Thursday, February 24, 2011


Today marks the most life changing event of my and Martin's lives. One year ago today, Olivia was placed in our arms permanently. It's hard to believe a year has gone by. But then again, so much has happened in a year that we forget that she has only been home for a year. She has grown so much since we brought her home.

I used to smile when I hear people talk about these GOTCHA days. I hear stories of elaborate parties, gifts, and activities. I always thought the day that you get that beloved "referral" was the day to mark on the calendar. It was kind of silly to celebrat GOTCHA days because really you "get" your child when they are referred to you. But now I get it. When birthparents have their child, they celebrate it as the birthday. They don't celebrate the "day they get home from the hospital". I get it. As parents to Olivia now, we celebrate the GOTCHA day because she was placed in our arms on February24th. Lucky for her, Papa makes every event in this journey a big deal. Birthdays will be larger than she is, "referral" day will just as big because it falls on Papa's birthday as well. The first time we met Miss O falls on Tita Melissa's birthday - February 22nd. A year ago seems like a lifetime because so many milestones and events happened this year.

So many things have changed, and then again so many things haven't. As we speak, she is sleeping soundly in OUR bed. A year ago, I was still rocking her our the glider and singing her songs to sleep - Bon Do Do, You are my Sunshine, and Baby Beluga were her favourites. Then I would place her in the crib when she was finished her bottle. Now, every night Martin and I would turn in to bed and cuddle beside her. Sometimes, she would roll on my side for part of the night, and then make her way to Papa's side and play with his hair. We've gotten used to this routine. We have gotten used the warm body in the middle (thank goodness for king size beds!). Now we would read some "livres - a book" (she would say it like that), and then climb into bed. She still plays with my hair before she dozes off, but not until she sings ME a song. Last night was "Skip to My Lou".

Today, Papa picked her up from daycare. The best decision we made to place her in this "school". She's confident, happy, and coming home with new things everyday. Somedays, Martin and I would just stare in disbelief when she did something out of the ordinary. Lately, she has been sitting in her highchair and counting to 14 independently! Last time this year, she was not a happy camper. hahahahaha. She was in this new apartment with strange new people all around her. Ugh...breaks my heart just thinking about it. Foster mom said she didn't like strangers, people wearing black or wearing sunglasses. ????? Today, she is the most sociable happy baby. She walks up to strangers and waves, says "hi!". SO much has happened in a year.

For dinner today, we celebrated at our favourite hamburger place. This time last year, Grandmaman and Grandpapa served us McDonald's with (very expensive) wine - for lunch, dinner, and I think the breakfast next day. Thank God that McDonalds across the street just opened. We were tempted to recreate the dinner seen. I remember being so exhausted physically and emotionally that day. Physically because our of whirlwind travel, and then caring for this 20llb bundle of joy. Holding her and bouncing her so she would stop crying. Emotionally drained because THIS day had finally come. After years and years of waiting to build our family. In a way, Olivia exhausts us the same way she did 1 year ago. Physically, because we run around constantly to catch her. hahahha Ugh..these toddler years definitely have made us more fit. Emotionally, we are not drained, but so happy, constantly worrying about her wellbeing and happiness. A glass of wine would have been great today. hahahahha. So much has happened in a year.

Today when we came home. Olivia, on her own, went to the living room and went through the photo albums on the table. She has done this a couple of times, but for some reason, she went to the album with her baby pictures in it and pointed to herself and said "O-i-via". Crazy! Then she went through our family album looking at pictures of me and Papa. One day, she'll undertand the stories that go with the pictures. One day, she will relive the "Gotcha Day" with us through stories, videos and pictures. But now, there is so much to learn and do THIS year. Looking ahead to the next year with our precious little Miss O. It'll fly by again I'm sure.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl XLV

A new tradition with Papa. Superbowls and junk food ( I thought I threw this cheesehead long time ago. Funny...I can't put a dress on this girl, but a jersey and cheesehead, she's all excited. Sigh. GO PACKERS GO!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mama and the Teacher

Well today Olivia is feeling a bit run down. After almost a month of daycare, the colds and germs got to her. I mean she did have a bad cold way back in December when she first started transitioning, but this is her first cold in awhile. We were doing so well. So she is finally asleep after a night of tossing and turning, coughing and sneezing, and just warmer than usual. I am hoping she will catch up on her sleep that she missed out on from the last couple of days. Another difference from her last bad cold is, I am actually back work.

Last night, when I had to call in to make arrangements for a supply teacher to come in, I was feeling out of sorts. First of all, here is my daughter who was absolutely miserable and needed extra attention. She didn't have an appetite and she was sneezing and coughing every five minutes. Of course I would stay home with her the next day and even the next day after that if she wasn't feeling better. Any parent would. However, not every parent is a teacher, and there was a tiny trace of guilt or worry about not coming in the next day.

Of course, the class would be fine. But I was finally back at work and starting to get my routines underway. This year my class proved to be the most neediest I have ever had. There was a bit of worry that all my efforts of trying to build a routine and structure for these kids would fall down the drain because I was not there. This is silly I know. But I realized that this is a teacher thing. Parents who are not in the education field wouldn't give it a second about not coming into work. As a teacher, there is some amount of accountability to these kids and their parents. It's a huge responsibility.

Even with 12 years of experience, I rarely called in sick. Even if I had the flu and was still recovering I wouldn't take time off. First of all, it's such a hassle to leave instructions about the class and their routines, and then trying to find work that would keep them busy and didn't require a lot of teaching time. It would literally take about an hour to get organized the night before I knew I was going to be away. It was even more of a hassle calling in the morning of and not having anything ready for the supply teacher. Needless to say, most teachers would go in sick, work the day, and then make plans for the supply teacher the next day to recover. It's insane I know.

It's funny though last night, I was thinking about how different life has become. This is the first "sick" day I have taken for Olivia. Yes, there was a day last week when Olivia had a doctor's appointment. But today, she was really sick so I stayed home. I wouldn't drop her off at the school feeling like this. But in my mind, I sick would she have to be for me to stay home. Does that cross any other parent? If she's sick, of course I wouldn't go. But if she just had a cold, I don't really have the luxury of staying home either. And that sucks. She will always be my priority. As a mother now, my priorities have changed. Family first. My daughter's well-being is first. School or work...well...that's a close second. This is my life now. I've banked all these sick days for a reason...for myself and my family if they needed me. Today she needed me. I'll just do some planning while she sleeps. :0)