Slumber in the Slammer

I went to jail this summer…and it was so much fun! No, I’m not promoting activities of ill repute that would land you in the clink. A family reunion in Cantley, QC, just outside of Ottawa, gave me an opportunity to stay at the Ottawa Jail hostel. #hiottawajail

I wrote a travel piece for Billy, Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. It’s part app part digital magazine, all cool way to find out travel tips and experiences. Read it here: Lock up your reservation at Ottawa’s Jail Hostel




Glamping Gal & Her Kids

IMG_1142Last summer I had a chance to go glamping and even though I brought three kids (my 2 and my niece) it was both relaxing and fun. They couldn’t get over how fancy our ‘tent’ was. Read about my experience on Look Local magazine. The article was so popular it had over 900 kits in the 2 days after it was posted. Can’t wait to find another place to get my glamp on.

The Cheese (Sandwich) Touch

cheeseGrace didn’t eat her sandwich for lunch; it was past nap time, plus she was more interested in the chocolate milk. Anyway, I ate the rest and that bread, butter and rubbery processed dairy product sent my mind back to summer: specifically our annual road trips to Cape Cod.

My dad hated flying so we drove everywhere. That’s EVERYWHERE (across both sides of Canada, all over the US) so my mom had to pack a ton of food in the bright orange Coleman cooler. We’d get up super early (I was always up first) and go. I’m pretty sure we ate them at the cottage too once we were down there.

Maybe Grace didn’t eat the sandwich because she has more refined taste than that, and was looking for the old cheddar that I usually use.

Lullabies from the homeland

Sad little Soph and mom, just outside her orphanage and just before we whisked her away, onto the bus and back to the hotel.

I’m getting ready to hand over my old pink iPod nano to Soph, because: a) she’s a big girl now and likes to listen to our music and also sleepy music at night time. b) I need to use her old clunky Windows-based MP3 player for little sister and it’s got a lot of great lullabies on it.

One of the albums on the player takes me back to the very first days we were home from China with Soph, and many nights since. I bought the CD Asian Dreamland at a kid’s store before going overseas and I had a ton of music all ready and loaded so she’d have music to listen to once she was in her new room, with her new family. A series that I also really like is the

Yesterday I spent some time searching for kid’s music from Thailand but didn’t have any luck. So I’ll have to source out some other type of Thai relaxation music for our new little one, who’s waiting for us in Bangkok right now. She will be turning 2 in December and I’m really hoping that we can travel to Thailand in December to bring her home for Christmas AND her birthday, otherwise we’ll have to wait until January.

I find it really interesting that Soph and her new sister have so much in common, despite their countries of birth. They were/are both 77cm tall at the time we received their referrals (pictures, profile, and mountain of adoption paperwork), we received both of the girl’s referrals in October and their birthdays are within less than 2 months of each other. And, providing we can go in December, we would have brought both girls home just in time for their first Christmas in Canada.

Anyway, If you’re looking for some familiar homeland music for your adopted little one, consider Asian Dreamland. I like listening to it myself. It’s very relaxing. A portion of the sales of Putumayo Kids music is donated to the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, “in support of their efforts to enrich the lives and enhance the well-being of children living in orphanages throughout Asia and the rest of the world.”

Autumn in Yosemite National Park

This video floated into my inbox. I subscribe to a ton of newsletters (they go nicely with morning coffee). The cinematography is stunning. The autumnal colours are captivating. I found the music to be haunting and majestic. Here’s a poem I wrote up real quick about the video:

Drawn in

Transported into emptiness and expanse

Welcomed, invited, abandoned

Of the past, In the now, somewhere

Sadness in solitude, grateful for peace

Lost in the mist over Yosemite.

Autumn in Yosemite National Park from Henry Jun Wah Lee / Evosia on Vimeo.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Another weekly photo challenge that has more than one meaning for me. “Foreign” was definitely how I felt in 2007 during our trip to China to bring Soph home. Being in a country where I had no idea of the language except to say “hello” and “thank you” and thrown into parenting a 22-month old – totally foreign at the time!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Now, onto this week’s photo challenge that has a double meaning for me.

Big: the Great Wall of China.

Big deal: being able to travel overseas to China to, not only bring home our daughter, Soph, but that we also had the chance to see some “big” sights during our stay.

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

Gah! I’m late in posting my weekly photo challenge. I have been preoccupied though (see previous post on how I lost potential job and still get mad when I think about it).

Oh, AND, that 30-page government form I didn’t fill out and was avoiding simply because it was so overwhelming to tackle and now I have to get it done “yesterday” because things are happening with our adoption now – not a year from now – has come back to haunt me. “Ach, it won’t be for another year,” we thought to ourselves. Procrastination, Becky is thy name.

Anyway, I love this week’s photo challenge: a gallery of what makes you happy. OK, so here’s mine:

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

Deserted, foggy beach in Mazatlan, Mexico.

I took this photo one morning on vacation in Mazatlan, Mexico when it seemed like Soph and I were the only ones on the beach. It looks as if she’s trying to see if there’s anyone to play with nearby, but there wasn’t a soul around. Or, maybe she’s wondering if the fog will lift and be replaced with a hot, sunny day.