Sunday, June 30, 2013

Play Kitchen

One of the great things about summer is the amount of yard sales. It seems like you can't drive too far on a nice weekend without seeing at least a house or two with all manner of stuff strewn across their front lawns.

Now that we're getting closer to d-date for the boys, I haven't been doing much out & about. However, a few weeks ago, I happened to be running a few errands while my mom watched Keira. As any other person would, I eyed up a yard sale as I drove by and after noticing a bunch of kid items, turned around.

There wasn't much for my interest (a couple walkers, strollers & the like), they did have this kitchen set for $10. The nice woman even put it in the van for me. Once home, the main piece got a good scrubbing in the tub and was ready for play the next morning.

She loves it. It has a sink with turnable handles and 3 different interchangeable options for the other side. She can choose between caring for her "babies" with the bassinet, cooking with the stove top or even learning with the school desk. Whichever tops are not in use are covers for the bins that fit on the shelf underneath and contain her play dishes or whatever. (They were being washed so they aren't pictured)


The set also came with windows. I had put one set in for her, but she decided she liked the double set of windows better.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shapes & Colors

Keira really likes the apps on the iPad where she deals with colors & shapes. So I decided to make her something she could actually handle. Off I went to Michael's and got 6 - 1 1/2" blocks and I borrowed the paints from my mom. I waited for a day when Keira was having a sleepover at my parent's house so that I could paint and let dry without worrying about tiny fingers.

First step was to draw the shapes on each of the blocks. I used to be much better at freehand drawing. Meh, Keira couldn't care less.

Then I painted each color a different shape on each block. This step was actually trickier than I initially though it would be since I didn't want to accidentally paint the same shape the same color on more than one block.

I did two to three coats depending on the color (some went on better than others) and then sealed them.

She loves to play with her blocks. Although, she does keep finding more uses for them than I had intended. While watching Doug work in the yard, she decided to stack them and a few other toys.

A few days ago, I printed her some shape pages to see if she'd attempt to trace them. She didn't, but she did match the blocks to the shapes on her own. It did give me another idea and now I've plans to print some sheets with some words so she can use her alphabet blocks the same way. Eventually.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baby Gear Reviews: Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair

Even though Keira is almost 2 and a half, we still use our high chair at least a few times a day. Since we have an eat-in kitchen, we wanted something that wouldn't take up a ton of room. The fact that it can also convert to a booster seat was also a bonus. Of course, we've somehow accumulated several booster seats and we are yet to use any in our house. Go figure.

We went with the Fisher Price Space Saver. I LOVE this seat. We started using it right from the beginning. It tilts far enough back for a newborn to be cradled in, though we never used the tray until she was sitting upright.

Once she was sitting upright & eating solids, this chair was awesome. I love that I can manage getting the tray on & off with one hand (easy, large release on the front) or two (side handles). The seat cover comes off easily for washing.

 Even though she's 2 years old, we still use the seat as-is. The back piece does come off to be used as a booster, but we've never really bothered. She not only eats most of her meals there, but we use it for learning and play time as well. We ask her to get in her chair and she'll climb right up. It makes containment easy when I'd rather not have a mess everywhere. My only issue is that the tray doesn't fit into our dishwasher so I have to handwash it all the time. It doesn't really fit into the sink either, but it's not a reason I'd not have it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lantern Mobiles DIY

Keira has a monkey mobile from Babies R'Us hanging above her bed. Every now & again, we take turns blowing at it to watch the monkeys swing around, which results in lots of laughs and fun. I couldn't take that from her. So I decided to make the boys their own mobiles.

I know, I'm crazy. It's ok.

Since I wasn't really sure of colors or anything at the time, I decided to make one for our bathroom and go from there. Just in case I hated it, I wouldn't have wasted my time & precious energy making 2.

Step one: punch out a bunch of fish & circles. I actually ended up punching out about twice what I needed.

Step two: thread fish & circles onto embroidery floss. I made loops to stop them from sliding down the floss after it was hung.

At first, I wasn't sure how I wanted to string them, but I saw a few lantern mobiles on Pinterest and since I had a few hanging around, why not, right?

Step three: This was a bit tricky. I threaded the floss and tied it onto the wire that runs throughout the lantern, however, ever I opened the lantern and hung it, I didn't like the placement and ended up moving them.

Step four: Hang, check length & trim any extra. Since this was going in out bathroom, I left the length. The ones I made for the boys are shorter.

And here it is in our bathroom.

I'll be posting the ones in the boys' room along with all the other stuff I've been doing in there when a few more are finished. Assuming Keira doesn't "help" anymore. I need to rehang a picture she proved she could reach.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are you coming with me?

Never fails, does it?

You find something you like, get all settled in and comfy and BAM! They change it.

As of July 1st, if you use Google Reader, you are out of luck. Google has decided to do away with it. So I (and tons of others) had to find something else. For now I've hopped onto the Bloglovin bangwagon. There are others out there, like Feedly, but right now, I just don't have it in me to compare. I'm sure you can understand why.

If you're using Reader, you can follow this link: http://www.bloglovin.com/import/reader and transfer your entire list of blogs that you follow.

If you want to just keep following me, just click below. :)


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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Family Picture

Back in April, my aunt & uncle graciously hosted our little family at their home for a week & a half. We all had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again in another couple years with the rest of our crew.

In today's mail, I was delighted to find a disc with the photos my aunt took while we were there. There were lots of good ones, but I've already posted a bunch here and here.

We don't have very many of the 3 of us since I'm usually the one taking the pictures, so I'm really loving this one. In fact, I'm pretty sure I need to get this one printed for our wall. Thanks so much again, MaTante & Uncle!

2 Year Portraits

Yeah, I know, they're a couple months late. I've been a little occupied. You know, incubating and all that. I had plans to attempt this on a few occasions and either the weather, my energy levels or just plain old toddler attitude got the better of us. But I got her in a dress, outside and we did what we could. We even tried a few different things. Some went better than others, but all-in-all, I'm happy with the results.






 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Product Review: Baby Jogger City Select Stroller

After a lot of looking when I was pregnant with Keira, Doug & I choose the Baby Jogger City Select for a stroller. We still love every bit of it. I know some users have complained about it being bulky, but I don't really find it much worse than the travel system stroller we keep as a spare. Let's face it, anything more than an umbrella stroller is going to be hefty. I'm barely 5'2" and far from muscular. Now that we've got twins coming, I'm even more elated that we decided on this stroller.


This stroller is everything we wanted it to be with 1 or 2 exceptions. It glides like a dream, is sturdy as the dickens, and is fantastically adjustable. From switching from the car seat adaptor to the regular seat, facing me or out, it's easy as pie. Adding the second seat? A snap of the fingers. It's design allows the rider in back to see over the front seat easily so no side-leaning necessary. Both seats are capable of facing forward or backward, though the car seat adapter is backward facing only (I can't imagine you'd want your infant facing away from you, anyway).



Huge basket? You betcha. I've seriously done trips to Target & the grocery and the basket will hold 6-8 bags depending what's in them. And it's easily gotten into. If I've got it packed, I can even reach in the sides or front to get stuff. When used as a single, the seat can recline all the way down. We haven't tried reclining as a double so I have no opinion on that yet. She looks quite comfy though, doesn't she?



Doug prefers the handle on the higher setting while I prefer the lower (his legs are a bit longer than mine so he ends up kicking the bottom rung). And here is the exception to it's perfection: no cupholder or console. I will say, it did roll and manuever easily enough with one hand that I managed holding my coffee mug while we walked. (That's a full sized backpack in there, by the way.)



But I'm lazy. I want to put my cup into compartment and just walk. So I bought a Brica cup & snack holder. This thing rocks. I bought another. So now Keira has one and so do I. Which leads me to the other minus. No snack tray for baby. They offer one as an accessory but I hadn't read many good reviews so I was leery of it. (Though, I'm now considering it. We'll see.) A couple weeks ago, I caved and bought a Babies R'Us console. I love it. I can put my coffee/water, phone, keys & sunglasses all right within my reach. Now I can use the 2 Brica's for the boys instead.

We've used it a couple times now with both seats and while I have seen others complain about difficult maneuvering as a double, I didn't have any problems. Neither has my mom or my cousin. Or my grandmother.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

30 Week Update

I can't believe these boys have been baking for 30 weeks now.

Or that I still have another (hopefully) 8 or so weeks to go.

I want them to stay inside for as long as they can but I am definitely 'hitting the wall'. I read somewhere that for every day they stay inside, it's 2 days less that they spend in the NICU. Now that could be completely wrong, but it helps to remind me on those "I'm so done" days, just what the goal is. Which is as fully developed as they can be and staying in is their best chance for that.

The boys are now 3 pounds, 1 ounce & 3 pounds, 2 ounces and both measuring right on track for growth. So far, all my tests have come back good. Starting next week, I'll be having weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests to keep an eye on things and to make sure that I'm not going into pre-term labor. There haven't been any complications, but better safe than sorry.

30 week bump photo. To date, I've gained 21 pounds. My OB would prefer more, but since the boys are growing as they should be, she isn't going to be concerned. Considering that I'm still sick most mornings and have horrible heartburn just about every night, I'd say I'm doing pretty good.



For those of you interested in seeing what kind of action these buggers are up to, here's a clip from a couple weeks ago. My sister helped me get this. I've learned that it's actually not easy to get the right angle to catch the movements on video.