Friday, June 29, 2012

Moments in Time: My Amazing Little Compass Girl!

Ever since she was a baby Hannah has had an amazing sense of direction.  Before she could even speak she had a way of indicating the she had been someplace before.  I have often been amazed by the way she remembers being someplace and often talks about it when we head in that direction again.
Tonight I picked her up from daycare and we headed towards my parent’s place which is about 20 minutes away from daycare.  My mom normally picks her up on Thursdays so that I can teach piano and takes her to their home.  On the way home mom drives her down a country road so that they can look at horses and cows.  Tonight Hannah asked me if we could see the horses on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's.  I said that would be great....except I didn't know where the horses were.  She and Mom have often talked about their visits to see the horses but I never thought to ask actual directions.
I mentioned that I didn’t know where the horses lived and she replied with, 'Dat's okay Mommy.  I know how to get there!'  Wow!!
I decided to give it a try and follow the directions of my little 3yo back seat driver.IMG_6208
We drove along the main road and as each intersection would come up I'd ask, 'Turn here?' and she’d just laugh at me and say, 'No mommy.  Keep going straight.'  As we were getting closer to where we normally turn off to my parent’s place I was concerned that we'd missed it.  As we went by another intersection I suddenly heard, ‘Turn here!’  By then we’d passed it and she groaned, ‘Oh no!  You missed it!’ (Heh!) I reassured her that we could go back so I turned around and off we went.
At this point I heard, ‘Keep going straight Mommy, the horses will be on the right.’
You guessed it.  About 2km up the road and voila…HORSES…on the right!IMG_6206
After sitting at the side of the road and talking about the horses for a bit she led me (after another turn) to where the cows normally are but they were in the barn. 
Hannah, you have an amazing sense of direction and your help in finding places or things at home is a huge help!  What a great gift to have, an internal compass that works perfectly!IMG_6209

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Invisible Red Thread ~ Follow Up

I posted about The Invisible Red Thread a couple of weeks ago.  I had an opportunity to watch it today and cannot say enough about it!  It’s a documentary of 2 teenage girls who were both adopted in China when they were babies.  One was adopted by a family in China and the other was adopted by a family in Toronto.  The girls initially correspond with one another and then Vivian and her father have an opportunity to travel to China and meet Shumin in person. 
I enjoyed hearing the girls talk with one another, learning about one another’s lives and what day to day life is like for each of them.
I think the most eye opening part for me was when Shumin shared how difficult life is for her in China since she is adopted.  It broke my heart to hear that she has been discriminated against and even bullied because she was adopted.  I hate that she has to go through that….and I hate to think that Hannah may very well face those very same challenges.  My heart actually aches to think that Hannah may face challenges like this.  I’ve always known it could happen but still, it doesn’t make it easier.  The Mama Bear in me just wants to protect her from every hurt she will face.  But I guess that’s a normal Mommy feeling adoption or no adoption.
I found it really neat to see how the girls helped one another and after meeting they were both changed people for the better.  Shumin said she learned that she could be happy about her adoption.  Vivian appreciated her parents and home more and the things that she previously took for granted.   Both girls appreciated their families more which was a wonderful blessing to all.
If you have a child who is adopted I would highly recommend ordering a copy of this DVD for you to watch now and your child to watch when you feel she/he is ready for it.   What an eye opening movie it was and I’m off to order a copy for Hannah and I.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Now That Was Fun!

Today at work Norma and I took advantage of a fun opportunity to raise money for a great cause.   We rode the Big Bike in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  This foundation has a special place in my heart as there is a history of heart disease on my dad’s side of the family. 
What fun we had!
Each team could choose what they wanted to wear.  We decided on the black bottoms and white shirts and then a couple of the gals found these fun Canadian cowboy hats at the dollar store.  I think we looked great if I do say so myself. SmileIMG_6197
We were loud as we laughed, cheered and shook tambourines as we rode and people were so supportive!  (I was sitting in the middle of the bike so not visible in this pic...but you could hear me! :)) It was neat to see and hear the number of people who honked their horns or stood on the side of the road cheering.  I was also surprised at just how fast this bike moved with very little effort.  Our route was about 5 km/3 miles long and it only took us about 7 minutes to ride it.  We were ready to go around again!download
There were 2 teams made up of our coworkers and together we raised almost $10,000!  I’ll be signing up again next year for sure!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mmmm…Strawberry Picking 2012 (Part II)

On the way back from the berry patch we had the option of stopping at a little farm area where Hannah could feed the animals.  Although she preferred looking at the animals from the safety of Mommy’s arms in the past, this time she was ready to meet them face to face.  She had such fun and they really were very gentle.IMG_5938



This year the farm installed a huge slide that Hannah loved!  She was up and down this hill and slide a number of times and would have kept going if we hadn’t needed to leave.  I think we’ll stop by again just to let her play!IMG_5906

What a great time we shared together berry picking, feeding the goats and playing on the slide! 

Mmm…Strawberry Picking 2012 (Part I)

Last weekend Hannah and I invited Grandma to go strawberry picking with us and what a fun time we had!  The berries were big, juicy and plentiful.  The sun was shining and this year Hannah quickly caught on to what berries were the best ones to pick and she was amazing!  Before we knew it our basket was full and we were ready to head back to the little farm and park with the huge slide! 

Can you hear her little voice singing out as she picked up her basket?  She outgoing personality makes people smile all the time!IMG_5910

Wagon ride out to the strawberry fields.IMG_5911

Proud little CanadianIMG_5932

Look at my little love!  What fun she was having!IMG_5916


Delicious, juicy berries.  Yummo! IMG_5915




Look at her go!  I was concerned the berries would go everywhere as the basket was quite heavy so after this pic we shared the job and together we managed to get all the berries to the car…IMG_5928

…well, most of the berries! Winking smile 



My little love sporting strawberry whiskersIMG_5930

Next post….feeding the goats and oh my, what a slide!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’s Officially Time to Look for a New Pool

We’re enjoying hot, sunny days which means I pulled out Hannah’s ladybug pool last week.  It took moments to realize that this little pool has served us well but it’s time to buy a new little pool for our backyard.  One glimpse like this was all it took!  I think in this pic she’s saying, ‘Uh Mom, I don’t think I fit!’ IMG_6056


Wearing her favourite ‘google goggles’swimming1

Regardless of the size of the pool, Hannah still had lots of fun!  IMG_6067


So, for now our little ladybug will continue to cool Hannah off until I can pick another one off when the sales begin shortly and then I hope to purchase a slightly bigger one that will still fit on the deck.  

And, because this is fun…..Flashback 2010swimming June 2010

Flashback 2011swimming July 2011

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Day Filled with Ups, Downs, Spins and Grins!

Hannah and I extended our weekend when I surprised her today by taking a vacation day and off to Canada’s W*nderland we went with Auntie Norma, Miss Kristy, Alyssa and Maddie.  We had a GREAT time from start to finish!


For the last number of times that we’ve gone to the park our days have happily been in the kiddie area.  This time the day started differently when Kristy dragged convinced me to go on the new roller coaster Leviathan.  What was I thinking???  This monster has a first hill that checks in at 306’ and descends at an angle of 80o and reaches speeds of 148 km/h (92 mph)!!  I tell you… that first hill is a doozy…as are the others after it!  I’m sure if you live within 50 kms from the theme park that you heard me screaming!  IMG_6054


If you want a treat, check out this video.  Heh….just watching it last night my stomach was churning!  When I went on it it continued and I was shaking like a leaf…but it was AMAZING!!!

Once this ride was over we headed over to the kiddie area and the girls enjoyed a bunch of rides there.  We went from wild to mild when we boarded the swans.  Ah yes, now that’s more my speed!IMG_5998



Hannah drove the race cars like a pro!IMG_6009


Flying high i a hot air balloon.IMG_6013

I love this pic!  Heh…not a foot is touching the ground!  The best part was that it wasn’t posed, it was just the girls having a fun time together!  They were great all day long!!IMG_6014

It was a beautiful, hot, sunny day so Hannah took many opportunities to cool down by pouring water on her head.IMG_6016

In the late afternoon Hannah’s courage began to grow (she’s a ride kiddo, just cautious of some rides) and she wanted to ride Blast Off with the girls.  She really did enjoy it in spite of this pic.  I was on it with her the first time she rode and the giggles were precious!IMG_6031

Last year Hannah began to ride Taxi Jam for the first time which is a tiny coaster.  Love how this pictures captures the girls reactions.IMG_6033

At the end of the day Alyssa asked to ride the Gh*ster Coaster which is a bigger roller coaster in the kids area.  Hannah asked to go too.  I knew she was tall enough because with shoes she was sporting a blue 40” arm band so I told her I’d take her while reassuring her that it was ok to change her mind when we got to the ride once she saw it.  It’s pretty much hidden by the woods.

Hannah was confident that she wanted to go on it so off we went.  And….she LOVED it!!!  As soon as it stopped she shouted, ‘Dat was so much fun!!’  So on we went again…and again!  Hannah, my roller coaster lovin’ gal.   Heh…look how little she is!  Of the 3 times we went on only once could we even see her face in the pic they took on the ride.  The other times she was hidden by the bar.  LOL!IMG_6052


I’m thinking Leviathan won’t be a one time ride for me.  Someday we’ll be riding it together!

In the meantime reaching the magical 40” mark and her love for rides means that Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Soarin’ and Test Track (if it were open) will all be options for us to ride at Disney this August!

We also learned that taking a day off in June and going mid-week is the time to go!  I went on a few adult rides (a fun treat for Mommy) and yet Hannah still rode 22 rides today too!

Hannah skipped her nap and was a trooper the entire day but she crashed as soon as we hit the car.  She didn’t make it out of the parking lot and was out for the night. 

We had a great time friends!  Hopefully it works out for us to do this together again next summer!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another Proud Mommy Moment!

I was amazed, shocked and it caused me to whoop, shout praises and call out for some amazed High 5’s!  When we were getting ready to go to Auntie Deb’s for our combined birthday party I gave Hannah Auntie Deb’s card and asked her to ‘sign’ it.   She’s been able to draw a great H for almost a year now and a couple of months ago she began to draw N’s too.  I’m guessing she’s learning that at Ange’s since her friend Noah’s name starts with a N. 
Anyway, I asked her to put her H down and normally I would praise her and then finish it off.  She drew her ‘H’ and then asked what was next.  I said ‘a’ and if she didn’t draw an awesome 3yo a y’all!!  Knowing she could write an ‘n’ I said, now add an ‘n’ and another ‘n’ then ‘a’ and ‘H’.
SHE DID IT!!!  The spelling is creative but it’s there!  Hannah’s name written by herself for the very first time!
IMG_5680It was hard but I did give the card to Auntie Deb (with a request that she please give it back when she takes down her cards.)  Heh, she’s a mom and she totally understood!
Way to go Hannah!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Invisible Red Thread ~ Airing Sunday in Canada

Sunday evening a new movie is airing that I’m looking forward to seeing.  It’s called, ‘The Invisible Red Thread
The film synopsis reads: ‘ 1995 a newborn baby girl was found on the steps of a hospital in the Chinese city of Jiujiang. She was handed over to an orphanage where they named her Li Bao, but six months later she was adopted by a Canadian couple and renamed Vivian. Vivian is one of over 100,000 girls who have been adopted worldwide since China opened its doors to international adoption in 1991.
Vivian describes herself as a typical North American teenager, but who might Vivian have been if she hadn’t been one of the international adoptees, and was adopted instead by a Chinese family?
The Invisible Red Thread follows Vivian from Canada to China as she discovers her birthplace and the life she might have led if she’d remained there. Together with her adoptive father, Vivian returns to China’s southern Jiangxi Province where she meets Shumin Zhu, a fourteen-year-old girl who was also abandoned as an infant, but adopted by a couple in rural China. Vivian and Shumin compare their lives and discover surprising similarities and differences. Through Vivian and Shumin’s stories, The Invisible Red Thread explores the ripple effects of China’s One Child Policy across two continents and the ties that still connect Vivian to China.’
The movie airs in Canada Sunday, June 17th at 9:00pm on OMNI2.  Unfortunately I don’t have any information about air dates in other countries.
I’m sure this will be a wonderful movie to see to learn some of what Hannah might experience as she grows up.  I’ll see what it’s like and possibly order the DVD.
Here's a link to the movie site.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Fun Times Went On and On

We’re of the mindset that birthdays are to be celebrated so we celebrate them to the fullest.  Smile  My birthday was the last day of May and Hannah and I turned it into a week of fun together and also shared with family and friends.  Yay!  I was completely spoiled and blessed by everyone who wanted to celebrate! 

Our first party was an annual birthday party with Auntie Deb whose birthday is the week before mine.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of Deb but did capture one of Hannah enjoying the delicious peanut butter and chocolate ice cream cake she made.  Yummo!IMG_5684

The last Tuesday of each month Polar Bear and I enjoy a marathon Skype conversation. Our calls normally end up lasting somewhere between 4 and 5 hours and go into the wee hours of the morning! We met one another a few times but it’s been a while since we’ve been together in person so now we visit via Skype. It’s such fun and I treasure our friendship! Since her birthday was the week before mine we enjoyed a cyber party, each having bought ourselves a celebratory cupcake. Fun! Miss you Polar Bear!!

The next night we cashed in a free birthday dinner coupon received from Boston Pizza and celebrated together.


Norma brought delicious treats to work.  Thanks Norma!IMG_0075

The day of my birthday was a Thursday so it was a piano teaching night for me.  My parents watched Hannah a little later than normal and this allowed me to go see, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ with a friend and then out for peanut butter ‘n chocolate ice cream.  Mmmm!  The movie was GREAT and we laughed ourselves silly.  Highly recommended it!  Thank you friend!!

Friday night Hannah and I cashed in another coupon I was sent in the mail and we went to The Marble Slab for celebratory ice cream.  Heh….birthday celebrations just seem to be tied in with yummy treats!mmm ice cream  June 1, 2012

Sunday lunch I was treated to delicious mini lemon cupcakes.  Here we are spending time with Nana and Papa, Tor, GG and Grandma Dale.  IMG_5706

Our final celebration was with Mom and Dad.  We went to a local Chinese buffet that we all enjoy and had a wonderful time together.  It was a great way to finish up a week of birthday celebrations!


To all who sent birthday wishes and celebrated with me.  Thank you!!  Hannah now reminds me that her birthday is next! Winking smile

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