Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Essential Items for Surviving the First 6 Months with Twins

7 Essential Items for Surviving the First 6 Months with Twins My boys are now 10 months old so they are well past the first 6 months. It's actually more work now that they are mobile and getting into everything than it was when they just laid there smiling or crying. Don't get me wrong, those first few weeks and months were really hard, especially with another little one as well (my oldest had just turned one when they were born), but here are some essential items we found that helped us get through it. Just remember, it's really hard and having no sleep is awful, but after a few months it will be so much easier and it will all be a distant memory!

(Click on the photos for image sources)
1. Two Boppy Pillows - These were nice and easy to set them in while changing the other one or for feeding two at once. We still use them for bottle feedings (or at least try to, they pretty much just run off now).

2. Two Cradle Swings - I wasn't sure if we needed two of these, but I'm really glad we did. They have been lifesavers. They napped in them for the first couple of months. When they were sick and congested they used them to sleep in all night. Before we started sleep training, they would rock to sleep in them before going to bed every night.

3. Swaddlers - My babies all liked to sleep in these. Some babies don't like them. Ours slept better for the first few months using these until they started wiggling out of them all the time.

4. Pacifiers (Wubbanubs) - The boys got these from their NICU stay and they have been really nice to have. When they are little the bean bag animal can hold it in place and when they get older they are easier for them to find in their crib at night.

5. CD Player/Radio - The babies slept in our room for the first month or so. After we moved them into their own bedroom we used one of these and have the radio on all night long. They get used to sleeping with noise and it can help cover up other noises in the house that might wake them up.

6. Two Bouncers - These were great to let them sit in while we were eating dinner or doing other things so they could still be in the same room. When they got a little older then also could eat their bottles in them.

7. White Board - I love having this in my kitchen. It helps me keep track of appointments for the month, the menu for the week, and anything else I need to remember. I also used it to write down times and names for medicines if needed and to keep track of when each baby ate last during the day. I'm pretty forgetful and absent-minded lately so this has been very helpful.

These are the items that I found most useful, along with all the other normal baby stuff you need, of course. What are some of your most useful baby items?

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars

These delicious Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars were the perfect dessert for our Easter dinner last week. Of course they would be good anytime, full of yummy lemon and creamy cheesecake with a little bit of strawberry flavor added in. Just in time for spring...although right now our spring is pretty dreary, rainy and cold. It has to get sunny and warm soon, right!?! I need to get my garden ready to be planted in the next couple of weeks and I can't wait!

I woke up this morning to a dog whining and barking to be let out (not so great to hear) and my babies were laughing and talking in their beds to each other (this was the best!) They have been doing this most of the mornings and it's so much fun to hear the giggling coming from the monitor instead of crying. The only thing is now they also do this during nap time! And they are at that stage where they can pull themselves up on things but can't get back down. It's so cute though, I don't even mind going in there 100 times to lay them back down!

Now onto the delicious recipe! I think this is the first dessert I've had on here so far.
Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars (recipe found at Inside BruCrew Life)
  • 1 box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1/3 cup Butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup Lemonade
  • 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Strawberry Preserves
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Mix the dry cake mix, butter and lemonade together. Press half of this dough into the bottom of the baking dish. It will be sticky, some non-stick spray on your hands will probably help.
3. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg and beat again. Spread this over the dough in the baking dish.
4. Microwave the preserves for about 20-30 seconds and drop by small spoon-fulls across the cream cheese layer. Use a knife to swirl the preserves, carefully.
5. Flatten small pieces of the remaining dough and place it across the top of the bars. It won't cover every inch of it, but try to cover most of it. 
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and cool for 2 hours. Refrigerate until completely chilled. 
7. Stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over the bars and top with sprinkles if you want to. Make sure you add the sprinkles right away or they won't stick. Keep the bars refrigerated. 
Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars


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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Social: Pet Peeves

Linking up for another Sunday Social today:

Sunday Social

1. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?
I hate it when I'm already going like 5 mph over the speed limit and people get right up on my bumper like that's going to make me go faster. If anything it makes me want to go slower. 
2. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?
When I'm leaving a comment and I have to fill out the CAPTCHA thing.
3. What is your biggest shopping pet peeve?
When someone is using the self checkout and they don't know what they are doing so they take forever and it would have been quicker to just go through the regular checkout.
4. What is your biggest general pet peeve?
When kids older than one years old walk around with pacifiers in their mouth. I have many more and this probably isn't the biggest one but it's the first one that I thought of.
5. What is your most irrational fear?
Fish. I'm so scared they are going to bite me. 

Have a good Sunday everyone!
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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Snapshot Saturday

I hope all of you are having a great weekend so far! Mine doesn't really feel like the weekend at all since my husband is working today. At least it's pizza night! We won't get too much done this weekend sadly, since we have so many little errands to run that seem to take up the entire day. My little boy needs a haircut badly but he will have to wait until next weekend. I think I need to get some clippers so I can do it myself, especially with all three of them eventually needing it. The little ones don't have much hair yet though! I don't think they will need a haircut anytime soon...

Since it's Snapshot Saturday here's some photos from our past week!

I probably post too many pictures of my little guys, but I don't really care!

 Our attempt at Easter pictures! You can see what a happy bunch we are :)

Working on some fine motor skills.

Yummy Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars that I made for Easter.
Check back tomorrow I will be posting the recipe!

Sometimes they look so alike. I mean, they are identical so they should,
but normally I can see big differences.

Just trying on his little brother's hat. He's such a cutie
even if he hates having his picture taken right now!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

My Boys are 10 Months Already!

My Boys are 10 Months Already!

Well technically it's not until tomorrow, but it's close enough for an update. These little boys are growing up so fast and changing every day, it's so fun to watch! And how did they get so cute anyways? 

My Boys are 10 Months Already!

Spiderman: At his 9 month checkup he weighed 16.11 pounds and was 27 inches tall. I don't think he has grown that much since then, maybe he's another pound or so heavier. He seems to be catching up to Batman in size though. He's always been about 1 pound behind him. He has 4 teeth now, two on bottom and two on top that just popped through.

My Boys are 10 Months Already!

Batman: Was 17.4 pounds and 27 inches tall at his 9 month checkup. He's probably about another pound heavier as well this month. He only has his two bottom teeth, though it looks like he is about to get his top two. They are both wearing 6 month clothing, especially their pants. Even the 6 month sizes tend to fall off of them when they crawl around (the waist is too big). They have 9 month jammies and some 9 month onesies but they are still fairly loose on them. 

They are both army crawling super fast. Spiderman has just started doing some actual crawling in the last couple of days. He usually resorts back to his normal way though, since it's faster for him. They will not stop pulling up on everything, which results in lots of bumps on the head when they lose their balance. Both are now cruising along the furniture and getting quite good at it. They can also walk along behind something that moves as long as it doesn't go too fast. 

Little Batman knows who daddy is and will yell out "dada" when he sees him. It's his favorite sound to make right now. Spiderman sometimes makes the same sound but mostly he is just copying his brother. They love playing together and are always right on top of each other. The other day I even saw Spiderman using his brother as a stepping stool to get up higher. They are quite the handful already and they aren't even walking yet! 

They are still having their formula bottles of course, but are now having 3 regular meals at the same time as their older brother. We've decided to stop feeding pureed baby food and just stick with whatever we are eating now. Except for breakfast when I mix some fruit in with their cereal. Otherwise they love eating black beans, cheese, crackers, peas, carrots, pasta, macaroni and cheese, waffles, pancakes, muffins, rice, cottage cheese, yogurt, applesauce, bananas...they are getting really good about eating pretty much everything now. They also love to rub their food into their hair and throw it on the floor when they aren't happy with it. 

It's so much fun to watch them play and be silly. They are almost always smiling and happy and excited about everything. I think it's going to get more difficult before it gets easier (at least I hope it gets easier), but I can't wait to watch all three of them grow!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Etsy Love

If you followed me on my old blog I used to have a Things I LOVE post almost every week and I've decided to start doing that again! This week it's all about Etsy. There are sooo many awesome and delightful things on that site! I love browsing through it, although it's easy to lose track of time doing that. Here are some of the cool things I found that I love this week:

Things I LOVE Thursday: Etsy Love
Eiffel Tower Kid's Bookcase! This looks amazing. I wish we could build neat stuff like this for the kids. I mean, the boys probably wouldn't use this exact design, but for a girl's room it'd be great. 

Cloud Potholders! Clouds are just cute and fluffy. As you can see I have two cloud shaped things on the list today. The cloud cutting board is super cute as well. I think we need more cloud shaped things in our lives. 

Good Things Come Stencil! I love baking. I should probably get this stencil. Imagine how cool my pies would look with this on it! It wouldn't even matter how they tasted because of how awesome they would look.

Unicorn Desk Lamp! Everyone needs a unicorn lamp on their desk. I would use this for a nightlight so I could see it all night long. Although hopefully I will be sleeping and won't see it at all...

And last but probably the coolest thing on this list: a Hobbit Hole Playhouse! I know I want one of these in my backyard. For only about $2400 you can have one too! How do they even ship something like that? I'm curious. But for real I want to live in one. 

What are some of your favorite finds on Etsy lately?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My (Almost) 2 Year Old Doesn't Talk Yet

My (Almost) 2 Year Old Doesn't Talk Yet

As the title says, my oldest boy is going to be two in only two months and he isn't talking yet. I am so worried about him because of this and I'm hoping it's just because he doesn't want to. He used to say some words when he was a lot younger (not very many but he did say some) and now he won't say anything. The only thing he will say is "bye bye" and wave, which is super cute and he does it all the time but I wish he would say more. He understands everything we are saying to him and will nod or shake his head or point at things that he wants. He was a late walker, at 15 months, and I read that sometimes late walkers are late talkers...but I feel like somehow it's my fault.

When we were at the doctor for our twins' 9 month checkups I asked her if we should be concerned about it and she said yes right away. So of course now I'm even more worried than I was before. We had his hearing checked the week after that (and it's fine just as I knew it would be) but they won't do any further evaluation for him until he is two years old. So for now we just keep working with him. He is a really stubborn but really smart kid! He is learning his colors and shapes and loves to count things. He can recognize lots of different animals and knows what sounds they make. He used to love making dinosaur/bear/lion sounds (roar) and cow sounds but now he won't even do that anymore. 

It's a little sad for me as well. Especially when I hear all the cute things that other kids his age are saying and he won't even say "mama" to me. I know he can say it because I've heard him say it before (and daddy) but he just refuses now. At this rate the babies will be talking before him, and they are actually starting to say "dada". It's not like he is silent, he "talks" all the time but it's just sounds...I usually know what he is trying to say and he is very expressive, but he doesn't use any actual words. He is a really good little boy and we've never had any problems with him at all, he was such an easy baby. (However, the twins are a completely different story!)

I'm not sure why I wrote this except to say that I feel guilty (did I do something wrong?) and worried and don't know what else to do for him. 

Has anyone else dealt with this before? Do you have any suggestions? 

My (Almost) 2 Year Old Doesn't Talk Yet

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Chicken & Rice Casserole

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter with friends and family! We had a busy and fun day. It was so beautiful outside which was awesome! We even got to go for a little family walk in the evening. I can't wait until we get our puppy leash trained so she can come with us too. 

Since it's Monday it's time for me to share another recipe. This one is a yummy chicken, broccoli and rice casserole. It's so easy to make too! While it might not look all that great, it's actually quite good. I've made it with cooked chicken as well as with canned chicken before and both were tasty. 

Chicken & Rice Casserole (adapted from Planet Weidknecht)
  •  3 Cups White Minute Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Can of Chicken
  • 2 Cans Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 2 Cans Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Broccoli

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Boil 3 cups of water. Add in the 3 cups of minute rice and stir. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. 

3. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, soups, milk and broccoli. 

4. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the butter. Add rice to the soup and chicken mixture and stir.

5. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. 

6. Cover with foil and cook for 40 minutes. Stir before serving.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Snapshot Saturday

It's been another week already. Boy, they sure go by fast lately! I hope you all are having a great holiday weekend so far. Today we will be busy cleaning the house and getting ready for our Easter dinner tomorrow with company. Here's a glimpse at our past week through snapshots:

They are always right on top of each other when playing!

 How did I get such adorable babies?!?

Macaroni & cheese and black beans for lunch!

 Look at that smile!

The puppy is growing super fast! She is two months old today.

We tried playing outside the one nice day we had but it only lasted about 10 minutes.

Silly boys are little daredevils and are constantly falling and getting hurt
since their balance is still not the best!

Three little boys sitting in a row.

 We got some snow one day this week, but it melted by afternoon.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ok, I Admit It...

Ok, I Admit It...Things I Do That You Might Find Annoying! You know those "pet peeves" everyone has? Well I've been reading a lot of lists of the lately and realized that sadly I am guilty of quite a few of them. I've read all of these on one list or another so I know that I'm irking at least a few people! Here are the things I do that just might annoy you:

1. Leaving drawers open an inch. I've gotten a lot better at this obviously since I can't leave them open where my little ones can reach them, but the silverware drawer is usually like that. The funny thing is if Superman sees it he will close it for me, he does not like things out of place. So now I guess I don't have that problem after all! 

2. I will tell you my 1-year-old's age in months. I don't really care if you have to try to figure it out, it's not that difficult. Sure, after he's turns two I won't do that anymore but there's such a huge difference between 13 months and 22 months it just seems logical to me. 

3. I am constantly leaving the top cupboard doors open. Sadly my little boy cannot reach those yet (good thing) so they hang open until I come back and realize it and finally close them. 

4. I'm really bad about putting the new toilet paper roll on the holder. I don't know why, I guess it's just laziness. I usually leave it on the counter and intend to put it on later but then my husband is the one that ends up doing it, oops. 

5. I don't like to drive by myself, it just seems so lonely. So whenever I do go somewhere on my own (this happens so rarely nowadays) I usually try to call someone, my mom most of the time. So yes, I'm one of those cell phone drivers. I promise I'm a good driver though. It's also not illegal here, if it was I wouldn't do it.

6. My laundry is always laying in a pile on the floor. Usually because my clean clothes are still in the laundry basket. From this list it appears that I'm a big slob. I'm really not! My house is clean most of the time (just not our bedroom). You know how women are usually complaining that their husband is so messy? Well my husband is not, I probably drive him crazy! He never says anything about it though...what a nice guy.

So even if you might find some of my quirks annoying, it's ok, I probably find some of yours slightly frustrating as well. I'll save my list of minor annoyances for another day. (Actually I'll just tell you one of them: I hate the term "pet peeve"). 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Being a SAHM: What I Love and What I Don't

Being a SAHM: What I Love and What I Don't

As you probably already know if you have been following me, I stay home with my three little boys all day, every day. We are very blessed and have been able to afford it with very little sacrifice. For us it is the only sensible option since if I was to go back to a full-time job and we had to find day care for 3 little ones, the cost of daycare would make it pointless. I love being able to stay home with my babies but there are some days when I also miss going to work and think about how nice it might be to be able to have a break from taking care of small humans for awhile. So I decided to make a list of the "pros and cons" of being a SAHM (for me). We'll go with the "Cons" first:

1. The number one thing I find to be driving me crazy lately is having no adult interaction and feeling isolated.

2. During the winter months we barely ever left the house, except for our weekly grocery shopping trip. 

3. You get to be a human kleenex when the babies are sick (like this past week). I hate when kids have snotty noses, but I've realized lately just how hard it is to keep up with cleaning those little noses constantly. 

4. Constant diaper changes and dealing with a lot of poop. The babies have gotten particularly difficult to change lately with their wiggly antics and limbs that seem to made out of rubber. 

5. No breaks or vacations or "weekends". Well, I guess nap time is a break. That's why I love it so much. Bedtime is also a favorite time of the day. 

6. Sometimes people think that as a SAHM you don't "work" and perhaps you just sit around watching TV all day. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

7. It's really stressful when all three are whining and fussing and crying at the same time. This doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's hard. 

8. I'm usually doing about 5 or 6 different things at once and half the time I forget what I started out doing in the first place.

Being a SAHM: What I Love and What I Don't

Ok, enough of the negativity, now let's look at the awesome things about staying home with my children!

1. I get to see everything that they learn. I don't have to miss out on any "firsts". 

2. I am able to take tons and tons of pictures of them. Which reminds me I really need to back up my phone, if it were to lose all my pictures, I'd probably cry for days. 

3. I don't have to get dressed up or put on makeup or do my hair unless we are going somewhere, which isn't very often.

4. I can workout during nap time. 

5. I get to raise my children the way I want to. Sure I might have some crazy high standards that I am finding out are sometimes improbable or even impossible, but at least I can learn as I go. 

6. Sometimes I can take naps when they are napping. This is a highlight of the day. Lately I don't have time for this, but it was awesome when I did.

7. I don't have to worry as much as I would if I wasn't with them all day. 

8. I can snuggle and kiss and tickle my babies to hear them laugh whenever I want to! 

So despite all the stress and the long days and the stinky diapers I will never regret being a SAHM. I am so grateful to be able to spend every moment with my adorable and silly little boys!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Easy Tex Mex Chicken

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Ours was busy, we got everything we wanted to done. I sure wish the weekends didn't have to go by so fast though. Now it's Monday again and time for a new recipe on the blog! This week it's another Mexican type meal: Easy Tex Mex Chicken. It was so easy to make and it tasted delicious. My husband loved it and said to definitely make it again. It's a great choice for a dinner meal for the entire family!

Easy Tex Mex Chicken

Easy Tex Mex Chicken (adapted from Recipes for Our Daily Bread)
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • Taco Seasoning packet
  • 1-2 slices of cheese per chicken breast (I used 2)
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
Black Bean Mixture:
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained
  • 1 can Whole Kernel Corn,drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Onion

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with the taco seasoning packet.

2. Bake the chicken for 25 minutes. Add cheese to the top of the chicken and bake 5 more minutes.

3. Combine black beans, corn and seasoning. Heat well. 

4. Combine the salsa and sour cream. 

5. Add black beans to the center of each plate, place a chicken breast on the beans and top with the sauce.

Easy Tex Mex Chicken

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