My First Weekly Update: Circumcision

I am starting this weekly update mostly for myself, but also to share the craziness and humour that fills my life! Not for any tips or tricks, just me telling a story!

Now before we get started I know a lot of people are opting out of circumcision these days and honestly I was going to too! However my son ended up in the hospital with a UTI at 3 months old and was in the hospital for 10 days on antibiotics. It was a very troubling time for everyone! I was there so long my girls thought I had moved out into the sick house! So when we got out of the hospital, the first thing I wanted to do to help prevent that in the future was this! Now was it the fact that he was not cut that caused the UTI. Most likely not at such a young age. However apparently he is prone to them so I do not want to give him any extra chance of getting another in the future!

Now with that out of the way here is how this week went.

I took my the kids to the tulip festival in Abbotsford this week! The whole 10 minutes we were there were beautiful!

First of course, I dress the kids all in cute outfits that won’t clash in pictures, hair actually done and I actually cleaned up a bit myself! I decided to wear white converse and a white knit sweater and the kids wore their uggs. (walmart brand) There started the bad choices!  So it rained for the month before we got there and well it was a tulip swamp. At one point my feet were completely immersed in the mud and I am still working on cleaning my poor shoes!!!!  So we are surviving the trip, except for the fact that my camera died because I didn’t bother to check the battery! However I got a really cute picture. Then my little clumsy Zoey slips flat out on her butt IN a mud puddle! That ended it right there! Then I had to make the 10 minute walk back to the car with a cranky Zoey because she was dripping in mud and a cranky Emily because she was having fun! All while carrying Maxwell because I forgot my wrap! So my arm feels like it is going to fall off! Then because I did not schedule enough into this day I got to go to work!

I was a hairdresser before mom, and I still try to keep up to date with it. So for the first time in 4 months I got to get my hands on some hair. Of course it was my best friend and we decided to try something new. Well didn’t turn out! Serves me right! We have made it better!

I brought my little Maxwell with me, thinking he would sit with her, I brought bottles he usually loves any cuddles he can get! I have done it with all of my kids!  Well that is not the way it went. He cried. Cried a lot! At one point I was applying colour and holding him! The things you eventually are able to do when holding a baby are incredible! Then after all that disappointment I had to go get groceries! Why are we always at a grocery store!!??

I get home and my husband tells me that while I was out Emily asked where Maxwell and I where. When he told her she simply said, “oh Maxwell doesn’t like working.” Little miss 3 year old mother knew better than me!

The week continued. I enjoyed a beautiful day with my best friend and mom going for lunch at the cutest little tea house and candy shop! Followed by a run in the field  to wear off the sugar, which turned out to be another mud swamp! This time I was smart and took off the shoes!! Followed by more doctors appointments, cleaning, and my newest project, the office/guest room.

Then the main event. A simple Thursday morning circumcision.

It was all pretty bad! I mean the day started with us having to get up at 4:30 to drive out to the office about an hour away! It was actually a day full of laughter though. This was the most almost “alone” time we have had in months! Who says parents have no fun! haha

Maxwell did so good! Hardly cried! The worst of it was my husband watching the whole thing!!! I tried telling him! I have seen him get two catheters, 10 IV’s, uncountable amount of blood taken. All you do is stare into his big eyes and comfort him! He didn’t listen!

We are getting the after care speech and I look at my husband, he is as white as a brand new sheet! He tells me he was just too curious! Come on they are cutting your sons penis! As a man you DO NOT WATCH THAT! I was more concerned about him fainting or throwing up in that moment than my poor son!

All is well he didn’t sleep for a few days after! But he was mostly his normal happy self! My biggest tip! Listen to EVERY instruction! They know what they are talking about! Double diaper for padding and Vaseline on the penis and the diaper! and change it less than usual! All went well!

Friday though I had to drive again super early for his check up. The drive there is an hour one way and the check up was maximum one minute long in their filing room! Couldn’t I have just sent a picture! Facetime? Skype? All well I banked two hours of alone time as I drove! Then it was into a normal weekend. Dinner with friends and family. A brunch baby shower with my girls and caesars. Parks, cleaning and into a new week we go!

 

xoxo Chan and clan

 

 

 

Why or what was I sad about?

When I found out Maxwell had down syndrome I was sad! I always felt as if you can’t or shouldn’t say that! Honestly it did not change how I feel about him or the joy I felt to finally have a son because I have always longed for a little boy!

But what is harder than admitting I am sad? Figuring out WHY I was sad!

It was not until I heard the experience of a mom who has a son with cerebral palsy. She said she felt that she grieved the son she had envisioned having! I finally felt relief! I could finally explain my sadness! I finally knew for sure that it was not that I was disappointed in who he was, it was just simply that I had to dream of a new life with him. It may be tough and sudden and unexpected. It will take me time, something I do not feel is on my side right now! And every time he misses a milestone I will need to take time again to grieve. Actually my husband and I will have to take time to grieve. And we will! But we know still how fortunate we are! We know that he is so fortunate to be as healthy as he is! There were so many possibilities of more health problems and right now, he doesn’t have any of them!

For years I envisioned a blonde hair blue eyed little boy. He was a little tank! He would have his dad’s memory and smarts! I would fear the day he realized he was smarter than me! He would love all things cars, machines and sports – but only because of his uncles, sports was not his dads big thing! However every year he would go hunting with his dad. He would be sensitive and loving and spiritual. Yet brave and strong, too brave! Everyday I would fear him getting hurt! He would love speed just like his dad and as much as his dad understood, there would be fights about speeding tickets! He looked great in a suit but most of the time wore jeans and a tee shirt and was covered in dirt or oil! When he finally fell in love he would be the perfect husband to her! But most importantly to me, he would be my mamas boy! But not too much that it would be weird!

I know a lot of these things we could still have! Especially him being my little mamas boy! When he looks at me, I can feel how much he loves me! But the hardest part is the unknown! Right now I don’t know what his future could be like! The same could be said about any child, however there are so many negative possibilities with down syndrome, it is hard to not to worry about his future EVERYDAY!  Now I find myself looking into his future and worrying about him being judged or looked at funny! I fear him being treated different or compared to his sisters. It devastates me to think about the first time he cries because he realizes he is different or anything but perfect or because someone picks on him. I question if he will ever fall in love or will be loved back! I wonder if him and his dad can still obsess about cars and machines. And every two months right now I fear that his blood work will come back and not be normal! Then I will have to worry about my son, my perfect, beautiful, wonderful son suffering from cancer!

When I look at him I still see that little boy I always wanted, because he is! I just now need to start dreaming of a new life with and for him! Nothing can take away the happiness he brings me! There is already so much I look forward to experiencing with him. But I now know it is alright to feel sad at times. Because no one wants their kids to suffer in any way! Do I wish he or all my kids could be perfect or never have to fear anything! Of course I do! Every mother does! But that is just not a possibility in this world today! However I do not think anyone should feel guilty for being sad if their kid has a disability or a sickness because everyone wants a perfect life for their kids!

I no longer feel guilt for feeling sad at times. We will have a wonderful life with him! He is going to make us laugh and smile every day! He will be like any other toddler who drives us nuts at times! And him and his dad will bond over anything that brings him joy because it will bring his dad joy! As a couple we will grieve the sad moments but celebrate the happy! Because I feel that there will be more happiness in his life than anything else!

I share this because realizing this has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and if there is any chance that there is a parent out there feeling the same way, maybe they will find this and feel the same relief I did!

The little girl who believed she could fly

Let me start by saying I am not a poet in any way! Yes I loved it in high school, but I do not remember any of the formats or rules or even if formats and rules is the right words!

One early morning I got to sleep for an extra 30 minutes and I had one of those very vivid dreams so real that when you wake up for a minute you don’t know if you were dreaming or if it was real life, and in it I wrote this poem. When I woke up I had to write it down because I loved it so much!

It tells the story about the love both our girls have for their dad. Every morning they walk up to me with their bed head and sleepy eyes and ask right away where dad is. And every day I have to explain that he went to work. You can only imagine their excitement on weekends when he is there in the mornings.

This poem illustrates how excited they are when he comes home. In a literal sense he picks them up and throws them around and really does make them fly. In a figurative sense him being home makes them so happy they feel like they can fly!

Here it goes, please don’t judge!

She wakes up to see you and asks where you are

All day she plays, knowing you are never too far

Finally she hears you coming up the stairs

Nothing makes her happier,

Not even the greatest fairs

Speaking so fast she makes no sense

Yet it makes you feel happiness so intense

Her feet go pitter patter on the floor

Feeling excitement to her core

Her arms in the air

Making her wait, just wouldn’t be fair

So lift her up high

and giver her happiness, only you can supply

Because of you, she believed she could fly

 

 

Maxwell’s story and ours

This blog post marks a new direction for my page, for we have started a new adventure in our lives.  I am hoping that by writing about this it helps me to get my emotions out and maybe just one other person with a similar situation will be able to relate and find encouragement.

I found out I was pregnant for the third time with our son at a friends Epicure party, I snuck the test into the bathroom half way through the party, knowing what the outcome was going to be because in my mind I knew that I was pregnant, so when it was positive it did not shock me. I finished my wine, bought some spices and went home to cry. I know, not your typical lovey dovey story,  in fact it is pretty sad but it is the truth. All three of our kids were unplanned and all three with in 3 years and 3 months, (apparently we like threes!)

It was a very normal, healthy pregnancy. I did all the normal tests, everything seemed great! However now I have learned that even these tests can not completely prepare you for what could come. Once Maxwell was born so many came to me to tell me their story about how they were told their child was going to be down syndrome and actually was not. I also learned that 80% of down syndromes are born to people under 40! Also that it has nothing to do with genetics or anything you do, it’s just chance, a 1 in 700 chance!

It was at my 38 week check up that things changed. It was the perfect day! My husband happened to have the day off, so he took me to my midwife appointment. I was so ready to get this baby out! I wanted a sweep, to go home, take a walk, eat some pineapple, a spicy dinner and watch some movies. Instead we find out that our little man had gone breach. So we got booked in to get him flipped in the hospital with a doctor that had an 80% success rate for flipping the baby, however there was a small chance the baby could go into distress when flipped and I would need a C section, so when we went to get our hospital bags and drop the girls off at grandmas I felt we were being over prepared.

When we get there I was hooked up to a stress test and an IV. While we are sitting there contractions started, I was convinced they were nothing, because seriously I had like 4 of them and they were not THAT bad, however my husband was nervous! Suddenly my water broke before anything could happen! So Max was still breach and things really started to move quick! It was 6:18pm when my water broke and after a lot of fighting to hold him in and a very rushed C section our little Maxwell was born at 7:18pm. Now I was put under because it was an emergency C section so it was a couple hours until I got to see him and when I did I was still a bit loopy so to me everything was all happy and great! My son was here, healthy and safe! Little did I know my whole world had changed.

During the night I would wake up every couple hours and notice my husband, who can sleep through ANYTHING, was awake on his phone in the middle of the night! I knew something was up but I was still too tired to ask. Finally in the morning I was awake, thinking straight, and holding Maxwell. I was looking at him and I asked my husband, “is it mean of me to ask if he looks down syndrome?” His response was “yeah…. I wanted to talk to you about that.” He then went on to tell me why he thinks Maxwell is in fact down syndrome and gave me all the physical signs for it that he has self diagnosed. I was immediately scared. I remember not believing him as he spoke, I thought all of this was a joke. It took awhile to set in and once it did, I cried.  I was never sad that he was down syndrome, I was sad thinking of his future. All the questions going through my head, how was his health? Will he be picked on? What do I do now!!??

While I was pregnant, the number one thing that would keep me up at night was thinking about how I was going to juggle all three of them properly. Emily, my eldest, is strong, independent and very loving. Yet I didn’t want her to feel like she had to be strong and hold feelings in. Zoey is the complete opposite. She is a mommies girl. Very emotional and vocal! How would she handle mom having to give so much attention to a new baby. Now my third child has down syndrome!? How am I going to juggle all of that!?

If all that was not enough, no one told us! We had to ask the question when they asked if we had any questions….. convenient! I mean we could see it with our own eyes, my husband diagnosed it through the internet and the professionals could not take a minute to tell us? It broke my heart thinking of my husband discovering this on his own in the middle of the night as I slept off the drugs. It was one shock after another, first a breach baby, then an emergency C section, which he could not be there for, then our perfect son born with down syndrome, then learning all the side effects that come with it. All this within one night and no one to talk to about it.  However, I think it might have been for the best. For that one night he was just Maxwell our beautiful plump little boy! For that one night the happiness he brought us was not followed constantly by a little bit of sadness or fear. For that one night he was just Maxwell.

I admit I really knew nothing about down syndrome. I knew I love ones that have down syndrome, honestly they bring sunshine into this world! However this is a whole new world and I had zero time to over research it! Heart problems, developmental problems, hearing and sight problems, speech problems, LEUKAEMIA!!!! We have a long journey ahead of us, lots to learn and I am excited to share it! I am excited to watch my little man grow, and to meet new ones with similar stories to help and encourage each other! I am excited for what the future brings, not sad.

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Our girls meeting our boy

Lazy DIY’s

I only started getting into doing DIY’s a couple of years ago. It has not been a life long interest for me. I always thought it would be a lot of work to do it. However I now know how easy it can be! It has really developed into an obsession!  I love that I can set aside a DIY day about once a month and spend an afternoon and accomplish so much!

Now I am not crazy about it! There are things I know I use that are not good for me. But for the sake of my kids I TRY to do as much as I can. When I am trying to clean the house the kids are always around and it brings me comfort knowing that if they get into it, it will not harm them.  I do it because I actually find joy and pride in doing this and I find it fun!

Now to get to the rest of the blog you have to endure a little bit of a rant! No better time to talk about it since I am on the subject.

The thing I hear most is, “we survived” when it comes to natural things, and I agree! However, I am an old person at heart!

I once heard a story, who knows from where, of an older women going grocery shopping and at the check out the young girl helping her suggested she bring her own bags. The older lady responded “sorry we didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in our day.” the young cashier goes, “thats the problem, your generation didn’t care enough to save our environment for the future generations.” In which the older lady responds by going on a very long rant about how they didn’t need to recycle because they brought the containers back to the store to be refilled, they covered their school books with the paper grocery bags so they wouldn’t be wrecked, they walked everywhere instead of driving enormous gas machines, hung their clothes to dry, washed their dishes by hand and the list goes on! (You should look it up quite entertaining! )

This story has always stuck in my head! As part of the technology generation I have never known a life any different than machines. My kids will be even worse. I think of it as the automatic generation, you don’t have to even think about anything, a machine does it automatically for you!

I love the “olden days”. and that is why I am into DIY’s because I respect our grandparents that did these things not because it was a fad but because it is how they cleaned and got things done!

We may be surviving but the rate in which things like sickness, and pollution and such is increasing shows we may be “surviving” but that is all we are doing. It is like a survival kit, it gives you only what you need to survive but wouldn’t you much prefer a full turkey dinner with all the fixings and a bottle of wine!? I sure would!

Now I also realize that by me using my little hippy cleaning products I am not saving the planet, that is out of my hands! However maybe I can give my kids even a slight chance of a healthier future and that is all I care about!

So now that you endured that!

All of my big projects I try and do a post for, however, I realized one day that there are so many projects I do not share because they are so simple doesn’t really take up a whole post! So I decided to collect all these things and make one page about it! These are things I use everyday around my house! They only require a few ingredients and a few minutes making it easy to keep up!

Baby Bed Time Body Lotion

Coconut oil and lavender essential oil whipped together and put into a mason jar.IMG_4046

Fabric Softener and Scent Booster

Epsom salts and your favourite essential oil scent mixed well and put into a sealed jar.

Add as much as you wish with your regular load of wash.IMG_3830

Dryer Sheets

Cotton cloths Here is where I got mine

1/2 a cup of vinegar

10 (or more if you wish) drops of your favourite essential oil

An air tight jar

 

Put the vinegar and EO into your jar. Roll up the cotton clothes and place into the jar seal it and move the mixture around to try and coat the clothe. Then your ready! Throw it into the dryer as a regular dryer sheet! This is one of my favourites!IMG_6249      IMG_6261

 

Air Freshener

1/4 cup Rubbing alcohol or vodka

1 cup filtered Water

10 or more drops of Essential oils

A small spray bottle

 

Combine all the ingredients into the bottle shake and use! I love lemon for the kitchen and bathroom smells fresh and clean! and Lavender to spray onto our sheets at night!

Chest Rub for colds

Combine coconut oil and either peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil and rub it on your chest and back and the bottoms of your feet. Amazing for both kids and adults.

Coconut Oil!!! I put that S*** on Everything!!!!

I seriously do! I use it from the top on my head to the bottom of my feet! To cook with and more!

Great for moisturizing your hair and scalp! Something new my best friend just discovered, if you have an overly oily scalp, apply it to your scalp! Sounds weird! However, you may actually have a dry scalp causing your body to over produce oils to your scalp to help! Moisturizing it might help to calm this down! It is worth a try!

Face moisturizer. I only use at night so it can soak in!

Teeth Whitener. Brush your teeth with it to whiten them.

Oil pulling. Swish a tablespoon of melted oil in your mouth for ten minutes in the morning! The benefits are way too many to list here!

All over moisturizer after a shower, especially in the winter.

Preventing and healing sun burns

Insect bites

After shave! Works like a charm!!

Cuticle softener

Dry feet!

 

For the kids

Diaper rash

Baby Acne

Moisturizer

Cradle cap

Insect bits

Teething pains

Brushing teeth

And so much more!!! These are just my everyday uses there are hundreds more!

Vinegar uses 

Disinfect cutting boards

Clean fruit and veggies. Fill Sink with water add about one cup vinegar. It even helps them last longer!

Rinse aid in your dishwasher. Just put that in there instead of buying a rinse aid.

Toilet cleaner. Sprinkle baking soda to cover inside of toilet bowl. Spray vinegar over it, let it sit for ten minutes then scrub clean.

Clean your dish washer. Put two cups of vinegar in a bowl, sit the bowl on the top rack and turn the dishwasher on for a normal load.

Clean sealed grout. Mix baking soda and vinegar and use an old tooth brush to scrub it clean. Rinse it off.

Again there are so many more! These are just the ones I use all the time!

 

MUST Try Sugar Cookies

Baking has a special place in my heart! The memories of growing up sitting around the island talking with mom, sometimes until very early into the next morning! All the sneaking tastes and waiting impatiently for the scraps! And watching old movies on the TV in the kitchen. They will always be some of my favourite memories.

Now I should be better at baking, my mom is an incredible baker, but I am not even close to as good as her! I do love it though and I want to create those memories for my girls as well!

I don’t think sugar cookies are a very complicated thing to start off with, however I was looking for simplicity and quality, something my mom would approve of! And I think I found it!!!!

These really are The perfect sugar cookies

The flavour and softness of the cookies are incredible! The frosting is simple and not over sweet! They compliment each other perfectly, neither are over powering!

It was the perfect rainy Friday night activity to do with the girls! Now I just have to find someone to give them to so I am not tempted to eat them all!!!

Hope you can enjoy them!

 

Homemade Scoby for Kombucha!

I discovered kombucha when I was pregnant with my second child. In the last month I suffered from liver failure and had to be induced. It was due to pregnancy and as soon as Emily was born it went back to regular function and so naturally I was concerned about this happening again with my second!

I get VERY exhausted when pregnant and I was trying to be healthy so when I was doing research looking for something to boost my energy while still healthy and safe for pregnancy there was not a lot out there! But that is when I discovered Kombucha! It was tasty gave me energy and is loaded with health benefits!

Health benefits that interested me! (There are many more!)

# 1 Detoxification! “It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver.”

# 2 Digestive care!  Kombucha is a probiotic beverage!

# 3 Mental clarity and mood stability! Because it is a probiotic it has countless amounts of benefits! “As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.” 

# 4 Immune boosting! “Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, and you all know the benefits of anti-oxidants for boosting your immune system and energy levels.”

Here is the source for all the facts I collected. 

# 5 ENERGY! Love this! You feel great, happy, and have lots of energy! The energy is because of the iron released from the black tea in Kombucha. As well as the Vitamin B found in Kombucha.

Source for this research 

There are so many more health benefits but these were my top five!

 

Making my own! 

I love it so much I was drinking it as much as I could! However it is not a cheap drink! I found it for around $4-5 per bottle and my husband and I love it so we would stock up, but this was getting pricy!

One day I was actually looking up how to make candles (coming soon!! ) and I stumbled upon how to make your own kombucha, oddly a thought I never had,I never thought it would be so simple!

The key ingredient is a scoby. You can buy these here from Amazon or by doing research to find a place near you. They are usually around $40-50 each, mind you it is a one time purchase.

Or if you are like me and just love science and DIY you can grow your own! It seems so simple and inexpensive! I only started it today so you will have to stay turned on my journey!

***To learn all the details about kombutcha making read this article. Below is just on making the scoby, I will post all about my making kombutcha when my scoby is fully grown.

What you will need:

-One bottle of raw, organic, unflavoured  kombucha already made.

-One cup of organic black tea

-1-2 Tablespoons of organic sugar

Instructions

  1. Make one cup of black tea.
  2. While the tea is still hot, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of sugar stirring until dissolved.
  3. Let the tea cool completely to room temperature. ( “While not critical to the process, adding a cup of sweet tea to the bottle of ready-made kombucha gives the yeast and bacteria additional food to consume during the process of growing a new culture.” )
  4. Pour the raw kombucha and cooled tea into a glass jar.
  5. Cover the jar with a tight-weave dish towel or a paper coffee filter and secure it with a tight rubber band.
  6. Now let it ferment in a warm area out of direct sunlight for up to 30 days. You want the scoby to be 1/4 inch thick before using it to brew your first batch of kombucha. You might start to see a baby scoby after about 7 days but it can take up to 30 days to fully grow.

Here is the website where I found these instructions

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Here is what mine looks like today! I will update this blog post as it grows to show you what it looks like (if it grows!)