Sunday, August 14, 2011

The old swing set....and summer

So the family worked on fixing up the old swing set in my mother's yard today. It was a lot of hard work but we all had a blast. I think when work is fun it goes much much faster. All the kids were so excited as we put climbing rocks, a new set of swings on and generally fixed it up for them. They had to try it out as we worked. We had so many good laughs. My sister and her franglaise. She is hilarious! My baby girl discovered ribs. She gnawed on a bone forever. My mom, well, she was so happy to get help finishing the project she started in May. It's days like today that make me appreciate my family.

Oh yeah! The lead up to this was yesterday's event! My brother Kakwiranoron and Sarah got married! Waneek and I cooked up a storm! What a day!

I haven't written for a much has changed and actually things are great. I have had a productive and busy summer with my family. We camped in Lake Placid and Lake George. I can't remember the last time I went camping. It was loads of fun. My baby girl was food for the mosquitoes but she survived it all. In fact she became a brown baby in the process. The camp ground in Lake Placid was quite unique for the fact that there was a waterfall and free wifi. Yep, you read it right, wifi. It was quite hilarious to be able to sit in your tent and surf. My mom would go on her computer in her tent and catch up on all the news around the world. In Lake George the situation was a bit different. It was more rustic. Though, the main building had a dj and music for teens every night. All the pre-teens in our party loooooved it! The little ones had a blast dancing as well. I thought my little girl dancing her heart out was soooo cute. The weather was nice and we managed not to get any rain until the final day. Unfortunately my mom forgot to close the window on my tent and I had a puddle in the middle. It was part of the experience. When I got home I found I appreciate brewed coffee more so than before. When you don't have to walk to the water pump each morning to wash the pot and get new water, it just makes it all the more special.

Well, it's been a busy day. I have another busy week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Drugs and the dentist

I had to take my four year old to the dentist today. She had an appointment which we have been waiting two months for. At the Montreal Children's Hospital they have a speciality dental clinic for children. They deal with special needs children, dental emergencies and kids that need to be calmed during cleaning and procedures.

My daughter gets worked up at the dentist so she had to take drugs to calm her. Well, that was quite the experience today! It was funny and scary all the same. When we got to the clinic we walked up the stairs and waited in the waiting room. The doctor came in and gave her some medicine in a cup and we waited. Five minutes after she took it, she started to giggle. I laughed because she was really funny! She started losing her inhibitions and saying funny things. It's like she lost control of herself. I was waiting to see if she would have to go to the bathroom or something. Well, she tried to get off the chair and landed on the floor. Luckily another mom picked her up. I had the baby in my arms and was helpless to do anything. My daughter was okay though. She laughed about it.

When they finally brought her into the dental room, they strapped her to the chair with what looked like a straight jacket. They called it a sleeping bag. Yeah right! Fancy words for what it really is! She was strapped in and the procedure started. I sat in the room and watched with the baby on my lap. The doctor kept on repeating things that she was doing. Calling fillings "stars" for her princess teeth. Ingenious I think. The doctor said that she wouldn't remember much and so that's why she kept on repeating herself to my daughter.

We sat there for an hour and a half while fillings were done and her front teeth were fixed. We were exhausted when we finished. We came home in the Medical Mobile - The best service in the world! Another passenger named Keith entertained my giggling girl with daffy duck voice. It was funny! Then he tried to tell some dirty jokes to the rest of us. Funny! I am glad my daughter won't remember much!

Well, there's another appointment in a few months. Now I know what to expect!

Beads at the McCord

I went to the opening of a new exhibit at the McCord Museum last night with a good friend. I had a chance to go into the vaults and have a look at wampum and beadwork created by some of my ancestors.

It's quite a thing to see things made long ago, we're talking hundreds of years ago, by your ancestors. They put so much detail and care into everything. It brought to mind all those hours I spend sitting at the table beading. I wonder what went through their heads as they beaded or created the belts. I know that I find beading to be a very calming and therapeutic activity. In fact, I would have to say that it is almost like meditating.

The beadwork I saw yesterday was so detailed. The beads they used were much smaller than the ones we use today. I don't suppose they wore glasses, which many of us would need to see what we are doing with those tiny beads. The colors in the pieces are so vibrant, even after all this time. Their beadwork flowers and plant life looks almost real. It comes off the fabric. I try to achieve that same effect with my beadwork. I suppose the raised beadwork of my people is also trying to bring to life the flowers and animals in the work.

Anyway, it was an experience that I cherish.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's been a while.....

Sometimes life gets so busy you just sorta stay connected. I must admit I have been craving business all winter. My baby girl took a lot of my time and energy. She needed it to grow strong. And, it is paying off. She is healthy and a very happy little one. I only recently started getting out of the house with her. Visiting people here and there. Going to a mamma and baby group. The other mommas are either first timers or have had a few like me. I find us moms with experience give a lot of support to the other ones. Though, we all have stuff to teach each other. I think I am the one with the most children. It's a nice two hours of time with my baby. I have now stared walking there and we love it.

I am now relishing the fact that I have this time to spend with my baby. I must admit the winter was hard. Being cooped up in the house was difficult. Previously, I kept busy. I never had maternity leave before. I was always a student and went back to school within weeks of having my babies. I think the only one I took time off for was my first one. I took a whole year off school. We were poor but happy.

My eldest daughter is going to be 18 soon. I feel so old. She is a beautiful woman now, going to school at college doing what she wants to do. I am so proud of her. I raised her well.

So in recent weeks I have been doing some writing. I have a chapter for a book due soon. I have been plugging away on that. Fun stuff. No really, fun stuff! I love to write. I always have been. I have work that I wrote when I was a young girl. I guess I keep everything, but not hoarding-style. That's gross.

Now, the weather is getting warm. I have been going outside with my baby and girls. Soon we will be putting in a garden with friends, a community garden of sorts. I look forward to that. The last garden I put in, all the corn was eaten. It was devastating. Looking back on it, I laugh. Believe it or not I have the one and only ear of corn left sitting on my shelf as a reminder. A reminder of that time and fun. I suppose I will plant the corn from it in my new garden.

My children love, just love the outdoors. I have big plans to take them camping this summer. I now have a bike and a bike trailer that I pull my four year old around in. My big plan is to take her to summer fun day camp in it. So look out! Me and my girl will be heading your way!

That's all for now!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Patrick's Day, an experience!

I went out with my mother, my baby niece and two youngest daughters today. After a trip to Rigaud to pick up a bike carrier, we ended up visiting an old friend of my mother's from her McGill days. He lives in Hudson, Quebec. He is a jolly kind of guy. Smart as a whip and the perpetual bachelor with the house to match. I am sure if he was reading this, he would have a chuckle. As it turns out, the Hudson St. Patrick's Day parade was starting just outside his door.

It started with the parade marshall, then the requisite men in kilts piping and drumming. With a rousing cheer, the parade began. We all stood outside and watched the floats go by. To watch a parade is something as an adult. Most would find it boring, but the key is watching it through a child's eyes...even if they aren't your own. A friend of this man showed up and stood with us and commented on this fact. She and my four year old talked about the events as they unfolded before them - the funny costumes, which dog was the best, the Shriner's cars and the like. She also had this funny insight - if it weren't for the dollar store, there would be no St. Patrick's Day parade for Hudson! All the floats had the same shiny shamrocks stuck to everything. One man was even handing out the flag of Ireland. I think the best part of it all was watching three generations of my family enjoying a wonderful sunny day!

Throughout I got text messages from sisters asking where we were. When I texted: In Hudson at the St Pat's parade, I got back an instant "Oh!" and "LOL!". I guess for them and myself, it was unexpected. Ah well, it seems that sometimes the most unexpected things turn out to be the best experiences. So, with that note, I forgot to write that at the end of it all, we got invited to a St. Patrick's Day party in the oldest coolest house in Hudson. The couple who own it are generous. They converted the old building which used to be a depanneur (excuse the spelling) into a beautiful house. We enjoyed great food and even better company while my niece crawled around and my daughter colored her velvet cat picture she got at the parade. I have to say, the generosity of strangers surprises me sometimes. I guess its time for me to pay if forward, but for now I'm tired. Night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

At a birthing....

I was at the birth of my daughter's nephew the other night. Unexpectedly I was asked to stay and help. It became one of the best experiences of my life. As a woman and a mother, I felt comfortable and in my element. Helping our young women through birthing is something my ancestors did. Yes, albeit it was in a hospital, with all kinds of electronic monitors, etc. but it was still the same event when you get right to the bottom of it. The process is the same - contractions, increasing intensity, dealing with pain, the pushing and ultimately the excitement and joy when the little one arrives. I know our ancestors experienced exactly the same thing. So, through this experience I have the ability to time travel. I get to stand in the moccasins of my female ancestors. Cool.

I woke up the next morning totally exhausted. I felt like a truck had run me over. I asked myself why? I have come to realize that when at a birthing you are completely in tune to the woman who is birthing. You are there for her. They need your energy and strength, especially when it is their first baby. The whole experience for a first time mother is a new one. I always tell young women, I could never explain to you what it is like to go through a birth. I could never explain the pain. You just have to through it. As a result, a woman having a baby for the first time does not really know what to expect and it can be scary! This was the case for the young woman the other night. The intensity of the pain was somewhat unexpected and the women there - myself, her aunties, and the nurses had to reassure her and coach her through it all. As a result, I gave her most of my energy. I also massaged her back for hours to help her with the pain, which also gave her a lot of my strength. I came away from the whole experience exhilarated and exhausted! I felt like I had a hang-over the next day! My arms were sore and I was tired. But, I have recovered. I went to see him last night. He is doing well.

Now, I can talk to this boy when he is a young man and tell him, I was there when you were born. I have a special connection to him as someone who was there to welcome him into the world. It certainly makes me feel like I am doing my duty as a mom and woman. I helped a young woman bring her son into the world. How special is that? In my books, very special.

Monday, February 14, 2011

V is for valentine

Being on maternity leave, I get to sleep in a little bit longer these days. The baby wakes me up constantly to nurse at night and I get interrupted sleep. I have to say, when I am woken up out of a deep sleep, I sure do remember my dreams! Although, ask me right now what they are about and I will give you a zombie stare.

Last night was no exception. She kept me up. Its quite amazing how much growing the human body has to do in the first year of life! If you put it into perspective, a baby quadruples in size over the first year. That sure is a lot of energy! So, I slept in...kind of. My little one woke me up with her squiggling and googling. She wanted to eat! I called her my little baby valentine.

One of the little enjoyments I have is sitting with my coffee and checking out facebook on my ipod. First thing, all those valentines posts. See, for me, facebook is my window on the K-Town community. I have gotten to know people through facebook, people that I normally wouldn't have the opportunity to get to know. I like it. I especially like it when it's someone's birthday and everyone posts a happy word or two. Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, a community. All the interesting ways people wish each other a happy valentines day was no exception.

So, the rest of the day was taken up with other things that need to get done. I make little lists for myself. If I didn't I would forget. I think they call it momnesia. Appropriate. I believe that has been made a real word! I also ventured out into the crazy weather. Thanks to the snowplow guy for plowing me in! The snow was heavy! As I shovelled I looked up at the darkest clouds. I wondered if I was going to hear thunder and see some lightening. It wouldn't surprise me. Climate change has been giving us some strange weather! I made it out and backed out of my driveway like a madwoman. I think the neighbour saw me! The roads were okay but as I left K-Town it was raining. On the west island it was snowing! It could be just me but sometimes the weather in K-Town is totally different from everywhere else. Anyway, as I was driving back, the CBC was reporting that it would be a flash freeze. There have been accidents all over the area in the last 24 hours. I am glad I get to stay close to home.

It's been a quiet evening.

I hear a funny thing today at Step by Step. A little boy was getting ready to leave. He was telling his Daddy about all the candy he got today and wanted to eat it. His father, under his breath says, Yah, when you I smiled because I totally got it! I am going to go now and make my kids' candy disappear....