Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fun hanging out with my girls

We’re finally all healthy again.  After Emily’s sudden bout of sickness, James ended up feeling really unwell for several days.  Then Emily had a bit of a relapse.  But we were all healthy in time for the weekend, which was good because my grandma was over visiting from the island.  

On Monday I felt so productive.  I don’t know exactly what caused it, but I had a sudden burst of energy in the morning (which NEVER happens) so I put it to good use and got some organizational stuff done that has been bugging me for a long time.  I did more in the evening, and managed to not only get my closet in a much better state, but I got all our summer stuff out from the hall closet and revamped it all and have a bunch of things to get rid of to goodwill.  I’m one of those people with good intentions, who loves to have things organized but has a hard time actually keeping it that way.  I really want to work on properly organizing things (not getting part way there and then deciding I’ll finish it later but then not get around to it for months or more…) and then actually maintaining it.  That’s my goal!  I HAVE to get rid of more stuff and feel like we’re living more simply.

Yesterday morning I kind of felt the opposite - not productive at all.  I knew if we went home after dropping Andrew off at school, I’d feel compelled to get more done, but I reeeally didn’t feel like it.  So the girls and I went to Superstore (we almost never go there) and got a few things, including a box of Pull-ups to try to encourage them getting away from diapers and work on potty training FULLY, once and for all.  They didn’t want to go home after we left there so we drove over to Toys R Us and I let them run around and play outside where they have all the playhouses and slides and things fenced off.  They LOVED it!  They ran from house to house and giggled as they took turns knocking on the doors and asking to come in.  They tried out all the climbers, and I realized how truly big they are getting already because they were pretty much beyond all the climbers they had there!  But they had fun exploring, and then I told them we were going into a giant toy store...but not to buy anything, just to have some fun looking around.  They were amazing about it.  They oohed and aahed and played with toys and pointed at all the characters they love.  A few things they’d pick off the shelf and say, ‘I’m takin’ this one!’ but when I said we couldn’t buy it they were really good about putting it back without complaining.  I would have bought them some little things for a dollar if they had super cheap stuff but Toys R Us is so expensive, especially when you have to buy two or more things, so I told them I couldn’t get them anything but I’d give them a treat in the car.  A Yop each and a small piece of licorice and they were totally content!  I was so happy with their behaviour.  I also love being able to take them to stores now and not need a stroller and feel confident that they’re not going to wreak havoc!

Today we had a play date with some friends who live nearby, whose kids are 4 and 10 months.  Andrew’s at school of course, but the girls and her boy and girl got along so well together.  It’s so nice.  I’ve had it where playdates don’t go super smoothly before because some of the kids don’t quite jive, but we knew it was successful when all the kids got along (Margaret would even go up to the baby and gently pat her head and hug her, it was really cute!) AND we managed to have some adult conversation without too much interruption!!  You can’t ask for, nor expect, anything better than that!

Time for a nap while the girls take theirs...It’s the only way I’ll survive the craziness of after school!  As much as I have to do throughout the morning and early afternoon each day, from 3-6pm is the witching hours, and if today goes anything at all like yesterday in that time frame...well, let’s just say I am going to need my strength!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Emily's night of sickness

On Sunday we took the kids to a nearby park and spent a few hours playing and having a picnic.  They absolutely loved it, and it was so nice to be spending quality family time outside.  It felt like summer!  When we got home we spent more time in the yard, and then got all the kids down for the night.  We figured they’d sleep well after all that outside time, so we figured we’d enjoy some time sitting out in the lounge chairs in the backyard.  James brought me a red wine and himself a Scotch, and we just started chatting when we heard Emily sobbing upstairs.  It’s not like her to start crying out of the blue like that, but we didn’t think too much of it since she hadn’t been in bed long and we knew they likely hadn’t fallen asleep yet.  When James went upstairs I knew pretty quickly that something was up, and it turned out she had thrown up - massively - all over her bed, herself, the floor, you name it she had barfed all over it.  It was all in her hair and all down her body, so James got her into the bathtub while I changed her bedding and did the best I could to clean it off the carpet.  It took a while to get her settled, and she wanted cuddles so James stayed with her for a while before she seemed comfortable in bed again.  We had our fingers crossed that that would be it - a one-time fluke-barf.  We get a lot of colds, and I get flu-like symptoms with a lot of the viruses I seem to get, but rarely does anyone in our house actually throw up (even myself - I used to throw up relatively frequently but it’s a pretty rare occurrence these days!)  

Our chance to sit outside had come and gone, as there was suddenly a freak storm.  When we were sitting outside for those 2.5 seconds, it seemed slightly cool out but there didn’t seem to be any sign of rain on the immediate horizon.  But within 5 minutes of going inside to help Emily, it started to pour with rain.  We sat on the couch, hoping to resume our time together with our drinks, when Emily started crying again and we raced upstairs to find that she’d thrown up all over herself again, as well as another section of the carpet in their room, and one of their toddler chairs.  After another bath and me scrubbing at the floor, all she wanted was to cuddle, so I stayed with her and sat with her in my arms on the floor.  All the while Margaret was up, chattering away to us, talking about how ‘Emmy’ was sick.  James brought us a bucket so she could use that if she needed it, and we’d covered a lot of the floor so there wouldn’t be any more barf on it (I will be shampooing their room as soon as I get the chance!)  But after a while I didn’t see either of them going to sleep, so I suggested we go down to the couch and watch Beauty and the Beast and try to go to sleep.  Margaret said, ‘I go, too?!’ and I couldn’t say no!  It’s not a usual occurrence and I knew she wouldn’t just go to sleep knowing we were downstairs watching a movie.  So off we went to the couch (Margaret helped me carry the bucket and Emily's water).  My dad brought over ginger ale and popsicles for when Emily would feel up to having something to hydrate, as by that time she’d thrown up another couple of times.  (Margaret would pull her head toward the bucket and Emily would tell her, ‘No Mahgwet!’  It was pretty cute watching her help, in her own way, to look out for her sister).  

Emily just laid on me, pretty much unable to do anything. She didn't even watch the movie, she had her head turned away from it and didn't have the energy to move.  We gave her some infant gravol eventually, thinking it might stave off the nausea and help her sleep (she’d never had it before but we thought we’d try it out).  She threw up about 10 minutes after having it, but we thought she might still absorb enough for it to do something.  I think in the end it may have made her drowsy, as while she continued to throw up through the night there were times when she would wobble all over the place and I’d have to hold her over the bucket so she wouldn’t miss it.

Around 11:30 I decided Margaret had better get to bed.  She was starting to get a bit tantrumy, but leading up to that moment she was a livewire and truthfully I think she was LOVING being up so late.  She was pointing at the TV and telling me what was going to happen next in the movie at every scene, and she was very animated!  James got her up to bed and then I got Emily settled on the couch so she was laying on the chaise part, so I’d be able to eventually lay down on the other part to sleep.  There was no way I was going to put her back in her bed and risk her throwing up all over herself again, and I couldn’t in all good conscience go to bed knowing she could get sick again.  Which was a good call, because from the time James went to bed at midnight and got up just before 6am, she threw up 11 more times.

I felt SO bad for my baby girl!  She’s never sick and it was just so hard to watch her go through that and be helpless to do much, other than clean out the bucket, change the towels around her, and make sure she was warm under a blanket.  The strange thing is that she didn’t ever have a fever, in fact she actually felt quite cold to the touch.  James said he thought maybe she had food poisoning, but I’m not convinced given that she didn’t eat anything that the rest of us didn’t eat the entire day.

At 6 I went up to bed and James took over, and she seemed to be on the mend after that.  Oh, but one cute thing was that around 4am I gave her a popsicle and 2 sips of ginger ale, and while she was eating the popsicle she looked around and said, ‘Where’s Mahgwet?’  I told her we’d put her to bed because she was so tired and needed to sleep and she just nodded and whispered, ‘OK.’  Apparently when Margaret got up at around 7 (a sleep in for her, for sure, so going to bed late did mean sleeping later at least!) the first thing she said was, ‘Where’s Emmy?!’  Emily woke up then, and pretty much seemed back to her normal self.  It’s taken her a while to start eating more again, but it’s as if that never happened.

It was a very long night, though, and I basically had a total of 3 hours sleep, not all in a row, which I didn’t find to be enough to get me through the day.  I went out shopping for a little while in the afternoon, but by early evening I was starting to feel quite sick and was getting worried I was coming down with whatever she had by how nauseous I was getting.  I think I was just way over tired, though, because when I woke up this morning I felt fine.

It’s a mystery as to what it was, because none of the rest of us got sick, which seems odd if it was something catchy.  But at least it’s over and done with, and hopefully we won’t have to go through anything like that again for a really long time!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Our 'new' backyard

I’m sitting out on the deck in our backyard, admiring all we’ve done this week to update it.  I got rid of all the moss, dug out and sawed off the roots that were sticking up too far from the bush we removed, and leveled out the dirt as best as I could.  I didn’t level it out quite as well as I’d have hoped, but I did a pretty good job, and it’s 100% better than it was when I first started.  It’s a lot of work, and if I had more time I could do so much more, but I’m really happy with it anyway.  We got a 6ft by 7.5ft artificial grass rug from Home Depot, and laid that down where the moss used to be (we don’t get enough sun to properly grow grass in the back, and as well there’s been that problem throughout the lower mainland with grubs that raccoons dig through grass to get to.  I found a lot of them as I was digging up the dirt, so I’m glad we decided not to try growing real grass!)  The rug looks quite real, and feels like real grass on bare feet, which I find really cool.  After laying out the one rug, we decided we had to get another one.  I was going to put foam mats or another outdoor rug beside it, but it looked totally scabbed together and not how I envisioned the ‘new’ yard to look.  James agreed that the other grass rug was needed, so I went back to the store before he changed his mind (lol!)  I got the underlay put down (to avoid weeds but also so not quite as many gross bugs would be right underneath the rug) and the rugs on top and it looks AMAZING.  

Obviously if we owned our home I would have wanted to do things a little differently, but for the space we have this works great.  And the kids LOVE it.  I set up all their plastic climbers and slides up in one corner so it’s like a little jungle gym for them, and they went crazy playing on everything.  Every time we went inside they’d request going back out into the yard, and we ended up spending most of the afternoon and early evening outside.  I still want to make a few changes here and there but it’s looking so much better.  I’m requesting we get management to build us a fence, which I think will really help to finish off the look.

It’s so nice to know we have this great space outside for the kids to play, and for James and I to relax.  I’m still getting used to the fact that we have no privacy, but for the most part I’m just pretending we still have it.  We say hi to the neighbours across the way that we know when we see them, but beyond that it’s not the biggest deal ever.  I’d prefer privacy, but it is what it is.  And we’ve got the awesomest looking yard on the block, (if I do say so myself, but seriously, most people don’t do much with their yards around here!) so I guess we may as well show it off!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Say goodbye to the trees...

As we pulled into our subdivision last Friday morning I noticed that a chipper and other large-scale garden maintenance-type vehicles were pulled up around the complex next to us.  I didn’t think much of it, as we’ve had a lot of trees taken down lately.  I didn’t think much of it mostly because I was certain whatever was happening wouldn’t affect us directly, since everything in and around us has been done recently, so I just figured we were ‘in the clear.’  Well, we’re in the clear alright...As in, the complex right beside us was all but completely clear cut, and we basically lost ALL the privacy we once had.

Previous to this hack job, we had almost COMPLETE privacy in our backyard.  There was basically one tiny spot where people in that complex could see our yard, but it was so hidden that it’s unlikely anyone ever even looked through there.  Now, we are in full view of all the homes across from us, as they are to us.  If I’m sitting on our couch in the living room, people across the way can see me.  And I am NOT happy about it AT ALL.  We had our own little private oasis, and we went from that to being completely on display.  I was so shocked by it, too, because we had no warning that it was going to happen.  One of Andrew’s classmates lives literally right across from us and I was talking to his mom and she said that they didn’t get any warning either, and it was right outside their front door that the work was taking place.  It’s CRAZY.  I get wanting to clean things up and maybe clear out a bit of what was overgrown, but not to the point of clearcutting and basically making it so it will be at least 20 years before people have privacy again!  I’m still really upset about it.  I know I’ll get used to it, we don’t have a choice, but I feel really sad when I think about it.  (They did at least keep the one pretty tree that's directly across from us, so we still have that to enjoy, but it doesn't give us the privacy I want back, unfortunately).

This happened in the morning, and in the afternoon my dad was coming over to build our deck extension.  I was so excited about the deck but then with all the other changes I was feeling like we shouldn’t be sinking more money into this rental when taking all our privacy away kind of made me want to pick up and move!  But I thought about it and while I’m not happy about the changes, I also don’t see where we’d move to that we could afford and have the amount of space that we do, and for the most part we really love it here.  So my dad went ahead and extended the deck and it’s amazing what it does for our yard!  It feels so much more functional now.  There’s still a lot of work to be done to level out the dirt and add some wood chips and other things we’re thinking about around the deck, but it’s getting there, and once it’s all done it’s going to be such an awesome outdoor space.  I look forward to all the time we’ll be able to spend out there throughout the rest of the spring and summer - even if we are in plain sight of the neighbourhood! :S

I'm such a lucky mom!

I had a really lovely Mother’s Day this year.  I could have slept in but for some reason I woke up at 8am and couldn’t fall back asleep.  When I got up I was greeted at the bottom of the stairs by a big ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’ and kisses from Andrew, and then from the girls as well.  They were eager for me to open my cards that they made me (Inside Andrew’s he wrote, ‘Thank you for loving me so much, I love you!’ and I thought that was SO sweet!), and Andrew also had made me a little basket and a really pretty bracelet at school.  He chose blue, yellow, and green for the beads, with the green ones being stars, and in the middle is a big pearl bead.  It’s so cute, and I love that he chose a colour scheme based on what he knows I like (particularly blue).  From everyone I got a Japanese Maple tree that we’re going to put in a big pot in the backyard.

James made us all ‘Eggy Soldiers’ for breakfast (soft boiled eggs with toast) and after we had that we got ready and took the kids to the Burnaby Village Museum.  I thought it would have been really busy but it seemed like there was hardly anyone there at all.  We went around and looked in a lot of the storefronts and it felt like we were experiencing it for the first time, even though we’ve been there lots of times (although the girls were never big enough to do all that they did there yesterday!)  We went to the little restaurant there and shared a veggie burger, fries, and some mac n’ cheese for the kids (although the portion was so ridiculously small that they barely got any shared three ways).  We followed that with ice cream, which the kids (especially Andrew) were so excited about.  Andrew chose a mint chocolate chip cone, James got pralines and cream, and for the girls I got a scoop of bubble gum ice cream, and a scoop of cookies and cream so we could share.  I thought a cone would have been a bit messy for them, but Margaret was so upset that I hadn’t got her a cone so she ended up eating a lot of James’!  Emily just sat nicely and worked on her blue ice cream, which she seemed to enjoy a lot.

From there we went to the carousel, which is usually crazy busy but we were basically the only ones in line.  It was Margaret and Emily’s first ever time on the carousel - or any carousel for that matter!  And Andrew’s first time riding all on his own, since James and I had to hold onto the girls.  Our prediction was that Margaret would love it, but that Emily would either love it or hate it.  It turned out that Emily LOVED it...As James put it, the whole entire outing was made just by the huge grin Emily had as soon as the ride started!  It was the sweetest thing!  Margaret on the other hand appeared terrified, clutching onto the pole and also holding her face to it, as if letting go would send her flying right off the horse.  It turns out she actually loved it, and got more comfortable with it as the ride went on, but it was funny how our prediction was so inaccurate!  As soon as the ride stopped Margaret started bawling because she wanted to go on again, and didn’t understand that even if you want to ride again, you have to line up again.  I bought ‘the baker’s dozen’ coin bag so we decided they could each go on a second time, and we’ll save the rest for the next time we go.  (Late last night Margaret woke up and started talking to me about ‘the big horsie ride’ and how it went up and up and up and she wanted to go back tomorrow!  So I’d definitely say it was a big hit!)

After BVM we came home and Andrew desperately wanted mommy/son time while the girls napped, so I was going to take him to a park a little ways away from our house but we ended up hitting up a garage sale instead.  I got him a few toys - a Darth Vader mask, and a figurine of Wolverine and one of Lego Hulk.  Then I scored him a bunch of clothes, and normally I never buy clothes at a garage sale but he picked out a whole bunch of things he liked and I got it all for less than what one of the pairs of pants would have cost new, AND the pants happened to be Andrew’s exact size AND brand new with tags!  So it felt like an amazing deal.  We drove home and then walked over to the little park near our house and Andrew played there for a while, and then we went for a bit of a walk around the neighbourhood and came home.

After a while I woke James up since he was napping while the girls slept, and my plan was to take a nap, but a neighbour from a few doors down decided at that moment to get a bunch of power tools out and start working in his carport.  I was pretty ticked off.  I wasn’t able to rest, but was too tired by that point to really do anything.  So I just lounged around for a bit while James took the kids to another park and picked up some Thai food for our dinner (I got to request whatever I wanted for my Mother’s Day dinner, and not surprisingly I chose Thai!)

We had our yummy dinner and then Andrew and I went over to my parents’ house so we could give my mom her prezzies and see her for a Mother’s Day visit.  We ended up staying there till 9pm, which is half an hour past Andrew’s bed time and on a school night, so basically as soon as we got home he was off to beddy byes, and James and I watched some more of a movie we started the other night.

It wasn’t the most relaxing day in the sense that I didn’t really have much free time, but it didn’t bother me because I really enjoyed the family time that we had, and having some one on one time with Andrew.  It was warm, cloudy but with some sun mixed in, and all in all a perfect Mother’s Day.  I’m such a lucky mom to have the 3 beautiful children that I do!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Fun at the school fair

I did end up making it to the gym last Friday, but it’s Tuesday and I haven’t been since...and ‘the curse’ is due to start basically any time now so there’s a chance I won’t get there at all this week...I’ll still try to go while I have it, but it’s usually bad enough ‘just’ dealing with that, let alone the virus I’m still dealing with.  I am still completely stuffed up, feel flu-like symptoms, and have a really raw throat.  It’s not sore unless I’m eating something, basically anything that hits it feels like it’s on fire.  So frustrating, this has been going on far too long.  I hate how long viruses seem to last these days, I swear ‘back in the day’ a cold was pretty much always the same and it only lasted a couple of days and then I’d be good as new.  Of course, that’s probably why the kids never seem as phased by it as we adults do, it just doesn’t affect them quite the same way.

Even though we all had colds, James and I still took Andrew to the big school fair last Saturday.  Not at Andrew’s school, but a private school in Vancouver.  It’s huge and this is the 3rd time we’ve gone to it.  The weather hadn’t been all that great leading up to it but the day of, it’s like the clouds parted as we were driving there and it was a perfectly beautiful sunny day!  It really couldn’t have been better (well, except health-wise!)  

Andrew played all the Midway games first, like bean bag toss, balloon darts, basketball, etc. where he collected up 12 little prizes.  Then we went up to the field to sit and eat our lunch (we brought Subway because it’s easier than waiting in the line ups for the food provided!) and just as we got there literally the ONLY picnic table freed up so we scored that.  Just across from it there was a booth set up for balloon animals/sculptures and Andrew was desperate to get one so after he ate we watched him go over and get one.  A little boy before him got a Yoda one that was amazing, I didn’t think it would be possible to top that, but Andrew asked for Hulk and I swear I have never seen a balloon made into the Hulk before!  It was incredible - LOL - I seriously started writing the word incredible before I realized it was the ‘INCREDIBLE Hulk’, haha!  Anyway, it truly lived up to its name, and the woman who was making them was half looking at what she was doing and half just looking around at the fair, which amazed me because it’s almost as if she could make it in her sleep, yet there were so many details to it.  

Andrew went on a few of the bouncy castles and then decided he REALLY wanted to do this one where you’re playing basketball but you’re tethered to someone else and you’re both pulling each other to get to your basket.  Andrew didn’t have anyone who could play with him, so when he realized he couldn’t do it he started bawling, and all we could do was console him and suggest checking out one of the other fun things to do.  One of the kids who goes to the school, I’m guessing he’d be around 13 or so, came over and said he would play with Andrew.  I was so impressed with that, and it really meant a lot, because instead of playing with one of his friends as he’d planned, he gave that up to be able to play with Andrew.  It totally made Andrew’s day AND he just happened to win, as well, so he was so excited by the whole thing.  He even went up to the kid after and shook his hand and said thank you!  That was a highlight of the day for me.  It made me think how that’s the kind of kid I want Andrew to be when he’s that age.

We went inside the school and checked out a few of the rooms to see what they had, and then went to the toy tent, which is basically like a garage sale of just toys.  We got a few $1 big ziploc bags to fill with toys, as well as a bunch of other things, and spent a total of $13 and got a whole bunch of loot.  It was a lot of fun picking stuff out, and then seeing the girls’ faces when we brought it home to show them!  We got a cool castle toy that all 3 of the kids seem to love, and some little Minnie and Mickey plastic toys for the girls, and a whole bunch of figurines, some games.  Actually now that I think about it, we had lunch, then got the toys then went back to the field to do the bouncy castle games, but I guess it doesn’t matter that much what order we did it all in, anyway.

Just before we left Andrew and I did the Cake Walk and each won a chocolate cupcake, which was SO delicious, possibly the best cupcake I've ever eaten!

Andrew was really well behaved the whole time we were there, and James and I enjoyed having some time just with him.  We left the girls at home with my parents, because we didn’t think there’d be enough there at their age to make it worthwhile to take them.  It would have been so much work trying to keep them (especially Margaret) where we wanted them to be, and that would have taken away from Andrew’s enjoyment.  We’ll definitely take them next time we go, though.  It won’t be long before they’re big enough for all the games, too!

Friday, May 01, 2015

If only I could capture ALL the moments...

I wish I could capture every moment of the kids’ lives.  Well, maybe not every moment, but all the cute and funny, adorable and silly ones, of which there are many.

Emily really shies away from the camera, especially if she thinks I’m taking a video.  She gets super whiny and says, ‘No, NOOO!’ and runs and hides behind something till I put my phone down.  LOL  But what she doesn’t realize is that she says some of the CUTEST THINGS EVER and in her little girl voice, and ‘accent’ that 'new' talkers have, and I want to capture that and keep it forever.  I know how hard it has been at times to hear Andrew say a word properly that he always had ‘his’ way of saying when he was a baby, I hate to think I’m losing those cute little them-isms over time.

(A few of Andrew’s that I can recall:  he used to say ‘montnay’ for monster, and ‘sketatin’ for skeleton.  The first time I heard him say skeleton properly I actually corrected him and told him to say it the other way...I did explain it to him, that ‘skeleton’ was right, but that it was just so much cuter when he said it his way!)

I love how the girls still ask for their ‘juicy cup’ when they’re thirsty.  When I tuck them into bed for their nap or bedtime, Margaret will always ask me, ‘You read me a dory?’  which of course is her word for story.  Emily pronunciates more clearly than Margaret, but has a little lisp so she’ll say, ‘Yeth’ for yes and so on.  Not in a major way, it’s definitely in a way that lots of little kids have and eventually outgrow, but it’s SO CUTE!  Water is wadoh, spaghetti is sghetti, milk is meeowk (which neither of them seem to like drinking...especially Margaret.  They like to blow bubbles in a cup of milk but they aren’t super interested in drinking it at all, which is interesting after having their babas (bottles) till they were over 2 years old!  We buy so little milk now, it’s amazing.  Andrew loves it, and I use it in tea, coffee, and baking, but that’s about it. (Oh, they do like a little in their mush, which is a favourite breakfast before school, especially if it has apples in it!)

When Margaret is excited about something, or really likes something, she will kiss it.  I gave her a muffin this morning and she kissed it several times before taking a bite.  The cutest thing is when she’s sitting beside me and just randomly leans over and gives me a kiss on the cheek.  Sometimes she’ll just out of the blue say, ‘I love you!’ and when I tuck her into bed she’ll sometimes add, ‘I miss you’ because she knows she won’t see me again till morning.  Emily loves to say, ‘I love you, Mommy!’ followed with one of her sweetest smiles.  Andrew still tells me he loves me a lot, too, and is still a very cuddly boy.  It will be a sad day when he no longer cuddles up, but I think it’s still a ways off yet before that happens!

Something I like about Andrew’s age is that he’s getting into more movies that are fun to watch together.  I like sitting down with him in the evening once in a while after the girls have gone to bed and put on a movie neither of us has seen before.  Last week we watched Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler and we enjoyed that, and we’re halfway through Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, which of course is ridiculous but it’s fun to watch.  I like stuff like that, and it’s fun to have an excuse to get into it because I likely wouldn’t have watched those if I didn’t have a child to experience them with!

Andrew has been resisting working hard at his printing, which they’ve been doing a lot more of at school lately in preparation for grade one.  It’s not that he can’t do it, as his teacher even said she KNOWS he can, he just doesn’t feel compelled to put in the effort.  And I’ll be honest, I was the same way as a kid, and James tells me he wasn’t any different, either.  So he comes by it honestly!  But I also know it’s important that he learns how to print properly and I’d like to see him do it well, so I’ve got him a notebook for making an at-home journal, with the extra dotted lines for new-writers.  I’m enjoying sitting down with him and having him write out a few sentences and then draw a picture to go with it at the top.  I’ll have to dig out my old grade one journals sometime and show them to him!

All 3 kids are really into Lego, especially Duplo for the girls but Andrew likes both Duplo and ‘real’ Lego.  The girls also enjoy their Playmobil doll house.  It’s really cute watching them play.  Their current favourite books are all the In the Night Garden books we have.  They also love a few Care Bears books, and the nursery rhyme ones.  Also one called Dollhouse that’s a lift-the-flap book.  Andrew enjoys any and all books, but we especially love the ones by Shel Silverstein.  Call me crazy but I get teary eyed every time I get to the end of The Giving Tree!

The kids also love playdough, playing outside on their slide, having tubbies, and doing puzzles.  The girls are OBSESSED with Katy Perry, particularly ‘Tig-oh on fi-oh’ which is what Margaret calls Roar (because she thinks it’s called Tiger on Fire!)  They also love Dark Horse, and laugh at the end of the video when the dog has a man’s face.  Of course Uptown Funk with Bruno Mars is another huge hit that they love to dance too.  Andrew does some pretty crazy breakdancing moves and cartwheels when that song comes on!

All 3 kids just have such a SPARK for life and they all bring something amazing yet completely different to our family.  I love them all so much!  I’m so lucky that they’re mine.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gym update

I’ve been doing really well with getting to the gym 3 times a week.  I’ve gone 4 times a week a few of the weeks, but generally it’s 3.  I definitely don’t think I look different, but I can honestly say I already feel stronger (I can do more reps with higher weights in the same amount of time from when I first started, and when I used my exercise bike at home yesterday I noticed I have more strength in my legs, too).  I usually do the circuit, sometimes some of the machines more than once, and sometimes add on some minutes using the elliptical. I do want to make a goal of going for a bit longer than I usually do, so I can fit in more extras beyond just the circuit, but the convenience of a quick 30 minute full body workout is great, especially when I have a few other errands to run, and only a short amount of time to get it all done in.

It feels great to know I’m getting some regular exercise and getting stronger.  I say I don’t look different because I don’t think anyone else would notice it, but I HAVE noticed that none of my pants are fitting quite the same, and they slide down and it really gets on my nerves.  I’m not ready to go out and buy a new size of pants yet, but I do think it’s a sign that an inch or two have dropped from my waistline already.

I find on the days that I go to the gym, I eat better than on the days that I don’t.  If I go on the weekend it’s best because I go earlier in the day, so I am more mindful of what I’m putting into my body the rest of the day because it seems pointless to follow a workout by eating junk.  Not saying I eat all that much junk, but just things like crackers and cheese or chips and salsa can be bad if you’re not really monitoring it.  When I go to the gym in the evening after dinner (which is my usual routine), I find I don’t snack much in the evening.  I have one snack because I’d be starving if I didn’t given how late I go to bed, but I don’t eat much and I’m more careful about what the snack food is.  So I know that if I incorporate this food stance into my every day and ate a lot more mindfully, I’d be dropping a lot more inches.  I really need to get on that...Food is so hard to give up, and while it’s not like I just sit around and binge eat because I don’t, I also don’t know that a true ‘diet’ in the sense of cutting stuff out and never allowing myself to have it again would work for me.  As soon as I think I ‘can’t’ have something, I seem to want it all the more!  I also think life is too short to deprive oneself of the things they love - although of course having those things in moderation is also important to living a long life.

It feels good to have that bit of time to myself, even if it’s just an hour, to know I’m going and doing something productive for myself.  It’s a really supportive environment, I never feel self-conscious even though the thought of a gym atmosphere would generally make me feel uneasy.  I feel really good about the choice I made.  

Unfortunately this week is going to be a total bust, unless I can drag myself there tomorrow, which I will depending how I feel.  I’m getting sick and am currently feeling the horrible feeling I always get in my chest/throat before the cold really takes hold...So frustrating.  I feel like we only get a few weeks of good health between all the viruses we end up with.  I’m so tired of it.  And now of course I feel way too out of it to be able to go to the gym, so then I feel like the little bit of progress I’ve made will be easily lost...But there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.  I just have to get better so I can get back to it.  It’s only been 3 days since I went, so I’m not too far gone!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Follow up doctor's appointment

The weather has gone back to being quite cold, and somewhat rainy.  I hope it clears up soon so we can get back to spending time outside.  Our backyard feels like a disaster at the moment and I want to get back to working on it!  My dad cut the bush out from the back of the yard, after we got permission from management, and then the gardener for the complex was kind enough to offer to get rid of all the clippings for us (which was great because it ended up being a bigger job than we had anticipated).  It frees up so much space to have that removed, I love it.  Now we’re working on getting them to build us a fence, which it sounds like might be an actual possibility...If we could have that done before summer I would be SO happy.  I can’t wait till we have everything done and can just be out there admiring how nice it all looks.  It’ll be a while yet, but we’ll get there.

Andrew is at a birthday party right now, for probably his very best friend in his class.  They’ve had a few issues in their friendship over the past few months but they really seem to like each other a lot.  This is the first birthday party Andrew has been to for his own friend that he didn’t meet through a friend of James or myself.  He was so excited to get the invite!  

The cold that Andrew and Margaret had seemed really mild, but it was either slow to really take hold, or they came down with another cold as soon as they finished that one.  Andrew didn’t go to school on Friday.  He’s better today, but still coughing.  Margaret has it really bad, to the point she sounds like a seal when she coughs and her little voice definitely sounds sick when she talks.  Emily inevitably came down with it as well, unfortunately.  So they haven’t been feeling so well for the past few days.  My parents ended up catching it from them, most likely when they looked after the kids on Thursday while I went to a doctor’s appointment.  Because they were already coming down with it, Andrew went for his sleepover at their place last night, so it felt like a big weekend for him between that and the party today!

This morning James woke me up a bit before my alarm to suggest that we get ready and take the girls on a little hike/outing to a park, first stopping at a bakery for a yummy breakfast treat.  In theory it was a great idea, and I wish it could have all gone smoothly, but the reality is that it was way too cold out, and the park was wet so Emily’s pants got soaked and then she was miserable and just wanted to leave - within about 5 minutes of arriving.  Margaret enjoyed playing in a sandbox, though, and I can definitely see us going back on a warmer day just for that!  Instead it was home for a nice warm bubble bath and cuddles on the couch watching The Little Mermaid.

So my doctor’s appointment was on Thursday.  I was following up after getting the ultrasound and bloodwork done both to find out if there’s some reason for my horrible periods since having the twins, as well as to find out if I have allergies/figure out how to deal with some of my food allergies.  When I called literally a month before I got in to see the doctor, the receptionist told me that he had gone over all my test results and everything looked normal so that was that.  But I said I wanted to book a follow up because despite what the tests are saying, I’m still having the same issues and need to figure out how to deal with them.  Good thing I did that, because it turned out the doctor had NOT got the ultrasound results!  As James said, it’s nice to know (sarcastically) that I could have had something awful going on and we wouldn’t have known for months or longer because the doctor never would have looked into getting the test results if I hadn’t gone back.  Our healthcare system really has a lot of faults.  But anyway...he was able to get the results right then because I was able to tell him where I’d gone for the ultrasound.  Without getting into all the details, I don’t have anything serious like cancer thank goodness (which I honestly never suspected would be the case, anyway).  One of my levels for something in the bloodwork was a bit low, which means I DO have some food allergies (which I knew already, obviously) BUT the good news is they are not to the extreme that I would have anaphylactic shock, which is good to know!  He’s referring me to a specialist to get a proper allergy test, and is also referring me to the gynecologist I saw during my twin pregnancy to see what I can do with my ‘women’s issue.’  It has to be a hormonal thing, but I have no idea what can be done about it.  It’s just so debilitating having 2 weeks worth of headaches each month, as well as a lot of cramping, during ovulation as well as my period...I basically, literally, have a few days to a week in an entire MONTH where I don’t notice any of those issues.  So hopefully seeing the gyno will help me figure this out.  I just hope it’s not going to mean having to take pills every day, because I really don’t want to have to go that route if at all possible (although if I think about it, I have to take Advil so often due to the headache and cramp pain, so what’s the difference, really?!) I wouldn't want to have to walk around with all that junk hanging down, but it's got to be so much easier to be a man!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Springtime adventures

FINALLY it has warmed up around here.  The weather has been such a tease lately, because it has appeared to be bright and sunny but as soon as you stepped outside you’d realize it was too cold to stay out in for any length of time.  But as of the past few days it has basically been my ideal, perfect temperature.  Not too hot, not too cold, juuuust right!

Instead of continuing the pattern of our usual weekend rut, after breakfast on Saturday morning we got the kids packed up and off we went for a little hike along a trail James and I used to frequent when we lived in Burnaby pre-kids.  It’s not that far from where we live now, but given that we lived in that area for 7 years it still really feels like home whenever we go there.  I love it.  It was so nice to take all 3 kids on an adventure without bothering with the giant double stroller.  We could all walk, and occasionally the girls went on our shoulders but for the most part they liked the independence and wanted to roam free.  We also went to a nearby elementary school and they played on the playground for a while, and then we wandered up to our old apartment to the little store, and got the kids and ice cream treat.  Andrew got a drumstick and the girls got a banana flavoured popsicle.  Emily ate hers in no time flat (but cried at the end and had to spit the last bite out because she suffered an intense brain freeze from it LOL).  Andrew was wearing his on the sleeve of his jacket and had it ALL over his mouth...And Margaret looked like she’d only had one lick of hers and yet she still seemed to be completely saturated in syrup.  That pretty much sums up their personalities right there!

It was SO nice to be out enjoying the sun, even taking our sweaters off because it was nice enough not to need them.  The kids loved the adventure, and it was a treat for James and I to occasionally get to walk hand in hand, watching the kids run along and enjoy themselves.  It was a lot of work, too, obviously, and we wouldn’t ever let them go too far astray, but it’s amazing how much ‘easier’ things are now that the girls are a year older.  I find the same thing for when they’re playing in the backyard, it’s SO much less complicated than it was a year ago!

Yesterday (Sunday) was James’ 36th birthday.  I got up close to the same time I get up on weekdays so he could have a few hours to himself in the morning, and when it was time for the girls to go for their nap I was able to go to the gym for a quick circuit.  When I got home I had enough time to get the party food put together while James took his bike in to the shop, and before the girls woke up.  They got up just in time for me to change them into pretty dresses, (and Andrew had actually dressed himself, choosing his new shorts and blue camouflage sleeveless shirt from Osh Kosh!) before my parents arrived.  We weren’t having anyone else over as Andrew and Margaret have had colds, although amazingly, despite Margaret having quite a time with it for a few days, none of the rest of us got it and they seemed to clear up relatively quickly.  Margaret still has a bit of a sniffle but barely and Andrew seems pretty much fine, so it wasn’t the aggressive bug that tends to go through the house when a sniffle starts.  

We sat out on the back deck for a while, had lots of nibblies, and a delicious cake, and when all was said and done I ended up needing a bit of a nap!  I was so wiped, it felt like a really long day, but James really enjoyed it so I was happy about that.  He said something really sweet to me, that despite sometimes sounding like our lives are so exhausting and at this point seldom entirely relaxing, at the end of the day there is no one he would rather be with than us.  The way he said it was so heartfelt and sweet, I can’t do it justice.  Obviously it’s something I already knew, but hearing it in that moment and just the way he said it, it really meant a lot to me.

For his birthday the kids got him a new spring jacket, and I got him a little assortment of booze and some tickets for an upcoming concert that I’m really excited about, and that he reacted to exactly as I’d hoped he would!  The kids all made him cards, and Andrew’s was more of a book, titled ‘Darth Vader and Droids.’  It was his spin on the Darth Vader and Son book, because James has a collection of those that the kids have given him over the past few years.

We’ve been spending a lot of time out in the backyard, and I can’t wait because tomorrow my dad is removing a really unsightly shrub that I’ve wanted out of the yard since we moved here.  We got permission today from management, and once that thing is gone we’ll have so much more space in the yard.  We’ve got some plans for a deck extension and a few other updates and once it’s all done, it’s going to be a perfect space for the kids.  It’s so nice to be able to just go out there and sip a cup of tea or coffee (or better yet, a glass of wine, ha!) and watch the kids play.  They still have their moments of fighting or falling or whatever but they mostly play quite well together.  Especially the girls.  Andrew’s been better with them lately, I think because they’re getting more fun to him since he can have little conversations with them now and they can do more, but the girls are really so good with each other.  I’ve heard from quite a few people that their twins DO NOT get along and that would make things SO much more complicated than they are already just by the nature of having two the same age.  I feel so lucky to have twins that only have the occasional spat.  They’re very different and definitely take a different approach to most of what they do, but there’s nothing like the sound of their giggles and downright hysterical laughter when they’re playing a game together!  They love each other and when it comes down to it, look out for one another. I also find it so impressive, since usually 2.5 year olds don’t ‘really’ play with other kids, they’re more just playing around each other.  But since twins are used to being together since day one, they learn to play WITH each other so much earlier.  It’s the cutest thing ever!

Today after dropping Andrew off at school I really didn’t want to just do our usual of coming home and staying in, so we just came home to use the bathroom and got a few snacks together and then we headed out to the park that’s within walking distance.  We stayed there for a while and then went for a walk through some nearby neighbourhoods before heading back to ours.  It was so nice to be out with the girls, and again not needing to bring the big stroller with us.  We’ll still need it from time to time but I love not relying on it like we used to have to.  And it feels so good to know the girls are getting out and having more little adventures, since it has always been such a challenge to do much on my own with them in the past.  

Oh and for the record, Andrew lost his fourth tooth today! It was his right upper front tooth. It became the biggest tooth I'd ever seen before it came out, it was ridiculous. It somehow managed to gravitate toward the center of the gap, since he'd already lost the left one a few weeks ago, so it was like this giant chicklet in the middle of his mouth, and it would hang down below his lip and flap around when he talked. LOL It got to the point where it was literally hanging off by one little corner and I couldn't take it anymore, so after tying string around it and pulling on it a bit, using a toothpick to coax it out, and finally me wrapping a kleenex on it and giving it one finally yank, it came out. Andrew wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy asking what she does with all the teeth, and her reply is that she promises that she keeps them safe, but that beyond that he has to leave the rest to his imagination =)

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