Monday, March 14, 2011


Today I did something most moms will shake their head at and say I'm stupid (happens a lot). We had a 'Yes Day' in our house. I couldn't say No. Now before I go on, let me say I did establish boundaries ie we can't go to Toys R Us and buy all the toys, it had to be safe, not damage existing structures and healthy.

So for breakfast, CC and Nia wanted cereal. No biggie, but this time CC wanted bananas chopped up in her cereal and Nia wanted to eat on the floor. Then they were excited because we went to a friend's house for lunch, who has children they adore and food they inhale (healthy food too).

CC wanted a nap (no problem there!) and Nia wanted to read in her room. Then Nia used a good portion of the afternoon on the computer. We went for a walk, splashed in puddles, walked backwards, walked sideways, rode scooters and played at the park (did I mention snow is still on the ground?) Scooby was not thrilled with our outdoor adventure, he is a warm weathered soul. But girls loved it.

Came home, had hot chocolate with marshmellows, or marshmellows with a bit of warm milk... Watched Strawberry Shortcake and ate Jamaican food... Nice warm bath, extra time for the shower and favorite PJs. Only 5 extra books at bedtime and the girls are sleeping soundly.

Yes day was a success this time. I learned my girls have more respect for me than I realized and I trust their instincts much more now than yesterday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our journey

So many people have been asking me about our journey through adoption, that I thought I would start sharing my experience.

It all began one day last year after the earthquake in Haiti. Mark turns to me and says "You know our family isn't complete yet." I just looked at him and said "According to my body it is!" Mark has always wanted a large family and I did too, but due to complicated pregnancy and deliveries, it would be unfair to risk my health and the health of my baby.

After that phone conversation, Mark plants a seed in my head and heart by telling me he wants to adopt a baby boy. I just laugh and tell him OK, get the information and get back to me. A few weeks later, he has a mountain of information about international, domestic, public and private. "I want a baby boy from Canada" he tells me. Ok, so who am I to argue...

I call Catholic Children's Aid and was invited to an Information Session a few weeks down the road. I call our adopted grandma 'Omi' and ask he to come babysit for us, which is a rarity since Mark and I don't leave the girls very often.

The Information Session was HELL. It was a large group of all white families asking basically how fast they could get an all white baby? One couple even asked if they could adopt a French Canadian baby. I'm sorry but isn't that just a white baby that speaks French? Maybe I'm not as hip to that culture. It also was difficult to listen to others talk badly about the biological or birthparents. I even asked about co-sleeping and CCAS does NOT allow families to co-sleep with children. Great, what do I do with the 2 kids I already have that are sleeping with us? And on top of that, I still had a nursing toddler (EGADS!!!!). After that first meeting, I remember I was sick to my stomach. I felt horrible and I couldn't explain it. I felt empty.

We then were able to start the package of paperwork we were given. We had to supply the CCAS with updated physicals, our tax information from the previous year, all our financial information, police reports, and 2 friend references and 2 family references as well as one reference who knew us both. There was a massive booklet, called SAFE (everything is about acronyms) asking about our childhood, teenage years, young adulthood and present day. It asked about styles of parenting, discipline, our parents and whether we wet the bed (ok so maybe that was made up). We also had to fill out a form about the type of child we wanted, made me feel like I was ordering a car. I understand that it helps CCAS understand what we are open to regarding special needs and race.

That summer our Social Worker (SW) called and wanted to make an initial visit to the house. She came one morning and we went immediately to the playroom so that CC wouldn't be tempted to nurse (heaven forbid). She asked us basic questions such as "Why do you want to adopt". SW also wanted to make sure that I was going to be staying at home, it was very important to her that I was a stay at home mom. We talked a bit about the process and that was it.

CCAS called us later in summertime inviting us to PRIDE ( We were a bit nervous and worried because it is a 9 week 3 hours a week course. What in the world were we going to do with our girls? Fortunately, we have a great support system and are surrounded by amazing friends and they were able to step up and help take care of the girls.

I'm not going to lie, it was much like parenting 101. Some of the people there were as clueless as could be. I was amazed how many of them were under the believe that racism is dead... Uh hellllo?????... We began to relax, even though EVERY week CC cried the entire time we were gone... Mark and I had fun, laughing on the inside at some of the silly things that was said and had our own inside jokes. It became like a date for us, well a really lame date, but we had fun!

Our PRIDE worker was our initial and will be our SW for this adoption. She is funny, laid back and an adoptee herself. We had one more homevisit, she came and we filled out a questionnaire about how crazy our family is, well not really, but it was a multiple choice questionnaire about who is on drugs, crazy or a bad influence. I was truthful about my family; my dad is a hippy, my mom is a granola crunching tree hugger, my sister is a granola crunching tree grower and my brother is the golden child. I didn't say nothing about Mark's family... What can I say? That I will have genetic testing when it's time for my kids to get married??? LOL

The SW met with me at her CCAS office. She wanted to get to know me. We talked about my childhood, my family. And how weird is it that her hubby grew up for his teenage years in WS NC... Fortunately he didn't know my dad or uncle (phew) or she would never let us near a child :) JK dad if you are reading this.... At the end she looked at me and said, "I think you are amazing" WOW... That made me feel, well, amazing... Cliche I know... It was justification, and through everything I desperately needed it.

SW came 3 weeks later to visit with Mark alone. CC and I were downstairs playing while they chatted about his life and his goals. It was much shorter than mine and I'm sure she didn't tell him she thought he was amazing :) That's ok, I think he's amazing, sometimes... :) She also wanted to see the house, check for safety etc. She was happy with what she saw.

Our last visit was scheduled for after Christmas, SW wanted to meet Nia. I could only imagine what Nia would say. She is rather out spoken and you never know what will come out of her mouth. Good and bad...

The meeting went well, Nia told SW she was excited about having a baby around and showed how wonderful she can be with CC. We told her the baby room was almost finished and she was happy. SW said it could be anytime that a baby becomes available, so it was a good thing that we had the room ready.

As for now, we completed a profile, basically our life on paper with pictures to show other SWs or expectant mothers planning on making an adoption plan for their baby.

Now we just wait... And as CC said yesterday "It's so hard to wait for this baby"...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mobile Mortgage Specialist

I used to hate HATE getting flyers on my doorstep. Hubby and I would immediately throw them out into recycling. I have a story that made us change the way we felt about flyers.
We had just put an offer on a house and we were currently waiting back to hear from the bank about our pre-approval. Of course we were having major issues with them returning our calls and I basically was ready to wash my hands and go to a different bank to do ALL my banking. Hubby and I were outside, with Cyenna, enjoying an autumn day, when out of nowhere came this guy jogging putting flyers on doorsteps. He gives hubby a flyer and I figured hubby would throw it out. But no, he looks at it and it's about mortgages. So we decide to give this guy a try, heck he lives in our neighborhood, so why not.
Wayne was able to work around our hours and those of our kids. He even came to our house to sit and discuss with us our financial situation and about mortgages. As previously posted, we were serious property virgins and we knew nothing of mortgages, only that you wanted to pay them off! Wayne came prepared to discuss various options with us about financing, rates and even a non-traditional mortgage. Through the entire conversation, he felt genuine, as though he wanted us to have the best, not like we were just a number.
Through the home buying process, we had various little issues, but at the time seemed like huge issues (to me) and Wayne was able to calm us down and explain things to us. For instance, my home branch is about 45 minutes away from here and when the time came to get the down payment money out, the branch closest to us wouldn't initially release the monies because they didn't have my signature on file and couldn't get in touch with the home branch. I was devastated! I immediately texted Wayne and he called me back in less than 2 minutes. He got the details and then called the branch closest to us and spoke to the manager. He called me back and said "Go back to the Branch and ask for the Manager, she will help you". True to his word, the manager was more than willing to help me and released the monies to me.
When we closed on our house, Wayne stopped by the house and gave us a card, our first Congratulations on Your New House card. It sat on our fire place for many a day as it was a reminder to us that we were more than just a number.
If you are looking for a great rate, give Wayne Marks a call, he is always available to help you, even if you already have a mortgage, he can make sure you are getting the best rate. Tell him I sent you :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Little Luxuries for Mama and baby

Now my favorite thing; baby and kid stuff!!! My ultimate favorite website I am infatuated with DouDouBebe.
The website is super user friendly. When I go to the site, it remembers my name (that an unspoken testament to how many times I have shopped on the site), shipping and billing information. Making my life easier (and hubbys that much harder Lol). The right hand side has itemized listings of all the fun goodies this site has to offer.
As an attachment parent, baby wearing was a priority in our house. With hubby and I large frames, his more than mine (thank God), we have always prefered cloth adjustable carriers ie ring slings, wraps and mei tei's. DouDouBeBe has a wide selection in cool colours and types of cloth carriers. My favorite has always been the ring sling, versatility like nothing else. I love the funky colours and designs. Just because I'm a stay at home mom doesn't mean I should give up on style! I have enjoyed the water sling and silk slings I bought on the site as well.
As I said before, I LOVE colour! So having my babies in various colours is fun to me, that is until they decide they will only wear one dress for months on a time (true story). Leg warmers that the site carries are perfect! Colourful and practical, they help baby not scrape knees as they crawl. Also great when baby/toddler is being carried, when the pant leg rides up, leg warmers are great way to keep that little baby calf warm. But also I loved it when my girls wore nothing but their diaper and leg warmers. Ahhh brings back baby memories :)
But that's NOT where the site ends! Amber necklaces, nursing necklaces, artwork, toys (wooden and silk toys). I have been so in love with this site and service, that I think my hubby has tried to block the site on our computer :)
If you are looking for the perfect shower gift, new mom or even better, yourself this it the site to find. is run out of Mississauga by a super duper cool mom. Do yourself a favor and check it out! You will love it!

Real Estate

As mentioned on my facebook page, I decided to start blogging about local business.

For my first business, I wanted to tell you about the Real Estate Agent we used to purchase our first home! We were "Property Virgins" in every since of the term. I found our agent, Jas Jagpal ( through a soccer club he developed here in our Morningside Heights development. I was coaching and he was the coordinator. Jas and his wife, Jaspreet, put lots of hours and money into the league. I can't remember the exact number, but I think there was about 70 or 80 kids for the first season. I began to realize he worked very hard, so hubby and I decided to take advantage of his real estate skills.

Every day we are grateful for using Jas' services. He worked hard to find us exactly what we wanted in a house within our budget and within our neighbourhood choice. I am a Type A Virgo, many of you might or might not know that about me (lol), but I like details and want a plan. Jas patiently reminded me about the plan, when certain things when take place and what to bring. Basically he prepared us for everything! We were not scared at all through the process because Jas was able to hold our hand the whole way, pointing us through the loops.

Recently my nomadic sister was looking into purchasing a property on the West Coast. She was curious about why she should use an agent. I gave her my experience and then copied and pasted info from Jas' website. He was even able to hook her up with someone on the West Coast through his agency. She has been very happy with the help that Jas provided.

Jas and his family have become friends of ours that we cherish. To me, its says a whole lot that we were business associates and THEN became friends. Usually you are friends, then business associates and hopefully still friends (lol).

I highly recommend Jas and the services he offers. We will use him again in the future when it's time to upgrade (to more garage space lol).

Again, his website is

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31

Today the girls and I went to a birthday party of a little girl that we only see at birthday parties. This seems mean, but I don't particuarly enjoy being around children who have nasty mouths, are rude, are disrespectful and are violent. I get annoyed with the parents that won't discipline them and it ends up with me having a migraine and someone being offended.
Against my better judgement, we went to the party. 5 hours later after my migraine has subsided, I'm starting to feel a bit better. It was actually Nia that brought me out of my funk. Sometimes it seems as though my days are filled with phrases like these "You are so mean" "That's not fair" "I don't like this". Basically full of negative comments about my parenting by those being parented. But after going to this birthday party, Nia crawled up in my lap and started talking to me. This is the conversation:
"Mommy, I love how we live and where we live"
"Me too baby. This neighborhood is awesome and I love most of the neighbours as well"
"No I mean my room, the house and what we do during our life"
"In what way?"
"Well today when I was at (so and so's house) I looked around and I saw a lot of video games, TVs and junk food. But I didn't see anything with love in it."
"How do you see love?"
"Well when I draw you a picture, I love you and want to work hard on it because I love you. You always say to me that you love my pictures. So when you look at them, you see love. The same as my room and CC's room. I know you love us and worked hard to give us a nice house and room and toys and books, so when I see that stuff I see love."
"Wow, pretty insightful, kid"
"I feel bad for (so and so)."
"What makes you feel bad for them"
"Well they don't have the same start as I do."
"What kind of start do you have?"
"Well you and daddy make sure we have lots of books, lots of colouring things and craft things. We always have healthy food, even though I want junky snacks you make us eat healthy things. And I always have a clean bed. (So and so's) bed was gross. So was his bathroom."
"You sound like you are very grateful for what you have."
"I am mommy, thanks for giving me and CC a good start"
For a six year old child, she is wise beyond her years.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Miracles can happen

One week ago I never would have guessed I would be sitting here telling you how much I love my dog. I probably would have thought it would be ridiculous to tell people that. It should be a given to have a pet and love it. But when you see that you almost loose something, it makes love more tangible.
After Scooby was hit by a car, I think I hit a bit of depression. I felt extreme guilt and remorse for the accident to have happened. I felt guilt over pushing him off my lap for the 400th time that hour because I just wanted a bit of space. I felt responsible.
Visiting Scooby twice a day in the ICU clinic was hell. There where times where I had to leave one or both of my girls at home and I hated that. Nia told me it was scary there as she cried in my shoulder one night. She cried about missing her best friend. Cyenna cried because she missed Scooby licking her face.
Well today was a joyous day. We carried him through the doors tonight. He was able to reunite with his best friend and lick all the faces he wanted. Scooby also had a special treat of baby back ribs tonight. Hey the vet said anything he can eat :)
Nia decided she is going to "hold the fort down tonight". She and I made a make shift mattress in our living room, where Scooby sleeps. She has a pen and pad and plans on writing down all his activity. She put a bell on his collar so if he moves it will wake her up. She has extra treats and a bowel of water for him. I laid with her for a bit as we laughed and even cried a bit about the past few days. Nia is a girl who is wise beyond her years.
So as I finish this for tonight, I am thrilled that my family is together again. I am eternally grateful to all my family and friends who prayed for our strength, Scooby and for the Vet to make excellent decisions. I can not say enough about how thankful I am for you all.
Life changes in a blink of an eye. I'm deciding to cherish everything I have more than ever now.