Headshots

This weekend I did my first set of headshots. I am pretty damn proud of them. I don’t think it’s that hard to mess up headshots of people. However, I’m sure it can be done.

I consider myself a Photographer. I don’t do it full time, and I probably never will, but it is a passion of mine. Sometimes, I take photographs for money (what a concept!)

This weekend, Shona was the star.

Shona is wanting to be a stunt woman one day, right Shona? She does some background work right now and I hope one day she gets to break in with the BIG GUYS.

We did the shoot at Granville Island, considering we wanted some really bright backgrounds as well as some industrial backgrounds. Granville Island did not disappoint. Natural light is best!

Successful Friendships

If it’s one thing I learned in life, it’s that you need to surround yourself with good people. Good can mean many things. See below!

Successful – we all want to be successful, right? Well, the first stop is to surround yourself with good and successful people. Not to sponge or steal their ideas, but to surround yourself with

their attitudes. Let me tell you, it is amazing and inspiring.

Positivity – Some people can’t distinguish the difference between being positive and having your ego stroked. People that lift you up (rather than knocking you down) help the psyche more than you could ever imagine.

Talkers – These are the people that let you talk and these are the people that you let talk. Sometimes having a few friends just to ‘talk’ to makes a difference in ones life. Get some, it’s good for your health.

Humorous – I cannot be friends with someone if they can’t crack a joke or a smile. As soon as someone laughs at my joke and I have any sort of interest in them? We’re friends. That’s it, you’re done. Stuck with me forever.

Most of all, what makes a friend a friend is when you don’t see them for months at a time and you pick up where you left off. That to me, is the most important thing. Our lives get busy, but I never forget. And I’ve found that is the same mentality of most people I know.

Today, I just want to shout out to all the lovely people I’m friends with – new and old. I love you all!

Dementia and Bibs with a side of Cherries.

My Grandma has Dementia and has had it as far as we know since 2008, though it probably started forming long before that. She had a car crash in October 2007 and knocked down a few statues downtown Langley. At that time, it was not even a question in our mind.. Until one day she was driving her car (the one I drive now, thank you Granny) and asked me “Which one is brake? Which one is gas?”

She was able to live at home for a while. I helped as much as I could and then when I moved to Vancouver, my Aunt was there all the time. Cooking and bringing her meals and doing every single errand she could to keep my Grandma sustained. We started Homecare for her and then we decided it was time to put her in a retirement home.

Thankfully, I work for a company that owns many of them, and it wasn’t hard to get her in one of our nice facilities.

She moved into Assisted Living in April 2010 and fast forward to last week.. Where she moved into Residential Care. People with Dementia display different types of behaviours. Some are violent, some are distant, some are just plain happy and confused. My Aunt said she kept finding dishes and cutlery in different parts of her suite (she was hoarding them).

I never thought that today I would be visiting my Granny.. and she’d be amongst a bunch of really ‘demented’ people. Literally and figuratively. She herself has it.. but she doesn’t need a walker, a wheelchair, a lift, someone to feed her, etc. She does however have to be changed, just like a baby. I imagine in her mind how demeaning that is, to have someone change your fucking diaper. I mean, shit, I’d die inside a little bit.

She may not be ‘cognitively’ well, but I honestly know what she’s thinking. She can no longer speak English and can barely communicate in Croatian. She walks fine, albeit a little slow, she can feed herself.

The subject comes from the fact that she was wearing a bib. They call them something else, I am sure of it, not a bib, but that is what it was. She was eating canned cherries for dessert after lunch. She used to eat them fresh.

The food in the homes are not that great, there is a lot to be desired and I know this firsthand. If I could change all the crappy stuff they serve them I would. If I could bring her a home cooked meal every day, I WOULD.

As she was finishing her lunch, my Aunt & I went to her room to drop a few things off and I started crying. My poor aunt, not knowing what to do with her crying baby just assured me it would be okay. Though, I know it will be okay, it is just really tough seeing the woman who helped raise me there, in the place. The woman who I spent most of my childhood with, the woman that would beat me with a wooden spoon when I would beat up my brother, the woman that was the strong one in our family, the woman that helped us out when we were in need, the woman that picked me up the day I left my husband.

She is amazing and I want to make sure that every time I visit I remind myself of that. I love her so much that every time I think about canned fucking cherries and adult bibs, I cry.

After my bout of crying today, my Granny walked in, sat down on her bed and looked at me, probably knowing I was crying. She started crying herself. That made me start crying again. She wanted to know when she could go back to the other side.. how do you tell her that is never going to happen?

I have to remember that this is all good for her and she is getting good care, but it just is not where I wanted her to be or see her. Right now, she should be going on a cruise or going to Croatia for months at a time, visiting her family. And that is never ever ever going to ever happen again and it makes me sad for her.

I love you, Baba.

I like to call it ‘Life Experience’.

I love my boyfriends children. They are great. They are fun and full of energy. They love me, I love them.

Veronica had a birthday! 4!

However, this still means I am not their mother or their father. I struggle with this. Do I sit back and watch them do things I know they shouldn’t be doing or do I discipline them? I discipline them. I have back up from their Dad, so that helps. Their Mom also encourages me to find what’s right for me and the children. That’s helpful and I’m thankful that we can all get along in that aspect.

Natalie appreciates sad rainbow cupcake guy.

The weekends though, are feeling longer. The older one is not sleeping well (I assume due to hormones/puberty) and she is feeling more needier. This doesn’t bode well with me as I was an independent child (ask my Mom!) .. I can only comfort her for so long and so much before I lose sight of the problem at hand and before I feel like she is taking advantage of my willingness to help.

Silly Putty wins.

That means that I’m awake, Dad is awake and the kids are awake. Not only going to bed late, but waking up early (630!!!) on the weekends is totally unacceptable to me.

I always try to make them feel special 🙂

Now, people ask me why I don’t want my own kids? Prime example: Babies don’t really let you sleep. I don’t want that life, I don’t covet that life and I never ever wanted to have that life. And I never will.

Being with a m

an who has children that are NOT babies, I thought this would be perfect. Well, I’m learning it’s not all perfect. For one must remember the time when they were children and waking up their parents all the time. Or did they? I’m confused about all of this. Is it normal? Is there anything else I can do to help her?

I love them to death, I would die for them as if they were my own children.. but sometimes it’s so defeating and I feel like I’m failing. Even though I get assurance I am doing the right thing, there has to be more that I can do.

Starting next week, there is no more chances. Sometimes they have a problem with listening and asking them 3 times in a row to do something is maddening. So next week, we’re instilling the ‘no chances’ policy and we’ll see how that works. Yes it sucks, yes they cry, but it’s the only way that I am going to hopefully be able to gain more respect and they will know that I’m serious about everything.

I’m hoping it works. If it doesn’t, I’ll find a new way. And when I say I, I should say ‘we’ because their Dad is with me on this one. I know it’s hard for him, but it’s hard for me too.

It’s very difficult being the girlfriend in a relationship with kids. It’s harder than being a Mother. And I have more respect for people who are in relationships with kids who are not their own, because I’m going through it.

I know it was my choice, and it’s a choice that I’m willing to take a risk at. When you love someone, you love them unconditionally and you also love their children. And if you can’t, then you have a big problem.

Suffice to say, I’m struggling. Some days I don’t struggle at all and then there are days where I don’t know what else to do but cry. Crying is definitely not for babies anymore. Crying is the new black.

No woe is me here, you know? It’s the reality of the situation at hand. I must tell you that therapy has pretty much kept my sane and above water and less destructive.