Post Vacation Reality

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.


We are back from our trip, everything is finally put away, re-organized and tans have already started to fad. Wait a minute. Did we even go on a trip?! Months and months of planing, and just like that it is over in a flash.

The trip itself was some what surreal. It was our first big family trip as a family of 5. Something not too long ago I didn’t think would be possible. Not to mention when did finally make it to Florida, after 26.5 hours in the car (my toddler only had two 2-hour naps that whole drive!), we stayed at my Grandparents house. This was the first time stepping foot in their house since both of them passed. It was so sad. I couldn’t help picturing them there, sitting in their chairs, watching their great-grandchildren play. At the same time it was also nice to feel so close to them again. It had been 4 years since I last visited that house. But this was the first time there since both had passed and since my daughter was born. My daughter that neither one ever got to meet.

I’m still trying to sort through my emotions from the trip, and all the fun we had. So much happened. It was wonderful to spend a week alone, just the 5 of us, going on adventures every day and spending lots of time in the pool! Time spent in the pool is always a good time. Ocean time, boat rides, trolly rides, and dolphins. So much fun, so little time. However if we don’t spend that much time in the car again any time soon, I will be very happy! 26.5 hours straight down, and 3 days, no wait 4 days back in the car? Either way it was a lot of time in the car! A lot. Thankfully my toddler was happy in the car, until the very end when she threw up every where in the car. Never a dull moment in parenthood.

Now the kids are back to school, it is just my toddler and me at home. No road trips on the horizon, but adventures are around every corner and I can’t wait for our next one, whatever it may be.

~ Michelle

Pregnancy After Loss

October is a hard month. Honestly every month is hard, but October has its own special sting to it. October 19th 2012 my baby, my Lily, grew her wings.


Since then I have had what is referred to as a Rainbow Baby. She is perfection. While she completes our family, there will also be a piece of our family that is missing.

I have spoken a bit about my miscarriage and loss. Its hard. To this day my breath catches, my hands tremble, my body shakes, my heart skips a beat and starts to break all over again. Despite so many other woman going through pregnancy loss, I felt and still feel so alone with it. I still can’t seem to find the right words to talk about it.

What I have never really talked about is my pregnancy after my loss, after my Lily. I could never bring myself to really talk about it, enjoy it, or celebrate. I was paralyzed with fear the whole time.

I lost my baby on October 19th, 2012. It broke me in a way that words can never describe. Not that long after I found out on in August 2013 that I was pregnant again. My doctors immediately told me to take it easy and rest as much as possible. On October 5th 2013 I started bleeding and was put on bedrest.

I spent the rest of my pregnancy on bedrest and in and out of hospitals. I didn’t go more than 2 weeks without seeing a doctor/ hospital/ or having an ultrasound done. At 19 weeks they thought that my placenta was detaching. At one point they thought early labour at 21 weeks. It was always something.

My entire pregnancy I was counting kicks, laying in bed praying my body could hold on just one more day. Every day I prayed for just one more day. I prayed my body would not fail me once more. I prayed I would be enough, strong enough, good enough, to carry this baby to term. My heart could not handle another heartbreak.

I was so scared that if I talked about my pregnancy when it was happening, if I got too excited, if I got too happy, it would all come crashing down. I was so scared that if I got too happy something would happen to pop my little bubble. I thought maybe if I was quiet about it, staying safe in my bed alone in my own little world it would some how protect me and my baby.

Speaking about my daughters pregnancy still makes me feel sick. I never forgot that feeling of helplessness I had during her entire pregnancy. The fear I felt every day, every night.

It was by far the hardest and most emotionally draining pregnancy I have ever had. But looking back at it also makes me sad. I never got a chance to enjoy my last pregnancy. I never got a chance to celebrate my growing belly and the sweet baby inside.

Now my daughter is here, happy and healthy as can be. She was worth it. Worth the stress, worth the worry, worth every dreadful minute I spent in bed alone crying, every sleepless night I got, every bit of pain I felt both physical and emotional. She was worth it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my Lily, wishing she was here. But at the same time a day doesn’t go by that I am not grateful for the chance and strength to carry another baby.

Pregnancy after a loss was such an emotional roller coaster. So much joy every time she kicked and then suddenly scared waiting for the next kick. Always counting. Always waiting. Always praying.

Looking at the date on the calendar it is hard to believe how long ago this was. Thinking about it, it feels like it just happened. My heart is still broken, still pieces missing, still healing, but still at the same time oh so happy and in love with my children that I have here with me.

Please know that if you have experienced pregnancy loss, infant loss, or any loss, you are not alone.

~ Michelle

Almost Time For Our Road Trip

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Month.
Hello New Adventure.


Time is quickly approaching for our week long trip to Florida. I wrote about a million lists and started packing, but that was all put on hold when my two boys and husband got sick this weekend. Fingers crossed they don’t pass it on to my daughter and me. And even more fingers crossed our trip is still on. After months and months of saving and planning I would hate to see it fall apart now.

This week is all about survival and getting all the germs out of my house. Any anxiety I had about this trip before got multiplied by a million when sickness was added to this mix, so I will be working and deal with that this week. Also I will need lots of coffee. Because right now coffee is my very best friend. Coffee makes me feel like I can accomplish anything, it believes in me, it loves me and I love it.

Now back to the trip and packing. Have I ever mentioned that I hate packing? Especially when I am packing for myself, and 4 other people! We are only going for a week but by my list and the things I already have packed you would think we were moving! I didn’t even put this much effort and pack this much stuff when my husband and I went to Kenya for two weeks! Also I am pretty sure that about 60% of the stuff I am packing we don’t actually need. But I like to be prepared. I would rather pack it and have it with me and end up not needing it than needing something and not having it. But still… Holy Crow! Its a lot of stuff!

How do you entertain 3 kids in the car for over 24 hours straight?! Including one toddler that hates the car?! Well stay tuned and I will show you what I have come up with. Honestly, the thought of all this scares me. But I know it will be fine. My parents did it with me and my siblings, and that was long before in car dvd players and iPods and laptops and all that, and some how we all survived. I’m sure we will too. I just don’t know how right now…

~ Michelle



I Never Thought I Would Co-Sleep, Then I Had My Daughter


When I had my boys, just 13 months apart sleep was very very important! Thankfully my boys were born with a love for sleep. Sleeping 12 hours a night at 2 months old, and 4 hour naps. It was bliss. Pure bliss. I love sleep, and I was over the moon excited that my boys did too. It made parenting two babies 13 months apart so much easier. I swear it was the only way I survived 3 years straight of teething, back to back terrible twos, and everything else my boys did!

Fast forward to my daughter. She didn’t get my sleeping gene. I learned this on her very first day. She was awake, wide awake, following noises and such for hours at a time. I never even got a good look at my boys eyes for the first few days, but her… oh she was awake, wide awake. When she was just a month old she could go all day, ALL DAY, with no nap and still be wide awake and happy. She just didn’t need sleep.

From day one she hated sleeping on her own. We thought maybe she was cold and would heat up her bed with a hot water bottle, warm blankets from the dryer, an extra heater in the room. Nothing worked. We tried rocking her to sleep, I would breastfeeding her to sleep, music while she slept, no music, lights on, night light, pitch black, bedtime bath stuff, car rides, putting her in her swing, and anything else we could think of. I re-read every sleeping and parenting book I could.

We managed to get her to sleep for a few hours at a time on her own, but she never slept all night and never on her own.

Fast forward again, my daughter is 2 and half now. And you may have guess she still sucks at sleeping. She can be up all day, playing outside all day with her brothers and cousins, and guess what?! She will still stay up till 11pm! The girl doesn’t like sleep. (I’m starting to wonder if she is even human).

So 2 and half years later and guess what we do? We co-sleep. If you can call it that. We lay with her till she falls asleep, because after 2 and half years this is what works. And no, letting her “cry it out” is not an option. After she is asleep whoever is with her sneaks out and sometimes a miracle happens and she sleeps all night, but 90% of the time she gets up, and I go in there and she’s right back to sleep and we both sleep soundly the rest of the night.

This is what we do because it works for us. This is what we do because it is what our daughter needs us to do. I don’t stop being a mom at night. IF my kids need me, I’m there for them. Do I wish all my kids slept all night on their own, in the their own beds? Yes of course. Does it happen? No. Does life go on? Yes. Will we all survive? Yes. Will this eventually be a thing of the past? Yes.

Sometimes co-sleeping isn’t even a thought, like with my boys, and sometimes co-sleeping is the only way to survive. One day, maybe one day soon, maybe in a year or more, my daughter won’t need me like this. One day she will be able to go to sleep on her own and sleep all night. One day I will miss this. Kids grow up too fast to stress about where I lay my head at night.

Never will I think a parent is crazy when they say they co-sleep. Sometimes its a last ditch effort just so they can function on some what normal level.

~ Michelle

How To Get ‘Me Time’ When You Are Busy

Before kids ‘Me Time’ was ALL the time! Before kids I could do what I want, when I want. I could take a nap. I could stay up late because I wanted to, not because someone was keeping me up. I could sleep in. I could take a bubble bath. Read a whole book in one day. I could go shopping without running around after anyone. I could do my nails without ruining them in 2 minutes. So many things I could do.

I have my 3 beautiful children. My time is limited. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But still, some ‘me time’ would be nice. Here are my quick and easy ways to try to squeeze in ‘me time’.

1. Take a shower or bath. Especially if you have some new bubble bath or bath bombs or something to use to make it special.

2. Light a candle and enjoy the quiet. Even if for a few minutes. Scented candles are my favourite. Especially the Christmas holiday ones.

3. Grab your music device, iPod, phone, whatever you have, put in earphones and dance. Dance like no one is watching. Dance in your underwear. Just dance and block out the world.

4. Journal. Or color. Or some combination of both. Even for a few minutes. Let your creativity flow. Let your words out. Let your frustration out.

5. Apply a face mask and read while it does its magic. Just make sure your kids are in bed, or not home so you don’t scare them, like I may have done once.

6. Eat a special treat, and don’t for one minute feel bad about it. Enjoy it.

7. Read. You need to have time to read an entire book, or even half, or a chapter. A few minutes can make a difference.

8. Get lost in a tv show. Or a movie if you have more time. Bonus if it is a show the kids can watch, not exactly ‘me time’ alone, but its better than having to stay up all night just to watch something without them.

9. Go for a walk. Or a run if you are up for it. You get alone time, its healthy for you, and it gets you outside in nature. Win win.

10. Make your favourite meal. Comfort food is always a good thing.

11. Do some yoga. Even if you aren’t good at it, give it a try, you may surprise yourself or have something to laugh at.

12. Paint your nails. Probably have to wait for the kids to be in bed, or you could paint your kids nails too in hopes they will sit still as well.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk, About Anxiety and Depression

I don’t normally talk about this. I don’t like to talk about this. Talking about anxiety and depression gives me anxiety and makes me feel depressed, sad and weak, sick and stressed. A whole whack load of different emotions.

I have been facing my fears and talking about anxiety lately. See, we are going on a family trip soon, and yes I am happy, I am thrilled, but the thing is, I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. So even though I am happy about something, I am never truly *just* happy about it. There are ALWAYS underling feelings and emotions going on. Always. It is none stop and it is beyond exhausting.

So why am I talking about it now? Is it because of the trip? No, not really. I am talking about it because I am sick of trying to ‘cover it up’ and act as if its not there. But it is there, its always there. Sometimes its small, and sometimes its so over powering I don’t know how to explain it. Sometimes I even think its gone, but it always comes back. It is there, it is a part of me.

I have severe anxiety and chronic depression. I am in a constant battle with myself to do every day things every day. I am always in a struggle to ‘put on a happy face’. I am always gauging my mood, trying to stay one step ahead of it. Always on the look out for the next trigger, but most of the time I don’t even know what the trigger is. It can be so exhausting. Always on the look out, always putting on a happy face. The truth is most people would never even guess that I have anxiety and depression, that in its self is exhausting. Always holding a mask up so the world won’t see the true me.

I want to talk about this, because I want anyone else to know who is going through this that it is ok! There is no shame!

For years I used to walk around confused, feeling so alone because I could never properly voice what was going on. Some days I still can’t. People would say “get some sun”, “cheer up” or “its all in your head, just be happy, its easy”. But it really isn’t that easy some days. I want to be happy, and even when I am, I’m never 100% happy. I will always feel some degree of sadness, some degree of anxiety. And that is ok. That is who I am. I am still a good person. I am still (for the most part) a happy, go lucky, look on the bright side, find the silver lining type of person. I am still a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

There is no shame. Yes I have anxiety, yes I have depression. And that is fine. It is ok. It doesn’t make me less of a person, even if sometimes I feel like it.

Like anyone else I have good days and bad days, mine just tend to be a little bit more up or down, sideways and all around swirly than other people. And thats ok.

So if you are out there, and you have anxiety, or depression, or both, if you are scared, or feeling alone please PLEASE know that it is ok! You are not alone! There is help out there. There are people out there that can help you, that you can talk to, and people out there that you can relate to and understand you. You are not alone. Despite what lies your anxiety and depression may be telling you, you are not alone! There is help!

Writing this  post right now its giving me so much anxiety. I feel physically sick right now. Trying to explain that I have anxiety and depression but still a good person sounds so stupid and hard to believe, but it is true. Trying to explain how having anxiety and depression feels is one of the hardest things. I still haven’t figured out how to properly explain how it feels, and I don’t know if I ever will.

I am writing this for me. I am writing this for you if you feel the same way. I am writing this for my kids, because if they ever feel like this, I want them to know it is ok! I want them to know there is no shame. I want them to know I understand. I want them to know, and for you to know, that you don’t have to hide away all of your complex feelings and thoughts. You don’t have to hide any part of you. You, all of you, every part of you, you are beautiful. So beautiful.

I found these photos on Pinterest the other day. Apparently the universe was pushing for me to write this post because these two photos showed up in a mix of other photos about recipes and decorating for the holidays. I believe everything happens for a reason, I may not ever understand the reason, or know the reason, but its there, some where.

I am going to say this again, please, please, PLEASE know that if you have anxiety, or depression, or any other issues going on, there is always someone you can talk to. There are people out there that can help you. People that will understand you, and help you.
If you can’t reach out to them, you can reach out to me

~ Michelle

Relieving My Anxiety For Our Road Trip

I was once brave enough to travel with a 6 month old from Canada to Austria for a week during the Christmas holidays while 2 months pregnant. Ok in all fairness the Grandparents came with me. But my son was such an easy baby, it was almost unreal. He slept all night and simply stayed on his schedule, as if there was no time change. 3pm here was 3pm there. And when we got back, right back to schedule. No issue at all.

Then when my boys were 5 & 6 years old we drove down to Florida. We drove straight through and the trip was wonderful. Again, my kids were so easy to travel with.

Now… Well now I have 3 kids and my youngest, my sweet girl, my girl she hates sleep and hates the car. For whatever crazy reason we thought we would take a road trip to Florida again. 

My anxiety is on high. Honestly I am terrified of this trip! A very small part of me wants to cancel the trip because, well anxiety. Anxiety is evil. But I will not let my anxiety win! I want this to be a wonderful fun family trip! I want this to be a family trip to remember, and not because it turned out like a Stephen King horror movie!

I am trying to relieve my anxiety before and hopefully during this trip. Which is near impossible, but I will try. I have been writing lists. Planning and more planning. Planning so much gives me a false hope of being in charge. I have bought and made my toddler new toys. Bought new movies (THANK YOU in-car dvd player!). And I’m still coming up with activities she can do in the car. I am also doing the same thing for my boys. I am making them a travel binder (I will share that all with you when its done). And I am also making a travel bin for the boys ( will share that when its done as well).

Planning and packing can only take me so far. For other ways I am trying to relieve my anxiety right now is to eat healthy. Junk food may taste good, but it always makes me feel worse after.

Meditation. Well not really, three kids, more like I am taking time to be quiet, to concentrate on my breathing. Counting to 10, 100, or a million, whatever works in the moment. Breathe in the good thoughts, out with the bad. All that. It may sound cheesy, but it works. And if it works, then it is a good thing!

Music. Music can speak to us, move us, energize us, calm us. Music can do so much! I have been working on new playlists. One to relax and calm me, one to energize me, and of course a fun dance party one for the family. My daughter loves music and loves to dance, and it always puts her in a good mood, so music for this trip is a must!

Visualizing. This can work both ways for me. I can visualize the most relaxing trip ever, sitting on the beach, watching and listening to the waves. Or I can let my thoughts wonder and end up picturing all hell breaking loose.

Journalling. I love to journal. Music and writing are my outlet. So I have been journalling a lot and I will for sure be packing my journal with me. Lets just hope I don’t get carsick when I am writing in it.

Sleep. I would say get lots of sleep. Sleep is so important. However, like I have stated my daughter hates sleep. So getting plenty of sleep is out of the question.

Do you have anxiety? How do you help relieve it?

I’m sure as the time comes closer I will need to do these things more often. For now they are working. And that makes me happy. Happy wife, happy life, and all that jazz.

~ Michelle