Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Building a new website

If you have arrived here from www.limefreckle.com just to let you know, I've temporarily suspended my old website, and am not sure if I will rebuild a website of my own, or sell off of the two sites I'm currently listed at (see the directory at the right of the screen) icraft.ca or etsy.com. One of my biggest resolutions this year is to really buckle down and start listing items for sale in a more timely fashion, this seems to have gotten away from me lately, but I have lots of items for sale, just need to get busy and photograph things. I'll post anything new here at the blog of course!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finished shopping!

My friends and I were in Chapters the other day, roaming around looking at books and having a Starbucks, and while we waited in line, a woman that was checking out, turned around, and announced to no one in particular, "That's it, I'M DONE!!!!" She threw her hands up in the air......did a little dance......it was hilarious, we clapped for her, everyone laughed, it was a nice little moment for everyone! We all know that feeling this time of year, when the shopping is done, but I've never seen anyone brave enough to announce it in such a way -- she seemed like the kind of person I would want to hang out with!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

School Inclusion workshop

I just got back from a 2 day workshop about school inclusion, by a woman named Darcy Elks -- google her, and you can find some info about this spectacular woman, and she has quite literally revolutionized the way I think about my son! I went to this workshop feeling very beaten down, ready to give up, thinking that the system isn't working for my son, and I feel now that I've been reminded of just how capable my son really is, and I'm renewed in my vow to fight for him, and get him the right education.

As the years have gone by with my son and his disability, I have joined groups, networked with other parents, and I realize how important that is --- change happens largely because of parents and their desire to make the world a better place for their kids, and I feel so empowered after this weekend. I met so many great people, all with wonderful stories to tell about their amazing children --- if you have a child with special needs, I strongly urge you to network with other parents, attend conferences, learn as much as you can -- it really does help you to become a better parent, a better advocate, a better person!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can't seem to keep up!

I realize I haven't posted anything since August.....I haven't posted any pics of all my redecorating, actually, I've been sort of stalled over here.

My son, who is 7, with PDD-NOS (an autism spectrum disorder) has been in school since September, and is NOT having a very good year this year.....lots of behaviour problems, he doesn't want to participate, the school doesn't know what to do, lots of calls to come and pick him up because he is not behaving -- I'm telling you, it is absolutely EXHAUSTING! I haven't got a clue how those parents that have to work full time are able to enroll their kids in school. My son has been going to his regular neighbourhood school, in a regular classroom since kindergarten, but it's just not working this year, and nothing seems very hopeful right now. I don't feel like the school and I are on the same page, he hates being there, I'm feel that he's really not wanted there, it's all pretty depressing, and has actually mentally been very draining -- I find that I just can't seem to get anything done these days, I spend most of my time researching, trying to figure out how to help him, talking to professionals, etc. I want to do what's right for him, but don't want to just send him off to a special education class (this has been offered to me by the school) because I feel so strongly that inclusion in a regular school with his friends and neighbours is really in his best interest. Sadly, I don't think my school feels the same -- much of the staff is overworked, they don't have enough support workers, and no one seems to have any alternative ideas as to how to fit this square peg into a round hole. Last year he was so happy to go to school, sure he had his problems, but this year it seems to be such a struggle each and every day to get him out the door. Recently, he's been watching the cartoon "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".....I'm sure you all know the story, Herbie, the elf that doesn't fit in, he wants to be a dentist, not a toymaker....my son often sings the song from the movie "I'm such a misfit"....and the other day he was singing it, and I said to him "your not a misfit" and he said "yes I am. I am a misfit, I don't fit in at school......but I fit in at home". My heart broke for him! I wish so much I could help him to fit in, I wish I could do more to help my school be truly inclusive, a place that he feels welcome and part of, instead of a place where he feels that he just can't measure up to everyone's expectations and demands.

One of my New Year's resolutions is most definitely to start concentrating a bit more on my creative side, attend to this blog more often, and try to focus on something in my life instead of autism. I wonder if the typical parent who isn't affected by autism in their lives, understands what parents of special needs children have to go through, just to get their children the education and attention that they deserve. The meetings, the phone calls, the tears, it is something I never even THOUGHT about before my son came along--- being an advocate has become my full time job! But, all I have to do is look at my son, hear his silly jokes and I realize it is all worth it, every minute of it! I wouldn't change him for the world-- the beauracracy of the school system for sure....but never him!

Monday, August 18, 2008

redecorating!

Do you notice that when you begin a redecorating or renovation project, it quickly balloons into so much more! We have decided to recarpet our house, no small job, we have a fairly big house, with LOTS of carpet. Right now its a dusty rose.....I loved it 13 years ago when we moved in....not so much anymore, my tastes have changed - funny how that happens, isn't it? Anyhoo, so OK, I convinced the hubby that it is time to replace the carpet....then I look around, and think, "Wow, the chair rails and baseboards, really the whole lower part of the wall (which is all painted white) needs refreshing.....both in the upstairs hall and down.....and while we are at it, I've always HATED the light oak stain on the stairs....wouldn't white painted spindles look so much better? And if we are getting new carpet, maybe we should paint some bedrooms? My son's playroom is wallpapered in a light yellow stripe (it was formally his nursery, and then my craft room) and he announced he would LOVE a red room (his favourite colour). And the spare room is looking kind of tired, and I'm a bit bored of the wallpaper in our room.....and while we are at it...the kitchen countertops need updating.....

I'm dizzy just thinking about it all! I'm revisting my plans to paint the spare room and master bedroom......I'm already tired of painting, I've only done one coat in the playroom.......but the stairs....now that is going to be a big job...we have over 100 spindles!!! Whose idea was that! So we are knee deep in renos over here, I'm trying to just take a deep breath, dive in and get something accomplished every day. Thank goodness my son is in daycamp all week....and school is right around the corner, so I should be able to get this all done by the end of September! I've been visiting many great decorating blogs for inspiration, and promise to post pictures here soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Swingtown


Has anyone seen the new CBS show "Swingtown"? So far I'm finding it really great -- interesting concept, and it's not like they really dwell on the Swinging aspect of the show -- it goes much deeper than that.....but what I'm loving is the music, and the atmosphere of the show! It brings me right back to the 70's, the decor, the outfits, the attitude.....it's great, and making me realize that the 70's was one of my favourite decades!!! I was born in 64, so I can't really remember the 60's....and the 80's....oh let's not think about the bad hair and clothing from that decade....but the 70's.....carefree, funloving.....yep, I'm declaring the 70's my favourite decade so far!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finally, some new pieces!

I've been in a very inspired mood lately, creating jewelry, making some newer styles, and of course, having fun! I've FINALLY updated my website, I never thought I would get some time to sit down and do it, and I PROMISE I will keep it up! Please come and visit me here and please, tell me what you think! Here are some pics for you to get an idea of what my new collection is all about






Wednesday, April 30, 2008

icraft.ca

I have a new venue for selling my jewelry at icraft.ca I'll be posting more in the days and weeks to come, check out some of my designs! This is a Canadian company, much like etsy and it's pretty new, it's exciting to be there from the beginning! Here are some of the items I've posted so far:






Monday, April 14, 2008

Autism - the Musical on HBO

I finally sat down yesterday and watched "Autism - the Musical" - it aired in the US on HBO, here in Canada on the Movie Network, and I think it still might be listed on the Movie Network on Demand if you care to watch it. Wow, what a powerful movie! It's a documentary of a project called "The Miracle Project", created by Elaine Hall. I couldn't believe the candor of the parents, they really opened up and let everyone into their world. The director of the documentary (Tricia Regan) really showing all aspects of what we as families go through living with autism. This wasn't another "doom and gloom, look how bad our lives are living with autism" video.....this showed it all, the good, the bad, the happiness, the tears, it was very powerful. I kept trying to "see" my son in some of the children profiled, and really couldn't -- he wasn't totally like any of them....but then again, isn't that what the "spectrum" is all about -- these children are all so different! The movie made me think about autism in different ways, think about the way in which we interact with autistic children, what we expect from them, etc. It made me uncomfortable sometimes, happy, sad --- in short it really made me THINK.

This trailer I understand was put together to promote "The Miracle Project". It features some of the kids from the movie:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Elephant in the playroom

I've been reading this book lately, and I LOVE it! It's a group of short stories, written by parents of special needs children, and when I first bought it, I thought "wow, what a great book to give to a parent of a special needs child" but now that I'm reading through it, I think it's something that would be wonderful for parents of TYPICAL children to read.

I have read SOOOOOO many books about autism, the spectrum, sensory processing disorder, you name it, I've read it! As a parent of a child on the spectrum, I do feel that I need to educate myself as much as possible --- but this book was a fun read, just something to make me think! Many of the stories made me cry -- and made me thankful that our issues are surprisingly small compared to what some families have to go through.....ALL the stories have further reinforced my feelings that parents of children with special needs really are a "different" kind of parent -- we get pushed to limits sometimes that other parents just can't understand -- that's why I think this is a book that ALL parents can relate to -- you don't need to have a special needs child to understand.

As you can see from the image, which I borrowed from here the book is on sale too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Horton gets 2 thumbs up!!!


We saw "Horton Hears a Who" today after MUCH anticipation from my son!!! I thought March 14th would never arrive, as he has reminded me DAILY ever since we saw the trailer for the movie back in January, that we had to see the movie on today's date (it's premiere). Even Mr. Limefreckle came home early from work so we could all see the movie together, and it did not disappoint. Jim Carrey is amazing, as he always is in anything he puts his stamp on -- and it was a funny, warm, family movie. Steve Carrell is also fast becoming another favourite in our family (my son first discovered him in "Evan Almighty", and I can't get enough of "the Office"!)

A good time was had by all, and I'll be very surprised if this movie isn't the box office #1 of the weekend! The story is so heartwarming --- my favourite quote of the movie? "I said what I meant and I meant what I said....an elephant's faithful 100 percent!" Now who doesn't wish more people would just say what they mean, and mean what they say???

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ever have one of these days?




I felt like this guy today......as many of you know, I have an almost 7 year old son that has autism. He's pretty mild, and I THOUGHT our meltdown days were behind us....but today he had one, at the local pool -- he wanted to go to the Snoezelen room at the recreation centre (it's a room designed to relax the senses) -- we've been several times before, not in a few years, and he's swam at this particular pool many times without insisting on visiting the snoezelen room....but today, he was having a hard time understanding that we couldn't just go into the room and use it -- (you need to book the room, a "facilitator" accompanies you in, etc.) His meltdown wasn't too bad, as meltdowns go, not nearly as crazy as the little guy in this video, but there was some yelling involved, some pulling of hair (him pulling mine) some crying (both of us) --- it was NOT FUN!!! What occured to me, as I sat on the floor of the rec centre desperately trying to convince my son that we needed to get going, and that we could come back to use the room another time, was that the meltdowns aren't really that hard to deal with on your own....it's the reactions of everyone around you when they are happening that make them so hard. Take a look at the faces of the other shoppers in this video....I know them well! And don't get me wrong, it's natural for people to be startled when they see a child melting down......it's just human nature to turn your head and watch ---- I suppose it's just something that I will have to learn to live with. One time I remember when my son was young, he had a MASSIVE meltdown as we were leaving a store....I was wrestling with him, the cart, my packages....a kind, older gentleman was trying to cajole him into good humour (he was I think about 2 or 3 then, couldn't yet talk, and I'm not really sure how much he understood). When we got out to the parking lot, I had to abandon my packages at the door to the store, and head to the car with my kicking and screaming son. The older man came along, and did he offer to carry my packages? No ---- he came up to my son and said "stop crying, or I will take you away from your Mommy, and you will never see her again!".......I don't know why, but that struck me as absolutely HILARIOUS!!! Here I was, mid meltdown, and this guy thought that threatening to kidnap my son and never return him was going to help this situation!!!!! It was just what I needed at the moment to lift my mood, get my son into the car, and get us home......I will never forget that! Many people thought it was shameful of him to say that....but I guess I just sensed that he was truly trying to help...no matter how misguided.....like I said, perhaps carrying my parcels would have been a great option.....but hey, he at least made me laugh in the midst of it all.....

So I do always try to find the humour in the situation.....I try to be patient, to help my son work through his frustration and his anger -- but it's hard!!! Today, just as I was thinking that our new home was going to be this recreation centre, because my boy was NOT budging until that door opened......one of the front desk employees came over to tell us that a "facilitator" had been found, and we could go into the room! Oh joy of joys!!!!!!! I wrestled for a moment with the fact that I would be rewarding the bad behaviour....but I figured that, as the snoezelen room was designed to help people with sensory and other related issues, we should probably use it to help whatever was bothering him today.......so in we went, for some much needed relaxation for him AND for me!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by my friend Roxi and I'm supposed to tell you 6 or 7 random things about myself....which is so hard, because, although I am a talker, it's taken me forever to come up with something to say here....but I'll give it a try!

1) When I was young, I was constantly breaking my arm....no kidding, I had 3 casts (1 on the right, 2 on the left) and more sprains than I can remember --- I was (and still am) a VERY klutzy kid, and was constantly tripping and falling and breaking an arm -- everyone had theories about why - my Grandpa said I didn't drink enough milk.....but really, I think I was just a big klutz! Oh, broke my collarbone once too.....that was fun!

2) I don't know how to snap my fingers.....never learned......oh the shame!!!

3) I love being a Mom!!! Before I had my son, I didn't put a whole lot of thought into the whole "having kids" business......I always knew I wanted, to, it's what you do after all, when you get married......but I have never been a baby person.....even 1 week before my son was born, I remember distinctly being afraid to hold my newborn nephew.....I was the type that always said "no thanks" when people offered me their kids......but once I had my own son....WOW....everything changed. I'm still not chasing after people to let me hold their babies, but I do love kids, love to be around kids, and if I'd known this about myself before, I would have become a teacher!

4) I'm addicted to television -- always watching something, soap operas, daytime talk shows, you name it, I've seen it.....and wow, thank God for digital recording!!! Should I be ashamed of my television viewing habits? I suppose....BUT I'M NOT!

5) I'm spoiled.....yes, I admit it. I have a cleaning lady, I go for massages, I get regular manis/pedis, facials......why do women feel guilty about that sort of thing? I don't know...but I try not to!!!

6) I love the beach! I'm a northern girl, born in Canada, in NORTHERN ONTARIO, a fairly snowy area of Canada.....but I secretly lust for a beach!!! I don't particularly like to SWIM in any body of water other than a pool, but I love to be NEAR the water......

7) I'm afraid of snakes -- but am trying to overcome this fear. I've always been so afraid of snakes I couldn't even watch them on tv then, along comes my son, who sees nothing wrong with snakes! So now, I can watch Animal Planet, even watch the biggest, ugliest snake, and not flinch too much......I can live with plastic snakes around the house (although I draw the line at them getting into my bed, which my son tried to pull one time). I hope and pray that he will never move to actually wanting LIVE snakes in the house, because I will definitely draw a line there ---- I don't know that I could ever overcome my fear enough to be in the company of a real snake.....but I'm trying!

There, I did it.....7 random things about myself! Now I'm supposed to tag 7 other bloggers, which could be hard, as I don't always talk with other bloggers......I READ a million blogs, but don't really KNOW those bloggers.....so I'll have to work on this one!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon WARNING -- NOT FOR CHILDREN!

These videos contain some mature content - so please don't watch them with your little one's in the room -- these were taken from the Jimmy Kimmel show -- I guess he has had an ongoing joke with Matt Damon on his show --- a rivalry of sorts.....

The first video was made by Jimmy's girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, and it's pretty funny....but again, this aired on late night tv...not for the little ones....



The next video was on after the Oscar's last night, and is Jimmy's response.....even funnier!



I can't believe all the celebs that appear in this one! I can't wait to see what comes next!

Does and Don't with a baby

I think I've posted before about one of my favourite blogs to read - Dooce - the girl that write's this is absolutely hilarious, and I check in frequently to see her take on the world -- I found this over there -- she never disappoints me when I'm looking for a laugh!



Sue

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who is a bully?

I've been thinking a lot about bullies lately. My son attended a presentation at school last week about bullies -- the police do this fairly often at schools these days, I don't ever remember it in our school, yet we certainly had our fair share of bullies. Whenever I think of a bully, I can't help but think of this guy, the bully in the movie "A Christmas Story ---he definitely looks like a bully.





but who is a bully? Sadly, they are all around us. I recently had a run-in with someone associated with my business, that I feel was trying to intimidate and bully me, and there's a big part of me that just can't believe, at this age I'm still dealing with bullies! But they grow up, and they continue to try and intimidate, and it's sad. I guess the best that we can do is to try and see what motivates a bully-- and usually it's fear and their own insecurities. When you can break it down like that, and feel sorry for them, it does make their actions a little bit easier to take (not much, but a little!). Bullies try to control people, I guess because they need to have control to feel confident in their world. Maybe the police should have presentations for adults in business about bullying - I wonder if adults would actually see themselves as bullies? Does a bully realize they are being a bully, or are they so full of justifications and anger that they can't recognize thier actions? I don't know, but I do know that sadly, they are all around us, and just because you grow up and leave the playground doesn't mean that you aren't going to run into them again!

I'm glad that my association with this particular bully has come to an end. I can put this chapter behind me, and I've learned a lesson about being more particular about the type of person that I enter into business arrangements with. In this situation, there were many cues to tell me that this person was not the kind of person I wanted to associate with, but I didn't listen to those cues -- next time I will take my own intuition much more seriously!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wiarton Willie, were you paying attention???

Last week my son and I watched Wiarton Willie proclaim to the world that we would have an early spring. So much for Willie's predictions, we've been inundated with snow around here! We had 2 snow days in a row, combined with an early release day this week, and a PD day last week, it's like the kids are already on spring break! Yesterday my friends and I piled the kids into our vans, after a quick stop at Tim Hortons for coffee (oh yes, we admit it, we are most definitely suburban moms!) and off we went to a nearby hill, with fresh powder just begging for some sledding! The kids had fun, and we had quite a few laughs, watching the silly things that they do. It's so interesting to get a bunch of kids together (there were 9 in all, ranging in age from 4 to 10) and watch how they behave......heading down the hill standing up on the toboggans, sliding down the hill on their bellies with no toboggans, rolling down the hill head over heels, "just because it's fun", sitting at the bottom of the hill with their faces planted in the snow ---- I won't pretend to understand them, but I do envy their attitudes! The girls seemed to compose themselves a little better......but the boys, my how silly they can be! I hope that in the years to come, they remember these days, the fun we had, this is what being a mom is all about, in my eyes!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow on the streets of Toronto!

Last Friday we had a snowstorm in Toronto! If you live in or near Toronto, you understand how that hardly ever happens --- snow just doesn't normally stay on the streets of Toronto. I of course, happened to pick that particular Friday night to head into the city, as a cousin of mine was in town, and we had planned a night of wine drinking, catching up, dinner, more drinks, more talking and then finally falling into the most luxurious beds at the King Eddy hotel.....with NO husbands or children or dogs to disturb us....I was not about to let a silly thing like 20cm of snow deter me from my planned recreation, so I bundled up and headed into town. My cousin and I are both from the Northern regions of Ontario.....we know snow.....we grew up driving in snow....she lives even further north than me, so a little bit of snow wasn't going to stop us from heading up Yonge Street to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. The streets were empty, the trees (the few trees in the city) were heavy with snow, we were covered head to toe after our 5 block walk....it was wonderful! People were having snowball fights in Dundas square -- it was picture postcard perfect! Today I saw this little gem and had to laugh -- this is what the rest of the country thinks of Toronto when it snows!


Ironically, as I post this, I had to cancel lunch with my friend, as schools here, including the Montessori that her children attend, (that was my favourite part in the video!) have been cancelled due to inclement weather! Such is life in Canada folks!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Horton Hears a Who


Who remembers this book? We were recently at the movies, and saw a preview for this, starring Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell. Now my son, who is an ELEPHANT FANATIC, cannot wait to see this movie.......March 14th cannot get here soon enough! I decided we might as well at least get the book, to keep him happy in the meantime. I had forgotten the story, which, if you haven't read it in awhile, is about an Elephant (Horton) who hears an entire world on a speck of dust, and sets out to protect them. Now, many of you know, and some of you might not, that my son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which, in layman's terms, is somewhere along the autism spectrum. The day we set out to buy this book, I had phone calls from 2 other moms I know who also have kids on the spectrum, looking for advice, comfort etc. in dealing with their schools, and advocating for their kids. When we sat down and read the book that night, I realized just how timeless Dr. Seuss is! "A person is a person, no matter how small" really rang true for me, and reminded me that every voice counts!
I cannot wait to see the movie, even Mr. Limefreckle is pretty enthused about it! Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell are 2 of the funniest actors I know, so I'm sure their voice talents are going to really make this movie a success. And speaking of Jim Carrey..... how cool would he be for a kid on the spectrum! Jenny McCarthy's son must have the time of his life with that guy!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Year's resolutions

It's another year, and I am determined to update this blog more frequently! I have so much on my list of things I want to do, I want to update my etsy site, my website and spend more time creating new designs, especially some new mosaics, which I've neglected for far too long.

To start it all off, I've designed this new blog header, and a new header for my website. I've discovered the world of digital scrapbooking, and I love it! This header was created using Scrapbook Max! a new program I've been playing with, as well as embellishments from GMD. What do you think?