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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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 🙂

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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

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 

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

Friendship Matters

I am so lucky. Lucky to be surrounded by some awesome women (and men) who I can call friends. People fun enough to laugh with and close enough to cry with. People who call me, text me, show up at my door… when things are tough. People I don’t see nearly often enough, but when I do, it feels like no time has passed. People I’ve known for 20 years, people I’ve known for 6 months, and everything in between. All these friends who make my life richer, warmer and lighter.

They come in the form of neighbours, childhood friends, university sisters, daycare mommies (and daddies), colleagues and former colleagues. They are all beautiful and they are all so important to my happiness.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart – this one’s for you.

EBee xox

Wryn and Emmy – BFF, by Tiddly Inks

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Skin: E000, E00, E11, R20

Hair: E50, E53, E43, E57 / E23, E25, E27, E29

Clothes : RV63, RV66, RV69, W5, W7, W9 / BG01, BG05, BG07, BG09, YG21, YG23, YG25

These markers really ARE therapeutic

Hello and Happy Monday! Who am I kidding? Monday sucks. I know, I know, not very happy, but well, sometimes you just have to own the suckiness before you can move on, so here goes – I’m tired, cranky, I need another coffee, I want to go back to bed, Is winter over yet? I would rather be on the beach, etc, etc… Ok, now let’s move on – have I mentioned, Monday sucks?

Can you tell I haven’t coloured in a while? I can. Proof positive that my markers really are therapeutic. Over the past week my evenings have consisted of crashing on my couch with a bowl of (fill in your favourite snack food), and watching hours of mindless television instead of colouring. For some reason (exhaustion from being a single parent all week), I just couldn’t bring myself to get out the markers. But you know what? I probably would have felt more energized and happier had I just kicked myself in the ole butt and done it. And how did I end up feeling? More exhausted and even a little depressed. TV does that to me. Well, lesson learned and not to be repeated.

So in celebration of my newfound insight, here’s a gorgeous image by Tiddly Inks that I coloured late last year. It’s Wryn, Fairy Happy Day – she makes me happy, and inspires me to get back to doing what I love, which is a good thing.

Fairy Happy Day_watermark

Skin: E000, E00, E11, R20

Hair: E43, E44, E47, E49

Dress: BG01, BG05, BG07, BG09

Toadstool: R22, R24, R27, R29, W1, W3, W5

Happy Monday folks! Thanks for stopping by.

EBee xox

Oh Bother!, or OMG husbo is in Germany and I’m alone with the kids all week! Eeeeek!!!

Happy Monday, folks! I hope you had a nice weekend. I spent part of the weekend helping hubby get ready for a week-long trip to Germany (OMG), trying to manage my crazy monkeys and making my way through the mess that is my house.

Which is where this lovely image comes in. Fairy Fae Catches a Star, from Tiddly Inks. Isn’t she beautiful! Colouring her up helped me get back into my happy place Saturday and Sunday evening. I just love how delicate she is and she reminds me that we have to keep reaching for our dreams.

TMI alert! During one of my difficult therapy sessions (yes, I see a therapist – I call her “Doc”), where I was feeling especially sorry for myself, I put the question out there: why do I even bother? What’s the point? (of eating well, exercising…). Doc answered “Because you have to always bother”. So simple, and yet it has stuck with me over the past few weeks whenever I get overwhelmed and feel like giving up (like this week as a single parent), Fairy Fae reminds me that I have to always bother.

Anyhoodles (stole that one from my fab colleague SDS), thanks for stopping by and remember to always bother.

EBee xox

Fairy Fae Catches a Star_watermark

Merry Christmas! Or, Yes, I know Christmas is finished, but I wanted to show off my Christmas cards and I didn’t get around to it before…

I know, I know, what the heck is she talking about? Christmas is finished!

Well, it’s January 10 and I’m back at work, as are many of you, I imagine. This post is to celebrate those of us who have made it through one of the most difficult weeks of the year, if you ask me. It’s the “holidays are finished, I’ve stayed up way too late over the last two weeks, and I have to wait until the summer, or at least my beach vacation to be off work again” week. It’s the week that kicks off what my boss describes as “the armpit of the year”.

Soooo, I thought I would post a few of the Christmas cards I made for my lovely family over the holidays. At least they are cheery. I’m pretty happy with most of them – I even tried my first night scene!

Well, happy return to work week, and keep your chin up! And don’t worry, no more Christmas-themed stuff until at least August.

EBee xox

Moonlight Snowman, From the Heart

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Winter Friends, Wee Stamps

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Minnie’s Christmas Lights, Tiddly Inks

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Molly the Elf, Saturated Canary

Molly the elf_wm