Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sibling joy

The last while hasn't been easy - it's hard to remember to note the good when your patience and energy are sapped.

But despite the rashes and the dripping noses; the hacking coughs and the nearly incessant whining there has been much laughter and joy.

Laughter as the babies have really discovered their love of dancing and music.

Laughter as the babies hug their older brother, while also trying to walk around the room.

Eyes lighting up and great big waves and HIs! for their big brother when they first catch sight of him in the mornings.

Invented games funny to nobody but themselves.

Caring and concern from an older brother

Sibling bonding has been strong around here lately - and it is definitely a joy to behold.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fake it

Lately I don't want to get out of bed. My children (whom I love very much) have been sick and whiny and clingy and have pushed me the very end of my sanity.

I feel inadequate as a mother; a a friend; as a wife. I am ready to curl up on the floor and give up, wishing I could be alone for... a week. Or a month or two. Maybe then I wouldn't feel such melancholy; so lost and out of control.

And then I thought "fake it".

So today that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to pretend the whining and clingy-ness doesn't feel like nails on a chalkboard. I'm going to pretend I feel confident enough not to let others get me down. I'm going to pretend I have the energy to go for a walk to the park when I really want to huddle on the couch while my kids trash the house.

While I'm at it I'm going to pretend to be organized and efficient, pretend I don't hate cleaning, pretend I like exercising and pretend I don't feel like I'm living life on a hamster wheel.

And if I fake all those things, even for just a day or two, maybe some of them will start to feel true.

It's going to be a good day. A GREAT day! (are you feeling it? :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stop fighting

Tonight, after a thoroughly lovely day, Eric and I went out for dinner. My dad babysat and we decided to go out for Indian food - something we haven't had in a long time.

We arrived at the restaurant and found the front door locked but could see someone inside. She opened the door for us and I asked if they were closed and she said "no no, come in."

The owner then came to serve us and he explained that he and his family had been invited to visit with some friends so they were going to close the restaurant early, but he had called them to tell them that they would be late because customers had arrived. I apologized and he said no no, he was happy to do it because God wanted it so.

He then launched into a bit of a religious/spiritual explanation but the core message of it just felt nice to me.

If the Universe (God) wants things a certain way, who am I to fight it? Go with the flow and everyone will be happier.

It felt like a lesson I need to live by more often, and also kind of like a breath of fresh air.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There were three in the bed and the little one said "thank god there's a bed rail on here!"

Eric is in New York City for three nights this week, and apparently one of us going to NYC for any reason means that people will fall ill and be miserable. WOO!

Kiernan almost never gets sick. When he does, he's sick for 24 hours and then we're good to go. Until last week he'd only ever had antibiotics once, for an ear infection just prior to him turning two. In the last three weeks I've kept him home from school 7 days. The poor kid is miserable. He was home for a week with pink eye and a double ear infection. This time he's had a fever, been throwing up, and got A MYSTERIOUS RASH (no, it doesn't look anything like Juliette's rash).

Quinn is teething. In the two nights since Eric left I have slept by myself in my own bed for a total of 45 minutes. Between the two boys they woke up 6 times just last night, and that was after Kiernan was up until 10 because he napped all day yesterday. At one point last night I dealt with two FREAKING out boys by nursing Quinn in bed with Kiernan in his single bed. In was snug - to say the least, but at least I didn't need to worry about anyone falling on the floor....

The ridiculous night rolled into a ridiculous day as I've wasted at least an hour and a half going to see doctors only to leave (line too long, forgot wallet, etc) until I finally managed to see a doctor. Who's diagnosis was of course "hmmm probably just some virus... maybe fifths." So we're staying away from pregnant and trying to keep on keeping on. I managed to get Kiernan in bed by 9:30 tonight and then am staying up to watch Glee because as tired as I am, this mama needs a bit of mindless tv time.

Any bets on how much sleep I get/got on night three? ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's up Sunday (this is a working title)

I'm trying to blog here more. I want to change this space into something that feels more "right" for me, and I think you'll slowly notice some subtle changes. And in time notice some bigger ones (stay tuned). But I do a lot of other things, so I'm going to try to post updates from time to time, in case you want to go and have a look at some of the other things I'm doing. Kind of like the Bloggess' wrapups (except for the part where my blog and other stuff is nothing like what she does ;)

While I'm at it, I'm going to point out a few links that I've recently seen that I think are worth checking out.

Happy Sunday!

Where have I been?

Did you know that Kids in the Capital has something called Social Media Mondays? Brie and I love social media so much we want to help people figure out how to get more involved themselves. I've been writing about Twitter - the whys and the hows and the whos. If you're interested, go and check out the posts, and give it a try yourself!

Losing it Ottawa - I briefly lost 20 lbs! Woohoo! I'm not there any more, but I'm also glad I'm no longer bedridden with bronchitis (you win some, you lose some, right?) But I have started Booty Camp Fitness and I'm going to be talking about that over the next few weeks. Go cheer me on - it helps me stay focused :)

Where should you go?

This kid - hilarious. Worth watching 4 or 5 times to cheer yourself up. :)

Tis almost the season, check out Dani's post on all the Santa parades and make your plans now!

This is a football video, and even *I* was amused.*

*my husband sends me funny things. He gets the credit for finding them in the first place.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My queen of the Rash

UNLESS you are Juliette.

Juliette a.k.a. the QUEEN of the mysterious rashes.

The first time she got a weird rash, I panicked. We were on our way to Montreal for an overnight trip and it was AWFUL timing. We ended up calling telehealth, answering a ton of questions and then being reassured that it didn't sound dire and we could still go to Montreal; if it wasn't gone in a day or two to head to the doctor. And by the next day it was gone. No explanation, but a lot of relief.

Since then, it has happened three other times. Each time, the rash looked different. A couple of times we've gone to the doctor.

Once, it was hives. Hives from what? Nobody knows!! But it was scary looking! And then they went away.

I was a rashy kid, so I thought I understood rashes. They're itchy, you generally need a lot of cortisone type creams, you can take medication to help with it sometimes, it's uncomfortable, etc. I get it. I am obviously well suited to deal with rash issues in my children. It's almost like my specialty.

So this week when a new rash appeared, I wasn't about to get all worked up about it. Did it look like any of the other rashes she's had? No, but no two have looked alike. I figured it was just another one of her mysterious rashes, what the doctors like to say was "probably just a virus that appeared as a rash for her".

Thing is, this rash didn't start going away after a couple of days... it was kind of spreading...

And I started feeling guilty about having her out and around other people. Maybe it was something bad? Maybe I was wrong to just assume it was another crazy Juliette rash?

So yesterday afternoon I made an appointment with the doctor and I brought her in. I was lucky enough that Vicky was able to stay with Quinn while I quickly ran to have this rash checked out. Thing is, there was nothing quick about it. The doctor saw her rash and immediately looked "concerned". And then he sent us to CHEO. With a do not pass go (as in you can't go home first and get stuff, go STRAIGHT TO CHEO NOW!!) order. Because apparently this rash was actually burst blood vessels which could be a sign of something much much worse.

Much much worse turned into all kinds of terrible and horrible outcomes in my head on that drive to CHEO. Fortunately Eric works at CHEO so I picked him up on the way. We got to emergency and guess what? Everyone there was ALSO very CONCERNED. Concerned us right into isolation where all nurses and doctors had to don all kinds of protective gear to look at her. Fear and guilt levels were sky rocketing by this point. Oh, and I had to figure out what to do with my other kids in the meantime! (I am so grateful I have friends and family that can help out in times like these!)

The doctors and nurses asked us a zillion questions about how she was doing, but our answers were always the same. She was completely and totally fine, except for this rash. And it became apparent fairly quickly (to me) that whatever it was that they thought she had... she probably didn't. Because if she'd had the TERROR rash for three days (instead of whatever it is she had) she would be deathly ill, and not running laps around the isolation room, climbing on the chairs, and spinning in circles for the thrill of getting dizzy.

The doctors were obviously figuring this out too, since one doctor popped in through the main door instead of the isolation chamber to tell us someone would be with us again soon. I told her everyone else was using all the isolation gear and she said "that's because they think she's sick, but they briefed me and I don't think so". So slowly they all relaxed. They were still perplexed, but they relaxed. And so did I.

Juliette didn't get to relax though as they drew blood, put in an IV (just in case they needed to give her medicine later - I would fight this in the future fyi, it was a waste of time and not worth the incredible grief that came with it. lesson learned) and generally poked and prodded at her. And 5.5 hours later they sent us home.

Diagnosis? "Probably just a virus that appeared as a rash for her." I am telling myself "better safe than sorry. better safe than sorry." and not "oh for crying out loud, I KNEW IT!"

But just in case, if you ever see a rash that looks like this, head to CHEO quick, because it could be the sign of a really dangerous blood infection. Or, it could be nothing. But, better safe than sorry. :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Twins @ 18 months : divide and conquer

When the babies were new and I was out with them, I would get often stopped by mothers of twins (there are more than you realize) to be told "it gets easier, I promise!"

Sweet relief to be told it wouldn't be as hard as it was forever. By 2-3 months old, it would be easier - and it was. (I can't imagine it will ever be as hard as those first few months).

Later, twin moms would approach me and I would say to them "it gets easier right?" Except by then, at about six months, it wasn't THAT hard any more. I had things rolling, I had a system, we went out, we did things, we knew how to manage at home, and we were doing just fine. I even had my 3 year old home with me two days a week and for the most part, we were OK. So when I asked twin moms at that point if things got easier many didn't give me the response I expected. "Well... I guess... I mean, it gets different," they all seemed to hesitantly answer.

Now, at 18 months, I totally understand. It has been getting progressively more difficult since about 12 months. In exchange for the advantage of two kids of the same age who can play together, I also have two kids who can fight (Juliette bites, a lot. sigh) I also have two kids who can split up, making me decide if I need to stop the kid splashing in the toilet, or the one banging on my laptop. When we go out and they both want to walk instead of staying in the stroller, I can't just jog along behind them, because there are two of them, and they don't both want to go in the same direction.

(If anyone knows of any places to take young kids where you are in an enclosed space, please let me know! The more places I can go, the better (Cosmic and Kid Kaf are my two go to places for now)

Twins. They are amazing and wonderful. And SO exhausting.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Halloween - a recap

This year we had three little trick or treaters to handle... and tricky it was (3 kids going in 3 different directions aie aie aie ;)

We had a beautiful butterfly, who, true to nature wanted to go where she wanted to go, wanted to walk, wouldn't let go of her candy bag for anything, but who also had a very good time.

And a cute little knight who wasn't so sure about being dressed up and walking around outside until he realized he got to keep going up to doors. "DO!" "DO?!" "DO!" (Quinn loves doors)

Kiernan loves to trick or treat, and this year was no exception even with the cold temperatures and SNOW!
Buzz was happy as anything, especially with his buddy
Woody by his side. They made quite the pair, everyone thrilled to see their matching costumes!

The whole trick or treating gang.

Hope everyone had a happy halloween. I'm still (slowly) enjoying the fruits of our labour (I don't look forward to them getting to the age where we don't get to snag our own share of the loot ;)

And thanks for getting photos Vicky when my hands were never free enough :)

One word

Thank you to everyone for their comments on my last post about my voice. I want to clarify that the work I want to do on my blog is not because someone told me I needed to make it better, but because I have been feeling uninspired lately.

By working on it, by figuring myself out, by talking these things through with friends and with you, I am hoping to improve this space not only for you guys, but mostly for me. So you see, I'm being totally selfish here :)

Here is some more post-Blissdom stuff:


During Blissdom Canada there was a discussion about branding and self-branding. A recommendation was made to try to pick one word that describes yourself. I forget who made that suggestion but I do know that Catherine suggested five words and nobody but me seems to have heard that ;)

So the internets are all trying to choose their ONE word. And they're doing a great job. Annie asked for help and in the end chose evolving. Sara picked a word that has a lot of meaning for her right now: change. And if you can ignore the rap references there are a lot of other word choices listed in this twitter feed. I'm loving reading about it all.

What I think is lovely about asking for help in this exercise (which many people have been doing) is that people will tell you the things you could never say about yourself without sounding egotistical. Kind, lovely, supportive, magnetic, strong - these are words you don't say about yourself, but are nice to hear that others think of you.

But I can't even start to figure out what one word I would use to describe the core of who I am. What words can I use to describe myself? Mother, wife, friend - good words to be, but certainly none are all encompassing.

Honest (mostly), friendly (mostly), thinker (always), sarcastic (too often), funny (in theory) - nothing even close to describing me completely.

Tired (always), unfocused (lately), shrinking (yay), learning (so much!) - more words I totally relate to.

But ONE word? To describe the core of me? I can't do it. I won't do it! (I'm not sure I'm going to be able to bring it down to just five!)

Unless of course my one word is : stubborn. :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I've lost my voice

I got to spend four days at Blissdom Canada last week and it was amazing!

I learned so much and my to do lists are now immeasurably long, but what I learned - gold.

Except this: Apparently stream of consciousness blogging is SO 2008. Oh. Crap.

What it really made me realize is that I need to figure out who I am (so philosophical!) My personal blog, this blog that I started over four years ago, it's floundering. I have no direction. The tone is nothing like it was four years ago which was a straight journal: Kiernan is eating solids! Kiernan slept through the night! etc etc etc

That tone no longer feels like what I want my blog to be, but I also miss having that record of milestones and stories for the twins. And I rarely write any more because nothing really feels right.

I have been trying out different voices in the last few months. Some I like, some ring untrue. Another clear nugget from this past week - BE AUTHENTIC. If what I write feels like I'm not being myself, I shouldn't post it.

Scott Stratten started off the conference with a very inspiring speech that was wonderful but left me a bit.... stressed. He told us to "only write amazing."

Thankfully I heard not everyone agrees, knowing full well that that might only happen twice a year. And maybe that's where I'm getting stuck "Why write if it isn't going to be amazing?"

They told us to try to suck less. To be aware that sometimes you will suck and to be ok with that, but that there are ways to put effort into sucking less. EDIT, go over and cut out the crap (which reminds me of a tip I once heard that suggesting cutting out the first and last paragraph of anything you write because they are probably unnecessary).

Suck less.
Be amazing.
Know your voice.
Be authentic.
Stay true to yourself and your brand.
Inspire your readers to connect with you.
Be creative.

No pressure or anything!

So I sit here and I wonder how to find the voice that feels real and right. I wonder how to define the purpose of Gliding Through Motherhood. Does Gliding Through Motherhood even apply anymore? How can I bring that name to a new place that is nothing about rocking babies?

I struggle with these questions. The writing that I do on other blogs is so clear - the topic and the voice. Here, I question most everything.

I welcome your feedback. Are the experts right? Do you want to only read well crafted posts and not the mindless ramblings of my mind? Have you noticed my attempts at different styles? Have they rung true? What are your favourite posts that I write. No holds barred - give it to me straight.

Because I need my voice back.