Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pregnant forever

I am really feeling like I will be pregnant forever. A few weeks ago I would have sworn this baby would come any day. Now I just feel like it will just hang in there all summer.
Not a great feeling but a strange one.
Today I have an appointment. 
Not exciting.
I still have not had an internal exam and the Dr said she won't do one until I am past due next week.
This is driving me nuts!
My last Dr did one every week from 34 weeks to see how things were progressing. When I was dilated 3 cms for a month I knew it, and understood why I was in so much discomfort. I also understood why Ethan was born with two huge hematomas (no idea how to spell that) on his head. 3 cm's worth each.

Anyway I am glad the the festival is over and that this is the new focus.
I still cannot find any of my tiny undershirts, that is something I need to get on!
According to what the Dr said last week this baby is nearing the 9 lb point now. I really, REALLY, hope she is wrong!

 Thank you all for being so kind about the festival. I really didn't feel like it was that successful considering the amount of inventory I had but the truth is that I did have sales and covered my costs and that is what matters.
Today I am trying to get photo's edited and uploaded, time to stock that shop!!

I hope you all had a great weekend, I am just finally recovering!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cathedral Village Arts Festival

The day dawned bright and  and sunny. We couldn't have wished for better weather. No rain, no wind, just glorious sun.
8 am was set up time so we packed up and headed down to the festival site.
My family came out to help and I cannot thank them enough. They were amazing. The tent went up and was stocked by opening time at 10. I felt like a mean dictator as I bossed them around. I had a vision for how I wanted everything set up and even though we did have to make changes (like where I wanted to table to go) it ended up alright. 
The biggest issue off the bat was that we had set up our tent  according to what we thought the mail out said. It said that the space was 10 x 14 feet and we assumed that meant that it was 10 feet wide by 14 feet long. Turns out it was the other way around. We were so lucky and the festival people were so accommodating and we were able to just move the tent back by three feet.
If we hadn't been on an ally it could have been a disaster.
Here is how it looked before the masses descended.

It was a long day and we had planned on just me and my mom hanging out.
As it turned out the kids and Dave stuck around the whole day.
From 8 am to 6 pm the kids just hung out. They were amazing! Dave took them up and down the strip a few times and they also spent some time behind our tent tailgating it in the truck.
They brought back snow cones and balloon animals, fries and hot dogs and just hung out people watching.
However their good behavior overload was made up for on Sunday when we went grocery shopping and it was the trip from hell!
I think they had just had enough already for the weekend and had nothing left.
We ended up having an alright day. According to other sellers on the street I did well. There were booths that never even broke $100, let alone enough to cover the cost of the booth space. Some made a few hundred dollars and I am sure some made way more. I came close to the 4 digits but fell short. Sold a few large paintings and quite a few prints and a handful of magnets.
I shouldn't really complain, I just set my bar really really high. 
One etsy friend of mine said that last year she made triple what she did this year despite being off the main drag and having to shut down two hours early due to insanely bad weather.
I wonder if it is the economy that held people back this year or if it was because there were just that many more booths. (over 300) Whatever it was I am counting my blessings and am glad that I did have quite a few sales. Thank you everyone!
In the next few days I hope to get my shop open again and load up all the extra prints I made.
I will let you know when it happens.
Shutting down....back to an empty space.

One thing about being stuck in the tent all day was that I missed cruising the strip. I wanted to see some of the belly dancing and graffiti work and watch the buskers. 
Not only that but I find checking out all the different art mediums and styles very inspiring so I am hoping that everyone that took pictures there adds their shots from the day to the cvaf flickr pool
So in recap it was a really good day, thank you everyone that came out..there were over 30 of you that showed up just to say hi and support me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
And a massive thank you to family, you were amazing!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Counting down to the art festival and a baby

I am really starting to freak out....just a little bit....in my head.
The Art Festival Street Fair is coming up this Saturday (the 23rd) and the baby's due date is creeping closer.
I am pretty ready, OK, I am not really ready at all but am trying to get there for the festival.
It's the baby thing that is kinda weighing heavy on my mind.
What if I go into labour the night before?
What if my water breaks that day?
What if I have the baby tomorrow and I am fresh out of the hospital with boobs bursting with engorgement for the festival?

But then again I am probably just freaking out over nothing and the baby will just wait until June. Why do I do this to myself?
What does it profit except for some rattled nerves?!
I must get my head in check and focus!

So, let's get on with the preparations.
I have been trying to get ready by doing some last minute touch ups and digging out of my secret basement painting stash, well, I don't really have a secret stash but I have a few pieces that I haven't shared.

The kids have been keeping busy destroying the living room, painting, and crafting as well.

Here are a few that are in the print shop getting prints made.

And a few others kicking around. (the boots are staying though)
We started to set up our small kiosk tent. I think it is around 8x8 or 10x10 and the standard white top. However there are no walls and it has been sitting outside behind my parents garage for four years. 
It is a little rusty.
So Dave decided to invest and got a huge garage style tent. We will just set up two of the sections and part of the walls. I hope it works...we might just stand out like a sore thumb amongst all the little tents and tables but we'll be covered.
We have an hour and a half on the morning of the festival to get the tent set up and all the art displayed. I sure hope we can do it. (I mean Dave)

On my list of to do's there is the float situation, a log book to keep track of what sells and plastic sleeves of some kind for the prints.
The table will need to be covered and I have yet to create a banner. My banner designer friend (Hi Maria, waving sheepishly) is probably scolding me though the screen right now. 
I totally forgot to get what I needed sent off to her.
So I will have some sort of painted canvas little thing to say who I am. If all goes well this year then I will know and be better prepared for future festivals.
Kaitlyn has been quite busy crafting her own thing while I craft and would much rather that I sell her stuff than me sell mine.
She has laid claim to all the kid inspired stuff and is quite adamant that she "NEEEEEEDS IT!!!"
I did think that her double sided hand puppet was quite clever. She directed the cutting of felt and did the rest.
Ethan started to make a lion puppet of his own but never got past tracing his hand.
While he played cars endlessly Kaitlyn kept going by moving on to paints.
She is really quite abstract with her techniques. I wish I could learn from her, I am just so controlled, even when I try to be abstract or sloppy.
A few of the 'windy day' paintings have been whipped up. I shouldn't say whipped up, they take forever to create with their multiple layers and dry times. Then with my hand forever going numb I only get to sit and work on them for a few minutes here and there.
So the kids and I have made magnets instead. (notice the dots? Inspired by BA's  amazing dottery) My hand can survive this. I think the prices will be revised though, the wood ones would be a steal at $4 a set. 
What do you think is reasonable? I don't know what I would or wouldn't pay. 
Pricing is tough.
My mom has decided to contribute as well and has been working on some magnets of her own.
Oh, right, I almost forgot about the pendants. Above is one I made for Kaitlyn a few months back.
And above is one (click on the photo to see the detail) that was custom ordered through my shop by a friend for a friend for her birthday.
I have painted the large wood ones before (10 years ago,I will upload a photo of them one day) but fell so in love with the miniature ones that I just had to make more.
And then since I couldn't stop at the pendants I decided that they might be cute as magnets.
I am not sure if they will be for sale yet or not since Kaitlyn is quite in love with them already.
Well see.

Now back to the preparations. Dave just called and is done work early. Nice for me but not for the pocket and he is off to get hooks and try to figure out how to hang paintings in the tent.
Are there any ideas out there for this?
The only thing we can come up with is to use either dog run fencing and the square S hooks or use that thin board with the holes in it. I cannot remember what it is called but it would be sturdy and we could use the hooks with that too.
I keep thinking there must be a cheaper and better way to do it but I have never paid enough attention at past festivals to see what other artists do.
So if there are any ideas I am all ears!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My pregnancy and motherhood 'Blessing'

This was something new to me. I had read of a 'blessing' before but wasn't really sure what to expect. 

As it turned out there were only a few that came but it made for an intimate and really special time.  So for those of you wondering  what a 'blessing' is I will walk you through what happened this afternoon. 
It was a time to just focus on me, the miracle of pregnancy and motherhood and  to praise God for this precious gift. I know there is more to what it was all about and I'll do my best, here goes...
First they made me a floral crown. I had to smile as crooked as possible for the shot!
 Then a candle was lit. There were supposed to be a few candles lit, one for each of the women there but some forgot. This was something that was sent home with me. When I go into labour I can light the candles and remember that these women are praying for me. I think I will just light them when I am lying in bed at night doodling and think of them. I get all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.
 If I go into labour and it takes a while I will light them and read through the blessings I received.  If it is crazy fast like Ethan's labour and delivery I have a feeling I won't. 
Next up we had some snacks and sat around and visited.
Then I experienced something humbling. Have you ever had a friend wash your feet, give you a massage and then lather them up with lotion? It almost made me cry.
Aromatherapy oils, herbs and salts were all added to the water. 
Kaitlyn was a little nervous at first but then joined in with Karen and gave me a massage as well.
What a gift, a blessing in itself. (I am also really glad that I had filed my heels and painted my nails last week)
As my feet got pampered the few friends that came read me words of encouragement, poems, scripture  verses and stories. 
Some of it was a great reminder of what pregnancy and birth is really all about. It was encouraging me not to get so caught up in the pains and discomfort of this late stage but to remember the precious kicks and flutters and the miracle of carrying a baby, another little human in my womb.
It was a reminder of the gift of pregnancy and motherhood and a reminder as to how precious and fragile life is. It was them showing hospitality and the joy of servanthood to me.
The 'blessings' on paper were then put into a scrapbook for me to keep.
Blessing me in ways beyond I thought possible.
My heart was singing with joy and gratitude.

I am so glad I got to experience this  'blessing' before the baby comes. I feel more ready and at peace and calm about the birth. I cannot tell you how this has affected how I look at things.
I was getting so caught up in the trivial last minute dragging on of things and now I feel so rejuvenated that I could stay pregnant for another year. Well maybe not quite that long but you know what I mean.

It also was really touching to hear how friends see me. It was funny too because some of the things that they admired about me were things that I come down on myself the hardest for. 
My being open, honest and the ability to take things in stride were things that were mentioned.
 While here I am wishing I would just shut up sometimes and not share so much. I wish I could get more organized and on top of things. Funny how we see things differently than those around us.

The fact that I had to clear a small patch on the kitchen table last week to eat at when I had a  friend over really made me feel like a cluttered fool.

Where the heck are my priorities?

 Since there just wasn't room for both our kids at the table and I wanted to visit rather than clean it off I just threw a table cloth on the floor and declared it time for a picnic.
I was embarrassed it had to come to that.  Why couldn't I just be organized enough to have a clean table?!
My friend, (who I think is totally amazing by the way and organized the whole blessing thing) thought this was great. She is funny like that though.
I struggle daily with priorities. I tend to put art and crafts and fun play with the kids above all household duties and even above making meals.
Finding balance is something that really gets to me. I do find it hard to see the good in what I do since I see others live scheduled organized lives. Coming to terms with the fact that I am always jumping from one thing to the next and then back and then on to another thing in my head is really tough. I know I don't fit 'the mold' and I am getting used to it.
I just never considered it an ability that I can leave art and craft projects out and not let it bother me. 
However sometimes it does  bother me, especially when I would like to have adults over. I am just not sure what they would think of picnics on my kitchen floor.
It sure does help when friends tell you they love you for it though. I guess this is probably the same reason I love them! Huh.
During this precious mushy girl time Ethan conked out in my brothers room. Phil (my brother) stole the camera for a moment so I wouldn't miss this.
He must have been really tired to mot even make it all the way onto the bed.
Anyway, back to me. I know, me, me, me. It felt kind of odd to have all the attention. I just babbled and chittered and chatted and spilled details of my life and experiences that I could and  probably should have kept to myself. However, you give me the floor and blab, blab, blab is what you get.
I can't wait now to go to someone elses 'blessing' and listen to them!
I almost felt guilty getting all the attention, I just wanted to give it right back to them and scream "I love you!"
My heart felt so big!
What a gift they gave!
Karen, my mom and Charity.
My sister's Emily and TT and my little Kaitlyn.

And these are some of the gifts that were sent home with me. (click the image to view larger)

I am still trying to wrap my mind around the whole afternoon. I have never seen such an outpouring of love from people that I have known for such a short time. These women are truly amazing!
The love of God that shines in them is something that is so beautiful. They just give and love and don't judge and they find the positives and they share and just keep on loving, I just don't know how else to say it. 
It was beautiful, encouraging, uplifting and empowering.
I just want to hug them all over again! (Sorry I missed you Monique, I should have pried my butt out of that chair and squeezed you tight. Just a warning, next time I see you you will get it.)
I hope this becomes a mainstream pre-baby-mommy-shower thing. It was amazing!
Thank you---you know who you are!
And if you are expecting or know someone who is....this a such a fantastic gift to get or to pass on!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Creative with clothes

(photo taken with the old little camera before it died a slow and mysterious death)

Yesterday was amazing. Beautiful out! It was a Slurpee and a walk in the park kind of day.
With Dave having the day off today we planned to head out to the cottage for the day. 
 I am feeling pretty good again despite having every pre labour and false labour symptom in the book this little dude is hanging in.
Thank you all for prayers and well wishes, I have a feeling though that this baby will just arrive when he wants to and not when it will be convenient for me. I am just hoping that I am not in labour for the street fair or trying to recover that day from having him the day before.

Off, track, so I was saying we had planned to head out to the lake. I wanted to walk down to the beach, maybe tan a little, play in the sand and hit the slide and swing area.
And then we woke up this morning.
It was pouring.
And then it started to snow.
It is now calm and cold. There is only a dusting of snow and I am sure it will melt shortly.
It just kinda cracks me up.
Shorts and t-shirts one day. Jackets and toques and boots the next. Ahh, spring in Canada!

Anyway I had planned on writing about our Easter hunt and crafts but kinda got off track. 
And now it feels like time to bake cookies.
Oh, before I go there is that photo above.

Our kids dress themselves. Can you tell?
I never really thought about laying out clothes for them. Once they could dress themselves or pull clothes from a drawer they have been quite happy to choose what they want to wear. If they can't get it on they bring it to us and we help.
I have recently learned that this is not the norm in a lot of homes. 
Do you dress your children or do they dress themselves?
And I know this is not a relevant question for some of you with older kids or without kids but for those of you with kids did you dress them and if you did for how long?
I am very curious....and bored today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did I ever tell you about the time I got hit on...

....with this belly?!
This belly that now hangs out the bottom of my maternity clothes.
This belly that when my mom saw it today commented that I am definitely very"great with child."
Yes, so great that my belly rubs on the steering wheel when I drive and I find turning corners to be rather challenging.
So great that I have now gained 40 lbs. 
40 lbs!!! Double what I gained with Kaitlyn!
So great that I try to get a nice belly shot and don't realize it is hanging out the bottom!
Boy do I look silly!

Anyway, here is the story of how I got hit on in this ripe state.
Last week I went to Costco with my sister and the kids to get a few things and to have pizza and a poutine of course.
While grabbing some lettuce from the refrigerated room this guy comes up to me. He is tattooed and has a shaved head, walks with an attitude and is shopping with his wife (I assumed) and four kids. 
The wife and kids were around the corner getting berries or broccoli  and he starts chatting. First he asks who my Dr is and then goes on with which doctors he would recommend. I thank him and start walking away.
 The guy follows me and is still chatting away and then finally makes his way to stating "Well you must be a little cheater!" as he eye balls my belly and then looks up at me again.
Creeped out!
I was thrown for a loop. "What!!! Why?!" I say.
He says, "well, you are having a boy?"
He then says, "Well then you must be a cheater."
I stare at him and say. "No, we go by the Chinese calender actually!" and walk away really fast without getting what I need.
Creepy. His wife was right around the corner with his kids. I am still baffled by the whole ordeal. He was just soooo creepy!

And that was that. My hit on experience. Nothing like they used to be that is for sure!

Anyway that is all I have for out of the norm stories.

OK.  Fast forward.
I wrote the above 4 hours ago now.
This post is taking a turn here.
I just finished watching a few shows with Dave and lounging around. 

Now I am sitting here in a lot of pain. I went for walk this afternoon and I'll just say I hurt down there. A lot. I am really distracted by the pain right now so rather than continue the post normally with little stories from the weekend I am tuning out.
I need a bath or something.

OK. I have to say something here.
Don't you love it when you forget to clean your child's face but can do it in photoshop when you realize it? Below is the original photo.
I do this a lot actually. I clean crumbs off the floor and boogers off cheeks too.

And I am off. I need to get horizontal!
Sorry about he choppiness here....my mind is totally elsewhere now.