mommy – daughter weekend

Jayla recently enrolled in our local school. This is her first experience with school; homeschooling being her only previous experience. She was so excited about going, but after the first day she found it quite difficult to settle in. She was homesick, shy, unsure of herself, nervous. Of course she ended up getting sick with two different viruses in two weeks; so she missed quite a few days and that certainly didn’t help matters. Now into her third week of school she has attended every day so far this week (no more illness — knock on wood). She is making friends, and settling into the new routine wonderfully. I knew it would be a challenge. It has been difficult on both of us; after all we have spent 9 years together. It was time though, and we are very happy that we persevered. I am so very proud of Jayla, for all of her accomplishments thus far.

After such a challenging two weeks we really needed this little time away at one of my favourite places in the whole world — Thirteen Moons Women’s Retreat — to spend some time away from home and to reconnect with one another in this peaceful, beautiful environment.

candlelight fair

On the weekend, Jayla and I attended the annual Candlelight Fair at the Toronto Waldorf School. We have been attending this fair for several years now. My favourite part is the puppet play. This year it was an african folk tale called Akimba and the Magic Cow; a story of a poor man who repeatedly loses his magic animals through the trickery of his friend, and the friend gets his payback in the end in quite a humorous way. What a treat to hear all the little giggles coming from the front of the room at the end of the play.

Another treat for us that day was that friends of ours arrived and spent the day with us. The last we heard they were not going to be able to be there, so it was a pleasant surprise for us that they were there after all.

Many of the children’s activities are for the “children only”. No parents or guardians allowed. We big people have to wait outside the room and wonder about the magical goings-on inside. Each year I try to get Jayla to describe it in more detail. She did three activities this year: visiting with the Good Witch and receiving a cookie, walking through the magical Woodland Pond and receiving a gift from the Princess of the Pond in exchange for the gift of dewdrops from the children and shopping in the Children’s Corner.

Here are a couple of photos of the goodies that Jayla purchased in the Children’s Corner shop.

And every year we end our day in the little woods behind the school. This is where the children who attend the school play every day. What a magical place.

Now we just have to wait a whole year to do it again.

weekend with my girls

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My oldest daughter began university this fall. Yes, university. I can’t believe I have a daughter that is old enough to be attending university. We are all very proud of her accomplishments and she is very much enjoying post-secondary education thus far.

This weekend Kiera came out for a visit. She is currently staying with her grandparents who live closer to her school. So, when she is able to, she comes home and visits with us. This was one of those weekends.

Saturday was spent doing a variety of things – Jayla had an art workshop; Lianne had rehearsals for a school musical she is in; the dog went to a rabies clinic to get her vaccination and the rest of the time we just hung out here at home.

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On Sunday, the girls and I met up with my parents at Lang Pioneer Village for the day. It was the annual Applefest there. The weather wasn’t the greatest, but we had a fun time anyway.

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ode to my mother

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just when the
caterpillar
thought the
world was over,
it became
a butterfly.
– proverb

Happy Birthday Mom!
I Love You.

**edited to add:
this photo is from my mothers’ birthday celebration this year. i mailed out these butterflies to friends and family, i asked them to decorate the butterflies and write messages on them and then mail them back to me in time for her birthday and then presented her with them on that day. she was so surprised and thrilled.

celebrating being fourteen

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I am the one who plans all the parties and celebrations. I am certain that mothers are the party planners in most families. Once I had children, I was in charge of celebrations in my own home and I took over for my own mother as well – planning both my parents’ birthday parties and any other family get-togethers like easter, christmas, thanksgiving. You name it, I’ve planned for it. I love making lists and dreaming about what it will be like, right down to the last detail.

Until lately.

Lately I just don’t feel like baking cakes, and decorating the room and fussing over all the details. It is beginning to feel like obligation instead of fun. I think it is just time for me to take a break.

So, for Lianne’s birthday celebration yesterday we did everything completely different. I made reservations at a restaurant and I ordered an ice cream cake instead of making one. Phew. At first I felt guilty. Then I smiled to myself and let it all go. I felt tremendous relief. I could enjoy myself too, instead of playing the hostess. And it really was such fun. I’m not saying that I will never bake a cake again or plan celebrations. No, no, no. But it will be because I want to and not because I am obligated to. My heart will be in it next time. And the love will shine through.

Just like it did yesterday.

wisdom teeth

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Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? I haven’t. But this week my oldest daughter Kiera had all four of hers removed. When I saw her in the recovery room a few minutes after her surgery the first thought that came into my mind was – “she looks so vulnerable”. My poor girl. All the strength had been taken from her. She was confused and weepy and it was all I could do to hold back my own tears and pull her close to me and lend her some of my strength and support.

She is recovering now. Slowly. We are taking it very slow around our home these days. No rushing about for us. It feels good to do things at a snails’ pace and look after one another. The sedation medication is slowly coming out of her system, as we add more medications (antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories and something for the pain) back in. Her poor little body just isn’t accustomed to this kind of assault and it does feel like an assault. Yesterday she vomitted up all her morning medication; it was like her body said “no more” and released it all into the toilet. So, we are cutting back now. We are listening and paying attention to her bodies signals. We’ll introduce the medications again, but this time slowly. Slowly.

Of course, when looking after someone else, sometimes we forget to look after ourselves. My body has been giving me reminders that I need to take care of myself too. I won’t be much help to Kiera if I get sick will I? Yesterday I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and I wanted to ask for help. Who could I ask? I thought of my mother but then realized that she had already helped me so much on the first day and I didn’t want to ask too much of her. Then I thought of my husband Jean, but realized that he had already booked his train ticket and couldn’t change it and besides he was going to be working from home this friday, so he was doing what he could. I put my head into my hands and was feeling sorry for myself and then the phone rang.

It was Kiera’s boyfriend Dustin. He was calling to see if it was okay if he came over to see Kiera and to help out. You see I had quietly asked for help, and lo and behold, it was given. Within minutes. Isn’t the universe a marvellous place? I think so.

Things are much better around here today. Kiera is getting some of her strength back. No more vomitting. She has an appetite. She is resting. We are still moving very slowly. It is peaceful and quiet here.

I am grateful.