Husband, you were right about this one....

Not only does Pip have her big brother watching out for her- She has her pup completely at her will...And right from the very beginning to boot...Here she is at 6 weeks, right after her first eye surgery, recouping at home & I found them like this...



It's as if Deac knew he'd have to be extra gentle & give her extra loving...With Noal it's different...




With Noal it's a matter of getting away from him fast enough...There have been many a times when Noal has tried to stick a sword up our poor dog's buttpick him up like he's a baby & feed him anything & everything...

Deacon is a good sport though - plays, wrestles & even sleeps in Noal's room, but no way would he give him a snug like he does Pip...Deac literally cuddles up to her, gives her kisses, lets her roughly pull on his ears and grab at his fur...And today as if sensing she needed some extra loving he was by her side all morning...





Lucked out big time with this dog...Love that he loves the hooligans so much...



To be honest I didn't even want a dog...I'm not really a dog type person- I only really even like my dog...But I came home one day to find Craig or "Dougie" {Nickname from our first date when he reminded me of Doug Heffernan from King of Queens} already committed to buy this little black Bugg (Boston Terrier/Pug)...He sold it to me by saying he found his best friend & wouldn't it be fitting to name the little guy Deacon...



Gotta say Dougie you were right about this one - He's been a real gem...

A Five Year Old Made Me Cry...

Today I had a big one...One of those ugly cries where what happened is worth crying about, but it's almost like you've bottled up months worth & this one thing sets er all off...


Today a 5 year old made me cry...Keep in mind Pip had her patch on & I was uber-sensitive after a discouraging eye doc appointment...But still a 5 year old made me cry...


The little girl, as annoying & taunting as her words were, was just being a little girl - But the little scene it created at daycare definitely got my mind a thinking to what may happen in years to come...What may happen to Pip when I'm not there...What may happen when Noal isn't around to step in...It all made me sad...Really sad...


But I'm so thankful for Noal in his simple yet touching approach....Oh, what I am learning from these hooligans...


Whenever I pick Noal up after 4:30ish there is a real mix match of kiddos left over in one room waiting for their parents who either; work late....By late I mean 5 o'clock...Or like me, try to squeeze in as much "time off from a toddler" till pickup...



I always try & peek my head in to "spy" on Noal, he is usually leading the pack in some form or another, even if the kids are 4 or 5 years old...Today he was at the back of the room telling one little boy who was trying to help him with a puzzle that the piece he had was, "too big- that's too big"...His new favourite saying to everything that doesn't seem to work or that he doesn't want...You want eggs for dinner Noal? "No mum, that's too big"...Ok buddy...



Normally he sees me right away and runs over screaming "mumma" and proudly shows off his "Pippy"...Today however, this 5 year old little girl met us at the door, aggressively grabbed at Pip's eye patch & said, "That baby is broken- look at her- she's broken"...Then pointed at Pip's eye, turned to her little friend and said, "Gross, gross baby"...



She wouldn't stop saying it and before I could calmly explain or internalize "broken" or "gross" too much- my little tank of a man came running over, stepped in front of this little girl, put both hands on Pip's cheeks, kissed her & proudly said, "She's ok, she's my sista" and then put her little head into his chest and started patting her back...

~You are anything but broken or gross Baby Girl~

Hello tears how are you? So glad you kept er in till we hit the van...Icecream for our hero Noal for dinner? I think so...

Student ShoutOut

Just wanted to send a big ShoutOut to each & every student that read Arbeit macht frei ~ You are not forgotten...I was a bit apprehensive writing what I saw at a concentration camp & was nervous sharing that on Happy Soul Project...But after hearing numerous high schools used this piece in classes to give students a personal perspective I was honoured...

Hearing how students have reacted to the piece & that some are even compelled, if given the opportunity, to now visit a concentration camp gives Arbeit macht frei ~ You are not forgotten such purpose...

The feedback from teachers, students themselves & all other friends of Happy Soul Project has been humbling- Thank you for reading that piece with such an open heart, sharing it with others for learning opportunities & not forgetting those that should never be forgotten...

Arbeit macht frei ~ You are not forgotten...

I went to bed the other night restless, tossing & turning about how to share what is heavy in my mind...I've thought about sharing these words & these pictures for days now...I've debated whether or not it was even something to share on Happy Soul Project...I mean, what I'm about to show you isn't something you have a Facebook Album for...It is not cute, nor funny & it definitely won't make you happy...


But I came to the conclusion that regardless of all that, it is important...So important...It is a moment in history & not too many people will get the insightful opportunity like I did...So please be warned that the pictures are graphic, the story is tragic & it all may leave your heart a bit heavy...

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While in Prague on our honeymoon, Craig and I decided to take history, however horrific, into our own hands...And while it obviously wasn't a typical, romantic-honeymoonish-type thing to do, it is something that will always stay with us...



We met a little Jewish lady whose parents died in Terezin at a Jewish Concentration Camp...She shared with us their story & thousands of others with such deep tragedy, compassion & heart...It was a tour I will never be able to get out of my mind...



We went with her to one of the largest concentration camps in the Czech Republic...



We walked the grounds that were converted into a Jewish ghetto during occupation in World War II...






We saw the gas chambers where thousands upon thousands appallingly died...And a crematory where everything was eerily burned away...





We saw pictures that were sacredly preserved, that scared little children drew depicting their hardships...


We even saw an empty swimming pool, that was used as a fight till death arena of sorts...




We walked under the same archway Jewish men, woman & children did while they were worked to near death. The entrance to Auschwitz has the same words & seeing this really shook me up...The little Jewish lady told us the German phrase Arbeit macht frie meant "Work will set you free"...




And we saw a memorial that seemed to never stop, honouring all those who lost their life in this unbelievable time in history...






Being there you could almost feel, breath, touch the history in the walls, the graves & the hidden prayer rooms...



The whole experience was heartbreaking...Writing this post, reliving what I was feeling, seeing these pictures again is hard...Can you even begin to imagine for a moment, what these people went through?  Put the death piece aside for a minute and just think of the excruciating pain as a mumma, of getting your child/baby ripped out of your arms and not knowing if/when you will ever see them again...That alone tears me up...



But it was when we saw the medical room where doctors "experimented" on people that I really lost it...The unfortunate people happened to be pregnant woman, twins, those who were disabled or had physical abnormalities and those who had DOWN SYNDROME....At the time I obviously found it horrifying but now the thought of my Pip being subject to something so inhumane, simply because of who she is, rocks me to the core...Makes me question humanity because I simply can not understand how one human can do this to another... 





The little Jewish lady who lost her parents, told us the Holocaust in a way, is becoming a "forgotten" past because a lot of concentration camps in Europe have been swept away- Gone- Forgotten- Like this whole crazy, horrific, thing never happened...But it did and as disturbing as it is to look at these pictures, to walk where this tragedy unfolded, it is important...It shouldn't be a forgotten thing..


While I realize not a lot of people will get the opportunity or have the desire to go to a concentration camp, I was so moved by the spirit left behind I needed to share this with you all...I needed to do my part in "not forgetting"...


And as devastating as it was to see the disturbing things it was beautiful to see the strength and faith these people had...



You are not forgotten...

"Tank you for fitting" -Translation- Thank you for fighting

Today kinda made me really sad...You see every year I call my grandfather on Remembrance Day simply to say thank you...


Today Noal "talked" to him & said "tank you for fitting" & I realized because of my grandfather's age, medical condition, etc that this is probably the last year I, {we} will be thanking him...


I hope in that simple phone call he realizes how very grateful I am...I hope he understands that every year I sit here & ponder what life must have been like for him during the war...I hope he feels loved knowing his great-grandson will grow up understanding he fought for our freedom...



Thank you Grandpa & all those who fought the fight...

The last 15 pounds of baby weight to lose is all Chicago Mix...

Back in August I talked about "Embracing My Softness" really learning to love those 2 ziplock baggies of butter-like chunks hanging off my back under my bra line...I also vowed to put the ice cream down, get off my arse & go to the gym...


In the two months since, a few things have happened that I'd just love to share with y'all...



1- As with each new season, a new snack comes into play...Summer obviously is ice cream and Fall brought with it something really special...I swear to God the last 15 pounds of baby weight to lose is all Chicago Mix...This stuff is beyond and goes down my hatch faster than anything else I've been addicted to...Since the last bag I devoured in 2 days, it has been banned from our house...


2- While a lot of my friends have been running bloody marathons and the such, I've been lucky to make it to a handful of "relaxing Tai Chi type yoga-ish" classes...And let's just take a moment to talk about, really apologize to the the person behind me, or anyone who has had the unfortunate viewpoint in class to get a glimpse of my arse...As if I wasn't feeling bad enough in my run-down Old Navy leggings and big baggy t-shirt beside the hottest, little thang all decked out in lululemon gear- I realized a handful of classes later, when doing a move that enabled me to look through my legs into the mirror behind me, that my old rundown leggings were completely see-through from behind...There I was all proud of myself for nailing the move only to almost topple over in shock seeing my bright zebra underwear completely shining though...



3- So that of course threw me off for a bit...Used it as my excuse to take er easy until my brother convinced me to go to this CX-bull-shite-30-min-ABS-class...I got in there raring to go, with a brand new pair of cheap Old Navy leggings and numerous bum checks...I purposely set my mat up at the very back of the room so that no one had to see my sorry arse...The lady if front of me was older than my own mother and when I asked if the class was hard, she just kinda smirked at me...Naively I thought if she could bloody do it, I'd have no problem...Then an instructor who really was probably only born so that he could "pump people up" made me tired within seconds, just watching him...Everyone in the class was giving er and about 4.5 minutes into the insanity, I realized it definitely was not for me- Dammit I haven't used my abs since 2009- Haven't done a sit up or a crunch in years...Let alone all this fancy burpee stuff...So, well momma in front of me is meaning it, heavy breathing and all, I just lay er down...Literally I just let my body fall from the plank position and stay there for the remaining 25.5 minutes of class...The instructor kept looking directly at me yelling out, "come on you can do this type comments", to which I just looked at him, shook my head and said out loud to the whole class "nooooope" & continued laying there, even having the audacity to take water breaks...One and only time for that class...



4-  In total I've burned maybe 2000 calories in 2 months with my amount of working out...Amazing I know...So amazing that I thought I could fit my tank of a body into my pre-pre-pregnancy jeans...Was feeling good yesterday and squeezed into them for a friend's mom-play date kinda morning...Proceeded to eat a couple muffins and then when I bent down to do something my thigh pretty much said, "you twonk as if I was gonna stay put" and busted through ripping my jeans crotch to thigh...AMAZING...


So, I'd say I have a bit of work to do...I blame the leggings, the Chicago Mix, the too tight to begin with jeans, the damn fit-young-lulu heads, the too-pumped up instructor, myself...


Maybe Santa will bring me lulu leggings? Hint bloody hint...

Matching Green Shirts = Two little frogs of course...

Sometimes the kindness of other people is overwhelming...I've mentioned it before but the goodness, the sweetness, the thoughtfulness of people is outrageously a beautiful thing...Since Pip we have just been showered with it...Big things, small acts, special words & amazing moments that I will never forget and have really changed me as a person...


It's these "things" that are what to be remembered...Opening the door to a package all the way from Tennessee & finding adorable handmade shirts for my Hooligans was pretty damn special...


It was awesome to see Noal get right pumped about him & Pippy having matching shirts...





And of course try as you might to get a good picture to show off the shirts, impossible...But we did have some good giggles while trying...






And Pip well she's use to me taking a bazillion pics of her a day, so if anything she owned it even making a puckered model face...




And of course in Noal's little mind because they were green it meant only one thing- Him & Pip were frogs...He tried as hard as he could to get Pip to jump with him...No such luck...



ABC and 123 Handpainted Infants & Childrens Clothing fell in love with Pip & her smile- Even making her a "My Smile is Contagious" shirt...A quote I've used often describing her magical little grin..






William Wordsworth definitely got it right and I leave you with his wise words that I wholeheartedly agree with: 
"The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person's life"

I can't thank Missy from ABC and 123 enough, nor any of you who have shown my little family any ounce of kindness... You all amaze me...And I hope to be a kinder person because of it...