Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dear Pregnant Self...

This week's Question of the Week over at Multiples...and More is: If you could go back in time (think: Marty McFly) and have a chat with your pregnant self, what would you say?
I just love this here goes:
Dear Pregnant Self;
So, you're pregnant. With twins. Are you done freaking out yet? No? Well, don't worry. It'll soon sink in that you really are pregnant with twins and you can get on with the business of getting ready for their arrival. You want some advice from a mom who's "been there, done that"? Yeah? OK, here goes:
In a few weeks you're going to find out that you're having 2 boys. Yes, you heard me. 2 boys. No, not the 2 girls you think you want. 2 boys. And you know's amazing raising boys. You just wait. Once you have them, you will pretty much totally forget that you ever THOUGHT you wanted girls. Really. I promise. So get started on those boys names.
Has the insomnia started yet? No? Well, it soon will. And once those boys arrive, you won't be getting much sleep either. So go to right now and buy "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" right now. When it arrives, read it cover to cover. BEFORE the babies arrive. You hear me...BEFORE. You will not have time after they arrive. And if you did manage to find the time, you'll need to nap, not read.
Take belly pictures. Weekly. Start now. I really regret having so few pregnant photos.
Enjoy this time. These are the last few months of being "just the 2 of you". Enjoy it. Take a trip. I really wish we had taken one last vacation "just the 2 of us".
Know that no matter what happens, it's all going to be OK. It's going to be a bit of a rough ride. But you're going to get through it. You will get to the other side. Believe me. You will make it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Just exceptional

I recently started reading Renee's blog over at Massager Mommy. Her son Zachary has CP and is just the cutest little thing ever. Her family is doing something pretty amazing. Basically, they (and some other awesome people) have created a website called Exceptional TV where they are going to share stories of families with kids with special needs. The website is now up and running and they have started production. There are some video clips there now for your viewing pleasure but the real stuff starts in May. You really need to check this out. Really.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get out the Kleenex box

I stumbled across a new blog this weekend...well, the blog isn't new but it's new to me. And I'm hooked. Absolutely hooked. It's by a woman named Kelle. She's a photographer, a wife and a Lainey and now Nella. Nella has Down Syndrome. And her parents didn't know until she was born. This is Nella's birth story. Get out a box of kleenex because you'll need it. You'll cry...but you'll be uplifted too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't've got the right blog

So I decided to change up my blog layout. The last one was fine but a bit boring. I'd love to do something more original but I decided that free and easy and easy. So this is what I came up with.

I'd prefer to have a pic of both Ben and Daniel as part of the Header but couldn't find a recent one that I was happy with so instead went with this great new pic of Ben in his walker. I really want to get a pic of the two of them together...both standing up with Ben in his walker. Once I get one, then that will go in the Header space.

I also added a "The Scoop on Us" section in the top right corner to help those of you that have just come across this blog and want some background but maybe don't want to read the whole blog to find out who we are. So this should help.

I'm also going to try and blog a bit more often (I've been doing great so far this month!). This blog community is SO IMPORTANT to me and my sanity that I've decided to do more blogging in the the hopes of getting to know you all better. I figure the more I put out there, the more I'll get back. I'm really amazed by those of you who have managed to turn blogger friends into real life friends and I'm hoping by putting myself out there more then I might just be able to do that myself.

So, what do you think? You like the new look?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Day in Photos - A walk at the mall

Some Sunday mornings, we take the boys to the mall for a walk. The shops themselves don't open until noon but the doors are open starting at 9am for those that want to walk. Usually that's mostly elderly people, but there are some families there with small children...mostly just letting their kids burn off steam in the middle of winter.

Plus, it's a great opportunity to let Ben use his walker! Check out how happy he is to get going.

Since Daniel doesn't have a walker (he'd love to have one though), he pushes the stroller around (we need somewhere to store the diaper bag and coats, mitts, hats, etc. Here he is looking for the bikes at Toys R Us. Sadly, no bikes were out this week.

Ben loved the letters in this "GARAGE" sign. He kept yelling "A for Alligator". We've been working on the alphabet lately and they are both doing awesome. I'd guess they each know about half the alphabet. We've attached words of meaning to each letter so they love learning them (and finding them when we're out). For example: D is for Daniel, B is for Ben, M is for Mommy, L is for Lucy (their cousin), S is for soother (they LOVE their pacifiers or soothers as we call them), Z is for zebra...and their favourite: W is for Walrus!!!

Daniel has to check everything out. Like this hinge on this door...apparently it's quite fascinating.

He also loves to 'hide' in small spaces. He loved this little nook in the wall. Unfortunately Ben couldn't fit in his walker.

After our walk, it's time for a snack. So we head to the foodcourt. Daniel loves to get the highchairs. We take off the tray tables and pull them right up to the table with us. They had carrot muffins, goldfish crackers and water.

After Daddy got his coffee from Tim Horton's (it opens at 10am - woohoo!), he joined us at the table. Ben was happy to see him.

In this photo, you can see Ben playing Peek-a-boo from behind his cup. Don't you love that smile?

Another great smile, this time from Daniel. I had to force the camera onto my husband for this one...otherwise there would be NO pictures of me EVER.

This is just the boys being silly together. Daniel was trying to kiss Ben but Ben wanted none of it. I love how they interact together.

All in all, it was a great morning (except for the meltdown when Ben couldn't "push the stroller" like Daniel). Then it was time to go home.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Bilodeau's

I stumbled across this article / blog entry today about Frederic Bilodeau and wanted to share it with all of you. It gives me goosebumps...

Frederic Bilodeau

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Biting off more than I can chew

I may be completely crazy. In the past month, I have taken on not ONE, but TWO part-time jobs. I could have had THREE, but I had enough sense to turn at least ONE job down.

So what are these jobs you ask? Well, let me tell you.

First, I've finally gone back to work part-time. I guess it's not technically "back to work" since I've never worked there before. But I have gone back to doing accounting. My Dad, my husband and I are all Chartered Accountants. My Dad has his own accounting practice and my husband is in the process of taking over this practice so my dad can retire. I've agreed to work there part-time (about 15 hours per week) during tax season. So from now til the end of April.

Second, I'm taking on something completely new and out of my comfort zone. I'm currently in the middle of training to be a Weight Watchers Leader! I am SO EXCITED about this. I can't wait to make a difference in people's lives. I lost 40 lbs last year and have maintained this loss for 6 months now and I FEEL AMAZING! It has made a huge difference in my life as well as those around me. And I want every other overweight person to feel this amazing. I can't wait to get started.

So life is pretty great right now. I have lots of variety each week between my two part-time (paying) jobs and my two full-time (non-paying jobs)...named Ben and Daniel. I am very blessed in that I have a great nanny to help care for the boys. She works for us full-time (40 hours per week; she doesn't live with us). I get to be ME some of the time and be MOMMY some of the time. I can still take Ben to his PT sessions and take the boys to playdates, etc.

I am one very lucky lady. I just hope I can handle it all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A difference maker

First off, I admit it. I'm an Olympics junkie. It's bad in a "normal" year...when the games are half a world away. It's a million times worse this year with them being in MY OWN COUNTRY!

As part of the Canadian Olympic Coverage, Rick Hansen is doing a series called "Difference Makers" where he shares with fans across the country the compelling and heroic stories of those who have made a difference in the lives of Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes. If you don't know who Rick Hansen is...then you have to check out this link. He's made such a difference in Canada that I would say that every single Canadian knows who he is.

One of his stories features Frederic Bilodeau. Frederic is the older brother of Alexandre Bilodeau who just won a gold medal in Men's Moguls in Vancouver. Frederic has Cerebral Palsy. Please take a moment to watch this video. (This link will take you to the main video page. In the search box, enter "Bilodeau Difference Makers" and you'll go right to the video.) It's pretty amazing to see the effect that Frederic has had on this Olympic Medallist.

And isn't it inspiring to think of the effect our little ones might have on those around them? Or even what they might accomplish for themselves? (Personally, I have this teeny, tiny dream of Ben becoming a star wheelchair basketball player and going to the 2026 Paralympics. You need to see this kid shoot a basketball!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Touching lives

I continue to be amazed by a little boy with Cerebral Palsy. This morning as he walked (with walker) throughout the hospital on his was to and from his PT session, he touched at least 200 people. When people meet him walking in his walker (with his huge smile), they can't help but smile too. I don't just mean little grins, but HUGE SMILES come from these people. Many people comment. Things like "way to go!", "so adorable", "look at him go".

It's awesome to see. When you think of a little boy with CP who has to use a walker, you might just think that it's a sad thing. But when total strangers see Ben going, they can't help but feel completely uplifted. I think it makes their day. And I hope that they pass that feeling along.

Who know how many lives he touched today?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Some of my favourite photos from the baby days:

Ben (L) Daniel (R) - 2 months old

Ben - April 2008 - 7 months old

Daniel - July 2008 - 10 months old

Monday, February 8, 2010


The Question of the Week over at Multiples...and More is "Are you a strict scheduler?"
Yep. Absolutely. No question about it. I think when you have 2 or more children you have to be...or chaos will reign supreme in your household. It keeps all of us sane and allows Ben and Daniel to understand the day and what's going to happen next. Here are some more detailed questions they posed:

How old are your kids now? Have you always followed a rigid schedule?
Ben and Daniel are 28 months old. And no, we haven't always followed a rigid schedule. Since they arrived 10 weeks early, they spent the first 8 weeks of their lives in the NICU. So when we brought them home, they were on a pretty strict 3-hour feeding schedule. For the first month or so, we didn't really follow any schedule but always woke the other baby if a baby woke up to eat. There wasn't any real schedule but they were on the same one.
As time went on, we realized that we were ALWAYS waking Ben. Especially at night and this just didn't seem fair. So at that point, we went off a schedule completely. Each baby was able to determine their own schedule. And this worked fine til they were about 6 months adjusted age.
At this point, we worked and worked on a schedule and after a few weeks finally found one. They were ready for it and so were we. We've been on a strict schedule ever since.

Do you think that your schedule is conducive to healthy sleep patterns in your kids?

It is now. But I truly believe that a strict schedule when they're newborns is not. That's why we had to let Ben sleep and not wake him just because his brother was awake.
We now have great sleepers (and have for a long time now).
Do people give you a lot of flack for being a strict scheduler? How do you respond?
Oh yes. Especially parents to just 1 baby. They really don't get it. I just reply that because we have 2, we have to be more scheduled so that we can all get through the day with our sanity in tact. Luckily, most of my mommy friends have twins so they get it.

Has your routine become more relaxed as your kids have gotten older?
It's probably a bit more relaxed now that they have just 1 nap. When they were on 2 naps, we had to be pretty strict. But I'd say we're still pretty strict.

How do you kids react when they are completely off their schedules- and how do you get them back on track?
My kids are RARELY off their schedules. There was one day before Christmas when we were at my Mom's and I thought they could handle not having a nap. Boy was I wrong. Daniel was OK but Ben had a complete meltdown. We basically had to put him in the car so he could sleep and take him home.
What's our schedule like?
6am - 6:30am - we start to hear noises from their room
7am - Daddy gets them up. They hang out with Daddy and have their milk.
7:30am - Breakfast with Mommy
9am - noon - Usually an outing somewhere - not necessarily for 3 hours but if we're doing something that day, this is when we do it.
Noon - Lunch
12:45 - Naptime
3:15pm - Wake from nap. Have milk and a snack
5:15pm - Supper
5:45pm - Into jammies
6:15pm - Bedtime!