Monday, December 30, 2013

Andrew will be FIVE tomorrow

December 30, 2013

Dear Andrew,

Tomorrow you turn 5 years old.  FIVE!!  That is a HUGE number to me.  I remember being 5 years old and I can’t believe my ‘baby’ boy will be that grown up already.
Five years ago today, I had no idea who you were.  I knew you could pack a punch like the best of them, and I was pretty sure you’d be good at soccer one day with the way you could kick (and I was right, you are awesome at soccer and you also happen to love it!) but I had no idea who you would be.  You were just known as ‘Baby’ and you might have been a girl (who we’d have called Margaret).  But the next day you became our New Year’s Eve baby BOY and we called you Andrew.  And you were (and still are!) PERFECT.  One of the reasons it seems so hard to believe that you are 5 already is because I remember the day you were born so vividly, like it just happened, and then I blinked and here we are, 5 whole years later.

You love it when I tell you that you were the best Christmas present I ever got, even though you decided to be born 8 days after your due date.  You really were the greatest gift a Momma could ever ask for.  I remember holding you, my scrunchy faced pudgy little 8.9lbs baby boy, the entire first night of your life.  I just couldn’t put you down, even though technically I was supposed to have you sleep in the bassinet by the bed.  You had been inside me for so long, I wasn’t prepared to have you anywhere but with me.  I held you on my chest and I remember you were such a strong newborn that you actually lifted your head up to look at me as I held you.  You were so amazing from the minute I laid eyes on you, and I was immediately in love with you, and have been in awe of you ever since!

You are a little boy now, but I will always think of you as my Baby Boy.  I am so proud of the person you are, and the person you are becoming.  You are so outgoing, something I really admire in you.  You are not afraid to try new things, you are always brave, you learn things so quickly and you have a wit that is far beyond your years.  Your use of vocabulary amazes me (and often makes me laugh) and you are doing so well with your printing and drawing lately.  I love that you enjoy doing crafts, baking, cooking, and pretty much any project you are game to help with.  I love your smile, your giggle, your sweet little-boy-voice, and the way you love to dance.  I love your hugs and kisses and the nice things you say to people without being asked to, which means you are genuine.  You are kind and thoughtful and a wonderful big brother to your baby sisters.  You are so patient and helpful, and even though you definitely have your almost-five-year-old moments (aka fits and tantrums…refusal to eat a healthy dinner…) you luckily have waaay more moments of being a smart, funny, adorable little boy who is so full of life and who makes everyone around him smile and laugh.  You are my sunshine and I love you SO much!  

I’m excited for you – being 5 is sure to be an exciting year!   

I love you, baby.

Love Forever,

Monday, December 23, 2013

The day before Christmas Eve

Tonight right after dinner we headed out to look at Christmas lights.  We started out around the girls’ bedtime, so we figured they’d have their bottle and be out in no time.  We were right…for one baby.  I think Margaret was asleep before we even pulled out of the driveway!  Emily, on the other hand, wailed at the top of her lungs for a good 15 minutes or so.  We stopped a couple of times so I could try to calm her down but nothing worked.  Eventually she managed to calm herself down and she dozed a bit, but somehow managed to stay awake for much of the outing.  She just likes her routine of going to bed in her cozy crib, and I honestly think she was worried we were going to be out for a long time like we were last week when we went to Van Dusen to see the Christmas lights there.  When she realized she was home in her crib that night, she was immediately relaxed and I could see her just sink into her crib and cozy up to her blankets and she was just so HAPPY to be home in her bed!  All 3 kids were in bed within about 2 minutes of us getting home and none have made a peep since (yet, anyway!)

Andrew and I particularly enjoyed the lights, although I think James did too, even though he likely wouldn’t bother going out to see the lights if it wasn’t for us insisting we do it each year.  There are some pretty amazing light displays out there.  I really felt the Christmas spirit on our drive tonight.

I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve in about 20 minutes!  Andrew is going to be SO excited tomorrow!!  And the next day obviously…I am so excited myself, I sort of feel like a little kid – just the anticipation of seeing the kids open their presents and the excitement it’s all going to bring to them, I can’t help but have butterflies in my stomach.  I woke up this morning at 630 and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was thinking about all the last minute prep I needed to work on, so I can only imagine what state I’ll be in tomorrow!!

Today was a really good day, despite me getting up at the crack of dawn and really only getting about 4.5 hours total for the night.  I got up, had a shower, and the girls slept in a bit (till about 745am) so I was able to have some coffee and get a few things done before they were up.  I finished getting myself ready for the day, then got everyone else ready, and with snacks in hand so I wouldn’t have to deal with our usual breakfast routine and slow us down, off we headed to do a shop at Safeway for all our last minute Xmas groceries.  We finished up there just as the pet store opened, so we were able to get Fifi’s food.  It just felt like everything was going so smoothly, and I was in a good mood and actually had a decent amount of energy.  The girls went down for their nap easily at their usual time, and slept for a pretty good length of time, so Andrew and I had some time together.  My energy waned as the afternoon went on, and I was pretty much a zombie again by around 2 or 3 pm, but still.  My parents came over for a bit so I went for a short outing on my own, then got a little bit of Christmas wrapping done before they had to leave.  Andrew and I had some good laughs together, and we were both really looking forward to our Xmas lights adventure.  It really was a good day over all.

I’m SO excited about James being off work as of 3pm tomorrow, all the way till January 6th!  Happy Holidays!!

PS If Andrew had been born on his due date, today would have been his 5th birthday!  But NYE is not far off =)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My 2014 New Year Resolution

Some years I’ve listed out a few things I hope to get around to in the new year for resolutions but have I ever followed through with any?  I’m too afraid to go back and look at what I’ve said in the past!  If I’ve stuck to any, it’s continuing my blog/journaling.  While that hasn’t been going as well this past while, I’ve had a pretty good excuse being busy with so many little ones!  However, I still keep up with it enough that I’m satisfied with what I’m recording.  I definitely have been writing with regularity these past several years.  But in terms of more ambitious goals, I can’t say I’ve been the greatest resolutions follow-through-er.  If I was, I’d be able to list off my accomplishments without even thinking about it, wouldn’t I?!

BUT 2014 is going to be different.  I’m saying it here first, but I’ll be saying it again and again, and I won’t just be saying it but I’ll be DOING IT.  It’s not going to be easy, but 2014 is THE YEAR.  The year of what, you might wonder?  It’s going to be the year that I actually follow through on bettering myself as much as possible.  The biggest way will be in terms of diet and exercise.  And I KNOW what you’re thinking, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking how that’s the biggest and oldest clichéd resolution EV-AR!  And maybe it is, but it’s mine for 2014, and I’M GOING TO ACCOMPLISH IT!

I’m tired of not feeling happy with my post twins body.  I’ve had body image issues for years (what woman hasn’t, in some way or another, really) but seriously, enough is enough.  They say it takes two years after having 2 babies at once to completely ‘heal’ and get back to as close as you can to your pre-having 2 babies at once body.  Well, my 2 babies will have been born 14.5 months ago as of January 1st.  And it’s time I work on getting things back to ‘how they were’ before the two year mark has come and gone.

Scratch that.  My body will never be how it once was, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I am OK with my body being different than it was before I had kids.  (It was a pretty amazing feat to birth my babies, and I have to love my body for accomplishing that!)  My body snapped back a lot quicker after Andrew was born, and I might have been packing an extra 5lbs-ish after all was said and done but I was pretty OK with only weighing 5lbs extra after having a baby and not doing any extra exercising to lose it.  However, the twin pregnancy somehow managed to wreak havoc on my metabolism (and I’m sure getting older doesn’t help…I’m certainly not an old lady or anything, but I’ll be 34 in February – I’m not getting any younger!) and I weigh more than 5lbs more than I did pre-twins.  So 5+5+ is more than what I want to be carrying around as extra weight.  In fact, I was looking at pictures recently of when I was in my early twenties, and I know what I weighed around that time…I would hazard to say I weigh in the neighbourhood of 40-50lbs more now than I did when I was 20.  I know it’s fairly natural to put on weight as one ages, and it’s also normal to pack on a few extra pounds that are difficult to lose after pregnancy.  (Some body types have a more difficult time than others, I know some people lose their pregnancy weight and then some and look amazing 2 seconds after giving birth, but I do not have one of those bodies!)  I am really grossed out, truthfully, when I think that I weigh THAT MUCH MORE than I did 14 years ago.  That’s a lot of extra weight, (for example, Andrew doesn’t even quite weigh 40lbs, so yeah, I’m packing a whole extra person in fat – awesome…) and while sleep deprivation and 3 little rugrats are certainly good reasons for having low energy, I think carrying extra pounds isn’t helping with that, either.

Now let me say, I don’t consider myself extremely obese, and I haven’t had any doctors saying they’re concerned about my weight or anything.  I just don’t like the way I look, and that’s a fact.  I don’t feel good in my clothes, in fact I HATE MY CLOTHES.  I don’t even really like my pajamas.  I am in a rut and it’s not a good one, and it saddens me because there was a time not that many years ago where I had really cute clothes and lots of great outfits.  Even my pajamas were cool!  I might go so far as to say I had style.  Now I feel I am hidden behind the title of Mommy and what I wear doesn’t matter because no one really sees me anyway.  It’s not really where I want to be.  I don’t want to be in the limelight or anything - I want to keep the Mommy status because it definitely is the biggest part of who I am right now, but I also need to be me, not just for me but for my kids.  I want them to have an image of me that might not be the image they’ll have if I don’t do something to change myself for the better.  And I don’t just mean that I don’t want them to think of me as fat, because I’m not really feeling like that’s the case at all, it’s more that I don’t want them to see me as someone who doesn’t do as much with them as she could because I’m tired all the time.  I feel tired ALL THE FREAKING TIME and yes, it is mostly because I’m just so tired from all I have to do in a day and taking care of them and not sleeping a whole lot at night.  But I think if I was getting a ton more exercise and forcing myself to move around a LOT to shed some pounds, and not eating unhealthy junky food, particularly at night time, I’d be able to be the kind of mom who gets up and goes and is doing tons of stuff with her kids because she has the energy for it.  (Ok, maybe not tons, but a lot…LOL…One step at a time!!)  (As a side note, I will say, I have an exercise bike and I do notice on the days where I sneak upstairs while the kids are content watching a show and/or playing and I get 15 minutes of cycling in, I actually notice my energy levels go up afterwards…so…)

I’m not saying this will be some magical cure to my tiredness.  But it will make me feel better about myself, and ultimately that’s what I want.  I want to feel good in my clothes, I don’t want to shy away from even leaving the house because leaving the house means having to put an outfit together and I don’t feel good in anything I own so it’s easier to stay home.  I want to see myself in the mirror and not think negative thoughts.  I don’t think it will take a ton to get to that point – I definitely don’t like the areas where I see the extra weight, but I do think my body sprang back in some ways more than I’d have expected it would after having stretched beyond what I ever thought it could have!  So I think I do have really great potential for having a nice body shape if I put the effort in to make it happen.  It’s just a matter of changing habits, which sounds simple enough, but I know it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve done, other than the pregnancies and births I’ve been through!

I can’t shy away from this not being easy, though, because the thing is, the longer I let this go, the harder it will be to make the changes.  And the less likely I will be to do it.  And the worse I will feel about myself.  James thinks this is all ridiculous and that I have a great body and he loves me so completely and it appears he doesn’t even see what I see as faults in myself.  He loves me as unconditionally as a partner possibly could, and I’m totally grateful for that.  But the truth is, if I’m not happy with the way I look, it’s not enough for him to be OK with me the way I am.  I HAVE TO DO THIS.  And I’m going to, you mark my words!  Writing about it makes me accountable, and I don’t want to embarrass myself by putting myself out there with this (and trust me, I’m feeling very exposed just discussing this) and then not following through.

I don’t totally have a game plan yet, but I still have time to plan.  I was originally planning to have already started this process but then I kept putting it off and then the holidays started and I could foresee me labelling myself an epic failure because there’s NO WAY I could get through the holidays without indulging in some sweets and c’mon, I’m not going to deprive myself of the occasional (rum and) eggnog!!  So the new calendar year is the start of a new beginning in diet and fitness, and I am vowing that I will stick to it.  And be realistic at the same time – since I have never in my life been one to diet, I don’t plan to nitpick every single calorie that hits my mouth, I refuse to live like a rabbit and completely deprive myself of any of the foods I enjoy because that automatically makes me want to indulge in the things I’m not supposed to have if I’m doing it that way!  But I do know when I’ve eaten healthy vs not, and I will eat as healthy as I can while still allowing myself to enjoy things that aren’t so healthy at times.  Just majorly paying attention to ‘moderation’ and counterbalancing unhealthy eating with getting enough exercise.  We bought our van when I was 13 weeks pregnant with the twins, I was extremely immobile due to my largeness for much of the pregnancy, then I just got used to driving everywhere when from the age of 18-33 I walked an absolute ton and just about on a daily basis, so naturally I’d be able to keep fitter with that lifestyle.  But I have the exercise bike, and I have 3 little kids that love to be chased after  and picked up and carried – there is absolutely no reason why I can’t get my butt moving and start shedding these excess pounds.

I know my new years’ resolution just turned into the longest rant ever, but I have to take responsibility for this, and this is my vow to get started on getting fit on January 1st, 2014.  This time next year, I want to be talking about what I accomplished throughout the year, not what I wished I had started ages ago!

It's Christmas time in the city!

Well, the countdown is really on now.  THREE days till Christmas.  I can’t forget that, because Andrew reminds me every chance he gets!  He has an advent calendar on the fridge (just a piece of paper with a Christmas countdown that came with his ‘Letter to Santa’ kit at the dollar store), a Kinder Surprise advent calendar (that he asks every morning if he can open BEFORE breakfast, even though I always say No!) and one with ribbons that my mom made when I was 2 and that we always used when I was growing up. 

I just about have all the wrapping done.  We have an insane pile of prezzies under the tree already, it’s absolutely crazy!  They’re not all for the kids – we have prezzies for all our family under there too – but still, we’ve never had so many presents under our own tree before!  And Santa hasn’t even visited yet!  It’s going to be a ridiculous mess of paper come the actual day.  I can hardly wait to see the way the babies react, not really having any idea what’s coming!

Last night Andrew, James and I sat cozy by the fireplace and watched The Polar Express after the girls went to bed (and we ate popcorn).  I loved it!  James left half way through the movie to make a phone call, but Andrew enjoyed the whole thing and afterwards even said that he LOVED the movie (and since requested watching it again today, although we haven’t yet !)  I was SO happy to get Andrew into that movie this year.  I have loved it since I first saw it after it came out in 2004.  But I never had anyone to watch it with because literally everyone in my family didn’t seem to care for it.  I was always bummed out because everyone would leave the room when I put it on!  Andrew didn’t like it even last year, he watched the hot chocolate scene on repeat (and I remember finding that really annoying!) but he wouldn’t watch the whole movie, and I figured that was it, I would be doomed to watch it alone (or not at all) for life.  But as it happens, the boy loved it, and I can totally see it becoming our tradition to watch it each year.  It’s only a few years before the girls will be into it, too.  It makes me so happy to start these traditions with my children.  For all the things that are difficult about raising kids, it’s the little moments like that that really make it rewarding.  I know that seems like a silly example of something that would make it worth having kids for, obviously watching a movie isn’t what makes it special – it’s just that I love to start little family traditions and to know that as Andrew and his sisters get older, they will think about a certain holiday and things like this will come to mind that they’ve always enjoyed at that time of year.  It’s so amazing to me that these people we created are having experiences that they will carry with them their whole lives through (what a concept I know – maybe I’m just being really sentimental at the moment!)

I’m really excited about Christmas, and then we have Andrew’s birthday to finish planning and then we start a whole new year.  It feels fresh somehow, even though I know it’s just a calendar and it doesn’t actually mean our lives are changing in any big way.  I do feel like it gives us the chance to make some changes though, and even though it’s totally clichéd, I plan on making some resolutions and actually stick to them this year.  There are some things I HAVE to do to make 2014 an extra amazing year – one full of health, happiness, fun, adventure.  I’m ready for it!