Archives for category: Mom
This past Saturday we had the pleasure of taking my friend Krista’s wonderful children for a sleepover. Zack is 4 and his sister Charlotte is 8 months old.
Krista has gone above and beyond for us since my accident in Feb/10. At the time of the accident Hubby worked evenings and Krista was here at our home EVERY evening helping me with my girls. She simply arrived with her son and jumped in. I don’t know what I would have done without her in those first few months….and since frankly. There have been countless instances where I’ve sought her help, from understanding and completing paperwork to babysitting while I attend doctor’s appointments.
Her love for us amazes me, not to mention her husband’s patience.
And so we wanted to give her and her Hubby a night to themselves….the fact that I’d get my baby fix didn’t suck either!!
It’s common knowledge that I have a bit of a crush on baby Charlotte.
I’m sure you can see why!
And Zack, he’s a boy after my own heart. His mind is always 10 steps ahead of his body which leads to some injuries….but he recovers quickly. Oh and he’s utterly brilliant, this boy is seriously advanced in many areas. I may be a bit biased, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Zack was deemed “genius” level IQ.
So how did this look when you combine the world’s cutest 8 month old baby, a busy young genius with a 5 year old diva and 7 year old introvert?
The fact that they are so close was both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because Zack is comfortable here and we know him well. Bad because we know him well. OK, to clarify; our 7 year old knows exactly which buttons to push to wind Zack up when he annoys her.
This presented a challenge, it was Zack’s first ever sleep over (excluding his Grandparents) and I was determined to make it a good memory for him. Our solution: keep them all occupied and supervised.
By playing on the strengths of each child, the day was a success! 
Chelsea put on shows for us all, we were a boisterous audience indeed.
Zack showed us his karate (in a wide open space), again hubby and I struggled to keep the crowd calm.
We encouraged Zack and Chelsea to spend time together playing, realizing that their dynamic was flowing easily. They had a blast, both children love to talk which explains why the volume rose dramatically.
It’s hard to be heard when your play partner doesn’t stop talking.
And Sydney, my 7 year old?
We Knighted her “Babysitter”.
I don’t know if Charlotte will ever have a more attentive babysitter, poor wee girl couldn’t look away from Syd’s face without being directed (not so subtly) back to it.
When I asked Sydney what her favorite part of the visit was, she responded “Having a bath with Charlotte.”
How bloody cute are they?????
At one point I had the opportunity to lay down with Charlotte, oh man did this bring back memories of snuggling with my babies…sigh, seriously folks this was moving!
But by the next morning I had to admit that I don’t think I could do it right now.
Lately I have had a strong baby urge, my womb has been seriously aching.
The reality is that I needed my Hubby’s help way too much during the visit to be able to handle a baby full-time.With my physical limitations and memory issues, I just couldn’t provide the care by myself. 
Hubby and Sydney both did all the lifting and carrying, they reminded me when she needed to eat…..I got all the snuggles and fun times. 
Thank goodness Krista and her Hubby trust us to watch their children, for now Charlotte’s visits are quelling my urges. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll wake and be fully restored but in the meantime I’m sure glad we get to make memories with these two little beings!
Well friends it’s official, it’s the end of an era in for our family.
Today our youngest daughter graduated senior kindergarten, from now on both our girls will be in school full time.
Back on June 1st I wrote a post about this momentous occasion, titled simply Graduation.
I’m certain that you are all keenly aware that many graduations are taking place around the world; you just have to open up your Facebook and you’ll see the status updates and photos.
To all of those people celebrating I say congrats, the graduation ceremony is a serious marker. One which reflects your efforts, dreams and desires. That big day means so much to many of us.
I can distinctly recall beginning to prepare for my Grade 8 graduation in the month of February. Immediately following my birthday, I began to read the magazines (we didn’t have Internet…groan) and peruse the styles of dresses and hair.
One would think I could have come up with a better look than I did. Apparently I was convinced that the ultra shiny white eyeshadow, lace mock gloves and silver choker were the height of fashion. 
Oh to be able to speak to my younger, fashion challenged self.
I’m apologizing in advance to the girls with me in the photo, but it’s not like I’m tagging you all.
My high school grad was a huge deal for me but our school didn’t actually have a ceremony to hand out diplomas until September. 
By September I wasn’t bothered attending the Commencement ceremony, the way I saw at the time, I’d done the important part; I had attended the prom!!!
Yes my friends, the prom was far more important to me than the fact that I’d successfully completed my high school education. In my priority list those days wearing a cap and gown ranked far below dressing up and hanging with my friends.
My saving grace was that my fashion sense had improved and although I don’t have a photo of myself in the robe, I do have this smashing shot of my sexy, young self to gaze at admiringly.
That was probably the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever been and I am awfully glad to have this photo, even with the Debbie Gibson hair.
The time came this morning with my 5 year old daughter, where she exerted her independence. With only 10 minutes to get dressed she had a complete and utter meltdown because she didn’t like the dress we had chosen for her to wear. 
Instinctively I wanted to scream in frustration; we’d spend much too long choosing the wee summer dress and we didn’t have time for a DIVA like fit.
There I stood staring at my daughter displaying behavior shockingly like the girl in The Exorcist. My head was about to explode and that post of mine came into my mind. Instantly I was ticked at myself for writing it because it deflated my anger and had me tearing up like the softy that I am.
Right as she’s yelling and flailing her arms as only our Miss Chelsea can, I wrapped my arms around her and began talking about how she used to go to the school doors and cry when we took her sister to school. I told her how little she looked on her very first day of school, how brave she was at 3 years old. I shared with her how proud I am of her and who she is becoming and how I want time to slow down some days.
In that moment I slowed time and surrounded us with our love.
And then I allowed my darling, independent, fashion-challenged 5 year old to choose her own outfit.
She looked beautiful.
Way to go Miss Chelsea Belle, we’re so proud of you.
This past Sunday was Fathers day and I’ve been reflecting on the journey my hubby has been on becoming the father he is today. Today he is wonderfully patient, kind and loving with the girls. He has a quirky sense of humor and easily understands the kids sense of fun and adventure.
It began with the arrival of Sydney on December 31st, 2003. From her first night in the hospital he was a hands on Dad. The love in his eyes brought me to tears as I observed him marvelling at her. Because I had a c-section we were in the hospital for 5 days, cocooned from the demands of daily life, we were absorbed by our new baby’s beauty.
Infancy was never hubby’s favorite age, he prefers when babies are less “breakable.” Once they are into the chubby stage he is much more comfortable.
From the moment Sydney arrived, hubby included her in all of his free time activities. He has her help him with yard work, home renovations, fishing and anything else that strikes his fancy. Below you can see them working as a team putting her toddler bed together. Hubby had her screwing it together with him, she was so proud!
Story time with Daddy has always been very important in this house; it is quiet bonding time for Daddy and the girls which began when Sydney was little.
Next on the path of Fatherhood is another child!
With one little 23 month old girl, why not add another baby?
December 13th, 2005 brought us Chelsea. Our second daughter and another opportunity for hubby to become a proud new Daddy. With Sydney well taken care of by family members, we had another 5 days in the hospital to get to know our newest addition.
Splitting his attention between two children had never worried my hubby, he would tell me he has enough love for all of us and some to spare. There never was a time where I saw him overwhelmed by these two little ladies. He has a knack to laugh off their antics, melt-downs and just glory in the moment.
He’s the father who takes his girls everywhere, wants them to see all of the things he loved when he was young.
The CNE.
River rock hopping and so many more things.
My husband has been a Daddy for 7 years now and as time goes on I am continually surprised at how he grows. From the early days of diaper changes, sleepless nights, bottles and a cranky wife to the more recent challenges of little girls exerting independence one thing remains the same.
His patient love and understanding.
For that and so many more things I am blessed, I am grateful that my children’s Daddy brings out the best in me.

I am writing this piece in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club
This week’s RemembeRED memoir prompt asked me to dig deep to find what, from your childhood, you still know from heart.
My childhood memories aren’t very clear; frankly most of them are attached to photos taken. It’s very rare that I’m able to pull a memory from my mind by effort alone. More often it’s a scent or situation which will stimulate these memories.
One memory which I recall by heart is our bedtime routine; the simple scent of lilac can bring me back to my childhood bed. I can recall pulling back the crisp white sheets, their fresh fragrance filling my nose as I slipped into bed. The setting sun would dance upon the dollies who kept me company on my wallpaper; these companions seemed to glow as twilight approached. If the wind was just right my room would be infused with the comforting scent of lilac, calming me slowly as my busy mind reflected upon the wonders of my day.
Footsteps would approach softly as my Mummy came to tuck me in. Each night she would pull up my top sheet, nice and tight to my chin, folding it over so the line perfectly placed upon my collarbone. My stuffed elephant Tanya was next placed into the crook of my arm and Mummy assumed her position, perched on the edge of my bed.
Words of love were exchanged and then the closing ritual of the day began. Before my Mummy’s lyrical voice finished the first word of our prayer it was accompanied by my sing-song tone.
“Dearest Jesus, gentle and mild; who suffered for me, your little child Julie. Please bless Mummy, Daddy, Ami (sister), Julie, Fluffy (cat), Tippy(cat), Liptummy(fish) and Herman(fish)…..” following these lines would be prayers for friends, family and things I desired, the closing would always be the same. “And if I’ve forgotten anything God, please see into my mind and know it all….in Jesus name, Amen.”
Each night it was the same prayer. Even as an adult I pray this way, adding in my confessions and adoration but still the opening and closing remain the same although the characters have changed. There is now much more to my prayers, less demands and more gratitude but the tradition has continued.
While I don’t think that ritual or religious practices are requirements for a Relationship with God, prayer certainly is. Prayer for me in this manner is reserved for the closing of the day, just before sleep when I’m relaxed and ready for a deep, private talk with God.
This time of reflection and connection with God is a form of restoration for me, grounding me in my faith, in my purpose. In my experience when I forgo this meditative practice my spiritual self has suffered. I’ve become disconnected and misled by worldly concerns.
I’m grateful that I’ve remembered this childhood routine and have learned how to modify and implement it as an adult.
Are you stimulating your spiritual side as a natural habit in day-to-day life?
Have you developed new practices which allow you to stay connected to God and His purpose for you on this journey?
I’ve been all sappy since I wrote my submission to The Red Dress Club challenge last night and today I was pondering what my legacy to my daughters would be….Talk about total Mommy Sap here!
Perhaps it’s the Irish in me (I claim a fair amount of Irish blood but my Grandmother was just 1/2 Irish, shh don’t tell anyone) but when I think of my own legacy my first thought isn’t money or material items.
Will my daughters use my token words?
Those words which my Mum used, the same ones my Grandmother probably taught her?
When their children fall will they say “up you get poppet”?
Once they are back on their feet will they say “way you go then”?
When their children are feeling aches in their bodies while growing will they tuck them into bed with a water bottle, lying them on their sides with a cold, damp cloth on the forehead and a kiss upon their cheek saying “Ni Ni, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”?
See there’s the emotional Irish side of me.
There are so many legacies handed to me from my Mum which I already see myself using daily. It seems that with the birth of my children all the memories which were stored in my subconscious have kicked into gear.
I’m grumpy in the mornings just like my Mum, generally running late and STRESSED!
I love socializing just like Mum.
I love a good book just like Mum.
Wish my boobs would grow to her size. Wait was that out loud?
Who knew I’d dig going to second hand stores and finding treasures like my Mum?
I say the same prayers to my children that were said to me, I kiss the boo boos the same way as she did, I sing the same little songs to my babies.
Funny how that works.
Last summer our little family went to a Christian retreat 3 hours North of our home called MBC for a week. This was an amazing week for us filled with learning about God, spending time on the beach, going frogging and just relaxing doing life together.
Now there’s a legacy.
While we were there I took a short photography course and spent the week taking over 600 photos which I will share overtime on this blog I’m sure. There is one photo I want to share with you.
This is where you may be thinking….OK Sassy Sober Julie it’s a photo of hands, cute Mommy and Daughter…nice but what’s so special?
It’s not just hands.
It’s my legacy.
It shows 4 generations of hands.
I have exactly the same hands as my Mum’s
 My Mum has exactly the same hands as her Mother’s
My young daughter has exactly the same hands as mine
Therefore my daughter has my Grandmother’s hands in hers.
These hands hold my legacy.
Our youngest daughter Chelsea is a DIVA, has been since birth. She was blessed with HUGE eyes which are totally expressive, you can read her every emotion through them.
She is one of those little girls who is FILLED to the brim with life and loves sharing that enthusiasm with anyone around her. She will walk up to complete strangers and compliment their attire, hair, pretty jewellery or anything she is struck by.
She wakes up chatting and singing away, albeit very grumpy like her Mum…not a morning person at all. And chats all day long to the point when I’ve been known to beg her to be quiet for 60 seconds.
She loves music, dancing, glitter and generally anything girlie.
She’s my DIVA to the core.
The first time I realized that she could manipulate people and had this side to her was when she was about 2.5. There was a backyard full of kids playing and being wacky while I read a book on the deck supervising in the sun.
Chelsea took a ball and threw it over the fence, cheered for herself and enjoyed this new skill. She then realized the ball was gone. She looked around and called to one of the boys who was about 6. She gestured and babbled baby talk at him while looking decidedly cutesy and the next thing I knew the wee lad climbed the fence and retrieved the prize for this Princess.
She was overjoyed, squealed at him and hugging him into embarrassment.
Pretty innocent still….until she did it again. And again. I think I watched her accomplish this 5 times before the boy was distracted by a game of tag the others were having.
What struck me was the look on her face, the realization I watched occur. She understood EXACTLY what she was doing.
Hubby and I are seriously concerned about her teen years ….her skills with winning people over just seem to sharpen over time. I hope she used them for good not evil.
Chelsea has a very high pain tolerance, we actually had to take her to the Doctor when she was young to see if she actually felt pain at all. This child would fall, get cuts and bruises like a normal active toddler but she didn’t cry or show any discomfort.

So as time went on and colds came eventually Chelsea got ear infections, the only sign we had was a fever or the one incident where she complained of pain 5 minutes before her eardrum burst.

She had ear tubes surgically inserted 3 different times. The last time was last February by a different specialist who agreed with me that a child shouldn’t need multiple surgeries. It went well and the DIVA was back in action that evening.

I have a million things ways this blog of Miss Chelsea could go, she’s so full life it’s amazing. But today oh today I shall not be winning any Mom of the Year awards.
We had battled a cold over Christmas and it hasn’t fully left our home. Each of us has had times of mal a laise, coughs. Chelsea has had a cough and before our Florida trip she was at the Doctor’s for her 5 year check up and got a clean bill of health except for the cold…no big deal of course.
Well lately Miss Chelsea Belle has been grumpy, like in your face screaming, throw yourself on the floor because you don’t want to wear socks grumpy. A handful to say the least….amazing how much a difficult child can stress a marriage hahaha I’m soooo leaving that one alone for today.
Miss Chelsea Belle hasn’t had hearing issues at all since last February’s surgery, which is a miracle in itself as it had been every few months for years before then. So I shouldn’t feel badly that I only realized this weekend that the poor little girl is practically deaf and walking around in frustration right?
I can only imagine how she’s felt lately. She is feeling unwell, constantly being yelled at to get her attention, facing a frustrated parent, not understanding why they are upset with her. We’ve been unable to get her attention or have her comply when she’s asked to do something. My normally chatty and inquisitive child had become my biggest irritation at times….asking the same thing repeatedly and totally unfocused.
Sooo I got it, it clicked and I had the Big Moment of Realization.
This morning I took my girl to the Doctor, my approach having changed dramatically with her over the weekend after the Big Moment of Realization Chelsea was relaxed and in better spirits.
I was totally prepared to hear that she had an ear infection, get a prescription and get her to gymnastics. Nope.
Here’s the applause for the Clueless Mom of the Year Award…..Doctor check her out and informs me that there is indeed a minor inner ear infection but the real concern is that little cough.
The cough, the one she’s essentially had since Christmas?
Yes that one, it’s pneumonia….
PNEUMONIA?? Without a fever or other symptoms?
So there I sat mentally beating the snot out of myself while imagining what her inner world has been like over the last week. This girl is so used to not being able to hear that she’s adopted the ability to mimic understanding. She has watched my body language to understand my desires/demands…..she’s doing what she has to in order to get by.
I mean the illness will be quickly remedied, prescription and time off school to rest but my concern goes deeper. My daughter didn’t know she couldn’t hear. We will take her for a hearing test in a month, the Doctor is fairly certain she’ll be fine and for that I’m glad. Rock on Diva Chelsea!
In this I don’t feel shame or guilt, the situation will get better and so will our wee Diva! Where in the past I would have bashed myself repeatedly I don’t feel the need now.
But it is interesting how we can become conditioned to accept discomfort, frustration, illness and pain. We can become numb to it, just accepting it.
How it changes us, our actions and behaviors.
Chelsea was fine with her hearing loss, she figured she would just “turn up the sound”.
I used to do that in my life, turn up what I wanted to hear and ignore the situations I didn’t know how to resolve. I don’t do that anymore, time to begin teaching my girls.