23 May 2014

Parent Fail....


The little ones are in bed, so I am taking this opportunity to write about a topic that I have been thinking about for a while now. I wrote a post a while back about being a stay at home mom and how I was tired of reading blog posts written by women who complain and complain that they have the toughest job in the world. I didn't think that being a stay at home mom was the most difficult job and I expressed my opinion that being a working mom, especially a working mom with younger children at home, was more challenging. Anyways, tonight, I want to write about the most difficult and trying and overwhelming job in the whole wide world. That job is parenting. Being a parent is difficult. This is different than being a stay at home mom or dad, this is all of it. This is being a parent to children. This is the working moms and dads, this is the stay at home moms and dads, this is all of us.

Brinley is two and Adele is just about ten months. Life is busy for myself and for James. It's not a feel sorry for me post, it is a post about how I feel I am as a parent and how perhaps others feel about parenting.
When we had Brinley, everything was new to me. I had changed many diapers over the years, but this was my child's diaper. I was now feeding my baby. I was in charge of this little wee life. This little girl was solely dependent upon her parents for love, nourishment, clothing and a roof over her head. When I think about it, it is incredibly overwhelming. It is by far the most important and time consuming job.......ever.
James returned to work after two weeks and I was scared. I was being left at home with a new baby. I didn't go out a lot. I was worried about taking a baby out of the house and driving somewhere and having her lose her shit, either while driving or wherever we were going. It wasn't out of laziness that I didn't go out much, it was the work and uncertainty around being out with this little being, who I barely knew but I had to do it all. I had to follow her schedule, I had to be on the ball, I needed to figure out the difference between a hurt cry, a hungry cry and a tired cry. I found it easier to be in my home. Parent fail.
When Brinley was four weeks old, I started putting on Baby Einstein. REALLY? At four weeks old, I sat in front of the TV because Baby Einstein was going to make my new baby a genius, only later to find out that research shows that it is detrimental to baby's development. Ok, that was a parent fail. She's only four weeks old and I already failed her at something.

Buy the best toys, that will make her a genius, only to find out that several of them were recalled because of choking hazards and it could catch fire. Parent fail.
We became pregnant with Adele when Brinley was still a baby. I felt absolutely brutal for the first few months and really, all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and whine. I would put Brinley in the exersaucer, the one that has the recalled part and hoped that the Mr. Sunshine didn't whack her in the face. I felt shitty. Parent fail.
When we found out about Adele's diagnosis, part of me felt like I had failed. I'm too old to be having a baby and according to the testing sheet that was given to us, it states that maternal age and my blood results contributed to our unborn baby having Down syndrome. At that moment I felt, parent fail.
My blood pressure was high with both pregnancies. Parent fail.
I was on medication for high blood pressure. Parent fail.
I was on Effexor for both pregnancies. Parent fail.
I had to be induced with Brinley at 37 weeks and Adele at 35 weeks. Parent fail. I wanted to go to full term with both girls. I wanted them to grow and develop as much as they possibly could, but that didn't happen. Parent fail.
I felt like my babies had been let down and they were still so young.

Every day, you question how you are as a parent, the choices that you make, the words that you use, your actions. The days go by so quickly and at the end of the day, you wonder if you made the best possible choices.
When you have your first child, you want absolutely everything to be perfect, the clothes, the nursery, the food, the receiving blankets, the car seat, the stroller, the diapers, the hair accessories, the photo shoots, the swing, the toys, the bouncy chair....the list goes on and on. We spend a fortune on everything because we want our children to have it all. We want them to be the best that they can be and that Aidan and Anais blanket will make my child the best that she can be.  

Parenting is crazy hard. All day long, you make choices, you make choices that impact them in that moment and possibly their future as well. You want your children to go to the best schools and will line up at 6:00am, take a number and hope that your child will be accepted. We buy organic food because it's the best, but maybe it's not, we survived, but now there are more chemicals, more dangers. We don't let our children run down the street and there is no way that they can stay out until the street lights come on, there are pedophiles out there.
I don't want to spank or yell at my children, but I've lost my shit. I sure have. I don't know how to reason with a two year old and a ten month old. Now, when I say losing my shit, I am not beating my children, but my voice is loud and I get mad. Yelling does nothing for anybody and it sure doesn't solve the situation. I feel like I fail as a parent when things don't always go smoothly. Parenting is tough.

After having Adele, some of my parenting techniques changed. We had her a month after the flood. That changed how I felt about parenting. Brinley had one sleeper when we made the trek to my parent's house. I didn't care. She was alive and well and we made it out of town safely.
When Adele was in the NICU, I brought her some pretty sleepers, not because I wanted it to look like I was a better parent, I wanted her to know that mommy and daddy will always take care of her. I brought books to the NICU, not because I wanted to look like I was a better parent, I wanted her to hear stories. I wanted to cuddle with her and I wanted her to hear my voice. I would spend as many hours in a day up at the hospital, not because I wanted to look like the better parent, I wanted Adele to know that she was loved, that she was so incredibly important to me and that I will always be there for her. It was a long six weeks. It was trying. I cried a lot. I sometimes felt like I was failing her as a parent. You have to make certain decisions and choices when you have a little one in the hospital, it's tough. I also had another baby at home who needed me. Adele made me change my parenting ways. She honestly has made me slow down. She makes me stop, she makes me look around, she makes me laugh. Adele has something that is so special about her that makes you think about how unimportant some things are and how important others things are....she has changed who I am as a parent. As she continues to grow and get stronger, her personality is also developing. She is funny and she knows it. She attracts people. She makes others look at the world differently. She has made so many lives better, all because she is who she is, this amazing miracle.
This isn't to say that having a child without Down syndrome or a child will special abilities won't make you a better parent. You might have a moment and realize what is truly important. It's just different with Adele. She has made me a better mom to Brinley. There is something about having more than one child. There are lessons that I learned with Brinley. Both my girls continue to make me a better person. They continue to show me that their love is unconditional. It's such a beautiful love.

When we go out now, I have to be honest, I don't care if my kids lose their shit. Why? Well, I know that your kids have lost their shit at some point and it's life. We go out and we have fun. Brinley loves the outdoors and loves to run and play. Routines and schedules are still a big part of our lives. We still have naps and I try hard not to take those away. Kids need sleep. I want to be out. I want them to experience life. I want them to play, laugh and when it comes time for bedtime, I want them to be happy, fulfilled and tired. That makes me a great parent.

I wish that I had a manual, flip to the page and get the answer. I need a manual. Does anybody have a manual? :)
I know that my post today kind of flips around but this is how I feel about parenting. You are here, there and everywhere.

I am just at the start of this parenting journey. I have so many decisions and choices that I will be making for my kids in the future. I will fail many times and apologize and try to make right. I may not always say the right things or deal with situations the way I should, but one thing that I do know, they will be loved, madly and deeply for the rest of their lives.

19 May 2014

Our Journeys....


The other day, I took Adele for therapy and I had a moment. I know that I will have many moments over the years, some will be amazing and some will be worrisome. During therapy, I asked if she was doing well and if we were progressing. The OT paused and said that she was doing well and that she has worked with little ones who have weaker muscle tone. I feel that Adele is so much stronger and I see her growing into a sweet and bright little girl. I know that she is incredibly strong but still floppy. She isn't sitting up unassisted yet, but can actually sit up for a moment with no support.
I hear all of the time that she will get there and she will hit her milestones when she's good and ready. I know all of this. I get it. She will crawl and walk and talk and sit up with no help from mom and dad. It's just that you have these little moments once in a while, moments where you question if you are doing everything possible to ensure success. Are we doing enough OT at home? It's all new to us. After Brinley was born, she was handed to me, we snuggled, I took a shower, she came with us to our room, she was breathing just fine, she was healthy and perfect. We stayed a couple of days because she was a bit jaundice but nothing that was too concerning. We put her in her car seat and went home. It was all very easy.

Brinley at Chuck E Cheese

I was induced with Adele at 35 weeks, James and Ange missed the delivery because they were sent home, Adele was born, I had one little kiss and she was gone, my blood pressure shot up, was not allowed to move for 24 hours, Adele was in the NICU. It was a different journey from the very beginning. I've mentioned this before, we take for granted that our children can breathe, that they can go in a car seat without alarms blaring in our ears, it's all been different. I never knew that car seat tests even existed. They became our goal with Adele. Could she keep up her oxygen levels, she needed to stay above 90. She had three car seat tests in one day and it was so draining, it was exhausting for Adele and we were stressed and worried and spent four and a half hours staring at machines. This was all new to us.

We are still new to this life, the life of having a little one with Down syndrome. We don't google. We don't spend our time reading statistics or perusing the web for all that could go wrong with Adele. I heard the word cancer for the first time weeks after we delivered Adele. Children with Down syndrome have a higher chance of getting cancer. This was devastating for me. I hear people say that they are still just babies and children, they are just like any other child, but the truth is, they are not just like any other child. There are many more concerns and health issues that can arise. I didn't know that she would need her hearing and vision checked regularly, I didn't know that she would need her thyroid checked, I didn't know that she would need blood tests done at certain ages to make sure that she doesn't have certain diseases. I am glad that I didn't know. It wouldn't have changed the path that we chose, it wouldn't have changed any decision that we made when pregnant with Adele. It would have just caused me more stress. I deal better when things just arise. I don't need to know everything in advance. Just tell me when I need to know and when we need to get the tests done.

When I look at our journey up to this point, we have been blessed. We have been so lucky. We spent 6 weeks in the NICU, compared to others who have spent months. Adele's heart was healthy, we didn't need surgery, compared to so many who had surgery within the first few days of life. Adele had an NG tube because she was so sleepy and had troubles staying awake for feedings. Her tube came out the night before we brought her home from the NICU, compared to others whose child still has a feeding tube at three and four years old. Adele didn't pass her car seat test right away, but she got there and we could take her home in a regular car seat, not a car bed, compared to others where it took weeks to pass a car seat test and still had to purchase a car bed to bring their baby home. Adele's hearing is perfect and her vision is also great. Her right eye crosses a bit but that can easily be fixed with glasses and some strengthening, compared to others who have a child with significant hearing loss and vision concerns.

Brinley's Superhero Sidekick Cape! :)

I've heard many times that God only gives you what you can handle and God knows that I can't handle surgeries or any major bumps in this journey. I know that if I was put in the position, we would have to find the strength to cope and I would need a lot of support from family and friends. I can handle little bumps that arise periodically, but that's about it.
I have a friend, her perfect little princess is 5 years old and has endured more than 30 surgeries. I don't know how to deal with that. I hear some of you saying that you do what you have to do, but unless you have been put in this position, we have no clue. I want this little girl to start living life. I want her to run and jump and not have to worry about the next hospital visit. She deserves to live her childhood.

I have met so many amazing people on this journey with Adele. Moms and dads who have overcome so much adversity, so many tests, so many surgeries, so many hospital stays, travel, spending weeks at Ronald McDonald House, spending out money to get the best tests, the best doctors, the best for their child. I have met so many superhero moms and dads, who don't know that they are superheroes. They just do what they have to do to make sure that their child sees another day.
Most of us don't even comprehend this life. We have no idea. I have no idea. I have taken Adele to ACH for appointments, then we get to go home. I have friends, whose children have never stepped foot out of the hospital, never had the opportunity to breathe fresh air, have never played with another child.
Never take for granted that you have healthy children. I know that some days, you want to put them on Craigslist and Kijiji :) and you've had enough, you are entitled to have these days, but be thankful that you have beautiful and healthy children. Savour all of the wonderful moments. Kiss your children all of the time. Hug them. Spend time with them. Laugh. Love so deeply that you can feel it in your heart. Your children chose you to be their mommy and daddy. You were given these perfect miracles for a reason. You are blessed. I am blessed.

For Mother's Day - my blog turned into a book <3

10 May 2014

Horror Movie..... :)

All ready for the May weather! :)

While everybody is napping, I figured that this was a good time to write a post. A few thoughts for the day.

I wanted to start with talking about an amazing young man, Andrew. His mom Karen, wrote an extremely kind and supportive post on Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets. You can check it out, we are the post that was written on April 22nd, 2014.

Group Hug Apparel

One day Andrew was talking to his mom about his cousin who went to college. Andrew said he wanted to go to college and got an idea to raise some money. He originally wanted to make a lemonade stand, but then his mom noticed one of Andrew's recent rock & roll drawings. She thought it would be neat if Andrew sold t-shirts with one of his drawings. She helped him get some shirts, and have them printed. They turned out really cool and have become a hit.
Andrew's t-shirts have expanded to other neat items like tote bags, aprons, hoodies, and onesies. Beyond raising money for college, Andrew also donates part of his t-shirt sales to local charities. Andrew and his family have spent enough time in various hospitals to know that it's important to support these organizations. This little idea has turned into a job for his future that he is excited about. He has a great time meeting lots of new people and spreading his infectious smile! check out his shopping cart ...... SHOP!!!

Andrew has raised thousands of dollars for local charities. He is such a superstar!

My friend Amanda wrote a heartfelt article on our little family for CBC Online! Check it out!

A High River Mom's Year to Remember

Finally, I wanted to tell you about my doctor's appointment the other day. My appointment was with an internist, in the city. Grandma came over to watch the kids, so I got to crank the music on the drive and was happy to have some ME time.
I walked into the doctor's office and had that creepy, nightmarish kind of feeling. The ever so tiny assistant, with the 1960s glasses, hunched over, headset on, answering phone calls. The walls were a salmon type colour mixed with a brown/purple shade. She peeked up at me over her glasses and was just about to ask me my name, when the phone rang. She touched the button on her headset, and spoke in a soft yet assertive voice. The phone didn't connect. She pushed the button on the phone and repeated her good afternoon speech.
She looked up at me and gave me the 'just wait a second look.'
I looked around and noticed that the mail was scattered all over the counter. The doctor's Visa card was in plain view, ready for renewal. Too bad the majority of my brain cells were stolen from me during and after pregnancy, I could only remember the first two digits.
The assistant ended her phone conversation and focused on me. She asked me my name and asked for my health care card. The phone rang again....she touched the button on the headset and said "good afternoon."
The phone didn't connect. She pushed the button on the phone and did her good afternoon speech once again.

I left my health care card on the counter and sat down. The phone didn't stop ringing and she didn't stop pushing the button on her headset, the one that wasn't connected properly.
She gave me my card back and asked for my address and phone number.
I sat on the couch and took in my surroundings. There were scuff marks on the wall from the chairs rubbing, I noticed that the desk was too large for the petite assistant. I couldn't even see her from where I was sitting, but I could hear her repeat the same good afternoon message over and over again. The pictures on the walls were mismatched and odd. A picture of a deer, staring right at me. A picture of a wolf, staring straight at me. All of the pictures were in brass frames and looked as is they were purchased at the local dollar store. There were odds and ends placed sporadically throughout the office. It was bizarre.

I got into see the doctor 45 minutes later then my original appointment time. He was short, a lot shorter than me. He was cheery and had a stethoscope around his neck, maybe to make sure that I knew he was the doctor and not the assistant to the assistant.
He read the referral form that my doctor had faxed over and I realized that this was all new information. This was the first time that he was reading about why I was there....
I looked around the office and saw books on the heart, the body, the lungs. He must know his stuff.

He started to ask me questions but for some reason, I was having some troubles getting it out. I was trying to explain the past seven years, but then he would start comparing what I was talking about to a comic strip. He would say that a woman would turn the heat down and the man would turn the heat up.
"You know, the comic strip, I'm sure you've seen it."
I couldn't quite remember the last time I read a comic.
I smiled.
He would use the comic strip story a few more times during our appointment.
He wanted to check me over.
We headed into the other room and he asked me to take my clothes off, leave my bra and panties on and he would be back. He also told me that he would go do some dictation and would return.
I got undressed and put the gown on.
I sat on the examination table and looked around. The medical table was from the 1970s and it reminded me of a horror movie. I had this feeling that he would come back in with the assistant, she would be dressed in a sexy nurse's outfit, she would take the clip out of her hair, shake her head and blood would be dripping out of her mouth, she bit the last patient.
I looked around.

There was a picture of a gopher. Yes, a gopher. The gopher was sitting upright in some flowers. He was staring right at me. There were other pictures of wildlife, in brass frames, staring at me.
I looked down. Shit! I didn't shave my legs and they were dry. I didn't know that I would end up having a physical. I yanked the gown down, but it opened more at the back. I crossed my legs, that would help. I could feel my face heating. If he comes back in and takes my blood pressure, I'll be screwed. I'm going to be wheeled out of here on a gurney, on my way to the hospital.
He comes back in with his assistant. The headset was still on.
He said that she was here to take notes, but she didn't have a lap top, no pen, no paper. I'm pretty sure that she was there because he is a male doctor, examining a female patient.
He checked my blood pressure. It was 130/80. He was happy and so was I.
He checked my heart, made me take some deep breaths, he was happy. He went to check my ankles and legs. I quickly made a comment "I didn't shave my legs and they're dry. I'm sorry."
The nurse made a quick remark and we giggled. Not a sincere giggle, but we giggled.
He was happy with my body! YAY!!
We headed back to his office, his assistant back to her oversized desk, answering her phone, twice, each time.

We wrapped up the appointment. He sent me away with a requisition form and said that I should come back in a month, once all of the results are in.
The assistant filled out the remainder of the form, making random comments and taking way too long to put in my personal information. I was getting antsy.
We booked another appointment and I left. I was hungry and thirsty, so I stopped at the café downstairs, got a drink and a snack. I was on my way home.
Get in the car, make sure that I have everything. Shit. I left the requisition form....somewhere. Please let it be at the café.
My phone rings. The assistant tells me that the form is sitting on her desk. I have to go back.
I walk up to the oversized desk and see the form. It was wet. She informed me that she had washed her hands after going to the washroom and they must have still been wet. AWESOME! I grabbed the form by the corner.
She then proceeded to ask me if the sun was shining. I looked around and realized that there were no windows.
Yes, the sun is shining.
I left.
I cranked the music and replayed the appointment over and over again in my head.

Please take a minute to vote for Brinley and Adele. Go to Gallery View - Adele is picture #4 and Brinley is #67. It only takes a moment and we would appreciate it, a lot. Contest ends on May 12th, 2014.
Cutest Kid Contest! :)

4 May 2014


Life has been pretty good lately. Adele is officially off of oxygen, there are no more tubes, no more tape, no more machines, no more prongs in this house. We are finished with the Respiratory Clinic but will be seen by the Pulmonary Clinic from now on, just for check ups. I love that Adele continues to do well, she gets stronger and cuter by the day. Her health has been great these past few months and I am thankful that she has had her RSV shots, I believe that they have helped out a lot and have played a major role in keeping her healthy.

We are going pretty strong on eating solids. She enjoys peas, green beans, sweet potato, carrots and most recently, bananas. I am thankful that so far, she enjoys everything that we have given her, and taken with a smile. I worry about feedings. I have many friends whose little ones are tube fed and where feedings are a struggle. With Adele, I am thankful for every day, every day that she's healthy, every day that she smiles, every day for rolling over, for talking, for snuggles and for the amazing interaction that she has with her sister. It is truly a whole new world for us, so many things that we have taken for granted with Brinley. We honestly took breathing for granted. How is that? We took feedings for granted. Babies just eat and drink because that is what babies do. All for granted.

One thing that I am struggling with a bit is that Adele isn't sitting up unassisted. I know that she will reach every milestone in her own time and she has done so remarkably well, but I can't help but wonder, when will she be able to sit up without flopping over? She is nine months and is beyond strong, stronger then we ever imagined, but her muscle tone is weaker. I know that she will sit up in her own time, I get it, I really do, it's just a different feeling, it's difficult to explain.

I was at a party the other night and I showed a picture of Adele and one of the ladies said that it didn't even looked like she has Down syndrome. I have mentioned this before in a previous post, it doesn't bother me when somebody says this because they just don't know. In her mind, she isn't saying that children with Down syndrome are ugly, she is saying that she knows the features of Down syndrome and it looks like Adele's are more mild. We, as parents with a little one with Down syndrome, we are more sensitive to comments about our children, and we should be, I get it, but this is one comment that doesn't really affect me. The ones that really get me are "Oh, you have a Down's baby." The words 'retarded' and 'fucktard.' Those two words used in any form, make me cringe.
I actually read a post one day on one of the Down syndrome sites, one comment was that she takes offense when people say that somebody is "Special."
I know that sometimes I have said to James that Brinely is "so special." I never really thought about this one before, but I understand where she was coming from. It makes sense. We have stopped!
Another one for some reason, that I don't like is "I have a Down's child."
I think it's that I have an issue with making it possessive because it's defining your child, it's saying that this is what you child is, your child is Down syndrome.
If I had to explain Adele's diagnosis to anybody, it would be, "this is Adele, she has Down syndrome." She is Adele. That is it! :)

The majority of my friends who have children with Down syndrome, they are a bit older, some already in the school system. I enjoy reading their stories and seeing how their little ones are doing great, but I also read about their struggles and concerns. It's tough some days but I also feel comfort that I am present in her future school. The teachers know me, they know Adele. The children know Adele and ask about her....it is so sweet. I am trying to pave a smooth road for her, things that I am able to accomplish right now, without it taking away from my snuggle and loving time with my children. I am still loving all of these moments and enjoying the baby stage, but I am also getting out there and learning about new programs, connecting with others through the blog and through Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets. I will always be my girls strongest advocate. I will do everything I can so that they are able to succeed without setting limits, giving them all the love and support that we are able to give.

Lastly, we were out last night for dinner with a group of family friends. The dinner was planned because one of the friends is living with cancer. I prefer to saying living and not dying of cancer. I'm pretty sure that doctors have been proven wrong when they have told patients that they have 4-6 weeks to live. This is what Karen has been told. She has up to a month a half to live. She is coming up on 6 weeks and still going strong. The cancer has taken over a lot of her body and it is heartbreaking. She is receiving intensive chemotherapy and is fighting with all that she has...she is a fighter. After dinner, her husband came to our end of the table. While we were talking, he stared at his wife the entire time. He never took his eyes off of her and the love and admiration that I saw, brought comfort to my heart but also brought so much pain. He told me that she is the most remarkable woman. I started to cry. He told me that he does that every day, he cries. I have truly never seen love like this. I have never witnessed a man look at his wife, right into her eyes and without saying a word, show such love and emotion. It was a moment for me.

It was a moment where I realized that we all need to slow down. We all need to stop and take a breath. We all need to appreciate those in our lives, those who we wake up next to every day. We need to tell those who we love that we love them and couldn't imagine our lives without them. We need to let our children have moments where they just need us. We need to let them fall asleep on us and realize that sometimes all they want is love. Such pure, innocent love. I need to slow down. I need to stop thinking about tomorrow. I need to appreciate today. I need to enjoy the moments with my family and be thankful that I have a husband, I have two beautiful girls, I have amazing friends. I need to slow down.

26 April 2014


Well, we are back from 5 days in Disneyland. It was a great trip, busy with two babies, but great.
All 10 of us headed to the airport for 8:30am and we managed to get there early. We had two suitcases, 2 boxes of treats for the flight crew and passengers, 2 carry on bags, an oxygen machine for the flight, 2 strollers and a car seat. It was crazy lugging all of it around and going through security. The strollers got the pat down while we are trying to manage 2 little ones and trying to keep track of our luggage and carry on bags.
With the help of grandma and grandpa, we managed to get settled probably 20 minutes before boarding. We made 190 treat bags for the flight and it was announced before we boarded the plane. The message that we included in the bags was read so that all the passengers could hear and I shamelessly included Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets Facebook page in the little write up. Always thinking! :)

We were the first ones to board the plane, which was nice, so that we could get the girls settled and all of our junk! We had the bottle ready, the lollipops were ready to be sucked. We were going to do all that we could to avoid ear pain. Brinley was not happy when she was told that she needed to remain seated during take off, there were a few tears, but other then that, we were all ok.
The flight went really well, the girls were happy and well behaved. :) When it was time to land into LAX, Brinley was tired and hungry and not in the mood to be told to sit and stay buckled. She cried and yelled and cried and yelled all the way down. It was glorious! Thank god for the treat bags, although I don't know if they helped the passengers in the rows all around us. One lady in front of us mentioned that maybe ear plugs could have been included in the treat bags. I almost told her to shove it, but instead I focused on my wailing child. I didn't know if I wanted to spank her or hug and kiss her, all I wanted was for the plane to land. Once we touched ground, I unbuckled her and she wanted some snuggles and immediately fell asleep in my arms. Poor peanut.
Adele was happy and in all her glory for the entire flight because she was being snuggled and loved. She's pretty low maintenance when she is getting some lovin!

We made it to the hotel way later then expected...we went for dinner then got the kids ready for the Pirate Pool area. Such an awesome and fun time for the kids. There is this massive bucket that fills up with water, then it tips over and soaks the kids down below. I offered my sister 50 bucks to stand under the bucket but she refused. My dad piped up and said that he would do it for 50 bucks. I knew that there was no way that my dad would take my money, after all, I am a stay at home momma on a budget. He stood under the bucket, got soaked and gladly took my money. We tried to make him feel guilty by telling him that it was Brinley's meal money for Disneyland and that now she would have to eat ketchup packets for the entire trip, but that did nothing. He still has my 50 bucks! :)

We spent 2 days at Disneyland as a family and had a great time. Brinley isn't into rides yet, so we hung out at Toon Town and let her run around the play area. She loves to be able to control the situation, so if it's something where she can come and go, play on the structure, but stop when she wants, she is happy. 

We decided to stay at the pool on the third day. We spent 8 hours at the Pirate Pool and Brinley loved it. There is a little kiddie pool, which I called the Pee Pool, she was in her glory. It's a foot deep and perfect for a 2 year old. She would run and splash and play with her water toys. It was such a perfect day. Adele and I hung out in the shade, she napped and fed and cuddled with her Minnie Mouse. We tried to put her in the Pee Pool but she wasn't into it. We tried.

I met up with a dear friend who I met through the blog. She started reading the blog right from the start. She found out that they would be having a sweet princess with Down syndrome right around the same time as us. We chatted often and shared our fears and worries but also our excitement of meeting our little miracles. She went full term with Ella. She was to be induced. That's when her nightmare started. The cord had wrapped around Ella's neck and sadly, they lost her a few days after delivery.
I couldn't wait for her to hold Adele and snuggle her, she had been waiting a long time. She held her almost the entire time and it made me smile. It was such a great moment for all of us. I know that it was also difficult and emotional for her but I think that joy of holding Adele and actually being able to spend some time with her, eased some of the pain.

Our trip lasted 5 days and it went by so fast. We decided that this time, Brinley would sit with her cousin Danika and her Auntie for take off and landing. James and I would sit with Adele and our nephew Ryder. The flight went smashingly perfect. Brinley stayed with Danika the entire flight and we sat with the comedian.  :)
Ryder is such a hilarious kid...we call his sayings Ryder-isms. Let me share a couple from the flight.

James has a tattoo on his arm - "Uncle, you look just like a rock star. A real rock star. Wow!"
During the flight, many, many times - "Auntie, are we going down? Is the plane going down? AUNTIE, IS THE PLANE GOING DOWWWWNNNNN?"
I encouraged him to maybe not say that because it could cause anxiety in others. This meant absolutely nothing to him.
I told him during the flight to stop doing something and he looks at me - " Auntie, I sure like the way you talk to me."
Landing into Calgary - Ryder's arms are up in the air - "WEEEEEEEEEE, can we do this again? Let's do it again Auntie!"
Going through customs - "Mom, can I have my gun? It's a real gun! MOM, can I have my gun?"

The kid kills me! He is non stop and hilarious. You never know what's coming next. I get a little frightened actually and sometimes hold my breath when he opens his mouth!

Oh ya, when we were at the airport, mom, dad and I saw Joan Rivers. She was about two feet away from us. She looks the exact same in real life as she does on TV, plastic with lots of makeup. She was with an assistant, who got her to the plane and boarded before anybody else. It must be a rough life. :)

Before we left for Disneyland, we decided to throw out all of Brinley's soothers. Friends gave me many suggestions on how to get rid of the soothers, great suggestions. Tie them up in a bag, put them in the tree and tell her that the Soother Fairy would be coming to take them away, let her throw them out, put the soothers in a Build A Bear as well as many more. I suck as a mom, I put them in a Sobey's bag and chucked them when she wasn't looking. We are now soother free! My friends are way better than me and I am A-Ok with it! :)

Crazy Ry!
Danika and Ryder
More pictures to come! :)

13 April 2014

I Wish You Could See What I See :)

A short post for me. :) My friend Regan sent this to me this morning and I absolutely love it! Take the time to read it, you will enjoy what she has to say.....

I Wish You Could See What I See

CLICK ON ME.....  :)

6 April 2014


I've been meaning to write about this topic for a while now, then another blog with the very same topic was shared on my wall. The other blog post was about being too fat to photograph. I didn't really want to call it that, I was thinking, "RUN, THE CAMERA IS OUT! RUN! RUN!!
Then I hear "where did Krista go?"

A friend recently commented on my wedding picture from back in 2010, then of course because Facebook is whacked, it brought the picture up to the top of my friend's newsfeeds. I knew that this was going to happen and my heart palpitated a little bit. Why did my heart palpitate you ask? I don't feel that I look the same way. I don't feel that I look anywhere close to how I looked on my wedding day. I also knew that my friends would comment and pay me compliments, because I have awesome friends.  :)
With every comment, I was coming back with "that was four years ago, I don't look the same. I got married, I have two children, I don't look like that Krista."
My dear friend Jody posted a comment that I needed to stop. I needed to embrace the compliments and just say "THANK YOU!"
So, I stopped with the low self esteem comments and acknowledged the kind words.

This brings me to why I am writing this post.

I don't like my picture being taken, by anybody, ever. I pretty much stopped having my picture taken when I became pregnant with Brinley. I think maybe my dad took a few pictures at Christmas time, so I was around 6 months along with Brinley. I don't have any pregnancy pictures when I was carrying Adele. Not one. I don't have any either with her right when she was born because she was whisked away and James missed the birth. The first picture I have is me in a wheelchair beside the baby cooker in the NICU, over 24 hours after I delivered.

I see pictures all over Facebook of friends and acquaintances and I don't judge. I don't look at their pictures and criticize their weight or looks. I am thinking, oh so nice to see a picture of so and so. WOW, so and so looks great and her children are adorable. I also admire their confidence if they are carrying a few extra pounds and they jump in front of the camera, big smile and striking a pose. They are comfortable with their body. They feel good about where they are at in life, their body, their health. They are content.

Yup, I am not as content with where I am at in regards to weight and my body but I am very blessed in other areas of my life, my children, my husband and life in general. I have read several blog posts where women are shouting from the rooftops that they love their stretch-marks, they earned them, they love the dangly dog jowl type skin that now hangs down after having children, they earned every stripe and they love it.
I don't love it at all. I love my babies, but I don't love one bit what pregnancy does to your body. It turns it into a floppy mess. A floppy mess that takes a long time for some of us to get rid of. I have friends who bounced back after 6 weeks, their bodies were perfect just weeks later. They didn't try to get it back to how they were pre-pregnancy, it just went back to tight and stripe free.
I don't have that body. My first stretch-mark showed up on my belly at just 7 weeks pregnant with Brinley and they quickly took over my stomach. I looked like a game of Snakes and Ladders. They never went away, then 8 months after Brinley, we got pregnant with Adele. This time, it looked like the anniversary edition of Snakes and Ladders. :) More stretch-marks. Sigh.

So now I have two beautiful girls and not too many pictures because I am not happy with my body. I think it's a bit selfish. It is not about me, it is about my girls. It is about them looking back and seeing beautiful pictures of their mommy, while they are sitting on my lap, while we are out at the park playing, while we are snuggling on the couch, while we are on vacation. I know that all they see is their mommy, and they love me. They don't see that mommy isn't where she wants to be with her body, they see their mommy. They don't see the dog jowl type thing hanging down, they see their mommy. I want memories that they can look back on and smile. I want them to know that I was proud to have my picture taken with them and that mommy made it a priority to have our picture taken together. I had two friends tell me that their mom was always behind the camera and never enjoyed having her picture taken. They both lost their mom at a young age and they don't have many pictures to show their children. There are only very few pictures of their grandmother. I get that they have memories, but that isn't enough. I don't ever want to be in this position. I don't want Brinley and Adele to look back and question why there are no pictures of mommy. How sad.

We all go through stages. We go through times in our lives where we feel great about ourselves, and there are times when we feel a bit defeated and our self esteem takes a hit, but it is up to us to bring it back up. It is up to us to show our daughters how important it is to feel great about ourselves. It is up to us to boost our children's self-confidence. It is up to us to let them know that they are perfect. My girls won't hear the word 'DIET' but they will hear that we need to eat good food and take care of our health. It is up to me right now to get myself back to where I feel good so that the girls know what it is like to be healthy and happy and beautiful.

My family deserves to see pictures of me. My parents should have pictures of their children together. They deserve to have pictures of their grandchildren, sitting on their daughter's lap.
I need to step back. I need to relax. I need to not be so critical of who I am. I need to realize that no, I am not the same Krista that I was four years ago. I have changed. I am married. I have two children. I am older. I need to look back at the pictures taken a few years ago and enjoy and savour those moments. I want to do the same thing, a few years from now. I want to look back and savour these beautiful moments.

Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets