Sunday, July 31, 2016

Auntie Wendy

Today would have been Auntie Wendy's birthday. She died on May 22nd. I've wanted to write a post for a while now. I've started and stopped several times. Maybe I wasn't in the right mindset. Maybe I just didn't quite have the words.

Auntie Wendy was like a second mother to me. She was my mom's oldest sister. She was my godmother. When I was born, she told my mom, "she's my baby too." When my parents would travel, she would take care of my brothers and me. I'll never forget taking a road trip with my mom and Auntie Wendy one summer. She taught us a "game" -- find a bad word for every letter of the alphabet. As kids, we thought that this was awesome and hilarious! She was that kind of aunt. We got to do all those things with her that parents never allow. Before moving to Boston, she drove with me down to Niagara Falls (USA) to get my social security card. While I was pregnant with the twins, she and I drove all the way down to Rochester to pick up a few items at our friends' house. I loved and cherished our chats on those long drives. She always offered me such a unique perspective on things. She lived about 45 minutes outside of Toronto. I frequently met her half way at Whole Foods for coffee or lunch. I'll never forget arranging lunch so that I could show her the ultrasound photo of my two perfect little twin gummy bears. I was as excited to show her to photo as she was to hear the news.

Every time I've pressed publish on my blog since May 22nd, a sadness has washed over me. My aunt read every single one of my blog posts. She would often send me emails after reading them. She wrote the best emails (and cards). She selected her words perfectly and always made me feel special.

A couple weeks before she died, my mom and I took the kids to see her. She got to meet Logan for the first and only time. Despite her weakened state, she smiled lots. Cancer sucks, as do its treatments. She had to have a chair installed so that she could get up the stairs. I want to remember that day from these two photos:

Auntie Wendy might have been exhausted, but she rode up and down those stairs over and over again, bringing huge smiles onto the faces of my little girls. 

Rest in peace, Auntie Wendy. I miss you terribly. RILY.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Stormy Seas

Parenting feels really hard right now. If you're a parent, you might get what I mean. While I would never say that parenting young kids is easy, there are times when we're in a groove and things are just flowing nicely along. Picture the ocean on a calm morning. Gentle waves that don't crash onto the shore. That's not us. The ocean is stormy right now. The waves are big and every single one crashes hard. Does that make any sense? In my sleep-deprived brain, it does. 

The girls are fighting like crazy these days. They wake up after sleeping for 12 hours and start fighting within a matter of minutes. They fight over everything and know how to push each others buttons. They're in a day camp right now. I thought that putting them in separate groups for the day would help matters. Their own counsellors, their own friends, their own space. They seem to like it and haven't complained. Strangely, it has made things worse at home. Between the fighting, crying, lack of listening and whining, I'm ready to run for the hills. I shouldn't complain since they're at camp during the day, but those few hours in the morning and after camp are rougher than ever. Add in Logan's poor sleep habits and his new hearing aid (which is taking some mental and emotional adjustment for me). This too shall pass. 

I hit a low last night when the baby was screaming (overtired), Quinn was whining at me and the dogs started fighting (in the way that sibling dogs do), which resulted in Riley getting injured. I've never heard him yelp and cry like that. Logan was in a safe space so Riley won. He needed my attention the most. With three individuals loudly demanding my attention, plus one more concerned child and two concerned dogs hovering over my head, I was completely overwhelmed.

I'm generally good at dealing with the chaos that is our house. I can usually multitask well and respond to everyone's needs in a timely manner. I'm not sure why or how I feel out of my groove. So, it leads me to wonder if the ocean really is that stormy or is it me? Either way, I know it's a phase. It will shift. 

End vent. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Months Old!

Our not-so-little guy is 5 months old (as of July 10th)! It's hard to imagine how life was without him. He has seamlessly joined our family and provides so much joy to everyone he meets.

  • Logan is extremely active! He rolls from front-back and back-front, but is still perfecting his technique. Given how big he is, I had expected it to take him longer to roll. His legs and arms are constantly moving. He loves the Jolly Jumper and the jumperoo, especially if someone is willing to watch and cheer him on. If I'm holding him, his legs are usually kicking, especially if his sisters are in sight. And, if he's on my lap, he's jumping. My arms have gotten quite the work out in the last five months. 
  • He has majorly regressed in the sleep department. Admittedly, it is a little depressing since he was sleeping for 7-8 straight hours at just 4 weeks old. He goes to bed easily around 7pm, but usually wakes within an hour. I settle him, but then he often wakes again a short while later. He began waking several times per night a few weeks ago (maybe "the" 4 month sleep regression?). Exhausted, I started bringing him into bed with me. He ended up attached to the boob, using me as his soother all night long. While he is still in bed with me for the majority of the night, I'm trying to not let him use me as his soother. His sleep has actually improved in the last several nights. Last night, he didn't come into bed with me until about midnight -- an improvement from us both getting tucked in at 8pm. Some form of sleep training is likely going to be necessary, but we need to figure out the best timing for that. Nap-wise, he's doing fairly well. He goes down for his first nap around 8 and sleeps for about an hour. He is ready for nap #2 around 10:30. While he needs a third and fourth nap, I can usually only get one more one hour nap out of him. As a result, he's a bit of a wreck by 6pm, so if I'm able, I get him down early.
  • He is so in love with his sisters. I comment on this every month (I think!), but the bond and love is only growing. This was one of the many reasons why I wanted a third child! When the girls get home from camp, the hugest smile comes across his face. One minute, he will be lying on his mat crying and the next, his eyes are locked on one of his sisters who moves whatever she is doing to be next to him.
  • The girls love talking about all of the "words" that he can say. He is mostly saying "mmm", "goo", "ahhh", "eh" (like a good Canadian!). He loves to chat, especially to the girls. He is also a big shrieker. He sits on the table in his bumbo during meals and happily shrieks at his sisters. We have also started a music class, which he clearly loves because he shrieks through that too!
  • He's nearly ready for food. He has recently started watching me eat. He will follow food from fork to mouth. I plan to start him on solids at some point around 6 months.  
  • While he's generally very happy, he knows what he wants and is quite stubborn. He can be extremely difficult to soothe for anyone besides me. This can be stressful for all of us. If he doesn't get what he wants, he lets out very angry cries/screams. It's been far easier to cater to him than it was with the girls since I "just" have him. He requires far more attention than the girls ever did. He frequently lets it be known that he wants me attention and when he gets it, he gives me the biggest smile. We call him the prince and he totally is. 
  • He LOVES bath time! He happily kicks and flails his arms sending water everywhere. He has nearly outgrown his little baby tub, so I just picked him up this mat on sale. It's the safer version of those bath rings. 
Happy, even in his sleep.

Quinn turns him into a "beautiful princess"

Home is Canada <3

Very happy in the carrier!

Chatting with Grandpa

3 little monkeys

Pink "marshmallow suit", pink bed.

Loving his Mama

Muscles is out

His happy place! 

I feel so lucky to spend my day with this :)

Check out that thigh.


Maybe if I suck hard enough, I'll get milk from T's head?!

Jumping on Grandpa's birthday

Discovering Riley's paw

Bedtime can be a gong show when I'm solo. On a
particularly bad night, this is how the four of us ended up.