The Blog Post of 2020

So, it’s been almost a year since we last posted, we have missed sharing so many precious memories. I’ll test my memory to see how many quirky personality moments and other memories I can recall.

First off, Christmas 2019- We had a full house and lots of great food! Both sets of Grandparents and Auntie Diana and Jeremy were here. The twins had a great time with all the family around. Eileen insisted her two grandmas tuck her in at night. Christmas morning was sensory overload for the twins, they couldn’t get passed opening their stockings because they had to play with every new toy.



Around Christmas time Eileen’s speech was progressing, but Ewan’s was still quite delayed. Over the last year, his speech delay caused a lot of frustrated moments for him not being able to express his needs. Ewan’s most common thing to say around early-mid 2020 “it not working” he used this phrase for everything. In April we were walking by a fence that ended, he pointed at the fence and said “it not working”. Then, around March, he woke up during the night to poop, but when the poop would not come, he came out of the bathroom and said “mommy, it not working, the poop not working”, oh it was adorable. Now his most common response is “right now” or “because right now”. I think this is his default response because he doesn’t have the words to express himself in more detail. When he is asked a question he just responds with “right now”. We have been working with a Speech and Language Pathologist, and even though his speech continues to be delayed, he is making improvements.

Eileen is very adventurous and brave, so around October 2019 Kyle and I started to be serious with her- never touch the oven/stove, never stand up in the tub, never jump off the toilet… well, she started using the word ‘never’ instead of ‘no’. She walked around the house telling Kyle and I ‘never’.

Both Eileen and Ewan would call Monkey’s ‘Ooh ooh ah ahs’ instead of saying Monkey, which is way harder to say! Ewan used to say elephant (really fast) and make the trunk action with his arm and say ‘brrrrr’.

Often when we asked Eileen a question she would say ‘yano’ and we would also have to respond, ‘is that a yes or a no’.

November 2019- the twins walked around going “rawr” while making clawing motions with their hands. Sometimes Ewan would take it a bit far and Eileen would cry, I think he just did it because she would react. Areas of the house became ‘safe’ and being picked up by mom and dad was the safest place :).

One Friday night in January 2020 the twins pulled all the furniture out of their room (which was a favourite pass time- moving cribs, toy boxes, tables, play kitchen etc) and started throwing what they could lift out the front door. Animals!!

Both Eileen and Ewan like to pack their backpacks full of toys, put hats and sunglasses on (while in their PJ’s) and walk around the house saying “bye bye, bye bye”. When you ask them where they are going, they stop and say “ummm maybe…hmmm Home, I am going home”. It is so cute, they look like little hobos with all their worldly possessions, walking around saying “bye bye”. I have a video and I watch it all the time.

Making choo choo trains became an obsession. For about 8 months straight every piece of furniture (including pillows, stuffies, blankets, etc) that could be moved was arranged into a line, or continuous path, and was called a choo choo train, our floors are sooo scratched because of it. It was an absolute obsession, and if you broke the train, Ewan especially, would go into full on melt down mode. Then one day in June they just stopped

At the end of January 2020 we transitioned the twins into full size twin beds. Ewan was waking up in the middle of the night crying and screaming, without the words to tell us what was wrong. We thought if he wasn’t in a crib, he could get out of bed and show us what he needed before getting to the point of incoherent inconsolable crying. November 2019- January 2020 was full of sleepless nights, Ewan would wake up kicking and screaming for an hour straight, multiple times throughout the night. It was hard. It was almost like he was having night terrors. He would talk to you, but you couldn’t say or do anything to calm or soothe him The transition into big beds went well, and his night terror episodes slowly morphed into asking daddy to tuck him in and sleep with him. Much calmer. Then after day light savings time in March everything unraveled. We couldn’t get the twins to stay in bed and go to sleep. Every night was a 2 to 3 hour bedtime power struggle. It didn’t help they share a room, so they play off of each other. We came to dread bedtimes. We never left each other alone during bedtime, it was a two person job and it was hard to endure, awful, difficult, tested our patience etc. Kyle and I had no time to ourselves because by the time we got the children to bed it was time for us to go to bed. Finally in July of 2020 we reached out to a sleep consultant and she gave us some tips and tricks, which worked almost instantaneously. Now bedtimes are 0- 30 minutes.


Around mid February 2020, Eileen and Ewan were chasing and stabbing each other with forks, so we took the forks away for a while. Well, one Friday (at the end of February) after school Eileen came home with a plastic fork and waved it in Kyle’s face and said ‘this my fork, my fork’.

Easter 2020 was nice, it was just our nuclear family, the weather was cold so we had a fire and watched movies, made a craft, and made ham, potatoes and key lime pie (I think this will be a new Easter tradition!)



The twins turned 3 years old on April 22. We discussed what kind of cake they wanted in the month leading up to their birthday. Finally, Eileen decided on banana cream pie, when I said the words banana cream, her eyes went wide! She knows all things cream are delicious (cream cheese, whipping cream, sour cream etc) and she loves bananas. After she decided on banana cream pie, she pointed at Ewan and said, “What Ewan have?” HAHAHA, she is a riot. The birthday was great. The four of us spent the day together enjoying the yard and learning to ride a push/stride bike. They opened presents, ate pizza and banana cream pie (which I made), and a fire truck came by and honked the horn singing happy birthday over the loud speaker. A low key pandemic birthday.



Ewan is an AMAZING dancer, he moves his entire body and head. Whenever he gets really excited about something (usually food) he jumps up and down and claps his hands while shouting “yea!!”. He also sideways shuffles throughout the house.

Eileen counts 1, 2, 6, 11, 18…


Favourite food- pizza, cheese, french fries, crackers, dates, bagels, cereal, apricots and ice cream. We have relaxed the low sugar diet…. still no juice though. Favourite movie- Minions. Favourite TV show- Wiggles, Horsey show (Spirit Riding Free), and Paw Patrol. Favourite song- Baby Shark, and One Green Jelly Bean. But really, it’s just Baby Shark all day, everyday! They march around the table singing along. Ewan especially loves Baby Shark. He puts his fists in front of his body and moves them in circles around each other, while marching and singing.



Summer of 2020- lots of camping! Ewan and Eileen met wild horses, they walked right through our campsite. We went to McLean Creek, Porcupine Hills and Lake Koocanusa and are planning to go to Drumheller and Little Elbow. Sleep and naps are always a bit hit and miss while camping, and when we were driving back from McLean Creek, Eileen looked out the window in a whiney voice said “I want cheese and mountains”- me too girl! We flew on an airplane (with masks!) to Vancouver Island to see Grandma and Grandpa Shivas. We spent 8 days at the cabin fishing and relaxing. This year the twins were much easier to take care of at the cabin. My mom was a rock star taking care of them every morning so we could all go fishing (on top of cooking and cleaning!). Eileen and Ewan had lots of cooperative, imaginative and interactive play. They made boats out of foam pieces, drove dump trucks and rode horses. They were much more interested in the ocean, boats, wildlife, fish, crabs and prawns. We picked blueberries in Courtenay, and Ewan ate his body weight in blueberries during the 2 weeks visit.

Both Eileen and Ewan started saying Tanks (Thanks) and Sorry for everything. Tanks mommy, sorry mommy….it’s adorable. Even when saying “don’t throw rocks at people” they reply in this sweet tone “tanks mommy” (mostly Ewan, but sometimes Eileen) Ewan gives these really big, pronounced “yup” and “ok”. He is a very agreeable little dude. Ewan is so sweet, cuddly (especially right after the bath), smiley, helpful, empathetic, quiet, and kind. Eileen is so independent, smart, observant, strong willed, outgoing and loud. They are very different people. But they are also best friends. Ewan would follow Eileen blindly off a cliff. Ewan readily shares everything with Eileen, whereas Eileen assess what is the best choice and then gives the other to Ewan (she takes the bigger piece of cheese and gives the smaller to Ewan). Eileen sometimes calls Ewan Ewee, and Ewan pronounces Eileen Eieen. Eileen is quick to blame Ewan for everything “Ewan did it”. She is also quick to call Ewan over to show him something cool/new. They are getting along so much better these days. If I am sternly talking to Eileen about something (don’t leave ice melting on the counter), Ewan always says “me too”. I will turn to Ewan and says, “you too Ewan, don’t leave ice melting on the counter” and he smiles and runs away. He just wants to always be included. When we go on road trips he says, “I come too?”, “yes of course Ewan, we wouldn’t go anywhere without you”- he smiles.

Eileen is still obsessed with hats, shoes and figuring out how things work. She will sit and unscrew screws from the play table. They both still love school buses and going on ‘lion hunts’ and making safe spaces from the lion. They also call the woods and pathways “lion caves”.

Eileen continued to have accidents (although often she would pee herself on purpose when she didn’t get her way) from September 2019 until July 2020. She did have accidents when we were travelling in July/August. Ewan has been pretty much potty trained since September, with very few accidents. He even stopped wearing a pull up at night in March 2020. Despite being potty trained, they still like to pee anywhere and everywhere. They also both really like being naked, and are often naked all weekend at home.

We got Ewan’s hair cut in June 14, he is such a handsome boy! He spent minutes looking at himself and smiling in the mirror. When we were on the Island this summer Ewan told me about his “owie bug bite on his face” (his hemangioma), he said “but it not hurting”. That’s the first time he has mentioned his hemangioma.


Oh, and by the way Eileen and Ewan, we are in the middle of a world wide pandemic, coronavirus rapidly spread throughout the world and took the lives of a lot of people. We were in a lock down from March until June 2020. Even now, August 2020, people are very cautious. We have to wear masks and wash our hands all the time. 2020 has been an odd year, one mom and dad will not easily forget. You didn’t see your friends or go to the park. We didn’t socialize or meet new people.

I am just happy to finally type some words on this blog. Sorry for the radio silence!


Hawaii & 22 Months Old

Grandma Martin and Grandpa Maclean rented a condo south of Kona on Hawaii for a month and invited Loren, Vicky, Madeline, Bowen, Davis, and our family to visit for a portion of their stay.

On February 18th Janet and I packed up the twins and boarded a plane for Hawaii. This would be the last time that the twins would be flying on our lap as opposed to having a seat for themselves and thank goodness for that! The flight to Hawaii was horrendous. Despite the fact that it was a late night flight, and well past the twins bedtime, they were both up for most of the flight with constant screaming and flailing and writhing and whining. Eileen in particular is not big on being held so holding her on your lap for 6+ hours is simply a recipe for disaster. However, we survived, rented a van and headed south into the country to find the condo in the middle of the night.

excited?
Continue reading “Hawaii & 22 Months Old”

Long Overdue! 23-24 months

February in Calgary was a cold month, but we luckily spent 10 days of it in Hawaii. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand and ocean.
Kyle is working on a separate Hawaii post. Stay tuned.

The twins started a new day care/Montessori school on March 4. The adjustment was easier for the twins than for Kyle and I. We now have to pack lunches and snacks. It is a lot of work at this age, as they can be picky eaters. But enrollment in the early Montessori program guarantees the twins a spot in the older program, and we want the kids to be in the Montessori program for the next 3-4 years. All snacks have to be fruits and vegetables, which is a great, and the kids are adjusting (Ewan likes cucumbers and they both love kiwi). They greet the teacher every morning with a handshake, and will eventually say good morning Ms. Sharma while making eye contact. I love the approach!

The first day at Montessori Ewan came home with a new skill- kissing! he runs up and gives us kisses. Eileen just started kissing us around early April. It’s very sweet, but a bit gross with the snotty noses! Ewan is really into hugging, and Eileen shows her affection by standing very close and leaning into you. Although, just this week Eileen has been hugging us (and Grandma Renee and Grandpa Ken who are visiting this week).

They continue to bite each other at home, but so far only one incident at day care (Eileen bite another kid). They fight over toys and push each other, mostly when they are hangry, but sometimes just because of frustration. Ewan bit Eileen yesterday after dinner, and Eileen only wanted Grandma Renee to console her. Both Eileen and Ewan are very excited the Maclean/Martin Grandparents are vising, they like the extra attention. They are sad to go to bed because they can see the Grandparents in the living.

Sometimes they play really well together.

slide that Auntie Di and Uncle Jer found for the twins
they love their comfy chairs

Speaking of bedtime, we are extremely lucky both kids have been sleeping 11 hours in a row for 10 months now. They will wake up when they are sick or in pain. The week of March 9, both kids were sick with a gastro bug. Poor Eileen threw up all Saturday night, and neither kid ate much that week. Which was stressful for me, because Kyle was out of town for work. Kyle is out of town for work again this week, but I have support and help from Grandma Renee and Grandpa Ken.

All of Grandma’s babies together!

This winter has been one illness after another. We are all sick again with a respiratory bug, going on 10 days. We’ve had three different gastro bugs and a handful of colds.

Kyle and I took the afternoon of March 22 off work. We met with our financial advisor, and then went for a long bike ride up Nose Hill Park. We picked the kids up from daycare and went to a family friendly pub for early dinner. It was such a fun afternoon!

4th Spot Pub

Eileen continues to show her fierce independence. We place her dinner near her, within arms reach, so she can make the choice to bring the food onto her tray to eat. If we put the food directly on her tray, she immediate throws the whole dish onto the floor, no matter what the food is (mac and cheese- overboard). She also likes to pick her own outfits, and often Ewan’s too. If she doesn’t like something or is unhappy she lets you know. She is very happy when she is in control and can make her own choices (she likes to pick which bib to eat with or which water bottle to drink from). Eileen loves being comfy, sitting on the couch under blankets drinking her milk. Eileen loves shoes and hat. When she pretends the remote is a phone, she loudly babbles into it. When Ewan pretends the remote is a phone, he softy babbles.

Ewan has a gentle personality, and just loves life. He walks around smiling and giggling. Ewan can kick a soccer ball around, very impressive. If you are crouched down hugging Eileen, Ewan will run up and hug you from behind, so it’s a hug sandwich.

They are both into stuffed animals, hugging and rocking them in their arms. They both still love music and dancing. They are both really into building blocks and pretending everything is a car. They drive the ‘cars’ over all surfaces making zzzzffffffoooo noises. Bath time is a lot of fun!

The twins love being outside and exploring the yard or playground. They also love climbing on furniture (couches, tables chairs). Ewan follows Eileen most places. We were at the park last weekend and Eileen just decided to start walking away, and Ewan followed. Luckily she went down a quiet straight alley, and I was able to keep them together. We go to the park every weekend. One time Ewan was watched a bigger kid on the round swing, and after a minute he ran over and copied his positioning, he was so proud of himself.

this look on Eileen’s face is priceless and totally genuine

Eileen has a larger vocabulary than Ewan. I feel like their verbal language skills are not as developed as their peers, but their comprehension appears to be similar. Eileen was picking up lots of words when we were in Hawaii, like gecko!

The twins turn 2 next week, hopefully I will blog about it!

little baby foot prints! CUTE!

Daycare

Eileen loves daycare, she absolutely loves it.  Everyday I can pick them up she runs away from me saying ‘no’.  Ewan enjoys daycare too, but he is ready to leave when I arrive .
Daycare has told me multiple times that Eileen likes to help clean up the dishes after lunch!
Today a girl kissed Ewan on the cheek when he was leaving!! First kiss 💋 lol!!
Eileen still loves to dance and jerks her head, shoulders and hips around.  Ewan points at stuff with his pointer finger and thumb making a L shape, while making sounds like ‘ahhhhh’.  It’s so cute, and I’ve been trying to catch it on video without success for months!
Ewan is biting Eileen less, but now he pulls out fists full of her hair ☹️ poor girl!
About a week ago Ewan started copying Eileen.  She stands up, he stands up, she tilts her, he tilts his head.  It doesn’t seem like a game, more interest and admiration for his sister. 

he’s a little man, rocking his Vancouver Island T-shirt- thanks Watt family!!
Hand me down Thailand T-shirt from Auntie Heather and Uncle Peter 👍

Sorry Eileen- I don’t have any new photo of you, lots of videos though!

18-19 months old!

The twins turned 18 months on October 22, 2018.  Eileen and Ewan have gone through a huge cognitive leap over the last couple of weeks.  Their language comprehension skills are unbelievable.  On Saturday I asked Ewan to throw away his dirty Kleenex and he walked over to the kitchen garbage and waited for someone to open it.

If you show Eileen and Ewan how something works, within 20 minutes of trying, they can replicate the skill.  They are very smart kids (it’s all those good genes and breast milk ).

Continue reading “18-19 months old!”

Thanksgiving & Wine Making 2018

As is always the case in October we made our annual pilgrimage to the Okanagan to spend Thanksgiving with the Maclean/Martin/Suuban family and also to pick grapes and make wine.

The drive went pretty well considering we had 17 month old twins in the back seat and as usual, the mountains and fall forests did not disappoint.

Sunrise over Skaha Lake and the vineyard
Sunrise over Skaha Lake and the vineyard

Fortunately, timing worked out perfectly and both the Gewurztraminer and Merlot grapes were ready for picking right on Thanksgiving weekend. It wasn’t long before we were put to work picking grapes.

Gewurztramine Grapes ready to harvest
Gewurztraminer grapes ready to harvest

Continue reading “Thanksgiving & Wine Making 2018”

Meat Eaters!

These sweet children just ate, and actually enjoyed, elk steak for the first time!  Ewan stuffed the meat into his mouth and Eileen chewed it for a long time before splitting out what was left in her mouth.

They have eaten meat lots before in stews and casserole etc, but never just a piece of meat on its own.  Needless to say Kyle is thrilled!!!