Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gym update

I’ve been doing really well with getting to the gym 3 times a week.  I’ve gone 4 times a week a few of the weeks, but generally it’s 3.  I definitely don’t think I look different, but I can honestly say I already feel stronger (I can do more reps with higher weights in the same amount of time from when I first started, and when I used my exercise bike at home yesterday I noticed I have more strength in my legs, too).  I usually do the circuit, sometimes some of the machines more than once, and sometimes add on some minutes using the elliptical. I do want to make a goal of going for a bit longer than I usually do, so I can fit in more extras beyond just the circuit, but the convenience of a quick 30 minute full body workout is great, especially when I have a few other errands to run, and only a short amount of time to get it all done in.

It feels great to know I’m getting some regular exercise and getting stronger.  I say I don’t look different because I don’t think anyone else would notice it, but I HAVE noticed that none of my pants are fitting quite the same, and they slide down and it really gets on my nerves.  I’m not ready to go out and buy a new size of pants yet, but I do think it’s a sign that an inch or two have dropped from my waistline already.

I find on the days that I go to the gym, I eat better than on the days that I don’t.  If I go on the weekend it’s best because I go earlier in the day, so I am more mindful of what I’m putting into my body the rest of the day because it seems pointless to follow a workout by eating junk.  Not saying I eat all that much junk, but just things like crackers and cheese or chips and salsa can be bad if you’re not really monitoring it.  When I go to the gym in the evening after dinner (which is my usual routine), I find I don’t snack much in the evening.  I have one snack because I’d be starving if I didn’t given how late I go to bed, but I don’t eat much and I’m more careful about what the snack food is.  So I know that if I incorporate this food stance into my every day and ate a lot more mindfully, I’d be dropping a lot more inches.  I really need to get on that...Food is so hard to give up, and while it’s not like I just sit around and binge eat because I don’t, I also don’t know that a true ‘diet’ in the sense of cutting stuff out and never allowing myself to have it again would work for me.  As soon as I think I ‘can’t’ have something, I seem to want it all the more!  I also think life is too short to deprive oneself of the things they love - although of course having those things in moderation is also important to living a long life.

It feels good to have that bit of time to myself, even if it’s just an hour, to know I’m going and doing something productive for myself.  It’s a really supportive environment, I never feel self-conscious even though the thought of a gym atmosphere would generally make me feel uneasy.  I feel really good about the choice I made.  

Unfortunately this week is going to be a total bust, unless I can drag myself there tomorrow, which I will depending how I feel.  I’m getting sick and am currently feeling the horrible feeling I always get in my chest/throat before the cold really takes hold...So frustrating.  I feel like we only get a few weeks of good health between all the viruses we end up with.  I’m so tired of it.  And now of course I feel way too out of it to be able to go to the gym, so then I feel like the little bit of progress I’ve made will be easily lost...But there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.  I just have to get better so I can get back to it.  It’s only been 3 days since I went, so I’m not too far gone!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Follow up doctor's appointment

The weather has gone back to being quite cold, and somewhat rainy.  I hope it clears up soon so we can get back to spending time outside.  Our backyard feels like a disaster at the moment and I want to get back to working on it!  My dad cut the bush out from the back of the yard, after we got permission from management, and then the gardener for the complex was kind enough to offer to get rid of all the clippings for us (which was great because it ended up being a bigger job than we had anticipated).  It frees up so much space to have that removed, I love it.  Now we’re working on getting them to build us a fence, which it sounds like might be an actual possibility...If we could have that done before summer I would be SO happy.  I can’t wait till we have everything done and can just be out there admiring how nice it all looks.  It’ll be a while yet, but we’ll get there.


Andrew is at a birthday party right now, for probably his very best friend in his class.  They’ve had a few issues in their friendship over the past few months but they really seem to like each other a lot.  This is the first birthday party Andrew has been to for his own friend that he didn’t meet through a friend of James or myself.  He was so excited to get the invite!  


The cold that Andrew and Margaret had seemed really mild, but it was either slow to really take hold, or they came down with another cold as soon as they finished that one.  Andrew didn’t go to school on Friday.  He’s better today, but still coughing.  Margaret has it really bad, to the point she sounds like a seal when she coughs and her little voice definitely sounds sick when she talks.  Emily inevitably came down with it as well, unfortunately.  So they haven’t been feeling so well for the past few days.  My parents ended up catching it from them, most likely when they looked after the kids on Thursday while I went to a doctor’s appointment.  Because they were already coming down with it, Andrew went for his sleepover at their place last night, so it felt like a big weekend for him between that and the party today!


This morning James woke me up a bit before my alarm to suggest that we get ready and take the girls on a little hike/outing to a park, first stopping at a bakery for a yummy breakfast treat.  In theory it was a great idea, and I wish it could have all gone smoothly, but the reality is that it was way too cold out, and the park was wet so Emily’s pants got soaked and then she was miserable and just wanted to leave - within about 5 minutes of arriving.  Margaret enjoyed playing in a sandbox, though, and I can definitely see us going back on a warmer day just for that!  Instead it was home for a nice warm bubble bath and cuddles on the couch watching The Little Mermaid.

So my doctor’s appointment was on Thursday.  I was following up after getting the ultrasound and bloodwork done both to find out if there’s some reason for my horrible periods since having the twins, as well as to find out if I have allergies/figure out how to deal with some of my food allergies.  When I called literally a month before I got in to see the doctor, the receptionist told me that he had gone over all my test results and everything looked normal so that was that.  But I said I wanted to book a follow up because despite what the tests are saying, I’m still having the same issues and need to figure out how to deal with them.  Good thing I did that, because it turned out the doctor had NOT got the ultrasound results!  As James said, it’s nice to know (sarcastically) that I could have had something awful going on and we wouldn’t have known for months or longer because the doctor never would have looked into getting the test results if I hadn’t gone back.  Our healthcare system really has a lot of faults.  But anyway...he was able to get the results right then because I was able to tell him where I’d gone for the ultrasound.  Without getting into all the details, I don’t have anything serious like cancer thank goodness (which I honestly never suspected would be the case, anyway).  One of my levels for something in the bloodwork was a bit low, which means I DO have some food allergies (which I knew already, obviously) BUT the good news is they are not to the extreme that I would have anaphylactic shock, which is good to know!  He’s referring me to a specialist to get a proper allergy test, and is also referring me to the gynecologist I saw during my twin pregnancy to see what I can do with my ‘women’s issue.’  It has to be a hormonal thing, but I have no idea what can be done about it.  It’s just so debilitating having 2 weeks worth of headaches each month, as well as a lot of cramping, during ovulation as well as my period...I basically, literally, have a few days to a week in an entire MONTH where I don’t notice any of those issues.  So hopefully seeing the gyno will help me figure this out.  I just hope it’s not going to mean having to take pills every day, because I really don’t want to have to go that route if at all possible (although if I think about it, I have to take Advil so often due to the headache and cramp pain, so what’s the difference, really?!) I wouldn't want to have to walk around with all that junk hanging down, but it's got to be so much easier to be a man!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Springtime adventures

FINALLY it has warmed up around here.  The weather has been such a tease lately, because it has appeared to be bright and sunny but as soon as you stepped outside you’d realize it was too cold to stay out in for any length of time.  But as of the past few days it has basically been my ideal, perfect temperature.  Not too hot, not too cold, juuuust right!

Instead of continuing the pattern of our usual weekend rut, after breakfast on Saturday morning we got the kids packed up and off we went for a little hike along a trail James and I used to frequent when we lived in Burnaby pre-kids.  It’s not that far from where we live now, but given that we lived in that area for 7 years it still really feels like home whenever we go there.  I love it.  It was so nice to take all 3 kids on an adventure without bothering with the giant double stroller.  We could all walk, and occasionally the girls went on our shoulders but for the most part they liked the independence and wanted to roam free.  We also went to a nearby elementary school and they played on the playground for a while, and then we wandered up to our old apartment to the little store, and got the kids and ice cream treat.  Andrew got a drumstick and the girls got a banana flavoured popsicle.  Emily ate hers in no time flat (but cried at the end and had to spit the last bite out because she suffered an intense brain freeze from it LOL).  Andrew was wearing his on the sleeve of his jacket and had it ALL over his mouth...And Margaret looked like she’d only had one lick of hers and yet she still seemed to be completely saturated in syrup.  That pretty much sums up their personalities right there!

It was SO nice to be out enjoying the sun, even taking our sweaters off because it was nice enough not to need them.  The kids loved the adventure, and it was a treat for James and I to occasionally get to walk hand in hand, watching the kids run along and enjoy themselves.  It was a lot of work, too, obviously, and we wouldn’t ever let them go too far astray, but it’s amazing how much ‘easier’ things are now that the girls are a year older.  I find the same thing for when they’re playing in the backyard, it’s SO much less complicated than it was a year ago!

Yesterday (Sunday) was James’ 36th birthday.  I got up close to the same time I get up on weekdays so he could have a few hours to himself in the morning, and when it was time for the girls to go for their nap I was able to go to the gym for a quick circuit.  When I got home I had enough time to get the party food put together while James took his bike in to the shop, and before the girls woke up.  They got up just in time for me to change them into pretty dresses, (and Andrew had actually dressed himself, choosing his new shorts and blue camouflage sleeveless shirt from Osh Kosh!) before my parents arrived.  We weren’t having anyone else over as Andrew and Margaret have had colds, although amazingly, despite Margaret having quite a time with it for a few days, none of the rest of us got it and they seemed to clear up relatively quickly.  Margaret still has a bit of a sniffle but barely and Andrew seems pretty much fine, so it wasn’t the aggressive bug that tends to go through the house when a sniffle starts.  

We sat out on the back deck for a while, had lots of nibblies, and a delicious cake, and when all was said and done I ended up needing a bit of a nap!  I was so wiped, it felt like a really long day, but James really enjoyed it so I was happy about that.  He said something really sweet to me, that despite sometimes sounding like our lives are so exhausting and at this point seldom entirely relaxing, at the end of the day there is no one he would rather be with than us.  The way he said it was so heartfelt and sweet, I can’t do it justice.  Obviously it’s something I already knew, but hearing it in that moment and just the way he said it, it really meant a lot to me.

For his birthday the kids got him a new spring jacket, and I got him a little assortment of booze and some tickets for an upcoming concert that I’m really excited about, and that he reacted to exactly as I’d hoped he would!  The kids all made him cards, and Andrew’s was more of a book, titled ‘Darth Vader and Droids.’  It was his spin on the Darth Vader and Son book, because James has a collection of those that the kids have given him over the past few years.

We’ve been spending a lot of time out in the backyard, and I can’t wait because tomorrow my dad is removing a really unsightly shrub that I’ve wanted out of the yard since we moved here.  We got permission today from management, and once that thing is gone we’ll have so much more space in the yard.  We’ve got some plans for a deck extension and a few other updates and once it’s all done, it’s going to be a perfect space for the kids.  It’s so nice to be able to just go out there and sip a cup of tea or coffee (or better yet, a glass of wine, ha!) and watch the kids play.  They still have their moments of fighting or falling or whatever but they mostly play quite well together.  Especially the girls.  Andrew’s been better with them lately, I think because they’re getting more fun to him since he can have little conversations with them now and they can do more, but the girls are really so good with each other.  I’ve heard from quite a few people that their twins DO NOT get along and that would make things SO much more complicated than they are already just by the nature of having two the same age.  I feel so lucky to have twins that only have the occasional spat.  They’re very different and definitely take a different approach to most of what they do, but there’s nothing like the sound of their giggles and downright hysterical laughter when they’re playing a game together!  They love each other and when it comes down to it, look out for one another. I also find it so impressive, since usually 2.5 year olds don’t ‘really’ play with other kids, they’re more just playing around each other.  But since twins are used to being together since day one, they learn to play WITH each other so much earlier.  It’s the cutest thing ever!

Today after dropping Andrew off at school I really didn’t want to just do our usual of coming home and staying in, so we just came home to use the bathroom and got a few snacks together and then we headed out to the park that’s within walking distance.  We stayed there for a while and then went for a walk through some nearby neighbourhoods before heading back to ours.  It was so nice to be out with the girls, and again not needing to bring the big stroller with us.  We’ll still need it from time to time but I love not relying on it like we used to have to.  And it feels so good to know the girls are getting out and having more little adventures, since it has always been such a challenge to do much on my own with them in the past.  

Oh and for the record, Andrew lost his fourth tooth today! It was his right upper front tooth. It became the biggest tooth I'd ever seen before it came out, it was ridiculous. It somehow managed to gravitate toward the center of the gap, since he'd already lost the left one a few weeks ago, so it was like this giant chicklet in the middle of his mouth, and it would hang down below his lip and flap around when he talked. LOL It got to the point where it was literally hanging off by one little corner and I couldn't take it anymore, so after tying string around it and pulling on it a bit, using a toothpick to coax it out, and finally me wrapping a kleenex on it and giving it one finally yank, it came out. Andrew wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy asking what she does with all the teeth, and her reply is that she promises that she keeps them safe, but that beyond that he has to leave the rest to his imagination =)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A taste of spring and now I'm hooked!

Spring is in the air, finally I can feel it!!

It's still a bit cold here, altho again I hardly feel I have the right to complain at all that it's a little on the cooler side, given what more eastern parts of Canada have been dealing with.  The cooler I'm talking about here is the 'slightly too cold to wear flip flops but I can get away with wearing them anyway so I will' kind of cold.  Really not bad at all!

Yesterday my dad put up some reed fencing for us in the backyard, so we have a bit more privacy from one of our neighbours.  I wish we could have a proper fence but I liked the price point of the reeds and I think it'll look nice once the deck has been extended (which my dad will be doing within the next few weeks).  I got part of the backyard raked and it already looks SO much better.  The kids love playing outside and I love the fresh air and living room-extension to outdoors.  I LOVE the way spring feels.  I feel invigorated and happy.  I live for flip flop weather!

Today James came home early so while he got the girls down for a late nap (they were having way too much fun playing outside and then playing with Duplo and Lego to nap earlier!) I went out front and raked the leaves from there.  I wish the gardener did it but at the same time I enjoy it.  I had a little chat with our other neighbour and I like to see who's coming and going from the complex.  Yes, I can imagine I will be one of those watching-everything senior citizens!  But so what :P. I like to be out getting fresh air, enjoying nature, and getting the garden spruced up.  It looks so clean and inviting now.  I love the flair our house has out front, it makes me happy.  Yes I know we'll have lots of rain, too, because after all, 'April showers bring May flowers,' but knowing we have a lot of potential for good outdoor weather in the next 6 months makes me feel so much more alive!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

An eventful Easter day!

This was definitely an eventful Easter.  It could have gone terribly awry, but it ended up being a really memorable day (in a good way once all was said and done!)

Last night I mentioned that Margaret had fallen and hurt her arm...I felt so bad for her.  She had me up with her 8 times before I went to bed, and I just wanted to hold her and cuddle her but she could barely even let me move her into a more comfy position because she was so terrified that I might touch her arm.  I tried to move it a tiny bit but she started screaming and crying, which probably should have told me that I should take her to the ER right away, but I figured it was ‘just’ a sprain and she’d be a lot better by morning.  She sprained her wrist once before and it didn’t take very long before it was better.  So I figured in the morning she’d be her usual self.

I knew something wasn’t right when I got up and found her laying awkwardly on the couch, unable to move.  James had to get her out of bed and lay her down like that because she couldn't move on her own because of her arm. She wasn’t acting at all like herself, and couldn’t move her left arm AT ALL.  Her hand looked a bit swollen and while the arm didn’t look that different, I felt like it didn’t look quite right with the way she was holding it.  I told James that it would definitely have the potential to really change the day, but one of us should probably take her to the ER instead of waiting.  He said he would take her.  We didn’t think any clinics would be open on Easter Sunday and really, the ER just made the most sense, so off to Burnaby General they went.

I felt so bad for her.  She had no shirt on but it was too cold to go out with nothing on, so we managed to get her into a muscle shirt of Andrew’s, that actually was my brother’s shirt when he was about 6 or 7!  Wouldn’t you know it, yesterday Andrew and I had some fun with a black pen, drawing some tattoos on his legs and belly, and of course the girls wanted some, so Margaret had little spiders and stuff all drawn on her body.  I washed them off as best I could before they left, and the doctor didn’t end up looking her over anyway, but still!! Murphy's Law, right?!

While they were gone I did some cleaning in preparation for the evening, and made the mashed potatoes.  (I’d made the stuffing, carrots and parsnips, and James had marinated the Tofurky and Brussels sprouts last night, so we were luckily already fairly prepared).  I’d planned on going out with my dad for a few after Mr Bunny arrived late morning for the Easter egg hunt, but the egg hunt was postponed till the afternoon (Andrew was quite concerned that Mr Bunny would skip our house, but I explained that he would know to come back later!) and I called my dad and cancelled our outing.  I’d planned to get my parents some flowers but since our outing was changed I decided to take Andrew and Emily for a little walk to a nearby store to get some flowers.  Andrew picked out a really pretty bouquet, and then we stopped at a small playground on the way home.  I didn’t hear my phone ring but checked a few minutes later and saw there was a message from James.  He and Margaret were finally on their way home.  

It turned out she had dislocated her elbow, and the doctor just moved her arm a certain way and problem solved!  Margaret was apprehensive at first and didn’t want to move her arm around, but James managed to ‘trick’ her by giving her his cell phone to play with.  At first she didn’t fall for it, and put the phone down on the chair and started swiping at the screen with her good hand, but eventually she reached for it with her ‘bad’ one and did a double take when she didn’t experience any pain.  And then she was fine!  

When they got home it was already time for the girls’ nap but I thought it made sense to do the Easter egg hunt before nap time.  So James took the kids outside to play in the neighbourhood, while I let Mr Bunny in to do his thing.  He hid various types of chocolates all around the living room.  Andrew had made up a little egg for him because he felt that the Easter Bunny is always left out and doesn’t get anything despite all he gives to everyone else.  He thought it was hilarious that the Easter Bunny left all the wrappings from the chocolate egg all over the floor, and a little thank you note with paw prints on it.  Andrew also gave him a bus ticket so he wouldn’t have to hop all the way home after :D

The kids all enjoyed finding eggs, and thank goodness Margaret was feeling more herself and was able to join in, too.  When they’d found all the candies, I said that it might have just been Fifi I’d heard but that I was upstairs while the Easter Bunny was hiding the eggs, and I thought MAYBE he might have gone upstairs so maybe we should go check if he’d left anything up there.  The kids bounded up the stairs and found their Easter buckets filled with little toys and books.  They were so excited and really seemed to enjoy everything they got.  (Andrew was particularly excited by the spider with ooze that he’d been eyeing up at the dollar store for the past few months!!)

After the chaos of all of that, Andrew and I went over to my parents’ house to give them their flowers as I didn’t think it would be good to have them sitting out for the whole entire day and evening since they were coming to our place for dinner.  They got Andrew some new Skylander’s stuff for his Xbox game (that he only plays at their house since we don’t have an Xbox!) so he stayed there with my mom while my dad and I went to Rona and Home Depot.  I got a rake, a saw, and some bamboo fencing.  Fun, I know!  Actually I’m really excited about it.  My dad is going to help get our backyard in better shape.  We’re likely going to extend the deck he built us the year before last, and do a few other things to update.  We’re also going to add the fencing to block our newest neighbours’ yard from view.  Not really anything against them, we just want privacy and currently there’s none.  We were going to put the fencing up last year but never got around to getting it.  (Although in all honesty, it will be nice not having to look at all the garbage they put outside their back door...but I won’t get into that right now).

I dropped my dad back at home and left Andrew to come back with my parents later for dinner.  I came home to discover the girls were STILL napping, and they ended up sleeping till a little past 4pm!  Margaret was obviously tired after a painful night with a popped elbow, poor girl.  James and I had a little time to sit and chat, which was a nice treat, and then I got to work setting the table and getting some last minute cleaning and meal prep done.  I feel like despite the whole ER trip and worry about Margaret, the day went smoothly once she was home and we knew she was OK.  We were prepared enough yesterday for today that I didn’t feel like I was in a mad rush and all stressed like I sometimes (possibly usually) get when we’re hosting something.  Also, I recognized FINALLY that while I do like to have everything 'just so' even when it’s my parents who are visiting, the reality is, I can be a little more relaxed when it’s 'just' them, so there was no need to get all worked up about it!  So I felt like I was actually a tad bit relaxed today, which for me to say is kind of amazing!  It was also nice to get out for a bit with my dad, even though we didn’t stop for a coffee or anything, just going to those few stores together was nice because we pretty much never go out just the two of us it seems.

My parents and Andrew arrived at 5:30, the girls opened up their Easter gifts from them (some chocolates and some super adorable dresses from Carter’s and a really cute tank top from Joe Fresh!) and we had a drink and then it was time for dinner.  It all turned out really yummy.  I LOVED the tofurky, seriously it was possibly the best one yet.  I’m not kidding, I love tofurky.  

Yesterday I’d picked up a really cute vanilla and white chocolate cake for dessert that looked like a little Easter bunny.  It was adorable and also tasted really good AND wasn’t very expensive at all, so I really scored big on that one!  I also got raspberry sorbet to go with it and it was so refreshing.  

We had lots of laughs as the kids were wound right up and constant entertainment as a result.  Margaret couldn’t stop singing a hybrid of Katy Perry’s Roar and Let It Go from Frozen.  Emily exclaimed that she had to go potty and then instantly pooped on the living room carpet (they’re only in diapers now at nap/night time).  And Andrew blew bubbles in his milk till it was foaming out all over himself, then he stripped down naked and ran around the room.  Margaret kept breaking the bunny apart that came on the silly straw that was in with her Easter loot, and she kept unwrapping all her chocolates just to make sure they did in fact contain chocolate in the wrappers, then she’d re-wrap them and toss them on the floor.  Emily kept wanting new outfits on, and both girls enjoyed twirling around in their new dresses.  Andrew got a pirate treasure chest from my parents and put as much Easter stuff in it as he could find and enjoyed sorting it and taking inventory of all he got.  The kids really genuinely seemed to enjoy their Easter day so much, which really made me happy.  Especially now that the girls are old enough to appreciate things more, all 3 kids really got to experience it as a special day.  While we don’t celebrate it in the religious sense, we did give Andrew a little lesson on what Easter is traditionally about, so we didn’t leave that aspect of it out entirely.

I can’t say enough what a great evening it turned out to be.  My parents seemed to have a really good time, too, and James and I were a good team in getting things cleaned up so that by the time my parents left everything was basically done and it didn’t feel like there was any extra work to do from our usual.  The kids went to bed about 2 hours late, but after a late nap and all the excitement of the day, I wasn’t the least bit surprised! And Andrew and I got some cuddle time in watching a few episodes of a Mr Men dvd before he gave in and admitted he needed to go to sleep.

Too bad James doesn’t get tomorrow off, too, but all in all it was a great Easter!

It's Easter craft time

From this morning (Saturday Apr 4, the day before Easter).

Emily:  I want a princess cup, too.
Me:  We only have one right now, and Margaret has it.  The other one broke.
Emily:  Yeah, the other one bwoke.
Me:  You can share that one with Margaret.
Emily:  Yeah, I share with Mahgwet.
Me to Andrew:  Emily is such a sweetheart!
Emily:  YES MY AM!

Had to be there, but, so cuuuute!!  :D

On Thursday after school the kids decorated our Easter tree.  I want to make it an annual tradition - this was the first year of it.  I got the little tree from Target after my aunt and nana brought us an adorable set of mini Easter decorations when they came to visit several weeks ago.  

I realized once I had the kids all geared up for the activity that it wouldn’t take very long as between the 3 of them there wouldn’t be that many decorations to put on.  But they shared nicely, didn’t fight over who got to put what ornaments on, and they all seemed pleased with the end result.  Andrew had made a baby chick out of felt and pipe cleaners at school, so we stood that beside the tree.  He was proud of the fact that of all the chicks the kids made, his was the only one that would stand up!

Yesterday I had planned for the kids to decorate Easter eggs, but we didn’t quite get that far.  I got some eggs hard boiled, and managed to dye a few, but had to get more eggs before we could continue.  Instead, I had Andrew decorate some styrofoam eggs while the girls napped.  Or should I say while the girls did everything in their power to NOT nap and successfully managed to not nap AT ALL (and as a result became complete WRECKS by dinner time, but anyway…!!)

It turns out styrofoam eggs don’t dye, and also don’t decorate all that well, at least not with what we had on hand, so I doubt I’d go that route again…

But I had, at the dollar store of course, purchased a carton of 12 styrofoam eggs that are already coloured and have some glitter on them.  I just bought them for fun, not really knowing what we’d do with them but knowing the kids would like them.  Andrew asked if while the girls napped (or, spent time in their room but not napping, as it happened) we could take turns hiding them in the living room and finding them.  At first I didn’t like the idea because I thought maybe it would take away from Mr Bunny coming on Sunday with eggs for the kids to hunt for, but then I decided, let’s do it anyway!  And it turned out to be so much fun.  Andrew LOVED it and after almost TWO HOURS he was still loving it.  I gave up on getting the girls to nap and they joined in the fun and it was definitely a really easy/fun way to get them running around and playing happily.

James and I got a gift card to Earl's for Christmas so my parents looked after the kids in the evening while James and I went out for dinner. I had the herbivore burger, made with a falafel patty and it was DELICIOUS. James got a watermelon pina colada drink and had some issues with the straw but enjoyed the beverage. He's so funny with his drinks, he always seems to order the most feminine drinks. After dinner it felt like we hadn't been out long at all so we went and picked up a coffee and drove up to SFU to just sit and look out at the city for a while. It was nice to get out just the two of us, but wasn't long enough and I felt a bit sad at how quickly those few hours went by. When our dates are so few and far between, 2.5 hours out together feels like a bit of a gyp. But it was better than nothing!

This morning I went to the gym (I went yesterday, too, for the record since I’ve yet to start recording it properly...so I did manage to go 3 times again this week after all!) and then got a few groceries for the Easter dinner we’ll be hosting tomorrow night.  I got more eggs, so hard boiled 6 more and got them dyed.  Then I gave them to the kids to decorate.  Epic fail.  Let’s just say that the stickers didn’t stick, Andrew was upset that the ‘Hawk Eye’ character one couldn’t be kept forever because the egg would go bad, which the realization of resulted in a meltdown and a time out, and Margaret cracked her eggs open because she wanted to just eat them!  So the girls each ate an egg, and Andrew promised to change his attitude and managed to remove the Hawk Eye wrapper from the hard boiled egg and I (thank goodness) successfully transferred it to a styrofoam egg so he can keep it forever now (the little hoarder that he is!)

It didn’t go as smoothly as I thought it would have, but thinking on it later I don’t know what made me think it would go smoothly in the first place?!  Two 2 year olds and a 6 year old...I don’t think anything could ever go smoothly where eggs, dye, and hard-to-peel-off-the-backing stickers are concerned!  But when all was said and done I think they enjoyed it for the most part, and that’s all that matters.

I also cut out paper egg shapes this morning and gave them each a few crayons, some mini pom poms in various pinks and blues, and glue to dip them in.  They all had a lot of fun decorating their paper eggs, I was actually amazed that they were all pretty much SILENT for a good 10 minutes, which is a long time for one activity to captivate, sad but true!  In fact, Margaret stuck with it the longest and really seemed to be absorbed by pasting the pompoms to the egg.  Usually she’d be the first one to lose interest, but she loved this craft for some reason.  When they were all done, Andrew had the great idea to hole-punch the tops of the eggs so we could put some ribbon through and hang them up, so they’re currently a part of our kitchen Easter decor, and they look really festive!

Shortly before the girls’ bed time, Margaret and Andrew were running in opposite directions, accidentally slammed into each other, and each fell backwards.  Unfortunately, Margaret landed on her arm and is having a lot of trouble sleeping because she basically doesn’t want to move it at all.  I think she sprained it.  So that should be interesting...She’s had me up to her room probably 6 times in the past couple of hours.  It’s nearly 1am and James will be taking over once I go to bed...Fingers crossed she does OK.  She’s been doing so much better lately, usually no more than one wake up for James.  Still sometimes several before I go to bed, but that’s not as big a deal to me as through the night.  She’s also been sleeping in slightly later lately, which has also been a plus for James.  I’m hoping she’s miraculously better in the morning for the Easter egg hunt!

Mr Bunny usually comes to our house around 10am or so.  (I love that the Easter bunny comes to our house at a decent hour, and not at the crack of dawn like Santa Claus!!!! So much more civilized).  James takes the kids out and I open the back door enough for Mr Bunny to come in, but I leave the room so I don’t scare him off, and he does his thing hiding the eggs.  This year he’s going to leave them each a bucket of goodies outside their bedrooms, so when the egg hunt downstairs is over they can go upstairs and find another surprise!  They’re going to have so much fun, I can hardly wait.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Best April Fools' Day ever!

Yesterday was April Fools’ Day and Andrew also happened to be ‘Special Helper’ in his class for the day.  The Special Helper has a special chair they sit in during circle time, and they also are the leader when it comes to certain activities.  Because Andrew’s day fell on a gym day, for example, he got to choose what activity they’d be doing (he chose hula hoops!)  I think it’s a really cute idea, and also nice to give the kids a time where they each have an extra sense of responsibility, and a time to feel, well, special.

Anyway...the Special Helper also gets to bring in something for Show and Tell.  Because it was April Fools’ Day, we decided that Andrew should play a fun little trick on his classmates instead of bringing in a traditional ‘Show and Tell’ item.  We thought of a few ideas but they didn’t seem appropriate for one reason or another.  Then we happened to be reading one of his magazine subscriptions (Highlights, or Chickadee) and it just so happened to have a list of April Fools’ pranks suitable for children to joke their parents (or, in this case, classmates) with!

The one we chose to go with went along perfectly with the fact that Andrew was Special Helper.  He took in a food container and told his class that because he was Special Helper, he wanted to do something nice for everyone, so he’d made some brownies for everyone to enjoy.  As all the kids watched in anticipation of a yummy treat, Andrew opened up the container and lo and behold, it was filled with ‘brown E’s!’  I had cut a whole bunch of E’s out of brown paper and put them in the container.  The kids laughed hysterically.  They were so busy laughing about the joke that no one got upset that there was in fact NO treat, but they weren’t given the chance to realize it because then Andrew said, ‘I do have actual brownies in my bag for everyone!’  And that wasn’t an April Fools’ joke!  (I had originally made mini brownies but they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped so I went to the store and bought two packs of two bite brownies.  They were a huge hit!)

The teacher thought the joke was so funny that she took Andrew around to all the classrooms in the entire school and he performed his trick for the whole school!  I thought that was so awesome, and he wasn’t the least bit nervous.  He was right in his element!  He absolutely loved it.  In fact, he had one of the best days ever =)  There were enough brownies that all the teachers and even the principal got one, too.  I have a feeling we’ve started something here...We’ll have a lot to live up to for next year’s prank!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

On the verge...

Just for the record, I went to the gym last night, and I’ll be going again tomorrow and then either Friday or Saturday, depending if I can get there on Friday night or not.  So far so good in sticking with my 3 day a week plan!  I think I’ll just start marking on my paper calendar when I’ve gone instead of feeling inclined to post it on my blog, as unless I’m wanting to post an update on my progress there’s no need to mention it.

I’ve been feeling fairly burnt out the past couple of days.  Not just in the sense that I’m tired, as per usual, but just...overwhelmed, and not necessarily loving our current routine.

I know it’s a normal thing for a stay at home parent to go through, and of course is fraught with more challenges the more children one has...But the kids seriously treat me like a slave a times...lately, a lot of the time...and I think I’m getting to the end of my rope.  They’re just being kids, and the only thing I can do is remind them that I’m a person too and that there are kinder ways to ask for things, etc.  But it’s still hard sometimes to deal with.

I feel good about the fact that I got a gym membership and maybe you’d expect that would stave off my feelings of not being ‘me’ and just being ‘mom’ because technically I AM doing that for myself.  But it doesn’t seem to be working that way.  I just feel overwhelmed by how much I need to do but never have the time for, and frustrated that everything takes a million years longer than it needs to because everything I do has to work around the kids’ needs, which means everything I want to accomplish gets pushed to the back burner (to the point that the back burner needs a serious cleaning now, too...No, seriously).

I want to feel like I’m on top of things, but the truth is I am back to feeling as if I’m floundering.  I seem to go through cycles.  For a very brief period I will think, ‘Hey, I’ve totally got this!’  That period is sometimes briefer than brief.  As in fleeting.  But it DOES happen in moments!  Then I’ll find myself sinking and going through the motions but with a bit of a cloud over my head.  A cloud of exhaustion more than anything else.  And then I’ll get to the point where I’m about ready to snap.  My breaking point.  I’m pretty close to it currently, or at least have been for the past 2 days.  I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll be able to miraculously snap out of it!

I just have SO LITTLE TIME and almost zero help other than James, and it’s not working out for me if I’m being honest about it.  It’s really not working out for me all that well at all.  Again, there are moments where I feel like I can handle it all but part of me feels like that’s because I know I have no other choice.  In reality, I’d love to have a bit more help so that I could get a few things done during the day once in a while, whether that be errands, chores, or just HEAVEN FORBID have a little bit of time to do something I’d like to do, just for me, so I might feel like I have a little of my own identity back. I know, privileged first world problems, I know I have a great life and I hate complaining because I DO appreciate all that I have, and I AM grateful that I get to be a stay at home mom because it would kill me to not be with my kids most of the time.  I just think sometimes it should be OK for a SAHM to want just a little bit of freedom in her life.

James is at work full time, but if he so chooses he can go grab a coffee and take a little breather.  Or he can meet up with a friend for lunch and, if he doesn’t have any pressing deadlines, he can take a bit of a longer lunch break should he so choose.  Obviously commuting isn't 'fun' but he gets the chance to zone out and listen to music, podcasts, watch a show, just close his eyes, whatever he so chooses for nearly an hour each way to and from work each day. I NEVER have that kind of option.  I can’t even sit on the toilet without the company of little ones!  And most of the time I’m OK with that, because it’s what I’m used to, but at the same time, it’s only natural that at some point having zero time to oneself in a day can get a person down.

Anyway…moving onward and upward and working on being more positive!...I do feel bad venting about that stuff because I adore my kids, it's not about me not loving them, I just need some freedom to feel like I'm not just a slave all day long every day...

A few cute things from today:

Something Andrew said this morning and has said a few times recently.  He’ll be joking about something, or find something someone else says particularly funny and he’ll say, ‘Oooh, that was so funny, I’ve got tears!’  It’s hilarious.  And with his one giant tooth gap from where he lost his top tooth last week, he has the cutest little lisp when he talks.  I thought I’d miss his tooth since he has such adorable and perfect teeth, but the gap adds a whole new level of cuteness that I love!

This afternoon I noticed Margaret over by Fifi.  She was trying to reach out to pet her, but Fifi was backing away from her.  Margaret put out her hand gently and said, ‘It’s OK, Fifi, it’s just me.  It’s just me.’  I thought that was so cute!

We were watching a little America’s Funniest Videos today (the girls started mimicking me saying, ‘I wonder what’ll happen next?!’ which was funny!) and the host said, ‘It was simultaneous!’ about one of the video clips.  Emily threw her head back and said perfectly, ‘It was sim-ul-taaan-eous!’ like it was the most hilarious thing ever.  Also super funny to me!

Then Emily was playing with her Rapunzel doll, which she and Margaret each have one of.  They also have little doll beds from Ikea that they love to tuck their dollies into.  Emily brought Rapunzel over to me and asked me to wrap her in a blanket because Rapunzel was ‘feeling a bit sad.’  I wrapped her up and Emily immediately cradled her and was rubbing her back, and bouncing her ever so slightly just as I would do when I held her as a baby.  She was patting at her back and looking at her as if she was her baby and she was consoling her.  Totally melted my heart!

Margaret moved her doll bed and nearly crushed her Rapunzel doll but when I mentioned the doll was under the bed she looked and picked her up while saying, ‘Sorry Punzel, sorry!’ and gave her a hug and a kiss.  I love how loving my girls are!





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