A Very Marigold Birthday

The last few weeks haven’t included much more than two hour stints of sleep, eating and sitting topless on the couch.  Oh, and clogging my friends news feeds with pictures of my children.  I’m kinda tied to Alice and the couch for the most part, so for entertainment I take pictures of my kids, post them on Instagram and share them on Facebook.  At least until the weather is a bit nicer.

Oh GOD I never wanted to be a mommy blogger–I just wanted to write about my life, but I guess my life right now is mostly about being a mummy. Gone are the days of passing out on a toilet in the basement bathroom of a bar on Queen from too much to drink and waking to write about it the next morning.

And here I am, again, to tell you more about my child-centered life.  Among the night feedings and diaper changes, I had been preparing feverishly whenever I found a few minutes, for Marigold’s third birthday.  I really wanted it to be very special for her, so I asked her what she wanted.  Decorations of orange and green, she said.  A small vanilla cake, she said.  Katie’s mummy, she said.  All of these things were a surprise to me–she doesn’t have favourite colours as far as I know, and I didn’t think she knew the difference between chocolate and vanilla.  And we haven’t seen Susie (Katie’s mummy) since last summer I think.  But these were the things she wanted.  And I wanted to make it happen.

We had a small party with her nearest and dearest.  She helped me bake her cake and I worked my butt off whenever my boobs were free.  And here are the results:  a very special party for my special little girl.

Waiting for the guests to arrive and the party to start

Waiting for the guests to arrive and the party to start

Handmade Paper Birthday PennantsHandmade Paper Birthday PennantsHandmade Paper Birthday Pennants

Handmade Paper Birthday Pennants

Several days of cutting and stringing together for the party pennants

Even the dolls decorated!

Even the dolls decorated!

Orange and Green Party Table

Orange and Green Party Table

Handmade cake and paper cake toppers

Handmade cake and paper cake toppers

She’s growing up, and while part of me wishes she would stay 3 forever (because she’s just so goddamned cute), I’m excited to see what kind of person she grows into.

IMG_20140316_085217IMG_20140316_084956

Hungry Hungry Hippos is a great gift for a 3 year old and her pals

Hungry Hungry Hippos is a great gift for a 3 year old and her pals

Mummy & Marigold

Mummy & Marigold

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8 Things

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been writing at all.   I am a bit disappointed in myself because one of my goals for 2013 was to write more to ensure that I remember it all.  I started the year off pretty good, but as life began to change, writing became less of a priority, more of a chore, and frankly, I felt like the things I have to say on the inside are not what I want other people to read.  I hope that I was still focusing my energy on my output and creative pursuits rather than consumption of things.  But a small part of me thinks that I’ve spent far too much time in front of the television in the last few months–television is a soul-sucking-life-eating time waster, and if I stop to think about it, I shudder at how it seems to drain the motivation right out of me.  I’ll have to work on that this year.

I haven’t quite put together my intentions, goals or plans for 2014 just yet.  That is disappointing in itself, but I’ve been having a rough go of it since the holidays started.  I’ll spare you the details but I’m just not feeling myself.  It is a real let down because I love the New Year.  I love the chance to start fresh–to create a purpose for myself and my life and re-focus my energy on all the things I want to accomplish in the coming months.   The truth is that I’m in this funny place–my life is about to be consumed by another human, I’ve got 5 weeks left on the job and there are no real and desirable goals that are jumping out at me aside from all the things that need to get done RIGHT NOW!  I don’t even have a fucking motto or theme song for this year yet.

But I can’t let that get me down.  It will come.  It just didn’t come before January 1st.  And I’m trying on a few candidate songs for 2014, so that’s something…

Though I’m not quite ramped up for 2014, I can still take the time to reflect on the things that have happened in the last year.  It seems, based on my facebook feed, that people were happy to leave 2013 behind them.  When I first started thinking about it, I realized I had a lot of great things to remember.  So here they are, in no particular order, 8 things that happened in 2013 that make me happy.

Pee and a Plus Sign–We knew that we wanted to have more children, so what better time was there after we got married?  I was late 4 whole days before Martin would let me take a pregnancy test.  He didn’t think it was likely after only a few weeks, but I knew deep down there was a baby in my tummy.  Sure enough, we put Marigold to bed, I peed on a stick, and a plus sign appeared.  It’s been a bumpy ride, this pregnancy.  I’ve had some minor scares, I’ve found myself much more emotional and much more exhausted.  Only 7 weeks left to go until this child is scheduled to arrive.  We’ll see if I can last that long.

The newest McWaters at 19 weeks

The newest McWaters at 19 weeks

The Begonia EP–While I didn’t do anything personally to accomplish this, it gives me a great deal of pleasure that Gord finally released some of his own music.  It was a long time coming and I’m proud of the time and effort he put into it.  It really is a great album.

begonia

I’ve got a New Boss Now –I really liked my last boss.  He was awesome and hilarious and I literally cried for days when I found out he was leaving.  I was certain that there was no way that the new boss would be awesome or good or that really anything positive could come of the change.   Well, I was wrong, new boss is great.  Awesome and amazing even.  I’m actually quite sad to be going on maternity leave!

Hoops and Skeins and Fabric, oh my!–I’m not too sure where I got the idea for needlepoint from, but I had been thinking about it for a long while (I guess as an extension of my sewing dreams).  Finally one day, I went to the Workroom and dropped less than twenty bones on the supplies I needed to get started.  Turns out embroidery is a really simple and inexpensive hobby.  It’s similar to tracing, except you’re using thread and the results are really impressive!

The first actual thing I embroidered

The first actual thing I embroidered

Hoot!

Hoot!

Marigold admiring the scene I did for her

Marigold admiring the scene I did for her

Paying it All Off–I have had this deep dark secret for so very long that I have ignored and shoved aside as much as I possibly could, but it was still always bringing me down.  When I put my list together of things I wanted to for 2013, I included details on the things I wanted to accomplish.  I didn’t want to acknowledge my financial issues–so I just put a line in my list that said “get financially on track”.

I had terrible credit and huge amounts of debt for a really long time and thinking about it made me feel ill to the bone, so instead of dealing with it head on, I just pretended like it didn’t exist.  Turns out that doesn’t make it go away, and it doesn’t make you feel good, because no matter how hard you try, you can’t actually forget about it.

Anyways–through a variety of methods–tax returns, savings and what not, I was able to pay off my student loan, and the majority of my debt in 2013.  I am no where near as good as I want to be with handling my cash, but I’m definitely a lot better than I was in 2012.  I’m paying my bills and saving–I think that’s a good place to start!  And for the first time in a really long time–I’m not afraid to answer my phone when it says “unknown caller” because it’s definitely not someone that I owe money to.  The tremendous relief I feel is inexplicable.

Everything I’ve Longed For–I have loved Hayden and his music since the 90’s.  I would have to say that “Everything I Long For” is probably the most played album I have ever owned.  Actually–come to think of it, I don’t even think I own it–I borrowed it from my pal in  1997 and just never bothered to return it because I loved it so much.  

Hayden, live!

Hayden, live!

I have cried more tears over the lyrics and songs on that album than I could ever dream of counting.  They were a solace I could always count on for any break up.  My good friend, Ryan T., also loves Hayden as much as I do.  It is a special bond that we have shared for over a decade.  At the end of November, I finally got to see Hayden in concert–with Ryan T. sitting a few rows behind me.    It was pretty rad–the show was great, Hayden was hilarious and awesome–it was everything I ever could’ve wanted in seeing him live for the first time.

Nothing Better–Seeing Hayden live was a lot more likely than ever getting the chance to see the Postal Service.  They did one album 10 years ago, and I think they only ever did one tour.  I had often dreamed about getting the chance to see them live so when they announced a 10th anniversary tour, I would’ve paid just about anything to see them.

I went alone to the show at the ACC–it was a night just for me.  I ate dinner at my favourite Mexican restaurant, did some shots of tequila and went to the show.  As an added bonus, Mates of State were opening–they are always good live and also another one of my favourite bands.

Nothing better....

Nothing better….

Seeing the Postal Service was surreal.  The music was fantastic, the lights were amazing and they loved every minute of being on stage.   My heart was practically beating out of my chest and I felt like I had been tele-ported to 2004.  The show was outstanding.

From this Day On–I always wanted a husband, pretty much for as long as I can remember.  It was getting a bit dicey 5 or 6 years ago–I was beginning to think it was never going to happen.  I was happy with my life, and was ok with the idea that maybe I wouldn’t get to have a husband one day.  I always thought that I would make a pretty good wife.  Turns out I make a great wife–just ask Martin.  And really, being a wife and having a husband isn’t really what makes me happy–it’s the person that my husband is.  His personality, his beliefs and convictions, his compassion and interests, his strength and honour–all of those things make him an amazing person.  I’m thankful on a daily basis that he chose me to become his Mrs. McWaters.  I laugh to myself from time to time about how unsure I was in the beginning when we started dating.  And now, I couldn’t imagine my life without him.  I really do love him more and more each day and really look for forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

15a32-recession

2013 was great in a lot of ways.  Of course there were some bad times–but what good is it to focus on that?  It’s the bright spots that will keep you going…pining over the dark days will only bring you down! 2014 is going to be a busy one for us, and it’s a little scary to think about what we’re up against, but after writing this, I’m finally getting excited about setting some goals and planning for what I want to accomplish in 14.

WOOOOO!

From This Day On….

I wish I’d taken more time to painstakenly savour each moment.  Instead it felt as though the entire night was racing past us.  All day and night I couldn’t wait to get to the party. The biggest party we’ve ever thrown with cheese, and booze, and music, and donuts and special lights and everyone we know and love. At the very core of my being is a hostess, and it brings me so much joy.  It makes me so happy to have people in my home. This hostessness allows me to share and aid in the merry-making of my dearest friends and it is a pleasure unmatched for me on this earth.  At the most base level, I really fucking love to party.  And you know who else loves to party?  My husband.

I’ve always thought having a surprise house party wedding would be really cool, but pulling off a surprise wedding is a lot harder than it sounds.  We decided in February that we were to be married in May.  May 11th to be exact.  Less than 3 months is surprise enough, no?

Years ago, before I’d even met Martin, I was driving along in the good old battle Saturn with my cronies, Gord and AJ, talking about boys, of course (I really was quite boy crazy, remember?).  I turned to them and said, I’m going to get married on May 11, 2013.  I passed AJ my Samsung flip phone and had her look up the date.  Sure enough it was a Saturday.  I didn’t have a boyfriend, or really have my sights set on a particular fella, but I knew my wedding date.  And somehow, I managed to meet, fall in love and marry my dearest, all in the nick of time.  I’d like to say it was clarvoyance, but it’s probably better categorized as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Bottom line?  The date was special.

I had spent weeks and months preparing for the celebration, only for the night itself to quickly fade away as I tossed my bouquet to a small clan of ladies on my porch.  I stole off into the night with my lover, my husband. I spent every spare second I had in the weeks leading up to the wedding cutting and pasting and planning and scheming and downloading and curating and thinking it all through over and over and over again.  And in all that time I never anticipated that the party would go by so quickly.  I got to spend 5 short hours buzzing from room to room basking in the glow of the best people on the planet, save a few, doing what we all love best: Partying.  And I wish I could do it all over again.  Despite how fast the night passed me by, I enjoyed every minute–I had a really really great time.

red wedding
Me and my new husband, flashing his gold ring.

For me, it all came down to crafts, a 4+ disc mixed CD set, an 8 1/2 pound cheese order, and 5 dozen donuts.   Not necessarily traditional, but a Peattie-McWaters wedding it was.

Courtesy of the Thin Blue Line
8 1/2 pounds of pure dairy gold
DIY Decorations
Pennant made from antique sheet music
Glory Hole Donuts as Wedding Cake
A small fraction of the 60 glory hole donuts
DIY Craft Bags
Hand crafted Sacs Aux Surprise!

Smoky smoky
Porch Party

All of those really awesome things aside, there was love.  So much love, our apartment was bursting at the seams.  My love for Martin, his love for me, and our love for little Marigold was multiplied exponentially by the love of those surrounding us that night.  I felt like was floating.  On a sweet cloud of love all night logn.  And I’m totally serious.

Eddie Bo-From this Day On

I was welcomed as a McWaters with a resounding “Yay” and narry a “Nay”, and the feelings are more than reciprocal.

So we danced and we drank, and we smoked, and I untraditionally swore through my speech. We floated through our home around the people that have come to mean so much to us.  An outstanding amount of love surrounds our lives and it will shine through us, from this day on.

Special thanks to all our friends that took photos!!!

I’m attracted to you

Domino Magnets.  I made them.

I love magnets.  And paper. And crafts.  I believe there is real value in making things–it makes me feel good.  I seem to wage this non stop inner war that I have with the television–I’m attracted to it, as I think all humans are, but I really don’t think it adds much value to my life.  Instead of spending all of my waking life in front of a screen, computer, television, or otherwise, I want to make things.  Contribute something to this world…even if it is only magnets or some other random paper craft.

I typically get my paper from The Paper Place on Queen Street West in Toronto.  It is one of my favourite places on this earth.  They have such amazing papers, crafty accessories, stationary, and super cool gifts, and basically whenever I have time to myself and a few bucks to spend, I’m heading to the Paper Place.  Here’s just a brief glimpse of what’s inside!

Image taken from http://www.thepaperplace.ca

I love this store!  I can’t wait to bring Marigold in here, once she’s past the tornado/hurricane phase of her life.  She’d destroy this poor store if I let her loose now, so, I’ll probably wait till she’s at least 4.  Maybe 5.  If you’re in Toronto, and shopping on Queen, you have to head here.  It’s just across from the park (Trinity Bellwoods) and it neighbours another one of my favourite stores, Prevloved.  Speaking of Preloved, one day I’m going to learn to sew, and sew well.  And then I’m going to make myself a bunch of stuff like they have at Preloved.  It’s all so beautiful (and pricey), but there’s a serious lack of plus-sized items for sale, making it nearly impossible for me to buy anything other than scarfs or legwarmers or mittens.  That’s right, I just admitted to the entire internet that I am plus sized.

So here’s what I did Saturday night.  I got together my scrap paper file folder which looks a little something like…ok, exactly like this:

I really should get a better filing system

And some other supplies I had laying around:

Supplies needed:  Magnets, Dominoes, Scissors, Mod Podge, Paper Scraps, and Glue.  Also a paint brush, not pictured.
You can use anything you have laying around for the base of the magnet–I used dominoes because I thought it would be cool.  I basically found them in the garbage on the side of the road like 3 years ago.  I picked them up because I thought we might play sometime, but they’ve been sitting in the closet ever since.  The “dragon” dominoes are a bit of a pain in the ass because of, well, the dragon on one side.  The paper doesn’t lay 100% flat on the magnet, and while it doesn’t really matter to me, if you are a perfectionist it might drive you bananas.  It doesn’t look bad, it just looks imperfect and textured, which is kindof the look I’m going for.  Regardless, the whole situation can be remedied by using plain and smooth dominoes in the place of the dragon ones.

Any sort of decorative paper you want to use should work, provided it’s heavy enough stock and not see through.  I tried with tissue paper, and it looked mostly gross, but when I layered it on top of other card stock, it turned out fine.

And how did I do it, you ask?
  • Trace the domino onto the “wrong” side of the paper, and cut it out.  Trim it to make sure the edges don’t overlap
  • Paste the paper to the “dragon” side of the domino.  Make sure it’s straight.  Most types of glue will suffice.  Let it dry for about 5 minutes.
  • Affix the magnet to the “numeral side” of the domino.  I used strip magnet that comes in a roll, simply because I had it kicking around.  I actually don’t prefer it because it’s not that strong.  Also, I use crazy glue to adhere the magnet to the domino.  Magnets ALWAYS come away from whatever decoration they are attached to, so I’m partial to giving it half a chance by using the strongest glue ever.  I’ve tried hot glue before, but I find that the strength of the magnet is too powerful for shitty hot glue, so crazy glue or glue of the super variety are the best bet.  God, how many times can one person say glue.  Glue glue glue.
  • Coat the face of the magnet (the decorated side) with Mod Podge.  I did two coats, but depending on the result you want, you can do as many as you like.  I also imagine you could coat the whole frigging domino in the podge if you wanted, but I just didn’t for the sake of time.
This is not something I thought of on the spur of the moment–I’ve made several attempts at making awesome magnets at various points in my life.  I think this is the best magnet idea so far.  You might, however, be more partial to the design of the magnets I made as part of Smash’s holiday presents.  I sure am:
Shitty quality photo, but it looks good on my phone!

The Archie magnets are pretty much the best craft I have EVER done.  You can see a better photo on her blog here.  The round magnets are just paper cut in circles and glued to the back of decorative marbles.  This magnet “technique” typically tends to work best with faces or single small images. The strip magnet does NOT work for this…I use a small, higher powered round magnet for those.  

And that’s how I spent my Saturday night.

I always wanted a window seat…

So I made my own.  For every second that I find myself falling in love with my home, I have ten seconds of anxiety–worrying that my landlord is going to sell the house and I am going to have to move again. It’s not incredibly likely, but you never know.

I am becoming increasingly benign to the colour on the walls. We moved the bed and I moved curtains. Still some odds and ends to do…especially in our bedroom. But, tonight, this made me very happy:




 
Before
 
After

 

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