Fathers Day 2014

Well- plans in our house are CONSTANTLY changing and this weekends plans were no different….with trying to cram sooo much into one weekend we ended up bumping Scotts fathers day celebrations to Monday. Which means I can safely announce our gifts with no fear of ruining the surprise! We got Daddy a shaker bottle for his whey shakes or whatever they are ;0 and some special chocolate!
but here was our main gift!!
We decorated the inside of a toolbox for daddy! He needed a tool box since we’ve been using a plastic bathroom garbage can, so, it was the perfect daddy gift. I found a basic one at Menards with a flat inner bottom I had each of the boys do a hand print for the “heart” shape and used letter stencils puff painted on for the words. I think well be adding a gloss layer to seal it all in otherwise tools on top will scrape it off the plastic.

what you’ll need: 20140610-113842-41922644.jpg
taping the stencils down made it a lot easier to trace πŸ™‚

annnd we had to do a grandpa gift too(but shhh since he wont see it till Sunday)

we call this splatter art…..ie don’t leave your twin two year olds alone with a large bottle of black puff paint. like. ever. pretty cool looking though, so, we designed around their modern-art-explosion.
parenting hack* tape the back of your kiddos hand for that perfect print

Skip Hop walk along review

It’s no secret that lugging even the most compact double stroller around is a pain in the arse. So, I’ve been looking for alternatives. In my searching I came to the conclusion that I could either get a single stroller and a boogie board. Stupid considering our city select can be used as a single or double and also has an accessory called a glider board. But the problem with the glider boards is that they are right where your feet need to be when pushing and walking. Other option? get leashes, which we have also tried. Again, pointless as you have to hold two leashes and that uses one or both hands, kinda inconvenient if you are trying to accomplish…well…anything. I finally found these gems! Skip Hops new walk along attachable handles on the side means we could still use the stroller as a single and not be concerned about kicking them as we walk. Great in theory right?! But, did they pass the test??
We did get two since you can loop them onto just about anything-shopping cart included-a nice way to break from a stroller all together. Looping them isn’t difficult, but could be easier(the plastic is rather stiff so it takes a little maneuvering)
20140409-200316.jpg the guys had no issues being directed to “hold on” and even enjoyed being able to get out and walk.
Now the downsides-and I don’t see these as avoidable at all- turning is a joke. I ended up making the beeping sound like a forklift backing up. They got a kick out of it, but at least I had their attention so I wouldn’t run em over. And having them on either side of the stroller makes it ΓΌber wide a con for a host of other reasons…..20140409-200852.jpg
Overall would I recommend them? Yes!
I only foresee us using these more and more as they outgrow the stroller……see walk along

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 πŸ™‚

Potty training Twins

sorry I didn’t want to add many images to this one πŸ˜‰ hope you understand

Since this seems to be, by far, what I answer the most questions on I thought I would do an update on where we are with potty proofing! Last month we decided that it was unrealistic in this home to have two Boon potty benches out that were ready to move toward the next step. The actual potty. Now, we knew that the boys were a bit afraid of the large seat, but the transition would save space ANNNND make using the regular potty during outings easier. After looking at a few potty toppers we picked the Kiddyloo . Many of the others were ridiculously flimsy and would fall apart as soon as weight was put on it, not to mention they have no guard for boys. This one, while still plastic, is much more secure, gives the boys a comfortable spot, has handles, and get this, it works for boys!!! those of you with lil guys will genuinely appreciate that πŸ˜‰ They can also take it on and off the potty themselves! To introduce it we simply used what every parent nicely calls a reward…..realistically known as a bribe. We told them if they could use the regular potty they would get a gummy treat (aka a vitamin gummy, hey, don’t judge, what they don’t know won’t kill them). Worked like a charm because B climbed right up went #2 got off and held his hand out for his treat. He ate his treat and promptly climbed back up went #1 and held out his hand for another treat……STINKER!!! But I’ll take it. We went on giving treats for about 1 week religiously and after sporadically for a really good job.
We have also transitioned 100% to big boy undies! minus night time of course. The guys find great joy in taking undies on and off…and on and off and on and off etc. but it makes for good practice time I guess. They are very good at getting to the potty and getting their undies off. We still haven’t added in shoes/jeans to this mix, but I’m in no rush for that. To get them back to wearing undies we just added more and more time. Originally, they wore bottoms for a half hour or so and we worked our way up to 6hrs (the average stretch of time the are awake for).
Our plan with all of this is that by summer not only will they be able to participate in a few different activities for “potty trained only” children and so that when I go out with them this summer I am not tethered to the house because they refuse the regular potty. As a compromise with the boys I found a folding portable potty seat with handles aka my purse potty. A little gross….and depressing….to be putting in a 400$ coach bag, but again I’m not tied to my house an hour away from the museum, zoo, park…
We have yet to try anything with overnights and naps time and at this point I am all but positive we give them liquid too close to sleep times. The times I have not given liquid they have not pottied, but they also get up WAY earlier then because they are hungry. Sorry, but I value my sleep time too much, so I’ll be letting this one go. At least until summer. Because using cloth and potty training went sooooo well together for us we decided to take them off of disposables completely now in the hope that it will encourage the transition though. Yes, were 100% still using our Gdiapers but I’ll do an entry on that another day!

Missing Madison

I’m starting to realize how much I miss madison….no, not Milwaukee or Whitewater :0 just Madison. The college life and energy in that city was just…great…amazing…FUN. And not just the parties, I always felt safe even when I lived in that suuuuper shitty flat on Wilson with no locks on the doors, and in chalet gardens with the shootings and drug dealers. Hell, I feel pretty safe no matter where I go though with a jack jack πŸ˜‰ anyone who dares enter with him carrying on like he does deserves whatever they can take! ANYHOW
Seeing a few things though on “Sconnie life” made me see that it’s time to find new hobbies. I loved my Madison experience, but I don’t always want to be looking back. I have decided to get a few books and read up on where I want to go from here!
1) travel- of course this is a huge one for me and always has been. I’ve never been shy about saying I don’t want to stay in the Midwest. But beyond that, Scott and I both really want to show the boys life outside the US. So, I have begun research on the top places we have on our list; Iceland, Scotland, Argentina, and among many others Bora Bora.
2) hiking-I’ve never been a huge fan, but since my back issues have nixed going back to running heavily, I’m thinking I’d like to try it. The area we’re in is beautiful and at least I’d have scenic routes, and many pictures to capture.amazing

Hopefully I can find a few more of these

abandon farm HWY 14
2) woodworking-ok, to be fair,this one is more Scott’s than mine, however, I would like to do this with him. Hopefully, we will be taking classes at the Rebuilders Exchange next month, and building a desk for the office!!
3) homeschooling- yes, the more Scott and I look at not only the things that happen in schools(um have you seen the case of the two 5 year olds having sex in the school bathroom?!) but also the things that don’t happen ie the quality of the education. I do feel like we can do better, at least until high school:) because at that point daddy may have to take over the math lessons;) I actually had a high school math teacher tell me he would pass me just so that he didn’t have to see me again next year:0….brutally honest.
5) ok, this is more of a collection of the odds and ends -you know- doing a garage sale, finishing(more accurately starting and finishing) the boys bed project etc.

in other words I need to write my TO DO list and start crossing things off!!

Spring is just around the corner, time to get motivated!