jeudi 5 août 2010

New cards !

Yup, made new cards lately. I am in love with my Spellbinders nestabilities and have been combining them with my beloved Martha Stewart border punches ! Total pure fun ! I have been cruising blogs of cardmakers and have discovered some that I just love. I am finding that my card styles are either simple and graphic (similar to my scrapbooking) or shabby chic. Love adding laces, pearls, buttons, etc., all those 3-D stuff that I don't use in my scrapbooking pages because of the bulk but that are perfect details for cards !

I've been enjoying the beautiful landscaping around our new home : just so gorgeous ! Lots of different plants, shrubs, trees and flowers that the former owners surrounds our home. Actually they got professional designers to design their landscaping, design for which the company won an award. It's almost maintenance-free as with the in-ground irrigation system. When I'm seated on our backyard deck, I have the impression that I am into the forest. It's a small backyard, but so very well put-together. We have a corner lot, and lots of great big trees were not cut when the house was built in 1985 and they contribute to a beautiful feeling of being in nature. Makes me think of all the camping that my family did during my childhood.

Gotta go - hoping to come back today with help from DH to post some pictures here. I don't like having posts without photos. But I started blogging again - aiming to do it once a day, kind of my daily journal - and that IS a good thing ! :) Take care !

vendredi 30 juillet 2010

Summer News

Finally got a chance to update my blog. It's been a looooooooooooooong time, huh !

A great summer we're enjoying here in Canada ! I love the warmth and heat that we got so far this summer : they remind me of wonderful summers that I had when I was growing up. There was a heat wave for about a week but I revelled in it ... summer is about having hot weather for me. But keep in mind that we have air conditioned at home and in our car. I wouldn't rave as much about the heat if we didn't enjoy those commodities ! ;)
This past July, my family and I have spent quite a bit of time organizing our home - we hadn't had the time to do much in that department since our move back in last November. Specifically, we organized our two entry closets (one in the main entrance and the other one a much smaller one leading to the side of our home). It was SO great to finally get rid of our IKEA metal shelves unit that was in our main entrance since moving. Argh ! It was driving me nuts to see the packsacks, shoes, etc on those shelves all the time. Now everything has been stored in bins in the closets which now have an extra shelf each to accomodate everything. DH and DS did the painting and hammering of the new shelves while I figured out how and where to store everything that we decided to keep after doing a pile for donations. We still have more organizing to do this weekend. My aim is to have everything related to organizing and fixing stuff that are not working well, completed by the end of August.

But July is not all about work ! ;) My family and my nephew made a 3-day trip to Montréal which was quite enjoyable. We went to a beautiful nature site where we did some canoeing and I was so happy to be able to photograph at my leisure, for close to 45 minutes, a blue heron that was in the middle of the lake. WOW ! It was an awesome experience ! It was the highlight of our trip for me ! I could see its feathers and the articulations of his body really well ! I got some great shots which delighted me as I haven't had the time to do photography for the past year. We also spent half a day at Amazoo Water Park located in Granby's Zoo. It was a good hot day but not too hot, perfect for spending it in water ! :) I also went to a couple of scrapbook stores to purchase some Spellbinders' Nestabilities and a few sheets of PPs. It has been more than a year since I actually purchased some new PPs and scrap stuff for myself. The nestabilities dies are great in making cards - which is the only thing creative and artistic that I've been doing since January. I haven't scrapped - gasp - in about 2 years - life was too busy elsewhere, mainly my son's health.

DS's health, which was worrying me so much for the past 3 years, has improved considerably since last March. WHOO HOO ! :) Last January, we were told by DS' neuro-psychologist that his epilepsy meds were much too strong for him and that in her opinion, they were making him lethargic, drowsy. Her professionnal opinion connected right away with what I'd been telling DS' neurologist for the past 3 years : that DS was more and more sleepy because of the epilepsy meds, that everytime he was upping his meds, the drowsing was getting worse, he was taking naps several times a day, at home and at school - and his neurologist was answering me that it was impossible ! We immediately asked for a new neurologist. The new neurologist immediately weaned him from the med that was making him drowsy, and in about 3 weeks, he was looking more and more like the boy we had 3 years ago, very talkative, alert, interested, vibrant, ALIVE ! I call him the Sleeping Beauty who woke up after 3 years of sleeping. Now, he is being weaned from the 2nd med that his first neurologist had prescribed for him this past January, on top of the drowsiness-inducing med - this 2nd med was having DS stuttering and having difficulty putting words together to talk, and he was also separating words in syllabes - it was painful to hear him try to talk. And it was very scary as parents to witness further deterioration in our son. The power of meds ! :( Specially wrong meds !

But now, that is a thing of the past. Thank you God and thank you to DS' wonderful new neurologist and her wonderful nurse that are keeping regular contact with us as he is being weaned from this awful 2nd med. The weaning will be finished around mid-August and then it'll take about a month for his sytem to be totally rid of this med. DS will be having another EEG then. He's had 5 EEGs so far (plus an MRI) since January, the latest one was this past Wednesday - this time it was a 2.5 hours EEG with filming of him while he was sleeping. All EEGs were sleep-deprived - man, those are harder on the parents that on the kid ! LOL I'm still reeling from sleeping only 3 hours on Tuesday-Wednesday night !

The big lesson I learned in all of that epilepsy story was to trust even more my heart, my intuition and my intelligence in my life - looking back I should have asked, like I had though of, to consult a second neurologist 3 years ago when I was noting that DS was getting drowsy after 6 months on the first med (tegretol) and when seeing that his neurologist was disregarding my observations. I trusted the neurologist because he was a specialist but truthfully, we know our bodies and our kids much better than specialists ! Lesson painfullypainfully learned ! Now, I ask for second opinions right away when I'm not satisfied in any parts of my life !

DS has made amazing progress in his swimming lessons, especially since being weaned from the 1st med. He is taking private lessons so that his teacher takes the time that it takes to teach him different swimming techniques - DS's motor dyspraxia often requires for him to have the steps of physical activities split into more details in order for his brain and body to be able to do them and then he's a pro ! His swimming teacher also told us a couple of weeks ago that DS has perfected by himself over the years a professional way of swimming into place - I can't recall just now what the technique is called - but that technique takes a long time to master for professionals ! Go figure ! LOL Indeed, DH and I are so very proud of our son and his accomplishments, his efforts, his perseverance. It definitely hasn't been an easy road for him. I sometimes wonder how it was for him during the past 3 years to try to learn new academic-and other stuff through a thick cloud of drowsiness and then on top of that, with the med that was acting as a window against learning (the 2nd med he is now being weaned of). I am happy beyond words to see our boy from 3 years ago emerging, his true personality shining again ! Everyone has challenges in life and he has certainly has had his share - and I know that he will have more like everyone else, but for now, we're revelling in these positive changes in his life !

This is getting to be a long email - oops ! - and house chores are awaiting me so I'll leave you with my wish for you to have a great day filled with laughter and fun summer activities ! I'm planning on adding photos to this post later on today or tomorrow ! In the meantime, if you have great Spellbinders' Nestabilities blogs to share with me, ones that show what other artists are creating with nestabilies, or blogs of cardmakers, I would love it ! Cards are my creative thing right now ! Thank you ! Ciao !

dimanche 10 janvier 2010

Random bits.

Here are a few things in my life right now.

  1. I'm enjoying the somewhat snappy cold we're having right now.
  2. Regarding #1, I love my warm and comfy Mephisto boots.
  3. Speaking of footwear, I purchased a couple pairs of excellent quality shoes on Friday. Since moving in our new home, I'd been having pain in my knees and soles. I suspect that our home having wood floors throughout and the steep stairs to the second floor were the causes of that situation. I was wearing clogs up until Friday but I know that clogs, even from a great shoe manufacturer, definitely don't support the feet adequately. Slipping into my new comfy Clark shoes on Friday night made a great difference !
  4. I'm looking forward to curling up with a great book.
  5. I am enjoying my new perfume, Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds. A good photo op for Project 365 that I decided to do again this year. Putting down photos and journaling together on pages destined for a scrapbook album has an unknown date so far. LOL
  6. Food shopping to be done.
  7. I'm in the planning stages of my students' Valentine art projects ! Pure fun !
  8. More laundry to do today.
  9. Every morning I write lists of stuff to do during the day. The lists never get shorter and they always have too much stuff to do in one day.
  10. Doing a quick trip to Michael's this morning : Rafael has his eye on an helicopter to assemble that he'll be purchasing with some of his Christmas gift money.
Have a great day, everyone !

jeudi 7 janvier 2010

Already January 7th ???

Man, time is going fast ! It's almost the end of the first week of January, as well as the end of the first school week of the year. Yikes !

Well, I'd like to wish you all, belatedly (spelling ?) - well better late than never, right ? - a wonderful 2010 year filled with love, laughter, health, peace, simplicity, creativity and great new life experiences.

Here, life has been going on as busy if not more than the last six months of 2009. Appointments of all kinds (health, car, house, LD, professional, etc). One of those coming-up appointments is the orthodontist (i think it's called) or peridentist (really can't remember the specialty of the dentist as you can probably tell !) for our son. Some of his baby teeth have not fallen yet (he's almost 10 years old) so he needs to have his mouth checked by this specialist to see if those teeth needs to be removed asap.

I haven't had time yet to start scrapping again but I did spend some time during the holidays sorting through smaller scrap stuff. It feels sooooooooo good to sort and decide where to store everything in order for the creative process to be really easy and smooth once I get back into creating art.

At school, my art students are deep into snow .... huh I mean that they are cutting up wonderful snowflakes designs. If I remember, I'll bring my camera to school one of these days to take photographs of them. I actually want to do, like last year (although I stopped at the end of May) a photo-a-day project with journaling, to scrap one day. I gotta get into the habit of taking one photo a day again .....

We are enjoying our new home so much, especially being in a smaller home, very well designed (our previous home was very well designed also but bigger). Actually, I think that it's even more important that a smaller home be well designed because of the smallness of it.

We are also tremenduously enjoying the fact that we're all together in our finished basement when we are spending time with our hobbies : myself in my art section, DH just in front of me at his computer (and my computer just besides his) and DS sitting at his worktable (just on the right of DH's computer) reading or doing airplanes or helicopters models. All the while listening to great music ! So awesome ! I love it so much ! In our previous home, whenever we were doing our own thing, I would be upstairs in my art room, DH on the first floor in the family room at his computer and DS in the dining room (which we used as his toy room and the music room) playing with his toys or doing crafts.

Hope that you have a great end of the week ! Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a word or two ! ;)


mercredi 30 décembre 2009

On this, the second last day of the year...

Yup, lifting Barb's title from her last blog entry today ( : I know that she won't mind ! In this blog entry, I will endeavour to resume 2009, not an easy thing as it was such a heavy year. Lots of happy memories, some sad ones but also lots of difficult situations in our family life and a very busy year to boot. I feel like I never had any time off. I am very tired. I am also hopeful, positive and I'll keep going. It's been one thing after another this past year. My time-off was always filled up with appointments and errands of all kinds. My hobbies of photography and scrapbooking have been put aside - I'm hopeful that I will be able to resume them this coming year. This was year 2009 for me and I've lived it as best as I could. I've learned lots from all of my 2009 experiences. This is what the Universe had in store for me for 2009 and I feel blessed and thankful about it in many ways ... I am hoping though that 2010 will be lighter ! ;)

So, here's a random sampling of my 2009 memories (a bit long but it will be useful for me to scrap about, sometimes in 2010) :

- Great memories of my work as a teacher, having awesome teaching experiences with my students and my colleagues
- Creating new displays with my students for my school's art gallery in the main office
- Introducing scrapbooking to my class of grade 6 boys after they asked for it (they wanted to do a scrapbook like my grade 6 class of girls were doing) and then taking to it in an incredible way
- Transforming our son's playroom into a library last March : the change was great visually and the best of it was seeing my book-loving son and nephew reading even more, spending loads of time in the library, either sitting comfortably in my late in-laws comfy chair or on their stomach over a big ball. It also made it more pleasant for me to go play the piano so that I resumed playing piano almost daily !
- Putting up our home in Hull for sale in mid-July (a little heartbreaking for me as we have loved living there for the past 20 years but also happy to buy a smaller home, closer to my family and our friends)- and all that comes with putting up a house for sale (leaving at specific times to allow for visits, keeping it spic and span all the time, etc)
- Shopping for homes in Orléans during the 2 last weeks of July : we looked at so many houses on the internet and visited so many homes (sometimes 7 in the same day) that our life was consumed by it. A whole other kind of life, let me tell you ! It seemed like it lasted 2 months instead of 2 weeks. All the while maintaining our Hull home in a pristine condition for potential buyers' visits.
- Buying a new home in Orléans that we absolutely love after visiting so many that didn't appeal to us : what a blessing to have found this one in a neighbourhood that we love !
- The packing of our stuff over several weeks ; renting a small U-Haul trailer 4 Saturdays in a row; the multitude of extra trips I made from Hull to our new home in Orleans during most week evenings after DS had fallen asleep, with our car filled to the brim to then unloading it all in our new home and organizing our belongings right away so that we'd feel more at home after our big move later on ; our many trips to the red box to donate some of our stuff all the while having to keep our house always ready for people visiting our home to buy ; packing all of my art stuff (boy, do I have a LOT of it) and moving it personally in plastic bins so that I wouldn't have to pack them in boxes (more work) .
- My being dreadfully sick for 10 days in August, therefore missing our Montréal trip (DH, DS and nephew went and had a great time). I spent most of those 10 days in bed or on the couch.
- Two new great friends entering my life in the fall.
- The shopping to select wood-flooring and paint for our new home in between appointments and DH's and my work in October ; finding people to do those renovations right after we got the keys to our new home - not a small feat ! No more carpet in our home ! YES !
- Our son improving his crawl abilities while taking swimming lessons in September-October by bringing him to practise 3 nights a week in between his lessons
- Spending a night at CHEO on Halloween's Eve with our son to learn that he had H1N1 influenza virus and then spending a couple more hours after 1 a.m. to find a pharmacy that was able to fill up his prescription. We arrived home past 3:30 a.m. DH and I were literally white with exhaustion.
- My DH taking over for his boss during his medical leave.
- Our many trips to the Shawarma restaurant in Hull during our moving months (Oct. & Nov.) : we love the food at that particular restaurant and we had limited time to cook. YUM !
- Learning at the end of November about the Gatineau's Learning Disabilities Clinic after I told her that I was sure that my son had learning disabilities but that no one had put their finger on it yet.
- Having our furniture and most of the rest of our belongings moved to our new home by professional movers on Saturday November 27th, including my piano. The first thing I did after the movers had left at 3 p.m. was to play on my piano ! So thankful that we had moved lots of our stuff in the previous 6 weeks so that we didn't have to live with mountains of boxes !
- Traveling with my colleague in her car every morning to go to work : great conversations and good laughs !
- DH and I meeting the Director of the Learning Disabilities' Clinic on December 2nd (that date is etched forever in my mind) to talk about our son, knowing that we had finally come to the right place (team of multidisciplinary experts) to help our son after searching for more than 5 years.
- Our son being evaluated the next morning by the first specialist at the Learning Disabilities Clinic and finally having more information about our son's learning disabilities coexisting with his giftedness and epilepsy at a subsequent meeting with the LDC's Director.
- The Christmas student concert that I participated in with my colleagues at school, playing on the new school keyboard. That concert was such a smashing success !
- Creating many musical parts for the above-mentioned Christmas concert. It was great for me to reconnect with music after so many years of doing nothing musically ! LOVE that ! It was so good for my soul !
- Celebrating Christmas with my family (father, brothers, sisters, etc) on Dec. 18th
- Our son having a 24 hour ambulatory EEG on Dec. 22nd to get more information about his epilepsy. It went very well and he was such a trouper. I call him my champion ! The hardest part was seeing him suffer when the specialist was removing the "glue" from his head afterwards. It was very painful for him. We finally opted that he keeps the white "glue" on his head and he had it unglued in the warm shower afterwards. We celebrated the patience of our son by going to his (and ours) favorite Thai restaurant, Royal Thai, in downtown Ottawa for lunch. Yummy !
- Our son's happiness in receiving the Nintendo DSi for Christmas, his two Lego boxes (airplane and helicopter) and a few books (some on his favorite animals, the penguins).
- Our little family of 3 celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25th in a relaxed manner in our new home, all cozy.
- Our little fun trip to Montréal after Christmas ending with our wonderful visit with Nathalie and her family at their place : they were truly the highlight of our trip ! Thanks again !
- Organizing our home - it's a long process but I am enjoying it as I love organizing our home.
- Our many trips to IKEA : buy, return, check the AS-IS section, etc. We have eaten quite a lot of their hot dogs for a quick meal since the end of November ! We also got some great deals in their AS-IS section, amongst them a couple of great bar chairs for DS's worktable, a CD unit and my new scrap table.
- The joy in my DH's face in finally buying a new high-tech television a couple of weeks ago and picking it up last night !

Mostly, I'm deeply thankful to have my family and friends in my life and our health. Those are truly the most important things in life. I never forget it, this year more than ever.

I'd love to hear about your 2009 year, the joys and the challenges of it ! In the meantime, this gal has more areas to organize in our new home and some laundry to do while the boys are out at Canadian Tire to get something to hang our heavy mirror in the entrance and donate some Christmas decorations at the donation center in Orléans. Hurray for more simplicity in our lives ! Take care !


vendredi 25 décembre 2009

Joyeux Noel, Bonne Année à tous et à toutes !

Je prends un petit moment dans cette belle journée de Noel pour vous souhaiter une merveilleuse journée avec votre famille et vos amis !

Taking a moment here to wish you all a wonderful Christmas Day with your family and friends !


dimanche 20 décembre 2009

Unrelated subjects.

Well, yes they are unrelated subjects, but then I could have them all in one category which would be the one called LIFE. ;)

At the school where I worked, we presented our music show this past Friday and it was a huge success ! Everything went really well ! It was our first music show in years, and it was just wonderful ! Everyone left in high spirits ! I had a great time, I loved accompanying most of the classes on the brand new keyboard, playing with the father of one of my colleagues. He played guitar and he also did the spoons in a Canadian french folkore song to which my colleages sang to.

Yesterday, I worked all day in our house, organizing stuff. Our new home is coming along very nicely, thank you very much ! I love organizing it and knowing me, I won't stop until it's done !
Last night, we went over to one of my brother's home to celebrate Christmas with my other siblings, my father and a few friends. A great time was had by all ! DH and I almost forgot our camera, since we haven't taken many photos since last May. It was almost odd to bring it with us. I really miss taking photos and I predict that in 2010, I will take more photos than in 2009. Not hard to beat ! LOL

Today, I spent a big portion of the day putting away my scrap stuff in our basement. It took a looooooooooot of time because I deliberated where to put my most used stuff in such a way that it would be more practical than in my previous scrap room. I am almost done - so happy about that ! The floor and my new worktable are now cleared. I had placed different stuff on the floor to put together same things (tags, etc). It took me quite a while to organize the existing cabinestry because I wanted everything related in the same corner. In my previous home, for example, my letter stuff (stickers, chipboard, rub-ons, etc) were in at least 4 different spots in my scrap room - so I always forgot that I had more option to choose from - and use my stuff. Now, everything letter is grouped together, everything words is grouped in the same corner, etc. Makes me realize even more how much stuff I have. How much, you ask ? Too much ! But I'll have fun using it, creating with it and sharing it ! And the scrap shopping has stopped for quite many months already. Almost exclusively, some Martha Stewart punches have made their way in my scraproom this fall.

DH and I went to pick up our son at a friend's place this afternoon around 4:30. He was there since 10:30. He had a great time, spent most of his day outside on the ice. The friend's mother told me how she enjoys listening to my boy talking as he has a wonderful, rich vocabulary. DS played on his cousin's DSi - and came back saying that that is what he wants for Christmas this year. He doesn't want a big Lego box or anything else. The DSi is his first choice. I guess that means that I'll have to return the LEGO kit I bought him on Friday. Then we went to do a few returns of merchandise to two stores then went out for dinner at the restaurant Boston Pizza on Innes Rd. Yum ! Since I hadn't stop to really eat breakfast and lunch (grabbed a few oranges and a bran muffin before leaving home to pick up DS), I eagerly ate a slice of pizza and some of DS' steak and mashed potatoes. Yum !

Back home, after DS was asleep, I finished clearing out my new worktable, then sat down at my computer to check out some sites. I'll soon be in bed though as my eyes are just wanting to close. Tomorrow, DS has an early appointment at his dentist in Hull. Then we're going to our house in Hull to counteroffer the offer we got yesterday for our home. It will be interesting to see where it all goes !

Hope you had a great day and that you found time to enjoy the last weekend before Christmas is upon us ! We haven't gotten our tree yet, but will be doing so sometimes this week. DS insists on it - if not, DH and I wouldn't have one this year - too busy with stuff to do with our new home and our home in Hull !

I'll be sure to post some new pics sometimes this week ! Take care !