The Time I Turned Down A TV Show

I want to tell you about the time I got an interesting email, it was from a tv production company and they wanted me to be on their show. Um, say what?! I checked it out, it was legit, I had my husband check it out and it was still legit. So crazy. Someone had found my blog, loved my adoption story and my birth mom story and wanted me on their show. Crazy!

So when will you see me on TV? You won’t. I turned it down. I know what you are thinking… UM WHAT? CRAZY!


Yes, it was a once in a life time thing, probably, who really knows for sure! Yes it would have been an amazing experience. Yes it would have been great to be able to talk about adoption on such a large platform. But was it right for me and my family? No.

After much thought and many many conversations with my husband, who kept telling me to go, I decided it wasn’t right. As much as I would have loved it, as great as it would have been, as fun as it would have been, and scary and totally worth it, it wasn’t the right choice.

Saying yes to this would have meant time away from my family, as I would have had to go alone to the states. Is my husband capable of running the house on his own? Yes, of course he is. Would my boys been totally ok with me gone? Probably. Would my 3 year old have been ok? No. This happened right before my daughter was scheduled to have surgery a few months ago. She wasn’t in a good place her health and her sleeping.

It came down to, was it worth it the amount of stress this would cause on my then 2 year old before experiencing the added stress of surgery? Would this have been worth it for the added stress that would have caused on everyone else? No. Not right now.

I have to believe something better is coming. When one door closes, another opens. And any other cliche things you can think of.

Sometimes the hardest answer to give is the best answer. Sometimes a no is needed when you really want to say yes.

Now to look out for the next great opportunity.

~ Michelle

The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane – Book Review

I recently read The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, and I just have to share it with you.

the-tea-girl-of-hummingbird-lane-9781501166310_hr

I was drawn to the idea of this book because it is about adoption, which as an adoptee  and birth mother, adoption is a huge part of my life. I was scared of this book when I first got it, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how adoption was going to be shown in this book. I scared that this book would completely break my heart. I was scared that this book would show adoption as something horrible – which it is not, not always. This book surprised me. This book made me laugh and it made me cry, for many different reasons. This book is beautifully written.

The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane is an amazing story about family, traditions, love, family separated by culture, and great distances, adoption and the love a mother has for her child. Li-yan’s mother for her, and Li-yan for her daughter, and her daughters adoptive mother’s love for her adopted daughter. A mothers love is strong and never ending.

Lets start the with the premise of the book. The book is about a girl named Li-yan and her family. They live in the tea mountains of China. They live a quiet life in their village away from the rest of the world. They are very much about traditions, traditions set long ago. The way Lisa See describes it all, the village, the forest, the tea, you can see it all. You can taste the tea, you can smell the tea. Lisa See paints such vivid pictures of Li-yan’s life you are left feeling as if you actually knew her and visited her. The way she goes into Li-yan’s family traditions, so much detail. I was left feeling like I had actually met all these people from the book, and was sad when I finished the book. Thats how you know a book is good- when despite the ending, you are sad its done.

But it was not the talented writing that drew me to this book and kept me reading, it was the story of adoption. If that makes sense. I was so invested in finding out what happened to Li-yan and her daughter.  It was being able to connect so strongly with two very different characters. I felt so many emotions reading this book. I could relate to two special characters on so many levels throughout this book.

From a birth moms, and mothers, point of view my heart broke for Li-yan during her pregnancy and as she gave her baby away, and all the days after that. From an adoptees point of view I could relate to her daughters story. I felt the struggle of both of them. I felt the heartache of both of them. I felt the longing of both of them. I couldn’t help buy think of my own story while reading this. When Lisa See describes Li-yan watching her daughter get taken away, I couldn’t help but remember the day I walked out of the hospital and watched someone else hand off my son to his new family. When she writes about Li-yan’s daughter returning to China for the first time I remember my first time going to the city where I was born. My own adoption is considered local, so I could not relate fully to the cultural differences that Li-yan’s daughter experienced. But I still felt her struggle and feelings.

Adoption is tricky to write and talk about. Not everyone is happy about it. Not everyone likes it. Not every one agrees with it. Yes this book was one of the best books I have read about adoption. Could parts have been improved on? That depends on who is reading it and their point of view on adoption. To me, the book was beautiful. The whole book, not just the adoption aspect of it. The background story, the detail, the other characters. The writing was fluid, the writing was beautiful.

This book left me wanting more. I actually spent some time researching China, tea making, adoption in China, the tea mountains in China, the history that Lisa See talked about in her book. I started this book strictly interested in the adoption story line in it and left loving every part of this book.

I will say the ending upset me! I won’t tell you what happened, as I don’t want to spoil it. But I could have kept on reading. I wanted to keep on reading. I needed more. I’m sure the author, Lisa See, left it that way so you could paint on your picture, write your own story. But I didn’t want to, I wanted to keep reading her story.

If you read this book, which I recommend you do, please share your thoughts and feelings of it with me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book.

~ Michelle

*I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster, all thoughts are strictly my own. 

Working At Home

I work at home. I consider myself a stay at home mom first and foremost. I try to work when I can, which can sometimes be a struggle. Today I am sharing with you a glimpse into my every day crazy, my every day life.

This is what my floor looks like at any given time. This is what happens when your “Office” is in the same room as the toys. This is how I get work done with the kids around.

This is what my desk looks like on any given day, coffee for sure is always there, product for Sugarplum And Applesauce is there, and necklaces for Inspired For Five are always in the works, my day timer is always within arms reach!

Do you work from home? I would love to see what your space looks like! Share in the comments!

~ Michelle

Why Mom Should Get To Spend The Day Alone On Mother’s Day

Mothers Day is quickly approaching, and I have been seeing so many posts and articles all saying the same thing “10 Reasons Moms Should Get A Day Alone”, or something along those lines. The post then proceeds to list off all the reasons why a mom should get a day alone. I’m sure you have seen these posts, they show up every year. So being a mom, I thought I would throw my two cents in.


Let me just start by saying that I hate these type of articles. Mothers have a hard enough job as it is. We are moms, first off. We take care of our families, our house, the family schedule. We grow another human inside of us! We have to defend every choice we make. How we became mothers (Adoption, step parent), how we got pregnant, what age we got pregnant at, activity level during pregnancy, how we choose to bring our how child into the world, what we feed our babies, if we stay home with our kids, if we go to work, I could go on. The list is endless. For real.

Then once a year here comes Mother’s Day. A day that is supposed to be set aside to honour mothers, spoil mothers, let mothers know how much our families appreciate all our hard work. Then come these articles and blog posts, which are filled with nothing more than lists of multiple reasons defending and justifying yet another choice of ours – the choice to spend the day alone.

Don’t we have enough to defend without having to list off a whole bunch of reasons to justify what we want, on our special day of all days?

So I will tell you the reason, not 10 reasons, not 20 reasons, one reason, no arguments, no justifying, no defending, one reason why a mother should get to spend the day alone. Here it is: Because she damn well wants to.

No mother, scratch that, no person, should have to argue, defend, justify, be made to feel guilty, or give a list of reasons as to why they want a day alone.

The simple fact that a person asks for, needs, deserves a day alone, should be respected, and accepted without question.

Mom, if you want to spend the day alone, if that is what you want, I hope you get it! I hope you a relaxing day alone and that its all you ever dreamed of.

Now, I don’t know about you, I personally have never spent a Mother’s Day alone. But I will be honest with you, the thought of it does sound nice. Maybe I will ask for that this year.

~ Michelle

Sharing Information And Being A Mom Blogger


Its a digital world. We can try to deny it, but is there really any point anymore? How many smart phones are out there? How many apps for sharing pictures?
Its a digital world where we can share information and photos instantly, and permanently.

Permanently. I’m a grown adult and I honestly still have a hard time wrapping my head around it, about what it really means when you share something online. Especially when it is shared publicly.

As I write this and put these words out there I don’t know what will happen to them, who will read them, copy them, share them, save them, change the context and switch up my words. And I am only talking about words, I haven’t even started in on photos!

Now clearly I am on social media! I have Facebook, a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this blog of course, and the list goes on for apps and such.

I share photos almost daily. I share my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, my fears, my battles and even my heartbreak. I’m a mom and a lot of what I share involves my motherhood journey. I have 4 beautiful children, 14, 10, 9 and 3 years old who I love dearly, I am so proud of all of them and would love to shout it from the mountain tops all day every day. Here’s the catch, I do not share their photos. I don’t share photos that show their beautiful sweet faces and I try not to write about them on a personal level. This is a personal decision that each parent must make in our digital world, and this is what I decided was best for us.

But wait? What was that?! Yes I can hear you asking “But you’re a mom and a blogger?! You’re a mom blogger? How can you just not share? Go on, just ask them first, if they say yes, its all fair game.”

So let me try to explain.

I do not believe that my children at their ages can fully and completely understand would it would mean for me to share their photos and their personal stories.

Can you imagine if the internet was around like this when you were little? Can you imagine at 13, 16, or 18 years old finally getting a Facebook account, finally getting online and seeing that your whole life was written out for the world to see from someone else’s perspective. Every milestone, every ribbon you won, pictures of everything, baby photos, you naked on the toilet, the list goes on. But there is also the bad, the embarrassing photos and stories. Your most vulnerable moments, your weakest moments, all of them told from someone else’s point of view. They may have been written out of love, so your mom could relate and bond with other moms. But that doesn’t matter, because these moments are moments you didn’t want to share, not like that.
So take it all in, that all that information is out there, and then realize that it is not just you reading it. Friends, family, and strangers read everything and see all the photos. Commenting on it all, sharing it, coping and saving photos and stories about you.
People have learned things about you that you would rather they not know. People have heard things about you, they think they know you, but they don’t, because it wasn’t you telling them.

Its harder to create your own voice, show the world the real you when someone else has written and shared you from their point of view for your whole life.

My kids are their own persons. Their stories are their own and theirs alone to write and share how they see fit.

I’m walking a fine line sharing me without sharing them when they are such a huge part of me.

I wouldn’t want anyone else writing my story and so I won’t write theirs.

So for now I will keep my kids stories for them to write, and maybe one day they will write them and I can share them.

And honestly, can I just say thank goodness social media wasn’t around when I was growing up. The ups and downs I had?! I wouldn’t want that shared with the world from someone else’s point of view.

~ Michelle

25 Simple Steps To Ruin Your Childs Day

Do you know how easy it is to ruin someones day? And by someone, I mean a toddler.
With three kids I have had my fair share of ruining someones day. I have never set out to do, yet some how I always mange do it. Sometimes I believe it has something to do with the seasons, where the sun is, how the planets are lined up, or maybe its simple because toddlers are wonderful little creatures filled with so much logic.

IMG_9560

Here is how to ruin someones day in one simple step!

1. Give a child the blue bowl instead of the green bowl, which they never asked for but you should have known they wanted.
2. Give a child the blue plate instead of the other blue plate. You know the blue plate that is in the cupboard which they clearly can’t see, never asked for, but again clearly they wanted that one more.
3. Wash their hair at the start of their bath instead of at the end. Doing it out of order somehow ruins the bath and the child must get out immediately.
4. Take them out of the bath, even though all the water has drained out and they asked a minute ago to get out.
5. Cut the crust off their toast.
6. Leave the crust on their toast.
7. Give them toast.
8. Cut sandwich, or grilled cheese, into squares.
9. Cut sandwich, or grilled cheese, into triangles.
10. Give them the wrong sippy cup / cup.
11. No not that cup either. The other other one!
12. Get them dressed.
13. Help them put shoes on.
14. Take off their shoes when you get home.
15. Play with them.
16. Don’t play with them.
17. Stop them from painting or drawing on the walls. Clearly paper is not good enough for their artistic ability.
18. Brush their hair or brush their teeth.
19. Telling them you do not have the ability to control the weather. Clearly every mom should have this power.
20. When you can’t make the sun or moon move. Like when they want to see stars in the middle of the day.
21. Look at them. Or don’t. Either way depending on the day, the suns location, how the planets are lined up, not matter what you do, you are ruining their day.
22. Don’t let them play with dangerous things in the kitchen. You know because you want to keep the same amount of fingers they woke up with on their hand.
23. Forget that they need to ring the door bell EVERY time you come home. I think maybe there is a force field that can only be brought down when the door bell rings. Its magical. I’m not sure the reason, but clearly my child knows the reason.
24. Not let them bring bugs into the house. Bugs outside, people inside please.
25. Tell them they need to sleep.

Have you ever ruined your childs day? How did you do? Share below in the comments! I would love to hear how it happened!

~ Michelle

How To Survive Tantrums In Young Kids and Toddlers

Parenting can be so fun. It can be so rewarding. Life changing. It can be all puppies, unicorns and rainbows. But it can also be a major pain in the ass. It can drain you. It can make you feel like you’re going insane. Welcome to toddler tantrums! They can happen any where, for any reason and usually without warning. Name a place and one of my kids has probably had a tantrum there. Home, the store, library, church, school, disney world! Yes even when visiting the “Happiest place on earth” a child can still have a tantrum.

Tantrums can often make you feel like throwing one yourself. Or just going to bed and hiding out.

But here is what I believe. There is a reason a child is throwing the tantrum, and if they are young they may not understand their big emotions and whats going on and be able to explain it to you. Heck, I’m an adult and I can’t always explain my big emotions! No matter their age, I have always talked to my kids about emotions. Telling them their emotions are ok. They are aloud to be angry, sad, happy, glad, and such. But we talk about best way to show emotions. Screaming, crying and kicking may not always be the best way to show emotions.
But talking will only take you so far with a toddler. So when that doesn’t work, what else is there to do?

Here is what I have learned over the years.

IMG_9534

1. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep!
Seems easy enough, right?! Who am I kidding, it is anything but easy! But sleep plays a major part in someones mood and ability to handle situations. So sleep is a good thing. A toddler who has missed a nap, or had a bad night, will probably throw a few tantrums that day.

2. Food!
Who hasn’t gotten grumpy when hungry?! I know I have. Before you go on an outing, even something as simple as grocery shopping make sure your little one is not hungry and bring along snacks. Snacks are your best friend in the parenting years!

3. Distractions.
When your little one is having a hard time and throwing a tantrum distraction are key. Depending on the the size of the tantrum and where you are. Sometimes its as simple as “Did you see that bird?!” Or insert child’s favourite animal. Ask them questions about their favourite animals. Suggest walking around the store to look for pictures of their favourite animal.
I keep a small notebook a pen and stickers in my purse for distractions. Works like a charm, most of the time!
Asking them questions about an activity, or anything really. I will ask “Hey, where do unicorns live?” or “Can you tell me about swimming”.

4. Counting. 
This falls into distractions, but it can help calm both you and your child. If we are in a store I will ask my child how far they think we will get in 10 steps. Or 20 steps. I will pick them up, take big steps, little steps, try to make a game of it.

5. Craft Time.
This of course depends on where you are. This works best at home. We usually turn to painting or play dough. I try to keep a good stash of crafts and stickers for rainy days or tantrum throwing days. The dollar store is a good place to find lots of stuff!

6. Bath Time!
Again, this one works when you are home. Bath time is always a winner in this house. Even for me! I love bath time! Its relaxing and fun! Especially when its dark and you can throw in some glow sticks! Glow sticks are my secret weapon!

7. Hugs and cuddles.
Sometimes it is something so simple that helps and makes everything better! A hug and some cuddles always works. Especially when home and we can get nice and cozy and watch a movie. Or build a fort and have a cuddle and read a book!

8. Go home.
Sometimes nothing will work when out and your best option is to just go home. That is totally fine. Home is safe, home is good. Home will help you keep your sanity.

9. Cry it out.
Sometimes the best thing you can do, given the reason for the tantrum, is to let your child cry it out and work out their emotions. A good cry is needed now and then, for everyone.

10. Get outside.
Depending on the weather and time of day, nature is always your best friend. Fresh air will do wonders for everyone. Sunshine on your face, birds singing, blowing bubbles! All good things that will help everyone!

11.  Try someone else.
All of my kids have been super, super, clingy to me. But sometimes, despite my best efforts, and putting my feelings aside, sometimes my kids just need someone else. Whether its my husband, my parents, or another family member, remember its a good thing that your child loves and feels safe with other people and that they can help! The more people that love and care about your child, the better!

Hope these help!

Something that you do that isn’t on this list? I would love to hear it.

Remember your child isn’t giving you a hard time, THEY ARE HAVING A HARD TIME!
It can be hard to keep your cool and your sanity, but your child is growing and learning. Everyone has big emotions, and we all have to learn what they mean and how to deal with them.

~ Michelle

 

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

 

When Your Husband Gets The Big V, The Snip Snip.


My husband got a vasectomy. I have never been so conflicted about anything before. I have also never been so at peace with something. Life is strange like that sometimes.

After our daughter was born, even during my pregnancy, we knew this was it. Our baby would complete our family and we were done. Our family was done. When we finally held her in our arms, we knew without a doubt, we both felt it, we both knew it. She would be our last baby. We were finally done.

The truth? I know I don’t want more kids, I know in my heart that I am done, I also know that I sometimes ( a lot of times) I miss pregnancy, I miss the newborn stage. Yes the person who has had 3 high risk pregnancies, 2 pregnancies on full bed rest, scary stress filled pregnancies, misses pregnancy. I miss feeling a baby kick. I miss the little itty bitty new born baby. Do I honestly want to go through that again? Not really.

Motherhood is a strange thing. I sent my husband off to get the big V done, to get the final snip, and yet as soon as he was gone I cried. I don’t even know for sure what I was crying over. I suddenly felt an empty hole appear, a void if you will. Knowing that we will never, ever, again welcome a small itty bitty baby into our family as parents. It hurt. It still sometimes does hurt. I sometimes feel like I’m missing out. Other times, most times, I am so happy and content and most importantly – I am complete.

Whats done is done, and I am happy. I know we made the right choice for our family. I couldn’t imagine our family any other way.

But still, the hole, the void still lives and thrives at times. I’ve come to terms with it. Its voice isn’t as loud anymore. It doesn’t rip open as often anymore. I wouldn’t change anything. I am happy with the fabulous, wonderful, amazing children that I have brought into this world. I do make pretty awesome kids if I do say so myself. I know I was very blessed to be able to carry 4 beautiful babies to full term. But my time is done and over with.

Besides my daughter is 3, and still doesn’t sleep all night, I would for real go crazy with sleep deprivation if I had another baby, especially if that baby slept anything like my daughter.

Right now, I am just dreaming of more than 4 hours of sleep at a time. That would be nice. Sweet, sweet sleep.

~ 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