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Showing posts from 2011

Saturday Shout Out and Thank yous

Today is the last Saturday (and last day) of 2011! I can't end the year without saying thank you to all my bloggy friends. Special mention goes out to the twin mum troops

Melissa aka championmum2000 - The cheerleading mum. Her comments are always so encouraging

Miss Megan - The let's-compare-notes mum. Her girls are just a few weeks older than mine so I use her blog as a preview of things to come

Ginger - The friendly Calgary twin mum.

Brad - The non-mum (He's of the daddy species)

Julia - The graceful mum, hostess to "Mama loves" and Mrs to Brad

Beth - The fashionista mum aka mum I'd love to go shopping with.

Samantha - The in-the-know mum. I consider anyone that knows anything about Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga in-the-know 

Blogging was so much more fun (and therapeutic) because you guys took the time to read and comment. 

To all the lurkers out there, thank you as well. Your presence means something

To my family members that faithfully read the blog and make me feel…

2011 Year in Review

What's a year end without a year in review post? For me, it's been a year of joy just as I prayed it would be. Here's how the year shaped out.

Survived: ear piercing, sleep training, nighttime feedings, daycare and cradle cap. And that was all before june

Discovered I was not a cloth diapering type mama. Guess we is not very granola

Lived out of a suitcase (or 7) for the last two months of the year

Indulged in a new form of retail therapy - shopping for 2 baby girls. Macys is my white couch baby!

But most importantly, nothing beat the joy of watching my girls grow daily in strength, health and wisdom.
2011 rocked!
Disclosure of Material Connection: (Because the government said so) I, Have no material connection with the products or services mentioned Have affiliate links in the post but my opinions are my own and not paid  Have received a free sample for review but my opinions are still my own Have been compensated by a company for this post but my opinions are still my own

Make Christmas Day Special for your Toddler

One year old toddlers don't see the world like we do so it takes a lot of simplification to make the holiday season and especially Christmas day special for them. Here are some tips I plan on implementing:
Remove their toy gifts from the packaging before wrapping. I told you about Sugar discovering their bag of toys right? The packaging was tricky and took almost 5 long minutes to unravel. 5 minutes of a baby whining, screaming and trying to push the buttons on the toy while I'm trying to remove screws and tape and Styrofoam.Wrap in shiny wrapping paper that rumples but does not rip easily. Babies/toddlers love shiny wrapping paper and that will sooner or later find its way into their mouth. It's a good idea to have paper that does not dissolve in the acidic saliva of a teething baby.   Go easy on the wrapping tape or skip the tape. That way, the baby can grab and "unwrap" the present without help.Remember them in the menu - dice or puree the foods, dilute the &qu…

Christmas Gifts for One Year Olds

This is a list of Christmas gifts that Santa got for the babies.

Disclosure: Santa went shopping, came home late and tired and left the bags of toys on the floor. The next morning, Sugar discovered the bags and ... well let's just say Christmas came early.

In no particular order, I'll tell you what we got and why
Playskool Busy Poppin pals. Battery-free and I like that it will teach the girls to operate different types of knobs/buttons. Playskool Busy Tumble Top. Battery-free funLeapFrog telephone. Thanks to Samantha's tip, I trawled Walmart for a battery-free remote control that might perhaps save our phones and tv remote from curious little fingers. I couldn't find anything that looked like a decoy so I settled for these phones. It was the most authentic looking though it is rated for 18 months. I've already given the girls a demonstration and they're enjoying placing it on the ear and babbling. I got 2 of this for the sake of world peaceYou are my sunshine by …

For the Love of a Highchair

I love taking part in the "Mama Loves" linkup hosted by Julia of Pontifications of a twin mom. I also love checking what the other moms who participate love and have got a few things off of their advise. If you haven't checked it out, I suggest you do.

Today, I'm loving our Fisher Price Booster Seat. I moved with two of them in a suitcase to have a place to feed the girls for our relocation/transition and it has been so worth it. I think the size and the fact that it's on the floor is a major plus for the girls. They haven't just learnt to sit down on it all by themselves (which requires a lot of body coordination for a one year old I tell you) they're also crawling and standing and pushing and pulling and climbing it. All this helps them gain confidence in their mobility and abilities and I'm lovin' it.

Plus it's super easy to clean.

Disclosure of Material Connection: (Because the government said so) I, Have affiliate links in the post but my op…

13 Joyful Months

I really thought I was done with the monthly updates, but the girls are changing so much and so fast, I just have to document. So I'll still be posting monthly stats, the only difference is I'm focusing more on the developmental stuff and less on the weight and cloth sizes etc.

13 Months of Spicy love: My little honey chums is growing three teeth at the same time and being quite a trooper about it. Likes to nibble at mommy and sister - neither of us really like that much. Now a pro at delivering the cry that induces massive mommy-guilt. She starts by making an O-shape with her lips and sad puppy dog eyes. The "O" gets me every time
She seems to have added one more word to her vocabulary - "gba" which means "take" in my language. Now before she flings unwanted food off her tray, she offers it to me and if I don't take it, then she flings it away.

13 Months of Sweet Sugar: On the 11th of December, I was on the phone with one of the many grandmas as…

Best Strollers For Twins

One of the first challenges that twin parents-to-be face is choosing the best stroller for their twins. There are two ways that infant twins can ride in a stroller - with or without their infant car seats. 

When choosing a stroller to be used with the infant car seat, you need a stroller that can accommodate the two infant seats. This can either be a frame stroller like the BabyTrend Snap n Go or a full stroller like those highlighted in the table below. When choosing a stroller that will be used without the infant seat, you need one with fully reclining seats as babies cannot support their own heads for the first few months.

Frame stroller for Twins in car seats : These strollers are lighter weight but cannot be used once babies are out of bucket/infant car seats. The most popular one is the Baby Trend Snap and Go. This stroller is compatible with Britax, Chicco and Graco seats as well as Peg Perego, Baby Trend and Evenflo infant car seats.

Full strollers for Twins in car seats: These…

Changing Baby's Schedule When Traveling

So in the last two months, our family has relocated twice. The first time was our Houston to Calgary move, and more recently we've moved from Calgary to the east coast of Canada. That's a lot of moving! We've gone back 1 time zone and then forward 3 time zones and I've learnt a bit about managing twin babies' schedule when travelling.

I've learnt that the number of days it'll take to transition a baby's schedule is at least equal to the number of time zones crossed. That's how it's been in my twintopia. When we moved one hour behind, we were able to change the schedule with one day of transition. When we moved three hours ahead, it's taken three transitional days to be back on our schedule.

Changing Feeding Schedule: I've always used feeding times as my primary tool for controlling the girls' schedule and sleep times sorta fall in place. Our current schedule is to eat every three to four hours after waking up. That means breakfast ar…

Easy Toddler Meal Ideas For One Year Olds

Y'all I have toddlers in the house and feeding my one year olds daily requires some thinking outside the baby food jar. My twins are fully on table foods now and here's my current menu plan. I already disclosed my less than stellar crafty-homeliness, so all these meals are easy and fast

Cereal bars 
Fruit bars
Cereal mixed into yoghurt - Spoon fed by mommy. This is a weekend meal

Lunch & Dinner (Meals are interchangeable)
First of all, there are some foods that should always be in the pantry or fridge to facilitate easy toddler feeding:

Cheese in slices, shredded or sticks
Chicken in ready to eat form. I've had roasted chicken and this chicken breast pack from Costco that's really tasty
Ready to eat carb. That's either white rice or boiled pasta. This can easily be leftovers from the night before

On to the meals. All require less than 15 minutes of prep time. All received with a happy yum. All in a form that the babies can feed themselves
Chicken Stir Fry - Fa…

Flying with Infant Twins

This will be the last of my out and about with infant twins series. To date, I have had 3 flights - 5 planes, 2 stopovers - with the twins. First flight was in July when they were 8 months old and second flight was when they were 11 months old. Here's what worked for us and what didn't.

Things that went right
Travelling close to bedtime. Once the plane lights were dimmed, the babies settled down and slept offChanging diapers in the airport just before the plane boardsMylanta antacid in diaper bag. Spice has always had mild reflux but her pediatrician did not want to add cereal to her bottle because as at that time she was 75th percentile on the weight chart. Well mid-flight, she got airsick and started gagging badly. The Mylanta helped calm her stomachLots of tissues and wet wipes in diaper bagGenerous change of clothes, hooded jacket for babies, large mummy scarf that could double as a baby blanket. Layering clothes for all travellers is keyTravelling with a second adult.Bookin…

Grocery Shopping with Baby Twins

When my twins were younger, a lot of the trips outside the house were avoidable just because of the logistics. However, one unavoidable trip was grocery shopping with 2 infants. THAT required some planning and major thinking outside the box. So here are all the possible configurations that I tried One baby in carseat in cart + one baby in carrier: This works when one baby is asleep and needs to stay sleeping in the carseat. I kept the seat inside the stroller so this limited the size and amount of things I could pick. As the babies grew older and bigger, this configuration also limited the time of the trip to how long I could sustain the whole big baby in carrier businessOne baby in single stroller + one baby in carrier: Same as number one except this time I'm limited by the size of the stroller basket. I got a mommy hook (thanks to Melissa's post) and reusable shopping bags which allowed me to hang some bags off the stroller and increase the number of groceries I could get for…

Best Infant Car Seat for Twins - A list for moms pregnant with twins

If you are a mom pregnant with twins, one of the questions you'll be asking yourself is "What is the best infant car seat for twins?" This was a question I agonized over for months while I was pregnant before finally settling on the Chicco Keyfit 30. It looks like this is my week for talking cars and car seats so here's my advise to anyone in the process of buying infant car seats for their twins.

One of the most challenging parts of having 2 or more babies at the same time is figuring out how to transport them from one point to another. I've put together a list of car seats and strollers for parents who have twins or more. The criteria for choosing the infant car seat?

Must have a lower weight limit of 4lbs specified by manufacturer Must have a separate base that stays in the carMust have at least one double stroller that can accomodate 2 of the seats at the same timeInfant Car Seats for Twins Best Bets
Britax B-Safe, Britax Chaperone, Chicco Keyfit, Chicco Keyfit3…

Cars and SUVs for 2 Infant Car Seats

This post is part of my first year with twins recap. Over the last 12 months, I have had the twins in a variety of cars and suvs. This is how the vehicles I tried out fared with 2 infant seats.

Mazda5 with 2 infant seats installed with base
Rear Seat configuration: 2 rows of captains' chairs
Access to 3rd row: The infant seats had to be removed to access the 3rd row.
In Car Feeding: Required contorting myself, balancing on the armrest and feeding the babies. Not comfortable at all
Comfort of 3rd row: Not comfortable for anyone taller than 5ft
Cargo capacity: Good with the third row down. This is my everyday car and it easily handles one double stroller, one single stroller and a cart full of groceries. With the third row up, it can handle the groceries but not the strollers

Mazda3 with 2 infant seats
Rear Seat configuration: 1 bench row. With infant seats installed, the front seats became uncomfortable for anyone taller than 5'5 (I'm 5'6). Probably could have got that extra i…

Relocating with Twin Babies - Sleeping Arrangements

Due to my move, I've been living out of a suitcase for over a month now. Relocating with twin babies is not easy but I'm really glad with the sleeping arrangements we have thanks to the Kidco Peapod travel beds.

I got 2 on sale from a USA BAby store closing and I'm really glad I did. They take up minimum floor space in our rented accomodations so I'm able to still co-sleep with the babies. It took the girls a few days to adjust to the new sleeping arrangements but since then, they've been sleeping quite well in the beds. One plus is that it can be zipped so the babies don't roll out in the middle of the night and unzipped in the morning so the girls know the feeling of getting out of bed by themselves.

I think I like the independence it gives them. Now I understand why the Montessorri way is so big on placing mattresses on the floor.

I'm linking up with Julia who's got some chocovine love going on. Not sure what chocovine is? Check out her blog to find …

Transition to Sippy Cup for Baby

Transitioning to sippy cups for my babies  was in retrospect an event that took 3 months. This post is in response to an anonymous comment on my One Year Old update post asking how I got Spice to finally accept her sippy cup as I had previously posted that she was absolutely refusing the cup. Based on my experience with the two girls, it appears that transitioning to sippy cup for babies is based on physical and emotional readiness.
Physical Readiness This is a function of the cup's ease of use and the baby's gross motor skills and muscular development. The first part of using a sippy is learning to suck out of it with motion that's different from the sucking motion used with bottle. My girls learnt to suck out of a cup by using the Green Sprouts sippy which had no valve in it. We used water at this stage.
Once the girls mastered the sucking as well as the lifting, I switched to the Playtex First Sipster because it was big enough to take 8oz of fluid, it was relatively leak-pr…

Ways to Save on a First Birthday Party

I'm all for my babies having fabulous birthday parties, but the frugalista in me won't let me spend ridiculous amounts and the utilitarian in me won't let me indulge in any impractical endeavour. So with all that in mind, here are some ideas I had for giving my babies a fabulous but sensible birthday party
Theme colors: I like the idea of a themed party but they can get pretty expensive. My fix, pick colors from a holiday just before the party. That way once the holiday is over and all the nick-nacks are on clearance in the stores, I can buy them for peanuts. This works great for table covers, paper napkins, plates, drinkware and decor. I really love the St Patrick's day greens, the valentine's day reds and the easter pastelsUseful party favors: I much prefer party favors that are educational or useful. A great way to get these is to buy in September once all the back to school items are on sale. Mandy also gave me a great idea of including little books - I've s…

One Year Old Twins

Well, after all the buildup and anticipation, the day(s) came, we had fun and now it's back to normal. The girls had their birthday on Wednesday wherein they polished off a cupcake each. I've been delaying the stats update because I do not have my weight scale, but can't put that off any more.

SpIce aka Twin A Weight: No idea  but some of the smaller pants are getting snug. I can't wait to do a weight check actually
Dress size: 9 - 12months but still wearing 9m Carters sleepers
Diaper size: Size 3 
Sugar aka Twin B
Weight: See comments for Spice Dress size: 9 - 12 months
Diaper size: Size 3

Feeding Schedule
We now have 2 schedules, one for the weekdays in daycare and one for the weekend. Regardless, the girls are up by 7am and they get 8oz each of whole milk. Spice gets lactose-free milk while Sugar gets 3% homogenized milk.
On weekdays, they get a cereal bar after their milk and off to daycare where they get a morning snack around 9am. The morning snack is usually some fruit …

Happy Birthday Babies

What can I say without turning into a blubbering fool. I'm more than blessed to be your mom. I'm also highly favored. Wouldn't change the last 12 months for all the gold in wherever-they-store-gold-these-days.

May The Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.       May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

More Lessons from Twin Parenting

Some moments of motherhood are profound and some are mundane. Here's a list of 10 more mundane lessons that I learnt.
Parenting has to be intentional - I noticed that I rarely focused on the babies 100%. My brain was always racing ahead to my list of things to do. I fed the babies while checking twitter and facebook and my blog reader. Something felt wrong. Were the babies interferring with my internet or was the internet interferring with my mothering?. So I took a telecomms break. For 20 days in January, I didn't use a computer or my phone. Not being able to use those, I was able to redirect my attention solely on the babies and actually enjoy them moment by moment and notice the little things.  Start 'em young - Any habit that will be intolerable in a toddler, don't allow in an infant. This really worked when it came to sleep training. Discipline is not a luxury - It takes discipline to prepare for the night feedings before going to bed, but the reward is I'm no…