Hazel's 4!!!

She's 4. I know, she has been for a while now - HELLLLLLLLLLOOOOOO!!!! I feel bad TRUST ME!!! Let's just apply the better late than never philosophy here and move right along.

Some pics of this sweet little nugget on (or around) her special big girl birthday. The birthday that made her 4, that makes her of school age (I am struggling with that one for sure - if we are being honest with each other).

Gahhhh Crunchy Leaves

Since I am sitting here sick in bed, I thought the very least I could do (besides binge watching Suits all day) is share a couple of pics of the girls playing in the ever coveted, ever cherished fall leaves. We had such a lovely fall this year which has given us so many opportunities to enjoy being outside and really getting to appreciate the changing colours.

Nola was too young to run and jump through the leaves last year so this year was pretty amazing. Shhhhhh don't tell her I said that, she wouldn't like it. She doesn't think she was ever to small for anything. Anyway, long story short, I got to see Nola experience joy with the fall leaves for the first time and it was pretty fantastic.

Hope you are all enjoying your week!

JMCC Preschool Program Lives

We are very proud to say that the JMCC preschool program will continue to be a service and facility open to families in our community. The program has been revamped and restructured to make it a more financially viable program that will live on to see many future years.

The program focus has shifted slightly (and I mean sightly) to the addition of more typically developing children. What a wonderful plan, a fully integrated program where children of all abilities can learn and grow together. 

We were part of the program launch last week. I felt really proud to have seen the program through to this point and even more proud to have my 2 girls enrolled together. The program is a family plan for us and for that we couldn't be more thankful.

Here are the links to the media coverage of the event:

The Windsor Starhttp://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/mcgivney-centre-launches-revamped-child-care-program

CTV Newshttp://windsor.ctvnews.ca/mobile/children-to-benefit-from-redesigned-program-at-john-mcgivney-centre-1.2525731


I was asked to speak about why the centre was a good fit for our family. I will attach the speech for those who would like to have a read.

We have two daughters Hazel who is 3 1/2 and has down syndrome and Nola who will be two in November. Hazel has been attending for about six months.

In the beginning Hazel had a lot of anxiety about being anywhere that was unfamiliar to her. When we started her here the staff had the ability to help her through that anxiety, and make her feel safe and comforted. The staff is still able to maintain a constant level of safety and comfort and ensure that Hazel is happy even while they undergo some program changes.

One of the main reasons this facility makes sense for Hazel is the on-site therapy. Her speech therapist, occupational therapist, and physiotherapist, are never very far away and able to come visit on a regular basis to check on Hazel's progress and consult with the staff at the preschool about current and future goals.
Not to mention that there is a resource consultant in the classroom who provides extra support on a daily basis for the staff and the students.

This facility is not only capable of meeting hazels needs but it is easy, affordable and provides an opportunity to be ONE place that supports our entire family's needs.

Being able to send Nola will be such a blessing for us in many ways.
1. Our girls will be together helping with comfort and familiarity

2. Having one consistent place to drop both our kids off will make the day to day craziness that much more manageable.

3. It provides opportunity for an integrated program. For Hazel to reach her full potential she needs to be around typically developing peers so that she has a model for behavior and language. It is important to us the new preschool model took that into account. But just as equally important for us is that Nola will be able to grow with children of all abilities. Not only does the program offer inclusion for our kids with special needs, it also offers inclusion to typically developing children, creating an environment of learning, caring and growing together starting from a very young age, helping prepare them for the inclusionary environment of the school system.

We believe in order for both of our children to reach their full potential an integrated model is the best. Children working together of all abilities creates awareness, knowledge and compassion. I want that for my kids. I want that for Hazel, who has special needs. And I want that for Nola who has TYPICAL needs.

We feel that the new program design has a real focus and commitment to helping all children grow to the best of their ability regardless of what that might mean for each child. Not only do they have the commitment to do this they have a plan, a program model and support that will help them to actually succeed.

We live in a world that focusses on the things children with special needs CAN'T DO but at the JMCC they focus on the things they CAN. And as a parent you're always worried that your other children suffer or don't get everything they need because you are consumed by caring for your other child. Here at the JMCC they work with us to make sure both our children get the best possible care and attention they need to grow. We are super excited to have this program available to us as a viable plan for our entire family.

I have so enjoyed being a part of this process - even when it was an emotional one. We feel good about our choice to send both our girls to the same place. We also feel equally confident that each child will get the attention they need to grow to reach their full potential.


Hop over to the John McGivney Facebook page for more info and to keep updated on the coming events. 


To all our our supporters here at Chasing Hazel. Whenever we ask you to stand up and help us you JUMP. So many of you have shared our story via Facebook and I can't tell you what that means to us. Thanks for all your support and your continued concern for the future of the children at the JMCC preschool. 

Hazel Bazel

I'm trying to master the art of writing an update post without actually listing all of the things the kids can do and the things they can't - cause lets be honest - the list would be endless to any mother of any child. And who really wants to hear a mother raving on and on about her child's latest accomplishments. The only people who care the same amount, if not more, about milestones are the grandparents.

I also HATE the comparison thing that happens naturally among parents and their children. If there is nothing I have learned from Hazel it's that all children have gifts and talents that present themselves at just the right time and are usually on the child's terms. Both my kids have taught me that there is no "NORMAL" time to do something, they do it when they are ready. Let's just say "BabyCenter" hasn't been a resource I use often (or really ever). What I do use as a resource, religiously, is Instagram. Every single time I pop on there and see one of the sweet littles that I follow doing something new - reaching a milestone, saying their first words, singing a song, using their first signs, loving on their families, sliding down a slide, using a fork, drinking from a cup or jumping for the first time - my understanding of the absolute individuality among children grows deeper. 

I digress….

What can I say about this little miracle child?

She is just about the sweetest thing I've ever met. Don't get me wrong she definitely has her moments but ohhhh the sweetness - it's almost too much. She has become such a 'go with the flow', easy going, simple kinda gal. Just give her a bucket of water and let her go - she's happy. Put her favourite movie on and give her some chips - perfect. Take for a car ride, no matter the duration, awesome. Cupcakes? WINNER!

That said, you better make sure when she wants to listen to "songs" that you pick the one she wants to hear or look OUT! When in doubt Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" is a fail safe. Over the past few months she has gotten quite good about learning the names of each song or each movie she wants to watch, so that has made things easier (easier meaning cuts down on the whining - Praise Him). Here's the current list: All About That Bass (still), Hey Mama, I and LOVE and YOU, any Zooey song on You Tube, any Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle, any song from The Sound of Music, Katy Perry songs and Adele (still). She impresses me everyday with how many lyrics she has memorized from each of these songs. Also, her dance moves are getting to be quite serious as well. We dance a lot in this house A LOT!!!! 

She has been so great with people the last few months. Always greets everyone with a smile, likes to be around the other kids, doesn't panic when I leave the room, ventures off on her own a little more than before. It's so beautiful to see her actually enjoy people and being out. Something that wasn't always her favourite. Our visits with friends and family have become so incredibly relaxing and fun. I really hope this Hazel is here to stay. Really more for her sake, it's such a joy to watch her have fun and relax with her friends and family. 

If you've been reading a while you'll know that I believe in phases. Especially with kids, everything is a phase. At the moment we are in midst of a great phase with Hazel. I am trying to enjoy every second of her and who she is now. I love seeing her happy and content. I appreciate her willingness to make good choices. I am just plain old enjoying being her mom. She has been an absolute pleasure to parent these days. And no I am not that mom who thinks their kids are a joy to parent all the time - there are times when things are just plain old difficult. Yes, we still have the difficult times but right now the peaceful, happy moments definitely outweigh the pull your hair out moments with Hazel. 

I think my favorite part of this phase is watching her learn and grow. The best way that I can explain it is that she's maturing. I can see her starting to think more, starting to connect some dots, starting to show so much confidence in new activities. She tries things now that she wouldn't even consider trying in the past. Maybe it's the teacher in me but I find myself so interested to watch her thought process evolve and change (I have plans to talk more about this 'evolution' in a future post so I will leave it at that for now). There seems to have been a shift in our lifestyle at home and I would love to share a little more about that with you soon.

For now, I am looking so extremely forward to spending the rest of the summer with these sweet girls of mine. Watching Hazel continue to grow and mature along side her sister. Watching her little expression while she experiences each new days adventures. Observing as she takes it all in, processes it and learns to communicate it back to me. I wait in anticipation everyday for her to ask me to "hold hands" or for a "kiss" (and YES those requests stop me dead in my tracks and they are immediately obliged). 

The bittersweet truth is that she is just now seeming a little less like my baby and a little more like my little girl. It's hard to digest. I have to remind myself that her growing is inevitable, it's happening. I struggle at times to accept this little fact.

Something I NEVER struggle with is celebrating and being proud when she accomplishes something new. It was not so long ago I was sitting with a newborn baby Hazel in my arms. I remember that 30 seconds in the NICU (ok - more than 30sec) when I thought she wouldn't do ALL the things other children do. Such a staggering thought for a new mom. Still to this very day, I can't guarantee what milestones she will reach or how far she will go. What I do know is that I am certainly not going to put a ceiling on it for her. I plan to provide her with every opportunity that is humanly possible for her to reach her full potential. As she is climbing that mountain, I will be there every step she takes to shed a tear when she slips and scraps her knees or to do the crazy jumpy clap thing that only a mother does when her child succeeds. Either way, I assure you that I am the one who has been given the honour of holding her hand while she climbs. 

Nola Granola

Its been a while since I have done an update on the girls here. If you follow us on IG than you are pretty much caught up. If not that's cool, I will fill you in. Nola is naughty and Hazel is an angel. 


Ok no but seriously, in the event that I get these pages printed as I have done in the past, I would like to make sure I keep up to date on our crazy lives with our growing girls.


This girl is the life of the party - ALL THE TIME. She's not shy - AT ALL (which is kinda unsettling). She always has a kind smile and greeting to share with anyone she meets. She waves and says "HHIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!" and then looks at me and says, "she says HI!" with a huge proud grin. She requires very little time, in fact it's borderline inappropriate, to climb on just about anyone's lap that may have something to offer her (sometimes a hug will do - other times it's read her a book, or give her your lipstick, keys and/or phone, with a preference for all 3 obvi). She's what one may call an extrovert.

This girl loves to be out and about and she has a serious case of Fear Of Missing Out. For the love of God, please keep her involved in every single thing that goes on around her at all times. Don't ever let her hear you insinuate she is a baby, cause she's not guys. Typical second child. Any time she knows we are going in the car she's a happy camper. Doesn't matter where we go as long as the car ride isn't too far. Then look out. She not a great traveller at the moment on account of the fear of missing out. Refusal to nap in the car or stroller is at an all time high.

Her favourite activities are pretty much every single thing, unless it involves water splashing on her - then she's OUT! Lately we have been going for walks in the evenings, meaning we all walk. Well, except for Nola. She runs. And her run makes MY LIFE. It's probably the one single thing she does that causes me the most joy. Her little body moves so quick in this bouncy, uncoordinated like manner while she's on her tippy-toes. Knees going up as far as they can and her arms and hands are help up by her shoulders just following the rest of her bouncy little self. She gets going pretty quick. It's amazing!!! #purejoy

PicMonkey Collage2.jpg

Her favourite songs are "Hey Mama" by David and Nickki M and "Sisters, sisters" A White Christmas soundtrack. There are many others but these 2 stand apart from the rest. She knows the lyrics by heart. Katie Perry's "Roar" coming in at a close 2nd, but she thinks Kevin Hart sings it due to the Jimmy Fallon Lip sync segment. There's alway music playing. Her and Hazel are always dancing and singing - LIKE ALWAYS!!! 

Alright!!!! Enough ramblings about my genius daughter and all her crazy skills (ahem).

Really all I want to remember about her is her crazy sass, her ability to hear something once and store it in her little brain. She's been in the pool a handful of times and has a some serious swimming skills. I love her love of music and ice cream and popsicles. How much she adores her family - with a special LOVE for Hazel. How she watches Baby Signing Time like it's her job. How her food choices never cease to amaze me (she ate a shawarma the other day). The way she shows affection is quite forceful - we call it the Spider Monkey - so you can imagine what that looks like. The way she freaks out in the evenings about a half hour before bed because she want to sit on my lap and watch TV and/or read books. The way she is fearless but not really. She always tries to not be scared but then she is. The way she sings/screams 'Happy Birthday' a thousand times a day and it's always Hazels Birthday. The way she tries to coax Hazel out of a bad mood by singing to her or offering her toys she might like.

The way she loves so fiercely, laughs loudly, hugs tenderly, meltdown quickly, does anything for a laugh, her general love of life, her insistence on being independent and the way she views each new day as an opportunity to have fun.

For 21 months she has been throwing down the same attitude and zest for life. I am quite certain it is not about to change now. Every single day is a new adventure with this child. Sometimes it's laughter and dancing and other times it's screaming and injury. Either way, when I brush the cobwebs off in the morning I can't wait to see what she has in store for me. I know for sure when I open her bedroom door she will be there to greet me with her raspy little voice and the highest pitch "Hiiiiiiiiii" and "moooornnnning" that she can possibly muster. And every single day I turn to a pile of mush, smile, walk over to her, scoop her up and kiss her neck. It's anyone's guess how the rest of the day will go but at that moment, it's perfect.

Match the Vigour

I completely forgot that I had this post ready to go. I guess that speaks volumes for the emotional scarring that took place from flying with 2 toddlers. Re-reading it to myself, I realized there is so much I didn't say however, I think I said enough. Listen to me!!!!



The plane ride. I just paused for so long just starring at the screen and got bombarded by memories of the flying experience with Nola and Hazel. Let me just say it was an actual nightmare. Like a living breathing evil entity that rolled in and took over our lives. 

Let me take you through.

We woke the kids up at 4am, to which they were surprisingly happy. Nola had the best bed head I've ever seen, like super volume and light curls. She was so excited to be up in the middle of the night. Perfect! A good sign at the time but I do remember thinking that this early wake up time was going to come back and bite us at some point (just want to note that).Hazel, who really does not like to be woken up, was also in a great mood. Perfect! 

We drove through customs on our way to the airport. As the officer was asking our citizenship and collecting our passports, Nola reaches out her little arms and asked him for a "HUG." To which we laugh and he says that's the first time he's ever been offered a hug on the job. She's precious. 

We arrive at the airport.

Let me take a second to say, I HATE FYLING. I hate planes, I'm not scared, I just can't stand the idea of being so trapped. Plus all the other fun things you have to deal with, cranky airline attendants, checking luggage that's 2 lbs over the allowable limit, carryon bags that are so heavy with who knows even what, security check points (take off my shoes - like really!), trying to find your gate (which is literally always the farthest possible distance from where you are at that moment), not getting a chance to pee because no matter how early you get the airport, there is always some unforeseen issue that promises to take up any extra time you have allotted for pee breaks and food pick up. If I didn't have such a passion for seeing new places, I would never get on another plane ever. LIKE EVER!

Ok so kids are at the airport. They are running free, trying to let them get some energy out of there systems before the flight so they'll sleep. It' s a fool proof plan - ahem. The girls were in heaven. Hazel was free to run wherever she wanted and Nola was free to drag her little body around on the ground. Perfect! Like I mean she laid on her back and pushed herself forward with her feet. Disgusting!

This is where it begins. 

This child is an angel. She was such a good girl the whole time we traveled. She definitely had her moments but we all did. She could not be blamed at times for not wanting to go through the motions, none of us did. She was content to sit on the plane, eat her snacks, watch her movies and when she was tired, she rested her head on my arm and out she went. She slept so much of the time or just sat quietly and watched her movie. She's my favorite.

You know who's not my favorite? Toddlers. Period. But Nola she crossed a line. Don't let this sweet, happy, I'm-such-a-good-girl-sitting-here-doing-what-i-am-supposed-to look fool you in any way. This child was the devil on the plane and in the airport. I would have rather travelled with a wild badger in my carryon bag than this little stinker. Putting both the girls in one seat and buckling them in seemed to buy us the most time. The stewardess warned us that it wasn't the safest option, to which she received a blank stare and a promise of non-compliance from both Matt and I. We were both willing to take the risk in order to keep the sanity at a reasonable level.

Here's one of the only moments we smiled the entire plane ride. Nola was in heaven sitting right next to Hazel. Nowhere for Hazel to run meant she could hug her and kiss her as much as she wanted. 

On the way home (and this pic is not from then - nobody was taking pics of that hot mess) Nola continued her nap strike. Which soon left her completely over-stimulated and waaaaaaaay over-tired. She would NOT be entertained with ANY of the toys, movies, snacks, iPods we brought. I had to take drastic measures. As soon as the drink service passed our seats, I hopped up and ran back to the galley. Nola had worked herself up into quite a state by this point. She was screaming pretty much at the top of her lungs, refusing to be held or rocked. Only freedom would do. So, I did what any parent would do?

I matched the vigour 

Which meant I walked to the back of the plane, strapped my insanely angry, sweaty, trashy baby into a sling (while she was doing this cobra bendy thing with her body) and tried to match the intensity of her crazy by jumping as high and as fast and as hard as I could up and down. I matched the vigour. After about 10 jumps she calmed down. I did 10 more and then when I was just about dead a few more. She was finally quiet. I matched the vigour. I stood at the back of the plane rocking and patting her for the rest of the fight. Eventually she fell asleep. The flight attendants did not make me move until the last possible second, stretching the allowable limit of non-buckled in time, I am sure of it. They were angels and it turned out, great conversation for 2 hours.

We will UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES be flying anywhere with our children any time soon. 

Please use this as a guide to your next flight with your 18 month old child. JUST DON'T DO IT!!!! You've been warned. Also, thanks to the person who defined "match the vigour" for me. I am forever changed.



I have been working on some really cute, happy, loving - adoring even - posts about the girls the last little while but the truth is, this week I really can't continue to write these 'adoring' things about my children because well this week has been a rough one. And to top it all off, I just realized that it's Wednesday (AND WEDNESDAY IS NOT OVER!!!!). 

Here goes...

Monday morning starts and I try in all my supermom fashion, to bring my kids swimming at their Nonna's. Of course I didn't get the memo that they didn't feel like swimming on Monday morning. Sunday afternoon they had a blast. Monday NOPE! Disaster.

Note to self: No future swimming endeavours will be planned for the rest of the summer - EVER!

Tuesday morning I had a quiet morning planned in which I got to clean the house - AMAZING!!! Then when I finally sat for my coffee. I set the girls up outside with a pool, water and toys. Nola, the little opportunist she is, decided I needed ice cold water poured on my feet. A bit shocking the first time but over time it became quite refreshing. 

Note to self: Have coffee a safe distance from freshly filled kiddy pools

Now this morning, that was the real kicker. Hazel was in daycare so I thought I would be a good mother again and take Nola to a cool splash pad, tiny kid pool and a huge play yard (clearly not obeying my first "note to self"). Also, where she could hang with her cousins. The one and only single thing she cared about was having a popsicle. Not the splash pad (which I kinda figured), not the little wade pool, not the slide or play yard. She was somewhat into her cousins at least but still they were giving a lot more than she was. Good thing they just love her no matter how cray she acts.

Note to self: No future outings to the wade pool will be planned under any circumstances. Also, BUY POPSICLES.

Just want to point out, that is not a bad pic of her, that's her face. She's very impressed.

And the very best part of the day today occurred when we picked up Hazel from daycare. This I have in text form so you can just read that. I am constantly in shock about the content of my texts when it involves my kids. This one I thought I would share. I mean just so you know you can't make this stuff up.

Like I can't tell you how absolutely embarrassing it is to have your children systematically break down your dignity and every ounce of control you have over life in about 5 minutes time #thestruggleisreal 

Once, I finally get to the car (which is a short walk through a parking lot with 2 children who really have no interest in listening to me) Nola is doing that screaming, twisting, hitting, arching thing they do when they don't want to get in the carseat. The fun never ends.

Here is what I was left with... Train wreck city down here.

Note to self: No future outings will be undertaken until the "leash" for Nola has been secured. 

Addendum: Hazel is an angel and somehow ends up the victim of her sisters wrath.

Now I am going to spend the next half hour or so looking at and purchasing very pretty things from one of my favourite IG shops, Fancy Free Clothing Boutique. I love their pieces and I love that it's a family run business, 3 sisters and their mama. Very sweet. I love supporting these types of shops. Please check them out - right now!!!! The IG handle is "fancyfreeshop"

Note to self: Shopping makes everything better. Especially really pretty girly dresses.

Wednesday is almost over people. Friday is next right?

The Family Circus

Wasn't there a comic strip named the family circus? I think I vaguely remember it. One sec… going to Google it.

Yes there was… (photo curtesy of KingFeatures.com). 

Ok so why do I bring this up you ask? What does the title of todays post actually mean? Here it goes...

We have become the Family Circus!!!!

It's us. Except for we only have 2 children, which seems weird with the precursor "only" because I feel like we have 10 kids. Especially when we are outside, which is particularly when we become the family circus. Lately our neighbors have had the pleasure and luxury of watching us try to wrangle our children in somewhat of a heard (Nico in tow) while we are out taking our evening walks. You know the ones that "tire the kids out"? Yeah, the ones that end up tiring out the grown ups - YUP those. 

Indulge me. So we are outside walking on the street (we literally have zero traffic) and our children are free to run where they please - within reason. By "reason" in this case I mean, whichever direction they choose, any driveway of their choice and their favorite of all, the neighbors front porches. They run, they walk, Nola does this weird runny, bouncy, tip-toey, swingy thing when she's moving (to the best of my knowledge it's 'running'). Thanks goodness our neighbors are more like a big family and they are all smiles when the kids pop up on their porches. It does concern me a little when we walk on the other streets in our neighborhood and they attempt to visit those porches. No one has come out with a shot gun yet so #winning.

SEEEEEEEE - FAMILY CIRCUS!!!! Someone call Barnum & Bailey. If you want to see the act it starts around 6:30 with only 1 showing per evening cause the trainers are too tired to offer a second show. NO encore!

Other than all that fun and trying desperately in between rain storms to clean up our yard, we have managed to have some fun. It's rained so much this year that our choices are stay inside - which is a NO GO for me - or to just go and play in the rain.

Hazel and I had so much fun outside splashing in the puddles, running up and down the street, the neighbors even came out to smile and and laugh along with us (while staying dry). It reminded me of being a kid again. We used to have this tiny ditch in front of our neighbors house that would fill with water almost every storm. If you needed us, thats where we would be. None of us had swimming pools so the dirty, muddy, 1 foot ditch was perfect for us. If I do my job right as a mom, I'm hoping my kids will have that same memory to carry with them as adults. 

I'm not sure but I think we #nailedit. So. Much. Fun!!!

Nola is not really the type to shy away from a mess. As you can see here...

I LOVE how she doesn't think dirt is gross yet. She just wants to play. I, of course, knowing that it's dirt immediately react by taking her out and try to get her interested in something else. Until I remember that it's just dirt, she doesn't know it's not really for playing. What if she wants to become a geologist, or an archeologist, or a gardner, who am I to tell her dirt is gross.

Have at it little one - become who you are going to become. I promise to try not to let who I've become get in your way.

I think I might need reminding along the way but I promise to try my best.

They adore this little area we built for them in the back yard. They know it's for them. They LOVE that it's for them.

She thinks it's really hilarious when she splashes me with water. Like really HILARIOUS!!!

I have a couple more pics of this little devilish grin, but I thought I would save them for Friday. Yes they get better, and more devilish. I'm in trouble.

Have a great week everyone!!!


It has been pretty quiet here on the ol' blog since before the holidays. I have reasons. Trust me. We are working on a pretty time consuming "project" (we will call it that for now) at the moment. I can't say much about it yet, but it's been a year in the making and our hope is that it will benefit children with special needs. That's all I can say now. I will fill you in when I can, I promise. In the meantime, if you wouldn't mind accessing that special Chasing Hazel rally and support for the cause by throwing a prayer or some positive vibes our way, it would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!! now

On the home front...

It has been quiet. As quiet as it can be with 2 little hyper girls, anyway. I am enjoying settling into a new year just staying close to home and spending time with the babes. Not that we have much of a choice. The temperatures around these parts are way too low (today it's 3 Celsius, feels like -8) to even go outside. The few times I have tried, poor little Nola loses her breath when the winds blows.



We are continuing the organizing and purging. We are almost done the entire house!!!!! WOOT!!!! Nothing has been left untouched. It so therapeutic to rid your life of excess. It feels even better to give it to those who need it more than you. I'm not only talking charity, but just to give it to friends and family and see these items get another life cycle is amazing. Once we are finished purging the SPRING CLEANING will begin. I LOVE IT ALL!!!! Of course my mom will help me, otherwise I would probably hate it. Just sayin' #spoiled

The girls have been so content these last few weeks. I find I am always left wanting more (It's a nice change from the craziness that was our home before the holidays - felt like no one was happy ever) They have been distracting me from cooking, cleaning, errand running and the blog. We colour, play, do puzzles, read books, play with babies, pretend to sleep and "Wake UP!!!", DANCE PARTIES - lots and lots of dance parties, or I just sit and watch them play with each other and the new toys they got for Christmas. They are my most favourite distraction.




A wise woman once told me (my mother-in-law...ahem), in relation to kids,

"Everything's a phase"

An immediate disclaimer following, sometimes the next phase is worse than the one you are in, but it too shall pass. It has proven to be some of the best, most true advice that I have been given. It provides a little reality, with a dash of hope. Oh, how there are times I wish that dash was a mountain, but you know what they say "a little dab'll do ya."

This is an amazing phase. The girls rarely fight, they like the same food, the same shows, the same songs, the same toys, the same books. It makes for an easy, peaceful atmosphere here at home. The flow is natural. I am finding it difficult to get motivated to take Hazel back to daycare. I want her home with Nola and I. Also, the threat of the FLU doesn't help. I am sure it will change soon enough, but these moments are fleeting around here and I plan to suck up as much of this phase that I can. Then I'm going to hope and pray when the phase shifts to the next one, I can use these memories to to help me have hope that better times are on the horizon.

Facial tissue id currently a big hit at the house. Nola pretends to blow her nose and Hazel pretends to clean her face.


I am seriously trying to wrap my head around this girl turning 3. This might be it. The year I jump...stay tuned.


Nola's newest, most fun trick she's learned yet. Shirtless...


This child is a beautiful little soul.



Stay warm San Diego...


Christmas is Coming...

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Ahhhhhhhh....the lights. Such fun. This is pretty much the only Christmas activity the girls have actually enjoyed so far. We all know how the Santa visit went. YIKES!

They aren't familiar with the yearly traditions yet. Santa is just a jolly old fellow they've seen in books. They have no concept of making a list and have absolutely no expectations of "getting" anything. And although I can't wait for them to be excited about waking to the treasures that Santa has left, I am kind of enjoying their ever present state of mind at the moment. They just are. I love them for that. Also, I thank them for it.

These kids are happy with anything or nothing. They were good with the lights...




Well, that's not entirely true. Nola looked like this most of the night. Thank goodness Hazel looked like this. Balance.



I think at one point I asked Matt if he thought Nola was trying to ruin Christmas. Soooooo, yeah, the night was peaceful. NOPE!

It wasn't until Mommy made one of these that we started to feel the Christmas spirit. Peppermint ice cream, rum, milk, blend. Magic!!!! If you are feeling crazy - eggnog instead of milk. But RUM!!!









Life certainly isn't perfect, usually, it's far from it. It's messy and unpredictable and LOUD. Often my kids don't get the memo that we are supposed to be spending a magical night together making memories as a family. They end up cranky, or hungry, or tired, or well, let's just say - "not in the Christmas spirit." We can only control so much.

In the end, the lights were a hit. The tree went up and got decorated. Mommy and daddy had special drinks and it felt like Christmas.




Here's to spreading Christmas cheer!!!

If your kids are "not in the spirit of Christmas" please throw on your favourite Christmas song, "I pray on Christmas," works like a charm AND see the drink recipe listed above. 100% chance of increasing the "feelings of Christmas" in your home.

Good LUCK!!!

Mommy Forces a Photo Shoot (with a TUTU)

I may not be a professional but who needs to be when you have the 50mm lens?? HA!!! Just jokin' don't tell Tiff from Vita Photography I said that....shhhhhhh. I worship you, Tiff!!! No seriously, I did the same exact session with Hazel when she was about 12 months old, so it's only fair that history dictate I do the same with Nola. I do very little editing on these babies, but they are mine. I love them!!!










Trust me when I tell you there are about 150 more photos from this session. I truly envy those of you out there that have mastered that fine art of "deleting" photos that are unnecessary. You know the ones that their head is tilted a little more to the left in the next picture, saying to yourself "you never know when you're going to need it." I have been trying, really I have, but seriously, you never know when you are going to need it!!!!

As a little side note, that happens to be a little on the subject. I feel a HUGE PURGE coming on. Like massive! Like an everything must go, free to a good home, we live in a world where we think we NEED too much stuff, if you haven't worn it, it's GONE type of purge. I feel it deep inside me just screaming to get out. I am literally sitting on my hands and forcing myself to wait until the new year to start rustling things up around here. But, it's coming. I CAN NOT be stopped. Matt if you are reading...BE WARNED.


I look at these pictures and can't believe that I am looking at MY 2 daughters. How did these 2 babes come from the same parents? Opposites in almost every way. At least this way we get the best of both worlds. A blonde haired, blue eyed, feisty little lamb and a brown haired, brown eyed, sassy little love.









Happy day Y'all!!!!



A Vita Victory

By some miracle Tiff from Vita Photography managed to work some serious magic and capture all these beautiful photos. I've said it many times before and I am saying it again. Her work is perfection. She gets it. She gives you all of those things that you never want to forget. Even though Hazel was having a fit because we wanted her to walk east and she wanted to walk west. We wanted her to stand and she wanted to sit. We wanted her to sit here and she wanted to sit 2 feet to the left or right (just over enough to be out of the frame). Yet, she still manages to produce works of art that I will treasure forever.

She gave us this...







And these...







And her...

















This pic makes me DIE every time. If you only knew how much we are not the couple to kiss for the camera. Yet, here we are doing it and it could NOT be more perfect. Matt and I are laughing cause we feel silly. He is looking at Hazel. She is looking at him with kissy lips of her own. Nola just finds the thing amusing. It's just perfect, in my opinion.



And then these last few that are nothing short of works of art...






Seeing the finished product from these busy photo shoots always leaves me exploding with excitement and emotion. Tiff really is the best guys, CALL HER!!!!!

Time passed, Life Changed

Let's just start by acknowledging just how fast time seems to go by these days. Is that a bad thing? Hmmmm? Second, go grab a cup of coffee and come on back. This is going to be a marathon.

I look back at these sweet photos of a human life that only joined us a little over 365 days ago. Then, I look back at photos of Hazel, and her first few moments and days here in this life. Something just doesn't add up.

How could it only have been less than 3 years ago? Less than 3 years that our lives have changed in such a dramatic way. I barley remember the days before tripping over toys, changing dirty butts, waking frequently during the night, battling about food and rarely sitting down. What I can remember about those days was that we NEVER laughed so much, loved so hard, cared so deeply, felt so proud or experienced such contentment.


A little over a year ago a tornado hit our home, turned everything upside down and left no survivors. We have never felt so blessed. She's still kicking up dust where ever her feet land. Her name is Nola Charlie...




Documenting my girls lives on this blog will serve as a tool to revive my memories when they are all grown and independent. As you know, if you've been reading for a while, I am not one for documenting milestones. Especially not for comparison reasons. But I am wishing that I was little more diligent in keeping the little details about Hazel's first year on record. Simply for the purpose to help me to remember who she was at those certain moments in time. I wanna remember how they made me laugh, cry, mad or sad.



Here goes...

Nola growls always. Happy or sad. Tired or hungry, always with the growling. When she's really excited she squeals. Like loooooong and loud and hard. She puckers up her lips just so and sucks in as hard as she can. I laugh almost every. Single. Time.

She's got a real thing for expressions. She has a million.






She's a walker. At 10 months she was over the crawling thing. Now she walks (or runs) around the house like she owns the place. Hates the baby gates- HATES!!! The moment she hears the click, she starts crying (they both do). Girlfriend likes to be free.



Smiles all the time. Always looking for the next super fun time. Like the trampoline for example.



Except for when I get the camera out. Then there is an immediate smile drought in effect. It usually lasts right until about the time I put the camera down.



Her vocabulary grows by the day. Mama, Dada, apple & bottle (which sound exactly the same - but I'll be damned if I don't get it right), Nonna, sissy (of course - it was her 3rd word), GO (sounds like 'do'). Oh and how could I possibly forget the most frequented word of choice, "NO" (with a pointed finger and mostly right before she's about to do something she's know she's not supposed to do), nice, play, baby, book...



When we come in from being outside. It's a guaranteed melt down every time, no matter how long we have been out there.






She's been eating pretty much everything we eat for ages. I barely remember purees with her. Always insisted on eating what Hazel was eating. Her favourite food is pasta. Favourite fruit is raspberries. And now they both come running when they hear the pantry door open, CHOCOLATE.



Still wakes up in the night occasionally, just to make sure she has access to a bottle whenever she feels like one. And yes, she gets one. #FAIL



I, also, want to remember how Nola has been loving steamrolling her sister every chance she gets. Sometimes Hazel laughs, sometimes she looks at me to make it stop. Hazel is usually pretty tolerant but every once in a while she gives her a gentle shove.



I want to remember how they laugh with each other all the time. They have this one specific sound they make that's like a nature call to the other one to repeat the sound. Ever seen "The Hunger Games"? They are like the jabber jays - no joke!

They follow each other around the house and find a multitude of surfaces to bang on. They try to pass the food they don't want to eat on to the other one's tray.

Every morning since she's been able, Nola crawls or walks into Hazel's room first thing with a huge smile that quickly turns to laughter. I swear she is trying to say, "morning." And everyday she turns to me with this smile on her face as if to say, "Can you believe it? It's Hazel!" Blows her mind er'yday.



Every night after dinner they go into Hazel's room and read book and play in the mirror.



What more can I say?

She's the destroyer of books, the spoiler of quiet, the seeker of danger, lover of people, admirer of Hazel, chaser of the sippy cup, nuturer of babies, caresser of the dog, master of the growl, nibbler of everything, kisser and cuddler extraordinaire...


She's the creater of joy, giver of love, sparker of laughter, lover of all. She is the life. She literally IS THE LIFE in our home. Her blond hair, blue eyes, cheeky grin can't be denied.

Where there is Nola, there is laughter. There is ease. There is peace. She is our constant reminder not to take things so serious. To stop and smile. To throw our hands up and have a jumping party on the bed. Or to play dolls, or to go outside and take a fresh breath of air, or to wrestle, or to read or to do anything that is fun in that exact moment. Girlfriend's got this living in the present moment thing down. She's a pro and she's teaching us all how to really do it.




Thank goodness because the other night while I was holding her, I needed that reminder. I remember having a very similar experience while rocking Hazel to sleep as well.

I was laying there with her in my arms. She had scooted her way down in my arms so I was cradling her like a new born again. The lights were so dark that I could only barley see the outline of her tiny face. Yet I had never been able to see it so clearly. Evey little detail, every bump, every crevice. The weight of her very real in my arms. The realization that even as the seconds past right then, she was getting older and older. In this moment I struggled to stay grounded, present, trying to grasp so tightly onto her babyness. All the changing and growing. But in that moment she was snuggled into my chest, breathing in my scent, feeling my heart beat against her face. In that moment she was my little baby. And in the morning she's still going to be my little baby, until one day she will be a grown women (and I will still see her as my little baby). Until then I'm going to enjoy all these little moments where I am her ENTIRE world and she is mine.

(these next 3 images are courtesy of the ingenious Tiffany at Vita Photography)





So the passing of time. Is it a bad thing? Not really.

It allows our relationships to grow and evolve. It allows us to watch our children learn the things we teach, and transfer that learning to their lives. It provides opportunity for us to saturate them with our love. With the passing of time, our children experience our nurturing. If the time stopped passing we would never experience the pride in watching our children grow into the people they will become. And I'm not sure about you, but I am way to curious about who they will grow to be. I am WAY to invested in making sure that I provide them with the tools they need to meet their full potential.

An entire lifetime of time passing would never give me enough kisses, hugs, smiles or cuddles with my girls to be satisfied, so I say - bring it!





Ho Ho HO!!!!

I just had to share this on the blog. For those who don't follow us on Facebook or Instagram. It's not a smile for Happy Friday this week. Well not the kids smiles anyway.

Let's just say the visit with Santa was a lively one.

It all started the INSTANT I tried to hand Nola off to Santa. Her little body stiffened and she screamed her loudest, most horrified, someone-just-ignited-my-clothes-on-fire scream that she could muster. Well, Hazel got one look at that and she was convinced that danger was imminent. She too began to scream her loudest, get me-the-heck-outta-here scream. If Nola was out, there's no WAY Hazel was sticking around to see this thing through. And on and on AND ON they went. Dispite the fact that we were holding them. We reassured them and we DID NOT even try to attempt to hand them back to Santa again, they still carried on. It was really warm and cozy. Like seriously, I was sweating.

Anyway, a little poem, if you'll indulge me...

We decided to visit Santa and get out of the house, Upon our arrival, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse. When suddenly there arose such a clatter. Everyone walking past had to see what was the matter. And what to their wondering eyes might appear? Two tiny humans stiff as a board, flailing their arms and yelling from fear. With Santa in the middle, chuckling with glee. And I on his right trying not to flee. The elf behind the camera through her arms up in defeat. All I can hope is there was no live Tweet (#insanesantavisit) So with my red face and sweaty arm pits, I collected my children, and gave my humblest of apologies. We exited the area and exchanged a look of terror, while we laughed and declared that this make for good stories.

The END.


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Happy Friday everyone!!!!

Nola Charlie - A Birth Story

NOLA HA!!!  I am writing another birth story.

I can hardly believe that I am doing this. Hold on...I can hardly believe that I have "kids" or "daughters" LIKE IT'S PLURAL!!! I NEVER take it for granted EVER. I GET to write another birth story. What an honour, a privilege to tell another babies journey into the world. I have a feeling this one won't be another ten pager, like Hazel's birth story was. Nola wasn't as high maintenance as her sister.

Even though this birth story might not be as many pages, it might not include as much drama, you won't find any medical jargon, there wasn't an imminent threat of surgery or death upon arrival. It still has enough power and strength to have changed my heart in a completely different and utterly necessary way.

I hope you enjoy!

(I am so thankful that Tiff, from Vita Photography, was there to capture these sweet moments. I look at them often and treasure them deeply. I am not sure this would have been possible had her and I not been so close. It helps to have extremely talented and supportive cousins. There are not really any before shots cause she literally walked in RIGHT before I started pushing. No fault of her own. What can I say? My babies come fast)


I'm 41 weeks pregnant, which is great.

No not great!!! NOPE - NOT AT ALL!!!

Couldn't sleep, couldn't walk, couldn't move, COULDN'T DEAL!!!! Trying to be a good mother to Hazel felt completely out of the question. Trust me when I tell you, that added emotional failure to the daily routine was productive. I literally felt like this baby was never going to come.

NO I wasn't enjoying the lasts days of my baby and I sharing one body. Not one bit. I prayed so hard. Every. Single. Night, for her to come OUT!!! Let's just say I am not my "best-self" anywhere from 35 to 41 weeks pregnant. Do NOT judge me!

So after a few very, VERY uncomfortable visits to the OB and still no baby we decide that it's time to induce. Naturally, I went diving head first into panic mode.


This really wasn't expected. I had no knowledge of what being induced would entail. I didn't want to start looking it up on the internet and I had a hard time asking people for their experiences, as it's so different for everyone. All I knew in the back of my mind was that being induced is generally "not ideal". I immediately became so afraid of labour. A feeling that I never had prior. Fears like, was it going to take longer? Would it be more painful?


I got a few opinions. Some were great, some not so much. Anyways....

We decide on the day. Saturday (not realizing at the time that it was November 9th - my sweet Allie Belle's birthday). As good a day as any. I got into bed the night before praying to go into labour. NOPE!

I got the call at 6:30 am. They had a bed for me. No rush. Have a shower, something to eat and come on in whenever you're ready. The whole morning was pretty chill. I walk into the the OB wing of the hospital at about 8ish, only to be greeted by what seemed like the entire nursing staff and doc. Lovely entry to arms-a-wavin' and happy, smiling faces saying...

"Good morning!"

"Your having a baby today?"



By 8:30 I was in a gown and my water was broken. I immediately started contracting on my own. No drugs necessary. Nurses started taking a history. Wondering what my last labour was like. "Hmmmmmmmm, so you went from 4 to 10cms in 20 minutes?" The wheels were turning. Contractions were getting very intense, very fast.


The plan quickly turned into, "let's just see where these contractions take us" before we start the Oxycontin. My body started to command the stage. I was in some serious pain. It came fast and furious and was holding nothing back. It was too MUCH, TOO FAST!

9:30 was the limit. I need drugs now please. PLEASE!!!!!

Oh, there's no anesthesiologist available right now? AMAZING!!!

The nurse took one look at me and said, "I think we'll call someone in for you."


By 10 the epi was getting put in, still at 2 cms. Hmmmmmm...I don't think so. Not with these contractions.

Matt was kicked out into the waiting arms of the family. Of which there was no shortage of. Same crazy bunch that were there for Hazel. We take over. That's our thing. We fill waiting rooms to the brim with family. Sometimes, my father-in-law's thing, is to offer money to other awaiting family members for the "boy" that they are waiting to meet. I guess he's pretty determined to get his grandson (don't think I didn't hear that little tidbit Pip!!!)

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I digress...


So epi is getting put in, Matt is out of the room, contractions are getting very strong, but I felt great! 10:30 things are happening, nurse decides to check again, just in case things happened to change. HEEEEEELLO...10cms. HA! It creeps up on you that elusive 10cm cervix. FAST!



Drugs were in full effect, I was thinking this pushing thing was not going to be productive. The doc came in, checked the baby's heart print out and made a call. We need to get her out. Right now. She's having some stress and he was not comfortable waiting for the drugs to wear off a bit. Turns out when a doc tells you that your baby is in distress you figure out pretty quickly how to push her out.




Within about 4 pushes, out came her little head. I watched her first seconds entering the world. Still very much a part of me. I let out a huge gasp of amazement. I cried in awe, "Oh My God...There's her head!" There she was. Her perfect little grey head. How is this even possible? A couple more pushes and she was free. She was here. We were two bodies.




She filled the room. Her smell, her cries, her squeaks, her new life.





And there it was. It came barreling over me. Consuming me, flooding me, like water that breaks free from a damn, coating everything in its path. That feeling...

That feeling when they put this brand new baby on your chest and nobody is quite ready to take in what has just happened. It doesn't matter. There's a baby. Her face is super crunched up, she's crying and flailing and covered in that last little bit of mama. The world fades away, all the pain is gone, the anticipation is exchanged with love, the fatigue turns into nurture, the stress turns into joy. All in a split second - an instant - a snap of the finger. That's how long it takes for this little tiny person that was growing inside you, to change your soul forever. In those first few moments, when you exist only for this little being, only to provide for her. She rests so desperately there on your bare chest. Her skin on your skin. Her senses take over and she searches, wiggles and crawls her way down your chest, staking her claim. This is where she eats. This is where she lives. This is where she feels safe, cared for, and secure. Drinking in my scent, it's all she knows. Both of us clinging to each other aching to feel our bodies, our skin, her weight on my chest.





These moments were taken from Hazel. We didn't have these first few moments that are driven purely on instinct and love. This time, we got to truly appreciate the birthing process. I got to literally watch her come out of my body. Not worrying about her health, her heart, her belly. With each push, focusing on bringing her into the world and meeting our second daughter.



This is the story of how this girl healed me. It's my birth story.

From the moment I learned that she was growing inside me, until this very present moment. She took a broken, grieving woman and turned her into a completely satisfied, completed mama. She sewed up wounds that I didn't know I had. I thought Hazel cured me. She made me a mother. But the soul knows what it needs to feel peace. And my peace came with little Nola. I never dreamed of her. I never thought she was possible. And yet she is here. She just came.



I still look at her everyday and wonder how the universe got it sooooooooo right?

How the universe knew that my soul still needed healing?

My girl Nola, let me abandon all of those grieving, infertile moments that I had no idea I was still carrying around with me. She allowed me to believe, the absolute truth is, that God will provide. I struggled with this truth during our years of infertility. Nothing ever made sense and I felt abandoned. I could spend my entire lifetime providing, nurturing, loving, and supporting Nola and I still would NEVER be able to repay her for how she has given my soul peace and my heart contentment. She erased so much pain and replaced it with hope.

Not to mention how important she will be for Hazel in the future. Something my mama heart can't even begin to comprehend. If I focus on it I get all goose-bumpy and heart-fluttery. It's TOO much. Entirely, TOO much!

Looking back now, Hazel's birth/arrival was about healing Hazel. It was about forever changing the way that we view life, people and society. It was about teaching and allowing Hazel to send her message to the world. It was about accepting things that seemed like challenges but ended up filling our hearts with pure love. She allowed us to see everything with LOVE in our hearts and therefore letting us accept real LOVE into our lives.

Nola's birth/arrival was about healing us ALL as a family. She made us complete, whole. She brought balance and peace. She was exactly what we needed and she came at exactly the right time.



Baby Nola,

You were not planned for, you seemed impossible. You are a miracle, a little gift from God. You are welcomed, you are loved. You will never know the weight of your presence in our lives. We owe you baby girl and we plan to spend the rest of our lives repaying you in unconditional LOVE and support. You filled in all the cracks and made us impenetrable.

Gosh - I love you.


Nola46_bw     Nola44_bw


God is good.


I told you it wasn't over...

Look better Halloween pics. I wish I could take the credit but my sis-in-law is the one who has rightfully earned a pat on the back here for a job well done. A lot of sweat, high pitched noises and signing songs goes into getting a photo like this. And yet, all but 1 are smiling (NOOOOOLLLLLLLLAAAAAA....grrrrr).

Actually those are great odds. I'm impressed.




Still, we couldn't manage to get Hazel to hold the staff but, low and behold, we got her to keep her bonnet on for more than 5 seconds.




Here is proof that there was a staff. Handmade by "dada"



Consider this your Happy Friday post this week. Next post will be Nola's birth story as I continue to plan a celebration for her first year of life. I can't even.


Happy Birthday Daddy

I don't often talk about Matt here on the blog. Not much is said about our relationship besides a few comments about parenting choices, situations and things like that. There really is no real reason for it, I just don't feel the need to share. Something has to remain sacred...HA! Just because I don't share doesn't mean that we are not the real deal. Matt is the real deal. Mama (& daddy) raised this boy right. He is a supportive and loving husband (not that we don't have our moments guys, trust me we do), he is a loyal friend and a very present uncle, brother and son.



But the thing is, he is LITERALLY the BEST father that there ever was. Like, I can't even DEAL with how much he loves our girls. And how much they love him in return. It's something that can't be measured or compared to anything. I can't write about it. I can't talk about it. I could never explain it and do it justice. If you've been around him and his kids that you know what I mean. You've seen it. It's so obvious.

Let me put it this way. I had a good 'ol fashion ugly cry the other night when I looked up and he was having a dance session with Nola. Something that happens often 'round these parts. My mind immediately went to them dancing at her wedding. She's gonna be a big girl then, but I have a feeling she's not gonna look any different to us then. She will still look like our little baby girl. It's all just too much for my heart to deal with.



Anyway, why today? What's with the talking about Matt today? It's daddy's birthday!!!




Also, as a little side note. I'd like to take this opportunity to speak to the future boys that think they are going to try to date my daughters...

Dear Nola & Hazel's future husband,

Good luck even trying to compare to their daddy. He is stronger than you, funnier than you, smarter than you, kinder than you, more generous than you will ever be, cuter than you and he knows just how they like to dance. He melts them with a single glance. Soooooooo, yeah. Good luck with that!

Sincerely, Nola & Hazel's overbearing mother.

Fall Has Flung (is that a thing?)

I don't know if it's a thing but you know, "spring has sprung" well - FALL HAS FLUNG!!!! I am a huge fan of fall. Those of you who have been reading for a while know this already. Singing the praises of fall will be a bit tedious for you. How about I let the pictures do some of the talking this year?




Apple picking has easily become one of our family favourites. Guys! The pure joy we experience is off the charts. Completely off!!! It could not be measured!!!



Such a perfect yearly tradition for us all. Watching the girls wander through the low hanging trees. Hearing the screams of excitement when they have found the "perfect" apple. Listening to the sticks crack under their running feet. Seeing how much higher they get up the trees this year, than the years that have passed. Hearing that POP that only sounds like the first bite of an apple right off the branch.


PicMonkey Collage2



We talk about new classroom teachers, new grades, new friends. We pull out our boots and scarves (even though this year it was way to warm for both). I watch as the 5 cousins find their way with each other. They stop and talk, they carry babes, they swing, they help.

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Auntie Paula got some clutch snuggle time with Hazel. I am pretty sure she would have held her until her arms turned to mush and her legs felt like rubber. SO precious!

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Stella looking WAY way to old for my liking. WAY!!!!




Torturing the 5 girls to get in a photo. Trust me they are used to it. Hazel was so NOT into it, as per usual. Always making it her own. If we tell her to sit, she stands. If we tell her to stand, she sits. So - you know - there's that. OY!




We added a gorgeous new face to the tradition this year. She was perfect!!! She enjoyed her share of eating apples. Making it very clear that she wanted to be just like all the other girls.





Here is another family portrait. We were going for "kids, do whatever you can possibly can manage to look like train wrecks!" #nailedit



Loving this pic though...



My girls are brutal. Never look at the same time, never smile at the same time....ugh!!!



Except of course when the camera is NOT focused on them in the slightest bit. Oh yeah!!!! Big smiles then....HUGE!!!! Same time even.


This was an easy shot to get....NOPE! #ialmostcutofftheirheadsbutididnt #HA



So, here we are in laaaaaaaaate September (October even) and I am finally starting to feel a little caught up here on the blog. Just in time to post a birth story (no I haven't forgotten) and gear up for Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Stay tuned and Happy Fall Y'all!!


Summer Has Gone - Part 2

The last bit of summer. I think I actually see the light. I might actually be up to date here shortly. An early Christmas miracle perhaps.  

Labour Day with the family.








Annual Venice dinner. I really hope this tradition stays alive. Such an amazing memory.

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A new face joined us this year for Venice dinner. Nola, you sweet little lamb. Welcome, my dear, welcome.

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I know they aren't smiling but I adore this pic. It's so them...




This next pic is just because she's beautiful...



So long summer. You were very kind.



Summer Has Come - Part 1


So this is that summer post I told you about. Lots of pics and not a lot of words. We had a blast. Enjoying the warm weather, sisters keeping mommy and daddy busy, visiting with friends, spending time with family, vacations, eating, playing, etc.


We had endless summer nights hanging around the house. Those nights where it just seemed like way too much to pack the girls up and go anywhere. So home we stayed. Lots of playing in the little pool and eating ice cream.



Oh yes...and helping daddy in the yard.



She got teeth, lots of teeth. BRUTAL!!!!

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Also, there's this #purejoy




Girlfriend needs to have either 2 sticks or 2 rocks in her hands at all times.




We took some time out to vacation at the cottage.



Girl's got the "Seguin eyebrow" down. I CAN NOT do it!!!!




I died during this interaction. DIED!!!!



We visited with dear friends that live in Australia. They had never met our girls before this trip but you would never know it the way our children carried on together. Like old mates. So much laughing, imitating, watching movies, and eating. Actually, I am pretty sure at some point there was an inflatable pool inside and the kids were all sitting in it. Amazing!



Meet Hazel's future husband...SWOON

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I can't tell you how happy the sight of these kids together makes me.

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Nola is really not taking kindly to chess...

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Acting out the movie Frozen. 1000 TIMES A DAY!!!!!

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THOMASSSSSS!!!!!! Xoxoxo... Nola is totally obsessed.