Blog Archives

Kids Consignment Sale in OC: April 25-28

The Up Up and Away Kids Consignment Sale has been a huge money-saver for our family! Having twins is double the blessing, but also double the expense. It is amazing how fast babies grow out of clothes, gear, and toys!

I found Up Up and Away one year ago, when I was pregnant and decided to volunteer.  You may remember my post on OC Family last May.

During that time, I was one month from delivering my twin girls, and I left the sale with some great bargains!

Changing Table for $27.50

Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing for $45 (Retail: $160)

Fisher Price Papasan Bouncer for $20 (Retail: $60)

Bumbo Seat for $10 (Retail: $40)

Evenflo Monitor with Intercom for $15

IKEA Frog Bathroom Organizer for $5

At the last sale in February, I picked up two Playskool Step Start Walk N Ride cars for $10 each. (Retail: $30)

The Up Up and Away Kids Consignment Sale happens four times a year and the next sale is coming up this week! Shop for furniture, strollers, car seats, high chairs, toys, clothing, shoes, play mats, swings, bouncers, games, books, movies, and more!

I spent three hours on Saturday volunteering and was impressed with the high-quality inventory we were checking in! Every item that comes in is inspected for the “used but excellent” quality standards.

This will be my first congisnment sale where I will not only be a shopper but a consignor as well!

The quarterly consignment sale is such an awesome idea, and not only a great way to make a little money by selling items your kids have outgrown, but you can also save up to 90% off of retail prices. If you have kids or know anyone with kids, this is one sale you definitely don’t want to miss! Here are the details for the upcoming sale:

Follow Up Up and Away Kids Consignement on Facebook, to stay up-to-date with all of their upcoming sales. If you are interested in volunteering, or if you are interested in consigning in the next sale, you will receive a pass to enter a private pre-sale, and have first dibs on all of the great bargains!

We are so thankful we found the Up Up and Away Kids Consigment Sale last year and look forward to visiting and consigning with them going forward!

Rockabye Baby or Cry It Out

Every mother has an opinion on sleep training and the best way to get their baby to sleep. There are plenty of books on how to teach your baby to self-soothe themselves to sleep and how imperative it is that you do not rock them to sleep for too long.

Well, I rocked my girls to sleep for almost 9 months, and they are the happiest, most loving babies I have ever seen! After 9 months, I decided they were finally old enough to begin to teach themselves how to go to sleep on their own.

I was never a fan of “crying it out,” for babies under six months old. I just feel that when they are so young, babies do not understand how to “teach” themselves to go to sleep, and I did not want them to cry to the point of exhaustion. If they were crying, it was because they needed me and I did not want them to feel like I was abandoning them.

Newborns cry for a reason, because they need something, and sometimes that need is just to be held. A newborn baby is not old enough to understand cause and effect, and at such an early age, they are not crying to manipulate their caregiver.

It is just my personal opinion, that I could not let my baby cry themselves to sleep for at least the first six months. It tore my heart out to hear my baby cry and I always wanted them to trust that I would be there, whenever they needed me. Now that they are older, and are beginning to understand cause and effect, I am ready to let them go to sleep on their own.

As always, the twin factor definitely makes things interesting. If we had just one baby, we may have stopped rocking them to sleep around 6 months, but I was always hesitant because when one baby cries, the other baby cries, and that raises another question, should we separate them into two rooms so they do not wake each other up, or do we let them get used to their sister crying? We decided to keep them together in the same room when we finally decided to stop rocking them to sleep, and it was a great decision for us!

So, yes, for the first 9 months of their lives, we rocked them to sleep for every nap and every bedtime, and I do not regret that choice at all. Of course, I had some people tell me that rocking them was the wrong thing to do, but for me, I still believe it was the right thing for us. Every family has to do what is right for them and their own family. As with everything in parenting, what works for one family, may not work for anther.

A few weeks ago, we decided they were old enough to understand that once they were in their crib, it was time to sleep. The first couple of days were the hardest, and the first night was the absolute worst, because I have never let my babies cry without consoling them.

The first night, the girls cried for about 12 minutes total until they finally fell asleep. We did go in their room during that time to rub their back and give them a hug and reassure them that it was okay.  Each night, thereafter, for the next couple of days, the time drastically decreased, and now when we put them in their crib, they usually go right to sleep with little or no fuss at all.

I’m sure we could’ve had the same outcome of the girls falling asleep on their own, if we attempted “sleep training” months ago, but I was just not ready to do it nor did I believe it was the right thing to do during the first few months of their lives.

Honestly, staring down at my little girls, asleep in my arms each night, was an incredible feeling. I loved rocking my girls to sleep and I am so glad that I will always have those memories to cherish.

 

Girls Will Not Be Eating Purees in College

As with every parenting decision you make, whether it be breastfeeding, sleeping habits, pacifiers, routines, homemade food, etc, someone will think (and probably tell you) that you are doing it absolutely wrong.

I am still learning to take all of these opinions with a grain of salt, and no, it is not always easy. As a stay-at-home Mommy, I always want to make sure I am doing what is best for my babies. But knowing that there are people out there, who think I am doing everything wrong, or even watching other Mommies handle things with ease that I am in constant stress about, can be very overwhelming at times.

My most recent struggle is the transition to solid foods. The girls are nine months old and the internet tells me that they should be able to handle most any food now. Well, we are not there yet.

Both girls had a very bad gag reflex to the point that anything that was not puree, would make them throw up. I could prepare a thicker puree or offer oatmeal and everything was fine, but chunks, small pieces of food, small bits in a puree, all would lead to a meal disaster. I was beginning to think the girls would be eating puree foods in college, and then I wondered, could this be my fault?

After a lot of patience and spending 3 hours a day in our high chairs, the girls have made big advancements over the last two weeks. They have graduated to mashed potatoes, cheese, yogurt, deli meat, bananas, avocado, bread, pancakes, and oh yes, Gerber Puffs. I think they would live on Gerber Puffs if I let them.

I am finally starting to feel good that they are eating a little bit more food in addition to the purees, but we are definitely not on the page of, “they can eat anything,” yet.

So, the next dilemma begins, we are still eating very soft food because I am very paranoid about choking, and now I need to be creative and find time to prepare 3 meals a day. No, I am not organized enough to have a freezer full of food that I can just pull out, but maybe one day.

People often tell me to just feed them what I’m eating, but between bad timing and sometimes forgetting that I need to feed myself too, it has not been working out that way.

I know that, in time, I will figure this out, but right now, I am completely overwhelmed with meal times. Not to mention, I am spending an insane amount of my day in the kitchen between preparing meals, three 1-hour meal times, and cleaning up, I think I may just sleep in there too.

I remember being overwhelmed when I was first by myself and I had to figure out how to feed both girls a bottle at the same time but I figured it out. Then I was stressed that they were not eating solids when they “were supposed too,” so at 5.5 months we began eating oatmeal. I had to figure out how to feed them purees at the same time and that was even harder, and twice as time consuming, but I figured it out.

Now, I feel like they are “supposed” to be eating more finger foods, and I am very stressed out about what and how much, and this is 3 times more time-consuming, but I am hoping this is just another challenge that I will figure out too.

So, I may not be doing the “right” thing in other’s opinions, when it comes to figuring out the whole solids situation, and yes, I do stress about it way too much, but I am just trying to figure this challenge out too.

I think the important thing to remember is, they will not be eating purees in college. (I hope).

Milestones: Babies at Their Own Pace

Milestones are an important part of your child’s development and a huge celebration for the parents when they see their baby sit up all by themselves, or roll over for the first time.

Sometimes, parents can get caught up in milestones, and I admit that I am guilty of this offense. One important rule to remember in parenthood is not to compare your baby to other babies because all babies develop at their own pace.

While this is a good rule to follow, sometimes it is hard to remember.

Of course, every parent wants their baby to excel. You can go online and read pages of literature, blogs, or forums on when your baby should sit up or crawl or get their first tooth. If that date passes by and your baby has not reached that milestone, you can really feel discouraged.

Yes, this happens to me, a lot. I know the importance of never comparing babies, but I do attend a lot of classes, play groups, and meet-ups, and I see a multitude of babies that are the same age as mine or younger, who have hit important milestones weeks or months before my girls will.

Never compare your babies to other babies. I understand the concept, but I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I feel like my girls are behind the curve.

They do not go to day care or have a nanny. They are with me 24 hours a day, so I feel like their ability to hit their milestones on target, falls completely on my shoulders. If they don’t crawl what they are supposed to crawl, or walk when they are supposed to walk, I must be doing something wrong.

So many thoughts race through my head as I sit in a class and watch a baby who is 8 weeks younger then my girls crawl by me. Is there something I should be doing differently? The guilt piles on.

My girls are my world and we absolutely love play time! When we are home and they are not sleeping or eating, we are almost always on the floor playing! In fact, I probably have the most content, happy babies in the world, and for that, I am truly blessed.

The girls will be eight months next Friday. They are not crawlers, although Katelyn is starting to skooch. They can sit up by themselves if you put them in that position and they are more than content sitting and playing in one spot for a while.

When they are around other babies, they turn into observers and just like to sit and watch. My girls are just extremely mellow babies and simply do not have the desire to move around from one place to the next, just yet.

I’m sure when I look back in a few years; I will be counting my blessings that I had two amazing babies who were just content and happy, simply playing in one spot.

It is hard to watch babies who are younger than yours hit their milestones weeks or months before your baby does, but I know it is important to not let that make you feel guilty. I know that is something I need to work on.

Workout For Mom: Sling and Dance


At least for me, after having a baby (or in my case babies), losing the baby weight is always in the back of your mind. Finding the right workout, support, energy, or even the time can be very stressful. When you do find the time, it raises the question, who will watch my baby when I am working out?

I was watching the news on KTLA a couple of weeks ago, when I came across an interesting segment that caught my attention!

A new class called Sling and Dance, a unique workout for new moms. Your baby actually becomes your workout partner, so you not only get to bond with your baby, but also find the time to get a great workout during the day!

After watching the news, I knew I had to try this class out for myself.

Sling and Dance is very new and currently there is only one location in Orange County. With increasing demand, they are expecting to expand! The class I attended was at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa and currently is offered every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Check Granola Babies for their complete class schedule.

Here is a little preview of a Sling and Dance class:

I have to say, Sling and Dance was awesome and my baby and I had an absolute blast! It not only felt wonderful to finally workout but I felt so good about myself after the class.

Yes, you will get a good burn! Doing squats and boogying down, with an extra 17 pounds on you, will definitely do the trick! My baby loved it!

Babies love movement and it appears to be very soothing to them. All of the babies in my class enjoyed the dancing and not a single one fussed.

I am definitely looking forward to this class again.  A great workout, bonding with your baby, meeting new moms, and getting out of the house…all in all, this class was a huge hit in my book!

Although this class may not be twin friendly, since it would be very hard to dance with two babies, let the baby who is not in the sling watch the class and switch the babies half way through. There is so much going on, that even the baby who is watching, will still have a good time!

All you need to join the class are your baby and your sling or carrier. Get ready to dance, laugh and bond… I know I sure did!

For more information on Sling and Dance or to sign up for a class, you can visit their website http://slinganddance.com.

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Hand / Foot Impressions Last a Lifetime

People always tell you to cherish every moment with your children because they will grow up in the blink of an eye.

When the girls were first born, I could not wait for them to reach the milestones, like smiling, rolling, and even walking. When I look at how far my girls have come in the past six and a half months, tears of joy come to my eyes because they are growing so much every day.

When I was little, my parents had my first baby shoe bronzed to preserve a memory. I wanted to find a special way to capture my little girls. My husband and I started talking about the possibility of making hand and footprint impressions and began to do a little research online.

Within a few days of talking about the baby impressions, I came across this post, Ceramic Baby Handprint + Footprint Plate Giveaway on the Tiny Orangesblog!

After doing a little more research, I was stoked, and called Elsie Holdridge, owner and ceramist of Precious Hand / Footprints, to book an appointment on November 5th!

Elsie was absolutely awesome! A true pleasure to work with and she worked so fast with the babies. We are so incredibly happy that we went to Precious Hand / Footprints!

We told her that we wanted three plates, one for us and two were Christmas presents. We were concerned that they may not be done before we left for our Christmas trip. Elsie made a special note on our order form and when they were ready on December 2, she not only called me, but sent me a picture text of one of the plates! Talk about, going above and beyond for customer service!

Precious Hand / Footprints has been in Orange County since 1991, over 20 years now. They will work with you to make sure you get exactly what you are looking for!

We had the girls impressions taken when they were four months old, but you can get them done as soon as you leave the hospital!

Impressions are done by appointment only.  Here is all the contact information you will need:

Precious Hand / Footprints
28362 Marguerite Pkwy., Suite #4
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
949 364-3659
www.PreciousHandFootPrints.com

Your babies will not be small forever, but their impressions will last a lifetime!

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0-3 Month Infant Milestones

I recently found out about a wonderful class offered every Monday at Kaiser Irvine. The class is called “Thriving Into Motherhood.” It is an educational support program for new moms and their babies, from birth to one year old. Each class is $10 to attend and since it is privately run, you do not have to be a Kaiser member to attend.

I definitely wanted to check this class out! As much as I wanted to take both of my girls, they happened to be on different feeding schedules that morning, so I decided to head to the class with Chelsea (who we just fed) and give Daddy some quality time with Katelyn!

The class is for women only (and boys under 3 feet tall) which made it a very comfortable setting. There were probably 20 Mommys and their babies in the class. Nursing, diaper changes, cries, tummy time, and playing were all welcome. After seeing how the class was structured, I am definitely going to bring both my girls to the next one we attend!

Every week, a different topic is discussed and this week’s topic was “Infant Development and Milestones.” Since our girls are now 6.5 weeks old, here are some of the 0-3 milestones we discussed:

0-3 Months

1        Baby will practice bringing their fist to their mouth

2        Baby can lift their head briefly while on their tummy

3        Your baby can turn toward sounds and follow you around with their eyes (newborns see 8-12 inches)

4        Socially, you can expect your baby to smile (not just when they are passing gas!)

5        Expect to hear your baby’s voice between 2-3 months when they begin to “coo”

Our girls appear to be track for these developmental milestones and we have already hit the first 2! They do turn towards sounds and follow things with their eyes sometimes, but since they are only 1.5 months old, we will give them more time to fully accomplish this one.  

We are still waiting for that first smile… although we definitely get the daily “gas” smiles and adorable smiles in their sleep. It will be so amazing when they look up at us and smile for the first time because they want to! Hopefully in the next month or so, our girls will start to “coo” using their vowel signs.

When looking at each developmental stage, it is important to remember that they are based on an average age and every baby masters each stage when they are ready. 

If you would like more information on the “Thriving Into Motherhood” classes, you can email the facilitator, Britton Lunde at thrive2motherhood@gmail.com.

 

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