Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blowout Book Launch

Well, today I had the great fortune to launch our new book - Tooter's Stinky Wish, written by Brian Cretney and published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside. Not only did Brian pull together the whole team for this, but put on a great show to a packed house. Our Editor, Christie Harkin was there, and our Fab designer Kerry Plumley, AND our publicist - Cheryl Chen. We had a packed house - opening with the Smudge Fundaes and wrapping up with "Scooter" the stinkless skunk. The kids loved it. The adults did too. The admiration and love this community (Ste Catharine's) has for teacher/writer/illustrator Brian Cretney was palpable and amazing. This guy has obviously touched a lot of people in his not-too-long, but not-too-short career as a teacher. I can see why - he has a lovely wife and 4 beautiful kids, great parents - and is a very, very nice guy.

It is funny the way the world works. I met Brian at a conference two years ago - and now we have a book together - but those two bits are completely unrelated... We had a blast, and my wrist got VERY sore signing I am sure at least 100 books. Every book launch after this one is going to pale in comparison.

I also got to see two long-ago friends from planting - before we ever had kids/careers, or generally any idea where or who we were in life. I ran into a pal at the Butterfly Conservatory who came with her kids, our best buds made the journey with us for the weekend - puddles and all - and my mom and aunt made the journey from Lindsay....

Pictures to follow, but now I must finish my wine and enjoy the quiet now that the KOA Kareoke has ceased... tomorrow we hop on the maid of the mist then sail home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby steps and BIG inspiration

On Saturday, our friend Trina asked if we would come and cheer her on for her 5km run. Of course we would (with signs too - that's me on the right with two heads). I have been on the cusp of a lifestyle change for awhile now, but let me tell you... watching Trina, who I know has worked so hard over this last year run the 5 km was inspiring (and so were the other women I know from all sorts of other places) - so, tonight I joined her at Boot Camp where I worked harder than I have in a long time. I have always considered myself a fit person - always being the me before children. I, like many other moms just forgot about me, and what I need to feel good. No more. I pledge, to take the time I need to be ME. I am sore all over, but I feel wonderful. I feel like I am on the way to myself again. So, I thank you Trina, and my sister... for inspiring me to feel good again.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On Mother's Day

I know nobody is perfect, but we all do our best don't we? Sometimes our best is extraordinary and noteworthy, and sometimes our best is managing to get everyone fed and that is it. Our Mothers, I think, are not truly appreciated until we ourselves have children. Kids don't notice that you give them the best berries from the basket, or the last bit of milk, or that the last sip from the water bottle when you are out. They don't know how sometimes it is hard to pay for a great daycare, though you manage - somehow. It is just not in them. They are, for the most part - ungrateful - and that is ok, cause if they were cognizant of all that mom does on a minute to minute basis they would all need therapy by age 5. So, I guess you just don't know till you are a mom yourself.

So on Mother's day I have a lot of mother's to think about.

My mom: is awesome. At 18 she decided that she could do it. That she could be a mother - and a great one. She made a home for us, that was filled with love, adventure and fun. We were always making things, playing outside, dreaming. She inspires me daily, and I strive to be like her - with my own kids.

She always made us the best halloween costumes, and encouraged us to build gnome homes in the snow. She also indulged our fashion sense and made us the formal dresses and fancy attire we desired. She also made us cabbage patch dolls, because the real ones were too expensive. We were ungrateful wretches! I look at that now and see all the time she put into those and it makes me weep.

My mom has taught me a lot of things, like drawing the sparkle in an eye, how to make french toast, the basics of sewing. She also taught me how to look at people, and that everyone is equal. She is a light, and everyone she knows sees it. When I visit her at work - I know. She is an easy person to love.

She made my world (with my dad of course) and it seemed easy - though I am sure it wasn't always.

My Auntie Cie. I remember snuggling with, and swinging in her colourful skirts. She always has a whimsy about her. She collect(ed) music boxes and trinkets, and always had candy on the table in a pot. I never felt unwelcome in her home. She was my go to - when I needed another place to go. She has always been there for me, and I have been happy to stand in as an honorary kid.

Oma, the grand Matriarch of our family - the glue - the amazing glue. I hope to have 1/2 the strength this woman possesses. She is full of stories, and love and yummy, yummy baking. A sounding board for all the grandkids, another place to be when others may be too prickly. Another door always open with a cup of tea.

All the women in my family (there a lot of us). You are beautiful and strong. And I like that I like you not just cause we are family. This journey of motherhood has been shared by several of us now, and I am amazed at how easily it comes to you all, and glad.

My mother-in-law, who is lovable, quirky and funny, and did her very best with almost nothing with two very busy boys. By herself. That is admirable, and I can't even imagine. I often think about her on the nights when Shawn is out and I am putting both the kids to bed. Single parents - my hats off to you!

My friends. Those whom I was really young with and still hold dear, some mothers, some aunties. You know who you are. You make me laugh. You know that even if we don't talk for months that I still love you and I know it is true of you also. You have been there through heartbreak and joy, through tragedy and birth. Who would I be without you? You all inspire me to continue to be who I was even though sometimes that seems so long ago.

my NEW gal pals. Those wonderful women I have met in the past 6 years. You are my strength, my crafty friends, my shoulders - and I would do anything for you - and you me.

For these women, and so many others. I am blessed.

On the days, when I have heard the word MOM 5,974 times at varying decibles and I am really about to flip my lid, instead, I will be thankful that I am what I have always wanted to be, a mom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Done like... the DINOSAURS!

I have had a rip roaring good time illustrating this book - Don't Invite Dinosaurs to Dinner -  it is the most art in the shortest amount of time I have ever done (my own fault) I promised I could. This one is written by Neil Griffiths and will be published by Red Robin Books this fall. Here are some images!