Sunday, January 31, 2010

letter to Max - 40 months

Dear Max,
Wowza boyo, you are FOURTY months old already? Where did the time go?
I am constantly amazed at how tall you are and still you are my number one baby boy. You have been saying words like crazy and yesterday as you are I were hanging out together in the living room while mom and C-note tried to nap you never stopped talking! It means more to me now since you are actually saying words, and you are quite the character.
Last night after you climbed out of bed for the fiftieth time and snuck downstairs I went to find you. I thought you were in the living room but when I looked in I didn't see you right away. When I came back and turned on the light I noticed you were hiding under the blanket. I asked "Where's Max?" to which you replied 'GONE!"
If we can just get this sleep thing figured out we will be so happy - and so will you. Last night you were up from just after 10 pm until after 4:30 this morning. Of course you kept everyone in the house awake and I'm sorry, it doesn't matter HOW cute you are we are exhausted!
I finally decided to lock Helios out from upstairs since the two of you were unitedly keeping everyone else awake. Helios doesn't care because he is a cat and he sleeps all day and you are his partner in crime for sure.
You had an awesome Christmas with your cousins and you laughed and played until you dropped. It was great to see. I just can't believe how big you are.
I love you so much.
Rest your head, close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.
Love mama

letter to c-note - 18 months

Dear C-Note,

I can't believe you are already 18 months old. You are walking and jabbering up a storm and your laughter makes me smile every time I hear it.
Your mom and I have been noticing that you are already starting to act a little bit like a two year old - you are practising throwing tantrums which we are currently finding cute, I hope we still feel that way a year from now!
It has been a bit of a blessing that we have been teaching your older brother sign language because you have picked it up well. You also adapt the signs to suit yourself (same as your brother) and when you are hungry you pat your cheeks with your index fingers. It is as cute as you are! This last week when we were getting ready to leave the house you and Max were dancing and jumping. You are too little to get both your feet off the ground but you crouch real low and then pop up and lift one leg off the ground. I could watch you play for hours.
You scared us a little with your eye exam this month, but it turns out you moved your head and made a blur on the picture. The black spot turned out to be nothing but we worried about you for the few days it took to get in and get new pictures taken. The eye doctor decided you had good hand-eye coordination when you grabbed the tool out of his hand as he was trying to look in your eyeball!
You have decided you don't like your car seat and I can't say I blame you. I don't know who decided to make car seats out of rigid plastic. The fact that we are in the car for long stretches of time when we ever DO go anywhere doesn't make it any easier. Thankfully you are mostly a happy go lucky guy and once you are in the seat you settle down right away - unlike Max!
You are still my little snuggler. Last night after your bath you were so tired you fell asleep in mom's lap while I was getting Max out of the tub. I love holding you so much and I am glad that you like to snuggle even though you are getting older. I take every chance I can get to hold you and I am happy that you like it also.
Rest your head, close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.
I love you,

Thursday, January 28, 2010

parenting alone

I have been a believer always that people who parent alone are amazing. I find it difficult to manage parenting even with a partner because I lack all the skills that seem to make parents "good" at what they do.
Don't get me wrong. I can change a diaper, bath a kid, feed a kid, sometimes dress a kid (depends on the kid) and I am AWESOME at playing with a kid. I just can't seem to do it all in a manner that fits into the time schedule of the rest of the world. It seems as though as soon as I try to get the kids out the door that all my skills evaporate. I cannot get anywhere on time (and that is something that causes me IMMENSE amounts of stress).
So, my spouse has to leave for seven days next month. It will be the longest we have been apart in six years since we were reunited in Canada when we moved from the states. It will be the longest she has been away from the kids and the longest i have looked after them alone. She asked me the other day if I could handle it and of course I CAN, but that didn't stop me from laying awake all night last night wondering how in the world I am going to manage!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

time keeps on slipping...

How is it possible that the time keeps slipping away?

The last few days we have spent most of our time in the van, driving to and from medical appointments for the boys. There was a few days there where I could barely think straight with all of the things happening on the adoption front and then we got hit with appointments and all we could do was focus on them. In a way I am glad of the distraction. I think I would have gone insane if I had spent any more time on obsessing about things beyond my control.

Which brings us to today...

The boys are healthy. The surgery for Maxies ears has made a SIGNIFICANT improvement in his hearing. The black spot in Ceegers eye was just a smudge from the little dude moving his head and NOT a tumor!

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Friday, January 15, 2010


It seems as though there is a lot being written about perspective on the few other blogs I read with regularity. The perspective that comes when something devastating happens - like the earthquake in Haiti. Without a doubt, when tragedy strikes it does something to perspective.

My perspective in life has taken a dramatic shift since Wednesday. Events in our home have shaken me to the core and they seem to be completely beyond our control. The stress we feel has been picked up on by our oldest little man and it was evident last night he was stressed out and didn't know what to do with himself.

So here we go on this journey. Trying to figure out how to deal day to day, trying to minimize the impact of our stress on the lives of our little guys, and looking at the world though a new set of eyes. The things in my world that caused me stress on Monday are laughable today. Our journey has taken an abrupt and significant shift in focus and we need to regroup, set a course, and move forward.

We would give anything for a handbook on what to do. In the meantime we will spend every ounce of our energy to loving our boys.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

fighting flu and giving up....

Shel and I have both been fighting the flu for about a week now. The boys have both had a cough and runny noses. The adults in the family, for once, were doing pretty well at keeping the illness at bay. Then we had a meeting with fostercare and adoption workers. Our house was descended upon by three workers, 45 minutes late (I don't think they have ever been on time).
We went through concurrent plans, rates assessments, signed papers of all kinds and then they dropped the BOMB.
The adoptions have been put on hold AGAIN. We have a new worker AGAIN. And best of all - they will not guarantee that we will be able to adopt the boys we have had in our homes since their births.
Needless to say. We are devastated and my body just decided to give up the fight against the flu. I am now sick as a dog. I have literally no voice - which reflects well how I feel in real life. I need to gather my thoughts, get healthy, and start fighting for my family.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 of 12: January

Chad Darnell (check out his website HERE) hosts 12 of 12. 12 photos taken on the 12th of each month. I love it, and though I have never met Chad, I think he is a genius for thinking of the idea. THANKS CHAD!

Here are my 12 (admittedly more boring than those of other people who participate).....

1. 7am

The boys were up early and came into the bedroom to hang out with us. Everyone (pets, kids and dog) were all present and sharing in the love.

2. 9am.

I am in one of the conference/classrooms waiting for a leadership meeting to begin. The bus has not yet arrived with staff from our other campus. Here is the morning spread. I have no idea why these photos are coming out yellow. I am camera challenged.

3. Noon.

We are having a "working" lunch. I have eaten my sandwhich and I am about to start on my broccoli soup. Our cafeteria makes the most SCRUMPTIOUS soup.

4. 3pm.

Conference room cleared. One person forgot her purse and then the bus left and forgot one of the people. I laughed. we managed to track someone down to return and pick her up. Turns out they DID do a head count, but someone took the bus in the afternoon that didn't take the bus int he morning so they thought they had everyone.

5. 3:30pm Leaving the administration building and heading back to my office. It's getting cold again.

6. 4pm.

What happens to my desk when I am away for the day. HA HA! This is what my desk ALWAYS looks like and something I aim to remedy this year before I drive myself insane.

7. 5pm.

Waiting outside for my spouse to arrive and take me home. We are working with one vehicle currently and it is a hassle. It is still getting dark early and the roads are slippery with fog and freezing rain.

8. 6:30pm

Just got home and the boys got to open the gifts send from Aunty Jill in Texas. Max got maracas and is already making lovely music.

9. 7pm.

Ed is showing Max how to fix a hole. The door came right out of the wall and pulled the screws along with it. I thought I was going to have to move the hinges and all KINDS of fancy things, but our friend and carpenter showed up with glue and toothpicks and saved the day. AWESOME trick!

10. 7:15pm

Still watching the magic taking place. Max is holding his maracas he just got from his aunt.

11. 7:30

That door would have taken mom a LOT longer to hang than 15 minutes from start to finish. Ed is wrapping the cord and Max is fascinated. I think he wants to show Ed a better way! He is an expert on cords you know.

12. 8:30pm

Took Ed home and took a picture of my favorite tree. It's a Mountain Ash and usually has really red berries. The Bohemian Waxwings have been here already and eaten them all. Hopefully we will plant some in our yard this year so we can enjoy them at home also. I need to get a better picture of the Hoar Frost.

Monday, January 11, 2010

the panic train left the station

Panic time over. I found a hard copy of my thesis proposal with all the comments from my advisor for revision. I can now start working on the proposal revision. YAY!
I am HUGELY relieved as I was NOT enthusiastic at all about having to start from scratch and I couldn't for the life of me find the copies I made and stored in three places as I was advised to do. I know for darn sure that when I type it out again there will be MANY copies stored in MANY places and I will keep a list of where they all are.

We spent the majority of the weekend reading and then Sunday we did a bang up job of cleaning the house and rearranging bedrooms etc. Max and I worked on putting his bed together. I left the step that was listed as #1 to the end because I thought I could work more easily in a small space by moving that step to the end. As it turns out I can't skip that step and the toddler bed is now sitting "half" constructed as I have to strip everything back to step one and start over.

We picked the boys up from the babysitter Sunday night and Max has a shiner. Apparently he was running a little too fast and skidded into something head first. He is so cute! When I picked him up from school today his teacher said she cannot believe how much he grew over Christmas. He really did. With his cousin int he house he started talking like mad and he is saying all kinds of new words. We couldn't find his mitts today and asked him where they were. He said "up high". They were on the top shelf of the boot rack in the change room - up high!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I've lost my thesis

ai ai ai ai ai
I cant find my thesis!
This is not good people. I know I need to keep copies of it in three places but I can't find it ANYWHERE. That means I have to start over completely and let's face it, I have absolutely NO motivation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Have you ever overheard someone talking and they were talking about you?

Before Christmas I was having a conversation with friends about what paranormal skills we would like to have. R said she would like to know what other people were thinking. I have to be honest and say this is NOT a skill I would like to have. Sure, I care (sometimes) about what others think of me. Sometimes I care too much. Sometimes I care too little. Generally I care too much about what people who mean little in my life think, and care too little what the important people in my life think. It's something I have to find balance in.

I think if I had any ability it would be to travel through time and space. There are innumerable times and places I would visit again if I had the chance.

What would you want?

adding to my list of 99

We met with the foster care support worker today and there are some things we need to do for that so I am adding them to this list - because why not kill two lists with one?

9. Get an updated criminal record check
10. Get a carbon monoxide detector for the house.
11. Fence the dugout.
12. Renew my first aid.

Then, we picked up the mail and there were reminded of something we have wanted to do as a couple, so I am adding those to my list also...

13. Find our marriage license.
14. Change our last names - to a blended last name.

and since I am working on it....

15. Come up with a list of 99 things to do!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

lists verses resolutions

I don't know how I feel about resolutions. I like the idea of them but they seem to be things that people set out to do at the beginning of the year that fade into memory and just become things that people regret NOT having done by the end of the year. I don't formally set any kind of new years resolution myself, but I have done, and I may get excited about the idea at some later point in my life.
I do that... change my mind.
What I enjoy however, really, really, REALLY,enjoy, is making lists of things to do and checking things off that list. One of the blogs I follow, poppingbubbles, posted a list of 99 things to accomplish on her blog and then updated the list at the end of the year with the things she had accomplished. I like the idea LOTS. (You can link to it HERE).
So I have decided that I am going to do the same. I am going to make a list of 99 things I want to accomplish this year and I will keep you updated.
Here is the beginning of my list:

1. Sort through the box in my bedroom closet that I have moved to two different households without sorting through.
2. Write monthly letters to my sons. ( I am thinking this should actually count as 24 "things to do" and not one. Depending on how much I get accomplished I may change this later!)
3. Start my thesis.
4. Finish my thesis.
5. Participate in Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 every month.
6. Go to a movie, in a theater, with my spouse.
7. Clean out the bathroom cupboard.
8. Do at least ONE cross stitch project.

91 to go!

Monday, January 4, 2010

What you can learn about me from farmville

My spouse had a friend who passed away tragically a few years ago. By profession he was a therapist. Unfortunately I have only ever heard stories about him because although I did meet him, he did not like me. (I know, how shocking!) One of the things I know about him is that as a part of his work as a therapist he did some art therapy and interpretations of family dynamics from the way in which people drew their homes. (My spouse will have to correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure this was part of his therapy "tool kit").

I am fascinated by the idea that it is possible to tell something about someone just from what they choose to draw and it is something that I contemplate every now and then. What would my drawing say about me?

In the meantime, I don't draw lots, but I play games on facebook, and one of the games I enjoy is "farmville". One of the options you have is to go to the farms that your friends who are also playing the game have linked to yours and you can "help" on their farm for points. I love checking out the farms of other people and trying to match what I know of their personalities with the layout of their farms. This got me thinking.

My farm and my spouses farm are very REAL representations of how we live our lives, and how different we are. My spouse works hard on her farm to make it beautiful. She commented the other day on how she likes to visit her farm because it is a place she would like to be, a place she would like to create for herself in the real world. In real life my spouse is the kind of person who enjoys the journey. I am much more focused on "the destination". My farm is sparse and serves only a FUNCTIONAL purpose. I want to "move forward". I want to maximize my potential. I want to make the most and progress the fastest so that when I am "finished" attaining all the levels that are possible I can make my farm into a place I want to "be".

I don't like it necessarily, but I like working on it. I like calculating which crops to plant and where, how often to harvest, plant and plow. I have had a lot of fun in the last few days comparing farms and wondering if I change the way I farm if it will change the way I live.
I thought about my spouses friend and how fun it would be to analyze drawings. If I can extrapolate this much from a video game how much could I get from something handmade?

This morning on the way to work and daycare my son dropped something on the floor of the van. It was something that he didn't "need" but which would have made his journey into town more enjoyable. When I stopped at the top of the road I put the car in park, I got out, I retrieved his item before proceeding. As I got back in to the drivers seat I gave myself a little pat on the back for taking a moment away from my focus on destination to improve the journey.
It was a teeny thing - and admittedly I waited until I got to the stop sign before getting out - but it made me smile and it made him happy. I think I'll go "plant a tree" on my farmville farm... then again, that might be a little too drastic for me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grocery Carts

I think Grocery stores should invest more money on keeping their carts in working order.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to manhandle a grocery cart - especially when it is full of food.

We have these things at the grocery stores where you have to put in a quarter or a loonie in order to get your cart, and then put it back to get your money back. I know the stores do it so that carts aren't left all over the place - or taken away, but it is seriously a pain when you have to dig through the wallet to get change (not all stores use the same denomination so sometimes you get to the line of carts with a loonie and what you really needed was a quarter..) then once you get your cart it is a piece of trash.

I know the stores don't make money from grocery carts and it is a service provided for convenience. I just think if you are going to provide something that is supposed to be convenient then please MAKE it convenient! Trying to push a cart through the store with a child in it, and then full of groceries should only have to take ONE person to steer, not one person pushing and one person pulling and having to request total strangers help in turning down the aisle because you can't get the sucker to turn... and don't get me started on stores with aisles that don't fit one cart, let alone a cart going in each direction!

Loud living room

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I don't care what you say, orange is NOT a Christmas color!

When we moved from the states over six years ago we brought with us some Christmas lights which we got on an after Christmas sale at a GREAT price. They have lasted us a number of years now and I am certain they would have lasted longer except for the fact that my son is ADDICTED to lights and anything electric. Last year he was so obsessed with the lights on the tree that we took the tree down early just because we could not keep him away and it was no longer fun for either him OR us.
As a result of his "light obsession" he somehow found the lights where they were stored on the Quonset over the summer, and destroyed them dragging them around the yard. At the time I figured it was no big deal. The string cost us all of a few dollars and we had many good years of use out of them. Christmas lights seem to be a dime a dozen and I have always seen them on sale virtually EVERYWHERE when the Christmas stuff comes out in the stores. I just figured we would get a new string when it was closer to decorate the tree this year.
Well....unfortunately I have run in to somewhat of a dilemma. Somehow the colors that are "fashionable" for Christmas trees have changed in the last six years. I LOVED the multi colored strings of lights we had for our tree and I searched EVERYWHERE and could not find anything remotely similar. I could get strings of individual colors - but I don't like those for our tree. We like multi colored lights for our tree and that is what I searched for. I have now even searched through every after Christmas sale I can find and I CANNOT for the life of me find what it is that I am looking for. EVERY string of lights is this horrible, fluorescent, orange tinged, nasty, atrocity. ORANGE IS NOT A CHRISTMAS COLOR! When did it come into style? What happened to good old fashioned white, yellow, red, green , blue, I don't even mind pink or purple in the mix. I just want to know who it is that decides when something is no longer in style and when everything has to be changed. What if I still had my old string of lights and just needed to change a bulb? It would have been impossible this year to find something compatible with what I already had. As I packed away the Christmas tree tonight I pondered even keeping the lights because I loathed them so much. But who knows what my options will be next year?

Friday, January 1, 2010

starting out the new year with clean hair...

2010.. Wow.

I can't say I am sad at all to see the end of 2009. What a rough year that was.

I started out the new year with a shower - this is significant because we have had a house FULL of people for a week and with only one bathroom in the house I don't feel as though I saw much of it.

We had a wonderful break with my brother and his family joining us from out of town. It was awesome to have the week off from work and I don't think there is anything better than spending the holidays with family - especially LITTLE kids at Christmas.

If I had to sum it up in one word I would say 'LOUD'! We had five kids in the house - all under the age of four, and then we added a two year old and a six year old for two days. We ate a LOT of food - do you know how many loaves of bread it takes to make 13 people sandwiches for lunch?!

I got an awesome little video camera at Christmas and I need to upload some more videos so you can get a better idea of what the whole fiasco was like. I wouldn't trade it for the world (my family and the noise, not the video camera!) - I just wish more of the kids slept at the same time and for longer periods of time. My nephew fell asleep at the dinner table one night which was very cute, but I needed to eat more than I needed to sleep. Of course when it was time for bed he had just woken up from a nice little nap and he was rearing to go again.

But now they are all gone. I have had a shower and something to eat without sharing it seven different ways. It sure feels good to be clean, but I am sad and missing my loved ones.