Fashion

Our Trip to New Jersey – What we did differently

Do you recall our trip to Ohio and the bad behavior that came with it? Well, when we returned home from that trip we had to seriously discuss our impending trip to New Jersey that was a mere month away. We honestly thought about canceling it. Knowing how disappointed Adam’s family would be, we decided instead to make a plan. A plan on changes and tweaks. Here is what we did differently:

The Airplane.

Blah! The word airplane these days gives me a tick. Our planes rides with the boys thus far have been nothing short of comical disaster that should have had reality TV cameras near by. This time around, however, we decided to separate the boys. And I don’t mean across the aisle, no no, that turns into a game of musical chairs and musical parents. I’m talking, rows and rows away from each other. It worked like a charm. I took Grayson, Adam took Greer (ha ha sucker!) Besides them shouting “Guga” (what they call each other) across the plane, to which the other twin would respond “what?”, sending the rest of our friendly passengers into a giggling fit, they were great.

I took a tip from my childhood, that my mom did, and stuffed their backpacks with toys, books and activities that were new to them, things they haven’t seen before. So it kept them entertained most of the time, going through one thing at a time. Now, with that said, we’ve also learned our maximum flight time is two hours, tops! So friends and family on the west coast, we’re sorry but we’ll visit you when the boys are sixteen.

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Divide and conquer.

There is much much much to do when you arrive at your destinations airport. Exiting the plane, finding car seats and/or stroller, getting to baggage claim, potty breaks, hungry tummies, finding your luggage, picking up rental car, hide your child your find peeing in the flower bed outside baggage claim …wait, is that just mine?

We found it easiest to send Adam to get the rental car, while the boys and I waited for the luggage. I made them my “helpers” , having them help me look for the luggage and “help” me pull it off the belt, and even having them wheel the lighter suitcases out to the curb to wait for daddy. This gives them a task and an activity to do while one parent grabs the rental that is a mile away by bus.

*and in full disclosure, the peeing in the flower bed really happened this trip. I asked both boys if they had to do,they told me “No mommy, I tell me” (which means they’ll tell ME) and sure has shit, we get all the luggage out to the curb I hear Greer giggling to turn around and see Grayson, dropping trow and peeing in the airports flower beds. I sent this picture to my husband who was still on the bus to the rental car location with “Welcome to Philly!”:

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Planning travel around sleep.

And by travel, I actually don’t mean the airplane, not really. We’ve tried in the past to plan flight times at sleeping times, which totally backfired on us. Now, I know there are lots of littles that can sleep on planes, but if yours doesn’t, like ours, book them before sleep. We decided to take the earliest (and nonstop) flight out before nap time, knowing we had about an hour or so drive to the shore. Our boys instantly fall asleep in the car so planning “travel time” (not flight time) at nap time totally worked for us this trip. It was perfect. They got a catnap (an hour) in before we arrived to see family, and they were in great moods to greet our loved ones. We also did this on the drive from the shore to Hoboken and the drive from Hoboken to the Philadelphia airport (Hour and a half) and it seriously worked for us. So, if your nuggets don’t sleep on planes, plan for their nap time to be the travel time after the flight.

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Sleeping.

I truly think this was our biggest issue in Ohio. Naps were skipped and sleeping arrangements weren’t typical nor with the bedtimes. We have learned and know that our boys do so much better in a room with only the two of them in it. Hotels with us in the next bed or one in each with them, just doesn’t work. They know when they are in a bed in a room, sound machine on and door closed, that it’s time to sleep.

My mother in love’s cousins let us crash at their gorgeous home, and had a room with twin beds. Done, I thought, that’s where the boys will sleep. We decided that no matter what, they were going to go down for their nap every afternoon and some what on time for their bedtime. This went perfectly. They napped every afternoon and woke up refreshed and ready to take on the evening.

Same went with bedtime. Every night they got a bath, put their jammies on, brushed their teeth and went to bed. And all but one night (the first night) slept through until the next morning.

I’ve learned through traveling with toddlers this summer, that new places are confusing and overwhelming. We talked to the boys about the “cool big boy room” that Aunt Meg and Uncle Bill had at their house for them and really talked up the trip and told them what to expect.

Activities.

Find things to do where you are going. Parks, beaches, libraries with toddler times, pools, children’s museums whatever you can find that will let the kids burn off energy and have fun. Burning off that energy that they have from travel and the anxiety of being in a new place, certainly helps with naps and night time too. Our little’s couldn’t get enough of the beach on the shore and all the fun things that come with city living in Hoboken (ie: a putt putt course set up on a pier over looking the city, swoon!)

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Hope our experiences help any of you getting ready to travel! Here are some more pictures from our NJ adventure:

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Fashion

45 Steps to guide a toddler to getting you out of a locked bathroom

If you follow me on Instagram and watched my Insta Story yesterday you’ve heard what an eventful evening we had at our house last night. If you didn’t see my story, here is the breakdown: The boys wanted to use our guest bathroom to go potty, fine. Greer went last and while he was sitting on the john, Grayson was being silly, making faces while opening and closing the door. At one point Grayson locks the door from the inside and shuts it, essentially locking Greer and I in the bathroom, but the lock is on my end so I happily unlock it when he asks to come back in. The next thing I hear is “mommy, open!” I respond with ” I did Grayson!” The handle was moving fine on my end but the door was not budging. After kicking the door, using my big behind and my entire body to slam up against the door, I came to the terrifying conclusion, Greer and I were stuck in the bathroom and Grayson was freely roaming the house.

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Here is a list of the next steps that were taken to free us ( take notes!)

49 Steps in Guiding Your Toddler to Help Free you From a Locked Bathroom:

  1. Instruct toddler to sit in the bedroom across hallway from bathroom.
  2. Kick the door, punch the door, literally throw your body up against the door to get out.
  3. Find a bobby pin and try to use as a screw driver to under door handle, when that fails…
  4. Tell toddler to “go get mommy’s phone”
  5.  When toddler says “NO! Let me in”, try and take a few breaths and not panic.
  6. Explain to toddler that you are stuck and that you need help
  7. Ask toddler again to go find your phone
  8.  Tell the toddler you are stuck and need help, and that you need a phone to help you.
  9. When toddler finally agrees, explain to him that he is now allowed to climb up on the bar stools and grab the white house phone he is typically not allowed to play with.
  10. When toddler comes back with the baby monitor, cheer him on and tell him that although that isn’t the phone, it was a great effort.
  11. Then tell toddler to go into the kitchen, get on the green grown up bar stools, and get you the phone by the sink.
  12. When toddler returns with phone, cheer loudly!…..
  13.  …. Until that phone doesn’t fit under the door. (now you can start to cry a little)
  14.  After you’re done crying and compose yourself, tell toddler to go find your black phone.
  15. When toddler tells you NO! and that the house phone beeping on the phone is too scary and he doesn’t like the noise, repeat to him you need help.
  16. When toddler says NO! to that and runs into the other room, look for something in the bathroom to try and break the door leading to the pools window.
  17. Then, when you realize that won’t do you any good because you can’t unlock that door from the outside, make a mental note to get another key made to put in that door so when this happens again you can just exit through that door
  18. Back to the toddler, call toddler back to the door.
  19. When he returns send toddler back to kitchen and bar stool to look on the counter for your cell phone.
  20. When you hear his little feet head in that direction, give him few seconds, find a tissue and wipe the mascara running down your face.
  21. Yell to toddler ” did you find mommy’s phone?”
  22. When he yells back “No, I no find it,” cry again and keep picture him pulling the lit candle down off the counter or knocking something over on top of his self, you know think of the worst possible thing, then think there will be no way to help him.
  23. Slam your body into the door again.
  24. Call toddler back to door, tell him to go to Mommy’s room and look on her bed for the phone.
  25. When toddler says NO!, ask him if he wants a fire truck to come to the house.
  26. When he responds yes, tell him than he has to go to mommy’s room and find her phone so you can call.
  27. When he comes running back and says ” I find it mom!” jump for joy, cry some more and remind yourself what a bad ass you are for teaching your child directions.
  28. Have toddler slide cell phone under the door
  29.  Call 9-1-1
  30. Tell toddler to sit right there and put his hand under the door so you know he is safe and sitting right there.
  31. When operator answers the phone and transfers you three times (think Home Alone when mom calls the police station), then your toddler gets up and runs away, scream under the door for your toddler to come back and sit.
  32. When third operator finally picks, explain to her the situation
  33. when operator asks you if your front door in unlocked, roll your eyes at the idea of your front door being unlocked.
  34. Tell operator how fire fighters can break into your house
  35. When she tells you help is on the way, tell toddler that the firefighters are coming to help and sit there and touch mommy’s hand under the door.
  36. call your husband. Your supportive, loving husband, and explain to him what’s going on.
  37. When he laughs and responds with “just kick the door” … HANG UP! (i didn’t but should have)
  38. Facetime husband and show him whats going on. When he responds with ” well put the phone down and show me how hard you’re kicking the door” REALLY HANG UP! (again, I didn’t, I showed him and explained to him I am in a very small space with a toddler and another one running around the house that I can’t see, I’ve literally done EVERYTHING I CAN to get out of this space)
  39. Slide husband on Facetime under door to toddler, since he’s getting upset and let him talk to Daddy.
  40. ALSO – turn to toddler that’s in the bathroom with you and reassure him, we’ll get out and to stop flushing the toilet.
  41. Get phone back and wait for firefighters, keep reminding outside toddler, that fire fighters and police men are coming.
  42. When you hear the fire fighters in your house, yell to them to tell you the dog barks but isn’t mean, they can proceed.
  43. Tell outside toddler the fire fighters are here and to tell them his name.
  44. When fire fighters finally get you out after 15 minutes, grab toddler in your arms and explain to him how proud of him you are for being a great helper and getting mommy and brother out of the locked bathroom.
  45. Thank the firemen and pour yourself a huge glass of wine.

Moral of the story:

Don’t let toddlers play with doors and don’t ever let your cell phone leave your side. That whole being present thing and put down the device, screw it.

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Lifestyle Parenting

Guest Post: Lauren Kay Soufleris : The Elusive Work Life Balance

Good Morning! After a too long hiatus on my end, I’m treating you all this morning! One of my dear childhood friends, Lauren, is the Senior Style Editor at The Knot and she has agreed to guest post today. She is the epitome of the super woman and has some excellent advice for all my working, kick butt mamas out there!

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The Elusive Work Life Balance
We all think it’s out there—and gosh do we want it (btw, it’s a total unicorn).

Having it all looks different for each of us—a passionate marriage, smart and well-behaved children, a fulfilling job, amazing hair—it’s this elusive phenomenon that we strive for, day after day. And the deck is kind of stacked against us. Thanks to Instagram filters and platforms of self-expression the whole world is sharing— but only the best stuff (a beautifully styled image will always get more likes than the pile of dirty laundry threatening to render your closet unnavigable).

But there are small wins and wise women along the way to light our path. I never understood the phrase “it takes a village” until I became a parent myself. Nothing can really prepare you for raising a tiny human and so much of what I’ve learned along the way has been in large part from Moms who share the real stuff. Today it’s my turn. Here’s what I’ve learned about being a working Mom (in full-disclosure, my son turned one in July so I am by no means an expert).

Be present.
Soon after I returned to work full time, I realized the best part of my day was bath time. It seemed to be my son’s favorite too. And then one day as he was splashing around it hit me—I was always 100% hyper-focused on my little man when he was in the tub. I was present. I wasn’t distracted by emails or trying to juggle two things at once. Right then and there I made a pact with myself to be present at home. In the morning, I don’t check my email until I leave the house. At night, I walk through the door and put my day behind me until he’s asleep. We play in the tub, get into pjs and he has a bottle while I read him stories. Once he’s in bed I shift my focus to my husband while we eat dinner and debrief on the day. Then, and only then, I allow myself to log back on and finish the things I didn’t get to before leaving the office (like making a to-do list for the following day, a ritual I swear by). All parents will agree—it goes too quickly. Slowing down and enjoying the everyday is so necessary.

Control what you can.
I am a perfectionist and terrible at asking for help. But I’m slowly learning to let go of the things I can’t control (like train delays) and spend energy where I can really make a difference. I take a shower at night to ease the morning routine for all of us. I do food prep on the weekends and book babysitters before we need them. I like to plan—it’s my coping mechanism or my way of keeping all the balls in the air. I find my whole family functions better when we operate on a schedule and our marching orders are clearly defined. I am so lucky to have an amazing partner. He’s in charge of laundry and dry cleaning and I am the cruise director and resident cook. It works for us—Mamas, find a rhythm that works for you.

Outsource everything else.
I live in New York City. It makes some things more complicated (like parking a car) but almost everything else is surprisingly easier. You can get anything delivered—dry cleaning, groceries, wine, even Costco will drop a year’s supply a toilet paper on your doorstep, the caveat of course is that you have no place to store it. I use apps for grocery shopping, booking babysitters… you name it. Anything I can do to get time back for my family is top priority. I shop online for everything and “steal” time whenever I can. I spend hours underground commuting each week, so I try to maximize them as me time. Some days I listen to a podcast, other days I return emails or write letters to my son in the notes tab of my phone (I’ve got dozens that will eventually make it into his baby book). I’ve been known to pop into a nearby nail salon with a smoothie for midweek “lunch.” You got to do what you can, when you can. I look back on my pre-kid days and think, I wasted so much time!

Go easy on yourself.
Some days I’m so sure of my choice to work full time. And then there are the mornings when my son cries as I walk out the door and I have to give myself a pep talk, which almost always includes Beyoncé’s “Girls” blasting through my headphones. The mom guilt is real and its easy to go from “bummer” to downward spiral (don’t do it!). And balls drop—my son’s first birthday photos never happened despite advance scheduling (who gets rained out three times?). But I realize that I put that pressure on myself, no one else does. I haven’t been to a gym in well over a year. Frozen pizza is definitely on the weekly dinner rotation. And all the pages in my son’s baby book are still blank. But I’m trying to cut myself some slack. I recently realized a lot of the things I think are so important are just important to me. I don think there will ever be a scenario where my son turns to me and says, “Where are my first birthday smash cake photos Mom?” It’s a crucial distinction and one worth remembering when you’re making your own to-do list.

Reevaluate often.
Before I had a baby I thought I would always work. Then I had my son and thought there’s no way I can leave him and go back to work. My husband gave me some great advice a week before my maternity leave was up. He said, “try it, you can always change your mind.” It was such a simple idea, but so true. It’s easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day responsibilities and yet important to remember you can (almost always) change something. I try and evaluate the big stuff and the little things and if something isn’t working I look for a solution—and there’s usually at least one.

Balance is a unicorn.
No one is getting it right 100% of the time—we are all human after all. There are mornings where I am so envious of the Mom in her gym clothes pushing her kid to the park. Some weeks really kick my butt (cough, this week—my husband has been away and holy, holy, single parenting is no joke!). But then a cool opportunity pops up at work or I kill it on a story I’m working on and I realize this mix of work and Mom is right for me. You take the good with the bad and realize every day, no matter the struggle, is worth it. We have this amazing privilege to shape tiny people into smart, kind, tolerant members of society. So we get up, and do our very best. And that’s enough—it really is.

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Fashion

Favorites on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!

As I mentioned last week, that I was in a bit of a “funk” the past two weeks. Which by the messages I’ve been getting, seems is going around. Wow! A lot of you have the “back to school blues.” For this Favorite’s on Friday, I am going to tell you my favorite things to do when I’m not feeling myself. And link you to a few things that are sure to give you a nice laugh to accompany these ideas.

  • Get outside. Even though it’s hotter than hell here in Florida right now, and is my least favorite time of the year. Just sitting outside, in the sun, for even just five minutes, somehow seems rejuvenating. A little dose of vitamin D could give you a bit of a boost.
  • Make time for myself. I’ve been really addicted to my Pure Barre classes recently, I think I’ve taken one almost every day for the past two weeks. Exercise has never really been a release for me but for some reason this is really doing the trick.
  • The truer than true therapy: retail. Yes, I know, very cliche, but sometimes buying myself something for a little treat makes me feel better.
  • Going on a date night. Adam and I are used to date nights all the time, and then we realized how they were adding up. So we’ve been doing them a little less frequently, but they are just what I need sometimes to set me back on track.
  • Be around people. Mostly my friends. Whether they head to do some retail therapy with me or we go to dinner or grab drinks and a movie, it so good for the soul. Last weekend, my girlfriends and I saw Bad Moms and had dinner. Hysterically laughing with them and talking through life is what I really needed.

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  • One of my guilty pleasures is watching really funny video clips from random sources. They have to be really funny. Here  and Here are two that really helped put a smile on my face the past weeks and I hope will yours too.

We’re headed out to Orlando this weekend for our first college football game of the year! All most of our friends will be together (which hasn’t happened in about 4 years) and we have so many fun plans for our 48 hours of our #gamedaycation (follow it!)

Happy weekend friends!

Parenting Twins

Twinning Tuesday

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As a multiples mom, I get asked tons of questions about twins, balance, stories, ‘how I do it’. I’ve decided to do a Twinning Tuesday post here and there to help other multiples mamas and to just share with others what twin parenting looks like. These posts might have stories of other twin mama’s, twins in the news and even a ‘what do I buy my friend who’s expecting twins’ post.

For today’s Twinning post I’ve decided to share one of my favorite twin facts, that I heard about a year ago that made me still find that wonder in twin siblings. There is a whole lot science still can’t explain about identical twins. One being how they are even created. Yes one egg splits into two around day 7, but they can’t explain why that happens. Still a scientific phenomena!

Last year, on a routine visit to my doctor, she told me: that if my identical twin boys, marry identical twin girls, all of their offspring would all technically be siblings, DNA wise, not cousins. And yes, I did have to stop and think about this for a few minutes before racing home and diving into research.

And it seems I was even late to the party hearing about this twin fact. I’ve found news outlets that talked about this here,and here . Because identical twins have the exact same DNA, if they marry another set of identical twins and produce offspring, all offspring between the four of them, would be considered siblings. Crazy, right?!

This is still one of my very favorite “twin facts” to share. I love people’s reaction as they stop and think, because I too had to play that one out in my head.

There are facts like this that pop up all the time with twins, that still catch me by surprise and make me appreciate the magnitude of how special identical twins truly are. As twin moms, we hear all the time about the ‘special bond’ our children have, and you politely nod your head, smile and say ‘oh, I’ve heard!’ Until you experience that unexplained bond for yourself.

Did you all see the identical twin girls last month that gave birth on the exact same day at the exact same time in different states?! While this might have been a fluke, it still makes you ponder that twin bond thing a little more. One of the sister’s evens said, “There have just been certain things in our life where things just match up – it’s odd.”

Well, there it is, your twin knowledge for the day! Hope you get to bring it up over a cocktail one night and blow someone’s mind!

Fashion

Getting Game Day Ready

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One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about the boys (besides “were they planned?” … didn’t know they could be) is about dressing them, how I buy and where we shop for them. On my Back to School Outfit post, I shared a little about “how I buy” and where. A few of you messaged me how I put outfits together and my “style” for the boys. If you haven’t noticed yet, I dress the boys preppy with a little trend and mostly on a budget.  With college football season around the corner, I’ve decided to put something together to show you what I do when searching for “team” clothing, and keeping it preppy and simple.

I personally love small business companies for finding “outside of the box” team clothing. Below is an idea of what I am doing for the boys this year and a few places I shop. If you have a certain college team you support, check out a local t-shirt company/boutique in the area to see if they sell cute, preppy college gear for littles. Our favorite Midwest company is Homage. Their shirts are soft, vintage looking and great quality. So look for a company sort of like this in the appropriate city to the team you’re looking for. I’ve link all sources below this picture so you all can direct link to the sites. Search around and see what they have for your home team!

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Twill Runner Shorts

Tomahawk and Tiger short sleeved shirts (a few other schools)

Script Ohio and Ohio University t-shirts (Lots of Midwest school apparel here)

LSU TIGERS shirt (lots of other colleges here)

Kentucky Bubble and Auburn Jumper (all schools found here)

Fashion

Tantrums a.k.a. Meltdown Town

Meltdown Town is a place frequently visited here in our household, mainly outside of our household, which makes it all the more fun to deal with. I’ve been in an extreme funk the past week and I’ve anchored it to the constant changes our little family is going through, albeit good, but change none the less. This funk keeps being fueled by the boys also experiencing the change and throwing tantrums left and right to prove it. And these meltdowns are over the STUPIDEST things!

I read an open letter recently titled “My kid is throwing a tantrum BECAUSE I’m a good mom” and it was almost what I needed to pull me out of the meltdown funk. THis mom addresses other shoppers around her with their judgmental looks and stares, as she explains the reason her child is melting down is because he is learning valubale lessons. YES, sister, YES! My kids tantrums are always over me not giving in to something they want, or a behavior I try and stop because its inappropriate for the place we’re in.

Here is an example of a meltdown that took place this week:

The boys had their first homework project, an “All About Me” poster. We excitedly completed the homework and they marched their proud hinnies into class and told their teacher and classmates all about themselves. Their sweet teacher hung them around the classroom, in a proud display for everyone to see and to stay up for when they have “Grandparents Day” for all the grands to see. When I went to pick the boys up, they both showed me where their hung in the class and Greer insisted on taking his home. We explained to him it needed to stay in Ms. Perla’s class, so everyone could see, and the screams and tears started. Oh my heavens! I explained, both teachers explained, he was not having it. (side note, Greer also keeps these meltdowns going when he realizes he’s wrong and gets embarrassed. For where this comes from, please see if father about that.) As i grab backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, folders with the days projects in them, and my purse, I hand the folders off to Grayson who quickly exits the classroom and empties the folders onto the floor in the hallway. (Greer is still screaming bloody murder) Their sweet teacher looks at me and says “I can take it down and he can take it home,” to which I quickly respond ” NO!”

He will learn that he is no different than anyone else in his class, he does not get special treatment. This lesson I am teaching him is causing this tantrum, I know that. But what if I gave in? Over and Over. What is that actually teaching him? If everyone could just understand the bigger picture with children, it would make it a lot easier on us moms.

Here are the four things I do when the boys jump on the choo-choo express to Meltdown Town:

  1. Make them take a deep breath ( mine have been taught this sine they turned one) and TRY and talk sense into them. This clearly doesn’t always work, since I have three other things I have to try with them. I get down to their eye level, hold their hands and explain to them my reasoning. “It’s about to rain, we don’t want to get wet, right?” Sometimes, all they need is a little reasoning to understand.
  2. I praise the other brother who isn’t having a meltdown. Its actually very rare that both boys have a meltdown together. Greer is the one typically losing it, so I turn to Grayson and tell him : “you’re being such a good boy Grayson,” ” I’m so proud of your behavior right now,” or “Mommy is so happy with how you are acting.” This will most likely lead to Greer saying “I’m a good boy too?” Then I can tell him he is a good boy but his behavior isn’t good or he’s “acting” like a bad boy.
  3. Leave. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, leave, walk away with both boys and handle it in a different location/setting. Sometimes removing them from the setting their in changes their behavior and lets me do step one more calmly and in a different location.
  4. BRIBE! Yes, I get desperate from time to time, again depending on the setting we’re in, and just bribe them to stop throwing a fit.

No matter which of these I choose, when we get back home, to the car, once they’ve calm down, we talk. We talk through that when they threw a fit, it made mommy upset and we walk through what we should have done instead. Over and over and over again, until they can tell me. Back to the example I used earlier, for the past two days when we’ve talked about school Greer has told me his projects stay in Ms. Perla’s class until she sends them home. We talked about it so much and I had him tell me about the where the project stays, that I know feel like he understands, (we’ll see how pickup goes today, wish me luck!)

I hope this helps any of you that need to try something new when it comes to meltdowns. They are so, so hard to deal with, but know that you standing your ground and being firm, makes you a great parent!

Fashion

The First Week of School – How it went

When I tell you that I’ve been looking forward to the boys starting school this fall for the longest time, its an understatement. Especially the two weeks before they started, whoah, did these two give me a run for my money. My pediatrician jokes that it’s mother natures way of preparing you for them to go. So true!

But to be completely honest with you, their first day, after we dropped them off, I went home and paced around my house for THREE hours. I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. I walked from room to room wondering what to do, where to start. I had no idea how lonely and useless I would really feel. I called Adam almost in a panic, and asked him what I should do, he laughed. I think I’ve said this in a previous post, but I had never been in this home without my boys for more than twenty minutes or so. It was the strangest feeling. So, that’s how the week went for me, as for the boys, they did great! They came home singing songs they learned and telling me about all their friends. It made my mama heart so happy.

A lot of people ask about them being in the same class and if I will keep them in the same class through school. As for the first question, yes they are in the same class, and as for the latter, I still go back and fourth. I am going to do a “twinning tuesday” post about once a month and discuss certain twin debates or fun facts, so I will for sure put all my thoughts down and explore with all of you more on that then.

Here are a few picture from their first week. I can’t believe we are already here and know I’ll turn around in May and wonder where this entire year went. And yes, I’m sure the following years go even faster.

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen the below picture (picture me rolling my eyes right now). This was the very first “project” the boys brought home from school and to be honest, it did not surprise me one bit that Grayson answered “good” and Greer answered “nothing.” Boy do I think I have some fun homework years ahead of me.

 The bottom picture below was an idea for “back to school” teacher gifts I posted on Instagram. I am a huge Swell fan! They keep water cold for hours and are great to knee refilling through the day. And they’re cute and functional to boot. I was super excited they started a line for Target, which is where I found these. They made for a great teachers gift that I know they can use all year long in the classroom and outside of the classroom. My friend and I discussed the idea of this gift and she came up with the cutest saying for the card… ” We’re excited for a SWELL year in your class!” How cute?! ( She’s a teacher herself, wink)

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I hope everyone’s start to the school year went smoothly and that your kiddos are settling in to their new routines!

Fashion

Recipe – Baked Lemon Chicken

Happy Thursday everyone! Who else is counting down the days until the weekend? We’ve had a busy day with the boys starting school this week, my part time job being busy and prepping to go out of town twice in the next month. I’ve been looking for easy, delicious, healthy dinners for us and stumbled upon this one last week and made it a few nights ago for dinner. It was delicious ! We paired it with sweet potatoes and asparagus, but this dish is so versatile, you could put it with pretty much anything! I’ve also been trying to cut out non-essential dairy (and by essential I mean my flavored coffee creamer in the morning!) so I substituted the butter for ghee!

Lemon-Chicken-13

Author: Dina from SimplyHomeCooked.com
Serves: 10 Drumsticks
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp black pepper
  • 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ large onion or (1 medium)
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional) or ghee
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the salt, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  2. Add the drumstick to the bowl and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Slice the lemon and onion.
  4. Heat olive oil over high heat in a large skillet and brown each side of the chicken. Don’t fully cook them.
  5. Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with the sliced onions.
  6. Place the browned drumsticks into the baking dish and add half a slice of lemon and a small slice of butter on top of each drumstick.
  7. Bake at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or an hour and 15 minutes.

enjoy!

*recipe and photo from SimplyHomeCooked.com

 

Fashion

First Day of School

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To my sweet boys on your first day of school (PreK -2),

 You two simply make life better. I am so proud to be your mama and to have spent the past three years at home with you. Watching you grow, learn and love each other have been the best years of my life. Dropping you off today, in someone else’s care is extremely hard for your mama. I am torn between sitting in the parking lot until pick up time or sitting at home among your things and remembering all the things I watched you do in this home. I’ve actually never been without you in this house for more an 30 minutes, so I’m guessing it’s going to feel pretty lonely. But you, my sweet boys, are ready for school!

Be kind to your teachers, your friends and each other. Be includers. Include every child in your class, in everything you do. Being a good friend and a good person is the best quality you can have as a human. Share toys, and play nicely. Try new things. You have a wonderful teacher, who we know and love, and she will push you to do your best and to accept challenges and excel at them. Follow her, trust her and love her big. She has one of the most important jobs on this planet.

Your Daddy and I are so proud of you. You have completed us and we couldn’t express the love we have for you if we tried, there aren’t enough words to tell you.

Love,

Momma

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss

Wife, Mama to identical twins boys. Lover of travel, rosé, and entertaining.

My Former Blog (for twin mamas!)