Making parenting mistakes since 2008

Category — holidays

Monday Moments

* it is Monday and we are on vacation in Massachusetts
* although we brought a laptop getting it out is more work than I want to do so I am writing on my phone
* all is well
* kids are crazy and disregulated as we expected them to be butm
the ocean wears them out and they do sleep well.
* tomorrow I get to hug some of the Orlando Mamas who live up here and excited barely begins to describe how I am feeling.

July 23, 2012   No Comments

Monday Moments – Easter pictures

  • I could tell you about the last week of our lives but it would be awfully whiney and negative.
  • If I began to tell you about the weekend I would have to think more than I want to.
  • Instead I will just show you tons pictures from when the kids were smiling, regulated and not trying to kill one another cause those moments are so much nicer to think about.
  • If you scroll over the picture there is a caption for each one.

April 9, 2012   7 Comments

Finally Gone

After being in my house since December 3rd she left today. I must say she was not nearly this naked until I started pulling the ornaments and lights off at lightening speed in an attempt to get Christmas back into it’s tubs in less than a hour. Mission accomplished.

January 12, 2011   1 Comment

Monday Moments – Ukrainian Christmas Edition

  • This post is for Diana, well sort of, she asked for recipes and I cook by feel and taste and so I thought I would lead her to some things that would be good recipes sources but then I thought that others might be interested as well so here it goes.
  • There are lots of links in this post, they all go to good places.
  • Ukrainian Christmas or Svait Vechir also referred to as Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 6 and 7. It is tradition to celebrate it on the Eve of the feast which means that we celebrate on 6th and sleep it off on the 7th. It works well.
  • Traditionally you prepare a 12 course vegan meal to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Each course is eaten alone and a Christmas carol is sung in between each course. It takes a long time to eat this way but that is okay because there is so much food that things have time to digest in between each course.
  • There are a variety of traditions that go along with all the meal like putting hay under the table to represent the manager and hiding candies in it for the children to find, waiting for the youngest child to see the first star in the night sky before the meal is begun, the singing of carols in between each course and setting an extra place at the table for a guest/stranger should it be needed.
  • There are many ways that the meal is prepared and there are a variety of options for the 12 dishes but in my family it usually goes like this
  1. Bread and Honey
  2. Kutia – boiled wheat kernels with nuts, raisins, poppy seeds and honey. I add pecans or almonds and maraschino cherries to mine
  3. Borscht – with or without mushroom filled dumplings
  4. Cabbage Rolls – with 2 different fillings rice and buckwheat, scroll down the linked page for the recipe for these.
  5. Mushroom gravy – I use 1 package mixed dried mushrooms ( soak overnight and save liquid), garlic, margarine and 1 package Simply Organic Mushroom Gravy Mix. Saute 3 cloves chopped garlic ( or more) in margarine, add drained mushroom, add gravy mix and liquid from the mushrooms. Dead easy and so good. There are other ways to make but they are not gluten free and I do not like them as much.
  6. Perogies – we cheat here and make them with potato, onion and cheese ( not vegan) I also make gluten free ones.  
  7. Beans – white mashed beans with garlic is traditional but we have green beans with garlic and onions.
  8. Breaded Fish – again we break tradition here and have salmon because we like it better
  9. Jellied fish or pickled herring  – again only for people like P and my father who love it.
  10. Stewed fruit/fruit compote – I don’t like this and as a result do not make it but buy oranges instead.
  11. Poppy Seed Loaf – sweet bread dough rolled around a sweetened poppy seed mixture.
  12. Technically we count the 2 kinds of cabbage rolls as 2 dishes and that brings us up to 12. If I am motivated I also bake buns with mashed potato in them, they are super good. There is no recipe, make your favourite bread dough, make mashed potatoes, take a ball of bread dough, flatten it out, put a scoop of mashed potato in the center, pull the dough around it, pinch closed, place seam down on a cookie sheet, repeat till you have as many buns as you want. Bake till they are golden brown, eat them warm if you can.
  • I do not have the energy to type out recipes tonight, besides my Baba taught me and I don’t really use recipes but just go by how it looks at tastes. I have looked some up for y’all though and linked them as I went.  I would make the ones found here and if you look around the site a bit there are lots more good ones and good ideas to to round out your meal.
  • With that I am off, good luck and happy cooking.

January 4, 2011   5 Comments

Another Year

Each year I stress to my kids the importance of the meaning of Christmas, the importance of giving over receiving, that the reason that we celebrate has to do with our faith and not our wallets. I think that we manage to strike a good balance between giving and receiving for the most part.

This year as I look back on the last few weeks, I find myself overwhelmed with the consumer nature of the holiday season. Buy, buy, buy is all we here for weeks on end. It is all about having more, a bigger this and a better that.

Perhaps it is because I was sick over Christmas and all the gifts could not be opened fast enough for me so that I could go back to bed. Perhaps it was because there has been a lot of behaviour these last few weeks and I was tired or perhaps it is because the gifts are really not that important to me anymore. Yes, the love of my life bought me all 9 seasons of Little House on the Prairie on DVD which thrills me to no end and I will love watching every minute of it but I did not need it. My children did not need another book or lego set and they ignored many of the smaller less flashy treats that were found in their stockings. In fact at this very moment they are outside playing in the quickly melting snow and having the time of their lives without a single store bought thing to play with.

It makes we think that we could do with a whole lot less.

In fact I know we could do with a whole lot less.

In the days before Christmas I delivered one of our Christmas hampers and I had the privilege of meeting the Mom who was receiving the gifts. It was awkward for her but I could see the gratitude in her eyes. She was grateful for all that had been done for her, she was thankful that she had gifts to share with her children on Christmas morning and she said she humbled by the out pouring of love from strangers.

It reminded me of just how very blessed I am to be a middle class stay at home Mom, sure we struggle to make ends meet and there are no big extras in our lives but we choose this. We choose to have less so that I can be home. For so many there is no choice, no choice of this job or that one, steak or pork for dinner, daycare or not daycare. There are no choices because jobs are hard to find, steak is to expensive and without daycare there would be no working, without working there would be no food. I am among the privileged who do not have to make those choices.

I am grateful that another year draws to a close I have be reminded of what is important rather than worrying about what I might not have.

December 31, 2010   5 Comments

move along

You can move along as there is nothing to see here, well except some pictures of the reasons that I am not blogging. We keep Christmas pretty simple and I am feeling overwhelmed, I could not imagine how I would feel if we made a big deal of it!
Cookies for teachers and staff at the school
The beginnings of mushroom gravy and kutia fora tradtional Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal with friends at church
Christmas hampers that need to be delivered today.
Pausing in the busyness to work on attachment with Calvin, he has been asking to paint them for days. I made time last night and then I painted his. Fudge thinks we are insane, I love that Calvin wanted to do this with me and for me. I will even leaving the nail polish all over my smallest toe.
Dishes, need I say more.
Decorations that the boys made for friends, family and teachers, many still need ribbons.
Wrapping gifts is my least favourite activity. I use a lot of bags and only wrap big things
Laundry, sad that the laundry and the dishes do not take a vacation when there is a lot going on.

December 23, 2010   4 Comments

12 days of Christmas RAD style

Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself because you’d cry your eyes out if you didn’t – Indigo Girls

I needed a laugh, I wrote this, please take it as it is meant to be, a joke. If you want to be serious about it please don’t bother leaving your serious comments here, your giggles and additions though are most appreciated and welcome

On the 1st day of Christmas my RADish gave to me their left shoe in a dead tree
On the 2nd day of Christmas my RADish gave to me two broken doors
On the 3rd day of Christmas my RADish gave to me three temper tantrums
On the 4th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me four shouted insults
On the 5th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me five purple bruises
On the 6th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me six time-ins
On the 7th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me seven bouts of sobbing
On the 8th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me eight times-a-tattling
On the 9th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me nine pee puddles
On the 10th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me ten boys-a-screaming
On the 11th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me eleven cups of spilled milk
On the 12th day of Christmas my RADish gave to me twelve signs of healing

PS I don’t technically have a RADish but writing out traumatized child with attachment issues did not have the same ring to it.

December 17, 2010   3 Comments

A round up of sorts

Tomorrow is the dreaded Mother’s Day. P has taken the boys out to buy stuff to make supper tonight in an attempt to make tomorrow and little more tolerable we will just make it a regular Sunday with no big anything. They are off to the dollar store and P has specific instructions that they can buy whatever they want as long is either useful or can can live outside, I am thrilled to have a million ugly garden things because I will not have to dust them.

Calvin is working on keeping it together but is lying to may face about simple things like brushing his teeth and Fudge had an accident today for the first time since last summer… can we say stressed.

That all being said I have seen some really great posts about Mother’s Day when your raising kids like ours and I thought I would share.

Kari wrote Happy Mothering with a Purpose Day, it’s great.
Corey is doing the best she can and waiting for Monday
Jennie wrote about grieving, there is a lot to grieve for a lot of people on Mother’s Day.
Accidental Advocate writes beautifully to her children’s birth mother
Diana talks about the real stress that this day can bring for our kids

and although this is not really about Mothers Day per say it is a great post and it fits –
Kristen wrote about Adoption and Loss, very appropriate this weekend as Sunday is all about our kids losses.

May 8, 2010   3 Comments

Mothers Day?

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a day when we are to celebrate the woman who care for and nurture us. As an adult I still remember to call my mother, to send her a card ( although rarely on time) and try to take a few minute to connect with other women who are have played an important role in my life. That is my role as a daughter and I must say that it is the easiest part of this day.

Celebrating Mothers day as a Mother is a much different story for me. My sons are adopted and so this particular day is hard for them as I am not their only mother but I am the only mother they get to celebrate with. There were 4 mothers before me and the loss of each of those woman has been significant for my sons. They can not reach out to them tomorrow to thank them for the role they have played in their lives. It is the sad, hard reality that they live with, it is the difficult reality of older child adoption…

Want to read the rest, head over to Hopeful Parents, the whole thing is there.
( I know I am sneaky but it was a wayt to post here and get some new traffic over there)

May 8, 2010   No Comments

Good Friday

This is Good Friday at my house, eegs, bread and friends. It was a brillant day, warm and spring like, a rare treat for Easter here in the Great White North. We had friends over to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs, but I forgot about the camera until after they left. It was a lot of fun. We went to church and messed with Calvin’s routine enough that he needed to start misbehaving before we came home. I explained to Calvin that he had a choice about his behaviour right now and if he choose to have a tantrum he might not like the weekend long time-in that would result. Amazingly he managed to control himself and did not have a tantrum. Sometimes being firm like that works, other times not so much.

Today is another busy day, lots to do for the all day eating party that is Easter when you are Ukrainian. I am looking rather forward to spending the day with friends and eating until I am ready to burst. I hope that they boys are able to handle the day with out too many issues.
I am off to the store for cheescake supplies and wine. What more does a girl need.

April 3, 2010   8 Comments