Saturday, June 30, 2012

Adventures in Food: 1 year+

If you have a food allergy or you've ever gone on a restrictive diet, you can probably appreciate how challenging it can be to eat healthy meals at a restaurant and on the go, but also at home. It takes planning and preparation. The girls eat a dairy and wheat-free diet, which takes time on my end.

Teagan and Quinn now eat three solid meals per day. They also breastfeed morning and night, as well as after their two naps. Each meal includes a protein and a veggie or two. Usually, I will give them some fruit as dessert.

Watching them eat is fascinating. They eat off of 3-sectioned plates. I will separate each food out. It is interesting to watch the order in which they eat. For instance, despite fruit being on her plate, Teagan will eat eggs first. Tonight, Quinn devoured the fish on her plate before anything else.  Quinn also adores carrots and will usually polish those off quickly. They both love berries, especially blueberries. Teagan isn't a fan of asparagus, but fortunately, that is the extent of the dislikes. Asparagus makes your pee smell anyways! Overall, they are fantastic eaters, which is a joy to see considering I spend a good amount of time planning and preparing their meals. When their meals are ready, I will sign eat and ask them "Do you want to eat [breakfast, lunch, dinner]?" They usually come flying over to their high chairs anxiously awaiting their meal.

As I mentioned earlier, the girls are dairy-free. They breastfeed four times per day so they're getting lots of milk in that way. I also make sure they get plenty of calcium and fat (the reason that cow's milk is heavily pushed on toddlers) from other foods. I shared my thoughts on dairy in a previous post. Wheat is so heavily processed these days, it is virtually void of all nutrition. While Jenn and I are not wheat-free, we do not eat a ton of wheat products.

Even though they're dairy and wheat-free, this doesn't mean that they will never get to enjoy an ice cream on a hot summer day or eat a delicious homemade grilled cheese sandwich. I can't and won't control what they eat when they go on play dates in the years to come. Quinn tried wheat about a month ago when she stole homemade zucchini bread from her friend's hand and shoved it in her mouth like she hadn't eaten in a week.

Right now, my goal is to develop their palates for healthy, whole (not processed) food. I want them to try lots of different foods and hope that they remain open-minded in the months and years to come. I use a variety of spices, as well as fresh garlic and ginger. I try to make different ethnic dishes each week. They eat with such gusto, usually making "mmmm" noises while they munch away. I absolutely love it and can only hope that that never changes!

Friday, June 29, 2012

13 Months Old!

"The days go slowly but the years fly by." Many versions of this quotation have been said to me in the last 13 months. I get it. The difference though is that my days also fly by with these two.

  • The biggest happening in the last month is Quinn officially taking off as a walker. I took a video on Monday and even since then, her walking has drastically improved. She's practically running now. Teagan is close. I just know it. She can stand easily without using something to push herself up. It's just a matter of her gaining the confidence to take that first step. Soon enough :)
  • There is definitely a bit of "twin talk" developing between these two. The other day I caught them standing face to face in their cribs chatting away. 
  • Teething is a constant in this household. Quinn has 6 teeth now. Teagan still has 4, but it looks like 2 more top teeth are on their way. 
  • Quinn is a bully. She is the most determined and strong-willed 13 month old I've ever seen. She will push and stove any kid, big or small, in order to get the toy that he/she has. She is constantly pushing her sister around. She's lucky that her sister is so easy going, most of the time! 
  • Teagan is the queen of independent play. She will entertain herself in the corner for 30 minutes with something as simple as a block. She also adores books and will happily sit in her reading chair flipping through a book. She definitely beats to her own drum. 
  • They continue to be fantastic eaters. I won't say much about food because I'm working on a post (coming soon!). Teagan adores tofu, but also loved my homemade beef meatballs. Jenn is happy that her daughter isn't too "crunchy." I took offense because I love tofu and am somewhat crunchy myself! They have huge appetites. I don't know where they put it all. 
Happy 13 months my girls!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

{this moment} Big Kid

Water in hand. Sweat shorts on. Muscle-T. She's ready to play sports with the big kids.

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, June 26, 2012

There's no stopping her now!

My brother reminded me last night that I still haven't taken a video of Quinn walking, so I caught one this morning. The shorts that she has in her hands were on her head just a minute before taking it...if only!

Monday, June 25, 2012

From 1-100 in a day

On Saturday, we attended both a first birthday party and a 100th birthday party! How often in your life can you say that?!

The day started out at T & Q's friend H's first birthday. Ever since we got the girls their armchair, they've become obsessed with sitting in chairs. They quickly found the Muskoka chairs (to all of us Toronto folk, but Adirondack chairs to you Americans) and got comfy. Our friends have the most perfect backyard for a birthday party with 15 or so babies/toddlers. The girls had a blast and even got off their chairs for long enough to socialize!

We then came home for some very quick naps and headed off to my grandmother's 100th birthday party! 

The birthday girl on her 100th birthday
My parents, Jenn and I and T & Q with Nana
My brother, Michael with Quinn and Nana
My Dad and Teagan, out for a walk

Friday, June 22, 2012


We have biters on our hands. Fortunately for me, they are not biting while nursing. They've done it a few times, although I know that it was usually accidental. If they bite on purpose, the nursing session is promptly over. This is always extremely upsetting to them.

We call Teagan "big love." She has a huge smile and will grab on and give us a huge hug. The problem...the big hug is usually accompanied by a big "love bite" on the shoulder. Sometimes we'll receive love bites on our legs or arms as well. Saying "ow" or "no" has proven to be hilarious. Our new tactic is to ignore her entirely. If she bites, we put her down and do something else.

The real biting issue that we're experiencing is between the girls. Quinn has a very strong personality. She's determined and knows what she wants. The problem is that what she wants is usually what Teagan has (no surprise, I know). The other problem is that Quinn almost always gets what she wants. This results in a show-down for the toy, followed by tears on Teagan's end. Teagan then tries to fight back resulting in Quinn grabbing her hand or arm and chomping down. I know that in this situation, Teagan sounds like the victim. Don't be fooled though. She has been known to chomp down in Quinn's arm, back or even head out of frustration as well.

I've been reading about toddlers recently. Sometimes I'm not watching closely enough to know exactly what happened. When we do witness the biting, the biter is usually told "no biting" and is then ignored. One expert said that immediately taking away attention is the best way to handle it. A one-year old can obviously not understand a lengthy speech about consequences.

I know that many of you have experienced situations like this. What worked well for you?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

For the Love of Cake!

We spent this past weekend down in Connecticut visiting Jenn's family. Yes, this meant another flight with the dynamic duo. Flying with twins is becoming increasingly more difficult. These two never...stop...moving. We flew home on an 8pm flight. The girls normally go to bed at 7pm, so we assumed a quiet flight with two sleepy babies. No dice. I think I walked the aisles with Quinn 20 times. Thankfully, we each had two seats to ourselves so the girls could look out the window. They both finally crashed when we were getting close to landing (almost 10pm!).

We had a lovely weekend in Connecticut. Jenn's family threw the girls and Jenn a birthday party (the 3 May girls!). T&Q made some new friends. Jenn's sister Katie's boyfriend, Pete, (say that 5x fast) has two young kids, T & B. The girls loved watching the older kids and these two were fantastic with the babies. Chrissie even got the girls gluten-free and dairy-free cake :) As you can see from the pictures, the cakes were very much enjoyed!

Our friends, Amy and Liz, came from Boston for the party. Amy took the fantastic pictures below.

A clean face and outfit...not for long!
Diving into the cake for the first time!
Sooo good!
This kid can't shove cake in fast enough!
Thinking about the delicious flavours
Examining cake on her plate

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Finn!

Happy 2nd birthday to our youngest boy! It seems like just yesterday that we were driving through Amish country in Ohio to pick you up!

We love you Finn! You are the most amazing big brother.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Don't mess with the schedule... sometimes, it's ok.

Whenever other parents of multiples found out that I was pregnant with twins, they would often tell me to "get them on a schedule!" It was drilled into our heads from very early on. I remember when the girls were about 2 weeks old, despite trying to get them on a schedule, they didn't have one. I remember feeling panicked. If we don't get them a schedule ASAP, we're screwed, I thought.

Patience is sometimes not my strong suit. Sure enough, a few weeks later, the girls were on a pretty good feeding and bedtime schedule. Naps were still iffy. We stuck to that schedule, like a fat kid on cake. It was sometimes a pain. It felt limiting. We would have to rush home for 7pm, close the blinds, turn off the lights and block out that amazing summer sunshine that poured through our windows late into the evening. But, because of our perseverance, we soon had two fabulous little sleepers who went down like dreams at 7pm, giving us time to eat dinner like civilized adults.

When the girls were a few months old, we would cart them around all day because they would sleep anywhere at anytime. It was fantastic! They'd sleep in the car, in the stroller, in a restaurant. They wouldn't wake up when we would transfer them from place to place. As they got older and more mobile, this luxury disappeared. While I was alone during the week, we were out all the time. It was more for me than them. I wasn't ready to let go of my pre-baby freedom.

In the last few months, not only has our daily galavanting caught up to me, it makes for miserable and cranky little, I mean, toddlers ;) The girls are so active and do not want to sit in a stroller or car seat for longer than they have to. So now, our busy adrenaline-driven days have been replaced by "boring afternoons," as my mom jokingly calls them. We are always home at 8:45am for morning nap and about 1:30pm for afternoon nap. While I've only recently started "boring afternoons," I've grown to love them. The girls tend to nap for about 2 hours in the afternoon. The 'crazy me' of a few months ago, would never have dreamed of grabbing a quick nap or sitting down with a book. I had mommy guilt. Always mommy guilt. I don't deserve to have time to myself when the kitchen needs to be cleaned, dinner needs to be prepared, laundry needs to be folded...

Well, mommy guilt has exhausted me. The girls schedule has forced me to enjoy "boring afternoons." I do some chores but also take time for myself. Today I took 45 minutes to read Catching Fire, the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy (awesome, btw).

The schedule is good for me for sure, but has been amazing for the girls. They are far happier when they're awake. Have you heard the phrase, 'the more they sleep, the more they sleep"? Even on a perfect day of 2 2-hour naps, we'll get 11-12 hours of sleep from them at night. Happy and well-rested babies = two happy mommies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Toddler

I've been getting updates from Baby Centre since the pregnancy days. I started by getting a weekly update on what "my fetus" looked like or how he/she was developing. It then turned into updates about "my baby." This week, though, I received yet another new update..."my toddler."

My toddler. We talked about it. We knew it was coming. It still sounds so...old. I cannot believe that I have two toddlers. They don't look like toddlers. They don't look any different than they did last Monday when they were 11 months and 29 days old. I still see them as my little babies. 

There is something so innocent and sweet about the word baby. When I think of a toddler, I think of a pint-sized little human running through the grocery store begging his mom for candy. When she refuses, he promptly begins screaming and crying, which then turns into a full-blown tantrum in the aisle of the store. Ok, this is extreme, I know. Sadly, I can picture my toddler, Quinn, doing just this eventually!

It has been incredible to see these actual people evolve from the little blobs that they were at this time last year. The first year is all about physical development, but I can already see how this next year is going to be focused on the cognitive side. Yes, walking will probably be our next big milestone, but the personality development is truly fascinating. This is when having twins is pretty cool -- nature vs. nurture. These two couldn't be more different. 

Despite the label of toddler at the 1-year mark, I still see my little girls as babies. Maybe it's because they're not walking yet, I'm not sure. Or maybe, I'm just not ready to let go of "my baby."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Smart Trike

The Smart Trike was one of the girls' birthday gifts. We had a pretty miserable weekend weather-wise so the girls had to wait until this evening to give it a whirl. Not surprisingly, it was a huge hit. While we only spent a few minutes outside with the trike, the thing steers incredibly well one-handed. I also love the canopy/sun visor to protect the little ones from the sun. Check out the video and pictures below for the girls' feedback.

Q sports the matching sunglasses to the
ladybug Smart Trike
The boys watch over their sisters