Friday, June 23, 2017

September to June!

I'm always up for showing comparison photos because the change is just so not obvious when you see the person Even i was shocked at how much Mikkel has changed; one year is so huge for kids in every aspect.

The occasion for this day is that Max has graduated from level 2 preschool!
Officially a Kindergardener candidate, while I'm one less kid and so much more time on my hands than i know what to do with. I'm confident he will thrive, but also am nervous about TODAY'S REAL WORLD.
im also bummed that because of shift work, i might actually be seeing Max less. his schedule will essentially be monday-friday; when I'm off during the weekdays i see him at school drop off and 330pm- bedtime. if I'm on a night shift, i will only get to see him from 330-6pm (insert tears!)

my forever little boooyyyyyyyy!!
growing up way too fast.
the days are long, but the years are short- never rang so true.

pics below were September 2016 ------> June 2017 (school year in North America)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life Lately Summer 2017

haven't logged on to blog for a long time or updated Mikkel's monthly advances, oops!
I mean the reality is that i only get 1 hour of free time to myself at night and really, online shopping takes up so much of that time. 
however, i can't promise this won't happen again because it will but i do appreciate anyone who still comes by to check in... HI! 

Life lately...

  • Mikkel is 22 months on July 1st
  • i would describe her as sassy, who knows what she wants and wants what she wants
  • she lives off of breakfast: maple/brown sugar oatmeal -- snack: goldfish, puffs -- lunch: chicken and fries -- dinner: plain rice with broccoli tips -- post bath snack: popsicles and maybe fruit. not sure how she's thriving? but totally 2nd child syndrome because I'm just happy she's eating something
  • things she says nowadays include: "do it right" (when you're too lazy to do help her with what she wants), "just a second" (when you're rushing her), "wait!" (when she wants to buckle herself in her highchair before you serve breakfast, "not yet!" (when you ask her if she's done taking a poop), "i lob-yoo" (of course!), "I don't know", "all done!" "i need help." and many more. ill add to this section when i remember to capture this age. do kids this age synthesize phrases like this already? i don't remember Max doing this at all
  • when she gets mad, she swats or hits. she also has scratched Max pretty bad in the face (like a cat!) but that seems to be a phase thats dying down now. she's currently when upset, says a big fat, "NO!!" and pucker's her lips with a glare in her eyes...when pushed a little bit further she'll lie down on the ground and close her eyes. it's very LOL
  • she loves to sleep with my husband at night while is a horrible co sleeper with Max and I
  • usual wake up time 730am, naps 2-4pm, bed time 830pm
  • still loves to breast feed!! 
  • started to play with dolls and mimicking activities of daily living

As for Max...
  • he's done preschool next week and going into kinder in September!! it's not only a change for him but an entire familial shift in ratio of hours in our presence vs. the system. I'm definitely going to be grieving in September as we enter a new normal
  • sweetest thing lately was while playing at the local mall's play pit with a moderate number of other kids, Mikkel missed her step, slipped and hit her forehead on the carpeted floor. She started crying, all the kids paused and turned to look at her like a scene from a movie, and here comes Max without prompting kneeling beside her so they're eye level asking if she's OK and giving her a hug to which she was receptive. Strangers mumbled to each other and to me what a sweet boy he was not knowing they were siblings or related to me. #siblingSuccessStory
  • 100% fully trained in the bathroom, which means he won't be holding anything in when Kinder comes along 
  • learned how to ride a two wheel bike in 2 days, 1 hour each session- first and second time on a two wheel bike with no prior balance bike use. i was anticipating an entire summer's worth of practicing removing one training wheel at a time, but done!
  • when Mikkel is upset, she comes to me for the initial hug but wants to finish of her tears with Max. she literally cries out, "Kuya!!" (big brother) and i put her down, he picks her up and she wraps her legs around him while he gives her kisses on the forehead. Adorable!!
  • obsessed with Sharks and Dinosaurs at the moment

As for me...
  • it's extremely hard for me to find sunglasses to fit and minimize my round face but alas, I've found the pair of my dreams and with an ever so rare selfie, I'm showing them off on the blog! I'm anticipating on wearing these for the rest of my life
  • as i get older, I'm really into sun protection for my face and body. did you know that I'm allergic to sunscreen and that Ombrelle is the only sunscreen I don't react to? (yes, I've seen an allergist). Anyhow, I'm loving Green Beaver Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 15, Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 to use daily under my makeup, Ombrelle Kids SPF 50+ for our family, the sun hat of my dreams, and of course said sunglasses
  • work is busy af. full time shift work, full time child rearing when I'm "off." I'm finally finding time to take care of myself since i developed Fat Pad Syndrome on my foot so here I am getting massages and seeing physio because i hate being in pain. what works for me is to just schedule a time to do it online and not overthink it, if i wait for when people are free and then try to fit myself in, then my health gets pushed aside (speaking to all mothers who can relate)
thanks for reading all the way to the end!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mexico with the Kids!

TRUTH: vacationing with the kids is no rest and relaxation. As i'm writing this, it's been a week since we've returned, and I feel like I need a vacation from vacation, and from work. I'm contemplating on booking a hotel room for me, myself, and I and just sleep and shop and eat. knowing high strung ME though, i could never relax because of the guilt of leaving kids at home and spending money on just myself. Also, i don't want to not be with the kids, I just want it easy peasy like sleep through the night, eat the food, sit at the beach/pool and self entertain, and that'd be it for 1 week- too much to ask? all in due time (womp womp).

===> Departing:

woke up kids no problem, left the house no problem. all electronics charged night before.

I have an app on an old phone and iPad that allows you to download videos from youtube directly, unfortunately I couldn't find that app anymore to link here. maybe iTunes is doing a sweep because youtube has a license on videos? no idea. anyhow, the VIDEO D/L app allowed me to download a bunch of youtube videos to occupy kids and be able to play the videos without using wifi/on airplane mode. i also signed up for Netflix for the first time, but i find my kids don't watch complete shows/movies/series, they scroll and like short episodes of kids opening up toys, popsicles flying and teaching colours, and watch music videos that get on your nerves after some time.

plane ride there was great because it wasn't a full flight. a huge spacious plane that we were able to spread out.
TIP #1: when you choose your seats, choose the 2 seater ones as there is overall more space and no one sitting  beside you.
TIP #2: i split up gene and I's seat so he was sitting in another row. i had a few moments when both kids were not in my field of vision and were out of my hair.
TIP #3: clean your house, change all your bedsheets prior to leaving so when you come home you come to cleanliness and a clean familiar bed.
TIP #4 WHICH I FORGOT TO DO: make sure when you download movies from netflix, switch the account to the proper one. the movies i downloaded where on my account, and when we got on the plane the iPad was on Max's account and thus couldn't access the movies. DOH!
TIP #5: bring a stroller, it allows you to cut a few long lines
TIP #6: bring the carrier, life saver for Mikkel's naps and Max's fatigue (he was able to sit on the stroller) while she was sleeping on the carrier
TIP #7: Bring an empty water bottle and fill it after security; kids need something to drink often and you definitely don't get enough or as often as you would like while in flight

Max was/is absolutely no problem on flights.
Mikkel, as it was her first time did ok. she was able to sleep for 1 hour. she requested the breast a lot and it was easy yet not that easy to just give her the breast whenever she was fussy or bored or tired or whatever that would escalate into a tantrum if i didnt do it. Food that they ate were goldfish, cadbury fingers, hard candy lollies, sweet tart lollipops (mainly for mikkel because she would choke on the hard candy ones), instant noodles in a cup because you could always ask for boiling water.

TIP #8: ask the flight attendants for a garbage bag (or bring one in your backpack), we accumulated so much crap from the snacks and various entertainment items that needed to be opened. where else would one put them right?

kids didnt touch colouring books or felts, but stickers occupied some of their time. mikkel bounced on my lap and exhausted me from her activities and restlessness.

we went to Nuevo Vallarta, and it took Mikkel 3 days to like the sand and listen to the sound of the waves. Awesome, not! thank goodness there was a pool because she was used to the sensation from her exposure here and i was able to literally cool off from the heat. Mikkel also wanted to be carried all.the.time so by going on the pool she was near weightless and i actually go to be in the water and participate in the entertainment.

TIP #1: Bring sand toys from dollar store, take advantage of all the sand toys other families leave on the beach because they too had to leave paradise, and pay it forward by leaving the sand toys you have accumulated for another family before you go home.
TIP #2: Natives were the best holiday shoes for kids as they were able to get wet and cleaned/shook off without fuss

i love all inclusives because i just absolutely despise wasting money on food kids won't eat. during our stay, Max ate a little bit of everything- MAX = AWESOME TRAVELLER. Mikkel however is a pickier eater and ate a muffin for breakfast, Fruit Loops for snacks, mac an cheese and lunch with fries, and dinner a piece of bread maybe, more fries, a hot dog with no bun nearly every day. also she was drinking juice all day and every day countless of times. i love that i didnt have to worry about their meals as there was always something to eat and i was able to get just enough without paying for a full priced meal.

Max did all sorts of activities and was easy to care for.

Mikkel's favourite spots were going up and down the stairs that lead to the beach from the pool deck as well as the outdoor shower where you would wash your feet off so sand was minimally being brought into the pool grounds. Conveniently, it was right beside the stairs she liked and that the foot was stations were the perfect height and water pressure for a little toddler not yet used to the vacation stimulation.

For naps, some days i was able to breastfeed Mikkel to sleep under the palapas, most days i had to put her on the carrier and just suck it up. the beach breeze didnt make baby wearing miserable but she was still heavy and i lost beach/pool/R&R time because of it- but worth it to not have a cranky toddler or have to retire extra early at night because someone was cranky.

TIP #1: i gave the kids Kefir nearly every day prior to our vacation. maybe our guts were stronger, maybe the resort food was overall safe, but NO ONE GOT SICK or had diarrhea during the trip and i wasn't that careful with the ice/water business.

For bathing, i showered with both kids as there was no tub. for sleep, we requested to 2 double beds and for a majority of the nights both kids slept with me (and lucky for him, Gene got the bed to himself. the way the layout of the room was that i was able to move the bed against the closet and use one of the room lounger chairs as a barricade. Max didnt fall off, i was in the middle, restless Mikkel was also safe and secure. Tight fit, but i was so exhausted from the days that I was getting some quality slumber.

biggest hiccup of the trip was day of departure was when the bell boy didnt put our luggage in the transfer bus so when we got the airport it was a pain the ass. the Transat staff were amazing and got the hotel to send our luggage on a taxi and 20 minutes later we were reunited. imagine if it was an hour ride from the resort to the airport?!?!
TIP #2: i chose a resort close to the airport because i could not imagine driving for another hour on a bus after a long plane ride, immigration, customs, carousel, plus stuffy heat and high temps ordeal.

====> HOME: 
our flight was delayed because of the tail wind. going home though was in our favour and the tail wind made the 6 hour flight more of a 4 1/2 hour flight.

TIP #1: when you bring food for kids on your trip, double it and pack the other half in your check in luggage. try not to eat it during your stay. repack these snacks in your carry on for your flight home unless you want to pay insane airport prices for (junk) food.

our flight home involved a rinky dink airplane with only one aisle and full to the max. my husband was also extremely irritable which made for a doozy of a trip home (read: i wanted to throw away his passport in MEXICO). the flight home, involved whipping out gummy bears and more candy as i was  reaching my limits of all sorts. my kids really like lipton soup and i brought the Lipton Soup in a cup to bring in familiar foods from home. again, easy to ask for boiling water on a plane! The lineups for food were horrendous at the Puerto Vallarta airport, but alas since they were going to miss a proper dinner i spent a shitload of money buying fries, sandwiches, and milkshakes because the food on the plane is MUCH WORSE. lots of breastfeeding for Mikkel, jumping on my lap, and whining from both of the kids INCLUDING MY HUSBAND. Also, it was the first day of my period which means the heaviest flow and it was just the icing on the cake on my exhaustion.

the best part of my trip though was my period was due to come on Wednesday but didnt come until the Saturday (day of departure)! i love that i didnt have to sacrifice any days because of my period which is so debilitating.  you better believe i willed my body for my period to not come, tried to not stress out over little things so as to not tilt my hormones over the edge, and even prayed to give me a few more days! wow!

Finally, vacationing with the kids was definitely not relaxing but i love that i was able to do it and learned a few things on how they travelled. Im not rushing to do it again, but I'm not appalled at the idea of another trip many many many months from now.

below some pics from our trip!

^^ Max lost his first tooth during our trip ^^

^^ daily set up, we spent 6-7 hours a day here! ^^

^^ crackers and chillin' ^^

^^ endless coconut ice cream ^^

^^ crepes and fried bananas for breakfast ^^

Monday, March 27, 2017

::: Happy List (long time no blog edition) :::

Hi all,  terribly long time since i've actually blogged. yaddi yaddi yadda...KIDS, full time work schedule; in pursuit of work life balance.

Here are some fun things that have made me happy lately...

  • first and foremost, shoutout to the family that recognized me and took the time to say hi to me at Metrotown yesterday! Thank you for saying hi! i often feel shy when I'm approached because of my blog. I just don't update this site anymore to receive the honour of being recognized, thanks for rekindling the idea that my blog is actually being read :op
  • I've been really loving the LOOK of the cropped wide leg pants trend lately. the cut is less 1960's hippy nowadays, which i have to say is the era my husband grew up in and has only disdain words to describe the fashion of those times. Anyhow, the ultimate sailor pant is by Jesse Kamm, but it's definitely priced in the 'investment' category. I recently found a similar pair from GAP Canada, check them out ! I have an apple shaped body (my weight shows up around my tummy but my upper body and lower body remain relatively straight), these pants are super high rise aka sucks everything in and gives a flattering waist line. try them!
  • anyone who is a Sephora fiend like me knows the company Anastasia of Beverly Hills. Love their brow whiz products! As an alternative though, I've been using MAC Cosmetics' brow twist pencil in the colour Stud, but now i have a new Love (!): REVLON COLORSTAY BROWN PENCIL. found in the drugstore for half the price of MAC, waterproof, glides smoothly, and comparable colour and staying power. My brow colour equivalents are ABH in Granite, MAC in Stud, Revlon in Dark brown 
  • ive made a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my day, but Ricardo's Chocolate Chip Cookies are by far the best I've made so far.  i think the brown sugar makes it very crispy and instead of the melted butter and the subsequent cool in fridge step, i used room temp butter and was able to cook it right away. great base recipe for adding nuts and other ingredients as well. Ricardo's recipe consistently yielded 24 cookies for me.
  • Beauty and the Beast, need i say more? Max and I recently went on a movie date to watch this movie and really, it was more for me than him haha. even though we watch the Disney cartoon day in and day out, he's the typical five year old who can't sit for 2 hours straight and gabs non stop in outside voices to compensate for the loudness of the movie. however, so proud of him, with popcorn and some forbidden pop, he did really well and enjoyed the film himself. he's currently roaring non stop and acting like the Beast 
  • as I'm turning 35 this year, I'm starting to put some effort into skin care. I have combination acne-prone skin, and instead of hating it day in and day out, I've spent a good time of my free time educating myself on Beautypedia about what products are available to me. My current night time routine involves a in shower cleanse with Dermalogica Dermal Clay Cleanser (which honestly didnt get favourable reviews on beautypedia but has always worked well for me way back when). Post shower, I tone my face with Andalou Naturals Vitamin C Toner to get rid of any further makeup residue (found at Superstore!). Then I use a gentle BHA exfoliant       to keep my pores clean, the most gentle and effective one I've found has been by Paula's Choice bought from the American website. Finally, my night moisturizer has been the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Original Formula Night Cream found at London Drugs. During the day, I cleanse and add Cetaphil SPF 30 Moisturizer under my makeup
  • I'm currently sorting out my Spring Fluid Capsule wardrobe to ward off buying in excess aka too many black shirts. my favourite philosophy so far has been from Style Bee. I also like to go on Pinterest to see what the combination of clothes would look like (i mean it's not my body but it helps to reaffirm the the combination looks good), and i like to use the Polyvore app to categorize my clothes into outfits and have an accessible visual when I feel like shopping and need a reminder i have too many clothes as it is!
  • even though it's not glam at all inside the restaurant, our favourite comfort food restaurant has been Sunrise Pizza and Steak House lately. We really love their pizza style, the Kalamari dinner, their spaghetti and meat sauce, and lasagna with meat sauce. we've eaten here twice in the last month and because it's never really busy in there, we don't have to keep shushing the kids and let them be normal. I used to be a huge fan of Stephos but they've gone downhill big time, Sunrise has the best Kalamari dinner in East Van in my opinion- best Kalamari and Greek salad for sure (Opa's Kalamari is 2nd best but not always consistent). 
  • I've been loving this song lately, Rihanna's Love on the Brain. i hear it all the time and i never get tired of it
  • last but not least, MEXICO April 2017! Sun, beach, no cooking, no cleaning!
what's made you happy lately?

follow me on Instagram @mitzdemeanor
it's a locked account because children. Also, why are there so many XXX accounts trying to follow me on IG? So easy to screen shot photos of children for unauthorized use. Terrible.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

my children are growing up!! (18m and 5T)

  • sleeps on her own for 45 mins during naps, and then wakes up crying. Gene then takes her to bed and naps with her, stretching it out for another hour! impossible to co sleep with me
  • learning how to jump. so far the top of the feet are still sticking to the ground
  • she can run but still trips depending on shoes
  • size 5 diapers in baby dry
  • size 6.5-7 in shoes
  • loves shoes and tries her collection on daily
  • lives off of oatmeal, smoothies, fries, pineapples
  • pinches pinches pinches
  • new words "yeah" "yep" (and using it appropriately!) "oatmeal" "draw" "help me" (sounds like ap-me) "shoes" (and it sounds like shoes) and words
  • new jobs include  throwing her pee diaper in the garbage and feeding the cat every morning. first thing she says is "Moe Eat" (she walks with a bowl of wet food from the kitchen to Moe's feeding station!)
  • knows the concept of "hot" so she doesn't touch the heater or the oven
  • puts her finger to her mouth and says "sshhhhh" 
  • went she gets mad, she likes to scream NO and throw things on the ground
  • still able to fall asleep on the carrier
  • when you ask if she wants the breast, she goes to the fridge and gestures for her Vitamin D drops 
  • fave youtube Vids are Pentatonix count to 5 on Sesame Street and One Direction What Makes U Useful also via Sesame Street
  • obsessed with buckles and spends patient time buckling and unbuckling herself from stroller, high chair, and her helmet
  • breastfeeding strong at after breakfast, before nap, bedtime routine and 0-1x during the night
  • usual bed time at night 745pm, wakes up 1-2x a night, fed once cuz I'm too tired. usual wake up time 615am
^^ "beautiful eyes" ^^ is it just a filipino thing to get their kids to do this? haha

^^ baby wearing with my old cabbage (circa 1990!) ^^

me or Gene lookalike? 

As for Max...

  • obsessed with sharks (we own all the Jaws movies now) plus various shark pillows
  • insane amount of art work daily. did you know at age 12 the magic of imagination suddenly becomes suppressed? about 1% of kids retain the artistic creative magic that doesn't involve gore and wedding dresses as the perpetual topic of art)
  • less willing to try new flavours of food and much prefers tart flavours than sweet
  • able to write his upper case and lower case alphabet and read 3 letter words with encouragement
  • absolutely loves his sister; patient and encouraging of her learning. territorial only with his prized possessions (shark toys atm)


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