Sunday, January 31, 2010

Just thinking.....

Somewhere Out There  (Click to hear)

The moon was so beautiful the other night.  I couldn't help thinking about Olivia and what she was doing, and if she could see this moon from where she was.  Then this song came to my head.  Missing her lots.

It helps to think we will be together soon.

Baptism - Part 4

Date:  Sunday, January 17th, 2010.  Location:  Toronto

The weekend of my shower in Brampton, I was part of a wonderful celebration of faith, love, and trust.
My godchild Bella and Jake were baptised that weekend.  What a memorable occasion for me and their families!  The whole day was full of family traditions, from the dressing of the infants to the food.  We started off at Mich's house for the pre-baptism ceremony gathering.  Together with the other godparents, we took part of the "dressing of the children".  I put on this gorgeous silk gown on Bella and she looked like a princess.  Jake looked adorable in his white silk ensemble and cap.  It was too cute for words.  Once dressed, the "oohhs and ahhhhsss" came from next from the proud grandparents and relatives.  How could you not?  Look at them.  :0)

Finally dressed (they were so good), we took them into the living room for family pictures.  My husband was nominated to be the official family photographer and he quickly stepped up to the plate (in between the chicken pot pie and proscuitto).  Once the pictures were done, we went to the nearby church. It was an intimate ceremony for 3 (Bella, Jake, and some other kid).  I was such the proud godmother. I got to hold Bella for the watering over the head.  It was such an honour to be part of this rite of passage.  In the back of my mind I was wondering how Olivia's baptism would be.

After the ceremony, we drove to the banquet hall for a feast!  It was absolutely amazing to see all if not most of Mich's and Dino's family and friends to celebrate the occasion.  They are truly blessed with so much love and support.  It was also time for me to catch up with some old friends from high school too.  It was a night to remember for sure.  Then, it was time to go.  Sigh.  We had to drive back to Ottawa that evening, but we didn't care.  We would not have missed this baptism for anything (I even kidded around with Mich that if I had travel news, I would wait until after the baptism. hahah)  It was a honour and privilege to be asked to be forever in Bella and Jake's lives. I promise to fulfill my duty as godparent to the best of my ability.  Thank you for this gift. 

I am excited for Olivia's baptism. Another opportunity for people to come together and celebrate this blessing that has come into our lives.  Now...where to find a dress?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

3 Showers and a Baptism - Part 3

I know you're probably bored with all this party talk. But this is it!  My last shower and it was in Ottawa.

Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010. Location: Ottawa (Richmond)  Hosts:  Trish and Laura

I've had a dinner, then a lunch, and now a brunch.  I woke up feeling very relaxed and excited.  My friends were there from the beginning, even before the the adoption process.  It was a lovely morning filled with good friends who happen to also be my co-workers.  The people who I spend at least 6-8 hours a day with.  They were there when I got the crazy phonecall and watch as I cried "It's a girl!' from class to class.  These women are my Ottawa family. Katie (and Maeve) had come all the way from Montreal for the occasion. Heather (and Ainsley who was just born 7 days before) came too!

The first thing I saw when I walked in:

I laughed as I drove up because I had just came from the grocery store vowing one day to use those mother and baby stroller parking spots.  And there it did she know?  :0)  The sign has a special spot in the garage now.  Only I can park in the garage.  hehhe

Everyone arrived soon after I got there.  Astrid brought a beautiful diaper cake.  ( It is now a center piece in the dining room table because it's so pretty. hahaha)  We all sat around and admired it with our coffees.  I love brunch!  We had mimosas and yummy baked goods.  Then we got to the games!  The great toilet paper diaper game.  Working in the education field, the creativity of these women was not surprising.  They were all so pretty!  That's why men don't go to these things.  hahahha

It was a hard choice, but there was a clear cut winner.  As we were playing our games, Laura distributed ""New Mommy Advice Cards" and some redeemable coupons for future "services".  It was awesome! 

Dear Melanie,

My Advice to you at this special time is

  • "Buy extra memory cards for your camera. Take a zillion pictures and make lots of videos!"

  • "Write things down and take lots pictures- they grow so fast.  Always make time to cuddle."

  • "Sleep when you can, eat when you can, and enjoy every minute of your time."

  • "Enjoy every moment- even those middle of the night wake-ups! Time passes so quickly that one day you'll miss those quiet times alone together."

  • "Keep a note pad on the go. As Olivia does or says something adorable, jot it down and put it in a memory box."

  • "Relax and let other things slide so you can fully enjoy your time with Olivia."

  • "Get losts of rest before the baby comes."
Thank you so much for the advice super moms!  As we finished the games, it was time for the presents.  Again spoiled like crazy.  I pretty much got everything off the registry. I was finally at ease because we are all ready for her now.
What I wasn't ready for was my last gift.  It was a gift that threw me for a loop. Way back when I found out about Olivia, a friend had bought me this wonderful book "We Belong Together" (by Todd Parr).  It was a story about adoption.  I had to tell you this because, when I opened this gift, I was staring at the cover page of the book.  But this time, it was set in a mahogany "memory box"!  I can't even fathom the amount of time it took to make every detail perfect with this box.  Trish's father, truly a gifted craftsman, had taken the time to carve out the title and picture for the top of the box. He used special wood to make this piece of art.   I couldn't stop staring at it, even though my eyes were swelling up with tears.  Because of his work, our family will always be connected to theirs.  We will be able to put special memories for Olivia in the box, and later in the future, she will be able to put her own memories.  This is a gift that Olivia will have for the rest of her life, and I will make sure she knows that it was made with love by a man who has never met her, but will be in some way part of her past, present, and future.

Sigh.  It was a perfect day. To my family in Ottawa, thank you for being part of our journey (and helping me get through it hahaha)  I came home excited to show Martin all the things we got for Olivia. Then crashed on the couch with exhaustion.  We're ready.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

3 Showers and a Baptism - Part 2

Shower #2
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2010. Place:  My sister's house.  Hosts: My sister Melissa and Mom (Tita B and Rowie)

The weekend before had been pretty exausting, so instead of driving up on Friday, we decided to drive up Saturday morning.  Don't know which is better, driving late in the evening but sleeping in the next morning, or sleeping in my own bed and then waking up early in the morning to drive.  Oh well, either way we were exhausted.

Got to my sister's around 11am and things were pretty much set up the night before. My sister's house had been transformed to this party house, with streamers, balloons, and signs everywhere. The chairs were lined all against the wall. They also had a nice display of "adoption" material for people to look at.  Be informed as I always say. :0)  Everyone had been frantically running around to get things ready.  There were boxes of dishes that needed to be set out. My mother did not believe in serving food in the foil pans or containers they came in. So they put everything on a special serving plate or dish.

Soon people arrived with gifts in hand, and it was all pretty exciting. I GOT MY FIRST DIAPER CAKE!  I had a lot of family come and some of my closest friends in the world.  My friend Judith, I mean..Dr. Manzon..heheh..drove with her hubby all the way from Cleveland OHIO for my shower, and then had to drive back the same day.  It was soo great to see them, even though it such a brief time. I was soooo happy and excited to see her!  Mich (and Bella of course!), Cheryl, and Maryann, Aileen(s), and Jen all came out to wish me well.  It was great to see all of them, because really when I have the time to come to Brampton, most of the time it's spent with family.  It really meant something to have them share this day with me.

Of course it wouldn't be a shower with games. My sister wanted to play the "measure my tummy" game.  Ugh.  And a game I thought was cute, "Who reads my blog?". hahaha  I got blindfolded and did up a diaper. Piece of cake! ;0)  I had to guess what size diaper Olivia would wear. Why are there 6 stages???  My mom made sure I had all my favourite things to eat - shumai, har gao, concinta, mocha cake etc. And... as a special surprise she made some of those tasty filipino treats - yemas.  Second batch yummier I think.

Then the gift opening, which was overwhelming already.  Speeches and thank you's. Too little time to catch up with everyone there.  So much to talk about and catch up.  I needed more one on one time with people. hahaha But the fact that we were all together, made all the difference.  All the women I loved (not all of them of course...) were all together celebrating the coming of another family member.  All these women waited and prayed with me for years that she would come into our lives.  Our prayers have been answered.  Olivia is so lucky to have them in her life.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

3 Showers and a Baptism - part 1

 What an exciting 5 weeks! We went from finding out about Olivia, to the lawyers, then the holidays, and then the showers began.  This is the first weekend we have been in Ottawa since the holidays.  Our looks like a baby store exploded in the dining room, the hallway, the family room, and of course Olivia's room.  We really had no time to unpack and soak it all in...except for today.  Yesterday...we took a break for ourselves.  Strolled around Westboro, had a great dinner with some fine wine, and great conversations of what our life will be like in the next month.  Today (Sunday) was the last shower planned for me.  I was surrounded by great friends that have been there for me from the beginning of this journey and it seemed fitting that this was the last "party".  When I say they have been there for me, I mean...took over my class when I had to bolt for Dr.'s appts, comforted me when things we difficult, took care of me during my recovery from the ectopic, and generally supporting me and every way possible. I am going to talk about baby showers that were for me this time. Craziness!

Let's talk...showers.

Shower #1 - December 30th, St. Sauveur, Hosts - The Savard women - Mme Savard, Catherine, and Nadine

My first shower. Almost 4 weeks after we find out about our daughter.  The timing was perfect because Max and Nad and the kids were coming down from Moncton for the holidays.  But, I couldn't believe I was having one.  I was nervous about how I was feeling and not used to getting all the attention.  We arrived at the house early and found Mme. Savard preparing some smoked salmon.  Martin of course reminds her of my fish allergy.  That's where it gets interesting.  ;0) The women have planned a wonderful evening of wine and SUSHI.  Panic set it. hahah I have had sushi before so it wasn't a big deal.  However, they made extra sure that my plate was not tainted with raw fish.  A quick phone call to the restaurant and it was fixed.  Imagine however, Martin yelling "You better not have a reaction. I am not going to raise our daughter alone!!"  Sigh...he's so over dramatic.  In case of reaction...lots of water and Benedryll.  I was fine.  hahahha

It was a beautiful evening...the table, the food, the women.  Mme Savard had scooted me out earlier because she wanted the house to be perfectly decorated for the shower. Sure enough, it was short of anything perfect. Right down to the pink cupcakes the spelled out "BABY SHOWER".  The details on the table and extra baby stuff was totally cute. I've kept all the accents and some decorations for Olivia to put in her memory box.  Maybe one day she'll use them for her kids.  Slowly one by one, the girls arrived.  I haven't seen many of them for awhile so it had an extra special feel to it, like a reunion. It was such a relaxing and heart-warming night.

 Les boys came home after their night of hockey and wings, to find us women sitting around the dining table relaxed and laughing.  The crying was before. hehehe There was Audrey and Melo asleep on the couch exhausted. Olivia did get spoiled that night and the night after ;0). So this is how it feels.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  My first shower.  Thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marty's take....But When?

Hi Everyone, now it's hard! I have to say, time as never felt so...timeless!!!! I know people are "warning" me how much my life would change and to enjoy the time we have right now on our own, but you know, she already changed our life...and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us.
I never thoughts I could fall in love twice! I am so excited to build new memories with my soulmate and our daughter. Now everyday we think.....ok, so what would we have done today with Olivia?
I can't wait to have Mel and Olivia, meeting me at the office for lunch when im not traveling, or for a quick afternoon Latte and just to say Hi....
I can't wait for week-ends, to spend the afterrnoon entertaining her, playing, reading to her, go out running with her..(well pushing the stroller!!!(still waiting on Santa to deliver that CX-1)).... bring her to the pool....and meech lake!!!!(hihihi) I can't wait to have her share our life and put her stamp on it!

Come to think of we are counting down the minute at a are so worth it baby girl , and like they say, the best way to make a great entrance is to make people wait!!! this will be the greatest Entrance!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guess who?

I wonder what Olivia is thinking when she first saw our pictures?  Yes, Olivia...this is mommy and daddy.  She got her gifts on time for Christmas. So she was extra spoiled. These pictures were taken on Dec. 24th. We are now moving from anxiously waiting to desperately waiting. As you can obviously see her eating habits have not changed! She is really growing a Irongirl as Martin keeps saying.

Enjoying her first meeting with KONA the bear. Or...foster mom squeezed a bear paw and she heard funny languages.  LOL!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When you wish upon a star...

What a weekend.  Another personal best for Marty in his Goofy Challenge.  I have to was quite an experience and as a spectator it sounds quite idiotic to run a half-marathon on Saturday then a full marathon the next day in record breaking temperatures.  Oh..I don't mean the heat. It was cold!  SO SO cold. Brrr..just thinking about it. the end the sun came out and we went over 0 degrees with the wind chill.  :0P  But it's DISNEY, and things are always magical at Disney.

Anyways..despite the frigid temperatures...every minute I was there, I was wishing Olivia was there with us. Mind you, I don't think we would have trekked down to see the start of the race. It was way too early. They did this because during the course of the run you would get to run through Magic Kingdom and some of the other parks before it opened. For a Disney enthusiasts, that was pretty cool for us.  I was thinking how would I have bundled Olivia up and prepared her to see her daddy run in the race.

For years we imagined having our kids at the finish line cheering their dad along. We've been to many races where the dad or mom would run the last few feet with their little one alongside of them or holding them while they cross the finish line. Go DADDY GO! It was cute to see. How excited these kids were to see their mom or dad in a race to the finish line.  Hearing the crowds of people cheer the person the admired and love the most on. I wondered how Martin would feel seeing Olivia at the finish line. Pretty exciting.  Then I realized there would be 3 hours before the finish line "excitement" where I would have to keep her entertained.  YIKES!  I guess it's all worth it in the end. :0)  But...I'm sure the first Martin does a race with Olivia there will be amazing.  Maybe if we wish upon a star tonight, our dreams of Olivia watching her daddy race soon might come true.

Simplier Times

(This post was written on Dec. 26th.  Life got a bit crazy during the holidays. Surprising I know  :0) )

I love family gatherings. Yes..with big families there is always some sort of "drama". But this is what makes a family a strong family. We stick by each other through thick and thin. We learn from our past and we teach our children not to make the same mistakes.

This Christmas has been extra special for me because I got to spend time with family that I haven't seen for awhile. Family that brings so many memories for me. A family that has stories to share from their childhood. This Christmas my cousin came across old letters sent by my parents and grandmother to my aunt who just immigrated to Canada. They gave us a hint of how things were, how much hope they had of the promise of good fortune or a better life in Canada. I couldn't help be drawn to these letters and I hope I can read more. How different it was for my familygrowing up in Canada back then, full of great new experiences and full of experiences that I hope Olivia will never have to face. One of my cousins coined the phrase "simpler times". What does that mean? What are my hopes and dreams for my little one?   What do I want her to remember or learn from my past?  I guess everything and anything. I will have many stories to tell her.  I can't wait.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Marty touching base..Happy New Year!

Hi everyone, first, Happy New Year and all the best in 2010 to all.

I guess we need to get back on bringing you up to speed!..we know nothing! you are now up to speed! hahahahaha..(stole that one for Pink Panther 2)
Christmas Holidays where real crazy as you could all imagine..and most of you got a "live" update
But I do have to do a quick "dump" of info....(Mel will go in details later this week)
-We are still waiting for news on when we will be travelling.
-She got the package we sent to her for x-mas.(Yeah!)
-and...we should have updated pictures soon..(don't worry, we will post a few!)

As the "expected window" moves closer we are getting more and more excited and anxious to see our baby girl.

Thank you to all for making Christmas extra special this year, even if Olivia wasn't there physically with us she was clearly in spirit and on everyone's mind.
The joy and excitement from everyone around us and the love that she is already getting is out of this world!..not necessary to tell how much she got spoiled already!
All the love you already have for her was obvious with the generosity and thoughtfulness of your kind words and all your gifts
She is so much loved already by all of you, and that love was deeply felt by me and Mel.
Thank you so much to all for being part our journey as a family.

All the gifts where truly awesome, but (I don't want to make favorite), one gift that was given to Olivia, particularly touched me.....
Merci Audrey pour la belle carte que tu as fait pour Olivia.