Sunday, February 3, 2008

My interview of Michelle...

At this website there is an experiment where people signed up to interview others that they had not previously met. I loved the idea and signed up. So, I got to interview Michelle from I enjoyed getting to know her and her site. Here is our interview... Her answers are in italics.

1. From your use of the word "mum," are you from England? Where do you live now?

Nope, not from England - from jolly old Canada. We
say 'mum' here so I started writing it because 'mom'
just looks too jarring to me. It doesn't match what I
hear in my head when I'm writing. And well,
rebelliously I suppose, I like drawing the distinction
between Canadian idioms and those of our cousins to
the south who do say 'mom'.

Right now I live in Kelowna, British Columbia, but
originally I'm from Ontario.

2. Who takes all those great pictures of you that are on your blog? I love them. I still get uncomfortable in front of the camera. Your pictures seem to help your readers see the emotions behind your thoughts.

I take all the pictures on my blog, including my own.
I started doing self portraits about a year before I
started this blog and I guess I got kind of addicted.
At first I was really self conscious about it and felt
a little embarrassed, but I couldn't stop taking them.
I've found a lot of inspiration from the Flickr group
"365 Days". I like the idea of documenting without
words. And taking selfies has made me more brave. At
first I would try to find the most attractive picture
of myself and only show those ones. But then I felt
kind of guilty about that because really, it's pretty
one dimensional. So I started to push myself a
little. Also, more recently, all my self portraits
are taken with 'Photo Booth' on my MacBook. I don't
edit them at all. They're a bit more spontaneous, but
like you said, sort of capture what I'm feeling. I
often do take them as I'm writing a post, so there's a
nice correlation there. I'm still uncomfortable when
someone else is taking my picture though.

3. You mentioned in a blog that you need to change the bumper sticker you wear. That's a great description of how we sometimes view ourselves. What do you want to change yours to?

Hmmm, that's a good question! I'm working on that
one. I think I'm still a little raw from having just
realized that I was wearing a bumper sticker that
someone else put on me. And a little remorseful that
it stayed put for so long, defined me so completely
and went virtually undetected for so many years. I
was in fourth grade then and I'm turning 37 this month
so I'm okay with it taking a while for my poor
'bumper' to heal up a bit before I slap a new sticker
on there. I have a feeling though that it's not
going to take too long and that God will be the one
giving me this new definition of self instead of a
bunch of bratty fourth graders.

4. I know you just moved to a new site. I had a really hard time
navigating it, and I know that has been a challenge for you. How are you
dealing with all the work involved in establishing the new blog?

My new site is really picture heavy which seems to be
a problem for some readers (hi Mum!) so the challenge
has been to figure out what to do about that without
losing the new feature that I'm loving so much. At my
old Blogger site I posted pictures really
sporadically, but with this new one I've gotten in the
habit of using a new picture for each post which has
pushed me to keep at my photography. I'm really such
an amateur at it, but I like the challenge of it and
the overall affect on my website. And really, I think
the majority of my frustration comes from the fact
that I'm no computer wizard. Half the time if I
figure out how to do something it's totally dumb-luck.
Getting this site up and running took me way more
time than I anticipated and it's not even done! I've
never bothered to link all my blogroll on my 'about'
page. Plus if I spend a whole day working on my
website (which does happen) I feel guilty that I
haven't done my other job, the mummy one. It's hard
to feel like I can justify working so much on
something that doesn't earn me fame or fortune. I'm
still working on finding a balance between my family
obligations and my creative endeavours, my internal
expectations and the external pressures we all feel to
be some sort of 'supermom'.

Woo, way to take that question way off on a tangent!

5. I related to your post about liking Mondays. What, in a nutshell, is your typical weekday morning routine?

Well, I'm sure it's all that much of a 'routine'.
Coffee is always involved, to be sure, but really we
sort of hang out a lot and don't have much to show for
it at the end of the day sometimes. Lately I've been
trying to spend part of the day schooling my older
son, part of the day doing household chores and part
of the day focused on creating in my studio. That
being said, one of my downfalls as a SAHM is that I
don't thrive on the sort of solitude that comes from
being home with children. It feels more like
isolation most of the time. For some reason though,
I usually get a lot accomplished on Mondays. Laundry
gets caught up, the kitchen gets cleaned, the floors
swept. I always wish that everyday could be as
productive as Mondays, but I haven't been able to
translate that into reality.

6. The picture of the Monkey Cake made me wonder if you make your children's birthday cakes. Do you? If so, could you explain what made you decide to do it and share some of your favorites?

I did make that Monkey Cake. I like making stuff -
cakes included. I fell in love with this cake (it's a
Martha Stewart Kids cake, by the way) and made it for
my son Finn's 3rd birthday. He loved it! And he's
such a monkey that it just seemed fitting. I haven't
made to many other spectacular cakes, although last
year I made Rice Crispie Treat cupcakes and decorated
them with icing and candies. They were a big hit.

7. You have 2 boys, as do I (I'm soon to have 3!). How do you deal with the destruction that comes with two boys?

OH, you are a brave woman! I stopped at two boys
because I wasn't sure that I could handle a third -
boys run in the family! The destruction does make me
weary sometimes. I try really hard to remember that
life is short and that this stage is not a life
sentence. Someday they will grow up and move on (and
hopefully OUT) and I will have a house that stays
clean and intact for longer periods of time. Still I
totally lose it and freak out on them from time to
time which seems make them stop and think for about 3
seconds. I guess I just try to have some perspective
about it and remind myself that a) it's normal for
boys to be like this and b) THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

8. How do you deal with the boys fighting?

Ugh. This drives me crazy! We talk a lot about
showing kindness to each other and respecting one
another but in the end, as my husband says, this IS
what boys do, so it's sort of a fact of life. The
other day Ethan punched Finn in the nose because Finn
was trying to get him to come participate in something
that he wasn't interested in and I have to say, at
least THIS I get. You know? Boys duking it out?
It's the mean stuff they say to each other that bugs
me so much more. Separating their bedrooms has helped
- Ethan moved into a new room in the newly renovated
part of our house this past summer - so at least now I
can send them to their rooms. It's not much, but it

9. What are your children's sleeping arrangements? I tried to get my boys
in the same room to prepare for the new baby, and my oldest said "this is
not working." Do you have any suggestions?

The boys shared a room from the time that we moved
into this house 5 years ago until this past summer.
For the first few years it wasn't much of a problem
because Finn was a baby and would sleep so soundly
that it didn't disrupt Ethan's routines (of which
there are many because of his Sensory Processing
Disorder). But as Finn got bigger we had to change
things a bit. The last year and a half of them
sharing a room we would put Finn to bed and then put
Ethan in our bed to read for a while until Finn fell
asleep. It worked out, but it wasn't perfect. I
think one of the hardest thing about having two
completely opposite boys is to have them share a room.
Still we made it work for 5 years. I kind of always
thought, before I had kids, that you figured out your
parenting style and what worked and then just stuck
too it, but now I realize that parenting is a constant
battle to stay one step ahead of the game, and the
rules are always changing.

10. Finally, what should we know about you that I didn't ask?

Ha! That I'm slightly neurotic (see February 1st
post) and probably a little too self analyzing. That
I value honestly and the true beauty that it reveals.
That I am blessed to have a truly amazing partner in
life who has stuck close by me for 16 years. That
anything in life that is truly worth having requires
work and I've learned that one hands on.


Curiosity Killer said...

Great interview, ladies! Wow, i admire you both for being moms of boys and still remain creative and positive. Go girls!

Coffee Lover said...

Great interview! Be sure to post her interview of you when she does it!! :)