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Showing posts from January, 2012

How (Not) To Buy Shoes for your Toddler – 10 tips

1.Plan: Set aside a day and time to get this done. 2.Prepare: Either take the kid with you to get a shoe fitting or measure the foot to be sure of the sizing 3.Peruse: The list of brands recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association(APAM) for kids. Most of the brands are pricy but worth it for new walkers 4.Pick:The brand that most fits your budget and the store where it can be found 5.Pinch: the front to make sure there’s enough room for your toddler’s delicate feet to grow 6.Don’t make an impromptu dash to a store during lunch break and take the scenic route out of the store via the baby clearance aisle 7.Don’t but laceups for toddlers who are squirmy when getting dressed and just learning to walk 8.Don’t buy shoes that have cute Seasame Street characters on the soles instead of non-skid soles 9.Don’t check the fit of said shoes on your baby’s bare feet when the baby always wears thick winter socks 10.Don’t wait two days to discover the blisters L Enough said. A picture’s worth …

The Best Menu Planner for Toddlers

While writing my post on toddler portion sizes, I found (in my opinion) the best toddler menu planner EVER! (Ok, maybe not the best but I like it) It's on the My Food Guide site from Health Canada.

Why I like it: It allows you to pick 6 foods you eat in each category and then select age and level of activity. The output is a personalized food guide built around the specific foods picked. The personalization of the servings on the food guide helps me plan with actually food that we eat here in twintopia. Our diet is not too diverse; which is one of the reasons I'm focused on trying one new vegetable every month of this year.

The only negative  of this food guide is that the lowest age it goes down to is 2 years. As far as I can see, this only affects the milk requirement.

Here's what our personalized menu plan looks like

The next question would be which meals will your toddler actually enjoy. A good place to start is with the following books that cover a range of meals for tod…

Toddler Portion Sizes

Now that the girls are officially toddlers, it was only a matter of time before my feeding focus turned to the question of how much should my toddlers eat daily. A bit of research later and here's what I found out.

How many calories does a toddler need? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) a toddler needs 40 calories per inch of height. This is the maximum they'll need and it can be lower based on activity level.

What's a toddler serving size? One quarter of an adult serving. For vegetables, one serving is one tablespoon per year/age.
One meat serving is about the size of the toddler's hand (I love this tip. Easy to remember)

How much milk does a toddler need? The consensus is 16 to 24oz daily. Milk is the primary source of protein and calcium. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese can be substitutes but not necessarily ounce for ounce.

Sources
AAP website
Earth's Best examples of toddler portion sizes from age 1 to 6
iVillage - Toddler nutritional requir…

Book Review - Motherstyles by J. Penley and D. Eble

A review of the book Motherstyles: Using Personality to Discover Your Parenting Strengths by Janet Penley and Diane Eble

I first read about this book on Marcia’s blog. It’s a mothering personality book that’s based on the Myers-Briggs typing. Since I was quite familiar with Myers-Briggs and also a big fan, I purchased the kindle version of the book and have been reading it on my phone and ipad.


What’s in it? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality profiling tool that groups people into 16 different categories based on their preferences and choices i.e. introvert vs. extrovert, thinking vs. feeling, sensing vs. intuition and judging vs. perception. Based on attending a course at work 7 years ago, I already knew that I was a INTP - the "love of learning" mother.

What I learned: I did learn about my mothering style – more hands-off, focused on nurturing knowledge and independence in kids, needing to work on creating a path for emotional support when the kids need it. I al…

Saturday Guests

I have a guest post up at Multiples and more today. The topic is choosing infant car seats and strollers for twins and triplets. I spent days doing the research on this post and it's one I'm really proud of. I wish I had read something like that before I went stroller shopping for my twins.

If you're stopping by from Multiples and more, welcome and thank you. Take a look around and drop me a comment or question. I love both.

First Day of Daycare (or School) Tip for Twin Parents

Since we're living in our third city in 3 months and also attending our 3rd daycare within the same time span, I just may know a thing or two about easing the daycare transitions. My number one tip for starting the daycare (and eventually school) life right for twin is helping the adults around them see and treat them as individuals.

Any twin parent will tell you that the position comes with some novelty and celebrity status. I've enjoyed that for the most part. However, when it comes to being around their peers, I don't want my daughters to be "the twins!". I want them to be seen as individuals. Here's what I've done every first day in a new childcare environment
Dress them differently even if they're fraternal. A lot of people are stuck on the stereotype of twins looking so alike that it's hard to tell them apart. For the first few days of daycare, I dress them differently and make a note of telling the teacher who's wearing what. By the third…

14 = Independence Day

January 16 and this will be the first monthly stats post for the year 2012.


Spice at 14 months: Has all 8 of her incisors out and she's walking! My baby is officially a toddler and she toddles 75% of the time. Emotionally, she's been super sweet and never passes up an opportunity for a cuddle - the experts call that separation anxiety

Sugar at 14 months: She's just had her top 2 central incisors come out. Once she saw that Spice was walking, she was quick to follow suit. She'll toddle 30% of the time but crawling is her preferred mode of mobility. Emotionally she's goofy and competitive - I believe the experts call that parallel play 

Current skills: Gargling with milk and water, partial undressing, sofa climbing, stretching out hands to ask for things, highfiving, figured out that the best food  is always the one on mommy or daddy's plate. We've started trying to teach them the names of bodyparts but seem stuck on nose. When asked "where's your nose…

Sugar & Spice Chronicles: Streaker and Fashionista

Yet another first in my Twintopia. It's a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. Twin babies are happily playing by the coffee table. Mommy is plugging away at the computer and daddy is plugging away at another computer. It's the closest we'll ever get to being the picture of 21st century urban bliss.

Out of the blue, a semi-nekkid baby streaks across my living room. Surprise is an understatement. On one side of the room is Sugar almost as nekkid as the day she was born; and on the other side of the room are Sugar's pants that used to be on her body. My baby has learnt how to divest herself of her pants much like a drunken english soccer fan. Sigh! She's trying to do the same with the tees but luckily for me, she's yet to figure out the whole arm-out-of-sleeves and pull-over-head manuver. She's my little streaker and I love her.

Spice on the other hand has a different relationship with clothes. She can't get enough of them on. Her favorite activity is to walk u…

Baby Walker Review (and why we have 4)

We currently have 4 walkers in our 800sq.ft rental with two babies. How did we end up with 4 walkers? I am so glad you asked cuz I'm about to start talking.


Walker 1: Officially called the Fisher-Price Stride-to-Ride Dino
Dino joined our family in Houston. Babies R Us was having a buy 2 for the price of one on Fisher Price toys so I got the FP activity table and Dino was the extra. It's a walk and ride type toy.
Assembly: Not memorable so it couldn't have been too tough
Verdict: It's a little too wide when used in walker mode. I think the girls will really enjoy this when they are old enough to climb on it and move by themselves. I'm guessing in a couple of months.


Walker 2: Goes by the fancy name of Playskool Poppin' Park Bounce And Ride
When we left Houston for Calgary, all our worldly goods were loaded on a truck and put in storage while we stayed in temporary accommodations. As the girls showed signs of toddling and Dino was on the truck, I decided to buy this w…

Baby Teething Rings

I remember when our first tooth came in and the doctor's visit that followed. I asked the doctor about ways to help my babies through the teething period and one of the things he recommended was teething rings that were not liquid-filled. I don't know why he said they should be liquid free, but I liked the idea.

And thus started the search for a teething ring that did not have a liquid filling. Four months later, I finally found the teethers - in a grocery store no less (talk about thinking outside the box)


It was the NUK (Gerber) teether and the girls love 'em. They are more loved than sophie the giraffe. More loved than nibbling on a paci. More loved than chewing the iphone charger. In fact the teethers have become their number two choice for the nibbles. Number one? My toes. (Don't ask please)  


Linking up with Kristen of we are that family
Disclosure of Material Connection: (Because the government said so) I, Have no material connection with the products or services me…

The Emergency Room Visit

Another (unwanted) parenting laurel this weekend - our first 2am visit to the emergency room. A harrowing experience that ended well but showed me the next parenting beast I need to conquer - guilt and worry

It started an hour after I had put the girls to bed. I heard Spice cough
Daddy: I always worry when they cough at night
Me: Me too. I listen for the clear throat signal Continue ipad game

Spice continues coughing so I go to the room to check up on her and her bed is covered in puke (that's vomit for the more medical-term minded). Scoop her up, call daddy to help and we clean her and the bed up. And that's when the crazy thoughts started.

Why is she throwing up? What did she eat? Must be reflux acting up. Did I give her too much lactose today? Must be the storebrand cheese. That's a lot of puke. I need to go to the store and get some electrolyte juice and pediasure. I need to do some research on cheese, yoghurt and lactose sensitivity. I wonder if there's some casein:whe…

Organizing Twin Toddler Closet

This is what I do to keep my twin's closet organized

Use hangers so I don't have to fold unless necessaryLimit the number of outfits by limiting the number of hangersKeep bibs, socks, hats and indoor shoes in drawers - easier than foldingHang complete outfits together so I know which items are orphaned. That means every top is hung with an accompanying bottom and jacket or sweater if necessaryHanging complete outfits together gives me a quick view of how many days I can go without doing laundry - Laundry day is when we're down to one outfitHanging complete outfits together also makes the morning rush a lot easier. Just grab a hanger and goFor a more detailed post on organizing kids' clothes and closet, click here.

10 Tips for Buying Kidswear Off-Season

On this blog, I have not hidden my love for retail therapy or my $10 rule for buying baby clothes - apart from special occasions like birthday and Christmas, I do not buy clothing for my babies that cost more than $10. I achieve this by buying the girls clothes off-season at least one year ahead.

Now that the girls are wearing some 12-18 month sized clothes I purchased a while back, I can evaluate the success of my shopping strategy.  Based on my evaluation, here are a few tips from me to you:
Get the maths right - I didn't forget my kids' birthday, but somewhere in my mind I had it that they would be one by 2011 Christmas so I bought 12months Christmas outfits. Bad maths. Since the girls were born in November, I should have bought outfits sized for 18months. Let's just say their santa dresses were a little snug.Get the seasons right - Cute skirts in 18m size are not a steal if the girls are 18months old in May and the temperatures are still too cold for short skirts or cap…

2012 Lookahead

I love to start every year with prayers and a plan and 2012 is not an exception. Since there was a 2011 recap post, it seemed only fair that I have a 2012 preview post as well.

Here are a few things I'd like to do in 2012 that I'll be posting about on this blog.
Introduce the girls to at least one new vegetable every month and share the winning recipe (I'm a picky eater and I don't want them to pick up my not-so-good habit. Yeah. I'm the grown woman sitting beside you in McDonalds picking all the veggies out of her burger)Continue with regular monthly development posts with less focus on the physical dataPotty train the girls before their second birthday (ambitious I know)Learn to sew - I want to be able to make some pretty peasant dresses for the girls. Learn the basics of early childhood education and the Montessori system so that I can create a mind-nurturing home for my babiesStart weekly excursions to paid-for-by-my-tax-dollars places like free museums, librari…

Easy Potato Meals for Toddlers

One of my goals this year is to expose the girls to a wide variety of vegetables. As I'm a bit of a picky eater as well, this will also be an opportunity for me to broaden my diet.

First on the list is the humble white potato. Potatoes are not a staple in our house as our diet is more rice-based. My objective was to make a potatoes that could be used as a base for other meals and also can be enjoyed by adults and toddlers alike.

I modified this from the recipe on Wholesome baby food. I sorta skimmed through and missed the part on skinning the potatoes for babies younger than 3. Luckily, the girls had no issues with the potato skins

Day 1 - Roasted Potatoes
Wash and/or peel potatoes and cut into cubesAdd any other vegetables to the mix.  I added carrot sticks and onion wedges for flavourAdd spices of choice - I used a chicken-flavored bouillon cube - and toss in enough oil to coat the piecesArrange on a baking tray and bake at 350 deg for 50 minutes (Time will depend on the size of th…

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