Tag Archives: family

SelfLove365, Year 2, Day 224: Family


When JP and I decided to end our marriage, we forever changed the structure of our family. He is no longer my husband and I am no longer his wife, but our children are still our children, and have become the force that keeps the two of us maintaining some form of familial relationship, albeit an estranged one.

Now that we are separated and our children spend half as much time with me as they did before, I find myself creating a new family structure. The friendships and relationships that were most important to me before our split have become my lifeline. My challenge is to remember that I’m not being “too much” when I ask for support, and to know that I don’t have to go through my rough spots alone. I know my “family” (and my family) is there for me when I need them, and I love and appreciate them for it.

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Having a two year old nephew is great incentive for completing knitting projects! Panda hat for Christmas.. Check!

Time with Children

SelfLove365: Day 194

This morning, I brought my three children to Griffith Woods. My 8-year old son insisted he wasn’t coming, that I am not the boss of him, and as usual, I calmly replied that I am the boss of where he goes, but he is the boss of how he feels about it. I mentioned to him that the last time I was there, I brought my special rock, and set it in front of “my tree“, to gather some energy from the sun and the Earth. This piqued his interest, and he ran to his room to gather his special rocks.

What was supposed to be a 10-minute walk turned into over an hour, with all the children talking eagerly about whether their rocks wanted to be placed in the water, if they wanted to go gather more sun energy, which trees were calling to them, and the best part.. my son insisted that we come back in two days to visit the rock he left behind in the stream, and also, that this was so much fun, Mom!!


Flashback Friday: 1999

I love looking at these photos of the two of us B.C. (before children). They are always a good reminder to have fun, take it easy, and really enjoy each other!

From the CD vault: “Let Forever Be” by the Chemical Brothers. Those of you who have watched (and remember) my favorite movie will no doubt recognize the very Xanadu-esque special effects going on in this video. I’m loving it!

Happy Birthday to my brother James!

He’s always ready to make crazy faces, and makes me laugh like nobody else.

He’s a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and dog-daddy.

Most of all, James is always ready to give me the finger. Even during a nationally televised baseball game.

I love you, James! Hockey Birdie.

I Sewed! (a cloth book for baby)

As soon as I heard the news that my sister-in-law, Emily (who is married to my brother, James), was expecting her first baby, I knew exactly what I was going to do. Knitting was the first thing that popped in my head, but I ruled it out right away, because I knew my mom would knit a blanket. Turns out that my brother Nate, and my daughters, made blankets as well! I decided to make a fabric book with all the members of the baby’s family. I didn’t know how I would do it, I just knew I would figure it out. I had plenty of time, after all.

As is typical for me, I left it, and left it, but I finally got to work as the due date was approaching. I am really happy with how it turned out! (I have bleeped out my nephew’s face, and the kids’ names, for their privacy, and not all the pages are shown.)

To start, I took images of all the people (and dog) and made them black and white, and flipped them horizontally. Then I printed them on t-shirt transfer paper (after testing for size on regular paper). The images were then transferred onto white cotton fabric. The same thing was done for the names of each person.

For each person in the book, I chose fabric that I thought suited their personalities. This started because I saw Elvis fabric one day, and knew I had to get that for my Dad. I cut out each piece of fabric in a square, leaving a good size seam allowance, and allowing extra room for binding the book. After cutting a small square in the center of the page, I placed the face behind it, and sewed it in using a zig-zag stitch. I then sewed on the name of the person. I offset each face to the right, thinking that it would allow for the space needed for binding, but I forgot that not every page would be on the right side! So the faces on the left pages ended up too close to the binding.

Once all the pages were complete, I placed them in order, which is a tricky thing when there are divorced/remarried people that you don’t necessarily want to have back-to-back, or beside each other in a book! It all worked out fine.

I then placed the pages right sides together, and sewed around the edges, leaving a large hole to allow for turning the pages inside-out. I tried it with just a small hole, but I ruined a page doing this – it destroys the image transfer! I had to make sure not to bend the transfers too much. Once the pages were turned right-side out, they were sewn closed.

The pages were all done and then it was time to bind them together.


I spent 2 hours thinking, scouring my brain, swearing, and feeling like crap that I wasn’t going to be able to put this thing together, after all that work. I thought of sewing on the machine (too thick), hand-sewing (way too thick), drilling (what was I thinking??), cutting holes (ack! Fraying ends!). It was this last idea that finally led me to the solution. How can I make holes without them fraying? Buttonholes! SO … I put 4 buttonholes near the edge of each page and bound the pages together using a thick yarn. Yay!

The best part of making this book was seeing the joy on Emily and James’ faces as they looked through it. So happy! Yay!

Dear Puppy.

Dear Puppy,
We are really sad to have to make this decision, but we have decided not to take you home with us. We had so much fun visiting with you last week. Well, most of us did. The trouble is, C was still pretty scared, especially with all the big dogs running around, and so many puppies! Next time, we’ll make sure to go inside with just a few pups, so it won’t be so overwhelming for him. We are going to wait about a year or two. By then, he’ll be older, with more positive dog experiences, and taller, too. Plus, with him just starting grade school, things are stressful enough for him, and we don’t want it to be any harder. Our priority is that he feel safe at home.

O and Z (and mom and dad) are really sad about this. But even though I know there is never a “right” time, this just isn’t the best time. We want to have enough time to devote to training you, and this fall isn’t great for that. So, we hope you find a wonderful family to go home to. It was great to meet you and to imagine playing with you.


Flashback Friday: 1977

My brother James and I with our puppy J.J., back in the day. My brother is wearing some pretty funky pants, and I have on one of my favourite dresses (which are usually worn with turtleneck shirts, right?) Pretty sure my mom made the dress!

From the cassette vault: Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Theme), dedicated to my bro, of course. Sometimes he’ll call me just to throw out some one-liners from the movies (usually IV – my fave). I love that.

First Day! A new beginning.

Remember back in the spring, when my son spent one full day in school and I kind of fell apart? Afterwards, I thought, “Well, at least I’ve gone through the emotion TODAY. Now I am all set for the first day of school!”

I was so wrong (and I kind of knew I would be… it was just wishful thinking).

Waldorf schools do an incredible job of making the first day memorable and tear-inducing for the parents. The kids play outside for the first half hour (or cling to their parents: check!) to allow for quiet in the hallways once they go inside. Then the children follow their teacher around the playground, pick up their backpacks and enter the school, with the parents following close behind. After taking off their outdoor shoes, the children line up behind their (last year’s) kindergarten teacher. One by one, the kindergarten teachers walk the new students up the rose petal path to greet their class one teacher, and shake her hand. Meanwhile, there is sweet guitar music playing and Kleenex being passed around. The parents meet for tea and sweets afterwards. At the end of the day, the children will each be given a paper cone (which we decorated during our meeting last Friday evening) filled with various treats or supplies. I chose lots of pens and paper – he loves trying out new pens!

I think today was especially hard knowing that he’s my last; he’ll no longer be at home during the day to play with, to help me with shopping, to eat lunch with, to paint with. Boo.

Well, on the other hand, now I don’t have to play all day, I can shop on my own, I can eat in silence, and I can let my mind drift while I am painting. Without guilt.

It’s such a mixed bag of feelings!

I hope you had a wonderful first day of school.

I’m back!

After two weeks in Ontario, I am back! I had big plans on continuing with the blogging, but it just didn’t happen. If you want to see the photos I took while on holiday, you can follow me on Instagram: @belindafireman. Two big highlights from the trip:

Watching my brother and sister-in-law open the gift I made for my new nephew (more about the gift in a future post!):

Meeting my nephew! I’m in love! I was a total hog (according to my Dad), and held him tons. I can’t wait to see him again!

Even though I wasn’t there, seeing the photos and hearing my son’s reaction to his first Major League baseball game was a thrill, as well! He didn’t get home until almost midnight, and he was bubbling with energy, sharing every detail. He said that he hoped he could “have a dream about every single thing that happened that day”.