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

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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 

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

 

Hannah by D

I’m a good mom I think. Sometimes I’m not so sure, because hey, I want to be perfect, but when I have my head based in reality I realize that like most moms, I do my best and that is enough.

Do I crawl around on the floor with my kids at every opportunity or do crafts with them on the weekend? Ha! Do I treat them with loving patience all the time? Nope. Do I feed them only organic, plant-based, health-food? Not once. Do I love them? Absolutely. Are they happy, healthy, energetic boys who love their mama? Yes!

The point is, and this is a hot topic right now, it’s not about being a perfect mom, but a “good enough” mom. Like so many moms I’m really hard on myself, but heck! I work full time, I have a house to take care of and I have interests and hobbies (that get done really late at night!). So I can’t be there for my kids ALL the time. Nor do I have an endless supply of energy at my disposal. But I do what I can with what I have, which really is all we can ask of ourselves. So when I can, I get down on the floor and I take a lot of deep breaths when I feel my patience slipping (sometimes I hold on, sometimes I scream like a banshee). My kids get lots of fruits & veggies and tons of love.

And I try to bring them into my world. So sometimes when the little one is napping I will ask D (he’s 4.5) if he wants to colour with mommy. His eyes light up and he always wisely repeats the key message – “yes, but I have to be very careful with mommy’s markers”. And it’s usually a wonderful, creative time for us (although it takes him FOREVER to pick what he wants to colour and he ALWAYS wants the marker I’m using! Lol). Most importantly it’s time spent together and in our busy lives, that really is the best gift possible.

Here’s a pic of what D coloured last weekend. It’s Hannah, by Hannah Lynn and I think it’s amazing. He’s very talented and that’s not just my mommy bias.

Hannah by D_wm

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by.

EBee xox