Tuesday, November 29, 2011

6 Months Old!

Happy half-year Teagan and Quinn!

6 Months Old!
A few updates from the last month:
  • The girls are grabbing things like crazy! If we dangle a toy over them, they will grab it and throw it around. They will also reach for toys while lying on their mat. They love grabbing at our faces now. Quinn is always grabbing my mouth. They also love to grab at anything on the table (ie. food, cups and cutlery). 
  • Teagan has learned to play 'peek-a-boo.' We will cover her face with a blankie and say, "Where's Teagan?" She will proudly pull the blankie off with a huge smile on her face!
  • Quinn loves to be pulled up when she's lying down. She now reaches out wanting someone to grab her hands to pull her up. 
  • They are working hard on sitting up. They can usually sit on there own for about 10-20 seconds before toppling over. They are still a bit wobbly but we're getting there :)
  • They're definitely ready to start solids. They are always following food and drinks to our mouths. While they might be ready, I don't know if I am! I'm happy that I've been able to give them breastmilk for the past six months. I'll continue to breastfeed until they're ready to stop (although if it were up to Teagan, she'd nurse until she was 5, which for the record, will not happen!). 
  • Teagan often sleeps on her stomach now. This made me nervous at first but she's very strong and can easily push herself up on her hands or roll back over. 
I hope that the next six months are as fun as the last! I love you, girls! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Twin Talk - Teagan and Quinn Style

Taking videos of Teagan and Quinn is tough because they always seem to notice the camera and then stop doing whatever adorable thing I was trying to capture. While lying on their mat this morning, I heard babbling and looked over to see them turned into one another. I quickly grabbed my phone and quietly taped their "conversation" until they finally saw me :)

Here is the first of many "twin talk" videos that I will post over the years!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Card Photo Shoot!

Our friend and photographer, Sarah, was kind enough to do a Christmas photo shoot for the girls this past weekend. We'll be sending out our first annual Christmas card! We are still undecided as to what picture(s) we're going to use. There are too many good ones! Here are a few great shots from the shoot:

Quinn refused to smile for the entire shoot! This is the
best that we could get :)

{this moment} Santa!!

A ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guest Post: Life as a Twin, From a Twin

I asked my friend and fellow blogger, Allison of Two Moms To Be, if she would be up for writing a guest post for me about what life was like growing up as a twin. Allison has a twin sister, Jennifer. Here's her story:

My sister, Jennifer, and I are identical twins.  Whenever someone new finds out, there is the inevitable question, “What is it like being a twin?”  My answer is always the same:  To me, it’s normal. 

Jennifer, “Baby A,” was born two minutes before me.  My mom had an emergency caesarean section after going into labour at seven months.  Prior to her arrival at the hospital she hadn’t known she was carrying twins.  My older brother was 11 pounds at birth, so as her stomach grew and grew, she just assumed she was going to have another enormous baby.  Instead she was surprised with two tiny ones. 

We spent our first month in incubators in the hospital.  Even with a month to prepare, my parents will admit that they weren’t sure quite what to do with us when they brought us home.  None of the newborn clothes fit so they ended up dressing us in doll clothes.  We were so small that they would put us in a single stroller when taking us out for walks.  There’s a photo of my dad holding one of us in each hand –our heads in his palms, our feet in the crook of his elbow. 

Sharing a stroller –maybe we could have used a double! 
 Fortunately for them, they had a good network of support.  Grandparents nearby.  An aunt and uncle who were happy to take my brother to their house to play, so they could have some quiete(r) time.  A wonderful neighbour who, when my mom had to return from her maternity leave after a few months, offered to care for us.

 In many ways I think things got easier as we got older.  My mom will often remark how nice it was that we always had someone to play with.  Granted, I think we got into a good bit of mischief together, like trying to get the dog to finger paint, playing hide and go seek in the department store, and making “snow” out of baby powder. Having Jennifer was like having a built-in best friend.
Age 5 - playing with dolls
Things weren’t always sunshine and rainbows though.  I remember getting quite frustrated with friends on the playground calling me “Allison or Jennifer,” as if we were interchangeable, and the constant remarks about how similar we looked.  By the time we reached age ten I was ready for more independence.  We had always been in the same class at school, but once we started middle school we were put into different classes.  I was happy with the change, but Jennifer had a harder time with it.  I remember getting so mad and shouting at her to find her own friends and to leave me and my friends alone.  We went to different high schools, but continued to have similar struggles.  Of course, there were still times where we would chat in our bedrooms (by that point, separate) for hours, share clothes, and go to concerts together, but looking back the teenage years were definitely the “dark years” in terms of our relationship with each other. 

I moved out of my mother’s house when I was 20.  Jennifer continued to live at home and I would see her when I went over for Sunday dinners and holidays.  Our relationship gradually improved. 

Jennifer sat at the head table at my wedding and I was the matron of honour when she got married.  When my wife and I were expecting our son, my sister gave us bags of clothing she had gathered to fit him over the course of his first year and she’s been our go-to babysitter for the past ten months.  Now that she’s expecting a little one, we’re going to be able to return the favours.

My sister’s wedding.
There are days when I never would have believed that I would be calling her to hang out, but it happens fairly frequently now.  And as far as friends go, I would consider her one of the best ones I have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sleep Regression - Graduation Day!

Quinn has officially graduated from her sleep bootcamp! We wanted her to have 3 good nights of sleeping past 5am before Teagan gets moved back into their room. Yesterday morning she slept until 7 and this morning she woke around 6:30. Huge progress! I have to say that I feel like a whole new person having had a few good nights of sleep!

From what I've learned, I'm really happy that we dealt with these issues early. I've met a few moms of 8 month old+ babies who are dealing with sleep issues. The issues have been difficult to resolve because their babies can now sit on their own and even pull themselves up. I think that this is when sleep sacks come in handy. They might make babies a little less mobile.

I know that we will not be without other sleep issues, but for now, I'll take what I can get!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sleep Regression (Part II)

Four nights ago, we started Quinn's 'sleep bootcamp'. She went from sleeping through the night to waking up to six times wanting her soother back. We were going crazy. So, for the last four nights, Teagan has slept in a pack n play in our room and Quinn has had their room to herself.

On Wednesday and Thursday night, I slept in the guest room, which is right next to the girls' room. Jenn slept in our room with Teagan. They had a loud white noise machine playing so that they could get a good night's sleep.

The first two nights were rough. Quinn woke several times screaming. I know that she's not hungry because she has proved for months that she can easily sleep until at least 5am. Before starting bootcamp, we would go in there and put the soother back in her mouth. She would settle within seconds. For the last few nights, we would give her the soother at bedtime but that was it. Once she lost it, she wasn't going to get it until the next day (unless she figured out how to put it in her own mouth). Listening to her cry wasn't easy. I checked on her once during both nights but didn't pick her up. As hard as it was, we had no choice. We couldn't continue getting up several times per night.

By Friday night, I was so exhausted from being awake for several hours on the previous two nights. It was Jenn's turn to take a shift so I could get some much-needed sleep. There was a marked improvement! She only woke twice on Friday night and didn't eat until 7am on Saturday morning.

And now, the news I'm proud to report....Quinn slept through the night last night! She woke around 6:30 and ate breakfast with her sister at 7am! We are cautiously optimistic!

Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment} Reaching Out

A ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sleep Regression (Part I)

You might remember my STTN (Sleeping Through The Night) post from a couple of months ago. Ah, what I wouldn't give to go back to those days! You don't often hear new parents say that they want to go back when it comes to babies and sleep. Sleep for babies, as we've realized, takes two steps forward and one step back.

Up until very recently, Jenn and I were waking up well-rested after 7-8 consecutive hours of sleep per night. Others were jealous. We were happy as can be! Don't get me wrong, we worked very hard to get our girls sleeping that well. Teagan (still) is our champion sleeper, or Queen Sleeper as Jenn recently named her. Since she was 10 weeks old, she's been sleeping from 7:30pm - 7am. Quinn wasn't far behind. She was sleeping from 7:30pm - 5am-ish. I'd feed her for about 10 minutes and then she'd go back to sleep until 7am. It was GLORIOUS!

Sadly in the last couple of weeks, Quinn has regressed...big time! She has started waking up several times (2-6 times) per night. We know that she's not hungry. She simply wants her beloved soother back. She'll scream and we'll go into her room, put the soother in her mouth and stand with her for a few minutes. We never pick them up during the night. There is no rocking to sleep in this house. We're all about teaching them to self-soothe. Last night was the worst night of all. She woke at midnight and proceeded to wake 6 more times in the span of about 45 minutes. We were losing our minds. We have no problem letting her cry a bit but that means that the Queen Sleeper will most likely be woken up. Ah twins!

And so begins night #1 of Quinn's sleep bootcamp. After consulting with Eva, we've decided to put Teagan in our bedroom in a pack n play with Jenn for a few nights. We'll give her a white noise machine so that she'll sleep soundly. Quinn will stay in her crib and I'll sleep in the guest room with the monitor. The goal is for Quinn to learn how to soothe herself back to sleep by a) sucking on her hand/thumb or b) learning to put the soother back in her mouth.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Teagan and Quinn Have Two Mommies

I had heard people say that when you have kids (especially once they start talking), you have to come out over and over again. As the girls and I take part in more classes and meet more people, I feel like this couldn't be more true.

We are fortunate to live in a very open-minded and diverse city like Toronto. I'm actually surprised by the number of people who will use the word "partner," as opposed to "husband" in conversation. Regardless, I still frequently get asked 'what my husband does?' or receive comments about how 'my husband and I must have our hands full.' There are times when I'll just nod and smile because explaining seems like too much work. More often than not though, I'll have to explain.

When it comes to having twins, many people often assume that you must have had fertility issues and therefore used IVF. I referred to this in earlier blog entries. I often get asked if twins run in my family or my "husband's family." My grandfather was a twin so that is an easy-enough response.

As I said before, I feel very lucky to live in such an amazing city. I have no problems explaining to others that our family doesn't have a husband or father. Long before having the twins, I remember feeling worried about our future children not having strong male role models in their lives. That fear was quickly squashed when the girls arrived. My dad and brothers have been an integral part of the girls' lives from day one. The way that the girls smile at my dad or giggle at my brothers' funny faces truly warms my heart.

The Globe & Mail, a Canadian newspaper, ran a story about lesbian moms over the weekend. "A series of studies in Canada and elsewhere over the past decade has found that the children of lesbians aren't just well-adjusted – they excel. On average, kids with two moms seem to be more confident and less aggressive than those raised by a mom and a dad. They are open-minded, affectionate and less susceptible to anxiety and depression." It's amazing to read about how far gay parents have come over the last few decades. While our girls will have some common challenges growing up, I feel confident that challenges related to having two moms will be few and far between.

{this moment}

A ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Product Review: Stonz boots

I came across Stonz booties last year when my friend's infant daughter was wearing them. While I've perfected my method, getting two babies ready to go out, especially as the weather gets colder, can take a bit of time. After seeing how quick and easy the Stonz booties were to get on last winter, I knew that we had to get them for the girls.

Stonz is a Canadian company, based in Vancouver. I always like to support my peeps when I can. Since they're a Canadian company, you know that they have to have well-made boots! Canadians are used to cold and snow, right?! The boots have a water and wind-resistant nylon exterior and are lined with fleece so they'll keep your baby's feet toasty warm. You can also purchase Linerz, sherpa-fleece liners for added warmth. With two drawstrings, the boots are a snap to get on. When I put them on the girls before our walk the other day, it took me half the time of putting on shoes.

The feet of our proud little Canadian, Teagan
Stonz boots are definitely the quick and easy answer to keeping your little one's feet warm and dry this winter!