Friday, August 29, 2014

Nesting - Putting Together a Minimalist Nursery

It seems like nursery decor goes one of two ways - minimalist or way-oh-my-god over the top! While browsing Pinterest - something that by now you know I NEVER do - I have come across both types of nurseries. I knew I would be on the more minimalist side of the debacle because I wanted to keep the nursery low-cost and also fairly basic so I could adjust it to grow with my boys. No "big boy" wants a room that still looks like a baby room. Here are some of the DIY projects we did while nesting!

As you may have seen from my previous Nursery Tour post, the room is basic and uncluttered. The walls are grey with a grey and white striped accent wall. I had seen bunches of nurseries in this color scheme on Pinterest and I knew right from the beginning that's what I wanted! It's calming, matches everything and will still look good when my boys are older. Even if we had girls, the walls would have been painted this way.

This was hour #3 - and I'm pretty sure we hadn't figured out our measuring mistake yet!

Andy used to work in the Home Depot paint department so he knows his shizz when it comes to painting. I will have to ask him to put together a guest post tutorial on picking out paint supplies and colors - but I definitely won't have him write one on actually PAINTING the striped wall. Disaster. He swears he will never do it again. And not to bring this up for the millionth time... but the stripes are all different sizes. Umm. Yeah. It might be a big deal to some people but it's actually not that noticeable. It's only a matter of a few inches here and there... That's what she said.

DIY Mobile

In my Pinterest-ing adventures, I came across these beautiful mobiles. I wanted them. But they were $63.00. EACH. Ain't nobody got the money for that! Even though I am the least crafty person I know, I decided to make mobiles myself and I'm proud to say they turned out decently - I'm sure you could do a better job though - and they only cost $18.00 for BOTH. 

Not bad, not bad at all!

What you'll need: (for two!)

  • Two hoops of some sort or another type of base (I purchased the 2 most inexpensive wooden hoop things at Jo-ann Fabrics. They were about $3 each.)
  • Ribbon to cover the wooden hoop (I chose sheer, slightly glittery ribbon in 3 colors - silver and two blues from the dollar store)
  • Shape punch (optional) I borrowed a star shaped punch from my Grandmother. You can use whatever or even hand cut shapes if you're patient enough.
  • Ribbon in various lengths (again, I went to the dollar store and chose several colors of thin ribbons)
  • Glue
  • Pretty paper - about 6 sheets per mobile. Jo-Ann Fabrics has a wide variety of thick, card making papers. You'll need extra if you want to do both sides to cover the ribbon and glue to give it a more finished appearance. I didn't have the patience to do this.
  • Clear string or thread (to suspend mobile from the ceiling)
  • Appropriate hardware to hang mobile


1. Cut various lengths of ribbon that will hang from the mobile. Punch or cut out shapes from paper. Glue shapes onto ribbon - do both sides if you want a more finished look. Let dry.

2. Tie ribbon to hoop and adjust lengths to your liking. Take sheer ribbon and cut into pieces that are just long enough to tie around hoop and give character to the top of the mobile. Tie ribbon the whole way around the hoop.

3. Use clear string or thread to attach to hoop. Have husband (you're pregnant, remember?) attach hardware to ceiling and hang mobile!

4. Celebrate the fact that you saved so much money for something that is not 100% necessary to have in a nursery!

Bookshelves from Spice Racks

If you're on Pinterest, like ever, I'm sure you've seen the ten thousand nursery decor pins that show these cute little spice racks - you guessed it - turned into bookshelves. I saved this idea in the depths of my brain the first time I saw this. I knew I wanted to do that for the boys' nursery. Not optional. It's a thrifty alternative to those costly bookshelves - and super cute, too!

The boys have quite a book collection already!

We purchased 6 of them from IKEA - they're really inexpensive since they're technically spice racks, not bookshelves. Andy painted them white to contrast the grey nursery wall. Let them dry. Hung them. Voila! Seriously, that's it. It was so easy and inexpensive. Somebody was a genius. But it wasn't me.

I'd love to see any DIY projects or nursery decor that you have done! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Introductions & A Semi-Paleo Lifestyle

 I'm sure you've realized by now, but having twins, working part-time, cooking, cleaning and taking care of a house is a full time job. Then I added blogging. I actually spend A LOT more time working on this side-project than I thought I would. I like it. I want to continue with it. I also want to open up my blog to people who have interests other than babies and food (also known as strange people... I know not of what these so-called "other" interests could possibly be!) Those are about my only topics of expertise but from what I understand, there is a whole world beyond babies and food!

Enter Ashlee. Ashlee has been a friend of my for, oh, 7 years? Can't remember. I'm getting old. Her interests are almost completely opposite of everything I enjoy in life, except for food. We both love food. Here is a list of things that Ashlee enjoys that I just... don't.

  • Fashion & Style
  • Make-up
  • Working out & fitness
  • Nature and hiking (this is perhaps my least favorite... umm, ticks?)
  • Pursuing a graduate degree
  • Working in an office setting
  • Not having children... at the moment. 

So, with that introduction given, here is Ashlee's first post on Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie and there will be plenty more to come! Enjoy :-)  

"I have a serious problem with the word 'diet,' and if you know anything about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you probably do too. If you adjust your diet temporarily to lose weight, that weight loss will only be temporary. Another problem with the word 'diet' is that it doesn't necessarily mean healthy, and ultimately your goal should be a maintainable lifestyle so your weight doesn't yo-yo. Numerous studies have found this type of lifestyle extremely detrimental to the body.

So now I come to one of the latest buzz words, 'paleo.' Paleo enthusiasts want it to be a lifestyle choice, but for many of us that is entirely unrealistic. Therefore, if it is a temporary change, it is a diet. Here are the basic paleo principles:

  • No grains, no gluten
  • No unnatural sugars (anything not found in raw foods)
  • Modern vegetable oils such as coconut oil (another fad food)
  • High quality animal fats such as ghee
  • High quality meats
  • Lots of veggies

As you can see, some of these principles are unrealistic for average joes. Who wouldn't want to eat all organic meats? Why wouldn't it be healthy to eat a great deal of vegetables? But there aren't a lot of people who are willing to completely forgo grain and dessert, making this hard to maintain for your average person. Therefore, it is a diet for most—not a lifestyle choice.

I choose to look at these fad diets (those that are founded on decent whole foods eating principles, not those which include potions and lotions) and extract principles that are of value and incorporate them into my lifestyle. A great resource about paleo and the mindset behind it is “Practical Paleo.” I suggest you read it if you're interested in paleo as a lifestyle change. 

I use paleo this way: people who love food but are trying to have a more healthy diet love making recipes that mimic some classic favorites. Pizza, dessert, and all sorts of conventional recipes are adapted for these lifestyles so they're easier to maintain. If I want a healthy, filling dinner that will please my husband and that I will feel good about eating, I Google Paleo+whatever traditional recipe I'm craving. People on whole foods diets find very creative ways to make things such as crusts, desserts, and rice out of raw veggies and fruits making them lower in calories and very, very healthy. The paleo diet is high in animal products, so I don't do paleo recipes more than once or twice a week because as a former vegetarian, I choose not to frequently include a great deal of animal products in my diet. So here's what I made for us on Wednesday night!

Primal Pizza Pie Layer Casserole courtesy of Beauty and the Foodie

This recipe is easy, quick, and fairly inexpensive to make. If you don't want to use items like coconut flour, don't. I didn't! You can still get the benefits of eating a delicious, flavorful meal that incorporates a lot of veggies. Omit cheese for a fully paleo meal. Additionally, this might be a good choice for someone suffering from IBD, Crohn's, or IBS. My husband has Crohn's, and I will do a separate blog entry about creating meals that are compatible for someone who has a bowel disorder. I hope you enjoyed my introductory blog entry. Eat food you love, eat food that is good. Don't diet. Make gradual, sustainable lifetyle changes. Bon apetit!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - 9-ish Layer Taco Dip

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So, if we're being technical here, this is actually more of a 9-layer Taco Dip instead of your traditional 7 layer. Why not? I wanted a mexican-type dish to take to a party (my birthday party, to be precise) and I wanted to make something new so... this is what I came up with! After reading through about 5 different 7-layer dip recipes and taking inventory of the ingredients I had on hand, I now present to you the 9-ish layer dip. The -ish comes about because you could combine some of these ingredients to make a salsa or guacamole and use them in that fashion. But I didn't, because this was easier. 

This dip is served cool or room temperature - you don't want to heat this after it is prepared because it will wilt your lettuce and crisp veggies - plus, it's an extra step you don't need to take. 

If you only take away one thing from this recipe to use in your own rendition of a 7-layer dip, please make it this: for the LOVE OF GOD do not just open a can of re-fried beans and put them on a platter. PLEASE. Thanks in advance. Life lesson: cold, straight out of a can re-fried beans are not something you want to serve at a party. I'll go as far as to say your friends will hate you. They may even leave. And then you don't have a party anymore. And you won't have any dip because they will burn it. Slightly dramatic? Maybe. But you have been warned.

9-ish Layer Taco Dip


  • 1 can re-fried beans
  • 1/2 jar of salsa
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 6 oz sour cream
  • 1 cup taco blend cheese
  • 1/4 diced white onion
  • Handful (very precise measurement) of shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 diced tomato (if you don't have any ripe, home-grown ones available, store-bought will do. Silly Ina Garten.)
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced avocado
  • Handful of chopped cilanto


1. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. See the above reasons for why you need to do this. Heat your canned, re-fried beans over medium heat. Add 1/2 jar of salsa and the cumin. Stir and heat through. This will transform your beans. People may even question if you made them yourself.

2. Spread beans on the bottom layer of whatever serving dish/tray you want to use. Top with the sour cream. Spread the mexican blend cheese on top. Add diced onion, tomato, green pepper in any order you want. Go crazy. Let loose.

3. Top with shredded lettuce, avocado and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until chilled or serve immediately with tortilla chips.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing, But Here Are Some Tips...

It was a year ago tomorrow that my life really changed. For the better. But I didn't realize it at the time. August 26th, 2013 is the day that we found of that we were having twins! And it was terrifying.

"Peanut" and "Cashew" - first photo together at 7 weeks old!

The changes that come with pregnancy and becoming first time parents are overwhelming. Multiply that by about a thousand and you get what it feels like to be expecting twins. Maybe.

The last year has been a year of changes, surprises, life lessons, experimenting- but most of all, winging it. I have no idea what I'm doing, after all, I am a first time mom! Also, I HATE surprises. If you know me at all, you know not to surprise me with anything. I'm not sure if it's considered a pet peeve or a quirk in my personality, but I hate surprises.

A few things that I have picked up over the last year, life lessons, if you will...

  • Be flexible. I cannot stress this enough. Everything that you think you have planned, will probably fall apart. You will be too tired to read to your baby every night before bed. You will be too busy to work on all of those cute Pinterest-y sewing projects. Your baby will turn you to mush and you won't have the heart to do the strict sleep training you researched for months about. 

  • Be prepared for surprises (even if you hate them.) Expecting one baby, meh, why not have twins! Just kidding. But seriously, be prepared for surprises - the good, the bad, the poopy. Heck, even surprise visitors. It seems like a lot of people feel they don't need to call before dropping by to see a baby! You may also be very surprised at the cost of baby things. I guess it's kind of the same theory as bikinis... the less fabric, the more expensive. This includes baby socks and outfits.

  • You will probably want a second baby. Or a third. Or a 7th! It seems like babies just have that appeal, no matter how many you said you wanted 3 years ago. If you find yourself thinking these thoughts while you still have an infant, have your husband bring out the journal of all of your pregnancy and labor complaints. I'm assuming he kept one, even if it is just a mental list in his head, like Andy's. If your man thought ahead, he may even have had you sign and date a copy of said complaints, including direct quotes so that there are no takesies-backsies. 
This could not describe me more starting at about 7 months.
  • Be prepared to learn. I had never changed a diaper, it had been years since I held a baby, I didn't even know what to put on a baby registry for heaven's sake. I learned something new in the last year. Read a lot, research, talk to people. ASK QUESTIONS. Just not stupid questions. There is such a thing as a stupid question. Something you might not have known: Bottle nipples come in different levels/stages/sizes. Who knew? I sure as heck didn't until about 2 months in, when the boys were freaking out when they ate because they could not drink fast enough with newborn nips.

  • You will have no idea what you're doing. Sometimes I come across a situation that I just don't know how to handle. I wing it. Baby wakes up screaming in his sleep an hour after he goes to bed. Do I pick him up? Do I give him a bink? Yup, give him a bink. OMG. Can he have a binkie in his crib? Did I just create a whole new problem of having him be dependent on a binkie to sleep? Is that possible in a 3 month old? Wait, how old is my baby again? Yup. No idea what I'm doing. And you won't have a clue either - so wing it. 

This thing called parenting is hard, but you'll survive. Most people do, from what I understand. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

I Am A Mom of Twins - Ask Me Anything

I know I'm not the only one who gets asked silly questions... watch this YouTube video, it's hilarious!

People seem to be fascinated by twins. I think it's a universal thing. There are so. many. questions. when I either go out in public with the boys or tell people that I have twins. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Some of them are super cliche and annoying - like asking if they are twins. They are obviously twins. They're the same age, they look similar, they're both mine. You get the idea. I thought it would be a nice thing for me to do, because I'm just that nice of a person, to air out all of the "secrets" of twins  - here are some of the most popular or unusual questions I get asked by family/co-workers/friends/that random hobo down the street...

Q: Are they identical or fraternal?

A: I honestly have no idea - we have not done genetic testing on them and neither my OB or the boys' pediatricians could tell without genetic testing. My best guess, and I'm 99.9% sure I'm correct on this, is that they are fraternal. What that means: it means that the twin gene runs somewhere in my family and these boys are the outcome of genetics.This question has a follow up that I have only been asked a handful of times - "Are they natural twins?" Natural as the green grass, blue skies and none of your business, thank you!

Edited: We had DNA testing done on the boys and it turns out I was 100% wrong. They are identical twins. What that means: it means that these babies were spontaneous twins. 1 egg/1 sperm split. These boys are the result of some greater power throwing a curve ball my way and wanting me to have 2 babies. The ultimate surprise. 

Q: How much weight did you gain while you were pregnant?

A: Really? Really. People ask me this quite often. I would hesitate to ask anyone this question whether it was my best friend, sister, or a random stranger - but plenty of people feel ballsy enough to ask it so I'm usually ballsy enough to answer it. 38 pounds. The follow up question, without a doubt, is "Did you lose all of it yet?" ... Really? Once again, really.

Q: What happens if they both start crying at the same time?

A: This happens daily. Multiple times a day. You learn to tune it out and/or analyze the cry to see if they are just being whiny or if they legitimately need something. You can also prioritize who gets fed first by listening to the cries. For instance, if one baby is having a full blown meltdown (again, daily occurrence) and one baby is winding up but only at a 5 out of 10 - you have two options. You can distract baby 2 with new toys, tummy time, etc and tend to meltdown baby. Or you can address the needs of baby 2 before he gets to meltdown stage - since meltdown baby can't really get any more upset at that point. It's a case by case thing but all in all you become immune to the crying to a certain point.

Follow me on Pinterest for all things TWINS!

Q: Do you keep them on the same schedule?

A: Abso-freakin-lutely. I would lose my mind if they were just allowed to do what they want, when they want, all willy-nilly. They eat within a half hour of each other, they have playtime and naps at the same time. Bedtime is the same. If one baby gets up in the middle of the night, the other baby gets a surprise nighttime snack!

Q: Is one baby better/smarter/more easy-going/etc?

A: Sure. Some days. But it flip-flops - these babies don't like to be labeled, so stop trying!

Q: Do you dress them the same?

A: I dress them in whatever is clean and readily available at the time. We got a lot of matching outfits for our baby shower as gifts and I am making use of them - but I don't necessarily make them wear those outfits at the same time. I do try to dress them similarly i.e. both in onesies with shorts, both in rompers, etc.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you were having twins?

A: I cried for 3 days straight when I found out. I was terrified. I had only ever wanted one baby to start with. I knew I would be a "high risk" pregnancy and the birthing center I had hoped to give birth at would not be allowed to see me. I knew there could be complications and I had to worry about 2 babies now instead of just one. Now I see them as the biggest blessing and surprise of my life! (The initial ultrasound picture with 2 little peanuts in it though is still the most terrifying/exciting picture ever!)

Q: Do they sleep in the same crib?

A: They did off and on for a while. Then we found out they woke each other up more easily if they were that close to each other. Now they sleep in separate cribs in the same room. I'm pretty sure they know the other one is close by because in the mornings they are chattering and it almost seems like they are having a conversation.

Q: How do you do it?

A: Umm... there's not really much of an option here. You just do it. It's actually not double the work of one baby (I would assume... I've never had just one baby.) I think twins learn to be more independent from the get-go, which is fine by me because I'm not a fan of attachment parenting anyway. At 4 months, they have already started to keep themselves and each other occupied and I'll take my chances and say that it'll probably just get easier from here.

Do you have any questions you'd like to ask? Throw them at me. I'll answer them as honestly as possible! Follow Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie on Facebook and never miss an update!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - Fried Ice Cream

WARNING: This recipe is DANGEROUS. For your diet! Haha. But seriously, I have made this recipe multiple times now and people literally devour it. Which is good, because I definitely don't need to have the leftovers in my house for me to eat nonstop.

This recipe for Fried Ice Cream Cake comes from one of my favorite food blogs, South Your Mouth.  The first time I made this recipe, I followed it exactly. Which is exceptionally rare for me! I thought fried ice cream was something super complicated to make and time consuming as well - but I was wrong! Go figure. I would have started making it years ago if I knew... I may also weigh 400 pounds if I had.

The second time I made this recipe, and for subsequent makings, I made a few slight changes just because. I crave the need to make a recipe my own almost as much as I crave fried ice cream. (That's A LOT, by the way.)

Fried Ice Cream Cake (serves 12-ish big portions or 20-ish normal portions...)


  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 cups of crushed cornflakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 quart of vanilla ice cream (MUST be real vanilla, not vanilla bean. Must be REAL ice cream, no fro-yo or other shenanigans.)
  • 1  8-oz container of cool whip, thawed (regular, not low-fat)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Extra honey for drizzling - you could also use chocolate syrup if you're that kind of person...


1. Set ice cream and cool whip out on the counter to thaw a bit (very specific amount of time here... do not mess this up!) while you work on the crispies.

2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and salt. Heat and stir until mixture bubbles slightly. Add cornflakes and continue to stir and cook until cornflakes achieve a beautiful golden brown crispiness. Add 2 tablespoons of honey. Set aside to cool or spread 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan to cool. Try not to eat all of it.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ice cream, cool whip, and cinnamon with a hand mixer just until thoroughly combined. Spread ice cream mixture on top of the cornflakes evenly. Spread the remaining cornflakes on top. Cover and put in the freezer overnight.

4. Pull out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to serve. Drizzle with honey prior to serving. Enjoy, and try not to eat it all on your own!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ridiculous Baby Items - Top 5

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New moms are overwhelmed with literally millions of suggestions of random baby STUFF to choose from. A lot of junk. A lot of unnecessary items. A lot of cool gadgets that are over-priced that you will actually never use. So.much.stuff!

In researching what I wanted to purchase or put on our baby registry for the boys, I came across so many completely silly items. I put together a list of things I definitely did not want! I don't want the clutter in my house. I didn't want anyone to spend money on such a superfluous, useless item. I'm not saying these items don't have their place... they just don't have their place in MY house.

5. Crib Bedding Set: Seems practical, right? Nope. Babies can only safely use 1 piece of the bedding sets... the crib sheet! You can find a crib sheet, in cute patterns and colors even, for about 10 bucks. A bedding set costs about $100 on average although I have seem custom ones on Etsy (repeat offender for over-priced, useless baby items!) for nearly $400! Sweet baby Jesus are they cute, though, so I can see the appeal. However, most bedding sets don't have the breathable, mesh bumper pads. Safety hazard numero uno. Babies can't  use comforters for at least the first year. Hazard numero dos. Crib skirt, meh. Maybe if you have a cutesy little girl nursery. All in all, kind of superfluous.

This Etsy shop has some BEAUTIFUL items... but this seems like a safety hazard!

4. Designer baby clothes: Even handcrafted "designer" clothes. Etsy is especially guilty of this! A specialty onesie for $50... a "coming home" from the hospital outfit for $75! You could literally buy an entire wardrobe in a size for your baby with that kind of money! A cute holiday outfit is one thing, but I still wouldn't pay more than maybe $15. A whole wardrobe of designer clothing, shoes, hair bows, etc... no way!

If you want something like this but don't want to spend $50... you could always just make it?

3. Wipes Warmer: Seriously, save your $25 and buy MORE DIAPERS and/or wipes for the new baby. They need diapers. They don't need their tiny little butts pampered with perfectly warmed moist towelettes. What happens when baby starts to grow up and realizes the that world is a cold, uncaring place that doesn't have warmed toilet paper to clean their tiny little butts with? They will cry. They will cry a lot. And it will be in public. Speaking of public, what do you do when you're on the go??? Carry this thing with you? Nope. Nope nope nope.

It's cute! It's pink! But, really?

2. "Baby Keurig": Again, seriously? If you're going to be formula feeding, save your $200 and buy FORMULA. It's expensive enough. You definitely shouldn't need a Keurig machine to mix and heat bottles for you unless you're a new mom, have severe OCD and are completely incompetent. I did read a message board post about a new mom who WAS mixing formula incorrectly, adding too many scoops of powder and wondering why her baby couldn't get anything through the nipple. Seriously. If it will help you sleep at night and not have to wonder if baby's milk is the right temperature or if you shook the bottle hard enough, go for it. But personally, I have many other uses for $200.

$160 buys us TEN large containers of formula... or you could buy this.

And finally, the number one most ridiculous baby item I have come across... and I still can't get over how ridiculous it is! 

1. Wearable Baby Monitoring equipment: Mother of God, WHY would you want one of these? Even as a new parent, I would never never never want to have one these things. There are many of them on the market these days. Most of them attach to your baby's diaper or foot and then they monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels, etc. Some of them even come with apps you can download that TEXT YOU WHEN YOUR BABY WAKES UP or predict when your baby may wake up. You know, in case you decided to go grocery shopping, you can come home. Most of them have reviews of multiple false alarms that baby has stopped breathing, obviously causing extreme panic and anxiety in any parent. Why would you do this to yourself??? 

Is this what the world has come to???

I'd love to hear about any products you have purchased or received that you found completely ridiculous or impractical! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Day I Decided to Stop Breastfeeding...

This will be the last post in my World Breastfeeding Week 2014 series. Probably the last time I will discuss this topic at all, considering I don't have too much experience with it - although I do cherish and appreciate the 8 weeks that I was able to bond with and provide for my babies.

The day I decided to stop breastfeeding was sudden. So sudden, in fact, that I didn't even realize the last time I was feeding my babies would actually be my last time breastfeeding. Within hours, my life and our routine changed. I wasn't okay with it at first, but within 2 days I knew that we had made the right decision - as hard as it was. 

A little background...

I returned to work at 7 weeks postpartum (I know, right??? That was even with using a full week of precious vacay!) I was still almost exclusively breastfeeding my twins- only giving about 1 bottle of formula a day and supplementing with pumped milk. We were doing well - and I was blessed with a crazy-good supply. Had my babies been more efficient eaters we may have been able to get rid of the pump and the formula all together. But it wasn't meant to be. Several factors played a role in how we decided to stop breastfeeding. I believe that returning to work that early postpartum is ultimately what destroyed us.

I had to pump right before I left the house for work, at least 2 times while I was there, and then immediately feed the babies upon my return. It was rough. I was engorged from day one and no amount of feeding or pumping could do anything about it. Within a few days I had developed full-blown mastitis (I would not wish mastitis on the person that I hate the most in this world... or maybe I would? Nope. It's horrible.) I fed my babies one evening, after feeling pretty darn crappy all day, took my temperature and then headed straight to the urgent care facility since it's.always.the.weekend when I'm sick! Geez. ALWAYS!

The doctor there had no idea about mastitis or breastfeeding mothers in general. He didn't understand engorgement and actually kept asking me if I had implants. No. No no no no. He put me on an antibiotic injection and oral antibiotics and told me it was pump and dump only - no feeding the babies milk for 2 weeks. It was heartbreaking. I realized that I had probably breastfed my babies for the last time unknowingly and I didn't even appreciate it at the time because I was feeling so sick. I knew there was no way I would be able to function with pumping and dumping and still have a decent supply at the end of the 2 weeks - or my sanity! 

The following day I go see my regular doctor and, of course, I was given the wrong antibiotics and information the night before. But it was too late. I was in so much pain and so through with breastfeeding I had decided that I was stopping cold turkey (probably one of the worst decisions I've ever made - so much pain! - but hindsight is always 20/20!!!) Mastitis got the best of me. We switched to formula at the point and we haven't looked back. I keep thinking that if I had more time before returning to work, if I had a more knowledgeable doctor, if I had more support (if I weren't such a pain-sissy?) - maybe we could have powered through! But it's in the past. I would love to be able to provide support to friends and family who decide to breastfeed in the future, though!

Formula feeding has given me my life back. It now only takes about a half hour to feed my babies instead of 75 minutes. I don't have boob issues to deal with. I can let other people feed them. The formula does keep them full longer, don't even try to tell me it doesn't! If I were to have another baby, which I won't be, I would probably re-try the whole breastfeeding thing. But I wouldn't kill myself for it. Formula is just as good and it's what works for us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - Baby Edition

Last week was World Breastfeeding Week 2014 - my babies skipped it. They decided to celebrate the deliciousness of formula (and some solids) instead. From my previous post, you know that we stopped breastfeeding when the boys were 8 weeks old. It feels like a year ago. We have now been formula feeding for as long as we were breastfeeding and guess what, life goes on! Since switching to formula, we have a much happier (and healthier! Thank you Mrs. Mastitis and BFF Engorgement.) household and we are now a proud formula feeding family.

So what do my babies eat? How did I decide? Do I regret this decision?

Since we have 2 babies, we need something inexpensive. As inexpensive as formula gets. We feed the basic infant formula - Target store brand. Formula is required to meet all of the same standards. So why do you pay more for a name brand? Similac, Enfamil and the like all spend TONS of money advertising. And all of those "free samples" at the hospital and other samples - someone pays for them - you should know by now that nothing is ever really free. The people who pay the significantly higher prices for Similac and Enfamil are the ones who finance those samples. 

The Target brand formula we buy on sale and usually with a coupon. The large size lasts us for about 5 days between the two babies and cost us $16. Not bad. Not bad at all. How did we do it? The formula is usually $25. We waited until it was on sale and then we used a $20 off a $100 purchase. And then we cleared the shelf. Seriously, we did. If you looked in our kitchen cupboard, you would question whether or not we were formula hoarders. On the plus side, we got a great deal on it and now we don't have to worry about running out anytime soon. And! We can wait until another great deal comes along instead of paying the regular price.

I didn't decide to stop breastfeeding on my own account (some people would debate that... you can read my previous post and my post-to-come) but I'm glad that the decision was made for me and I now have more time and freedom to spend actually enjoying my babies instead of being a milk machine. Even if you include the time spent preparing bottles and washing bottles, still a huge time saver. And super convenient too. Many people love breastfeeding for the "convenience" but I have yet to see how it is more convenient... someone enlighten me!

I absolutely do not regret this decision. I do not, do not, do not. Formula is a fine alternative that has given me the freedom to enjoy my babies and my life more.

We are also enjoying solids one meal a day at this point - some of their favorite combinations include sweet potato/applesauce, carrots/pears/brown rice and carrot/mango/oatmeal purees.

This week I am going to be making and preparing blueberry, spinach, plum and peach purees to add to their freezer stash and introduce even more variety to their diet.

Monday, August 11, 2014

How Breastfeeding Was Ruining My Life

Last week was World Breastfeeding Week 2014. My babies and I did not participate. However, I feel like I should write a few posts about my breastfeeding adventures and celebrate the 8 weeks that I was able to provide breast milk for my boys. It's quite an accomplishment! But at the end of the 8 weeks, we switched to formula and haven't looked back. Formula feeding is what works for us - and it took me 8 weeks and a boatload of feelings wracked with guilt to finally accept that.

The boys were breastfed as exclusively as possible. They were only receiving about 1 bottle of formula a day (actually, that bottle was given at night usually) and the rest of the time they were breastfed and then fed pumped milk from a bottle. The odds were stacked against me from the beginning but I was also "blessed" with an oversupply of milk (actually turns out that it's as much of a curse as a low supply!) My babies were premature, they had tongue ties, I did not get to hold them for several hours after delivery as they were in the NICU for the first few hours of their lives. Not a good start for breastfeeding success.

I was enjoying the quality time with my babies. The relaxation of breastfeeding. The feeling that I was doing what was the absolute best I could do for them. But there came a point where I just couldn't do it anymore - I was killing myself. My husband was supportive through the whole 8 weeks although I know he was not completely kosher with not being able to feed them (except for their pumped bottles) and he felt like he was missing out and not able to bond with babies as well. There was this little bit of tension between us because of my insistence to breastfeed even though it was not going smoothly.

Emmett enjoying play time!

Breastfeeding slowly started ruining my life. I dreaded going to bed at night, knowing that I would be up in less than 2 hours - by myself for most of the feedings at night - since my milk did not seem to keep them full at all. I dreaded getting up in the morning - usually giving up the idea of sleep around 5 a.m. and I dreaded the thought of being home with them all day by myself, going through the same vicious cycle. Spending an hour and fifteen minutes feeding every 2.5 hours is rough.

It wasn't until I stopped breastfeeding and switched solely to formula feeding that I realized what I had done to myself. I had been so caught up in the idea of breastfeeding them that I wore myself out and was so exhausted that I was physically unable to appreciate my babies. The very week that we switched to formula I found out just how much time and effort I had been devoting to something that may or may not have a significant outcome in the end. I had so.much.more free time to appreciate and play with my babies. A small bit more of sleep. A much happier husband.

Oliver loving tummy time... and thinking I'm the funniest person in the world!

I am one-thousand percent guilt-free about how I feed my babies at this point. But then there's always those people that can take a nice day and ruin it, oh, immediately.

A few months after these lovely breastfeeding adventures, I came across a completely ignorant article on breastfeeding superiority. I have never seen such nonsense in my life. According to this article, I am lazy. I play the blame game. And I definitely don't have my priorities straight. If you get a chance, read this article just so when you come across a "Sanctimommy" you'll know what she looks like and you'll know to stay away from her. Far, far away. I almost didn't want to link to this article because I don't want to perpetuate it. But it's just...ugh.

I am not lazy. I won't even go into that one. Sure, I love a day on the couch binge watching River Monsters and napping intermittently... maybe some food in there at some point. But I'm not lazy.

I may play the blame game. Fair enough. But why do I even feel like a need to defend my choice as to how I feed my babies to anyone? I know that continued breastfeeding was not in my cards, nor did I want it in my cards after a while. 

I do have my priorities straight. I'm feeding my babies. I'm taking care of myself. I'm not loathing motherhood and feeling like a boob-feeding slave to my babies. I can live my life and feed my babies at the same time - thanks to formula. Seriously. Happy, healthy mom = happy, healthy kids. I refuse to be discouraged in my choices by people who have not walked in my shoes. 

I would love to hear your feeding stories and choices as well as what works for you. No judgements, I promise! :-)

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Stay Sane as a Stay-at-home Mom - Part 2: Netflix!

Somebody was having a bad day...

If you're wondering why a new mom to twins needs anything else to occupy her time, please see the Part 1 post! Summary: Newborns are boring!

Moving on.

Now that the boys are a little bit older, and I feel confident in my abilities to carry them up and down the stairs daily, I allow them to come out of their nursery each day to hang out in the living room and kitchen. We have a set of swings, Exersaucers, and a Pack'N Play downstairs as well as some toys so that they can be a part of the family and be within sight while I am cooking, cleaning, Facebooking. Whatever.

I don't know about you, but it drives me crazy to be home in silence all day. I have to have some background noise. We decided a few years ago to cut back on excessive costs - so out of the budget went cable! We now use only Netflix for our television and movie watching needs and it is awesome! For background noise during the day, I turn on a series that I have already watched and just go through the episodes. When I feed the boys, we can sit down on the couch and turn on a different series to work through. It's what works for us!

What am I watching?

1. Breaking Bad - if you haven't seen it, start it IMMEDIATELY. Seriously, it is one of the best series I have ever watched. Ever. As long as you don't mind tons of drugs, violence and numerous profanities. Maybe don't watch it with your kids. 

2. Dexter - Andy and I are currently watching this together. I was afraid to start watching it because I am a sissy and I obviously spend a lot of time home alone. And awake making bottles in a dark kitchen in the middle of the night. It's not so scary, though! (Meh... I'm lying! I'm legitimately a little freaked out after watching some episodes. But it's so good!) I accidentally looked up something on my phone and ended up reading tons of spoilers before I could stop myself... Also, maybe don't watch this with your kids either. 

3. Psych - This one is a classic and we have been watching it for years! We're still not done working through the final season on Netflix which is the final season. Bummer. :-(

4. Grey's Anatomy - Whenever they release a new season of this show on Netflix, I somehow watch the whole thing in about a week. And then I have to wait a whole year for another season. It's been a long time waiting but the next season should be available for me to devour in September! Can't wait!

5. How I Met Your Mother - These episodes are only about 20 minutes long as opposed to the other shows that are about 45-55 minutes long. Perfect amount of time for watching a full episode while feeding the babies, but not long enough for me to leave on as background noise most of the time! This show has a great cast. I may just be a bit biased because I'm a big fan of Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel.

Honorable mentions go out to Family Guy, New Girl, Vampire Diaries, Lost, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, River Monsters, Glee, Parks and Rec, and Orange is the New Black. Wow. I watch a lot of TV.

Next up on my queue: The Walking Dead, Bones, Doctor Who and Burn Notice

Do you have any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - Loaded BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

I'm always trying to sneak vegetables into Andy. It's been working out in my favor for years now - some of the time he doesn't even realize it. Sometimes he has a feeling that he's eating vegetables but he doesn't know how I got them in there. Sometimes he can just plain see them. Since he's the pickier eater (I don't like to use that word in this household... the boys WILL NOT be picky eaters. I refuse!) I like to start with a dish that I know he likes. Then I figure out a way to make it healthier - add vegetables, lower the sodium, sneak in some whole grains or Greek yogurt. The usual.

Today I started out with a BBQ Chicken Quesadilla. Can't complain there, right? Well, in getting out the ingredients to make said quesadillas, I came across some fresh foods in the fridge that really needed to be used. I hate it when fresh stuff goes to waste. In essence, this recipe came about as a way to clean out my fridge. But the results were quite delicious. The original quesadilla would have been fine, but I made a gourmet, flavor punched up version that Andy couldn't even complain about. How many vegetables can I fit into one quesadilla? Challenge accepted.

Loaded BBQ Chicken Quesadillas (makes 2)


  • 2 twelve inch flour tortillas
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 of a white onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup of zucchini, shredded or diced into small pieces
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, finely diced
  • Handful (very precise!) of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (could also use pepper jack, Mexican blend, anything really!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine


1. Saute chicken, onion and zucchini for about 7 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and onions have started to brown. Add the tomato, cilantro and jalepeno. Cook until hot.

So many veggies!

2. Divide mixture equally between two tortillas. Add desired amount of BBQ sauce on top. Evenly divide the cheese. Fold in half.

3. Add small amount of butter or margarine to a griddle. Cook quesadilla until golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. Set aside on a plate to cool for a moment before cutting (cheese, sauce and goodness need to set or the fillings will all spill out) Cut in half and enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Life with Twins - 10 Things I Wish My Friends Knew

This post was featured on No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog
by Clint Edwards! Check him out here!

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I knew having one baby would change everything in my life. Then we ended up with two babies and I knew things would be even more complicated than I initially thought. Would I have time to keep up with friends? Would I be able to go back to work? Would I even have time to sleep? ( Oh my God, I NEED sleep to function!) Who knows! Turns out, it's apparently not that difficult to juggle everything. But then again, I could just have some very understanding friends.

Here's how having babies changed my life and relationships and the things I desperately want to tell my friends to try to make up for how bad of a friend I've been these past few months - maybe longer since I was a lazy bumpkin toward the end of my pregnancy!

1. I'm physically exhausted. You probably couldn't have guessed, but babies are exhausting. Sometimes they sleep through the night. Sometimes they are up literally all night. And then they have the nerve to require nearly constant care and supervision throughout the day.

2. I'm emotionally exhausted. Sure, blame it on the hormones that supposedly should be getting back to normal by this time. I blame it on the clingy, needy little babies I care for 24/7 along with the husband that I need to keep up a relationship with. A full day of sleep, a month of alone time with my Kindle and some peace and quiet may be enough to re-charge me.

3. My brain is mush. I don't know what day it is. Sometimes I don't even know what month it is. I do, however, know all words to all of the songs on the babies' toys and when they last pooped down to the minute. Having an intellectual conversation with me probably won't happen.

4. I have no idea what's going on in the world. I'm out of tune with reality and couldn't tell you what's going on within my own family let alone current events, celebrity gossip, or anything that has not happened within my house for the life of me. I try really hard to keep up in a conversation that does not relate to babies but I usually fail. Talk to me about anything baby related though and we're good.

6 month baby bump!
5. I really really really do want to spend time with you. We could go out to dinner, play Mario Kart at your house, go shopping, do whatever it is that we used to do... BUT it's It's much easier to stay home for the large majority of the time where I have all of the required baby-caring-for items within reach. Changing a diaper on top of a hot-tub cover on a porch in the middle of the blazing sun is not preferable, but I can try to make it work (and I have!). Trying to get baby to nap in a weird environment without LOTS of crying beforehand? Nope. Nope nope nope.

6. My babies cry. They cry a lot sometimes. And loudly. Taking babies out in public just isn't at the top of my to-do list. At home, I can let them cry and it doesn't bother a single person - you know, since I'm immune to their fussing at this point. You, however, are not and the crying will get to you! It will draw a lot of dirty looks and maybe some rude comments, too.

7. Spur-of-the-moment does not exist. My life revolves around nap times and feeding. I'm pretty much on a 3-hour timed cycle that repeats over and over again. I can plan around this cycle if we have set plans and times but I refuse to risk nap time and fussy babies for last minute plans.

8. I miss you! Being home alone with babies is exhausting, fun, relaxing, irritating, hilarious and lonely. Even though I have 2 little gentlemen with me at all times, I'm still lonely and I miss you and your adult interaction and conversations!

8 month baby bump!
9. I want to be with my babies. I don't want someone to baby sit them so we can go out or so I can have time away from them. They're cool little dudes and I want them with me. Sure, it's cumbersome and tiring now but it will get better and they will probably even get cooler and more hilarious than they already are. 

10. I abso-freaking-lutely cannot wait for you to have your own kids. I want to hug them and squeeze them and call them my squishy. I want to buy them things and buy you things and give you unsolicited advice. I want to cook for you and clean your house while your super preggy and uncomfortable or after you have your probably-adorable bundle of joy. I really hope you have twins - it's not a curse! Best of all, I want to go through all the fun parts of having babies again but without the experience of pregnancy. Oh, and I get to send baby home with you while I get to sleep at night!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Top 10 Baby Items from a Mom of Twins

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My 3 Awesome Baby Shower Gifts blog post has so far been my most successful post! It's actually one of my favorites as well, so you all have good taste, clearly. Since it was so popular, I decided to take it to the next level - our top 10 favorite baby items. Keep in mind, this is coming from a mom of twins but a lot of this can be applicable to your singleton as well, with just a few minor adjustments - primarily buying just one of something or a single instead of a double. Duh. 

So what are our 10 most favoritest baby items thus far? Let's count back from number 10 to our favorite (SPOILER ALERT: it's the Wubbanubs, still!)

10. Bright Starts Lots of Links: These things are good for pretty much anything in the boys' room. We clip toys to their car seats, swings, jungle tunnel, other toys... they're pretty much always in use. They were the first "toys" the boys were able to play with as well since they are easy for little hands to grasp. Now they just grab them and stuff them in their mouths at every.possible.chance.

9. Gerber Rice/Oatmeal Cereal: If you read my sleep training twins and The Great Controversy posts, you already know why we love this stuff. It's inexpensive. It comes in great flavors. It's helped our babies' tummies stay full throughout the night. Do I really need anymore reasons to love this stuff?

8. Cosco Flat Fold High Chair: These were only $26.00 each! The table top high chairs that I initially wanted were double the price and would not grow with the babies as well so that idea got the boot as soon as I found these. They come in lots of different prints but we purchased two of the Chevron Lime prints and they are super cute and neutral enough to match our kitchen... which also happens to be primarily browns and greens!

The fabric pattern doesn't quite line up... but it doesn't bother me!

7. Munchkin Diaper Change Organizer: I wasn't really sure that I wanted one of these but I figured I would put in on our registry anyway. Now I'm super glad that I did as we use it, oh, all the time. I keep diapers, wipes, lotions, nail clippers, burp clothes, gripe water, binkies, you name it... it's in this organizer and it hangs right next to our changing table. Super convenient. Super inexpensive. This would be a great baby shower gift with some diapers, wipes or bath time items!

6. Graco Classic Connect 30 Infant Car Seat: You have to have a car seat so why not have a cute one? And one that's so easy to put in the car because it just snaps into a base. Considering I have to pack the kids up quite a bit, and there's 2 of them, this car seat saves me so much time that I would spend buckling and strapping car seats in. Now I just put them on the base and the click in place and we go. Easy enough for me!

In real life, it's covered with warning labels and stickers that you can't remove :-(

5. Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect Stroller: This stroller is great in conjunction with the car seats we have - the car seats (once again) just snap into the stroller! So until the babies can sit up without falling to the side - we're still not at that point - it can be used with their car seats. After that it can be used as a regular stroller! They have this in a singleton version too, for you people with the strange phenomena of having just one baby. Weird. 

Boys' first trip to the boardwalk - possibly an Oliver pooping face, too!

4. Baby Einstein 2-in-1 Safari Adventure Gym and Tunnel: If Emmett and Oliver were writing this list, this item would be number one. Actually, there might not be any other items on the list. Except for their Wubbanubs. They love their binks. And their bottles. But this item would still be number one.The plastic rings (see above) clip on to both ends of this and you can hang practically any toy from it for them to kick and bat at. They've been "playing" in this tunnel since about 6 weeks but now they really go crazy for it.

3. Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing: This is not your average baby swing. It's like a super deluxe baby swing on crack. You can just forget all other swings. We purchased one off of a Facebook yard sale group for only $30 and my cousin gave us a hand-me-down one for free. This swing goes in 2 directions, has a mirror-type thing that baby can see his reflection in and a moving mobile. It runs on D batteries but they last a good, long time. The neutral color fits in perfectly with our living room, too!

2. Summer Infant SwaddleMe Swaddlers: Why are these so special? I'm glad you asked! First, they come in adorable colors and patterns but that is only the most superficial reason I loveeee them. They Velcro closed in all the right places so babies really have to work to wiggle out of them. These swaddlers saved me so much time! Even if you are a professional baby swaddler, you still can't beat these. And multiply that by two babies, several times a night and that is a HUGE chunk of time saved. 

They have adorable prints and patterns!

1. Wubbanub: the hug-able pacifier! This is BY FAR my favorite baby item EVER. There is nothing more annoying than giving your baby a pacifier, going downstairs and before your feet even make it to the bottom stair, hearing your baby crying because his bink fell out. Again. And again. And again. Times two, if you have twins-ies! At first, we had to tuck the pacifier into their blankets or arms to help them keep a hold of it, but now at 13 weeks they can hug the stuffed animal themselves. And they come in so. many. animals. We have the blue dinosaur and a patterned monkey. Oh and did I mention??? It is nearly impossible to lose them because they are attached to the stuffed animal!

Oliver could be a Wubbanub model!

Unsure where to start your baby registry list? I would just copy everything from this list straight on to your registry. Seriously. It'll save you time and headaches because there is so much stuff out there to choose from!

You can also set up a baby registry through - so many choices! AND you can put items from other sites on it so everything is all in one place. It's great for putting those precious Etsy finds onto a baby registry - that one thing from Babies R Us - and a lot more choices than just registering through Target alone. Give it a try! (You can also set up birthday/holiday wishlists for yourself and/or baby, too!)

Honorable mentions: Evenflo Exersaucer - Life in the Amazon Triple Fun Saucer, Graco Pack'N Play, Baby Bullet Baby Food Maker, The Baby and Toddler Cookbook, and the Boppy Nursing Pillow

What items would make your top 10?