Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just like riding a bike

There are parts of bringing Corbin home that I anticipated and pretty much all that I looked forward to, but there are moments that have surprised me in that they have been so bittersweet and twinged with memories I didn't expect. Way back when, Scott introduced me to mountain biking.  The deal was, if he would buy roller blades (something I did a lot of back in the day) I had to get a mountain bike (clearly Math wasn't my strong suit since he wasn't talking a $50 Walmart special with tassels from the handlebars).  I can still remember my first ride.  He was beaming ear to ear as we made our way up a LONG, MUDDY, SLIPPERY, half SNOW covered mountain trail... I couldn't ride the clipless pedals very well yet and spent a lot of time picking myself up from the puddles and cursing the sport (and him under my breath... just a bit).  But I'm not a quitter and I made it to the top.  I was looking forward to an easy cruise down (NOT) but what lay between me and the downhill (which I soon learned to love) was a section where you had to "hike your bike" (READ: hoist it up onto your shoulder so that you can climb with your free hand up a rock face to the summit).  Now although I'm no quitter, and I'm certainly not a "girlie girl" who waits prettily for a boy to lay his jacket down over the puddle (I'm far more likely to jump across and keep running)  BUT as I assessed the situation from my tired, muddy, soaking wet vantage point I simply announced that when he got to the top he was welcome to come back down and grab my bike.  He did, and he did it happily because as he told me later, he expected me to say I quit 45 minutes before that.  From there Scott and I traveled around mountain to mountain, place to place exploring the amazing sites and rides.  He proposed to me on one of those trips and it was the best day of my life (tied with the day I met Corbin).  We talked a lot about kids, families, bike trips, bike trailers, and the adventures we would have as a family.  Yesterday I realized just how long it has been since I've been on my bike.  I ventured into "our bike store" to realize how much things have changed.  It's 4x the size now and the bikes have such new technology mine seems like a dinosaur.  Standing there looking for the bike trailer section I started to feel a bit queasy and had to blink pretty hard to keep my stinging eyes from tearing up past the point of no return.  I managed to make the purchase and fumble through the installation process at home before I hiked my bike up from the basement.  I looked over the collection of bike paraphernalia down there and gently dusted off my road bike making a silent promise that I'd ride it again this summer too... I still wonder who will install the clips into my new shoes... I just don't know how - Scott always did the bike maintenance "stuff".  Later that night on my driveway, I took a deep breath as I clumsily clipped back into the pedals and took the chariot and my son for his first ride.  It was surprisingly smooth and Corbin chattered away from the back like he had always been meant to ride shotgun.  Life's like that... like riding a bike. No matter how hard the climb is or how muddy or how riddled with puddles, even if you need someone to carry you to the top... the down hills a blast as long as you hang on tight and remember to clip out when it gets too hard... it's always OK to walk with a friend.
I'll always wonder what it would have been like to watch Scott be a dad, and I know I'd be a better Mama with him here to cheer us on but he'll always be with me for all the rides in my life - in my heart he helped give me the strength to climb the hills on my own. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Time flies when you are having fun - 1 month home

Wow... one month home feels like a flash... one month waiting felt like an eternity.  I remember back to the silence - the deafening silence.  Days crept past and turned into weeks, months and years without permission.  I felt so helpless and small - I felt like I was caught in some bad joke or the very least an out of control situation that I was a passenger on - and I'm not a particularly good / patient passenger and I certainly didn't find any humor in the wait.  Then, when I got Corbin's referral things kicked (momentarily) into overdrive.  Everything needed to be done NOW!!!  FedEx, Puroletter, DHL (especially DHL) trucks all gave me the chills and made my stomach do little flips.  Trip one - amazing, overwhelming, terrifying, beautiful, barren, chilling... but in the end - perfect.  I'll never forget the rapid fire kisses and his parting words that he didn't want me to leave - he had enough toys.  Then, 5 very very long months - I'm sure my floor has grooves in it from pacing. I hate knowing that my friend Steph is wearing deep grooves in her floors and crying the very same sad, helpless tears waiting for a court date that sticks.  I hate that the heartless actions of some random woman can hurt such an amazing, funny, smart, courageous, ready willing and able Mama and would give anything to take that pain away (or at least provide a lobotomy for the wait?) but there are no words, no shoulder, no nothing that can help the time pass... just skype conversations to fill time.  For me, then finally came trip 2.  Court trip is still a recent memory and full of emotions that haven't settled just yet but I dont' spend time thinking about those things because I now have so many more wonderful and amazing things to do.  Those things revolve around being a Mama to an incredibly resiliant, happy, easy child - my son.  The IA doctor was 100% right in her opinion that there was something in his eyes - there is an undeniable spirit - a resiliancy - an ability to smile, laugh, and more important than anything, to love.  One of his caregivers told me on trip one while I rocked him in my arms that, "THIS is all he ever wanted - He wants to be loved... He wants a Mama."  Now I have him and he has me. 
Best momnts lately?  Walking away from the soccer field, him kicking the ball ahead and I have a moment of "WOW"... and I tell him that I love him... and he YELLS back "I LUB YOOOO" and keeps running.  Next, yesterday at dinner, I was finished and watching him eat while I sort of "danced" to the music on the radio in my chair... sternly, he looked at me, picked up my fork and handed it to me and said, "MAMA! EAT! No Musica!"  Touche my little guy... no dancing at the table... eat... He is getting more confident in telling me what he wants, likes and is thinking.  Every day is a wonderful adventure of learning, listening, laughing and best of all, Loving him.  This last month have been better than I could ever have imagined. 
Thank you Corbin for coming into my world and making it so much more colorful and full of love.  You are the perfect little boy for me - I'll try hard to be a good Mama for you - you deserve it :)
All my love!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Amusement park beaming

Well, I think we covered every mode of transportation today... Planes, trains, automobiles, horses, boats, hot air balloons, even spinning strawberries... hard to tell which one he liked best - actually, it wasn't - but I don't have a picture of it because I was on it with him.  It was some sort of octopus ride thing that whipped you around REALLY fast - in fact, I was concerned as it fired up that it would be too much for Corbin... but no - he SQUEALED with delight - actually we both did.  It was so much fun.  Thankfully we have a seasons pass to the park and it is only about 10 minutes from the house so we can spend many afternoons there. 
In other great news, I had Corbin weighed today and he has broke the 30 lb mark!!! In one month my little guy has gained 1.5 lbs... I guess the avocado, cream cheese, liver pate, meat and veggies hidden in the most unassuming places are doing their thing.  I can't wait for him to hit a growth spurt too and see how he grows!  Other than that, we are making some changes to our regularly scheduled schedule.  He didn't have a nap today... I'm trying that since as much as he seems to like / need his afternoon nap, he is not going to sleep until about 10:30 each night.  He is tucked in at 8:30 but quietly plays and fiddles until about 10 no matter what I do.  Tonight it was an 8:30 firm bedtime with no nap... sleeping by 9.  He's a good sleeper - even if he does fall asleep easily at bedtime he doesn't wake up until I come in.  Any advice???
Oh yeah... and after only 2 or 3 episodes of Thomas the Train... my ears are bleeding with demands of "Taw-MOOSE TV!!!" steady... you would think I plunk him in front of it for hours!!!  He was thrilled to have a ride on and picture with "Taw-MOOSE!" today.  The only way I can get him off the topic is to tell him that the train is sleeping... oiy-vey...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Parenting epiphany #1

I had an epiphany.  Led by my A type personality, the fact that I overthink pretty much everything many things and my insatiable need to figure things out I found myself at the family resource center at the children's hospital with a book titled, "How to get your kid to eat but not too much".  During nap time I speed read the important parts and it boils down to this:  In feeding our children there is a division of responsiblity.  As a parent, my JOB is to buy groceries, cook them in a tasty and well presented way and put them on the table in a cheerful manner.  The children are responsible for what and how much of it goes into their mouths.  Corbin won't try to do my job and I shouldn't try to do his.  Full stop.  Epiphany.  Being a Mama is different than any other job I've ever had or thought about.  At work, at play and even in relationships it always seems like the better option to do MORE than less or even just your share.  I'm a worker bee - it's what I do.  Well intended, well meaning... worker bee.  So, when I see a little boy who I love more than anything who only a month ago was eating what I would judge to be left overs or even gruel, I want to give him and fill him full of the best, the most healthy, the yummiest food I can come up with... and when he objects, rejects or refuses, it not only hurts my grown up - should know better than that feelings it makes me feel like I'm failing him in ways that I don't want to... but I'm not.  I am doing my job - I'm playing my role... and so is he.  EXHALE HERE.  He is a little boy who is overwhelmed by the newness of everything and in all reality, he's probaby eating just fine.  He is happily showing up to the table and we are doing our best to let each other know what is good, yucky, yummy, when he's had enough, when he wants more and when he just doesn't feel like eating.  I feel about a million times better after reading this little snipit and other advice.

Funny how this piece of advice isn't just for eating though.  Today, we went to watch Ashton at his hockey camp. Great news hockey fans - Corbin took one look at the kids in their gear, the ice, the sticks and how much fun they were having and he demanded OVER and OVER and OVER to go on the ice. I tried to reason with him that he didn't have skates - answer? - well then I'll take my shoes off and now I can go right Mama?  I can't wait for him to try out skating and do hope he wants to play the game.  Which leads me to my next point and smaller epiphany.  As we sat in the stands I couldn't help but notice a father angrily pacing at the glass.  He got to a point where he could yell out onto the ice to his little boy who was merrily making snow angels and falling down a lot. "Encouragement" went something like this: "GET UP!!! Stop messing around!!! Pay attention!  I have told you 100x skate properly! C'mon boy - do it right!"... my heart sank for this little boy as I watched his father stomp angrily to the other end where his son's group had moved to. His body language screamed something like: I've paid a lot of money for this camp - stop wasting it! or I've always wanted my son to be a hockey star and you are embarassing me!  or You look like the worst kid out there - you are wasting my time! or I expect you to be better than that... all spirit crushing options.  It occured to me that the division of labor holds true here too:  As parents, it is our job to provide good, fun, engaging, enthralling, educational, healthy opportunities for our children.  Our job is to buy the gear, pay the fees, encourage, help,tie, cheer, kiss owies, and do laundry. Their job is to show up and be happy and find their passion.  It may not be hockey, it may not be soccer, it may not be math or physics or mountain biking... but my job as Corbin's Mama is to help him find what it is that makes him smile.  I can't smile for him - I can't do his job.  I may 'waste' money on failed efforts in pursuit of his passion... but it's my job to celebrate whatever it is whole heartedly and pack up the array of equipment that doesn't meet the mark.  They aren't mini me's... they are mini thems and we need to feed, water, love, and celebrate what makes them wonderful - even the parts that might disappoint us along the way. 
So, tonight, after my soccer game where he ran and chased and kicked the ball for about an hour, we came home and shared his first bowl of popcorn (one of Mama's passions lol) and watched Thomas the Train (or as Corbin says when he's exicted Taw-MOOSE!) which is currently one of his passions.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zoo was fun - Icecream was YUM!

Yesterday Corbin had his first trip to the zoo with his friend Noah.  Everyday he wakes up so exicted and ready to tell me all about what he would like to do. He yammered on and on about the cows he saw the day before out on my Aunts farm where he met more of his family including Great Grandma - or GG Babushka.  My grandma has been waiting a long time to meet this little man and the sweet tears in her eyes as Corbin sat on her lap and gave her "nose" (eskimo kisses) was priceless.  I was so happy that he stopped long enough to let Grandma get a good look at her first Great Grandson.  My cousin Connor also took a special shine to Corbin - and Corbin to him.  The visit, the trampoline, the kids, the cows, the car ride... it was a banner day for Corbin and the excitement of it carried over into Zoo day.  Well, Zoo day... he was so excited to run and explore and see and do.  And all that he certainly did!  It amazes me how much his little mind retains and how quickly.  Yes, we talked about every animal we saw and he heard their names repeated over and over but when we sat down at home and he pulled out his Jungle set of toy animals and he announces to me - "Mama - Giraffe! and then Mama, Zebra" my jaw dropped.  He is a little sponge and will be talking in English full time soon... I wonder if my ears will bleed in English the same as they do in Russian??? He is a non stop talker - and the mix of Russian and English takes some attention to converse with... I know I'll miss it when it's gone.  I have a feeling the Zoo will be a place we spend lots of time... next stop, the amusement park and watching Ashton at hockey camp :)  Can't wait until he gets to try skating himself!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things are going "swimmingly"

I wish I had pictures of today but no cameras allowed in public pools since not everyone wants to be in other peoples photos... So I guess I'll just have to give you the visual... All day - from the moment Corbin woke up and I asked him (like I do every day) "did you have a good sleep?" to which he responds "All done Mama - all done" he asked to have a bath.  I tried to put him off by telling him he would have a BIG bath later... he wandered into my bathroom with the big tub and thought I was meaning there... boy was he surprised when we rounded the corner at the pool... he hesitated after the showers - he doesn't like noise and gets a little afraid.  I picked him up and stepped out to where he could see the "big water" and it was game on from there.  Smiles, squeals, joy pouring from everywhere it could.  He floated, blew bubbles, put his head right under the water, splashed, kicked, and played flat out for 2 1/2 hours.  When it was time to leave, he didn't want to go - tears and bargaining with promises we would go back again. 
Rewind: Yesterday we went to the Children's hospital to see the IA doc.  She introduced us to the one who will be caring for Corbin for the next year.  I just about cried when they took 5 vials of blood... but he hardly winced at all.  The 3 ladies in the room were astounded - stickers, smiles and snacks... and it passed without incidence.  Outside of that, nothing to note... everyone is ecstatic with his development and settling in here at home.  She even put my mind at ease with the eating challenges we've had saying that not wanting to eat is a great problem to have - most kids come home and are very afraid of not having enough - enough food, enough time, enough love, enough security... She said that him refusing food and being a little controlling or distracted says to her that he feels safe, that he feels comfortable and safe and home... he isn't worried that there won't be a next meal - he's more worried that his trucks might be playing without him upstairs lol... The biggest problem of the day was the wild hail storm that made my vehicle look like a golf ball...thank goodness that it's a work vehicle now in line behind 1000 other cars with hail damage from the storm. Where is our summer??? 
Other than that, Corbin PLAYED with Lyric today for the first time.  He went and got the toy that he picked out for her and brought it to her.  She got excited and they began playing fetch... so good to see.  When it stops raining and my ankle smartens up it will be park time to play soccer and fetch with the dog.  I told a friend today that I'd take the long journey to here any time to have such an amazingly happy little guy who seems to have wanted nothing more than a home and family of his own to fall into.  We have each other and I have a feeling he will never look back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moments like these

Every day is filled with moments that I want to remember but I know as the days pass and life gets busy moving forward, I'll forget how sweet these perfect memories are.  Again - bouncy house... you bring my boy such joy!  He impatiently waited to rip the shoes from his feet and bail into the carefully planned out path he mapped from his viewpoint perched on my hip.  Directly in, blazing past the older kids to the "ladder" leading to the big inflatable slide inside... over - and over - and over... trademark smile pasted on.  The landings weren't always graceful (the sommersault / vault dismount at the completion of run 6) but the squeals of delight won top marks from the judges with the stopwatch at the bottom.  The fire truck was also a hit - anyone who will let you behind the wheel of a favorite vehicle is a hero in your eyes.  You are really eating like a champ and I'm tricking you into veggies and healthy stuff like avocadoes without you even knowing.  Seeing your cousin Tyler so excited to see you and you to show him your toys and trucks makes me smile... thanks for the play - dough note on the table guys :)  The best moments of the day came closer to the end though... I scooted out next door for about an hour to a friends stagette launch while Tyler entertained you here at home.  When the doorbell rang and you stood there with Ty with the relieved and happy look on your face as you reached for me and Tyler told me, "he keeps asking over and over - where's Mama??? where's Mama??? with concern... so it was time to go home... or since you got your way, it was time to ride your tricycle out in the rain... which you had never (in my guess) experienced before.  I say this because of the way you looked to me to explain and share in your wonder at the wet drops from the sky.  You squealed and laughed and wanted to stay out while it poured.  On the swing you tipped your head back, mouth wide open to catch the drops on your tongue... innocence and a first - so touching for me to recognize and take in.  I could have stayed there all night with you.  As we headed back - me carrying your bike, you pounced through the rain water just like I had imagined.  The squeals and smiles would bring a smile to the most distant heart.  We were both soaked - amazed and soaked.  For you Steph, I'll post my gourmet dinner -Pan seared salmon with lime zest and dill accompanied by  a melange of el dante carrots and sweet potatoe with diced baked apple garnished with a butter / brown sugar reduction. For dessert, 3 orange tic tacs and a flintstone multi vitamin :)
No pictures... just amazing moments to try and remember.

Friday, July 9, 2010

first Dr. appt done

Corbin met Dr. Lisa today and she can't believe that he's only been home 2 weeks.  She asked all the right questions about his attachment - does he go to others willingly? (no) Does he come to you for comfort if he is hurt? (yes) Is he learning English words (yes - he was fascinated by COLD today after learning that the AC vents blow cold air, he asked for a hot dog at the neighbors tonight, calls the dog by name, said no bike Mama when we went outside... and reams of other words that pop up when I don't expect it).  He was weighed, measured, poked and prodded (no blood tests until Monday with the IA doc) and as the doctor said - he is fine - no - better than fine - he obviously loves you and seems to be attaching beautifully, is resiliant, adaptable, healthy and the perfect little boy - you both are so very lucky.  I couldn't agree more.  He's 25% plus in height and weight - both "current" measurements taken the day he left the orphanage were wrong - weight out by a lb and a half and height out by 2"  He is (I know I said this before and recognize it now as wishful thinking) eating better... I found his currency lol.  He loves his chewable vitamins and orange tic tacs (I can't give him a vitamin at every meal) and he loves his new ride on dump truck as well as various other big truck toys... he understands me very well when I say, "do you want to play with xyz after you eat? DA! Well, if you don't eat, I will put xyz into the closet and you can't play with it until tomorrow... like magic... he is eating.  OK he is eating weird stuff like liver pate (Megga YUCK but a suggestion that has him eating!) on mini ritz crackers and cream cheese omlettes (with liver pate... again - BARF!) but I'm getting great calories and nutrients into his body... I can't wait for the 3 month check in with Dr. Lisa to see how his language and weight have come along.  In other notes, Mama didn't manage to get into get her ankle x-ray'd yet - tomorrow... after the pancake breakfast with friends but Corbin did manage to become the proud new owner of a cowboy hat and shirt... he's rodeo ready now!  Should be some cute cute days ahead. Goodnight!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

While I should be sleeping

This time I'm talking about me - not Corbin... You would think the liklihood of me injuring myself would come in some sort of activity like soccer or at the lake - but you would be wrong.  Yesterday was a good day... I took a new approach to the eating (along with some great ideas from mom to be Steph and her wise resources who have picky / control eaters of their own) and we relaxed.  Had a lazy day, bought some great new exciting "BIG TRUCK MAMA!!! BIG TRUCK!!!" type toys as well as a little tricycle since he's not quite big enough for the big wheel, came home had dinner and I finally cooked the steak in the fridge (between bites of mushed up sheppards pie it was going to go bad) and thought a glass of wine would be good with that... well 2 was even better... until the fall... can't blame it on the wine (2 glasses is hardly enough to impair walking!) but I need to explain somehow that in launching off the deck in an effort to catch the dog before she pee'd on the lawn I found myself crumpled in a ball with a nose full of turff (freshly cut grass smells good at least).  I didn't cry (amazing) didn't curse (miracle) I just rolled around wondering how this transpired and how I will play soccer on Sunday!!!  So, amidst ice and elevation and multiple advil gel caps, I'm downloading pictures and catching up on my blog since I've been awake all night (tomorrow should be interesting).  We'll see how soccer comes along.
Speaking of soccer, Corbin attended his first game as captain of the cheer squad for Mama's team.  He never ceases to amaze me or the people around him.  He sat on the bleachers with the other kids and dads and shared his snacks, chased the balls on the sidelines and the most amazing moment that I forgot I was waiting for... the end of the game when all the kids come running out to their moms... he was there - arms stretched up yelling "MAMA!!! MAMA!!!" - memory moment for sure. We also went to heritge park with Kari and James - Corbin loved riding the "toot toot toot!", petting the pigletts and riding the wee little ferris wheel all by himself with his trademark ear to ear smile.  Well little man, here's to a forever filled with  more opportunities to cheer one another on and smile that big smile.  I don't care what you do (gotta say there is a part of me of course that hopes you'll play soccer and hockey!) as long as it puts a smile on your face like boat rides, bouncy houses and sommer saults (is that how you spell that?) on the side lines.  Thanks for making me smile! (now could you get me some more ice for my ankle?)

Monday, July 5, 2010

My first week home

Mom says it's time I chime in here and let you all know what I've been up to since I've been home.  Wow... I've been busy and boy am I exhausted at the end of our days!  I've met a lot of really nice people - many at the airport, some who have come to my house to visit and teach me to ride my new bike or give my mom a hug.  They all seem to think I'm pretty special because they make Mama cry when they say how great I seem to be adjusting and how darn cute I am.  I have made some new friends too - Ashton, Ella, Cooper, Amilia, Olivia, Sonia, Nolan... I have so much fun playing with them and exploring their toys :)  My favorite things so far have been jumping in the 'bouncy house' on Canada day (but I looked out and saw Mama crying beside it and couldn't understand why... I heard her tell her friend that moments like that watching me squeal and laugh and learn to jump and jump and jump make her happy... that she was able to give me that happiness and that it mkes her heart big... then I got busy jumping again... they even had to come and fetch me because I didn't want to leave), riding on Tag's lawn tractor, driving Ashon's little tractor, playing in the sun with the hose running around the lawn in my underwear, and yesterday, I got to ride in a real boat... 4 times.  What else have I done... hmmm... I ate pancakes at my first pancake breakfast, watched my cousins play soccer, been on many car rides, swung in a hammoc, played at at 4 parks, met my dog who absolutely loves me and gives me kisses every time she sees me... which I laugh and squeal at, flew a kite, rode a bike, swam in a lake (sort of), played in the sand, jumped in another bouncy house, smelled flowers, fell and banged my poor little forehead and got a bump with a bruise (which I remind Mama to kiss better all the time - it never gets old for either of us), drove in a car on the front of Mama's shopping cart, saw a rainbow, started eating for Mama, decided I like boiled eggs a LOT, I like hot dogs and hamburgers and fries (which Mama isn't crazy about but she says hey... he's eating) and grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese, yogurt, cheerios, juice, sausages, my flintstone vitamins and Mama keeps trying to get me to eat stinky veggies - I keep saying maybe later... now I need to go to sleep... it's been a long week. 
Mama says she has lots of pictures of my week and promises to post some new ones soon.  She keeps telling me what else is coming up but I don't know what a rodeo is or if I'm ready to meet a horse.  She also is talking about going on a road trip to meet GG and more friends in Saskatchewan and maybe even to Bermuda in September.  I think I would like to check out the pink sand and see if I like swimming in the ocean.  I hear there are some cool people in Bermuda that can't wait to meet me too.  I can't wait for tomorrow - I get to see the lawn mower in action - Mama says to take notes... I will get to run it in a few years.  Goodnight for now - I'm exhausted.
xoxo Corbin.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!!!

Today was another banner day for my little guy.  We seemed to have mostly turned the corner on the eating challenges.  I tell him when I'm hungry and that the dog is hungry and that I am going to eat and the dog is going to eat and he decides then that he would also like to eat (Vulcan mind trick... he falls for it every time).  Interestingly though, he's started referring to himself as "Gisha" as of yesterday.  I haven't heard this before - or maybe I didn't have my Russian station tuned just right but he now knows himself both as Corbin and "Gisha" but when he spontaniously will announce that he wants to eat, sleep or pee it's "Gisha hochish _______" No biggie - who am I kidding - it would take me a lot more than a couple of weeks to refer to myself by some different name too. 
So - what did we do today? We had a relaxing early morning and then headed to a nearby grocery store area where they were holding a Canada Day celebration breakfast.  We wandered about for awhile and then I took him to his new love... "bouncy houses".  He beamed and squealed and had to be retrieved from the house at the end of his time both times he was in it.  I stood at the side and watched his sweet face beam and I cried just a little.  In those moments it hits me how much his world has changed and how he is just rolling with the punches.  He couldn't be more content or seeming better adjusted.  He reaches for me, looks for me, identifies me as his own, he didn't seem to miss a beat.  While he is kind and friendly with other people after an initial warm up period he has a strong preference for Mama. After saying goodbye to his bouncy house he experienced his first pancake breakfast.  He gobbled down a pancake with syrup and 2 glasses of juice.  We watche the clown make balloons but I had no intention of standing in line for 45 minutes for a balloon sword.  He was content to watch.  My van was parked by a coffee shop that I had made a mental note of before so we popped in.  Coffee $3, entrance into the kids play area in the back with amazing toys including a playskool plastic motorhome that Corbin adored $5... unlimited play time... watching him explore and meet new friends - priceless.  I have a new hangout place where he can meet friends and I can not have to purchase, house and clean up all the latest and greatest toys.  Next was a good lunch, nap time and his cousin Tyler who came for a visit.  Tyler took him out on his bike, went kite flying, played at the park, checked out all the cars we have keys for and got to know one another... Ty can't wait to teach him how to skate... and neither can I.  There was some significant garage debate however on which way he should shoot - I think ultimately, Corbin will pick :)  Dinner went well, a bath, a book and a bit of a struggle with bed time.  He plays (read: fiddles and whispers to himself) quietly but this often takes a couple hours.  I do my best to get him to sleep before 10 on these nights but it's sometimes too close to call.  No worries - he won't die of lack of sleep or food... we'll work it out. 
Today was a great Canada day.  Welcome to a GREAT country where you will grow up strong and free as the anthem says.  You looked so handsome in your maple leaf sweater... Mama couldn't be more thrilled - thanks for making falling in love over and over so easy my boy!

xoxo Mama