Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An Inside Day

More snow...

I saw the birds scrounging for food this morning, so I put out some bread crumbs on our deck. I snapped this shot of Micah and the kitty watching our little customers enjoy their breakfast.

Keziah is a smart little toddler already and knows when I "baby-fy" her food. She refuses to be spoon-fed and will throw her food on the floor if I cut it up into little pieces. I assume it's because she sees Micah eating on his own and wants to be just like him :)

She will simply not eat anything if I try to feed her myself, so we have started the incredibly messy phase of self-feeding. The spoon doesn't seem to be as useful as her own hands though:

Keziah needs a bath after almost every meal these days!

Micah has his own finicky eating habits. He hates getting his hands dirty and won't eat something if he knows his fingers will get sticky. I remember being exactly the same when I was a kid:

Micah has another cold sore this week. He gets them about every other month and I feel so bad for him. Does anyone else have kids who deal with these? I'm not sure if I should talk to the doctor about them. I treat them with Abreva as soon as they show up, but I wonder if there's anything else that can be done to keep them from showing up so often.

This picture's a little bright, but so cute! Keziah walked around with this dolly all morning and brought her to me every time she needed to be re-swaddled :)

And my new found love: coffee! I've been enjoying a french vanilla latte every morning and am starting to depend on that little energy boost to get me through 'til lunch!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So Far So Good

This week has been an improvement over the last one… so far. And finally – some sun!

My make-shift “double” stroller still seems to be working for the most part. These pictures were taken on yesterday’s walk which went well. This morning, however, we went for an earlier walk and both kids screamed the entire way home from the park. I had no choice but to just let them cry while I walked as fast as my short legs would let me. I’m sure every other mother was watching from her window and feeling so glad she wasn’t me :)

Micah trying to be tall like a mountain:

I'm able to let Keziah out of her stroller now that she has some new outdoor shoes:

Keziah seems to be a happier baby this week. She had a couple of really bad nights over the weekend and then Sunday night she finally had a really good sleep. She was a different baby the next day and spent several long periods playing contentedly by herself. It was a treat. She has come down with (another) cold now and isn’t quite as content as on Monday, but still not as out-of-sorts as she was last week. And, there are no new teeth to show for all the misery, just some prominent bumps under the gums where they are pressing. So, I’m sure we’re not finished with the bad days yet…

Monday was swimming lesson #5 for Micah and I went with the full expectation that it would be our last one. I figured I would just pull Micah out if we had another ½ hour crying episode. But surprisingly it went much better. There were still a few tears, but by the end of the lesson Micah was getting pretty brave in blowing his bubbles and doing the back float (even letting me put his ears under the water). I talked to the instructor and she suggested we keep coming. I’ll just plan to stay in the water with him and even though he won’t pass, at least we’ll get our money’s worth of lessons, and Micah will hopefully gain more confidence in the water.

I have been searching for accessories to make Keziah look more like a girl. She gets mistaken for a boy all the time – especially since her winter jacket is brown. Can’t people see the feminine stitching or the pink lining in the hood? Sheesh. :) Anyway, I found this seller on ebay who makes KutiePie Klips and she guarantees they will stay in even the tiniest bits of hair. I saw pictures to prove it and decided to give them a try (figuring Keziah would use them eventually anyway). I got to choose 10 styles from almost 200 so it was fun! They came in the mail yesterday and so far they are everything I’d hoped for. Keziah wasn’t happy as I put this one in, but then didn’t notice it at all. I’m so excited to start doing her “hair”!

And a big congrats to our good friends R & M who finally got to meet their miracle baby boy early yesterday morning. We went to the hospital to meet baby E last night and he is adorable! We're so excited for you guys to finally begin the journey of parenthood!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The End of Another Week

This week was a long and exhausting one. A week where the trials of motherhood seemed to outweigh the triumphs. But there are always some highlights and pictures to blog about.

Monday night we joined "the siblings" for public skating at MRC. Erik has taken Micah before but this was my first time skating in at least 5 years. Thankfully it's not something you forget how to do. But I did forget how uncomfortable skates can be. Maybe my feet have grown a little bit? (I hear having babies can do that to you...)

Micah was wearing his bob skates and using the push-bar thingy. He kept his head down and plugged away at a snail's pace for about an hour and a half. He even yelled at me when I tried to help him.

The bob skates are great for helping Micah stand, but they don't offer much grip on the ice to take off and glide. So, we might transition him to real skates sooner than we thought. It's crazy to think that in a year we could be trying Keziah on the bob skates!

We were allowed to take our stroller on the ice which worked out great. Keziah loved breezing around the rink in that thing. It was kind of nice for me to have my own "push-bar" to keep me on my feet :)

I thought Keziah would get cranky and bored after awhile, but by the time we were half done, this was the scene in her stroller:

Considering how she's been lately, this was a beautiful sight. I told Erik we'd have to go skating every week!

One of my greatest frustrations this week has been swimming lessons which are on Mondays & Wednesdays. Last Wednesday's lesson hadn't ended so well (after a water-up-the-nose incident), so when the lesson started on Monday, Micah started crying, and he didn't stop for the whole lesson! I tried everything I could to get him to calm down but he was SO worked up. The annoying part was that as soon as the 1/2 hour was up and the teacher dismissed the class, Micah's tears disappeared. He turned into a happy little camper and wanted to keep playing in the pool. So, I really tried to prepare him for a better experience on Wednesday. We talked about it a ton, we read a book about a little girl who has swimming lessons and asks God to help her be brave, we practiced his "moves" in the hot tub. But it was all a wasted effort when Wednesday rolled around and our regular teacher wasn't there. As soon as Micah saw the substitute, he freaked out once again and we had a repeat performance. I'm not quite sure what to do with this. But, I decided it would good to go to the pool just for fun and try to "reset" his mind a little bit. So, today Erik and I took the kids for a family swim. We got to take Micah down the big waterslide and enjoy the waves in the big pool. I let Micah wear his water wings and he felt so confident jumping in and swimming around. So, we'll see... Does anyone have any other tips for me?

Micah and Erik had a "guys night" on Tuesday which included popcorn and dominoes:

On Wednesday night we went for a drive and ended up at Costco. Being the bad parents that we are, we let our kids enjoy some good ol' Costco ice cream at about 8:30 pm. I love how cross-eyed Micah is in this shot:

Keziah has been her darling self this week (do you hear the sarcasm?). She really is a tough little cookie and it's exhausting! She will whine at my feet and then as soon as I pick her up, she turns on the charm; jabbering away and smiling. It's so frustrating and so cute at the same time. We are quite immune to her crying already. Today she seemed to break out of it for a bit and played quite contentedly for an hour or two. I found myself rushing through my tasks, waiting for when I would be interrupted by her crying. And when I wasn't interrupted I would rush to see why she was so quiet and make sure she was OK!

Sometimes we wonder if she has more bothering her than just teething. It's so tough to say. She's usually a great sleeper and her bodily functions seem to be in good working order. She has weeks where she is a completely different baby and her "off" weeks seems to coincide with teeth under her gums. We just never dealt with this much crying from Micah, and it makes us wonder why she seems to fuss so much more.

I think I posted a chocolately picture of her last week, but who could resist taking another picture of this chocolate-covered baby?

For being a water-hating feline, our cat sure loves hanging around the bathtub. When I shower, she'll sit on the ledge and watch the water streaming down or pace back and forth on the edge of the tub between the shower curtains. She loves watching the kids in the tub and Micah has managed to pull her into the water with them a couple of times already. Surprisingly, the kitty always comes back for more!

I think Keziah has some Shrek-like qualities in this picture :)

This turned into a longer post than I thought, but I guess there was a lot to say :) Here's hoping that next week will be a better one!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good Thing They're Cute

My patience has been tested these last few days and I was glad that Erik got a chance to see how difficult my days can be when Keziah is teething. He had a lot of compassion on me and that felt really nice :) Yesterday Erik thought he saw a few new teeth trying to break free and I told him that there'd better be!

Micah is pretty well-behaved these days - which I'm grateful for - but he loves to wake up early and that's tough. He now has an alarm clock in his room and knows that he has to stay in his room until the first number is a "6" (and yes, I agree that even that is extremely early, but hey, it's better than 5!) It doesn't always stop him from coming out of his bed sooner, but it helps me to be able to blame the clock when I tell him that he can't get up yet. I even had a brain wave this weekend to set his clock back just a little bit so that when it says 6:00 it is actually more like 6:15. And I might try setting it back even more. The more sleep I can get the better - even if it's just 15 extra minutes!

And our third "child" Oreo likes to give us grief as well: knocking down my plants, tearing up rolls of toilet paper and stinking up her litter box. But, she's still pretty cute too :)

It's interesting to observe how girls and boys play differently: In this picture Little Miss Mommy wraps up her doll while Mister Builder-Man uses his new power drill :)

Keziah has taken a strong liking to her dolly (a gift she got a while ago from Oma & Opa Toews). I captured her on video in a rare moment of contented play the other afternoon. The clip is a little dim since we only had the lamp on in her bedroom:

In the end, we love our kids incredibly despite the realities of raising them. God knew what he was doing when he made them so cute :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Day

So far today...
We woke up to yet another snowy morning (slushy snow that is melting fast), we said goodbye to "Oma & Opa" (a.k.a. G & G Toews) who were visiting this week from Saskatoon, we decided against going to playgroup because of some car issues and Keziah's cold/poor napping these days, we all went for a dip in the hot tub in the rain, we made cookies (and left the kitchen in a disaster) and now Micah is sleeping and I'm waiting for Keziah to tucker herself out so I can have a little time to myself...

Keziah has been a bear this week. I think it's part cold, part teething. I'm exhausted and spent by the end of the day. She hasn't been happy unless I'm right on the floor with her or carrying her around. She's not getting any lighter either and my poor wrists feel like they're going to fall off (I have weak wrists to begin with so this isn't helping). It's hard to judge how much I should cater to her when she's like this and how much I just need to let her fuss and cry (and believe me I don't really have the choice not to let her cry when she's like this). I'm already praying that God will give me a really easy baby the next time around (which isn't anytime soon in case you're wondering).

We had a couple of failed attempts at naptime this morning and finally I just let her wander around with her nukie and her blankie:

She did finally nap this morning and then almost slept through lunch. So, now her schedule's way off and I'm guessing Micah may be up from his nap before she even goes down for hers.

Micah's 2nd swimming lesson didn't go as well as his first. The teacher was getting a little more daring in dipping the kids under when they would jump in the pool and Micah got a nose-full of water. He cried so hard that he was starting to throw up. But this morning when I took the kids in the hot tub, we practiced humming while we put our faces in and it worked! Micah was getting quite confident with blowing bubbles and putting his mouth & nose in. So, hopefully his next lesson will be better.

There's not too much more to say, but here are a few more pictures from the last few days:

Keziah practicing her self-feeding technique:

Micah practicing his djembe/shaker playing technique:

Monday, January 07, 2008


It's been awhile since I've posted and figured it was about time for a Toews family update...

As you may have seen in the video I posted the other day, Keziah is walking really well now. She only crawls in order to get somewhere to pull herself up again (she hasn't mastered standing unassisted yet). She is babbling a lot these days and we thought it was all gibberish at first but we've been picking up a few sounds that she makes consistently. She has a word for kitty, but the word we hear her say the most is "window". It sounds more like "ween-doh" in a really breathy little voice. She says this for a lot of things, but is quite adamant about when she really DOES see a window - she points and says it over and over. Very cute :)

I rarely get to wake her up from naps, but I did the other day. The soft white blanket you see poking out from under the pink one is her absolute favourite. It is one that her Auntie Laura crocheted for me when I was pregnant with Micah. Keziah has officially claimed it as her blankie :)

Keziah's favourite pastime is sorting through her sock/shoe/etc. drawer:

Keziah and Kitty have a special relationship. As much as the cat attacks Erik and I, she never seems to hurt Keziah. And Keziah has absolutely no fear of her.

Keziah got a generous taste of chocolate pudding at our Sunday night family dinner.

We had a breakthrough with Micah yesterday at church. We had tried taking him to KidsQuest (Sunday School) back in September and even though he liked it, he wouldn't stay by himself. After a few attempts at leaving him, we decided to quit altogether before it became an ongoing battle. He is too old to go to the nursery so we've been bringing him into the service with us. He's done alright - colouring and eating snacks, etc. But now that he's 3 he informed us that he was old enough to go to KidsQuest. So we've been talking it up for a couple of weeks and yesterday we had success! He cried quite a bit when Erik dropped him off but the teachers calmed him down within a couple of minutes and he stayed the whole time. Of course, when we picked up him he pretended to hurt his head and then cried and cried. Funny kid. But, at least we've got one Sunday under our belt. With him in KQ and Keziah in the nursery, Erik and I enjoyed one of the first Sunday morning services together (and without kids) in about 3 years. Hopefully this trend will continue.

It looks like his right hand is missing in this picture... Weird.

And today Micah started a new set of swimming lessons. He hasn't done them since I was pregnant with Keziah so it's been awhile. The goal of these lessons is to get the kids to put their heads under the water, jump into deep water and do back and front floats. I was a little skeptical about how Micah would do, but even in the course of a 1/2 hour lesson, he was already improving and trying new things. Another goal of this class is to wean the children from having their Mommies in the water with them. So, I will participate in the lessons for a few more times and then hopefully be able to just watch from the sidelines.

Micah got into my makeup the other day and had fun with the eyeliner and blush:

If you watched the video from the other day, Micah will have informed you about our upcoming trip to Manitoba. My parents decided to fly me and the kids out in February so we're really looking forward to that. When I asked Micah if he'd like to do that, his face lit up and he said, "We should get my suitcase!" Oh he cried when I told him it wouldn't be for a few weeks yet. Now we've got a countdown going on his calendar, but there are still a lot of days between now and then.

The only problem is I'm just not sure how flying with 2 kids will go. Have any of you done this before???

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Just Hanging Out

I ran out of memory before I was done videoing, but still thought I would share a glimpse of the kids since I haven't posted in awhile...