Dear Pip,
Tomorrow we leave the outrageously awesome week we've been having in Windsor to bring you to SickKids for your bloody-completely-not-fair-11th surgery.

Being here has thrown things off a bit. Normally, you sense this coming because at night I rock you abnormally long, letting tears fall once I think you are asleep, only to have you say nothing but wipe them away with your little hand. Normally, you know when I'm taking you out of your crib, we aren't eating breakfast, you're staying in pj's & we are driving while it's still dark out. Normally, we see the same receptionist who has a Teddy Bear for you and a few snickers for me. Normally, it's nurses we know, hospital gowns you've probably worn before & the operating team is used to my full-on-singing-Adele-like-I-am-giving-a-freaking-concert in my effort to send you off to sleep with something you love. Normally, I know what hallway I can collapse in tears in, before I pull myself together & start shovelling Snickers down my hatch till I get called in to see you in recovery.

But this week has thrown that all off.

This week instead I just watched you. With your grandparents & Aunt Donna. With your brothers & Dad. With my friends & their kids. With any and every stranger you met.

And my sweet girl, I was in awe.


I always am. Your light shines brighter than any light I've ever seen. And I'm constantly finding myself wanting to be more like you.

Plan & simple. You are my soulmate Pippy Layne.

You fill a piece of my soul so beautifully differently - That I wouldn't have found me without you.

So, while this time, things leading up to the surgery were outta-norm, I promise you a few things:

  • I will sing just as loud & own it like I have all the other times. And I think it's safe to say we are gonna go with your current favourite, thank you Kindergarten, "O Canada".

  • I may not have gotten to rock you all week, but laying & sleeping beside you was exactly what I needed. I couldn't take my eyes off of you. I tried to memorize your face. How you breath. The way you would wake up every time I coughed, pat my back and say, "You otay momma, you otay". The funny noises you make as you're drifting back off. Everything. Because I am so God damn scared. Like always. That I may lose you.

  • And I promise you that even though this surgery feels a little bit different, NOTHING, Absolutely NOTHING, on the planet feels as incredible than when you are back in my arms.

I need you back in my arms. Okay?

I need you.


Be Brave my darling.

Love Mom

And then I apologized...

Therapies for Pip have always been a sore spot for me. I wrote this years ago, but it rings exactly true to yesterday during a speech assessment when I lost my marbles:

"I have a love/hate, okay mostly hate relationship with Pip's therapy stuff. I love that it is available & we are being proactive instead of reactive. I love that the people involved seemed to actual care about Pip's progress & are helpful & supportive. I love that we really have seen her develop the last few months- almost as if catching up from the slow start she had at the beginning. But all that positive stuff being said- I still hate it. I hate that it even has to happen..."


Therapist shows Pip a drawing of 6 items & then asks questions to determine her comprehension. 

"Pip what do you watch cartoons on?"

Pip looking at me. 

Me: "I don't think I've ever used the word cartoon to any of my kids. Ask her what she watches shows on."

As soon as I said that, Pip points to the drawing of the tv-made-in-1967. 

So, my problem not only with the Dick-and-Jane drawings, is that, you apparently can't change the words or make any type of gestures - You can't possibly adapt in anyway. 

And these out-of-date-in-the-box-stringent-standardize assessments/tests kinda-sorta-make me cringe. 

My child doesn't get it-right-if-you-will, because she's never heard the word cartoon. 


And I let her therapist know it. 


And then had to step back. 


And then I was assertive & voiced aggressively what I thought. 

I BECAME A prideful-bi-at-ch-of-a-momma-bear.

And then I sent the therapist an apology email trying to explain from a momma's-point-of-view, why I got-like-I-got. I explained that we have weekly specialist appointments & spend full days at doctors offices and in 2 weeks we are bringing Pip for her 11th surgery. That the handful or more of other medical needs in her life have taken precedent & that speech is something we took on a lot on our own. That through educating ourselves, Signing Times, Youtube videos & minimal speech therapy, she's come a helluva-a-long-way and that so many elements can affect her not wanting to co-operate or "perform" in that setting. And that while I realize she was doing her job, I hope she can understand that these "assessments/tests" sometimes feel like a real kick-in-the-balls...

#onwardandupward #damnyoudickandjane


Just representing my home, The City of Kingston, that's hosting The Breakout Project

No pressure at all...
And in two days, I give an hour-long-speech at a Queen's University Philanthropy Conference, that I literally only have 5 key points to share, written with my kids marker on the back of a teacher's note. I'm going into it, the very definition of "winging it" for 56 outta the 60 minutes.
This could go ANYWHERE.
And public speaking is NOT my thing.
May I remind you:
I announced my 3rd pregnancy while giving a Ted Talk and told a tv host my ponch wasn't Doritos, but a BABY!

I blamed an entire country and it's magical ways, referring to our 3rd as #blameJamaica on a CBC radio show.
I gave a Huffington Post interview with no pants on.
And one news agency referenced, "Mom's ugly cry" when describing my reaction to seeing Pip's billboard.
So, I'm gonna go ahead and give myself some grace, bring my scribbled notes, my distracted-mommed-out-brain & face these big chats by simply sharing a wee bit of me.