mercurial

The weather here has been so mercurial lately, it’s hard to plan our weekends because one day is all warm blue skies and the next is pouring rain. After all the weeks (and weekends) of packing, cleaning, moving, and unpacking Taylor and I really wanted to do something that would be fun for Gwen, especially since we basically had to skip Easter. On Saturday we wanted to take her to her favourite playground but as luck would have it, it started raining as soon as we let the house. Instead we went for a soggy walk and ran some errands, then treated her to a ridiculous pink & purple sparkly princess bathing suit from the Disney Store. She’s been wearing it non-stop since we brought it home so I guess it was a good value (plus it was on sale). The 5/6 fits her now so I think we’re going to have to get a 7/8 to last her through until the end of the summer, which is RIDICULOUS because she’s only 4 1/2! Sunday the weather actually was nice, so we took the little kids to the playground(s) at Second Beach. I also meant to do an Easter Egg hunt for Gwen with a bag of Shopkins eggs I got on Friday for $2 but like an idiot I forgot, so I guess we will postpone Easter yet another week. Thank goodness she has no concept of when holidays actually are yet!

floored

I’ve mentioned this on social media but we are finally, finally getting new floors in our apartment! I’m super excited about this because I hate the wall-to-wall carpet/linoleum combo we have going on now. The carpet is super impractical in a childcare environment as I always have at least one little kid here who is in the body fluids everywhere stage: spitting up, potty training accidents, barfing, bleeding noses from picking, etc. Five years ago they partially replaced the carpet (I begged them to put down any other kind of flooring but they refused, claiming there was no budget for it, and then less than a year later replaced my all my neighbour’s flooring, wth) and within a week a child had full on peed all over it! And while the linoleum isn’t 100% terrible it does have some pretty big dings, gouges and stains, plus it’s starting to peel up. So yeah. It’s all gotta go.

One corner of the carpet (where the carpeted playroom meets the linoleum dining room), had started disintegrating and pulling up from the little metal edge that holds it in place, so a few weeks ago I called the property manager about it. He came over and said he’d have his “carpet guy” come and repair it, and I was like NOPE NO UH-UH NO WAY and made a big fuss about it until they capitulated. I actually only asked to have the floor in the front half of the apartment (the living area) replaced but they are going to do the whole thing, the front and the back half. This is actually ideal because the hallway & bedrooms in the back half of the apartment have two different carpets from when they were partially replaced, so some of it is over 15 years old and quite grungy. I mean, I DO have the carpets cleaned (both professionally and by myself with a rented cleaner) but there is only so much that can be done, you know?

Since we found out we’ve been packing & decluttering like mad. I’ve gotten rid of SO MUCH STUFF already and I still have more (clothing, furniture, housewares) that I’m planning on donating, giving away or just tossing out. The contractors are starting work on Monday morning so I have three days left to get everything done. In the meantime they’ve already had all the flooring supplies delivered to my cleared-out dining room> I didn’t get to pick the colour of the flooring (boo) but thankfully I actually love it? It’s a very neutral medium grayish brown (the name of the colour is “Seadrift” so presumably they were going for a driftwoody vibe) faux wood vinyl plank flooring. I’m happy with having vinyl flooring for one very important reason: IT’S WATERPROOF. I’m very much looking forward to just wiping up spills or accidents rather than trying (and ultimately failing) to blot them out of the carpet with towels.

While this is all great and exactly what I wanted, it’s also a bit of a nightmare because. Well. We live here! The apartment is full of all our stuff! Initially I considered putting everything into storage for a week so they could do all the floors at once, but it just wasn’t practical. Instead they are doing half at a time: first, we have to move everything from the front half of the apartment to the back half while they do those floors, then come back and move everything from the back half of the apartment to the front half while they do THOSE floors. We can’t stay here while the work is happening so I had to make arrangements for somewhere for us to stay as well. I had hoped we could just take this opportunity to go out-of-town and visit family but having to come back mid-week to move everything made that impossible. It definitely makes me a little bitter that they didn’t do this when I begged them to five years ago when I only had ONE kid and much less furniture, but oh well. At least it’s finally happening now!

hello spring!

We took the kids to the playground yesterday and I think it was the first genuinely nice (ie NOT WET AND/OR FREEZING) day so far this year. Last year all the plum & cherry & apple trees in my neighborhood were flowering in February and this year I feel like they’ve just started to bud. It’s so nice to say goodbye to winter, it seems like it was so long this year, but I guess that just because I’m used to the more typical global warming winters. Were winters this long when I was a kid? This winter was snowy in Vancouver but I certainly remember there being much more snow back in the 80s.

Anyway. I have slacked on a bunch of the home projects I wanted to have done by this point (mostly painting related) but I’ve tackled a few other big projects, namely a massive craft closet declutter. I’m still not 100% finished with it but once it’s done I have big plans for decluttering the kitchen cupboards and the little kids’ room (THERE’S SO MANY TOYS), as well as possibly switching some of the living areas around. Plus all that painting I still need to do! It’s going to be a busy season.

five days & five faves


All my babies at 5-ish months old in 2002-2013-2017

It’s been a busy, bonkers week you guys. I actually only had to work on two days (Wednesday & Thursday) but my family (and the time change, ugh) has had me all over the place!

On Monday I took the little kids out to Chapters on West Broadway so I could pick up a new basket to store the dress up clothes in. Gwen got some new Peppa Pig books and Nicky got a teether shaped like a old school Nintendo controller, which was too expensive but also too cute to resist. That night Gwen developed a fever, which was not very fun but thankfully the next day she was fine.

On Tuesday Sym and her grandma dropped off a new desk for Gwen they’d picked up for me at Ikea. Gwen helped me to build it (like, she really helped, not “helped” the way little kids often do) and we put it right next to my desk in the office. It has a top that opens up and a nice big compartment inside, so now she has her own space to store all her drawing supplies and papers so they aren’t piled on MY desk anymore. I’m planning on putting a magnet board or magnet strips and maybe a small shelf on the wall above for her to display some of her fine arts.

On Wednesday I continued my quest to get this place decluttered and donated four huge bags of clothing to charity. That evening Nicky cut his first tooth and it was all very exciting, but later that night he developed a fever (I know some people believe teething causes fevers but I think he just had whatever Gwen had on Monday night).

On Thursday I was up until 3am with a poor sick baby, until Taylor came home from the office to relive me. Thankfully I was able to sleep in a little that morning because I was super tired and super crabby. Nicky still had a mild fever for most of the day, although it never reached the “seek medical attention” threshold (something I have a lot of anxiety about after his bout of meningitis last fall).

On Friday (today) I slept in until 10am, which was amazing, but when I got up Gwen informed me she had put beads in her nose. I sent her to get dressed to go to the hospital while I brushed my teeth, and I heard her sneeze and the sound of a bead pinging away across the room. My relief was short lived when she informed me there were still two more beads in the other nostril. After waiting for 2 1/2 hours in the emergency room and performing something called the “kiss technique” (where you blow into your kid’s mouth to try and blast any obstructions out of their nose) all I got was a faceful of snot because there weren’t any more beads up there! I’m not mad at her, obviously, but I definitely would have rather not spent the whole morning there!

A quick five faves for this week…

This is the basket I got for the dress up clothes, they are only available in store but they are on super sale if you can get to a Chapters!

Nicky’s Nintendo teether is available here.

This article on grey clothing is CLEARLY relevant to my interests.

Nicky has outgrown his basinet (HOW????) so while he was sick we used this folding portable mini crib in the living room. If you have a baby and a small space I super recommend it. It has a very small footprint, folds flat when not in use and can be easily rolled from room to room.

Since Nicky was tiny we’ve used the FeedBaby app to track his diapers & bottles, as well as growth and vaccinations. This week we also used it to keep track of his temperature and medicine. The apps syncs between our phones, which is great for us since Taylor and I live & work on opposite schedules and are also very often very tired and confused about the passage of time, haha. It’s available for Apple and Android.

Have a great weekend everyone!

worry & guilt

I’ve been struggling a lot with the worst mom feelings recently, worry and guilt. I worry about how Sym is doing in school and her social life. I feel guilty every time Gwen asks me to take her to the park and I can’t because of work or the baby, and I worry about her speech and whether or not she’ll be ready for school this fall. I feel guilty that my house is always such noisy chaos (also because of work) and not the peaceful, calm environment I want for Nicky’s first year. I worry that my kids are missing out on activities because I can’t easily fit them into my work schedule. You might be sensing a theme here, and it’s no secret that my dream is to “just” be a stay-at-home-mom to my own kids, rather than a work-at-home-mom with responsibilities to other people & their kids. I’ve been so stressed and anxious about what kind of parent I am that I actually started crying about it one night, like full-blown sobbing. I was crying so hard I couldn’t even say what I was so upset about and had to text Taylor, who was sitting right next to me. Not exactly my finest moment! I just…. I want to be a good mom, I want my kids to be happy and successful in life in whatever way they choose. I want to do everything for them but at the moment I feel like after working fifty hours a week looking after other people’s kids I just don’t have enough of myself left to give to my OWN kids. It’s hard, and I’m not sure what the solution is right now.

I initially drafted this post a couple of weeks ago and since then I’ve registered Sym for a summer animation program at the art school, met with her math teacher to discuss her grades, and encouraged her to invite friends over for our weekly “Riverdale Club” viewing parties on Friday nights. I’ve been making more of an effort to accommodate Gwen’s wishes to “go outside” all the time during the week (which becomes easier as the weather improves), have taken her on more “adventures” on the weekends, and after a successful drop-in visit I enrolled her in a gymnastics class starting next month. For Nicky, well, I’ve just been loving him extra (although I did also start an RESP for him, and Gwen as well (finally!).

four tens

This past Sunday was my birthday, and I turned forty. I’m not one of those people who FLIPS OUT over birthdays and aging, but it is definitely a weird feeling. Forty. Wow. So strange!

To make my birthday special, Taylor spent months planning a hotel stay for just us with no kids. D’you know, the only time I’ve been away from Gwen overnight was when I was in the hospital with Nicky (when he was born & when he had meningitis), and the only time I’ve been away from Nicky overnight was when he was in the hospital and I was home with Gwen. It was different when Sym was small, as her paternal grandparents live(d) close by and often had her for sleepovers, but I’d never been away from both of the two little ones at the same time.

So Taylor arranged for his mom to fly down and stay over on Saturday night to look after them, but his carefully laid plans hit a colossal snag when there was another snowstorm this weekend. A lot of flights were cancelled, including his mom’s. HMMMM, SNOW??? CANCELLED FLIGHTS??? DISRUPTED PLANS??? DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR??? LIKE THIS HAS HAPPENED TO US BEFORE??? OH YEAH ONLY OUR WEDDING IF YOU RECALL. Snow just wants to ruin my life, I guess, so it’s lucky it rarely snows here.

Thankfully, Symphony’s dad was able to step in and stay overnight with all the kids (and pets) while Taylor and I got a night out. We checked into the hotel on Saturday evening and were able to relax and drink champagne before going out for dinner, and that night I had the best sleep I’ve had in months, or probably years. It was just so blissful being able to sleep without having to keep an ear open for little kid sounds! We came home late Sunday morning and I got spoiled even more with loads of gifts and a dobos torte from the Transylvanian bakery (although Gwen had specified that I was to have a Rainbow Dash cake, what gives Taylor?).

It was such a great weekend and I feel so happy, relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready to dive back into real life. Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, all my friends and family and especially my husband who made my birthday weekend such a treat.

a fresh start

Happy Friday everyone! This week has been long and exhausting- we’ve had a couple room-sharing hiccups with Gwen & Nicky that have really interfered with me getting any sleep, including one night when Taylor forgot to put the hallway gate up when he went to work and Gwen snuck out and had herself a 3am juice & candy picnic. Several, actually. All over the house.

I’m heading into the weekend with 300 million projects on the go; my goal for this year is to reorganize, declutter and re/decorate the apartment, and I really dove into it this week. I got rid of the big shelf that held all the bins of daycare toys which opened up the dining room & playroom, however I don’t have any replacement storage yet so now there’s just a big pile of toy bins against the wall, oops. I did get myself a new desk, I was planning on waiting on that but then I found one I liked on sale so I scooped it up. The new desk is a lot smaller than my old one, and has less storage, so you would think it would make sense to clean out and organize everything on/in the old desk before setting up the new one, but NOPE. That is not what I did.


mom realness: the baby monitor parent unit hiding behind my calendar

The new desk arrived yesterday and I built it IMMEDIATELY, and just threw everything from my old desk in boxes and piled on windowsills. So now I need to sort out and organize everything! Since a lot of this stuff is probably going to end up in my craft closet I need to sort out and organize that as well, which is a super daunting task. I feel like I need to do a major de-stash but then I’m like… WHAT IF I NEED THIS STUFF IN A YEAR??? I have gotten rid of craft supplies before only to regret it later, but the closet is bursting so I think it’s really time.

I didn’t use a mousepad before but I need one for the new desk. I made my own by cutting a circle out of platinum leather, it’s a little creased right now but with some use it should smooth out & develop a nice patina. Another change to the office area is I took down the large canvases & corkboard that were hanging in the interior window above my desk, which had been there for probably close to 8 years? I’m not sure but they were SUPER dusty! Taking them down has LITERALLY opened up the space, but because it’s right opposite the front door Taylor says it’s very receptionist-y coming in when I’m at my computer, which I can see. I don’t want to fill it in too much but I feel like I should hang something else there now? I also decided to replace my somewhat janky Ikea-by-way-of-craigslist office chair with one of our dining room chairs, at least temporarily. We have four dining chairs but with Gwen using a junior chair we only really use three at any given time. I’ve ordered a chair cushion that I think will serve nicely for the time being.

make the most of it: goals for 2017


notebook // pen // tablecloth

This year I really want to get shit done. I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish in 2016 and well, I didn’t accomplish any of them. I think I had a pretty good excuse though, as I was kind of distracted by being pregnant all year, and all my self-care and nesting energy went into that.

Get into some sort of shape. I KNOW I KNOW A TOTAL CLICHE. But this isn’t actually a new-years-lose-weight resolution, this is actually a post-pregnancy lose weight resolution. It was just unfortunately postponed by my c-section recovery, and then the discovery that at some point in the last few years of being pregnant, being sick with an autoimmune disease and being pregnant again, I threw out all my workout clothes. When decluttering goes wrong, y’all. So I had to get all new stuff and by the time it arrived it was full holiday season and I couldn’t find the time to get started, and now it’s resolution season at the gym which makes me disinclined to go because it’s gonna be so busy! I’ve figured out that the only time I can possibly go to the gym is Monday and Friday mornings at like… 6:30. I am in NO WAY a morning person so my ACTUAL fitness goal is training my body to get out of bed at 6 so I can get to the gym, work out, get home & shower in time to start work at 8. Then the other days I can work out at home I guess? My idea is to set an alarm for an earlier time each week and slowly ease myself into it, so this week I have it set for 6:45. Tuesday I managed to get up that early, but Wednesday I stayed in bed and dozed off until my regular alarm went off at seven and today to my hame I snoozed it until like… 8. IN MY DEFENSE Gwen woke me up at 3 on Wednesday morning and I woke myself up at 5 today so I was extra tired! Honestly I feel like this is my life rn…

I can’t not work and I’m not willing to give up time with my family so I’m going to have to sacrifice some sleep if I want to make this happen. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Finish the half-done home decor projects around the house. The kitchen backsplash is half-tiled. The bathroom is half-painted. My side of the office is where unwanted furniture goes to die and the hallway has no storage so there are always bins and boxes piled in it.

Start some new home decor projects. I want to repaint the living room, dining room, hallway and half-bath. I should probably repaint the entryway (it’s the first room I painted in like… 2007? and it’s looking rough). I’ve never painted my bedroom at all in TEN YEARS and it looks just godawful, and I really want to get a headboard for my bed. I have windows that need curtains and closets I’ve taken the doors off that also need curtains.

Replace busted and/or janky furniture and appliances. Did you know I’ve never ever bought a desk for myself? It’s true. Before Taylor I shared a computer with Sym’s dad and he picked out & bought the desk. After we separated I had no desk for a while, and then had a hand-me-down desk from Sym’s room. The desk I have now I found in the trash (really). So yeah. A decent desk would be nice. We also need a new couch (ours has become basically unsittable) and the dishwasher hasn’t worked properly in years. YEARS.

Keep on top of like… basic housework. Fun fact: having a baby DRASTICALLY increases the amount AND frequency of laundry and dishes you have to do, and also cuts into the time you have to do them. It can quickly build up and spiral out of control, leaving me with even less time to do anything else. I’ve committed to getting back into using my to-do lists. I got out of the habit of making them last year but HONESTLY it help me a lot. I need to have a physical list to remind me of what I’m doing, the satisfaction of crossing things off as I complete them, and no option for things like “sit in front of Netflix for three hours while scrolling through instagram” :X I have a new notebook and pen and I’m doing monthly lists of large or irregular project as well as daily lists of everyday things. I also find it useful to break my most hated chores up into teeny-tiny daily increments; for example I don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to clean the whole of both bathrooms in one day, but cleaning one type of fixture a day is totally doable.

Reorganize & declutter. The kitchen cabinets. The bathroom cabinets & shelves. Almost every closet in the house but ESPECIALLY my craft closet. Our storage room! The entryway! It’s basically all a mess and needs serious looking into.

I know none of this follows the typical blogger new year goal list of mindfulness and personal growth (maybe that is the real cliche…), but after the total wash of last year I need to make practical choices. Maybe if I accomplish all this next year I will have goals that are more abstract (but probably not).

shark bait hoo ha ha

00-bokeh-tree

01-bw-cat

02-nicky

03-new-ornaments
I swear I bought a new ornament this year that isn’t a deer.

04-bare-lighted-christmas-tree
A few years ago I bought a large wicker basket to use in lieu of a tree skirt. I really liked it; tree skirts are a pita imo; always getting mussed up by pets and kids and sucked into the vacuum cleaner. However, the basket somehow vanished from my storage room after just one Christmas so I had to go buy a new one this week because fuck a tree skirt, honestly. I needed something at least 21″ in diameter to accommodate the tree stand and all I could find was one that was one miserable inch too small, and this fricking enormous one, oops.

05-gwen

06-shelf-with-small-toys

08-gwen-picking-her-nose-at-the-door
Tried to get a nice picture of her with our Christmas wreath…

07-wreath-bird

09-serums
All I care about right now is my skincare regimen. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

10-shark-nicky
This is just beyond. I mean come on.

11-shark-nicky
Shark-shaped baby sleeping bag from AliExpress.

12-pomegranates

the storm before the calm

nicky-in-grey

Right before Nicky falls asleep is when he tends to have his biggest fusses. You can’t do anything about it; he’s not wet, or hungry, or in need of cuddles. He’s a really good sleeper so he’s not even overtired. It doesn’t happen every time, but usually once a day he’ll cry and yell before passing out, hard, for a good long while.

• • •

Now that we’ve all mostly gotten back into our regular sleep/work/life routine after the drama of last week, I can focus on the holiday season! I had planned to make a spreadsheet to plan & organize the kids’ gifts but I have somehow managed to accidentally buy most of them already? With the combination of all my recent stress and being stuck in the house due to illness I’ve been doing quite a bit of online shopping, and as it turns out have gotten quite a few things for the kids. WHO KNEW. We still have to pick up a couple of things but it’s all pretty much planned out, so now I only need to decide what to get Taylor.

Sym is at her dad’s for actual Christmas this year so we’re doing Mini-Christmas with her in mid-December. My and Taylor’s Christmas pajamas haven’t arrived yet but the kids’ have (see below for a sneak peek…), so we’ll open those, and build all our holiday Lego sets (including maybe a NEW set…). We usually watch Elf on Mini Christmas but we have tickets to the Enchant Christmas light maze so we might not have time. The Christmas Elf may also stop by to leave candy in our shoes if everyone’s room is clean.

I’ll probably start setting up the Christmas tree this weekend; I like to stagger the set up and decoration over a few weeks (just tree; tree+lights; tree+lights+ornaments) to try to get the kids used to it so they are less likely to pull everything off of it. This technique has worked with every child I’ve had in my house EXCEPT for Gwen, but hopefully this year she will be a little less destructive? She’s been a little sassy lately with climbing the furniture, taking things she shouldn’t and making huge messes. Last year we couldn’t put any presents under the tree because she kept unwrapping them all, and just two weeks ago she did the same with her birthday presents so I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

gnome-hat-gnicky