Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Philip's first day of grade one

Today, marks the first day of the school year! Philip's introduction to school was not a positive experience for him last year because he not only had a bad teacher, he also had a class bully. While I was going through the ordeal, I thought Philip was the only kid that had trouble with this particular little boy. After speaking with another parent (whom I ran into at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago) she assured me that several  parents (herself included) had the same concerns I had. I was also reassured by the principal this morning that Philip will be in a new class with different kids. In fact, she even walked him to his class! I called the school later because I was worried and turns out, Philip appeared to be happy in his new class. I used to be an easy going parent but after what happened last year, the school is going to be tired hearing from me! I don't plan on being a helicopter parent but do plan on keeping tabs with the school. I do realize that I could easily put Philip in another school but they did what they could given the time constraints last year (shit hit the fan at the end of the school year) and have been pretty good at dealing with the situation. Besides, he has friends at the school and I don't necessarily want to separate him from them. Knowing that he is happy and is looking forward to seeing his friends tomorrow takes a load off of my mind.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Stuff and things - Philip goes to the dentist


Life has been busy these days but nothing new has been going on. I have been exercising a lot lately and don't really have any outfit posts for the time being. I am going through a stage of "I don't like how I look, take that fucking camera out of my face" in my life.

On the upside, I am getting Philip ready to go back to school.Last year, I scrambled at the last minute to buy school supplies. This year, as soon as I got the list in June, I began shopping around! I was actually finished two weeks ago and everything is labelled! Jay took off last week (and this week) from work. Due to illness, I was only able to take off this week. So far, Jay has managed to get Philip new glasses and a haircut. We took him to his first dental visit today.

Now before any well meaning parents go on to lecture me about how I should have done this sooner, I will not engage in a mommy war. I did what I thought was best for MY kid. Philip is a shy, anxious little boy. I was brought to the dentist at a very young age and it traumatized the shit out of me. I also knew that he wouldn't have been able to sit still long enough for a proper evaluation. Yes, I have health care that covers checks ups but I have to pay for any additional services out of pocket. Last fall, a dentist visited his school and he got a great review.

Now that I explained myself and that we all know why I waited so long and that Philip is an anxious kid, so this morning, I went on Youtube and found tons of children's episodes on the topic. Philip watched a Sesame Street version, a Dudley the dragon cartoon (sponsored by the American Dental Association no less!!!!) and a Berenstain Bear one (he has the book too!)Thanks to my genius idea of watching cartoons on the dentist, Philip knew what to expect and was at ease. This dentist is a referral from my old dentist (who retired and sadly learned he passed away from Alzheimers recently) and she was excellent. This meant going to the "Waste Island" but when it comes to Philip's health and well being, I don't mind going there!

Some people (*cough, cough*- Jay) used to laugh at me because when Philip was a baby and got his first tooth, I used to brush it (without toothpaste) but I like to believe that thanks to my anal persistence, I am very proud to say that Philip has no cavities!

The only concerns I had was whether or not I was brushing in the back well enough. The dentist said that the back teeth have less enamel and more chance of a cavity so to try to be more persistent with that. He grinds his teeth and are pretty worn out. She said she would keep an eye on that. Lastly, he has an adult tooth coming in behind the baby tooth on his bottom front tooth. The dentist said this is normal and wasn't concerned.

They cleaned his teeth and he didn't like the vacuum thingy that sucks up the spit but all in all, he went in like a trooper. He got a prize, a new brush, toothpaste and floss!

Showing off his smile

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's Dangerous To Go Alone

My lovely niece Lori recently went on vacation to Florida and the lucky girl went to Harry Potter world.
Photo taken by Lori

She was so sweet because she not only got to visit Hogwarts, she even brought me a present back from her trip to Universal Studios. She knew I was going to love my Legend of Zelda wallet!

The original Legend Of Zelda on the NES console was the first videogame I ever played and even the recent games hold a special place in my heart.

What I like the most about the wallet is the detachable chain that came with it so I can wear it as purse if I want to. This is perfect for the few times I actually go clubbing! No need to carry my big bulky purse! . Thank you Lori, I love this wallet to death!





With the chain


Monday, August 22, 2016

6 weeks later and 7 pounds lighter

I have been writing a lot about how I am eating healthier and exercising lately. What started this new found lifestyle change was this picture:


I took one look at this photo and thought "holy shit! I got fat"

As much as I wanted to crash diet, I knew that was not the way to go. Not long after this photo was taken, I decided to turn my life around even if it meant doing it one day and one pound at a time.

I exercise between 3 to 6 times a week. I eat healthy meals (home cooked) and I count calories. What works for me is the My Fitness Pal app I have on my phone. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, it is so easy to pick up unhealthy eating habits and it can be challenging to learn how to eat healthy again. In fact, I am back to the same food I used to eat when I had no disposable income and couldn't treat myself to that specialty latté from Starbucks or a meal at a restaurant. I am not the only one benefiting from this. My entire family is!

My big treat after working out is chocolate milk. It replenishes nutrients in my body and it is delicious. I don't drink tons of it because it is high in calories (I actually use a measuring cup and limit myself to one or two cups depending on the workout) but it motivates me to go exercise! In fact, chocolate milk is a favourite as a post workout drink amongst athletes! I don't want to eat actual food after a workout and I think the healthiest choice would be chocolate milk over sugary sports drinks!

It has been about 6 weeks. I lost 7 pounds and even in this short time, I have noticed a huge difference. I have more stamina. I can run up stairs and not get tired anymore. I can actually run longer distances without losing my breath. The important part is that I am taking care of myself because I neglected my health for a couple of months. I went from being happy and confident to looking at myself in the mirror and shaking my head. I am not just doing this for vanity reasons. I am doing this for me because I deserve it! I want to be healthy again. Even when I was a pack a day smoker, I ate better than I did a couple of months ago. I stopped smoking to improve my health. Now it is time to feed my body the food it requires in order to be healthy. Instead of lighting up or eating chocolate when I feel stressed, I go work out.

The photo on the left was taken July 19, 2016   -  The photo on the right was taken August 20, 2016




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shopping ban

My lovely online friend, Ramona from the blog, Just Keep Brains, wrote about a shopping ban that has been going on these days and it peaked my interest. Essentially, we are refraining from shopping for clothes but are resorting to DIY instead. We all know that I am in the process of a lifestyle change and I am working very hard at taking care of myself. Just like Ramona, I also support body positivity but I am not happy with the way I look (notice the lack of outfit posts?) and I am doing this for me. I decided to sign up for the shopping ban myself because I don't see the point in buying new clothes at this point when they might not fit me in a couple of months!

For the record and a little off topic, I do realize I am not a plus size girl and do not wish to market myself as such. I also do realize that "I am not that big" or "there are other people bigger than you" To be honest, I don't care if someone is bigger or smaller than me as long as they are happy in their own skin. I am not going to pretend to be someone I am not or be willing to promote an unhealthy lifestyle - which was something that I was doing.

This shopping ban, for me anyways is for clothes only. I will continue to buy some cosmetics when mine run out. I  can use more accessories and shoes. I also plan on doing some Halloween shopping too since the stores in my area are already putting stuff out but I will NOT buy clothes for the time being. I might DIY but I don't have much time for that these days so I am not going to count my lucky stars on that one.





Monday, August 15, 2016

When am I going to have another kid?.......Don't hold your breath!

Philip is getting older. He will be 6 years old next month and will be starting grade one in a couple of weeks! His summer time workbooks are almost complete . While I originally planned to start the grade 1 stuff this summer, I bit off more than I could chew. We are still reviewing everything he learned in kindergarten because there are so many worksheets in these books! Not bad for a whole whopping $1.25, eh? I motivated Philip by putting stickers  on his worksheet when he did a good job and he wanted to show off how well he can write!



I made him eat his supper and it was something he didn't like.

Philip also has started becoming more and more cheeky. I had to take away certain privileges from him and he has managed to piss me off on several occasions. Jay caught me foaming at the mouth in rage! In fact, I noticed something about myself last week that made me chuckle.

You see, from a very little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. In fact, when I was depressed as a teenager, my therapist told me to find a goal, something I wanted to do one day more than anything in the world. I told her that I wanted to be a mom.

Now that I have been a parent for about 6 years, I can admit that my outlook has changed. My clock started ticking in my early twenties (yes, that early) but I held off. I always envisioned myself with two or three or more children. Last spring, I made a tough decision to not have any more kids due to health reasons and that made me very, very sad. I noticed very recently that my uterus decided to run, not walk, into incoming traffic! Today, the idea of not having anymore children makes me really, really, REALLY happy and let me tell you why.


First example: Two coworkers recently had a baby. They come into the office and I went to see them and see their babies. I thought they were cute. I immediately started acting like a retard in order to make the kid smile. One baby starts to cry because it was hungry or something. The other baby needed a diaper change. My uterus drags me by the ear out of the room!




Second example: I was at the adult swim at my pool. The lifeguards did not allow this family into the pool because they brought their kids.I am thinking: "haha! Good. I came here to get away from mine, I don't want those ones near me!" The little girl started wailing on top of her lungs and in the past, the old me, would have felt bad. This time around, I started thinking "shut the fuck up. Put a muzzle on that thing!"

Final reason - the idea of being responsible for another human life (other than my husband, myself and my son) repulses the shit out me. NO WAY!

I don't regret having Philip. Even when he pisses me off with his cheeky attitude -which I correct but the idea of changing diapers and dealing with that shit all over again, repulses me. I guess all this extra freedom of having an older child has made me realize how precious my me-time really is and how much I didn't have it when he was little. I will never be free and that is OK, I want it to be that way but I like the fact that he is potty trained, he can eat on his own, and for the most part, he can be pretty self-sufficient for his age! Yes, he is still dependant on me and I do know there will be a time I am going to miss this stage just as much as I can miss his babyhood. The fact that he can now leave me the fuck alone for 5 minutes is just icing on the cake!

So Darklings should the urge to have more children ever over take me, rest assured, I am getting another pet. Fuck that shit!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Love your life


This meme, shared on social media gave me an epiphany today. Some of the silly things our friends or family share on social media can be a gentle reminder on how precious some things are. This meme expresses just that.

The last couple of months were hard on me. Philip was bullied at school and we had all sorts of issues after wards. I am proned to anxiety and it went through the roof and as a result, I let my health go. The sky is starting to clear although there are still some storm clouds in the distance, I am now at a place where I am actually happy to be. We all seem to take the good times for granted and concentrate on the bad ones. Why not put at much emphasis on the good ones as well at the bad? I feel confident that the next time my anxiety gets to me, I have better coping mechanisms.

Losing my father at such a young age and with being reminded on Facebook recently that it was the anniversary of one my siblings passing away (who was around my current age at the time of her passing), made me realize just how short and precious life is. My sister passed away in her mid thirties and I was fourteen years old. I remember how I felt at that time. I wanted to act like a big sister to my nephew (who was about 11 or 12) but I just didn't know how so I just kept him company. I still remember seeing her there, laying on a bed in the hospital, in a coma, and it made me sad because she was full of life and had an infectious laugh.  I remember my mom's pain and while I was old enough to understand the severity of the situation, I had no clue on how I could ease everyone's pain. Her passing many me realize just how short life really is.

When I was a teenager and was hospitalized for attempting suicide, I was able to see all the people around me who cared about me and loved me. I was reminded of those who passed on before me and the grief myself and those closest to me felt. When I was released from suicide-watch, I vowed to never make such a foolish attempt ever again. There were still times  after wards that I was tempted to just end it all because I couldn't take being so sad anymore but I always thought of those who I would be leaving behind and I could never fathom the courage to do such a thing to the people I care about. I am glad I didn't commit suicide because today, I am a mom to a wonderful little boy and I want to be around for a very, very long time. In fact, I want to be that crazy little tattooed, Goth lady in a nursing home who pays her family members to sneak in booze for her!

I realized this lesson once again when I came back to goth several years ago. It is nice to be reminded just how beautiful, messy, and short life is. We often live in the shadows and embrace the beauty the darkness has to offer. To me, being goth is finding that beauty, that solace in being surrounded by darkness and finding the light at the end of the tunnel. Without light there can be no darkness.

I urge you Darklings to try something new and to enjoy your life.After all, you only have one life, you might as well make the best of it, right? Grab life by the horns and be ravenous with it.  Most importantly, I wish you the same happiness I found that my little black heart has found in those dark places over the years.

"We're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh" - Doctor Who

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What I have been up to and something to add to my wishlist

I just want to begin by thanking everyone for their private messages, comments, etc this week. I am fine and my family is doing well. I have been very busy with my life. Things at work are very hectic and busy for me because people are on vacation and I am holding fort so to speak. In fact, even before people started going on vacation, things at work got busy. I am always reeling from crisis to crisis like a drunken sailor!

I am also an anxious person who is sometimes prone to depression. For those of you who have read my post about gaining weight and how I vowed I would not crash diet, well that has been going super well. I lost some weight, at a slow steady pace and I am eating better. Just like what I wrote in that post, I am doing this one day at a time, one pound at a time. I wanted to clear that up because I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am happy in my own skin because that is not true.

The funny thing in all of this is that I never ate so much in my life. I am just eating better things! In fact, I have become obsessed with personal fitness and food! I work out at least 5-6 times a week. If I am not at the pool swimming (I even found indoor swimming pools near my house that I can go to when the weather gets cold) I am jogging or walking or doing something active! Obviously, this new found hobby has affected my blogging and my personal life.

Whenever I was stressed or anxious or depressed, I would cocoon myself in front of my computer or TV and would just gorge on junk food. Now, I go out and I work off all that shit and I feel much, much better. In fact, someone can come to my face and tell me to fuck off and I would just smile at them!

So, my apologies for being a little distant with some of my close friends, family and with this blog. It is not because I wasn't thinking about you or that there is something REALLY wrong. I have had a lot of ups and downs this month - which I do not want to get into here but overall, I am happy and things could have been much, much worse. I am just learning to balance being a mom, a blogger, holding down a full-time job, a wife, and getting some much needed Sylvie workout exercising time in there too! It's nice to put myself first and have some me-time. It is amazing what a good workout can do for self-esteem and stress! I am just learning to juggle everything and ask that you be patient with me!

Now, for the addition to my 2016 wish list:  There is an article of clothing that popped up on social media from Necessary Evil that sparked my interest and I think some of you would appreciate. My funds are kinda low at the moment with Philip's birthday approaching AND back to school shopping,I don't really have much disposable income at this time. This is definitely on my radar and I will be buying it sometime in the near future. I don't know if buying this online would be worth it for me (shipping fees, UK conversion rates) but I may try scouring my local goth stores for it.

And if anyone of you buys this before me, just so you know, I will fly down there on my bat wings to steal it from you!
http://blog.katesclothing.co.uk/2016/08/necessary-evils-top-5-alternative-women.html
Yes, this is a replica of Lydia's cape top and I don't just want it.... I need it! My precioussssss!

Take care,

Sylvie


Monday, August 8, 2016

I am still undead.

My apologies for not really posting anything Friday or today!

My real life has intruded upon my blogging. I will be back here on Wednesday.


Stay in the shadows, Darklings!

Sylvie




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Growing up in Montreal in the 90s Gothic style

An old friend of mine (ironically from Highschool) shared a blog post on Facebook titled "Growing Up In Montreal In The Nineties" and I did not relate to this article but was inspired to write  my own from my point of view.

I was born in the suburbs of Montreal called the West-Island. Most people laugh at me for this because it is uncommon for a goth to live there. Think white Anglo Saxon and that pretty much describes the area! I am sure there were a couple of West-Island Goths but I never really stuck around to meet them. I made the most of my situation.At the end of my street, there is a river and I used to go there with some of my local non-goth friends to drink!

I also lived near a train station that took me downtown in 25 minutes. This was much better than spending 90 minutes taking various buses and metro to get there. While I was sometimes at the river boozing away, most of my time was spent downtown.

Living in the West-Island or Waste-Island sucked for me. I was often ridiculed, had things thrown at me, and mocked because of the way I dressed. As a teenager, I used to parade around in this huge black cape that I made for myself. It took me a long time to knit that thing out of wool and  I even made a secret inner pocket that came in handy. I would walk around all summer, in a heat wave no less with the stupid cape on! I remember approaching this one girl on the bus because she appeared to be upset and all of a sudden, she starts exclaiming how happy she was because I was talking to her. Apparently, she used to see me around all the time but never approached me and now she feels like she is so cool because the goth girl is talking with her. I regretted approaching her after that because I felt like this weird, local celebrity or attraction. I never got that kind of attention when I was downtown.





While I was not legally allowed to go to clubs, I still managed to get in, occasionally. That changed when I turned 18. I love it. The legal age here is 18 and I remember counting the months for my birthday. Partying downtown was a huge pain in the ass because the last train leaves the station at 12:25am. I did not want to take the night bus alone and whenever I did miss the last train, I was often left stranded at a shady part of town (Spot Bowling). My parents used to get so mad whenever I would call them collect from a pay phone (no cellphones back then) for a ride home! There was this one time,  I remember getting scared while stranded at a bus stop because this guy was giving me the creeps so I flagged down a cop car. I explained the situation as best as I could and the cops gave me a lift home! You should have seen the look on my parent's faces when they saw me getting out of a cop car that night!

I eventually made friends with people who were much older than I was at that time. These elder goths took me under their proverbial bat wings so to speak and I had a place to stay for the night once the clubs closed at 3:00am. I no longer had to worry about the last train and I was happy to be at a club until closing time! These clubs no longer exist but I used to frequent places called Purple Haze, The Sphinx, Pharaoh's Tomb, and The Vampire Lounge. I went to the Vampire Lounge once then it apparently got caught on fire not long after my visit there. It was rumoured to be owned by the mob!

On Tuesday nights, I would stay up late to listen to a Gothic Radio program called Les Mouches Noires.

I met author Nancy Kilpatrick at a party (I think it was her place) before she wrote the Goth Bible. I was very bouncy and probably annoying back then but despite all that, she was very kind to me. She was very patient with me when I started freaking out because I discovered she was a writer of vampire novels. How cool is that? To this day, I still have an admiration for the woman and we sometimes talk on Facebook. I met her for coffee once. A very nice lady, indeed.

I remember those 99 cent pizza places. I didn't have much money back then but they were really good for a late night snack after a night of partying.

I went to a High School that had a uniform and apparently, the year I left, they changed rules in the agenda because I found loopholes in the rules for dress codes. They added in specifically "no ripped up stockings or fishnets" because of me and a couple of other students.

I went to see Clan Of Xymox play at Foufs back in 1999. It was my first goth concert. I remember Rhea's Obsession opening for them.

Movies like The Crow and The Craft came out and I remember watching them religiously. Shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Charmed played on TV.

There was a magic shoppe called Le Mélange Magique (Magickal Blend) that I used to go all the time. The owner had a bunch of cats in the store and never seemed to mind us loitering there.

I remember shopping at Cruella (closed down several years ago) and Diabolik (still open!) I also remember a huge thrift store called Eva B. I think it is still open but I have not been there in ages. I also remember discovering Rio X20 for Doc Martens.

I hated High School but I did have a lot of fond memories of my youth here in Montreal. I was pretty wild back then but I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!


Ha! I found a videoclip of the Xymox concert, kick ass!


Monday, August 1, 2016

Sylvie's home for little lost goths (lots of pictures)


 If I see you sitting there alone, I will approach you and you don't need to worry because I am just as socially awkward as you are! No Goth left behind!

Saturday, my family and I attended the Goth Picnic here in Montreal. To be honest, I did not know what to expect having not really been part of my local Goth scene for so long. I am quite happy that people were friendly and kind. This is one thing I love where I live: While you may occasionally find an elitist, the majority of the people are super friendly and down to earth.

I was pretty stoked because this was my son, Philip's first Goth event. In all honesty, I was quite happy to give him some exposure to the subculture at such a young age. He thought the people looked really cool and he admired the cyber goths. This is another thing I like about my local scene: you can be Lolita, trad, cyber, Rivithead, punk and no one seems to care. I also thought it was really cool that they had a huge coffin there with badminton gear inside for us to play with.

We had some difficulty finding the place since we got there late but we just looked for the black cloud! I was greeted by an old friend called Hugues that I met when I was a teenager so it was nice to introduce him to my husband and kid. Some of you may know her, she used to blog and goes by the name Sophie, well she stopped by too! It was nice talking with her.




As shy as my family can be, we did approach fellow Goths sitting by themselves and welcomed them to come join us. I met so many nice people that day! I am comfortable talking to one or two people but I can be pretty anxious around crowds of strangers. Despite all that, I felt like I was home amongst the people there!

I apologize I don't have any actual outfit posts. I even brought my parasol for the purpose but my new friend Thalia sure took advantage of the opportunity! It was a busy, very hot and humid day but we had a lot of fun. I look forward to next year's event and if the organizers are reading this, I would like to say thank you...so who's going to come with me next year?
















This adorable baby bat was sitting all alone. So naturally, I took her under my wings! She is 15 years old and her mom is goth. That is pretty cool! I love how the subculture has evolved from when I was a kid!


A view of the Mont-Royal where we were at.
.

 Jay also got some nice shots of me!











A  random photo. We encountered this panda on the walk back to the Metro. I think it is cute.



Really cool video footage of the event.





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