Thursday, June 30, 2011

Niagara Rapids Run

We got to spend 2 days at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls this week. Liam loved every minute of the water park. He has never been down a water slide so he was more interested in things like the lazy river, the wave pool and the splashing area.

He eventually tried 2 of the smaller water slides and than  he was feeling brave enough to give a big one a go.  I climbed part way up with him and left him in line (I don't like slides and I don't like getting my face wet, so water slides are not something I'm willing to try!)  I thought he was aiming for the small one as a first go round. But somehow that is not where he ended up.

Niagara Rapids Run - This family water roller coaster travels 727-ft (some of it is even uphill!) and features a 52-ft. vertical drop.

I should mention now that he's never been on a roller coaster before!!

We were able to get the picture that they snap as each raft goes by. I think he looks like an old pro.  Turns out that once was enough and he was quite happy to stay much closer to the ground for the rest of the time we were there!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

At least it's not squirrel....

Potato chip flavours are getting stranger and stranger. Remember the Walker's contest from 2009?  Hilary tried most of those, but I couldn't get past the smell.  

Today she brought home Lobster flavoured chips.  Locally made even!  I gave them a suspicious sniff and than bravely tried one.  While they smell like lobster paté, they don't really taste like lobster.  Which is probably a good thing for a potato chip!  I'll take parsnip chips any day!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Slice of Life

To help me come up with ideas for photography I am going to try and participate in Darrah Parker's Slice of Life Tuesday events.

This week's prompt was: SKY.  Since we've only had 1 or 2 days in the last 2 months where it hasn't rained, I wasn't sure that I would be able to get a picture of the sky that wasn't just a solid square of gray.  But yesterday it cleared up for a few minutes, long enough for Liam to get out on the trampoline.  And I captured this shot of him jumping as high as the sky.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

He's only 8!

You know you're old when you find yourself saying "Kids these days!"  I thought it today and it made me feel old!  My kid did something today at the not so wise age of 8 that I didn't do till I was in my 20s!

He played Truth or Dare at school.

With girls.

There was kissing.

He loved it.

Luckily he's young enough and we have a great relationship that he told me all about it. His dare had been to kiss Grace on the cheek and then she got dared to kiss him on his cheek.  Liam was all for this since he's had a crush on Grace all year.  When I asked him how the kiss was, he pretend to swoon and told me it was wonderful.  Too cute.

It opened up a great discussion on our walk home about respecting people and making good choices and how things like kissing and dating are best reserved for much later in life.  I knew these talks were coming, I just didn't expect them yet!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen Challenge - Potato Salad

Blog-checking lines: Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

For this months challenge, I actually came up with 4 different potato salad recipes. We then invited our friends Sandy and Jason over for dinner and asked them to vote on their favorite.  We were all unanimous in our choice for the best tasting.  Petit Pois Pesto Potato Salad.  Not only was it the tastiest, everyone felt that it was the most creative and the healthiest.



1 cup Green Peas
1/2 cup Fresh Basil
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
2 Cloves Garlic
4 Tbsp Olive Oil*

Add all ingredients except olive oil to food processor and blend.  Slowly drizzle in oil while food processor is running, till a smooth paste is formed.

*additional olive oil may be required if Pesto is too thick.

New Gold Potatoes
Diced Red Pepper
Grape Tomatoes
Snap Peas cut in half
Stalks Asparagus
*quantities will depend on how big of a salad you want.

Boil potatoes in skins until tender; cool and cut into bite size chunks.

Cut Asparagus into 1 inch lengths, blanch and cool.
Mix potatoes, tomatoes, snap peas and asparagus together.  Add in pesto - I only used 1/3 of the pesto for the amount of potatoes that I cooked.
Toss and serve.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meeting his heros

Chad Tingler - Drives Grave Digger

Liam and Connor, in awe of being so close to Grave Digger (mwah, ha ha)

Ryan Anderson - Drives Son uva Digger

Jon Zimmer - Drives Shock Therapy

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Early Birthday Present

Granny bought Liam a T.R.A.M.P.O.L.I.N.E. for his birthday! She wanted him to have as much bouncing time as possible for the summer so he got it a month before his actual birthday.

Hilary and I picked it up and put it together yesterday morning while he was at school. It turned out to be a lot easier to put together than I thought it would be, especially since Hilary is so strong!!

Liam was so very excited when he got home, and it was all we could do to get him to bounce in moderation so that he could still walk today. He did wake up during the night crying that his legs hurt!

He did a few flips that caused my heart to stop, and once flipped to close to the edge and fell off. Luckily he wasn't going very fast or high so he wasn't hurt. It did come with a safety enclosure, which we may still put up.

This term of Circus school was cancelled due to lack of participants, so hopefully the trampoline will fill his need to jump and flip and be on the move.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In the best interest of the child

You often here this phrase tossed about in adoption discussions – “In the best interest of the child” . It’s generally agreed that adoption should be about the child and not about the adults. I recently made this very statement when commenting on a post on Open Adoption Support. The poster was asking about how to NOT have contact with her child’s birth grandparents, because she was uncomfortable with them. My comment was along the lines that it didn’t matter if she was uncomfortable, the decision needed to be made “in the child’s best interests”.

And then it hit me. I’m the “child” in the adoption relationship that I have with Iris, my birthmother. For too long now I have not put my interests first, but have allowed the “adult” in the relationship to call the shots and do what makes them comfortable. So I’ve decided it’s time for this kid to stand up and be heard.

I have not had any contact from Iris for more than 2 years now. The “rule” had been that I was not allowed to call/email/write her in case her other daughter Madelaine, who still lives at home, were to intercept the communication. Iris has always insisted that I remain a secret and that Madelaine should never know about my existence because Iris was concerned that Madelaine would not be able to handle it.

I don’t want to cause either Iris or Madelaine any stress, but I’ve come to the point where I want to shout out “But what about me? Why aren’t my feelings just as important as everyone else’s?” So I did. Not exactly shout, but I sent an email. The first email I sent was on Mother’s day and was very plain and generic: “Happy Mother’s Day Iris, Love Andy”. There was never a reply, not that I really expected one. So after some time had passed, I sent another one, with more detail, letting Iris know that I would be in the neighbourhood at the end of June and that I would love to get together with her for a visit. Again, no reply. As I thought about it (because really? This is the kind of thing that you end up thinking about 24x7 while it’s going on) I realized that maybe the 2 year old email address that I have is no longer valid.

Onwards to the next step. As fate would have it, we are in the middle of a postal strike. So I couldn’t be sure that a letter would get there in a timely fashion before my trip home in 3 weeks. So I called up a friend who lives in the area and asked her if she would print of the letter and drop it by the house. I have some pretty awesome friends, so of course she said yes. Which was great, till we hit the next snag. The only address I had was an R.R# for mail and I didn’t have a house number. Google maps got me a bit closer, but I didn’t think my friend was going to be very successful with my directions: you cross a little bridge, and there is a huge house on the left and then a bend in the road and I think it’s the next house over, with a double garage. And I’m pretty sure the street is called XXXX.

What oh what to do?

I knew that my Mom knows where Iris’ house is, as she has mentioned before that she drives by it on her way to a friend’s house each week. My Mom has been a great advocate all my life of my searching for my birth parents. She’s been ready to drive over to Iris’s house with a basket of muffins ever since I found her. Given Iris’s need for secrecy, I’ve had to hold my Mom back, lest she push Iris completely over the edge! So I told Mom what I wanted to do, and that I didn’t think her taking the letter to the house would be a good idea. Iris has seen pictures of my mom and I didn’t want to risk them encountering each other out of the blue like that. I got better directions for my friend and she’s going to be dropping off the letter any time now.

There was a very weird coincidence when I called my Mom to get directions. She had been thinking of calling Iris on my behalf! Her planned speech sounded almost word for word to my letter…. My father just died unexpectedly, life is short, haven’t heard from you in a long time, coming to visit soon…. Mom was going to call me and get my okey dokey before she called, but I found it very weird that we were both thinking the same thing at the same time!

So the “child” has stood up and said “this is not in my best interest”. I don’t know what the outcome of all of this will be, but it’s much better than not doing anything at all and leaving my fate in the hands of others.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Open Adoption Roundtable #26

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points--please feel free to adapt or expand on them.

How do/would you talk with children about siblings in open adoption? How do you approach this as a (first or adoptive) parent, or how was it handled in your family if you grew up with siblings who didn't live with you? For prospective adoptive parents or first parents without other children, has this been something you've thought about how you would approach?

Liam’s older brother was 3 when he was born. I told Liam about his brother the first night that we stayed in the hospital and I walked the halls with him. At that time I had hopes that this would be an open adoption and that he would grow up knowing his brother and having a relationship with him. Alas, that was not to be (yet, fingers always crossed that things will change). We’ve always been open with Liam, telling him what we know about his siblings (he also has a younger sister now) and sharing pictures of them with him; he has pictures of both of them up on his bedroom.

He’s never been confused by the fact that he has siblings that he doesn’t live with. He often gets frustrated with adults who can’t seem to keep up with the story line.  One day a hairdresser  asked Liam if he had any brothers or sisters. She got a whole dialogue about who is who and who lives where and how Liam has never met his siblings, but that they are still his brother and sister. For some reason she didn’t ask him more questions after that one.

Liam has not asked the “difficult” question yet – Why did “K” keep “C” and “J” and not me? I think that it may be due in part  to the fact that we talk openly and frequently about his family, the circumstances of his birth and adoption and how things change. I also think that having always talked about his siblings has made them just a part of his reality. There was never a sudden let’s-sit-down-and-talk moment of them being revealed to him. We answer questions as best we can and we remember them on birthdays and holidays. We may not know them but they are still Liam’s family.

Check out all the other bloggers posts on this topic here.