Tuesday, April 27, 2010

this whole adoption "thing"

One of the reasons I wanted to blog was to write about the process of adoption and the journey for our family.
What I learned rapidly was that we have pretty much given up a whole lot of control and that blogging as we go through the process is not something we are able to do for all different legal reasons. I cannot WAIT until the journey has come to a close and I can speak freely about what we have gone through. Yesterday we heard (again) that we may be complete in 2-6 months on one (or both) of the adoptions. It seems like we have been hearing that since March of 2007. Lets hope this time it is true and we can get on with our lives!

Monday, April 19, 2010

updated list of things to do...

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. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
8. Do at least ONE cross stitch project.
9. Get an updated criminal record check (COMPLETED APRIL 2010)
10. Get a carbon monoxide detector for the house. (THIS IS COMPLETE! January 2010)
11. Fence the dugout.
12. Renew my first aid.
13. Find our marriage license. (didn't find it - so I ordered a new one! APRIL 2010)
14. Change our last names - to a blended last name. (COMPLETE MAY 2010)
15. Send my spouse to see her dad in the USA. (COMPLETE FEBRUARY 2010)
16. Get haircuts for the boys.
17. Take family photos.
18. Finish my stats class.

19. Work on my mom's 60th birthday present BEFORE her birthday! (Unfortunately this was not complete in time to send to mom on her birthday..... FAIL)
20. Get the carpet up off the staircase - remove the staples from the steps. (COMPLETE MARCH 2010!)
21. Get the hallway painted.
22. Lay new carpet on the staircase.
23. Make myself a bookmark.
24. Replace Shels' cell phone (COMPLETE. FEBRUARY 2010)
25. Cancel the contract on my cell phone. (COMPLETE. February 2010)

26. Put up Maxie's toddler bed. (COMPLETE. APRIL 2010)
27. Change the furnace filter. (COMPLETE. January 2010)
28. Hang hooks in the bathroom. (COMPLETE. January 2010)
29. Put together the smart shopper cards from IGA. (COMPLETE. February 2010)
30. Sort the tools.
31. Work on the boy's baby books.

32. Get an electrician quote on the house. (COMPETED MARCH 2010)
33. Hand in all the paperwork for fostercare BEFORE March 31.(COMPLETE March 2010)

34. Take all the furniture from the old guest house to the dump.
35. Get tinkey winkey fixed (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
36. Teach Max to ride a bike.
37. Box up all the clothes too small for the boys and donate them.
38. Go camping with the family.
39. Take a family picture at Lake Louise.
40. Get a Christmas gift to my parents BEFORE Christmas!
41. Send out a family letter before December 31 2010.
42. Get a dutch oven.
43. Cook a dutch oven meal!
44. Stain the deck.
45. Get a haircut. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010) for me and Shel!
46. Submit receipts by March 31. (COMPLETE March 2010)
47. Order Checks. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
48. Update my criminal record check and hand it in (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
49. Get an electrician to the house to start on rewiring (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
50. Pay my taxes. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)

51. Put the new windshielf wipers on the van. (COMPLETE APRIL 2010)
52. Get a brush for Zuva and brush her. (STARTED APRIL 2010)
53. Prune. (STARTED APRIL 2010)
54. Fix the lamp from Homa.
55. Finish painting the barn.
56. Rototill the garden spot.
57. Take the lawnmowers in for repair.
58. Get Shel a new pair of glasses.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My sons are not really "into" watching television. There is nothing I would love more than laying on the couch with my boys on a Saturday morning watching cartoons, Or on a rainy day watching a Disney movie. But they won't. Their attention for television lasts all of 30 seconds and then they are up and at em. not really my "style" unfortunately for me!
What we CAN Do with them is have them sit in our laps for short periods of "snuggle time" and so part of our "wind down" ritual for the night is to bath, get pajamas on and then sit in mom's lap with a drink and watch 30 minutes of something like "in the night garden". The only problem I have with this is that In the Night garden do not make new shows on a daily basis so I have pretty much seen all the garden has to offer. My spouse can block out the show and she thinks of other things while the boys sit on her lap. The same does not work for me so I am intimate in ways I never knew possible with iggle piggle, the tombileboos, makka pakka, daisy doo and other night garden characters.

To mix it up for myself a little I thought if we watched some other shows it would give me some variety in my viewing and so we have been "experimenting" with other shows to watch at bedtime. What we have discovered is that there are "types" of shows good for bedtime viewing and others that are not. Some of the ones that are NOT are "The Wiggles", "Yo Gabba Gabba" or "Roary the Racing Car". The tempo of these shows is too much and the boys get over stimulated and not calmed. One of the shows they LIKE to watch is "Thomas the Tank Engine".

I am not a fan of Thomas and friends.

Let me just segue here to my own growing up experience. When I was growing up one of the things we lived to do at lunchtime was watch the Flintstones. My mom curtailed our flintstone pleasure because she said my little brother (love you Raisin Bran Man!) would "talk like Fred" and Fred was not nice to his wife or to his friend Barney. Now I was not savvy enough to see this myself at the time and I thought it was a lame reason not to watch the show. Wow does having kids ever change your opinion of life and the things your parents did when you were a child!

So Thomas the tank engine. I think the message is an "ok" one - you need your friends to help you out in life - but it takes the full length of the show to get to that point - the point of needing people - and in the meantime the engines are not nice to one another, they are mean and they don't share. My kids can't follow the show long enough to "get" the message. All they see is the engines wanting to do everything for themselves to disastrous conclusions and then getting bailed out even though they were rude and nasty.

I have become "one of THOSE people " who has an opinion about, of all things, a CHILDREN'S television show!

My cousin who has an older child said she really likes Phineas and Ferb, so I checked it out and LOVE it. I tried to get my kids to watch that, but they aren't interested yet. Thankfully I don't care if they like shows or not, I'll watch a kids show without shame! Yay for Phineas! Until they are old enough to watch with me, at bedtime we will take advantage of other treehouse shows which I do approve of..... "Big and Small"(my favorite), "Dragon" and "the Backyardigans" (Backyardigans just makes me laugh, what is with that dancing?)


I have been watching some of this show on television-Undercover Boss. I will admit I have not watched every episode but some of them have made me laugh.
I like the idea of executives going undercover in their companies to find out what it is like to so the work of the "grunts" and some of the shows have been quite interesting. At the end of every episode the CEO's have this "reveal" where they meet up with the people they went undercover with and they make changes in the company (supposedly) but they always give some kind of "prize" or "reward" to the people they worked with undercover.
Last week was the season finale and the show was about 1-800-flowers. At the end of the show the president of the company met with the people and gave them all their "reward". Oh I laughed so hard. One lady had a flower arrangement "named" after her. One kid got to participate in a mentor ship program that the company ALREADY has - but his mentor will be the CEO. One lady got to meet with marketing to advertise her store in her area.
What a load of junk. I had to laugh out loud. I think the show is meant to be some kind of advertisement for companies who want to get the message out that they WANT to be good employers and that they are willing to put themselves in silly situations to get better. I have to say that my opinion of 1-800- flowers dropped a few notches. Do you think there are aspiring franchisee potential owners out there thinking now - MAYBE If I buy a franchise and MAYBE if I work my Bum off for years and MAYBE if I get to be the best franchise of all the franchises.... I will get a flower arrangement named after me! LOL.

Monday, April 12, 2010

12 of 12: April

Chad Darnell is the originator and host of this monthly meme. It is my favorite. You can link to Chad HERE.

Finally temperatures are creeping up!

Patches of snow still exist in the shady spots of the yard

YAY! No more trucking through thigh high drifts to play on the slide!

Who needs to go outside anyway, when indoors is so much more comfy?

The electrician is hard at work and we got a peek at the insulation of our very old house. Time for more renovations. What a shocker!

The after effects of a bite from younger brother. WOWZA !


The old wiring waiting for the dump. What a mess.

The house didn't burn down - how?

Watching mom in the basement. They are not permitted down the stairs.

That is VERY interesting!

Old panel - OUT!
All in all it was a very productive day in our house this month on the 12th!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

no ordering books online ... boo hoo

So.. I am having a bit of a crisis. I have been in school for the past three years working part time on my masters degree. I am completely finished the program with the exception of one class I am in the process of "making up" because I missed it and writing my thesis.
The program for all intents and purposes is complete. The people who chose to write the comprehensive exam have written it, they have been graded and they have all passed. They have received notification that they have graduated and now there is just the formality of the actual graduation ceremony to participate in. I have procrastinated since last May working on my thesis at all. Basically I submitted my first proposal draft, received the feedback, put it away and didn't look at it again.
My instructors have been calling me and putting a bit of pressure on me to get going. I appreciate the fact that they are aware I am alive. However I am mentally "spent" and have no desire whatsoever to work on either of the two assignments. I have now been given a deadline for one of them - the stats class I am making up - and that should spur me to some kind of action.
In the meantime I am SOOOOOOO enjoying reading books just for the sake of reading right now. I am having fun in the library. I am having fun reading friend recommendations on goodreads and I have no desire whatsoever to stop ordering library books right now. Unfortunately unless I stop with the library books I KNOW I wont start with the classwork. It's a sad, sad day for me today as I went to the library online site to order books today and then shut down the site without placing an order. So sad. So sad.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my sons first foray into photography

My son is fascinated by all things electrical. Anything requiring batteries or electricity to run he believes was made for him and him alone. He has no interest in anything without batteries or things that are toys or replications of real things. Toy cell phones? Natch. Remote controls with no batteries? Junk. Even "real" kids cameras made by fisher price just for children are NOT worth his time and attention. He wants the real deal or nothing at all. For Christmas he picked out gifts for everyone on his list - extension cords - which he now claims as his own because hey, he picked them!

We have managed for the most part to keep "some" items to our adult selves by hiding them or keeping them out of his reach. Unfortunately now he knows how to climb, and how to move furniture to reach places he can't just by normal climbing methods. This morning he got a hold of my camera and took some pictures while we were getting ready in the kitchen. This is what he took:


Growing up we always had pets. Birds and Dogs more than anything else (Great Danes and Cockatiels in particular). The photo is of my mom, my sister and the first Dane I knew - Jason.

Growing up with Danes has made me partial to them. I love them and I have always wanted to own one.

In my adult life I owned a Dane for a short time (that is a whole story in and of itself) but I have never had the pleasure of raising one. My spouse and I since being together have had three dogs, all of them rescues. Two of our beloved companions have passed away and for the past four months or so we have just had Zuva. Zuva is a great dog but she has been lonely. We had decided that we were not going to get another dog right now but we would wait until the "time was right". Of course I can't help myself and keep looking at dog rescue sites - just to "browse". Whenever I saw a cute dog I would show Shel the pictures and she would nod and smile and and remind me we weren't looking for a dog right now.

A visitor to the house offered us a puppy a few weeks ago and we were tempted (should I say "I" was tempted?) but I managed to turn down the offer and stick to our decision that right now was not the time to introduce a new baby to our home. We have talked about it and talked about it again and we agreed every time that we weren't bringing a new dog home, so why did I keep browsing the internet?

Then I found Hugo. Hugo is a male great Dane puppy who was purchased and brought to Alberta when he was 8 weeks old. His new owner was unable to keep him for reasons unknown and he was picked up and being looked after by a foster home in Grande Prairie awaiting transportation back to Saskatchewan. That's when I saw him for the first time online. I called the owner just to "inquire" and we started talking back and forth. I expressed some interest in having a dane and over a period of about 4 weeks she convinced me that Hugo was the one for us......

SOOOOOOOOO...... yesterday Max and I went to Grande Prairie to pick up Hugo. He is four months old already and he is HUGE! He and Max have already bonded, Shel sent me a text message this morning saying they have not stopped playing all morning and Hugo just passed out from exhaustion on Maxies lap!

I have always managed to maintain that the "softie" in the house is Shel. I have been able to convince people that she is the one who is the perpetual animal rescuer and that she is the one who always finds strays and brings them home. I think I will be hard pressed to maintain my cover now that we have a Dane. I DID try to tell her last night that he was a gift for her for the anniversary of our meeting (which is today) but she wasn't convinced. So without further ado.... here is the newest member of our family:

Monday, April 5, 2010

change - updated

The work on the corner is finished and it has been completely cleared. This is what it looks like now:

This is what it looked like before:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Snapshot of March

1. photo of me : is there one of me this month? I am going to have to go back and look for one, I can't seem to find one right now....

2. Current candle scents: I don't have any new candles this month. I did look at some but there was nothing I was interested in.

3. What I am currently reading: I finished a book last night which I didn't really like - Midnight Fugue. Today I am starting to read Cutting for Stone.

4. What is my favorite book read this month: The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

5. Movies I saw: I didn't go to one movie, and I didn't watch any on tv. I would like to try and watch at least one movie this weekend but it will have to be a rental.

6. Something yummy I made this month: I made squat this month. I need to bust out some recipe books. Max made a "happy cake" all over the kitchen floor. It wasn't yummy but it was interesting and it made him and CJ happy for sure!

7. The last place I ate out: McDonalds in Walmart.

8. Something that made me cry: I am pretty sure I cried this month cause emotionally I am on some weird trip... what I cried about I can't specifically recall.

9. Something that made me laugh: Max got his first report card this month. There is one thing my boy does in his program "with consistency".... he gets ready for snack! It made me laugh to read that. in fact, he is doing AMAZINGLY in his program and the report card didn't reflect that at all. He went from saying "ZERO" words in September to more than 50 I am sure - even though we haven't done an official count. That is not reflected anywhere in the report card. Thank goodness for snack time.

10. Something I looked forward to this month:

11. Something I am thankful for: My Spouse. Relationships - marriages - are something I believe you work on constantly. We have come a long way in 13+ years and the addition of our two little boys had added a dimension to our relationship that I couldn't have imagined or predicted. I am thankful for my spouse. Thankful for the easy silence.

12. Something I want to remember about this month: Max smiling for the camera for the first time, and being so helpful with his little brother outside.

13. A photo I took this month:
The weather was awesome so we busted out all the outdoor toys from the Quonset for the boys to play on. We went to bed and when we woke up in the morning it had snowed - more snow than we have had all year. The boys have decided all they want to do now is be outside and so outside we went and into the snow. It didn't stop them from playing, the baby just needs some help from his big brother to get through the snow. Help his big brother was more than happy to give!