Monday, March 31, 2014

Swimming like fishes

Yesterday we FINALLY took the girls to the pool for their FIRST EVER pool experience!  I feel so bad that they’d never been till now, since I had Andrew in swim lessons at 5 months old.  But the logistics make it nearly impossible to go to the pool with 3 kids – LITERALLY impossible on my own, nearly impossible with myself and James.  It went relatively smoothly till it came time to get everyone changed afterwards.  I threw a dress on over my bathing suit and didn’t even bother getting myself changed till we got home…and we’re considering next time doing that with the girls, too!  It was such a gong show.  BUT it was so worth it for the girls to have that experience, and Andrew, too.  Swimming was ‘our thing’ back when he was a baby – I took him for his swim lessons twice a week for a long time.  But once we’d moved and it seemed as though I was perpetually pregnant (miscarriage, short lull in between, then pregnant with twins…) it just didn’t seem possible for us to go swimming anymore.  (Not saying you can't swim while pregnant, I was just so uncomfortable and we did go to the pool once near the end of my twin pregnancy but it took the wind right out of me!)  His nana has a pool in her building so when he visits there he often goes swimming, so he’s gotten a lot more comfortable with the water.  It was amazing to see him enjoying it so much.  And the girls!  They are little naturals in the water, they loved it.

Emily tends to be the more comfortable ‘water baby’ when it comes to splashing around at bath time, so I’d predicted that she’d take to the water a little quicker than Margaret.  But it turned out to be the opposite.  It was the brightness and the sheer number of people that affected Emily, I’m sure of it.  Their twin world is so small, because we so rarely go out due to the logistics of outings these days.  So the idea of a hundred or so people milling about in this giant bathtub, essentially, was a little overwhelming!  (It’s a little off-putting when I think about it, too!)  The pool we went to is very shallow to begin with, kind of like going to the beach and slowly getting into the water.  So Margaret plunked herself down into the shallowest part of the water and just started splashing.  Within a minute she was in her ‘swimming like a fish’ pose that she does in the bathtub regularly, and was right into the whole thing!  Emily cried at first, and just wanted to be held, but after a few minutes she would walk from James to me, and let me hold her for a minute, then she’d walk back to James, and so on.  It wasn’t long before she’d warmed up to the water, too, and I took her into a deeper part and held her so she could kick her legs and pretend to swim.  She latched onto a floaty thing that looked like a barbell  and enjoyed playing with that in the water.   

Andrew showed us how he’d learned to use a pool noodle to float around, and it was just fun watching the way people reacted to seeing two toddlers in the identical swim suits, which might I add they looked absolutely ADORABLE in!  Little one piece swimsuits with a ruffle near the top, a turquoise base colour with pink flamingos all over them.  SO CUTE!!  I really wish we could have got a picture of the kids in the pool, that would have made me so happy, but there was absolutely no way it could happen, because one of us wouldn’t have been able to hold the two babies for the length of time it would take to get the picture taken and the camera put back somewhere safe.  But that’s OK, I’ll never forget how adorable they looked, and it makes me so happy to know I have 3 kids who all love the water!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Progress is made

I can finally say I am actually making progress with organizing our house.  It’s a MAJOR work in progress, and I have to wrap my head around the fact that it’s never ending, because of course it’s impossible for everything to be perfect in its place – especially where 3 little rugrats are concerned!  BUT I feel like I am getting there, slowly, bit by bit, and it makes me happy.  The kitchen project has been a huge inspiration!

As for the kids…The past week or so when the babies finish a snack or something is gone, they’ll put their hands out, and sometimes will say, ‘All done!’ (which sounds more like, ‘Ah dun!’)  Frozen (or ‘Freee’ as it’s referred to in Baby Talk) is still a big hit around here, and today I noticed Margaret would clap when good things happened during the show.  They also enjoy the Curious George movie, and try to say ‘Curious George’ but it comes out nothing like it!  Andrew was downtown today at Nana’s but usually he’d watch CG with his sisters.  When I suggested putting it on for a few minutes just while I went to fix us some lunch, Margaret nodded and said, ‘Yaaaah!’  Then she looked around and said, ‘Andoo!’  She was actually missing Andrew and wondering where he was, because she associated the movie with sitting and watching with him.  How CUTE is that?!  I actually had to remind her several times throughout the day that Andrew wasn’t home, because she would just start saying his name.

Both girls LOVE this magnetic sketch pad thing that was actually Andrew’s but they’ve basically claimed it now.  They take turns drawing on it and then push the button along to erase the picture to start over.  (By ‘taking turns’ I of course mean that one baby has it, the other sees that the other has it and rips it away from them, and tears and sometimes screaming ensues, and Mommy intervenes…LOL…but over all they have a lot of fun with it, and SOMETIMES they do actually share it!)

Emily loves the Jeff book (from the Wiggles) but interestingly neither girl is all that interested in watching the Wiggles DVDs we kept from when Andrew was their age.  He loved them so much we took him to a concert, but they’re indifferent.  (Which is good because I wouldn’t spend another dime on the Wiggles after the way Sam was treated, and they’re not really the Wiggles anymore anyway given that Anthony is the only one left, I really can’t get used to a new group of Wiggles LOL).  Anyway…they also love a nursery rhyme book, as well as one from when Andrew was little called Zoe’s Sunny Day, and all the ones with lots of pictures of animals and random stuff that they can point to.  They know what so many things are already, it boggles my mind. They love all books, really, and just learning in general.  They play with their toys so nicely, and love stacking blocks and this little ring stacker thing they have.  They really use their toys and seem to enjoy them.  The past few days whenever Emily does something she thinks was particularly clever, she'll smile and say, 'Wow!', likely because she often hears me say, 'Wow, good job!'

Andrew needs a post all about him, I feel like I’m totally leaving him out and that’s not fair.  He’s such a cuddle bug, I love how sweet and cuddly he is.  He loves it when I tuck him into bed more than anyone else – mostly because he knows I’m an easy mark and will always read one (or two, sometimes even three!) more books after I’ve said no more.  He is also happy to get into our bed with me and have me tell him stories about when I was a kid, or just whatever, and he’ll fall asleep there and James transfers him to his bed later.   But more about him and his hilarious antics later…Right now it’s time for sleep!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A major sense of accomplishment

Once again it feels like forever since I’ve had the time to write…although this time I feel like I have a pretty good excuse.  I’m pregnant!  

Haha, no just kidding (that was mean, wasn’t it?!)  LOL, seriously, NOT pregnant, and NEVER again will be!!!   I’d be insane if I had any more children, I’m 100% sure of that.  (Love you, kiddos…just don’t want more of you!!!)  No, actually I’ve been busy because every spare moment I’ve had has been spent painting our kitchen.  I’ve probably sounded like a broken record for how many times I’ve said that I love the layout of our kitchen but HATE it aesthetically – to the point that I would honestly say I was embarrassed by how awful it looked.  Now, I feel proud of it.  My dad helped me a bit but I did almost all the painting myself, and I can’t believe what an amazing transition it is.  It went from brown with so many nicks and chips in the wood, and just totally nasty OLD to completely updated, freshly painted WHITE.  We also added black knobs as none of the cupboards or drawers had knobs.  I LOVE white cupboards and while I would obviously prefer new cupboards that are white without being painted (and therefore chip-able), given that we’re in a rental it’s AWESOME.  We got the go ahead to make the changes as long as we paid for it ourselves, and because we had almost all the supplies needed for the job, it only cost a little over $100 to do the whole thing.  I only finished it yesterday and I feel like it has already paid for itself!  I just love it so much, I feel so happy when I go into that area of the house now, rather than sighing deeply in my head wondering how it could look THAT bad.

The con-tact paper I chose for the counters while the cupboards were still brown matches nicely with the white, and the kids are loving the chalkboard wall I did behind the counter in the dining room.  The babies tried it out for the first time ever tonight and loved it immediately!  (I just have to watch they don’t try to eat the chalk…or run into my fresh new kitchen and ruin the cupboards with it…aaaahhhh!  I am so protective of them now…the babies too, but I’m talking about the cupboards LOL).

I haven’t had the chance yet to re-arrange the stuff on the counters, although I know I can’t do much in that regard since I pretty much already have everything where it’s most functional.  I just feel like that’s part of the fun – doing a little something different with the set up.  I have a few ideas in mind for art work I’d like to get, or better yet make myself based on things I’ve seen on Pinterest, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to that.  I will say, though, that I found this project VERY inspiring.  I used to paint (not a job quite this big but feature walls/accent furniture, that sort of thing), but it has literally been YEARS since I really did anything noteworthy.  I had nearly forgot what an important part of my life it used to be to change things up like that, and feel that sense of accomplishment once the project was complete.  Sadly, I just so rarely have the time these days.  For this project I MADE the time, and even when I was sick and really should have just been resting, I plowed through and kept going (partly because I am stubborn and once a project like that is started I feel like I have to finish it as soon as humanly possible, but also because it was a total nuisance not being able to allow the babies into that part of the house while the cupboard doors were off!)  This project therefore proves that if I really want something badly enough, I CAN make it happen.  On the other hand, there were times where I felt it was going painfully slow in comparison to how quickly I could have done it all if I didn’t have so many little people to look after when all I wanted to do was PAINT!!  I enjoyed it though, it really reminded me how passionate I am about being creative and I can’t stress enough how good the sense of accomplishment feels now that the vision has become a reality.

I love our kitchen now!  As Andrew would put it, ‘I don’t like it, I love it!’  and I truly do.  I like how much counter space we have, I like how many cupboards there are, the functionality is awesome, and I LOVE the way it all looks!  I’m excited to start on a new project soon, there’s no stopping me now =)

(I will post before and after photos soon...I really have to get my act together and start posting pictures again...)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A mixture of things

I feel like lately it’s been a whirlwind…I can’t even remember what we’ve been up to!  Right now my dad and I are in the midst of painting out our kitchen.  All the cabinets are going to be white.  I LOVE it already, we’ve done the top cabinets and, wow, what a difference it has made already.  I do worry about the paint chipping though, especially the bottom cabinets with 3 little kids who love to play in the kitchen…If anyone has any tips on how to avoid that (beyond not letting them in the kitchen, which isn’t an option!) let me know!! 

I’ve been getting a lot of stomach aches lately.  And headaches.   The headaches are normal, it’s all part of my cycle and happens twice a month (although the headaches last a long time or are recurring).  I was told by my dr to take B6 vitamin pills each day but when I do the stomach aches become unbearable (despite taking them as per how the label suggests, with food).  I stopped taking them and then the headaches came back…And now I seem to be getting stomach aches all the freaking time.  So I don’t know what’s up with me.  I also am just at the beginning of a cold, which was inevitable given that Andrew has had it for several days, and now the girls seem to be getting it as well.  The really sucky part is that it seems to be primarily a cough.  I hate getting a cough!

Speaking of coughs, our neighbours are such crazy chain smokers that they are constantly about to cough up a lung, and it really makes me wonder how they’re still smoking.  When you get to the point where you have a really croupy, nasty cough ALL THE TIME, wouldn’t you start to think about quitting?  The other day I saw one of them walking down the street literally about to have a lung fly right out of her mouth she was coughing so bad, and as soon as she reached her driveway, she lit a cigarette!  I’m somewhat disgusted by them, I have to admit.  It’s also the Momma Bear in me reacting, because when I go to put the kids into the van, the second hand smoke wafts through and we’re all breathing it in, and when we’re playing out in our little front yard space, if they come out to smoke during that time it’s unbearable.  Once we’re spending more time out there in the spring, I’m going to have to say something to them, because it’s really not fair to make my little children breathe in all that second hand smoke.  They have 2 young kids themselves and smoke openly right around them, which I personally take issue with…I know it’s their decision to make, but I just don’t know how you could in all good conscience smoke around children when you KNOW that it is negatively affecting their bodies. 

Anyway.  End rant!

The other day when I was bringing the babies downstairs after nap time (I’m still able to carry both babies down the stairs one on each hip, I wonder how long that will last as they’re at least 25lbs each, Emily might even be a bit more, so that’s a lotta baby to pack!!) I said to them, ‘Look, there’s Andrew, so hi to Andrew!’ and Margaret said, ‘Andoo!’  Then yesterday whenever she was asked to say, ‘Andrew’ she’d say, ‘Andoo!’  It sounds SO CUTE, I can’t stand how cute it is!!

Both babies are obsessed with the movie Frozen, Margaret especially.  Every once in a while she’ll look at me and say, ‘Freee!’ and that means Frozen.  She is SO happy when I put it on, she sits in her pink club chair to watch it.  LOL

Emily is really into dancing lately, and she also loves to run around the room, gleefully!  I’ll say, ‘Run, run, run!’ and I noticed this morning after I’d say that she’d say, ‘Ruh, ruh, ruh!’  So cute.  She squeals when she’s excited or does this adorable little giggle thing, like if you give her a snack she really enjoys she makes this noise to let you know she’s so happy about it.  Margaret can’t scream!  Emily will let out an ear-piercing scream as Andrew likes to call it, and Margaret will try to do the same but it comes out more like a throaty laughter sound.  So funny.

Both girls love their bath time but Emily especially loves the water.  She’s really taken to having a little container or toy she can fill up with their little tub time tea pot toy.  We keep wanting to take them to the pool FOR THE FIRST TIME which is soooo sad to me since they’re just over 17 months now (I can’t believe my ‘babies’ will be a year and a half in less than a month, UNREAL.) but it just never happens because something always comes up.  This weekend it’s because we’re all getting sick, last weekend there was something else.  I of course can’t take all 3 on my own so I can only go when James can go with me.  I’m REALLY hoping next weekend can work out…I know they are going to absolutely LOVE the experience!  And I got them the most adorable little swim suits!!!

We just heard on Friday that Andrew didn’t get into the school that’s closest to us…He’s still on a wait list to get in but the chances are pretty slim that it will happen now.  I feel really bummed about it, but of course am not letting on to him that I’m disappointed, as now I’m all about pumping up the school he’ll be going to.  It just sucks because the closer school would take 5 minutes to walk him to, and the one he has to go to will take about half an hour each way.  It’ll be great exercise and I know I should look at it that way, but realistically, it would be nice to not have to spend 2 hours a day walking to and from that school 5 days a week!  Especially when it’s rainy, I can’t see us walking for that length of time, so there’ll be a lot of driving happening.  I’m so not looking forward to the routine we’re going to have to get into, my life is going to get so much harder LOL  I don’t do mornings, or should I say, I don’t do mornings not in pajamas!!  Being ready and out the door, and for that matter having me AND 3 kids ready and out the door by just after 8am, well just shoot me now!!!!!

I’m really looking forward to the spring and summer, though, and I want to come up with some extra special things to do with Andrew before he goes off to school.  I know it’s not like he’s being shipped off to boarding school or something, but starting all day kindergarten after being all day with mommy his whole life is a pretty darn big deal to me!  I want to make the warmer, sunnier months extra special with him so we’ve created some memories together, because while I know he’ll have summers off regularly, he won’t have spring time to just spend with me and the girls anymore.  OK, I have to stop thinking about it, I am seriously not ready for my ‘baby’ to be starting school in the fall, clearly!  I just feel like the past 5 years have literally flown by and it just doesn’t seem right that he should be so grown up already.