Thursday, January 31, 2013

My virtual tribe

I’ve been chatting online with people in forums and other social network areas for more than 12 years now. The first forum I joined was a TTC (trying to conceive) group on WebMD. When we found out that we would be adopting instead of conceiving, I switched over to adoption forums. Through them I have forged friendships that have now spanned more than a decade. I’ve only had the chance to meet one of these friends in person, but that doesn’t change the depth and level of our relationships. We have supported each other through the adoptions and births of our children, deaths of our loved ones, school and parenting issues, celebrated our health and been there for each other through our illnesses. It has become a virtual tribe, with all of us spanning  the 4 corners of the globe.

This week I received a parcel from one of my virtual tribe members. Liam collects nutcrackers. At Christmas we have more than 20 that get displayed around the house, and he has a small army of them that live on his shelf year round. Even with all of the variations that he has, he has always wanted a metal one that could actually crack nuts . When he was much younger he actually broke a couple of the wooden ones, using them to try and crack his almonds open. So awhile ago I put out a plea to my online group of friends, asking that if anyone ever came across a metal nutcracker, to let me know.

Guess what was in the parcel?

I love my tribe!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Movin' on up

We have 2 new yellow belts in the house.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What's a parent to do?

All right,all you parents (and none parents, I'll take advice from everyone!) out there, I need your input on this one.

What do you do when  your kid doesn't want to do something fun?  You've planned and talked about an upcoming activity all week.  They are stoked, excited even.  Then the day comes and poof.  They no longer want to go.

They don't have a reason beyond just not wanting to.  It's an outside activity so maybe they are worried about the cold weather.  You offer to change it up with another, fun, indoor activity.  Something they've done before and enjoyed.  Nope.  They simply don't want to go anywhere.

If this was the first time, I would write it off as tired, over scheduled, just needing a low impact, stay home, mental health kinda day.  But this isn't the first time.  It's pretty much become every time.

So the question I have is:  Do I force it?  Suck it up Buttercup, we are going and your going to have fun, damn it.  Do I say okay, and we never leave the house again?  I really struggle with this one.....

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Keep your keyboard clean

One of the things we struggle with is keeping our keyboard clean.  While we've tried to instill a "no food at the computer" rule, we tend to get lax both with Liam and ourselves.  As a result we always seem to have crumbs, sticky keys and general gunk on the keyboard.

I went on the hunt for a keyboard cover.  Turns out that they are a lot harder to find then I thought they would be.  Since every keyboard is a different shape they can't sell generic ones.  I did find keyboards online that came with a clear cover that fit over each key, but since I couldn't find replacement covers, I was worried that I would have to buy a new keyboard if the cover ever got damaged.  That seemed like too pricey of a solution.

I did come across a generic solution that was a simple piece of clear thin plastic that you stretched over the keyboard and fastened in the back with a weird strap system.  It seemed to work for a few days, but it never stayed in place very well and ripped pretty quickly.  It also cost $10 for what seemed like glorified kitchen plastic wrap, so I wasn't too keen to run out and replace it.

That was when I had my big AHA! moment.  Kitchen plastic wrap.

Works like a charm. When it does get ripped or dirty, I just take it off and wrap up the keyboard again. We do have a wireless keyboard, so that makes it a bit easier to manage, but I'm sure it would work just as well with a cord.  One long piece goes across the width and sticks to itself at the back of the keyboard.  And then 2 short pieces going in the other direction and the whole thing is completely sealed.  It has survived a juice spill without a single drop getting through to the keys.

It does help that all three of us touch type (yup, 10 year old Liam types nearly as fast as I do and has no need to look at his fingers at all.  I knew that online gaming would be useful for something).  Where the wrap is 2 layers thick it can be a bit hard to see the label on the keys.  Otherwise there is no interference at all with using any of the keys or buttons.

Now I don't feel like I'm going to contract some strange plague every time I touch the keyboard.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Leibster Award

Jo-Ann at Punky Mama has bestowed upon me the illustrious Leibster Award.  Jo-Ann's blog about her journey with her 2 great boys, and occasional stories of life as a bar maid, has become a blog that I look forward to reading every day.  Luckily she indulges my need by posting every day!   Thank you Jo-Ann for giving me this wonderful award!

The Liebster Award is granted to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging
The Rules:

1) You must thank the person who gave you this award.
2) You must display the Liebster heart on your blog. PROUDLY.
 3) You should nominate 3 to 5 up-and-coming blogs with fewer than 200 subscribers.
4) Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
5) Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
6) Create 11 questions for those you nominate to answer.
7) Notify your nominees and provide a link back to your post (no tag backs because the point is to try and highlight new bloggers and spread the support).

My questions:

1. Why do you blog? 
  •  I started blogging as a way of staying in touch with my adoption-circle friends and soon found it was a great way to clear my head on different topics. Since then, I’ve come to really enjoy it so much that I actually have 4 different blogs! 
2. Coke or Pepsi? Whiskey or Vodka? All four? 

  • Coke, but only Coke Zero. Whiskey, but I don’t mind Vodka on occasion 
3. What is your favourite site to waste time on the internet? 

  • My current favourite site is Tribesports. I love the challenges that get me exercising every day and I love the encouragement I get.
 4. What is your guilty pleasure? 

  • Reality TV shows – everything from Survivor to Sister Wives. But I don’t like the dancing/singing ones or the dating shows. 
5. What is your favourite cuisine? 

  • Hmmmm.. I love almost all types of food, but one of my favourites would have to be Sushi. 
6. Night owl or early bird? 
  • Neither! I love my sleep. I can be in bed by 10:00 every night and sleep through till 7:00 the next morning. I’m not pleasant to be around for the hour before bed or the hour after I wake up. 
7. Risk taker or rule follower? 
  • I’m only a risk taker if I know that I won’t get caught. 
8. Tell us about your pets. 
  • 5 cats ranging in age from 3 to 17, 3 of whom currently have FLEAS, pets I do not want in my house. I have an aquatic frog named George. His twin, Fred, died last year. And we have Gary the gecko for whom we keep a container of live crickets in the dining room. Sometimes I feel outnumbered. 
9. Where is the farthest you have travelled from home? Where is home? 

  • Home is currently in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. The furthest I’ve travelled would be to the Dominican Republic for the one and only vacation I’ve ever been on. 
10. What recent events do you hope shape your future? 

  • I knew there was going to be a tough question hidden in here! We have finally gotten all the paper work sorted out with the government declaring Liam's ADHD as a disability.  This will be a huge help on our taxes and increase the monthly child tax credit amount that we get.  That should shape our future nicely.
11. One word to describe you. 

  • Cold... as in "I am always cold".  Doesn't bode well for someone who lives in Halifax!

11 things about me:
  1. I bit my nails up until 3 years ago and then I just stopped
  2. I'm very forgetful
  3. Hilary says I'm tenacious, loyal and obtuse
  4. I've only ever been on one vacation that didn't involve going to visit family
  5. I used to teach therapeutic horse back ridding 
  6. I learned to sign ASL as a teenager
  7. I've been taking Tae Kwon-Do lessons for almost a year
  8. When I get drunk I will only speak in French
  9. I'm currently on a quinoa kick and would eat it with every meal
  10. I am always cold
  11. I can't/wont wear clothes to bed which is not at all compatible with #10
Bloggers I am nominating:
  1. Luna from Life From Here
  2. Jewmanista
  3. Rebecca from Love is Not a Pie
And finally the 11 questions for my nominees:
  1. Book or movie? 
  2. What was your favourite childhood toy? 
  3. Your life is going to become a script for a movie. Who would you want to play you? 
  4.  Have you ever baked bread from scratch? Why or why not? 
  5. What is the funniest thing you have ever done?
  6. If price were no object, what would you want for your birthday? 
  7. What’s your favourite plant? 
  8. What countries have you visited?
  9.  Zombiiiiiieesss are coming! They want your brains! What is your weapon of choice? 
  10. What languages do you speak? If you could learn any, which would it be?
  11. Favourite quote?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Will the Seahorse

Hilary has done it again!  Just one year we would like Liam to have a role in the play that involves a simple costume, like boy #3.  So far he has been a gold coin, spider, fox, robot, a police officer (ok, so that one was kinda easy).  This year he is Will, a seahorse.

Costumes for the school plays are supposed to be simple.  That meant anything I found on Google or Pinterest was of little to no help.  Sure they had all sorts of fancy schmancy costumes, but nothing that was appropriate for a school play.

Luckily Hilary is always up for the challenge:

The play is Thursday night.  I just hope that Will the Seahorse is able to keep his head on during it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blog Hop

Heather over at Open Adoption Bloggers has come up with another fabulous idea!  She is hosting a Blog Hop in order to help introduce folks to new bloggers.

The question everyone has been asked to answer is: "What is your favorite room/spot/piece of art in your home and why?"

My favorite piece of art in our house is a giant piece of paper that Liam and I painted when he was 3. I taped the paper to the floor, broke out the paints and let him go to town.  We painted our hands, drove cars and trains through blobs of paint and just had fun.  The paper is now stapled to the wall in our bedroom and I get to look at it everyday and remember that amazing afternoon.

Be sure to hop on over and check out all the other blog hop entries!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Favourite Childhood Memory - Toilet Paper

Yup, one of my favourite childhood memories is about toilet paper. Not just any toilet paper, but industrial strength, could be used to sand wood, stands up on it's own, toilet paper.

Growing up we spent all of our holidays and most of our weekends with my maternal grandparents. My Grandma had 2 children (one of which is my Mom) in her 20s and then had 2 more children when she was in her 40s. So when we got together there were the 4 adults and 3 kids, since my 2 uncles were only 8 and 10 years older than I was. My parents and I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment, and my grandparents and the boys lived in a 3 bedroom house. No matter where we were, there was never enough room, and certainly not enough beds. My grandfather always got relegated to the couch and my grandma bunked in bed with me.

Keep in mind, this was the 1970’s, so not exactly the height of great fashion! My Grandma’s hair was not quit a ‘60s beehive, but something similar, which may have involved home perms on a regular basis. Always frugal, keeping her family of 4 on a small income, my Grandma had to make sure that she got the most mileage out of her hair-do as she could. So every night before bed, she would wrap her head in toilet paper, kept in place with bobby pins. I was already asleep when she would wrap her hair at night, but the highlight of my wee life was to wake up with my Grandma and help her unwind her hair, being careful not to tear the paper so that it could be used another night.

Now whenever I’m somewhere that uses that heavy grade, school-like quality toilet paper, I think of my Grandma.