Saturday, December 31, 2011

This Time Last Year

This holiday season has been making me very sentimental about my Christmas and New Year last year in Kazakhstan. In many ways I feel like I didn't have much of a Christmas or New Year because I was so away from home, friends and family, and I didn't get to enjoy the lead up to the holidays. And of course, the celebrations there were different.

Here are some photos of my time in Kazakhstan from a sentimental me. I had a good time overall in Kazakhstan, but would have had a great time if I hadn't had the underlining feeling of fear that something would go wrong and Denis wouldn't be my son.

This is the view on a snowy morning from my apartment kitchen window.
And here is the same view in November, just after I arrived in Kaz.
And looking out the same window watching some work. Really, how many men does it take to dig a trench at minus 26 degree C.
Here is said kitchen window. It was the window from which I could see the town center and watch the fireworks on Independence Day and on the day of the tree lighting.
This is the kitchen in the apartment. It was a very quiet and clean apartment with a very bright kitchen.
I took this picture while standing on the balcony of the apartment. That's the main road of Uralsk and the nightclub CumCum pronounced SimSim was directly below me.
And the view the other direction, toward the Orthodox church.

And this was the living room. The couch was my bed while I was in Uralsk. The chair too would pull out to be a bed.
The stair case in my apartment building. I was on the sixth floor and I walked up and down the stairs unless I was with people or had my suitcase. I did not like the elevator.

This is the door of said scary elevator. It was small and you had to use a card to go up or down. It was good for my health going up and down with all the water jugs and shopping.
The door at the end of the hall was in the hall and my apartment door and another door were behind these doors. I got told off by my neighbour for not pulling these doors shut properly when I had gone out one day in my first week in Kaz,

And this is the hallway leading to the outside door. There was a homeless man who would often be found on the stairs ahead leaning against the radiator on the right hand side as you go down.

Baby House 1, where Denis moved to the second week I was in Kaz. It was the one close to the Ram store mall. I also learned that it was around the corner from the Catholic church that I had hoped to visit while I was in Kaz, but didn't know where it was until I returned to collect Denis.The playground on the ground of Baby House 1, donated by families from the US who had adopted prior to 2006, or so said the plaque on the side of the climber.This is unit 7, Denis' group and this is their dining room. Denis is in black sitting on his care giver's knee. I took this picture during the final days I was there prior to leaving to return home for the month.
Denis' bed in the sleeping room.
Group 7's playroom. The large windows were Denis' spot where he would stand looking out waiting for me to come each day. These are the toy shelves in the room. Not a lot of toys for up to 12 children. As to that, I know Denis has more toys than that in the house. Wow!
I think this was Denis' favourite toy in the room. I would often see him playing in this 'bus' with one of the other children, they loved to look out the window at each other while sitting on the benches.

The other rooms in the unit were a classroom, the isolation room (both rooms where I would go to visit with Denis. And beyond the sleeping room there was a large room used to store toys such as the bicycles, it is the room connected to the outside door and stairs.
And here is the music room and the goodbye to the fir tree party. All the children were dressed in the finest clothes and immaculately groomed. The children are each putting an ornament onto a little Christmas tree, or as they called it the fir tree.

And finally a picture of me at the memorial flame. I went there 4 times during the time I was in Uralsk and no matter the weather I was never the only one there.

And finally, Uralsk airport. This was February 14th, the day I returned to collect Denis. Jody's mother and I were flying in together. They'd had a huge snow storm the day before and our flight was delayed by about 4 or 6 hours. I can't remember, I was just so glad to be back and getting my little boy.

Wow, I do love looking at these pictures. Doing this has been a nice way to spend the final day of 2011. And now I'm looking forward to all the marvelous things that 2012 will bring.

Happy New Year!

Thoughts of Them

I often think about the children in Denis' group that are still in the baby house.

There were 8 in his group when they moved back into Baby House 1. By the time I left to return Denis in January there were 5 left, including Denis. When I returned there were just 2 that I recognized and 8 new children.

So, what has happened to those children. Did they get adopted, collected by their families or moved to another room. And where are they now?

I especially think of these two, (picture removed as I don't have the right to publish their photos) Artomb and Anna(I spelt his name phonetically).

He was the little boy who I gave the first pair of shoes I bought Denis but were miles too big (he's just growing into that size now). Artomb's face completely lit up, I don't believe he'd ever had anything new or his before. Must mention, they were not in his cubby weeks later, who knows where the shoes went.

And Anna, she fell one very cold and icy day when we were walking outside. It was a hard fall right onto her face. She picked herself up, wiped her own face and kept going. When I made to help her she looked at me as if I was strange. At the age of 2 she didn't look for comfort and/or help as they were completely foreign to her.

Neither of these two talked much, like Denis when he was in the home. And I don't believe anyone visited them. They were the only 2 left in the room when I returned last February to collect Denis. I think about them daily. I hope they are healthy and happy.

Their faces haunt me, I just wish I could have done more/ do more for them.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Super Mom

The other night, as I was in the kitchen making a pot of tea after putting my sister to bed, I could hear Denis and my brother in the living room talking.

Denis wanted my brother and I to watch Thomas the Train on his DVD with him. As my brother went to join Denis on the couch he was told in no uncertain terms that the couch was off limits to him. My brother pretended to cry saying he was very sad. Denis told my brother not to worry, Mommy would be in soon and would give Un-con (Denis' version of Uncle John) a hug and Un-con would feel better (I must point out Denis never offered to allow my brother a seat on the couch though).

So when I came into the room I had to give my brother a hug (Yuck). And then Denis said, "See you feel better now.

My hugs are legendary, at least to Denis. How great is that!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

This was Denis' first real Christmas.

Last year I got to visit Denis for 20 minutes. I totally agonized over what kind of gift I could give him, as any toy would have to leave with me as he wasn't allowed to keep anything between visits. In the end I gave him the red stripped t-shirt.

I had a plan to have a Christmas the weekend Denis and I arrived home from Kaz, but because my sister was so unwell we had to put that plan off until March 26th. Kathryn had spent Christmas 2010 in the group home so she hadn't had a Christmas either. I put up the tree and we had a nice dinner together. It was nice, but very low key, but it just wasn't really Christmas.

This year I got Denis really into the preparations for Christmas. We attended 2 parades, a tree lighting ceremony, visited Santa at a mall and we went to Uncle John's school's children's Christmas party. We also had a Costco wooden Advent calendar to count the days too Christmas. Every day I'd put a couple of chocolates into the little cupboard so we would take out the little carved toy and hang it in Santa's workshop while he ate the chocolate. And my brother and I bought and read a dozen little story books about Christmas. I even found two beautiful picture books appropriate for a 3 year old about the true story of Christmas (Denis said the baby was cold in the manager).

Finally we had a wonderful family Christmas, just like I'd imagined all those years as I waited. Denis and I picked up my sister on Saturday evening (she's staying with us until tomorrow afternoon). We have our macrame tree hanging in the living room (my late mother made it as a decoration, but the finished tree was so big it became our tree for years). I'd had thought about buying a real artificial tree but in the end decided to go with the tried and true and really easy tree. When I finally did put the tree up, Denis saw it and immediately said it was a Christmas tree. As long as he doesn't complain we'll keep the macrame tree.

Denis woke up on Christmas morning at 8 (thank you so very much) and I had to remind him that Santa came during the night. He went out into the living room and saw all the presents. He said, "Too many". I told him that there were presents for him and me and for his aunt and uncle. He went running back to the bedrooms to tell his aunt and uncle to get up and come see the tree and that Santa had brought them presents.

As soon as all the presents were unwrapped Denis was upset and wanted to know where all his presents were. It was too funny. I kept the food easy as it is too hard to do a big meal and look after both my sister and son. So we had cold cuts and store bought salads. My brother made a huge pot of French Onion soup, yummy.

Now that Christmas is over, Denis keeps saying, 'Where my calendar? I need my calendar!" I interpret that that "I need chocolate". He also keeps saying Santa is coming again. So sad at this age that all the fun only happens on that one day and then you have to wait an ENTIRE year to have so much fun again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Whole Year Later

It was a year ago today that the judge said "Da" and I knew that I was to be Denis' mother.

I was so anxious as I stood in front of the judge. I'd tried to memorize the speech I'd been given with it's awkwardly translated phrases. I have NO problem talking, but I am not good at following a script. I'd had nightmares about that speech, only to have the judge cut me short and outright ask me questions to get at the heart of the matter. What a relief!

I had to wait 5 hours for the judge to give her judgement. I really thought that I would learn the judgement right away, I was so startled by the delay. My team was confident that everything would be alright, but I was a little worried.

Then, finally it was time to stand again in front of the judge to hear what she had decided. It was so anti-climatic. She'd agreed to the adoption application and the request to change Denis' name and to list me as the mother on his birth certificate. And then I was done and could go. Wow. All those years of waiting, and with a simple statement my dreams had come true.

After the judge's decision I was able to go to the baby house to see Denis. I remember he was so interested in my legs as it was the only day I wore a skirt while in Kazakhstan.

My day ended with a trip to a beautiful church. My driver was there to arrange his daughter's baptism. It was so worth the detour on my journey back to my apartment.
The memories of my time in Kazakhstan are so amazing. I can't believe that it happened, but the proof is sleeping down the hall.

It was a year ago today, wow! Good memories baby. We continue to make such great memories each and every day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Christmas Party

Last night, Denis and I attended a Christmas party hosted by a childhood friend. It was Denis' first house party and first Christmas party.

I had Kathryn home for the day (we are still recovering from the flu and colds and I'm just not up to having her for longer). After dinner I got us all changed and out the door in less than 20 minutes. I told Denis that we couldn't talk about the party in front of Aunt Ka as she loves parties but she couldn't come with us. He never said the word party while she was with us. As we drove to the group home, I told Denis that he'd stay in the car while I took Aunt Ka up to the house. He got very upset. I asked what was the problem and he quickly and clearly said that he wanted run up the ramp (there is a ramp at the group home entrance). Wow, it is amazing how his language skills have improved. So I agreed that he could get out of the car and run up and down the ramp. He LOVED it, what to be surprised by, my little guy loves running at all times.

The party was great fun. Denis met many of my childhood friends for the first time, and I ran into many people I know from my former job. It is amazing how small the world and how interconnected we can be.

Denis has only visited 2 other families in their homes, and this was the first back split (my house is a bungalow and the other houses were both 2 story houses). Denis loved going up and down the stairs, all the stairs. He also loved how there was candy in all sorts of places in the house, he has such great candy radar.

The party was held in memory of my friend's daughter who suddenly passed away 8 years ago in her sleep at the age of 2 and a half. They raise money for a children's charity though craft sales, donations, silent auction and raffle.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Halloween and Birthday

My first day back to work was Halloween. What a great (not) day to start back to work in a classroom. I have a senior kindergarten/grade 1 this year. Halloween is big and very loud at this age.

Denis was Woody from Toy Story, he has watched the first 2 movies over and over. I thought he could relate to the image. He kept saying he was a cowboy and pretending to ride a horse all over the place.

After work, Denis and I joined Loretta and Alex for trick-or-treating out in their neighbourhood. Denis LOVED trick-or-treating, he was upset that I wouldn't let him sit down on the steps of each house and eat the candy he'd just received.

2 days later it was Denis' 3rd birthday. I had planned a simple party with Denis, my brother and myself. Unfortunately Un-con was stuck at school writing report cards. I had set up the table with the cake prior to picking Denis up from day care, so it wasn't like I could delay. We celebrated more when his uncle came home.

I had planned a party at a fun house for Denis 2 weeks later. Unfortunately Denis and I came down with the flu 2 days piror to the party and we had to cancel the party. I've actually rebooked with the fun house to have the party in February to celebrate Denis being home for a year. The party in February was Loretta's idea, this way I don't lose my deposit.

The some total of my illnesses since returning to work (less than a month ago) are a cold, 2 solid weeks with pink eye which I caught from a student, and the above mentioned flu. Really what a great year I have ahead, wonder how many more times I'll be sick. Denis gets better SO much faster than I do.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Updates Eaten by the Computer

I had almost finished an update covering the past three very busy weeks when the computer crashed. Gone was my post and gone were all the photos ready to be posted.

So now I'll redo the post but not the entire 3 weeks at once, just one milestone at a time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

First Concert

With less than 2 months of daycare under his belt, Denis was in his first concert yesterday. His daycare had their annual general meeting and to get the parents to attend the meeting all the children perform at the beginning. It was so cute.

Denis` group sang two songs. Denis didn`t sing, no he yelled `Hi Mom` coughed into this elbow and then made sure to tell me that he`d remembered to cough into his elbow and not his hand, complained that the girls on either side of him had held his hands during the chorus, and then he waved at me.

I was SO proud. Actually, his daycare worker and I weren`t sure that he`d even stay up with his group for the song. He did well all things considered.

Denis` daycare is actually the satellite daycare from the main daycare. At his site there are only 20 children from ages two and half to 5. The main site has the over 80 children from two and half to 12. When Denis enters the 1st grade he`ll actually go to the other site for before and after care. They walk from one school to the other at the beginning and end of the day.

I hope he has a good day today as he was one tired puppy this morning. He hasn`t quite developed the stamina for the entire week at daycare just yet. By Wednesday evenings he shows signs of exhaustion and tries harder and harder the next 2 morning to convince me that we should stay home. It has been so hard not to give it to him as I`m still on leave, but come Monday that all stops and I`ll be back at work full time.

Not that I haven`t been going to me school for many days already. I realized yesterday on my drive home from my school that I`ve already put in more than a full week at school. Teaching, the job where you regularly work for days without pay at the beginning of the school year and then spend your own money on things for the classroom. I tried to limit how much I spent this year, but the class is new so there really isn`t any equipment or toys for the senior kindergarten students, so I`ve been to the dollar stores, Costco and IKEA. It only became a SK class at the end of September or I`d have spent the summer going to yard sales.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Canakaz Republic Day

Today was our 5th Annual Day get together. 5 years ago 2 families, one who had already a little boy from Kazakhstan and another family beginning the journey decided that it would be wonderful to bring the families who were a part of an on-line community together for a party.

At first they thought that 5 families would be getting together, on the day I think we were over 50 people. Instead of an intimate house party we had to use a community center. Most families were in the paper chase stage (as I was at the time) or waiting for their LOI. I met both Loretta and Diane that day, never knowing that they would become so important to me.

On that first day there were 3 children at the party who had been born in Kazakhstan. Wow, how the times have changed. Today we were a small group of 11 families with 12 children born in Kazakhstan. Sometimes we are almost 30 families. It is wonderful to get together and see how the children have grown. Each party (we also have a party in March to celebrate Nauryz) there is a new little one or two to meet and marvel over. Today there was a new little one born in Russia not far from her big brother's hometown of Uralsk.

Having a party with a dozen children between the ages of 7 and 18 month it is amazingly relaxed. Oh, don't get me wrong there are lots of squabbles over toys, there are lots of 2 to 4 year olds. Diane found us this old lawn bowling club which is a wonderful location. There is a kitchen so we are able to have a pot luck meal. And the room has great floor to ceiling window looking out onto the bowling greens. The children run around and have a blast while we parents get a chance to talk and catch up.

I have to say though, it is SO MUCH more fun going to these parties now that I have Denis.

I didn't take any photos as Denis had the camera today. I'll have to look at his pictures to see if there are any I can put on the blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thanksgiving and Aunt Kathryn's Birthday

October has so far been a very busy month and we've had Aunt Kathryn home for two visits.

The first visit was for Thanksgiving. Kathryn was home for 2 nights that weekend. The weather here in Toronto was remarkable on Thanksgiving with temperatures in the near 30 C.

We shared a wonderful dinner, if as the cook I do say so myself, on the Saturday evening. Turkey is the usual fare for Thanksgiving, but roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is the favourite in my family.After dinner Denis insisted on doing the dishes. Hmm, I am raising a lovely child. Now, just to figure out how to keep him doing the dishes when he's a teenager.That Sunday I brought Kathryn out to mass and back to her group home. And in the evening Denis and I joined my cousin Donnie and Chantalle at their new house for a wonderful turkey dinner. Denis especially loved running in and out the balcony doors.

This evening we celebrated my sisters 47th birthday. I always find marking her birthday to be so bittersweet as 7 years ago I packed up her belongings and helped her move into her group home. It is hard allowing someone else to care for Kathryn, but she is ever so wonderfully cared for at the home. And I always remind myself that it is because of the group home I was able to adopt Denis, as I could never have considered adopting if I was Kathryn's full time caregiver.

Here is a picture Denis took of his aunt and I. It is a wonderful picture.October 31 is fast approaching and that will be my first day back at work. What a great day to start in a Senior Kindergarten /Grade 1 class. I will have a great day and that evening I will be taking Denis out for his first trick-or-treating. It should be fun.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

By Any Name Still The Same

Suddenly last month Denis started calling my brother Un-Con. From the time Denis came home he has been able to say Uncle John. I guess he just decided it was too long of phrase and he has shorten it down to Un-Con. At first I thought he was saying uncle in a strange way, but no, it definitely is Un-Con.

After just a few months Denis decided not to call my sister Aunt Kathryn, he shortened her name down to just Ka, which exactly what Kathryn calls herself.

My brother said he'd always heard of children changing a person's name, but most times it is because the child has difficulty saying the word. In Denis' case it was to make the job easier. That's my boy, look for the easiest means to the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stay Home

Denis likes day care, but he'd prefer if I'd stay with him all day. If I can't stay with him he thinks that he shouldn't go at all. So he's come up with a couple of plans to get out of going.

First he says that we shouldn't go to day care (as his day care is in a school, we just say he is going to school). Denis said to me, "Stay home, no school, watch DVD". Needless to say it didn't work and he ended up at day care.

Last week he took his play phone and when it ran he answered it. Then he acted really sad and said, "Nobody school, Denis stay home, okay". Then he turned to me and told me that school was closed because there was no one there. That didn't work either.

This morning Denis told me we should stay home again but this time he said, "Stay home, Mommy knit." I laughed so hard. Right, so if staying home to watch DVD doesn't work for me, then maybe letting me do what I enjoy would work. Unfortunately it didn't work either, poor lamb.

It would be really funny if he didn't act so pleased at the end of day when I returned to pick him up. He also always says, "Mommy came back." And last week he said thank you. Does he think that one day I won't come and he'll have to stay forever at school. Only time will show him the truth.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Snowsuit Forever

The other day, Denis and I went out to Zellers to look at snowsuits. The snowsuits were on sale and we found a 'Cars' snowsuit. Denis wasn't interested in buying it, he was more interested in riding up and down the escalator, but we bought the snowsuit anyway.

So the other night I was putting the snowsuit into the cupboard and suddenly I was so emotional. The new snowsuit in some ways represents Denis staying with me permanently. It is hard to explain, but in many ways having Denis at home seems so . . ., for want of a better word 'temporary'. In many ways it feels like Denis has always been here, but at the same time it is hard to imagine the future. But that evening as I put the snowsuit away (for what I hope will be a LONG time) I could visualize a future with him wearing this new snowsuit.

It certainly is strange the things that bring home the future of our lives together.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Help! The couch is eating me!

Happy 6 months home little guy, it has been a wonderful ride so far.

We have many more crazy days, months and years ahead.

My little man, I love you heart and sole.

Hugs and Kisses from Mommy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

6 months today

The day of my dreams. The day that seemed to be oh so far away.
The day six months ago when Denis and I were finally mother and son forever! Wow, it has been 6 months. He was a baby when I collected him, today he is a little boy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mama Tired Too!

As I carry Denis to the bedroom at night time he will try and convince me to lie down with him. Every day he ups the ante and it is so cute, he absolutely has me in stitches.

The other day he gently stroked my cheek and said, "Mama lie down, Mama tired too." as he nodded his head and looked at me with a very serious concerned look on his face.

Tonight he told me that I was tired too and then he took my hand and pulled it up to my mouth and told me to 'try' and he used my hand to gently tap my mouth. Oh I get it, I should try to yawn because I'm tired. Ya gotta love it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Water Fight

I took these pictures, or should I say I tried to take these photos one day when Denis had the water hose in the backyard.

These photos make me think of Denis playing with my brother.

My brother and Denis have pretend water fights in the living room. They pretend to have hoses and they spray each other.

Denis LOVES these fights. I love watching Denis pretend to turn on a hose and spray my brother while he makes a 'shshshshs' sound.

I hadn't realized how totally invested Denis gets into these fights. During one pretend water fight the other day Denis ran out of the living room. I followed him as it was very unusual for him to leave a game. Denis went into the bathroom to wipe his imaginary wet face and arms with a real towel.

Gotta love it eh?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mommy Home

The other night as Denis and I sat on the steps of the porch putting on our socks and shoes for our evening walk Denis touched the house and we had the following conversation.

Denis: Mommy house.
Me: Yes this is Mommy's house. And this is Denis' house too?
Denis: Where Denis house? (looking around)
Me: This is Denis' house.
Denis: Denis house? (touching the house)
Me: Yes, this is Denis' house and Mommy's house. Forever.

Denis touched the house again then his face lit up and he began to dance around singing, "Denis house, Denis house." It brought tears to my eyes. I think he is beginning to get it.

This is your home buddy now and forever!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Whew, I Did It

I survived and thrived with my sister home for a week.

To say that my son and sister don't actually get on would be an understatement. For the first 4 months or so my sister acted as though Denis wasn't there, that drove Denis crazy as he tried to get her attention. Then suddenly last month, during the Canada weekend, Kathryn started to demonstrate her awareness of Denis. Sometimes she points at Denis, sometimes she smiles, but mostly she gives him the evil eye or makes her mad sound at him.

Denis is forever telling my poor sister that she can't do things (as in get out of bed, use the shower, drink milk etc, etc). One day this week, Denis ran to the car as we prepared to go out and threw an imaginary item out to the seat where Kathryn would sit crying 'SNAKE' as he did it. As I helped my sister into the car Denis cried, "SNAKE BITE" I'm not sure if that was a warning to my sister or an order to the snake.

For years we as a family have said that Kathryn's abilities were at the level of a 2 1/2 year old. Since bringing Denis home I've realized that my sister's abilities are well below those of his age, she is much needier than Denis. I can show Denis something once and he adds it to his store of knowledge and moves ahead. Kathryn learns but a much, much, much slower pace, as in years slower.

But we all survived the week of Kathryn's day program holiday. Here's what we got up to.

Denis and I picked up Kathryn last Sunday and we went to TimHorton's and then to the farmer's market, all on my own with the two of them. We all walked into Tim's but at the market I put my sister into her wheelchair, and shortly afterwards I put Denis into his stroller (he was way past his nap time and getting very difficult). I then pushed both the wheelchair and the stroller back to the car at the same time. (The parking lot was very quiet other wise I'd have done one at a time)
Tuesday my brother joined us for a morning at Pioneer Village.
Wednesday my brother babysat Denis while Kathryn and I went out to knit night.
Thursday evening we all went out to Wendy's for dinner.
Friday Kathryn join us as we (my brother, Denis and I) had our chiro adjustment, shopping and a snack at TimHorton's.

And on Saturday evening I took Kathryn back to the group home on my own, she was not in a good mood and I was afraid she might attack Denis as I was driving.

I'd dreaded the week as I knew the needs of both son and sister, and I wasn't sure if either would accept me going out with the other, but it didn't seem to be a problem. Denis and I either went to the park each day or to ride the escalator at the mall while my sister watched her beloved Lawrence Welk.

There are 2 multiple day closures of my sister's day program, summer and Christmas. Next summer Denis can go to daycare during the day when my sister is home, so this summer was the real challenge. I feel very successful, like I've conquered a mountain or something. I'm not thinking about Christmas just yet, well not much.

Sad thing was dropping her off at her group home and the feeling of relief that washed over me. My anxiety level hovers around 9 out of 10 when my sister is with me. To think I lived that way the entire time she was with me and on all those weekends. No wonder my poor mother passed away at the early age of 71, the stress is a killer. Raising Denis requires I decrease the amount of time I have my sister at home which will decrease my stress a lot. So sad, but true.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Get In

From the first days home, Denis has had a thing about getting into baskets or bags and asking us to pick him up.

Almost daily my laundry hamper gets dump and Denis will climb into the bag. Then he calls out for my brother or I to come and pick him up. I'm sure the manufacturers of the laundry bag didn't design it to hold 30 + pounds of child.

Here is Denis getting a ride in the laundry hamper. My brother is so accommodating. I mentioned that I didn't think the bag was strong enough to carry Denis around, so my brother has changed the activity to bouncing Denis in the bag on the bed. Yeah, Denis LOVES that game.

The laundry basket is another of Denis' favourite 'toys'. I have had to carry Denis and the laundry upstairs from the laundry room as he 'helps' me put the laundry from the dryer into the basket then climbs in.

Once I've folded the laundry, Denis then climbs into the empty basket saying 'baby'. He'll curl up in the basket and then tell me that I need to sing Rock-a-Bye-Baby while either dragging the basket and forth on the carpet, or tipping the basket on it's end and spinning Denis around in the basket. I marvel at the games he has invented.

Now I thought that my collapsible shopping basket was way to small to climb into. Denis had to try anyway and as you can see he managed to get into the basket.

He needed assistance getting both into and out of the basket. As I helped him (I know, I know, but he says "Please Mommy, just try." how can I resist?) as I was saying, as I helped him I thought back to first days I carried the basket friends said it looked like a Moses basket and that I was carrying a baby in it. LOL

He also loves the black box I purchased to hold some of his toys. He dumps out all the teddy bears and soft toys that are kept in the basket and climb in.

Sometimes he hides in the basket.

Then of course he asks us to pick him up.

My brother as always is so accommodating and will pick Denis up. As soon as I saw the two of them that day I ran to get the camera. It is too cute to miss.

One day Denis won't believe me when I tell him about climbing into all these baskets and bags. He should grow to be over 6 feet tall, he'll look at the bags and baskets and think, "I was never that small." I'm so enjoying this time with Denis, but is it no wonder both my brother and I have pain in our backs and shoulders, it's from picking up Denis in baskets and bags.