Sunday, November 24, 2013

November is Adoption Awareness Month

I love that November is Adoption Awareness month, as it is the month I met my little guy. 3 years ago last Sunday I met Denis for the first time. I can't believe it has only been 3 years, at the same time I can't believe that 3 years have already passed.

Denis and I celebrated our anniversary by going to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade with our good friends Alex and Loretta. It was a fun day even though it threatened heavy rain.

Denis loves taking Selfies, but hates when I pull out the camera. Here are some silly poses he made as we watched the parade.

This Sunday we went to the Maple Santa Claus parade. We've been home over an hour and I'm still feeling chilled. Boy was it cold out there today.

Here is Denis when we saw Santa. I think Uncle John and I were happier than Denis.
We do love the parades and hope to attend 2 more before they end for another season. I am proud to say that I've actually put up the Christmas lights this year. They didn't make it up last year and poor Denis was still asking me in February when we were going to put them up. Next up is the Christmas tree, and this year it won't be Mom's macrame tree, it will be a real artificial tree. Darn day care has shown him what most people have as a Christmas tree.
But I loved putting up Mom's tree, it took all of 5 seconds. Ah the memories!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2 years Thursday

It was 2 years ago that I returned to Uralsk and brought Denis out of the baby house forever.  Here is my blog post from that day.

As I write this blog, Denis is going around the house with a Kazakhstan flag and singing O'Kazakhstan, talk about blending two countries.

It has been a wonderful 2 years. I marvel that this little person is my son. There have been hard days, and even harder nights. The night terrors, which started at the 3 month home stage, ended almost a year ago. He still needs to sleep with me for at least a part of the night as he will have a nightmare when he doesn't. We have finally reached a point where he doesn't throw a major temper tantrum or run around the place like a mad man when I pick him up from day care. We are still working on his temper, he no longer throws a major kick, screaming and biting tantrum, but he still throw something or slaps me.

Denis' health has been great since the day he came home. Next week we go to see a doctor about tubes in his ears, but I would never have known about the need except for a routine check of his hearing, as Denis came home with no language skills. I'm amazed at his language skills. January last year we went to see the speech pathologist and she said at the time he was meeting less than 1/2 of the typical benchmarks of a three year old. By June Denis was meeting 85 per cent of a 3 1/2 year old. And last month the speech pathologist signed off on his file as she no longer has any concerns with his speech. Actually, at one point during the assessment she turned to me and whispered "WOW" to me, and later she told Denis to slow down as she couldn't write notes as fast as he spoke.

And I'm so glad as I approach 2 years home that I read on the blog of S and P are awaiting news of a referral. Soon another family will be traveling to Uralsk to bring another wonderful child of Kazakhstan home to Canada.

Here are some recent pictures of My Little Man

Tobogganing during the Christmas holidays

Loving the snow

All the comforts of home in my wonderful laundry basket

Night time snow removal equipped with headlights

Denis' first protest rally (against Bill 115) and his first television interview. Too bad Uncle John and Denis didn't make the news.

Uncle and nephew with matching mustaches.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Blast from My Past

As an elementary school kid a century ago, I borrowed this book from the school library. I loved the story of a witch who tried to beat the perennial winner of the best original cake at the county fair. The witch (as I remember the story) wanted to use magic to win, but then decided that wouldn't be right, so she just tries her best. Eventually, she discovers the rich lady who always wins actually buys her cakes.

The story was fun. But to me, the best part was the recipe on the back cover of the book. This was my staple, go-to recipe for years. My mother and I once lost the recipe and I had to go back to the EASY section of the library to borrow it again to get the recipe. This was back in the days before photocopiers, so we had to hand write out the recipe.

For some reason I decided to use Google to see if I could find the recipe and there it was on someone's blog from 5 or 6 years ago (that's where I found the pictures of the front and back of the book). I understand the book is out of print, but I once again have the recipe. Of course now I'll have to make it nut free if I plan to take it to school.

Those of you who like me who can barely see the print, I found the recipe on a few places. On Food dot com  it is written exactly as it is on the back of the book.

Now my next job is to make the cake again and see if it tastes as good as I remember.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It Fills My Mind

At this time of year, my mind is filled with thoughts of getting to this point, being Mom to this wonderful guy. I actually don't think at all of the years of waiting, but I do think of the week prior to leaving,and the flights to Kazakhstan. I think of my arrival in Kazakhstan and the spending a wonderful (not) 12 hours hanging out in the airport in Almaty, (unfortunately it wasn't the only time I would spend a night in that airport waiting on the benches outside the security check for my flight to Uralsk). And I think of those first 2 days in Uralsk waiting to get to the baby house. But most of all I think of meeting Denis.

March 2011 Celebrating a belated Christmas
April 2011 Driving his favourite vehicle after I finally put it together.

August 2011 Planning to tell Mommy and Uncle John where to go (something he does all the time).
June 2012 Making faces at Kazapalooza.
July 2012 More faces for the camera

Sept 2012 Driving a car at the CNE.
2 years ago today I met this little guy, crying his eyes out in the director's office in Kazakhstan. I got to spend and hour with him. I have very fond memories of that day, I started to fall in love that day, then spent another week trying to 'be logical'.
Today I got to spend the entire 24 hours with him, and I'm sure in days, weeks to come, I won't have any memories of today, but every moment is enjoyed and a gift.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Polar Opposites

Wednesday will be my sister's birthday, today we went out to celebrate. We went to our local Pioneer Village to enjoy the fall colours and then we planned to go for an early dinner. We have had a membership to the village for almost 30 years and usually visit a few times a year. Both Denis and my sister love the village and are very comfortable there. I love it as I don't have to worry about either of them while we walk around (no traffic and a lovely fence, tree and brush separation from the actual roads).
A hat to mark the LACK of a hockey season (as if I care about hockey)
 This is the first time my sister has been well enough to walk around on an outing since Denis came home 19 months ago, my brother and I discovered how they are such absolutely opposite.

 The only times we were all together was entering and exiting the village.

This is the typical view that I had of Denis while we were in the village.

And this is how I saw my sister.

 Oh, you don't see her, let me use the zoom on the camera for you.

There she is, standing still, quietly waiting and wondering where Denis and I were.

See, Denis didn't walk around the village, he RAN. And Kathryn would take a step and wait about a minute before she took another step. My brother and I had to divide to conquer with these two.

We didn't go into any of the houses. We've done that before. We just walked around and visited all the animals.

I did get Denis to stand still for a photo. It was a challenge.
I love the village. And it did look so beautiful in its fall splendour. We had a great time crunching through the leaves. But it was nippy for a fall afternoon and rain was on its way. So it was sad to see the preparations for the evening OUTDOOR wedding on the green and in the pavilion. I hope the guests realized exactly what they were getting into. I know the village had those tall standing heaters, but we were wearing winter jackets and hats, and it was daylight.

I love this photo. It isn't easy to get a good photo of my sister. 

We ended up just taking my sister to Tim Hortons for a donut as Denis fell asleep shortly after we got into the car. Geez, wonder why he was so tired. We took my sister back to her group home where she promptly put her head down for a nap. At least on that level they are at the same speed.

As we were leaving the village, while waiting for my brother to bring the car from the parking lot, I had to promise to take Denis back to the village without either of my siblings. He complained that they were no fun and too slow. Too funny.