Saturday, February 27, 2016:

National Rare Disease Day

If you've been following along, you know that just under four weeks ago, we welcomed our third baby boy, Cameron, into the world!  We were so excited to bring him home to meet his big brothers, Liam and Finn!

As luck would have it, everyone had head colds when we came home.  And while I was certain is was just part of having a baby born during cold and flu season, a familiar anxiety started to creep into my mind- likely intensified by the pregnancy hormones!

Our home was built in the 1920s and we know that there is asbestos behind the walls and insulating the pipes.  I'll never forget the day we had our home inspection.  The inspector looked into a hole in our basement wall and pointed out the whispy insulation that wrapped around the old and obsolete pipes deep within the walls.  With 100% certainty he identified the insulation as asbestos.

While he assured me that I had nothing to worry about so long as the asbestos was not disturbed, I had moments of panic at the idea of raising a family in a home with asbestos.  I was 25 weeks pregnant with our second son and I couldn't stop thinking about unintentionally exposing my children to this dangerous substance.

While I am confident that we have rectified the asbestos situation, from time to time, when my two year old can't get over a head cold or when we all have a cough, I wonder...."what if?" and I'm reminded of wife, mother, and survivor, Heather Von St. James, and her scary diagnosis with Mesothelioma, a rare disease that affects the lining of your internal organs- most commonly, your lungs- caused by exposure to asbestos.

She was exposed to asbestos as a young child.  Heather's father worked in construction and was often covered in the drywall he worked with daily.  The dust that covered his jacket, a jacket Heather loved to wear herself, was laced with the microscopic asbestos particles that cause mesothelioma.  Little did she know she was breathing in the harmful particles that would later compromise her health.

Just months after the birth of her daughter, Heather was diagnosed with this rare disease and given 15 months to live.  However with effective treatment and the care from exceptional doctors, she is now a mesothelioma survivor.  Learn more about her story here.

I'm sharing this post because Monday is National Rare Disease Day- a national campaign to raise awareness of rare diseases, including Mesothelioma.

Please take a moment to look at the infographic below and to learn more about Heather's story and Mesothelioma.

I'm using my blog and my voice to build hope and awareness.

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Friday, February 26, 2016:

Love, Your Passive Aggressive Housewife

Have you guys seen the new laundry detergent ad that encourages fathers to #sharetheload?  I LOVE it (and I could probably write a really thought-provoking post about it.  You know, if I had a bit more time).

I really love the idea of dads getting home from work and acknowledging that it's not their turn to just veg out on the couch while mom, whether she works in or out of the house, continues to wrangle the kids, the chores and the other 10000000000 other things that need to get done before bedtime.

I'm in an interesting situation.  While my husband is willing to "share the load" (shout out to the time he proactively did middle-of-the-night sheet duty after an unexpected bedwetting!), it's hard for him to chip in because he usually leaves the house by 6:30am and doesn't get home until 7pm (nice try honey, but are never home by 6:30p as your text messages so often promise).  But there are some things he can handle before the kids wake up or after bedtime when he gets home.  The garbage and recycling are two examples of ways he can really #sharetheload.

Even the best husbands can let things slip through the cracks and today, on the last day of the week when I am managing this three v. one defense situation and after a text from my husband suggesting that he will miss bedtime for the fifth time this week due to an unexpected work meeting, well, my passive aggressive housewife reared her ugly head (ok, she's not THAT ugly...she's just tired and maybe a little overwhelmed and the coffee she made yesterday morning is still sitting under the Kuerig so let's give her a break and tell her "you look great!  Can't believe you JUST had a baby!").

So happy Friday to the moms who made it through the week and to their #sharetheload husbands.  But incase your week was just a bit tougher, I hope you appreciate this text from a passive aggressive housewife.

Sorry honey.  Love you.  Kisses.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016:

Put Newborn Down...

And snuggle two year old...even if he finds me annoying!

I'm here realizing that, while my love multiples, my time is divided!  I am embracing this mantra so that I proactively show time-intensive affection to all of my boys when I can.  

It's so easy to snuggle up with the new guy and rock on my glider while I say "ok, one more show" to my relatively content toddler.  But while the baby dozes I want to set him down and give my big boys the attention they so totally deserve!!

Mom of three struggles!!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2016:

When it's rainy and cold at the end of February...

You paint your nails fluorescent PINK!  Bring on Spring!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016:

A New Essential Interest

This isn't much of a "take away" post...just a note to say that I'm officially looking into essential oils for my home!

I use them a lot for cleaning- mix some hydrogen peroxide and lavender oil, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on the stains and you've got yourself a great little mattress stain remover solution (just don't forget to vacuum the residue!).

My mother in laws home always smells like fresh Eucalyptus.  I LOVE it! 

So now I'm officially looking for essential oil brands and diffusers.  Any recommendations??  I'll share my findings soon!!
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016:

How Do You Show Your Love...Everyday

Maybe it's new baby, Valentine's Day spill-over love, but at least 100 times a day I find myself pausing and taking in small moments with my family.  I am utterly overwhelmed with emotion when I look at my three (THREE) boys and my handsome husband.  The days can be chaotic- three kids four and under will do that- but the love trumps the crazy!

I never want my children to question my love...ever!  It's easy for me to give and receive love during special occasions like new baby arrivals and Valentine's Day, but it's my goal as a parent to share love everyday- somewhere between middle of the night feedings, early morning wake ups, timeouts and stomach bugs (many moms may argue that my participation in the aforementioned is love in and of itself but I'm not sure my two year old would see my maternal lovie dovie while I'm complaining about another messy diaper change!).

So what do I do everyday...

1.  100 kisses.  Yes, I try to give my boys 100 kisses a day.  Do I really keep track? No. But at the end of the day I'll ask them if I gave them my 100 kisses and make up for the ones I've missed with a silly little kiss marathon.  They giggle and I smile as I wonder how long they will let me keep this tradition!

2. I'm the Lucky One.  Growing up, whenever I'd complain about rules, curfews, and other eye-roll-worthy parenting nuisances, my mom would always remind me of how lucky I was.  While getting grounded seemed like the worse thing in the world, I quickly realized how privileged I was and can appreciate that so much more now that I'm a parent. As lucky as my kids are to be born into a loving and stable home with boundaries and expectations of social appropriate behavior (sometimes), I, too, am the lucky one to have three beautiful and healthy boys.  I recently read about a fellow blogger who makes it a point to tell her kids that it's a "privilege" to be their mom.  I've adopted this and I've added it into our bedtime routine.  After books and after each of us shares our "high/low" of the day, I tuck the boys in and snuggle them.  We have our own little conversation that always includes my telling them how lucky I am to be their mom.  It truly is a privilege- even on the most challenging of days!

3. Patience. Patience. And more patience.  I'll be the first to admit that I can sometimes fly off the handle!  I hate to yell but sometimes it takes losing my cool to get their attention.  Generally this backfires because my four year old seems hurt when I yell and often will follow up with me a few minutes later to ask if I'm still angry.  That's just a tad bit heartbreaking.  Additionally my hulk baby two year old will mimic my yelling and I worry if he'll do this at his play school in front of his teachers!  I won't sit here and type that my goal is to not yell at my kids, I'm human, but when I have the time and the emotional capacity for self-control, I try to choose patience.  You need to go to the bathroom?....again?....right now?...seconds before you rest your head on the pillow for bedtime?  Sure.  You're thirsty?...again? bedtime?...even though we were just in the bathroom where there is a sink and cups?  

Ok so a lot of this clearly shows how easily my kids manipulate me.  But I'm a quick learner and I've proactively gotten ahead of these convenient little bedtime-stalling rituals.  And even though another attempt at using the potty and two refills of water adds sometime to our bedtime routine, I try to be patient and as gentle as possible before I tuck them in.  Of course that doesn't happen everyday, there has been plenty of tearful bedtimes, but I do try to actively practice patience when I can.

4. Discipline.  Probably not something one would expect to see on a love list but I firmly believe that a parent who lacks the ability to throw down the hammer is adversely affecting her child's ability to act in a socially appropriate way.  With three boys things can get crazy.  If I'm distracted with the little guy, the older boys often take advantage and flip the switch to destructo-boys, complete with hulk smashing our entire basement!!  They know better because I've offered a quick timeout and supervised clean up. It still happens (wouldn't it be amazing if I only had to remind them once), but we're learning.  I wasn't very good at discipline in the beginning.  Timeouts seemed tough and rigid.  But with time I've gotten better- honing my TO strategy so it's just enough to get their attention but not enough to hurt their feelings (Great tips in this book from TriBeCa Peds).  We have our moments at home, but for the most part my boys know what appropriate behavior is and how to act.

5. Random Acts- flowers and chocolates are great "go to's" for birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine's Day.  This year my husband started a tradition- him and the three boys go out and pick up some goodies and flowers for mom (side note, the baby was sleeping and my two year old was throwing a sleep-deprived tantrum so it actually ended up just being dad and 4yo...roll with it!).  I love that my boys see their father showing love and doing special things for me.  I hope it will demonstrate how they should treat their partners and expect to be treated by those who love them.  I was happy to indulge in the Valentine's Day love!!  But throughout the year, I like to do random acts of love for my boys.  Whether it's taking the time to tell my husband how much I appreciate what he does for our family or picking up a little toy for my boys while running errands- I think these acts demonstrate an everyday love.  And I enjoy these random acts too!  Whether it's my husband coming home with flowers "just because" or my boys hand picking a bouquet while out on a "nature walk" (I think I may owe my neighbors and their gardens an apology!), it's nice to know that they are thinking of me and want to show and share their love throughout the year!  Ok, but let's be real, sometimes you just don't have time for flower picking! If you are a busy family like us, check out BloomNation- they are a flower delivery company that supports local florists through their online marketplace!  Pretty neat!

6.  Show Me the Love!  Perhaps my favorite form of showing love is cutting myself some slack and carving out ALONE time for ME!  You know I am a skincare passionista- spas and babies don't mix! But when I get a chance for some alone time, I allow myself to be pampered with a facial, a massage, a mani, a pedi, or ALL OF THE ABOVE!  It's tough work being a parent and sometimes we forget to give ourselves the downtime we not only deserve, but NEED.  Taking care of myself demonstrates to my children the need to respect your own limitations and to be ok with taking a step back and taking a well-deserved break.  And sometimes I like to buy my own flowers..."just because" :)

How do you show love everyday?  Any cute stories or ideas to share?

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Monday, February 15, 2016:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone had a love-filled weekend!  We sure did with our little Cupids!  💕💕

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Sunday, February 14, 2016:

Purity of Elements Valentine's Sale!!!

Ok, so a few weeks ago I mentioned that I might have found the perfect beauty blend of healthy, natural botanicals combined with the hardworking, science-backed ingredients that I've grown to love!!

 Here's the post ICYMI!

Since that post I had a BABY so I've been a bit sidetracked for the time being.  Well, I've finally dusted off the keyboard and LOOK WHAT I FOUND- PURITY OF ELEMENTS 30% off!!

Sharing here and wish I had more time for a more thoughtful post, but didn't want anyone to miss out on a great deal!

Visit Purity of Elements and use Valentine's promo code: XOXO

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Thursday, February 11, 2016:

I'm Still Here- And So is Our New Baby :)

Taking a brief little maternity hiatus to get in all of my newborn hugs and snuggles!  But can't wait to get back to blogging!  So many fun things to look forward to including a special "LOVE" blog for my friends at Bloom Nation- just in time for Valentine's Day!  It's easy to show my love to my boys, especially now that my fourth handsome Valentine has joined the ranks (Francois, Liam, Finn & Cam....MWAH!!!).

Cameron Brochu February 2, 2016 8lbs 11oz 22in

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Monday, February 1, 2016:


Ugh- 40 weeks and 5 days!  The induction threat has been made and I'm currently just waiting for a call from the doctor to make my way to the hospital!

So what's a girl to do when she knows that later today she'll be having a baby?!

Manicure, pedicure, and wax ;)  

Stay tuned for baby news!!

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