friday favorites toys for toddlers

Friday Favorites: Toys for Toddlers

Friday Favorites: Toys for Toddlers

Toys for toddlers

Happy Friday!

It’s time for another Friday Favorites with Toys for Toddlers. I have put together a list of my girls’ favorites!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love.

 Fraturtles. We love this book. A lot of twin books that I found have been about identical twins. This book is about fraternal twins, twins that don’t look alike.

Bubbles! Is there anything more fun than bubbles? My girls could play with bubbles all day long.

 Glow sticks. Another favorite around our house. Such a great gift idea for the kiddos.

 Magnetic building toys. These are so much fun! Even my husband and I love playing with them. It’s so awesome to see how creative your littles can be with these.

Magnetic Drawing Boards. The girls will spend so much time, drawing and erasing, drawing and erasing.

Paint. They love painting and sometimes it makes it to the paper instead of Sissy’s arm. Just make sure it’s washable, because, like I said, they will paint each other.

Walkie Talkies. For us, it is Minnie Mouse all the way! Granted, the girls are totally sure how to use them yet, but they LOVE them. They will go into different rooms and yell, “Can you hear me, Sissy??” They will get it. In the meantime, it’s very entertaining to watch. 

 LeapFrog Scribble and Write. This is so cool! I love learning toys so much. This teaches them how to write their letters and numbers. The excitement on their faces when they each wrote the letter to their first names was priceless. Proud Mommy Moment!

 Playdough. What kid doesn’t love playdough? You can buy it or make it yourself. Check out this post and see how easy it is to make at home.

Dollhouses and playsets. For Christmas, the girls got 3 different playhouse/playsets and they have played with them every day since. They are really into Puppy Dog Pals.

Check out this post for more ideas for toys for toddlers!

What do your littles love to play??

Sophie & Carley’s Day Out

The day is almost here! The day we bring our sweet new addition into this world.

I am beyond excited to meet Baby Girl Nau. I am excited for the girls to meet her and become big sisters.

I am also a bit nervous. For 3 years, I have been a stay at home mom to Sophie and Carley. When Daddy is at work, it’s just us 3 amigas. How will they react to sharing us even more than they’ve already had to? Will they be ok watching me nurse their baby sister when they have only recently been weaned? Will they adjust to our new life quickly?

We will see. In the meantime, I am spending as much quality time with them as possible. This past Friday, it was rainy and chilly, but I had promised them a girls day. I documented our last day out before baby sister comes.

First on the agenda…let them pick out their own outfits. These girls have style for sure!

Can you tell their mama is an 80’s child??

I love catching these sweet moments!

Next, we grabbed our umbrella and headed to the library. They love the library. Different toys and books to read. What’s not to love?

The girls met the library’s new pets, Milo & Otis. They are white feeder mice that the library saved. The girls asked if they could have them. Hmmm…I don’t think Daddy would be up for pet mice.

Notice, Carley’s arm around her sissy. A little girl walked up to Sophie and after noticing her, Carley put her around around Sophie. Protective sister?

Some kiddos read at the table. These girls prefer a cozy nook.

They love the water fountain and after all that reading and playing, a water break was a must.

I promised the girls a big chocolate chip cookie after the library. Note to self: don’t promise said cookie until you know for sure that Starbucks isn’t out of them. Thankfully the sweet barista had 2 identical cake pops for the girls. That was a definite win! And yes, those are plastic tarantulas in their cup holders. These girls love all things Halloween!

We ended the day with story time. They love when Daddy reads to them. These moments absolutely melt my heart.

We made a deal that morning to have the best day and I think we did. I love spending as much time as possible with these girls. Very soon, we will be adding another little lady to this crazy life and I can’t wait to capture all those moments too!

 

“A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give.” Laurel Atherton

 

The Honest Company

My Journey Breastfeeding Twins

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When I first found out that I was pregnant in 2014, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I did a bit of research and talked with my sister (who was one of the very few breastfeeding mamas I knew at the time) about the breastfeeding journey. When I found out I was pregnant with twins 2 weeks after, I began to wonder if I would be able to do it. Everything I had read up to that point wasn’t very supportive, but I am quite stubborn so I said “I will breastfeed my twins and I don’t care how hard people tell me it will be.”

What a journey it has been..Immediately following my C-section, I was wheeled into recovery and these sweet little girls were placed on my chest for the first time. The nurses helped them latch and they stayed latched for almost 3 years.

I remember being in the hospital and every 2 hours, it would be time to nurse. I would nurse the girls (tandem, which was sooo dang hard with 2 teeny, tiny babies), pump, give them my colostrum, or what we liked to call “liquid gold” with a syringe and then bottle feed them donor milk from the nursery. I was so happy and blessed to know that there were sweet, generous mothers out there that would donate their milk to little babies like mine. This process seemed to take forever each time, but I was determined to do it.

Once we got home, the twins and I camped out in the living room for the first 3 months. The girls were pretty small (birth weight for Baby A was 5 lbs 10 oz and Baby B 4 lbs and 14 oz, both being much smaller when we left the hospital) so I knew that we had to nurse every 2 hours, no excuses. Every 2 hours, I would wake one baby, nurse her for probably 15-20 minutes, lay her down, wake her sister, do the same, then pump for about 20 minutes. I would then lay down, sometimes after eating a gigantic turkey sandwich and chugging a bunch of water, close my eyes for maybe an hour and then do it all over again.

I was beyond exhausted. I was more tired than I had ever been in my entire life. I’ve heard people say that their babies started sleeping through the night at this age or that age. Not these girls! They loved that boobie milk. Sometimes they would go 3 or 4 hours of straight sleep, but that was very rare. I would be lying if I said the first year with twins wasn’t a blur. There were so many tears, mostly from me I think. It was difficult, but I would look at those tiny faces and remember how absolutely blessed I was. They say that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I was genuinely shocked at how much He trusted me.

I thought that at 1 year, I would begin weaning. I felt some pressure to do it. My family never pressured me, but I guess hearing some many opinions, especially on social media, I thought, well maybe it’s time.

I remember sitting in the exam room at the girls’ 12 month check up and crying because I didn’t want to wean them yet. I knew in my heart that they weren’t ready and it just didn’t feel like the right decision to make. Our pediatrician was very supportive and told me that I didn’t have to stop if we weren’t ready. My husband agreed and I said “let’s get to 18 months”.

Eighteen months came and went and the next thing I knew we were still nursing at 2 years old. I looked into gentle weaning and half-tried different methods without success. To be honest, I was just too lazy to give any method a real try because I like to sleep. We were co-sleeping and it was just so much easier to let them nurse when they wanted and Mommy could still sleep.

When the girls were almost 28 months old, my husband and I decided to start trying for another baby. Coincidentally, that same month was the return of my period. Yes, it took that long for mine to return. I wasn’t complaining though. As luck would have it, I got pregnant that very same month. Now, I found myself pregnant and still nursing twins. That was when I decided I was 100% ready to end the journey. I wanted to have my body to myself for a bit before I began nursing another child and quite frankly I wasn’t prepared to nurse 3 kiddos.

I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about how we would make this transition. In May, our sweet Carley took a tumble and bit a pretty big gash in her tongue that prevented her from eating solid foods and nursing. This was not the way I wanted her to wean, but it just happened. The first two nights were pretty rough on her, but then by night 3 she had stopped trying. 

Then we were left with only Sophie nursing. Both girls are stubborn, but Sophie may be the most stubborn. If she wanted to nurse, you better deliver. Not questions. No hesitations. Give her the boob and no one gets hurt. She had been only nursing once to go to sleep and then once during the night. All of a sudden, she was waking every couple hours to nurse. One day, 2 weeks ago, she said, “Mommy, I nursed and your milk tasted so yummy!” Oh boy, I was not prepared for that. I can only assume that my milk was changing in preparation for the new baby. I knew that if I continued letting her have the yummy milk then I would for sure be following her to college.

I decided to try something that I hadn’t tried before. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? I sat her down and told her that Mommy’s boobies had boo-boos. Yes, I told my almost 3 year old a little white lie. I had put band aids on my boobs because I knew she would ask to see said boo-boos. I told her that she wouldn’t be able to nurse that night. We talked about it a couple more times throughout the day.

Then the moment of truth came. Bedtime. Our routine had always been. Lay down. Say our prayers. Say “I love you”. Pull out boobie and nurse. Sophie said, “Mommy boobie hurt, no nurse.” She laid next to me, whispered her prayers two more times and then rolled over.

That was it. Just like that our breastfeeding journey had come to an end. The next night was a rough one, but we made it through and she has been weaned for 2.5 weeks now.

Breastfeeding twins has not always been easy, but for us, it was the best decision we could make. The right decision for OUR family. Breastfeeding my sweet girls was definitely an adventure, but one that I am so grateful I was able to do. Yes, there were so many sleepless nights, but you forget how tired you were and instead remember how sweet those rare, quiet moments were at 3 am when the rest of the world was sleeping.

If you are needing encouragement through your journey, I am here. I am no expert. I’m just a Mom that’s been there and done that and want other Moms to know that I care and support you.

Letter To My Daughters

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Dear Daughters,

Where to begin? I have to admit that I was a bit terrified when I found out that I was having girls. It wasn’t that long ago when I was a little girl. Yes, I was once your age. I remember how mean girls could be and I know that hasn’t changed. The whispering, the gossiping, the fair weather friends, the picture perfect girls in the magazines. I remember it all so well. I wanted to right this letter to all of you and give you some advice on growing up in this crazy world, a world that is so different, yet so similar to the one I grew up in .

First of all, BE KIND! I want you to have a good heart and be kind to others, even when they aren’t so kind to you. It can be so easy to stoop to the level of the mean ones, but keep your heads up. People will probably say unkind things to you. Often it is out of jealousy and insecurities. The things people say about you say more about them than it does you. I know that doesn’t make it hurt any less, but never return their negativity with negativity.

You are BEAUTIFUL! Not just on the outside, but the inside as well. Stay that way. You will be bombarded with images. You and your friends will probably want to grow up way too fast. You are only young for so long, please enjoy it and don’t rush it. Your looks do not determine your self worth. I remember looking through magazines and wishing I was tan like this girl, thin like that girl, pretty like the other. Comparison is a dangerous game. I had so many issues with insecurities growing up, well into my late 20’s. It took me so long to truly love myself and with that came a lot of mistakes that I know could have been avoided if I only loved and respected myself. Trust me. Keep your kind hearts and know that your empathy is a wonderful thing.

RESPECT yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, it’s hard to ask someone else to respect you.

USE YOUR MANNERS. Say please and thank you. Sounds simple? Well, it is.

Know that you will make mistakes. It’s okay. Learn from them, move on, and know that your Dad and I will always love you and be there for you.

And lastly, THANK YOU for being YOU! It is such a blessing to be your mom and to see the world through your eyes. You bring so much sunshine to our lives and I can not imagine a world without your little smiles and giggles.

Love,
Mommy

 

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new resolution.”

~ Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

 

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Going Out In Public With Toddlers

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I have twin daughters that will be 3 in August. I love being a twin mom. I really think that twins are the coolest. Of course, it has come with its share of challenges.

The main challenge that I have noticed is the sharing. They have shared with one another since they were womb mates. They’ve shared a womb, a bed, clothes, shoes, food, attention, etc. I even noticed them sharing the last sucker today. They are pros! However, I’ve always felt guilty that there hasn’t been enough of me to go around. Now, with a new baby sister on the way, I wonder and sometimes worry how they will adapt…

I have decided to spend as much time with just them as I can when the opportunity presents itself. I’m going to take them for treats or to the grocery (their favorite adventure) or to a restaurant for their favorite burger and fries.  Maybe I’ll be brave enough to take them to a park alone! And yes, I waited until they were almost 3 years old to take them to a restaurant by myself. Seriously? Why didn’t I do this before? Because I was totally terrified! What if they have a tantrum? What if they took off running in different directions? What if they escaped my grasp and ran off in a busy parking lot?  What if people judge me? What if I lose my temper and become “that mom”. What if someone makes the dreaded comment after looking at my 2 toddlers and pregnant belly: “Whoa, you have your hands full don’t ya?!” or “Better you than me!”  What if they whisper and stare like we are a circus act? I finally decided to stop worrying about what other people say or might say and just do it.  And you know what,  we are a freakin’ circus act (minus the creepy clowns of course). But it’s our freakin’ circus! And those are our monkeys.

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Why do we let the fear of what other’s (mainly strangers at that) think keep us from doing things?

Why am I letting those possible situations keep me from making memories with this sweet duo before their baby sister arrives?

What a waste of time! So, I have decided to stop worrying about that and take the girls out. Maybe it ends it total chaos. Who cares? We are making memories regardless, right? Do we get stared at? Yes. Do people make comments? Yes. Do people help and open doors? Yes!

Today, we went to Wendy’s for burgers and fries. They did amazing! Then we went to the grocery pharmacy, and since it was an in and out trip, I let them walk since the shopping carts aren’t equipped for more than one child. This one was tricky. I kid you not, there were obstacles EVERYWHERE! Minnie Mouse balloons, a huge cage full of assorted bouncy balls, stuffed animals, toy cars. I thought I walked into a toy store instead of the grocery. (Why do grocery stores have toys?) Each girl was going in a different direction and reaching for everything they could get their fingertips on. I could just see them grabbing one ball and all the others come tumbling out into the aisle! How would I deal with that?! I’m 28 weeks pregnant and knew it was impossible for me to run away with the girls over my shoulders if total chaos broke out. Enter a kind pharmacy tech and the magical dum dum suckers! LIFESAVER! We managed to pick up my prescription and exit the store completely unscathed.

The moral of this story is to just take the kiddos out. Enjoy this season of life. Will there be meltdowns? Of course. Toddlers are the most unpredictable creatures. But sometimes, just sometimes, you will find a kind employee with candy to distract your child just long enough to make it back to the car.

(Disclaimer: I do not encourage taking candy from strangers lol)