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 phase our children if they don’t phase 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

A Swift Kick…

I’ve spent week contemplating life and its counterpart death; the way we often do upon the realization that it is, indeed, a fragile balance. With my maternal grandmother being quite ill, my uncle recovering from heart surgery, and a dear young man I knew in my younger days having passed away far too soon, I’m feeling a bit somber. There’s nothing like sickness and death to knock us off our high horses of invincibility. I have noticed though, that with the wisdom that accompanies these types of experiences, that it’s easier to dig in and be helpful than to sit back and worry the way I once would have, so instead I’ve been cleaning, scrubbing, and schlepping alongside my cousin, preparing for my uncle’s homecoming this week. I’m digging up addresses to write to those who are grieving, and I’ve done my best to support my mother as she cares for her own. Because what else can we do? And my realization? What I spent last week complaining about, I’ve looked at in a new light. Life has a funny way of kicking me back up when I’ve been down. And although those things that bother me about my own life are real and deserve acknowledgement from me, somethings will always be more important…..

 

Things I’m appreciating a little more than usual this week…

Ashiko lessons with Papa Bear
magsanddad1 magsndadample egg production

IMG_2950 little hands that can manipulate a screw driver to build this creation…IMG_2969 and this…2

 

blessings,

MamaHay

This Weekend

I’ve officially done it. After weeks of procrastinating, planning the upstairs re-do, complaining that I don’t want to do it, I finally lost my marbles and tore apart the kitchen. Well, what can I say? Something needed to be reorganized, so why not begin with an entirely different room of the house. I didn’t just wipe out the cupboards and line up the half-filled jars of peas and beans, nope, cause that’s not how I roll. Actually, I decided to paint the inside of the pantry. Why? Cause this gal likes to use what she’s got, and since what I’ve got is not 6 rolls of the same shelf paper, I busted out the can of Cuban Cigar, paint that is, and I plastered those scratched cupboards with some milk-chocolaty brown. When I crawled out of bed this morning and stumbled into the kitchen like a cyclops, you know, with one eye open, I was reminded, that once again, I’ll be spending the day trying to bring some kind of order to my generally disorganized kitchen. Saturday will be followed by a day of schoolroom organization (insert crying mommy), and if all goes as planned,Sunday will be filled with a lot of coffee drinking and planning how to begin the upstairs redo….I love me a good circular plot.

We hope you have a lovely weekend
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Happy Wintering,

MamaHay

Homeschool Update

We’ve spent the long winter days indoors, focusing on our studies, which at the tender ages of 6 and almost thlee, means a lot of stuff that could actually be mistaken for fun. Anyone who knows me at all will attest to the fact that I’ve always struggled with creating and following a structure, so it only seems fitting that this chapter of my life should be centred around just that. Doesn’t it always seem as though the lessons that take the longest for us to learn resurface until we face them? Since this is something I really have to focus on, I can only hope that the results will have some longevity to them. For now, here’s a peak at some of the tasks we’ve been up to, nothing complicated or tricky, but proof that it’s happening, nonetheless. homeschool8math with manipulative and stickershomeschool4homeschool1beading necklaces
homeschool2project based on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We spoke about the character traits of Edmund, and then we made a rainbow of Wildflower’s character traits.
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a bin of treasures to trace

homeschool5watercolour painting, monster trucks, of course homeschool7converting measurement from imperial to metric, and yes, those are squashIMG_3067
and the new favourite pastime, colouring everything black

 

until next time,

MamaHay