Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

an afternoon at the shore...

Things have gotten very busy of late. Fall swim and Robotic Club have begun. I joined a local Roller Derby team (much more on this later). Putting up 8 cords of wood (and injuring my rotator cuff) and getting the house winter ready.

I have a few back posts I need to get up but thought I would put up some lovely pictures from earlier today. This small beach is about 15 minutes from our home and has the best rocks for rock hunting. The small patch of sand is good for playing as well.

It has been a rough week for me as a parent. So this was a good re-group for me. Just remembering to breathe all day every day is so important in my life and when I get so busy I so quickly forget. Enjoying nature with my children lets me remember in a gentle way.

the tide was really low and the rocks were covered

she hangs on his every word, so precious

Bliss decided to make "sand angels"

experimenting with my camera settings

tiny paper-like seaweed had me captivated at close range

nature is so fascinating and efficient

looks like coral but feels like thin paper

showing it to Soul

yummy neck

Saturday, September 3, 2011

paddling along...

Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing. – Henry David Thoreau

We went to the lake today for some end of summer fun. We go often especially at the end of summer and we are trying to take advantage of any nice days from here on out. Bliss had recently gotten a new body board he wanted to try out and Soul is happiest at the lake or the zoo.

After reading a post by Mikmaq Mama I decided we WOULD try going canoeing this year. I have gone back and forth about this since Soul is 2 and not always happy to sit still. I felt a sense of excitement and tranquility at the thought of gliding across the water with my 2 little loves. A shared new journey to experience together. We got on our life jackets, rented the canoe, grabbed the oars and were on our way.

We went out about 100 feet and started turning around in circles by the large rocks sticking out of the lake and after about 7 minutes I finally got us back in. Next I turned the canoe around and got the kids situated better (and the canoe facing forward finally) and to their delight we were back on our way. This time it went so much better, we took off staying along the edges of Sandy Bottom Lake and headed towards the end 3 coves down. Bliss saying "Mama wouldn't it be amazing to go all the way to the end of the lake?!" 

The wind at our backs, we glided very quickly down to the very end of the lake. My arms felt great to work hard taking my family on a wonderful adventure. My heart soared as we neared the end and I managed to get us turned around. As we headed back the way we came Bliss told me he loved having conversations with me even more in a canoe than in a car. I felt tears of joy sting my eyes.

We got almost out of the cove we were in when we did a few slow circles. I laughed as we tried to right ourselves and head back the way we came. I got us mostly turned around and tried again only to be turned around again and pushed further out away from where we were headed.

My voice strained a bit as I asked Bliss to also paddle. Soul, who has been very over tired of late felt the strain in my voice and began to cry. Bliss comforted her as I was at the back of the canoe and I spoke to her gently. She calmed and we were back on our way.

This time we went in 3 circles and wobbled twice, then we got further out. At this point Bliss mentioned maybe I should use the whistle they gave me. I told him we were not in danger, just seemingly unable to go the direction we wanted. We had already been out a little over a half an hour.

At this point I realized we should have perhaps paddled up current to start and then would have had a nice time getting back "with" the current. Instead we were at the end of the lake fighting currents and waves from passing boats. We turned back around and I paddled as hard as I could and once again I ended up further away and going the wrong direction. At this point I was laughing a lot but Soul was beginning to really cry again.

So we headed for the other side of the lake, made it their swiftly and went ashore in front of a house. I saw some people outside and asked them if it was OK if we parked there for a bit. They were wonderful and I was able to get Soul on dry ground while she cried and asked to nurse.

The women at the house were so sweet and informed me that the winds were really strong today and asked if they could drive us back to the other side of the lake. We could leave the canoe there and they would drive back someone from the rental place to get the canoe back.

We were all so grateful as we drove back but inside I felt a little foolish and sad. I started to berate myself in my head about how I should have known it was too windy and how it was foolish to go out on the lake with just me and the 2 children. We got back to the beach and turned in our stuff. The lifeguards were wonderful and kind. We thanked everyone and went down to our towels. As we were walking Soul said to me "Mama, I like the boat, I like being in the canoe" and I just paused as I kissed her head.

I took a breath and let it all go. 

It HAD been a wonderful adventure. 

It HAD been a great experience. 

And we WILL canoe again.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

a play group that wasn't and an opportunity that was....

We decided to go to our local park after swim classes the other day. I had posted on a local FB homeschool page we would be going and we were hoping to run into some friends who regularly meet on that day for a play group.

When we got to the park there was no one there from either group but there was an opportunity. The park has an amazing natural playground that was recently made. I have written about it before here.

Soul is behind me but refused to be in this picture

On that day there were two people from our town's recreation department and from the town maintenance doing work spreading fresh wood chips the town was able to purchase recently from a grant they received.

picture taken by Bliss, the park is called Jubilee Park
We immediately went to work helping them shovel and wheel the chips around to spread them out. The area seems small but it deceptively large.

picture taken by Bliss

Bliss jumped right in helping me shovel and even wheeling the wheelbarrows around to dump the chips. Soul even got her shovel from our sandcastle bucket we keep in the back of our car so she could help too. 

picture taken by Bliss
 I told Bliss what a great opportunity this was for us to volunteer and we had a great discussion about that. He said how much more fun it was and how great it felt to be doing this instead of sliding or running around.

self portrait taken by Bliss

Bliss worked tirelessly for an hour and a half alongside myself and the other men, one of whom was using  a tractor which both thrilled and terrified Soul. She kept asking over and over "is it gonna get me?" and we kept saying "it won't get you" nonstop for about an hour.

taken by Soul

 I finished up clearing the chip pile, they still need to order more, but it took me about a half hour more and while I was shoveling and dumping and spreading and sweating I was also thinking. It IS so much more fun than those other things, and so much more important. We do not do volunteer nearly enough and it is something I want to raise my children to care about and do often. So many people we have met here in Canada do so much volunteer work. It is always so impressive and heart warming.

taken by Soul, I LOVE the toes
So I want to find more opportunities for us as a family to volunteer. What do you do to volunteer? What are your experiences with it? How do you feel about it? I really want to know your thoughts and suggestions.

Sunday, August 14, 2011



I want to talk about my personality a little bit. I am what most would call a "type A" personality. Along with that comes a lot of great things and some not so great things. When I became a mother I began noticing more and more of my personality as it played out in relation to my child(ren).

I had a childhood. WOW, can you believe it, pretty amazing huh? But it is hard to qualify that statement because it is so charged for me. There were some great parts of my childhood, and I treasure many times. But since becoming a mother I have found that I am way less forgiving of the other parts of my childhood than all my years of therapy had led me to believe.

I went through a lot of abuse as a child. A lot. My father damaged my being in so many ways. My mother did as well but the damage done by my father leaves the most bitter taste in my mouth. I went through that abuse until my mid 20's with my father and then just kept finding others to continue that abuse. When I couldn't find others to do it I made sure I abused myself.

At some point after coming out and finding myself and getting to know me more I left behind the need for all that abuse. That led me to know I was ready to become a mother which had always been my plan and dream.

After having Bliss I got the opportunity to re-parent myself in so many ways. So much healing has happened and so much more keeps happening when I stay open to it all.

Oprah says that "Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed." I think about that quote a lot. I don't think I am stuck thinking things could be changed but I do think they could have done so so so much better and that sometimes makes me wonder if I really have forgiven, or even if I want to. I am continually finding my weaknesses of learned behaviors from my parents maddening.

Let me first say clearly and with great pride I HAVE NEVER EVER LAYED A HAND ON EITHER OF MY CHILDREN. They have never been hit, spanked, belted, thrown, kicked, slapped, or whipped. They never will be by me or anyone else as long as I am their mama. Those were my daily childhood norms and they ALL stopped with me.

But when I lose my shit I yell. And I loathe that aspect of my personality. I want to be better. I want better for them. I do not want them to someday yell at their own children.

In our house we do not use bad words. "Stupid" is never allowed. Neither is "dumb" or "moron" or "jerk". The only name calling that goes on is "dorko morko" and "doofus schmoofus" and calling one another "Perry the platypus". Actually we DO have a habit of cursing one another. You will often hear "Curse you Perry the platypus!" yelled at one another.

But seriously, one cannot stay angry when saying that.

Try it, I dare you.

It works.

But back to the topic at hand. I am trying to get a handle on my yelling. And I know it all comes down to me finding my center. To me working on being. In the moment, finding my breath, finding my calm and knowing no matter what is going on the children are the lights and loves of my life and any trivial thing not going my way is meaningless and if I can just find that truth amid my internal chaos I can come at any situation with peace and calm.

SOOOOOOO much easier said than done.

My Buddhist practice helps me a lot with all this but I still have such a long way to go. With both things. My practice and my finding my inner peace in those situations.

I do not need to know how to center in the lotus position before my altar with incense flowing and calm music playing. I need to know how to breathe when my head feels like it is about to explode.

So I ask you, all 9 or so readers I have at the moment. How do you find calm amid chaos? When your buttons are being slammed (and isn't that always it anyways, it truly is never what my kids are doing or not doing, it is my own buttons getting hit and my reacting to that) and steam is coming out of your nose and ears.

How do you find the calm?

*I changed the font after a few requests, let me know if this is better.*

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a new beginning...

I start my new blog and then never post on it. Go figure.

Actually things have been ruminating while life has been chugging along. We FINALLY have the car again as roomie is no longer training hours away every day. I can say without any hesitation that the beginning of summer completely sucked rotten eggs. Being stuck inside every day due to bugs that take chunks out of my darling daughters body is no fun. Trying to go outside with sprays, bug suits and the like and watching her get terrorized by dive-bombing deer and moose flies is less fun. Seeing trails of blood stream down her head, back, ears, neck, legs from all the horrid bites is unbearable and kept us inside.

We have also had a very very wet middle and latter part of summer as you can see by the pictures. That day it was not freezing rain and they had a blast. Many days this summer have been chilly with cold rain which is not so fun, but the library or other indoor adventures can still be had.

So now we have the car, Bliss is in swimming every day to his utter joy. Soul is happy so long as we are often at the zoo and the beach so we have been busy to say the least.

All this coupled with roomie working from home and I not being able to be online while she works (due to slowing her speeds for her work, company policy) and often falling asleep with the kids has led to the absence of blog posts.

But I have been thinking on it a lot of late. Forming in my mind where I want to go with this blog. Searching for the path I want to take.

This will always be pictures and comments about my children. I am a MAMA. I am beyond happy/lucky/honored/privileged to get to be a mama and I will always be defined by it by joyous choice. I will also always be striving to be a better mama, and in turn a better human being. You could easily turn that around to say I am always striving to be a better human being so that I can be a better mama but truly both are correct. And because of that desire I have come to the path in the road I want to explore in this new space.

So I will be writing more often, or trying to. And I will be exploring what being better means to me and asking all or any of you to join me, to share your own experience strength and hope with me and to hear me.

Someone recently told me all any of us ever want is for our feelings and needs to be heard and validated. That is something I get from blogging and something I hope to share and explore. I hope you will come along on the ride with me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

this space...

Welcome to my new place. Like all who start a new blog or move one things will be a bit hectic here for a while. I hope to use this space to really focus on my Zen practice and being. I will still be posting all about Soul and Bliss and our lives but I want to dedicate myself to being more mindful, even here. Finding the wonder and sharing it.

Oh I will still pour out my pain and fear, this is, after all, my best therapy, but I am working on shifting things inside a bit more and a new space feels right. I will always be affected by infertility but I think my past blog best serves others best by being for that time period. So I have backdated this one to right after Soul was born and soon I will delete the posts so they end at that place as well.

If you want to be on my blogroll please let me know as I am starting that fresh as well. Please also add me to your readers and RSS feeds.

Thanks so much.

In peace,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

the hat sessions...

My twins.
I have this photo of Bliss framed, taken years ago spur of the moment.

Soul loves putting on and taking off clothes and hats all day long, over and over, and I am constantly taking funny pics of silly outfits. I didn't even realize I had this one until I downloaded it the other day. It will soon be framed to sit next to the one above.

Friday, May 6, 2011

honoring her heritage...

I have had dreams of this rite since Soul was an infant. I was going to do it when she turned one but it didn't feel right. Technically it should be done her first or third year but it felt really right this year.

It is interesting because when Bliss was a baby it was definitely not something I felt was right for him. For him it felt right to not cut even a single hair his first year. I have cut Soul's bangs a few times but nothing else.

I asked Soul is she wanted a haircut and she said no so I said ok and left it at that. She came up to me a minute later saying yes very strongly. I asked if she was sure and she was.I was worried the clippers would scare or bother her. They did not. I was terrified she would be upset after. She was not. I, of course, shaved my head as well. I then applied the customary paste of turmeric and sandalwood oil.

She loved it all.

She is so breathtakingly beautiful.

She acted in ways she has never before after the shave. She did things she has never done. Her whole mood changed, it was really amazing and emotional for me in such a beautiful way.

She also loved feeling her fuzzy wuzzy head. As did I and her brother.

So pleased with herself.

This is a one time thing for her and while I do look forward to her hair growing back and being long enough for pigtails...she is simply stunning to me. Truly.

I love you my precious bird, my oh-so-longed-for-and-wanted-and-worked-for-so-many-years-through-so-much-heartache-and-loss-and-now-such-joy baby Soul.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

my soul is two

This is Soul giving "eyes" which is adorable but sort of fits how the day went.

In the history of all the birthdays of my children this was definitely one of the least fun. It is so unfair how sick we ALL are. Soul was miserable most the day and a lot of whining and crying and fits ensued. By all of us.

The morning began very early and with presents. She picked her outfit which as always was adorable.

This is a cute circular wood puzzle in a puzzle. She quickly tried to break it.

The sun came out a few minutes which was really nice, although the bugs are coming too which she is suddenly terrified of which is so interesting to me. She is so fearless about almost everything. The sudden bug terror surprises me. Bliss wrote this message for his sister. The easel had been his but we had it packed away so it is new for her.

She broke her cool candle I got her and I tried to melt it back together. I always save every years birthday candle but Lu picked up another for her.

So we officially celebrated her being 22.

We have a tradition of letting the birthday child make a mess of the cake if they want. Soul had been screaming and crying for about 30 minutes before this so it was really nice that it seemed to calm her. She rubbed it into her booty, her hair, her ears, her feet. It was sooooooo messy and followed by a bath.

I had given up on the birthday dress picture idea early on. I had two possibilities but truly forgot about it. Then late in the day she got dressed herself in this dress. It is inside out but just perfect on her. And the poses kill me. She is so beautiful.

My precious baby girl how deeply I adore and love you. I wish your day had been easier for you. I love you forever and for always because you are my dear one.

Happy Birthday Soul!