Saturday, August 30, 2008

The end of an era

It's like saying good-bye to an old dear friend. I grew up with Michael and Liz, cried buckets over the death of Farley - a real hero (and I'm crying again just remembering him climbing to shore after saving April from the water) and celebrated milestones with the whole Patterson family.

For Better or For Worse, it is over.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

4 more hours!

Till my family is HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew that being apart for 9 days was going to be hard and lonely and long. I didn't think it would be THIS hard or THIS lonely or THIS long.

I can't wait to hug and hold them both!!!

What really sucks is that they are landing at 2:00 AM, won't be home till nearly 3:00 and I have to work in the morning. GRRRRR!

At least it's a 3-day weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


So with Hilary and Liam away, I have commandeered the dinning room table! All of my scrapbooking CRAP (as Hilary lovingly calls it) is spread out, the chairs have been moved and I am IN THE ZONE!

I have only gotten 14 pages done, a far cry from my goal of 45! And I only have 2 evenings left. Now if I didn't have to go to work every day................

I guess I will have to schlepp all of my stuff back to it's storage space and try to get caught up another time.

You can check out the pages I've done in the Flickr set off to the left. I don't have a scanner so they are digital pictures of the pages so I'm sorry that some of them are fuzzy.

But here is my favourite of the week: Liam and his Great-Grandma (my Grandma)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cooking is SOOO not my thing!

I have now been on my own for 6 days, as Hilary and Liam are in BC visiting her folks. 4-5 times a day for the 2 weeks before she left Hilary would remind me of what was in the freezer, suggest meal plans, make sure I knew how to cook something.

And I poo-pooed her. After all, I'm 38 years old. I moved out of my parents place 19 years ago. Surely I could manage a full 9 days of making my own meals.

Turns out..... not so much!

  • Wednesday: Grabbed a Sub from the mall
  • Thursday: Picked up spinach dip and mini-pitas from the grocery store on the way home from work.
  • Friday: I have no recollection of what I ate last Friday..... I think I had an avocado and the rest of the spinach dip
  • Saturday: I did cook myself a steak and boiled some baby potatoes!
  • Sunday: Went out for dinner with Hilary's cousin and his fiancee
  • Monday: I cooked again! I BBQd a burger, shucked myself some corn and steamed some beans. a real meal!
So now I have Tuesday-Thursday to manage. I seem to recall Hilary mentioning something about lasagna in the freezer....

note to self: Look in freezer.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Liam's newest trick

I thought it was the parents who were supposed to climb the walls?

Best Friends

I have some of the BEST FRIENDS in the whole world. Folks that you can call up in the middle of the night and they will be there. People who help you move on long weekends. Friends who come stay with you after you have surgery and empty your drains. That kind of best friends.

Today I was blessed with help from 2 of these best friends once again. Hilary and Liam are away in BC on vacation, so I decided this would be the perfect time to move some furniture around. Specifically move Liam's bed downstairs to the spare room and move the bunk bed from the spare room to his room. Seems simple enough.

I knew that I could not move the beds by myself, so I called up my friends Sandy and Jason. Sandy just announced that she is 12 weeks pregnant (YEAH!) and wasn't feeling up for furniture moving, but Jason volunteered. Within an hour and a half of his arriving both beds were in their new locations, safely and securely put back together. (I made Jason climb up on the bunk bed and bounce about to ensure it wouldn't collapse.)

In order for the bunk bed to fit in Liam's room I had to take down his ceiling fan and put back the original light.

Ceiling fans + Bunk Beds = decapitated child *

I put up the ceiling fan, so I didn't think I would have any problems getting it down. The light itself is a simple 2 wire job - one black, one white. Basic electrical stuff says connect the blacks to blacks and the whites to white and Presto Mundo you have light!

Which I did and I did have light. Small problem though, I couldn't turn the light off. It was somehow not connecting to the light switch. Hmmmmmm.

I tried various combos like white-black and black-white but had the same problem because the box in the ceiling had an extra black wire and a white wire that someone had added black tape to. And since I'm alone, it was starting to be a lot of work to climb up the step stool, rewire everything, go downstairs, flip the breaker on, go back up, curse the damn light, go back downstairs, flip the breaker off and repeat.

So I called my great friend Brandon. Brandon is a carpenter so I figured he had to have some experience with this stuff. He is my go to guy for all things broken in my house. heck, he even came over and built our deck for us 2 years ago.

We talked it through, he drew a diagram of what I was seeing and said "Okay try this". And guess what? It worked! We have light AND the power to turn the light off without having to use the fuse box every time.

Brandon Rocks!!

It's great to know that we have such amazing friends and I can only hope that we can return the favours.

* This myth was actually busted by Mythbusters

Friday, August 22, 2008

On Top of Spaghetti

We have a tendency of bursting into song at home for no apparent reason. Sometimes a certain word will trigger it (Stop always gets a Diana Ross impersonation) other times the mood just strikes us and off we go. So it wasn't unusual during Liam's bedtime routine the other night that I started belting out a slow, dirge like version of "On Top of Spaghetti".

I have a problem though. I can never remember the lyrics to songs, so I make up my own. Drives Hilary bonkers!

On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled through the garden,
and onto the road
and then my poor meatball,
was eaten by a toad.
*last verse is my personal version*

I would like to say that in hindsight I could have forseen what was coming, but it was so bizarre that there was no way to have predicted it.

Liam burst into hysterical tears.

I realize that I am not a great singer, or probably even a good singer. I have lousy rhythm and can't hold a tune.... but I've never made anyone CRY!

I quickly scooped him up and cuddled on the couch, trying to figure out what was wrong.. had his appendix burts, was he in pain, were fairies poking him with sharp sticks? Between gulping, body wracking sobs I got the answer:

"That poor Meatball !!!!!!!!!!"

I won't be signing that again any time soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's about time!

Check this out!

Now on the Hallmark aisle: Gay marriage cards


Thanksgivingmom is holding a give away and is looking for stories "about someone discourteous in your life and how you dealt with it". I think this one qualifies:

GRRRRR!!!The Mama Bear in me come out this weekend, and boy howdy she was grumpy!

Liam and I were waiting for the bus downtown and it was fairly busy. An older woman loudly asked me "How old is the boy, is he about 4?". I answered "six" with a tone and look that was meant to imply that I didn't really feel like talking to her. She then launched into this whole conversation (with herself, since I was refusing to engage with her) about how he was too small to be six, he looks more like 4, isn't he awfully short.

When it seemed that she wasn't going to stop I spoke very loudly to Liam (the volume was to drown out this woman) and told him that he was absolutely perfect for 6, and that he is not too small or too short, that he doesn't look like a 4 year old (cause what 6 year old wants to hear that!) And then we moved as far away from the woman as we could. At which point she started another rant about how rude I was!

I can't believe that adults feel that it's okay to talk about someone like that within earshot of them just because they are a child!

Liam already has voiced concerns about being smaller and shorter then other boys in his class. Self-esteem issues can be tough and I don't need to be fighting them because of some old hag on a street corner!

Do you have a snarky story to share?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Am I ? Round 7 - Reveal

Well folks, we have a winner! Heather snuck in under the wire with her guess
"I'm going garlic implement. Peeler/press/mincer - something along those lines that has to do with garlic somehow."

And it's a garlic peeler of course! Just pop in a clove of garlic, squeeze the handle and presto! the clove is seperated from the skin. Great if you are making something that requires a lot of garlic!

Thanks for playing! I'll be on the hunt through the house for another cool and unique item to photograph.

Heather, I'll package up this instrument of destruction (at least it is as far as the garlic is concerned) and send it your way! Great Job!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August 19, 1970

She made sure that her 7 year old daughter was on vacation with her sister for a couple of weeks. Luckily the timing worked out for this yearly trip. Her father drove her to the hospital that morning, after she told him that she was having surgery and he would need to pick her up in a couple of days. Even though they lived together, they were not a close family and he didn't question what the surgery was for. And then she was alone. I don't know if a nurse stayed with her or held her hand, or if they knew that she was planning on "giving away the baby" did they make things harder on her? Netting out their own punishment for her transgression? At 3:15 that afternoon it was over. I was born. I don't know if she saw me, or held me. She did write on a slip of paper the time I was born and my weight. She kept that slip of paper in her hope chest for 30 years, knowing that some day I might come looking for it.

Most kids love to hear the story of their birth. Or whether their mother craved pickles when she was pregnant with them, but ice cream when she was pregnant with their little brother. How did they get to the hospital? Was it a slow orderly procession or a mad dash in a cab? And then they get to hear about the first time they were held, how their mother gazed down at them in awe, counted fingers and toes and they bonded in the moonlight. Retelling the story helps the bonds grow deeper, the connections to stay strong. You are reminded of your very beginning, how you came into existence.

I don't have any of that. I didn't even know what time of day I was born until I was 30 and Iris wrote me a letter about the slip of paper in her hope chest. I still don't have many details about her pregnancy or my birth simply because it is too hard for her to talk about. It was not a joyous time, or a time to celebrate and capture the memories in everlasting photographs. It was a time of being alone (for both of us - her in a hospital room, maybe hearing the babies crying, dealing with her post-partum body and all of the reminders of what had just occurred and me in an bassinet, being held only to be fed a bottle or changed, having no one to coo over me or hold me when I cried.)

For the next 6 weeks I lived with a foster family. Again, I have scant information from that time. When they knew that I was to be placed with my adoptive parents the foster mother filled out a form that told them what brand of formula I ate, when my last dirty diaper was, that I had a bath in the mornings and napped outside in the afternoons. Not a lot of info for 6 weeks of life. There are no pictures of me until the day my parents brought me home. October 7, 1970. Another Wednesday.

Wednesday's child is full of Woe.

Really, is it any wonder?

What Am I? Round 7 - clue #4

Almost at the end! This is the last picture before the reveal

We know so far that it isn't:
  • A lawn toy
  • Part of a crib mobile
  • a fruit baller/cutter
  • a kumquat juicer
  • some kind of juicer
  • a crazy, Canadian egg peeler
  • a dart game

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Am I? Round 7 - clue #3

And the next one:

We know so far that it isn't:

  • A lawn toy
  • Part of a crib mobile
  • a fruit baller/cutter
  • a kumquat juicer
  • some kind of juicer

And don't forget, the first person to correctly guess what it is WINS the item!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Am I? Round 7 - clue #2

Here is the second picture:

We know so far that it isn't:

  1. A lawn toy
  2. Part of a crib mobile

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Why I'm going gray!

We spent the afternoon at Peggy's Cove. Liam LOVES climbing, jumping and leaping. I spend my time shouting "slow down! Don't go so close to the edge! What are you DOING????" Today I tried to curb that by just not watching, and letting him run off ahead with Hilary. The one shot that we didn't catch on film was him standing on a jutted out rock with a 5 foot drop to the next rock and he JUMPED DOWN! We (Hilary, Ken and I) had all just said "don't go that way, go back. Don't jump." when he got an impish grin and just leaped. My heart stopped for a moment and I felt 3 gray hairs sprout out!

Enjoy some video of the daredevil

and this one:

What Am I? Round 7

I had a lot of fun doing the last "What Am I?" with pictures of the spaghetti drying rack that I decided to do it again!

This time if you guess what is being pictured you will win the item!

No clues this time. Good luck!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: What's cookin'? edition

My friend Heather has done up her weekly Friday Five. Be sure to check it out here.

And here are my Hilary's responses:

1) What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
Depends on the day... could be the slow cooker, could be the bread maker, but at the moment (early on a Saturday) it's the coffee maker!

2) What is a gadget/appliance that you thought was a must-have, but then you haven't actually used?
Pasta maker! But we do use the drying rack for plastic bags now!

3) Where do you get the recipes you use to cook? The Internet, cookbooks, TV shows, family/friends, none of the above, etc?
All of the above and sometimes I just make crap up! (which 9 times out of 10 works out really well!)

4) Are you a "follow the recipe exactly" kind of cook or more of a freelancer?
The first time I make a recipe I follow it exactly but after that I play with it.

5) Do you have a favorite or new but exciting recipe? Care to share?

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (this is one of the 9 times out of 10 great ones that Hilary made up)


Red Onions
Egg plant
Portobella Mushrooms
Red Peppers
Sweet Potato
Campari Tomatoes
Fresh Lasagna sheets
Rose Sauce/ Tomato cream sauce
1 Cup of cottage cheese
handful of mixed Italian cheese
1 egg

  • Roast all the vegetables. We did ours on the BBQ but you could do them under the broiler in the house. Make sure to skewer the onion rings so that they don't fall apart. We brushed all the vegetables with olive oil, but didn't add any salt or pepper.
  • Mix the egg with the cottage cheese, some of the Italian grated cheese mixture and any salt or pepper to taste.
  • Start layering:
  • line the bottom of your pan with a couple of tbsp of sauce (this keeps stuff from sticking to the pan)
  • lasagna sheet
  • roasted sweet potato (Yam for you southern folks)
  • lasagna sheet
  • zucchini and peppers together
  • lasagna sheet
  • cottage cheese mixture
  • lasagna sheet
  • and continue till your pan is full and you end with a lasagna sheet
  • Spoon the rest of the sauce over the whole thing
  • top with the grated Italian cheese
  • Cover with tinfoil
  • Bake in the oven at 350 for approx. 30 minutes
  • Remove foil
  • Bake till cheese is brown
  • Serve and enjoy!

A new connection to adoption

As an adoptee adoption has always been a part of my life. It may not be something that I think about daily, but it is always there since it is a part of who I am today. Growing up I had lots of other connections to adoption as well. I have 6 cousins who were also adopted (sounds like a lot, but I have 70+ cousins!), one of my best friends at school had been adopted, my mom's best friend and one of her sisters were adopted, kids I babysat were adopted. Do you see a pattern here? My connection to adoption has always been with other adoptees (and I suppose by default with the adoptive parents of all of these adoptees). I had no connections to first parents. I could very well have some first parents in my own family (it's a BIG family), people who have chosen to keep it a secret or didn't feel that they wanted everyone to know. But until I met my own mother I had never met someone (IRL anyway) that had placed a child for adoption.

And I hadn't met any others until yesterday.

Hilary's father, who is currently visiting from Whitehorse, is a first father. As a teenager he fathered a child with his girlfriend and it was decided that the baby would be placed for adoption. [I'm not sure who did the deciding, or how much coercion was involved]. As part of his cross country trek these past few weeks, he had the opportunity to meet his son for the first time. We had some great conversations last night about reunions, the difference between male and female adoptees when it comes to searching (his son hadn't searched, he had been found by his first mother, who then passed the info onto Ken) and how first fathers are often the forgotten member of the adoption plane.

This son only lives a few hours away from Hilary and I. He has a son that is Liam's age and would like to get to know his half-sister and her family. I haven't had a chance to talk to Hilary about how she feels about all of this yet. It is so odd to see this unfolding from the other side. A half sister who has the chance to meet her sibling that was placed for adoption. The parallels to my own story are somewhat unnerving.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I have been honoured by being asked to be a contributing editor to a new blogging group - Bridges. That's why I have the neat new button over on the sidebar.

About Bridges
Who Are We
Bridges is an awareness consortium of compassionate bloggers who are using writing to educate, tell a story, bring awareness, and build community. Our contributing editors all keep personal blogs and our blogroll serves as a cross-section of community where you can find various stories on a plethora of topics.

Come on over and check us out! The topics covered range from adoption, single motherhood, child-free living, loss, neonatal death, body image, cancer, parenting with special needs, addictions, allergies, mental health, and more.

The new glasses

Liam got his new specs last week. We always get 2 pair, just in case. Well just in case happened yesterday, 8 days after having them. Luckily this time it is not a serious problem, he's simply lost the little plastic nose piece.

While we wait to get pair #1 fixed he is wearing pair #2. And I think these are the cuter of the 2!

Please ignore the VERY dirty face!

Forging Family Connections

We live on the East Coast. Our closest relatives are my parents in Ontario, a 2 hour plane trip away. Hilary's Mom and Step-Dad live on the West Coast, as do her sister and our nephew.

Today we had the slightly unexpected pleasure of having her father come to visit. He lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, so not only on the other coast, but WAY far up in the north. We haven't seen him in over 10 years, since his last cross country trek.

I've always been concerned for Liam by our lack of local family. Grandparents, Aunts and Cousins are words that he hears and sees pictures of, but doesn't always have a connection to. It's hard to feel close to someone you've only met 2-3 times your entire life (granted his life is still on the short side, but to him it's a long time!) When it was just Hilary and I we celebrated the fact that family was several provinces away. This left us out of the day to day dramas and we built better relationships with our parents because we saw them less.

So it was a wondrous thing today to see Liam latch on to his Grandad, a man he has never met. All night it has been "Grandad, look at this! ", "Grandad come here!", "Grandad can you play with me??" Right now they are upstairs reading bedtime stories together after having cuddle on the couch watching some Scooby Doo. Grandad will be here for 3 days, so I hope that it is plenty of time to make some great memories together and of course to give me lots of photo ops.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Soccer Star

Liam had a great night at soccer today. I can't believe there is only one week left. Where did the summer go?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A sad little boy

(some background: Liam calls me Mama and Hilary Mummy. We have always referred to "K" as his birthmother or just mother)

While Liam and I were gardening yesterday he started to get weepy and looked at me and said "I miss my Mummy!" I looked at him funny and replied that she was in the kitchen and he could go see her if he really wanted to. To which he replied, "No, my other Mummy "K". I've never met her but I miss her."

So we talked about missing her, and that if he wanted we could write her a letter and send her a picture. And like kids do, he instantly moved on to whatever the next topic was.

Then we had the exact same conversation 4 hours later. And again at bedtime. And each time he moved on to another topic once we acknowledged his sadness. Oh to be 6 again and able to compartmentalize my emotions so neatly, never letting them spill into my general mood for the day.

The spark of understanding adoption and the associated loss has begun.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What Am I ? Round 6 - Reveal

We have a winner!

Momof3 said... Something for making and drying fresh pasta???

And she is right!

We did have some great guesses from everyone else. They included:

  1. music stand
  2. camera tripod
  3. laundry drying rack
  4. scrapbooking cabinet
  5. modernistic chair
  6. craft loom
  7. special solar panel
  8. something for hanging dish towels
  9. something for filing papers
  10. frame for a sunshade
  11. TV antenna
  12. Arsty-fartsy Christmas tree
  13. pants hanger

We've made pasta once! It did not turn out very well. Our dough was dry and tough. Since then the drying rack has been stored in a high cupboard with all the other pasta making equipment that Hilary got for her birthday one year. I recently broke out the drying rack when I had a stroke of genius! We wash and re-use plastic ziplock bags. But it's hard to find somewhere that they can dry, and for some reason Hilary does not want me putting them out on the laundry line (OMG! What will the neighbours think?).

    So I do this now:

    Thanks for playing! I'll be out shopping for a prize for Momof3 today. And I'll be on the hunt for the next object to take pictures of for "What am I?"

    Friday, August 8, 2008

    What Am I ? Round 6 - Picture #4

    This seems to be a tough one!

    So far we know that it is not a

    1. music stand
    2. camera tripod
    3. laundry drying rack
    4. scrapbooking cabinet
    5. modernistic chair
    6. craft loom
    7. special solar panel
    8. something for hanging dish towels
    9. something for filing papers
    10. frame for a sunshade (and yes, we do get sun on occasion here, usually right after it rains, but before it rains again!)
    11. TV antenna

    Keep the guesses coming! You could win something!!

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    The stuff women bond over

    Recently a group of my online friends shared various stories of our first periods, our most embarrassing periods and how we overcame the formidable obstacle of buying pads for the first time.

    Then ran into this post and I realized that period stories are a great way for groups of woman to bond. Something we almost all have in common and something that most of us have been dealing for quite a while now.

    You might even say after 20+ years that we should be experts at it. Even for those of us with completely wacky and wild cycles, we still have the basics down pat, whether its pads, tampons (okay maybe not those new fangled cups, I don't have those down pat, I can't ever imagining a time that I would want to use one)

    Having done this for so long now, I stopped reading the labels and inserts quite a while ago. I’m an expert after all! I buy the same brand and size month over month and don't think much of it. Until yesterday. For some reason the side of the box of tampons caught my eye and I decided to read the Toxic Shock warning label. I'm sure I've read it before but what really surprised me was the chart telling you which size tampons to use based on their absorbency range

    AbsorbencyAbsorbency Range
    LightLess then 6 Grams
    Regular6-9 Grams
    Super9-12 Grams
    Super Plus12-15 Grams

    Interesting. But what does it mean? After much Googling to do some math conversion I finally figured out that 9 grams is only 2 teaspoons. Hmmmm…… so how does one figure out just exactly how many teaspoons worth of tampon you will need? Unless you are willing to use the above mentioned cup and then be willing to go a few extra steps, I'm just not seeing a simple solution. And isn’t the point of the chart and the warning to help save lives? You would think they could make it a wee bit easier to understand!

    So I’m going back to my blissful expert ignorance and I’m ignoring the side of the box once more.

    PS Anyone know why my HTML for the table left so many blank lines before it?

    What Am I ? Round 6 - Picture #3

    No winners yet!

    So far we know that it is not a

    1. music stand
    2. camera tripod
    3. laundry drying rack
    4. scrapbooking cabinet
    5. modernistic chair
    6. craft loom
    7. special solar panel

    It's been suggested that a Haligonian (not Halifaxian!) prize be offered up to the winner. What a great idea! There are 2 more pictures after this one and then I will reveal. If anyone guesses it correctly before then they will definitely win a prize!

    Good luck!

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    What Am I ? Round 6 - Picture #2

    Here is the next one:

    So fare we know that it is not a music stand or a camera tripod. Keep guessing!

    Mama, can you cuddle?

    The sweetest words from a six year old sleepy boy.

    After a great and busy day Hilary read Liam his bedtime story. He was on the edge of sleep when I heard a tiny voice call out "Mama, can you cuddle?"

    What a way to melt my heart!

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    What Am I ? Round 6

    Well folks, it's that time again!

    This time I'm trying something different. I found an object in my house and have taken a series of pictures of it from different angles and close ups. Try to guess what it is before the final picture.

    The only hint that I will give you is that this is not an everyday household item, and is not likely found in most households.

    Good luck!!

    Monday update

    The play date with Liam's new friends was great! Of course the weather didn't cooperate (it is the Maritimes after all!) Within 5 minutes of arriving and heading to the back yard to play, huge black clouds rolled in, thunder shook the house and the skies opened up!

    So the played inside. The kids are a 7 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. They all had stuff in common (playing secret spy, hide'n'seek', Power Rangers and cars) and played well together. The hour was over quickly, with phone numbers exchanged and promises to do it again soon.

    And since it is the Maritimes, the weather cleared up by 3:00 and was hot and sunny again. Liam and I set up the obstacle course and he had fun running through it a few times before his next set of friends arrived.

    However when they got here the kids all decided to just do the Slip'N'Slide portion of the course and had a blast! After an hour we had to stop them and bring them in because they were starting to turn blue. The down side of the Slip'N'Slide is that it is hooked up to the outdoor hose, so it's constantly running cold water. These friends and their Dad ended up staying for dinner, so the fun continued in the house.

    Needless to say it was a pretty easy bed time last night.

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    Saturday Six

    Okay, so I'm a couple of days late. I'm blaming it on the long weekend.

    But my buddy Heather posted a Saturday Six (she was late for her Friday Five, so it's not just me and she doesn't have a long weekend to blame).

    Here are my answers:

    1) If you had a theme song, what would it be?
    The Sun will come out tomorrow (and not just because it's been raining for 4 days!)

    2) What TV show does your life most resemble?

    3) What's your favorite (all-time) comic? (As in strip, not comedian.)
    For Better or For Worse.

    4) What's a great song to crank up with the windows down while driving around in the summer?
    Almost anything by Billy Joel

    5) The ice cream truck has just pulled up. You've got a crisp, cool $5 bill in your hand (in other words, plenty o' cash for whatever's on the menu.) What do you get?
    An ice cream sandwich. Which then has to be properly eaten. Remove all paper, lick the ice cream around all sides as far as your tongue will let you before eating any of the cookie sandwich.

    6) What was the last movie you saw at a drive-in theater?
    Move it Move it (which I'm sure has a real title, but I can't remember it and this is what we call it in my house based on the song the animals sing "I like to move it move")

    Wipeout - Liam style!

    I hate to admit it, but we've become addicted to a summer game show: Wipeout. We tape it (it's on past Liam's bedtime) and then watch it as a family. Liam loves the obstacles and of course would love to try them all out.

    So now that it's stopped raining, I'm planning a Wipeout Obstacle Course in the backyard for Liam and some friends this afternoon (not the new friends from the last post. I don't want to scare them away on their first visit!).

    My obstacle course so far is this:

    1) walk across a balance beam (a 4x4 2 inches off the ground) while being doused by a high powered water gun.

    2) pick up the skipping rope and jump 5 times while someone kicks soccer balls at you

    3) bounce on the medicine ball till you get to the slide

    4) go down the slide

    5) belly crawl under the hamock

    6) slide down the Slip'n'slide

    7) Dig through the sand box to find the hidden jewel.

    If I pull it all off there will be pictures later!

    Overcoming shyness and meeting new people

    We live in a great neighbourhood, but the one down fall is that there are no kids on our street. Pair that up with Liam going to a private school where most kids who attend live outside of the city, and it can make for some long and lonely weekends.

    There are kids that live on the neighbouring streets. Hilary and Liam see them when they walk to school and have even gotten to know first names while stopping to chat with the other parents in the mornings.

    So yesterday Liam and I took the plunge. We walked up the street, hung a left and knocked on a stranger's door to ask if the kids could come out and play. Luckily they knew who we were (or at least knew Liam since I don't walk him to school very often) and were very excited at the idea of getting together. Unfortunately they were just getting ready to go out, so we've set up a play date for this afternoon!!!

    Hopefully this will be the start of some great friendships. And the sun is even coming out after 4 days of rain!!

    Friday, August 1, 2008

    Everyone has bad days

    I get that, I truly do. I have my fair share of them.

    And yes, sometimes the karmic gods conspire together to rain down crap on your life. Days, weeks, months when it seems that the old adage "if it can go wrong it will" apply to life.

    I am usually the type of person who, when I ask "How are you?", I am asking because I honestly want to know. I really do care about your answer, not just flapping my gums because it is the expected thing to say.

    But come on now!

    It gets to a point when someone only ever has negative things to say that I start not listening and not wanting to know. When not a single day goes by without a "woe is me" attitude, when nothing even remotely good can happen to a person, then I start to not want to be around them anymore.

    I have a co-worker who is in this self-pitying rut. We used to have lunch together every day, laugh, share jokes and stories and just generally have a nice 1/2 hour break in the middle of the day. Now, I am going out of my way to avoid her. I don't want to spend my lunch hour listening to her drone on about every little thing that is wrong in her world. I want to talk with someone who shows some interest in me and what is going on in my world too. I want to go back to my desk after lunch feeling refreshed and recharged, not drained and pulled down.

    I wish I could help her. I don't know if she is suffering from depression, or some other diagnosis. Any attempts that I have made have always been shot down with "you wouldn't understand", or "it's much to bad to ever be fixed" type answers. So I will continue to eat my lunch at my desk, say hi to her if I see her in the hallway and hope that her life soon takes a turn for the better. She deserves it.

    Fractured Sleep

    By the time your child is 6 years old, you have come to expect to be able to sleep through the night for the most part. So when your night time slumber is interrupted it seems much harder to recover from then it did 6 years ago when you were getting up every 2 hours EVERY night.

    Liam had 2 episodes last night that woke Hilary and I up.

    The first happened at 12:39 (for some reason I always have to check the clock for the exact time when I get up). He was crying and calling out for me, and when I realized that he wasn’t stopping, I hauled myself out of bed to go and comfort him. Have you ever noticed that being woken up only a couple of hours into your sleep is so much harder then being woken up at say 4:00 AM? I stumbled, I bumped into the wall, my eyes wouldn’t focus, I fell like I was drunk, but I did eventually find my way to his bedside. I climbed in with him to cuddle up as is my normal habit for soothing nighttime fears. Except this time it wasn’t working.

    Once my foggy brain started to wake up I realized that this wasn’t a nightmare but a night terror.


    • Your child seems frightened, but cannot be awakened or consoled.
    • Your child may sit up in bed, or walk around the room, screaming or talkings enselessly.
    • Your child doesn't acknowledge you, his eyes may be open but he seems to stare right through you.
    • Objects or persons in the room might be mistaken for dangers.
    • Episodes usually last between 10 and 30 minutes.
    • Usually occur in children 1 to 8 years old.
    • Your child cannot remember the episode in the morning.
    • Usually happens within 2 hours of falling asleep.
    • Night terrors are harmless and each episode will end on its own.

    Last night’s terror lasted nearly 20 minutes, with Liam alternating between sobbing and screaming, all the while thrashing about.

    We went through a period of night terrors when Liam was younger, so I was familiar with the symptoms (and thus not freaking out that I couldn’t wake him up). It’s been about 2 years since his last one. The only cause we ever found was they tended to occur on days when he was up and active way past his bedtime. But even then it wasn’t always the case. However, since the summer started, Liam’s bedtime has gotten later (from 7:00 this spring to 9:00 for the summer) and he wasn’t up late last night (he was actually in bed by 8:30). Maybe this is just the accumulation of a sleep deficit rearing its head. Or more likely there is no cause at all.

    And like all night terror episodes, it suddenly stopped. He went from screaming and thrashing to rolling over, sucking his thumb and being fully asleep. I waited a moment and made my way back to bed. Of course I can never just fall back to sleep so easily. Hilary had woken up when the screaming started, but once she knew that I was on it, she somehow managed to roll over and go back to sleep. She never even heard me come back to bed.

    I did fall back to sleep, unfortunately not for very long.

    At 3:18 I heard Liam call out. It sounded like he had to go pee. Our house is a storey and a half, so the upstairs is just 2 bedrooms separated by stairs. It makes for a long trek for night time bathroom needs, so one of us usually goes with Liam to make sure he doesn’t trip and fall and actually finds the toilet and uses it (as opposed to going the wrong way and mistaking the garbage can in the dining room for a toilet)

    As I made it to the top of the stairs, so did he. But he was moving FAST. He flew past me into our room and I finally figured out what he was saying. “I don’t want to go to JAIL!” Okay then. I told him that he wasn’t going to jail, he was safe and should go back to sleep. He looked towards me, but mostly through me, mumbled something and bee-lined it back to his bed. By the time I got in there to check on him he was out cold!

    I’m pretty sure the jail nightmare comes from having visited the police station this week with camp. For whatever reason, adults feel the need to tease young children with such gems as “better behave while you’re there or they might throw you in jail!” Nice. He says he had fun on the trip, but did not want anyone else to ask him if he had been in the jail, so I’m guessing it came up more then once. He did say that they didn’t get to see the jail on this trip because there were bad people in it and the police officer said that they couldn’t go there because the bad people might say bad words to them. Cause that’s not nightmare inducing for the 5-8 year old crowd.

    He woke up this morning as chipper as can be, with no recollection of any of his night time escapades. If only I could be so blissfully unaware and refreshed!