Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dissection Kitten

Anyone else have a cat that lies completely on his back? He always reminds me of the cat that I had to dissect in grade 13 Biology class. Oscar's fur even parts purrfectly down the middle getting ready for the incision line!

Here's another shop of our little ham! We actually have 4 cats, but Oscar is the one that gets himself into the most photogenic positions!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What am I? Reveal

And the winner is Mel for being the first to guess KerPlunk!

Here it is:

I loved this game as a child and I need to find one for Liam. I think my mom might still have mine, so I'll be sure to hunt for it next time I'm there!

Thanks for playing! Keep checking back, I just might try this again!

What am I? 3rd picture

Well, someone has guessed it! but they threw it out there with several guesses, so let's see if this narrows it down:

The third picture:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

At peace

It's been about a year since we were last actively TTCing. And even though I knew the odds were WAY against conception (we were shipping human sperm in a horse specimen box across country borders - not exactly a well documented or scientific process) it was still hard each time it didn't work.

I had a hard time letting go of the idea of being pregnant. Of not looking at the round bellies in the office and dissolving into a puddle of tears in the bathroom. Of choosing the longest path possible through the mall so that I wouldn't have to go past the maternity clothes store. Of avoiding friends because they were expecting.

Yet, slowly, over time, I've made the realization that these things don't bother me, at least not nearly as much. I still can't watch the commercial for Malteser chocolate, where the guy places a candy on the very pregnant girl's belly and the baby kicks, making the candy fall.

I have realized that I am very content with my life just as it is today. I have an amazing partner and we are Mums to an amazing kid. Sure, if there was such thing as a stork and it wanted to drop a little bundle of joy from the sky to my arms, I would be happy. But I don't NEED that to be happy, because I already am.

Cleaning out the attic has been a pivotal point for me. 80% of what was stored in there was Liam's baby clothes, crib sheets, toys, receiving blankets etc. We had kept everything because we fully expected to have another baby. And for the last year, the attic has been haunting me. Just the thought of going through the clothes and getting rid of them was enough to start the tears flowing. It was just so final. As long as this stuff was there, I could at least pretend that there might be another baby one day. So when Hilary gently suggested it a few weeks ago, I was very surprised when I said "Sure" and didn't feel any major sadness/panic/anxiety. We had a great time going through all of the clothes, remembering where they came from and Ooohing and Aaahing over the cuteness of them all. Hilary was the more sentimental of the 2 of us in deciding which ones to keep.

I guess time does heal all wounds. Looking back I know that I needed that grieving period, grieving for the idea of something that wasn't meant to be. Grief and healing have their own timeline, and there was nothing I could have done to move it along any faster.

And now I am at peace.

What am I? - 2nd picture

3 guesses so far... sorry ladies, those aren't right!

Here is the next picture.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What am I?

I stumbled across something that took me down memory lane this weekend so I thought I would share it here in the form of a guessing game. My friend Lori over at Weebles Wobblog runs games called "Lori's Childhood Trivia". This is sorta of the same thing, just with pictures.

I have a picture of an item and I have covered it over, leaving 6 different spots for you to see. Each day I will post a new spot and you can try to guess what it is.

So here is the first picture, come back tomorrow for the next one, and be sure to leave your guesses in the comments!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Goodbye Trusty (rusty!) Friend

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. After 10 great years together we now must part.

You are gone.

Ours was not a relationship where we spent time together everyday, or even every week (if I could avoid you). You were always there, lurking in the darkness, ready to mock me, to remind me of the things I did not want to do. But when I did turn to you, out of need or desperation I knew I could count on you.

Alas, not today.

You teased me this afternoon, flitting in and out, letting me believe that all was well before you were suddenly gone. Nothing would bring you back. No amount of coaxing, cajoling or even swearing would convince you to come to life and let me hear your beautiful song once more.

So it with a small amount of sadness and knowing the pain my wallet will feel, that I say goodbye to you, my fabulous lawn mower. Bought second hand for $75.00 over 10 years ago, I didn't always treat you as I should. Never once did I have your blades sharpened, and rare was the time that I would thoroughly clean you before hiding you back in the basement. I let the grass grow too long each week so that you strained and spluttered, trying your best to show me that you could still perform. And yet, every spring you would come out ready to face the new crop of weeds and clover that I call lawn.

On Tuesday I will wheel you one last time from the basement and proudly place you at the curb so that you can take that last long trip to the giant dumpster in the sky.

Goodbye my trusty rusty friend!

Labours of Love

Last fall Hilary, my mom and I were interviewed for this book. And it's now with the editors and will be published on October 6, 2008!

Our story talks about how Hilary and I became Liam's parents (one of the fastest adoptions ever... 3 months to the day, and we hadn't even been planning on adopting) and it also talks about my adoption in the '70s and my mom's take on that.

The author, Deborah, had wanted to include interviews with both Iris - my birth mother and K-Liams' birth mother, to give a well rounded view to all our stories. However, both of them declined to participate. And I do understand why. We are on the happy side of adoption, they are not. I can only imagine how hard it is for either of them to talk about a decision that they each made that changed the course of their lives forever.

If you are interested, you can check out the book here (and even pre-order it!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Did I push the envelop too far?

Or in this case did I send the email too early?

My contact with Iris is dependent on my only contacting her when Madelaine isn't home, so that Iris doesn't have to tell her about me, the adoption etc... And I have always been respectful of Iris's wishes - I don't agree with it - but I do understand why she doesn't/can't/won't tell her. Part of this strange form of communication that we have includes Iris telling me what Madelaine's days off are, telling me I have the wrong number if I call and she happens to be home and me not sending emails during times that Madelaine could intercept them.

You see, Iris and Madelaine share one email address and have one computer. So I presume that Iris reads emails from me and then deletes them during the day when Madelaine is at work. Iris is not a techie whiz by any account, and I've often wondered if she thinks to empty deleted items or her internet history if she has visited my website of pictures. Odds of Madelaine looking into that and finding something are probably slim, unless she suspects her mother of hiding something from her. It also makes me wonder if Iris is playing some weird game of Russian Roulette... taking the risk that Madelaine might one day stumble across something and force her hand, making Iris tell her the whole truth.

I wonder if that has happened today.

I live one time zone East of Iris. So when I was sending out an email this morning to friends and family with a You Tube link for a video of Liam's recent concert, I included Iris on the distribution. She loves to see Liam and I always make sure to send her updates. What I didn't realize was that I was sending the email out at 8:47 AM my time.... 7:47 AM Iris's time. I have no idea what time Madelaine leaves for work or if she is in the habit of checking email first thing in the morning. I did get a "read receipt" back from their email account at 9:27 AM or 8:27 AM their time.

Someone opened the email. I wonder who?

Iris won't call me, because it's long distance and Madelaine pays the phone bill. She does email me (I wonder if she deletes her sent items too?) so I am now frantically checking email, both at work and home, to see if she sends me something. She couldn't open the last You Tube link I sent her, so she may respond telling me if these ones work or not. If she doesn't respond I will be left wondering all weekend if the "cat is out of the bag". I have moments of thinking "Phew! That would be great if Madelaine did get the email. We can all (hopefully) just move on from here" to thinking "OMG! What have I done???"

So for now, I wait and wonder

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Health update

I have been off of the Pantaloc for 2 weeks now. It is not going well!

This is the 3rd day in a row that I've had all the same symptoms back and it sucks! The Dr. asked me to go off it for a month to see what happened, but I don't think I'm going to make it that long. I'm going to go see her next week and talk about the long term solutions and seeing if we can't find a cause. My food diaries do not point to it being any specific food, but it does seem to be related to eating.

**sigh** I just wish it was something specific so that I could take action, educate myself and do something to fix it. Not knowing what is causing all of these intestinal problems is just frustrating.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You didn't buy me did you?

The first time that I told Liam the story of his adoption, he was only a few hours old. He was swaddled up like a salami (the way only nurses can seem to do) and I was walking the hallways of the hospital with him. He has heard it many, many times since and has been able to parrot it back since he was 3. The problem with parroting it back to us, is we are never really sure just how much he understands vs. having just memorized the words.

This weekend we were watching a cartoon version of Speed Racer. It's all about teenagers who go to a racing school. It has the standard teenage "stuff" in it.... music, fast cars and girls ogling boys. At one point 2 girls are fighting over Speed (the main hunky character) and they start this great dialogue which consists of "Back off, he's MINE", "No he's MINE" and so on. Liam was very intrigued by their sense of ownership. He piped up "You can't own someone can you? They aren't being very nice!!". Then he kept watching the movie. For about 10 minutes.

That's when he asked: "You didn't buy me did you? I was only adopted right?" You could almost see the wheels turning. He was very concerned that he had been purchased but was okay with the idea of being adopted. We were very happy to be able to tell him that he was not purchased, and yes he was adopted - legally and ethically with no money exchanged.

As he nears 6 years old, I think he is really starting to understand what adoption means.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tag- You're it!

    I’ve been tagged… Thanks Deb

    Favorite person (outside family)? Our friend Sandy. We've been friends for more then 10 years now, and she has become our family here in the Maritimes.

    Favorite food? Anything that Hilary cooks.

    Quirks about you? When I get drunk I will only speak in French. You can talk to me in English and I will understand you, but I will answer you in French.

    How would the person who loves you most describe you in ten words or less? Hmmm... A caring person who listens and loves my cooking. or Someone who can never put her coffee mug away! Kinda depends on the moment.

    Any regrets in life? The years 1999-2003

    Favorite Charity/ Cause? Walk for Kids Help phone. Liam and I have participated in this for the past 6 years. The Help Phone is a national (Canadian) 800# that kids can call if they are being bullied, abused or just need a safe grown up to talk to.

    Favorite Blog recently? matt, liz and madeline

    Something you can’t get enough of? Chocolate

    Worst job you’ve ever had? Selling cube freezers to apartment dwellers in downtown Toronto by cold calling names from the phone book.

    What job would you pay NOT to have? Working in a meat processing plant.

    Favorite Bible verse right now? As an atheist, I don't have one.

    Guilty Pleasure? Reading blogs!

    Got any confessions? None that I'm willing to share here.

    If you HAD to spend $1,000 on YOURSELF, how would you spend it? Getting my teeth fixed up.

    Favorite thing about your house? We have a great back yard, it's such a fun place to watch Liam play.

    Least favorite thing about your house? No storage space! We rent out the basement, there is no attic and the upstairs bedrooms don't even have closets.

    One thing you’re good at? Microsoft Excel. Having failed math in high school it amazes me what I can do with a computer program!

    If you could change something about your circumstances, what? I wish that we had enough money so that I could be a SAHM.

    Who would you like to meet someday? My half-sister Madelaine

    What makes you feel sexy? My new red bra. I've never owned a red bra (or any colour other then white) before.

    Who is your real life hero? Jean Vanier for starting L'Arche

    What is the hardest part of your job? Dealing with stupid people.

    When are you most relaxed? Laying in bed with Liam after his bedtime story so that we can have an end of day cuddle.

    What stresses you out? Being late. I will leave the house 10 minutes early to get to the bus stop 100 feet from our door out of fear of missing the bus and being late to get somewhere.

    What can you not live without? Hilary and Liam

    Do you agree or disagree with the recent article that reported that blogs are authored by narcissists? Isn't everyone narcissistic to some degree?

    Why do you blog? I use it as an outlet to share things about life and adoption that I don't want to share with my real life friends.

    Who are you tagging?

    New/Newer bloggers: Heather and Momof3
    Bloggy friends: Jenn and Coco

    Bloggers you’d like to get to know better: AlexandErin

    Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will :Velcrometer and Tudu


    1. Answer the questions
    2. Link back to whoever tagged you
    3. Tag eight bloggers to do the same, 2 from each category.

  • New/ newer bloggers (since we want to share the love and send them traffic)
  • Bloggy friends
  • Bloggers you’d like to get to know better
  • Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will

Friday, May 16, 2008

Three things I'm proud of as a mother

This tag couldn't come at a better time. I really do need to reflect on the good side of things right now. Liam has been in a mood the last few days and has managed to push my every button and reduce me to tears more then once.

So without futher ado.....

1) We laugh every day. Even on the really bad days we find a way to laugh. A well timed joke (or since Liam is 5 - a well timed fart), sneaking up to tickle someone or just being together and laughing about life.

2) I listen. Growing up I never felt that I was listened to.... and it SUCKED! I make time to listen to Liam - actively listen - and I let him know that I hear what he is saying. Because he has some great stuff to say!

3) I let Liam own his own feelings. He has the right to be angry, sad, happy, pissed off, grumpy, tired, giddy. I do not have the right to impose my feelings on him or tell him that his feelings are wrong. This is another kick back from my childhood. I was frequently told "Just stop crying, there's no reason to be upset" Well, obviously there was a reason to me or I wouldn't have been crying!

So to all the fabulous Moms out there... consider yourself tagged and share the 3 things that you are proud of!

May 23, 2008 - Today's the day

that we start cleaning out the attic!

Attic is a bit of a misnomer. Our house is a storey and half, so the "attic" is the crawl space under the sloped section of the roof. It's about 5 feet high at the start and then slopes to about 6 inches high. My back hurts already!

The basement has been converted to an apartment, so we really don't have much storage space. When we first moved in 3 years ago, we crammed all sorts of things into the attic with the plan on sorting it all out later.

Later has arrived.

Not only is this going to be a physically hard weekend, but it's going to be an emotional one for me too. Most of what is currently stored up there is Liam's baby clothes, high chair, crib etc... We kept everything that was still in good condition because we had planned on having another baby. Well, the best laid plans and all that..... there isn't going to be another baby. And as much as I have made my peace with that, it's still going to be rough to see and feel all of the cute little clothes, impossibly small socks and all of the baby paraphernalia that we will never use again.

We are planning on having a yard sale in a couple of weeks to get ride of most of this stuff. The plan is also to cull the toys from Liam's room and rearrange it for him. We had bought a bunk bed last fall for a student who was going to board with us. His Visa fell through and he never came. Liam loves the bunk bed, so we are going to move it up to his room this weekend too. The condition for that happening is that he has to really pare down the stuff that he has. That's not going to be easy because he declares a deep and everlasting emotional attachment to every crappy broken MacDonald's toy that he has ever gotten.

Luckily it's a 3 day weekend here in Canada as we Celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. I'm going to need that extra day to soothe my aching muscles and my sad heart.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I might get to see Iris


I just got this in an email from her

Right now it looks like I should be able to see you the end of June. Madelaine’s dead line is being extended to the 25th of July
So if nothing else changes we should meet.


Banana Bottoms

Here's a shout out for a great friend of mine who is starting up her own business!


She is making and selling cloth diapers. You can check out her blog, and her on-line store.

Stop in and say hi to her and welcome her to the land of blogging!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

October 6, 1970

My friend Jenna held a Mother's day contest on her blog. This is the story that I submitted (and that she picked as one to showcase. Thanks Jenna!!)

October 6, 1970.

The woman waited in the chair, in awe at what was about to happen. Her dream was about to come true. The journey to this day had been long and bumpy, but now that it was here, all of that was forgotten. She looked over at her husband, trying to read his thoughts, but his face was a stoic mask, revealing no clues to what he might be going through.

The door opened and a woman entered carrying a file folder. It looked too thin. How could those few pieces of paper change so many lives? As she sat down and introduced herself she opened the file, pulled out a paper and began to read it to them. The woman frantically grabbed her purse and pulled out a pen and scrap of paper. She didn’t want to miss a thing, information that may be lost forever after this day. It was too important. She managed to write it all down, illegible to anyone but her, but that didn’t matter. She had it. She could type it up later.

Then suddenly it was time. She was no longer sure that her legs could carry her, and she leaned on her husband for support. They walked out of the office and into another more comfortable room . A stranger stood with her back to them, looking out the window, pacing slowly. When the stranger heard them come in, she turned around to greet them. In her arms was the most amazing baby the woman had ever seen. Because this baby was about to become the woman’s daughter. The stranger, a social worker from Children’s Aid, reached out and handed the woman the baby. And at that moment, the woman became a mother.

I am the baby of this story, adopted by my parents at 6 weeks old. For me, one of my mother’s most defining moments of motherhood was when she realized the importance of the information that the social worker was sharing with them about my first family. My mother was not so caught up in the excitement of her dream coming true that she forgot about the other people involved. She typed up the information she had and it was pasted in the front of my baby book. In a time of closed adoptions, when adoptive parents were often told to just move on, treat her as if she were born to you, don’t worry about the past, my mother had the insight to think that one day I would want to know why I had brown eyes and was taller then every one around me. She knew that the clues might help me find my first mother one day. She was not threatened by this, but embraced my beginnings as a part of me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Non-Mom - How to complain

Want to complain?
Here is the info:

AFM TV LLC11444 W. Olympic Blvd.,
10th FloorLos Angeles, CA
Attn: Chief Legal Officer
Fax: (310) 966-5758

People are also emailing the Today Show - and some are even emailing Donnie and Marie to send complaints. Someone called this number 212-664-4249 and got a live person to complain to (whom she said agreed with her).

I'm a "Non-Mom"

It's so great to be acknowledged as a "Non-Mom" Mom. Thanks NBC and Teleflora!!

The non-mom mom

Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody.

You can check out their other categories here

It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy insided!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

To all the Mothers that have touched my life

I wrote this 5 years ago, for Mother's Day 2003. That was the first year that I was a mother on Mother's day and only 2 years after I had found Iris. I had a whole lot of emotion going on that year!!

Iris, my Birth Mother, who gave me life, brown eyes and dimples.

Linda, my Mom, who cared for the cuts and scrapes and dried my tears.

Winnie, my Grandma, who made me stone soup and cuddled me.

Lena, my GodMother, who was always there to listen to me.

Rosemary, my Mother-in-Law, who raised my soul-mate.

Hilary, my Love, who loves our son and me unconditionally.

K., Liam’s Birth Mother, who made me a mother.

Me, I am who I am because of each of these wonderful women.

For that I thank them all.

Happy Mother’s Day

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Temperature control

Like most couples, Hilary and I don't often agree on what to set the thermostat to. I can only assume that because she was born and raised in Winnipeg, lovingly know as WINTERpeg, that the cold just doesn't affect her the way it does me. She is never cold. She has been known to not bother with a coat in winter, and gloves? Who needs gloves!

I however, am ALWAYS cold. And because of my Reynaud's, it is important that I don't get cold, because it causes me to have an episode. So I always wear several layers, have 2-5 more blankets on my side of the bed, I wear thick fuzzy socks inside my slippers and I curl up under my electric blanket to watch TV.

Until a couple of weeks ago that is.

I'm still mostly cold or chilled during the day and evening. But not while sleeping any more. 3 weeks ago I started leaving our window open at night. Then slowly over the next week I was removing blankets while I slept so that I woke up to a big pile next to me on the floor that the cats had laid claim to so that they could nest in it. I have now removed my fleece top sheet, replaced it with cotton and I have a light comforter over that. Even with all of these changes, my FEET are still hot and I have to stick them out the bottom of the sheets. I have NEVER been able to sleep with my feet sticking out.

I don't know if this is a side effect of any of my current health concerns, something that happens when you start taking B12 or calcium or Vit D. A little voice in my head decided to mention that I'm getting much closer to 40 then not. Hmmmm.... could this be the start of the CHANGE??

I'm not sure how I would feel about that.

One problem that I had growing up as an adoptee from the closed era, was that if something medical like this came up, I had no family frame of reference. Does my line of women go through menopause early? Late? Do they have a tough time with it?

I'm one of the lucky adoptees. I'm in "reunion" with my mother. Our contact is sporadic and difficult, but if there was ever a big medical emergency that I needed answers right away, I could reach her. I got an email from her today, a signal that it's a safe day to call her, so I did. We chatted for a bit, and she updated me on some medical things going on in her life. She has just seen her gynecologist, and will have to have surgery in the next couple of months to "fix things up". Keep in mind, she's 77, so chatting about feminine personal things is not something she does everyday. But it did give me a segue way into asking her about what age she was when she went through the change. Turns out she had a partial hysterectomy when she was 40, so she doesn't know what would have happened naturally. Madelaine is 7 years older then I am, and she is just starting to have signs and symptoms, so chances are I have a ways to go yet.

So what do I do about my very hot feet?