Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas x2!

Christmas came early with a trip down to Connecticut to visit Jenn's family. Jenn's sister, Chrissie, and her husband, Ryan, were fantastic hosts, as usual! For weeks, when the girls were asked what Santa was going to bring them, they would answer excitedly, "an orange!" Little did they know what was in store for them! We all had a blast celebrating Christmas. It was a total whirlwind with the girls opening up presents in record time. Jenn's family spoiled them with clothes, toys and even a fire station tent! 

We were lucky enough to be down in CT during the massive ice storm that hit Toronto. Apparently, our power was out for over 24 hours. We were lucky. I know a few people who still don't have power. Going on 6 days. An ice storm meant that our flight on December 23rd got canceled (although we weren't informed!). After getting the girls up at 5am, a 2 hour drive to the airport and then a 6 hour wait, we finally boarded a flight to Montreal. And after another 45 minute wait to get our scheduled 11:30pm flight to Toronto changed, we grabbed some dinner, waited a few more hours and then boarded our 8:30pm flight home. My brother was kind enough to pick us all up at the airport and we finally got the girls into bed at 11:15. 

Despite being up for about 18 hours with only a brief nap, they were fantastic. Jenn and I couldn't have been proud of the way they took it all in stride. Long, boring waits. Very long lines. Both girls even threw up all over the airport (Q in Toronto and T in Montreal). Despite it all, they never complained. They were my constant reminder to smile and know that we would get home eventually. It could have been worse. 

Christmas Eve began with a "sleep in". We were happy to roll over and see that it was past 7:30am when we heard little feet coming down the hall. Jenn and I divided and conquered to get the last few things that we needed before our family Christmas Eve dinner (that we were hosting). After a great dinner with the whole family, the last presents got wrapped and Santa asked for our help putting together some presents (Michael and Paige took on the challenge of the trampoline!). 

I was probably more excited for Christmas morning than the girls. After all, we could have put an orange under the tree and they would have been happy. Jenn rushed down to grab her camera. Once again, present opening was a whirlwind! While the girls played, we ate muffins and fruit. We eventually packed up and headed over to my parents place for brunch and more presents. After two rounds of present opening, the girls were old pros. Not surprisingly, Grandpa spoiled his girls. 3 hour naps were had. Party dresses donned and guests arrived. A delicious feast and superb wine was enjoyed by all. It was a fantastic Christmas. 

The girls were still buzzed from all of the Christmas excitement this morning. They played for hours and eventually passed out from the overstimulation for another 3+ hour nap. We headed out on a snowy walk with the dogs, had dinner and then spent ages settling the girls for bed. 

Nothing better than Christmas through the eyes of a child!

A few pictures from the last few days! 

What did Santa bring us?!
She spotted her bulldozer!
Getting air on the trampoline!
Name puzzles courtesy of an shop
Digging into the orange from Santa!
Happy kids!
Hugging Elmo
Miss Carlee
Hard at work composing!
A must watch every Christmas
My Sweet T and her Elmo
Pretty party girls

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


If you haven't heard, Toronto was hit by a massive ice storm. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power and many are going on day three without it. Limbs of trees smashed cars and damaged homes. We arrived home from visiting Jenn's family last night (post to follow!) to a warm house and minimal damage. While our power went out, it was only for about one day. We are incredibly lucky.

While I'm grateful for a warm house and electricity, we would be fine without it. It isn't what matters. More than anything, I'm incredibly grateful for the people in my life. For their health and happiness. And for my own. I have been so blessed with an incredible partner, Jenn, who loves me, flaws and all.

It isn't always the big things that cause gratitude to smack us in the face. It is often the teeny tiny things. I'm reminded every single day by my perfect little girls to stop and smell (and admire) the roses. It is often in those little moments that gratitude overwhelms me. It would take me hours to detail why I'm grateful for each and every one of my friends and family. And even then, I don't think that I could articulate those small, perfect moments that have meant more to me than anything. So instead, I will simply say thank you, although that is nowhere near enough.

This 6-minute video was introduced to me about 6 months ago. I watch it constantly. Enjoy :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't worry, Mom...Your youngest is fine.

My mom always jokes that Carlee (their puppy) will be homesick when she comes to our house. Don't worry, Mom. I think your youngest is just fine :)

Carlee (L) and Finn (R)
A little kiss for his sister.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Year 3 of Santa….and Grandpa.

Oh and we've joined the screaming-in-a-Santa-picture club. Grandpa is hoping to retire next year!

Blast from the past. Santa 2012.

And their first visit to Santa!

A Christmas time weekend wrap-up

We had a great and busy first weekend of December. On Friday, we drove Jenn down to her office. Since I was already downtown, I decided to take advantage of the free parking (in Jenn's building) and hang out downtown with the girls.

Given the girls current train obsession, we started our morning out at Roundhouse Park at the Steam Whistle Brewery. We checked out the real life version of Tidmouth Sheds, the home of Thomas the train & his friends.  The historic locomotives were fascinating from afar. Teagan, in particular, was scared of them when we got up close. It took a little coercing for me to get her to stand next to it for a picture.

 The three of us became cold quite quickly so we crossed the street to check out the new aquarium. It is somewhere that we've been wanting to take the girls since it opened in September. The line ups have been crazy though - 30 minutes just to buy tickets! The aquarium had just opened for the day and was still quite empty. I asked the girls if they wanted to stay. With a resounding "yes!", we checked our coats and were inside in no time.

If you live in Toronto or plan on visiting, this is definitely worth checking out! There is one way in and one way out (from what I saw), so the girls and I made our way through it quicker than we would if Jenn had joined us. We were still kept entertained and thoroughly impressed. The moving sidewalk through the shark tank is truly incredible.

A bit overwhelming for my sensitive T.
With only my i.Phone in hand and two toddlers running around, I wasn't able to snap anymore decent photos. The jellyfish are mesmerizing. I could have watched them for an hour. A diver was swimming around in one of the aquarium's largest tanks. Part way through the exhibits, it opens up into a children's indoor playground and a cafe. Quinn showed off on the big twisty slide for a little while. Unknowingly, we popped our heads into a large peep hole which put us right in the middle of the shark tank. We could actually see others walking along the moving sidewalk. Very cool. 

After lunch and a nice long nap, the girls and I headed back downtown to pick up Jenn. I have very fond memories of family outings to see The Bay's Christmas windows and the elaborate displays of Christmas lights downtown. I wanted to make this a new tradition for our family. The windows are beautiful - so intricate and creative. The girls were in awe. As were we. 

We checked out more lights and ended with a few minutes to watch the skaters at Nathan Phillips Square. 

This polar bear got hugs and kisses from T.
Dying to get out there
Saturday was filled with a play date in the morning with the girls' good (twin) buddies, H&K, as well as their friend M. In the afternoon, a friend from our prenatal class brought her twin boys over for a visit. 

While Quinn had a marathon nap, Jenn, Teagan and I decorated the tree. Teagan had cut her nap very short. She must have known that the ornaments were coming out. She took her job seriously. Our tree looked fantastic, with most ornaments sitting at about 2.5 feet off the floor :)

Sunday included pretty dresses and some fun at Jenn's company's holiday party, followed by dinner with Atty and Grandpa!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Finally stopped in her tracks

On her 2 1/2 year birthday, Quinny finally slowed down. The kid is usually either asleep or running full speed. We have been lucky enough up until now to have only dealt with minor colds. On Friday, she woke very early from her nap. She had her first fever and was very tired. She and I cuddled under a blanket for two hours on the couch. She didn't move once. For the kid with endless energy, who usually can't sit still for more than a minute, this was unheard of! While I loved the cuddles, it was bittersweet. She drank loads of coconut water and eventually put herself to bed at 5pm. By the time I went to bed, her temperature had come down on its own.

Luckily, the colds that hit the girls and me seem to be on their way out. On the downside, it looks like Jenn is succumbing to it. Tis the season!

Miss Q: Not herself on Friday afternoon.