Monday, December 29, 2008

Belated Christmas Pics

Yes, Santa stopped here

This stocking was too heavy to be hung with care

Required mama reading

Oh the noise we will make!

Christmas pj's

With Tessie and favorite toy, the remote control

Dinner at the grandparents

First taste of pumpkin pie

With gramma
xox hope everyone had a merry christmas!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

You WILL Pay Attention to Me. I Am Your Mother.

There has always been a Christmas tradition at my house that the children are read "The Night Before Christmas", on Christmas Eve. This year, there was only one available child, and she is not yet so inclined to sit still for that long. But I perservered. Even though I only got through 2 pages in my lovely singsong voice, after which I had to speedread. She started squirming by page 3 and although I successfully fought her off for awhile, I eventually had no choice but to put on the chokehold. We didn't make it to the end. Here is the sequence of events, as captured by auntie judy.

And a couple of more pics of our lovely evening.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Had a Dream

I've been out of love with my computer lately, hence the lack of posting. So I'm a day late with this, but it seemed worth a post. This is the first picture I ever got of Makeda, received way back on December 20, 2007. I was in Toronto on business, and it arrived at about noon, Toronto time. I remember the time well as I was running around the office like a maniac looking for someone, anyone, to tell, and everyone was out doing last minute Christmas shopping and actually taking lunches for once.

For all of you out there who read a lot into your dreams, think about this, and keep dreaming - I received my referral just a couple of hours after I emailed my mom to tell her that I'd had a dream the previous night that my referral would arrive that day, and that her birthdate was October 24th. Turns out I missed the birthday by a week, but I sure nailed the day.

Who is this skinny minnie? But I sure know those lips and eyes...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh the Shame

And yet, he calls it likes he sees it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Never Thought It'd Be THIS Bad!

This time last year I thought I'd check out a new internet dating service (well, not new, but one that I hadn't tried yet) called Plentyoffish. And let me say that I had a pretty damn good response rate. Sort of. Volume was high, but I only found 2 guys that I was willing to date and I only agreed to one of them because he was so damn persistent and what girl doesn't like a guy who really shows he's interested? But the volume was impressive. Then I left it to focus on Makeda's then pending arrival, and now I thought, since Tessie is settled in, perhaps I should examine the possibility of getting a dating life back again. So, back on I went. Now, there was no doubt that my single mom profile was not going to be quite as attractive as my previous one. So I put an extra good picture up (get your minds out of the gutter people - I'm on the "long-term relationship" part of the site) and waited to see what would happen. I waited. And then I thought perhaps people don't log on on the weekends anymore. So I'll just be patient. Then I waited some more. And more. And then - whoo hoo - there was ONE! He hadn't included a picture, which is fairly bad form, I think, since I went to the trouble to post one. So I asked him to include a pic. Unfortunately, the guy's a total smartass. This was the picture he sent.

So I played along, ha ha aren't you a funny boy, and clarified that I wanted the picture of him, not the latest GQ coverboy. So he sent this.

Still a smartass. So I gave up. That must a new plentyoffish sign-up and bail out record.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's in a Name

I first ran across Makeda's name in Melissa Fay Greene's book "There is No Me Without You". It felt right, immediately. I held onto it, shared it with a few people, but didn't commit until I'd seen her dear face and knew without a doubt that this was her name. There were a few others I kept tucked away, one of which in particular really resonated with me. While the name was beautiful, it was the translation that really stole my heart. Since Makeda has two middle names, you might think that I saved this name as her middle name. But I didn't. I never had a doubt that this second name belonged to a separate soul - one that I had yet to be joined with.

So, here starts my next adventure. The first of the forms has been filed and I've officially begun my journey to Baby A. This will be a longer journey, probably closer to two years. Which I guess makes me an elephant. But at the end - a beautiful baby girl - Makeda's little sister.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And Time Goes By...

A lifetime ago, it seems, I wrote this. And now, almost six months have passed since I brought Makeda home, and it's time, once again, to honour my committment to her birthmom. Here's the pics I've assembled to send to her, in order. From the first unassisted sit, to the first stand, you've come a long way baby!

Much love, Fozia! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Look Who's One!!

The official day was November 3, but we had a wee party on the Sunday. Poor kid - the entire time she was eating I had a flashbulb in her face - but the results were worth it. And, she stood up and cruised for the first time, right on the big day. I also took her for her one year check up, and she has grown 8 centimetres in the past 2.5 months. She's now 80cm (32 inches) tall, and in the 90th percentile for height. Yikes! She's starting to look like a toddler!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Damn Yankees - Don't Screw it up This Time!

Don't let this be you. Again.
You blew it in 2000 and again in 2004. An apology just won't be good enough this time. We may invade you. At a minimum, you will incur the wrath of Barb, for wasting her donkey party memorabilia.

Yes, that's right. Me and 20 or so of my closest friends with nothing better to do than watch another country's election, will be partying with the donkey. These same accessories, while retailing at Target for US$3.99, were imported by me, at precisely the moment that the Cdn $ blew back under $.80US, thus costing me approximately Cdn $102. Take pity on me. Don't wreck the party. Vote for Obama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tattoos and Other Insects

Some years ago I decided I wanted a tattoo. A ladybug to be exact. This announcement was greeted by friends and family with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. One friend was slightly more helpful, recommending this as a potential candidate:

Her logic was that the tattoo could grow older with me until eventually, when I was 80, I would be sporting a raisin. The idea didn't grab hold, and I stuck with the ladybug. The problem was, I could never find just the right ladybug. No matter how many tattoo books I looked through and how many web pages I searched, I could never find the right amount of cuteness. Until today. Today I found the world's cutest ladybug. This is her:

Happy Hallowe'en!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't Mess With Gramma

This is my mother in 20 years. Listen to the woman behind the camera giggle!

My Hero!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pay Attention PAPs!

A little treat passed along by Makeda's Auntie Gayle. Remember, if you need any practice, I get first dibs!

Thinking of Having Kids? Do this 11 step program first!

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the newspaper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breast feeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behaviour.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favourite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Monday, October 13, 2008


As you can see, she's more interested in the camera than idle chit chat, but I forced it out of her.

And here is my cutie all decked out for turkey dinner.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Scam Alert

Hi everyone, just wanted to bring to your attention a scam that I fell for, so that you don't fall for it. I received this email a few weeks ago that my nephew had won this drumming contest put on by Hedley (great Canadian rock band) and that I should head out to Surrey on Saturday to meet up with the rest of my family, and we would all be allowed in the sound room to listen to them rehearse and watch a short charity concert where my nephew would be drumming with them. This seemed a VERY big deal, so I dropped my plans, packed up Miss Makeda in the truck, and headed out. This is her, practicing her hand clapping in the car seat, decked out in her hip hop gear.

So, we arrive, very punctually so as not to miss the limo departure. And... it was a SCAM!!! There was no contest, no prize winning nephew, and NO HEDLEY! It was a surprise party. For some unmentionable birthday that is occurring in the fairly near future. Did I mention that I had done my hair? Put on eye shadow? Worn proper black concert attire? I was ready (and presentable) to rock out with some 25 year old boys. And what did I get for my efforts? Their latest CD.

Anyway, I was whisked away to the spa, followed by a family dinner. This is the finished product.

Then we went out for Greek food in White Rock. We're not much for pictures and none of us is a very good photographer, so this is all the evidence I have that there was a party. This is me and my mom.

Anyway, I had a great day. But DON'T BE FOOLED. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That's It That's All

I can't believe it's over. 145 days. Of total, uncomplicated bliss. Spent with the most perfect human being I've ever met. Yes, my leave of absence is over. Tomorrow is back to work. The nanny panic has finally been resolved. Today I welcomed Tessie into my home. While Tessie's childcare qualifications are impeccable, she had me at " **good cook" handwritten at the top of her application. And so, the next phase begins. Slowly though. I'll work from home as well as the office for the first couple of weeks while Tessie and Makeda get to know each other. And then back at full throttle.

I'm sad... :(

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Week in Pictures


Maybe I Should Increase Her Portion Size

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Celebrating the Little Things

We've all met THOSE moms. The ones that can't stop going on about their little ones' achievements. The ones that insist their son/daughter was walking in the womb. Since I'm a little type A myself, I've been determined not to get caught in that trap. I want to enjoy my time home with Makeda and let her learn at her own pace, rather than pushing her too fast. And sometimes, with adopted kids, they can be a little behind in their development. So I've been (I think) really patient with Makeda, not pushing her beyond her abilities, even though she's not always been on my type A schedule.

Sure, we've had our setbacks and disappointments. It can be frustrating when she doesn't pick up on things as fast as I'd like her to. But even though her accomplishments might not match those of other kids her age, there's no doubt she's been making progress since we arrived back home. I try to reocognize her successes, however small. So I thought it appropriate to take a blog entry to celebrate the small achievements that my sweet, type B daughter has made, over the past few months, without judgment, or comparisons against other 10 month olds. Here we go.

As of today, Makeda can do the following:

1. Advanced calculus. I know this has a been a disappointment, particularly to Grampa, since there's no doubt he expected her to have mastered at least simple regression analysis by now. We haven't given up though. Tutoring starts soon.

2. Break and throttle the Ducati. You'll notice I don't claim that she can shift gears, and that's where real co-ordination comes in. I'm worried this is a further sign of delayed development, but the fact that her legs are only 10 inches long could also be factor. I'm trying to be open to that possibility.

3. Track and field. I'm really proud of her hurdling efforts but high jump has been a complete failure so far. Coming from a die-hard track and field family, this has been particularly hard on all of us. We're trying to cope. Pray for us.

4. She's recently started reading the bedtime story to me. I'll be honest, I've been devasted that I'm still reading to her. Early literacy is critical, and we've really been practicing. Thankfully, on this, she hasn't disappointed.

Well, that summarizes most of her tricks. I know it's not much, but like I said, we're just trying to relax over here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who's Stoopider? Mommy versus the Pups

There's been waayyy too much excitement around my little household lately. First Widget found a wasp nest (promply fleeing, with wasps attached, inside through the back door), and now this. It's around 9:30 last night. Both dogs are sitting at the back door, wanting to go out. I don't usually do this. There's skunks, coyotes and raccoons in my neighborhood and while the first would be a bit of nastiness, neither dog would survive a run-in with the last two. But both dogs were sitting patiently and quietly, which they would not be if anything was running around out there, so I opened the door and let them out.

Big mistake. Little bastards tricked me, big time. No sooner was the door opened then they both bolted out, barking at the top of their little lungs, racing towards the bushes. There was nothing I could do but watch and hope it was just a cat. It wasn't. Widget ran into the bush and started fighting with whatever was there. I could see some flashes of fur and hear the noises, but that was all. Ruff stayed near the bottem of the stairs initially, but then bolted in to join the fray. Suddenly all of them popped back out, and I was relieved a bit, as it seemed to be a cat. But then it stopped and looked up at me for a second and I realized it was a raccoon. A juvenile, but a raccoon. It took off after Ruff and I was pretty sure that was it for him. The raccoon caught him and I heard a yelp. So I came down after them. In pajamas and flip flops. Making enough noise to stop the raccoon, who turned away from Ruff. Then I realized we had him surrounded and he was looking for an escape route. He found me. I had an instant to decide whether to try and kick him, or jump over him. Remembering the flip flops and bare legs, I opted for the latter. He scooted under me and took off.

I looked at both dogs. There was blood on both of them, but they were moving. After close inspection, it appeared the blood wasn't actually theirs. It was on their fur, but didn't seem to be coming from them. There's no way either could draw blood from a raccoon, so they may have caught it mid-meal. Both were pretty shook up. I gave them each a bath to get the raccoon drool off them and check for any cuts. Ruff got away clean, but Widget had some scratches and a cut under his nose. I have no idea how they pulled this off, but I do know if it had been an adult, they'd both be dead.

Like typical adolescent males, once the initial shock and cuddling was over, they went into high bravado mode, chasing each other around the house barking, practically high-fiving each other to celebrate the great raccoon chase-off. I settled for a verrrrrryyyyyyyy generous pour.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Gift to My American Followers

I've noticed that the content of a few of the blogs I follow has been getting a little political these past few days. For all of them, a little fun from the one, the only, the brilliant, Jon Stewart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This is How We Roll

So, I finally sucked it up and went out of town with Makeda. You know, a pack the bags, drive 5 hours, rent a cabin, see how it all goes kind of thing. Luckily, Auntie Leslie was willing to come along. We've been vacationing together for years now - generally spa weekends. It started out just the two of us, became 3 when I added Ruff, became 5 when I added Widget and she added Riley, and became 6 when Makeda arrived. And I discovered what I already really knew - it's not a vacation when you have a small child, it's just a change of scenery.

It went really well actually. Makeda slept in her car seat a lot of the way there and back. We had lunch at 2 different wineries with nary a squawk of protest from her. She was happy to be in her stroller when we went for walks around the property. The only thing is - in my world, vacations are for sleeping in. That is my firmly held belief. And much as I love my daughter, 5:30am is not a sleep-in. To make things worst, although she has always slept through the night since I brought her home, she's now stopped doing it. For the past week, she has woken up between midnight and 4am, with the last few nights settling at 3 to 3:30am. Have I mentioned that I have no significant other to trade off with me on this bit of nastiness? And this is not a wake-up, accept a soft word and a kiss from mommy, go back to sleep kind of waking up. This is a full-on- ready-to-party wake up that even an hour of rocking will not resolve. Complete with chatter mode, at high volume. And it carried on, throughout said vacation. Rock her from 3:30 to at least 4:30, get back to sleep in time for the 5:30 bottle call.

Auntie Leslie is a patient woman, and I did my best to keep her occupied so as to lessen the chatter volume, with some success, but at the cost of almost no sleep for me. Which brings me back to my first point - it's not a vacation, just a change of scenery. But on balance, one that I'd do again. Here we are starting off. You can't see all the dogs, but this is Auntie Leslie tucking in Makeda in the middle, with Ruff and Widget sharing the left seat, and Riley in the right seat.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meet Carrot

Well, we finally have mobility. It started with throwing out the arms at an unreachable object and then dragging both legs to catch up, followed shortly afterwards by real (albeit frankensteinish) crawling. What, you may ask, precipitated this wondrous milestone? Was it mommy, waving and clapping her hands like an idiot, urging Makeda on? Perhaps a favourite toy, purchased by one of Makeda's loving family or friends? Of course not. It was carrot. Stinky, crusty carrot. Cherished first dog toy of dear Ruff. Noseless, and largely hairless after 6 years of constant use and abuse (carrot, not Ruff). But it did the job. A close second in the movement enticement category was my crackberry. In fact, she showed real hustle when that was up for grabs. And, I have to say, that's the best use I've seen that little piece of communications equipment put to yet.