January 19, 2010

Opening New doors... Literally!

How in the world can a 22 month old open doors? And I'm not talking the lever handles but the perfectly round style. He is into EVERYTHING!! The latest... He's mastered the opening doors... especially the bathroom door. That means I'm going to have to get a child proof thing on there before he's plugging the toilet with random the remote, or brushing his teeth to the root, or washing the floor with a roll of ultra soft Charmin.
Check out the video of Brady demonstrating his newest skill on my facebook page. In addition to his craftiness you'll hear in the video he's a little mocking bird, repeating you pretty much word for word. Although its a challenge to keep up with this child, its certainly a joy to watch him make such grand discovery's.

January 18, 2010

Hockey Hot Shots

Mite 1 hockey with the Piedmont Panthers
Like I mentioned before the boys have really gotten into the game this year, and follow the puck around pretty good. It just amazes me how those little legs move so quick and precise on the ice.

Riley #18

Dylan #25

And after a long day of hockey watching, the little man has a bit of a weak moment. Fall #28 in the snow and too many puffy layers to allow for an unassisted spring back onto his feet.

Frozen Falls

Just got home from working a shift at the Hockey club house concession's stand (aka canteen for the Canadian readers). Pretty slow night, and thankfully got to leave a few minutes early. Met a few other parents tonight and shared stories of parenthood exhaustion. Its so nice to have people to vent with...The load feels a bit lighter now so why not make another entry on my blog? That's 2 in one weeks time!!

I shouldn't be complaining too much right now, because we are coming off a weekend of Grandma time. My mom came for a visit this weekend and then stayed home with the boys today, since schools out for MLK day.
On Saturday we took the boys for a drive up the North Shore to check out the frozen version of Gooseberry Falls. We've been there a handful of times in the snow free months, but this was our first visit to see the frozen falls. Although ice cascades down all levels of the falls, in some parts you can see and hear the water falling behind the ice...pretty cool! Not all the trails are cleared though, blue so we pulled Brady boy around in his little sled, while the big boys and I wandered off the path to explore the frozeness of Gooseberry Falls State Park. Lots of sunshine, and the temp was 40 degrees... how sweet is that for January 16th.

I tried posing the kids for a nice photo standing on the upper falls, but they were too busy watching grandmas dog dancing around some passerbys to look at the camera.

Riley standing on the island in the middle falls.

Dylan checking out an icy cliff on the middle falls.

Big boys posing in the middle falls.

OF COURSE it wouldn't be a trip up the North shore without a great piece of pie. However, we didn't make the usual visit to the Rustic Inn, instead jumped the tourist bandwagon and stopped into Betty's Pies (as seen on the the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern show) for lunch. I had a delicious roasted garlic tomato soup with egg salad sandwich that ended with a slice of French Cream Cherry pie. Good food, tasty pie, and now I can say I've crossed it off my list of places to try along the scenic drive, but Rustic Inn still remains the fave... by far.

January 13, 2010

What the Heck... Why not?

So I know its been a while and I'm still hesitant to sit now and write. Why... because I feel like I've missed so much over the last 8 months and feel obligated to go back and cover the grounds I've missed. So its that overwhelming task that has kept me away. But instead I'll pick up today and move forward. Should I have the spare time to work my way back, then I may do so, but for now I'm moving forward.

Well January finds us in the midst of hockey season. As you can assume Brad is never home and always at work, or running back to work. We share the same bed every night, but in a recent 10 day stretch we only called it a night together once. He's working so much that I'm left with the single parent blues this time of year... we all miss him dearly.
Dylan and Riley are busy with hockey practice 3 nights a week and Jamborees on the weekend... thats hockey 5 out of every 7 nights for them. With Brad at work, I'm left to do most of this carting around, and find myself really struggling to make it though the mental and physical demands of the process.
On those days I'm done with work at 4:00, pick Brady up at 4:10, pick boys up from school 4:20, arrive home 4:30, gear up for hockey 4:40 (this takes at least 25 minutes), leave for hockey 5:05, haul in 2 hockey bags while carrying a 40 lb squirming toddler and misc snacks and/or toys, 5:10 tie skates and fasten helmets, 5:15 hit the ice, make 20 trips from ice to the warming house trying to entertain toddler for the next hour, 6:15 practice ends and undo everything back to 4:30, 6:40 make supper (hopefully well planned and its just re-heat), maybe sitting down to eat at 7:00, rush through dinner to bath Brady 7:20 and tuck him in by 7:30 (school night), then onto the big boys shower 7:35 and snack to get them into bed by 8:00. Now keep in mind this schedule is done with a 21 month old very curious, high energy, demanding, loud, wild child. Sighhhhh... This is my Monday - Tuesday - Thursday schedule

On a lighter and happier note, and the reason why I put myself through this week after week is that the boys are LOVING IT and I've found some good coping strategies. Last year they were pretty reserved and not really excited about hockey, sometimes not even wanting to go. But this year, they cheer when its hockey night and are shouting out the door to their buddies the second we pull up. They come in all sweaty and full of fun stories from the ice. They are listening to their coaches, practicing the drills, and following the puck like a champ. This certainly makes it much more fun to watch them. Brady gets in on the action too, yelling "Hockey, Hockey... Woooo Woooo" as they skate by.

In addition I'm getting to meet other women/Mom's/dedicated parents and hopefully forming some lasting friendships along the way. A good handful have toddlers tagging along, and their are 2 other sets of twin boys on our team too. Its good to have a lot of threads in common, and plenty to talk about, when you see these families 5 times a week. All of the parents in this hockey club are so wonderful, supportive and helpful and don't hesitate to step in and help a fellow hockey parent when needed. (Yes, I've been the recipient of a lending hand more than once, but can also say I've passed it forward as well) Its these pieces that make it a more tolerable experience.

May 26, 2009

A bit of downtime

Yes I'm still living and my fingers are still in working form...its just so damn busy around here that I don't find the quiet time to sit and reflect (our blog). Things come and go so fast its hard to keep up!

Dylan and Riley just wrapped up their spring hockey league last week, and so we are now enjoying a practice free week before T-Ball starts next Tuesday and then on top of that summer hockey starts the week after. That means 2-3 nights a week will be spent chasing them over the next 2 months. Both are pretty excited to play T-Ball and since grandma bought them some baseball pants they think they are hot stuff. They've been practicing in the yard and can run the bases at lightning speed. Hitting off a tee is pretty simple, but I get the giggles when I think ahead to what'll happen next week when it comes time for them to play an orchestrated game with 10 other 4-6 yr olds. I'll be sure to have the camera rolling.

Brady...what can I say- other than this kid is on the go. Walking at just a few weeks after his 1st birthday and hasn't slowed down since. He always wants to be where the action is or doing what everyone is doing and if you don't let him~ he lets you have it. Its hard to accept I've been dealt a child much like myself ...curious and INDEPENDENT!! Thankfully for the most part his charm and humor trump the rebel inside and I love him to pieces.

Brady is starting to say a few basic words like Mom, Dad, Done and a few others that we can at least understand ("Gawk" = Book, "Ha" = Hi, "S" = Yes). He is really good at mimicking sounds, especially animal sounds, and shows great interest in other simple words (ball, hat, milk)- trying to sound them out. In the meantime he uses baby signs for MILK, EAT, PLEASE, MORE, THANK YOU, and DONE to clue us in. In addition he's entertaining us all by experimenting with the many different tones, volumes, and sound effects he can make.

April 29, 2009

I've got eyes behind my head

Just the other day I was passing through the hallway and caught a glimpse of the boys horsing around in the living room- jumping on the furniture, and without skipping a beat or pausing in my step from the kitchen I yelled out "Stop jumping on the Furniture". There was silence, and then I hear Dylan say to Riley "How'd she even see us, she's in the kitchen." Because I have eyes in the back of my head...
Its neat to see the amazement and wonder that Motherhood magic creates.

In recent weeks, I've noticed a significant shift in Dylan and Riley's mannerisms, composure, coordination, and comprehension. All of a sudden they've grown up and filled the shoes of "Big Boy" status. Its hard to explain... its just something that you all of a sudden see in your kids that wasn't there before.

I've always hated tossing out the common phrases like "where does the time go" or "they grow up so fast" because it just sounds like something you're supposed to say as a parent. And even though I'm still hesitant to tag myself to those bandwagon phrases, I will admit I'm actually feeling them.

April 14, 2009

Kindergarten Round-up

So we took the boys to Kindergarten Round-Up today, to tour the school and get some feedback from the school and K teachers about whether or not to start the boys in school this fall. I debated taking them as we are leaning more toward the side of waiting until next year, but wanted to get some feedback from the school and teaches on this decision.

The school district sets Sept 1st as the cut-off, so to start Kindergarten this year kids need to be 5 by then. Well The boys turn 5 just fourteen days before that cut-off. Which easily makes them the very youngest in that class of kids. Its common for summer b-day kids to wait a year before starting school, which means some will be 6 when entering school and many will turn 6 the first couple months of school.

Now I understand every child is different and have no doubt that my brilliant ;-) duo could handle Kindergarten this year… they've been in structured daycare centers (full-time) with pre-school curriculum since birth, possess the necessary social skills and demonstrated their ability both by observation and testing. However, many elementary teachers have commented that the curriculum and expectations get significantly challenging at the 3rd grade level, and that even children who did well in the younger grades struggle as their brains are developmentally not ready for the concepts being taught. This can set a path for dis-interest in learning and a years of struggling in school. No parent wants this for their kids.

In addition, by waiting a year they would be at the same level or even at a slight athletic advantage with developmental coordination and experience under their belt. Whereas starting them in K this year would mean they are a year behind in development and exposure compared to their peers. The only athletic downfall to this (as Brad points out) is Junior hockey is based on age and they could miss out on a year of legibility in juniors after grad. Big whoop I say… They'll be playing D1 college hockey right out of High School anyway!

As you can see most signs point to waiting till next year… I can find many more pros to waiting than I can to jumping the gun. So we'll suck it up and foot another $15K (for real) to keep them in daycare this year. (Ouch that hurts when you put it in one lump sum- that doesn't include Brady either)

My 3 Sons

The triumphs and trials