Life with Two Under Two!

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Good morning!  Today I am so excited to be partnering up with LÍLLÉbaby to share a few things that have helped keep us sane with two under two!  There are days where everything feels like a hot mess and other days where I feel like we might just make it out alive.  I honestly think the transition from one to two has been easier than zero to one for several reasons, but I think it mostly comes down to realistic expectations and a couple of really key products.

Here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned so far!

  1. A diaper bag backpack.  I love this option because it has an over the shoulder strap if you just want to throw it on, but it also has a backpack option so that you don’t have to deal with it flopping around and you have both hands free.  Plus, it’s roomy and stylish which helped me feel put together even when I was sweating and running around like a crazy person before 9 am.  On our outings this summer, it was a serious lifesaver.
  2. double stroller.  I get lots of questions about this one that we use.  Most people think it’s a single stroller and wonder where the baby is.  She’s down in her little nook!!  So pretty much it’s the best ever because it has the feel of a single stroller, but the second seat attachment slides right in and still leaves plenty of room for stuff.  It’s incredible.
  3. Give the older kiddo manageable tasks they can achieve with ease.  E is such a pleaser so she loves to help and ‘out-mama’ me everyday.  She’s constantly trying to help or do what I do with her baby.  So, giving her tasks like throwing away the diaper or wiping up a little mess keeps her occupied and feeling like she’s a part of things.
  4. Manage tasks you feel like are difficult into manageable parts.  We learned early on that trying to bathe both babies on the same night stresses everybody out and nobody can sense stress like a kid.  Until both are able to sit in the same bath, we will do one kid one night and the other the next night.  Or one right when I get home and the other later in the evening.  Just piece out/manage tasks to make them as easy as possible.  Give yourself a little grace here.
  5. Get on a schedule.  Obviously, with the little one, a schedule is just now becoming a thing, but we still, even from day one, had a solid routine with E.   We are in the groove now with unpacking and preparing for the next day as soon as we get home from work, eating dinner as a family, baths/relaxing before bed and then bed.  See more on how we establish nighttime routines here.  A healthy routine has really helped us all feel a little more control in the day!
  6. Babywearing has also ramped up with two under two.  I hardly ever wore E because I just didn’t really get the hang of it and I felt like I was hurting her or messing it up.  I loved holding her and it just seemed easier.  Claire has been a whole different story.  She only wants to be held and over the last few weeks, has been almost colicky in her need to be upright and bouncing 24/7.  I figured out how to baby wrap REAL quick.  Wrapping her in the LÍLLÉbaby Wrap was one of the only ways to get her to nap and relax a bit.  PLUS, both hands are pretty much required when you have a toddler and newborn.  The Complete Carrier is also perfect for carrying either kiddo.  It has 6 carry positions including forward carry, which somehow we missed as a feature in the ERGO.  If you get a carrier that doesn’t have the forward facing feature, you probably won’t use it except on your back.  I would highly recommend investing in this if you are thinking about a carrier of this type because you can use it for all ages, in any position.

What else would you all recommend?  Life with two under two can be a little chaotic, but it’s also a beautiful adventure that we wouldn’t trade for anything!

Hope you all have a great week!
Erin

*This post was sponsored by LÍLLÉbaby, but all opinions, as always are my own

Claire is Two Months!

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Well, hello there!  Two months has FLOWN by!  We thought time went fast with E, but holy cow, life with two goes even faster.  Claire is growing quite rapidly, weighing in at 11 pounds 14 ounces.  She pretty much eats all day long, hating to be set down for even a second.  She hasn’t really figured out the beauty of a good nap.  BUT, she sleeps at night, so that’s a win!  She goes down about 9 p.m. and wakes up to eat between 5 and 6 a.m.  Now that I am back to work, I will get the girls ready then, but it was beautiful a few weeks ago when she would go right back to sleep until about 9 a.m., but then the day of no naps would begin.  So, we are hoping she starts a good nap schedule soon–our sitter is great at getting kids on a schedule.  Pretty much the best actually.
Claire loves to be bounced and if you do dare to sit her down, it better be in the Rock n Play with the vibration on.  She will also tolerate being set down in her warm bath.  She also likes when you make the sushing sound really loud while you bounce her.  She is just entering the smile/coo response stage which is seriously just the best.  Especially when the smile/coo is in response to something Eleanor is doing.  Speaking of Eleanor, phew, she loves this baby something fierce.  The only time Eleanor has ever cried when we do daycare drop off is when we left Claire there for her trial day and E and I left to go to Target (It’s a ritual–but with E I had to do it by myself and it was the WORST.  Glad I had a partner to cry into my chocolate croissant with this time!).

Also, the crying as soon as you set her down is making these little monthly update pictures REALLY difficult.  So I hope you like to see only one semi-happy picture and the rest crying.  Although, E pretty much hated these things too.

And if you’re into comparisons–here is E at two months!

We love you, Claire!

Hope you all had a great week!
Erin

Lessons at Goldfish Swim School {4}!

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Good afternoon!! Hope your weeks are off to a great start!! Today I am so excited to update you all on E’s progress at Goldfish Swim School!  Lessons have been a little spotty with the arrival of Claire and adjusting to life with two under two, but the second we walk into Goldfish, E’s eyes light up and she picks up right where she left off!  Swim lessons have truly become a way for E and daddy to bond while I hang out behind the glass with Claire.  They practice kicking and pulling to get ready for lessons–so sweet.

Her newest skills:
can kick her feet and pull her arms when asked
can climb out of the pool with a little nudge
go under water without freaking out
swims to instructor and back (HUGE)
not losing her mind when she spots me behind the glass or when I come in and watch her the last five minutes (also huge)

Activities she loves:
going after the balls with the floaty barbell and putting them in the bucket
highfiving on the way into lessons
people watching
getting on the floaty duck and immediately jabbing her fist into the eye
getting in the canoe (THE BEST)

Still working on:
floating on her back

To take a look back at how far she’s come:
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SO little in that first lesson!!  I love seeing how far she’s come, scared and only consoled by a baby doll to giggling and loving her time in the water!  Thank you so much, Goldfish for helping her overcome so many fears!!

Has your little overcome any fears this summer?  Such a special thing to watch them blossom and practice with their new confidence!

To find a location near you, head here!
Have a great day!
Erin

*This post was written in partnership with Goldfish Swim School, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

 

12-18 Month Essentials!

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Good afternoon!  Hope all of your weeks are off to an excellent start!  E is now 18 months and her needs have totally changed so I thought it was high time I got around to doing a post about what she is loving/needing now!  The one thing that I have noticed, is that our “needs” are fewer and it’s becoming more of a what she “wants” and/or enjoys for longer than 6 seconds.

Bathtime

  1. We have moved her out of her enclosed tub (that was really just a bucket) and she is in the full bath now.  Dude, bathtubs are slick and toddlers have no concept of taking it easy.  After one tub-free bath session, I had to go get a bath mat.  Just make sure you let it air dry suction side up every once in awhile because it does get mildewy underneath!
  2. I found this bath fingerpaint in the dollar section at Target, or at least something similar and E loves it!
  3. In addition to these toys that she still loves, we have thrown in cups and bowls that she can fill and dump.

Diapering

  1. We’ve moved into the possible potty training phase of life.  I will probably do a full post on this as we get closer, but for now, the only thing we have done besides couponing for pull ups, is set a potty chair in the bathroom.  She doesn’t really like sitting on it without her diaper yet, but we encourage her to just sit on it when we go too, get comfortable with it, etc…

Play

  1. She still loves everything I mentioned in the 6-12 months post including babies, blankets, buckets, etc…
  2. One magic item I have found are pom pomscups, and spoons.  When I need just like five minutes to breathe or drink my now cold coffee, I pull this activity out.  It will keep her busy for I kid you not, like 30 minutes.  She just fills up all the cups with a spoon (I demonstrate) and then dumps from cup to cup and then does it all again.  As she gets a little older, I am hoping she still loves it and it can become a sorting activity with all the colors!  Although my child blessedly is not obsessed with putting everything in her mouth, I do monitor this activity because the poms are on the smaller side…they may sell bigger ones?
  3. I gotta give a shout out to my mom for giving E this doll.  She can go in the bath and then when she is dry can function like any other baby/doll!  And she is so stinking cute!!
  4.  Purses.  She loves carrying a fake cell phone, keys, and her purse, waving and saying “bye”.  Wonder where she learned that??  Also, you have not seen a fight until you have watched two toddlers fight over a purse.  Gah, so awkward.  Always bring your own purse and baby doll to a playdate.  Always.
  5. ALL THE STICKERS.  You must always have stickers in your diaper bag when you go out.  MUST.
  6. She is finally getting into reading.  Before now, she really wouldn’t sit still for more than a touch and feel book.  I feel like she is just now getting to the point of understanding the elements of the story/remembering what is on each page.  Right now she loves Planes Go! and Hooray for Hat!
  7. I’ll go ahead and throw clothes on here again too because they often serve as entertainment.  She now can put on her own rainboots which is HUGE in the parenting of a toddler world.
  8. I might do a whole separate post on this, but big Items that are good for a birthday wishlist: Play Kitchen (we still need to get E one…she is obsessed), Tent (great for storing toys out of sight), Car, and water table (could fill with pom poms during the winter!)

Sleep

  1.  E no longer sleeps in a crib and if you feel like your kiddo is ready to transition I did a whole post on E’s transition to her big girl room and also a post on how we did Toddler Sleep Transition.  We love her Dockatot!  I also did a post on Establishing a Nighttime Routine!

Eating

  1. I wrote a whole post on Toddler Eating and some of our tips/tricks.  This age is all about control.
  2. E pretty much eats only what we eat now…no more just “baby/toddler” foods like puffs.  The one thing we do still give her are pouches.   Great for on the go, but also a great source of nutritious foods that she won’t necessarily get otherwise.  Especially when she was teething and wasn’t super into food, pouches were a lifesaver!
  3. We also love these sippy cups.  The spout makes for a great transition cup.  It was the first sippy cup E would take!
  4. E has also pretty much outgrown her beloved high chair which does transition into a toddler chair!  She likes her freedom when eating now and so we put her at a table with chairs!
  5. We take E to a sitter and we have to provide meals so we use this lunchbox and backpack to pack for her days there.  This fall, she will start helping us pack and unpack as a part of her chores/things that she can do to help–and let me tell ya, she LOVES to help.

To take a look back, here are the essentials from 0-3 months3-6 months, and 6-12 months!

We just adore this age.  They are so fun and really are becoming their own little selves.  What do/did your littles love at this age??  What should we prepare ourselves for in the next bracket??

Hope you all have a great day!
Erin

Claire is One Month!

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Our littlest sweet pea turned one month this week!  Although I’m not really sure when I am supposed to do this when she was born on the 31st?  It’ll end up just being the perfect excuse to be late every month!  We are settling into a semi-eating/sleeping routine, even though both are still very much on demand.  She sleeps in 3-6 hour stretches at night from about 10 pm-8 am, but hasn’t really quite figured out the extended daytime naps.  She loves laying in the bath, but the washing part, not so much.  She loves E’s attention most of the time and we have gotten lots of smiles already!  We honestly couldn’t have dreamt up a better addition to our family.  She’s really swept us all up into her tiny little 10 pounds 3 ounce self.  We love you, Claire!

And in case you are interested in comparing our two littles from month to month here is E at one month!

Milestone Cards/XO Blanket