Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday forte: seven years ago .....

seven years ago ....., originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

It's a bit of a weird friday forte posting today - my head is with the memories of seven years ago (I would have been asleep back in 2003, epidural in place and catching up on some rest before the grand arrival). In the next room the Wee Guy is fighting sleep right now as he's too excited about tomorrow - seven seems to be a really exciting and aware age.
The picture above, our blissful lack of awareness tinged with uncertainty about the future as we spend one of our last evenings alone together in a pre-parental existence seems hard to recollect.
What exactly was life like before we had a family of our own?
I myself feel that the last seven years has been a time of incredible growth for me, where I've truly become the adult who realises there's still a lot of growing up to do.
Life has changed so much for me that it's hard to remember a time before ... before I had a near-constant little shadow around me all the time. As someone who relishes her personal space and frequently seeks solitude, motherhood has been a huge voyage of discovery for me. Within limits, I've found that I really do enjoy my son's company and that he does add value to my daily life. He's taught me what it is to share life, living with another person rather than just sharing living space. He's as much the teacher as I am. I will admit though that it's all been a necessary change, not optional but imperative, for survival as a mother/child unit. I don't think we do too badly (thinks back to cupcakes at the mall this afternoon!).
As for the other sitters in the photograph; well, sadly Mauz the cat (furry bum on the right) had to be euthanased three months after the Wee guy came home to us. He had thyroid disease and kidney failure, but before he left us he truly welcomed our new addition. I have some lovely pics of the two together.
And the human, the soon-to-be new dad? How has he fared? He's come up trumps with the new responsibilities thrust on him as sole breadwinner and co-parent. As I talk to other (younger) mums I realise how much more he does in terms of spreading the load at home and how lucky I am. He's as fully capable of taking charge of the childcare for an entire weekend as he is of cleaning the bathrooms or planning the meals (which he does every weekend). He doesn't expect to disappear taking "time off" on Saturdays and Sundays for "working all week" which some dads do (what the f*ck do you think your child(ren)'s mother has been doing then?) and he doesn't see staying at home in the evening as babysitting. Although I don't think he's done as much growing up as I have and, rather irritatingly, he still views childcare arrangements as totally my responsibility, I am still impressed at how involved a father he actually is day-to-day. ......... and at how much more hair he's lost in the process :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

seven years ago today ......

ultrasound 21 Nov
our first view of the Wee Guy

OK - so you've all heard (!) about how I went deaf ...... now do you want to hear about the time I went blind?

Well, it goes something like this ....
23Apr03 maximum girth achieved!
 only seven days to go .....

Seven years ago I was pregnant, and more than just pregnant but approaching my due date. Life had slowed down considerably and I weighed more than my almost 6-foot husband. One morning I woke up feeling crap. My neck ache from the day before was worse, my head ached and I felt sick. Bleh! So I took it easy for the morning in between preparing the crib (which we never used) for the baby and typing up my birth plan (ho ho ho!).

the day before (testing out the new camera) .....

 I was too sicky to eat much (in fact I had thrown up regularly throughout the pregnancy so upchucking was not something new) and spent much of the rest of the day on the sofa. As I lay there contemplating and wondering, which is pretty much all you can do being the size of a house and waiting for labour, I realised that half the room had disappeared.
Hmmmm ....
seven years ago: not really comfortable
beached whale position on the sofa (still not comfortable)

As I 'watched' more of the room vanished in front of me, leaving a pale greyness in its place.
Now, even in my sicky, tired, nauseous state I realised that something was not quite right. And then I realised that if I didn't call someone soon I might not be able to see the numbers let alone find the phone. So I dialed the doc, and to cut a long story short, was ordered straight into BC Womens where, due to the whole weird freaky nature of my condition, I ended up being induced, C-sectioned and delivering a giddy 34 hours later.

PS: I got my sight back. It turned out to be a migraine.
PPS: So much for typing out a touchy, feely birth plan!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

wordless wednesday: another teaser

a jumble of mermaid, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

see this blog post for the full necklace

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

we should meet ....

copper mermaid WIP, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

... up close and personal!

Got Craft? Spring Fair on Sunday, May 2nd at Legion Hall on Commercial in Vancouver (@ E6th).

See here for details.

detail from mermaid multi strand necklace in copper

Monday, April 26, 2010

my weekend (how was yours?)

my view, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

This was my view for most of the weekend - another view! Painted by artists Vicki Allesia, this panel shows the view from her summer cabin on Indian Arm.
Vicki and I shared a venue for the Port Moody ArtWalk and struggled to keep up with the visitor count. We averaged around 20 visitors per hour but I'm sure our counts were missing a few during heavy traffic. It was delightful to meet so many locals, friends (hi's to Amber, Betty and Lucy) and chat with them about what I was working on (yes, messy table above was my portable crafting studio). I even made some sales! (thank you!) and, as for the painting in the pic above, it sold early on Sunday morning.
Way to go, Vicki!
If you want to see more of her work head on over to her portfolio.

Friday, April 23, 2010

friday forte: the random thought generator

you'll have someone's eye out with ring my dear
wire and fibre ring: you'll have someone's eye out with that my dear

Taking a lead from the amazing Amber (again - one day she'll write my blog posts I hope and then I can retire) today's friday forte will be a series of random jottings and observations.

#1: I listened to an interview with a Canadian doctor who spent 370 days including a winter-over in Antarctica. He described the kind of sensory deprivation that comes about from being isolated in such an environment with a limited amount of company for interaction with, and how he suspected it altered neural pathways in the brain. When he then moved on to how it felt to be released into the real world again I experienced a flash of de ja vu - it's very similar to what a lot of mothers describe during their 'at home' years with the kids. The kind of emotions and experiences, especially of interacting with others, encountering busy spaces, being bewildered by choice, are all emotions I've run through as I emerge from the SAHM-cocoon. Mummy brain - it's not just for pregnancy?

#2: Mums who are older than the norm, have differing experiences of being SAHM. It might be a generational thing but my sympathy lies with younger mums who are themselves still growing up as they raise their kids. They seem less confident in themselves about their own needs and requirements, and how to get them met. Or maybe I'm just feistier?

#3: I think I know what I want to do but I'm having to take a pause for a little while before stepping out on that road (she says mysteriously ....).

#4: This week's accomplishment = getting Wee Guy's dad to book Wee Guy's birthday party. I have also given Wee Guy's Dad a list of presents which Wee Guy wants, implying that it's up to Dad to buy them. This will be a radical break from tradition in which Dad usually does nothing more than turn up to the gift opening and coo over the presents. OK, he did get Wee Guy and Starbucks mug for Christmas (which the Wee Guy wanted I hasten to add).

#5: I am practising gratitude this week despite last week's friday forte rant. By practising I mean the gratitudinous bits are being written down in my sparkly new journal. I am also practising postive thinking - each night I squeeze a positive thought about my husband out of the quagmire of my disturbed neural pathways into aformentioned journal. I have a buddy who is squeezing positive thoughts (not necessarily about her other half) out in the morning. This scheduling should keep the world in balance and no sudden plagues will descend on Lower Mainland (I hope).

#6: I haven't managed to go snowboarding again, I have been out every night this week, I'm super-excited to be taking part in the Port Moody ArtWalk (I'll be at Tealicious on Clarke Street) and that I got accepted as a vendor for Fab Fair in June!!

#7 ..... and accepted for the New Westminster farmers market this summer. Woot! Had a lovely time with the jury panel too, what a great end to Tuesday it was!

.... more friday forte here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

wordless wednesday: crazy hair mismatch day at school

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ArtWalk studio tour - sipping tea on the porch!

click on image to enlarge
(if you didn't already know) I'm taking part in the annual ArtsConnect Port Moody ArtWalk studio tour this weekend.
If it's sunny weather I'll be sitting sipping tea on the porch of the Tealicious Tea Company at 2224 Clarke Street, and if it's a bit nippy we'll be inside.
The ArtWalk is a great way for artists and the community to connect. Artists will be demonstrating their art, showing their work, and it will be a great opportunity to select that special Mother's or Father's Day gift!

PS: the Blackberry Gift Shop at Port Moody Arts Centre is holding a 20% sale on certain items too!
ethereal - the fuzzy version

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the weekend

a little garden, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

It's the weekend so I did a little gardening.

any space to do some work?
Tried to find space on my bench to make stuff.

what do i do all day: more bl**dy laundry
Laundry (yes, yes - I know this you've seen this pic before so it effectively emphasizes the frickin' monotony of housework. live with it!).

simply pearls
Eventually made stuff .....

fuzzy orchid prep
... and set up some new projects!

Man, I was a woman on fire (creatively) today! Nothing like a few deadlines to pep up the productivity :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

friday forte: dreams and expectations

potato bags

dream: i will be the best parent/mother ever
expectation: i will be as good as possible and not screw up the Wee Guy overmuch
reality: i stumble, i'm not perfect, i try really hard but sometimes i'm too tired or drained to give my best

dream: i will establish a wonderful career working in, around and in spite of my family which will swell the family finances without disrupting the Wee Guy's development, schooling and social life
expectation: somehow i will be able to craft some kind of fulfilling and rewarding employment opportunity
reality: the working world isn't really geared around combining raising a family and giving career fulfillment to mothers, it will be extremely hard work to carve out this little niche for myself and my family

dream: one day i will find true happiness, contentment, peace of mind and support in what i hope to achieve
expectation: it's not going to fall easily into my lap but it's not impossible!!
reality: we're both too busy and exhausted to do anything but parent and keep a roof over our heads, our relationship needs are falling by the wayside, support and contentment is in short supply ...

.... and so on ....

I really do have a great life, but I also have a lot that I still strive for (see above). I'm not a great one for stagnating; IMO there are always improvements and tweaks that can be made to improve. Right now I need to increase my job satisfaction levels! .... and as usual it's a WIP.
As a mother/woman/non-salaried wife-at-home it's too easy to bury dreams and expectations under the family good, to downplay them as not important or even feel guilty for 'wanting more'.
Oh I've had so much well-intentioned advice on this subject over the years.
I do count my blessings and don't need reminding.
I am grateful for all that is done for me and mine.
I understand that there are those who would willingly swap places at the drop of the hat.
However I still want to change, and this should benefit my family. Just because I have a child/education/husband/my own teeth/no need to work outside the home/freckles doesn't automatically give me the express lift to happy happy land. Have you considered it might actually be worse!
I have my own negative inner dialogue to dual with, it doesn't need assistance thank you very much so please don't expect me to be content with what I have.
Dreaming and seeking improvement are very human - don't dehumanise me.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

wordless wednesday: heading up to the surface and the light


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

recycling initiatives and whatever ......

mundane tasks, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

So ..... the recycling mastermind at my son's school is shit hot on recycling within the school environs (very commendable) but unfortunately there's nowhere to hygienically store the cartons, etc. within the building, hence it all coming home in the backpack!
Luckily he's learning to rinse and carry it in a (at-end-of-day unrecyclable manky) plastic bag.
So, on with the recycling mantra.
This week or next week or whenever (I don't carry my son's schedule in my head - I'm not the social secretary anymore than I have to be at home) there will be a recycling field trip where another recycling guru (Dr. Recycle no less) will be visiting the class to indoctrinate and lead a spirited session on upcycling.
To whit, yogurt cartons have been requested.
To whit yogurt carton was provided.
To whit I was informed that it should be an individual pot, not a bulk container.
To whit I replied, "And just how is encouraging single containers and extra packaging part of this great recycling mantra?"

In our house we make attempts to cut down on recycling and packaging, and one of our ploys is to dole out yogurt from the larger bulk containers into smaller, re-usable pots for daily lunch rations.

But somehow this isn't part of the school's recycling effort?
Do I smell BS or has Pseuds' Corner reached Canada?

Monday, April 12, 2010

what do i do all day: the day of rest

Sunday.  The traditional day of rest ....... unless you're a SAHM when it's just like any other day of the week except all your housemates are at home, all at once and under your feet. Well, that's the usual case. But today we all headed off to the nordic ski area at Cypress Mountain (home of the snowboarding and moguls competitions at the Olympics ..... yes, where great Canadian medals were won on home turf). 

The snow (for there had been a huge dump thanks to some storms at the beginning of the week) was as good as the start of the season. The trails were well groomed. There was parking space (a big plus) and there was fresh bread at Hollyburn Lodge. The skiing was great - I managed some steep downhill sections, only landing on my butt once, and my hips/knees are not currently screaming at me for exercising them. A bit difficult to lift mine eyes up unto the hills because of the trees but I knew they were there :) It was outside, it was exercise, it was (mostly) all good and my spirits are sufficiently elevated to last thru the next week (hopefully) .... but ......
unfortunately I find family outings not much fun these days as the Wee Guy usually starts to act up something rotten when out with both parents, and my DH annoys seven bells out of me when he tries to deal with it. 
The snow was nice but I'm staying home next weekend (or snowboarding on another mountain with any luck!).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

what do i do all day: this was saturday

whistle thru it, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Everything (spring cleaning, PoMo garage sale, emptying and throwing out rotting old wooden troughs, cleaning the deck, taxes, knitting a complicated Vogue lace pattern) pales into insignificance with the loss of the Wee Guy's first tooth (the one on the right is soon to go too).

There was more blood than I remember but very little drama. The first tooth fairy visit has been logged and all is right with the world.

My Wee Guy is growing up.
What a bittersweet moment this is!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

what do i do all day: the Friday forte edition

a day off

Continuing with the "what do i do all day" theme running this week and cunningly linking into the friday forte nature of Friday's blog posts AND with an eye to taking part in Amber's April Crafting My Life link up, this week = taking a break.
Yes, today I took a break (which is why this blog post is coming out on Saturday!).

frosty start
The day started frostily, with a layer of frozen hail on the roof and a migraine threatening some heavy action. But outside, oh boy, the sun was in full shine! A shame to miss it. After delivering the Wee Guy to school I packed up the car and headed for the hills. Bollocks to all the inventory and workshop prep, one finger salute to the housework and a big fat raspberry at the taxes!

awesome late season snow
I was not disappointed. The view down The Cut stretched for miles, the snow was immaculate and the crowds only got heavier later in the morning. Bliss! I am pretty certain I was the oldest "shred betty" on the hill but I wasn't the oldest person out riding.

.. and this is one damned fine way to silence the negative voices, the doubt, the nippy sweety biting at your confidence. When I'm out snowboarding (and I'm pretty good at it - two CASI certificates and level II CADS snowboarding) I focus completely on the snow. I look ahead for each bump, each turn in the trail, for changing snow conditions and ice, and stay aware of others around me. It's a great way of clearing the mind and quieting the voice. There are also the mountains to look up to. Although I'm not a religious person these words "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help ..."* seem so appropriate when in the mountains. There is something elevating in the simple act of lifting up your head to look upwards, elevating in terms of mood and spirit. Instead of being downcast and hanging your head, the mere presence and draw of those snow-capped peaks raises the eyes and makes me happy.

Exercise is also a great mood-enhancer. Exercise boosts endorphin release and banishes stress hormone cortisol. Exercise induces release of pituitary growth hormone, useful for anabolic repair and tissue well-being. Exercise is a good guy. Exercise outdoors is even better IMO, and outdoors on snow, mildly out of breath has been a great mood enhancer for me.

Exercise - must do more of it (especially the snowboarding!)

PS: * Psalm 121, from the King James version
PPS: lifting your eyes up also deals with that embryonic double chin-in-waiting

Friday, April 09, 2010

what do i do all day: Thursday's photo essay

setting off
Breakfast, then the school run (Wee Guy in stellar mood this morning btw). Brief meeting at school with recycling guru to voice my concerns about kids bringing home stinking garbage in their school bags (all kid-generated rubbish is now being sent home but my main beef is with the stinky milk cartons). Left meeting feeling enlightened of the school's position but left with impression that I am complete failure and moron (which is sooooo easy to do to a SAHM vs. a working mother ie. an important lady) and wondering when all children will have to be sent to school catheterised and colostomised so they don't overload the sanitary system?

sunny burst
Stopped to sniff the flowers in the sunshine.

SPT #2 April 8th
Made stuff.

purple bling
Made more stuff.

SPT 8th April
Made marbled brownies and took part in Self Portrait Thursday.

Catered, refereed and cleared up after play date.

Tried to make wardrobe decisions (not helped much by the cat).
Fed child, glammed up a little and went to gallery opening. Finished evening at Cafe Divano over a coffee (decaf of course), chatting with Sarah about marketing, twittering and so on for the Blackberry Artists.

Home, zzzzz's ........... a new day.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

what do i do all day: this was wednesday

Wee Guy goes off to school and I settle down to a strict hour of answering emails and setting up blog posts (OK, it stretched to an hour and a half .... there were lots of emails ..... honest!). Thank goodness for Wordless Wednesday.

Oh, and there was some laundry (again).

Then there was an escape for freedom where I left the house for an hour to capture some shots for the Blackberry Artists blog for the next week.  Good fodder as there is one new featured artist and two others have displays outside the gift shop too.  

Back to the house .... lunch. Finished up with the blogging,  then out again for My First Ever Photo Shoot. ArtsConnect, who are running the Art Walk studio tour, had lined up an interview with the local media featuring two of their new artists (myself and Vicki Allesia) at a new venue (Tealicious tea rooms in Port Moody, home of the most delicious lapsang souchong .... evah). I was asked to take some of my jewelry and to visit the venue to discuss staging the event. It totally never really sank in with me that I might be photographed (!duh!) so, while I wished my hair was looking a little more tamed, at least I had my zingy new thrift top to make me look less thrown together. (Vicki looked very polished and stylish btw - she was ready for the session!) It was fun though I still hate having my photograph taken (article comes out Wednesday).

Back home again .... more lunch (ginormous sandwich - homemade bread) then on to collect Wee Guy from school. Met by serious looking teacher who told me that Wee Guy "had a rough day". Heart sinks. Up to classroom to find Wee Guy putting a brave face on it all. He's been doing so well recently, his counselor has been working miracles with him, so I know he's feeling down. Back home. Chocolate milk then an afternoon of non-stop fun with mum = shopping for a pink T shirt and pocket money spending at Value Village, followed by a new ink cartridge (it had to be done, but he got a quick browse thru the Wii games), a "How To Train Your Dragon" happy meal at McD's (it's a treat, don't hate) then my pièce de résistance - a Big City cupcake! Big smiles.

Home. Cook dinner (OK reheat soup, pull anything vaguely dinner-ish from fridge and shout voila!). Feed family. Feed cat. Feed guinea pigs. Bath time. Bedtime. More work on computer ...... zzzzz.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

wordless wednesday: what do i do all day?

what do i do all day: laundry

what do i do all day: grocery shopping

what do i do all day: at the desk

what do i do all day: bread

what do i do all day: clearing out the cellar

what do i do all day: child wrangling

what do i do all day: more bl**dy laundry

what do i do all day: while waiting for piano lesson to end

what do i do all day: at the computer

This was Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

So, what do you do all day?

cactus forest, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Hmmm ... that's a bit of a thorny question to ask a SAHM who works from the home.

Maybe after my last themed blogging (Make It March, over on my "business" blog ie. the one that supposedly flogs my jewelry and handcrafting) I should introduce another idea to link together some posts.

Ladies, gentlemen and lurkers - I give you "what I really do all day".
Starting with yesterday ......

Yesterday was still Spring Break, or more technically Easter. I managed to convince the DH he would be better back at work (!) so only had the Wee Guy to entertain. After a leisurely breakfast and some inbox de-cluttering we headed off to Science World.

The whole of Vancouver was there, still on Easter break (their Spring Break was at the beginning of March). Mercifully the line ups were brief, threats issued only twice re: running off and being at the mercy of passing bogeymen (I believe in coercion, threats and fear when parenting in public) and the Wee Guy had a great time. He played with Every Single Exhibit Available. White Spot for lunch was less crowded than usual cos we ate while Bobs and Lolo were playing (a sneaky move, not premeditated but simply cos we got to the line up too late for each concert).
in flight
I love love love Science World. It is so entertaining, engaging, there's something new on tap at every turn ......... but each exhibit is a 30s only adventure for my Wee Guy. By the end of the second hour my head was reeling with his butterfly attention span flittings. Science World is great for kids but not so much for the adults with the kids. Boy, was it frustrating not being able to take in each exhibit at a leisurely pace.
brooding clouds
But then that's what Science World After Dark is for (next one scheduled April 23rd - not a kid in sight!). What a great idea!

PS: for the rest of the day I cooked, cleaned, tidied, prepped for school and sent a few emails. Oh and I painted my toenails in the evening ( a nice shade of blue in case you were wondering).

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday forte: the spring break edition

SPT April 1st 2010, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Yes ...... Spring break!

Mid-life crisis duly postponed until after the holiday spell is over! My little tiger dragged me thru the day and guess what? We had fun! The pet shop is right next to a super thrift store, so after choosing some hay for the guins and some grass for Griz we rummaged for buried treasure. He scored a new diary "for his thoughts and plans" and I got this cute knitted top!

Happy day!

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!