Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tips & Tricks: Restroom Safety

Today's tip is one I learned when I saw someone do this the very first time Rebecca and I went to Disney and I've used it ever since!

Tip: Wait for my foot sweetie!

Every mother, grandma, auntie etc. eventually faces it. That graduation day when your child is old enough to go into a restroom stall on their own. It's a big day but let's face it, it's also a scary day!

I've often noticed children outside a bathroom stall standing where Mommy could see there feet while she does what she needs to inside the stall. Unfortunately what often happens is that those kids are kids and they begin to dance, wiggle and wander and suddenly a somewhat panicked voice calls from in the stall, 'Where are you? Come back here!! I need to see your feet!'

The tip that I learned is WONDERFUL and has given me many years of peace of mind. When we go into a restroom together Rebecca chooses her stall first and I make note of where she is. From there, she knows the drill. I go into my own stall and take care of business, all the time knowing that she's safely locked behind the door of her own stall. What happens if she finishes first? She waits.

What is she waiting for? She's waiting to see my foot come under the door of her stall and for me to happily call out, 'Come on out sweetie!'

Can I tell you how much peace of mind this gives me...and I think her too! As she's 9 now I told her a couple of months ago that she was welcome to go wash her hands when she was finished and wait for me at the sink but you know what? More often than not I check when I leave my stall and she's still in hers waiting behind the door and asking if she can come out? I walk over, put my foot under the door and say, 'Come on out sweetie!' and she opens the door with a bright smile on her face and we go over to wash our hands together.

I cannot begin to tell you how many people have seen our little trick and said, 'Wow! I'm going to use that!'

I think this is one of the very best tips that I will share with you! Peaceful peeing everyone! :o)

Oprah Today...Amazing Story of God and Adoption!!

If you have an opportunity to watch Oprah today it features an AMAZING adoption story!!

Lysa Terkeurst thought she was just accompanying her children to a concert. Little did she know that plans that God had for her...and for many of her friends too!!

If you don't have an opportunity to catch the show you can view it here.

If you need a pick-me-up during this long, long, wait just check this out! God is in control and He has a special plan for each of us!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tips & Tricks: Putting 'Things' Into Timeout

Today's tip is that 'things' can go into timeout. Who knew??

This is sweet little Rosie enjoying her post-nap cuddle time. I tell you, this is one of the very best times of the day! Snuggles, cuddles, giggles and hugs. Ah, it's a good thing!

Now, you can see in this pic that Rosie is enjoying her milk in a sippy cup. Would you believe there were times when sippy cups would somehow toss themselves onto the floor, covering a few feet in to process? The girls both know that sippys are not to be thrown and there is no question what will happen next. Rather than a 'timeout' for the child as this really is a minor thing that just needs to be handled, Mary-Mia would reach down, pick up the sippy and place it in the middle of the counter and the announcement gently made, 'Sippy is not to be thrown. Sippy is in timeout.'

Wow! What a great way to get a point across. There was normally a quick fuss by the girl who'd been holding the offending sippy but soon enough she was on her way, the point was made that sippys are not to be tossed and in a few minutes it was placed back at a level where she could reach it when she was ready. Guess what? That sippy didn't get thrown again.

Another day when lasagna was being used as a squishy toy rather than supper, Mary-Mia just reached across and picked up the plate and moved it to the centre of the table gently saying, 'Your supper is in timeout. Supper is for eating, not for playing.' Again brief, quiet protests and then nothing. A minute or so later supper was given back and playing with it was forgotten and she ate it right up!

I was so glad to learn this lesson as it's a great way to deal with situaions that need to be handled and a point made but are not major enough for something like a timeout for a little girl. There was no need for, 'Don't throw your sippy again.' or 'No, don't throw that.' It was all handled in a very positive manner and yet the point was very clear and the girls understood.

I'll be using this someday for sure!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tips and Tricks: Shout Color Catchers

It seems lately that I’ve come across so many wonderful little Tips and Tricks that others have shared with me, or things that I just normally do that others like, that I've decided to post the occasional entry sharing these with you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them too!

These handy dandy little sheets were introduced to me by the wonderful Mary-Mia. Having twins in the house you know that her washing machine is on duty pretty much every single day and often more that once!

Shout Color Catchers are designed to trap the loose dyes that may leave your clothing during the wash cycle and attack unsuspecting items such as socks and underwear! I’m guessing most of us have been victim to that! I still remember back in Bible College when the very first week one of the guys washed all his white socks and underwear with his brand new red sweatshirt! Yup…pink boxers and socks for Dan for the rest of the year! It sure made it easy for the rest of us to figure out who’d left their laundry in the laundry room.

When I was shopping on my way home from the airport last week I picked up a couple of boxes. (Normally between $3.00 and $4.00 for a box of 24 sheets. I found mine at Tar*jay on sale for $3.00/box.) I gave them a test drive last weekend when I washed a green and white tee, red tee, pink tee and blue tee all in the same load. Just threw in one of the ‘Shout Color Catcher’ sheets and it worked like a charm! (Recommend you use 2 sheets for a large load.) No bleeding of dyes and the colours were still bright and the whites still white! The colour catcher sheet had slightly changed colour so I knew that something had bled into the water but it had caught the dyes. Yay!

As I don’t do a lot of laundry…yet....these will come in very handy and save me washing only 1 or 2 items at a time.

Has anybody else tried them? What is your experience with them?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

3 Word Sunday - July 27, 2008

(Had a post all ready and it 'disappeared' **ugh!!**)

This week I decided to post 2 '3 Word' Pics because I just couldn't decide.

The first is a pic of a fun family event we went to today. I have vivid memories of being a child and sitting in the bleechers with dad watching Drum and Bugle Corp competitions. About a year ago I was surfing the net and came upon the Drum Corps International website. As I followed the announcements of this years tours I found that there was going to be one not too far from home so decided that would be a fun Father's Day gift for dad!

Today Mom, Dad, Rebecca and I travelled to this competition and it was wonderful! It was all we remembered and more! Not only did we relive our memories and discuss things from the past but Rebecca was introduced to something new and she said she really enjoyed it. The pic above is of the winning corp that was from Holland! Now that's quite the commute to compete!

This corp also entertained all of us as we were in awe of them! They are all corp alumni and reformed recently to march as an exhibition corp. They did a GREAT job... especially considering most of them are 60+ and some are even in their 80's! They marched a full program with knees high, instruments finely tuned and had the crowd clapping along! What fun!

My second picture is pretty typical of the summer of 2008. Sunny... storm... sunny... storm... Now, we're not just talking a few drops falling we're talking booming thunder and lots of lightening and then within minutes the sun is back out. I'd wished yesterday I'd counted the number of times these two weather patterns changed places. I know that at least 4 times I unplugged my laptop just to be cautious. How has your summer weather of 2008 been? Normal or different? We've already broken the record for being the raniest summer ever but it's also come with warm temps and lots of sun so that works!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rose's Special Night

You may remember a few weeks back Mary-Mia blogged about a fun evening of baking she'd shared with Marie. This time it was Rosie's turn!!

On this particular night I'd sat with Marie for a few minutes when she went to bed while Mary-Mia was with Rose. I'm guessing it wasn't 2 minutes after Marie's little head hit the pillow before she was out for the night. Hmmm...could it be because she'd skipped her nap that afternoon? How did that happen? It couldn't possibly be because I'd succombed to her cries (ok....after about 30 seconds of crying I'd succombed to her cries) and gone back in to settle her. Knowing she had a weakling newbie on the job she'd milked it for all it was worth and when Mary-Mia returned from the dentist she'd found me sitting on the floor of Marie's room with my head resting on her bed. I think I may have been dozing but she was still wide awake! Score 1 for Marie! (Hmmm...I'm thinking I won too as I had some extra snuggle time with this little sweetie!)

Another bonus to MM's dentist appt. (and I'll just say the only bonuses were on our side and not the side of poor M3 who would prefer to be just about anyplace other than the dentist!) was that I was able to pick the girls up at preschool. Mary-Mia talked to the girls about it before dropping them off so they were aware that Cafrin would be the one picking them up and they weren't surprised when mamma wasn't there. When I opened the door to their room I wasn't prepared for the rush of love that would sweep over me as these 2 adorable little girls came running to me, calling my name and jumped into my arms as I leaned down to greet them! It gave me goosebumps and was just a little glimpse of what it will be like to have Hannah come running to greet me!

Back to the evening of 'Rosie fun.' Mary-Mia gave her the option to do anything she wanted and what made us laugh was that after she and Marie had dined on about a 10 course supper only hours before, she wanted a snack! :o) (Talk about amazing eaters! Those little girls will try anything and even like things that Mary-Mia and I weren't appreciating. Neither she nor I were feeling the love of the seaweed sprinkles but the girls thought they were deeelish so who were we to discourage them?)

Rose started her evening of fun by making chocolate chip cookies. She did pretty much every single step and did a great job!!

Poured the mix into the bowl.

Added the butter.

Mixed the batter.

Discussed the progress of the cookies with mamma.

Licked the spoon clean.

Helped mom put her cookies on the baking sheet and then waited for them to bake.

More spoon cleaning with mamma.

Would you believe of all the ooey gooey goodness that came out of the oven I forgot to take a single picture of us enjoying them? You can be sure that they were great and all we had left to prove that were a few crumbs.

After the cookies were done there was still time for some late night snuggles and yes, a little snack.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Salsa Swim Time Fun!

I returned home last weekend but still have lots of fun pics to share with you. It was a crazy week at work so am a little behind in getting my posts up but hopefully this weekend you'll see a lot of the Salsa sweeties plus a couple of other friends too.

A couple of days after the girls woke up from their naps we were pool bound. The weather was perfect, the girls ready to go and Mary-Mia and I were looking forward to having fun with the girls in the pool. We started with the 'big' pool then would graduate to the small, warmer wading pool just hanging out and splashing around.

The girls have these great little inflatable bathing suits that have inserts in them something like water wings. Once we played with the amount of air in them the girls were good to go. By the end of the second day Rosie was saying, 'No touch Cafrin' and she was swimming on her own! Way to go Rosie!!

Here Marie is checking out her little belly. Her little grin looks like it's saying, 'You think there are just floaties in here Cafrin...really I'm packing a pooltime snack for later!'

What peace of mind these great little suits offer. Although the girls could easily stand up in the wading pool and mamma and I were never much more than an arms length away from them, it allowed them a lot more freedom to splash around and make sure that mamma and Cafrin got good and wet too!

The second day we were joined at the pool by Donna and her cuties Maddy and Gwen. We enjoyed more swimming fun and then supper poolside. Nothing like supper in the summer sun with good friends!

Here are a few other pics of our poo time fun:

Donna

Mary-Mia

Trying (not too successfully) to get a pic of the 4 girlies together.

Maddy showing me her adorable 'Kung Fu Panda' face. Shhh...don't tell her but this little face makes me just want to scoop her up in a big ole' hug!

Marie chillaxin as she watches the others.

Gwen. I'm guessing she hasn't quite learned how to read yet.

All too soon it was time to go home for the night. One quick snuggle before we go. Oh how I miss those snuggles!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Celebrating 28 Months Closer to Hannah!!!

Wow! Did this month ever fly by! I'm guessing a big part of it was because I was blessed to spend much of it in the company of friends who are in the process of adopting or who have already brought their amazing children home. I tell you, nothing could be better to help with the wait then the fun, laughter, giggles and spending time with precious friends and their adorable cuties!! I've laughed this week at how quiet my house is and more than once I've replayed the 'wake-up Cafrin' video just for the fun of hearing their sweet little voices for a moment.

I must admit that lately Hannah has been on my heart and mind even more than normal. Now trust me, if I go more than an hour or 2 without thinking (and talking) about her that's a l-o-n-g time but right now my heart is turning to her birth. Is she born yet? Will she be born within the next couple of months? I'll know next spring when I receive her referral but until then, my heart hurts to think that my baby girl may now be in an orphanage. Oh how I wish I could bring her home right now! My prayers are that the caretakers would be there for her and that she would be loved, cuddled, comforted, fed and know that she is loved. Trusting God to provide the care she and the others with her need until we are brought together.

My heart also aches for her birth mother as I cannot begin to fathom what she must endure to place her child in the care of someone else for the rest of her baby girl's life, never again knowing what happens to her. I pray for her often and ask that you would pray too.

Dear Lord,
As Hannah is again in the forefront of my heart, thoughts and prayers, I ask that you be with her. May she be born safely and cared for by her birth mother for the amount of time that she feels she can do that. I pray that you would bless this precious woman who is giving up her child. May you comfort her and heal her heart as she places her child in the care of others. I thank you Lord for this woman whom I will never meet but you know her as well as you know me. May you grant her the comfort that only You can give.

As sweet Hannah is placed in the arms of her new caregivers in the orphanage may you please allow her to trust them. They are there for her and may she know this. May they be the arms that hold her, lips that smile at her and kiss her forehead, the voice that sings to her and heart that beats beside hers as they hold her close. I thank you Lord for these precious ladies who daily care for the orphans of China and many others like them around the world. How hard it must be for them too to care for these children from newborn to months and sometimes years old and then place them in the arms of their forever families. I thank you for these women. May you bless them for the precious gift of love that the shower upon our children.

This wait has been so much longer than I'd ever anticipated Lord, yet I know that all of this is in your plan. You will bring Hannah and I together in your perfect time and I wait for that day...with love in my heart for my daughter and words of Praise to You, who is bringing it all to be. I love you Lord. Amen.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Photo Bloggy Day filled with Salsa Love!

Shanny invited all those who were interested to capture 'A Day in the Life.' Mary-Mia and I decided to join in on the fun! Basically you take a picture of what you're doing each hour of the day. Come along and enjoy just a tidbit of everything wonderful that is a day spent with Mary-Mia, Rod, Rose, Marie and Catherine!

7:00am - Rise and Shine! Marie was the first to wake this morning then Rose was up not long after her. We all hung out in Rosie's room having a jammie party while the girls enjoyed morning snuggles and stories with mamma and daddy.



8:00am - Excited About Preschool!
The girls really like going to preschool and they have lots of fun there! See you soon sweeties. We'll miss you! xoxo

9:00am - Mmmm... Breakfast!
Mary-Mia introduced me to a yummy little donut shop and we enjoyed donuts and coffee before hitting the stores.

10:00am - Grocery Shopping
As we were wandering around the fruits and vegetables section of the store this cute little guy caught my eye. Isn't he fun?

11:00am - Getting Ready for Preschool Pick-up
Each day before picking up the girls from preschool Mamma makes up little snack bags for the girls. Today she let me help out and it was lots of fun to choose special little treats for the girls! When they get in the car they're always so excited to see what in their treat bags and get excited about what they find. The magic recipe is to give them enough to keep them occupied and awake between preschool and home but just enough that they're finishing up as we pull into the driveway. Mary-Mia has it down to a science and I've learned it from her.

I cannot begin to tell you how many helpful tips and tricks I am learing from this AMAZING Mommy and friend!!!

12:00pm - Driving to Preschool
Mary-Mia teases that she's addicted to Chapstick and has passed this on to the girls so they're kept well hidden at home. Getting ready for preschool pickup kisses!

1:00pm - Lunch!
The girls were down for their nap so Mary-Mia and I took time for our lunch. While she worked on packing for an upcoming trip I whipped up a super yummy tuna sandwich and potato chip lunch. The recipe is Rod's mom's and it is fab-U-lous!! Thanks Linda!! Mmmmm!

2:00pm - Photo Shoot

LOL! This isn't too unusual a pic around here! Sad to say that between MM and I, combining our pics for these posts covered 4 memory cards from 4 different cameras! No wonder the girls hear clicks and see flashes in their sleep!

Nap time is also when we find a few minutes to check emails and quickly hit blogs. Working around the girl's nap schedule is a whole new world to me and one I cannot wait to embrace with Hannah!!

3:00pm - Laundry
A busy mamma of two seems to always be playing catch-up when it comes to laundry.

This heaping basket is made up of only the little girl's laundry. I have a feeling my washing machine and dryer are going to be in for a shock when sweet Hannah comes home!

4:00pm - Cleaning the Carpets... Again... With Help???
The girls have done really well with potty training but today was a rough one for Rosie. The house rule is that after 3 accidents you're going commando. (Going to remember that one! :o) I was cleaning up accident #3 or 4....we lost track...and the girls thought it would be a great time to catch a horsey ride. Can I tell you how much I love these two???

5:00 - Daddy's Home... And We're Outa Here!
Rod had been away on a business trip all week and after the busy day we had with the girls Mary-Mia and I decided to head out for supper and enjoy a little time...away from the pee-pee accidents! :o) Here she's calling for reservations at a wonderful restaurant. 'Girls Night Out' here we come!!
When I went upstairs to get ready I laughed when I saw the condition of my room. Hmmm...I don't quite remember leaving it like this!

If there was any question about who my little visitors might have been, those questions were quickly answered as I took a closer look. The perpetrators had left their calling cards...6 'chewies' on my bed!

6:00pm - Ahhh... Girl's Night Out!!
We enjoyed a delicious, quiet dinner and reminisced about the fun we've had this week. Sadly I'll fly home tomorrow night but it's not a case of 'if' I'll be back but 'when.' That makes the parting so much easier!

7:00 - Playtime Before Bedtime
Daddy had the girls all ready for bed when we got home from dinner. They were wound up and so excited to tell us all about the fun times they'd shared with daddy!

Rosie needed a little help up but Cafrin wanted to capture the moment first. Oops!

8:00pm - Bedtime
With daddy being home tonight it was mamma and daddy who settled the girls for the night. Sweet dreams baby girls. Tomorrow is another day of fun before us!

Speaking of bedtime...it's after 1:30am and I'd better get this post up. I didn't want to spend any time tomorrow on the computer when I could be spending it with my precious friend and the girls so I kept at it tonight. Better head...on monitor duty for one last night. *sigh!* Hmmm...wonder if those monitor signals will reach Canada? If so, hook me up for next week Mary-Mia!!

Thanks for a great day sweet friend! This was fun!!!
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