Thursday, June 12, 2008

June Update

Hello all,

The Hern family has been fairly busy these passed few weeks. Kanya's dance classes ended, she got a little certificate which she loves. We have a few more weeks of gymnastics. I love taking her to gymnastics. She loves running and jumping and even the balance beam. Mainly I think she likes her pink sparkly gymnastics outfit.

We went to Canada's Wonderland with my sister in law Courtney and her son Kian who is 4. It was so much fun. I have never been to wonderland with young kids before and seeing how excited they get was great. Kanya and Kian met scooby doo, went on rides, and just ran around and had a great time. When I took Kanya on the child roller coster she even put her hands in the air as we went down the little hill. It was so cute. After getting off every ride she would jump and clap and yell YAY YAY. It was also fun to see the kids get braver as the day went on. Rides they wouldn't go on at first they would by the end of the day. Kian and Kanya went on rides together. The best best one where they were facing each other. They kept looking at each other and smiling.

Now that the weather is warm one of Kanya's favourite things is the sprinkler. She could run in it for hours. She loves to get soaked. Yesterday when craig was watering the flowers she started running in between Craig and the flowers so she could get wet. She then picked up the hose and sprayed herself. If you spray her with the hose, rather than running away she says "More Please".

Anyway I have to go I think she is waking up.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I get so emotional

Who knew that becomming a parent made you so much more emotional. I don't remember crying during TV shows before.

Yesterday I took Kanya to McDonalds playland. I have taken her there a few times. On previous visits she would play only a little and then get scared. Yesterday however she was climbing on and off everything and making friends with all the other children playing. She didn't ask me to come on the playset. She would just come over to me everyone once and a while and say hello and then goodbye. As I watched her I almost started to cry in McDonalds!!!! I was thinking about how far she has come and I got really emotional.

Today is a big day. Grandma and Grandpa (craig's parents) are coming to babysit for about an hour and a half. Kanya has not been with anyone but myself or Craig yet, so my fingers are crossed. I am excited to report that craig was able to put Kanya to bed all by himself for the first time and she slept all night.

Here are some pictures:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Spring

The weather has been great here over the passed few weeks and Kanya and I have been enjoying it very much. We bought a playset for outside with a slide and some swings. Kanya is an excellent climber. She is very active. We go for a walk almost every morning, often ending up and Tim Hortons where Kanya gets either a sprinkle donut or a cookie. She has been sleeping well, I am sure in part from being so active during the day.

Many mornings are spent applying temporary tattoos and doing our nails. Kanya loves getting her nails done, but often wrecks them before they dry. We also watch movies. She loves 12 dancing princess right now. We dance and twirl along with barbie.

We have been going to a mom and tots dance class. It's so cute. We do the hockey pockey and sing itsy bitsy spider (one of Kanya's favourites) and also enjoy dancing around during the "Free Dance" I think I might try a toddler gymnastics class for her next. She does a great summersault.

A few weeks ago we also met Pim and her Mom. Pim was adopted from Thailand as well and now lives in Wallaceburg. Pim and her family returned home only a few weeks after we did. It was fun to get the girls together as they are close in age. Below is a picture of Pim, Myself and Kanya. After I picked up Pim Kanya wanted to be picked up as well. She then pointed to Pim and said "Done"

Above is Kanya with Alex and her daughter Olivia on a playdate

Kanya with her daddy. She loves the Tinkerbell shirt

Friday, April 4, 2008

Easter and some other updates

Wow I really need to post more often a lot has happend since my last post
Easter was so exciting. It was our first holiday as a family of three. It was great to watch Kanya hunt for easter eggs with her cousins and sing and laugh with the aunts uncles and grandparents. On the Saturday of Easter weekend we went to the Herns to celebrate and Sunday we went to my Mom and Bobs. It was her first time at the Grandparents homes so there was lots to explore.

Kanya has been doing so well lately. She had a little rough patch where she wasn't sleeping very well but that seems to have passed. She is certainly hit the terrible twos and is testing her limits. Sometimes when you say "no" she give you a little look to see if you really mean it. I take her swimming at the athletic club about once a week which she loves. She behaves those days b/c I tell her if she doesn't we won't go swimming. We are going to start a mom and tots dance class next week which I am really looking forward to. Her favourite movie currently seems to be sharktales which I have watched several times. She likes to do the actions while watching movies, she is quite a little actress.

Yesterday we took her for her Doctors appt. We have been preparing for this moment for a while as she has a fear of Doctors. When we were in Chiang Mai she would not even stand on the scale or let the Dr. check her ears. To try to help her with this fear we bought her a little play Dr. toyset and have been showing her what the Dr. does to make sure she is healthy and strong. Last week we also took her to the Drs. office just to meet the Dr. and the nurses. I am happy to report yesterday Kanya was soooo good at the Doctors. She stepped on the scale by herself, let the Dr. check her heart, eyes ears, tummy etc. She let our a little cry when she was getting her needles, I told her not to worry we will get ice cream after and that cheered her up. I must say ice cream is a miracle invention.

Easter and Grandma and Grandpa Herns

Easter at Grandma and Grandpa Heywoods

Daddy's workshirt

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adoption is a process, not an event

I can't remember where I heard that quote but it is so true. Kanya continues to do well. Everyday she seems to say or do something new. The last two days she has been wanting daddy to hold her more and more. She even follows him around. You can imagine how happy this makes Craig.
For the first month Kanya did so well she slept through the night almost every night, ate very well and seemed to be more and more social every day. I think we thought we had this parenting figured out--just joking. About a week and a half ago she started having some night terrors. I do not wish to share details out of respect for Kanya's privacy but if any of you adoptive parents out there who have had experiences with night terrors would like to email me and give me their advice that would be great. The reason I bring it up is that is served as a reminder to my husband and I just how much this little girl has gone through. Maybe she can't always share or even understand her feelings but it doesn't mean we should not be sympathetic. Everytime I read someones blog (including mine) that talks about how happy they are to be home, I have to remember that this security is exactly what our children lose.

Kanya with her cousin Makenna

Kanya getting ready for cousin Kian's birthday party.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Some thoughts on our travels

Hello all

Recently I sent an email to someone who will be travelling to Thailand to to pick up their child in a couple weeks. I thought since other people who will be travelling read our blog that I would post the contents of the email. These are only a few of my thoughts that were written rather quickly. Other people may have other experiences. If you do feel free to comment so that others can benefit from your experience.

Hope this helps some people:

Chiang Mai
Night BizarreThe night bizarre is right downtown; every cab driver will know how to get there. It starts at 5:00. It is full of shopping, music and restaurants. There are all kinds of crafts, souvenirs, clothes, and “designer” accessories such as purses. Many things were quite inexpensive, although you must be prepared to barter. I am not typically good at this but I was told to first offer half of what they initially tell you the price is and go from there. Some travel books and websites have advice on how to barter. I would recommend bringing a calculator with you so you can calculate the exchange. We went right after 5 and were there for a couple hours. After that it gets really busy and because of the narrow streets it is fairly difficult to shop with a toddler.
Elephant Parkwe went to the elephant park in the morning. Before you go find out when the shows are. I believe when we were there the morning show was 9:45. The show was really neat the elephants paint pictures, play soccer, stack logs and it’s all mixed with humour. Someone from gentle nest was nice enough to call a taxi for us and make arrangements for us to be picked up at a specified time. The cab driver then waited at the park for us and met us at the gate when we were ready to leave. I believe this cost about $1200baht. The cab ride was probably about 45 mins.
Thipanet Marketthis is a market you can go to during the day. It has lots of crafts, painting and furniture. There is a restaurant right acrossed from the market that was delicious, although I forget the name of it. If you are looking to buy this sort of stuff it will be much cheaper here than in Bangkok. We bought a little statue which was hand painted, a light with an elephant on it and a few little toys for Kanya. I found it pretty easy to travel around this market with a toddler.
Parksafter taking Kanya to the Dr. We wanted to do something fun since that was a bit of a traumatic experience. I wish I could remember the name of it but there is a park right on the river we went to. You can rent little mats to sit on by the river, feed the fish, and walk around the nice gardens. I found parks to be a great getaway when you are in a busy city. Plus there is always good food you can get from a stand on your travels. The food is really good, and cheap. All 3 of us could eat for the equivalent of $5-$10 Canadian Dollars.
General informationwe found it pretty easy to get around Chiang Mai. I would recommend you always have the address of where you are staying written in Thai with you. We did get lost once b/c we thought we knew where we were going and could direct our taxi. When all the signs are in Thai it is easy to get mixed up. Most hotels will have someone who can write out addresses for you. You do have to barter with taxis for fare.
There are lots of bank machines so it is not necessary to bring a lot of cash with you. You will need to keep cash on you b/c many restaurants, shops and cabs except cash only.
We found it easy to get most amenities you would find here, perhaps different brands. Wipes are expensive there so you may want to pack some extra ones. I would recommend bringing medicine especially if you do not have a contact who can speak Thai simply b/c the pharmacist may not speak English and the directions will be in Thai and since many of the brands are different we did not recognize any of the bottles. That being said if you do need medicine (such as medication for colds, stomach or headache) it is accessible and much of it is cheaper than it is here. There are department stores as well as markets for groceries. Groceries items are really cheap especially produce. We found their apple juice particularly good. In fact our daughter drank it all the time there but will not touch our apple juice here.
We loved Chiang Mai. The city has lots to see. I wish we had time to do more things and I look forward to returning there someday. I would have liked to have seen the night safari so that may also be something for you to consider doing while there.
FFACwe went to the FFAC the day before our hearing. It was very interesting to meet the staff there and hear about their work. We probably spent about an hour and a half there. Kanya was starting to get uncomfortable there so we had to leave.
DSDWLike everyone we were very worried about the hearing. Although we had been told not to worry we of course still did. For any of you that are thinking about your hearing it honestly is nothing to worry about. We arrived about an hour ahead of time. It was interesting to see people from all over the world who were adopting. There were so many stories. Some had older children, some younger, one couple was finishing a relative adoption. There was one couple who had adopted a 6 year old who did not speak English and they did not speak Thai. It was really neat watching how much people can communicate without using language. The dress code is formal, however once you are seated it become a fairly relaxed meeting. There were several people at the hearing (probably around 10) however only 3 asked questions. There were toys for Kanya to play with and the board members smiled and laughed when they spoke with us. It lasted probably about 20 minutes and then we were off to the Canadian embassy with a signed certificate from the board.
Bangkok Zoowe spent a few hours at the Bangkok zoo. It was a great bonding experience for a new family. Our daughter loves animals so there were lots to see and do. The zoo also has a train the runs through most of it. I can’t remember the price of the zoo but I remember thinking this is much cheaper than the Toronto zoo.
Limpingh ParkThis Park is located in the centre of the city. It is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. The gardens are beautiful and there are several playgrounds for children. The paths were nice and wide so it was easy to push a stroller. They have a little river where you can rent a paddle boat. If you or your child are feeling overwhelmed by the Bangkok this is a nice break.
Ocean Wonders in Siam Squarewe found this place by accident. Someone at the hotel recommended Siam Square for shopping telling us it is Bangkok’s best shopping. The mall is beautiful. I have never seen a mall so clean, it almost sparkles. The downside is I couldn’t afford a lot of things in the mall. It is full of designer stores (Gucci, Prada, Coach, Burberry, Chanel Etc.) and fine dining restaurants that I did not think were family friendly. However on the bottom floor we saw a sign leading us to Ocean Wonders. We thought even if there are a few fish it will be fun. It was so much more than we could have expected. It was beautiful. There were several large aquariums with all kinds of fish, sharks, eels I could go on and on. There were penguin’s sea otters everything that you could imagine. They had glass bottom boat rides, shark feedings and a huge tunnel aquarium where it seemed like you were walking through the ocean. I would recommend checking it out.
That is probably all we did in Bangkok. I can’t really remember any restaurant we ate at as we just would be walking and stop and get some food wherever.
Bangkok is a great city. It has great food and shopping. It is however a little difficult to get around with a toddler. The traffic is really crazy and there are not many crosswalks so when you have a stroller and a little one you cross your fingers everytime you cross several lanes of busy traffic. I must say the people of Bangkok have an amazing ability to cross any street. The sidewalks are narrow and are not well kept and they are often packed. This means you will be carrying your toddler a lot.
Taxis in Bangkok should have a meter. If a taxi driver will not use a meter get out and get another cab as they are trying to take advantage of you. There are several taxis so you would have no problem getting another one. They also have tuk tuks just like they do in Chiang Mai. Tuk Tuks are little blue motorized three wheeled vehicles. Although we took tuk tuks in Chiang Mai we did not take them in Bangkok. We were going to once but the driver offered a better price if we could make a stop on the way which is a sure sign they are sketchy. There is a monorail and bus system in Bangkok. We heard good things about it but we did not use it ourselves.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Hello Everyone,

Well we have been home three weeks. Things are going so well. Kanya is doing better each day. I am amazed at how quickly she adjusts.

At first she clung to me. She always had to be touching me even when playing with her toys. I would hold her hand until she went to sleep. Now she plays on her own and even goes up to other visitors if we have people over. Everyday she gets braver and braver. It is so much fun seeing her smile, run and laugh like every other toddler. She is exploring her world, getting into things and testing her limits. She copies everything I do and things on TV. She loves the movie Hairspray and tries to sing a long and do the cute.

There is so much going on, I will make sure to post updates more often to keep everyone in the loop.