You are the Cherry-On-Top!!!


Dear Theo, 

Ahh even writing your name. I just realized this is the first time I've wrote you a letter. My heart as a momma & my hand as a writer, ache at the thought of that. But give me some grace & a moment to explain, cause your first year here has been a bit of a ride. It bloody flew faster then any given time in my 35 years on earth, and to me I truly feel time wise you should only be like 5 months old. 


We all called you "chicken" when you were in my belly - You were born, oh so late, came so fast & scared your daddy real good. You were intense, you demanded a voice immediately in the chaotic family you were born into & you fit right in. You make people work hard for your giggles & smiles & if possible you'd prefer to be Velcroed on to me at all times. You have maybe been dressed outside of sleepers, 9 times in the 365 days you've been on this planet. And you didn't get to do things like Baby Yoga or go to music class with me like your brother and sister did. But son, I promise you, you've been so hugged, worn, smooched & snuggled. You are so, so, so loved. 


And so needed.


You've brought me great strength in a time where I felt like I was going to buckle.

You were born and within weeks, your big sister got, really, really sick. Lost a bunch of weight, was ruining crib mattresses despite the most waterproofing methods we could buy, I'm telling ya, you produce some stinky baby-poop kid, but gluten-filled-undiagnosed-Celiac-Disease-crap is beyond, it literally burns your eyes. Every single night or morning Pip would cry out, we'd go running, your dad would take Pip to hose her off, I then had to scrub, clean, start laundry right way, get new sheets, re-waterproof everything, then re-rock, sooth and put Pip back to bed. We had to endure with her test after test after test. And you had to come, at 4-6-8 wks old, nap in a wrap, nurse wherever and you just went along with everything so peacefully. Thank you son. Very much. Cause those days, were oh' so tough, "crappy" if you will, and having you mellow made it so much easier. 



But while you've been such a good-chilled-babe, you're a curious little thing, wanting to keep up to Pip & Noal, taking chances & crawling, standing, destroying, climbing stairs, all faster than what I was expecting. 



Bear in mind, your big brother moved quickly too, I was pregnant with your sister when he was only 7 months old, so it truly was a whirlwind like your life has been. When Pip was born & Noal was still so little, he had to learn to make waiting rooms and doc's offices his playground. Noal learned to distract her when she had needles or blood-work or how to include her in the songs we'd have to sing over and over again. He did what you're doing now & in a way, the silver-lining is we've gotten this uninterrupted "us" time, where y'all have needed my undivided attention. So, in a way I feel it helped kinda create this more creative side in all of you. Where y'all like singing, dancing, playing games and using your imagination and it's because of those moments, we make our own when we are somewhere getting help for your sister.




I guess in a way, all my boys - You, Noal, Daddy & even Deacon - Have all endured a lot, you've seen things most boys wouldn't have to in a lifetime. Yet, y'all are so sweet, so funny and so kind. Y'all have a side of sass, the cutest smiles & a streak of stubbornness that competes with mine.


And y'all in your own ways have brought me so much happiness & love. Cause child, boy-oh-boy do you love me. And trust me, your siblings gave you a good run. But you, sweet chicken, love me, oh, so much. You never take your eyes off me. You clap literally with delight when I walk into a room. You scurry as fast as you can to be by my side. At times I'm sure it's just for protection from smothering Pip & Big-momma-hen Noal. So, not only am I your momma, I'm your safety and shelter from those two.



And in turn you are that exact thing to me - My shelter. You've held me together in a time of great loss. Where I've felt weak, where I've wanted to buckle, where I've lost my way and am struggling to choke down my fear. This year has been a doozy filled with hospital stays, Type 1 Diabetes, more appointments & lessons learned than ever before. But you, my love, ground me. You bring a wee bit of normalcy, taking care of you, rocking you, nursing you has been my safe place. 


The carved out moments where it's just you and me, is where I feel I finally just get to breath. Where I think, where I pray. Where I digest all we've all been through. 


You are ONE today and NOWHERE near done nursing or letting go. Nor am I, cause these moments when you need me and I need you, need to carry me through a wee bit more. 



You are my peace, my comfort, my little delight. 

You are my forever baby. My last, you are the cherry on top. 

You complete the HomeTeam, You're a hoot and so cute. 




I so love you son. Happy 1st. 





P.S: You are such a fidgety little thing. I mean kick-flapping-to-never-stop-moving-to-jumping-or-always-swatting-at-my-face-while-nursing-little-jitter-bug. Just something I want to remember about when you were a baby, because you forget you really, really do. When your big brother was born, I remember asking your Grandma a memory about me as a baby & she couldn't recall. And it desperately sparked something in me to try. I don't keep baby books, or record milestones, I don't print photos or keep mementos from others. But I write you and your brother & sister these letters, to soak in my moments with y'all. Help them not fade & for you to have to know yourselves, know me and know how very loved you always were...


#HappySoulProjectHomeTour
ALL PHOTOS BY EDEN GROVE PHOTOGRAPHY

Big Mac Extra Sauce... #helovesme


Some days my husband just gets me. Today for example my husband got a big kiss like this from moi. 



Why? 



Wait for it.



Because he brought his girl home, a Big Mac with a receipt showing he asked for extra sauce. He never asks for extra sauce cause he finds it such a nuisance when I do. But today he did, because he knows right now, is beyond what we've ever faced with our daughter. He knows I'm so scared & a small gesture to show me he gets it, he's feeling all that too & he loves me was as simple as that. 


He knows I'm getting all momma-henned-up over my little chicken cause of what's ahead. This next week alone, we go to SickKids to talk about possibly another eye surgery & a different course of action in regards to her ongoing Cataracts & vision loss. Holding my almost-4-year-old down to get in a contact the size of her pinkie nail, while she screams and cries out, "No, momma" is starting to wear thin. That was hard enough back when, our lives didn't revolve around injections & insulin & all that T1D buckles you down with. Then the following week she has numerous surgeries including taking out her tonsils which might make her not want to eat, so anticipating her sugars and her Celiac will be all-outta-whack. Juggling a hospital stay with a restless pre-schooler, still nursing baby & a momma's-boy-five-year-old, is gonna be just utter chaos.  

 

Anywhoo, it's normally now in this process, when we are a week or two away from something big in her life, where I have absolutely NO control, where I just learn to trust she'll make it safety back into my arms. It's now that I start to binge eat. Significant amounts. I can fluctuate up and down 20-25 pounds depending on how stressed or how motivated I am. Like now, leading up to Pip having surgery, I'll pack it on thick, then I'll feel so relieved and grateful she's okay, I'll vow to #StartingMonday and eat healthy and feel good. But normally by day 8, 6 okay 4, I'm popping a piece, bar of snickers back on down the hatch. I'm at lease maintaining a bit more of a balance, but it is in moments like right now, I fall-flat-faced-off-that-wagon and go balls-to-the-wall-all-out-to-town and I eat, it makes me feel good & we do this dance for a few weeks to get by.


And he knows that. 


And he respects that space. He knows it's how I cope. Being it right, being it wrong, till you've walked my shoes, our shoes, then try not to judge. 


But most importantly he allows me, to be me. To grieve and get angry. To take out frustrations and get short with him, because I can't really get short on anyone else. He's my punching bag, my rock, my annoying, adoring partner. And the fact that he got extra sauce is just his cute way of telling me, "He loves me."

#itsHisLoveLanuage #heHatesWhenIsayThat

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. 


#differentisbeautiful 




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