Archive | January 2011

Meatballs, Sofa Beds and Glasses

Zander had his yearly eye appointment today with mixed results. Apparently his vision is perfect, he is progressing nicely, BUT his near vision has his eye over working. When he looks at things close up his eyes think he needs to work harder at focusing than he actually does, so the solution is glasses. But not normal ones, bifocals, and they have to have the line so he can learn where the sweet spot is. This may explain some of Zander’s difficulties with his schooling if he is seeing things out of focus when we are doing close work.

Zander with his eyes dilated

While Zander and Ken were gone we spent our morning first with crafts – paper lanterns based on the instructions we found on Enchanted Learning. Gavin cut his own slits into his folder paper like a pro!

Gavin cutting his lantern

Some of the completed lanterns

We made 7 in total this morning using some construction paper the kids had in a drawer… I am pretty sure many more will be made in the next week before we head to the celebration at the downtown mall. Zander still needs to make one himself. With his eyes dilated it was all we could do to get him to take it easy and wear sunglasses to try and let his eyes rest as they returned to normal. He is VERY excited about getting glasses, we shall see how actually WEARING them goes!

We made our pilgrimage to the Meatball store (aka IKEA) today. Mainly to see if the specific sofa beds we want to purchase for the twins were in stock (they are but too big to bring home with all the kids in the vehicle and on sale!) but also to get ourselves some meatballs. They have this great deal from time to time with a plate of 15 meatballs and mashed potatoes and gravy all for 2.99 instead of the usual 5.99. So we were able to feed all 6 of us (15 meatballs a piece), get 3 pieces of garlic toast to share and two refillable drinks (Pepsi for Ken and I and the Swedish berry juice for the kids) all for under 25.00! Not a bite was wasted and Echo was a sweety about sitting in my lap and keeping watch. I had someone come up and ask me how old she was and when I said 5 months asked how premature she was born! He had a baby born 10 weeks premature at 3 lbs (just like our twins) and said we must enjoy the extra baby time. Which of course we do!!

Our mini baby

I got a few ideas for little gifts for the kids for Easter but no idea for Emanuel yet. Ken and I will have to take Echo (and potentially Trinity depending who watches the rest) and do some shopping right away here.

I spent some time this morning – like an hour actually – cleaning up Trinity’s room… she tends to let her little bits get all over the place and I wanted to move EVERYTHING to sweep and shake out her rug. There were dollies to put away, hair things to put back on the shelf and all her clothes in her dresser to sort out the small pieces. All I have left is her closet… but with our room a bit of a mess I didn’t want to sort out her nice dresses and have to put them on the floor.


That leaves Emanuel’s room to sort through – something I am not looking forward to and once Ken heads back to get the new sofa beds some rearranging of the furniture. The twins are so excited about having their own sleeping spaces…

So with new glasses to sort out, birthday presents to buy and projects to finish I feel like I am all over the place. The hope is that by the end of the weekend all the little projects I was waiting on supplies for will be done and the house just that much more tidy. With the new beds I have put my foot down and said that I expect their room to be clean. That will make it much easier for us to get into the closet in their room and thin out the garbage. Wish us luck! 7 people have amassed a ton of stuff it seems.

Note the unimpressed Trinity in the background!

Melting Snow Breeds Time at Home??

With my previous post going up so late in the morning of the next day I figured I would hold off on my next update overnight. So here is another 2 day entry!

The weather has changed drastically in the past few days. We have gone from negative 20’s (Celsius) to the positives. Which while it is lovely to go out in, is not so lovely to drive in or walk on the sidewalk with. We have ice on our steps from the melt off the roof and the roads are less than pretty. Today’s trip to the conservatory has been rescheduled to Friday after freezing rain made the roads iffy. Ken spoke with friends who had to have assistance getting their cars out and safely to work and with our new old van being still relatively new to us we decided against piling the family in to test the tires etc. A bit of a downer as I did not have much pre planned for homeschooling today otherwise but better safe and a little bored than on the road and scared.

But back to yesterday and the “big event” that I am sure everyone will be glad to read is over. Ken took the girls to meet their new paediatrician finally. It was a very brief appointment as he was backlogged from the previous week’s cancellations. This meant that while Ken was busy undressing Echo they were weighing and measuring Trinity resulting in Ken NOT having either of the girls’ measurements written down. From what I understand Trinity is right on track and Echo is great height and head (I thought that nurse at Public Health measured her head off to get a not good enough measurement) and is well on her way to 10 lbs! I will have to do some measuring and weighing here at home with our baby scale… Now Trinity was seen as perfect (only a matter of time before the rest of the world figured out what we already know!) and Echo was cooed over by all the nurses as being absolutely beautiful. Ears and eyes were checked, soft spot examined… etc etc. The doctor wants usĀ  to bring in Echo at 6 months (a month or so from now) and if she has not gained weight then THEN he will be concerned. We are ecstatic to have a doctor who once again listens to us, considers family history AND takes into consideration almost 2 solid months of colds. So a good appointment!

Dressed and ready to go

Ken actually called the office earlier in the morning and was told to come an hour late due to all the rescheduled appointments so they simply swung back by home and picked the rest of us up after it. As a big treat we took all the kids to The Mall for some shopping and snacks. I got a great deal on a shirt and pants for Echo at H&M (clearance rack) for 2.00 a piece, looked around for jeans for Ken and then to the food court for snacks. The kids had New York Fries and Ken their poutine.

Fries with Daddy

I spoiled myself and got Chinese, which of course I had to share with the kids. We certainly do NOT waste food! How can you when there is no left overs? Though Ken pulled a stunt on me with his pop – he did not warn me that it was our usual shared Pepsi, so when I took a sip got Dr. Pepper – one of me least favourite of the colas… bleck! After eating we headed to the Victoria Secret/Pink store to buy new underwear. The twins and Echo went to cash with me and the girl there gave each of them one of the special stuffed dogs you got with purchase. The boys were sweet enough to pass them along to their sisters! Pink for Trinity and white for Echo.

The puppies... and the bag of undies

With a stop over at McDonalds on the way home for sandwiches we had enough time to finish the game of Trouble I had started with the boys before Ken picked us up. Poor Gavin got trounced over and over again but managed to keep pretty civil about it. Tuesday night is our actual game night but since the boys had worked rather hard on their homeschool stuff I figured we had time for a game.

Speaking of working hard – Zander finished his review workbook yesterday. He was VERY proud of the completion and when we sat back down with his Math book he was much better equipped to deal with the concepts and much more willing to follow the instructions. Hopefully this new resolve will stick, but if we get back into trouble I figure I will pull out another review book and see if we just aren’t quite cementing things in her mind. He seems to be more like Ken, if he is not interested in it or enjoying it he will not retain it well.

Completed workbook!

Gavin and I spent some quality time colouring a Chinese New Year picture to put on our wall. As a treat they each get a day to do a picture with Mommy using her markers. I have to get back to Michaels next time I have a decent coupon to get myself some new Crayola markers. Then I pass down my older set to the boys. They are finally running out of the previous package I gave them (they are not exactly religious about putting lids back on markers properly).

The beginnings of our wall

I finished the newest pattern we designed based on the Dr. Who series last night, anyone familiar with the series should get the reference. This one is based on a statement made multiple times by the 11th Doctor played by Matt Smith. I am hoping to have the pattern up for free download shortly!

All done

That leaves me with the Zombie piece I am currently working on and an insistent plea to Ken to get moving on the next pattern. I am not sure if he will get me my 3rd Dr. Who piece or my stepsister’s wedding sampler first. The latter is definitely going to be more complicated.

I ordered some more ribbon and barrettes off eBay today. I am on my last 4 clips and am finding it difficult to buy the colours I want without spending a ton for a colour I do not need tons of locally. I am hoping to make some fancier clips for gifts this year as well as some seasonal and holiday pieces for myself and our girls. And I wonder why I can’t find the time to learn to knit, tat or crochet… someday!

Emanuel got his latest Lego magazine yesterday which was so exciting for our 3 boys. This morning they made the snowman from the instructions in the magazine. And later that afternoon Trinity dismantled it quite happily (thank goodness the boys were ALL outside).

Completed Lego snowman

The boys spent most of the late afternoon outside… until they were little boy shaped popsicles pretty much. The backyard is a bit more compacted so making snowmen and climbing about was not so intense for them. Though Emanuel still needed a little help from his brothers and I kept Trinity in. She actually ended up with a bum rash from the little bit of Dr. Pepper she did have. Just a little reminder that we HAVE TO watch her refined sugar intake!

With actual snowman (Gavin left)

Tonight is an early night for me – or supposed to be. Tomorrow morning Ken and Zander go to the eye specialist for his yearly check up. They are watching his eye for improvement as when he is tired or stressed it has in the past tended to go lazy. They dilate and all that so just Ken goes (it is a lengthy appointment). The hope is that this could be our last or next to last appointment. At least he is not afraid to go and actually talks about it like it is a positive experience!

Oh, before I ran out of adhesive I managed to finish THREE scrapbook pages for Echo!

Baptism Gown


Christmas Eve

So back to stitching the Zombie piece and spending time with Echo tonight… tomorrow will most likely be busy!

Striking a pose

This entry was posted on 26/01/2011, in Uncategorized. 4 Comments

Arctic Wolves and Other Adventures

We actually managed to make all the things/plans we had made this weekend! Ted and Sean spent the weekend so Saturday morning Ken and I were able to take just the two girls out an use our time sensitive Michaels coupon (25% off entire purchase including sale items from9am-1pm). I picked up some scrapbook paper, ribbon to make more hair things and a Valentines themed craft for the kids. Since Trinity was a VERY good girl (and it was 1.50) she got to pick out a Hello Kitty colouring book.

Reading in the van

A nap in the afternoon for everyone under the age of 5 and myself and we were refreshed for the evening. Ken took the boys out to shovel for a while. This whole weekend and today has been nice enough to have our snow start melting! So now we may be able to get some decent snowmen going… and ice patches and icky roads but still, we are not complaining about the warmer weather in this house!!

Zander on the snow bank

Sunday morning with no Sunday School scheduled we packed up all 5 kids, Karyn, Ted, Ken and myself and made the trip to the zoo I had promised the twins. We got there in time to make the majority of the Arctic Wolf drop in program. They take the wolves out for walks and do a question and answer sort of thing. There was one other family there with their little girl who did not stay long so we had the opportunity to really talk to the presenter AND see the wolves wander a bit as they have to stay a nice distance away from anyone but the trusted trainers.

Shilah and Kayok

While in the centre where a selection of animals are moved during the cold season we ran into the presenter again this time with a parrot in hand. The kids absolutely loved getting the chance to actually talk to her and hear the parrot make its noises.


BUT Karyn and my favourite was a red panda born in July of last year – Mr. Tibbs. Talk about ADORABLE!!

Mr. Tibbs

After the zoo Karyn and I took an hour or so and went to The Mall for dinner and some Sephora window shopping. It was so nice to get out without any of the kids and just sit, chat and eat with a good friend. Karyn had to leave after that as she wanted to get home before the weather froze up again (bad enough she got stuck on our road TWICE Saturday – once in the middle of the road trying to park and then again after parking where the guys had to push her out in the morning).

Last night I finally got a decent start on the Dr. Who piece Ken and I designed together. I have already finished my surprise gift that is just waiting to be posted.

Completed piece

The next design SHOULD be the wedding sampler for my stepsister, followed by another Dr. Who piece and then a Christmas stocking for Anna. I am sure there are other pieces I SHOULD move on to that have slipped my mind but those are the major ones. Oh – the zombie one I am doing… that is on the back-burner until I am able to finish the Dr. Who piece.

Today we did some Valentine Themed worksheets. You can find them on the UK site here. We are not doing a specific final project for Valentine’s Day but the boys have Valentines my mom picked up for them to send to whoever they want and we will probably buy some of those candy hearts with the words on them. This year we are more focused on Chinese New Year and the February birthdays. We found out last night that Ken’s parents are coming for the party! So I have some rearranging and tidying to do before they get here to make sure we have room for anyone who wants to stay the night of the party, or the night before. I am not sure if they plan on renting a car but if they do I have a few ideas for the Sunday after Sunday school, maybe a trip to the zoo for the frog program… or show them the conservatory and take some family photos…

The zoo really made the weekend. The kids had a blast, Ted and Ken had a mini snow fight (did I mention the zoo was about EMPTY??) and I got in some good pictures and video. Today we decided to move our conservatory to Wednesday as Mondays tend to be heavy work days for Ken and Tuesday Echo and Trinity are SUPPOSED to head to their rescheduled doctor’s appointment.

Emanuel and Gavin with their workbooks

I think I have figured out some of my past week or so’s funk. I have missed being around friends. We see the guys lots but it just isn’t the same as hanging with Karyn, going out for a snack… not being in the house! So I am trying to figure out some future dates to look forward to, maybe take advantage of Ted and Sean being here so often and steal Ken away with the minimum of children to have some together time? I know that having a new pattern to work on did wonders for feeling like I am accomplishing something.

Speaking of accomplishments, the twins and I finished their Arctic Wolf lapbook. We have some interestingly coloured wolves, some interesting information AND pictures of the two wolves we visited on Sunday. Nothing too extreme but it was a fun little project to work out. Our plan for the next mini project is to move onto FROGS. After all all 5 kids are very enamoured with our frog Frogger (as named by Trinity). But until I can gather some things for that the twins are going to get started on printing the names on their Valentines Day cards and continue doing things for Chinese New Year. We got our Wolf info from a few sources: the wordsearch, the dot to dot, the Enchanted Learning results, our howling wolf picture, and the Wolf lapbook I took bits from.

Inside our lapbook

Now to get planning some more activities for the kids to do.

Miss Echo