13/52 – Her & Him

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Man : So much growth in you this week. Suddenly, with thinner layers on, the world outside isn’t such a scary restricted place. You’ve been exploring, touching, tasting (oh yes, tasting), and just observing so much more. What used to be 30 minutes of crying for 15 minutes of fun turned into 2 hours of constant amazement and I love sitting back and watching you go. Soon it will be sweatshirts and sneakers and you’ll be running miles ahead of me. Oh the adventures we will have!

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

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Little Miss : You have been glowing. We have been getting out everyday, several times a day. We have been walking at dawn and walking at sunset and all that vitamin D has been doing wonders for you : You sleep better and you have gained such an appetite.  You are truly coming out of hibernation and I couldn’t be happier.

 Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

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Spring is truly here…

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I always know there is no turning back when the tomato seeds go in the dirt.

When at first we are planting herbs and early spring greens like lettuces and kale indoors, we are still in the deep of winter. The idea of gardening is almost this magical fairy tale that warms us up on cold windy nights. Then, the pepper plants go in, but they are so slow-growing that it almost feels like they will never bear any fruit. Then the soil is workable outside, we direct sow everything from beans to peas, from Swiss chard to carrots. And by the time the quick-growing seeds are started indoors, like cucumbers, squashes and watermelons, the heat of late spring has set in and we are already eating from our plot.

Oh but the tomatoes…

6 to 8 glorious weeks before our last frost date, the true countdown begins. By now, the snow has started melting, the maples have been tapped, the roof is cleared of ice and the gutters are pattering like drums in a high school marching band. It’s when everything is possible, the light (brighter and warmer) at the end of the long tunnel.

Yes, we planted our tomatoes this week and in less than 5 days, 53 of the 72 seeds we planted have popped up to say hello. Even our first ever collected seeds, a Red Pear Cherry Tomato heirloom variety we picked up at a garden center last year, has germinated at 100% and if THAT is not a true sign that Spring is indeed coming my friends, I don’t know what is!

 

Have a wonderful week-end! May things grow in your homes and in your hearts. May the warmer sun heal your hibernating souls. <3

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The River…

IMG_0639IMG_0640IMG_0641This morning early, after taking Little Miss to preschool and running a quick errand, Little Man and I stopped by the River Walk. We usually go there several times during winter, but with the weather we’ve had and the insane wind chill factor, we had avoided any place really that was unprotected. But with the warmer mornings, the sun so bright, the ice moving along at record speeds and the tide being almost at its highest point. I couldn’t pass it up. And rightly so, because it was majestic. Little Man sat in a trance, following the flowing icebergs down the river, watching the ships go by, crunching the ice with their bow. It was too amazing to keep to ourselves. So when 3pm came around, I picked up Little Miss early from school, loaded everyone into the car, drove downtown to pick up my hubby and after a short stop at our favorite café for dinner, we headed back. The 4 of us this time. IMG_0643 IMG_0644 IMG_0646 IMG_0654 IMG_0659 IMG_0660 IMG_0661 What a different sight it was : The tide was low this time, revealing cliffs of ice, massive chunks beached on the rocks, waiting for the water to come back and pick them up. In the heat of the day, some of the ice on the river had melted so the current itself was a bit less impressive, but those ice sheets, varying from white to grey to brilliant turquoise blue were breath-taking. As the kids had snow ball fights with their dad, I was left to wander the peer, thinking about how special this place is. I think it’s pretty obvious by my blog that I’m a nature lover. But, the reality of it is that I’m also a city dweller and city green (or in this case white) spaces have always been very special to me. It is very easy to get lost in the immensity of nature when you are fully surrounded by it. When everything around you is pristine, relatively untouched, away from the hustle and bustle, calm, peace, serenity, they all come to you. It is a much different experience when you are in the thick of the city, trying to connect with nature. But when I find myself struggling, wishing I lived a bit more in the country, in a quieter place, I try to remind myself of the precious nature of these natural urban spaces. I become aware of the intention behind them. Most city parks have been man-made. They have been planned, developed, proposed to city councils, probably refused multiple time. They have been fought over for urban development, for housing projects, for industrial exploitation. And yet here they are… being renegotiated every new municipal administration, every yearly budget. They fight for their reason for being, the health and peace of mind of the people who may only have these precious spaces to connect, for their children to connect. And when you think of all these things, how grand are these tiny jewels in the middle of the big city? So tonight I am so grateful to live in a city that decided to build a 2 mile River Walk along our beautiful St-Lawrence River instead of making BILLIONS selling this priceless view to real estate moguls. I’ve said it before and I will most likely say it again many time, but I’m so blessed to live in such an amazing place. Good night every one!

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12/52 – Her & Him

A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.

IMG_0602 (1024x683)Little Man : You made me so happy this week. You actually sat down for about 15 minutes and painted a picture. This is so big for you, my little tornado. Now did half the paint end up in your mouth, yes it did. But the other half went on the paper and for that I thank you. I know you were thinking about all the moving you could be doing through the whole project, but you kept at it. We will keep finding ways to satisfy your need for constant exploration and hopefully in return, you will keep giving mama these few minutes of quiet here and there. The balance will be struck my darling, just a bit more tweaking to do. <3

A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

IMG_0625Little Miss : Your first dance recital, how excited you were : You wanted make up, you wanted your hair done, you wanted shiny lips… We did it all. (With all natural make-up of course.) You are such a lady. As much as you like to think yourself one of the “guys”, you are just a little princess. And you are our princess. Just please remember to be kind, to be generous, to be humble, to be compassionate and understanding. I love watching you figure out who you are, even if sometimes, it’s very hard. Mama and daddy will always try to guide you down the path that is right for you.  <3

 Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

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Spring Equinox and so much happy mail!

Sorry I’m a day late, but I want to start by wishing you a wonderful Spring. I hope you all enjoyed our first day and wish you a quick thaw (for all my friends that are buried in snow like us right now) and productive magical Spring!

Our celebrations were very quiet since Little Miss had school that day. We woke up to a very chilly -16’C (3’F) morning and a table full of goodies from the Spring Fairies. My daughter, who has been mourning the loss of her favorite wand (Little Man took a chomp to it a few months back) was excited to find a hand carved one given to her by the fairies themselves. Can I tell you how much she is wishing away the snow right now, ready to put some of her own magic into our home?

IMG_0620But the day of giving didn’t stop there! All day was like Christmas here. We felt spoiled, loved… it was amazing :

IMG_0612 (2)I’ve mentioned my good friend Kim here many times. Such a thoughtful, inspirational person, I feel blessed to know her. Well, her and her son went down to South Carolina for a few weeks earlier this month and her son decided to share part of his sea shell collection with my kiddos. You can imagine the amount of cheer, fascination and joy that was present in our home after that!

IMG_0618IMG_0619But wait! Another box was waiting for me this time and it was, I knew, going to be a very “sweet” surprise! A few months back, Vibeke over at A Butterfly in my Hair hosted a very fun chocolate swap! I was paired with the lovely Di from the UK (you need to check out her blog, amazing talent!) and received the most generous swap package imaginable. Not only was it filled to the brim with wonderful, interesting, quirky chocolates (including a vegan chocolate for my little boy to share!), but she also included handmade embroidered pieces, fabric art, beautiful fabric squares, a fun felt art kit (which my daughter has already proclaimed hers! ) and a notebook that I will treasure and use very carefully. Again, thank you so much my dear!

IMG_0621Another package that was waiting for us was from my dear cousin and his wife that live in Michigan. Always selfless, always thinking of us, they sent us a little something to help with the transition. I couldn’t believe just how generous they were yet again. How could I ever feel anything else but so supported and loved.

IMG_0622And if all this wasn’t enough, guess what I’ll be reading this week-end?

So all around, a wonderful start to this new season full of hope and rebirth, dreams and awakenings, color and light!

Oh, and continuing with our tradition, just as we were lucky enough to greet winter on Solstice Day with a barred owl sighting, during our after dinner walk last night, we heard the first, deep soulful calls of the North American Mourning Doves.  Hiding in the tall ancestral pines around our property and neighborhood, they were calling each other, in the quiet dim of the sun setting. A beautiful, heart-felt cry. It was so mesmerizing, even the children held still.

My friends, even if it doesn’t always feel like it, Spring is here. Do not despair, look for the little things. They are changing, shifting, transforming, becoming… before you know it, the warm will return, green will appear and the long winter will be a thing of the pass. Enjoy those last cozy snuggles under quilts, by fires. Soon it will be iced tea and salads for dinner, the smell of flowers and the buzz of bees.

Have a wonderful week-end everyone!

Posted in Family Life, Gratitude, Life, Seasons, Snail mail SWap | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

A lighter tone, pretty shamrocks and a little something green

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So I would be lying if I would say here that I took the break I talked of in my last post. I’m not good at sitting still when something is left hanging in mid-air. But this time, it was a much more pleasurable venture : Adapted play groups, conferences and a re-evaluation of my son’s file by the audiologist that did his test so we can apply for a toddler rehabilitation program that is offered in my area. All good things, all very encouraging. All very done. I’m happy now. Things are in the works, we can all simply wait for everything to fall into place now and enjoy ourselves once more.

The beginning of the week was a very slow one. I don’t know what shifted the last few days, but Little Man’s nights have been so much better. He actually slept 11 hours in row yesterday. My brain can’t quite wrap itself around the concept. We’ve changed his bedtime routine : classical music and massage instead of books. 2 nights now and he’s gone down for sleep without ever a whimper. All good, good things!

We’ve been trying to find things to help him relax. As I’ve mentioned many, many times before, my son is all go. Drawing for him is 45 seconds of scribbling and walking away. Playing with blocks means putting 3 blocks together, knocking them down and walking away. But throw him a ball, he will fetch it and throw it back at you for 30 minutes. Play hide & seek or tag and he will run you into the ground. So finding out that soft music hits the spot has been magical. I don’t know what exactly he hears. Being partially deaf, I never know which sounds will make it through.  Classical music does it. I’m very happy about that. It is something we can all share, that we all love. And now, he can love it with us. We also made a calming bottle that we have been observing in the sunlight. It’s been a wonder for my daughter as well, coming home from preschool and disconnecting from the day.

Since this is our first year of trying to create a true seasonal rhythm, we have gone ahead and put away our winter-specific books. I thought I was going to get some resistance from Little Miss since a couple of these books have become some of her favorites, but no. Again, she surprised me. Not only was she more than happy to tuck them away, she designated “Snowy” as the official Winter Book Guardian.

Did you see the little greenies? That is right, seedling time! Most of those are medicinal herbs (many of which I decided to try sowing indoor first to increase my chances of a first year flowering) and early spring crops like chards and kale. Our little “green house” set up in downstairs in my sewing room and now, every time I go down there, I’m hit with the sweet smell of holy basil (tulsi). So even though it’s still bitterly cold, I have Spring in my home. It is truly wonderful.

Finally we have found our “happy” again. Complete with St-Patty’s Day crafts, Hello Kitty Fairy under-sheets-spelunking expeditions and kisses and hugs to and from good, faithful friends. Thank you again for all your warm wishes and support during this time. I will never be able to express how lucky I feel to have made such deep meaningful connections here with all of you. <3

 

Posted in Family Life, Gardening, Healing, Herbalism, Life, Parenting, Seasons, Simplicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Quiet but intense…

… that would sum up our week pretty easily.

When we got the news about our son’s hearing 2 weeks ago, we knew there would be a lot to do. But I never realized how much time was of the essence. I’m a researcher by nature, I’ve always loved knowing, being proactive, leaving no stone un-turned, that is me. But I’ll admit it, this time, knowing got overwhelming. There were feelings of guilt for not having had his hearing tested earlier, knowing I’ve lost precious time and now, he is much delayed in his speech acquisition. There were feelings of loyalty (and by consequence betrayal) while choosing if we would opt for LSQ (Quebec Sign Language) or ASL (American Sign Language). Choosing if your son will speak French or English with his hands is very stressful. I honestly didn’t know I would have to choose, thinking sign language was universal. That shows I much I know! Then there was getting in contact with groups in our area that help support kids with hearing loss to see about play groups and adapted activities to stimulate his language acquisition. Busy week right? But I did it all, got tons of info and even found a free online LSQ class. I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then,  just when I thought I had covered all my bases, it seems I’ll need to file some paperwork with my provincial and federal governments because we might be eligible for extra financial help through our Family Benefits. Did you know I might have to check the box asking me if I have a handicapped child under my care? That didn’t even occur to me. In my mind, my son isn’t handicapped. The mere thought of filling papers saying he is makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Not because I’m ashamed or because I can’t accept it. It’s mostly because that it is not how it feels to me, feels like I’m lying. But this might just be part of the learning curve and if they are anticipating me needing extra help, maybe I’ll just take a deep breath and print out the forms.

But for this week-end, we were done with all this…

We stayed close to home, a big storm taking up much of our Saturday night and Sunday throughout the day. We got a few inches of snow and a LOT of wind. But that all cleared up for our evening walk tonight and it was beautiful.

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So I’m sorry if I disappeared this week, my time was just so counted and calculated. But we have made sure to plan our week so that free time will be more readily available this time around. Looking forward to sharing a few more of our “home things” in the next few days (seedlings and gluten-free cooking, oh my!) and getting back into a rhythm. I’ve become so dependent of my rhythm, I feel easily lost without it.

I want to thank all the wonderful people who have reached out with their knowledge, encouragement and experience in the last few weeks. Once again, it truly amazes me how generous and kindhearted this community is. <3

Have a wonderful week everyone! xo

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