Monday, June 30, 2014

Baby Bow Tie | Giveaway

Today our giveaway is all about the BOYS.  We are so excited to introduce you to Kat of Baby Bow Tie!  Not only is she incredibly talented, but also kind and so supportive of fellow moms.

Let's discuss her talent.  I've always been a fan of the bow tie but assumed it would be impossible for Jude to sit still long enough to get one on him.  When her bow ties arrived (in incredible packaging, by the way), I mentally prepared myself to spend 15 minutes with this new contraption.  I was thrilled when I realized the bow tie attaches by magnet.  BRILLIANT.  I quickly sized his neck and popped on the bow tie.  Done.  Jude knew something was up because I squealed and clapped for a good minute.  Even my husband, who was completely engrossed in the World Cup, turned and admired Jude's new look.

Everything about this bow tie is perfect.  The design, the fabric, the quality, and the ease.  Kat really took the time to think through the process and it is so obvious with her final product.  Her bow ties were recently picked up by Neiman Marcus and we're giving away TWO of them to one of you!

Read Kat's incredible story and then enter our giveaway below!


Hi, I'm Kat. If you're reading this post you are likely a parent or caregiver investing your very best into future generations. You need to hear that you are doing a great job. You really are. It rarely feels like we are doing a great job parenting but I want to send you an e-hug right now and remind you that this community is cheering you on!!

Take a moment and let some grace settle into your soul for yourself and for your kids.
You're doing a great job. Stay the course.

My faith in Christ is at the center of who I am and so it's hard to get to know each other unless you know that about me.  My high school choir director invested in my life in really significant ways and one was sharing her faith with me.  She was a Christian and after she explained God's grace to me a light bulb went on and faith flooded my life. Everything changed for me when I understood grace for the first time. I'm still feeling little windows open in my soul towards more grace for myself and for others the more I understand God's grace for you and for me. It's a glorious adventure. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, once over this great interview of Bono about grace.

I met and married a man I greatly respect and admire, Aaron Armstrong. We've been married 12 years and this picture of us is on our 10 year wedding anniversary. I am 11 weeks pregnant in this picture and hid the preganancy from him for 8 weeks for a big reveal on our 10 year anniversary. It was a night we will never forget. We like to refer to ourselves as Team Armstrong as we have each other's back, in everything.

Insert exploding heart emoticons here.

My son Caleb is 15 months old now, but when we were thinking about a name for our little bean we re-read the story about Caleb from the Bible in Numbers 13. I know, who reads Numbers? But this story is so important to our family. Take a peek when you have a second. My hope is that Caleb will grow up to know and love God and that his response to might tasks that seem too hard would be: "We can do it." Each day I'm hoping that a little bit of hustle and a big portion of faith shapes a can-do attitude in his life because God is able.

My friend Jennifer made Caleb a bow tie for his baby shower and that simple shower gift was a turning point for me during my pregnancy and the seed for my company, Baby Bow Tie. You can watch my 60-second video about how the bow tie in the picture above sparked a dream for little gentleman everywhere to sport stylish accessories. 

Three months after Caleb was born I told Aaron I was having a hard time finding a bow tie for him that was stylish, safe and affordable and that I needed to fix this problem by starting a company. He looked at me like I was still in my hormone crazy that is life with a newborn. But a few hours later he said: "go for it." We've got some serious skin in the game but my small business seems to strike a cord with fellow parents struggling to find stylish accessories for their boys. Boy moms, who's with me?!!

Just weeks after launching my business Neiman Marcus picked us up and currently they carry several of our bow tie styles, perfect for summer styling. Check out our Neiman Marcus summer collection. The cheerful response to my designs we get daily from parents brings me so much joy. 

I hope you shop our collections. When you do, you help a small business and your boys will get endless compliments. Enough compliments that they will start asking to wear a bow tie everytime they leave the house.

Thanks for reading and supporting this amazing community of parents. Let's stick together.

We are ELATED to have Kat share her sweet bow ties with Twin Talk Blog readers.  Who says accessories are ONLY for girls?

Not us!

Enter below for your chance to win TWO Baby Bow Ties! 
The blue and white stripe and the black and white stripe bow ties are up for grabs, so don't miss out! 
Contest will run through Thursday, July 3rd at 12:00AM CST. 
Winner will be announced on Friday with the Twin Birth Story.

Good Luck!

Check out Baby Bow Tie on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Briana Clayton

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Name: Briana Clayton

Where do you currently live?  Wixom, Michigan

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meeting Other Moms {of Multiples}

We get LOTS of questions and comments about meeting other mothers of multiples, how to get connected and stay connected, and building that support group we have found to be incredibly helpful in this journey of motherhood with twins.  We {Meredith and Amber} have a solid foundation of friendship with four other local women and could not ask for anything more.  The constant texting stream, sharing of pictures and videos, encouragement, complaints, and most of all, some really fun times, have made this journey so much sweeter.  And did I mention we all met thanks to social media (personal blogs and Instagram)? 

Once a month we make sure to plan a play-date... without the kiddos.. just the mommas. 

See our most recent (and first) weekend 'stay-cation' over at Amber's blog HERE!

Motherhood is fun, but not perfect, and doing it with multiples is hard (and fun).  However, with a strong support system it can be less stressful and the most amazing experience of your life. 

Ann Marie {twin girls: Hadley and Layton}, President of her local Moms of Multiples group, and sweet friend we are doing life with {she is among the text stream mentioned earlier} is here to chat about getting connected with other moms in your area.  

As a mom of multiples, I have found that friendships with other mommas (multiples or not) have made this new lifestyle for me and my girls easier when we have a full schedule. 
Just a little back ground about me. 
I was that girl in college who loved being involved in campus organizations, including a busy sorority life! I was on the go ALL. THE. TIME! Little did I know, God was prepping me for this on-the-go life style! When we found out we were expecting twins, I knew immediately that I was going to need support. Not only did I need it from my family and loved ones, but I knew I was going to need it from friends as well.  Whether you are a mom to one or multiples we need support on this journey, no matter how many we have tugging at our pant legs on a daily basis. 

When we found out we were expecting, I looked into what opportunities would be available for our twins. I found some great organizations!

  • AMAMOM. (Allen/McKinney Area Mothers of Multiples): These meetings are in the evening, so this works great for the working twin mom. It’s a group strictly designed for mothers of multiples. They have great guest speakers, dinners together, play dates, holiday parties for the children, Moms Nights Out and lots more! (To find your local moms of multiples group, CLICK HERE and enter your zip code in the "Find a Club" section on the right.)
  • MOPS. (Mothers of Preschoolers) Expecting –Kindergarten aged children MOPS has a Christian based children’s program for children and then the Moms gather for fellowship, crafts, amazing speakers, coffee, and girl talk! Coffee, I’m in! The twins are able to play with other children their age in a safe environment twice a month, while I enjoy mommy time. This has been so refreshing for my soul. And the twins enjoy playing with the friends in their class. If you happen to live in the Frisco/McKinney/Plano/Allen area- come join me at either of these two great organizations. (To find your local MOPS group, CLICK HERE.)
Dads can get involved too, ya know!

Both of these organizations, a Mommy Bible Study that I am involved in at our church, Hope Fellowship, and my group of wonderful girlfriends (some who have children and some who don’t) have been a lifesaver for me. These girls have provided meals, childcare support, girls night out, sweet cards, words of wisdom, and phone calls of support. 

We have 12 kids under the age of two. Just saying..

Not only that.. but our kiddos are forced into arranged marriages, friendships, and bath time.  
All important things of motherhood, you know. ;)

So…get involved, ladies! Get out of your home, get some fresh air, and step out of your comfort zone!  I know those of us who are new to this motherhood ballgame may be thinking "How in the world can I find time to get involved when I don't even feel like I can take a shower on a daily basis?"  Please do not be discouraged.  

We've ALL been there. 

I once read the following advice and loved it.
Ask yourself two questions…

Will these activities/outings…
bring you joy?
bring your child joy?

If so, jump on board.

Serving your children and their needs are what makes you an amazing MOM! Serving yourself is also very important. Sometimes you just need some space to breathe. Space to sit and drink a cup of coffee - or take a shower. Space to feel encouraged and that what you are doing matters.  This is where the support system comes in.

All in all, keep hugging, kissing, diapering, nursing, cleaning, washing and trusting in God. He gave you those beautiful little ones. Don’t be afraid to get out there and meet new mommas, join play dates, get involved and mostly, feel supported by other women who are going through what you are going through.  

Feel free to reach out to me as I would love to help you get connected in any of these groups or help you find one near you!!
Email Ann Maire HERE

In Him, Ann Marie

Share life with Ann Marie over at her blog {HERE} and her Instagram {@annmariet2}

In support of connecting other moms of multiples in your area, we have decided to do a

Follow us on Instagram {@twintalkblog} and starting TODAY {9AM CST} we will be sharing a state each hour (alphabetically), encouraging shout-outs from other moms of multiples in that area.  We will be doing this for 5 days in hopes of connecting you to other women to do life with.  We cannot stress enough the importance of being involved!  The support system that will grow will {hopefully} last a lifetime.  Plan twin play-dates, meet for coffee, family dinners - and we would LOVE for you to share these connections!  Don't forget to tag us on Instagram and feel free to email us pictures that we can share on the blog of your multiples momma support!

Lastly! The ORIGINAL #TWINMOM tank (pictured in the post above) is STILL available.  We are taking pre-orders through Friday, June 27th {that's tomorrow!}, so don't miss out on this exclusive design!  Email Amber {HERE} with your preferred size and Paypal email address.  
See the original announcement HERE
 photo Signature3_zpsfdd3b5a4.png

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exclusively Pumping For Twins

To be honest, before I had my twins I didn’t give much thought as to how I’d feed them. I had a singleton first, and my breastfeeding experience was perfect. I was a lucky momma who didn’t experience any pain, had a newborn that latched on easily, and was a hearty eater. The nine months I breastfed him were full of cuddles and precious bonding moments that I’ll treasure forever. Since my experience with him was so seamless, I assumed I’d go the same route with my twin girls. 

Minutes after they were born, I advocated for them to breastfeed as soon as possible. They were tiny, but they were mighty! At 4lbs. 12 oz. and 4lbs. 6oz. they latched on right away and I tandem fed them the two days we were in the hospital. I was pretty excited with how everything started out, and while it was totally different to feed two babies at once, I thought I’d stick with it. 

Then we got home. Real life set in, and I learned quickly that tandem breastfeeding wasn’t going to work for me. There were a few reasons for this. First, I felt like it was a constant juggling act trying to make sure both of them were latched on, and making sure they were eating the same amount. On top of making sure they were comfortable, I couldn’t take my eyes off my then 17 month old toddler. Just when we were about halfway through a feeding, he’d need me, so I’d have to unlatch the babies, run over to help him, and then have to start the whole process over again. None of this felt natural to me. Every time I’d think about the next feeding I’d get stressed out. It was a far cry from the peaceful bonding and snuggling I’d hoped for. We needed a remedy, and we needed one fast. 

I thought about breastfeeding each of the girls separately, but I already felt like I was a constant feeding machine, and with a toddler running around didn’t feel like I could afford to give up more of my time. 

I reached out to a friend of mine who had exclusively pumped and bottle fed her twins. Talking to her was like breathing in fresh air. She had a similar experience to me, where she just didn’t feel the whole bonding thing while breast feeding twins. She helped me to get over the mommy guilt I felt about not wanting to breastfeed, and it was just the encouragement I needed to be comfortable making the leap from tandem breastfeeding. 

If you are trying to decide whether or not to exclusively pump for your twins, I’d love to give you a glimpse into what life looked like for me while I did it. It’s definitely no walk in the park and still requires lots of time and energy, but it was worth it for me. I was producing plenty of milk for them, it was free, and it even gave me a bit more freedom to take breaks because feeding them with bottles allowed for more hands on help from my husband and other family members. My husband and I could easily sneak out for date nights without having to rush back. I became quite the pro at pumping in the car, or anywhere else for that matter!

When I was alone during the day, I’d put the girls in their bouncy seats and feed them at the same time. I loved keeping them on the exact same schedule, and bottle feeding made it easy to do that. When my husband was home, we’d each feed one of them, giving us one on one bonding time. It allowed Jake to be really involved even during those early months, which was something that he wasn’t able to do as much with our singleton. With the twins, he would get up with me during middle of the night feedings, and since babies drink bottles a lot faster than breastfeeding, it cut the time we were up in the middle of the night. I’d bottle feed and pump at the same time, and then we’d go back to bed. 

Thankfully, I was able to produce more than enough milk for both of them. I actually had extra and was able to freeze quite a bit. Here are a few ways I kept up my milk supply. 

How To Keep Up Your Milk Supply

  • RELAX! If you’re going to be a successful pumper, you have to find a way not to hate it. Try to keep your mind off of it while pumping. Don’t look into those bottles and constantly check how much you’re producing. Chill out. Find something to laugh at or mindlessly read on your phone. 
  • Stay hydrated. I tried to drink around 100 oz. of water a day, which meant I had to be intentional about it. I’d fill up a water bottle before I was ready to pump and drank it while pumping. I was always really thirsty when I started pumping, so it helped that I tended to crave water at that time time. 
  • EAT. EAT. EAT. When you are producing milk for two babies, you will experience the hunger of your life! Breastfeeding is not a time to limit your calorie intake. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted within reason. I ate lots of oatmeal and Multigrain Cheerios, which are supposed to increase your supply. I also at a lot of healthy fats like peanut and almond butter, avocados, and hummus. I also made batches upon batches of these lactation cookies, mostly because they were SO yummy! 
  • Fenugreek tablets. Some people claim fenugreek didn’t do much for them, but I always noticed a big difference when I’d take it. I increased my dosage to three tablets a day and while I smelled like maple syrup, I noticed a significant increase in the amount I produced. 
  • Get enough sleep. Okay, I know this isn’t always possible, but I noticed an increase when I would get more sleep at night and when I’d take naps. I’d wake up from naps sometimes and produce two - four more ounces than the previous pumping session. Ask for help so you can get the rest you need to take care of those little one! 
  • Stick to a schedule. From the time my girls were born, I had them on a strict feeding schedule. They would eat every three hours, and I would pump every three hours as well. The more you pump, the more you produce, so even when the girls were sleeping during longer periods during the night, I would still pump every three hours and would store that up as extra. Eventually I didn’t have to wake up every three hours, but during the first few months I made the sacrifice and pumped around the clock. 
  • Empty out every time. Related to the previous bullet point, it’s so important to empty each breast out completely every time you pump so that your body knows to replenish and produce more. The amount of time it takes to do that varies for each mom, but for me it usually took about 15 - 20 minutes. I’d usually experience two let downs, and then I’d know that I was finished. 
  • Power Pumping. Every once in a while when I felt like I needed a little boost or some extra milk, I’d power pump. This meant I’d pump for 10 minutes, then stop for 10 minutes, and would repeat that cycle for a full hour. 

How To Make Time For Pumping

Perhaps my biggest struggle starting out was finding the time to pump with a toddler running around. It seemed like a marathon to pump, feed, and wash everything, only to get finished and start the whole cycle over again. 

  • Breast Pumping Hands-Free In my opinion, an absolute necessity when pumping is a hands-free pumping bra. I purchased the Simple Wishes hands free bra, and it was a game changer. I could multi-task no problem. I could feed the girls and pump at the same time. I could feed my toddler lunch and pump at the same time. I basically lived in that thing. I could even pump in the car while driving through Starbucks. Crazy memories I’ll never forget. 
  • Store pump parts in the fridge. Washing all the pump parts takes time, but during the day I stored my pump parts in the fridge, and would pull them out when I needed to use them. The cold temperature kept them sterilized and only required me to wash them thoroughly once a day. 
  • Serve the milk at room temperature. I didn’t warm up their bottles. Breast milk is good at room temperature for up to six hours, so I’d pump ahead for the next feeding, set the bottles on the counter, and would just have to grab them when they were ready to eat.

Breast Pump Recommendation

I started out with a Medela Pump In Style Advanced, which I loved. A few months later I was gifted with a Medela Freestyle which I loved even more because it was cordless and rechargeable. I could walk around my house with my breast pump clipped to my pants instead of having to be confined to an outlet. 

Both of them have the two phase expression technology which mimics a newborn for two minutes, and then slows down and pumps. It also has adjustable speeds. I can confidently say that without this technology I wouldn’t have produced as much milk. I actually had a very basic Medela model that I was given for free through my insurance company that didn’t have the two phase expression technology and I produced two ounces less per session. A good quality pump is most definitely worth the investment. 

How To Store Extra Breast Milk 

I didn’t waste an ounce of breast milk! Anything extra I would pour into an 8 oz bottle and would store it in the fridge. When the bottle was full I’d put it in a freezer bag and froze it. Breast milk stays good in the freezer for up to six months and a deep freeze for up to a year. Jake and I took a couple of trips while I was exclusively pumping and I had plenty to feed them while we were away. 

How To Prevent Clogged Milk Ducts 

Early on, I had a lot of battles with clogged milk ducts. My lactation consultant told me that some women have a thicker milk consistency and are more likely to have clogged milk ducts. Since the pump doesn’t empty out the breasts as thoroughly as a baby, that’s another reason why it’s a bit more likely to happen while pumping. If you’ve had this happen before, you know its painful and definitely not something you want to be a repetitive issue. I’d recommend doing the following to prevent it from happening: 

  • Wear a properly fitted bra. If your bra is too small, it will put too much pressure on your breasts and could cause you to get backed up. 
  • Take lecithin. My lactation consultant recommended this to me, and when I started taking it, I never had another problem thereafter. You can purchase it over the counter, and I took it three times a day. 
  • Make sure your breast pump flanges are large enough. Medela breast pumps come with a standard size flange, but many women have nipples that are too large for them. Larger sizes can be purchased at most stores that sell baby gear. When I purchased larger flanges it made pumping much more comfortable. 
  • Don’t sleep on your tummy. Again, putting pressure on your breasts can back them up. I had it happen several times, even while sleeping on my side, so pay extra attention to your sleeping position. 
  • Apply lanolin after each pumping session. It not only prevents you from getting sore, but also keeps the ends of the ducts open. 
  • Homemade Cloth Nursing Pads. I swear by them. My mom made some for me, and not only do they save money, but they’re super comfortable. There are lots for sale on Etsy. 

Whew, that was a LOT of information! Thanks for sticking with me. I successfully exclusively pumped until my girls were six months old. At that point, we decided to switch to formula which was also a great option. I have nothing against formula and am so thankful we were able to have the choice!

I truly think every mom needs to decide what’s best for her family, and there is NO wrong way to do it! As long as those sweet babies are being fed, you are doing a great job! You are the only one who knows what your kids need...don’t let anyone guilt you into thinking it has to be done a certain way. You need to do what makes you the best mom you can be, whether that’s breast feeding, pumping, or formula feeding! 

Good luck, momma! You can do it! 

Follow along Amber's journey raising three under three..with her fourth (a little boy!) on the way over at her blog Mommy's Me Time and Facebook

Feel free to email her with any questions you may have:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Toddler Meal Ideas

What do I feed my kiddos now that we've surpassed the stage of purees and bottles every three to four hours?  I hadn't a clue where to start.  As a dietitian, I meal plan on a weekly basis, and have been doing so for almost 10 years. When the girls started eating solid food on a regular basis it clicked for me - why couldn't I do the same for them?  

I quickly became super interested in these toddlers and their eating habits and started the WE EAT series on my personal blog over at 3 Ladies and Their Gent. I wrote this list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal ideas a few months back and still frequently visit back for reference when I'm meal planning for them every week. I hope you all can find it helpful!  

Feel free to contact me with any questions! 

At 12 months old my girls started eating regular meal times- three meals and three snacks a day.  Like every new parent, I was super concerned whether or not the girls ate enough at a meal or throughout the course of a day.
Daily servings for toddlers
  • Fruit 3-4 servings a day: fruit- 1/2 to 1 small fruit, 2 to 4 tbsp canned fruit
  • Vegetables- 3 servings a day: 2 to 3 tbsp cooked vegetables
  • Dairy- 4 to 5 servings a day: dairy- 1/2 cup milk (whole milk for 2 years or younger) per serving or 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Protein- 2 servings a day: 1 to 2 oz meat, 1 egg per serving, or 4 to 5 tbsp cooked legumes
  • Grain products- 3 to 4 servings a day: 1/2 to 1 slice of whole grain bread; 1/4 to 1/2 cups rice or pasta, preferably whole grain like brown rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta, or 1/2 cup to 1 cup dry low sugar cereal, 1/4 to 1/2 bagel, 1/2 to 1 whole wheat or corn tortilla
Children catch on fast and they know when to cry, whine or charm their way into a certain food selection. Parker is notorious for this.  If ever its a mealtime when they are trying something new and it isn't up to her expectations, (this is my life..) she gets pretty upset and refuses to eat.  Jolie is typically less picky and will try everything.  Once Parker sees her sister eating, she will often try several bites before deciding she's done.  I do my very best to offer well-balanced and nutritious meals and healthy snacks- and the occasional convenience mixed in here and there- letting the my girls eat or not eat the amount of the food offered. Children often need to be exposed to the same food many times (10-20 times) before it is accepted.  Reinforcing the importance of regular meal times and healthy food choices help to mold good eating habits formed early in life.
I have found that meal planning for the girls, just as I do for Jordan and I, has been incredibly helpful in forming my grocery list and planning and preparing meals ahead of time when I can.  It also provides a no-brainer explanation when it comes to feeding the girls when I am not home with them or we happen to be out and about.  
A typical meal plan for Parker and Jolie (has been about the same since 12 months) 
Breakfast (7:30-8am): mini waffles with peanut butter (4 mini waffles, 1 tablespoons peanut butter), 1/2 slices banana, 1/2 cup organic whole milk 
Snack (9:30am): 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt or fruit pouch 
Lunch (12-12:30pm): 1.5 ounces diced deli turkey, whole milk mozzarella string cheese, sliced grapes or strawberries OR 2 tablespoons guacamole spread on whole wheat pita bread, mandarin oranges 
Snack (2:30pm): whole grain goldfish, fruit pouch, multi-grain Cheerios, graham bunnies (Annie's), veggie stix 
Optional Snack (5pm): apple slices, multi-grain Cheerios, veggie stix 
Dinner (6pm): turkey meatballs, cheesy broccoli OR scrambled eggs with cheese and turkey dogs OR baked chicken nuggets, baked sweet potato fries, steamed carrots with a little butter OR whole wheat pasta, red sauce, and chicken or turkey sausage OR whatever we are eating that night (casserole, etc.)
The things on this 'toddler menu' is usually on repeat in some sort of fashion every single week.  For the most part the girls eat the same breakfast on most mornings.  They love the mini waffles and peanut butter.  Would probably eat them every meal if I let them.
Toddler Breakfast Meal Ideas:
  • Mini waffles with peanut butter and sliced banana
  • Whole cooked oats mixed with whole milk yogurt and a little brown sugar, blueberries/strawberries.
  • Mini Banana Pancake Muffins (recipe here)
  • Whole cooked oats mixed with mashed banana, and a dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 English muffin, 2 teaspoons peanut butter, sliced berries
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and cream cheese (1 whole egg, 1 tablespoon cream cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped organic baby spinach), whole grain toast with strawberry jam
  • Cheesy Scrambled Eggs (1 whole egg, 1 tablespoons whole milk shredded cheddar), 1/2 cup organic whole milk yogurt.
  • Mini Omelet Cups (I make these in bulk and freeze them for later use)- 8 whole eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk, shredded cheese, veggies and meats of choice.  Bake @ 350 degree in a mini muffin tin for 25 minutes.  
  • 1/4 cup Cheerios (we do the multi grain), 1/4 cup diced melon (cantaloupe), 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • Fruity cream-cheese pinwheels (Spread low-fat cream cheese on a small whole-grain tortilla. Top with sliced fruit. Roll up the tortilla, and then slice into “pinwheels.”)
Smoothies (makes 2 (8-ounce) smoothies)
  • Morning Glory Smoothie ( 6 organic baby carrots, 1/4 c 100% pear juice (such as Gerber brand), 1/2 c frozen pineapple, 2/3 c vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/4 c frozen mango)
  • Banana Split Smoothie (1 c frozen strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 c low fat chocolate milk, 2/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt)
  • Berry Berry Green Smoothie (1 c loosely packed organic baby spinach, 1 c frozen mixed berries, 1/2 c vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/2 c whole milk)
  • Life's a Peach Smoothie (1/2 c frozen peaches, 1/2 c frozen strawberries, 2/3 c vanilla Greek yogurt, 4 fresh basil leaves)
  • Love A'cado Smoothie (1/4 ripe avocado, 1/2 cup organic baby spinach, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 c frozen mangos) 
Toddler Lunch/Dinner Meal Ideas:
  • Alfredo Veggie Pasta (frozen mixed veggies (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans), whole wheat tube pasta & homemade Alfredo sauce- recipe here) with mandarin oranges (canned in juice)
  • Baked chicken nuggets (all white meat), 1/2 cup chopped broccoli with American cheese, strawberry slices
  • Guacamole (recipe here) on whole wheat pita bread, sliced green grapes
  • Baked fish sticks, 1/4 cup steamed butternut squash, 1/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • Grilled cheese (American 2% cheese slices, whole grain white bread), Veggie Stix, peaches (canned in 100% juice)
  • Creamy Tomato & Sausage Tortellini (recipe here), 1/2 c sliced pears (canned in light syrup)
  • PB&J on whole grain white bread, sliced apple sticks (no skin), 1 cutie orange
  • Beef Stew (recipe here), whole wheat egg noodles, cinnamon applesauce pouch
  • Turkey Dogs and Cheesy Cheddar Scramble, 1/2 c sliced peaches (canned in juice)
  • Deli turkey meat (Boar's Head), cheesy broccoli rice (Green Giant steamer bag), mango applesauce
  • Mexican Egg & Refried Bean Tostadas (3 whole eggs, splash of whole milk, diced tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers- spread fat free refried beans on a corn tostada, top with egg mixture and serve with cheese and plain Greek yogurt), sliced green grapes
  • Veggie Burger (brown rice), sweet potato hummus (blend together: baked sweet potato, skins removed, 2 tablespoons tahini paste, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 tsp kosher salt), 1/2 c blackberries
  • Cheese Broccoli Quinoa (recipe here) with rotisserie chicken (white meat), 1/4 cup steamed carrots, apple sticks
  • Turkey Meatballs (recipe here), cheesy veggies (Green Giant steamer bag), fresh mango slices
  • 2 ounces deli turkey or ham (Boar's Head),  5 whole grain crackers, whole milk mozzarella string cheese
  • Turkey Sausage Alfredo Pasta (homemade Alfredo sauce- recipe here- lean turkey or chicken sausage, whole grain/wheat tube pasta),  steamed broccoli, sliced grapes
  • Mini Egg Frittatas with deli ham and hash browns (recipe here)
  • 2 oz Deli turkey, 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese cubes, 1/2 c mandarin oranges (canned in juice), 1/4 c steamed peas
  • 1/4 baked sweet potato, 1/4 c shredded rotisserie chicken, 1/4 c melon
  • Bean burger (recipe here), 1/4 c cubed avocado, 1/4 c blueberries, 1/4 c sliced strawberries
  • 1 sliced hard boiled egg, fresh veggie sticks (zucchini, squash, carrots), 1 half whole grain English Muffin
  • Curly whole wheat noodles with peas & zucchini in marinara sauce sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 cutie orange 
  • Greek Cous Cous (grape tomatoes, chopped, skins removed cucumber, feta cheese, sea salt an olive oil), applesauce pouch
  • Veggie Quesadillas (white tortilla, cooked sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes, shredded monterey jack cheese- grilled or sautéed until cheese is melty), plain Greek yogurt for dipping, 1/2 c cantaloupe
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza (recipe here), 1/2 sliced strawberries
  • 2 oz Grilled chicken breast, 1/2 c baked sweet potato fries, 1/2 c steamed broccoli with American cheese
  • Mexican Turkey Bowl (1/2 c cooked ground turkey, 1/4 cup black beans (rinsed), 2 tablespoons diced fresh tomatoes, 2 tablespoons diced sweet bell peppers), 1/4 c sliced grapes, 1/4 c blueberries
  • Mini Meatloaf (recipe here)- make and freeze leftovers, mashed potatoes (boiled red potatoes-skins on-, buttermilk, salt, pepper), steamed broccoli
  • Turkey & Veggie Sloppy Joe (recipe here), 1/2 cup strawberry honey Greek yogurt
  • Broccoli, Chicken & Rice Bowl (1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup chopped steamed broccoli, 2 ounces rotisserie chicken, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese), applesauce pouch
  • Ham & Cheese Muffins (recipe here) 1/2 c mandarin oranges
  • Pizza Minis (whole wheat pita bread, marinara sauce and shredded cheese) with veggie toppings
  • Hummus Pinwheels (recipe here), sliced green grapes
  • Chicken, Bean, and Cheese Quesadillas (recipe here) with 1/4 cup steamed corn & sliced peaches
There is my toddler meal planning list to start. This list will grow and I will surely update (because I like to look back and while I'm meal planning myself!) I make my meal plan a week ahead of time so that developing my grocery list is super simple and quick.  I make my list from the meal plans (both the little birds and for the adults) and it allows me to manage my budget in such a way to keep it under control.  Going to the grocery store without a list is a terrible habit to allow myself to do.  I would spent $300 and come home with nothing.  We've all been there. 

Be productive, make a list, feel accomplished.

Stay tuned!  Snacks are next!


If you don't follow us on Instagram (Amber: masseya ; Meredith: meredith_haynes), you probably missed the fun that was this weekend with a few of our twin mom friends here in Dallas. (For a full recap of the weekend, check out Amber's blog, HERE).  

We had some tanks specially made for the Twin Mom, and due to the interest, we have decided to open these exclusive American Apparel tanks to our favorite people!  The Official #TWINMOM tank pre-orders begin TODAY!  

The American Apparel Tri-Blend Tank is unisex and runs large (twin moms pictured are wearing smalls and mediums). Order yours today for $28!  

Email and include your desired size and paypal email address.  (The tank will include text on the front only - there is no design on the back.)

 photo Signature2_zps8cb830a8.png

Friday, June 20, 2014

Twin Birth Story: Rachel Riebe

If you'd like to contribute your own twin birth story, CLICK HERE to fill out our questionnaire!

Name: Rachel Riebe

Where do you currently live?  Taylors Falls, Minnesota

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day In The Life: 4 Months

Our "Day in the Life" series continues with Laura's four-month-old twins! 


Here’s a day in the life of our four-month-old twin boys – Patrick + Cameron. They were born at 33 weeks, 5 days and spent a little over 2 weeks in the NICU with no major complications, just needed the extra time to mature.

Because they were born early, our pediatrician has us fortify breast milk with high-calorie premature formula (1/4 tsp to 45 mL) so the boys grow big and strong. And after most breastfeeding sessions, we give them a mini bottle (about 2 ounces) to make sure they are getting enough to eat. I also pump throughout the day after the boys nurse. They get mostly fortified breast milk with an occasional bottle of formula when I haven’t pumped enough.

I recently returned to work part-time three days a week so I highlighted one of my weekdays home with the little guys while my husband, Nate, is at work.


2:25 AM Cameron starts crying. Rather than being in the crib in his bedroom, he’s in the Rock N Play next to my bedside. We’ve had a bit of a sleep regression/growth spurt going on with him lately so he sometimes stays close by for a quick nursing session in the middle of the night. But this is a feeding time for both guys so Nate grabs Cameron and changes him while I grab the bottles out of the mini fridge and place them in hot water to warm them up. I then go get Patrick out of his crib in their bedroom, wake him up, and change him too.

2:35 AM Nate feeds and burps Cameron while I do the same with Patrick. I also pump at the same time with a hands-free pumping bra (what a time-saver!)

2:50 AM Nate puts both boys back in their sleep sacks and back to bed in their cribs.

3 AM I put my pumped milk and pump parts in the mini fridge and climb back into bed.

6:45 AM I get up and go to the boys’ room. Patrick has been “talking” in bed for a little while and Cameron just started to stir. I get them both up, changed, and dressed for the day.

7:05 AM I bring the boys into our bedroom and tandem breastfeed them. Nate leaves for work and kisses us all goodbye.

7:30 AM We come downstairs for some playtime. I make myself some breakfast and pump.

8:15 AM Give Patrick another diaper change. Boys are yawning and rubbing their eyes so we head upstairs for naps.

8:20 AM Sit upstairs in our glider and rock the boys for a little. Patrick is quite content but Cameron not so much. Put Patrick down in the crib awake but drowsy. Then walk a crying Cameron around for a little bit until he gets calm and drowsy and I put him down in his crib too.

8:45 AM Both boys are asleep. Take advantage of the time and put away clean laundry, wash bottles and pump parts, and put together mini bottles with vitamins for the following feeding.

9:35 AM Boys wake up. I come upstairs and change their diapers and bring them downstairs.

9:47 AM I nurse both boys and then give their mini bottles.

10:20 AM It’s play time again. They do a little tummy time and show off their newest trick – rolling over! I pump again too.

11:00 AM Change Patrick’s dirty diaper.

11:15 Load up the boys in the car to run errands. We head to Target for a few things and then swing by our grocery store to pick up our online order. I order groceries online and it’s amazing to just pull up front and have them ready and loaded in your car for you!

12:40 PM We return home from our errands and I unload sleeping boys and put away groceries. I make and eat lunch while they’re still snoozing.

1:15 PM Change diapers, nurse both, and give mini bottles.

2 PM Put the boys down to play on their activity mats and I pump again. The boys show off with more tummy time.

2:40 PM I wash bottles and pump parts.

2:50 PM It’s a beautiful day so I put the boys in the double stroller and we head out for a long walk.

3:50 PM We return home and I put Patrick in the swing and Cameron in the Rock N Play to hang out for a little bit. Have a little time before the next feeding so I prep dinner by marinating shrimp and read some blogs on my phone.

4:20 PM Change diapers, nurse both, and give mini bottles.

5:05 PM Play time again and I pump.

5:45 PM The “witching hour” begins. [Thank you all SO much for all your tips and suggestions you shared on Instagram!] I put Cameron in the infant carrier and we walk around while Patrick hangs out in the swing.

6:15 PM Cameron and I pack Nate’s lunch for work tomorrow.

6:30 PM Patrick starts fussing in the swing so I pick him up and walk around with both for a few minutes.

6:35 PM We head upstairs, change diapers, and put on our pajamas.

6:50 PM This time we do feedings opposite where we give a larger bottle (5 ounces) with their vitamins first and then I nurse after as a comfort/to top them off for the night. We also read a story (“Goodnight Stinky Face”) and say our prayers. Our other bedtime ritual is a bath but we did one last night so tonight is a night off!

7:30 PM Boys are in bed and I start dinner.

7:45 PM Nate comes home and immediately starts helping around the house washing bottles, taking out the recycling, and puts together the bottle for the middle of the night feeding.

8:00 PM We eat dinner together – Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Skillet and watch Mad Men

9:00 PM Head upstairs to get ready for bed and iron shirt for work tomorrow.

9:30 PM I get set up in bed with twin nursing pillow and Nate slips into the boys’ room and brings me the sleeping boys for an early “dream feed.” We just started doing this in an effort for us to get a longer stretch of sleep rather than waiting for boys to wake around 11 PM or midnight. I nurse both and Nate puts them back to sleep in their cribs.

10:00 PM We’re all in bed!

11:20 PM Cameron wakes up. Seems like he’s getting up at least once extra every night to nurse – growing boy! Nurse him and then we all go back to bed until next wake up call.

So that’s our day! Here’s some things that have made our lives much easier at four months:

- Twin nursing pillow – a must for breastfeeding two at once
- Snap n go stroller – this makes running errands SO easy. I bought ours used from our local moms of multiples group.
- Hands-free pumping bra – I don’t know how I’d be able to pump ~7x a day without this
- Infant carrier – they love being held and this is a great way to do that but still have free hands
- Harris Teeter online grocery shopping – another huge timesaver for us
- Amazon Mom – also saves us tons of time and money by subscribing to essentials like diapers and wipes. And getting free 2-day shipping is pretty incredible!


Thanks so much, Laura! If you have any questions, CLICK HERE to email her.  And follow along on Laura's blog: 

Don't forget to submit your 15-week bump picture!  Email your picture, name, and the twins' birthday (or due date) to

 photo Signature3_zpsfdd3b5a4.png