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.

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School with Nuby (Product Reviews)

Back to school essentials from Nuby! #snacks #school #toddlers #Nuby

With all of the back to school excitement and new routines in full swing, you may be looking for ways to make your life simpler. As a mom of toddler twins, I get that! And that's why I'm such a big fan of Nuby. Here's a quick roundup of some lunch and snacktime essentials that will save a mom's life no matter if your child is in Mother's Day out, preschool or Kindergarten and beyond.

Here are the essentials that we're loving!

Nuby Reusable Snack Packs. I am in love with these snack packs! We have a set that has giraffe characters on them, and the material is super soft and easy to clean. Corbin and Lynley love to reach their hands all the way inside to grab a "cracka." I have packed a snack for myself in them before, and I get the same joy they do! Nûby Reusable Snack Packs add gleeful anticipation to kids' snack times. Fruits and veggies come tumbling out of the roomy packs, unharmed from their travels in backpacks or diaper bags thanks to the snack pack's protective walls. The machine-washable packs include a water-resistant PEVA lining that keeps out water and keeps in spills.
• Food safe, water-resistant lining
• Easily zips closed to control spills
• Free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates
• Machine-washable
Back to school essentials from Nuby! #snacks #school #toddlers #Nuby

iMonster and Flower Child Snack Keepers. "Rawr, rawr," Corbin says every time he sees a monster. He pretty much thinks this is a toy instead of a snack holder, and that's just fine. It gives me a little extra time to put dishes away or fold clothes while he's entertaining himself. I love the way that Lynley says flower. It sounds kind of like "hourrr," but the smile she has when she says it is priceless. This is the cutest, girly snack keeper that I have seen. They both like to eat from both snack keepers. Of course, Corbin would like the pink one! Remember his affinity for all things pink? The Nûby iMonster Snack Keeper cups keep kid-sized snacks inside the container instead of on the floor or car seat. The soft silicone flaps make it easy to grab snacks without spilling. Nûby feeding accessories are made to withstand the challenges of daily use and retain their bright color.

We've been using these around the house and when we go on little adventures to Daddy's office or the jump gym. Corbin and Lynley are starting preschool in a week, but they'll be served lunch and snacks there. I am a little bit bummed that I don't get to send them to school with their lunch kits packed with these awesome containers, but we'll definitely be getting as much use out of them as we can on the weekends.

Back to school essentials from Nuby! #snacks #school #toddlers #Nuby

You can purchase the products at the following stores.

Reusable Snack Packs- Amazon.com

iMonster Snack Keeper- BuyBabyDirect.com, amazon.com, babyhaven.com, cookieskids.com, diapers.com, echildstore.com, idealbaby.com, Burlington Baby Depot, Bealls, TJ Maxx, buybuy Baby.

Flower child Snack Keeper- BuyBabyDirect.com, amazon.com, cookieskids.com, diapers.com, echildstore.com, idealbaby.com, Burlington Baby Depot, Bealls, TJ Maxx, buybuy Baby.

Connect with Nuby via FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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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