Life is beautiful because Reid Layne is here....


My whole world has been turn upside down...But maybe that’s the beauty of life...That’s what I’m hoping...It’s really hard, heartbreaking actually to sit down & write the words I am about to share but for me I feel that it may bring some healing, some acceptance & if anything prayers or positive thoughts for my darling little girl...

Exactly two weeks ago "Pip"[Reid Layne McCallan] made her entrance in this world...The labour & delivery according to the doc was straight forward & easy...He didn’t feel the contractions so “easy” isn’t the word I would have used...But compared to Noal’s it really was a much nicer delivery...Only a few hours of contractions & 4 pushes later & my baby girl was here...The same euphoric, amazement spell hit Craig & I, and we basked in the awe of creating a little life like we had with Noal...
In those first few hours with Reid & Craig, everything was just perfect...My good friend Sam was taking care of Noal & sending me picture updates so I wouldn’t worry...Reid scored good on the Apgar test, latched perfectly & seemed like a content little thing...Craig was the beautiful, sensitive man I loved, telling me how strong I was & how happy he was & that our little family was perfect...For two days I lived in this world until it bluntly came crashing down, nearly taking me with it in shock, saddness & fear... 

A few hours before Reid & I were released from the hospital a Pediatric Heart Specialist came to listen to a heart murmur a nurse had heard the night before on Reid...This alone scared me & I called Craig who was watching Noal to come back to the hospital immediately...While the doc was listening for a heart murmur he looked at me with the saddest eyes possible & told me he didn’t hear a murmur but that he saw signs of Down Syndrome...I felt like he had slapped me across the face...Literally...What was he talking about? Why hadn’t anyone for 2 days mentioned anything like this? It had to be a joke?

Alone in the hospital waiting for Craig to come & a Genetics Specialist to confirm the Pediatric Specialist’s hunch, I remember feeling like I have never in my entire life felt before...Just utterly gutted...It felt like I couldn't breath...I just kept looking at Reid & praying, begging God that the doc was wrong...

The next few hours, days even, are a blur...The Genetics Specialist confirmed that Reid had Down Syndrome & my world just started spinning from there...I've never cried so much in my life...The feelings I had in the those first few days ranged from being heartbroken to angry to scared to guilty...

I was heartbroken for what it meant to my “perfect” little family...It wouldn’t be the life I envisioned us all having...Noal wouldn’t have the “normal” brother/sister relationship like I had with my brother...Craig wouldn't get to experience certain things in life that a dad/daughter share...I wouldn’t get the daughter I so badly wanted to teach everything in me to...

I was angry thinking why us? Why this little darling Reid? Why my funny little boy Noal? We’ve already been through so much & worked so hard in life- why this now on top of other things?


I was scared & still am about Reid’s life...At the time I didn’t know much about Down Syndrome and all I heard from the doctors was that there usually is other complications & she’ll have to be tested for this & that...


And I felt guilty about a lot of things...At first I kept playing the pregnancy over & over in my head- Did I do something wrong...Before I knew I was pregnant I was bloody jumping on a trampoline, I had a few gin & tonics on Mother’s day, & I picked up Noal the entire pregnancy...Did I cause this?


Then I felt guilty for feeling so sad & angry...I would look at her & to me she still seemed perfect...It still felt like the doctors were wrong...She to me just looked like my perfect little Reid & then I’d feel guilty for being so sad about things...I felt like she could sense I was sad and then felt guilty because that wasn’t fair to her...She was here & she was mine & no matter what, she was my perfect daughter so I should be happy...But those first few days I just couldn’t get out from the shock & blow of it all...


Thank God on high for my husband...I truly am with the person I am meant to be with...he held me up during that first week like no one else could...I love you Craig more than ever before...thank you for holding me during this...He said something to me that meant more than anything else & that will see us through this next challenging part of our journey...He said, “I’d rather have a harder life with you than an easier life with someone else”....Same Choo...Same....
That first week I just felt like it was all a bad dream...We had to go to numerous doc/specialist appts & have since learned that Reid will have to have serious eye & heart surgeries within the first few months of her life...Praying harder than I ever have that the hole in her heart closes & than she wouldn’t need the heart surgery...Let me tell you nothing has prepared me in life for a doctor advising me on signs to look for if my daughter goes into heart failure...It's just something you never want to hear, never want to be aware of & I pray a miracle happens & my baby girl's heart is made whole...PRAY FRIENDS PLEASE...


I'm just so beyond stunned...I just keep looking at her & praying that she will be okay...That she will survive these surgeries & that Craig & I will look back at these life changing days in a few years and smile at how much they changed us as people...Our whole lives will forever be different & I know deep down it's all for a reason...I can feel myself shifting to thinking more in that place instead of this sad, angry, scared, guilty place I’ve been in for 2 weeks...


I know she's here to teach us stuff in life and she'll undoubtedly change all of us to be more beautiful people...The worries I have about her & Noal not having the same relationship as me & my brother have been replaced with knowing she will teach Noal to be a sweeter, kinder little boy than just I could have taught him to be..... And I know we've been chosen to be her parents....Only 1 in every 700-800 babies has this disorder, she is strong & survived so far for a reason... She needs us & really when I think about it we need her... So, my goal is to raise another happy soul regardless the challenges...


So, there's my heart friends...It's broken & scared but a few things have lifted me up...As mentioned my Craig has been my rock- no surprise there- He is the strongest person I know & with him I can do anything...Our little family will be perfect...We will be that family that yes has challenges but that others look at & smile & even envy not look at us with pity...


Noal has also played a huge part in turning my thoughts around...When he kissed Reid for the first time I just about died...I realized right then & there that the relationship that the two of them will have will be beyond special & I don't need to worry about that piece of it...Yes, Noal's life will be different because of Reid but it's my job as their mumma to let them know it's exactly as God planned it to be...


Another moment I had was walking in to Reid's nursery...I spent days getting my crafty side on & making sure it was perfect...I walked into it a few days after getting home from the hospital & one of the paintings I had made above her crib read, "Life is beautiful because you are here"...This for some reason brought me to my knees...I cried harder than I ever have in my life...But it also was healing...I left the anger & hurt there in her room & truly got up from my knees feeling that my life, that Noal & Craig's life, that our family & friend's lives will all be brighter & more beautiful because of this special, unique, baby girl...


Family & friends have been amazing through this too...Please know every hug, word, thought & prayer has helped lift my heart...Everyone who encouraged Craig & I, dropped off food, sent flowers or gifts, checked in on us with calls, emails & texts...We thank you...We feel the love, appreciate it more than you'll know & might need encouragement along the way...


So, friends, think of my little Reid & my little family in the next little while...








I have a belly like Santa & much more...You jealous?

I know, I know it's been over a month since I've sat down & even looked at my blog...Some Blogger I am eh? But in my defense, this has been an insane month...As mentioned, the Hubs moved to our new place, 7 hours away from our little town- So, I was single parenting, 8 mths prego, while working a full time job & having open houses to try & sell our home...Hello exhaustion how are you?

Saying good bye to my gals was pretty hard...Not going to lie...They have played such an important part in my life & I truly am going to miss them on the day to day stuff...I have been so lucky in life with having such amazing girlfriends...And I'm so thankful for the friendships I have had...Miss you gals so much already...

So, Noal, Deac & I finally made the move at the end of Nov & I've been busy trying to unpack our house and get organized before this baby girl comes...

 
According to the doc's, it's any day now so I'm thankful the house is ready, her room & clothes are good to go & I even had time to put up a Christmas tree...My girlfriends were all over me about that one when I told them we'll see how it goes- they demanded Noal needed a tree for Christmas...so here she is & here's my big belly.... 
 

Speaking of big bellies...I walked into a store the other day & saw a little boy maybe around 6 or so look at me wide eyed & then turned to his mum and say, "Mum, look she has a belly like Santa"...Bloody hell...I do look ridiculous- My belly is soo big...My new doc has even referred to it as tumour...Nice eh?

So, I hate this waiting part- especially with having a 17mth old baby boy now
to worry about...I didn't really get to this anxious part with Noal because he was almost 4 weeks early...But, with her I find I am way more anxious for her to come...I'd much rather her come now but with my luck she'll be the Diva she's made to be & come Christmas or New Year's Eve....

Anyways, my darling baby boy knows something is up...He's been through such changes the last month or so...Starting with his dad being gone for a month, then moving into a new house with a new room- which he does seem to love...His old room had bright lime light green walls which I loved & which I will eventually change this room into...But for now here's what it looks like...
Daycare has been a bit of a challenge...he went from being in a baby room with one other little boy & having the attention & love of "Miss Kerri", to moving to a Toddler room with 15 bigger kids, sleeping on a cot & being the smallest little mouse in the room...A bigger kid bit him the other day & this Mumma went nutso....Imagine me, 9 mths prego all emotional as it is, barging in there scooping him up & making the biggest deal in the world about it...Protective Mumma Bear came out in full force...

All in all, Noal seems to be accepting the changes well...he's sleeping good, loves his puppy more than ever & is growing up so fast it's killing me...Here's some pics & videos of my Bubs the last month or so...

 





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How do you Remember?

Cant help but thinking of all that risked or lost their lives so many years ago....Thank you...Where would we be without you? I cant imagine all that you sacrificed...I sit here, pitying myself, missing my husband when hes 7 hours away & safe...I cant wrap my head around what it would feel like to have him out fighting a war instead...Amazing strength, courage & faith...Thank you...

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Mumford & Sons dance part at 5:30 am....Oh how life has changed...

Awhile back I mentioned my talented, Guest Blogger, Justina Phippen took some fall shots of my little family...I had meant to post a few of my favs from that day, but life got in the way...Here are a few...Isn't she amazing?

 
 
 

Just an update on that life getting in the way side of things...We bought a brand new dream house, the hubs has had to move to start his new job, I then am holding down the fort here with a beyond busy little boy, a full time job and random house showings...Not to mention an about to burst baby coming, and the stress of thinking my hubs is 7 hours away if I go in labour...So, Im trying to get through the next few weeks till me and Noal move and reunite with Craig...Ive also been on a selling spree- Sold a bunch of our stuff and in a way its kind of addicting...Who would have thought?

So, with all that going out I can't not give a BIG SHOUTOUT to all you single parents out there- Wowza, its tough work & all the respect in the world to you...I am so tired some days- I find the morning routine to be the hardest...Noal can wake up anytime between 5 am & 6 am...Those 6 am days are golden- But lately, the little bugger has been pulling the early morning slot- In turn, till we leave for daycare/work at 8 am those couple hours have been exhausting...The other morning at 5:30ish we were having a Mumford & Sons dance party in the kitchen...And what normally takes me 20 minutes to get ready is now taking sooo much longer-Putting on mascara while singing Baa Baa Black Sheep has been interesting...

Therefore, I can't wait till my little family is back together & starting our new adventure...



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I'm now a Guest Blogger...

Check out my first time Guest Blogging...Interesting to see my words on someone else's blog...Thanks again Alyssa...

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Classic & Chic Advice from someone I personally want it from.....

Reflecting this past week on all that I am grateful for, I realize I am also really thankful for you friends who take the time out of your busy day to read my little blog...The comments or personal messages or chats you have with me regarding the blog are so much appreciated...so thank you...

Thank you also to all those who have helped out this little blog in some way- ideas, photos and of course my fabulous Guest Bloggers...You really bring so much more to this blog and I am thankful for each of you...Including and Introducing my newest Guest Blogger Alyssa DeJoseph....
She is one of those people that whether you know her or not you are drawn to or interested in her classic beauty & style...She is stunning & in turn makes you want to ask her a bunch of questions, like; How do you get your eyebrows so perfect? What kind of foundation do you use? What kind of skin care products or tips make your skin look so flawless? And how do you put together such chic outfits? She shares her thoughts & ideas over on her own chic blog Le Closet, and now dear friends here are some tips & tricks from the beautiful Alyssa herself...
 


Bonjour all T followers!
I am very excited that Tara and I decided to be each other’s guest bloggers. Tara’s blog is personal and real and I love reading up on all her mommy hood stories, tips and questions. Having no kiddo’s yet it truly makes me excited for all the fun baby experiences I may have one day.
Tara and I had some discussion about what I would talk about on her blog and beauty and skin care came up…and because I am passionate for both I decided what a great opportunity to post about just that. I find as women we are always asking each other what we are all doing as our beauty regimen or what make up steps we do every day, so I’ve put together what I use every day and little tips that go along with it.
I love fashion and creating outfits but when it comes to make up I truly stick to classic looks. I rarely wear colorful eye shadow or glitter. I do however enjoy trying out different make up looks on others. When doing make up jobs I love playing up the eyes and trying out new lip colors but for me I remain a true liner girl and always love a good red lip. Either way, like your clothes, your makeup should reflect who you are and your personality but never ever try to cover up natural beauty because that it was truly what makes us individuals.
 
1.   Before any make up goes on my face I make sure it’s clean and moisturized. I could go through all the steps in regards to skin care but I’ll save this one for another blog post. I also like to spray a little rosewater on my face before I begin.
2.   Concealer: I use my ring finger to dab a bit of concealer all under my eyes and around my nose and a little bit on my forehead. I don’t completely blend it in as it will blend in with foundation.
3.   Foundation: I apply foundation with either a sponge or a foundation brush. If I’m using the brush I make small strokes everywhere except for under my eyes and dab it if I’m using the sponge. In the summer I will usually mix my foundation with my sunscreen or a brightener for a sheerer look. I also usually mix two foundations together to get the right shade. The key here is to blend, blend and blend! Don’t put in too thick as it will look like you are wearing a clay mask.
4.   Bronzer: This is important as it helps to highlight the face and add a touch of glow. Don’t overdo it (trust me… been there) as it looks fake and you don’t want your face to be darker than your body. I use a powder brush and apply bronzer to the outside of my cheeks and up to my hairline, on the outside of my nose and my chin. Only apply bronzer where the sun naturally hits your face.
5.   Eye brows: So important! If you have unruly eyebrows make sure to brush them out and use a clear brow gel to keep them in place. If you have sparse eye brows fill in the gaps with either a brow pencil or powder. This is a personal choice. I use a powder as I find it gives a more natural look. Use small strokes and fill in anywhere you desire. Brush out when done. If you have eyebrows that have a mind of their own brush on one coat of clear brow gel.
6.   Translucent powder: I swipe a little bit of powder under my eyes so that if any extra shadow falls it will easily dust off.
7.   Liner: I rarely do eye shadow but when I do I stick to a natural color for day and darker color for night. I often use liners and will use a different one’s depending on what I’m doing and where I am going. Every day for work I line my lashes with a black eye shadow with a small angled brush, making it a bit wider at the outer corner. For a more dramatic look when I am going out at night I will use a liquid liner and make the line longer on the out corners of my eyes- which creates the famous “cat eye”. The “lush” one is like using a small paint brush and the “Stela” is like using a sharpie pen. The best advice I can give for liner and cat eyes are to practice! And if you mess up the first couple of times, don’t sweat it, dap a Q-tip in some eye makeup remover and try again.
8.   Blush: I often switch up my blush. I have a M.A.C palette with a variety of colors as well as individual colors from different companies. To apply I will smile and apply a bit of blush on the apples of my cheeks and swoop my brush a bit up into my hair line and then straight down. Like the bronzer don’t overdo this or you will just look like a clown. Try to find colors that compliment and that are close to your natural skin tones, but don’t be afraid to use brighter colors in the summer months.
9.   Setting spray or powder: This is something new for me. I used to do my entire make up and go but by 3 o’clock looked like I was melting. I have very oily skin in the summer and dry skin in the winter. I now use a setting spray or powder once I am done all my steps so that it all stays in place.  I really love “emotional brilliance” by Lush. I dust this everywhere on my face.
10.   Mascara: A couple of swipes of mascara and I’m almost done. During the day I rarely wear mascara on my bottom lashes.
11.   Lips: I stick to a nude or light pink lip color for work and a red lip on the week end or if I am going out. I also always have a lip moisturizer on hand wherever I go.

A few extra tips…
Blend a bit of foundation and bronzer on to your neck to avoid that yucky foundation line!
When wearing a darker lip color dab a layer of foundation over your lips. This will ensure you get the exact color from the tube and prolong the wear.
To mask a larger nose swipe a line of concealer straight down your nose and two lines of dark foundation or bronzer on the outside of your nose.
If your skin tone looks “dull” or “ashy” after applying foundation it is because the color is wrong. You often have to apply more than one foundation color to make your face look bright and flawless. Remember that when you are not wearing makeup your face has different tones, cheeks, under eyes, forehead etc are all different colors so not just one color of foundation or concealer will do.
Hope this has helped! Check out what’s on my makeup shopping list below…
1.   M.A.C face and body foundation
2.   M.A.C pro performance sponge
3.   M.A.C  163 flat contouring brush
4.   Make up forever Mist & Fix spray
5.   Urban Decay lashes
6.   Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Mat Lipstick in Rich Red


Exciting, Sad, Amazing, Bittersweet News....

I obviously feel so blessed in life with my family & friends and couldnt be more thankful for their support in my life...Over the past week the hubs & I have had some life changing news...Craig got a HUGE promotion & this new opportunity will be moving us 7 hours away from our current little town...

I am beyond proud of him & all that he has accomplished in life...But the timing of this move comes at the most insane time ever- We need to sell & buy a house, do all that comes along with that, & get a new doctor lined up because if you havent realized I will be 9 months pregnant for the move with a 15 month old...Good times...

Its also bringing about so many emotions...Its a bittersweet kind of thing...I am excited for the opportunities this will bring and to explore & discover a new city with my little family...But sad because of friendships I have made here in the last few years...
 
Our friends threw us one hell of a Going Away Bash this weekend & it's really starting to sink in how very much we will miss our life here... 
Some of my life changing years {engagement, marriage, first baby, etc} have been with my girls here & I will miss them more than theyll ever know...Moving to the hubs, small town 6+ years ago was an adventure in itself & everyone knows I struggled with adapting to small town life...These girls made my world up here & I can never thank them enough for the part they played in my life...I am truly grateful for them!!!!
Some of my friends aren't taking the news of the move too well...
 




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My girl Laurs still going strong....

Hope everyone stuffed their faces for Thanksgiving, like I did- gotta love big family get-togethers and eating...Missed having my little brother around, growing up and having lives of our own is amazing but I really miss him on weekends like this past one...

I also miss my girlfriends that I grew up with including this amazing one & Guest Blogger...Heres Laurs most recent update on her Year Free Fast Food Challenge...Keep it up Laurs...so proud of you...
 

So, here it is 9 months and counting fast food free!!! Never did I think we would make it to this point! I'm amazed. Unfortunately my boys had a run in with a chicken nugget and a few fries (not by my choice), but really it was bound to happen at some point!
It really amazes me that 3 months from now I can say we went one whole year without eating any fast food! It's honestly been pretty easy. Truthfully there have been days and times where it would truly be easier to just quickly pick up something fast like McDonald's for dinner but we even made it through the whole summer without it!

We went on vacation and our family we were traveling with pulled in for a rest stop and lunch at Wendy's...Brad and I looked at each other and went uh oh! So we just rolled our window down and said we will see you in a few minutes we are going to look for a subway! We drove and couldn't find one but we did find a Tim hortons and went in and got sandwiches and soups. I didn't feel deprived at all but actually proud that we stuck to our guns :)
As for the weight loss update I haven't lost anymore since July but am still holding at 30lbs lost and really need to get my eating back on track! I am still working out like crazy but having a hard time not eating whatever I want on the weekends. I'm kind of in a bad cycle right now of eating really good and working out all week long only to gain back the same couple of pounds I lost all week long :(. It's kind of discouraging but in no way do I plan on gaining the weight back that I have worked very hard to lose I just need to focus and get back on track to lose at least another 25lbs to be at a healthy weight.
Well I look forward to updating you all 3 months from now with amazing achievement of one year fast food free!!!
Laura



Thankful for all I am putting down my hatch....

Ahh Thanksgiving...One of my favs...Who am I kidding? I love all the holidays...So, to my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving...
This year I am 7 months pregnant & food is my everything...So, a few days of getting good eats down my hatch makes me very happy...My parents made the long journey up to see us, well really Noal, if Im being honest...Its so lovely having them here even though they got to see first hand how I almost ruined the hubs first turkey dinner...My only job was to pre-heat the oven & I put it on broil and then on a regular temp which I guess messes things up...Let's just say our little bird had to stay in a tad longer...But in the end it was delish & although Craig teased me all night, it's a memory and I keep things entertaining in life for him...In the words of Brad Paisley's Little moments song "I know she's not perfect but she tries so hard for me...And I thank God that she isn't cause how boring would that be" ...So at least I'm not boring...

Anyways, I love that Thanksgiving brings out a moment to reflect all that you are grateful for in life...I have so very much to be thankful for...Here are just a few reasons...




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