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Hi there strangers

Hi, I'm back!  I have to apologize for my long absence.  I'm hoping to put a lot more time in to drawing in the next little while, and I've got a few ideas and changes coming up for my little blog.  But first, I thought I'd catch my few loyal followers up on what we've been doing while I was gone.

We moved!

For those that don't know, we recently moved.  Not just houses, but towns.   And we're so happy with our decision!  But, it was sort of spur of the moment, chaotic, time-consuming, and stressful, so my hobbies took the backseat for a while.

Here's the longer story (with pictures!)

We'd toyed with the idea of moving to this area for ages.  I wanted to be closer to my family, and we had the general sense that we could afford more if we moved a little further out of the Greater Toronto Area.  We talked about it fairly often and I regularly stalked houses here on MLS, but we knew we shouldn't uproot unless the benefits of moving really outweighed the comfort and ease of staying put.

We found our dream house in a town south of Toronto

Then, one late fall day of last year, the kids fell asleep in the car close to bedtime.  So, on a lark, we took an hour and a half road trip just to drive by this beautiful 4 bedroom Queen Anne that I'd seen on MLS (and had been daydreaming about for months.)

It was lovely. I swooned like a teenager as we drove by four or five times.

We did some quick math and realized that we could buy this house with a much lower mortgage payment than the bungalow we were currently outgrowing.  As a single income family, we were feeling pretty house poor, so the idea of more month at the end of our money was very appealing.  And, we were looking at more space in a beautifully restored century home close to my family (yet not much further from Scott's).  We went from undecided to totally on board with the idea of relocating.

(Spoiler alert: this isn't the house we ended up buying, but it did set the plan in motion.)

Then we found a real estate agent.

A few TINY changesI got in touch with Adele, a book club friend and amazing real estate agent.  She came over to do a property assessment.

She had a home stager come by to give us a list of everything we needed to do to get the house ready to sell.  We still had work to be done from a renovation the year before, so a few small changes was actually a pretty big list of to-do's, including painting, drywall work, plumbing, and taking out about 75% of our clutter.

And then we got to work

We were taken aback by the amount of to-do's on our list

I, of course, worried about everything that could go wrong...as I'm known to do.  Scott, on the other hand, took everything in stride and assumed the best outcome.  As he's known to do.

We went from the daydreaming stage to selling our home in under two months, so things moved really quickly.  (This is probably when I stopped drawing and started staring blankly at my phone in my free time.)

Luckily, we had help

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Luckily for us, we had some great help from friends and family.  Especially this guy, who really kept the project on track.  Nothing motivates you like having your volunteer helper start work before you've finished your morning cup of coffee.  Without him, we'd probably still be in our old house daydreaming about this move.  (In case he's reading this, he should know that we're very grateful.)  

And, by some miracle, despite kids and work and some medical adventures thrown in the mix, we got our old house ready in about a month.  Next up was staging, selling, and moving.  Which I've done a bit of doodling about, so stay tuned for more next week 🙂

I haven't been very active on the blog lately, but did complete some Inktober (but, of course not the whole challenge because, well, life.)

I'm not sure why these never made it to the blog.  Here is my Inktober roundup.

Inktober 2016 Day 2
Day 2, just doodling about the Occupational Therapy exercises that I'm doing with my young man.
Inktober 2016 Day 3
Day 3, not following themes at this point, just doodling some girls
Inktober 2016 Day 4
Day 4 - A flowy floral wreath
Inktober 2016 Day 8
Day 8 - Trying out a dip pen
Inktober 2016 Day 9
Day 9 - A's with a dip pen
Inktober 2016 Day 13
Day 13 - All sorts of ladies
Inktober 2016 Day 14
Day 14 - More ladies
Inktober 2016 Day 16
Day 16 - Went on theme for this one. Wet. (Not sure why I said it was Day 4?)
Inktober 2016 Day 17
Day 17 - Battle. This is my son's 'Team' at school, called The Catastrophe Crew.
Inktober 2016 Day 18
Day 18 - Escape. Luckily neither of my kids have done this one!
Inktober 2016 Day 19
Day 19 - Escape. Luckily neither of my kids have done this either...yet!
Inktober 2016 Day 20
Day 20 - Squeeze. Clara's hugs always come with an extra special squeeze
Inktober 2016 Day 21-22-23
Days 21, 22, and 23 - A few days wrapped into one (a cheat, yes, I know!) Big, Little, and Slow respectively
Inktober 2016 Day 24
Day 24 - Getting Hallowe'en-y now. One Dozen eyes
Inktober 2016 Day 25
Day 25 - My last one before life got in the way. Tired. Dead Tired

 

On my wish list as a kid was to fly in a hot air balloon.  I've been bungee jumping, skydiving, and piloted an ultralight plane, but no hot air balloon yet!
Maybe one day these two kiddos will join me. For now, though, I'll have to be content with making up Doodles and Stories for them about high flying adventures.

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Back to school is on Tuesday and my little man is entering Senior Kindergarten.  I could use a lot more lazy summer days, and to tell the truth, I'm sending him off with a trepid heart.  I'd like to wrap him in bubble wrap and keep him safe from all the challenges, both emotional and physical, that school can offer.  But, I'll keep a brave face, trust that he'll find his way, and focus on pinning cool back to school lunch ideas.

 

 

 

Coloured line drawing of man and woman embracing
William saw this drawing and asked if it was Mom and Dad on their wedding day, which I thought was sweet.

I'm working on a little comic.  If the stars align, I'm hoping to finish it by midweek.

Comic of Mother being pleasantly surprised with a gift of her children for Mothers Day

This Mother's Day, I asked my hubby for a little bit of time to myself. I love my kids, but when Motherhood is a full time job, the occasional break is nice.  So, my wonderful husband took the kids to his parent's house for the night and part of today to give me a Mother's Day break. But all last night, I couldn't help but think about my babies, so I quickly did this comic. I loved sleeping in until noon (NOON!) today, and I can't wait to see my babies 🙂

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am listening to a song on repeat, again and again.  I love this song!  Precious Love by James Morrison.  Here's a great video version, Live at Lightning 100 Studio.

ps. Check out the last scene in Schitt's Creek season final "Happy Anniversary" to see Eugene Levy "Raising the Roof" to this song.  It will make your day!

 

 

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I am finally working on a new comic. Happy Spring Everyone!

 

Simple Watercolour drawing of  childen on a rollercoaster

I came across this little drawing while I was sorting through some old pictures.  I had made it for my nephew's 3rd birthday.   He was enthralled with "Lollicoasters" at the time.  Now that little 3 year old is a big kid and likes Minecraft and Soccer.

 

 

 

 

Rare Disease Awareness emblem for Clara and M-CM Syndrome

Today is Rare Disease Day, which is a day meant to spread awareness about rare diseases.  My daughter Clara has M-CM (aka MCAP) Syndrome, which stands for Megalencephaly Capillary Malformation Syndrome. M-CM is very, very rare, and not a lot is understood about the syndrome.  There are only around 200 people diagnosed with it worldwide.  M-CM causes body and head overgrowth and abnormalities of the skin, vascular system, brain and limbs.  We know that M-CM is a spectrum, so some children have only a few issues and some children are affected with more serious neurological symptoms, delays, and/or health problems. The children we've met online are beautiful, brave, and very strong.

M-CM is the reason for most of the health concerns Clara has had in her young life, such as: her heart conditions (PDA, ASD, Enlarged Heart, and Fetal Atrial Flutter), Pulmonary Hypertension, Macrocephaly, and her gross motor and speech delays. We have been very lucky that most of her issues are fixeable, maneagable, and/or mild so far.  We feel incredibly blessed to be followed by a number of medical experts at Sick Kids hospital, as well as Early Intervention, who all care so much about Clara.

As for Clara's future, we think it will likely take her longer to walk and talk, and she may have some ongoing health issues, she may even have some delays, but we feel that her future is still bright. She doesn't let anything stop her so far. We are so proud of Clara and love her with all our hearts!

Here are some links with more information:

M-CM Network - Some of the other online info about the syndrome is out of date and/or innacurate.  M-CM.net is run by Christy Collins, an M-CM Mom and advocate. M-CM.net provides the most accurate and up to date info about M-CM.

Rare Disease Day - is an initiative to raise awareness about all types of rare diseases (not just M-CM.)It

If you want to know more about M-CM Syndrome, feel free to contact me!

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