FIVE...#ForPip


Above my daughter's crib rest a small painting that reads, 
"Life is more beautiful, because you are here."


And no truer statement can be made about my Pip.
Every one who meets her leaves feeling good.
She holds a special connection with just about anyone who enters her life.
Any space she's in feels brighter because of how she shines. 


And that's why I share glimpses of her with y'all. 
Her magic just simply can't be contained. 


And because of her, so much has been inspired.
But, because of YOU, so much has been accomplished.
Truly, y'all have given me & Happy Soul Project this opportunity to have a voice that stirs up change & creates amazing things inspired by my little girl.


Including our 2018 #differentisbeautiful Calendar that we are trying to get in classrooms across the globe.


As of right now, over 350 schools have them to powerfully hang up, hopefully starting a conversation & preaching a message of acceptance & inclusion.



And the fact, that my little girl who turns FIVE today, inspired such a movement is beyond me.


So, while I lay here beside her as tears stream down my face I'm in awe.
Awed that this little person was chosen to be mine. 
Awed that her life holds such powerful purpose. 
And awed that we have so many people around the world who lift us up.


Not only have we felt all of your love this week, after Pip had major surgery, but we know we can count on you today to leave a mark on her birthday...


So calling on #PipsArmy
The 32,998 of you on Facebook.
The 25,600 of you on Instagram.
And the 2,145,571 of you that have viewed the blog.


If all of y'all donated just $5 towards our #ClassroomCalendarProject, can you imagine the amount of schools we could reach.


But since only a fraction of you comment or like a post, I'm assuming only that many tune in, or my settings are off, or it's because I've never promoted Happy Soul Project or something screwy like that. 


But guess what I've realized? Only a fraction, makes a pretty powerful punch.


So, if Pip these past 5 years. 
Has inspired you.
Has changed you.
Has made you laugh, smile or snort out loud.

If Happy Soul Project, these past 5 years.
Has moved you.
Has helped you. 
Has made you giggle, cry or rise up a fight for change within.


Then, please if you can, give just $5 to our non-profit today on Pip's birthday.


Our goal is for 5 Big Ones. 
Five-Hundred-Schools.


Do-able?
Absolutely. 


Let's shake up the world today for Pip. Please donate HERE!!!






#PipsArmy
#PipFifth
#ClassroomCalendarProject

Making Days to Remember


Yesterday was full of giggles.
Treats.
Being outrageously silly.
And busting outta school to have a day to remember.








And yet moments in it, I felt utterly shattered.

When her wheelchair got dropped off.
When pre-admin called with her operating time - 7:45 am for all you prayer-send-uppers and good-thoughts-givers.
When I heard the school made a special announcement for Pip's Birthday & to think of her today during her surgery.
When my son asked at bedtime, if he could ask a few questions, including, "Can Pippy die?"
And when I rocked her, as long as I could, trying to soak her in as much as possible.

Because every surgery, makes me thing "what if".

What if something goes wrong?

I hate that it even flickers in my mind - But after doing this TWELVE times.
It does.

And now with Type 1 Diabetes it makes every surgery that much more complicated.

So, we did yesterday up.

With hopes for everything today.

Fingers crossed - Prayers sent up - All the good vibes, & positive thoughts ya got please...









#PipisBrave
#CallingonPipsArmy
#refusetosink

I'll piggyback ya over #LoveMum


Dear Pip, 

Today sweet girl, you were loved. 
You felt it.
I could tell. 
You beamed with happiness.


And my heart almost burst.


Because, in two days you are having a major surgery one that puts both your beloved dancing legs into full-length-casts, not to mention the other surgeons who are performing on your ears & eyes.


And to be blunt - This is getting fricking bloody ridiculous. 


In two days, it will be your 12th surgery. And in case you didn't know, that's a whole helluv a lot!



Today however, I watched you frolic and spin. Twirl and jump. I had this ridiculous grin on my face the entire time you had this in-it-to-win-it one on yours, during Duck,Duck,Goose.


I watched you, as you hugged each guests that arrived to your party. And how you thanked all your friends for the prezzies they spoiled you rotten with. 


I watched you, as you almost burst with excitement at finally getting to blow out your candles & I didn't mind one bit that you wanted to do it three times.



I watched you, as you screamed with each new song that came on, even though I made up a playlist of all your favs. It was like you couldn't believe they were playing back-to-back at your party & you had to dance to each one.


I watched you. And I felt so lucky. 
You've been a whirlwind since you got here. 
And I've never been the same. 


I love you. 
I adore who you are.
I'm kinda actually in awe of you.
And I desperately need you Pip.
You're my soulmate.
So, I'm gonna need you to be brave once more. 
Another hill to climb my darling. 


And today. Watching you. It gave me the boost I need to piggyback ya over, if I have to...


We got this sweet girl.

I love you beyond. 

[All photos done by genevievesimard.photography]

#PipisBrave
#CallingonPipsArmy
#refusetosink





12th Song... #Pipisbrave


The pre-surgical appointments always do me in.

After I've reported her medical history, including 11 operations, numerous hospital stays, daily medications & a few complicated disorders like Celiac & the ever-so-critical Type 1 Diabetes. Whomever, a Doctor, a Nurse, a Therapist, a Medical Student, a Receptionist - Doesn't matter, cause they all are kinda in disbelief that the spicy child in front of them, calling them rude and making them act silly right along side her. The child that's crawling into weird spaces like under desks to hide & then yell "Boo" & is giggling till they can't help but join in too. That this beautiful little soul who gives out "brave pumps", repeatedly tells them "Thank You" & obviously is her momma's heart, has been given such a hard hand to start life with.



And while most fall in love with her, ALL of them once they realize what a WARRIOR she is, give me this look, like "WOAH."


Meaning two things:

1 - That Pip is incredible. To be the person she is despite ALL of it.

And 

2 - "Wow momma, that must be intense"



And it's normally around here where I crack.
Where the reality that in a few days time, we're back in this place.


Of longer bedtimes because I need to soak her in so badly.
Of me eating-every-emotion-ever via the cocoa bean.
Of back-to-back-to-back-to-back appointments.
Of me disconnecting from friends, the blog, life.
Kinda cocooning myself into my own head.
My own Hometeam.





It's the only way I know how to do it, at this point. 
It's this weird zone I have to go in. Just to survive.



It's almost like this place where I am forced to find God. Because I have no where else to turn.
I have to beg someone to help keep her safe.
I have to weep in gratitude when she's back in my arms.
And I have to ask for strength from elsewhere because at times it feels like I just don't have enough.



On Dec 12th my 3-days-shy-of-five-year-old is going for her 12th surgery.



In reality it would be well past 20 - But thankfully, the community of Doctors that provide her care, come together & operate at the same time to save us all this exhausting experience.



And at some point leading up to the other 11 I've always cracked.
Something sets me off.
The tears can't be held in any longer.
And be that I am losing it in a Doctors office.
Or hugging it out with a Nurse.
If I have to break - I break.


And this time, was yesterday, when Pip was getting fitted for a wheelchair & walker. It was like a flashback to when we needed a walker to help because of low-muscle-tone due to Down syndrome.



And I couldn't even help it.
I just started to cry.

This is the 12th song I've had to find.
That is perfect for singing her to sleep.
As a baby they started as lullabies.
Then I rocked her Adele & Justin phases.
Last one, I went in hard with our National Anthem.


And as I used my sweater's sleeve to wipe away some tears, I knew without a doubt, the song to sing for her 12th.



We got this. I know.
I just can't wait, to be on the other side of it...






#bravepumps
#PIPisBRAVE
#myeyeshavebeenpuffyfortwodays


Once upon a time... #PipsLob



Once upon a time, there was a tired momma, who had been dying her locks outta-a-box. And along came another Ginger who sat down beside her and offered to help in any way. So, the momma explained that she had 3-wild-hooligans...


The first hooligan currently rocked hair like a middle-age-woman-similar-to-his-Aunt-Donna. 


The second hooligan had the cutest curls on the block, was the momma's last baby & one little bang trim had him looking all grown up.


But, the third hooligan, she was the wildest of them all.
 


For the past 4-and-a-half years, she had refused any sort of hair clip, headband, hat, even her glasses & currently won't even allow an elastic to hold back her pain-in-the-arse-growing-out-bangs. 


This hooligan was full of sass. 


Extra spicy. 


And normally has major sensory issues. 

But, wouldn't ya know it. Even though the momma fairly warned the beautiful Ginger of potential scenarios, the third hooligan was instead a God Damn ANGEL.


Wanting more and more.

And

ending

up

with

this

LOB


Hello, Stunner!!! 


#PipsLob









#BeatItHarvey


I can't believe the images I'm seeing of this absolutely scary storm. Elderly in nursing homes with water up to their waists, cars & street signs going under and mommas holding their children, trying to get them to safety. 



Can you even imagine? 



I got thinking, if we were ever in a catastrophe, if we didn't have Pip's insulin for her #T1D, or her pills for hypothyroidism and if all we were given to eat at rescue centres had gluten in it & made her sick-to-her-stomach, we would be in very serious trouble. 



Let alone if they served spaghetti...

[I took a 32-second-pee]
I'm thankful today, my biggest problem, was cleaning up this mess of a child and nursing back to health a toddler-poked-at-eye. Right before I snapped this pic, Theo had been kissing every animal I had held up to my face. I tried to take a video but got this moment, where instead of a smooch, I got a two-finger-both-needing-their-nails-cut-jab right into my sockets.


To my hometown Windsor with all it's flooding, Texas & EVERYONE else effected by bloody #Harvey, hold on. 


The rain will stop and the storm will end...


Happy Soul Project has donated to the Red Cross - If you can help, please do so too: www.redcross.org







Inclusion for her & for me...




Dear Mommas,

Once upon a time I had a baby girl named Pip who came with a ridiculous amount of extraordinary needs. And while I couldn't possibly love her more, at times I still grieve her differences.


Obviously in situations like surgeries or medical challenges, I loath the disadvantages & complications her differences bring.



But in situations like today for example, simply another kid's birthday party. I can find myself in pockets of sadness wishing she got to experience it like everybody else. Heck, wishing I got to experience it like other parents. 



This afternoon, both Noal & Pip went to a school friend's 6th birthday. 



I barely even saw Noal, because he was so wrapped up in his friends. 

[She made this face the entire 2 minutes & 37 seconds it took him to get her mask on.]


With Pip however, just her gear alone could tie ya down. 


I came with her Dexom & Omnipod Insulin pump.
I had snacks for lows & test strips for poking. 
I brought pullups & baby wipes because we are no where near potty training. 



And then Pip brought with her.


An ear infection. 
A few meltdowns including when she wasn't allowed to open the birthday boy's presents.
And of course so much sass. 



But, before I could even allow a droplet of grief to cloud our day, another momma shown me extreme kindness just by reaching out. 


  • She kindly got Pip her own gluten free pizza & treats.
  • And she told me how much her son LOVES being in Pip's class & that she was the first person he said he wanted to invite to his party. 


And somehow those silly thoughts I was having about wishing she got to experience things like everybody else. 



They went away. 



She was experiencing it, exactly as she was meant to. 


Friends, listen. Mommahood is hard. And as a special needs momma or whatever you want to call me or us, we take on that & much more. We are utterly exhausted. We are burnt out. We are frustrated and scared. And a lot of the time we feel very alone. 


Our paths are so different that it's a rather lonely road sometimes. 


But when someone extends kindness, thinks outside the box and embraces your child's differences.


That is inclusion. 


For my daughter and for me.


And I wish those reading this spread just that. 






[Pip talking about her day]

What I want my Future Sister-In-Law to know...



My brother said it best, when I heard him tell his fiancé, "You're literally the prettiest woman I've ever seen."


And I can't help but agree.


My future-sister-in-law, Gabrielle is stunning.



Like flawlessly. 


And no matter what, you can't help but feel frumpy anywhere within her proximity.  


Not to mention she saw me and my life, exactly as it is. 


With 3 young kids, one with extraordinary needs, a house full-of-family & me sporting makeup for 2, heck maybe 3, days in a row. 


She saw me wearing a romper I picked up from Giant Tiger, rocking legs in desperate need of a shave.


She got to see an extra level of tiredness, because not only was I staying up-mega-late to play games with everyone, Pip picked up an ear infection, her #T1D was a rollercoaster of lows & my darling 6 year old, 27 pieces of Littles Pet Shop & 12 Beanie Boos were bunking with me in bed.


To really round out the hot-mess-of-a-woman I am, the entire time she was here, I proudly ate like a God-Damn-Teenage-Queen. 


Sending my dad on coffee runs which really meant a Tim's brekki: Grilled Bacon Wrap with extra sauce, XL Dark Roast & a honey crueler donut instead of a hashbrown. You're welcome. To ordering pizza, Greek food, & of course our traditional celebratory Red Lobster.


She got to see a lot of my upper lip from smiling so much, my sillier side & watched as my hand slapped my thighs numerous times because I was laughing so freaking much. 


And whenever the kids pulled or tugged at me, it exposed things like my double-ponch, I'm sure at quite the opposite of flattering angles. 


Add in changing dirty diapers, doing dishes & picking up the dog's shite before each backyard experience. 


And she got me.


She saw me as I am.


And my hope is, she at least saw a loved woman.


A gal who was cherished by her husband, adored by her kids & loved by her parents & brother. And that by marrying into our family, she at least knows she will be as such...







#youwillbeloved
#iamaflyingsquirrel