Spring

I empathize with Spring this year. I don’t want to leave the house yet. I am comfortable under my layers of blankets and sweaters. I feel like I have more thinking and coping to do. That said, I think everyone is so very ready for the bleak cold winter days to be OVER ALREADY.

Mucha's seasons (just winter and spring)

Sisters, Winter and Spring.

The last few weeks have been rough here. I feel like the poor plants, trapped in the cold earth, waiting for the weather to change and welcome me back. My Mom’s birthday came and went, and I felt my heart breaking for my son’s lack. He will never know how her eyes sparkled and her laugh cackled when she was truly amused by something. He will never know her stern look over the frame of her glasses, paired by that Marge-esq grumble. He is at an age now where he remembers. He misses people and he asks about them. He tells elaborate stories about his best friend, Gus. He talks about his favourite person in the world, his Auntie Tracy. When my Mum’s birthday came, and he saw me crying while watching a tribute video made by my Dad’s family (estranged to us), he was so worried. He doesn’t understand who these people are that I miss so terribly. I have pictures of them up, I talk about them as much as I can, but he doesn’t know them. There are just some days where that hurts so very much.

Ostara was kind of quiet for us this year. We talked a bit about it, I made a crustless quiche (my Mom’s recipe), and some bunny buns. I gave everyone some mini-eggs and that was it. At least, that was it until my girlfriend, Sarah, called up and told us that she had some extra tickets to the Live Dinosaur Train show. Such a great time! Liam loved it.

Bunny Buns and Quiche

Bunny Buns and Quiche

Liam and I at Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur Train!

A couple days later, I was overcome by the need to do some spring cleaning, and basically attacked the house. Unfortunately, my health hasn’t been great and I very quickly lost steam. I’m doing a tiny bit each day. My back, neck and knee have been acting up. It’s been 5 years since my accident, and I am seeing now how this has changed my life. Even the most basic things, like sitting on the floor to play with my kid and a ball is hard for me.

Easter is around the corner now. Much like Ostara, I don’t have my steam or excitement for it. We’ve been doing some crafts and talking about it as an extension of Ostara, but I can’t help but think about how it was the last holiday I had with Mom, 5 years ago. I can’t help but deeply miss my sister and wish that I was surrounded by loud, insane, offensive family all over again (My Dad’s kids and my parents. Tracy and I are very alike in that we became very small and quiet at the big family dinners. Of course, we helped each other stay sane during those crazy visits).

20150328_09290120150328_092925(1)On the plus side, all of this reflection has given me the push to finally save my pictures from my old desktop that has been sitting dead for 3 years. Pat managed to get it going long enough for me to back everything up. My goal is to start making family photo books. Gives me the ability to celebrate the family, love and support that I do have.

What are your plans for the holiday weekend?

Thawing

The sun is peeking through the curtains as I sit here with my coffee, while Liam plays with his toy tools (his new obsession). I am so excited by the spring weather we have finally been getting. I feel rejuvenated and like I’m shedding an old skin. Selfie of me Sitting outside in the sun

This was a hard winter for us. There have been big stresses for us this winter (financial, personal, and health). Combine that with the greyness, the cold and all that snow, we have not been feeling great for months. Yesterday, we took a nice long walk around the neighbourhood and let Liam excitedly splash through all the new spring puddles. It was wonderful. We are still adjusting to the time change (Arg, I am not a fan), but this sunshine and warmth makes it bearable.

I am starting to prep for the equinox. Crafts, activities and some tasty food. Liam and I started these egg carton flowers this morning, and I have to say that I love them. spring15cThey are super easy to make, and such a happy punch of spring colour. I think we will do some seed starting for the actual equinox and eat a quiche for dinner that night.

I have started a new exercise program too. I have been finding myself tired ALL THE TIME and think that my lack of activity probably has something to do with it. I have been feeling blob like for a while. While I love my body, no matter what the scale says, I do want to be able to have enough energy to play with my kid. Here’s hoping this helps! Any tips to keep your energy up and to stay fit, without being fat shaming? Oh, on that topic, I recently wrote a small rant on facebook and tumblr about fat shaming and the Dancing Man that I wanted to share with you. Check it out here.

spring15bI hope you are having some lovely weather where you are too! <3

Equinox

I swear time is doing funny things to us here. I feel like it is both flying by and crawling forward. Perhaps that’s just life with a toddler.

Week one of the 21 day fix wraps up today. It’s been an interesting week! It has been a challenge to work out daily, but not as much as I thought it would be. I also thought it would be harder to follow the meal plan, but it’s amazing how easy it is once you wrap your head around it. A week ago, it took me nearly 4 hours to plan for the week. Now I can replan and day in 10 minutes, tops. (Which we had to do yesterday due to grocery limitations and other pain in the butt issues, such as my car being a total piece of crap). I have really enjoyed sharing this experience with Pat. He has been a massive motivator to me. No major change on the scale yet, but I’m not going to do an official End of Week 1 weigh in until tomorrow morning.

Other observations:

  • I hate cardio. I am screwed when the apocalypse happens.
  • I have very little in the way of work-out attire. In the process of remedying that.
  • It’s amazing how quickly your body adapts. I went from drinking almost no water a day, and 3+ cups of coffee (full of milk and sugar), to a TONNE of water and almost no coffee in a day (only a quick glug of milk and stevia now).
  • I freaking love balsamic vinegar. On everything. EVERYTHING.

For those that are into this, this is my meal plan for this coming week. I know it doesn’t look like much, but the portions are HUGE.

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Aside from this massive lifestyle change, we got out to see some more houses and have a renewed hope. We are returning to getting our place done and will hopefully have it on the market by next week. We are moving our target area a bit and have fallen in love with a small town further south. We have FOUR places that we are really interested in now, so I am very excited.

Hopefully we get our acts together and get going so that it isn’t freaking February when we are moving. Ugh.

It seems fitting that all of this change is going on now, at Mabon time.

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I have to say, I love this time of year. I never feel more like myself than I do now. I live for sweater weather, apples and spice, fallen acorns, changing leaves and tea. Seriously, my heart is set to burst with how much I adore it. I hate how short lived it is.

mabon

I don’t have any major plans for Mabon this year. Maybe a few crafts with my boy, a walk in the woods and a cleansing of the home (also a good idea for getting some welcoming vibes for the house hunters). I have some yard work to do, to both enhance the curb appeal and prep for the coming winter. That feels like it should round out the day perfectly :)

What are you doing for the equinox?

Summer Solstice

Happy belated solstice to everyone!

We had a lovely, if not a little busy, weekend. We spent as much time out in the sun as we could and had a great time doing it.

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On Saturday, we decided to attend our very first Pow Wow. There is an annual solstice event held here in Ottawa, at Vincent Massey Park. It’s a great free event, with pony rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and a Pow Wow. Liam loved seeing the animals, and running around the huge park. Unfortunately, the Pow Wow was quite late starting and he lost patience before much started. We did get to watch the Grand Entrance and enjoy some tasty bevvies though.

That's Liam's "What is this delicious Strawberry Drink?!" face

That’s Liam’s “What is this delicious Strawberry Drink?!” face

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It was such a great time. I’d recommend this event to everyone! Next year I’ll be sure to plan better, as we didn’t bring much cash with us and ended up missing out on lots of tasty treats as a result. I loved the smell of sage, cedar and sweetgrass in the air. It was such a beautiful thing :)

We did a lot of yard work and tidying inside. I always find the need to put things in order around the sabbats and esbats. We have a massive amount of decluttering ahead. Our poor tiny house is starting to feel overrun with stuff again.

Meanwhile, I have a busy week ahead! I have two babywearing teaching events going on. Tomorrow is my first one-on-one appointment and on Friday, I’m off to Brockville to attend their local meet up with some of my carriers for show and tell. Can’t wait!
What are you up to this week? Did you do anything special for the Solstice?

Tarot Reading

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Set the Scene: Devil

Losing independence, addiction and bondage, caught up, overindulgence, choosing to stay in the dark, feeling hopeless. Break free by looking beyond the material.

 

Situation:

-Having a hard time making the first steps in a new direction, breaking free. it may seem impossible to move forward, but deep down, you know you can do this. A hidden relationship coming to the surface.

-Feeling like you’ve lost control in your life, the desire to break the status quo, challenging ideas, coming out of doing things “automatically” and seeing if they actual work for you, look within.

-Painful ending to allow for new growth and regeneration, fear of pain, delaying the inevitable, carrying around old pain, fear of ruin, face this past pain once and for all

-Father figure, solid foundation, strong family. Domination of mind over heart.

-Beginning of a spiritual journey, looking within to find true happiness, mental exhaustion with current situation, disappointment in love,

-Broken home/marriage, emotional connection in a relationship is blocked, treat him with love and respect and he will follow, not being true to yourself,

-Moving on, acceptance, forgiveness, learning from the past, hope for the future, hidden blessings, the sun peaking through the clouds, approaching change

-Isolation, poverty, loss of wealth, failure. People around you are willing to help you through this difficult time. Connection with the material has issues that need to be resolved.

 

Result/What to do now:

-Challenges in moving on from the past, resisting a necessary transition, look for the benefits of this change, feeling forced towards a change

-Breakdown of communication, lack of harmony in the home, instability, fear of commitment.

-Security, control, power, discipline, abundance, problem solving, being pragmatic.

 

 

Spring parties

As you could tell from my last post, we have had a rough go the last little bit. Right before Easter weekend, we were all struck down by a 72 hr gastro bug. It hit me first, right after work on Wednesday, and then slowly made its way through the family. We still weren’t over it by Easter morning, so we had a word with Humphrey and decided that the egg hunt and Ostara plans would have to be postponed.

Unfortunately, I had already postponed Ostara from the actual equinox, to Easter weekend (I’m trying to find a way to combine our holidays and practices. This time didn’t quite work out). As a result, we finally got to celebrating this past weekend, and its already nearly Beltane. Sigh. Oh well! Funny how once the weather changes, life seems to pick up the pace. This weekend was full of spring celebrations.

We woke up Sunday morning, went to get papa (I’m sleeping with Liam these days, as his flu and molars have done a number on his sleep again. He’s nursing like a newborn these days) and off he went on the egg hunt.

As you can see, Humphrey spoiled him nicely.  After the egg hunt, we celebrated Ostara by planting some seeds in Liam’s new seed starter kit and then I did a cedar and sage smudging of the house.

Planting some merigold seeds

Planting some marigold seeds

 

My new smudging kit

My new smudging kit

After the chocolate craze died down, and little man finally had his nap, we were off to Brewer park to hang out with our buddies! G, one of Liam’s buddies, had his birthday right around the same time as L. We decided to avoid the big party this year and simply celebrate these two awesome dudes by doing their favourite thing. We had a great time, despite the chilly grey weather.

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A couple hours later, all the kids were turning into monster pumpkins. This mama was pretty toast too. It was a great weekend, with a ton of celebration.

I’m not quite sure what our plans are for Beltane later this week, but I’m thinking maybe a trip to the Experimental Farm and maybe making my Honey Lavender cake. Nothing too crazy this year. I was hoping to take Liam to the local Waldorf’s school May Day celebrations  this weekend (they even have a maypole!), but I’m working the Ottawa Baby Show this year! If you’re in the area, please come out and visit me on Sunday at the Belly Laughs booth. I’m there from 10-3.

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This coming week also marks the beginning of a new chapter in my journey towards living healthier. I recently came across a great blog called Bless this Mess (a sentiment I can definitely get behind). A week ago, or so, she posted about this great challenge called Feel Great in 8. I was intrigued so I checked it out. I really dig the concept: Striving towards holistic Health. We’re not just talking shedding pounds here, but rather working on fitness, nutrition, mental health and spirituality. I may be one of the few(if not only) non-Christian participants, but I think the challenges will still speak to me and my faith. I am about 11lbs from my first goal (my pre-pregnancy weight), and I’ve been slacking pretty bad lately. This is exactly the kind of boost I need. If you’re interested, check out their page. There’s time left before our round starts (May 5th). There are referral benefits, but don’t feel like you have to share that you got there through me.  I’d just love to have some buddies join me in this :)

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And with that, I’m off! We’re having our furnace serviced for the spring today, and I need to carve out a path through the toddler destruction for the guys to get in.

 

Tarot Reading

So, every night for the last month or so, I’ve been having stress dreams and nightmares. Every. Single. Night. I’m not sure why, but I expected this to stop in the new year. That somehow, 2014 would wipe the slate clean. Clearly, this was not the case. The dreams all feature my parents, my parents home, feeling as thought I am misunderstood, lots of stress, heartbreak, people not trusting me, packing up my parents house, my dad’s kids or people from my past.

After a particularly bad dream this morning, I’ve decided to do a tarot reading to see what I can do to understand this situation better.

Deck Used: Shadowscapes

Spread: The Journey, from the Shadowscapes book.

Initial draw:

I do a quick initial draw to warm myself up and to introduce the topic. It’s sort of my way of making sure the cards and I are connected and on the same page, topic wise.

tarot1Getting to the heart of the matter, inner knowledge, need to move on from the past, Personal reflection. Inner strength. Truth. Strong sense of purpose, Seeking guidance. Caught in the past, over thinking, limiting oneself. A sign of discord, conflict of interests, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Passage away from difficulties, a chance to recover, too much change has led to a time of darkness that you must find a way to rise from.

tarot2Leaving Behind:

Caught in the past, over thinking, limiting oneself. Making a choice to either reap the rewards of effort or wait further – The time of waiting is over. Enjoy the reward of your efforts. A calm moment of consideration of alternatives and different approaches. A sensitive woman. A true romantic, wants to just sit and breathe, listening to the still voice from within.

I have spent too much time thinking about my options, working towards the reward and ignoring the fruit, caught in the past. It’s time to move on from being the romantic woman, lost in herself, and start living and appreciating now.

tarot3Why am I on this journey:

Introverted personality. Clinging to the past. Attachment. Immaturity. Refusal to accept responsibility. Selfishness. Emotional suspension, anxiety, guilt. A traitor – one who has turned his back to friends and loved ones and in effect on himself in the process.

Am I refusing to accept the role I played in my mother’s estate badness? Or do I have too much guilt about it? I was placed in the role of Traitor…must think about this further.

Star/Guiding Force:

Letting go of the past, being honest with myself, make new goals and let go of the old me.

Challenge:

Seeking where my heart and emotions lead, idealist, following my dreams and intuition, yearning for perfection, seeking my grail.

Destination:

Effects of stress, responsibilities may seem too much, take time to determine priorities, centering myself without losing myself in thought. So many demands and dependencies, doing things the hard way, taking on too much, the burden is taken on willingly because she knows she has the strength to do it.

Merry Yule!

We had a lovely day yesterday. Pat is off work for two weeks, so the pace has slowed significantly around here. We’re hanging out in pjs, eating comfort foods and not worrying too much about the mess.

After a day of rest, coffee and presents (oh, and bubbles. So many bubbles), the darkness started to fill the house and I prepared Liam’s paintings for a transformation into our Yule lanterns. I got the idea from this great post.

We then took some time to talk about winter, about solstice, about darkness and the return of the light and what the lanterns represented.

Today, we are being covered in more snow and freezing rain, so we are hunkering down and making a list of last minute things we need to pick up before Christmas. I have some baking plans that should be interesting! Let’s see if my in laws enjoy these creations :D

I hope Yule was as beautiful for you as it was for us and may we all enjoy the slow return of longer days and sunlight.

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Samhain Eve

There is something about this time of year. It gets into my blood, into my bones. I feel super unsettled, like I’ve had too many coffees. It’s deeper than coffee though – I feel it in my chest. I am more prone to anxiety, to excitement. I feel like I’m nesting, but in preparation for the coming cold and snow rather than a wee babe.

I’ve been driven by madness, it seems, to declutter like mad. I tore through our main floor yesterday. I stuffed and sorted diapers, listing those that I didn’t love. I did dishes, sorted through papers, I cleaned out corners and organized toys. I scrubbed and vacuumed. Over the weekend, I tackled our outdoors. Not so much the gardens, but I moved all the outdoor play stuff into the backyard. I cleared the deck of crap. The UFYH people would have been proud. Clearly my instincts were right – I woke this morning to a light blanket of snow covering everything outside. Halloween usually marks the first snow here, so I had a feeling it would be coming soon.

The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.

The snow was already gone when I went to take a picture.

I’m still not sure what we’re doing to celebrate tomorrow. I’m going to take the little man to the local mall for some costume fun, and then I’ll probably take him to a couple houses for some treats. I was thinking about doing some “ancestral food” for dinner (Right now the plan is for latkes and perhaps steak. The latkes celebrate my mom, and the steak is for Pat’s dad). We’ve done some decorating and some craft projects. It’s going to be so fun when he’s older to really get into it!

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We’ll leave some milk and honey outside and I think I’ll do my annual tarot reading. Every year I try to do one big reading for myself to get a feel for the upcoming year. I think this year I’m going to focus on the wisdom and lessons of the past.

On that note, I’d like to offer 5 readings for my followers. Comment on this post, be sure to include your email address. I’ll get back to you and confirm what it is you’d like to know. Be as specific or as vague as you’d like.  I’ll email you your reading once I’ve done it.

Going in a completely different direction, I found a super cute nail polish that is perfect for Halloween.

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Meet Revlon Elusive #736. I just happened to come across it on sale at Shoppers when I was picking up some late night groceries the other day and couldn’t resist. It’s a matte black with flecks of beautiful teal glitter. It dries super fast. The coverage is fantastic. I’m only wearing one coat in the picture. I could use another one, but…

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On that note, this momma has to get going. I’m working on some top secret Christmas/Yule crafts. SHHHH! Details to come later, I promise! Don’t forget to comment if you want a reading. <3 If you are comfortable with me posting the results, let me know! I’ll do a post if people are cool with it.

Wednesday Update – Week 36

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A peek at the past week (how I’ve been): Week 36 was definitely another rollercoaster. On one hand, it was my last week at work before starting Mat Leave. On the other, we hit some walls with the renos/decluttering that had me really stressed and frustrated.

The week started out a bit rough. One of my co-workers was having a really hard time with me leaving and did everything she could to make it clear she wasn’t impressed without actually talking to me about it. She talked down about my position as much as she could, she talked about my potential replacements, how I was abandoning her, etc… In fact, at one point, she told me a story about how a friend of hers from work actually thought i was just giantly over weight, and didn’t understand why I needed a replacement. Yep. That was fun.

Pat and I then had trouble filing our taxes with H&R Block. Basically, our schedules didn’t match up and the whole process took about 4-5 visits over 3 weeks. I was not impressed.

THEN, about midweek, Pat and I hit a wall with renos. We were both exhausted, both frustrated and basically, quit. Nothing was getting done, and I was not happy about it.  Thankfully, this is about when things started to turn around. My colleagues at work took me out for a Goodbye Lunch which was lovely, we FINALLY got the taxes done, and Pat finished 90% of the painting. I got some major decluttering accomplished, and found out I’m GBS negative (woo!). Also, as you saw from my last post, the estate wrapped up. To wrap this whole thing up, Pat’s BFF Jan brought her family by again and we got most of the office moved into the basement. The dining room is now back to being a dining room, our front closet has been reorganized, and the kitchen has been started. The office-soon-to-be-guest-room has been cleared and now just needs a solid cleaning before we can move the bed and furniture in there.

Feeling so relieved and accomplished!

How far along am I right now? 37 weeks, 2 day.

I am thinking…about what’s left to do. I may add a little check list at the end of these posts to show you and to keep track for myself.

I am thankful for… Maternity leave. Honestly, I am doing so much better this week. So much more me. Turns out Pat was right ;)

From the kitchen… Nothing fancy! I am plotting my freezer meals though! A post to come on that.

I am wearing… PJs! Because I can! It’s been CRAZY hot here in Ottawa lately. Like, our normal weather for this time of year is between -2 celcius and 10 celcius. This week? We’ve been averaging summer weather (25-30 degrees!!). As a result, we’re going to pick me up a few cheap summery items so that I can survive the next couple of weeks.

I am creating…The finishing touches on Liam’s hat. It’s just missing the ears!

I am going…to try to stay productive. Jan is coming over today to help me with some unpacking in the office and maybe to work on the kitchen some more. Also, we’re buying our new furniture for the basement and our seating area upstairs. This weekend, I’m getting a pedicure with S, visiting my work peeps as they do Relay For Life in honour of my mother and then we’re getting our mat photos done!

I am reading… Still working my way through rereading one of my favourite series: Outlander. I’m currently on Echo in the Bone now.

I am hoping…that Liam stays put for a little while yet. There’s still so much to do! Also, I hope our mat photos turn out!

I am hearing…Lots of calming music. Last night it was Loreena McKennitt while I had a bath. Lots of Mumford and Sons, Tori, Sarah Harmer, and Neko Case.

Around the house…Lots of work!

Currently Done:

  • Basement painting (only a bit left, but we’re waiting until all the furniture is down to do the stairwell, as its getting dinged and scratched)
  • Move Office Downstairs
  • Decluttered and reorganized front closet
  • Decluttered and reorganized dining room
  • Set up organization system in basement
  • Do all baby laundry and sort clothes
  • Start packing hospital bag
  • Buy Nursing tanks

To Do:

  • Set up Office downstairs
  • Set up TV space downstairs
  • Buy new furniture
  • Clean out Soon-To-Be-Guest-Room
  • Move furniture into guest room
  • Set up guest room
  • Declutter and reorganize kitchen
  • Declutter and reorganize bedroom
  • Declutter and reorganize living room
  • Declutter and reorganize bathrooms
  • Buy the remaining baby essentials
  • Set up nursery
  • Confirm hospital bag is packed
  • Make freezer meals
  • Sell Subaru
  • Buy new family vehicle
  • Set up car seat
  • Cleanse Quilt of Hate into Quilt of Love
  • Do maternity photos
  • Get rid of current living room furniture.

One of my favorite things…Acetaminophen. Let’s just say I’ve been sore.

Weight Gain: Total, about 34 lbs.

Baby in the Produce World: According to The Bump, we’re now a honeydew melon.  Baby Centre says he’s actually closer to a crenshaw melon. Ok.
Movement/Signs of the Baby: VERY ACTIVE. Ow. His favourite hobby seems to be punching my cervix and my butt from the inside. Yes. My butt. From the inside.
Cravings and Aversions: Random new aversion: Eggs. Seriously, the thought of eating an egg in any form makes me want to barf. ick.
Body Changes/Weirdness: Lots more stretch marks, HUGE belly, very swollen feet and the latest addition: Sore finger joints and knuckles. Yay for water retention!
Other Random Babeh/Pregnancy thoughts: This baby could arrive at ANY TIME now and be perfectly healthy. I am not ready, baby! Stay put for a bit, ok? Also? Buying a car from someone you sort of know isn’t as fun or as easy as you’d think.
Other Pictures from this Week:
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