What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

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

HelloMonday

The sun is shining. The windows are open. Oh how I have longed for this day! Despite my best efforts the weather plays a big part into my moods. The fresh air is very much needed right now. Now if only I can tear myself away from the singing birds long enough to actually do something productive.

But really what does it mean to be productive? Are you only productive if your house is spotless, everything is cleaned, washed, put away? Are you only productive if you go to work every day? Is it strictly based on what others can see? Can you only really be productive if your actions can some how be measured? Who decides what is productive?

What does it mean to you to be productive?

This past weekend I sat outside in the warmth of the sun. I listened to the birds. I played outside with the kids. I watched the kids play in awe of how much they have changed since last year. I did a lot of sitting outside. Just being in the moment. My house didn’t get cleaned. Laundry is way behind now. My living room looks like some supernatural event happened.

So did I have a productive weekend? What do you think? My answer; Yes. Yes I did.

I did what I needed to do. I did what my heart and soul needed. I was in the moment. I relaxed. I watched my kids. I played with my kids. This is what I needed to do. For my own mental health, my psychical health, I needed a break. I needed to be in the moment. I needed to laugh. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair.

If you looked at the state of my house you would not think it was a very productive weekend. If you looked at me you would know it was.

As far as house chores go, I am behind. In terms of my spirit, I am ahead of the game! I am refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on this week. I am in much better shape to handle this week than if I had been inside cleaning all weekend.

So Monday, this week, bring it! I’m ready for you! Right after I finish my coffee and listening to do the birds sing, then I will get up and rock this thing!

~ Michelle

 

Always Look For The Silver Lining

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

HelloMonday

This weekend was all about celebrating my daughter’s 3rd birthday. But to me it was so much more. There was a time that I never thought I would be able to have another baby. Then after years of struggling I finally got pregnant, just to miscarry a few weeks later. My heart was broken. I was broken, pieces missing forever. I was surprised when I managed to get pregnant again, and terrified. Her entire pregnancy I was scared I would lose her. I had a high risk pregnancy, and spent the entire time on bed rest. There was a time when I thought I would never get to this point. And now here we are, celebrating her 3rd birthday!

Every day I am so thankful for my children. Every day when I look at my girl, my rainbow baby, I am reminded that there is someone that will forever be missing from our family. Without that loss, my daughter wouldn’t be here now. It is so hard to explain the conflicting emotions that happen. My heart breaks for the baby I will never know, but my heart bursts with love for the children I do have.

My daughter is a constant reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned. There is good and bad, heartache and sorrow, but also so much love and joy in life.

There is always a silver lining. Always a point, or lesson to be learned. Sometimes, most times, its just incredibly hard to see at the time. Or at least thats what I like to tell myself on the bad days.

Bad days like when you fight with your husband after your child’s birthday party, and you are not exactly sure what started it. It was sort of the perfect storm of emotions, lack of sleep, and bad choice of words to be said by both parties. I will never understand the point to fighting, but I know there is a silver lining, a lesson to be learned. After the fight we always end up stronger. I just wish the heartache didn’t have to happen first.

So my point to all this, is that life is all about ups and downs, love and hate, tears and laughter. Really big heart breaking downs, really big huge living changing joy and love, or small bumps in the road – like fights, or small joys like waking up after a fight and finding out that your husband woke up early to clean the kitchen for you.

You just have to remember to look for the sliver lining in all things, big or small.

~ Michelle

Progress Not Perfection

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

HelloMonday

Two weeks ago I was on a roll. I was working out every day, eating healthy, had so much energy, I was getting so much done. It was great. Then March Break happened. My boys went away for the week with my parents and my husband decided to take a week off work. It was just my husband, my toddler, and myself for a whole week. I didn’t work out. I didn’t eat the most healthy items like I could have. I didn’t work. I honestly didn’t do anything that I had planned. I even threw out the to do lists that I wrote.

Do you know hat I did for the week? I was present. I was here. I was on the floor playing with my toddler. I was sitting on the sofa cuddled up with  my husband talking for hours. I was in the moment. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Productive it terms of work? No. Productive in terms of self care?! YES!

Progress not perfection.

If this had happened before, if I had an entire week off from working out, eating healthy and work, I would completely flip out. I would fall into a deeper depression. I would think I ruined everything. But now I am finally learning that none of that is true.

Yes, I needed to do things, things had to get done. But the things I did do, spend every minute with my husband and daughter is also what I needed, what we all needed. My husband and daughter have never had that much time together to just play. It has been years since my husband and I have had so much time to talk. I don’t remember the last time we got to talk so much, have such deep conversations, discover new things about each other.

This past week went nothing like I planned, but it was everything I needed. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel more focused. I feel more at peace with myself, my husband, my life, with everything.

Things don’t always go as planned, slowly but surely I am learning that that is ok. Sometimes that we think we need is actually what we need.

~ Michelle

 

Reasons Why I Did Not Accomplish Anything Today

Every night I go to bed with a million plans for the next day. I write out lists, and those lists will have lists. I plan and plan. And then the next day comes, and… nothing.

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Here are some reasons why I didn’t accomplish anything today:

  • My baby/toddler/child didn’t sleep last night, again.
  • There wasn’t enough coffee in the house to make me human.
  • My toddler wanted a snack, but not the one she pointed to, a different one, but not that one either.
  • My toddler has decided that everything will piss her off today and today shall be full of meltdowns.
  • It was such a nice day outside we played outside all day instead.
  • A Disney movie marathon seemed like such a better idea, and now I don’t know what day it is.
  • My motivation and energy levels are in the negative. My kids sucked them out of me at night.
  • One of the kids is sick.
  • Netflix just seemed like such a better option at the time and now the day is over.
  • My pjs and the sofa have accepted me as one of their own and I need to keep their trust, so nothing else will get accomplished today.
  • I ruined the day when I put my toddler in the clothes she picked out.
  • Today seemed like a good day to do fun things instead.
  • Crafts are so much more fun than work.

But mostly because:

  • Anxiety and depression are bitches.

So far today much hasn’t been accomplished, but there is still time.

~ Michelle

Reindeer Food

Every year we make Reindeer Food. Every year on Christmas Eve before the kids go to bed they go outside to spread out the food. They leave it all over the yard, just to make sure the Reindeer find it! They love this tradition. It is so much fun.

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Here is our recipe for (super special, super magical) Reindeer Food.

What you will need:

Bird Seed
Coloured Sugar (A whole mix of colours, or just red and green)
Little Plastic Bags

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We get a bag of bird seed and coloured sugar from Bulk Barn. That way you can decide how much of each item you need.

Next pour your sugar into the bag with the bird seed and mix together.

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Make sure you have your bags ready, we make one bag for each child. Pour in the amount you want in each bag.

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Wait for Christmas Eve and go out side and sprinkle the special treat on your lawn.

Enjoy!

~ Michelle

Adoption And The Holidays

Being a Birth Mom is never easy. It is not glamours. It never leaves you. It changes you forever. Your heart is forever missing a piece. Sometimes it is really hard. Sometimes it hits you like a brick wall. Sometimes you feel like you can’t breathe with the missing piece. Sometimes you feel like you are falling apart.

adoption

I am a Birth Mom. My son was placed for adoption right at birth. His mom was at the hospital during my labour, heck, she even stood by my side while I pushed. I ended up in an emergency c-section and she was actually able to see him first and spend time with him before I was. They were always meant to be a family. I love my son. But he was always destined to be her son. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I miss him every day. I think about him every day. I always think “what if?!” Always. All my children are always on my mind, every day, every single day. I sometimes even set a place at the table for him. Its hard.

I am so incredible thankful that he does have the family he has. As much as I miss him, as much as my heart breaks, as much as I feel like I am missing out on everything, I also feel connected. My sons mother has always included me. Sent me photos, videos, visits, phone calls, FaceTime, anything that connects us. I am forever grateful.

Last week she went above and beyond. Although I am not sure she knows just how above and beyond it was. How much it truly meant to me. How much it completely broke my heart, shattered it, and yet made me feel whole all at once. This incredible woman, whom I love so deeply, sent me videos and pictures during his school Christmas concert. It was the most beautiful thing. She didn’t have to. She could have waited till it was over. She could have just told me about it. She could have just enjoyed it for herself. But she didn’t. She included me. She shared with me.

I sat there and cried, I cried sad tears, heartbroken tears, proud mom tears, happy tears, so many different emotions. I held my daughter as we watched together. She didn’t grasp just how important all of this was, but I sure did. It was a moment I will never forget. A moment I am forever thankful for.

I wasn’t able to physically be there, I hardly ever am, but I was and always am there in spirit. This made the connection for me even stronger.

Being a Birth Mom during the holidays is extra hard. When you are surrounded by family, and someone is still missing, a part of you is missing, your mind is always wondering what that person is doing, wishing you could be with them. This little action of her sharing with me made me feel so connected and complete during such a hard time.

It really is the small things that mean the most. Small acts that have the biggest impact.

~ Michelle

 

Depression And The Holidays

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

HelloMonday

One step closer to Christmas, and yet I feel like I took 50 backwards. How is that even possible? One of life’s great mysteries, along with were they socks in the dryer go, or where toddlers who don’t sleep at night still get all their energy from.

Last week I did really well with working out. It was much fun to get back into it on a daily base. I was feeling really good. Happy. Then I went out dinner Saturday night, and then out to the movies Sunday afternoon. Hello unhealthy food. So gross. This week is about eating healthy and working out. Which I admit is a bit hard to do before the holidays. All I want to do is drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies and comfort food while wearing comfy clothes and hiding under a blanket. A warm cozy, crazy soft blanket.

With the holidays quickly approaching, depression and anxiety and go into overdrive. I am trying to get a jump on it by staying active and eating right, but like I said, I want all the cookies and junk food. I’ve also started to make a point to have some ‘me time’. Nothing major, just little stuff I can fit in during the day, facial masks, painting my nails, reading, bubble baths, journaling. Anything small that I think can help. You know what they say, its the little things that matter the most.

The holidays are always hard. Mix in everything going on, mix in being a birth mother. I sometimes have to try extra hard to get out of bed and put a smile on my face. Its not that I don’t want to, its not that I’m not happy. Its just that it is hard. Its hard to explain to some who doesn’t understand or has experienced it. I can be happy, but still be so physically and emotional drained that it is hard to show just how happy I actually am.

I have a feeling this holiday season will be the most exhausting holiday yet.

~ Michelle

How I Gave My Daughter Separation Anxiety With A Pixar Movie

I try to be a good mom. Every day I try. I try to be the best mom I can be to my beautiful children. Some days are better than others. However I never thought I could or would give my daughter separation anxiety. And most definitely I never thought it would be caused by a Pixar movie! Of all things, a Pixar movie! A movie made for children!

My beautiful girl. We have always had a close relationship, going back on 2 and half years now! But seriously, we have always had a close relationship. I joke that it is because I was on bedrest for pretty much her entire pregnancy so it was just me and her alone in a room and she never got used to anyone else’s voice. Breastfeeding for a year and half may have contributed to our close relationship as well.

The other day I thought it would be a good idea to watch Finding Nemo with my daughter, you know getting her ready for Finding Dory. My daughter right away realized something happened to the mommy in the start of the film. And kept asking for her. When Nemo went missing, she got so sad. She kept saying over and over “Nemo gone”.

And now thanks to watching what I thought would be a cute movie, my daughter freaks out when I leave the room. At night my husband can no longer put her to bed, she has to know where I am at all times. At night when she wakes up she calls for both of us just to make sure we are both there still.

My sons grew up watching Finding Nemo and it never once bothered them. I never imagined it would cause this reaction in my daughter. Can you say hello Mommy Guilt?!

Despite the happy ending in Finding Nemo, she still asks at the end of the movie if they will find the mommy. Hello Mommy Guilt! “Nemo mama gone. Gone! Nemo mama gone!”

I seriously question now why I didn’t see this coming, why I didn’t think of this before hand?! My poor daughter! This was not the reaction I thought was going to happen. I figured she would just love the little fish, just like her brothers did!

Mommy Guilt comes in many shapes and sizes, never did I expect to give my own daughter a bad case of separation anxiety! As if we don’t spend a lot of time together, I am a stay at home mom, and we co-sleep, yet I still managed to freak her out.

So now the question… Do I hide Finding Dory and Finding Nemo forever and never let her watch either one, or maybe I should let her watching Finding Dory and she will be happy as Dory finds both of her parents at the end! Maybe I can help undo the damage of Finding Nemo?!

~ Michelle

Almost Time For Our Road Trip

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

HelloMonday

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

 

 

How Many Kids Do You Have?

children

I can not even express my love hate relationship with this question.

How do you even answer this question?

This is how I answer the question:

Here is what my heart says, I have 5 children. I have one child I gave up for adoption, I have 3 children home with me and I have 1 angel baby up in heaven that left me before I got to know her.

Here is what society says, I have 4 children. My miscarriage, well no one wants to talk about that or acknowledge that. Society thinks that to be a mother you must have a ‘real live’ child. Society likes to think that my child that I miscarried some how doesn’t count. Society clearly doesn’t know what is in my heart.

4, I have 4 kids. But wait, society has something to say again about that, I gave up my oldest son for adoption. Now I am down to 3 kids, because those are the only kids living in my house.

So 3, I have 3 kids in my house that I mother every day, all day and most of the night because sleep is a rare thing here.

I have 5 children in my heart, 1 gone forever, of the other 4 children, 1 child is living in Europe with his family, but only 3 of those kids live with me and drive me crazy every day. So how many children do I have???

To answer the question, I have 5 children, but I get to mother 3.
5 Children, Mom to 3.

How many kids do you have?

~ Michelle