Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Am I? Round 12 Reveal

And the winner is N from Two Hot Mamas

It is indeed a head massager.

It feels fabulous! it's stimulating and relaxing all at the same time. We are going to stock up on them for presents for all those hard to buy for people.

Thanks everyone for playing! I'm off to look for the next item for "What am I?"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Am I? Round 12 # 3

It's day 3 and no winners yet. Maybe this will help... or mayb not!

So far we know that it isn't:

  • A knitting needle
  • A handle to a whisk
  • A leather working tool
  • umbrella
  • little umbrella that attaches to a hat
  • Parasol, like a sun shade

Keep on Guessing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Am I? Round 12 #2

So far we know that it isn't:
  1. A knitting needle
  2. A handle to a whisk
  3. A leather working tool

Keep on Guessing!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What Am I? Round 12

It's been way too long since we've played "What Am I?" The rules are simple: I'll post a different picture each day of a household item. You get to guess what it is!

This item is a wonderful new addition to our house. I got it as a table present for Hilary's birthday.

Have fun guessing!

Friday, March 20, 2009

She almost made it

a whole week without Liam getting injured!

Poor Grandma!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dream for Him

This song is more about the the state of our world then it is about adoption, but my "adopted" ears heard it and instantly thought about adoption. I wonder how I'm going to explain "it" to Liam, I'm uncomfortable lying to him, I must come up with better stuff then the simplified guff, I want a world where I can tell him the truth, my dreams for him are very much alive.

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Dream for Him

How am going to explain it to him
What am i going to say when it's something that grim
How the hell do you tell them that there comes an end
How are you going to handle it and still be their friend
How do you explain this world we face
To all of the innocents we have brought to this place

These and other questions stand in a row
And i'm not satisfied with the answers i know
What are you going to say to those eyes
I can't even get close to the lies
That are easier to tell you just say oh well
I'll explain when he's older but somehow that's colder
Than i want to be..............

I am uncomfortable lying to a child
Feels like building a trap... for something wild
Seems like building your house on the sand
And then expecting the ocean to let it stand

Somehow i must come up with better stuff
I'm just not satisfied with the simplified guff
That they shovel at kids by the handful
Like the candy they buy at a stand full
Of flags by the side of the road
It's not good for them to hand 'em that load
Of crap like they do................

I want a world where i can tell him the truth
About everyone from jesus to john wilkes booth
About how they lie in the house and the senate too
And only get close to the truth when it suits them to
And then on the very next day
They're back to lying that way

Of course it doesn't seem to matter what i want
But i look at some of the faces all haggard and gaunt
And i wonder which thing made them lose their dream
Cause mine is alive very much it would seem
And i would just love to be able to hand it to him
Without the light in those eyes ever getting dim
I want a dream for him..............
I want a dream for him..............
I want a dream for him

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reading strategies

At our parent-teacher meeting last week, Liam's teacher expressed some concern that Liam wasn't progression as well as she would like. Her concerns were around reading, recognizing sight words and knowing the sounds for letters. An example would be if you asked him what sound/letter the word "neighbour" starts with, he will most likely say B, since it has such a strong sound, just not at the beginning.

The school is great, the classes are small (14 kids) and they are sending some of the kids - including Liam - for extra one on one help a couple of times a week.

The thing we found odd about this conversation is that he seems to do just fine with homework. The school sends home 3 books a week, beginning readers with only a few words per page. We also do "Mama homework". It seems more of a case of Liam knowing his stuff, but not wanting to strut his stuff at school.

Either way we've kick Mama homework up a notch! Almost a year ago I posted about Liam becoming a reader, reading Dick and Jane. We hadn't read these in a while so we pulled them out this week. He stumbled on a few words, had to sound some out, but over all was reading it. We've also started using a great website for reading, The have games and on-line books, where you can click on a word and it sounds it out for you. I don't think computers can be a substitute for books when it comes to reading, but it is nice to have different options that are fun as well.

But our favorite reading strategy? Bathtime reading! While I run the water for Liam's bath, I use a washable marker and write the words we are working on on the tiles. Yes, that's right, I use markers on my bathroom walls! Liam gets in the tub and as he reads the words he gets to "erase" them with a water squirting toy. It's very motivating for the 6-year old crowd!

Any reading strategies that work in your house?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Siamese Cats

Don't worry! We didn't get any more cats, 4 is plenty for now. But if these 2 had their way, they would become 1.

Can you tell where Edgar ends and Oscar begins?

Monday, March 9, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about sisters lately. I grew up as an only child and I always wanted a sister. Sometimes I wanted an older sister - someone to look up to, someone who had been there and done that. Sometimes I wanted to be the eldest, to lead the way and dish out unsolicited advice.

The kicker of it was that I knew that I had a sister. An older sister. I just wasn't allowed to know anything about her other then she was 7 years old when I was born and that she was a "difficult" child.

Adoptees often have fantasies about their birth families. With the lack of any actual data our imaginations are left to their own devices. Movie stars, sports heroes, kings and queens become our parents, if only in our daydreams. I had something a little more concrete. Fact of an actual SISTER. I scanned every female face that could be around the right age. I don't think I ever saw her though.

What I didn't know growing up is that I actually have 3 sisters. The sister I knew of is my first mother's daughter. Turns out my first father also had kids, 4 to be exact. His children are much older then me, the youngest (my sister!) would have been in her early 20s when I was born.

The problem though is that I grew as an only child. I don't know how to be a sister, big or little. I can't even begin to understand the complexities that the relationship SISTER entails. I see Hilary and her sister together and it boggles my head. So alike and yet so different. So close yet they have very little in common. Then I see my friend Sandy, who has 7 siblings, 3 of whom are her sisters. They are all so close that her some of her sisters were with her while she gave birth a few weeks ago. I couldn't imagine wanting anyone other then my spouse with me at such an intimate time, why would anyone want their sister?

Yet I still yearn for a sister. I have a picture of MY sister on our family wall. It's bittersweet though.. I have her picture, know a lot about her, ask how she's doing whenever I talk to Iris, but she doesn't know that I exist. She also grew up as an only child. I wonder if she ever yearned for a little sister?

One of my father's daughters is also a lesbian. How cool would that have been? Having an older sister who had already come out, paving the rainbow highway for me? When I first came out I hung out with a group of lesbians all 20+ years older then I was. I've always wondered if she was one of them? Would I have recognized my own sister? Do we have any features in common? The only good thing is that I'm pretty sure I never dated her (another peril of adoption! If you don't know who you are related to, how are you supposed to know who not to date?)

And of course when I start thinking on my own situation caused by adoption, I of course start transferring my thoughts and feelings onto Liam's adoption. He too has a sister. He has her picture up on his wall, but like my sister, she doesn't know that he exists. Of course she's only 2, but her older brother has not been told about Liam, so I can only assume that she hasn't either.

So the roller coaster continues. Do I find my sisters, breaking a promise to Iris? Do I try to convince Liam's Mom that the kids should grow up knowing each other and having a chance to be siblings?

Or do I just borrow Hilary's sister when I feel the need for some sisterly love?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The perils of public transportation

I haven't owned a car for more then 15 years, so I am a veteran of public transportation. And by default, so is Liam. We hop on the bus to get pretty much every where we go.

I am also one of those slightly crazed, hyper vigilant, kinda OCD people. I will check my purse 10 times to make sure I have bus tickets, even though the walk to the bus is only 5 minutes. I won't close the driver door until Liam is out of a car so that he doesn't accidentally get locked in. I ramble on to him when we walk about looking out for cars that are backing up or making sure that he can see a driver's eyes before he starts to cross the road.

So when we went to get off the bus today I didn't foresee any problems. Liam knows not to stand up before the bus stops so that he doesn't fall. And he knows that I go out the doors first because he's not heavy enough to activate them to open, and if I'm already out, I can help him down (those steps are high).


I stepped down, the doors opened, I got out and in the nano-second it took me to turn around and hold Liam's hand the doors slammed shut and the bus started to drive away! With me still holding Liam's hand on the outside of the bus, while the rest of his body was on the inside!

Needless to say I was not very calm about the situation! The driver stopped pretty quickly and released the doors. Liam was not hurt, but was shaken and MAD at the driver. The driver parked and came out to make sure we were okay. I'm one of those women that tears up when I'm angry, so I end up looking like a sniveling fool. I kept my cool so as to not further upset Liam, made sure that Liam was not hurt and told the driver that we were fine and that he had better pay closer attention to his passengers and less attention to getting to the next stop on time.

Of course this happened on our way to somewhere today, so we had to take another bus to get home. Liam tried everything he could to convince me that we should just walk. I very much wanted him to get back on the horse, so to speak, since if he develops a bus phobia, our lives are going to be very complicated. I assured him as best I could that everything would be okay and promised him that we would exit by the front door so that the driver would be guaranteed to see us. When it was time for us to get off Liam shouted at the top of his lungs to the driver "Make sure the doors stay open!"

Phew, what a day! His arm is okay, there doesn't seem to be any lasting fear of the bus, but I suspect he's not going to be exiting by the back doors any time soon. And if I thought I was hyper-vigilante before, then I'm not sure what level of neurosis this incident has pushed me to!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


What? You don't know what meconopsis means, or is, or was?

I'm not surprised! Neither did I till I found out the my father-in-law has written a book on the subject. Obviously I knew that he was writting a book and that it was going to be published this month. I just thought it was about flowers, not meconopsis!

Turns out that meconopsis is the fancy-dancy name for Blue Poppies, something that my FIL grows very well and also takes amazing pictures of:

His book, Blue Heaven - Encounters with the Blue Poppy is due out this month by Touchwood Editions. I know a copy will be added to our book collection? Why not add it to yours?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adoption in the closet

Dawn’s post Families in the closet made me think of a family that I babysat for. They were my parents’ best friend’s wife’s brother and his wife and they had 2 little boys, maybe 5 and 7 when I sat for them. And both boys were adopted. The kicker was that neither of the boys had ever been told. As an adoptee, even at the wise old age of 14, that rubbed me the wrong way.

No matter what my parents’ short comings were, the one thing they did very right was to tell me that I was adopted from the get-go. I have no conscious memory of being told that I was adopted, it was always just a part of me, like knowing I was a girl and not a boy. Somebody obviously told me at some point, but it was very matter of fact and not a big deal.

I didn’t baby sit for this family often, but every time I did I flirted with the idea of “outing” the parents’ secret. I knew that I would be in a heap of trouble, but I just could not understand WHY they wouldn’t tell them. I was fed lines like “they are too young yet” or “we’ll tell them when they are ready”. Since I was adopted and I had known at a younger age, the lines sounded awful fishy to me. So I would tread a very fine line by saying to the kids things like “Did you know I was adopted? Do you know any kids who are adopted?” I figured I could give them someone to turn to if they had any suspicions.

AND the other thing was that the husband had 2 sisters who were adopted! My parent’s best friend’s wife and her younger sister were both adopted. They had always known (I interviewed them both for a paper I wrote on adoption in high school) and were both very open about their own adoptions. I also knew the boys grandparents (the adoptive parents to the sisters) and they were very open to talking about adoption too. So I never understood why they needed the big secret.

I’ve often wondered what ever happened to the boys. They would be in their 20’s now. I heard through my Mom that their parents had divorced. I wonder if THE SECRET had anything to do with it? I must ask my Mom next time I talk to her if she knows whether or not the boys ever found out?

Even with all of these cautionary tales floating around the internet and adoptees being all grown up and sharing our perspective, new adoptive parents will still go down the road of secrecy and look back once it all blows up in their face and wonder where they went wrong. I hope at least one stumbles across my little blog and thinks twice before lying to their child.

And the winner is...

Lori! (on her second guess, but still a winner!)

Yup, that's me, permed hair, makeup and a ruffled shirt. **shudder** I was 13 years old and in grade 8. I also looked old enough to be able to buy beer without ever being asked for ID (in fact, the first time I was asked for ID I was in my 30s.... go figure!)