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!

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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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Why I Love Being a Twin Mom: Reason #10

It has been a couple of months since I have posted why I love being a twin mom, but not for lack of reasons! With the boys growing so fast and learning so many skills, I’ve been kept busy and haven’t had as much time to write as many blog posts, but have found some time to write about yet another reason why I love being a twin mom.

Now that they are both expert sitters, we’ve started giving them baths in the regular bath tub, instead of in the baby bath tub. And because it’s a bigger tub, we bathe them at the same time now. It is so much fun to see them passing toys back and forth to each other and splashing together in the tub. I don’t think I am confident enough to do double baby bath time by myself so Richard and I split it up so that I focus on washing one of the boys, and Richard the other. Sometimes we mix it up and get in the tub with them for mommy-baby bath time, or daddy-baby bath time, which is an equally fun experience.

It is so different bathing both boys in the tub at the same time, rather than just bathing one at a time, and we all love it! Since we’ve started doing this, the boys frequently crawl to the bathroom and pull themselves up to look into the bath tub.

Mommy Baby Bath Time

Why I love being a twin mom, reason number 10: double baby bath time

Two Boys and Their Dog

We have a six and a half year old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Nya. I wouldn’t describe her as a spoiled dog, but she definitely got all of our attention…pre-babies that is! Leading up to the birth of the boys, I knew that would change and she would take a back seat for our attention. But I wasn’t too concerned with how she would act around the boys, even though she hadn’t ever been around small babies before, because she is such a gentle dog. Despite her size, she has always been very gentle with little dogs and puppies, even when they would nip at her. She is also the ideal dog because her energy level tends to change with ours, so if we want to take her out for a big hike or cross country ski trek, she’ll run along side us happy as a clam. Or, if we feel like having a lazy day, she is content to sleep on her bed all day. This boded well for us, because we figured we wouldn’t have as much time to take her out for long hikes once the boys were born, but that she would be okay with that.

We didn’t do too much to prepare Nya for the boys. I read several things that parents used to help dogs acclimatize to new babies, such as bringing home a blanket from the hospital that smells like the baby and letting your dog smell it, before bringing the baby in, but in the end we didn’t do anything special. I knew that Nya sensed that something was different the whole pregnancy because she became a bit more protective of me. For example, Nya always slept downstairs, but one night, after Richard and I watched The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, I couldn’t stop crying. It was a funny movie but with sad bits, and my hormones were on overdrive, so the tears ensued. Nya came upstairs and slept on the floor beside my bed all night, which is saying a lot since she is usually a princess who requires cushions to sleep!

When we came home from the hospital, Nya was excited to see us, and excited to sniff the boys, but she was gentle with them and didn’t get too close. Soon after we arrived home, the boys both started crying, and Nya (who usually runs from loud noises), came into the bedroom to make sure everything was okay. I love this picture of her lying in between the two boys, making sure they were safe, on just day 2 of being home with them:

Nya

Since we’ve brought Philip and James home, Nya has enjoyed being around them, but they were not too fussed about her. However, in the last few months since they have become more interactive, they’ve taken a lot more notice of her! James especially loves watching her. One of their favourite things to do now is to crawl to Nya and pet her. At other times, they just stare at her as she walks around, eats her food, or lounges on her bed. It will be so much fun to see how they all grow to love each other even more in the coming months!

 

9 Months Old!

Philip and James were three-quarters of a year old yesterday! This past month was a busy one, with a lot of exciting firsts.

One of my favourite firsts that happened this past month, was the first time on the swings at the park. They both loved the swings, laughing and screeching as they swung back and forth. We also tried out the slides at the park for the first time too, but they weren’t interested in that and didn’t even crack a smile. Another thing that they love is going for walks in their forward facing front packs. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit and the wind isn’t so biting, we’re able to take them out facing forwards now. Philip laughs a lot of the time, while James maintains a running monologue.

As I said in my Babies on the Move post, they are both crawling now, so there is rarely a moment of them sitting still (as you’ll see from the pictures). Since I posted that, James has gotten a lot faster, but still isn’t getting up onto his knees to crawl yet. Although, in the last few days he’s started to get up onto his knees and rock back and forth, and then go back to his belly to do the army crawl. James loves to crawl, and he squeals and laughs as he moves to his next target. Philip is such a fast crawler now, and early in the month he learned how to roll from his back to his front, which he does all the time…even during diaper changes. Philip also loves to sit on his knees. So, when he wants to take a break from crawling, he doesn’t go to sitting on his bum like most babies do…he stops and sits on his knees. Which means that he has started reaching things that he previously wasn’t able to get to. And he is starting to try to pull himself up to standing on things, like his activity jumper. This unfortunately has resulted in a few hard falls and some big cries, but I’m sure it’s the first of many for our little adventurer.

James is a little chatter-box. He is always talking. His favourite sounds are “mama” (I can’t wait until he actually knows what he is saying), “dada” and “baba”. Philip hasn’t made those sounds yet, and instead squeals and does a little laugh that sounds like a hooting owl all the time. They both love to blow raspberries…especially during meal times. And speaking of meal times, they eat SO much now! We’ve started feeding them some solid foods, including sweet potato fries, pepper sticks, raspberries and watermelon, to help keep up with their demanding appetites. And Philip got his two bottom teeth this past month, so we have two happy, smiley boys with two bottom teeth sticking up now.

They are interacting with each other so much now. When sitting on the floor, they’ll trade toys with each other and reach for each other, and when in their activity jumpers they talk back and forth. They’ve started imitating each others sounds now and have little conversations where they blow raspberries back and forth. They crawl to each other (and over each other) now too, and get excited when they see the other one enter the room.

Their naps have gotten a little more consistent in the past few weeks, which has been nice. Unfortunately their sleeping through the night was a short-lived phenomenon. They are back to waking up 2-3 times a night, but I’m hoping that is only because they seem to be going through a growth spurt.

It’s been a busy month with visitors as well. We’ve had Nana Suzanne here (Richard’s mom) and Auntie Liz (Richard’s middle sister) which was a lot of fun! And Aunt Kaitlynn (my sister) and cousin Tristan (just 7 months older than the boys) came up to visit yesterday so the boys all had a good play together. And Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) have come up for a few visits too. Everyone (including me) just loves watching the boys grow and learn new things, and interact with each other and the world around them. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next month!!

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