Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Adoption Story Update

The whole adoption process has been a true test of patience. With the large number of children awaiting good homes, you would think that the process would be quick and easy. The real facts are that it is neither quick nor easy.
It has been just shy of a year since we started the whole process. The process starts with an introductory meeting. Following this is another introductory information group session. Following this is a wait to get into a Adoption Education course that takes 3 full consecutive weekends to complete. We finished this portion this past February. Following the completion of AEP, a home study needs to completed. This could take up to 3 months to complete. A Home Study is quite a long process with many meetings and a whole pile of paperwork to be completed. Once a Home Study is completed, a "Match made in Heaven" could happen very quickly, or take a few years.
Unfortunately, the Ministry in Chilliwack is extremely short on Adoption Social Workers. Thus, the incredibly long wait. The government saw that Chilliwack is struggling with workers so they allowed the Ministry to have two Home Studies completed privately. Thankfully, we have a few good things on our side and we managed to take a giant leap in front of the pack of other potential adopters and get chosen as one of these two families. I just got the call to state that our Home Study will start this week. This is such amazing news considering that we just heard this past weekend how many people are still waiting on Home Studies to start.
Here's to the next stage of our Adoption Adventure!

I made a trip to the Classic's Scrapbook Store and to my surprise found some stickers and paper specially for adoption. Looking forward to using these pages in my scrapbook!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did I See Red!

If you were to see me know, you might tell me that I'm looking a tad bit angry. And you would be right. I'm typically even tempered. But when someone makes a random comment like I just heard, everything changes.

I was just at the local grocery store with Cayden. Just our usual shelf-restocking trip. We meandered our ways around the aisles and got ourselves into line after all the items on our list were checked off. (Actually, I missed a few. Shucks) Cayden was a good little companion the whole time. We were waiting in line behind an older gentleman (CrankPot!). And, Cayden with his usual 'Ants In Pants' was jumping up and down.

The older gentleman (CrankPot!) looks at him and asks, "Are you Autistic? Wow! At that very instant I was seeing red. The nerve. Remember, I am usually even tempered. At this instant my temper went off the scale.

At the time this was unravelling, I was actually on my cell-phone. The caller on the other line sensed something had to have occured and politely said, "Sounds like you have something else to attend to, I better let you go." I couldn't agree more.

I held my tongue, but wish that I hadn't. I wish that I would have had a conversation with this man about how hurtful that kind of question was. What if I was the mother of an autistic child? How would I have felt?

Well, I'm currently settling down. My calmness is starting to take over once again. Sometimes it's good to just get 'it out'.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Step Back In Time

Library Day

I was reminded the other day of one of my favourite memories when I started school. My first trip to the school library.  Where I got to choose a favourite  story to take home to read.

The other day, Cayden has his very own “Library Day.”  It was the first one of many he will experience.  I wonder if he will remember it years from now like I do.

I know he was very excited to bring home two new books to read with me.  He held them up high and shouted, “Hot Wheels! Beat That!!!”  I’m still not sure where that line comes from.  It is one I hear every time he sees a Hot Wheel race car or picture. He shouts  “Hot Wheels! Beat That!”  at the top of his lungs. 

We’ve already read through each of them a few times over.  Hopefully when it’s time to get new books out of the library next week he doesn’t choose to re-new them.  There are only so many times I like to read through the same story and 7 nights in a row will have been more than enough!



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random Afternoon Ramblings

So far, so good.  Cayden is loving school. So much in fact that he says he needs to go SIX days a week.  (He only gets to go 2 days one week, 3 the next). Wonder how long this enjoyment of school will last?  His one request is that he gets to wear his “comfy” pants to school.  Unfortunately for him, Wednesdays are mandatory “dress-pants” day. I have to say that I am a little jealous of his uniform. I wish that two days a week I get to wear sweats and a tee-shirt to work like he does.

The day was  amazing.  Who could believe that it’s actually fall. The sun and 30 degrees of temperature we enjoyed was fantastic.  It was so beautiful that it didn’t take a whole lot of arm bending for Cayden to convince me to take him out to the BMX track to enjoy the evening.

As usual Cayden gave me a whole lot to chuckle about.  Non-stop silly banter.  One of the funniest comments today was, “I’m so thirsty, I could eat a elephant!”  He quickly started laughing. I’m thinking he must have realized how silly that sounded.

We got to the track, he strapped on his helmet and off he rode. Every hill he went over, a giggle was sure to follow.  I enjoyed watching from the sidelines.  I cheered and caught up on reading some blogs on my Blackberry Storm.

One of the best things about school is that it actually wears Cayden out.  By the time we got home tonight, bath time complete, and story read, he was so ready to sleep that it took only one minute for him to fall asleep. Much better than the usual hour or two.

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These pictures are actually from the BMX track in my neighbourhood.  Thanks to Carmen, we finally did find it at the far East end of Riverside Drive.  We spent many afternoons here this summer.

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Just bring a shovel along with you and could make your own jumps, big or small.  I think kids have just as much fun making new jumps as they do taking them.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

My Little Cowboy

It was off to a birthday party we were going.  Cayden must have overheard me on the phone with the mom of the birthday boy, talking about dress-up.  Not thinking I had anything for Cayden, I mentioned to her that once we got to the party we would borrow an outfit from one of her boys for Cayden to wear.

The next thing I know, Cayden appears all dressed up.  He managed to scrounge enough cowboy stuff in the back corners of his room and put together his very own ‘get-up’.  I did add the little cowboy vest with a “Marshal” badge on it, to his outfit.  It was one sewn especially for him last March for a wedding.  He was one of the “Marshalls” for the bride and groom.  To my surprise he could still squeeze into it.

The only thing missing were the cowboy boots.  He has long out-grown those.  So, I told him to go get his running shoes on instead so that we could be on our way to the party.

Ivan came into the house and says with a snicker, “Cayden’s wearing his gumboots.”  Sure enough, there he is with a cowboy outfit and gumboots.  I had to laugh and just say “whatever”.  I had to put aside the desire to tell him that he looked silly with his gumboots on and just let him be.  He was happy, so I was happy.  Who said little boys need to make a fashion statement anyways?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs



Cayden and I waved our good-byes to Jeremy as he headed out on a Land Rover trip in the mountains for the week-end.  Then Cayden and I made our way out to Mission Silvercity to catch a movie together.  We had our own little date night. 

The movie was entertaining for sure.  So were the 3D glasses, of course.  After watching a large variety of food fall from the skies for an hour-and-half, I feel sick at the thought of eating something right now.  Seriously.  Too much food is never a good thing!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Go, Or Not To Go

The Big Kindergarten decision


The decision to send Cayden to school was not a quick one.  I was on the fence whether it would be a good idea or not.  Cayden’s birthday is so late in the year that I wondered whether he might be too young to start school at such a young age.  I also felt a little sorry for his potential teacher.  Seeing as how his focus is really only on fun and games. 

We finally made the decision. Yes, he would go to Kindergarten.  Two times. This year and next.  I finally feel relief in my final decision.  One I went back and forth between for the past year. 

Once the decision was made, it was full board ahead.  Shopping for new school supplies, back-packs, lunch bags and shoes.  The shoes were his favourites.  I think the whole experience of getting ready for school was more exciting for me than it was for him.   We were counting down the sleeps together to the first day of school.  It finally came.  And guess what?  I wasn’t ready!

The morning of the first day of school was a whirlwind of activity.  Breakfast, making of lunches, getting out the new clothes, brushing teeth, combing hair and out the door.  Ooooopps!  An empty back-pack. Where were the school supplies?  They were still in the same bag we got them in from Staples a month ago!  They were supposed to get labelled with his name and make there way into the empty back-pack.  Ivan to the rescue.  While I was racing around finding the new shoes and my camera for first day of school pictures, Ivan nicely labelled all the new school supplies and into the back-pack they went.

Into the truck we all loaded.  Drop Ivan off first at Highroad. And make our way to MEI.  First day of school… and Cayden was late.  Not a good start I would say.  The whole idea of taking a ton of great photos of Cayden going to his first day of school was out the window.  I did manage to quickly snap one picture at least.

His first day was a success.  He loved “studying'” and singing “O Canada” in chapel.  I’m hoping he will continue to enjoy going to school. One can only wish.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Evening At The Lake

It’s the middle of September already!  I can hardly believe how quickly my favourite season, Summer, has passed by.  I say this every year at around this time and  I feel the same emotions every year at this time.  I feel sadness. 

I made a last minute decision to take Cayden to Cultus Lake after dinner and enjoy an evening swim.  Him, not me.  It seems that cold water doesn’t scare him away as much as it does me.  So, I got to enjoy the sunny evening on the park bench while Cayden chased ‘baby’ fish knee deep in the water.

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As was enjoying watching Cayden play in the lake, I looked to my left.  And saw… no-one. Then I looked to  right. And I saw… no-one.  The summer busyness at the beach is all gone.  It was very peaceful, but also a reminder that hot summer days at the beach are pretty much over for this year.

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I looked at this little house behind me with a little “For Sale” sign in the window and imagined a little of what it would be like to have this view from my front window for 12 months of the year. Reality then hit.  A tiny little cottage on the lake for 2 months of a year is a dream.  The other 10 months of the year would not be.  Nine hundred square feet of living space would not be so wonderful for four bodies.  But it is a nice thought though.

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We then headed over to the jungle gym to enjoy a little play time before the sun was getting ready to set behind the mountains.  I was chasing Cayden up the ladder and he suddenly stopped.  He says in a cute little singsong voice, “Aaawwwe, a little baby…”  then stops what he’s saying and he smacks his hands together. Then he finishes his sentence… “spider.”   He quickly wipes the smashed “baby spider” on his shorts and continues off running.

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Enjoy the day!


Friday, September 11, 2009

August Fave Five #5

Yukon dan

This August, Yukon Dan, held his second annual gold panning competition at Yale Campground, just East of Hope.  A friend of mine had highly recommended we give this competition a try based on her families experience last summer.

I was surprised by the large number of people who came out for the fun.  The event drew a total of 180 competitors out this year which grew from 100 competitors last year.  It was great to see the passion Yukon Dan had for Panning.  It his desire to keep the tradition of gold panning alive by teaching even the youngest children to pan. 

The weekend started with some training in the tradition of panning for gold by the professionals.  Following this we all had our own competitions to compete in.  Unfortunately no winners in our family, but that’s OK.  It was all about the fun.  We all did manage to find some gold flakes in our pans, which was the point of it all anyways.

Cayden also did manage to learn how to pan for gold with the help of a professional gold panner. Of course he had more fun chasing other children with sticks, playing of the swings and bike riding through the campground.

The week-end started out rainy, but it did turn beautiful and sunny. So a trip to the Fraser River also became part of the agenda.  I really wasn’t planning to swim but the decision was out of my control once Ivan managed to give me a shove right into the river.  Thanks IVAN!! 

The whole camping trip was alot of fun.  We hope to give it another try next year.  You can visit Yukon Dan’s website for information on his third annual gold panning competition planned for the last weekend in August of 2010.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

August Fave Five #4

Hang Out Tuesday

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This past August weather was the best that I remember in years.  I only remember sunny days and perfect temperatures.  The thing that makes the best lazy summer day is to “hang-out.”

Cayden and I term Tuesdays our very own “hang-out” day. Its the extra day I take off of work almost every week to enjoy being at home with  Cayden.  It’s often filled with errands, but almost always has something extra fun involved as well.

On this particular day, we had some extra guests to “hang-out” with.  Cayden’s cousins, Jessica and JJ.  I made no plans to run errands on this particular day.  The only plans I made were to have fun in the sun. I even managed to get in a few pages reading a good book on the back deck while listening to the kids laugh and yell and sometimes even fight.  (Thankfully not too much of the fighting). 

It was a very good day.  One I wish I could repeat.  We’ll just have to make an attempt at replicating the day in the near future.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

August Fave Five # 3

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We were enjoying an overnight stay at Camperland this past August with Cayden’s Nana. We happened to choose the weekend where they host a yearly event of “Trick Or Treating” in August.  

It was a last minute decision to participate, therefore it was also a  last minute search for a ‘get-up’ for Cayden.  Prior to seeing all the other children dressed up, I suggested that he go dressed up as ‘Cayden.’  He was OK with this.  I quickly changed my mind when the other children started on their way through the campground.  Every child (all 250) were fully dressed up.

So, off we were scrounging the closets for an outfit for Cayden.  And did we ever get a good one.  Zorro the second was created.  Of course Cayden has no Idea who Zorro it but there is no doubt that the adults did.  The recognition by all the adults as they said “Hi Zorro” to him every time he stopped at their campsite was enough pleasure for him.

We typically don’t participate in the tradition of Trick Or Treating October 31st, but did find this event a lot of fun.  There were prizes for the best dressed as well as the best decorated campsite.  My mother-in-law made it to third place for all her efforts at the campsite and Cayden made it in the top eight for best dressed boys.

I actually don’t know who had more fun; Cayden, my mother-in-law or myself.   I’ve already marked our calender for camping at Camperland the same week-end next year.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Fave Five # 2

My second favorite of August has to be the wonderful trip to Vancouver to watch the live musical of "Annie" at the Theatre Under The Stars. Theatre Under the Stars is an outdoor venue that performs in Malkin Bowl in the heart of Stanley Park. Every summer they alternate two different performances on alternating nights. I highly recommend everyone to try to make it out to one show next summer. (Sorry, you missed out for this summer).

It was the perfect night and I had the perfect company for such a fabulous night out. Arenda and I first enjoyed a great Salmon dinner at Montana's and then headed out of the Lower Mainland and travelled to the far side of Vancouver, to Stanley Park.

I don't think I've ever made it to an event with so much time to spare. It was wonderful. We were able to admire the fabulous gardens in Stanley Park. You know the saying, "Smell the roses." Well, smell we did and with great pleasure. I think I'm going to have to make a habit of being early. It was a great change of pace.

The story, "Annie" took place in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. It tells the outrageously funny story of a spunky redheaded orphan who escaped an orphanage searching for her parents but is sadly caught and returned. Her luck changes, as Billionaire Oliver Warbucks invited Annie to his house for Christmas and the two hit it off and Annie wins his heart. Of course there is the happy ending with Daddy Warbucks adopting adorable Annie and her dog Sandy.

One of my favorite parts of the musical is hearing the song "Tomorrow." It reminds me of how great it is to face situations of life with optimism. The following are the lyrics of the song.
The sun'll come out Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow 'Til there's none
When I'm stuck a day That's gray,
And lonely, I just stick out my chin
And Grin, And Say, Oh!
The sun'll come outTomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'Til tomorrow

Come what may Tomorrow!
Tomorrow!I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always A day A way!

Some pictures of the great garden displays in Stanley Park. I can only dream of one day having some beautiful displays like this in my own backyard.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August Fave Five

Wow! Where have I been this past month? It feels like I have been writing my blog daily, but when looking at my blog, I see nothing. Appears to me that I have writing blogs in my mind, but not at my computer.

I've decided to catch up on the highlights of the last month by posting my Favorite Five memories of the Month of August. To start with, my favorite memory is our annual family trek to N'kmip, Osooyoos.

As far as I can remember, over 27 years, our family has been packing up our camping gear and heading for Hot and Sunny Osooyoos. We are very fortunate to have been able to claim some of the best real estate, right on the water, for two weeks every summer at the very same campground through all these years.

These two weeks are always the very best of every summer. OK, only one week for me. But I have promised myself that no matter what, it's going to be two weeks for me as well next year. Everyone is laughing at me because apparently I've been saying this for the past four years. But I really mean it this time. Seriously, I mean it.

The time passes too quickly every year. It is time filled with board games in the evenings, boating, sun-bathing, swimming, desert walks, reading on the beach and so many other fun and relaxing activities.

Is is not without drama, squabbles, laughter, teasing and frustrations that we get through this wonderful trip as a growing family. We are far from a perfect family. But we are a family that continues to bond by spending time together on this trip every year. Good thing we now book three sites side by side. At least we can move 100 feet away from the crown if we need some space. LOL.

It has been great to continue this tradition with Cayden. He has been building his own memories of what camping in Osooyoos means to him, and they are not unlike my own as a child. I hope that we are blessed to be able to continue this trip with all my siblings, parents, nieces and nephews and Children for many more years.

Cayden looks like he is engrossed in a story, but he is really just checking out the children on the rope swing at the next site over. He is an undercover child watcher here.
No baby's to push today, so lucky for Cayden Tara was quite happy to go for a ride.

Playing Dutch Blitz at the waters edge. No better place than this.

Dad gets a free spa treatment courtesy of Jaelyn and Jessica. Yuck!

Jeremy, Cayden and Jaelyn head out for a daily tube ride. Faster, Faster!

Till' tomorrow when I will share my second Fave of August, 2009.