Monday, November 30, 2009

25 days of Christmas - the calendar

I'm pretty proud of our 25 days of Christmas calendar, and for the most part it was fun to make :)

We mostly used stickers and gluing to make all of our squares.

We lost our focus a bit at the end... with the all spiderman and dora sticker squares, but that's ok. :)

Tomorrow we start! Happy December!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

25 days of Christmas

I love starting new family traditions and Miss Fish's 25 Days of Christmas challenge was right up my alley. Thanks to other participants like A little bit of momsense, Turtlehead and Some Kind of Wondermom, I didn't even have to do much thinking to come up with my list, which is REALLY up my alley right now.

Here's our list. I totally reserve the right to change dates as I see fit and I can't wait to post pictures of the calendar Kiernan and I have been working on making!

1 Put up Xmas lights in windows
2. Cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the windows.
3. Write and mail a letter to Santa
4. Listen to Holiday music
5. Make a paper snowman for the wall. Play ‘pin the face on the snowman’
6. Buy a toy and bring it to Toy Mountain.
7. Bake gingerbread cookies
8. Read Christmas stories at bedtime.
9. Put up more Christmas decorations
10. Make Christmas cards for your friends.
11. Select 2 toys to donate to other children who need toys.
12. Put up Christmas tree
13. Attend a gingerbread house making workshop
14. Take a drive to look at the Christmas lights
15. Sing Christmas carols
16. Put up Christmas stockings
17. Go visit Santa at the mall and have a photo taken
18. Make hot chocolate with marshmallows
19. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
20. Get dressed in Christmas outfits and take photos in front of tree
21. Make gift tags for presents.
22. Wrap presents.
23. Bake cookies for Santa
24. Unwrap one present after dinner (mommy and daddy get to pick which one)
25. It’s Christmas Day!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big sigh

I feel like a big whiner but the last couple of weeks have been kicking my ass.

The babies have given up easy bedtime. Kiernan has decided it's time to start testing all of his boundaries. Teeth are coming in and that makes everyone cranky. Mornings aren't running smoothly so everyone is stressed out and I just can't seem to make myself get out of bed earlier to help things get going. Oh, and did I mention my grandmother died last week (something we expected since she was 95 and her health had been declining steadily, but the emotional reaction and the lack of time to deal with it is an interesting circumstance as well).

I need to push myself a bit harder to do things like chores when the babies are sleeping or I have no kids attached to me, but it's so hard. But living in a sty sucks too.

Anyways, wah wah wah. It'll get better and I'll start feeling a bit less out of control soon, but for now... grumble.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hanging out with a three year old

I remember Sunday afternoons cozied up on the couch watching movies... although it has now become a fairly distant memory. With young kids, the chance to spend a lazy day in front of the tv just doesn't happen anymore. But, this past Sunday, I had a headache (because I indulged in ONE whole drink the night before) and so I came up with a bright idea.

"Hey Kiernan, want to go to the basement and cozy up on the couch and watch Wall-E with me?"
"Great, let's go"

So we headed down to the basement and I found a pillow and loaded up the movie and got Kiernan to lie down on the couch in front of me.

But that wasn't comfortable for him, so he tried lying on top of me. Which was comfortable, for 1 minute, then he thought he'd sit on my hip.

"What's Wall-E doing?"
"Collecting trash and making it into cubes"
"yes, cubes"
long explanation from mommy
break to go back to lying in front of me
and then on top of me, and then across me

"MOMMY! We're an X!"

"Kiernan, no jumping on the couch"
sitting on my head... sitting on my hip... lying on top of me...

"What's Wall-E doing now?"

Not quite what I was hoping for....

Monday, November 23, 2009

A view from the iPhone

The random photos I take on my phone give an interesting glimpse into the things we've done this month - I thought it would be fun to occasionally post a bunch here.

Quinn's first time sitting in the cart

Kiernan waiting for the doctor wearing my coat

What can keep four rambunctious boys quiet for more than 30 seconds? Games? On a computer? You think?

Quinn in my coat waiting for the doctor.

Would you look at those eyelashes!

Toqued up kids at the park

Thursday, November 19, 2009

6 months old!

Quinn and Juliette turned 6 months old already and it is amazing to see them grow in size and in personality.

Quinn now weighs 17 lbs 11 oz (I'm pretty sure Kiernan barely weighed that at a year)
He is chatty chatty chatty and has all kinds of new sounds, including "d"s and "h"s.
He is a cuddle bear - more than Juliette or Kiernan. He will just sit and cuddle for long periods of time, and he likes it best pressed right up close to my face.
He's rolling really well from back to front but still hasn't rolled from front to back and he's not really sitting up very well.
Despite being a big chunkamunk, he's a very picky eater and so far only likes carrots and a bit of oatmeal cereal - he hates apple sauce which is just weird.
He's got two snaggle teeth that have poked out of his gums in odd places but it looks like we can expect his two bottom middle teeth within the week.
He is a giggle monster - it's fun and pretty easy to really get him going and his laugh is incredibly contagious - check out this video for proof.

Juliette weighs 14 lbs 9.6 oz
She is a smiley smiley girl and super friendly.
She is social and wants to be a part of every conversation.
She's a good eater and likes just about anything we offer her. She eats more than Quinn does which always seems surprising to me. She also eyes everything we're eating with a lot of interest.
She first two middle bottom teeth are almost completely up.
Her hair has really come in in the last couple of months and there is now enough to put a hairclip in it - so cute!
She chews anything and everything. Whatever you hand her goes automatically into her mouth.
She's also rolling really well from her back to her front but not the other way and she is sitting a bit better than Quinn but not totally stable yet either.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Helping young girls to be good mothers is something I believe in

I became a mother at the age of 30. I was married to a wonderful man, owned a house and had an incredible support network with both our sets of parents here in town and willing to help. And, it was hard.

Since having Kiernan I have often wondered how single parents manage - I can't even fathom it. Now imagine being 15, or God forbid, 12. You aren't done high school, you very possibly don't have the baby's father in the picture and maybe your parents aren't the most supportive types either. I can't imagine how impossibly hard that must be, but I think I can see how things could go one of a couple of ways:

1) You fall into the "system." Maybe you're on welfare, maybe Children's Aid gets involved with the child, maybe a lot of bad things happen.
2) You are determined, for yourself and your child, to make life a success and you're willing to work hard to do it.

I got to take part in a United Way "Seeing is Believing" tour this week (along with Bob from Flacklife , Zoom from Knitnut and the Lauras who blog for the United Way), allowing people to get a glimpse into all the good that comes of the money that is donated to the United Way each year and then dispersed to agencies across the city. The stop I (with Juliette in tow) went to is the one girls who choose option 2 need to know about - the Youville Centre.

In their words, the Youville Centre "helps young single mothers provide a brighter future for themselves and their children. In a caring atmosphere, the mothers can complete their high school education while developing strong parenting skills. Their children benefit from a licensed early childhood development program in Youville's bright, child-friendly facility."

What I saw was a place where young mothers can go and feel warmth and caring and support as they finish their high school diplomas while knowing that their children are being cared for in a wonderful environment. Girls with babies as young as 8 weeks old return to school full time at the Youville Centre, while their children go to the childcare centre that is also in the building. You cannot imagine (well maybe you can if you are a mother) the admiration I have for these girls. When I had an 8 week old baby it took everything I had to get showered and dressed in a day! Girls who are so committed to making life work for them in difficult situations deserve the support of a place like the Youville Centre. (On an aside, it warmed my heart to know that many of the young moms nurse and that the Centre provides breast feeding support.)

The alumni of the program make them proud - successful women who have gone on to great things. Up to 80% of each graduating class go on to post-secondary education, and the Centre is able to offer many bursaries and scholarships to help them achieve this. As well, alumni can always go back for support. The Centre is there for them in subsequent times of need - helping them to find housing, jobs and general support.

The Youville Centre is a special place that does a lot of good, but they can always use more support. The girls have access to donated goods, so if you have any gently used adult clothing (which a teenager would wear!) or children's clothing they are always appreciated. They are also always looking for co-op opportunities for the students - particularly administrative - so if you know of anything they'd love to hear from you. If you know someone who could use their support, or know someone who knows someone, young girls need to know this is an option for them. Or donate to the United Way - they do great things.

United Way bit:
Now more than ever your community needs you. This has been a tough year for some of the most vulnerable people who live in Ottawa. More than ever, every dollar and every donor counts, and United Way is reaching out to everyone we can. If you do not belong to a workplace campaign, we invite you to Call.613-228-6756 or and GIVE. Know that your gift will make a difference.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A conversation with Quinn

Hey, how's it going?

So Quinn, let's see how those teeth are coming along.

You're very cute, you know.

Ok. C'mon, just a little peek. Please?

Ok ok, I'll stop trying to look at your teeth and you can go play.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

On being a mom

There are days I wonder if my friendships will survive this time in my life - motherhood of young children.

In my "old life" I used to have an enormous social circle. I was with friends, talking to friends, IMing with friends all the time. And now, I have a hard time keeping in basic touch with so many of them, I feel horrible.

But right now, at this time in my life, my world is so consumed by being a mother that it is difficult for me to come up with topics that do not revolve around not sleeping, starting solids, cloth diapers vs disposable diapers, cry it out vs other methods of sleep training vs babies who just sleep on their own, breastfeeding, etc. And my single friends.... I'm sure they don't really care. Or if they do, they don't care for a whole evening's worth of these topics. And that's it, that's my world - nothing else is new with me. Nothing else interests me (other than an occasional book, or Twilight or something). My life is all about being a mom of little children. I'm too tired to be interesting or have thoughts of my own.

So, my single friends, I love you, I miss you, I hope you still care when I get through this stage. And to me, this explains why on a rare night that I went out without any of the kids I went and met a bunch of women I tweet with (Eric's response to my request to go out to go to a tweetup was "uhh.. why?") is because I spent the whole time talking about children who don't sleep, toilet training, cloth diapers, pregnancy, etc and I don't think anybody was secretly wishing we could talk about something else ;)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Dressing up as "Mommy when she was a baby"

There is an outfit from when I was a baby that I always knew I would, if I had a daughter, dress her up in and take photos to compare with the ones of me. We forgot until she was a little bit older than I was when she wore it (I was 2 months, she 6), and this isn't in the same pose as the photo that is my favourite baby picture, but I think I'm thinking you'll agree we have more than just the outfit in common ;)

It was hard trying to get Juliette to look serious for the photo to go along with the photos of me, because generally... she's all:


- The babies will be 6 months old next week - on Friday the 13th. How can 6 months already have passed? Yet, I can hardly remember life without them.
- We are looking for a house. There is nothing I love or even much like in our price range. This sucks.
- We left Quinn in his room last night instead of Juliette. He was up every 2 hours. Today sucks.
- This weekend we start getting our house ready to sell - throwing out old paint cans, reshaking paint from when we first moved in, painting the front hall and one wall in the kitchen, and starting to pack are on the agenda. I bet little of that will get done. We are doomed.
- Teething continues. Quinn's teeth are coming out all funny with back teeth poking out. I fear this means his front teeth are all askew and causing teeth to come out out of order.
- Kiernan is 3 now, I should be taking him to the dentist I think. Also, doesn't sound fun.
- Kiernan is 3 now. Apparently that equals being a huge pain in the ass.
- Wow - this is depressing.
On a bright note:
- Tonight I'm going to my first tweetup and will have a beer. I am really looking forward to this. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I so sleepy

Good sleep for the twins is eluding us. And it is frustrating the hell out of me!

Overall, both of these guys are better sleepers than Kiernan was. Really they're much easier overall than Kiernan was, to the point that I still find they are less work together than Kiernan was alone. On most days anyways - the last little while has been more trying.

Our biggest issue is that despite all the "twins love to be together, they are so much calmer when they are together, they sleep better when they are near each other", we can't put them in the same room. If one cries, the other one wakes up. Every. time.

Some might think that's not so bad, then they're on the same schedule. Noooo... then the one who wakes more often wakes the one who is sleeping and we have two screaming babies to contend with at the same time.

So, we've split them up. But, to split them up, we have to have one in our room. Lately it's been Quinn since Juliette wakes up even more easily to our sounds. But now, on top of Quinn being in our room and me having to tip toe around in my own room to not wake him, he doesn't particularly like the playpen anymore so he's been sleeping in bed with us - something that isn't really comfortable for either Eric or I. Even if he is cute. :)

It frustrates me that both of the babies nap best in their own rooms in their cribs but that I can't put them down at the same time. It frustrates me that if I wanted to let the babies cry it back to sleep in the night I can't exactly do that with Quinn lying in bed with me! It frustrates me that I can't (won't) push them harder to fall asleep on their own right now because they are teething and as much as I believe in crying it out, I only feel it's ok if I firmly believe that the only reason they aren't sleeping is out of habit - not pain.

So most nights I am up 6-8 times with babies between 8pm and 7am. The Quinn times are less disruptive to my sleep since I just keep him with me and nurse him without fully waking up. We're house hunting now, for a 4 bedroom house in our price range (ha ha ha) which is a whole other story because I am unemployed so we're working with one income. Anyone have a nice 4 bedroom house in Orleans they'd like to sell me for cheap? zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The kid loves Halloween!

For Halloween this year Kiernan wore a suit that was Eric's when *he* was 3. I saw it and KNEW that Kiernan needed to wear it.

A lot of people had a hard time with what we told Kiernan he was going to be for Halloween "Daddy when he was three", wanting something a little more concrete as a name for his costume.

So we went with Lion Tamer, ring master, vaudevillian, gameshow host or used car salesman - we leave it up to you :)

Surprisingly nobody asked when we were trick or treating - although I heard him called little tux man and handsome a lot. And our neighbour asked Kiernan to come back and marry her when he was older, but he had to explain that when he was older (4) he was going to go to school so unfortunately he wouldn't be available ;)

We had 3 skeletons for the day, but Kiernan refused to pose in this shot much to my dismay ;) These two were pretty cute though.

and stayed awake in the stroller far longer than I expected watching all the kids and lights and so on.

Kiernan and Eric finally came home about 45 minutes after I gave in and came home with the twins, and only because he had to pee and Eric told him they'd been to ALL the houses in the neighbourhood.

The loot - 20 bags of chips and lots of full of dairy chocolate ;) Imagine the loot we'll have next year with 3 kids!!