Monday, August 29, 2016
No part of this may be copied or used without written consent from the author Renee Lake
Copy right 2016 Renee Lake
All Rights Reserved
If you would like to own an illustrated copy of The Adventures of Princess Fire Cracker and Sir Hye Oye, it will be available for purchase by amazon and smashwords the end of October.
“I am so tired!” Hye Oye whined again for the tenth time, they’d been walking for a little over an hour.
“Me too, but I know we’re not far now.” Ficra said, trying to smile. She was so done with this journey. She was hungry, thirsty, weary and her feet hurt. Her grandparent’s kingdom was beautiful- but it was also rocky and full of hills.
The grass was a lush deep green and there were golden trees everywhere, shining in the sun. She could smell the evergreen flowers, their minty scent filling the air, but all her feet cared about was the steep path and the rocks underneath.
“It’s colder here than at home.” Hye Oye complained.
“I know, but I am sure a great feast awaits us.” At least she hoped so, she also hoped a foot massage and a warm bed would follow the food.
“Don’t say feast, my stomach is growling.” Hye Oye said. They came to the top of the hill and Ficra stopped, wishing she still had her walking stick to lean on.
She could see a lot of her grandparent’s kingdom from the hill, including the top towers of a green and gold castle.
“Look! We’re almost there!”
“You said that already.”
“But I can see it!” Ficra pointed, feeling an intense surge of relief. Eyes straying down the path she also saw what looked like the start of civilization, a town or village. Maybe they could get a ride to the castle gates?
“Wait, do you hear that?” Hye Oye asked, his whole body becoming still, ears perking. Ficra listened closely, but she heard nothing.
“Crying? Well let’s go see who it is.” Ficra said.
“Do we have to, we are so close to food, and a roof.” Hye Oye sat and began to clean himself, pretending to be uninterested.
“If there is someone crying we should try and see if we can help. Which way?” Ficra asked, her cat turned his face and refused to say more. Ficra stomped her foot and gave him a look her mother used on people all the time.
Giving a great huff Hye Oye stopped licking himself and started off down the east side of the hill, away from the path.
Ficra crawled over some giant blue stones and under a few fallen trees before she saw a stream, crystal clear and running very fast. Sitting next to it was a girl, the ugliest girl Ficra had ever seen. She was hunched over with a large nose, stringy black hair and yellow tinted skin. Large bat like wings protruded from her humped back.
“What is that smell?” Hye Oye asked. Ficra shushed him.
“Hello, I heard you crying. Are you ok?” Ficra called out, taking a few steps forward. The girl looked up, her eyes were large and brown, mouth wide and full of sharp crooked teeth.
“No, I’m not ok, go away.” She snarled.
“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. She looks like a fey creature.” Hye Oye whispered. Ficra was having the same thought.
“Well, it’s just that…if you’re sad, maybe I can help?” Ficra thought, at least I should try.
“Why would you help me, don’t you want to run away?” The girl asked, turning to face Ficra.
“Kind of…what’s your name? I’m Ficra.”
“I’m Addie and I… I think I’m lost.”
“Then I can help you!” Ficra was relieved, she knew the Kingdom of Generosity very well and if all else failed she’d take Addie to the castle with her.
“Why though? Don’t you know what I am?” Addie’s eyes narrowed.
“Ummm, a fairy of some kind?”
“A bat fairy!” Hye Oye hissed, moving behind Ficra, “they bring bad luck!”
“We don’t do it on purpose.” Addie sniffled.
“I’m not worried about bad luck.” Ficra said, trying to sound braver than she felt.
“Well I am.” Hye Oye muttered.
“Let me help you, where do you need to go?” Ficra asked.
“I am supposed to meet my sister outside of Bountyville by sunset, but all these gold trees make everything look the same and I lost the map she gave me.” Addie began to cry again, into her thin brittle hands.
“Please don’t cry!” Ficra moved closer to Addie and handed her the last handkerchief in her sleeve, which Addie proceed to blubber into and then blow her nose.
“Sorry,” Addie dried her eyes and tried to hand back the now grey cloth.
“Please, keep it.” Ficra said, she did not want that back now, “Bountyville is not far from here.” In fact it was on the opposite side of her grandparent’s castle! Using rocks and twigs Ficra made a make shift map on the ground and gave Addie detailed instructions on where to go. By the time she was finished Addie was smiling.
“Thank you Ficra! I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come along!” Addie gave Ficra a big hug, Ficra held her breath but hugged her new friend back.
“You’re welcome.” Ficra said, she went over to Hye Oye and scratched her cat between the ears, thankful he had made no other sarcastic remarks and been a good kitty while she helped the poor bat fey.
“How can I ever repay you?” Addie asked, standing up and stretching her wings.
“It was no problem. But if you’re ever in the Kingdom of Friendship feel free to stop by, I live in the big castle on the hill.” Ficra said, smiling. She began to walk away when Hye Oye froze, blocking her path.
“Ficra…” He warned. She turned around, Addie was covered in a deep red mist, swirling all over her body.
“A bat fey thing?” Ficra asked, hopefully.
“No…” Addie said, but her voice had changed, “a mom thing.” Suddenly where Addie once stood was Ficra’s mother; Queen Rainbird. She was a tall handsome woman with black curly hair and large ebony eyes, she wore a beautiful red gown and a sparkling golden crown.
“Mother!” Ficra exclaimed.
“Queen Rainbird!” Hye Oye bowed, front paws out, head to the ground.
“Firecracker, daughter, you have made me and your father so proud.” Rainbird said, coming closer to her daughter.
“I didn’t do anything.” Ficra argued.
“You completed your journey through the kingdoms and acted in a very princess like manner. You showed all the qualities a princess should have. You were; humble, kind, smart, generous, helpful and charitable.” Rainbird embraced her daughter.
“So I passed my test?”
“Yes, my sweet, you passed your test. Now let’s go to your grandparents.”
“Can we eat once we get there?” Hye Oye asked. Mother and daughter looked down at the large cat and laughed.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
This month is Breast Feeding Awareness month and because I am 17 weeks pregnant I am a little more hormonal that I should have been.
Don't get me wrong, I support breast feeding, but I also support any way you choose to feed your baby. Whether that's breast, bottle, pump, tube- it doesn't matter as long as your baby is getting fed.
A photographer posted some rather beautiful pictures of women breast feeding a day or so before BFAM and I commented how lovely they were and inquired whether she had any of mothers bottle feeding their babies, or if she could-in the future- take some. As a mother who struggled with BF and wound up bottle feeding all three of her kids, sometimes I feel sad or left out of the community of women who are able to feed their baby by breast.
The women who took the pictures instantly put up a bottle feeding picture for me, which I expressed gratitude for. Immediately after another mother told me asking about bottle feeding during Breast Feeding Awareness month is like going to a Black history month page and asking why no one is celebrating White history. Not only was this in poor taste, but it's not accurate and not similar AT ALL.
So many mothers struggle with breast feeding. It hurts, they don't produce enough, it's time consuming, they don't like it...etc...etc.. There are many reasons for a woman to not BF and that is her decision. One she should not be shamed for or pressured about. I can't tell you how many times I have been told, "you really should breast feed, breast is best." By women (some even nurses) who don't know me, don't know my kids and certainly don't know the struggles I've had while trying to breast feed.
Bottle feeding is not only easier for me and more convenient (I work and have multiple children) but also prevents me from feeling like a failure. I don't produce enough milk to feed my children and my nipples are very small which means I have to use plastic nipple shield over my tiny ones to help my babies latch. This is very time consuming and uncomfortable.
I understand why we need breast feeding awareness, when moms are being asked to feed in public toilets this is a HUGE problem. Breast feeding is normal and natural. However, instead of one month totally devoted to breast feeding awareness we need a week/month that simply celebrates all ways of feeding your baby. So that no one group of mothers (or even single dads!) need feel shame or left out.
No one celebrates Bottle Feeding Awareness, ( and I honestly don't expect this to ever be a thing) us bottle feeding moms are ignored at best and looked at with scorn at worse. No one wants to hear our stories or see beautiful pictures of us with our babies. Everyone talks about how breast is best and look at all the great things your child gets if they are breast fed, making it sound like bottle fed kids are lacking. What we really need to be doing is supporting all mothers no matter what way they choose to feed their babies.
There is no us and them- it is all inclusive; feeding our babies in that way which is best for our families.
This blog is all about how mothers need to be supportive of each other and not tear each other down. Bottle feeders need to know that breast feeding moms are also treated like crap and breast feeding moms need to not assume they are the only ones being given negative comments.
Here are some links for moms who feel like I do.
Fearless Formula Feeder
Fed Is Best
Pictures of all kinds of moms feeding their babies