Giveaway: BabyDam Bathtub Divider

We are still struggling to get the twins to enjoy bathtime. Did you heve this issue with your ‘lil ones? After hearing about the BabyDam Bathtub Divider, we are wondering if it will make bathtime just a wee bit more fun. This is a pretty awesome baby product that keeps water from filling up the whole tub.

If you would like to give this nifty product a try, our friends over at MamatheFox are having a giveaway for one. Scroll down and check it out!

Enter for your chance to win (1) BabyDam Bathtub Divider!

A retail value of $45!

Sponsored by:

BabyDam USA

Available on Amazon!

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Hosted by:

MamatheFox

 

Review of The Freeloader Child Carrier

This post is a review of the Freeloader Child Carrier. I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

A few weeks back, I hinted that I’d be getting a child carrier that would be useful not just for the twins but for The Bigs, too. Do you remember me telling you about the Freeloader? Well, it arrived and we’ve been using it to test our backs out for when the twins are big enough to use it by taking Evan up to the Rails to Trails right off our backyard.

freeloader child carrierNote – The Freeloader Child Carrier should only be used with children ages 2 and a half and up (the twins are just a few weeks shy of that) and when they weigh between 25 and 80 pounds. They should also be between 33-50 inches tall. (That means Ava is going to be carriable again soon! Isla has some height to gain, but the way she’s been eating lately, that’s going to be soon, too!)

Like anything new, The Freeloader takes some getting used to. “You’re not going to run with him on here, that’s for sure,” said Greg when he tried it out with Evan.

It’s true. I got pretty sweaty while wearing it and even though I know I’m strong, it still was a core workout. We’re not going to be signing up for any 10-mile hikes while wearing it anytime soon.

While I was carrying Evan on the trail, I wondered what people thought. The three girls were walking around and I was carrying Evan, the sportiest of them all. But then I didn’t care. It’s pretty cool to have a carrier that supports a bigger child – and my mind went to friends who have kids with special needs, how it would allow them to go on adventures, too! Great news, Freeloader has a community for parents of kids with special needs! They’re steps ahead of me.

Preparing for our adventure

The girls can’t wait to be worn again, and we’ll work up to bigger adventures than just our trail. The Freeloader Child Carrier is slim enough we could take it to amusement parks or festivals (it only weighs 5.8 pounds).

Wearing in Prep for our Walk

What We Liked: The Freeloader Child Carrier

  • It is lightweight but sturdy.
  • The straps around the hips and around the shoulders distribute the weight evenly.
  • I ordered a medium Freeloader, and it is just the right size for me and for Greg, even with our height difference.
  • The foot straps for the kiddo!
  • As our kids grow, they’ll still be able to use it, up to 80 pounds. Arianna’s even taken a ride!

What We Didn’t Like: The Freeloader Child Carrier

  • The padding, while super comfy for both parent and kiddo, got me sweaty. Either that or it was our September Summer, but I still think it would be warm on a normal day, too.
  • While I agree the carrier is well worth it, the price is a bit out of our range as twin parents. If we wanted two, we’d be shelling out almost $600 (they are $299 a piece). Also, if you and your partner are different heights, you want to consider this in your purchase.

All-in-all, The Freeloader will be a go-to for our times exploring the world around us. Greg’s excited to have it as an option for next summer’s Wildlife Wednesday adventures. I’m excited to have Ava close by without her pinching and tugging at me to “Up! Up!” without support. Definitely a series of wins.

If you’d like to get a Freeloader Child Carrier of your own, you can save 10% when you use the code freeloaderfun when you use this coupon. See more at myfreeloader.com and find Freeloader on Facebook. Freeloader is also available on Amazon.

 

The Freeloader Child Carrier

*articles may contain affiliate links* This post about the Freeloader Child Carrier contains information provided by US Family Guide. I’ll be reviewing this carrier soon and will share my personal opinions with you then!

Where are my baby-wearing moms and dads? My hand is raised high, but my babies aren’t so much babies any more, so wearing them hasn’t happened as much as I’d like. Now that the twins are two, they’re bigger and less interested in being worn. But to be honest, sometimes it would make life so much easier to be able to wear them.

That’s why I am excited to be sharing information on The Freeloader child carrier with you – and soon you’ll get to see us using this carrier in action! Can’t wait to see how the girls do with it!

Freeloader

According to my friends over at US Family Guide:

The Freeloader is the First Child Carrier Built Specifically for Toddlers! It is a new, better child carrier. Compact, lightweight and portable, the Freeloader child carrier uses advanced materials and design to create a better experience for parents who love spending time with their kids.

Whether you are traveling by air, going to the zoo, or hiking with your little ones, the Freeloader is ready to help carry the load. When not in use, the Freeloader’s integrated aluminum seat folds up neatly to the size of a daypack. The Freeloader is a perfect fit for parents that want a lighter, more versatile carrier. The Freeloader features an easy-to-use, 5-point safety harness. The safety harness is specially designed to fasten securely and safely out-of-reach of your child.

The Freeloader provides wide, ergonomic shoulder and waist straps to evenly distribute your child’s weight to your hips and core. The contoured shoulder straps are adjustable and provide extra padding for comfort and support. Padding in the back panel and seat offers extended comfort for your child.

The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more!

I can just imagine how this will revolutionize Greg’s Wildlife Wednesday hikes, can’t you? And for me, I’m excited to give it a try the next time we go to the zoo – Ava had me carry her far more than I expected (and she hates the stroller).

If you’re intrigued and can’t wait to see my review here on the blog, head over to the Freeloader Child Carrier website or find them on Facebook.

Bonus: My readers get to take 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code “freeloaderfun” at checkout. Enjoy!

Tell Me: Did you baby wear your kiddos? When did you stop? Where was the coolest place you carried?

Potty Training with Potette

(*articles may contain affiliate links*) It’s almost that time – getting the twins to own their big girl status. In the coming weeks, we’ll be potty training with Potette, a 2-in-1 travel potty system. We’re bracing ourselves, but at the same time looking forward to the independence they’ll gain.

potette

What is the Potette?

The Potette Plus is both a travel potty and a trainer seat – giving your ‘lil one a safe, sanitary potty experience. It folds away and makes potty training easy and convenient – especially for moms of multiples!

For travel, you can fold up the seat and put it in the backpack so you can use it in public restrooms or (like we’ve had to) at an emergency pull-off. The legs fold in and it comes with liners and sanitary bags to dispose of the waste.

At home, you can use it with the legs (like a standard potty training seat) or using it as a seat to make your home toilet not so big and scary. Check out this how-to video from the Potette website to see what I’m talking about:

Why It Works

For us, potty training with Potette makes a lot of sense. With two to train, we need something easy and convenient, something we can carry with us and not worry about accidents on the go. The backpack ensures our normal diaper bag won’t get yucky and it even fits on the girls’ back!

potette_backpack

The girls enjoy books, so the fact that it comes with “Quest for Cloud Kingdom: A Petey Potette Training Tale” makes our job 10x easier – they’ll be reading how to conquer the task of potty training with a friendly pal. The size is also perfect for our ‘lil ones – our previous potty is too high for them to climb on yet and doesn’t have the dual features of being a stand-alone seat and insert for the “big girl potty”.

Isla is the first of the twins giving us signs of wanting to potty. She was so excited to unwrap the Potette at Christmas, carrying it around for hours. While she has only gone successfully once, she knows when it’s time to go – just needs to do it! 

potette plus

Where to Buy

You can find the Potette Plus (including the backpack, liners, sanity bags, and even the Petey Potette story pack) online and in baby stores nationwide. I recommend picking one up on Amazon so it comes right to your doorstep. You can learn more about the Potette from Kalencolm here.

What’s Next?

Time to dedicate a weekend to pretzels, water, and the Potette Plus! What tips do you have for us?


Toddler Wish-List

Disclaimer: To bring you this Toddler Wish-List, I was provided with products in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Can you believe that tomorrow the twins will be turning 23 months? I’m not alone, right? It is time to be in party planning mode, celebrating the official move into toddlerhood…or the terrible twos…or something like that.

Speaking of party planning, it probably makes sense to start thinking about what to get the girls who “have everything” because of being third in line of spoiled ‘lil Burghers. Fresh and new things are always fun, aren’t they? Thus, I put together a toddler wish-list full of fun items for those hard to buy for ‘lil divas and heroes in your life.

Toddler Wish-list

Toddler Wish-List

Musical Toys. The girls love to sing and dance, so what better than giving them toys to make their own music? This hedgehog accordion is unique and great to pair with these animal egg shakers.

hedgehog accordian

 

egg shakers

Lovies. I melted when I found this stuffed hedgehog (are you sensing the theme? The girls happen to have an affinity to them – big things come in small packages!). Doesn’t her hair remind you of Ava’s?

stuffed hedgehog

A really great blanket is always a win around here, too – and having a backup never hurts, just ask Evan and Ava.

Books. Babies, I mean toddlers, can never tire of books. Little Women is a pretty empowering one for the ‘lil ladies in your life while the ‘lil guys might enjoy The Jungle Book. Isn’t it great that these classics come in toddler friendly board book versions?

Little Women

Bath Toys. Bath time continues to be a struggle for us, so we’re hoping some fun bath toys just might do the trick to get the girls okay with the tub. Toys like Boon Pipes and Gears are a fun way to start getting your ‘lil engineers’ minds moving, too!

Puzzles. While standard puzzles can be fun, I think mix and match toys are also good ways to introduce puzzles and problem solving. Aren’t these Mix and Match Animals cute?

animal puzzle

Note: The girls will be getting these items for their birthday – I’ll be sure to share some photos of them as soon as they unwrap the goodies. Let’s not wish the next month away too soon, though! 

Bonus for Mom

Now that your babies are toddlers, you’re probably about ready to get rid of the diaper bag. But don’t go there just yet. Consider the Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack, an upgrade to your standard diaper bag. It offers versatile carrying configurations, organizational pockets, and a built-in charging station (doesn’t every mom need that?!). With fun prints, there’s something for every mom.

The Baby Cubby

The items above can all be found at The Baby Cubby, with a website (babycubby.com) and retail store (in Utah). Not only do they carry specially picked and tested toys and clothes for baby, functional baby gear, and products for mom; they provide a community for moms and make us feel special. Our role as parents is important, and they celebrate that. Follow their Cubby Community Blog to see what I mean – including twin tips and How to Dad!

The Baby Cubby

What would you add to this toddler wish-list? 

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

Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip


*articles may contain affiliate links* Ava received a Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip set in exchange for her mommy writing this post.

Glow in the Dark Pacifier Clip

It sounds totally crazy to have a glow in the dark pacifier clip, but in the week or so Ava’s been using it, the invention has found it’s worth in my book.

glow_pacifier_clip

This pacifier clip set, from Baby Goose, contains three double-sided ribbon pacifier clips. They loop-hook to baby’s pacifier and clip to their close. The bonus? They glow in the dark…so when baby throws the paci out of their crib at night, tired moms and dads can find it easily!

The set of three pacifier clips came in handy just in a week of use. 1) Ava covered one in cheese-ball orange flakes. It was a quick and easy swap from one clip to the other. The hook-knot loop feature that hooks to her neenie (pacifier) makes this quick and easy. 2) She’s throwing it less and her sister hasn’t figured out how to pull  it off her. The clip is sturdy had hasn’t damaged her clothing. 3) When she does get the clip loose and the room is dark, we can quickly find it thanks to the glow feature.

Gifting for someone? This clip set is a good choice if the baby is using a pacifier. It’s cute, too. There’s a themed set for boys and one for girls. Both are two-sided with coordinating prints.

Ava’s happy, so Mama’s happy! (Don’t let her silly face fool you!)

glow in the dark pacifier set

Twin Tip Tuesday: Baby Food Making

*articles may contain affiliate links* + Today’s post is brought to us by Foodii, the Squeeze Snack filling and feeding system for baby food making!

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Thank goodness we were frugal before the twins arrived. We’ve been living on deals for years, so it wasn’t really a surprise when I told Greg that we’d give baby food making a try when the time came for the twins to eat. Actually…this thought came about at a cousin’s baby shower that was days before I knew I was pregnant…she got a baby food system and I knew I’d need one if we did have another baby.

Fast forward from my initial thought to when the girls started to eat “solids”. (Solids is a HORRIBLE way to describe most baby foods, isn’t it?) I’d done some investigating on Baby Led Weaning, but everything we tried with the girls, they didn’t seem overly interested. Nope, they wanted mush in their mouths and they wanted it yesterday. So baby food it was to be. I’d done some research on baby food making and even ran it past our pediatrician.

This was going to be simple. I was just going to use the food processor, puree the foods we were eating anyways, and feed to the girls. Heh.

I’m funny.

What I didn’t account for was twins. They have their own agenda, their own time to want to eat, and their own tastebuds. Frankly, I didn’t have time to really get into baby food making like I’d planned. A mom can dream, right?!?!? But I am still willing to give it a try here and there. Like when we have mashed potatoes or something mushy. I’ll just mush more. Heck, I’m even down with making pureed snacks for my older kids (great way to get Evan to eat berries), but the twins? It’s just not been possible.

foodii

For those of you who have decided that you are going to embark on the journey of baby food making and have the time and desire, I give you all the props. And I give you this advice: check out the Foodii Squeeze Snack filling and feeding system (from Kiinde). We gave it a try to feed both the big kids (some applesauce) and the twins (mushy baby food of potatoes and root veggies I’d steamed) and it worked…I am just not sure I can keep up with it. TIP: Be sure you squeeze the Foodii Filler good! I didn’t my first time and got frustrated that it didn’t work. It does. You just have to SQUEEZE. Thanks to Arianna for telling me how to adult (see above).

The starter kit comes with:

foodii starter kit

10 Foodii Squeeze Pouches

1 Foodii Squeeze Filler

2 Snack Spouts

1 Squeeze Spoon

baby food making

A little bit more about the Foodii from Kiinde.com:

Puree your own healthy baby meals using your blender, pour into the wide-mouthed Foodii Filler, then squeeze the Filler to fill Twist Pouches or Foodii Pouches with healthy, nutritous snacks, mess-free!

Multiple feeding options are available for feeding directly from the pouches – ergonomically designed Snack Spouts, or soft silicone Squeeze Spoons. Both are designed to promote mess-free self-feeding, and have leak-proof caps. The Squeeze Snack Filler is simple, compact, and easy to clean. It has no moving parts, and is about as large as a large drinking glass. The Filler can be used to store pureed food in your fridge, too!

All components of the Foodii and Twist feeding systems are BPA, PVC, latex, and pthalate-free. Squeeze Snacks help to eliminate messes and dirty dishes – pouches can be discarded (recycled!) after use. Snack Spouts and Squeeze Spoons can be re-used for future feedings, and are dishwasher, steam, and microwave safe.

In Pennsylvania, you can find the Foodii at Target, buybuyBaby, and Babies R Us. This product retails for $19.99 and does require the purchase of additional pouches (which also can be used with your breastpump!). Find out more at kiinde.com.

foodii

 

Mamachic

*articles may contain affiliate links*  This post is brought to you courtesy of Mamachic, the versatile scarf and wrap for moms.

If you are a mom who is breastfeeding (or thinking about it) and are looking for a stylish, multi-functional nursing cover, then Mamachic just might be it. Developed over the last few years by Angela Tsai, Mamachic was the answer to her need for something stylish yet had multiple uses for her minimalist lifestyle.

mamachic

 

mamachic2

With the Mamachic, you can:

Cover up easily while nursing – baby will be cool and comfortable under our breathable and light bamboo fabric

Swaddle your baby – our soft bamboo will help them feel warm and snug

Burp your baby on soft, silk-like fabric

Protect your favorite top from spit-up and drool

Feel and look gorgeous and chic on any occasion

I’ve been using the Mamachic as we transitioned from summer to fall and now early winter weather. Mostly, I’m using it for a nursing cover (but sometimes spit happens) and scarf. The girls love to snuggle in it. But there are even more ways I could be using it:

Like I said, I tried a few of the different ways to wear it, but my favorite is as a nursing cover (especially while sitting around a fire!). Once I am done nursing, I could pass it on to another mama or keep it and wear it as a scarf or shirt…or give to the girls as a blankie.

If you know me in real life, ask if you can feel it. I wish I could describe how soft and wonderful the sustainable rayon jersey blend derived from bamboo fibers. You’ll have to trust me that it’s super soft.

mamachic in use
Mama feeding Isla at a rest stop with Mamachic as a cover

Mamachic is available through mamachic.co and retails for $69. It comes in six two-toned options (I picked red/charcoal because I have this thing with gray tones right now).

Twins On the Move with Huggies Little Movers

Thank you to Huggies for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try Huggies Little Movers Diapers.

huggies little movers
Oh. Hey Mom. What’d you bring us today? Diapers. Huh.

You’d think I would have been way more prepared for this, but the twins are on the move and it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep my ‘lil movers safe and happy in the house. Evan’s been out of this stage for almost three years PLUS we’re in a new house, so we have to think about:

  • Gating the stairs
  • Making corners of tables and stands safe with bumpers (Isla ALMOST face-planted into one yesterday)
  • Covering up outlets
  • Having toys to distract and attract the babies
  • What going out in public is going to mean
  • Having a secure diaper (little hips lead to diaper gaps around here)
  • Having the camera ready for those first big crawls and (gulp) steps

Both Ava and Isla are in the active baby stage. They’ve been rolling over and scooting to get the things they want, but in the last week, both have decided it’s time to start taking some crawl-steps. Although we don’t have marathon babies yet, the day is coming. They are definitely Little Movers, and it’s time to set baby free to explore their world!

huggies little movers

As I mentioned, we’re giving Huggies Little Movers Diapers a try. Honestly, the diapers start at size 3 (16 pounds), but our girls aren’t quite that heavy yet. When I put one on them, however, they did fit their waists and didn’t leave gaps where it matters (crawling = the potential to spread pee and poop around, have I mentioned our living room is basically all white carpet and furniture?). These diapers have an outstanding grip and provide plenty of wetness protection that I’m comfortable with them giving these a try for their “tummy time” moments that are leading into the crawling away in opposite direction stage.

huggies little movers
Our Twins are ON THE MOVE.

We used Little Movers with the Big Kids, but Huggies reformulated the diapers since then:

The new Huggies Little Movers Diapers have a Moving Baby System* for outstanding grip, fit, and wetness protection which absorbs on contact, so babies get the most out of every little move as they begin to kick, roll, crawl and walk.

*Huggies Little Movers Moving Baby System is made up of three key features:
• A DryTouch Liner that absorbs on contact
• Double Grip Strips for comfortable movement and a comfy fit that lasts
• Contoured Shape for freedom of movement

Do you have a ‘lil one on the move? Join in the Capture the Joy of Movement with Huggies #SetBabyFree campaign on Facebook and other social media by sharing your photos of them on the move. I’d be interested in seeing, too, so be sure to tag me (@lilburghers) when you tweet or (@mrsgregwillis) Instagram. You just might be featured on Huggies’ social media pages!

 

Guess it’s time to stop calling them my newborns, huh?

Isla's just about as shocked as her mama. :)
Isla’s just about as shocked as her mama. 🙂