Save those "pity eyes" my friends....

I'm sitting here stuffing, literally stuffing my face with this new sweet & salty popcorn a friend left from the night before & about to have my second glass of wine...Before y'all read any further, leave your judgement at the door...Remember Happy Soul Project is a "No Judging" kinda place...


 I've been single parenting for almost a week now...I got a rhythm going & things are manageable but Sweet Jesus that hour or two before bedtime is like nothing else...We all were suppose to be away for a wedding back in my Hub's hometown, however appts with specialists came up for Pip & I stayed with the hooligans...


Tonight's the wedding & my Hubs {who also happens to be the best man} is living it up...Good on him, I would be too...I got a video of him, from a friend at about 6ish & I can tell he's gonna have a good night...Poor thing is dancing, awkwardly moving, kinda twitching-like to house music- I know in his head he thinks he moves like he did a decade or so ago...And well, let's just pretend he still does...Dance on love...Dance on...


So, I'm a wee bit sad I'm missing the festivities & of course my friends...I have my two girlfriends giving me play by plays- First course meal pics, speech videos, etc...ShoutOut gals- You Rock!! But of course it's not the same thing & my Pinot Grigio isn't the same sipping alone as it would be guzzled down my hatch, getting my own buzz on & dancing, mumma side-stepping, right alongside my hubs at the wedding...


That all being said, I'm not gonna lie- A part of me was relieved that Pip had appointments come up- Not only the hassle of travelling with two small children & such but if I'm being brutally honest I was kinda scared...


You see we use to live in a very, very small town- I'm talking I couldn't go to the grocery store in under an hour because I'd run into at least a half dozen people that I had to chat with...That being said I really did love that part of it & have never in my life seen or been a part of such a close knit community...


But that's exactly why a part of me was scared- You see, the thing is where we are now I'm no one...I have to deal with the odd person coming up to me in a grocery store asking "What's wrong with her?" and giving me "pity eyes"...People are right bold & I am shocked at the amount that actually come right over & start a conversation based on Pip's eye patch or such...When she had the feeding tube it was just awful- the stares, the "poor little baby coos" and those eyes, those damn pity eyes...And these are strangers...


So going back to a little town, where everyone knew me & our story, I just didn't want to deal with the "pity stuff"...People mean well- I know they are coming from a good place- a place of concern, love, sympathy...But it still kinda hurts...It doesn't feel nice at all...


You may be reading this & thinking I'm way over the top & that this would never happen, but trust me it does...I deal with it all the time...There are some days I'm so gutted by the looks or comments from strangers, that I aimlessly wander the grocery store so upset that I come home with absolutely nothing I was suppose to...Those days we end up ordering out for dinner...{I also tend to milk this so that I don't have to cook & old Papa John's get's a call}


In my warped little head the thought of dealing with the "sorrys" & "pity eyes" from people who actually knew me, cared about me, loved me was something I guess I just wasn't ready for & maybe God/Fate whomever intervened and knew that...


I guess I was kinda a coward to not want to face it...Since moving I've kinda protected myself by being in this anonymous bubble...Letting those I choose to in & dealing with the odd stranger here & there...


This may all sound or seem very odd to you & before Pip I would have never even thought of this kinda thing- Trust me, before her I would have handled this to a person in my shoes the same way- I think it's just natural to say stuff "like I'm sorry" when something out of the "ordinary" happens...


And maybe some special need mumma's don't mind this...But, I personally don't want people to look at me or look at my Pip and say "I'm so sorry" - Don't be sorry folks- There is a million things to be sorry for...If Pip hadn't made it during a surgery- then tell me I'm sorry...If Pip ended up blind- then tell me I'm sorry because we tried so much to give her vision- Really those are the only two things I think a sorry would be good for...


Don't be sorry Pip had a rough start...Don't be sorry Pip has Down syndrome...Don't be sorry we've been through what we have- It's our journey & we are choosing to take from it what we have...



And that's a life and a daughter who happen to be absolutely beautiful,


different,


 inspiring & ours...


And Liskey friends, I really do miss you & promise a good Old Ruby time one of these days- Happy Wedding Ricki & Sandy Jenkins- From the play by play pics it looks absolutely fantastic...

What Does the Fox say? Or the Duck? Or even the Seagull?

When my two year old is flipping his lid about the silliest things, like his bunny ears not staying in place when he runs around, I find myself telling him to breath & chillax...


 

At times this seems to work & he registers that he needs to calm the heck down...At other times this seems to enrage him more & he performs, like the drama queen he is, a full on tanti act...A big flop to the ground, dramatic tears when he knows I''m watching & a big ending in which he refers to himself in third person, "Noal mad mumma, Noal mad"...



I get it, heck at times I want to do that exact thing...However, I find myself lately in need of taking my own bloody advice...Breath & chillax...


Some days can just do your head in as a stay-at-home-mumma....I mean the everyday life...The other day was one of them for me...


Noal didn't want cheerios, wanted toast, then didn't want toast, wanted cheerios, then the cheerios didn't have enough milk for his liking so he resorted to asking for icecream...Then the tanti described above happened...


This was followed up by a call that Pip needed to see another specialist on top of what feels like the zillions she already sees...She was whiny, clingy & had barely slept the night before...And the poor dog was just flat out bugging me...Twenty minutes later I found myself packing it & them all in & booting it to the park...


On my way there I noticed I was right frenzied up- I was pushing the stroller like it was my job, as if we were late for the park, distracted by my own annoyances & was just bugged about it all...



The funk had come in & had come in hard...



My little mind was just racing- Irritation, Pity & Exhaustion wanted to come in to party...And I was allowing them to have a cocktail, maybe even some appetizers...But right when they were about to cheers to more, my boy got them the hell outta there...


A dirty, bloody seagull was milling about & Noal yelled out, "Look mumma a duck, a duck, a duck." 

Good try right? 

So I stopped the mad woman stroller-pushing, leaned down towards him, about to teach him the difference between a duck & a seagull when he busted out with, "What does the duck say? Ning, Ning, Ning, Ning, Ning, Ning, Ning Na Ning" to the beat of his new favourite song- What Does the Fox Say?



Hello, how could I not let go & shut down the funk pity party...Noal & his "Ning Ning Ningings" took Irritation, Pity, & Exhaustion to the door & pretty much told them to "beat it"...


I laughed out loud to Noal's delight, told him how brilliant he was & realized I needed to breath & chillax...I mean really...Who cares that Noal wanted 3 different things for brekki...I should be grateful he's eating, growing & has a mind of his own....Who cares that Pip has appointments almost everyday this week, I should be grateful to live in a country where they care about her development, have a wicked healthcare system & those appt are absolutely free...


As I walked, I really did take in deep breaths, I became aware of my surroundings, I let the annoyances of the morning fall away, I slowed down the pace, even sang the annoying, yet catchy Fox song with Noal the rest of the way to the park...Be thankful you weren't walking by...


And all of a sudden, just by being, just by everyday mumma-life, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness...


There I was dwelling on my "first-world" problems & if I really took a minute to shift or re-think about it, I have a pretty swell life...


I thought of mummas in other countries who have a life I couldn't imagine...Who have to flea for safety, fight for their children or their own rights, don't have clean water or enough food...I pondered what would have happened to my precious Pip if I had been in a country that didn't accept her- didn't fight for her health like Canada does...


I have the opportunity to walk freely with my babes, enjoy a morning in the crisp fall air at a park, walk to a store, pick up food a plenty, feel safe in my community, love who I want, be who I am & have resources to help Pip medically, physically, developmentally...I live in a fan-freaking-tastic country that allows woman to take a year off to be with their babes...That has a healthcare system that all others should be envious of...



I'm lucky lucky lucky & sometimes it takes a toddler thinking a seagull is a duck to shut down the pity party & realize it...



I got a case of "Blog Guilt"....Ever have it?

Last week something amazing happened...Y'all know by now, I'm one who truly believes things happen in life for exact reasons & that timing is everything...


Take Happy Soul Project...


I honestly have poured my heart into this little thing...I've tried to capture exactly what I've felt so that you get a real & genuine look into my life...The good, bad, sad, frustrating & absolutely brilliant days, moments & pieces of what makes it mine...



And in doing so, in sharing it ALL, it comes at a price...Lately I've been feeling a lot of "Blog Guilt"- Not sure if this is even a real thing but here's what my twisted little mind has been thinking:


Not Good Enough- There is so much bloody talent out there...Sometimes I get right gutted that Happy Soul Project doesn't even come close to all the amazing blogs I find...Writers who already have books published, designers who create blog masterpieces....Business orientated folk who have sponsors, advertisers & such...Bloggers who HELP people by teaching them how to make something or give DIY advice...

Sometimes I get swept up in the beauty of all the other blogs that I feel Happy Soul Project doesn't measure up...I need to realize that it's okay...That it will never become that blog that post tutorials, does Oil of Olay giveaways or teaches y'all things like how to properly curl your hair or tint mason jars...



Not Doing Enough- I really don't know how some bloggers do it...They post all the time, enter contest, do giveaways, are part of networks, run online shops, etc....So the guilt comes when I feel like as a blogger I am not doing enough- I'm not getting Happy Soul Project out there like I should- It's not successful enough because of this or that...

Reality is I don't have the time right now to commit like others do...Period-I'm lucky if I can get 1-2 post out a week & I thank Sweet Jesus for my phone because that's the only possible way I am able to take & post pictures like I do...Maybe one day I will have the time it takes to make this thing what it can be but for now I need to realize I don't have the manpower- And that's okay..I need to let go of that & just let it be...




And lastly at times I get "blog guilt" about sharing too/so much...Obviously there is parts of our lives you don't, nor ever will see but those parts I do share, I share honestly...So regardless what I'm feeling whether that be frustrated, mad or jealous, I pour it all out there- And sometimes I feel it isn't really fair to my little family & how it effects them...



Not sure if other bloggers/writers have these feelings? Hoping they do, so it's not just me...But while I was in a bubble of "blog guilt" & pondering why I write & what Happy Soul Project really means to me, I got a message...A perfectly timed message that reminded me why I do this...



Someone {I would still like whomever it was to come forth so I can give ya a big smooch} nominated Happy Soul Project in Circle of Moms, Top 25 Canadian Blogs...



Just the nomination alone was humbling & I was honoured to be among such talented writers...But then the votes started pouring in & my wee little blog started to fly & then soar...



Within a day or two Happy Soul Project was in FIRST PLACE...The amazing support out there blew me away...Friends, strangers, even other writers all sent messages that made me realize why Happy Soul Project is indeed important & why I write...



I write because it's in me...Creatively it's something I feel I need to do...


I write because I want my children to know me...What I was thinking when they were little, who I was, what we did- This in essence is their "baby book" filled with letters, photos, memories & our lives together.




I write because although I'm not helping you or your home look better I may in some strange form or another be helping you to look at the world a wee bit differently...I realize both Pip & Noal make people smile & you don't know how happy it makes me to get a message that they helped someone who was having a bad day or hard time...But it's when I get messages from others that really needed some hope in their lives & found a wee bit of that in Happy Soul Project that really gives this thing purpose...



And If I'm being honest - I write because I'm selfish...I want to write a book, desperately...And blogging sometimes opens doors..And winning this contest will hopefully open more...


There is still a week left of the competition & I don't want to get my hopes up but regardless the outcome the support & love out there has been overwhelming...All that being said I am very thankful- Thankful the timing of this nomination...Thankful for all the love & support out there...And thankful for each & every message from someone giving Happy Soul Project purpose...


If anything getting nominated has taught me to stop beating myself up about what Happy Soul Project isn't & start celebrating what it is...

4 Things He Deserves a Standing "O" For....

Today, September 12th is my 4 year wedding Anniversary...Now, I'm not going to go on & on about how much I love my twonk of a husband or how we are perfect for each other...Cause to be honest I'm not feeling all "lovey, romantic or anniversary-ish" ...


The hubs is outta town for work, surrounded by intelligent co-workers, eating up the city & all the delish food it has to offer & probably oogling beautiful actresses if he's lucky enough to run into one cause it's TIFF in Toronto...Those that read this POST will recall my experience with TIFF & a Mr. Paul Walker...


Some wives may be jealous of other woman while their husbands are outta town- I will 100% admit I am raging jealous....



Of the food...



Yep- I use to love going out of town for work simply for the good eats!! I chatted with the hubs last night & I got right to the point, "talk to me about your dinner", "oooh sounds delish, what about lunch?" & "explain the continental breakfast in detail"...If he doesn't describe it well enough or seems annoyed by my barrage of food questioning, I actually find myself getting irritated with him...


Now that's love...


So, on our Anniversary, while he gets to get his eat on...I'm living the bloody dream over here- All before 10 am, I've already changed 6 diapers, cleaned vomit outta my hair, did a load of laundry, tried to get peanut butter that Noal smashed into the couch out & chased the dog through my neighbours yard, stepping in dog shite while wearing the tightest of tight tank tops that clearly shows 2 nursing pads....AMAZING...


Therefore, I don't feel today is the day to get all mushy-gushy about our love...Instead today is the day I am going to tell you 4 things my poor husband should get a standing ovation for putting up with....


1- Me...In general...I'm a handful, firecracker, stubborn & spunky, to name a few words people may have used to describe me...I have a mind of my own & I'm very set in my ways...The hubs somehow balances me for the most part while putting up with my unusual quarks... Example: I refuse to eat the white part of an egg...




2-  My grandeur ideas...He lets me dream Big...Whether that's wanting to move across the world, write a book or decorate the master bedroom...For the most part he lets me run with it, giving advice, reigning me in when I'm over the top & supports me in a way that really is refreshing...




3- My blog...He accepts that I share our life...Sometimes I forget how Happy Soul Project & sharing so much can affect him...What an amazing person to let me share all that I have...Not a lot of people could & I will be forever thankful he really gets how important this all is to me...



4- My cooking...Sometimes he doesn't say anything, other times I can tell by his smirk & big swallows that it hurts going down...But in general he grins & bears it...


Well now that I'm on a roll might as well give him credit for the 10 years he's put up with me...


5- My passion for bad tv...No other guy puts in as much time watching reality tv that he hates, just to spend time with his girl...




6- My contradicting equality/feminist views...I want it all, yet I REFUSE to touch the garbage...I mean I will fill that bad boy to the very top & it drives him bonks each and every time.




7- My bad habits...I eat horribly...I say "starting Monday" more than anyone I know...And I drag him down with me...




8- My over-the-top mummying...I'm everything I didn't think I would be as a mum...I'm a co-sleeping, ninging, hugging, snuggin, machine...And while I love it I am sure it can be a bit much at times... 



9- My gyspy ways...If it were up to me, we would move every few years- See the world, live wherever, do whatever...I'm the dreamer & he brings me back down to reality, grounds me & really makes me realize home is us...Doesn't matter where we are...




10- My fierce love for him...And now the hooligans...Y'all can tell I'm big-old-mumma-bear when it comes to my kiddos but in reality I am the same when it comes to him...




Y'all standing yet or what?


Happy 4th Choo...If you meet any stars at least try & use an accent for my sake...Love you



"Love Is The Best Thing You Can Wish For" -Pip's shirt

A bunch of you lovely people have been asking for a Pip update since her surgery...And try as I might to respond to y'all, life gets in the way - So this is the easiest way to let everyone know she's doing A.W.E.S.O.M.E...




We all knew she was a determined, little fighter & she's right back to being her happy, sassy, peaceful self...Her eye is healing better than the docs expected & they have ruled out issues that could have appeared...It still means weekly appointments, patching & the such but all is good in order to help this little mouse see...


In the end she will still need numerous eye surgeries, glasses & who knows what else but the important thing is we {Big ShoutOut to her doc...She has been phenomenal & I can't imagine this whole process without her} are doing all we can to give her vision...And come on, she can rock a patch, so imagine how bloody cute she will look in a pair of specs...


As for her other therapies & such- She is seeing OT, PT & Speech next week as well as a feeding specialist...While she seems interested in eating, she is a professional at blowing raspberries instead of actually swallowing any food...So big old mumma is still exclusively breast feeding & I'm happy to say Pip is chunking up regardless...Love finally see some big old rolls on her...

So all in all, it seems like Pip is striving...Well any mumma wishes for a "healthy baby" when pregnant, I think having one who wasn't per say "healthy" has made me realize "Love really is the best thing you can wish for"...


Way to rock out that message Pip... 

The Moment I'm taking away....

I forget birthdays, anniversaries & phone numbers, heck half the time I give out mine I'm half doubting I even gave the right one...


But 3 dates will forever be in my head...January 25th ~ May 2ndAug 30th 


3 times in which I could barely breath I was so scared...3 circumstances in which I fell weeping into my husband's arms...3 nurses I will forever remember because they took away my little Pip...3 long waiting-praying-nervously-twitching-my-leg-getting-annoyed-with-any-and-everyone-in-the-waiting-room days...And 3 grateful to the point of awkward hugs, to surgeons giving me good news...


In those 3 days there definitely is a lot I could remember...The heavy smell of iodine, the little iv & marks all over her body, the oxygen she needed in order to stabilize afterwards...I could go on & on about the sad look others give you when they realize your little baby is getting operated on or the look of pity when you say it's her 3rd one...I could even try & describe in detail all the emotions you go through as a mumma, when the time comes & you have to take off her carefully picked "surgery" outfit to change her into a tiny hospital gown...But I won't...



The memory I will hold within me & the one I choose to reflect on the most is the 3 life-changing moments when Pip was first placed into my arms in recovery...Nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for this moment...The overwhelming gratitude to God-Fate-Karma whomever is so real you can feel nothing else...



Holding Pip last Friday, feeling her heart beat against mine, seeing her open her eyes for the first time, really puts life in perspective friends...


I don't care if Pip ends up bat-shite blind, with 2 bloody patches or coke-bottle glasses...All I care is that she's alive, she's happy & she's mine...All these surgeries have a way of really showing me what matters & having her recover in my arms is the moment I'm taking away from this one...



Thank you friends, again, for thinking of my Pip...Of me...Of our little family...


Much love