search 2013 adfgs
Oct 26

Today we received a package of goodies in the mail courtesy of Oma. It included little baggies of Halloween treats and of course they were happily received by everyone at my house. But what I enjoyed most about this particular care package was the box it came in. Behold:

This, my friends, is the box which contained an original “Digi-matic-P8 Portable Electronic Calculator”! Is modern technology not a wonder to behold???

It’s hard to grasp the actual size of this marvel of technological ingenuity without something to compare it to, so I grabbed the closest thing I could find to give you some perspective.

A calculator that was as big as a bunch of bananas! Or a toaster! A frying pan! Amazing! I wouldn’t be surprised if some people thought a calculator a silly investment when it is as big as a dinner plate and one already carries a decent calculator around on one’s shoulders.

Apparently my father purchased this calculator in 1975 for more than an iPod shuffle costs today. I haven’t asked him but I’m guessing it was useful to him as a teacher. My father is the original early adopter. (Actually I don’t know if this is true. How long have calculators been around? I could google it but I’m ok with not knowing some things!)

Of course I had to tease my mom about this old box, but in truth, considering how old it is, it’s a great sturdy box and still perfectly useable despite some wear. Much better than the kinds of packaging most items come in these days. It seems like a shame to throw it into the recycling bin. I think I need to find a way to give it a new purpose.

Like fill it with 40 pocket calculators.

Oct 20

Avery got her ears pierced last week. This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people. But if you know my daughter you know she is pretty much vehemently opposed to being punctured. Period.

She has never been the type that you have to drag kicking and screaming into the doctor’s office for her vaccinations or flu shot. Instead, she frets quietly, working herself into a private mental frenzy. Almost more heartbreaking than a physical outburst is the obvious terror on her face and the clear mental agony and the tears squeezing out of the corners of her eyes as she prepares for these kinds of shots.

So ever since she learned about the possibility of ear piercing she was 100% committed to never allow such violence to be perpetrated on her earlobes. I was content with that. I figured at some point she’d probably change her mind but I certainly didn’t feel the need to try and convince her otherwise.

And then, in what we’ve come to recognize as Avery’s way, she came from school one day and out of nowhere announced she wanted her ears pierced. After seeing there are some fun things about wearing earrings, and I guess a little bit of peer envy, she decided she was willing to put herself through the ordeal of getting the piercing done.

I did some research about piercing options in our area and on the advice of several friends I realized that there is a very strong case for doing piercing with a needle as opposed to the “gun” that a lot places use these days. Cleaner, safer, and less painful. But how to convince Avery that a needle would be better than the gun when she is terrified of needles? Riiiight.

You know those moments when you just couldn’t be more proud of your child for one reason or another? I had a moment when I watched her face her fear of needles and bravely sit herself down in that chair and allow someone to violate her earlobes! I don’t know if it’s the earrings or the maturity that I saw in her when she got them, but she looks so much older to me!

Jun 6

Dear Little Girl,

I picked these up today in anticipation of Canada Day. One for your sister, one for your brother, and one for you.

You won’t be with us on Canada Day this year. I dare to hope you might be home with us by next July 1 but if not, the shirt will hold until that time. Come home soon baby.

Love,
Mommy

Jun 1

Dear Kieran,

Today you are 5 years old. It may be cliched to exclaim over how fast the years have flown but I’ll be doing it anyway. Just a note for your own future reference: If you should some day have a child, on the occasion of his or her 5th birthday, I advise you NOT to look at his or her baby pictures. You may find yourself overcome with nostalgia and trying to explain to said 5 year old why you are weeping uncontrollably. Just sayin’.

Five years ago the world’s fattest baby made his appearance. Ok, not the world’s fattest, but you were quite the little butterball. All ten pounds twelve ounces of you. If you think I’ll ever let you forget that, you have another thing coming!

You were such a delight to me, from the moment you arrived. Maybe your sister broke me in as a mother, but my ability to enjoy you was much greater because I already knew a thing or two about being parenting. I was, however, a novice at boys. Having grown up with only sisters, I wasn’t sure how this whole boy thing was going to work out. I was nervous.

But that’s the greatest thing about you, Kieran. From the moment you were born you have been the exact son I was meant to have. You are such a treasure to your dad and me. People always tell me you have the greatest smile and they are right. From the beginning your bright smile (even if it was gas-induced) has attracted people to you.

I didn’t know what would follow after that first few days in the hospital, but when we took you home we started the real process of learning what having a son was all about.

Within a year you were so completely your own person, full of energy and enthusiasm and spirit. Your winning smile (not to mention those dimples!!!) has taken you far in this life. I hope you never loseWeight Exercise the ability to see the good in everything.

You have always been quick to laugh, ready to be silly and joke around and always trying to crack up those around you.

I love that you are not afraid to be just who you are, regardless of what people might think. You are 100% YOU and that’s exactly what I want for you! Of course you also love to follow in your sister’s footsteps, too. The two of you make a pretty great team.

I think what has surprised me the most about you is how very extroverted you are turning out to be. You just love to be with people. All. The. Time. I know I’m not always very understanding of this trait, partly because I don’t have it. But the fact that you are so at ease in a group is a gift. You see every person as an opportunity to make a friend and that is such a wonderful quality. But you temper your extroversion with such incredible sensitivity, self-awareness and thoughtfulness that I am frequently shocked by the thoughts swirling around in that head of yours.

You have never been afraid of anything (except monsters under the bed) and conquer new challenges fearlessly! How I admire your openness to trying new things. You get that from your daddy.

It is such a privilege to be your mommy. If I could have ordered a little boy who I felt would be “right” for me, I would have asked for you exactly. You teach me every day what it means to be open and loving. Your desire for hugs and kisses and snuggles is never satiated and I love that about you!

Here we are, five years later and still nose to nose and heart to heart.  I hope that never changes. I love you baby!

Love,
Your Mom

May 30

It’s 2am here and I’m awake because my body is malfunctioning once again. A sweet case of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) has me up and enjoying  the sweats, shakes and a mind that is both foggy and eerily focused on random topics. Sometimes diabetes is like getting kicked in the balls and the kidneys and the teeth, too.

I’ve had diabetes on the brain today for various reasons (not all bad). I spent several hours this afternoon with an insulin pump consultant because I am hoping to be able to replace my current pump with a new one and I’m seriously considering switching brands. The talk has me seriously excited about the possibilities with the new pump and so we’ll see where we get and if my current insurance coverage will actually pay for the pump like I’m hoping it will.

The very lovely insulin pump rep told me about Kerri at sixuntilme who blogs about life with diabetes and I looked her up as soon as the rep left my house. It was like sitting down with someone who truly gets it. I dont’ write about diabetes a lot, but it is obviously a huge part of my life and I know very few people who live with it and I don’t know anyone personally who uses a pump like I do or who has children or has done this as long as I have. So it was so exciting for me to read some of her posts about what it’s like to be up in the middle of the night, feeling as crappy as I do at this moment and knowing how I’ll be feeling in the morning with the low blood sugar hangover, and know that I’m not alone. Is it possible to bring on low blood sugar by reading about it?  Eek??

But what really got me thinking about blogging in the middle of the night? Orange Juice.  I have typically used orange juice to treat low blood sugar at home and obviously there are times when my blood sugar is low and so it the pitcher of juice I usually have in the fridge. It’s expensive to buy those 2L cartons of pre-made orange juice so I buy the frozen concentrate stuff, however the obvious downside of those is…their FROZEN. So when I’m awake at 2am, shaking and sweating and desperately needing that juice fast, the last thing I want to be doing is trying to thaw a chunk of orange ice.

Now let me show you something….

Tada!!! No metal cap! I can zap this baby for a few seconds and it is ready to make! I’m totally sure that no one at McCain thought about how this little concept could save my life, but one day it could. Sometimes I need that juice fast. Yes, their juice is a little bit more expensive than other brands of a similar product (ahem, McCain, could you do something about that?) but this is not just about convenience. In a moment when speed is of the essence, this juice is so much easier to open and the fact that I can prepare it in a minute is a HUGE DEAL!

So McCain, diabetics everywhere (or,uh, here in Canada anyway) salute you for your diabetic friendly packaging. You have no idea what a big innovation this is for people like me!

Aaaand now I’m going to check my blood sugar again and hopefully get some more sleep! If I look a bit groggy tomorrow morning you’ll know why!

 

May 21

Oy. I have always hated the phrase “Use your words!”, but sometimes it is appropriate. I’ve spent some time in the past year or two thinking about how people sometimes suffer from a lapse in creativity when it comes to talking about their kids and after a recent discussion with some friends I felt like I was able to frame it out a little more clearly for myself. Parents (and possibly people in general?) sometimes fail to adequately describe their feelings about parenting and their offspring and that can cause them to come across as boring, coarse or worse, boastful.

Some time ago I remember hearing someone discussing how almost vulgar they found it when parents discussed their children’s potty-training successes and failures on facebook and how they felt nobody needed or wanted to know about such things.

My first suggestion would for that individual be to trim down their facebook friends to only the childless if you are that discriminating about what you want to read on facebook because, let’s be serious, it’s FACEBOOK.  Also, there are a lot more annoying and offensive things to be read on the internet than unsolicited information about someone’s kid’s poop. But beyond that, I really started to think about that particular topic because I have blogged about potty-training and I’m not sure if I’ve ever put anything potty-related on facebook but it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility. I wondered if that was truly inappropriate or if a majority of people, especially childless people, feel that way about that kind of subject material? I have no desire to offend people if their request to avoid certain subject matter is reasonable.

My conclusion was this: some seemingly mundane, unimportant, or even kind of gross details of child-rearing are actually really meaningful but because we fail to properly express what we are thinking or feeling, we can fail to really communicate their significance.

There are a lot of people who do not get why “my two year old has been using the potty for two days with no accidents!!!!” is worthy of being expressed anywhere on the internet or in polite company. I totally get that people might see that as inappropriate and vulgar or just totally boring, particularly if they’ve had little exposure to kids.

Here’s the thing: Parents don’t celebrate milestones because their world has become so small they have nothing better to do or think about than the little people who consume their lives. We do so because each little milestone is a huge step in the process of becoming an independent person! The reason potty-training is such a big deal is because when you have a had to take care of every physical need of an infant or small child for several years, the fact that they can now eliminate waste without assistance is a HUGE DEAL! It is also one of the last steps a small child takes to become a much more independent person, not relying so much on mom or dad for their most basic hygiene.

Maybe I, as a parent, have not clearly expressed why certain things feel like such a big step and that is why I have been misunderstood. I feel like I should take responsibility for that. What if I chose to say “I am so proud that my two year old is becoming such an independent little person, able to care for her/himself and many of her needs! This a an enormous step in her/his development and maturity and it is really significant to me!”.

Ok, that is a bit more formal and stiff than I would normally post on facebook, but I think the point is, we can do better than just saying “Suzie pooped in the potty!”. We can try to explain why that is such a big deal to us as parents. Maybe not everyone who is disgusted by potty talk would react differently, but I think some people might.

I think the same thing goes for what I like to call the Christmas letter crowd. Many people get annoyed by Christmas letter updates that seem to be nothing more than bragging about one’s extremely intelligent, fabulous and talented children. I honestly think there are very few people who sit down to write their Christmas letter and think “How can I make everyone see that my kids are smarter and more accomplished than theirs are?”. I believe most people sit down to think over the last year and they are not able to clearly define what they are excited about or what qualities they are proud to see developing in their children and end up writing a laundry list of activities their offspring have participated in, rather than why they feel excited or satisfied with the outcome of those activities.

What if we learned to say “I am really proud of Johnny for the dedication he has shown to his piano lessons in the last year! It was really difficult for him to spend the time he could have been using for X to practice piano but he worked really hard and learned so much and it is great to see that he is learning to put his best effort at something and being rewarded with a lot of improvement!”. Instead of bragging that our five year old is reading Tolstoy, why can’t we just express our true and honest delight that our child is excited about reading and because we also love to read, it is thrilling to see that our child is discovering the very same things we love about reading!

I guess I’m trying to learn to better express myself because it is really important to me that I am understood. I disklike thinking that I am being misinterpreted and so I usually try to explain myself as clearly as possible and choose my words carefully. That said, you can’t make everyone happy all the time, and some sentiments can’t be expressed in the amount of characters allotted a facebook status. Truly, some people need to get over themselves and embrace the fact that not everyone sees the world the same way they do. But I am going to try to explore my ability to express why some things are important to me when it seems appropriate. I, too, need to get over myself and realize that not everyone understands why I consider certain things significant or noteworthy and if we all learned to be a little more creative or thorough in articulating our thoughts, maybe we would be better understood.

Apr 12

The hubby’s iPad2 arrived in the mail today. He has been anxiously tracking it’s progress to our home online for the past week and the cruel consequence of him being the breadwinner in our family is that he is at work and I am at home when it was delivered. Oh, the world is an unfair place!!!

Emails I have considered sending to him today:

Dear Hubby,

Your iPad arrived. Is it supposed to look like this?

Love,
Shannon

 

Dear Hubby,

You said the bathroom renovations would be done by Easter. I think we can do better than that, don’t you? Btw, your iPad arrived. I’m holding it hostage until the bathroom is functional.

Love,
Shannon

 

Dear Hubby,

Your iPad arrived today! I’m smearing it in peanut butter. I hope you know where your EpiPen is!

Love,
Shannon

 

Dear Hubby,

I let the kids try out your iPad and there was…an incident. Is there some kind of warranty?

Love,
Shannon

I have been teasing him about what I might do with his iPad since he ordered it and now that the day is finally here I am just overwhelmed with the possibilities!

No, in truth, I can’t keep the hardworking and wonderful man in my life from his favourite toys. Especially considering how hard he has been working on our home renos.  Apple will have a hard time finding a more devoted fan of their products.

Mar 28

Well, we have been officially registered with our chosen country for our adoption since Aug. 5, 2010. With only 7 months of “waiting” under our belts, we are by no means old pros at this. Many have waited much longer and our wait is yet not close to over (as far as we know).  We are so new to this whole adoption scene and we have had only very limited exposure to other adoptive families, although we’re working to change that. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and yet, I’m the one who is most often giving out information to my friends and family!

I am quickly learning that, like anyone who makes a less conventional lifestyle choice, I do sometimes have to dispel myths or educate people about the realities of adoption. While adoptive families are not that unusual, I do notice that there are certain remarks that people sometimes make that cause my blood pressure to rise just a smidge. I know that most people mean well and try not to let it get to me, but I thought this is a forum where I can get out some of the things that have been irking me and perhaps give some constructive suggestions for people who are interacting with those in the process of adoption.

As I said above, I am not even close to an expert on this topic. I will share my thoughts and I will preface this by saying that this is my personal take on this subject and many people may feel differently than I do. I also don’t want my “real-life” friends and family to feel they can’t ask us questions or talk to us about the adoption because that’s the last thing I want to communicate!

So, with all those disclaimers, here are Shannon’s Tips on Things to Say/Things Not to Say To Prospective Adoptive Parents:

Don’t say “They drag the process out so that they can milk every last penny out of you,” or otherwise imply that we are being scammed by corrupt governments or people. Yes, everyone is aware there is corruption in some places and some people have occasionally been taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. This does not mean that anyone having to do with intercountry adoption is corrupt and out to make a buck. Accusing us of adopting from a country whose government is unethical presumes first of all that we have not done our homework and/or are allowing ourselves to be maniuplated or taken advatage of. But more importantly, it presumes that we are taking part in something unethical and that we are contributing to the “sale” of children. We are not purchasing a child. The Hague Convention was designed to prevent this and most families adopt from Hague Convention countries. We are and will continue to be strongly opposed to the practice of selling children and it is very difficult in Canada to adopt from a non-Hague Convention country for this reason.

Do ask us what the costs associated with our adoption are used for. It does not go to the hands of the “foreign government” as has been suggested to me by many people who lack concrete information. It does not go into the hands of con artists or people who are taking advantage of prospective adoptive families. There are specific purposes for each cost and we have a detailed breakdown of where every penny goes. Do take the time to talk to us and ask how we can be sure we are not taken advantage of and what we know about corruption in the adoption process. It is not as simple as Child A in Country B just needs to make their way to Family C in Country D and what’s the problem? Which leads me to…

Don’t disparage the paperwork and process which is part of adoption. It exists for a purpose. Yes, it’s true that biological parents don’t need to go through this process in order to have their children. I think we can all agree adopting is a different. We appreciate that you think we will make great parents, but the rest of the world doesn’t know us as well as you do and in order to be sure that each child is going from a safe environment to a safe environment, the paperwork and processes are necessary. They are in place to protect the child that will some day be a part of our family and even though we sometimes get tired of the red tape, we understand that this process keeps OUR (soon-to-be) child safe. Your negative comments will not help us to keep a positive attitude when we are working through this process.

Do ask us about the purpose for the paperwork/process. There might not be a lot you can do to help with paperwork but offer to be a reference or offer to babysit (if there are other children in the home) so that parents can devote the time needed to filling out forms, driving around to collect documentation or see professionals to get forms signed. There is a lot running around to get all the paperwork together in the beginning of the process and a little support goes a long way! The best thing you can do is to have a constructive attitude and help us to feel that the paperwork we are doing is important, rather than meaningless busywork.

Don’t ask us why we didn’t adopt one of the many children in our own country who need homes. This feels like an accusation, a judgement of our choice to adopt internationally. There are many reasons people that people make the choice to adopt either domestically or internationally. Some people have connections to certain parts of the world through family or friends, some people simply have an opportunity to adopt fall into their laps (either domestically or abroad), some people make choices based on financial, cultural, religious or other personal reasons. But more often than not it comes down to where a particular person or couple or family’s passion lies. Don’t assume we haven’t thought about domestic adoption or made an informed and thoughtful decision.

Therefore, do ask why we feel passionately about international adoption, or the country of our choice.

Don’t be the expert. Please understand that every single country works differently, has a different process, different requirements for prospective parents to meet (including everything from your history of mental and other types of illness to your body mass index to your ability to have children, age, length of marriage, sexual orientation, religion, family size etc.) and different documentation requirements. Just because you know someone who adopted from X doesn’t mean it will help me adopting from Y. Just because someone had a bad experience adopting from W doesn’t mean the same will happen to us adopting from V. Don’t offer advice unless you are asked or you have specific knowledge pertaining to a certain area (ie. you work for immigration Canada and know something about getting passports/etc.).

Do ask me questions without judging based on things you’ve heard from others. Do ask what specific requirements or steps we are required to meet in our particular process and how that might differ from other countries.

 

Don’t accuse the country that we are adopting from of being unreasonable or having unfair expectations. We believe in promoting respect for our child’s country and, again, you are implying that we haven’t done our research. We have spent countless hours trying to figure out this process and we believe it is the right of the other country to create their own definition of a “good” family. While this may be hard to accept when it does not fall within our own personal definitions of what makes a good family, it is their right to do so and we believe that they are doing what they believe is in the best interest of our child.

Do ask how things are going with the process, but be prepared for me to say “no, nothing has changed, we’re still waiting.” I know this is not the same for everyone, nor can I guarantee that I will continue to feel this way if we end up waiting for longer than anticipated. But it is nice to know that people have not forgotten that we are “expecting”. I find it nice to talk about the future when our child will be home with us.

Wow, that got long, didn’t it? I hope I haven’t scared people out of talking to adoptive families in waiting! I think it all boils down to one thing…ask, don’t tell!  Most people are able to judge when a person simply wants to make themselves feel knowledgeable by sharing a gruesome story about someone they know who had problems adopting and someone who genuinely cares for you and is interested in what you are experiencing. If you ask sincere questions, rather than make judgements, you are unlikely to go wrong. I have been lucky to have a lot of caring people in my life who have been very supportive of our adoption plans.

Mar 19

I’m even slacking off at catching up! Can you believe it?

I guess you probably can.

There’s not much to tell about the month of February and early March. No major trips. No holidays. Nothing of real interest going on. Sometimes life is just…regular. Of course that should be nothing to complain about. So I will give the updates as it feels to me.

Hubby: The hubby started a new job back in January which was, we hope, a good change. Of course it can take a while to really decide how you feel about a new job and the people you work with. But the hubby is the hardest worker I know and, in my opinion, pretty damn awesome. So I think his new employer is lucky to have him.

The hubby never has enough work on his plate so December and January he dedicated himself to finishing our basement. We hired a contractor/friend to do a few things for us but the hubby did the vast majority of the work. I honestly don’t know how people deal with home renos when they have to hire someone to do all of it! I can’t say how lucky I am to have a husband who is generally pretty handy, but also has the ability to teach himself how to do so many renovation-related things!  Now that the basement is (mostly) finished, the hubby is starting work on the bathrooms. We have two upstairs that need to be redone and we are hoping to put one in the basement where there is not currently a bathroom. Yes, he is a glutton for punishment, isn’t he? But a wonderful, wonderful man. (I have to butter him up good or he might start to notice how very little I contribute to the renovation process.)

Avery: The child has stopped growing physically and seems to be devoting all her energy to growing emotionally/intellectually! That’s great and all, but she has been wearing the same pants for 2 years now and shows very little signs of growing out of them. She has worn through the knees of three pairs of pants in the last week! I didn’t realize that could actually happen with kids – that they could wear out clothes before the outgrew them! Pretty soon her brain will start reaching the limits of it’s expansion without her skull (and presumably the rest of her, too) growing so maybe she’s in for a big growth spurt. I am consistently amazed and perplexed by her. This is not surprising to her, I’m sure, as she regularly gives me that withering stare intended to remind me how dumb I am.

No, seriously, she is really good kid. She is not generally disrespectful. However I have realized that we are reaching a new level of parenting where she is desiring more independence and will and she is now squarely in that stage of childhood where she no longer wants to “fuss” with…anything. Not dressing cute, or fixing her hair or any other task related to simple hygiene. Anything that interferes with play or the interesting topic/game/idea of the moment is an unacceptable interruption. In some ways I miss my little girl. She’s become such a KID. But she’s such an interesting and genuinely nice kid that I think I’ll be ok with it. Eventually.

We have been working at teaching her assertiveness, whether that is in asking for help or standing up for herself when certain manipulative/mean kids try to pick on her. Let me tell you, it’s a challenge to teach a kid something you’ve never really learned yourself! I’m really trying to work on that one. Along that same topic, I’ve been reading a fantastic book about protecting kids from predators called Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (And Parents Sane) by Gavin De Becker. This is a great book if you want something that is written by someone who is qualified and a book which is not going to make you terrified but help you feel equipped for many different situations in life (from interviewing potential babysitters/daycares, to handling someone who makes you feel uncomfortable) and help you evaluate whether your child is ready to take on certain freedoms. I have been struggling with how to know when Avery is really ready to do certain things and she is at an age where she is pushing to have more freedom. So we are going to begin working with her to make sure she has the confidence and knowledge she needs to interact safely in the world, even if we aren’t beside her every moment. For those in Saskatoon, I know our library has this book. Definitely worth the read!

So that’s where our girl is. Getting more independent by the second!

Kieran: This is one child who has not stopped growing for a second since he was born. He is now only 9cm shorter than Avery and only one clothing size behind her and they are three years apart in age! I am completely dumbfounded every time I look at how big this kid is!  Still, just because he is bigger than the average 4 year old, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t behave like one. Four years old has it’s challenges. But he is still the loving, sensitive child he always has been and I love the frequent snuggles, even if I find his desire for CONSTANT social interaction a little tiring at times. There’s a book title for you: Introverts raising Extroverts.

Kieran will be getting his tonsils and adenoids out as soon as he turns 5 and that necessity has been making itself known since…well pretty much since he was born, but particularly this winter. Adenoids can’t be seen without specials tools and mirrors but Kieran’s are almost certainly the size of basketballs, as evidenced by the fact that he always sounds very congested and he has reasonably bad sleep apnea. For us the sleep apnea is more of an issue simply because a) breathing seems important and b) every time he wakes up at night (which is about 389387394634928 times) his first order of business is to come see mom and dad in bed. So basically 3 out of 4 members of our family are suffering from sleep apnea or sleep apnea by proxy. We can’t wait to enjoy a solid night’s sleep! And honestly, although he seems to be a healthy child, I feel that this surgery is going to make him generally much healthier. It’s amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep makes to your health. My only concern is that he might start growing even faster if he starts sleeping decently and we just can’t afford to buy a new set of clothes every week! I suspect the surgeon would not be impressed if we came back six months after the operation to ask him to put the adenoids and tonsils back in!

Me: Well, there’s nothing really dramatically new with me. The things that go on in my family these days are kind of what my life is about. We’ve gone through some really difficult things and some great things in the past few months and, like everyone, I struggle with the negative emotions that go along with the bad. But I have a wonderful family and I am working at pushing myself beyond what is normally comfortable for me and trying to get to know some of the really great people I have interacted with in the past 6 months. Making new friends is a scary business. At least it can be for me. But I am looking forward to the opportunities I’ve had to meet some people who seem like truly good and kind people. Those kinds of friends can be difficult to find.

We continue to wait for a referral for the adoption. There is little news to report, other than we are told there will be legal changes happening in the country we are adopting from which should enable the foreign government to start to make faster referrals. But even those kinds of changes don’t happen overnight. As many of you know, patience is pretty much the name of the game when it comes to adoption. I am so lucky to have two children here to keep me busy and distracted from THE WAIT. If not for them I know I would be going completely bananas. I hope to write more about adoption and my thoughts and feelings about it very soon. It is a very interesting process to go through and you learn a lot about yourself and your preconceived ideas about many aspects of foreign cultures, their processes, their intentions, and my own motivations and beliefs.

Well folks, if you’re still with me, thanks for sticking through such a long catch-up post. Hopefully next time I can dig up some pictures instead of, as the hubby calls it…WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS. :)

Feb 26

Well, I haven’t quite been keeping up with my promise to start blogging more frequently, but let’s just pretend like no one noticed, mkay? So! On to January. There is really only one event of any major significance to mark this January. An historic occasion for my little family: the first real vacation we’ve ever taken! By vacation I mean somewhere out of the country. We have taken a few smaller trips (see November’s post about our trips to Banff and Ottawa and Montreal and New Hampshire) and often getaway to my parents’ place in Manitoba for a little break from routine. But our first trip to an exotic and completely different place? That was this year.

And yes, I realize that this is most certainly what we should classify as a “First World Problem”. Clearly the fact that we don’t get away for a tropical vacation every winter is not of major significance when there are people without enough to eat or drink in this world.

Anyway…we had the truly fantastic experience of a week at an all-inclusive resort in Huatulco, Mexico. We booked the trip nearly a year in advance so by the time we finally boarded the plane it was still a little surreal.

Even more so when we were looking at this view from our hotel room by that evening. The first few days consisted mostly of this…

…and this…

…and oh my goodness was there ever a lot of this…

We eventually decided we should see more of the area than just the bar pool, so we took a short day tour to see some local attractions. We enjoyed many spectacular views and charming local shops and people.

Also, my husband ate a grasshopper in a questionable back room with walls filled with liquor.

We also discovered the cure for diabetes! Who knew it was a in a sketchy little back room in Southern Mexico?

We did end up spending the majority of our time at our resort and were satisfied just hanging by the pool or the beach. Except I quickly realized that the hubby should never be allowed to select headwear for my kids from vendors on the beach without my direct supervision. Ever. See what I mean? (Sorry if plastic-y cowboy hats with black spray painted band are a your style. I was just hoping to purchase something my son would actually wear, like, ever. He basically refused to wear it again after the day we bought it. My fault for forgetting hats back in Canada!)

My all-time favourite activity at the resort was feeding the fish. We got to do it 3 or 4 times and it was so cool! These fish were in the ocean and “wild” but were used to being fed by tourists/resort personnel daily. They swam all around our feet eating up the fish pellets we were feeding them. It was mildly terrifying at first, but once I got used to it, I could have done it for hours.

A few pics of us at the beach…

…and at the resort…

…and off the resort at a local restaurant (excuse the terrible picture. It was dark out and my iphone couldn’t handle the lighting.)

Like I said, this was our first trip of this kind. It was just what the doctor ordered and we couldn’t have enjoyed ourselves more. I would go back in a second! I hope we will have the chance to do so! I would give this resort a very positive review to anyone looking for this kind of holiday.

And so, all I remember about January is that I got to miss one week of freezing cold temperatures and what more can we ask? (Except to miss all of it!)

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