Bailey and Brooke…3 1/2 Years Old

I cannot believe that my girls are 3 & 1/2 years old. I was talking to Joel earlier this month and reminded him that they turn 4 this year. 4!!! Time is flying by way too fast!

Bailey
Bailey is such a special girl. She has really come out of her introverted shell and is becoming a little mischevious child. Her favorite things to play with are her dress up clothes, baby dolls, barbies, and her sandbox. There is not a day that doesn’t go by without her having some kind of dress up clothes on. She is certainly our little diva!
Since the birth of her brother, she has become a little mama. She loves to help change diapers, hold him, and even “help” with feeding. She loves to sit with him and talk to him. Bailey acts out being a mom with her baby dolls.
Currently she is:
Height – 37 3/4 inches
Weight – 35 lbs 6 oz
Bailey started speech in December to help her with her ‘s’, ‘f’, and a few other beginning sounds that she struggles with. Her speech therapist comes to the house twice a week to work with her for 30 minutes. In the few weeks that she has had speech therapy, we have seen her begin to notice her mistakes and will correct them with us reminding her one time. This is a big adjustment because she would shut down if we corrected her before or would repeat it whispering so that we couldn’t hear if she made a mistake. Bailey h
as been very self-conscious of her speech these past 6 months. We think she knew she said things differently but did not know how to fix it.
Brooke
Brooke is our wild child. She has a loud and energetic personality. She has never met a stranger and will talk to anyone. This is something we are working on because she gives too much information and does not need to talk to all strangers. Her favorite things to play with are her pet vet, puzzles, dress up clothes, and stuffed animals. She has a HUGE imagination and comes up with things that we have never thought of. Brooke is certainly our little fire ball.
Currently she is:
Height – 37 3/4 inches
Weight – 32 lbs 6 oz
Brooke still wears glasses. She is in her third pair of glasses, this time they are purple. Since the birth of her brother we have had more drama from her. She throws fits and cries a lot more. We are working with her to express her feelings through words and not the drama. It’s been hard but once she adjusts she should be back to her normal self.
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I have to say that these two girls amaze me each day. They are funny, outspoken, intelligent, beautiful little girls. They love reading and learning! Playing outside is such a fun time for them. It’s so much fun watching them grow and learn. I cannot believe they are over halfway through with their Pre-k 3 class and will be in Pre-K 4 in the fall. Before I know it, my tiny twin babies will be in Kindergarten. Time certainly needs to slow
down!

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Stitch Fix: February 2016

I received my first Stitch Fix package earlier this month. I was so excited to see what was picked out for me by my personal stylist. In my Stitch Fix February package I received a tote, a knit top, a wrap dress, denim jeans, and a knit cardigan. The color for this fix must have been navy because 3 out of the 5 pieces were navy. Navy is not a color that I normally pick but I have to admit I loved the color on me.

Loved It!

This month I chose 2 items to love and keep. I chose the:

Kassidy Faux Wrap Dress $68

Kassidy wrap dress

I loved how this dress looked on me! It was conservative, not too tight, and a great length right around the knee. If I had been out shopping, this dress would not have been picked up off the rack but I love it!

Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan $48

abrianna cardigan

This cardigan was also navy. I love cardigans! This one is so soft and a great length. I like them to cover my bottom. It is a light weight cardigan but it kept me warm on a chilly morning.

Did Not Love It, But Did Not Hate It

I returned 3 items from this box.

Careen V-neck Dolman Knit Top $48

careen top

This top was nice but it did not fit the way I wanted it to. This picture is not of me in the top. I wish that mine had fit me the way this girl’s did.

Livca Straight Leg Jean $78

livca straight leg jean

These jeans were my size but felt uncomfortable due to my postpartum belly. They might work once all the puffiness is gone but I did not want to purchase jeans that “might” fit in the future.

Jak Zipper Detail Tote $68

jak tote

I actually liked this tote a lot but chose not to purchase it right now. I just bought a new purse and wallet over the holidays and could not bring myself to buy another one so soon. So I chose to return it but I am making a mental note to request it for a later fix. Yes, you can request an item to be sent at a later time if you like it but chose not to buy it when they first ship it to you.

Note to Stylist

My next fix was scheduled mid-March but I have a wedding earlier that month and wanted an outfit for that. I sent a message to my stylist requesting a dress for the wedding. I also requested for my fix to come earlier in the month allowing me time to check out the outfit and return it if I didn’t like it. In this same note, I requested capris to wear this spring (the weather is warming already here).

Overall my first fix was a success! Check back next month to see how my second fix was.

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Sisters Before Twins

When I found out I was pregnant with twins, a million questions and thoughts flooded my mind. I asked people who had twins, people who were twins, and searched the internet for answers. One thing I could not find a definite yes or no answer to was whether or not to tell the girls from the beginning that they were twins.

Some of you may have read from previous posts that both of my in-laws are twins. My mother-in-law is an identical twin. She has told me on numerous occassions that while growing up she felt like she was “half of a whole person”. My mother-in-law and her twin sister were seen as a pair until they graduated high school and started individual lives. Knowing this made me wonder if my girls should be told they are twins from the beginning.

What Did We Decide?

My husband and I decided not tell them from the beginning. We chose to let them grow as individuals and slowly introduce the twin term. Over the past three years we chose to dress them differently with the rare occasion of matching. We do not buy matching toys and have their room even different for each child. (You can see their Big Girl Room) We try to do as much as possible to support their needs as individuals.

We did not introduce the term “twin” until after they were three. This wasn’t by choice but rather time to explain why people used that term around them. Now I want to clarify something. We have never hidden that they were twins from them. We did not want their whole life to be as a pair so we did not refer to them as twins. When talking about the other child, we used the word sister. They heard people ask if they were twins and we would answer yes. So the fact that they are twins was never hidden from them.

Why at 3? 76

My husband and I had not discussed when we would explain that they were twins to them. There was no plan to tell them. I guess we just figured we would tell them if it came up. Well it came up earlier this school year.

One evening we were sitting on the couch talking about what they learned in pre-k that day. Brooke told us “Me and Bailey are twins”. They had learned about families at school (Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Grandma, Grandpa, etc…). They told their class that they were sisters and their teacher corrected them. She told their class that they were twins. Now the girls had heard this term before so it was not a shock to them.

My husband and I took this time to tell them that they were twins. We explained that they were together in my tummy and that they have always been together. We also explained that they are twin sisters. We wanted them to know that although they are twins they are still sisters, which is what they had always known.

I think waiting to tell them was the right choice for our family. They were very excited about being twins. It made being twins special for them. They were still sisters but also twins. I admit that people can know from the beginning that they are twins and still be special but we wanted to wait. We chose to let them be sisters before twins. For my girls this made the twin part special and made them feel like an individual not just a half of a pair.

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Stitch Fix

Something I have been wanting and needing to do is update my clothes. My current wardrobe consists of:  nice dress clothes that I used when I was teaching 4+ years ago (have not been worn since), blue jeans, college t-shirts, more casual shirts, and my lazy yoga or lounge attire. Most of my clothes were purchased pre-babies. The clothes purchased during motherhood were casual (inexpensive) clothes that now have stains and are worn badly in places. 🙁 Anytime we have tried to go out, I have cried because nothing I have in my closet looks good on me or makes me feel good. I am currently postpartum with baby #3 and I am ready to find something that looks good on me.

While I was pregnant with my son, I heard about Stitch Fix. I never looked into it because I was pregnant and was not interested in purchasing clothes for myself. To be honest, I never buy clothes for myself, just for the kids. My very loving and supportive husband has told me for over a year that I needed to buy clothes for myself. I guess he was tired of hearing me complain I had nothing to wear or that nothing fit right anymore. This was always difficult for me because like all moms, I put my kids first and don’t think about myself. As my pregnancy with my son ended and I started losing the baby weight, I decided that it was time to update my wardrobe.

Why Stitch Fix?

My typical week as a stay at home mom of three kids includes speech therapy for one of my daughters twice a week, mother’s day out twice a week, bible study group (plus daily lessons), and household tasks. Not to mention any other things that pop up on our to do list. My week is always full and focused on my family. The weekends are just as busy with home projects and spending time together. So no time to shop for me without dragging 3 kids to the mall. Then there is the other issue of what to buy. I am a bit clueless on what is currently in style. I knew I was going to need help.

Then one morning I saw an ad for Stitch Fix on Facebook. I decided it was time to check it out. As I read through the reviews and description, I realized that this was a great solution to my problem. This was the help I needed. Stitch Fix could provide me with a personal stylist that would help me purchase clothes that were in style and would fit my comfort zone. The best part was I wouldn’t have to leave my house to shop. For a mom of 3, this was fantastic news. My loving husband agreed, as soon as  I told him, that I needed to sign up and start purchasing clothes for my new wardrobe.

How Does It Work?

To start a Stitch Fix account and begin your wardrobe change go to Stitch Fix and sign up. Stitch Fix will have you fill out a long and detailed survey on your size and style interest. This will help your personal stylist pick out clothes for you. Be honest because you don’t want your stylist to send you something that is the wrong size or something that you would not wear. They charge a $20 stylist fee each month but don’t worry, this fee is applied to your purchase order when you buy the items that are sent to you.

Within a few weeks you receive a box with five items. You have the option to purchase zero to five of the items in the box. If you choose to keep all of the items, that’s great! If not, that’s okay too. Your stylist is learning about your personal style so it may take a few times to get it just right. Make sure you tell them why you do or do not like an item you received. They can then apply that information to future fixes.

Returns are easy too. Stitch Fix provides a prepaid envelope for the shipment. You just put the unwanted items into the envelope and drop off at the post office. You must return the envelope within 3 business days.

Styling Card:

Styling Card

Each Stitch Fix delivery comes with a styling card to help you with your outfits. The styling card shows various outfit ideas including accessories. Not only does this help with the items they sent you but it also helps you choose outfits on your own.

There’s An App For That! (I’ve always wanted to say that)

I love having apps on my phone that make my life easier! Stitch Fix has an app that helps you with your order. You can update your profile, wardrobe survey, purchase your order, and leave comments for your stylist all from your phone. This makes Stitch Fix even easier.

With Stitch Fix, shopping seems like a waste of time. I hope you Join. Let me know about your Stitch Fix experience.

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Breakfast Granola Bars

I loved this recipe because it was a perfect solution for those days I’m in a hurry to get out the door. Having three children to get dressed, fed, and out the door during the week does not allow time for me to eat. So I’m usually eating on the road or not at all. This is a great solution to increase milk producation and have something healthy to eat on the drive.

1 2/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

4 tbsp Brewer’s yeast

1/2 cup nuts (any kind)*

1 1/2 cup dried fruit**

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup melted butter (I used coconut oil)

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup almond butter

2 tbsp hot water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, crossing two separate pieces over one another to create a sling. This makes it easier to pull them out of the pan.

Stir together all of the dry ingredients including fruits and nuts. In separate bowl, stir together the honey, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil, and hot water.

Mix wet ingredients  into the dry ingredients until they are evenly moistened. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into bars. lactation granola bar

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No Bake Booby Bites

This is a recipe I got from the lactation specialist at the hospital. She told me that it was a recipe many moms loved.

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup honey

1/2 tbsp Brewer’s yeast

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips, yeast, and flaxseed meal in a large bowl. Add peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Mix together. Refrigerate for an hour. Roll into balls. 6-93595-booby-bites-1424371300.jpg

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Lactation Cookie Bars

1 cup butter (coconut oil for a healthier choice)

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

3 cups oats flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 bag dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp Brewer’s yeast

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix flaxseed meal and water into small bowl and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes.

Cream together coconut oil (or butter) and sugar. Add flaxseed mixture and yeast. Mix until light and fluffy. Add flours and continue to mix. Add in the remaining dry ingredients. When that is mixed until creamy, add in the chocolate chips.

*Add 1 tbsp of water at a time to mixture if the dough is too thick.

Pour into a 9×13 baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. chocolate chip cookie bar

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Strawberry Oatmeal Lactation Smoothie

Smoothies are usually my go to meal replacement when I don’t have time to sit down and eat. You can make them the night before or when you are ready to drink it. When I found a smoothie that can help increase my milk production, I was really excited to try it.

1 cup milk (I use 2% but they recommend skim)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 banana

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp splenda or agave nectar

In a blender, pulse the oats for 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. It’s ready to drink! strawberry oatmeal smoothie

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Cinnamon Apple Lactation Cookies

I liked these cookies because they were different than the chocolate cookies. I wanted a “healthier” option. Although, I’m not sure how much healthier these are but they are definitely delicious.

1 1/2 cups oats

1 cup all purpose flour (any flour substitution should work)

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp Brewer’s yeast

3 tbsp Ground Flaxseed meal

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1/2 cup butter

1 large honeycrisp apple**

3 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix butter, sugar, and egg together. Add the vanilla.

Peel the apple and steam it in the microwave for 3 minutes. I used my vegetable steamer but you can steam the apple in a bowl with a little water. If you steam it in a bowl, put plasticwrap on top of it.

Slice the apple and add it to the wet mixture. Mix dry ingredients into the wet mix.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. cinnamon apple cookies.jpg

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Apple Pie Muffins

This was a recipe I found online that was a little different.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cups ground flax meal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

1 tsp vanilla

topping: chopped walnuts

Preheat 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a seperate bowl mix all of the wet ingredients together. Slowly add the dry ingredients together with the wet ingredients. Add in the raisins. Pour into muffin pan using liners. Top with chopped walnuts. ApplePie-MuffinsBake for 15 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

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