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

Advertisements

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

 

My Toddler Still Does Not Sleep All Night, Or On Her Own.

img_5031

Someone once asked me how it was going with my daughter. They were referring to her sleeping habits. I said it was the same: she never sleeps all night, I co-sleep with her still, and I have to lay down with her at night to get her to sleep. Their response “well you ruined her. You did this to yourself. She’s spoiled now.” And they turned and walked away.

I will never understand their response. How have I ruined my daughter? How is she spoiled because she knows she is loved and safe and I will be there no matter when she needs me?

Here’s the thing: my daughters sleep habits suck. They really suck. They have since the day she was born. And yes I am serious, right form day one.  I have talked about my daughters sleep issues multiple times. And at this rate I will continue to.

I am a mother, 24/7 I am a mother. If my child needs me in the middle of the night, I will be there. If I need to lay down with my child for 20 minutes, 30 mixtures or over an hour until she falls asleep I will. Because it is what she needs, and honestly, its the least I can do. Is taking an hour out of my day to lay in a bed with my toddler really such a horrible thing?

I have not ruined my daughter. I have not spoiled my daughter. I have loved my daughter and been there for her when she needs me. Her needs just tend to be a little bit different from other kids needs. My daughters issue is sleep. I don’t know why, all I know is that she needs me during that time and I will be there.

Kids grow up way too fast. My two little itty bitty boys are about to be 11 and 10 years old. I don’t know how this happened. My daughter is about to turn 3. Again, this seems impossible. She won’t need me forever, not like this, so while she does need me like this, I will be there. Just like my boys needs have changed since they were babies, my daughters needs will change as well.

Sleep is hit or miss now. Sleep is strange. Sleep is a crowded bed with too many people shoved in together. Sleep sometimes causes me to wake up with random bruises and scratches. Sleep is also a magical thing when I get to cuddle my daughter, feel her fall asleep in my arms, watch her sleep – she always looks so peaceful. When I go into my daughters room in the middle of the night and hold her in my arms and can instantly feel her little body relax and calm, it makes it all worth it.

My kids needs will change as they grow. I used to have to sleep with my son as he suffered through a few weeks of night terrors, now I’m lucky if I can get a hug out of him in public when he’s near his friends. Oh, and he now sleeps perfectly fine on his own.
My daughter? She will soon grow out of this, she already has started and will continue to learn how to calm herself and sleep on her own. Until she can do it fully on her own, I will be there for her.

I will be there for my kids in any way I can when they need me. I’m a mother, its part of my job.

~ Michelle

When Your Toddler Needs Surgery. Before, During, and After.

Finding out your child needs surgery can be hard. Super hard. Especially when your child is a toddler and doesn’t understand what is going on or why she will be in pain. I am no expert in child surgery. I am just a mom that recently went through this and wanted to share my story. In part of trying to prepare myself I tried to look up blog posts online from other parents that went through something similar, and couldn’t find much. So incase someone else travels down this path, I wanted to share.


Before:

Before surgery prepare yourself and your child. Have all your questions written down and make an appointment with your doctor just to ask questions if you need to. Talk with your child about it. The talking is as much for your as it is for them. Talk about having to go to the hospital, staying some place new for a few days. Keep it simple depending on your child’s age.
Depending on your child’s age show them the hospital before hand if you think that will help.
Make a list ( I love lists) of everything you will need, especially if you will be spending the night (or 2, or more).
Pack the night before. Have clothes laid out the night before, especially if your child’s surgery is first thing in the morning.
Buy your favourite snacks and/or candy. Pick up some new books or magazines. Depending on what surgery your child will have see if you can bring some of their favourite snacks for after surgery. Have their favourite foods at home waiting, or special foods like ice cream.
Do a deep clean of the house, depending on recovery you will not have much time for anything else other than your child after surgery.
Have some meals prepped and in the freezer for after.
Decide ahead of time if and when you will have visitors. We personally decided against visitors because it would upset our daughter when they had to leave and the crying and freaking out would hurt her throat even more.

During:

There isn’t much to do while your child is in surgery besides sit there and go crazy. Depending on your hospitals layout chances are the operating room may be on a different floor than where you may be staying, either way you will not want to carry a lot of stuff around with you. So pack your purse or bag wisely.
Speaking of your bag/purse, pack distractions for yourself in there. Pack some candy or snacks, magazines, books, new apps / games on your phone. Pack some of your favourite items, lip gloss, chapstick, jewelry. I have a piece of Sea Glass on a Necklace that I tend to play with and rub when stressed and worrying.
While your child is in surgery make sure you go to the bathroom! Seriously. Once your child comes out they will only want you. My daughter didn’t let go of me for hours, she slept, she cried, and she held on tight. I couldn’t get up for hours, and I never thought to use the bathroom before she finished surgery.

After:

Breathe. Deep, slow, breaths. Focus. Chances your child will be a little out of sorts, your child will be in pain, your child will be confused, and your heart will just break.
Prepare for cuddles. Lots of cuddles.
And don’t forget to breathe.

~ Michelle

When Your Toddler Needs Surgery

A few months back I found out that my toddler needed surgery. I knew it was coming. I knew what to expect when I walked into the doctors office that morning. What I wasn’t expecting was how crushed I was going to feel. How completely gutted. How completely helpless, how completely out of control, how much of a failure I would feel like. Anxiety and depression can make you think and feel crazy things like something like this is actually in your control, when in fact it is not. My daughter’s tonsils and adenoids were so large that they were almost blocking her airway completely. She also needed tubes put in both ears. Nothing I could have done would ever change this. This was out of my control. The only thing I could control was allowing her this surgery to correct the problem.

img_8879

My big boy had to have tubes put in when he was 4 years old. So I knew what to expect with regards to that. But the tonsils and adenoids, I had no idea. It was so scary not knowing. The not knowing of what would happen during surgery scared me, the not knowing what to expect during recovery scared me even more. I was told my daughter could spend any where from 1 day to a whole week in hospital. She ended up staying 4 days. 4 very long, extremely stressful days. Something I hope to never have to repeat. Ever.

When you find out that your child is having surgery it can be such a scary time no matter how big or minor it is. When the doctor asks, “Do you have any questions?”, chances are you will have a million, just not right at that moment. Make sure you write down all of your questions for your next appointment. Even have a dedicated notebook just for your questions so you have them all in one place.
I honestly can not tell you how many times I called my doctors office to ask them questions. Just like in school when they say, “There are no stupid questions.” that comes into play here, don’t be afraid to ask anything. It helped ease my anxiety knowing that I could ask anything and I would always get an answer. Just make sure to write them all down.

When your toddler needs surgery the internet can be your best friend and worst enemy. While I suggest knowing about any surgery your child will need, I do suggest having your husband, check websites with you, or before you. I made the mistake of looking up my daughters surgery and ended up on every bad news, horrible story, worst case ever, story, nothing really of real information all a sort of dooms day. If you have severe anxiety like me, have someone with you when you turn to the internet.

At the end of the day, nothing can really prepare you for your child, let alone toddler who doesn’t fully understand whats going on, to have surgery. Trust in yourself, your partner, your doctor, and if you believe in God or higher power.

~ 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

When Your Toddler Stops Napping.

img_5031

My toddler stopped napping. My sweet, sweet toddler hasn’t had a nap in a month! A month! I didn’t expect this to happen so soon! No naps?! This is all new territory for me! My boys didn’t stop napping till they were 3 and half! My daughter is only 2 and half! I should have gotten another year of naps! A whole year gone! Just like that. No warning. Just gone. All gone.

My days are completely different now. I have no time to work alone now. Trying to balance work with a toddler that doesn’t nap is proving to be difficult right now. I feel like I should probably be better at this by now, she is my 3rd child after all. But I feel like I’m barely able to keep my head above water when it comes to this balancing act.

You would think that without napping that she would sleep better at night, right? NO! She doesn’t! My daughter hates sleep! Keep in mind this is the same toddler that when in the car for 26 hours driving to Florida only slept from 12-2am and then from 5-7am and didn’t sleep again till that night when we got to our location at 10pm and was happy the whole time!

My daughter got the no sleep DNA or she’s not human,  or something I’m not exactly sure! My daughter hates sleep. And I love sleep. I miss nap time. She doesn’t. Not even a little bit. I miss it for so many reason, mostly for the random times that I got to sleep too. Sleep is beautiful. Sleep is wonderful. Why does she hate it?

Why can’t my daughter nap again? I am clearly in denial here about this. It was the only time of day that I had time to myself to think, shower alone, read, work, just be alone, without it being like 11pm at night. And now… that is gone. All gone.

I may be in total denial about it, but here is the thing, my daughter doesn’t nap anymore, and we get even more time together and it is beautiful.

My day are completely different now. My work, my plans, are all on the back burner right now. It makes me sad, but I am also so completely over the moon thrilled and happy that I get this extra time with my daughter. She is growing up so fast, before I know it she will be in school. This extra time with her is such a gift. She has really thrived in the last few weeks without taking her naps. Our relationship has changed. She has really blossomed into this new sweet little person.

I am sure at some point I will find balance with her being awake all day and my work. But right now I am just enjoying all the extra play time we have together.

The days go by too fast. Tomorrow isn’t promised. I am so thankful for this time with my daughter, even if some days I could really use a nap and wish she would too!

~ Michelle