Saturday, September 28, 2013

I can't believe my girls are almost ONE...

This morning I was folding laundry from a big pile on the living room floor.  I kept reaching down for something, folded it, then stacked it on the change table (the only place out of reach enough of the babies…I’m not particularly fond of folding a big stack of clothes only to have them reached up for, grabbed, and tossed back into a heap on the floor…cough cough MARGARET!!)  After a few items, Margaret started doing what I remember Andrew loving to do around the same age.  She started picking up an item and passing it to me.  I would say, ‘Thank you!’ like she was being SO helpful and she would grin and pick up another item and pass it to me.   Emily watched this, and it wasn’t long before she was handing me a sock and gave the biggest grin in the entire world when I thanked her for it.  SO CUTE!!  And as it turned out, it actually WAS somewhat helpful having them hand me stuff!  Mostly I just loved seeing their huge smiles and knowing how happy it was making them to help me.

My babies will be ONE in just over 2 weeks.  TWO WEEKS!!  I still don’t know how that happened so fast.  I’m feeling really sentimental about it at the moment.  Birthday party invites were mailed out today so there’s no turning back!  They’re having a cupcake themed party and I’m so excited about it, although I still have some planning to do.

Both girls have started grooving to music.  They love everything from Serena Ryder to Michael Jackson to Macklemore to pretty much whatever’s playing!  Especially music with a good beat of course…I just got the new Matthew Good album today, for example…not sure how much they’ll groove to it (though I personally am enjoying it…not dancing to it LOL but it’s classic MG and I love it!)

Anyway…the babies are walking really well and are totally on par with each other now, it doesn’t show that Margaret has been a walker for longer than her sister.  Emily loves to race around and actually in the past several days I’ve rarely noticed her crawling at all, she just wants to walk (or attempt to run!) everywhere.  They both love playing with their Laugh and Learn house (especially standing on parts of it to make themselves feel taller!), Emily in particular loves to climb, they still circle around the office chair like it’s the most fun thing ever, and I continue to egg them on by saying, ‘I’m going to get you!’  I can say that any time and Emily especially will squeal and scramble to get away from me (but look over her shoulder with a big grin).  Margaret has fun with that game too.  She points at everything constantly…I got a few little picture shelves for over our desk from Ikea the other night and James installed them and I set them up.  The next day she couldn’t stop pointing at them all day and would do a little grunt as if to ask, ‘What are those?!’ 

Both babies are on a decent nap and bedtime schedule, though their naps are completely thrown off if we have an outing.  If we stay home for the day, they consistently seem to want to nap sometime around noon or just after, and Margaret usually sleeps for under an hour, while Emily will sleep for longer.  Today was exceptional – Margaret slept for about 15-20 minutes, Emily slept for FOUR HOURS!!!  I actually went in several times after a few hours because I was worried as to why she wasn’t getting up, but she was just snoozing the super rainy day away, just as I probably would have done too under different circumstances!

Yesterday Margaret found a headband on the floor and actually put it on herself and walked around with a big smile.  Today it was Andrew’s skeleton mask from last Halloween.  LOL  Emily still loves to put blankets over her head and play an impromptu game of Peek-a-boo, or as we generally just call it, ‘Boo!’  Often after a car ride we’ll get home and I’ll find that instead of having her blanket on her lap as I’d put it, it’s around her neck like a scarf.  I find it hilarious how she does that!

I bought them their first little pairs of shoes a few days ago!  They’re just little $12 shoes from Joe Fresh but they look SO CUTE on and they seem to enjoy wearing them.  They look absolutely adorable in anything and everything.  I have so much fun dressing them up.  Occasionally I do dress them differently, but for the most part I still dress them identical.  I’ve noticed there are a lot of people who think it’s adorable – which it is, I mean, what’s cuter than one baby in an adorable outfit?  TWO babies in the same adorable outfit, of course!!  However, I also find there are those people who seem to have a big problem with the fact that I dress them the same.  As if I am not allowing them to be individuals (ridiculous!  And obviously I fully anticipate them saying to me they want to dress differently one day, and that’s totally fine, but why not enjoy this time when I get to choose?!  And who’s to say they won’t ever want to dress alike in the future, some kids do!)  I don’t know why but it really irks some people, and I can only laugh at those people behind their backs.  It’s not their decision to make, and it makes me wonder what their issue is, because ultimately THEY are the ones with the problem! 

So glad it’s Saturday and we still have another weekend day to enjoy…

Monday, September 23, 2013

Music with Margaret

Tonight after dinner I put 4 Square on so the babies would be occupied for a few.  The first segment came on with the Do-Wa’s, and they sang, ‘Dig, dig, dig, dig, dawdling Dan!’ and then said, ‘Your turn’ (it was time for the 4 Tones to copy them).  (If you don’t know 4 Square, don’t worry about it!)  Immediately, Margaret threw up one of her hands and said, ‘Dih, dih, daaa!’, twirled around in a circle, fell down on her bum and just grinned!  I was totally amazed!  There’s no way it was a coincidence, she really was attempting to repeat the song the best she knew how!

Given her attempts the other day to repeat the word ‘dance’ several times during Macklemore’s And We Danced (it came out more like ‘dah’ but I knew what she was trying to say since she said it at the right time!), I’d have to say that girl knows her music.  Pretty darn good for 11 months old!

Don't try this at home! My hair debacle story...!

I had a total hair debacle last week and I want to document it – for one to remind myself to NEVER again attempt what I attempted (!!) and for another to possibly help someone else who might find themselves in a similar situation.  I know it’s a ‘first world problem’ but anyone who’s gone through this knows that when you suddenly realize you’ve potentially destroyed your hair, there is a certain feeling of panic that takes over and it’s hard to let it go until the problem is rectified!

I had my hair dyed professionally quite recently, maybe a little over a month ago.  I wasn’t particularly happy with the results.  It was just too similar to the way it looked before the appointment.  I asked for blond low lights, my hairdresser suggested bright-ish red instead, and I went for it.  I liked it, but the problem I discovered with it once I got home and really looked at it was that all of the bright colour was completely hidden.  I’ve gotten low lights lots of times, so I realize they’re not as bold as highlights because they’re not right on top.  But it was a bit ridiculous how literally NONE of the lowlights I got showed through AT ALL.  I would basically have to pin up just the top part of my hair in order for them to show, and since that’s a style I basically NEVER go for with my hair, it felt like I’d been totally gipped.  I should have called my hairdresser and explained that I wasn’t happy with it – I KNOW she would have fixed it for free.  I KNOW she wouldn’t have caused a fuss over it.  I’ve basically been going to her for over 6 years.  It’s just that I would have felt bad about it, and I would have felt uncomfortable sitting there again getting it changed up to make me happy, knowing that even though she was being nice about it, there would be that uncomfortableness because of the fact that I wasn’t happy in the first place, blah blah.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do that!  Not to mention it became a huge fiasco in the first place just being able to go to her at all, because I had to get my mil to help look after the kids so I could go and then we had a falling out with my mil in part because she felt she’d been left with the kids far too long on her own…A whole other story for a whole other blog post that I may or may not ever write!!  But yeah…way too complicated to go back to that hairdresser, I really do have to find someone more permanent closer to where we live.

In the meantime I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I bought a Revlon Frost and Glow kit at the drugstore and, smartly, decided not to take strands of hair through every single hole in the highlighter cap, but rather carefully chose just a few rows to put in some lowlights.  I did this because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, and if it went awry, I wouldn’t have issues that would be super noticeable.  I left the stuff on for almost the full hour recommended, and the lowlights turned out pretty awesome.  They were a nice honey blond colour.  The only thing was, I’d played it so safe that while there were a bunch of lowlights (way more than my hairdresser had put in), they still weren’t showing through much at all, except for 2 at the back, which kind of drove me nuts, and showed me how cool the highlights looked and made me think I should go out and buy another kit to do more and make it noticeable. 

I was actually EXCITED to be doing my own hair again!  I used to dye my own hair all sorts of colours.  In fact, I started dyeing it at 13, and when I was 18 I started doing blond highlights on my own when a hairdresser told me it ‘wasn’t possible’ for my hair to be dyed blond.  WTF?!  I was able to do it with a home dye kit, and it turned out so nice that another hairdresser I went to for a cut asked me where I’d had the colouring done because it looked so professional!  She was shocked when I said I’d done it myself.  So it’s not like I didn’t have any confidence with home hair dye.  I know salon dyes are better, I’m not about to dispute that – you get what you pay for.   But at the same time, I just can’t justify spending so much on my hair at the salon anymore.  I want to have nice hair, but I also want to be able to afford things like clothes (particular for a few adorable kids that come to mind!!)  So the next day I actually sent James out to get me another of the same kit I’d used the day before, and this time I decided to go crazy with highlights and basically poked strands of hair through all the holes on the cap that had circles.

I was excited when I started, but I should have listened to my gut as I became further and further exhausted and frustrated poking the strands through the cap.  Just that job alone took me nearly an hour and a half…and if you have the luxury of time, good for you, this probably won’t bother you.  But for me, an hour and a half poking hair through a cap is wasted time, as time is so precious and I cringe now thinking about how I spent that ‘me time’ with my head sweating under a plastic cap, and my arm getting sore from the way I was struggling to pull strands through at the back of my head, which I couldn’t see unless I held a mirror up the whole time.  But I persevered, and put on the bleaching solution, and left it on for the exact same amount of time as I did with the first kit.  (Something to note is that I didn’t pull any strands through that had been bleached the day before, as I didn’t want to over bleach any of my hair).  I thought it was going to look awesome and I was super excited!

That is, until it was time to wash it out…I ended up leaving it on for a few minutes longer because it just looked so orangey and gross and it needed more processing.  Only it just didn’t change from orange with more time, so I had to wash it out.  And I looked at my head in horror, because I looked like Carrot Top.  It was NOT good.  I thought maybe it would look lighter once it was dry since wet hair always looks darker, but I dried it and the majority of my hair was this horrible orange colour.  I texted James and told him it was a nightmare because I didn’t want to come downstairs and have him tease me about it.  I was already feeling sensitive about it, and my heart was sinking into the ground.  I wanted to cry!  I’d just wasted several hours of my life, some money, and all I had to show for it was ugly, orange hair.  I’d ruined my hair!!

I felt miserable.  James said it looked good, but James always says that.  He loves me no matter what and that’s awesome and all, but I still felt ugly.  My body image hasn’t been the greatest post-twins, so feeling even worse about myself just doesn’t feel like an option right now!  I basically obsessed the whole rest of the night researching through google and youtube to hopefully find some answers on how to fix what I’d done.

There is so much conflicting info out there that I didn’t really know who or what to believe!  Some people said to just dye it dark and it will take away the orange, others said to be careful with immediately dyeing it brown because you’d run the risk of it turning green.  I knew I didn’t want green hair…So what I ended up doing was first dyeing it with Clairol Nice n’ Easy #106 – I can’t remember what the colour was called but essentially it was an ash blond colour.  I left it with that for the day, trying to get used to, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t still red.  It had definitely toned the red so it wasn’t orange, but I couldn’t fool myself – it really was red.  Insult was added to injury when James came home from work and I was wearing a red t-shirt and he said, ‘Hey, now your shirt matches your hair!’  (He’s not a mean guy, he thought he was being funny).  I didn’t find it the least bit funny and it made me further antsy about fixing the problem.  I felt like Anne Shirley, and I knew that wasn’t the right look for me.  It just didn’t work with my skin tone at all!  So luckily I had also picked up a box of Garnier Nutrisse in #50, medium natural brown.  My plan had been to give my hair a bit of a break for at least a week to prevent damaging it even more than I already had, but that night I bit the bullet and dyed it.  And it worked!  My hair turned brown!  Which is very similar to the colour it was before I did any of the low/highlights.  There are definitely ‘highlights’ throughout my hair now since obviously the parts that hadn’t been bleached went darker than the pieces that had.  But it was/is tolerable.  If I look really closely I don’t totally care for the colour, but it’s really not that bad, and truthfully anyone who didn’t know what I’d done didn’t say anything about it, which tells me they are none the wiser that my hair was even processed!  I hate myself a little for what I did, because I DID damage my hair pretty badly.  Luckily I have awesomely strong hair (I had it bleached platinum blond and all sorts of colours in my early 20s and it never got super damaged so I know I have strong hair!)  But still…I just wish I hadn’t wasted all that time and ultimately money.  I wanted to cheap out and give myself highlights, and the sad truth is that in the end, I could have got some professionally done for the price I ended up paying for my hair debacle.  SIGH!!

(As an aside, I also tried a purple shampoo to tone down the orangeyness before I dyed it, but to no avail).

Lesson learned!  I will dye my hair dark colours with home dyes but never again will I attempt highlights on my own.  That I will leave to the professionals! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Long overdue kids update...

I feel so far behind in writing that it’s starting to stress me out.  Gone are the days when I was able to squeeze some writing in almost every day.  There’s just so much I want to remember about the kids’ lives…

Like how Emily has really taken off walking, and she has a winning smile when she walks lots of steps right into my arms.  Today I threw a ball and she went and fetched it for me (yes, much like a dog, but hey, they’re 11 months old, give them a break!  Lol) and when she brought it to me she had the biggest grin, put it in my hand and then threw herself into my lap.  I gave her a big hug and said, ‘Yaaay, Emily, you did it, what a good girl!’ and she actually squealed she was so pleased with herself!  I love those moments.  She has actually been fairly cuddly at times the past few days, which says a lot because she usually isn’t the cuddliest baby, which is a shame because she’s SO cuddly in terms of her chubbiness and sometimes I want to cuddle with her but she won’t have it.  She likes her space!  It works out though, I guess, because Margaret is quite a cuddle bug and requires more cuddles than her sister.  If they were both super needy I don’t know how I’d manage, so it works that one’s a little needier than the other.

Margaret walks like a champ now, like she’s always been doing it.  Although I must say for how much later she started, Emily has really caught up, and is now able to stand up from wherever she is, she doesn’t need any help from furniture like when she first started out.  They look absolutely adorable when they’re walking!  Both of them (Emily more so but Margaret, too!) still LOVE holding onto the office chair and walking in circles, and particularly enjoy when I play the game with them of ‘I’m going to get you!’  I tickle them as they walk past me and they giggle in anticipation when they get close to me, and Emily squeals as she races past!

Emily has a molar already, which seems crazy early to me.  She has 4 teeth on top, her four front ones, and one molar on the bottom right.  Margaret has her four top teeth and 3 on the bottom front.  They both seem to have very straight, beautiful teeth – for what they have so far.  I love their toothy grins!

Margaret loves to say, ‘Up!’, ‘Momma’, ‘Dada’, ‘Papa’, and has started to say ‘Ta’ which is what we say when we want them to give us something or we give them something.  She loves to try to share food so she will try to pass me some little piece of slobbered on food and say, ‘Ta!’ and I have to kindly decline.  Margaret also points at EVERYTHING and will point to get a snack she wants, or just in wondering what something is that isn’t usually there.  Basically she is constantly pointing at anything and everything! 

 Emily says, ‘Momma’ and ‘Dada’ and maybe has said ‘Papa’ too.  The past couple of days she says, ‘Yeah!’ and I asked her this morning if she wanted something and she replied, ‘Yeah!’ several times!  LOL  I kind of think it was a fluke but I can’t help but wonder because she used it properly!  She also said, ‘No no no no no!’ several times today.  Andrew was sitting have some lunch and they were in their highchairs.  He said to them, ‘Do you NOT like macaroni and cheese?’  And Emily said, ‘No, no, no, no, nooooo!’  Andrew thought it was hysterical.  He loves to make his sisters laugh, and they continue to look at him like he is some sort of God that can do no wrong!  Emily is starting to point a bit too and loves to clap and sometimes wave.  The other day I said, ‘Do you want to go upstairs and have a nap in your cribs?’  And Emily looked toward the stairs, Margaret pointed at them, and we made our way up.  I thought it was amazing that they showed they knew exactly what I was talking about.  (They usually nap downstairs just wherever they happen to fall asleep so it’s not like it’s their usual routine to head upstairs, although of course they have their bed time routine that they’re used to, and I must say are doing very well with!  Not sleeping straight through the night, but at least going to bed by about 8:30 most nights).

The girls are loving eating solids.  I can’t believe they will be ONE in less than a month and will be able to be weaned off formula for good.  I’m going to wait till they are a year to actually start weaning them, because I do think it’s good they’re guaranteed the right nutrients while they’re on it.  But they sure know how to eat!  We did a huge grocery shop today (we being me and the kids – I wear Margaret, Emily sits in the cart, and Andrew either walks or hitches a ride at the end of the cart.  It’s a gong show and totally exhausting…But that’s another story!  I wanted to get lots of groceries so I can put together lots of healthy meals and snacks because I swear these babies can’t get enough.  Andrew is in a fairly picky stage with what he’ll eat so it seems to me that the girls actually eat more than he does!

They love everything from scrambled eggs and toast, to peanut butter and jam sandwiches, to all types of cooked veggies, pretty much all fruits, berries (Emily in particular LOVES berries and fruit…yesterday Margaret wasn’t having any of it so instead of throwing hers all over the floor like she normally would when she’s had enough, she threw all of her food onto Emily’s tray, and Emily ate it…I swear these girls are SO entertaining…and their brother too, for that matter!)  They love hummus, pickled asparagus (like Andrew did as a baby!), Goldfish cheese crackers, yogurt, freeze dried yogurt bites (kinda weird, but they’re in the baby section at the grocery store!), granola bars, spaghetti, spinach and cheese ravioli, well let’s face it, they love food of all varieties!

Both girls love to have baths.  A few days ago Andrew took to washing them in the sink and he loves it as much as they do!  Margaret likes it but Emily LOVES it.  Same with being in the big tub upstairs.  Margaret likes bath time too, but Emily absolutely LOVES it and splashed her legs around, it’s so funny.  With the weather not being as great I started bringing the kids upstairs each day once or twice for upstairs play time/a change of scenery from the living room, and as soon as the girls climb their way up the stairs, they try to make a mad dash for the bathroom.  If I’m planning on giving them a tub I let them go in and then quickly get them undressed and the tubby set up.  We have a deep soaker tub and there’s a fairly tall step to get into it.  The babies clamour to get into the tub and I’m so worried they/one of them at least (cough, cough, EMILY) will fall in, or fall off the step backwards – neither of which would be a good scenario.  It’s likely only a matter of time as it’s so hard with two of them to make sure neither is getting into the tub too fast.  But so far I’ve managed to keep everyone safe! 

The babies love to climb onto Andrew’s bed, and Andrew loves to play in their cribs.  LOL  His newest ‘game’ is having me put the baby blankets over the side of the crib, how I usually place them during the day, and then he throws them off and I make it seem like I’m exasperated that he’s done that and say, ‘OK, I’m making the beds now, let’s keep them tidy!’ and then he does it again.  Why oh why do we keep buying that kid toys when a game like that would make him happy for hours?! …!!!

Andrew is up to his usual antics.  We were planning on enrolling him in karate but it didn’t work out because the place we were going to has a really stupid set up where I would have to stand outside with the babies while he’d be in the class.  So for roughly 40 minutes once a week, I’d be standing outside with the babies, rain or shine.  Shine I can handle, but rain?!  That’s ridiculous!  It just doesn’t make any sense.  It’s also really expensive – they said it was a ‘special offer’ $50 for a month, but ‘a month’ is 4 half hour sessions!  Crazy.  Andrew was excited about it and we probably would have done it if the set up made more sense, but I’ve enrolled him in something else that starts this week so he’s happy, and I think it will make more sense for all of us.

Andrew’s latest obsession is watching toy reviews on youtube.  He LOVES it.  He could probably spend the entire day doing that.  He doesn’t, but he would love to!  There are some funny toy reviews out there for play dough and various action figures – who knew?!  Something I would have never thought to look up.  He also likes a show called Wubbzy on youtube, and is still very much into music and music videos.  We really like Macklemore but we’re getting to a point where we don’t think it’s appropriate for him to watch the videos.  We cut off Thrift Shop ages ago of course because of all the f-bombs, although there’s a g-rated version he’s seen a few times.  We like the song And We Danced but it’s really inappropriate for a child who could be picking up on things he shouldn’t.  It sucks though because those music videos are seriously sometimes the ONLY thing that will keep the babies occupied for a little while.  The Treehouse show 4Square works too, but I can only take so much of it myself!!  I only use stuff like that if I need to make a phone call that can’t wait till James is home, or if I’m desperate when I need to make a meal and they won’t just play without crying at the gate.

Andrew is REALLY excited about Halloween coming up.  I have to keep reminding him that despite all the ‘Halloweeny’ stuff in the stores, it’s not actually for another 6 weeks just about!  But I’m excited about it too, truth be told.  This is the first time I can decorate outside since I was a little kid.  My dad used to come up with some cool and creative characters for the yard and now I get to enjoy doing that with my kids.  Well, Andrew, since the babies won’t really understand it this year.  Although I think they already have an affinity for Halloween, truthfully.  I had decorated our mantle last year for Halloween at the beginning of October and then they were born on the 14th…In our old place we had their change table set up right beside the fireplace in the living room so instead of looking up at a mobile or something babyish, they looked up at a creepy skeleton witch!  LOL!!  So I’m hoping they’ll get into Halloween as much as Andrew has.  I love it.  We’re not going overboard or anything but each year I want us to collect a few new decorations for the occasion so we can make the front yard look spooky, and also a little bit in our living room.  We bought a life sized skeleton from Costco at the beginning of the month and that kind of got our excitement for the holiday started early!

I can’t believe it’s September already though, and not just September but MID September.  Why does time go by so freaking fast?!  It’s crazy.  I feel like the summer whizzed by far too quickly.  We did almost everything from our summer bucket list of activities, so I’m happy with what we did, although I wish we’d been able to get to a few more of the places we’d hoped to.  It’s hard when we don’t have help because some places with curious little twins + Andrew and just James and I = totally gong show/exhaustion for us!  Like the beach, for example…2 babies, opposite directions, and sand…it can turn into a bad situation fast.  LOL  I loved how sunny and hot July was, but I feel like it was so nice so early in the summer this year, and maybe I prefer a slightly later start to the summer so it lasts longer into September, staving off fall and winter just that little bit longer…

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