I took a hiatus for the summer. With the move, summer weather and Fart, we’ve been very busy!
What’s Fart, you ask?
Fart is our new cargo bike! He’s a big part of our days. We’ve been clocking over 100 kilometres each week for the past two months. It’s been amazing and exciting. We’ve had plenty of big adventures and an abundance of faster-run errands or local trips.
The boys love riding around town on the bike that my oldest has affectionately named Fart. We can use it on the skytrain so that’s expanded our reach for biking. It’s been wonderful and I’m looking forward to using it for commuting to and from Nature Preschool starting next month.
Summer has been busy.
We’ve been busy.
The move has gone well. We are in the new house and are feeling at home these past six weeks. The kids have a playroom and the living room and their bedrooms filled with toys – why wouldn’t they love it?! We’re still in the process of unpacking the “junk boxes” of things we don’t know where to put yet. We have a small room off the laundry room (aka our future gym) that is full of stuff and our dining room is stacked chest height with boxes of things for sale and of my in-laws things for them to go through and decide to keep / sell / donate etc. Once the dining room is cleared out, we have to figure out what to do with that room.
We’ve been on many outings with our gorgeous weather we *were* having. It’s since turned cloudy and wet but in the past two months we’ve rarely had rain!
Our summer has been full of parks, play dates, Science World, Aquarium, bike rides (so, so many), water parks, swimming, PNE and playing in the backyard. We didn’t get to do too much hiking or geocaching. And we didn’t get to Granville Island or water slides as I hoped but that’s not surprising with our other activities. That’s okay, there’s next year! And the next!
I’m looking forward to Fall. Cooler weather and calmer days. We’ll be bringing out more crafts (once I can find the box of supplies…) and we’ll be looking at more local activities that are close by. Strong Start, Family Place, Nature Preschool, recreation centre lessons, lots of fun to be had! It will be nice to slow down.
I’ll be blogging more now that things aren’t as busy.
Be sure to check back! I’ll be posting more about our summer fun, a recent diagnosis from my doctor, a fiery Sunday and much more. ❤
We’ll be moving to a bigger house in July. A bigger house with a PLAYROOM! And a washer and dryer in the same room! And a dining room (which will likely be turned into an office as the kitchen has a large area for a table already) And THREE bathrooms!
I’m so stoked!
This house is amazing for us and has a great layout.
Even better? It’s got history. No, it wasn’t a celebrities house. It wasn’t a house of a serial murderer. But it’s the same house that my husband was raised in. He lived at that house from the day he was born until he was 20 years old and moved in with me.
I’ve been going through the house and garage, searching through all of our stuff and downsizing what I can. It’s amazing how much stuff we’ve accumulated in the decade of living together. While going through boxes in the garage, I’ve tossed my old yearbooks and half-completed scrapbooks. I’ve donated clothes from pre-pregnancy that I’ve been holding onto for far too long. If we don’t use it, it’s gone!
It brings new meaning to Spring Cleaning – that is for sure!
We’re very excited to move – Dean has been packing his toys in a box for the past month now. He’s ready to move and doesn’t want to wait another day… Unfortunately, there is still a bit of a wait until we move!
I’ve been working away on Pinterest to plan out our new place. So many ideas that I wish we could do but wouldn’t work (time, space, cost etc) but many that I hope we can incorporate into our new home.
How long have you lived in your current place? Have you pinned your dream renovations and make overs on Pinterest? Which room would you do first if you had unlimited time and funds?
Up until a few months ago, it was like always trying to struggle to have two simultaneous conversations going on in two different languages while arguing two different sides of a story to keep both boys entertained, happy and prevent them from trying to murder each other.
Lately, that’s changed.
At almost-one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years old, they are becoming thick as thieves.
But it’s not as great as you would think!
Sammy follows Dean around the house, copying all his troublemaking ways. And Dean summons his little brother like a little puppy when Sammy loses interest for a half-second. They get into all sorts of trouble together…
Dean recently got a loft bed. It’s not a high loft bed but the KURA bed from IKEA that is about four feet high. It’s great – he loves the thing and it makes his room fun and roomy.
It also makes his room a death trap as both boys LOVE to climb and/or jump from the top to the double mattress that is on the floor. Dean also enjoys jumping from the bed and trying to “ring the bell” (aka hit the blind pull string) on his way down.
They wrestle on the double bed. Sammy has learned how to tackle and he does it quite gracefully. And Dean doesn’t stand a chance against his lower-centre-of-gravity brother who isn’t much lighter than him.
Another new favourite is to take bins of toys from their room and scatter them everywhere. They run around, shrieking, as they spread the 1248905 toys around.
And laugh even harder when I trip or step on a piece of lego and shout some profanity that would make even a pirate cringe. Because Jason thought that one of those Fill-You-Bin-For-X-Amount only makes sense for a three year old when you fill it with a billion lights and single, tiny, little, itty bitty detail pieces.
The boys play together well, I have to admit.
It’s glorious when they can entertain themselves for a good twenty minutes so I can Facebook clean. And when I don’t have to read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” for the twelfth time that day, it does wonders for my sanity!
But when the hooligans get into some mischief together, beware. It’s going down. And it’s going down, fast. They can flip the switch so fast and I usually have to stop Dean from head butting Sammy, as Sammy is trying to smash Dean with a toy train. They can be best buds until they don’t see eye to eye on how to tear apart the living room… Then its all about tearing apart each other.
I can’t imagine any other age difference than the two years they have… It’s been a dream. Aside from when Sammy was going through the sleep regression at the same time as Dean was going through the peak of the terrible twos. I could have done without that!
Jason left yesterday morning for a business trip. Six days to Florida… Must be nice! Sunshine, Universal Studios (okay, maybe it wasn’t an all-business business trip), and sleep. Glorious, uninterrupted sleep.
I may be a bit jealous.
Twelve hours after his flight took off, Dean woke from his deep sleep, screaming and crying that there was muck in his bed and that his puppies were going to get dirty. I could tell it was a panicked cry that comes with a high fever so I went in thinking that the “muck” would be vomit. And the vomit would be everywhere.
Thank God I was wrong! The muck was just a hallucination. Phew! Poor guy was feverish though. He was 40.5c. I grabbed the Motrin, dosed the child and hoped it didn’t get worse overnight.
Two hours before he woke in a frenzy, I had committed myself to sleep training Sammy. No more sleeping with him in his bed – I swapped his double bed with the crib converted as a toddler bed. No more soother – he had gone to bed with some fuss but without it. I’ve been putting it off for months and decided that since Jason is out of town, it would be the best time. I have no choice but to get up with him every time. Being the only one that goes in will help with the consistency of getting him to learn to self soothe and put himself back to sleep… But oh man, it’s going to be a long week ahead!
When Dean woke, crying, he also woke Sammy. Mommy was feeling to pull of both boys needing her so I made the executive decision of popping Sammy’s soother in his mouth as I walked by his room en route to Dean. Yup, two hours in and I already caved. Ha!
The boys slept okay. I stayed up for an hour or two after Dean woke so I could check his temp and dose with Tylenol if needed. When I did finally go to bed, Sammy woke. So I went back to his room, laid him back down and then stood at the door. I found that leaving the room would bring him to the doorway. But if I stood at the door, he would look for me then lay his head back down. After 15 minutes standing at the door I could slip out and go back to my bed. An hour later, Dean woke up. I got him settled with some more water and back to sleep. I went to bed again, then Sammy woke. Back to standing at his door. Then back to my bed. Then Dean woke. I ended up just bringing him into my bed so we could both sleep a bit. Add in to the lack of sleep the fact that it was Daylight Savings Time last night so we lost an hour of sleep from that!
Phew! Even just writing that makes me realize why I am so tired!
Today was a very slow, lazy day. Dean watched TV most of the day. We had to go get groceries so I loaded him into the stroller and put Sammy in the carrier and we went for the two hour trip to the grocery store. We came home and Dean watched more TV. The poor boy just wanted to sit and rest – didn’t even have any interest in playing in the backyard when I tried to bribe him into moving around a bit.
We’ve hit the maximum doses for Motrin and Tylenol for a 24 hour period. I’m hoping for some peace and solid sleep, for all of us, tonight.
Five more sleeps until my husband is home. Then I’m sleeping in until the next afternoon! It’s been one night and I already feel exhausted!
Here we are again, saying goodbye to another year. (Didn’t we just do this 12 months ago?!)
This year has been another great one for our family. It’s been filled with so much laughter, smiles and love. We’ve had many sleepless nights but that’s just par for the course, right?
Dean has been adjusting to his role as big brother. It’s been a bit bumpy as he learns to share and Sammy learns how fun it is to destroy everything Dean builds. But he’s enjoying his built in playmate and the two are having a blast getting into trouble together. Dean’s favourite thing to do lately is to get Sammy in trouble. The boys aren’t supposed to climb on their train table (but we don’t really reinforce it) and Dean will come tell me or Jason to come see something – he will be very excited and we come to the living room for what we think will be to watch his trick… Nope! As soon as we go into the living room, he shouts and points “LOOK! Sammy is on the table!” with glee, knowing he just busted his brother. A month or so ago, Sammy pushed the stool from room to room for Dean to turn on the lights. They giggled and laughed and shrieked as they turned on every single light in the house. Sammy loves his big brother and Dean is very protective of his baby brother when other kids get too rough with him.
Dean has grown so much this year. He is such a character! Every day he does something that reminds me how big he is but then when I give him a snuggle before I go to bed, as he’s laying there asleep, I am reminded about just how little he really is. This little boy surprises me every day with how much he is learning and has already learned.
He loves space, dinosaurs, trucks, airplanes, trains, cars, boats, mud, sticks, dogs, food, painting, dancing, music and anything else you can think of (okay, maybe not so much broccoli or the dark…)
He started preschool in September which has been monumental in his socialization. We regularly had play dates throughout the summer but it wasn’t structured in the sense of a free-play preschool is… If that makes sense. He’s learning to share and how to empathize with friends. The school is a parent participation and I am having a blast being a duty parent and going in with him once a month or so. It’s a terrific school and he has so much fun!
I’m about to start introducing a bit of structured learning time once a week with just the two of us. We’ll explore fun ways of practicing letter sounds and printing. We’re going to do more arts and crafts. And we’re going to get more one on one time with household chores being pushed out of the way and my attention on my biggest little man.
Dean, as he has been since utero, is still very active. He loves to move and pretty much never stops. He’s made leaps and bounds on his bike early in the year. He rides it pretty much every day when we go out – except if it’s raining or, like now, icy. He loves taking it to the skatepark and going up and down the ramps. He picks up on physical things very fast. And loves to try all sort of scary (to mommy) things!
Sammy’s year has been filled with many, many firsts. First laugh. First time crawling. First words. First steps. He’s growing like a weed. In one moment I will find myself thinking that this kid is so much like his brother – and then in the next, I think they are polar opposites. He’s definitely his own little guy, complete with a personality twice the size of himself, if not more.
This chunky monkey took his first steps just before his birthday but took another month to decide walking was worth it. He found crawling was much more faster and effective. He’s been a mover from the start, just like big brother. He was crawling even earlier than Dean was. And Sammy learned that moving on one level just wasn’t enough. He loves climbing. And it’s ridiculous how good at it he is! I’ve had to take him out of our top load washing machine on more than one occasion. Everything is fair game for this kid.
He loves to “go go” but loves his snuggles. We’ve had some challenges with his sleep this year… For pretty much the entire year. It’s been long and gruelling but we’re hoping now that he’s 14 months, that we can start helping him learn to sleep by himself and self soothe back to sleep.
This year was filled with many shared moments with friends. Our summer was filled with play dates in our backyard and at local parks. We made some close friends with moms and kids in the area. I love my little “mom village” with great resources and ideas. We do many different outings – from IKEA breakfast to local drop-ins. The kids love having friends to play with and mommy loves not having to pretend to be a tunnel for Dean’s cars, all. day. long.
We bought a trampoline early in the summer and it opened up the idea of hosting backyard play dates. I don’t drive so having friends come to us while having two little ones seemed like a great idea – and it turned out to be one of the best one’s I’ve had! We did weekly play dates in the backyard. The trampoline, little pool, ride on cars, sandbox and toys were a hit. The kids all had a blast.
We went on some great hikes this summer. Nothing too tricky as Dean was hiking it. He surprised us a couple of times by keeping up with us and making it nearly 5km on one of them! Sammy was pretty indifferent as he was packed around on my back but the fresh air made for some lengthy naps!
In June we went up to visit Grandma and Grandpa in the Yukon. It was a great visit – even if the long daylight (4am, bright sunshine…) totally messed with their routine. Sammy was waking up at 4:30a most mornings and so one day I eventually gave in and decided to walk the hour and a half to town to get breakfast while he was in the carrier to sleep a bit longer.
This summer was our first visit to the PNE. Dean went on his first ride and had so much fun! It was memorable and he still brings it up. The first ride he went on was a train that drives along a track, nothing special. The second ride?A bumpy, fast, kiddie roller coaster. Oh boy, the look on his face as it went down the first hill was priceless. I was watching with Sammy on my back in the carrier and I got worried that he would start crying but apparently, after he recovered from the shock of the first hill, he was ready to go again and again! He went on many of the kiddie rides – and we’re very excited for our first family trip to Disneyland in the next couple of years.
Halloween was a lot of fun. We went Trick Or Treating at Jason’s work a few nights before Halloween. Dean was very excited to run around and collect candy. Preschool had a dress up party as well. And then on Halloween night we went out for half an hour in his preschool neighbourhood. Dean was thrilled to knock on his teachers door and see the kids I used to nanny (and have since stayed close with) to Trick Or Treat.
Dean picked out his own costume (a pirate) and Sammy wore a sweater a very talented lady I used to go to school with knit for Dean during his Panda obsession a year ago. It’s not actually a costume but it was nice and toasty and so cute!
Christmas was busy – we ended up with the stomach bug that has infected everyone. Thankfully it left just as fast as it arrived. We lost a full weekend of Christmas excitement and events because of the stomach flu but we managed to make up for it! We had a blast doing all sorts of fun things together as a family.
The boys are taking after their father – they’re both little nerds! Dean and Jason love to play video games (okay, Jason does the playing and Dean sits and watches and bosses him around… but it works for them, haha!) It’s so heartwarming to listen to them building Kerbal spaceships together!
It’s been a great year. The boys are growing by leaps and bounds and we’ve loving every minute with them (okay, maybe not all – I don’t appreciate the 3am parties in Sammy’s room…) It’s so hard to believe how fast they are growing up to be little men.
Here’s to more memories and more smiles, laughter and love to fill our 2016. ❤
On our one month anniversary we found out that we were expecting our first baby!
Eight months later, we were holding him in our arms.
I nursed Baby Dean for fourteen months and then weaned him.
A week later, I got pregnant with Sammy.
Nine months later, another baby for us to hold in our arms.
And another baby to breastfeed.
Do you notice a trend?
I’ve either had a baby growing inside of me or latched to me for four years. Four long, exhausting, exhilarating, amazing years.
I have loved nourishing my babies and watching them grow, both inside the womb and out. They’ve amazed me in so many ways. I never knew it could be such a roller coaster of emotions.
But it’s ended. The ride has finished and it’s time to shut it down to make room for a new ride.
A couple of weeks ago, for the sake of Sammy and myself, I stopped nursing.
There’s so much guilt, even still, about not nursing him to one year or beyond. About how I couldn’t make that sacrifice to give him the best source of nutrition. About how nursing him sometimes made my skin crawl because I was so touched-out that I needed space but I needed to feed him. I had issues with my supply. I stressed about amounts when pumping. I was close to tears at some moments thinking that our time nursing was coming to an end. It was a constant up and down of celebrating the end and mourning a loss.
But I no longer get frustrated when he decides to nurse for two seconds and then stop, only to want more a minute later. I no longer feel like I am constantly being mauled between snuggles, hugs, carrying and nursing. I feel it’s strengthened our bond, not made it weak.
I still get morning snuggles (since the little twerp doesn’t sleep and I am in there from the early hours of the morning) and I soak up his hugs whenever I can get him to slow down. Both my boys love their snuggles.
I loved breastfeeding my babies. I loved being the provider of comfort and warmth and nutrients for them. I know I’ll still be that, but it will be different at the same time.
It’s a sad but joyous moment in my journey of motherhood. ❤
(And with the end of breastfeeding, begins the start of my lifestyle change now that I am not needing those extra calories…. More about that soon!)
**As I don’t want my personal photos of my children, breastfeeding, online (for their privacy, not because of the images themselves) I decided to, instead, include baby photos of my little precious beans ❤ ❤ **
And it’s not because we need to pee!
Dean is well on his way to being a “potty expert”!!
This week it’s been a bit cooler and a bit wetter outside so we haven’t been out as much as usual. It’s been nice to have more time at home to get caught up on cleaning, laundry and just relaxing rather than our usual go-go-go selves.
We still had a few busy days (Monday and Tuesday we were out from about 9am until 6pm… phew!) but then slowed down the second half of the week.
I wanted to take advantage of being home and the mild (aka not yet freezing cold) weather we have so I decided it was time to get serious about potty training.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Dean wore underwear while we were at home playing. We put a diaper on for our outings (preschool, library/grocery store, mall, park, etc) and for quiet time / bedtime. I set the timer for every 20 minutes on the first day, loaded up his water bottle with a mix of water / juice to encourage him to down it. No accidents! Second day I put the timer at 30 minutes. Again, no accidents. On the third day, I set it to 45 minutes and it was all dry again.
Day four was Saturday. We had dance class and then I went out for a while with Sammy to the mall while Daddy and Dean hung out at home. Jason did about an hour in between potty trips. We had one accident in the evening when we had all gotten busy playing and doing some work around the house – I blame us for not checking in with him often enough for that one.
Today was day five. We stuck him in underwear when he woke up at 7am and he wore them straight until 7pm (aside from an hour at quiet time – where he kept his diaper TOTALLY DRY after Daddy told him to pretend it was underwear and to not pee in it) In the morning, Jason was taking Dean out to Home Depot. I figured it’s a quick-ish trip and sent him in underwear. I was nice enough to tell my husband and send him with a change of clothes. Dean came back dry and proud after an hour and half!
Later on, in the evening, we went to the mall to walk around and then out for dinner – which included a BIIIIIG glass of milk for Dean. He tried on the potty there before we left, but didn’t go pee. We got out to the car and I was going to drive us home to get some more practice driving.
As I left the parking spot, Dean decided he had to pee. Of course, right?! So I got to practice my driving under pressure as I swerved and weaved through curbs, cars and people to get to the side of the mall where there was close access to the bathrooms for Jason and Dean to run to. It was like driving the bus on Speed (you know, that movie from 1994 – yes. 1994, 21 years ago! it’s okay, I feel really old now, too) I could just picture the mess all over his car seat and him and likely dripping down to the car’s bench seat. UGH! Talk about a stressful thought! He was sitting in the backseat for those few minutes telling us “My penis says I have to pee” “My penis is telling me to pee now” “I have to poop, too” But HE MADE IT! YAY! He held it for a few minutes after that initial moment of feeling the need.
And I didn’t have to clean the car seat! SCORE!
Tomorrow we’ll be skipping the diaper on our bigger outing (we will be on transit so that alone will be an extended time away from bathrooms) but I’ll be sure to set an alarm in my phone to find a bathroom a few times throughout the day.
Could it be? Could we have a potty trained boy in the near future?
He’s probably been ready for a while but we just haven’t gotten around to it. Last year, before Baby 2.0 was born, I was going to spend my month off work before baby potty training him. Then my sciatica put me on bedrest and I just couldn’t imagine walking back and forth from the bathroom 50 times in a day. Then baby was born. Then it was too cold. Then it was Spring time but we were too busy. Then Summer and we were never home. There were colds and trips and just general life getting in the way and being the perfect excuse. But I don’t mind that he’s only just potty training – diapers for a few extra months are totally worth more than 7 puddles of pee to wipe up (and wash Sammy up after splashing in them…)
Now to hope that my posting this doesn’t jinx everything!