Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Max is in Kindergarten!

Max is in Kindergarten world!

When I asked Max if he was excited, he said "nope, I know everything already!" Well there we have it, typical boy not entertaining a conversation and quickly shutting down a topic haha

As for me, I'm a mixed bag of emotions for this huge milestone.
  • what will first day drop off feel like? will I be sad (um YES)? will Max be sad or be so eager and excited to meet and greet that he simply would just need a kiss/hug/bye? 
  • will he bond with another kid within the first week? once he bonds, he's such a loyal friend! when i hear him tell preschool/playground stories of other kids saying "I don't want to play with you anymore" and "stop following us" it is SO TERRIBLY HEARTBREAKING
  • will he hold his bowels in all day and be uncomfortable?
  • will he eat his food? if he doesn't, it would affect his learning because he'd be can i make his lunches nutritious yet enjoyable...and not be so burnt out about it after the novelty of it wears off (ie. October onwards?)
  • will i pack enough food for him? 
  • will he be bullied? does he know he can come to me about anything without being judged or get into trouble? (I've tried nurturing this for years)
  • will he still adore his sister, or will their relationship change because she's too young for him now? 
  • what will our schedules at home be like now that he has to be up daily, i still have to work, and he has to sleep earlier ...also how can we fit in Mikkel's nap during the day? 
  • what type of behaviours will he learn from his new found friends? will he and I continue to get along (as in, be understanding of his evolvement and behaviours) or will I be able to check in with myself whenever I find something annoying and respond to the behaviour (vs. react to it)?
  • will he have fun? will he be traumatized? his feelings about school, whether I like it or not, is affected by Kindergarten experience too
  • what type of friends will he make? lifelong friends because we're all catchment?
  • will i have mom friends? lifetime mom friends? 
  • do i need to enrol him into Kumon or other extra curricular courses to maintain academic standards and lifestyle standards?
  • will Mikkel miss him? how will she show being weaned from seeing her brother every day and all day to a few hours each day? 
  • what the heck do i do with my time with just ONE CHILD?!?!

ah so many questions!

Max at 5 --->

-favorite food: "Strawberries"
-thankful for: "my family, everything in my house, and my crystals (geodes)"
-favorite color: "dark blue"
-future profession: "police officer"
-favorite book: "everything about dinosaurs"
-3 fav things: "sharks, dinosaurs, crystals"
-my best friends: "mom, dad, Mikkel"

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mikkel is 2! How time flies!

aw my darling little girl is 2 years old today!
total second child syndrome though as i have absolutely ZERO plans (sorry girl)! actually, ill give myself some credit- plans are on the other tab of my browser, nothing finalized though except a cake was bought (1 point)!

at 2, Mikkel wakes up in the morning quietly walking down the hall wondering if anyone is awake (i wake up at 7 to be sure I'm around to receive her). Once she sees me (with the biggest smile on her face), she stands in one spot giggling and swinging her arms. she then runs to me to which i pick her up and throw her up in the air- which she kinda hates, but I've downsized it a notch by not actually letting go of her. Her morning job is to feed the cat, and she 9/10 times will actually tell me to "feed Moe-Moe"- so regimented, like mother like daughter ha!

she then sits on the couch where she wants to watch a "movie," which in her case is Beauty and the Beast (film version). Just recently though, she's been saying "no like movie, no like beast" whereas prior it was this movie in its entirety almost twice a day, once for sure. Sometime in the last month, she's been rejecting her go-to breakfast which was maple/brown sugar oatmeal- we honestly had a good year of it being her breakfast every single day! Now, she doesn't eat breakfast until later (1-2hours after waking up) which actually works out because she's hungry and will eat almost anything except the Oatmeal. For lunch, she's a light eater; she's definitely no longer digging the mojo fries and chicken tenders as per history. She'll nibble on random things from the bag like a carrot, apples, Kettle Chips (new york cheddar!), cheerios, chips shaped like fries, oranges...whatever i have around. For dinner, because she's a light lunch eater, she usually eats more...even more so when rice is involved. Dinner is often the time when she'll have her most meat and veg intake. After baths, it's homemade popsicles to finish the day off.

at 2, Mikkel loves her brother the most out of all her toys. He wakes up the last (most of the time) in our household and when he calls us from his room, she runs to him right away and greets him with a "hi Kuya!" in all the enthusiasm a 2 yo can give. they fight with each other all the time...normal and annoying. She's a yeller, the first to strike a slap, the first to throw a tantrum while he's the first to tease her with a toy and take it away when she shows any interest. Fights aside, she really does love him and reaches out to hug him when she's hurt or sad, asks him for kisses and help, asks him to carry her and boost her up, and the genuine glee from their laughs when they get along is truly heartwarming. If I die tomorrow, in my heart of hearts they will be there for each other even at a young age! Speaking of toys though, her recent favourite is the Duktig kitchen from IKEA and just the general idea of cooking and washing hands/dishes (definitely gets it from me)!

at 2, Mikkel is speaking in sentences that I don't recall Max ever doing (maybe i forgot?). Im constantly amazed at how smart she is and I tell her constantly (good try! you did it! you're so smart! wow! good job!). I'm not sure if she understands the concept of numbers, but i've heard her count 1-10, count objects 1-2-3, recite the alphabet in no particular order after G, sing various words in sync while watching Beauty and the Beast, as well as sing various nursery rhymes/songs -- the fave now is the Family Finger song (google if you dare!). she's definitely learning a lot of words from Max- good and bad, and at this point, one just has to accept (i.e.. BUM BUM, BUM HOLE) them and teach appropriate times when it can be used (still work in progress for the near 6yo though)!
(on a side note, she's also picked up: "fuck" "gimme!" "go away" "mine!" "shut up" - insert face palm now!)

at 2, she is able to go down at night by herself after a small breastfeed which now seems more like a nibble and snack than a full gulping meal. She will 100% ask for the breast after waking just before or after breakfast, and at night time. Any time in-between it's 50-50 whether she will ask, or I will offer to wind her down. She still loves "Bressy" though. She sleeps from about 830pm-1130pm by herself and when she wakes up crying, Gene picks her up and they co-sleep together. For naps, I haven't really tried anything but the carrier (100% insta-sleep) and Gene has his own routine with her that involves "nyum-nyum time"- only works with him, not me though.

at 2, she's 20something pounds. size 2T in clothes, and just under Max's height when he was two years old. I love her so much and she fits perfectly in my arms; just how I remember when I registered her for the first time mentally, physical, emotionally on that 1st day of September 2015.

I can't believe it! My love is 2!! I can't imagine my life/our family without her.

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 ^^


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