Monday, 28 January 2013

Weekend Pictures

Well this weekend was a mixed bag of absolute "hell on earth" and absolute "joy and happiness" for this here momma.

Saturday was horrendous. I have no pictures to show for it as I spent my whole day dealing with little girls who just refused to get along and who refused to cooperate with me.  Even lil Miss Stella was NOT being very nice. How dare she!

Phew! Boy was I glad when THAT day was over!

Sunday arrived and it was threatening to be a repeat of Saturday.... But then, thankfully Olivia went to a friends house for a playdate! Yay!!  Plus, the weather was actually warm.....ish for this time of year in this province.

A balmy 0!

And you know what that means!! No?

OUTSIDE! We can go outside without freezing our asses of in 10 minutes.

So I took Sophie (then Mickey and Stella joined us after her nap) to the park!!

My cute Sophie Bear

Weeeeeee, k, not really. The slide was really cold and Sophie had to literally push herself down it.
See this face? This is a "I am soooo happy I was able to leave the house!!" face.
Stella hasn't been on a swing since September.  Can you tell?
Ahhhh, yes, she likes it!
Or not??
Sophie climbing.

Stella was lovin the playground.
She refused to hold my hand, and she walked over the whole play area. Sooooo fricken cute!
Snot is running down her nose. She doesn't look too happy. Yup, time is up.
Even though our time at the park was short, it was so refreshing on my mind and body, to be out of the house and in the sun!!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sleep....or lack thereof

I wish that I could just sleep "in" one day.

Screw that, I don't need to sleep "in", I need a full 6 hours of undisturbed sleep!

Did anyone warn me of this before Mickey and I decided to procreate?  Did anyone say "hey, be prepared to NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!"  I am pretty sure my mom did, but because it was coming from my mom I probably didn't heed the warning.  Because when you are young you think you know so much more then your own parents. Right?


The only child of mine that sleeps all night long, without waking me up to a) pee, b) ask for water, c) scream due to a bad dream, d) move around and fuss restlessly due to sleep apnea, d) wake me up to climb into bed with me because of a bad dream e) cry every hour or two because of a bad cold/chest infection is......0..Zilch...Nada.  Not one child.

Ok, so for the majority of the time Olivia,  does sleep all night, but when she does have a bad dream, it ALWAYS seem to coencide with the other two McG girls.

And this leaves good ol momma with little to no sleep.

So where is Daddy in all of this?


Ok, wait. Let me be fair to my hubby.

I have "mommy radar" so as soon a slight peep comes out of my child's mouth, I go from fast asleep to wide awake, out of bed and on my feet.  By the time I am walking down the hallway Mickey is just about stirring muttering something along the lines of "mmmmm, huuuhhh?"

 Plus if one of our girls does happen to come up to our room, they always, always walk all the way around to my side of the bed and wake me up.  Dear daddy is never disturbed. Lucky bastard.

Of course, with all the complaining that I am doing about not getting enough sleep, you would think that I would go to bed early.....


I keep going to bed at my usual time and every night I just hope and pray that my darling McG girls will not disturb me.

Clearly I should start rethinking my strategy...

Friday, 25 January 2013

The House of Sickos

It started out with a cough.

Sophie coughed, out of nowhere. She was just sitting there colouring, minding her own business and then she coughed. Not just any cough, a deep gurgley, lung buttery cough.

Sigh. Shit. There goes my solid 4 hours of sleep.

Oh, maybe it won't be that bad.

Then she began to sneeze, and her nose began to run.


The part that concerned me most was her cough. It sounded like her lungs were filled with copious amounts of nasty phlegm. So after 3 hours sleep on a night last week sometime (Monday, I think), off I trudged to the doctors office with Sophie as I was POSITIVE that she had a chest infection. Thank The Lord above that I didn't have to wait long to see the doctor! Imagine my surprise when he told me "no infection, just a virus mam" (MAM??) "She has cold induced asthma (which I already knew), so just give her some inhalers"(which we had plenty of already).

After that she recovered quite fast, though even now she has a slight cough. Not too shabby.  Of course I was waiting for the other "ball" to drop, as in the other two kiddos to follow suit and get sick.

Sure enough, one week to the day....Stella coughed.  But not just any cough, a deep gurgley, lung buttery, I'm gonna keep you up allllllllll night cough.

(insert my angry, sad, frustrated, face here)

And boy did Lil miss Stella not disappoint!  By Monday, after she woke up from her nap, she was groggy, coughing, flushed and feverish.  My poor littlest muffin.

Look at those flushed cheeks!

Her temperature was high all through the night. I was worried. I always worry when it comes to fevers. Fevers scare me.

By the morning, her fever was down a bit and off we trudged to the doctor's office.

And what a little trouper my Lil miss Stella was. She was clearly feeling like shit. But yet, she still managed a smile for everyone and even waved.

Seems Lil miss Stella not only had a chest infection, but also an ear infection and an eye infection.  So off we trudged to the pharmacy to pick up all her meds.

And now here we are 3 days later.

My right arm is now noticeably larger and stronger due to the fact that I have been holding Stella pretty much all day, every day for the past few days.

I now know every song on the Yo Gabba Gabba Album by heart as I have danced and sang to it almost non stop for the past 3 days.

I am still sleep deprived, but I got a full 5 hours of sleep last night!! What??

Stella had a slight temperature this afternoon, but she looks and sounds a lot better.  However, she is a crabby pants.

Stella is very rarely crabby.

So obviously she is still not 100%.

I am hoping for another solid 5 hours of sleep tonight, but with three young and crazy McG girls....I should probably just stop blogging and go to bed now.

Sunday, 20 January 2013



Is raising a child with Down Syndrome a burden?

Definitely not.

"The burden of raising a child with Down Syndrome is not in raising the child; it is in dealing with the misconceptions and stereotypes placed on individuals with Down Syndrome by society. "

I saw the above quote on a Facebook status.

Such true words.

The burden is having people judge Stella just by looking at her before even getting to know her.  I haven't had to personally "in your face" deal with this reality just yet, but I am sure at some point in time I will.

The burden is realising that I am going to have to fight tooth and nail to get the help and intervention that I feel Stella does and will need.  Oh Stella is given the "basics", but to get more, to get what I feel she really needs..that takes a fight.

The burden is watching a movie and hearing the R word. Knowing that the person who wrote the script was just one of many making it seem like using that word was OK.  Knowing that if I voice my displeasure with that word that some people will just tell me I am overreacting and being over sensitive.

So far, I have not had to deal with anyone whom I am close with tell me (to my face) I am being oversensitive regarding the R word, but I did get "unfriended" by an acquaintance.  It took courage on my part to send her the email message that I did, and even though we were not close friends it was very hard to have her "unfriend" have her say she was offended by what I said to HER!!

Yeah, having to stand up and advocate and say "Hey, please don't use that word" to strangers and family alike feels very much like an emotional burden.

Is parenting Stella a challenge? Yes, some days are tougher then others, but the same can be said for parenting Olivia and Sophie.  All of my McG girls challenge me, frustrate me, exhaust me.  But they also make me smile and laugh and make me a better human being.

Being a parent and raising children is no easy task, but we do it because we have chosen to and because we have all been blessed with the gift of bringing a child into this world.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

How Did We End Up Here???

I always chuckle to myself when I think about how absolutely opposite where I live now is compared to where I was born.

At this exact moment in time I am living in a small city called Medicine Hat, Alberta (a province in Canada). 

Population: 61,180
Information on Medicine Hat.

A town in the prairies. No mountains, flat, few trees, big huge sky, hotter then Hell summers (which I LOVE) and colder then the Grinch's heart winters (which I do NOT love).

I was born and spent my childhood years in a small country.

Bermuda.  A small island in the Caribbean (north of the Caribbean, to be exact).

Yup, I grew up surrounded by a turquoise blue ocean, pink sandy beaches and beautiful tropical foliage.  Of course, being a kid and having been in that environment since birth I really did not fully appreciate the beauty that surrounded me everyday.

This type of beauty was literally minutes from my doorstep growing up!

Right after I graduated from high school (a week later), my parents and I moved to another country, and another island.  A bigger island with a totally different climate. An island with dark blue (sometimes green looking) ocean. Very cold Pacific Ocean.  An island full of lush green foliage, delightfully smelling flowers and breathtaking views.

Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada).
Population (of entire Island ): 747,281
Population of the Capital Region of Vancouver Island (372,339).

Another beautiful place to have lived! Look at those mountains! Breathtaking!

My family and I moved to Victoria which just happens to be the capital of British Columbia (a province within Canada). Wow talk about culture shock!!! I had moved from this tiny little island where all it took was about 30 minutes to drive from one side of the island to the other, where everyone knew everyone, where there was pretty much a singular culture to this HUGE island with enormous (to me) highways, shopping malls, tons of people, tons traffic and full of diversity and different cultures!

Such a culture shock from Bermuda, but so beautiful!

I learnt to drive, I had my own car, I started to make friends and before I knew it I was LOVING my new life.  The years went by, I went to college, I moved out, I partied, I dated. Then I met Mickey (my fantabulous hubby).  We dated for three years, then got hitched.  We bought a house, started a family and really made a wonderful life for ourselves.  Everything was perfect.....

But life is ever changing and ever moving and never stays the same.  Of course I already knew this, but I really never considered another huge move to be a part of my life's journey. 

I was wrong....

July 2009, Mickey gets offered part ownership of a car Medicine Hat, Alberta.  This was a HUGE deal for him.  Most dealerships are passed down to family members, very rarely do owners of dealerships OFFER any type of ownership to those not within their family (at least in Victoria).  So yeah, this was huge!

When Mickey called me to tell me this news my heart sank, I felt light headed and I lost my breath.  "Medicine Hat???? Where the fuck is that?  I am NOT moving to Butt Fuck Alberta!!"  I'm pretty sure I said something along those lines. 

I was taken off guard!
This was NOT what I had envisioned my future to be!
My life was PERFECT and I did NOT want to change anything!

I had already moved once and it was hard and it sucked and I did NOT want to do it again!

I had friends! Really good friends who loved me and my kids. I had my parents and sister and baby niece! If we moved to Medicine Hat we would have NOBODY!

I'd have to make new friends AGAIN! And making friends is hard work and takes time and I did NOT want to have to go through all that shit again!

We met with the owners of the dealership and were flown to Medicine Hat.  Mickey and I were fully prepared to say "no".  We were expecting to see some nasty, shitty little decrepit, old prairie town in the middle of nowhere.

We were wrong.

There were trees (sparse, flat, but still some trees), green grass, lovely warm weather and everything was new, and "with" the times.

Shit. This is what I was thinking because I knew deep down that we would be moving.

We fought, I dragged my parents and sister into it when I really shouldn't have. It was just a mess. A hot mess.

In the end I knew this opportunity was something that we couldn't pass up.  If we did there would always be the "what if" for me and definitely for Mickey.

I didn't want to leave my family. My parents, my sister, my niece! It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 

But here we are 3 years later still living in Butt Fu... I mean Medicine Hat and life is good.

I have made a few close friends and am slowly making more.

Mickey loves his job and is kicking ass and taking names.

We had another baby! Stella is our one and only "prairie baby".

I have been able to stay home with my girls. Had we still been living  in Victoria, financially we would not have been able to afford it I don't think.

In 2010 Mickey's  parents and a few of his siblings moved here!

Them moving here was huge for us! It was so nice to have family near for our girls to have grandparents and aunts and uncles to hang with and get to know. It is bittersweet for me. I love having family close by to hang out with and to get help from when we need it, but it makes me miss my mom and dad. It makes me sad that they don't get to see our girls as often anymore.

Another "con" to living here is the lack of resources locally for parents of children with Down Syndrome. There are very few children/babies here locally who have DS and therefore there is no local support centre for me to go and meet other parents like me. The closest city is almost two hours away and with three young children, going there is just not something I can do very often, if at all.  This is what I find hardest about living here.  I am the type of person that loves/needs to feel connected, to feel like I am not alone. If I still lived in Victoria, I would have had more of an opportunity to meet other families on the same journey as ours.

However, saying "if only" changes nothing.  So I have chosen to allow myself to feel sad about the "lack" of resources locally and then to move forward from those feelings.  Now I am just on the "look-out" for people who just love and accept me and my girls for who we are.  Those willing to get to know us and see past whatever "preconceived" notions they may have.  I am looking for those who want and encourage their children to get to know all of my children and look past any differences.

I really want Stella, as she grows, to have friends with 46 AND 47 chromosomes!

Sounds so funny doesn't it?  But as Stella gets older I would like her to meet other kids like her so that she doesn't feel alone.  As all our McG girls grow and get bigger, it will get easier for us to travel to Calgary and Lethbridge and participate in events geared towards families who have a loved one with DS.

Life is a journey with many twist and turns.  I am glad that I am on this crazy ride with a supportive loving husband and three awesome little girls.

However, hubby, if you are reading this post....I am really quite done with moving...provinces. Houses, sure, but no more provinces ok?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Picture Parade!

This weeks adventures!

Great start to a new year in my books!!

We went to PetSmart this week to get new fish for the big McG girls.  They got a fish each from their Grandma for Christmas. Sadly neither one survived past 10 days.

She refused to let me hold her hand while she walked

Stella loved this cat!
This cat made Stella laugh and giggle

Since Olivia was still on Christmas break from school, I had to find things to do to entertain all three McG girls.  The play area at the local bowling alley seemed to be a big hit!

climbing up

At the top


They had such a blast!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy New Year!


Wow. Already.

2012 was fairly eventful for the McG Clan.  We moved....twice. 2013 will see us moving once more.  But this move will be permanent as it will be in our "forever" house that we are currently building.

We went on a very adventurous (with three young children) road/camping trip.  We drove many, many, many miles to attend Mickey's grandfather's 87 birthday party.  It was wonderful to finally really meet all of Mickey's aunts and uncles from his dad's side.  It was also so nice to be able to have my girls see again (for Livi) and meet for the first time (for the other two McG girls) their Great Grandpa.

My fabulous sister and her hubby and two girls came to "The Hat" for a visit! All of the girls got along sooooo well! For the most part the house was filled with the noise of happy giggling laughing kids.  I got to hang with my sister again which I haven't done in over a year! We bonded and talked and laughed.  That visit was so very much needed for us and I feel so much closer to my sister now.  I look forward to seeing her again this year!!

Olivia lost some more teeth.  One of which we couldn't even find (she woke up with it missing), but have no fear, the Tooth Fairy left a note saying she found it, so Livi did still get money for her tooth.  Olivia also started 2nd Grade.

Sophie started preschool!!!! I was nervous for her as I wasn't sure how she would handle it.  My previous experience with Olivia left me unsure that Sophie would be ready for preschool.  But, as we all know, every child is so different! Sophie cried a bit the first week, but she really seemed to like it!! Whew!

Stella began developmental aide.  She loves her aide Jaime.  Jaime is amazing with her and I can tell that she truly loves and cares for Stella.  Stella began to really sign at the beginning of this year and now she know over 30 signs, however I'm pretty sure she knows even more.  And the huge amazing, awesome milestone..... Stella is WALKING!! A toddler!  She took her first steps in November, and just before Christmas her walking really took off!  Now, she walks so much that when I see her crawl, it seems odd!

So many things happen in one year that I am really only skimming the surface of our life during 2012.  Those were just the highlights.

I am looking forward to all the big, little, happy, sad, challenging things that will happen this year!

And once I get around to finishing it, I'll even post the picture compilation of 2012! As to when that will happen..hopefully before the end of this year!!