Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trucks and Teacups Twins' Birthday Party

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

Horn went beep. Engine purred. Corbin and Lynley are two, haven't you heard?

We absolutely loved everything about our Trucks and Teacups second birthday. The theme was so much fun, especially because the twins were really into it. We read the book Little Blue Truck about a million times leading up to this party, and I know that I drank at least 3 dozen pretend cups of tea! It was so exciting to see that Corbin and Lynley were excited about their special day.

 Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups
Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

We were blessed to be joined by our families, close friends and neighbors for the day. We enjoyed jumping in the bounce house, eating pizza, cake and cookies, and taking pictures in the photo booth. I had completely forgotten to put out the truck and teacup coloring pages, but all of the kids were way more interested in the bounce house and outdoor toys, so it would've been a bust anyway. If that's the only thing I forgot, then I'm doing great!

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

One of the major decorations that we did for this party was photos from our professional photography session. I like to take new family pictures every year around the twins' birthday, so we decided this year to just make it about the theme. We borrowed Grandad's old blue Chevy and set up a tea party in the back. The photos are to die for! We can thank Rhiannon Logsdon Photography for that!

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

The other decor was really simple. I made a couple of burlap banners and bought some balloons. The focal point above our fireplace cost less than $7.00. I bought one package of pink fans and two packages of the small blue fans from Hobby Lobby and hung them with push tacks to create the backdrop. You can find the fans within the supplies on the party aisles.

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

The other backdrop outside, which was behind the food and drink table, was the easiest, cheapest party decoration I've ever done! I found this tutorial on Pinterest, but instead of hanging it straight across, my mom and brother made it look like a castle. All you need is two plastic table cloths (I found mine for $1 a piece at Dollar Tree) and some string. Decide if you want to hang vertically or horizontally, and then make your cuts. My sister did ours for me, and she actually laid the two table cloths on top of each other on the floor, then rolled them up together leaving about two inches at the top. This allowed her to quickly make small cuts along the roll, and when it's unrolled, ta-da! Love that time-saving trick.

Trucks and Teacups birthday for boy/girl twins by Spit and Sparkles Blog. #birthday #twins #truckparty #teaparty #littlebluetruck #teacups

Some other money-saving tips for buying party props... check the thrift stores first! I found all of our decorative teapots at Goodwill. And I even found serving ware there, like the cookie tin and a mini cake plate for a $1.99 that I used to hold candy (pictured below on either side of cake). I also found many of our picture frames there. Surprisingly, I found two in the perfect color of teal to use on our gallery wall. But, you can easily paint and re-purpose these frames, and you'll spend a tiny fraction of the cost you would on a brand new frame.

Other tidbits:
Lynley and Corbin's shirts: handmade with my Cricut Explore
Lynley's headband: Target
Lynley's Tea Party Dress: The Glamour Baby  (I first saw this dress on another darling two-year-old at Words About Waverly.)
My dress: A Stitch Fix! Pixley- Layna Textured Fit and Flare Dress
Little boys and little girls canvas art: Hobby Lobby
Cake and cookies: Well Yeah Cakes

Other tidbits:  Lynley and Corbin's shirts: handmade with my Cricut Explore.  Lynley's headband: Target.  Little boys and little girls canvas art: Hobby Lobby

Other tidbits:  Lynley and Corbin's shirts: handmade with my Cricut Explore.  Lynley's headband: Target.  Little boys and little girls canvas art: Hobby Lobby

Other tidbits:  Lynley and Corbin's shirts: handmade with my Cricut Explore.  Lynley's headband: Target.  Little boys and little girls canvas art: Hobby Lobby

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Corbin and Lynley are TWO!

Spit and Sparkles: Corbin and Lynley turn two! #twins #secondbirthday #two

Last weekend, we celebrated Corbin and Lynley's second birthday. (A post about that coming soon!) It was a wonderful day with our families, friends and neighbors, but it still zipped by just a bit too fast for me.

Something happens at age two. The little babies that needed mama for everything drift a little farther away as independence and personalities really transform. I find myself longing for their sweet embraces and kisses, but lately I receive little shoves and "no, I do it." I'm proud of them, but I also miss the baby in them. At least until they give me one of those belly laughs right on cue when I tell a joke or they help me read one of their favorite books, nailing the right words at the right time. Or when Corbin proudly recites his ABCs and Lynley starts dancing to her favorite song or when they whisper "I love you, Daddy" as Derrick tucks them into bed each night. I feel so much happiness in these moments, and the thoughts of before melt away. I embrace the tomorrows and the new accomplishments. I find myself being in the moment more because I know how precious this age truly is. And that's why this blog has been a bit bare lately. We're still trying to figure out our groove going into this new season of age two. There is so much ahead!

So to help you follow along, here's what is new with Corbin and Lynley and their two-year stats.

Corbin weighs 26.6 lbs and is 34 inches tall. Lynley weighs 23.8 lbs and is 34 inches tall. They're both skinny, but their height is on the right track. Developmentally, they are doing wonderful. Here are some quick snippets and favorites.

Spit and Sparkles: Corbin and Lynley turn two! #twins #secondbirthday #two

Corbin- an intellectual and lover of learning. Corbin talks in sentences very clearly. This boy amazes me with how well he pronounces his words. He mimics a lot and quickly files new words away to memory. His ability to learn new things quickly extends to letters and numbers as well. He knows just about every letter of the alphabet and numbers 0 to 10, although he can't recite the ABCs yet or count to ten, he names them in books, posters, puzzles, etc. He has a strong desire to learn, and I truly hope it stays with him as he gets older. Corbin is super sweet, and my absolute favorite time with him is when he runs toward me so fast and jumps into my arms. I can see pure happiness and innocence in those moments, and I wish I could bottle it up for a rainy day in twenty years when I'm missing him being at home with me every day. He also loves trucks, tractors, trains and all types of vehicles, and he is pretty protective over all of the toys of that nature, even though some were actually bought for Lynley. Though he has no problem stealing her babies! Other things about Corbin.... has all of his teeth and working on his two-year molars; still hates to have his teeth brushed, hair brushed, face wiped or groomed in any way; loves bath time, making art, reading books, watching Calliou, wearing mommy's and daddy's shoes, and being outside.

Spit and Sparkles: Corbin and Lynley turn two! #twins #secondbirthday #two

Lynley- such an active little diva! Her personality is really starting to shine through. She is the silliest, most joyful person. She is more of the physically active child. While Corbin is happy practicing letters or building with blocks, she would much rather be dancing, running or jumping. We're lucky she loves books so much, otherwise I don't think we'd be able to get her to focus on anything ever! She needs very stimulating activities in order for her to fully engage and comprehend lessons, otherwise, I think she gets bored. She is very vocal, although it's harder to make out what she says at times than it is when Corbin speaks. She does, however, say more complete sentences than Corbin, but he says more total words. Lynley is super social, and she loves to give hugs and kisses. She is very sweet and empathetic toward someone who is hurt or upset. While she is sweet, she is also very strong-willed. She wants to conquer the world at age two! If she can do it herself, she does it, or she figures it out quickly. Other things about Lynley... still loves her bear; likes to play mommy; loves to jump on trampoline; can't get enough of the "Happy" song (by Pharell); loves bath time, brushing teeth, washing hands, helping wipe up after meals, reading, watching Calliou, playing dress up, purses and shoes, and being outside.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Potty Training Update + Nuby Potty Seat Review

Exactly two months ago, I posted a photo to Instagram of Lynley proudly wearing her new undies. Back then, we were pretty much completely doing number one on the potty and wearing undies at home with maybe one accident a day. Number two was still a work in progress, as well as wearing undies in public. I would say she was about 90% trained. That was then.....

Potty training twins is no simple feat! But Nuby helps make it easier. #pottytraining #toddlers #twins

Since starting preschool, she has regressed a lot with peeing on the potty. Mainly because at school they just don't take her often enough. It really makes me mad actually, but I have to remember that they are dealing with a dozen other kids at the same time. I'm learning to be patient. However, while pee has regressed some, poo is making it into the potty way more consistently (at least at home) and that is a huge deal! The poop struggle was exhausting, but more on that later. 

Corbin has also completely lost his way with the potty. In fact, he cries now when we take him, and they don't even bother trying at school. I have slowly been working on this over the past couple of weeks, and I have successfully gotten him to pee in the potty at least once or twice per day now. He will take much longer to train than I expected, so I'm putting most of my effort toward Lynley because she just needs to make it over this hump of being able to verbalize when she has to go in order for her to be 100% ready for undies. 

And here's one thing that is helping: the Nuby Potty Seat. This seat is sized just right for your little one. The stand-alone potty features a non-skid base, comfortable seat, and removable basin that is easy to empty and easy to clean.

Potty training twins is easier with a comfy potty seat like these from #Nuby! #pottytraining #toddlers #twins

We already had a couple of potty chairs from another company, which the twins really like, but this seat is a bit smaller and easier to move around the house or take with us. For the most part, Lynley uses a potty seat attachment to the big potty, but since we are still working on being able to stop what we're doing and make it to the potty on time, I like to keep a potty seat within eye sight and reach to use when needed. I take our Nuby seat outside with us, and Lynley has been pretty good about telling me "pee, pee" and running over to it to sit down. This is wonderful progress! The seat is small enough that she can do this all by herself without falling over, and the bowl insert is deep enough that it can hold a lot of pee! I just dump it, rinse and wipe it with a disinfecting wipe, and it's good to go for the next round. 

You can buy the Nuby Potty Seat at buybabydirect.com or amazon.com.

Connect with Nuby via FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

To read our past potty teaching posts visit here and here.

I received products free of charge for review purposes. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are 100 percent my own. I only promote and support products and companies that I believe in.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

The grass is NOT greener: My trial run as a working mom

The grass is not greener: My trial run as a working mom. #twins #SAHM #workingmoms

Hats off to the working moms! It's a lot harder than I expected. I thought that I wanted to return to my career after a two-year maternity break, but I'm learning more each day that I'm not quite ready.

I am in a unique position. I have been blessed with the choice to either work or stay home with my twins. For the past two years, I have chosen to stay home, but recently I have been feeling a pull toward returning to work. After a few interviews for some great jobs, things just weren't panning out. I wasn't being offered the jobs I applied for, but rather different jobs within those organizations. I guess that's a good thing- they liked me, but felt I didn't have enough experience in some areas, yet still wanted to hire me. But I knew that I wouldn't be happy settling for a job that I didn't 100 percent love, so I chose to pass.

And while I continued to job search for the right fit, I went back to work at my previous office, before taking maternity leave, to help with a special project. It's temporary, and I can work from home when I have the time or I can go into the office. I've done both. And let me tell you, that week that our days were get up, go straight to preschool/work, leave work, go to straight to pick up kids, make dinner, put kids to bed... was the HARDEST week of my life. All of that on top of also continuing my online grad school work at GWU. I have learned real quick that I just am not ready for a full-time job outside of our home.

And I am glad that I learned this now because the perfect job opportunity did come along last week. It took about a month and half to find the right fit, and I was this close to returning to work. However, I had to take a step back and really consider what I wanted. I know my limits, and I feared that I would get a few months into the job and realize that I wanted to be back at home, and then feel trapped. I am lucky that the person who was doing the hiring is someone I have built a rapport with. In fact, in the future there may be room for me on the team. I'm grateful for that.

Surprisingly, I am not upset about my decision to keep my career on hold. I feel relieved. I have constantly wondered if I wanted to go back to work or not, and what it would be like. How would the babies do in child care, would I miss them, would I be able to handle working away from home physically and emotionally, etc. I have all of those answers now. I don't feel comfortable with them in full-time child care. I would feel a bit overwhelmed working full-time and commuting 45 minutes each way, and I would definitely miss our laid back days with friends.

Do I still feel the way I felt a couple of months ago: like I need something for myself? Yes, absolutely. I think this feeling is natural when women become wives, and especially mothers. So little of our time is focused on our own interests. There just aren't enough hours in the day or enough energy left to do any of our own hobbies- except my favorite hobby of napping!! So we often feel drained and our minds wonder if the grass is greener on the other side.

I think for me personally, I am more comfortable at home right now. In a perfect world, I could find a part-time job that I love and still be able to enjoy enough time with the twins and their friends. But, it's not a perfect world! In the meantime, I am signed up for some volunteering opportunities, and I will continue my grad school work. I may pick up some freelance writing that can be done from home, but my career in public relations will have to wait a bit longer.

The grass is not greener: My trial run as a working mom. #twins #SAHM #workingmoms

Have you ever struggled with the decision to go back to work or to stop working at stay at home? Please share your experiences in the comments.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FunBites Giveaway!

So, you're a month into the school routine, and maybe you're starting to feel the excitement wear off and the fatigue set in. You might ask yourself: What could make preparing those lunch box meals easier, and what could make your kids want to eat them?

The answer is FunBites. Seriously! Corbin and Lynley love watching me use our square and triangle sets to cut their PB&J's. (Or maybe they just like laughing at me while I sing the peanut butter jelly song and dance like a crazy person...)

Anyway, FunBites is the first state of the art kitchen tool that instantly cuts kids' food into bite-sized, fun-shaped pieces. This product is made in the USA and is BPA free. They are perfect to get even the pickiest eaters to try something new and eat healthier.


FunBites come in three shapes: square, heart or triangle. We have the square and triangle sets, and I love them. It makes splitting a grilled cheese evenly between the twins much easier and quicker than using a knife and "eye-balling" it. You could also use it to cut cheese, fruits, veggies and anything you can think of into shapes to create cute layouts like the ones pictured below.



You can win a FunBites by entering the giveaway below. 

Follow FunBites on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received products free of charge for review purposes. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are 100 percent my own. I only promote and support products and companies that I believe in.

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