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Monday, November 25, 2013

A Lovely White Christmas


I've been busy lately working on stockings for Christmas. This year, our children are only getting stockings because we are heading up to Mt. Washington to ski, snow board, tube, build endless igloos, sled and make each other cry with snow ball fights over the Christmas holidays with another family. The beauty of this trip - we won't have the internet. It's board games and one on one interaction with each other. It will remind me (us) of camping. I am however feeling semi-nervous with our novice skier and snow boarders. I am extremely worried about my oldest child, (my husband) trying to conquer the mountain on a snowboard after bailing two summers ago on a bmx with minimal recovery. Luckily in a few weeks I'm heading up to the mountain for a refresher first aid weekend - therefore any injuries will be addressed, and if not by me - by one of my fellow mountain first aiders. "We will be in good hands" Although I can not vouch for the recovery period......Ok, so no more negativity here - we are going to have a blast. Sleepless nights, a few bruises and nothing a band aid and some eggnog won't fix! Christmas 2013 will be memorable nonetheless. Besides getting ready to leave in less then a month, there is our annual Christmas Party on Dec 14th - please RSVP me for details. I'm also trying to make my yearly deadline of Christmas cards and packages for Dec 1! I am feeling a tad bit anxious as my deadlines need to be accomplished. (A part of who I am) - Punctual. Not to mention a Christmas birth family celebration, plus adding all the packing for our large family to leave for our Christmas holidays.....the grocery configurations. Preparation and organization is "me" and so far every day is passing us by quicker then I can blink. You're probably questioning why on earth would I take 18 plus of us up to the mountain over the holidays? Well.....last year we stayed home, we had the traditional materialized Christmas. My husband dealt with the garbage, taking toys out of the boxes, adding batteries and helped build and understand different products we purchased while I was in the kitchen. A normal Christmas. A few days later there was lost and broken toys. There was complaints with no appreciation with what they received. A couple of our children wanted to take back their gifts to the store. Exchange - ching - ching. I was disappointed. Honestly I try...... I don't want our family to be materialistic at all but I do struggle wanting our children feeling the magic of Christmas. I felt no magic last year. It was an enlightenment for me (again) and for this year I promised it was going to be different. I explained to our children that we're going to the mountain to ski and snowboard...... and how wonderful on Christmas day to experience this, it will be! To be together with no internet, no struggling with broken toys and no day in the kitchen. It's going to be a white Christmas. We will get our complaints, BUT years from now - I know for a fact they will remember this 2013 Christmas together and not the toy they never really wanted that broke two days later. Our children will still receive presents within their stockings, we will have a game called pass the present and I am continuing our tradition of new pajamas on Christmas Eve. This year it will be more magical because not only will it be a white Christmas - it will be spent with people we love - even if we have a incident or three. Not everyone can say, "We spent our Christmas skiing and shared a chalet with 26 plus awesome people!" Busy time of year = equals love for one another. That's what Christmas is about.........."Love"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pay It Foward

Buy some one's coffee, hold the elevator door, give a stranger a compliment - go ahead, make some one's day!

Join the Vancouver Island, "Pay it forward" group I developed a month ago on facebook!!/groups/574063112643633/

Home made baby foods

Cream of vegetable potato. This home made soup I made was excellent. I boiled potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower with bay leaves, basil and salt n pepper. I mashed and blended then I added buttermilk and cheese. It was a tasty soup. Seen below (in the ice cube trays) I froze for homemade baby food. For dinner I added more shredded cheese and croutons on top. It was delicious! Food and nutrition around here is completely important. This soup I made strictly to hide all the vegetables inside. It also has a high fat content, purposely for some of our children that are on a high fat and protein diet. Around here I cook absolutely everything and I'm continuing to learn new recipes and ideas. I made a steak stew the other night, pureed it into more baby food and my grand daughter loved it! I am remembering when my babies were young and I made homemade baby foods. They're the best and everyone enjoys hearty creamy foods!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cutest Teen 2013 - "warning"

There is this site, actually several sites started on facebook called Cutest Teens 2013. As young as ten years old are posting pictures of themselves hoping to add facebook friends and "likes" These sites are completely out of control. The "children" are posting naked pictures of themselves. The hate fans are going nuts commenting. Apparently some sites have been shut down although many still exist and continue to be made. These sites not only consist of child pornography, bullying, threats, these sites are mentioning suicides. It's completely disgusting which brought my attention to write about it in hopes someone out there if not in via facebook land, some authorities step up and monitor what's going on with facebook and this new disrespectful trend. I'm going to provide one link, so you know exactly what I'm talking about. You have to be a member of facebook to see, but something has to be done. I know it's not my children, my children aren't allowed facebook except the older young adults. I trust and I would hope not to see their naked bodies all over the internet. I just can't believe these young people are posting themselves for absolutely everyone to see - even their parents. It's  such a risk to their physical and mental health and I can't believe they disrespect themselves and others in this way while no authorities step in. I know the pedophiles don't have to leave their houses anymore. I'm enlightening everyone because if you're a parent, you need to know what's circulating the internet and hopefully it's not your child!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hospital smiles

Since Sunday night our littlest daughter has been ill. By Thursday after no food or liquid intake we had a hospital visit. We didn't want to spend the day and possible evening in the emergency room, nor did our Pediatrician. The Pediatric unit was full. Our Pediatrician is absolutely amazing. She called us three times plus texted me on her day off and arranged for us to be seen in the Pediatric unit. A doctor that truly cares and has compassion for her patients and families. In the twenty four years of raising children, I have never met a doctor like our Pediatrician! Our day at the hospital was interesting. Our daughter started to perk up, and then our doctor checked in her ears. Then there was broccoli!
Of course the broccoli wasn't the cause of her illness although it was amusing enough. I explained to the doctor that all her body holes are used sometimes for storage. Broccoli is one of our daughters favorite foods! So there was a little piece of broccoli lodged inside her ear. They tried taking it out with tweezers and our daughter was not going to tolerate it. So I basically explained we have the cure at home. A vacuum cleaner. My husband makes a straw attachment at the end of the vacuum hose and it works perfectly. For rocks up noses. To clean belly buttons and to suck out broccoli from the ears! The doctors including the student doctor laughed and admitted we should patten it! After being discharged my daughter and I traveled through the hospital halls to get where my van was parked. An elderly man and his daughter were sitting off to the side, enjoying the sun coming in from the window.  He was fragile, in his nineties sitting in a wheelchair. My daughter was calling out to him while we were passing. I parked my daughter (also in a wheelchair) next to this elderly fellow and we said, "Hello" I was explaining to my daughter that he was in a wheelchair too. My daughter kept pointing to herself yelling out her name. That's how she introduces herself. The elderly fellow that could barely talk or move lifted out his hand onto my daughters lap. My daughter laid her hand on his. It's a moment I will never forget. The elderly mans daughter started to tear and said, "He hasn't smiled in days" and this man was smiling. My littlest daughter with her compromised immune system, very weak herself from keeping nothing down for four days was perky and interacting with someone who needed it. It was truly an amazing moment. Our littlest daughter is very special. She has this light about her that captures every eye. Maybe herself is a personal healer - just her energy, her simplistic innocent nature brings out the best in people. She definitely made a difference today during her own hospital visit, she brought out hospital smiles and even with the broccoli in her ears! I still and will always believe things happen for a reason. Our daughter falling ill is never pleasant but for this hospital visit was not only a positive one, it will forever touch my heart.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To be or not to be

Over the weekend we decided to give our children a choice. To either stay home with Dad or to come with me. They weren't given an explanation on where I was going or onto what I was doing. I solely left it up to our children to decide to either spend the day with their mother, or stay home with their father and their decisions was not going to pend on what I was doing. Surprisingly I had seven of my children accompany me on an unknown adventure. What they didn't realize, I didn't know what I was doing either! I packed a lunch, and off we went - destination unknown. I enjoy venturing without knowing just never know where you'll end up! We ended up at the Birds of Prey in Duncan. It was great because we've never been there before!

The next day my husband switched roles and he ended up taking our children to the public swimming pool. During that swim, a over-sized woman was wheeled into the pool. From there she started to bathe herself. I don't go to the public pools anymore after one of our children developed a foot fungus. The day after swimming our littlest daughter fell ill. I don't know if was from the pool or not.....what I do know that there is too many coincidences, and too many first hand eye opening events that stop us from returning. (Body fluids mainly, not even mentioning the largest organ of our bodies floating around) Needless to say, we're on our third day with flu like symptoms including vomiting. This might be weird to say, but I hope it's the flu and nothing compromising our daughter. So it could be a vomit bath around here - it will be a lingering seeming like forever pandemic! Speaking of the flu.....all of us had our flu shots. I know there is contradictory evidence proving that the shot doesn't prevent all strains and now I more likely does not. So today was spent cleaning vomit. Bedding, couch cushions, the floor, clothing, the the hair, you name it, it was there! AND hopefully this isn't the beginning! I did manage however to bake, and continue with homeschooling. Unfortunately I made chili for dinner.... I pray for dinner to stay down! What I know for sure is.......we need to build our own pool. (lol) Our weekend was was educating and eventful. Our littlest daughter who is sick, she had a blast swimming. Now we just have to figure out where to swim that isn't so susceptible of sicknesses. For now.....we'll continue to conquer the possible pandemic that has hit our home. We will continue our spontaneous adventures not allowing our children to know until we get there because it just goes to show who wants to do what and that's not what the adventure is about. Sometimes the adventure is not knowing at all - even for me. "It's to be or not to be"

Friday, November 8, 2013

Healthy openness is gift enough for me

I've been planning Christmas. One of our celebrations is spending time with one of our sets of siblings birth parents. Twice a year we get together celebrating Christmas and our children's birthdays. Years and years ago I wasn't keen on openness. In fact we don't have openness with any other birth parents except these ones for multiple reasons. Mainly protection and health related issues.  I just got off the phone with a birth parent discussing our Christmas plans. What's nice is, they're a part of our family now. While we talked, we giggled and not only discussed the children that are related between us, we discussed the rest of our family. The rest of their siblings. We're bonding as a big family related to each other through adoption. Twice a year we unite. I will admit it wasn't easy. Establishing who we are, who they are and creating boundaries was and is difficult. I as the legal adoptive mother have and will always keep making decisions accordingly in regards to the well being of our children. Adoption isn't just adopting a child. It's adopting a package of loss, not only the child lost their birth family, the birth family lost their child. Regardless of the reasons, it's still a loss. As exciting as adoption is for everyone, it's a dedication into a complex package of forming several different types of openness, it's developing the understanding and having compassion for their culture (their bands) into your families lifestyle. For us, adoption has brought us absolutely everything. Most importantly it brought us more love to adapt into our lives. For this sibling group, they didn't loose their birth parents to addiction or abuse. They needed an adoptive family because their birth parents are special needs. For us it's an atmosphere we're getting used too.....when we all get together, it's supervising more children but regardless of their cognitive abilities, one thing is evident - they love their children just as much as we do. Very challenging sometimes but very honouring to know through adoption, through openness - we're all together. We didn't adopt to be selfish. We wanted to adopt to grow our family, to dedicate ourselves raising children that needed and wanted a family. In the beginning I never thought I would meet birth we have seven plus birth family members interconnected with us in one form or another. While on the phone today planning our annual Christmas celebration with their birth mother, we both agreed on something. Time is passing by so quickly, and our children are growing up. It made me tear because as much as I know time is passing by quickly, their birth mother waits for time to pass to celebrate with her children. We all have a story......we all have circumstances that have landed us where we are today. We all are human, we love, and we hurt just as much as the other. I can't imagine waiting for a holiday to see my children. In this scenario it's good, we have agreements that we follow, boundaries that must exist and everyone knows their roles and that's why routine, even for openness is important to follow.  Funny, from their birth grandmother I've been told to relax on what I do for our celebrations.....I responded, "I can't. We want to do what we do, and I'm just so grateful to have adopted such special children from a special family such as you" Adoption didn't just change our children's lives, it has changed everything and every ones lives that we are close too. Whether accepted or not - what I know for sure is that we're surrounded with more people that care for children that I've ever seen before and that's adoption. That's openness. That's our life. If you're considering adoption, or in the process and want more information - I have lots of our own experiences and thoughts towards adoption. Just keep in mind as much as adoption can be exciting - every year after placement there's new challenges, and enlightenment's. You need to be open and prepared for anything - most importantly keeping in mind, you might be the legal parent - but birth parents love too. Too conclude, I'm looking forward to our family Christmas celebration and just witnessing the love for our children is gift enough for me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dec 14th Adoption Christmas Party!

Our annual Christmas party is back on this year. December 14th at the Nanoose Hall starting at 4pm. It's a potluck dinner, please bring something to share and a present per child with their name on it for Santa's bag. Santa is making a "surprise" appearance!  There will be activities, dancing and door prizes. Please RSVP me for details and if you're attending! All adoptive, pre-adoptive and supportive families are welcome.

See you there!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hung with love

Having a family portrait might be a minimal need to some, for me - it's looking up and seeing my family ALL together everyday, makes me feel proud & sentimental inside. A day everyday starting off right with love in my heart!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Boundary control round 101

This is a topic I've written on before. It's an ongoing battle within our society. I'm not going to isolate our family as targets because we're large, or we're an adoptive family or "otherwise known as a overly limited foster home." This happens to any family that doesn't participate in financially related almost expected purchases such as pizza days, bake sales, book sales and continuous fund raisers within the public school system. If we do not purchase, other parents feel sorry for our children. Which then the alarm bells go off. We must be financially struggling or......? The developed opinions circulate which creates parents purchasing the pizza, the baked goods, and giving money to our children. Every year I'm not impressed. I will explain why. The reason why we don't routinely purchase food, baked goods and books from our public school is not because we're inconsiderate, or not supportive, it's because I bake, we have pizza once a week, I make great large lunches daily. I also believe in routines. Routine works really well for our children. If we started purchasing, we would have to purchase every time. What we choose to do, is purchase on special occasions. We don't start anything unless we believe it's necessary to continue and add it into our life. Our children have poor impulse and boundary control. Now....I know most parents don't understand although even if I had only one child with no issues whatsoever and I didn't purchase food from the school......should that be a problem? I wouldn't even blink an eye at another parent not purchasing food when a lunch is prepared. I'm writing about this again because it's not about any assumptions, opinions and rumors that circulate. I could care less. It's about boundaries. As a parent of special needs.....I have children that have poor boundaries themselves, poor impulse control and not to mention some physical health related issues like over indulgence with food. I spend my time baking, preparing their lunches as needed accordingly. Then I find out they're given pizza, other parents are giving them money for the bake sales.......I's so sad that our "foster children" are deprived. A familiar story I've heard. I get irritated. I purposely buy decals stating that they're our children - ADOPT placed on our van. I spend most of my days in the kitchen preparing meals, lunches and baking. I'm not going to amp up everything I do - but I breathe 24/7 for my children. I understand. Our life is different, every family is different, everyone lives differently. What I don't understand is why parents with children don't understand boundaries? You don't give other children money and food. How can people not understand this!? OK - there is a teary eyed little boy wanting pizza. BUT - he just ate a huge lunch and what if he's lactose intolerant? What IF the parents at home are working so hard in teaching boundary control because this little boy will go to anyone asking for more food!? He will sit in your lap not knowing you? He's teary not because he's hungry - he's teary because he's just not getting pizza - more food - that his parents strictly said, "You have a lunch and you ate pizza last night" Maybe this is a little boy with BIG elaborated stories. Who knows what the scenario is - I question where is the boundaries from individuals that should know better in the first place? Not to mention, this isn't teaching our children to respect their own parents wishes. Now besides pizza and baked goods, there is the monthly scholastic book sales. Awesome books and we have millions. I have my own school room. Our children have everything. I do not feel the need to purchase all the time. I don't believe I should be questioned in their planners that come home about purchasing. I feel half the time that our children are pressured within the school system to purchase, they come home programmed and ready to buy when realistically it's not needed. Commercialism absolutely everywhere. We could at least keep it out of our schools. So once again a rant on what I feel a disrespect for our parenting choices, a complete boundary crossing and issues that we are left dealing with and explaining onto why we do or don't purchase for our children. Regardless of any situation - if you're concerned - ask first. I have no problem enlightening anyone onto why my children didn't get pizza, or participate in the bake sale this week! I also will not feel pressured into purchasing because other parents think I should. I've never been nor will I ever be society lead and I raise my children accordingly to their needs. My wish, either mind your own business or address your concerns BUT don't give other parents children money or food without consulting their parents first. It's a huge huge no no on many levels. And if you're really interested - I have no problem having anyone over for dinner, and I guarantee it won't be pizza.