Face of Motherhood....

These pictures were taken today, after hours of wearing Pip in a carrier to comfort her, after days of fighting her fever, many attempts to get her to eat more & stay hydrated and after too many sleepless nights to even keep track. In reality I could look at these picture and pick them apart; I'm not wearing makeup, I haven't done my hair in days, my pj shirt is full of baby spit up & yesterday's kid's nose wipes. But that's not at all what I see... 

When I looked at these photos, my mind immediately thought this is my face of motherhood.

This is me, in all my glory embracing what motherhood looks like for me. And right now, as a stay-at-home momma, it means not knowing when I last washed my hair, heck even being okay seeing glistening-pieces-of-grey take over. It means not wearing makeup for days upon days & when I do, applying it like it's an Amazing Race Challenge who can finish first. It means wearing leggings, sweatpants & loose shirts so that I can breastfeed my 3 month old with ease, play with my 3 year old & be thankful for big winter coats that cover it all up when I wait for my 4 year old's school bus. It means having constant back & shoulder pain because I wear my babies too much, stay in awkward positions so they remain sleeping and danced a little too hard to their favourite songs. It means losing myself a little, or a lot, so that I can be all theirs.

That's my motherhood story. That's not everyone's, nor should it be. That's the real beauty in this motherhood thing. It's different for everyone & it's constantly evolving and I LOVE that. I love that for some the face of motherhood looks completely different; Some moms are polished & put together achieving career goals, crafting like it's a job, heck even making their own soap. Some moms are working 2 part time jobs to be able to provide a home & food for their babies. Some moms are desperately waiting to get a call for an adoption to go through. Some moms are in hospitals holding the hand of their child or having to learn to say good bye. 

Each journey is different, each story isn't the same but whatever we do, however we do it, the face of motherhood is such a beautiful thing. 

So, no matter what your story is, no matter what face motherhood looks like for you right now, no matter how you are making it work to raise your children. Be encouraged, don't compare your journey to others and learn to embrace your story whatever it may look like...

Oh How He Loves Us...

To My daughter,

I must start this with an apology – When it comes to my family and the feelings and emotions that I have towards them my instinct has been one of privacy. When your Mom shared with me this idea I backed away from making my private thoughts and wishes for you public ones. I have come to learn that although this is a creative outlet for her, it comes from a place of pure love and is something only she could do. This love for her children, in my mind, has not only inspired but has challenged people to look at their own family in a different way. I love how brave she is – you will undoubtedly get that trait from her.

As you will find out I can be stubborn at times, but after some careful reflection this truly is something special. I feel as though I need to be a part of it. So I am sorry for being late to the dance, but when you dance as well as I do you can afford to let punctuality slide – you can ask your mother about that.

I think I have always been one of those guys who thought they had a good handle on life and the lessons it can teach you. I carried on this way until the day your mother told me your brother was on his way. For me it was a sobering moment that exposed me to an uncertainty mixed with pride and happiness. My insecurities went from an ultimate high when I first held him back to normal within a month or two – that’s right it didn’t take me very long to think I knew it all….Again. 

When I found out that you were on the way, a day I like to call Shock n' Awe, I found myself composed and calm. It was nothing I hadn’t been through before….piece of cake right?

When we brought your brother home I remember my mind racing about all the things I would teach him over the course of his life. When you came home with us the only thought that I can remember was thinking about all the things you would teach me. This is a theme that has continued and something that I look forward to daily. I can’t wait to see your interpretation of our world as you grow, I am sure it will continually change the way I think about things – as much if not more than you being in my life already has.

You will probably hear a lot of words like benchmark, spectrum, and milestone but I want you to keep this one thought close to you. You will never care about where you are unless you remember how you got there. Struggle, determination, and resilience build character and you, sweet thing, are full of just that. I will always be right beside you to hold your hand or give you a boost in the event that you need it….but I know you’ll do just fine.
All pics by jillschildrothphotography.com

As you can tell by these letters your mother is a pretty special person – you will hear no different from me…..well maybe once in a while…usually when she is smothering everyone with “We should take a picture”.  She is easily the most beautiful person I know, this blog is only a small window into the size of her heart and just look at how many people she has touched.  The three of us are lucky to have her and she will be your biggest cheerleader throughout life.  If you get just half of her smile you will be one amazing lady.

I look forward to our journey……
I love you,

I bloody love Gluten...

Yesterday at a birthday party, despite bringing a gluten-free lunch & cupcake, Pip had a full-on-give-me-that-pizza-or-I'm-gonna-have-a-full-on-melt-down moment. It was my first taste of what life can be like with this whole Celiac thing, outside of our home environment.

I've been trying so hard to learn & do everything I can about Celiac Disease - Making sure our home & her daycare is stocked with gluten-free food, getting separate toasters & butter dishes because of cross contamination, reading every damn label like it's my job & joining Celiac groups to learn from others ...

But it's hard - And moments like yesterday make it that much harder. 

Now I have to wonder will she steal a kid's cracker at daycare? Will she stuff Playdough (even that has bloody gluten in it) down her hatch? Will she eat something that has been cross contaminated accidentally? Will she freak out at every birthday party or event when she can't have what others are? Will she be able to even comprehend that gluten makes her so sick? 

Gluten, why the hell do ya have to be in so much stuff? And as an added bonus, it turns out, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GLUTEN - Literally, bloody everything I eat or enjoy has gluten in it. 

So, to help my little girl & to dive in deeper & teach me faster, I'm going to try to be Gluten-Free for a month. Those that truly know me, know that this is HUGE and that by day three, I may pull my own give-me-that-pizza-with-gluten-in-it-melt-down. 

But here goes...