Sunday, November 27, 2016

Friday at the mall with 3 kids

Friday was pro-d day and I decided to get the kids out of the house for a little while, doing something we don’t normally do.  For a lot of people going to the mall is a normal, regular thing, but for the kids - especially the girls - it’s still a huge novelty to get to go to the mall.  I warned them that it was Black Friday so if it was too crazy we’d be leaving, because I didn’t actually want to go for Black Friday sales (I like deals, but I don’t like crowds!)  It turned out that while we were there, the mall was no busier than it would normally be, and I scored Andrew’s Christmas shirt at 50% off.  

After getting the shirt we went to a hair salon to see if all 3 kids could get in for a haircut, and it worked out that they could get in right away.  I’ve cut the girls’ bangs but this was their very first ever actual haircut, so it was kind of a big deal.  Neither of them wanted a lot cut off, because they love growing their ‘princess hair,’ although I think I have them convinced that next time, in a couple of months, they’ll get a shorter cut maybe up to their shoulders.  Emily’s is slightly shorter than Margaret’s but ultimately it was just an inch and a half or so ‘trim.’  It’s really noticeable to me though, as it’s more of a blunt cut and Emily’s doesn’t curl at the bottom like it did before.  They look a little more grown up, and of course totally adorable.  Andrew also got a really cool new ‘do, and was quite pleased with himself.  I had only planned on the girls getting their hair done, but then when we got there I realized that Andrew could use a bit of a clean up of his, so I’m glad we got that done, too, before pictures with Santa (which we’ll be getting this week).  I also really liked one of the hairdressers in particular, so we’ll definitely be going back to see her.

It was ‘Feel Good Friday’ at the mall, and as part of that they had a DJ spinning music and a man set up drawing caricatures.  It was free, which was awesome, and the kids REALLY wanted to get drawn, so we got in line for that and I was AMAZED by how patiently the kids waited their turn.  There were about 6 people ahead of us in the lineup so it took quite a while, but the kids didn’t complain at all and were so good about staying right by me.  They got really cool pictures drawn, each separately because they wanted to be able to keep their own pictures.  Andrew is Iron Man and I love it because it really does look like his face!  Then Emily was drawn (as a Princess), and I could tell it was her being drawn and not Margaret (who got hers drawn like a Fairy), even though they were sitting side by side.  A woman waiting in line behind us annoyed me a bit with her comment that I should just ‘photocopy her picture and give it to her sister because they’re the same, anyway, so why bother with another picture?!’  Ummm, yeah, no.  First of all, that’s ridiculous.  Second, they obviously want their own pictures.  And third, and really most importantly, THEY DON’T EVEN LOOK THE SAME!  LOL.  They’re not identical, and even if they were, they’re still individual people!  Geez.  It really amazes me sometimes how people treat twins as if they’re just one person.  I know it was just a comment and really it didn’t bug me that much, she wasn’t intentionally trying to be rude, it’s just that she WAS serious and that was kind of annoying to me!

Anyway.  It ended up being an absolutely PERFECT outing and I LOVE it when that happens because it feels like a huge success when I can take all 3 kids out on my own and have a completely pleasant experience.  It actually can happen!!  And I just love it when we’re all in good moods and enjoying an adventure like that together.

Today James went and had their caricatures laminated, and they’re now all hanging on the kids’ walls by their beds.  Super cute!  I’m so glad we went out when we did and got to have that whole experience.  Andrew's going to have high expectations on his next pro-d day!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Another Spooktacular Halloween!

Halloween.  Crazy to think it has already come and gone, but on the other hand it sort of dragged on in that we decorated waaaaaay too early, so again (apparently I learned nothing from last year) by the time the day was here I was kind of over it.

It was really rainy early in the day on Halloween, and I was concerned what that would mean for trick or treating if it continued into the evening.  Andrew wore his Zombie Doctor costume to school this year.  It was his costume from Kindergarten but in light of all the crazy creepy clown incidents lately around the world (and apparently including not far from home), he wasn’t allowed to wear his Evil Jester costume for the school festivities.  The girls wanted to dress up to drop Andrew off at school but I didn’t want them wearing their costumes for trick or treating in case they got them soaked in the rain.  Emily went as Angelina Ballerina to drop Andrew off, and Margaret chose her Cinderella costume.  

It was really stormy in the morning and even the early afternoon, but by after school the rain had stopped and it was just clouded over.  When we got home from school I got a table set up by the front door for our candy bowl, and we ordered pizza for dinner (our Halloween tradition!)  My parents came over and my dad and Andrew finished up creating ‘The Guy,’ that they made using an old shirt and jeans of James’ stuffed with newspaper, a really creepy mask, and plastic eyeballs covering battery-operated tea lights so his eyes would glow in the dark.  They also stuffed another creepy full-head mask full of newspaper and attached it to him to make it look like he was holding a head.  It was really creepy and turned out more awesome than we’d thought it would!  My dad hung him by a wire coat hanger outside our front door, and we sat our life-size skeleton on a chair beside him.  It ended up being a HUGE hit with trick or treaters!  We weren’t there, but my parents (who stayed at our house to give out candy while we were trick or treating with the kids) said that even lots of adults were coming up and taking selfies with ‘The Guy!’  I loved that addition to our typical decor.  

It was perfect weather for trick or treating, and other than Margaret complaining that her hands were cold (note to self, bring gloves next year!), the kids had a blast.  Andrew was the Evil Jester, and he got a lot of compliments on how creepy he looked, which of course he LOVED.  Emily went as ‘Spidergirl’, wearing Andrew’s old Spiderman costume (I couldn’t believe it actually fit her!).  I livened up the costume a bit by painting part of her face to look like Spiderman(girl) (although she only allowed me to do around one eye) and I crimped her hair.  Margaret went as a witch, wearing her same costume from last year, but we made her look a little different by painting her face green and adding warts and spiders, and also crimping her hair.  They all looked great in their costumes.  We didn’t venture as far this year as we have in previous years, but it was still a lot of walking for the kids’ little legs, and they all ended up coming home with full bags of treats.

After devouring way too much candy right before bed (it was Halloween, after all), we watched a bit of the neighbourhood fireworks show from our front doorstep, and then the kids all crashed and went to bed.  All in all, another successful Halloween in our ‘hood!  We also had I’d say at least 100 trick or treaters at our house, and my mom said everyone was super polite, which I always like to hear.

That very evening after everyone had gone to bed, I completely dismantled all our indoor Halloween decorations and re-decorated with our usual decor, and by late the next morning our outdoor decorations were all put away.  I’m happy to have a few more weeks of our usual routine, but I can’t help but be a little excited about putting all our Christmas lights up and getting the tree set up soon!  I vow not to do it until AT LEAST November 25th, though :D

Swimming and dancing

The kids all started swim lessons in late October.  They’re absolutely loving it.  They only go once a week but they look forward to it and talk about going the days leading up to the day.  The girls are obviously in a different class than Andrew, but they’re in the same pool, and I love that we’re able to get all their lessons done at the same time.

I love how game all three kids are for new adventures and trying different things.  Of course, it’s not like the water was a new thing to them.  They’ve been to lots of swimming pools and have always enjoyed the water.  Andrew loved it when I took him to the pool regularly as an infant, but then with not going on a regular basis for a few years he got a bit nervous in the water and I really wanted to change that before he ended up with a potentially life-long issue with water.  I’m not the strongest swimmer in the world, but I’ve always enjoyed swimming and I’ve always wanted that for our kids, too.  It’s also an important life skill to have, and I especially felt that with the close-calls Margaret has had in the water.

There was of course the time a few years ago when I took the kids out to feed the ducks and she fell into the lake and I had to jump in to literally save her from drowning.  That terrified me, and it wasn’t until this summer that I took the girls back to feed the ducks again.  I’ve never felt the same about doing that since that happened.  Then in the summer we were at a pool party at a friends’ house and she had a near miss there as well.  I knew from that experience that I wanted to feel more secure with the kids in the water, so I’m happy they’re finally taking lessons.  Obviously once a week isn’t going to make them strong swimmers, but if I keep them enrolled long-term I do think they’ll be very confident in the water by next summer.  Andrew is already swimming with his face right in the water, which for him is a HUGE feat.  And he loves jumping off the side of the pool and doing cannonballs, which even 6 months ago he was apprehensive about.

I just think it’s great how the kids are always happy to try things, and are just excited to have new activities to do.  They’re so good-natured and (for the most part) happy children, which makes things so much easier on us!  They drive me crazy, not going to lie, but they also warm my heart, and I’m so proud of them for all their achievements in life.  

Andrew is also doing really amazing with his Hip Hop.  He goes to a great school for it, and yesterday James went to talk to the owner about something and all he said was that his son is Andrew and immediately they said, ‘Ooooh, yes, the Hip Hop star!’  It’s true that there aren’t exactly a lot of boys at the school, and I’m going to guess he’s the only ‘Andrew’, but still, I thought it was cool out of several hundred students they immediately knew him and what dance he does.  Yesterday we got to sit in and watch the class to see what they’ve learned so far and Andrew just never stops moving.  A lot of the kids just stand there till it’s their turn to do something, but Andrew can’t stop moving to the beat of the music!  I love seeing his progress with dance, and just witnessing him enjoying it so much.  It really is his favourite thing to do!

Documenting our days...

We got Andrew dropped off to school, and when we came home the girls decided they wanted to play upstairs in their bedroom.  I got some laundry folded and put away, a bit of tidying done in the kids’ bedrooms, and they’re still happily playing together.  They’ve been having a tea party with a bunch of their stuffies, and then decided they would play ‘reading time’ and are taking turns with books ‘reading’ to each other.  It’s so cute!  Yes, twins can be a challenge at times, but I really do love the fact that they have a built-in playmate.  Of course as I’m writing that they’re starting to argue…!

I’m disappointed with my lack of writing this year, although thankfully I’ve kept up fairly well jotting little tidbits of our days down in my planner, so I haven’t lost every memory of what we’ve done!!  I do find it so useful, and rewarding, to be able to look back on actual posts about the little details of things we’ve done, though, and I really don’t have a lot of that from this past year.  I often look to the archives of my blog to remind myself of when a particular event happened, but that’s not so easy to do when huge chunks of time are missing!  I really do want to strive to change that.

Right now I’m busy working on my yearly book about the kids’/our lives.  It is SO time consuming and I kick myself every year for not starting it earlier.  It would be so much simpler if each month I did a few pages based on that particular time frame, so that by the time mid November rolled around and I’m wanting to get it printed to send to people for Christmas, it wouldn’t be a giant ball of stress for me to complete.  That being said, I really do enjoy the process of it, and I’m ¾ of the way finished.  I’m just the Queen of Procrastination when it comes to such things, so I’ll wait till the 11th hour to get the job done.  I can’t seem to help myself.

I want to write about Halloween and the girls’ birthday and a few other recent events before they’re too far in the past for me to properly document, so that will be my next project!  Setting aside more time for writing would be nice, but it’s hard to set aside time for much of anything.

Now I can hear Margaret saying, ‘Alright, class!’  It’s cute hearing them play and use their imaginations together.  And as I wrote that they started whining and fighting...Wow, apparently I shouldn’t discuss how great they play together, every time I mention it things go awry!!

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