Tuesday, October 30, 2012

17 Months Old!

17 months, plus one day! With every day that passes, I feel like they are becoming more kid-like and less baby-like. Bittersweet for sure. 


I know it isn't the typical side-by-side shot but it is too cute!
  • Teagan will imitate us when we say certain words. She says the word art, of all things. She adores looking at artwork and photography. She will say dog and also attempts up and help. They both will watch my mouth when I say and repeat certain words. Quinn is unbelievably stubborn. She will attempt words but only if I have not asked for it. The second I say, "Quinn, can you say ___", she turns into a mute!
  • They both have molars now (2 each). Teagan has had some nighttime sleep issues, as a result. Fortunately, she is back to sleep quickly if I breastfeed her for 10-15 minutes. This will last for 2-3 nights and then she'll be back to her consecutive 12 hours.
  • The girls are still breastfeeding when they wake in the morning and before their nap and bedtime. I do get some raised eyebrows when people find out that I'm still breastfeeding. I know to some I've entered into that crunchy-hippie-"extended breastfeeding" world. To be honest, I don't care in the least. It works for us and the girls are happy and healthy. 
  • Teagan has taken over Quinn's role as the bully. Several months back, Quinn was constantly testing the limits. Now, it's Teagan's turn. While she knows that something is wrong, she will do it, just to get a reaction out of me. She will hit the dogs or bite her sister and she'll do it over and over. We have been very consistent in the way that we discipline them both. Teagan has also started shrieking/screaming, usually because she thinks it's hilarious. I've tried stopping it with a firm 'no' but that receives a laugh. I now ignore it entirely, especially if she's using it because she wants something from me. Quinn has been "broken", as I like to say (yet another baby and puppy comparison)! She listens most of the time and can usually be trusted to not get into something when left for a minute or two.
  • I have started including them in clean-up. We will pick up the toys before leaving the house or going up for a nap. They also love to use a wash cloth to clean up the counter after meal time. They both love to help out so I'll often ask them to bring me shoes, books, jackets, cups etc. Their knowledge of various items continues to surprise me. Quinn is so well trained now that on many occasions she will not only bring me my slippers, but also attempt to put them on my feet!
  • Not a whole lot to report in the food department. Quinn tried oysters on Sunday and loved them! They've been on an avocado and banana kick recently. I've made a ton of garlic-y guacamole and there have been many banana and almond butter snacks recently. Seafood and fish continue to be a huge hit. I got over a 1/2 pound of diver scallops from my fish shop the other day and stupidly though that it would last for two meals. The hoovers downed the entire lot in no time! 
  • These two are full of bear hugs and endless kisses. In the midst of playing, they'll come running over to me arms open wide for a big hug and kiss. Tonight, just before I lay Teagan in her crib for the night, she planted a huge kiss on my cheek and started gently stroking my face. Even bullies have a soft spot ;)
The newest bully! 

The little Leaf fan

One of our many group hugs. Quinn's face is priceless!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Puppy and the Tiger

Halloween is upon us once again! The queen bee and monkey from last year have morphed into a puppy and a tiger! Once again, we attended the 519 Community Centre's kids Halloween party. The girls had a blast running around the room playing with the various toys and dancing to the music. Miss Quinn even had her first dance with a boy!

[Jenn wouldn't come out from behind the camera, hence no pictures of her!]

She refused to leave her puppy head on so I was lucky enough to grab a quick picture! 
A tiger, armed with kitchen gadgets,
is on the loose!
I was crampin' her style. No time for pictures with Mommy.
A bit better, although there were far more interesting things
to look at! 
Quinn's first dance with our friends' son, "Mickey Mouse"

Saturday, October 27, 2012

They just know

Sorry for the lack of blogging all week. It was a long and busy one.

Last Sunday, my family went to the funeral home to say our private goodbyes to Nana. On Monday, there was a public funeral and reception.

Initially, I thought that the girls should not attend any of these events, in case they were disruptive. So, to my surprise, my Dad's response when I asked about the girls attending was, "they can absolutely attend..." It got me reevaluating my initial thoughts. While they are only 16 months old, I realized that it was important for them to be included (for them and for us).

Last Wednesday, a few hours after Nana passed, my family and my aunt, uncle and cousin met at my parents' house. Again, I worried that my two tornados would disrupt everyone. It was actually the complete opposite. Quinn only wanted to be in my Dad's arms so that she could give him hugs and kisses. The girls lightened the mood and even gave everyone permission to smile.

Arriving at the funeral home last Sunday, we all walked into the room where Nana lay in an open casket. After allowing my Dad and my aunt a few minutes next to Nana, I approached with Teagan in my arms. We have to say bye to Nana, I told her. Teagan then pointed to Nana, waved and blew her kisses. Quinn did the same. It was incredibly sweet and brought tears to my eyes. The girls quietly walked around the room until we were all ready to go to dinner.

On Monday morning, we arrived at the church for the funeral. Our family was seated in the two front pews. It would be easy to dart out the side door if one of the girls started acting up. Teagan did leave the service part way through but only because crinkling every paper in sight and chatting away was far too appealing. Quinn, on the other hand, stood quietly on the lap of Jenn or my brother with her hands on top of the front pew. She stared intently at the Reverend and swayed to the soloist's beautiful rendition of On Eagles Wings. The girls then charmed Nana's family and friends at the reception that followed.

At 16 months, I would have expected them to not understand. I didn't give them enough credit. While I know that they cannot understand death at such a young age, they definitely understood on some level. I'm grateful that I didn't listen to my initial thoughts and allowed them to say their goodbyes to Nana in their own way.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rest In Peace, Nana.

My grandmother passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of 100.

At the age of 100, you can imagine that Nana had a few aches and pains. She never, ever complained. For the last few months, she had to spend the majority of her time attached to an oxygen tank. But, whenever I would walk in there with the girls in tow, a smile would always cross her face. How are you, Nana? I would ask. Oh I'm pretty good! She would often answer in as chipper a voice as she could muster up.

Nana never understood the concept of voicemail. Since the girls were born, she would call me quite frequently to check in. The "girls" (aka. the nurses and support workers at the her assisted living home) were always asking about when the twins were coming for a visit. If we weren't home, she would sometimes leave a message. The message typically only contained two words, Nana. Called. We would often get a good chuckle from her messages!

When the girls were only a few months old, I remember popping in for a surprise visit while Nana was in the dining room eating lunch. She was sitting at a table with two of her friends. The room was full. As you can imagine, when I walked into an assisted living home with infant twins, heads turned and residents came rushing up to me as fast as their walkers could take them. With a smile on her face, she proudly introduced us to her friends.

As a child, I remember my grandparents going on long walks on the beach when we were down at their condo in Florida or up at our family's cottage in Muskoka. Even into her 90s, Nana kept walking. At the cottage, she would walk the deck for her exercise. She would always smile and wave at us through the large windows. She adored sitting in the sun. I remember one of the nurses telling me over the summer that Nana had sat outside for over two hours basking in the sun!

I'm so grateful that the girls got to meet their great-grandmother. I saw her for the last time on Monday. She was very weak and tired. She wasn't able to say or do very much. As we were leaving, Teagan and Quinn waved to Nana and blew her a kiss. She managed to lift her hand up and give them a wave.

Rest in peace, Nana. You will be missed.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Dinner Spotlight: Chipotle Black Bean Tostados

Before the girls were born, Jenn and I would eat vegetarian meals several times per week. Since I started breastfeeding though, I feel like I'm constantly craving meat because my appetite is endless. Lately, I have felt like we've been eating a lot of meat and went on the hunt for a delicious vegetarian recipe.

I subscribe to a fantastic vegetarian blog, Vanilla & Spice, written by a fellow Canadian. I have made several of her recipes. I especially love her healthy bars and cookies. I frequently make them as snacks for the girls (which I will also blog about). I perused her "blogs I follow" section and came across a delicious sounding black bean recipe (Chipotle Butternut Squash, Black Beans and Goat Cheese Tostados) on Naturally Ella's blog.

Since I was making them for the girls first, I modified the recipe slightly. With several sweet potatoes on hand, I used those instead. Personally, I find them a little bit too sweet for the recipe, hence the recommendation of butternut squash. I sauteed the onions before putting them on the tostado because I find that raw or nearly raw onions are a bit too harsh for the girls just yet. Lastly, I toned down the chipotle chill spice slightly.

It was quick and easy to prepare and came out of the oven looking delicious. I added some avocado slices on the side et voila!



Ingredients
  • 2 cups ¼” cubed butternut squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon crushed dried chipotle peppers
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ————————
  • ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ————————
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2-3 ounces goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425˚.
  2. Roughly dice onion and toss with cubed butternut squash. Combine olive oil, 1 teaspoon crushed chipotle peppers, and salt. Add to butternut squash and toss again to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender and beginning to brown.
  3. In a bowl, combine black beans, lime juice, honey, and olive oil. Once squash is done, add to black beans and stir. Spoon squash and black bean mixture on to corn tortillas and sprinkle with goat cheese.
  4. Place tortillas in the oven and let bake until the goat cheese is browning and the tortillas is crisp, 10-15 minutes.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Playing Dress Up

I have to say, one of the fun things about having kids is dressing them up. It's hard not to look at a pair of miniature faded skinny jeans and say "awwww!" For most of us, dressing up our little girls in party dresses is a rarity. Therefore, we need to take full advantage when there is a special occasion!

My cousin was visiting from New Zealand so a family brunch was in order. Brunch called for party dresses!

Don't mind me. I'm making a quick call
before brunch...
...while Teagan ponders what she'll eat. 
A few shots with the grandparents!

My mom and Teagan take in some skating before brunch.
Q enjoys an ice cube (after her fruit, shrimp,
smoked salmon, omelette, veggies...)
TT and Grandpa


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TT's got the moves

First off, I'm sorry about the video on the previous post. I have no clue why it won't post correctly. I think there may have been an issue when I downloaded it off my iPhone.

Upwards and onwards though. A new video.

In the morning, after the girls have their breakfast, the kitchen is usually a mess and I still haven't eaten. Keeping them in their chairs, I will sometimes pull up a Sesame Street music video or the Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals video on YouTube. The 10 minutes allows me to get a ton of stuff done. [Don't flame me anti-TV readers!]

The other day I put on the Neighborhood Animals video and Teagan went nuts. I was wishing I had my phone out to capture it. This morning I was successful!

I hope this one works!

video


Monday, October 1, 2012

Sharing Is Caring

Teaching a toddler how to share can be painful at times. You feel like a broken record. You feel like you're talking to a wall. Or worse, like that teacher who no one listens to despite total understanding.

But, for all of those attempts at teaching toddlers how to share, there is one awesome success story that trumps them all.


video