Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Life on a Patio

One of the things that I miss the most from my pre-kid life is sitting on patios with the pups working and/or writing.

Pre-Finn, Riley used to come everywhere with me. He was beyond spoiled (not that he isn't still, but it's  obviously different). Riley ran errands with me, he came to Whole Foods, went into stores in our dog friendly neighbourhood and sat on patios watching the passersby for hours while I wrote protocols for clients. We would always start our day with a long run in an off-leashed area, so he would be relaxed and ready for a nap. He loved this life and so did I. I was spoiled too.

I kind of forgot how therapeutic blog writing is. I've always enjoyed writing, whether it was an essay for school or a brain dump in a journal. I think too much as it is so not having that outlet is never good for me. The blog has also challenged me from a health and nutrition perspective, as I posted about baby's first foods, probiotics and natural remedies.

While I would never wish to go back to my previous life since being blessed with T&Q, it's nice to have reminders of it once in a while :)

Carlee smiles. She likes this life too. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung and so has my blog. I never intended to stop writing. Honestly, I miss it. I would love to say that it will never happen again, but I can't make any promises. I'll try.

So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. This is an intimidating entry to write because I don't quite know where to begin. Bear with me. It will likely be a disorganized mess for now.

I've started so many posts over the last several months. Posts about health and wellness mainly -- lots about our family's natural medicine chest for various common illnesses that plague the kiddos all winter. It was a rough winter for sickness, but we fought them off naturally, one by one. I have a great one for coughs and another for ear infections. I'll aim to post by it November ;)

But for now, here's a random collection of happenings from the last several months.

  • I have 2 almost 4-year olds. It's kind of surreal. In most of Canada, kids start school, junior kindergarten, at age 4. My little babies will be in school come September. I've requested that they be put in the same class. They get along well OUTSIDE of the house. They aren't dependent on one another. They don't speak for each other. These seem to be the main reasons why parents separate twins. I'd like them to have the comfort of each other. It seems only appropriate to show you what we're all looking like these days!

  • We were lucky enough to spend another three weeks in Florida this year thanks to my parents who rented a house again. Toronto, like practically everywhere, had a horrible winter starting in February. The snow wouldn't quit. The subzero temps froze pipes (thankfully not ours). It was brutal. We were lucky enough to escape just before it all hit! Florida experienced colder than average temperatures too, but I'll take 12C over -25C any day. Thanks to Amanda, the kids had an absolute blast at the Magic Kingdom. She helped me plan our day to a T. Her fees are very reasonable if you're looking for a D!sney planner, right Amanda?! Wait, did I use that joke last year?
Art of Animation Resort -- Lightning has been spotted!
The girls lead their friend through the resort.
Running through the "tunnel" in the Lion
King area of the resort.
Riding a tusk!
She refused to eat her M1ckey pancake
until she got to meet the big man.

Meeting the man himself!
Getting ready to ride the ponies at Fort Wilderness
Some relaxing park play at Fort Wilderness

The lodge at Fort Wilderness. We decided that we want to
stay here when we visit next.
Mesmerized by It's A Small World
Teagan jumped at the chance to play Philippe
in Enchanted Tales with Belle.

Ok so this doesn't look like much, but it's huge. I took
Amanda's advice and staked out a parade spot super early.
Jenn took the girls for a train ride. They came back to
front row seating!

  • While in Florida, Teagan took a riding lesson. The kid adores horses and I found a farm that teaches 4-year olds. She had a blast and was completely fearless (very uncharacteristic for our Nervous Nelly). She constantly asked to trot and looked so calm on her enormous horse named Quien (pronounced 'Quinn'). Seriously! 
Learning to groom the horse

So happy to finally be up there!

Big hugs!

She insisted on carrying the saddle herself.

Happy as can be! Hopefully I'm not creating a monster!
  • In sad-ish news for this Mommy, naps are no more in this house. While I loved my quiet hour in the afternoons, it made bedtime hellish. Sometimes it would take us two hours to settle them down and finally get them to sleep. So, while my days are quite long now, bedtime is a breeze. They usually fall asleep within 5 minutes and by 7pm at the latest. 

  • After 46 months of breastfeeding, Teagan called it quits (with some nudging). I was ready for it to be over and ready to have my body back…for now ;) I planted the seed for a couple of months by telling her that her "Mommy milk" will be going away at some point because she is getting to be a big girl. I read letting the child pick out a toy that they get when they're ready to stop. So, that's what we did. After a half-hour in the toy store, they each picked out a toy (because Quinn decided that she needed one too). I asked a few times if she was sure that she was ready to say goodbye to her milk. I wanted to make sure she understood. She said that she was. Clearly what she meant was that she was ready for that moment, but come nighttime, screw the toy. She cried and begged for her Mommy milk that night. It broke my heart, but I stayed strong. She cried and begged night after night. She even threw her toy saying she didn't want it. She wanted it packaged back up and sent back to the store. I stayed strong, giving her lots of cuddles. It has been about a month and the cries for Mommy milk have stopped. While I was sad initially that this phase had come to an end, I was ready. I was so grateful that I was able to breastfeed twins, making so much milk that I could freeze some. I loved the bond that the three of us shared. I always said that Teagan was a baby who was born to breastfeed. "I love Mommy milk soooooo much," she used to tell me. There is nothing like seeing the instant calm that floods a baby's face when they first start nursing. I will cherish the memories!

  • In super exciting news, a massive house renovation and addition is in the works. We're adding 17 feet to the back of the house. Adding a family room, brand new kitchen, dining room, washroom, mudroom, 4 bedrooms upstairs, exterior facelift. As with so many renos, the scope increased quite a bit as we started planning. The architect is working on the permit drawings now and we just decided on a contractor. We're hoping to start in the fall!

  • Twins. They're the best of friends and the worst of friends. We went through a phase that lasted for months of them getting along about 90% of the time. It was glorious. They played happily. Shared toys. Rarely fought. Not sure what changed. But, in the last month, that has all become a distant memory. There's a lot more fighting in our house. Maybe they were sick of being cooped up because of the cold, like I was. Quinn's a sh!t disturber, just like her Uncle Rob! She knows how to push her sister's buttons. She does it in a very clever and subtle way. She pushes Teagan to the brink. Teagan has been resorting to hitting, pushing and biting lately. This has been a tough one to manage. While I can see why T did it, it's the wrong way to handle frustration and anger. Any advice is most welcome!

  • Lots of friends have been having babies. The girls adore them all! They're at a great age now because they understand the need to be gentle and won't freak if a baby pulls their hair. Q asked for a baby sister AND a baby brother today. Oye.  

  • Miss Q has adopted the typical toddler pickiness with food. It frustrated me for ages, but I've finally let go. I still only serve one thing for each meal, but if she doesn't want it, that's fine. She's gone to bed a few times without eating. Teagan continues to be a dream in the eating department. She eats everything I put in front of her. She still adores soups, particularly the butternut squash and lentil one that I make. 

  • My fur children are doing great. To no one's surprise, they were unfazed by the winter. Give them a walk, some food and lots of love and they're the happiest creatures in the world. 
The 3 amigos

Carlee isn't fazed by the frigid
temps on a sunny day.

Finn is always right next to one of the girls.

Safety first! Riley knows that he's not just a dog. He's my child.

Face off!

Leaping for a stick. The drop is about 5 feet. 

The 3 best dogs -- we are all so lucky.

  • The winter and spring have been full of activities. It was the easiest way to pass the time during the dull, cold weather. The girls had a blast at gymnastics. They're slowing learning to swim. They're practicing their plies and points at ballet. Teagan held snakes, chinchillas, birds and bunnies at animal class. They've found their skating legs. And recently started kicking the ball at soccer class. It sounds like a lot but it didn't all take place at the same time. 

I'll call it quits for now. It's good to be back :)