Thursday, January 31, 2013

20 Months Old!

The girls have officially graduated from the teen months! They celebrated their 20 month birthday in sunny Turks & Caicos! Pictures from the trip to follow.

  • Quinn seems to have had quite the word explosion. She will attempt to say almost anything I ask, providing she's in a good mood! She loves to say diaper of all things, but pronounces it like a native Bostonian, diapah! Teagan has less words than Quinn but will attempt to "talk" if the mood strikes her. She babbles constantly and often uses her hands to point or explain what she's talking about. They continue to use their signs quite a bit.

  • T &Q go from being best friends to battling it out like it World War III with the flip of a switch. One minute they're sitting in the corner giggling uncontrollably and the next they're screaming, pulling hair, biting arms and hitting faces. 

  • Quinn has turned into a big helper. As I write, she is setting up the high chairs. She will put them in their appropriate position and put the trays and sippy cups on each one. She loves to be given tasks. She will happily fetch diapers, wipes or my phone. I think I've commented on this in previous months but honestly, it is only getting better now that she understands so much!

  • This month they started gymnastics and Sport.ball class. Most classes now require a 1:1 ratio now so I need to bring someone with me. My Mom and I do gymnastics and Jenn and I do Sport.ball. Gymnastics has been fantastic. Teagan is loving the trampoline. It's all she wants to do. She is trying very hard to jump but hasn't quite figured it out. The class is perfect for draining their energy. They spent an hour running, climbing, swinging, hanging and attempting to jump! They discovered the water fountain, which is probably on par with the trampoline in terms of popularity. Sport.ball is good but I'm unimpressed with the number of kids they pack into one class. Add one or two parents per kid and it is chaos. The kids learn something to do with a specific sport each week. Last week, they learned how to throw a ball and even attempted throwing it through a hoop. 

  • They have a few books that are favourites and have now been torn apart (they're board books too!). They love to read them again and again. They continue to love dictionary-style books because they can point out all of the objects. They also love any books with animals and now have their versions of most animal sounds. Depending on their mood, they'll sit for longer periods now and listen to a few books. Incorporating a book at bedtime has been challenging because we are lucky enough to have children who love going to bed. By 6:30ish on most nights, Quinn is pointing upstairs.

  • Their hair has grown a ton. Both of them have the most adorable little curls in the back.  Quinn's hair could actually use a brushing on most days.

  • They have been loving soups this winter. I'll make homemade chicken broth every week, which gets turned into two different soups. Current favourites include coconut butternut squash and black bean. Teagan easily eats two bowlfuls on most days. They have become very good with their spoons and forks. At home, they always eat off plates or out of bowls, which has made eating in restaurants a little bit easier.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raw Honey

Raw honey is anti-everything. (in a good way!)

When someone asks about the benefits of raw honey, that's how I usually begin. Raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, get the gist. It has so many benefits but I wanted to focus on just a few in this post given the crazy cold and flu season that we are having. 

First off, the difference between raw honey and conventional honey that you find in your grocery store is preservation of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Since raw honey hasn't been heated, processed or pasteurized, all of the goodness is preserved. Unless your honey says that it is raw, it will not not have the benefits I'm going to describe. 

Try to buy your raw honey from a local source if you can because then it is produced by bees who are in or near the environment that you live. Consuming local foods is beneficial because they contain immune-boosting properties. About a year ago, I discovered Nude Bee Honey Co. in Toronto. I was amazed to find out that it comes from a rooftop in downtown Toronto only 6km (3.5 miles) from my house! 

[WARNING: Honey should NOT be given to children under 12 months of age due to the risk of botulism.]


Raw honey hit the big leagues when a Penn State study asked parents to give children honey, honey-flavoured dextromethorphan (an OTC children's cough syrup ingredient) or nothing. It was proven that the children who received a dose of honey 30 minutes before  bedtime improved the cough's frequency and severity. 

- Mix 1 tbsp of raw honey with 1/2 tsp of organic cinnamon and take daily at the onset of of cough. It tastes delicious and is easy to give to children. 


Raw honey is a wonderful way to help treat the common cold. Given that it is anti-viral, it can help to speed up healing time. It is very soothing on a sore throat as well. 

- Mix 1-2 tbsp of honey, the juice of 1/2 lemon and a small piece of grated ginger in some hot water and drink. The water will hydrate you (flushing out toxins), the lemon will give you a boost of vitamin C and the honey and ginger will go to work on the virus. 

Raw honey has so many other benefits so definitely check it out if you suffer from allergies, digestive issues, fatigue, insomnia or diabetes. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I wear my sunglasses...inside?!

We are escaping the cold very soon for a much-needed holiday in the sun! I grabbed the girls a few summer items this week, including mini sunglasses. I'm sure it's no surprise that they've been a big hit...

Too cool for the camera...
Are those celebrity twins?!
Eating dinner incognito! 

Not too cool for her bunny!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Joe Fresh Children's Clothing

I LOVE their skinny jeans! I receive this "complement" in reference to my toddlers' pants often when we are out and about. Most of their pint-sized skinny jeans are made by Joe Fresh.

Joe Fresh is a Canadian adult and children's fashion brand created by Joe Mimran, the co-founder of Club Monaco. Most of Joe's stores are conveniently in or attached to popular Canadian grocery stores, Loblaws, making shopping a snap, especially with kids in tow! They also recently opened a US flagship store in NYC on Fifth Avenue.

As all of you parents know, young kids fly through clothes, sometimes wearing them only a handful of times. That $80 0-3 month-sized dress was adorable that ONE time your infant daughter wore it! We all know what happens when we hold up that adorable little [$39] shirt and [$49] sweater vest with a [$19] matching tie for our 1-year old. Logic and rational thought are thrown out the window and due to our guilt, our young son ends up dressed to the nines while playing in the mud at the park.

Teagan and Quinn have clothing made by many different companies in a variety of different price ranges. I will admit to being more than disappointed after spending too much on an adorable sweater, made by an unnamed company, only to realize how cheaply it had been made. While picking out their outfits this morning, I noted that they have an increasingly large amount of clothing from Joe Fresh. This is no fluke.

Not once have I had to throw out a piece of Joe Fresh clothing. Not only do their clothes stand up to the toddler durability test, they are also stylish. Remember the skinny jeans?! What is even better about Joe's children's clothes are the reasonable prices. I've learned quickly that spending a fortune on a pair of pants that the girls will only wear for a few months is crazy. I can outfit my girls in adorable and well-made clothing without having to remortgage my house.

Thank you Joe!

Here are the girls sporting some of Joe's fantastic outfits:
(oh and if you have a boy, boys clothes are equally adorable!)

Teagan sports Joe's yoga pants and waffle shirt
for ultimate comfort at gymnastics class!
Miss Quinn rocks the skinny jeans and her
'City Girl' shirt while grabbing a latte
in Leslieville.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

They are who they are

This morning I watched Quinn stalk Teagan like a shark demanding whatever object Teagan was holding. Teagan stood strong running around the room with Quinn on her heels. Then, like a flip of a switch, Teagan dropped to her bum, looked up at Quinn and handed over their play spatula. Quinn walked off happily, dropping the spatula within seconds.

Quinn is a bully. She is strong-willed and demanding. It doesn't matter if the coveted toy is in the hands of a 3-year old boy, if she wants it, she will find a way to get it.

Teagan is not a push-over. Sometimes she clearly realizes that whatever toy she currently has isn't as important to her at that moment as it is to Quinn. She doesn't want to fight. She also adores her sister and will often hand over a toy without a thought if Quinn is upset.

I have watched similar scenarios, as the one described above, over a hundred times. Sometimes I would jump in, demanding that Quinn give the toy back to Teagan. I felt bad for Teagan. It looked like she was being walked all over. As the months wore on, I stopped interfering unless one was taking a hard object to the head of the other.

When we brought our 9-week old Finn home, Aunt Gillian did not hesitate to let him know who was boss. She did the same to Riley a few years prior. Once they knew that she was top dog, they were able to spend extended periods of time together very easily. If you're a dog owner, you might understand. At the dog park, we leave the dogs to work out on their own, within reason of course. In a way, children are the same. While I would never let my children bite or hit a child at the park, I don't feel the need to step in and micromanage their play. The problem is that many other parents do.

In any twin pairing, one twin will be more dominant. I don't think I really thought about that when I was feeling sorry for Teagan. She is such a happy child and has no problems standing up for herself when she feels strongly about something. Their personalities will naturally shine through, especially in social settings. If all children were as strong-willed as Quinn, play groups would be nuts! With that being said, I've seen Quinn go after a toy being held by an equally strong-willed child. If the child is bigger than she is, Quinn is usually put in her place, as she should be.

Now, before mindlessly stepping into Teagan and Quinn's battle, I observe. They are who they are and sometimes upon further thought, I realize that interfering could do more harm than good.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Just be the mom you are..."

Just be the mom you are and be happy.

When the link to an article about stay-at-home moms popped up in my email box the other day, I clicked on it immediately. The article's author was prompted to write it after reading a Clare Danes' interview in which she said that she would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. (She is pregnant.) Many stay-at-home moms took offence to her comment. I did not. The article went on to talk about the yo-yo'ing that stay-at-home moms do between going on about their "failings as a mom" one minute and then trying to one up other moms the next.

Being a stay-at-home mom has been waaaay harder than I ever thought it would be. While it is not mentally challenging in the way that my previous work has been, it has proven to be very physically challenging and mentally exhausting. During the girls first year, I was busy learning how to be a mom. I met lots of other new moms. We were all the same. As that first year ended, most of those moms prepared to head back to their careers. Babies went off to daycare or were going to be cared for by nannies. The way I felt last April-ish completely caught me off guard. While I had chosen to stay home with the girls indefinitely, part of me felt like I was missing out. I could start seeing clients again part-time? (I'm a nutritionist) I could start an entirely new business? The ideas started flying through my head and I felt panicked to get something going asap.

Parenthood is all-consuming. It never ends. There are rarely breaks. You all know this, of course! I feared losing myself completely in this. I feared waking up when the girls hit grade one, having no clue what to do with myself. Worst of all, I felt like being a mother wasn't enough for me. What took me several months to realize is that all of my feelings were being driven by everything thing and everyone out there (society). People who don't have children, think that my days are easy. For some reason, I felt insecure and felt like I needed to defend myself.

What I then realized was that while I was worrying about the thoughts of people I didn't even know, my two little girls were growing quickly right in front of me. They were taking their first steps, trying to say their first words, doing adorable twin things and giving me huge smiles, hugs and kisses. So many parents would kill to see (and sometimes video!) every single one of their child's 'firsts' like I have. I am lucky to have this opportunity. I would constantly have parents of older twins look at my with that smile telling me, "Ohhh I remember when mine were that age! Enjoy it!" I used to smile politely and move on, not even thinking about what they had just said. When someone said just this to me this morning, I gave her a genuine smile, looked at my sweet girls and soaked up the moment for all it was worth.

There will be time for work later. There won't be time to play with my 19-month old adorable, hilarious, intelligent and quirky twin girls. So, a few months ago, I made the decision to slow down and be happy with where I am right now. When I am hard on myself and think that I could be doing more or doing better at this mom thing, I try to stop my thoughts in their tracks. I remind myself that I'm doing a great job. Be kind to yourself, my mom would often tell me.

Forget about what others are doing. Don't sweat the small stuff. Just be the mom you are, and be happy. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Workin' hard for the money...

Someone didn't want to nap today. I was worried that I wasn't going to get anything done as well. Good thing she had plenty of work to do...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mom Dating

After we first met and starting hanging out, I totally thought that we were 'mom dating'. My friend, who has twins who are just 1 week younger than the girls, said this to me recently. We started 'mom dating' when the "quads", as we now call them, were just 3 months old.

I remember walking into that first Mom/Baby class lugging two car seats. I looked around the room that was already full of moms and babies, trying to figure out where I was going to sit that had enough room for two bulky buckets. I felt like that awkward kid walking into an already full class on the first day of school.

'Mom dating' as my friend aptly called it, is awkward at first. By the time our first child(ren) come along, most of us are already set in the friend department. We're out of practice at 'friend making'. But, in Canada especially, where a one year maternity leave is the norm, you're going to get bored mighty fast if you don't have people to hang out with during the day. So, once I got used to my life being turned upside down by two babies and Jenn went back to work, I ventured out hoping to meet some new mom friends (and eventually friends for T&Q). I signed us up for two classes, baby yoga and the mom/baby class I mentioned above. The latter proved to be just what I needed.

The good thing about mom dating is that you always have something to talk about; your baby. At 3 months, the topics were endless: SLEEP! Breastfeeding. Bottle feeding. Baby carriers. Strollers. Clothing.

Don't get me wrong, I love my girls and do love to talk about them. But, talking about sleep and poop gets old. If you're on a mom date and can't find anything else to talk about, the date usually ends before an hour is up...or it did for me anyways.

So, mom of twins walks into class and sees another mom of twins. Twin parents often make a beeline for one another. Twins? One of them asks, smiling. Yup! You too? The other answers. It is an instant club that parents of singletons don't quite get.

After that mom and baby class ended eight weeks later, about 10 of us decided to continue getting together every Tuesday afternoon. 10 quickly dropped to six moms. The six of us got together every week and rotated houses. While conversation topics initially started with poop and sleep, we quickly got to know one another minus the babies that we always had in tow. We got to know the other babies as well. As a mom of twins, sometimes two arms aren't enough. My new mom friends would pick up a crying baby if they saw that I had my hands full. They never had to be asked. My girls wouldn't hesitate to sit in the laps of these moms to read a book. As spring turned to summer, play dates turned into additional walks and visits to the farmers markets.

Even when maternity leaves ended and daytime play dates became no more, we planned a monthly moms dinner. Fortunately for all of us, we all live within a few blocks of one another, with the exception of one mom who is about a 20 minute walk north. We have been eating our way through the neighbourhood! While I don't see their children often anymore, when I do, I get excited. It's amazing to see how much they've grown or the new quirks that they've developed.

Since Jenn and I were the first amongst most of our friends to have children, I knew that I was going to have to get out there. It isn't always easy when you're running on little sleep. Fortunately for me, I've never been the homebody-type. I go nuts if I'm home for too long. I was lucky enough to make some amazing new mom friends during the girls' first year.

The e.Harmony commercial keeps running through my head. Did you know that 236 people get married each day after being matched on e.Harmony? If mom dating was a category on e.Harmony, I'd say that I could star in the commercial as a success story ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top Read Posts of 2012

I know that this is a common entry to start the new year for most bloggers. I've seen it on a few blogs now and really liked the idea. I chose to do the top read posts (regardless of the year they were written) because a very large majority of my readers find me through search engines.

So here it goes!

10. "Food Before One, Is Just For Fun"
-- I don't always share the mainstream (North American) opinions on food and health but always love a good debate ;)

9. "Oh twins..."
-- Naturally, as my first ever blog post, it has a special place in my heart. If you don't know our back story in the TTC process, here it is!

8. Merry Christmas! Love, T&Q
-- I'm so happy that this post made the top 10 because the pictures capture this Christmas perfectly!

7. Our oldest "child" turns 4!
-- Not sure what people are searching to find this one..."dog treated as a child" perhaps?!

6. Christmas Trees and baby bump
-- My first bump picture! Man o' man I'm glad I didn't know what that 36-week bump picture was going to look like!

5. 32-Week Bump and the Twin Moby Wrap
-- "Twin moby" seems to be a common search that gets people to my blog.

4. Product Review: Stonz Boots
-- I LOVED these boots last winter. They were so quick and easy to get on their feet.

3. 36-week Bump!
-- It seems that a lot of people find my blog by googling "twin bump pictures". Look at that torpedo!

2. Subchorionic Hemorrhage and Gummy Bears
-- A scary moment from my pregnancy that fortunately turned out to be nothing!

1. Product Review: Cory.zalia (homeopathic children's cold medication)
-- This post is the overwhelming winner. Homeopathics are an amazing and safe alternative to over-the-counter medications that have all sorts of side effects! (I do not work for Boiron and receive nothing from them, I swear!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year and Snowsuits!

Happy New Year everyone! I'm going to do a 2012 recap soon enough. I might even steal Amanda's idea of top posts for 2012!

For now, I wanted to post our first official snow pictures for this winter! I am still a child at heart. While I don't love winter, I don't mind it when I'm dressed appropriately. Now that I have toddling toddlers, I couldn't wait to bundle them up to play in the snow. I'm even more excited to get them some sleds. Good sleds for 19-month olds, anyone?!

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, we bundled the girls up and took the brood over to the park. Funny enough, they were quite excited to try on their (ugly) snowsuits - note: I did not purchase these brand new! They looked like miniature Michelin men and waddled to the park like penguins.

The team is ready.

Look at the speed in which she assembled
this miniature snowman!
Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!
Finn pauses from "attacking" his brother for
a brief moment!
...and Riley welcomes the pause!