Wednesday, April 30, 2008

UGGG - I Hate Taxes

I know all of you that know me well will find it hard to believe that I left my taxes till the last minute haha, but I want you all to know I did file them just after midnight last night a full 23 1/2 hours before the deadline. I have to pay way too much so I am heart broken. I had cashed a bunch of RRSP's for the kids adoption fees & since they were not home in 2007 I got dinged badly, since I can't claim the kids as dependants or apply for the Adoption Tax credit either. I will get it next year but since next year my income is going to be diddly squat they probably won't be that useful then either. I know I can carry over for five years but I really needed the deductions this year. Oh well - they are home now & it is just money right? UGGG. But yippee taxes are done for another year. I did the big kids taxes too & they get money back - lucky ducks. Every year I say next year I will get them done sooner but it never seems to happen. Next year will be earlier just because it can't get too much later.

Took the kids to the library again & found they have a large ESL (English as a second language) Sesame Street DVD's collection. They do repeat concepts more but I find the regular Sesame Street DVD's more entertaining & fun. I guess I just like the characters better. That is one kids show that I used to love when my big kids were little & I still find it humorous. Some kids shows are so freaking irritating. I hate Big Comfy Couch but the littles love to watch that & then go to bed. They call it Molly after that irritating clowns little doll Molly. Another one that drives me batty is Four Square. Really targeting young young children but the kids love it. In the Night Garden is beyond comprehension & what is with the Wiggles - do those men not have any pride? I like borrowing the Sesame Street dvd's so I can avoid the crap on tv.

We had a great day today. No one had any major melt downs & on the sassy scale it was only about a 3 so that is looking up. Yesterday was not a good day so it is always nice to have a nice calm day after a storm. I have finally figured out that if the kids come out of their rooms after an hour afternoon nap I have to act quickly, turn them around & send them back to bed. C seems to need about an 1 1/2 hours & D at least 2 hours or else the rest of the day they are cranky & miserable. Surprisingly when I do send them back to bed they may cry for five minutes but they do go back to sleep. That is so much better than melt downs for the hours until bed time I would have to endure if they had stayed up. I may be slow but I am learning.

The last little while the weather has been so nice it is easy to keep the kids entertained. They love to be outside & ride their trikes, take the dogs for a walk, play at the park etc. When we are stuck inside all day is when we all get a little cranky. Warm weather = happy Momma & kids.

Wow tomorrow is May already - I can't believe two months on Parental Leave has already flown by. I am enjoying my time off & having the littles home I am now cooking only healthy foods. Everyone in the family is enjoying that & I am cooking every day now - at least twice I usually get away with ceral in the morning. How many years until the littles can fend for themselves? I used to love having days where I never bothered cooking supper & if the kids were hungry they would have to fend for themselves. The big difference now is I have the time to cook so that makes a huge difference.

Bedtime for me.

Hugs, Laurie

Photos from this Week

First time C ever picked up Taya & she did it all on her own. A huge break through as she was very scared of the dogs & then just seemed to tolerated them. Poor Taya now she is getting hauled around all the time.
D had to get in on the action too. First time holding Taya, I have not seen him hold her since, so Taya only has to avoid one kid so far.
My youngest daughter :)
My baby boy. He rarely looks this serious but when he is being his usual goofy self he is hard to take photos of.
My silly girl, goofing around.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Do They Do It?

I am in awe of how families with a large number of children do it. To all of you, my hat is off - I couldn't do it, I would end up in an rubber room. I think kids just feed off of each other. When my two oldest get going - teasing me about something they tag team & it can get pretty funny. When the two little ones encourage each other to do something naughty, sassy or laugh at actions that weren't appropriate it can get a little trying. I can't imagine keeping a whole gang of kids under control. It is very different also having kids from birth that grow up knowing the rules instead of coming into a family setting never having lived in one before with a whole new set of rules in a foreign lanuage. Some days I look forward to bedtime.

Now I don't want to sound so negative here. They are great kids, I love them completely & I can't imagine my family without them. They have so much to learn but they have learned so much already. Things will keep getting easier the more time & experience they have here. Both their lanuage skills have improved dramatically.

C speaks English so well, she can communicate quite well already. I worry as she is overly friendly with strangers so that is worrisome. We have had basement renos going since the kids came home & C wants to be carried, hugged & played with by all of the contractors as they walk in the door. There is not appropriate personal boundaries with strangers. At the park she will go sit on another Mom's knee & cuddle. So this a sign of an attachment problem & sometimes she also will not make eye contact - especially when she is grumpy or being disciplined. I am not overly concerned at this point as she has not been home long but it will be something I will monitor more closely. Basement is almost done - so we will lose the parade of strangers through our house too. She seems pretty on par with the rest of her development though except she can not do her colors - at all. I am going to book an eye test & find out if she is color blind. I will tell her there is a yellow school bus - What color is the school bus C? her answer will be green. UGGG over and over - she will get the color correct for a while & then revert to another color. So we have started doing a color a day. Today was red day - so as we drove around or at home we would point out anything or have her look for anything red. This is a new experiment yesterday was yellow so I will let you know how it goes. We will see tomorrow if she can remember the last two days colors. Anyone have any suggestions? She should definitely know her colors at this stage. She can be such a joy & has the best laugh. She really just wants to be loved & have your undivided attention but she can cop an attitude be very sassy.

D came home with very little language skills, even kreyol. He spoke mostly baby talk & unfortunately for him we didn't understand that anymore. Already he is speaking so much better but possibly that is because we have learned to understand his baby talk better, but at least we can communicate. The doctor said he should have a vocabulary of about 50 words so I think he has that. We are still toilet training him but with having our washing machine unavailable during the week while the contractors are working, I can't keep him in underwear all the time. I think when we can do laundry consistantly & keep him in underwear all the time he will be completely trained in no time. He is pooping on the potty about 95% of the time so that makes me very happy. He learns other skills very quickly & has a great belly laugh. He loves anything with wheels - cars, trucks, trains, trikes etc. He is very easy to love even if he is a little whiney at times & throw those two year old tantrums.

Both kids eat amazing & still large portions for little kids. They eat absolutely everything - all fruits, veggies & meats - if I put it in front of them they are game. How lucky am I? My oldest two kids were never picky & had hearty appetites & now my youngest aren't picky & are good eaters. In fact I am the problem child in my family, fortunately I'm the cook most of the time so I can cook stuff I will eat. ;) Don't tell my kids.

I took the littles to the library this week & they were so amazed. They were just screaming Mommy look books! over & over, they were so blown away. We took a bunch of books out & borrowed some Sesame Street DVD's & they are loving it. When they first came home they had no attention span & only wanted to view a couple of pages & then move on to the next book. Now they will sit through several small books. They couldn't sit through a full length video so the Sesame street DVD is short segments & only last half an hour or so they can sit through most of them. They sometimes watch Big Comfy Couch (not my favorite) at night for half an hour at bed & I try to get them to watch tv so I can catch a few more zzz's in the morning in my bed for maybe half an hour or an hour max. I don't think they know there is tv available all day. If they wake up early (ok I am getting spoiled) before 7am - I tell them it's too early for tv & they have to lay in my bed quietly until 7 & then I will turn the tv on. I don't want them getting up too early to watch tv. I don't want the kids to be sitting in front of the tv so we try to stay busy during the day doing other things. Yesterday I took them to two different pet stores - my favorite place to shop without a doubt. Don't worry Mom we were just window shopping & haven't added any new critters. Heck that little field trip was like a trip to the zoo for kids with short attention spans & it's free & warm. They just kept asking me Mommy what's that? They liked the fish tanks but they weren't too keen on petting any of the little critters I love.

When we brought the kids home we weighed & measured them & yesterday I had them to the doctors for a check up. C has gained 4lbs & grown 1". She is still on the 25 percential for both height & weight. D has gained 3lbs & grown 2". He is on the 25% for Height & 5% for weight. I have had to buy one size up in pants for both kids already as their other pants were getting too short. D was wearing 18 month, size 2 are way too big so we just moved to size 24 months. C needs a size 4 but with a small waist. She is slim & D is shorter & stockier.

I thought once I was home the days wouldn't fly by as quickly as I would have so much leisure time. hahaha - I can't believe the weeks are flying by. No I have not accomplished much either. I just want this snow to leave & for the weather to warm up so we can enjoy the days more. I hate having the kids cooped up in the house as they are used to living outside. Nothing else new in my life.

Hugs, Laur
Sweet, innocent, quiet & angelic - at least while he is sleeping ;)
Happy guy - he just wants the snow to melt so he can ride his trike again - he talks about it constantly.
Still trying to figure out how to peddle in the backyard.
B taking a break from chasing the kids around.
D looking a little serious


C learning to ride a trike - thanks David, she loves it!
D's new trike - he loves it. To my co-workers I used your gift card to purchase this for him so thank you.
All four of my kids
Finally C can peddle & go everywhere. D still walks with his feet.
B getting mauled by the kids. They love to wrestle with him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Photos of Today

Kids First Snowman Ever !!!!!! They loved it.
Big Brothers are Great Fun, the little kids just idolize their big siblings.
B & C making snow angels.
Poor Taya wearing a doll bib. She has to put up with a lot. D tries to ride her all the time & she is a little dog. She is thinking I had such a good, quiet life before - what have you done to me?

Fun Snow Day - April 10, 2008

Sick of Being Sick

Last Friday started out with a sore throat but other than that I didn't feel bad. Saturday I phoned the folks to see if we could come up to visit, but they had a bunch of snow so Dad said to wait a few days for the roads to improve. That same afternoon I came down with a killer cold that has knocked me on my bottom ever since. I have had fevers, sore throat, runny nose & absolutely no energy. That is when being a parent, especially a single parent is the hardest - when your sick. Today is the first day that I feel half human again but I still have a deep raspy voice & have a ways to go. So far I am the only one sick so I hope it stays that way.

Kids are having a nap right now but when they get up we are going to go outside & make the kids first snowman. We got about a foot of snow in a couple of hours time last night so the conditions are absolutely perfect. The snow is wet & sticky & just waiting to be played in. We had some running around to do this morning so we threw a couple of snowballs but that was it. It was so cute when C looked out the window this morning she yelled "this is crazy". I know what you mean kid.

Basement development is coming along. Drywallers were supposed to start today but have now put it off until tomorrow. But all the drywall is in the basement & it is ready to go. I will be so glad to have all the contractors out of here. My poor little ones think these people are part of our family as they have been here almost every day since the kids have been home. In fact D calls our contractor Papa (most men he calls that) but I think it freaks the poor guy out a bit. :)

The kids are awesome! They are so noisy now. No longer do they quietly sit in their car seats & look out the windows. Now D is constantly - Mommy look, Mommy truck, Mommy train, Mommy big truck & don't even get him started if he sees a motor cycle or a bicycle that just sends him over the top with excitement. C loves to point out everything along the way too & loves to let me know when we are on a bridge or going under a bridge or if there is a person / bicycle bridge. They absolutely absorb everything so fast it is amazing.

I often wondered as I waited for these two little ones to come home how it would feel to have them here. Would it feel like they were someone elses kids & I was babysitting? Would I have to fake my feelings until they were real? When would they start to feel like my kids? I am amazed that they are my kids, for real, in my heart, mind & soul. They don't feel like someone elses kids - they are all mine, the good & the bad. My family does feel complete & whole.

We are still having some power struggles & sassiness but for the most part they are a real joy. The sound of kids laughter & giggles absolutely warms my heart.

Uggg, I hear C whining she is waking from her nap so I will sign off for now but will try to post photos of our snow adventure later tonight.

Hugs, Laur

First Family Photo When We Arrived Home

Not sure why blogger let me load this picture today but it finally worked.

The photo is A holding D, R my ex-hubby (big kids Dad), C, me & B - the whole motley crew. :) First photo of all of us together. R brought B to the airport to meet us & drove us all home.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Test Photo

Hmmm...... I guess it is just the photo's I was trying to add of us at the airport that is giving me this error message. I have gone through all the Help menu's in blogger & followed all the directions & it still will not allow me to upload them. Any suggestions?

This photo is a year old of the kids & I but I like it - this was A's 20th birthday.