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The Happiest Place on Earth!

For the last couple of years we’ve been scrimping and saving…  often as little as ten bucks here or twenty bucks there…  putting it aside in the hopes that we’d have enough money to take the girl to Disney World while she was still young enough for the magic to be “real”.  It’s a stupidly expensive trip, and we’re a low income family, so we knew we’d be saving for a few years (at least).  Then we sold our house.  Yes, we bought a new one.  And yes the new house has issues that we really should fix before doing anything else…  but instead of renovating the bathroom, insulating the walls, fixing the plumbing, or purchasing a new oven and dishwasher?  We’ve used the cash to top up our savings and we’re taking the girl to Disney World!

The problems with the house will still be here when we get back, and we can slowly work towards fixing each problem…  but the magic of a place like Disney World only holds true for such a short while.  And even by the time they are seven, kids know way too much to put their belief in actors and actresses paid to portray cartoon princesses and princes.

Kid kid is five and a half, and if we have a way to do it, I couldn’t imagine not taking her on this type of once in a lifetime trip.  So on January 28th Damon, Lily-Ann, her Auntie Jewles, and myself will be hopping on a plane and heading for Orlando – and we’re not coming back until February 6th!  Thankfully my sister Riki and her girlfriend Kate have volunteered to stay at our place to care for our animal family, which puts my mind at ease over leaving them all for so long.

We're going to Disney World!

We’re going to Disney World!

When I decided to do the January photo-a-day challenge I could think of no better time to announce our trip than on the day we’re challenged to photograph “happiness”.  After all, what greater happiness can there be then seeing a dream come true and taking your daughter to a place where all her childhood fantasies can materialize right in front of her.  Pixie Hollow, Cinderella’s Castle, Prince Eric’s Castle, Belle’s Cottage…  and all the characters who belong there.  She’ll get to experience it all!

So yeah…  There may be smarter things we could do with the money, but there certainly isn’t anything more wonderful!

photo a day challenge for january

We love our community school!

We missed the meet your teacher night this year because the girl had her very first ballet class that evening – but we already know Ms. Wolfmueller anyway.  We are there every day after all, I’m a classroom volunteer, so hang out with the kids and Amanda on Thursdays.  So when we showed up for school on Wednesday, we were given a lovely little gift bag all the families received the night before.

The effort that was put into these gift bags just further demonstrates why we love our school.  Such thoughtful gifts for us to share, and completely unexpected and appreciated:

A hand stamped gift bag, a recipe for apple muffins, an apple with a poem tied onto it, a notepad, and a magnet with the school’s contact information.

We really do love the girl’s school.  We started kid-kid there because we loved their pre-k program, Rhonda and Tracy are amazing, and the kids all adore them.  But we continued there because of the real sense of community and belonging found throughout the school.

There are kids from all sorts of families, it’s a wonderfully diverse student body. Diversity is both celebrated and embraced in such a lovely way.  The school participates in the Day of Pink, and I plan to encourage participation in Wear Purple day this year too.  The administration team is fabulous, and well…  we really do love Mayfair Community School.

Parents are teachers too.

 

Roo Watch 2012:  Roo has been cool, calm and collected.  No signs of early labour.  She’s due on the 29th… so far so good.  🙂

20% Cooler? Try 80%!

While we were away at the lake, a very special piece of mail came for the kid.  While it was a piece of mail I’d been expecting, I hadn’t expected the sender to go so far to make it such a red-letter letter.  The community at the MLPTP really is outstanding, and this is just one example of how fabulous people there are to one another (and to us).

Here in Saskatchewan, we haven’t been able to get the new My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic trading cards.  One wonderful member of the Trading Post sent me what she called a “pity pack” made up from some of her doubles and triples.  And I’ll admit, kid-kid was jealous.  So when another member of the TP offered up some cards that she’d gotten that were bent?  I quickly asked if she’d consider sending them to Lily-Ann, she happily agreed.

Now, just receiving the bent cards would have been enough to absolutely thrill the girl…  but this individual went so far above and beyond, she made Lily-Ann’s week.  She sent several extra cards, a couple of cutie mark tattoos, a letter she wrote from the point of view of Princess Celestia, and she did up the envelope as if it had been hand (or hoof) delivered by Derpy herself.  I should have recorded the girl digging into everything – her squeals of delight really had to be heard to be believed.  And I was so touched that this person, who only knows us online as fellow pony folk, would go through so much trouble to do something special for my girl.  It really was an amazing thing to do.

A hand-written letter from Princess Celestia

A lovely hand-written letter direct from Princess Celestia!

 

Derpy Mail for Fairy Berry (the girl's ponysona), direct from Princess Celestia!

Derpy Mail for Fairy Berry (the girl’s ponysona), direct from Princess Celestia herself!

 

 

Thank you so much!  This was such a sweet and generous thing to do.  I know Lily-Ann will never forget the day she received mail direct from Equestria.  (((hugs)))  Forget 20%, you’re more like 80% cooler than the general pony population!  Especially to one absolutely thrilled little girl.  😀

My Little Pony Toys are Magic!

Last night, while kid-kid was at her weekly sleepover at my parent’s place, Damon and I were at the store.  We excitedly discovered both FS (Fashion Style) Princess Luna and the pink FS Princess Celestia My Little Pony toys at Superstore….  and even better than just finding a toy you’ve been looking for, is finding it at a reduced price!  The MLP collector in my tried to convince Damon that we should buy two of each – one of each to keep mint in box, and one of each for the girl to play with.  LOL  That proved futile, but we did buy one of each – one for the girl and one for me.

Tonight, after supper, I presented the ponies to the girl.  She was ecstatic!  We giggled together, and compared Luna (who is mine) and Celestia (who is hers), talked about how each was similar, how each was different.  We laughed about all the ways we can play with them.  Lily-Ann shared her plans to hold a royal wedding for them, and how my FS Pinkie Pie and her FS Twilight Sparkle could attend.  How tomorrow she is going to lay out all the pony outfits (while she doesn’t have all the FS toys, she does have all their outfits – purchased from a customizer who didn’t need the clothes, only the ponies themselves) and shoes, and how each pony is going to get to have a new outfit for the big event.  How the cutie mark crusaders are going to be the flower girls, and what role each pony will play.

Being so close to bedtime, we didn’t liberate the princesses from their packages…  but we sure had fun talking about her plans for them.  I knew she would be excited about our little surprise for her, but the extent of her delight was a surprise for me.  Now we each have a pink FS pony and a purple FS pony – a fact that thrills her to no end.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  There is nothing like sharing something you love with someone you love.  And I feel so very lucky to have a toy that I loved thirty years ago be that something that can unite us today.  I remember the joy and excitement I felt when enveloped by that “new pony smell” that is the off-gassing of the plastic when the package is first opened, and sharing it with the girl now, it brings back all those same memories for me – and it means the world that I can give that same unbridled (pun obviously intended) happiness to my daughter.

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Now if only Hasbro would send out a WHITE Celestia, the girl’s happiness (and mine as a collector) would be complete.  😉

A gripe about online merchants.

Yep.  I’m going to gripe.  Not at all what I usually do on this blog.  I much prefer to focus on the positive.  However this happened to me TWICE today.  And I’m not happy about it.

I found the perfect Christmas gift for one of my sisters.  She would have just keeled over.  It would have stopped her heart and then – after being revived – she’d have jumped around the room.  It was THAT good.  I added it to my shopping cart, and went to pay.  Started entering my information, got to “state” and went to scroll through the list of locations…  No Saskatchewan.  Now, occasionally an online vendor simply makes a mistake and only includes US states in their list – and if you contact them you find out they do indeed (like most vendors) ship to Canada.  So I clicked to enter into an online chat.  But no.  This vendor does not ship to Canada.  Disappointment number one.  😦

Ready for Disappointment number two?

I have been wanting a family necklace since my daughter was born.  Something I could wear that symbolized the love shared between Damon, Lily-Ann, and myself.  For our fifteenth anniversary, my husband promised me said necklace.  All three of us have been looking for the right one for a little while now…  and we finally found it.  My daughter loves it, my husband loves it, I love it.  It couldn’t be more perfect if it was crafted specifically for us.  It is everything we could have hoped for.  It makes my heart sing just looking at it – and knowing my husband and daughter love it as much as I do fills me with joy.  So, with all of us in agreement, we put it in our shopping cart and click “check out”.

I begin filling out our information.  I put in which stones we need.  I put in our names and our address.  I select “Saskatchewan”.  A window pops up.  It informs me that they will not ship to a Canadian address, but if I follow the link shown in the pop up window that I can put an order in with their Canadian store.

Guess what?  This perfect pendant.  The one that makes my heart sing.  The one that we spent hours and hours looking for.  The one that couldn’t be more ideal if it were designed specifically for us.  It’s not available on their Canadian website (where everything is twice the price of the US site, in spite of the fact that our dollars are worth pretty close to the same thing).

Do I feel like crying?  You bet.

I actually told my husband that I couldn’t even look any more.  That he should just find something he likes and buy it.  😦  Do I feel like a bit of a baby over this?  yep.  But I can’t really help it.

If you don’t ship to Canada say so in a prominent place.  “Ships to US Addresses Only.”  That’s not hard.

Bunch of jerks.  😦

I’m going to go pout in a corner.  I’m not a happy mommy.

Spencer Harrison – Artist in Residence and True Friend

I intended today to write about Spencer Harrison, the artist in residence for both Camp fYrefly retreats.  But I find myself at a loss for where to begin.  As soon as I met Spencer I felt a connection with him, and we spent quite a bit of time together during Edmonton’s Camp fYrefly.  I attended each of his three workshops, we shared many meals and conversations, sometimes all it took was a glance and a grin in passing…  but I always found a reliable, comforting, spirit that in many ways mimicked my own (or perhaps it was my spirit who mimicked his).

Spencer is close to defending his PhD dissertation, the culmination of a lifetime of work.  And his dissertation is as unique and splendid as he is.  A circus tent, painted inside and out, a coming out story of freak show proportions.  A literal freak show, painted and detailed on every panel…  the exterior dedicated to the visible and well known people of the traveling circus shows we all know, and the interior to the inner freak show that was a young boy growing and coming out in Ontario, the boy who spent seven hours stuffed in a locker while everyone else left at the end of the school day.

Open, warm, and willing to share, Spencer is encouraging and giving.  Saying good bye at the end of Camp fYrefly Alberta was easy, knowing I would again be in his presence at Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan.  I have to admit, it will be a far more difficult thing on the 21st when we’ll have to say goodbye for a much longer time.

I truly feel blessed to know Spencer Harrison, in a way I haven’t felt blessed to know someone in a very long while.  The memories I have of him are ones that I will treasure, and carry with me for a lifetime.  He gave me some pretty incredible gifts.

Want to know a little more about our Artist in Residence?  Check him out at:

http://www.spencerjharrison.com/

http://www.ocad.ca/faculty/profile_articles/20100210_spencer_harrison.htm

If I build up the courage, I might just share an art piece done up under his watchful eye during the last of his sessions.  IF I build up the courage.  😉

Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day

A Chai Latte from Caffe Sola

 

So this image may seem like an odd choice on a day like today, when we are asked to be mindful of all the lives not fully realized yet fully loved.  But today I had the chance to sit down and begin a new friendship, with a doula named Crystal.  She is collaborating with me on the rebirth of Pure Greenius, which I’m taking from a quarterly publication to a combination of quarterly and weekly schedules.  It was a much needed step away from my every day, and always a treat to get to know someone who turns out to be very much like yourself (heck, we’re almost the same height even – and at my stature, that doesn’t happen very often).

For all of you with little ones to cherish, hold them tight tonight.  We are the blessed.  My own family has been touched by pregnancy loss on many occasions and through multiple generations.  So I know, very truly, how much of a blessing I’ve been given with my own strong, smart, healthy, vital, amazing little girl.

Please take a moment before going to bed, to light a candle and remember the lives not realized, the promises broken before being fulfilled.  Then plant a kiss on the forehead of someone you love.

Night all.  Take care of each other.

From: Mom

My mom made me a quilt last month.  I love it.  It’s beautiful and means so much to me.

From: Mom

“for you mom”

Well, life is back to normal…  for a few days anyway.  I’ve missed my daily posts.  I’ve missed the reflection that comes with this time each day.  I am very glad to be back where I feel I have the luxury of doing so again.  🙂  So, to welcome myself back to the blogosphere.  I’m sharing a gift.  Today, Lily-Ann gave me a flower.

a pretty little "weedy" flower

"for you mom"

One of the gifts of being a mom, are these small moments.  These little appreciations.  So I thought it was worth sharing.  I really am very blessed.  Things are rarely easy for us, but they are always good.  Because when you surround yourself with people who love you, life is always good.  🙂

Take care of each other…. and if you have a spare moment, check out my new photography site.  It’s at http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/

Sun on your shoulder…

Out with the wee girl, exploring her world.  The sun caught her shoulder…

I always think she looks beautiful, but she looked so beyond any earthly beauty.  She was radiant.  My perfect miracle.

She makes everything worth it.

A Gift

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