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Showing posts from March, 2014

I Read 123 Magic and Grew...

1-2-3 Magic is a kiddie discipline book written by Dr Thomas Phelan and beloved by many parents including parents of twins. To be honest, it probably has a bit of a cult following. I first heard about it on one my parenting forums and must have borrowed and returned to the library 5 times before I finally got around to reading it cover-to-cover


It's a good book. Even if you don't adopt everything it says, there's a few good tips in there that make parenting 3 year old twins easier. The 2 main lessons I walked away with after reading?

Be consistent - give kids the same message about your expectations all the time, every time. Say what you mean and mean what you say when it comes to behaviour and consequences for kids. In other words, no empty threatsSo what happened next? Public timeout! 

I used to be one of those people who felt really embarrassed when my kids acted up in public.When they were acting up, all I could see was my parenting skills being judged and found wa…

How Many Activities Does a 3 Year Old Need?

Swimming, soccer, sportsball, gymnastics, jazz dance, ballet, cycling, art....

That's a short list of the activities currently available for my twins this summer. They're 3 so they don't qualify for karate, singing, piano, etc. 

Come winter, we'll add skating to the list.

If we have country club in our genes, we could add tennis, horse riding and maybe even golf

Before getting caught up in the frenzy of having kids (TWINS) in multiple activities, I had to stop and ask myself a few questions

Why do the kids have to take part in any activity?

Because living in a city where the winter is truthfully 7 months long, we need a physical activity to tire the girls out on weekends.Because kids need to have funBecause they need to start learning about teamwork and listening to an authority figure and getting along with their peersBecause they need to be exposed to a variety of activities so that they can discover their likes and dislikesBUT But can't  we have fun and get some ex…

3R Aids for the Three & Half Year Old

Just before the girls turned 3, I wrote a post about the tools and methods I was using to teach them their 3Rs - Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. This is more or less an update post for the 3-1/2 year olds.

PS: The comments by Johanna and Samantha on that post were really helpful to me and worth a read.

READING: Following up on the good work done by the LeapFrog Letter Factory "movie" we've graduated to sounding words and actively practicing phonetics. Right now this involves me coming up with a word and having the girls guess the first letter of the word based on their knowledge of phonetics

aRITHMETIC: Fingers and toes have been very useful tools in learning how to count around here. The twins are also recognizing double digit numbers and I'm just waiting to break out the abacus and start teaching basic addition

wRITING: There are 3 things that have proven to be most useful in the girls learning to write their letters

The Elmo ABC app on my iPad - they trace letters wit…

Scheduling in Homeschool

No you're not on the wrong blog and no I have not grown a home-schooling gene overnight. However, in my one year experiment of researching elementary schools in Calgary, one big factoid jumped out at me. 

I've heard President Obama say that over and over again in so many speeches but it wasn't until I took a closer look at the educational system that I "got" it. We the parents will always be the first and best teachers our kids have.

Before last year, I erroneously assumed that the more you spent on your kids education, the better the quality. This of course fueled my thinking that private schools are better than public schools. However, at least in Calgary, there are public schools that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best private schools. The public schools may not have the funds and resources of the private schools, but the combination of good teachers and involved parents will triumph every time.

So with that lesson learnt, it's time for action. One of  

Parenting with Lists & Bullet Points

It's 13 degreesC in Calgary today y'all. That means SPRING is definitely in the air and after spring comes summer. And with summer comes summer lists...

I have some loose family plans for the whole year and I know that this summer, I'll have a to-do list of stuff because I love lists. Making lists is one of my favorite pastimes. As with any important activity, being intentional with the plans is a critical component to success. When I had the girls, I prayed and hoped that I would be an intentional parent and I try to live that out by defining goals and then making a list with the little steps required to meet those goals. (Kinda similar to what I did in researching elementary schools for the girls)

With that in mind, I finally put pen to paper on my goals for intentionally parenting my 3 year old twins in 2014  and it looks something like this:

This list is very specific to us. The social-emotional goals are focused on issues that the girls can encounter as twins and as…

Which Booster Car Seat?

In my last post, I shared that my twins were rapidly outgrowing their Britax Marathon convertible seats and would need to move into booster car seats before the fall. And with that knowledge comes the question "which booster car seat is the best for us?"

Choosing Booster Car Seat 101

There are 2 main types of booster car seats - harnessed and non-harnessed. The harnessed ones have shoulder harnesses for a 5-point fit while the non-harnessed do not. Under the non-harnessed category, you also have the highbacks and the backless. I prefer the harnessed because my girls are on the small side even though they are tall. Harnessed seats are recommended for kids under 40lbs. Check the current list of Best Bets as tested by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). This is important because there are some popular brands that have been on the best bet list for a longtime but fell off the list in 2013. The Britax models I would have normally gone for, were rated "Check Fit&…

Seated Shoulder Height

Seated Shoulder Height!

What's that? It's the new buzzword in the carseat safety business. Simply put, its the height of the kid from butt to shoulder

Why is it important? When your kid who is within the height and weight specs of the carseat starts complaining about being uncomfortable or having back aches after sitting, it's time to whip out the tape measure. Two kids can be the same height but have different torso lengths which will affect how comfortably they fit into their car seats.

I know that when I bought the girls' Britax Marathons almost 2 years ago, Seated Shoulder Height was not an official thing. Now it is and details can be found on the Britax website here

I measured the girls and Spice has a Seated Shoulder Height of 14.5 inches while Sugar is around 16 inches. 

What next? I plugged the girls' numbers in the Britax "Fit My Child" tool and theoretically they're still good for their Marathons. However the maximum Seated Shoulder Height for …