Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rain, Rain...

....go away! Come again another day!

We are about to get more rain!

Where we live it isn't so bad.

But south of where we are! About 2 hours away in Weyburn and surrounding area.

People are losing their homes, pets and belongings.

Please keep all those who are affected in your thoughts!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Circle the Wagons" Auction

This is the McKnight family.

This is Billie.

The McKnights are waiting to bring Billie home from Lesotho.

Billie's health has taken a turn for the worse and she has had to be admitted to private medical care.

Because of extended wait times now happening in this country (as those of in the Ethiopian adoption community are all too familiar with) as well as this unforseen medical expense, they are paying extra costs to care for her. Costs which they had not anticipated in their budget.

My friend Tova is hosting a silent, online auction to raise funds to help the McKnights pay for this extra care.

There will be lots of good stuff to bid on - art work, purses, scarves, sports gear and even an ipod touch!

So click here!

Auction starts TODAY! RIGHT NOW!

And will end Thursday, June 23rd at 8:00p.m.

Be sure to check back to make sure you haven't been outbid on your favourite item.

Tell your friends, family, co-workers and even random strangers on the street. O.k. maybe not randon strangers.

But tell people!

Haven't talked to someone in awhile!

Give them a call on the phone (I know weird right!) and tell them.

Link to your blog and write a post about it.

Facebook your friends about it.

Get Tweety with it!

Circle the Wagons Online Auction.

You know you wanna!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess I have gone to the gym 3 times this week. 3! Amazing! While I feel like I have been hit by a Mack truck, it does feel good to have exercised so hard.

I confess I am disappointed by certain individuals who have tarnished the reputation of one of my favourite cities in the world. Vancouver worked so hard to show the world at the 2010 Olympic games what a beautiful, creative, peaceful, multi-faceted city it is. Struck down by a bunch of dumb asses who were mad their favourite hockey team didn't win the Stanley Cup. Really? You rioted over a hockey game and made the world think a bunch of ass hats live in Vancouver. For shame. Don't worry Vancouver - those who know and love you, know this was the actions of a few and not a representation of the many.

I confess we have some nice Father's Day plans for Sunday. Maybe a little picnic in a park with some BBQ'ing happening. Hot dogs (of the turkey variety) and some macaroni salad accompanied by some kind of delicious summer type dessert.

I confess I am annoyed by the mail strike. Mostly because I like getting mail and we haven't had any all week. Plus I need to send in Ade's name change so we can move on to applying for Citizenship but need a new name change form because Vital Statistics did not tell me I am the applicant for my son so now I need to re-do it. Bummer.

I confess summer is going fast already. It is the middle of June. Pretty soon it will be September. Yup, it goes that fast.

I confess I enrolled the wee boy in a parenting with music class for parents and their toddlers for the fall. I am looking forward to it because there is nothing he likes better then music.

I confess we have one gym class left for the wee boy. When we first started it was all we could do to get him to just run in a circle. I feared we had signed him up to soon for activities. Each week he has progressed and each week added a new skill as we moved through the stations. This past week I barely had to help as he just blasted through almost everything on his own. AND he even hung on to the parallel bar and did peek-a-boo. Next week is the last class and I am sad but oh so proud to see our dude learning so much so quickly.

I confess I will be out in Vancouver twice this summer with Ade so if anyone wants to get together send me an email.

I confess I hate Lima beans. And liver. And perogies. And onions. And peas.

I confess it is Mojito season! I love Mojitos!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gandahara Contest Over at Sun Dance, Moon Dance

My good friend over at Sun Dance, Moon Dance is having a contest.

She is giving away a beautiful bracelet and eye glass case made by artisans from around the world and sold by a Canadian company called Gandahara Designs.

"You could win your very own Kenyan Ceramic Bracelet - The Firefly and a Hand Embroidered Eyeglass Case, a prize package valued at over $70!"

Gandahara Designs " Specializes in wearable works of art for the selective and socially conscious shopper, the company is an innovative model of social entrepreneurship which supports artisans in the developing world, mostly women, to earn their way out of poverty and become active agents of social change."

The jewellery is absolutely breathtaking!!! There are some other beautiful items too like the Christmas decorations!

So head on over to Sun Dance, Moon Dance and check it out!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Be Happy

Be Happy! A little book for a happy you. By Monica Sheehan

For years I have purchased self help/improvement books.

And these books. They were o.k. Some of the information was helpful.

But finally I found THE book.

And it happens to be a kids book geared towards ages 3-5.

It is simple. It is too the point. It is good for everyone no matter the age.

I bought it for myself and it is always handy so I can read it.

"Sing and dance a little!"

"Draw and paint a little."

"Make Friends."

"Share what you have!"

"Don't compare yourself with others." (don't let others compare you either)

"Be the best you"

"Be helpful."

"Be the curious."

"Be Brave."

"Be Kind."

"Be thankful for all the people and things you love."

"Dream Big"

"Don't ever lose hope."

"You never know what tomorrow will bring."

"So have fun!"

I also found this video dedicated to some of Monica's other drawings and inspirations.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Does It Get Easier?

I have had this question from a few people who have recently come home from Ethiopia with their children.

One week today will mark 5 months home for us.

5 months!

I'm not sure where the time has gone.

In the beginning, some days seemed to drag on forever as I tried to keep Ade engaged and still keep my sanity. But then the weekend would be upon us and I would think "What the heck did we do all week?"

Those first 2 months home I couldn't get out the door before noon...and then we couldn't go any where because it was time for lunch and then a nap. Not to mention we were snow bound with awesome -35 temps.

Showering seemed to be something I did in a past life. If I managed to squeak in a shower forget about doing my hair.

It was hard. I have moaned about it in past posts here and here.

Organized I was not. Dishes piled up! Laundry went unwashed and the kitchen table overflowed with piles (and NOT the kind you get on your derrière either).

Sometime in the last 6-8 weeks things have gotten better. Settled if you will. A routine of sorts is happening.

I think it started to fall into place when we planned our first mini-holiday to attend a family wedding in Victoria on the May long weekend.

I had been fretting over this vacation since we booked it. How would Ade be on the 2 flights plus airport layovers we had in the schedule. While they weren't long flights (each being an hour or so) and the time in airports was a couple of hours it still had me in a panic thinking our wee child who seemed to be fully embracing his TWONESS would be the child on the plane screaming, throwing things, crying, and running up and down the aisles while other passengers gave us the dreaded hairy-eye ball.

Not to mention getting to the airport on time. We are renowned for pushing things to the limit time wise and never get anywhere on time.

None of this happened. In fact, we were packed and ready to go on time!

He was a great little traveller. He did say a couple of times "All done." while we were in mid-air but the power of Cheerios always seems to win out.

I feared being in a new house with people he wasn't familiar with would throw him for a huge loop. I thought he wouldn't nap and would be up all night.

He was not. He napped and he slept 12 hours both nights.

He is quite the adaptable little dude. He proved this again when he and I went to the lake this past weekend with some friends. I will post more on that tomorrow.

When we returned home, it clicked in me that life can still be active and full of fun. We, meaning I, have made great strides in the "Life is not over and you can take a 2 year old places" category.

This is not to say he is perfect or an angel. He is not. He is 2 and as such has a 2year old's approach to everything. He can bring me to me knees in tears of frustration faster then Bruce Lee could drop kick someone.

That approach being "The world is my oyster and if you don't let me do want I want I will sit here and cry and kick my arms and legs until you do." O.k. not always,but
there are times.

He is curious, adventurous, smart, funny, outgoing and let's not forget cute. No, people will not let us forget how cute he is.

But I am getting into a "Isn't my kid fantastic?" mode and away from the "Does it get any easier?" bit.

But really, Isn't he fantastic????

Now, I can have him, the dogs, Yvan, diaper bag packed and stroller out the door lickety-split! When we went to the lake this weekend I thought I am never going to make my 2pm deadline but I was actually ready to go at 1pm.

It is getting better.

Does it get any easier?


I don't think parenting gets easier. I think the ride is just gearing up. We have just started up the first incline on the roller coaster of parenting with the teens years still ahead (Yup, thinkin' about the teen years already).

But it gets better.

Less overwhelming.

Much more fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

To Eat or Not To Eat

That is the question.

Well, really it should be "Will he eat or won't he eat?".

I'm sure you remember when I mentioned Ade's voracious appetite when we brought him home 4 months ago. It was as if he had never seen where food came from in his whole life. And in truth, it is likely he hadn't.

I will expand on that statement with this.

What we think looking back over our time in Ethiopia is that for the children in the foster home food just appeared. They weren't involved in the purchasing, preparation, cooking and plating of the food they ate. And how could they be? There were something like 60 kids in the home. Insanity would ensue if they tried. Not to mention how many kids came from having no food at all before the foster home.

When we finally took custody of Ade, we used the little kitchenette outside of our hotel room to make meals. One of us would stay in the room with Ade while the other went and got breakfast, lunch etc ready. We ordered in food quite a bit from the surrounding local restaurants. On occasion we go out to eat in a restaurant. So, when Ade would eat a meal the food just came to him.

As we settled in at home, it became clear to him the big black thing with handles had food in it. He could also see the fresh fruit on the counter. Something primal in him triggered. I think( in my opinion) it was the "I haven't been getting what I need in terms of amounts of food or kinds and now it is available to me whenever I want/need it."

I think the worry of food not being there again or not having enough to eat caused him to constantly want it. Who could blame the little guy! If you have constantly had to fight for food for fend off those trying to take your food, once you know it is readily at your disposal you will want it all the time. Even if you aren't hungry. You just want to have it in case it isn't there again.

It was hard to watch him standing at the fridge crying. The first weeks home he would be at the door with his hand up trying to open the fridge and sobbing. It broke our hearts and frazzled us a bit too. We knew it was something that could happen but to actually see it for yourself is something else. We couldn't communicate to him the food would always be there. We just had to get in a routine of showing him inside of the fridge and telling him there would always be food and he didn't need to worry.

The need to be satiated all the time with food has slowly passed. He is confident the food will be there. He doesn't freak out or melt down if we don't get breakfast made in 30 seconds. We can tell him and show him the food is being cooked and will be ready soon and he understands it.

I can honestly say watching him cry for food has been one of the hardest things to see in all of my life. It was the desperation and fear which was so difficult to witness.

But now the toddler aversion to food has kicked in. He feels so comfortable the food will be there he has become uber picky! The "Toddler Handbooks" I have all say this is normal. It is even evolutionary we have been told. A Darwian lesson of the strongest will survive, if you will. I.E. he only eats what he thinks is safe and won't poison him. Weird hey!

"Don't take it personally" they say. Or as Yvan likes to say "Let it go". It's not that I am taking it personally it is just so damn hard to think of new meals to cook when Ade's taste is like a moving target.

One day he likes baked beans. The next he turns his nose up to very same beans he couldn't shovel fast enough into his mouth. Don't get me started on meat. As long as it is stew like or in a sauce we are good to go. But if you were just to put little chunks of chicken or hamburger or fish on his plate he avoid it like the plague.

Fruit, some veggies, oatmeal, crackers and muffins are all good! He will eat those no problem. So he gets lots of those.

He used to love scrambled eggs. Made them for breakfast this morning and you would have thought I had served him a steaming plate of pooh the way he swiveled his head vigorously saying "NO!". So, I did what I have always said I wouldn't do.

I put ketchup on the eggs. He ate them. All!


He used to eat red peppers and hummus with me. Now he prefers Beefaroni! More like Barfaroni! I would make scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado for us and he would gulp it all down and ask for more. Those days are long gone.

I didn't want to be the mom who gives her kid processed food from a can for lunch. I can feel all the moms of the world "tsk, tsking" me!

I want my son to know I love him and care for him which is why I just may "take it personally" or can't "let it go". I know love isn't shown with food. I am trying, I think, to instill positive eating habits in him. I think about it all day long, by the end of the week I am so frustrated not to mention tired, because I just can't think of another thing to make for supper.

I guess I best just let Darwin's theory play out for a while and hope he doesn't grow up to be on Freaky Eaters eating nothing but potatoes and cheese or corn starch! I know, I know...quit watching those kinds of shows.

Creative meal making is hard.

I wouldn't trade the days of watching him cry in desperation but I do long for the times we sat at the island sharing hummus.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I have loved U2 since I was 12 years old. It was the first cassette I bought of my own accord. It was the "Unforgettable Fire" album and "Pride in the Name of Love" soon became my all time favourite song.

I have since followed them thru every album. Even when they sort of (in my opinion) went off track with "Pop". I was supposed to see them on the Popmart tour but had just come back from visiting my parents in Panama where they were living at the time and was too tired to travel another 5 hours to see them. I have regretted that decision ever since.

I had the opportunity to see them again on the Elevation tour and jumped at it this time. They were fantastic!

When I met Yvan, one of the things that drew me too him, other than his sparkly personality and dashing good looks, was that he loved U2 as much as me.

Together we have seen them 3 times (I know excessive). The first time we saw them was right after we got married on the Vertigo tour and now this tour twice.

This show was outside and it was amazing! Much better then when we saw them indoors in 2009.

U2 never disappoints. We have seen many bands in concert and they are the best touring band you will ever see live. Bono is a true show man and probably the most engaging front man out there.

Our hope is they do one more album and tour at least so we can take the wee lad one day to see them.

This show they sang a bunch of our favs - "Pride in the Name of Love", "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", "With or Without You", "Where the Streets Have No Names", "I Will Follow", "Beautiful Day", "One", "Magnificent", "Elevation", "City of Blinding Lights" and much more!

Edit - Sorry for the poor quality photos! The concert tickets say no cameras allowed so I didn't take my SLR. Of course how do they regulate this with phones now a days. Everyone and their dog had cameras or video cameras! Next time for sure!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Confession Friday

I confess I haven't confessed in a couple of weeks. Bad Confession Friday blogger I am.

I confess I was craving chocolate cake last weekend but was to tired to make one from scratch so bought a Duncan Hines mix and it was DELISH!

I confess we had an excellent time at U2! It was a nice little romantic get-away for the two of us.

I confess we almost didn't go to Edmonton to see the concert because we were worried about how our boy would do. But I have to tell you, our wee boy was so excited when we got home last night. He actually did a little jig when we walked in the door. I think the attachment is coming along nicely!

I confess it is raining here today and everything has turned lovely shades of green.

I confess I am thinking about getting another tattoo.

I confess I am turning 40 this year and am having a hard time with it. 40! Wowzas!!

I confess I read "The Glass Castle" recently and wanted to yell "OH MY GAWD! LOOK AFTER YOUR CHILDREN ALREADY!!!!"

I confess I hate when you eat popcorn and the kernels get stuck in your teeth. Can you guess what I just ate?

I confess I sent a friend a parcel this week. Thing is, I accidentally put my name in the "To" spot her name in the "From" spot and so I actually sent the gift I bought for her to myself!!!!!!!!!!! Lynds the package isn't going to make it for the weekeend as I promised! It will be there next week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

and also

(P.S. I know these tickets say June 23, 2010 but the concert was postponed because Bono hurt himself...the show was rescheduled for TONIGHT!!!!!!)