Wednesday 29 August 2018

Mommy Diaries: Coming to Terms With a Diagnosis

Meet Lindsay.    I am lucky to have had an opportunity to get to know her through our book club over the past four years.  She is one of the most humble, honest, no non-sense kind of girl.  She says what she means, and means what she says. She is truly an extraordinary mom, friend and human being.  Lindsay will be a regular here on Mommy Diaries for a few extra segments. Love her to pieces.  

Coming to Terms With a Diagnosis

Looking back, my daughter, Isla, was different right away. But at the time, we didn’t notice a problem until she was 10 months old. I’ll spare you all the details but a little over a year later, after seeing multiple specialists, having done multiple tests, crying over the phone to get her into therapies and a hospital stay, we found out she has Rett Syndrome. Google it, it’s super crappy. The year that followed the diagnosis was a weird ride and a super emotional roller coaster. One that makes you sick and sometimes black out. One that refuses to stop and give you reprieve.  No, no, all you can do is get used to it.

Grieving for a child with disabilities is a confusing thing. When you are grieving a death, its definitive, there's no questions about what the future will look like without that person in it. Grieving a child with disabilities, makes you feel guilty for grieving because you love your child more than life and despite their setbacks, you think they are perfect, how can you grieve that? The first 3 months were a blur. I literally don’t remember anything other than laying in bed, nursing my baby and just crying and crying and sleeping. Rett Syndrome very quickly consumed our family.

First there’s the questions.  What did I do to cause this? How could this happen?! Then came the all consuming search for answers. Google, facebook, anyone?! Tell me what my child’s life will be like! When your baby is born, you take for granted the path they will likely assume. You know that they will more or less meet and pass milestones, they will be potty trained, will go to school, grow up and eventually move out to start their own adult life. Most people worry a little but mostly assume this is how things will go. You know what a derailed train looks like? That’s kinda how it feels finding out your daughter’s life will not go like at all. Suddenly you have to come to terms with the fact that she will need 24/7 care for the rest of her life, like an infant. This is a much more loaded thought than you’d initially think…..
  • There’s the heartbreaking question of who will die first? If she does, my heart will break. But, if I do, who will take care of her?!! We only have 2 kids, my older daughter may have to bury us all and then she will be alone! 
  • Then you wonder, will we have to move, this house can’t accommodate a wheelchair?! 
  • What will my career trajectory be now?? 
  • How do you change an adult in a diaper who’s non-ambulatory on an airplane or in the grocery store?
  • Are we getting her all and enough of the right services?! 
And then there’s the services… So many great things available but well, have you ever seen Labyrinth (with David Bowie)? Ya, it’s kinda like that. I had to get a bigger calendar to fit in all the appointments. It’s so frustrating to have experts tell you why these therapies are so important to implement early but then the system tells you you have to wait in line. Rage.

Others will tell you that raising a child with special needs it’s important to take care of yourself and your marriage. Sure, makes sense. Too bad you usually need to figure that out the hard way. Tell that to the mom who is just trying to put one foot in front of the other.

All that being said, step by step and with the help from a strong community of friends and family (and some pharmaceuticals) the journey is getting easier, a path forward is being revealed, there's even a little hope. It all just takes time.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Summer to Fall: Romper Style

Hi friends.  I am back with another wear now and later post, see the how I styled my white dress for summer and fall here.   As we start to think about transitioning from summer, insert sob here, to fall I am reaching for some of my favorite pieces that didn't get any wear at the lake, such as this little romper from Marshalls.  Guess what?!?  We are getting a Marshall's here next week and I am so excited.  Now that I've had success shopping at Winners and Marshall's, see tips for shopping in these store here, I am excited to hit them up fairly regularly.  

This is my last week of official summer, though I've been working half days from home/office/school, but we were able to get downtown for a picnic for a family picnic lunch.  Once winter descends upon us it's hard to get downtown as a family and we all love the river/bridge views that our city provides us so I am so happy that we seized this opportunity to enjoy it before schedules, routines and life takes over our carefree summer days.  I was happy to have an opportunity to dress up a little and decided to pair the romper with  my pearly pink mules that I purchased at Nordstrom Rack while in Portland and my trusted little white backpack from London.  This backpack is super cute and functional.  Halie loves it too and has been "borrowing" it a lot lately, along with some of my clothes.   Hmmmm.  I am not sure how I feel about us "sharing" clothing.  

How will I wear it in the fall?  Well ladies first things first.  I got new hair!!!!  Yep, I went darker, brunette, inspired by Becca Kufrin from the Bachelorette.  I love, love, love it.  It totally feels like me, probably because it's pretty close to my natural color only better and shinier.  Anyway, as the days and evenings get chillier, I have my jean jacket (sale alert) to throw over it.  I love my jean jacket, it's completely neutral and goes with anything and everything it seems.  A great investment piece in my opinion that is good through all seasons, even in winter I use it sometimes over little dresses inside, kind of like a blazer/cardigan.  Anyway, I absolutely love how pink and gray go together like PB &J so I pulled out my little gray booties, and added the darker shade of burgundy to the mix.  And the lips!!!   I went way out of my comfort zone last winter when I picked this rich, bold,  burgundy shade, Diva,  up from Mac and have loved it ever since!  What's your favorite lipstick shades for fall?  

Have a great weekend everyone.  I am getting to meet Deena from Shoes to Shiraz and Lana from My New Happy this weekend and I am as giddy as can be.  Teeheehee.


Mac Diva Lipstick

White Backpacks (Similar: Aldo; Guess)

Mules (Similar Nordstrom Rack)

Tassel Earnings (Similar: Target)

Expression Booties 

H & M Purse (new fall color!)

Old Navy Jean Jacket (sale alert)

Pink Romper (option)

Thursday 16 August 2018

Summer Dressing

What have I been wearing?!?  Well if I am being honest not a whole lot, LOL.  Since most of my summer is spent at the lake my clothing consists of my bathing suit, shorts and a tee-shirt, lululemon gear, bunny hug, messy hair and no make-up.  Seriously, I wear the same few things over and over and I love it.
This is what I actually look like people.  Messy hair.  No make-up.  Exhausted mama, nursing herself with a glass of red.

That being said, the odd time there happens to be a reason to pull out my hair straightener, put on some make up and grab a dress, I am totally psyched!  There really has only been a couple of times that we’ve done something other then the beach, hike, or fire, and I wore the same dress for both occasions because it’s quick, easy and vibrant.  Now that summer coming to an end it’s the perfect time to stock up a few key items for your winter beach getaway, like a fun, bold and patterned dress.  I love all the colors in this little number and more importantly I like how it flows and nothing sticks to you.  There is noting worse in the heat then close that cling to you as you sweat and or eat/drink.

A dress with a great pattern really doesn’t need anything else to make a statement, but some simple accessories like stacked bracelets, I wear them ALL the time, and of course the tassel earrings will never let you down.  I added this lovely, duster cardigan to keep me warm as the evening air sets in.

Family dinner night out at the Candle Lake Golf Course.  I say we all cleaned up pretty nice.

Local artists had an outdoor concert up at our lake and we were able to go on a double date with our friends.

It’s back to city life in a couple of days, meaning that I’ll be back to dressing up daily 😊 Another great summer is coming to an end and it’s always hard to move on, even though I am always excited for another school year to kick off.

How do you feel about summers end?

Wednesday 15 August 2018

DIY: Beach Party Theme for Kids

Many years ago, when Halie was in Kindergarten, we began this tradition of having an end of every school year celebration with a small group of school friends before they all dispersed for the summer. Halie, being 11, is too cool for themed parties now has opted out for a sleepover and a fire in the backyard for the past couple of years.  Anya however is still young enough and eager to plan a themed party with her mama.  This year we went with a beach theme!  At age 8, she was instrumental in the  planning, decorating and creating  to-do lists for the event, and  I was happy to let her take the lead for the most part.  Early on in June she presented me with her blueprints of our yard for the event and the ideas she had come up with.  FYI once she has her mind set, she isn’t not easily convinced to go another way, stubborn, must be like her dad 😊 (JK, all me)

We took to Pinterest of course for some basic ideas and then hit the local Dollar Tree and Dollarama to purchase everything we would need for the afternoon.  Note that I keep these gatherings rather short and sweet, 2 to 2.5 hours, and 4 to 5 friends. 


How we made the ocean wall?
First off we were inspired by this photo from the Crafty Patch such a great idea. 
  • 3 blue rectangular vynal tablecloths
  • Large fish decorations/beach balls/sea animals
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
1.  We cut the rectangular table clothes in half, length wise.

2.  Decide how many waves you want to have and plan out where you would like to place the objects along the waves (fish, beach balls, sea animals.  

3.  The cloths easily bend and mold into the shape of the wave.  Use a staple gun to secure the cloths to the fence.  As you secure the cloth, place the animals/objects on the wave.

4.  Each wave should bend in the opposite direction of the wave above.


Each child painted their own little treasure box,which were cheaply purchased at Dollarama, and were invited to choose their own treasures using various loose parts such as shells, gems, buttons, colored rocks. 

 Our other activities included a slip n’ slide, kiddie pool with bubbles and a dance party in the backyard. 

“Beach Balls” - Chicago Mix Popcorn 

“Pool Noodles” – Twizzlers

“Tropical Fish” – Mixed Fishy Crackers

“Pina Colada Smoothie” – Mott’s Pina Colada Mix

“Rainbow Fruit” – fruit kabobs

Floral paper plates, napkins and cups

It did “rain on our parade” a little bit near the end but it didn’t ruin the outdoor fun for the kids.  We quickly took the art supplies and food inside and continued the celebrations.  The most important thing was that they had fun and though they didn’t get to enjoy the pretty outdoor eating space, they didn’t care because they are kids and they love life!!!!!

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Summer to Fall in a Little White Dress & Link-up

When my sweet girl, Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood asked me to co-host with her and suggested we style a little white dress my first thought was "oh shoot, I have to go out and buy one." If you've been following me for a little while now, or if you are new, I am the first person to tell you that I am actually very frugal.  I love clothes, accessories, nice things, just like any other girl but I am careful with my budget and how I choose the pieces in my closet. I don't buy clothes just so I can put them up on this blog, but rather want to show that every woman can dress and feel good regardless of age, size and pocketbook.  I do splurge a few times a year and buy something like the dress I am styling today, that makes me feel sexy, feminine, classy and unique.  I remembered this dress in my closet from  a couple of years ago that  doesn't get nearly enough attention from me but I am not ready to part with it. It's so simple yet it has so much going on.  The overlay lace.  The silhouette.  And how abut the fringes that are  made for showing off and twirling around in, don't you think?  You can also see it styled here from a couple of years ago when we were in Paris.

I decided how to style this dress for both a summer and early fall date evening with your special someone, or to go out with some girlfriends.
Summer Look

It's summer so really you just need a cute pair of sandals, I chose my trusted Guess flats, a straw bag and accessories.  I love, love, love statement earrings, especially ones that have contrast and frame the face nicely.  I've been all about the tassels this year.    I only really choose once statement accessory and keep everything simple and neutral.  I recently received this .....bracelet for my birthday and thought I'd give it a try.  


Fall Look

Easy, peasy with a dress like this.  Throw on some booties, I choose my trusted Expression booties, but peep toe booties would be perfect for early fall, and a jean jacket for a little extra warmth.  A clutch to dress the look up a bit and instead of statement earrings, I went with my favorite H & B long necklace that shimmers in just the right light. 


Shop This Post:
Guess Flats (similar)Zara Straw BagON Jean Jacket Expression Boots (this years version)
Guess Dress (old)
Stella & Dot Earrings (old)

My usual Fashion Friday post is coming live to you one day early this week as I co-host with the wonderful Ada over from Elegance & Mommyhood.   Ada, mom to the sweetest 5-year old girl named Vivian, who also makes a lot of appearances on the blog. This blog showcases Ada’s personal style as a mom, a woman on the go and as a career woman. She often shows Mommy+Mini Outfits of her and her daughter. It is also a blog about real life updates, current events and her poetry. Ada has been running her successful Thursday Moda linkup every Thursday for two years straight. She can be found on InstagramBloglovin and Pinterest. She thanks you for joining her linkup, today, and welcomes you back!