Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Active Christmas Day

Both Granny and Grandma got Liam some great outdoor toys for Christmas.  Luckily the snow had cleared enough that he could get out and enjoy them.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adoption Reading Challenge - FAIL

Last  year, Firemom who writes at The Chronicles of MunchkinLand, put out a challenge to read adoption themed books over the course of 2011.   I aimed for her level 3 challenge:  Read 12 books about adoption, 6 non-fiction/6 fiction.

I have failed with a miserable grade of  33%.  I only managed to read 4 books from my list this year.

I have two reasons/excuses for not meeting my target.

  1. My reading time has been virtually non-existent. Life has a habit of getting busy and one of the first things to go is your leisure time when you can curl up with a good book for an hour.  And then my mother introduced me to the Twilight series and I was hooked.  So my limited reading time has been spent finding out if Bella was going to choose Jacob over Edward.

  2. I've kinda stopped writing about adoption.  I wish I could say that I've stopped thinking about it, but it is a part of my life that is always there, sometimes closer to the surface then others.  When things came to a close with my own reunion this past summer, I needed to step away from adoption topics for awhile.  So while I still follow a lot of adoption blogs, and can't seem to watch a single TV show that doesn't have some sort of adoption topic, I couldn't bring myself to read adoption themed books.
I still hope to read some of the books on my list, and I'm sure I will pick them up at some point, but for now I'm okay with my failing grade for this year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011- A year in review

I don't often reflect and look back at the year as the New Year approaches.  But a lot happened this year, so here it is.

  • My first Daring Kitchen Challenge was to make Gumbo.
and we still have 2 weeks to go!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Liam's auction

Thursday, December 15th is Fair Day at Halifax Independent! This is a very exciting semi-annual event. In every classroom of the school, students and teachers are busy preparing speeches, displays, models, songs, dances and much, much more. This is the students’ opportunity to shine and we love welcoming all of you on that special day and enjoying their success, together.
Fairs at HIS take place in late Fall and in late Spring. They are a culmination of all of the Theme Studies for each term, and an opportunity for all of the children in the school to present their work to parents and the school community. Students from Littles to Middle School write speeches, plays and songs based on their learning experiences. We feel that it is important for the children to be able to present their work to others in the form of public-speaking as a means of developing self-confidence and a thorough understanding of their research

This term Liam's class studied Great Canadians.  They made objects special to various Great Canadians out of clay and then auctioned them off to the parents during Fair.

Here is Liam auctioning off  a toy model space ship from Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman to go into space:

After some heated bidding (sometimes between Hilary and I!) Hilary came out the winner, having only spent $60.00.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen - Cha Sui Bao

Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious

When I first read this challenge, I had no idea that it was for one of my favorite Dim Sum buns.  This month's host is from Australia, and they refer to Dim Sum as Yum Cha.  After a few minutes with Google, I had an AHA! moment when I finally figured out what the challenge was for.  BBQ'd pork buns!  

This challenge called for a trip to our local Asian grocery store, where I got the necessary ingredients and set to work.

The dough is a simple flour, yeast and water mixture, with no egg.  There was different recipe, with eggs, that you could use if you wanted to bake your buns, but I much prefer mine steamed.

While the dough was rising, I cooked the pork tenderloin that had been marinating in the Cha Sui sauce.  I would have been quite happy to just stop there and eat the meat as is, but I kept going.

The pork is then finally diced, mixed with onion and another sauce that is thickened.

A tablespoon of meat mixture is rolled inside the dough, and formed into nice little buns.

The buns are then steamed, giving them an unusual but light, bread texture.  I was pleased to note that you could steam them ahead of time and then re-heat them in the toaster oven for lunch the next day.  They weren't as pretty (the deflate a bit), but they were just as tasty.

Be sure to check out the full Daring Kitchen Cha Sui Bao recipe.

Happy Birthday Heather!

My friend Heather knows how to celebrate her birthday in style.  She's changed it from a single day event to a full week extravaganza, making sure she can get as much cake as possible. This year she is doing something different:
Here's what I'm hoping we can do for my birthday: I want to have a worldwide celebration of helping others. Paying it forward. Doing good deeds. If  can get 40 people to do 1 Good Thing between now and my actual 40th birthday, that would be just about the best present ever. (Or 20 people to do 2 Good Things. Or 10 to do 4. I'm not  picky.)

She issued this request on September 30th, giving people 2 and half months to do some good deeding.  I love me a good challenge, so here are the good deeds that I have done while thinking of Heather's birthday wish.

  1. Paid for a man's Thanksgiving dinner.  No one should have to eat dinner alone at a restaurant on Thanksgiving, so I hope I made his day a wee bit brighter.
  2. Helped tourists by offering to take group pictures.  There is nothing worse than always being short one person in the picture because they had to be the one to take the picture.
  3. Arranged a play date for a boy from school who doesn't have very many friends. 
  4. Turned the lights off on someone's truck in the parking lot so that they could get home after work without having to find jumper cables to get their truck started.
  5. Filled a box of needed items for a 10 year old boy staying at a shelter for abused women and children over the holidays. 
  6. Gave a man money for breakfast on a cold Sunday morning.

I had really hoped that I could get much closer to 40 good deeds, but I'm still pretty happy with my list.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Nutcracker

Liam loves the Nutcracker.  He collects them; he listens to the music; he twirls about while humming it.  And so we've started the tradition of seeing the Symphony Nova Scotia version each year before Christmas.

But my favorite version will always be this one:
Liam Performs the Nutcracker at age 7.

Be sure to watch (or fast foward) to the very end.   The best part happens in the last 3 seconds.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Today Hilary and I celebrate 18 years of being together! 

Happy Anniversary My Love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three and Three Quarters

3 and 3/4 pounds  or 1.7 Kilograms, as the Dr. announced (and I was glad to see that she had to use the calculator to figure it out too).

That is how much weight Liam has G.A.I.N.E.D. since our last paediatrician visit in September.  More then 1 pound a month!  This might not seem like a lot for an active, growing boy, but considering that he had LOST weight on every previous visit (albeit very small amounts, but losses still), this is great news!

We still have food issues - the number of things that he will eat can be counted on both hands, but slowly his appetite has been increasing.  He now eats 2 Mama Burgers from A&W and not just one.  Even one was way up from the days when he would only eat the bun from a Baby Burger.

We are going to try some new medication for the ADHD - something that is NOT in the stimulant category so that his appetite will hopefully continue to grow and that he can start having better, longer sleep.  It's not unusual for me to go to bed close to 11:00 and find him still awake when I go to turn his light off and then have him up when my alarm goes off at 6:30.

Hopefully the transition to new meds will not be too bumpy.  He only has a few days of school left before the winter break, so any rough patches will likely occur at home.  Oh joy!  But if it helps in the long run, I'm sure we can make it through.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I want to parent like this

I can only hope that I can parent Liam half as well as this man's parents raised him. What an amazing speaker.