Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A day at the park



We had a fabulous sunny day yesterday, and took advantage of it at a nearby park, which we call "the train park" because a fairly busy pair of train tracks run very close to the park, and every visit we get to watch 3 or 4 trains pass by. Matthew is in seventh heaven while we are there! Here is Ayden on the jungle gym.




Of course, on our way there Matthew konked out in the stroller, so he slept through the first twenty minutes or so. Then I woke him up so he wouldn't miss out on all the fun, and it took him five or ten minutes on the swing to wake up enough to want to play. Just as I let him down to run off and burn some energy, Ayden pipes up "Mommy, I peed" in a very forlorn voice, and I look over and yes, he has peed all over his shorts, socks, and shoes, and by this point he is so well toilet trained that I never bring spare outfits anymore. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do. Did I mention that it was only a few degrees above freezing? Oh yes, don't let the sun fool you, it was frigid. (don't let the shorts fool you either--Ayden picks out his own clothes and pays no regard for the weather, and hates wearing his jacket so in the photos he's hopping around in short sleeves and shorts, but do not be fooled).



This photo is post-pee. I stripped him of everything on the bottoms, put Matthew's spare diaper on him, popped him in the stroller and put his jacket over his goose bumpy legs. Voila! Oh, and I put his hat on his head for good measure. Matthew was happy to walk home, as this next photo attests. Hooray for moms with quick and creative problem solving! I just had to laugh.

Mini Fest

This evening we had a mini nerdfest--for those who don't know, a group of our friends who live scattered from continent to continent and we have dubbed ourselves "the nerds" and get togethers "nerdfests"--we had Gary and Louise and Kai, and Torie and Sam and Bennett over for dinner. It was great! Low key, spaghetti and salad, and an awesome dessert a la Louise. True to form, I didn't help cook at all, and as a result the food was fabulous. Our group is expanding--what used to be six guys is now 12 adults and 7 children, though tonight the mini fest was just six adults and four children. Enough to fill our kitchen table, that's for sure! Our next house needs a dining room! I included some photos; the one of Matthew and the babies is hilarious because he's crying because I just barked at him to "sit down and smile!" which had predictable results! Very funny! We also have some photos of the babies and one of us at the dinner table (I took the photo, for those of you who wonder why I'm mysteriously absent). Yay! We actually had dinner guests, and made supper, and visited, and it was awesome. We should do this more often! We missed the nerds who were absent--thinking of you!!





Sunday, February 25, 2007

Woah there!


In my defense, I did not know that Brent had posted this scary picture of himself! I would like to point out the fact that Matthew's Big Day got ONE comment and Brent's ugly photo got SEVEN....where are our priorities, people???!!? I need new friends.
;p
We had a great week this week! Brent had his laser eye surgery done ten days ago, and has been home recovering all week, so we had some fun daddy times. That is also why he was able to grow the scary handlebar facial hair! Brent should have surgery more often; he cleaned behind the fridge, behind the stove, inside the stove, in the garage, repaired the baseboards in the livingroom, installed shelves in the downstairs closet, and did several loads of laundry. And looked after the kids several times while I went out or went to work (and complained about being tired and irritated, especially of Matthew's grunts and Ayden's spazzes...he thinks we're even-steven now, but I think that the quantity is slightly off balance here)! This has been great. And a minor blessing since our daycare provider had to book off last week because she was in the hospital with pneumonia :(
Back to the grind tomorrow though, for both of us!
We also had my mom visiting for the weekend so we got to sleep in both days--hooray for moms!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sexiest Man Alive!!!!




For the sixth straight year my husband has been named the sexiest man alive! I am sooooooo lucky!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yucky day

Today was just one of those days...you know, where you wake up and you hate everyone around you? >:[
Where is that 'easy' button when I have days like this??

Friday, February 9, 2007

Extra Special Day





We have great news! For those of you who are not aware, bringing Matthew home from Thailand was not the final step in our adoption of him. After returning to Canada, we were required to be followed by a social worker for six months, and then apply for finalization of our adoption with the Thai government. Last week we recieved a phone call from the Royal Thai Consulate in Vancouver, and we made an appointment to sign the final papers yesterday. So yesterday we got dressed up, drove to Vancouver, and signed the forms to legalize us as a forever family. Hooray! We had pasta with meatballs, and then went to Dairy Queen to celebrate. Now we can immediately apply for citizenship for Matthew, and also apply to legally change his name. His current legal name is Thanawuth Luangpotha, and his adopted name (is) will be Matthew Thanawuth Smith Vose. This meeting was a milestone for us as a family, both legally and emotionally, because we have come a long way as a family in the past 13 months...we moved from strangers who liked the idea of each other, to a family really in love with each other. The adjustment to a second child was difficult for all of us, and of course Matthew had to adjust most of all, giving up everything he ever knew to fly around the world to join a family he had barely met! So we've come a long way, and wouldn't turn back for anything. Here are some pictures from our celebration!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Aha!

I figured out why Matthew doesn't come into our room when he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning! It's because our room is dark. This idea occurred to me a few days ago, so I tried turning on a night light in our room and leaving our door open. Ta Daaa! That very night he came into our room, crawled into bed with us, and promptly fell back asleep again. Problem solved! Hooray! Plus some cuddle time. Awesome!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Meth, etc.

I would just like to comment about methamphetamine, a street drug I see people high on all the time at work. Likely some of my comments will apply to other drugs, too. You know, it is amazing to me the vast diversity of people out there, personalities ranging from quiet and unassuming, to vibrant and noisy; cheerful people, angry people, passive aggressive people; hurting people, boisterous people, joyful people, confused people...it makes me smile. There are several theories of personality out there, and the one I think rings most true is that we are born with innate temperaments, and are further shaped by our life experiences. This makes us incredibly diverse, yet not so diverse that we can't understand each other if we give it a good effort and listen well. This is divine design, I think, because then we have people who fill all kinds of roles in life, and we have those who teach, those who farm, those in medicine, those who fix broken stuff, etc.
For those people who feel lost, or depressed, or forgotten, or broken somehow beyond repair, or bored, or neglected, or whatever it is that drives them to get high, and who decide to try Meth (which, by the way, is made from drain cleaner and cold medicine and a few other household items cooked up in a grimy bunsen burner lab), something happens to that diversity. The meth addicts start to look the same. They have wild, glassy eyes, and pink sores on their faces and torsos. They are pale, with dark rings around their eyes, and brittle hair, and their movements are exaggerated. The meth addicts start to act the same, also. They are aggressive, paranoid, irrational, and they become dishonest and untrustworthy because of their overwhelming desire to get high, and get high, and get high.
I wish I could show my kids this stuff. Don't get high, don't get high, don't get high.
Those of us who work with meth addicts get so that we can spot them without talking to them, because they are so similar to each other.
Another characteristic that is lost in them is empathy. Most of us feel at least marginally responsible for those around us, including our neighbours, the kids in the school down the street, and our family members. But those in the meth business lose this (though you could look at other examples in history and blame this loss on greed because of the money involved), which is how you have meth labs in homes next to daycares and schools, meth addicts who are pregnant but can't stop getting high, and meth labs in the backseat of cars, travelling around manufacturing and selling meth in mobile units. I have heard of three incidents in the past six months where paramedics I know attended car accidents where one of the vehicles involved had a meth lab in its back seat. In one incident in particular, my friend was in the backseat of an SUV attempting to extricate a man from the tangled up mess, and realized after 15 minutes or so that the funny smell in the vehicle happened to be the chemicals in the backseat, which were now leaking. She was sick for days, in hospital and on quarantine because she was contaminated with meth lab crap. It is one thing to load your body with drano and cold medicine, and another thing to load your paramedic, firefighter, neighbour, or child with it.
How does this happen? What is wrong and can it be fixed? Are we truly affluent as a society when this still happens?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Early Riser

So this morning Matthew decided to get up for the day at 3:30 a.m. And again at 4:00. And again at 6:30. And again at 7:00. Luckily, I was at work so I didn't have to get up with him (just for a diabetic and a pepper spray incident). What are we going to do!! Little Matthew, little banana dude, what are we going to do with him. I think that as a parent I have never really had much of a problem getting up at night, per se. There have been the odd times when it was getting to be too much for me, but over all it has not been a major goal of mine to get my kids to sleep through the night. I kind of see it as the type of goal that raises unattainable expectations. It's nice when they sleep. It's expected that they will get up.
That said; getting up to be comforted or breastfed and then go back to sleep is one thing. Getting up at 3:30 to wake your older brother and go downstairs to play is another! Part of me is worried because sometimes we don't hear Matthew get up and go downstairs to play, so we don't know he's down there unsupervised. Sure, our house is relatively childproof, but what if he gets past it somehow and gets into the bathroom and drowns in the toilet? Or starts eating food from the garbage? Or electrocutes himself with an outlet? Or strangles himself somehow? We have childproof locks on our garbage, covers on our outlets, have reduced the strangulation dangers, and taught him bathroom safety, but these things are not guarantees. Even WITH supervision we have had sock flushing incidents and climbing onto tables/couches/the cat condo and falling...
I have been considering a gate at the top of our stairs, which would reduce the possibility of him getting downstairs to play in the middle of the night, though we have dangers up here, too. We don't want to lock him into his bedroom, in case there was some kind of emergency and he needed to get out, plus we like to encourage independent behaviour like door opening, and we encourage our kids to seek us out if they need comforting, and feel that locking him in his bedroom would counteract those goals. I think it's kind of weird that Matthew doesn't automatically come look for his parents when he wakes up, but we all have our weirdnesses.