Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What am I? Round 9 - Reveal

A Swiffer Duster!

Way to go Momof3! This is her second time winning "What am I?". I promise not to send you any Thrills this time!

I'm going to have to work harder on finding some more obscure items if I'm going to keep this going.

The other guesses we got this time were :

  • Jump rope
  • Thigh Master
  • Bottle Cleaner
  • macro of a hair pin
  • a large twist tie
Thanks for playing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

What Am I? round 9

Let's play another round of What am I? I've taken 5 pictures of an item found in my house. Each day I will post a new one until someone guesses what it is.

The first person to guess this item will win some lovely Canadian sweet treats (provided you are willing to email me your address).

So guess away and guess often!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Five - Family Edition

I'm currently working on an art project (hush now, I already know that I have don't have an artistic bone in my body!) for a friend and she sent these 4 thinking points to help convey what she is looking for. They make for a very interesting Friday Five (I added the last one to make the numbers match)

  1. What is your family story?
  2. What is the story you want to tell about your family?
  3. What is important to you as a family?
  4. What is your experience of creating family?
  5. What is the most important thing about your family?

And my answers (which really isn't helping me with the art project!)

1. My family story is one of adoption, love, coming out, friendship and conquering life together.

2. I want to tell the story of how of how Hilary and I met: we were both too shy to actualy move forward on anything left on our own, so friends took us out to a bar, talked to each of us and pretty much said "get on with it already!" so we did!

3. The most important thing to us as a family is happiness. We've lived without the material things before, but it didn't matter because we were happy.

4. Our experience in creating a family was an unusual one. We had no plans to adopt, yet within 3 months of the word first being mentioned we had brought Liam home.

5. The most important thing about my family is love. Our love for each other.

So I challenge each of you to carry forward this Friday Five and let us learn a bit about your family.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Geriatric cats

We have 4 cats, all of whom are getting on in years. We once maxed out at 12 cats - 6 of our own and we took in a stray who happened to have 5 kittens a week later. Luckily we found great homes for all the kittens and Mom-Cat. 2 of our cats have died, Simon in 2004 and Squid in 2006.

It's hard watching pets age, but for the most part these guys are still going strong!

Edgar - 12

Edgar has been an old man since he was born! He's always been slow moving, methodical and wise. He never really had a kitten period.

He had just had his ears cleaned and was not happy with me

Alice - 10

Alice is the one that we are noticing the most changes in the last few days. She is starting to limp when she first gets up to walk, she isn't as delicate when she jumps, she's more tired then usual. Alice has always had kitten qualities. She used to play fetch with a crinkly ball, she comes when she is called... oh wait, she doesn't have kitten qualities, she has puppy qualities!

Alice in the sun

Hazel - 8

Hazel hasn't changed much. She still hates me, is scared of every human beign except Hilary and is rather rotund (think Jennyanydots !)

This is Hazel's "I could kill you with one claw" look that she gives me when I get too close.

Oscar - 7

And Oscar is the baby. He still thinks his tail is out to get him, he would kill for nip and has just figured out how to get in and out of the bunk bed so that he can sleep with Liam again.

Oscar on the bunk bed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

6 words

6 little words overheard on the grocery store PA system that was broadcasting some local radio station between "clean up in aisle 4" announcements.

"Heard it from a friend who"

and now I will have this song stuck in my head FOREVER!

What am I? Round 8 - second picture

And the winner is Sugar! Sorry Sugar, I didn't plan a give-away with this one.

"Flower Frog that goes on the bottom of a vase to hold flower stems inplace. Looks like you have it upside down with the little holes for the flower stems toward the bottom."

We had some other creative guesses as well:

  • tape dispenser
  • coaster
  • paperweight
  • back massager
  • door knob
  • something that you can freeze and then float in a bowl of punch to keep it cold

So now I'm back on the hunt through my house to find the next "What am I?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The sweaters

Liam had his 3rd school picture taken today - Third since this is his third year at school! And my how he has grown since that first day way back in 2006. And every year we have bought him a new "picture" sweater from Children's place. It is similar, but different each time, making for a lovely collage. We won't have the actual school pictures for awhile, but of course Mama had her camera out today.

What am I? Round 8

Pretty to look at and practical too!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Liam is channelling Charlie

We got Charlie from the Human Society in Toronto in 1995. He was full grown and about one and half years old. He was house broken and knew a few simple commands. He was friendly, loyal, protective and really just an overall amazing dog. Unfortunately he developed a kidney problem and died in 2003 when Liam was only 9 months old. I think they would have been great friends. They both share a love of running, all things outdoors, lounging on the couch and spooning in bed. After Liam was born we finally had to get a queen size bed as there was no longer room for all 4 of us, plus the occasional cat.

It is their love for running that made me think that Charlie was communing with Liam this week.

When we lived in Toronto we would take Charlie to the local school yard for "doggie time". Dogs of all sizes and their people would come for some off-leash time. Charlies best buddy was a long haired miniature Datsun, who came up to Charlie's ankles. But boy howdy could the little guy run! Charlie would antagonize him just enough to get him riled up and then would take off, looking over his shoulder to make sure that the chase was on. One day during a game of chase, Charlie was looking over his shoulder while he ran and didn't see the football goal post looming towards him. He ran head first into it and fell like a 90 pound bag of bricks. I thought for sure that he had snapped is neck, but he was a tough guy. He jumped up, shook it off, stared at the post with a look of "where the hell did you come from?" and took off for some more play.

This week Liam and I were playing tag at the park. (bet you can guess where this is going, can't you?) We were having a fabulous time, laughing and giggling and getting a pretty good work out. He had tagged me and I was chasing him at full speed. He was looking over his shoulder and me when WHAM! Face first into the post of the monkey bars. He went down like a 40 pound bag of bricks. He didn't jump up and keep going though. We sat on the bench for a cuddle while the large red welt was appearing on his cheek.

The worst part? I burst out laughing as soon as it happened, thinking back to Charlie and seeing the parallels between my two "boys".

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gimme, Gimme

NEVER gets.

No matter how often the 6 year old whines, pleads, begs or bargains.

Liam has entered what I hope is a short phase of feeling that he is entitled to getting whatever his heart desires. NOW!!!

Um, really not happening! He has now reached the point today that if he asks me one more time to buy him something that I will impose another toy moratorium, this one going till Christmas!

Good times.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Anti-Bullying day

Last year, here in my home province a Grade nine student was bullied on his first day of high school for wearing a pink shirt. 2 Senior students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, heard about what happened and when out and bought a bunch of pink t-shirts and handed them out.

So today was the first Stand Up Against Bullying Day across the province to mark the occasion. Hug your kids, and help them stand up against bullies every where.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hilary ROCKS

Did you know that if you put slightly stale, boring store-bought chocolate chip cookies in the toaster oven on low for 5 minutes that they miraculously taste like home-made, right out of the oven cookies?

I didn't, but Hilary did!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What would you do - part 2

So you thought about my scenario, Person A getting hit by Person B on the bus. But what assumptions did you make? Did you assume that Person A was female? That this was a married/dating couple having a public disagreement? Did you picture Person B, the "hitter", as male, possibly bigger, stronger and more dominating then Person A? Did you picture a young couple or an older couple? Did your mind assign any race or socio-economic status to the 2 people?

It is really quite fascinating how our minds will fill in the blanks based on our own lives and experiences when not enough information is given in a story.

This specific situation was an unusual one however. It was not a married/dating couple, male/female or gay. Nor was it 2 strangers or 2 friends.

Who could it have been then, you ask? What kind of coupling is left?

It was a parent and child.

Oh the outrage, you think! Of course you would speak up, get involved. Parents can't hit their children like that, in public and think they can get away with it!!

Yet, that is not the whole story either.

Person A, who stoically sat there taking the abuse, being hit and poked was the mother.

Person B, who refused to sit down and then showered Person A with the physical abuse was the daughter, maybe 10 years old.

Hilary and I were sitting close enough to hear the what the daughter was saying to her mother. In a nutshell she was having fun doing what ever she had been doing before getting on the bus and didn't want to leave to go home.

This was not a temper tantrum, at least not like any I have ever seen. This was a child exuding anger and using violence to get her own way. I have never seen a parent look more defeated. It was obvious that this was not the first time that this mother had endured this type of abuse.

Hilary and I debated what to do. We both agreed that if it had been two adults we would have intervened immediately. By approaching them directly if we felt that we would not be in danger or by going to the driver. We could not sit by and watch someone hit another person. But the lines are much more blurry when it is a child and parent. Is it our place to "parent" the child? As a parent I would not want a stranger interfering in a situation that involved Liam and I. But this woman wasn't doing anything. And what exactly do you say to the kid? "You're a horrible, spoiled little girl and you need to stop that right now?" She probably would have kicked me in the shins! And then there is the embarrassment factor. Bringing more attention to the situation by getting involved. Already people on the bus were aware that we had Liam with us who was sitting quietly and behaving (luckily he was sitting in the seat behind Hilary and I and could not see over us to see what was going on. If he had, I'm sure the situation would have been much different as 6 year olds don't do a very good stage whisper and he likely would have said something about the girls behavior at full voice). How would that have made this mother feel? The parents with the "good" kid have to step up and help the parent with the "bad" kid.

So we did nothing. We watched in awe (how could you not?) while trying not to stare. Then as we got off the bus, Hilary leaned in to the woman and told her quietly "you have the most patience of any parent I have ever seen. Good luck." Hilary felt that some acknowledgment to the woman might help her not feel so defeated, even if for only a second.

Have you ever gotten involved in a parenting situation? Had someone try to get involved in what you were doing with your child? Is there a socially acceptable line? Share you stories either here in the comments or on your own blog.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We need an intervention

Is there a Webkinz Anonymous group out there?

What would you do?

Picture this scenario:

You and your family are riding the city bus home after a great day out. 2 people get on a few stops after you. It is obvious from their body language that they are fighting. Person A sits down and stares straight ahead, ignoring person B. At first person B refuses to sit down but then harrumphs into the seat next to person A, making sure to slam into them. They argue in hushed tones. Then person B starts hitting person A. Makes a fist and slams it down on person A's leg. Elbows them in the side, pushes against them. The whole time person A sits looking defeated, staring ahead, ignoring the onslot, occasionally hissing "stop it" to the other person.

By this time most of the passengers around have noticed what is going on. They all start to exchange looks. Should they intervene, say something? But what? Do they risk all this anger being turned on them? Is it even their place to get involved?

So dear readers, I put it to you? What would you do? I have added a poll over on the left hand side so that you can vote on your answer. And then I will tell you what Hilary and I did, since this happened to us yesterday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

90210 and the adoption story line

Yes, I am publicly admitting that not only was I a fan of the show the first time around, I watched the new version last night. And I may even watch it again next week.

But I'm not a TV critic so that is not what I'm writing about today. I knew going into watching the show that there was an adoption story line. One of the main characters, Dixon, is a 16 year old trans-racial adoptee. We found out last night that he joined the family 8 years ago. So far there hasn't been any mention of why he as adopted at 8 years old, or what was going on in his life before that. I have no doubt that the writers will get to that eventually.

The twist last night was the second adoption story line. Turns out that Dixon's adoptive father, the school Principle Harry Wilson, fathered a child as a teen. His ex-girlfriend confronts him, telling him that she never did have that abortion, she actually went away to give birth to their son and place him for adoption, instead of spending the year in Europe like he had been led to believe. This all makes for an interesting story line, one that is fairly realistic and not always covered from a birth father's point of view by the media. The part that really rotted my socks though was when Harry was lying in bed with his wife talking about what to do next. He says "as an adoptive father I have to wonder if I would want Dixon's birth parents around, and the answer is no." (paraphrasing here). NICE..... As an adoptive parent my thoughts were "way to go ass-hat..... make open adoption the big bad scary thing of made for TV movies why don't you." and the adoptee in me thought "and why the HELL not? They are his parents too!!! why are you so insecure that you can't let you son have ALL his family around him?"

I realize that TV shows are written to the level of the lowest common denominator, and that they are written to be sensational so that they sell. This is not a documentary on ethical adoption, it is a Prime time drama. But just once I wish that there could be a positive open adoption story put out there for people to see.

A day of "Firsts"

First day of school, first day as a "young", first loose tooth.