Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The P word

It's almost been a year since I've been pregnant. I look at Sadie now, with her chunky thighs, determined personality and that sizable noggin, and I wonder how on earth she was ever a physically internal part of my body. 

I've been reading a lot of pregnancy-related blog posts recently, mostly by chance, and it's got me thinking about the "next time". We're not quite ready yet, but I am looking forward to another baby sometime in the not so distant future. Gabrielle, of DesignMom, is expecting her sixth child! And though I jumped on the Pacing the Panic Room bandwagon kind of late, I love this dad's weekly account of his wife's pregnancy. Andrea, aka Mama in the City writes a great blog about her life as mom to one-year-old Ben in Vancouver.

I was also reminded of my pregnancy with Sadie when last week I had to answer questions regarding my medical history over the phone to a mortgage insurance company. It was a long series of questions that I had to answer truthfully in order to be eligible for coverage and included typical questions like "do you drink alcohol, and if so, how many drinks per week?" and "have you ever had treatment for......" blah blah blah. So I'm sitting there, as a completely healthy (well, Swine flu aside) and mobile 28-year-old, answering no to most every question when she asks "has your weight fluctuated substantially in the past 12 months?" Well, yes. Because I grew another human inside my body last year and that has this funny way of causing a person to pack on the pounds. 

And then she asks: "Have you ever been told you have high blood pressure?" Well, yes. When I was eight months pregnant I was put on bed rest as doctors monitored me for symptoms of pre-eclampsia. But it was an entirely pregnancy-related condition that has since been fully cured.

And then she asks: "In the past 12 months, have you suffered from back pain?" Woman. Did you hear what I just told you? I just told you I was pregnant last year.

"Did you receive treatment for said back pain?" Do a couple pre-natal massages count?

"Well, you have not been automatically approved for insurance coverage. I'll have the medical team assess your answers and we should get back to you in a few days."

So today I received a letter in the mail stating that I am "not approved for disability insurance as assessed by medical team". Exsqueeze me? Wha?

I called to inquire as to why this was the case.

PEOPLE. Because I had a sore back when I was NINE MONTHS PREGNANT I am not approved for disability insurance. Which means, if I were to injure my spine, back, or neck in some kind of accident, or have some type of neurological disorder involving the spinal cord, I would be outta luck, again, because I had a sore back when I was NINE MONTHS PREGNANT. 

Clearly, CLEARLY, their policies were written by a person who has never carried a child or lived with anyone who has carried a child. 

I outright laughed when the woman on the phone told me that this was the reason. She suggested I reapply for insurance when the condition has corrected itself. To which I said: "The condition corrected itself 11 months ago when I became un-pregnant. We applied for this insurance 2 weeks ago."

The moral of this story - either accept that pregnancy makes you a waddling liability, or be selective with what information you choose to disclose to insurance companies about your medical history!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's a bird, it's a plane......

....it's a Wheelybug!!!

How cute is Sadie's new ride-on? It was a gift from her grandparents!
Also available as a ladybug, mouse, and cow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pleased to make your acquaintance...

Meet Liam, Lou Lou, Milly, Avril and Daria.

Daria, Milly and Avril are already available in the shop, and the others will be joining them shortly.

What a week it's been. I've been sick with the flu and being sick with the flu is quite an inconvenience when you have an eleven-month-old. Luckily I received a lot of help from my husband and my parents! Also, we're moving in a week so attempting to pack up the bits and pieces of our lives is also proving to be a little chaotic. And somehow, these little rabbits keep multiplying....

I would be so delighted if you would take a moment to tell me which of the above creatures is your favourite! 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dancing Bear for Sunday's end

I quite adore this Dancing Bear print by Emily Martin, a.k.a. The Black Apple.
Her talents and imagination are limitless. Just thought I'd share it this Sunday eve.

Sale today in the Shop!

Hi everyone! Today is my 28th birthday so for one day only I am offering free shipping on any purchase from my Etsy Shop
My other plans for the day include breakfast in bed, a facial and pedicure at the spa, much sewing, and supper with my family. We were originally supposed to be spending the weekend in Tofino, but there was a flu outbreak up there so our trip was canceled. Turns out, I caught one anyway, but thank goodness I'm feeling better in time for some birthday cake!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What is your favorite thing about the Fall?

Jewel tones: all things Emerald, Ruby and Aubergine........

More Fall Faves:

1. boots
2. warm drinks like London Fogs 
3. watching movies on rainy afternoons
4. sweaters 
5. pumpkins
6. spooks and ghostly tales

What else?........

Wake-up : Cheerios : Melt-down

EDIT: hmm....do you think these two are related?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hall of Fame

Last week I mentioned I was going to start collecting photos of Koo & Poppet animals in their new homes. Here are the first few honorary members of Klub Koo (including some BIG kids)! Please keep these photos coming, I love getting them! I have a few orders going international this week so I'm excited to see pictures from far off places.

How far did YOUR Koo & Poppet travel?

(check the sidebar further down the page for new klub members)

Happy Maia with her namesake bunny

Ana Sofia in action with "Izzy"

Sadie with "Benedict" the Spook

"Lewis" snuggling Amir-Ali

Echo making acquaintance with "Echito Pepito"

Amie and her birthday "Chanchita"

Ivan napping with "Nilly"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Milly Among Bunnies

Little Mill has been chosen for a Treasury this week as well! Thank you to funkisockmunki for featuring her in this exclusive cute bunny club.

Wall Clock

Scott and I have recently bought our first house so I've been more than a little excited lately to start the design process. I plan to do a "before and after" feature here on this blog eventually, but it will definitely take awhile to do all the things we want to do. Currently, the house is what some would call hideous. Ha! But there is a ton of space and definite potential for some interesting architectural features inside and out. We move on October 4th, and in the meantime I'm busy bookmarking furniture sites and earmarking pages of Dwell for future inspiration. I love this feature wall clock I spied over at MadeByGirl, and I especially love the paint colour on the wall itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maud Lewis

There are two particular odd bunnies in the Koo & Poppet collection, one named Maud and one named Lewis. I was trying to figure out why that name pairing sounded so familiar to me and then I remembered Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis. When I was living in Halifax during my university days, I saw some of her paintings at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. This example of Canadian Maritime culture makes me feel so lucky to have spent time living there. I love the simplicity of the forms and the trueness of the colours, which is just like the East coast. Her life was even more extraordinary, read a bit about it here.
This was Maud Lewis's mini house in Digby, Nova Scotia:

The Circus Comes to Town

Allow me to preface this story. 

One year ago today, my checklist for leaving the house was essentially simple:

-cell phone

not to mention, when I left the house, I left with hair done and make-up applied.

Today, not only has the list grown, but it must also be completed in phases:

-diaper bag
-lolly, lolly, lolly!! almost forgot the lolly!! (aka pacifier)

-plastic bags

-cell phone

(and the extent of my beauty routine is deodorant and toothpaste)

Not to mention that if we're traveling by car, it means making more than one trip to load everything. And figuring out the best sequence of getting things there is kind of like solving that riddle about the fox and chicken and the bag of corn. You know, the farmer has to get all three across the river in a boat, but he can only take two at a time. And if he leaves the corn alone with the chicken, the chicken will eat the corn. And if he leaves the fox alone with the chicken, the fox will eat the chicken. And if I leave the whippet alone with the car, the whippet will eat the car. And if I leave the whippet alone with the baby, the baby will eat the whippet. 

And this, my friends, might all be just for a trip to the grocery store. 

So imagine when we go to Vancouver for a day. Just a day - 7am to 7pm, with no hotel room and therefore no place to set up camp, or should I say, THE BIG TOP.

This particular day began with catching the 7:00 ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver. Scott took Sadie up to the passenger deck while I stayed in the car and stitched up the Koo & Poppet animals I hadn't had a chance to finish the night before, which were to be delivered to another store in Vancouver that day. 
The ferry docks, and we're on our way into Vancouver. I drop Scott off at his Vancouver office and we're on our own. And I have to pee. Hmm. I have to pee, and I've got a baby and a dog. And I have to meet my friend on Main Street in an hour. Thought process: Yaletown....park?.....coffee shop?.....mall?......grocery store?...yes, grocery store. I can get Sadie some food there too......what about the whippet? does she need to pee? probably. we'll deal with her later.......will i take the stroller into the grocery store? I'll have to. How else will I pee?......

So we wound up at Urban Fare's underground parkade in Yaletown. I left the dog in the car and put Sadie in the stroller and we entered the grocery store. At which point I nearly broke my leg when my heel slipped on that DAMN SLIPPERY FLOOR! Vancouverites, do you hear me?! The floor in Urban Fare is a death trap! 
Anyway, we finished up our business there and drove over the Cambie bridge towards Main. I found an unmetered, shady parking spot on a side street and felt like I'd won the lottery. I was a little early so with Sadie jostled into her carrier on my front, I attempted to take the whippet around the block hoping she'd take care of her business. Attempted being the operative word. We had only had her for three days at this point and she had not really gotten used to walking on a leash yet. Or cars. Or grass. Or noises. Or air. And since it's late August, the wasps are just brutal. And soooo lazy. They swarm around at half speed and it's like they've somehow doubled their body weight. At this moment in time I'm a Whippet-walking, wasp-whacking, wailing infant-wearing woman. 

ANYWAY, I won't bore you with all the details of the rest of this crazy day....I'm sure it's easy to imagine - backseat bottle-feeding, drive-thrus, traffic jams, crying, crying while in traffic jams (those are fun) and NOWHERE TO GO. 

But I have to highlight one final event. I had an appointment at a bank on Granville Street at 3 pm. And yes, maybe it's not so smart to make an appointment at a bank while caring for a baby and a dog, but you see, I had no other choice. We were only in Vancouver for one day and the banking business I had to do needed to be done that week at that particular branch. So. I left the dog in the car, windows cracked, and took a very tired (and WET) Sadie into the bank. I found the office of the woman I was meeting with and sat down a little out of breathe. 

"Do you have a bathroom I could quickly change my daughter in?"

"Uhhh....no...um, not really....we don't really have a.....a thing....."

"Okay," I said, and scanned the room. "Well then do you mind if I quickly change her in the corner on the floor here?"

Some of you may think this is an inappropriate request to make of a professional at a financial institution. And you may be right. But is it any less appropriate than conducting a meeting with a screaming baby wearing a full diaper? Not to mention, she wasn't much of a professional. And clearly did NOT have children herself and my guess is that she had never even been around children before or even people who have children. She made me feel like a total sideshow and even said at one point "this is your first baby" in a tone that was more statement than question. 

She agreed to the impromptu diaper change (or at least, she didn't disagree), but I think she was shocked and disgusted that there might be some "uncontained" baby poo within a five foot radius of her desk. The rest of the meeting was a flurry of signing documents while trying to prevent the entire contents of the diaper bag from being emptied onto the floor, item by item. 

I left the bank feeling like a total failure. A failure as mother for letting my daughter go so long with a wet diaper and putting her through this day altogether, and a failure as a self-respecting adult for losing any grip I had on "put-togetherness." The jig is up.

So I did what any person would do with her last shred of sanity. I be-lined for Stanley Park. We needed some shade, we needed some playtime, we needed some SPACE. I parked the car, freed Sadie from the prison of her 5-point harness, leashed the dog, and then, for a few teetering minutes on the Precipice of Composure, I lost the car keys. There was a lot of nostril exhaling going on and some salty burning under my eyes. Fine. FINE. I will just call Scott and tell him I can't pick him up from work. He will have to taxi to the park and find his stranded family. Then a tourist approached us and asked me whether or not I feed my dog, why is she so skinny? SERENITY NOW!!!!! 

Car keys were then found in a most peculiar spot - behind the headrest of the backseat, how they got there I have no memory of. And all was well. I picked up Scott and we sailed back to the island, where things are peaceful and calm. I nearly cracked this day, but as they say in the circus, the show must go on. And I've got the cutest little dancing bear cub there is.

For reasons unrelated to the aforementioned circus acts, I've decided that when we have another baby I want to design him or her a carnival-themed nursery with lots of grays and yellows. Since I don't have any relevant images for the story in this post, I've included some images that I'll use for inspiration when the nesting instinct kicks in again....

Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fredrick in a Foxy Treasury

Little Fred has been featured in another treasury on Etsy!
The items in this one were collected by Roxana.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My life as Ring Master of a traveling circus

Ran Away from the Circus by whiteowlpictures

 I would like to take this opportunity to tell a few tales of adventure that have occurred over the last few weeks. Not "Raiders of the Lost Ark" type adventure, more "Adventures in Babysitting" adventure. 

The first involves our new dog, Coco, who came dangerously close to being our "old dog" Coco. We had had her for one week when I took her for a walk around our neighbourhood. I had planned on getting her a dog license that very day, but thought that surely there was no real rush. Mistake number one.

I turned on to a side street (Sadie was in the Ergo baby carrier on my front), and what pulls over on the street but the big white van marked ANIMAL CONTROL. I'd seen this officer in action before - he's a burly French Canadian with a penchant for buggery (always wanted to use that Dr. Evil line). Well, not really - he's tough but fair, and once I explained to him that we'd only just got her and yes, I was on my way to get a license, he let me off with a warning, but wrote me up just the same. 
So on we went, next to the pet store where I ordered Coco a name tag with our phone number on it and also fitted her for a harness, thinking this might be a little more secure then just a collar. Mistake number two. 

We began to head home, but I started to think I might like a coffee. Do I or don't I? I thought. Mmmm, nah. Wait, maybe. Okay, yes. Mistake number three.

I turned in the direction of Starbucks. 

For the first time I found myself in a situation where I needed to tie Coco up somewhere and leave her out of sight briefly. Which I did. And uh, yeah, that'll be big MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR.

As I was ordering my coffee, someone pounced on me from behind. It turned out to be one of my oldest friends, Nicole, whom I had just been with earlier that day. We laughed at the coincidence and planned to sit down together. "I'm just going to go check on Coco" I said.
Next thing I know, a frantic girl is bursting through the doors of Starbucks going WHO OWNS A WHITE DOG?! IT JUST BOLTED DOWN FORT STREET! 

People. Fort Street in Victoria is the Toronto equivalent of, oh, say Queen. The Vancouver equivalent of West Fourth, the San Francisco equivalent of Powell (minus the cable cars). Point being, it's busy. And it is one thing if a Golden Retriever gets loose and heads up the street. It is another thing entirely if a young, terrified Whippet gets loose and takes off like a bat out of hell. 
My heart sank instantly. I was sure she was a goner, she had no identification on her. Goose: cooked.

The following 10 minutes or so is pretty blurry. By some grace of God Nicole was with me, delegating search parties and declaring an ALL POINTS BULLETIN. Witnesses said Coco scrambled out of her harness and was acting erratically. There were reports of a shady character possibly letting her loose (this of course was a rumor - the fact of the matter is that she was one crazed Whippet.)
My husband left work and joined the search. Two other friends jumped in their cars and began searching for a needle in a haystack. At one point the three vehicles all converged at one intersection. 

I was devastated. I couldn't believe I'd just lost my dog after one week. I'll never get another pet again, I vowed. I imagined her getting hit by a car or worse, going into hiding and spending the next few nights cold and shivering, eventually starving to death or being eaten by some animal braver than she, like a German Shepard or a cat. 
As fate would have it, I found myself dialing the number of the burly French Canadian Animal Control Officer who had stopped my not 40 minutes earlier. I also called the SPCA in the event that someone picked her up and recognized she was someone's pet and turned her in. Then I walked home retracing my steps, hoping for an Incredible Journey miracle. I ran into my dad along the way who was also driving the streets, searching.

As I approached a park near our house, I saw a man with a spindly white dog in the distance. Gasp! Coco? COCO!!!! I began running toward them, a sleeping Sadie bouncing up and down in her carrier. COCO??!!? No. A white greyhound. Defeat. And then "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?" two little girls on their bikes witnessing a crazy person. 
FYI, thank goodness Sadie was a little angel through all of this and remained asleep. In all the chaos, if she had woken up and started crying in the carrier, I think I would have laid down on the sidewalk and asked Nicole to please ADMIT ME. 

So anyway, I turned on to our street and in the distance saw Nicole, who had since gone home to change out of her heels and into some athletic gear appropriate for lost-dog searching. God love her. She began running toward me. THEY'VE GOT HER, THEY'VE GOT HER.
"ALIVE???" I asked.
That very same Animal Control Officer had picked her up and taken her to the pound. The rest of the story needs no telling, she is now safe and sound back home with us, no worse the wear. Coco, we're so glad you're still with us. 

The second adventure story will have to wait, as this entry has proven long. But reserve your seats, ladies and gentlemen, the Circus is coming to town.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Klub Koo

Calling all moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and friends of little folk who have a Koo & Poppet original:

:: Send me your photos please! ::

You are invited to join Klub Koo, and membership is simple: just a photo of your little one with his or her K&P is all I need. I am going to start a gallery of images on my blog and on Flickr, and your submission will also earn you 50% off your next Koo & Poppet order. 

you can send your photos to sarah.macneill@yahoo.com