Taking A Risk – NaBloPoMo

I’m going to give this “post every day for a month” thing a try.  I mean, I’m full of things to talk about.  Breastfeeding, parenting, cupcakes, comics, my son, my dog, my attempt to clean my house and keep my sanity.

The theme this month is “Risk” and there are some neat prompts from the NaBloPoMo organizers.  This will be a challenge for me to complete a blog post every day for a month.  Many times I sit down and get sidetracked, or the words won’t come out or (the most common) I’m just too damn tired.

We bought a diaper for Spitha today.  A reusable doggie diaper that she will no doubt hate.  The last time we tried diapers (disposable) it was the most pathetic thing.  She just…stood there.  Staring.  At me.  With those pathetically sad eyes of hers.  I wish I could explain to her that I’m sorry but I want my son (who is now fully mobile and not contained within the confines of the living room) to crawl about the whole apartment (childproofed areas) without crawling through dog urine.  Also I’m kinda tired of stepping in it myself.  Plus she’ll be happier if she can be with us too.  The diaper is cloth so hopefully she’ll get used to it faster.

Also I lucked out and ended up at the grocery store when they were giving out samples of chocolate.  SCORE.

Well, since I’ll be blogging my fingers off starting tomorrow I guess I’ll call it a night.  I have video games to play plus my hubby and I are watching “The Prisoner” from the late 60’s early 70’s.  I keep expecting the Beatles or Monkees to pop up and start singing.

So goodnight readers (and hello to all my new followers).  Here is a picture of adorable just because.

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Missing: Inner Artist

When I was little my parents indulged my flights of fancy when it came to classes and sports.  I tried various types of dance (ballet, tap), various sports (baseball, soccer) and other types of activities.  They discovered early on that I got bored or frustrated easily with almost everything I tried – except art.  I always stuck with my art classes until the bitter end and then begged for more.  Drawing, painting, sculpting – it didn’t matter.  If I was allowed freedom and creativity I was in.

Art was my saviour in grade seven and eight when I attended a religious school and was horribly bullied.  Through art and poetry I gained the favour of a wonderful teacher and made it through to high school with my creative confidence intact.  Though everything else was shattered through her support of my art and writing I knew, at least, I wasn’t completely worthless.

Outside of school I explored many different types of art but it was cartooning and animation that peaked my interest.  I loved anything Disney and dreamt of one day working in their studios.  When The Lion King came out I saw it many times in theatres.  One particular time I was so overwhelmed during the opening I began to cry.  “What’s wrong?” asked one of my friends.  Through tears I sobbed that I wanted to be the one to make something so spectacular.

I drew comics at home.  Mostly detective comics with anthropomorphic dogs and raccoons.  (Dog City and TailSpin were on TV at the time).  When I wasn’t drawing or hanging with friends I was watching cartoons on TV.  While other teen girls drowned themselves in the drama of 90210 I was hurrying home to catch the latest Darkwing Duck.  When Dawson’s Creek was in it’s heyday I was obsessed with Animaniacs.  I loved animation.  I lived and breathed animation.

In school I was exploring different media.  I was trying to “say something” with my art but I never really quite got the gist of subtlety.  Instead of something where the meaning is hidden through symbolism I usually painted dead whales to make a point about over-fishing.  It worked but wasn’t really what the teacher wanted.  Also I attended a high school where art was the lowest of the low.  The Principal hated the arts (unless it was Drama which made him money every year with a show) and only thought English, Math and Science was useful. I’ll never forget being pulled into his office during his “talk” with the seniors about their futures.  He sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do with my life.  “An animator or a comic artist” I said proudly.  He told me that it was a useless endeavor and that I should concentrate on math and get a real job.

My parents continued to support my quest for a better arts education though and outside of school I began taking classes that would ensure my entrance into the school of my choice.

One of those classes was Life Drawing.  It’s important to learn to draw the human figure and the best way to do that was to draw them naked.  They had to sign a release as I was only 16 when I signed up for my first course.  I was to take my supplies and go to the local art center where I would draw a model on my own without instruction.  Let me tell you about my poor 16 year old innocent virgin self’s first experience life drawing.  It’s a doozy of a story.

So there’s about 8 of us in the room.  A couple older ladies, a couple younger girls like myself and a few middle aged men.  The model comes in.  It’s a man.  There’s a box in the center of all of us and he disrobes and climbs up on it.  He’s posing with his arms crossed above his head and is standing tall.  It’s a longer pose so we all get to the business of drawing this naked man. As time wears on I notice that the part I was trying so hard not to stare at is … moving.  Rising, in fact.  I stop drawing and the girls beside me start to giggle.  At this point he’s got a full on erection and I’m not sure what to do.  I mean…do I draw it?  Leave it off?  Draw a leaf?  Then … all of a sudden … he SHOOTS IT.  That’s right.  He ejaculates.  He still doesn’t move.  I leave the room.  So do the other girls.  We go to the bathroom and start LAUGHING hysterically.  I mean, none of us had even SEEN A GUY NAKED before that night and here we are getting a demonstration on ejaculation.  One of the elderly women gets all huffy on our behalf and complains.  I decide to leave and go home for the evening.

So yeah.  Anyways needless to say I didn’t tell my parents about that particular event and I left the flying sperm off my drawings from that evening.

Ok, back to the original thread of this story.

I guess the point of this back-story is that I’ve always from my earliest memories had this drive to create.  To do art.  I dreamed big and thought I would, by this point in my life, be creating something for Disney or some other animation company.  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I lost those dreams but I know that it was sometime during the downward spiral of booze, boys and drugs after my failure to get into Sheridan’s animation program.  I guess I just gave up.

Sure, over the last few years I’ve done some stuff.  My ability and drive to create comes in and out of my life depending on my situation.  If I’m having a hard time with depression and anxiety – I just don’t draw.  I put away that part of myself that creates.

I don’t know what kind of an artist I’m supposed to be.  I don’t know where that fire and passion went.  Perhaps the candle has finally been snuffed out because I just don’t know if I can draw anymore.  I pick up a pencil and stare and stare and stare at that paper until I finally begin to shake with sadness and frustration.  It’s like a part of my soul has been locked away and I’ve forgotten where I put the key.  I knew once but now I forgot.  It’s frustrating.  And I’m sad that all those dreams, all those hopes – they are all gone.

I know right now I’m super busy and I know right now I’m suffering some PPD and anxiety and I know I created life and it was awesome.  But something is bugging me.  If I’m not Dee the artist…then what am I?

A part of my identity is missing and I don’t know how to get it back.

I did this in 2004 - never able to replicate the style.

I did this in 2004 – never able to replicate the style.

Dalek Arthur’s First Convention

My husband and I are huge nerds.  Our combined nerdiness permeates every corner of our home.  Shelves full of role-playing books, anime and super hero action figures, comics, manga, anime, board games, stuffed toys – well you get the idea.  So really if Arthur wants to be anything but a nerd he’s in the wrong house.

Yesterday my hubby and I took Arthur to his first anime convention.  I desperately needed out of the house and Arthur desperately needed stimulation so off we went to get down with our geeky selves.

Now anime conventions are really more my thing than Fred’s.  He’s more of a sci-fi and game guy.  So lucky for him the Dr Who Society Of Canada was at this convention showing off their wares.  We both LOVE Dr Who (new and old) and Fred always carries with him the sonic screwdriver I gave him last Christmas – 10th Dr.  Y’know.  Just in case.

The Society had some Daleks there – they were life sized and AMAZING.  They moved and talked and decided to make Arthur one of their own.  He was fascinated by them and had to stop and watch whenever we saw them roaming the hallway.

This is Dalek Simon.  Simon Says "EXTERMINATE"

This is Dalek Simon. Simon Says “EXTERMINATE”

This convention also had some of the best cosplay outside of Anime North.  I especially loved seeing all the ponies – Arthur got his picture taken with this nice lady dressed as Rarity (mommy’s favourite).

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We spent the last two hours enjoying the comedy improv of the 404’s.  Arthur actually fell asleep halfway through, and I didn’t have to leave at all.  During the show he played/ate cheerios on the floor – we stayed in the back corner so he had room to move about.

He had to take them all out to eat them one by one.

He had to take them all out to eat them one by one.

It was a good day.  Saw some people I hadn’t seen since going on mat leave.  Got to chat and hang out with my brother for awhile.  He made everyone who saw him smile and enjoyed seeing all the people in bright clothes.  Next convention though I’m totally dressing him up.  Then all uteri in the area will explode from the cuteness.  I’m thinking Finn from Adventure Time.  Or a small Dr Who.  So many costume choices!

 

Sweetest Day Of The Year

Hey all.  I live in Canada and we’ve got something special planned for Monday.  Something that combines one of my favourite things to eat and one of my favourite charities to help!

Monday is National Cupcake Day for Humane Societies and SPCA‘s!

How SWEET is that?  Not only do I get to eat cupcakes but I’m helping animals in need.  Who wouldn’t love that combination?

If you’re in Canada visit the link above and find out who is hosting a cupcake party near you – then head on over and support this great cause!

If you’re not in Canada, or there is no local party, why not participate as well?  Bake yourself up some cupcakes and eat them on the way to donate to YOUR local animal charity.  Food, blankets, beds, money – I’m sure there is no shortage of things they need.  Short on cash?  Drop by and see if you can cuddle some cats or take a dog for a walk.  Time and love are the best gifts of all!

Nom Nom Nom Nom…..

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Cupcake Dog is READY for Monday!

Sick, sick GO AWAY!

I just don’t have the energy tonight, internet.  

It started innocent enough.  Arthur throwing up then continuing about his day like nothing had happened.  Then it hit me.  Then Fred.  For the last four days we have been fighting off this pukey plague.  Then today just as the adults of the house are feeling better my poor Bubbi wakes up all coughey and sneezey and grumpy and clingy.  He’s managed to get himself a nice case of baby bronchitis.  I am now working on little to no sleep having taken care of two babies for the last week.  

So, world.  If I’m tired and grumpy and down-in-the-dumps and just don’t have the energy to deal with anymore shit you’ll have to forgive me.

I have a baby to anxiously lie next to and stare at to make sure he keeps breathing.

Sleep is for the weak anyways.

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To cheer all of us up, here is this picture. Because YES.

Going Back To Work – Decisions, Decisions

I wish someone had told me that I would need to start looking into daycares so early.  Like before I even healed from the c-section early.  The waiting lists are 3 mths long at least, even more so for us (since we are applying for subsidy).

I don’t have a lot of time.  My maternity leave will be up in May (my apologies to my US readers for what will seem to you like a whiny-bitch rant from a lucky Canadian) and I need to figure out a source of income fast.  I would also like to give my previous awesome workplace an answer to “when/are you coming back?”.

Ideally I would be a SAHM.  I’d wear adorable aprons and back goodies while nurturing my growing boy with fun outings and nutritious homemade food.  Also the house would sparkle and the dog would be content and my lipstick would always be perfect.

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A cake made with love. Or poison. Or both.

Are you laughing at my delusions yet?  I am. I’ve had 8 months to perfect this but my house is SO not clean, Fred cooks many of his own meals, and I don’t even remember how to apply lipstick.  Arthur is happy and nurtured though and that’s the major hurdle, right?

Truthfully though the reason I can’t stay home has nothing to do with nurturing or the ability to make my bathroom sparkle.  It’s money.  Money to buy gas.  Food.  Pay for electricity and internet. House payments. What with hubby in school full time we’re walking on glass as it is.

Also ideally I’d be a WAHM.  I’d find a job I could do over the internet with my mad google-fu and facebooking prowess that would pay the bills with a little something left over for the occaisional cupcake treat.  Granted with this added responsibility my housekeeping would take an even worse nosedive but hey, that’s the price I’d pay for the chance to be with Arthur all the time.  And any other little ones we are planning for in the near future.  Which we are.

So if being a stay or work at home mom (or fantasy 50’s housewife) isn’t a reasonable option for me right now, what is?

Go back to work.  This option depends on many factors – me having the car, having very specific shifts, not working weekends, finding the right daycare, getting daycare subsidy (because if we don’t then i’d be working to pay for daycare with a take home of $20 a day).

Become my own daycare.  I could take a couple kids into my home through the week.  Arthur would have playmates and I wouldn’t have to leave him.  A few things hinder this plan but on the whole there are more positives than negatives to it.  I’d have to get an updated first aid and a police check.  And completely re-arrange and de-clutter the apartment.  But this option is more and more doable the more I think about it.  I would only take two children on top of Arthur – one infant, one older.  I live close to a park and library and early years center. Pretty ideal location actually.

Another option has me looking after furry four-legged children.  Dogs.  I could dog sit or dog walk.  I have a friend who does this (both walks dogs and takes them into her home for a weekend or so) and would be fully capable of doing both.  I’m going to explore this option more as well.

Are you a stay at home mom?  Do you work from home?  Look after children?  I’d love to hear other stories – may give me a clue to make up my mind about what to do.  I hate having everything up in the air like this.  I’m open to suggestions to find my ideal solution!

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Everything I do, I do for him.

For My Husband – My Valentine

“And I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they’d understand, when everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am” – Iris, Goo Goo Dolls

When we first met I was broken.  I had been used so many times that I wasn’t sure I could do it again.  Be with anyone.  I had been beaten down and gone through some terrifyingly tough times.  Yet I was desperate for love, clinging to a small hope that someday I would have my happy ending.  My Prince.

I didn’t find my prince in you.  I found something better.  My best friend and soul mate.

Someone who understands me better than I do myself.  Someone with whom I am comfortable sharing my most intimate secrets and not be scared that he will push me away.  Someone who values me for who I am, not what I look like.  Someone who sees the worth in me on days when I feel worthless and makes sure he tells me how wonderful I am.  Someone who taught me that relationships go both ways and I’m allowed to receive as well as give.

I’m a romantic.  Through all else I believed in love.  I watch movies like Moulin Rouge, The Princess Bride and Ever After.  I sing songs sung by Disney princesses.  It really wasn’t hard to win my heart – though showing up at my work dressed in a shirt and tie bearing candy certainly helped speed things along.  My trust though, that you had to work for.

I was attracted to you the first time we met.  I was let into your brother’s home so we could all get down to the nerdy business of Dungeons and Dragons.  You stomped down the stairs and looked right at me.  Then you turned around and ran back up the stairs.  I know now that it was because you had forgotten something but I like to think you liked the look of me and ran back upstairs to primp.  Makes me giggle to imagine you hastily combing your hair and throwing on a clean t-shirt.

I liked your oversized nerdy glasses.  Your green eyes that sparkled with excitement when you described our character’s adventures.  The way you gestured with your hands and seemed full of raw energy.  You were always very sincere.

Our first date was at the movies.  We hadn’t made it official yet (still in the land of “love me, love me not”) and chose to see Constantine.  I don’t remember the movie much as three days before I had decided to quit smoking cold turkey and all I could concentrate on was the ciggs Constantine CONSTANTLY had.  It was a fight not to go outside and find someone with a smoke to share.  I’m glad I didn’t cause I got to kiss you later.  A kiss so very sweet shouldn’t be marred by smoker’s breath.

We had a sweet and nerdy romance where you woo’d me with the kind of shy awkwardness made for teen romance movies.  Remember how I used to stop at your house when I got off of work at the Cafe and leave you love notes in your mailbox?

Eventually the walls came down and I sat in your basement, telling you my past through tiny scared sobs.  I remember that you became angry on my behalf and frustrated that there was nothing you could do.  Sweetheart you did the very best thing you could do – better than punching someone on my behalf – you accepted my past without judgement and therefore accepted me.  You will never truly know just how much that night meant to me.

It wasn’t long after that we became engaged.  I had attended my first staff party at the comic store and came home so very, very drunk.  I kind of remember falling out of your single bed we shared laughing hysterically as I rolled around on the floor.  I asked you in the morning if I had said anything funny and you replied “You said you’d marry me.”  Turns out what I said in my drunken haze was “I’d marry you, but you have to ask me first.” Aaaand then passed out.  

It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it?  There are so many memories, so many challenges.  We bought a place to live – a place we still share crammed full of all the geeky goodness we’ve collected together.  We shared the adoption and too-soon death of our beloved rottweiler Princess.  We adopted another dog and delight in our mutual love of all things Spitha.  We weathered my ups and downs until I finally broke down completely and succumbed to my anxiety and depression landing me in hospital.  We supported each other through the loss of our first baby – something that brought us back together after too much time apart.

We finally got married. One of the happiest times in my life.  On the banks of the Yukon River you pledged to spend the rest of your life with me.  We wrote our own vows and share wedding rings made of sterling silver with yukon gold inside of them.  I slaved over a playlist that reflected us – the first dance being to “With Or Without You” by U2 (a song I knew you liked) BUT sung by Disturbed – very us.  I had to have your brother ramble on for about a minute until the song kicked in as I wanted to surprise you with it.  I think it worked and I remember you chuckling, a sound I adore.  As we danced, even though it was summer in a tourist-y and public place filled with family, for awhile there it felt like it was just you and me. You looked SO handsome in your suit and bright yellow tie to match my dress.

Then comes Arthur.  The little being with your eyes and my fingers.  You handled the pregnancy like a champ, despite your addiction to Skyrim.  A pregnancy full of anxiety and health issues.  You were always there when it mattered – especially those times I needed some ice cream on snowy nights.  Those were totally the most important times.  You were always supportive and never made me feel as if my concerns were silly.

You are an amazing father.  I am so very proud of you.  It’s not easy going to school full-time, working AND making sure you still have time for Arthur and me.  You are gentle and patient and do not give yourself enough credit where Arthur is concerned.  He will always know you love him and that is the most important thing.  Plus you look damn sexy wearing a baby in a carrier.

I don’t tell you enough how much I love you.  Appreciate you.  Recognize how different and empty my life would be without you.  I miss you when you are not here and always want to find ways to make you laugh.  I am most comfortable when you are beside me.  You understand me the way very few people do.  Though my love for you has changed over time it is still going strong.  I’m lucky to have found you and I truly do understand now what it is I have.

I haven’t found my happy ending because this is really just the beginning.  I look forward to living life to the end with you, love.  Happy Valentine’s day.  I love you.

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