Powder Day

Even though it snowed early in October, we didn’t have a sled yet so couldn’t go sledding. We did however get to enjoy playing in the snow; James discovered that he loved to eat the snow, and Philip just wasn’t too sure what to think of it.

Now, we are fully winterized, thanks to snowsuits from Nana and Grandad (Richard’s parents), boots from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) and hats from Auntie Alex. So, when we got our second round of snowfall a couple of days ago, we didn’t hesitate to hit the slopes for some fresh powder (ok it was a tiny hill covered in just enough snow)!

The boys absolutely loved sledding! James had the biggest smile etched across his face when we went down the hill, and Philip would smile with delight and start trying to climb the hill after we got down (once he got used to walking in the snow).

I think we’ll be doing a lot of sledding this winter!

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First Hair Cut

I have been pushing off getting the boys first hair cut for a while now. First, I wanted to wait until they turned one. Then, I wanted to wait until after our move. And then, I just wanted to wait because I loved their long hair; James had the most beautiful long blond curls, and Philip just looked adorable with his long bangs and hair. It may sound silly, but I knew that after I cut their hair they wouldn’t look like little babies anymore; they’d officially be toddlers. Walking, talking (or at least trying to), short-haired little boys.

But, I ran out of excuses to not get their hair cut, and after a few too many “aw what cute little girls!” comments from strangers, I booked them for their first hair cut! I debated doing it myself; my sister cut her son’s hair herself and sent me some how-to videos to watch. But my boys are so squirmy, I didn’t have a low-backed chair that I could strap them into, and James’ hair is so curly I didn’t know how to approach cutting it, so I decided to take them somewhere for their hair cuts.

After a quick Google search, I found Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids. And finally, after months of apprehension and stalling, Richard and I took the boys for their first hair cuts yesterday!

I am so glad that we took them somewhere to get their hair cut instead of me doing it myself. And Beaners was built for kids! They had a ball pit for kids to play in, toys all over the place, and fun cars with steering wheels to strap the boys into for their hair cuts. Both boys got the Fire Truck for their hair cuts.

Philip went first, and after about 10 minutes, one comb steal, zero tears and a lot of interest in what was happening around him, Philip was a short-haired little boy. James went next and it was the same story for him. The staff at Beaners were super friendly and gave us “First Hair Cut” certificates for the boys and we were on our way home (after a quick play in the ball pit again).

Luckily for me, not much as actually changed. The boys still make all of their same noises and facial expressions, they just look more like little boys now instead of babies when doing it. I do miss their long, soft hair, but I do love their new short hair-dos too!

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Happy National Twin Day

In 1819, a pair of twins in Millsville Ohio donated 6 acres of land, on the condition that the town change its name to Twinsburg. In 1976, they started hosting an annual festival for twins, and National Twins Day was born!

I have to say that having twins is so rewarding! It is such an amazing thing to see them interact with each other, whether it is chasing each other around, laughing, hugging, wanting the same toy, or discovering things together. It certainly is hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Happy National Twin Day to all of the twins out there!

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And if you don’t have twins, you can keep your eyes open for other family days:

  • National Siblings Day April 10
  • National Brothers Day May 24
  • National Kids Day First Sunday in August
  • National Sisters Day First Sunday in August
  • National Sons and Daughters Day August 11
  • National Middle Child Day August 12

12 Months!

It’s official…I no longer have to refer to the age of my boys in months! When people ask how old they are, instead of saying “9, 10, or 11 months” I will now say “ONE YEAR OLD”!! Where did the time go?? It seems like only yesterday I was bringing them home from the hospital, but in reality, a full year has passed, and what an amazing year it has been!

I love seeing their different personalities that have emerged and become even more pronounced since they were first born. They are both such happy boys, but James has the biggest and most contagious smile. He is such a sweet boy, and always offer to share his toys and food with those around him. Philip loves to laugh, and warms to people very quickly. He is always waving at strangers when we are out, while James is a bit more wary with them. Philip knows what he wants and will throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, whereas James is a bit more mellow in that regard.

They love to play with each other and are constantly making each other laugh. In addition to soother-swap, they also love to play chase. They crawl around the house chasing each other and laughing, which is so amazing to see! They are so engaged with everything around them. This past month we took them to a petting zoo and they loved looking at the animals, James especially squealed and shrieked with delight. We also took them to the Toronto Aquarium recently which was so much fun. They enjoyed it a lot more than I thought they would and were so engaged in watching the different fish swim around in the tanks surrounding them. The especially loved watching the octopus!

They are starting to become more dexterous and planned with their movements. Instead of knocking over a full tower, they will carefully take apart the tower block by block. And they have both started to place toys in (or around) the specific area designed for that toy, instead of just throwing them (although they still do that sometimes and usually get a good laugh out of it)! Philip started to clap this month, and also will ‘dance’ by wagging his head back and forth to music or when we ask him to dance. They’ve also graduated from only blowing raspberries to using their fingers to help make a motor-boat sound. Both of them are so ‘talkative’ and sometimes have babbling conversations with each other.

At a year old, Philip has 5 teeth and a 6th on its way any day, and James has 4. They are both eating pretty much everything that we eat now and started to enjoy meat a lot more in the past month than they did previously. Some of their favourite foods now consist of chicken quesadilla, home-made hamburgers, sweet potato fries, scrambled eggs with chopped veggies and ham, and of course the old favourites of banana pancakes and yogurt.

Both boys are experimenting more and more with standing! Philip has stood for 15 seconds before sitting down on his own, and James for 14 seconds. They are both doing a lot of furniture surfing, and when walking with someone they barely hold onto the adults hands and just use them more for support rather than relying on them to stay upright. It is going to a whole new ball game once they start walking on their own!! Now that they are so mobile, their Jolly Jumpers no longer hold the same appeal that they used to so will soon be retired.

It’s been so hot this last month, that we’ve done a lot of water activities with the boys. We borrowed a kiddie pool for our back yard that we have used several times, and while my sister-in-law Auntie Alex and her boy friend Uncle Will were visiting, we took the boys to the pool, the beach and to a smaller lake for a swim. We also tried out a splash pad with my sister and her two kids, but we may wait until they can walk to go back to the splash pad. The boys still love to splash around in the water and get soaking wet. They laugh with each other so much in the water, so it will be a fun summer going out lots with them!

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I am so blessed to be able to stay off of work until January, when the boys turn 18 months old, so I will be able to continue to see all of the little daily changes that they are going through!

11 Months!

On May 29, Philip and James turned 11 months old! I can’t believe that we have only one month to go until they officially leave the baby stage and enter toddlerhood (12-36 months). Although, I don’t think I’m ready to call them toddlers yet!

Their new favourite thing this month is opening drawers and doors and pulling things from shelves. Luckily we had baby proofed the kitchen months ago, but their closet and diaper change table are often pulled apart, as is any laundry basket they find, and our front hall shoe rack. To be honest though, I don’t mind them tearing those things apart as they are just learning and exploring; it’s all part of being a baby!

They also LOVE to walk! We have 2 walkers for them, and their other favourite thing is to pull themselves to standing on a walker, walk the length of our house, and then call for someone to turn them around so they can make their way back. This can entertain them for a good 20 minutes at a time. And they pull themselves to standing on everything (literally)! James has started to furniture surf as well, and both are starting to experiment with letting go and standing without support for a few seconds at a time before needing to grab hold of something again. It won’t be long before these two are walking, and then running, everywhere!

In the last month, the boys touched grass for the first time. Philip cried, but has since come around and will crawl on the grass, and James was interested in it right from the get-go. They both enjoy pulling grass and dandelions now and trying to eat them. We also went to the beach for the first time and they got their first taste (literally) of sand. They both love to play with the sand, and try to eat it. We have also spent a lot of time this month outside hiking and playing in buckets of water, which gives hours of endless fun.

Both boys have gotten their top two teeth, and again luckily teething hasn’t been much of an issue for us. They are still eating lots (especially James) and their favourite foods are peanut butter, yogurt, banana pancakes, and Cheerios. And James also loves raspberries. They are both getting really proficient with the pincer grip too! Philip is getting to be a bit of a picky eater, and won’t eat meat unless it is ground up and cooked in a pancake format, so we are working on trying to get him to eat more. James however will eat almost anything, but once he gets tired of it he throws it on the ground for the dog to eat.

It’s been an amazing month in terms of their growth and abilities. Not only are they standing on everything and using the walkers constantly as I mentioned above, but Philip has started babbling and James has expanded his babbling vocabulary from only “mom-mom-mom” to “dadda, babba, gabba” and other varieties. They are both so talkative and love to interact with people. They do things just to get other people, and each other, to laugh, which has been so precious.

They are back to sleeping through the night after their bout of the flu last month, and in the last week their naps started to get longer. They are sleeping for 1 to 1.5 hours in the morning and 1 to 2 hours in the afternoon, as opposed to 30 to 45 minutes for each. The change in their naps has been nice, so I am hoping that it lasts! But even with their shorter naps, they are still very happy and playful boys and it has been such a joy to watch them explore and learn new things this last month. And, as you can see from their 11 month pictures, they are very busy and constantly on the move!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

When I was growing up, my mom would say “you won’t know what it’s like until you’re a mom!” whenever I thought she was being overly worried…like that time she was worried when I was backpacking through Europe. I always thought “I know exactly what she is feeling/thinking. I don’t need to be a mom to understand!” But I was so wrong! Being a mom has been the most amazing, rewarding, and wonderful experience of my life, but it has definitely changed my outlook on things. I am way more emotional and feel things much deeper than I did before; I can barely listen to the news without hearing some terribly sad story that makes me tear up. And I also worry, unnecessarily sometimes, about my boys, just like my mom does about me. Like the first time they slept for more than 4 consecutive hours I kept waking up and checking on them to make sure they were ok, so now I really do understand why she was worried about my backpacking adventure!

I haven’t even been a mom for a full year yet, but already I have a new found appreciation for my mom, and for all moms out there! It’s not easy being a mom. It’s not easy growing one (or two) babies inside you for 9 months. Your whole body changes, and doesn’t go back to the way it was once the babies are born so you adjust to your new normal. It’s not easy responding to your newborns cues, at any hour of the day or night, while you’re recovering from birth. It’s not easy running around after the babies once they start crawling and walking, and preparing all of their meals and cleaning up after them. It’s not easy taking care of sick little babies who can’t keep food down or sleep. It’s not easy to do all those things with a lack of sleep, and lets be honest, a lack of appreciation. And that’s just some of the things moms do within the first year of becoming a mother!

But, all of it is so amazing and rewarding! Once you become a mother, you have an overwhelming love for your children so that all of those things I listed above don’t actually seem so hard and you just want the best for them so you would do anything for them.

To celebrate this Mother’s Day, we had a Mother’s Day brunch for my grandma, my mom, me and my sister, but, my sister couldn’t make it because she was busy being a mom and taking care of her 3.5 year old who had the flu. So on this Mother’s Day, my first Mother’s Day as a mom, I want to say thank you to my mom for everything that she’s done for me! And thank you to all the mothers out there that continually put their children first and care so deeply for them. Happy Mother’s Day and thank you for all that you do!

10 Months Old!

On April 29, the boys turned 10 months old. We’re a bit late in posting this because the boys had their first real illness right before and during their 10 month birthday. They both got the stomach flu on Friday last week and after a few rough days and nights, they are back to their happy selves, but not before Richard and I caught their flu. Luckily my parents came out for a couple of days to help us with the boys while we recuperated!

Other than their illness, both boys are doing so well!! Philip started pulling himself to standing within the first few days of April, and just in the last few days of April so did James. Even though James wasn’t pulling himself to standing until more recently, he still would let us know that he wanted to stand and we would help him up. They both love standing and now frequently stand up in their cribs when they’re meant to be sleeping! They’ve also started using their walkers and love moving about the room on their own. With increased standing and walking however, came increased falls and tumbles, but they are learning to bend at the hips so that they fall on their bum, rather than falling like a plank. I had never realized that that was a learned skill, but I guess that makes sense that it is, just like everything else these two little boys get up to!

Their diets have expanded significantly (with the exception of their stomach flu) and they are eating pretty much everything that we are now! It’s so much fun to watch them eat everything and just share the food off of our plates. But now it means that I can’t have a snack without two little boys crawling over to me and pulling themselves up on me and smacking their lips to be fed. They are also developing the “pincer grip”, so are able to pick up smaller bits of food and feed themselves, although their aim isn’t always accurate, so the mess has increased quite a bit.

They have made huge progress in their interactions, which is saying something because they were so interactive before! They laugh at each other and chase each other around the house now. They also “talk” back and forth to each other a lot and pick up on each others moods now, which isn’t always a good thing. We also started bathing them together in the big bath tub, which has been a huge success. They liked bath time before, but now they love it! They look for things that are hidden, and when they throw a toy under something, like a table, crib or couch, they try to crawl under whatever it is to get the toy back. They also respond to their names (the majority of the time), and purposefully wave when someone waves at them or says “hello”. And they are starting to understand “no, don’t touch that” a bit better which is good, but we still have a way to go with that one!

And my little boys are growing up; Philip has thrown his first toddler temper tantrum! James still just cries when something doesn’t go the way he wants it to, but he’s easily calmed down, like a baby. But on several occasions now when something doesn’t go Philip’s way, he gets angry and screams (not cries) and throws a little fit, like a toddler. The first time it happened was when we had one sippy cup out and gave it to James to drink out of first. Philip threw a tantrum until he got to hold the cup. I have to say it’s pretty cute seeing a little 17 lb baby throw a little tantrum at something like that, but I’m sure I’ll get tired of it fast once the “terrible two’s” roll around.

April also saw the first time that the boys ever slept ALL the way through the night! They had slept from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am a few times before, but on April 19, they slept from 6:30 pm all the way to 6:00 am!! Unfortunately I was getting over a cold at the time so I was up every couple of hours coughing anyways, but still a very exciting milestone. Now, we just need to work our way back to that after their bout of flu.

These boys are such a bundle of joy and energy! I can’t believe that there is less than two months left until we are celebrating them turning ONE!

 

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