Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More

I recently won the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More from another twin mom, visit her at Twin Happy. I was excited to get it, and read it in just a couple of days. The stories in the book are stories I felt I could relate to. I cried reading some, laughed out loud reading others, and remembered how blessed I was while reading them all. If you ever get the chance to read this book, DO IT!!! This is defintely a book that every multiples family should have on their bookshelves!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shoe shopping

Shoes are one of those things that kids go through so fast you would think that they have this little button on them that says"Okay time for shoes to expire". With twins you are stuck with having to buy two pairs of shoes instead of one. Well, if you have boys like mine. Who until this past shoe buying excursion have stayed the same size, now Connor has monster fat feet, and Colton just has monster feet. Buying shoes can get pricey. Especially if you are going to buy high end shoes in matching colors. And when they are not on sale. Been there done that. But see, kids are so rough on their shoes that really why do we spend that amount of money on something they are going to disenegrate? If you really must have the expensive shoes, save them for outings. For play shoes though, head to Payless! Yes, you heard me. Payless. You can get the most adorable shoes for the best prices. Especially if you catch it during a BOGO event! Payless's shoes are rather durable also. My boys last pair from there still look almost brand new, and I have some ROUGH boys.

Another good store is The Shoe Dept. They tend to have good sales and have their name brand shoes for about half of what you would pay in the big name department stores. I always head straight to the clearance aisle and see what they have. If you must go to the department stores. Head to Sears. With the Kidvantage program, you really cannot go wrong.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two for Tuesday

A friend did this picture for me awhile back and I still love it as much today as I did the day she emailed it to me.
Now head over to Who Say's 8 Is Enough to see who else is playing along with Two for Tuesday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What's for lunch?

Feeding twins can be at times a bit crazy. Especially if you have super picky twins, or twins that won't eat what the other is eating. I got lucky enough to have twins that will eat ANYTHING, so I don't face these particular problems. But if you advice, and the advice of other moms who do face this problem, is to look for brands that offer a variety of items. Things like Chef Boyardee and Kids Kitchen microwavable meals are one of my turn to's for quick lunches. You also have Gerber Graduates little meals that are excellent for when they are smaller. A little pricey, especially when you add in the fact that you are buying two of each. But as for nutrition Gerber Graduates is great.

When doing sammies, it is easy to make sureeach one gets one just as they like it. Keep a variety of ham, turkey, and bolonga in the fridge. Then you are sure to be able to make whatever combo your little one will like.

The boys really like Chef Boyadee's Chicken and Rice with Veggies in the microwavable can. It is the perfect size for them to have as lunch. When they have the spaghetti or ravioli ones I do give them a small salad with it, but like I said, they will eat anything.

The price of the individual microwave meals is usually around $1 a piece. So this makes for an affordable, quick, easy lunch. Right up my alley!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chores for toddler twins

I really could title this "Chores for toddlers", but seeing as this about twins, you get the point right?! When it comes to chores, I force ask my children ever so politely to help with things around the house. I thought I would share with you how we do chores. Yes, even the twins help out.

Laundry is one of the things that all the kids love to help with. The girls are old enough to actually do their own, so they do. They have a laundry basket in their room, and when it is full, they wash them. I do supervise however. With the 3 year old and the twins, it is more of them being in there. They like to help put the clothes in the washer or dryer. They like helping set the cycles, and the dryer times. They are learning now how to do it, just be helping me in little ways.

Kitchen duty is something I take seriously. I am not their maid. Even if it may seem that way! My children all know that they clear their own dishes, and help pick up dropped food from the twins. Since I use reusable plastic plates and bowls for the kids ($1 at Wal-Mart in a variety of colors) it makes it easy for me to relax and let them bring their plates to the sink. I am working on teaching them to clean out the plates, but that usually turns into a mess all over the kitchen floor!

Cleaning in general is where I actually dole out "chores". Different days means different areas that the 8,7, and 3 year old have to work on. The twins, and this is where this post has been going all along, pick up their toys, any books they have taken out, and any paper they find on the floor. Yes, toddlers can clean! And they even find it fun if mom/dad make it that way. We play basketball with legos and soft balls (try to ring the basket), race to see who can get to the piece of paper first, and read a story during the book pick up.

In my opinion I think that starting kids off early with a few simple tasks as chores starts buiding up for later when they have real chores. Make sure you have a reward system in place! That way they look forward to the reward and will do the "chore" just to make sure they get the reward!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Potty Time

*This is a repost from What's One More? I originally wrote it for over there, but thought the fact that I am potty training twin, I might should post it here also.*
You would think that after doing this three other times I would be a pro at the dreaded potty training. But see in my defense I was doing one at a time with the other three. And two of them were girls that were so easy I could've done it blind folded! With Connor and Colton, I have been "introducing" them to the idea of the potty. Bought a nifty little potty (for $1 at the 99 cent store! and yes it's a real potty), started letting them sit on it, put them in under-roos, you know all the normal do's of potty training. Now as they get closer to 3 I want to really get into this. So I thought I would share with you some of the tips I have been getting from other moms of twins or more and some things I have figured out through trial and error.

Watch and listen for clues that your little one is ready to start on the road to potty training! Things like sleeping through nap without wetting, pulling at the diaper when they pee, verbally trying to tell you that they have peed or pooped. Your little one or ones are your best gauge to when to start potty training.
Always have a treat for doing a good job going potty. Now please don't think I am comparing my kids or yours to dogs, I am just throwing this out there. When you train an do you get it to do what you want? You reward it with a treat for following through. With potty training you can implement the same thing. When they see that they will get a sticker or piece of candy like an M&M, our personal favorite, the little one will start to go just to get the treat!

Make it fun! That is right, make it fun. Make up your own potty song, potty dance, or whatever. Just make it fun! We have a silly song that ends with a high five for a job well done. And of course you know I am gonna share it! LOL
"Connor went potty! Connor went potty!
Connor went pee-pee in the potty!
Yes, these little round circles that we all know and love are key to training the stander-uppers. I have always started out with sitting down, I think that once they get the idea of going then you start on standing, but either way, you want the little dude to ring the where he is aiming. Put a cheerio in the potty and let him try to hit the target! It goes back to making it fun!

Now that you have the best tips I know of for the getting to go, how bout if you have multiples and it is stressful trying to get them both to go. You can tell they are ready, they just don't go. Well, one thing I picked up from "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More" was competition! That is right. Work with one. When the other(s) see the attention and the rewards racking up then they will start also. They will all want the attention that their brother/sister is getting. This is what I am going through with Connor and Colton. Connor is eager to get up in the morn and put his under-roos on. Eager to sit on the potty. Eager for the potty song. Colton, not so much. He likes wearing the under-roos, likes the potty song, but isn't to keen to actually use the potty! So I am going to keep working on my boys and let me know how your adventure in potty land goes!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Products that save you money, but work all the same

When I was told I was expecting twins I was giddy. Then a few months later, as I started buying things for them, it hit me like a ton of bricks how expensive this was going to be. One new baby is bad enough. But two! Or more?! I have come to find a few products that I trust, even though they are half the price of “name” brands.

One of the biggest expenses is diapers. In the first few months we went through 16-20 diapers a day. That is over 100 diapers a week. Over 400 a month! If you are buying “name” brand at that amount you would be spending roughly $150 a month on diapers (unless you are able to score some major coupons). Not me. I used Parents Choice diapers from Wal-Mart. I had previously used them with my other children, so I knew they worked. At $14 a box, I would spend less than $100 a month on diapers. Now I spend $28, which is roughly the cost of one box of the “name” brand. And wipes from Parents Choice brand are $2 for a pack of 80 wipes or $5 for a 3 pack (240 wipes). For your name brand wipes, you would spend the $5 on one pack! The Parents Choice diapers and wipes work as well as the “name” brand, so save yourself some moolah and head to Wally-world to buy your diaper needs there.

Another big expense is formula. Unless you solely breastfeed, you are looking at spending $4000 the first year on formula for your twins if you use “name brand”. Even more if you have to use Alimentum or any other specialty formula. But what many people tend to forget when they are new parents and are in the I-want-the-best-of-everything-for-my-child mode is that infant formula is one of those things that has a set of guidelines put out by the FDA to ensure that no matter what brand you buy, you are getting the same basic ingredients. Some add extra stuff, but what your baby needs from the formula is the same in ALL formulas sold in the US. So save some money here, and once again I will recommend Parent’s Choice brand. It is cheaper by around $10 a can. Which saves you $1400 a year. I would even recommend GoodStart for babies with acid reflux issues (mine had it, and we used GoodStart until they were about 4 or 5 months old). I also saved by breastfeeding along with formula feeding. I just couldn’t do solely breastfeeding because I wasn’t that comfortable whipping it out in public or sitting in a yucky bathroom stall trying to balance them both.

Other items that you can save money on:
*Toys-you don’t really have to buy two of everything. Only having one will teach the concept of sharing. Unless of course it is a super special toy that one is very attached too, then buy two.
Sippy Cups-Go to the Dollar Store, and purchase you a few cups for a $1 a piece. You get cute cups that last, for 1/5th the price of the other brands!
*Clothes- I fell into the category that dressed my identical twins identically. So as you can imagine all the money I saved everywhere else went to clothing. Buying two of each of everything. I have now figured out that my boys are two very different individuals. And even though I love seeing them all dressed up alike, I now buy only one of items I like. Occasionally I will come across something that I just have to see both of them in, and buy two of it, but mainly they get their brothers hand me downs and a few new pieces. Let the relatives and friends buy the matching outfits and save your money for other items!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

EcoTime Toys and the Pull-Along Snail

Recently we were sent two toys from EcoTime Toys to review over at Life with 5 monkies and 1 ape. The toys we were sent were a Baja Scout (read the review HERE) and a Pull-Along Snail. The Pull-Along Snail is what I will be talking about here.

EcoTime Toys is a company dedicated to bringing you quality toys that are made from natural, biodegradable, or recycled materials. The Pull-Along Snail is made from Natural Organic Rubberwood and has proven that is a toy that can withstand the twin test. It has been beaten, rolled across concrete, gravel and black icky dirt. It has been tugged from both ends. And it has managed to stay in one piece, which attests to its high quality. I found it super easy to clean. The Pull-Along Snail is painted with lead-free paint in bright colors that have withstood the beatings as well.

We often hear the old adage “You get what you pay for” and often take it to mean that the more something costs the better a product it is. Not true! I have found with EcoTime Toys that their quality and value are equal to one another. I often times get frustrated when I buy toys and they are within days broken. I end up frustrated with the kids for breaking them, the manufacturer for making such a piece of crap, and with myself for spending the money on yet another piece of said crap. I can happily report that we have had the Pull-Along Snail for a month and it looks as good as it did when we pulled it out of the box.

The boys have done everything you could imagine to the Pull-Along Snail and it is still in perfect working order. Definitely passes the twin test!

The value and quality of the Pull-Along Snail makes this one a winner.

About Twin Tested

As many of my ideas seem to happen, I was sitting in the bath enjoying a few uninterrupted peaceful minutes. The thought "Twin tested, mom approved" kept running through my heat sogged brain. So I jumped out of the tub, Googled blogs with the name Twin Tested, and would you believe I didn't find any?!

As a mom of multiples, I am always on the hunt for products that can withstand what I like to call the "twin test". And other multiples blogs are my haunt for finding these products.

With the multitude of review blogs out there, and actually running one of my own with in Life with 5 monkies and 1 ape, I couldn't believe there was not a single one dedicated to the vastly growing families with multiples. So here it is. I have decided to take it upon myself to try and let everyone know about all products that I find that can withstand the "twin test".

What is the "twin test" you are asking? Well, if you have twins, trips, or even higher order multiples I am sure you know what I mean. The fighting that can insue over a single object and whether that object can withstand immense torture. And with that you have the "twin test".

Do you have a product that you know can withstand this test? Let me know!!! I will be developing a weekly feature to talk about products that the readers recommend. Know a family of multiples? Let me know!!! I love introducing new people to my readers.

I hope you enjoy this little corner of the blogosphere. Please do come back. You never know what you will find here.

PR Information

Want to have a product featured on here? Want to know if your product can withstand the "twin test"? Well just send me a little email at and I will gladly send you any information you may require, and will work with you to get your product out there for other multiples parents to know about!

At a glance:
My twins are 2 year old boys. So while I would love to tell you that I can do pretty little dresses, headbands, and tutus, I can't. (Not that Colton wouldn't mind a new tutu or a few headbands...a story for another day!) We will happily review any of the following products:
*Boys clothing
*Boys shoes
*Household appliances that are relevant to having a family of toddler twins (vacuums, carpet cleaners, etc.)
*Cameras (with twins alot of pictures get taken trying to capture those special twin connections)
*Bedroon furniture for boys

If you have an item not listed, but still think it would make a great twin product, please email me and I will let you know what I think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009