1 December 2013

Back to the Beginning...

The start of our journey.....
These were my true feelings....

March 19th, 2013

Today was the worst day so far of my life. We found out that Baby Collins has Down syndrome. We went in this morning to the OB to get the results of the blood test. I guess there is no right or easy decision to make but all we ask for is your support. Yes, I am Catholic and I do believe in God but we need to do what is best for our little family. Through testing, you will never know the severity of the Down syndrome....why would we put a child through hell? There are just so many questions, thoughts and then more questions. All I know is that we are 17 weeks and we need to figure out soon what to do. I know that you guys will want to send a heart felt message but I have cried so much today that I am just asking that you say a little prayer for us and maybe you can just leave a heart to show us that you support and care. I am so lucky and blessed to have the most amazing friends and family. xoxoxo

March 22nd, 2013

Just a little update......we called the OB the other day to set up an appointment to terminate the pregnancy. They were going to call me back but I haven't heard anything. I also have not called back to find out. I have been reading some mommy blogs to get an idea of what it is like to have a child with Down syndrome. They are all heartwarming. We have decided to keep our ultrasound booked for this coming Wednesday to see if there are possibly any other issues. My placenta is still a concern. We are truly on the fence and flip flop constantly. This is by far the hardest decision we will ever have to make and is something that we have to live with forever. Thank you, truly for all of your support, your own personal stories but above all for not judging. I just want to get through this and resume our lives. I thank God for Brinley because that little bean still needs to be fed, watered and loved. She makes us laugh constantly. What a wonderful little girl. Xo

PS....the appointment to terminate was just to have the appointment, it didn't mean we would follow through. Hope that makes sense.

March 25th, 2013

Hi ladies...so we met with a couple today, they have a one year old and a 3 year old little cutie who has Ds. They are our age and she is just as crazy as me, so it was a nice visit. They are both RCMP out here and live in Okotoks. We spent a couple hours with them and got lots of answers and support. James hasn't really spoken to any of his friends about all of this, so it was nice that he could talk to somebody and get some info. He is having a very difficult time with all of this and some of you know that he internalizes a lot, so getting him to really speak up about how he's feeling, isn't always easy. We have our ultrasound booked for Wednesday morning at 8:30 at The Foothills. We will be making our decision that day. We need to see if my placenta is functioning ok and if babe has any more health issues. We got a call on Saturday and the charge nurse told me that I was scheduled to be induced that day. Nobody shared this info with us. crazy. Let you know how things are going.

March 27th, 2013

Hi guys....it was a good morning. We had a very thorough ultrasound done by an excellent tech. All the baby's measurements are excellent, better than Brinley's actually. The heart, right now looks good, the hands are straight, the legs and arms are measuring right on track, the kidneys and lungs and head are also looking great. The baby was out of control busy and wild all during the ultrasound. It was pretty sweet. The doctor just wasn't 100% sure that the baby has Ds because of all the measurements including the nasal bone and neuchal. James and I feel that we are 99% sure that baby has Down syndrome but we have decided to go for an amnio tomorrow just to be 100%. You know that I am OCD and need to know. So much for the 800 bucks we spent on the NIPT. Oh well. Also, I won't be attending my uncle's funeral which makes me a bit sad but we need to do what we need to do. It's important to us. Oh, did I mention that baby is a little girl??? :)))) Due to the great results today, and that they don't see any major health issues, we have decided to not terminate the pregnancy, so from now on, we move forward, get connected and maybe some counselling to control my anxiety and some of our fears. We feel that we are making the best decision for our little family and all of you played a role as well. Because we have such a strong support system, we know that we have your support and love. This little bean is going to be perfect, beautiful and loved. Love you all. xoxoxox

March 28th, 2013

The amnio went well...uncomfortable and bizarre feeling. A bit crampy now but relaxing. Xo

April 2nd, 2013

We just got our results back and again, we are expecting a beautiful little girl who may need a little extra support but who will have all the love in the world. Brinley will be the best big sister!!!



28 November 2013


Ignore the soother ;)

It's Amanda's turn again....it will be a nice break for the blog readers. No poop, no humping and no sex. Just in case you have enjoyed my recent topics, I will be back. :)

I am still going to include pictures of the girls because I take too many and love to share.

The other thing, I need more blog followers. If you aren't following yet (down the right column), sign up!! It's about knowing who is reading the blog and me getting to know who is following along, on this incredible journey! :)

As the saying goes, appreciate the little things. Last week I was in bed most of Wednesday, with a very bad migraine headache, I could barely open my left eye or lift my head. The pain was the worst between 8a.m. and 4p.m. and to top it off Gage ( he is 4) was home all day as well. I was dreading it simply because Gage is a typical 4 year old boy, loud, crazy, daring and stubborn. I have had migraines before with just Gage and I and to say it was like living in the pits of hell for a day with a hot poker in my eyeball is an understatement. However Wednesday, was different, like the powers that be knew I needed some help. This is where the little things come in, Gage was quiet and kind and thoughtful, now I am not saying that I gave birth to the spawn of satan ( although some days I feel I have two demons umm I mean difficult children)  as of late Gage and Grae have been harder to handle and seem to just not care about what Ryan or I say or do. So to have Gage listen on a day where my head feels like it was in a vice and being tightened until my eyes popped like grapes, was to say the least, a miracle! Not only was Gage good but when his sister came home from school they both kept quiet and no fighting and kept being great when Ryan came home from work. I know I need to relish this moment and bring it up on the days of yelling and fighting and wondering will it be hard forever. Parenting is hard and whoever tells you it isn’t is a liar, or on drugs and if that’s the case better share.
So glad I wrote the above the day it happened because almost a week later and feeling insane with the kids and I am contemplating a one way ticket for myself to Europe and return when the kids are married. However I am going to still appreciate the little things. My kids are driving me insane but they are healthy and happy and we have a roof over our heads. Ryan just got a job with Fortis Alberta in High River, a job he has wanted since the day he started the power line journey 2.5 years ago. I am hoping we get our new main floors this week and as soon as they are done, time to decorate for Christmas. Even though I appreciate the little things and try every day to see at least one positive in the midst of eye twitches as Gage and Grae try to out do one another who can yell 'STOP IT' the loudest, I admit I have days I would rather just pull up the covers, turn off the lights and be Debbie Downer and say Bah Hum Bug. Life is life and there are ups and downs and twists and turns and I guess what I am really trying to say is let it all happen. The good the bad the ugly and all the gooey stuff in between, because all of it is your story, it is up to you how you outline, write and edit it. Some of the best chapters are yet to be written.

Fell asleep holding a stuffy :)

26 November 2013

Don't Let Your Children Read This Post!

Sometimes it's a great day!!!! :)

Just a super short post tonight. It has nothing to do with Down syndrome. It has nothing to do with our perfect peanut. It is a lesson. A lesson that your children watch and listen to every word. They follow every action. They repeat what they hear and what they see.  James and I learnt this tonight....we will attend confession tomorrow and ask to be forgiven...well, James should ask for forgiveness.
I'm pretty sure that I will lose some devoted blog readers after this horrible parenting incident. Forgive us. Well, forgive James!

I was in the kitchen, doing my womanly duties.....heating up the shepard's pie that my mom dropped off for us!
James came into the kitchen and started to dry hump my butt. I tried to push him away and said that his daughter was right behind him, watching. What happened next will be forever engrained in my mind. James backed off, his daughter came up and started to dry hump my leg.

I'm sorry Brinley. Daddy has coverage for therapy and mommy will buy you a pony.

Happy birthday peanut! You also have therapy coverage!

24 November 2013

Poop....again! Sorry!! :)

I've been a slacker lately....maybe it was the 31 for 21 Challenge that did me in.
Life has been busy with lots of play dates and appointments for Adele. Man, she is high maintenance, but we still love her lots. :) I met with the FSCD worker to discuss what kind of funding and extra assistance would be needed for Adele. I told her upfront that I haven't heard one good thing about FSCD, only negatives, from doctors, nurses, friends who work in similar programs and friends who have children with disabilities...I prefer to call them abilities. :) I told her that this little girl is our world and that we expect supports that are necessary for her to thrive. I needed to be honest and I needed for her to know that James and I expect only the best. She was positive and seemed receptive to my comments.

We also went to the Child Developmental Centre and that was a waste of time. It takes an hour to get there and more when we have a snowstorm the night before. We got there and I checked in, the receptionist told me that my appointment had been cancelled because the worker went home sick. She asked if anybody had called me. Ummmmm.....no.
I told her that I drove all the way from High River and somebody better meet with me, even the cleaning lady, I don't care.
The OT met with us but the first thing she said was that we could have done this over the phone. Sigh.
She was happy with Adele's progress and was pleased with how she was doing in regards to her development and milestones being met.
Let's be honest, I only want to go to the CDC when absolutely necessary. My time is valuable.....sort of. :)

On the other hand, while Adele and I were waiting for our sort of appointment, this lovely lady was waiting as well for her meeting. She loved Adele and asked questions about her health. Again, it was one of those moments that made me smile. She has adopted many children over the years, all with disabilities as well has fostered many children. She was such a beautiful person. I thanked her for what she has done for others. What a model citizen. There are so many good people in the world. With all the crap in the media, I wonder sometimes what is happening to our world.
The other thing that has made me smile lately is BatKid! Way to go San Francisco on coming together to make a boy's dreams come true. Those stories make me smile.

Had to wear my housecoat!

We had Music Therapy with Jimmy on Friday. He is so wonderful with the girls. He cares about them, calls them by name and sets boundaries and rules with Brinley. He knows his stuff and I like it....good man!
Brinley felt more comfortable this time and went right in and pounded on the piano. Jimmy is trying to get Brinley engaged more and to spend more time on each instrument. She is getting there!! Jimmy decided that we would have our own mini music session. We used the drums and did an activity that he does with brain injured clients. He said that I was doing a pretty good job. PHEW!!! I have to tell you, I held my breath the entire time and got myself a little stressed out. I need to relax during my music therapy classes. ;)

All in all, a busy week but always wonderful and always wickedly awesome if Adele stays healthy!

A friend gave me an idea to write a letter to Brinley and to talk about how she is now as a little girl.

Dear Brinley,

I want to start this letter by telling you just how much I love you. You brighten up mommy's day. You make me smile and you test every ounce of my patience. I recently said in a post that being a stay at home mommy isn't the hardest job in the world but I would like to go back and perhaps edit that comment a bit....it is freaking hard some days and I do feel like it is the hardest job in the world!

You are becoming a beautiful, little lady. You are 20 months old and a little spit fire. You are calm and relaxed and cuddly, then you turn around and whip attitude out like no other. You get moody and you sometimes slap me in the belly, the arm, the face, the leg, the butt, the head and any other body part that you can reach during your time of spaz out. I don't believe in hitting back because what does that do? Nothing. It teaches you that when you hit mom it's not ok, but when mom hits you, it's allowed. Mommy will tell you that if you ever bite me, I will bite you back and you will learn your lesson. I don't care about the previous comment about being a good role model and not being a hypocrite, but I don't do biting. I will bite you! If you get sad and upset and want another mommy, I will provide you with the Kid's Help Phone number and you can call and cry to them about how mean your mommy is and that she bites you. I will even provide you with a box of Kleenex.
Mommy was thinking about potty training you now but I realized that you aren't quite at that point. You are showing interest but we will wait a few more months. I have to tell you that the older you get, the bigger the poops and the bigger then mess and the more mommy gags. Your daddy thinks it's funny when we eat corn the night before and then you poop it out the next day. He laughs. You will soon learn that boys are special. They are silly and they don't ever really grow up. Whether you find a male partner or a female partner, just make sure that they won't mind wiping your ass when you're old. Get that information in the first few weeks.

Just a little pooping story for you....
Mommy woke up one night and felt ill, really ill. This was long before you. I asked daddy to go into the other room because I just needed my space. I needed to be ill on my own. He left. Five minutes later, mommy realized that she had the flu or maybe she had had eaten a case of prunes that day and forgot!
Mommy shit the bed, shit on the floor, shit on the bathroom mat and shit on the toilet before it actually hit the right place.
Mommy went to get daddy because mommy just felt so awful and needed daddy's help. Mommy walked in the spare bedroom and woke daddy. Mommy was crying and told daddy that she shit all over the place. Daddy got up, grabbed the Lysol, rubber gloves and cleaned up all of mommy's shit. I knew at that very moment that Daddy and mommy would last forever.
I think mommy got off track and is thinking that perhaps you will not be given this letter. Mommy needs to get her lack of ability to focus for longer than three minutes checked out by the doctor.


Sometimes this is how we roll!
Boots, diaper, soother, belly sticking out and no shirt!

18 November 2013

Twitter and Selfies! :)

 Well, I have joined the world of Twitter. I always told my sister that I wasn't interested but I decided to do it to stalk famous people and get the word out on Down syndrome. It's a win win situation. I am still learning the ropes, but in time, I will get the whole hashtag thing. If you want to follow me, I'm @ColliKrista. I would love to connect with some of the blog readers. I've always wondered, who is actually following along on this journey? I want to get to know you. :) Join my #happyworld!! :))

Next topic....
I am not posting this to hurt anybody's feelings or upset friends and family. :) I don't understand selfies. Do people actually wake up in the morning half an hour early just to get all pretty and take a selfie? Do you get into the car, look in the mirror and think "Wow! I look hot! I will take a selfie and post it on Facebook, Pinterest and Tweet it out to all of my followers?" When you take a selfie and we all see the phone in your hand, which usually partially blocks your face...is this cool? Is this really the new, hip thing to do??
Pregnancy selfies....I see doing them for you and your family, but again, I don't understand, holding this big phone, hand under belly, like the baby will fall out, take the picture and post. Isn't there anybody in the house who can take the picture for you instead of you standing facing the mirror? My friend Amy at Modern Nest Photography would stand beside a chalkboard that was on the wall in the house, write the week and her cravings....she didn't take the picture. :) It was such a cool and classy idea.
There must be a way to hide the phone. I like selfies with another selfie in the picture. A child, friend, pet....
Some of you probably think I am worrying and concerning myself with something that is lame and really it's a personal choice to post selfies. I should be writing about Down syndrome, world hunger, hot men, what's for dinner etc. etc. etc.
I just had to touch on it because I don't think I really like it but I love my friends and will continue to like some of the selfies, maybe even throw out a comment or two.
In conclusion, be selective of your selfies. Include another person, so I guess it would be called a groupies?? Or selfies times two....or something. Find a friend to take your picture, include that friend. Oh...I don't know.

I will end this blog with some pictures I took last night. I know they all look the same, but I love them all. It made my whole night....that and joining Twitter. :)

 Not Adele :)
**You may have noticed the Top Mommy Blog badge on my page. Feel free to click on it. One click counts as one vote. After you have clicked on the badge, you can check out other blogs too. You can vote once every 24 hours. Just a click! :)

If you want to rank my blog or leave a comment.....I am in the Special Needs section....I am number 22 (BOO), I need to get to number 1! I am not doing this for my ego, I am doing this because this journey is important to me, it is important to share and to hopefully educate, entertain and show others that it can be done. I've said for a while now that these two girls, with the help of family and friends, will change the world! :)


16 November 2013

A Little Nookie!! :)

Well, the comments and responses from yesterday's blog were all positive. I for sure thought somebody would have torn a strip off of me. Let me be clear about a couple of things. Stay at home moms and dads work hard, it is one of the most difficult jobs. It requires a lot of patience, a lot of love and so much time and effort. I just feel that as a stay at home mommy, I am so fortunate and I feel blessed that I am able to be with my girls. There are many moms and dads out there who can't afford to stay home or perhaps they could stay home but choose to work instead. I see nothing wrong with that, at all. It's all a personal, family decision and I am not one to judge what your family decides.

I just know that working parents have it difficult. It is a lot of work getting up with the kids, going to work, getting the kids and repeating this day after day. It is exhausting. If you stay at home, don't whine. Don't tell me that it is so much harder being at home all day with the kids rather then working then spending time with the kids. There are days where you will feel that you belong in the loonie bin, there are days that you want to throw the towel in, there are days when you will feel that it is the hardest, most difficult job. There will be days. I get it. I have been there, but then they go to bed and I exhale and think that tomorrow is another day. Love the moments with your children. One friend mentioned to me that it's nice to feel validated and appreciated by others, especially family members. I agree whole heartedly. You should be thanked, daily. You should be put on that pedestal once in a while. You deserve days at the spa. You deserve date nights with friends. I don't disagree.  

What I disagree with, is the woe is me attitude and the complaining. I came across one mommy blog and she listed the hours, the chores, the please feel sorry for me because I stay at home with my kids attitude. There needs to be a balance. Moms need to stop feeling that they need to compete with the Pinterest moms. Stop trying to be better. Stop registering your kids in every sport, every ballet and dance class. You are not impressing anybody. You are running yourself into the ground. You don't need to be Super Mom, you need to be the best mom that you can be. That means loving your children. That means supporting your children. That means, you finding a healthy balance in your life. That means taking care of your needs too.  If you love your kids, they will be ok. If you support your kids, they will be ok. If you tell your kids that you are proud of them, they will be ok. 

Onto my next thought....

Last night while James and I were laying in bed....
K - "How many times have we kissed today?"
J - "Not once."
K - "Are you turning into my friend and not my husband?"
J - "No, I want to be your best friend and your husband."

I get that when you have kids, things slow down. You get tired. You are tired. You love sleep. You forget about working on your marriage. You forget that you have a partner. You take for granted that he/she will stick around even though there is such a lack of romance.
I thought about it last night. I thought about how could a marriage possibly survive when all you focus on is your kids? How does a marriage survive when you get into bed and just crash? It is so easy for a marriage to fail. It is so easy to be consumed by routine. It is so easy to take another for granted.
I love my husband and I love my kids. We don't have balance right now when it comes to romance and kids. James works all day, comes home, we eat, we play (not with each other) and take care of two little girls, we put one to bed, the other comes with us, James showers, I get into bed, he does the first night feed, I go to sleep. REPEAT.
There is not enough effort.
I know that some of you would say, "well, you're tired. Your girls are so close in age. It is exhausting."
Yup, we are tired and we do work hard all day long, but that is no excuse. There is no excuse why we shouldn't be showing each other attention and love. Let's be honest, it doesn't take a ton of work. :)
It's laziness. It's routine.
It has nothing to do with a lack of love or support. I love my husband with all my heart. I love our marriage. I love our family. I love what we have accomplished in the past five years. It is a great life.
Should we make a 'romance' schedule? Is there such thing?? Should you actually plan for romance? Is that totally crazy?
Should we bring in the neighbour down the street?? TOTALLY KIDDING! :))

I think it's time to get back to the love. Focus on each other. Make more of an effort and respect each other more. I am a firm believer that there are many factors that make a successful marriage. Romance plays a big role.

James got up this morning and said "I am going to kiss you every 20 minutes today whether you like it or not."
He has been committed to his word.

Adele's Journey - If you haven't seen her video, enjoy. Feel free to share <3


15 November 2013

Stay At Home Moms!

Touchy subject today......

Lately, I have seen many blog posts and articles on the web regarding stay at home moms.

The people who completely immerse themselves in the tiring, thankless, profoundly important job of raising children ought to be put on a pedestal. We ought to revere them and admire them like we admire rocket scientists and war heroes. These women are doing something beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential. Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences? - Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh caused an uproar with his blog posts. Some agreed and some were disgusted by his post. I agreed with some of it, but have thought a lot about it since he posted the blog.

A stay at home mom has a huge list of jobs that she preforms all throughout the day and night.
1) Diapers
2) Feedings
3) Counsellor
4) Entertainer
5) Doctor
6) Psychologist
7) More feedings
8) Care giver
9) Taxi Driver
10) And on and on and on.....

The list is endless, I get it. If you are fortunate enough to stay at home, you are lucky. If you are able to spend the entire day with your kids, you are lucky. If you are able to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for your kids, you are lucky. If you are able to bathe your kids and read them stories at night, you are lucky. If you are able to get snuggles any time of day with your kids, you are lucky. If you get to witness the milestones, you are lucky.
I get confused why SOME stay at home moms feel that they deserve a medal, they deserve to be placed on a pedestal ALL OF THE TIME, they feel that are doing something so beyond what is expected of a human being, that they are just so tired and are never able to nap while the kids nap or while they are at school because there is just so much to get done.....I don't understand. Yes, we are tired, Yes, we lose patience. Yes, we work hard. I am confused why it is considered the toughest most underpaid job in the world. Yes, underpaid....well, actually, no pay but this is what we chose. We chose to stay at home with the kids. We chose to change diapers all day. We chose to make three meals a day plus snacks for our kids. We have so many roles but we knew what we were getting into. We knew that it would be a 24 hour a day job. We knew that we wouldn't get 12 hours of sleep at night. We knew that when we feel like shit, we still have to run the house. We made this decision when we discussed with our partner that it was time to start a family. We chose this path.
My job as a stay at home mom isn't always difficult. I have down time. I get to sit on the couch. I plan my showers accordingly. Is it always easy? No. Do I whine sometimes? Sure do. Do I wish I could get a few more hours of sleep at night? For sure. I chose this life.

I get to take my kids to play places. I get to take them over to friend's houses for play dates. I get to be a mom.

Whining and complaining that you have the most difficult job in the world, confuses me. I can think of so many other jobs that are more difficult. I think about those parents who work all day then have to come home and take care of the children. That is tough. I don't know how a working mom or dad manage to do both without ending up in the psych ward at the local hospital. I also know that in the States, maternity leave is nowhere near the 52 weeks that we get here in Canada. My mom went back to work after 3 months....now, feel free to complain about being tired and overworked. A night job and a day job.
Of course I have a lot of teacher friends who have children. They have it way more difficult then a full time stay at home mom.
Get up before 6:00am. Get ready. Get kids up. Get kids fed and watered. Get the house semi organized. Get all of kid's belongings that are necessary to spend the day at the day home or day care. Get kids into car. Drop kids off. Deal with tears. Get to work. Plan your day. Deal with 35 students all day. Stay at work until 4:00pm. Go pick kids up. Go home and unload kid's belongings from car and get settled. Get dinner ready. Spend time with kids. Do laundry. Snack. Bathe kids. Story and snuggle time. Put kids to bed. Finish marking. Finish chores around the house. Get ready for bed at 11:00pm. Wake up and repeat.
Is that a difficult day? You bet. Do I have it much easier? Absolutely.

Some stay at home moms feel that they need to be validated and validated and validated.
I am a stay at home mom. SIGH.
I work so hard. I am on the go constantly. I feel so overworked. I need to go to Hawaii. I need to book a massage. You need to suck it up and do your job. Again, you chose this path.

Now, if you have a child or children who require a lot of extra assistance due to medical concerns or cognitive delays, you have a tough job. You have a lot of stress. You have a tremendous amount of work. Do I think you have a right to complain, drink, cry? You sure do. You are dealing with added stress. You are dealing with appointments, home care, worrying about your child's health while focusing on your other children.
Do I place myself in this group? I do when times get a bit rough. I do when Adele has to spend time in the hospital and we need to find care for Brinley. I have friends whose children are in the hospital, I have friends who require 24 hour care for their child. That is a difficult job. You should be placed on a pedestal. ALL OF THE TIME.
Now some of you are probably saying that this was the path they chose, to have children. You don't know if your child will have complications, so you should be prepared. You are the mom, so you should be doing the extra work if it is required.
I would argue this one....none of us anticipate the work that needs to go into raising a child with special needs.

Do I think my husband works harder than me? Sometimes. He works all day out in the field. He is providing for his family. He comes home and he takes over child care.
Now, on the flip side....when I have a real crap day, I start to feel sorry for myself and tell him that it's difficult staying home with the kids and I work so hard. I let him take over all the duties. He works hard too. He works really hard. Maybe he should be the one complaining that he has it so difficult as the working parent. He doesn't get down time.

It's a touchy subject. Whether you have one or 5 children, it is difficult. Being a parent is a lot of work. Trying to be the best mom and dad that you can be, it is difficult. Working all day out of the house, it is difficult.
The whiny stay at home moms need to stop complaining. Stop asking for the medal. Stop acting like the victim. Stop writing blog posts that tell the world just how hard you have it and that you are tired of being asked "What do you do all day?"
Stop complaining to other moms at the park, while sitting on the bench, that you are exhausted. Stop whining that your children have so many extra curricular activities and that you are so tired of sitting on the bench, sipping your Starbucks, Tweeting and finding the next hot topic on Pinterest. You chose this path.

Don't even get me started on single parents. You are my heroes!!

I thank my husband all of the time for allowing me to stay at home with our children. :)