Yes, we are back from abroad! It was great and everyone we met was super friendly. Including our camping neighbor who ended every sentence with “Aye” which is Canadian for “foreigner, do you understand my English?” They were really nice, but was interesting was that when we first saw them I got a huge bachelor vibe from him even though he was interacting lots with the kids and doing all the cooking. It turns out that the woman’s husband had died last year after a horrible, long illness and he was the boyfriend. He said lots of people had given him advice about getting along with the kids but they still tell them that he isn’t their father and they hate him. Gary told him that is just what kids do when they don’t like something. It was fascinating to talk with them about life in New Brunswick and the high taxes and French and English schools. It would have been nice to talk to them more but the rain interfered. It seems that torrential downpours are a daily event where we were camping. We would be enjoying ourselves when one of us would say “hey, I wonder if it might rain tonight?” and before the other could answer sheets of rain would be falling. It really happened that fast. Unreal. One night the thunder and lightning was so bad that we had trouble sleeping, but during the day it was beautiful.
The campground had lots of fun activities including mine golf, waterslides, mining, and hay rides. They taught us lots of really fun songs that we can’t seem to stop singing. I’m so temped to post one in it’s entirety but I have managed to have readers thus far and won’t push my luck with brain numbing lyrics.
Katherine met a friend and they immediately held hands and didn’t let go of each other until they were pried apart screaming and crying to say goodbye. It was very sad, but also really neat that Katherine made such a connection. I think those relationships only happen once in a great while and it was cool to watch. Both sets of parents agreed to try to come back the same week next year.
We visited the Canadian Tire Store and scored some Canadian Tire Money for my scrapbook. Canadian Tire is the coolest store and if everything in Canada wasn’t so expensive (and I actually had some money!) I would have bought a ton of stuff. Things in Canada are much cooler than the stuff in the US. Even the candy and chips are better. It was a flavor orgy with the roasted chicken potato chips, Diet Cherry Vanilla Coke, Caramel Areo bars, Hershey Dark WITH NUTS! It was great. Mmmm.
We also visited the modular home center. The house that I liked only cost $200,000, not including land, well and septic, foundation or hookups. Yeah, that might happen, NOT. I got very sick while touring one of the houses and I can only think that it was from the off gassing of the new materials. Not fun.
While sitting by the fire tonight Katherine came back from out neighbor’s house and said, “I saw smoke and thought there must be a fire. I hope we aren’t having marshmallows because I just had fig noodles and ice cream at Miss Irene’s.” Then she and Noah had a huge fight after which they were both sent in to bed. He is a letter I received shortly after:
Der Mom and sore I jes I got mad and Noah got mad to s we bos fete. We bof sed sore. And sore to you. We r rere sore. I love you. Love Katherine.
Then this letter from Noah:
Dear Mommy and Daddy. I said sorry to Katherine. I push her because I was really mad. Like Daddy, you got mad so you hit a hole in the wall. From Noah.
I asked him, “what? Did I ever hit a hole in the wall?” Then Katherine jumped in to say that “Daddy did and he said not to tell you”, and between the two of them got the story that one time Daddy was mad that the red sox lost and hit the wall, then said, “don’t tell Mommy, she’ll get mad.” I found this all quite amusing, and they were even able to show me the hole. It has been filled in with putty, but I really thought it came with the house so clearly I never even noticed! Don’t we sound like a violent family! We really are quite gentle normally, and (as far as I am aware) only have one hole hit in a wall!
One more day until we leave for NY! We are so excited and can’t wait to leave. I am very excited because Patty said she brought her homemade pasta sauce and fixings for sausages and cutlets. Mmmm. She keeps calling her place “a little cabin” but mark my words, this place is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to take a walk in the woods. It will be really nice to get quiet and enjoy the nature. I am also very excited to finally meet Patty. I hope that my Dad is right and we totally hit it off. We have through mail, but I’m still nervous. It will be very different for me to be the guest. That part will be awkward, but VERY nice.
We are going to have a traveling party in the car for Gary’s 40th birthday. It will be fun for everyone and pass the time, and also be a cool party for him, hopefully. Since he is forty we will do something fun every forty miles, like eat cupcakes, open gifts, and play candy bingo. I’m also going to have the kids hang crepe paper in the van before we go, and maybe I’ll get some of those hideous “over the hill” balloons. Thanks to Rose for the idea to party in the car!
Speaking of Rose, her little girl asked “if you have twins, can you milk them both at the same time?” It took Rose a few seconds to figure out what she meant, then asked “do you mean nurse them both at the same time?” “Oh, yes,” she replied, “I have been watching WAY too much animal planet!” Isn’t that too funny?
We had several calls waiting for us when we go home asking if we would take more respite work. I’m really torn because they asked if I wanted and placement and I explained that I did, but since it went so well with the difficult child that we felt that we should focus our energy there, so no. Then I really regretted saying that because I do REALLY want a placement. I considered calling her back on Monday to say yes, send us a placement, then Gary and I talked again about how helpful it can be to other families to provide respite care and how nice it is to have fun then send them home, so I am torn. The only problem with everything is not having permanency with our family. It would be great if our family would (finally) grow with adoption, but that will limit our fostering and respite options as well because of the number of children, so basically there is just a lot to think about. Ugh. The good news is that the foster mom really talked us up to people who can make decisions in our favor. She actually called me last week and went on for over and hour about how much she loved me, and how if I never did respite for them again I had already touched her life, and what a difference this weekend was for her. She said she had never really had a weekend away from him and was shocked and so grateful that I didn’t call them at all. She also said that in the past he has come home and tantrumed for days but this time got out of the car a very happy kid saying “Hi Mom, I had fun!” She also said that she could even tell that he had made gains over the weekend. How awesome that was to hear. We really did work hard and made him our full time job all weekend long. I’m so glad someone noticed. What an ego boost. She then said that she was sending an email to (she named many important people) to sing my praises.
Okay, I have to stop tooting my own horn but you get the point. She was grateful and I was very happy to hear it.
Oh, just one more thing. He was so adorable and melted my heart when he called me “Mom”. One time he was looking for a train piece and said, “is it under the Mom, nope, it’s not under the Mom! What about the Dad?”