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Showing posts from July, 2012

Weekend of July 28: Mommy Brain Again?

This shall forever be known as "Mommy Brain Weekend" or the one where I forget to diaper my child for 3 hours - all the way to church and back home.

I wonder what the ladies in the church nursery think of me!

TV Programming for Toddlers - Our Approach

Yes the twins watch TV! Let me get that out of the way. I started putting them in front of the TV after their first birthday and they showed no interest whatsoever. So, I strapped them in the highchair and stayed with them and we all watched Treehouse (the Canadian equivalent of PBS kids I think). I did this to have an  idea of what shows were available on TV that I actually approved of. It ended up being a very short list and so I went out to look for electronic versions of those shows.

Why eTV? My plan has always been to limit the girls' TV time to shows I absolutely trust and find wholesome and educational in every sense of the word. I would then buy online videos or DVDs of those shows and play them at designated TV times. This serves 3 purposes
The girls are not exposed to a motherlode of advertisement that will culminate in a long Christmas wishlist and a hefty donation to the pocketbooks of Messers Disney and co.I don't have to worry about "wierd" stuff coming o…

My Toddlers' First Pillow

It seemed like it was time for the twins to get their first pillows, so after sampling some online mommy opinions, I went to Babies R Us and got 2 pillow pets. The pillow pets are currently residing in the basement after being on the receiving end of vicious kicks from babies who did not appreciate sharing their cribs. The babies did not like the $13 fur-coverd ladybird pillow pets. Back to the drawing board!

The perfect toddler pillow must be smaller and flatter than standard pillows and is hard to find. I found it in the most unlikely of places: IKEA. It's the LEN cot pillow. IKEA also had matching pillowcases and sheets but I wanted the girls to use satin pillowcases as that's much better for afro hair. So I went out and bought some pink satin fabric, whipped out the not-so-old sewing machine and decided I was going to make my princesses a few pillowcases (complete with silk thread embroidery) and display my work proudly on the blog and pinterest.
Unfortunately, my sewing ab…

Positive Words for Positive Behaviour

I got a lesson in the effect of positive versus negative phrases on toddler behaviour last week. 

It was one of those times when we let the girls run around instead of riding in their stroller on the +15 (An enclosed walkway around Calgary's downtown area). The day before, Sugar fell and spent the rest of the evening cradling her arm and saying "owie". To prevent a recurrence, we decided to start encouraging the girls to walk instead of running while on the +15...and that's when I noticed the power of words. 

When we said "walk" the child being addressed would stop running and start walking.

When we said "don't run" the girls would ignore for a few seconds and you could see them mentally debating whether to comply or not. 

Another example is at bedtime or any changing time actually. The baby not being changed is either trying to dismantle the humidifier or do head stands on the rocking chair. When I say "stop that" or "leave that&qu…

Supermom Cape Stolen

So there I was, rolling down the street in my white minivan with my two kids feeling like supermom "Holla, I'm taking care of two kids y'all!", when I saw this woman who made me screech to a halt, lay my red cape at her feet with a whole load of respect and of course take a picture from the blog.

In case you can't tell from the photo, she's in exercise clothes with 2 kids in the jogging stroller, 1 baby in the backpack, 1 tween on the bicycle AND she's walking 2 dogs. WOW!

2012 Goals Part 3

Beginning of the year, I shared my goals for the year and have been regularly keeping track of my progress or lack of. In the spirit of honest blogging and disclosure, here's whereI stand today.

Goal 1: Introduce the girls to at least one new vegetable every month and share the winning recipe. I'm still introducing the girls to new tastes thanks to my regular visits to the farmers' market. It's not always vegetables though, this last couple of months it's been spicy food (they love rosemary in their pasta) and fruits.

Goal 2: Continue with regular monthly development posts with less focus on the physical data. Yes and my project 52 (at least a picture for every week of their second year) is going quite well. I look forward to putting the photobook together at the end of the year. Just looking at pictures from December when they could barely crawl to today's pictures of them climbing cribs is a heart-warming.

Goal 3: Potty train the girls before their second birth…

Toys and Play at 20 Months

As 20 month old toddlers, the twins play has evolved. They now seek much more interaction with their environment and enjoy toys that allow them to do that. Imaginative play is also something they are capable of and enjoy. Here's a list of our recreational arsenal at 20 months:

Play Kitchen and Accessories: We have a "previously loved" Little Tikes kitchen with a cupboard and microwave section. The girls love to stir stuff in their pots and give us a taste. Of late, they also put their sippy cups in the microwave, heat it up and remove for a drink. It's fun to watch them play "house". 
Quick note: I get a few of my toy ideas from the moms of other winter 2010 babies (see my sidebar for the list). I didn't think the girls were ready for this level of play until I saw Samantha's blog post on how her twin girls love their play kitchen.
Tip: for this age, keep accessories at a minimum as it'll be a few more months before they are ready for full fledged…

24 minus 4 months Update

You can only imagine the panic that set in when I was doing some random  arithmetic and realised that 24 minus 4 is 20. That means in 4 months time, I will be the mother of 2 year old toddlers. Even just typing that gives me mild palpitations.
Weight: Spice is a little under 22lbs and Sugar is 21lbs. I've started adding formula into their milk again because I feel even though their weight is not a health concern, there's a need to keep them on high calorie foods so they don't fall off their growth curve
Wardrobe: is complicated. I have the girls in 24M dresses because the 18M dresses are too short for my liking. Our pants are size 18M but the waists are a little too big. For tops, the girls are in 18M but can still fit into their 12M tops.
Diet: Favorite foods for this season are plums, nectarines and pasta with shredded beef
Activities: This weekend, we gave the big kid slide a spin at the park and the girls loved it. They loved it much. I think I have little daredevils on my…

Differences in Twin Toddlers Developmental Milestones

All kids develop at different rates and with twins, it's easy to see their developmental differences when they hit major milestones at separate times. My twins have always hit their milestones at different times and I've always highlighted those in my monthly growth posts. Now that the girls are full-fledged toddlers, their differences are a lot more obvious but still follow the same trend. I'm writing this post to document the developmental differences in my twins at 20 months and what I'm doing about it as a parent. As always, my hope is that this post will serve as a useful resource to some other twin parent.

Types of milestones
Social and Emotional - Getting skills that improve self awareness and self regulation. These milestones are subtle and parents have to stop and watch closely to see them. These come easier to twins because they've always had a playmate around. With my twins, I noticed that they graduated from parallel play to interactive play earlier than …

2 Easily Overlooked Choking Hazards For Toddlers

Saturday was a choking hazard wake up call for me. There are some items around the house that can be easily overlooked as choking hazards.

First off, magnets. There's this scary story on Babycenter about a child who swallowed 37 magnets. A bit extreme but magnets are a hidden danger on my fridge. You see, I love collecting fridge magnets from every city I visit and mount them on the fridge. Occasionally, I allow the girls to play in the kitchen when it's safe and the magnets are their second favorite toys next to the broom and mop. Some fridge magnets have small round or square magnets to hold them in place and others have a flat magnetic sheet. In the hands of a toddler, the former are a choking hazard. (See the picture below).
Second hazard? The pretty buttons on an equally pretty dress. I put the girls in bed for their nap and when I pick them up 2 hours later, Spice has managed to yank off 2 of the 4 buttons on her dress.
Boredom? I don't know.
Wake up call? Yes, no dou…

See Kai Run Shoes Review

In May, I celebrated the twins moving from crib shoes to big girl shoes. The first pair of shoes I got for them were these size 6 See Kai Run shoes. It's now July and these shoes have been outgrown (I think all the food is going to their feet!).

Here's my review of See Kai Run shoes based on our experience.

The good
*  The shoes are soft and do not cramp the girls' toes. I can see why they are on the APMA list
*  They come in a variety of pretty styles and colors

The Bad
*  The shoes are quite wide (and possibly the girls both have narrow feet) so they never fit snugly even with winter socks. There was always that gap
*  See Kai Run shoes are expensive and usually retail in the $40 range

The Ugly

The shoes are peeling and no longer looking so pretty. The girls spent 80% of the time indoors with no rough and tumble play so I don't understand why the shoes showed so much wear after what's really just 60 days of usage. This effectively means little to no resale or reuse value.…

Toddler Backseat Drivers

After the twins were born, my driving habits changed a little. I basically started driving like an 80 year old woman because I had my two preciouses in the car with me. It was so bad that for the longest time I avoided highway driving when the girls were in the car because of all those "loony" speeding drivers.

I have slowly gone back to my old pre-baby driving self except instead of a red hot sporty car, I'm rocking a white minivan. Part of that more relaxed mode of driving is that I occasionally have to brake a bit more sharply and noticeably. Over the last one month, the girls have taken to saying "uh oh" every time I brake sharply or make any other sudden maneuvers with the car.

The first time it happened, I felt embarrassed like my toddlers were scolding my driving habits. Now, I just roll my eyes and think "oh puhleez, wait until you start driving!"

Osh Kosh and Carters Free Shipping

This is a deal alert for all my Canadian peeps. For the next 3 days, Osh Kosh B'Gosh and Carters have free shipping to Canada. That's a pretty sweet deal and I've had no complaints about the quality of the apparel from Osh Kosh.

I just trawled the clearance section and there are some good deals on summer dresses, layered skirts and swim suits. Duties will add an additional 30% to the price shown on the screen but even with that, a number of the dresses will still come in at less than $10 which works for me.

Plus, you can shop both Osh Kosh and Carters on the same site AND if you use the ebates, there's an addition 2.5% off. Happy Shopping!

Our Urban Suburban

Have you ever watched the show Urban Suburban on HGTV? It's a show where 2 hosts try to find a family their dream home. The "Urban" host tries to find them a downtown home that won't break the bank and still meet their space needs. The "Suburban" host tries to find the family a unique home in the suburbs. I've caught a few episodes and most recently, we've been living our own version of Urban-Suburban.

Since moving to Calgary, we've been looking for our "perfect home". It's neither urban nor suburban. It's something in-between. The suburb detached homes are nice and big but have long commutes and high maintenance requirements. The urban condos are too small for four but have the lure of low maintenance and easy commute. So we settle for the in-between: a decent-sized, semi-inner city townhouse.  + =
AND we found it. And made an offer. And it was accepted. And had an inspection. And it was good. And come September, we'll be the…

First Calgary Stampede

Scenes from the 100th Calgary Stampede parade

Review of Safety 1st Door Knob Covers

This is a picture review of the Safety 1st Door Knob Cover. They're cheap and easily available in stores but as you can see below, my 20 month old baby has them all figured out.

If you're looking to buy door knob covers, I recommend the ones made by Kidco


Splitting Twins Into Different Classes

This is the first week that the twins will be spending in different daycare classes. Before reading Emotionally Healthy Twins, the plan was to split them up in kindergarten but after reading the book and observing how the girls have become really adept at loving up and winding each other up, now seemed like a good time.

The daycare was planning to move the girls from Infant room to Toddler room at 19 months and that seemed like a good time to make the split as well. So far so good, I'm satisfied with the decision and would like to share how it went down and what I learnt in the process of splitting my twins into separate classes.

Involve the school/daycare staff in the decision making process: My daycare has a good policy of respecting parents' choices. When I went to the site director and requested that I would like them to put the girls in 2 different classes once they move up to toddler rooms; she was very enthusiastic and said if she had twins, she would do the same thing. I…