The Best of 2015!

My blogging virginity is gone and what a year it has been!  My tiny little corner of the internet has been growing steadily.  I so appreciate everyone who stops by on purpose or because their google search has failed them. However you found yourself on Way Off Script this year, thank you.  I look forward to 2016 and all the content these little twinadoes are sure to provide 🙂

Here are the posts you loved the most in 2015!

It comes in waves, but it will get better. – It almost makes me sad that my most popular post came from such pain. This is tribute piece for my cousin Bobby.

#fmlthursday.  Its a thing now. – A hilarious, real life account of life with twins.

Women are Unicorns. – My version of the stages of pregnancy that no one tells you about!

Our Journey to 7pm Bedtime – The struggle is real! It was the hardest thing we ever went through, but the best gift for our children.

If We Were Having Coffee…Vol 2 – A little heart to heart for my dearest friends.

Love you all!  Your support and encouragement means more than you can ever know. ♥♥

~Danielle.

 

 

My 2016 Word Of The Year is…

2015 kicked our butts…hardcore…and yet, in so many ways it was a pretty great year.  It’s been a very painful one for my heart though; I’ve had my dreams crushed, felt the loss of loved ones deeper than I could ever have imagined and struggled through some pretty thick mommy guilty and depression. I can’t believe that Al and I seem to be stronger than ever. What an annoying god send that man is!  On the flip side, an enormous financial burden has been lifted from our shoulders, I am finally starting to build a tribe of incredible friends that are in the same city and the kids made it through the “terrible two’s” with very few blow ups.  I know, I know, treacherous three’s are just around the corner!

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Where is Your God Now?

I was sitting with my aunt last weekend reminiscing about Bobby and we started talking about believing in God and the afterlife.  She asked “how can a loving God take away your children?” and I had no response.  I sat there, knowing in my heart that I truly believe in Him and His purpose for my life, but in that moment, I had nothing.  I am certainly not trained as a grief counselor and everything I could think of to say, wasn’t going to help.  It’s in His plan. Really?  His plan was to have her bury her child? How gracious!  He is a fair and just God. So this is some sort of payback to level the playing field again? No way.

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It really got me thinking about why I believe what I do.  Where does my eternal hope come from? My life has certainly not been easy and I have lived through much more pain than I should have, and yet, I still believe. I still have hope, no matter what life has thrown at us. My faith has been rock solid.  But why?

After years of trying to conceive, in early May 2012, we found out we were finally pregnant. My dream had come true; I was going to be a mommy.  Upon hearing those words “well, I am happy to confirm that you are definitely pregnant” my heart broke.  So much joy and relief flooded into me and I began to sob.  Not only were we going to be parents, but the fear of never being physically able to conceive was thrown right out the window.  My body had not failed me. After all these years, after all the needles, biopsies and failed attempts, it really was possible that I could carry my own child. I was not a failure. That moment of complete euphoria and pride will stay with me forever.

We were on our way to my in-laws for Mother’s Day and even though it was a little premature to announce, we decided to have a friend bake some cupcakes and frost them pink and blue. She even went as far as making tiny little babies from fondant and had them nestled in the butter cream icing. They were perfect.  When we arrived for dinner, I immediately gave my mother-in-law the box and made her open it.  Her exact words were “Oh, cupcakes! Pink and blue ones. With…is that…a baby?  A baby?  ARE YOU HAVING A BABY?” and tears began to roll down her cheeks.  I cried and we all hugged. We were just so happy. It was a relief and a celebration for everyone.

But then it wasn’t. Two short days later, I left our doctor’s office after a routine exam and was on my way home to start picking out nursery colors.  I was laying in bed, perusing Pinterest when my phone rang. Hearing the news that our baby was in distress and would likely not make it, made me numb.  I’d had it. For a very short time, I was a mom. I’d had my dream finally come true and then it was ripped away as quickly as it came. Why?  Why after everything we’d been through, was I not allowed to be a mom!  Why was my body failing me? Why were we not allowed to be happy? I just didn’t get it. There was no explanation. It was a fluke. It just happens sometimes.

I shut down for several days. I refused all phone calls, never left my bed and listened to horribly depressing songs on repeat while Al paced around not having any idea how to help.  In my darkest moment, when I hated everything and everyone, there was a part of my heart that knew I needed to be strong.  I was once again reminded that God was with me. As a human, I felt the worst possible pain I could imagine and yet something inside of me kept me looking up. Faith and Hope.

That was the feeling I had while sitting across from my aunt.  I had no words that would help, but I knew in my heart, we need to be strong and keep going. Perhaps we will one day find out that Bobby had a genetic heart condition, we all get tested and several family members are saved from experiencing the same untimely death.  Would it be fair then to say God had a bigger plan?  Probably not. I am not sure you will ever be able to justify the death of a child to their mother.

When there are no answers and logic plays no part, there has to be something else.  For me, believing in God is that something else. Something bigger than me and someone who has all those answers that I will probably never know. I have to hope that there is more or I might become cynical and jaded. Losing my child will never compare to the loss my aunt feels. After all, she had 32 years to love him…I had less than 32 days. We can be angry and frustrated but we can’t ever lose hope. Hope that one day the pain wont hurt so bad and that our children are at peace. We must have faith that we will find our happy again and that one day, those sweet angels will look down on us and be proud that we continued to live our life without ever for a second forgetting them.

There Is Nothing A Little Salt Water Can’t Cure

As some of you know, the kids and I have spent the past three weeks enjoying some much needed time at home in Nova Scotia and it was a wonderful trip!  Last visit, the kids so kindly shared hand foot mouth disease for 10 of our 15 day stay. Boy, that was a delight!  We had a few bad tummies from gorging on blueberries and gummy worms but otherwise, they were great.

In typical Danielle fashion, I had weekly lists of our outings each day and where we were gonna eat.  One can not simply go home and forget to eat a lobster roll!  On rainy days, we headed to the mall and spent hours running around the indoor playground. Brooklynn discovered a love of bike riding and ball pits while Lincoln spent every moment possible in the swing begging to go higher.

On the nicer days, we certainly kept busy. The kids rode a horse, ran from alpaca poop and fed goats and reindeer at the zoo. Chased the chickens and smothered a cat at the petting farm. Threw rocks into the Bay of Fundy on Tuesday and fed the birds on the Halifax Harbour on Wednesday.  They took their first ferry ride, ate their first lobster roll and played in the exact same playground Dave and I played at 25 years ago.  They drove bumper boats, flew in airplanes and rode the big truck roller coaster all by themselves at Upper Clements Park.   In just 5 days, they went from being terrified of water to kicking their way around the pool chasing rings and even dunking their heads under water on purpose.

We had a ball! The sun was shining and the food kept rolling our way. But the very best part of our trip were those quiet moments.  The split second when I looked up and saw the kids cuddled on Nanny’s lap watching TV without a care in the world.  When they refused to go to bed without a hug and kiss from Poppy or the goofy way Lincoln says “Antee Ahneen” each time she smiled at him. The time I sat back and watched as they laughed hysterically while covering Uncle Ron’s face in princess stickers.  I melted every time GranNan and GranPop walked through the door and the kids ran to them with big smiles and warm hugs.

Never once, not for a single second were the kids unsure of what it felt like to be loved. These two tiny humans who often bring me such frustration and make my days incredibly long were saturated with all the love they could ever need even when mommy just couldn’t find it in herself.

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They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am so so lucky to have my own group of misfits to help ruin my kids 🙂

Thank you for such an amazing trip Mom! We miss you so much already and can’t wait to see you again in Oct with Nan in tow ❤

It comes in waves, but it will get better.

My heart is heavy and my spirit is broken.  On Friday. July 24th at 3:16pm, I received a call that has forever changed my life. There are no words. There are feelings. Millions of feelings but not a single word in that moment.  I said “okay” a lot and hung up the phone.  Unable to process what little information was given, my mind went into protective mode and I immediately began to think of how I could fix the problem.

But there was no problem. There was nothing to fix. With deep sadness, I came to realize it wasn’t a joke. There was nothing funny about this. My family is in shambles and like a tidal wave crashing into the rocky shore, I broke.

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It was a beautiful sunny day back in his hometown and Bobby was enjoying a morning swim at the beach with his friends and family. Something unexplainable happened and he told his little girl to swim to the shore as fast as she could.   Within minutes he had gone under. Helpers from the beach quickly pulled him from the water, but it was too late. Our friends on shore were brave in a chaotic situation and had Bobby rushed to the hospital where people worked tirelessly to try to save our boy. Sadly it just wasn’t possible.

Bobby was just 32. He was healthy, strong and lived life to the fullest. One day he was on cloud 9, glowing as he told stories of his daughter and the next he was furious about the government and ready to take on the man any chance he got.  He was abrasive and stubborn when speaking about politics or religion. But more often, he was passionate and thoughtful when it came to his music and his family.  Bobby was and will always be known as a man with nerves of steel and a heart of gold who was taken from us far too soon. He was a son, a brother, a friend and a father. To me, he was my cousin who I share so many incredible memories.

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We may never know what happened in the water that day but one thing is certain, in his last moments with us, he was exactly who we knew him to be; a loving father who adored his baby girl and protected her at all costs. His only concern was saving her from witnessing a tragedy and that courage will never be forgotten.  His daughter was his absolute pride and joy. Bobby moved mountains for his curly red-headed angel and I have never been so proud of him.

Our sweet, beautiful M…your dad was a great, great man.  He loved you fiercely and would be so proud of how incredibly brave you were that day on the beach.  You may not understand a lot of what is happening right now, but know this…your daddy will forever live on in your heart.  Your smile reflects his love and his legacy lives with you.

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The kids and I flew to my moms a few days after Bobby passed so I was unable to go home and be with my family for the funeral. I’m having a difficult time accepting then finality of it all.  My last memory was at Christmas when the 4 of us sat in my aunt’s living room playing board games.  Dave and I laughing hysterically as Bobby and his sister fought over semantics.  So, so typical!  It felt wonderful to relive our childhood years of summers spent together when we raced our bikes around Dobie, bought stale chocolate bars from a man who always had cheese in his teeth and laughed til we cried listening to terrible ghost stories at every sleepover. He told lame jokes that made me laugh hysterically and often fought with me about our differences in religious beliefs. It was a great Christmas and I am so happy my kids got to meet their crazy Uncle Bob. Don’t we all have one?  Looking through my messages makes me laugh.  Our last conversation was about ours daughters’ mutual adoration for pink animal themed Legos. Life wasn’t hard with Bobby. Our conversations usually meant nothing but always felt important.

Looking now at his Facebook page as it is flooded with memories and kind words, I can see that he was someones friend, someones coworker, someones band mate, and someones first love. We all have our own story of who Bobby was and each is filled with love and adoration.

I am struggling right now as I can’t be with my family. I have questions and sadness that I can’t explain. I can’t help but think of the what ifs.  What if it had been my brother? What if that had been Lincoln in the water?  What if Brooklynn had to see Alain that way?  These ideas start to pour in my to head, but stop just as suddenly. My heart won’t let my mind go to that dark place. Once that box is open, there is no coming back. So I stop, close it up and walk away. But that is exactly where my family is right now. My aunt and cousin had their box ripped apart and they are forced to live in that sadness. Life will never ever be the same and there is no going back. I can’t stop the hurt and I can’t heal their pain. I am lost and useless and have no idea how to help. This unimaginable thing has happened and there is no going back. There are no right words.

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We all grieve and heal in our own way, but through my own journey of loss, I’ve learnt one thing.  When life feels unlivable and your world seems to be sinking into the abyss, find one thing…one glimmer of hope and hold on. Hold on to that memory through the waves of sadness and heartache.  Eventually, the ebb and flow of grief will subside and the storm will pass. Friends and family, I pray that you find your happy thought, your joyful memory and you hold on.  We are on this road together even when we feel alone.

For now, I am finding peace knowing that Bobby spent his last day smiling with his sister and friends, and being a proud and loving father to his baby girl.  It was a great last day and I am so thankful that he was surrounded by love to the very end.

Robert Conant

1983 – 2015
A soul taken too soon, but will never be forgotten.

I love you so much and will see you again.

Lord of the Dogs

When daddys away, the puppys will…sleep 🙂

My brother took his first solo drive out west last week and we are happily doggy sitting his 2 year old, 60lb chocolate labs. I just love them!

Meet Lateralus (Latty) and Fibonacci (Fibby).  Or as I call them…Latticus and Fib-O-Licious. Unless I’m yelling, then it usually turns into Fatty and Libby.

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Latty

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Fibby

If you are under 4ft tall, meeting these two walking down the street will certainly make you run away.  Mostly because of how fast they drag me toward anything that moves. Falling leaves are my nemesis!

Like my two mutts, these guys give a horrible first impression. They have a tonne of energy and want to share it all with you immediately.  Keep your mouth closed and fragile body parts protected because nothing is off limits to them.

Once they’ve decided you aren’t made of bacon you are pretty safe to continue on as you were and they are content to sleep in every inconvenient spot they can find.  Unless you are a Jedi, every time you even think of getting up for a drink or, heaven forbid, a pee, they will jump up and be on your heels in no time. You will be escorted into every room and hallway just in case you get lonely and they will gladly help you down the stairs because taking them on just two feet is for suckers. Why walk when you can fly!

Fibby reminds me of Ed from The Lion King. The spastic and goofy hyena with half a brain that just loves breathing. Everything and nothing gets this girl excited. She spins circles on the bed before she will lay down and the mere clink on her metal food bowl sends her over the edge. She is the perfect candidate for doggy ritalin. Anything in your hand is fair game and if you even think about yelling at her, she will lick your mouth so fast, the words wont even come out. Keep your arms and face up at all times!

Latty on the other hand is such a laid back, dopey dude with nothing to do but sleep. He is the Eeorye of the lab world. I have seen him walk into walls, trip over a ball and nearly fall off the couch during his comatose naps.  He is incredibly loving and his little growl when he wants a butt rub makes me giggle. His head his huge and his ears are floppy. He always seems to find a home on your pillow while he quietly snores sweet nothings into your face. He is impossible to sleep with and its awesome.

I was a little concerned when my brother told me he was getting puppies…they are super frustrating, but I’m glad I get to be an Aunty to these two super lovable nimrods. Who else is gonna clean my tonsils and color my legs a lovely shade of purplish blue 😉

Nerves of Steel

I like to think that I have nerves of steel and can handle stressful situations like a pro. I thrive under pressure and I am at my best when there is a lot on the line.

However, once the tense moments pass, reality hits and I’m a bucket of anxiety. My mind goes into over drive thinking of all the things that could or probably should have happened.

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Brooklynn is an adrenaline junky like me. She loves to be thrown in the air and pushed as fast as possible on her bike. On Canada Day, we were playing on the climbers at the park and, as usual, she ran straight for the highest platform excited to fly down the biggest slide.  When a bunch of school age kids came running by, she slowly backed up to get out of the way. My heart stopped when I realized she was inching closer and closer to the edge of the platform. I began yelling at her trying to get her to stop moving, but she was too distracted by the kids to hear me. I watched as she took each slow motion step backward and was running towards her when she disappeared. She fell nearly six feet straight down onto her bum into a bed of gravel. When I reached her, she was silent. She didn’t move or cry. She sat there like a statue in total shock. Without considering that I might inflict more pain, I scooped her up and tried to cuddle her fears away.

She whimpered a bit and was breathing heavy; I think she may have knocked the wind out of herself. She looked at me with huge confused eyes as I slowly moved her legs and feet looking for signs of a break. Nothing. No scrapes, no bumps, no broken bones. Nothing. I stood her up and asked if she wanted to sit in the stroller.  She said yeah and slowly walked over, waiting for a lift.  Al was in panic mode looking for the medic tent but I was calm. I instantly felt like she was fine and just scared. She’s my little daredevil, strong and invincible. Forget the fall, I was ready to go find the ice cream guy and enjoy the rest of the day.

By the time we made it home, she was jumping on the couch and chasing her dad around playing zombies. She went to bed without a fuss and slept soundly through the night.

Me? Yeah, you can bet that I didn’t sleep. When the house was quiet and my mind had time to process the day, I fell into a downward spiral. I spent hours googling broken tailbones, spinal fractures and everything under the sun that probably didn’t happen. I kept replaying the moment she dropped off the platform, instantly out of sight. That moment my heart stopped and the air evaporated from my lungs. She could have fallen face forward, broken her wrists and smashed her face. She could have hit her chin on the way down and broke her jaw. She could have gotten her leg caught in the chain link ladder and really done some damage. So many horrible things could have happened and her life could have be changed in a blink of an eye.

But they didn’t. Nothing happened. By some miracle, she fell like a champ and brushed it off.  Her 25lb rubbery little body is totally fine. She had an accident. She is fine and life goes on. I know kids fall and they are bound to get hurt eventually but for now, lets just take slow walks and play on pillows. Mommy’s heart needs a break and my melodramatic brain needs to chill the frik out.