The Bean Family

Adventures of the Little Bean

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Toy Paradise

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We went to a friend’s house over the weekend, and they had rooms of toys.  Or rather, multiple rooms in which you could find toys stored or in the open. Kai took awhile to warm up but by the end of the morning, she was so into the rooms for toys that she asked “Can we come back Sometime?!?!” in quite the plaintive/wistful voice.

It was interesting, then, to have an older relatives come by our place and express that she thought we had a lot of toys – I feel that we have the right amount, not too much to take up too much space, just enough that the kids can make a real mess. It made me wonder how many toys I had as a kid, do kids these days just have more toys? What did I do as a kid? Have things changed so much? Or does our relative misremember how much her daughter had as a child? Hmm.


Written by geeky bean

April 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Puppet vs Pinata

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When we passed by a rack of puppets Kai asked if they were for hitting and if candy would come out of them.  I guess that’s what happens when you grow up in Austin where kids have birthday pinatas…

Written by geeky bean

March 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

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Adoption and Citizenship

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Our second-parent adoption hearing is less than 2 weeks away!  Although I resent the fact that we had to go through the cost and hassle of doing the adoption, I’m looking forward to being one of Kai’s legal parents.  After we get that done, we’re going to apply for Kai’s passport.  Which brings up a question I haven’t been able to wrangle through yet: can I apply for Canadian citizenship on her behalf?  If so, how?  Most of the information on the Canadian immigration site applies more towards resident couples adopting children from other countries, is it possible to adopt as a non-resident citizen?

I figured that if I post this with enough keywords, perhaps somebody with similar questions (and possibly the answer?) would find this post…


  • the Canadian citizen is living in the US
  • the Canadian citizen is not the birth parent, but will be the adoptive parent
  • we don’t intend on residing in Canada anytime soon, is a residency requirement necessary for (adopted) children?

I don’t think it’s absolutely imperative to figure out how to get her Canadian citizenship, but I do think it may come in handy…I’ve asked some friends of mine who are in the same situation, but the only thing we’ve been able to figure out is that it’s complicated.  Sigh.  I hate this – it all seems more complicated than it should be!

Written by geeky bean

May 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Birth Story

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Up until November 13
Mrs Bean had been experiencing contractions every 5-10 minutes for the past week or so. Unfortunately, they’d come in the evening, then go away by morning. At first we hoped for our due date (November 4), then the weekend after the due date, then we started joking about how the baby might come on Friday the 13th…

November 13
8:30am We went to the doctor’s office to get an ultrasound – our midwife requires an ultrasound at 41.5 weeks, to make sure things are okay, and to see how much longer the baby can stay in. The level of amniotic fluid turned out to be, or seem, too low. I write ‘seem’ here because that office’s readings have been off for others. They also weren’t able to hear the baby’s heartbeat all that well, so they hooked Mrs Bean up to a monitor, and listened to the baby’s heartbeat and measured the tenseness of her uterus for about 20 minutes. The baby’s heart was fine, but they said that Mrs Bean’s uterus was ‘irritable’ – during a contraction it was at 100%, and right after, it went down to 2%, but at rest, it was at 30%.
Based on these readings, the doctor advised that the baby needed to come out within the next 24 hours, which sort of freaked us out…we didn’t want to end up in the hospital!

10:00am After we got home, we talked to the midwife (who was actually down the street at the hospital with another client) who got us started on some homeopathic drops and the breastpump – 15 minutes each hour.

11:00am The midwife and her apprentice dropped by. Our midwife stripped Mrs Bean’s membranes (where she used her finger to sweep the amniotic sac free from the uterus near the cervix, which was 1.5cm dilated). She left to go back to the hospital, but her apprentice stayed with us, and helped administer herbs and homeopathic remedies every 15 minutes. We continued with the pump, and we went on a brisk walk (with squats, but not for me, just for Mrs Bean) every hour for about 15 minutes.

I cleared the living room, put down a plastic sheet, got the tub out and inflated it. Then, I took a short trip to the grocery store for castor oil…

12:30pm Castor oil has been consumed! Let the exodus begin! 🙂

3:00pm Our midwife returns. She tells us that the doctor on call at the hospital is only on duty until 7am, at which point a caesarean-happy doctor comes on. So – if we ended up at the hospital, we’d need to get there early enough to be able to deliver by 7am. If we wait, and are having problems at home, we’d end up at the hospital, most likely with a C-section.

So…we talk about having the midwife break Mrs Bean’s waters. She doesn’t generally do this, hasn’t done it since she was an apprentice herself. She’s worried about a cord prolapse, but waiting and not delivering would result in a trip to the hospital anyway, so we go for it. At this point, Mrs Bean is 3cm dilated.

Her waters are clear, but there wasn’t all that much of it – I’d read stories about fluid spewing out, or creating large puddles. There was about 2-3 cups of fluid…I think. It was hard to tell, since I was excited, and also since everything ended up absorbed in the chux pad.

We continued using the breast pump, the herbs/homeopathic stuff got adjusted, and we kept taking walks. We did get some funny looks from drivers whenever Mrs Bean would have a contraction and I’d hold her up. She also got funny looks whenever she did squats along the road.

5:30pm At some point, a friend of ours dropped by with food for everybody. I think it was around 5:30. She’s sort of squeamish, so she didn’t cross the threshold. It was around this time that we stopped walking outside, and Mrs Bean walked around the house, and up and down the stairs. Her contractions also got much stronger, and were about every 2 minutes apart with a short break in between, and she started moaning during each contraction. After some moaning, she mumbled something along the lines of wondering why she ever thought she’d care that people would hear her moan.

7:15pm? I noticed the midwives filling the pool. I didn’t mention it to Mrs Bean. I also noticed that our midwife had changed her clothes, into scrubs and a t-shirt. We continued to hang out on the stairs – we’re the same height, so when she’d have a contraction, she get up on one stair, and lean down onto my shoulders.

8:00pm? After taking a shower, Mrs Bean wandered into the living room, and looked longingly at the tub. She asked if she could get into the tub…why, of course! Getting into the tub was a big relief for her, and that’s when all hell broke loose.

When the midwife checked her, she was 8cm! Mrs Bean had strong strong contractions for awhile while I sat by her head. The midwives also chucked homeopathic pellets into her mouth. I think they were for helping with the feeling of overwhelmed-ness, but I don’t remember.

At some point, the midwife said “I can see the baby’s head”, which is when I climbed into the tub. At about this point, the second midwife came in through the front door and took a seat right next to Mrs Bean’s head. What great timing, eh?

When I first got into the pool, I could see something waving in the water from Mrs Bean’s vagina. I thought at first it was some sort of mucous or tissue, but no – it was the bean’s hair! This is when Mrs Bean started yelling in pain, things along the lines of “Get it out of me!!!”. With each push, the head would peek a little further, two steps forward, one step back. At one point, the baby’s head almost crowned, and Mrs Bean said “I don’t want it to go back in”, and our midwife said “It’s not going back in”…what was really happening was that the baby’s head did go all the way back in. But on the next push, the head crowned, Mrs Bean screamed, and our midwife supported the head with her fingers at the front and back of the vagina.

The head was out! The bean’s head was upside down (of course) and her eyes were closed, but she looked calm. One more moment, and then her whole body was in my hands, I don’t even remember how long it took, or what it looked like. I passed her up to Mrs Bean, who held her close. After a few moments, after the midwives had toweled the Bean down a bit, Mrs Bean said “Let’s find out if it’s a boy or a girl”, and we checked between her legs. “Aw, she’s a girl. I really wanted a girl.”

While we all looked at her, Kai just sat there and looked at us. Blinking calmly. Then she cried, and we decided to get Mrs Bean and the baby to bed. The thing that nobody told us about is the rush after giving birth can make a woman shaky – Mrs Bean thought she was going into shock, but the midwives assured her that what she was feeling was normal.

And there you go. That’s our birth story.

Written by geeky bean

November 22, 2009 at 11:49 pm

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Looking forward to: Why? How come?

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I played in a badminton tournament over the weekend, and one of the players brought his two very cute kids.  His daughter (5, I think) asked some great questions, including:

– why is the 1st place trophy bigger than the 2nd place trophy?  (I told her that it was tradition, that people were used to doing it that way…she pondered that for a bit.)
– how come not everybody gets a trophy? (there were 4 teams, and trophies for the top 2 teams – it was a teeny tournament.  I didn’t get a chance to think of an answer before she was on to her next topic)

I’m know some people find excessive questioning from kids exasperating, but I’m sort of looking forward to it.  I can’t promise I’ll always answer truthfully (heh heh), but I love seeing kids (and adults!) wonder and question, and ponder the answers they get.

Written by geeky bean

July 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

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