Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday

I'm a happy, busy mommy these days...this post is more than a month late!

Happy 3rd Birthday

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Updates on the Moose is Loose

We've added a couple of posts over at The Moose is Looose...check it out here

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Peforming Arts

We put up a new post over at the Moose is Loose

The Performing Arts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Saturday, December 31, 2011


We're trying to catch up! There are some updates over at our other blog...come for a visit if you haven't already!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Moose is Loose

I know...I's been too long!

Most importantly, what we want you to know is that we are all doing great! We are enjoying life as a family. Mommy and Daddy are tired...very tired. Nicolas is adjusting really well. We have a cuddly, loving, happy little boy and we are so very greatful for that.

We started this blog as a diary of sorts to track our journey to our Little that he's here, we are changing our blog to "The Moose is Loose". It's not completely up to date, but we're working on it...So head on over and check it out.

but before you do...we did do one entry about the first days of our trip and the last night before we met Nicolas.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We're loving life right now!
We have a beautiful happy baby and we are so totally in love!
We'll write more soon....for now...we're enjoying every minute...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The first days....and the last night

This is it...the last night before we meet our son...we're jet lagged and tired...but mostly we're excitded! When we think about meeting you, we are overcome with emotions. We have been waiting for this moment for such a long time and now that it's here, and we have only six hours between now and when we meet him, it seems a little surreal. My stomach has been doing bellyflops for days now with the excited anticipation of what our future now holds with Nicolas in our lives. It is three o'clock in the morning and I've slept for about 5 hours...and now, I'm awake! I tried reading, I tried going back to sleep, but i am anxious and excited (not a good combination for someone who doesn't usually get more than 5 hours sleep a night anyways). I figure I'll catch up on some writing and maybe that will help me to fall back asleep! Monday September 5th - Wednesday September 7th We wake really early (to be honest I think I slept for only an hour and a half). I packed and repacked our bags and finished getting ready for the trip and then went to bed around 3:30, but our alarm went off at 5. I had my shower and got dressed. Eric's mom picked us up around 5:30. I drove to the airport in the rain. We arrived around 6 o'clock at the airport and we said a quick goodbye to Eric's mom and headed into the airport. We checked in (realized we weren't sitting together on the plane)...went through security (where Eric's pocket knife was confiscated (i had forgotten to check a side pocket in the bag (and I feel a little dumb)...we head to the gate and ask to have our seats changed...we had to wait a bit but eventually they were changed. The plane is small...and full!! The flight was uneventful, we both managed to sleep some on the flight. Once in Vancouver, we bum around the airport a little, eat and then decide that we're going to head downtown via the skytrain. We walked around downtown...but I was more tired than I thought and I wasn't a very good tourist...we ended up going to a bookstore where I fell asleep in one of the comfy chairs intended for coffee patrons. We head back to the airport, eat again and then go up to the observation deck to watch the sun set. We head over to the ticket counter early (we want to make sure we get seats together) Turns out our luggage was mis-tagged in Montreal - it was only going to Manila where as we were headed for Cebu...the very nice ticket counter guy worked really hard to make sure that our bags were re-tagged and that they would arrive in Cebu at the same time as us. We boarded the plane which thankfully wasn't full so we were able to have a little extra room. I took a pill to help me sleep and i ended up sleeping for about 10 hours of the 13 hour flight. Eric wasn't quite so lucky...he slept, but not as much as i did. We arrived in Manila, changed planes and then an hour later arrived in Cebu. At the Cebu airport, we were happy to see a person holding a sign with our names on it telling us where we should go to get our luggage. I was thrilled! Our luggage made it!! We took a taxi from the airpor to our hotel (about 30 minutes away). Driving here is not for the faint of heart...there are tons of cars/jeepneys and scooters all competing to see who can go faster. When we arrived at the hotel, our car was checked by two security guards and a sniffer dog.! Our bags were once again scanned/x-ray-ed and then we were able to check into our room early which was great! We showered and settled in and then we headed over to the Ayala mall...the mall is huge! Unbelievably huge. We shopped for the better part of the day (to price some things that we'd like to buy for Nicolas, and to pass the time!) We didn't buy much, I got a haircut which cost me a little more than $5 (for a wash, cut and set!) We were really tired, so we headed back to the hotel to pass some time before our dinner reservations at 6. We then went for dinner at the hotel (it was good, but expensive) By the time we were done dinner, we were pretty tired, so we came up to our room. Eric fell asleep right away...I didn't. I prepared the gifts that we brought with us (packaged them in gift bags and such) and the more I was thinking about this being the last night before Nicolas, the more I started to stress. Thank goodness for of my friends was on facebook and so I chatted with him for a while and then one of my aunts came on and I asked her to call my I was able to chat with my mom...I had a good cry while doing so (the stress is getting to me) Then I was really tired from all the crying so I was able to fall asleep (around 9:30pm). I woke up at 2:30 in the morning feeling wide awake and excited and anxious about is THE day the one we've been waiting for for so long...the one we've prayed for and thought would never happen...and it the doorstep...a few more hours is all that separates us from our son! I'm going to head back to bed for a bit to see if i can't fall asleep...the time will pass faster if I'm sleeping I think!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We're leaving....on a (jet) plane!

We found out yesterday that Nicolas is ready for us...all of the paperwork is complete! We can travel...we're still waiting confirmation on the date that we'll be meeting Nicolas, but since we're planning on being in the country for 2 weeks, we have plenty of we booked our flight! We're leaving on Monday! We're so excited! We can't believe that this day has finally come...I can't stop shaking! to pack and get organized!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nicolas' Room

We're putting the finishing touches on Nicolas' room. We are really happy with how it all came together. It's a peaceful, happy place...we'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Eric drew the trees on the wall and I painted them.
There are also cute little bugs hanging out on the walls too...bees and ladybugs and dragonflies.
He also drew and painted the owl :)
The red moose on the wall is from can hang things from the antlers and the legs.
We have curtains...they're missing here though.

The alphabet cards were the first purchase we made for our Little One!
This whole wall is one big closet.
I wish I could do something about the mirrors (I really dislike them...but for now they're here to stay)

The newest addition to our little Moose family...handmade with love by Gram-Gram.
Lapu-Lapu is a smaller version of the original Moose (Ferdinand) we used for our announcement book.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Little.People Plane

I was out shopping one day, and I saw the Little.People plane. I actually have two vintage fisher.price toy planes and I just love them.

I knew I had to buy it when I looked inside and there were only three seats in the plane!

Now I just need to find some Little.People who look like us!

The perfect stroller for us!

Before leaving for our NYC mini vacation, we were doing some research about strollers.

We knew the stroller we wanted - it has an adjustable handle (especially handy for both Eric-6'2" and I-5'2"). We are able to adjust the handle so that we can each comfortably push the stroller. In Canada, the stroller is only sold as part of a package which includes the infant car seat, it seemed futile to buy the stroller in Canada, considering Nicolas is 2 and we won't use the infant car seat. We discovered that in the US we could buy just the stroller (for $200 less than the cost of buying it at home!).

We stopped in at a store in New Jersey just before taking the ferry into NYC. We reserved it and picked it up on our way home.

We love it and can't wait to take Nicolas for a walk!

We do have a question though...where do you store the stroller when it's not in use? the garage? the trunk? it's too big (or our house is too small) to store it inside.

Monday, August 8, 2011


We have a list...actually we have many, many lists...there are so many things to think about and to do that we need multiple lists to help us to keep it all together.

Nicolas' room is ready, I have to finish his quilt, and if we find a light fixture that we like, then we'll change that, but other than that, his room is waiting for him! The playroom is almost ready too...we have one final detail to paint and a little more organizing to do to the bookshelves, but it is mostly ready for him.

We are doing well while we wait...time is passing really quickly! Our summer has been packed full of activities and home reno projects. The home reno lists are getting shorter...we may not be able to finish all the projects before Nicolas comes home, but we're doing our best.

We are now just waiting for the call from the agency that will tell us that we can travel...we're expecting that we'll get the call sometime this month!!! I still can't believe that we'll be meeting our son soon!

We've also been trying to plan for our's hard to plan when you are missing some key information. We're researching the main areas that we'll be visiting and we're trying to do as much planning as we can. We're preparing to be ready for anything.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Medical done!

We found out on Friday that Nicolas travelled from Cebu to Manila and had his Medical on Wednesday July 13th! His passport is now being processed, next up will be his visa, and then...we travel!! We're meeting with Quebec.Immigration tomorrow morning... After all the time we've waited, we now feel things are moving at the speed of light (we're NOT complaining though)!

We have some posts that we've been working on...but haven't had a chance to post them yet. We've been working on crossing items off of our GIANT to do list...things are getting done, but it seems like every time we cross something off the list, we think of three things to add to it! We're eating this elephant one bite at a time!

We'll write more as soon as we can!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Moose is Loose!

After leaving the agency, we looked at each other and thought "now what?" Who do we tell and when? We had already decided on how we were going to tell everyone, we just needed to get everyone together. We called Rachelle, who was supposed to be working, but she picked up the phone!! She had called in sick. Then we called Eric's parents and invited them over for coffee and dessert. We called Daniel and he picked up the phone even though he was in a movie theatre watching a movie!? Then Eric called my brother, and made arrangements for him and his family to come by for coffee and dessert (even though it was their 11th wedding anniversary). Then we went home to try to tidy up the house and finalize the details. On the way home, we stopped by Wal.mart to scan Nicolas' photo, we made one copy for each family member. We planned to insert the picture into the announcement book.
The Announcement - The Moose is Loose
My mom crochets...and when I was little, she made me a stuffed bear (which I still have) I found a pattern online and asked her to make a stuffed moose for our Little One. We named the moose Ferdinand.
About a year and a half ago, we had planned how we would announce that our Little One would be joining our family. We decided that our Little One's fuzzy friend Ferdinand the Moose (made especially for him by his Gram-Gram) would go on a hunt, searching for his purpose in life. We took a bunch of silly photos of Ferdinand looking for his purpose and at the end of the story, he finally realizes that his true purpose is to be a hugable, loveable, furry friend to you...Our Little One...inside the back cover of the book we pasted an envelope and included a photo of Nicolas inside. We had the books pre-printed (we've had them for about 18 months!).

My mom got home from work at 6 and we told her that there were some people coming over to watch the hockey game. I had to go and get some groceries, so she came with me (this is all pretty standard as far as activities go around our place on a weekend, so she was none the wiser!). We went for groceries, came home and started to set out the food. People started arriving, and I started to get more and more anxious. I felt like everyone could tell just by looking at me! We were waiting until everyone was a really difficult half hour or so to fill up with random conversation about the weather, my garden...anything but the adoption!

Once everyone had arrived, Eric called everyone to attention saying that June 10, 2011 marks the one year anniversary of the day we lost our beloved Hobbes (which was true...and it threw everyone off the adoption mindset). He continued, saying that we had a book prepared to comemorate the event (at this point all of our family was thinking that we had invited them to a memorial service for our dog!). Everyone read the story of Ferdinand's adventures to try to find his purpose...and when my mom read the last line of the book...she screamed! "Taaaaammmmmyyyyy"! She didn't even notice that there was a picture in the book! She just came and hugged me, and we cried! Then Rachelle hugged me...and I thought she was going to crush my ribs! My brother gave me a huge bear hug that lasted forever and Eric's mom cried too and hugged me tight! Everyone was hugging and crying and saying that they knew it all along! It was an amazing moment that will not soon be forgotten by any of us!


We got the long awaited call today (June 10, 2011)...we waited for exactly thirty-one and a half months.

As you know, we had been struggling with our emotions lately. We were afraid we'd be waiting until the end of the year before getting the call. There had been five referrals in the weeks leading up to June 10, and the wait was getting more and more difficult with each call.

I woke up around 9 that morning, and as usual checked my emails on my black.berry. That morning one of my fellow adoptive moms had written a post on Face.Book saying that she wished that her fellow adoptive moms (all of whom have been waiting for more than 30 months) would get the call today. I must admit that my heart lept a little at seeing that post, but I thought of course it's not going to happen today...I wrote back that I too wished that we would all get our calls really soon, and I ended my comment with "Ring telephone Ring!" I got up and decided to go and do some work in the garage, some messy, noisy sanding work. I decided to leave my phone in the house, because I was sure that it wasn't going to ring anyway, and I was tired of carrying it around for nothing. I was out in the garage for a few hours (can you imagine the dust from sanding for 3 hours!). I got to a point in my project where nothing was going right and I was getting more and more frustrated so I decided to come inside to see if I could get a better perspective on the project. When I went into my room, I saw that my phone was flashing, so I checked the display and there were 3 missed calls, from an unknown local number. The thing is if the call was from our resource person, her number is long distance from our house. I checked the messages and was surprised that there was a message from her. She said that she had a question for me, and that I should try to call back before 5 because she was going away for the weekend. I honestly thought that she was calling to ask us to update our file or something. I could not allow myself to think that this may be THE call. I came out of my room to get a pen and paper just as Eric (who was working from home that day) came out of the playroom/makeshift home office. I didn't want him to get his hopes up, so I went to our room to make the call...dialing the number as I went. He said that there had been some missed calls, that he couldn't get to because he was on conference calls with work, I said yeah, I'm returning one now...he asked who I was calling, just then, the line picked up, and I asked to speak to Marie*, His face kind of dropped, and I mouthed to him, it's not about that! When Marie came on the line, she said hi and asked how I was doing, I said fine and you? She said she was doing well and enjoying the's a beautiful day isn't it? (At this point, I was getting frustrated and thinking just get to the point, tell me what update I need to do, or whatever it is that you're calling to tell me). Then she asked me the question that she had called to ask...She asked me "Do you think today is a good day to become a mother?" I burst into tears! I heard Eric breathe for the first time since I had said that I was calling Marie. I somehow managed to put the phone on speaker and we listened as Marie told us that we had a son named Nicolas!

She told us that we have a son, named Nicolas! He is almost 2 years old (his birthday is July 2, 2009). He is living in Cebu with a foster family who he has been with for the past 2 years. She then asked if we would be able to go to pick up our proposal at the agency before 4pm. We said yes, of course! We hung up the phone, and hugged and cried. We then got ready and headed over to the agency.

When we got to the agency we were given an envelope with all of Nicolas' information, we read his file and saw his beautiful face for the first time! I think his is the most beautiful picture I have ever seen.

We left the agency and thought to what?! How and when do we tell our family and friends? (I'm still working on that post...)

We are so thrilled to be Nicolas' parents...we can't wait to meet him...these days life is a blur, we both feel like we're walking on the clouds, or through a dense very very happy fog!
*Marie (not her real name)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Nicolas!

Nicolas turns 2 today...

...and our hearts are torn because we're not with him to celebrate, and yet, we know that he's coming home soon (and we're so very happy about that!!). We are grateful to know that he is loved and he has a foster family that is taking good care of him, we just want to be with him.

We've been torn all week deciding if we should do something to celebrate Nicolas' birthday. We feel we should do something, but we don't know what we should do. We've thought about not celebrating and that doesn't feel quite right either. We've decided to do a couple of things to keep us busy and to celebrate Nicolas. We're going to bake a special birthday cake, and we've bought him a couple of birthday presents. I have also hung some balloons up in his room (which will be a surprise for Eric too!). I read about a birthday tradition where parents hang up balloons in the child's room while they sleep so that in the morning the first thing they see is balloons. An extra special way to start their extra special day.

Nicolas, we wish that we could be with you...we love you and can't wait for us to all be together. Love you lots and lots...mama and daddy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's a...

BOY !!!!!

Renee was right! June is an awesome month!

Finally! After a very, very, very long wait (exactly 31 and a half months), we are very proud to announce that we have a son!! Nicolas!

He is currently living in Cebu, Philippines with his foster family...weighing in at 11 kilos and 76cm and he can leap tall buildings (we're sure!). He was born on July 2, 2009 (so he's almost 2!)

We can't wait to meet him!

Thank you everyone for your kind words and your will never know how much it meant to me to have the support of friends (in person and online).

I'll blog more about the actual proposal soon...for now though we're thrilled and we have some paperwork to take care's to speedy travels!

Tammy and Eric

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

31 Months

I've been trying to begin this blog entry for a week and a half, and to be honest, I'm having a really hard time...I've re-wrote this sentence about ten (or more) times.

We have been keeping busy as usual, we've finished the entrance/staircase.
We built a section of fence that was missing, and built some gates to completly fence in the yard, so now the puppies have a fenced in yard that they can run and play in.

There have been three proposals in Quebec in the last month. While we are happy to hear that there is progress, each proposal brings with it a small sense of disappointment that it wasn't our turn yet. We are struggling with the lack of an end date to this wait. At the beginning of the wait we set our sights on the 24 month mark and hoped for a call sooner than we don't know when the wait will end...will it be 32 months...or will it be 36 months...or gulp...will it be even longer than that!?

Sorry for the tone...there's just not that much to say about the wait these days...we're sick and tired of waiting. I'll be back next month...hopefully with a lighter tone and a better attitude.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Months

For the past little while, we've been trying to go out on dates more often. We think that it's a good habit to get into before our Little One comes along. Since our vacation to Newfoundland last summer, we've been trying to find a good restaurant that serves fish and chips as good as we had there. We decided to try an Irish pub next to our favorite bookstore and we were pretty successful... the fish still wasn't as good as in Newfoundland, but it was a decent second.

A family tradition that we do every spring, is going to the Cabane a sucre. This year, we went a little later in the spring, so there wasn't really any snow left on the ground, but it was a beautiful sunny and warm day and it was a nice way to spend the day with the family.
This is Britney looking in the sap bucket and declaring "it's just water"

Also in the spring, Eric's mom goes to visit her parents for about six weeks, they live in Abbotsford, BC. Before she left, we all got together for a brunch at our house. I love hosting brunch... yummy crepes... maple syrup, omelet and bacon.

Eric's sister had some time off, so we decided to go and visit a friend of ours who lives in New Hampshire (NH). I had a crazy thought one evening that we should drive to New York City while we were in NH (I should mention that I really didn't realize how far NH was from NYC). Rachelle has always loved Nate Berkus... and so I wrote to the show and asked for tickets. Lo and behold they gave us tickets to the show... we did go to visit our friend in NH, but only for one night, then we headed to NYC... and NATE!
We stayed in NYC for two nights and three days. The first day, we drove straight to the Hotel/Hostel that we were staying at, dropped off our things and headed over to NATE. It was a little surreal for both of us to be at the taping, even though we were kind of disappointed with where they sat us (as far away and high up as possible). At the taping, NATE told us that we were all going home with a BBQ. We were sure that they would be giving us a gift card, or certificate or something, but as we were leaving the show, we were given a garbage bag that held a small charcoal BBQ. We had a long trek back to the Hotel/Hostel in the rain with our BBQs. We then headed to Times Square - if you've never been to Times Square at is something that truly must be experienced - the lights + the ads + the people = sensory overload! The next day, we had planned a full day of shopping - we walked for more than 12 hours...oh my aching feet. We finished off the day with a delicious dinner at one of New York's best Indian restaurants. The third and final day, we went shopping again at Chelsea Market and then we headed over to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Eric and I have been talking about visiting NYC for the past few years, and this year, we've decided to go to NYC for our summer vacation...well actually, for a few days during our summer vacation. We both researched NYC hotels and Eric found one for us for the end of June. We'll be going for three nights and four days. I love that NYC is so big that you can visit more than once and each trip can be an entirely different experience.
Over the Easter weekend, we hosted another brunch for Eric's family for easter, and my mom hosted easter dinner for us and my brother's family. Oh...the chocolate...I made these cute little eggs...delicious!
We've been watching the hockey playoffs...and sadly tonight, our team is out (they lost to Renee's team).

As far as the wait goes, for now, it's going well, we've accepted that the call will come when the call will come, and so we are trying to be patient and keep busy while we if only the phone would ring!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

29 Months

March was a crazy busy month... Tammy watched over Eric's young cousins Lea and Justine during March break at the cottage aunt Lise rented in the Laurentians - skating and sledding fun was had.

Eric's grandmaman was released from the hospital after falling (again). So we moved her to a new floor in the seniors home with the services she needs. We all got togther and we managed to move her in and have everything settled in one day.

We've been doing a little decorating around the house, putting things up on the walls and hanging new curtains.

We live about 5 minutes from the St-Lawrence river and we discovered a park called Recreoparc which we went to for the first time last weekend - we walked with the puppies, it was a neat discovery - a natural oasis in midst of suburbia.

This weekend was in a sense, the final culmination of Play it Forward Kids for 2010... Tammy and her brother Tim planned out a day for two really special kids who's guardians wrote in to explain their special situations. Both kids shared a dream, they wanted to see the Montreal Canadiens play and their favorite player is Carey Price (the goalie). So it was decided we'd work on both their dreams. The first boy had a mild case of autism and was under the full time care of his grandparents (lets call him Jeffy). The second boy (Billy) lives in a group home and had been abandoned by his parents and then lived through a failed placement in a foster family. With what could be gleaned from the letters it seemed a sure thing that Jeffy had the harder luck in life, but Billy really broke both Tammy and Tim's heart. He had a really good social worker accompany him but he just would have no connection with adults. As the day went on the social worker explained as opportunity allowed just how Billy's issues with attachement affected him - he is unable to trust adults. Billy without the degree of "physical" issues still had way more behavioral problems than Jeffy did. The day itself went really well - Billy and Jeffy got along really well (Billy was saying at the end of the night Jeffy was his new best friend, and he didn't want to leave). We had a Lincoln Navigator Limosine pick up the boys and drive them to the Bell Centre, we toured around the area, ate lunch at a restaurant, the boys were then treated to a tour of the Bell Centre and the Hall of Fame, and then the hightlight of the day...great seats @ the Bell Centre for the hockey game and a ride on the Zamboni! The Canadiens had a bad game, but the rest of the day was tons of fun... The day ended with a drive home in the Limosine. Here's a link to my FB photo album.

Tammy, leading up to (and through the first half of the day) was pretty stressed - but most everything worked out well. We over-planned and then were able to cut back some things to tailor the day for the boys. We'll never forget these two little ones.

We've now completed 29 months of waiting...we really, really hope that our turn is coming soon. We're doing ok, we're keeping busy, but we're really ready to start on the next phase...the wait continues...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What someone wants you to know...

I've been reading Kristen's blog "Rage against the minivan" for awhile now. She has a series entitled "What I want you to know" where readers are invited to submit a blog entry about topics that are important to them. Reading the series has been both inspiring and challenging. This one entry in particular speaks about how some people's questions and comments can be insensitive (especially when the questions or comments are in front of adopted children).

What I want you to know - adoption and assumptions

p.s. don't forget to read through the comments...they're just as interesting as the entry itself!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

28 Months

I can honestly say that this month flew by, I guess it's because we've had some pretty busy weeks and weekends.

We've been working on one of the last areas of our house, the hallway/side entrance and stairs. I have a hard time choosing paint colors and since we pass through this area many times a day, I was very nervous. We finally settled on a taupe (Studio Taupe by Behr) - and I couldn't be happier with it! While we were at it, we decided to redo the newel posts and handrails, tons of fun. It was challenging and isn't quite done yet, but it's looking good. I thought I'd share some before and after shots of the hall, I apologize for the poor quality of the shots... it's really hard to take a good picture in the hall because of the light coming in from the big window.

These are two before shots... I had actually started to prime the door frames - they were the same color as the door.

Here are the after shots, we painted all the doors and trim white, and the light fixtures, and door hinges. We're still working on the stairs.

At the end of the month, we celebrated Rachelle's birthday we had an Oscar themed party - minus the tuxedos and dresses.

The pre/post adoption support group started up again (after the Christmas Break) and we watched the documentary on young Quebeckers who were adopted internationally called "Terre d'accueil... 30 ans plus tard" we had already seen it but it was interesting to get other peoples reactions to it. If your high-school french is up to snuff we highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

27 Months (...a little late)

This month has not been that great for me, I came down with a cold on New Year's Day and couldn't leave the house until the 12th of January. It wasn't anything too serious, just a cold but it really wiped me out! I haven't really been feeling great all month... here's hoping that next month will be better!

While I was sick, I started working on a quilt. Eric's grand-maman was a quilter, and she gave me a ton of fabric, some of which she had pre-cut into 2.5" squares. I decided to do a patchwork quilt with every other square white. It is really difficult for me to do any sort of random pattern. I like things to be organized. So, under the influence of cold medication and stuffy sinuses, I began my patchwork quilt. Eric joked that I needed to finish the quilt before the medication wore off... I haven't finished the quilt yet, to be honest, I kind of got stalled on it... but I only have a little left, so I'll have to get sewing next week.

Last weekend I drove to Ottawa to visit friends. We had a great time... we did a lot of shopping at thrift stores and were pleasantly surprised at all the loot we found!

This week, marks one year since we moved into our house. I thought it was about time that we finish painting - every single thing in the house had to be painted. We finished painting the hall/side entry. I'm so excited, it now looks like it belongs in our house now. The only rooms left to paint are the Little One's room, and the Attic (my sewing room).

I finally printed out our pictures from our summer vacation to Newfoundland, and I put them all in albums... yes I did say albums with real pinted photos; it took two of them. I loved that vacation so much... I loved Newfoundland, it was a wonderful vacation. I would love to do a scrapbook type of thing to highlight some of our trip... maybe someday.

Adoption-wise, it's been a bit of a tough month for me. I have come to grips with the fact that the wait will be longer than expected, and I'm not liking it. It makes me angry, and scared and I'm tired of waiting for our "family life" to begin. I know that there is nothing that I can do except wait, and so we're waiting and we're trying to make the best of it, but it isn't fun... I was talking with a friend today about the adoption process and the timelines and was saying how our bodies are programmed to wait for 9 months for a baby... today (27 months) would mean that we just completed our third pregnancy and yet... we are still waiting for our little one to arrive.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Playroom - Mural - How-to

We first saw the idea of the mural on the Pottery Barn Kids website (the image is no longer available on the PB site).

We painted all the walls in the room, and let them dry for a few days before proceeding to paint the mural.

We found a map online that we wanted to use, and photocopied it onto an acetate (Eric campaigned for an upside down map - the answer was no). We did decide to use a pacific centric map so that the Philippines would be in the middle of the room.

We borrowed a projector from our friends, outlined the image from the acetate using chalk, then painted right over the chalk outline with a small craft paintbrush.

We saw this image on design dazzle, and we love the compass on the ceiling and want to incorporate it into our room too. We have the acetate, all that's left to do is paint it.

As much as we like how the mural turned out, if we were starting the room over again, there is one thing that we'd do differently. We had toyed with the idea of painting the wall with chalkboard paint, but I was too nervous that the color would be too dark (and then I'd want to paint over the expensive chalkboard paint), If we were to begin the room again, I would paint the wall with chalkboard paint, and paint the mural on the chalkboard. That way, you could draw all over the wall and erase all your drawings, but not erase the map outline.

I'll leave you with one more picture of the mural.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Playroom - in progress

The playroom is a small bedroom just off of the livingroom in our home. We feel that having a play space just off of our living space will be ideal for our Little One.

We've toyed with all kinds of ideas and colors for the playroom. We wanted something that was gender neutral, but bright and playful. We finally decided on a bright blue, a dark purple wall with a mural, and red accents. The room isn't quite finished yet, but I thought I'd share what we've done so far.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

26 Months - Maligayang Pasko

Maligayang Pasko! Merry Christmas to you!

December was like a whirlwind! We had an early Winter storm, which meant that we most definitly had a White Christmas! Mom and I began our Christmas baking early in the month because we knew the month would be busy. We made a bunch of different cookies and we froze the batter for baking later.

We spent a week in early December helping Rachelle to paint and prepare for her move to her first home!

After a month and a half, we finally got the go-ahead to "finish" mom's kitchen. We were waiting for a specialist to come and inspect the house after we had the flood in October. After his report, we were able to finally finish the kitchen (just in time for Christmas!!) We still have some finishing touches to do, but the kitchen is functional - which came in pretty handy for Christmas dinner.

Here are the before and after shots:

Mom and I spent the week before Christmas baking, decorating and shopping. All the preparations made for a week with not much sleep, but that helped me not to focus on the obvious - that we were celebrating yet another Christmas without our Little One.

On Christmas eve, we went to visit my grandmother and then we went to church for the annual Christmas eve candlelight service. It was a beautiful service, however I cried through most of it. For the past two years we thought that we would at the very least have our proposal for our Little One by now. We understand that we just have to wait, but the wait is long and it is not always easy, and on days like Christmas, it is even more difficult.

Following the Christmas eve service we had some of our family and friends over for a buffet dinner. We had fun...there was far too much food! It was nice to be surrounded by those we love. After everyone left, and a visit from the "pyjama man" we changed into our pj's and finished wrapping our presents.

Christmas morning was celebrated with my brother and his family. We loaded up the car with all the gifts and headed over. This year, we both moved, and we now live only a five minute drive from each other - it was nice to be able to spend more time with family and less time in the car! After the delicious brunch we opened all the gifts, then we were able to spend some time with the kids playing with their gifts. Eric's family came over in the late afternoon, and we enjoyed a yummy dinner even though the turkey took forever to cook and dinner was served a little later than expected.

Boxing day, we went to our church's annual family skate where I tried out my new skates...I love, love, love them! For the first time since I was a kid, my feet didn't hurt while skating! We then came home and spent the rest of the day in our
pj's in front of the fireplace.

26 months and counting...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

25 Months and 1000 days

We celebrated our 25th month of waiting for our Little One in the USA. On Thursday (American Thanksgiving), we drove to Wrentham,MA with some of our close friends. After the 6 hour drive, we arrived at 10:30pm at the Wrentham Outlets, there was a major traffic jam on the highway to get to the outlets, and the stores didn't even open until midnight! We shopped all night, and after a hearty breakfast at Cracker.Barrel (I LOVE Cracker.Barrel), we headed to our hotel for some much needed sleep. We slept until noon and then headed out to do more shopping. We found some amazing deals and some new treasures (like my beautiful teal coach purse! 50% +50% +20% off) and an amazing deal on an espresso maker!

Earlier this month, we went out for dinner with another couple who is also adopting from the Philippines. We met at the CLSC courses we took in the spring and have decided to stay in touch. We went to a small filipino restaurant in Montreal. Before dinner, Eric and I walked around the neighborhood which has a few filipino shops and we had fun looking and buying some authentic filipino foods. We bought all the fixings to make Pancit and Pork Adobo. We made our homemade filipino dinner and we really enjoyed it! I particularly liked the pancit!

In our quest to finish working on the house, we decided to tackle the playroom. The room is a combination playroom and library (for all of Eric's books), he's pretty happy to finally have his books out of storage(it's only been 10 months since we moved in!). Our inspiration for the room came from this bedroom that we saw on the Pottery.Barn website.

After getting more bad news on the adoption front, we decided it was time to get another puppy...Introducing...OSCAR!

After losing Hobbes in the spring, we thought that since we were close to the end of our wait for a proposal we would wait before getting another puppy, but after all the bad news lately and the possibility that we may have to wait for another year before we get the call, we decided that we would get a puppy now. We've had Oscar for about three weeks, he's a cute little guy don't you think?

1000's been 1000 days since we started the adoption process...I'm really hoping that the end of the wait is near!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Down for the count?

We got word today from our agency that ICAB has officially extended our waiting time (at least for families in Quebec) to between 24 and 36 months.

We are so incredibly saddened by this news, we thought that 2010 would be the year we became a family and now it looks like it may be 2012.

We know we'll get through this...but right now we feel...well, we think we might know how Margarito felt...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11 years and an adoptive family conference

11 years ago today I married my friend! (I know its cheesy) We didn't know then what the future would hold, and even though we have had our share of trials along the way, there has been a lot of fun and happiness too...and I would do it all over again!

This morning, some of our extended family and friends participated in a pre-adoption conference. We were so thankful that so many of our family & friends were able to attend, it really means a lot to us! We have had only positive feedback. Many said that they learned something new, or that they saw things from a different perspective after the conference. It has increased everyone's excitement, for some it was a reality check...this is happening and it's happening soon!

It was also Eric's grandma's 85th birthday, so after the conference we went out for lunch with his family. We try to get together a few times a year to keep in was really nice to see everyone! Grandmaman was looking great, and she was happy to have all of the family together...especially little Jade!

Since we had such a busy day, we decided not to celebrate our anniversary today, so we had a few friends over, and I made homemade pita bread...the first batch didn't turned out too thick and tough (we'll use them for pita pizza's this week). The second batch turned out great! I think might be making pita on a regular basis.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pre/Post Adoption Support Group - Meeting #2

Tonight was the second pre/post adoption support group. We have been having a hard time dealing with the extended wait times, and tonight we shared some of what we were feeling. I found it particularly refreshing and was somewhat emotional to be in a room with a dozen other pre&post adoptive parents and a social worker... when I talked, I felt like they listened, and not just listened, but that they heard me... there was an empathy that comes from having lived through similar situations that touched me deeply. I went into the group feeling rather low (as I have been for most of this month) however, when I left, I felt somehow more uplifted. I will be forever grateful for the people in the group... they (and you, my friends) have encouraged me more than they could ever know.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

2 years ago today...

Two years ago today, we got the wonderful news that we were officially approved by ICAB (on October 27, 2008) to (one day) become parents of a Little One.

We both thought that today would have been a great day to get The Call...but it was not to be...and so we continue waiting for you, Little One!

Little One...we can't wait until the day when we can finally hold you in our arms!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

24 Months

We have reached the two year mark in our adoption journey...

We are happy to have two years behind us, knowing that we are that much closer to our Little One, however, we are sad, anxious and somewhat frustrated, we are now entering a different phase of our adoption journey... the unknown. We now have no idea how long it could take for us to receive our referral and the parameters that we once thought we had have been removed. As far as we know there haven't been any families who have passed 30 months. We are hopeful that we'll get the call soon-ish.

Here's a recap of the past month... I feel like I should warn you though, it's been a rough month...

The month started with the news from our agency that they project that it is likely that couples who are waiting to adopt will have to wait longer than the original 18-24 month wait time. This news sent me (Tammy) into a little bit of a tailspin... I was having trouble dealing with the news, I allowed myself to be sad for a couple of days.

The next setback came around the middle of the month. We've been having a pretty rainy fall... and on October 15 we had a particularly bad rain storm, we noticed that there was water in the house and after investigating we realized that we had a leak somewhere... the area of the house that was most effected by the leak... was mom's kitchen!! We had just finished laying the tile on the counter - all that was left was the backsplash and a couple of finishing touches. The cleaning company came in, and the insurance company came in and we're waiting for a building inspector to come and tell us where the water may be coming from. After the cleaning company came with their blowers to dry out the walls and the floors (we had 6 blowers and a dehumidifier going for 4 days and nights), they prepared a report for the insurance company - their recommendation is that we open the wall and the floor to find out how much water damage there was and to disinfect any wood that may have come into contact with the water. That means that the kitchen that I've been working on for 6 months...may need to be torn out and started over! The insurance will pay for the damage inside the house, but not the cost of repairing the foundation.

The third traumatic event of the month was our discovery that our heating wasn't working... we were able to have that fixed (for now) but we discovered that our bi-energy system is not working and it'll cost a pretty penny to replace the broken heat pump. Needless to say I could have done without all three of these events this month.

Not all was doom and gloom though this month, we went apple picking, which is always a fun fall family highlight. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner, Rachelle was home for Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in two years. We went shopping to buy some gear for our Little One. We helped with the Play it Forward Kids Champs game that pitted the winners of the Kingston tournament against the winners of Montreal. We got some cool media coverage from a local TV station (CTV) and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

While doing some blog reading today, I came across a post by one of my favorite "Mommy Bloggers" - The Meanest Mom - the post was entitled "we are where we are for a reason". I was encouraged by the fact that while it's no fun to be stuck where we don't want to be...we are where we are for a reason...and it was just what I needed to hear thanks Meanest Mom for reminding me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Baby (Little One) Carrier

Last weekend, we asked our niece if she would help us to try out a baby carrier for our Little One. We have been looking around for one that would allow us to carry around our Little One and since we don't know how big (or little) they will be when we get them, it's important to us that we get a carrier that will allow us to carry a child for as long as possible. Our niece is 4 years old, and although she's quite tall for her age, she doesn't weigh 40lbs yet. So we picked her up on Saturday morning and headed over to a great shop near us; FloUrbain. We knew that she may change her mind at any moment, but we hoped that that wouldn't be the case. We looked all around the boutique and let her touch and play with whatever she wanted to, so that she would feel comfortable. We had to wait a little while to try on the carrier; when it was our turn, Brit said "Auntie Tammy, I think I changed my mind". We decided to try the carrier on using the 15lb doll at the store. Afterwards, I convinced her to come to a corner of the store where we would be by ourselves (without the salesperson) and she agreed to jump into the was surprisingly easy to put on and carry her around in it....and she was able to tell me that it was comfortable. Then it was Uncle Rikki's turn to try the carriers both with the doll and with Britney.

We decided on the Ergo Baby carrier. It was an investment, but we plan to use it to promote attachment and to help us when we travel, so we thought the expense was worth it.

We also bought some "Little People" from Plan Toys...I loved playing with Little People when I was little, so when we saw these little people...we couldn't resist!

When we brought Britney home, we showed her mom how the carrier worked...Britney was so comfortable...she didn't want to get out...she snuggled in and rested for about 5 or 10 minutes with her head on my shoulder while I talked to her mom...this from a little munchkin who can't sit still for a minute!

Britney...Thanks so much cutie for helping Auntie Tammy and Uncle means a lot to us that you helped us with this special purchase! We can't wait to see you playing with your new little cousin!

Still waiting...

We received an email from our agency on October 1, 2010 about the possibility of our wait time passing the projected 18-24 months. Although there has been no official word from ICAB, our agency has quite a few families who have passed the 24 month mark, or who are about to do so (like us). They informed us that we should be prepared to wait for another 6 months or so!

It was really hard to hear, and we had a hard time digesting the news, we thought that our wait was almost over... We took the time to grieve, and to digest the news. We're still hopeful that we'll get the call soon...but we're also starting to wrap our minds around the fact that we may not be parents for another year. It is difficult, but we know that there is a reason for everything.

23 months...three weeks...three days...and counting...

Monday, September 27, 2010

23 Months

This month has been really busy...between canning, working on mom's kitchen, a birthday or two and voila... here we are at month 23.

At the end of August my friend and I drove out to a tomato farm. We bought 6 bushels of tomatoes (thats about 360 pounds of tomatoes!). We also bought all the other supplies we would need to make homemade salsa and spaghetti sauce. We spent the next three days canning. It was a lot of work, but it was so worth it in the end... we have yummy homemade sauce and salsa for the year! This was our second canning weekend, I think I forgot to mention that we canned beets one weekend in August.

We have been working on mom's kitchen, the cupboards are all installed. We decided to do a tile countertop and so we had to reinforce the cupboards to make sure that the weight of the counter would be supported. We ordered the tiles and the special moldings to finish up the tile... We've had a terrible time getting the supplies in. The company ordered the wrong kind of moldings not once, but twice! So once we get the moldings in, the kitchen will be done. I thought mom would have her kitchen for Thanksgiving, but, now I'm not so sure... we'll have to see!

This past weekend we went apple picking... well it rained so we picked one bag of apples and then we bought the rest (6 bushels of apples) to make apple sauce, apple butter and to can apple pie filling. Yum! I bought a shelf to hold all of the canning that we've done this year...I've done canning in the past, but never this much before! It's fun... especially when you have lots of helpers!

We were invited to an information session given by our adoption agency. The session was animated by a nurse, she shared information about the kinds of health issues you may encounter when you adopt. At the session we met Patricia face to face! I used to work with Patricia's brother and we both started the adoption process at the same time, however we've never met before... we read each other's blogs and have encouraged each other along the way, but it was nice to finally meet Patricia and her hubby Yan.

Oh and there were birthdays...

Eric's mom's birthday was at the beginning of the month... we went out for dinner to a lovely french restaurant...Auberge Handfield it's a family favorite! Rachelle came home from Belgium on the 8th of September...MSF sent her for epidemiology training (the study of epidemics). This will be her last trip for a little while, she starts work at the Jewish General Hospital at the end of the month.

I celebrated my 36th birthday this month... I spent the day with my friend and then came home to a lovely party planned by my hubby... there was good food and wine and lots of friends and family... it was wonderful!

For the past year we have volunteered at our church leading the youth group. It has been a wonderful experience. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to be a part of the teens' lives. However, with our upcoming adoption, we felt that we needed to step down and focus on things at home for now. It was a difficult decision, but we know that it was the right one for our family for right now.

So, here we are with 23 months completed...I must say that the 24 months is quickly approaching and there hasn't been a proposal since July. We have heard that our agency is annoucing that the delays are lining up to 30 months. Hearing the news that the wait is going to be officially extended has been difficult for us. We knew that it was possible, but you always hope that it won't happen. So, we're preparing ourselves to wait a little longer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

22 Months

At the beginning of the month, there was the official end of summer vacations around here, mom was off of work for the first week of August, we went down to Burlington for a day, we went to bleu lavende, on a mother/daughter day with rachelle and ruthie...we ate at the ripplecove was lovely. Then, just when I thought that things were going to slow down a little...I had forgotten a small detail about the month of august...

My brother has been organizing a ball hockey tournament called Play it Forward Kids for the past 8 years. The proceeds of the tournament go to help underpriviliged kids get some sports equipment so that they can participate in sports that they otherwise would not be able to. It's a lot of work and every year he gives so much of himself to this tournament...and he loves it! Just to watch his face on the day of the tournament...and even more so on the day when the kids get to come and choose their sports equipment. Every year the tournament grows, and this year, it expanded to include 2 cities, Montreal and Kingston. The two tournaments were on back to back weekends in August. Both events were great successes...way to go, little brother! My "area of expertise" is registration (which I normally loathe) however, this year we brought technology to the park and registration was a breeze with the help of my laptop!!

With the help of my friend, we began working on the walls of the new kitchen at my moms. The room was used by the previous owners as a classroom for homeschooling, and there was a chalkboard on one wall and a corkboard on the other...the chalkboard needed to be covered with smooth out all the millions of holes the previous owner put in the wall with a nail gun to put on the border of the chalkboard...I can assure you that you could have hung off the molding around the chalkboard and the wall would have fallen before the molding would have given way...there were so many nails! Repairing the corkboard wall was worse...they glued the corkboard to the wall and when we removed the cork, the glue stayed on the we had to scrape it off, and in the process damaged the wall underneath. So for the kitchen, I would say that for one whole week, it was plaster, plaster, and more plaster...and finally, the next week, paint! It is finally ready for the cabinets!!

We are still discussing the playroom...I think it won't be official until the paint is purchased!

Even with all the keeping busy the wait is getting to us...we don't want it to, we're trying to be patient, but I think we both never really thought that we would be waiting for this long...we both thought that we would have had our proposal by now. I realized recently that it is highly unlikely that we'll have our Little One home for Christmas this year and that was a sad, sad day. We know that it is all out of our control, and we know that we need to be patient and that God's timing is perfect. However, in those quiet moments when I'm alone, and the longing in my heart makes it hard to just feels like the waiting will never end.