Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deep in the Heart of Texas...

This time of year a sea of blue appears across the vast Texas landscape. This is all due to our state flower The Blue Bonnet. If you're a Texan, you have been photographed in a sunny field surrounded by these tiny wispy flowers. If you cross our great state in spring, you will never forget the fields of blue surrounding our expansive highways.

This past weekend Jose and I left our comfortable life as city dwellers for a weekend excursion. Actually, we attended a wedding in the picturesque Texas Hill County. The destination was a few short hours from our home in Houston but worlds away from our day to day existence. The photos are from our little get away.

This weekend we also got a small dose of parenthood. We entertained the flower girl who is a child of a dear friend. Let me begin by saying, kids are very heavy! We had a wonderful time with her despite my arm needing amputation from carrying her. She is a delightful child and it was a wonderful glimpse into what our future holds.

Oh... and most importantly, congratulations to Jessica and John.
You make a beautiful couple!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Book of the week... Our Picks

The Sweetest Fig
Author/Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
First Printing: October 1993

Friday, March 27, 2009

Magic Number?

When we initially began to think through the adoption process we created a lengthy list of questions. The answers were to be gathered from various sources ranging from social workers, pediatricians, online resources and internal reflections. The answers were to be a combination teetered between facts and self-analysis. This part of the process took a lot of effort but has been very beneficial.

One of the reoccurring themes that kept surfacing through the process revolved around age. The questions were geared in different ways but ultimately the looming question at hand was, “Are we too old to adopt?” This was a complex question for us to answer.

Let me begin by saying… we’re both in our early 40’s. Let me loudly state... we are not old! We lead healthy active lives and can run circles around people half our age. We also know many couples much older than us having children. In vitro fertilization and adoption provide ageless possibilities for couples.

The question of age was not about our physical being or vanity but about our child’s future. Is it fair for a child to have older parents? Will we be alive to share all the important mile stones as our child enters their 20's and 30's? Will we be present and able to assist our child as they grow into a self sustaining adult?

Through research we began to realize many adoptive parents begin the adoption process in their 40’s. For these families children have been on hold in an effort to advance careers and further educational desires. For some couples adoption is a last resource when faced with infertility.

When all our statistics were calculated we realized that a magic number does not exist in regards to adoption. The fact is, people of all ages face illness and the possibility of death. The important factors we considered were… committing to loving a child unconditionally, providing for a child and giving 100% of ourselves to the experience.

Jose’ and I walk in faith and hope to be present as our future child matures. We realize that no promises have been made to us or any parent. Ultimately, we acknowledge this is our path in life regardless of our age.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Book of the Week... Our Picks

Josefina Javelina
Author: Susan Lowell
Illustrator: Bruce Mac Pherson
Publisher: Rising Moon Books
First Printing: August 2005

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nursery Lamps

Lamp Shade Face Lift

Project Materials:
Cloth Tape Measure
Lead Pencil
Fine Blade Craft Knife
Ice Pick

Project Tip:
The last two holes need to be 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch apart. This is where the bow will be tied.

Project Directions:
We pulled a couple of matching lamps out of storage for the nursery. The basic linen shades were very blah. They were great lamps in our other home but our nursery needed a little more color and pizazz.

We accomplished this quick makeover by marking equal spaces around the bottom circumference of the lamp. We then cut a tiny X over each of the markings with an fine blade craft knife. To finish, we stuck an ice pick thought the tiny Xs making holes. Finally, we ran medium weight cotton ribbon through the openings and finished with a simple bow. It gave the lamps an entirely different look.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Krafty Korner: New Designs

We are either going to have a baby or are perfecting our skills at designing and manufacturing Haute baby essentials. This is another newly created bib/burp set for our future little one.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Diaper Bag Inserts

This clever organizer transforms any basic tote or messenger bag into a diaper bag. Multiple pockets organize bottles, diapers and baby wipes. Simply place it in your bag of choice. Great for Dads that don't want to carry a traditional diaper bag. The 6 pockets are constructed of fabric over a flexible frame.

Retailer: The Container Store
Actual Size: 26" W x 5" H

Retailer's Website:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Feast of Saint Joseph

This is our personal alter assembled to honor Patron Saint Joseph. Tonight we attend Mass and pray for the intentions closest to our hearts.

Glorious Saint Joseph we raise our hearts and our hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for us from the kind heart of Jesus the help and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare. We ask particularly for the grace of happy deaths and the special favors we now implore. We pray and wait patiently to help a Birth Mother who is in need of assistance. We pray to raise a healthy and happy child that is in need of a home and loving family. Please hear our prayers and assist us in growing our family through adoption.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patron Saint of Fathers

Our Roman Catholic beliefs are very important to us. We rarely write about our religious life as we consider it private and sacred. We are breaking our rule of silence because tomorrow is a very special day. We also thought our readers, who are dads and adoptive parents, might enjoy this post as Joseph is the Patron Saint of Fathers.

Tomorrow, March 19th is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. He is the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-Father to Jesus Christ. Feast tables are prepared, rituals are performed and prayers are spoken in his honor. Joseph is also Patron of The Universal Church, Carpenters and Social Justice. Many adoptive parents ask Saint Joseph to intercede, on their behalf, when praying for guidance and assistance related to matters of adoption.

Prayer to Patron Saint Joseph:
Glorious Saint Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you I raise my heart and my hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind heart of Jesus the help and graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favor I now implore (REQUEST). Oh, guardian of the word incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will graciously be heard before the throne of God. (REQUEST)
O gracious Saint Joseph through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His name hear my prayers and obtain my petition.

Traditional Feast Day Recipe :
Pasta di San Giuse (pasta with breadcrumbs symbolizing sawdust)
1 lb. Cooked Pasta (spaghetti or linguine)
Sauce: 2 TBSP olive oil, 5 cloves chopped garlic, pinch red pepper flakes,2 cups finely chopped fresh fennel, 2 cups crushed tomatoes, 2 TBSP tomato paste, 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil, 4 cans sardines (drained, boneless, skinless)
Heat oil in large pot and saute garlic and pepper flakes. Add fennel, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and basil. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes until fennel is tender. Add sardines and simmer additional three minutes.
Topping: 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 cup fine bread crumbs.
Heat olive oil and add bread crumbs until golden brown.
Pour sauce over pasta, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Krafty Korner: Crib/Changing Pad

Everyone needs pads for their bassinet, crib and changing table. We took 6 basic 18x27 inch quilted waterproof pads and customized them with fabric and bias ribbon. We coordinated the colors with crib bedding and bib/burp sets. This project took little effort and a few dollars to complete.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book of the Week... Our Picks

Katy No-Pocket
Author: Emmy Payne
Illustrator: H. A. Rey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
First Printing: December 1973

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Krafty Korner: Diaper Stacker

This is another little project we completed for our little one. We purchased a Babies-R-Us diaper stacker and returned it after taking detailed measurements. The pattern was cut out of brown paper bags and creative engineering pulled it together. Actually, we were impressed with the results because the construction was more difficult than we originally anticipated. Total cost was $6.00 and the fabric matches our baby bedding. Contact us if you want detailed project instructions.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Making Room for Baby... Kid's Closets

We wanted to design a nursery closet that did not require a master carpenter or spending thousands of dollars. We did not need to reinvent the wheel but needed a few closet accessories. We doubled hanging space with little effort and a $15.00 budget. Keep in mind, this is temporary fix and our child will outgrow this design in a few years. These double hung rods will accommodate 85 infant or toddler outfits. FYI... we added children's wooden hangers from The Container Store for a custom look. http://www.containerstore.com/
The materials needed are below.
Materials and Tools:
1 Wood Dowel/Closet Rod (no longer than three feet)
8 Eye Hooks (medium weight)
6 ft. of Interlocking Chain (medium weight)
Needle Nose Pliers
Wire Cutter (heavy duty)
Carpenter's Level
Project Details:
*Chain Spacing: (Top 3 inches) (Bottom 28 inches)

On another note...
John at Gay Dads in Munchkinland has ask readers to participate in an online research project. He wants to see how far this little fortune cookie can travel. All you have to do is attach it to the bottom of your next blog post. It's that simple! In addition, check out his great blog at: http://gaydadsinmunchkinland.blogspot.com/.

All John asks, if you participate, is to write a comment for tracking purposes. Here are his directions: Put the mouse over the fortune cookie and click save as and it will go into your pictures. When you post to your blog click on the add picture symbol to transpose the image. The fortune cookie should appear in the text screen. The image will initially appear as scrambled letters and numbers. When you click your mouse the picture should pop into view. If anyone has trouble, just let John know.

So let’s see how far this little fortune cookie can go! Copy, paste and watch to See where it ends up. It starts here...GO!

Friday, March 13, 2009

CPR Training

This week we attended CPR certification. This was an instructional session covering adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillators. Next week we cover infant and baby CPR. Our home study social worker suggested we take this educational venue. We just hope we don’t ever need to use it!

We will say that the time it takes to complete is a bit much. We will never get back these 4 hours. Even though, it is great information and just one more thing we can check off on our adoption checklist.
As we say… it’s for the Kid!

The class was really not a big deal but getting registered was the hard part. We called 5 different non-profit and for-profit agencies that offered CPR. Most of them had long wait lists and charged $40.00 to $100.00 per participant. Are these agencies out of their minds? FYI… the agency that was most disorganized was the American Red Cross. After much perseverance we finally found our CPR course provider of choice. The good news is it was completely free. Yes I said… FREE! We can thank the ladies of The Junior League of Houston for providing this free educational venue. If you are unfamiliar with The Junior League take a look at all they provide our city and communities across America.

The Junior League of Houston Inc.
http://www.juniorleaguehouston.org/ .
Founded in 1925, The Junior League of Houston, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.
The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. encompasses 160,000 women in 292 Leagues in four countries who make a difference in their communities every day through their volunteer efforts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Readers,

The purpose of Daddy Times Two is to keep family and friends updated about our adoption journey. We also plan to have a printed copy bound for our future son or daughter. We think it might be a good point of reference when faced with the question, "Where did I come from?" We hope these entries will give our child a better understanding of his or her beginning.

The above statements are true but more has evolved through our writing efforts. We have found the process to be very cathartic. The words have become a mechanism that enables us to release some of the anxiety that comes from being waiting adoptive parents. The act of writing about patience is an exercise that reminds us of this virtue.

We are amazed by the amount of interest our blog has sparked. Over the past month Daddy Times Two has received over 500 Internet hits. Viewers have logged on from 22 states and 14 countries. This astounds us because we are not that interesting. We are touched by the encouraging comments and informational emails received from viewers. We would like to give special thanks to It's Daddies. Plural. http://itsdaddiesplural.blogspot.com/ and Adoption And My Two Daddies http://mytwodaddies.blogspot.com/. Thanks again to all of our readers and for the ongoing support!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun Stuff... Flash Cards

This is one of our favorite sets of alphabet flash cards. The set has wonderful color combinations and playful animated creatures!

Creator: Lisa DeJohn
Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc
Published Date: October 2008

Monday, March 9, 2009

Book of the Week... Our Picks

The Little Poky Puppy
Author: Janette Sebring Lowery
Illustrator: Gustaf Tenggren
Publisher: Random House

First addition printed: 1942

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Life Changes

Five months ago we finished our paperwork, completed our home study and became an active waiting family. That was October 2008 but in actuality April 2008 was when we first met our social worker and decided to adopt. A lot has changed in almost a year. Just for laughs, we thought we would outline some of the major life changes that have occurred since we jumped into the deep end of the pool.

10. Home… We traded our high in the sky urban views for down to earth semi-suburbia.
09. Cars… Our two seat convertible will soon be replaced with a family sedan.
08. Personal Security… Our building's Doorman always greeted us with a smile now our Brinks Alarm just beeps.
07. Housekeepers… Long gone! Lemon Pledge has become a household cleaner and a personal fragrance.
06. Spa Days and Manicures… Our nails look as if beavers have been chewing on them.
05. Dry Cleaning… Hand finished garments and door to door service are no more.
04. Clothes… Handmade Custom Shirts are a thing of the past. Who needs clothes that actually fit!
03. Fine dinning… We don’t even frequent hamburger stands anymore.
02. Travel… These days we walk through The Dollar Store and pretend we are in an exotic market in a far away land.
01. We budget for everything!! Ebenezer Scrooge could not live on our budget.

All of this for our future child!
Will one of us choose to permanently stay at home? Will our child be healthy? Is private school our best option? Who knows what is waiting for us around the corner. Money has never been an issue but a little extra dough never hurts. This is especially true when we don’t know what may be heading our way. The reality is... we don't miss any of the trappings from our old life. We are now happy to simply following the path that will eventually lead us to our expanding family.

The views were beautiful before but
life is a little more breathe taking now that we
are in the process of adopting.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nursery Bedding - Bumper Pad

We decided to use a white Babies-R-Us, Koala Crib Bumper. It was embellished with red bias ribbon for a personalized touch. It's very simple and adds to the overall bedding look. The bumper's total cost including ribbon was $31.05. The best part of this entire project was that we worked on it together and made every piece with care.

We have excess caramel linen fabric that will be used for a diaper stacker and crib sheet protectors. We will splurge on an additonal yard of circus print fabric ($12.00) to embelish these little projects.

Below I have outlined our project buget. The good news is we came in under budget! The bad news is we still need to buy a crib.

$ 75.00 Crib Blanket (Carini)
$ 38.00 Crib Skirt
$ 46.76 Crib Sheets
$ 31.05 Crib Bumper
$190.81 Subtotal
$ 46.76 Visa reward point gift card
$144.05 Subtotal
$ 75.00 Crib Blanket (Carini)
$ 69.05 Total Out of Pocket Expense
$125.00 Original Project Goal (excluding Carinin Blanket)
$ 55.95 Total Saving From Original Project Goal

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Prince

A blog reader recently inquired about the painting that hangs in our nursery. We call him The Prince! He was purchased at a local antique fair soon after we began designing our child's nursery. The painting does not have a historical provenance but it is thought to have been painted in the 1920's. The Prince's Moorish style provokes an exotic influence. At first sight we fell in love with this sweet little oil on canvas.

Originally we had decided to create a nature inspired room with lots of birds. This quickly changed when the The Prince entered our home. His fez covered head gave the room an entirely different feel. The room instantly became an eclectic space with an old world vibe. We are hoping our little one will treasure him.

As for the reader that inquired... thanks for all of the great information and leads that you gave us regarding adoption resources.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book of the Week... Our Picks


Jose' has taught 2nd and 3rd grade for over 15 years. During his career many children's books have passed through our home. Some books are old friends that I fondly remember from my own childhood. Other books are new discoveries that he finds and shares. We always enjoy looking through them and reading aloud during dinners at home. It brightens our evenings as we eat and read the local and national papers filled with heavy rhetoric. This ongoing tradition and our growing children's library have spurred a new blog segment entitled Book of the Week. Look for it on a regular basis. We hope you enjoy our favorites as much as we do!


Written by: Laura Joffe Numeroff
Illustrated by: Felicia Bond

Monday, March 2, 2009

Birth Mothers

Yesterday we attended a fashion show and vendor fair sponsored by our adoption agency. Event proceeds will assist the Birth Parent Educational Fund. This special fund has granted over $50,000 in educational scholarships to Birth Parents that have placed a child through Family to Family Adoptions. Kudos to Jennifer O’Leary, LBSW for putting on a wonderful event!

Let me remind you that I (Brandon) was adopted at birth and as an adult found my Birth Mother. Because of this, supportive services for Birth Mothers are very important to me. With that being said... I have written some of my thoughts below regarding this matter.

Over the years I (Brandon) have worked with many Birth Mothers. I assisted other adult adoptees with searches after my reunion. During this time, I got to know many Birth Mothers and I found their stories to be fascinating.

Open adoptions were unheard of when I was adopted. I was brought up in an era of sealed records and minimal post adoptive services. In those years, Birth Mothers were told to forget about their babies and move forward with new lives. I found this to be tragic because a Birth Mother never stops caring about her child. The Birth Mothers I worked with always asked the same haunting questions, "Is my child alive and was my child loved."

Adoption has come a long way regarding the treatment of Birth Mothers. Still adoption agencies are not all created equal when it comes to this matter. It was important for us to find an adoption agency that could assist with our parenting goals and meet the needs of our potential Birth Mother. We wanted to find an agency that was concerned about our Birth Mother's long term emotional well being.

We feel fortunate to have found an agency that prides itself on caring for Birth Mothers. During pregnancy housing is provided for birth families, transportation is arranged, monetary assistance is given, educational opportunities are offered and licensed counseling is available. Post adoptive services include agency supported scholarships and lifelong emotional support.

My past experiences have given me an unusual perception in regards to my future child's adoption. I have witnessed the loss Birth Mothers experience and personally faced the complexity of being adopted. This is why I am committed to having an adopted family that includes our child's Birth Mother.

Jose and I clearly understand the task that has been given to us as we grow our family through adoption. We know we are not just randomly having a child enter our life but are participating with a Birth Family as a child develops and matures. A Birth Parent is an essential part of a child's life and an important part of our life together as an adoptive family. We look forward to including our child's Birth Parents in our expanding family.