Tuesday, November 13, 2012

K+J's Room

So I have been meaning to write a post with photos of the girls's bedrooms for a long time. On another blog I read often Kathryn has posted photos of her kids rooms and it inspired me. I always had an excuse to not take pictures, most often that it was not clean enough or something was not finished but yesterday I finally did it! Cleaned up, go the girls to sit in the doorway and watch while I got some photos. So without further adieu Kaylyn and Jael's room!


Their room is probably one of my favourite rooms in the house, I love the green walls and if we ever moved I think a condition of selling would be that they could never paint over the tree. They used to have a white shag rug on the floor but when I started potty training I took it out, soon after that I found the alphabet blocks at Costco, they are great! They are learning all the letters and often like to carry around 'K' and 'J'. The table and chairs in the corner are from Ikea, they keep their Bible storybooks that we read each night on the table and when they are not sitting on them the bears usually belong in the chairs. One day we will get them real beds but right now the mattresses on the floor work great, they don't get hurt when they fall off and they can jump around on them and be close to each other when they go to bed. Their monkeys are their most prized possession, they sleep with them and mother them and love them to bits. A basket of stuffies and little blankets to wrap them in and an old doll cradle from my grandparents round out the furnishings. If you know me you know that I am a little obsessed with baskets and bins and I love all the baskets and bins on the shelves in their closet, on top of feeding my addiction they make organizing and storage super easy, I can store so much in the bins at the top of their closet and easily get to them. The dresser is a oldie goldie hand-me-down, the baskets are from Canadian Tire and the bins are from Superstore. I wanted their room to have a bit of an animal theme in lots of different mediums, I got the fabric fish from a thrift store, the framed ink okapi my sister picked up from ACAD, the animals on top of the dresser all belonged to Mike and the duck and pig in the frame is actually a card that I thought was so cute so I put it in a frame. They also have a cross stitch from my Gran on the wall by a preemie sleeper they used to fit in, a lizard over the light switch, a fish mobile from Ikea and photos of them as babies. Their tree and the painting of the children in the fall are both done by the very talented Anna Pederson. One night when they were going to bed they wanted to see Cosette who was already in bed so I told them that we would find a picture of her to hang on their wall in the morning, Jael promptly said, 'On that wall!' and pointed to where the photo now hangs. 

That is the run down of their room, maybe one day I will clean up Cosette's room and tell you all about it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Twins are awesome and so is my singleton

Almost every day I think to myself or say to Mike, 'I am so glad we have twins'

It is great, it really is.

Everytime they are up in their room laughing at one another, taking turns with their toys, walking somewhere together, helping each other get something done, playing together, talking to each other, copying each other, or hugging each other I know that all the craziness involved in having two two year olds is worth it.

Almost every day I think to myself or say to Mike, 'Cosette is so sweet, I love her so much'

She is great, she really is.

She is so easy going, loves to laugh at her sisters, fireman crawls all over the place, pulls herself up on things and says mum mum mum when she wants me.

I love all my girls to bits.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Potty Training Twins - The Three Day Method

This is the post I was looking for before I potty trained. Maybe it will help you! It is about everything I wanted to know before I started training my twins.

I was not excited about potty training but I WAS excited about not having three kids in diapers, so I surged forward. We had started with having them sit on their potties every once in awhile and it was going nowhere. I read up on the three day method but was too cheap to buy the book that you can get that explains everything you need to know. What I could figure out without paying was that essentially you switch to no diapers cold turkey, spending three days focused on getting anything you can in the potty, watching the kid like a hawk and sitting them on the potty whenever necessary.

I was still left with questions.

One or two potties? Two. for when they both need to sit at the same time

Where to buy underwear? I bought some at Children's Place which are super cute and look the most comfortable, they are really expensive though so I just bought one pack. I then looked at Superstore but they only had size 3+ and my girls are little so that would not work. I then went to Walmart, which I generally avoid, and found some size 2-3 Fruit of the Loom ones that look almost as comfortable as the Children's Place ones and are much cheaper. I went back later for more and they were out of stock so I bought George brand. Mistake. They fit very poorly, I am going to just throw them out and go get more Fruit of the Loom ones.

Can I do this by myself? Most things I could find online said that even when training one child an extra set of hands is a good idea, so with twins having two is basically essential and three would be good. Well, I thought I would call someone in or start on a weekend but that wasn't really working out so I started during the week when I was the only adult at home.

Here is what worked for me.

Take out the rug from the living room and the girls room, this left me with hardwood/tile everywhere.
Buy Lysol wipes
Buy underwear
Buy two potties
Put bag of rags where they are handy
Take out any toys that can't be washed and I don't want to be wrecked
Make a diaper box into a 'box table' that I don't care if it gets wrecked
Buy plastic covers for mattresses (also from Walmart)

Day One:
Hype up wearing underwear, talk about not getting it wet
Explain they get treats for peeing in the potty, treats included fruit bars, fruit penguins, penguin crackers, raisins, granola bars. etc.
They get two treats for pooping
Sit on the potties essentially as much as possible, they sat in the living room with their box table in front of them and we read books, did puzzles, played with a memory game, coloured, did anything that involved sitting
Drink juice/water/milk. More drink, more chances to practice peeing
Right after they pee they could get up and play for 15 minutes or so then I would get them to sit down again
For meals we had potty picnics on the box table
Every success was a party, HOORAY! YOU PEED IN THE POTTY! GOOD JOB!
Every accident was not a huge deal, We don't pee on the floor, that is yucky, pee in the potty.
Rags + Lysol wipes + hardwood floors make for easy cleanup of accidents
There was some success, but they spent the whole day sitting, so part of me regretted starting by the evening because I didn't know when it would end
When they went into nap time I was going to put them in diapers but they said they wanted to stay in underwear and I wasn't going to push diapers on them if they wanted to wear underwear so I put their potties in their room and left them

Day Two:
Basically the same as day one, with longer breaks from sitting on the potty
Less accidents, but still quite a few
Treats were downsized, one penguin cracker (they are just like goldfish but penguin shaped) or one fruit penguin for peeing, fruit bar for pooping

By day four they wore skirts (not pants that they had to take off), the potties were still in the living room and they each had at least one accident per day

After about a week I let them wear pants, I would put diapers on them when we went out but they almost always came home dry

By two weeks I would leave them in underwear if we went out for under 2 hours, I took their potties out of the living room and put them upstairs in the bathroom or their bedroom. I was still watching the clock and reminding them to go most of the time. During quiet time I leave their potties in their room and they rarely have accidents. No more treats for peeing, just pooping.

It has now been about a month, maybe a little more and they are doing great! They rarely have accidents, I usually don't have to remind them to go, they just head upstairs on their own. They can usually still last a couple hours when we go out, I just tell them to go before we leave. They still get a fruit bar for pooping, I will drop that eventually but I am still just so happy every time I have to clean out a potty instead of a diaper. They are too big for that. They still sleep in diapers and wake up dry about half the time, they are generally sitting on their potties or have already sat on them when I go in to their room in the morning.

The three day method apparently works best for kids aged 15-27 months. I will definitely be training Cosette younger than the twins, it was a crazy couple days but so worth it when you don't have to change diapers.

Does that answer all your burning questions? Do you have more? Potty Training is all about the result, no matter how you do it it is not that fun but the end justifies the days of cleaning up pee off the floor. So go buy some Lysol wipes and train your toddler(s)! You will be glad you did.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dropping Naps

Because I know you were all wondering...here is a napping update. 

My twins have never been great nappers, they sleep great at night and that is more important so I don't really mind. They dropped to one nap earlier than alot of their friends and about a month ago they dropped to no naps.

While the thought of two year olds not napping may sound terrifying it is actually great. Before we dropped the nap they were having troubles falling asleep at night (like 'stay awake for 2 hours in bed' troubles) so one day I gave them some books and told them they didn't have to sleep during nap time. They caught on quick, most days they play in their room and read books, once or twice a week they will end up lying down and sleeping for a bit. Sometimes I have to go in and solve some argument about someone stealing a book or some equally devastating circumstance, but usually they work things out.

I thought the transition might be hard for them but they love it. As my sister would say, 'Sometimes change can make you change, and that is a good thing'

When they dropped their morning nap around 10 or 11 months (I can't quite remember right now) I thought that was so early, it wasn't. When Cosette naps twice my day is full of the dreaded tag-team napping so I quickly have switched her to one nap, she stays awake all morning, eats lunch and promptly goes to sleep for a couple hours.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Meal Planning

I used to be scared of meal planning. I would tell Mike I should plan some meals but the thought of it was intimidating to me and I never got around to it. Supper time would swing around and I would have two needy, hungry toddlers (do everyones kids lose it around supper time) and I would have to come up with something to eat and make it, it stressed me out. One day I hunkered down and made a meal plan and now I don't know how I lived without it, it is so easy and makes my life so much easier. It makes supper time easier, groceries easier and making better food easier. So here is how I do it.

I plan about 2 weeks ahead, 1-2 weeks at a time. I use a calendar and I only plan suppers and often don't plan weekends. When I started I made a list of all the suppers I could think of that we usually eat, so if I am planning and run out of ideas I look at my list. To get me started I make Monday crock pot day, Wednesday pasta day and Thursday rice day, I punch things into those days and put something else on Tuesday night. Friday nights we have a Bible Study/Games night at our house and eat supper together, it needs to be allergy friendly. If I dont feel like making what I planned I make something else, if it is hot out and I dont want a crock pot running all day I will make something else ect. I am pretty flexible.

Here is a sample of two weeks of meals!

Monday  - Beggars Chowder in the Crock Pot
Tuesday - Sweet Potato Soup from the Freezer
Wednesday - Pasta w/ cream sauce
Thursday - Beef Stirfry w/ rice
Friday - Burgers and Oven Fries
Monday  - Potato Cheddar Soup in the Crock Pot
Tuesday - Chicken Fingers, Fries and Salad
Wednesday - Spagetti w/ Tomato Meat Sauce from the freezer
Thursday - Sweet and Sour Meatballs on Rice w/ steamed vegs
Friday -Tacos

 Do you meal plan? Does is scare you? You should give it a try.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Default Clean

When I first stopped working in an office and came home I told people I was a horrible housewife and while more days than not my house is a bit of a disaster I think I have gotten better and I have a couple things that help me out keeping things clean(ish)

1. Default Clean
One day I realized I was default messy, default messy peoples house's are almost always messy but default clean houses are often clean.This is really just another way of saying, 'Clean as you go' but default clean made it click for me. Poor cheerios and put the box away right away, cut veggies and wash the cutting board, put dishes in the dishwasher right away, wash pots as soon as you use them, put away toys as you finish with them...being default clean makes 'cleaning time' way easier.
2. Morning Routine
I probably get this done at least 4 mornings a week but if I get it done every morning my house looks presentable. I love having a system for everything so clearly I will have a system for my daily chores. start laundry,Unload/load dishwasher, clean counters, clean table, throw all the toys from the kitchen and dining room and entry way into the living room, sweep kitchen/dining room/entry way, clean up living room, vacuum living room. Bam.
3. A Little Help From My Friends
Every once in awhile I call in some help, or help just shows up. Mom, siblings...living a few minutes away has its perks, among them house help.
4. Daily Goals
 I try to set a couple goals for myself everyday, it makes me feel like I accomplished something, thses are often things like 'put away laundry' (which is prob my most avoided chore) 'make meatballs' or clean something extra that has piled up. Every day my goal is that all my girls laugh, not negotiable. Chores are negotiable.
5. Epic Win
Best. App. Ever. Makes goals exciting.
6. Clean Fast
Sometimes I fail at this but when I do spend time cleaning I try to work fast, get it over with, instead of puttereing around and feeling like I clean all day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting There

People say, 'getting there is half the fun!' well if your fun involves a little bit of gong show and a few diaper changes then that is defiantly true for me getting anywhere.

Planning for larger/early morning trips starts the night before
-pack lots of snacks the girls can easily eat: bread, cheese, applesauce, cheerios, dried mango, carrots for me and waters for all
-lay out warm clothes for the girls (not necessary, but helpful and it makes me feel prepared)
-make sure diaper bag is stocked with diapers for all three, two outfits for C (she is at the poop explosion stage) and one for k&j, just incase, and lots of wipes -try to decide what stroller to take
-decide that I will decide when to wake up when C wakes up in the night (usually around 4-6)

C ends up sleeping until 7 (later than usual) usually I change her and then feed her but I though I may be able to feed her quick and lie down for a little longer and change her right before we go but the girls wake up before she is done (sooner than usual) so we all get up and get going.

Now I...
-change toddler diapers, get them dressed and give them cheerios (they eat cheerios most mornings while I feed C/make their breakfast)
-start oatmeal
-change C, she pooped on her sleeper so I change her into a new outfit
-finish packing snacks, double check I have everything I need in the backpack
-still trying to decide which stroller to take, the double is more comfortable and may be able to hold C when the twins are not in it, it also has. As storage compartment but it is so big! The umbrella strollers are small and and handy but don't store things and could not hold C because they don't recline.
-ask Mike about what stroller I should take as he leaves for work. (life trials of the stay at home mom: can't decide what stroller to take to the zoo - life is tough)
-eat oatmeal with K&J
-start telling them about the zoo, I think they got really excited because they did not finish their oatmeal and they usually gobble it up
-by the time we are finished with the oatmeal it is almost 9:00, it takes almost a half hour to get there and it takes me at least 10 minutes to get out the door so it is pretty much time to go, I am glad the girls woke up early, it gave us enough time to not be too rushed in the morning, just efficient
-take camera and food bag out to the van (the girls do not appreciate it when i run things out to the vehicle)
-get shoes and coats on, put C in her carseat and head out!
-arrive at the zoo, get out stroller (I decided on the double) get the twins buckled in, camera and food fit below the stroller, backpack I just put ontop (I will pass it off to a helper later) C goes in the ergo and off we go!

This all went very smoothly and was fairly straight forward, often getting out of the house at a certain time can be stressful for me but this time everything just worked out

I must have looked a little crazy with my stroller with two toddlers in it, big backpack balanced ontop by the handlebar and a baby in an ergo going to the zoo all by myself! Little did the lady who said 'wow' as I walked by realize that I was meeting my family (five sets of extra hands) there!

The penguins were so worth the line up! The girls have been talking about the zoo (aka making all the animal noises) all week, can't wait to go back!