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.

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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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Brown Eyed Ram

I don’t really believe in astrology, but historically I’ve found myself to be more friendly with capricorns, aquarius’ and tauruses.  Never really found myself close to an Aries, and as such I think of her as quite the an unlikely friend.  Not only is she an Aries, but she’s also 9 years my junior and I met her only because I hired her way back in 2010.  Unlikely a friendship as it may seem, she’s pretty much been by my side since then.

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Slightly more casual than her interview outfit

I remember what she wore for her interview–it was quite formal, a white blouse and a high waisted black skirt.  I don’t think she was wearing heels though–she wasn’t able to really pull off heels until about 2012.  I was looking for someone at the time to be part of the department I was building in my previous company, and between her, and one other girl, I knew I had found the right people to take on the job.

Both girls were cheery, with great personalities and teachable spirits.  Their experience was limited, but I knew I had found a couple of gems, so I snatched them up, not a moment too soon.  When I changed jobs in 2012, I had stumbled on a company primed for growth, and I felt like a mountain of work was just around the corner and I could never face it alone.  So I called on Smash.

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AKA the Dude

She had kept the ship a-sail for me while I was maternity leave the first time–she is smart, dependable, reliable, creative with a lot of really great, though sometimes zany, ideas.  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, since she came to work with me again, more ups than downs though.  We’ve had a lot of laughs and good times, but the work pace was much slower than what we were used to, and sometimes our frustrations with work and our desires to move more quickly drove distance between us.

There were times where I felt like she was judging me.  There were times where I felt like she hated me.  There were times I felt utterly, totally and weirdly responsible for any unhappiness she felt in life.    And I can only begin to imagine what she felt about me–Picky, bossy, fussy, know it all Peattie.  I am fairly certain she wanted to tear my head off at times, but fortunately we got through it….all body parts in tact.  While it sounds crazy, it might do you some good to understand that we literally spend at least 40 hours a week together, face to face, less than three feet apart–and have for close to two straight years.

A good laugh usually cures what ails ya

Friends through the bad times

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And friends through the good times (photo credit Smashing Through Life)

We were open with each other on almost every subject and we trusted each other in more ways that we had trusted other friends in our lives.  And now as I start my maternity leave, I am trusting her again–with my job.  Finally, after waiting patiently, things are starting to happen.  She’s been promoted into the role she came on board to do–at a critical time in the company’s history.  She’s taking on significant projects and has some key objectives she’ll have to deliver on this year.  And it’s a lot.  It’s a lot for anyone.  But I know she can handle it.  I am excited to see what this year brings for her because I know it’s going to be amazing.  She’s surrounded by some really awesome people at the office, who I know she can count on to make things happen.  She’s gonna do great!

On Friday night, after my last day of work, she helped me carry my things to my car and what we thought was going to be an emotional goodbye, didn’t really turn in that direction at all.  I had cried earlier saying goodbye  to even the most pesky co-workers, and there wasn’t a tear in my eyes saying farewell to my long time side kick, pal and protege.  She made a joke about me missing her the least, but the reality is–I will miss her the least.  Because I’m not going to miss her.  Sure I’ll miss seeing her beautiful face every day, I’ll miss  the sound of her laughter, and I will definitely miss the poor nutritional choices we made on a daily basis (guilt free).  But I’m not going to miss her.  She will continue to be a huge part of my life, filling up a special place in my heart while I’m at home with my babies–our relationship runs much deeper than 9-5, Monday to Friday.  We don’t need to be three feet apart to maintain our friendship–it’s going to last for a long, long time…no matter our proximity.

I certainly got a lot more than I had ever bargained for the day I hired that brown-eyed ram, Smash.  I thought I was simply getting a recent graduate for a product specialist.  Instead, I got a life long friend.  A lady who is truly awesome in every way.

I love you, chum.

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Saturday Tea

I got all setup to sit down and get a few things done.  I have been thinking through another post, and I had intended to write about music this afternoon.  I realized that it’s going to be a monster to take on, and I think I’m going to have to put more thought into it than I have at this point.

Anyways, I’ve spent the majority of the week doing things for other people.  Which, I guess, is the nature of my job and the nature of being a mother.  I’ve pretty much got the chips stacked against me in the whole “take time for yourself” game.  I’m not complaining…I love my life. And I’m really lucky that I have a partner who bears so much of the load around the house.  That, however, does not change the fact that I’m just never done..at work, or at home.

Today I wanted to set aside some time for me.  I have about 2 hours while (and if) Marigold naps on the weekend, which I usually use to get caught up on some housework.  Martin was headed out for the afternoon and I wanted to write and also prep a recipe for his birthday cake on Sunday, so the housework was going to wait.  I brewed some tea, tidied the office space (which is typically a disaster from the two McWaters’ with whom I share my abode) and sat down to find a chocolate cake recipe.  I had time enough to copy down the recipe, take a photo of my favourite tea pot, and jot down these few lines.

Marigold’s nap was cut short.  I heard her cry out for me a lot sooner than I’d expected.  There’s laundry, dishes, and a pre-birthday dinner to prepare.  But the hour I spent on myself this afternoon has priceless value for my life.  While it may sound silly, the time I spend doing the things I love enables me to tackle the challenges that arise in my day to day life.

Though not likely as gratifying for anyone else as it is for me…this, my friends, is the product of my Saturday Afternoon for me.  A lovely photo of a few of my favourite things.

Cat with Fish Purse Paint By Number
Crystal Creamer
My favourite vintage tea pot and matching sugar bowl
A Sally Ann special tea cup and saucer

2013 Project, Recipes and Plans Journal along with felt tipped pen
And of course, my favourite flower, white lillies.


SHINE!

Last year, at some point on or around the first of January, I filled up the tub, grabbed my old fabric covered goth style diary that hosts a bunch of stuff I’ve written since 1998.  I’m not an avid journalist who writes every day or anything, but I’ve always tried to keep a diary of sorts, however sporadic my writing might be.

As I lounged in the deliciously fragranced bath water**, I was surrounded by this hideous puke pink and blue barf vintage tile and I thought 2012 was going to kick some serious ass.  I made a fairly long and categorized list of “Things to Do: 2012”.  I tend to prefer a New Year’s list of things that I want to accomplish over resolutions, since that seems more tangible to me.  I think that I’m likely to do at least some of the things on the list and then find myself looking back at the end of the year and saying–“hey I did that!”.  Vaguely recalling some lifestyle change I resolved to make but failed miserably at doesn’t appeal to me.  Especially ones that require a monthly pre-authorized debit from my bank account.  I’d rather just live my life, thanks, and try to be awesome in as many ways as possible.  Just as a general rule.

Leading up to the New Year this year, I had a hard time really getting pumped about what I was going to do in 2013.  I wasn’t feeling inspired in the slightest.  I had been working pretty hard for the months preceding the holidays, and really I just needed a vacation away from really having thoughts.  At the time I was disappointed that I wasn’t feeling the vacay vibe, but looking back now, it was exactly the type of holiday I needed. I didn’t accomplish much around the house, but I spent a fuck load of time with Marigold and Martin, and that did my heart some serious good.  I cooked a lot, and I even had the pleasure of spending some time watching some fancy birds hang in my backyard tree (a cardinal, a blue jay AND a red-headed finch).  I barely even left the house, and I certainly wasn’t overcome with positive energy about 2013.

I realized shortly after the hoopla of New Year’s was over (read:  drunken shenanigans with Rico the party animal and a cookathon to make my annual brunch a reality) that my path to inspiration and zeal was uphill, with bursts of being overcome with enthusiasm that waned and waxed again over the course of a few days.  It  took me until today to get to the proper top of the “kick some ass” incline, but I’m here now.  And it’s fucking awesome.  I felt better today than I have in at least six weeks–maybe even six months.  It’s truly fucking awesome.  I’m back to kicking down doors, and I’m gonna work hard to keep it that way.

As I slowly moved towards getting pumped for the transition that typically awaits us at the turn of the calendar, I started mentally prepping my “Things to Do: 2013” and finally, I pulled out the old goth diary to re-read the list I put together last year.  I hadn’t looked at it since the day it was written, which is typically a pretty good indicator that the success factor on most items is going to be limited, if I managed to accomplish anything on the list at all.

Good news everyone!  The first thing I read, the last thing on the list and the only thing under the heading Career, is a lone line that says:

–Find a job downtown.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, I hit a fucking home run right out of the park.  I feel like I basically nailed my 2012 “Things To Do” list, and even though this line item is preceded by a two page, four category laundry list of twenty-twelve goals, that were predominantly unchecked after reading through them, I don’t even care.  There’s obviously more to the job switch than geography but I won’t bore you with the details.  It totally worked out.  And that feels pretty fucking awesome. My motto for 2012 was “make it happen” and I sure fucking made it happen!

I got so much satisfaction out of accomplishing that one thing, that it was easy to put together a list for 2013.  It’s maybe not as extensive as 2012, but it’s a list of all the things I want to do, so I figure that’s about right.  I even put together a list for Things to Do:  This Week!.  And I’m happy to say that I’ve accomplished almost half of the things on that list so far, and I still have 2 days left!

Take that, To Do! list!

There ya have it.  Thanks, 2012, for letting me “Make it Happen”.  Welcome, 2013…not only am I going to live, I’m going to SHINE!

**(I have a ridiculous weakness for Lush bath products, as they give me super powers which allows me to pretty much accomplish anything in life, or at least they make me feel that way)