Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summertime Pictures

The summer has flown by. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've had a case of the summer lazies with my blog. I feel like the poor thing has been neglected for the last few months. We've had a wonderful summer, despite the off and on weather. We kept really busy...some pics from the last few months.

They're 2. Time to put them to work.
Riley, Carlee and Finn -- the 3 amigos. 
Enjoying the sun
Toronto Pride celebrations
Impromptu photo shoots
U of T's Pride Pub
Dancing in the new house!
Lots of good times in the new backyard!
Carlee hangs out with her fellow "puppies"
There was lots of park time
...and Grandpa and Atty time.
And art classes
And swimming
Watching Uncle Rob's band perform at a cancer fundraiser

Watering plants at the Brickworks' Farmers
Fun times with friends. 
Great naps after long walks.
Housewarming party drinking
First time on rides (Centreville)
First trip to the ER
And first haircut!
And the first ride on the subway

There was hiking.
And there were hoop dreams.
Visits from friends who have been living
And finally an orientation at their new preschool (starting
on Tuesday!)

Friday, August 30, 2013

At the park

We were at the park yesterday playing in the wading pool. Quinn was pushing one of those little pre-walker push cars around. I was chatting with my friend and when I looked back, another kid, slightly older than the girls, was sitting on the car, while Quinn was still in possession of it. The little girl started shoving Quinn's arm off of the car. Quinn didn't back down and continued to grab it. She had it first after all.

I watched for a few moments to see if the girls could work it out on their own. The pushing escalated so I stepped in. I told Quinn that we would find something better to play with and took her hand.

I assumed the little push car thief belonged to a woman who was standing nearby with her infant. A few minutes later, the mom in question took her infant and walked away.

About 5 minutes later, the little push car thief abandoned the car so Q swooped in to grab it. Q was about half a foot from the car, when the thief shoved her out of the way.

Once again, I looked around...where was mom/dad or nanny?

Eventually, I realized that the thief belonged to a woman who was standing on the grass while her 3-ish month old infant lay on a blanket. I had noticed the woman when we arrived at the park. She was on her phone. During her daughter's interactions with Quinn, she remained on the phone, paying no attention.

Quinn attempted to get the beloved push car back a few more times, but by this point, the thief knew what was up and dragged that thing everywhere. She even dragged it onto the blanket where her little brother lay.

I distracted Quinn who eventually gave up and played with Teagan and her other friends. They had a blast.

We played in the wading pool for close to an hour and a half. The thief's mother spent the entire time ON HER PHONE.

I'm definitely not a hovering parent. I think that kids, even 2-year olds, should at least attempt to work things out on their own. But, because they're only 2, I usually watch from nearby and step in when a disagreement turns into hitting or pushing. If one of the girls steals a toy from another child, I intervene and make them give it back. It is a brief exchange. I praise them when they give the toy back and tell them that they need to wait their turn.

What do you do if other parents are not paying attention and their child ends up bullying your child?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

1 on 1

I love getting one on one time with the girls. It happens so rarely unless we make a point of it.

Since I never got to experience having one child (except for those 13 minutes before Quinn arrived, but I was a bit preoccupied with intense back labour!), when I head out with just one of the girls, I'll often do all of those things that are too difficult with two toddlers. Quinn and I will go for coffee and hang out on the patio at my favourite cafe. She is an awesome coffee date. Yes, I can do this with two but it is usually chaotic with one running towards the street and the other grabbing my hot coffee. It can be tough to walk down busy city streets carrying bags and holding the hands of two toddlers who only listen 50% of the time. They usually end up confined to a stroller, which results in screaming and tears.

The girls are different when they're on their own. I'm not a fan of those you're my other half or you complete me sayings, but for T&Q at 2 years old, it is kind of like that. I've worked hard to remind others that they are individuals, since twins can sometimes be thought of as one. Teagan and Quinn are definitely their own people with very different looks and personalities. But, they only know what it is like to have one another around. I'll never forget one rare day in February when Teagan was under the weather. She was exhausted and only wanted to cuddle. I spent most of the day with my 24-ish pound Teagan snuggled in the Ergo. Quinn ran around the house like a lunatic. She talked loudly and yelled, but not in an angry way. While Quinn is normally energetic, something was different. She wasn't just seeking my attention, she didn't know how to act without her partner in crime. If Jenn and I divide and conquer (errands and kids) on weekends, the girls usually ask about one another constantly.

When I take one of the girls out alone, she is usually very well-behaved. It is special time for both of us. I'm not focused on her sister and she doesn't need to compete for attention. This makes the hanging out on the patio scenario (listed above) easy and fun. I can let her walk through the grocery store instead of sitting next to her sister in a cart. She gets to help out and exert her independence, much more so than usual. She rarely tries to knock things off of shelves or create silly and loud games like she would if her sister was there to egg her on.

I love and appreciate those 1 on 1 times because I get to see another side of my little girls and get to know them just a little bit better. And, nothing beats the smiles on their faces when they see each other after being away from one another!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Have you met Gay Bear and Peanut?

When Teagan was about 9 months old, she was having trouble falling asleep on her own. A few people said that we should get her a lovey (ie. a toy/blanket that young children can bond with to make them feel more secure). We bought blankies, stuffed animals, Elmo etc. When these items were placed in her crib, she would promptly throw them away. Despite our attempts, neither of the girls had a lovey for two years. 

Gay Bear and Peanut
Gay Bear (pronouced Gee-Brrr by Quinn) is Quinn's lovey. Peanut (pronounced Me-Nut! by Teagan) is Teagan's lovey. 
Q cuddles with Gay Bear post-stitches
A few months ago, Quinn discovered Gay Bear in a box. Jenn had purchased it eight years ago on a business trip to San Fran. Quinn loved him immediately. He quickly became a staple in her crib. When all of the other animals and even her crib sheet got thrown out, Gay Bear remained. He has been to the park, the grocery store, the hospital...he travels in the car, the stroller and the wagon...he sits at the table waiting patiently for his beloved owner to finish meals...he even managed to work himself into our family photos on the weekend!

Peanut (in T's right hand) rides the subway.
Peanut came from this toy. Given Peanut's small size, Jenn and I are often nervous about losing it. Lucky for us, the toy came with 3 Peanuts. Unfortunately, one of the dogs chewed one, so we are down to two. Teagan is arguably more attached to Peanut than Quinn is to Gay Bear. It could be because of its size. Teagan rarely does anything without "Me-Nut" in hand these days. Teagan climbs up the playground holding Peanut. She runs through the water park holding Peanut. He enjoys bath time, visits to the zoo and has even tasted my guacamole. Peanut remains in T's hand until she falls asleep. He somehow always manages to sleep right next to her face. Peanut is always in T's hand when I get her up in the morning. In the (tragic) event that he has fallen on the floor, I will loudly hear about it until I save the little guy. 

I honestly thought that Gay Bear and Peanut would be a thing of the past by now, but it looks like they're sticking around! 

Have your kids ever adopted an unusual lovey?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In the first aid kit

I've had a case of the summer lazies with my blog. I feel guilty for neglecting it but we've had to take advantage of the warmer weather and stay outside in the new backyard!

With all of the outdoor time, comes many scrapes and bruises, especially for my little kamikaze. Here are a few staples in my first aid kit:

Tea Tree Oil
-- It is a very powerful disinfectant for cuts and scrapes. After a wound has been thoroughly cleaned with soap and water, tea tree oil is a great anti-bacterial option.
-- Tea tree sprays are reasonably priced and can be purchased at health food stores. It is great to have on hand or in the diaper bag. To make your own tea tree salve, dilute 100% pure tea tree oil with a carrier oil (ie. coconut oil), because it can cause skin irritation at full strength. I typically use 1/4 tsp. coconut oil with 25 drops of high quality tea tree oil.
-- The salve is very effective at healing diaper rash.
-- NOTE: Never ingest tea tree oil as it is toxic when taken internally.

Coconut Oil
-- It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
-- Not only will it help prevent and kill possible bacteria in a wound, it will also act as a protective barrier against dirt and debris.
-- Since it can be taken internally (great cooking oil!), it can help to heal wounds from the inside out. It has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties so it will help repair damaged tissues.
-- As I mentioned above, it is a great carrier oil so it can be mixed with essential oils to make salves and moisturizers.

Colloidal Silver
-- If you colloidal silver, you will find a ton of negative press and photos of individuals with blue-coloured skin. These individuals attempted to make their own colloidal silver and took dangerously large amounts. I ONLY purchase Sovereign Silver's colloidal silver because quality varies drastically when it comes to this remedy. High quality colloidal silver is a powerful antibiotic when it is taken in the recommended dosages (and under the supervision of a health professional). It has been around since ancient times and is linked to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine.
-- It can also be used topically on wounds. If one of the girls cuts themselves fairly badly, I will put a few drops of colloidal silver onto the wound after it has be thoroughly.
-- I will also use it when I feel a bad cold coming on. I will 1tsp. three times per day. This remedy, along with extra rest and vitamin C, will usually kick the cold (or lessen the severity) before it starts.
-- I use colloidal silver sparingly. In the early 1900s, it was used by doctors as an antibiotic. It is still used for that purpose today, which is why I reserve it for more extreme cases (ie. when infection is present).

Disclaimer: The opinions in this blog entry are strictly my own. Always consult a health professional before taking any supplement or remedy. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Baby's First Stitches

In the battle of Quinn vs. the corner of the kitchen wall, the wall came out victorious. We knew that an ER visit for an injury was inevitable for Miss Q the kamikaze. Her head split open instantly and started gushing blood. Surprisingly, the kid only cried as much as she usually does for a scraped knee. After I cleaned it up, my Mom arrived to stay with Teagan, so I could take Q to the ER.

Off to the ER. Soothie is normally not
allowed out of the crib, but I made an
The ER doctor wanted to try using glue stitches since the cut was a clean straight line. Quinn took it like a champ and we headed home. She was overdue for a nap by hours so I put her down. 

Mommy freezes Q's head for the stitches
When she woke from her nap, I noticed that the cut had opened up again. My Dad came to hang out with T this time, so Q and I headed back to the ER. Fortunately, the doctor who treated Q the first time was still there, although her shift had ended. She was shocked to see us back because glue stitches are usually very effective. She decided that real stitches were going to be necessary. After freezing her head for the second time, she was wrapped up in a sheet, swaddle-style. I lay next to her singing songs, while she had her head stitched up -- cool as a cucumber and not a tear! I was so proud of my brave little girl. 

Despite a stitched head, she is back to her
kamikaze ways. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New and confusing feelings

Our drive to the zoo yesterday morning was like most car rides. Music played and Teagan bopped her head. Quinn chatted non-stop. Both girls laughed and (happily) yelled in their own language. They cracked each other up. It was adorable. The girls were in great moods.

Teagan and Quinn were lucky enough to be born with a built-in best friend. From the day they finally noticed one another, they've entertained each other. Soon enough they started playing together, creating games and getting into trouble. Yes, they fight too. But, at the end of every day, Teagan gets into Quinn's crib and they have a cuddle. They hug, kiss and giggle. We move Teagan into her own crib, which inevitably ends up right next to Quinn's (they pull them together).

While we have had play dates and gone to drop-in centres from the time they were 6 weeks old, they only truly started playing with other kids around their second birthday. Prior to that, they played along side other kids, but that was the extent of it.

The girls are best buddies. Up until recently, they only had eyes for each other. They have always been on a level playing field. They knew where things stood and could count on the other to be there.

We went to the zoo with our friends and their 3-year old daughter. Within minutes of arriving at the zoo, the three girls were out of their strollers running around. "Why don't you grab one of the little girls' hands?" my friend said to her daughter. She was next to Teagan so she reached for her hand. Teagan happily took it and they walked off together. The girls let go of one another's hand to check out the tiger. After we put the kids down, their daughter went for Teagan's hand again. Quinn saw it this time. No TT! She unsuccessfully tried to push Teagan out of the way. Teagan and the 3-year old walked off hand in hand.

Teagan had made a new friend. She clearly loved having an older kid to follow around. Quinn's mood quickly changed. She tried shoving Teagan one more time. I got annoyed with Quinn for trying to hit her sister before I saw what was going on. Each time we checked out a new animal, Quinn went off into the corner. When we stopped at a play area, Teagan and the other girl ran through a tunnel laughing. Quinn went off to the side and rested her head on a rock. She looked sad. She looked like her best friend in the whole world had ditched her for someone new. She was quiet and not herself. Our friends, who hadn't seen the girls in several months, couldn't believe that Quinn was normally the chatty, loud one. After trying to talk to her and cheer her up, it was clear that she didn't have a clue what she was feeling.

Jealously over Mommy's attention is nothing new since they've had to share my attention from day one. Jealously over Teagan's attention was new and confusing. Quinn has never had to share her built-in best friend before. Seeing my youngest baby with hurt feelings was heartbreaking. Maybe because it was the first time. I doubt it gets any easier (Moms of older kids?). I guess I'll learn how to handle it because I know it's only the beginning!

After a few texts with my 'everything twin guru', Eva, I tried make Quinn feel special with one-on-one time. Eva also suggested trying to encourage her to be more independent.

The learning of an important life lesson started yesterday. My babies are growing up! (insert tear!)

Teagan and her new friend
Quinn and Mommy