Tiny Dancers

When Isla was a baby, one of the only things that would soothe her to sleep was Elton John’s song, “Tiny Dancer”. It was no surprise that this twirling, pink-loving girly-girl would be begging to be in dance class when she reached the age to get started.

Becoming Dancers

Unfortunately, Mama missed sign-ups when “Beatsy” (Isla’s nickname because she’s always moving to a beat) was three and four. Whomp. Then when the time came for enrolling a five-year-old, Mama paused and remembered how things went with Arianna in gymnastics at that age (not so awesome for both kiddo and parents). Isla promised that she would stay in dance and that she’d love it, so she was enrolled in a class with a friend from church – a motivator to make sure she was ready to go every week for rehearsal.

If there was something good about COVID and the restrictions, Mama is not afraid to admit that the fact that our dance studio didn’t allow parents in during classes was a BLESSING. Isla was very happy to keep her dance moves secret and have an hour of “independence” each week.

After the fall soccer season, Ava felt like she was missing out on being involved in “stuff” and asked if she could dance with Isla. Again, a kiddo promised to give it her all and catch up with the routines. Thanks to a discount at the dance studio, Mama willingly said sure and the twinnies were officially all in.

Our dancers loved their Danskin Now leotards for rehearsals. Their ballet shoes were extremely cheap and wore throughout the season but at $9 a pair, they felt like a steal! Tap shoes were another must have and while we had a tough time matching their shoe sizes, the twins ended up with these shoes for jazz. We did give these ones from Amazon a try, but they literally fell apart at Isla’s first rehearsal!

Spring Recital Day

The twins kept their tiny dancer moves a secret until recital day – not even letting anyone “spy” on them when classes had to go virtual for a few weeks. Even on photo day they weren’t so happy to show us their outfits, but did pause for a cute photo for Dad before hamming it up with their dance team.

Recital day was one of the most exciting days for these two. They had three songs to perform and were all about it. Ava was a little nervous but Mama and the Bigs assured her that it would be all good. We teased her that if all else failed just “shake ya booty” but she said everyone would be watching and laugh. We tried to tell her that was the point, to make it fun, but she said NO WAY and kept the booty shaking to bouts at home (ha!).

Due to the pandemic restrictions, their recital was outdoors and nicely done by the dance studio. The twins stayed in place under their group tent and danced their hearts out when the music came on. Their smiles were HUGE and they have been talking about the evening for days.

Our family is so grateful that we gave these girlies a shot at finding something they love. Looking forward to fall classes already.

Mommmmmm! The sun!
Hamming it up with Bubby after getting their dance on
Big Big is crazy proud of them!

While Mama gave dance a few seasons as a kid, these two just might be dancers for life like their Daddy. Bring on the glitters and feathers everywhere, right?

Tell us: What is your favorite way to keep your body moving?

The Twins are THREE

How can it be? Today is a big day for two ‘lil girls, our twins are three!

These girls have truly changed our lives, keeping us on our toes ever since the day they were born. Both bring so much love and joy to our family, it’s hard to imagine that three years ago we had no idea what we were in for.

Ava and Isla, you are one in a million and so loved! Happy Birthday!

(our annual photo of the night before their birthday – so much has changed since this one!)

Twins: 23 Months

Well. Here it is. The Twins’ 23 Months post. How have 23 months flown by? How is this our last “months” photo and post for our babies? Somehow, some way, it’s here.  (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

twins 23 monthsTurning 23 months old was basically just like any other day in the twins’ life. Well, sort of. They slept in (a rarity). They carried oranges around for awhile (and told me so on the phone). They got their runny noses wiped approximately eleventy-hundred times (yay for the random sickness rounds that have hit our house). They ate cherry tomatoes and tater tots for dinner. They made us laugh and made us so ready for bedtime, too.

There aren’t many milestones they haven’t met yet, so nothing really new to report on that front. Both continue to say more and do more independently. Both still hate baths and love Sesame Street. Basically, we are bracing ourselves for the terrible twos.

8476In April, we’ll celebrate their second birthday and then I’m sure the next sixteen years will fly by. ::big sigh::

Happy 23 Month Birthday, Ava and Isla!

Mom Tip: These milestone blocks are cute, but as the babies got older, taking photos with them gets harder and harder! Did you see Isla’s face?!?!? These are totally toys, right?

 

 

Giveaway for The Picket Fence: Pittsburgh Baby Stores

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post, The Picket Fence: Pittsburgh Baby Stores, is one such post.

Okay, we forgot to call me out for not posting that the twins are 21 months old? Hint, the answer is yinz all did. How did we let another month pass up? Next thing you know, these two will be off to college and this ‘lil blog will be a thing of the “ancient” past. But for real, there are only two more monthly posts for these baby milestones left, sigh.

But I’m not going to lie, as I’ve been checking out the goodies over at The Picket Fence (a Pittsburgh baby store), I’m almost tempted to keep posting monthlies of the twinnies in all the cute things.

Because seriously, yinz. Please try to convince me these shirts aren’t winners.

the Picket FenceIt’s tough work trying to get them to cooperate for these milestone photos. Things were “easy” back when they were just itty bitty babies! I mean, back then I didn’t have a ‘lil Yinzer yelling at me for interrupting ‘Momo’ time.

picketfence_2

But back when things were “easy” with these milestones, her ‘lil sister wasn’t rocking the ‘Bradshaw’…

picketfence_3

…and we didn’t have the sweet voices in the morning of twin language (which is totally a real thing – they talk to each other differently than they do to us)…or wrestling baby fights…or “Sissy Baby I-ya” being said over and over over over…and said Sissy wasn’t coloring on all the things while her ‘lil big sister was begging mommy for “Diet Coke” (which is really my water with a straw, but Ava’s favorite thing to say)…or so many more adorable things.

Ah, twinnies. Another milestone down, which means we are that much closer to another birthday. Might be time for me to get back to browsing Picket Fence for some more cute things for you! xoxo

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A ‘lil more about Picket Fence: Pittsburgh baby stores like this have a lot to offer ‘lil Burghers’ clothing needs. The Picket Fence is an adorable boutique with clothes for kids and women, as well as unique gifts. They are located on Walnut Street in Shadyside, PA and offer online shopping (which is how I ordered the onesies for this post). Check out what other ‘Burghers are picking as their favorites over on Instagram with #FenceFaves.

Visited their site and see something you loveYou’re in luck. I am giving away $50 to spend online at The Picket Fence. Giveaway ends January 21 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blind Cord Safety

The post below contains something extremely scary that our family has experienced first-hand. It may trigger some intense feelings. I understand if you cannot read it, but I need to share our story of something that could have left us living in a nightmare…just in case it helps another parent or caregiver. Blind Cord Safety¸ like other posts on this blog, may contain affiliate links to products but the suggestions and opinions in this post are my own.

blind cord safety

Last Sunday, our life as a family of six flashed before my eyes. We could have been entering the holidays in a very different place than we are right now.

Greg was with The Bigs, spending time with them before taking Uber drives. I had just laid the girls down for a nap in their room (free of everything except toddler beds and a stuffed Elmo chair) and was washing my hands before going downstairs to make some truffles.

And then? One of those God Moments happened.

While I was in the bathroom, I heard Ava making horrible noises. Thinking she was being funny, trying to keep Isla awake, I yelled for her to hush and let her sister go to sleep. When the noises didn’t stop, I decided to sneak in the room and put them back on their beds and start again. For that momtuition, I am going to forever be grateful.

What I walked into will not leave my mind. Ava was stuck in the cord from the window blinds, swinging and choking. Her eyes darted at mine and I went into full on emergency mode. I ripped the cord from around her neck and made sure she was breathing. Screaming for Greg, I inspected her neck and held her close. He got to the room and asked what was going on – then started to rip the blinds from the window. I held her for what seemed like hours, the two of us shaking and sobbing.

It could have been a nightmare.

Thank God it wasn’t.

I share this story because I need to know that those I touch know the dangers of blind cords. To know that I feel so thankful for God being with us that day (and every day), keeping me alert to the signs. To give myself grace and forgiveness for not getting in there sooner and for not checking that the cords maintained rolled up as we had set them on moving to the toddler beds. To ask for love.

This week has been tough, but it could have been tougher. For that, I am so grateful.

I’ll love you forever!

Admittedly, this is one of those back of the mind babyproofing tasks that more should be aware of. I sort of obsessed researching over options for fixing the rest of the windows in our house and to see just how blessed we were. A short summary and some links follow.

Blind Cord Safety

Just this week, a former NFL player (Reno Mehe) lost his three-year-old daughter in a story very similar to ours’. I could barely stand to hear it, let alone read the metrics in that article. But I had to. I have to join the fight to make things better for our kids.

Many children who are lost this way are lost silently, quickly. Our Ava was desperate to let me know something was wrong. Thank you, God.

Window Covering Safety Month was in October, but did I hear anything about it then? Nope, because these kind of things don’t really happen to anyone I know, right? Wrong, so wrong. It is happening often enough, to the point one child dies a month from this horrible, hidden danger (according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Have corded blinds? It is not expensive to retrofit existing corded blinds to be safer (like the wraps shown below or by ordering a kit specifically for this).

Another, the safest option, is to go cordless and replace window coverings with cordless options (something we’ll be working on as this is a danger for kids up to age nine).


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From now on, I’ll be following @Parents_4safety on Twitter and sharing Ava’s story to help save other children. I’ll be praying lots and giving thanks for what happened to us. I’ll be vigilantly mothering my kids (not that I wasn’t before, but just being even more aware of the dangers) and loving on them lots, holding them tight.

So please, do me a favor right now. Go hug your babies tightly. Come up with a plan to make your homes safer, too. Pick up some blind cord safety products (with two-day shipping or faster!) and install them immediately. And, if you would, pray for me to find peace with this. XOXO

20 Months

It is so hard to believe that today is another milestone for the twins. 20 months have flown by. 

Ava continues to shock us. Take that, failure to thrive. This girl is a thriver. In her 20 months, she’s probably ate more than Evan’s ate in his almost 6 years. She is sneaky and daring. Her words have become sentences. She’s so loving, even trying to cuddle with her little sister at night. 

Isla is truly the diva of the family. She bats her eyes just so and knows how to get our attention. Her love of shoes is definitely a passed down trait (I won’t say from which side of her genes). She’s amazed by nature shows, pausing only to pay attention to them and nothing else. 

For 20 months, we’ve been so blessed by these precious treasures of ours. Every day with them is special and cherished. Who is ready to start thinking about their next party? Sigh. 

I know, right Ava?

Let’s just pause time, shall we?

Night Night Yoga

Hello sun. Hello earth. Hello friends. Hello earth. High to low pushup. Up dog (ah-oooo!). Down dog (arf!). Step or jump. Hello friends. Hello earth. Hello sun. Tonight as we tried to re-implement our night night yoga, someone surprised us. 

“Yoga!” Ava said, as if it has been a word she’s always known. Right off her little tongue while giggling and looking back between her sweet toes. 

Hello sun (praise the Lord!). Hello earth. Hello friends. Hello earth. High to low pushup. Up dog (ah-oooo!). Down dog (arf!). Step or jump. Hello friends. Hello earth. Hello sun.

19 Months

​It’s hard to believe, but the twins turned 19 months old today. 

Every time I see them walking, I am bugged out. They are so small yet so strong.

Speaking of small, their stats, according to Greg: Ava is in the 19th% in weight at 20lb 8.8oz. 9% for height at 30.5″ and 26% head. Isla is 6% weight and height at 19lb 1.5oz and 30.25″ and her big ol’ head is 67%.

And their personalities? OH MY. On Monday alone, we had these gems:
– Isla tried to sneak on an elevator at the hospital while visiting Uncle Jack.
– Ava asked everyone for “or treats” while trick or treating with the cousins.
– Isla snuck Simon’s hat and DTM quickly snapped this fun photo of them in the midst of their busy-ness:

Other things of note:
– They’ve moved to toddler beds!
– They love popcorn.
– They’re still not sure if they are vegetarians or carnivores…eating has become more picky!

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Girls, I’m so thankful for you! Xoxo