Monday, April 30, 2012

Change the World for One!

We are off to Kelowna then Vancouver to take my Father in law in for some specialized medical tests.

Let's hope that some word comes back this week about our dossier being seen/approved at the NAC meet!

 I likely won't be posting until later on this week, but I will leave you with a fantastic new video from Ordinary Hero. Enjoy!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Diaper Love Kits

Your diaper donations are making their way here from all over Canada! Diapers that once lovingly covered your little one's tooshies, are now being prepared to be sent to babies in need in Kenya. How fantastic is that!?

Here are just a few photos of the diapers you have donated... ;)

Together, we are providing these Mothers and Caregivers a baby essential to improve sanitary and health conditions, but as a bonus - we are also helping to eliminate the waste caused by the disposable diapers and the bags etc used for 'make shift' diapers.

In addition to outfitting an orphanage with diaper love, we would also like to bundle up some diaper love kits for new Mother's in the slums. These diaper love kits will consist of a supply of cloth diapers, handmade cloth wipes, an outfit, and a bar of soap (and perhaps a toy/stuffy) wrapped up in a lovely brand new, large, handmade receiving blanket... hopefully, placed in a wet bucket. (If we can source some out in Kenya.) We are still ironing out details. You all are supplying the diapers, I have a wonderful friend who has offered to make and donate the blankets and wipes... and the rest will soon fall in place!

Our current challenges...

We cannot just hand these kits out and expect that they will know how to use them. They will need instruction and follow up. We are currently on the look out for a diagram instruction pamphlet etc. for cloth diaper use. If you have or know of one, please let me know!

Shipping. I have 1 suitcase set aside to fill with cloth diapers, and I am donating 5% of our adoption bracelet fundraiser sales to cover 3 box shipments. I hope to collect and ship more than that however! In the up coming month or so, we will have a better picture of what shipping costs we can realistically expect.

Many of you have generously asked if you can donate, clothing, toys, blankets, etc... Many of you, I have had to turn down. The reason is the shipping cost. We are limited with shipping funds, so we feel it's best to utilize the space with the priority items. IF - you are interested in filling a box with some love and you can also provide the cost of shipping, I would love to assist you with that. We have a fellow adoptive Mother who is currently living in Nairobi and has graciously offered to accept our shipments at her secure address. She will store the donations for us, until we arrive. Please feel free to contact me at thompsontreehouse at gmail dot com, or find me on facebook - from the link on the right!

Some of you amazing Mom's are starting collections in your communities and shipping them, and others are posting me a diaper or 2 that you have in your stash that don't currently work for you. It all helps... every single diaper is a diaper closer to providing a stash for a baby in need. Thank you all so much for your kind support and generosity... keep those diapers coming in! (And feel free to share this post on your blog or facebook!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morning Mish Mosh

Yes... a smattering of details and 'stuff'.

Rumor has it (from a reliable source) that the NAC has already met once this month on the 11th. They are also rumored to be meeting on the 27th. We are waiting to be 'seen' and approved at one of these meetings. We are assuming that they are still experiencing a backlog... in order to have 2 meetings in one month. We have also heard that a single Mother was declined for adoption after a very long wait. The rules and policies don't seem to be clearly defined in this program. Things change on a whim and there isn't a rule book to refer to. Everyone seems to have different information and a different answer. I would caution single Mothers or anyone else who may be sitting in the 'grey' area, about entering this program at this time.. until there are clearly defined policies.

As spring is finally upon us, I realize that I can't hide behind my clothes anymore... so time to start the spring diet. This morning I had a broiled grapefruit with a side of yogurt. I just sprinkled some raw sugar, cinnamon and a little butter... and threw it under the broiler. Grapefruit is not something I would normally enjoy by itself... but this was delicious with some cool yogurt.

          In the May 2010 issue of the "American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism,"

scientists found that grapefruit is rich in nootkatone, a compound that activates a protein that
increases energy expenditure.

I realize that I fail. I bailed, then failed the April photo challenge. Story of my life - yes, I have been known to start projects and then leave them unfinished. Like the quilt that has been sitting up on my shelf for 8 months. However... I'm resurrecting it with... 'Flowers'  - spring flowers from my garden, and  'Looking Down'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A virtual shower for you Paper Pregnant Mama's

For those of you waiting to exhale,  paper pregnant Mama's... I've got some goodies for you!

Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest....

From Adoption Bug

Starfish poem

From Etsy

From Etsy
From Etsy

And last, but not least - because you deserve it, I give you this yummy, sweetness! (No link provided however, as they are not available for order. ;)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Fluff is piling in!!

I put out the call for diaper donations and you have responded!! The response is overwhelming! Thank you, each and every one of you. We are getting daily drop offs at all 3 locations, donations by mail, courier and greyhound! Some of you have even started collections in your own communities!!

I may need a train car to get these over there - which is simply fantastic! Keep them coming - It takes about 24 diapers to outfit just one baby!

Babies like this... who, without diapers, stay wet and dirty all day. 

Picture courtesy of His Cherished Ones

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Boy...

Who says gender roles/identity isn't something that is biologically determined at birth? This boy grew up with his sister's dolls and 'girl' toys... and look at him now.

Leaf blower extraordinaire! 

Cutting down all the dead fall.

While this looks very dangerous due to all the dead foliage, I assure you that it was safe, as the ground and debris was soaking wet. (Even approved by the Fire Dept who showed up at our house! lol) We literally have a creek running through our backyard right now due to run off! 

Limb Walker?
Yep, as you can see, this weekend was all about yard clean-up!! Felt good to finally get working in the gardens etc, now that the snow (most) is gone!

Koda... seriously... he's so cute. 

I don't think I ever posted photos of our finished backyard Coop. Just needs a little more paint inside!

The chickens also enjoyed the weekend... lots of free ranging to hunt for bugs and worms. 

Where was my 'girl' you ask? She was at the neighbors, playing house. ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

This weeks African Family!

Time to head over to give 1 save 1 and donate your $1 to this family!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mission - 'Cover a Tooshie'

The situation in Kenya is not unique. Orphanages around the world simply cannot afford diapers, cloth or disposable. What does this mean?

Many try to make do by tying a plastic bag around the babies and stuffing them with rags or cloth that are not changed frequently (more like daily), while others cannot even afford to do that. The babies simply soak themselves and their beds, staying wet constantly. Older babies walk/crawl around, peeing on the same floor that they play on, sleep on, and eat on!

Baby with a homemade diaper of towels and plastic bags.

Imagine the consequences of this. Not only does it create unsanitary conditions, but it also creates severe urine burns and diaper rashes. It also does not create an appealing situation for staff and volunteers who need to be cuddling with these babies.

I have seen some horrible photos of these urine burns, and tiny newborns sleeping in cots that are soaking wet and filthy. The staff do their best... any amount of money they receive is needed to buy food and formula - diapers are a luxury. We all know how often a newborn can soil or wet a diaper... it is unrealistic to think that these orphanages can clean and change these babies that many times. The man power and the clothing/bedding is just not available.

So it is my mission to cover as many little tooshies as possible! I hope to fill a large suitcase to take over, and if I can get more - I will ship them. Once in Kenya, we will distribute them to where they are needed the most.

If you have some diapers that you no longer use, and would like to donate, please contact me by leaving a comment or send an email to thompsontreehouse at gmail dot com. THANK YOU!! ;)

Our first donation from a local Mama who managed to round up 34 diapers!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Something I found...

As part of April's Photo Challenge, I bring you:

Something I Found

Yep, found this today in my jacket pocket.
Don't you love when that happens!?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Together, we can make a difference!

I just may be the last one to discover this wonderful organization, but if not... I'm here to tell you about it! ;)

It's called Give 1, Save 1. What is it?

Thanks so much for stopping by to give your hard earned dollar to someone that really needs it. That’s so nice of you. You’re pretty nice. I know it’s a recession. I know it’s hard to give right now. But everyone has a dollar. Join in and help us bring one home. Here’s what it’s all about:


Every Monday I’m going to ask you for a dollar. Well, two actually, now – one African adoption and one Haitian adoption. I’m going to tell you who it’s going to and what it’s being used for. We’re mostly funding adoption for the people, by the people. We’re just going to rain down a crazy blessing on a family, organization, orphanage, or project and we’re going to do it every week. We’re going to get huge. And the world will be changed for lots of people because of your generosity. That sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! Let’s do it.

I’ll tell you who we’re sponsoring and where to send your dollar. You’ll need a paypal account to play. If you don’t have a Paypal account, you just need one. It’s time. So go ahead and set one up and meet me back here. I’ll link a button to the Paypal account that we’ll be blasting. Then once you’ve donated your dollar spread the word to get some more dollars in here. If you have a voice, an email account, a blog, a facebook page, a twitter account or a pinboard USE IT! The only way we can make a big difference is to make it viral!

And your dollar will be saving and restoring lives in all kinds of ways. Removing a child from an orphanage gives that child a family and a future, something everyone needs. It also frees up a bed in an orphanage for another orphan. Your dollar will change lives and save lives in ways you may never know.

To help you can donate to the family of the week by clicking the AFRICA or HAITI tab at the top. Then you’ll see a big old gigantic donate button on their page. Choose whichever region floats your boat, or super ideally both! Be sure to subscribe to the blog and you’ll get notifications of all posts. That way you won’t miss a family!

So here's the deal. I know we are all saving for our own adoptions, but we all have a dollar or two to spare right?

A few weeks ago...I made a promise to myself to donate every week until our departure to Kenya. $1 or 2 a week may not be much, but just think how fast that would add up if 10,000 of us did it! And we all know, not much can compete with the importance of freeing up a spot in an orphanage... allowing one child an opportunity of life!

The number of orphans in the world far outnumber the amount of people who want to adopt. We know the number one hurdle in adoption, is the cost. So lets help lighten the burden of these wonderful families, and help them bring their children home!

Each week a new family video is featured on the blog. One for African, and one for Haiti - soon to come is one for families adopting from Asia! If you scroll down their blog, you will see this week's adopting families videos!

Who's with me...? If I can get 10 readers to pledge to donate a $1 a week and re post and challenge 10 of their readers and so on and so far - we could really make a difference!

Catch up...

I know! I'm behind. Thankfully, I have friends that keep me on my toes.... so now, I have some catch up to do right?

As part of April's Photo Challenge, I bring you:


It was taken on the first day the sun actually shone here - on the shadow day, I just didn't have time to post it.


We have a very pretty mountain view. Can't see much here though!


I WISH! Okay, truth is I didn't eat breakfast. (My bad.)... but having breakfast at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya is a dream of mine. Too bad it's so expensive! Worth dreaming about though... doesn't it look like fun!!?


Remember when hubby was nesting? Yes... my stairs sparkled for a day.
I need 'nesting' fairies to come into my house every night while we sleep... especially with this new full time job called 'adoption' on our plates! ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Younger Me

As part of April's Photo Challenge, I bring you :

This is not a very attractive photo - however, it is hanging in my office at my disposal.
A Mexican was trying to sell me these iguana's to take back to Canada. Good idea!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Inside Your Wallet

As part of April's photo challenge, I bring you:

Inside Your Wallet

Edited in Camera+ using 'overlay'


Friday, April 6, 2012


As part of April's Photo Challenge, I bring you:


Organic Salmon Salad from our local 'Bite' truck.
This is fastfood in Nelson. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


As part of April's Photo Challenge, I bring you:


Edited in Camera+ using 'Miniature'

This is a crib in Muffin's dollhouse. It is empty, she has no doll baby. Hmm.
She uses it store Barbie shoes.


As part of April's Photo Challenge (catching up), I bring you:

Edited on Camera+ = HDR

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Someone who makes me happy...

As part of April's Photo Challenge... I bring you:

Someone who makes me HAPPY
(of course there are 2 little people that need to be mentioned)

Edited on the iphone camera+ using Backlit and Vibrant.
I like the backlit feature with Muffin as it plays nicely with her soft, pale skin and
accentuates her eyes.

Edited on iphone camera+ using 'Faded'
I like Faded with Mister's darker eyes and skin tone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Photo Challenge - Join me!

For all you Mom's out there who are in the same position as we are - WAITING. I hope you consider joining my challenge - something to help the time pass! I could use a little distraction.... so let's do it!

I know we are late... but here you go... snag this photo and posted on your blog and post one photo a day. I realize we missed the first two... and I will make it up by posting them later. But for now we have Day #3. 


Oh - to further this challenge, I suggest using only your iphone, and let's see how creative we can get! (Because, I'm lazy... ha. ;)

This feeling....

I have this feeling. I have had it for quite awhile now. The feeling is that we are not going to go to Kenya or adopt from Kenya. It just doesn't feel real.

Until now... I've consistently tried to push it away.

When I was pregnant with my first, I really wanted a girl... so I convinced myself that I was having a boy. Yep, I was so good at convincing myself, that I didn't even believe the Doctor when she was born!

Every day, I wait for the bomb to drop. We're not approved. We can't source the remaining money. Nairobi breaks out into a war zone. Seriously, I expect the worst... and am really doing very little to prepare for the possibility of going.

We should be listing our house for rent for approximately Aug.... we should actively be seeking a home for our dog etc. I don't even buy baby clothes! I think my heart has been crushed one too many times in this process and I just don't have a lot of faith in it anymore. I'm very concerned about preparing and putting all of my eggs into that basket... when I feel there is such a good chance that anything could go wrong. I'm not sitting at the helm, driving this ship... and that likely is another reason why I lack faith in this process.

So far we have been pulled out of the Ethiopian program that I really gave my heart to, many things have changed along the way. Things that we expected are no longer... or are different. I don't feel like I can rely on anything I am told. We just found out that an infant under 12 months is not an option for adoption any more. I'm just waiting to be told that we were only approved for 1 child, and then I'm expecting to be matched with a 2 yr old boy instead of a girl... and if we have actually made it that far... I'm sure riots will break out and travel will be unsafe.

I know... put out positivity and the universe will give it back. I've resisted this long in even acknowledging these feelings. I'm just being honest though.... I don't know if it's just plain negativity, premonition of what's to come, or self preservation of my sanity.

Perhaps something good will come of it now, like the feeling will go away, or perhaps a year down the road when we have our little one home... someone reading this, (who is experiencing the same feelings) will be encouraged.

(Take that Universe - I did say ' in a year from now when we have our little one home'! Take note.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Puberty... and the book that is guiding me through it.

Age 8 in my eyes is the end of the child'hood'. 8 is the switch from child - to youth.

Muffin is closely approaching 9. Somewhere between 8 and 9, my little girl has turned into a young lady. Honestly, I looked at her one way day and thought, "When the heck did you grow up!?" It was overnight. She's much taller, her face has matured, she makes the craziest grown up comments, and I daresay she is 'budding'.

Discovery of this came after I had purchased her a new, heavy knit cotton shirt that sort of hung off her. We were at a hockey tournament out of town, and we were in a community room when I noticed her out of the corner of my eye.

I looked.

I saw.

I did a double take with my jaw on the floor.

I wanted to believe it was just the shirt, or perhaps she had just gained weight... so I mentioned to a couple of the other Moms in private later on. Sure enough, when Muffin had re-entered the room... they agreed quite adamantly that yes, my little girl was developing. 8! She is 8! I'm pretty sure I was at least 10 before this happened. I know, I do have to remember that 50% of her genes do not come from me. But still, 8!

After picking my jaw up off the floor, I collected myself and pulled up my 'Mom' panties. I knew I was going to need 1 thing to help me get through this. 'The book'. I didn't know what the book was though. My shopping advisor (aka Tracy) recommended a book. The Care and Keeping of You - The Body Book for Girls - Valorie Lee Schaefer. I did my due diligence. Checked the reviews, and was able to find it here in town so I could look through it first.

Book in hand... I wasn't quite sure what my next step would be. The funny thing is that I am a very open person! I don't have a tough time talking about stuff like this... but this is my baby girl for crying out loud! It just doesn't seem right. Luckily, I had an amazing book to guide me through the process.

I picked her up from School and told her that I had bought her a special book that would explain to her what to expect as she gets older. I told her we would read it together. She was super stoked and excited. So as I made dinner that night, she started to read the short chapters to me and we discussed as needed. The fantastic thing about this book is that it does all the work for you. It very gently guides you through everything there is to know about the female body as it goes through puberty, head to toe.

It starts off slowly with the basics of the importance of taking care of your body. From there, it discusses proper care of your hair, ears, eyes, mouth (teeth) etc... everything on your head. No details are overlooked either. From dandruff, to braces and acne... even how to get gum out of your hair!

From the Heads Up chapter, we move to the Reach chapter where hands, underarms, and *gulp - breasts are discussed. As Muffin read through this... with absolutely no embarrassment at all, I watched her closely, wondering what she might say... and then she blurted out, "Mom! This is what is happening to me!... look!", as she reefs up her shirt to show me her newly discovered growth.

That evening, her and I took a trip to Walmart to find a camisole or something, as I refuse to buy a 'bra' at this point. Baby steps. This is similar to what we found... and we call it a 'sports top'. I bought her a pack of two... and I don't think she has been without one since!

This discovery, book, and 'top' has purchased her a ticket to the 'grown up' world... and you'd swear she has just won the lottery! She gives me daily updates on her growth and asks a million questions. Mostly about my experience. She's very interested in what I went through - how old was I when I got my first bra, err - 'sports top'? Did it look like hers? Did I wear it all the time?... etc.

The book now sits on the shelf. She has not read anymore, and we have an agreement that she would only read it with me so we can discuss it and I can answer her questions. The truth is, I don't want her to speed forward to the chapter of 'how to insert a tampon'... Baby steps, and we still have a lot of time.

As far as the book goes, I would highly recommend it. It is strictly about what girls can expect as they get older, changes with thier bodies and their feelings. It covers no content about sex or even boys for that matter. This is a book that is appropriate for young girls entering the first stages of puberty. From bed wetting, foot fungus, to eating a balanced diet, it really leaves no stones un-turned.

 I guess I have a couple years before I need the 'boy book'... but if you have any recommendations, I would gladly take them! ;)

Here is a very interesting article on early puberty.