Monday, July 29, 2013

Embracing Change

I had a moment of panic last Thursday evening.  The lady who runs the dayhome that the boys would be attending when I return to work sent me a message; she had accepted a job in another province and will be closing her daycare before I return to work in September.  Ugh.  If you've read previous posts, you probably know that I've been terrified to leave my boys and return to work.  For the past few months, to try to get them acquainted with Katie and her daycare, I have been dropping them off once or twice a week for a couple hours.  It has been going really well, which has made me feel a bit better about returning to work, so when I got the news that she was closing up shop, I was devastated.  I put out a couple ads right away and had quite a few responses.  By the time I went to bed that night, I had heard from at least 4 qualified people, which made me optimistic.  We have since met a very qualified dayhome owner in our subdivision who is the likely candidate....just waiting on reference checks.  So, fingers crossed, we will have the boys used to someone else before I start work.  Returning to work is looking like reality now since I haven't won the lottery yet ;)

Life is changing all the time, we're always moving from one stage to another.  We've gone from bottle feedings every 3 hours to making baby food, now on regular foods.  Our time isn't spent preparing bottles and baby food anymore, it is spent chasing babies around and trying to keep them entertained....and safe!  Just when I think the house is baby-proofed, they go after something else that needs to be moved out of reach! 

Even though they look so much alike these days, they have their own individual personalities.  Lucas is still a mischievous little clown who likes to get people's attention and make them laugh.  Nicholas is happy to entertain himself most of the time, rolling and spinning from one end of the house to the other to point out the things that shouldn't be within his reach!  Up until the last couple months, we thought that Lucas was the more ambitious of the two and thought he would be the first to walk; now that is doubtful.  Nicholas is constantly trying to stand/crawl/walk and Lucas is happy to sit in one spot on the floor, playing with whatever is around him.  It is obvious that they have inherited both parents' stubbornness and their father's devilishness (that couldn't possibly be from me, right?!). 

In two week's time, the boys will turn one.  I can't believe it!  When I was pregnant, I would have people tell me all the time how fast the first year would go, but I had no idea!  Lucas and Nicholas are such characters and I love them more and more with every passing day.  Even though we are far from rich, I feel like we have everything we need in life :) 

Thanks for reading,
Daphne :)

Lucas - July 2013

Nicholas - July 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Back When....

I'm sitting back relaxing with a coffee in my hand, my computer in my lap and my foot soaking in an Epsom salt bath; yes, it's quite relaxing, but I'm soaking my foot because of my clumsiness, not my need for relaxation (in fact, I'd rather be doing laundry and cleaning the house).  Yesterday, I was in the basement tidying up and I stepped on a screw and drove it into my foot.  I'd like to say that this is an isolated incident, but I'd be lying.  You see, I'm convinced that I'm one of the most accident prone people around.  A couple of weeks ago, I dropped an 18 litre jug of water on my index finger.  I am constantly stubbing my toes (multiple times a day), rolling my ankles, bumping into things, etc.  As a child, I was so accident prone that when I'd walk into the doctor's office or the hospital (requiring stitches or an x-ray, more often than not), my doctor would say "What did you do THIS time, Daphne?"  Thankfully, I haven't required stitches or an x-ray for quite some time (knocking on wood right now), but I certainly haven't mastered grace in adulthood.  I am hoping that our children will take after their father in this respect.

Stepping on the screw yesterday made me think of the times I'd done the same as a child (yes, I've done this before, more than once) and my grandmother would fix up her infamous bread poultice to draw out any infection that might exist.  This is one of those old home remedies that actually seemed to work (for splinters as well).  My grandmother had many of these remedies, including a concoction that she would rub on herself for her arthritis, made up of camphor, liniment, a bunch of other smelly stuff and some type of alcohol (I want to say rum, but it may have been brandy). 

I think my grandmother's generation may have been on to something with their way of life - have a large family, work hard, stretch a dollar and never waste, take pleasure from the small things, use natural remedies rather than seeking medication for every little thing.  My grandmother raised 12 children (including a set of twins) and was a stay at home mother (which was the norm in her time) on very little money and lived to the ripe old age of 84.

I am frustrated with the expectations placed on us in today's world.  As mothers in today's world, we are expected to build a career, have children and return to work, which generally hinders the ability to have more than one or two kids due to the high cost of child care.  Being a stay at home parent is not an option for many (including us), as in today's society, it takes two incomes to maintain a household. My grandparents had 12 children in a house half of the size of ours and now, with only two children, we are complaining daily about our lack of space.  Perhaps this is due to all of the toys and other baby items that we have accumulated, but perhaps it is due to the standards and expectations that society places on us which we then place on ourselves.

I will be returning to work within the next two months and as I'm sure you can tell, I am very apprehensive.  I like the job that I have worked at for the last 8 years, but I LOVE the job that I have had for the last 10.5 months.  I keep wishing for a lottery win for us or some close family member, for money to fall from the sky, for our mortgage to disappear or anything else that will allow me to stay at home with my kids (and possibly have more!).  I guess I'll go buy a lottery ticket now!

Thanks for reading,
Daphne :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Naptime Notes

It's two weeks today since I had my gallbladder surgery.  At this time two weeks ago, I was sitting in a pre-op waiting room with my parents (hubby stayed home to look after the boys) suffering from a pounding headache and extreme nausea, either caused from the gallbladder attack the night before or from lack of sleep with the boys being up all night teething - either way, I was feeling horrible and couldn't wait to get into surgery, as I figured any sleep (even drug induced) would take away the nausea and headache I was suffering.  It would also get me away from the family sitting next to us in the waiting room who obviously found silence uncomfortable and felt the need to talk about anything to avoid a moment's silence, including someone they knew of who went in for minor day surgery and came out with a cancer diagnosis and is now on her death bed - just what someone wants to hear as they're going in for surgery!  Anyway, after waiting for hours in that dreadful room, I was finally called in and woke up a couple hours later feeling much better...a bit sore, but no headache/nausea!

My parents came to stay with us while I recovered.  It was great to have them around, taking care of the boys and helping us out with laundry, cooking, etc.  Even though there were more helping hands around, the boys wanted their Mommy and it killed me to have them reach out for me, begging to be held.  They are going through a needy phase (which started about a month ago); they are ok playing together until they see Mommy or Daddy and then they want to be picked up and whine/cry until you do or until something distracts them.  It didn't get any better with me not being able to pick them up or hold them for over a week, but I'm hoping it doesn't last much longer - I can pick up/hold/carry them now, but if it were up to them, I'd be doing that 100% of the time, which obviously doesn't work, especially since there are two!   

As I mentioned, both boys are teething again.  They each popped tooth #7 last week, Nicholas has #8 coming through now and Lucas won't be far behind.  Another mother told me recently that the "neediness phase" that they are going through may be related to their 1 year molars starting to come through - teething is just full of wonderful things, isn't it?!  Both are great babies and we are really lucky that they are happy and healthy, so I really shouldn't complain, it could be a whole lot worse than teething!

As for me, I haven't exercised in two weeks.  I'm feeling well, but not back to my regular energy level (maybe a day or two of sun would help with that!) - after a looking after the boys all day, I don't have enough energy for exercise at night, but I'm hoping to get some activity in the next day or two, as it doesn't take much to get out of a routine and I've come too far now to get back into a rut!  I am now down 38lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, but still need to keep working at it.  Remember the jeans that I mentioned in a previous post that finally fit again after years of sitting on a shelf?!  Well, they are back to not fitting again, but this time it's because they are too big :)

Well, the boys are having their afternoon nap and there are things for me to do (where does all the laundry come from?!), so I guess I better get back at it! 

Thanks for reading,
Daphne :)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Treasure Every Moment

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted!  The boys are more and more active every day and I don't have a lot of extra time to spend blogging.  I have a few minutes now, so I'll give a little update on life in the past few weeks.

As I mentioned, the boys are really active these days; they still aren't crawling, but they get on their bellies and spin and scoot themselves around and get where they want to go.  The days of putting them in their swings to play and walking away to get things done around the house are over!  We put off the inevitable as long as we could, but last week, we finally accepted the fact that the boys have outgrown them and they have been packed away :( 

Both boys have mastered the words "dada", "mama" and "ga-ga" (doggy).  "Mama" was both Lucas and Nicholas' first word, but it was quickly followed by "dada" which they say from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night.  It is very amusing for us to watch playtime with the boys now - they are getting more inquisitive and both have developed such a great sense of humor.  Peekaboo, the itsy-bitsy-spider, pat-a-cake and general silliness are very popular with the boys these days. Oh, and the Treehouse channel too (no, it's not their babysitter, but I don't have a problem with a little Toopy & Binoo or Thomas the Tank Engine!). 

I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that my boys are growing so fast.  With every new milestone that comes along, I am very proud, but also really sad that time is going by so quickly - my babies soon won't be babies anymore!   A couple weeks ago, I organized all of the clothes they have outgrown and it was fun to look through all the clothes and look back at each stage that they have gone through.  Looking at the little onesies they came home from the hospital in was incredible - I can't imagine they were ever that small, the clothes looked like they belonged to a doll!

Last week, we had our first evening away from the boys.  For Christmas, we bought my Dad tickets to a Merle Haggard concert and last Wednesday night, hubby and I took him while my Mom and a friend looked after the boys.  It was a nice night out, as Dad is such a huge fan of Merle's (as am I) and it was so nice to see Dad enjoy something so immensely.  Unfortunately, us being away was hard on the boys, as it was the first time in 9 months that anyone other than Mommy or Daddy did their bedtime routine (one of the many downfalls of not having any immediate family living near us). 

Speaking of family, we took advantage of the Victoria Day holiday and went to Larry's River to visit my family and hubby's Dad and Stepmom came along.  Even though the weekend was busy and passed by incredibly quickly, it was so nice to spend time with the family - the delicious feed of lobster was an added bonus!

This week, I am trying to get some prepping done for next week - I am going in for my gallbladder surgery next Wednesday.  Thankfully, my Mom is coming up for a week or two to help with the boys, as I will be out of commission for a while.  So this week, I'm busy preparing food for the boys and trying to get some much needed housework done.

The Spring into Action activity challenge is still going on and I'm happy to say that I have gotten in at least the minimum activity every week.  Since starting the challenge and eating practically no fats (to try to avoid gallbladder attacks) since April 14, I have lost another 5 lbs :)  Another small victory!  Unfortunately, the surgery next week will put a stop to exercise for a week or two, but then I'll be back at it!

And again, naptime is over, so I must go get lunch ready for the munchkins! 

Thanks for reading,
Daphne :)

My first Mother's Day with my boys
May 12, 2013 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Daydreams of Home

Life sure is busy these days!  There's seldom a chance on a normal weekday for me to do anything other than feed the kids, play with them, change diapers, make food, clean up, do housework, etc.  Evenings are busy with suppers (we find it easier at this stage to feed our boys and eat our supper afterward), walks, baths and amusing the boys until bedtime, when another routine begins (bum changes/bottles/snuggles/bed).  Most nights, the boys get to bed right around 9:00 pm and hubby and I don't have a lot of energy for anything other than sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Hubby works a busy day job and is exhausted in the evenings and I consider myself pretty lucky if he is awake for an hour after the boys go to bed.  We both look forward to the weekend, but not because we actually get a break - the weekends are just as busy as any other days of the week - but life is a bit more relaxed because both parents are at home and we can all enjoy each other's company.

Although life is this busy, it could be so much worse - I am very lucky that I have a partner who is such a wonderful father and is so involved in the boys' lives.  He isn't afraid to get his hands dirty changing diapers, feeding babies, playing with them, giving baths, etc. and it lightens up my load so much.  It's easy to see that the boys appreciate it too - they light up every time he walks into the room.  If it wasn't for hubby, I don't know how I'd keep up with all that comes with having two babies.  I'd better stop singing his praises now in case he reads this, he'll think I'm sucking up ;)

Earlier this week, the boys spent their first couple hours with the babysitter.  For the last couple weeks, the boys have been whiny if I even leave the room, so I was a bit apprehensive about leaving them with someone other than their Daddy, as I figured they'd freak.  Luckily, that was not the case!  The sitter said that they each whined for a minute, but they were easily distracted and they were happy for the whole two hours I was away (grocery shopping).  She texted me pictures of the happy boys playing while I was out, which was a great reassurance for Mama!  We are going to make visits with the sitter a weekly thing to get the boys used to the sitter and her adorable little boy (who is a month older than our boys).  It also allows me a couple hours to myself, whether it's to get groceries, do some housecleaning or perhaps get a pedicure or even have a nap!  

When I picked the boys up from the sitter, they were exhausted.  They were in the van for not even two minutes before they fell asleep, so I thought I'd go for a bit of a drive so they could have a decent nap.  The drive was actually an opportunity for some down-time for me as well.  I ended up driving along the windy road to Chester.  It was a beautiful day that showcased the beauty in all of the little seaside communities along the way with the ocean sparkling in the background.  It made me homesick for Larry's River.  It made me miss the "community" feeling of living in a small village where everyone knows each other (yes, everyone knows each other's business as well, but that never really bothered me).  Life just has a slower, more relaxed pace in a small community; somehow, nothing seems as urgent.  Living here in the Halifax Suburbs is better than living in the heart of the city, but still doesn't have the small town feeling that I grew up with and love.  If I'm in the middle of cooking and run out of an ingredient, I can't run to the neighbour's house to borrow it.  I can't pop next door for a visit and a coffee.  I can't ask my neighbour to keep an eye on our house when we go away for the weekend.  Our kids won't be able to play in the yard by themselves, they won't get to experience many of the things we did growing up in the country.  We don't walk outside our front door and know everyone we see on our walk to check the mail.  We don't know the mail lady - in fact, I don't even know if we have a "mail lady" or a "mail man."  However, hubby and I both have jobs here, which likely wouldn't be the case at "home" (Larry's River).  Unfortunately, this is the case in most rural Nova Scotia communities; hence, we find ourselves here in the Halifax Suburbs....I guess one can always dream of having the option of moving back someday!

Now, back to reality...It's Thursday, the boys will soon be awake from their nap and I need to get their lunch ready and if I'm lucky, mine.  Then it's playtime, then bottles....and so it goes!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Life is Good!

It's Sunday morning, the boys are napping and hubby is out doing the grocery shopping.  I'm sitting on the couch relaxing.  I just finished my second cup of coffee and Nico is laying on the floor beside me.  It's not raining and there is a little glimpse of sun every now and then.  The only "must-dos" for the day are cooking, some light cleaning and a walk with the dog and/or family (depending on the rain holding off).  Life is good!

But really, how can the weekend be a bad one when you start it off as I did...Saturday morning, I got up and went about my normal routine and when the boys went for their morning nap, I got showered to go out shopping (for the boys) for the afternoon.  When I got out of the shower, I went through my closet and just for fun, I tried on a pair of the jeans that were at the back of my closet; these were jeans that I didn't figure I'd ever fit into again, but just couldn't throw out.  THEY FIT!!!  And not even the "lay down on the bed, suck your gut in and quickly zipper" kind of fit, they actually fit!  There was nothing that could get me down, it was a good day!

I've always battled with my weight and through the years, I've lost weight and gained it back over and over again.  Gaining a pound or two is enough to start the downward spiral back into overeating and putting off exercise and suddenly the one or two pounds turns into ten.  Since having the boys, I realize that I owe it to myself and them to be healthy and I want to look and feel good.  I now find it easier to eat more sensibly and strangely enough, I actually enjoy exercise (even though I often have to remind myself of this before any activity).  I don't know exactly how much, but I am down somewhere in the vicinity of 30 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, which I am pretty proud of.  I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I have already come a long way. 

I have lots of love in my life.  I have a great family.  I have everything I need to care for myself and my family.  I have lots of great friends who I know I can count on when it matters.  Life is good!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Challenge Accepted!

I haven't posted in a while as the last week has been a bit hectic.  Last weekend, we agreed to have a nice, relaxing weekend and not do much other than cooking and housework.  It started out great; Friday night we put the boys to bed and we sat down in the dark living room in front of the TV with a glass of wine and enjoyed each other's company and the temporary freedom from the babies.  Saturday was a pretty typical day, with me in the kitchen making baby food at every chance I got and Daddy keeping the boys (and doggy) occupied with baths, walks and his usual silliness.  Since I was in the kitchen all day making baby food, hubby was cooking supper - grilled prime rib steaks and spinach salad - yum!  It was all too perfect - the boys were content and we ate our supper without having to get up from the table once.  Just after supper, I got up from the table and started to clean up the dishes when it hit me...a gallbladder attack :( 

This was my second attack in the past couple months; apparently, they are quite common during and after pregnancy.  When people tell you how bad these attacks feel, you think they are exaggerating; with no exaggeration, child birth feels better!  I ended up going to the ER and coming home with strong meds, but continued to feel awful until Tuesday.  Thankfully, hubby was able to stay home from work on Monday and Tuesday to take care of the kids - I don't know what I would have done without him!  I had an ultrasound on Tuesday which showed that, as suspected, I have gallstones and will most likely need surgery. 

Monday was the start of the "Spring into Action" challenge.  Obviously, with the gallbladder issue, I was in no shape to do any sort of physical activity.  In the past, I would have seized the opportunity and used this as the perfect excuse to pull out of the challenge - this time, I promised myself that I wouldn't.  The challenge is to get at least 30 minutes of activity a day at least 5 days a week, so I told myself that even if I couldn't do anything on Monday and Tuesday, I would get my butt in gear and make up for it starting Wednesday, which I did!  Wednesday, two friends and their kiddies came to visit and we went out for a walk with the kids (and Nico, of course) and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.  Thursday, I packed the kids and the dog up and we did a trail walk at the park.  The boys slept and Nico and I played Frisbee and she swam until her heart was content!  This evening, Nico and I will go for a walk and I'll get some form of activity in tomorrow and Sunday and then I've met my challenge for week one!  It sometimes seems like such an effort to get out and get moving, but it always feels so good during and after - I always need to remind myself of this!

I need to get up and moving now...the boys are sleeping and the housework isn't doing itself!  Happy Friday to all!