Toddler Favourites- Two Years Old!

Toddler Favourites- Two Years Old

Leapfrog Number Lovin’ Oven– We don’t have room for a play kitchen in our house so this little talking oven is a real life/spacesaver

Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Set–  SOO happy that I kept all the tracks and trains from the twin’s big bro ( are they ever expensive)! They love them as much as he did.

Megablocks Big Building Bag– WOW do all three kids enjoy these. The twins are well on their way to being  master builder and their brother loves helping them make elaborate constructions! Next stop- LEGO!

IKEA Lockig Potty– Cheap and cheerful. Let the potty training fun begin.

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”– This is a favourite book in our house and a fun, rythmic way of teaching the alphabet.

Beanie Boos– All three kids are OBSESSED withe these big eyes plushies.

 

Continue Reading

No Baby Unhugged- November 17th is World Prematurity Day

no-baby-unhugged

When William and Charlotte came into the world a month early, they were in the NICU for 11 days due to infection and a need to develop a little bit more. It was so scary and nerve wracking to see them hooked up to machines in the islolets. My favourite time of the day was when I was able to take each baby out, careful of all their wires and monitors, to hold them close, nurse (or attempt to) them and just feel them in my arms. Sob… thinking back on this scary but special time still makes me tear up going on two years later.

November 17th is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness of the high rates of prematurity across the globe.

When babies come into the world early, they are so fragile and vulnerable. Human touch and skin-to-skin contact are hugely important to newborn care development, in both the short and long term.

Skin- to- skin contact helps to improve sleep, regulate body temperature, improve oxygen levels and pain tolerance and improve brain development and so much more.

Huggies believes in the power of touch so much they created No Baby Unhugged, an initiative to make sure all babies get snuggled when when their mother cannot be there.

I was never in the hospital as much as I wanted to be- I was recovering from a c-section and trying to pump milk for two babies… how much more peace of mind I would have had if I knew that my babies were being held close when I was not there?

Through the No Baby Unhugged program, Huggies has provided $50,000 in funding to two Canadian hospitals, with more planned. To-date, Huggies has partnered with Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, offering funding to cover hugging chairs and stations, along with dozens of Hugger Volunteers in the NICU’s to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need. Over 600 babies are admitted to these hospitals each year, where hundreds of hours of care are offered by trained volunteers.

Take a look at the videos below featuring true stories captured at the these No Baby Unhugged hospitals, which show the reality of NICU care and how this initiative is helping families.

 

       Here’s What Hugs Can Do: No Baby Unhugged at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

       Miracle Hugs from No Baby Unhugged at Southlake Regional Health Centre

Show your support at nobabyunhugged.com. When you do, Huggies will thank you for your support by sending you free Huggies Diapers!

Continue Reading

The Pull-Up’s Potty Partnership (Giveaway)

Huggies Pull up's Potty Partnership

I had a heck of a time potty training my eldest, Wee Man. I was so stressed out and anxious about the entire experience that it made it so much harder for both of us. While we are still a while away from potty training the twins, I am already thinking about ways to avoid the pitfalls that I experience the first go-around.

The Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership launched earlier this year with huge success and offers a whole new way to potty train. Created in partnership with renowned child psychologist and potty training expert, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, it’s tailored to work with your child’s unique personality, on their schedule and according to how they learn.

By completing a free, online quiz about your child’s habits, parents will receive customized tips and advice based on their kiddo’s Potty Personality: a Squirrel, Bear Cub, Puppy, Owl or Turtle.

Based on your childs personality, the program suggests the best way to approach this milestone in the most reassuring way possible for both parent and child.

I did the quiz based on Wee Man’s personality back then and he is a Squirrel. Once the animal is established, there are SO many awesome tips, including night training, training while traveling and transitioning to big kid underwear! I wish I had this in my back pocket three years ago and I am thrilled to be able to assess the twins personalities for potty training, as they most likely will be pretty different (those two are chalk and cheese, I tell you!)

Thanks to Pull-Ups®, I have an extra tool kit to send to a lucky reader (Canada only). The kit includes:

·         Pull-Ups® Training Pants

·         Pull-Ups® Flushable Wipes

·         Potty seat and chair 

·         Milestone chart to track and award your child’s progress

·         Potty training book

·         Plush toy to reward potty accomplishments 

·         $25 Walmart gift card to help you stock up on other potty training essentials outlined in the Potty Partnership Toolkit

Please enter via the widget below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

Twin Essentials- One Year Old

Twin Essentials- One Year Old

Love Child Organics Oaty Chomps-  I want to disclose right here that I am a brand influencer for Lovechild but I would NEVER recommend a product that my kids don’t love. These are a HUGE hit with my babes at snack time!

Aden and Anais Muslin lovey– I am looking to introduce a lovey into the crib now that the twins are over a year old and these are the perfect chose- the muslin is light and breathable and they are SUCH cute patterns.

My First Book of Girl Power– My oldest son is a massive superhero fan and this was his choice for a birthday gift for his baby sister. She loves it and so do I!

 The Mother of All Toddler Books by Ann Douglas– I live by Ann’s books! I know I will be referring to this frequently this year!

Tilty Cups– As all mothers know, the search for the perfect training cup is a long and often pricey one. These cups are great because they don’t require the kids to tip them back too much. This is still a work in progress but the kids are fans of these ones!

VTec Activity Cube– This was an early birthday gift for the twins from their grandparents and I they love it and I love it because it will grow with them for the next two years!

Continue Reading

To the Twins on Their First Birthday

IMG_6526

 

Dear Beaner and Big Bad Bill.

I cannot believe that today you turn one year old. I am in shock at how the time since you entered our world has flown by.

One year ago today,  I woke up in the morning and knew that you would be making your appearance before the sun went down. I was excited, I was scared (you were coming early) and I was a bit stunned… We were going from a family of three to a family of five in the blink of an eye.

When you were born, the nurses in the delivery room clapped and cheered. I didn’t get to hold either of you in that moment, something I will always regret. I have three precious children and I never got to hold any of you as soon as you were born. I know that you needed to be elsewhere to be safe and healthy, but my heart ached to hold you and see your sweet faces.

You were in the hospital for eleven days and as I watched you grow stronger, I marveled at the resiliency of such tiny humans. When we brought you home, you were both so little, yet I knew how tough you were so I wasn’t scared of your smallness.

Those first weeks, I was startled anew every time I realized that I had two babies but we were filled with so much love that we didn’t care about all the extra diapers and sleepless hours.

We were and continue to be so lucky that we are surrounded by so many people who love you and extend a helping hand whenever we need them- you have the best grandparents and aunts and uncles (both biological and honorary) that any kids could hope for.

You are also blessed to have the best father in the entire universe. Your daddy is so patient, loving and goofy. It makes my heart sing to watch your little faces light up when he walks in the room.

Your big brother is your biggest fan. Never once has he been envious of you and he always works so hard to make you laugh. He is so proud of you and loves to show you off to all of his friends at school.

As you enter your second year in our family, I marvel every day at your growth, your smiles and your fascination with the world around you. Seeing everything for the first time through your eyes has been one of the great privileges of my life.

I love you my sweet babies.

XO Mummy

*** The first year of the twins life was made possible by their grandparents, all of our friends and families, the wonderful NICU staff at St Joseph’s Health Centre, our amazing midwifes from The Midwife Alliance,  Angelina of Precious Moments Babeez, Maxine Sass and the incredible community of parents who make up the Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

Continue Reading

Twin Essentials- 10 Months

I cannot even begin to understand how the twins are almost A YEAR OLD! They are changing so quickly these days and their mama is having some trouble accepting that they are no longer infants. They are crawling, standing, clapping, waving, eating tons of food and generally charming everyone they meet with their infectious and adorable laughs.
Here are a few of the things that are faves in our house at the moment!

 

Twin Essentials- 10 Months

 

Baby Bullet Food System– My mother-in-law gave this to me for Christmas and it has made making my own baby food so much easier and even enjoyable! The equipment is easy to clean and the storage containers are super useful!
Pride & Prejudice: A Babylit Counting Primber– I adore Jane Austen and this is one of my favorite books to read to the twins!
7AM Enfant Bunting Bag– Cozy warm bags for the stroller. These keep the twins super warm and cozy and are so much easier than getting them into snow suits ever time we leave the house.
Friendly Toys Little Playzone– Every twin parent will tell you that containment is key. We picked up this play yard and some extra panels to make it larger and it is a fun and safe play space for the littles.
Skip Hop Playspot Foam Playmat– the perfect base for the “baby pen”!
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Fishbowl Fill and Spill Soft Baby Toy– This was the twins’ big brothers toy first and they love it just as much as he did!
MimiTENS Mittens–  These mittens are designed in Toronto and are the BEST MITTS for little kids. They DO NOT come off and are warm. They are expensive but worth it in the long run as they won’t get lost!
Continue Reading

PonchiesForKids Giveaway!

I was recently invited to a preview of the Etsy Marketplace in Toronto and I got to see so many amazing products and meet the creative forces behind them.

One of these super cool individuals was Tiffany, the creator of PonchiesForKids. Ponchies are the most adorable micro fleece ponchos for babies and kids. All locally and hand made, Ponchies are the perfect topper for the cooler weather and her adorable styles will impress even the pickiest toddler.unnamed-1

unnamed-2 unnamed

 

I asked Tiffany to answer five questions to tell us more about her and her brand!

1.) What was your inspiration to start Ponchies?
My inspiration to start Ponchies began after I designed and made some women’s wool/cashmere ponchos that I was selling under my custom clothing brand called U:her Fashions. But it was when my friends and family started to grow their families that I thought a poncho would be a practical, fun and long lasting garment for babies and kids too. I brought these new baby ponchos to baby showers, everyone loved them and wanted to place their order! So, that is when I decided to create my new children’s brand called PonchiesForKids.
2.) What were you doing before? Is this a full time gig now?
As mentioned above, before Ponchies I had started my own custom clothing brand called U:her Fashions in 2010. Designing everything from women’s party dresses, to bridesmaid dresses and wedding gowns to swimwear and professional work attire for both women & men. Prior to starting my own business, I had studied Fashion Design and began working in the fashion industry starting out as a gymastic/skating costume designer for international athletes. I then became a sock designer and then a production manager of a high end designer belt company. Ponchies and my custom clothing line U:her Fashions are finally becoming closer to being my full-time gigs.
3.) What is your favourite thing about being an entrepreneur and building your brand?
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is all of the limitless creativity I can project! I can create/design/make anything I want and when something starts out as a sketch and then becomes a piece of clothing, it is more than exciting to see it come to life. Especially when you see your client wearing your creation and smiling bright.
Creativity also flows within the many hats worn as an entrepreneur and ideas are endless (well that is what it seems to feel like for me). Being an entrepreneur is also an incredibly challenging path for self and for business, but reaps so many rewards.
4.) What was your favourite item of clothing when you were a child?
Honestly, I was such a tomboy as a child (I hated wearing dresses) but I LOVED wearing anything super colourful and pattern (it was the 80’s and the 90’s lol). I remember loving this multicoloured tie dye one piece bathing suit with cut outs at the sides and the front. It was my favorite and I was a summer beach kid (I still am). I also loved these bright orange denim shorts (oh geez, please don’t ask me why haha).
5.) You have the most adorable super hero ponchos. Who is your favourite superhero?
Thank you! Well actually, I never really had a favourite superhero but I can’t help but love Yoda and Superwoman. I would also consider The Minions my modern superheros. I love them! I need to make a Minion Ponchie!

 

PonchiesForKids has generously offered a poncho for one lucky reader (Canada only). Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
** All photo by @sharlapikephotography

Continue Reading

Parenting Conundrum- Infant Sleep

 

IMG_5931My greatest fear when I found out that I was expecting twins was that I was never going to sleep again. Thinking about it kept me up at night (the irony) worrying as I got further along in my pregnancy.  I shared my fears with my husband and consulted with the wise veteran twin parents of TPOMBA (Toronto Parents of Multiples Association) and decided to go for broke and hire a night nurse for the first few months. This was the BEST money ever spent! It was a small fortune (much of it was paid for by my mother-in-law, bless her) but it saved my sanity. Five (yes FIVE) nights a week for the first several months, the saintly Angelina of Precious Moments Babeez arrived at our door at 10PM to take care of Peanut and Meatball until 6AM. I pumped milk for their overnight feeds so I was able to get 8 straight hours of sleep….. it was BLISS after an entire day taking care of two newborns, one of which was a little *ahem* more spirited than the other. When our luxurious time with Angelina was up, I felt like crying. I dreaded the no sleep and for a while it was pretty grim.

Angelina had them on a pretty great routine overnight with bottles but as soon as I reintroduced breastfeeding at night, the wheels kind of fell off. I was up four plus times a night and the babies were miserable and I was an exhausted teary mess. I joked that their theme song was “Killing me Softly” because that is what I felt like the cuddly little monsters were trying to do to me. Finally I decided that I was ready to…..duh duh duh….. sleep train.

Oh…. sleep training…. the minefield of sleep training. The subject that is the third most likely to start a war on parenting message boards (the first two being breast vs bottle and vaccines). I had known from the start that I would sleep train and that the method I was going to use would involve some crying. I did so much research that I got a bit turned around and I wasn’t sure where to start. I went back to the trusted TPOMBA parents and asked for suggestions for consultants that could help me figure out a plan that would work for me, my husband, the twins and our big boy too…. all the crying at night was disturbing his sleep too!

There are many great options for sleep consultants in Toronto  but I settled on Maxine Sass of Maxine’s Multiple Birth Care. She had almost two decades of work with twins and triplets and this made her my top choice. She sent me a questionnaire to get a sense of what we needed as a family and of what we were comfortable doing to achieve our goal of a good nights sleep for all. After she had a chance to review  it, she and I had a call to go over everything and once we were sure we were on the same page, she created a sleep training plan for the monsters.

Here are the five things I learned from this experience.

1.) Naps are KEY. Get your kids on a great nap schedule and night sleep is way better. It’s all about awake windows and making sure that the littles don’t get over-tired. There is a science to it and I am a TOTAL convert.

2.) White Noise is an amazing tool to keep out the bustle of a busy household and sooth the babies. We bought this machine and love it.

3.) Blackout curtains are key for city living. Previously I was extremely against creating a super dark environment for sleep in case it meant that the babies wouldn’t be able to tolerate any light. This was before it became clear that there was too much outside light streaming into the nursery at night from the next door

4.) Listening to your babies cry is heartbreaking but it is such a small period of time in the grand scheme of things that if you can handle it, it really works. When they give you those big gummy grins after a good nights sleep you will really see that you have, as they say, not broken their hearts, just their habits.

5.) Utilize your partner. I knew that I was not going to be able to deal with the babies crying so my husband took the primary role in sleep training and I acted as more of a behind the scenes support system.

I am happy to report that we are doing really well almost two months after our initial training began. There have been hiccups and slight setbacks, such as illness and teething (my boy has SIX teeth at almost 8 months) but generally we are SO happy with our progress.

Please share your experience with infant sleep and sleep training in the comments!!!

Continue Reading

Twin Essentials- Five Months

Twin Essentials- Five Months
Bumbleride Indie Twin- I did so much research on double strollers when I was pregnant and it took me a long time to settle on this stroller but I could not be more thrilled with it. It is a dream to push (due to its air filled tires) has a large basket as double strollers go and come in the cutest colours. 
HoMedics White Noise Machine– In our house, white noise is a nap and bed time staple. With our first babe, we had the Sleep Sheep, but this time around we decided on a machine that could run all night as to not disturb sleep cycles as well as to mask the sounds of a busy household. This one is great and really reasonable priced.
JJ Cole Diaper Clutch– A diaper clutch stashed inside the diaper bag is great for quick changes on the go. This is especially important for me with Peanut as she decides to blow her diaper every time we leave the house. Kid refuses to poo at home!
Fisher Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat– This seat is amazing for babies who want to sit up but are not big enough for the Bumbo. It also has toys attached for entertainment. This has been an amazing investment especially now that my kiddos are rejecting the bouncy chair and the swing (those are for babies, mom!)
Whoozit Infant Toy– This toy is addictive for babies. There is nothing else I can say but every kid MUST have one.
Honest Co Organic Breath Easy Rub– My babes have already had multiple colds and I have found that rubbing this on their chests and the soles of their feet has really helped and has been kind to their delicate new skin.
Honda Odyssey– We are now part of Minivan Nation. Sigh. However, the Odyssey is about the sexiest one on the market and it has proven to be a pretty sweet ride so far. Super comfy and easy to get all three kids in and out of. We are going on a pretty long road trip soon so that will be the ultimate test!

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading
1 2 3 9