Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's Cooking? #2

Oscar prep continues.  Here are 2 shots of 2 very different things that are being prepared today.  The reveal and recipe for the first What's Cooking picture will be up tomorrow.  In the meantime, any thoughts on these?



Are you going to blog about that?

Part of our success of being a couple for 16 years lies in how much fun Hilary and I have together.  We make each other laugh.  We joke together and we tease - in a nice way, not a mean teasing way.

Hilary was slower to embrace the internet then I was.  She still refers to all of you as  my "crazy internet friends".  She was pretty iffy the day I dragged took her out to breakfast to meet someone that I only knew from an adoption forum.   She does not blog or read blogs.  Except this one.  She likes to keep tabs on what I'm sharing with the world. Like Dawn wrote about a few weeks ago, my family also gets to have final veto power in what gets posted.  So far I haven't had anything that I wanted to post that didn't make it past Hilary's approval.

But she has turned blogging topics into a game!

Every time adoption comes up on TV she gets a glint in her eye, pauses the show and smirks at me "You wanna go blog about that?"  When we hear a weird news story on the radio - "Are you going to blog about that?"  Liam remembers to turn the light off in the bathroom... you get the picture!

I have to admit that a few of her joking moments have prompted a blog post or two.  There are times when the creative well seems pretty dry, so it's nice to have someone feeding you some material to work with.

Where do you get your inspiration for blog posts?

Saturday, February 27, 2010


After 24 hours of high wind and heave rain, our power finally went out.

Luckily we have a tonne of candles and candle holders, none of which we use on a day to day basis, but are perfect for a blackout.

We even have the little holders that you can walk around with and feel like Laura Ingles getting ready for bed.  Liam thought the blackout was fun.....for the first hour. The power went out at 6:00 PM, so a long evening of boredom stretched before us.  Luckily I had picked up a small toy a few weeks ago that I had squirreled away till we needed it, so I set up a scavenger hunt for him with the new toy as a prize at the end.  The night wasn't so boring after that.

Bed time was another story however!  Liam is used to having a light on so he can read in bed and he listens to music as he falls asleep.  Neither of those were happening last night. He came and cuddle on the couch with me for a bit, and I ended up lying in bed with him and singing him to sleep.  It was nice! I haven't done that in a long time.

Our other major obstacle was that Hilary had to get up for work at 5:30 this morning.  I offered to stay up till the power came back on so I could set the alarm clock.  However by 10:00 PM I was fading fast.  I racked my brain for what I could do.  I think the power company could make a lot of money if they offered a wake up call service when there are power outages!! It finally came to me!  Liam's DS game has a clock feature on it, and YUP, and alarm feature too.  I tested it out then set it for 5:30 and off to bed I went.  Turns out the power came back on 30 minutes later, but oh well, I was at least prepared!

Open Adoption Roundtable # 14

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking
back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

For this round Lori of Weebles Wobblog reached back through time to a post Heather wrote lo these many months ago after spending an afternoon with her daughter's first mom. In it, she wondered aloud if there was a common definition of a successful open adoption. Is it even possible to define, given the myriad factors involved? Here's how Lori poses the question:

If there's one thing we all might agree on, it's that we'd like our open adoptions to be successful. But what does "success" mean to you, when speaking about open adoption? Do you think it may mean something else to the others in your triad?

Wow, this is a tough one.  One thing I can say for sure is that our open adoption plan for Liam's adoption is definitely NOT successful.  He's never met his Mom, his brother or his sister.  We no longer have contact or updates from K.  By definition his adoption is closed.

For me, the success of an Open Adoption lies in how well the needs, wants and desires of the adoptee are being met. After all, adoption is supposed to be about them (us), right?
  • Can the adoptee contact their first family when they want to?  
  • Does the adoptee have the type of relationship with their first family that they want to have?
  • Does the adoptee feel that it's okay to be in contact with their first family and not pressured by either  family to chose sides?  
  • Are there no secrets or lies surrounding the adoption?
  • Does the adoptee have access to medical history, their genetic background, their heritage?
  • Does the adoptee consider the open adoption a success?
If the answer is YES to these questions, then I would say that the OA is successful and working for the people involved even if the adoptive parents and the first parents felt that it was not successful by their definition. Because it's not about them.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It took 2 years and 1 month

for Liam's tooth to finally grow in! 

On January 14th 2008 he had 2 teeth pulled, 2 root canals and 8 silver caps all done while he was under a general anesthetic. Here' the brave little bunny waking up from the ordeal.


and back home again with his lovely toothy grin (and blood stained lips).

The new tooth isn't actually grown in yet... but it did break through the skin today!  We were starting to worry that it was never going to grow in and that the dentist would have to take drastic measures.  So YEAH!   It's here!!!  One down and one to go!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Cooking?

As we lead into the 82nd Oscar's  and our 12th Oscar party, I thought I would give you a preview of What's Cooking in my house!

I'll post a picture and see if anyone can guess the food item being cooked!  In a day or so I'll let you know what it is, along with the recipe.

You can check out our 2008 menu here and a series of posts on our 2009 Oscar prep here, here and here!

Happy guessing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Write about your favorite cereal

I’m going to try using some creative writing prompts from Creative Portal to help get my writing juices into full gear. So once a week I will post a new prompt and my blog entry for it. I hope that you join in and share your ideas on each of the prompts. If you do, leave a comment with your link so I can check out everyone’s stories.

The good thing was that my mother had a lot of cupboard space. I had never seen cereal come in such huge quantities! I thought we had hit the jackpot. We were getting 3 times as much cereal as was in the other boxes and it still cost less! It wouldn’t be till I was much older and shopping on my own that I finally understood that it was sold by weight and not by volume. And it is easily the lightest cereal around.

So light that it all floats on the milk. ALL OF IT. Many times I have filled my bowl with cereal and then added the milk too quickly just to watch my cereal rise up out of the bowl and drift away. I made a game of it, to see how much milk I could add before the first piece jumped ship. But don’t let it sit too long before you eat it. Once the milk is there it wicks the liquid from piece to piece quickly turning them into soggy lumps of wet drywall that you just end up throwing away. This is not a cereal you can prepare and then walk over to the counter to get your coffee. It must be consumed immediately.

Most people are surprised that it was my favorite cereal when I was little. Sure I liked Count Chocola and Frankenberry. But I grew up in Canada and we could only get those when we crossed the border to shop in the States. Our sugar cereal was things like Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes. I loved Golden Grahams, but not as cereal for breakfast, just as an after school snack food, best eaten straight out of the box. This cereal though? It wasn’t sweetened and it didn’t have a cool character. In fact, you could say it didn’t really have much taste at all. But add a teaspoon of brown sugar and it was divine.

I still buy it on occasion. We don’t have nearly as much cupboard space as my mom did, so a 2 foot long bag of cereal takes up a lot of room. And I’m the only one in our family who will eat it. But one bowl is enough to take me back to my childhood, sitting on a stool at my parent's counter, shoveling back my cereal before the bus came.

Yes, my favorite cereal is puffed wheat. What is yours?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's my turn!

Lot's of people have been making Rainbow cakes lately. And theirs are all so much more polished then mine! Check out Firemom's and MckMama's and all the show off's who sent their pictures in too.

I just made this for something fun to do on a Sunday and so that we would have desert! I didn't bother to level the tiers, I ran out of icing sugar so I could only ice the top, and the whole thing eventually toppled over so that it now sits in the fridge as 2 cakes! but it was fun, it was colourful and it was yummy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My eyes!

I have worn glasses all day, every day since I was about 13 years old. That’s a long time! I have eye issues {shudder} so the idea of contacts has never, ever entered my mind. It once took 5 grown men to hold me down to put in eye drops. I’ve never needed a very strong prescription, but lately I’ve noticed that I’ve started to do something that I had hoped would never happen.

That's Life

Yup, I’m holding things as far away as I can in order to read them. Suddenly the small print on pill bottles is illegible. Suspiciously this is all starting to happen in the year I turn 40. Coincidence? I doubt it.

So I went off to the eye Doctor expecting to need a stronger prescription. I was really hoping that he wasn’t going to bring up the B-word *. Of course at the end of his exam, what is the first word out of his mouth? You guessed it, the B-word. BUT he was saying that he was NOT going to give me those as my distance vision has continued to improve to the point that I no longer need to wear glasses all the time, but just need them for reading! WOOT WOOT.

It was the strangest feeling to walk out of there with my glasses in my purse. I felt naked! And a wee bit dizzy. He says that should pass pretty quickly as I get used to not wearing the glasses all the time. So now I get to pick out new frames for my reading glasses. And try to condition myself to take my glasses off every time I walk away from the computer. I WILL NOT be one of those old ladies that wear my reading glasses on a chain around my neck. I plan to be the cool chick who wears her glasses on the top of her head when she doesn’t need them.

*bi-focals - a sure sign that middle age is creeping up on you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What am I? Reveal

So we had quite a few different guesses for this little thing.

Here is what it is not:

  1. a jump rope
  2. broken curling irons
  3. stick of purple dynamite
  4. sex toy who's sole purpose is to make Jen blush
  5. tampon . . . of the future
  6. electric eyebrow relaxer

some additional clues:

  1. it fits in the palm of my hand, which is where it is meant to go.
  2. it plugs into my computer
  3. it gets really warm
  4. it only cost $4.99!

It's a USB Hand warmer!
My hands get very cold when I type and it make my Raynaud's unbearable. So I will buy any device, gadget or snake oil that will help keep my hands warm. And this little baby does the job!

So go on, get yourself one and stay warm!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow day!

Yesterday we could see grass every where!

That's 17 inches at our back door.

This is our first snow day of the year. Which is pretty impressive since I live on the coast of Eastern Canada. We've had a pretty mild winter so far, so Mother Nature decided to have fun with us over night. Luckily I work from home, so I can still get my stuff done and Hilary was pretty excited to have the day off with Liam so all is well. I foresee some tobogganing in their future.

Wordless Wednesday

One day they might actually be friends

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What am I?

I haven't found many items of late that make for good "What Am I?" subjects. And this one really only offers up one shot.

This is my new favorite appliance device contraption toy.

Do you have one? If you don't, your REALLY should get one! They are fabulous!

Can you guess what it is?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tickled PINK

Barring the grumpy look at having to stop what he was doing to have his picture taken, he was actually quite pleased to wear his new shirt to school today for their Valentine's celebration. It also helped that every big kid that saw him stopped and said "Hey Liam, Great shirt!"

Valentine's day part 2

Liam made bunches of flowers to give out to all his favorite teachers and staff today at their Valentine's day celebration. I wasn't very surprised that he didn't want to make or give Valentines to any of his friends. Girls are still icky and he plans to marry Jacob anyway, and apparently Jacob wouldn't want to get a bunch of flowers for Valentine's day.

But I'm sure the teachers will love them!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

We aren't big on valentine's day here, other then it's a good excuse to buy and eat chocolate (not that we really need an excuse, but it's nice to have one anyway!) We of course got cards from my Mom. She buys cards for EVERY occasion. She must have stock in Hallmark.

But we do like to celebrate occasions with table presents. So when I ran to the store to get pipe-cleaners so Liam could finish his valentine's for his teachers, I decided to add Valentine's Day Dinner to the list of holiday's that we have table presents.

I've eaten all the chocolate and the presents are wrapped (what? You don't wrap everything in brown lunch bags? I do! It's easier, cheaper and you can decorate them for any occasion.) The house is starting to smell delicious, so it looks like we've had another successful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not So Tickled Pink

Liam got a new shirt and sweater yesterday.

The shirt is a nice collared t-shirt. He thought it was great and he knew he would look handsome in it. But this morning when it was time to get dressed, he F.R.E.A.K.E.D. out. You see, the shirt is PINK (technically Raspberry, but still, PINK)

(red tassel from a book mark to help show off the Raspberry)

Somehow overnight he went from loving the shirt to refusing to wear it because he would be made fun of and no one would play with him. Nothing I would say would convince him that it would be okay. In the end he wore his new sweater with a white collared t-shirt.

I talked to the teacher this morning and asked her to help address this problem with the class. Pink is not just for girls! To me, this form of teasing or picking on someone is BULLYING and should not be allowed. Luckily Liam goes to a great school that tries to stay on top of any problems like this right away. And every year our local schools hold an Anti-Bullying day in September that started after a boy was bullied for wearing a pink shirt and some older kids stood up for him.

So I'm hoping now that Liam will wear his handsome new PINK t-shirt to school on Monday for their Valentine's celebration and that he can feel proud and safe to wear it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What if...

I'm not usually one to play the "What If" game. I'm much more of an "it is what it is" kinda gal. But being an adoptee, there is always that pull to imagine what my life would have been like if I had not been adopted.

I can think of at least 2 things that are a big part of who I am today that would be different if I had not been adopted.

  1. I would not have been raised Catholic. While I no longer consider myself Catholic, or more specifically consider myself atheist now, being raised Catholic still has life long consequences.

  2. I would not be bilingual. Having French as a second language has opened many doors for me over the years in my career. I also identify with the French-Canadian culture because of my French upbringing.
I recently read a comment somewhere (not here on my blog) that seemed to imply that the lesbian adoptee in question would not be a lesbian if she had not been placed for adoption and had been raised by her first family.

So would I have still been a lesbian if Iris had raised me?

I honestly believe that YES, I would still be a lesbian. For me, being gay was not a choice. I didn't weigh the pros and cons and decide "What the Hell? Let's go meet some girls." I first realized that I was a lesbian when I was 19 and had my first girlfriend when I was 21. When I was 23 I did date (not really date...., but we can call it that right?) men. I think I did it in part to see what all the fuss was about. Would it really change my mind (as straight men will often try to convince lesbians!) ? Ummmm.... NO. Certainly didn't change my mind!

I'm my case there are also some pretty strong arguments for both Nurture and Nature for my being gay. I have 2 gay uncles in my adoptive family. They are only 8 and 10 years older then I am, so we were very close growing up. I started hanging out in gay bars with them when I was 16 (2 years before I identified as a lesbian). Of course, they were male gay bars, so they didn't have much influence in exposing me to the lesbian world.

On the Nature side, since reuniting with Iris I have found out that one of my father's children is also a lesbian. Is there a genetic link to being gay? Maybe..... At the very least, Iris was not at all surprised that I was a lesbian.

Adoption does change a lot of things about who that child will grow up to be. It can change names, religions, languages, countries, financial circumstances and exposures to things around you.

But it does not change the core of who you are.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why I love insurance....

We went from this:

to this today.

Can you guess who's glasses those were?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day

I've mentioned this story before, but in the spirit of Groundhog day, I'll share it again.

I grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. We had 25 acres of land that was farmed, 20 acres of bush and 5 acres around the house, barn and horse fields. One of the major problems that we faced was groundhogs. Not actually the animals themselves, as they are pretty shy. The problem comes from their burrows. They build these great complex underground tunnels that threaten the ground above it. Tractors have been known to break through the roof of a burrow and get stuck out in a field. I've twisted my ankle walking along and not noticing a groundhog hole. It can be lethal to horses, should they break a leg in one of the holes.

My father took it upon himself to go to war against the ground hogs on our farm. His main weapon of choice was a leghold trap. Being humane (which to me seems sorta ironic....) he would check the traps every day and kill any animal that he had captured. Being weird, he kept count of how many he killed each day on the kitchen calendar. EDITED TO ADD: I called my mother. The most he killed in one year was 120.

I was a tender soul growing up (still am, you can check with Hilary!). I had to leave the room if my mother was going to swat a fly (still do), could not be anywhere near the dead or dying mice that the cats brought home and had to avert my eyes from road kill lest it make me cry. So the idea of my father going around and killing things was not an easy one for me to handle. On the intellectual side, I knew that it had to be done, I just wanted to be far removed from all of it, including any discussions or tallies.

For the most part I was successful. Even if it did mean sticking my fingers in my ears, shutting my eyes real tight and signing LA-LA-LA-LA at the top of my lungs because my father loved to tease me.

Then there was that faithful day. We had been to town and were just driving up to the garage when we saw it. The biggest groundhog any of us had ever seen was sunning itself against the garage door. It was fast asleep. Before I knew what was happening, my father had stopped the truck, hopped out, grabbed a shovel from the truck bed and had beaten the groundhog over the head until it was dead. I think I went into shock.

I managed to avert my eyes and made my way into the house.

The worst was yet to come.

My father fancies himself as a bit of a Grizzly Adams , bush-man type. On this particular day he got it in his head that we should eat the groundhog for dinner. After all, meat is meat right? Why waste this one? So he scooped it up, took it to the shed to skin it and whatever else one must do (cause sure shootin', I wasn't going anywhere near it) and had my mother cook it up.

I don't think I spoke to my father for a week, even though he tried to tease me about it endlessly.

And my parents still wonder why I became a vegetarian when I was 13.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2010


What kid (or adult for that matter) wouldn't love to have the opportunity to help build an 8-foot tall space shuttle out of Lego? Our local discovery center recently offered us that very opportunity! We signed up for a 20 minute block of building time and got to help work on this giant masterpiece.

We also got to check out the whole Lego display, aptly named Wheels, Wings and Waves as it showed off every conceivable mode of transportation.

And since Lego is more fun when it's hands-on and not just left to look at, they had tables set up where the kids could make their own creations.

And even better then looking at the great displays? Being able to sit in one!