Thursday, July 29, 2010

Road tests and trips

Point 1 - My first born turned 16 this evening. My tiny 6 pounder has grown up into an independent, intelligent and confident young woman. Yikes! I remember her birth as clear as if it was yesterday. I was quite a young mama by todays standards. A mere 22 years old. None of my friends were having babies and yet, I have never been more sure about anything in my life...that I wanted to be a mama. Midwives back then (ha, listen to me the wise old woman) were working under way more constraints than they do today; they certainly weren't so accessible. I knew I wanted no drugs to dull the experience - which may be why I remember it so well.
Point 2 - As I knew she would, first thing this morning she went and took her "written" test to get her driver's license, and passed. Yikes again! Nothing brings the point closer to home than that.
Point 3 - Happy Birthday my girl. You challenge me in ways that I never would have imagined....and despite the fact that it may appear otherwise, I respect that. You will do amazing things with your life and I love you with all my being.

Now, on to road trips. Our family of 5 are cramming ourselves and our stuff into our car and heading out on a 10.5 hour car ride with our final destination being Sault Ste. Marie. We will spend a week visiting family that we haven't seen in two years. Some of our time will be spent in town, and some at the family cottage on Lake Superior. I am reserving a small corner of the trunk for rocks and driftwood! I will be absent from this blog for a week. I am sure that when I return I will spend much time catching up with everyone, and many pics of finished knitting projects. 10.5 hours each way is a whole lot of knitting time! Although, I am sure that some of it will get used up keeping the peace.
Have a great week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wander or wonder?

Here I stand, in the same spot I find myself in so many times a day. Amongst the many books left on the floor; all shapes and sizes, colors and titles. I am as methodical about re-shelving them as the little ones are about pulling them down. Put away, pull them down, put away, pull them down....sometimes I wonder if there is any other place I would rather be. No is the answer I come to.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Words to live by

A surprising amount of time has passed since I last least I was surprised.

We have been going through a bit of a something with little over the past two weeks or so....something that I have been trying my best to resolve while keeping my sanity intact. In trying to figure out the subtleties of her world and the world at large, Hazel has been confessing each and every little "sin" (for lack of a better word) she commits. It usually starts with a "Mama, I know I shouldn't say this but......", insert everything from thinking that dreadlocks aren't pretty to saying the word "crap" in her head. Other times I would hear her saying "No brain I am not listening to you....."
Initially I tried to respond to each and every issue with an explanation but, let me tell you, after a few days it started to drive me nuts. I had no more room in my brain to carry on this way....I didn't need to know all of it. However, knowing full well that this was probably a fundamental learning quest for her, I needed to come up with something that would help both of us out. In the end, the solution came....I remembered a quote, or part of a quote from the book by Kim John Payne called Simplicity Parenting. It goes something like this:

"Is it important, is it necessary and is it kind".

I wrote it out on a chalkboard for all of us to see. Lo and behold, every morning she asks me to read it to her to remind her brain of the rules and that is that. She seems be have a better handle on working most of the little things out for herself. It has the added benefit of just being there to help keep us all mindful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wandering Wednesday

Here I sit at the beach with two of my girls. I took this picture to document our feet together on a spontaneous trip to a local beach. It reminds me that although the time we all spend together is on a natural progression down, there are still moments where we are completely together and on the same page. And it is fun to see the similarities in the genetic makeup of our feet....all of us have varying degrees of webbed toes, most notable in Hazel's feet.
Happy wandering.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

H, to the PIF Giveaway

It's funny. I have noticed the "H" word creeping into the blogscape as of late....yep, the Holidays are a mere 6 months away. Now, there may be some out there that think it a crazy thing to be thinking of a winter celebration during the summer months. However, if one is going to take a go at making some or all of the gifts for friends and loved ones the time is now. And I love that, the fact that it isn't the big box machine that is fuelling the fire so to is the desire of many people out there to reject what those stores stand for, those who want to create something that represents the love and the loves in their lives.

Anyone can join in. Whether it be baking or knitting or sewing or drawing....the options are endless as are the ideas. The only critical thing is that the planning starts now, otherwise it can become a wee bit hairy as the big time arrives. For some ideas and some guidance go on the Handmade Holidays 2010 image for the scoop. Currently, I have a sweater on the go for the littlest girl as well as some ideas for the middle two. I consider things well underway.

So, now, onto the Giveaway part. I was the proud recipient of a Pay It Forward giveaway from Twig and Toadstool (thanks again for my lovely star!). The gist of the giveaway was basically receive a gift and give a that is what I am doing. I am hereby giving away the little toadstool bag pictured the hopes that it gets the ideas flowing for making gifts this year. Just leave a comment on this post and tell me what you are planning....and be prepared to also pay it forward in any way you see fit. Happy Holidays - I had to say it.

p.s. Summer should not be put on the back burner because of wintertime crafting! That simply is not allowed.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Goodbye city life - Part 2

Beauty abounds when there is no asphalt...even a gravel road holds more lovely things to look at. It really is the little things that I love about it....the colours and textures. Here are some random beauties:

Waking up on Sunday morning to the feeling of being the only people on the earth - pea soup fog envelopes us in the cottage.

The sunlight on Saturday night casting a golden glow.

Wild sweet peas - so pink and pretty. Despite the fact that my wardrobe choices usually involve the darker color spectrum, I can really appreciate the pink that these babies put forth.

Lovely yellow with an equally lovely background of aging wood and blue enamel.
Wishing you all a lovely or country.

Goodbye city life - Part 1

We were lucky enough to be invited to spend a whole weekend at a cottage by a lake. And after the crazy hot week we just survived (yes, survived is an accurate description!) the vacation could not have been more opportune. It could have rained the whole time and that would have been fine with me. But, the fates saw fit to grant us a perfectly perfect summer weekend...full of swimming, relaxing and delicious marshmallows.

A silhouette of a girl enjoying her first roasted marshmallow....ever. Crazy, I know. Bad, bad parents.

Papa - the man with a metabolism to die for, double fisting it.

Two big sisters mushing up the uncooked marshmallows into something they like to call "ghost gum"...not sure where this comes from. Far be it for me to question the brains of teenagers.

I think someone could do a study on personality types and how they cook their marshmallows. From raw to charred. What does this say about a person?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Living in the moment

My post today as part of Soulemama's Friday ritual is not entirely in keeping with the whole picture and no words layout.
For me, this week has been a test of my abilities not only as a mom, but also as a caregiver. It was too hot. Enough said about that.
The part of my week I want to pause, reflect on and remember was the little ones being introduced to the wading pool as well as the confidence my littlest one built this week in the water. The little ones were cautious but curious and by the end were splashing away with smiles of pure joy. No picture could be taken because I was keeping them upright.....but a moment nonetheless.
I too was transported back many years to feel the anticipation of getting into the water....watching for the markers that indicate time to jump in and them jumping in skirt and all. Well, not exactly jumping in....lets just call it getting into the water with reckless abandon with a wee one on my hip.
So there. Have a great weekend. We are off to stay by a lake this weekend. Be back on Monday.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guilt, guilt, guilt

I am trying my best to channel this snowman right now. To really get a grasp on how it feels to be cold..actually, I would settle for feeling even remotely cool. We live in a house, in a city, without any sort of air conditioning. Most times this is okay with me, we just sleep in the basement. However, after more than a few days of extreme heat (for our neck of the woods anyway) without reprieve at night, even our basement gets to be close to 30 degrees. It is at this point that I start to get squirrely....start to feel broken. I have a list of things to do, but find it hard to be motivated to do anything that involves movement.
I am conducting a personal study in the relationship between when ones' birthday falls and their ability to cope with certain temperatures....I am a February baby and thus I prefer colder temps. Hazel the same. Abbey is a summer sprite and does enjoy this weather while Raine is a spring baby and can therefore cope with either. I have only run into a few circumstances (namely Michael whose birthday is December 22, yet he prefers warm to cold) where this theory does not make any sense. Anyone care to weigh in on this one?
But I digress....I called this post "guilt" because this morning I felt completely broken. In order to be home with my girls I take care of a couple of little ones during the day. I was worried about making them sleep in the crazy conditions in our house. So, Michael went out and bought a portable air conditioner today. But now I feel so guilty about the electricity consumption that I have myself convinced that we need to take it back. But it is too hot.
We go to the wading pool, have smoothies for snack, and I promised Hazel that we would get gelato for dinner. The temperature has to break eventually right?!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today I am loving

* a few hours to myself while Papa and Hazel are checking out the new and improved Museum of Nature

* the cool breeze blowing through my house

* the fixed washing machine to take advantage of this breeze

* the prospect of a 4 day weekend

* hot coffee on a cool morning

* a rhubarb plant that keeps on giving