Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feeling happier + Kids update

I just realized that tomorrow is the 1st of March...Wow, this year is already flying by!  Not complaining though, since we’re getting closer to Spring which I kind of can’t wait for at this point.  As I look out the window and watch the SNOW falling...yes, snow...AGAIN...We’ve had more snow here this winter than we’ve had in many years combined.  So done with it!

We’ve had 3 good mornings before school - last Friday, yesterday, and today, and I am really noticing the difference it makes in my days over all.  I think Andrew may be ‘getting it’, too, that by being happier in the mornings Mommy is happier, too.  I’m really hoping it’s becoming a pattern.  It's true what they say - 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.' I can’t expect to never have rough mornings with the kids, but every day should not be the norm.  I feel so much better emotionally right now than I have in a while.  Obviously our mornings aren’t the only contributing factor, but it’s one of the biggest, I think.

On Saturday I attended a Ladies’ Night Out event with several friends.  We get together at one of their houses and drink and play games and it was just what I needed.  We played about a million rounds of Cards Against Humanity, and a bit of Catch Phrase and laughed so much.  It was great.  I only had 4 coolers, which is less than I’ve drank the other times we’ve had these Ladies’ Nights.  The other times I may have felt tired the next day but certainly not hung over.  Well on Sunday morning I was barf central and my head was pounding and I thought I was going to die.  It was bad.  I was also worried because we had plans to go to my aunt’s birthday party downtown that afternoon and there was no way I was going to make it if those symptoms kept up.  (When we got the invite to her party I was at least honest and said what my plans were for the night before, so if I couldn’t go it wouldn’t have been a total surprise!)  I knew I would feel bad if I didn’t get to go, though, because my parents and brother and sil and cousin were all going to be there, too, and I wanted to see everyone.  

Luckily I have the awesomest husband ever, and he took point with the kids till it was time to take Andrew to his dance class.  When they left I dragged myself out of bed because the girls wanted me to be downstairs with them, and I pulled myself together and even managed to make a big breakfast/brunch for us to eat before we left for the party.  I still felt off for the rest of the day but not to the point that I was throwing up.  Crazy, I have no idea what happened there but obviously I didn’t drink enough water, and maybe the fact that we all brought fairly unhealthy foods to share didn’t help my stomach either!  It was still really fun, though, and we already have another date in mind for next time.  I will be extra careful about how much I drink though, since clearly I can’t handle booze!  (And of course I don’t ‘have’ to drink at all, it’s not like I’m being forced to, it’s just fun to be able to let loose every once in a while, so I want to be able to...I just wish my body could handle it better afterwards!)

I feel like I don’t update enough on the kids and the actual details of what they’re up to and all of that.  There’s so little time to really think about the little things when living them day to day, but I wish I could hold on to all the little memories of what they say and do because they’re so delightful (much of the time, anyway!!)  

Andrew is really into reading now, he finishes chapter books so fast and I know he’s really reading them because afterwards he talks all about the stories and his favourite parts.  My cousin-in-law gave him a Star Wars book on Sunday and by yesterday morning he had read the whole thing and was taking the little quizzes at the back of the book!  He’s obsessed with Star Wars and thoroughly enjoyed going to see Rogue One with Daddy several weeks ago.  But his absolute fave is Force Awakens and in particular all things Kylo Ren.  He loves math and science and has taken up writing in a little journal on a fairly regular basis.  He’s a smart boy, and while he can be very attitudinal with me at times these days, he’s also a very sweet, and kind little guy.  I guess he’s not so little anymore, he’s actually grown up a ton already this past year, but he’s still my baby boy in some ways.  He doesn’t cuddle as much as he used to but he does still enjoy cuddles.  He doesn’t hold my hand anymore when we’re out together, although he probably would take my hand if I suggested it!  I sometimes catch myself automatically going to take his hand if we’re crossing the street or whatever, but then I remind myself that he’s 8 and he really shouldn’t have to hold my hand for such things anymore!  It’s hard sometimes, that realization that he’s growing up so quickly.  He’s still not shy to give me a kiss before he heads into his classroom in the morning, and I would say I’m the only parent getting a hug and kiss like that, but I know it’s only a matter of time before that’s a thing of the past as well!  Last year he would practically be attacking me with hugs and kisses before school, whereas now it’s a quick hug and kiss, but he’s still not shy about it!  I often drop him off and pick him up now without even getting out of the van, I just park close to where his classroom is and he makes his way to and from on his own.  Although I won’t be able to do that next year as once the girls are in Kindergarten I will be back to spending 15-20 minutes in the classroom every morning, but he’ll be having to make his way to his class on his own.  It’s kind of a saving grace now to have their age difference between them, because he’s old enough to do things on his own that way, whereas if he was a few years younger I would be stressing over how I’d get him to class and make sure he felt safe and happy while also not getting the girls to class late.  Obviously people do it and manage just fine, but Andrew was such a mama’s boy and such a little cling-on that I don’t think he’d have handled it entirely well if we’d had to do things that way!

Margaret and Emily are so sweet and wonderful (nope, I’m not the least bit biased!!)  They still play really well together for the most part.  Margaret will still bite Emily once in awhile if she’s annoyed with her for something, but it’s fairly infrequent now.  She doesn’t bite anyone else, just her sister!  Poor Emily!  She’s my Golden Girl.  LOL  She can still be super whiny every now and then which in all honesty can grate my nerves, but most of the time she is so well-behaved and just not really a troublemaker in the least.  She doesn’t like to get in trouble, and even if she’s not in trouble but a voice is raised for any reason whatsoever and she thinks it’s directed at her, she will start bawling.  She’s quite sensitive!  But she’s also very secure and happy, and just has a very sweet nature to her.  So does Margaret.  As much as she is the mischievous one and sometimes will fudge the truth a bit because she knows she’s done something naughty, she is such a little sweetheart.  Very compassionate toward others, and will even remember months after seeing someone to ask how they’re doing as she’ll remember whatever may have been ailing them the last time we visited.  She’s a people person for sure, and an animal lover (especially dogs).  Emily is more shy than her sister but is definitely opening up a lot, which I’ve really noticed recently at the school.  On some of the nicer days (cold, but sunny) we’ve stuck around after school to play at the playground and both the girls have so many friends who are around Andrew’s age.  Margaret tends to go off and, after running around for a bit, sits with some of the girls and chats as if she’s in grade 2 or 3 like they are!  Whereas Emily finds another group of friends and plays tag or hide and seek with them.  I love that they are such close sisters and do love to be near each other, but are also individually confident enough to do their own thing and have their own group of friends.

The girls love their dolls and dollhouse, Barbies and stuffies.  Emily gravitates more toward dolls and the smaller toys like Barbies and dollhouse stuff.  Or Lego, or pretty much anything she can set up.  One thing I find really cute with all 3 kids is that they call a lot of their toys their ‘set.’  Where is my Lego set, or let’s play with my castle set, etc.  Margaret loves all those types of toys, too, but tends to have a bit less of an attention span for playing with things like that for a longer period of time.  I think Emily has the best attention span of all 3 kids for staying focused on something, and her most favourite thing in the world is for someone to sit down and play with her.  Margaret is obsessed with stuffies and would own a million of them if she could.  She’s already getting close!!  We have a ridiculous amount of stuffed toys.  It’s actually out of control.  But she truly loves them, and goes through cycles of which are her favourites.  Before bed she will pick which one she will want for the night, and I am to ‘warm it up’ for her and then when I go to bed, give it to her along with ‘going right by her side and kissing her 6 times, and Emmy, too!’ :D  She expects me to sit there all evening with the stuffed animal being warmed up by my armpit, when in reality I leave the stuffy by the stairs to remind myself to take it up with me when I’m going to bed!  Margaret still often wakes up several times before I go to bed but is fairly good about not waking us up through the night even if she does wake up.  The kids would all be up by 6am every morning if they had their way, but they’re ‘trained’ now to wait for James (or me, but let’s face it, it’s usually James!) to get up, which is usually closer to 7am lately.  Even if they’re awake they just lay in bed waiting till someone gets up so they can go downstairs.  We’d love for them to just get up on their own and go downstairs and play or watch a show on their own, but it hasn’t happened yet!

The kids are pretty much up for anything, and I look forward to all the fun we’ll have out at parks and doing spring and summery stuff in the coming months.  With them being that much older now, they’re even more able to do things without James and I having to rip our hair out.  We took them to a park on Saturday afternoon and actually stopped by Starbucks to get ourselves coffee (Mmmm, Chai Tea Latte!  I only have Starbucks a few times a year so it’s such a treat and I always get the same thing!) and told them we wanted to be able to just sit and sip our drinks while they played and they LISTENED!  We were shocked, as usually even if we said that there’s no way it would actually happen.  We did push them on the swings and play hide and seek with them, but not till after we’d both actually finished our drinks and enjoyed just sitting together for a bit.  We honestly thought this day would never come, but it did!

Birthday Celebrations

Despite not getting to go out on my ‘birthday weekend’, my parents came over for nibblies and cake on my actual day.  The cake was a DQ cookie dough blizzard ice cream cake!  YUM!  It was done completely with pink icing and black lettering so it looked really beautiful, it was unlike any DQ cake I’ve ever seen.  I was just happy it all worked out that we weren’t eating ice cream soup, as the power went out the night before and if it had stayed out like a lot of other people’s power had, it would not have been so pretty!  Luckily it was only out for an hour and a half.

A few days after my birthday I put the last bit of cake into a smaller container and put the big plastic DQ cake plate and lid outside our front door.  I sealed it up before doing so, and told James he could deal with it in the morning.  It still had a bit of icing inside and tiny bits of ice cream that I didn’t scrape off the bottom, but it was sealed with the lid so I figured it was no big deal to just put it outside.  Wrong!  Around 11pm I heard a loud noise outside.  At first I thought it was the icy rain that was in the forecast, but as I got closer to the front of the house to investigate, I knew that wasn’t it because the noise was coming from right outside the front door and the door area is covered so rain wouldn’t hit against it even with heavy winds.  I looked through the peephole but couldn’t see anything, but realized right away that it had to be an animal trying to get into the ice cream container!

I was too afraid to open the door for fear that whatever it was would get into the house and/or attack me, so I quickly flicked the outdoor light on and off and I saw just a hint of something run off beside our van.  Then I heard the noise again of the cake plate moving around but still couldn’t see anything, so I turned off the lights inside and peered out the front window.  From there I could see one of the biggest raccoons ever,  madly licking the last bit of icing off the cake tray over by our van.  LOL!  It was kind of hilarious.  It definitely didn’t look like it was his first experience with cake.  I can’t get over how big it was!  He finished up and left, and luckily James was still up so I was able to get him to go out and collect up the garbage and bring it back inside for the night so it wouldn’t be strewn over the carport for the neighbours to see in the morning!

Luckily the snow melted with all the heavy rain we got and last weekend James and I were finally able to get out for a date night.  My parents came over to watch the kids, and they brought some treats for them and we ordered pizza so they wouldn’t have to worry about dinner.  We also got the movie Denace the Menace (from the early 90s) so they had a new movie to watch (which ended up being a huge hit with the kids!)  James and I decided to transit to our destination so that we could both have some drinks.  We skytrained to New West Station and originally were going to eat at El Santo (which we’ve both heard is good) but then saw Hops Pub right at New West Station and decided to go there instead.  We liked the idea of being able to sit outside under the heat lamps, despite how wintery it still was outside.  It was so toasty warm under the lamps that we had our jackets off, so it felt like a warm summer evening!  We shared a plate of nachos and drank beer and it was just wonderful to be out just the two of us.

After that we headed over to Lafflines for the 8pm show.  We got there right at 7 thinking it would be crazy busy (we’ve only ever been to the comedy club downtown, where it IS super busy as soon as it opens!) but it turns out we actually had plenty of time to arrive and the place never filled up entirely.  We got a great little table right near the stage but off to the side, which was perfect, and we ordered drinks and chatted and it was just a really fun time.  The show itself was good, there were 3 people before the main act and one of them in particular was HILARIOUS.  I can’t remember his name but he was a black guy who was going blind and he talked about his blackness and his blindness and his delivery of everything was so funny.  It was worth it to go just to see him!  The main performer was John Beuhler and while I did find him funny at times, I could have left part way through and been fine with that.  Comedians are really hit and miss for me, and he’s 39 and single and goes on a lot about that, which just doesn’t really resonate with me.  He went on a lot about being single, the online dating world, how he feels about other people’s children, and so on...which is fine to a point, but after a while it just gets annoying and I couldn’t help but think to myself I know exactly why you’re still single!  It was just plain annoying to me after a while.  But not to the point that it was ruining my evening out, I had a great time with James and I’m so glad we went.  I wouldn’t pay to see his act again, but it was a great night out nonetheless!  It was just so nice to have an actual date night, and feel like we were out for a decent chunk of time and did something we didn’t normally do.  I also had a 2 for 1 coupon for Lafflines from the Entertainment Book, so that was a bonus, too!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Winter's almost over!

The sun is actually peeking out through the clouds this morning.  I’m really hoping the winter is behind us now, although rumour has it that it might snow again this Friday.  I’m choosing not to believe it.  

I’m so looking forward to the nicer weather, and a bit of weight has lifted off my shoulders knowing that we have the entire Spring and Summer right around the corner.  Winter is almost over!  Hallelujah!

In a few weeks Andrew will be off for 2 weeks for Spring Break.  I’m hoping it will be nice enough that we’ll be able to get our outside stuff out from storage and start thinking about using the backyard again.  I can’t wait to have our living room and off-the-kitchen room extensions back again!  So much to look forward to when Winter is done.

The girls are at preschool so I’m footloose and fancy free for another hour.  It doesn’t last long.  But it’s a little breather that makes me feel a little more refreshed for the rest of the day.

Today Andrew’s class is doing a ‘multicultural luncheon.’  We had to make something ‘from our culture’ to share with the class.  Our favourite food (aside from veggie tacos!) is Thai so Andrew joked that we should make a Thai dish and just tell everyone we’re from Thailand.  LOL!  It’s true, what is Canadian food?!  Seriously couldn’t come up with anything for that, so I made mini carrot cake cupcakes.  I even made homemade cream cheese icing that omg is DELICIOUS.  It turns out it’s unknown where carrot cake originates from, but it’s certainly popular enough here, so that’s what we did.  I’m just hoping Andrew won’t be hungry at the end of the luncheon, as from what I heard a lot of the dishes were going to have meat in them.  I told him if all else fails, he can load up on the cupcakes!  But I’m sure there will be vegetarian foods, too, and not just desserts!

Yesterday after school Andrew convinced me that we should go to the park, even though it was freezing out and I could have quite nicely just stayed home.  We were walking to a park a little farther away but then he decided we should go to the smaller park that’s closer, so we did.  The kids had a great time playing.  We were the only ones there.  I was really cold just sitting watching them, but they were warming up, with Andrew down to a t-shirt and Emily without her jacket, too.  (Margaret kept her cozy fleece on, though!)  I ended up running around with them to warm up, and we played a fun game of hide and seek, even though there weren’t all that many places to hide.  It was great to get out for some fresh air and not spend all of the witching hour stuck inside where more than likely bickering and fighting would ensue.  When we got home I found the kids quite good about playing nicely together while I got dinner sorted.

I’ve still been feeling ups and downs in terms of the blahs, but maybe it’s not as bad as it was before.  It seems to come and go.  I’m hoping as the nicer weather comes and we get out more I’ll feel even better.  

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Almost 37...

Tomorrow I turn 37.  I was chatting with a friend the other day who’s just a few days older than me, about how crazy it is that we’re already this age...In our minds we still feel like we’re so much younger, the years have just flown by so fast.  On the other hand I pointed out that one day many years from now we’ll think about being this age and it will seem so young to us, so it’s all relative!  I really don’t ‘feel old’, and I don’t think 37 is super old or anything!  But still, it feels weird to say I’ll be that age.

I want 37 to be a great year, and I want to start feeling more positive and happy and excited about life.  I feel like I’ve been in such a funk this past little while, and I have felt a bit better this past week but definitely not where I’d like to be.  

I was really looking forward to this weekend because after the leap year, I lost having my birthday on a Saturday, so this year is the first in many that I’ve had a weekend birthday.  James and I had plans to go on a date just the two of us tonight, while my parents watched the kids, and then tomorrow we’d have them over for dinner.  But instead it decided to snow like crazy, and it’s still snowing now as I type this, and so we didn’t feel comfortable with the date night (my parents are basically snowed in at the moment even more so than us since they live on a hill) so that’s that.  At this point we don’t even know if they’ll be coming over tomorrow, it all depends on the snow gods!  

I am so tired of this weather, and feeling cooped up inside all the time.  The girls and I went out front today for quite a while and I got lots of shovelling done because our complex does absolutely no plowing whatsoever and it’s just getting deeper and deeper and we don’t want it all turning to ice like it did last time.  So the girls played while I got some of that done, and then James took over.  I feel like they got some play time in the snow (Andrew is already over it since he can play in it during recess and lunch at school, and even at that tries to avoid it wherever possible!) so it’s not like there’s even any point to a family snow walk or something.  Next year I want to get a toboggan or something so we have something fun like sledding to enjoy, but for right now it’s just not happening.  

I feel like I’m at home WAY too often, I’m sick of it, and bored by almost everything at this point.  Which I know is RIDICULOUS, obviously there are things for me to do, and I’m not saying I don’t do anything.  I’m just kind of sick of the same thing all the time.  Also with the girls getting Andrew’s cold this past week, we had to break all the plans we’d made, so we weren’t even able to socialize when we’d planned to.  

I was excited that James and I would finally get some time just the two of us to go out together and I can’t help but feel blah that it’s once again not happening.  Seriously, 3 months and no date?  I just can’t believe that.  It’s lame.  It’s sad.  I don’t know how else to put it.  We do spend time together, obviously, but always being at home hanging out is getting boring.  I feel really sad that we have zero opportunities these days.

I’m blah, what can I say?!  I don’t want to be, I’m trying not to be, but it is what it is.

I hope this year proves to IMprove and be a good one.  I just need something to look forward to!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Fiona, always in our hearts

Last night shortly after getting Margaret tucked into bed, she started sobbing.  This isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary.  (In fact, if I recall correctly she started off sobbing because she wanted a piece of cheese brought up to her and we refused to cater to that).  She’s constantly using stall tactics when it comes to bedtime, because she takes after me and has trouble falling asleep (whereas Emily loves her sleep and nods off very soon after her head hits the pillow, lucky girl!)  Margaret has even said a number of times when I’ve gone in to see why she’s not asleep yet, ‘I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t stop my thoughts from running through my head!’  Yup, that’s me pretty much every single night, too...

So at first her sobbing was easy to ignore, but when she just couldn’t seem to stop and was muttering things between sobs that we couldn’t quite understand, James went up to see what her problem was.  (I was playing with Andrew at the time, as it wasn’t quite his bedtime yet).

I heard James ask her what the matter was, and Margaret’s reply was completely heart-wrenching.  She said (between wails), ‘I miss Fifi!’  And then I heard her explain that she was thinking about Fifi and then it hit her that she’s dead and we’ll never see her again, and it made her heart hurt.

Seriously, this is what my 4 year old is thinking about when she’s supposed to be sleeping!  I felt so bad for her, but at the same time found it amazing that her little mind is able to comprehend something so big in the same way an adult would.  Grief is hard at any age, although I know it’s not till 7-8 that it’s really supposed to hit a person (like it did for Andrew when Fiona died).  Margaret is very intuitive though, and she is so compassionate and her heart is huge.  Emily’s is, too, I’m not meaning to not include her here (twin problems - it’s always going to be a challenge making sure it’s known I’m not only praising one and not the other!  Emily also has a big heart and loves and misses her kitty cat, but Margaret does tend to think about it more deeply).  

After James consoled her for a while I went up with a little cat stuffed animal that I made for Margaret recently and told her if she was missing Fiona she could hug her stuffy.  She ended up sleeping with Pearl, our ‘Perfect Pet’ cat that looks like it’s breathing, which seemed to be a bit of a comfort to her, but she was definitely still dealing with some sadness as she went to sleep last night.  We talked a bit more about Fiona, and our happy memories of her.  We imagined what she would have done that very moment if she was still with us, and we agreed that she would probably be having her crazies, where her ears would go back and out of nowhere she’d race upstairs and into the bedrooms and then back downstairs and moan and meow.  Margaret saw the humour in that and through her tears she was also able to smile and laugh.  

She still can’t grasp where Fiona is now, which is something Emily also struggles with.  Emily will sometimes announce that we used to have a cat but she died, and that now she’s at the vet.  I keep having to explain that she WAS at the vet, because they will inevitably ask me what she’s doing at the vet and if she’s happy there.  I feel I always have to correct them on that, because I don’t want them thinking our cat got sick so we took her to the vet and left her there to stay so we wouldn’t have to look after her anymore!  I don’t know how to properly go about explaining death to 4 year olds, but I’m as open about it as I can be without totally freaking them out.  I tell them that she was at the vet, and she died there, but that after she died her body was gone.  They wanted to know where it went and in reality she was cremated but how do you tell a young child that her body was burned to ashes?  I don’t even like to think about it, in fact I feel very disturbed no matter how her body was disposed of.  It makes me feel terrible, and also completely freaks me out in relation to my own eventual death and what will be done to me, and all of us for that matter.  I’m not ‘one’ with death, let’s put it that way!  It terrifies me and makes me feel sad.  Which obviously I don’t want to instill in my children, as it’s a part of life and I know that.  I just felt uneasy about the idea of the girls focusing on this image of Fiona’s body being burnt up.  I said that when someone dies their body disintegrates over time and goes back into the earth to help other life grow.  Luckily we were able to leave it at that and they didn’t ask any more questions!

It’s been just over 6 months now since Fiona died, and while it has gotten easier in some ways, we clearly all still miss her.  The finality of death is so hard to deal with, my heart does feel heavy when I’m reminded that we’ll never see our sweet little Fifi again.  But it’s true what I told Margaret - she is always in our hearts and in our memories, and we can talk about her to keep those memories alive.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Our morning rut needs to change

More venting, I know...I just really need to right now.

Yesterday a friend and her two kids came over for a visit in the morning.  It’s so great having a friend who you really get along with, whose kids also really get along with yours.  It makes a huge difference!  Her son is almost a year older than the girls but will be starting Kindergarten at the same time as them (unfortunately not at the same school though) and her daughter is two but also has a fun time playing with Margaret and Emily.  Sadly Andrew always misses out on the visits (occasionally he gets to see them) because he’s at school, which I realize come September will be sad for her daughter because when we get together on a week day she won’t have any kids to play with!  But still, it’s nice to have friends with kids a similar age, and a similar lifestyle.  I find a lot of people may be great to hang out with sometimes, but it makes a big difference feeling like we have similar lives.  

Anyway, even though I’ve been in this funk and feeling out of sorts and could easily cut myself off from bothering to do anything, I’ve been forcing myself to make an effort to still socialize and do things.  And it does help, for sure.  

Case in point though...When feeling on the verge of burning out, a scenario like this really makes it difficult not to be negative: This morning Andrew was relatively good for me, which is saying a lot because most mornings it seems to be a screaming match between us just getting out the door to school.  It has been really rough lately that way.  So this morning he was good and in a better mood, so instead of parking right near where his classroom is and just watching him go to his class from the car (which we do in part because the girls find it too cold to get out and wait with him, but also I have a rule that bad behaviour in the morning means we don’t walk him to class) I parked a little further up the street and said we would see him into his class today.  I felt like I was doing a good thing, and for a very fleeting moment I felt happy because I knew Andrew would be pleased.  Unfortunately, Margaret was having none of that, and started screaming and crying and having a full on tantrum at the mere idea of having to get out of the car because she was cold and didn’t want to.  I know that I could have pulled her out of the car anyway, kicking and screaming and all, to take Andrew to his classroom.  But I felt immediately broken just by the fact that once again I couldn’t make everyone happy at once, there always has to be an issue for someone with what I’m suggesting we do.  I’ve also dealt with far too many tantrumy moments in the presence of the other parents at school drop off this school year, mostly with Andrew freaking out at me about something.  So I really try to avoid drawing attention to myself where possible!  So I told Andrew I was sorry, but that I could walk him down as far as the sidewalk was concerned but not go right to his classroom due to his sister’s poor behaviour.  Instead of being able to reason with him, it all just made him angry and he grabbed up all of his stuff in a huff and got out of the van and slammed the door and walked off, glaring back at me periodically as he went.

Now, normally even if we’re in the van I always wait till the bell rings and see that Andrew got into his class before I drive away.  This time I was so fed up - and upset - with all of it that I left right away, and took the girls home for a few before it was time to go take them to preschool.

I feel like I do so much for everyone and try my very best to make everyone happy.  But I can’t please everyone, although sometimes it would seem I can’t please anyone.  I’m so tired of it.  I sometimes wonder why I even bother, because everything always ends up in tears or a screaming matching or glares.  It’s very, very tiresome.

It’s not always like this, definitely the kids can get along and play well together and they do love each other.  But I have been finding myself feeling dejected more often than not lately due to how our mornings start, and that sets the tone for the day, which clearly isn’t working for me.  Once I’m thrown off like that, I end up less patient, more bitter, and just without the pep needed to want to put in more effort.  I know I’ve said before I dislike change but this is an area where change is badly needed!!

Brutal honesty...I need to vent

I feel like I’ve started off this new year in a bit of a funk.  But maybe I’m just looking at it wrong.  Technically, my ‘new year’ doesn’t start for almost two weeks (on my birthday).  So maybe I’m ending this year less desirably than I’d have liked and my new year will be better?!  Something like that.

I can’t pinpoint what it is exactly.  Definitely some hormonal issues have made things more difficult for me lately.  The amount of headaches I’ve had in the past month is ridiculous.  It’s abnormal for me NOT to have a headache, and I can really only think of a few days in the past probably 6 weeks now that I haven’t had a headache to some varying degree (and haven’t had to take copious amounts of Tylenol to try to rid myself of...You know it’s bad, for example, when you’ve taken so much Advil over time that your body literally can’t handle them anymore and they’re no longer even an option).  That alone is obviously going to make daily life seem more challenging, especially when also looking after 3 kids and only getting ‘down time’ when James can take over, but even at that it’s a few fleeting hours at a time here and there, which really doesn’t give a person enough time to truly decompress and rejuvenate.  (Not in any way saying James should be doing more to help so I could have that time - he does much more for me than what I know a lot of husbands do, he’s for sure my rock and I don’t know what I’d do without him!  He is also in major need of some down time).  It’s just the nature of having young kids that there is no such thing as a sick day.  For the most part I’m used to that, but I’ve been noticing lately I’m burning out so quickly, and feel myself fizzling out in a way that makes me feel sad, because I can’t be the best mom to my kids when I’m in this mode.  But I don’t know how to get out of it, because for the foreseeable future I don’t really have a lot of any options.

The headaches and my cycle are the clinchers for my ‘difficulties’, in my opinion.  My cycle seems so wonky lately.  I’ve gone from a 28 day cycle (which I pretty much ALWAYS had previous to having twins) to a 15-17 day cycle for several months now.  This one seems to have gone almost the full 4 weeks (maybe 3.5?) but it has also been extremely intense emotionally.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt like I was ‘suffering’ from PMS, but this month I am positive that’s what I was going through when I literally felt like I hit rock bottom one day and as Anne Shirley would say, I was in ‘the depths of despair.’  I haven’t felt that low in YEARS and it hit me all of a sudden, and lasted about 2 days but has had some lingering effects since then as well.  I was so down in the dumps that I honestly felt like my family would be better off with me gone.  It’s not often my mind goes there, as obviously when I’m in my right mind I know that even if the kids get annoyed with me for something, it would never mean they would rather I ceased to exist!  I know James and the kids love me, obviously.  But I felt so worthless and hopeless and bitter and sad that I just wanted it all to go away.

I know that sounds like suicidal thoughts, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that because when it comes down to it there’s no way I would EVER even consider doing something to harm myself.  I love my family too much to ever do anything to hurt myself.  Even if I couldn’t feel better, I don’t think I’d ever get to a point where I’d do myself in, I’d just bitterly suffer for the rest of my days.  (So dramatic, I know!)  But then, I’m also fortunate in that as much as there is some residual sadness/bitterness going on within me right now, I am also clear-headed enough after a few days feeling so rough that I can see all the positives about my life, too.

I don’t know exactly what’s eating my gilbert grape.  I honestly don’t.  There’s no one thing that’s eating away at me, or at least nothing I hone in on immediately when I think it over.  I think in large part the hormonal issues mixed with the general exhaustion of being a slave to three kids and not always feeling very appreciated for my efforts (which is no fault of their own, they’re kids and just don’t get it yet!), along with almost NEVER getting time just me and James to go anywhere, not even a freaking cup of coffee kind of a date...it all gets to me after a while.  He was off for 2 weeks and 2 days over Christmas break and the only time we got to spend just the two of us was the day we spent painting and redecorating Andrew’s bedroom to be a new theme.  Which I would hardly call us spending time just the two of us since it was spent busily redoing a bedroom, we weren’t just hanging out together.  It’s taking its toll for sure that we don’t have much help with the kids, but I don’t think I’d really be able to enjoy going out on dates spending money if we also had the added expense of a babysitter, so we are left with only being able to go out if we ask family for help, which we do on occasion but that’s also complicated at times.

Don’t get me wrong, I love love love my kids and enjoy spending time with them.  They are wonderful little humans who are sweet and adorable and MINE!  And I adore them.  But even people who love their kids need breaks.

I think the fact that the girls will be starting Kindergarten in the fall is another thing that weighs on me some.  On the one hand obviously it will be a good thing, as I’m going on about not having any free time EVER and come September I will have over 5 hours a day to myself...yipee, right?!...But it’s bittersweet because as much as I know there will be some positives to it, I also feel so sad about it.  One, the girls are starting K when they’ll still only be 4 years old, because they’re totally ready for school having spent so much time there already because of Andrew.  For crying out loud, kids from Kindergarten all the way to grade 5 at least know them by name and say hi in passing already!  I even know who their teacher will be already.  They’re going to do great starting younger, and will turn five 6 weeks after school starts.  But I had a whole extra year with Andrew home, because it just made sense for him to start a bit later given his birthday being at the end of December.  I’m so happy I had that extra time with him at home, and with him being able to bond more with his sisters when they were babies because he was home with us for that.  I feel sad that I won’t have that extra time with the girls, and feel sad that this phase of our lives is almost over forever.  I will never have little ones home with me full time anymore, that’s just the way it is.  It feels silly in a way that I would cry over that and have major anxiety over that when in reality day to day I feel like I’m often ripping my hair out because I feel so overwhelmed at never having a free moment to just ‘be’!...

It’s a complicated situation I guess, and only natural to fear change, and feel sad when you see how fast your kids are growing up.  I want them all to just be babies again, even though I do appreciate them being a little bigger, too.  I love so much that they’re growing up and I get to see all their changes over time.  I just can’t stand the thought that before I even know it they’ll never even cuddle me again and they’ll be adults and just visit on occasion and they won’t be a part of my life in the same way they are now.  I know it’s the way it’s supposed to be, and I’ll have done my work (along with James) if they grow up and can successfully be their own people.  I want that for them!  But starting school - all my babies being grown up enough to be in school - it’s just a little heartbreaking in the sense that it’s the first big step toward them being ‘all growed up.’

I want to embrace the change that this year is going to bring, I’m just having conflicting thoughts on it which makes it difficult to do.  I want to be excited about the time I will have to explore interests beyond my children.  Lots of people have told me ‘I deserve that,’ although I don’t necessarily think I deserve it more than anyone else, and it will be very hard, perhaps impossible, for me not to feel guilty to be afforded such time when a lot of people are not fortunate enough to have that as an option.  So I know, I’d better not waste it, right.  So there’s also a ton of pressure I’m putting on myself to do amazing things when let’s face it, I’m not the biggest go-getter on the planet, nor have I had the chance to even consider my own interests much in so many years now.  I feel like I have a toddler brain because I’ve been in this little-kid mode for so long.  What are the interests I want to explore?  What am I going to do with my time?  How am I going to make sure I’m feeling useful, and like I’m contributing to my family?  Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to getting the house more under control and I do hope this means that I can focus more on the kids when I’m with them because I can get the chore stuff done when they’re not at home.  I’m forever feeling guilty for having to tell them to wait all the time for me to do stuff with them because I’m so busy cooking and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning...We always seem to be having people over so I’m constantly just trying to maintain things enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if people dropped by.  I feel like the time we have together will feel more focused when I have time for all of that during school hours, which is a positive.  But I also want to be doing a lot more than just maintaining the house.

I want to be able to earn money at some point, as I don’t think James should be the sole provider for our family forever.  And it would be nice to even just be earning enough to pay for family trips, which we currently can’t afford, or heaven forbid save up to buy our own home one day (not around here, that’s for sure, but somewhere, maybe…?)  But what can I do that will still allow me to be at home so I can get the kids to school, pick them up afterwards, be involved for field trips or times when parents are needed, and be there in case any of the kids are sick and need to be home?  Not to mention being there for all the school holidays and pro-d days and so on - there aren’t many jobs out there that will allow you that much time off!  I need to be able to do something I can do from home and not on a strict schedule, but WHAT is the age old question…

Maybe I’m just overwhelmed because I know this year is going to be filled with some major changes, and I’m nervous about what it all means and how I’m going to handle it.  I’m not super keen on change, in general, so this is all very hard for me.  I want to be happy, and I know I should just live more in the moment and enjoy what I’ve got, but for some reason I find myself in a big pile of emotions.  Everything seems muddled somehow.  I haven’t been a crier for YEARS and yet lately I feel my eyes well up over the slightest thing.  I cried almost nonstop for an entire day and while I haven’t really cried a lot since, I still feel the feels often.  I will work through it, and life will happen and we’ll adjust to our new routines as we always have.  I know that.  I just need to get out of this rut and allow my mind to focus on the good things.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A family trip...to the dentist!

In December we decided it was high time we all went to the dentist.  The girls had recently turned 4 and had never been, Andrew had only been once, and I hadn’t been for 3 years.  James was the only one who’d been semi-recently, but even he was due for a check-up.  We have insurance, there’s no reason not to go...it’s just that I’ve had some bad experiences with dentists in the past and I’m always apprehensive because I feel like they make things up in order to get more money.

The last dentist I went to told me I had 3 cavities that needed attention right away, but this was only after the hygienist informed him that my insurance would be running out in a week (when James was switching jobs).  The hygienist had just finished telling me he thought my teeth looked great and didn’t see any issues in the x-rays, but the idea that I might want to use my insurance while I had it made the dentist tell me I had some problems that I’d better address pronto.  That was 3 years ago, and I had a bad feeling about it.  The thing was, I didn’t have any pain whatsoever and felt like my teeth were fine.  I didn’t go back before our insurance was up, and then life happened and I felt too busy to get there (it was pretty hectic with twin infants/toddlers...still feels hectic most days but it really has only been in the past year really that I’ve felt like I can do certain things without it feeling like the biggest ordeal ever).  So I put it off and put it off till this December when James and I both decided that if we were going to take the kids for check-ups, we should be going, too.

Actually, it was my dad getting full dentures in November that really gave us the push we needed, because seeing first hand what that’s like to go through, we obviously don’t ever want that to happen to us.  (As an aside, my dad actually took care of his teeth in terms of brushing but unfortunately just had bad teeth genes and it was inevitable that this would happen to him one day).

A friend of mine referred us to the dentist she’s been going to for many years, and the office is fairly close to us so it just felt like everything was falling into place.  I was so nervous, but it ended up being a really positive experience, and while the girls both ended up having some issues, I didn’t feel like they were trying to swindle us at all.

I am proud to say that Andrew got a glowing report, no cavities and everything looks wonderful.  Unfortunately both the girls had cavities in their top front four teeth (yes, FOUR...sigh!) and Margaret also had a couple in her back molars.  The dentist said he wanted them to have x-rays to be sure of the extent of the issue, but their office isn’t equipped for little ones when it comes to getting the images, so we were referred to a pediatric dentist.  I was so stressed about the whole thing because I felt like it was my fault they got cavities.  I know that’s not the case, that we’ve done everything we can do and these things just happen, but I have felt really, really terrible about it nonetheless.  

In the meantime, I had my appointment a few days after the kids (on the very first blizzard day we experienced in early December, it was a bit crazy driving home!) and lo and behold, I found out I HAVE NO CAVITIES.  Even though I wasn’t experiencing any pain in my mouth, I was positive they would tell me I had at least 3 cavities, because that’s what I’d been told at the last dentist appointment I went 3 years ago.  Which means that that dentist was a total scam artist and I am disgusted to think that I could have gone back and spent money unnecessarily (since our insurance was only 70% at the time) and got fillings I didn’t actually need.  That makes me beyond mad, actually.  Every time I see the place I used to go to I feel my blood boil!!

So Andrew has no cavities, I have no cavities, and at James’ appointment he was told he has no cavities either!  Phew!!!  Another thing about the last dentist we saw, they also told James he needed something fixed on one of his teeth that would have cost us about $1500 (on top of what insurance would cover) and that he should deal with it immediately.  Since we obviously don’t have that kind of coin to throw down, we declined, and our new dentist told him it was a purely cosmetic issue and didn’t need to be done at all, and likely never would!  Seriously.  Can you imagine?!  It’s unbelievable that dentists get away with that.

A bit before Christmas we took the girls to their appointment with the pediatric dentist.  It went really well, all the staff were very kind and so good with the kids.  Emily wasn’t good about having x-rays done on her back teeth so that didn’t happen, but otherwise they were so brave and did so well at their appointments.  We were given various options of what we could do for both girls.  Emily has less cavities and they aren’t as severe as Margaret’s.  As well, her x-rays showed that she’s more likely to have her front teeth fall out sooner than Margaret’s will because the roots are much shorter on hers.  So we decided to hold off on getting her fillings done, and do Margaret’s first.  On January 5th she had an early morning appointment and got all of her fillings done in one visit.  It meant having to be sedated, not put right under but taking something that made her quite loopy.  It was very exhausting to me because of course I hated her having to be drugged up like that, and then I didn’t realize it till it was time for her appointment but I was expected to stay in the room for the entire procedure.  (I knew I'd be with her while the sedation took effect, but not to watch her get the actual fillings!) It was good in some ways, as of course I wanted to be there to comfort her (although she was so out of it, it really didn’t matter if I was there or not!) but it was also stressful watching the whole process.  The dentist and hygienist were so good with her though, which was great to witness.

It cost nearly $900 for all her work to be done (and that was going with a cheaper option, which we chose for one because of the price, but also because most of the teeth she had filled will be falling out within 2 years so it just didn’t make sense to us to spend a ton of money on something that she will lose soon anyway!  And it’s not like she was complaining about pain or anything).  Luckily our insurance covers 80% so we didn’t even pay $200 when all was said and done.  Phew!!  I don’t know what we would have done otherwise!  It’s crazy how expensive it is to go to the dentist.

So for now Margaret is done, although the front fillings can chip easily so I’m finding myself a bit stressed about that.  Luckily we can have them fixed free of charge if that happens, but it would still be stressful if that was the case.  As for Emily, we’ll keep waiting for now and see how it goes.  Hers wouldn’t be nearly as costly, but still...she’s more anxious than her sister and I worry about how it might affect her to have to go through something similar with the sedation.  

I still feel bad that they got cavities.  The only thing I can think of, other than bad genes which I really hope isn’t the case since I don’t want this to be a lifelong issue for them, is that where Andrew nursed and never had a bottle other than if James and I were going on a date which was a rarity, the girls took bottles with them to bed for far longer than they should have.  It was just the nature of having twins, for us it was better to do that than to literally never sleep and just have me feeding them round the clock (which it already felt like I was doing, as it was).  I couldn’t have handled it if they were just left to cry because I was already so sleep deprived as it was, we did the lesser of two evils!  It’s just that it may have contributed to their tooth decay because otherwise why would they both have cavities in their 4 front teeth, and Andrew has never had any?  I don’t know...the dentist said it possibly contributed but of course also not to feel bad about it because it is what it is and it's impossible to know the true cause.  At least we’re aware and the kids have all been brushing and flossing extra in hopes of preventing anything further.

I’m glad we found the dentist we did, and I’m relieved that at least the majority of us are cavity free.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Andrew's 8th birthday Star Wars room reveal + winter wonderland!

We had the day before Andrew’s 8th (I can't believe my boy is EIGHT!) birthday planned out for months.  When it finally came time to live it, I couldn’t believe the day was actually here!

At 10am he was picked up by my dad to go spend the day and have a sleepover at my parents’ house.  As soon as I locked the door from them leaving, I ran upstairs and started taking everything off the walls in Andrew’s bedroom and putting his furniture as much into the center of the room as possible.  It was the day that James and I were changing his entire room theme from Superheroes to Star Wars!

At 11 I took the girls over to my friends’ house (where Andrew had been on Boxing Day) as she had offered to take them for a few hours so James and I could focus as much as possible on getting Andrew’s room painted.  It turned into them staying till after dinner because they were doing so well at her house, and it helped us out immensely because it meant we could just focus on the room and not have to take any breaks.  Well, that’s not entirely true since James spent several of those hours sleeping...but in his defence I really do work better alone on such projects, and since I have always done all the painting in our relationship (and I’ve done quite a lot of it!), I have a system for how I do things.  (On the contrary, in 18 years together I don’t recall James ever picking up a paintbrush!)  We only have one big paint roller, so ultimately only one of us could do that part of the job, anyway.  James helped with the cutting in before the main painting started, and had also got a lot of the room prep done while I was dropping the girls off (and having a quick latte with my friend!) before coming home to get going on things.

I finished the last bit of the painting just as it was getting dark outside, which was perfect timing because once it’s dark it’s so much harder to tell if you’re doing a good job or not.  James made both our lunch and dinner, and basically each time I wolfed down my food and got right back to work.  After we had our supper (a little on the early side) I put back everything that I could, and started deciding where certain pictures and shelves should be put up.  When I went to pick up Margaret and Emily at 6:30, James got to work putting up the pictures and the shelves so it would all be done before it was time for the girls to go to bed.

It all worked out perfectly and by the end of the night Andrew’s room was basically done.  All I had to do in the morning was clean up the garbage, get the paint stuff put away, and put the last finishing touches on the decorating.  I knew I still wanted to get him another shelf for the wall by his closet (that I got at Ikea a few days ago and it ties in perfectly!) but overall I was so happy with how it all turned out.

I was so nervous leading up to the ‘big reveal’, just anticipating his reaction and wanting to be able to capture it on camera.  My parents brought him home at lunchtime (after picking up the Star Wars themed ice cream cake I’d ordered for the big day!), and after he opened his presents from us (he got a Stormtrooper pillow and a Poe figurine from Emily, a Rey bobblehead from Margaret, 3 chapter books from James, a Garbage Pail Kids book from me, and a Kylo Ren watch from me and James.  And at my parents’ place he had opened a gift from us as well - a William Steig book (one of my absolute favourite children’s authors), a cozy blue hoodie from Old Navy, and one of those little wooden man figures from Ikea (not sure how to describe it but he’s always wanted one, and he painted it within a few hours of getting it!)  I feel like we went a bit overboard with his birthday this year since his room should have been gift enough, but we couldn’t help it, and everything he got is either useful, educational, or for decorating his new room.

Once all the present opening was done, I went upstairs and asked my parents to come up because ‘I needed to show them something’ and I had Andrew stay downstairs with James.  Once I had my camera ready to record, I called him up and everyone else joined him.  He walked into the room and at first was like, ‘What?’ and then he realized everything was different and he was blown away!  He was like, ‘Whoooooa, thank you!  I can’t believe this!’  He especially loved how we hung his light saber on the wall above his closet doors, the glow in the dark stars around his door, and the way we’d put the shelves up beside the new canvas art, one side with characters from the Light Side and one from the Dark Side.

It was amazing to have been able to pull all of that off, and feel like it all came together so perfectly.  My mom made the curtains, which look awesome.  It was quite the feat that we  managed to make it all happen, and Andrew loved it.  

After the big reveal James and I quickly prepared a spread of nibblies and we ate and then my parents went home to rest for a few hours.  The plan was that we would order Thai food at 5pm and they would pick it up on their way back to our place.  Only it had started snowing an absolute BLIZZARD earlier in the day and hadn’t stopped AT ALL the entire day.  Since we already had snow stuck to the ground, it started sticking right away, and it was treacherous out there.

My mom and I basically decided just before it was time to order the food that as much as it sucked to postpone the dinner, it was probably best they not attempt driving in those conditions.  They live on a hill so no matter which way they drove, it could be very dangerous and slippery both for leaving and for coming home.  But my dad decided they were going to attempt it, so we ordered the food and they left right away since they didn’t know how long it would take to drive to the restaurant.

They got there OK, although the roads weren’t great, and had to wait a while for the food.  Then they got about a block along to our place and got stuck in traffic because a bus had jack knifed and was blocking the road.  Eventually traffic got moving again, but they wound up in the same predicament a few blocks later.  What would normally be about a 10 minute drive ended up being at least 45, possibly an hour, and was very scary because the road conditions were so terrible.  My parents were frazzled by the time they got here, and didn’t want to stay too long for fear the road conditions would be even worse for driving home.  Despite that, we did enjoy the dinner and Andrew loved his cake (I was pretty impressed with the design, as well!)  My parents had also brought over a few presents for him to open: a Spiderman umbrella, a children’s dictionary, and a cool new version of the Battleship board game.

Luckily their drive home wasn’t nearly as bad as getting here, as it had mostly stopped snowing by that point and traffic had calmed down.  

After the kids went to bed, James and I did stay up till midnight but new year’s eve is always a little lost on me because I’m so focused on it being Andrew’s birthday.  I went and had a bubble bath while James played some xbox, and then we reconvened just before midnight and did the countdown together.  We had a little toast to the new year with a shot of whiskey, and then James went to bed.  I felt a bit down in the dumps, I think just the let down from the holidays ending.  It feels like there’s so much going on and then boom, it’s all over with.  But it was a good day, and maybe in some ways there was also some relief to have the holidays behind us.

It’s been nice having James home since the 24th of December, though, and we had this whole week with him home since the new year.  It’s going to suck having him start back at the office tomorrow.  It’s back to the grind for all of us.  And just like that, the holidays are done!

At home with my girls, + women's issues TMI!

On Boxing Day Andrew went over to a friends’ house for an all-day play date.  Her mom is a friend of mine, and the kids are in the same class at school.  She offered to take him on for the day so the kids could bake cupcakes, do crafts (they made really cool homemade Christmas crackers that Andrew gave us as gifts on New Year’s Eve) and play (they even had a dance party complete with disco lights!)  It was a really great day for Andrew, he had so much fun.  I was glad that he had that opportunity, especially on that particular day because my time of the month hit me hard that day, and I was pretty much completely out of commission.  I still did stuff because ‘mom’ and ‘out of commission’ don’t really work together I find, but I definitely wasn’t up to my usual standard of getting things done.

Luckily James was home and was helpful to me, there’s no way I could have managed on my own that particular day.  TMI about ‘the curse’ isn’t something I like to be public about necessarily, but I’m documenting it here because it was so severe this past cycle that I think it’s important I record it.  I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in, at times literally doubled over and breathing through contractions.  At one point in the evening one of the kids asked me why I was doubled over on the floor in a weird position and I explained (even though they have no idea as to why, obviously) that I had really bad cramps and they were hurting so badly that it felt like I was in labour.  Margaret replied, ‘Well, maybe you have a baby in your belly and it’s just time for it to come out now!’  LOL  She’s obviously paid attention when I’ve shared the kids’ birth stories with them!  I said, ‘There’s no baby in there, no way am I having another one of those!!’  :D

It’s really frustrating how bad it can get, to the point that each month I think it can’t get any worse and then it does.  And then I’ll have a month where it’s not so terrible, and I’ll think I can manage this, and then it gets worse again.  I don’t really know what to do about it, though, as I’m already on medication that’s supposed to lessen the bleeding (although if it truly is less, I’m afraid what would happen if I stopped taking them).  I just wish there was something more I could do for the pain than just Tylenol, which I end up maxing out on dosage wise and eventually end up with stomach aches because I’ve taken too much of it, but if I don’t I can’t handle the pain at all.  It’s a vicious circle, or should I say cycle.  I also get headaches the week leading up to my period, headaches during the week I have it, and did I mention I am now getting it every 2.5-3 weeks?  So no real reprieve in between, once you throw ovulation into the mix, too.  OMG.  Way too TMI for my liking!  But seriously, for someone who doesn’t want any more children, it’s frustrating spending the majority of my days in the throws of ‘women’s issues’.  I literally only get a couple of days in between it all and that’s it.


So the 26th was a total bust for me and I was feeling pretty down in the dumps about it.  I was just glad that Andrew was able to enjoy his day away, and the girls managed to enjoy their day, too, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

On the 27th I had a very early start to the day because James and Andrew were heading over to the island to visit James’ dad (as it was his birthday that day).  They left just after 6am.  I was on my own with the girls for basically 2 days, which was fine in the sense that they were really quite good for me the whole time, but it was also really awful timing in terms of my time of the month and the extreme tiredness I was feeling as a result of it.  I had one of the worst sleeps I’ve had in years that night because Margaret and Emily wanted to have a sleepover with me, and I quickly found out there is NOT enough room in my bed for all 3 of us, and I can’t sleep when little ones are moving about, talking in their sleep, and waking up a bunch of times throughout the night.  They loved having the sleepover with me so that’s the main thing, but I don’t think I could handle doing that again unless I can get a good nap in the next day!

On the first day we watched some movies the girls had got for Christmas, played with their new toys, read books, and built their Lego sets that my parents gave them for Xmas.  My parents came over for about an hour in the afternoon so I was able to go have a bath and relax for a few before they had to go, and then the girls and I ordered pizza because there was no way I could see myself cooking at that point.  The next day we didn’t do a whole lot either, but staying home and doing all our usual things was totally fine with the girls, so we made it a staying-in-our-jammies day.  The boys didn’t get home till a little after 10pm, by which point I was pretty exhausted but the girls had been good, like I said, so it was definitely ‘easier’ than it could have been!

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