The Story-Teller

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe’s three years old, dark-haired with deep brown eyes framed by long eyelashes, talkative, loving and with an imagination so big that it engulfs our entire world.

He is my third child, probably my last. I’m drinking up every moment of him, trying to slow down time so he doesn’t grow so fast but he just amazes me with his ideas, his ability to articulate complex ideas and his physical abilities to master tasks, especially sports. He loves hockey and is an avid Ottawa Senators fan. One of his favourite toys is his hockey set with sticks and nets just his size to play with.

He’s intense. He uses his hands to pull your face to look at him, to make sure you’re paying attention to what he wants to show you or tell you. And it must always be NOW. Patience is not easy for him…

For him the world holds untold possibilities, where cucumbers make good light sabers, and Britax car-seat boxes make good garbage trucks and his bed can take him anywhere because some nights it’s Santa’s sleigh and other nights it’s a rocket ship or even the TARDIS from Dr. Who. We go on such adventures!

His first words were a simple sentence, “What’s this?” He was asking questions before he could walk. Now at three “Why?” is one of his favourite words, sometimes to our frustration, but it’s hard to discourage his enthusiasm for knowledge. Hopefully it’s a trait that will fuel a lifetime of learning.

We have a Museum membership that gives us access to three local museums and he loves exploring, playing, touching everything and weaving stories of adventures as he goes. Most visits it’s all I can do to keep up with him as he moves from one area to another, at times settling on one place for a little while before moving on. Usually just enough time for me to catch my breath!

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We also have a membership to Little Ray’s Reptiles and we love going to hang out with the animals and playing in the gift shop like the time he picked up a whole handful of bouncy balls and dropped them all at once sending them flying every which way and then he laughed as I tried to catch them all. Or the time he fed a whole bunch of tiny rubber frogs to one of the toy dinosaur heads that you use a lever to open and close their mouths. Sometimes he just goes into the empty presentation area and pretends to bring out the animals, imitating the presentations he has watched so many times. We love Ray’s and the last time we visited he insisted on taking some of the cookies we were baking to Ray. Ray loved them!

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I love that I am home with him and I can experience his love, his intensity, his questioning, his imagination full on. It’s exhausting but never dull.

This past Friday we spent an hour or more painting our tub walls with water-paints. He started out in the tub by himself but before long I was in the tub with him and we were painting each other, our nails and drawing tractors on the tub wall. We made nose prints and he drew a smile on my face because my smile was missing some lines apparently. I drew him a small John Deere tractor but he wanted one of the big blue ones we’d climbed on at the Farm Show the week before so I drew him a big New Holland blue tractor and he was happy.

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When it came time to scrub the walls clean he just as enthusiastically crawled back in the tub and helped me scrub the walls with baking soda. Most of it came off! The little faded spots of blue will be a reminder of an afternoon spent indulging his big spirit.

He is my wonder, my spirit, my story-teller, my reminder that there is so much in this world that is amazing from the sticks and rocks he collects to the whimsical stories he weaves to the fountains of knowledge he seeks but I cannot always answer. He’s also my quiet, my love over-flowing when I rest my head next to him at night and sing him “Winken Blinken and Nod” until he falls asleep because I know tomorrow he will be bigger and time cannot be stopped so enjoying him now, as he is, is the greatest gift I can give myself and him.

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My Soul Map

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You’ve perhaps gotten a sense of who I am from my first two pieces, but I thought it might be helpful to do a more in-depth introduction.  I thought to keep this simpler I would use point form, as many of these elements of who I am or want to be will likely be examined more intensely at some point, but for this post I want to keep it simple.  Think of this as the reference map at the beginning of a fantasy novel, or, as I am going to call it, my soul map.

  •  I am almost 37 years old.  I have been married for 15 years to an amazing man, and we have three children, aged 17, 9 and 3.  My 9-year-old daughter will be 10 the same day I will be 37, and I like sharing my birthday with her.  When they brought me my first meal at the hospital, the menu had Happy Birthday written across the top.  I kept it for her memory box!
  • I was a 19-year-old mom.  Becoming a mom was the hardest and most painful event that I have ever experienced.  Some of the wounds run deep for both my oldest son and I, but I have faith that things will get better.
  • I am also a sister.  I have two younger siblings, a sister and a brother.  My brother is married to an amazing woman, and they have one beautiful child, who has the wonderful honour of finally making me an aunt!  I love being an aunt!!!!
  • Both my parents are still alive and I don’t know what I’d do without them.  My mom is my saviour!
  • My husband’s family is small, just him, his brother, his brother’s significant other and his dad.  We lost his mom almost nine years ago after a six-year battle with end stage breast cancer.  Those six years were a blessing.  She was an amazing woman and we will never stop missing her.
  • Our family is completed by our crazy pup named Brandy, who according to her papers is a Pomeranian Poodle mix, but we’re not sure how accurate that actually is.  She is a wonderful pup whatever her parentage may be!
  • Family is very important to me.  They always come first.
  • I am a strong believer in attachment parenting, peaceful parenting and conscious parenting.  I wasn’t always though, it’s a path I’ve discovered fairly recently but for the first time I feel like I’m doing the right thing as a parent. I still have a lot of work to do because we are unfortunately entrenched in some bad habits.
  • I have a dream of homeschooling my youngest and in the process enhancing my middle child’s learning experience even if she stays in the school system.
  •  I am loving, helpful and generous to a fault with everyone, though I have had to learn self-control as I don’t always look after myself and I can be a little too easy with money.  Right now as a stay-at-home-mom, it means we are living on one income so I have to be more careful with our resources.
  • I am very creative.  I love to cross-stitch.  I enjoy working with paper in a variety of ways, including some dabbling in quilling and scrapbooking.  I want to learn the art of tatting, knitting and crocheting.  I love amigurami patterns and want nothing more than to be able to make them myself!!! I also enjoy playing with beads and have learned a few basic beading techniques. I have also dabbled in photography but currently do not have a good camera to use so I resort to mostly point and shoot photography.
  • I absolutely love to bake and cook.  I am always trying new recipes.  My family and friends like to refer to themselves as my guinea pigs as they never know what I’m going to try next.  I have been trying to expand into paleo and gluten-free cooking and experimenting with more vegetables, but I have two children who are very picky eaters and experimentation is usually met with less than enthusiastic responses from them!  On the flip side, I’ve had marriage proposals over my baking….
  • I love Pinterest.  I don’t collect much in the way of things, but Pinterest is a place I can collect ideas and go back to try some of them later, or get a load of inspiration to try something new.
  • I am a very spiritual person. I am a member of the United Church, but don’t believe my spirituality is found only in my Christian beliefs.  The United Church is very laid back and open to people’s differences, and it fits well with my own Christian beliefs of love and acceptance of all. I enjoy exploring my spiritual side through a number of avenues, many of which I will be exploring in my writing.
  • I enjoy traveling a great deal. Unfortunately I don’t get to do enough of it but I love exploring new places.  I’m a girl who is all about the journey to get where I’m going, and the less straight the path from point A to point B is, the more interesting! I traveled a lot with my family when I was younger, and I wish I could provide the same experiences for my children.  There is so much to learn and see out in the world.
  • I love to learn and I am very smart.  Do not let my lack of post-secondary education fool you.  I am very well read and I do not believe one needs a diploma to succeed in life.  My wish list on Chapters is way over 300 books long and getting longer all the time.  I dream of a magnificent resource library, particularly on pregnancy, family and child rearing philosophies, but also on holistic living and natural medicines.
  • I am an old hippy at heart.  I dream of a big property where I can grow my own food, run my business and live as naturally as possible, with as little environmental impact as possible. A place where my family can spread its wings and fly.
  • I have suffered from varying degrees of depression since I was 18/19 years old.  Right now it’s particularly bad and I’m hoping this exercise will help me find and weed my life path so I can shake the depression for good.  I have a lot of work to do. It is also part of the reason I am not working right now.
  • Organization is my weak point.  I struggle to find order in my chaos.  We live in a small house with little space, and it’s hard to stay on top of things.  As part of my 2014 journey, I’m hoping to work towards purging the things that don’t matter so that what really does matter can find room to breathe.
  • I have a weak point for Facebook and I’m addicted to being on-line.  This is a huge problem and one I am going to face and conquer this year.  I struggle to find a balance between my real life and my on-line life, and for the sake of my relationships, I will figure out that balance.

I think that covers the basics of my soul map, and hopefully now you have a better picture in your head of who I am, and hopefully I’ve intrigued you enough to stick around for more.

Below I’ve selected an assortment of pictures of my family to share with you.  It is the only time I will feature so many pictures in one post!  I absolutely love taking pictures of my family.  On another note, I will not be providing anyone’s real names in this blog.  I will be coming up with pseudonym’s in the future to make it easier to reference each person but for now they are simply oldest son, daughter and youngest son.  If the person reading this knows us, please refrain from mentioning our names in comments.  Thank you.

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