Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer time means SWIM SWIM SWIM!!!

Just a quick post...wanting to jot down my observations lately regarding my little 'swimmers'! Sydney & Ryan have been doing swimming lessons for a while at the YMCA...almost a year really! Sydney was getting more confident, putting her face in the water and jumping in on her own...but that's about the extent of her swimming 'abilities'. Ryan still needed the instructor to hold his hands while he jumped in, but he would 'bob' under the water occassionally. Well, we took them out of lessons for the summer since we're spending plenty of time in the backyard pool anyway...and in no time flat, everyone is jumping in, Sydney's out of her water wings (she can touch on tippy toe) and they are moving around the pool like pros (well...pros with water wings!!). So amazing to watch their confidence grow! Next year they'll probably all be able to touch and we'll be down to one water wing kid!!

So today, Paul put a set of water wings on Jamie to see if she could stay up with them on...and she sort of could but if she leaned forward her face went right, he put on TWO pairs of water wings! haha! And guess what?? She floats!! Just wanted to share a little video of the frightening confidence of one 17 month old Jamie Held!! haha


Monday, June 27, 2011

Phew! The birthdays are over!! I'm sad :(

Wow! June is super busy in this house!! Father's Day this year was a double celebration...not only did we celebrate the special super daddy, we also celebrated Sydney's 6th birthday! On Saturday, she and her friends had a fun birthday party at Apps' Mill Nature Centre, using handheld GPS devices to find all their 'treasures' (i.e. all the stuff for their loot bags). As expected, most of the kids didn't really get the GPS part of it...but were happy that they had a grown up with them who did and were just as happy to 'spot the treasure'. Love summer many outdoor options!! On Sunday, we actually celebrated Father's Day at the Toyota family picnic at Shade's Mill Conservation Area. We went with the intent of skipping all the activities and just taking a nice trail walk. But we ended up staying for a long time, doing lots of activities, and in the process, sunburning the girls (yep, me too). We are awesome parents. haha!

This past Sunday we celebrated Jake, Seth & Ryan's birthdays with our annual backyard celebration! We couldn't have asked for better weather! I'd like to say the kids had a blast, but with 3 days of visitors before the party, they were pooped! Ryan & Seth hid inside for almost the entire party! But they weren't miserable and I think everyone else had a good time :) I know I had fun! In total, over 70 kids passed through the backyard at some point in the day. Wow! Really, it was just an awesome day.

So now here I am. I have a 6 yr old and three 4 yr olds. Not 'little kids' anymore...they are 'big kids'!!! It didn't really 'hit me' until bedtime last night. Since we neglected to sing to the kids and let them blow out candles on their birthday, I sang them each happy birthday as their bedtime song. Doesn't sound like an emotional song, but when you're overtired and sitting in a really quiet, pitch black room singing it to your, previously very little, but now super big kids, it gets to you :) cliche, but they do grow up too fast, don't they?

So...a few other thoughts for today:
  • Getting big kids to nap may feel like a grand achievement and the peace and quiet felt during said nap is truly wonderful, however, it is certainly not worth the agony felt by all when they wake up miserable, and then won't shut up and go to sleep at bedtime. Not.Worth.It.
  • Putting locking door knobs on the kids rooms was brilliant when I was locking them in. When they lock me in, it's not as smart of an idea.
  • Babies that want to do everything themselves, but can't do anything themselves, but don't want help, but really need help are really, really frustrating.
  • I can't help but wonder, at what age do you start to feel gross about sitting in the sand when you're soaking wet and in a bathing suit? How is that not the most uncomfortable thing in the world? are some pictures from the last couple of weeks!!
Sydney opening gifts at her birthday party

Daddy & the kids on our Father's Day hike at Shade's Mill

Happy Birthday big boys!!!

Just a little glimpse at the backyard crowd :)
I have lots more pics of the backyard party...but really not many of my own kids! They were hiding!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

oh where did that last month go??

Well, so much for keeping up with the blog eh??

I suppose I can use the excuse of nice weather, right? It's just been too nice to do the indoor stuff I guess. The funny thing about this time of year is that I'm so gung ho about getting out and doing something 'outdoorsy' with the kids everyday, that by the time we get a crappy weather day, they are SO happy to just sit home and 'play'. But don't you just love the kind of tired that comes from playing outside all day?? Like, super easy bedtime, no fight left in them kinda tired? I LOVE that. L.O.V.E.

So this coming Saturday is Sydney's 6th birthday, followed by Jake, Seth & Ryan's 4th birthdays one week later. WHERE did the time go?? I am sending 4 kids to school in September. FOUR of them!!!! Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well, it is and it isn't. Big adjustment coming up...we'll just see who is ready and who isn't!! The not-ready might be me! haha! Sydney will be moving to a new school for grade 1 and starting a French Immersion program. Luckily for her, her bestest friend from JK&SK is doing the same and they will be in the same class!! YAY! Unfortunately, there is no bussing for her because the school is outside of our boundry, so I will have to drop-off/pick-up, BUT, the boys get to go to the same school for kindergarten, so I don't have to juggle two different schools!

And the boys. Not only do they get the adjustment of starting school, I'm throwing them a couple more curve balls. All three will be in seperate classes. This was a no-brainer for me. Absolute best chance of success and most importantly for me, the opportunity to develop their own personalities, friendships, and just be individuals...not 'one of the triplets'. The other big curveball I requested was that they not all go on the same day. There actually are enough kindergarten sections at the school for all 3 to go on the same day and still be in seperate classes, and while the appeal of having only Jamie at home 2 or 3 days per week was compelling, this was a no-brainer too once I thought about it. I have to drive all 5 kids to the school everyday anyway. But think of the off-days...4 kids at home on the non-school days for the boys, is not a whole lot different from now. Still too many kids for me to bring to many programs on my own. And forget trying to convince one of them to sit with me to work on letters, numbers, etc. BUT, think of only 2 kids on one day and 3 on the other. Now those of you with 2 or 3 kids, may not feel the same way, and I don't blame you, but 3 kids is a flippin breeze when you've been dragging 5 around!! I think I could do nearly anything with 2 or 3 kids! Sooo...who goes on the other day? I went with Seth. Seth & Jake are identical, which already puts Ryan as the odd man out, which I really don't like. With one of them on the seperate day, it's unlikely that anyone would even know that they were brothers, much less triplets. They don't even know what that word means and I'm pretty content with that. Since Jake is probably going to be the saddest for the first little while, I wanted him to have a playground buddy. So, that leaves Seth on his own....phew. That's a lot of crazy.

And then there is poor Jamie, who is happiest surrounded by crazy. What will she do with only 1 or 2 brothers to play with?? :)

But before we worry about all the school craziness, we have 4 birthdays to think about!! Sydney is celebrating her 6th birthday at Apps' Mill Nature Centre. Her and her friends will be doing a bit of a treasure hunt using hand held GPS units. Super fun! And then we'll have our usual backyard party the following week with anyone and everyone we know! Lots of fun, coming right up! Will definitely post pictures from that madness :)

Here are some recent pics:
Jake trying to catch tadpoles from the pond at Laurel Creek

My pirates - argh!!!

A flower for mom :)

Sydney & Seth looking for frogs at Pinehurst

Yeah...this kid does not want to swim at the beach. Just sayin'

Friday, May 6, 2011


Attitude. Yeah...I've got some. I'm not really proud of it. I don't love that I have it. But I can tell you this...I love it a lot less when I watch it come right back at me out of the mouth of a 5 year old. ugh. I have inadvertently created a monster, which is small and cute, but somehow still looks and sounds like me. And yet, my first instinct is to figure out what to do about her...she must be stopped. Yeah...I know. Me too.

Nobody really likes acknowledging their character flaws, right? I like to think I'm a good person. And I mostly am...but then I'm not. And it's staring me right in the face. Sydney is a really great kid. She has great manners, she's polite, she's super helpful, thoughtful, giving. Couldn't ask for a better kid...most of the time. But when the little she-devil in her comes out, it's not for teachers, it's not for her friends, it's not for company. It's for her family. You know? The people she loves the most. Do I recognize this in myself? I wish I didn't. It would be easier if I didn't have to acknowledge, that I also, save my worst behaviour for the ones I love the most.

So tonight, Sydney - in a moment of anger/frustration/super tiredness - says 'I just wish I didn't have a mom!!' Ouch. I let it go. Moved on with regular bedtime routine. She didn't get a book, not because of this comment, but because of some earlier problems understanding that 'go to your room for a time out' did not mean 'go downstairs and watch TV'. But only brief mention at bedtime of how people don't tend to forget when you've made them feel bad/sad/hurt. Saying sorry doesn't quite cut it (which she did not say, btw). So I decided to leave it alone tonight and think more about how I would 'deal with her' tomorrow. And so now I'm thinking. And it seems pretty clear that she's not the only one who needs some 'dealing with'. I don't have the answer yet, but I'm satisfied to be more aware right now of how my behaviour is influencing my children's behaviour. I can't even count how many times I've called Paul on that regarding the boys' behaviour. I wonder how I would react if he called me on it??

I have no idea where I'm going with this. Just randomly writing things down seems to be helpful in forcing myself to recognize the situation for what it really is. I am a bully in my house. And I just have zero tolerance for bullying of any kind. In particular, grown adults who are raising children, really ought to be a better example. But I've had conversations recently with a friend about bullyish adult behaviour that we see everyday. Mothers. Looking down on other mothers. Belittling. Whispering. Don't feel better about yourself because you didn't knock somebody down and steal their lunch money. It's the same thing. And yet, I'm doing it. Not to my peers, but to my family. My husband. My children!! They look to me to show them how to behave in the world and I am showing them how to make people feel small. That is just unacceptable. So tomorrow I will 'deal' with Sydney, by showing her how to be big (without making anyone else small).

Well, that wasn't so upbeat, was it?! Planning for a much happier post after Mother's Day! haha! I love my children. I love my children. I love my children!!!

Just a few pics from Easter egg hunt pics. Just good all day outdoor fun!

Making 'cookies'

Did he not look grossed out by the 'cookies'? 'cause those are worms.

Perhaps some splash pants to go with the boots next time, no?

Really, no playground can compete with a giant puddle.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yay for spring!! And a mommy lesson learned...

Well, it's nice to finally see some warm weather outside! We've had our annual 'moment' where we fall in love with our yard all over again. And 5 out of 5 kids are LOVING the outdoors! Phew! I was starting to think we'd raised couch potatoes!!

The downside of the new found love of outdoors is that my fool proof, back deck time-out location is now completely ineffective. Nobody is crying at the back door, promising better behaviour, if only I'll let them back in. They just go and play. long as I don't have to hear all the 'he's hitting me!', 'he took my tiger', 'he's sitting in the same room as me!!' crap, I guess I'm happy, right?

Here are some pictures of a trip to Victoria Park in Galt. I gave the kids each a bag and sent them off looking for 'treasure'. And I've been cleaning 'treasure' out of my van and house ever since!! haha! But they had so much fun!

bags full of leaves, pine cones, rocks, and other 'treasures'

There is actually a giant hole where that tree used to be in the ground. Seth found it!

Just hanging out! Loving that Jamie is hangin' with the big kids already :)

On a different note, today was disappointing. I was disappointed with myself mostly. Jamie, at 14 months old, has never been to the doctor (except immunization). This is a big deal in my mind. Long before this age, all 4 big kids had prescriptions for puffers. We were far from regulars at the hospital, but we definitely had our share of wheezies. Jamie...not once. Could not ask for a healthier kid. BUT, I also have learned a thing or two over the past 6 years about how to deal with things at home. Determining what I can treat at home (and how) and what requires a doctor or some drugs I can't buy over the counter, is a fine science and I think I've mastered it. So yesterday, when Jamie and Jake both looked like monsters with green slime oozing from their eyes, I was in no rush to see a doctor. Warm wet cloths, Polysporin drops...who needs a doctor? They both looked much better by bedtime. And come morning, when Jamie was stumbling around like a brand new toddler that just drank a sippy full of rye, I still felt that I could manage. After all, even if there was an ear infection brewing...I've got a little concoction here for that too. But I let myself get talked into the 'better safe than sorry' argument that fills waiting rooms everywhere. Despite the fact that she was crying and miserable in the waiting room, and putting on a perfect performance of a poor sick child, I knew full well she was just mad I wouldn't let her play with the kleenex box and still felt like an idiot for being there. Long story short, I was right. I had called telehealth about the oozing green gunk and she told me I was doing a great job from home, keep doing what you're doing. And I got the same story from the doctor's office. Keep on keeping on...she's fine. And I didn't need a doctor.

So, the moral of that story is...use your mommy intuition. That's what it's there for! I've learned a lot of tricks and tips for home treatment and red flags for when a trip to the ER is needed. I use telehealth as an extra opinion and a source for more tips & tricks. But in the end, you know when you know...and nobody knows better than the mom. Lesson learned. (BTW - none of this is intended to imply people shouldn't go to the dr...just saying I shouldn't have because I knew she was okay...and you know your own kid better than anyone else, so make your own decisions).