The End of the First Tiny Little Leg of the Journey is Approaching

May 8, 2008

Two weeks from today, little Theodore James Gleason and his family (including much of his extended family) will be attending his final adoption hearing. To say that we’re excited would be something of an understatement.

It’s hard to put into words just how surprised we were a little over six months ago when we were given adoptive custody of TJ. We had quite literally convinced ourselves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would not be selected and given custody. It seemed throughout the entire process – not just the adoption of TJ, but all of our prior selections in the overall adoptive process – that things just seemed to be stacked against us. So many different staffings, several different selections – each of which ended up sadly because of no fault of our own. Some of those situations even led to policy changes to ensure that the same thing couldn’t happen to other adoptive families…too late for us, though!

I remember very clearly the night before – Halloween night – talking with Jen and both of us just knowing that something would happen and we would just be going back to work the next day, probably no longer even interested in persisting in the adoption system at all. Around 12 hours later the entire world was set on its side, and suddenly we had a whole new person in our lives to learn about.

To say that TJ has been a blessing would be a total understatement. Many days when I’m feeling just plain crummy, all I have to do is think of his adorable little smile, his funny little laugh and the way he runs up to me when I get home and suddenly I feel my spirits lifted. We are often asked – still – if we have all adjusted OK, and the answer is a simple yes. TJ adjusted pretty much from day one – he has never once given us an indication that he’s ever been less than happy, aside from occasionally not being happy that he can’t play with the phone, have a drink from Daddy’s glass or the other travesties of life that are committed upon the person of an otherwise happy 20-month old boy.

So Memorial Day weekend is going to be a big time for the Gleason family

The Great Escape

May 8, 2008

There was a fair bit of excitement here at the Gleason household last night, but everything ended up OK. Jennifer took TJ (our 20-month old) outside to enjoy the nice evening, and I had gone up to the bedroom to change clothes after work. Luckily our window was open – I heard Jennifer yell, “TJ let Rosie out!”

Rosie is our little orange tabby cat, and to be frank I really probably could not care less if she ran off into the wilds of Kansas City’s northland, never to be seen again. I say that now, but I might feel some remorse. Maybe, but I doubt it.

So Rosie was let out into our back yard and immediately ran under the deck. Our deck is not very high off of the ground – less than three feet – so it’s tall enough for her to run around under there with ease, but we can’t get under there. For a few moments I had nightmarish visions of me essentially dismantling the entire deck to try to get her out…but with my luck she probably would have just ran off over the fence right after I pulled out the final screw.

I grabbed a broom from the garage and made my way out back. Jen found that if she stood on the south side of the deck she could see all the way through, and watched as Rosie took her sweet time enjoying the sights and sounds of this amazing new world. Rosie has not been outdoors since we got her almost three years ago, and she was only 9 months old or so then so her range of outdoor experience is somewhat stunted.

Jen would watch Rosie go out one side of the deck and then try to run around and catch her while I swatted with the broom to try to keep her from getting back under the deck. NO GOOD. This just scared Rosie and made her even more erratic. Jen and I switched positions then, so I could watch and direct from the yard while she used the broom as a noisemaker to flush Rosie out, like some kind of beater at a fox hunt. This seemed to work, but we just couldn’t jump down from the deck fast enough to catch her.

By this time both of us were pretty well peeved, but TJ thought this was a fantastic game. He’d run around the deck just laughing with little-kid glee, especially when one of us would jump or run or swat or when Rosie would poke her head out or (more frequently) run back under the deck. Jen was pretty well ready to commit Rosie to memory and just let her stay out there, but I had one last thought.

I went around to the front side of the house and got the garden hose, turned on the spigot and made my way back to the side of the deck. I took careful aim and started shooting – not full blast, because I didn’t really want to end up with a completely soaked cat. No, I wanted to make Rosie WANT to NOT go back under the deck, and the best way I could think to do that was to dampen the ground underneath it.

I was putting my plan into action but realized – too late – that I had not accounted for a wild card. From out of nowhere a little blond blur dashed in front of me and right into the stream of water, and before you could say, “sopping wet child,” TJ was soaked…and loving it. He laughed and laughed and laughed…and while I wanted to stop and laugh with him, I still had a feline extraction to facilitate.

I turned up the pressure a little and finally Rosie decided that she had enjoyed enough of the rich bounty of the outdoors. She meekly came out next to Jennifer and practically begged to go back inside. Meanwhile, TJ was doing everything he could to ensure that there was not a single square inch on him that was left dry. I will admit that I was an enabler – it was a pretty warm evening, so I did spray him a little more but then we finally made our way indoors to towel off and change into dry pajamas.

A little while later we all went downstairs to watch Top Gear on the DVR. TJ absolutely loves cars, and he will actually sit and watch quite a bit of Top Gear – especially when they are doing road tests or power laps. This time, though, he climbed onto my lap and pretty much just fell asleep – a good hour and a half before bedtime! We did eventually wake him up, fearful that such an early slumber would lead to a very early morning, but it was final proof positive that we’d had a very exciting evening.

Some New Features

April 12, 2008

I added some sidebar widgets that WordPress graciously exposes for free to the site today. The latest three pictures from Flickr are displayed, and you can link directly to Flickr from the widget. I also went through and tagged my old pasts and put a tag cloud on the site, which amuses me because it is blatantly apparent that I rant more than anything else here.

I’ve posted pictures from Lily’s birthday party last weekend into Flickr. It was a lot of fun – it is hard to believe that Lily is a year old already! All of the cousins are getting so big. TJ is talking more and more, and new words seem to be popping out every day. Lily is a hoot – she is walking all over the place. Kiera is SO CLOSE to walking – she stands up all the time, but just wasn’t set out on her own quite yet. Abby is starting to crawl around, I expect she’ll be terrorizing Arnold the dog any day now. Wes is such a big boy, he’s going to preschool and he is doing so well with TJ.

In a couple of weeks it’ll be Kiera’s first birthday too! I am thinking about getting a new camera. One of the annoyances of my otherwise nice Panasonic DMC-FZ10 is that it’s LCD screen isn’t sharp enough for me to tell if it is really in focus or not. Trying to use glasses while looking through the viewfinder is a challenge, and the camera wants to focus on a specific point in the picture, so if I happen to get the focus wrong I end up with many fuzzy pictures. I’ve seen a lot of newer cameras that have face-focusing technology, and they seem pretty darn nice.

Quick Update

April 2, 2008

Some life updates. No one reads this, so I’ll make it short and agreeable to my own personal tastes. If you write for yourself, you tend to write what you enjoy. So why I do hate my writing so much? Self-loathing, I suppose. Maybe my sartorial sense is stronger than my ability to write. This is why movie critics are so successful and numerous when compared to the filmmakers whose lives they wantonly destroy.


  • Little Theodore James is doing great. He just turned 19 months old, and he’s progressing very well. He’s using lots of different words, and it seems like he says a new one every day or two. He’s also stringing two or three together on occasion, but that’s rare.
  • Final adoption for TJ is scheduled for 5/22/08. Big day, and it’s going to be a big weekend – I’m planning on having a big BBQ party here at Chez Gleason in celebration of the event.
  • Lily Tsukioka turned 1 yesterday (4/1/08)! Considering all of her trials coming into the world this time last year she has done amazingly. Really, she’s done amazingly just all around. We’re going to her birthday party this Sunday at our church.
  • Keira Noel will be 1 later this month too, and she is really doing great. She’s JUST ABOUT to walk, and for yet another kid that doesn’t actually crawl she sure scoots around. TJ loves “the baby.”
  • Abigail Marie is doing awesome – she’s just starting to crawl, and she looks like quite the little princess. She even has pierced ears! I guess if you’re going to do that to a kid, do it when they’re too young to remember the trauma of having a hole drilled into their living flesh. Too graphic?
  • I have completed ALL of my required tests, exams, paperwork, evaluations and whatnot to obtain the insurance approval for my Lap-Band procedure. Once the surgeon’s office gets the last thing in hand they will file, and then it’ll probably be a couple of weeks before I hear back. I REALLY hope it gets approved, I would REALLY rather not spend $20K out of pocket for this, but I’ll do it if I have to.
  • Work is going OK. I have a great team but there is some weirdness happening all around me that is getting in the way of just writing software. We seem to be having challenges from process to databases to infrastructure, and it’s getting to the point where it’s becoming overwhelming. Thankfully it’s a great place to work regardless.

I think that’s about it. Don’t forget that I upload pictures on a semi-regular basis to Flickr, you can always see what’s going on there at

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Originally uploaded by dwaingleason

I’ve uploaded some new pictures from Thanksgiving as well as TJ’s baby shower at church from a few weeks ago. Unfortunately with Thanksgiving and Carmichael Christmas happening this weekend I haven’t had much time to upload pictures, but I’m planning on doing a project next week where I take pictures, upload to Flickr and blog each day. We’ll see how it goes, but for now feel free to visit our photos on Flickr by going to

First Visit from Foster Parents

November 7, 2007

TJ Exploring

Originally uploaded by dwaingleason

Today was the first time that TJ visited with his foster family. We were a little apprehensive about the visit – just because we weren’t certain how TJ would react both during and after the visit. It’s been so crazy for the last few days that we got a little too stressed out over it.

The visit ended up being just great. TJ had a lot of fun playing in purses and generally just being his normal self, and after they left he did just fine – no crying or tantrums, just a normal afternoon nap. Normal – in that the afternoon naps don’t seem to go as well as the morning ones.

We seem to be getting into a predictable pattern now, and we’re halfway done with baby gate installations. I’ve got gates on the staircase going from the main floor to the upper floor, so tonight we’ll do the basement “fence” and then finish up with the doorway from the main floor to the basement.

TJ seems to be bonding pretty well with us, and we just couldn’t be happier. He’s a great little guy, and I’m really looking forward to his life with us.

Jen and TJ with Wes

November 6, 2007

Jen and TJ with Wes

Originally uploaded by dwaingleason

Yesterday Mike brought over Wes and Keira, and we all had fun playing together. TJ doesn’t yet understand what it means to share, but he’s still at the point where he’s OK just letting Wes have a toy and moving on to something different. Keira is really growing fast – she can sit up on her own and she’s much gigglier now. Mike really helped us out by installing some drawer-proofing mechanisms, so now TJ can’t open up drawers and get all the stuff inside. We’ve pretty much child-proofed the kitchen and the downstairs – the last piece of the puzzle is child gates, which should be happening today.

Welcome TJ Gleason

November 3, 2007

Wow. In the last 48 hours I’ve become the daddy to a rambunctious 14-month old boy!

How did this happen, you might ask? Well, here’s the story. But first, a little about my new best buddy. His name is Theodore James (TJ) Gleason. He is named after my paternal grandfather and Jen’s maternal grandfather. He was both in August 2006, and he’s got blond hair and bright blue eyes. He’s awesome – he’s toddling all over the place, going from toy to toy to cat to book to mommy to toy to me to…you get the idea.

So TJ in the process of being adopted. We have what is called temporary adoptive custody – we were selected as the adoptive parents, and in six months the whole thing will be final and done. There was some drama around the adoption process, but that’s all done with now and our focus is on TJ and his well-being.

He is adjusting amazingly well – he’s been with us now for 24 hours, and in that time he’s been just great. He hasn’t really demonstrated any of the anxiety we expected, but it’s still very early – I’m sure he’s going to wake up one day from a nap or something and think, “this isn’t where I used to be.” But the fact is that now he is home – and we want to make him as happy and comfortable as we possibly can.

So, for Jen and I this means a complete change of lifestyle. From being dual-income no kid types to a 14-month old and a temporary stay at hom mom (Jen is on leave until February), it’s going to be a real switch. Of course there are toys and books and whatnot everywhere – and it’s pretty darn cool.