Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

He's 3!!!!!!!

Who can believe he is 3??! And has been home a year?!!

We can't!

Where did the year go??????

We threw our wee, little man a party to celebrate turning 3 and being home with us for a year! Our fantastic family and friends came over to help us celebrate which made it even more special for him and for us!

Chillin' the night before the big party!

Opening a special gift from a special little friend in Calgary :)

My first ever attempt at a birthday cake! I'm quite proud of how it turned out!

A little overwhelmed by all the people singing "Happy Birthday" but he had a blast and got to play with so many of his favourite little friends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Cold is in the House

And I'm talking the kind that takes root in your head.

Just underneath your eyes and nose.

The kind where your nose feels so stuffed out that your eyes might pop out.

The kind that makes you cough until you feel like you can't breathe.

It has taken 2 out of 3 of us down.

Thankfully Wee Man is o.k. but he is rampant upon his two sick parents.

Will continue the one year reflections of Ethiopia soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inflight Entertainment or Ade's First Christmas?

I could regale you with stories from our 13 hours in the air enroute to Dubai but I'm not that mean. I would hate to bore you with 13 hours of nothingness.

I won't bother telling you that Yvan slept almost the whole flight and I spent the entire time fighting off the hand of the guy sitting on the other side of me. I won't mention that he tried to grab my ass pretty much the entire flight and covered it up by pretending to be asleep. There will be no stories about how said guy never spoke a word to us unless Yvan got up and went to the washroom. Then the "ass-grabber" told me all about himself and how if I liked he would give me his number and he could show me around Dubai while we were there. Not sure how that would have worked since MY HUSBAND would have been there too.

Anyways, instead of telling you THAT story....I will show you pictures of Ade's first Christmas with us instead.

It is a much happier story!!! I will title the story.....


Christmas Morning - having our oatmeal.

Coffee on the couch with Daddy. He still doesn't understand the presents under the tree are for him so he isn't even interested in them....YET!

Opening his stocking.

Ooooooh! What's in here?

There's more?????

Brunch with Yvan's family (missing his sis and her hubs - they joined us later)

Post present opening disaster area!

Playing choo-choo trains

Helping Grandpa open his gift :)

Riding his new car!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It Takes 3 Flights to Get to Ethiopia

And Janaury 10th, 2011 at 3:15p.m. we boarded the first of those 3 flights on our way to Ethiopia and to our son, Ade.

One year ago we embarked on the greatest journey of lives to date.

If you recall we received our long-awaited, much-anticipated, highly-stressed-over Visa for Ade on December 28th, 2010. I woke up to an email from a friend who was in Addis Ababa and had been with our representative over their when she picked up our visa. She knew the CAFAC office was closed for the holiday season and she didn't want us to wait one more day to find out Ade was finally ours to go and get.

I screamed when I opened the email and read the words, "I'm thrilled to tell you this, - ADE'S VISA IS IN!!!!!!!" .

I yelled to Yvan and my mom that Ade's visa was in and then started to weep! All the worry, waiting and wondering came rushing out in one swoop as I cried and cried and cried! Yvan and my mom encircled me with their arms and we all cried together.

The next 2 weeks were spent finishing up packing Ade's bags and getting our bags packed as well. List were checked and re-checked. Calls were made, work was organized and soon it was time to leave.

But wait! What about flights you ask? Well, Yvan and I had taken a leap of faith before Christmas and had booked flights on December 23rd. Something told both of us we it was time to go to Ethiopia and not leave Ade waiting any longer. So, flights, well, they had already been waiting for us!

January 10th, 2010 was a Monday. We had most of our bags packed with just a few last minute things left to go in. We had a couple of things to run and get and one might think we were unorganized but this was probably just to keep us from sitting and pacing at home until it was time go.

We were both so nervous and emotional. We knew life as we knew it was about to change big time. As we zipped up our bags and hauled them all downstairs to the back door, I started to cry. It was here. The time had come. We were going to Ethiopia. Going to meet our son. Become a family.

Yvan gave me a big hug and told me to take a deep breath. It was all going to be o.k.

As we waited for Yvan's dad to pick us up, we talked about our past life together and how the future was going to change. We imagined what it was going to be like to see Ade for the first time and how he and we would feel in that moment.

I cried all the way to the airport. The rest of Yvan's family met us at the airport to see us off. I cried the whole time. I cried all the way through security and while we waited to board. It must have been the last 18 months of stress and waiting working itself out. It was also excitement, fear, happiness, uncertainty and so much more.

I settled down as the plane took off and we relaxed back into our seats and held hands.

When we landed in Toronto we made our across the airport to the International area of the terminal for our flight to Dubai. We had booked to fly on Emirates airline through the UAE with a one night stay over in Dubai. Just weeks before we travelled, the UAE had put a new Visa rule in place for Canadian citizens but luckily since we were travelling with Emirates they would sponsor us.

However, we had not been told how to pick up our visa, hotel voucher and food vouchers for our stay in Dubai. (Emirates pays for your hotel and food when you are on a layover.) The first boarding agent wasn't very helpful at all and told us she couldn't help us and we would have to go back outside of security to the front desk to collect our papers. Boarding had just been announced and I panicked thinking we were going to miss our flight. Yvan managed to talk to someone else who was kind enough to radio and have someone bring our documents to the gate.


We boarded the A380 (which holds 500 people, has a first class with suites, and business class with flat-beds and an economy class with the night sky on the ceiling!) It is absolutely the biggest airplane either of us have ever been on. Yvan and I marvelled at the smoothness and quietness of it as we took-off into the night sky.

13 hours later.....we landed in Dubai.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chocolate and Cheese Sweats


What is it about Christmas time that instills in people free range to eat anything and everything in sight?

Or is it just me who does that?

This year leading into Christmas I was really good. I was sticking to my new eating style, working-out like a mad-dog and using self-control beautifully. In fact, (excuse me whilst I brag a little) I lost 2% body fat and 2lbs in 2 months. Now, I realize I don't have a lot of weight to lose but body fat is something totally different so I was very pleased with this. I have seen a noticeable change in how my body looks (leaner) and feels (stronger) because of this.

I promised myself I would stick it out entirely through Christmas allowing myself a couple of splurge days on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Because everyone deserves to splurge now and then.

Christmas Eve we had a lovely potluck appetizer gathering at my bro-in-law's house. I hadn't been eating much cheese (I did eat about 8lbs of cheese at another family gathering the week before) or bread so seeing all the delightful food on the table had me salivating more than Pavlov's dog.

I dug in!

I dug in hard!

It was good! Well, it tasted good anyways. The eating always feels different than the digesting. Typically after I have eaten certain foods, and an over abundance of them, the after result is uncomfortable and not so pleasant for my husband (think lactose intolerant symptoms). I know you've all been there. (Well maybe not the lactose intolerant symptoms.)

Then we headed back to our house (we live next door) for some dessert. The box(es) of chocolate were opened and it was game over.

Seeing all of those delicious dark chocolates nestled in their tiny, little beds inside the glittery, gold box with a pretty bow on top melted my heart like a fondue pot! I began to eat one, then another and another and....well you get the picture.

The gluttony fest had begun. My wall of will power came crumbling down and visions of hamburgers, sweet potato fries, apple pie, potato chips, waffles with whipped cream and chocolate cake danced through my head.

Over the next week I ate myself silly. It's almost as if once I started my brain (re stomach) said "Well, you've started now you might as well keep on going." By New Year's Day night my stomach and digestive system had, had enough of the junk food.

I pulled our last organic chicken out of the freezer on New Year's Day and so it was ready for the next day. Monday I roasted the chicken in the oven, made some sweet potatoes and corn to accompany the chicken and we sat down to a delicious, healthy meal.

It tasted good!

Yesterday we returned to the gym for the first time since the day before Christmas Eve. Oh my! What a week off and non-stop eating can do to a person when they go back to their regularly scheduled program.

I felt sluggish and slow, heavy and thick!

And the sweat! It was not a good sweat!

There is the healthy, salty, "I've just worked out really hard" sweat you get from a work out.

But this was full of everything I had eaten over the last week. Mostly, Chocolate and Cheese!I could feel the chocolate oozing from my forehead as I did my row, box jumps and knees-to-elbows.

Today, it was the cheese sweats! Trickling, thickly down my face as I did back squats.


While I love Christmas and all the glad tidings it brings, I am definitely happy it has come and now gone and we can get back to life as we know it.

Sans chocolate and cheese sweats.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And so 2012 begins....

....and I am already exhausted!

I should be well rested from our Christmas holidays. Alas, this is not the case.

A week off with Yvan home is something which rarely happens (maybe once a year) and try as we might to have some down time we found ourselves flitting about here and there visiting and eating with friends and family.

Couple that with a New Year's Eve spent with delightful friends where we stayed up until (wait for it....) 2:30 in the AM!!!!

Ade woke up punctually at 7:15AM giving us less than 5 hours sleep. Yes, we did this to ourselves...and spent much of New Year's Day laying on the couch in our pajamas watching Ade run hither and thither through the house. It's ok...he survived the less-than-attentive parenting we offered. It's amazing how a child can just play, and play, and play and play....

My little Grandma, who is 88, has been sick on and off for months now. It started back in September and she is progressively getting worse. This weighs on my mind and my heart. We have always been very close and she helped raise me for a good chunk of my life. Seeing her become weaker by the day is heartbreaking and watching as she slides deeper into depression because she can't do the things she used to dreadful.

She often tells me these days, that "getting old is no fun" and I believe for her now that she is sick and her frail body is failing here it isn't any fun at all. She has always been a very active woman who bowled, went for walks, played shuffle board and managed to go shopping every single day. She would like to continue the robust, active life she held but finds it to strenous and being confined to her tiny apartment has been awful for her.

Seeing my sweet grandma like this is saddening and emotionally draining because as much as I want to make her better and for her to live for ever.....I can't.

Starting back to work right after Christmas holidays is harder than I thought. Being in a laid-back, carefee, wear pajama's until noon, no need to rush to get Yvan out the door, or Ade ready for activities mode got to be quite routine. (Funny how that can happen in a week) and so this morning when we heard Ade wake up and looked up at the clock and realized it was 8AM we both jumped out of bed in bleary-eyed wonderment at having slept in on the first day back to work.

That made me tired too.

I read post a while back about being in the moment...and I am trying. But I keep getting ahead of myself and find that I am living 4 months down the road or planning our summer holidays...for crying out loud it is only January 3rd! That can wait right?! My brain is whirring with the sound of my inner voice saying "What adventures can we get up to this year?" and "You SHOULD book some stuff now so you don't leave it until the last minute and then don't get to do it!"

I am making my self tired.

We are also building a new house. I have been very hush, hush on the subject, mainly because Yvan wanted me to, but it isn't something I can keep quiet about anymore. It is stressing me out. We are building our dream home. I am very thankful that we are able to do this. But I am a girl who likes everything in their place and the creature comforts of a well established home (I moved A LOT when I was kid). Our home now has fully and completely wrapped its arms around me in a homey embrace and I don't want to let go. I know that I house is just a house and you make it a home but right now...after all the changes and ups and downs of the last few home is my safe haven and I will be so sad to leave it.

Building a new home is very tiring (but exciting).

There is also a niggling in my brain. The niggling is much to do with how I can do more to help others. I would like to volunteer more this year but not quite sure at what. Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Alright, this post is fast just becoming me vomitting random stuff all over my keyboard and likely you have stopped reading this post by now.

That is if anyone is still reading my blog. I have NOT been the best bloggers as of late.

I will leave you with some things I would like to better myself with in the year 2012. Not resolutions because really do those ever work but small goals or minor achievements I would like to see myself hit.

Get more rest.

Worry less.

See friends more.

Get on my yoga mat.


Crossfit without fear of failure.

Spend more time with my husband.

Travel with my wee family to some fun destinations (at least one or two trips somewhere in Canada)

Complain less.

Smile more.

Stop to smell the roses.


Stop being so damn hard on myself.

Laugh more.

Hug people more.

Dance more.

Tell me some of your goals for the New Year!

Happy 2012 :)