Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The convertible car seat debacle

When we were pregnant with the girls, we decided that instead of getting the "standard" Graco 22 Snugride car seats (or other equivalent models) that we would pay the extra $60 per car seat to get the Graco Snugride 35's (which got way better side impact safety ratings than the 22's) and we could use them for a longer period of time (until the girls were 35 lbs or 32" tall).

We have about gotten our use out of these lovely car seats. The girls aren't even close to the weight limits for their current car seats, but at their 1 year check up the girls were up to 30", so it's just a matter of time before we will have to make the transition to new seats. As such, we are now in the market for our next step in car seats. The convertible car seat.
(Right?? That is the next step, isn't it? I'm only confused because some of these convertible car seats say they could have been used from birth on! Really?! We could have used a convertible the whole time? How?! These things are massive! Any insight group?)

I've been trying to do some online research and find out what convertible car seat is the best, but what I keep running into is a statement that "the best car seat for you is the one that fits your car, your budget, and you will use correctly every time." Um, okay. But that doesn't answer my question!!! What is the top rated car seat? And do consumers love it?

We are looking at getting these car seats...Britax Marathon 70 in Cowmooflauge (or we could do the pink, but I think the cowmooflauge is precious!!) looks like they got very high ratings (top rated on Amazon), but they are also quite expensive. Si doesn't think we should spend this much on convertible car seats. I think you can't put a number on saftey. It's not like they are $1000 a piece or something...but they are about $275 (normally - but Aha! - currently on sale for $220 on Amazon Prime! Eat it Si!). Not that that still isn't expensive because it is, but, if that's the best car seat, and they are going to be in it for a while, well, it's worth the money to me. Right?

I know I'm not the first of my bloggy friends to make the switch to convertible car seats, so help me out here guys! Should I save my money and get a cheaper car seats? They have what I suspect to be the low end of the Britax car seats at Target for $150...should we just get those? Or a different brand all together? There are a couple others that look good to me...then again, I guess I don't really understand what I am looking for!

Diono RadianDXT Price: $309 (Si will never go for this one - lol - but it's PURPLE! HA!) It raves that this could be the ONLY car seat you could ever need...birth up to 100 lbs! That's just nuts.

Graco Nautilus Price: $149. See, but again, this is so confusing to me - this seat can only be used forward facing?! I thought the new guidelines were to keep kiddos rear facing as long as possible, or until they are 2 years old or meet the height or weight guidance provided for rear facing on the particular car seat. So...this isn't an option for us at this point? Confusing!

Safety First Complete Air 65LX - Price $227. Not a huge fan of the color, but I like how it is nice and "looks" safe...HA....can you judge a seat based on appearance? LOL!

So, what do/did you use? Do you like it, and why or why not? Was it uber expensive?

Thanks as always ladies! You guys rock! I've got to keep these two peanuts safe!

Miss Bri, sporting her Christmas dress and actually SMILING for the photograher (the one picture from the entire shoot she was smiling in - lol!). She is very particular with her smiles...reserved for the ones she loves =)

And Miss Livvy, hamming it up for the camera, as usual! I love her beautiful little smile! It lights up a room!

Until next time -

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snowsuits? What's really necessary?

I scooped up second-hand cute little reversible winter coats at our fall MoM's sale for $10 each. A stellar deal! Or so I thought at the time. Maybe now I'm over thinking it.

It's been getting progressively colder here in Omaha, but we have yet to get any measurable snow. The girls have been going stir crazy inside so any time it's been 45 degrees or warmer outside I leave them in their nice toasty fleece PJ's, add on another hooded fleece jacket, and take them outside to play in the grass for 10-15 minutes. I've found it's really a necessity. They are SO much happier when they come back inside and they nap more soundly and for longer. Totally worth it for 10-15 minutes of chilly outdoor time.

Over the last couple of weeks I started thinking about exactly what my plan would be once it would snow. Would the girls still get to go out and play? What all would we need to make sure they would be warm enough, even for only 10-15 minutes?

This is what I came up with:
1. Winter Coat
2. Snow Pants
3. Stocking Hat
4. Mittens/Gloves
5. Boots

So far I had the winter coats, and one pair of mittens that I had bought at clearance time last year. That meant I still had A TON left on my list to pick up for the girls before they would be "snow ready". One ongoing problem that we have encountered with the girlies is that they have a major problem with shoes. And they don't discriminate. It can be any type of shoes. Tennis shoes, dress shoes, sandals, it doesn't matter. They get placed on their feet and the girls scream and scream and scream and make it their mission to get said shoes off. They refuse to stand up or walk in their shoes and will sit in the middle of the floor and just scream for an hour until they get them off (I kid you not - I have left them on assuming it would pass and they would get over it...nope). I have no idea if this is normal, but it doesn't seem normal to me. Anyway...

I started thinking about my list of necessities to be snow ready, and it occurred to me that it may actually be more expensive to buy each of these items individually than it would be to buy them as a set. I found snow pants at Target for $15 each, and I found boots at Target for $12.99 each. Hats would run around $10 each, and mittens/gloves probably about $5 each more. That's $42 more, per girl, shopping at Target! And that's with me already having the coats! Kids really are expensive!

I looked around at Baby Gap, Carters, and online at JCP and came to the conclusion that I would buy each girl a one-piece snowsuit from Baby Gap during their Black Friday Sale (40% off + and additional 20% off when ordering online - sweet!). They were relatively pricey to start with but the discounts definitely helped a ton! Plus, they came with an attached hat/hood, mittens that snap into the snowsuit, AND little bootie covers that also snap into the snowsuit (so the girls won't absolutely have to wear boots with it!). I think I covered all of my bases with these suits and hopefully won't have to purchase any additional items.

Now my question for the group is, was the snowsuit purchase really necessary? I mean, could we have gotten by with what we had already? Could I have put them in multiple layers of pants and socks and such to let them play outside for 10 minutes? Was this a good purchase or a bad one?

I had the girls outside today while Si was trying to perfect our Christmas lights in the daylight and I put them in their winter coats. They were absolutely HILARIOUS! It was like they had lost all of their balancing skills! And once they teetered over, they couldn't get back up! HA! Here's a picture of the girls trying to maneuver around the front yard....


And, Gramz and Grandpa were down this weekend (YAY) so we snapped a quick picture of Gramz with both girls. They love her SOOOOO much and it's so precious! Their eyes just light up every time they see her or hear her voice...such a special special bond =).

Hope you all had a wonderful extended weekend/Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends! Did you stay as busy as I did?!

Until next time

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Music for toddlers?

We have a couple of lullaby and praise CD's, but the girls really like more of the upbeat/pop type of music. When I was little I listened to Raffi, so I tracked Raffi down on Itunes and I still remember the words to most of the songs I used to listen to! Can you believe that?

We've tried the toddler tunes on the music channels on TV, but they aren't big fans of that. They love their Disney Princess Christmas music book, and Bri dances to the music that some of her toys play, but otherwise I don't have any idea what they may like. I don't really want to invest in a bunch of CD's that they may or may not like, know what I mean?

So I guess my question is, what music did your toddlers listen to and love? How many CD's did you have to go through before you figured that out? LOL.

And a baby #3 status update. I'm good. I haven't had nearly the morning sickness with this baby as I did with the girls. Definite bonus! I also haven't really moved into maternity clothes yet. Maternity jeans, yes, but otherwise, I can still wear my normal work clothes and tops. By 8 weeks with the girls I was 100% in maternity clothes. This time it's looking like I might make it to 12 weeks or beyond! And here's to hoping that I can actually stay in one size of maternity clothes with this pregnancy (instead of the whole range S-L that I did with the girls)! I'm definitely pumped to buy and wear the cutesy maternity clothes this round =).

I finally told my boss today that we are pregnant. He was excited for us. He still doesn't have anything firm for me to do after June, but at least now he understands my urgency in trying to find something. He also knows that I intend to work after the new baby comes (as long as Si doesn't do catastrophe adjusting), so he knows if he finds me something that I will be there to do the job. It makes me feel better knowing that he knows he can look out for me now more...its not just me flailing trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do once my contract is up. I feel like it takes a little bit of the weight off my shoulders.

Otherwise, not a lot going on here. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our place, so cleaning is on my agenda for tomorrow. I just figured it would be easier to bring people here than have to cart the girls to someone else's house that isn't child proof and have to follow them around for hours on end making sure they don't get into stuff. We'll see!

So are you guys all ready for Thanksgiving? Are you hosting?

Until next time -

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm going to have to rename my blog!


(We were surprised too!)

We are currently about 10 weeks pregnant (with ONE little peanut). Sorry I didn't fill you all in earlier, but honestly I figured we would miscarry (jaded I know, but such is the life of an infertile I think). The baby was measuring behind for several weeks, I was bleeding, etc...the bleeding has since stopped and the baby has caught up (a whole week!), so we are finally (kind of) breathing a sigh of relief.

Anyway, all seems to be going well at this point, so I figured it was relatively safe to clue you all in!

So...any ideas on new blog names? =).

Have a great night ladies!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The bubbles, the bubbles!

I'm ecstatic...the girls finally like bubbles! They have spent the last 6 months of their little lives being terrified of them, but tonight my friends, we crossed a major bridge in our relationship with these strange floating iridescent phenomena.

Ryan and Kim got us the coolest purple octopus singing bubble blowing bath toy in the world for our first birthday. Like super cool. So cool that mommy kind of wants to play with it too...I love bubbles!

For the last month I have been trying to reintroduce the girls to bubbles at night in the tub. Every time they scream bloody murder and try to vacate the bathtub just as quickly as they possibly can.

Until tonight...

We got our bubble blowing bath on tonight, and we LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! Can you see the joy on Bri's face, and the amazement on Livvy's face?! Awesome!

So, were your kiddos ever afraid of bubbles? Is it some normal phase that little ones go through? Or are my girlies just bubble scaredy cats? LOL =)

Until next time,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In memory of Meghan...

I don't know how many of my followers are also followers of Meghan's blog "Wishing & Hoping & Thinking & Praying & Planning & Dreaming", but I suspect at least a couple of you are. Meghan had her triplets on 10-15-2010, two days after I had the girls. I loved reading her blog and exchanging comments and ideas since our kiddos were all so adorable (hehe) and so close together in age. I hadn't heard from Meghan in a while, and when checking my stats I noted that I was still getting hits on my blog from her blogroll, so I thought I'd bebop over and check on her.

What I found was beyond disheartening.

Meghan passed away on October 26, 2011 after a 5 year bout with cancer. I'd known that she had had several surgeries since having the babies, but I thought she was doing better, I thought she had been on the mend for a while now. I figured she was busy with the kiddos and that was the reason for the lack of posting. There was nothing posted on her blog after her last post when the triplets were 9 months old, so I was reading through the comments on her last post, fully intending to leave her a comment about hoping all was well and couldn't wait to see the one year pics and update when something about the comments just didn't seem right. I found a link to her Caring Bridge site and went backwards and read through what had happened.

On September 29th after a trip to the ER the doctors found that Meghan had three tumors in her brain. They set her up for surgery the next day. She did okay with the surgery, was in ICU for a couple of days, then on a normal hospital floor for a little while, then in rehab for a bit. She was still in pain and still had a ways to go in terms of her recovery after her brain surgery, but she was home in time for the triplets first birthday party. I'm sure she was thrilled to be home for such a monumental occasion!

Sadly, shortly there after, on October 26, 2011 Meghan had an unexpected brain hemmorrage and passed away.

I am so so sad for this family. I did not know Meghan personally, but over the last year I have gotten to know her and her babies through our blogs and am so saddened by her passing. Her babies will grow up without a mommy. Her husband will raise their children without his wife. Meghan was 33 years old. So disheartening.

The funeral was November 2nd in Broomfield, CO. A memorial has been set up for the triplets education if anyone would like to donate. The information can be found here (this is a link to Meghan's Caring Bridge site - you can also read her Caring Bridge journal updates here).

Things like this always make you remember just how short and uncertain life really is.

Live deeply...laugh often. You never know when your last day will be. Cherish every second. Sorry for such a heavy post, but I thought it was important that everyone who knew Meghan know about her passing...


Leaves are the coolest!

It's been pretty chilly here in Omaha over the last two weeks so the girls haven't been able to go outside and play hardly at all. To say they are going stir crazy in the house all day long is a definite understatement. I'm not looking forward to the winter at all!

Tuesday a TON of the leaves fell from our big maple tree out front making a perfect leafy wonderland for the girls. Once it warmed up on Thursday I made a little pile for the girlies to play in. This was their first exposure to leaves.

It's official, they think the are pretty amazing!

The only picture I took of them where they are both looking at the camera and of 45 pictures...of course it was the very first picture I took!

Livvy getting ready to tackle Bri....note the massive smirk on her was all downhill from there. Two toddlers wresting in the fall leaves! HA!

Do your kiddos love the leaves as much as mine do? Have you had decent weather this fall to actually be able to enjoy the leaves?

Have a great weekend ladies!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just lovin the crazy chaos

I'm way behind in blog updates. I know this. But I've been really busy with these two crazy beautiful mobile (walking!) ladies! They have turned into little people; these are not babies anymore ladies and gentlemen!!

Bri has been walking for almost a month now, but Livvy just started really walking last Tuesday. She is so proud of herself. It's so cute! She's still a bit wobbly (more of toddling sometimes than walking) but now that we have two walking (Bri nearly running) toddlers, I have found that there is even less time in the day to get things done. Even factoring in daylight savings time...and that's sad, after all we did GAIN an hour!

So, updates since I last posted:

1) I am done breastfeeding and pumping. It's been 4 days. It's been hard, yet kind of nice at the same time. I miss the closeness of breastfeeding, and knowing that they were getting the best possible nutrition from me, and now they aren't. On the bright side, not having to cart my pump to work with me every day has been stellar, I'm not going to lie. And I'm saving a ton of time by not pumping multiple times a day. Still not sure where this time has gone then, and how I've still had zero time to blog...hmmm...

2) The girls had their 1 year well check on October 21st. Yeah, like over 2 weeks ago. I know I'm a slacker. But, here are their stats... definitely some healthy girls!

Miss Olivia - AKA Baby A
Weight - 24 lbs 0 oz (86th percentile)
Height - 29.75 inches (62nd percentile)
Clothes - mostly 12 months, some 18 month, but most of the 18 month are too long in the legs or arms
Diapers - size 4

Miss Brianna - AKA Baby B
Weight - 25 lbs 4 oz (93rd percentile)
Height - 30.0 inches (62nd percentile)
Clothes - about 50/50 between 12 month and 18 month
Diapers - size 4

3) Livvy has kicked the paci habit, except at bedtime and naptime. She always had that thing in her mouth, so we took it away. She did fine! And she is talking SO much more! We took it away about 10 days ago, and has since learned how to say "baby" (we met Baby Jackson - the girls new cousin last weekend) and "ba-la" (Bailey, one of our pugs). She is talking SO much more without her paci! More than her sister now, and that, my friends, is a feat in itself! So glad we took it away when we did =)

4) Halloween was an epic fail in terms of costumes for the girls. We got them the cutest little costumes (Livvy was a pink elephant and Bri was a lamb), but they REFUSED to leave the headpeices on, and Bri figured out how to get her outfit off about 5 mintues after we put it on. We had grand plans to parade the girls around the neighborhood in their cute little costumes, but since we couldn't keep the costumes on them, that idea went totally out the window. We are going to try and have their pictures taken in their Halloween costumes when we get their pictures taken this weekend. Wish us luck...I'm not holding my breath!

5) The sippy cup transition has begun! The girls get their 50/50 juice/water only in sippy cups now, not in bottles, and they have responded pretty well to it. They are ticked when you try to put milk in a sippy cup though, so that is going to be a work in progress for a while I think. But hey, any progress is good.

6) Bathtime! Bathtime has morphed into both girls at the same time in the tub. Too bad they have no intention of sitting in the bathtub, and think it is crazy fun to play with the faucet and shower head more than their bath toys. Sweet.

7) Feeding time - The girls now do a lot of their own feeding. Bri loves it! She really isn't a fan of getting fed much anymore. Stick everything down on her tray and let her go to town! Livvy on the other hand is fine with getting some food on her plate, but she really prefers to be fed. Funny the differences between the girls!
Here's a pic of the girls after we let them go to town and feed themselves spaghetti. They LOVED it! They did go almost directly into the bath after this though (lol)...

I think that's all I have for updates right now. I promise I have been reading all of your blogs, sometimes commenting, sometimes not (I can't comment at work), but I am at the very least reading all about your trials and tribulations =).Keep up the good work ladies!

Happy Tuesday!