Friday, January 31, 2014

Prepping for school...

I just lost several days – I thought it was January 28th and in 6 minutes it will be the 31st.  Time is just going by so fast!  I can’t believe it’s nearly February…and I’ll be 34 next week!

My head has been spinning a bit the past few days, as we toured some elementary schools and looked into Andrew taking preschool classes before Kindergarten starts in the fall.  The whole school thing was starting to feel complicated because we’re actually a lot closer to a school that we always thought he’d go to, but it turns out we’re right on the border that puts us in a different catchment area.  We checked out both schools and I was hoping we’d love one and hate the other to make the decision easy – either keep him at the one he has to register at, or try to get a transfer to the closer school.  But it turned out we liked both schools equally, and if anything the one in our catchment is somewhat better in that it offers more programs than the other one.  Andrew really wants to go to the closer one, I think because we’d always talked about how one day he’d go there (because we thought he would) but we’re getting him used to the idea now that the other school will be his.  He’s not 100% sold but almost.  I think it’s a good decision, I visited it again today for info on some programs he can take part in before enrolling and really felt good about it.  I just want to get the process of registration (on Monday) over and done with so I can stop thinking about it for a little while.  I think my head might spin so fast it will fall right off when it comes time for Kindergarten to actually start…For some reason I’m really emotional about it.  I even had a few tears when I was talking to James about it the other night!  I often feel sentimental about things where my kids are concerned, but it generally takes a lot for me to cry.  I think the whole starting school thing gets me because it really doesn’t feel like that much time has passed since I was that age.  Yes, obviously a lot of time HAS passed given I’m nearly 34, but honestly, I have some pretty vivid memories of being 5 and being in Kindergarten, and I just find it so hard to wrap my head around the fact that MY SON is at that age now.  Time flies WAY TOO FAST.

We looked into Andrew going to a Montessori preschool twice a week, because we thought it might help him transition from the way his life is now (hangin’ out with me and his sisters all day) to being in all day Kindergarten when the time comes.  I thought 2 days per week would at least be something, but it turns out it was only for 3 hours each time, which made it seem a lot more expensive when all was said and done, and ultimately I don’t think that amount of time per week is really going to help the transition seem easier for him.  We’ve decided on a different preschool that I feel good about it, which is for a very short period of time each week BUT I am actually feeling very positive about how well Andrew will do when he starts school.  It’s bound to take some getting used to being away from home 5 days a week for 6 hours at a time, but I think he’ll adjust quickly to it.  He is so outgoing and excited about starting school, and he has no issues with talking to people.  When we visited a Kindergarten class the other day, one of the kids came right up to him and said, ‘Are you NOT shy?!’  LOL 

I also found a program that the girls can partake in along with Andrew, so we’re going to see how it goes doing that next week.  I’m looking forward to getting out and doing some different things than our usual.  We were basically staying home ALL THE TIME unless we absolutely had to go somewhere there for a while, in part because of the weather and in part because I wanted to keep the babies on their nap schedule (heading to bed at 11:30am, hoping and praying for at least an hour of ‘quiet’ time for me and Andrew)…Then last week I decided enough is enough and we started going out each day and lo and behold Emily got a cold, then Margaret, now Andrew…fingers crossed James and I stay in the clear.  So far Echinacea is my best friend, I swear it’s not a fluke, it really seems to be helping as I’ve been coughed on and sneezed on more times than I can count and I’m fine (knock on wood!)  BUT we can’t stay in forever just because I’m afraid of us catching something.  I think it’ll be good for all of us to be taking part in some regular activities away from home.

So we’re making some headway there.  I’m also in organizing-frenzy-mode – FINALLY.  We have lived here for a year now, since the 26th, and I feel like certain areas of the house are in such disarray that it weighs on me, so I’ve finally started on getting things straightened up.  I re-arranged the furniture in our bedroom today (with the kids ‘helping’ – they LOVED playing No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!) so we could fit the desk in our bedroom, rather than having it downstairs.  The babies are getting tall enough that they could reach most things on the desk and nothing was feeling safe on there anymore, so it made sense to move it out of sight and out of mind!  It felt GREAT to re-arrange the furniture.  It’s something I used to be so passionate about, I just rarely have the time for it these days.  I still haven’t done any of the ‘fun’ part, of changing around the ornamental stuff, but there just isn’t TIME.  It will happen though, eventually, and each time I get to work on it a bit I feel that much better about things.  Cleaning and organizing is definitely my form of therapy.

Andrew was really into drawing today, and in generally is really loving crafts more than ever.  He’s especially into drawing monsters lately, and James apparently taught him how to draw arms the other day so now all his characters have big muscular arms instead of stick arms!  It’s quite cute.

Margaret really loves the Baby 123 book (that was Andrew’s when he was little) and she points to all the right pictures when you ask her where certain objects or animals are. 

Emily loves to say ‘Mommy’ and the way she says it melts my heart instantly! 

And that about wraps it up for tonight, it’ll be morning before I know it and James is out tomorrow night so it’s going to be a looooong day tomorrow…Time to sleeeeeeeeeeeep!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The sweetest boy

I had a bit of a rough day today emotionally.  I don't even know why exactly, I just found everything either made me feel angry, annoyed, or downright sad.  I'm not usually like that, but that's just how the day went.  But I couldn't help but feel better by evening.  Andrew was excited all day about the fact that he and Daddy would build a fire after the babies went to bed, and then he and I would sit and watch a movie together.  Once we were all cozy under his Spiderman comforter with our snacks, ready to watch the movie, he turned to me and said, 'You know what, Mommy?  I wish we could just be like this forever, you and me, here, just like this!'

That boy truly knows how to melt this Momma's heart :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Gram

If my Gram was still alive, she would be turning 109 tomorrow.  Unfortunately she died when I was 16, at the age of 91.  I have such fond memories of spending time at her house, sometimes with my mom, sometimes as 4 generations of women with my grandma included, and sometimes just on my own.  She was the most amazing baker ever and could basically make anything she made taste better than if someone else tried to make it.  I remember once she made me a tomato sandwich, which sounds like the simplest thing, and yet it was one of the most delicious sandwiches I ever tasted!  My Gram was seriously the sweetest lady ever.  I may have had a biased great-granddaughter impression of her – I obviously didn’t know her as anyone but my gram – but I can’t imagine a mean bone in her body, she was just a sweet, kind, caring woman.  She was so genuine.  I miss her.

Today, in honour of her since I was thinking about how it’d be her birthday tomorrow, Andrew and I made Fruit Cookies from a recipe of hers.  She used to make them for us at least several times throughout the year, and at Christmas time she’d make them extra special by putting red and green icing on the tops.  SO yummy!  I had for some crazy reason NEVER made them since my mom handed the recipe down to me several years ago, but today was the day, and I am telling you, they are going to remain a family tradition, because they are THAT GOOD.  (Of course I’m trying to limit my intake since obviously I’m supposed to not be eating too unhealthily…which…hasn’t been going so awesomely as of yet, but yeah…more on that later!) 

While we did the baking (and the babies ran amok around the kitchen/dining room/front door area…and ate raisins (part of the recipe) (which Emily liked, Margaret turned her nose up after eating one…and then mashed some into the carpet unbeknownst to me till later…sigh!) I told Andrew a little more about Gram and the time I spent with her and how special she was to me.  I told him how much she would have loved him, and he told me he would have loved her too, and that he was already really proud of her for the delicious cookies she made!

It’s a sad reality that my children will never actually know my Gram, but I’m glad that I can keep her spirit alive by telling them how much she meant to me when she was here.  She would have adored James as well.  If only people could live forever…or at least, the extra special ones like my Gram =)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A partial post is better than no post at all!

Margaret loves to nod ‘yes’ now, but she really does choose to use that over ‘no’ in the right instances.  For example, I’ll say, ‘Ewww, it smells in here, Margaret, do you need a diaper change?!’ and she’ll pat at her diaper and sort of lower her head and start nodding, then she walks over to the change table.  LOL  Or I’ll say, ‘Are you ready for nap time?’ and she’ll nod if she is.  But she’ll shake her head ‘no’ if she’s not!  Emily shakes her head 'no' more than she nods (despite that she's actually quite an agreeable baby!), although I noticed her nodding about things a few times today.

Margaret now says ‘off’, and tries to say ‘cheese’ (which sounds more like ‘chee’) and she calls Andrew ‘At.’  Both girls try to say 'balloon', which comes out more like, 'bao'.  Emily started saying Dada for almost everything the past few days, even though she has said quite a few other words so I know she knows them!  She says ‘Nigh nigh’ for night night time and nap time and both girls say ‘Tub!’  In fact, they demand their tubby time after dinner.  When they’re finished their food one or both start chanting, ‘Tubtubtubtubtub!’  They have taken to saying it in the morning and afternoon as well – they love their tub time!  Usually Andrew gets in with them.  Luckily we have a big soaker tub so they all fit, although it’s starting to get a bit squished since the girls are getting so big, and of course Andrew is, too!

All 3 kids LOVE to dance.  Andrew has some serious moves, and loves to have an audience when he’s dancing.  He really gets into the music, and when he knows a song well you can tell because he puts the rhythm into his moves!  Margaret loves to try to mimic her big brother, and flails around and puts her hands in the air.  Emily’s signature move is swaying really far back and forth, and then every now and then she twirls around.  They are all so cute in their own ways!

Andrew is getting really good at writing his name, he can count to at least 40 (he can count further but he chooses to stop there usually, or around 36 for some reason!) and he is really good at doing math in his head.  An interesting thing he told me the other day when we were doing some numbers using stencils is that he ‘sees numbers in colours’ so he associates numbers by the colours he sees them in.  I’ve heard of that before but I totally don’t get it at all because I don’t see numbers in colours so I’m not quite sure what that’s all about!  He is getting really good at colouring in the lines when he does his colouring.  I noticed that today when he was making some masks from a pirate mask making kit he got for Xmas.  His other favourite things right now are playing board games.  We are loving ‘Who Is It?’ and ‘Gobblet Gobblers’, both of which he got for Xmas.  He also got a kid’s card holder so it’s easier for him to hold his cards when we play Crazy 8’s or Zookeeper (a play on Old Maid).

Oops, time to get boy tucked into bed…Nigh nigh!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I hate loud people

I’m so frustrated with our new neighbours.  I don’t even know who they are because there always seem to be different people there, which in and of itself is disconcerting.  They love to chain smoke outside their front door, and talk loudly while they do.  They blare their music in their car so loud that I honestly know they’re on their way home FROM OUR LIVING ROOM which is in the back of the house.  They drive through the complex and every time I’ve been right that it’s them!  It’s therefore no surprise that they like to play their TV and music on the loud side, too, with the bass shaking our entire house, sometimes till after 1 in the morning (possibly later, it’s just that’s when I go to bed.  It’s not constant but it happens enough that I am literally raging inside just thinking about it.  It was so loud again this afternoon (shaking things in our house, which to me is too loud even for day time) so I decided to go over and talk to them.  I think I mentioned before that James went over a few days after they moved in, but it obviously has done little to affect change.  So I wanted to just go over and mention that I’d be more tolerant of the day time noise – since we obviously make noise too, which can’t be helped with 3 small kids in the house – if it wasn’t for the fact that I hear it all night too, which means I rarely feel I have much of a break from it.  I wanted to mention that I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Emily wakes up often immediately following the BOOM BOOM BOOM of the bass, and it’s always between 11pm-1am that I notice that happening, and I’d really rather she not be waking up from that!  But I was greeted at the door by someone, while friendly, who didn’t wait to hear anything other than that I felt the bass was too loud and could they please turn it down…She said yes no problem but it hasn’t changed one bit since!  I came upstairs to get away from it (yet I can still feel it through the wall, despite I am on the other end of the house and on a different floor from where they’re playing the music!) and I just noticed a whole slew more people come to their place (in a different vehicle than usual but blaring their music in the same manner as the people who I THINK live there…)  Yes, it’s true I’m not a huge fan of unnecessary noise, but I’ve been living in close quarters (apartments/townhouse) since 1998 so I KNOW we hear neighbours and I’m OK with it as long as everyone’s as respectful of each other as they can be.  For example, there are plenty of times we’d love to crank the tunes louder but I just don’t do it because I know it’s not fair to the neighbours and we don’t have the luxury of living in a detached house, so we have to respect that.  It doesn’t mean I’m not OK with occasional noise, even occasional obnoxious bass, but when it becomes habitual I get seriously annoyed, and that’s where I’m at now.  I really wish a family could have moved in beside us, who had kids our kids’ ages, who we could become friends with.  Instead, we live next to the totally random party house where you never know who’s going to greet you at the door…

Friday, January 10, 2014

Twin sisters

I wrote this a few days ago but for some reason forgot to post it...I think I wanted to add more to it but since that's obviously not going to happen I thought it may as well be posted as is!

Margaret and Emily have their similarities for sure, and to me it’s pretty obvious they’re twin sisters.  But it’s also amazing how different twins are.  Actually, it’s probably the opposite of amazing, because even if they were identical, they are still two separate individuals.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the twin-factor that we sometimes forget that they shared a womb, and yes definitely share a special bond, but they are ultimately siblings just like Andrew is their brother.

Some facts about our twins:

Emily is a way better sleeper than Margaret.  She’d probably be sleeping through the night regularly if it wasn’t for Margaret causing her to stir.

Margaret LOVES her blankets and seems to enjoy having them close to her head, and she will touch them for comfort.  Emily, on the other hand, always seems to end up with her blankets in a heap underneath or beside her, and when I put a blanket on her she will generally kick her feet out from under it right away.

Margaret tends to be a tummy sleeper, whereas Emily is usually splayed out on her back.
Margaret says way more individual words, Emily tends to speak in gibberish.  She will look at you intently like OBVIOUSLY you know what she’s talking about and she’ll talkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalk in baby language.  But then there are those times when you’ll say, ‘Emily, say…(whatever it is you want her to say)’ and I kid you not, she will repeat it in perfect English and you’ll do a double take because we didn’t know she could talk yet!  The other day Margaret was doing one of her latest antics, standing on the back of the couch holding onto the banister railing, saying ‘Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh’ over and over again (because she knows she’s not supposed to do that), and Emily looked at her sister, then at me, and said quite clearly, ‘Don’t like it, nooooo!’  LOL!  I couldn’t believe it but I know what I heard!

Emily loves to climb and she can certainly get into her fair share of mischief, but Margaret is more of a going concern.  When Emily hears a stern, ‘No’ she immediately gets a lip quiver that could rival Claire Danes, and then she starts sobbing.  Margaret will hear the same exact, ‘No’ and she’ll grin and do whatever she was doing again, and then give a look like, Aren’t I clever?!
What IS amazing to me is just how much the girls know already.  I’m sure it’s normal, it just seems so incredible to me that one year olds can grasp so much of the English language and already know so much.  They wow me every day with how smart they are, following in their big brother’s footsteps, of course.

I vow to start recording tidbits from EVERY SINGLE DAY to have a good recording this year of the funny things Andrew says, and all the silly antics he and his sisters get up to.  I’m not committing to blogging every day, but if I jot stuff down, I’ll know it’s there when I want to look back.