Posted in Elliott, Family, Oliver

A lesson in Motherhood – A future letter to my boys

Now that you have gotten much older, you both likely reflect on many events from your past and woven through those memories are your interpretations of my behaviour as a mother, so I want to clear this all up for you here and now.

I know you have always thought I treat your brother differently.

You are absolutely right!

You two were not born the same,  you both possess different genetic matter (albeit from the same gene pool) and with that comes entirely different preferences, opinions, and needs. While you will never understand this until you are a parent of your own, I did treat you differently, but not by accident and not by any favouring of one of you over the other – but simply because it was my absolute intention to fulfil your emotional, physical and mental needs to the best of my ability. Maybe not in your day, but in ours there is this misconception that parenthood is simply the ‘forming’ of children in our image, but this isn’t true, our mission is to honour the form that you brought into the world and teach you how use it, refine it, and build upon it. Parenthood isn’t about spreading myself amongst you in fairness and equality but about learning and adapting to each of you independently, and each of your needs as they present themselves.

Just the other morning, for example, Elliott, you cried as the bus reached our stop and it was time for us to part ways. I was shocked and annoyed by the situation because up until that very moment you were perfectly prepared to return to school after the Christmas break, but as the bus pulled away and you stared out the window at me with your tear stained face, I realized something monumental in our relationship. You hide your emotions, you bury them deep inside you and avoid its release until it is inevitable and you need me. Earlier that morning, while I busied myself in the kitchen preparing your lunch and organizing your school bag, you were reeling with the conflict of leaving the house and I had no idea. You needed me – differently than your younger brother, who gathers his things and runs out the door at every opportunity – you needed a whisper of hope, you needed assurance, you needed reminders of all the wonderful experiences that school holds for you, you needed me to prepare you; that nothing is different that this school day is still the same as all those you had prior to the break because change is something that intimidates you.

I only hope in all the days we have spent together as mother and son, you understand how much I love and appreciate you for who you are. While, I sometimes seem annoyed that your nervous intimidation inconveniences me, I am more honoured and humbled by it than anything. It keeps you safe and it keeps you needing me and wanting me, it keeps you seeking answers and assurances that you deserve. My only condolence to you for this day, is that I vow to move forward holding your hand as we respect your sense of nervousness, while recognizing when it could be holding you back from living and breathing new experiences. I am forever thankful to you for this lesson.

I have learned by now, in the four years of motherhood you have gifted to me, that you are never comforted with showings of affection. While sometimes a brief hug can settle your anxiety it isn’t the long-term answer. You need your personal space, and a quiet moment to process your feelings. You need to meet with me alone and sit in silence for a moment, before I canvas you about your fears. Sometimes I have to pry the information from you, before we can brainstorm a plan and solution together. I cherish this new way of seeing life unfold.

Oliver, you have entirely different strategies for handling change. You embrace the unknown and jump in feet first with very little hesitation. You pride yourself on being brave and adventurous and socialize easily. You expend so much energy in a day with all your activity, that when you return to me you need to be refreshed. You will never turn down a cuddle and want to be smothered with kisses. I am happy to oblige. I also know – much to your dismay – that you need your sleep so I often invoke your nap times to keep you grounded and feeling in control. I know at 3 that seems counterproductive to you, but I promise I have had your best interests at heart. You challenge me in ways that your older brother never did, and so everything we share together as mother and child is also a new exploration into the realm of parenthood. You have an intense conviction to your beliefs and choices and I commend you for that, but it certainly isn’t an easy trait to parent, especially because I know we share this conviction and we are often not on the same page. Still, I know you are filled with amazing potential and it will truly shine in your adulthood, I know this with certainty, because that is where I am at now.

My frustrations are never about you two, they are birthed from an inner conflict with myself because I know in these moments I have failed you. Motherhood isn’t perfect, in fact, perfection in parenting is probably the least achievable thing we will ever attempt in our lives, it is a variable education that we can never be prepared for.

So, Yes! I do treat you both differently, with reason and intent for the betterment of your well-being, and while you may not always see your childhood though my eyes, and you may never understand my intentions, I vow to preserve your organic self – because that is what parenthood truly means.

Tight squeeze!

Mama

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Posted in Elliott, Family, Oliver

Why I will no longer say that my kids drive me to drink and other ridiculous nonsense 


Yesterday I joked to my co-workers that it isn’t so much my job that drives me to drink but that my kids sure do…

This morning, in my infinite post-slumber wisdom, I woke up full of guilt and immediately wished I could take back those ridiculous words.

I’ve heard it time-and-time again, and I’ve said it myself but I’ve suddenly become aware of the implications of that statement – and not on the alcohol front – but what this (and other equally ill-suited statements) says about my children.

There is actually nothing painful about a three or four year old, in fact, they are by nature the windows into the soul of Mother Earth, the most organic form of humankind to exist. Pure, neutral, and loving. It’s not my kids, it’s really just motherhood as a whole that gets our panties all in a bunch.

This totally exhausting, completely unerving stage of motherhood is filled with amazing humans and to say that THEY drive me to drink is really just implying there is some kind of fault with them as children – which thank my lucky stars – there certainly is not! They are prefect beings acting completely in tune with themselves exploring curiosity, practicing conflict, learning their physical limitations, and expanding their mindset. They are truly in harmony with themselves and their authenticity and when I think about placing blame on them because I can’t keep up with these systemic expectations of motherhood, well that is just absurd!

The responsibility of motherhood, on the other hand, is what interferes with my ability to bask in all the glorious adventure my children bring to me.

You know… Motherhood; the toppling laundry piles, nagging house keeping tasks, home cooked meals waiting to be made, honey do lists, daycare planning, Taxi service scheduling. It’s all those looming accessories to childhood that really get to us. Add in this new millenial motherhood where we needlessly busy ourselves sweeping dirty laundry under the area rug so we can post a perfectly curated picture of ‘real life’ on social media, Document a reality tv show via live story options, and post minute-by-minute twitter updates of the goings on of our lives.

So let us give credit where credit is due; our  preschoolers and early elementary children are just busy living their intended life, and being awesome at it! If we are struggling to stay above it all, we need to shed a thing or two from the mundane task lists and take more time quietly enjoying our kids.

Forgive yourself mama! Motherhood is the scariest hood you will ever go through, so drink that wine (or otherwise choice of chill-out beverage) just don’t make your children the “excuse” you think you need!

Tight Squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Family, Infertility, Mental Health

A year after loss. 

One year ago today!


Now a year later I headed to the lab where I donated 10 vials of blood and a urine sample, the last of a series of work-ups we have been enduring for the last few months. Still on this journey, waiting and hoping, but mostly feeling defeated.


But then… (and I can’t even make this up) as I loaded my blood deficient body into the car to leave the lab, my Michael Franti CD instantly broke out into chanting these words…  “Don’t let it go… when the rain falls down you know the flowers gonna bloom, and when the hard times come you know the teachers in the room so have a little faith in me, have a little faith in you, don’t let it go!”

I have never really listened to this CD before, it’s my least favourite of all my Michael Frantic CDs and just by happenstance threw it in last night, without really knowing I needed it today.

All morning I’ve been wandering from here to there doing life while I carefully plotted the words I would write in this post because we never really know where our emotions are at through all this, but these lyrics right here is really all I have to say about it. #faithrestored

Tight squeeze!

Ella

Posted in Elliott, Family

Elliott in Kindergarten


If we have done anything right, the only remarkable thing you will be wearing to school on this first day of kindergarten is your confidence. Even though I may have thoroughly planned your first day outfit, and carefully selected a suitable backpack it’ll only be these years of character building that will matter when you walk through your schools double doors.

As you embark on this journey that will carry you through your more impressionable years I will be cheering you on to be your best – most authentic – self.


Never trade in your individuality for some carbon copy of your peers.

Never feel the desire to dull your inner sparkle that is after all our favorite part about you.

Never lose your sense of curiosity and continue to ask questions to gain better understanding.

I encourage you to share your creativity with your peers! I’ve witnessed first hand the magnitude of your imagination and know your talents will be endless.

Bravery is your most cherished attribute, and I know undoubtedly that you will persist outside of your introverted comfort zone, because you are also amazingly adventures despite those limitations.


You are a social butterfly, who has never shyed away from creating new friendships, be bold and befriend even the under dogs.

Smile and face each of those tougher days with grace and persistence, for they don’t last long.


You are a fascinating human! And we are proud of you for waking each morning with a positive outlook on life and rising to the challenge of facing another day. Everything else you accomplish is simply a bonus!

I vow to take heed to your struggles, and be sensitive to your needs this first year you adapt to this new life.

I vow to love you and protect you on this journey.

I vow to let go of my need to be in control and allow this village to help guide and protect you.

I vow to never underestimate how precious your mind is, and to fill it with positive thoughts and encouragement especially in these days that you are feeling vulnerable.


You are full of greatness!

You are full of potential!

You have incredible determination!

You are (mostly) equipped with the tools to do this,

You will do this!!


You are kindness, and gentleness, and intention.

You are you, and that is perfect!

I am going to miss you! But I am more proud of you than you will ever know, and that fills my heart with excitement these first days!

Go now, with my heart, and relish in all the joy and learning your school days have to offer. You will do great things!

I love you!!

Xoxo

Mama


Posted in Family, Oliver

Ollie a preschooler!

This bright and Witty charmer is off on his first day of preschool. I will look forward to my brief half days alone, that is, as long as I don’t get phone calls saying he is swinging from the ceiling or giving classmates swirlies.

You all laugh, but I truly wouldn’t put it past him.

For real though, here are all the reasons I know he won’t even flinch with this transition:

1. He’ll most definitely be the class clown

2. He demands attention from the second he enters a room.

3. He has an infectious laugh

4. He is actually pretty brilliant already

5. He is rather thoughtful

6. He is a charmer

7. He is imaginative

8. He loves structured activities

9. He is a story teller.

….

Or I could be getting those daily phone calls that he has repainted the walls with glue, or peed on a classmate.

At least he has that infectious smile to get us all through!!

The very best to you for these preschool days, our little Ollie-pop!


Tight squeeze!!!

Ella

Posted in Family, Marriage

Seven years! 

Seven years married.

11 years of togetherness.

Three addresses.

Two pups.

Two babes.

Countless loss.

Many blessings.

Seven whole years!!

Just like all of the material things we’ve collected over the years, so too has our marriage collected baggage.

The good, the bad, the ugly.

Laughter.

Tears.

The times we thought about leaving, but didn’t.

Seven years of waking up with a (mostly) greatful heart.

Seven years of occasional nights in separate beds.

Arguments that settled easily.
Arguments that temporarily broke us.

Marriage is freakin’ tough!

But we overcame adversity.

We ignored temptations.

In a world where we obsess over divorce rates and trading up for bigger, better, brighter. We live obliviously in our own humble togetherness.

I’m in love with us!

In our perfectly imperfect.

Dedicated.

Devote.

Consciously coupled.

Where struggles make us stronger, And heartbreak makes us fight harder.

Seven trying years!

Seven happy years!!

You are my better half!

I don’t mean that in the sarcastic tone of modern day translation… but in the way it was first written by the Roman poet, Horace, who wrote that to be a better half meant that you are more than one half of me. – “Half of my soul”

Thank you for always understanding the intention of our vows.

Thank you for being my reason to change, grow, and adapt.

Thank you for always understanding that marriage is hard and diving into the tough stuff head first instead of running away.

I’m thankful that seven years ago the aisle had you at the end!

I’m glad I never stopped walking toward you since then!

Happy Anniversary to half of my Soul!

Xoxo

Posted in Family, Infertility, Mental Health

It takes 2… um… wait!


If you’ve been following our journey closely you’re probably wondering where we are at. I’ve been approached by a number of you to check in – and well – this is as good a place as any to lay it all out there.

2 years trying to conceive.

8 Fertility Cycles.

2 chemical pregnancies.

1 blighted Ovum.

1 surgery.

4 broken hearts… over-and-over.

And that is all just wishing and waiting for baby número trois.

We don’t know if this is even in the cards for us, but alas, we have been fighting the good fight all this time now.

Just the other day, Elliott informed me that he was going to take me out and buy me new medicine that will put a baby in my belly. Well, his wish may just come true – someday soon.

As it stands now, we are headed into the big wide world of Science for this belly bean.

We will both be undergoing a series of testing this month – fertility, motility, genetic compatibility, as well as a specialized ultrasound diagnostic for me.

Then, if all is well we will be moving forward with IUI and IVF consecutively.

So with a little love, a little faith, and a little science maybe this will be our new beginning!

Tight squeeze

Ella