6/30/11

Five

I checked in on the twins last night and this is what I saw. They do this a couple nights a week. Five years old today and they still prefer to sleep in the same bed.

6/29/11

Hide 'n Seek

We were playing hide 'n seek this morning. I went downstairs to look for them and this is what I saw. Twin1 has not quite grasped the concept. He announces where he is when hiding and glances over everything when seeking. Twin2 is a Hide 'n Seek pro. He can remain quiet for awhile and finds the smallest spots to hide in. The toddler hides right in front of where you are counting, but at least he tries. He is pretty good at counting, though. He manages one-eleven. The baby and I are a package deal - she usually ends up giving us away, but we are great seekers.


6/26/11

A Little Snippet of Life

The toddler is a tantrumer. I never thought I would have a child who would tantrum - or should I say let my children get away with that!!! Ha. Well, I have one and I don't know what to do about it. My mom suggested simply telling him to stop yelling. Hmmm - tried that and he still yells. I have heard ignoring it works. Hmmm - he never stops and I cannot stand the yelling for that long. Time outs? Hmmm - worked until he stopped staying in time out. I have tried physically keeping him in time out - nope. I have tried continuously returning him to time out - nope. Well, in conversation one day, my sister said she has a friend who tells her son to go to his room to scream and when he is done he can come out and carry on. So, I tried it. When the toddler becomes uncontrollable, I carry him to his bed and tell him to come out when he is ready. It worked. The first time I shut the door and he bolted straight out of bed and pretty much ran through the door. I am not sure he even turned the door handle. I think the door got scared and jumped open for him!. I returned him to his bed, left the door open, and sat on the stairs playing with the baby until he calmed down and came out. We cuddled and carried on. YAaa.

The next time he tantrumed was after his bath. So, naked, I put him in his bed and told him to come out when he was ready. I went upstairs and started to feed the baby. I hear him calmly coming up the stairs and then he starts yelling for me - a different yell than the tantrum screaming. His poop is coming and he is naked. So I jump out of the chair, baby still attached to me, scoop up the toddler and run to the bedroom. I pop the baby off and start to get the wipes out when the poop drops onto the carpet.

Life.

6/23/11

Difficult

Life has been difficult around here lately. We are adjusting to my husband's new work schedule - never home. Okay - not quite, but home at different times. He is now home earlier in the evenings, after the kids go to bed. Which is nice because we now get to spend more time together. But, sad because he spends even less time with the kids.

On top of this adjustment, is a difficult stage with the kids. The twins are fighting non-stop. They are getting more and more physical. And they seem to have lost their hearing. Or rather, have developed selective hearing. When I say not to do something, they immediately turn around and do it. Right in front of me. I am about to pull my hair out. This last week alone we have had a hose sprayed in the hose and hit the kitchen ceiling, the storage room redistributed throughout the downstairs 3 times, shoes thrown on the garage roof... The list goes on. At the same time, the toddler has mastered his ear-piercing tantrum scream. Everything he does is in his extreme outside voice. Finally, the baby refuses to sleep.

Last week was extremely difficult because my wonderful mom was busy getting her house ready for a family gathering, which was great. Anyway, this week seems to be shaping up to be just as long, although my amazing parents did steal the boys away this morning. Too bad the baby only slept for 10 minutes (5 of that on the boob). Ah well, I did get to do my chores with little stress and that was nice.

On a brighter note, the renovation has officially begun. We have a permit, the foundation has been dug. The forms and cement go in tomorrow. Wow. Very exciting.

6/16/11

Baby Girl

The baby has been learning all sorts of new things. She shakes her head 'no' and waves her hand 'hello'. She says 'mom' and 'dad' when she would like to get picked up by the respective parent. She pulls herself up on her knees and has pulled herself up to her feet once. She seems to have no desire to put one foot in front of the other - ya. She has an extremely pleasant baby, entertains herself extremely well, is quite social as long as she is in the arms of mom and is a loud talker. She has finally shown an interest in eating solids, although sparingly. She like avocado and carrot and dislikes squash. She is quite fond of her siblings and could watch them all day long.

video

6/15/11

Renovation



We have begun a major renovation on our house. I mentioned the mold in our attic before. Well, the roof is coming off, the trusses (sp?) are getting scrubbed, and since the roof is off anyways, we might as well add on to the kitchen. So, the deck is off, our wonderful backyard is now a huge mud pit. It is now impossible to keep the dirt out of the house. But, the kids are having a blast. They have been digging holes all over the back yard. The toddler got his leg stuck in one as you can see. The paving stones have been turned into a beaver dam. The wood piles are soon to become a huge fort.... Now we need the town to grant our permit and the building begins.

6/8/11

Wildlife

The toddler and I were enjoying some time in the garden this afternoon. I was pulling weeds with the baby in arm and oohing and aahing at how prolific the garden is this year. We are already pulling veggies out daily/mealy(I know, not a word), actually. He spied a snail and picked it up. of course it hid back in his shell. I told him to put it down and not to touch it and it would come out again. He would put it down and refrain from touching it for, oh about, 2 seconds before he would pick it back up again. Eventually, he dropped the snail and the shell broke. I said, "Oh no, it broke." He responded, "need batteries." I answer, "No, batteries won't work." He offers, "tape?"

That isn't the only wildlife hanging around. We have a resident bear. Well, several actually and even a cougar with cubs. eek. My brother in-law stopped by the other day to help fix the boat. He got out of his truck and quickly pushed his son (4) back in and jumped in himself - there was a bear in our open garage eating the garbage. The door wasn't even open 40 minutes. Then, without thinking, I filled the bird feeder last night. The bear cleaned out every seed and bent the pole. I guess the birds will have to fend for themselves for awhile.

6/6/11

Day 5

On the road again. Today is our really big drive day. 10-12 hours depending on the number of stops we need. The kids are starting to get used driving. When the baby and toddler nap, the twins happily play in the loft with cars or dinosaurs and my husband and I work on a crossword. I can’t remember the last time we worked on a crossword together. Oh, yes, during the birth of each of our children. That seems to be the only time we have time together with no other obligations. But, that time is over for us. Half our drive is down. Half to go. Tonight we are staying at my husband’s Aunts farm. And a day off of driving tomorrow. Cowboy boots and visiting are on the agenda for tomorrow – Oh and some new underpants for the twins since they have messed up almost all of them. Grr. Aw well.
Day 4

We made it to the dinosaur park. This is our second visit and once again the kids loved it. Last year we visited on a long weekend and it was quite busy, even for of season. This year, we were mid-week. We pretty much had the entire museum to our selves. It was awesome. The kids had a blast. We climbed the world’s tallest dinosaur. A great place. We will have to go back again for an extended stay. There is so much more to see. We were going to stay the night their, but since we had a huge drive ahead of us the following day, we decided to tackle some of it before dinner. We drove and stopped in a municipal campground for the night. We found it interesting because it is based on the honor system. You self register your spot and drop your money in an envelope in a slot. The campground was nice and had clean showers and washrooms. I happily went to bed with the memory of my husband telling the kids a made up store in the loft area under the glow of flashlights and to the sound of giggles. Wonderful.

I awoke in the middle of the night to a seal-bark cough from the toddler. A dose of a botanical tincture from our naturopathic doctor remedied it. This was the first time we tried it, so I remained up for an hour worried about what we were going to do because we didn’t have a humidifier. Non-needed. An hour later, I realized the tincture really did work and drifted back off to sleep.
Day 3 – So Not Mainstream

It turns out I am not normal. When I am at home in my own little world, I don’t seem to notice these things. Well, really, what is normal? Should we all aspire to normality? I don’t think so. How boring. But, to the point. With all the allergies and such, we have become atypical. Yup. That is us. It is pouring rain and what do we do for lunch – head into the nearest grocery store and cook up some dinner in the parking lot. Love the RV travel life. This way we are sure to keep the kids on their diet. We arrive at my husband’s cousins and are asked if we would like anything – a normal question, which I respond with a polite – “no thank you. We ate already.” Later comes the questions. “Would your kids like juice? – um, no thank you. They don’t drink juice. Would your kids like a snack? Um, no thank you. I have some food in the RV.” So, I head out to the RV and come back with some watermelon, grapes, and pan-popped non-GMO popcorn. Then comes the – “you did what? Yes, I cooked the popcorn in the grocery store parking lot in case the kids wanted a snack.” Then, comes the food talk. Our kids can’t eat gluten, dairy, melon, tomatoes, chocolate. Which is usually and promptly met with the comment – “What? No ice cream or pizza.” Then comes the alternate food conversation. “Well, yes. We eat pizza – gluten free crust with non-dairy cheese. It really is quite good. And we have found some delicious coconut ice cream. I make nut-cheese, nut-bread, nut-pancakes, nut-cookies, nut-muffins that taste delicious.” I didn’t even begin to explain the lentil based foods that we eat. Now for the comment that I have never heard before, “What about the real food.” Hm. I am pretty much a slave to the kitchen. I make most of our food from scratch. Pre-packaged, processed foods are almost non-existent in our house. So, in my opinion, we are eating more ‘real’ food than most people these days. That was the end of that conversation. Except that the following day my kids were once again offered a pre-packaged, processed food that I had to disallow and received the comment, “It’s only potatoe.” Well, if only she read the ingredients, she would realize that it is so not just potatoe.

Oh and don’t even get me started about home schooling. I received my first critical response regarding our decision to home school. I have received a few, “Oh ya’s” Or, “that’s so not for me.” Or, “I just wouldn’t have the patience for that.” This time, I received a, “Don’t you want them out of the house? And, don’t you have to go to school for that and get a certificate or something.” Hmm. No. And who better to meet the needs of my children – me of course. When I answer that I am a government certified teacher people are usually okay with our decision. Like, I really require their permission.

On to the mall. My husband took the kids to a waterpark during out visit and I browsed some stores with the baby. Well, really we just sat and people watched because I am not much of a shopper. Wow. Were there ever a lot of GQ kids in the mall. All dressed to the nines. It made me evaluate the home made sweatpants twin1 was wearing. Except that he absolutely adores them and loves to tell people that, “mommy made these for me.” What a cutey. I did head into an Asian food market and browsed through the interesting foods and picked up some sushi, veggies, fruit for lunch. While I was waiting in line, the baby was making eyes at the lady behind and smiling. This lady looks at me and says, “Why isn’t she in a stroller?” I respond with the baby comfortably in the sling on my hip, “She has never sat in a stroller before. I have 3 other kids and I find it easier to keep my hands free when I am out and about.” Which is of course met with a full body up/down evaluation and, “4 kids?” response.

Yup. Atypical would describe us.

Road Trip - Day 2

Day 2

Well technically this should be day 1, but with the help of my parents and a slow day at my husband’s work we were able to leave the evening before. We drove 2 hours last night and things went pretty smoothly. We have already learned a few RV lessons: do not let all 3 kids sleep together – sleep does not happen. By 8:30 none of the kids had fallen asleep and twin2, who was up at 5:30am, was starting to cough and feel under the weather. A quick separation and all were asleep in a few minutes. Hurray.

6/2/11

Ketchup

Twin2 loves (LOVES) ketchup. Pretty much every meat dinner he asks for dip. I ask if he would like mustard and he responds, "Yuck. No my like mustard. I like dip (ketchup)." Unfortunately, tomatoes are one of the foods that my kids cannot tolerate. I personally am not a tomato fan, but like tomato sauce. It is amazing how many things are made with tomatoes/sauce.

I have discovered a substitute and spent the day preparing my concoction. In celebration, we turned the boys much loved cheese bread into real pizza. They even let me put some olives on it tonight. Wow. So, I know you are wondering......what could the substitute be..... he, he. Rhubarb. HA. I knew you wouldn't guess. Yup. Rhubarb ketchup. And it is absolutely delish. I will be searching the neighborhood for unused rhubarb. Please let me know if you have any to spare. Yum.

Rhubarb Ketchup
6c rhubarb, sliced
1 1/2 c honey
3/4 c vinegar
1 1/2 c onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
few pepper grinds

1. mix together rhubarb and honey. Let stand 20 min to let juices come out.
2. Add rest of ingredients anf cook on low. Stir often. Cook until soft.
3. Blend when cool enough to handle.
4. Store. Either can or freeze.
5. Enjoy

Joy



Me and my girl caught sleeping in. A rare occasion - a joy.

6/1/11

Road Trip

Wel,l we did it. We headed out in a 24' RV for 12 days, 6 people, 4600km - we only lasted 8 days. Yup. We arrived home sick and happy to turn over the RV keys. Don't get me wrong. I would travel in an RV again. In fact, I believe that it is the best way to travel if you have to go long distance with kids. However, our kids and the prairies just don't mix. We are coast people through and through. It was the same last year. As soon as we hit the dry weather the kids' skin turns blotchy, their eczema flares up, they start coughing = no sleep = sick = viral induced asthma. As a result, heading into another country was completely out of the picture. We knew we had to remain in our own country, with our own medical, and we knew we had to head back to moist weather fast. Needless to say, we are home and recuperating. It is kind of nice to be home for a few days and do whatever we want. I have done some quilting, some gardening. We have a few more days of lounging around and a home school convention and then our family time is at an end. Ahhh. It is all over too soon. Back to our rhythm. I like holiday's, but I think I like rhythm and my home even better. It was nice to see all the family though.