Close to the finish line

June 29, 2009

We are finally getting close to completing the re-adoption process for Victoria. For those not familiar with this saga, “re-adoption” is a process in your home state where you change your adopted child’s citizenship from legal resident to US citizen (getting a local birth certificate along the way, and in our case a legal name change).

We had our final post placement homestudy visit. The social worker has to write up the report, get two copies to our lawyer who then submits it to the Kings County (that would be Brooklyn – county of Kings) courts.

It’s taken a long time, partly due to the courts being slow and partly due to us being slow (since we already have Victoria, we don’t have the same motivation to deal with courts and paperwork). But we are almost there. Soon Victoria will be a US citizen.

On a side note, Danielle had her last swim lesson with an Olympic champion on Saturday. Anthony Erwin is going to return to California to go back to school. While having an Olympic medalist as an instructor for a 6 year old is pretty meaningless, he’s really just a very nice guy. Danielle will miss him.


Dress Code

June 25, 2009

With nice weather, I’m really starting to appreciate working for myself. My current dress code is shorts and sandals. My current office location is a garden on a 72 degree sunny day.

Strong WiFi and a strong battery are key…

NY Politics

June 22, 2009

New York state has been trying very hard to achieve the status as having the most dysfunctional state politics. There’s heavy competition, but when the state starts wanting Elliot Spitzer back, you know you’re in bad shape.

Recent opening paragraph from the NY Times:

Recent events have crystallized the difference between Tehran and Albany. In one place, political developments are being shaped in part by Twitter. In the other, they are shaped by twits.

Kids keep you grounded

June 17, 2009

This hasn’t been a great last couple of weeks with my Mom’s passing. But I have to say that in times like this having kids is a great thing.

You can’t lie in bed feeling sorry for yourself. Danielle and Victoria are up early and want to play. We told Danielle that her Nana had died and gone to heaven and she cried. For about five minutes. Which is actually a lot for a six year old. And then she moved on. So I have little choice but to do the same.

I can mope a bit after they go to bed and have a beer or two more than I ought to, but that’s about it. A hangover with kinds 6 and 2? Are you crazy? That’s way too painful the next day at 6:00 am.

My mom had a good long life. It’s all part of the cycle. And Danielle and Victoria are the next part of the cycle. They keep me going.

Pajama Saga Continues

June 11, 2009

The way things are going, this could turn into a blog solely about pajamas.

Last night I put Victoria in her favorite princess PJ dress. She did wake up still wearing them. Minor victory. But she had also put on a pair of PJ shorts and on top of those, PJ pants.

She’s nuts…


June 10, 2009

Our daughter Victoria (2 1/2) is crazy. We got her some new pajamas because her old ones are too small. The other night I put her in one of the new PJs. Cute shorts and a t-shirt with a rainbow. Target special.

The next morning Victoria wakes up and I’m sleepily feeding her breakfast. Suddenly it dawns on me that she’s not wearing the new PJs. She’s wearing an old PJ dress with some Disney princesses. Hmm. I check with my wife, no she didn’t change her.

When I get her dressed, I put the princess PJs back in her drawer (she doesn’t have a lot of PJs so we’re definitely getting more than one night out of them before washing). That night I try the new ones again.

Sure enough, the next day she wakes up in the princess pajamas. She’s getting up and changing PJs and then going to sleep. Hilarious.

The next night I try again. But this time the princess PJs are in the dirty clothes hamper. In the middle of the night she comes out of her room to get me. She has only a pamper on and the PJ drawer is open. I have to get her back to sleep, so I get the princess PJs out of the hamper.

Last night I just gave in and let her wear the princess PJs again. As I’m putting them on her, she says happily “I like these”.

Yeah, no shit…

Betty Ann Fischer 1933-2009

June 8, 2009

My mom lost the battle with Alzheimer’s last night. My brother was with her and I had just been there to see her. She was doing well at the new nursing home, but she just went into a decline. She was barely there when I saw her so I said my goodbyes. It was time.

With Alzheimer’s, Mom hadn’t really been Mom for the past couple of years. I really feel like I lost her then. My mom was very active politically and very liberal, so for her to have no idea what was going on in the last presidential race was hard. She lived long enough to see history but wasn’t aware of it.

So I prefer to remember my Mom as she was before Alzheimer’s.

My mom was the one woman in a boy’s household. I have two brothers and we did boy stuff. Camping, canoeing, hiking, sports. The toilet seat was always up. My mom just went with it. When I was little I just assumed that all moms liked doing boy stuff. Only later did I really I appreciate how much she did for the three of us.

Anyone who got to meet my mom would always say the same thing to me. “Your mom is so nice”. And she really was. An old friend of mine always referred to her as “three of the nicest people he even met”. People who knew both my mom and my dad would say to me “when you are being nice, that’s your mom, when you are being a smart-ass, that’s your dad”. Oversimplified, but fairly accurate.

She could even drive you crazy with niceness. I had this conversation with my mom about a thousand times over the course of my life:

“Steve, do you want anything to eat?” “No, Mom, I’m not hungry” “How about some cheese and crackers” “No thanks” “I have Doritos” “No mom, I said I’m not hungry” “Ice cream?” “No thanks” “Grapes?” “Mom…”

My mom could mix in with any crowd. One of my favorite memories was when I was first working as a programmer in NYC. My dad had recently passed away so Mom would come visit by herself. She’d arrive around 4:00, take a cab downtown and meet me at the office. And then she’d go out with me and the work gang. My mom, with a pint of Guinness, hanging out with 20 and 30 year olds. Very cool.

My mom even connected with my wife’s step mother, Indiana. Indiana barely speaks English and my mom barely speaks Spanish, but they still connected.

I remember Danielle visiting her in Milwaukee when Mom was still living by herself (before the Alzheimer’s was bad). Mom would play with her endlessly and Danielle loved it. In hindsight, early Alzheimer’s and a three year old attention span are a pretty good match.

She just had a way of connecting with anyone. That was her most special gift. And she was a great mom. I love her and miss her.