We got to spend another summer vacationing on Vancouver Island with my family. Visits to the Island are necessary for my sanity. I miss living there and being with my family so much. My pieces of my soul live in the ocean and my heart on the island ??
This was a special year because my cousin, Jim, wife, Liz and kids Ben and Jill were also visiting at the same time! We had all the Shivas cousin’s children together in one place!
we spent time at the beach and at the local playground. Kyle picked lots of wild blackberries, and we went to a U-Pick blueberry farm.
Fish and Bus are the words of the summer! We went to the cabin at the end of July (22-30) with Grandma and Grandpa Shivas. Eileen struggled while we were there because she was cutting molars, wasn’t sleeping and there wasn’t anywhere to run (lack of physical activity). But mostly Eileen was in pain from cutting molars. We were there for 8 days and the fishing was great. We came home with 10 salmon. Every time the boat came back to the cabin the twins would climb onto the tall chairs underneath the window and point excitedly yelling gibberish with the recognizable words Fish, Wawa (wawa is water), Boat, Mommy, and Daddy (depending on who was in the boat). The twins very quickly learned the word fish. They would point at the fish in the boat cooler, on the fish cleaning station, and then again at home when Kyle was preparing the fish for the smoker. Fish Fish Fish.
At the cabin we set prawn traps for fun (it is not prawning season in July). We were averaging about 12 prawns a trap. The first time we pulled the trap up, Eileen charged forward and tried to poke the prawn in the eyes while saying “eyes”. Ewan was a little more cautious.
At the end of August we went to Vancouver to visit family (Aunt Heather, Uncle Peter, Oma, brother Loren, sister in law Vicky and cousins Madeline and Bown). During our visit we went to the Vancouver Aquarium with Loren, Vicky, Madeline and Bowen. The twins were entranced with the Aquarium. We bought them two stuffies (sharks) from the gift shop. On the drive back to Port Coquitlam (Loren and Vicky’s house) they were moving the stuffies through the air repeating Fish Fish Wawa. It was so cute! Still at home they move the sharks through the air saying fish fish wawa.
Buses are the new favorite thing! All summer every time a bus drove by, the twins would yell BUS over and over. We did a bit of driving in Vancouver, and there are a lot of buses, so we heard the word bus continuously! We had two toy buses that were handed down from a friend. I give them to the twins mid August…. oh my goodness. They sleep with the buses (and stuffed sharks). They wake up saying ‘where bus?’ Grandpa and Grandma Shivas bought west coast T-shirts for the twins. Ewan’s t-shirt has a picture of a bus on it. He asks to wear the bus shirt every morning. When he is wearing the shirt he walks around pointing at the shirt saying ‘bus’.
We will post more details about the Vancouver Island and Vancouver trips later….hopefully.
The kids are forever changing and growing. They are so adorable.
Ewan’s cast came off on June 9. He was a very good sport throughout the whole experience. He was frustrated from time to time, but he handled it really well.
Eileen is doing funny facial expressions that are hilarious. She stretches her face and makes her eyes wide and then slowly moves her head. She also has funny walks, stomps and lunges. She is having a good time!
We just implemented 2 minute time outs for biting, hair pulling, hitting etc. They have to stay in the corner for 2 minutes and then apologize “say sorry” or hug their sibling. Yesterday Eileen was in a 2 minute time out and afterward we walked over to Ewan, I prompted Eileen to say sorry. Ewan came right over, very eager for his apology or hug. Eileen stared at the ground not saying anything. I kept repeating ‘say sorry”, Eileen continued to stare at the ground, Ewan excited with anticipation. Finally I said “Eileen give your brother a hug to say sorry”. As soon as I said hug Ewan lunged forward and hugged Eileen. He couldn’t wait any longer for his hug! It was soooooo cute.
The whole family went to Freezer Burn Music Festival the weekend of June 21-24. We had a blast! We pulled the kids around in the wagon visiting all the theme camps. The kids danced a little which was really cute.
Eileen and Ewan love watching The Wiggles show. First week of June we noticed that Eileen was imitating the dancers on screen…so cute. She can do the cold spaghetti/hot potato dance. This week Ewan started doing the dance. Double cuteness overload
On Canada day we went for a hike/walk at Lower Kananaskis Lake. The kids walked 4 KM.
Vocabulary is improving. A Speech and Language Pathologist came to the house and provide tips and tricks to jump start their language development. Eileen definitely has more words than Ewan, but Ewan’s imitation skills are really starting to develop.
Breastfeeding has come to a end. We stopped last weekend. The kids weren’t really interested anymore and I wasn’t going to force it (not at this age at least). We missed a couple of days during the last two weeks of June, and then we just stopped all together. It was a good run! Hopefully their immunity is strong!
We bought the kids a used bouncy castle! They love it! Eileen loves jumping. They love the outdoors, playing with bugs, water, climbing, exploring, pulling up plants, and running around.
The key to happy children and successful parenting is food- food they like!
Ewan broke his Tibia. He tripped down the step from the deck to the drive way. I was right beside him, it was an innocent fall, I’ve seen way worse. He cried for a long time and he wouldn’t stand up or put weight on his legs. But his legs weren’t swollen or bruised. We went for a bike ride in the chariot, I took him out to play at the park, and it was the same thing- refused to stand up or put any weight on it and he started crying again. So we went straight home and Kyle took him to the ER. The Doc said the Tibia is a commonly broken bone for toddlers. He is in a cast and it will take 2-3 weeks to heal. This type of break in an adult would take 12 weeks to heal, thank goodness kids heal quickly.
He was very brave and handled the pain like a champ!
The nurse held up all the colours to chose from for a cast and he picked pink!
The twins had a great birthday! Kyle made orange oatmeal cake, and they had soft serve Dairy Queen ice cream for the first time (first time eating ice cream). They also had fruit, tomatoes scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, pesto pasta, and sourdough waffles. All their favourite foods, all day long.
We went for a walk around the neighbourhood and opened lots of presents! They opened presents when they woke up, after breakfast, after nap and after cake and ice cream. Presents and good food all day long- best day ever!
Grandma and Grandpa Shivas were in town for the celebration. They were very helpful all week with the twins, dinners, cleaning and house maintenance. With both sets of Grandparents visiting back to back Kyle and I were kind of lost when they left- we ordered a lot of take out that week ☹️. We are back on routine now!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Sorry Eileen- I don’t have any new photo of you, lots of videos though!
Daycare is going really well. We are super happy with the organization and the twins seem to have a good time. Eileen especially seems to enjoy herself, she doesn’t want to leave when I pick them up. Ewan is ready to go when arrive, he’s had enough for the day. They even stopped crying at drop off this week.
The kids have been very sick since starting daycare. They just got over a respiratory bug and started a stomach flu. ?. Ewan has stopped puking and ate real dinner tonight, so that’s good!! Eileen only got a small touch of the stomach flu.
Ewan slipped and landed on the edge of the cubbyholes and got a double black eye!
Eileen is starting to talk. Tonight she pointed at a circle and said ‘gurcle’. She also says squirrel and square. She has been repeating words for a month or so with her own pronunciation.
The twins first painting, January 18, 2019
This month we went out to a micro brewery twice with the kids. Besides Eileen shrieking for a good minute, it went well!
Eileen is really into dress up and wearing shoes. Ewan is mischievous and curious. Eileen has a great giggle, and Ewan has a million dollar smile!!