Monday, September 24, 2012

Date Night With Mommy

Yeah, yeah, before you either get all excited or get your knickers in a knot that says with Mommy, not for Mommy. And while I am certainly open to some form of dating that is possible with a full time job and 3 year old twins, it's not happening right now.

This post is spending time, one on one, with each of my little men.

I've blogged before about the need for twins to have time apart from each other after reading Emotionally Healthy Twins. And more important, time with me without having to share it with their brother. It's easier said than done when there is only one parent (and not much better when there are two). It's happened once in a while when one has been sick, and friends have taken the other out for some fun. And while they have time apart when this happens, the twin sick at home isn't always even aware that I'm there and certainly can't be counted as fun.

So a couple of months ago, I put a plea out to friends, for someone who could commit to a regular couple of hours each week to take one of the boys, giving me time with the other. I was pleased as punch when my BFF and the boys god-mommy Shaun from Swim, Bike, Run - How Bad Can It Be stepped up. She had an injury at the time that cut back on her training and gave her a free evening each week. The idea was for her to start heading out with Nathan (who loves and trusts everyone) and eventually move to alternating weeks with Corwyn.

And I have to say it's been great. So far, the things we've done aren't overly complicated or far reaching but they were done on each boys time table according to their individual wants. So if biking, he gets to pick the route and distance. If at the playground, undivided adult attention, no waiting while mommy alternated between jungle gym with one and the swing with the other. And even something so simple as picking what DVD to watch without making a compromise is a confidence booster and a nice change.

And I'll tell you, going out with one child - a total BREEZE. We've gone to restaurants and coffee shops, on transit, and in stores, biking and walking. So totally simple, it's almost relaxing. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change having twins for anything, but some of the things that we don't do or do in a flash, can be done more often and at a leisurely pace with only once child. They are so different when they are not competing with, depending on, egging on or egged on by a twin. Their inner personalities show more.

So far, Shaun has taken out only Nathan, giving me lots of time with Corwyn. But not to worry, Nathan has had some mommy time when a couple of friends have taken Corwyn for a couple of hours. While I like this and totally appreciate it, with these friends (B&B), since both boys love and trust them equally, I'd rather they take both boys at the same time (there are two of them) or make sure they spend an equal amount of time with each of them.

Fortunately for Shaun, but unfortunately for me, her injury is pretty much healed and she's into Ironman training again (she did her first when the boys were a mere few months old and we all went to cheer her own). She's going to have to cut back to alternating weeks now and as we get closer to the date, will likely need to cut it out completely. So for now, she'll probably still continue to foster her relationship with Nathan (we're hoping they can get some pool time in since she's determined to get him ready for a kids tri next year).

So I'm looking for someone else for the other week, someone who could take Corwyn for 1-2 hours. I am sort of leaning towards begging my other BFF from since her son and Corwyn are like brothers from another mother. It would be rough at first as I know Corwyn would initially resist, but he likes both Monika and her partner (who built a cool computerized engine for the Duplo trains for Aias). I would trade this time for watching her little man (Aias) who fits right in at my place.

Likely starting in January, I'm going to try to enroll the boys in classes/programs at the community center. Either different programs, or the same program at a different time. This would give the kid in the program something fun to do without his twin and the one not on the program at that time, some fun time with Mommy.

I was reading a blog post over at The Twin Coach about having the kids in separate classes in K this year. She's made sure her kids have had time apart and time with her one-on-one but has noticed their individually even more now that they are in different classes. It's a question I get asked a lot even though I still have 2 years to go about keeping mine together or not. I don't know if the school has a policy but if they don't my desire is different classes. After spending time with them apart from each other these last couple of months, I'm even more certain that is the right thing to do (for my kids). Although again, from reading Gina's blog, I have to be realistic about the logistics of two different classes, teachers, etc. while holding down a full time job.

Having a cookie and water at (big name coffee place) in the Safeway. I was even able to leave him there while I went back to get the water. He stayed waiting patiently and didn't whine, or bolt or goof off or any of the other things that at least one would have done if both were there (don't worry, I could see him, the SB is just that pink counter you can see in the back)

I think Nathan liked petting the kitty more than he did the bike ride we he was out with me. He has a huge passion for cats (we'll probably get a rescue sometime in the next year.)

Another food stop. And before you think this is all I do with Corwyn, it's the only time I can slow down long enough to actually take a picture. This one was after he wore me out running beside him on his bike for a half hour. Honestly the kid can keep up such a pace that I may be able to take up 5k running again and have him with me. He's getting really good with stopping at streets and driveways without prompts from me (I think showing him the mangled bikes on our bike rack really helped him make the visual association). 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Halloween Costume Review - Plus Size Costumes Super Center

So my post includes "Halloween" in the title because it's rapidly approaching and when most people think of costumes, it's around this time. Me, I love costumes and dressing up and think there should be more reasons to do it (without getting arrested). And in fact, for many months of the year, there are themed days that lend themselves to at least some aspect of a costume (Christmas, Easter, Talk like a Pirate day).

When I was given a chance to review a costume I broke with my norm and actually picked something for myself. While I could have picked another site, I chose In general, I'm not plus size but I am larger. I have been frustrated buying an adult Women's costume in size large only to find that parts or all of it doesn't fit, or having to squeeze the extra flap of tummy skin from having twins into something never meant for anyone who's had kids, or even hit puberty.

I was really excited when I started checking out Plus Size Costume Super Centre. They  have fabulous costumes to fit real women. And they are not just 'tents' or those meant to hide a larger size, these are the same costumes you find in the non-plus sized section and then some. They range from sexy, to flirty and playful to just plain fun.

One of things I really liked when browsing the costumes was that each contains a comment about what sizes they fit. As with those not plus sized, people within the plus size category, vary. There are one-size type costumes that range from 16-24 or 18-22, among others. Some more form fitting have multiple sizes like 16-18, 18-20, 1x-4x.

The costumes are organized by theme like 60's, Angel, Superhero, Pirate and even couples. Yes, that's right, they have not forgotten about the men here. Want to go with your mate as Popeye and Olive Oyl or matching "greasers"? This is your one stop shop for costumes.

Along with the costumes they include links to accessories that can complete the costume.

With all that, I had a hard time picking a costume. In the end, I settled on a 50's Poodle Skirt Set. I've always wanted a poodle skirt!!!

When the package arrived, I knew before I opened it that this wasn't a flimsy department store costume, this was the real thing. And on opening it, I was not disappointed.

The outfit included a Poodle Skirt (Yeah!!) in an very, very thick black felt with an adorable poodle in pink rhinestones, a pink satin jacket and a wonderful pink and black top. All of it is really comfortable and well made. The zipper in the jacket can handle even preschoolers pulling it up and down for me. And I love the top. I might wear it and the jacket, on their own, as regular wear. And I think both would look great paired with jeans to extend the costume.

The costume fit and although on the loose side as expected, I could dance all night without worrying about it falling off. The skirt was also a bit long on me, but I was able to just pull it higher than my waist and it still looked great. I couldn't help myself, after I put it on I found myself dancing around singing 'Hopelessly Devoted to You'.

Halloween is quickly approaching and here is a chance for you to get a great costume at a great price.
Check them out at the link above or on Facebook at

And if you're like me, don't forget all the other dress up days, a bunny for Easter, Elfs or Santas at Christmas and of course you can't miss out Talk Like a Pirate Day next year! Whatever the occasion, you'll find a costume here.

Disclaimer: The costume was provided to me free for the review. The pictures and opinions are all mine.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What we did last week

I work days so the time I get to spend with my kids is precious to me. I want then to have fun and if we can mix in a bit of learning in the process, all the better. My approach to learning is a mix of Montessori and Play Based Learning (which I personally think overlap quite well). I try to mix in some specific skills each week and watch them for the sensitive periods they are in or approaching.

This week in our time together we covered areas of fine and gross motor skills, letters/phonics, counting, numbers and math, sensory, art and expression. Here are some of the things we did in pictures. While some of these look like work to us, to the kids they are all fun.

We worked sensory and fine motor skills with the Montessori themed knobbed cylinders. I have the mini set and while each will often work with all 4 at once, if they both want to use them, they each take a pair, work them, then I'll switch one for each. Nathan can often sit with the activity for more than an hour, although in this session both wanted to move on after 30 minutes.

I finally found a board game I liked enough to try. It's our first real turn taking and structured game. It was a huge hit. While playing they work on turn taking, colors, counting and even fine motor skills (not pictured is the squirrel that they use like tweezers to pick up the acorns). 

I used some of our Discovery Toys manipulatives for color matching and patterns. If you don't know about Discovery Toys, keep an eye out for my friend over at as she'll be having a giveaway later this month of one of their best products (which we also have).

More patterns and fine motor with a connect 4 type of game.

We also started working on phonics this week. I'm basing this on the Montessori Method, but since my guys already "know" the alphabet, I'm modifying it a bit. We started with 'm' and 'a' this week. Corwyn LOVES the sandpaper letters and will trace them any moment he gets (I let him!). Nathan was a bit meh about those but both loved one of the games we played. In it, they put the big and little m/a on the fridge. I sit in the living room and ask them to bring me the sound that starts the word monkey/apple/mommy/astronaut/montorcycle etc. They played and played and played, getting winded in the process. So much fun. Why did I start with these letters? I'm following one of the recommended letter introduction orders in Montessori. This is a good write up about it at Living Montessori Now. I picked this specific one because I have the Bob level 1 books that go with it. Two more letters and they will have enough to read an entire book on their own. We'll round these 2 out with s and t.

We did painting and gluing and drawing for art. I also got a mini spirograph type of set and they are using it and the geometric templates it comes with for tracing and drawing.

They are loving their bikes and get out whenever they can. We're still working on road safety, but after showing Corwyn some mangled bikes and telling him this is what happens to a bike that gets hit by a car, he is much better.

The weather has been great so there has also been lots of playground and beach time. I'll miss this when it starts being dark before I get home from work.

I'm linking this post to Montessori Monday. Check out some of the other links there. This is where I get the base for much of my inspiration.

And of course, don't forget to like us on Facebook

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mickey Mouse Halloween Event

Mickey Mouse Halloween Event is hosted by Mom Blog Society.

Prize Package Includes: 3' Inflatable Halloween Mickey Mouse, Mickey's Treat DVD & Light-Up Jack O'Lantern Mickey Mouse Trick or Treat Bucket
The event dates: 10/2 - 10/12

Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here