Saturday, August 09, 2014

Two weeks

Not quite sure how its been over 2 weeks since my last post...I feel like we’ve done so much the past few weeks, too, and now I feel overwhelmed with how much I have to try to remember to piece it all together!

On the 24th my mom had her left knee replacement.  It was a bit of a whirlwind leading up to her surgery date, as she was only given 10 days notice.  It was a long time coming, yet it felt so last minute once it was finally happening.  I was pretty wrought up about the whole thing, and felt fairly stressed out for several days before and after her surgery.  It went as well as it could, she’s healing nicely and I’m hoping she’s going to get her mobility back finally, which she hasn’t had for YEARS now so it’s a pretty big deal.  It just felt like a bit of an emotional rollercoaster I think, having it sink in that it was finally actually DONE, yet knowing the hard work she has ahead to get right on track.  It’s been a bit of a crazy time, but I’m happy and relieved that she’s doing so well 2 weeks post op.

On July 26th (a Saturday) we went downtown for part of the day.  It seemed like an odd day for us to go downtown given it was a fireworks night, and we weren’t actually attending the fireworks (but somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400,000 people were!) but James’ bro and new girlfriend were visiting so it’s just the way it worked out. It ended up being kind of nostalgic to me being downtown on a busy summer day.  We used to live right in that area, and while it makes way more sense to be where we are now - I love the amount of space we have, as well as the relative quiet - being there made me miss the lifestyle we once had.  Still, it was fun just taking the kids to second beach for the afternoon, having a little picnic and a walk along the sea wall.  Andrew loved the playground at second beach, and getting a bunch of ‘vintage’ mcdonald’s toys from a garage sale in the area (!!!)  The girls enjoyed their adventure on the beach and dipping into the ocean.  Especially Emily, she is such a little water baby.

The 27th was James and my 7 year wedding anniversary.  It’s crazy to me that it’s been 7 years since that day.  Pretty much that entire day is so fresh in my mind, as if it were yesterday, and yet it was that many years ago already.  My aunt and uncle came over in the early evening to look after the kids so James and I could have a date night to celebrate.  We went to a Thai restaurant on West 4th that we really like and had the chef’s platter of vegetarian dishes, which were all really delicious (although slightly on the too-spicy side for me...might have to ask them to tone it down a bit next time, but James loved it!)  After dinner we took a leisurely stroll along kits beach, sat on a bench by the water for a while, and finished off the night with a gelato waffle cone before heading home.  It felt like a really romantic and fitting way to celebrate, especially being close to the water when our wedding (and honeymoon, for that matter) theme was beach/nautical.

James had booked the 28th off so his mom came over to look after the babies while we took Andrew to Playland.  Of course eventually the girls will get to go, too, it’s just that there really isn’t much for them there yet, and we wanted to get the full experience with Andrew.  He’s 43 inches tall now, so he’s onto the next level in terms of rides he’s able to go on that he was too short for last year.  It was so much fun, we went on the small rollercoaster 4 times, our (his and mine, not so much James’!) favourite ride was The Scrambler, which we went on twice, we went on the Ferris Wheel (which he said as he got off of it, ‘Im NEVER going on that ride EVER. AGAIN.!’ and I kind of have to agree!  Something about the way it sways and how you’re stuck at the top waiting as people at the bottom are getting off and on the ride just doesn’t appeal!)  He went on the motorcycles, Super Slide (all by himself) the Carousel all by himself for the first time ever, we went on the hot air balloons, tea cups, you name it, if he was big enough we did it.  Bumper cars were fun!  James and Andrew rode in one car and I was on my own, and Andrew had a field day making sure they bumped into me every chance they got (and thought it was funny when I bumped into them, too!)  We had cotton candy, popcorn, and luckily brought our own water and other food to avoid insane costs.  Andrew loved that the Haunted Mansion (which he’s still way too young to go into) had made some additions with a few creepy new characters added to the outside of the building.  Last but certainly not least, I went and checked if he was tall enough for the log ride and sure enough, he was one inch above the minimum height so I convinced him to go on it and OMG!  What a thrill!!  Andrew was totally freaked out and I don’t blame him, I was too, truth be told.  Basically within seconds of going down the first slide, which seems relatively big, you’re going up the steep embankment to the ridiculously high drop off, and you can see people going down it and screaming their heads off.  Andrew was sitting in front of me (and I was holding onto him tightly!) and he said, ‘I don’t want to go on the big one!’ and I had to tell him it was too late!  Up we went...and D-O-W-N we went!  It was crazy, I haven’t been on a ride like that since I was in Disneyland in 1998.  It’s a feeling I get in nightmares sometimes, where I know what’s about to happen but I can’t do anything to stop it, and I’m slightly terrified!  That completely out of control feeling where you just have to brace yourself and let it happen.  He was a good sport about it but yeah, I don’t know if he’ll go on it again with me next year or not!  We didn’t buy the picture because it was insanely priced ($9 for one 4x6 print) but I kind of regret not getting it now, because it was kind of priceless.  The look on Andrew’s face was a perfect depiction of how he was feeling in that moment!!

Fast forward to the next weekend because there’s no way I can remember all that happened during the week, and we come to July 31st, a Friday but James booked it off for a vacation day.  His mom was going to look after the kids for an overnight deal so James and I could go away for a night somewhere like Harrison Hot Springs like we did once what seems like a lifetime go, but it wasn’t meant to be so she said she’d look after the kids for a whole day at least so we’d get a good chunk of time together (well, we sort of had to press a bit to get that amount of time, and then didn’t completely get it because she called to let us know Andrew wasn’t being entirely cooperative so we didn’t feel comfortable staying out as late as we would have otherwise, but I won’t get into all of that…)  We did have a good chunk of time out, probably about 6 hours, which for the two of us to have together just us is generally unheard of (sad, but true).  We went downtown and biked through Stanley Park a bit, shared beer and French Fries at Stanley’s in the park (not super vegetarian friendly or we’d have had a proper meal there), drinks at the Westin lounge, we cycled to a place called Crab Park where we ate take-away baguette sandwiches from Finch’s (good, but it’s not the same as Baguette Time, which I don’t know if I’ve mentioned is GONE, which has left me heart-broken...and craving sandwiches I will never taste again...but anyway)  It was SO nice and so much like old times to be hanging out at a park together having a little picnic, chatting, taking in all the sights.  We loved that part the best of our whole day.  From there we cycled back to Canada Place and went to the Flyover Canada ride at the Imax theatre, which is a total tourist trap in the sense that it’s crazy expensive for the shortness of the ride, but it was SO COOL, I’m really glad we did it.  We both loved it.

On the Saturday I went for a short visit at my mom and dad’s to check in on my mom (it’s tough not being able to visit at all during the day on weekdays, but I can’t take the babies over because they wouldn’t understand not being allowed to climb up on my mom’s lap).  After the girls’ nap time we had planned to go out to a park for the afternoon but it was such a ridiculously hot day that we decided to just stay home, fill up the pool in the backyard and stay in the shade.  In the late evening James and Andrew went downtown to watch the fireworks, and Andrew stayed over at the mil’s (she has a view of the fireworks from her place) and James cycled home after the show.  On Sunday we relaxed at home till after the girls’ nap, and then headed to Queen Elizabeth Park.  They have a huge water fountain that people use as a pool, which we discovered last summer and had a really fun time hanging out at.  Last year the girls were much less stable on their feet and basically had to be held the majority of the time.  This year they were running around, splashing, having so much fun.  We set up a little picnic area where we parked the stroller, and the girls would occasionally run over there and then back to the fountain to play in the ‘poo’ which is how they say pool (actual poo is referred to as ‘poop’ so there’s no confusion there! lol)  It was nice to see the girls exploring their independence and playing so nicely in the water.  They absolutely loved the whole experience.  James’ mom dropped Andrew off and he changed into his bathing suit and had a chance to run around and play in the water for a while before we’d had too much sun and had to leave.  He really wanted to stay longer but they arrived an hour later than we were supposed to meet up and the girls had had way too much sun by that time.

We wanted to pick up a gift certificate for my cousin’s bday present so we went to Red Robin to get that and decided to have an early supper there so we wouldn’t have to think about cooking when we got home.  It wasn’t relaxing for me and James at all, entertaining the kids the whole time and making sure they were eating/food wasn’t going all over the floor etc, but as far as restaurant experiences with little ones go, we were really pleased with how well the kids did.  They weren’t very noisy at all, and were really well-behaved, and seemed to enjoy their food.  They all got some ice cream for dessert, which was a definite highlight!

Monday was my cousin’s bday party at my aunt and uncle’s place downtown, so we went to that and got to meet some of my cousin’s partner’s family, and hung out with my bro and sil.  The kids did really well at the party, especially for being the only kids there, they didn’t get into any mischief and the babies were so good about not going for wine glasses and cups that people inevitably left out on toddler-reachable tables!  It was exhausting for James and I because we unfortunately find most people (even family) very unhelpful with the kids (my aunt and uncle helped as much as they could, but they were also hosting the party) but I will maybe save that rant for a future post...It was of course a lot of work with how busy the kids were, but ultimately I thought they were amazingly good, and really enjoyed the party,  We didn’t leave till almost6pm and given their bedtime is 730, we were nervous they’d fall asleep on the way home and bed time would be a disaster, but they didn’t fall asleep at all (Andrew did LOL) so bed time was fine and they slept pretty well after all the excitement of the day.

It was sad to have the long weekend end, I love having James home with us so much.  I feel overwhelmed during the week when it’s just me all day long with the kids - not that I can’t handle it, it’s just a lot to take on, and I’m always fighting exhaustion on a different level than I do on the weekend.  Also, we just enjoy James/Daddy’s company!  The girls often say on weekdays, ‘Daddy.  Bike.  HOME!’ like they know he went to work on his bike but they want him to be home already, and I can’t help but agree with them!  Andrew, too, he’ll say, ‘Daddy, do you have to go to work today?’ and James will say, ‘No, it’s the weekend’ and Andrew will get all excited because that means he gets more father/son time =)

While I’m at it, we had some fun adventures during the week this week, and I felt good about getting the kids out a few times.  Last weekend we started getting Andrew out on his bike more.  He still uses training wheels because we so rarely get him out practicing given how chaotic life often feels with twins and a lack of time.  But we really want him to be training wheel free before the summer ends, so he started practicing more on the weekend, and a few nights this week James took him out in the evening to get some more practice.  He’s doing really well and if he goes out just a few more times for practice rides, I think he’ll be able to start riding without the training wheels.  On Wednesday night we met up with James after work at Confederation Park and the kids loved playing on the new playground and especially in the water park.  It was SO nice to get them all out running around enjoying the summer evening not just in our backyard or inside as per usual.  It felt really good for me, too, to be out like that and not be just doing our usual of sticking close to home.  Then on Thursday, Margaret was downtown at the mil’s so after Emily slept for 2 hours I went and woke her up (or she’d have slept the afternoon away, which would have been perfectly fine except then we wouldn’t have had time for an outing!) and we got ready and I took her and Andrew to a park we’d never been to before that has a wading pool and activities set up throughout the summer.  It turned out to be a really great park, definitely one I’ll take the kids back to.  I wouldn’t be able to manage all 3 kids there on my own, but we will figure it out so we can go back!  Andrew got his face painted like a pirate and made his own little pirate hat, and after we hung out there as long as we could handle being in the hot sun, we went to White Spot so they could have a Pirate Pak.  I found it a bit challenging there with the 2 kids on my own - there’s NO WAY I’d take all 3 to a restaurant on my own till they’re much older!  But they did seem to enjoy it and it was a different experience for us, since it’s a rare treat that we’d do something like that.

We have some fun things lined up for this weekend too - hopefully it won’t take me so long to write about this time!

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