Showing posts with label Twins. Show all posts

Wee Scarves

So I might have an infinity scarf addiction – proof, proof, and more proof.  But I can’t help myself, especially when it comes to dressing the girls, so when an opportunity presented itself, I bit down…and made a graphic:

infinity scarf from a tee

Here’s the story.  I have this tee from back in my dancing days.  It has my name heat-pressed onto the back except that recently I washed it (for the 395757th time) and all of the white of the letters came off in the wash.  So weird.  IMG_5330
Not a huge deal but since I was/am going through a closet purge and have 49579 other t-shirts, I thought maybe it was time to bid farewell to this one.  So I went through the whole “what could I do with it?” before I actually tossed it to the donate pile and it hit me – the fall-ish cranberry color, the size, the soft cotton – they were all perfect ingredients for a couple of little infinity scarves of the no-sew, five-minutes-to done-variety for a couple of twins I know.

Here’s how I made them.  First, I cut off the bottom of the tee under the armpits.

And then I flipped it over to see that some of the logo on the front was still visible, so I cut off a tad more.
(Ten points if you know what a “clogger” is!)

Then, since I needed two scarves for two tiny ladies, I folded that bottom piece in half length-wise and cut along the fold. 

Next, I cut a bunch of shallow strips all the way up the unfolded/cut side of each half of fabric.  My cuts measured about an inch.

When I unfolded each piece, it looked like this:
(Sorry about the infiltrating sunlight!)

Last, I tied each strip to the one opposite it…
(Side note:  I ended up cutting off the bottom hem of the t-shirt because the strips cut there were too hard to tie since they were thicker.)

Since I didn’t have that much fabric to work with, I cut the strips pretty short to get as much scarf circumference as I could.  So, to aid in tying, I pulled on each one a bit to stretch it out before tying it to it’s counterpart.
[Unintentional light leak!  Cool!]

Until, after I had tied all of the strips together, I had myself, or the girls, two little infinity scarves.

We test drove them last weekend on a trip out to see Daddy who was working at a retreat out in the Southern 5 (1)
[DIY jean vest tutorial here.]

I like the extra detail the ties provide.  :)
  photo 1 (7)

For an adult scarf, all you’d really have to do is cut the tee off under the arms and stick your head in, like so:no-sew infinity scarf
…unless you’re working with a huge tee or you want to combine a couple of tees!  For the tots though, I prefer a more fitted, smaller scarf so depending on the size of the tee, a little snipping and tying might be necessary.

More photo spam from our little country excursion:
photo 1 (8)
Heart eyes and more heart eyes.

  photo 2 (9)
They had a blast picking up acorns and tossing them into the water.  Like they-didn’t-want-to-do-anything-else blast.  And then C found a huge, gross ‘shroom to toss in and we had to ruin her fun’gi…ha!

She’s so cute though, no?
 photo 3 (5) 

Anyway, go out and find yourself some cute patterned tees and cut your way to an infinity scarf or seven to keep your neck warm this winter.  I found this tee at Target on clearance for $2.10 a couple of months ago…
photo (1) 
[via this gram]
…and am punching myself that I didn’t grab more to make scarves…something out of!  Whatever…no regrets.

photo 2 (8)

You know what they say on Fridays – TGI…oh wait, I’m a mom.  ;)

.           .           .

P.S.  Be sure and stop by Monday because there will be details on a fun giveaway over on our Instagram home!

Easy DIY Jean Vest

Among their plethora of hand-me-downs, the girls had a sweet little jean jacket from their cousin.  From Gap, embellished with embroidery, and soft; cute on the hanger but on?  Well, meet the Hulkette:
With their tiny frames and stick arms, the girls didn’t stand a chance.

So, after procuring a second jean jacket (for $5 off Varage Sale!) that was similar because #twins, I made a few snips, inspired by Kilee, and we’ve ditched the steroids in the name of fashion:
[While saying “cheeese” and dressed in skirts their size yet way too big that I spied undies a few times and the only shoes they have right now that fit…better get on that!]

All I did was cut off the sleeves which probably doesn’t need one word of an explanation but since I am who I say I am…
jean vest tutorial

The only thing worth mentioning besides “Step 1:  cut off the sleeves” is that when you do, make sure you cut as close to the inside hem as possible so that you wont see any remaining sleeve material peeking out from under your new armhole.  I found that cutting at a slant gave me the closest cut.
photo 1 (1)
You don’t have to worry about fraying because you’re not cutting out the hem, just the sleeve material where it meets the hem.  No cutting the hem = no fraying.
 photo 2 (5)

And that’s it!

It’s just now dipping under sweltering here so hopefully they’ll become our toddler wardrobe staple soon!  Until then, we do quick photo shoots in the cool of morn:
I had been on the thrift store hunt to grab a jean jacket to turn into a vest for my very own but then I found one on the clearance rack at Target a few weeks ago so we might possibly turn into those mom and kids that are matchy-matchy once in a while.  I’ll make sure to gram the occasion if we do and give you full permission to do an eye roll.  ;)


Sebastian: 9 Months

Having sick kids is the worst, am I right or am I right?  Monday, Seraphia’s nose turned into a faucet and she alone went through a whole roll of toilet paper (in lieu of tissues because we’re cool like that) and try as we might to not let whatever she had bite the the rest of us – clorox wipes, no sharing of anything, solitary confinement (just kidding, relax) – ‘twas to no avail because Sebastian turned his faucet on full speed yesterday.  And then today, well, you can just about imagine.  Cecilia.  The days are great and the nights even better.  If it weren’t for The NoseFrida Snotsucker we know and love so much (and you should too!), they’d be even better.  Snot stands no chance with that thing.  (Link is an affiliate link but we purchased the NF and really do love it!)
  So, in light of their broken plumbing, I let the girls indulge in TV yesterday.  What do you care, right?  I know.  Well, allow me to elaborate further and just tell you that it got me thinking back to those days when I had my parenting plans all laid out…and then this morning I made this e-card:

Let’s just say my mouth is harboring my foot for many things besides that.  (And just in case of misunderstanding, I really don’t have anything against TV nor did I ever really think my kids would never watch it.  I just want a healthy balance and yesterday was not it.)  But, c’est la vie.  Let’s move on.

Big Seb turned nine months last week:
9 mo (4)blog

He’s pulling himself up on whatever he can, da-daing his way through life, and eating almost whatever a spoon brings to his wide-open mouth.  He’s 100% more attached to me, me, meandnooneelse than the girls were (they were happy with either daddy or me) and it’s thrown me for quite the loop and has changed many a plan, many a day.  I can’t say it bothers me though because secretly I love being the sole love of his life and I pray that that affection never wavers.  :)

The girls.  They turn 27 months tomorrow.   IMG_5740
They’re cool as cucumbers most days and talking up a storm.  They can both count to twenty which I know is not really that impressive at their age but I just can’t get enough of it.  “Wun, two, chee, fo, ive, six, seben, eight, nine, ten, eweben, twelbe, serteen…”  So cute.  And thanks to Dora, Cecilia is a spanish speaker, counting up to eight in the foreign language.  She just blurted the numbers out one day.  See?  TV ain’t all that bad, huh?  ;)
photo 4 (2)
We’ve labeled them 100% potty-trained and accidents are pretty rare during the day and naptimes and if they do happen, it’s usually my fault because I didn’t get them to the toilet fast enough.  (And this is where I put my foot in my mouth because last night they both wet the bed.)  And, ehem, prior to last night, we hadn’t changed a wet sheet of C’s for almost a month and S’ in a week.  It’s really one of the best feelings ever.  Changing one kid’s diapers ain’t no big thing y’all.
  photo 3 (2)

Lately, we’ve taken up walks around the neighborhood with all the kids in tow.
 photo 1 (4)

All of them…
 photo 2 (3)

And we’ve also managed to get out of the house at least twice a week which is a leap and bound from where we were a few weeks ago – it was church on Sunday and thazzzit.  Cabin fever has died down to a dull roar and I’ve started collecting my marbles.  And THAT, is good news for everyone.

Potty Training: Take Two

Otherwise known as “Thank God It’s Over”, “We Lived Through Potty-Training Twins!”, and “Oh Shoot, Now We Can’t Leave the House for Awhile”…because yep, it’s true.  I haven’t ventured outside the home with the three little piggies in a week because, do you know what it’s like to have a baby strapped to your chest and one or both toddlers telling me they have to “go potty” while in a public place?  I don’t either and I really don’t need to find out to tell you that it’s probably HELL!  So, I’ll stay nice and cool inside our humble abode until my courage level reaches an all-time high and tell you how we potty-trained our twins in three days…round two.  If you care to read how we tried when they were 21 months old and failed MISERABLY, click on over here but make sure you come back to read the success story because it’s a much better read.
photo 1 (9)

Now, before we hop on the train and head to Pottytown, let me tell you this.  I’m going to give you a run down on how we got the girls to go but this is no tutorial as we are most definitely first-timers and every kid is very different and all that.  No pros will you find here, just regular parents trying to make life easier by cutting out several diaper changes.

We purchased Lora Jensen’s 3-Day Potty Training Bootcamp e-book, and while Lora had some really good advice which made the e-book worth the buy, not every single tip worked for us.  We learned that during Round 1.  For Round 2 we decided to take a little bit from her, a little bit from Pinterest, and a little bit of logic and mold it into our own little potty-training method.  Here’s how it all went down (pun definitely intented):

(Note:  Some of the links to the products we purchased are affiliate links.)

>>> Pre-Game <<<
Things we bought beforehand:  Underpants/panties/underwear/scivvies/whatever - Chances are, your kid(s) is going to go through a sh*&load of underpants (I’m running on little sleep and feeling a little feisty so, again, pun intended).  Buy A lot.  We bought 15 for each girl and during Round 1, we were washing underpants every couple of hours just to keep up.  And FYI, toddler underwear is a little more expensive for some crazy reason so if you want to save a little moolah, get out of the baby/toddler section and head over to the little girls/boys section and grab some of the smallest sized underpants you can find, take them home and wash them in hot water and dry them on high.  Chances are they’re cotton so they’ll shrink a little and fit your little ones hinny just perfectly.  We bought a few packs of size 4s for the girls (Xhilaration from Target) and even though our girls measure in the 25th percentile weight-wise, they fit just great.  Juice – To give the girls plenty of opportunities to pee on our floors learn to empty in the toilet, they needed to be guzzling liquid.  Giving them water cup after water cup would’ve over-watered them with boredom so we mixed in a little juice to make things exciting.  A toilet seat – We skipped the little potty because 1) we’d rather skip the gross cleaning and rely on the flushing, plus when one girl has to go right after the other, cleaning that thing out in a hurry seemed like a disgusting mess waiting to happen and 2) eventually they’ll need to get over the little toilet and move to the big one so why not start them there off the bat?  We bought this Arm & Hammer seat that fits right over our existing toilet seat and it’s been awesome.  There are also actual toilet lids (like this one) you can buy with a built-in mini-seat that flips down but our current lid is in great working order so there was no need to spend the money (even though I really, really, really wanted one.)  Rewards – They go in the toilet?  They get an M&M.  Simple as that.  Reinforce good behavior.  Progress chart – We taped a couple of charts that my sister made onto the wall opposite the toilet and whenever the deed was done, the girl would get to put a sticker on her chart.  Both girls loved this and, after scarfing down her M&M, would immediately demand her ‘sticka’.  You can find printable charts on Etsy or make your own easily.  (I had a lot of people asking about ours and my sister is planning on a possible Etsy shop stocked with them and other cute printables so stay tuned!)  If you buy Lora’s e-book, you also get some printable charts to use for free if you’d like.  Extra crib sheets – Because we trained day and night control, we needed some extras.  I wish I could say we haven’t used them…  Extra toilet paper – Our usage doubled so, obvious.  Clorox wipes – For the messes we wish hadn’t happened.  Things we didn’t buy:  Pull-ups or training pants – We went cold turkey to underpants and only underpants. 

Choosing our words wisely:
  In other words, we had to decide on what words we were going to use during the whole process.  Is it a toilet, a potty, the throne, or a potty?  Are we going to tell them to go potty, pee, tinkle, or tee-tee?  Is it poo, poop, a dump, or a duke?  (Too much potty talk for ya?  Me too.  It’s not enjoyable, only necessary.)  This is one of the most practical pieces of advice we took from Lora.  You can’t ask “Do you have to go pee-pee on the potty?” one minute and then “Do you need to go potty on the toilet?” the next.  You’ll confuse the kid.  We stuck with potty, poop, and toilet and made sure that our parents, who were here to help watch Sebastian while we trained, used the same words.
Taking precautionary measures: Anthony is a clean freak and I’m a clean freak but not quite as much as him.  So, clean freaks over here.  Pee and poop on furniture, rugs, carpet, other home paraphernalia?  Ewww...  So, the night before we started potty-training, we rolled up all the rugs in the hizz-ouse, laid washable blankets on the couch where we told them they could sit, kept them out of rooms that were carpeted, laid some towels on their high chair seats, etc…
 photo 3 (5)

Also, we learned from our round one mistakes and this time called in reinforcements to help give attention to Sebastian while we chased diaper-less toddlers around the house.  Grandma and Grandpa were awesome and we wouldn’t have two girls trained without them.  Also, this time around we opted to train one girl at a time so that we could focus our sole attention on the one trainee.  We noticed last time that if one girl rebelled against the toilet, the other would follow suit.  Twins.  So this time we hoped that by training one, the other would notice and want to follow that suit.  The plan was to start training Seraphia since she had already been going on the toilet here and there (and she also is much more docile/less rebellious).  Depending on how well she did, we’d start with Cecilia a couple of days later.  (But it turned out that Seraphia did so awesome on her first day that we started Cecilia the very next day.)  In the end it took us an extra day to train but it was a much smoother process.  

>>> Day One <<<
We started day one with our normal morning routine – wake up, breakfast, and making sure we (Anthony and I) were ready for the day so that we could focus our attention on S.  After breakfast when we’d usually go change those overnight diapers, I took S with me to her room and explained to her that she was going to start going potty on the toilet from now on and that we weren’t going to use diapers anymore.  Our kids respond the best to short phrases (because they’re only two, duh) so I explained and hammered it in with “No more diapers” and “Potty on the toilet” and “No potty in underpants”.  Then I had her ‘throw all her diapers in the trash’ – in which I placed a clean plastic bag into their trash can and had her toss her cloth diapers.  Our girls loved to throw things away so of course she had a hay day throwing away her diapers.
 photo 2 (11)
(Obviously I didn’t want to really throw out the cloth because, Sebastian, so I just stowed them away so I could do the same thing with C.)

Then, after we put on some underpants and a tee, I took her to the toilet, sat her on it, explained that this is where she needed to do her business from now on, and SHE WENT POTTY!
 photo 5 (3)
It was awesome!  She got an M&M and I almost dubbed her trained right then and there…but then I came to my senses…and she had two accidents within the hour.  With each accident, we made sure to grab her as she was going and rush her to the toilet.  As we picked her up we’d say “No potty in underpants!  Yucky!  Wet!”, not yelling it to her or at her but just lovingly letting her know that that was a no-no.  In general, Seraphia responds really well to us telling her not to do something so this was key in our training her.  When she did go, we’d give lots of “Yay!” and clapping and she soaked it up.  Throughout the day we’d remind her to tell us if she had to go potty and she caught on really quickly.  We also made sure she was drinking a lot of liquid by keeping her sippy cup full.  Compared to round one when the number of accidents far outnumbered any of the extremities with which I had to count, she went her entire first day with only five accidents and woke up from her nap dry as bone.  This was what her chart looked like by noon of day one:
s potty chart   

>>> Day Two <<<

Seraphia’s second day; Cecilia’s first.  Seraphia continued to do great and had maybe two accidents, including a wet bed after naptime, and was doing great at letting us know she had to go “potty towet”.  Cecilia though.  Oooooooh, Cecilia. 
   photo 3 (4)
We went through the same first-day process that we had done with S the day before and she did a lot better than round one in that she learned a lot quicker how to tell when she needed to go but it took quite a few accidents.  In the afternoon we switched things up with her and instead of telling her to tell us when she had to go, we would ask her every few minutes if she needed to go and she would either say “no” or her eyes would get big and she’d make a run for the toilet.  If she went, there was lots of praise just like with S.  If it had been awhile since the last time she had gone, we’d just go scoop her up and take her to the toilet every few minutes until she went.  I don’t think it was until halfway through day two that she started to come tell us when she had to go and the accidents almost stopped.

>>> Day Three <<<
Seraphia’s day three; Cecilia’s day two.  Things began to feel a little more normal this day.  We stopped following the girls around like hovering hawks and just check-in frequently.  Cecilia still had a few more accidents but I think it was more because she was too enthralled in her current activity to care about making it to the toilet and not because she missed the signs that she had to go.  Also during this day we kind-of felt like we were making a bunch of trips to the toilet just so the girls could squeeze a few drips out for a reward.  Smart girls.  But, all in all, we finally felt like we were on the road to potty-training success.  By the end of this day, here’s what the girls charts looked like:
sc potty charts
[Cilia’s on the left; Phia’s on the right.  Cilia liked layering her stickers, hence why it looks like there are less than there actually are.]

>>> Day Four & Beyond <<<
On day four we stopped giving M&M’s (except for when they go poop since it seems to be a little scary still).  You can bet the girls still asked for an “em em?” upon finishing their business but we were quick to change the subject.
photo 4 (3)
[A few left…signs of success in my book.]
We wanted to eliminate those unnecessary trips they were taking to the bathroom for the sole purpose of going for the chocolate.  On day five we were confident in their newly-found knowledge to open the doors to carpeted rooms and lay rugs back down.  It’s now been a little over a week and both girls are doing awesome.
  photo 2 (10)
However, we’re not 100% accident-free and they haven’t woken from slumber with dry underpants every single time yet either.  But, it’s a work in progress and one that I can now handle alone, at home, with all three in my care.

>>> Naps & Nights <<<

Like I said above, we chose to go cold turkey on diapers and anything of the sort which means that the girls are in underpants 100% of the time, 24/7.  In my mind, it’s tough to explain to a toddler that they’re no longer allowed to go to the bathroom in their diaper/underpants but then allow it when they sleep.  I know countless people have used pull-ups during sleep times and their kids do great with them but we didn’t feel like risking confusion by telling the twins it wasn’t okay while they were awake but okay when they sleep.  So, we grabbed some of these GoodNites Disposable Bed Mats that have been awesome but we’ve gone through a whole pack thus far and won’t be repurchasing because they’re like $1 a piece which can get pretty pricey accident-after-accident.  Instead, we’re content with washing sheets if an accident does happen.  And speaking of accidents, they have happened.  That’s a given.  The girls generally wake up from naps dry, we’ll say 85% of the time, but nights are another story.  We’re probably averaging 45% on those.  We’ve started using Lora’s nighttime training recommendations though and for the most part, it’s working.  I’ll let you know after a month of nights if we’re still heck bent on not using pull-ups or if we’ve caved.  ;)

>>> On-The-Go <<<

Here’s the thing with this section.  We’ve only left the house once since we began this process and it was on Seraphia’s first day to grab some fro-yo with the fam.  Over-confidence killed the cat though (or is that another phrase?) because, while she made it there, she did not make it home with dry pants.  Whoops.  So, we have yet to leave the house again but when we do, you can make sure we will bring our Potette Plus.  You guys, this thing is amazing and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best traveling potty companion you can get.  My sister sold me on it with her rave reviews (she has a trained three-year old) and so I ordered it from Amazon and couldn’t be happier.  We actually did use it a few times during training last week when both girls HAD TO potty at the same time.  I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical about buying it because I couldn’t tell from the pictures online how it actually worked and Farrah (my sis) and I were communicating via text about it but I’m not anymore.  In case you want to grab yourself one, let me show you how it works. 
Here it is:
   photo 4 (4)
This is what it looks like all folded up.  When you’re off to wherever you’re going, it can be placed inside its little bag that can then be stowed comfortably in your bag/purse because it’s only the size of a dinner plate.

But wait, Sally needs to go bad while you’re in the middle of driving to Target to buy a bunch of things you didn’t even go there for?  No problem.  All you have to do is pull over, pull out the Potette, pull out the two legs, push to lock them in place, and place a liner inside, and Sally can go.  (Note:  The Potette comes with a few liners and you can buy more but I’m pretty sure a plastic store bag set inside would work just as well…I’ll get back to you on that though once I’ve tried it.  I’m back though because my sister said using a plastic bag with a paper towel placed at the bottom works as long as there are no holes in the bag…be sure to check before using!)  Here it is, all set up (liner not shown but it just sits inside and comes up over the top edge).
photo 1 (11)
And a dry-run demonstration from a toddler very willing to help mommy:
photo 5 (4)

After Sally’s done, simply tie the bag up, toss it, and get back on your merry way.

But then guess what?  Sally needs to go again in Target.  That’s cool Sally because all mommy or daddy has to do is run to the nearest bathroom stall, pull out the Potette, unfold it so the legs come straight out, and set it on the toilet like so:photo 2 (12)
The legs are lined with rubber underneath so there’s no slipping and all of a sudden you have a potty seat.  You can’t tell me that’s awesome, right?

.           .           .

So, that’s that.  My initial intention was to write a quick recap on how our training went but somehow I managed to slip in a small novel that only took me a week to write.  Jeesh Sheena.  I’d like to thank our first experience at 21 months for planting the seed in our chicks because I don’t think that, if we hadn’t tried so hard back then, this time around wouldn’t have been as easy as it was (I say easy in comparison but really, it wasn’t that bad).
With all that though, I want your thoughts, amateurs and veterans alike.  We are still learning and have at least one kid to go so the more tips and tricks the better.  So spill those key ingredients in your potty book on how you get your kid to go.  Also, if there’s anything that you’d like me to better explain or any questions, leave them too.  And then make sure to have a great weekend!
  photo 1 (10)  
[Nothing between them and the chairs but underpants and that is a-okay!]

That’s One Fancy Alphabet

The other day the three chicks and I were strolling through Target like we usually do once or twice a week when we came across the magnetic alphabet.  This pinned idea, spray painting magnetic letters gold, came to mind and so home they went with us.
 photo 1 (6)

Sadly, there was only one so we won’t be spelling anything that requires two of any one letter but for now, learning the ABC’s is all we can hope for anyway.

So, where I’m going with this post is here:

I would just tell you to run thither for the tutorial but the pinned link appears to be broken so let me give you a run down like I like to do.

First I pulled out my favorite gold spray paint, Rustoleum’s, and laid the letters out on a cardboard box. photo 2 (7)
I was anxious to get the girls using them so I only did one coat but I wish I’d have done two.  I’ll explain in a minute.

Before I do, let me tell you that there is a right way to spray paint itty bitty letters.  It’s the way I spray paint most everything actually – from all sides.  I started by standing on one side of the box and spraying all of the letters from that side first.  Then I moved to the next side and sprayed them all from that side.  Next side, same thing.  Last side, same thing.  photo 3 (1)
Then I gave each letter a spray from directly overhead.  Spraying from all angles makes sure every millimeter of each letter is covered.

So next, for added protection from toddler fingers, I gave each letter a thin coat of this Rustoleum Lacquer that we had on hand (even though the label on the gold spray paint says that a clear top coat is not recommended):        photo 4 (1)
…and regretted it because it took some of the sheen of the gold away.  Boo.  I should’ve just followed recommendations and went with two coats of gold, period.

Either way, they’re a hit.  The girls have spent inordinate amounts of time at the front door, the only expanse of space the magnets bond to at the moment.  (We’re thinking about adding a magnetic ‘wall’ somewhere in our house but I’ll keep that cat in the bag until it’s actually done.)  :)


We do have a crawler on the loose though so when the girls aren’t at the door with the alphabet, I try to stick ‘em to the fridge lest one gets knocked down without me knowing it and into the mouth of the wee one.
photo 5 (1)    
(Dry erase to-do list tutorial here.)

So, spray-painted learning tools.  Whoda thunk?