Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life, laundry and the love of shoveling

The weather 'round here has been bizarre.  12 degrees Celsius one day, 8 inches of snow the next.  (Do you find it strange that as Canadians we flip back and forth between Metric and Imperial measurements without missing a beat.  Whatever.)  So that day I decide to do all sorts of outside things.  I strapped on the plastic hand guards (aka empty bread bags) and protective foot wear and waded into the dog run for a clean up.  Trust me, there is no quicker way to ruin an otherwise beautiful spring like day than cleaning up copious amounts of semi frozen dog turds.  Sure I still have to wipe little boy butt but ug... there was some gagging as I inadvertently could identify random things Lyric had indulged in (Tennis ball, lacy underwear (don't judge my laundry powress - I suck - and she found my white pile) and wooden train track just to name a few.)  This is an activity that doesn't require an audience or commentary but I had both.  The 4 legged turd producer stood guard at the top of the stairs flanked by her color commentary staff who gave directions and insight to my work.  I can't wait until he's old enough so that I can return the favor and give directions like "there is more Mama - get that one" or "It's yucky in Lyrics toilet - you clean it" After that it seemed fitting to reward my hard work with a nice BBQ of Corbin's most often requested meal "Hambuger and fwench fwies" (with a side order of Mama juice to toast the nice weather and hard work).  He was sitting at the table eating his salad and through a mouthful of spinach and tomatoes spewed, "DON'T TAKE MY FOOD OUTSIDE MAMA!!! WHERE YOU GOING WITH MY FOOD!!!" At that point it occurs to me that perhaps he didn't really remember me BBQ'ing in the summer but I flipped burgers with a smile and returned to a chorus of, "Where you cook my food Mama?" and "Deese Hamugers taste good from outside".  We woke the next morning to heaps of snow which for a 3 year old is a world of fun but for me means aw crap... I gotta shovel all that... TWICE.  It was good because it gave us a chance to practice the new found art of pizza making at the ski hill.  I'm not going to overstate his skills (or mine) - he's 3 - the fact that he LOVES skiing and tries hard to do what I ask is more than I could hope for and he does it with a smile.  The high 5's and cheers are more liberal and lo and behold, so are the snow plows.  Now back to the laundry for a moment because I have a question.  I'll admit, laundry has never been my forte - It gets washed but somehow gets stuck in a black hole between clean hamper and hangers.  This morning as I sorted through an inordinate number of dirty hampers I couldn't shake the question of, "Do tiny little white undies personalized by sir skid mark qualify as whites or darks?"  That may remain a mystery for life with the upside that by the time the bleach begins to fail me they are scheduled for being sized out and a new team of clearly white soldiers is phased in soon to befall the same fate of those gone before.  (EDIT: as I reflect on this statement I'd like to defend the wiper and my capabilities.  Over 37  a lot of years I believe I've mastered the art and when I leave him, the back yard is free from debris... perhaps the "wind" blows it in?)  As I sit now folding this heap, it's a little sad as I'm creating a pile of "that's too small" things I lovingly collected for years before Corbin came home.  He came home and I wanted so badly for him to eat and grow and prosper (and I still do) but in 7 months he has blazed from some stuff being 24mos to now wearing 3T all round.  So for those of you anticipating your little one coming home, don't blink. 

This blog entry was brought to you by the#6 which is the number of loads of laundry I've tackled today and the beep beep beep of my drier indicates that break time is over.  There is nothing more motivating than realizing that my supply of comfy yoga wear is all in the dirty pile and having your son go commando for the morning because the cupboard was bear of skid free undies.  And the cycle begins again. Stay tuned for more exciting adventures, next up is vacuuming and nanny recruitment (so excited and so close!).  Just a day in the life... of a suburban house wife.  Google it... I dare you ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lucky #7

Today marks 7 months home for the little Russian.  With Corbin having a wee bit of a cold there was no monumental celebration outside of an extra long cuddle this morning and what was hoped to be a fun trip to the Children's hospital ended up with some sneaky needles that I wasn't prepared for.  After starting all of his vaccinations over again and the associated "welcome to Canada" we need to check you for everything under the sun set of vials drawn on the first visit, he can smell a needle coming from a waiting room away.  My poor guy cleared the clinic with his blood curdling screams and begging "no pokes today Mama".  It took 3 people to get the first one done and a "blue like Thomas" Popsicle to try and distract from the trauma.  After the hyperventilating and crying stopped we headed to what he really came to the hospital for... the big play room... which closed at 4.  I shrugged and thought why ruin another perfectly good day, lets go upstairs to the lab and endure another round of blood curdling "NOOOOOOOO MAMA!"  At least I gave the nurses fair warning.  All in all a very reassuring trip.  The IA doctor continues to be happy with Corbin.  She was shocked to see how much he's grown since he came home - 3 1/4 inches and 8 lbs!!! He weighed in at 36 1/2 lbs and 99cm.  No more extra cheese for you my little friend!!! The Dr. supports the idea of starting Corbin in Spanish language perhaps in the spring with a nanny and then preschool in the fall - we'll have to see if that works out.  Anyone care to chime in their IA child learning another new language and how that went?  So that's that.  Tomorrow he starts "play ball" so it will be interesting to hear the tales of new things learned.  Skiing he (no pun intended) turned a corner for a few runs last time out and actually made some pizza.  Every time  he sees the hill he tells me he wants to go to the top and go FAST.  He now understands that that won't happen until he can STOP!!!  We spent yesterday with the Russian welcoming committee having dinner and avoiding personal adoption conversations (which I'm getting better at doing).  Corbin still doesn't enjoy people talking to him in Russian and got very clingy which is so out of character but now he has the language skills to understand that WE are going HOME TOGETHER. 

In final news, Corbin's Dyeh-dushka Tony passed away after his brief but valiant fight against cancer.  The service was beautiful and a testament to the life he lived, those he loved and the memories he leaves behind. I am so lucky to have had him in my life for 15 years... I selfishly wish Corbin could have grown to know him too.  Rest well with the angels... you are in good company up there. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finally... I won't have to avert my eyes

It seems like forever since I've both waited in anticipation for and dreaded spring all at the same time.  For me, it was the return to the field that I loved spending time on since childhood and for my heavy heart, it was watching the parents in line at Tim Hortons getting their morning supply of double doubles and Tim bits while their children buzzed about in their tiny little jerseys and cleats kicking one another in the legs to see if their shin guards were installed properly without an ankle biter of my own.  I most often would avoid the fields by my house at dog walking time just so I didn't have to see them full of little bumble bees and springtime joy.  Today is the day I avert my eyes no more.  I hit ENTER and registerd Corbin for U4 soccer with his little neighborhood friends.  April 30th... Corbin will take the field, bucket full of sliced oranges and peanut free granola bars on the sidelines for halftime, and I'll smile.  April 30th... the day that for 12 years has been filled with tears and memories of the accident that took my husband away from being a Dad and me from cheering from the sidelines, will now also be Corbin's first day of soccer.  I'm looking forward to coaching, cheering, freezing my butt off and drinking baileys and coffee while encouraging the bumble bees not to bumble. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Trip II and 6 months of adventures at home

I always planned on putting together a second trip video... but life got away on me. Here is trip II and some of the life we've lived / loved & laughed through since being home. Today seemed fitting to post this - Merry Russian Christmas. Thank you Father Frost - you knew just what I wanted and just where to find me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

So this was Christmas, 6 months and a blindside gift tonight

I can't wait for all you employed friends of mine to return to work - you have completely worn me out this Christmas season with the jaunting from one amazing dinner and visit to another, family visits intermixed with skiing amazing powder and the overwhelming amazement of Corbin's first Christmas. Words won't do the story and excitement of it justice but suffice to say that my house STILL needs to be put back in order after the mayhem of Christmas eve and day.  Santa hit the mark with everything he brought for my boy and he never forgot to say "hank you" which with a little extra effort becomes th-ANK YOU! Highlights were abound and this one came courtesy of my sister re-telling what was overheard in the stairway from the basement.  Corbin went shopping with my sister's family to buy Mama a present - he picked out "jammas and slippers!!!" and kept that secret for a grand total of about 5 seconds inside the door while taking his boots off.  My sister shrugged and said, "well, you don't know what color they are..."  On Christmas eve my sister took Corbin to the basement to wrap my gift.  He was proudly carrying it up to the tree when he stopped on the stairs, hugged the box, kissed it, and said, "for my Mama".  Another amazing gift brought to me courtesy of my tender hearted little boy.  Christmas morning... pure, unadulterated, screaming, tearing, happiness from every pore followed by sledding on his new GT snow racer and a very thankful Christmas feast shared with his cousins, Aunt, Uncle and Grandma. 

I'll spare the details of our ski trip except to say that it was one year before that I walked into the cold brick orphanage and met my son for the first time.  Nothing could touch that day but this year, the skiing was outstanding, meeting another Grandma and more family was touching but the highlight had nothing to do with any of that.  I got my first unsolicited (read: he didnt' just repeat it after I said it first) "I love you Mama" as he casually walked away.   I just looked at my niece and said, "that was a first" and smiled... a heart felt smile.  But wait, there's more.  That moments glory was overshadowed tonight.  Bedtime came early in an effort to return to our normal schedule and we cuddled in to read our "two books".  The second one is a single Adoptive Mom's staple - "I love you like crazy cakes" which is a story about the baby's adoption and how their family came to be.  We read it and talk about our story of airplanes, Russia, Canada, how we met, detsky dom's, and his friends he had in Russia.  He seems to get it and often will talk about the friends he remembers or make comments about being there that have to come from memory.  He told me tonight that he waited at the door and that I came back.  I hugged him tight and what came next as he cuddled into me made me bawl crazy happy tears.  "You are my best friend EVER" he told me... through happy tears I asked him, "who is your best friend?" and he answered, "Mama... YOU are my best friend... I love you.".  So, Ashton, even though you share your fun toys and my son adores you, I'm claiming this title for as long as he'll have me... Today was a red letter day :)  Happy New Year - 2010 will be hard to beat. 

Father Frost - Sled pulled by 3 horses represents "Past, Present & Future" in Russian folklore.