Daring Myself as an Instant Mom



I lay my hands on my kitchen table and stretch them out in effort to calm the shaking. I stare at my arsenal: a water with a straw, three pens, a pad of writing paper, Index cards with my questions written in Sharpie marker, my recorder aimed at my phone and spare questions written in bold pen sits the farthest away.

I wonder, ‘ How did I get here?’

The time moves fast to 9:18 am. My heart leaps into my throat. I am about to interview one of my favorite writers and actresses, Nia Vardalos. I have been taking more chances in my life since turning 39 last October. My mom did not reach that birthday. I vowed I would do more things that she would have wanted me to do.

So, I saw the tweet from Nia asking for parenting bloggers who may want to review her upcoming book, Instant Mom.

I have pared down my book reviews for my blog to books that are only of interest to me.  This one really peaked my interest – Nia and her husband adopted a young girl from Foster Care.  I immediately contacted her publisher in Canada with hopes to get a book and a potential interview. Never did I imagine my wish would be granted, and a phone interview is about to take place.

Her title alone, Instant Mom, is a phrase I can relate. I was told I could not get pregnant due to medical issues. Two children later, I keep parenting by-the-seat-of-my-heart.

I have a confession. I entered the Canadian Foster Care system when I was sixteen years old. I went through 5 group and private foster homes until my moms’ best friend from university sought out to be my foster mom, permanently.  I never have spoke publicly about it until now. Judy was the best thing that ever happened to me after my mom died.

I saw many unwanted kids in those group homes. I tried my best to show gratitude to the world as I unraveled the dark 6 years after my mom died until Judy saved me.  It means a lot to me that a celebrity couple would be united with their child through foster care.  I could not keep quiet of my yearning to tell Nia how much it meant from this former foster kid.

If I told myself a year ago that I would be here, I would not have believed myself. Today, I am delightfully nervous.

My phone rings and springs me out of my dream bubble. I poise my finger over the record button of the recorder, ready. The Call Display says Blocked. Of course it is.

“Hello. This is Danielle,” I shakily say.

“Hi Danielle. It’s Nia.” Wow, I thought, no ‘people.’ (a team of  assistants, PR people and more)  It is her, calling me.

And we are off and running.

Stay tuned to this blog for the book review and the in-depth interview about Instant Mom and more over the next two weeks.

An IVF Confession #ivf4bc

shutterstock_88446694Watching *Cathy console her little boy, *Bryan, you would think they are just like any other mother and child at the playground. She sends him off after a few sips of water and goldfish. He races off to meet his friends. Cathy watches him go with a look that beams of pride. Only, their story is so much more than pride.

We chat a bit and she slowly opens up about her story. Her and her husband tried for years to get pregnant. When the traditional calendar watching and other means did not work they wondered what to do next. Due to their cultural values and family, they did not know if they could go through in vitro fertilization or adoption. For a long time, both of their parents would ask when would the couple make them grandparents. At family holiday gatherings, as they saw their nieces and nephews race around the home, there was always a needling relative asking when is it their time.

People mean well when they ask what they think is an innocent question. Only it feels like an arrow through their heart. They want to be a family so badly. They have great jobs and a beautiful home. One day Cathy was at her doctor’s for the latest test results on her egg count when she spied an IVF brochure on the table in the waiting room. She slipped it into her purse to look at it in private.

Later that night she talked it over with her husband. They agreed to start the procedure in private. They would cash in their Savings account to pay for the treatments. After three attempts and one miscarriage, they got pregnant with Bryan.

Their family does not know. You can imagine how happy they are along with their families to have a beautiful happy son.

I watch them pack up and leave. Their hands joined together as they walk home. I can’t help but think of them and other families who may hold a similar story. Every holiday that a couple goes childless opens up the heartache. Not everyone is like Cathy who had the financial means to have the IVF treatments.

With all the benefits to get public funding for IVF treatments, I wonder if this year will be BC’s year to get it?

Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF, will more BC families get help too?

Follow them on Twitter: @ivf4bc

Like them on Facebook to get the latest information.

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

Kinder is Hopping this Easter. #KinderMom

My six-year-old’ s eyes are open as wide as can be and her jaw drops to the floor in awe, as my four-year-old makes a b-line toward me. My daughters just heard me open a huge box in the next room. In the package is a basket filled with Kinder chocolate Easter goodies. Their hands smothered it so fast before I could even unwrap the cellophane.

That is the magic of Kinder chocolates in our house. They arrive for special occasions and the just-because-days. This Easter we do not have any plans, no gatherings to attend. We sometimes travel to a friends or close families. Lately, we just go with the flow of where our spirits take us.
One tradition that we have carried on with our children is a household egg hunt. My husband’s memories at Easter were filled with searching for eggs loaded with clues written by the Easter Bunny. He and his sibs would race around the house and backyard looking for the next clue. Even though our kids our young, the ‘Easter Bunny’ always puts on a great hunt. And yes, we have chocolate for breakfast.
If you like chocolate as much as we do, be sure to like Kinder Canada on Facebook. For the month of March, for every Like they are donating one dollar to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Here are the details:

Support to Children’s Miracle Network: Sharing is caring. This is what the celebration is all about for KINDER® Canada, who will be donating $1 to Children’s Miracle Network of Canada for every new friend of their Facebook Page from March 1st to 31st, up to $25,000. Yet another reason to root for a great cause by bringing joy to children across Canada!

Easter Bunny is coming near you!
Keep your eyes tuned to the Kinder Facebook page for Harry Bunny Tour dates near you. The Bunny will be giving FREE samples of Kinder Mini Eggs.

New Kinder® Easter Gallery: You’ll be delighted to discover Kinder goodness you’ve never seen before such as the Kinder® Surprise® Egg Painting Kit or the Kinder® Mini Eggs in 35g format with their brand-new ‘Easter’ Gallery on Facebook. So many treats to discover! Our Toy Gallery will also show off our (10 BIGGER!) ‘Easter’ toys found in their Kinder Surprise Maxi 150g and Kinder Surprise 100g!).

Please note: Unlike Kinder Surprises, the Kinder Mini Eggs are not nut-free as they contain a milky hazelnut centre.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.





ThinkitOVER Mom #MillionMoments

I am so grateful to be a mom in the era of smartphones. In a blink of an eye, while you are digging for your camera, the sweet kid moment could be gone. There are hundreds of snaps of my kids on my phone. For the many times that I forget to bring the video camera, I have utilized the video option on my smartphone.

I have caught pre-school songs, sister moments when they think I am not watching, self-portraits with my girls and so much more. I always have my phone near me. You never know when a moment comes as fast as it goes.

My girls share a room because of space in our townhome. Our room is located just across the hallway, with the ensuite right between the two rooms. One day, I climbed out of the shower to the sound of giggles. I quickly got dressed and snuck over to their door.

I spied my oldest in her toddler bed doing prat falls much to the delight of her baby sister who was standing in her crib.

I whip out my phone and start taking pictures. I am candidly caught and they slowly wind down. I ask my baby to smile and this is what I got in return.

It is now 4 years later from when I took that priceless picture. My girls are growing too fast. As they get older there are always new moments captured on camera but I find myself taking less and less now. I used to snap all the milestone pictures and write a story for each. Now, I am in the moments instead of being behind the camera. It is a very beautiful place to be.

Have you felt OVERstretched in the world of motherhood? You will be happy to know that you are not alone. Fisher Price is launching the Million Moments of Joy campaign, which celebrates the REAL joys of motherhood.

The contest has now launched. For the next 8 weeks. (8 prizes in total. Each worth approx.. $200.00 CAD) check it out on their contest site: www.fisherprice.ca/momentsofjoy.

What can you win in the prize packs?

– My Little Snugabunny Bouncer ($89.99)

– Laugh &Learn Dance and Play Puppy ($59.99)

– Ocean Wonders Aquarium ($54.99)

Disclosure: I am participating in the Million Moments of Joy Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Fisher-Price. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.