Thursday, October 30, 2008

Friday Fill in

1. My favorite food seasoning is garlic.

2. Rob Thomas is music to my ears.

3. Lucky is how I feel about my life.

4. My responsibilites are something I take very seriously.

5. Many people have absolutely no idea what is involved in foster parenting.

6. Tea lights for lighting pumkins was the last thing I bought at the store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to trick or treating with the boys, tomorrow my plans include singing happy birthday on the phone to two nephews and Sunday, I want to nap - is there ever anything else I want to do on a Sunday?

Proposition 8

So I don't live in California, in fact I don't even live in the USA, but at one time I did and it was the US policy on gays and gay marriage that prompted our move to Canada. Don't get me wrong. I like Canada, however, I had a good job, good friends and a good life in the USA where I would still be today if the USA recognised gay couples for the LEGITIMATE unions that they are.
I worked for the State of Utah. I did a GOOD job at the place where I worked. I paid taxes. I should have been entitled to the same rights and privileges that heterosexuals enjoy without a thought. Some of my heterosexual relatives are working to get proposition 8 passed in California. I wonder if they have any idea of the negative impact it will have on hundreds of thousands of lives. I can't imagine that that have ANY clue. Not one of them has ever spoken to me about gay issues and I don't imagine they have spoken to anyone who is affected directly by this proposition.
I am astounded at the political action motivated around stopping people from being married in the USA. I am against Proposition 8. I doubt my opposition means anything to anyone who will be voting on this issue and yet I will still let my voice (small as it may be) be heard.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Manic Monday Meme

Here is my Monday meme, this time courtesy of Popping Bubbles

1. Are your parents married or divorced?They are married
2. Are you a vegetarian?No, but eating meat off a bone is something I cannot stomach. I could be a part vegetarian, what would that be?
3. Do you believe in Heaven?I don't know
4. Have you ever come close to dying?Yup, In a car with my friend Melody after Youth corrections training session
5. What jewelry do you wear 24/7? none
6. Favorite time of day?night time
7. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?I do, I love broccoli
8. Do you wear makeup?nope
9. Ever have plastic surgery?nope, but I'd take a breast reduction if someone offers.
10. Do you color your hair?Um….yes.
11. What do you wear to bed? sheets
12. Have you ever done anything illegal?not that I would admit to
13. Can you roll your tongue?Yes
14. Do you tweeze your eyebrows?I should, but it makes my eyes water too much.
15. What kind of sneakers?white ones
16. Do you believe in abortions? I believe absolutely in every woman’s right to choose what is best for her.
17. What is your hair color?reddish
18. Future child’s name?I think we have all the kids we are going to have - other than the animal kind
19. Do you snore?If I ever slept again, I would snore.
20. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Today I would go to Africa.
21. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? No, real animals.
22. If you won the lottery, what would you do first? Pay off our house and buy a new vehicle.
23. Gold or silver? Silver.
24. Hamburger or hot dog? Generally I like hamburgers, but a hot dog cooked over an open fire is YUM - hence I am not a vegetarian.
25. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Uh.....rice maybe
26. City, beach or country? Since I already have more country than I know what to do with.... beach.
27. What was the last thing you touched? My Dr. Pepper Lip Balm
28. Where did you eat last? Last night I had a cheese and pickled onion sandwich when I got home from work.
29. When’s the last time you cried?Last week, when my mom was in the hospital and I felt too far to be of any good use.
30. Do you read blogs?Yes I do.
31. Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?Uh... i wear jeans and t-shirts and ball caps, so I guess I already do go out dressed like the opposite sex.
32. Ever been involved with the police? Nope
33. What’s your favorite shampoo conditioner and soap?I LOVE the smell of Irish Spring soap but I don't use it. My favorite shampoo is Flex, from the USA, which I cannot get.
34. Do you talk in your sleep?On occasion.
35. Ocean or pool?Ocean
36. Who would you take on a ménage à trois for a dirty weekend?This week I thought I'd like Cally (from Grey's Anatomy) and P!nk.
37. Window seat or aisle?Window
38. Ever met anyone famous?Yah
39. Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life? I think I am working on having one. I have some things to accomplish yet.
40. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?Twirl
41. Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?Oprah, but I haven't watched her for ages.
42. Basketball or Football?Basketball
43. How long do your showers last? I take quick showers, but was just commenting to my spouse that the more tired I am, the harder it is for me to get out of the shower quickly because I am just not thinking clearly enough to get everything done.
44. Automatic or do you drive a stick?Stick.
45. Cake or ice cream?Ice cream
46. Are you self-conscious?Yes
47. Have you ever drank so much you threw up?No
48. Have you ever given money to a beggar?Yes.
49. Have you been in love?Yes.
50. Where do you wish you were? On a vacation
51. Are you wearing socks?Yes, but I don't think they are matching
52. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?Yes, and the ambulance attendant was HOT
53. Can you tango?Nope
54. Last gift you received?A plant from my spouse and my boys.
55. Last sport you played?Is fooseball a sport?
56. Things you spend a lot of money on?Books in the past, but not lately. Lately we spend a lot of money on the boys.
57. Where do you live?In the country.
58. Where were you born? In a hospital
59. Last wedding attended? I think the last one was a reception for my sister.
60. Most hated food(s)? seafood
61. Can you sing? I think so.
62. Last place you went on holiday?The last vacation my spouse and I took was to San Francisco.
63. Favorite regular drink?Dr. Pepper
64. Current fave song? Love Lockdown. Kanye West

The smell of poop

In our home (which is really the bank's home, because we still have 29 years of payments to make), there was an odour. It's not uncommon for my TRAINED dog to leave us a fecal deposit when she decides she doesn't want to squat outside. We have been working very hard to make sure she gets out frequently, she just doesn't WANT to go outside. We live in the country and there are miles an miles of open fields in which she can run and poop, but the basement floor is simply more convenient. I take some solace in the fact that some famous people I have seen on television (the Osbourne's and Tori Spelling) also have dogs which do this to a much greater extent than our dog.

The other day it smelled BAD in our house which is the first indicator to me that Tora has pooped. So I took her to the door to force her outside - a little late I know - and when I opened the door the smell outside EXCEEDED the offending smell inside. Lucky for us, we live near a pig operation and the prevailing winds were from the northwest. We are directly in the path of pig poop odour. THEN, the farmers surrounding us decided that they would apply fresh manure to their fields. WOW. The smell is insane. The cold doesn't kill it and the 70 kmh winds we have had the past week have not dissipated it any quicker. ARG. The thing about this odour which is particularly offensive to me is the fact that I watched a special on PBS where they talked about smells and how a smell is really small particles of substance floating through the air and entering your nostrils. That's pig poop floating on the breeze. Particles of poop entering my nose. There was a time, when smells were so strong I thought it was a good idea to breathe through my mouth instead of my nose, so I didn't smell the grossness in the air. I no longer do that - since the thought of pig poop in my MOUTH is more offensive than pig poop in my nose.

I sure hope we don't have a winter of stink. Poor Tora took the blame (ONCE) for something she didn't do. I just don't know how to keep the outside smell out!

unconscious mutterings

Contemplate :: reflect
In the house :: warm
Classical :: music
Quest :: video games
Best friend :: BFF
1991 :: Long time ago, but some good music
Never will :: never say never (but I'll never eat lobster!)
Fool :: why do fools fall in love?
Unhappy :: pain
Best man :: My brother's and my dad

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fill in

1. Right now, I'm feeling like I want this weekend to be over already.

2. Finished doing room assessments and in my bed is where I want to be.

3. How does one balance work life and home life when there's too much to be done?

4. My list of things to do keeps me on track.

5. Please don't make excuses for not following the residence rules.

6. Playing with my boys fills me with joy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting done at work as EARLY as humanly possible while waiting on people to check out, tomorrow my plans include getting out of dodge and Sunday, I want to relax, but I have to work!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

foster parent appreciation week

Apparently this week is foster parent appreciation week. We heard about it yesterday (Wednesday) when our foster parent support worker (whom has never visited our house) called and left a message saying that we were invited to a "tea" at the Provincial building where cookies and coffee and juice would be served.
I am feeling very appreciated.
It is almost as appreciated as I felt when I got my 5 year service award from my place of employment - in interoffice mail.
It's nice to feel needed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ten on tuesday - ten favorite meals

I think I have actually posted something like this before, but I am happy to do it again. This week the topic on "ten on tuesday" is ten favorite meals.

1. When I was on my mission we would rely on church members for meals. For the most part in my mission this was very successful and we were fed well (we did eat some scary things still). One of the most memorable meals for me was prepared by an Iranian family who fed us Chelou Rice and Tadig. It was SOOOOOOOO yummy. I have never had it since, but one day I will find a way to try and recreate it. It is rice which is cooked with saffron and yogurt and the bottom of the rice makes a crust. It looks something like this:

2. From the Union Grill in Ogden, Spaghetti with browned butter and Mizithra. YUM.

3. From Ogden Pizzeria. Pizza. I have eaten all kinds of pizza from all different places and so far none of them have beaten the pizza from Ogden Pizzeria. My spouse and I would eat here and make plans on napkins. It is a "tradition" of ours to write on restaurant napkins.

4. Also on my mission, we had an appetizer of Artichoke hearts at one meal. (it is not typical to have appetizers for meals, but in one place we did!) I had never had artichoke hearts before and I was a little nervous to eat something that resembled a cactus to me, but I tried it out. Simply eating the artichoke dipped in butter was a great culinary experience.

5. I seem to be on a mission memory lane here, so either I ate good food on my mission and haven't eaten as well since, or as I prefer to think of it, there is a lot of good food in Seattle! We went to a restaurant, whose name I cannot remember but I am sure I could find it if I looked hard enough, and for dessert we had grilled peaches with whipping cream. It isn't something I would have picked off the menu and said "hey - this looks yummy" but the people who took us recommended it and I am glad they did. I would go back just for dessert.
6. My mom has three recipes which I LOVE. The first is Margie's Chicken and Nuts. I happen to really like my mom's cooking and I particularly like it now that i have moved away from home. When mom comes to visit I request these meals.
7. The second is Kedgeree. My mom says there really isn't a recipe for this and I suppose she is right. My spouse makes it and I enjoy it as much when she makes it as when my mom does. Basically it is just broiled haddock over rice. For someone who does not like seafood, I LOVE this dish. (It has been accused of being "bland" which I suppose it is.)
8. The last is one she started making after I left home but which I had in Singapore when I visited them there. It is called "chicken balls" and it is chicken wrapped in pastry with cream cheese, onions etc.
9. While I LOVE eating the tacos my spouse makes (mentioned below), we had a great meal at Diana's in Southern California. I have a bit of a Mexican food obsession.

10. Since moving to Canada my spousal unit and I have missed Mexican food TERRIBLY. We have had friends send us chorizo and corn tortillas in the mail so that we could cook for ourselves. A few years ago we went to San Francisco for my in-laws anniversary and we ate home made Mexican food EVERY day (Interspersed with El Pollo Loco). I was not sick of it at all, even though we had the opportunity to eat elsewhere, we declined in favor of home made tacos.
BONUS: Since I gave a few "home" recipes as favorite meals I am going to add two more. When I was in Singapore my family went to eat at a Thai restaurant and the meal was DIVINE. For dessert we had mango sticky rice and it was something to be remembered for sure. I am also a huge fan of thai fresh spring rolls. FRESH being the operative word. There was a restaurant in Ogden where we could get these and I did - as often as I could - and especially when I could take them to work and eat them in front of my co-workers as obscenely as I could.

25 months

Dear Max,
Wow, I don't know how the time has gotten away from me these past few months but it appears I have missed writing to you twice already. You are now a two year old and have entered this stage with fury. On your second birthday you woke up and promptly climbed out of your crib onto your change table where you got stuck and stood and called us until we came and saved you. I think you must not have liked the experience because (thankfully) you haven't done it again.
With all the time that has passed since I last wrote you would think I have a whole lot to say....
When you get up in the morning you walk with me to the back door when I leave for work. A few times you have been upset that I am leaving and it breaks my heart to close the door and walk away from you. I never thought that would happen to me!
Now that we have another little baby in the house your sensitive side has come shining through. You are so gentle with him and he is captivated by you. He watches everything you do and smiles at you constantly. You pat his back and put his soother in his mouth and are very loving with him. You rock him in his little chair, luckily you haven't yet rocked him OUT of his chair with your enthusiasm. When he arrived your mom got you a baby doll so that you would have your own "baby" to carry around and feed and burp etc. we thought it would help you to have your own baby, but you were completely uninterested in doing anything other than dragging it around by the head. Then when you were in the store with mom you picked up a stuffed tiger and you haven't put it down since. You carry it everywhere, try to feed it, you pat it's back and sleep with it, but it was the beginning of an amusing obsession with stuffed toys. Starting out with tiger you have now added to your menagerie a polar bear, a cat, and a dog. They ALL go everywhere with you and I have to pick them all up out of bed before you will get up in the morning and they all have to go with you in the van and to your naps and around the yard... everywhere. I now avoid walking you past any other stuffed animals because there soon will not be room in your crib for you!
Your mom called me at work the other day to say you had something to show me when I got home from work. When I walked in the door and you came around the corner I thought you had cut your own hair! That wasn't what your mom was talking about - she cut your hair (but I'm still telling people you did it!) - you found a hiding spot under the sink in the bathroom and think it is hilarious to hide under there and open the door and say 'HI!" when someone walks into the room.
I don't know if I mentioned your biting in the last letter I wrote to you. When you get very excited you bite. You don't do it often, and after the bite you gave me on my shoulder I have come to recognise the "bite approach" and avoid it. Poor Tora also recognises the bite approach. She isn't as fast moving as your ninja mommy and so she has been bitten a few times. So far she hasn't bitten you back, she really lets you do anything to her at all (including inspect her teeth and gums) but she is not a fan of the bite approach. I don't blame her.
Now that the weather has changed we have put away the fans in the quonset and relieved ourselves of your fan obsession. Not to be outdone, you now have an electricity obsession (to go with your phone and remote control obsession) and continually turn lights on and off and are drawn to anything which plugs in. We are trying to adapt, but you are hard to outdo! I am afraid I will never find the remotes if I put them in a place you can't think of.
Well bud. I will sign off for now.
I hope I have the strength to deal with you for the next 11 months you are a 2 year old. Be kind to your mommies!
Love mom

unconscious mutterings

Check out more unconscious mutterings participants by linking on the photo:

Magical :: mystery tour
Shrimp :: Bubba Gump
Project Runway :: haven't seen it
Economy :: Killed by George Bush
Porch :: Wrap around
State of affairs :: poor
.com :: Al Gore
Fifty cents :: not enough to buy anything
Ripping :: paper and throwing it all over the floor - as my son and spouse do for fun!
Bull :: Pukky

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday Fill in

1. Follow the rules.
2. My toothbrush is something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must have a goal to start with!
4. I work hard is something I'd like you to know about me.
5. I have a life.
6. According to Monty Pythonand the Holy Grail, witches (and wood) float.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting out of school, tomorrow my plans include Costco and Sunday, I want to nap!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Husband Meme

This is called the Husband meme and I took it from Emerald City Guy. It made me laugh when I saw it because when we came to Canada and had to fill out our marriage licence, I am listed as the "husband". Unfortunately Canadian forms are not changed at the same speed with which the laws are changed, so gay couples have to choose who will be the "husband" and who will be the "wife". I guess that's how many people think of us anyway!

What is her name? Spousal Unit
Who eats more? She drinks more Chocolate Milk and I eat more of everything else.
Who said I love you first? I'm sure it was me.
Who is taller? Moi - no matter how much she WANTS to be taller.
Who drives most when you are together? Actually, when we moved to Canada she couldn't drive so I drove all the time. Now I drive out of habit. She actually LIKES to drive more than me and I like to let her.
Who’s more sensitive? She absolutely is. I lack sensitivity.
Who does the laundry? She does, I try to help out, but don't do as much as I should.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Which is the right side? when we are in bed she is on my left.
Who pays the bills? I do, but just because I have reliable internet access from work.
Who cooks more? She does and I should do more. She is a great cook.
Who is more stubborn? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOhhh. I think we are equally stubborn.
Who is the first to admit they are wrong? She isn't wrong much. I'm wrong more, so I will say I own up to it more?
Who has more siblings? I do.
Who wears the pants? We both do, but I am more comfortable in a skirt than she is. She is the boss but lets me think I am. The pets all respond to her and completely ignore me. I think that says it all.
What do you like to do together? Look at houses, read, watch movies, go to the theater.
Who eats more sweets? I eat more of everything.
Guilty pleasures? A day in bed with good books and some movies. We haven't done this for a LONG time.
How did you meet? We met at work. I was "straight" and I thought she was dating a dude who turned out to be her gay friend.
Who asked whom out first? I held her hand one night, she asked me what it meant and I said I did NOT want a serious relationship. That was 12 years ago.
Who kissed first? I kissed her or it never would have happened.
Who proposed? I think I did.
His best features and qualities? She is very kind hearted. A hard worker and most of all she puts up with me.

6 Random things

My friend Ranavan tagged me on her blog to post 6 random things about myself.

Here are my 6....

1. I sleep with one hand above my head. If I am sleeping in a bed with a headboard I touch the headboard while I sleep. If I am in a bed without a headboard, I touch the wall.

2. I decided this week that my absolute FAVORITE sound is when my son giggles. He has lately started copying my spouse and I and when we laugh, he laughs aswell. It is super cute and funny. He thinks he is in on the joke.

3. I can (often) change my dreams as I am dreaming them. I used to have a recurring dream of falling and hitting the ground and one night I changed the ground into a pool and didn't crash upon impact.

4. I like to make lists. I have all kinds of lists. I like to check things off my lists. If I do something that wasn't on my original list I will add it so I can check it off.

5. I don't think I will ever be the kind of mother my mother was to me. She was/is amazing and I hope I can do for my children just a part of what she did/does for me.

Obviously I cannot count. Thanks Ranavan for pointing out my error and here is number 6!

6. Lately I have craved cheese and pickled onion sandwiches. I have one every night before bed.
My spouse - and the baby - are not fans of me eating pickled onions before bed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten bands that remind me of highschool

1. Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians: What I Am
2. Information Society: What's on your Mind
3. B 52's: Love Shack
4. Roxette: The Look
5. Fine Young Cannibals: She Drives me Crazy
6. Janet Jackson: Miss U Much
7. Def Leppard: Rocket
8. Aerosmith: Love in an Elevator
9. Billy Joel: We didn't Start the Fire
10.Bangles: Eternal Flame

Friday, October 10, 2008

National Coming Out Day

October 11th is National Coming Out Day.

I have no internet access at home, so I won't be posting on the 11th but I think it is an important day and wanted to say something about it.

I have been "out" for a long time. I live in a country where my relationship with my partner is acknowledged as a legitimate one by the government and we are able to be married. We are even able to jointly adopt our son - which we are getting closer and closer to each day.
A LOT has changed for homosexual people in the last decade, but unfortunately not enough.
There is still widespread misunderstanding, and even hatred towards gays and lesbians.

I try to live my life without regrets. When I was in university I was pretty involved with the student association. At one point I seriously considered running for student body president. At the time, I was BARELY acknowledging my own sexuality even though I was dating my now spouse. A lesbian woman at the school had singles me out as being gay and was bound and determined to "out" me. The constant badgering and comments to me compounded my insecurities and I made a decision that I regret and did NOT run for student body president because she was going to use me to advance her political beliefs about gays in the community. There is SO much emotion for individuals who are questioning - or even KNOW that they are gay and have to "come out" to family and friends. It is life changing. It can be devastating. Although I come from a very loving family it has even, sadly, changed the relationships in my life. I am lucky now to have a supportive spouse, supportive friends and some supportive family members.

It is sad that we STILL live in a day and age when being gay is an issue. That Clay Aiken - whom I totally laugh at - has to "make an announcement on a magazine" that he is gay.

I posted about Clay - and someone commented on my post "ha ha ha i was laughing my a** off when I read it on yahoo headlines, I was like what's new! maybe (s)he realized that "she" prefer to be a mommy to "her" son." I was shocked at the response. Being gay has nothing to do with wanting to be the other sex.

This topic for me obviously is close to my heart and I could write about it for ever. I will just leave it at this....

If a loved one comes to you to tell you they are gay, that event is HUGELY significant in their life. Put down what you are doing and give them a hug. It can't be expressed the impact you will make in their life.

Friday Fill In

Check out more participants by clicking on the logo here:

1. One of the best concerts/plays/movies I ever saw that I really didn't think I'd like was Evita. (this one was difficult because if I don't think I will like something I typically don't watch it.)

2. Home made spaghetti is a meal I recently made (or meal I recently ordered) that was delicious! (we don't have a "recipe" for spaghetti but we eat it often. Sometimes it is really great and other times just "ok". I made a GREAT one last month. I wish I knew what I did.)

3. It's time for Canadian Thanksgiving.

4. A full night of sleep is quite refreshing.

5. If I never hear the word homework again, it'll be too soon.

6. To one side of the curving road was a mountainside, and on the other was a sheer drop off.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching tv shows I recorded last night, tomorrow my plans include taking a nap and Sunday, I want to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

wiper warmer

When I was living in the USA I had the opportunity with my spouse to look after a baby girl for one of my professors. we would go in the morning while our friend would teach and her husband was at work and we would look after her newborn.
It was an interesting experience for us, because our friend is a sociologist who has published a lot on the topics of gender and work and she has some very strong opinions which she shared in class. To see the way she lived in comparison to the beliefs she so strongly espoused in the classroom was a topic of mush discussion for my spouse and I, but that's not what i want to post about.
She had a diaper wipe warmer. Oh, I laughed. Who would have a warmer for diaper wipes? I thought it was an example of the extremes people will go to for their children. I thought it was silly.
Ten or more years later and now with children of my own. I would give just about anything for a diaper wipe warmer! In fact, If I can ever find one I will certainly buy it and if any of my friends have kids I will try to find one for them as a baby shower gift. These things ROCK and I have totally changed my mind about how silly they are. I have seen the error of my judgemental ways. Babies should not ever have to experience the numbing chill of frozen wipes. I think the incidences of parents getting urinated on would be reduced of more babies had warm wipes. The shock of cold has something to do with the spurt of pee we are constantly bathed in - I'm sure of it.

gripe water

A few weeks ago I made a comment about gripe water and Janet asked what it was.
I have been meaning to answer her, but I got sick, thought I was better but I got sick again, so I haven't come back to the question.
Gripe water is a "home remedy" for babies with colic or other gastric problems. You can buy it over the counter and you are supposed to give it to babies in a dropper to relieve gas pain. According to Wikipedia it is of questionable reliability. I know gripe water from when my younger siblings were born. I loved to dip my finger into the bottle. I don't think we have ever dispensed it through an eye dropper, we just dip the babies soother into it and then pop the soother into their mouths. Max wasn't such a fan of it, but CJ seems to like it.
It basically has bicarb, dill, and some other things in it. I love the taste of it and always have. it has proven to be something that works for us with CJ -but I am very clumsy in the middle of the night and I have knocked over more bottles than I can count. Watching it spill at 3am can bring a tear to my eye.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten great/not great things about television

I am posting a day late this week, I have been feeling very flu-ish and haven't been online much. I wish I could just go to bed and sleep until I felt 100% but having a whole family of sick people does not make this possible. It would be great if we could ALL just go to bed.

Anyway, I hate missing ten on Tuesday so here in my addition a day late.

1. Great: PVR
Taping shows and being able to search them, forward through commercials etc is awesome.

2. Great: Grey's Anatomy. The writers and the actors of this show are fantastic. sometimes the story lines get a little too "fantastical". I mean how many times can Seattle have natural disasters, ferry crashes, snow storms? Thank goodness that global warming keeps all these disasters happening.

3. Great: Reality shows.
These are in my great and my not great list. I LOVE house hunters and restaurant shows. I will watch survivor every year even though they never seem to have new or different challenges or personalities, I can't get enough of it. I have been a fan of reality television since the very first season of Real World on MTV. Although "reality" is not what I consider to be "real" I have fun watching these shows. I also like watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 (except the beginning where they show her seriously distorted belly),

4. Great: Satellite
I love that I can watch the BBC and other networks that in days of yore I had no access to. Having more than 3 channels to surf through is loverly.

5. Not great: Dr. Phil
When this show first started I enjoyed it, I am certain I have even quoted the good doctor on some occasions. however as years went on I feel the show has deteriorated into a daytime equivalent of Jerry Springer. The people he has on as guests are just there to be made fools of and they are more and more outlandish as time passes. I used to think he was a straight shooter - telling people how it is. He no longer deals with people in the same way. I think getting an invite to be a guest on his show is a set up for public humiliation. He is a bully. A television version of Dr. Laura.

6. Not great. Reality Shows.
Really? The Kardashians, hulk hogan, etc. etc. etc. who cares? I will admit I watched Jessica Simpson when she got married, but I don't think I would watch her again. These shows are a train wreck and while I don't watch any of them I think I have to tune in to Paris's search for a BFF. How funny is that?

7. Not Great: Back in the day we used to have a "season" of television. All the shows would start, they would run, they would end. Now a days you can't ever find what is starting, what is ending, what is being repeated. When the seasons DO start the shows are on for a week and then preempted for presidential debates and other things so you watch one week and then you think you are going crazy when you can't find the show again. This is irksome. (LOL at my use of an unconscious mutterings word).

8. Not Great: Shows that don't run the full hour, or are weirdly timed. I think networks are reacting the whole tivo, PVR, DVR thing because they want to get ratings for their show so they make it a minute longer, or start a minute earlier. This is VERY frustrating to try and watch or search for shows when the timing is messed up.

9. Not great: Shows I love being cancelled. ER, Third Watch, etc. This also goes for Pilot shows which start up in the fall and you watch four episodes and then they totally disappear never to be heard of again.

10. Not great: MTV.
I want my MTV. Show a video already! What happened to the "M" in MTV?

unconscious mutterings

Insight :: dreams
Irksome :: dealing with some people who never change
Maybe :: maybe not
Confirmation :: email
Bib :: drooling child
Stop! :: in the name of love
Lobster :: boiled alive
Boys :: my brothers :) Love them!
Fire away :: go ahead
Give up :: the ghost

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Adoption Frustration

My spouse and I tried for years to have a child of our "own". When we were unsuccessful and we moved to Canada we decided that we would foster children as a way to impact the lives of children locally in a positive light. This process of fostering has been a frustrating one. The children that have come into our home have all made an impact on us and we hope we have made an impact on them. Some of them we have been lucky enough to keep in contact with after they have been removed from our home and others we know nothing about, nor can we "ask" about because of privacy laws.
The politics of fostering is frustrating. The "perception" which others have of foster parents has been an interesting one to encounter and not always positive. I think after having worked within this system for almost five years my spouse and I are ready to be "done" with the process.
We have been blessed through this experience to have our son. We call him "Max" but that is not his legal name.
Max has been with us since he was one month old. We picked him up the day he was released from the hospital and he knows no other family or parents than us. When he was a few months old he became "legally adoptable" and my spouse and I decided to adopt him ourselves. From that moment the process has been EXTREMELY frustrating. The only thing that keeps us "going" is the knowledge that this little dude is WITH us. I have a friend who is adopting from Ethiopia and she and her husband are still waiting to hear that they have a child and can go to pick it up. I am grateful every day that we have Max with us, however the fact that his adoption has not happened and he is now over two years old is increasingly frustrating.
In our "region" of fostering we know of at least three other families who are facing the same opposition as they try to adopt children who have been placed with them on a long term basis. We discovered this week that a family close to us, who has been fostering a child since the child was less than one year old had now had that child (at age 6) removed from their home because of other political reasons. It BLOWS my mind. It absolutely terrifies me. The truth of the matter remains that we are still "ONLY" foster parents. We have loved and cared for and worked towards adopting our boy for over a year and a half, but the reality remains that we are not entitled to him in any way and he COULD be removed from us at any time. It kills me. The system is SOOOO screwed up.
We have done everything we can possibly do and we now wait for social workers and permanency workers and case workers and others to process files and make things happen on our behalf. The reality is that they don't care about "US" and they have no motivation to do anything to move our file forward. On the day that our little man became legally "adoptable" his file needed to be transferred from a social worker to a permanency worker who worked in the SAME office building. It has taken more than 18 months for that transfer to happen. There is no legitimate reason for the file to NOT move.
My partner and I have been so very careful to "keep our mouths shut" simply because if we anger the wrong person we could lose our son. We were completely frustrated at one point and asked to meet with the supervisor to check on the status of our file. We made an appointment. She cancelled. We made another appointment, she postponed it. When we finally met we arrived in the meeting with a list of concerns and we enumerated them to the supervisor. We met with her for close to an hour when it became obvious she was ready to end the meeting. As we concluded she made the comment "well I haven't looked at your file yet so I can't tell you what the status is...." I was shocked and I think I didn't hide my surprise very well. She hadn't even LOOKED at our file? She knew what we were coming to meet about, she knew what our concerns were, she had delayed the meeting repeatedly, and yet she didn't even look at our file.
A few months ago (6), we met with a permanency worker who was transferring our file to another worker who was hired to work in our immediate community. At that meeting we were told that in two weeks the file would be transferred to our town. We waited, and we waited, and we waited. I called the new worker to find the status of our file after three months and she hadn't even seen it yet. She called last week to say she had some good news and some bad news. The good news was the file had arrived in her office. The bad news was she was leaving the office and the file was being transferred BACK OUT of our home community because there is no longer an adoption worker here since she is being transferred. The file now goes BACK to the other community and there is no worker assigned.
I think we are now looking at adoption worker number 6 or number 7.
I have been reluctant to post about this - because I fear some kind of repercussion and the possible loss of our little man. I think that people's fear stops things from ever changing. I know that I have decided to be more vocal in the fight for my family. This is my first "action" but I will keep you posted on other decisions we make and carry out as a family in our quest to permanently "bring Max home".


I spent some time watching the vice presidential debates and I was struck by the communication "STYLE" which Palin adopted. I know that all politicians do it, but Mrs. Palin was blatant in her avoidance of questions.

From the transcript of the vice presidential debate: link here for the full transcript

BIDEN: Number two, with regard to bankruptcy now, Gwen, what we should be doing now -- and Barack Obama and I support it -- we should be allowing bankruptcy courts to be able to re-adjust not just the interest rate you're paying on your mortgage to be able to stay in your home, but be able to adjust the principal that you owe, the principal that you owe.
That would keep people in their homes, actually help banks by keeping it from going under. But John McCain, as I understand it -- I'm not sure of this, but I believe John McCain and the governor don't support that. There are ways to help people now. And there -- ways that we're offering are not being supported by -- by the Bush administration nor do I believe by John McCain and Governor Palin
IFILL: Governor Palin, is that so?
PALIN: That is not so, but because that's just a quick answer, I want to talk about, again, my record on energy versus your ticket's energy ticket, also.

This really struck me - especially as a parent of a two year old. My spouse and I are working very hard with our son to learn proper communication styles. We are emphasizing eye contact and appropriate response to questions. We reiterate with him that he must answer what we ask and acknowledge that he hears and understands our questions.

I am not yet the parent of a teenager, but I have worked with them for years in corrections. I have also been married for over 11 years. None of these things individually make me an "expert" in communication, but I know a thing or two about what makes for successful conversation.
If I were ever to have answered my parents questions in the way that Palin did, or talk to my spouse (or have my spouse talk to me) in the way that she did, we would have some severe relationship problems.

What I don't understand is how we accept this behavior from someone who is nominated to be the US vice president when we wouldn't tolerate the behavior in our children or our spouses - and can you imagine if we went to work and responded to our bosses in the way Palin responded to questions? There would be a heck of a lot of unemployed people. Why do republicans continue to defend her nomination?


I had to come to the city for work. I tried to get out of it. I really tried. While I don't mind being in the city, in fact I love visiting the city, however, the reason we needed to be here in my opinion was not necessary. I am feeling sick AND I had class this weekend. For me missing class is a big deal. I miss an incredible amount when I miss two classes. We only meet five times totally, and so missing one whole session can really impact me.

One thing I LOVE about coming into the city is getting to see my family. Yesterday I went across to the mall and met my brother for lunch. He is so cute and I love spending time with him. Tonight after we were done I was able to drive out to his house and see his wife and kids. I love my niece and nephew. I took them each a t-shirt which they put on immediately. I was actually surprised that I got the sizes right! My nephew put on his tae kwon do Gi for me to see him in and then took me into his room and "read" me a book. He is so smart, he has basically memorised the book and all he has to do is look at the pictures on the next page and he knows what comes next. My niece showed me her room and she let me help her put her pants on, push her on her bike, and read the notes her mom wrote for them this morning (over and over and over again -LOL!) We didn't have a lot of time to visit, we had supper and played outside for a few minutes so I love it that even my little niece did not "play strange" with me. They have piles of leaves in the yard which we buried ourselves in and I watched them ride their bikes.

I hate living so far from them because I love being a part of their lives and we only see them once a year - if we are lucky. At least we now live in the same province, so they do know who we are. Next summer we are planning on going to the lake with them for four days (renting cabins). It will be the first time that we have rented a cabin ever, and the first time we have taken a joint vacation. I am certain it will be a success and I hope it becomes a tradition for us. It was great to see them, but I am very excited to get home and see MY boys.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. October is the best month of the year because it is my birthday month AND Halloween!
2. Horror movies scare me!
3. Leaves are falling all around, it's Gonna be a long day of raking.
4. My favorite horror movie is none because they scare me too much so I dont watch them.
5. Halloween in Singapore when I was a bunch of grapes = good memories.
6. It was a dark and stormy night when I accidentally left the puppies on the doorstep because I didn't know they were outside. .
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping in my super deluxe hotel room, tomorrow my plans include working at the open house and Sunday, I want to get back to my family!