Saturday, August 31, 2013

Products I Love


The Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair in Pink Circles is my top pick for our girls' highchair needs.

We have a smaller house with a modest breakfast area that (barely) accommodates a round table and four chairs. There was no way we were going to fit two full sized highchairs in this space, as well. We entertain fairly regularly, so removing two of the full sized chairs wasn't an option.

These highchairs are great because they can sit on the floor if the other chairs are needed for guests. 'Installing' them on a chair is quick and painless.

  • Tray is dishwasher safe.
  • Cover is machine washable. I also wash the buckles.
  • Straps are adjustable.
  • This thing is convertable! It turns into a booster seat when your LO is ready.

  • Tray does not fit in my dishwasher unless I want to do an entire load for one tray with nothing else on the rack.
Bonus: Check out some of the passive aggressive reviews for the Tan version. Yikes! Why do people feel the need to vent about their spouse in an Amazon review? Seriously??

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Make It

Baby Food Edition


Prep time: 1 hour
Yields: approximately 16 ounces

Le Peaches - I used three.

Remove pits.

Cut into sections and cook. I chose to steam them in the microwave.

Here they are - cooked to optimum mushiness.

Remove skins - this was a daunting (timely) process. I am definitey looking for a better option. Any suggestions?!

Food processor (before)

Food processor (after).

I didn't even add milk to this - plenty of liquid - but not too much! Perfection.

I'm on the look out for an easier way to make peaches and will report back with my findings!

In the mean time, check out more homemade baby food recipes here!

Question of the Week Results

What Was Your Baby's First Food?

Be sure to check out the current Question of the Week in the right-hand column!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today's Wireless Family


I stumbled across this at work today and thought it was very interesting! Not entirely related to anything in particular but worth a quick glance.

Hmm, this gives me ideas for more quick poll questions....

Today's Wireless Family


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby Food Calendars

Month 2

This is our second month of baby food. They just turned seven months old but were one month premature, so I'm sticking with mostly pureed food for now. If you missed our first month of baby foods, check them out here and see how the magic happens here.

Here's what we'll be introducing:

September 2013












Monday, August 26, 2013

Pro Tip

Nipple Flows: When to Switch?

Warning: If you breastfeed and bottle feed, continue using a slow-flow nipple to make sure baby doesn't lose interest in the breast. If it's too easy to get milk from a bottle, they'll be less inclined to put in the work at the breast.

For the rest of you: Your infant will send clear signs they're ready for the next level:
  • Irritability
  • Extended feeding times
  • Lack of interest
The third, lack of interest, is very true for my daughter, Lily. At 7 months, she uses a level 3 nipple. If ever a level 2 accidently finds it way on a bottle of hers, she will eat a couple of ounces and be done. As soon as you replace the nipple with a level 3, she goes to town.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Things I Love

Lucie's List

I signed up for Lucie's List a while back, and also follow on Facebook. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of times she sends an email (maybe once a month?) and the quality. I don't desire to receive this type of communication much more often, so this is perfect. Here's a sample of what you'll get if you sign up. It's all tailored to what you and your kids are dealing with (by age).

Choking Hazards

I really wanted to call this article "see, I told you balloons are evil!", only because I have a terribly strange and irrational fear of balloons (globophobia). Clowns? Spiders? No problem, but put me near a latex balloon and I lose my sh!t.
I digress.
I wrote this article because I kept seeing moms who were terrified that their infant would choke on Cheerios... or even peas. Then they turn around and hand the baby a banana. Duuude, you're killing me!

Kinda A Big Deal

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged 3 years or younger. More than 60% of childhood deaths due to choking occur in the first year of life.

Yay, something else to be paranoid about! Thanks Meg.

Ok so, I made you a pie (I was up all night): here is what kids tend to choke on:
choking pie

Choking Deaths

This is what we really care about, right? I'm sure choking sucks and all, but I'm really interested in what can kill a kid...
Two-thirds of choking deaths happen to children under 3. Not a surprise because, as you well know, they stick EVERYTHING in their widdle mouths. Mmmm, Play-doh and leaves and crayons. Delicious.
So what do they choke (and die) on? It might surprise you.
1. Evil Balloons (see, I told you)
Choky balloonLatex balloons were associated with 29% of deaths overall, making it the most dangerous choking hazard for kids. Why are balloons so dangerous?
Children can inhale latex balloons whole while blowing them up - or - they choke on fragments of broken balloons after they've popped. Latex is so dangerous because it conforms to the trachea, completely blocking the airway and making it almost impossible to expel with the Heimlich maneuver.
So, what, no balloons at parties?? (sounds great to me!)? No, just use Mylar (the shiny foil ones) instead.

2. Hot Dogs
17% of choking deaths are from hot dogs alone. Yeah that's right, wieners (see I told you wieners were dangerous!! kidding...)
Just why are frankfurters so lethal? A hot dog is "dangerously-shaped": they are cylindrical, airway-sized, and very compressible. This allows it to wedge tightly into the bottom part of the pharynx and completely cover the airway. Don't want.
hot dog cuttingTo avoid: cut hot dogs length-wise before serving and you're cool. Easy peasy.
PS. sausages also fall into this category.

3. Grapes, carrots and bananas
My pediatrician told me that bananas are the #1 choking hazard based on his personal experience. While I couldn't find any reliable stats, the general consensus is that grapes, carrots and bananas are the next most dangerous food items.
Do you see a recurring theme here? Shape and texture. The most dangerous items are the size and shape of a baby's throat: round or spherical and about 1-1.5 inches in diameter. And the mushier, the worse.
Never hand your kid a whole banana, cut it length-wise first. For grapes, cut them into halves or quarters (I know I know, it's a HUGE pain in the ass). For carrots, cut them into sticks, not rounds.
See, it's not so hard.

4. Other foods
Other dangerous choky foods include large gobs of peanut butter (seriously), popcorn, nuts, marshmallows, gum and candy (especially round lollipops) & cherry tomatoes.

5. Coins
Choky EuroWhile coins are not high on the "deadly stuff' list, children choke on them a lot, mostly because they are plentiful and are often found on the floor, which is an infant's domain. Pennies and nickels pose the biggest risk - and actually the Euro is a big choking problem in Europe (no pun intended).

Sit While You Eat

Never let a small child run, walk, play, or lie down with food in his/her mouth.
My best friend's toddler was being chased around by his older brother while sucking on a lollipop after dinner. He tripped and it became completely lodged in his throat and she was (luckily) able to fish it out by the stick. They were lucky: had the stick come off the lollipop, it could have been a much worse situation.
When your babe gets to be a toddler, tell him to sit his ass in a chair if he wants a lollipop. He'll do it, I promise ;-)

Learn CPR

If your child does choke, you should know how to perform CPR. To become certified in CPR,contact the Red Cross or call (800-RED-CROSS). The next best thing is to print out the CPR/AED guide that's attached to this email. It's super easy to follow in a panic and I suggest you and keep it somewhere near your kitchen.
Ok, ok - sorry for all the scary stuff. It's good to know it, right? (just say yes). Knowledge is power.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Make It

Baby Food Edition


Prep time: 2 minutes
Yields: approximately 8 ounces

This recipe is so easy, it's almost insulting (or maybe it actually is...) What's your excuse?

Peel the banana and mash it with a fork.

Add breast milk to desired consistency and voila. It really is that easy!

Check out more homemade baby food recipes here!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Make It

Baby Food Edition


Prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: approximately 16 ounces

I bought a bag of carrots for $.78 at the grocery store.

Rinse under cool water.

Remove ends.

Peel the skin off the carrots with a vegetable peeler (even though a knife is shown in the above picture, I did actually use a peeler.)

Cut the carrots into three equal sections

Place in a steamer.

Cook the crap out of them until extremely mushy. I steamed my carrots for about 10 minutes.

Load carrots into your food processor and allow to cool for a few mintes. (Note: if you're using breast milk, it's important the carrots aren't too hot, as the heat can alter the nutrients in your milk.)

Blend carrots, adding milk or formula to reach desired consistency.

Behold the beauty of these carrots. I wasn't using flash so you can't fully appreciate the rich orange color but it was awesome.

Throw in your OXO Tot baby blocks and store in the fridge and/or freezer.

Get more baby food ideas on the recipe tab!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spice Up Their Lives

Baby Food Edition


The idea that baby food has to be bland is a thing of the past! Add a dash or two of cinnamon to baby's favorite foods (apples, pears, or even sweet potato). suggests the following as good 'baby's first' spices to try:
  • vanilla
  • pepper
  • garlic - minced or powdered
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • dill
  • oregano
  • lemon zest
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • mint
  • nutmeg
  • anise
  • curry powder (yes, you may offer your older infant a dash of curry powder in her foods. You do need to watch for any reactions as some components of curry or even chili powder may give baby a rash)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Question of the Week Results

At what age is it time to get rid of the pacifier?

Be sure to check out the current Question of the Week in the right-hand column!

# %
Before 6 months 5 35.7%
Between 6 months and a year 5 35.7%
Between 1 and 2 years old 2 14.3%
You should never force your child to get rid of their pacifier 1 7.1%
You should never give a child a pacifier 1 7.1%
Total Responses 14

For the Smiles

Mommy, Watch This!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Products I Love

Evenflo ExerSaucer: Double Fun - Tropical

My girls started hanging out in this ExerSaucer (this exact model) when they were probably three months old. We had to stack books underneath it so they could reach the ground but they were able to spend about 5-10 minutes in it (happily).

Now, at almost 7 months, they have a blast playing with all the different toys and teething on everything they can get their hands on.

On Babies R Us (online), this product only has 3.6/5 stars (12 reviews), but from what I'm reading, it sounds like user error or unrealistic expectations.

I would highly recommend this product to anyone and will definitely be passing this along to other members of my family to use with their little ones when mine grow out of it.

Now if only they made a twin ExerSaucer...

Check out more products I love here!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Truth Hurts


I hate to be controversial but this is important. Please take 35 minutes to watch. You are making a decision that will affect your son for the rest of his life. Isn't it worth half an hour of your time?

For the Smiles

Said No Twin Mom Ever


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pro Tip

Painless Band-aid Removal

This is breaking news - a discovery my husband and I made just this evening.

My girls went to their six-month pediatrician appointment this afternoon and received a round of shots. Our pediatrician puts band-aids on after the shot has been administered to keep out infection and to make sure the medicine doesn't escape from those tiny little thighs. These band-aids are heavy duty and do not come off very easily. In the past, we've waited until they were already crying to take off the band-aids and planned to do the same this evening. Then, the magic happened...

This evening after bath time, while baby #1 was still soaking wet in her kitty cat towel, I slowly peeled her band-aids off. They lifted off the skin with ease and not a tear was shed.

Pro Tip


This is the holy grail of pumping tips - all of the things I wish I had known when starting out!

  • Angled Breast Pump Flanges. I use Pumpin' Pal Angled Pumping Flanges. These flange are significantly more comfortable than the standard ones that came with my Medela pump. The fit is better for a range of sizes and the angle allows you to lean back a bit more to ease up on the rigidity of sitting up super straight. This will increase your comfort and probably allow you to pump more.
  • Hands Free Bra. I use the Medela Easy Expression Bustier. This is awesome now but was essential in the hospital after delivery. I was exhausted and would fall asleep while trying to hold the flanges onto my body. The heartache of losing those hard earned drops of colostrum could have been avoided if I had used this bustier from day one!
  • Polysporin. I've found this triple antibiotic to be the best choice because it's effective and low maintenance. There's no need to wash it from your skin between pumping sessions.
  • Storage and Cleanliness. At the beginning, I was disassembling the pumping pieces and cleaning every little piece by hand... every three hours... all day (and night) long. Then, I discovered this little tidbit. Store your pieces (membranes, connectors, valves, and bottles) in the fridge between pumping sessions. Breast milk, when refrigerated, is good for up to five(ish) days. This applies to the small amounts of milk left in your pump pieces, as well. As a general rule, I still clean my parts and pieces once per day.
  • Hospital Grade Pump. At least for the first three to six months, I would recommend renting a hospital grade pump. I rented mine from Babies 'R Us. Every time I switched back to my Medela Double Electric, I would become engorged and could only get true relief from the Symphony (Medela brand hospital grade pump.)
  • Massage, Massage, Massage! Massage your breasts during your pumping session. Give extra care to those areas that seem harder. I have never had mastitis and attribute this to massaging out any plugged ducts before the situation escalated.
  • Timing. 20 minutes long; every three hours; all day and all night long (until your supply has been established). Just do it.
  • Overproducing? Freeze it! You'll thank yourself later. My supply became inadequate when both of my girls were drinking seven ounces each, every three hours. It helped that I had hundreds of ounces stored in the freezer from those early days when my body was overproducing like a crazy lady.
  • Destress. If you're stressed, your milk will not flow as freely. Once I tried to pump on a plane while sitting right next to the restroom with a very long line of passengers during a four-hour layover. As if that weren't enough, my mother-in-law was traveling with us and was overstimulating my poor tired girls, causing them to cry uncontrollably, which meant I had to take one while my husband took the other and try to calm them down while seating in a tiny area with a hoodie across my chest. Needless to say, I pumped a good ounce or two total.
  • Pump While the Babes Eat. It was nearly impossible for me to keep two babies happy long enough to get a 20-minute pumping session accomplished (especially during their colic-y phase... it's getting easier now). By some miracle (curse?), it seems as if they're never sleeping when it's time to pump, either! The next best thing? Occupy them with a feeding! They drink their bottles while I pump and we're all finished right about the same time. If they're done first, I can burp them and change diapers as needed.

Why do I think I have any right to give advice on pumping? Because I'm 6.5 months into (almost) exclusively pumping for my twin girls and I'm rocking it! (...if I do say so myself *pat pat*)

Other recommended products:

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

"You need to take your cow out of your mouth if you want more bananas."

Context: Lily was chewing on her cow teething rattle while I gave a bite of bananas to Aubrey but was complaining like she wanted another bite, too.

Btw - Add that cow rattle to the 'products I love' category. It's called Bright Stars Dancing Teether Friends and it's rated 3+ months.

Products I Love


Our Dutailier Glider and Ottoman  are essential nursery items. I was very against purchasing a glider, as we had very little room to spare, but my husband insisted. Thank goodness for him! I can't imagine what we would have done during the colic-y months (all five of them...) without our glider.

Now, we ready our bedtime stories on the glider and drink the last bottle before bedtime while cuddling and rocking.

This is not a picture of me or my family but they seem to like their glider, too.

Check out more products that I love here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Twins Top Ten

Smart Phone Apps

This is actually a top four list because I didn't want to load it down with crappy apps for the sake of staying true to the 'top 10' theme. Sometimes less is more!

These are the top four smart phone apps my kids and I can't live without:

  1. My Baby ( Free
  2. Sleepy Sounds (white noise for naps/night time) Free
  3. Baby Connect (daily schedule tracker)
  4. tinyCam Monitor PRO (to use with our Foscam baby monitor) $3.99

Check out more of my product recommendations here.

For the Smiles

Toddler Toys

I'm afraid this is true of my six-month old, as well! We're in trouble.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Make It

Baby Food Edition

Black Beans

Prep time: 3 hours
Yields: approximately 50 ounces

The first legume we introduced to the girls was black beans. Although simple, this method took forever. On the bright side, it did make enough beans to last us for pretty much forever. I don't think I'll ever need to make another batch. ...Seriously.

This process was so long and boring I didn't even take my own pictures. You'll just have to trust me on this...

Sort beans - remove any rocks (seriously, the directions say this... I've never made dried beans from a package before so this seemed weird to me)
Pre-soak beans according to package directions. Mine said to boil in two inches of water for two minutes. Then cover and let sit for one hour. Drain and rinse. Initially, I thought the beans were done after this step, but then I realized this was just the precursor to the actual cooking of the beans. Omg...
Next, put beans in a pan with six cups of water and simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours. I simmered mine for the full two hours to ensure they were tender and easily mash-able by the food processor. Drain and pour into food processor (or blender, in my case).
I ended up using my Ninja (blender) to puree the beans because my large food processor decided it was not going to work today. I added quite a bit of milk to fully incorporate the beans and to reach desired consistency.
This is pretty much what it looked like in the end. I added quite a bit more milk so my puree is much smoother.
Finally, I loaded up my OXO Tot baby blocks and froze most of the beans to be eaten at a later date, as my girls didn't quite take to the taste right away. After about a week, they're starting to prefer this a bit more.

Question of the Week Results

Do You Plan to Sleep Train Your Infant?

Be sure to check out the current Question of the Week in the right-hand column!



Built-in Best Friends

Aubrey (left) and Lily (right)