Grownup conversation in the presence of kids, or just text me

I am fortunate enough to work from home a couple of days a week, and on those days I pick up my son at the bus stop in the afternoon. This is a special treat for me, because not only do I get to enjoy some fresh air and quality time with my boy, it also allows me to see my friends, and chit chat while we wait. I love this time because it affords me few minutes away from my basement office to talk to other adults face-to-face.

Now generally, the conversation sans children goes a little like this (me and my friend Tracy, for example): Me: “Hey Tracy! I forgot to tell you! I tried a great new recipe for butter chicken!” Tracy: “Oh! I looooove butter chicken! Can you send it to me?” Me: “Of course! So you guys like Indian food?” Tracy: “We love Indian food” Me: “We know this great little place, we should go one evening, just the adults” Tracy: “That would be fun!” Me: “Do you think so-and-so also likes Indian?” Tracy: “So-and-so does, but the other one doesn’t…” And so on and so forth and it’s a nice, happy, pleasant conversation and plans would likely get made to go to the Indian restaurant. Short and sweet and efficient. Beautiful.

And then the kids get off the bus, and the conversation goes a little differently (initials represent the children). Ahem. Me: “Hey Tracy! I forgot to tell you!” D: “Mommy” Me: “Just a minute sweetheart, I’m talking. Anyway, I tried a great new recipe…” D: “Mommy!” Me, with index finger up in the wait a minute sign: “…for butter chicken…” D: “MOMMY NOW!” Me, with an apologetic look at Tracy: “D, I’m talking and when someone is talking you have to wait your turn” (because this is a teaching opportunity). D: “But Mommy, teacher said we couldn’t bring Ninja Turtles to school”. Me: “Well, you’re not supposed to bring toys, did you bring a toy?” D: “No” Me: “Then why did teacher say you couldn’t bring Ninja Turtles?” (blank stare). Tracy: “I looooove butter chicken!” D: “What’s butter chicken?” Tracy: “B! Stop pushing your brother! Can you send it to me?” B: “But he pushed me first!” Tracy: “Yes, but you’re older and should know better. And N don’t push your sister.” N: “But mom! She hit me on the bus!” Tracy: “Did you hit him on the bus?” (Eye roll in my direction) “These kids are driving me crazy.” Me (40’ away because D walks really slowly): “So you guys like Indian food? D, stop picking your nose, that’s gross” Tracy: “Oh yes, we love Indian food” B: “Mom! N pushed me again!” N: “Did not!” B: “Did too!” D: “But mommy, I thought it was show & tell today that’s why I brought the Ninja Turtle to school. I wanted to show the class my favourite one. Mommy, can I watch TV when we get home?” Me: “Yes. We know this great little place, we…” D: “Mommy?” Me: “Just a minute sweetheart. We should go one evening…” D: “Mommy!” Me: “Lord help me… just a minute sweetheart, I’m trying to talk to Tracy and I’ll be all yours in just a bit.” D: “But Mommy, when IS my show & tell?” Tracy: “N, DO NOT face plant your sister in the snow!” Me: “I said I’m talking to Tracy!” D: “But Tracy is talking to B and N!”… Crickets… I look at Tracy and she looks at me and we know. No words are needed because we know. If we really want to go for butter chicken, we’ll plan it via text message.

Thanks a Latte

This is a birthday card I made for Tracy at her last birthday. It’s called Thanks a Latte by Tiddly Inks and is in no way a representation of our friendship or how we have conversations, because it is missing children.

I really DO love my children though…

EBee xox

Is it Spring yet? Or how do you know if you’re heading for a burnout?

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Halloween, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy March Break… I think that about sums up all of the holidays/occasions I’ve missed over the past 6 months since my last post.

I don’t even have a good excuse, except life. Yes, let’s go with that, life is my excuse.

Life has a way of flying by without us even realizing what’s happening, and the older you get, the quicker it goes. The speed at which it zooms by can have your head spinning a mile a minute so that before you can say “Calgon, take me awaaaay!” it’s six months later and you feel like you haven’t seen a thing along the way.

Is that how you know it’s time to slow down? Or is it when you wake up each and every morning feeling like you could sleep the whole day and still need a nap? Or is it when you look back and realize that you haven’t had a day off, and I mean a true day off – no work, no kids, no laundry, no dishes, no groceries… no housework. Period. In months. The other day I was telling Doc that I was having trouble motivating myself for exercise, work, healthy eating, life… and she asked me “when was the last time you had a day off? A true day off, all to yourself?” I could not answer her. It has been that long.

You just get so busy, with all of the little things, and all of the big things and before you realize what has happened, you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way. And something has to happen to make you realize that you have not taken any time to breathe and reconnect to you. In my case it was fatigue, a lack of motivation and a question from Doc, but it could have been something worse, something with bigger and badder consequences (yes, I know, “badder” is not a word).

So, now I’m aware – I need a break – and I’m going to get my husband to take me away for my birthday in April. Just a couple of days somewhere not too far away, so I can wake up when I want, do what I want and have someone serve me all my meals. Heaven. I’ll bring a book and my markers and hubby will no doubt bring some board games. Bliss.

Here’s a card I made for a family member’s birthday, but for today it will serve two purposes: 1) it’s pretty and colourful and reminds me that spring will be here very soon; and 2) it is a birthday card and I’m going to take a little trip for my birthday, so happy birthday to me 🙂

IMG_2493

Her name is Emma and the stamp is called Celebrate Joyfully, by Tiddly Inks, and how appropriate! Life goes fast, celebrate every minute and live in the moment. Take time off once in a while and enjoy the ride.

EBee xox

New Beginnings

Today is the first day of school for my first baby, 5-year-old D (his birthday is Thursday – Happy Birthday D!). My feelings today have ranged from nervous excitement for him and this new adventure, to pride at what a big boy he is, to fear that he won’t fit in and will have to deal with big meanies, to sadness at how fast he’s growing up and the loss of my baby. It doesn’t feel like very long ago that I held him in my arms and rocked him to sleep, kissed his chubby cheeks, fingers and toes, and buried my nose in the intoxicating smell of the soft hair on his little head.

I blinked and now he’s 5, and school is starting – deep breath for this big step. It’s only the first of many big steps to come and it’s hard for my soft mommy’s heart to see him grow up so fast, and that’s ok. It’s ok because as much as this new beginning is wonderful and exciting, it’s also sad and I’m grieving because my baby is no longer a baby. My heart is full of pride for the person he is turning out to be but it’s also breaking for what has passed – and that deserves to be acknowledged and felt too. So no apologies here.

In honour of D’s first day of school I coloured Back to School Boy by the super talented Krista Smith at Saturated Canary. I love the big smile on his face. It reminds me that change is good and D’s going to be happy and that we’re all going to be ok – even mommy.

Back-to-school Boy

Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E04

Hair: E21, E25, E29

Shirt: YG91; YG95; YG97; YG99

Jeans: B91; B95; B99

Apple: R35; R37; R39

EBee xox

 

Merci

Today begins D’s last week of daycare and next week he embarks on a new journey to school. Big news and I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t be sadder…

My beginnings with D were rocky. A difficult delivery, sleep deprivation, trouble breast-feeding, and post-partum depression made the first few weeks after baby hellish (to say the least) and the first few months exhausting. The realization that life would never be the same hit me like a ton of bricks and I remember wanting my old life back. I loved my baby with all my heart and I would have protected him to the death, but still, life felt really, really hard and for a while I just couldn’t see the light.

With time and a lot of support from family and friends, the ratio of bitter to sweet began to change, with the “sweet” taking over more and more space. Before I knew it D was sleeping through the night, we were bonding, the sun was shining and I was on top of the world with my boy.

Where I live we get a year of maternity leave, for which I am so grateful. D and I spent our days walking, playing, shopping and seeing family and friends – life was good. Unfortunately that year went by so fast, and before I knew it I was going back to work and my baby was going to start daycare. This killed me – after all, he was just a baby and I had to leave him all day, every day in the care of relative strangers. To say I was an emotional, guilt-ridden wreck is an understatement. I was so torn up that I even wrote him a gushy sentimental letter that I may or may not give him when he’s older. But, with time, we survived the separation and we thrived. D began to acquire some independence and I enjoyed the mental stimulation and social interaction that working affords.

It was hard, but I was able to let my baby go because I felt so comfortable with where he would be spending his days. It was such a relief to know that he would be really well taken care of from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., even if it wasn’t by mommy.

So, merci to his teachers throughout his 4 years at Les petits mousses, Lucie, Mihaela, Marie-Ève, Julie. Merci to all of you for making my baby’s home away from home so warm and welcoming and special. Thank you for teaching him compassion and how to express himself and assert himself. Thank you for taking my shy little boy and helping him gain confidence and self-esteem. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. These lessons are important and I know he’ll carry them with him forever.

This is the card I made for D’s teacher Lucie. I worked really hard on this card and spent a lot of time and care to make it perfect. The image is from Tiddly Inks, and it’s called Hi There. Hope you like it.

Hi There

EBee xox 

Purrrfect

My good friend, Nadia recently got a new cat named Bentley. He’s adorable, with gray and black stripes and the sweetest little face. When we sit out on Nadia’s front steps watching the kids play (she has a 9-year-old daughter who has tons of cars and trucks and my boys just adore playing with her), Bentley climbs up the screen in the front window and cries for her to bring him outside. It’s really very cute, and usually Nadia (who would like us all to think she’s tough, but is actually just a softie), brings him outside to play.

Well, Nadia had a birthday recently and I made her this pretty card that honours both her birthday and her love of Bentley. The image is called Hannah and it’s from Saturated Canary. Not sure I did Bentley justice, but I still think it’s purrrfect for her 😉

 Purrrfect

EBee xox 

Back to the Grind and a Colouring Class (or two)

Good day peeps! It would appear that I blinked and the summer is almost over! I keep telling myself that I’ll get better at regularly posting but alas, it appears I’m getting worse! I WILL get better, I promise ;-p

So, it’s Wednesday, August 13 and I’ve just come back to work after two wild weeks of vacation. I actually wrote this on Monday, but work has been crazy so I’m only posting now (I really AM trying). This year’s vacation was one of the most fun vacations I can remember (with the exception of that time in Barbados *sigh*), but probably the least relaxing, lol. With two kids under 5, vacations are not terribly relaxing, but boy can they be fun, and chaotic, and loud!

This year our vacation consisted of the zoo, a parade, the beach, picnics, a rib festival, pool parties, park visits, game days, and (thankfully), a bit of time to colour (big smile here). Yep, during my two weeks off, I was spoiled with two afternoons to myself to do with as I pleased, and it pleased me to colour (surprise). During my free time, I was able to colour a few fun images and even enter a colouring challenge! Yippee!

Inspired by the incredibly talented artist, Copic teacher and master, Alyce Keegan from Kit and Clowder, I coloured this fierce image by Saturated Canary, entitled, Pixie Dust Fairy (she was a freebie, yipeeee!).

Pixie Dust Fairy

I have started taking Alyce’s colouring classes over at Kit and Clowder to try and improve my skills and so far I’m very pleased with my progress – she makes it look easy, and after some (a LOT of) practice, I feel like things are starting to come together. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s a process, so I’m in no rush. For me this is all about fun and creativity, so no stress here. If it takes me a gazillion years to “perfect” my skills, so be it! I’m going to have a blast along the way.

Speaking of having a blast, my good friend, Véronique, and I have begun what we affectionately call our weekly “drunk colouring” evenings. We don’t really get drunk (much), but we do have a blast, colouring together, talking and laughing (lots of laughing). Alone time is nice, but I have to say, it’s a lot of fun to practice my hobby with someone else once in a while 🙂

Anyhoodles, during my free time, I also coloured this cutie, which I entered into a fun hair colouring competition at Kit and Clowder – wish me luck! She’s from my new favourite company, The East Wind, and she’s called Aurora, Spring Butterflies.

Aurora_butterfly

And now, back to the grind.

Ciao peeps!

EBee xox

 

Summer is Here! Fairy Sunny Day

Happy summer! Holy moly! I can’t believe how fast this year is going! I remember when I was a kid, it felt like time dragged on sooooo sloooooowlyyyyyyy… it felt like summer vacation, Christmas, my birthday (insert occasion) would NEVER get here! As I’ve gotten older though, time has sped up to the point that now that I have kids, I feel like we’re flying through life at hyper speed! Where’s the break?! Get what I did there? Break/brake? Ahem… crickets… anyhoo…

 

In spite of the rat race, I’m pretty militant about finding the time to do stuff that keeps me grounded and helps me cope with daily stress. Besides a weekly yoga practice, walking with my neighbourhood peeps, and the occasional (ok, frequent) chocolate fix, colouring helps to calm me and when I do it I feel like time stands still, just for a while. It also brings me back to my childhood, when I would spend hours with my colouring books and crayons doodling the time away.

 

This is Fairy Sunny Day, by Christy Croll at Tiddly Inks. A gorgeous image, which brought me so much joy to colour. She reminds me of those lazy summer days as a kid, spent out in the sunshine. Hope yours is happy and sunny too!

EBee xox

 Fairy Sunny Day_WM

Skin: E000; E00; E11; E04; R20

Hair: E50; E13; E57; E49

Dress: Y00; Y02; Y13; Y15; Y17; R00; R20; R22; R24; R27; R29

Flower: Y00; Y02; Y13; Y15; Y17; YR23; E23; C00; C03; C05; C07

Sparkle accents: Wink of Stella clear and green

April Showers and May Flowers

Long-time no speak, no? I know it has been a while, but I’ve gotta tell you, April was a rainy whirlwind and here we are, already May! Last month my family was so busy with lots of fun stuff (birthdays, Easter, parties), and some not so fun stuff (ill family members, computer crashes, crazy work schedules), but we made it out of April alive! So far May has also started out rainy and crazy, but I’m optimistic that the sunshine is on its way!

One of the fun things we got to enjoy was a birthday party for my friend’s daughter – a sweet, energetic 7-year-old with beautiful, fiery red hair and a spirit to match. I made this card for her and I call it “Happy Birthday B!” The image is called Spring Bringer (hint hint, Mother Nature), and it’s by Wee Stamps.

I was really missing the vibrancy of spring when I coloured her up so I made her as bright and colourful as possible! I also experimented with a red hair combination because I wanted her to have B’s hair colour. This project was so much fun and seeing it in its new home on my friend’s mantel makes me so happy. Usually the images I colour end up in my copic journal and it’s only recently that I’ve started to put them on cards. It really is rewarding to see how much people appreciate the work, which makes my hobby all the more fun.

Spring Bringer_wm

Happy spring, I hope yours is filled with sunshine and lots of colour!

EBee xox

Beautiful Day or Calm before the Storm?

Ever work so hard and fast for several days (and nights) in a row that when it gets quiet your brain and body are still on fast forward but you have nowhere to take that train? Yeah, that. That is where I’m at today. After a crazy week of full speed ahead and adrenaline-pumping PR (that’s what I do) action, I find myself in front of my computer on a Friday morning that is suspiciously quiet. Too quiet…

My fab colleague, Annie – I call her my work wife because we work so close together that we are tied at the hip, and because we’re living parallel lives (both turning 40 this year, both have two boys the same age and both hate melon), and because she’s awesome and I love her – tells me I should just enjoy the downtime since we’ve worked so hard this week. But I just can’t seem to relax and get over the suspicion that this quiet is just the calm before the storm.

So, here I am with all this pent up energy and nowhere to put it. So, methinks, let’s write a post! After this post, I will check my email (oh, look at that, meeting this afternoon… boo!) and if it’s still quiet (please God), I will perhaps do a bit of colouring (don’t tell my boss – hopefully she doesn’t read my blog).

Here’s one I did last weekend when I was in major need of some colour and warmth in my life (winter has been interminably long and cold and spring sooooo slow to arrive).

Her name is Peggy and she is part of the Wee Stamps family. Super cute, no?

Peggy_nf_wm

Skin: E000, E00, E11, R20

Hair: E35, E57, E49

Dress: V05, V06, V09, B01, B04, B06

Anyhoodles, here’s to taking a break and enjoying the downtime when it comes. God knows it can be rare!

EBee xox