Getting the twins texting with Toymail

Yep, you read that right! But before you get all weirded out my two year olds using technology, it’s not what you think, Honest!!

Buck arrived this week and let’s just say the littles haven’t put him down by choice. This sweet little gadget plays the audio messages you record and send from your mobile device! You do need one for each child as you can’t have two kiddos personalized onto one toy from what we can tell. But, were ok with that since we were planning on getting one for each anyhow. Hopefully, Bushwick will be available to order soon. In the little time I’ve spent playing around with the thing it seems pretty straightforward. You download the app to your mobile device(both droid and iOS friendly). Then set up one main account from here you can invite or be friend requested-letting you keep track of who has contact with your little through Toymail. Each persons mobile devices need a separate account though, meaning even if they live in the same house on the same wifi they need a different Toymail account. -this tripped us up a bit- once we got a few messages under our belt we passed it around the house.

Sorry, I’m a dog trainer so everything is an opportunity to socialize and train😉

The guys LOVE it and the only complaint we have is that it plays one message at a time AND you have to reply to it before you will hear the next message. This company is still really new and I’m gathering from their semi recent kickstarter campaign that these are the first available toys. That being said I’m super excited to see how this company grows and what features they add in the future! My vote: a bit of memory and ability to toggle through different message “folders”. And a rechargeable permanent battery with a charger cord, I’m thinking similar to a phone.IMG_3008.PNG

toddler potty reviews

Admittedly, we have experience with relatively few potties considering how many are on the market, however, I can tell you what has worked AMAZINGLY well for us! We have used the Frog, Boon potty bench, Kiddyloo and primo topper with handles. While all have their own merits the kiddyloo blew all of them out of the water…by far.
So, what exactly was it that prompted me to pay 40 for another potty seat?
Well, the frog was outgrown in a matter of months, I truly believe that this potty was designed with a small…very, very small child in mind. We were using this potty from 10ish months old until about 18m and aside from it not being able to prevent “boy messes” they always looked awkwardly cramped onto the thing and lets just say the bowl of the potty wasn’t quite large enough. If you have a petite girl this might work for you otherwise, save your money. The Boon potty bench ended up being just as selective with appropriate user age/size. While it had a better set up for boys the thing was always popping apart and was only effective for about 6 short months(16-24m) meaning you will probably have outgrown this one well before you even look at it. The primo potty topper is great for outing’s and errands, but not an all the time thing. Especially for boys who can pee under the lip of the topper and right onto whoever is directly in front of them…most likely you. It is less secure but folds up nice an small for a purse and is the only one I’ve seen with handles. My advice save this one for emergencies.
Finally, the holy grail of kiddy potties, kiddyloo. It was obviously a last ditch effort for us after having spent about 150$ on potties. I was not at all interested in spending another 40, but I gave in and I’m soooo glad I did. Our goal was just to get them off of stand alone potties and onto a toilet, especially for leaving the house with them. A&B, however, were not interested in climbing onto a cold potty…far off the ground…with no handles. We looked at the only other potty topper on the market and it is $30-rediculously expensive for the *excuse me* piece of crap that it is-and no I am not exaggerating. It has no splash guard for boys and is horribly flimsy. For all of the reasons we turned away from that option we were drawn to the kiddyloo. I am only sad we didn’t find this potty option first as the guys can very easily get on and off of it by themselves, they can put it on the potty with little to no assistance, it fits a lil kid tush perfectly and they feel secure on it! I am confident in saying that even at 12m our guys would have been able to use this potty (with assistance). Now our long term goals are to teach them proper urinal usage but we will be waiting at least a year before we confuse them with that…for now we are just ecstatic to have such a perfect item!
what I learned though was to ask myself a few questions….
what size is your child and what size is the desired potty designed for?
what are the features and will you even use them, or is it just more pieces to clean/wash?
I hate to specify on this but…is the potty for a boy or girl? ie do you need a better splash guard?
what are your long term goals? toilet use, travel potty seat etc? it all varies by home
To read how all of these seats fit into our potty training methods see
potty training twins
big boy undies
nakie potty training
Ps I know some people get paid to do reviews or get free products to review. Not the case here, just honest opinions about the products we’ve used and how they work for us 🙂

Still lovin our G’s

Using cloth diapers has become a norm for us as many of you know. I really feel it was the best choice for us for many reasons. But, that being said cloth isn’t for everyone and is an investment. So…do your research first….Anyhow, cloth! I get a lot of questions about what to do with cloth diapers after potty training. And really it depends. Do you want to sell, trade, have more kids later, repurpose…etc.

we are always adding to our cover stache, some styles are too cute to turn down;) !!


We eventually want to sell, and since we have only Gdiapers, we can break up our large lot into small “trial batches” and resell on one of the many swap sites. For now, however, we will use them as our night time protection! That’s right the guys have been waking up dry on occasion, so we thought we’d try cloth again. We had to go back to disposables for nights at about 19m; we gave them drinks pretty close to bed time, so, they were heavy wetters. With transitioning to big boy undies for naps we thought we’d try cloth again at night. And they were actually dry! We do still line it with 2 cloth inserts. So our stache of 30 cloth liners and 15 covers is being cycled through fully again as our night time diapers. Since we don’t have laundry in the house I rinse dirties thoroughly and do laundry at the laundrymat once a week. In summer I could probably take em every other week, but hey, by then we may not need diapers at all.

Kids vs Dogs, are the two really the same

Ok slight disclaimer: this will be opinionated, probably abrasive and hopefully educational:)

I recently saw a Facebook post that really rubbed me wrong
…..lovely Facebook….the numerous entries I could do with what “rubs me wrong” from the time-suck of a site…..

Aaaanyhow Kids V. Dogs
To clarify what rubbed me wrong- a woman not only ripped on another who said she had a “furbaby.” But the following comments by a LOAD of SHM’s claiming that having kids and dogs are NOTHING alike, they should never ever be compared, and (this one was fun) makes her want to “punch people” was really what got me.
I wanted to, hopefully, guide some people here so they don’t end up like those women. So, from the mouth of a parent, a dog owner and a licensed trainer, there ARE similarities. Before you get your knickers in a wad and scroll to comment on why it’s not the same, finish reading.
A) no one is comparing your child to my dog or vice versus. No one said “oh hey, Timmy is scooting his butt on my rug you may want to take him to the vet.” Dog owners and parents know that your kid is not a dog nor can it be kenneled like one, it’s not what was said. So, get over yourself and realize no one actually called Timmy a dog.
B) yes people are REALLY, unbelievably, creepily attached to their dogs/kids at times. I will openly admit I can be one of them. But guess what… It’s because I LOVE them. I WANT to be around them, and they want to be around me. It’s called companionship for a reason people. So don’t judge because people have furbabies and not the “real” thing. Having a human baby doesn’t make you better, it makes you poorer, sleepier, crabbier, etc. and this isn’t even the point so don’t bring it up to me to defend your stance.
C) and this is the big one so pay attention. RESPONSIBILITY, CONSISTANCY, LOVE and PATIENCE (among many other things it takes to parent a dog OR child) Having a pet means you need to be consistent to train it. You think Timmy popped out of the womb fully potty trained?…Nooooo, and neither did lassie. It is a learned skill! And how do we teach our kids?….you guessed it, by being consistent. And I’d like to point out the techniques for positive reinforcement training in dogs are EXACTLY the same as positive reinforcement for kids. Now, you think leaving the bar at 12 to go home and relieve the nanny it’s noooothing like me leaving at 12 to let my dog out so it doesn’t pee or poop itself? Get off your high horse and see that it’s about a time commitment you made to a living, breathing creature. Patience, you might ask? Any dog owner can give you horror stories about the rescue dog they got who chewed through a wall in their house so he HAS to go to dog daycare… daily. Just as fast as a parent can tell you the baby gave himself a poop-stache at 530am after removing his diaper and flinging said poo. (yep, that happened in my house) Oh and LOVE?….that’s when your dog eats dinner but you didn’t because you paid so much in vet bills that month.

It’s obvious to most of us that dogs are in shelters because of owners who don’t feel that they are a member of the family for LIFE. They make excuses and send the dog away, discarded like an inconvenience, or shunned when a “real” baby comes along.
So before you get one keep this in mind, pets are a commitment, and YES you should think of it like having a child. And if you truly love your pet like family you will tell other people it IS like having a kid they DO require a lot and to think it through before they get a dog.
This simple realization that pets SHOULD be treated like your child, could save thousands.

Short answer YES they are similar!

As if you haven’t seen enough pictures of my FURBABIES here are a few more.







Gettin our s**t together


the boys have officially outgrown the boots 😦 yet another step farther from my lil 4lb bambinos

Well after taking a huge, long, break from blogging it seems the time is right to get it going again. While we prep ourselves as much as possible for Scott going back to work I get to, well…sit on my ass with my foot up. Less than appealing right now when it feels like, and truthfully we do, have sooooo much to do. Hopefully I can avoid anything serious and with rest it will heal, in the mean time I am BORED beyond BORED.
Lately all I have to do is look at them and I get tired….well that may be the pain meds, arguable… but truthfully they have been exhausting!
But the boys, as always, keep me busy enough.
20140123-193643.jpgevidence by daddy chasing the boys around the yard in snow…
I just regret not getting get a more clear image of this handsome little face !!! 20140123-202158.jpg

In an effort to occupy them more were working on language, fine tuning the wearing of pants and clothes in general, and problem solving skills! They are 21.5 months now and while the doctors think we should still be adjusting their age to know “milestones” that has never stopped us from trying things early….ahem potty training. Anyhow in the last 3 days we’ve gotten about 10 new words down! A huge step considering they really only talk when prompted and that’s usually just one word NOM-NOM. So I’m a happy momma. As for clothing….were finding it challenging just to get them NOT to strip…future career, I’d hope not. But it’s making training back onto pants difficult:/ no problems while were out and about, but being in the house….not so successful. As for problem solving, they are ROCKSTARS, we always give directions and they are great about figuring out what were asking them to do! Stay tuned for more updates since it looks like I’ll have lots of free time coming up:/

This is quite possibly one of my favorite daddy/son shots ❤


NICU Days….week one

The early NICU days were such a blurr for me, so I re-read their medical files and had NUMEROUS conversations with Scott…and this is what we remember as the early days;)
Saturday-day 1
both boys are stable but kept in plexi-incubators for temp regulation, B needed some Bili lights on and off Aedon didn’t and neither needed oxygen. I was finally able to see them about 12 hours after I delivered. And after my nurses rolled me down to the NICU I was chastised by the nurse for wanting to hold them while they were sleeping I settled into my wheelchair too stubborn to hear “no” and just stared at her. I got to hold my boys for the first time…Throwback ThursdayThrowback Thursday We were told that for now we should only be holding them when they were already awake for feedings, but since I would be at the hospital for at least 4 more days we were there for everything.
Sunday-day 2
we had our first few visitors only immediate family though. Later that night we were told Aedon had an “infection” and that he needed an immediate spinal tap to determine what it was and if it had gone to his spinal fluid. While the nurses pressed we asked for some time, we wanted them to do another culture before a spinal tap. At 11pm they did a spinal tap on Aedon, the mini man didn’t even make a sound about it. They did take another sample to culture.
Monday-day 3
A course of antibiotics is prescribed for both boys and that wins us a 10 day say in the NICU:( Even though both the blood culture and spinal tap came back clean. We actually didn’t know about the 2nd blood culture coming back infection free until we requested their medical records.
Tuesday-day 4
after moving the IV lines all around their little bodies their veins kept collapsing and Doctors finally recommended placing them in their head or doing surgery to place a more permanent line into a major vessel in their arms. I was also released from the hospital. Without my doctor addressing my surgery incision… against my better judgment.
Wednesday-day 5
the NICU had suites that we could stay in so we took the dogs to grandpa Michaels house, which is 20min from the hospital, and gave the cat lots of food. (a good thing because after being out for less than an hour my incision burst)
Thursday-day 6
the boys are finally allowed out of their cubes! they are on swaddled with about 15 layers but still having a little trouble regulating and go back into their plexi-jails but, just for the night.
Friday-day 7
at the end of their first week we are finally allowed to bathe them since they were doing so well regulating and eating(though most is still through the NG tube)BAHAHAH Scott and I will never forget, as soon as Aedon got wet his eyes got all big and his internal DANGER alarm must have gone off because he instantly pooped! By the end of week one they had dropped a little less than a pound each which the doctors said was normal but were eating and doing a lot better than expected, just typical preemie issues.Throwback Thursday

Milwaukee Zoo

Grandpa and Nana came to visit on Saturday and treated us to the zoo! We had the perfect afternoon seeing lots of animals and even getting fresh ice cream. The boys absolutely loved the water misters, I think daddy did too 😉Adventures

But we all had fun there was a nice breeze and lots of shady paths. Plus it really wasn’t that busy since we went at 3pm and they close at 5pm.
Adventures Adventures Adventures Adventures
And after the zoo we enjoyed a nice family cookout:)

Throwback Thursday #7 a twin delivery

My oh my, the last labor fiasco scared me straight! I was diligent about staying off my feet all day, I pretty much lived on our couch. Sad to say, but Scott would even put together a little bin of things I would need before he would leave for long periods. All of the calm seemed to pay off though, the boys held out until 34 weeks. A huge feat considering the bleak outlook I was given to start. I went in at about 7pm thinking that my water was "leaking" only to find out it was not, but I was in labor. Apparently I am a "Zen" momma now? Well not really the "contractions" they recorded I just couldn't feel, I would guess it had something to do with the pain meds for the torn ribs. This just so happened to be my OB's night shift and the MFM was easily reached. After 2 hours of promising I would stay mellow and that I really didn't feel the contractions she was still on the fence about letting me go home. They had "checked" me when I got there, I was at 3cm/fully effaced, she wanted to check me again at 11pm if I was still at 3cm and the boys growth scan she was about to have done was reassuring, then I could go home. The scan went really fast and Baby A was at 3lbs 14oz and Baby B was 4lbs exactly. Bad news, they had now fallen below the 5th%, I knew the MFM would push for a delivery tonight.
Throwback Thursday Throwback Thursday
So, with monitors strapped all over me, we waited and waited and waited. Moment of truth, 11pm! My OB said IF I hadn't progressed I could go, with that she "checked" again. 5cm and fully effaced…and off I went to be prepped for C-section. It was odd since I had a dream about the boys birthday being 4-6-12. As I was prepping we were told that it was going to be just a little longer, we sat for the longest half hour of my life (no exaggeration) and just as it turned midnight I was being wheeled into the OR to meet my mini men. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn't brought Scott in the room while they did my spinal, I HATE needles, but it ended up fine since I didn't even feel it…literally, I asked her if they had already done it as I was being directed to lay back. So, Scott came in and they started cutting. Like right away it was too soon and I could still feel it, so they paused, and tried again, and paused again. Third try was a charm and at 12:38am April 7th 2012 Aedon James was born at 4lbs 8oz and 17in. With the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck doctors quickly cut it and passed him off to his team of doctors. Baby B proved to be a fighter, he had flipped during the c-section and now, after trying to grab a foot to pull him down and out of my ribs, he slid loose and ducked for cover! What a little stinker, she had to put her whole forearm in to again grab a foot, this time he was out! Broderick John was born 3 minutes later at 12:41am 4lbs 8.5oz and 17.5in. The nurses joked because they were SO close in size, though B would be rounded to 4lbs 9oz. Scott got to cut B’s cord and he was then sent off to his team of doctors. As they wrapped up my procedure, Scott stayed a little while, but then went to see the boys as I was rolled back to the room. Still unable to see the babies, I was assured they were stable and doing wonderfully.

First pictures of our tiny bambinos

Throwback ThursdayThrowback Thursday

12 Things every twin parent should know…..

#1 you won’t go out of the house for days at a time. Taking two out at once is difficult; especially if you are a new mom, with newborn twins, battling just to stick to a feeding schedule.
#2 you will get MASS amounts of dumb questions….are they twins, which ones older, who’s the problem child, are they identical, are you going to have more? People please understand ITS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! I am being nice enough to answer politely so please keep questions to a minimum and let me finish my grocery shopping.
#3 strangers will be rude. They will stop you, they will touch your kids, they will remark on how huge you must have been or how suckey it must be. As if having twins makes you a circus side show? You will learn to let the comments roll off your back and walk away. (But never be afraid to stand up for yourself) ….how bout “if you touch my kid again ill punch you in the throat;)”
#4 you will laugh and you will cry. The highs and lows of twin parenting amazed me that’s for sure! I know they’ve shocked my normally stoic husband into a tizzy a time or two.
#5 you will not have time to “do it while watching the twins” they will take ALL of your attention. Leaving no time for the phone call or the shower you haven’t had in a week. Give in, get a sitter, ask for help, what ever you need. You time is still important.
#6 yes, you do get double the affection and its amazing
#7 just double EVERYTHING! Bills, toys, food, messes, diapers, etc. double it all….just to be safe. This being said in the long run twins are cheaper, some things we don’t have to buy two of(though it saves headaches)and we get twin discounts:)
#8 people who don’t have twins will NOT GET IT. You will laugh when people say 1 baby is “being difficult”… Lady, try 2 screaming like banshees at 3am! Or better yet those who think having 2 kids is “just like having twins”…..YEAH RIGHT![insert chuckle here]
#9 take everything with a grain of salt. For some reason it seems when you have twins people feel you desperately need their advice or input….you don’t. You are the parent do what you feel is best! Of course do your research but make a decision for you and your family.
#10 your life isn’t over. While having twins is a huge time suck, things will get back to your new normal:) it took us about a year before we started getting out again, doing dinner dates and movie nights. Slowly but surely you will feel comfortable leaving them with people you trust can handle their shenanigans and still be willing to take them again;)
#11 tag outs will be your BFF, stolen from a friends parenting techniques, it’s an easy way to take a break when you feel you’ve hit your max. Especially now that the boys are touching everything. I can say “that is a no item” 16x and still they touch it…very angering. So if I need to walk away I say “daddy, I need a tag out” he comes in and I can have a minute:)
#12 make time! Time is the hottest commodity in our house and it can be really difficult to set aside time to work out, read a book, go on a dinner date, but I promise you will never regret it. We take the boys with in our city select for a work out, read during bottles before bed, and scheduled monthly dates.

Green Momma

Eco Friendly ParentingAs promised our eco friendly laundry methods! Soap Nuts! plain and simple, I will NEVER go back…So the run down, they are literally nuts (4 per baggie) that you put in a little cloth, muslin to be precise, baggie and tie it shut. Throw it in the laundry, no detergent or softener needed. Each baggie can be used multiple times though it varies greatly by load size to my understanding. I’ll update you when our first baggie runs out, but, they are supposed to just turn to mush. Our Laundry…well…smelled like clean cotton/denim/poly blends etc. no lingering odors or flowery fresh scents, making it perfect for us! It was recommended for cloth diapering habit, so we tried a “stripping” last weekend, its really like new cloth! I was so pleased, I will never go back to regular soap. Plus, the nuts can be turned into liquid soap and is an ingredient in things like shampoo and bug repellant! SCORE:)
And also the promised new recipes! Coco-nana-balls/squares/bars a fun concoction that produced amazing little treats! I cant tell you exactly what I used because I attempted from another recipe and when I tried to triple it…well…that’s when it went a little awry. This was the end product though Eco Friendly Parenting
*4 large ripe bananas
*3 T. Melted Coconut oil
*6 T. Shredded coconut
*3 t. Cinnamon
*3 T. Coconut flour
*3 t. Vanilla extract
*6 T. Maple syrup
*3 T. Homemade Unsalted butter
*1 c of oats
*1 bag of Qi’a, I used apple cinnamon flavor
Flatten in a baking pan to desired thickness, ours were about 2in, and baked at 350 for just shy of 30min!
Keep in mind this is a very rough guess-timate of the ingredients and baking directions:)
Eco Friendly ParentingWe also made sweet potato fries. Scott and I really loved the frozen sweet potato fries with chipotle, but in an effort to “eat fresh” as we call it, I looked up alternatives. Well I gave up rather fast, I have little patience when I think I’m signing up for an easy project and it turns out to be a pain in my ass. So, I decided to wing it…..are you catching a pattern here?…I left the skin on but scrubbed the whole potato clean. I then sliced them the “long-way” about 1/2 inch thick. Added a sprinkling of salt and a cup of oil in the bottom of the pan, and sloshed the sweet potato slices around in it. Baked at 450F turning and mixing every 5/10min until desired crispiness!
In other news it seems there was a mix up with our mail, we still haven’t gotten any. It wouldn’t matter so much, but were waiting on paperwork for a “modeling” job for the boys. We’re hoping to be able to build them a college fund! Plus it helps with getting them out and experiencing different things:) but check out this “live action” from the other day. I only wish I had a better camera on me when I snapped this pic with my phone….or that they would hold the pose for me;) But hey, we may soon have cuter pictures than this!Daily Life