Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Need Some Pointers?

Unsolicited advice. It’s everywhere. And, to the best of my knowledge, everyone loathes it. New parents seem to take it as a personal hit when someone (a stranger, a friend, a family member) gives out a tip. I’m pretty sure that most of these tips are given with good intentions and the hope that the tip will help in someway. But it’s all too common to come across people who’ll blow up at you if you so much as utter “have you tried…”.

I’ve been a new mom for almost two years (what?! where’s that two years gone?!) now and Anton and I have definitely gotten our fair share of advice. However, I do my best to take it in stride. One doesn’t necessarily need to agree with the advice that they’re given, but you don’t have to crazy at someone who’s trying to help! I figure, with two munchkins running around, I can use all the advice I can get! There is definitely some advice out there that’s either outdated; “Sterilize bottles and nipples after each use,” or just sounds crazy; “Don’t do too much cuddling, it’ll spoil the baby,” but… wouldn’t you rather get some of that and get a great piece of advice, rather than miss that one great tip? It’s all just about taking everything with a grain of salt, but still taking it.

It’s interesting to be a mom now; my brain is full of parenting tidbits. I don’t usually share what I know, or what’s worked for us unless people specifically ask for some help. I know that parents want to figure it out for themselves and assume that if you mention something to them, you’re trying to say that you know better or that they’re doing it wrong. This is almost never the case. It’s just a matter of, “Hey, this worked for us… maybe it’ll work for you!” or, “No one ever told me this and I really wished I would’ve known sooner…”.

My oldest sister is expecting her first baby in May and man, it is hard not to flood her with advice and tips on how to get through the first year! After being a mom for even just two years, you do start to feel like a “veteran” of sorts and it seems like everything that my sister mentions, I have a tip or warning to add. Because of a lot of the backlash that I’ve heard of some advice-givers getting, I find myself biting my tongue a lot of the time; even though what I have to share isn’t calling my sister’s parenting skills into question!

In the end, this post has a couple of points.. First, parents out there (new and experienced) should try and take the unsolicited advice in stride. Majority of the time people aren’t calling your parenting skills into question and they’re not trying to give you a hard time. It’s purely the ideal of, “It takes a village to raise a child” and if it worked for them in the past who’s to say it won’t work for you? My second point is… to Cheryl-Anne, my biggest sister; I love you and Maia so much and any advice given is purely well-intended! ❤



Friday Fun with Toddlers!

This week’s activity is a bit of an easy one, but the girls really go for it!

Shape Sorting!

There are so many different ways to sort shapes. This particular way costs money but requires no prep work to put together. Wooden shape sorting boxes are one of the greatest toys that we’ve had since the girls came along.

Shape Sorting

Shape Sorting Shape Sorting

The two particular models that we have are a Melissa & Doug box (Shula’s playing with on the left) and a Blue Hat Toy Company box (Maretta’s playing with it on the right). Both boxes are almost identical except for the lids. This is nice because it means the pieces are fairly interchangeable. Both boxes do have a suggested Play Age of 2+. The girls have been actively using them since about 16-months. (Obviously, the results weren’t as great then as they are now at 21-months!)

The shape sorting boxes are HUGE hit in our house. They get pulled out and played with daily. If Anton and I want to be more involved when they’re playing with the shapes, we’ll grab a handful of shapes and ask them to find a specific one. Or ask them to find the oval or the square and have them point it out on the box as well. Lately we’ve also been using the shapes as a tool for learning colours!

A note for other twin parents: We don’t usually buy two of each “kind” of toy. We’ve only recently gotten the second sorting box (a gift from the girls’ Great-Grandma), but it has been soo nice having two. I definitely wouldn’t suggest going out and getting a second of all your toys but there are some things that are more enjoyable when they each have their own to play with! And these boxes are very much worth it!

A good reminder that a Toddler Activity doesn’t have to have a lot of prep work put in to it or be particularly special; it’s just about putting some time aside for a bit of “structured” playtime.

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Friday Fun with Toddlers!

I apologize for the tardiness… this week’s “Friday” is posted on Sunday due to a baby shower and sick toddlers. Without further ado…

Cheerio Threading

I’ve seen this one a few times while browsing Pinterest. The most frequent picture belongs to i’m going to make it (after all).

  • Mounds of Play-Doh make a good, secure base to do our “threading”
  • Poke some raw spaghetti noodles (or toothpicks) into the bases
  • Hand to your toddler with a bowl/plate of cheerios (froot loops would probably work too)

When I read the original post, I thought they had mentioned wooden skewers (with ends chopped off) not raw noodles. We didn’t have any skewers (or open packages of spaghetti noodles) so we wound up going with toothpicks that had the pokey bits cut off. This activity could also be filed under “Snack Time”.

Cheerio Threading

Cheerio Threading   Cheerio Threading

Both Maretta and Shula grasped the concept pretty quickly, although Maretta was quite a bit more interested in eating the Cheerios than threading them. While it was raw noodles that were originally suggested, I do like how appropriately sized the toothpicks were. If we were to do it again, I’d probably use the raw noodles but snap them in half. At 21-months, their fine motor skills are quite developed so there wasn’t very much fumbling or learning curve. Cheerio Threading lasted about 15 minutes before the girls were pulling the toothpicks out of the Play-Doh (Hello, Safety Hazard!).

Great activity but with a few sidenotes… Whatever you use for the Cheerios to be threaded onto; this is definitely a “closely supervised” activity. It would not take much for that size of “stick” to wind up the wrong way in a mouth or down a throat. Another tip to offer… the Cheerios won’t fit on anything much bigger than a toothpick or raw noodle (no skewers, chopsticks, etc.)

Oh! And a shout out to Anton, who did the activity this week while I was out working. ❤

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Friday Fun with Toddlers!

Another two weeks, another fun activity!

Coloured Ball Sorting

Anton mentioned this activity to me after he happened across it while internet surfing. No link to offer with this activity, but on the other hand I don’t think anyone has done it in quite the same way!

  • You’ll need some small to medium sized bowls in assorted colours
  • as well as some balls or eggs in assorted colours

This was a good activity to kick March and Easter off with. I wound up buying all the supplies I needed (which is the case a lot of the time since we’re first time parents and lacking in the “craft items”) and it only cost me about $5.00. I picked up an egg dying kit and we used the bowls that it came with. I also bought some plastic Easter eggs as our “balls”. These choices worked fairly well, although the bowls were odd shades of the real colours. Pink and orange were very similar, as were the blue and green.

Colour Sorting Colour Sorting Colour Sorting  Colour SortingColour Sorting

Maretta and Shula really liked the plastic eggs, they were constantly “popping” them apart and trying to get them back together, cue the “Momma! Help!”. Colours aren’t something that my 21-month-old’s have got yet, we’ve done very little focusing on them in the past few months. Both the girls can say all the colours, and understand that they are talking about colours… but the colour names don’t always pair up probably with the right colours! And they are both pretty stubborn about it!

Maretta: “Blue!”

Me: “No sweetie, Orange.”

Maretta: “Blue!”

Me: “Orange.”

Maretta: “Blue!”

Me: “Okay.. here, this one is Blue!”

Maretta: “Orange!”

So, this activity was a little less about sorting the eggs by colour and more about just putting the eggs into whatever bowl they felt suited them. Shula also found a lot of enjoyment out of stacking the bowls, and carrying the tray full of eggs around.

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