Introducing the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper {and a GIVEAWAY}

Disclosure: *I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own. This post contains affiliate links through Amazon, which means if you purchase through those links, I'll receive a small percentage. I never choose items to endorse based on samples given or affiliate link payments. I only endorse items I think would be of great benefit to you.*

I am super excited to tell you guys about a product I wish I had purchased when I first had the twins.


I’ve talked to you before about my adventures in nursing newborn twins. We had the twins sleep in our room for 5 months, mostly because I couldn’t figure out a way to breastfeed in their nursery to move them out of our room sooner. The HALO Bassinest would have solved my problems from the beginning.

When we first brought the twins home, I had them sleep in a bassinet next to my bed. After having a c-section, I still had to twist and move and bend over to lift them into bed with me to nurse. On the other hand, if I had had a HALO Bassinest, I would have been able to reach both babies without ever getting out of bed. 



The tip-proof base provides height adjustability to fit beds 24”-34” high.  The unique design means baby is always close by and visible at mom’s eye level, allowing mom to reach in and soothe baby quickly, while mesh walls provide maximum visibility and breathability.




But what about when I’m NOT nursing in bed? I like many moms, have a chair in my nursery. I would LOVE to nurse my twins in that chair, but… I can’t reach them. 1) My babies don’t levitate (dang it!) 2) A traditional crib has fixed sides and doesn't come closer or swivel away. So how am I supposed to sit down and reach my twins to tandem nurse once I’m all settled with my twin nursing pillow?

Seriously. How am I supposed to reach my babies from here?


With the Bassinest, I would be able to sit in a comfortable nursing chair, put my infant twins in the same Bassinest (up to 30 pounds total or 5 months old) or two Bassinests (one on each side), easily reach each twin to tandem nurse them, and then put them right back into their Bassinest when I'm done!

The Bassinest is also perfect for middle of the night twin bottle feeding. My husband took one feeding per night in the beginning, so I could get some extra sleep. But he had a hard time getting comfortable hunched over holding bottles for two sleeping babies. With the Bassinest, you can sit in bed or in a chair and bring the baby or babies to a height and position that works for you! Genius!

I’m telling you. You’ve got to check this out:



For more info, follow HALO on…


I don't have a HALO Bassinest to giveaway, but I DO have a HALO SleepSack or Swaddle in 100% Cotton. Choose from one of these styles! Enter to win below!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Essentials for Feeding Twins (or any baby, for that matter) ... {Plus, An AWESOME Giveaway!}

#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)

There is a lot of commemorating and celebrating going on up in here. 

It's my Two Year Blog-iversary!
(Check out some of my top posts over the last 2 years.) 

The twins are almost TEN MONTHS OLD!


CAKE AND BALLOONS AND RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS FOR EVERYONE!
(Well, not really. But I am hosting a pretty awesome giveaway!)

I shared some of my tips for Breastfeeding Twins over at Baby Gizmo this week. And here on the blog, I've talked about my Adventures in Nursing Newborn Twins, but I wanted to break it down, very practically, and tell you about my must have items.

So...

Here are my 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins!


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)


Disclosure: *I was not financially compensated for this post. I received samples for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. This post contains affiliate links through Amazon, which means if you purchase through those links, I'll receive a small percentage. I never choose items to endorse based on samples given or affiliate link payments. I only endorse items I use personally and think would be of great benefit to you.*


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)
Purchase at Amazon (aff link)


Guys. I love this nursing tank. I have used the Undercover Mama Nursing Shirt for years. I first discovered it during my first pregnancy. This handy tank turns any nursing bra into a shirt! And when tandem nursing twins, this is just fabulous. I wore this attached to my nursing bra clasp, and would still feel covered in my mid-section even while nursing two babies. It doesn't seem like a huge deal, but when you are essentially topless all day breastfeeding twins, it's really nice to have something that provides extra coverage so you don't feel naked all the time. Word.


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)
Purchase at Amazon (aff link)

I never worried about milk supply until I had the twins. I heard so many stories about women drying up after a few days, weeks, or months. Rarely was I able to find someone who maintained a consistent supply for a year or more. I was eager to try Motherlove More Milk Plus Capsules when I switched from breastfeeding full-time to pumping and adding solids because that's when pretty much everyone seems to have supply issues. Before I started the supplements, I definitely noticed a dip in my supply, but after just a few days of using the pills as instructed, I was pumping plenty of milk and keeping up with the twins' demand.


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)
Purchase at Amazon (aff link)

I have spent a lot of time pumping in the last 10 months. A LOT. Generally, I enjoy my pumping time because... I use the Simple Wishes Pumping Bra. My hands are completely free to use my laptop, eat lunch, read a book, sip a latte, whatever my little heart desires. And, as my cup size has changed, the Simple Wishes Pumping Bra easily adjusts from large all the way down to extra small (check out the size chart here). Seriously, I could NOT survive all the pumping I've had to do to build up and maintain my milk supply without this hands free bra. For reals.


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)
Purchase at Amazon (aff link)

I found Pumpin Pal Pump Flanges with my first born. Again, I have been using these for years. I find them to be much more comfortable and gentle then the standard flanges on the market. And the shape creates a motion that is more similar to natural nursing. Highly recommend these for the professional pumper.


#GIVEAWAY 5 Essentials for Feeding Twins... or any baby for that matter... (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)

I chose to begin supplementing with formula around month 8 with the twins. I was juggling twins and a toddler and, though I have help some days, there are plenty of days when I'm all on my own with all three kids. It was difficult to manage the logistics of nursing two increasingly active babies while playing with a toddler while maintaining two separate napping and feeding schedules and doing all of this in a two story house (I run up and down the stairs about a million times a day). Throw in outings with all three kids and trying to keep breast milk cold, then find a way to warm it up at the park or library or wherever (because nursing my active 8 month old twins in public was NOT happening), supplementing with formula just made sense. 

After researching my options, I chose Baby's Only Organic Toddler Formula by Nature's One. It contains the highest quality ingredients. It's certified organic. The company is dedicated to providing the "highest quality nutritional formula possible." I am extremely confident in their approach and their product, and I've been very happy with the growth and development of my girls since we started using Baby's Only almost two months ago. (You can read more about Baby's Only Formula here.)

(Side note: I know feeding options and choices are super personal and are made based on a number of factors by each mom with her baby's best interest at heart. Please, don't read any judgement of you in my recommendations or endorsements of these products, my friends. I love each of you and support you in whatever choice you make or have made for your little ones. Mamas gotta support mamas!)


Which one of these products are you most excited about? OR what other types of products did you find most useful for breastfeeding, pumping or bottle feeding your little ones? Leave a comment below and don't forget to enter to WIN!

5 Essentials for Feeding Twins (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Essentials for Feeding Twins (whether breastfeeding, pumping, or formula feeding)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Potty Training Survival Kit (for MOMS!)

I am thrilled to be over at BabyGizmo.com today, talking about potty training my Crazy Toddler and putting together a Potty Training Survival Kit for moms! Because if you survived potty training, you deserve to TREAT YO' SELF!



We finally started potty training for reals last Monday. I had been putting it off because I didn’t have my act together between the almost 3-year-old and 8-month-old twins. Well, mom finally got her act together and gathered up all the pertinent potty training supplies. It was ON!

I printed out a potty training chart and ordered a giant book of alphabet stickers. I bought a smiley, froggy potty and filled a little “treasure chest” with prizes. I picked up some salty snacks, lots of juice, and special gummy treats. I pulled out his favorite reading material and his favorite “Potty Time” video. I rolled up the rug, cleared our schedule, and gave my little dude (and myself) a pep talk. We can do this. Let’s show that potty who’s boss!

Day One: Five Words. Wizz.All.Over.The.Place.

Day Two: Less wizz. But… at one point, I was locked in the bathroom with a naked, peeing, tantrum-throwing toddler. It was like the sprinklers going off suddenly when you are standing in the middle of a lawn. The grossest sprinklers ever.

By day three, I was on the verge. Click here to read more...

Summer Fun for the Not-So-Slim

I'm lending my voice to iBelieve.com today, discussing how we not-so-slim mamas can still have some summer fun!


I’m definitely not at my thinnest this summer. I had twins 8 months ago, and I’m still carrying around significant postpartum pounds. I also happen to live in Southern California, the land of bikinis, beach days and barbeques. What’s a mom with her not-quite-beach-perfect-bod during those sweltering, summer months?


Extra pounds and summer fun don’t really go together. After all, magazine covers and Pinterest boards have been advertising ways to “slim down by summer” for months now. Get your body bathing suit ready! What do I do if I’m not “bathing suit ready”? The options seem slim for the not-so-slim.

Banishing TO DO, Choosing TO BE: A List of 34 Things in my 34th Year{Happy Birthday to Me!}


Happy Birthday to ME!!

Yo. It's my birthday. Woot. Woot.

And my 34th year looks pretty freakin' amazing. For a number of reasons. 

First of all, can I tell you how much I love my tiny humans? 

Crazy Toddler is becoming a Fabulous Preschooler. That kid makes my day. All of the days. I love his quirks and idiosyncrasies. The way he talks and sings and laughs so loud so much. The stuff he's interested in and the stuff that takes some convincing. I love how much he loves to snuggle and read and be around "his people." You guys. He's just the best.


This is how he winks. I die.
And the twins are in the red hot center of maximum cuteness zone. No crawling or walking to add to the chaos yet. Just cuddling and eating and sleeping a lot which allows me time and energy to dwell on their cuteness and love them when they are awake. 


Killing me with cuteness. And tiny twin finger nails.
Also, my husband. Oh yeah! There he is! Now that the twins are 7 months old and we have emerged from the keep-your-head-down-and-just-keep-wiping-butts-and-cleaning-spit-up-and-ignore-the-complete-and-utter-lack-of-sleep-and-personal-hygiene portion of newborn parenthood, my husband is back. We are back. 

We have gone on dates, people. Dates! Plural! Guess what? He is funny! Like literally laugh out loud funny, not just type LOL funny. And handsome and interesting and a crazy good dad, which, by the way, is knock-my-socks-off attractive. You know what else is knock-my-socks-off attractive? They way he has kindly, lovingly, patiently taken care of me since all this twin pregnancy/birth/newborn business punched me in the face. The dude is killing it.
Best dad ever.  Swoon.
Then there are my friends, family, and church who have kept me completely blanketed in prayer, love, support, and encouraging texts for the last year.

With all of these people in my life, I'm pretty excited about year 34.

But as I have been known to do, by anyone that knows me, I have been reflecting on the last 34 years and what I want out of the next one. So I came up with a list.

This isn't your typical lose weight/exercise/give up chocolate/take up yoga kind of "New Year's Resolution" sort of list. This list is more about shaping who I am rather than getting in shape. I didn't want another list of things to do, though I love me a "To Do" list. I wanted to make a to be list, with each item selected based on who it makes me, how it renews and transforms me. I wanted a list that would add adjectives to my description. Marie is a listener, a reader. Obedient, helpful, tenacious, persistent, etc.

Who do I want to be?

What would be on your list? What adjective would you choose? What habits or activities would you add or remove to be that person? To be different? Or perhaps to be more like you used to be? It's an interesting concept.

So here are 34 things to be for my 34th year. Who do I want to be (not just DO) this year? Here's a glimpse...

(more posts on each item coming soon!)
  1. Read more
  2. Fart around on the internet/Social Media/Netflix/Hulu less
  3. (Actively) Listen more
  4. Think about myself less (not less of myself) and hold my thoughts captive
  5. (Actively) Think about others more cultivating empathy and compassion in my thoughts, then words, then actions
  6. Embrace a Biblical redefinition of beauty
  7. Eat food that fuels my body
  8. Eat food that fuels my relationships
  9. Eat food that fuels my heart & soul
  10. Feed others
  11. Obey (God) Right Away
  12. (Really) Be a "Big Helper"
  13. Do Hard Things 
  14. Try, Try Again
  15. Treat my words (spoken, typed, or texted) like weapons and water
  16. Be a "Gentle" Mom/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Friend
  17. Share generously
  18. Encourage lavishly
  19. Laugh raucously
  20. Pray fervently
  21. Strengthen my body
  22. Strengthen my relationships
  23. Strengthen my heart & soul
  24. Sing more
  25. Dance more
  26. Listen to more music
  27. Experience more art & culture
  28. Clock some serious time with Jesus
  29. Stubbornly, passionately, tangibly love my husband
  30. Stubbornly, passionately, tangibly love my kids
  31. Build my Tribe of Sister-Friends 
  32. Learn something new and (even if ever-so-slightly) dangerous
  33. Re-learn something old and long-forgotten
  34. Don't get too attached to any of the above

Well, that's who I wanna be. For now.

What do you think of my list? This concept in general? Do any of these stick out to you? What would you put on your list? I'd love your input!

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