Please tell your kids...

Parenthood is just a constant game of figuring it out...

How to get them to eat certain things.

How to make them feel loved, safe & happy.

How to get them bleeping-beeping-bloody to sleep. 

How to still feel fulfilled in the grind of everyday moments. Making lunches, picking up toys, listing to annoying Youtube videos of weird men opening up Kinder Eggs. Like what the what?

A few nights ago, my five-sorry-five-and-a-half-year-old and I were having our bedtime chat. We were lying cheek to cheek, his lantern that shoots stars across the ceiling was on, his pillow-I-mean-pet at his beck & call & the most uncomfortable toys that he loves buried in pillows, under sheets, taking up the space of one-whole-human-being. It's the one guaranteed moment in time, where I'm fully his, no interruptions from his siblings, where we talk, laugh & giggle & I try to boost & uplift who is he. He tells me about his day, a moment he was kind or something funny that makes us both genuinely laugh. It's his time to tell me about a new song from school or a new fact he has learn, like "Did I know, the elbow really has 3 bones?". It's his time to put all he's seen, heard & thought into the most bizarre of questions, like:

"Momma, how does Jesus talk?" - 
"Hmmm, what now?" - 
"Like, if he's a baby, like Theo, how can he talk?".

Ahhh, Catholic School...

I learned about Jesus & the bible via Sunday school at a church, however my kids are learning it through the school system. We chose that route because not only do we have to re-group from the arse-whipping-of-a-week by having a day to chill in pjs all morning, maybe if we're ambitious hit up a pumpkin patch or make it to swimming on Sundays.

But, I don't know if how I learned about God, is the right way to teach my own kids - Because God to me, is so very different now

And that's okay. I think it's good. If I somehow found a space, where I feel peace, I feel faith and I feel me, that's what really matters & that's what I'll pass down to my kids. 

That some find all of that in God. In a church. In a ritual. In a prayer. Some in music, some in art. Some in people and connections and moments that make up their life. 

That for me, I've found God in hospital chapels. In baby baptism's. In other's kindness. Or even in operating rooms where I'm singing my little girl to sleep

So, he talked it out, "I think then Jesus, stays a baby forever. And God, is his dad but does all the talking, because babies can't talk. But, mom why do they say Jesus said then? Cause then does he talk baby talk in that book?" 

All good questions indeed. And of course right away, as I tried to think up an answer that made sense to us both, I thought of Will Ferrell praying to Dear Lord Baby Jesus

But again, it swims back to the very idea - That every moment of being a parent, is how to figure out making it all work. How you'll answer questions, how they'll see & form relationships, how they'll view the world, how they'll live & who they'll be or want to become. That's all on YOU. On how you raise them, the love you rise within them, the confidence you instill & the positivity in encouraging them to be themselves. It's in how much kindness you share, how much respect you value in others, how acceptable you are to differences and challenges & something outside the norm. It's such a responsibility - I mean what a huge thing to even comprehend, let alone try to decide how to do things that best fit who they are. 

For example, how Pip puts on her outfit for school & brushes her teeth is completely different then how Noal wants to accomplish the exact same thing. And I find when I get frustrated or lose my patience the most, it's because I"m trying to rush them and get them to do it not in their own way.

Pip pretends to want to pee, her eyes twinkling, as she yips out "eeeeeeee" - She knows damn well, she's just teasing. Yet we go through the routine of her sitting there, batting at the toilet paper like a freaking cat & signing asking for music over & over. I normally oblige & sing a few jigs, she kinda bounces up or down or does her Adele Hands. Then I brush her teeth as she splashes water up on my newly wallpapered walls. She then truts to the bottom of the stairs waiting for tickles & kisses as I give her a brave-fist-pounce as she points to her Dexcom & we acknowledge her incredible courage. We then practice balance as she works hard on one foot as we get socks, leggings, or tights on. I usually get frustrated at this point and rush her through one side - cause come on - hussle up already. Then she tries to get her coat on, picks out her yellow rubber boots EVERY morning, has a little tanti as I put something else on her tootsies and we scoot to the bus just in time.

Where as,

Noal brushes his teeth, while I do his hair, he normally directs me how he'd like it to look. Yesterday he reminded me he wanted ponies, with green-blue-and-pink elastics and I obviously oblige, because I always want him to be him and have a voice. But I find that there is this balance to figure out as well. And that's the tough part in parenting. Wanting to protect, yet wanting them to figure it out too.

I want him to be him, but it breaks me to think of anyone teasing him, being mean or chipping away at his confidence because he is so proudly himself. So, I wanted to poach the subject, so he wasn't caught off guard, so I ask if he was sure & what if his bigger friends at recess said something about them. And he said, "Oh, they will but that's okay, I think it's cool, don't forget pink one in the middle momma." 

And that was that, he thumbs-upped the mirror, hopped off the stool & gave me a grin as he put on his backpack.

When he came home from school, his smile was still plastered on his face, he gifted me with a bag of wet soggy leaves and I noticed right away, he only had 1 of the 3 ponies left in his hair.

"How cool were your ponies today babe? I see one still survived." - 

"Well some boys said they weren't cool. One boy tried to rip out the blue one, you know the one at the very top? So, I just kept the green one & told them, anyone can have long hair, or short hair or ponies. Right momma?" -

"Totally right dude. What did they say?" -

"They said who said that. And I said you did. Then they said their moms never told them that. How come momma?" - 

"Good question kid. I don't know. Maybe I'll ask their mommas to please tell them." -  

So, here it is, here's my plea - Please tell your kids.

  • Anyone can have long hair, short hair, purple hair, no hair or rock ponies whenever they want. 
  • Anyone can wear pink stripped socks, blue plaid shirts & play with dolls or little toy cars. 
  • Anyone can paint or create, or play sports or learn piano.
  • Anyone can believe in a faith that brings them peace, love whom makes their heart happy & look different because of so many things.
  • Anyone can be anything they want.

And that being YOU is one of the coolest parts about life. That we are all DIFFERENT and unique and that's what makes us all so extraordinary.

There is so much to figure out, to this wild ride we call parenting. But it's so important to teach your kids to be themselves and to freely allow others the same. 


Finding the new me...

I lost it again...

This time in a charming, little restaurant {Bella's}, on Taco Night {Thank you fate}, sipping Shiraz with a very dear friend...

We talked. And I broke.

And it's as simple as, I don't feel like me. 

You see, while I'm totally known to cry leading up to Pip's surgeries, over a film that gets me good or something sweet my babies do that moves me. I'm definitely not known, to cry so very much. EVER. And I mean, me & my little family have been through some moments where we've had every right & reason to shed a few. 

But this time feels different, because on top of feeling utterly overwhelmed & with more responsibility & restrictions I ever thought possibly, I'm having to find a new me...

I'm trying to remain as true to me, who I've been, who I love - while quite literally having to add elements or characteristics that don't feel quite like me at all.

I think if asked, most would say, I'm a pretty easy-going type of human. I'm always the person whose late no matter what, goes-with-the-flow regardless & tries to make the best outta any situation. I'm the momma who let's her son wear ponytails if he chooses, co-slept them all, eat waffles for dinner & depends on youtube to babysit for portions throughout the day. I'm what some have described a free-spirit, a handful or a wee bit quarky. I once traveled as much of the world as I could, jumped outta a plane & been called a gyspy for my wanderlaust dreams. 

But right now, right in this moment, everything I love & know about myself, seems so very far away. 

Because not only do I have to learn what it means to become a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I have to live a lifestyle that is so far from the way I've lived the past 35 years of my life. I have to become a person bound by schedules, organization, restricted periods of time, counting carbs & weighting meals & facing my no-lie-I-pass-out-fear of needles, numerous times a day.  

Now I have to somewhat fit my life & our little family of five's lives, into this new mold that we've never really been in...

And it's hard, because through everything my daughter has had: surgeries, surprise disorders, even having to punch my beloved gluten, right in the throat. I've gotten for the most part, to be able to remain as close to who I am, throughout.

And I guess that's why I'm struggling hard with this one. Because this time it's not just a new diagnosis, it's a new me. It's somehow, creating & fine-tuning these characteristics in my personality that I don't have or that I use differently, so that they benefit me and my little family as we learn to change.

#AndIthoughtCeliacDiseasewasrestrictive, #T1D, #type1diabetes

It's not the same. It's not fine. It's just not.

So my daughter is a kleptomaniac & a sneaky one to boot...

Driving home from the Dentist before we battled 3 other appointments later in the day, I grabbed my purse, sitting peacefully on the passenger's seat beside me with hopes to grab some moula to pay for a coffee.  

Instead when I reached inside, the entire contents were swimming in sticky, warm, emergency-low-sugar-source apple juice. My 3 year old had apparently snatched one of the Dentist's pokey tool things & plopped it into my purse, in turn, popping the juice box and creating this delightful hell-of-a-mess that I totally had time for on a day like yesterday...

That to most, would be enough to call 'er a day. 

But instead I got swept up in a Déjà vu so unbelievably similar to last year, and the year before, and by the looks of it every year moving forward. 

Pip has to have surgery AGAIN. 

Tubes, Adenoids & Tonsils this time. And I know a ba-zillion kids get this & all will be fine. But it's not the same. It's not fine. It's just not. 

9 times already I've had to dress her in one of those awful hospital gowns. 9 times I've had to hold her begging God that it's not the last time. 9 times I've had to sing her to sleep in an operating room. 9 times I've nervously sat and shoved Snickers down my hatch in a waiting room. 9 times I've never been more grateful in my life when she's back in my arms in recovery. 

This will be her 10th surgery. 10!!!! She's 3 years old. My kid can't catch a freaking break for anything. My kid has more complications and it's starting to feel like she has something "wrong" on pretty much every piece of her little body. My kid not only has to now deal with the pain & healing side of an extremely sore throat after the surgery, she has to survive it all by still maintaining blood sugar levels and Type 1 Diabetes & stick to a Celiac compliant diet. 

I'm starting to get real mad. I mean, seriously. It's pretty unbelievable that one child, that one family, that one momma can deal with so, so, so much. It's like the universe wants me to break. And I don't have the slightest idea as to why... 

Aunt Donna is rocking our #PipsArmy shirt - Get one HERE

All I know is that yet again, I'm calling on #PipsArmy, I'm crying in the pantry, I'm stocking up my Snickers and I'm refusing to sink. 

#feckoffuniverse #seriouslyfeckoff

How to build back up - Creating a new "norm"....

If you've walked this journey with us, you know by now I'm not a fan of Type 1 Diabetes. You know I cry in my pantry on hard days, call my daughter's Dexcom her brave patch & constantly promise my son he does not have to ever have needles like Pip. 

And those that know me closely, know I am really struggling. I'll have a few good days, where Pip's levels seem stable, her energy is good & where I finally feel I'm understanding carb counting & insulin corrections & have prepped everyone who is in her life about the Glucagon injection. And then WHAM, they'll be days that hit me in the face with the stress & heaviness of this disease...


Last night my husband and I had to change Pip's Dexcom. Youtube inserting a Dexcom, gasp in horror, pour a drink and chug it for us. Doing this is ABSOLUTELY horrible but also ABSOLUTELY necessary. Because at this point Pip can't express verbally when she is feeling her blood sugar drop & if it's in the middle of the night when we can't see physical signs, the Dexcom has an alarm that lets us know. Pip needs it. I need it. It could be the matter of life and death.

So despite, the nightmare to insert, it is worth it. Not only has it been so helpful at school, it is allowing me to sleep a wee bit in the night. And I say a wee bit, because it's so staggered. Little pockets of sleep, deliriously painted with vivid wacked out dreams. I've seriously never know sleep deprivation like I have now - This is worse then when Pip was in heart failure and I had to pump every 2-3 hours for months around the clock. I mean, not only am I still nursing Theo & rocking him whenever he wakes {I absolutely dare someone to leave a comment about how he is 10 months old and shouldn't be waking in the night - I won't want to punch you in the neck or anything!} but I'm still despite the Dexcom, checking in on Pip all the time. 

I've even gotten to the point where I include Noal in the mix everytime & he knows it. A few nights ago him & Deacon seemed to be sleeping so I went in to kiss his forehead. Just as I was about to plant my smackers down, his eyes popped open and he squealed "Gotcha momma". Was very horror movie-ish until his little boy giggles stopped the wee bit of pee that was thinking of coming out.

Point is we are all trying to make this our new "norm", but Sweet Jesus, I wish we didn't have to. But like anything Pip has been through, she constantly is showing me over & over what a warrior she is. Last night as I rocked her to sleep, I couldn't help the tears from falling. It's almost our thing now, she holds me while I have a good cry. Every couple of minutes she would pop up, hold my face in her two little hands, kiss my nose, whisper & sign "love you" & then honk my nose three times and say "beep beep" to make me giggle through the tears. It's like she knows I need these moments to rawly {is that a word? It should be} lay it out & as I do, we build back up strength together. 

And speaking of strength - This week our "Fight the Good Fight" shirts are being printed & once mailed I can't wait to see #PipsArmy rise together & lift up my little girl. I can't wait to see y'all wearing them and the doses of light it will bring to my family, the awareness it will inspire & hopefully the fight for a cure it will embark. 

For more info about #PipsArmy shirts see here:

To pre-order your #PipsArmy "Fight the Good Fight" shirt click HERE
To pre-order your Calendar & shirt combo click HERE

It isn't fair....

With Pip, I'm thinking all those things plus so much more. Yesterday while getting their backpacks ready, I had to wipe tears away. I had to fight back the anger that was almost choking me, because this is all so God damn unfair. 

Instead of just getting to pack my daughter a lunch & a set of clothes in case of an accident, I had to count out skittles and little rocket candies so that the teacher & EA have emergency sugar on hand to give if she goes low. 

I had to stock up on test strips and lancets so that others can poke her little fingers and report back her blood sugars.

I had to make apple juice and crackers and dried mango fit in a little Tupperware box & pray it's enough to help her be okay in case she goes unconscious or has a seizure.

I had to make a little bag seem cute so an EA won't mind taking it to recess or gym class or wherever Pip may wander. 

I had to make up labels & instructions upon instructions, all while feeling so very defeated & stressed outta my mind. 

This isn't what I pictured when I imagined learning to let go. This isn't how I envisioned sending Pip off to school. 

I thought I'd be dealing with worrying about her 24mth old size, or keeping a steady stock of diapers and wipes. I thought I'd be weary because of her little eye contact & how she has no concept of depth, taking stairs or hills outside with no fear. I thought I'd be petrified about food & Play-Doh & anything else with gluten getting into her Celiac little body. I thought I'd be anxious because while I understand her, most don't - she isn't verbal enough & while she has lots of signs, we somehow have ended making our own up. I thought I'd be over-thinking what it all meant for her big brother being in the same class & helping her on the shorter busI thought I'd be feeling emotional about others accepting her & demanding inclusion at all times. I thought I'd just be scared about letting her go.

Now I'm beyond. Now I have all of that plus Type-Bloody-1-Diabetes to deal with. 

A few weeks ago when Pip was diagnosed her blood sugar levels were so high, the monitor couldn't even read it. Now, however it's the opposite and she is dropping low all the time, which is terrifying. Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels. This may result in a variety of symptoms including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling of hunger, sweating, shakiness, and weakness may also be present. Symptoms typically come on quickly.

Sucks right?

It's just not fair.

It's not fair we have to always be on alert now. It's not fair, we have to poke her fingers & manoeuvre test strips while she cries. It's not fair we haven't slept in days because the sample Dexcom we are using keeps alarming because she drops below what is acceptable. It's not fair we have to tell Noal he can't have juice boxes but have to keep pumping Pippy with them. It's not fair our boys have to hear how brave Pip is every time we give her a needle or she demands someone kisses her poked up fingers. It's not fair we have to trust others to be able to do blood sugar tests, make sure she eats a certain amount of carbs & judge how active she can be. It's not fair we have to join new Facebook groups & read how devastating this disease really is. It's not fair our Aunt Donna & my parents have to practice giving each other needles & write out emergency plans in case they are watching the kids. It's not fair my husband has to spend his weekends making gluten-free meals while counting out carbs, to only have Pip refuse to eat any of it. It's not fair I'm finding little specks of blood marks all over my newly-painted-white walls or Pip's clothes because despite putting pressure on her pokes, it still sometimes flows. It's not fair our lives are restricted in these small windows between insulin injections & meal times. It's not fair we're reading other parents haven't slept through the night in years, their child tried to commit suicide by over-dosing on insulin or how to sugar surf. It's not fair my son has been raised to look out for his sister & feels the need to let her sit on his lap the first day of school cause she has "dieabeeetes". It's not fair we have this huge, heavy cloud threaten to complicate the life of our daughter.

Type 1 Diabetes just isn't fair. It's hard & such a bloody roller coaster ride. And as much as I'm crying in my pantry, on high alert & feeling the weight of her entire life on my shoulders - I can feel a fight somewhere deep within me brewing. I know I need to fight for her, for our family & for others going through this.

So, bear with me friends. Don't call me amazing or a warrior momma, cause I'm not. I'm just trying to survive it all. I'm trying to survive the emotions of sending my little girl off to Kindergarten. I'm trying to survive the fear that at times seems to choke me. And I'm trying to rise up eventually, swinging for a cure, for help, for something to create change.