Sunday, November 22, 2015

Countdown to Christmas!

I feel so Christmasy already, I can’t help it!  Yesterday I put our lights up outside, and discovered that one set was only half working, which was annoying given we only bought them last year.  I hadn’t kept the receipt, not thinking we’d need it, so today we went to Canadian Tire and bought a new strand to replace the malfunctioned one, and also got another string of lights to hang up in our bushes out front to match the strand in our tree.  I haven’t seen the full effect yet since I just put them up and it’s still light out, but I KNOW it’s going to look awesome at night time!  I LOVE Christmas lights and I’m completely OK with having them up this early because we’re only a few days shy from a month away from the big day.  

I put up our little Xmas tree on top of the hutch in our dining room a few days ago, but have yet to get it decorated because I have to take everything out from under the stairs to get our Xmas boxes out.  I don’t want to do that till we’ll actually be decorating the house fully, which we’re aiming to do next weekend (if I can wait that long!)  I’m going to do my best to wait, because I don’t want the same thing to happen at Christmas as what did at Halloween time - by the time the occasion was here I was desperate to dismantle the decor and have our normal setup back!

I think we’re completely finished getting everything for the kids, other than maybe a few sweet treats for their stockings.  Maybe one more thing for Andrew to buy but I don’t think so, I’m going to take inventory to make sure their gifts are relatively equal but I think it’s good.  I’ve also just got one more thing to get for James, a few things for other family members, but all the most important stuff has already been done.  I want to do some homemade stuff with the kids for them to give everyone, I just haven’t quite decided what yet.  Pinterest is great but also leaves me feeling totally overwhelmed, and like I just KNOW what we do won’t look like it’s supposed to, but there’s enough time that if we make something soon, we can always try something else if it’s a fail!

We’re going to be having Xmas day with my family, but are also planning for James’ dad, bro, and their significant others to visit for a few days over the holidays, too.  James is going to be off from the 22nd of Dec till the 11th of Jan which is AMAZING, I’m sort of already counting down the days.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015: the year of windstorms

We’re having another crazy storm with heavy winds, which makes me uneasy because it brings back how frustrating it was being without power for about 3 days there a few months ago.  It would be worse now if that happened, since it would also be very cold without the furnace, which wasn’t an issue last time.  I don’t think it’s going to get any worse though, I’m hoping the worst is already over.

It was so windy when I picked Andrew up from school that I had to pull the driver side door  with all my strength just to open it!  I had dinner in the oven with just 10 more minutes to go and it would be cooked, when the power went out.  I had just thought to myself I should light some candles just in case, since it was dark out by that point, but hadn’t quite got around to actually doing it yet.  Suddenly there was a flicker and everything went dark, and all I heard was Andrew’s panicked voice call, ‘Mommmmmmyyyy!’ from the living room.  I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m just grabbing the flashlight and I’ll be right there to light some candles!’  I felt my way to the bathroom where we keep our big flashlight in the cupboard, and quickly made my way to the kids.  They were surprisingly calm, given they were in a pitch black room without me.  No sooner had I lit the candles when the power came back on.

I got out some little push lights that I bought after the last windstorm to have on hand for power outages, and gave one to each of the kids.  Then it was as if they were waiting for the power to go out again so they could make use of their cool new lights.  I reminded them that we don’t actually WANT to have to use these, they’re just for emergencies!  But I said they could play with them for a minute just to get it out of their system.  Then Emily said it was time to turn them off, ‘because otherwise the batteries will die and then they won’t work!’  I love it when they point out my reasoning for things!!

We’re having a fire in the fireplace tonight just in case the power does go out, but really more just for the coziness of it, because why not?!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Baby, it's cold outside

It’s so rainy and dreary outside.  I haven’t got used to how early it gets dark out these days!

Last weekend (not this past one but the one before) we took the kids to Science World.  I’d bought a membership back in June and we’d never gone once since I bought it, so I was thinking we’d have lost almost 5 months worth of the membership, but I was pleasantly surprised when they got our cards printed and the sticker for expiry is Nov 2016.  Not that we’ll be going a ton anyway, as it feels like a lot of effort to get there, but at least it’s an option - especially on these cold and miserable days where there’s nothing else to do.  The kids really loved it and it was nice to make a family outing of it.  I could take all 3 kids on my own but the likelihood of that happening are pretty slim.  The girls were a lot easier this time than when we took them last (which was probably about a year ago I’m guessing, or thereabouts!) but it’s still a lot of work for one person to make sure all 3 kids are within view.  Andrew generally wants to do different things than the girls, and Margaret and Emily also tend to choose different stations than each other.  It’s a lot better to have another pair of eyes, and hands, available to help!

Knock on wood because I REALLY don’t want to jinx it but we’ve miraculously managed to stay virus free now for almost 2 weeks!!  I feel like I have to brace myself for the inevitable virus that could hit at a moment’s notice, but it has been so nice to not have any illnesses to deal with for a while.  I still have a bit of a cough that just won’t go away but that’s the worst of it.  I REALLY hope we can have a sickness-free Christmas.  If I could only ask for one thing for Xmas, I think that would be it!!

I’m getting prepared for the holiday early, and hope to have all gifts - for everyone - purchased BEFORE December 1st.  That’s my goal, and I’m getting there...slowly, but surely.  Some people are really difficult to shop for and I don’t really know what to get them, but it will all come together.  I have just a couple of things left to order for the kids and then they are completely done.  I’m going to even start wrapping in the first week of December so I literally can just focus on other things until The Big Day.

I’m admittedly getting kind of excited about Christmas already.  Part of me hates how early they started pushing it on us in the stores, but at the same time I’m not out shopping all that often, so I haven’t been overly bombarded by it.  I was a bit annoyed at hearing Christmas music at Toys R Us this past weekend, despite that I was there Christmas shopping!  It just felt too early.  I was also amazed at how picked over some of the shelves were ALREADY.  I guess a lot of people have the same idea as me, to get the shopping part done early?!  It’s just crazy how it all works.  I actually much prefer shopping online.

But this weekend Andrew went for a sleepover at my aunt and uncle’s, so we took the girls to Toys R Us so they could pick out an xmas and bday gift for Andrew.  Which they didn’t ever do because they were too eager to look at the toys THEY wanted, but we did get a few things and I sneakily went and bought a few things for them while James distracted them in another part of the store, so that worked out nicely.  We stopped at Fatburger on the way home and got some veggie burgers to go, and the girls and I checked out the dollar store, and then we ate our dinner while watching Cinderella on Netflix (which was a treat since we never eat  dinner in front of the TV).

I just finished making a lasagna for our dinner tonight.  It’s always a better day when I manage to get dinner prepared earlier in the day so I’m not having to think about it at the last minute before James will be getting home.  After school I’m going to get the kids to help me make a pumpkin loaf/cake so we’ll have something yummy for dessert, and also just to get them busy doing something (although trying to share the measuring and stirring of baking between 3 kids can be a bit of a challenge and doesn’t always end entirely well…!!!)  But in my mind it will be a fun afternoon for the kids, and hopefully not too stressful of one for me!!

Monday, November 09, 2015

My little threenagers

I LOVE 3 years of age.  The girls can be slightly more attitudinal at times, I’ve already noticed (sticking their tongue out at me, or even pointing their bums at me and saying, ‘Pfffffft!’  LOL!  But that’s probably more so stuff they’ve learned from Andrew than the fact that they are now ‘threenagers’).

They’re just so darn CUTE, if I do say so myself.  Of course, Andrew is still completely adorable, too, and I love his age as well.  Three is just perfect in the sense that they’re old enough to understand a lot, can do way more than they ever could before, but they’re also young and small enough to still seem babyish in some ways.  They love to remind me that they are NOT babies anymore, they are BIG GIWLS but they still have a baby-quality to them that I wish I could hold onto forever.  There are still slight hints of that in Andrew, and I think I’ll always look at the side of his face, the shape of his eyes, and see him as a brand new baby.  He still has the same flawless skin, and it’s baby-soft and adorable.  I just love it, and while I look forward to seeing what my kids look like as grown adults, I wish I could bottle up their babyness and keep it, because I KNOW I’m going to miss it terribly in the future.

This morning Emily wrapped up a stuffed animal giraffe in a little baby blanket and was rocking it and patting its back.  She came up to me with a look of pride and said, ‘This is my baby, Mommy!’ and she let me hold it so I stroked its ears and gave it’s soft nose a kiss.  She was so happy and acting so motherly and it made me think how beautiful it will be one day if she has a baby of her own.  I hope I can be there for the births of my kids’ babies someday, wow how amazing would that be.

The girls are both so expressive in such different ways and I love both their ways so much.  I can see so much of Andrew’s mannerisms in each of them.  Yesterday the animated way that Emily was telling me about something was SO Andrew that I couldn’t help but laugh.  Margaret is like Andrew in mischievous ways, only kicked up a notch if that’s even possible.  Margaret is definitely the most outgoing of all 3 kids, with Andrew not too far behind, and Emily a little more unsure of people.  She just takes a little longer to warm up, and sometimes I feel like people aren’t getting the true sense of who she is because when she’s just around those of us that she’s most comfortable with she shares so much of her personality, but when other people are around she retreats a bit into her shell.  Of course, I’m completely the same way, so I get it.  I also think people don’t tend to really know who I am unless they really get to know me and I’m comfortable enough with them, which sometimes bothers me because I feel like people don’t really understand me or know what my true personality is...but at the same time, I’m such an introvert that if I share too much of myself, I’m totally uncomfortable with that, too!  I was pretty outgoing as a little kid, though, so it will be interesting to see how much the kids’ personalities change over time.

I’m almost finished the yearly book about the kids’ lives that I’ve been doing for 5 years now.  It’s a lot of work but so rewarding to have as a keepsake and I’m sure the kids will be happy to have them in years to come (hopefully!)  It just amazes me how much the kids change in the span of a year.  Not really, in the sense that OBVIOUSLY little kids change a lot in a short period of time!  But it’s amazing to see it staring me in the face when I’m so used to seeing it happen gradually since I’m with them all the time.  It doesn’t always seem as obvious as it does, say to people who only see them every few months or so.  Once the book is finished I can really start to focus on getting prepared well in advance for Christmas...which isn’t as far off as I keep thinking it is!

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Time flies so fast!

There are definitely moments when one, two, or all three of my kids are making me want to rip my hair out and scream, ‘I’m done!’  But those moments are totally worth it for all the sweet, happy moments we share.  They fill my heart with so much love that it often feels like it’s going to overflow, it’s so full.  

(That made me think of Scott Helman’s song Machine, which is one of my current favourites….Soon your heart is gonna overflow, push you back down you get up again...Honestly there is nothing cuter than a little 3 year old girl voice singing, You’re more than a machine! - Emily loves to sing parts of that song whenever it comes on).

Sometimes I wish I could just freeze frame time.  I wish every good moment shared could be preserved forever, maybe some of the not so good ones too, just to remind us of all we went through together.  But just to have those times to hold onto.  I think I’m realizing more and more how my children are all growing up, rapidly, they’re little people now, not toddlers or babies.  Andrew is a BOY, not even a little boy anymore.  My first born is losing so many signs of ‘baby’ that I just want to cry and use a time machine and go back to our very first night together in that hospital where I could just hold him and love him and feel that magical new mom love, and beam with pride over this beautiful boy I created.  I can still do that, and I still marvel all the time at how amazing and totally CUTE my kids are (if I do say so myself!) but I’m seeing it now, that this time where my kids are small and growing up and I’m raising them, it’s FLEETING.  It’s going to END.  One day they’ll be grown right up and won’t even be living with me anymore, and from what people say it’s like I’m going to blink and I’ll be there in the future wishing I could be back here, regardless of the chaotic moments.  I’ll wish I could be cuddling those so-darn-cute little children of mine.

So while there are times when I honestly don’t know how I’m going to manage another hour, let alone day, week, month, forget even looking into the future beyond that because it’s rare I even can...I know I have to live as much in the moment and just RELISH IN IT because this is the ultimate time of my life.  Hopefully all stages will have their own level of amazing, and even after the kids are grown and moved out, I can live in the moment and enjoy the stage of life I’m at, but the reality is that nothing could be more important to me and heart-filling than raising my kids and being with them and knowing them throughout all the stages of their childhoods.  I feel grateful for each of them in so many different ways, I love them all the same and yet completely differently.  I’m so lucky, and so happy, because my heart is so FULL.

Week in review...

The super rainy and cold season has settled in here on the ‘wet coast’ it seems.  Of course it could be colder, but it just feels chilly and even with the furnace cranked up it’s hard to get warm for long.  I’ve rekindled a love of hot chai tea lattes, and fall scented candles from Bath & BodyWorks and I’m trying to embrace the season as much as possible.

It felt like a busy week this week.  On Monday we had my aunt and uncle and cousin over for a visit.  My cousin (technically cousin’s partner but I think of her as my cousin, too!) is going through chemotherapy right now and I’d already seen pictures of her without her hair, but the kids hadn’t seen her yet.  I had explained to Andrew what she was going through, but didn’t think it made sense to talk about it in any detail with the girls since they just wouldn’t be able to comprehend it at their age.  So I was a bit nervous as to how they might react.  But I should have known that there would basically be no reaction at all, and ultimately all that happened was Margaret went up to her, pointed at her head, and said, ‘Oooh, I like your haircut!’  I found it really good to see her in person and be able to ask her more questions and hear about what she’s going through with her treatment.  I think it can be really uncomfortable because you don’t want to say the wrong things or sound totally ignorant to what a person is dealing with when they’re going through something so major, but I was reminded what a great attitude she has and I think she’s a really strong person going through what she is, which is going to help her get through it.

Her experience has also really reminded me to be more mindful and thankful of what I have.  I know it’s all relative and we all have our reasons to complain, but ultimately I really don’t have anything major to be complaining about, and in my more challenging moments it’s important I remind myself that my situation could be so much more difficult than it is.

On Tuesday I had a follow up appointment with my gynecologist regarding my terrible periods (TMI alert!)  I went on a birth control pill called Lo Lo in order to hopefully get it under control, but after about 7 weeks decided it was not for me.  I think I’m really wary at this point of taking hormones like that, especially when I’m not using it as a form of birth control.  I found I was very moody, anxious, felt like I wanted to eat everything, particularly sugary things when I’d actually gotten out of the habit of eating a ton of extra sugar, and I had spotting for about 5 of the 7 weeks I was on the pill!  My period was the lightest ever and lasted only 3 days and felt like it was barely there, the cramps still made me take pain meds but I didn’t feel like I was in early labour and breathing through contractions so that was a definitely perk.  But I still had lots of headaches and just didn’t feel like the pros were outweighing the cons by any stretch.  So I’m now trying out a pill that isn’t hormonal that I only take for the first few days of my period and it’s supposed to make the flow less severe and that is all it focuses on.  I’m hoping less flow will equal less severe cramps, which are a huge source of the problem for me because I can’t spend several days of the month literally doubled over feeling like I’m about to birth a baby when I’m not, and have 3 kids to look after at the same time!  It’s not working for me.  If this new pill doesn’t work, the next recommendation is the Mirena IUD, but I’m so wary of having something actually inserted and left inside me for a long duration, it seems invasive and kind of gross to me, and again it’s hormonal so it’s going to have an impact on me psychologically, too, which I really don’t want if possible.  So fingers crossed this does the trick.  Oh, the joys of being a woman!

On Wednesday we were supposed to have the ceiling fixed in our living room (after the leaky pipe incident the day before the girls’ cancelled birthday party!)  James worked from home so that someone would be here when I had to pick Andrew up from school, in case they weren’t finished by that point.  The management company went to the extent of giving us a very legal document in our mail slot to give 24 hours’ notice of entry, yet they gave it to us at 2pm (I was there when it went through the slot) to say they’d be entering at 9am the next day!  They also put that day’s date on the top of the letter, but for the entry date they put October 4th...I can only shake my head at the incompetencies at this point, honestly.  

Because the work would be all done in the living room, the plan was I would take the girls with me and we’d go get my prescription filled from my appointment the day before, then head over to my mom’s for a few hours so we wouldn’t be banished to upstairs at our house, and forced to listen to the noise of the work being done.  James texted me at 11am and said they still hadn’t even arrived...And I started to get a bad feeling that it just wasn’t going to happen.  We went home at noon for the girls’ nap time, and at one I had James call the manager to find out where the guys were.  They were scheduled to be finished by 4pm and I knew there was no way that would be able to happen.  The thing is, we had plans for Thursday and I didn’t want them coming then, or Friday, so if they didn’t show or showed up and did a partial job, we’d have to wait at least till next week to get it done.

The manager said she’d get a hold of the guys and call right back….and a little over an hour later she called back to say they would not be coming.  James had to explain 5 times that Thursday and Friday did not work for us to have them in, until she finally seemed to understand that we were not ok with them doing the work the next day.

On Thursday morning at 8am I swore I heard a knock on our front door, but I was upstairs with the kids and thought it must have been my imagination because no one ever knocks on our door that early!  I ignored it, and finally came downstairs at 8:30 and immediately when I opened the front blinds, the drywallers were at our door.  I thought I could hear a vehicle idling outside since 8am, and it had been them, they literally just sat there in their van with it ON, for half an hour waiting for me to answer the door!  They said, ‘When did management say we should get started?’  I replied, ‘Yesterday at 9am!’  They just laughed a bit, and I had to explain that we told the manager the day before in the afternoon that the rest of this week wouldn’t work for us, so we were rescheduling for next week.  They just nodded and said OK and left.  No, ‘Sorry we didn’t show up yesterday’ or SOMETHING…...But anyway, not that I was expecting that because I definitely wasn’t, it would just have been nice!

I kept Andrew home on Thursday because we had a family doctor appointment in the afternoon to have our flu shots.  I could have taken him to school for the morning but the more I thought about it, the more of a hassle it seemed like.  He would be there for 3 hours and it would have meant all the usual charade of getting everyone ready and dropping him off and then picking him up right when I’d be needing to get the girls down for their nap.  So he stayed home, which made things easier, and we got to have some nice quality time to play Qwirkle while the girls had their sleep.  Then we headed downtown to our doctor’s appointment.  It sucks that our doctor is an hour’s drive away, but we like him and we’ve been going to him since Andrew was a baby so it just doesn’t make sense to look for someone closer if we don’t have to.  Andrew had been SO excited about the appointment and wanted to get the flu shot and we thought it would be a breeze as he’s never had issues with needles, even as a baby.  The girls we figured would cry a bit but it wouldn’t be much of a problem either.  We had opted to do the shots as opposed to the flumist this year because last year the girls reacted negatively to the flumist and had to go to the emergency room.

Margaret got her shot first and she cried for about 5 seconds afterwards but basically it was no big deal and she got a chocolate afterwards.  Emily was going to go next (she should have gone first, looking back) but with the few tears Margaret shed, she didn’t want to go next, so James did.  Then me.  Then we begged and begged Andrew to go next but he refused, which got Emily all in a state, and then Andrew was huddled between two chairs sobbing and acting like a 2 year old, which made NO SENSE because he’s had the flu shot before and KNOWS it doesn’t even hurt!  Finally we just couldn’t waste any more of the doctor’s time so we had to forcefully hold Emily down and have hers done, which sucks because it gave her a terrible impression of needles, and of course because she was so tense when getting it, her arm got really red and swollen and still feels warm to the touch two days later.  But Andrew made the biggest scene of all and refused to the point that he ended up getting the flumist instead, and I was not happy about it because of course now he has what appears to be a really bad head cold but I’m 100% sure it’s from the flumist because he just got over two colds and can’t possibly have another one already!  I hate the flumist and will never allow any of my kids to get it again, only the shot form (it’s different, the doctor confirmed that kids can react badly to one and not the other).

The plan after the appointment was to go to the dollar store and the kids could each pick one thing, but Andrew’s behaviour was so terrible that we had to tell him he couldn’t get anything.  We just couldn’t let him get away with how bad he had been.  It wasn’t just a matter of being nervous about the shot, he was acting out in ways that were inappropriate.  Well, he absolutely LOST IT in the store, even though we’d told him before we got there that he couldn’t get anything.  He was tearing things off the shelf, screaming, flailing around, it was SO embarrassing.  Eventually James had to physically remove him kicking and screaming and take him to the van to wait for us.

Emily picked out a little toy guitar (from the dollar store, so not the greatest quality but actually not bad for $2!) and Margaret picked out a My Little Pony stuffed animal that’s actually really cute and in my books worth more than the $3 paid for it!  (Since when did the dollar store become everything OVER a dollar though, really?!!)

James had picked us up some Chinese food before meeting us at the doctor’s office so when we got home I luckily didn’t have to cook.  Andrew ended up behaving badly again and had to go to bed right after dinner, Margaret refused to eat and had to go to bed at 7pm, so we were just with Emily till she went to bed a bit late after 8pm.  We realized now that we have 3 kids and with having had 2 at once, we really never have one on one time like that with either of the girls.  Andrew, yes, because he usually stays up a bit later than the girls, but that was the first time I know of that James and Emily and I spent time together just us.  She was being extra cute and adorable because I think she KNEW she was the golden girl!!

On Friday (yesterday) Andrew had school and the girls and I attended a meeting (not sure if I mentioned before that I’m a part of the PAC at the school this year...I have mixed feelings about the role I’ve taken on, but yeah…) and then in the evening James and I had a date night.  We hadn’t been out just the two of us since maybe early September?  Or longer.  It certainly felt like longer.  I hate that we almost never get to do anything just the two of us, I will say that is definitely something that gets to me at times.  But finally we had a few hours just us, and decided to go to Coquitlam Center because James really needed to get a pair of waterproof shoes/boots, and I wanted to get some new candles from B&BW.  Originally we were going to do our stuff at the mall and then find a restaurant to eat at, but we decided to just eat at the food court instead.  James got Thai food and I got Greek, which was so good I could eat it again right now!

We stopped at Starbucks on the way home, and then had a short visit with my parents, got Margaret back to bed (because she woke up when we got home, but it was nice to come in and hear that all was quiet and the kids were in bed already!) and then watched an episode of Gran Hotel on Netflix because they finally have season 3 up.  Such a great show, if you don’t mind subtitles (unless you speak Spanish!)

Today the van is at the mechanics and OMG do mechanics ever try to rip people off.  Thank gawd my dad knows a lot about cars and isn’t letting them get away with it - they were quoting prices upwards of $2000 for the work, when all we need done is less than $400 (which still feels like a lot to me, but I know it’s what actually HAS to be done!)  Hoping to have our wheels back soon so I can get some groceries.  Beyond that I don’t think we’ll venture too far this weekend, it’s so rainy and cold I just want to get a fire going in the fireplace and curl up with a blanket and sleep.  Not necessarily going to happen quite like that, but the fire in the fireplace is doable :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

This is Halloween, this is Halloween....

I can’t believe Halloween is only 2 days away.  Andrew is SO excited and the girls have no idea what they’re in for!  They don’t seem to remember the fact that they’ve already lived through 3 Halloweens (granted they were only 2 weeks old on their first one!)

Andrew is SO excited about Halloween, given it’s one of his very favourite days of the whole year.  He’s going as a Grim Reaper that has fake blood pumping through the chest (using a little pump in his hand that looks like a heart!)  But because his costume is a little bit flimsy and I worry that he could easily snag the fabric on something, he’s opted to wear a Flash costume for the parade at school tomorrow.

The girls are going as witches and the skirts of their dresses have flashing lights in them.  They’re going to look SO cute!  

I’m really looking forward to Halloween night...and keeping my fingers AND toes crossed till then in hopes that it won’t be raining for trick or treating……

In some ways I’m looking forward to Halloween being over so I can undecorate!  We’ve been decorated since October 1st and in all honesty I’m sick of looking at it all, at least the inside stuff.  We got a new shelf in the living room just a couple of days before we decorated so I’ve yet to be able to organize it in a way I’d like to keep it for a while, so I’m kind of itching to do that.  Except I know it won’t last long, either, because it’ll only be another month before we decorate for Christmas.  Everything happens so fast this time of year.  I can’t believe we’re already thinking about the holiday season...but it’s fast approaching!  It’ll be the crazy rush of getting ready and planning for Christmas, having Andrew’s school friends birthday party before Christmas, Xmas itself, then his actual birthday and new year’s all rolled into one...It’s a lot!  BUT I’m looking forward to it of course, and it’s going to be great because James is going to have a good chunk of time off.  Which for him won’t feel like time off because it’s a lot of work being home with us, but spending more time together is going to be so nice, AND having his help with the kids for a period of time is going to be A-MA-ZING!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

I wrote this over a week ago so when I say 'last Sunday' I actually mean several Sundays ago!

I can’t believe I forgot to write about our trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  We went on Sunday the 4th to Applebarn in Abbotsford.  We went there two years ago, and then last year we went to Aldor Acres because that’s where Andrew’s school field trip was held.  Last year it just so happened that the field trip was held on a particularly cold and rainy day, and while we did make the most of it and had a good time, I was dreading the idea that his field trip to the same farm this year would end up being on a rainy day, too. It’s also on a day James can’t take off from work, which would mean I’d have to drive all 3 of our kids and potentially also be in charge of one more kid from Andrew’s class, ALL ON MY OWN.  Which obviously I COULD do, but I really, really, REALLY wouldn’t want to.  So when I barely, sort of, kind of, not really hinted to James that we could go to the pumpkin patch last Sunday when it would be sunny and warm, and he full on suggested we go with enthusiasm, I knew we HAD to go for it!  It was totally a last minute decision but ended up being such a great one.

We got there mid morning (it takes about an hour from our house to drive there) and got our wrist bands (who knew pumpkin patches were such big business?!) and also splurged and got each of the kids a pony ride.  The thing is, we thought it would be included in the price for the wrist bands, which we needed for all the other stuff we wanted to do, but it was actually $6 per ride for each kid...Which really adds up the more kids you've got! We’d already got their hopes up so couldn’t dash them, so we went for it.  I felt it was a bit much for how short the ride was, but at the same time it was priceless seeing them on the horses.  Especially Emily.  She was SO happy it was worth every penny.  She was just beaming for the entire ride.  Before we’d got there and James had told her there’d be ponies, she had said, ‘I want to wide on the puh-ple My Little Pony!’  She was a bit disappointed to realize there were no purple ponies, but the white one ended up doing just fine :)  It was so cute.

The kids also enjoyed the 'pillow jumping' and Andrew had fun on the slide (that was for bigger kids).  The girls rode some tractor bikes, and of course the hayride was fun for all.  By the time we actually got to the pumpkin patch part, the kids were sort of falling apart.  They all wanted snacks and Emily was getting overtired and needed her nap.  Margaret found an apple on the ground and just started eating it.  We realized they didn’t have any wheel barrows or anything that could go on the hayride back to the main area so whatever pumpkins we got we had to carry ourselves (when we went 2 years ago we walked and had a wheelbarrow because the girls were still in their stroller then).  But it worked out, we got 3 pumpkins and managed to carry them and found a little wheel barrow to put them in when we got back to the main area.  I went and paid for the pumpkins and got some gala apples that ended up being the most delicious apples EVER because I never buy them organic and clearly I should, wow what a difference!  And some apple cider, which I’m kicking myself for not buying more of because it didn’t last two seconds.  It was so good.  The kids played for a few minutes and then we left.  It was a whirlwind and we were pretty tired afterwards but it was such a wonderful family day, and I’m so glad we went when it was so sunny and warm.  It was apparently in the high 20s that day, which is CRAZY for here in October!  The kids didn’t even wear jackets.  What a difference a year makes, such a good call to go when we know it’ll be nice.  

Sick days and new toys

The cold I had last week turned into a flu, and after about 4 hours of thinking I was on the mend the night before last, I woke up yesterday morning feeling as if I was getting the virus all over again.  It just won’t go away, and keeps getting worse.  Andrew has been coughing and stuffed up for WEEKS and the girls have had it for almost a week now and aren’t getting any better either.  At least the kids are able to go about their day as per usual, but I find I’m totally dragging myself, completely exhausted, and am having a more challenging time than usual meeting all of their many demands throughout the day.

Yesterday Andrew’s class went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch, but we went to one a few weeks ago (post on that to come) so I decided instead of going with his class, he would stay home and we’d do something fun on our own as a family.  He was totally fine with that.  So the plan was, we were going to go to a Halloween shop downtown and then go to Science World.  I got us a family membership back in June at a special rate because a huge group of us got it at the same time, and we’ve yet to go.  The kids were excited about it, and James had already worked extra so he’d be able to meet us there in the afternoon.  But as soon as I woke up in the morning so stuffed up I could barely breathe, I knew there was no way I’d be able to handle that big of an outing.

So I bribed the kids and said if they were OK with rescheduling Science World, I’d take them to Toys R Us and get them each a little toy so we’d have something new and fun to play with for the afternoon instead.  Of course they were all over that plan, with the addition that we also hit up the Wendy’s drive thru afterwards for a Frosty!

So off we went to Toys R Us, and honestly I was feeling so whoozy it was literally the most I could manage.  We looked around at some of the toys but mostly stuck to the Duplo/Lego area, and Margaret and Emily ended up picking out a Sleeping Beauty Duplo set that cost way more than I wanted to spend, so I’m putting some of their birthday money toward their purchase.  Andrew got a tiny Lego set and a little Blind Bag of some weird characters.  Everyone was happy, and when we got home the girls were so excited about their new Duplo that they ended up going for their nap 2 hours past their usual nap time!  It was great to see all 3 kids playing together (for the most part without fighting…!) and being occupied by something for more than just a few minutes.  I actually think there will be some Duplo sets under the Christmas tree this year, because there’s so much they can do with it and I can see them really enjoying making towers and houses and whatnot.  Andrew loves it, too, even though he’s over the intended age, since the boxes all say ‘2-5 years.’  He wants a Batman Duplo set for Christmas!  He likes Lego but still seems to have a bit of a time putting all the tiny pieces together, since the sets all come with so many detailed bits that have to be put together.  I’m sure in the next year or so he’ll really get into Lego, but hey, if he enjoys Duplo there’s nothing wrong with that, and it works well with the girls too, so they’ll have lots of building to do with it all together.

I still felt bad that we didn’t have our outing to SW, but when I mentioned that to Andrew he said, ‘What are you talking about, today was fantastic!’  LOL  I guess I’m just feeling like such a shut in lately.  James has been working from home a lot to help me out, and has done a lot of the drop offs and pick ups at school, so I haven’t even been venturing out much for that.  I did a bit of a grocery shop the other day but was so exhausted afterwards, it was ridiculous.  I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!  This time of year mixed with a child in school SUCKS for viruses, what can I say.

I’m really hoping to start feeling better soon.  It’s just so debilitating, and there’s so much I want to be doing but can’t.  After dinner tonight we did take the kids on a little walk, even though it was getting dark already, and they had a great time running around.  It felt good just to get some fresh air.  We noticed it felt a lot colder out tonight, it definitely feels more like fall now than it has.  I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that there’s clear skies in the forecast for Halloween!  The countdown is on, just a week till Halloween Eve!

Monday, October 19, 2015

My babies are 3!

Last Wednesday was Margaret and Emily’s 3rd birthday.  James worked from home so we could have a bit more time together as a family that day.  They opened just a few of their presents in the morning before Andrew went to school - his gift (a Merida doll (from Brave) for Emily, and Merida’s mom for Margaret, and Fifi’s gift, which was a DVD of a bunch of Robert Munsch stories.  It was on Netflix several years ago and Andrew loved it, so I figured the girls would, too, but so far they haven’t taken to it (BUT Andrew still loves it, so it’s not a complete loss!)

I had planned on taking the girls to a park before their nap, but it was kind of cold and damp outside, so not really conducive to a park visit.  We just hung around and did our usual stuff, which the girls were totally fine with.  They had a really hard time falling asleep at nap time because they knew that when they got up it would be after school, and after school meant presents and cake!  My parents came over just before I had to go pick Andrew up, and when we got back we had delicious sandwiches (James tried to make baguette sandwiches as close as possible to what we used to get at Baguette Time before they closed out (which we’re still sad about!) and the brie one he made was almost identical.  SO yummy.  We also had some other snacks, and then a giant cupcake cake that Andrew and I made the night before.  It was the cake pan I used for their first birthday cakes, but the beauty of having 3 year olds is that they don’t remember their first birthday and they’re totally fine with having a cake that’s pretty much exactly the same!  I didn’t even make them each one this time, they were totally fine to share.  

For their birthday they also got a cute birthday outfit that I took pictures of them in - a ‘3’ shirt, white leggings with silver stars on them, and adorable little tutus that will be great for when they start taking ballet (I’ve got them signed up for a class in the new year).  They also got a cute sweatshirt and bottoms from my parents, a whole bunch if Peppa Pig (and family, and friends!) figurines, Disney character mini figurines (101 Dalmations, and Princesses), and lots of new pairs of undies.  Oh, and the new Cinderella movie on DVD. And how could I forget, their favourite gift of all were nightgowns with The Little Mermaid on them from their Daddy! (They wore them as dresses for 2 days straight and wouldn't even take them off to pick Andrew up from school!)

They seemed to really enjoy their day, and kept mentioning how they’re THREE now, and not babies.  ‘I’m a big guwl, Mommy!’  So cute.

I wish we’d done more on their special day, but at the same time I knew they were happy with what we did do, and I also felt OK with it knowing that on Saturday we’d be having their big party with lots of family attending.  Who knew that by Friday night I’d be totally congested and feeling sick……..

Andrew caught a cold the second week of school, and both girls got it.  It was more just a sniffly cold, nothing too serious, and James and I miraculously managed to avoid it.  (I started taking Oil of Oregano in pill form and swear it helped stave off the germs for me!)  But then about a week later Andrew caught ANOTHER bug and this one included a nasty cough.  But NO ONE ELSE GOT IT and I should have known it was too good to be true.  It’s just too bad that it waited till their birthday party eve to hit us.  I was feeling flu-like and had a severe headache, but pushed myself and got the house completely cleaned and tidied and sent James off to the store for all the groceries for the party.  The cake had been ordered and paid for (at Dairy Queen) a few weeks in advance.  As far as I knew, we were going ahead with it, and I was just going to keep myself at a bit of a distance and pray that no one would catch what I had.  (Andrew still had his cough but he’d had it for so long that people were willing to come to the party despite it).  But everything fell apart around 11pm.

I literally JUST finished doing all the chores and felt like I had everything done that I could possibly do to be ready for the party till morning.  I sat down on the couch, got cozy under a blanket and put an ice pack on my head and laid back...and then Margaret woke up screaming and crying.  Seriously, it’s like she has a radar for when Mommy relaxes.  It’s just plain not allowed!  So I ran up and immediately could tell it wasn’t like her usual wake ups at night, she was scrunching her face and I knew that look - she was coming down with something and feeling miserable from it.  It took me 10 minutes to console her, and I went back downstairs and literally JUST sat back down and had the ice pack to my head when I heard

Drip, drip, DRIP! behind me….

My first thought was seriously THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!  This seriously can’t be happening!!!!!

I turned my head and saw water dripping all over the little shelf in the upper part of our living room.  The ceiling was leaking, from the bathtub right above.


So it was 11:30 at night the night before the birthday party, we were coming down with a cold, and the goddam ceiling was leaking.  Pretty much on autopilot I went and turned off the water main under the stairs.  This is literally the NINTH leak we have had since we moved in here at the end of January 2013.  NINTH.  Which if you ask me is insane and totally not OK.

In the morning I knew right away there was no way we could go ahead with the party.  I was feeling absolutely wretched, Margaret was sick, Emily had it, too, and of course Andrew was still barking away.  Not to mention no water, which would mean no toilet or sink and nearly 15 people at our house.  Not the best combo!!

So I sent out the apologetic text to everyone that the party was off, though I’m sure everyone was happy to not be risking the germs, as last year Margaret caught a sniffle 5 minutes into their birthday party and at least 4 people ended up with a cold that lasted several weeks as a result!  Clearly October is a terrible month to have a birthday.

At 10am I called management (who luckily is generally available on Saturdays...because our leaks ALWAYS seem to happen on the weekend…) and she said a plumber would be over around 6-7pm.  At least we had an idea of when it would be, but what a long time to wait without water.  We cheated and put it on at times and then turned it off asap, because we couldn’t flush the toilet otherwise and #1 isn’t a big deal for that but with all the kids doing #2s on the toilet now, that’s not something we’re going to let linger!!  I had an absolute migraine and after giving James a short break I ended up having to go back to bed.  I didn’t get much sleep but the rest I had helped my head a lot, so at least I wasn’t in as much agony.  My cousin had stopped by with some cute hats she knit for the girls and I felt like I wasn’t able to visit at all, though she wasn’t really wanting to stay near all our germs for long anyway!

During the girls’ nap James and I decided we may as well go ahead with having a little party for them on our own, even though the guests wouldn’t be joining us.  My parents had to drop the cake off in the afternoon, and our plan for making room for it in the freezer was to make all the appies we’d bought for the party, so we ended up making a bunch of them and used the Minnie Mouse party supplies we’d bought, and just as everything was ready the girls got up and we had a little toast to them with some ‘Kid champagne’ as Andrew likes to call it (which in actuality is sparkling apple juice!) Then my parents came over with the cake, so they risked getting our germs and had some snacks and then the cake with us (which was really cute, with 2 little Minnie Mouse faces on it, it was simple but I’m happy with how it turned out, and who doesn’t love DQ ice cream cake, or is that just us?!)

The girls got dressed up in their adorable dresses that my sil got them for Christmas last year, and we took some cute pictures of them outside in their outfits, completed, of course, with their new black fancy shoes that they LOVE to clomp around in every chance they get!

At a little before 8pm, the plumber FINALLY showed up to change the leaky pipes (which still isn't fixed completely but it's getting there), and a little after that (while he was still here) a neighbour friend of ours from a few doors down came over with his daughter for some ice cream cake.  The girls were so excited to have them over that there was NO WAY they were staying in bed (and it was too noisy with the plumber there anyway) so they didn’t go to bed till about 9:30pm, and Andrew a little after that!  It was a big day, but even though there was some initial disappointment over the party being cancelled, I think the girls enjoyed that they were getting spoiled again after already having their actual birthday.  We gave them a few more presents, that we’d saved for the party - some clothes, socks, and little magnetic dress up dolls for the fridge.  I thought they might be disappointed since it was mainly just clothes and the dress up doll thing was just a little thing from the dollar store, but as they were opening it all up Emily threw up her hands in delight and said, ‘Look at all this stuff!’  It was really sweet.  And both on their actual birthday AND their party day, Margaret kept saying, ‘This is the best birthday EVO (‘ever’ in her language!), thank you Mommy!’ :)

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