Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On the mend



I am finally FINALLY starting to feel better from this stupid illness that I’ve had for over a week now.  It feels like so much longer since it started.  I was starting to feel like I was never going to get better.  I’m still stuffed up but not nearly as much.  The main symptom I’m still dealing with is feeling really woozy, like I’m hopped up on drowsy inducing medication when I haven’t taken anything.  But I feel so much better than I did even yesterday.  I REALLY hope this is it for a LONG while now.  And hopefully the kids get better too, their sniffles seem to be endless.

On Sunday James took the kids to my mil’s for a few hours and I went to Jysk with my parents and got a few things for garden.  I got a trio of colourful birdhouses, which I’m totally in love with.  I can see them through the kitchen window and they make me happy!  I also got a bamboo blind to put up as a barrier between our yard and our neighbours’ yard (the neighbours I am not so fond of).  They put up a giant tent in their yard but I wanted to have something there anyway, for one to block them out but for another because the fence is so old and the wood is so ugly, I wanted to make it look a little nicer.  The dark bamboo blind was the perfect thing!  I’m getting another one so we can cover the entire fence, and then some other bamboo thing to totally separate our yards so the babies won’t feel compelled to walk over in the little area that’s open between the fence and the big tree.  It’s looking so nice out in our backyard now, and my dad put the fence together for us on Sunday when we got back from the store.  We were going to have him make a fence, but then we decided not to sink more money into this place right now, especially when we don’t know for sure how long we’ll live here given how we feel about the neighbours (I feel like I’ve written that before…I probably have…Really not a big fan of those neighbours!!) so I came up with the idea of using some of the panels from our superyard that we don’t really use anymore.  All my dad had to get were 4 pieces of rebar and some zip ties and the fence was ‘built’ in about 5 minutes!  I’m actually really happy with it.  Of course a ‘real’ fence would look nicer, but I’m used to the panels for how long we had them blocking so many things inside the house, it doesn’t bother me in the least to be using them outside now.  They are probably one of the greatest things I ever bought (most of them second hand) – a lifesaver when babies are small and into things they shouldn’t be, for sure.

It started raining (torrential) within minutes of my dad finishing putting the fence together, so we didn’t actually get a chance to use the backyard till yesterday.  I was a bit nervous that the fence wouldn’t work to keep the girls in, but lo and behold it is amazing.  Margaret went over to it and tried to shake it loose, and I said, ‘No Margaret, this is where our yard ends now!’  She threw her head back in annoyance and said, ‘Oooooooh!’ in this way she does when she’s ticked off, then she smacked the fence LOL.  But after that she was fine with it, and of course Emily was fine with it because she’s totally easy going about such things.  They are loving the yard and I am loving how well all 3 kids are playing together.  I put together their little climb and slide thing, and they all took to that right away.  Of course Andrew is too big for it, but he’s enjoying the novelty of it for now.  I put the pool on the deck and some water in it with the intention of washing some of the summer toys, but as soon as I’d put the water in (despite that it was freezing cold water from the hose) both girls got into the pool and sat down, in full clothing!  LOL  It was hilarious, and they didn’t want to get out either.  They played in there for quite a while, especially Emily.  Then they’d get out, go play on the slide or on the rocking moose that was Andrew’s when he was their age (and I’m so glad we kept it, they’ve already used it more than he ever did!) and then they’d go back to the pool.  I opened up a bin of outside toys and they had a field day checking out all the stuff they’d never seen before because last year they were too little for most of it.

A few hours after we were out there the first time yesterday, Margaret motioned to the back door again and whined, and I said, ‘You want to go outside AGAIN?!’ and she nodded and said, ‘Yaaaaaaaah!’  So off we went.  All 3 kids slept straight through the night!

We went out several times again today, and it got so warm that I felt like it was summer time already.  It’s supposed to keep getting warmer and be perfect for the weekend, which is awesome since we have plans to be outdoors.  I’m starting to feel better in time for the nice weather, and it feels great knowing this is just the beginning of the warmer months to come!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Colds and kids



Andrew came down with a cold while on his trip with my mil two weekends ago…I came down with it last Monday, and at first I was sure it would be a short lasting cold because it came on SO suddenly, I figured a couple of days and I’d be fine.  Wrong.  I have gotten sicker as the days have gone by, and the past several days it has felt like more of a flu with a cold mixed in.  I’ve been so achy and the smallest of tasks makes me feel completely exhausted.  I did a little grocery shop yesterday and ended up with a fever when I got home.  Not good.  I am SO plugged up and in general feel kinda sorry for myself.  It’s so hard looking after little ones and not feeling well.  I haven’t really had much of a chance to stop and rest, and when I do get the chance to sleep (at night) I can’t lay down properly because I cough and my nose bothers me.  SIGH!!  REALLY hoping it goes soon.  James is the only healthy one of the lot of us, fingers crossed he at least manages to continue avoiding this bug.

Anyway…

Andrew’s really enjoying his pre-school class.  After his first class he didn’t seem super excited, and actually told my mom that ‘it was OK, but I don’t need to go back because there’s nothing they can teach me.’  LOL  This week he really seemed to enjoy himself and was really enthusiastic talking about his experience afterwards.  He got a ‘Terrific’ sticker on his little worksheet and he was so proud of himself!  I watched him a little bit when his class was first starting, and again near the end, and he was listening intently and doing everything he was supposed to, so I am fully confident he will do great when Kindergarten starts in the fall.

He’s loved doing projects since he was really little, and has loved to draw for a long time, but never put a whole lot of effort into detail until recently.  Now he is all about the details in his drawings, and he will actually sit on his own for good chunks of time (which for him means half an hour or so – it’s true he doesn’t have the longest ever attention span, though I think it’s normal at his age!) and just draw.  He has taken to drawing arms without just scribbles for hands but rather making shapes that look like actual fingers, drawing more detailed faces, and using several colours in one picture.  He’s actually getting quite creative with his drawings, and I like seeing the different images he comes up with.

The kids got a bubble blower machine from my parents for Easter and they love it, we put it on the table on the deck and Emily points at it and says, ‘Bubble!’ and Andrew pops them as they come out, which makes Margaret giggle.  It’s so cute to watch them have their outdoor play time – which I’m HOPING they’ll have more of soon…the weather never seems to stay nice for more than a day or two, and lately it has felt fairly cold whenever we’ve gone out.

Tomorrow my dad is building a little fence for our backyard so we’ll hopefully be able to contain the girls to our area and not have them running off in opposite directions out there!  I’m hoping it works.  I’m also hoping our neighbours (the ones I don’t like) don’t spend too much time out on their patio smoking cigarettes and marijuana, which are their two favourite past times (their third and forth being coughing up a lung after smoking, and making excessive noise with their bass).  Not my favourite people in the world…somewhat of nightmarish neighbours for me, actually.  I don’t want to get into it right now, but they definitely cause me stress.  I don’t want to let them chase us out of here, though.  I love our place, so I have to try not to let them ruin it for me.  I’m excited to have the fence put up and be able to start getting out in the yard more, get it cleaned up, and the kids’ little slide set up and whatnot.  They’re going to have so much fun playing out there this summer, I just know it.  Especially once it’s time to set up the little pool!

The girls still really love their tubtubtub time, and whenever they’re in the tub now, Emily points to the counter and says, ‘Tee!’  meaning she wants to brush her teeth!  So they pretty much always brush their teeth in the bath now.  Last night Margaret got out of the bath first but was annoyed that her sister had her toothbrush and she didn’t have hers (I couldn’t find it, they obviously hid it somewhere) so to distract her I said, ‘Why don’t you go get my brush and I’ll brush your hair?’  I have always combed their hair with their baby comb, I’ve never used my brush on them before, yet she immediately knew what I meant.  She went over and tried to reach up onto the counter for my hair brush but was just slightly too short, so she stood on the scale and was able to reach it, and really enjoyed having her hair brushed (despite that she still doesn’t have all that much of it!!)


Monday, April 21, 2014

A weekend of birthday and Easter celebrations



Saturday was James’ 35th birthday.  I can’t believe he’s 35.  In 2 years, we’ll have been together for half our lives!  That blows me away.  At the same time, I honestly can’t imagine how I could have ever not known him.  He’s such a huge part of me.  As I like to remind him, I will be with him for all eternity =)

Anyway!  His birthday went well.  I made Eggs Benny with bagels instead of English muffins, and tomato instead of meat (of course) and the kids all enjoyed it, too.  James’ mom and her sister came over for a little ‘party’ (his brother was supposed to be here, too, but he couldn’t make it).  James hadn’t seen his aunt in 20 years, and since we’ve only been together for 15, that means I’d never met her before.  It was interesting meeting my mil’s sister, and seeing how they’re similar and also how they’re totally different.  It was a good visit, and I had the babies in the absolute CUTEST dresses!  I actually got them at Army and Navy, which I’ve only ever gone to once and truthfully probably will never go again (although they had some good kitchen stuff I MIGHT check out one day, unlikely though!)  I really hated the store, but the dresses I got were SO CUTE I couldn’t pass them up!  Peachy pink with big white polkadots, I really should post a picture.  They looked beyond adorable.  Andrew wore a new outfit GG got him when she was over – red/green/blue plaid shorts with a bright blue polo that looks like it has an ipod in the pocket of.  Totally suits him!  

James seemed to enjoy his birthday, although Andrew was really moody and kind of awful at the party…It was ‘Superman’ themed, so I got plates and napkins, and 3 cool hanging decorations that I put up in the kitchen.  Andrew and I made a little sign for beneath the Happy Birthday sign by the fireplace, that said ‘Happy 35th Birthday to one super dad!’ and had a picture of James’ face on Superman’s body!  Andrew and I also hung some balloons in red, blue, and yellow.  It felt like the theme came together pretty well.  For his bday we got James a bunch of things – some new shirts and a pair of shorts from the kids, an itunes gift card from Andrew, a coffee grinder and some coffee beans from me, various types of booze from me (Scotch, some interesting ‘ginger wine’, ‘Cloudy Lemonade’ and beer), and salt and pepper grinders from Fifi!  LOL  James has said for a while that he wished we had a pepper mill so he got one for his birthday, from the cat!

It seemed strange having James’ birthday and Easter in the same weekend.  I don’t recall that ever happening in James’ and my relationship.  His mom said it was Easter weekend the year he was born, so who knows how often it actually happens.  We stuck to our tradition since Andrew was 2, where he and James go out mid morning and I let the Easter bunny in to do his thing.  I got the babies down for their nap, off the boys went, and the Easter bunny got to work!  He brought lots of little eggs for the kids to find, and little buckets with their names on them to put the eggs into.  James and I also got the kids some Easter prezzies – the girls got an outfit each, cute little plaid shorts and pink shirts with a bunny in a cupcake on them.  I also got them some girly straw hats from the dollar store.  Andrew got something he’s wanted for a LONG time now – a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lamp for his bedroom!  He was absolutely thrilled.  My new ‘rule’ is that the kids get a gift on special occasions, and maybe once in a while they can get something ‘just because’ when we choose, but I don’t want to get in the habit of just buying them stuff.  I mean, obviously I buy them new clothes here and there and stuff I feel they ‘need’ but I feel like Andrew was getting to used to ALWAYS getting something if we went out – even if it was just at the dollar store.  When it becomes expected, there’s something lost because there’s a sense of entitlement, and I reeeeally don’t like that.  Also, the fact is, we won’t be able to afford to buy something for THREE kids all the time once the babies are old enough to understand if Andrew’s getting something – they’ll undoubtedly want something, too!  If we were having one child only, maybe we could get away with spoiling him…but I’d actually like to get away from that much consumerism anyway.  Ultimately we’re not doing them any favours if we spoil them, so I am conscious of it.  Still, it’s fun to get them a little something on an occasion like Easter.

Their hunt for the eggs went well, the babies of course weren’t quite as into it as their brother, but they found a few things, and of course enjoyed devouring some chocolate when all was said and done!  Andrew had a blast finding all the eggs.  After the hunt at our house, we went over to my mom and dad’s and they got Easter buckets there, too, and we visited with my bro and sil for a bit, and then had a little bday celebration for James’ with my parents, complete with red velvet cake!  Way too much sugar this holiday, omg.  Till now I have never had much willpower when it comes to chocolate being around me, I just can’t help myself when I know it’s there (or, should I say, I DO help myself when I know it’s there!!)  So wanting to lose weight, it is going to be a major challenge to keep myself out of the ‘chocolate cupboard’ that we seem to have stocked up now.  BUT I am going to do my very best, and just remind myself of my goals when I start to head in that direction! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sitting on the front stoop, blogging

I went for a brisk walk today on my own, finally working toward getting fit - slowly.  I have done a terrible job so far, given I intended to start this journey in January!  I forget how quickly the days pass by, and then suddenly I realized April will soon be over and what do I have to show for it, aside from those same pesky 'love handles' I so desperately want rid of?!

I started doing a great workout on YouTube that I think if I stick with regularly I could really be getting fit - the only problem is I HAVE to do it in our living room (it requires a lot of jumping jacks, which wouldn't be good for the floor upstairs and would be super noisy!) and I'd prefer to do it during the day as it gives me energy - working out at 10pm once everyone's asleep is less than ideal.  The problem is, I started doing the workout with the kids around, and the first time Andrew got annoyed because he didn't want to watch it, and the next few times I've attempted it the girls (usually Emily) run toward me when I'm mid jumping jack (not safe!) and doing sit ups - forget it, all the kids want to pile on top of me as if it's a game!  Andrew I can talk to and get him to understand why it's so important for mommy to get fit, but the girls don't understand so I can't stop them from getting in the way.  I can't always find the time to do the type of workout I feel I need to do to truly get fit, and that's the reality/challenge I'm working with.  BUT with the nicer weather and it staying light longer, I hope to at least find more evening time to get out and be getting exercise of some kind.  Anything is better than nothing!!

I am also watching what I eat, drinking lots of water, and desperately hoping eventually I'll see some results. 

It's hard, even a brisk walk - the hills can seem endless and I kick myself for feeling so winded over something I could do so easily pre-twin pregnancy.  But I thought about it while I was out there - if I'd started this as I'd originally planned in January, I'd be fit by now, or at least much more so than I am now.  So I feel motivated to get er done, because if I get going strong on this now, I WILL be at a level of fitness I can be proud of in 4 months - which means I'll be feeling better about myself by August.  Not to the point of where I want to be, obviously, but a better place than I'm at now.  I CAN DO THIS!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recent events and baby talk



My desire to blog regularly and keep on top of what we’ve been up to has clearly been an epic fail.

What we’ve been up to lately:

Andrew started pre-school and seemed to enjoy his first class.  It’s just once a week but I think it’s going to be good for him, and he already (sort of) made a new friend, who we played with at the park for a while after his class ended.

While we waited for Andrew’s class to finish, the babies were napping in their stroller (due to failing to nap at their usual nap time at home before we left) and then Margaret woke up and immediately wanted out of the stroller, given what a novelty it is for her to be out.  So I took her out, just crossing my fingers that Emily wouldn’t wake up, because then she’d want out too and I’d be stuck forcing them both to stay in the stroller since I just can’t manage them both on the loose.  Margaret had an absolute field day running around on the grass.  Then she slipped in a big pile of mud, which didn’t stop her at all, if anything in hyped her up even further, and I had to run after her with the stroller so she wouldn’t roam too far from me!  She had really cute spring/summer pants on, too, and they’re basically permanently stained from her adventure, but oh well.  She had fun, and that’s the main thing!  By the time Emily woke up it was time to go get Andrew, so I had to force Margaret back into the stroller, but it worked out over all.

I took the kids to a tennis court for some play time on Friday afternoon.  It’s really the only place I can take the kids and not really worry that they’ll get hurt.  There are no guarantees, of course I still try to stay close to where they are, but having them confined to one area makes life SO much easier.  I literally CAN’T take them to a playground by myself, it just wouldn’t be safe, and it’s so stressful.  The girls ALWAYS run in opposite directions and I can’t just choose one to deal with and not be worried about what might happen to the other one!  So if no one is wanting to play tennis, we take the court over!  It was a lot of fun, I even thought ahead and brought a ball so they were able to kick it around, and it was just generally a lot of fun.  I also did a LOT of walking that day and got a ton of exercise, which was good.

We went bowling with GG on the weekend (me, Andrew, James, and obviously GG…who was over visiting for a few days).  It was Andrew’s second time ever bowling and he loved it every bit as much as the first time.  I played horribly the first game but made my comeback in the second and actually won the game!  (Although I told Andrew that he and I had tied for first, which some people might frown upon but come on, he’s 5, and he played really well!)

On Monday Andrew went downtown with James in the morning and then James’ mom took Andrew to Saltspring Island to visit his uncle (James’ brother).  It was Andrew’s first 2 night trip away from us, ever!  He did so well, he really enjoyed himself and was polite and well behaved pretty much the whole time, which is awesome.  He got to see a friend of his the same age who he met when they were 5 months old and they played really well together.  I was a little apprehensive at first to let him go because we all know I have some issues with my mil and her being the one taking him was maybe a tad difficult for me in some ways, but on the other hand I know it’s important for him to have these experiences, so I wanted him to go, especially since he was so excited by the idea of it.  I was also happy to have him spend time with his uncle, who he almost never sees anymore.  He was supposed to spend the day in Victoria today with James’ dad, but he started coming down with a cold so my mil brought him straight home this morning instead.  I had a feeling he would get sick on this trip, given that she took him when she JUST CAME DOWN WITH ACUTE BRONCHITIS A FEW DAYS BEFORE GOING but I won’t even get into that…I just have to keep my fingers crossed that none of the rest of us get it, because I can’t even stand the IDEA of another cold making the rounds through this house.

James’ birthday is coming up on Saturday, and I love that tomorrow is ‘Friday’ since the actual Friday is a holiday and James will be off.  So, so happy about that!  We’re having a little birthday party for him on Saturday, Sunday will be an Easter egg hunt for the kids…lots going on for the weekend!

In other news…the girls are saying so many more words now.  Margaret especially (although Emily KNOWS all the words, too, and sometimes will come out with a word that I wouldn’t expect her to know, she just doesn’t necessarily say it every time you ask her to!)  Margaret says, ‘Andoo’ for Andrew, ‘Emiy’ for Emily, and hearing her say the names of her siblings MELTS MY HEART literally every time!  Imagine the cuteness level of an 18 month old walking over to another 18 month old to give her a slice of pear while saying, ‘Emiyyyy!’ to get her attention!  It’s seriously one of the most adorable things ever.  Margaret likes to mimic words when we say them now, and she can say all sorts of things, such as, Hi, Bye, Cheese, Juice, cookie, cracker (comes out more like ‘cacker’) apple, nana (for banana), there are so many more but I can’t think of them right now.  She LOVES Curious George now and will say, ‘George!’ when she wants to watch him!  She’s obsessed.  I found an old CG t-shirt that was Andrew’s from a couple of years ago and gave it to her and her eyes bugged out of her head and she screamed, ‘GEORGE!’ which sounds a little more like GEOGE!  So cute.  Despite all her talking, Margaret’s favourite word for just about everything is, ‘Nooooo!’  On Saturday GG taught her to do a really silly face and when we say, 'Margaret, show us your face!' she takes on this hilarious stance and scrunches her nose to make a funny face!

Emily has really got a handle on ‘baby talk’ and speaks full sentences, just in a language we don’t understand.  But you can tell she knows exactly what she means, and sometimes she’ll give a really furrowed brow when we don’t respond, like she’s frustrated and doesn’t understand why we have no clue what she’s saying.  She calls most people, ‘Mommy’ but I KNOW she knows I’M the real Mommy =)  She says bubble (she loves it when we go outside and I blow bubbles, which we’ve been doing the past week in our little front yard, on the nice days at least).  She says Hi and Bye with so much enthusiasm!  If someone’s over and they say, ‘Well I guess I should get going soon’ or something to that effect, Emily immediately pipes in, ‘Byyyyeeee!’ with a big wave.  LOL  She also says, ‘Dada’ when she passes something to someone.  We used to say, ‘Ta’ to Andrew when he was little like them, meaning, ‘please’ and he would give us what he was holding.  He made his own variation of that as he learned to talk, and said, ‘Tap’, or ‘Tap tap.’  So without thinking I started off saying, ‘Tap!’ with the girls instead of Ta.  Well, Emily turned it into, ‘Dada’ (she says it fast when she means Ta, whereas if she was talking about her actual Dada she says it slower, or says Daddy).  I noticed in the past 2 days that Margaret is adopting the ‘Dada’ word, whereas before she was saying, ‘Tap.’

The girls both love their books, particularly ones with lots of pictures of different things.  In one book there’s a page that just has a million random things all over it and I was amazed today watching Emily pick things out quickly as I asked her if she could ‘see a bear’ or ‘see a ball’ etc.  She even pointed at a sheep, and said, ‘Baaa!’  Margaret does the same.  They also love to say Popcorn, Bo (for Bo on the Go), Up, Baby (they loooove babies, especially Emily, she is such a little mother already with her dolls!)  Yesterday we went to my friend’s house who has 4 kids, 2 being twins a little younger than my two.  Emily kept pointing at them saying, ‘Baby!’ and would lean in to give a kiss…interestingly only to the boy LOL.  I think she has her first crush!

Actually that’s a lie – the girls FIGHT over the giant Superman doll Andrew got with his birthday money!  It’s their height, and they seriously take turns just dragging him across the room, then I will find one of them just standing there hugging him or holding him, staring at him, giving him a kiss, it’s hilarious!  The other day Emily was crying over something and I couldn’t seem to console her so I said, ‘Why don’t you go get your boyfriend and tell him about it?’ and she walked over and got Superman and brought him over to me, and stopped crying!  LOL  It’s really too much!! 



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