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

 

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2 Years, The Countdown Is On

My kids are at school, and I am sitting at the kitchen table alone with my toddler while she nicely eats her lunch. Just kidding she’s playing with her food and most if it is on the floor already.

I can’t help but wonder… Now what? How long will this last? And what happens after?

My two boys are in school, already Grade 5 and Grade 4, and my daughter is already two and half. She will be going to school in 2 years. 2 short years.

The house is already eerily quiet without my boys here. But I love it, because I get one on one time with my daughter. But I can’t help but wondering… What happens after? After she goes to school?

I have been a stay at home mom for just over 10 years now, by the time my daughter starts school it will be 12 years. 12 years I have been home with little humans around me, to care for, to play with, clean up after, snuggle with, all day every day. But when my daughter starts school, thats it. She is my last baby. What will I do?

I have two businesses now as it is, Sugarplum And Applesauce , and my newest, Inspired By Five. Well 3 if you count this blog. For the first time ever I will actually be able to work without interruptions. But it is not the work I am wondering about. It is more about how I will spend my day without little humans around me all the time? How will it be to not be needed like that ever again? Not not have my day revolve around someone else?

I love having my kids home, but I also love sending them off to school and seeing them grow and blossom into their own individual special person.

But lets face it, going 12 years with someone always home with me, to having no one home will be a big change. And yes I know it is not for another 2 years, but 2 years in motherhood passes a lot faster than 2 years any where else! I can’t help thinking about it now. Maybe it is in attempt to prepare myself for it. Or so I can cherish this time that much more? I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

At some point every mom goes through this, its natural and unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.

I know these next two years will pass by in a blur. A blur of snuggles, playing, reading, tantrums, play time, more tantrums and so much love.

I love my little humans and the time I have been given with them. It is so quick, but so jammed packed with awesomeness.

outdoor fun

~ Michelle

Back To School. Grade 5 & Grade 4.


My boys are back to school. Its hard to believe. The summer went by in a blur. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I just sent my boys off to Grade 5 and Grade 4! I still remember those grades like they were yesterday! Especially Grade 5, a lot happened that year. I was living in Kenya. I met friends that are still in my life today. I had my appendix out. Which resulted in 3 hospital visits after that including another hospital stay.   I went on a school trip to Mt. Kenya, which resulted in one of the hospital visits and being sent home early. Good times.
And now here I am, the mother of a son in Grade 5 and another son in Grade 4.

I remember thinking when I was little that the days would just drag  on and on. But now, it is as if someone has push the fast forward button on my life. I’m not sure I am ready for this. Every time I feel like I have my kids figured out, they go and grow up and change on me. Always changing, always growing.

I wonder if my parents ever felt like this? If they did they never let on. Maybe they just had better poker faces that I do, or they just handled it all a lot better than I am.

Lets be real here for a minute. Completely honest. I am a complete wreck over how fast my kids are growing up. I don’t feel like I am handling it all that well. I am an emotional wreck. I feel like I am constantly playing catch up. Always just one step behind them. Just when I think I have it all figured out, they go and grow up a bit more, not a lot, just enjoy to change every single thing!

Something else, HOW AM I OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE KIDS IN GRADE 5 AND GRADE 4?! Ok… never mind lets not go there.

Back to the important thing here… My kids. School. Such a bitter sweet thing! I am so incredible proud of them! They are such awesome little humans. They love school. They do well in school. They behave in school! But they are growing too fast. I love watching them grow and reach new milestones, but does it have to happen so damn fast?! This mama isn’t fully prepared for it.

Time to pull up my big girl panties, and handle this like the mom boss that I am!

Onward and upward.

Forever changing and forever growing.

Now… If I could get people to stop telling me when my daughter will start school and talk about how quickly that is coming, that would be awesome!

~ 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!

1

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

Talking To My Kids About Adoption

Something was brought to my attention and I felt the need to write this down. I am adopted, and I am a birth mom. There is no denying or hiding it. Its a major part of me. And really it is something I would never try to hide or deny. There is no shame in adoption, in being in any part of adoption. And there is also the  minor detail about having an adoption tattoo on my arm in plain sight that I show off proudly.

Adoption

Growing up I don’t remember any single moment that I was told I was adopted. It was a simple fact that I grew up with. When I placed my son for adoption I knew without a doubt that any future children I had would grow up knowing all about him. Fast forward 3 children later and they all know about him. My daughter is only 2, but she has spent every summer of her life with him, and sees him on FaceTime, and sees his pictures around the house. She may not understand, but she knows he’s her brother.

No, telling my children that they have an older sibling that was placed for adoption did not hurt them, or scar them in any way. No I did not tell them “too soon”. Well unless you mean I talked about their older brother even before they could talk, then sure, maybe it was “too soon” as they couldn’t talk about it and join in the conversation.

My children have grown up with the fact that they have an older brother. Being that my oldest son was placed into an open adoption. My oldest son was able to meet my 3 younger children all before they were 6 months old and been able to visit them every few years.

Adoption isn’t something to be hidden away, kept in secret, only talked about in dark corners in the middle of the night in whispers.

I am adopted. I am a birth mom. Why should my children grow up not knowing these things?

Yes, my children miss their older brother. Yes, I miss him. Yes, it hurts me to know they miss him. Yes, I have answered many, many, many questions over the years and will probably continue to do so. Yes it is hard, some days harder than others. Yes, we have all cried countless tears. Is it worth it? Yes. My children all know each other and get to grow up together and create their own special bond together. Seeing all four of my children together, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Adoption should be talked about. All the time. Adoption is not a bad thing. It is nothing to be ashamed about. Adoption is a beautiful thing. Adoption is all about love and family. Because of adoption my family has grown in numbers and love, a love that crosses the oceans.

Just as my kids grow up knowing that the sun rises and sets, they know that they have a brother who has another family and has his own life path to follow, but that he is still their brother no matter where he lives.

~ Michelle

What Netflix Has Taught Me

We made the switch a few months back. It was very exciting at first. And it still is. But having it has also taught me a few things.

1. There are way too many movies and tv shows out there.

2. The amount of time I can waste just choosing a tv show or movie is unreal. I’m talking over 30 min. Ok over an hour.

3. Having no commercials during a tv show is awesome.

4. My kids will never be able to watch regular tv again. The ability to watch whatever they want when they want is ruined them.

5. There are so many cop shows and hospital shows.

6. Deciding what to watch on Netflix has turned into the new “What do you want for dinner” argument/conversation.

7. The amount of time I can spend binge watching a show is both sad and amazing.

8. This would have saved me so much boredom while I was on bed rest, or breastfeeding 24/7.

9. I spend way more time than anyone should wondering why the States gets more shows (and sometimes better shows) than we get in Canada. Its not fair. Yet I still have a hard enough time finding something to watch.

10. Kids shows are super annoying. Watching kids tv channels is one thing, at least there are commercials and different shows. But when a child can watch one single show over and over again on demand… help me.

11. I find it both insulting and amusing when Netflix asks “are you still watching”.

Do you have Netflix? What has it taught you?

~ Michelle

ps- This is NOT a sponsored post. I just have Netflix and love it and want to share the love.

Lost In Translation. Talking To My Kids.


Sometimes things get lost in translation, like when you are traveling around the world. But mostly it happens, every single day when you are a mom.

So if you are new mom and have yet to experience things, I will give you a few examples.

What I say: Put on your shoes.
What my kids hear: Run around the house and destroy everything in your path.

What I say: It’s time to go.
What my kids hear: Do all the things you forgot to do. Also, go to the bathroom, and then start playing in the sink.

What I say: Lets paint a picture.
What my kid, especially my toddler, hear: Lets paint our entire bodies, paint the floor, bonus points for each hand print on the wall and appliances. And to finish it off with a perfect score, suddenly develop a fear of water.

What I say: Bed time!
What my kids hear: Let out a burst of energy equal to an atomic bomb.

What I say: Dinner time.
What my kids hear: Suddenly hate all food, and suddenly become starving after dinner.

What I say: Do your homework
What my kids hear: Forget how to read.

What I say: Clean up your room / put away laundry.
What my kids hear: Go to your room and play with every single item in there, and make an even bigger mess.

What I say: Five more minutes till we leave.
What my kids hear: We are never ever going to leave!

What I say: Stay still.
What my kids hear: Move around as much as possible.

What I say: Go play nicely and quietly with your brother.
What my kids hear: Go start a war and scream and fight as much as possible.

What I say: No
What my kids hear: Yes, or ask a grandparent.

What I say: Help clean up after dinner. Or help with anything around the house really.
What my kids hear: Suddenly develop a tummy ache or have to go to the bathroom.

What I say: Go have a shower or bath.
What my kids hear: Have a water fight with imaginary friends and soak the bathroom.

Do you have any experience with things getting lost in translation with your kids? I would love to hear it.

~ 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