Making it Pretty 2.0

april-workshops

It was time.  I have almost as many emails asking me when I will offer an advanced ONLINE version of my Making it Pretty Workshop as I have about my Sugar Free Muffins for Babies!  The advanced courses have been something I’ve worked on for over a year, but with two babies and a full time job it has been a pretty slow process as you can imagine.  But I’m finally finished the materials and ready to move forward!

In order to really address each topic in greater detail I’ve split the workshops up into two ONLINE sessions, DSLR Photography on April 11 and iPhone Photography April 25.  Please note, these are advanced workshops and are intended for those of you already familiar with functions of your DSLR camera and basic editing tools of your iPhone.  If you’re interested in my Classic Making it Pretty Workshop which addresses the basics, stay tuned for a new date in May.

Space is limited in both sessions in order for me to be able to teach and address each question you may have in detail.

Maybe a Breakthrough in Our Periodic Fever Journey?

coping with periodic fever syndrome

It is entirely possible that I am being much too optimistic about something I found out today, but on the other hand maybe not.

coping with periodic fever syndrome

Johannes was diagnosed with Periodic Fever Sydrome (PFAPA) back in december, and you can read about all that here and here.  Meanwhile we’ve been trying our very best to manage the fevers, to keep Johannes healthy and comfortable, the usual stuff we all do for our children.

The one thing that has bothered me since our Pediatrician delivered the diagnosis is the frequency of repeat episodes.  I began officially tracking the fevers and symptoms in September, but prior to that I do remember Johannes being sick every other week starting some time in the fall and ending in the spring.  Over the Spring/Summer months I know he would get fevers as well, but not as often.  So why?

In December I put Johannes on a mix of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, omega 3s.  Since then he has had only 2 fevers, 30-31 days apart.  Before that the episodes were coming every 12-14 days.  Why the longer stretches now that Johannes is taking the vitamins?

I’ve been going over everything in my head for a while.  Why better in summer vs winter?  Why not as frequent when taking vitamins?  The causes?  The triggers?

It didn’t really make sense until I heard someone mention that perhaps Periodic Fever episodes are triggered by vitamin deficiencies.  And that’s when the lightbulb went off for me.

What if a depleted level of vitamin D in Johannes’ system was triggering his episodes?  It would make sense that in the summer he spends more time outdoors and gets more naturally occurring vitamin D than in the winter.  It also makes sense that vitamin D is one of the supplements I give Johannes daily.  I did some research to see if my theory was right and I came across this research study** by the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology which came to this exact same conclusion.  The most critically important excerpt from which was this:  “Deficient and insufficient vitamin D serum levels were found in most children with PFAPA syndrome, and hypovitaminosis D might be a significant risk factor for PFAPA flares. However, vitamin D supplementation seems to significantly reduce the typical PFAPA episodes and their duration, supporting the role of vitamin D as an immune-regulatory factor in this syndrome”.

Today Johannes is battling another fever episode.  He is throwing up often, his fevers spike before the medicine we gave him has had a chance to work.  He is tired and in pain.  His legs and joints hurt and he doesn’t like to walk because of the pain.  He is otherwise his bossy happy self, and his attitude is the most amazing thing to watch in all this.

Tomorrow I will double his dosage*** of vitamin D.  I will juice with foods that are vitamin D heavy.  I will do more research and become an expert in my son’s condition, because I am his biggest advocate.

coping with periodic fever syndrome

** For anyone who wants to read the entire article you need to purchase a subscription.

***For anyone interested in the dosage or possible adverse effects of VitaminD on children and adults please refer to this article published by the Mayo Clinic.

A First Meeting

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I never did get around to posting these photos from the time that Johannes came  to meet us at the hospital for the first time.  What a bag of emotions I was that day.  I worried and stressed that maybe Johannes wouldn’t be happy, that maybe he wouldn’t want his brother to come home with us, or that he would be jealous.  The day and a little bit before he came to see us was strange.  I was so happy having met Magnus, but it felt different, like we had maybe started a different family and Johannes hadn’t been with us to grow together.  So I worried.  And in the end my worries didn’t materialize because the second that Johannes walked in to see us he was happy, beaming, interested and curious about me, his brother, us.  And just as my heart had grown the day before when Magnus came into this world, my heart grew yet again seeing my whole family together and complete.

Tuesday Giveaway // The Wild

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Remember my good friend Adriane who launched her new kids shop, The Wild?  Well today we’ve teamed up to host a launch giveaway worth over $500.  20 pieces from her shop, mix and matched with any characters and colors of your choosing for you kid or kids.  The choice is yours.  5 sweatshirts, 5 baseball tees and any combination of tshirts and onesies.  Its a pretty sweet giveaway!  To enter visit my Instagram today @bluebirdkisses.

Every Night

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Every night, when the time comes for Magnus to go to sleep, I quietly take him up to his room.  I get him ready for a night ahead.  Soft music playing, a few drops of lavender essential oil on his feet, a fresh diaper and then I snuggle him up in his sleep sack.  I turn off the lights and quietly nurse him in the dark.  The darkness, the quiet, it brings my world into focus.  It allows me to be present in this moment of motherhood, one I am very much aware will end much quicker than I would like.  And then he’s done.  His little belly full of milk, he lays his head back on the pillow.  I pick him up and cradle him tight against my chest.  I give his sweet milky cheeks kisses, and breathe in his baby smell.  Its his.  This moment, his smell, his softness, its all his.  And then he giggles.  Always.  The kisses lead to giggles, a few coos, and then silence.  He is asleep.  I lay him quietly down in his crib and tiptoe out.

Every night.  Its always the same.  My favourite 15minutes of the entire day.  One of my favourite moments of motherhood.

Small Business Thursday: The Wild

the wild kids apparel

I’ve know Adriane, the owner and artist behind The Wild, an independent brand of modern kids’ apparel, for a few years now.  We met when we used to read one another’s blogs, and Adriane would paint the most gorgeous abstract paintings.  So when she told me about her new business I was so beyond excited for her.  Adriane designed the sweetest collection of little animals, and she screen prints each one onto the softest cotton clothing for tiny humans.  We own a few pieces of her clothing already and Johannes has big plans to score himself a few more.  The best part of The Wild collection is that its fully customizable, so you can print any character on any piece you like.  In addition to being this amazing mom to two little boys, she is also incredibly talented and lovely.

I wanted to dig a little deeper into Adriane’s new business venture, so I asked her a few questions.

Here is what she had to say.

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Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband Billy and I met in 2005 and a few short years later we were married. Soon after that we had our first son, Benjamin, and three years later, sweet Sawyer came along. We live in Hamilton, Ontario where my husband works full time and I run The Wild from home with our boys. 


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What sparked the idea for The Wild?

A few years ago I was painting a lot, and I started painting custom pieces for kids rooms. I had painted for our son’s rooms and people were drawn to the more modern, minimal style I was creating. As time went on I had more and more people ask for my children’s artwork for their baby nurseries, and I knew that one day I wanted to do more with the characters that I had created.

how to screen print example

What role do your children play in your business?

They truly started it all. I had never paid much attention to anything baby-related until Benjamin came into my life. Ben and Sawyer are the inspiration behind The Wild entirely. Ben is definitely a little assistant now, he loves to help in any way he can. As the boys get older I hope they will be interested in helping and can maybe come out to markets with us. 
In 5 years, where do you see The Wild?

Oh, I have a LOT of plans for this little shop of ours. I don’t want to give away all of my secrets, but I will say that in five years I hope to be a well-established brand of children’s clothing and accessories, including some paper goods. The next products I will be adding to my line are bibs and baby blankets, so keep an eye out for that!

the wild kids apparel

If you had to pick one holiday to be your favourite, which one would it be?

Christmas! I have a bit of a weird obsession with Christmas. The excitement never changed for me from when I was a kid, I still get butterflies and can’t sleep the night before. December is madness in our house.

What would people be most surprised to find out about you?

I have a weird affinity for really dark, scary tv shows, like The Fall and Hannibal. Seriously, I can’t stop watching them. Also, when I was a teenager I used to skateboard. People always find that really bizarre when I tell them that.

the wild kids apparel

Who inspires you?

My children, my husband, my parents, my friends and family. I’m really lucky to be surrounded by the coolest people ever.
What surprised you most about motherhood?

How all consuming it is. I remember years before having a baby, thinking about how it would be, and I just expected my life to be the same, plus one. HA! I had no idea that it would take me four years to finish and book and that I would never pee alone again.
If you could give one piece of advice to new moms that might want to start a business?

Well I’m still very new, so my advice might be very different in a few years. But for now, my advice is to just go for it, no matter what you want to do. There will never be a perfect time, it will always be hard, you will always be busy. So just do it. You will be so happy that you did.

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Thank you so much Adriane for sharing with us today!  And you guys, if you love The Wild characters and clothing as much as I do, be sure to watch out for a really REALLY cool giveaway from Adriane here on the blog really soon.

xoxo