Visit from Nana Suzanne

This week we’ve been very happy to welcome my mother-in-law, Nana Suzanne, to our house for the next month. My husband is from the United Kingdom and decided to move to Canada about 9 years ago, but his whole family is still over there.

Nana and Grandad (my husband’s parents) both came out to visit when the boys were first born, but haven’t seen them in person since they were 6 weeks old. So, I was very excited for Nana to come and stay with us again for her to see the boys and how much they’ve grown! And for them to get to know her now that they are so aware of their surroundings. And of course, for the additional help!

It has been a fun and busy first few days. She’s dove right in with the boys, as grandmothers tend to do, and they love playing and spending time with her. She’s also a baby whisperer when it comes to sleeping, which we need because the boys (Philip especially) have been having more difficulty falling asleep in the past few weeks.

And she’s an expert quilter! When she came in July, she brought the boys each a quilt, and a couple of wall hangings:

This time around, she brought the boys a new play mat which they love playing on and looking at:

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Spinach Apple Purée

Spinach Apple Purée

I love this spinach and apple purée for the boys because it’s packed full of nutrients, and the boys LOVE it! Spinach can be a lot to handle for their little taste buds, so to make it tastier we added few apples and spices.

Spinach and apples are vegetables and fruits, which we know are good for us, so I don’t need to make much of a case for why this is such a healthy meal for the babies, but I will. Spinach is a good source of iron, which is important for babies because some can suffer from anemia; this is more common in pre-term babies, and can be brought on by rapid-growth (which babies commonly undergo). Spinach also contains protein, which again helps their continually growing little bodies. Apples are a great source of dietary fiber, which when you’re starting to introduce solids to your babies, it’s great to have fibrous foods for them! And they also contain antioxidants. So there you have it, protein, iron, fiber and antioxidants all from two simple ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples
  • 2 heaping handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 banana (optional for consistency)

Ingredients for Spinach Apple Purée

  1. Peel and dice the apples Peeled and diced apples
  2. Put the water into a sauce-pan and bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-high heat and add the diced apples
  3. Add the cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg and stir to mix
  4. Cover and let simmer for 6 minutes, or until the apples as soft
  5. Add the spinach and stir until wilted Almost done...
  6. Move to a blender and blend until smooth

If the purée is too watery for your liking, add 1/2 a banana at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add 1/4 cup of water at a time and continue until it reaches the consistency you like. Serve and enjoy

 

And then serve and enjoy! Or, you can store this purée in the fridge for 4 days, or put into ice cube trays and freeze them. The frozen purée will last for up to 4 months.

10 Solo Activities To Do with Your Twins During the Winter

With the weather being so cold and all the snow on the ground, it limits the options of what to do with your twins when you’re home by yourself during that first year. You can no longer go outside for a walk with them on the days that you don’t have anything planned, because the stroller won’t push through the snow. And you can’t carry them in a front pack or baby carrier, because there’s only one of you and there’s two of them. If you’re really ambitious and have TwinGo carrier, or like baby wearing with two babies in a wrap, and can figure out how to bundle them up and wear them both at the same time, you may be able to go for a solo walk in the snow…but that would be ambitious!

So, I made a list of 10 activities to do during these cold winter months to help keep you and your babies occupied until Spring comes. I haven’t tried them all yet, but here are some ideas of things you can do with your twins during their first year when you’re alone, during the winter months:

  1. Go to a community mom group. Most communities have something like this through a program called the Early Years Program, or something similar. The one in Burlington has different programs every day of the week at different times and in different locations. If I have nothing else planned for the day, I’ll try and make one of these. They have a program called Mother Goose where moms bring their babies and sing different nursery rhymes together. There’s also one called Baby and Me, where the facilitators bring toys for you to just play with your baby and get to meet other moms.
  2. Organize a meet up with other mom friends. You can meet at one of your houses, or go out somewhere, and just meet for a play date. It is fun to get out of the house (or have people over) and swap stories, advice and challenges that you’re having. And if there are some other twin moms there then that’s an added bonus! It’s also a fun to have your twins interacting with the other babies.
  3. Go to the pool. For this one you’ll have to check whether or not the pool that you want to take your twins to will allow one adult with two babies, or if they require one adult per baby. I know in Burlington the YMCA requires one adult for one child under six, but the City of Burlington pools allow for one adult with two infants. This is a fun activity to do, but you have to be comfortable with changing both babies solo, and taking them swimming solo. If you are a frequent flier at the pool though, it may be worth it to get a twin-specific floaty device!Twin Floater
  4. Go to the store with your twins. Even if you can’t walk outside with the stroller, you can still push your twins through a store or mall in the stroller. A store like IKEA is nice, because there’s lots of stuff to look at, but they also have a restaurant inside and a nice baby room where you can privately nurse and change your twins in a comfortable chair if you want to make it a longer day out of it.
  5. Head to your local library, or bookstore. You can spend some time in the child area reading books to your twins and playing with them there. And, if you go to Chapters or Indigo, you can grab a much needed and deserved Starbucks while you’re at it.
  6. Sign up for a baby and mommy class. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll be able to find a bunch of different classes in your community that you can sign up for. These classes tend to cost a little bit of money and are a 6 to 8 week commitment, although you may find a one off program that you can go to. There are things like infant massage, baby art class, swim lessons, music lessons, or a variety of other options. Find one that you think would be best for you and your twins and sign up so that you have at least one event to look forward to getting out to each week.
    Baby Art

    Our very own baby foot-art design

  7. Go to a mom and baby workout class. Okay, so this one may not be very relaxing, but it is a good way to meet other new moms, and warm up! Being in an environment where there are other new moms working out is great because no one minds if one (or both) of the babies gets fussy or needs to feed, be changed, etc, and the instructors are always more than willing to help out with the babies when they see a mom with twins. And, it is a great way incorporate your babies into getting back in shape (because lugging two car seats around isn’t enough already *sarcasm intended*)
  8. Stars and Strollers. I haven’t been to this yet, but certain Cineplex locations show a new release every Wednesday in a baby friendly environment. That means that the sound is turned down, and the lights are turned up so that moms can bring their babies and watch a movie without overwhelming the baby with the loud sound that you would typically get at the movie theater.
  9. Take the twins tobogganing. Just like there are twin-specific floaty devices, there are also twin-specific toboggans out there! You can take your twins out to a small hill and go tobogganing with them. Even if you don’t have one of the special twin-toboggans, you can still sit with them on a regular sled and go down the hill, just make sure that they are old enough to be able to handle the movement! Twin Toboggan
  10. Get a massage. There are places out there that have built-in child care services so you can go and enjoy a much needed and well-deserved massage, while your twins are being cared for in the next room by a licensed and trained professional. This is a great option to get you and the twins out of the house, and easier than trying to find and hire a sitter or arrange for friends or family to come to the house to watch the babies. It will give you piece of mind knowing that you are still in the same building with your twins so that you can fully enjoy the massage. Not every city has an option like this, but do a quick Google search to see if there is something like this near you!

Comment below with what activities you liked doing with your babies during the winter months when it was too cold and snowy to go for walks outside!

10 Solo Activities to do with your Twins During the Winter

Why I Love Being a Twin Mom: Reason #9

I love to tandem nurse my boys. Tandem nursing is hit or miss with twin moms either enjoying this, or hating it and trying to avoid it. But I fall into the category of the moms who love it!

Ever since they were born, I have primarily tandem nursed my twins, with the help of the Twin-Z pillow. I love doing this, not only because it’s more efficient than nursing one then the other, but because it’s so neat to watch them interact when they are both nursing. They often hold hands, which is adorable, or sometimes look at me, try to look at the other one, touch the other ones face, etc. It’s something I never tire of seeing! Also nursing them at the same time helps to stimulate the letdown by producing the hormone prolactin, so it helps me who struggles with milk supply keep both my boys happy and full.

Tandem nursing

Why I love being a twin mom, reason number 9: tandem nursing.

7 Months Old!

It is amazing how fast time goes once you have kids; it feels like only yesterday the boys were born, but at the same time I can’t remember life without them. Now, they are 7 months old! I know in the grand scheme of things, 7 months is still so young, but to me it feels like they are almost all grown…well they definitely aren’t little babies any more!

Both Philip and James are doing so well! They are perfecting their reaching and grasping and are so accurate with what they want now. Once they get the toy they want, it goes in their mouth, or they hand it back and forth between their hands and shake it. They are often trading toys with each other which is so cute to see! At this point in time, it isn’t deliberately sharing…it’s more like one of them has a toy that they other one wants, so they drop their toy and take the toy they want, so the other one picks up the dropped toy, but it works! They are both such vocal little boys and always display their excitement with coos and screeches of happiness, especially Philip!

Just in the last week, they have both started blowing raspberries again, which is so cute! But during meal time, it makes things a bit messy. Which brings me to one of the biggest milestones we hit this month: solid foods! I’ve already touched on this experience in other posts, so I’ll keep it short here. Basically, they love eating! Butternut squash, spinach, carrots, apples, blueberries, you name it and they eat it…as long as it’s not egg, green beans or turkey. They get so excited to eat and almost always open their mouth for the spoon headed their way.

Another big milestone is that they can both sit unsupported now. James loves sitting! If he is fussy, sometimes all we need to do is put him in a seated position and he is happy to just play with toys and watch the world around him from his new perch. Philip also sits unsupported, but is much more interested in moving onto his tummy and crawling to get a toy, or play with the edge of the furniture (thank goodness for baby proofing). James is doing great with tummy time and has started planking and moving backwards and in circles, so crawling won’t be far behind. Once they both start moving, they are going to be keeping me busy!

We went to the pool for the first time this month and it was so much fun! Philip loved the water immediately and started laughing, screeching and splashing. It took James a few minutes to really start enjoying the water, but soon he was laughing and splashing right along with Philip. I was glad that they liked the pool, but wasn’t too surprised since they have grown to love bath time! Philip splashes and plays in the water, while James tends to enjoy the water, relax a bit and chew on one of the bath toys.

They both love being read to and watching the images on the pages, and playing with the cardboard books. They love being sung to, bounced, lifted overhead, and all other games like that. They also love peek-a-boo, and squeal and laugh when we play. And speaking of laughing, they are both ticklish little boys and have the cutest laughs, so they get tickled a lot! They also both watch our dog Nya a lot, and James is especially fascinated with her! They have started to ‘pet’ her with our help and support and they are all getting along really well which is nice; I can’t wait for them to start interacting with her even more and then I know that she’ll absolutely love them!

They interact with each other now by reaching out for the other one…sometimes they end up grabbing the others face, hair, ear, etc. so I keep a watchful eye to make sure they don’t accidentally hurt the other one. They gravitate to each other sometimes when playing, which is so heartwarming to see! They haven’t made each other laugh yet, but they give each other huge smiles so I can’t wait for the day that they laugh with each other.

They are still waking up every couple of hours during the night to feed, but we haven’t tried to train them out of it and don’t have any plans to. They always eat when they wake up, so I figure once they don’t need the extra feeds in the night, they’ll start sleeping for longer stretches. We have moved their bedtime up to a consistent 7:30 pm though which has been nice for Richard and I! And we’re starting to play around with moving it even earlier since their naps have gotten more consistent now.

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So much has happened this last month it’s hard to record it all, but I can definitely say it has been amazing and I’m so looking forward to experience everything with these boys next month!

Lactation Bites

Lactation Bites How To

These lactation bites are delicious, and as the name implies, are meant to help increase breast milk production. They quickly became one of my favourite recipes for a dessert, or even a snack. They are quick and easy to make and are packed with nutrients and are mouth-wateringly good! And despite the name, they are not just for breastfeeding moms; my husband and parents love them as well.

In terms of increasing milk production, if you read my Breastfeeding Twins post, you know that I still had to take a variety of supplements and prescription domperidone to get my production up to the level I needed to nurse my twins, so I can’t fully attest to the effectiveness of these treats increasing milk production, but I’m certainly sure that they won’t hurt! Whole grains, like oats, are one of the most common foods known to increase breast milk production, and they also are fibrous and give you lots of energy – two things you need after giving birth! The flaxseeds have phytoestrogens that can improve breast milk production, and they contain healthy fatty acids. The peanut butter packs in the protein. And who doesn’t love chocolate (which is shown to be good for your heart) and honey (which is a natural way to sweeten your foods)!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • chopped nuts or dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1)Start by melting the chocolate in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it is melted, add the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and honey and mix to combine.

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2) Separately, mix the oats, ground flaxseed, shredded coconut, and if you are using them, the nuts, dried cranberries, hemp hearts and/or cinnamon in a large bowl.

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3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

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4) Here, you can either flatten the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan, refrigerate and cut into bit-sized squares later, or roll the mixture into little balls right now. Once they are made to bit-sized pieces (either squares or round depending on your preference), you can store them in the fridge, or freeze on parchment paper and store in a freezer bag once frozen.

 

 

Baby on the Move

I had mentioned in my 5 month post that Philip looked like he was going to start crawling soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started before he turned 6 months old. Then again in my 6 month post, I said he would be crawling soon because he was planking, getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth, and just generally interested in crawling.

Well, the day has come! On January 21, Philip took his first crawl (forward…he was moving backwards for a few weeks). In the days leading up to his forward momentum, he started playing his new favourite game: picking up a toy, putting it in his mouth, throwing it to the right, and then turning to get it, and repeat. Then he got to throwing it further and further away, but always his movement was to the side or backwards to get the toy.

But two days ago, he saw a toy in front of him that he wanted, and he moved his little arms in coordination with his little legs and moved forward to get it. I’m not going to lie, it brought tears to my eyes! How exciting that my little guy if crawling!! I’m definitely glad that we finished most of the baby proofing already.

James hasn’t started crawling yet, but in the last week has started planking and playing the “throw-a-toy-to-the-right-and-turn-to-get-it” game. He hasn’t gone up onto his hands and knees yet, but it’s only a matter of time now until he starts doing that and then the forward motion of crawling. 


Right now, James is much more interested in sitting unsupported than trying to crawl though. 

I love watching these two boys grow and develop!! And it is so fun to see them hit different milestones at different times! Here are a few photos of them doing what they love doing most right now:

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