25 Jun 2015

Your Questions Answered: Part 1

Thank you everyone for taking the time to ask me questions. I really enjoyed reading your comments, feedback and questions. Today I want to answer few

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Annabelle @littlewrittenwords requested "I would love to know more about your novel, and I would love to read your poetry."

So my novel has been my baby for so long.
There have been times I just felt so scared to talk about it to anyone. Then we moved here and started to work with some amazingly talented writers in residence at our local library. I had the characters in mind but didn't know their lives enough but with practice I just allowed them to talk for themselves and then the story took form about three years ago. Finally after countless editing, rewriting and rewriting, I sent it to an editor to get it into a good shape - English wise. I've always loved the idea of self-publishing so as I was considering that I also considered finding an agent for it so I sent it to some agents. I had a good response but nothing concrete, so due to time and pressing desire to write more of the stories that are running in my mind I opted to self-publish. I'm getting the final-final edit with another writer and with all my heart I want to launch it in September.

This is the current synopsis, I hope that through this little blurb you like it because I do like it a lot

Regarding poetry. I haven't written political poems in a long time. I used to write the a lot but since motherhood embraced me I've been a bit on the soppy side, so I write poems that explore the beauty and tribulation of motherhood. The following poem won me a prize back in day, it's still one of my pre-motherhood favourite poem.

24 Jun 2015

Tuesday Travel: One Sunday In Sirmione April 2005

***REPOST***

I was browsing my photo albums and some pictures took me back in time. This made me want to share something very special with my readers. Our April 2005 two days honeymoon in Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy - we also had a wedding in the July as well. I have to put together some posts and tell you about my two special wedding in 2005. I am working on it but for now enjoy these few pictures of Sirmione through my camera.

We were young, happy and free.
The future was all jolly and no fear.
I am feeling like that about our adventure in Canada.

We've come so, but we have more years to go if God bless us with life and health :)! Now, as many of you know, our prayers are for increasing our family in Canada :). We are happy and we are looking forward for more happy days to come, days that we will cuddle and give kisses to our cute babies :)!

I feel serene today.

Have a great Sunday

Unknown Mami

17 Jun 2015

Questions Anyone?

It's been a while since I did my last Q&A, so I thought why not do another Q&A which I love so much because it gives me something to write about that may be of interest or helpful to you.
Then again, you might not ask anything because I'm sure nobody is reading this blog and I'll be a little SAD.
But I'm hopeful so I'm saying, you can ask me about anything: nearly everything about photography? life in Saskatchewan? when will my novel come out? can we collaborate? more memories in Ghana, Italy or Britain? how is marriage life after having two kids? How is family life as a family of four? – the dirty laundries? my favourite food? musician? books?, my writing journey {post one of my poems?}, … anything you fancy.

Really, you can just ask me pretty much anything you feel like asking :).

16 Jun 2015

Tuesday Travel: Tourists In Love - International Love Story



This is the first post starts a summer series, sharing travel stories on Tuesdays {Tuesday Travels, if you would like to be feature please email me msbabyplan @ gmail.com}. 

Today's guest post story reminds me of my love story with AMI so much, we had to live a part for four years and I had to travel on a tourist visa for so long and sometimes I was worried I wouldn't get in time, but everything was fine in end.


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Planning a trip abroad can be exciting especially if you’re traveling with a tourist visa. The possibilities for what you’ll see and whom you’ll meet are absolutely endless. It is more common than you would think to travel as a tourist and end up finding love Internationally. Of course the long distance aspect after your tourist visa expires may make things complicated, but for those who are able to overcome the odds, it is a beautiful beginning for any love story.

Four years ago I was working at a summer camp in the States where I met a Northern Irish boy who came to work through Camp America. We grew close that summer and became close friends. At the end of the summer, he returned home to Belfast and I returned to my college life in Pittsburgh. A year passed and before I knew it, I was back working at that same camp the following summer. I was reunited with the boy from Belfast, and our friendship evolved into a whirlwind romance that summer. We bonded over travel stories, music, our passions and what our plans were for the future.


As that second summer came to an end, we began to panic. His visa would allow him to stay in the States for a few weeks after camp ended, but after that, he would have to return home. We made a plan that I would fly out to Belfast in November to visit him and see where things could go. His last weeks in the states were tough, as we knew that we’d have to do at least three months of long distance before I made the trip to the UK to see him again.

After we said our goodbyes and he headed back to his life abroad, we began to think of ways to possibly make the relationship last. I found out that my college in Pittsburgh had a semester abroad program with his University in Belfast and so the obvious choice to me was to apply to move abroad for six months and be with him. I completed the study abroad application and a few weeks later, found out that I was accepted to study in Belfast. We were both ecstatic at first! We went from zero to sixty with our relationship and it caught a lot of our friends and family off guard. The trip in November to Belfast was time spent checking out the university, getting to know my way around the city, meeting his family and his friends.




In January when I went back to Belfast to study, I got a tourist visa stamp in my passport at the airport and I thought that the six months that I had in the UK would drag on. However, six months I learned, is a very short amount of time. I was living with my then boyfriend and although things started off beautifully, they quickly became rocky. There were three main things I learned during that six-month period abroad; I may not have been in love with the person, just in love with the idea of a new, exciting relationship which kept me so attached, the two of us never fully understood each other due to cultural differences and finally, the set end date to our romance based on my tourist visa put a lot of pressure on our already fragile relationship.

In the end, ours was not an everlasting story of love, but it was a great learning experience for the both of us. I experienced life in a new country, I learned about a culture very different from my own, and I used the time left on my visa wisely by traveling as much as possible.

Specific to the UK, the tourist or visitor visa is valid for up to a six-month period and should be applied for at least three months prior to the intended dates of travel. While holding a tourist visa, it is important to remember that there are some restrictions surrounding what you can and cannot do. Many travelers who meet their significant other abroad figure that they can get married to their partner while on their tourist visa in the hopes of being able to stay together permanently. Unfortunately, the UK government does not allow for tourist visa holders to get engaged, marry, or enter in a civil partnership while having a visitor visa. By taking some of these drastic routes, this may prevent you from future travel in the country you hold your visa in.

15 Jun 2015

24/52



A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015
TOI: yep, this little guy is very keen in learning how to cycle. He climb and get off with ease but can't pedal.
AOI and TOI: patiently waiting for daddy to finish mowing the lawn. 
AOI: this is her put on sad face, just a second before she was smiling, because I wanted to do document how she got swollen eye the day after she bumped her eye into the steps that lead to the slide.


12 Jun 2015

23/52


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015
AOI and TOI: like in every relationship, sometimes they want their own space but they still play along each other
AOI: she's very nice, when she's not tired or wants to eat, but she was extra lovely this week. She didn't mind having ask her to stay in one place for a pose but I got this shot whilst she was being a little girl and having fun even though her big toe was hurting a little due to a wart.
TOI: he likes to be helpful, but sometimes the help turns into extra work.  


Linking up with Jodi

11 Jun 2015

Wednesday

I wrote this on Thursday morning in relation to what happened on Wednesday. It's 11:49pm as I review this and my little girl's eye is feeling better and she was bubbly as her normal self. I don't feel so much as a mother who can't look after three kids. Two kids are a great number for but I love taking care of other children and I'm also capable of doing so. Incident can happen even with one child.

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Wednesday my parental goal was to make my children happy. On the other hand, my creative aim of the day was to do the TEN-on-TEN photo project.

But it's 3:32am on Thursday morning and I feel like crying thinking about yesterday afternoon.

Then yesterday, after a napless afternoon, I decided it was good for everyone to go to the spray park. I had a master plan in mind. 
  • Stay away from the water.
  • Play in the sandy park 
  • Then get them clean in the water
  • Change into warm clothes
  • Come home and cook why they play
The children were excellent, we played on the swings. Then AOI decided to try the monkey bars. TOI wanted to go on the slide so I helped him to go up for twice, while AOI patiently waited for me to help her up the monkey bars. She was so good at keeping herself lifted by only the leg. She sat on the bars and I even let go so she could see she was balancing. Then it was TOI's turn to try the monkey bars, because he just loves to do what sister does.

AOI is a 'big' girl who can climb on and off the steps that lead to the slide. She comes back to give me her crocs. She goes back on, maybe my mistake was that this time I didn't warn her to be careful.

My eyes were on tiny arms trying to reach the monkey bars. Then I hear the scream. I turn around and I ask myself where is AOI? I turn into her direction. I see a girl moving onto the side and my little girl running to me. I frantically ask my girl "What's the matter? What's wrong? What happened?" She keeps crying and won't say. I inspect her face for blood. My mind has shifted from TOI unto AOI. The girl I saw climbs the steps and tells me "She hit the bar of the step." Just in that fraction I see the swell coming out on the eyebrow. I panic inside but keep myself under control. I look for TOI who is throwing sand about and another boy telling not to, something I heard his mother tell him earlier.

I ask TOI to hold my hand, without complaint he reach his hand up. I lift AOI under my right arm and run-walk to the cold water. I dip my hands into the water to get it cold and press it on the horrible swell. I'm scared of it but I don't stop myself. TOI see me do that and he tries to help. I'm keeping my tears at bay. I keep on telling my little girl "It's okay, it's okay..." I don't have better words. Short breath she tells me "I bumped my face. I run into another girl." Then I see what my girl is trying to tell me. The mother of the girl I saw moving on the side for my daughter to run to me walks to me. "She had an awful bump. Can I help. I can bring a cloth to use."
"Yes." I don't know if she read the despair in my eyes but I didn't care. I wanted my daughter to be well there and fast. The hot knot in my throat doesn't allow me to talk too much or kiss my daughter on the head. I circle her shoulders tight in one arm.

I open my bag and bring out a towel. I use that to press the coldness on the swollen eye. TOI is so helpful. He keeps getting cold water with his tiny finger to put on to his sister's t-shirt. "Look, TOI is helping." I don't know what to do. To go home or the hospital. The woman helping me asks "Where is your car, I can help you there."
Another woman says "I will keep eye on your little boy as you take care of your girl."
"Thank you." I said as I press cold towel onto AOI's face. The lady reaches her hand out for TOI and he hold onto it. I decide we should go home and get ice onto the AOI's eye. The lady hold my boy in her arms, he didn't cry. They say little kids seem the soul of humankind, my little boy saw that this woman was helping his emotional mother. I told AOI to keep pressing the cold towel on her eye because the car is hot "Thank you mummy." I kissed her on the head, tears finding they way onto the edge of my eyes. I quickly took TOI from the woman helping and with my eyes in the space thank her quickly.

I start to cry when I lift my kids from the car I can't be a mother of more than two kids. I thought hot tears rolling down on my cheek, how can I keep my eyes on two kids and a third. I can't even look after two. Moreover, I cry because my daughter was in pain and I couldn't take that away. Asking her what happened wasn't going to cure the pain.

To think that all I wanted was to make my kids happy by taking them to a fun place turned into an horrible incident makes me feel crying.

5 Jun 2015

22/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015
TOI: this grin is bigger by the day. I can't resist his face. He's been making funny faces to see us laugh. With his teeth in display and nose curled up, he makes us laugh a deep belly laugh. {trying free lensing photography with vintage Canon 50mm 1.4 lens VK gave me when she invited us to have lunch with her at her house one Saturday afternoon whilst we were just cycling by her house}
AOI and TOI: last day of playgroup. I can't believe that at the beginning of our playgroup little boy was crawling next to his running sister.
TOI: my little big girl, so caring and such a loving sister, always looking out for her baby brother.
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