Fashion

The #1 Thing Teachers Want Parents To Do!

Today is another treat for you all! Mama, educator, and children’s author, Joanna Merideth is providing some amazing info for all you mama’s with readers and upcoming readers! 

Beyond blessed that the beautiful, mommy of twins, Brittany Laws, invited me to guest write on her blog!

My name is Joanna Merideth and I am a Pre-K & Kindergarten educator and children’s book author. Do you know the#1 thing teachers need parents to do with their children so they are successful in school? Well, I am excited to tell you the simple, yet complex answer… READ TO THEM! Research shows, via educational studies and my own teaching experience, that reading is the single most important thing a parent needs to do with their child! (“The Read-Aloud Handbook” By: Jim Trelease)

Below are 5 Academic Advantages that children have if their parents read to them everyday:

1- A Positive Relationship Towards Books- when you sit and read with your child, you help him develop a relationship with books. His brain will make positive connections towards books and relate ‘reading’ with comfort, love, and safety. The more enjoyable a child’s experience with books is, the more his brain will be conditioned to actually like reading. I have witnessed children who have positive reading experiences with their parents at home, are more excited about books in the classroom.

2- Larger Vocabulary ‘Word Bank’- Research has shown children by the age of 5 who have been read to at home are exposed to 30 million more words than those who are not!! 30 million!! Reading books with your child everyday exposes her to vocabulary she may not encounter in her daily language. It also gives more understanding to words she already knows and widens her synonym ‘word bank.’ For example, she may know the word ‘mad,’ but if you read ‘The Very Grouchy Ladybug,’ you can explain the word ‘grouchy’ and connect it to ‘mad.’ ALSO- if the child does not know what all the ‘picture words’ are on an alphabet activity like the example on the right, they could get things marked wrong. For example, on an alphabet-coloring ‘J’ page- their may be a picture of a ‘jacket,’ but if the child only knows that picture word to be ‘coat,’ they wouldn’t color in the picture. I found the children who were read to MORE at home, had a bigger vocabulary ‘bank’ to sort through and could think, “well, this is an ‘J’ page, coat begins with C, but what also looks like this picture but beings with an ‘J’… Jacket!”

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3- Strong Social-Emotional Development- Depending on the book, you can connect your child’s feelings to character’s feelings! Books open up great opportunities for social and emotional conversation. When reading a story with your little learner, you can dialogue how a character may be feeling or what they may have done differently if they were in that situation. I found relating children’s ‘real-life’ feelings with book character’s feelings is less confrontational and helps them understand feelings of compassion, empathy, and remorse better. Plus, if your child personally connections with a book, they will have a higher comprehension of it!

4- Strong Sense of Phonemic Awareness- In the education world, I feel this is an over-used, hard to understand reading term! Let me simplify it for you: letter sounds! If your child has a strong sense of their letter sounds, they will have a strong sense of phonemic awareness. When you read, discuss beginning, middle, and end sounds of words. Reinforce beginning sounds by repeating the sound: “Brown, /B/ /B/ Brown Bear” or change the B in brown to a ‘C’ and say CROWN! By simply modeling letter sounds and changing letters in words to make NEW words, you are impacting their future reading in a HUGE way!!!

5- Kindergarten Ready- Reading at home with your child helps his whole body prepare for the long haul of learning at school. It conditions his brain and body to sit, focus, and listen to a story. It also opens his mind to ask questions, seek answers, and engage in discussions. All of these things help his brain retain more knowledge and comprehend learning concepts because their whole body has been trained how to listen and learn all while reading on your lap at home ☺

Every year I still had parents express to me that they struggled to find the time to fit reading into their daily schedule. I understand, the days are full and demanding! So I came up with a reading ‘guide’ called, “3-1-3 CHOOSE!” “3-1-3 CHOOSE!” has had a positive impact in my student’s homes over the years.

3-1-3 CHOOSE!
3- read 3 books in the morning, “you choose, I choose, we choose”
1- read 1 book in the afternoon (decide amongst yourselves who will “choose” the book)
3- read 3 books in the evening: “you choose, I choose, we choose”

3-1-3 CHOOSE! teaches healthy reading habits, time-management, ownership, and compromise! (But you can always read as much as you want!!!)

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I am so passionate about reading that I wrote and published 10- ‘early-sight word readers,’ called Mush Mush Readers! I’d be delighted if you checked out my 10 sight word focused, Mush Mush Readers to see if they would be a good fit for your beginning reader at  www.mushmushreaders.com or follow me @mushmushreaders for all things early reading!

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Blessings,

Joanna Merideth
Early Childhood Educator and Children’s Author

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Parenting

Twinning Tuesday: Halloween Costume Ideas

While Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday, it actually doesn’t even rank in the top 5, I love seeing really little kids get dressed up. The older kids and their gory, scary costumes, I could do without.

For this addition of Twinning Tuesday, I’ve found some of my favorite twin costume ideas. These would actually be good for any siblings too, I just constantly have twins on the brain when it comes to costume ideas.

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Inspired by the movie UP! via Pinterest

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This one is just too much! Two little grandmas! Via Etsy

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Sushi rolls!  Via one of our fave’s The Wishing Elephant

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Salt and Pepper shakers! Also via The Wishing Elephant

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This one will never get old! Via Costume Works

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This is what the boys were supposed to be last year, but refused to put them on. So adorable! Via Coolest-Homemade-Costumes.com

Fashion

3!

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I feel like I say this and will continue saying this for the rest of the their lives, but where has the time gone? Seriously! I just brought them home and they were just barfing all over me thirty times a day. I was just sitting in my closet pumping for hours on end in the middle of the night and was existing off iced coffee and Reese’s Cups.

These two boys have taught me so much about life and especially myself. Their constant need for me and the life support I sometimes feel like I am for them has taught me that I can do just about anything. There is something to be said about two living beings needing you for everything in their life for three years straight. At the beginning of their life, I let that consume me a bit. I never left the house and rarely returned phone calls for fear they would feel I wasn’t giving them enough of me. However, when they turned 18 months, I did some soul searching and realized that we all sort of needed breaks from each from time to time. I started planning date nights with Adam every week, girls nights with my friends and just plain old alone time. And do you know what I discovered? I was a better mom, friend and wife because I filled my cup and their cup. I could do it all and not have to be attached to them 24/7. So much has changed, evolved even in year three. The boys started school, I started working part time and it’s all flowed so nicely. They’re learning things from other adults (even our nanny) and other children, and I’m getting to exercise the adult part of my brain.

I can say this past year (year three) has been my absolutely favorite. They learned so much, so fast. Developed practically overnight and their little personalities are shining bright (sometimes too bright). Every year since the boys were born, in their birthday cards, my sister and brother in love write down their top 10 favorite things about the boys that year. I’m stealing their idea and jotting down y top 10 favorite things about this little duo of mine, on their third birthday.

  1. I love that they call each other “Guga,” when they say it the only person that answers in the other brother. It’s their name for each other and its all theirs. They made it, and have used it since 10 months old.
  2. When I tell them NO, they quietly go find Adam and ask him, knowing he’ll say YES.
  3. When one holds the others hand when that bother is scared or nervous.
  4.  They always look for each other. If one is out of site, the other is looking for him in seconds.
  5. They love making each other laugh.
  6. When they want to be super sweet and lovey to each other, they call each other brother bear. ” I yuv you, bruder bear”
  7. The cuddles they love to have with me when it’s time to go to bed and they know it.
  8. That they sing Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds” every night before bed, word for word. (Adam and I have sung this to them every night since they were born, over the years, they’ve learned every word)
  9. Their sweet innocent souls. I know it wont be like this very much longer. I literally make time every single day to soak it in and remember it.
  10. When they crawl in bed with each other when one is crying or scared. Although the rule is to stay in their beds. I’ll walk in from time to time and see one sitting in the others bed, talking to him and telling him not to cry.

 

To our two brother bears,

You are the absolute light in the any darkness. You have made us so very proud to be parents and we couldn’t love you more. You are the best thing we’ve ever done.

Happy 3rd birthday!

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Fashion

Favorites on Friday: Halloween Books

HAPPY FALL! Last week mark one of my favorite celebration days, the first day of fall! Like every basic chick, fall is my favorite! We are heading to Disney for the weekend to celebrate the boys THIRD birthday! After we get back we’ll be getting the house decorated for Halloween! For this Favorites on Friday, I have rounded up our favorite Halloween books here in The Laws House. I love having a collection of books for each holiday and bringing them out each year. It’s like having new toys, new material!

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Happy Halloween Stinky Face

Trick or Treat Pout Pout Fish

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

Big Pumpkin

Room on the Broom

Goodnight Goon

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!

 GamedaySources:

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)

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

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