#PURPOSE


Dear Pip, 
My sweet whirlwind-of-a-daughter. 
Every single night, before you fall asleep. 
I tell you, 
"I love you. I'm so proud of you. 
And I'm sooooo happy that you're mine." 


And every single night, I mean every single bit of it. 
But, today. 
My heart can't even, tell you how damn in love with you.
I really am.
I am so glad life decided YOU needed to be my daughter. 

     
Because today darling, you shined, 
oh so bright. 
It's like you knew today was because, of YOU.
And girl, you proudly soaked in every minute. 


You hammed-it-up for the cameras.
You kept making people giggle, as you dramatically reacted to something they said, with, "OH MY GOSH", as you put both hands over your cheeks & kinda curtsied. 
You demanded we sing the silly songs we've made up for each other. 
So, in front of a room full of people, I had to flap-up-my-arms like wings and sing in a high-pitch-English-accented voice, 
"Momma Bird - Momma Bird - I am your Momma Bird." 
You taught the other kids how to say, "cheese" or posed their hands to copy what you wanted them to do. 
You yelled out, "next boy" whenever you wanted to meet the next kid.
You were excited & made time for every single person you met. 
You made them feel welcomed. 
You invaded a few's personal spaces. 
And when you didn't want to participate, you let us all know. 


You did YOU!
Like you always do. 
And I'm so proud of that. 
So, on a day like today. 
When I got to witness tears from other mommas, who shared their stories. 
About how they got their child's Down syndrome diagnosis. 
Googled it - Got discouraged - Found YOU. 
And, YOU changed their perspective. 
How incredibly powerful. 
My God, child, what PURPOSE your life holds. 


Pip, I am honoured to be your momma. 
And I am humbled to be able to host a day like today. 
This is our FIFTH Year making a #differentisbeautiful Calendar & every year I know it goes down as one of the best days a human being can possible live. 

 
I am forever changed because of YOU. 
You have dented the universe forever.
And I am so glad, you are my girl.  


I love you beyond...







[All photos by Eden Grove Photography]
[#differentisbeautiful Calendar shoot hosted by Delta Waterfront]



#YOUDOYOU
#differentisbeautiful
#DownsyndromeAwareness 
#mommahood

*Call Out - 2019 #differentisbeautiful Calendar*



Happy Soul Project's #differentisbeautiful Calendar is for these kids & families. 
It's to show them we think their child is outrageously beautiful.
It's to honour the hours, days, months they spent in hospitals, doctor appointments, seeing specialist and therapies.
It's to stand beside them and pat their backs for a job well done.
And it's to shout from the rooftops how special, important, valued and awesome they are...




We will be shooting our 2019 #differentisbeautiful Calendar on July 15th in Kingston, Ontario @ the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront.


If your child is interested in being a part of this beautiful project - Please send an email to: info@happysoulproject.org








Please watch & share: https://youtu.be/Y0cmgGlDQQg

🎵 “Better Place” by Rachel Platten



#shareshareshare
#cantwatchwithoutcrying
#differentisbeautiful 

"Special Needs Momma"- #Dayinthelife


Yesterday, at 3:18 am my daughter's Dexcom-CGM-Continuous Glucous Monitor, set off an alarm, that bolts me outta bed & has me racing down a hallway to get to her.
My little girl's blood sugar was dipping dangerously low.
And if not treated, she could potentially go unconscious and it could be fatal.
Without that alarm, my daughter might not have woken up. 
Some nights, when her Dexcom isn't working - It's impossible to sleep.


At 6:38 am I changed my five year old daughter's diaper.
At 7:02 am I poked one of my daughter's fingers, to get a BG reading, figured out the amount of carbs that were in her breakfast and administered the amount of insulin she needed to cover the food she'd hopefully eat all of.
At 7:03 am I gave my daughter her daily thyroid medication & waited & watched like a prison guard till she knocked it down her hatch.
At 7:05 am I made my daughter a gluten-free bagel, in a separate toaster because of cross-contamination.
At 7:15 am I packed my daughter a carb-counted-rationed-and-portioned-pain-in-the-arse T1D/Celiac lunch.
At 7:20 am I gathered the supplies needed, just so my daughter could step out of the house; insulin, a backup pump, test strips, lancets, an emergency glucagon kit and items like apple juice and rockets to treat if her blood sugar drops. 
At 7:30 am I put on my daughter's knee braces and kissed the scars on her caps.



At 7:35 am I get annoyingly irritated at the speed in which my daughter needs to get ready. Hustle up already.
At 7:45 am as I drove to the hospital for a day with FIVE-FREAKING-APPOINTMENTS, I watched my daughter beam from her car seat and yell out, "Mom. Mom. Mom - me so happy."
At 7:46 am I realized my daughter didn't care what we did, a day with her mom, to her, was EVERYTHING. 
At 8:20 am my daughter is STOKED and is in her ELEMENT. As soon as she sees the parking garage, she knows what the day holds. 
  • Pushing as many buttons as she can possibly get a hold of. Girl lives for an elevator. 
  • Greeting anyone - ANYONE - who crosses her path. She probably, proudly said, "Me Pip - Your name?" to 127 people yesterday.
  • It was a day to wait in numerous playrooms within the hospital, all spaces she loved to explore. 
  • And see nurses, receptionists, doctors and specialists, who have known her since she was born. I loved watching her be totally comfortable & confident with them. Getting right behind the desk to greet a receptionist, who once gave her a teddy bear & me a pile of snickers to get me through one of her many surgeries. Showing off her language skills to the nurses, who have loved watching her thrive despite every challenge she's been faced & have hugged me along the way. And impressing the docs with her independence & ability to remember what to do, for all the different tests she needed to have done.
  • She knew it held a day of taking silly pics & watching home videos with her momma.
  • Having a lunch "date" or a snack, either in the hospital cafeteria or a nearby cafe. 
  • And it meant she got to feel so outrageously brave the entire day. Being loved up by me, right beside her for every poke & prode. Getting high-fives & fist pumps from anyone she possibly can. And then be lifted up by her brothers & dad, when we talk about our days at dinner. She undeniably knows how strong we all think she is, on a day, like yesterday.

And yes, the day held so much more that I could have continued documenting for y'all minute-by-minute.  
Like at 9:03 am when I had to wrap her in my arms with all my strength, whispering in her ear how much I loved her & that they were almost done, as they poked around for a vein during blood work. 



Or how much it blew finding out that her ear tubes only stayed in for six months - So, most likely another surgery after summer.  
I could even get into how much it sucks to hear doctors give "wait & see" as the answer. 
Or explain, how I've learn to live in this constant-state-of-fear, wondering when something is going to "break" on her next. 


This is the life of a "special needs or whatever you want to call us" momma.
This is a glimpse of what we go through.
In just ONE DAY.
And yes, yes our children are BEYOND brave. 
But, SO ARE WE.


I went out with another "special needs momma" last night & although our stories and our children are completely different. 
Our struggles. 
Our challenges.
Our fears. 
Our worry.
Our stress.
And our absolute delight in our child, that gave us this title, remains all so relatable.
And the underlining characteristic, I see in all of us. 
Is how bloody brave we really are.








#bravepumpsallaround
#AndShoutOutfortheSixDadsthatFollowtoo
#PiptheBrave 

Wild Child - #HappyMothersDay


This week, my six-year-old son, did something so incredibly disappointing.
So much so, that he is grounded from Pokemon for 30 days. 
Which is HUGE in his Grade-One-little-mind. 


My two-year-old head butted me so hard, I swore for days I had a wiggly tooth.


And my five year old, thought it would be cool to swipe her shoes off & throw them outta my moving-mini-van window. 



Even cooler, is her recent rough-housing at school. 
Pip has been pushing like it's her job. She'll perch herself onto the slide and work it like a Lifeguard at a water park. Giving the kids a wee push going down. 
Some kids love it. Some don't. 
Point is she won't stop.



So, we thought a talk with the Principal was in order. 
However, she LOVED her experience going down to the BIG office. 
Actually, won't stop talking about it. 
She just keeps yelling out the Principal's last name, outta nowhere, as if to tell us they're now friends.



But, even much cooler than that, is when I stepped outside for 12.4 seconds to let the dog out-to-pee and she slammed the patio doors locked. 



IN THE POURING FRACKING RAIN. 



Our damn-ten-year-old-dog, is afraid of the rain. 
So, I had to walk out with him. 
Bear in mind, I am in no shoes, my shirt soon soaks through & we can see each other through the glass doors. 
And she can clearly hear and see me shouting to open-the-heck-up.
Yet, she just keeps dancing away. 
Coming back every so often to tease me, as she pretends to unlock the door.
Then she'll throw her head back, laugh with her whole body & prance away.


Pip went to bed that night probably for the first time ever, not being snuggled. 
Just bathed - brushed.
Lights out. 



I went to bed that night defeated. 
Wondering why my kids were acting out. 
Questioning what I was doing wrong?
Because, those that know me, know I love my babies hard. 
And I strive to be a good mom, that makes good people. 
But, try as hard as I might.
Lessons still need to be learned.


On their own.


The next morning, Pip immediately needed to get a good cuddle in. 
As if she missed out, big time, on the night before's.
And as she wrapped her arms around me & 
whimpered out, "so sorry mom", I knew she was.


I knew the lesson was learned.
But, feck me, the fact that it had to get to that level to learn it.
What in the bloody heck did I sign up for? 
This mommahood thing is soooo hard.


Being a mom, seriously kicks you in the gut! 
Literally, everyday, over & over.
From loving another human, as much as you do.
From disheartening to sweet moments. 
From scary experiences to learning to let go.
It stretches you, like nothing else and it takes ALL of you.
Because, YOUR ROLE is so important. 
Your role is SO POWERFUL.
Your role helps create, who your children will be.


And even if they happen to be a Wild Child like mine, Happy Mother's Day anyways. 


#mommahood
#Jesusthewheel
#happysoulproject



#HockeyMoms


I often wonder about that mentality, of;
"If we met now, would we be friends."


And as kind.
And as sweet,
And as absolutely lovely, my best friend is.

The honest answer is, I don't know. 
Who we are together today, is because of the 37 years of friendship, behind us.
Because we are & always have been, so completely different. 
I'm sassy & she's sweet, kinda thing. 


And our lives after highschool, participated in stages-of-life, decades apart. 
She had babies when we were in our early twenties. 
Whereas, I couldn't decide what country to live in, what Degree to finish or what boy to like.


We experienced adulthood completely differently. 


Yet, our hearts have always remained hooked.
We just get each other. 
When we see each other, we somehow each gain strength from one another.  
And our souls kinda leave a little happier.

Because even though we are now miles apart. 
And not in each others daily lives. 
We are connected. 
Forever & Ever. 


The Universe made sure of that. 


Not only do we love each other immensely and have been through everything, from our first heartbreaks, to the heartbreaking challenges we've both faced in mommahood.


Our first-born-sons, unbelievably share the same birthdays.


Hers was born first. 
And was late. 
And right off the hop, I weirdly, claimed he would be my favourite, outta-the-three she always said she wanted.
And Maiysn was her middle. 
The core of her heart. 


Years later, my son Noal came 3-and-half-weeks early. 
On July 27th. 
The exact same day.


And I'll never understand why hers can't still be here. 
Why at 8-years-old, the Universe thought it fair, to take him away. 
Why our boys can't celebrate birthdays together. 
Or why, I have to see my best friend, learn to live with a broken heart. 


All I know, is if I met her today. 
And somehow, someway we connected. 
I'd be lucky. 


Because she's the type of person who pushes herself aside. 
And takes all that brokenness & still walks bravely, allowing love in. 


My son Noal is in hockey & my husband helps coach the team. 
So, unless I wanna chase after Theo and hike-up-a-wheelchair & Pip, I don't go to his six-year-old "games."
Or at least I haven't, in months. 


But, even though I know, it must have tugged at her heart, or it least it would on mine.
She is the biggest Hockey Mom, I know. 
And she'd give anything to watch her Maiysn play again. 


She lovingly & proudly, taught me how to be a #hockeymom to my son.




And I like to think, if I I met her now.
I'd still be
 in awe, of how gigantic her heart really is...








#BFF
#ProudHockeyMoms
#mommahood



[To nominate a child for a Kick-It-Cape, the Project Maiysn inspired - Click HERE

See ya '17...#ComeonEighteen


I'm utterly exhausted. 
I have red circles so deeply burrowed in both my eye sockets both my son & my husband have asked if they'll go away.
My own mother, who has never said one mean thing to me about my appearance before, admitted I look the part of a strung-out-homeless-gal. 


 I'm barely swimming here folks. 


And I have the help of a husband home lately. 
And a mom whose lovingly been here for a month. 


And I'm still just barely holding on. 


My three kids are intense to begin with. 
Heck, nevermind the fact that I'm my daughter's living organ 24/7. 
But, add in this kick-in-the-balls, 3 days before her Fifth Birthday.


And the Holidays, hosting a Full-House-of-family. 


Combating not only that my 45-pound-child now has to be carried or in a wheelchair for a month-&-a-half. But, her Type-One-Diabetes daily nonsense is completely thrown off because her activity level has plummeted since her surgery. Add in watching out for gluten because of Celiac Disease & a wicked case-of-the-flu taking a few of us out. 




Then keep in mind, I have three-of-them.
And they all are at the age, that I am still their everything


But, now that I am stretched taking on these extra demands. 
I have less time for each, like I normally do. 
So, they're acting out. HARD.



My six-year-old is beyond what I'd call bratty. 
My five-year-old is super sucky, crying for momma numerous times a day. 
And my two-year-old is being a real dick about bedtime. 



Am I pushed to my limits? You bet.



Then add in the Holidays. 
The gifts, making it special, Santa & the darn-but-oh-so-magical Elf. 
All the extra stuff. 
Then the unstoppable need to purge. 
Clean.
And Reset. 


In the midst of it all, trying to stay connected to friends & social media. But barely finding the energy to stay awake long enough to live vicariously through others. And not even feeling slightly jealous, because I'm so damn tired. I literally just feel tired for them. I can't even imagine gusto-ing up enough energy to do what they're doing. 


But thankfully, I can see light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel because my Pip, like she ALWAYS DOES. 


Lives her life #RefusingtoSINK
And teaches me to do the same. 


And I'm always in awe. 
And encouraged by her zeal.
And watching her live her life like she does, somehow makes me feel stronger.


It humbles me, that I have been chosen, to make her ALWAYS feel the way that she does.


To feel like she can conquer anything. 
To feel happy despite a situation. 
And to feel like she lives bravely.
Like her momma is trying to do.


To those swimming too, FIGHT ON.


And lets all feel hope together, for 2018...








#sendmeallthecoffee
#andSnickers
#keepswimming 
#ComeonEighteen 
#FightOn