Planning A Family Trip

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

HelloMonday

This weekend I had lots of plans. Then germs hit the house. You have got to love back to school! So pretty much nothing got done this weekend, unless you count cuddles and naps! Then yes, lots got done.

So now here is Monday morning, I feel it mocking me and daring me to try to accomplish everything I want to do. And all with very little sleep and no coffee! Which basically means I am writing a lot of lists and notes down so I don’t forget anything! Because truth be told, I don’t have a lot of time to sit around being sick, I have so much to do! See in less than a months time we are taking a family trip! Not just any family trip! We are taking a week long trip to FLORIDA! And we are driving! Driving! Driving with my toddler who, to put it nicely, HATES the car! And we only have a week to get there, and back! So it should be very, VERY, interesting!

So I need to start planning what I need to pack, and buy for the trip, and it true me fashion, what I can make for the trip!

This will be the longest car ride for my toddler, and the longest time away from home. So I want it to go as smoothly as possible. Because no one likes a cranky, tired toddler that can scream like a angry screaming banshee on fire.

This isn’t the first time we have made this trip, but it is the first time with my toddler, so it feels like the first time and I am so scared and nervous and I have no idea what to expect. See the last time we did this trip, I only had my two boys, and they were 6 and 5 years old. They could sit in the car the whole time we were able to drive straight down over 24 hours with no meltdowns or issues. Also we had my parents. The adults outnumbered the kids, and it was wonderful!

This trip, it will just be my husband, me and our three kids! The kids outnumber us, and that is kinda scary! Not that they don’t outnumber me on a daily basis, but this is going into unknown territory.

So far I have snacks planned. Lots of snacks. Because growing boys love food, and my toddler loves food. As for anything else? I still working on that! Snacks, food, bathing suits, more snacks!

And did I mention we are leaving in less than a month?! The days of last minute packing and planning and so far behind me, I don’t even remember them! Everything now is plan, plan, plan!

It may seem a bit much, but if I don’t plan like crazy and have a million lists my anxiety will go crazy. Think of it as feeding the beast so it shuts up. Ok, maybe not shuts up, but at least calms it down just a little bit!

Back to planning and writing! And just when I thought our trip to Niagara Falls with all three kids for 2 nights was a big deal…

~ Michelle

 

Backyard Painting With A Shower Curtain

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and I saw that Todays Parent Magazine shared this story about a moms amazing backyard for her kids. I fell completely in love with her yard! It is amazing! I want to play in it. It also got me thinking. I don’t have a forest in my backyard, but I do have a backyard for my kids, and I have been thinking of what to do about painting with my toddler. My toddler LOVES to paint. But paper outside just doesn’t seem to do it, and we would paint right on the fence, but she didn’t like to finger paint on that. So this is where this article gave me the solution.

Hang up a clear shower curtain in the backyard! Its perfect! The rain can wash it clean, or you can. And the possibilities for my little artist are endless!

We didn’t have two trees close enough to tie it to like the mom in the article. So this is what we did, and you can to! All you need is a shower curtain, string, and a fence!

First stop, the dollar store!

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Next go outside, get some string, and string it through the loops. Next tie up the ends to the fence! Poke holes in the bottom so you can tie down the bottom corners as well!

Next step, get paint and have fun!

Even the big kids got into it! Everyone LOVED IT!

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This has quickly become the favourite spot in the backyard!

We put this up yesterday and already this morning my toddler was asking for this as soon as she finished breakfast!

I have a feeling we will be going through a lot more paint now!

~ Michelle

One Step At A Time

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

HelloMonday

Oh, what will this week hold? What do I hope to accomplish this week?

I am starting this week out completely and utterly overwhelmed, filled with anxiety, stress, and I’m already tired. I want to think positive, I want to believe that this week will turn out completely wonderful. But honestly, thinking that positive just seems like a lot of work right now. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. One step at a time. One step at a time.

So this week I decided to start writing out weekly goals again. I hope it will help me to focus, and relax, so I can accomplish everything I need to, and mostly so I don’t end up crying on the kitchen floor. (Why is it always the kitchen floor?!)

So my goals for this week:

Home:

1. Get on top of laundry. Laundry is seriously evil.
2. Nightly clean up. Some days, especially lately I am just too tired at night, but I always regret it in the morning.
3. Home cooked meals. Having home cooked meals every night helps everyone moods and not to mention everyones tummy!

Family:

4. Have more non-tv family nights. Movie nights are fun, but card game nights… those are hilarious.
5. Go for more walks. I miss walks. We haven’t go on many walking adventures this summer. And that make me sad. I like going on walks with my kids.

Personal:

6. Remember that I am only one person and there is only so much I can do in a single day.
7. Starting working out regularly. My workouts have been so random, most days I don’t have time, but I need to start making the time!

Work:

8. Focus on one thing at time. I have a million ideas, but I can’t do them all at the exact same time!
9. Clean up and organize my work space.
10. Step out of my comfort zone.

What do you hope to accomplish today? This week?

I really hope this week is a good week. I really hope my anxiety monster stays at bay. This week is going to take a lot of effort. I hope my toddler lets me sleep this week! If she doesn’t that possibility of me crying on the kitchen floor will most likely happen.

~ Michelle

Why I Do Not Eat Oreos Anymore

I count my lucky stars every day that I have never had to call 911 for one of my children. However there was one time that I should have and didn’t. And I thank God every day that nothing worse happened and that everything worked out.

My parents had taken my boys on a trip last month. That meant it was girl time for my daughter and I. One on one time with her is rare during the summer. So I looked forward to it.

We had a blast. She asked to have her nails painted about a million times. We watched movies, and had snacks. I attempted to do her hair, which she hated, but I loved. We played with dolls, trucks, built towers. Ok, I built towers, she knocked them down. It was a wonderful time.

It was wonderful, until we were sitting on the sofa together watching TV and eating Oreos that everything went wrong. She was sitting right next to me. She was right next to me. Our legs were touching. We were just watching TV. Thats when my daughter started to hit me. I looked at her. Pure horror on her face. She looked like she was screaming but no noise was coming out. Tears were streaming down her face. She was trying to get into my arms. She just wanted to snuggle into my chest. She was chocking on her cookies. My heart stopped. My first thought was “IF I call 911 they won’t be here in time. I have to do this myself.”

This was the first time I have experienced this. My instincts took over. I flipped my daughter over. She was fighting me so much. Tears still coming down her face. Her lips starting to turn colour. Her face was wrong. All wrong. I tried to flip her over and she was just clawing at me. She just wanted to be in my arms, where she knows she is safe. Pure horror on her face. She was fighting me. Clawing at me. Her eyes pleading with me. She just wanted me to hold her. I finally got her flipped over long enough that I was able to put my fingers in her mouth to see if I could get out what was blocking her air way. THANK GOD I did. I was able to get the mashed up cookie out. A sound I never thought I would be so happy to hear happened. My daughter screamed. It felt like forever. Hours could have passed, it felt like so long. But she screamed. She could finally make a noise. She screamed. My heart started beating again and I could breathe again too. My daughter still wasn’t breathing right though. I got her to throw up. She threw up 3 times, all over me, my floor, everything within reach was covered in black Oreo puke. I didn’t care. I didn’t care that my arms and chest had scratch marks from my daughter. All I cared about was my daughter. And she was breathing again, normally. She found her way back to my arms and chest. Her head finally resting on my chest with my arms wrapped around her. Tears still streaming down both of our faces. Puke dripped down my legs.

I have no idea how long we sat like that, and I didn’t care.

My daughter was breathing again. I was breathing again. My daughters lips went back to their beautiful pink colour. The horror from her eyes was gone.

I have never cried so hard in my life and I still cry when I think of what happened. That look of horror on my daughters face, her silent screaming, her lips changing colour, the way she clawed to be in my arms. I will never forget any of it. The look on her face is forever burned into my mind. It still haunts me at night. It haunts me at every meal time. It haunts me all the time.

I am still haunted by the “what if” of it all. I can’t being to fathom how close I was to my world changing.

Looking back I should have called 911. What if I couldn’t reach the blockage? What if I couldn’t get her to throw up after? What if it took too long to clear her air way? All of these were a possibility. A very real possibility. And if I had waited to see it for sure would have been too late. Thank God it wasn’t. Thank God my sweet precious girl is still here. Thank God He was watching out for us that day.

My daughter has eaten Oreos hundreds of times before this. But she hasn’t touched them since. I haven’t let her. I can’t even look at a package of Oreos at the store without my breathe catching, my heart skips a beat and I have to fight back tears.

My daughter is ok. My daughter is perfectly fine. But the horror that was on her face. The feel of her mouth around my fingers. The feeling of her clawing at my arms and chest. The colour of her lips. I will never forget these things.

Should I have called 911? Well thats easy to debate since my daughter is ok now. But in that moment. Looking back I believe I should have. IF… IF… IF something had gone wrong, if it had gone any differently, I would have never forgiven myself.

I had my daughters life in my hands, and I had no clue what I was doing, but thankfully, it all worked out.

outdoor fun

~ Michelle

What should have been my due date 3 years ago…


A 3 year old.

I should have a 3 year old. But I don’t. I should be starting to think about kindergarten. But I’m not. I should have a small child out of the diaper stage and probably the nap stage. But  I don’t. My baby who I believed was a girl, I named her Lily, never got a chance to grow.

She was only with me for a short time, not even 8 weeks, but it was long enough to change me forever. I fell in love. My heart changed. My should changed. I changed. And then I lost my baby. And I broke. Broke so badly that I can never be put back together. It broke me to the point that it changed me. I will never be the same.

I blamed myself for the longest time. I still do sometimes. I know it wasn’t my fault. But I had to blame something, someone. I needed a reason, and explanation of the unknown. It is getting better some days, some days I don’t fully blame myself. Some days a small part of me believes I had no control over it. But some days, especially around this time of year, my due date… I can’t help but wonder, blame, cry, but mostly I just hurt. And I break all over again.

I hurt so much. I miss the baby I never got hold. My arms still ache to hold her. My heart is still broken, and shatters more and more. I didn’t even think it was possible, I never knew it was possible, until I lost my baby.

I can’t help but wondering what my baby would have been like, who she would have looked like, who she would grow into. Its the little things that get me, what music would she like, movies, cartoons, animals, foods. Would she sleep on her side with her hands under her face, or would she starfish. I’m always wondering.

But now I have my rainbow baby. I am so grateful that I was granted the chance to carry another baby and become a mommy to another beautiful baby. It was something I didn’t know if I would be strong enough to do again, the what if’s clouded my mind. But I did it, and I have her. I love her to the moon and back.

But I can’t help but wonder sometimes. Wonder what life would have been like. What it would be like to not live with this pain every day. Wonder what it would be like to know the baby I lost. But it always comes back to the same thing, IF I hadn’t lost that baby, I wouldn’t have my daughter I have now. I can’t imagine life without my rainbow baby. But still… I wonder.

But you can’t live life wondering. You can’t live in the past. You just have to live with what it is and keep on going. Some things you can never change or escape, sometimes despite what you wish, no matter how hard you wish, you have to learn to live with it.

I love my baby I never held, and I love my baby I have now, a baby I would never had had the chance to hold if I didn’t lose my baby. It is the most ultimate bitter sweet situation ever. Words can not even describe it, and unless you have lived it, it can be so hard to understand.

Every day I live with pain and joy. My heart is full, but still a piece is missing. My family is complete with my children, but still always missing someone. My heart aches from pain and swells with love. All the time. Every single day.

I would have had a beautiful 3 year old, but instead I have a beautiful 2 year old.

My baby may never have stepped foot on this earth, but she was still my baby, she was real, she was still every bit loved just as my other children, and she will forever be in my heart.

~Michelle

 

Big Girl Bed


My itty bitty baby grew up over night and is a big girl now.

I’m not sure when or how it happened exactly, but this past weekend it was time to get rid of my daughters crib and give her a big girl bed.

I cried. I cried going to the store. I cried picking out the bed. I cried setting up the bed. I cried when I put her to bed in it for the first time. I cried, a lot.

Maybe it’s because she is my last baby? Maybe it is because I am a giant emotional mess?

Whatever the reason I’m not sure I am ready for this next step. It just came up way too fast for me. I want to enjoy the baby cuddles more. Enjoy her littleness more. Every day she grows up more and more, more independent, more into her own person. And don’t get me wrong, it is completely and utterly amazing. I love watching her grow, watching her learn, watching her become her own person. But does it have to happen so fast?

In the blink of an eye my baby has grown.

It is such a bitter sweet moment of motherhood. I love watching my kids grow. I just wish it didn’t happen so fast!

She’s my last baby. And she seems to be growing up a lot faster than my boys did. She’s 2 going on 13. She loves getting her nails painted, she asks to have her hair done, and she insists on picking out her own outfits, and now this, a real bed. It is all happening so fast. The only hope I am holding onto right now is that this will help her some how, magically, sleep all night on her own. Who am I kidding? It will just make co-sleeping a lot easier!

What amazes me most of all of this, is how sad this makes me and how incredible proud it makes me all at the same time. Motherhood is such a rollercoaster with so many mixed emotions, usually all at the same time. Sometimes it is hard to know where way I’m facing when I get all mixed up with all these conflicting emotions.

Before I know it my baby will be starting school! Ok… Forget that, I can’t think about that now!

~ Michelle

 

Getting My Toddler To Sleep All Night


My daughter doesn’t sleep. No seriously. From the day she was born she awake for hours at a time. All the doctors and nurses were shocked at how awake and alert she was all the time in the hospital. At two months old she would happily go all day without a nap. By 8 months she was down to one nap a day if I was lucky. And these are her day time sleeping habits, if you can call it that.

Her night sleeping? Well that is a laugh. She was breastfeed exclusively as a baby, so she awoke a lot at night for feedings. However close to a year old she stopped feeding at night but was still waking up. It was not a rare thing for me to be up 3 times a night with her. Sometimes on really lucky nights she would be awake for 1-2 hours. Just awake. Not crying, not wanting to play with a sudden burst of energy, just awake. On those nights we cuddle and I sing lullabies to her. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world.

My daughter is now 2 years old and I could probably count on one hand how many nights my daughter has slept all night, on her own with no co-sleeping.

Here is the thing, no I will not “sleep train” my daughter. No I will not leave her to cry it out. And no, she is not my first child. And yes, I will complain about how tired I am.

I have 2 older boys. My boys are 13 months apart. Sleep was a must for everyone in the house when they were babies. Both of my boys were sleeping 12 hours at two months old. Both my boys had two naps a day until they were a year old. Both my boys were on the same schedule when my youngest was 6 months old, it included 12 hours at night, and a 3-4 hour nap. Every. Single. Day. My boys loved sleep. I totally nailed the bedtime routine with them.

I know all about a schedule, calming a baby before bed, routine and baby massages. I did it with my boys and perfected it with them. I have read countless books, spoken to countless doctors and parents. Spent way too many hours on google reading articles.

My daughter? I tried the same thing I did with the boys, it didn’t help. I switched things up, it didn’t help. I talked to my doctor. I read more books. I talked to more parents. My daughter just doesn’t seem to need as to sleep as much as her brothers did. She is just as healthy, and happy as they were at her age. She is at the top chart for everything.

However sleeping training or letting my child cry it out was never an option. Why? Because they would not work on her, and I personally would never leave my child to cry in her room at night. I made the personally decision when I first became a mother many moons ago to never do that.

If my child needs me, I will be there even if its 3 am.

I have come to the conclusion that my daughter is an odd one, she is perfectly happy to not sleep. My daughter also loves cuddles. My daughter also sometimes needs to co-sleep with her mama. It happens. Why should I deny my daughter that? My parenting role does not end at bed time and restart in the morning. I am a mother 24/7.

Will my daughter grow out of this? Yes. Will she sleep all night on her own? Eventually. Will I complain about my lack of sleep? Yes. Am I willing to let my daughter cry in her room alone at night? No. Its a personal choice, and it is my choice.

If any of my children wake up for any reason in the night I am there for them. If any of my children need extra cuddles and to co-sleep I will. It is my choice.

Co-sleeping when we need it works for us. It works for our family. It works for my daughter and me. It works for my sanity, sorta.

Slowly but surely she is sleeping more and more on her own. But when she needs me, I will be there.

I fully believe she will figure this out on her own when she is ready. Her sleep has already improved so much with us taking it at her pace, and that is what I plan to continue going.

Until she fully figures this sleep thing on, pass the coffee. Lots of coffee. And possibly some chocolate too!

~ Michelle

The Day My Daughter Stopped And Our Relationship Changed

I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was a few weeks ago.
It was a Monday.
I went to put my sweet baby girl to bed. I got us all nice and cozy like I have every other single night since the day she was born. We have a spot, only the two of us can sit there. But something was different. Instead of our nightly ritual of me breastfeeding my daughter, she got up and went to get a book instead. Just like that!

I have been trying to get my daughter to take a bottle since before she was a year old, she always refused. I’ve talked about stopping breastfeeding for months. More often than not I ending up crying from the pain, infection after infection, having a teething baby biting me. It was painful, very painful. But just like that for her to stop! I wasn’t ready! How dare she! With no warning!

I wish I had known that earlier that day at nap time would have been our last time. I would have stayed a bit longer in our spot. I would have memorized her face for the millionth time. I would have savoured the moment, burning forever into my memory.

I was ready for the pain to end, but I wasn’t prepared for her to stop just like that. I cried that night after I laid her sweet sleeping body into bed and put her favourite blanket on her. I cried tears of sadness that just like she didn’t want me or need me. I cried tears of relief that the pain was over. I cried that my baby girl, my last baby was growing up. I cried at how independent she was becoming. I cried at how proud I was of her. I cried at how much in that moment this painful breastfeeding journey truly meant to me.

We no longer sit in our spot. She won’t cuddle with me there anymore. Instead we sit in her rocking chair, and we read books together at nap time and bed time. She still cuddles me, she still lays her sweet little head on my chest to sleep, but its different now. The bonding is different now. She isn’t with me because I’m the only that can provide for her, she is with me because she wants to be, because she loves me.

She has changed so much. She went from my little baby girl who needed and wanted to breastfeed ALL the time around the clock, and when she wasn’t breastfeeding she was sucking on her thumb, and in one afternoon changed into a big girl who doesn’t need mommy in that way and hasn’t sucked her thumb once since that day.

I love putting her to bed at night, maybe even more so now. I love watching her excitement and she helps me book out a book or two at bed time. I love as she eagerly climbs into my nap. I love how she snuggles into me and falls asleep in my arms with her sweet head on my chest. She isn’t there because I provide her with food, she is there because I provide her with comfort, love, a safe place, and a cozy place to sleep.

I never would have imagined I would breastfeed my daughter past 2 months. When I got to 6 months and she started teething I thought that was the end. When we celebrated her first birthday I thought that was it for sure. When we made it past a year I was amazed.

This breastfeeding journey has not been easy or glamorous. It has been hard, tiring, painful, and oh so tiring. It is amazing the physical and emotional toll it took on me. Many nights I silently cried as my sweet girl feed. And now its over. Just like that. In a single afternoon my daughter decided on her own that she was done, that she didn’t need me in that way anymore. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need me in so many other ways. Just not this way anymore.

It was a bitter sweet ending for me, but I am glad it was my daughter that ended it and not me. I’m glad she was able to do this on her own. I love my sweet independent baby girl.

I wouldn’t have traded this journey for anything, pain and all, it was worth it, it was all worth it for my baby.

On the bright side I can now send my husband in there when she wakes up in the night!

breastfeeding1

Breastfeeding. Image found on Google.

~ Michelle

Summer Outfits

I shared this picture on my Instagram yesterday and I had to share it here again. I LOVE this outfit. So simple, so sweet, and just overall happy! I love the yellow and the flowers! They make me happy. Its the perfect summer outfit!

Summer outfit

Do you have a favourite summer outfit? An outfit that just screams summer and makes you happy? 

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Link up below!

~ Michelle

Lets Keep The Wonder Alive

This. This picture. I love it.


To you this may just be a picture of a little girl standing in some grass. To me it is so much more. This picture is of my daughter, and when I look at this I see her beautiful spirit, her curiosity, her adventurous nature, I see her exploring the world around her, I also see her trying to talk to a bird that was in the grass, and the pure joy she got from seeing that bird and hearing it sing. There are no words to express the joy on her face, and the happiness I felt seeing her experience this.

To often in this life I am consumed by stress and worry. I will often forget to stop and enjoy the little things or even to stop and look for the little things. This picture reminds me to slow down. To enjoy the world around us, to look for the good in it. It reminds me to find the joy in everything around us, even the simple things – like a bird singing.

I love watching the world through my children’s eyes. I wish I could see it myself, experience it the way they do with pure joy and innocence. It is sad that as adults we tend to lose this ability. It is a good thing I have my children with me to remind me of this daily.

I hope and pray my children can hold on to their adventurous and innocent spirit for the rest of their lives.

How often do you stop and smell the roses?

~ Michelle