Rain Sweet Rain

Today is the break from the storm that we so badly needed. We woke early this morning to find that rain had been feeling long enough to wet the grass, leaving water dripping from the drooping sunflowers. When sunflowers droop, it’s bad news. With a summer that is on record as one of the driest, what a physical feeling of relief to feel the rain on my tired body. My soul took a big ole sigh…Just like the wilty broccoli that grows outside the patio door, with a bit of rain, we all perked right up.IMG_4091

The cooler temps made the splitting and stacking of wood that much easier, that much more pleasant, which, for the most part, isn’t really pleasant at all, but we make the best of it. When things get rough and kids start complaining, well, today Big Brother spoke up to remind them, as we have told him several times before, that when it’s -40 degrees celsius, it will all be worth it.  IMG_4088

The other monumental happening this wood stacking season, kids who can help! Not just help, but be innovative enough to create an efficient system involving their wagon.

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And tonight? Well, there’s a roast ham, because we can bare to turn the oven on, scalloped potatoes, and root veggies with some apple cider to sip while I sit with my feet up on the couch. I can type that here, for all to see, with my head held high because hey! I’m pregnant.

 

 

xo

Hay mama

Thoughts from an Introvert:Comfort Zones

After almost two complete seasons of heading off to festivals, we’ve finally mastered the art of packing quickly and efficiently. Well, at least we’re getting better at it. So on Friday morning, after a night of preparing food, playing tetris with our luggage, and sending kids back and forth with numerous messages for each other, Papa Bear and I headed down the drive, kids excitedly prepared for adventure, knowing our home was tucked safely into the hands of some caring friends. From there, we drove quickly out of our comfort zones, entering into Quebec, where only one of five of us can speak (ish) the language. IMG_4027

Here’s the thing about comfort zones. Some folks live in a North America-sized comfort zone, while some of us, well, I’m the kinda gal who would be happy to set up camp, and never leave it. I’m happy to pick wildflowers for the stack of suitcases that work as a small table for the centre of our chair circle, read a book, knit a scarf, occasionally ducking out for a swim or a peak at the vendors. So let’s just say, my comfort zone, although it does include a piece of our French-speaking province, does not include a lot of well, people; in fact, it’s kind of barren, when it comes to crowds. I’m a fan of interesting folks who can stand to listen to what I might have to think, as well.IMG_4046

Papa Bear and I live in different sized comfort zones, his includes more people, perhaps less foreign language, but fairly equal in the amount of art and culture. The curfew in his comfort zone far exceeds the one set in my own, especially in my pregnant state, and it seems that Big Brother seems to be following in his father’s shoes. IMG_4041

Some comfort zones involve frogs but not snakes, some involve searching for pretty rocks, while others are centred around catching some sun instead. This weekend we learned that Little Brother’s zone doesn’t involve any sort of underwater stick, and that he’ll be certain everyone can hear him scream about it. Some people will try new food, like the Poulet Yassa that Big Brother bought for his dinner one night, while some of us will be lured in by something more familiar, although not without sneaking a taste of that delicious curry.IMG_4047

Some family members would prefer to drum the night away, encompassing a gigantic fire, surrounded by people letting it all go, dancing wild and free in the moonlight, while others prefer to snuggle into bed after a long day of sun and experience, enjoying the warmth that only a caring partner can bring to a very cold night. Some need to reconnect, telling tales of things observed, talking about insecurities, joys, and  lists for tomorrows.IMG_4048

There are times when our differently coloured zones cross over into each other’s, blending yellows and blues into marbled shades of mossy green, and there are times when there are large gaps and spaces in between, resembling vast grey oceans. How do we work together, ensuring that none of us are lost along the way, but still fulfilling our personal definitions of fun? Well, sometimes it looks like napping together in the afternoon, rather than travelling across the festival grounds, and sometimes it looks like climbing out of bed on a cold night, pulling on warm socks and taking the long walk to join those fire-gatherers who would rather not sleep, and sometimes it looks like Mama, convincing everyone that we should stay, stick it out, work with the language barrier, and wade through the uncomfortable bits because I know what it is like, living in a smallish festival comfort space, on a regular basis. And sometimes, it looks like Papa Bear, taking me by the hand and leading me through the throngs, encouraging me to see what lays beyond. You know what’s always there to great me on the other side of discomfort? IMG_4044Growth. (sometimes welcomed, sometimes waiting there, mocking me, but she’s always there)

xo

MamaBear

Growing Beans

Growing a baby bean has meant there has been less energy to spare on growing green beans, peas, carrots, and all other things garden. So I’ve been trying to focus on what I can do in little bits, without the added physical stress of leaning over my raised beds, not quite able to breathe properly, while baking in the day’s sun. I’ve realized that although I love cutting bits of the pioneer life and pasting them into our modern day, it is, ultimately, a choice. It’s easy for us, in the year 2016, to believe that those hard working folks had lovely lives, and to some degree, I’m sure they did, but most of all, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think that their lives were really just…hard. I’m so grateful for the luxury of choice. I’m trying to remind myself that I don’t have to have animals to care for if it’s not working for us at this time. I don’t have to grow vegetables if the work isn’t worth the harvest. What can I do to stay true to myself? Well, I’m working on buying our produce locally, and canning bit by bit each week, and we’ve been foraging….IMG_3877IMG_3882 IMG_3905
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IMG_3892Don’t worry, the toad was just for kicks. We’re not going to eat him.

 

xo

MamaBear

Love is Love is Love is Love

Thinking today about our first large-scale festival, last summer. I stood amongst a crowd, under the tent of our vending booth, filled with a sense of purpose and ease, which is an odd feeling for me while being surrounded by so much action. People were cheering as a mass of individuals, linked arm in arm, came gallivanting down the alley, encircling the single float in the parade. On top we could see a man, enveloped in gold and jewels, a crown upon his head. People shared kisses, held hands, and waved, and in an instant, my family had been individually painted with rainbow tattoos. Our teenage son, wore his proudest,his young, open-mind possibly the most accepting of us all. But what I still remember most vividly, was the energy that engulfed me, physically, even before the people moved past us, energy that filled my every pore until it spilled out of my eyes in the form of tears. I could feel their pride and their freedom, their sense of safety in our company. I felt so much empathy towards all of those jubilant people, who continue to overcome such adversity, and I admired their strength. Later, when Wildflower asked why “those people covered us in rainbows”, we told her that it was a celebration of love, to remind us that love is made for everyone regardless of whether the lovers are boys or girls or or or. My words were carefully chosen, in order to be clear in what I meant, while still delivering an age-appropriate response. Her reaction was so simplistic; in fact, I think it fell somewhere along the lines of “uh, yeah, of course!” It pleases me to think that is what she remembers from the event, not the powerful images of men dressed in flamboyant dresses and swimsuits, not the women kissing, or the man with the tiara. These things don’t faze our children if they don’t faze us. To her, there is no need for the lesson of acceptance, just stories of rainbows carrying the message of love.

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Makin Hays…for real this time

IMG_3832 IMG_3834 IMG_3838 IMG_3840 After 3 months of feeling close to death, there have been more and more days where I can be sensible in reminding myself that I’m just, pregnant. Nothing too scary, nothing too life-threatening, nothing millions of women haven’t taken on themselves, but sometimes, in the depths of the nausea and exhaustion, it’s hard to remember that this too shall pass….that at the end of it all will be a snuggly little bundle to love and to nurse and to raise while the suns shine.

 

More to come as my energy returns,

MamaBear

Procrastination & Flowers

I may have mentioned once or twice, that I can be a bit of a procrastinator. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the feeling of accomplishing the tasks on my list, because I do, but it’s generally that I can be quite easily distracted by the beauty of a new thought, a stray task, a fresh perspective, not to mention, children…that I don’t realize until the time has passed, that I somehow was deterred. Take today for instance…rather than scrubbing and polishing, the way the to do list suggested….IMG_3758 IMG_3760 It had to be done too right?IMG_3761Wildflower spotted the first onion sets…I can assure you that she’s never been so thrilled to see onions
IMG_3763Sunflower heads to display on the front porch makes it easier to partake in bird studies
IMG_3764 IMG_3768 Strawberries….IMG_3773 IMG_3778 Treasures buried beneath the snow…IMG_3779 Wildflowers to assist with this summer’s goal to grow not just food, but flowers as well. IMG_3782We sang while we planted…

May you too know the joys of procrastination.

xo

HayMama

DIY POST: Made with Love and a Little Bit of Yelling.

This past weekend, Papa Bear and I set to work on a wee project (I’ve been reading Outlander…so I’m brushing up on my Scotspeak) that turned out to be not so wee, as usual. It’s long been on the list of things to do, and now that it’s beginning to sink in that is, in fact, OUR home, we’re trying to roll out of the funk that we fell into after the stress that ensued back when I was writing this post. We had joked, back then, that we wouldn’t realize that it was official until Papa Bear took out a wall with a chainsaw, metaphorically speaking, unless you were to ask my other half, himself, in which case, he would say he meant literally. This post isn’t quite so drastic, but we’re getting the ball rolling…IMG_3743Hideous right?
IMG_3744One of those “nothing was ever finished” houses, for sure…But I’ve had enough of sweeping wood bits out from this rather large crevice.

Now we had contem-plated (see what I did there? read ahead, I’m sure you’ll get it) removing the broken tiles, but we decided to truck along with the shabby-chic look, since we have talked about replacing the whole set up in due time. Insert broken plates, not the kind that we broke purposely, nope…ones that our children broke accidentally. Yes, there are enough of those to complete this project without putting a dent in the broken plate collection that I’ve saved for mosaic projects! We got everyone involved, each of us choosing special bits to add…there’s a key, buttons, a tiny wheel, broken drum stick, lego man, and our favourite, the stained-glass dragon. Everything was secured with some cement, making sure to leave little rivers between the pieces, deep enough to hold the grout. It sounds easy enough, but this is where it was a bit heated between the two of us, especially since we were working in front of a hot wood stove, something I don’t recommend 😉 It’s important, at this point to fill the underside of every piece with the cement mixture, so that they don’t crack when the hollow pieces are underfoot. IMG_3752Tada!IMG_3755Yes Mom, that’s that plate you guys gave me to cherish, saying that it was an antique. The kids broke it too. IMG_3754Here’s our favourite detail. The dime with the year we moved in, and the made with love piece that Papa Bear cleverly mentioned should be followed with “and a little bit of yelling”. IMG_3753

Not bad huh?
Happy Tuesday!

xo

HayMama

**forgot to mention, that Papa Bear took his dremel tool to the sharp edges, after it had set, to ensure that little toes are not hurt**

Sponsored Post: Kiwi Crate.

We’ve been enthralled with Kiwi Crate for quite some time now, when Wildflower received a 6 month subscription for Christmas one year, back when they were simply Kiwi Crates. Since then, we now get to choose between Koala Krate (ages 3-4), Kiwi Crates (ages 5-8), and Doodle Crates or Tinker Crates (9-16+). With an uninspired mama and kids who are longing to run wildly out of doors in the warmth that has yet to creep in, we’re looking for something to spice up our homeschool days, so we ordered ourselves two crates, a Koala for Moonchild, and Kiwi for Wildflower (they do have options for sibling add-ons, while just ordering one crate).

We have to tell you that our favourite part of ordering the crate, is the excitement that ensues while it rides home from the post office on the lap of its new owner– it’s not every day the wee ones receive mail!

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All of the treasures always comes neatly packaged in a coloured shoe box, charming little crafts underneath, and magazine on top. We always hold our breath while we peek in, to see what surprises will lay stashed in the box, and the kids spend a few minutes guessing how each piece will be used….

 

IMG_3698In Moonchild’s Rainforest crate, we put together the butterfly/ caterpillar craft right away. The stripes and dots were easy for little hands to stick on, and big sister could easily narrate the instructions, since step by step photos are included.
IMG_3701He ate through one green leaf…We read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and then our caterpillar turn inside out, and…..IMG_3704Out came a beautiful butterfly!

In this crate is also enough craft supplies to make a rainforest themed rain stick, and a balancing tree game, and we also have other activities to complete in the Imagine! magazine, a full-colour booklet with lively comic-style cartoon stories related to the rainforest. It could easily be shared between two siblings. At the back of the magazine, is a list of books we can sign out from the library to help us learn more about the rainforest. We took some time to look at a documentary online, talk about some rainforest animals, some environmental issues, and the layers of the rainforest, itself. We will easily turn this crate into a couple of weeks worth of Rainforest learning.

IMG_3705In Wildflower’s Arcade themed kit, we received enough wooden pieces to make a claw and some pompom critters. kiwiWe also still have a whole selection of games to play in the Explore! magazine, as well as the activity where we get to turn the kiwi crate into a game too. This little magazine is more advanced than the Koala Crate’s, and this edition gives a game to work on Math skills with WildFlower as well as some suggestions for library books on simple machines. PapaBear gave a lesson about using the small wrench, nuts and bolts, pattern, and instructions while he guided the kiddos through the claw-making project.   IMG_3711IMG_3709IMG_3714As for the claw….well it has quickly found many uses…IMG_3736

If you are interested in trying Kiwi Crate, you can make your purchase through this link or the one to the right of our screen, and both you and I will receive $10 off of our purchases. 

Thanks for supporting our family.

Spring

IMG_3695Spring has made her appearance, and after a tolerable version of now you see me, now you don’t, I think she’s here to stay, casting her youthful glow upon everything outside of our threshold… IMG_3684We can feel the anticipation building before the levee gives way and our busy season takes over, replacing our nights of catching up on yet another season of our favourite shows (gotta fit it all in, since the library only lends them for two weeks!) with more meaningful, tiresome work. Any day now, our tradition of sitting by the fire will be replaced with late nights spent working on projects for this summer’s festivals, weekends will be spent hauling soil to the new garden beds, and there’s that trench to dig to accommodate power lines out to PapaBear’s new workspace. That’s just the list before the summer heat kicks on. We know it’s coming, and so we’ll squeak out just one more day of peace and tranquility before we give into the flow of this seasonal shift….until then, we’ve been enjoying…IMG_3673 IMG_3666

   every shot of our children’s fingernails proves that that I’m not an airbrushing/blogging mommy… IMG_3679With every changing season comes a new set up on the front porch…this year, we decided to make it as simplistic as possible, to make room for early morning (well, not that early) coffee and tea drinking, since it catches the morning sun…sigh. IMG_3677
IMG_3676We hope spring is treat you well….
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xo

Mama

Milky.

It’s a bit too raw to say if this is really it, to speak it out loud. This post needs only one word in its title, since we owe it all to milky…

IMG_3625Thlee. He turned thlee today. ezra2Tonight, and almost every night preceding, he falls fast asleep in my arms. Tonight that tiny little furnace snuggles up to me, the smell of vanilla cake still lingering on his nose, and he says the words that nearly break my mothering heart,

“I really really need some miwky, mommy”.

For the first time in his three short years, I say to him,

 “I don’t have any more milky honey”.

We whisper quietly back and forth to each other like this for a few minutes before he softly begins to cry.

 “The miwky is runnin away…”

         He’s three, I remind myself, and nursing him for three years is something to celebrate.We’ve made it through a tongue tie, through nights of cup feeding, tube and pinkie finger feedings, split and infected nipples, new teeth, and 4 bouts of mastitis. We did it, and I’m…tired. “

 “Can I please check and see if there is any left mommy?”

 I don’t feel like celebrating.

Milky needs can be met with love and snuggles and whispers about our day, I remind myself, but before I know it, silent, hot tears are spilling down my own cheeks. It’s then that he looks up at me in the dark. By the light spilling onto the bed through the opening in the door, I see his sad little eyes meet mine before he asks,

    ” Can I see your eyes mommy? They are wet, like mine?”

                                  “Yes”, I admit sadly, honestly. “I love milky too. My eyes are crying because I   love you so much. I am so proud of you for being three. You can lay in my arms, and I can sing you a song. That will help us tonight.”

     ” I don’t wanta song; I want someone to give me some miwky,” he whimpers.

A few minutes pass before he snuggles up on my chest, yawns, and falls asleep, proving to me that he no longer ‘needs’ my milky, but that he does, in fact, need me. As for myself, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to run out of milky…

xo

MamaHay