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Stroller Strides: Fitness for Moms

Being a new mom, especially of twins, can be a very isolating experience. It’s hard getting out of the house with two active toddlers and going to the park is very overwhelming when the girls are running in opposite directions. I found that we were staying home more and more, just because it was easier.

Last month, I joined Stroller Strides of Irvine and Tustin, and it has been a complete life changer for me!

Stroller Strides is the country’s largest stroller fitness program for moms, offering pre- and post-natal fitness classes, and the best part is, you take your baby or toddler to class with you!

Stroller Strides is an hour long fitness class that combines intervals of power walking (or jogging), and body toning exercises using an exercise tube, the environment and your stroller. The class is taught by certified instructors and the workouts are great!

It is a complete win-win for me because I am getting out of the house, doing something good for myself by exercising, and after class, the girls have their time to play at the park with the other kids. It is the perfect way to start my day.

Aside from the workout, a big part of the class is the support that is offered by the other moms! Every month, Stroller Strides of Irvine and Tustin offers a Mom’s Night Out, additional play dates, occasional crafts after class, holiday parties, and healthy snacks!

Here is what one mom is saying about Stroller Strides:

 ”Stroller strides has introduced my daughters and I to some of the most amazing people I know. It’s such a unique experience as a mom to be able to get to workout, socialize, have your kids make friends, learn from other moms and be a part of a wonderful community. I couldn’t imagine motherhood without Stroller Strides!” ~Tamar

Stroller Strides of Irvine and Tustin is offered Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m at two local parks near Tustin Marketplace. The first class is FREE! For more information, email Lynsey at lynsey@strollerstrides.net! You can also find them on Facebook.

I also wanted to let you know about one more class that is offered by Lynsey, Body Back!

Body Back is the newest program release from Stroller Strides!

Whether you had your baby six weeks ago or twenty years ago, Body Back is a results-based workout, designed specifically for moms and this class is also a mom’s getaway, because you leave your babies at home.

The workouts have been clinically proven in a University research study to help moms lose weight and get their pre-baby body back. Moms all over the country are achieving results that they never dreamed possible.

The program includes:

  • 2 Workouts per week in a small group format
  • Mama Wants Her Body Back Meal Plan and Food Diary
  • Before and After fitness assessments and measurements
  • Online coaching and support
  • Mama Wants Her Body Back workout DVD

Here is what one mom is saying about Body Back:

“With my eldest son being six years old, and despite my personal efforts to exercise and stay healthy, I resigned myself to accepting my “post baby body.” Then I heard about Body Back from a friend and I thought I’d give it a try. After one session, I had not only gotten my pre-wedding body back, but I now have a clear and realistic outlook on purposeful fitness and healthy eating. Now three sessions in, I keep coming back for the fitness, support, and fun!” ~Jodie

For more information on Stroller Strides or Body Back, you can contact Lynsey directly! If you do sign up and mention that you heard about Stroller Strides on OC Family, you will receive $20 off registration!

Stroller Strides of Tustin & Irvine
http://classes.strollerstrides.net/irvine/location/index.aspx
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stroller-Strides-of-Irvine-and-Tustin/130593183642436

Body Back by Lynsey
http://bodybackworkout.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Body-Back-by-Lynsey/173383146070635

Lynsey
lynsey@strollerstrides.net

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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).

Say What?? Mommy of Twins Vent

As a mother of multiples, it is expected to get a lot of extra attention when I am out in public.

While it is expected, it is also redundant and gets annoying. People flock to me left and right. I feel like I’m walking around with a six-foot monkey on my head.

The comments really began when I was pregnant. At 6-7 months pregnant, many people began to comment that I must be due any day now. Well, thank you for reminding me how gigantic I am, I almost forgot that I was pregnant. When I told people that I was having twins, some people followed up with, “I’m sorry.” Really?

It is a fact that I cannot go anywhere with the girls without people stopping me to ask the same questions or make the same comments. I understand that people are fascinated by twins, but sometimes people have no filter, and sometimes the comments and questions can get annoying and frustrating because I hear them so many times.

Here are the Top 10 remarks that I receive at almost every public appearance.

  • “Are they twins?”
    • Really? What tipped you off? They are usually wearing the same outfit, sitting in identical car seats in a double stroller. Yes, they are twins. Ok, a better response, OMG? What? NO, they are actually triplets. I may have lost one! Then, run in the other direction.
  •  “You’ve got your hands full.”
    • They usually look at me like they are sorry for me. Don’t be sorry, I would not want it any other way. However, If you could open the door for me, that’d be great.
  • “Do twins run in your family?” or “Are they natural?”
    • Since we are getting personal, Hi, my name is Hollie, nice to meet you. I guess this is a sneaky way to ask, did you have IVF? Not that it is any of your business, but no.
  • “Double Trouble.”
    • This comment just offends me. Thank you for your opinion, but I feel very lucky to have twins and NO, my girls are not trouble.
  • “Better you then me.”
    • Absolutely, I could not agree with you more.
  • “How do you tell them apart?”
    • Okay, they are fraternal twins. They are sisters who happened to be born at the same time. They are two completely different people. How do you tell your children apart?
  • “Do they have different personalities?”
    • No, they even blink at the same time. Of course they have two different personalities, they are two different people.
  • “Who is older?” or “I can tell which one is older.”
    • Really, they are four minutes apart and you can tell me with certainty which baby is older? (Usually, they are wrong anyway) Plus, at 240 seconds, does it really matter who is older?
  • “Did you know you were having twins?”
    • This is the 21st century, and we do have ultrasound machines. I was not on the TLC show, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”  I was fully aware that there were two babies growing inside of me.
  • “Guess you are done having kids!”
    • Thank you for offering to plan ahead for my future. I am glad that you think that families should have no more than 2 children, but I think I’ll keep that decision between my husband and I.

Okay, I am feeling a lot better after getting the “Twin Mommy Vent” out of the way and that was only the Top 10! Maybe I can do a follow up with the Top 20 later.

If you see a Mommy of Multiples the next time you are out, just take a minute to think about this post. I’m sure she will appreciate it.

Vent over.

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.

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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Wordless Wednesday

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Time to Pack the Hospital Bag

Everything is really starting to come together! We finished the nursery this week, bought a bunch of diapers, and finished our pre-baby shopping.

With twins, you are considered full term at 37 weeks.  Now that I am 33 weeks pregnant, it’s time to pack the hospital bag!

Our plan is still to deliver vaginally, but since twins are considered a “high-risk” birth, we will be delivering our girls in the operating room. There is still a chance that I may potentially be delivering by c-section, which means my stay in the hospital could be up to 4 days.

With this being my first pregnancy, my list of what to bring to the hospital consists of what friends have told me and lists I have found online, but I think I have the basics covered. I have been told to be careful not to over-pack!

Labor Gear

  • Hair Ties / Clips
  • iPad
  • iPhone/Chargers/Mini Speakers
  • Birthing Ball

Personal Items

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Mouthwash
  • Hair Brush
  • Toiletries
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Face Wash
  • Makeup
  • Facial Wipes
  • Chap Stick

Clothes

  • Maternity Gown
  • Nursing Bra
  • Slippers / Warm Socks
  • Flip Flops
  • Comfy Going Home Clothes
  • Going Home Outfit for Babies
  • Change of Clothes for Daddy

Other

  • 2 Car Seats
  • Birth Plan
  • Hospital Registration Forms
  • Insurance Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Snacks for Daddy

My questions to Mommys: Was there anything you packed and did not need? Anything you wished you brought with you?

Once the bag is packed, we are one step closer to holding our girls! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by!


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The Nursery Unveiled!

I know you have been waiting for this, and so have we… the unveiling of the Nursery!

Trent and I moved into our new home on April 30th (when I was 29 weeks pregnant). It took a couple of weeks to get everything in the house organized and unpacked, especially since I was unable to do a whole lot without getting exhausted. My husband was (and still is!!) amazing, and he handled the majority of the moving/unpacking… he is the absolute best!!

We were both very excited to “get to the good stuff” and begin the nursery and we finally finished tonight! I am excited to show you the cutest room in the house!

We started out with a blank slate… 

After a trip to Home Depot, Trent prepped… 


…and painted the room!

Tonight… we finished the final touches and it is by far the cutest room in the house!

Of course the nursery will not be 100% complete until our girls are here! It’s only a matter of weeks now and trust me, we can not be more excited!

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