First of all, THANK YOU for all the beautiful comments yo left me and us about the podcast. I got comments, in my inbox, on Facebook, Instagram, here, on my voice mail, on the Paperclipping Roundtable Website... and all were so generous and positive, and nice!!! I couldn't believe it!! Especially because after the recording I was thinking "wow, it went so fast, I didn't say much". Well, apparently it was just fine, and maybe even better. :) So thank you so much again for all this awesome feedback. It is so so so appreciated, you have no idea!!!!
Yesterday on my blog I was talking about an album I made for Arielle when we came to Connecticut. I'd like to show it to you. It's an album I made for her because when we arrived here, Maya had developmental issues, was a late crawler (started crawling at 1), a late walker and a very late talker. And we had specialist coming over every week to check on her and to work with her, and I think it was hard on Arielle who had to wait for one hour that was dedicated 100% to Maya. This + the move, the other language that she didn't understand, the second move in less than a year in our new house... All of this was too much and she started to show signs that something was wrong. I didn't like that at all. So one thing the therapist who were coming for Maya suggested I do is a book about her. (Yeah, I was delighted that I HAD to make a book!!! lol) I had to make a book about Arielle. About her birth, her life in Switzerland (the one she was crying about, at only 2, she wanted to go back home! RIGHT. NOW!), the big move across the Atlantic, the rental house in Farmington and the new house in Avon. And they suggested I read that with her, just like I read a story book. I executed myself and here is the album. (they didn't have such an album in mind and were pretty impressed. ;) he he he!!)
First, presentation of her family. Us 4.
And the extended family. My side. And Patrick's side.
Translation: They love me. And I liste the names of every uncle, aunt and cousins she has.
Then, here is a map of Switzerland.
I highlighted the place she was born and where we lived with a glittery chipboard star.
Translation: This is Switzerland. It's the country where I was born. My dad is Swiss and my mom is Canadian. Maya and I are Swiss AND Canadian.
I added some pictures of Switzerland. Some of them include us and her. There's the flag, and the most well known mountain. The "edelweiss" and the cows, the city I like the most, Luzern, and the little villages in the mountains. That's Switzerland how I know it. As I am writing this, I feel like it's been YEARS since I lived there. It's been 3 years, but it feels like way more!
And then comes her birth.
This is a picture of the hospital where I had her. So many memories are bound to this picture!!!! For me obviously. For her, not so much. And I'm happy about that! I thought I'd die there.
The date. The arrow points to our room, giving to the parking lot. Every time I saw Patricks car pulling in, I felt a huge relieve. When I saw him leave I felt like crying. I stayed there 5 days and it was the Euro, soccer championship so there was parties every where and lots of noise and we couldn't sleep very well. ... I din't write that. Maybe I should, in MY scrapbook, as a liberating act... :)
This is not my most glorious picture, but probably my most precious one. I'm not sure who was taking care of who on this picture. Probably a little bit of both.
This is our everyday life. 2 years in Switzerland put together in some photos on a two page spread.
This is the life at the apartment where we were living when Arielle was born. Our outside life was limited to this balcony. I always always had Arielle on me, in this baby wrap. At home or not, she was in my arms. For one full year!
And one year later we moved to a small house very close to there. We had a tiny backyard, one very good friend with a son about the same age as Arielle and the most beautiful view on the city. A 2'x2' plastic pool and I was pregnant again.
And little sister Maya was born. Arielle had just turned 2 and I loved her more than anything on this planet.
This is Arielle meeting Maya for the first time. I stayed in this hospital (I had chosen another hospital this time - MUCH BETTER!!) another 5 days. My iron was very very low so I couldn't walk by myself.
And two months after that, we learned that we were moving, to the USA, in 2 weeks! We said goodbye to our friends, to Patrick's family, and just like that, we left. This was quite a feeling. I don,t talk about it in the book. Again, maybe it's something I should tackle in my scrapbook, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure I want my kids to know everything. They will hear me say times and again that I will never go back to Switzerland and maybe that is just enough. I'm still not sure.
So here is a picture of us at the airport. Patrick's parents took it. Arielle didn't really know what was happening because she already had taken the plane several times before to go visit her other grand-parents, and cousins, and to go see Mickey Mouse and palm trees. And also because when we left, we still had EVERYTHING in our house. The moving company was coming the very next day to pack everything. We wer supposed to get it one month later, but because there was a bombing threat the day our things arrived at the port, they freezed the cargo for another month. We had our things in December. Right when we got our house. That was 2 months after we got to the USA. We had the right to put a smaller cargo on a plane. This cargo was supposed to arrive 10 days after us. I had packed the essentials for baby and little girl, and more clothes (because we only had 2 luggages in the plane with us - the girls had 2 strollers so no place for luggages). Because Patrcik had to bring lots of clothes for work, I had on ly a couple of t-shirts for me and very little clothes for the girls. Well, this cargo also got into some trouble and we got it 2 months later, exactly at the same time we got all the rest of our belonging. I didn't say that in the book. Maybe I should make a page about it? Again, not sure.
And on the map I highlighted with some small gems Connecticut, that's where we were going, in red, and Boston and New York in blue. These are the two cities we knew around where we were going. I added a yellow dot for my parents, to show Arielle that we now live close to them (no need to cross the ocean or fly to go see them!).
And because that's something she knew and liked and something she could refer to, I also highlighted Disney in blue which was also relatively close to us. Well, at least, closer.
This is the documenting of the trip itself. We were lucky enough to have a business class flight. Pat and Arielle had their own seats and I had to share one with Maya who had just urned 3 months old on the 26th, 3 days before the flight.
In the plane we were in business class: we could make a bed out of our seat. During the whole flight, daddy played with you and made you laugh while I was taking care of Maya who was still so small. You didn't sleep a bit and after a 10 hours flight we finally arrived in New-York.
Here again, no details about waiting in line for 2 hours, with 2 babies in the arms, no strollers, security agents wouldn't let us go to a family line, we had to wait like everyone else. The guy at the custom, as he saw us, asked how long we had been waiting. We said two hours and he was very upset. They should have let you through, he said. It was too late. We were so happy and relieved when we got our strollers. Never again have we packed the strollers in the luggage bin. NEVER!
This is one page about our first month, living at the hotel, no car, looking for a house to rent. We had one month to find something. Patrick was working the whole days so my parents came and stayed with us and I could go visit houses with them (and the 2 babies). That wasn't awesome at all. In the hotel room, no highchair, of course, no changing table, of course, and I had to go eat at the dining room, alone with my (sometimes crying) babies for a whole week! After that Patrick brought me to Canada where I stayed for the remaining 3 weeks. Remember that we only had a couple of t-shirts?! I was happy to be at my parents house, with help, a washer and dryer, and no worries when the babies were crying, or fussing and not sleeping.
This is the hotel room.
And the next photo is my sister in law and her daughter. THEY WERE HAPPY THAT WE WERE MOVING.
This is the house we rented for the first couple of months.
Here I put together some fun things that happened during our first 10 months in the USA.
The animals we saw in our backyard (it's like a zoo here with all the forests!!!), the numerous visits of Patrick's family who were missing the kids like crazy. His sister came twice in 2-3 months and his parents also came twice in one year.
We could celebrate Arielle's 3 years old birthday party with my parents who were VERY HAPPY to finally be with us for such occasion. My brother and his family also came to visit us. Our kids say each other only a couple of times while I was living in Switzerland. That was very sad, so at least now, we take advantage of the fact that we are so "close". Still 5 hours road trip, right?! (through little Switzerland - you'll understand if you have listened to the podcast).
While we were living in Farmington, Arielle started Pre-school. Here, school starts at 3. I was nervous for Arielle because she didn't speak one single word English. but we chose the best school and the best teachers for Arielle and everything went smooth and fine. She did came home a couple of times crying, saying that the other kids where pushing here over, but nothing else. And 2 months later, she spoke English. So because the school was a positive experience, I also added it to the book. The little girl she's holding by the hand became her best friend on the first day of school and they stayed best friends a long time.
This is our new house. Arielle said a lot that she wanted to go back to Switzerland, but when we moved to this house, she said a lot that she wanted to go back to the house in Farmington. So I had to make this house look good! With bought her nice furniture for her room, and nice lining for her bed. I decorated her room (it's the only room in our house that is decorated because we don't know how long we are staying and we use that as an excuse, or a reason not to decorate. I don't love this idea. I guess the expense of having a house are also so big that there's only little left to invest in home decor.) So anyway, the book end on that note.
We looked at it a couple of times. it was hard. There were lots of questions about how was it in Switzerland. As the time passed, she forgot things. Then she held on to Farmington a lot. Until not long ago, she was still saying that she wanted to go back to HER house, in Farmington. Now she's 5, she started Kindergarten, she loves it, has new friends, speaks perfect English, we don't need this little album any more. But I just realized now by showing it to you how precious this little book is. I guess I will add pages as life happens. And in some years, this will be worth gold! It already is.
The conclusion is: take out your camera and document! Even the little things. And as you could see it here, only one photo of something does the trick! No need to spend hours shooting and processing photos. A beautiful scrapbook is not necessarily made out of nice pictures. The memories make it a good book!!
Thanks for stoping by!!