Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

So, with Christmas Eve only three sleeps away (EVERYTHING is counted by sleeps in my house), I thought I would take a few minutes to update everyone on all the craziness of this year, as some of my extended family and my very close friends read this blog to keep up on our family news.

At the beginning of 2009, I was working part time at the store, one day a week at the daycare, and babysitting Tues/Thurs (miss that little one sooooooo much). I had planned to keep up this kind of blend of stay at home/working mom until the girls began public school in Fall of 2010.

Then in February I discovered a part time teacher education program with evening and weekend classes that would accept me with my credentials and experience. The program would take 2 1/2 years to complete and I would have a Master of Science in Teaching. Wow! Little did I know how much this one click on a link on the internet would drastically change the course of our future.

After attending an information session, and speaking with former teachers (of mine) and other contacts who work with the local school board, I decided I would apply for the fall of 2009, then defer my acceptance by one year, which would slate me to start Fall of 2010. I was accepted, and in interim, I am working on the "catch up" courses they have asked me to take (a computer course, children's literature, and history). I will officially begin attending grad school at SUNY Potsdam in the MST Ottawa program Sept 2010. For those of you who don't already understand, this is my life's dream, and my life's work come to fruition. All I have ever wanted to do was teach, and now I will be doing just that.

So there's me in a nutshell for 2009. Schoolwork, work, and kids.

Winter 2009, the girls participated in pre dance, and while they enjoyed it, Mackenzie did not want to continue. Laura did a second session, and then decided she preferred gymnastics like her sister. Both girls were taking swimming lessons at a local gym.

We bid goodbye to our baby B in April, as the looming summer vacation season and future tuition costs meant that I needed to work out of the house more. We do miss her, but it was the best decision for us in terms of our future needs. Around this time, the daycare I worked at announced they would be expanding, by building a completely new daycare, and Pladec would become Pladec and Pladec East. This meant some major changes were expected for my part time position.

In June, we enjoyed a three day mini vacation in Niagara Falls. We saw the sights, had a day at Marineland, spent some time with the butterflies, and just hung out. This trip went amazingly well, the only thing I would have changed would be to remember the laptop power cord so the girls could have watched a movie at night to fall asleep. I will definitely be planning one or two of these little mini trips for the coming warm season.

The rest of the summer, when I wasn't working, we had trips to the cottage, took in the buskers festival, and spent a lot of time at Grammy and Grandad's house with our bikes (nowhere to store our bikes inside at our house, so its safer to keep them in Sydenham).

In September, when things slowed down, we were able to head for the Toronto Zoo to see the Sharks at Stingray Bay exhibit in which we got to pet stingrays. Unfortunately, the sharks would not come out from under the waterfall to allow us to pet them. We had a blast, and again, it was a day that went so well, that we will be doing the zoo many times this coming year.

Laura is on the right in this picture, Mackenzie is on the left. They are two months shy of five years old in this picture.

Having our picture taken on the Komodo Dragon, Mackenzie in front, Laura in the back.

The girls also started their final year of Montessori school in September. By October, both were attempting to read three letter word, and Mackenzie excelled and is now able to sound out simple four and five letter words. She is zooming through our home readers. Laura is learning using a combined phonetic and whole word approach, and is doing very well with her reading too. She can recognize words such as the, and, she, dog, and is trying to sound some three letter words out as well. She is excellent at paired reading and story telling. I am so proud of them both! They are taking Red Cross swim preschool lessons and are doing very well, and are taking Kindergym at a local club, and again, are doing a great job. They have already told me they would like to try soccer in the summer.

In November, the twins turned 5. We had family and a couple of friends over for a party at our house. It was an enjoyable day. Also in November, we had to declare our interest in positions at the new daycare, or interest in changing our current position in the old daycare. Since I knew that my position would not exist beyond the next few months, I proposed to the board that I be the cook, with certain scheduling conditions. They offered me the position, I accepted it and will be working as a full time cook/ECE relief staff at the beginning of the new year. What a huge change that will be.

That brings us up to Christmas, we still have baking to do, and presents to deliver.

This year, I will pick the girls up from Christmas with Daddy's family on Christmas Eve, take them to my parents home where we are staying the night and having Christmas morning. The girls will then be picked up for Christmas with Daddy (and others) mid afternoon, leaving us adults to nap, have dinner, and enjoy some quiet time. I think it is going to be one of the best Christmases in recent years.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy New Year! All the best for 2010~!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And the Darwin Award goes to....

I hate to say it, but this one goes to Miss Bean.

Today, when I picked up the girls, Miss Bean stuck her tongue out at me and it looked like a small piece was missing. Her mouth was a little bloody. The sitter explains that she was sticking her mouth on metal outside.

So, this is pretty normal kid stuff. However....

We are talking at dinner about what happened. She told me what metal, and then tells me three times. THREE TIMES! Miss Bean, what do you mean you did it three times? Didn't you think that after your mouth got stuck the first time, you should stop?
Nope, didn't hurt. was kinda fun.

But the third time I bleeded. It hurt lots, and hurts lots now.

Yep, my girl, the kid who stuck her mouth on dirty gross freezing metal three times, even after her mouth stuck the first two.

What exactly can you say to that?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Things are pretty calm right now

I must say, the last few months have been nuts, as evidenced by the blog posts. They have been about everything.

Right now though, things are seeming rather calm. I realize this is the calm before the storm, as I have 2 1/2 weeks left until I work full time, as well as starting a new course that will take a lot of work.

But for now, I am enjoying having my Christmas shopping done, hanging with my girls, and not worrying about my budget (I am very fortunate to have received some financial good news which will allow me to be even better prepared for school next September).

Sorry, but it doesn't make for very interesting reading at the moment.

Hopefully I will have pics taken of the girls new dolls to share - those new additions I promised pictures of almost a month ago- and photos of our Christmas tree, and of course, the girls themselves.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Preparations

So, a couple of days ago, I explained how Christmas would work this year.

The girls are having Christmas with their paternal grandparents on Christmas Eve, I will pick them up from there, and we will go to my parents house, where we will do all of our Christmas Eve traditional stuff, and we will spend the night. Santa is coming to Grammy's house, and the girls and I will have Christmas morning with my parents.

The catch here - we are bringing my 80 lbs cat hating dog with us and my parents have a cat. The girls are aware that Diesel has this issue, and today, while Diesel was nudging us as read our book that teaches us about Santa and his magic, it talked about how Santa's magic works on dogs.

Mackenzie looked Diesel in the eye sternly, holding his face in her hands, and said " Okay, so you won't bark at Santa, now all you have to do is not eat the cat. Don't eat Grammy's cat." She proceeded to seek reassurance that Diesel would sleep in the bedroom with them with the door closed so that she wouldn't get up to find out he was bad.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coming Home Day

Today is a day that only a mother who has lived the life of the NICU can understand.

Today is coming home day, and it is as important to me as the day the girls were born.

Five years ago today, I packed them in their carseats, snapped them on the stroller, gathered all of our stuff, and signed the papers that said the girls could come home. Then Casey and I looked at each other and we ran with our babies for the nearest exit, scared that someone would notice something, or something would happen that would prevent us from finally leaving.

You see, when you spend most of your hours with your newborns in the NICU, you get to know the other parents, their babies, and their stories. We got to know one family, and were on first name basis with them, even sharing a pizza between feedings one night. Their going home day was 5 days before ours. They had spent two nights in the "care by parent" suite across the hall, and we said our goodbyes that morning. Then, as I was feeding both girls, in comes Baby J, mom (tearing up) and dad (looking devastated himself). Apparently when the nurse went to give them their paperwork, she noticed baby J was a little discoloured around the mouth. Turns out that day was not their going home day. They remained for a further three weeks - we saw each other in WalMart one very late night finishing our shopping.

So needless to say, we were worried that something would stop us from leaving too.

Nothing happened, we took the tunnel to the garage, packed the babes in the car, took pictures and headed on our way.

Today was the beginning of the rest of our lives. And I am more grateful for it than any other day there is.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So we put the tree up like, two weeks ago almost. BUT as of yesterday, if you look under my Christmas tree you will find a few wrapped presents. They are all for the girls of course, as I have decided to try very hard to have presents wrapped well ahead of time. Of course, I will hide the "santa" stuff and it will be wrapped with paper they never see - part of the magic I try to add.

I must say, I am rather proud of myself this year. I have but a few minor things to get between now and Christmas, and I will likely have those taken care of by the end of next week.

How have you been doing?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Again, on the upside of this change

I found out today that I will have benefits as soon as I start my full time position. Usually there is a 3 month waiting period, but the board of directors at my centre have opted to waive the waiting period, crediting me the year I have already worked for the centre. How awesome is that! Just in time for the meds I stockpiled while on benefits through the ex to run out.

Can I get a WOOT WOOT

Life is full of changes Pt 2

So, my blog post yesterday took a very negative tone about the job change I am facing in 5 weeks.

I want to clarify the positive reasons for taking the job, because it obviously isn't all bad and it obviously isn't all about giving up what I feel is a near perfect existence.

#1 I have a regular schedule and a regular pay cheque
#2 The extra income will be exactly that, EXTRA income. It will be put into my savings to pay for school starting in September, and the EXTRA will mean I should have enough saved specifically for school to pay for at least 1 1/2 semesters - possibly 2 if the loonie holds. This is a much better financial outlook than what I had predicted.
#3 Not only will I be able to pay cash for school longer, but I won't have to use money in my savings to pay for the fuel costs and possible hotel costs associated with it. Those will be able to be out of pocket instead.
#4 I will be done early enough in the day that I will regularly have 1-2 hours to do schoolwork, errands, workout, whatever I need/want to do until I have to pick up the kids.
#5 No other daycare has ever wanted to be this flexible for me, and I doubt many others would even consider this level of flexibility
#6 The people at Pladec are great, the families are awesome, and I DID NOT RELISH THE IDEA THAT I MIGHT HAVE TO LEAVE if none of the available jobs fit after the expansion
#7 The East end of Kingston is getting a much needed, off base, daycare that has extended hours and great programs and I love that I am involved in it somehow.