Saturday, January 31, 2009

and in the news.....

Energetic Liam, 6 1/2, gets tickled by his parents Andrea (Andy)
Drouin and Hilary Bolton in their Halifax home. The same-sex couple and their
son are one of three Nova Scotia families featured in a new book Labours of
Love: Canadians Talk About Adoption.(ERIC WYNNE / Staff)

is an article about us! You may remember that we were interviewed as part of a book, Labours of Love last year. Our local feature reporter was doing a piece on the book and wanted to interview a local couple so the author asked if we would do it. I said "Sure! Why not!"

And here is the result:

Published: 2009-01-31
Love stories

Book examines complexities of adoptions in Canada but ultimately celebrates children, family connections

By LOIS LEGGE Features Writer

ANDREA Drouin knows what it’s like to be a "big secret."

So as the adoptive mother of six-year-old Liam, she tries to be as open as possible about her life as an adoptee and an adopter.

So much so that she’s among three Nova Scotia families featured in Ontario author Deborah Brennan’s recently released book Labours of Love: Canadians Talk About Adoption.

Brennan, who adopted her now-nine-year-old daughter Diana when the child was an infant, also hopes the book dispels misconceptions about a subject rife with stereotypes.

So-called open adoptions like Brennan’s and Drouin’s, which involve the birth parents having a role in the child’s life or the child at least knowing key information about the biological parents, are becoming more common.

But Brennan says openness is still lacking when it comes to adoptions, often because of fear and shame that lasts for decades.

Despite placing numerous ads and notices to gather stories for her book, Brennan still had a difficult time finding people willing to discuss their lives publicly.

She received lots of responses but many people backed away when they realized their real names and photographs would be used. Some felt they should wait until their adopted children were old enough to decide for themselves.

"To me that’s still saying there’s something wrong with it, something shameful," and that’s an attitude children often pick up on, Brennan says.

Some birth parents, many of whom chose adoption years ago with promises their identities would never be revealed, still feel the stigma today.

"My thing in writing this book is first and foremost the person that we need to think about in this equation is the adoptee. Let’s all get over our grief and let’s just try to get to the place where we acknowledge that there’s this child that needs to be taken care of."

Brennan believes being honest is the best way to take care of adoptees.

But some biological parents have resisted such moves, wanting what happened in the past to stay there.

Drouin encountered that situation with her own biological mother, a career woman who never married and gave birth to her when she was 40 and was already the mother of a seven-year-old child. Her adoptive parents told her everything they knew, but when she finally contacted her birth mother, old embarrassments and fears resurfaced.

"She had lived with the stigma in her mind of being a first parent and had never told anyone about me, not even her daughter who still lives at home, so I’m sort of that big secret so our contact is very limited," she says. "I can’t call there or email or sort of show up at the house because . . . she doesn’t want her to know about me.

"I understand her reasons for doing it; I mean, it’s a secret that she lived with for 30 years and was told at the time, you know, ‘Move on and forget, she’ll never find you and you don’t need to relive any of this.’ So to have 30 years later that myth shattered for her — that I would never find her — would be quite difficult.

"We’ve met a couple of times," adds the Halifax woman, who adopted her son with her same-sex partner Hilary Bolton. "She still lives in Ontario, where I grew up, so distance is also part of the issue. It’s almost like a clandestine affair, sometimes. I have to call when I know my sister’s not going to be home and arrange to meet when she’s going to be at work and meet in public places."

Drouin never wanted that kind of secrecy in her own parenting. So her son has met his birth mother, who has been in his life off and on. Drouin is open about her own sexual orientation and says she and her partner haven’t faced any prejudice as same-sex adoptive parents.

Brennan believes most adopted children want to know about their biological parents. But many provinces, including Nova Scotia, still refuse to give them unfettered access to records without the biological mother’s permission.

All the secrecy can be painful for the children, she says, and only adds to public misconceptions about adoption.

"Quite a few (people) are very misinformed about adoption and when they think of the word ‘adoption’ it becomes a negative connotation immediately. Well, something went wrong; a teenager had the baby; she had sex when she was too young; she was irresponsible. . . . There’s all these really big red flags that go up."

Adults often pass that along to their children, as Brennan found out one day when her daughter came home crying from school.

"Kids have said, ‘Your mother didn’t want you’ and things like that, but you see those things are far more common than people like to realize because people in the adoption community sort of keep it to themselves more. I look at adoption as kind of a layer of society that’s kind of hidden.

"The adoption records are opening up in June in Ontario and that’s going to create a lot of discussion because many birth mothers don’t want anything to do with their offspring. They have hidden this part of their lives for years and they don’t wish it to be revealed, and to me that’s simply wrong and all the secrecy around adoption has created this attitude, and it comes up at a very young age and kids get those messages from their parents. So I guess the parents need to be educated and then the kids will have a different perspective on what adoption means."

But adoption doesn’t mean things will be the same as having a biological child, says Brennan. She’s had both — 15-year-old biological son Daniel and adopted daughter Diana — and says adoptive parents face unique challenges even though "the love you feel for the child is the same."

Becoming an adoptive parent was the first obstacle for Brennan, who eventually found her child’s birth mother by placing ads in a college newspaper. But when she started trying to adopt domestically, being over 40 was a barrier and few resources existed to help her navigate the complicated and frustrating process. She hopes her book, which also includes information from professionals in the field, will serve as a guide to prospective parents while highlighting the rewards of adopting.

"They get to be parents, when they’ve wanted that for so long," says Brennan, whose book features a range of families: gay, straight; those who’ve adopted domestically and those who’ve adopted internationally.

"When people parent through adoption they feel doubly blessed."

© 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 4 and.....

I started on a prescription for Norvasc on Monday. After suffering from primary Raynaud's for more then 7 years, I finally decided to ask my doctor for medical intervention. No amount of layering my clothes, wearing gloves and mitts or using hand warmers were working any more. I was suffering 4-5 episodes a day.
So I started on the lowest dose of Norvasc, a calcium channel blocker that is supposed to help with Raynaud's.
And boy howdy has it helped!
Even though we've had -20C temperatures the last few days that I have had to be out walking in, I haven't had a single episode. I am hopefully optimistic that this will work as a long-term solution for me, knowing that I have lots of room to increase the dosage should I start having episodes again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adoption talk

As a parent it is my job to teach Liam about all sorts of things. And most of this teaching is done through repetition ~ Look both ways before you cross the street, don't pick your nose, remember to say please and thank you. Other topics get repeated, just not daily ~ babies grow in their mummy's uterus, everyone dies eventually, light sabers aren't actually real.

For most topics I don't think twice about how often I repeat them. We are a car-less family who walks everywhere, so rules on how to cross the street safely may get repeated 20 times a day. When we are in a big Star Wars kick, the topic of light sabers comes up a lot. Seeing friends who are pregnant offers to the opportunity for a chat on the birds and the bees.

The struggle I have is when to bring up the topic of adoption, or more specifically, Liam's adoption. I don't want to push the topic on him if he doesn't want or need to talk about it, but I also want him to know that it's an okay topic to talk about. I will casually mention adoption in general whenever an opportunity comes up, usually using my own adoption as a conversation opener. I let Liam know that I think about my first mother, wonder how she's doing, or that I'm planning to call her because I miss her.

The opportunity to bring up his own adoption doesn't present itself very often. Our friend Sandy is pregnant and due in February, so that offers a vaulting point into conversations about how Liam grew in "K"s belly.

So last night I decided that I would bring up the topic of his adoption specifically. And tub time seemed like a good time to do it. The 2 of us alone with minimal distractions. I asked him if he thought about being adopted, or if kids at school ever asked him questions about it. He didn't have much to say about it, but did say that no one at school has ever asked him about it. The conversation morphed into having 2 Mums and not having a Dad, but how he still has a father who helped make him with "K". We've never really covered the topic of a father before, so I wanted to ensure that he didn't think he was miraculously conceived! We don't have much info on his father, but he didn't seem that interested in finding out anything at this time anyway.

He asked about his birth which led to me correcting his understanding of the process as a whole! His idea? "How do they crack the women open to get the baby out?" I cleared that one up, but did tell him that he was born by c-section. He was worried that it had hurt "K" and was relieved to hear that it didn't because she had medicine, just like he did when he had his tonsils out (I figure this was close enough, I didn't feel like explaining epidurals on top of every thing else!) During all of this I mentioned, as I've mentioned countless times before, the "K" loved him very much.

This time he asked the BIG question. If she loved him why did she give him away? (of note, we have NEVER used "give away" when we talk about adoption, so he's come to that conclusion on his own) I explained what I knew - it was not the right time for her to be a Mummy to 2 little boys (she was already raising her son "C"), she couldn't look after Liam the way she wanted to so she made an adoption plan and asked us to be his parents. After a moment of silence he declared "I don't want to talk about this anymore it's making me too sad." I acknowledge that it can be sad to think about and we moved on.

I still don't know the magic formula of how often we should talk about adoption. Do I wait for him to bring it up next? What if he doesn't? I think I will continue my approach of mentioning it casually whenever I can (but not excessively) and hope that he knows that it's an okay subject to bring up wheneve he wants.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Being Serenaded

Liam serenaded Hilary and I with this origianl tune last night:

Mummy and Mama
Sitting in a tree
Who do we appreciate?
Go Mummy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Liam's Snow photos

Liam and I went on a walk today just so he could take pictures. It's fascinating to see what catches his eye: the trees, the power lines, the texture of the snow. He still needs to learn to stand still while he takes a picture, but he has fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Love Thursday

I grew up in a family that never says "I love you". I've blogged before about how I can't bring myself to say it to my Mom even now, 38 years later.

Hilary and I say it to each other all the time. We end each phone call with "I love you" and we start and stop each day with it. It even gets thrown in during the day. And it's not just saying it for the sake of saying it. It's said with feeling and truth and honesty.

So it's no wonder that Liam is growing up to include "I love you" as a big part of his day. (and as a side note: he says it to my Mom all the time and she responds with "I love you", so she is capable.)

Lately our "I love you's" with Liam have morphed into a new game. It actually started a long time ago while reading Guess How Much I Love You? For the longest time he would make up things that were as far away as he could imagine: "I love you all the way to Pluto and back and then around the world three times and over the moon." Now it's become a competition that goes like this:

Me: Good Night Liam, I love you.
Liam: Good Night Mama, I love you more.
Me: No Way! I love you the mostest.
Liam: I love you more then you love me.

This can actually go on for several minutes before I have to concede that he does indeed love me more.
It warms my heart every time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reopening a closed adoption

If you've spent any amount of time reading adoption boards, you have probably run into the topic of open adoptions becoming closed. Most often we are hearing about it from a first mom's point of view. How she was promised an open adoption - regular visits, updates, pictures - and how once the adoption was legally finalized, POOF, the openness is gone. No more updates, visits not being scheduled, and in some extreme cases the adoptive family has even moved, never to be found again. The first moms' are posting looking for support, ideas on how to approach the adoptive family and just a place to vent.

Occasionally you hear the adoptive parent's side of things - it's too confusing for the child, it's interrupting our life, we all need to move on. They are also posting looking for support, and depending on the type of board it is, they may very well get it. (I've personally stopped frequenting those types of boards any more because they make my blood boil.) Usually they are looking for others to help justify their actions. To me, if you need some internet stranger to help you decide if what you are doing is right, chances are, that deep down, you know it isn't. But that's just me.

As always, the one side that is not being heard from is the adoptees themselves. Now it could be that most of them are still too young to be dealing with the emotional issues of an open adoption becoming closed, since open adoptions are pretty new. Or, if their adoption was one that was closed very quickly, maybe they never knew that they were supposed to have contact with their first families and believe that theirs has always been a closed adoption. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as these kids grow up discover the truth. What will they have to say about it?

There is another scenario that can occur, one that you do hear about, but not as often. And it is this scenario that we fall into with Liam's adoption. We, (Hilary and I, the adoptive parents) want a fully open adoption. We want visits, letters and pictures exchanged, chit-chatty phone calls or emails. This was the "plan" before Liam was born and we were working out the details with his mom. (yes we had a pre-birth match, something that if I knew what I knew today, I would never have considered)

Right after Liam was born we lost contact with her for about 4 years, re-established contact for about 1.5 years and have not heard from her in the past year. (I think I know some of the reasons for why she has stopped contact - mostly it being too hard emotionally for her.)

The struggle now is how to reach out again? We promised, as part of the adoption agreement, to send letters and pictures at a minimum of twice a year. We continue to do that and will continue to do it because that is what we agreed to. But is it fair for us to keep pushing for more contact, or to hear back from her? Are we doing it for us or for Liam? I think that right now it is for me more then anyone. Being an adoptee who has gone through reunion and all the secrets and emotional roller coasters that reunion entails, I want to protect Liam from that. Liam is mostly oblivious to adoption right now. He hasn’t brought it up on his own since last summer when he declared that he missed “K”. I wonder if he doesn’t bring it up because he is okay with it right now, or because “K” is no longer someone we communicate regularly with and he notices the absence. How much is me pushing my emotions and baggage from my adoption into his?

Are there any other adoptive parents out there in this type of situation? What have you done to overcome it? First moms – what would you suggest? How much pushing is too much?

To me, this is the grey area that would make legalizing open adoptions sticky. I wouldn’t want to be in a position of FORCING “K’ into having contact. Because really? What good would that do anyone?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What flavour would you choose?

Oddcast PoweredCreate Your Own

Many of my American friends think it's odd that one of the most popular Canadian potato chip flavour is Ketchup. We also enjoy Salt and Pepper, Sour Cream and Onion, BBQ and I've even had Wasabi. But Walker's Crisps from England are taking things a little further. They had people submit new flavour ideas and have now produced 6 of them to sell for a couple of months. This gives people a chance to taste them and vote for a favorite, which will then stay on the shelves as part of their regular choices (which alreay include Cheese and Onion, Steak and Onion, Pickled Onion, Chili and Lemon and Prawn Cocktail (my favorite!)

I know that you can't actually taste them, but would you even be willing to try them?

  • Chilli and Chocolate
  • Cajun Squirrel
  • Fish and Chips
  • Crispy Duck with Hoisin Sauce
  • Onion Bhaji
  • Builder's Breakfast (described by its creator as a combination of bacon, sausage, egg, baked beans and ketchup)

You can get full details on each flavour here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

Lori started Perfect Moment Monday's some time ago. She writes:

Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments are just waiting to be observed, and can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Up until now I haven't had anything that felt like a Perfect Moment.

Last week none of us had been sleeping well. It was the first week back to school after the holiday break and everyone was tired and cranky. After a particularly trying evening I was reading Liam his bedtime story. It offered some opportunities to sneak some math questions into it, so I was quizzing him on things like "what is 2 + 2" or "5 + 3". He was getting them all right and was very proud of himself (and I was proud too!) So I threw in a trick question:

"What is Liam + Mama?"

Without skipping a beat he said (with a big ole cheesy grin plastered on his face):


And that is my perfect moment.

It was bound to happen.

It is a guaranteed fact that I will fall at least once every winter. I am prone to falling, whether the conditions are icy or not. I once fell while walking along a sidewalk in broad daylight, on a dry summer day. That fall left me on crutches for 4 days and with road rash that looked like I had been dragged behind a truck. Last year I fell down our stairs at home and had a bruise the size of a salad plate on my butt that was so spectacularly purple that it looked like one of the sea urchins that Liam was studying.

This morning I had to walk to work. My co-worker who drives me starts at 7:00 on Mondays, something I am not willing to do. So I walk. We had a big dump of snow yesterday, but most of the sidewalks had been cleared. Maybe if it hadn't been cleared I wouldn't have fallen. The thin layer of snow that was left after shoveling was slick. I WAS being careful, but that seems to be the time that I usually fall. The next thing I knew I took a step and was flying through the air. Normally when one falls on the ice, your feet go forward and you land on your bottom. Not me! My left leg went back and to the side, and I twisted mid-air so that I landed completely on my right side, with my hip and shoulder making first contact with the ground. To make matters worse I was wearing a backpack, and the backpack contained my lap top. Those suckers are hard and heavy when they gain momentum and smack you in the back of the head.

Someone should really follow me around with a video camera. We could make a lot of money from America's Funniest Home Video's.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Liam has decided that he want's to grow his hair out so that it is long and shaggy and looks like Annakin Skywalker (before he turned evil and started wearing a helmet and mask).

This is how it looks so far.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gay Marriage Propogand Film

This is pretty funny... now I have to go out and buy myself a switchblade, who knew?

Friday, January 9, 2009

What's in your bathtub?

Once upon a time my bathtub was a sanctuary. A quiet place I retreated to every night. A book, some candles and a glass of wine were the only requirements. A nice CD playing in the background or something aroma-therapeutic was a nice added touch.

Now I can't remember the last time I even had a bath. (don't get grossed out dear readers. I still get clean everyday, it's just been reduced to a 6 minute shower before the sun comes up in the morning.)

This morning, bleary-eyed and pre-coffee, I pulled back the shower curtain to enjoy my 6 minutes of hot water solitude. The furnace had just come on so the house was still quite chilly and I wanted to hop into the shower as quickly as possible, so I had already stripped down. It was only then that I realized that the tub was already full. Of TOYS. Somehow after Liam's bath last night the toys had not made their way back to his TWO tub-toy containers.

This is what I found in the tub:

1 Theodore Tugboat
5 boats of various sizes
2 submarines
1 large purple octopus (this should count as 9 items since all his arms had been removed and were suctioned to various parts of the tub)
1 wind up diver
1 pair of binoculars (no idea when or why these become a tub toy)
4 Playmobile people and all of their little-itty-bitty pieces (really, do kids need a toy bottle the size of a pinhead to feed a seal the size of a dime?)
3 Bionnicles
2 Lego Starships
7 Star Wars figurines
5 Hot wheels
2 Pieces of hot wheel track
1 dinosaur

I'm not sure how Liam actually fit in the tub with all of this.

So tell me, what is in your tub?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Andy's Childhood Trivia - Reveal!

Way to go momof3/! It is indeed Soap.

While Alf, the Flinstones, Mork and Mindy where all great guesses I don't think any of them dealt with impotency quite as much as Soap did. Technically I was not allowed to watch this when I was a kid (I was 7 when it first aired, so I probably saw it in re-runs) but I would sneak upstairs to watch it when my mom wasn't looking.

Hilary and I have almost made it through the first season. There are no aliens yet, but Burt has started doing his "I am invisible" arm thing (I has forgotten where that was from... and yes, I have used that in real life.

Thanks for playing along!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Andy's Childhood Trivia - Clue 5

So now we are on to clue 5 even though it's onlyLori playing (and she's had some great guesses so far)! You can check out the first clue here.

Confused? Don't be, here's the next clue:

  1. Mobster
  2. Impotent
  3. Aliens
  4. Adoption
  5. Connecticut

Monday, January 5, 2009

What a difference a day makes

What a difference a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain

Lately it seems that my life could be set to music!

Is it possible for a kid to grow up over night? Not completely grow up, but to at least become more grown up? What a difference a day (or maybe it's been a couple) makes! Last week Liam was driving Hilary and I crazy. The tantrums, the stubbornness, the refusal to participate in the simplest of task, the sulkiness, the grumpiness, the anger... well I could go on but I'll have to break out the thesaurus. I think you get the idea!

Yesterday Hilary and I realized that we had had a great day. And when we stopped and thought about it some more, we realized that the day before had been great too! No tantrums, no outbursts, nothing but a polite and pleasant little boy. He picked things up without being told, he didn't interrupt people who were talking, he came to the table when he was called the first time. We had great conversations, nice cuddles, we read books and played games.

Nothing has changed that could have effected this... he's still getting the same amount of sleep, eating the same things, getting the same amount of exercise. We haven't been traveling over the holidays or had visitors in. And honestly if we look back, the nasty behaviour was happening long before the Christmas break. So we are chalking it up to Liam maturing and growing up! Maybe the 6 year old testing stage is over.

Stop laughing, a mother can hope can't she?

Andy's childhood trivia - clue 4

So now we are on to clue 4. I will give you a bonus clue, it's a sitcom. You can check out the first clue here.

Confused? Don't be, here's the next clue:

  1. Mobster
  2. Impotent
  3. Aliens
  4. Adoption

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Andy's Childhood Trivia - Clue 3

So now we are on to clue 3. I will give you a bonus clue, it's a sitcom.

You can check out the first clue here.

Confused? Don't be, here's the next clue:

  1. Mobster
  2. Impotent
  3. Aliens

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hitchin' A Ride

A thumb goes up, a car goes by.
It's nearly one a. m. and here am I
Hitching' a ride,
Hitching' a ride.

Gotta get me home
By the morning light.

I got no fare to ride a train,
I'm nearly drowning in the pouring rain
Hitching a ride,
Hitching a ride.
Gotta get me home
To my baby's side.

No, I have never actually hitchhiked, which would probably surprise you if you knew anything about my sordid past! I am however known for getting rides from people at the times I need them most. It's a skill I developed a long time ago that comes from not having owned a car in more then 15 years. The skill involves looking slightly pathetic, you should preferably be carrying a lot of stuff and it helps a lot if the weather outside is horrible. Very few friends and co-workers can be cold hearted enough to walk past you with their automatic car starter aimed and ready and not offer you a lift.

Today was a new one for me though. Liam and I went swimming at the wave pool. It's a 15 minute bus ride from our local mall. The bus only runs every 30 minutes, so timing is key otherwise you end up standing on the side of a 4 lane highway in the freezing cold for far too long. I had worked out the bus times to get us there but neglected to figure out when the bus went past for the trip home. So after drying off and getting changed and back into our many layers of winter gear, I inquired at the front desk if they knew what time the bus went past. An older woman who had been in the pool with us (and whom Liam splashed and subsequently had to apologize to) suddenly offered us a ride.

A complete stranger. Had we lived anywhere BUT Halifax, I would have said no on the spot. Halifax, despite it's size, still holds onto small town attitudes and neighbourly-ness. So we took her up on it. We had a lovely chat during our 10 minute drive, though I never did find out her name.

I have to admit that I did have a brief moment of wondering if this was such a good idea. I watch an awful lot of CSI and Law and Order, so I had a host of plot lines running through my head. Then I figured that I could easily take her if it came to that! Of course it never "came to that" and Liam and I were safely deposited back at the mall.

It's going to make the whole "don't talk to strangers" talk a little harder, but it was worth not having to stand in the cold for 30 minutes!

Andy's Childhood Trivia - Clue 2

So yesterday we had the first clue. Confused? Don't be, here's the next clue:

  1. Mobster
  2. Impotent

Friday, January 2, 2009

Andy's Childhood Trivia

Lori started this game back in February. I've had fun playing along and trying to guess what she is talking about from her sometimes very obscure clues! Her game inspired met to start "What Am I?" where I post obscure pictures for you to try and guess the final object from.

Hilary received a Christmas present this year that as soon as she opened it I had an AHA! moment. One look at it and I knew that I had to try my own "Andy's Childhood Trivia" game with all of you.

So here we go. I'll post one clue a day until someone guesses what Hilary got for Christmas from her sister this year. It is something from our childhoods (late '70s-early 80's)

  1. Mobster

Good Luck and have fun!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I've been tagged

Jen from A Nickel's Worth of Common Sense tagged me on this New Year Meme.

Directions: Copy and paste these directions and place them at the beginning of your post. Fill in the categories with your own answers. Tag three other people at the end of your post to complete this meme. Don’t forget to link back to the person who tagged you!

Three joyful things that happened to you in 2008:
1. Our family trip to Upper Clements Park
2. Getting my diamond earrings for Christmas
3. Every day with my family

Three things you learned in 2008:
1. I learned how to put Bionnicles together
2. I learned all about bioluminescent fish
3. I learned how to Blog

Three things that made you laugh in 2008:
1. Liam’s dance during the play when he showed off his Pok√©mon cards
2. Liam practicing arm-pit farts till he had a rash
3. Hilary, because she always makes me laugh

Three things that made you cry in 2008:
1. Watching Liam in pain after having his tonsils out
2. Accepting that I won’t ever be pregnant
3. Iris calling me after her surgery

Three things that made you smile in 2008:
1. Liam losing his first tooth on his own, no surgery required
2. Liam opening his Christmas present from Santa
3. Hilary, because she always makes me smile

Three things you will never forget about 2008:
1. Watching Liam jump on the glass floor of the CN tower.
2. Liam’s back to back surgeries, even though they were minor, they were hard on this Mama!
3. Losing contact with Liam’s Mom “K”

Three of your nicest memories from 2008:
1. The corn maze at night under the stars.
2. Going out for Teppanyaki for my Mom’s birthday
3. Our photographic scavenger hunt

Three changes you made in 2008:
1. I started wearing earrings
2. I started working from home 2-3 days a week
3. I stopped bitting my nails

Three accomplishments you achieved in 2008:
1. I almost got caught up with my scrapbooking (hey, that’s still an accomplishment)
2. Putting together all 694 pieces of the Axalara T9
3. Every day I become a bit better parent

Three things you are looking forward to in 2009:
1. Grade 1
2. Summer, I’m sick of snow already
3. Being with my family every day

I’m tagging:
1. Coco at Mommyhood and Life
2. Kretzklan at Can I get a do over?
3. Alex at BesoMami

Happy New Year!

Mother Nature ushered in 2009 with a very big
We are hunkered down for the day, not even venturing out to shovel until with wind and snow die down.

We had a quiet New Year's Eve. Liam lasted till 9:00 when we did a count down, popped some confetti poppers and sang Auld Lang Sine before he went to bed. Hilary and I lasted another full hour! We had lightening and thunder at 3:00 that woke me up (yes in the Maritimes we get snow, wind, rain, lightening, thunder and even sometimes sun all at the same time) so I wished everyone a silent Happy New Year then.

We have no big plans for 2009, no resolutions. Life will continue it's daily routine of school, work, skating lessons and grocery shopping. The only thing we are implementing as of today is a return to eating dinner at the table and NOT in front of the TV. It's a bad habit left over from our pre-Liam days. The hardest part of doing this is going to be keeping the dinning room table free enough of clutter for there to be room for us to sit. The good thing is there are only 3 of us and the able seats 8, so there is still plenty of room to pile up stuff!

Happy New Year Everyone!