November 30, 2009

Books About Open Adoption for Grandparents

DrSpouse asks...
This is completely irrelevant to your post, but I'd really appreciate recommendations on open adoption books for prospective adoptive grandparents - we are working up to telling our (mainly my) parents (mainly my mother!) about our adoption hopes...
I'd love to see an anthology some day specifically about grandparents in open adoptions: reflections from first and adoptive grandparents as well as adoptees writing about their relationships with them. They each have their own unique challenges and opportunities in open adoption--that are different from the ones the parents face--and I believe it would be so valuable for them to find commonalities and possibilities in other grandparents' experiences.

In the meantime, here are my recommendations:

For grandparents--or anyone else--looking to understand more about the whys and whats of open adoption, an excellent primer is Making Room in Our Hearts by Micky Duxbury. Ms Duxbury is an adoptive parent who interviewed a ton of open adoption participants, many more than two decades into the adoptions. It's thorough, grounded, realistic but also decidedly optimistic. I wrote a little more about why I liked it a couple of years ago. If you're scoping out open adoption books, you'll likely see it recommended a lot because it's one of the (a) newest and (b) best currently available.

For extended family members who just can't grasp why open adoption can be a mixed bag of happiness and struggle for first parents ("Why should she be sad? The baby is so happy. And you still let her see him!"), I recommend Birthparent Grief by Brenda Romanchik, a first mom herself and longtime advocate of open and ethical adoption practices. It's a slip of a book, really a booklet or a extended pamphlet. It's written for first parents, but serves as a good window for the rest of us. Think of it as a distillation of the most insightful first parent blogs in your reader. It, as well as the other pocket guides in the series, can be useful for family who are having trouble seeing things from the first parents' perspective. It also gives insight into reasons first parents sometimes back away from contact, which can often be really hard for grandparents--who feel like they would hang the moon for their beloved grandchildren--to understand. Beth has copies of this set and speaks highly of them. Don't be put off by the 1997 vibe on the website. If you mail in the order form and a check, you really will get a book. (There is an excerpt here.)

Finally, we come to the extended family members who are completely convinced that open adoption is the most ridiculous idea in the history of adoption, ever. It pains me to do this, but in those cases I suggest the pink book. It is a crappy piece of outdated propaganda in which adoptees are always children, all the triad members are happy-dappy, and open adoption solves every possible problem. However, propaganda can be useful in extreme situations--like outspoken grandparents who won't shut up about how open adoption will ruin all your lives. The strategy here is to hit them hard with the positives and only the positives. I'm not above targeting the message to bring them into the fold, then fleshing out the nuances and realities after I've got them on our side. It's better than avoiding them for your kid's entire childhood.

There you have my recommendations for grandparents, from the reasonable to the starry-eyed to the belligerent. If anyone has come across some others that have been helpful for the extended family in your world, please do add them in the comments.

(And best wishes to you, DrSpouse, as you gear up for the "we're adopting" conversation! My mom is still embarrassed about what she blurted out five years ago...)

November 26, 2009

We're Thankful for Yellow

This morning we munched on pumpkin cinnamon rolls and created our family thankfulness poster, complete with a little family of hand turkeys. Here is a snapshot of our gratitude today:

  • blanket
  • coaching
  • grandmoms and grandads
  • Thanksgiving
  • Little Church
  • sports on the Internet
  • holidays
  • [local children's museum]
  • stability
  • Mama
  • Sunday afternoons
  • my Lighting cars
  • my teaching job
  • college football
  • Grandma
  • TiVo
  • trains and cars
  • HARP
  • pancakes with my babies
  • Christmas
  • track and field
  • yellow
  • friends
  • books
  • preschool
  • my sister
  • parties
  • fires in the fireplace
  • Rudolph [yes, the reindeer]
  • cinnamon rolls
  • the internet [including all of you!]
  • my daddy
  • blue
  • pop-mmm [no idea what this is--it was a Firefly contribution]
  • family dinners
  • warm fluffy beds
  • weekends away
  • Santa Claus
  • [Big City children's science museum]

Can you tell which ones came from the kids?

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you (even if today is just Thursday where you are)! I am grateful for all the ways you entertain, support, challenge and encourage me. My life would be that much less rich without you.

November 24, 2009

A Little of What's Been Going On Here

Progress continues toward communication with Firefly's paternal grandmother. It looks like we have a date set for a conference call with her early next month. I honestly have no idea what she thinks of us at this point in time, so I'm pretty curious about where the conversation is going to go. I believe she's sincere about wanting a connection with Firefly. We'll start there and see where we end up.

I have been very grateful for the involvement of our former agency social worker in all this, both as a sounding board and an intermediary during these beginning stages. There are topics and comments that are more easily broached by a third party, someone who won't be part of any eventual relationship.

If you're serious about wanting an open adoption, my unsolicited advice is to find an agency that offers strong post-adoption services. Not one that just pays lip service to them on their website (I think every agency claims to offer "lifelong counseling"). But can they give specific examples of support services they've recently provided? Is it common for clients to access the services? What happens when the particular staff members you worked with leave the agency? Your family may never need the help, but if you do it's so helpful to have it. It's hard, because a lot of one's experience with an agency depends on which specific counselors you end up working with. I've met people who had a much different experience with the same agency that has supported us so well. But at least you can figure out if there's a value for nurturing openness over the long haul.

Meanwhile, we've been spending a lot of time talking with one of the kid's birth parents who is facing some crises right now. It's a straightforward situation I suppose, in that no job means no money for the stuff of life. But the reasons behind the no job and the no money are more complicated because people and life are complicated. Poverty is chaotic. Mental illness can be chaotic. Addiction is chaotic. The economy sucketh. So we try to figure out how we can help from a distance in ways that are actually productive in the long-term instead of just continuing a messy loop. Our decisions aren't always what this person wants to hear in the moment. That's okay. But it's not always easy.

I don't know if any of you are even interested in these mundane things. But I think it fits here, in the middle of our ongoing story, because sometimes in our family this is what open adoption looks like. The gauzy happy scenes of shared love are real. But so are these episodes. I don't think of it much in terms of open adoption when it's happening, because it's more just about interacting with the people who in our life. Our children's families. But in a way it is about openness, because if the adoptions were closed up tight in the beginning none of this even be on our radar screen. Not a worthwhile trade-off, in my mind.

November 20, 2009

No Yes Inspiration Obsession

I've seen this meme floating around and it somehow seems just right on this windy Friday...

Saying no to:
  • Feeling grumpy
  • Letting people down
  • Watching burn-out creep in
Saying yes to:
  • Taking the time I need to finish things
  • Being braver. Just a wee bit.
  • Baking as much as I want, without apology
Giddy about:
  • Homemade Thanksgiving pies
  • Firefly's laugh
  • Warm, toasty waffles
Scared of:
  • Not being able to hold all the pieces together
  • All the possible endings for a loved one in crisis
  • Doing the wrong thing
  • The bugs which shall not be named but rhyme with dockpoaches
Deeply inspired by:
  • Beautiful prose
  • Puppy's childish enthusiasm
  • Friends working for justice
Obsessed with:
  • Fledgling family traditions
  • Perfecting my twists
  • Making time to read
In love with:
  • The rituals of Advent
  • Fluffy white clouds of duvet
  • Summer berries tucked away in the freezer
Haunted by:
  • Decisions made too late
  • The week I should have stayed
  • Grudges I held too long
Saved by:
  • Being needed
  • Being loved
  • Being known

November 18, 2009

EnviroMom Meatless Supper Club: Southwestern Corn & Potato Soup

This week we tried a new soup recipe from my beloved uber-healthy vegetarian cookbook. Because when it gets cloudy and windy like it has the last several days, I start craving soup. I was intrigued by this recipe for a Southwestern corn soup that incorporated sweet potato, so I thought we'd give it a whirl.

I've put up a picture's chunky yellow soup. There's no way my meager photography skills could make it look like anything but the subject of my four-year old's potty humor. You'll have to trust me when I say it tasted far better than it looks in the photo.

The results: We liked it! It had enough flavor to be interesting for the adults but not so much that it was overwhelming for the kids. In the recipe's final step, you purée half of the soup, which gave it a nice creamy texture without using any dairy. The lime and cilantro were nice accent flavors. (Hmm, those green garnishes would have made the picture look a bit more appetizing. Why didn't I think of that?) We served it with a tossed salad and chips and salsa, because I take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy chips and salsa. It took about 40 minutes from chopping through cooking, but only about 15 minutes of that was actual work. The rest was just simmering time on the stove.

The verdict: We'll definitely make this one again. I might stir in some black beans along with the corn next time, to add a little extra protein.

This marks the last week of the Meatless Supper Club posts. I've had a great time participating and if you've tried--or improved on--any of the recipes, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks to EnviroMom for organizing this and letting me play along!

November 17, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable #10

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

A note from Heather: I'm thrilled to announce that this round will be hosted (faciliated? edited? curated?) by Thanksgivingmom of I Should Really Be Working. Thanksgivingmom placed her daughter for adoption three years ago this month. Her blog is a gem; she has that rare combination of strong opinions crossed with sensitivity to other adoption plane members. I always enjoy her thoughtful posts about working out her identity as a first mom and what it has been like for her to build an open adoption after the fact (she wasn't involved in choosing her daughter's adoptive mother and didn't meet her until after the placement).

And now I'll turn the floor over to Thanksgivingmom...


This is a topic that is very timely for me (Thanksgivingmom) right now, but is something that all of us in open adoption deal with at least once during the year: birthdays.

I know that birthdays can be an extremely emotional time, for everyone connected to adoption, not just those of us in open adoptions. So what is it that we do, as part of our open adoptions, during the “birthday season”?

Our experiences on this are so diverse, that I don’t want to limit your responses to one specific question. BUT, since some of us (like me!) sometimes like the specific questions, here are a few that have been rattling around in my brain as my daughter’s third birthday approaches:

  • What do you/your family do to integrate open adoption and birthday celebrations?
  • What do you wish you would see in future birthday celebrations re: involvement with your child’s adoptive parents/birth parents?
  • Do you have an open adoption agreement that requires contact on/around birthdays?
  • How does that agreement affect you? Do you wish it were different? Do you wish that you did have an agreement that requires such contact?
  • If you do not have contact around birthdays, do you do something private to honor birthdays?
  • If you’re an adoptee, how were birthdays celebrated in your family with regards to open adoption?
  • How do you wish they would have been celebrated?
  • And anything else you can think of!

Barely Sane (adoptive Mom) @ Infertility Licks writes: "Again, MG is too young to really "get it" just yet but as time goes on, the timing of these gifts will not go unnoticed and I think it will be significant for MG to know she isn't forgotten on that day."

Susie (first Mom) @ Endure for a Night writes: (on attending her placed son's birthday party) "If we can’t make it, I would like to call. Of course, that’s not exactly right; in some ways, I want to not call or go or have any kind of contact. I want to grieve and mope and feel sorry for myself. But since I keep reminding myself that this is a child-centered open adoption, I want to want to do the right thing by Cricket."

Jess (adoptive Mom) @ The Problem with Hope writes: "Birthdays are an extremely special and sentimental thing around here....and I don't think that I'd ever want to "separate" her birthday from her birth family (as if that's even possible!!)."

Debbie (adoptive Mom) @ Always and Forever Family writes: (on birthday/holiday visits as part of an open adoption agreement) "Given that M is the quiet type I'm glad we have that established so that we don't have to wonder about a visit around those times. Sure schedules and distance might be an issue but I know we'll always try to visit around Isabel's birthday and Christmas."

Robyn C (adoptive Mom) @ Adoption Blogs writes: "I always think of S as Jack’s birthday grows near. Every year, I remember how we wouldn’t have Jack if it weren’t for S. We wouldn’t be a family without her. I think about what Jack’s life or our lives might be like and shudder."

You Never "Get Over It" (first Mom) writes: "I have often toyed with the idea of having some kind of ritual for his birthday (preferably one that requires me to stay home and NOT go to work), but I just don’t know WHAT. Nothing really brings me any peace about him being gone. I have yet to find any ritual, any ANTHING that makes my soul less raw, my emotions less fragile on his birthday."

Dawn (adoptive Mom) @ This Woman's Work writes: "To me, Madison’s birthdays are very symbolic of the progression of our open adoption. Caution at the beginning. Trying to figure out boundaries. Pennie’s tentative attempts to create her own celebrations. Then finally a merging of our friends/families and public recognition of Pennie’s presence in our family and her relationship to Madison."

Leigh (first Mom) @ Sturdy Yet Fragile writes: "Her birthday, and the fall season/Thanksgiving bring on mixed emotions for me. In many ways I can get upset if I let myself think too much about our couple short days together and the horrible moment when I had to physically hand her over. But for the last few years, I also looked forward to her birthday, as it meant I would soon be receiving an update and some pictures."

Ginger (first Mom) @ Puzzle Pieces: Adoption writes: "The years I haven''s not that I don't care. It's that their birthdays are hard for me. It's that picking out a birthday card that's suitably neutral and inoffensive is emotionally exhausting for me. It's not simple. Nothing is simple."

Jenna (first Mom) @ The Chronicles of Munchkinland writes: "Birthdays are probably the hardest day of my yearly adoption journey. And yet, at the same time, I welcome them for they mean that my beautiful daughter is another year older. It means that I’ve spent another year getting to know her in various ways. It means that I get to celebrate her presence in my life. I can ignore the general melancholy of the day for the most part if I know that my daughter has remained in my life for yet another year.

Family of Three (adoptive Mom) writes: "Actions speak louder than words, and the fact that FirstMom is setting aside her current challenges to make the effort to be here for Sassy will ring much more clearly than my reminders someday to Sassy that FirstMom does love and care about her."

November 13, 2009


We've had an interesting--and unexpected--series of emails this week. Someone in Firefly's extended family, on her birth dad's side, reached out to us through the adoption agency.

To understand why they were so unexpected, you should know that Kevin chose not to tell anyone in his family about Firefly until over a year after her birth and placement. From the accounts of it that reached us, his disclosure had just the effect he intended: there was an immediate explosion of fury directed at anyone who had anything to do with Firefly's life or adoption. The emotions ricocheted around and around in threats and violent words. It was the only time in this open adoption gig I've ever been remotely afraid for our family's safety. And believe me when I say it took a lot for me to get to that point.

Deep breathing and dark humor go a long way in such situations, I've discovered.

When months went by and it seemed that the words were only words, our guts told us to leave things alone for awhile. Give us all time to turn things over in our minds, give us space from everything that happened last spring.  It certainly didn't seem like they wanted anything to do with us at that point. But after awhile doing nothing felt the same as saying we never wanted anything to do with them. And we didn't see how that would set Firefly up well in the future. So last month we mailed some pictures and a note to Kevin at the last address we had for him. There is no point in having an open door if no one knows it is open.

He must have shared the pictures with his family members, because one of them called our contact at the agency, and she in turn emailed us to see what next steps we'd like to take. Todd and I talked over what we would need to hear at this point to feel good about moving forward. Another phone call, more emails, and it seems those things are now true. So, slowly, we're heading onward.

When I dropped those pictures in the mail, I admit this isn't what I thought would happen next. Maybe down the road, but not now. It's an odd spot to be in, figuring out how to make allowances for things done or said out of understandable anger/grief while still maintaining a certain expectation of common decency. Open adoption doesn't mean being a pushover. But it certainly has me learning to let go of things that probably few outside the open adoption world--and perhaps even inside it--would fault me for hanging onto. But if it means we can push much of this into the past before Firefly is even aware of it all, I believe it will be worth it.

November 11, 2009

EnviroMom Meatless Supper Club: Udon Noodles with Bok Choy

This is Heather's husband, Todd.   She is feeling very ill right now, but not because of these noodles. She woke up last night---well, you don't need any details.   She has commissioned me to post this photo and recipe on her blog. I thought they tasted great. I had three servings and Firefly ate them like crazy. She eats most things well. Puppy was a bit hesitant, but finished his plate. When Heather called them peanut butter noodles he seemed to be more open. As we can not use cheese due to Firefly's milk sensitivity, peanut butter has become a go-to protein source.  

So Heather has been cooking more vegetarian meals for us for dinner. They have all been good and tasty, but I have found myself hankering for a snack around 9:30 p.m. I also have found that I eat a lot for dinner. I wonder if I'm just trying to make up for the lack of meat by eating large portions.

November 08, 2009

Three Beautiful Things #16

Three beautiful things on a November evening...
  1. Children giggling as they lie down to sleep
  2. A tart sweet warm caramel-ly bite of apple crisp
  3. Kind words in my inbox 
What is beautiful in your world today?

November 05, 2009

EnviroMom Meatless Supper Club: Spicy Black Beans & Rice

This has been one of Those Weeks. The kind in which just making it to the dinner table at the end of the day feels like an accomplishment. So any meals hav to be (1) fast and (2) made of ingredients already in our pantry or freezer.

Our trusty black beans and rice recipe fit the bill on both counts. You'd probably never serve it guests--it's too ugly for that. But it's warm, comforting, filling and beyond easy to make. The most complicated step is chopping up an onion.

It's really not that spicy, despite its name. I use a minimum of cayenne pepper to keep it kid-friendly. Upping the rice-to-bean mixture ratio also helps if children complain about it being too spicy. But everyone ate it and was happy this time around. It pairs well with a green salad or even just a bowl of baby carrots. We also sometimes substitute cornbread for the rice, just for a change.

But not this week. I am way too tired to make cornbread right now.

Recipe below, plus more meatless meals at EnviroMom...

November 04, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable #9

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

This round we're going to consider one critique of fully open adoptions. Have you ever heard--or perhaps even made--statements like these?
"We have medical histories and can share the information we have about their birth parents with our children now. If they feel a need to initiate contact with their birth families when they are adults, we will fully support them."
"The decision to have a relationship with her bio family should be hers when she is ready. Creating a relationship between them before she wants it might cause issues in the future."
"Children deserve to have just one family during childhood and not to deal with anything adoption-related until they are more mature. A fully open adoption robs a child of a normal childhood."
These statements are from people participating in closed and semi-open adoptions. I paraphrased them slightly, but left the meanings intact.

The writers share a certain point-of-view: that direct contact during early childhood between birth families and children placed for adoption may not be the best idea. Adopted persons should be free to initiate relationships with their first families--or not--on their own timetable. The parents (first and adoptive) in an adoption shouldn't make such an important and personal decision for them.

What is your response? Do you agree or disagree? Why?


Susiebook (first mom) at Endure for a Night: "Your child can’t create familial relationships on his or her own—by leaving it up to the adoptee, you make a relationship impossible at first and then merely difficult, handicapped by the years spent in the dark."

Ginger (first mom) at Puzzle Pieces: "I think when parents say this, they usually mean something like,'We can't decide if openness is good or bad so we just won't decide now. Instead, we'll push these adult decisions off on a child.'"

Elly (adoptive mom): "I get the feeling that too many a-parents who are fixed on a closed or semi-open adoption are doing it because they aren't comfortable with the child's birthfamily. But his (our son's) birthfamily is his family. I don't want him to be afraid to be curious, or interested. Or surprised. Or try to figure out himself how to 'make contact'."

KatjaMichelle (first mom) at Therapy Is Expensive: "All in all adults are uncomfortable with open adoption because its a foreign concept and if we raise our children to view it as an unusual occurance they will be uncomfortable with it as well. If we raise them to know that differences in families are normal, that they have extended family connects that their friends may not, they can grow up embracing all of who they are."

Leigh (first mom) at Sturdy Yet Fragile: "My initial reaction is that I can't disagree entirely with these statements. I think that they represent a fair argument, which is to say that a child may not be mature enough to fully comprehend such complicated relationships as are present in open adoptions. However, from what I've read from several families participating in fully open adoptions, there seems to be an organic level of understanding, and of love, that takes place for the child, even if he or she does not have the adult words or labels to explain those relationships."

Rachel (adoptive mom) at Henry Street: "I truly have some mixed feelings when it comes to full openness, but I would never dismiss it as bad for the kids. Adoption is complicated, period."

Dawn (adoptive mom) at This Woman's Work: "Well, obviously I disagree. And these kinds of arguments drive me crazy."

Valerie (first mom) at From Another Mother: "At first, I'm not really going to have a choice whether [a hypothetical aunt is] in my life--and I'm probably not going to care. However, it's still my choice whether to have a relationship with her. I still get to decide--whether consciously or un--whether I like her or not. My parents may dictate how often I see her as I grow up, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go out of my way to talk to her or bond with her. It's my choice. And as I get older, the choice becomes more and more my own."

Barely Sane (adoptive mom) at Infertility Licks: "Bonds are formed over time. It will take time for MG's birth family and myself to form a relationship that all parties are comfortable with. We need that time now, while MG is still too young to recognize the awkwardness of it."

Luna (adoptive mom) at Life From Here: "To those who say that contact would be confusing for the child, I fail to see how spending time among family would be any more confusing than trying to understand later why your parents never made that option available, if it was possible."

Shmode (adoptive mom) at Frogged Mind: "I do not look down upon those that have decided against open adoption as it is more than just the best interest of the child at stake. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree, but the adoption itself isn’t solely a single individual’s life experience. There are a mass of people surrounding the child that are affected on a daily basis by his or her presence, so you cannot tell me that a serious decision like this should only consider the needs of the child and the child alone and ignore the persons that will surround him in his daily life for years to come."

Lavender Luz (adoptive mom) at Weebles Wobblog: "We do better to normalize our children's adoption from as early as possible. Our children come to us living in a gap between their biology and their biography. The sooner this schism is addressed and the less spread open the cleft is, the more likely it is to heal well and completely. Integration of the two parts of an adopted child's identity should, in my mind, be the responsibility of the decision-makers (parents) from Day 1 with their new child."

Andy (adoptee/adoptive mom) at Today's the Day!: "Mine was a closed adoption, so this is mostly theoretical. But I would have been PISSED if I had found out as an adult that my parents had either known my first family, knew how to contact them or kept them from me in any way."

Sustainable Families (adoptee): "Taking a quick glance over at open adoption research over at the Adoption Institute, we find that their conclusion seems to be that semi-open adoption is in fact, the hardest. Going on adecdotal evidence, I would agree. Semi-open adoptions and open adoptions with limited contact are, I believe, harder for children and biological parents"

November 02, 2009

Quick Birthday Follow-up

I forgot to tell you we came home one night last week to a message from Ray saying that he wanted to wish Puppy a happy birthday. Just to close the birth parent birthday loop that I thought was closed but was apparently half-dangling.

It was late, so Todd called him back on another evening. Ray and Puppy had one of those five-sentence conversations before Puppy decided he was done, which is so typical of his phone skills right now. Very charmed by the idea of talking on the phone, not so great with the execution.

My reaction was...neutral, I guess? Relieved a call eventually come, but not so much that it erased my disappointment from two weeks ago. All in all it was rather anti-climatic. But, really, my reaction is quite beside the point. What matters is what kind of building blocks Ray is laying down in his relationship with Puppy right now, and this was one of those. Puppy has been planning his fifth and sixth birthdays since pretty much the minute after this year's party ended. So that idea that someone was calling about the birthday that just went by was a little "huh?" for him. But he bounced up the stairs with with a goofy grin when I asked if he wanted to talk to Ray. And surely that is worth something.

November 01, 2009

Obligatory Halloween Post-Mortem

For Halloween, Puppy dressed up as a Holy Crusader and Firefly went as a monkey.

I kid, I kid!

Puppy was a wizard, Firefly was a cat and it was all quite fun. Although Todd tells me the wizard costume would not have flown with his parents during his childhood years. Too evil, apparently. But they actually did dress him as a Crusader one year. The calculus on that one is a little fuzzy for me.

This year was the first time we tried that popular candy swap/fairy/game/bribe thing in which the kid gets a toy in exchange for their candy. Firefly turns into an itchy, miserable mess (or worse) whenever she ingests even a small bit cow's milk right now. That rules out pretty much all Halloween candy involving chocolate or caramel. She didn't give a rip about the candy this year, aside from playing with the crinkly wrappers. But I had visions of future Halloweens with Puppy gloating over his giant haul and her with a sad little pile of Skittles and those awful Smarties (Rockets, for all you Canadians). We thought we'd offer Puppy the choice of trading his stash for a toy, to see if we could get a little pattern going for next year.

I honestly thought it wouldn't work. Who would willingly give up big bag of candy for some little toy? I love me some candy! Especially fun size candy! So tiny and tasty! But Puppy was really excited about the whole idea and woke us up early babbling about the toys that magically appeared in the candy basket overnight. It was like it was Christmas morning. Actually quite fun.

His biggest question was where exactly all the candy had flown off to. I told him his guess was as good as mine.

That may not have been entirely true. (Burp.)
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