Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Self-Weaning

And just like that, Quinn has started self-weaning from breastfeeding! It happened suddenly and very easily. It was anti-climatic and perfect.

When our breastfeeding journey began exactly 35 months ago today, I didn't have a clue how long it would last. I also thought that it wouldn't begin with such challenges. While it only took Teagan about a week to get the hang of it, it took Quinn nearly 6 weeks. Our struggles produced many tears, on both of our ends. But true to our strong and persistent personalities, we persevered and succeeded! I think that because of our rocky beginning, I didn't want to wean them just for the sake of it (or because people say that I should wean at a certain age). Breastfeeding became very easy for the three of us. Our struggles became a distant memory and nursing became a quick and virtually effortless way to get a healthy meal or snack into the girls. It also became a wonderful bonding experience. It continues to be easy for the three of us. I have reached a point though where I would be just fine if they wanted to stop.

For the last few months, I have tried to be out of the house at bedtime once every week or two. The girls are offered some almond or coconut milk. Then one day a few weeks ago, Quinn asked for almond milk at bedtime when I was home. Then asked for it again the following night. She went for two full days of last week without nursing. And then she went back to it. Skipped it a few more times. And then went back once. It is hit and miss now. I don't offer and don't refuse, although I will gently encourage her to drink the almond milk instead.

This is how I hoped it would happen. No stress. No tears. Just good memories.


Monday, April 28, 2014

17/52

A photo of my girls each week for one year.


New ways to use the Little Ti.kes climber…


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy (belated) Easter!

This week seems to  have flown by. I can't believe that I'm only getting to this post now. It will probably be light on the words and heavy on the pictures! We had a lovely Easter weekend that actually included some warmer temperatures!

We met up with a friend and her daughter for a Good Friday trip to the zoo. The three girls had a blast running around together. We decided to buy a seasons pass this year. The Toronto Zoo is quite expensive to pay by the visit. We will easily pay it off this summer, especially with trips to their fantastic water park.


When we arrived at the zoo, there were two pandas set up out front for hugs and photo ops with kids. The girls ran straight up to them. Teagan gave the panda a huge hug and didn't want to let go. 



Rock climbing anyone?...


Something was going on with the zebras across the walkway. The cheetahs were all going nuts running back and forth trying to see what was happening. Jenn snapped this photo of one of the cheetahs focused on the running zebra. 


Saturday included a test drive for a new car for Jenn and an impromptu dinner with Atty and Grandpa. Quinn and Grandpa thoroughly enjoyed some delicious lamb chops!


I put together…er I mean the Easter Bunny put together an Easter egg hunt for the girls on Sunday morning. It mostly included non-candy items, but they each did get a small chocolate egg. 



After the hunting was finished, we dressed ourselves in our Easter best and headed over to Michael and Paige's place for brunch. Our lucky little girls were spoiled with another Easter egg hunt, but this time, it included lots of chocolate! 




After we devoured brunch, we took the girls to the park across the street to work off the delicious meal!


Easter weekend concluded with a trip to the park under the watchful eyes of their big brothers :)





Tuesday, April 22, 2014

16/52: Helping hand

A photo of my girls each week for one year. 

Teagan was getting frustrated because she couldn't get her shoe tied up properly. Quinn to the rescue!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Crafts

The girls love painting, but it is something that I usually avoid at home. But, after purchasing a cheap, waterproof table cloth from the dollar store, my fear of painting with toddlers is no longer! I can't remember who gave me this brilliant idea, but it has saved me a lot of time. I used to take a good 20 minutes to tape newspapers down on our table.

Recently, I've seen this easy Easter craft on a few blogs and on Pint.erest and thought that it was the perfect post-nap activity for the girls.

Pom-Pom Easter Eggs

All you need:
-- clothes pins
-- pom-poms
-- paper
-- paint (preferably washable!)






The girls really enjoyed this craft. They particularly liked blending the colours together. Teagan also loved putting one colour on top of the other. "I paint blue and then pink and then orange, Mommy!"

video


 After Quinn grew bored of painting, she asked for glue and "eyes". I also got them some Dis.ney princess stickers.


All in all, a great craft that is cheap, easy and fun!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring has sprung!


The boys and I had a beautiful Spring day walk this morning…



….um wait? No, you're not seeing things. That's snow…on April 15th. Fortunately, it's not (too) cold. Winter is Riley and Finn's favourite season, so as you can see, they were thrilled. 

Up until this morning, Spring was officially in the air with temperatures hitting the double digits (celcius) during the day. Not having to bundle up in winter coats, mitts, hats and boots is/(was) absolutely glorious.

We have talked about getting scooters for the girls for a while now. We had decided that we would get them scooters for their birthday. When temperatures started to warm up, I couldn't resist. I jumped the gun and got them early birthday presents. They'll get enough around the actual day anyways!

Not surprisingly, Teagan is cautious. "Min likes to go fast and I like to go slow," Teagan said to me the other day. (Min is short for Mini Quinny) She is getting the hang of it though.


And the kamikaze! Please note the sound effects! Her balance and agility (and fearlessness!) is impressive.

video

These Ybike scooters are fantastic for developing balance. I researched scooters for a while. I looked at the Micro Minis, the Radio Flyers and a few other brands. The Ybike scooter is very solid and doesn't feel cheap, like some of the others. No plastic wheels! The child turns by shifting their weight to one side, like a skateboard. 

We've been trying to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the warmer temperatures. 

The coats make it look colder than it was!
Happy to be back on the swings!
A morning scooter ride by the water
The return of regular visits to the farm!
Extra, the goat, was needing some
Teagan love on this particular day.

Jenn did an amazing job of getting the backyard cleaned up on the weekend. The gardens are going to need a clean up as well, but that will have to wait until the snow has departed!

I purchased a Group.on deal for an organic gardening workshop. I'm really excited to build some raised beds this year and grow some veggies. I'll need to figure out how to keep the dogs away from them. I'm hoping that I can include the girls in it this year. In past years, I've grown tomatoes, Swiss chard, peppers and herbs. They grew decently well but I'm really hoping that I can educate myself a bit more. 

The girls have started back at gymnastics class again. We are doing it from 4-5pm, as opposed to our previous morning time slot. I am loving the new time slot because it exhausts them. They are also going to start a soccer class soon (also with a 4pm start). Apart from that, I see lots of park time fun in our future! 

Happy Spring (just don't look out the window)! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

15/52

A portrait of my girls every week for one year.

It is important to moisturize
Quinn and Finn take a break on a morning
scooter ride.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bye-bye soothie party!

During a visit to the dentist a few weeks ago, I was told that Quinn's front teeth were pushed slightly forward. The dentist then asked if Quinn used a soother. At naptime and bedtime, I replied. She usually suggests that kids stop using a soother at age 3.

Jenn and I took that as our cue and used the dentist as the bad guy. Several months ago, before the dentist visit, we suggested to Quinn that she give her soothers to another baby. This idea was no well received. We needed something else. A few weeks ago, I heard about a new idea -- tying a soothie to a balloon and sending it up to soothie heaven. I also suggested to Quinn that we throw a party to bid farewell to her beloved soothie. She liked this. We discussed menu, balloon colours and guests. We kept it at a small family gathering :) 

For the last two weeks, we also talked about the hard stuff. After the party, she would be going to bed without soothie. We talked about how it would be difficult. We told her that we thought that she was very brave for doing this. We also threw out the dentist card -- she understood that the dentist had said that using a soothie could be "bad for her teeth."

The night finally came. We prepared a delicious spread of cheeses, guacamole, fruit, BBQ'd meat (for my little carnivore) and wine. A Minnie Mouse cupcake for dessert. Some of Quinn's favourites. 

The evening started out by saying bon voyage to soothie! (Note that last year's Halloween costumes made an appearance)



Bon voyage soothie!


Soothie gets stuck on the fence…take 2:


A large gust of wind picked up and soothie ended up in the neighbour's tree! Quite anticlimactic (and a bit funny)! Quinn was confused. Kelly is planning Operation Free Bird.


Quinn then enjoyed some food and her cupcake!


The party got quite wild and rowdy, as the guests needed to work off their dinner!




After some late night dancing…


and a quick snooze…



…it was bedtime…without soothie.

Quinn immediately asked her for soothies. We explained again that they have gone to soothie heaven. She had a difficult time settling and getting comfortable. She normally takes the soothie and rolls over. I cuddled her for a while and then left the room. Within minutes, I could hear the whimpers. I went back in and crawled into bed with her. She wrapped her little arms around my neck and squeezed me tightly. I stroked her hair and gently "shhh'd" her, like I did when she was an infant. After a few minutes, she settled and fell fast asleep.

Jenn and I anticipated that Quinny would experience one or more difficult nights when she realized that soothie was gone for good. I think that she was exhausted from all of the excitement and slept until 6:30am. I woke to her whining, "TT, where are my soothies?!" as she stood over a sleeping Teagan. I quickly grabbed her and brought her into bed with me. 

All in all, a decent first night. And now onto nap #1 and bedtime #2…

Monday, April 7, 2014

14/52

A photo of my girls every week for one year.

Swinging on a beautiful Spring day!
First ponytail!