Showers for the Twins

This month we were blessed by two wonderful showers for our baby girls. The first one was hosted by my mother-in-law and was a diaper and gift card shower and the second one was hosted by 6 dear friends from work. Both of them were so special and so thoughtfully planned and I thoroughly enjoyed them both so much. Kyle and I feel so blessed by the love and support of so many who are helping us prepare and celebrate as we await the arrival of our daughters!

Some favorite gifts for our twins if you’re looking for items to add to your own registry or give to someone having twins (remember these aren’t our first children so our needs are different than someone having twins as their first and second children as opposed to their second and third).

  • DIAPERS (its not fun for the person who buys it but its so so helpful!)
  • WIPES (same as above- the big boxes from Costco are awesome!)
  • More bottles, bibs, blankets, pacis and swaddles
  • A second bouncy seat, pack n play, carseat, and camera for our monitor
  • A double stroller and double snap n go with accessories
  • Another changing pad and cover
  • Sound machine for the bedroom and for travel
  • Sheets and bedding for two cribs
  • Bath sponges, towels and toys
  • Coordinating outfits (and/or matching outfits)
  • Lovies and toys
  • A git for the big brother! (My sis got our little man a Little People playset which he loves)

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Gift Ideas for 1 year old Boys

We are headed to my friend Haleigh’s son’s 1st birthday party today! For the first time buying a gift for a child’s birthday party wasn’t an overwhelming task. For years as friends had birthday parties for their kids I was constantly faced with, “What is the world do I buy a “X” year old boy/girl that he/she will absolutely love?!” I was clueless. Now that we have a 1 year old boy (and am around other 1 year old as well) I finally have a grasp on what boys, at least, love to play with at this age and hope this helps out anyone else who might need a tip or toe on what to get a little one..

Gift ideas for 1 year old boys:

  • Fisher Price Little People playsets
  • Trucks/cars that he can push around- big chunky ones that are easy for him to crawl or walk and push as opposed to little cars
  • Balls
  • Board books
  • Water table
  • Little Tikes car
  • Swim suits and personalized and/or matching beach towels (more for the parents – but my bestie got our little guy this for his 1st and I absolutely love it)
  • If they are still learning to walk then anything they can stand and push to walk with like this.

Happy Shopping!


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Planning a 1st Birthday Party

Our little man just turned one and here is a list of all of our food and decor for the main event!

Menu: IMG_5078

  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Veggie Tray
  • Apples with toffee dip
  • Sausage and cheese dip (recipe coming soon!)
  • Caprese sticks (fresh mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil)
  • Sugar cookies with blue icing
  • Cake (If you order from Publix for a 1st birthday you’ll get a smash cake for free!)
  • Basil Lemonade
  • Sweet Tea


  • We got most of our party decor from Plates, napkins, streamers, balloons and even a banner were all from this 1st birthday theme. It makes party planning simple for those who are on a budget or have limited time and just want a one stop shop.
  • I created a banner with all of Jude’s monthly pictures by printing my Instagram pictures through Social Print Studio. I like using them because the pictures are printed matte and on a very thick paper. I hung them on twine using paper clips and then added a colored fabric banner underneath. Instant mantel decor!

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Baby’s Weekend Away

This weekend both my husband and I are going out of town and our little man is staying with his grandparents overnight for a couple days for the first time! I think it will be a great weekend for all of us. In order to get ready to go I’ve had to think through not only packing for myself (and our dog who will also accompany our little man to grandma and grandpa’s) but our sweet boy as well. Here’s my recommended winter packing list for baby (he is currently 9 months- and yes, I think this list definitely varies depending on age). Ok Mamas out there.. any “must haves” I’m missing?
  • 2 tops and bottoms per day (preparing for blow outs, spit ups and spills)
  • 1 pair of socks per day
  • 1 set of pajamas per day plus one extra
  • 1 outdoor outfit (one piece fur set with hood for play time outdoors)
  • 1 hat
  • 1 – 2 coats
  • Formula (don’t forget to tell them how much!)
  • Probiotic packets
  • Solids (enough for 3/day)
  • Spoons (1 per day)
  • Bibs (6) –  cloth- to use with bottles
  • Bibs – plastic – to use with baby food
  • Bottles (enough for 1.5 days – they can be washed and reused while there)
  • High chair (the small travel one that straps on a chair or your kitchen counter)
  • Printed schedule (feeding times, naps, etc)
  • Sound machine
  • Monitor and plugs (don’t forget both the camera and the monitor pieces)
  • Sleepsack
  • Bedtime paci
  • Bedtime “lovely”/blanket
  • Diapers
  • Shampoo
  • A&D ointment (if he gets diaper rash)
  • Baby Tylenol
  • Changing pads x 2
  • Blanket
  • Additional Pacis
  • Small toys
  • Musical toys
  • Soft books
  • Carseat
  • Base
  • Stroller

The Order of Solids Part 2

Back in November I started a log of what solids our little man was enjoying those first few weeks he attempted to eat solids. It definitely look us a good month (or more!) to get going but he’s finally up to eating 3 solid meals a day and loving it.  Here’s my updated solids list, broken down by age, as recommended by Sage Spoonfuls.  I still highly recommend this book for anyone looking for any easy resource on how to make their own baby food and what order to introduce each food safely.

Foods safe for 4-6 month olds (we started at 6 months):

  1. Organic Oatmeal mixed with breastmilk served warm
  2. Banana – yellow, ripe with some brown spots – mashed and warmed
  3. Sweet Potato- firm – steamed & mixed with breast milk or formula served warm
  4. Apple- fresh red – steamed and pureed
  5. Avocado- even green color and give a little when squeezed – pureed
  6. Carrot – organic, orange, without cracks- steamed and pureed (The Favorite so far!)
  7. Peas – frozen- steamed and pureed
  8. Zucchini – organic, medium sized and even green in color  – steamed and pureed
  9. Pears – Bartlett or Anjou, slight soft – steamed and pureed (A Favorite!)
  10. Butternut squash – firm to touch and heavy for their size – roasted in oven for 45 min

Also safe but skipped for now: parsnip, pumpkin, potato

Foods safe for 7-9 month olds (we started around 8 months):

  1. Blueberries – fresh, organic – steamed and pureed
  2. Broccoli- fresh -steamed and pureed
  3. Mango- frozen – steamed and pureed
  4. Green Beans – frozen – steamed and pureed
  5. Peaches- frozen- steamed and pureed
  6. Cauliflower – frozen- steamed and pureed

More to come!

Diaper Rash Remedies

For the last couple of weeks our little man had a rough case of diarrhea which caused an even rougher outbreak of diaper rash. We tried Aquaphor, Desitin, Desitin maximum strength and Butt Paste and nothing seemed to be working. I finally resorted to calling in the “moms” for help- one of my Facebook groups of neighborhood mom friends. Here are their recommendations for diaper rash:

  • Tori: “A&D ointment will start to heal it in a couple of hours!!! The same thing happened to my baby and we ended up changing his formula…..but his bottom was so raw it was bleeding! Also try using a wet paper towel very gently … Sometimes the wipes can make it worse. And warm baths help too! We also put him down for a nap on his tummy and kept his diaper open so it could air dry. The moisture in the diaper doesn’t help the situation either.
  • Sarah: “We used a concoction of Desitin, LotriminAF, and Neosporin. Equal amounts. Definitely recommend. I prefer the maximum “rapid relief” Desitin, and if that doesn’t work, this is our miracle spread. If diarrhea starts, we try and start aquaphor to prevent a bad rash.
  • Emily: “Coconut oil is my go-to for just about everything, including diaper rash. It’s antibacterial and anti fungal. It’s also inexpensive and can be used for many more things other than diaper rash treatment.

In the end we ended up trying A&D ointment (specifically for treatment of diaper rash – there is more than one kind) and it finally worked! I also tried letting him “air out” a little after wiping and before applying the ointment. We also did a couple 20 minutes sessions of him laying on a towel and completely airing out. Result = Success!

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Getting Started: Homemade Baby Food

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.32.53 PMLast night I posted this picture of my latest creation (steamed and pureed broccoli) for my little man’s breakfast and it prompted a lot of questions about my baby food making process. I’ve found it to be a pretty easy process so far (once I figured out his schedule with both bottles and baby food) and so I haven’t found the need to buy baby food yet which has saved us a ton of money in the long run. Besides, don’t you wonder what they put in those baby food jars which make them last so long? I think I’ll stick to giving our baby pure nutrition and simple ingredients for now. So to get started I usually make and introduce 1-2 new food items a week (depending on how much I have in the freezer and what I have going on that week). Last week was blueberries. This week we are introducing broccoli! Here’s a quick look at everything I use to make baby food:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.34.16 PMBAEBA Babycook Pro:

Ok so yes, you can use your Vitamix or a regular blender or food processor however most everything I read about making your own baby food encouraged steaming instead of boiling the food to preserve the nutrients. Baking is also another good option but who has time to preheat and use your oven every night? Also when making small quantities it just seems simpler in my opinion for clean up and for blending to just have one small machine that does it all instead of steaming in a basket and then transferring to a large, oversized Vitamix. It took a little convincing to explain to my husband why I “needed” this but now he is 100% on board and we both love it!

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.34.26 PMSage Spoonfuls Cookbook

I don’t know how I would have even started without this gem! This “cookbook” goes through the order of solids (yes, there are certain foods appropriate by age for your baby), how long they need to be steamed, if you need to buy organic or if fresh or frozen is ok. It also talks about the health benefits of each different food as well.  I literally use this book for every new food I introduce to our little guy. If you don’t want to buy a book I’ve also heard a ton of great things about the Wholesome Baby Food website. It also lists the age appropriate for each food as well.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.34.34 PMOxo Tot Baby Blocks Storage Containers – 2 oz

For food storage I recommend these Oxo Tot containers. They are freezer and dishwasher safe. I like them better than ice cube trays because I can grab one for daycare and go and not have to defrost or pop out food and move it to different containers. I can literally store and feed from these plastic containers. Perfect.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.52.53 PMMunchkin White Hot Safety Spoon

Ok so yes I do realize that you should be able to judge how   hot or cold your baby’s food is without a spoon that turns white when it gets too hot.. but why guess… why wonder. These spoons are just another added safety net in protecting my baby and helping make life just a little easier.


Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.58.42 PMBumkins Waterproof Starter Bib 

We introduced waterproof bibs when we started feeding solids instead of using the cute cloth Aden + Anais cloth bibs I use when giving our baby a bottle. These bibs are waterproof and make clean up a breeze. I simply run them under the sink after mealtime and then hang to drive. They require little fuss, which I love, and still have lots of cute patterns.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 7.00.57 AMCulturelle Priobiotics for Kids

About a month after we started solids our little guy had constant boopy diapers (about 6-8 a day) and developed a horrible diaper rash. Our pediatrician recommended giving him a probiotic once/day to help his body process the foods he was eating. This particular probiotic helps to “support a child’s health by fostering the proper balance between good bacteria and the non-beneficial bacteria that resides in the gastorintestinal tract…it alleviates occasional digestive distress while supporting a child’s natural defenses.” This particular type comes in the form of a solid which we mix half of a packet a day in with some of his cold fruit.

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Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster.

Last but not least is our high chair. Our kitchen is probably average size but it doesn’t really have a great corner or a lot of extra space for a large or bulky high chair. We have a small, round table with 4 wooden chairs in our kitchen and we decided early on to designate one of these chairs for our little man’s “high chair.” I’ve loved this seat. It’s a great space saver, its plastic (which comes in handy for so many reasons), and its portable. If you have extra guests and need the seat you can just unclick the two straps and voila! no more high chair. We’ve also taken this to the grandparents house and to restaurants. Portable, functional and pretty darn attractive- I’d say that’s a win!

4 Hour Feeding Schedule with Solids

IMG_1184Around 22 weeks our little man began a 4 hour feeding schedule which was great for me while I was breastfeeding and great for daycare (less bottles to pack). Now at 35 weeks we’ve adapted our 4 hour bottle schedule to also include solids. I had the hardest time trying to find the perfect time to feed our little man solids so that he would actually be hungry enough for them but not exhausted and ready for a nap. So of course there is no perfect time for everyone but there is the time that works best for you and your baby. Since your little one is still getting their nutrition from their milk/formula you don’t want to decrease their bottles but you still need to find a time when they are ready to eat and not ready to sleep. For our little guy an hour after starting his bottle is best when trying to get him to eat solids. Not right before, during or after his bottle (we tried all of that!), not right before nap time (again a big failure), but 1 hr after he starts his bottle which is right in the middle of his current 2 hour wake time. He didn’t eat much at first but he’s slowly eating more and more and those solid meals are become more of a norm and less of an optional part of our day.

4 Hour Schedule (with solids) – At Home / Weekends

  • 7:00 Wake him up and Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 8:00 – baby food (usually 1 fruit and 1 veggie)
  • 9:00-11:00 nap
  • 11:00 Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 12:00 baby food (usually 1 fruit cold with probiotic)
  • 3:00 Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 4:00 – baby food (usually 1 fruit and 1 veggie)
  • 4:30-5:30/6:00 – nap
  • 6:45 Bath, Bottle, Bed by 7:15 – 8 oz bottle

4 Hour Schedule (with solids) – At Work & Daycare / Weekdays

  • 7:00 Wake him up and Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 7:45 – leave for work/daycare (nap in car)
  • 9:00 – baby food at daycare (1 fruit OR veggie)
  • 9:30-11:00 nap
  • 11:00 Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 12:00 baby food (1 fruit cold with probiotic)
  • 3:00 Eat – 7 oz bottle
  • 4:30 – pick up from daycare
  • 4:45-5:15 – nap in the car on the way home
  • 5:15 – baby food at home – usually a fruit and a veggie
  • 6:45 Bath, Bottle, Bed by 7:15 – 8 oz bottle

*Our little guy is still not a huge solids eater. At 8 months he is eating about 2 oz total of baby food at each meal.

Traveling with Baby

image1 2My husband and I recently decided to head back to Asheville after an interesting attempt to try and visit earlier this year for a “Babymoon” before our little man arrived. Our first experience was cut short after we rented a “cabin” that was actually right off a very busy road and was the home to several mice which kept us up through the night. After a sleepless night our friend and dog-sitter Emily called us up early in the morning to let us know that our sweet puppy was incredibly sick and as a result our home was in a less than ideal state… Needless to say our trip to Asheville the first time wasn’t so great and so it was time for a do-over. This time we decided to do it right- We decided to stay at the Grove Park Inn (picture above) which is absolutely amazing, especially at Christmas. I’ll probably end up writing an entire post just on the hotel because of how absolutely amazing it is. Before we venture out to see the Biltmore at Christmas time we are camping out in our hotel room while our little man gets in a good nap. I thought I’d take this opportunity to capture all of our tips and tricks for traveling with a baby which has made this a pretty great experience so far:

  • SOUND MACHINE is a must! When sharing a room with your little one it makes it easier for all involved to have that extra buffer to keep him sleeping soundly. It helps that our little boy is also used to sleeping with a sound machine at home.
  • SNAP IN GO STROLLER. The best light weight stroller around which folds up and is easy for carrying up and down stairs if needed with or without the carseat attached. This particular model is the only one we found that fits the Britax B-Safe Carseat.
  • FORMULA DISPENSER or formula in a bottle. Our little man is no longer on breastmilk which has its own positives and negatives. One positive we’ve found during this trip is that we can carry around an empty bottle in tow with the necessary formula power already measured out in the bottle and then just add room temperature water when we are ready to feed him. Makes life a whole lot easier. However if still using breastmilk then a small bottle cooler and warmer are of course great for on the go.
  • BABY CARRIER. Just for when you want to nix the stroller and take advantage of arms free mobility. Ideal for our trip to the Biltmore this afternoon!
  • BACKPACK DIAPER BAG. Leave the large diaper bag in the car or hotel room. When walking around on vacation you want to minimize the “load” you are carrying and travel a little more light weight. We actually lucked out and found an outdoor store in our hotel and picked up one of these Patagonia sling bags. It may look small but it was perfect to fit a changing pad, a couple diapers, wipes, one bottle with dry formula, boogie wipes and a change of clothes. Perfection!
  • HEADPHONES for mom and dad. For the evening or during nap time if you want to watch a movie or listen to something on your computer or phone.

Can you think of anything else you’ve found helpful that I’m missing? Happy traveling! 🙂

The Order of Solids

There are so many different thoughts on which solids you should introduce to your baby first.. rice first because its non allergenic or oatmeal first because rice has no nutritional value. Fruits first so they like the taste, veggies first so they don’t get spoiled by the sweetness of fruit, both first and alternate between fruits and veggies.. but then you still have to decide which to start with. It’s a bit exhausting! Ultimately you just have to decide what you want to do and go with it. Give each food 5 days to make sure there are no allergies and then move on to the next, no matter what your little one will be just fine..

I eventually decided to start with oatmeal (our little one was a week away from his 6 month birthday when we gave him his first taste) and then alternate between fruits and veggies (orange and yellow veggies before green veggies.. last comes meat). For simplicity I also decided to try each for 1 week so I started the new food on the same day and wouldn’t lose track (I’ve got enough to keep up with these days).  If you decide to make your own baby food I found the book Sage Spoonfuls to be a helpful guide to teach you how to buy, prepare and store baby food.

So here’s our baby food list so far:

  1. Organic Oatmeal mixed with breastmilk served warm
  2. Banana – yellow, ripe with some brown spots – mashed and warmed
  3. Sweet Potato- firm – steamed & mixed with breast milk or formula served warm
  4. Apple- fresh red – steamed and pureed
  5. Avocado- even green color and give a little when squeezed – pureed
  6. Carrot – organic, orange, without cracks- steamed and pureed (The Favorite so far!)