Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Done with cribs...

The girls are both talking up a storm these days.  Emily still says more sentences than Margaret but they both have a huge vocabulary already.  Way more than what Andrew was saying at this age.  The other day on James’ way out the door to work, the hood of his jacket hit the wreath Andrew and I made and one of the pinecones we’d glued on fell off.  Emily say it and said, ‘Oh GAWD, he broke it!’  LOL  It was HILARIOUS.  I fully admit, I say, ‘Oh my gawd’ A LOT and have since I was a teenager, I can’t help it.  So of course she’s picked up on that, it’s just funny that she understands the context in which to use it.  

So, BIG NEWS...On Andrew’s very first day of school (Sept 23rd) Margaret figured out how to climb out of her crib on her own.  My mil had come over to watch the girls so I could take Andrew to his first day on my own.  When we got home we were sitting at the dining room table and heard Margaret, but we thought we were just hearing her on the monitor and one of us would go get her in a minute.  No sooner did my mil get up to go get her, we could hear her bounding down the stairs and then there she was, with a big cheeky grin on her face, obviously very proud of her accomplishment.  Emily was still sound asleep and hadn’t seen what her sister had done, so we hoped Margaret would just ‘forget’ and not do it again for a while.  She was fine for a day but then on Friday at nap time, JUST as I was about to get started on a project I was hoping to finish (it was my first day, too, of the babies’ nap time coinciding with Andrew being at school, so literally my first chance for ‘me time’ in ages) I heard Emily on the monitor say, ‘Naughty Emmy!’ and then I heard a bang against their bedroom door.  (Emily was actually saying naughty MARGARET, but they both call each other Emmy still).  So I went and opened their bedroom door and sure enough, Margaret was out of her crib with that cheeky grin again.  Only this time, just as I opened the door to witness it, Emily was being an escape artist too, and she slid out of the crib so effortlessly, like she’d done it a hundred times even though I know it was the first time for her.

They didn’t nap AT ALL on Friday, which made for a very long day for me.  It’s hard enough getting into the groove of getting up earlier to take Andrew to school, getting the girls back home afterwards, going back to get him in the afternoon...I was REALLY hoping that I was going to get a bit of a ‘break’ in the day now that Andrew would be taken care of at school, and the girls would be napping...I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself losing that freedom because they chose the same time as Andrew starting school to be little big shots and not be in cribs anymore.

In one last ditch effort to keep them ‘confined,’ we did what several moms of twins had recommended to me - take the piece of the crib out that holds the mattress up off the floor and just have the mattress directly on the floor, just with the frame around it.  

‘It will be too low to the ground for your babies to escape,’ they said.  ‘You’ll be able to keep them confined for at least a few more months,’ they said.


At 5:50am the next morning, BOTH GIRLS were outside our bedroom door, Margaret the ring leader beating on it to wake us up…….!!!!!

So our little plan didn’t trick them.  We had no choice but to convert their cribs to toddler beds, so that’s our new situation.  On Saturday morning James got the beds converted, just in time for them to go for their naps.  He decided it would ‘take a BIT more time’ but would be easy to get them down for their nap.  Well, it was an absolute STRUGGLE for about an hour and a half, close to 2 hours.  Margaret kept getting up and crying when we said she had to go back to bed.  Then both babies pooped their diapers.  Twice.  Then Margaret kept getting into Emily’s bed and I would hear poor Emily on the monitor saying, ‘No!  MY bed!  NOOOO!  Emmy’s bed!  MY BED MYYYYY BEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!’  I’d go in and Margaret would be sprawled out on Emily’s bed with her arms up behind her head, grinning away!  She is such a little scamp, that one.  And there was Emily, crying, just wanting to settle in and go to sleep.  I left and went back downstairs, and a few minutes later heard Emily on the monitor saying, ‘GO night night.  GO night night.  GO NIGHT NIGHT!’  And then Margaret yelled back, ‘NOOOO!’  LOL  That right there tells you their personalities, seriously.  It was so them.  Emily loves her sleep and I bet if she was a singleton she’d have slept in her crib no problems till she was 3 if we’d kept her in there!  She loves her sleep and that’s all there is to it!  But Margaret, being the little instigator that she is, and not being one to sleep longer than she has to, changed it for both of them.

When I heard Margaret gargling her milk on the monitor I was about to head back up and sternly tell her one more time to GO TO SLEEP.  But soon it was quiet and they’d FINALLY drifted off.  Margaret only slept for maybe 45 minutes but Emily continued to sleep quite a while after that.  Last night was their first night in their big girl beds, and it went a lot better than we’d expected.  Margaret did get up several times before she finally settled, and Emily got a bit annoyed with her for making so much noise but eventually they were both sound asleep.  

When I went to go to bed, I looked in on them and couldn’t see Emily in her bed.  I thought maybe she’d got into Margaret’s bed with her, but I could just see Margaret’s feet sticking out off the side off the mattress.  No Emily.  She had fallen out of bed, obviously, and was asleep on her tummy by the bureau that’s in between the two beds!  It was hilarious and I took a picture before I picked her up and got her back into her bed.

A few days have passed since I wrote the above...The girls are mostly doing well in their new ‘big girl bed’ situation, although their napping has become a lot less predictable.  Margaret’s never been the greatest napper but now she either naps really well, or not at all.  And when she doesn’t nap at all, she tends to take Emily down with her.  Yesterday, when James had the day off work and was able to give me time to nap regardless of whether the girls napped, they slept for 2 hours.  Today when I was on my own with no help at all, they napped for less than 10 minutes.  Murphy’s Law, or…?!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's officially Fall...

Andrew’s first week of school went really well but he was soooo tired by the end of the day on Friday that he was completely hunched over and not quite himself.  Not fussy and tantrumy either, just really quiet and we could tell by the look on his face that he was out of sorts due to exhaustion.  I felt so bad for him!  I know he’ll get used to his new routine, and it’s not that he doesn’t enjoy school itself, I know he’s happy while he’s there.  It’s just a really long day for a 5 year old.

On Saturday my nana and one of my aunts came over from the island for a visit.  We had them and my parents over for an afternoon pizza party.  It felt like this weekend went by WAY too fast.  Other than the visit, the only thing I really did this weekend was clean up the backyard and all our spring/summer stuff is now packed away.  We still have the slide and climber out because there’s nowhere else to put it, and there might be some days when it’s decent enough to go out there and play as long as we’re all bundled up.  But the rain is supposed to set in tomorrow so I wanted to get as much done getting stuff today this weekend while it was still nice.  Even when its been rainy lately it has been so warm.  I hope it stays mild like this for a while, it’s definitely not hot like summer but it feels more like summer than fall.

Even though I miss summer already, there are things about fall I enjoy.  Andrew and I made a fall wreath for our door and we have that up now, as well as some fake fall flowers to match that we’ve put in the front yard to give it a bit of colour.  I miss our birdhouses and all the fun ‘flair’ we had going on in the garden for summer, so I wanted to do something for fall, too.  We also have a cute little scarecrow type character in the front yard that adds some cuteness to the mix!  Pretty soon we’ll be removing some of that stuff to decorate for Halloween...I want to wait till the middle of October to decorate but I don’t know if we’ll be able to wait that long.  Andrew and I are itching to get all our Halloween boxes out from under the stairs to get decorating!  We have almost as many Halloween decor boxes as we do Christmas.  It’s a big deal at our house =)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kindergarten success

Andrew is LOVING Kindergarten, I’m so excited for him.  Yesterday he was there for an hour and a half, today it was a little over 3 hours, tomorrow will be 4, and then on Monday he starts all day.  He attended his very first ever assembly this morning!  I thought I was going to be super emotional about him starting school, and I’m definitely noticing the change and I know there are going to be times when I’ll miss how our lives were before this, but I’m finding myself so excited to hear about his day and I love knowing that he will have memories of his own from this experience that he’ll carry with him his whole life.

It’s a lot more tiring for me now - I get up half an hour earlier than I used to just so I can get myself ready before James leaves for work.  I could get up later but then I’d have whiny children bugging at me the entire time I’m trying to get sorted for the day, and truthfully I prefer losing a bit of sleep and keeping my sanity intact (at least for those few minutes while I get ready!)  James has been enjoying seeing me ready for the day in the morning - not that he doesn’t love me even in my jammies with bed head or whatever, but he’s not used to seeing me dressed to go out with my makeup done (the little bit that I wear, it’s not much!)  In some ways it’s nice to be ready for the day so early, but at the same time so far I’ve been having to change when I get home from dropping Andrew off anyway, because it decided to start raining on his first day of school and has rained every morning since.  It’s not cold, but the rain sucks.  I miss summer already!  Anyway, it’s somewhat frustrating getting the stroller in and out of the car so many times every day and having to weigh the pros and cons of letting the babies out of it at the school, since Margaret in particular loves to run off when I tell her to get back in.  But I know eventually we’ll be so used to the routine that it won’t be a big deal anymore.

Today was the longest Andrew has EVER been in a class situation (just over 3 hours) and when we got home I asked him if it felt like a long time to be there and he said, ‘No, it felt like I was there for 5 minutes!’  I take that as a very good sign that he’s enjoying himself, and there’s so much going on that he doesn’t think about the time.  He needed this, actually, because he’s been getting so antsy at home lately and in need of more than I can give him given the girls and their needs, so I’m happy that he’s started this new adventure.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Andrew's first day of Kindergarten. (Sort of).

Today was Andrew’s very first day of Kindergarten.

I was so nervous (yes me, not him, he literally had zero apprehension about going) and then the actual experience ended up being a total let down.  We were so excited and had built up the day so much and then we got there only to discover that ALL they wanted us to do today was sign up for an ‘interview time’ for tomorrow.  The kindergarten teachers weren’t even there introducing themselves and making the kids feel like it was a special day.  It was just an empty room (not even the kindergarten classroom!) with a signup sheet.  Not how I’d expect the first day of school to be.

I took Andrew to White Spot for breakfast so he’d at least feel like we’d done SOMETHING special on this so-called ‘big day.’  It felt like such an important milestone to be starting school and I didn’t want it to go uncelebrated.  So we went and had pancakes and strawberry waffles and did some colouring and I think he really enjoyed that (as did I).  My aunt and uncle were over looking after the girls so we could do the school thing (and breakfast) just the two of us.

Tomorrow my mil is going to stay with the girls while I take Andrew to the interview.  It’s kind of lame knowing that his second day of school is just a 15 minute interview, but at least we have a better idea of what to expect!  And at least we’ll actually know who his teacher is and see his classroom.  They start off gradual from Wed-Fri this week and then starting next Monday it’s all day till 3pm.  Usually they transition over the span of two weeks but because of the teacher’s strike and already losing 2 weeks of the year, they’re doing it in just one week.  I definitely think it will be an adjustment for Andrew, and this is where kids used to full time daycare will have an advantage, but at the same time Andrew is very outgoing and I think he will adapt quickly.  Certain things about being there all day might be challenging, but I think it’s the same for anyone starting a really different new routine.  Once he gets the hang of it, I know Andrew’s going to really enjoy school, and I know it’s going to be good for him.

I got a good vibe from the school and the people I did encounter, despite that it wasn’t any of the teachers.  I think that while certain things will frustrate me about the school system and the logistics of drop off/pick up, I also think this new routine is going to be good for me, as well as for Andrew.  I just can’t believe he’s already starting actual SCHOOL.  Next week when he starts full time, it’s really going to have to sink in that THIS IS HAPPENING, and I’m feeling a bit emotional just thinking about it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

So that happened...(I'm still in shock)

Today I got the biggest scare of my life to date.  I feel traumatized by it, and haven’t been able to shake the feeling it left me with since it happened.

It was such a beautiful, hot, sunny day and I didn’t want to waste it staying home since I know our hot summer days are nearly over till next year.  When I suggested we walk over to the lake to feed the ducks, all 3 kids were raring to go.  I’d been saving some old bread for this exact purpose, so once I packed up the stroller with some juice and snacks for the kids, we were off on our mission.  Emily was so excited she was saying, ‘Quack, quack, duck!’ on the way.  The girls had never been out of the stroller to feed the ducks before as the last time we went (its been awhile) they were fine with just staying in their stroller and watching Andrew do the feeding.  I was somewhat hoping they’d be OK with that scenario this time, and maybe just throw some pieces of bread from their seats, but I knew that wouldn’t actually happen because who would want to just sit there strapped into a seat when they could be free?!  Before I unstrapped them from their stroller I said that they had to be REALLY CAREFUL not to go near the edge by the water, and that no one was allowed to fall in because Mommy didn’t want to have to go in after them.  They understood as best as almost-two-year-olds can, and I wasn’t really that concerned because I used to take Andrew to feed the ducks at Lost Lagoon all the time when he was little and there were never even any near mishaps (and Andrew is a total klutz!!)

I’m sure you know where this is going...We did have a few minutes of happiness, maybe two minutes?!  Andrew seemed so gleeful at how the ducks were responding to his bread throws, and I remember thinking how we should do this more often.  I took a few pictures of the kids and then was just watching them throw the bread, when out of nowhere Margaret ran too close to the edge (it happened in a split second) and before I could blink my eyes she was in the water.  I couldn’t believe it...but at the same time I can’t believe how quickly my instincts kicked in.  I threw my phone somewhere on the ground behind me and jumped into the water so fast and grabbed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her head up out of the water.  The image that haunts me is of the way she was floating face down, and starting to sink further under to the point I couldn’t see all of her, and her face was still completely under the water.  It totally freaked me out.  I just grabbed her and pulled her out of the water as quickly as possible, and basically threw her up onto the embankment (not literally, I didn’t THROW her, but I placed her there really fast because I also needed to get myself out of the water ASAP!)  This particular lake is not one anyone in their right mind would ever go into willingly.  There is even a sign that says, ‘Swim at your own risk.’  The water looks murky and gross from outside the lake, well let me tell you it is worse on the bottom.  It was like quicksand and I started sinking further in as soon as I jumped in, which actually made it harder to lift Margaret out, because I had no leverage.  As soon as I moved my left foot, my flipflop was off and I could tell it was sinking further into the sludge and then when I took a step to get Margaret out, my other shoe was gone.  There wasn’t even a second of thought that I might retrieve the shoes, I knew immediately they were done for.  I started to panic slightly when I realized I was sinking so much that I wasn’t easily able to hoist myself out of the water, and for a moment I thought I was going to be stuck there till someone could help me!  I started yelling out, ‘HELP, SOMEONE HELP ME!’ but there was no one around but us.  (Andrew told me later that he was standing by holding out his hand and he was going to save me, but I didn’t look his way to know he was there for me - how sweet is that?!)  I finally did manage to gain enough leverage holding onto the little ledge above the water and climbed out, then I scooped Margaret up and asked if she was OK (she said yes) and took her to the bench nearby to hold her and get a better look at her.  She was shocked but otherwise seemed fine, she didn’t cry, she didn’t cough and didn’t seem to have any issues with her breathing.  I can’t see how she didn’t ingest any of the water, which has me worried because I wouldn’t doubt there being e.coli in there or something, but she hasn’t shown any signs of any issues from it, and I got her out of that water at lightning speed.  She was under for MAYBE 5 seconds, although I still think that’s a long time to be in gross murky water when you weren’t expecting to be.

So there we were, covered in muck from the nasty lake, me shoeless, and now I’ve got to try to force Emily back into the stroller, when she’s wondering why we’re leaving so soon when we just got there!!  I literally had to grab her up while still holding Margaret and get her into the stroller, then I got Margaret in, which I hated to do because it meant getting the stroller covered in nasty ‘swamp water’ but what else could I do?!  Andrew was most concerned about my shoes because I just got those flipflops this summer and he knew I loved them and he didn’t like that I was going to have to walk home in bare feet.  I didn’t like it either, but I told him that shoes are just ‘things’ and I didn’t care at all about losing my shoes because all that mattered to me was that Margaret was safe.  I wish I still had my shoes, now that I think about it I’m a bit sad to not have them, I actually loved those shoes, but who cares, they are so easily replaced!  I am just SO GRATEFUL that my baby girl is safe, that all 3 of my kids are safe.  That split second really smacked me in the face and it’s not that I didn’t know how much I love them because I think all the time about how much they mean to me, but wow.  I can’t even think about the what if’s on this one.  It’s too scary, and it was way too close to me today, what could have happened.  Way too close for comfort.

So what was going to be a nice long outing to feed the ducks, then wander to the park and maybe kick a ball around, turned into a very fast barefoot walk home after less than 5 minutes at the lake, and the rest of the day feeling such a heaviness from the day’s events.  I definitely gave all the kids extra hugs and kisses, and had a lot more patience with them throughout the day (although at the same time it was so hard not to just break down, because I felt so distraught but had to continue on about the day catering to their usual needs).  We got home and the girls and I had a tubby to clean off all the grime (Emily got a bit dirty when I had to scoop her up into the stroller).  Tonight James hosed down the stroller and sprayed it to get the nasty out of it.  

I just can’t believe that happened to us.  Seeing her in the water like that, totally helpless, it’s every mother’s worst nightmare.  When I was talking to Andrew about what a scary experience it was, and how bad I felt about it happening, he told me that I shouldn’t see it that way, because the way he saw it, I was the biggest superhero ever because I jumped in and saved her life.  I appreciated him saying that, but I definitely did not feel like a superhero today.  I hope that’s our only brush with the possibility of something horrible happening, it was too much for this Mama Bear to handle as it was!  I tossed the rest of the bread when we got home, I don’t think we’ll be feeding the ducks again for a while.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's all about me...for a few hours at least!

I got my hair cut today.  My hair was longer than it had ever been in my life, and was about halfway down my back.  It took a long time to grow it out, and there were times when I enjoyed it, but in the last few months I realized that really long hair is not for me.  I am actually vowing to never again in my life grow my hair THAT long.  It just isn’t comfortable, and I either don’t have the time or simply can’t be bothered doing things with it such as curling it or following through on cute hairstyles found on Pinterest, so it feels like long hair is lost on me.

Before she did anything else, my hairdresser chopped off about 4 inches of hair and tossed it.  I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders!  I definitely made the right decision.  I now have a graduated bob, where it’s shorter in the back than the front, and my bangs are an angled fringe.  (Not sure if I’m using the correct hair lingo, but that’s the gist!)  I also splurged this time and got my hair coloured as well, with a brown colour that’s a shade or two darker than my natural hair, and then lowlights in a vibrant-ish red/pink colour.  It’s not as vibrant/wild as it sounds, it’s quite subtle and I think I’d get more of the red put in next time to give it a bit more of an edge, but I love the way it turned out.  It feels light, it will be so much easier to dry and style, and it feels like it has a lot more personality.  I’m not saying long hair doesn’t look good on other people, but for me it just felt boring.  I love this short ‘do!

It was also somewhat therapeutic for me to have several hours out on my own, where I was actually doing something FOR ME.  I don’t really take proper care of myself, I think.  I always put other people before me, particularly my kids, because I want to provide everything FOR THEM and when it comes to me, well, I tend to just put myself on the back burner.  I keep putting off taking care of myself.  I felt so much better today when I got home from having spent several hours away.  It’s been a long time since I did that.  I was probably gone for about 6 hours and that might not seem like a long time, but it was huge for me to get that time for me.  

When I came in, I had hot spaghetti and garlic bread waiting for me, which was AWESOME of James to make because I hadn’t eaten in so many hours and on the drive home was secretly hoping he’d have made a dinner like that!  Andrew complimented me on my hair right away and wanted kisses, Margaret wanted a cuddle, and Emily had the sweetest reaction of all.  She came over and touched my hair and actually looked at it front to back and grinned and said, ‘Ooooh, pretty!!’  A few minutes later she was behind me and she pointed at the back of my head and said, ‘COOL, COOL!’  LOL  It was SO cute, she really genuinely seems to love my hair.  She’s quite into fashion and whatnot so I do take it as a compliment =)

I feel a little better about myself with my new hair.  I still have to get used to it because when I catch sight of myself in the mirror I don’t look quite how I remember myself, but it’s a good change!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Andrew's first visit from the Tooth Fairy

On Sunday, August 31st, Andrew lost his very first tooth!  It just so happened to be the very first baby tooth that came in (bottom front left).  His bottom front right tooth is probably going to come out tomorrow.  My baby boy is growing up too fast!

He bit into a fork several weeks ago, which definitely helped spur along the loose tooth, but I think it was going to be happening anyway.  I just can’t believe he’s already at this stage.  I love his baby teeth so much, I hope his adult teeth come in as straight and as beautifully as his baby teeth did!

Andrew is quite the little hoarder, he doesn’t like to part with ANYTHING, and so of course when we discussed the tooth going under his pillow and the Tooth Fairy exchanging it for money, he wasn’t having any of it!  He said that he wanted to keep his very first tooth, and after that he’d be happy to give them to the Tooth Fairy.  Besides, he said, ‘I don’t really spend my money anyway, and I’ve got tons of it already, so I don’t really need the dollar, but the tooth on the other hand…!’  LOL  He’s a character.

The Tooth Fairy understood his desire to keep his tooth, but at the same time felt bad that she wasn’t getting to do her job, so she visited Andrew anyway and left him a glittery letter!  She congratulated him on being so brave when his first tooth came out, and promised to take good care of his teeth when he leaves them under his pillow in the future.  She also reminded him how important it is to brush and floss.

I was all excited when I got up in the morning, fully expecting him to tell me all about the letter as soon as he heard me get up, but when I went into his room to quickly make his bed before heading downstairs I saw that the letter was on the floor, as was his pillow.  They must have fallen off the bed when he got up and he wasn’t expecting the Tooth Fairy to visit so he didn’t even think to check.  I took the letter downstairs with me and told him I’d found it under his pillow when I was making his bed, and he was VERY excited!  He was thrilled that the Tooth Fairy visited anyway, despite that he was keeping the tooth, and he was relieved to know she didn’t find it in the Tiffany box he was storing it in on one of his shelves!  (The only Tiffany box this house has ever seen, which by the way had a baby rattle in it that he got when he was a baby...I don’t happen to own any fancy Tiffany jewels, which I’m totally OK with!)  

Because he now had a letter to go with the tooth and it would be awkward to fit in the Tiffany box, Andrew insisted we find him an envelope for the letter, which he wrote ‘Letter from Tooth Fairy’ on the front of in big 5 year old lettering, and then I had to make a teensy little envelope to glue to the back of the big envelope to put his tooth in.  I swear it’s his new most prized possession.

What a huge milestone!

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