Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

We love Space.

We live in 1200sq.ft apartment. Space is a precious commodity. 

The girls are now as mobile as you can get without walking. They crawl the length of our living room in a matter of seconds. Shula has been twisting 180° in her rocking chair for a couple of months now. This morning, Daddy caught Maretta *out* of her chair (in which she had been buckled). There is little we can do to contain them this days. But we can’t let them roam too far without having to redirect or intervene. We certainly don’t want to squash their adventurous sides though! The answer to our lack of space problem? New lay out!

Anton and I are thinkers, and procrastinators. We can’t really make any solid decisions, so deciding on a new layout that suited all of our needs and wants was a little more than difficult. We’ve been trying to make these decisions since before I got pregnant. I think we had different reasons back then though. We have somehow managed to overcome these flaws in the last few weeks. We’ve actually made some decisions, rearranged some things, and bought some new furniture pieces.

Now, after getting our living room ninety-percent done, the main word that sums it all up is… SPACE! So much space and freedom. Some might say it lacks design (“to plan or fashion artistically or skillfully”) but it works for us on so many levels. Right now, we have a couch under our bay window, our tv on a wicked bookcase from IKEA, an ottoman, a chair and our dining room table. And a small desk and chair for my computer. All of this items are up against one of the walls, which leaves a fairly empty room. The girls love being able to crawl without an obstructions and Anton and I no longer trip or bump into oddly placed furniture. (Okay, it was mostly me bumping into things).
I think one of the greatest things about it though, is that we (the adults) are more inclined to get down on the floor and be more involved. No uncomfortable coffee table to bump into our backs and lots of room to spread our limbs out. It’s also nice to know that there’s nothing for the girls to get into. All the wires and cords for the tv and computers are skillfully hidden behind large pieces of furniture and there is no longer a pile of crap on the coffee table; which was a problem because the girls could pull themselves up to the coffee table and take everything off.

We’ve fallen in love with storage bins. Not the big Rubbermaid tubs, but nice-looking storage solutions. We’ve got a bin for toys, and a bin for bibs and clothes. A bin for the dvds/games and a bin for remotes. A bin for our batteries and battery charger. Bins, bins, bins. Whoever came up with the idea of storage bins.. that person is now on top of my “OMG, You’re my favourite person EVER” list. (Yes, I have one). We’ve also started organizing and storing the girls’ toys a little differently. Montessori style; more child accessible. The computer tower isn’t in the greatest position, so we’ll move it onto the top of the shelving, beside/behind the monitor.

At the time, I really wanted to redo our living space before the girls’ arrived. I think it’s one of the things people do when they’re pregnant. But, I’m glad that we procrastinated until now. I don’t think the space concept would’ve been such a consideration before we knew what our needs would be. Now, to finish that ten percent… We need a new couch (we’re still rolling with the one Anton had before we met) and we need to get rid of the bookcase. Bookcases and babies.. not the greatest match. But, I’m really happy with what we’ve got so far. It’s the same feeling I had when I bought my Rav4. Total contentedness.

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Aquarium Trip

A few weeks ago we went on our first real outing. We met up with Anton’s parents and headed out to the Vancouver Aquarium. I’ve wanted to go for a while, but between work and the lack of motivation to plan something it just hasn’t happened. So I finally checked hours, phoned to see when their least busy time was and called up the in-laws.

The Plan

Going out with twins requires a bit of planning, especially with our routine. We decided that the best plan of action would be to do the first feeding at home (7:00am) and then get everything ready and hit the road. Prep time plus the drive would fill up the chunk between the first two feedings. The drive there would also give the girls ample room for “nap time”. By the time we got to the Aquarium it would be Brunch time (10:30am). That would give us three hours before the next time the girls needed to eat. We figured that would be more than enough time to spend at the Aquarium. Then we would feed them lunch (2pm) and hit the road to go home. And once again, giving the girls their naps. The car ride would be a bit longer than what they would usually nap for; hopefully that would make up for the nap that they’d miss during the visit.

To be prepared, we decided to bring both our Snuglis’ and our stroller. We figured we would mostly carry them around in the Snuglis’ but didn’t want to be caught needing the stroller and not having it. In the end it was nice to have both. Anton’s dad pushed the stroller around (what a man!) and the girls were more than happy to be up with Mommy and Daddy. Near the end of the afternoon, the adults sat down to grab something to eat and that’s where the stroller came in handy. One doesn’t realize how much work it is to eat food while you’ve got another person strapped to your front!

The Execution

You will be amazed to know… everything worked out perfectly! The girls were very co-operative for all of their meals, including the ones we did in the car. We managed to not hit any kind of rush hour traffic or road construction (very common in our Lower Mainland). We didn’t forget anything at home and the girls managed to push through the entire visit in a good mood; even though they missed out on a nap!

The attention span of an eight month old is not very long, so we didn’t spend a lot of time in one place. But, Shula seemed to get a kick out of the Sea Otter swimming laps around his pool and Maretta really enjoyed all the colourful fish going around in circles. We walked through the Amazon, listening to parrots screech and getting wet from all the mist. Coulda sworn Shula had just had a bath judging by how wet her hair had gotten!  Both girls liked watching the Pygmy Marmosets (dwarf monkeys) jump across their trees.

By the end of our afternoon Maretta and Shula were both looking pretty worn out from all the excitement (and lack of nap). They never got cranky though… all smiles and happy the whole time we were out. It’s hard not to brag about it, but our girls are perfect little monsters. I’m not sure if they ever made one unhappy noise! The six of us all really enjoyed ourselves and I think that going to the Aquarium will definitely be a regular thing. It’ll be nice, as the girls get older, to see them get more out of the shows and attractions.

Maybe it’ll become a “tradition” to go the Aquarium with all the grandparents!

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A Busy and Exciting Week

This week has been full of new milestones and experiences. Both girls have really mastered crawling. Shula still with an army crawl and Maretta has a full hands and knees crawl. Very deliberate and perfected. Since they are both mobile, we’ve had to put a lot of thought into baby proofing. We’ve been managing alright so far; mostly by just watching them closely and moving them if they get too far or start touching things we don’t want them to. It’s a little more difficult now because they are actually pretty fast! You look away for one second and they are across the room!

Anton spent one of his days off this week dealing with our entertainment center. It’s not contained or behind closed cabinet doors, so we had a lot of exposed cables. Anton tidied it up so we no longer need to worry about it. We were/are looking into getting some new living room furniture. Our sofa and chair bit the dust a while ago and it’d be great to have some pieces that are a little more kid friendly. Although we’ve been talking about it for a while (the sofa has been a topic since we moved in together, four years ago!) we still aren’t settled on what exactly we want and, with the girls, we can’t really load up the car with new stuff so we need to be selective/smart about our shopping trips.

Okay, back to the babies… Once they got crawling figured out, it seems like they have been doing something new almost every day. After crawling Shula figured out how to pull herself up into a standing position using the furniture for support. Once we saw her do this a couple of times, we realized we’d have to lower her crib. We got to work and got it lowered that evening before bedtime. (Hooray for IKEA and their simplistic furniture!) It was just the next day when we watched Maretta grab the couch and pull herself up as well. So, lowered her crib as well. Unfortunately, this means that we can’t use their cribs as the “changing stations” anymore. The girls grew too big for the real change table a month or two ago. We got a smaller one, from IKEA, that would fit in the nursery better. The downfall being, of course, that it didn’t last them past six or seven months. So now we are changing the girls on the floor in the nursery. I told Anton yesterday, “It’s alright… getting up and down equals more cardio, right?!”
So now that both girls are pulling themselves up and standing, we can look forward to cruising (taking steps while holding onto things). You can tell that both girls really want to do it. They make the most subtle foot movements. Kinda like walking in place. And just this morning I watched Shula climb from the floor into her rocking chair. It’s so great to watch them actually learning. To see them in a tough spot with something and watch them figure it out all on their own is amazing. A good example is when they are sitting in their rocking chairs and they drop a toy. Instead of waiting for mommy or daddy to pick it up, they’ve learned to reach forward and they can pick it up themselves! I cannot wait to see what the next days/week/month bring! Being a parent is sooo exciting!

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