Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stylin' Saturday #23

A little unoriginal but I was glad Vanh finally picked these striped jeans from the pants drawer; I think they're adorable.
Vanh's been into his piglet jacket lately, while Max has a favourite blue vest
Max's monster truck hat - and his sweet smile

Perhaps the most significant item this week is what they are not wearing in any of these photos - diapers.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Friday!

Ah, look at them. I just love them to bits.
Any guesses who is who? (Vanh is usually in blue)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My twin, my translator

Max: I need ceweal baow peese.
Mommy: Pardon? Can you say that again?
Max: Ceweal baow.
Daddy: You want a bowl of cereal?
Max: Nooooo! Ceweal baow!!
Vanh. Not ceweal baow Max. Ceweal baw.
Max: Ceweal baw peese.
Mommy: Oh! You want a cereal bar! He wants a cereal bar please, Daddy.
Daddy: We don't have any.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peep peep

Thanks to C & H for this idea!
I let them get smudgy on purpose to be more "chick like" but in retrospect I probably should have gone with clearer footprints at the expense of artistic realism...

How we did these (in response to Francesca's comment):
Bring your paint (we used this) and paper (remember to cut it to size first) into the bathroom (we used purple construction paper because that's all we had; light coloured good quality paper or cardstock would work best).

Round up your toddlers. Roll-up/ remove any long pants (unless already paint-covered). Have towels nearby.

Paint bottom of foot (it tickles!) and have child stand on paper. Place that child in bathtub. Repeat until bathtub is full of children. Begin second round. (Yes you could do two at once but what fun would that be?) As each child completes their second print, rinse and dry their foot and send them off.

Cut out eyes from black paper (we only had white) or use googly-eyes (you can get them at any dollar store). Cut out beaks from orange paper. You'll need some glue.

When the footprints are dry, have the children sit in your lap while you hold a black marker with them. "Help" them draw legs, etc. and write Peep peep. Have them either point to where they want the eye and beak or glue it on themselves.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Potty process... step by step

Step 1: Preparation
Determine a week that you have more time. (We picked the 4-day Easter weekend as there was no free week coming up)
Prepare your child mentally (When it gets warm outside, you won't wear diapers anymore...).
Welcome them in the bathroom when you are going. (We didn't focus on this step, I think it happened naturally due to the layout of our house)
Go potty shopping together (avoid Cars 3-in-one!) and read potty books (Our favourite is Potty by Leslie Patricelli; we also like The Potty Book for Boys

Step 2: Go For It!
First week-end, have your child go on the toilet every half hour. They have to try. This is to determine their schedule. (At first our guys sometimes needed "incentives" just to sit - but once they sat, they went) Keep notes.

(Here are our notes:
Day 1 #1: Both boys went every half hour. One accident each.
Day 1 #2: Vanh went 7 times. Max didn't go at all.

Day 2 #1: Both boys went every hour. Max had one accident.
Day 2 #2: Neither boy went until after going to bed for the night (in their diapers).

Day 3 #1: Vanh went every 90 minutes. Max went every 2 hours. Can't remember who, maybe both had one accident?
Day 3 #2: Vanh went once. Max didn't go.

Day 4 #1: Both on an every 2 hour schedule. Vanh had one accident but we decided to move on to the next step (undie shopping) anyway...
Day 4 #2: Nothing again until well after bedtime diapers, at which point it was obvious there should have been a couple earlier.)

Step 3: You're A Big Boy Now.
When no accidents, go with your child to buy big boy underpants. Let them pick. (Note: Thomas size 2s are significantly larger than Cars size 2s. Also: Don't shop in any underwear aisles with carpets, just in case your child gets so overwhelmed with excitement he pees. Oh, and pull-ups don't always work for some reason, in fact they can leak enough to leave footprints on carpet if your child takes off his pee-covered flip-flops...)

Ongoing: When there is an accident, just tell your child that you know he/she can do it. When there is success, congratulate and make it a big deal (we used lots of praise and excitement, intermittent chocolate chips, a few toy motorcycles, and choice of video as rewards). Avoid food treats (especially if you pick Easter weekend when your kids are going to be eating chocolate and candy for all three meals already)

You can use pull-ups or diapers. You can even slip the underpants over the diaper to encourage them. You can also put the diaper over the undies if you are pretty sure they can do it but are going somewhere you can't afford an accident. (We didn't use any diapers unless we were going out. It didn't seem to influence the boys success rate whether they were wearing diapers or not. We collected a bunch of old cotton pajama bottoms for that first weekend - you can see some in the photos.)

This method is adapted from a friend of a friend, her blog is private so I won't say her name but thank you so much for sharing, seems to be going well so far! Hope this helps someone else as much as it helped us.

(PS I know I said I wasn't going to write any more until we were done but that was before I spent 4 days straight in the bathroom and ended up with nothing else to write about)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter egg hunt

We invited a few friends to hunt with us...

What a happy hoppy day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Did the boys make those?

Mostly they helped. That is, they allowed their hands to be traced three times (each) and willingly chose appropriate colours for the different bunny bits. Then they played swordfighting with spare pipecleaners while mommy cut everything out, and dumped the dog's food in his water dish while mommy was gluing everything together. That's how (my) boys do crafts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flashback Friday

Here is me when I was about the boys' age. My Dad built that slide in our backyard.
You can see what passed for "trees" where I grew up, in western Labrador. I remember being bewildered by the trees in our storybooks that looked so different from season to season. Our trees looked the same all year long... except sometimes they would have snow on them. I remember having to memorize which tree went with which season to get it right on science tests.

PS I'd love to read other people's flashbacks - let me know if you post one!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sure, I can share our recipes...

A current favourite:

Candy Carrots
1. Cook carrots, drain.
2. Pour on maple syrup.
3. Toss and serve.

I got it from M3's blog, sort of. I didn't read her recipe link, just the part where she mused about it being better with real maple syrup, then thought, "Maple syrup and carrots? That sounds yummy" and there it was. We eat the whole bag.

Another fave of the boys is also adapted from a twin blog, this time D's smoothie recipe. We've been using it for about a year and it has evolved into this:

1. Dump a handful (per person) of whatever-cut-up-leftover-fruit-is-in-the-freezer-from-yesterday's-snack into the blender. Banana is good if you have one.
2. Pour in a little milk and/ or a couple spoons yogurt. (If you don't have either, coffee cream and an ice cube will do in a pinch.)
3. Whir and serve.

Sometimes it's liquidy and sometimes it's more solid like ice cream, the boys don't seem to care. I add a blue freezie to Vanh's to make it blue (doesn't work but he sees it go in so it's blue enough for him), and just a few strawberries when Max orders red.

Finally, there is this classic:

Cereal in a Bowl with Milk
1. Offer choice of cereals
2. Pour choice(s) into individual bowls
3. Add milk

Be careful with that one - you don't want to take away its specialness...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Name games

A while ago we discovered the name of the combine harvester in the Cars movie is the same as Vanh's middle name. "That's kind of neat," I said, "He has the same name as you - Vanh Frank."
"I Max Frank!" said Max. So I explained that no, he had a different middle name.

Today I brought home a new Cars book, and it mentions Frank. "I Vanh Frank!" remembered Vanh proudly. "I not Max Frank," explained Max, and he continued on to say his full name. I was happy he had remembered but couldn't quite hear him so I asked him to say it louder - "I Max Harvester!"

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stylin' Saturday: Special Sunday Edition

Every element of these outfits was carefully selected as just the thing to wear around the house this Sunday, so I thought they deserved a post of their own...
It's hard to tell from the photo but the orange on the collar of Max's onesie and the red in his firetrucks exactly match the orange and red flames on his monster truck shirt. I'm so proud.

PS A's baby sister was born today! Also Nana's first grand-daughter! Same weights, same hospital... Welcome to the world baby girls! So many people are so happy you are here!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stop, no, it burns!

I've seen this sort of photo often on other twin blogs and thought it would be cute to try with the boys. For some reason they found it torture to lay next to each other upside down. Especially Max - he would finally drum up the courage to lie down beside his brother, then spring away as if being burned by sulfuric acid when he got too close.
Daddy and I finally figured out that if we each pulled one boy around by his feet, we could make them laugh AND drag their heads together!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stylin' Saturday #22

First he dug out the size 6 shirt from the very back bottom corner of the drawer. Then, "Need dat party hat peese. Need red bag. Take a peeshur a me Mommy!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday A!

Birthday party today
Supposed to be over 5:15 but last guests left closer to 6:30.
Popped boys in front of videos a bit longer to clean up.
Just after 7... "Can we go for nap now?"

Darling little boys.
Extra long rocks tonight, and conversation....
The favourite part of the party?
"Cupcake" (Vanh).
"Cake" (Max)
And for me
a sudden understanding of why B writes like this.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

March and shout

(Daddy calls this "Stomp 'n Yell")

Can you guess what they are saying at the end?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Supper time

Maybe it's not the most interesting photo ever, but I'm getting double value here- it answers M3's "What's for dinner?" (that's a grilled cheese on whole wheat peeking out and a Caesar salad in the bowl) and provides proof of vegetables for Nana Diane... Oh and you can see my feet, too.

(The boys ate the corn, a little grilled cheese, a ridiculous number of garlic sourdough croutons, and asked for peaches.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pssst! Wanna be on my list?

If you have an adoption blog and are wondering why it isn't in either of my blog lists in the sidebar, please let me know - I'd love to add you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to the park!

Oh park, how we've missed you. It's been a long winter, even with three playrooms, an indoor playstructure, and a love of any and all all videos about vehicles or other machines.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Potty post

I've heard many different stories about potty training (aka toilet learning), from the 14 month-olds who do it by themselves overnight to the 5 year-olds who are still battling after years of struggles. I thought to be fair I should contribute our experiences, but I am not going to go on and on about this. The next post on this topic will be when we are done - be it in months or years.

So, at the first signs of readiness I jumped in with some reinforcing incentives, but things quickly fell apart as one boy was simply not physiologically capable of doing what his brother could do, nor was he psychologically capable of understanding why his brother was getting ANYTHING (treat, sticker, praise) that he was incapable of earning. So we compromised with relaxed encouragement, and while they obviously understand what goes where and have shown they can do it, they have not been much interested in doing so.

I wonder how much my own feelings have to do with things. I mean, this is it, the last stage of babyhood. Once they are toilet trained they will be 100% little boys. We probably won't have any more babies of our own to diaper (our "daycare babies" will continue for a few years, no need for anyone to volunteer babies in diapers for us to change).

This was all a few months ago, and we since decided to try this strategy. We've been telling the boys for weeks that they will stop wearing diapers "when it gets warm out", and we are going to start the next step over the four day Easter weekend - but if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

Yesterday the boys picked out their own "potties" for the second bathroom. Vanh chose a trainer and we tried to get Max to pick something simple but he could not be distracted from the deluxe Cars model with real engine sounds. They have certainly been enjoying trying them out so far - and with some success too I might add!
You go boys!

Saturday, April 9, 2011