Foodie Friday: Vanilla-Date Smoothie

This foodie post is centered around a nutritious, filling smoothie recipe that a three year-old can make – and drink – on the porch.

The days I am able to pick up Mister and Missy early from daycare, we try to do something fun. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that we’d make smoothies with the Magic Bullet once we reached home. We’ve done it before, and they love to throw ingredients in the mini-blender which is perfect for little hands, and help to mix it under close supervision.

Well this fine day M&M asked if they could play outside. Not wanting to leave them unattended while I made the smoothies myself, an idea struck. Why not bring the smoothie ingredients, which were already set aside, and the Magic Bullet onto the porch and make it out there? Sure the neighbours may think I was bonkers but then again they may just think the sound of the blender is a lawnmower or something.

So in the time it took M&M to choose their sidewalk chalk colours for drawing on the driveway, I was able to bring out all the ingredients. We were making 2 smoothies today based on ripening fruit in the fridge: one strawberry-vanilla and one vanilla-date using those sweet treats left over from a month of fasting in Ramadan. I combined two recipes for date smoothies from the Internet: Creamy Date Shake and Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie to make this recipe.

Keep in mind the vanilla-date smoothie may need a stronger blender to mix than the Magic Bullet. Since we were on the porch, I used the Bullet for portability. Below is a picture of the ingredients for the date smoothie, which included honey, vanilla, yoghurt, milk and pitted dates. Luckily all the ingredients (minus the dates) were also used in the strawberry vanilla smoothie.

Vanilla-Date Smoothie
½ cup dates (pitted) – I used the big, juicy kind that originate from Iran or Saudi Arabia, found at specialty Middle Eastern supermarkets
½ cup whole-milk yogurt
½ cup whole milk
1 cup crushed ice (use more for desired smoothness)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Missy was in charge of the vanilla-date smoothie. Here is how it went down:

Step 1 – Set out all ingredients and plug in blender

Ingredients

Ingredients

Step 2 – Place pitted dates in blender cup

What do we put next?

What do we put next?

Step 3 – Pour milky into blender cup, add honey and other ingredients as per recipe

Pouring milky

Pouring milky

Step 4 – Blend, shake, blend, and enjoy!

Minnie Mixer

Minnie Mixer


Smoothie on the porch

Smoothie on the porch

Tips: With the dates being naturally sweet, you don’t need very much honey. For a low-fat version, substitute whole milk and yoghurt for skim, or use almond milk.

Letting Toddlers Dress Themselves

It’s amazing to think that children as young as two years old can develop their own sense of fashion and clothing preferences.

When Mister and Missy were between two and two and a half, they started dressing themselves (“I do it myself!”). Proudly putting on their own pants, socks and even trying to remove/put on their diapers! (that’s when we knew they were ready for potty training) At first we thought it was limited to dress-up time.

twin_toddler_dressup

Twins dressing up and getting dressed


Then at some point, they started paying attention to the clothes I would set out for them the night before. Then things got interesting and their personal clothing preferences came out. We quickly discovered that Missy is all about pink, purple, dresses and generally complicated outfits. She would be the one trying to zip up her jacket and fiddling with buttons.

In contrast, we noticed that Mister started resisting wearing anything with collars, buttons or zippers. That meant no more jeans or cute hoodies over the winter. It also meant no traditional Pakistani outfits comprised of a tailored collar tunic and baggy trousers. When my cousin got married a few months before their third birthday, it was nearly impossible to get him into the cute traditional “kurta pajama” for the wedding festivities. It took 3 people to coax and wrestle this screaming toddler into the clothes. If this wasn’t a family wedding where Mister and Missy were part of the procession, we would’ve compromised.

To this day, Mister prefers to wear his Elmo jogging pants or any track pants with a stripe down the side. His favourite and only tops to wear are slip-on shirts, preferably with a favourite character on the front. To make weekday mornings easier, I would take out at least 3 outfits each and hang them up in both their rooms. It definitely helps to plan out kids outfits beforehand so we are not searching their closet in the early morning darkness. Once they turned three, our twins started to pick out their own clothes.

A few weeks ago we were going to a community luncheon where Missy wore a traditional outfit (purple) and I wore a red one. Although Mister refused to wear the outfit I picked out (shirt with a collar, buttons and dress pants), he chose another outfit to match what I was wearing. He came over, showing the red long sleeved shirt he picked out with black fleece pants. My first reaction was to tell him to put back the fleece pants. Then I noticed the excitement on his face and sensed he was seeking my approval. The look of pride on his face when I said: “Good choice! It match!” was enough to make my heart melt.

Missy likes to be cozy and will layer her clothes. One day this past winter, she wore 6 layers: undershirt, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, dress, hoodie, and coat. And on her head were 2 headbands, 1 hair clip, and her usual requested hair style featuring three (yes, 3) ponytails… a la Punky Brewster.

There have been some (many) mornings when one or both would fight with us on their clothes choices, and even want to wear pajamas to daycare. The daycare educators suggested we offer up two choices for tops so they feel like they have some control. And let them wear pajamas if there is great resistance. That appeared to help a bit but we still had our morning challenges.

Amazingly, in the last 2 months or so and as Mister and Missy are nearly 3 ½, they have taken full control over their clothing choices. They even learned how to take their clothes off hangers and how to put them back on (their closets are child-sized).

Here is a description of recent favourite outfits:

Mister: Spider-Man underwear, blue top, blue Elmo jogging pants with white stripes, Elmo socks

Missy: Pink underwear, pink pants, pink long sleeve top, fairy dress, white & red Canada hoodie, pink socks

What’s the fashion in your house these days?

2Cute is a Canadian mom to 3 year old Boy/Girl twins who will be starting Junior Kindergarten this coming September. Their new school has a dress code (navy blue and white), which is going to cramp her twins’ sense of style.

Toddler Thursday: 10 Reasons My Toddlers Drive Me to Eat Cupcakes

Some moms drink wine. Some exercise. Me? I eat cupcakes.

cupcakes 1

I blame it (mostly) on my toddlers, although, I’ve been a stress-eater for most of my life. It just sounds better to explain it away as the stress of raising preemies/multiples/NICU babies/surviving triplets/high ongoing need babies…

Than to admit I have a problem.

So, let’s just go with it, okay?

Here are 10 Reasons My Toddlers Drive Me to Eat Cupcakesand why you’re probably doing something similar to cope. Cause we all know this ain’t easy.

  1. It’s hard. Yes, you’ve heard it too. The lie of ‘the first year is the hardest’. WRONG. The first year is a breeze; partly because you’re half-asleep through it all and partly because at least they’re semi-containable and they sleep a lot.
  2. They move. Fast. In opposite directions. Even with only one that walks (the other is almost there, but still crawling), they still get away from me.

    Look mom, I snuck out the doggie door when you weren't looking!

    Look mom, I snuck out the doggie door when you weren’t looking!

  3. They can reach all the things they aren’t supposed to have. No matter how many times or where you move it. They will find it.
  4. They know how to give you the evil-eye. My son is particularly good at this. It’s his favorite way to disagree with me.

    I told you I don't want chicken Mommy!

    I told you I don’t want chicken Mommy!

  5. They think making you mad is funny. And they do that exact button-pushing thing over and over again just to get a rise out of you. (I eat an extra cupcake every time I realize this isn’t going to get any better…).
  6. They’ve developed stalling tactics. Just when you’ve gotten a good sleeping routine going, they have now figured out how to stall. Or get your attention by crying loudly every time you start walking them to their room. If you’ve got an easy-thrower-upper, this is not cute at all. (Wait, it’s never cute, never mind.)

    But, I don't want to go to bed!

    But, I don’t want to go to bed!

  7. They have learned their opposites. They may not know many words, or many colors, or animal sounds, but they sure know what opposites are. It’s the thing they do every time you want them to do something else.
  8. They’ve begun to lose their hearing. This goes hand in hand with pretty much all the above reasons. They’ll look right through you like you weren’t even speaking or completely ignore you like you’re yesterday’s news.

    Yep, I'm just pretending to listen. Mmmhmmm. Okay, mom, whatever you say.

    Yep, I’m just pretending to listen. Mmmhmmm. Okay, mom, whatever you say.

  9. Their little sun-shiny personalities are in full-force. Most of the time, they really are sun-shiny, but when they aren’t, they really aren’t. And they know how to throw a mean tantrum. (And this just makes me waste cupcake, because it causes me to spit some out from laughing so hard at their little show…).
  10. They are independent, except when you actually want them to be. Oh, they’ll help you with things and be all nice and stuff, until you actually need their cooperation, and then it’s like a war zone.

What about you? How do YOU do it – handle the toddler years? Share with us below some of your tips and tricks (even if one of them is that you secretly eat cupcakes in the pantry when no one is looking, just to stay sane).

Foodie Friday: Pizza for Toddlers, Made by Toddlers

My plan was to do a pictorial story of when Little Mister and Little Missy made their own pizzas for dinner one evening after daycare. Unfortunately, my portable hard drive (aka photo treasure chest) is corrupt and I have so far been unable to salvage photos and videos taken of our twins from the last two years! Our toddler pizza experience was one of the collections which is unsalvagable so far.

So I will be up to you, the reader, to… PICTURE THIS…

It’s the night before TGIF and I am inspired to do something different for dinner to take us into the weekend. After looking at what ingredients (aka leftovers) we have available: a packet of Indian naan, can of tomato paste, green peppers, ground beef and chicken. I settled on making “plate-sized” pizzas. And hmmm why not take it one step further and let our 2 1/2 year olds design-their-own?

After doing a quick google search for pizza sauce, I came across this super easy recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-pizza-sauce-iii/ Why not make homemade pizza sauce so you at least know what goes into it?

My goal was to get all the ingredients ready beforehand, and like craft time, get the kids to “assemble” it. The pizza sauce needs to be chilled so it’s the perfect thing to do the night before. The ground beef was already cooked with spices, and we had some leftover cubes of cooked chicken ready to use as another topping. Half a block of cheese was grated the night before also. After work the next day, and before going to pick them up from daycare, I quickly sliced up the mushrooms, tomato and green pepper.

When the kids came home from daycare they donned their aprons and got to work preparing their masterpieces. Each got a small round baking pan (used by Mr. Mama for making nachos) to hold their naan (flatbread). Each got a small stainless steel bowl with spoon to hold their pizza sauce. I showed them how to spread the pizza sauce over the naan and they got really into it! Luckily it didn’t get onto their clothes.

Next up we had several toppings. It was neat to see what types of flavours they were choosing. The sliced apples they were munching on while they worked went on there…. sliced mushrooms, and very few green peppers and tomato slices (not their favourites). The meat toppings of ground beef and cubed chicken were carefully arranged as if part of a puzzle. Finally the grated cheese… oh the cheese.. In two containers of course, one for each! A chunk of it was eaten, the rest was fought over. But finally it perservered and the pizzas were complete!

Here’s where I wish there was a photo to show you what their finished products looked like. Picture a tandoori naan pizza shaped like, well, India (coincidence? hmm). With apples as a base layer, some random vegetables and meat, and topped with lots of cheese. It looked like a cheese mountain. Then in the oven it went. Luckily, it didn’t take long as all it needed was to be toasted until the cheese melted (since all the beef and chicken were pre-cooked).

As I wasn’t sure whether Mister and Missy would be able to wait for the pizza to be ready, I gave them another meal while we waited. But when those pizzas came out of the oven, they wanted “Mow !” (more)

Would we do it again? For sure! At first Mr. Mama wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of an apple pizza but I gotta say, the sweetness of the apples gave it a nice flavour.

Sometimes we don’t give toddlers enough credit. Future chefs, perhaps?

Ambereen is mom to almost 3 year old B/G twins and is always looking for ways to let them help in the kitchen. Aside from fulltime work and planning meals for the week, she maintains her blog 2Cute – Adventures in Twin Parenting

Wanted: 2 Bubbles for My 2 Boys’ Wibbly Wobbly Woes

Wanted: Two Bubbles for My Two Boys

My preemie twin boys turned three years old recently. They are still working on catching up to the average three year old and we’re respectful of this fact and we work hard to help them along the way. It takes a lot of patience.

I mean a lot…

Of patience.

But there are those days when I am at a loss. My patience is worn thin. And I wish there was a bubble I could stick each of them in to protect them from themselves! I mean this in the kindest, gentlest and most protective mommy way. I love these little dudes and I hate to see them get hurt!

Case in point…last week, the end of a long, busy work week I found myself sitting in an Emergency Room waiting area for over 4 hours, past 12:00 AM, to have Twin A’s damaged eyebrow looked at and stitched up. Did he get hit in the head by a toy? No. Did he get in a scuffle with Twin B or big bro? No. He stepped on his own foot, lost his balance, and keeled over right onto the only kind of pointy edge on the baby gate…which is meant to protect him!

The boy is wobbly!

This event took place after a week of appointments and additional stress of both boys having allergic reactions to mosquito bites and becoming puffed up little children. First I thought I had to worry about West Nile Virus and now I have the additional worry of puffy little boys covered by gigantic swollen bites. Which then leave scars!

Then this evening we went out for a walk at the park. I slathered my boys in mosquito repellent in order to avoid West Nile and puffy reactions. My husband and I each manned a “baby” and kept an eye on the big boy. Three kids running in different directions on big, scary jungle gyms.

They are scary to me. Not to my kids.

It’s 3 against 2 in these situations and sometimes it really does feel like we’re losing from the start, so to speak. When we’re at these playgrounds the object of the game is to not get hurt. That is all. The level of stress can be high. The ability to relax can be hard.

We made it through the playground okay. No falls. No injuries. No tears. YES!

I relax…

Too soon.

No sooner do I turn my back to Twin B to take the big guy on a washroom run, when Twin B takes a single step, trips himself up and lands on his head. Not his bum. Not his side. He doesn’t try to break his fall in any way, shape or form; maybe because it happened so fast? Instead his head broke his fall. His head. The twins are not identical, but sometimes I do wonder. They do so many of the silliest things in the same ways. This is where the desire for a couple of nice, comfy bubbles made of Kevlar comes to mind. We try so hard to protect them from things, yet we know we can’t do it forever. So we try to relax.

When my three preemies came up in conversation when at a doctor’s appointment a few years ago, my doctor advised me to try to avoid being an over-protective parent, knowing that this is something many preemie parents deal with (she is a preemie parent herself.) Our little premature babies make it through the hardest of times and we want them to be safe and boo-boo free, but it’s hard to decide what really is “over-protective” vs. the average caring parent. Just like there is no specific instruction manual on dealing with a preterm birth, there isn’t one for raising preemie kids or any kid for that matter.

We just have to take it one step at a time…and hope we don’t fall flat on our faces!

Balancing Work, Home, and Mommy Guilt

Working fulltime with two little ones at home is proving more difficult than expected. It’s been 8 months now since returning to work after extended leave, and I thought we had it all figured out. One thing we didn’t factor in was how busy and challenging my job had become in two years.

We’re doing everything right, or so it seems. Mr. Mama and I take turns cooking and we have someone coming in to clean the house twice a month. Mr. Mama does most of the daycare pickups and dropoffs while I help him get the kids out of the house. We tag team during mealtimes, bathtime and bedtime. We even have extra help from the Grandparents once a week and on the weekends.

Our morning routine is consistent. I usually wake up first to get ready for work and make breakfast. Then I get Little Mister and Little Missy, chang them and start on breakfast while Mr. Mama gets ready. In the evenings, I’m home 10 minutes before the twins which is enough time to warm up dinner. Then follows bathtime and an early bed.

Other things I do to save time and energy: pack my lunch 2 days ahead, write down daily priorities at work, write up weekly “To Do” list at home, set out the twins clothes for the week and set out my clothes for the week. Despite all that, we never see the neighbours, let alone our friends, and barely have time to catch up on the rest of the life.

As another twin mom put it, every day is organized chaos. I know this is for a short time only because the kids are so young. But that’s the sad part! Every day they seem to grow an inch and learn things at an exponential rate. And I’m too tired right now to enjoy it. That, my friends, is mommy-guilt. How do you manage yours?

Ambereen, mom to 2 year old B/G twins, is constantly striving to find some form of balance between all the aspects of their busy lives. Read more on her personal blog.

Medium and Happy

(Leila and Rahul are turning 2 in a few days. They are doing very well, happy and healthy, other than a cold they have been fighting for the last week.  I would like to share something I wrote when they turned one-and-a-half.)

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Rahul and Leila have come a long way since their birth at 31 weeks gestation. At 18 months they have caught up with other children their age physically, emotionally and developmentally.

Leila recently jumped from the 5th to the 10th percentile in weight, and Rahul is steady at the 10th.  In height they are both at the 50th percentile. All in all, according to the charts (which might be slightly different that the US standard ones?), they are light weight children of average height. Not that it means much anymore. Last month I met a five month old baby who weighed as much as Leila. At their NICU there was a baby born at 24 weeks, much tinier than them. Now however, when I see them play amongst toddlers their own age, they merge right in, size-wise as well as ability-wise.

Since they were born a couple of months early it was normal, even necessary to closely monitor their weight gain. Thankfully we have had no serious problems since they left the NICU. They are both running, playing, and talking a lot. They are full of energy.

It’s time for me to let go of the obsessive monitoring. They need a break from being scrutinized and compared. They inevitably get a lot of it just for being twins. They don’t need any more, and especially not from me. In the big picture a little delay here or there is not a big deal. I have noticed that they are eating a little more than before, sleeping a little bit better, and enjoying each other.

I have found that comparing healthy babies growth and development is useless, and even silly. We all do it though. It’s natural. Parents often compare how soon their babies sit up, crawl, start sprouting teeth, walk, and talk in relation to others. Discussing these things with other mums and dads is important, especially for first time parents. It is necessary to follow-up on certain milestone achievements. If a real problem is caught soon enough it could be addressed more effectively.

There is a wide range of normal. I can see that just by having two babies. Leila crawled by 7 months, Rahul started after 9. They both had issues with digestion in the NICU. They digest differently. R has a strong reflux, Leila a poor appetite. Now L eats all the time and R eats only when he can feed himself! They both got their first teeth around the same time. According to Dr. Sear’s “The Baby Book”, when teeth come out is a genetic trait. Speech seems to be a big “issue”, and especially when there is more than one language spoken. We have 3 languages around us, and so far they are both saying words in all.

My brother didn’t speak until he was 2. My grandmother forced my parents to see doctors about this. Neither did he eat. What a catastrophe. My parents were easy-going enough to let him be. When he was ready he spoke and when he was hungry he ate. Now he talks a lot, and eats a lot. He is a professional sportsman, and a big guy. My brother-in-law spoke “late”, but apparently when he did it was in full grammatically correct sentences!

When asked, I usually responded to questions about my children’s age, weight, birth order etc. And then I asked similar questions back. Sometimes I even initiated such dialogues. I knew it was silly, but I needed to hear that Leila and Rahul are smaller than others to validate their experience of early birth, as well as mine being their primary care-giver. It has not been easy with their tiny milk feeds. After birth they wouldn’t drink more than 1 to 3 ml of milk at a time. By 1 year R could take 120ml. But because of his reflux he had to stop and burp every 30 ml. Each feed was drink, burp, drink, burp…  Leila woke up every 2 to 3 hours to drink at night, and still does. Most babies around us sleep through the night and eat comfortably. I couldn’t help comparing.

I was listening to a studio talk by Richard Freeman, an inspiring senior Ashtanga teacher the other day. I am paraphrasing what I understood from it. He said as soon as we realise that our Asana posture is medium, that it could look better, and it could also look worse, there is a release. The pressure dissolves and the breathing starts. It is no longer about having the perfect posture. It is more intrinsic and personal. That’s when the suffering stops and the practice can deepen.

The same goes for size. As soon as we can acknowledge that we are medium, that we could be taller or shorter, fatter or thinner, there is a release. We can move on and think about other things. I once told a close friend that her son was tall. “No” she responded, “he is average height.” Her honesty struck me.

Rahul and Leila are changing all the time, as I am. When I am around them I want to be actually present. I want to encourage them to have fun, and to laugh. They have enough time to follow curriculae and perform in the future. We can all stack 4 blocks and order rings according to size. It makes no difference to me if they can do it now, or in a few months. They are full of love and energy and that is what really matters. I want them to be Medium and Happy.

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Natasha lives in Chengdu, China with her husband Maher. She is mum of  twins Leila and Rahul, and was an Ashtanga Yoga teacher until her little yogis became the teachers. You can find more of her thoughts and stories at Our Little Yogis.

 

Yet An Other 'Secret' Language

When I was expecting our first child I didn’t really read that many books about expecting and giving birth but one thing I was interested in was language development in children, especially when they were raised in a multilingual home. You see, I was born and raised in Finland, the winner of Newsweek’s 2010 best country to live in. I was going to be speaking Finnish to our children and my wonderfully totally American husband, who after 6 years of marriage knows about 10 words in Finnish, was going to use English.

I was not surprised to read that multilingual boys were the slowest to develop speech. Nor was I surprised when I read that the major cause of baby/toddler frustration, manifested in tantrums that are now way too familiar to me, is the inability to make their thoughts and desires known. I was hoping that somehow there was a way to bypass all this.

I had heard of ‘baby signs’ and properly ordered a book before our first was born. I read it but wasn’t that thrilled. The book was full of signs but it was dry to read and I had no time to study the signs well enough so pretty soon it found its permanent place in a box ‘somewhere out of sight’. Then my SIL let me borrow couple of their Signing Time DVD’s. What a great concept! (You should totally check them out, if you haven’t already.) Suddenly I was exposed to this wonderful new language in a way that was so much fun to learn, both for me and the kids.

Nathan was 10 months when we started watching the DVD’s. It was fascinating to watch him pick up signs so excitedly and effortlessly and then to see him use those signs. I’d offer him a banana and instead of throwing a fit he’d sign ‘grapes’, at the end of the meal, instead of sending his plate and cup flying through the room and adding several minutes to my clean up job, he’d sign ‘all done’. Beth and Joshua got an early start at the precious age of 2 months. When making dinner I’d place them in their bouncy seats in front of TV and all kids happily watched while I cooked.

Out of everyone in the family I believe that Joshua has benefited most from learning American Sign Language (ASL). Ever since being the reason why I ended up with unexpectedly early c-section he’s been our ‘special’ child. He would throw tantrums over anything and everything. He couldn’t figure out sequences (like, first you need to get dressed then you can go outside), he wanted to be held at all times, loud noise would send him over the edge and he didn’t seem to register what we said unless it was signed as well. So sign we did. I borrowed all available ST DVD’s from library, requested them to order the ones they didn’t have, kept them over due and paid enough in fees that it would’ve been cheaper to buy them to our selves from the beginning. But as we all learned more signs, there were fewer tantrums from Joshua and the flow of our days changed from ‘very challenging’ to ‘almost normal’. Quickly signing became his first line of understandable communication and he was rather proficient in it. (He has since learned how to speak clearly and is more than able to make his needs and opinions and desires know .. all too well!)

I noticed that the children started to sign when playing together. First very simple signs but then adding them together to form sentences ‘like pink shoes’, ‘train goes fast’, ‘let’s pretend we’re animals’. They were very good at identifying their feelings and communicating them with us early on, I believe because they associated the signs with (otherwise rather abstract concept of) emotions.

Beth and Joshua turned 3 end of last month. We still sign. I realized at one point that it would be a disservice not to continue with ASL since they already know so many signs. I signed them up for deaf/hearing children’s playgroup and I am taking classes as well. I hope that as they grow and realize that not everyone in the playground uses their hands to communicate they continue to use ASL, because you never know where life leads you and how many opportunities for friendships they might find in the deaf community in years to come. And one day, it could be their other ‘secret’ language. That is if they ever start speaking Finnish. Right now they seem content with understanding Finnish, speaking English and signing back to me. But I won’t loose hope. They just might prove to be more gifted in the area of language than their otherwise pretty awesome Daddy.

So dear HDYDI readers, are you raising your brood in a multilingual home? What challenges have you faced? What benefits are you seeing?  Have you thought about signing?  How are you dealing with potential speech delays/behavior issues with your children?

Making the Bed Transition

Hello, I’m Meredith and this is my first post on HDYDI. My twins, Elizabeth and David, are 16 months old. I consider myself quite the Twin Momma (capital TM) and have all the shirts and coffee mugs to show it off. When it comes to my kids though, I acknowledge I have two very different children that happen to have been born at the same time.

I am a major planner and the thing that has been on my mind lately is planning the kids’ transition out of the crib and into a bed. I know I am still a little early since they are only 16 months old but as I said, I am a planner. I struggle because I also need to separate their bedrooms. Part of it is that they are boy/girl but the bigger part is that the bedrooms are so small in our house, I do not think I can fit two twin size beds into one room.

The logistic side of me says when they are ready to leave the crib and move to a big bed just move their rooms then. I was thinking we take a weekend where the kids can stay at Grandma’s and my husband and I can play musical rooms. Then the kids can be totally surprised and excited about each having their own room with their own stuff and it will be lots of fun.

Then the motherly side of me kicked in. No longer in the safety of their crib, no longer in a room with their sibling, and poor David will be in a completely different room. I worry that it would be a huge shock to their little bodies and no one will sleep for months (I can’t go through that again!).

So far, the best thing I thought of is when the time comes, still take that weekend, play musical rooms but keep one crib in each room. That way each room will contain one twin size bed and one crib. My hope is that that will let them deal with the transition of being apart and get used to their new rooms while still having the comfort (and confinement) of their cribs. Let them be in that arrangement for a few weeks and then start to use the twin bed.

What did you do to transition your children from the crib to the big bed?
Did you separate their rooms?
How old were they when you made these transitions?

Back 2 the Future: Child-proofing

Griff Thena Phe recliner3 121605
“Child-proofing” is a term that gives me a good hearty chuckle, like “potty trained.” We child-proofed the heck out of our house when we were expecting the twins. Magnetic locks on all the cabinets, with the magnet stored up high. Gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Locks on all the door handles, outlet covers out the wazoo, chemicals stored up high (except personal lubricant)… The kids had the run of the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway, but couldn’t get anywhere else.

That was perfect, until the twins learned to walk.

From: me
Date: 12/20/05 21:09:12
To: NorthernWarrenCountyOhioFreecycle@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Freecycle] ISO baby gates PLEASE!!!

Please, for the love of all that is sacred, if you have a spare baby gate, would you consider giving or loaning it to me?

I have 16-month-old twins and I just cleaned the kitchen trash off the floor for the 9th time today. This is AFTER I taped the lid shut. They just used their twin powers for evil and lifted the lid right off.

We have two gates but they are on the top and bottom of the stairs. I never would have dreamed we’d need to gate them out of every part of the house. Silly me.

So please, I am nearly in tears because they think they are hilarious but I can’t take this anymore! If you have a gate you aren’t using I PROMISE I will return it to you if you can loan it to me. Or maybe I can trade you for something. We just don’t have any $ for gates until at least the new year, and even then… Gates are crazy-expensive.

Thank you in advance!

[Note: The twins thinking they are hilarious frequently coincides with me nearly being in tears. That hasn’t changed in the last four years.]

This post resulted in an intimidating fencing system cobbled together from various semi-broken baby gates. On the plus side, the boys were finally confined to the living room and hallway and were no longer free to roam and plunder the garbage. Sadly, my 3-year-old had to be able to predict her need to urinate in enough time to press the release button – which only sometimes worked – on the hall gate blocking the babies from the kitchen/dining room/bathroom. And my blog is named “Diagnosis: Urine,” so we all know how that worked out for me.

Any good “child-proofing” stories in your past?

Jen is the married work-from-home mother of 7-year-old Miss A, 5-year-old boys G and P, and 3-year-old Haney Jane. She also blogs at Diagnosis: Urine.