Monday, December 29, 2014

Overdue Update!

Wow I'm behind in blogging. I get some great ideas of what to write about but sitting down to actually get them out just doesn't happen.

I guess I'll just have to keep it to quick family updates while I'm in these busy, little children years. I'm okay with that for now...

Halloween happened since my last post. My girls were adorable and, of course, went as Frozen characters. Livi was Elsa. Sofie was Anna. Evelyn was a ladybug, with an Olaf stuffed animal (I was going to use that adorable ladybug costume one last time! Jon was supposed to be Kristoff and I was instructed to find some antlers and be Sven but I never did get around to that.

Just over a month ago our cat, who had been gone for 2 months and a week, who we assumed dead showed up! We got a call from some teenagers waiting at a bus stop asking if we were missing a cat! He still had his collar on with our number. He was very skinny, had an infected wound on his leg and worms but otherwise is doing fine! He did sleep for about a week though. His leg has healed, dead worms are still coming out (so gross) and he is gaining weight. He had gone from about 12lbs (last time we had weighed him) to 8lbs. Skin and bone. Poor cat. He is still having a few toileting issues which is driving me nuts but he still needs a second dose of deworming so I think he still has an upset system. I'm trying to be patient.

Sofie -
Sofie is doing great in school and making friends. She is thriving in music class. It is the only class she doesn't have modified or adapted for her and she is meeting expectations just like all the other kids :) I think they are lost in how to teach her to read but we are working on it. I think an iPad is in the near future. We had her first friend over for a play date in December, who was a classmate and over just for her, not a shared friend with her sisters. I was nervous, but they had lots of fun. I did learn that I would plan for a shorter playdate next time. Sofie was done after about an hour, but it was an awesome hour :)

Sofie and I got to meet the Canucks at Children's hospital last week. A friend gave mer the heads up after coffee with her that they were coming in 30 mins to see the in-patients. I decided to hang around and get some pictures... for the sole reason to make Jon freak. They all walked by and waved nicely on their way to the elevator. One particular guy was the nicest and most attentive to Sofie so I literally said out loud "this guy seems nice, lets ask him for a picture" I had NO idea who he was. No one on the team looked familiar and I even wondered if it was really them, just a bunch of fans or a farm team... HA! I totally didn't deserve to meet them. Turned out the guy we got a selfie with was Alex Burrows. My sister had to tell me who he was. I did recognize a Sedin as one of the twins but no idea which twin! Sofie kept saying Burrows and Sedin in the car home. 

Livi -
Livi is wise beyond her years and such an awesome kid. She is the best sister I have ever seen and loves her little sisters. She has taken a lot of ownership in making good choices for her body and not eating too much sugar. Sugar had been contributing to the meltdowns she had been having so we had to cut it mostly out. When she does decide to have a sugary treat she is more mindful about her attitude and choices she is making. She hasn't had a meltdown since the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend! This is huge by the way!

She is liking school too and I'm loving watching her get better and better at reading. Her report card notes said she is a kind and compassionate and all the kids like her but she can be a little too chatty sometimes... I suppose she comes by that naturally. She has two friends at her table in class who she has become quite close with and I love encouraging these friendships since they seem to be really awesome little girls. She is also in Girl Guides as a Spark. It was a slow start for her there but she is loving it now.

Evelyn -
Evelyn is filled with fire. She is a very smart little one but plays the role of the baby very well. She is my baby. I can see how momma's end up codling their baby so much more than they should! She enjoys the process of learning more than Livi and Sofie. I think she may end up being my academic child.

Evelyn adores Livi but has a love hate relationship with Sofie. She wants to know where Sofie is all the time but doesn't want her to be near to her... or even looking at her. They evoke a lot of screaming from each other. I tell myself it will pass but it sure is frustrating in the moment!

That will have to be it for now since I have Evelyn's second birthday post to write, as well as Christmas!

Trying to catch up! I like blogging but have no time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

End of Summer

September was tough. October painfully slowly got better. I'm so looking forward to Christmas!

Parenting is so hard sometimes. Life is just difficult. I know I am in the season of little children, a messy house and no money but I have been feeling very overwhelmed.

Due to a teacher strike my girls where home an extra month from school. This also happened to be the month that my husband started his new position which is an extra hour commute each day for him. More kids, less family time and less help made for a stressed out Mommy, crabby kids who had meltdowns regularly, mommy too, and a very chaotic house.

The month got pretty bad for all of us. I ended up getting pretty depressed from being overwhelmed. Livi was having epic meltdowns a couple times a week and a bad attitude the rest of the days. Evie is all drama wrapped up in a little cute package. It got pretty bad for all of us. Too much yelling, lots of crying and I ended up using parenting techniques that I never wanted to use. That month destroyed me really. It broke me and made me dig deep. I needed to figure out how to be the mom I wanted to be again.

We made it through the tunnel and things are looking up. My kids are back in school which really helps their focus and my sanity. I've been able to spend some one on one time with each of them that we each enjoyed. I got to go out for a night with Jon, and spent some time alone for myself. It had been a REALLY long time since I had some time for myself. Self-care is so important. So is sleep. I needed more sleep too!

With the strike over my two big girls started school again. Livi is now in grade one and Sofie is repeating Kindergarten. Sofie had to wait to do the gradual entry thing for Kindergarten again which was really hard for her. She was very ready and excited for school. When we would drop Livi off each day she went and sat with all the grade 1 kids on the carpet and got very upset when she wasn't allowed to stay. The grade 1 start was a little rougher for Livi. Because they missed the first few "getting to know you" weeks she was thrown in to learning and having expectations put on her. She loves responsibility but on her terms. We went over some of the things that she was having troubles with and I spent some extra time at the school with Sofie for some things, so she knew I was close, which also helped.

In the 5 weeks that they've been in school now, both girls are thriving. Livi's reading and drawing has improved by leaps and bounds! I love hearing her read. I was getting worried she'd fall behind since she seemed to be so against reading by the end of the summer. She wrote me a note a few weeks ago though that said "I luv yoo mumee." Her drawings are awesome too :) She doesn't love drawing but enjoys it every once in a while.

Sofie is doing AMAZING! She is following all the routines, lining up, sitting and paying attention, and saying SO MANY WORDS! A few weeks ago, I had a full conversation with her! It was so exciting! We speak words to each other, but this was a real conversation! It went like this...

Sofie had been crying and whining at Jon for some time, and then turned her attention to me. 
Sofie "Mad"
Me "You're sad?" She had been crying so I thought she was mixing it up.
Sofie "No Mad!" (with the mad hand sign)
Me "You're mad. Why are you mad?"
Sofie "Music"
Me "You are mad that Daddy turned off the music?"
Sofie "yes"
Me "Do you know why daddy turned off the music?"
Sofie "No"
Me "because you were touching the computer"
Sofie "no touching. I sorry."

That may not seem like a lot but it was HUGE. We had her IEP this week at school and it went really well. We are starting two programs with her at school to hopefully help her start reading and writing. She really doesn't like writing... motivation is key. I'm very excited to see her grow with these this year!

Evelyn is talking so much more too. I love all her words. She still has that tiny high pitched baby voice but is starting to say choppy full sentences. It is so sweet. I sometimes just want to eat her up. Having a baby you know is your real last baby is hard sometimes. These are the last moments I'm going to hear those squeaky baby giggles from something I created. The last few "kids" firsts are still coming but they are coming too fast. It is an emotional thing. I can see how so many mom's overcompensate with their last to keep them their "baby." She is good at reminding me what a big girl she is though. She got her first black eye, mysteriously while lying in her bed. We think she sat up and folded forward on to the head board.

Jon is doing AMAZING at his new job. I'm so very proud of him. His boss has full confidence in him and his head is getting appropriately inflated. It takes him away from us an hour longer a day which has been hard but we are making it work. He leaves early and makes it home before 5:30 most
days. He has most of Christmas off and a week in November too which is such a blessing!

Some days are still very hard. Evelyn is a very demanding baby. Livi needs so much emotional support and I feel like I don't do enough to teach Sofie. I'm learning to have grace for myself, and others. I am enough for my family. I do a lot of things wrong but I do a lot of things right too! I adore them all.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Livi's 6th Birthday

Livi turned 6.

While I know I technically already have a six year old, Livi is my first child. She made me a Momma and started me down this most incredible journey. It feels like kind of a big deal.

Olivia was an easy baby and although she brings me her own challenges she is still a pretty easy kid to parent. She is spirited and passionate. She is emotional and empathetic. She is adventurous and cautious. She is helpful and compassionate. She is a better big sibling than either of her parents were. She adores her sisters while getting appropriately frustrated with them at times too. She can be shy and a leader, depending on her confidence level at the moment. She thrives in responsibility and protects her sisters fiercely. She loves school but is not loving reading yet. She is really just an all around good kid.

She is going in to grade one this year and is very excited. Earlier this year she wanted to be a queen when she grew up, but now she wants to be a singer. She is finally starting to sing a little louder and in front of people too which is nice to see. Her confidence is growing.

She can ride her bike like a pro now. She makes macaroni and cheese all by herself. She can get breakfast for herself too, if she is up before us. She puts all her own laundry away and clears and wipes the table. She is in charge of cleaning her own room at the end of the night and helps with the other toys. She has a few extra tasks that she can earn money for, like cleaning the litter box, washing windows, emptying the dishwasher by herself (they all help me when asked but if she does it alone she can earn money), washing the tub, etc. Some days she's really excited to do the extra tasks and sometimes she doesn't want any of it.

While 5 Livi lost her first tooth, just over a month ago. She finished her kindergarten year with flying colors! She enjoyed camping again this summer and got to see the dinosaurs in Drumheller, something she's been excited about for months. She had her first real flu bug and ended up in the ER a few times because of it. She passed all her swimming classes and has to wait until she is 6 before she goes on to the next level. It's amazing how much can happen and change in one year!

Livi's biggest struggle is perfectionism. It actually affects a lot of things in her little life. She expects things to be easy for her and wants things to be her idea of perfect. If they aren't easy or perfect she gets  frustrated and gives up. This is one of the reasons she is still not enjoying reading. She screamed and cried through learning to ride her bike but we chose to finally push her one day and it only took half a block of riding for her to have full confidence in it. I remember that day as my best and worst parenting choice. So hard to hold our ground but she was so proud of herself afterwards! Sugar is not her friend. It makes her angry and have meltdowns. With all the vacationing and birthday celebrations she's had a few little episodes and a big one last night. 

We had a small birthday party for her and a few best friends at the zoo. Not hosting a party at your house is SO MUCH easier by the way! She had a blast and got to see her current favourite animal, the Cheetah!

Then we had some cake on her actual birth date. It was actually a joint cake for me too since we didn't do a home one for my birthday 10 days earlier. 6 candles were for her and 3 for me! I did get cake in Alberta though :)

I'm so proud to be this kids Momma. She is turning in to the most wonderful little lady and I'm so thankful for her. I having a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around her being 6, but she is proving to be extraordinary. I can't wait to see what else she gets to experience and accomplish in this next year. 

I love you Livi! Happy Birthday Baby Girl! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Alberta Bound!

This will just be a quick picture post about our vacation to Alberta. We made the long hike to see friends we hadn't seen in many years, to spend time with family on a farm where Jon has great memories and to take Livi to the dinosaur museum in Drumheller. We accomplished it all and it was beyond successful!

Where we stayed with friends was an over 12 hour drive that we made with two out of three of our children. Jon's mom flew with Sofie which was a big help! It was a very long drive and the kids did AMAZING... until the last hour... that was hell. On the way home they did great too but had a few more meltdown.

The first day we just spent hanging out with our friends and recuperating from our long drive! The second day was spent in the freedom of the farm. It was really special for my kids to see where food comes from, dig dinner out of the ground, pick berries and experience the freedom of open fields.





Water fight with Gramma!

Cuddles with Opa and DD

Getting Sofie wet!

 The third day was dinosaur day! Livi was beside herself with excitement. In the end she said it wasn't what she expected but it was still fabulous. Her favourite thing was the 'alive dinosaur bugs', which were actually cockroaches. I guess they are the same as they were back in dinosaur times... or something like that! Sofie was overwhelmed with the museum at first but we brought her noise cancelling head phones and they helped settle her down a lot. Jon's mom kept Evelyn at the farm for the day so we could just take the big kids.

The final day was spent at the park and with our friends again. Their daughter is just a few months younger than Evelyn and completely adorable. We spent many nights with them playing games which is something we rarely get to do, and I love board and card games!

Thank you Dennis and Cayla!

I'm so glad we did this trip. It was a big one for us but travel and things are getting easier as our kids are getting older now. Finally!