Tag Archive | Mermaid

What I Learned About Myself in 3 Weeks…

So it is common knowledge that I got a tattoo the week after our 17 year anniversary. What surprised me is what I learned about myself in the three weeks healing time afterwards.

Day 2 and the beginning of the healing process.

Day 2 and the beginning of the healing process.

  1. Well I definitely don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, it is on proud and vibrant display on my left calf. And I hope people ask me about it. As the wife of a man who has been diagnosed not only with severe depression, but also CAPD, I found my symbol in his fight to control and manage his illnesses. The depression is represented by the semi colon or body of my butterfly. A more and more common symbol of depression and mental illness, it is a constant reminder for me of how I will never truly grasp how close I came to losing my husband and love of my life for ever on 2 separate occasions. Had he chosen to end his story instead of continuing on, my life, and the lives of my children would be very different right now. I have often spoken about how I feel the need to be an advocate for mental health awareness. Two helpful links – Project ; and in case you need help in knowing what to say  Make It Ok.org. Maybe one day someone will see my butterfly while I work out, or on a walk… or even peeking out in a fancy dress and ask me and I will have the chance to listen or share. If I can share my story, Ken’s story and help someone find help or become a source of support… icing on the cake. The other half of the butterfly is a wee bit obvious – maple leaf, Canada: you can take the girl out of Canada, but my origins are a massive part of my personality.Project-Semicolon-760x410
  2. Altering my body permanently was neither as earth shattering or life changing as I expected. Granted when I first got it done and posted it up on Facebook my little corner of the world shared its opinion and got excited. Some were impressed, some quick to admit they would never do the same, others wanted explanation of the image and many were surprised. But, the greater world, life in general… a blip on the radar. And you know what? That was more than OK! I love the reminder that some ink on my body was nothing more than a personal choice that I would now live with forever (proudly I might add). What was way more important is that my own children are super proud of their mom! It was an opportunity to remind them of the struggle dad has with his own mental health, and that it is OK to be sad, to need help. But they also need to be aware that mom really wants them to tell her… any time, any place, and if not her any responsible adult. Needles and healing and a choice that is permanent was simply that… a choice I made. Not the end of my life, though Ken was quick to tease me about his tatted up wife and how much of a rebel I was!IMG_20180704_125226_971
  3. Keeping my legs covered for 3 weeks seem to have given me the permission to embrace colour. My sari skirts were a bit of an impulse buy (Ken edit: If you call agonizing over a purchase for 3 weeks an ‘impulse buy’) if a bit difficult to pair up with shirts on hand, but for 3 weeks I have been colorful. Since some of the skirts only matched some crop tops I purchased recently belly baring became commonplace. It is a movement from worrying about fitting in, matching my clothes to my “life” and into comfort and colour and embracing the fact that I love brighter feathers. Plus, they make a lovely swish when I walk and I have always loved swishing and twirling since I was a little girl – why should that change now?20180628_152211
  4. Baths make me calmer and 3 weeks without that has been a bit of a struggle. I am not a girl who loves a hot shower, give me a long soak to relax away the tension and frustration of a long day anytime. The kids also enjoy the respite from mom after lunch when I took my lunch break. Maybe I really am more mermaid at heart than I like to admit? 
  5. That little square of skin is now the softest skin on my entire body, I swear! Lotion lotion lotion. Washing and lotion, no sun and then the itching. No one mentioned how high maintenance this small patch of skin would be, but worth it! Self care is so important, and this was a reminder to me that maybe I need to pay more attention. When you have to alter your life to look after a single body part… like my time spent on what we thought was my hip, but is now believed to be a slightly slipped disk from when I almost fell in the winter. The reality is I am growing older, and in order to do so gracefully and healthily I need to be more aware. Yoga, workouts, long walks, R.I.P.P.E.D. classes at the YMCA… they take on an even greater meaning when looked at from the perspective not of losing weight or strengthening up but of self care. Taking time for a nap without guilt (seriously I have to convince myself, idleness in my mind, becomes laziness or neglect… I have a very hard time just taking a moment and stopping), spending a few extra minutes working on your appearance and standing tall with confidence that you look awesome. I am learning more and more about these moments. I love myself, my insides and outsides, the family I have created, the life style I live. It is flawed and confusing and at times difficult but it is all amazing. The life I live, the appearance I put out there in the world is all proof that I love myself. That I take the time to care for myself and the ones I love. 

    No filter, not needed. Just hard work and comfortable in my own skin!

    No filter, not needed. Just hard work and comfortable in my own skin!

  6. I like feeling a little the rebel. Granted, many see me and my family as a bit more than a “little” rebellious with our large family size and homeschooling, or my lack of ability to drive and my insistence that we celebrate both Canadian and American holidays PLUS Chinese New Year. Ok… so I was already a bit of a rebel, but having a tattoo… that feels like a “cool” rebel. All that other stuff is more necessity or not a choice but a calling. I CHOSE to get a tattoo, I CHOSE the design and then had one of my oldest and dearest friends not only hold my hand through it all, but take pictures AND help with the design. Who else could be so lucky but to have someone who is basically a sister also be an amazing artist who can take my crazy ramblings and make something amazing on paper?? Thanks again Shandai! You ROCK! They say it takes a village to raise a family, well it sometimes takes friends to help create the perfect family unit too. I have been doubly blessed with an amazing community AND friends who are family to round out the flesh and blood relatives we were born with. (Plus Shandai is pretty cool, rebellious and all round awesome herself)

So there you have it, 6 things I learned about myself all from 30 min of tiny needles, ink and the hand of an amazing artist at Rose in No Man’s Land. I can’t say I won’t go back… My butterfly may need something sweet to land on yet. But for now… My heart is out there, open book. Ask me, share your story with me, read my story here (just search the word “depression” in my search box), my heart is open and I have found that sharing is so much more than simply caring. 

All healed up!

All healed up!

Hunting for Dragons at the Science Center

Sometimes you just need the right exhibit to spur you onto getting that long suggested membership. The temporary Mythical Creatures display at the Science Center was the big draw for us, and well worth it.20170223_151713

We actually made an attempt to go the day before only to realize the museum closed early that day. But our second day choice was just perfect. It wasn’t busy, though parking was scarce due to hockey games nearby. We used my homeschool status for a discount and were ready to go and enjoy over an hour of educational fun.20170223_144900

While the mythical creatures were the main draw we did enjoy some of the other permanent displays this visit. We definitely need to come back and see more of those. Thankfully with the membership it is just a matter of choosing a day when Ken can take a half day.20170223_145519

20170223_150651I have a mountain of pictures to share so will do so. Though first – we hadn’t realized you could do this, but the large astronaut in the center of the building allows you to put your face in the helmet! So some of the kids did!20170223_145335

20170223_14522620170223_145129And of course… if there is dinosaurs we MUST examine them closely.20170223_15561120170223_15570320170223_15583720170223_15573220170223_155639

BUT I know you are all waiting for the big draw – sit back and enjoy the mythical (and some not so mythical) creatures! First off… DRAGON!IMG_20170223_164302_881

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And Kraken!IMAG0657

Now all Mermaids were beautiful… though one was.IMG_20170223_164457_065

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And here is the creature some think inspired a lot of these... the manatee.

And here is the creature some think inspired a lot of these… the manatee.

The Unicorn was another favourite.20170223_152455

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Here is Echo with a replica horn. Some felt the narwhal was the inspiration for the unicorn's single horn.

Here is Echo with a replica horn. Some felt the narwhal was the inspiration for the unicorn’s single horn.

And then there were some animals that were actually a REAL thing…IMG_20170223_164524

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Or the confusion that came from finding the remains of something.

This skull confused a lot of people making them think it was from a cyclops... it is actually a pygmy elephant skull!

This skull confused a lot of people making them think it was from a cyclops… it is actually a pygmy elephant skull!

There were multiple types of dragons.

Sir George slaying the dragon.

Sir George slaying the dragon.

But my personal favourite is the Asian dragons.IMG_20170223_165709_568

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But enough of my chatter… enjoy the last few images!IMG_20170223_234926_585

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Roc

Roc

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September Sunshine

Well with sunshine and fun locations comes excessive images… sit back and enjoy the tail end of our summer of 2016 (seriously not the same ring to it as the summer of ’69).DSCN0971

Boys in the basement gaming... like college all over again!

Boys in the basement gaming… like college all over again!

A little bit of workbook fun.

A little bit of workbook fun.

Alien in her cowboy boots.

Alien in her cowboy boots.

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A wizard and his staff.

A wizard and his staff.

Tails!

Tails!

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A princess!

A princess!

Mermaid!

Mermaid!

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Poor Sean!

Poor Sean!

...and back in the basement.

…and back in the basement.

5 year olds want CONES not CUPS!

5 year olds want CONES not CUPS!

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We seriously love this museum! It was hard to weave out images. I hope you are enjoying the excess!DSCN1032

Working as a team... sort of.

Working as a team… sort of.

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Making Uncle Sean work!

Making Uncle Sean work!

My family. A hole is always filled when our Canadian friends who are family anyway visit.

My family. A hole is always filled when our Canadian friends who are family anyway visit.

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We broke him!

We broke him!

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At IKEA

At IKEA

And of course… MORE Wild Kratts.DSCN1147

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Yup, that is my husband on the Schwartz family roof.

Yup, that is my husband on the Schwartz family roof.

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CROCHET

CROCHET

And a selfie to end…IMAG0826