Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Unusual house guest

Meet Sally the Snail.
She lives on our windowsill.
Muffin discovered her busting a move across the road one day in December.
Not a common sight in winter when snow blankets the frozen ground!

Concerned for her safety, she brought him inside and placed her in a jar. It wasn't until the next day that I noticed her. Well by then she had warmed up nicely and was hungry!

 I couldn't put her outside as it would have likely shocked her system and she may have froze or died... or something. AND - I didn't know where to put her. After a little research, I discovered that snails hibernate during cold weather or periods of drought. They will burrow into the ground or seek shelter in a crevice. Which, didn't really solve my problem... as hibernation is a slow process, I couldn't just stick her out in the freezing cold!  (I know... I'm a softy!)

So, I decided to leave her in the jar with some food by the window where it was cool. After a few days I pushed her glass right up against the window and stopped putting any water in the jar. She then went into hibernation... for a good few weeks until I had to try and clean the stuck on, dried up spinach leaf that had literally melded with the glass. A little bit of warmth... and some humidity caused her to wake up! She's now working on replenishing herself for another long sleep.
Her favorite food - carrots!

And if you think that's weird, wait till you see the other very strange pet my Muffin has been keeping downstairs... next time!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Saturday am started out like most Saturday mornings. Hubby took Mister to an early hockey practice while Muffin and I hung out. After they returned, I took the dog for a walk while hubby emptied the freezer so we could defrost it and clean it out (and hopefully figure out why the ice maker no longer produced). After I returned, I headed down to the office to get caught up on a deadline while the kids were are at a play date.

Well I'll be damned if 3 hours later, I didn't come upstairs to find this...

As I looked around, I saw that not only had the freezer been completed cleaned out (and ice maker working!!!), but the fridge as well. You can't really tell in this photo - but it was sparkling!

 Not only was the fridge clean, but he had pulled it out and cleaned behind it!! That type of thing normally doesn't happen until you move! Ha. It doesn't stop there though... the stove was also pulled out! Not a word of a lie! Proof with the Masaii knecklace he found under the stove that he got in Kenya as a child. (Don't ask how it got there??)

The recycling was done, garbage can scrubbed... and dishes washed. Kitchen floor, stairs and even baseboard. BASEBOARD!? This can only mean one thing!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Mother of all lists.

I know it's rather early to say or speculate, but rumour has it that not only is Foreign Affairs processing very quickly, but our agency in Kenya also wants to process our adoption with lightning speed - to attract more Canadians to the program. Our estimated referral date is between April-July. APRIL!?

Hurry up and wait, and then your like "Whoa Nellie...", are you kidding me? We can't move in May. I don't think... Let's be realistic here - that would be a damn adoption miracle. A bureaucratic miracle, and those are about as rare as rocking horse shite! But - we better get on it and start preparing nonetheless.

Can you say overwhelming? There is a lot to do to prepare for moving overseas!

Time to make a lists, and lists of lists...

  • Find loving foster home for sweet Koda
  • Find foster home for turtles
  • Find new home for parrot
  • Find tenants to rent our house who will look after our cats/chickens
  • Find/Borrow 6 suitcases (We have 4+ already, but can bring 3 each)
  • All business paperwork up to date and finalized
  • Sell business B
  • Find home in Nairobi
  • Hopefully make extra $ or fundraise for remaining adoption fees/airfare so we don't have to borrow it (Winning the lottery would be nice - just putting it 'out there'. ;)
  • Get vaccinations (ha... I just wrote vacations... yes, that would be nice too.)
  • Pack away the house
  • Renew Passports
  • Look into home schooling

And a million other things (let me know if you can think of any!!), but my brain is a bit frazzled right now. This will be a work in progress!

The problem as I see it - is that almost everyone of the above requires it own list! They are HUGE tasks!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dossier is finalized and on the way!! WoooHooo!

Seemed like forever... Dec 2nd to now.

But, yesterday we got confirmation that our dossier has been copied (x4 - killing a tree in the process), hole punched, bindered, and couriered via FEDEX!!
(and I have the tracking # to prove it!!)

(The lovely Admin. Assistant, knowing I wanted to keep the tracking number as a piece to the lifebook, sent me an official notification on email letter head. Just this alone was enough to bring me tears... again. Aaahh.;)

Off to Ottawa, where it will be authenticated...

**EDIT - Dossier arrived this AM! Rumour has it that they are processing in days!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


How I love this little BC city! It's known as the  "Bavarian City of the Rockies", with a European alpine theme.

Last weekend we were treated to a nice weekend at a chalet with Hubby's sister (Auntie K) and her husband (Uncle R). The weather, scenery, and company couldn't have been better. 

We took the kids for a walk around the town center Platzl. Sadly, it was pretty dead... but the kids enjoyed the largest Cuckoo Clock in Canada regardless. Just as I did as a child! 

I also enjoyed the shopping. Not that I bought anything, but I loved browsing the neat little shops regardless. If your there, check out the Back Door - one of my favorite stores! Also not to be missed is the Togs and Toys consignment store down the street. Ah May Zing! I am totally going to go there to shop for all the kids' second winter gear next year. Hockey equipment, snow shoes, skis, snowsuits, lots of clothing and toys for cheap, cheap. They had like new Zoobies for $6!! $6! Took all I had not to buy one!! Not to mention all the baby clothing, wraps, carriers etc... sigh.

I love these blocks... Can you see why I love this photo? ;)

We got a ton of snow over the weekend, and Dan and the kids really enjoyed playing "Fox and Hens" outside in the snow. 

We also found a fantastic tobogganing paradise at the Trickle Creek Golf Course. It was 2 bowls essentially with hills varying from beginner to advanced. The best sledding hills! Ever! 

This is Dan going down the hill - with Koda following.
Saturday night, Auntie K treated us to a little surprise. It started with a drive to the ski hill where we got suited out in snowshoes. Followed by a trip up the chairlift - which was FREEZING way up there with the windshield. (But nice on the ground!)

Once we got to the top, we strapped on our snowshoes and went for a tour. The snow was deep... and my little monster of a son seemed to be able to float right on top of all that snow... while most of us were sinking. I wish I had a video camera because he was so very thrilled by being able to knock us over and watch us writhe around like turtles on our backs.

Ever try to push yourself up in 5' of soft snow with large plates strapped to your feet?! It was quite humorous! The kids didn't seem to have much trouble though! It was amazing to see how the could maneuver with the snow shoes. I felt like I was doing the pregnant waddle. Ha. And every time I fell, I got snow down the back of my pants because I forgot to do up my snow guard on my jacket. That just made it even more fun for the little monsters! HA! It was a lot of fun though... lots and lots of laughs. 

This is the only photo I have this - iphone takes terrible photos at night. (I'm in orange.)

After our little trek in the woods, we walked to a cabin where a nice little chocolate fondue was waiting for us! Yummolicious!

I think the kids enjoyed the chocolate!!

If your interested - the Ski Hill puts this little package together... rentals and all. I recommend it for all age groups.. (Don't hesitate to bring your own bottle of wine too - if they haven't yet added it to the package!)

All in all, a great weekend... well deserved and well enjoyed!

... and a pretty drive home!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2 years...

...since we signed up to be adoptive parents. Wow.
As I look back, I take note of how this process has changed me.

In the beginning, I was excited and bouncing from the walls. I couldn't get my mind off of adoption. It was all I could talk about. (My first blog post two years ago... took witness to my excitement and perhaps naivety.)

Now I am even keel. I don't think about adoption every single day, and I don't talk about it with everyone in ear shot. I have learned to not get excited. Don't believe it until you see it, and certainly don't get your hopes up.

In the beginning, there was no way anyone was going to tell me it would take at least 2 years to adopt. Come hell or high water, I was going to have a child home within 2 years. I was full of piss and vinegar and bound and determined to make it happen.

Now, I am just sensitive and emotionally raw. I feel defensive and ready to pounce. So much of myself, emotionally, physically and monetarily is invested in this that I am like a Mama Bear hovering over her child, ready to attack at the first sign of any offense. This has been my largest challenge. We have friends and family members who have not closely followed our journey. Some because they never asked, and others who initially had a negative response it... just got left out in the cold. I know this is their choice. But now, with so much time lapsed, and so much work and heart put into this adoption... it is very much a large part of us, and very important to us. To anyone else it may feel like we only just told them this last summer - "wow look how fast things are progressing." And to them, it may feel like the equivalent of booking a vacation or a buying a vehicle... but it is so much more. I am easily offended by these people and I have to remember that they just don't understand. Which does not help the fact that it I am offended that they don't even care to understand in the first place. Which makes me wonder why I even care...

 After some thought, I realize the main offense is that they offer up advice and their opinion without any consideration to the child that lies at the center of this adoption.

I'm certainly capable of taking care of situations like this... if it were my own. In fact, I have had little bumps in the road with my family/friends - but they have all been worked out because I addressed them immediately. However, in this case, it is not my place to step up and educate or to say anything at all. So now, I am a chained up Mama bear. See what blogging does for ya? It can get to the heart of anything. These situations bother me because I cannot address them or control them! Oh, yes - another Leo symptom, but fully explains my frustration. Blogger truly is my best Therapist. Ha!

Well now that we've digressed right off track and onto the path of no return... let's just carry on shall we?

I would have thought you were off your rocker if you told me 2 years ago that I would take my family to live in Kenya to adopt! No way. Would not have even entered my mind. Due to bureaucratic nonsense, waitlists, and agency bankruptcies etc... I have been driven to do something so outside my realm. For this I am grateful!

Two years ago I spent endless evenings watching youtube 'gotcha' videos with a handful of kleenex, crying right along with these parents. Now I pour over orphanage photos with a box of kleenex, crying for the parents who had to give these children up and for the children who no longer have parents.

Two years ago.. I would have been elated and over the moon to first meet my adopted child. Now, I would be on my hands and knees, thanking the heavens above and bawling my head off! 2 years of battling the adoption process can make you very appreciative! It is the bad times that make you appreciate the good ones right?

Two years later, I am stronger, wiser and more ready than ever before! Bring it on! I have done the time and paid my dues. Let's get this adoption rolling!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Yep... nothing happening!

The dossiers that were waiting to be seen were not. The last NAC meeting was on the 18th. We believe the next will be on the 15th of February. We are crossing our fingers and toes for these families who are patiently waiting to have their dossiers approved.

Our dossier still has not left the agency yet. Not quite sure what the hold up or the status is now... so I am just waiting for a response from them.

Our weekend in Kimberley was a nice break and the weather was amazing. I need to recover from some lack of sleep perhaps... but at least we got a chance to unwind! I will try to post some photos tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coming undone...

Excuse the completely random post.

So you know that talk I had with 2011? Apparently, it didn't do any good.

We've been invited to a little cabin retreat a few hours from here... just to get away from the weekend. For the past 5 days though I've been battling a headache and my sinus infection is flaring up. I need to get this figured out. I thought I was on to it... noticing a pattern with my cycle. 1 in 4 women suffer from migraines and 75% of those women get them during their cycle - spurred on by hormone fluctuations. But... this sinus infection may also be the key to the problem - considering that I noticed this sinus infection just a day before my brain fart in Seattle. So, I've insisted on a Dr. appt today to try and get this sorted out so it doesn't ruin our little weekend getaway. (We have not had so much as a weekend holiday for over 14 months now!!... not for lack of trying though.)

Last night I had a terrible dream that Mikha got run over. I cried for what felt like hours in my dream... only to wake up and think oh good, it was just a dream to oh, but he is dead for real. Horrible.

Then I get a call from my sister early this am. My 25 yr old brother was being rushed to the hospital via ambulance as he just had a severe seizure. He had one previously in the fall, and has been waiting for tests. Today he was actually booked in for an EEG, and because of that - luckily he was at my Mom's house (as they suspended his license until his tests results), and she was there to call an ambulance. Having seen many seizures in her life, she says this is the worst she has ever seen. He is currently in Emerg. waiting for test results. If the news is not good, I will accompany my Dad on the 8 hour trip to Calgary. I think it snowed like 8 inches last night, and last I heard, highways were closed.

On a positive note however, we are doing a word of mouth local fundraiser... and I have been completely blown away by the support that we are seeing! I will write more on that later...

Good and bad, I think I have shed more tears in the last month than the last 2 years. I am an emotional wreck... and I see it in hubby too. I wish I could just hit the 'easy' button and transport to a quiet, tropical beach and sleep for 3 days. Rest, relax, rejuvenate, renew... you know, all that stuff - cause seriously, I think I'm hanging on by a thread.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kenya Program Update

As pioneers in this program, we are still trying to sort it all out.

A few other families that are also in the program, (1 from Canada) were supposed to have thier dossiers approved at the December NAC meet. This did not happen and this is pretty much all we know. We believe that they didn't get to them due to playing catch up since they have not had a meeting since the summer.

The next meet is rumoured to take place on the 20th of this month - Friday. Let's cross our fingers and hope they these families get processed soon and that the back log clears up for us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Definition of disgusting....

 ...upon getting up from a hospital waiting room chair, you realize that the chair is wet! Gross!

With a 2.5 hour wait to get home, I told myself over and over again.... "It's just spilled water...it's just spilled water." But that did not stop me from greasing my hands up with sanitizer every time I walked by a hand washing station!

Yes, this really happened to me.

Why the heck do they have cloth chairs in a hospital anyway??!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kenya's Orphanages

I have compiled a list of Children's Homes and Orphanages in Kenya and added the links to the sidebar. As adoptive parents, it passes the time to pour over the photos of the babies and see if you can catch a glimpse of what may be your future child. I also love to look behind the scenes... and take note of orphanage as a whole. Is it clean? Are there stimulating toys? Are babies taken outside? Do they look healthy, well fed, loved? Etc... And in addition, we are looking for a good place for our family to volunteer at while we are in Kenya.

New Life Homes for me is at the top of the list. Just take a look a all those healthy, chubby babies!!! It is clear that these children are very well cared for! We hope and pray that our little one(s) is being well cared like these children are.

New Life Homes has also have extended an offer for us to come in and volunteer. Hold, play and just love the babies. Of course, we hope we can also offer our skills as well. Dan as a contractor and stonemason and my book keeping, marketing, blogging etc... The kids will be a big help there too! What a gift for us to be able to do this! Many orphanages don't allow children to volunteer, so we are very grateful that they will accept us as a family.

 New Life Homes is located in Nairobi. We hope to find accommodation in the area within walking distance to them.
Here is New Life's newest video....

Thank you New Life for saving these children. For holding them, loving them, and keeping them safe until their forever families can get to them! We are so very indebted to the love that you shed upon these little  ones.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Breaking News - Kenya Elections

From the KCA

"The High Court's eagerly awaited ruling on the Election date is finally out. The Judges ruled that our next general elections will be held in March 2013, unless the Grand Coalition government collapses this year. The three-judge bench in the constitutional court ruled that elections can be held within 60 days after the term of the current Parliament expires, which is January 15, 2013. If the coalition collapses, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will also set an election date within a 60-day period. What are the implications of this landmark ruling?

There are two possible scenarios.

One: Elections will take place 60 days after January 14, 2013 when the current parliament expires. This is a possibility that many people will be unhappy with. Indeed, many many Kenyans can't wait to get rid of the bloated government which is a huge burden on the taxpayer. The desire of many is that Elections happen in August 2012 and they do not want to wait until December 2012. And now it appears that the date will be sometime in March 2013!.

Two: The possibility that the two Principals will agree on a date to dissolve the Grand Coalition Government and thus facilitate a 2012 Elections date. This will require a great deal of 'energy' to happen. The tendency of leaders is towards remaining in office and that is why we say it will take a great deal of energy to set asunder the 'marriage between ODM and PNU. Therefore it is more likely that the Grand Coalition is here to stay and Elections will possibly happen 60 days after January 14, 2013 which tmeans sometime in March 2013 - Harun Mwau's plea.
We are likely to see a string of petitions over this ruling. Perhaps, the Supreme Court may end up having to decide this matter."

Let's hope this doesn't start some riots!

Kenya Adoption - more details and timeline.

I have some more details to share with you...

For some reason everyone expects you to know what steps take place and what they all mean. Too bad there isn't an instruction manual! Add to that an adoption dictionary...

So far, I have told you what a Dossier is like,  and the documents required as well as the fees. What I was a little off base on in that last post, was the process.

Here's the deal with the process (And once again with a disclaimer - * As I understand. *)

Once you dossier is compiled, you send it to your agency. In our case, they have an in house notary  who notarized all of our original copies, so they could make (3?) copies. Once they verify the checklist is complete, they send it to the Canadian Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

"Foreign Affairs Canada, through its missions abroad, provides consular services and acts as Canada's diplomatic liaison in communications and problem resolution."

What do they do with it? They notarize it,  and authenticate it. (I have also hear the term legalization thrown around. )Why? "Authenticating a document simply means confirming that a signature, seal or stamp appearing on the document is genuine." How is that for a government answer? What the heck is the point of having it notarized in the first place then? I don't know... Clearly there is something about this step that I don't quite 'get'.

After this, it is sent to the Kenyan Embassy in Canada for authentication. I guess you can never have enough stamps! ;)

At this point, I'm unsure if it goes back to the agency, or if it is forwarded directly to Kenya. However - it is sent to the adoption authority in Kenya. The National Adoption Committee, NAC. This is the central body governing all adoptions in the country. It has been said that they are to start meeting every month. The last one was in December, but the one prior to that was in July. With some newly appointed members to the NAC, there is good reason to believe that they will start meeting regularly. The NAC, approves your dossier and adoption request. From this point, they have 30 days to notify the Kenyan Adoption Society (in our case, KKPI). The Adoption Society then has 60 days to report back to the foreign agency (Sunrise) with the NAC decision. If it was approved, it will be accompanied by a brief report on the children available, and a timeline.

Once you get your referral - which is typically pretty quick, you have 60 days to move to Kenya.

Upon arriving, the local Adoption Society will pick you up and assist with accommodations etc.

The parents will then undergo a 3 hours pre/placement training session. At this point you will start your 2 week familiarization period with the child in the orphanage. Once your social worker signs off that you have started to bond well - you can take the child home for the 3 month fostering period. During this 3 months, you will be assessed by the social worker. Once the social worker signs off with an adoption recommendation, the court procedings start. There are approximately 3 court procedings... Once you are legally named as the child's parents, you apply and wait for your visa before you can head home.

So - steps/timeline, from scratch.

Home Study - 5 months (especially if you are with CHOICES - they have a 5 month minimum policy)
Citizenship - just over 4 months. (Apply for this as soon as you know that Kenya is the one.)
Compile your Dossier
Checked and Notarized by local agency.
Foreign Affairs - 2-4 weeks
Kenyan Embassy - 3 weeks
NAC Approval - 30 days
KKPI Referral - 60 days
Familiarization - 2 weeks
Fostering - 3 months
Court - 3 months
Visa - 3 months

Currently, our dossier is completed and sitting in our Agency's office. I'm waiting to hear what the current status is. IF it is sent to Ottawa on Monday (considering courier time), I would think that our dossier should arrive in Kenya in March and should be seen at the April NAC meeting. This could mean a June (?) referral...

Adopting parents/experts - please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above.
Photo Source

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I have a bone to pick with you, 2011.

I celebrated the year out with a good riddance, let's not look back. But, something has been bothering me and quite frankly I just need to get it off my chest. I guess that's just how I work. I can't move on until I talk about it.

As you all know by now... I err to the negative side and I have been working at staying positive. But just this one time, I really just need to be allowed to wallow in the valley of despair. Cry, whine, pout and have myself a 2 minute pity party.

2011 sucked. Seriously... do you know how many people I know who feel the same way!?

Let's count the ways...

In April, Hubby ruptured his Distal Bicep. He had surgery and the recovery was 4 months! His right arm was out of order! (Keeping in mind, this man needs his arms in order to work!)

In June we were notified that our 16 month wait on the Imagine wait list was all for nothing and that MOT conveniently claimed that this list did not exist. Well it did exist - I was on it #60 - for 16 months. So, we had to start all over again and find another program.

In July, my Step Grandfather passed away.

In the summer, we had 2 different people back out of the sale of one our companies twice at the last moment. Economy is still rocky and people are hesitant.

Owners of the lot next to ours, decide to have a divorce fire sale on their property, decreasing the value by $70K!! - totally destroying our adoption plan B for funding.

In August, realizing this would be our only opportunity for a family vacation in 2011 - we decided to drive to Seattle and spend a long weekend there. Something I have wanted to do forever. 8 hours into our vacation, we had to abort and head for an emergency room in Canada, effectively ruining our vacation. We also lost the cost of our hotel booking, in addition to a suitcase of stuff that we had to leave at the hotel and zoo tickets that were prepaid.

In September, I was diagnosed with the worst sinus infection the emergency room Dr. has ever seen. 3 weeks of antibiotics to get rid of most of the infection. I say most... as I still haven't gotten rid of it, it continues to plague me to this day.

In November my Mom was diagnosed with Emphysema.

In December, our beloved dog (first child) was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer. I cried for days.

December as we headed out to have my family's side of Christmas, my tire was destroyed from a screw, which meant we had to buy 2 new tires. We no sooner got it back from the shop, and the alternator went (!!), which meant, you guessed it - a new alternator. It delayed our trip half a day (and perhaps was a sign not to go!!?)... but we made the 8 hour drive.

We no sooner got our bags unpacked, and settled in and we got the phone call on the 17th that Hubby's Mom passed away. Naturally, Hubby was devastated.

On the day after his Mom's funeral, we had to take his Dad in to get a double blood transfusion. Find out he's bleeding internally and is anemic.

On the 25th, the wonderful evening caretaker at Hubby's parents Senior complex passed away suddenly during his night shift of a heart attack. Completely unexpected.

On the 29th, after days of struggling with the horrendous decision... we finally put Mikha down. I still haven't gotten over that.

And then to top it all off, some money that we were expecting to come in to help with our adoption costs did not. (Plan A) (Details I can't share here... but it has left me with feelings of sadness, anger and betrayal. Feelings that are not going to be easy overcome.)

Coming in to the new year... Dan's Dad is really not well, has been diagnosed with a number things and still has the internal bleeding. We have been busy taking him to out of town appointments and tests... with so much more to come. He will likely require surgery, but sadly, it's his struggle to breathe that currently is most concerning. (Interstitial lung disease.)

Also coming in to the new year, is the realization that hubby is going to need surgery (again) on his shoulder that was also damaged during his mishap in April last year... which will likely put him out of commission for another long stint.

Last night in the shower (my thinking place),  I called Hubby in to ask him what positive things happened in 2011( in my effort to see the positive light) . He stammered, and then said... "...well, the kids had fun and did some good things."

"Like what?"

"...Uh, like gymnastics, hockey... and what not."

Ha! Pathetic answer... and confirms it. You know it was bad, when he can't even come up with anything!

I know.. it could have been worse, and I know we are so fortunate in so many ways. Believe me, I know how blessed we are. But seriously, I am hoping and praying that 2012 is not as hard on us. Good health and a plan C for adoption funding is all I am asking for.

Thanks for allowing me to whine and snivel. I'm over it now... and moving forward.

...you sucked.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I have come to realize...

That my son's inaccurate recollections of the past are based on current events.

Mister came home just beaming from Boy Scouts last night. He was so excited how they are going to be going 'box' camping soon. (They each get a fridge or stove box to decorate, then they camp overnight in the box in the lodge.) I mentioned that Daddy will go camping with him and his response was...

"I know. I want Daddy to come because he does everything with me and you don't."

Well I'll be...  After I picked my jaw up from the floor I asked him, "Seriously?!"

"Yeah... you don't."

"Well... what about, ... ummm...uh, ... (DAMN - Busted!) I do arts and crafts with you..."

"Oh, not very often..."

And then it led from one thing to another, and before I knew it, we were actually arguing about who used to take him to preschool! Despite the fact that it was me 98% of the time, he seems to have stored away the memories of the few times that Hubby took him. Same followed suit with the one time that Hubby volunteered with his Kindergarten class, despite my weekly volunteering etc... etc...

As a 2 parent family with 2 children of different sexes... I think we likely fit into that family of 4 2/2 split mold. When the children were little, and we were all together, I would wrangle Mister as an infant and Hubby would take Muffin. I think it's normal that the Mother primarily parents the youngest. Then, as they got older - and Mister became too heavy for me to comfortably carry and Muffin's stubbornness challenged the hubby, we switched... and it has remained that way ever since. Now, the separation seems to be out of common gender and interests etc. For example, now that the kids are older, I take Muffin to the bathroom and Hubby will take Mister. Hubby does Hockey and Boy Scouts with Mister and I do Gymnastics and Girl Guides with Muffin.

So despite the fact that I am the primary parent, I am the one who makes their lunches, get them up in the am., helps them with their homework, etc... I really don't do a whole lot of 'fun' stuff with the Mister.

I have noticed lately that Mister seems to swooning over Hubby... lots of hugs and cuddles, which is fantastic... and I think it is stemming from the extra time that Hubby has spent with him over the holidays. Several road hockey games, bobsled track making, snow shoveling etc. To my defense (and a weak one at that), I did go out one afternoon and played with them in the snow, but the rest of the time I was up to my elbows in baking, cooking or entertaining. I did get a chance to spend some good time with Muffin, decorating, baking, painting our nails, doing her hair etc... while Mister was spending time with Daddy. Although... I did spend a couple of hours on Christmas Day playing lego with Mister, I don't think it was enough.

It only makes sense that if Mister thinks this way, then surely Muffin must feel the same about Daddy? The last thing either of us wants is for any one of our children to think that we didn't put any effort into spending time with them. I need to step it up.

Mister's 2 big activities and passions right now is hockey (have I ever mentioned how much I HATE this sport?) and Boy Scouts. Neither I have much interest in, or feel I have a place in - Boy Scouts is a 'male' thing. I either have to involve myself into some road hockey games (Uggg.. yuck) or find something else to do with him that will 'count'. And the same goes for Hubby and Muffin.

While it is natural for there to be a bit of a gender separation, I think we need to blur the lines a bit. Mister may not be interested in decorating, or baking the way Muffin is... so I will have to start being interested in what he is interested in. (As much as any hockey involvement may just kill me!)
Preschool gymnastics with Mister.

Truth Tuesday Link up with The Chaos and the Clutter

Monday, January 9, 2012

This child...

This child...

...was found here, "in the local dumspite (rubish tip) tied up in a sack. She was surrounded by dogs which thankfully alerted a village elder that she was there and he took her to the childrens department."

This child...

...and his twin sister...

...were actually thrown into a ditch from a moving vehicle!

This child...

...his parents, considering him a mistake, abandoned him. He was found still unwashed, naked, unfed and with his umbilical cored tied off with a piece of string at 3 days old.

And this child...

...was left to die in the bottom of a pit latrine (out house).

And sadly, these are the lucky ones. 

The remaining abandoned babies who's cries were never heard, will die cold, lonely and hungry. 

The ones that do survive, will have to contend with this...

And this is why we are so driven to help. Adopt. Sponsor. Volunteer.

Please help, hope, pray, give - in any way you can. These children need our help!

Og and hair ragging.

I recently remembered one of my childhood favorite books. The Secret World of OG. (If you don't have it, you should get it... my kids love it too!)

I lucked out and was able to find one copy in one of our local bookstores.... and this is what our Sunday evenings now look like...

And as Sunday night is always a bath night, I comb out Muffin's hair and wrap it up in rags (the store bought variety. ;) while Daddy reads the story. 

And this is how it looks in the morning. 

I can't wait til she's old enough to rag my hair!!

Now, I have to show you the outtakes I found on my iphone... photos that Muffin took herself while I was rolling her hair. She has always been a model ham for the camera - I think she started posing at 18 months. Seriously.

And then, she pulls out her 'Beaver' impersonation. Haha... she's such a card!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A call for help, for this beautiful boy.

Nothing breaks my heart more than the stories of the orphans in Eastern Europe. You've likely heard about it, and if so, you will recall children in orphanages left alone, hungry and unloved. Children who are so unstimulated, they rock, the bang their heads, they pull their hair, they rub patches of their skin until it bleeds - just for stimulation! You may have also heard the term 'laying room', or alternatively coined 'the dying room' where children are left in cribs, in the dark, sedated, and sometimes even strapped down. All day. All night. They don't get to come out unless it's to be changed or fed. Most of these children can't even stand. And if that isn't bad enough... once they turn 5/6, they are sent to die in a mental institution. And this is the epitome of hell.

The good news is, that many of children have been rescued and adopted... and most have amazingly flourished (check out my Amazing Mama's/ Amazing Children links)! Well who wouldn't really, outside the confines of a concentration camp (which is essentially what they're like!)?

A few days ago, I read about Valentin. A beautiful boy who was witnessed by an adopting family to be healthy, responsive and aware. This photo is when he was moved to a laying room a year ago.

This is Valentin a few months later...

And this is Valentin a year later.

Shocking, wouldn't you say?! Downright disturbing.

Thanks to a blog shout out to try and save this boys life, a lovely family stepped up to adopt him!! But it's not that easy, they have just completed 2 special needs adoptions in 2 years and can't afford the fees. This is URGENT! Valentin has just been scheduled to be transferred to a mental institution! We need to act fast to get this boy home.

Valentin is a Reece's Rainbow child and donations can be made through them on their website. Please consider making a donation, and sharing his story with others on your blog. Blogging has found him a family, and blogging can hopefully find the funding! Let's rally together to rescue Valentin!

To read more about Valentin or his new family, check out their website.