Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ready Mom.


First Christmas in our new home. We are excited. Never mind the nearly divorce worthy fight that  ensued over furniture/fireplace/tree placement. Ho ho ho.

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Handsome Boys..


A few family photos we recently had done... Love my boys.





Sasha.. why do you torment me so? Or should I say.. love me so? Always mommy, always. 'Out out out!" (Which means 'UP' to you 50% of the time).
Always sitting on my lap. Sitting with me on the couch. Mommy has to carry you around. You like to sit on my lap in the kitchen when I feed you. You want to be sitting on mommy's lap while she attempts to eat her food.
Today you needed to be in bed with mommy at 5am. Hitting me in the head..
"Hi Mama! Hi Mama!".

Oh Sash.. I love you so. You torment me so. The perfect love affair.

Mommy

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Think I'm Okay with Four - Happy Birthday Pavel!



November 11th rolls around. Just like that. My little big one is four.





Every year like clock work I try and slow down the minutes. I try and pause and double up the seconds. Live here and at the same time live then - four years ago. The memories of labour and birth and the first moments. The first visitor we had (Jimmy) and the food he brought. The first night in the hospital and the baby snuggles.

I fear I may have overdone it for Pavel this year. I think he was getting annoyed. I set my alarm for 2:23pm. I made sure he was beside me when the clock struck 2:25 - the time he was born. I made him hug me a lot (he has been hugging me all day and weekend.. me, trying not to cry). I'm a sentimental sap and he just wanted to let me know that Ninja Turtles live in a hole in the ground - but only in New York.

So, the feeling wasn't quite as mutual.

I work with a younger gal who is going to be having her first baby imminently. I am SO excited for her. Perhaps I've been laying it on think with her too! Thinking of the excitement of everything new. Touching his skin, and just adoring him. I'm so excited for anyone about to experience their first child. Or anyone who will one day down the road.

Big Boy at the Corn Maze. 75% for height and 75% for weight!
Pavel is four. He is very much a human as Sheldon always says. I feel like he is a different boy ever since we moved into our new home. I don't think year three was that easy on him. New brother, stressed mom, new school, not quite as many friends close by. Three was a blur for me.

Nonetheless.. in the last few months my Pav is back. We've found a groove him and I.

Pavel is shy in big groups. He is stuck to mom's side.
He is super friendly at school. Has made so many friends. Loves to just invite them over, so I find that I have a few kids hopping in my car on the way home.
At the grocery store or anywhere out and about - Pavel will definitely stop and ask what's on his mind.
"Excuse me, excuse me, where are the lobsters? Are they sleeping?" (At the grocery store to the deli man)
Ready for his show and share at school. No fear. Good Stories (HattREEK?) Cheek chewing like mom.
"Finn's mom, Finn's mom.. can he come over and sleep over?" ( no actual sleep overs yet)

Not shy. But shy. Playdates almost always at our house, he doesn't quite like to venture out without one of us there with him.

Pavel is on a ninja/fighting/lego kick. Forget hockey most of the time. Forget sports really. He wants to know everything about fighting. I hate this. We keep it to a minimum.

Even though he's a ninja machine, he is still a gentle soul. He plays so well with other kids. He takes care of the smaller kids (except his brother and cousin.. of course), he is sensitive. He is finding his way in this life and is really a happy boy.


He has been waking in the middle of the night and wanting mommy to come sleep with him. I almost excitedly go to bed waiting for this to happen. I usually don't fall back asleep for hours, but I'm just happy he wants me near by. I'm so worried the time will come when he isn't going to want me or like me so much. I'm definitely not ready for that yet.

We had a small birthday party for him yesterday. A pirate theme complete with his Pirate Piata (spelt how he says it). We had a pirate ship in the basement and a treasure hunt and Pirate Punch. Sword fighting and lots of chasing and yelling. One or two major excitement meltdowns... but it was a fun fun day.

My new fave family photo!

Pavel - you are such a good little boy. You are kind hearted and a good listener (to strangers, not to anyone in the family really). You are funny.. love to play jokes on mommy and come up with some plan with dad. You always let me know if Sasha is in any trouble and you watch out for him. I am amazed by your memory and your empathy toward others. You have been so important to Nana this year and just by being you.. you were really a ray of light to her.



I woke up today really not ready for four. A little grumpy. It's hard to explain though because as I saw you run from your room, eat breakfast and start to enjoy the day.. I wasn't thinking of you as my little sweet baby boy. I saw you and felt comforted. You are such a part of our life. You have always been our family, but as the days and years go on, we get to know each other more when I see you, I know you. I hear you. You know me. We love each other. You make me happy. You hug me when I am sad. You say sorry if you hurt my feelings. You know what makes me laugh. You help clean your dish from the table..... I love you little buddy. So much.

Love mom.



First Birthday

First Birthday 

Second Birthday

Third Birthday


Fourth Birthday


Here is the cake I attempted to make. I got mad at the icing and smashed it. Yeah for IGA cake. :$


Who cares where the cake is from mom.. as long as it's cake!

















Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Grumpy grumpy grumpy GRUMP


What is my problem. It's been a while since I've been grumpy.. for days.

I can't pin point it. It's not family related.. something is bugging me.

Hmmm.

I wonder if I'm trying to have all the answers now and don't, so it's making me upset?

We just took some family photos and I did not look good - is that seriously what's throwing me for a loop? No.. I've haven't made my physical self an issue in many years.. I'm not too much bothered by this.

I wish I had better time management skills. I'm feeling like bad about that.

I'm slowing down with work a bit.. does that make me feel rotten?

Ugh. What is my deal?


Jlap


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life


Life! What a wonderful weekend.

It was full of life.

Skating lessons, haircuts, grocery shopping (three times, when will I ever learn to make a list??), family dinners, raking leaves, making pancakes and drinking coffee while the boys play hockey down the hall.

(Do you know how many people stopped us as we were doing yard work today to tell us just how great of care Oz took of our home? A lot. People here are so friendly. And they loved Oz!)

It was a perfect weekend. It's funny how the simple simple things can make you just so happy.

Bursting with happiness. Perhaps I'm still overly thrilled about waking up to my view and the big old trees as well. I'm definitely still smiling because of this. Maybe it's because we've just been so crazy busy over the last three months. I want routine!

Friday night we went to a family dance for Pavel's playschool. Oh my, it was so adorable. I couldn't stop laughing at how cute these kids are! I wish I had more pictures but they were all too busy running around with their balloon swords and eating as much chocolate as physically possible.

We walked down with the Mains. Why not? Such a beautiful fall night. Five kids in tow.

Love. Love. Love.

Life.

Jenny

Sasha - whoa your words are exploding! Thank you, cheers!, no more, NO!, toast, banana, night night, bye bye, more... and you understand so much of what we are saying.
Pav - you love school. You love your friend Finn!! You love ninjas.. Ugh. You are making me a crazy!



Sasha checking out the crazy kids at the dance

Ready to hit the ice at Pavel's skating class

Skating!!!

At the dance with Mommy

Not doing well, at the Stollery with Nannie.. 

With Queen Harper!

Crazy Pav.






Thursday, October 3, 2013

The New Pad

We are IN! 

The big move. It all feels like such a whirlwind. I remember Sheldon saying only months ago - "Maybe we'll just stay in our place now (the duplex) for a few more years and be rich! Let's stay for at least two more years. We can do it."
I knew that would never stand. Come on. We loved it there, but it was too small for us. We needed more living space. It was time to move on. 

Last family picture at Austin Way
In fact, during the moving transition, I was just so sentimental and sad, as you're well aware of! The day the moving trucks came, I packed up the boys and walked out the front door of Austin Way and didn't look back. I couldn't. We had possession of both houses for a few weeks overlapping each other, so we were able to go back to the old house to clean and take our time getting our belongings out. (Well Sheldon's. I made sure everything of mine came in one trip.. no going back and forth for me!)

The week before we were giving the old house to the new owners I went back to start cleaning. I hadn't been there in almost two weeks. Two weeks of the new pad. Two weeks of our huge yard, and space. Two weeks of separate rooms for the boys and being SO close to friends. Life was moving on in one direction, but yet, I still had my heart in our old place. 
When I pulled into the neighbourhood, I felt really at peace. Driving around the familiar roads, I knew in my heart that the timing was right. That neighbourhood and home served it's purpose for us. It was enough space and enough of a cost for us in our baby making years. I was comfortably able to go on maternity leave with both boys. We didn't have to worry (too much) about bills. The walking paths and parks were just what we needed to bond as a family.. and it was the right time for us to move on. It was the perfect transition home and I now feel that we are SO in the place we are supposed to be.
At one point when we were in the old house Pavel said "Mom, can we go home now? I want to go home." I froze hearing those words. They felt so good to hear. 

All my adult life I have driven through the neighbourhoods in central Edmonton and dreamed one day we could live there! Close to the core, huge trees, older homes with character.. I just didn't think it would be possible. (Note to self, how many times do you need to be reminded that ANYTHING is possible. Stop putting limits on life!)

Numerous times I have said to Sheldon and myself and my wonderful friends/neighbours.. "I can't believe we are here! This is my house. We live here!" 


Our Friend Oz
What's funny is the new house, is an old house. It's in amazing shape but it is dated and not necessary our preferred taste. The man who owned the home before us was there for almost 50 years. Oz. Oz has taken such good care of that home. He has thought of everything in terms of maintenance and making sure the home runs smoothly. I have to thank Oz, as he actually calls about once a week to remind us of things we need to do around the house! Pick the tomatoes, sprinklers… Sheldon and I actually are quite grateful. 
The day Oz gave us the keys to the house, he stayed for two hours to show us around and how everything works. He showed us what screws to tighten and when. He left us a map of the flowers he plants and where. He showed us how to change the water filter and how to adjust the settings on the sprinkler system. 
If I am sad leaving a home after four years, I can't imagine what it would feel like after 50. A relief? Strange? Like you're missing your right hand? 




Thank you Oz!

The exterior curb appeal of the home is immaculate. My favourite part of the home right now. And our new neighbours have noticed too. Every single person we have met has mentioned our yard and how well Oz kept it up! I think Sheldon has taken that as a personal challenge to try and make the yard even better. The first week he was out there edging and pruning and sweating his butt off. "We're being judged right now Jenny, we have to maintain this yard even better than Oz. Just you wait. This yard is nothing compared to what it will be next year." Oh gawd. 
I love our street light!

It is just so amazing being close to friends like we are. I'm talking walking distance. Like less than a two minute walk to close friends. It makes me emotional thinking about how Pavel and Sasha are going to grow up with Kane, Harper, Cameron, Farrah, Marley, Cruz and Drew! Not to mention all the other little people they are meeting. The night we got the keys from Oz, the Mains and Strudwicks came over with all the kids in tow. A bottle of champagne in one of the girl's knapsacks and some paper cups. Eight kids four and under running around on the front lawn, parents toasting to a new future. I get emotional thinking about how great that night was! Oh how I love my friends. 
I also laugh because our poor neighbours probably haven't a clue what they were in for. From one quiet 87 year old Oz, to a crazy zoo of kids and parents in just a matter of hours. 
Pavel and his bestie Ayako from our old place
I feel like the kid's quality of life has improved so much since we've moved here. Again, there are so many kids in the neighbourhood to play with and EVERYONE is just so friendly! It's a crazy 180 from where we just came from. Yes, we had some close friends in the old 'hood who we miss dearly (so dearly!) but I can't tell you how many people have stopped by to introduce themselves. Invited us to block parties, offered to babysit, toured their newly renovated home to us, let us pet their dogs and have just made sure to tell us "Welcome to the neighbourhood, you are just going to LOVE it here." You can't help but believe them. 
One of our friends was chatting to a neighbour and said "I wake up happy every morning here. It's just so wonderful." I feel the exact same way. Does that sound so silly? I can't explain it right then I guess.

Pavel has been so hilarious. He runs out of the house on the front lawn every time someone walks by. 'Hi! Hi! Welcome to the neighbourhood!" he tells them excitedly. "Can I pet your dog? What's your dog's name? Do you want to come in?"
Two funny stories. 
There is a house across the street with a basketball net in the drive. Two boys about 15 were playing basketball one night. Pav stands on the very edge of our yard, as close as he can get, and just watches. Stares. We were going for a family walk. Sheldon rolls up with the stroller and tells him to get in. 
"No dad! Get lost!" LOL! He refused to get into the stroller until right after we turned the corner and were out of sight of the two older cool boys.



Another night, it was a Friday about dusk, we were outside doing some yard work. A group of five teenage girls walk by. Texting, chatting. Pavel runs out of the house and yells at them in his deep manly voice " Hey girls! Hey! Any of you girls have any apple juice?"
They looked up and paused "Umm no, sorry, no apple juice."
"Okay, thanks." And shrugged his shoulders.
Ummmm What the heck! Oh my Sheldon and I looked at each other in disbelief. Hilarious! Hilarious! He's three. Oh great. 
Pavel on his way to Play School on the first day


Sasha enjoying dinner at his new table

Anyway.. this is long. Moral of the story. We feel so blessed. Moving is stressful, but somehow the stars aligned for us to get an amazingly well kept older home in our dream neighbourhood near our dear friends. Life feels great because it's so accessible to restaurants and downtown, the kids go to the museum and to the local play group and have so many close friends who love them near by. 

We are where we are meant to be.

-Jenny 

Ps.
Dear Jimmy,

We think of you so often. We know you would have loved this home and we can practically see you smoking your pipe on our front step. You and Oz would have hit it off and we have the perfect spot for your giant BBQ. Thank you for watching over us. We miss you dearly.



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We're Moving!


Safeway... I am going to miss you. You and all your airmiles, paying for my gas. The daily trips, the comfort I feel walking down your ailes.

Walking - oh walking paths, I miss you already. We really have made miles on you and your winding roads especially to...

The Park! Oh no, the park. We love this park. Both of our babies have grown up playing on you, Park. You are great for all ages and always full of kids and moms and nannies and dads and grandmas and grandpas and dogs. Thank you for being part of so many wonderful memories. It amazes me watching Pavel rip down your slides and across your treacherous climbing areas. The little red car, the big stone boulder.. it's been great.  (Mail us that plastic nail of Pavel's if you find it? Pav asks about it every time we go, still)

Our house. The house we've raised our children in. The door that welcomed in the new born baby boys with both arms. The window from our room I spent many nights staring out, soothing a little one.. (being kind of scared that a Death Eater may come floating down the path behind us, lit perfectly by the orangey street lamps). We've spent many happy memories with loved ones here. It's the house that Sheldon's dad knew. The last place we've cooked him dinner or had a beer with him. We love our closets. We love our neighbours... oh man, here come the tears.

We're moving. It's true. I'm sad. Clearly. But I'm also terrifyingly excited for the next chapter.

Tonight is our last night in this home we've had for the last four years. I love where I live and have recruited almost anyone I know to come join us in this fabulous neighbourhood.

As families expand, and our needs change.. we started to look for more. And our hearts fell in love with a new location close to many of our friends, central, and within walking distance to schools.

I'm going to miss this place. I'm in disbelief right now (Our neighbours:. Ayako -  who drops of delicious home cooked baking and meals constantly, shovels our walks, drops off garden veggies, takes Pavel on dates.. who has become a friend and great dinner company.. And Kim and Tylor, bah.. I can't think about it. It's hard. You become friends, but you know in your heart of hearts it won't be the same. No more impromptu bbqs. No more sitting on the porch having a beer on a whim while we cut grass or trim flowers. No more running across three driveways to give Pavel a huge high five and make him feel like a million bucks..It's just not the same. Good friends, good people are hard to find.)

Thanks Ambleside for all the love. We'll be back to visit. And to clean the house before your new owners come. We'll drive by this house every so often I'm sure.. I can see myself now, eyes closed in the passenger side, asking the boys if they remember where they played hockey in the drive-way, their bedroom window that they both shared, running from room to room and back and forth, remembering these "good old days", and reminding myself how fast time flies.. and how we need to enjoy them while they last..

On to the next.



Ambleside Park (Photo credit amblesidewindermere.ca) 



















I'd post lots of memory photos, but we still have so much to do before the movers come in the am! Must get to work. Exciting exciting exciting, tears tears tears! Bahhhhh.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sasha, You Are One!



Sasha. My little buddy. Today you are an entire year old. I think back at how quickly the time went, but yet at the same time, how slow.

Child, you have not been a walk in the park, you have some high maintenance tendencies, but I love you for each one of them.

Will you EAT Already??
Because you knew I was looking forward to getting back to work and "real life" after you were born, you decided that you wouldn't take a bottle - pretty much ever. We still haven't found one that you'll suck back more than a 1/4 of an ounce without being force fed.
I did try to introduce formula a few months after you were born (four, I think) but, no, you weren't having it. In fact, you didn't even really like solid food on most days, and never took to purees. It made for a stressed out mommy - you only wanted me.
Over time, you've come to eat more and some days not more, but you seem to be doing okay! At least you've stopped starving yourself all day while I'm at work, and staying up all night to eat! (about a month ago!)

Would you GROW Already?
Little buddy, you still aren't yet at 20 pounds! What's going on here? Your ped says you'll sprout up around a year and a half. We will see! You do think you are a big boy though, and long to be part of their club anytime we have other kids over to play. You stare, and look, and clap, and squeal - all from the sidelines, wishing you could run over and join in!


Perhaps You Won't Walk Ever?
All kids grow at their own pace and hit their milestones when they will. You started walking (holding hands) MONTHS ago, possibly 7 months? You've been able to take a few steps for at least two months now, you can actually go up to 7 without sitting down or falling - but that's it! No more steps for you.. it's way more fun to...

BABY FLOP!
Yes, the very impressive baby flop! It's your ultimate favourite thing to do. It starts with you standing up slowly, slowly and looking us right in the eyes. You then will raise your hands to the sky, and when we don't think you can keep your balance for a second longer - you do - AND THEN.... BABY FLOP!! Usually right onto mom, or onto the bed, or pillow, or lately, the side of the couch, which hurts. Ouch. You're hilarious kid.

Mmamamamama Dadadadaadada
If there is anything typical about second children, it's that you aren't talking quite so much yet! You do say mama and dada and hi, and perhaps "all done", but that's that. That's okay though, that's actually pretty good! I take the full on blame for not reading to you nearly as much as we were able to read to Pavel when he was young. You do love books though, and especially when mom makes cow and pig noises! You think they're pretty funny!


Mr. Homebody
Well, what I discovered on our recent vacation (post to come), is that you, Mr., do not like to be away from home! Wow. I learned the hard way. You cried, and cried, and nursed day and night, and were breathing so heavy I thought you were going to pass out. The SECOND we came home and I put you in our front entrance, you started laughing, squealing and eating! I haven't seen you this happy in your entire life. Ever since we got home!

Brotherly Love
Pavel said to me the other day "Mom, I just love having a brother, he's so cute mom. SO cute! I love just like, looking at him in his crib. I love him"
Pav loves you little Sash. Your dad and I pretend to be mad when we come up to your (shared) room and see that Pavel has climbed into your crib, along with every toy in the room and is showing you a movie on the iPad, but it secretly melts our hearts. He's just keeping you company, in case you were scared. Or perhaps you both can't sleep, or you're hot, or the sun hasn't gone down yet mom! And the way you look at him with your big blue eyes. I'm so glad you have each other.
Now, please learn how to share?







A Thinker
Nana says you're a thinker. I do like to analyze a situation, take it all in. I wonder what's going on in that head of yours.. I wonder.




Notes from mom:
I really feel like an idiot. I hadn't a clue just what they meant when they said no two kids are alike. I'm constantly surprised that I am surprised just how different Sasha is to how Pavel was. I won't lie, for me, this was a tough year. Going from one child, where you can give all your attention too, to two, was and is tough.
I was really upset at the beginning and before Sasha came, not knowing how to incorporate him into the bond that Pavel and I had. It was hard at first, there was a lot of crying (still is) and it's not like I could ever put Sasha down and have him just chill. He has always needed me and Pavel has got pushed aside. I often wonder how I could produce a child who not ONCE has slept anywhere but in a bed or the car. Why couldn't I be lucky and take him to a restaurant and he'd just fall asleep like so many other babies!
I'm currently wondering how I will wean him. I feed him only twice a day now, but since he has never taken a soother, he uses me for comfort too. I'm off on a girl's trip in two weeks though, so I need to figure something out fast.
I actually do think I will be sad. I've wanted to be done for months, and now I'm sad - of course I am! (typical girl!) I have such a bond with Sasha. A different one than I did with Pav - of equal strength, just different.
Sasha is a MOMMA's boy. He LOVES me. He loves to snuggle me. He wants me first. I love this. I don't care if it's just because I have milk jugs to share, I will take it! My little buddy loves his mama!




I worry that I have let Sasha cry too much. I mean, I didn't leave him alone to cry and cry by any means, but I really don't think I let Pavel cry.. at all. I just didn't have a choice with Sasha. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do and holding him doesn't make it better. I had to help Pavel, or answer the door, or have a shower! I hope I didn't ruin my sweet boy. It's okay...right?


We just can't remember our life without Sasha in it. This last year was a lot of work but worth every single second. I just love having a family of four. I love the different dynamic, I love the brothers being boys, I love that we get to watch two children grow and try to help shape them (without losing our minds - hopefully!) I even kind of am considering a third - one day many many many days from now!

Sometimes Sasha, I sneak into your room and pick you up out of bed, just to breath you in for a few snuggles. You rest your head on my shoulder, and for a few minutes I enjoy the pure bliss - until you arch your neck back.. your way of telling me your ready to be put back in bed.




.


Happy Birthday little one, thank you for showing me an even greater love than I already knew. I really didn't know that my heart could grow like this. We are so lucky to have you.







xoxo Mommy.