work), which is all stuff that has to get done sooner or later, so I suppose it isn't a waste of time...still I feel like the things I should be doing right now should be related to the trip.

All told, I have to say that having a travel date isn't as terrifying as I had feared. There is a lot we want to get done, but not a ton that has to get done.

It's remarkable how few weekends we have left...and most are already spoken for.

The weather makes me long for T to be here...there will be so much to do with him this summer.

-Kyle

Edit from Robin: Artwork finished! June can hurry up and get here any time now. I'm getting really excited!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Homemade art

Robin, and her sister Meredith, are working on their own artwork for Thanu's room.

I don't really understand how they make these...but they're very cool. I love the colors.

In this photo, the pictures aren't done...and they still need additional coats of paint. Robin can't wait to get back to work on them this weekend.
Also, my mom had a cover for the mattress that goes with Thanu's bed. It's an extremely cute pattern...just what we were looking for.

I have to admit, I was a little panicky about having everything in Thanu's room ready for his arrival, things are really coming together.

There are still a million things to do, but many of them are things we can do quickly. I'm torn between enjoying what time I have left to relax when I can, and getting myself acclimated to a busier and more sleep deprived atmosphere.

-Kyle

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Request for bids

INVITATION FOR BIDS
Bid #08-001, Project - 2008 Transportation of Vehicle for Exhausted New Parents and Cranky Child

The Kyle and Robin Household will be receiving sealed bids until 2:00pm (our clock) April 24, 2008, at the home of said household for Bid #08-001, Project 2008 Transportation of Exhausted New Parents and Cranky Child.

All bidders shall be experienced drivers and must be experienced in the installation and operation of child safety seats per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's regulations. Only bidders with clean driving records shall be considered.

The work consists of transporting the vehicle of Kyle and Robin to O'Hare International Airport on Saturday, June 14, 2008 and to asses their mental capacity to safely operate said vehicle. In the event that neither Kyle nor Robin are alert enough to operate their vehicle, the work includes transporting them in their vehicle to either a hotel or to their home.

The successful Bidder(s) shall have the opportunity to view T from a distance of not less than 2 feet for a time of not more than 25 minutes.

Preference will first be given to grandparents, second to aunts and/or uncles of T.

Each proposal must be accompanied by a Certified Check payable to Kyle and Robin in the amount of not less than 5% of the total amount bid. The successful Bidder(s) will be required to furnish the remaining balance upon completion of work.

Early airline stress

We are weeks from arriving at the airport, and already the process of air travel is causing us headaches.

We worked out a game plan last weekend to book our airline tickets for Thailand. We knew which flights we wanted, times, etc. We even had an alternate plan in case "plan A" didn't work out.

When Monday arrived, we quickly found out we were not in any position to pick any old flight we wanted. There were a couple unforeseen issues causing us problems:

--Our plans call for us to travel on weekends. We knew this could cause problems, but it was worse than expected.
--We're traveling on the first wave of the tourist season in Thailand. Again, we figured this could be a problem, but not as bad as it turned out to be.
--Airfares are ERRATIC! Up, down, high low...just when you think you've got it figured out, they change (up more often than down).
--Inept travel agent. The agent we started with made it clear that we were not her priority, but we persisted for two days before I finally walked down to an agent a few blocks from where I work and had the issue resolved in less than in hour. By the way, she was GREAT...and I made sure she knew it. Perhaps I'm being too polite by not naming the agent who wasted our time.

In the end, we got tickets with prices we're happy with on Korean Air. Although we had hoped to fly direct to Bangkok from the U.S., I'm now thinking it may actually be nice to take a breather off the plane in Seoul. We have to take two flights no matter what we do, so now we avoid the dreaded 17 hour flight across the Pacific for a mere 13 hour flight.

Hopefully the flights will go more smoothly than getting the tickets did. Anyone care to bet on that?

-Kyle

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A frenzy of planning

A small part of our trip is now booked and official. We plan on arriving in Thailand a week early to do a little sight seeing in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. We'll spend 3 days in Chiang Mai and found a hotel that looked very quaint and relaxing, located along the river just 10km outside the city. It got many good reviews online, and I'm excited to have a quiet place to try to relax and take a deep breath before we jump into life with a toddler. Now I get to plan what we want to see while we're there. I've heard there are great local artisans, the night market, and that the elephants are very fun. Am I missing anyone's favorite sights?

Just as exciting, we booked tickets in an (air conditioned!) sleeper cabin on the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and back. This works perfectly - the train departs in the early evening and arrives at about 7am. We'll get to see a bit of the countryside along the way, and skip wasting time in an airport. (Not to mention it's cheaper than flying and we'll save 2 nights in a hotel.)

Here's a snipit of video I pilfered off YouTube of a train in Thailand. I can't wait!

-Robin


Friday, April 11, 2008

TA


We got travel approval today.

We're to meet with the adoption board in Bangkok on June 11th.

HOORAY!!

(Forgive the brevity of this post...I've now got a LOT to do!)

-Kyle

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Olympic torch

I noticed today that the Olympic torch is making a pass through Bangkok this month ahead of it's arrival in China.

It will be there on the 19th.

You can follow the torch at this Web site.

-Kyle

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Strange Dreams

This week, I dreamt I was racing around an airport in socks to catch an international flight. I was carrying one tennis shoe and had lost the other. I was quite fretful because they wouldn't let me fly without shoes and there were none for sale at the airport that I could fit my feet into.

Kyle dreamt T arrived at our house with a suitcase....and was 16 years old.

Nope - absolutely no anxiety here!


-Robin

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Iraqi adoption

Robin and I were watching a Wisconsin Public Television program tonight and came across a story about a DA in a Wisconsin county who adopted a special needs boy from Iraq.

That's right, Iraq.

He is a single man who was serving in the military at the time, and managed to get the adoption approved, in a country that doesn't allow international adoption.

The boy faced a pretty bleak future.

It's a great story. This guy is incredible.

It'll bring a smile to your face, and probably a tear or two, as well.

I could write more, but you can watch it for yourself. You can find links to the video here.

-Kyle

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Flight follow-up

Thanks to everyone who commented on our post about booking flights.

I've got one more question.

How did you book your flight? I've only booked my travel on the Internet, but given the variables involved in this trip, I may have to consider going to a travel agent.

Is that rational?

-Kyle

P.S. from Robin: Can you tell Kyle is getting a little excited? No, we have no indication that we'll be traveling anytime soon. But thanks for all of the advice!