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!

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!)

 

 

Feeding time

I discovered another incredible Pinterest find!! Baby Foode

Starting to feed your baby solid food is a fun, exciting, and scary time! Fun to see your babies reactions, exciting to have a little bit of a break from breastfeeding what feels like every ten minutes and scary because you do not want to feed your baby the wrong thing! Even with my second the first little bit of feeding solids feels brand new all over again! You have no idea what, if any, allergies your baby might have, how picky of an eater they may be or if you are giving them the right nutrition!

So with so many questions where do you look for the right answers and for recipes?

I found the most incredible website with articles about how to feed, what to feed and why and recipes for your little one that they will love!!!

Making home made food is harder than just buying from the grocery store, however it is so rewarding, especially when they love it and they will LOVE these recipes!

I usually pick about 4 recipes, make large batches of it and freeze most of it and defrost as needed so you only have to do it every couple weeks. Another wonderful feature about this website is that it tells you how long the food will store for.

How do you know when to start feeding them solids? or at least how did I know? 

I once heard the most outrageous advice when I had my first child. “you have to give your child what is best for them, they do not know what they want.” Of course it is our job to give them what is best! However I do believe babies know what they want. I never woke my babies every two hours to feed. If they are sleeping for 6 hours they must be happy and full!  If you were having a great sleep and someone woke you every two hours to shove food down your throat would’t that upset you!? Same goes with when I decided to feed my babies.

My first was almost 6 months old. She was grabbing at and crying for the food we were eating.  It was VERY obvious with my second! I swear she was eating every 30 minutes and so cranky and violently grabbing at food! She has always slept through the night and she was up every couple hours to eat, she was only 4 months old but she was obviously very unhappy and unsatisfied with just milk.

So I let them tell me when they were ready! Babies are very good at telling us when they are unhappy! So when they are no longer satisfied with drinking just milk they will let you know!

Some babies might not be as obsessed with their food as mine! So they might not show signs of wanting solid foods before the 6 months! Of course that is fine! However start them on iron rich foods when they are 6 months because your milk will no longer be giving them the full nutrition that they need!

I am not a professional this has just been my experience, so if you are still uneasy about what to feed or when to feed contact a nurse in your area! When I have questions I call BC health and they direct me to who to call for questions.

Enjoy this exciting time in your babies life! The smiles and giggles and mess that comes with it!

And just a little advice, don’t turn your back on the yogurt container!

Baby Foode

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Beautiful Mess

Everyday when I look on my Instagram I see beautiful women and their beautiful children, beautiful clothes, beautiful homes and beautiful meals. Of course I LOVE it! I wanted to join this world and share my own families beauty!

I love this community! They are all hard working women (and men) no matter what their topic is, clothes, parenting, DIY, food, or interior design, your mind is always going, thinking of your next idea, outfit, project or post and then how to word it and stage it perfectly to make it so beautiful!

As the audience seeing everyone’s beauty can inspire you! Maybe it will spark an idea for an outfit for the day, or a new way to organize your hallway closet. Maybe you will finally have inspiration on how to decorate your coffee table or find inspiration to work out or do something nice for someone else! These people can influence you in a simple way but they can also move us in big ways!

So I have to admit on those days that I am so exhausted because I was in a boxing match with my kids all night and they won!!!! So I’m beat up, I’m wearing my pj’s (and not the cute ones,) my hair and teeth are not brushed and I get to sit and look at everyone’s beauty, I realize motherhood is not always beautiful, or at least mom isn’t always beautiful. There are days I would not even snapchat my best friend or mother! My kitchen is usually NOT picture ready and my clothes are usually stained with some sort of food!

Now NO ONE wants to see that!! At least not mine! However, in reality it is something every mother does see every day!

Now am I saying we should share our mess? Probably not! Ever heard the saying; “don’t air your dirty laundry” well it can be taken literally in this case! Maybe we shouldn’t be posting either! (However, maybe you have an idea about laundry, so a picture of dirty laundry might be acceptable!)

Everyone is on here to inspire and share! So let’s inspire and encourage by sharing our un-staged moments, share ways to cope and conquer those tough days or that pile of laundry! Take down the filters and share the true beauty of motherhood!! You never know who you can make smile, laugh, or maybe even cry!

I know personally it can sometimes give me the assurance that I’m doing an alright job! Other moms, no matter how beautiful their life seems can have times when their house is a mess they are a mess their kids are a mess and that does not mean you are lazy or a slob or a bad mother! It means your just having a NORMAL day!

Not saying I do not see these posts! In fact I have been seeing more and more of it! The messy bun, the late night feeding conversation and the house being lived in! I love seeing others embrace and enjoy these tough years because some times it feels like they will never end so it is good to know you are not alone and there are other moms out there feeling the same way and we can all laugh or even just smile about it!

The perfect instagram post is just a small area of their life, you never know what actually surrounds that picture! So do not let the Insta-sham discourage you. Just see it for what it is, a fellow mother sharing a beautiful picture of a moment, it is not their entire life! Just like when you are invited over to someone’s house for a meal. They have cleaned their house, set the table all nice and dressed everyone up just for you! These women have invited you into that moment so they cleaned the house / area of their house, staged the meal all nice or dressed up! It looks beautiful but it does not mean every second of their life looks like this!

So just like it, share it, or take inspiration from it and share you beautiful, real moments. No matter your parenting style, personal style, or home style, we can ALL take comfort in knowing and seeing that we are not alone when it comes to having a messy house, messy bun, or messy life some times! We all have our moments of greatness and our moments of mess. So be encouraged and encourage others with both your beautiful greatness and beautiful mess!