31 Letters to a Twin Mom

Like I did last year, I'm going to spend the month of October participating in 31 days of change being hosted by the Nester blog. My topic for this October? 31 letters to the twin mom I have been over the last 31 months. It's a reflection of the good, the bad and the "what the...?" 

So for the 31 days of October, I'll have:

  1. One month pregnant with twins - This time will be different
  2. Two months pregnant with twins - Courage and stupidty
  3. Three months pregnant with twins - Pregnancy style 101
  4. Four months pregnant with twins - Twin pregnancy is scary business
  5. Five months pregnant with twins - A blog is cheaper than a shrink
  6. Six months pregnant with twins - Murphy was a woman pregnant with twins
  7. Seven months pregnant with twins - Read the return policy
  8. Eight months pregnant with twins - Let 'em bake
  9. Brand new mom of twins - The day my life changed
  10. Mom of 1 month old twins - Post-partum hormones are dangerous
  11. Mom of 2 month old twins - Breastfeeding twins is hard AND possible
  12. Mom of 3 month old twins - Just the three of us
  13. Mom of 4 month old twins - Sleeptraining is not for wimps
  14. Mom of 5 month old twins - Twin mom vs Octopus
  15. Mom of 6 month old twins - Babies are mini-bites of God's love
  16. Mom of 7 month old twins - Don't think too hard mama
  17. Mom of 8 month old twins - Shakespeare said it best
  18. Mom of 9 month old twins - Honoring 2 cultures
  19. Mom of 10 month old twins - Mom, Imma let you finish
  20. Mom of 11 month old twins - Everything you need's in the suitcase
  21. Mom of 12 month old twins - Home is where the heart is
  22. Mom of 13 month old twins - Babies will eat anything
  23. Mom of 14 month old twins - Enjoy both the little things and the big things
  24. Mom of 15 month old twins - Keep calm eh?!
  25. Mom of 16 month old twins
  26. Mom of 17 month old twins - Dear stranger
  27. Mom of 18 month old twins - Are you smarter?
  28. Mom of 19 month old twins - First summer in Calgary
  29. Mom of 20 month old twins
  30. Mom of 21 month old twins
  31. Mom of 22 month old twins 
The numbers actually work out perfectly! The girls will be 23 months in October and 2 years old in November. I think I am transitioning into a new parenting era and this series will give me an opportunity to reflect on the era ending. 

Hope you stick around to enjoy; I'm having fun writing it!

  


6 Discipline Tips That Work For Twin Toddlers


These two smiling faces are the ones that come to my mind when I think of where I want to take my girls behaviour-wise in a year's time. Their mommy in my opinion is a great example of the balance I am trying to achieve with Sugar and Spice when it comes to discipline. Her style is firm but not stiffling. Her girls are lively AND well-behaved. I was tickled pink when MandyE agreed to share her discipline tips in this guest post. Read, enjoy and be blessed!

When Olusola asked me to write on the topic of discipline, I was at once honored and scared.  While I think our 3 ½-year old twin girls are generally well-behaved, I feel like a pretty far cry from an expert on the art of discipline.

I’m here to share a few of the overarching tenets of what has worked for us over the past couple of years.  I don’t know that there are any “answers” here, but I hope it might spur some dialogue.  The only thing I’m certain of is that there’s no one right answer, and we can all learn at least a little something from each other.

1.  Use positive phrases


I read this somewhere when our girls were much smaller, that children respond better to a phrase such as, “Hands off!” versus “Don’t touch!”  It sometimes requires some thinking in how to phrase something more positively, but I think it makes sense.

I’m telling my girls what they can / should do, instead of what they can’t do.

It certainly makes for a more positive atmosphere at our house, and I think that’s good for all our psyches. 

Further, I try to reserve saying “NO!” for situations in which it really matters, like when someone is in danger.  I like to think that, since the girls don’t often hear that command, it makes much more of an immediate impression.


2.  Give choices

In keeping with the positive lexicon, I try to give my girls choices when I can…choices that all result in my desired outcome, of course.  My favorite example is, instead of saying, “Don’t stand on the sofa,” I tell the girls, “Get your bottom on the seat or your feet on the carpet.”  Either is a win.

3.  Position your children to succeed

Since our girls were infants, we’ve adhered to a daily schedule for meals, naps, and bedtime.  Given that, I can project when our girls will be more attentive, and when they’re more likely to fidget and not follow directions.

It’s not always convenient with what I want to do, but I don’t take my girls out when they’re hungry or tired.  If naptime is approaching, it’s not fair of me to expect them to behave as they would mid-morning, when they’ve just had a reenergizing snack.

Likewise, I’m not going to take my girls browsing for fine china by myself.  There are too many temptations, and a small misstep (which is going to happen occasionally!) could have huge ramifications.

Finally, I go back to the idea of options.  For example, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect a child to go into a store and literally not touch one single thing.  I tell the girls that they can touch things with one finger.  “One finger, please!” I’ll remind them as they start to reach for something bright and shiny.  That gives them a little bit of autonomy…but – excepting a china shop – touching most things at Target or the grocery store with one finger is generally pretty harmless.

4.  Pick a method of punishment that has meaning relative to your child’s age

When the girls were small, I spent a lot of time distracting them from undesirable behavior.  I can’t remember the exact moment in time, but at some point – maybe 18 months or so? – consequences-based discipline began to make sense.  If our girls threw a toy, that toy was put into “time out” for a period of time.  If our girls took their shoes off in the back of the car, they had to be carried into the restaurant instead of being allowed to walk.

I first tried using time-outs when our girls were about two, but it seemed like a huge game to them.  They were much closer to three when they started to dislike time out…and I silently threw a little party!

After consulting with a handful of more experiences mamas, I decided to employ the “1-2-3 Magic” approach, by which a child get two reminders for minor infractions before she’s put into time out.

A big tenet of this methodology is that the adult is to maintain her cool, counting infractions without emotion.  I repeat to myself so often, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”  This is meant to reinforce to the child that it’s her actions that are resulting in the consequences.  And I think it helps avoid children seeking attention – especially negative attention.

5.  Respond to positive behavior, and do not respond to negative behavior

I praise my girls when they are behaving nicely.  I try not to go overboard…I don’t want to have them constantly seeking affirmation…but when they use nice manners, for example, I’ll acknowledge it by saying, “Thank you for asking so nicely.”

On the other end of the spectrum, I saw a quote from a friend a few months ago, oddly very related to parenting.  “I do not respond to terrorism.” 

If our girls try to demand more milk, their words will be met with a certain raised eyebrow, or perhaps a blank stare.  They are quickly (and silently) reminded to reword their request.

If our girls whine, I’ll calmly remind them, “I need you to use your big-girl words.  Mommy can’t understand whining.”

And…especially thinking about those tantrums that can be indicative of the two’s and three’s (and beyond???)…the crying doesn’t phase me.  Of course it does sometimes phase me, at which point you’ll find me repeating, “Never let ‘em see you sweat…I do not respond to terrorism…this, too, shall pass…bedtime will be here in three more hours.”  J  I’m mostly kidding, though.  At least to date, when our girls see that they won’t get their way with tears, they snap out of it pretty quickly.

6.  Be realistic

Kids are kids.  I sometimes have to remind myself that my three-year old may be able to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but she’s still only three...still largely motivated by what she wants, when she wants it.  It’s my job to help her shape her actions, but it’s all relative. 

Wow…I didn’t plan to write a book of my own here!  If you’re still with me, thank you for reading. 

At the end of the day, we are all finding our way through raising our children.  Every child is different, and we often have to work to figure out what works with each of our kiddos.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on these topline points.  What’s worked at your house?
 
Mandy's Thing 1 and Thing 2
Now THOSE are what I consider simple and achievable tips that can actually set a parent of twins (and singleton) toddlers up for success. Do me a favor please, stop  by Mandy's blog and tell her "Thank You" for me

Further Reading


The No-Cry Discipline Solution

In my ongoing pursuit of discipline tips for toddlers, I went to the library to borrow The Happiest Toddler on the Block. Unfortunately, it was out on loan so I borrowed The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This is a review of the book.  

Contents: The book is divided into 4 sections. The first section deals with the parentin attitudes essential for No-Cry Discipline. The second section deals with parenting skills and tools. The third section deals with staying calm and avoiding anger. In the last section, the author shares tips for specific situations. 

My Review: I found the third section to be the most useful because it encourages a parent to dissociate their perception of a child's misbehaviour from the child's actual thoughts. In other words, a misbehaving child is not an indictment of failure on a parent. Apart from this section, I found it hard to relate to or accept the advice this book was advocating. Most of the suggested skills and tools in section 2 just didn't click with me and I found only a few of the tips in section 4 applicable for my unique situation as a mother trying to discipline toddler twins.  

I wasn't too enthusiastic about borrowing this book because I suspected it would lean towards the principles of attachment parenting and I was right. There's nothing wrong with attachment parenting, it's just not my style. I will be going back to the library to stalk the Happiest Baby on the Block  

Potty in The Family Room

Dear Mom I was in 2011,

Look at you! Type A mom with plans of potty training your twins with a wand and a snap of your fingers all within the confines of the bathroom. I remember the look of horror on your face; the first time you saw a blogger post a photo of a potty that was not positioned in the toilet. All those germs free to roam the family living spaces and let's not forget the "sweet" smell of pooped-by-a-now-eating-solids-toddler.
Don't scoff! One day you too will position a potty in the middle of your living room.
And you will survive the experience
And you will empty the potty without cringing or holding your nose
And you will throw away the spoon that somehow found its way into the potty.
Look how far you've come, old me. I hope you've humbly learnt your lesson.

love,
me Mom of today

Thank you for reading; this post was written with much love by

Favorite Books at 22 Months

The girls love most of their books for different reasons but these two stand out from the rest


My Little Word Book 
This is a board book with actual and realistic photos of animals, food, clothes, toys etc. All in all, there are 216 photos (yes, I was OCD enough to count.) The twins love this because as their vocabulary increases, they are able to recognize a lot of things and ask me to name them in the book. I'm quite proud of the fact that Spice recognizes and can name most of the items on the food and drink page as well as the animals.



Five Little Ducks
I originally bought this book when the girls were going through their "duck" phase. They loved ducks and could "quack" for minutes on end. This is actually a book of action nursery rhymes and on each page, there are sketches of a monkey demonstrating the hand motions for the rhyme. Well would you know it, a few nights ago I saw that Sugar would turn the page and imitate the hand actions of the monkeys illustrated. Her ability to translate a picture in a book into motion amazes me and makes me really respect the kid-smartness behind this book.


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Teaching Kids Moderation by Example

Issues of discipline have been on my mind lately - I have 22 month old twins! The conclusion for me is that toddlers need the first two forms of discipline: practice of good behaviour and penalties for misbehaviour. (Hopefully more practices than penalties). Part of developing good habits is to learn moderation and I've asked Kristin, a fellow multiples mama to share. I hope you enjoy the story she's sharing as much as I do
  *     *     *
Teaching our Kids Moderation by Example

The shears are close to his ears and I can see his chin start to quiver. He looks at me like, "Don't do it mom. Don't let this lady cut my ears off. I'm so young. Save me." The woman in her apron looks at me as he screams and throws his head forward and back and says, "I can't cut his hair unless he calms down. Can I give him a sucker?" I look at him, crying and clearly being scarred as we speak. We have a family gathering! He can't go looking like Cousin It. I look at my two girls, at my feet, on the verge of pulling down the whole dvd rack or even worse, making a run for it.  

It was like the record stopped and the spotlight was on me. It is one of those mothering moments of truth. What choice will she make? Stick to her guns about no candy this young or give in and get the dang haircut...and give him the dumb dum-dum?

Well, let's just say, he got a hair cut and kept both of his ears. The girls watched the trimming episode with no attempts to escape. All was right in the world for eight minutes. And all was even alright after the eight minutes...the eight minutes of sticky sucking, licking and eventually chewing of those little suckers. No one turned into a pumpkin, my parenting license was not revoked and they have never even once uttered the word, or a resemblance to, suckers.
They had a sucker at nineteen months and it wasn't so bad.

I still struggle with giving my kids items like animal crackers, cookies, cupcakes or candy because I know there is NO nutritional value in those cavity inducing items. It kills me because it seems like just yesterday they were tiny, innocent and un-touched by the world of sugar and filth...happily sucking away at their bottle and pleased with the occasional spoonful of sweet potato mash.
Sisters join the fun




But they are kids. They aren't little versions of me that I get to give a chance of "doing that sweet tooth over." They are wide eyed, happy and curious little people that deserve to know the joy of food and the occasional thrill of a treat. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my dad stirring my ice cream until it was so smooth it was like pudding. Or when my Grandpa would get out his fresh strawberries, covered in sugar like a winter snow frosting. And let us not forget summer push pops or cupcakes at birthday parties.

My job as the mom is to not say "NO!!" in haste to every sucker or cupcake that comes my child's way, but to let them enjoy, and then follow up with the gentle reminder that this a treat - one to be savored and celebrated. I hope to teach my kids not only moderation, but the proper way to enjoy desserts here and there, rather than expect them every time a plate is clean. I also hope to introduce "senseless" choices once in awhile, teaching them that part of the joy of life is indulging and savoring in delicious foods, just because they taste good...especially when shared with others!

My job is also to lead by example...so when that afternoon opens up and we are right next to a cupcake shop - I will go in, have a rare cupcake and make a special memory with my children. I don't have to always pass on the cupcake that makes me think twice about fitting in my favorite jeans. Together, we can indulge in a lazy afternoon over a sugary, dense cake and whipped layered frosting. However, my bet is the craving of a chocolate cupcake will come and go, while the laughs and mess we shared together over an occasional finger licking good time will linger forever.

Do you lead by example with moderation?  
Be nourished,
Kristin Hackman

Kristin Hackman
Kristin is the author and founder of justbreathemama.com - a website promoting health and emotional balance amidst the chaos and demands of motherhood. She speaks from the heart, as she tries to figure it all out while raising her toddler triplets, staying sane and savoring the gift of marriage to her husband of five years. Together they live in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thank you for reading; 

22 Month Old Royals

My princesses turned 22 months yesterday and with age comes royalty. I’m not talking royalty ala Disney’s Aurora and Ariel though; it’s more of a royal rumble in the Calgary jungle. All that’s missing is the extra-large boxing gloves. So let me tell you what mini-Ali and mini-George have been up to in the last one month:
Food Style
Apples: Ali likes her apples skinless and sliced very thinly. George likes her apples in quarters
Shishi (Chicken): Ali will transform a chicken wing to mere bones in 4 minutes on a good day. George prefers her chicken diced and daintily place in her mouth
Apu (actually plums): Ali will take a few bites of the fleshy part of a plum and she’s done. George eats it clean to the seed.
Fashion Style
Ali is now fashion conscious and love to tell mommy EXACTLY what she wants to wear in the morning. She seems to question my fashion-savvy
Both girls now love having bows and such on their hair. Exciting for a mom who purchased 40 plus pieces of hair doodahs over a year ago and may finally get to use them.
Play Style
Occasionally Ali tries to carry George and I’m thinking can a 24-pounder lift a 23-pounder? So far the answer is no!
Mirroring is also a favorite pastime especially at bedtime. I put them in bed and they spend the next 10 minutes playing the wordless version of Simon-Says. Actions include dancing, stomping, jumping and running around the crib.
Firsts for the month
First stuffed toy that they’re somewhat attached to: Sock Monkey from Walmart
First bout of toddler diarrhea X2
First use of blanket in cribs. The girls love having blankets to cover their feet. I got the SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket for when they were infants but did not use it for swaddling. It’s coming in useful now because unlike the typical baby blankets that are 30 inches square, this blanket is 42 inches square and cozy to snuggle in.
Fight Style
One word “FIESTY!”
Referee Style
Clueless! Mommy’s reading discipline books and enlisting the help of two other blogger moms of multiples. I’ll be sharing their guest posts later this week. For now, here's a photo of our resident best friends.
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Getting Decor Ideas for Our New Home

The excitement has slowly been building up for me since we waived the conditions on our soon-to-be new home. To stop me from driving myself crazy, I've spent the last few months browsing for design ideas. My favorite sources have been:  

Houzz: This is an app that has millions of decor pictures. The pictures can be browsed by room, decor style or by metro area. There's also a search function - I've been doing a lot of searching for "grey walls" and "murals". One great feature is that I can save my favorite pictures in an ideabook with notes.
  

Snapshot of my Houzz ideabook
 Furniture and home decor stores: When I had a few free hours last week, I went browsing furniture stores in the area. The good thing with doing this is you get an idea of what's available in the area and pricing. Plus furniture store displays that are like mini-rooms are a treasure trove of ideas for home accents  

Blogs: Lots of decor blogs out there in the blogosphere but there are very few I can relate to. On that short list are Emily Clark and Holly Mathis. These two blogs have opened my eyes to the possibilities of DIY work and finding unique pieces on craigslist. Thanks to them, I MAY consider welding a spray can of paint for some fancy furniture work.  

Pinterest: Would this list be complete without a mention of pinterest? I'm starting to fall out of love with Pinterest (not sure I was ever in love actually) but I still collate ideas on my Our New House board.  

MLS listings: I love to browse the high-end homes on our mls website. I figured out if a house is worth a million dollars, the owners probably hired an interior decorator and I can get some tips from checking out their cribs.  

HGTv: That's actually the only bit of TV I watch these days

Right now, we're in countdown mode and my heart is beating just a little faster. Anybody else decor stalking?

Thank you for reading; this post was written with much love by

Baby Jogger City Mini - 18 Months Later

It's been 18 months since I first got the Baby Jogger City Mini Double stroller and sang it's praises. Where do I stand today? The stroller has it's pros and cons but there's still no stroller currently in the market that I'd rather own.   Let's start with the cons.
  • Basket: The basket is so hard to access and limited in what it can hold that it's almost useless. On day trips to places like the zoo, I do envy those moms with huge stroller baskets. To combat this problem, the Mommy Hook has come in very useful
  • Wheel: One of the front well occasionally gets stuck in that straight mode but I think a little grease or some kind of maintenance is all that's needed
  • Back Support: The stroller has a soft back support and seems to make the girls slouch. The company does sell firmer back support pads for $20 each. I found one to buy in store but it didn't fit my stroller. Not happy about this at all and buying the back support from their US site and shipping to Canada and hoping it fits is not an attractive proposition
  • Costly and hard to find accessories: The stroller comes plain. Things like belly bar and cup holders have to be purchased separately for a pretty penny
Onto the pros
  • Full recline seats: A really useful feature when the girls were infants with no neck support. It didn't feel too comfortable though so if I had to do it again I'll get two of those Infant Snuzzler thingies to cushion the girls.
  • Trimness: I'm yet to meet a doorway I can't fit this stroller through
  • Flat and easy fold: The unique fold of this stroller means I can fit other things into my trunk alongside the stroller. (It also means that my car is an awesome little thing)
  • Generous Canopy: That went toe to toe with the snow in St John's Newfoundland and the sun in San Antonio and won both events
  • Maneuverability: The Baby Jogger City Mini Double's number one asset is that it is soooo easy to maneuver regardless of how big the kids are. My daily commute involves a 30 minute walk, 12 doorways and the occasional old elevator that will snap your limbs off if you don't move fast enough. My stroller has been an asset in making these adventures just a little easier.
Did I miss something? I don't think so. The Baby Jogger 2011 City Mini Double Stroller costs around $400 and in my opinion has been worth every penny.

As in love as I sound in this post, I wasn't paid to write it. Just have to share what has been one of the better buys of my twin parenthood. I leave you with a pic of the stroller protecting the kids for what was a very smouldering San Antonio sun.

Look at those cute, teeny, chunky legs. I miss those days!

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Mazda5: The Micro Minivan That Could

I remember the day we bought the Madza5 minivan vividly. I wasn't exactly a happy car buyer. I was swapping a sporty red Mazda3 for a white minivan. My swagger felt wounded but we bought the car anyway. It was in October of 2010 and I was already past 36 weeks pregnant so we couldn't put off buying a new twin-friendly car any longer.  
A month later, I started to appreciate the "hauling" capacity of my micro-minivan. This is almost 2 years later and I must say, the Mazda5 is quite a hauler inspite of it's small appearance. In the last 2 years, apart from my 2 babies, I've also hauled
  1. Gazillion bags of groceries
  2. Diapers and wipes by the cartons
  3. 3 strollers at the same time: A double stroller, a single Chicco stroller AND a snap n go stroller
  4. 4 adults and 2 babies (VERY cozy setup)
  5. 2 area rugs and a bar stool
  6. A wagon with its trailer
  7. An outdoor playhouse (30 minutes of sweat in 55degF weather to get this puppy in, but we did it)
  8. A toy kitchen and toy washing machine
  9. An Ikea table and chair
Groceries, baby distilled water and double stroller
Hauling the twin wagon and trailer. Was still able to fit grocery bags in there
Ikea chair and table plus double stroller AND I didn't have to adjust the 2nd row seats

I'm quite satisfied with this car. It doesn't have the zoom-zoom factor of the Mazda3, but it does what it was bought to do just fine.

Do share, what's your greatest hauling achievement? Mine's definitely the table and chair in the last picture.

This is a fun post to link up to Ginger's Wordful Wednesday. She's potty training y'all and I'm all ears.

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Chores for 22 Month Olds

In my last monthly update, I mentioned that the girls like to help out and I'm making a conscious effort to give them "tasks".

So as part of their nightly chores, I get them to mop the floors and take out the trash!

I call them chores but they're really just little tasks to redirect their energies and once they know something is their job, they are very focused on completing the task at hand. Our task list includes
  - taking their dirty clothes to the hamper
 - handing over the clean dishes in the dishwasher to mommy (only done with one child at a time and on the rare occasion that they are in the kitchen with me)
- helping to transfer the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer
- *drumroll please* picking up their toys before bedtime. This is such a big one for me. It takes 7-10 minutes and involves me pointing at every toy in the living room and asking them to take it to their toy corner. The more we do this, the more they grasp the concept. I do need to buy some toy boxes so that they're actually putting the toys away.

Ok, so I fibbed about the mopping and the trash but not the rest. Yes, toy cleanup is possible at this age :)

This post is linked up to Teresa's Multiples Monday

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Going to the Movies With Toddlers

It appears that quite a few of the big name movie theatre chains have special movie packages for parents with very young kids. I've been looking into the ones available to us in Calgary. Our options are:  
Cineplex Odeon (Canada). They host Cineplex Family Favorites at 11:00am on Saturdays. This is available in select theatres only but is quite a good deal with a $2.50 admission tag. With them, you don't get to pick the movie and my main concern with this is that the movies will run well into naptime (12:30 - 2:30ish) and that could make the babies cranky. More information and current listings are available on their website

Empire Theatres (Canada)
Their program is called the Empire Reel Babies and to quote the website,
"Twice a month, you can see a new release 'grown-up' movie in a baby-friendly environment. We keep the lights on dim, and lower the volume so you can watch the film while caring for your little one. Each Reel Babies auditorium is equipped with a change table, bottle warmer, play mat, exersaucer and baby swing so you can attend to your baby without missing that crucial kiss, diss, or explosion"
In Calgary, the tickets are $10 and movie times are Wednesday afternoon. Hard to pull off except I'm on vacation

AMC Theatres (USA)
AMC theatres have their Bring Your Baby Matinee in select theatres on the first Tuesday of every month. According to the website; brighter lights, lower volume, stroller parking and breastfeeding is accepted.
As an aside, AMC also offers a Sensory Friendly Films event for families affected by Autism

Their Diaper Days and Date Nights program sounds like good fun for $7.50. They have daytime screenings on first and third Wednesdays of the month as well as evening screenings 2 Tuesdays every month. I do like the time flexibility they offer but unfortunately the only have 5 locations scattered around California

Camera Cinemas is just one of the many smaller theatres in the US offering baby-friendly movies. To find one in your area, google "mommy matinee" + the name of your city.

For us, I would love to take the girls to the movies at least once for the experience of it but I don't think there's a suitable opportunity available that can accomodate our current schedule. Oh well, we'll stick to reruns of the Cat in The Hat for now.


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If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, .

Imaginative Baby Proofing

Do you remember this post? Well, here's how I solved that problem. I'm short one headband but at least now the shoes and coats stay IN the closet.


  Superyard: For babies and TVs to stay safe in  

Can you relate? It's amazing how many things around the house can pull double duty.

Linking up with my Calgary peeps, Ms Ginger's Wordful/Wordless Wednesday

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Choosing a Preschool

"Start Registering for Preschool"   That's the reminder that stared me in the face on Saturday. I had set the reminder earlier in the year that come September, I would start registering the twins for preschool. Why so early you ask? Well, turns out some preschools in Calgary have serious waitlists. I'm talking over a year here so it's not too early to start looking for a preschool that fits in with my personal circumstances.

Emphasis on the word "FULL"
I've got a lot to think about and (limited) choices to consider including:

Location: The preschool has to be located in close proximity to my home-to-work commute route. That is what sets the boundary conditions for the preschools I will consider.

Full time or Part time? Full day or half day? Unless something unexpected happens, I plan to still be working fulltime outside the home next year so I definitely need a full time, full day preschool program. The alternative would be to signup for a half day program and get a nanny or some form of homecare. I don't like that alternative because it will involve too many changes to the girls' routine so my first choice will be a full time, full day program or a program with in-house extended care options
  

Program type: There are so many types of preschool programs in Calgary, the choice is mine to make. The programs I'm most leaning towards are the Christian ones and the Montessori ones. Very undecided on this yet.  

Accreditation: Not as big a deal for a preschool as it was when choosing infant care. I'm open to a preschool that's part of a larger, renowned educational body even if it's not accredited - I noticed that a number of the preschools affiliated with private schools in Calgary are not accredited. I'll evaluate based on a visit to the school  

Daycare vs School environment? Our current daycare has a preschool class and so do a number of private schools in the Calgary area. The question is do we continue with the daycare until kindergarten or switch to a preschool that's part of a private school structure. Each option has it's pros and cons.  

Daycare Preschool
* Pro: Hours fit into my work schedule
* Con: Limited to the daycare's chosen curriculum  

In-School Preschool (weird way to describe it)
* Pro: Girls get used to the school environment early
* Pro: There's a wider choice of programs available (See program type above)
* Con: Girls will have to be potty trained before admission. That may or may not be an issue as I just found out practically none of the kids under 3 in our daycare are potty trained
* Con: Some are part time or half day programs so I'll have to make complicated plans for extended care
*Con: The combination of school fees plus extended care is more expensive than sticking with a daycare

I've got my work cut out and I confess that I am not looking forward to it because it's looking like a clear case of when the desirable is not available, the available becomes desirable. Ending on that proverbial note.
Thank you for reading; this post was written with much love by
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