Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pretty as a picture

Today was school picture day for Gaelle, so you know what last night was for mom and Gaelle. It was hair night. I like to do hair on the weekends so we don't have to rush, but we made an exception for pictures. Anyway, Gaelle chose her outfit and we chose purple beads to match and away we went. And doesn't she look super cute?

Ok. Time for a Gaelle story.

Robin, Peter, Gaelle and I were out walking. We passed a dog that was struggling against his leash to make contact with us. Gaelle was holding my hand and kind of keeping her distance so I said, "Oh, I think that dog just wants to just lick you."

So Gaelle said, "Does he like chocolate?"

I said, "I like chocolate."

Gaelle said, "Do you want to eat me?"

So I proceeded to pretend to eat her up.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reading on the bus

After a wonderful summer at home, I went back to work last month. I'm working in downtown Halifax with no parking benefits so I've been taking the bus again. I really don't mind it. It gives me the chance to read. And with all the warm weather, I've had fun sitting outside during lunch and eating my lunch and reading a book.

So, what have I read lately? None of them have been duds.

I had read so many rave reviews about The Help by Kathryn Stockett, so I was anxious to finally read this. I loved it. It was easy to read but also heart breaking and thought provoking. It's easy for me to look back at the culture portrayed in the book as racist and bigoted. But would I have the courage and backbone to go against my upbringing and face complete rejection from my family and friends in order to do the right thing?

Sarah's Key was a complete surprise. I just picked it up cold from the library. This is such a compelling story. I found myself tearing up several times because the story is just so tragic. Loved, loved, loved it.

This was mentioned on an adoption blog but I'm sorry that I can't remember which one. Usually I have to read books that are not very heavy on the bus. My attention span isn't that great with all of the distractions and noises, so I did end up skimming portions of this book. Probably the biggest idea I gleaned from this book is the idea that kids with trauma in their past are developmentally all over the place. They may have abilities in some areas that are far ahead of their peers, but then are so far behind developmentally in other areas. Not rocket science but one of the biggest challenges I face... allowing for those areas where the kids lag behind.

This last book was actually the first book I read when I went back to work. This was one my mom left behind for me and it really opened my eyes to a part of the world and a time period that I am woefully ignorant of. I was not aware of the conflict between Korea and Japan and the extent Japan went to to subdue the Korean people. A fascinating story.

Who was Mr. Uniacke?

We're still not sure but we had a nice time at the Uniacke Estate Museum on Sunday. We went just to get out of the house and have a little hike with the kids.

It turns out the kids got to try some old fashioned toys which they enjoyed. The pciture isn't very good, but believe me, Gaelle is playing with an old fashioned toy.

And here's Peter flying a kite. A pro.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Look at all the buttons

When we were trying to figure out a present for Gaelle for her birthday, we actually had a hard time. We knew it needed buttons. And when Josh suggested a laptop, we knew we had a winner. Unlike most parents, we didn't choose this for the educational value. No, it's all about the buttons.

And she is loving it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

T-shirts are here

The first shipment of t-shirts are here. Please visit Future for Five and consider supporting these beautiful children. Just a small investment from us can make a huge difference in their lives. T-shirts can be purchased online or you can send a message directly to Emily to arrange payment and pickup.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Girl

Gaelle has been talking about her birthday for months. And the big day finally came. We weren't sure what to expect from her but she did great and handled the day just fine. The biggest thing was blowing out her candles. She was thrilled to have her very own cake and to be the only one to blow out the candles.

She started the day with a big hug from daddy.

My parents called and sang her "Happy Birthday". Can you tell it brought her lots of joy.

We kept the party low key. She only had 2 guests and her brother, but she just loved it all. We played some games with the kids.

We even talked her big sisters into participating with the 3 legged race. It was so cute.

The only thing she asked for was a piano, which we eventually realized was a pinata. We realized at the last moment that this pinata has ribbons to pull and isn't supposed to be bashed. So we still have the pink pony. Ahhh.... good times.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Peter has spent lots of time this summer outside rollerblading; sometimes with a hockey stick and sometimes just skating around. He and a neighborhood boy could be seen out there almost every day no matter how hot it was. We finally got around to getting him on camera. I just can't believe how well he is doing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Corn maze

Today we took off for a trip through a corn maze. The Noggins Corner Farm was just 45 minutes away and it was a beautiful day. The farm was great and the maze was well done. We picked up our flag just in case we needed to be found. But Robin had the trusty map and he has a great sense of direction.

It was supposed to take us 45 minutes, but with Robin as our guide, we found the exit in only 30 minutes.

The farm had some great activities for young kids. What's not to like about climbing old tractor tires?

And water. We love sending those rubber ducks down the water troughs.

The rope maze actually had us all bit confused. The kids just ducked under the ropes, but when we tried to make it through the maze and not cheat, it was tough.

We bought corn on the cob and enjoyed it right there. Yum. So good. It's late in the season, but it was so good, I bought some for supper. All in all, a great day.

Control vs. Trust

This picture was taken Sunday morning. Our little girl had a terrible day. From the moment she woke up, she was fighting for control... of EVERYTHING... and EVERYBODY. So she and I stayed home from church. She looks so peaceful here, but her day was anything but peaceful.

We are trying to reach Peter and Gaelle with one powerful message, "You can trust us to keep you safe and take care of you." Children from hard places have developed strong survival techniques and it is hard for them to trust anybody but themselves.

On Sunday, Gaelle's behavior was yelling to us, "I need to be in control." She was anxious about something and we aren't sure what. It could be school. It could have been Hurrican Earl from the day before. It could have been a result of all the transitions and changes from the weeks before. We don't know. She can't tell us. She just doesn't know how to tell us what is bothering her.

And so we did everything we could to send her the message that she can trust us. We told her. We stopped her demanding controlling beahvior. We stayed home. We read. We played. We snuggled. We were quiet. She spent time in the "think it over chair".

And at the end of the day, Robin and I listened to a seminar by the attachment expert Dr. Karyn Purvis. She has the most soothing voice and I needed it. It helped. So we continue. We continue to try and reach the hearts of our precious children.

Primary & Grade 4

Here we are. The first day of school. To be quite honest, I was not sure we would be sending Gaelle to school in September. I just could not see her coping with the demands of a classroom. And we're still very concerned for her. But we'll take it day by day and try to do what's best for her.

We wrote a letter to Gaelle and Peter's teacher before school started listing some of the concerns we have for each of them. We listed their strengths and their weaknesses. We wrote about the anxiety and fears they each have and how that sometimes translates into their behavior. Both teachers seemed to appreciate the information and hopefully that knowledge will help us all meet their needs this year.

Peter was an old pro. We had such a great summer, even though he loves school, it was a little difficult for him to return to the class. But I know once he gets in the swing of the routine, he'll be fine.

This picture pretty much sums up the day for Gaelle. She was so brave and she wanted to go to school so much, but she was terrified. She couldn't even smile for the camera. But she had a good first 2 days. Compared to the kids crying and running away, she was a dream student. Robin was able to stay with her for the first morning and he listened in to the class for periods of time without her knowledge. She seemed to handle it better than we expected. Not tired or cranky at the end of the day. Just a little demanding.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's here!!!!!

Emily has worked so hard to make this come together and it's here!!!! Please take a look and support these children by purchasing a t-shirt.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The girls

The other day I went to snap a picture of my adorable daughters sitting together on the couch, but the oldest 2 girls covered their faces. So Gaelle did the same.