Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

22 Days!

That is when I go back to work.

22 days!

I'm still processing the fact we have had Ade with us for almost a year. The year flew by. There were days and weeks at the beginning that were loooooooong but now time whizzes by!

People ask me how I feel about going back to work.

I'm a little bit sad to have to go back to a scheduled work day and not have the time to just go out with Ade and do whatever might strike our fancy.

But, I have come to the realization that I am not a stay-at-home Momma! It is not what I want to do. I want to work some days and be at home some days. So, that is what I am going to do.

I tip my hat to all the Moms who make the choice to stay at home because it is HARD WORK!!! The hardest work of all I think. It is overwhelming for me some days. I find it can be lonely and isolating at times. I'm pretty social so work is also a bit of a social outlet for me. I like to go on adult lunch dates etc. Plus, I actually like working!

Who knew! I like feeling like I am contributing my ideas and abilities to our business. I like watching our business grow, change and prosper. I like to think my ideas, thoughts and creative juices are part of that growth.

This all sounds so selfish. What about Ade? What does he need?

He needs us! He definitely is the happiest when it is the 3 of us together.

However, he LOVES his daycare. We call it school since in essence that is what our daycare is like. He loves the predictability of going to school with Daddy in the mornings. He has been going 3 days a week for a while now to get him ready and he has transitioned really well. Where else can you go about the busy work of playing all day long, with like-minded other little people who truly get you! He has made some wee, little friends - Hannah (whose parents are from Ethiopia), Brooklyn, Oakland, Lucas, and his favourite friend of all, Brett!

Brett is a little girl who is a month older than Ade and they are kindred spirits. They play together all the time and have been known to hold hands all day long. Too cute!

So, Momma gets her adult play on and Ade gets his kidlet play on and then the days we spend together are so much better for it because we miss each other. We always make sure to plan something fun for just the 2 of us!

I am glad I took the full year of work off instead of just the paid Paternity leave of 8 months. We get to experience the Christmas season together fully!

This Christmas is certainly much different from last year and the year before. We are so excited to Ade home and to be able to celebrate with him. No more tears of wanting, anguish and sadness.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas has Arrived!

Sunday we ushered in the Christmas season to our home.

Generally, the cardinal rule is we don't decorate until December 1.

But since this is Ade's first Christmas home with us I decided to do it a little early much to Yvan's chagrin. I told him to 'suck it up' as it was only 4 days early! Ha ha!

Down to the basement I trudged to dig out the holiday decorations. (This is the part I dislike the most. Going through all the boxes trying to find the right stuff. I really need to organize better)

With Ade's help, we hauled up all the necessary items and began unpacking. I worked methodically setting up the tree (we don't DO real trees in our house because of the environmental impact of cutting them down - ask Yvan) and so I worked tirelessly branch by branch doing the "fluff" and "flounce" to get the tree to look as real as possible.

It should be noted here that Yvan was nowhere to be seen. As we were doing this 4 days early, he made sure to leave the house "to do something urgent" leaving Ade and me up to the hard stuff. He did return in time to string the lights up because that is a job he is very good at. If I did it, all the lights would end up clumped right at the front, near the top of the tree.

OK. So tree is ready and the lights are on! Next step, bring out the decorations. Now I must tell you these decorations are OLD. In fact, they are probably close to 40 years old. Passed down to me from my mom. I clearly remember them from when I was a little girl. So this part is fun as I relive some childood memories. Yvan also has some decorations from when he was young too. A stylish tree it isn't, like those decorated ones you see in the stores or in catalogues these days. There is no color scheme or themes just random pops of color here and there but we like it.

The thing is these decorations are on their last leg and likely to crumble in your hand as you hang them on the tree so there was lots of "Oh Ade! Be careful with that one!" and "Oh Ade, probably shouldn't swing it around like that it will break!" and "Ade! Let MOM do it"!

Ha ha ha!!! I'm kinda like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld when it comes to putting the decorations I really had to take a deep breath and just let Ade have fun with it.

Which he did! He kept saying "More" which sounds like "Moray!" And saying "Mama, Papa, Mistmas Ree!!!" He was certainly having fun! Yvan and I both took turns helping Ade put decorations on the tree and we took lots of photos and video for keepsakes of his first Christmas home.

Once everything was done we plugged in the lights and stepped back to have a look. The tree, in my humble opinion, looks so beautiful and I really think it is because we did it as a family. Kids really bring out the fun in Christmas!!!!

Later that night we put on our matching Christmas pajamas (Yes, we have matching pajamas! I couldn't resist!) and tried to get a family photo in front of the tree for our holiday cards! Um, ya throw in a 2 year old, 2 dogs and 2 very tired parents and you get a gong show of epic proportions. But I think we managed to get at least one good shot!

Every morning as we come downstairs for breakfast, Ade asks for the "Mistmas Ree On!" so we plug it in and his face lights up with the biggest smile!

Seriously, Christmas this year is going to rock!

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Been How Long Since My Last Post???

Over two weeks.

It was brought to my attention by a friend who emailed and asked if I was in a blogging malaise again.

Yes. I guess I have been.

Truthfully, it was more of a "OH MY GOD I'M TURNING 40 THIS MONTH!!!" malaise.

I know it is just a number and that you are only as young as you feel.

Fair enough.

I still felt overwhelmed though. In fact, the day before my birthday I had a bit of a cry while driving down the street. I pulled over, called Yvan and blubbered about how I was getting old, blah, blah, blah....

Then the day came and what do you know? I didn't feel one bit different. Hee!

Turning 25 was also a number I remember not liking. A quarter of a century just seemed to keep rolling through my mind and I didn't like it one bit.

And now, well...I'm 40.

Honestly, it feels like 25 was yesterday. I'm not sure how the last 15 years have gone by so fast but they have.

The last year has been a whirlwind. Ade has now been home 10 months today! It feels like we just got off the plane yesterday and walked out into the crowd waiting to greet us.

Having a child does not slow time down. Nope. Not one bit.

If anything time seems to be tick, tick, ticking by at an incredible pace.

When we get up in the morning it as if someone has said "3, 2, 1, GO!!!!!" and off we run trying to get as much into each day as possible. I look back at the weeks and wonder what we actually do and can't remember.

I can only imagine how fast the next 20 years are going to fly by as we watch Ade grow up.

Yikes! And in 20 years I will be 60!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O.k. I better stop while I am ahead!

So, I'm 40! No big deal.

It's just a number and you're only as young as you feel.

I still feel 25.

Instead of being depressed by turning 40 I decided to embrace it and signed myself up to to do the Sinister 7.

Since doing the Bridge City Beat Down I now know I can do anything I put my mind too.

Yay 40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011


In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mo Monday Mug Shot #1

Week one of Movember Mustache!

Not bad!

Not bad at all considering neither of us actually thought he would be able to grow a moustache!

Please donate to Yvan to here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What is Prostate Cancer?

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancers are named after the part of the body where they start. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate start to grow uncontrollably. In general, men with prostate cancer have several small tumours in the prostate.

Cure rates

In the early stages, when the cancer cells are only in the prostate, the disease is very curable (cure rates of 90% or better) with surgery or radiation. Unfortunately, during the early stages of prostate cancer there are few symptoms. In fact, many men in the early stages of prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. Without regular testing (PSA & DRE), it is very difficult to find early stage prostate cancer.

If untreated, prostate cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and produce secondary tumours (metastases). At this point, the chances of a cure are much lower. Prostate cancer can spread to any part of the body but common areas for spread are bones and lymph nodes.

Good news and bad news

The good news is that in most cases, prostate tumours grow relatively slowly. It usually takes years for tumours to become large enough to be detectable and it takes even longer for them to spread out of the prostate.

The bad news is that a small number of men have aggressive prostate cancers that grow and spread quickly. At diagnosis, it is tough to know which category a man falls into and this can make treatment decisions hard.

Learn about prostate cancer facts.

Prostate Cancer Canada

You can donate to Yvan's mo HERE

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


O.k. Peeps!

It's Movember time!

What is Movember you ask?

"During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer.

On Movember 1st, guys register at with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Partés held around the world by Movember, for Movember. "

But in simpler terms it means this guy:

Is gonna grow a sexy 'stache for a good cause.


Because really is there a better reason?

I'll post photos every week so you can see the progress!

Please help Yvan raise money for prostate cancer by going to -

and clicking the "donate to someone you know" button and then entering in Yvan's name - Yvan LeBlanc

Then kindly make a donation - even $5 :)

Thanks so much!

We love all of the men in our lives and want to keep their prostates safe!!!!

P.S. Whomever came up with Movember was a smart man...because growing moustaches for fun would be silly! Now they can be silly AND helpful!

P.P.S - That is not to say men who have moustaches as a permenant fixture are silly! Not all! In fact, they are quite handsome ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Confession Friday (Halloween Edition)

I confess it is Halloween weekend! Very scary!!!! Booooooooooooo!

I confess tonight we are going to Boo Town at a local museum. Promises to be lots of fun with kiddos in costumes and fun games for the wee one to play.

I confess Ade is going as a Vampire this year. I know not very original but I was sick all week and just finally felt better yesterday so headed to Value Village to get him a costume.

I confess last night "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" was on. I love that cartoon.

I confess my favourite scary Halloween movie used to be the Excorist.

I confess now I am too much of a 'fraidy cat to watch scary movies anymore.

I confess my favourite Halloween candy is....oh who am I kidding it's all my favourite.

Except candy corn...yuck. Oh and also Sesame snaps! Seriously! Who likes those????

I confess my favourite Halloween character of all time is Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein." (Marty Feldman as Igor runs a close 2nd)

My second favourite Halloween character is Richard O'Brien as "Riff Raff" in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Tim Curry is a close second as Frankfurter!)

I confess the last time I dressed up for Halloween was in 2004 when I went as this

and Yvan went as this

I confess I am wishing all you Ghosties and Ghoulies a Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Not All Rainbows and Unicorn Farts's not.

Contrary to popular belief or at least all the gushy blogging I have been doing lately.

It ain't all rainbows and unicorn farts.

It is much better! We are all happier.

But man, it is still hard.

I have been sick for the last week and a half. It is the first time since Ade has been home that I have been really sick (I don't count the PADS) with a cold or flu.

All I want to do is curl up on the couch under a warm, snuggly blanket and stay there until I feel better. Of course you can't do this with children in the house. Because they still need to be cared for. Who knew?!

I jest!

I knew! I just didn't realize how hard it is to drag yourself out of bed in the morning when your nose is leaking boat loads of snot and your throat is waging its own personal forest fire.

Wee one is particularly sensitive to my moods. He reacts to how I am feeling and since I have not been feeling well he has been "a handful" to say the least. He is also acting his age and it has been trying on my patience to remember that he is 2 going on 3 not 30!

In fact, last week I out two-year-olded my 2 year old. We were at our "Parenting with Music Class" and the cold was just starting to settle in and he was acting like one of the of the "Wild Things". He wouldn't sit still, ran rings around the other kids and shouted "NO!" at me the whole time. This is a class about bonding and attaching with your child through nursery rhymes...ya...not so much bonding happening on this day. Halfway through "Peas Porridge Cold" or something like that I couldn't take it anymore. After being headbutted in the chest and trying to keep him from climbing the walls, I stomped my feet, scooped him up, and ran out the door. I shoved shoes on both of our feet, grabbed our coats and hauled it out of there faster than you could say "Wait! Don't go!" He cried all the way home in the back seat yelling "singing" and I cried all the way home in the front seat while driving yelling "stop crying!" I was talking to myself!!!

Huge mommy fail!!!

We didn't go to the class this week because I just couldn't do it while still feeling sick. What makes it worse (or better you decide) is that the very nice lady who runs the class emailed me to say she understands why I left last week and that they missed us this week and won't we come back. She wants to "chat" after class and she let me know it is o.k. for kids this age to act out. They are just "testing boundaries". Um, I cried when I read that email because of course I know this but my selfish "me" forgot in that instant.

He is pushing his last molars too which we hadn't realized until yesterday and I noticed while brushing his teeth a little peek of white just through his gum that hadn't been there the day before. So, that probably explains the diarrhea in the diaper the last week. (That and he is probably fighting the cold I have).

Which leads me to my next MOMMY FAIL moment! Potty training!

I haven't a clue how to do this. I have read the books. I know I am not supposed to make a big deal about it. That he will train when he is ready!!! And I hear this all the time "How many kindergartners do you know who start school still in diapers?"

Well, I don't know any but that's not to say there aren't any!!!

What if my child is the first child EVER in the history of potty training to go to Kindergarten in a diaper!? It could happen.

I'm trying to make light of this but I can tell you I have shed many tears of worry over it. Who decided I can parent a child and teach him how to potty train!?? Because they were wrong! I can't do it! It's too hard!

O.k. I know you are all saying - "Calm down crazy lady!"

He is young I know this. He is not 3 yet. I know this too. But he was showing so much interest in the potty and was going quite regularly. Poop and pee and suddenly he won't go and won't even tell us when he has gone in his diaper.

I feel like I am the worst mother on the planet.

Again, being dramatic I know, but of all the parenting tasks in the realm of parenting this is the one I feared the most. I know I am setting myself up for failure by being this way and I don't want to be negative about it but I just feel like this is out of my scope of tasks I can complete.

I feel like I could climb Mount Everest without oxygen but don't feel like I can potty train my 2 year old.

Right! So there you have it!

Not all rainbows and unicorn farts!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Must Read Post

Nope, not mine!

Claudia is at it again.

Getting all smart in her writing!

One day when I grow up I want to write half this well.

But seriously! If you haven't already read it (which I am sure most of you have) than you please go do so now.

Part one is here.

Part One and Half is here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Tis the Season.....

....cold season that is!!!!

I'm feeling like this today.

Yesterday at the gym someone asked me if I was sick.

When I said "Why do you ask?"

She said, "You look like someone who is getting sick!"

Wow, I knew I wasn't feeling well but I didn't think I looked that bad!

But sadly, by the end of the day I certainly looked and felt sick!

Went to bed early and then spent the day just taking it easy (and playing "Angry Birds" - DAMN those Angry Birds!)

Off to bed to get try and get another good night's sleep.

At least Wee One and The Hubby aren't sick!

Hoping my fellow blogger pals Cinn and Tova are feeling better soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess I am feeling burnt out.

I confess the weather the last couple of days has been very drab and dreary!

I confess I was awake at 3AM...back to bed at 5AM...wee one awake at 6AM...diaper change, back to bed and thankfully he slept until 8AM.

I confess I am not looking forward to winter and the cold it brings.

I confess we went to a museum yesterday with some friends and it was delightful. The kids had a great time running around together. (Imagine, if you will, 6 kids all under the age of 3, old cars, trains and french fries)

I confess I have 2 pairs of pants to get hemmed but I just can't seem to get my act together to get to the tailor.

I confess I could use those 2 pairs of now that it is not shorts/skirt weather anymore.

I confess I am still in my pajamas and it is noon!

I confess I need a nap.

I confess this is the end of my Confession Friday.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Family Fotos

We had family photos done again.

This time with my Momma as she was in town for Thanksgiving.

I love the last family photos we had done but I know I am not happy in them.

In fact, I had been crying pretty heavily right before that shoot.

The last 9 months, and who can believe it has been 9 months, have been a rollercoaster of emotions I couldn't have ever imagined.

It has gotten so much better. As you can tell by our Wordless Wednesday photo yesterday "The Silly" has returned to both Yvan and me. Ade is mastering the silly as well and fits right in with us.

To be sure there are still hard days.

Being a parent is a bigger job than I ever anticipated. It opens a whole new can of worry, guilt, anticipation, love, work, dishes and laundry then one can put in words.

This time I cry when I look at these new photos because I have fallen more in love with my husband because of his strength and love over the last 4 years.

My heart literally swells with love, happiness and pride when I look at Ade.

I love the family we are becoming.

What a difference a few months makes.

Here are some of my favourites!

These photos are courtesy our fantastic friend Randeem at Randeem Andre Photography

Thanks Randeem for making it so much fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You Are Now Entering....


It happened Saturday night while we were at our friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner.

It was about 6:12p.m. and we were sitting at the dinner table eating.

Ade offered up his first "WHY?"

After eating like a fiend the last few weeks, Saturday night he declined to eat.

Said he was "All done." very matter of factly and tried to leave the table.

He knows this is not kosher.

When we told him he had to wait for everyone to finish eating he said...


And the Why's have continued all weekend.

In his little, sweet voice he has been asking "WHY?" to everything.

And when you answer him, he asks "WHY?" to that question.

We had been told the "Why" stage would come shortly after the "NO" stage.

It was like a switch had been flipped.

The "WHY" switch!

We still get some no's but he is also using the word...wait for it......


now and then.


But we are starting to see how

the WHY Stage can be never ending.

Because you can ask "WHY?" endlessly!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Lot to be Thankful For

Thanksgiving has been amazing!

We have had family here for a week. My Mama, cousin and uncle. The week was busy and super fun!

Sunday night we had 15 of my family members over for a traditional turkey dinner and it was delightful.

It was fun to have my mom here and share in the preparation and cooking of our delicious meal.

The best part was that Ade was here for it all. There was a childrens' table and he was sitting at it. There was much running, jumping, shouting and general silliness and he was right in there keeping up with the other kids.

It was so hectic around here that I didn't even have time to grab my camera and take a single photo. (I am very disappointed with myself for this) but here is what it looked like:

The baby in his high chair with a bib, dropping his bottle and plate every so often.

The toddlers at the kids table eating, bouncing,giggling and not listening to a word they are told.

The pre-teen bouncing around the room and the teenager on her phone texting her boyfriend and friends.

The adults sitting around the dinner table drinking wine and beer and laughing at the chaos happening around us.


We have so much to be thankful for!

Our health.

Our home.

Food on the table.

Good friends.

Loving family.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Confession Friday - Thanksgiving Edition

I confess after a super, duper summer and a beautiful September, Fall has set in and it is raining cats and dogs today.

I confess we have family staying with us. Lots of family! My mama, uncle and cousin are here for the week!

I confess we are super excited to celebrate our first Thanksgiving with Ade.

I confess it is still crazy to me that Ade is really here!!!!

I confess it is going to be hard to contain myself for Christmas!! I LOVE Christmas and the last few have not been fun! THIS will be fun!

I confess my Uncle woke the household up this morning at 6AM whilst making coffee - too early!!!!

I confess our neighbour's rumbling truck warming up across the street didn't help matters.

I confess I am excited for Thanksgiving dinner. We are hosting my family at our house this year and there will be lots of kids running around! Including ours! Yay!

I confess I got my first dead hang pull-up this week. And then I did 2 more. I'm feeling strong!!!

I confess I went to Las Vegas last week for 3 nights with 2 of my favourite girlfriends and it was lots of fun!

I confess we saw The Jersey Boys and if you want to see an excellent musical this is the one to see.

I confess we saw Duran Duran in concert. I was a definite Duranie in my teens in the '80's. So much so that I had their posters plastered all over my bedroom walls. I wore a rock t-shirt with their smiling faces on it and a hat and I cried when their videos came on. I know! I was truly a silly teenage girl.

I confess I am wishing each and every one of you the happiest of Thanksgivings!!!!!

I confess I am thankful for family and friends.

I confess I am THANKFUL for our little family of 3 plus 2 dogs!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manic Monday

Remember when I did Manic Monday posts? It was really good for my soul to write those posts.

I had so much going on in my head and heart that I needed to get it out and see if other people understood.

And they did.

I'm not happy other people have gone through PADS but it did help me feel like I wasn't alone or crazy.

So, I thank you for that!

I rather abruptly stopped writing the Manic Monday posts.

I didn't want to complain all the time. I wanted to feel better.

And I do!

Much better.

Now, Manic Mondays mean trying to get all of us up, fed, dressed and out the door on our way to work, daycare and errands for the week.

Instead of getting up dreading what the week will bring, we are all raring to go and see what is in store for instead. O.k. we aren't raring every Monday. I mean it is Monday after all.

Monday for Yvan means getting a handle on work for the upcoming week.

Ade's Monday is spent playing with other like-minded 2 years old at daycare (we call it school).

My Monday is getting laundry done, groceries for the week bought, dogs walked and other miscellaneous errands completed.

Having daycare has been a wonderful tool for us and has brought our family closer. It might seem a bit early to have him in daycare but he loves it and the break is good for me. It also means I can get stuff done and out of the way so when we spend time together Tuesday and beyond I am completely present for him.

Manic Monday has taken on a new meaning.

Gone are the days of "How will I get through this week?"

Now it is a day of "How much fun can we have together this week!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They are FINALLY Home

Tova, Hoty, G-man and JOY are finally home.

Queen E and B-man were sure glad to see them come through those airport doors.

How do I have these photos you ask?

My momma went and joined the others in greeting them at the airport.

So glad you are all home safe and sound TOGETHER!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess I have no clue where the week went! I can't believe it is Friday again.

I confess it has gotten cold here. Cold enough for us to turn on our furnace at night.

I confess I am still thinking about another tattoo. Actually likely 2 tattoos. One of Ade's name in Amharic on my arm...another one still to be determined with Africa in mind.

I confess we are having some family photos done again this weekend. Casual shots of the 3 of us...the ones we had in the spring were amazing but I was not "present" so these will be ones where we are are all much happier.

I confess Grandma and Grandpa are taking Ade for a sleep over tonight. He loves going over there and we love the night to ourselves. Anything can happen on our date nights you know...even falling asleep on the couch by 9p.m. ;)

I confess I took Ade to a Karate class last night. He did great...for the first 10 minutes... and then he just ran around the rest of the class while they did their moves. That is o.k. because he was exhausted when we got home and went right to bed without a peep!

I confess my little Grandma has been very sick the last couple of weeks and has me worried. She is 88 and we are very close and I love her very much!

I confess Ade and I are going for a walk this morning with our friend Tara and her daughter Anna. We will probably stop for muffins and tea! Yum!

I confess we have tickets to see a play of a production called "Nevermore" from a theatre group out of Vancouver. The last performance we saw of theirs was "Frankenstein" and it was fantastical!!! It promises to be "The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe" and I love Edgar Allen Poe. The best part of all is we will be seeing it close to Halloween

I confess I love Halloween! We have a costume in mind for Ade already for Halloween but now I don't what to do in terms of handing out candy because that part it so much fun too! Do we go out early with Ade and come back to catch the older kids?

I confess my mom is going to the airport on Saturday to greet Tova and family and take some photos! I wish I could go with her!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Wall

See that look on my face. That is pretty much how I have felt the last 2 years.

Tired. Sad. Exhausted. Pissed off. Defeated.

The last 2 years have thrown more at me than I ever could have anticipated. There were times I thought for sure I wasn't going to make it through. There were times when I threw my hands up in the air and said "I quit! I can't do this!"

It seemed like there were walls being plopped down in front of me left, right and center.

I definitely felt like I look in the above photo when they told us Ade might not be ours to adopt.

I most certainly felt like this when they asked us to update our entire homestudy/dossier in month in order to get our documents to Ethiopia again in time for court so Ade could legally be ours.

I absolutely felt like this when we were told Ade might have T.B. which could have meant he wouldn't be coming home for months on end.

And I 110% felt like this after we arrived home with Ade and I plunged head first into my PADS.

Whatever wall kept being thrown at us we climbed it.

At times it was easy.

Sometimes it was hard.

A couple of times the wall loomed over us so tall it seemed to go upwards forever.

Every time we conquered the wall though.

The biggest wall of all was the wall that separated me from the person I am.

Somewhere in the last two years I became very negative. Self-defeating. Unmotivated.

I lost who I was.

No matter how hard I tried to find myself all I found was a deep, dark, pool of self-pity and loathing. Like somehow, I wasn't good enough because I couldn't control what was happening to us.

I wanted to make plans for myself and couldn't. A voice inside me kept telling me I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough etc. "You will fail if you try", this wee voice convinced me, "so why put out the effort".

I'm not sure how I managed to stay married (the best husband in the world who supported me with every ounce of his being) or still have family and friends talking to me (the best support network a girl could ask for).

This has been my biggest wall.

If you knew me before we got into the ups and downs of our last 2 years you know I was outgoing, fun, motivated, easy-to-laugh and goal-oriented. (Don't mind me while I pump myself up.)

I wanted this gal back.

In the last month I have been trying to find her again.

She was there just waiting to come out.

My mother-in-law may have known she was in there...but she probably didn't know I needed her assistance to find her. She asked me sometime in July if I was going to compete in our gym's Crossfit Challenge. She thought I should. They would babysit Ade for us so we could do it together. Maybe she knew we needed to do this together.

It was the little push I needed to convince me to do it. If she thought I was capable, then I guess I should try.

As you know, I signed up.

A couple of times I considered backing out. That niggling voice tried to tell me I couldn't do it. It would whisper in my ear, "You will fail and look like a fool in front of all of those people. People you know and some you don't."

I ignored it. I tuned it out.

Instead I told myself "I can do this! You didn't get through the last 2 years of hell because you are weak!"

So I prepared in what little time I had. Instead of entering the gym in fear of the workouts (as I often did - really a fear of life in general was what I had adopted) I told myself I could do it.

I conquered a movement I had been working on for a year and half in about 3 weeks. Before walking into the competition I couldn't do a "Clean" of more than 85#. Mentally every time I tried, I blocked myself.

The Monday before the competition I hit #100 with a Jerk to get it over head too!

I was ready.

My goal was to finish the day with a smile on my face.

There were 5 workouts to complete last Saturday.

1. Find your max clean and jerk - I set a personal record of 102# on a movement I couldn't do a week before above 85#

2. Row 90 seconds for distance. - 374m

3. Push a prowler 150m for time - 59.69 seconds

4. 1 min on 1 min off the following movements
-55# Power Snatch - 16
-Ring pullups - 5
-125# fat bar deadlifts - 11
-Paralette jump throughs - 11
-Wall climbs - 7

By the time I got to the 4th workout I was tired with a capital "T" but felt like I had a bit more in me. I gave it my best shot.

I got to the wall at the end of the work out and I thought to myself "This seems fitting! After all I have been through so far today, here I am standing facing THE WALL".

The wall in front of me represented so much more than just a part of the workout.

It was the last daunting task of a particularly ugly workout and also what stood between ME and putting everything that has happened in the last two years finally to rest.

I knew I had to get over the wall as many times as I possibly could.

Every single time I hoisted myself over that damn wall, a bit of the person I am was freed. With every heave of arms, swing over with my leg and thud as I landed on the other side of the wall, more of myself was breaking away from the pain and anguish of the last 2 years.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the minute, I had jumped the wall 7 times.


7 has always been my favourite number. I don't know why but it has.

I had done it! I had broken free of the last wall. I had jumped over enough times to send the voice of self-doubt running for its life.

My body said "Enough! You've done enough. It's time to sit, relax, enjoy and indulge in all that you have accomplished."

I didn't have it in me to do the 5th workout.

A couple of people said, "Really! You won't have a very good placing".

And I'm perfectly o.k. with that.

Because at the end of the day I have something better than a placing.

I have ME back!

And I have THE WALL to thank for it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Waffle Sunday

Someone loves himself some waffles!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess it has been a very long time since I have done a confession. I think the last one was Canada Day and really that wasn't much of a confession at all.

I confess last week we spent the week at the lake and we have determined we LOVE lake life. It is so peaceful and relaxing what with the waves lapping at the beach, the smell of campfires permeating the air and the sounds of kids actually playing outside.

I confess some good friends came and stayed with us for the September long weekend at the cabin we had rented. It was quite cozy with 11 adults, 3 kidlets and 2 dogs all hanging out in a space of about 500 sq ft but it was so much fun!

I confess all the adults who had kids didn't make it past 11p.m. My how life has changed!

I confess I love the fall! It is such a beautiful time of year. I do not, however, love the weather that follows the fall!

I confess I am counting down to Thanksgiving because Thanksgiving means PUMPKIN PIE!!!! 30 days to go!

I confess I am nervous about the competion we are in tomorrow. I have been dreaming of Clean and Jerks, deadlifts, ring pull-ups, prowler pushes and thrusters for the last 2 nights!

I confess Ade is getting so tall. He was so short and so babylike when we first met him and now he is tall and very toddler-esque.

I confess Ade has been going to daycare. He loves it. And best of all at the end of the day he is very happy to see us which is making all of us happy.

I confess I will be heading back to work soon. Full time come January but for now easing back in to it slowly. Sigh.

I confess we are building a new house. When I told Yvan I would be ready to build again, I had no idea it would mean we would be doing this year. I thought in a year or two. I need to be careful of what I say.

I confess this new house will be my work project for the next couple of months as I help organize everything for it plus de-clutter and pack our current house in anticipation of the move.

I confess I hate moving.

I confess Lyndsey and Kevin are home with their kids! This homecoming has been way to long in the making. We couldn't be happier for this lovely family of 4 to finally all be together in Canada.

I confess Tova is in Africa and I have been thinking of her everyday and hoping they will be all coming home with Joy next week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Find Your Strong

In two days we are competing in the Bridge City Beat Down.

This week, some events have happened that have left me exhausted and not where I wanted to be at all mentally in preparation for this weekend.

But, the main thing is the people involved are on the mend as well as they can be.

The thought of not competing entered my mind but I have been preparing for this for a while now and it is one of a few goals I have set for myself over the coming months. I am not under the elusion (or delusion if you will) that I will place first but the goal, MY goal, was to finish all 5 work outs and still have a smile on my face and know that I did my very best.

However, I will continue on even though I have not had the rest I wanted or the readiness I had intended.

I will find my strong because it is in their somewhere.

If you would like to see the workouts we will be doing you can go here (I'm in the Brute category - hee hee! Me a brute!)

P.S. I really like the message this commercial has so that is why I am using it. Please don't feel the need to rush out and buy a pair Sauconys ;) Not that there is anything wrong with Sauconys - they are a delightful running shoe!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

7 months

We have been home with Ade 7 months today!

I cannot tell you how different this day is from our first weeks home.

It was all so overwhelming and so much more difficult than I ever anticipated.

With hard work, lots of tears, and tons of "We can get through this." on Yvan's part, we are doing so much better.

I feel like we are truly starting to bond as a family!

Our homecoming from Ethiopia had started on such a positive note. We had enjoyed our time with Ade in Ethiopia so much! Never in our minds did either of us think it would be so difficult to transition to our life back in Canada to a life that included Ade.

But it was.

It got better. Slowly.

People told us "the first 6 weeks are the hardest!" and they were.

The next mile marker was 3 months. Still very hard but better.

6 months hit! Major regression.

All on my part. Our 6 month anniversary fell one day after our 2 year referral anniversary.

It was hard for my brain to comprehend we had only been home with Ade for 6 months when we had first seen his wee little face 2 years before.

He was 6 months old when we got his referral. I think knowing this and the fact he had only been home for 6 months triggered some repressed grief and anger in me.

For a long time people asked me how I felt about the fact it took so long (18 months) to get Ade home. I would say it was extremely hard but that I wasn't going to let that be our memory. I took all of the pain and anger I had and hid it. Pretended it hadn't bothered me or that I wasn't angry with the circumstances and sometimes the people who had been a part of our lengthy process. I said "it is what is?" a lot.

But I was angry. Hurt and saddened for all the lost time we had with Ade. Had he come home "when he was supposed to" he might have been a year old. But life doesn't always happen "the way it is supposed to", nope not all.

I had to admit that I had wanted him when he was younger. Bonding would have been so much easier. He wouldn't be a running, jumping, bouncing, never-staying-still 2 year old who would have like to cuddle more. Or maybe he wouldn't have.

At 6 months home, I grieved for all the time we had lost with him. I grieved for the 6 month old baby I first saw on our referral day.

I let out all the anger and blame for delays I had.

It wasn't pretty.

But it needed to come out!

Then I looked at where we are now. The reality of Ade being 2.5 years old and only with us for such short amount of time. Took a deep breath and said "O.k. this is where we are! Stop living in the past and get on with it!"

Today, this morning, as I sat and had my tea and watched Ade playing with his trucks I realized the daily anxiety of "What have we done?" was gone.

In its place was routine. A Comfortableness I hadn't felt before.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are still days that are hard. Days where there are tears on all our parts.

I have come to the realization that a family is a lifetime in the making. No matter how your family came to be.

We will always be a work in progress.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maple Walnut Mama

I remember when I first started my blog almost 4 years the welcome I got from some of my blogger friends. Since then I have met so many wonderful people because of my blog.

I want to introduce my friend, Maple Walnut Mama, who just started up her own blog.

Her family was built through adoption as well. They adopted domestically which is just as emotional and hairy as international adoption.

We met sometime ago and then she moved away. It wasn't until after she moved that we started to get to know each other.

She read my blog and we emailed.

They got their referral for Lovebug almost 2 years ago and she continued to send notes of encouragement and support throughout our lengthy process to bring Ade home.

When we were in Vancouver last week, we had the chance to reunite and see our two kidlets finally playing together!

I am thankful for her friendship!

She had always mentioned how she would like to blog but wasn't sure she was ready to share all of her emotions with The Internets.

She didn't think she should "blubber, bawl or snot all over people."

Well, this is something I have been doing since the beginning! As have so many of us here in blogger-adoption land.

So, welcome to the blubbering, bawling and snotting all over people club.

It continues even now that the kidlet is home except now it is because of loss of sleep or tantrums.

I look forward to reading your posts about the good, bad, fun, and very busy times of parenthood!

Please go and give her a nice big "Welcome to the block!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sleep or Lack There of

Wee one used to sleep 12 hours a night.

Oh sure we had the time change debacle when he first came home but he settled in fairly quickly and about 2 months once we got a really nice routine going he slept thru the night.

Not a peep.

The last 2 weeks everything seems to have changed.

He has been waking up earlier and earlier. 7 instead of 7:30.

Then it was 6:50, 6:40, 6:20 and a few 6:00a.m. wake up calls.

This morning it was.......

4:00 a.m.


Ready to play!

Um, no thanks.

I heard him open the door to his bedroom and my eyes popped open and searched for the clock.

My heart sank when I saw the time.

So, I got out of bed and directed him back to his bed, tucked him in and dragged myself down the hall and crawled back under the duvet.

Thankfully he slept until 6:30 but I did not.

I have a hard time falling asleep after he wakes up like that. My ears are attune to the creak of the bedroom door for the rest of the hours remaining until morning actually comes.

My bleary-weary brain is left asking,

"Why is this happening?"

He was napping great but this last week the naps are very short or non-existent (just talking to himself and his stuffies)

Help! Someone please help!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back from Holidays

We took the wee one on holidays last week.

The 3 of us packed up our bags, boarded a flight and headed out to warm, sunny Vancouver.

At least we hoped it would be warm because they haven't had much of a summer out there this year.

We were not disappointed.

Our vacation started on a lovely little island by the name of Gossip Island where we spent 3 delicious nights and 2 lazy days lolling around and looking at the ocean.

You can only reach the island by boat having taken a ferry to a the nearest larger island Galiano. There are no cars or amenities other than nature itself.

I made myself a new 3 legged best friend by the name of Zoey and let me tell you she was the sweetest dog around. It took all my might not to pack her in my suitcase when WE left.

Ade loved, loved, loved Uncle Gordie's boat. I think he might be an ocean lover like his Mama. We took him for hikes around the island and dipped his toes in the ocean once again.

Thank you to my Auntie Cheri and Gordie for being such gracious hosts and feeding us delicious food!

We hopped back on the ferry on Monday and headed back to Vancouver where we spent the night at my momma's house. We had supper with Claire and her boys and it was so nice to finally meet her. We have been blogger/email friends for a while and she has always been a great support for us while we were waiting to bring Ade home. Now we want to return the favour to her so hopefully she hears about a referral soon.

Tuesday we headed into downtown Vancouver for an adoption gathering. And can I just saw how cool it is that we can go to these functions now and Ade gets to come now too!

Very cool!

We both love seeing him play with all the other kids. I love that I am not a big, crying baby anymore when we leave.

There were many great adoption friends in attendance whom we hadn't yet met in person (only on-line) and it was so fantastic to put faces to names, see their kids and how lovely, beautiful and engaging they all are. There was also a little family we re-connected with after many years of not seeing each other and it was great we both had our sweethearts in our arms finally.

Quite honestly, they have the nicest little support group out there and it really makes me want to move so we can be close to them all...but visiting will have to do.

Grandma loaded Ade into her car for the long ride back to her house and Yvan and I headed further into downtown Vancouver for 2 nights ON OUR OWN!! We slept in, went for long walks and had late suppers. We even got to drink some adult beverages. Delightful!

Ade meanwhile was being escorted around like the prince he is going to the zoo, and out for brunch and playing with his favourite cousin Hayley in the paddling pool. He had an excellent time.

Then we headed back out to pick up Ade and have one last night with my family. We were worried how Ade would be with us when we got back to my mom's house as this was the first time he has been away from us for so long. We thought he might be mad and ignore us but he shrieked "MAMA, PAPA" and leapt into our arms and giggled his little head off.

Me thinks, that went very well.

Then we boarded a flight and headed back home.

Whew! Vacations are fun but tiring.

Ade was very glad to be home and reunited with his best friends Leroy and Grissom.

I did not take one photo on this little holiday. Not one. O.k. I did take one - of a couple of otters we saw on the dock waiting for the ferry. But I was too tired and lazy to take anymore.

So no photos to share but trust when I say - A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bridge City Beat Down

O.k. we might just be crazy but we just registered for this - The Bridge City Beat Down.Sounds enticing doesn't it!

It is a local version of the Crossfit Games which is a yearly event held in California to find the "Fittest on Earth".

Ours is to find the "Fittest Person on the Prairies".

Yvan did it last year and had a blast.

My goal is complete all 3 WODs (WOD = workout of the day).

It's a personal challenge.

Yvan and I have been "Crossfitting" for about a 1 1/2 now but I really started to get my head into it about 4 months ago.

Not that I wasn't serious about it but my mind was definitely always on the adoption and my focus was getting Ade home.

He is home and settling in so now I am setting some goals for myself.

And this is one of them.

To work hard, do my best and finish the day with a smile on my face.

What I need is some encouragement.

So, pretty please, with sugar on top, tell me I can do it!

What is this crossfit thing we are doing you ask? Read this and it will tell you.

And watch this to get an idea of what we are in for

If you live where we live, come and cheer for us on Sept. 10th.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Green Gum Drops

Well, thank you!

To each and everyone of you who commented or sent me an email or a message on Facebook.

I appreciate it.

My motivation to blog has been renewed by your thoughts, advice and encouragement.

When I started my blog it was to document our journey to Ade as well to connect with others who were building their families through adoption.

It has been a positive experience and I want to keep going with it.

I have made some lifelong friendships.

Sometimes I hesitated telling the good, the bad and the ugly.

I don't want anyone to think everything is "happy, happy, joy, joy!" all the time.

Because it isn't.

But it isn't all doom and gloom either (it seemed that way to me for while).

It's real life.

The happy, sad, hard, fun, trying, amazing chronicles of....

Our life!

And yes, as someone kindly reminded's my blog and I can blog about anything I want.

Even green gum drops!

See you soon!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Blog Conundrum

I have been having a hard time with my blog lately.

So, I closed it to see if I missed it.

I didn't really.

I missed you! But I didn't miss the blog.

There are a few reasons.

Motivation to actually write plays a big factor.

Summer chaos is another.

People not commenting or reading is also coming into play.

Feeling like I want to tell the truth about life but feeling like I should sugar-coat it...I don't know why that is.

Folks reading and then feeling they know what is happening in my life so not calling anymore (for shame).

Being tired of social media and how it is supposed to bring people closer together but in actual fact it makes us all lonelier and stuck inside our houses attached to our computers.

So what should I do?

Give me your feedback! I value your opinions! (if your still reading)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meeting Great Blogger Friends

Since I started blogging 3 1/2 years ago, I have had the pleasure of "meeting" some really fantastic people.

I put "meeting" in quotations because a great deal of these people live far away in another city, province or country and I have not met them in person.

Most of the time the friendships have been "online" friendships which have grown from following each other's blogs.

Some people I have started emailing regularly with and on the odd occasion the friendship has moved to a "we talk on the phone" friend.

Talking on the phone friendships are special to me because it seems in this day and age no one talks on the phone anymore. They email or text but don't actually converse and hear the sound of each other's voices. It makes me a little sad.

The best part of these "cyber" friendships is when I get to meet someone in person. And for the most part when I meet that person they are just as lovely if not lovelier than I imagined.

There is always an element of "Will we have something to say to each other?" when we meet. Looking into someones eyes and actually seeing their facial expressions can be intimidating.

Plus if the person you are meeting doesn't have a blog or doesn't post pictures there is always the "I pictured you one way and you are totally different from that image."

And a photo or series of, does not truly represent who someone is as meeting them does. I mean meeting someone allows you to see them in action.

Right here where I live some of those friendships have grown quite close and I am so thankful for that.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a person I have "known" for a while. For the life of me, I can't remember how we started following each other's blogs. It seems as though she was just always there. We moved to emailing and again not sure how that happened but if I don't get an email from her every couple of weeks I feel sad.

One day she called me. She took a leap of faith, picked up the phone and dialed my number. I'm pretty sure she wasn't expecting to get the crazed, crying gal on the other end but she did. She could have said "I'll call you another time" and hung up, never to be heard from again. But she didn't. Instead she listened to me talk about my post adoption depression and she let me get it all out.

And she was there for me over the last few months as I dealt with it.

It seemed only right that we meet. And so we did. And it wasn't awkward at all. Oh sure, there is that initial "Will this turn out o.k." fear. But when we opened the gate to her house she was there, arms open, waiting with a giant hug and I knew it would be o.k.

Plus our toddler boys fell instantly into like with each other.

So thanks Tova, for being my friend. It is a pleasure and an honour to know you and to have not just you but your entire family! And over Sushi to boot!!!!