Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heart Strings

Kids grow so fast! If I had a nickle for every time in my life I have heard that, my husband could immediately retire and my boys could go to ivy league schools. Now I am getting first-hand knowledge of just how fast they do grow. JD crawls on all the furniture now. I have probably had 10 mini-panic attacks in the past week because of this. David poses for pictures now! You can't tell in the pic above, it was taken pre-posing days; but now if a camera is pointed his way he will beam and show off his cutest expressions. It's adorable. They seem like such big boys to me; no longer the babies they were a few months ago. Yet they are only 1; I figure I've got at least 24 more years of hard parenting, then another 25 years of passive parenting. With all this growing up they have done, I sometimes feel I need to slow down and catch my breath. I mean, kids change whether you are ready for it or not! Then there are moments where they tug at my heart strings, still needing close comfort. Today these two had their 1 yr immunizations. It was aweful! They cried hard and shed big tears. Each in his turn tried to twist around and put his little arms around my neck, all heaving sobs and broken trust. My poor little guys! It's worse now than when they were tiny getting those needles. I ached for them, suddenly my little babies again, and wished I didn't have to put them through such a painful but necessary step in childhood. Right now to see them you wouldn't know they had such a traumatic experience a few hours ago; they are playing and fighting just like usual. Big boys. Happy and content to explore their world.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Simply Beautiful

Today was a perfect autumn day in my neck of the woods. The sky was a beautiful blue, light near the horizon and a much deeper, darker blue straight above. Not a cloud in the sky. The leaves were breathtaking shades of orange and red. Gorgeous shades everywhere, from the fields to the fallen leaves on side streets basking under a canopy of orange. It was the kind of day where I love to get behind the wheel, put a great CD in the stereo and just drive. Coasting over backroad hills I would drive with the windows down to feel that crisp air, singing at the top of my lungs. Next I would take my dog for a walk in the woods, the thrill of watching complete happiness in his eyes as he ran like the wind mixing with the magic of perfection in the scenery all around me, surrounding me in beauty and solace. Then I would take my dream a step further, and mount a magnificent horse which would take me for a canter through fields of rust and gold, feeling on top of the world. I might even scream out, as one does at the edge of some gargantuan canyon, calling for all to hear my happiness in this simply beautiful day. I would feel small; much like I do standing at the edge of the ocean, feeling the greatness and vastness of it; putting into perspective my space in eternity.
Oh how I love this season!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Basics of Being a Mother...or a Person

I have a big problem. Well, to me it is a big problem. To the world...I don't think it would rate up there with world hunger and war crimes. However in my tiny corner of the world, it is very real and very big. I need a zipper. If not a zipper, a miracle. I need to unzip my skin and step into something alittle thicker. You see, after all these years I am still an incredibly shy person. I cannot just start up a conversation with anyone; I can talk comfortably if engaged in conversation, and once in a while I can continue a discussion...but if no one makes the first move, I will just sit there uncomfortably for the duration. The problem??? I have kids now. My boys need socialization; they need to get together with other kids and learn how to play fair, share, and all the other good stuff that comes from being around other children. That, and I don't want them to end up painfully shy like me. There is a play group in my town that I have been to once, and if it weren't for my friend I would've just sat like a bump on a log. I don't know how she does it...she will just start talking to anyone. And because of it she has friends all over. This shyness and fear of opening up to people has me boycotting the playgroup that my sons would benefit from tremendously. How selfish of me!! But I just don't know what to do. I have tried to open up and just talk...but I freeze. I can't think of anything to say to start a conversation. This is day one stuff, the basics of being a person in society. I should be able to talk to other people!! Take school for example; when my boys are in school I will have parent-teacher meetings, mommy-helper days, game days, etc. where generally parents talk to eachother. Normal people talk, it's natural. What's wrong with me!! I need to kick this shyness to the curb now or it will rule me forever.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cozy spot

I am so tired, I think I could sleep for a week. I really want to find a cozy spot to hunker down and just close my eyes, relax and feel all of the tension ease out of my back and shoulders, and just ... sleeeeeep ...
Yes, that is what I want to do. The boys woke up Grandma at 4 am, and me at 4:30 am. They wouldn't go back to sleep!!! I think they knew that Grandma was flying home today and didn't want to waste time sleeping. So we, tired as can be, got up with the boys and made them breakfast, got everything ready, and at 6:30 am left for Edmonton International Airport. It is roughly a 1 & 1/2 hour drive with no traffic, and we hit some morning rushers, but I drove expertly through the rain at just under the speed limit and delivered my Mother-In-Law safely at the airport on time. Of course the boys, snuggled in their new car seats under quilts and grasping warm bottles of milk, SLEPT the whole way there and most of the way back. Lucky guys. They found their cozy spot!! When we arrived at home the boys, refreshed from their long sleep, were ready to rock while I am even more tired than before after the drive!!! I can feel my eyes close slowly, and I yank them back open to be alert lest the boys take advantage of my state and get into something. Perhaps this afternoon while they nap (IF they nap...) I could curl up on the couch under a comfy quilt, bury my head in a pile of pillows, and just drift off... I think I will do that. Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Birthday Extravaganza

Yesterday was a great day. We had some family there... Grandpa and Grandma Haynes were there, Grandpa and Grandma Surry, and Grandma Cindy. Also Uncle Robert, and a couple of friends too.

I booked a room at our rec center, Provident Place, that had playhouses and mats for the kids to play on. I made the boys' cakes, my first attempt at theme cakes!! Jon wanted a football cake for JD and a hockey cake for David. (David's is a hockey net, with an oreo puck inside)
The boys had a lot of fun playing with all the toys, visiting with family and friends, and opening presents.

After the party at Provident Place, we came back home for a barbecue. The little guys had a blast playing with all their new toys, and even got to stay up late!! JD was somewhat hyper from the cake icing, but actually went to bed pretty easy. Grandpa & Grandma Haynes & Uncle Rob left after the party, and Grandpa & Grandma Surry left after the barbecue, but Grandma Cindy is still here with us.

I can't believe the boys are a year old already!! I also can't believe the birthday is over; it seems I waited a long time to be able to plan my kids party and make their cakes. Now I can relax!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Up until now, my blog has been all smiles and rainbows, hugs and skittles. Well now I have some of the other side of real life for you. I don't care for well-meaning people who see me coming with a double-stroller and stop to let me cross the street before they turn. I understand these people are being polite, and nice even. But what they don't understand is that when I have been trekking around town for an hour and a half, pushing a double-stroller loaded down with bags, having delt with cranky babies and cranky cashiers, my feet ready to fall right off my legs, I DO NOT WANT TO PICK UP MY PACE AND SPEED WALK THE LAST 3RD OF THE BLOCK TO GET ACROSS THE STREET SO YOU AND THE 5 CARS NOW BEHIND YOU CAN WAIT FOR ME OUT OF POLITENESS. I DON'T!!!!! CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS?????? Ahhhhhh!!! What I usually do is stop, check on the babies, and wait for you to get the idea that I won't be running the last part of the block to cross while some nice person is waiting for me. I have tried waving people on, but they then more insistantly wave at me, and I have to run anyway. So I either wait, or (my evil side comes out...) I walk really slow...which is the pace I am walking anyway after a full afternoon out. Sorry, nice well-intentioned fellow townies, but I just can't do it. I can't I tell you!!! But thank you anyway.

The Love of Family

I am so excited!!!! Our family will be descending on us, starting tonight. Grandma Cindy, Jon's mom, will be arriving at the airport after 11. Then tomorrow Grandpa and Grandma Surry will get here as well as Grandpa and Grandma Haynes!!! With us living so far away from any family, we don't often get to see them. The long stretches in between visits can get very hard, especially with these two boys getting extremely active. It can be such a relief to have an extra pair of hands ~ Grandma hands, the best kind! ~ to help with everything. Not only is the help nice, the hugs and emotional support are much needed and much appreciated. On top of the help and hugs, it is simply WONDERFUL to see others love and dote over the babies!! Like watching the boys play with Daddy, I love to watch proud and affectionate Grandparents interact with my little guys. It's just good stuff that warms the soul!! I look forward to the family getting here and celebrating our boys' first birthday tomorrow. The reasons aren't totally selfish...I suppose. I may get to sleep in; okay that one is selfish. I won't have to change as many diapers...that one is completely selfish. I will enjoy adult conversation. Is that one selfish? C'mon, just once in a while I'd like the answer to my question be more than "Bababababaaaa DA!!! Dada babbababa Ahhahahhah!!!"
Yes, it will be wonderful to have family here. I look forward to the extra hands, extra laughs, extra hugs, extra stories. Extra love, who can get enough??? Not me. I love the love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The ABC's of Me

So this is in response to my buddy Erin's request...a way to get to know our friends better. If you read my thoughts and stuff you might as well know who you are reading about!!!

A - Attached or Single? ~ attached to the best man ever
B - Best Friend? ~ that would be Jonny
C - Cake or Pie? ~ what? we have to choose? Cake AND Pie!!!
D - Drink of Choice? ~ OJ
E - Essential Items? ~ chapstick, calendar, pen & paper
F - Favorite Color? ~ Blue & Green
G - Gummie Bears or Worms? ~ Bears I guess...not a fan of either...
H - Hometown? ~ Raymond, Alberta
I - Indulgence? ~ Coloring my hair
J - January or February? ~ Feb...I like Valentines Day
K - Kids? ~ two cutie-pie boys
L - Life is Incomplete Without? ~ Family, and a piano
M - Marriage Date? ~ July 24, 2004
N - Number of Siblings? ~ 4-one older bro and 3 younger bros
O - Oranges or Apples? ~ oranges all the way, love 'em
P - Phobias/Fears? ~ terrified to death of clowns & a bit claustrophobic
Q - Favorite Quote? ~ "Remember who you are, and act as you should" -T. Haynes
R - Reason to Smile? ~ my husband, my kids, autumn scenery, a grand piano
S - Seasons? ~ Autumn
T - Tags? ~ a few friends
U - Unknown Fact about Me... ~ I own a dagger
V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? ~ I love a good steak or burger
W - Worst Habit? ~ chewing my nails...yes, I still do that. Quit for awhile, but....
X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? ~ Ultrasounds I guess... not a fan of anything medical...
Y - Your Fave Food? ~ soup and sandwiches! Yum!
Z - Zodiac? ~ Aries

OK, there you go...I hope you guys do this too so I can learn more about those I snoop on!!!! LOL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Awww...good times...

Yesterday we reached a milestone that I have been waiting for. We traded in our rear-facing carseats for forward-facing ones!!!! HURRAY!!!! No more lugging around more sweating like crazy just from loading the babies in the more, no more, NO MORE!!! I LOVE our new, sleek seats and I love the fact that we can now see our kids in the back! They love it too. They have more room, more comfort, and still a five-point harness for safety. It's WONDERFUL!!!!
There is a kind of freedom in leaving behind the car seat. A graduation of sorts. The old days of the rear-facing seat are gone, the boys big enough and old enough to sit forward like big boys!! I looked at the old seats for a minute before storing them in the basement. They have been a huge part of the last year and a half of our lives. Before the babies came I would stare at those seats, just filled with anticipation at finally placing babies in them and setting out on adventures. My eyes filled with stars, dreaming of babies and baby things, wondering what our boys would be like, look like, act like....I stared at those seats. When the NICU nurse phoned us and announced we could finally pick our babies up and bring them home...we excitedly put the seats in the car and took off, so ready to use those beautiful car seats!!! Now???? Well, lets just say we had a good ride. I don't care to strap the babies in and lug those things around any more!!! While I did gain some killer muscles in my arms, I am done. Finally!! WOO HOO!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Life As We Know It

All of my life I have heard people say "your life changes when you have a baby!" When I heard this, I would think to myself, "well of course! What did you expect?". I think I understand now what they were referring to. This is a statement born of shock. The shock that says 'this is my life now??' . When people say "your life changes when you have a baby" what they are referring to is their own life...the changes that have shaken up their own experience on this earth and turned it into something completely foreign. These people feel the shock of this still and feel they must warn everyone. I don't think they mean it as a bad change, I just think they want people to realize it for what it is: an extremely sudden go-to-bed-in-Canada-wake-up-in-Australia kind of change.
I think back over my life before kids, and while there were some exciting experiences I find myself loving this change. Shocking as it was, and still is at times, it really is great. For us the fact we were expecting was blown out of the water by the fact of how many we were expecting. We were only trying for one, and I can still remember the exact moment we were told we would be getting two. Now THAT is shock!! The days that followed were a blur; Jon said very often and in a very bewildered tone "TWO babies!!! TWO!!!!" Somehow we managed our shock and embraced this change in our lives. We became a family overnight. Not to say it's only a major change if you have two; believe me, adjusting to one would be a definate change as well.
All of this talk of change causes me to wonder how on earth single parents do it. I am a firm believer in the family unit. A father and a mother working together as a team to teach, love, protect and comfort their children is a beautiful thing! Anyone finding themselves as sole parent to their children and taking on that role with all of their might and strength...well hats off to that person. I couldn't do it, nor could I imagine doing it; there have been many times in the past year I have leaned on my husband for support and strength. I think if anyone was worthy of stating that "having a baby changes your life!", the single parent would be the only one. Because instead of it being a ridiculously obvious statement, it becomes a wise admission of reality from one who puts every part of themself to work for someone else, and has completely left their needs and wants behind with their old life.
I am loving this change of course in my life, and am grateful to my husband for taking this road with me. To all of you with children: isn't it wonderful!!! That we learn as much as they do on a daily basis.... To all of you without children: PLEASE SLEEP IN FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And enjoy it. Because it's possible that someday you will suddenly find yourself on a different course, and you will find yourself wanting to tell YOUR single friends..."having a baby changes your life!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quiet Moments

Ahhhh..the still, quiet moments. I hold these very close to my heart. This morning at 5 am, David awoke for some reason and I sat in our chair in the dark, holding him close. While I am not a fan of the predawn awakenings, I absolutely LOVE our quiet time in the chair, snuggled close. I held on tight, giving him kisses and rubbing his back, gently coaxing him back to sleep. This time David did go back to sleep, and I held him, rocking, for half an hour.
I don't know if I could pinpoint where my mind goes while I sit there; I think of housework that needs to be done, create a list of groceries we need, mentally prepare for the day. Often though, I think about my little boys, whichever one I have at that moment; I think about their eyelashes, their toes...whether or not they had a dream, if I have done the best job as I could do for them the previous day. I ponder them alot, down to every detail. I listen to their breathing, adjust to their stirrings, and give them a squeeze every now and then. It is a perfectly wonderful way to begin another hectic day. While I am tired and wishing I could've slept in, I truely enjoy this moment they give me. A moment to just slow down with them, soak them in, comfort them, and replenish my tank that so often runs on empty. I get strength from these moments to face all of the other trying ones. For that, thank you David for needing me this morning :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daddy Rules

While the boys and I have a lot of fun together, they love it when Daddy is home! When he gets home from work, the boys have one focus: Dad. They crawl over to him, say hello, then have Playing at the top of their agenda. They absolutely LOVE to play with Dad! If Daddy is snoozing on the couch, they will not hesitate to investigate. It isn't uncommon for Dad to get a finger in the mouth, a smack on the cheek, or a slobbery kiss waking him from his nap.
In the morning when I bring them downstairs they look for one person: Daddy. He usually has left for work already, and they spend a few minutes scanning the room before carrying on with the day. If he is home, then after breakfast comes Operation Get Daddy To Play With Us. I love to watch them interact with Jon. Their faces light up and they really connect with him. I know when they are older, David and JD will be wanting to wrestle, play catch, ride bikes, and countless other activities with Dad. It just warms my heart to witness how tight the three of them are!! The boys have the best Dad in the world, and he has some pretty great sons. And I get to sit back and enjoy it all :D

Monday, September 8, 2008

In with the New...

The boys seem to change every day. Some changes are so subtle that it doesn't appear as though they've changed, while other changes are more abrupt and sudden. JD has had some sudden changes that are curious to me. One of them being his apparent desire to be shirtless. He will just start taking off his shirt, and he gets upset if I put his arms back through the sleeves. I don't really know where this came from; I know it can be common in kids once they learn how to dress themselves...but at 11 & 1/2 months??? The other night he took his pajama shirt off. Daddy noticed when he went in to kiss the boys goodnight. The other change I noticed is that he will just start laughing a fake laugh. I can't imagine why, maybe to get a group snicker going? He will look at me and begin laughing this exaggerated HAHAHA. I don't know how to take it so I just mirror his fake laugh, and we usually end up laughing together for real.
David has definately developed more of his unique personality; his changes are more subtle and can be frustrating. He is already practicing the art of throwing a good temper tantrum. If I am eating and I don't share with him constantly, he throws a FIT!!!! He has masterfully developed this loud wail and has slowly perfected it over the last few months, another subtle change. That particular noise is used if I don't rescue him from his crib jail fast enough for his liking. The only sudden change I have discovered in him as of late is his climbing skill; he can now climb on furniture. I have to watch him closely...he is wary and keeps a low center of gravity to prevent an accidental fall, but his dismount is backwards..he goes head first. Instead of sliding off the chair, he will try to crawl down it head first. A few times I have caught him seconds before he smacks his head on the floor!
I have tried to define their characters with these new developments and it's still pretty hard. JD is a laid back, easy going guy who likes to be a jokester. He likes to engage us in whatever game he is playing, and loves to be amused. He is very caring and a protector of his brother. David is more demanding, especially if he is tired. He can play contentedly on his own, but he also initiates contact with us and likes attention. David is also somewhat of a trickster; he thinks certain deviant acts are funny and tries to get away with them using a collection of ultra-cute facial expressions. Both boys have many similarities and also very distinct characteristics of their own. I have so much fun watching them grow and change! They are hilarious and make things very interesting for me. I think my favorite trait they both share is pushing the limits. They constantly try new things to test their capabilities, and don't let obsticles run them down. You go boys!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

SO Proud...

For a long time now, the boys have been walking along furniture, using the couch for support. Well yesterday, for the first time EVER, JD held my hand and walked along side me!! It was so exciting to watch! With only my hand for support, his steps were choppy and zombie-like, but he walked with me the length of the room. Daddy was working and hence missed the show, but this morning before he left again we gave him an encore! I am so proud of my little guy. I am likewise proud of David, who gave it a fighting chance but was too nervous. He managed a few steps but decided to save the rest for after JD masters it (to make sure it's safe, I'm sure). David has been a step or two behind JD with every milestone except first teeth. It seems as though Dave waits to see if and how his brother manages, and then tries for himself. When JD started crawling David gave him the headstart for a day or two, then began crawling to keep up. We do our best to not compare the boys; we encourage and cheer, and let them do things at their own pace. What an amazing journey parenthood is! I am only nearly a year in to it, and I am constantly in wonder of all these two are and all they can do. I look forward to the next few weeks as we practice walking, knowing full well that once they learn to walk they will run, and I will never be able to catch them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What are the odds?

A few weeks ago I entered a poetry contest with high hopes. I want to win so bad! Not for the accolades...for the cold, hard cash! I don't write needing people to approve of my work; at least not poetry. My poems are my poems, they are personal and just flow through the pen; so if someone doesn't like them TOO BAD, they are what they are. When I finally begin a novel it will be entirely different, I will need the feedback of an editor and those close to me to shape my creation into something great. But this contest... I want my poem to be embraced and loved, enough to WIN. Our family could definately benefit from that money; with my sweetie working his hands to the bone to gather our down payment for a home, I would absolutely LOVE to hand him a check and take some stress off his shoulders. I wonder though, what are the odds I would even come close to winning?? With other expectant winners spanning the continent, I really don't know if I even have a chance. There are some great writers out there! I don't have all of my dreams resting on this opportunity, but it would sure be wonderful to actually win. One thing is for sure, I will keep trying! Some day my writing will pay off, of that I am confident. Then I will be able to accomplish one of my greatest dreams.... which I may someday share with all of you....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moments to Remember

With the boys' first birthday looming just around the corner, I find myself thinking back over the past year. In some ways I can hardly believe we made it! It went by so fast.
There are many special moments I want to engrave on my heart forever. For example, on the night the twins were born; I never want to forget the way Jon looked all dressed up in scrubs. Dr. Surry!! lol. I always want to remember the sheer excitement and sense of urgency as we walked across the pedway leading into the hospital, on our way to see our babies in the NICU. We couldn't get their fast enough! (Why is the parkade SO FAR from the main entrance??!) I don't ever want to forget how adorable the boys looked while they shared a crib. Lying next to eachother, all wrapped up in blankets; so tiny in such a huge crib. It seems all of this was a million years ago!
I want to carve every moment into my memory! I am still mourning the infants they were; wanting tiny, cuddly babies again, while at the same time loving so much the stage they are at!! These two have never been cuter. I want to remember David's crazy hair (in case it relaxes as he grows). He always looks charged up, as if he stuck his finger in a light socket! I love it. He got that from Daddy. :D I never want to forget JD's first-thing-in-the-morning smile. He always has one for me!! But I know in the years to come, specifically the teenage years, I won't be seeing a smile first thing in the morning.
Even while they are changing and growing every day, there are things I know will stick around for years to come. I want to remember the protectiveness JD has over David. I always want to have in my memory the looks and smiles they give eachother. I want to remember the sameness; there are things they do at the same time. Such as in the middle of the night, they will suddenly start crying, then suddenly stop, at the same time. Or while playing, they will simultaniously stand up and move on to something else.
I always want to remember the two of them chasing Daddy around while he crawls to get away from them. The happy noises; I never ever want to forget their happy noises. There are many, many moments to hold in my heart as they grow and enter new stages all the time. Soon they will be 1, and officially toddlers. I love it all!!! Who knows what is next around the corner? I'm sure more adventures await; and with all the wonderful things tucked away in my memory bank, I am ready to jump in with both feet and start the next phase!