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.