Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween!

Love Luigi, Mario and Toad.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

We had a lovely visit with my Mom recently:

Nice walks in the rain:

And she even tried her hand at some Mario Cart:

Happy 68th Birthday Mom!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Liam and Mama

Since I'm the one who takes most of the pictures, I'm not often in them.  So this one that my Mom took is now my current favorite shot of Liam and I.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Old friends revisited

2 things happened yesterday that just made Liam's day.

First he saw this trailer:

Then I had to clean out the attic. 

Since our attic is really just crawl space under the eaves I often get Liam to help since he's the only one who can stand up in there.  The bribe is that he can play with some of the toys that we may find that have been boxed up and put away.

Well, the 5th box he pulled out was his Cars toys! 

Cars was the very first movie that Liam saw in the theaters, 1 month before his 4th birthday.  He sat mesmerized for the entire thing, thumb in mouth not even blinking.  He loved it so much we ended up seeing it 3 times at the theaters and were in line to buy in on DVD the day it was released.

Of course, he also had to have the toys to go with it, so that he could act out every scene as he watched.  The one toy he REALLY wanted was Mack, the 18 wheeler that hauls McQueen across the country.  So we gave him an incentive - earn $20.00 and it's yours.  He was a very highly motivated 4 year old!

It helped that Granny and Grandpa where here and kept slipping him Loonies!

But alas, little boys grow up and their interest move on to things like Star Wars, Poke'mon or Halo (not that he's allowed to see/play Halo, but he still "loves" it - go figure)

But old friends are never really gone... just packed away for awhile.  We had family movie night last night and watched Cars, while Liam revisited all of his toys.

And yes, even after the 1,345,675,123 viewing of the movie, I still shed a tear when Lightening pushed the King over the finish line! 

Be sure to mark your calendars - June 24th, 2011!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Foster Care

Oct. 17 to 23 is Foster Family Appreciation week and the province wants to thank the more than 800 foster families who give children in need a loving, safe and stable place to call home during a family crisis.

"There is no greater gift a grown up can give a child than the gift of hope," said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. "Our foster parents are committed to providing children with what they deserve, a loving, caring, nurturing home, and most importantly a renewed hope for a brighter future. For all their great work we say thank you."

Recruitment of new foster families and orientation sessions are held year-round, but the third week in October is set aside each year to recognize the commitment and difference a foster family can make to a child in need.

"My foster care experience has helped me to grow, learn, and become more connected to the world around me," said Sarah. "My foster family saw my strengths where others saw my weaknesses. Today I have hope because I know my foster family will always do what's best for me."

The week includes events around the province when certificates of recognition will be awarded to foster families for every five years they have cared for children.

The Department of Community Services is always looking for more foster families. If your family is interested in becoming a foster parent or want more information call the toll free number at 1-800-565-1884.

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services - Media Release - October 18, 2010

My life has been touched by foster families twice. I was placed with a foster family when I left the hospital as a newborn and I stayed with them for 6 weeks before I went home with my adoptive family. When Liam was born, he spent 17 days with a foster family before he came home with us.

I don’t have very much information about the foster family that I stayed with. The mother filled out a questionnaire about my daily habits (bath after breakfast, nap outside in the afternoon, morning pooper), what type of formula I ate and any medical events during my stay with her. Those 6 weeks have always been a part of my story, but never one that I thought a lot about. It was a short enough time that having it as a void in my history has never really concerned me. I knew I was with a family and presumably well cared for. I’ll have to check with my Mom, but I don’t ever recall asking questions or even being curious about who my foster family was.

Liam however, has recently asked about his foster family and would like to meet them. Because we had a pre-birth match, Liam’s mom was able to give her permission for us to visit Liam during his stay in foster care, since we had no legal ties to him at all until the end of the 17 days when she had signed all the papers terminating her parental rights.  His foster family lived an hour outside of the city and invited us into their home everyday.  They let us bonded with Liam, leaving us to hold him and care for him while they went about their day.  They even invited us to spend the whole day with them on the weekend, and once drove into town to their own son's house so that we didn't have to do the long drive after work.  We were brand new to this parenting things who didn't always know what we were doing.  They taught us how to burp and feed a newborn and taught us to keep a Thermos of hot water in the bedroom to make mixing bottles in the middle of the night easier.

We have a wonderful picture of Liam's foster mother holding him and plan on going out to visit them soon.  While they were only a part of our lives for 17 days, they will always hold a special spot in my heart for being such wonderful, amazing people that took Liam, and us, into their lives.

Thank you to all the great Foster Parents!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sleep perchance

to sleep some more!!!

Liam has never been a great sleeper.  For the first 3 months we couldn't wake him up, and ever since then we've had trouble keeping him asleep.  We first succumbed to alternative sleep solutions when Liam was only 9 months, in the hopes of not losing our ever-loving minds.  The crib became storage for stuffed animals and we started co-sleeping.  And it worked for us, until Liam was 3ish.... when I woke up with a perfect foot-shaped bruise just above my left kidney and we deemed it time to transition into his own bed.

The transition took us almost 2 years before he could get into his bed by himself and fall asleep.

Then we had another bout of night terrors, some sleepwalking and just night after night of interrupted sleep. After 8 years, you kinda expect the "baby" to be sleeping through the night.  This is something that is not covered in any of the parenting books that I've read.

So when we added ADHD medication to the mix this summer, we were a little worried.  One of the main side effects of pretty much ALL the ADHD meds is difficulty sleeping.  And we were right to be worried.  Liam's bedtime was creeping later and later... from 8:00 to 11:00.  He would be in bed but awake, calling down, needing water, books, cuddles or letting his mind wander into worst case scenarios (fire, plague, war....) and causing himself great anxiety.  He was also waking up through the night, so nobody was getting any rest.

Until we discovered the best solution ever!

Sweet, wonderful melatonin.  How we love thee.  2 little tablets, dissolved under his tongue, and Liam is asking to go to bed within 20 minutes and is out like a light!  He is back to an 8:00 bedtime, and after brushing, reading and a quick cuddle he is out by 8:30.  Which makes for happy mothers and a well rested boy.  And since melatonin is a natural product that your body produces anyway, there are no side effects and it is not addictive.  Win-Win-Win in my mind!

Now if I could stop watching TV shows that are on too late and get to bed earlier myself, I might be well rested too!