Soap Opera Sisters

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Do you ever have a moment when you look at your kids and realize that they are bigger? Really look at them and see that they are turning into little people, that they shed the baby away and there’s no turning back?

Yeah, so that happened to me the other day.

Don’t get me wrong, I have realized for some time now that my babies are no longer, well babies. They have been able to clearly articulate their opinions, thoughts and views on everything from the food I cook to the movies we are going to watch for a long time now. I proudly hear them give me examples about rules of the road, how somebody looks and what matters in life all the time.

They are regular philosophers.

But let me tell you when you look at them and it sort of slaps you on the face that they are growing up, it just about brings tears to my eyes. I notice it more when I hear them play together.

My girls love to play together now. (I say now, because up until Christmas, the Little Mouse was “still a baby” and couldn’t seem to understand sharing and role playing). And then she seemed to get it and they play together all the time.

And 83% of the time, it goes off without a hitch.

They play friends at school, they play house and they play soap opera – that’s what I call it, when they are making up a situation that they have to save each other from. Just another day in Port Charles or Genoa City.

Just the other day I could hear them playing with their dolls, and they talk to each other in this adult-like tone and solve problems together, make decisions together and save each other from near disasters. Then they’ll stuff all the dolls they can into Barbie’s Corvette and Barbie’s Fiat, respectively, and drive it around like Marty McFly flew into 1955.

Every once in a while the Little Mouse would lose it because she couldn’t change the outfit of a Monster High doll, but I listened to the Little Bird help her little sister. Or I heard the Little Bird start to complain that the shoes were not going on, and the Little Mouse offered to bring them to me for help.

And it continues from soap opera plays to live concert performances, complete with two Elsa costumes, two Elsa crowns and two pairs of Elsa gloves. The Little Bird offered to get their necklaces and the Little Mouse will share her rings. They take turns putting on a show and singing at the top of their lungs. When that’s perfected, mommy gets to watch it.

I love that they will take turns singing and pass the microphone back and forth. Fits of giggles and hugs and even some The Next Step worthy dance moves are incorporated.

It’s amazing.

Moments later they are taking off the costumes to run back and hang mini Lalaloopsy dolls from my kitchen cabinets and carefully fill sticker books together.

I know my girls are growing up, and I hope they grow this bond they seem to be developing. I hope it turns into a true friendship and the 83% continues to build to 100%, minus potential arguments about clothes, shoes and the car. They are two individuals and need to find their place in the world. And I’m realizing this is happening a lot faster than I thought it would, but I find comfort in knowing they will find it together.

Yes my Little Bird and my Little Mouse are growing up. It is a thought that is equally the most frightening and most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

They are the Young and the Restless and D and I have to just accept that these are the Days of our Lives.

And at 4 and almost 7 years old, something tells me I’m only just beginning.

Halfway Love: Music Monday

I had to share this new music that I’ve been loving lately. It’s got a good beat and perfect to play in my headphones at work. The artist is ELHAE and the track is called Halfway Love.

ELHAE (pronounced LA), is an acronym for “Every Life Has an Ending” is an artist from Atlanta, whose real name is Jamaal Jones. I will admit, I keep only listening to the same few songs from his newly released album Aura, but there is something about his voice that hooks me.

From what I’ve read up about him, and there seems to be many comparisons to Drake or The Weekend, from his voice, to the fact that he sings, raps and comes up with his own beats for his music. I just think he’s got something different. I will be the first to admit I’m not on the Drake or The Weekend train, but I can see what people are saying. Aside from the similarities in his tone to these two other artists, it’s really the beats and feeling of the music that hooks me.

The music is pretty chill and as I make my way through the whole album, I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite tracks.

Happy Monday!

Do you like to discover new music? If so, feel free to share it with me.

Flowers, Cake, Family & Courage

What a weekend! While I often wish I had (a few) extra days after a weekend; going back to work after a long weekend is really hard.

Especially, when the weekend was so amazing!

Flowers…

Saturday was Valentine’s day, and we spent most of it tackling the set-up of our new spare bedroom-slash-office, I also spent a part of it prepping for the Little Mouse’s birthday party. With loot bags done, salads made and Frozen decorations packed, we were ready to go.

D and the girls surprised me with some beautiful purple roses; six from each of them.

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My pretty purple roses.

I love how when they came home, the Little Mouse (who is horrible at keeping a secret) blurt out, “we have a surprise for you mommy!” And the how Little Bird tried to hide it, “No, she’s joking. We don’t have anything. She doesn’t tell good jokes, mommy.”

I tried to keep a straight face when they finally brought the bouquets to me. They were adorable.

The night ended with some Greek take-in and some episodes of their favourite television show. It was a great day and I loved every minute of it.

Cake…

Sunday was the big day!

The Little Mouse was so excited, she could hardly wait. “Is my party now?”

“Is it now?”

“Are we leaving yet?”

You get the picture.

When it was finally time to go, we made our way to the indoor play place and she had a blast with her friends and cousins. The party went off without a hitch! All the kids had a blast playing together. We had the right amount of food, candy and of course an amazing cake for the birthday girl.

The real test of patience comes after the party. That’s when D and I have to bring everything inside, put away extra cake and pizza as the vultures circle the pile of presents.

“Can we open my presents now?”

We didn’t have much to clean up this time around, since the planning was pretty spot-on (ahem!), so it didn’t take too long and eventually she got to open her loot!

It was Frozen, Frozen and more Frozen!

Honestly, it’s not a surprise that Frozen fever lives on, with all the merchandise available now. She got her own Elsa dress, tiara, jewellery, microphone – complete with songs! She got a baby Elsa, a toddler Elsa and Frozen Monopoly. Frozen clothes and school supplies ready for September! It was crazy, but she seemed to really love it all.

I think it was safe to say that she went to bed with a huge smile on her face that night. And that’s all you can ask for as a parent.

Family…

Yesterday was Family Day in Ontario, and so we were all home. The girls played with all the Little Mouse’s new toys and made an orchestra with the singing microphone and the singing Barbie she got, so D and I retreated upstairs to wade through a dresser of their baby stuff.

Our goal was to empty the old nursery, including two dressers, and make that room into an office. The closet is already done and one dresser has been empty for a while now since the Little Mouse moved into her big girl room. But the last remaining dresser was something I was sort of stalling to get to. It was where I kept the baby books and cards from past birthdays, the school certificates, notes, report cards and pictures. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a matter of moving them out and into a new spot, I would look at everything.

I can’t help myself.

This is where every note I wrote from doctor’s appointments went, things the kids said were scrawled on a post-it note and put into a box. It is my dresser of memories, and I have been procrastinating actually getting it together and putting things in a better place for a while, but I couldn’t listen to another “Let it Go” synthesized through that mic again, so it was now or never.

D and I worked on organizing their stuff, finally separating those notes out and into each of their baby books. It’s not done, but it’s almost there. We did that for the whole morning and then we broke for lunch.

After lunch, we opened up the Frozen Monopoly and played together, as a family. The girls had a blast. Well, actually to be honest, they went back and forth between loving it and hating it, depending on if they were collecting money or paying money to the bank or other players.

The Little Mouse started out playing with D, as Elsa. The Little Bird was Ana and I was Olaf. The Little Bird would proclaim, “I love this game,” as she collected $2 (not $200) when she passed GO, or collected other money as per her Chance card. But by her next turn, she would be claiming, “I hate this game,” since she landed on my property and owed me $3, or at one point when she noticed she didn’t have a lot of money left.

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Board game fun!

D and I just laughed, as we tried to explain to her that it was just a game and we needed to try to have fun. It didn’t matter if you won or not.

The Little Mouse however just flipped sides. Suddenly she didn’t want to be Elsa anymore, so she joined team Olaf and rolled the dice for me. She paid out money we owed, collecting money owed to us. In the end we won, to the disappointment of the Little Bird.

And I got taught a lesson in gloating, which I apologized for.

(I’m competitive, I can’t help it!)

After dinner we had Family Movie Night, which my kids love. And chose Big Hero 6.

We all saw that in the theatre, so it was nice to snuggle up together on our bed and watch it. As usual, they claim which characters they want to be, and who D and I get to be. In the end, we fist-bumped (bah-a-la-la-la) and agreed that we all love Baymax and want to squish him.

Courage…

With teeth brushed and pajamas on, we snuggled up once more to read the Little Mouse’s new Frozen book, when the Little Bird started complaining that her tooth hurt.

Her bottom front tooth has been loose for a while now, and the actual adult tooth has started to grow in. That baby tooth has been almost horizontal for about two weeks, and I’m not really sure what was holding it there, but she wouldn’t let me touch it; too afraid I would make it bleed. But last night, in the middle of the story, she said it was hurting her.

I paused the story, took her to the bathroom and told her I’ll pull it out. I told her it would only take me a second and then the tooth fairy could come and visit her. While she didn’t really like the idea, she let me do it. I have to admit, I barely even touched it and it came out.

Yes, there was blood, but just a little. And yes, there were tears, but only a few. In that three minutes, her face had changed, her tooth was securely in her new “tooth fairy pillow”, she was smiling and we went back to the story.

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Lost first tooth!

As I tucked them into bed last night, I couldn’t help but think what an eventful weekend we had. Our little girls were growing up. I had scanned through pictures from both of their three month, six month, nine month photo shoots, while D and I exclaimed how little they were. We organized their annual pictures, found notes from daycare teachers and school, taking us through the past seven years in what felt like the blink of an eye. And here we are, kissing them goodnight and they are already four years old and almost seven. She’s lost her first tooth and already told me that the next one is loose.

I need to put some money away!

And I need to make time for more weekends like this. Family Day was amazing and I’m grateful for a day dedicated to this, but we need to remember to take some time out every day.

Because if I learned anything this weekend, it’s that time certainly does fly by.

Tania

P.S. The Little Bird sprang out of bed this morning to check her pillow and was super pleased to find $20 from the tooth fairy.

(I was super quick to tell her that the tooth fairy said only the first tooth gets $20 and all other teeth would be a lesser amount!)

Happy 4th birthday, Little Mouse!

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My birthday wish for you….

My Little Mouse.

You keep me on my toes, challenge me in ways your big sister never did. Where she was more easy going, you fight us; such as at dinner time and when it was time to clean up. You would be perfectly content with rice and chocolate for dinner every day, maybe even pasta and a hot dog once in a while. You’re not too adventurous in trying new things and are the first to say “I don’t want that,” even if what I made wasn’t for you. You like to cover your bases. Tidy up time translates to “hide under the kitchen table” time. You could care less where things go or why they need to be put away.

I know daddy is reading this and saying you got that from me. I just know it.

I want to wish you a very happy birthday!

I want you to be curious, adventurous and spunky always. I want you to sing out loud and love your sister and express yourself like only you can. Enjoy your day with your friends, your chocolate cake and your presents. Enjoy your party on the weekend and I hope all your wishes come true!

Love you always and forever!

Mommy

Four years ago today

Four years ago today I was packing a bag for the hospital. I went to get my nails and toes done. I had a bath and tried to get everyone ready, the Little Bird included, that a little baby would be joining our family the next day.

The bag was smaller this time around, as I didn’t feel the need to pack my life. I knew what to expect this time around. I had opted for the cesarean and was very comfortable knowing that there would be no surprises.

You see, I qualified (is that even the right word?!) for a normal vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean), but it was the words “as long as the baby is about 7 pounds” that had me jumping to sign on the dotted line for option A: elective cesarean.

Both pregnancies were very different, as they usually are. I felt so heavy and was positive this kid was going to fall out on a daily basis, so I wasn’t ready to gamble on a weight of 7 pounds. I knew what to expect now from the c-section dance. So that’s what I did.

In the early morning I would walk into the hospital smiling and – I’d like to think – glowing! I think I even waved as I said good morning to the nurses on the pediatric floor. They laughed and asked if I was there for a cesarean, to which I responded yes.

I was ushered to my room, where I got ready and waited for a nurse to butcher my arm while trying to insert the IV. I remember D eyeing the floor and looking at me, some of the colour drained from his face as he mouthed, don’t look down. Apparently my blood was everywhere!

But that did not diminish my mood. We were having a baby! And after all was cleaned up, and my IV was finally done right, I made my way to the OR, received an epidural, lay down on the table and the doctors arrived. The whole think didn’t take too long at all, compared to the first time around.

The Little Mouse was curled up under my ribs, so they had to apply some pressure to get her out of there, which made me feel sick, but aside from that, we were officially parents of two little girls as of 8:44 a.m. on the morning of February 11, 2011. The Mouse weighed 5 lbs, 12 oz, which the doctor said she was surprised she was so little.

Not sure if that was a dig at me or the size I was, but I didn’t care.

She was beautiful. Tiny. Perfect. She looked like D, but with less hair. She made these tiny squeaky noises, which earned her the title of Little Mouse.

My mom brought the Little Bird in to meet her new sister and while I think she wasn’t quite sure what to think, I could cry seeing the two of them together. I cherish those pictures.

That seems like forever ago.

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The Little Mouse doing some daycare homework. Where has the time gone?

And now the Little Mouse is a curious, energetic, spunky little girl who isn’t afraid to sing when she wants, curl up on my lap when she wants or give hugs and kisses when she wants. She is affectionate, happy and giving. She loves her big sister and I love to watch them play together.

I noticed over the holidays that the Little Mouse likes what the Little Bird likes; there is a bigger desire to watch Family Channel shows with her big sister, instead of Treehouse shows. She loves to play with her dolls and babies, Monster High and Ever After Dolls. She LOVES markers and colouring, even though she always ends up with marker all over her hand and sometimes even her face. She loves puzzles and little Lalaloopsy dolls. She loves Disney Princesses and Frozen is still holding strong in our house.

I can’t believe that you will be four tomorrow. You have no idea how much you have changed my life, and are a part of my heart. Our family is complete with you in it.

And I wouldn’t change that for the world!