Calling on Pip's People...Pip's Army....


 "Don't give in to your fears...
If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist



Well than, I've done a lot of "heart talking" this week...I've tried to push the fear away as I signed consent forms this week for Pip's surgery...I've tried to keep the worry afar with visits from friends, desserts & chilled white wine...I've tried to pretend I'm strong as I had to hold down, then hug a hysterical Pip as the nurses tried to draw blood...And I've even tried to stop the tears...


But Sweet Jesus, try as I might at 6:30 am tomorrow it will all come crashing down...At 6:30 am I will be a nervous wreak as I put Pip in a tiny hospital gown, try to distract her from the fact that she hasn't nursed since midnight, hold her desperately, kiss her continually & every once in a while let Craig do the same...


At 8 am when the surgeons come to finally take my little Pip, my heart will feel like it is the weight of my entire body- And I will crumble...I will give in to my fears as much as I wish I really wouldn't...


It's the feeling of no control & helplessness that really tugs at me...As a mumma, it's me who makes Pip feel better when the nurses can't find a vein, it's me who she snugs her little body into every night, it's me who she looks for when she hears my voice, it's me who gets the biggest smiles that light up her face & giggles that gurgle from deep in her belly...It's me who makes her feel safe...


And that is what hurts the most- Not being able to do anything...The only thing I can possibly do is get the world once again on her side, rally as many prayers to as many Gods, steal as many wishes as people will let go, & gather as many positive thoughts the universe can possibly hold for one person....


All I can do is call on Pip's People-Pip's Army...People who love her...



People who are inspired by her...



People who have smiled because of her...



People who have been touched by her courage & strength...



And people who have seen the world a wee bit differently because of her beautiful little soul...



Last eye surgery, when she was only 5 weeks old, it literally felt like the whole world was thinking of her & it brought such strength...

So, friends I need ya again...Please, I ask of you once more, Pip's People - Pip's Army, however, whoever, whenever you can please think of her tomorrow...









Also a reminder that Dear Sweet Pip is always open to anyone who has been inspired by Pip...To read about how she touched other's lives while her own was going though so very much, is something I think later in her life she will cherish so very much...



This time....

In exactly one week I will be sitting in a waiting room, nervously, subconsciously tapping my foot, not paying any particular attention to whatever Craig is saying, getting annoyed by whomever is in the waiting room with us & desperately longing for the surgeons to come out & tell me my Pip is okay...In this week leading up to the day, I imagine it will be a lot like the last...I won't sleep much, I'll just stare at her most of the night before the surgery, begging God/Fate/Karma to once again keep her safe, I will be antsy all week & tears somehow will fall & come out of nowhere...Until at last the surgeons take her & I collapse weeping & fall into Craig's arms...


At least based on the last eye & heart surgery experiences, this is what I am anticipating to happen...Except last time she was only 5 weeks old, and although I loved her dearly she was just a tiny newborn...


This time is different - This time she is so much more...


This time she's a daughter, who Craig looks at like no one else on the planet...



This time she's a sister, who Noal protects, snugs & gives his all to make laugh...





This time she's a niece, who is adored by her Uncle Air & Auntie Ash...A granddaughter, who is spoiled beyond belief & holds such a special, sweet spot in her grandparent's hearts...And even a great-granddaughter who made my grandpa's wish to hold her before he died come true...



This time she's a inspiration to so many people because of her ongoing strength, her sweet little spirit & her undeniable ability to light up a room with her smile...A unbelievable smile that seems to start in her toes, take over her entire body till it comes out & makes anyone happy just looking at her...

This time she's my funny little mouse who brings such joy & beauty to our family...



This time she has grown into my little Pip...



This time I have 8 more months worth of love, 8 more months worth of being in awe of such a beautiful little soul & 8 more months of having the honour of being her mum...This time I have 8 months more of her to lose...

So, this time I am scared...Right scared...



Hop...Hop...Hop - 1 truth, 1 tip & 1 pic...

As mentioned before the "Down syndrome Blogging Community" is fan-freaking-tastic...Such an inspiring, honest & talented bunch...I'm honoured to be amongst them, learn from them & share them with y'all...

This is a post for a blog hop as part of a project with Down syndrome blogs & T21 Alliance- The purpose is for each blogger to share one truth, one tip & one photo...The significance is sharing 3 things on the 21st!!!


So here goes it...


One Truth: I am utterly shocked by the depth of ignorance in some people..I am shocked to learn that people have gone out of their way to make negative, mean, derogatory, hurtful & completely unnecessary comments on photos or such of babies, children or adults with Down syndrome...It just blows my mind that someone has that within them to seek out a photo to make a comment like that...


One Tip: Ignore the negativity & the ignorance...Easier said than done I realize...Since Happy Soul Project, I've only received a handful of "negative" comments- One directly at me to stop pitying my life & the others directed at my views on same-sex marriage...By putting my life, my struggles, my journey with it all including Down syndrome out there, I have to realize that at some point I will receive a derogatory comment about my Pip...And while I will want to punch-throat someone in the neck about it, I have to let it go, realize that person is a sad, sick or demented soul and get on with it...


One Pic: Okay I know, I know the rules state one pic but I just had to do two...While I was taking this adorable pic of Pip sleeping, 



she woke up, recognized me & I got this smile...I mean come on, I had to post it...

Join the blog hop or at least check out some of the other fan-freaking-tastic writers below...






Embracing the softness....

Picture this friends...It's a beautiful day....Parks are bustling...Paths are filled with joggers, strollers, kiddos & pups...And then off the beaten path in the distance you see a site you really wish you hadn't or at least wish you had your phone to video this hot mess in action...


A full grown woman out of nowhere, comes busting out with a cartwheel, running full sprint into a round off & looking to end it with a yikes-no-she-shouldn't splits...You can tell she's trying to impress her toddler whose more interested in a ball & what looks like her laughing hysterically husband...He seems to be partly urging her on & partly embarrassed to be seen with her...


You see her determined face scrunched up, really try to play the part of the gymnast she once thought she was...Her 10, 15 okay bloody hell 20 pounds overweight, stumpy little body try & get the air in once did back in the day...And you can almost feel the ground shake with the heavy fall as she lands with her hands in the air expecting someone, anyone to hold up a card with a "10"...


You feel awkward watching, but can't look away & almost want to clap for her effort...You can tell the woman was really expecting her not-interested or impressed toddler to cheer after giving it her all with such umph...You then see through the woman's smile, a grimaced look darting across her face & a realization that her little body hasn't flipped over itself in ages, maybe a decade & it probably wasn't prepared for such an intense burst of energy like that...You choke back your own laughter as you see the woman limping over to her husband asking what could have possibly gone wrong & pointing to the back of her leg in disbelief...


That poor, delusional, spontaneous woman is me & now has a pulled hamstring...



Damn it...



Now I wouldn't consider myself healthy, fit, in-shape or any of those things...I am absolutely the worst...When I see other people posting the "beans & green smoothies" they had for dinner or that they just ran for 8 miles or such nonesense, I don't think "good for them", I honestly think these folks are crazy...


I know I have the warped thinking here & a part of me really would love to be healthy, lose this baby weight, have more energy, lada lada la...But Sweet Jesus, I love food- bad cheesy, fried, creamy, chocolatey food..


I haven't properly worked out since 2009 for my wedding & that actually might be the only time I gave it my all to fit into my wedding dress...Even then I was a hot-swearing-mess- Not one part of me enjoyed working out...



Before or since then, I've more or less just embraced the softness...Especially since having Pip, that baby weight & my insane hungry all the time has just kept those extra pounds around...


But after seeing numerous photos of me from vacation, always being utterly exhausted & wanting to set a good eating/habit for my kiddos, I've decided to really try & lose these 10, 15 okay if I"m lucky 20 pounds...


Got myself a gym membership {problem here is I can only go once kiddos are in bed & at that point all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a bowl of icecream & new Fall show lineup}, plan to ease back my chocolate consumption & maybe just maybe I'll be able to get a 10 outta 10 on my next cartwheel-round-off-split masterpiece...


"Don't be like the rest of them darling"

I always knew that if I had a daughter, I would teach her to be who she is no matter what...Strive to show her that different, unique & original is more beautiful than anything else as long as she is true to herself...I'm a big fan of being different & it's almost fitting that I ended up with a daughter with an extra chromosome...No one could possibly be prouder or love her more because of her "differences" than me...


Yesterday, after one of Pip's pre-opt appointments, I laid beside her & we just stared at each other for ages...At times it feels like she is this wise old soul & by just looking at her, you find clarity for something you needed...As minutes passed, I realized that I was crying...Not sad tears but happy, thankful, big old hopeful ones...My Pip turned 8 months yesterday... And I couldn't help but relive all she's, we've, been through...From surgeries & heart failure to feeding tubes & patching, my little Pip has jumped over mountains in her short inspiring life...I laid there looking at her amazing-brushfield spotted eyes in complete awe of such a courageous, special & "different" soul...



Here is 8 little things you may or may not know about Pip...


1- Pip is packing on the pounds....A whopping 18 pounds to be exact!!! I looked at a picture of her the other day from when she was in heart failure in the hospital & I can't believe the difference...Way to chunk up baby girl!!!

While I'm over the moon she's packing it on, she is basically just exclusively breastfeeding- We've been trying daily to introduce cereals, fruit & veggies but she seems to want to chomp & blow out raspberries more so than actually swallow any food...We will be working with her docs/therapists & she sees a feeding specialist in September...



2- Pip has the tiniest feet around...She still can fit into newborn shoes & even those fall off her mini-little-tootsies...



3-  We almost exclusively call Reid, Pip or Pippy now...Noal constantly is saying "Where's Pippy?, You okay Pippy?, Need a hug Pippy?"....When asked out & about what her name is I almost stutter & have to actually think about saying Reid and not Pip...




4 - She adores her big brother...She's constantly watching for him, cooing & smiling at him, reaching out for him to snug...I think the greatest "therapy" for her will honestly be him...Trying to copy & keep up with him...


She also adores her pup- Deacon has never been more protective than now- He's Pip's little watchdog & goes absolutely bananas if anyone knocks on the door or gets near her...It's so annoying but cute in a way...


5- She's a yappy loud little thing...Although she is a pretty happy babe & doesn't cry a whole heck of a lot- When she does talk it's extremely loud, but I guess the poor thing has two chatty parents & a chatterbox brother to keep up with...


6- She's kinda-starting to sit on her own & use an exersaucer...She has great head & leg strength but her core is still a bit "floppy"...As directed by her therapist we have been doing exercises everyday to strengthen her up...




7- Pip loves nothing more than to sleep on you, with you, beside you, doesn't matter as long as she's touched...And absolutely any type of motion puts her out - She particularly loves a good bum tap to send her to la la land...



8- And lastly Pip burps & farts like her dad...Loud & outrageous...


I wonder if by almost losing her, I have learned to celebrate her more? And if so, than I am grateful & in absolute awe of this beautiful little soul who is going to light up the world...


Don't be like the rest of them darling...I'm happy you are you...

Sometimes stuffing your face & belting out a big old "FEEECK" helps...For real...

Sometimes it's hard to share always what I'm thinking...I want Happy Soul Project to be a positive & happy place for y'all but I also promised to always be honest & real - Therefore friends, I share all of me...My life, my thoughts, my happiness, my fears, & my bad bloody days... 


And while I think in general I am quite a happy person, I have days where I'm in a rut, want to punch someone in the neck {usually my husband}, feel fat & ugly or just simply miserable about something:


  • I get irrationally irritable, especially with Craig...Stupid things like how he chomps chips on certain days can just drive me batty...I realize after the fact usually that I am irrational or irritable or both, but during the situation he doesn't have a chance of coming out without a snappy comment or more...
  • I'm mouthy...Take the other day at the park...Noal & a bunch of toddlers were peacefully playing on a jungle gym when a bunch of older kids decided to play tag...Big mumma wasn't having it & snapped at them to move on...
  • I'm selfish...Whether it's hiding treats from Craig in the house or eating Noal's last cookie and then looking at him & saying "all done bud"- I have done this more than I want to admit...
  • I get in funks...I have days where nothing fits, my hair is a mess, I don't feel like getting out of my pjs & I want a brownie for breakfast...But as is life- the funks come & go and for the most part I tend to stay on the happier side of things....


That all being said...Yesterday was a stuff my face with cheesecake, drink some red wine & belt out a big old "FEEECK" kinda day...


Found out Pip needs to have a minor surgery on her already operated eye in TWO weeks...This wasn't expected...I knew a few weeks ago that eventually she would need to have her other eye operated on at some point, but thought she was good to go with this one...


That means my darling Pip has another two surgeries to battle, another two times putting her out, another two times recovering & all that follows....And who knows down the road how many more to follow...


On top of that I still have to patch Pip's good eye half of the day...I hate that...I hate being in the grocery store & people staring at her or a little kid in Noal's daycare asking what's wrong with her eye...


I usually try & plan her patch time during hours we are home so that I can avoid all of that whenever possible...



But that's not always the case...I love her little face with or without the patch but Sweet Jesus, I can't wait for the day it's gone...




So ya, yesterday I wasn't my usual "happy" self...


Right after finding out the news, I thankfully met a good friend for lunch & chats...And like any good friend she eased my worry for a few hours, helped stuff my face with cheesecake & held me off from having a major meltdown...


That friend was followed by another - One of my hubby's friends who definitely is a favourite of mine - And the fabulous steak, bottle of red & many laughs was like a lovely band-aid put over the raw wound of the day...


And of course I needed my "FEEECK" call...That call is always to my brother...If I'm having a day, if I find out bad news, if I just need someone to hear me yell "FEEECK" loud & hard, it's my little brother I turn to...


So before you judge - try it....If you're having a bad day- stuff your face with dessert, get a wee buzz on, add some good friends to make you laugh & take a deep breath & belt out from within a good old "FEEECK"...



You'll feel better...I do...I think...



100+ Days of Gratefulness...

The other day I realized it had been more than 100 days of acknowledging something that made me happy, I was thankful for, or that I loved...100 days of seeing the goodgreat, no awesomeness in my life...100 days of taking pictures to capture moments of joy...100 days of looking for happiness in my little world & 100 days of being grateful for the life I've been given...


And you know what? I think I am a happier person because of it...It may sound simple and it may bring about simple results but at the end of the day I feel like it brought out something positive in me...



I made it my mission each day to really try and pinpoint my favourite moment- to look for it, create it, seek something out...


With the two hooligans in my life it was quite easy most days, because of all the laughter and joy they bring...But in those 100 days there were definitely some dark moments- Pip had her heart surgery, we found out she will need to have another, I was challenged with feelings of jealousy, etc...etc...But regardless the day, regardless the challenge there was always a shining moment...


There was always something I could share as the highlight of my day, always something I could thank Sweet Jesus for at the end of it & always something that made me smile...


I think as the days went on it was almost harder to just pick one thing to acknowledge...I found the more I searched for it, the more I found it... I think that's the best part about this whole thing & something I will take from it...The more I looked for it the more I realize how very much there is to be thankful for...


I updated the 100+ Days of Gratefulness and in putting it together- seeing my little family & the happiness, the memories, the life events we've had in just 100 days really does make one realize what's important & how precious it all is...I also love being able to look back & see the past 100 days so clearly- Often in these exhausting days of Mummy~Hood I lose track of time, days, months even- So having a clear picture of really what has happened the past 100 days laid out with a touch of gratefulness is awesome to have...



I will most definitely be continuing this habit & I've even started to form one with Noal- Before bed every night I ask him what his favourite part of the day is & then we say a little  "thanks" for it...At this point it's been mostly the slide, icecream, his friend "Inga" & Cookie Monster but I'm hoping it helps create a little boy with a grateful heart...



So moving forward with this you can find:


"What I’m thanking Sweet Jesus for one day at a time
updates daily on the 


And I will also start to do a weekly round-up on the blog as a separate post that you can find tagged or search for under Thanks Sweet Jesus or 100+ Days of Gratefulness...


I challenge you, friends, to try and pinpoint or highlight one thing a day you are thankful for...It doesn't have to be on a blog, no one even has to know you're doing it, but I promise getting in the habit of acknowledging thankfulness brings about a certain contentment within oneself...


A grateful spirit is something I strive for & being thankful for at least one thing a day for the past 100 days has helped bring that out...So friends & Sweet Jesus, here's to 100 more...


My Hooligans Captured Perfectly...

Warning: This post has photo overload & is more intended for my mother & others who love seeing pics of Noal & Pip...


Y'all can tell I'm obsessed with photos, or more so, taking photos of my little hooligans...Craig jokes that they are the "most documented children ever" & thinks I have a serious problem...Maybe I do, Maybe I don't- But in the end it brings me joy trying to capture the joy they bring me...So be it...


If I'm honest, I've always been quite jealous of photographers...I wish I had even half the gift they do- the creative insight, the technique, the passion & most of all the raw talent to see something & beautifully capture it...


That all being said when Amy Lenhart Photography offered to snap some shots of my hooligans & I of course, jumped on it...


Once again what I imagined in my head was nothing like what actually happened...I pictured something like you see of a family off Pinterest- Lovely outfits, mum looking perfectly made-up, kids behaved, smiling at the camera- Everyone seemingly wanting to be doing that exact thing...


In reality our experience couldn't have been farther from it-
But, in true photographer talent turning chaos into precious shots, is just what Amy did...


Not only did we show up late, Noal freaking out because he hated the buttons on his shirt, me rushed & putting on blush in the van - But Noal wanted to be anywhere other than sitting in one spot looking in a camera...









Amy thankfully just snapped away as I chased after him, played hide & seek, calmed down temper tantrums & swirled him away from mosquitos...Bloody hell if I would have known I'd be chasing after a run-a-way like that, I would have most definitely worn something else...




And big note to self here; since I don't normally wear earrings on a day-to-day basis, I shouldn't have been surprised that all Noal wanted to do was yank, pull & try to get at them...



At one point I was sitting on a cute little crate with Pip in my lap and Noal behind me, hoping against all odds, for a cute pic of a hug or such...Instead he pulled my hair & earring so hard I literally dropped Pip & the poor little peach flipped off my lap, bum over head onto the grass- Mum of the year over here...





So maybe my life isn't what those "perfect" families on Pinterest portray- Or maybe those families sedated their children beforehand...Either way I'm so very happy with how Amy captured my little family just as we are...






Thank you once again Amy for your kindness, talent & most of all 
patience...