Wednesday, February 29, 2012

9 Months Old!

9 Months Old! The girls have officially been outside babies longer than they were inside babies. For me, this is a huge milestone. I was and still am proud of the fact that I carried the girls to 38 weeks. As tough as those last few weeks were, it was all worth it to give birth to two happy and healthy babies.


  • They are moving non-stop. They are extremely proficient army crawlers now. Gone are the days of running upstairs to grab something, knowing that they won't get into anything. I picked up a "pen" for them yesterday. I feel better knowing that I can contain them for a few minutes, if need be! 
  • Teagan took her first official real crawling steps tonight! She is also pulling herself up on everything she can.  She will pull herself onto her knees holding onto the bouncy chairs and hang out like that. She will often show off and hold on with just one hand. 
  • Quinn is always getting into something that she shouldn't. She loves cords. If my computer cord is hanging, she will get to it. If we forget to pull the charger out of the wall, she finds it. She also loves anything dog (as I mentioned in a previous post). She's always going for the dogs' food and water bowls. I usually put them up first thing in the morning. If there's a piece of dust on the floor, she'll even find that...and put it in her mouth. This is why I now vacuum and steam the floors every few days. 
  • Teagan has 2 teeth! After months of "teething," a tooth popped through without even a whimper. It's funny how that works. Quinny is still toothless but soon enough!
  • Despite only getting one bottle per day, they always hold their own bottle now. It makes solo bedtime feedings much easier. Teagan is a total show-off and will often hold her bottle with one hand. 
  • They continue to be excellent eaters. They have still only been eating fruits and veggies, but will be trying beans and legumes this month. Most recently, they tried swiss chard, kale, guacamole with sauteed garlic and onions, mangoes, peaches, cucumber...Quinn, despite having no teeth, has an amazing ability to gum hard foods. I steamed carrots so they were slightly softer but she still managed to gum through half of it. She adores zucchini for some reason and will go through zucchini sticks at lightning speed. She also proved to have an excellent pincer grasp recently but quickly and easily picking up pieces of banana. Teagan isn't as excited to feed herself, but will do it. She prefers me to feed her, especially blueberries!
  • They will respond to their names and know the word "no" now. I try to limit how often I use it, but do try to use it in a "warm but firm" voice, as we learned in one of our classes! 
  • All of the movement has turned the girls into amazing nappers. They will consistently take 1.5 hour morning naps and 1-2 hour afternoon naps. The morning nap is always taken at home but the afternoon nap is sometimes taken in the stroller or car seat depending on what we're up to for the day. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Raspberries!

If I haven't said it enough, Teagan is a complete ham. She makes the funniest facial expressions and noises. She recently started blowing raspberries (if you don't know what they means, watch the video). She does it ALL the time and thinks it's hilarious. In the last few days, she has decided that blowing raspberries while a spoon is coming at her mouth is a good idea...

video

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Few Recent Pictures

I haven't posted a ton of new pictures of the girls recently. They're changing so fast, so I don't want anyone to miss a beat!

One of our favourites of Teagan!
Quinn and Finn share a moment
Quinny loves bath time and now has enough hair
to make a mohawk!
Teagan's big eyes get me every time!
Such a Quinn face!
I often find Teagan and Quinn giggling under the table
This has become Teagan's signature pose!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Dairy Debate

A little while ago, a friend asked me to write a post about dairy. She was in the midst of doing a detox but they had decided that they were going to cut out dairy all together.

First off, I do have some dairy in my diet. I have a weakness for good cheese, but do not eat it every day. I do not drink milk though. We have almond milk in our house instead. Overall, I do not believe that dairy is necessary in our every day diet and if my dairy consumption caused any adverse reactions, I would cut it out instantly.

Whenever I'm asked about dairy, specifically cow's milk, the first thing I usually tell people is that milk is meant for a baby cow, not for a human. Humans are the only mammals on earth that continue to drink milk past infancy. Cows have multi-chambered stomachs that allow them to digest milk. Our stomachs are not nearly as complex making it nearly impossible to digest cow's milk properly.

 There are several reasons why I avoid/limit dairy products and will avoid/limit them with the girls. Here are a few:
  • Digestion: The majority of people cannot digest dairy products properly. This can result in a variety of digestive upsets (ie. constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, cramping etc).
  • The Calcium Myth: "But I need the calcium!" I used to hear this one all the time. Women, especially, are scared into thinking that milk is necessary to avoid osteoporosis. What's interesting is that the countries that have the highest consumption of dairy, also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Hmm... Yes, milk has good amount of calcium in it, but the catch is that our bodies absorb little of it. There are some excellent, more absorbable calcium sources. One of the most calcium-rich foods is actually the sesame seed. Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, are also great sources of absorbable calcium.
  • Allergies: Dairy tops the list as the food that can cause the most allergies, especially in children. Many adults have a dairy allergy or intolerance but might not realize it. If you get frequent colds, digestive upsets (see above), asthma-like symptoms, hives, eczema, rashes, heartburn, headaches or even feel overly tired, consider cutting out dairy for 2-3 weeks to see if it makes a difference. Note: You need to cut it out completely for at least 2 weeks to see any effect. It takes a while for dairy to completely leave your body.
  • Chronic IllnessesDo you know of any young children who seem to always be on antibiotics for ear infections? Or perhaps a toddler who constantly has a runny nose? Or maybe an adult who seems to get chronic sinus infections? Dairy products are implicated in colds, flus and ear infections (among other things) because they are very mucous-forming. Excess mucous can decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. Personally, if I eat a lot of dairy, I'll become quite stuffed up. 
  • Inflammation: Dairy is a (very) inflammatory food. Inflammation can show itself in the body in a variety of ways, such as, skin problems, headaches, joint pain, asthma and even silent killers like heart disease. Inflammatory diets can play apart in the development of autoimmune diseases. As I mentioned above, most people have some level of dairy intolerance. If this is the case and we continue to consume dairy, our immune system has to repeatedly kick in because it views dairy as an invader and therefore creates an inflammatory (protective) response. 
Cow's milk and babies
Milk is being brought up a lot in our classes and play groups these days. Most of the babies are in the 7-10 month range. Many doctors are telling parents that at the 12-month mark, cow's milk can be introduced to replace breastmilk or formula. Why? 'Because our babies need calcium and fat to grow big and strong.' Yes, calcium is a necessary nutrient for growing bodies. Fat, especially saturated fat, is essential for a baby's developing brain. As I mentioned above, there are plenty of absorbable calcium-rich foods that the girls will eat. The same goes for fat. I have lots to say on fats, so that's a story for another day! Lastly, while this wasn't the case for me, a breastfeeding mother of a colicky body should eliminate dairy from her diet. More often than not, crying significantly decreases. 

Finally, if you do eat dairy products, I highly recommend going organic. Pesticides and other pollutants get concentrated in the milk fat of cows. You can avoid these chemicals by choosing organic dairy. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Oh hey Finn, that looks good!"

Quinn is obsessed with anything that is dog-related. I have caught her on numerous occasions with dog toys in her mouth (I know, I know!). As a result, I've gotten MUCH better about baby-proofing, especially with the dogs' stuff. 

Note: I only let this happen because our boys are the most gentle dogs ever and never react to their food being taken away. 

video

Monday, February 13, 2012

{this moment} Sibling Love

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.

Teagan cuddles into Riley.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

For the Love of Music

Getting a baby to really focus on anything can be extremely challenging. But, when a guitar comes out, the girls are fixated. 



Music has always been a big part of our lives. My brothers and I were involved in a ton of sports as kids. My parents also made (my brothers might say 'forced'!) us play the piano, so we would be well-rounded. I enjoyed it. My brothers didn't. But, piano gave them what they needed to get into the guitar so no regrets! 

We have tried to expose the girls to all different types of music. My Mom keeps reminding me to play them classical music! We often listen to classical in the car. My brother, Michael, is really into music and has introduced me to some awesome, non-mainstream individuals and bands. The girls enjoy Bon Iver, who has become more well-known in recent years. After they were born, we discovered Rockabye Baby! They have turned common rock bands' albums into lullabies. We would put on the U2 and Coldplay albums during the girls' bedtime feed. I enjoy Disney music and find it less annoying than some of the other kids' stuff that's out there now. The girls also love to dance so some 80s rock is played now and then as well!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

{this moment} Loungin' like a Lady

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.



Monday, February 6, 2012

Respect

Something big came up for Jenn last week. A client of her firm's needed something done with a very tight deadline. As a result, she and her team worked nonstop all week long. I really felt for her. She would be out of the house at 7am and home at 9pm, on the early side. On Thursday and Friday night, she was home at 2am and midnight, respectively. Thankfully, it was a short-term thing!

Since she was working so much, she barely got to see the girls, since their waking hours are 7-7. This was the hardest part of it all. I know that she felt awful and really missed them (and me!). I got to develop a newfound respect for single parents or those who have a significant other who travels a ton! Evenings alone with the girls are the most challenging. Usually I'm able to get all of the pre-bedtime stuff finished while Jenn hangs out with the girls. I can usually get dinner started so that we can eat shortly after they go down. On some nights, the girls are cranky and done with the day come 6pm. I had a few of those this week. I had no choice but to put them in their bouncy chairs with a toy and their soother, while I ran around to get everything done. More often than not, one or both start crying. By the time I fed both babies and put them down for the night, cleaned up all of the toys and got myself some dinner, I was exhausted. My hat definitely goes off to those who do it day in and day out!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Swimming

I've been wanting to write a quick post about swimming for a while now. We took the girls to a swimming class when they were 5 months old. I wanted to get them into the water as early as possible so they wouldn't be those "scared of the water" kids.

Swimming class for babies is a bit of a joke, to be perfectly honest. It's basically 20-30 minutes of pulling them around in the water singing songs. While it was rather expensive for what it was, it was a great opportunity to allow the girls to explore the water.

But, if you have access to a pool, you can sing songs in the water for free! The Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital in Toronto has a Little Fish swim program. For $3 ($30/10 sessions), you can take your young child or baby into the pool for free swim (no lessons). They have several sessions each day so it's very convenient for all schedules. This is what I was planning on doing until I found out that my brother's condo building has a pool. My brother, Rob, and I took the girls for a swim at his condo pool for the first time today.

Ready to swim!
Rob and the girls
Mommy and her girls 
Wrapped up post-swim
I've done several other types of classes on my own with the girls. It always works out fairly well. Swimming class is definitely not something that you want to do alone with twins (nor would most places allow you to do it alone). When Jenn and I were taking the girls together, it was quite the production to get the girls and ourselves changed before swim and then showered and changed after the lesson.

I'm glad that the girls are getting into the water at an early age, especially since my family spends some time at the cottage (which is on a lake) in the summer!