70 cents....

Today while number 2 and number 3 napped, number 1 and I ran errands...

We went to a Dollar store but when the cashier tallied the total I was short 70 cents. I awkwardly looked at what I bought, moving things around and debating in my head what I could possibly give up. 

I could have put it all back. Seriously ANY SINGLE item. But I didn't want to. I mean Candy - More baskets - Chocolate - Water balloons. Hmmm, really big decisions.

Anyways, without even batting an eye, the young friendly cashier took out her purse from under the counter and paid my debt...I mean, come on. Kindness slapping me right in the face. She didn't know or ask my story, she didn't even take time to assess the situation. She didn't know I was there simply to have an outing to spend time alone with my son. Or that the ice cream we had across the street just wasn't enough, I needed more time with him. She didn't know that walking the aisles of her store and being silly with my 4 year old was most definitely the highlight of my day or that I desperately wanted a chocolate bar. {Or Two - Don't judge}

She didn't know anything. Literally. No questions asked. She just immediately thought kindness. And that, to me, is what is so beautiful. To have kindness come first in your thought process - To just immediately act no matter the situation in kindness. That's what the world, that's what all of us, need to do more. 

Next week, Happy Soul Project officially launches as a Non Profit Organization & we are introducing a new initiative called Change Makers.
It's a way to hear how you, how others, are helping to change the world a wee bit. It's a way to see the power in kindness. I'll tell y'all more about it next week, but I'd love for you to start sharing our new hashtag #immediatekindness when you know of how someone acted immediately with kindness before anything else. 

Whoever said, "Above all else, be kind" - No doubt, most beautiful way to live...

Couple Things from a Fish Funeral & Cream Cheese Chow Down...

Couple things to clear up since posting about our Fish Funeral & Pip's cream cheese chow down:

1. Literally two seconds after Noal flushed Finny & needed a hug. He also need a bunny, a parrot, a gecko & pleaded for a cat. 

2. Those that truly know me, know I'm not much an animal-type-gal. For the most part they scare me. To see me getting swarmed by birds is not a pretty sight.

3. After hugging Noal, wiping his little 4 year old tears away and determining that Finny had to go, cause obviously Maiysn needed a fish. I quickly set a home team rule that no pet can be in a cage which easily meant reptiles, rodents or anything with wings. Noal accepted the rule laughing cause he knows I'm scared of most of those things. Then he gave me one of the smiles that's gonna get him so far in life. I swear this boy's charm is something to see. He then shrugged his shoulders & said, "Well then a cat." 

4. Hell-to-the-no-bloody-hell way. Not only does my face blow up exploding from allergies but I'm truly petrified of the moody little things. 

5. Please all y'all cat people. Calm the heck down. I know y'all love them cats, but I don't need tons of messages to try and change my mind. To each their own.

6. Speaking of messages, to everyone who messaged saying you'd like to get Noal a bunny, so very sweet and extremely thoughtful. Seriously. But please see comment #3.

7. If you want me to be brutally honest, I was sad to see my kid sad. And it gave me a flash forward to seeing how awful it would be if our pup died. But Finny, I wasn't that attached. I HATED cleaning the fish bowl, I'm the only one that fed the darn thing & I thought when I got him it would be a short-term thing. How long do fish live? Heck, I thought we'd have him for a month or two. 

8. When I told Noal I was amazed Finny made it to 8mths, he started bawling & said, "But momma, he didn't even get a birthday." So, cue the birthday-funeral-flush-send-off.

9. I love that my kid has such a sweet yet dramatic heart.

10. My other kid however, is in a real Miss Independent Stage. I answered our front door and signed for a package. Came back and she was like "What, nothing to see here. Move along momma."

11. I do not label my children's food - Well not all of it. So many questions, messages or comments about Pip's big-ol'e-jar-of-Philadelphia-Cream-Cheese with her name on it. The reason I do that is because of Celiac Disease.

12. Cross Contamination - WHAT? Ya, not only can Pip not eat gluten, but you have to worry about someone else's gluten getting in on her food. So separate toasters, things like peanut butter, cream cheese, jams, etc - anything where a crumb from a slice of bread could possibly be, Pip has to have separate. Uber annoying having to pull out two toasters every morning, but has to be done. 

Hope y'all have a good week:)

Celebrating the little things....

Being a blogger & sharing my life now, for a few years, I've grown a "thick-skin-if-you-will" around other people commenting on my life. 

I've learn to take the "Car-Seat-Crusader" with a grain of salt but also have a respectful acceptance of learning to be safer for my kids. 

I've taken the hits for feeding my kids too many hotdogs or having the tv on in basically every picture I take, because only I know how picky my kids really are & how most days to survive, I need a little help from Paw Patrol. Only I know how hard it is to transition my daughter to a gluten-free diet because at 3 she was diagnosed with Celiac disease. And only I know how truly lazy I am, mixed in with an utter dislike for cooking, how many days I've had to get a pizza delivered. 

I've somehow, even been able to train myself to feel a sadness instead of anger when ignorant, unnecessarily mean people make comments like, "You should have aborted her or she's a strain on tax payers" on a picture of my daughter Pip, who just happens to have Down syndrome. 

I've realized that some people like my sense of humour, while others find me optimistically annoying. I've accepted that I can change some people's views about certain issues dear to my heart, while others don't understand why I fight the fight I do. I've heard that some people like my hair, style, home & clothes, while others think it's all a hot-bloody-mess. And I've learn that while some people think I'm a bad mom, most know I'm an-absolute-fan-freaking-tastic one. 

Cause I am. Truly.

Wanna know how I know?

All 3 of my kid's faces light up when they see me. 

They know they are loved, so very, loved. 

And they are happy. They are kind. They are confident, hilarious little souls that deserve to be celebrated.

Yesterday I posted about how my husband & I got to spend a little alone time with our oldest son. 

"Noal was only 7mths old when I became pregnant with Pip, so all he has ever known is life with his sister. We try & do things with Noal to carve out time & make him feel special, but typically that means it's one on one with either me or my husband. We don't normally get the chance to both just be with him, without Pip. Tonight we watched him play road hockey & then took him out to grab a hotdog. Nothing overly special, but watching him love up the attention from both of us, made me realize we need to try & do this more."

From that post, a comment was made that has been swirling around in my mind all day. It was made in the tone of a "Momma Judge" - a passively, aggressive tone that comes off as being a perfect-momma-who-seems-to-have-figured-out-this-whole-parenting-thing. And if that's the case, Sweet Jesus, I'm happy for you. 

But me, I haven't figured it out yet. I'm learning day by day. I clearly make mistakes, my kids consume way too much food outta a box, we dance more than the average ballerina, our screen time quota would probably blow some minds & I don't let them cry it out EVER - But, that's the point. It's not meant to be perfect. It's not meant to be the same for all of us - It's just meant to work and be this big, beautiful chaos that makes your head spin. It's meant to be such a whirlwind, that when you look back, like all the good parents do, you think "Man, time flew."

And because life moves faster than any of us want, and because time is precious, why waste it judging how another momma does anything? 

Let's lift each other up, clinking glasses & toasting to just surviving another day. Let's learn to celebrate the small things. Like I was trying to yesterday.

Yesterday I chose to celebrate alone time with my son. I celebrated the look of pride when he scored a goal, I celebrated the funny stories he told cause he had my full attention and I celebrated the fact that I knew he felt very, very loved. 

Every day, in some way, I celebrate them and that ain't gonna change my friends. So, by all means, if you have to, judge my carseat installation, throw me under the bus about the consumption of hotdogs in our house but let me decide what is worth celebrating. Let me be the one to determine what I'm grateful for each day. Let me be the one to find beauty in the imperfect chaos. 

k, thanks...

$37,000 To Help Change The World....

I started Happy Soul Project, simply as a way to tell the world my daughter had Down syndrome. What I thought would be an outlet of sorts for me and a space I thought my mom & girlfriends would read has instead turned into my purpose.

A purpose that I'm so passionate about, but still so surprised by. 

I still always assume that Happy Soul Project only reaches those on a similar journey to mine. So, when I hear that its influenced in any way, others on a different path, I'm taken aback. When a little girl in elementary school decides to write her speech on Pip & Down syndrome, when a family decides to adopt a child with special needs because of videos of Pip or when a group of over 100 Queen's University students "vote to choose a charity to fundraise for, & The Happy Soul Project wins by a landslide" - I'm seriously beyond humbled. 

I mean knowing people are out there believing in what you are trying to do, validating your ideas & helping make what you hope a reality, is such an unreal feeling. It's empowering really, it makes you believe in you and what you want to accomplish even more. 

For close to a year now, I've been working with the Vogue Charity Fashion Show & I've been amazed by the talent, creativity and time they've put into the show & fundraising efforts. And while raising $37,000 for Happy Soul Project Non-Profit Organization is RIDICULOUSLY, OUTRAGEOUSLY, AWESOME, it was hearing how passionate they were about the cause that moved me. 

The money is fantastic - I mean come on, I can't tell y'all how needed & appreciated it is. 
Through small donations & proceeds from my shirt & calendar sales, I've been able to send close to 5,000 Kick-It-Capes worldwide. But a few weeks ago our Non-Profit account held $68 - so with kids on our waiting list, material to be bought & capes to be mailed, this moula couldn't have come at a better time.

However, hearing about how working with Happy Soul Project has influenced students, hearing about how everyone on the crew was so in love with our work, hearing about how it spread positivity & inspired change - That's what I'm gonna walk away with ...

Well that & this gorgeous origami cape they made & this big fat cheque. Now let's get going on changing the world a wee bit more...

No doctor, no disability, no diagnosis...

Today I distracted my little girl as she saw specialist after specialist.
Today I held my little girl down as they tried to take blood & kept losing a vein.
Today I wiped away my little girl's tears & kissed her bruised up arms over & over.

Today I wanted to cry, scream & pack 'er in. Today was hard. 


Tonight I preached to medical students the joy in having a child with special needs.
Tonight I proclaimed to medical students the value in ALL life. 
Tonight I challenged some medical students perspectives on disabilities & I got to be the voice for the unnecessarily negative outlook on a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Tonight despite today being so hard, I got to share our story & hopefully inspire a wee bit of change.

Because no doctor, no disability, no diagnosis can predict the extraordinary love someone will have for their child. 

No doctor, no disability, no diagnosis should define who a person will or can be. 

And no doctor, no disability, no diagnosis should ever, Ever, EVer, EVEr, EVER, {that's me meaning it} determine the value or purpose of somebody else's life. 

This is how I preach...So, Amen.