#facetimeprank - Dear TikTok Mom

 
Dear Other Momma, 

 I watched Disability Activist Lizzie Velasquez's TikTok & wanted to cry.  

 

 

I don't know you. 
I ain't into judging. 
Or shaming. 
And listen, I get wanting to scare your kids to get a good laugh. 
Trust me, I'm that mom to. 
I also laugh hysterically when mine accidently fall. 

 

But, COME ON!
Please, please, please tell me when you decided to post that TikTok video & get on board this absolutely ignorant trend in which parents try to scare their kids by showing them pictures of disabled people, including babies & kids like my daughter with Down syndrome. 
Ya had second thoughts. 
You realized for a minute. 
This was a person. 
A human being. 
Who has, if you can even imagine for a second, been fighting bullying her whole life. 
You must have known this is absolutely heartless. 
And moms like me, who have been fighting tirelessly for change feel broken. 
You see, my daughter Pip adores TikTok. 

 

 

And KILLS IT!
Those little 15-second-jingles & dance challenges are her jam. 
My two sons & I, heck even my 70-yr-old Dad, willingly participate because it makes her beam. 
Her smile at nailing something & doing it way better than any of us makes her feel proud and accomplished. 

 

And if my children were swiping through & saw this hateful propaganda you & other people are spreading. 
Flat out, I'd be embarrassed for ya. 
Because I'd have to explain to my own kids. 
How far behind your heart must be. 
That most people realize a person is a person. 
Not their disability. 
Even my kids know that differences need to be accepted, respected & even celebrated. 
But, trust me, my heart had to navigate to where it is today. 
And I like to hope it's just an ignorance & soon realization. 
That what you're teaching your child isn't okay. 
It's hurtful and mean & flat out bullying. 
And really with everything else going on in this wild-crazy-time on earth. 
There is no space for this behaviour. 
No need to acknowledge it more. 
Because, I'm sure you are getting bombarded with messages. 
Telling you how disrespectful you we're. 

 

So, I'll leave you instead with this. 
Just be better momma. 
Please. 
For your kid. 
For my kid. 
For all the kids. 
It's so very important.

 

 
Love,

 A Mom tired of fighting this kinda crap


 

 




*2021 #DifferentIsBeautiful Calendar CALL OUT*


Every year, Happy Soul Project creates a #DifferentIsBeautiful Calendar that features children with various disabilities.



The purpose of this Calendar is to raise awareness about the beauty in differences & to teach others about accepting and celebrating the differences among us all.


Typically at this time we would be hosting a photoshoot with a group of amazing children that would appear later in the Calendar. However, the freaking pandemic has sadly made that not possible this year, BUT we still think it is important to continue raising awareness.


SO, we have decided to do something a little different this year with a special "Stay Home" Edition of the Calendar.
SO, this in an OPEN CALL OUT.
We want to see a photo of your child doing what they LOVE whether that be playing with toys, being physically active or just posing in their favourite outfit (while following physical distancing practices of course!) Be creative!!!


The Calendar will be extra special this year and we are excited to see this come together to once again be used in schools to share our #differentisbeautiful message.

Please find link to apply here:


And if you have any questions regarding this process please email Maeghan at happysoulproject@utoronto.ca.


Thank you for your interest & helping us shout from the rooftops the beauty in differences...



Please watch these to see past Calendars:






Can't wait to share this!!!

Why I take a wee social media break sometimes... #LikeANewborn #Ghost #MIA #SocialMediaBreaks



Sometimes I disappear. 
I ghost online for a bit.
And it takes me a few days to get back to friends via texts/messages.
I don't mean to do it. 
It just happens. 
Sometimes, it's because I'm digesting something heavy in my own life. 
Or we got bad news about our daughter. 


Other times, it's cause I'm caught up in the chaos, my life, with my three seems to create. 
Or I get lost in the mundaneness-of-motherhood.
The tasks that each day brings with it.
And lately, I'm finding the stretch-in-between my kids, the most it's ever been before. 


My big kid is sooo big kid. 
Stays up later. Sleeps in now.
Is right into anything his dad digs. 
Hockey, hockey, blah, blah, hockey. 
Finds his little brother & sister & what they like doing, extremely annoying. 
Is dramatic, as I ever was. 
And I already find his Gr 3 math homework, completely over my head. 



The two littles bicker like an old married couple. 
Following and poking each other on continually. 
Yet, enjoy being together & are on the same page when it comes time, to how they play and communicate. 
Pip while 7 is more developmentally like Theo whose 4. 
So, win/win there. 



But, on top of what life with 3 brings, ya throw in the cool mix of having extraordinary things, happen to my extraordinary kid. 
In which I'm up all hours of the night & have slept staggered sleeps for weeks upon weeks. 
Who am I kidding - Years upon years.
In which I'm called into the school to change pumps that malfunction, have had major issues with her equipment lately & the constant beast of change sucks the life outta me, like any parent of a Type-One-Diabetic does. 



It's like having a newborn in sooo many ways.
I'm constantly in the state of sleep, in which a new mother knows her baby will only be down for little while. 
I'm continually listening for sounds/alarms throughout the night & have a visual baby camera on at all times. 
And as soon as I feel like I've got something good going on with her sugar/levels/BG. 
Like a new momma would with getting in a groove of naps or bedtime or feedings. 
BAM. 
WHAM. 
THANK YOU MA'AM. 
Something bloody gosh dang changes. 
In a baby and in Pip's case.
It could be ANYTHING. 

Changes in their sleep. 
Their excitement level. 
How much activity they got. 
If they're about to explode on a growth spurt. 
Hormone changes. 
What they ate. 
And the list goes on-and-on. 



Add in the whirlwind of our teachers out fighting for our kids, on random strike days & what seems to be the cursed-month-of-snow-days-once-if-not-twice-a-week-February. 
And well bloody hell,it kinda feels like the chaos is a few-kick-it-the-balls-levels higher & that I've been running a neighbourhood-part-time-daycare over here. 



And I haven't a freaking clue if the groundhog saw or didn't see his shadow. 
Or to be completely honest what it even means if he does either way.
But, where I live in Canada, there is still tons of SNOW and it's still tons the heck COLD. 
And, well.
Over it. 
I'm just so over it. 



Which brings me to my final reason of why sometimes, I don't post for a bit & take a wee social media break in a sense. 
Which can be odd, cause I go from gabbing about anything or sharing morning dance parties. 
To absolutely nothing.
It's just lately, whenever I jumped online, a few things would happen: 


1 - I get real jealous. Real fast. Of the people living in warmer climates. Including things like their footwear options, that do not include winter boots & their ability to go for evening walks. And please Canadians don't chime in about walking after dinner here & learning to enjoy winter. It's dark by 5pm - DARK. And freezing cold, like wind whipping your eyes making them water cold. 
No, thanks. 
Bubble baths instead. 
Anyways, I see others live in hot spots & I go down a "Ya got one life. ONE LIFE TO LIVE speech in my head. Wondering why the blundering hell we endure our time here in the frigid winters.


2 - I get overwhelmed at the loud & proud voices out there. People are doing such incredible things.  
It's hard to not feel as adept.


3 - Just when I go to post something, it seems the timing is off because a friend or someone I follow just posted about such tragic or heartbreaking moments. That literally tear me up inside. 


Or 


4 - Whatever I'm about to share seems so outrageously boring. 


I'm just not in that season. 
Where a lot is going on.
And I guess lately, just feeling a hibernation in a sense. 
Maybe that's the Canadian in me.
I'm like a big-old-momma-bear in a cave with her snuggly cubs. 
I've perfected my gluten-free-chocolate-chip pancakes.
I'm volunteering at the kids school on hotdog days. 
I've become a freaking taxi-cab lugging kids to playdates, guitar lessons and early morning field trips. 
And don't even get me going on the snack shop, sous chef, never-ending-Lunch-Making-Machine I am.



I've been in a season of stretching out bedtimes with each of them. 
Saying yes to more of their friends over & blowing up the bouncy castle in the basement. 
I'm in a phase of actually competing at Mario Kart, against my 8-yr-old and letting morning snuggles with everyone linger, even though that means racing breakfasts before school.


And in this burrowed state, I'm understanding that it's okay to step away. 
To disconnect on here.
Whenever I have to.
Learning so much lately. 
That each season. 
Each chapter. 
Every story. 
Has a place...






#SoReadyForSpringThough
#LikeSeriously
#SeePeopleLivingInFlorida
#WithTheirHousesOpeningUpToPools
#AllFencedInSoSavesMyAlligatorFears
#AndBEYONDJealous
#ThenIRememberHowGorgeousOurCanadianSummersAre
#JustWantThatAllYearRound
#OrMaybeLessonIsToLearn
#TheseSeasons
#ThisPhaseThatForcesMeToChange
#ToHibernateItUp
#AreForReasons
#NoMatterHowMundaneTheyCanSeem
#Mommahood
#T1DMom
#ButImagineLivingInAPlace
#WithNoWinterBoots
#happysoulproject





Once Upon an Ice Cream Time


Once upon a time there was a momma who desperately wanted to do the "mall thing" with her little girl, just like she did growing up with her mom. 

The mission was simple - Return some items, have fun in a changing room trying on stuff, look for new shoes for the little girl & if successful get some promised ice cream. 



However, this mom was gifted a child a wee bit different, than her shopaholic self. 


Her little girl was a RUNNER. 
Her little girl touched everything. LITERALLY EVERYTHING. 
Her little girl tried to talk to every single stranger around. 
Her little girl had an insulin pump that kept annoyingly beeping. 
Her little girl melted down when someone else pushed the elevator button. 
Her little girl grabbed chocolate but couldn't have it because she was Celiac. 
Her little girl ripped off the tag of a baby doll & couldn't understand why it wasn't just hers. 
Her little girl refused to try on shoes because she obsessively loved the ones she was wearing.
And her little girl had bad knees that tired easily, so the momma had to lug her around piggy-back-style within 30 minutes. 


By the time they got to the promised ice cream, the momma was just about done in. 
But, the little girl jumped off her mom's back & bolted towards what she thought was an ice cream stand. 


It was however, a red & white Virgin Mobile kiosk booth. 
Yet, the little girl ran up to it with such vigor & hope, as she slapped her hands down & called out, "Ice Cream Ice Cream Please" at the top of her little lungs. 


Thankfully, the lovely ladies working were swept up in the spell, the little girl seemed to cast on most people she encountered. 
And the mom explained they were on their way to Purdys Chocolatier, that was like 100 feet away. 


After finally convincing the little girl that Virgin Mobile wasn't the ice cream shop, the two walked hand-in-hand and talked about which flavour she would get. 


But, as the little girl's sweet face was smooshed right up, looking into the bins of ice cream flavours, the mom knew right away, that the kind she wanted was of course not gluten free. 
Cue the little girl begging and about 37 "no fairs".
At this point, the mom just wanted the hell outta there. 


She was a hot-sweaty-panicked mess from lugging her kid around, holding up a line to ask for a list of ingredients to double check any were celiac friendly, calming her daughter down & rationalizing why she couldn't have a cone with it.


But, as the mom went to pay for her daughter's ice cream, she was handed a note instead & told it was covered. 


In utter confusion, the mom read the note: 
"From the Virgin Team"
And with that, she couldn't even help it, tears started falling. 



Apparently the lovely ladies raced over to Purdys & paid for a gift card so that the mom & daughter could enjoy numerous mall ice creams trips together. 



They had absolutely NO idea who or what kind of day that mom & daughter were having. 
Something just stirred them to do something so outrageously kind. 
And the mom's whole outlook on the day and the "mall thing" was forever mended...



#ThisWillStayWithMeAlways
#SooooooooKind
#WhenWeWentBackToThankThem
#ICouldntEvenHoldBackTheTears
#WasJustSoSoSoSoSoKind
#CataraquiCentreThisWasAboveAndBeyond
#VirginMobile 
#IGotSomeEmployeesOfTheMonthForYa
#BeKind
#WhenKindnessWins



Thankful for Harder Times...


Today I'm thankful in a weird way, that there were harder times.
I have to remind myself of that.
On days like today.
When I cry in my pantry at one thing-after-another with Pip's T1D.
When I have to go to the school numerous times, because the devices to keep her alive malfunction.
When I spend hours on the phone with tech support trying to fix things, only to have them continually not work.
When I can't see her BG & have to poke her way too many times than anyone should be poked in a day, shoot a month, heck even a year.
And when I yell at my husband for no real reason, make my 4-yr-old feel bad for peeing in his snowpants & instead of reading a chapter book with my big kid at bedtime, I let him play mini-sticks loudly in his room, hoping he doesn't wake up the others.
Because, well I'm annoyed-exhausted-frustrated & feeling overwhelmed, I have to remember, I got this.
We got this.
We've been through soooo much more.
Shoot this pic alone, was Pip in DKA days before starting Grade 1.



Memories the other day, popped up with her as a five-month-old having heart surgery.





And just last night, Theo asked after seeing a photo, why Pip was in a wheelchair, after she had double-knee-surgery.


So, I'm gonna eat me some chocolate, breath I guess or whatever they say to do & refuse yet again to sink...









#TomorrowIsANewDay
#ThankGodPipsEAIsAmazing
#AndDexcomIsSoooGreat
#TryingToHelpAndReplacingThings
#LetsNotEvenTalkAboutHerSixteenSurgeries
#HateThoseTheMost
#YetThankfulForHarderTimes
#RefuseToSink
#AndEatChocolateTillYouBreakOutLikeATeenager

Learning To Love Every Damn Inch-Of-Myself...


Today I'm thankful the Universe-God-Fate or whatever y'all believe, throws signs in my face.
I woke up, after a restless night.
Lifted up my shirt in the mirror, to check out my stitched-up-boob.
And winced at what it looked like & imagined the scar it would leave.
But, before I could go down a woe-is-me lane.
I stumbled upon my daughter.
Just loving herself so bloody damn much.


And the scars she bears are so very deep.
I often run my hand across the one she gained during heart surgery when she was just 5 months old.
Her Type-One-Diabetes wounds, pretty much cover every inch of her little body.
And every single day, when I'm putting on her knee braces, I'm reminded of her double-knee-surgery.
Yet, every single day.
Pip lives life LOVING every inch of her freaking-beautiful-self...


#IWannaBeMoreLikeMyDaughter
#LearningToLove
#EveryDamnInchOfMyself
#AnotherExampleOf
#LessonsWithDownSyndrome
#LifewithPip
#differentisbeautiful
#downsyndromeawareness

#HealingKisses


This morning when I heard Pip flick on her light switch & start gathering her baby dolls to line them up on her bed, like she usually does each morning, I rolled over to see the time & groaned loudly enough to wake everyone.

4:37am.

Freaking super. An hour earlier than her normal absurd 5:30-no-matter-everything-we’ve-tried-wakeup-time.

As my mind started racing about how little sleep I actually get & the list of to-do’s on my plate today, it quickly stopped.

Normally, I’d go racing into her room.
Shut down the early-am-party she has started.
Give her a talking & demand she sleep more.


However, this morning, my heart took over.
I creeped into her room, gently put her back in bed, crawled up in her little single with her & just held her.

And cried & cried & cried.

Because, another momma in our Down syndrome community is hurting so badly & would give anything to be dealing with her daughter getting her up early.
She’d give anything I’m sure just to have her sweet little Indy Llew wake up.

And I know there are soooo many children and so many situations, where this is the case.
Trust me, our non-profit gives out Kick-It-Capes to thousands upon thousands of kids who bravely fight.
So, I see it all the time. I actually have to almost shut it off or it would do me in daily.

However, this morning I let it take over me.
And as I held my little girl, whose been through so much herself & daily has battles she faces, I prayed.

For her, for Indy, for Australia & the damn cute Koalas.

Cause, sometimes, ya just gotta give in & feel all the feels.
And I love that my little Pip knows that.
She just lets me hold her for hours on end, periodically reaching up with both her hands as she grabs my face and plants her kisses that somehow, someway always seem to heal me...