Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3 New Parent Myths - Debunked.

You've heard these 3 new parent myths everywhere. You've seen them on TV. Your relatives have said "Good luck functioning on ___ hours of sleep!" You've mentally prepared for this mythical "midnight diaper run" ever since you found out you were pregnant. But I'm here to tell you these are legitimately just myths. I find it strange that nearly everyone told me these 3 things while I was pregnant and shortly after having the boys. But yet not a single one has ever rung true in this household. I could just be lucky. But 3/3 makes it seem more as though been-there-done-that parents are just trying to scare the newbies. But why??? Is this similar to fraternity initiation hype? I'm just straight up confused.

Midnight diaper runs. 

Mythical scenario: You have 2 diaper changing "stations" and a diaper bag in your house, minimum. SOMEHOW in the CRAZINESS of being a new parent, you run out of diapers. In every spot in the house. And it's the middle of the night. Supposedly this is when Dad runs to the store in his pajamas to pick up the only pack of diapers left on the shelf - and it's the wrong size. Insert disaster of some sort here. 

One of our "Diapy Stations" throughout our house
More likely scenario: You realize you are down to your last BOX of diapers. You add it to your shopping list. You text your husband to get some on the way home from work. It's Sunday and you feel like going to Target anyway, even though that box of diapers will last you through the week. Who doesn't feel like getting out of the house to go to Target? [Hi, I'm Nikkie and I have an addiction to shopping at Target. I've been clean for... 3 days? If we don't count window shopping online. Then we're at about... 27 minutes.]

Most likely scenario: You have a stash or closet full of boxes of diapers (guilty) and when your babies are close to outgrowing one size, you still have 2 more boxes of that size to scramble to get through. It'll be a tight fit for a week or 2 until you can break open that new box of size 3's, but you'll do it! What the fudgenuggets is a midnight diaper run???

You will never have time to shower. Ever. EVER. 

Mythical scenario: It's the one you've seen on TV over and over again. New mom, hair a mess, spit up on clothing, maybe some poop, too? Mom breaks down crying when family member drops by because they are SO disgusting and haven't showered for a week. You know how that one goes.

More likely scenario: The longest you may go without showering is 2-3 days and that is while you are in labor/shortly after labor when you don't (or can't physically) get up due to pain. I skipped one shower while in the hospital because I couldn't stand up without support. That's it. I have successfully showered every day since and I am very proud of it. Your baby naps, right? Your baby can play by himself and/or entertain himself in a Pack N Play or Exersaucer for 5 minutes, right? You have no excuse!
"Baby jail" is a baby-proofed, secure place for these hooligans

Most likely scenario: You'll take a shower every morning - but it'll be a quickie-5-minutes-or-less shower during the week and a "luxurious" 10 minute shower complete with shaving your legs on the weekends when hubby is home to keep track of the boys. You may still forget to brush your teeth though. And make-up most likely won't happen.

Say good-bye to sleep.

Mythical scenario: You are a zombie. You have not slept since baby was born 9 months ago. The second baby closes his eyes and you tip-toe out of the nursery and crash on your bed, baby is awake again. I repeat:

More likely scenario: The first few months will be rough. You'll sleep in small increments. 1 1/2 - 3 hour spurts. But you get to go to bed when baby goes to bed (ideal bed time is 7 p.m.!) If you do stay up past that time, use it to do some research on sleep coaching/training/learning and put it to use once your baby is old enough, about 4 months old.

All babies sleep eventually!
Most likely scenario: It'll be hit or miss after the first few months. Baby may sleep through the night occasionally. Sometimes. Maybe never - but once or twice a night feedings don't last forever. I cannot stress healthy sleep habits for babies enough! It has helped me keep my sanity (and sleep) and can do the same for yours. You don't need to pat baby's butt for 35 minutes to get him to sleep each time (and he gets up 5-10 times a night, of course) he wakes up. That's just not healthy for anyone.

What have your family members and friends scared you with while you were pregnant? Have you actually been one of those people who did make a midnight diaper run? Or do you prefer to be the person who hasn't showered in a week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top 5 (classic) Books for Baby

You know what all of those dreamy-looking nursery photos that you see on Pinterest all have in common? Books. A bookshelf full of beautiful, classic, board books for baby. Who wouldn't want to have a full bookshelf in their nursery so baby can grow up and be super smart??? Books are timeless and fun, full of memories for us and memories-to-be for baby. They say that the more books you have in your house, the smarter your baby will be. It could have something to do with socioeconomic status, but sure, let's say it's the books anyway!

Like this post? Pin it! (& follow Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie on Facebook!)

Want to see how we made these bookshelves? Read this!

What are some books that you remember from your childhood? I came up with 5 books that I put on the boys' baby registry/Christmas lists so that they can have them for their own mini library. Books make great baby shower gifts (along with something simple, like diapers!) since you can write a "card" on the inside cover and call it a day! Several people did that for our shower and whenever I open up a book, I tell the boys who it was from.

Rainbow Fish: We got the box set of 3 board books as a gift. They matched our nursery decor (sharks, gray/white/blues) perfectly on our bookshelves but more importantly I remembered the Rainbow Fish story for my childhood. I'm pretty sure Andy never had any of these books growing up because he claims he has never heard of them and he has no emotional attachment to them. He was more of an electronics guy, though. The 3-set of Rainbow Fish books are great for more than just entertainment and their sentimental value - the 3 pack lets me read one out loud while the boys each put one in their mouths! How convenient!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Another blast from the past. I can still remember the tune? rhyme? iambic pentameter? whatever style it was written in playing in my head, but without the words. Andy refuses to read this book because he thinks it's stupid but I think it is fun and the boys LOVE looking at all the bright colors, shapes, letters...

Corduroy: I have this one the boys' Christmas lists. It's a classic book, in my opinion and I can't wait to read it to them some day. I'll probably also take them to Build-A-Bear one day and let them make their own "Corduroys." What a fun trip that will be!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and friends!): We received this set of 3 board books as another gift. These stories are fun and classic. They also have a caterpillar toy to go with the story and I plan on having a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed first birthday (or maybe second birthday... the 1 year mark is already creeping up super fast!) party for them.

Oh.em.gee! They're already more than 7 months old! Insertmeltdownhere!

Oh, The Places You'll Go!: I don't specifically remember this book from my childhood. I should have my mother verify if I did or did not have it I suppose, but it's a classic and it's Dr. Seuss. You can't have a nursery bookshelf without some good ol' Dr. Seuss. If I ever get the honor of hosting a baby shower in the future, I'm going to purchase this book and use it as the guest book, having each guest write a note to baby throughout it. That's not my idea, of course, you can thank Pinterest.

What books did you grow up with and now have on baby's book shelf?

Monday, October 20, 2014

The First Time We Ran Errands

The boys were almost 7 months old before I took them with me to run errands for the first time. I don't know why it took me so long to be comfortable taking them out in public. Initially, I was concerned about people touching them. Then I grew a spine and decided I would be okay with telling someone off if they touched my kids. Then I was concerned about getting them to the store and not being able to get the stroller/car seat combo hooked up. I practiced at home. It's not too difficult. Finally, I was afraid of them screaming and crying, drawing much unwanted attention to me while in a store. This one still scares me, but we survived our first trip without so much as a peep from the peanut gallery.

I was sitting at home one day, feeling dreadfully unproductive. I hate being unproductive. I made a list of things I needed to do the following weekend and then I realized I don't HAVE to wait until the weekend. Just pack the kids up, and go! Easier said than done, of course. It took me a full 25 minutes to do diaper changes, dressing in warmer clothing, buckling into car seats, getting everyone and the stroller into the car. That was exhausting.

Luckily I had decided to only go 2 quick places, just as a trial run. I only (insert sarcasm here) had 7 people ask if they were twins, 3 people ask if they were both boys and 1 little old lady say "bless your heart, dear." Not too bad. We'll call this trip a success. I also managed to get everything I needed to and get home just in time for nap time.

So the moral of the story here? If you're feeling cooped up and want to get out... do it! Don't be scared of public places with a baby. You may even get special treatment - like people opening doors for you. Lucky you, lucky you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Family Traditions 101: Brother's Weekend

I love traditions. I love traditional traditions and I love that I get to start new traditions with my little gentlemen! Like Shark Week. Shark Week is a big-freaking-celebrated deal in this household. And the 4-gift Christmas. That one we haven't technically started yet, since they haven't been around for a Christmas, but it's in the works and that's what counts. But here's one I bet you haven't heard of...

Yep, they dressed him stupidly.
It started as "Cousins Weekend." BUT, yes, but. There aren't any cousins in the family yet... just my boys. So currently this tradition exists as "Brother's Weekend." What is Brother's Weekend? I'm glad you asked. It's one Saturday a month where my parents have offered to take our children off of our hands for the whole day. Morning to evening

I love the idea of Brother's Weekend. Firstly, because it gives my Dad and sisters a chance to see the boys and spend some quality time with them. Secondly, Andy and I get to relax. And by relax, I actually mean DO ALL THE THINGS. Seriously though, I always make a to-do list that is entirely too long for 2 people to accomplish in a day.  We always remember to work in a dinner out together or possibly some Mario Kart, you know, for old times' sake.

I thrive on productivity (just ask my co-workers!) so sitting around, relaxing, napping, etc all day while my boys are gone is just not appealing to me. That's why we do a full, long grocery shopping trip, clean the whole house, organize, make baby food, run errands... you name it, we get it done on this day.

Just making some pasta salad with Grandma Teenie

This tradition wasn't my idea - and I definitely don't expect this of my parents! But month after month they continue to offer (they claim that my children are "angels" for them!) so it has become a tradition. I can't wait until my sisters have kids and it can be a true Cousin's Weekend. The boys will have they probably won't even want to come home! Me and all my helicopter-y mom-ness will require them to come home. I don't know how to function when I'm home alone anymore.

What traditions have you already started with your baby? Does your family do something similar to this but you have a different name for it?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Evenflo Triple Fun Jungle Exersaucer

Evenflo Triple Fun Jungle Exersaucer. My babies love this toy and it's one of the few toys we have actually purchased new. It was about $100 on Amazon but it's completely worth it. I don't say that a lot about $100 toys. In fact, I don't think I've ever said that before. It's a good quality product and (my favorite reason to love it) GROWS with your child. The boys started using it before they were old enough for an Exersaucer by using the play mat with toys. Then they graduated to the Exersaucer. And a few months (weeks?) from now when they are standing and cruising, it converts to an activity table.

As a first time mom, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to get one of these. I had read this article by an occupational therapist about the "dangers" (and benefits, but mostly dangers...) of letting your children use an Exersaucer. I didn't want my children to have poor posture, trouble standing, walking or balancing and I definitely didn't want them to not be interactive with their environment. That's some scary stuff when talking about baby development!

Real busy, mom!
However, as with many things, I have had to adapt my view of how I would raise my children. Mostly because of the fact that there are 2 of them, not 1. But also because of my mommy instincts. Mommy instincts told me to go with the Exersaucer and I'm so glad that I did. The boys LOVE standing and I obviously can't hold up 2 babies all the time, all day long. This allows them to stand and play. The saucers are close together so they can see and interact with each other without ending up in a baby-pile of legs and arms and screams because someone just got hit in the eye. And now that they are mobile, I can walk away for a minute without fear of losing (literally losing... as in, can't find my baby because he got under the couch!) a baby.

I didn't throw all caution to the wind, though. I did take to heart a few of the key points from the article about best Exersaucer-use practices. The boys don't have a time limit for use throughout the day, but I make sure that it is never the first and only place I allow them to play. They still get lots of floor time, which is important to helping them learn to roll, crawl and explore their environment. The toys are detachable, so I take them off for the babies to play with them on the floor. I also rotate the toys between saucers so they do not get bored. It's really hard to bore a baby, by the way, so you don't need to change the toys daily.

Sitting and playing with the Exersaucer attachments!
For those of you on the fence about getting an Exersaucer --- I would give it a try. If it's not your thing, fine. But it has been a life-saver when I need to put the babies down and get something done. They find it entertaining and stimulating and they have had no developmental troubles (not that I expected any due to Exersaucer use!)

Thrifty tip: Yard sales! Consignment stores! E-bay! It seems almost every baby has had one of these things and once they get past a certain age, people are jumping at the chance to get these things out of their homes... meaning you can get some great deals on them!

Friday, October 10, 2014

"No relationship is better than another..."

This article about love and relationships comes to us from guest writer Kelli. She recently married the love of her life and is practically a superhuman person - she does it all! Enjoy her 6 tips to living in a happy, healthy relationship with your best friend!

So nearly 6 months ago I walked down the aisle and said “I Do”. My husband and I had always talked about getting married and starting a family since we’ve been together. We’ve always been committed to one another and take our relationship very seriously. Marriage was the next step for us, to announce to our family and friends that we’re going to do life together and to make that promise in front of them and God. So even though we’re newly married and have so many things to learn there are so many things I want to share about our relationship and things I’ve learned along the way.

1. No relationship is better than another. Sure you see the wife that gets flowers from her husband at work, or the couple that has everything in common, but guess what? That doesn’t make their relationship any better than yours. Would I love to have my husband to pick out a chick flick for us to watch, sing show tunes with me, and then sit at the table and do crafts? Well, of course but we ‘re not that couple. We have our own incredibly beautiful way of connecting and spending time together. Focus on what you have not what someone else does.

2. Compromise—it’s not a dirty word. I remember when my life revolved around me and then suddenly, I had to ask my husband what he thought about paint, the couch, the floor, and essentially everything. I don’t know about you, but I love getting my own way...maybe it’s because I was the only child until I was 10 or maybe I’m just a brat. Regardless, my relationship has taught me to compromise because you HAVE to. Otherwise one person will always be bitter or resent the other for making all the decisions in their relationship. And sure, we both still get our way every now and then and if it’s an important issue, we sit down and really talk it out—why it makes us uncomfortable, why we’re having a hard time agreeing, and really figure out the root of the problem.

3. Stop nagging—this is something that I need to work on more. I have this lovely habit of nagging all the time—you know what I’m talking about: “these dishes aren’t going to wash themselves”, “did you seriously put your dirty tissue there?” or “Why would you move the chair and not put it back?” I hate that I nag because it is so counterproductive. If my husband came home after a long day and started going on about my hair on the sink or my jewelry spread out everywhere you better believe that I would stay right where I was and give him dirty looks. It’s not productive and it makes people feel bad.

4. Ask for help—so you’re part of a couple but that doesn’t mean you can read each other’s minds. Sometimes the floors need vacuumed, the laundry is backed up, the sink is full and you just really need some help, so ask for it. Now remember asking is NOT nagging, they’re different and usually get a different response. Asking isn’t “I really wish you’d clean up after yourself!” That’s nagging and it’s not productive. Instead just saying, “Hey babe, can you take out the trash and help me with some housework today?” The response is much better because he feels like you NEED him and hey, you’re part of a team!

5. Complaining to others—so you might not nag to your partner but something happened that really made you mad, so what do you do? You pick up the phone or go to work and tell anyone and everyone that has ears who will listen about it. STOP IT! You aren’t doing yourself any favors. So now your mom, sister, aunt, co-worker, and whoever else are mad at him now too. And guess what? They won’t forget it. So even though you might forgive your partner and patch things up, they are keeping a running tally of your partner and all the things that he should be doing better. Now when you hit a real rough spot in your relationship, they’re going to be the first person to help you air out all this dirty laundry rather than help you through your problems. So instead, find one or two people that your really trust- people that are not only invested in you but people who are invested in your relationship and want to HELP. So at my wedding, along with many others, there comes a time in the ceremony where the officiant asks everyone in the crowd if they will do everything that they can to support your marriage and keep it together. Which they respond “we will”. I have 2 dear friends that love me and my husband so when I’m angry or need to talk through a problem they are there to help me through it, to support my relationship, and to help me find a way to resolve it.

6. Be proud! Alright, the secret it out. I love my husband. And although I spent my entire life thinking I would marry a very different type of man (like the romantic comedy type), I got the perfect man for me. As much as I think how blessed I am to have found my soulmate on a daily basis, I don’t say it enough. I think our society has really gotten into the practice of telling people when they do something bad, but your relationship should focus on all the GOOD things. So build your man up and tell him how wonderful he is and point out those great attributes that you made you fall in love with him.

Monday, October 6, 2014

5 Non-toy Toys Baby Wants to Play With

The boys recently started grabbing for things, some would even call it lunging. They grab whatever we're holding or eating and feel entitled to taking whatever the other baby is holding or playing with. It's going to be a long few toddler-hood years ahead of us if this behavior continues. I have already had to break up several "fights" in which Emmett is voraciously swinging a toy and smacks Oliver in the head... or to get him back, Oliver lunges at Emmett's toy, takes it and stuffs it in his mouth. Cue breakdown from Emmett. You get the picture. They're barely mobile and I'm already spending a good portion of my day playing referee to these babies. 

No matter how many toys, stuffed animals, or brightly colored objects you place in front of your 6 month old, I guarantee you that they are wanting something just slightly out of their reach. And something that just slightly belongs to you. I've listed 5 of the boys' favorite non-toy toys that they LOVE to play with.

1. Cell phones. These things are fascinating. They light up. They make noise. They can be grasped easily by two little hands. Andy even downloaded a kid's app on his phone that the boys can use - think lots of bright colors - that securely blocks them from calling China, setting a new password on his phone, or purchasing things from Amazon. If we're not willing to part with our phones, we either have to make sure the boys (Oliver, specifically) do not see them... or we have to give them the case on the phone - which is just as good sometimes!

2. Hair. The boys are entranced by my long, wavy hair. They're equally fascinated by Andy's facial hair, so I'm not sure it's much of a compliment. Wear your hair up around a 6 month old or be prepared to feel pain. You have been fairly warned, so do not yell at me when my baby pulls a chunk of your long locks right out of your head.

3. Glasses. I'm at the point of considering getting contacts and it pains me, because I love wearing glasses. I clean my glasses 235,750 times a day, thanks to these babies. Approximately. I'm always living in constant fear that they will hit me in the face, shatter the lenses and rupture my eyeballs. No big deal...just some freaky Final Destination-esque accident and I'll be blind. Occasionally my glasses get swiped right off of my face and stuffed in a mouth. These kids are quick and efficient!

4. Anything you're eating. If they see you eating it, they want it. They will stare you down while you're eating in the most awkward way. They will reach, grab, smack, scream and cry until you give them something off of your plate. We're going to look into a nice plastic set of dishes to use until these kids are well into their teenage years because we've had a few incidents. And by incidents, I mean baby lunging at a taco salad. Or baby feeling entitled to spaghetti.

5. Cats. Our cats used to feel safe and secure in our household. Then we brought home two strangely smelling, loud, attention-hogging "cats" and they were confused. Only the balls-iest of the ballsy will go near the boys. Junior and Bubsy are good playmates for them and they tolerate the boys "petting" them, screaming at them and just generally being babies. Bailey stays far, far away. At all times. She also, coincidentally, has all of her fur intact.

Is there anything that's not technically a toy that your kids use at toys at this age? I feel like they only play with about half of their actual toys and then spend the rest of their time trying to get their hands on whatever I'm using!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders. Need 'em? Want 'em?  
Spoiler alert: You should get them!

The jury was not out on this one. I knew I was going to get the boys these awesome-looking mesh feeders, I just didn't know when they would be appropriate for them. Well, they're 6 months old, and it's now. (I do think that the boys will be able to use them for a long time, too, because I've heard you can make freezie pops with them when they are older babies.) The boys put EVERYTHING in their mouths and they LOVE adult food. Perfect timing for a mesh feeder!

So far we have put bananas, peaches, apples and pears in the feeders. Bananas (frozen) are BY FAR the most popular. They will sit in their high chairs for 20 minutes nom-ing on a bit of banana! It's the perfect activity for them for when I have a few quick chores to get done... think dishes, litter boxes, laundry, etc. that need to be done on a daily basis.

As you know from previous posts, I am doing a mixture of the French-style baby feeding (purees)  and the English-style baby feeding (baby led weaning) that has recently become popular among American moms. Oliver does great with a spoon and purees. Most of the time he doesn't even need his bib changed. Emmett, on the other hand, is a disaster. Absolute disaster. He loves to grab at the spoon, stick his hands in his mouth, fling puree everywhere... you get the idea. He really needs a bath after each feeding (but doesn't get one... ain't nobody got time for that!) For their dinner-time feeding, he gets striped to a diap-y and then goes straight to the tub. He does much better with a BLW style feeding - loves it in fact! - because he is in control of what goes in his mouth.

From this (nerve wracking) experience with "adult" food.... this (not as sticky) apple-eating experience!

The only downside I have seen to this product is that they are gross to clean. Like mushy, browned, drool-covered banana slime gross. But once you get any chunks of banana out, you're good. Throw it in the dishwasher or let them soak for a bit.

What types of food have you put in a mesh feeder (or given to your baby whole as part of BLW?) I'm thinking baked sweet potato slices and cooked carrots could be fun!

Be sure to follow Oh.em.gee it's Nikkie on Facebook and Pinterest so you never miss a product review!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday - Breakfast Pizza

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This recipe goes along with my meal planning week of breakfast for dinner recipes. It was a hit in our household - Andy has requested it multiple times since then! This breakfast pizza is super easy to make and is filling and (somewhat) nutritious. And, of course, I had to go and throw my own little curve ball at this recipe - sausage gravy as the "sauce." I do not regret that decision at all!

I used to have these little pre-made breakfast pizza things that you would heat up in the toaster oven when I was in school. The calories and fat in those things - my God! After I read the nutritional information, I stopped eating them - typical high school girl, what else would you expect? This recipe is probably a bit healthier for you because: 1. It's homemade. 2. It uses turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. 3. SO MUCH LESS SODIUM. As you know, we're big on cutting back on sodium in this household.

Breakfast Pizza (serves 4)


  • Sausage Gravy - about a cup... follow this recipe but use non-fat milk and reduced fat meat. Serve it with biscuits earlier in the week and save the leftovers for this recipe (or freeze leftovers!)
  • 1 tube of refrigerated pizza dough
  • 12 ounces turkey bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar


1. Fully cook and crumble turkey bacon. Set aside. Scramble 4 eggs, adding salt and pepper if you usually do. We do not. Microwave leftover sausage gravy until warm.

This would be delicious baked alone... no need for the extras!

2. Roll out pizza dough. Spread sausage gravy over dough. Evenly coat with bacon, scrambled eggs and top with cheeses. Bake in a 350 degree oven for the length of time noted on the pizza dough container. Seriously it's that easy.

I did mention that this serves 4... people with unusually large appetites, that is!