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5 MOMS RECREATE ICONIC OSCARS RED CARPET LOOKS WITH THEIR KIDS

With the awards season coming to an end, the upcoming Academy Awards on Sunday will be a day filled with Old Hollywood style glitz and glamour. Celebrities will flock to the Oscars red carpet with the intention to dress to impress and I am here for it. I am also here for the women of Hollywood who use their voice to fight for equal pay, for the inclusion of more female and ethnic employment on film sets, and to support the survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault. That just got deep quick…but hang in there it gets really cute in a minute.  We wanted to honor some of these courageous babes by recreating some of their most beautiful red carpet looks with our children.
So together 5 Moms took on the task of recreating iconic looks from the past Academy Awards with their kids. This goes beyond the usual twinning pics we all see all over Instagram because each look was chosen for a specific reason. Scroll down to see why!
1. JLO
“I never saw anything resemble my South Asian attire when I was growing up, so when JLo graced the Oscars red carpet in 2003 in this vintage Valentino, I felt a sense of familiarity and pride that my heritage was somehow being acknowledged through this sari-inspired gown.”- Ami Desai, Beauty & Lifestyle Expert and Mother of 2 
2. Gwyneth Paltrow
“I chose Gwyneth’s iconic pink Raplh Lauren dress in which she claimed the Oscar for her 1998 role in Shakespeare in Love. Not only did she look like a walking fairy tale, but she also speaks up for what she believes in, like equal pay. It’s important for me to teach my daughter the same values. Life is not always going to be inclusive, easy, or fair. I want my daughter to know that if she works hard she can achieve her dreams, Yet, as women we can stand in support of one another and cheer each other on to the finish line. Also what better way to life lessons than through fun and fashion.” Abigail Ochse, Founder of The Chic Mamas and Mother of 3
3. Halle Berry
“For me, the Oscars are defined by these emotional speeches, historic wins and iconic fashion moments. In 2002, Halle Berry hit all 3 and I’ll never forget that moment. I had to recreate it with my 3 year old daughter!” Orly Shani, DIY expert and Mother of 2
4. Angelina Jolie
“The oscars are able to capture glamour, talent and reward all in one night, and what an amazing message to send to my daughters. Focus on your dreams, bust your butt and be glamorous & classy while doing it!” –Pamelyn Rocco, Owner of Bashery & Co and Mother of 2
5. Jennifer Aniston
“Jennifer Aniston is such a role model and my all time favorite celebrity. From being the boss lady that she is to overcoming so much in her personal life, I truly admire how she handles herself with such grace. I think it’s important to not only teach our daughters, but our sons the importance of pursuing your dreams no matter what life throws at you.”
Mel Baltierrez, Founder of Mel Rod Style and Mother of 1
The Inspiration: Vanity Fair Hollywood Editions by Annie Leibovitz
When this vision came to mind, I immediately called Ami Desai… we threw it together in two weeks and it was worth every minute of research, recreating 5 looks for Moms and kiddos,  running around down town for fabric, pinning together make shift dresses,  and the bribing to get all the children to look at the camera! We pulled it off and I could not be more proud of the finished product.
A huge thank you to this amazing team:
Photography: Dexter Carrington 
Styling: Jordan Maiava
Pamelyn’s Dress: Mimi Tran Designs
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How I Keep My Babies on Track When We Travel…

Family holiday vacations can be full of unforgettable memories, but as we know traveling with the kiddos can be a real challenge. I try several things to ensure that the twins stay on schedule and have the same diet when we visit a new place.  They have especially sensitive stomachs and they usually don’t take well to overly preserved foods high in additives or sugar. So I pack the boys their Healthy Times organic mixed grain cereal wherever we go.

The cereal comes in in a convenient resealable pouch (which is also why I love it for traveling!)  and has the vitamins and minerals the twins need for brain development, strong bones and teeth, and a healthy immune system. Plus it’s dairy and soy free with all Non-GMO organic ingredients.

Also can we talk about the fact that Healthy Times is a legacy brand that was started by a mom in her kitchen back in 1980  who wanted to provide nutritious food for her children without refined sugars, preservatives or additives… can I get an AMEN! I love supporting women in business and companies that give back. Healthy Times not only commits to creating quality products, they also commit to supporting non-profit partners like Feed the Children. Feed the Children exists to defeat childhood hunger. It is one of the largest U.S.-based charities and serves those in need in the U.S. and in 10 countries around the world.

So the next time you are looking for  healthy, organic, natural foods for your kids… go to Healthy Times and help give back to others in need. They carry many different items from cereals, toddler formulas, teething biscuits, and cookies to natural bath and body care products for your littles. Happy Holidays and Happy Traveling!

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Making Parenting Goof-Proof With Ezy Dose Kids

Brace yourselves, winter is coming and by winter I mean runny noses, coughs and colds. Being a nurse you would think I have anything health care related covered. Yet when it comes to my own kids I have had many #momfails when it comes to illnesses and ailments in my household. So let me just share with you my top three:

 

  1. When Willow had her first fever, I was that Mom who was calling the pediatrician at 2am asking how much medicine should give her. Only to realize I had lost the syringe to administer the medicine with. Nothing like ripping apart your medicine cabinet with a screaming baby in the middle of the night.
  2. If you are a parent I am sure you have had to use a device to suck the snot out of your kid’s nose at some point. Yes… I actually just said that… you will do anything for your kids am I right?? Our doctor told us to use this device in which you suck the snot out of your child’s nose through a tube. My husband and I might have done rock, paper, scissors to see who would take on this joyous duty. Needless to say, I ended up being assigned to the task, while my husband started dry heaving in the corner.
  3. I remember using a syringe trying to administer medicine into Willow’s mouth when she was baby. In my mind I was delicately putting tiny drops into her mouth, but instead I squirted the entire contents into the back of her throat causing her to cough, choke, and gag. Serious Mom fail.

In the moment these were all highly anxious situations in which I felt ill equipped and completely unprepared to care for my sick baby. Looking back now all I can say is you live, you learn and you need to laugh along the way to survive. Also, you need to stock your house with an arsenal of products to fight the never-ending runny nose phase my kids will most likely be in from October until March. With school back in session and the cold season fast approaching Ezy Dose Kids comes in handy and it is just that, easy. They have innovative products that help you make your little ones all better and make parenting a sick child goof-proof.

 

Ezy Dose Kids lets you take the worry out of tending to your children with amazing products like the True Easy Syringe that lets you precisely measure medicine down to the last drop. Where was that syringe when I needed it at 2 am?!

 

Oh, and they created a Nose-Pals that helps clear congestion. But Nose-Pals is the only product that allows you to BLOW into the device to create a suction. No more fighting over who has to suck the snot of your kid’s nose.  Which personally I think is a game changer for those with a weak stomach!

 

They also have a Medi-Pals that helps the medicine go down so your child doesn’t gag. The Medi-Pals unique split nipple design that dispenses the liquid down the inside of your child’s cheek. So therefore no more accidental choking your child with medicine…I know my kids are somewhere thanking the heavens for this one!

 

Ezy Dose Kids literally has you and your children covered for whatever germs come your way. Click here to get a 20% off the Ezy Dose Kids items on Amazon and learn more at Ezydosekids.com.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

I’ve partnered with Ezy Dose Kids on this post, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Twin Gear: What You Need To Survive

Okay ya’ll this list took me three months to create!!! There is a lot of information below and I tried to break it down into categories for you to make it easier to navigate. As we all know there is so much baby gear on the market that it can be overwhelming. These are the items that I have tried and used for the twins. I also added in some items that are also on my wish list too! Click on the links or images below to shop any gear!!

Sleeping/Nursery:

  1. Crib- loved this Babyletto Hudson Convertible crib for the price point since buying 2. I feel like we will really get our money’s worth as it grows with baby
  2. Crib Mattress/Mattress Cover-Babyletto Pure Core Non-Toxic Crib Mattress With Dry Waterproof Cover
  3. Twin Co-Sleeper- Halo Bassinet Twin Sleeper. Many asked if this is too bulky, I have to agree it is big but I think it saves more space than having two bassinets next to your bed. I also love that it rotates and has a side the easily slides down.
  4. Changing Table/Changing Pad- honestly we used our old dresser set up with changing table from when Willow as born to help save money. I will link a similar one here from Pottery Barn
  5. Changing Pad Covers-I really liked these from Copper and Pearl
  6. Glider or Rocking Chair-Seriouly found the coolest one from Micuna. The Magnet anchoring system allows two mini bassinets to be fixed simultaneously to the same rocking chair. Thus allowing the rocking chair to balance with two cribs at the same time.
  7. Noise Machine-Dohm Classic White Noise Machine which has two settings or levels of white noise. Which apparently is much better for kids than ocean waves or other sounds so it does not interrupt your baby’s sleep patterns.
  8. Baby Monitor-Summer Infant Panorama or Lollipop (much cuter and sleeker design that may fit the decor of your nursery better).
  9. Swaddling Gear: So far we found the boys like these two swaddles and they are so easy. Swaddle Me (zip up) or Swaddle Me (velcro)
  10. Dockatots-seriously love these!! Use them for everything!

 

Feeding:

  1. Willow Breast Pump-With an all-in-one design that allows you to move freely—no cords, no dangling bottles—Willow works quietly inside your bra and conveniently tracks milk volume through an app on your phone! I loved this one just for the convenience, but you can also call your insurance and see what pumps they cover for you.
  2. Breast feeding pillow-Twin Z Pillow, would die without this pillow. It allows you to feed both babies at once whether breast or bottle feeding. Make sure you buy a couple of covers so you can switch them out when it gets dirty.
  3. Bottle Warmer-I have always used this Kiinde warmer, as I also used the Kiinde breast milk storage bags. It easily heats fresh and frozen breast milk.
  4. Bottle Sanitizer-love this Baby Brezza sanitizer, it can be used for plastic, glass, pacifiers, etc.
  5. Formula Fed- This Baby Brezza Formula pro will save your life. Forget heating any bottles, it is like a Keurig for baby bottles!
  6. Bottles: With two babies we have tried them all. Here are some of our favorites as they have changed over the months for both Bodhi and Ranger. Como Tomo, Smilo, Dr. Brown and the current favorite MAM
  7. Bottle Brush-Oxo bottle brush, comes with it’s own stand. Cleans both bottle and has small brush included for cleaning nipples.
  8. High Chairs-We honestly have not bought these for the twins yet, but I am loving the Bloom Highchairs! They are sooo sleek, and I love that they recline. It is a total splurge, now let’s be real I bought Willow’s first highchair from IKEA.

 

Play Gear (I would just buy one of the items below, as you can rotate the twins through them for playing time. Unless you want two swings so they can both use them at the same time.)

  1. Word on the street is split, your baby will like either the Mama Roo or a regular baby Swing The boys have Mama Roos, but Willow was a swing kind of gal.
  2. Playmat: We got something easy that would fit both babies, like this Mat. Also this is a total splurge but love how this one looks from Lovevery
  3. Bouncy Seats
  4. Stationary Activity Center-they usually start using this around 4-6 months

 

Travel:

  1. Car Seats-loved the Nuna or Britax endeavors.  They have great safety ratings and super easy to install.
  2. Car Seat Cover- Love these so strangers can’t touch the babies by Itzy Ritzy
  3. Carrier-There is a twin carrier called the Weego, but when you need to divide and conquer Aj and I both have an Ergo 360. We like this can you carry the baby any way, on your chest or back.
  4. Stroller-we have one from Britax that the car seats click right into, and I am still on the lookout for a great everyday stroller. I would like one in which both babies can see (many of them are often blocked by the other baby seat.) This Mountain Buggy Duet  is on my wishlist.
  5. Diaper Bag-love the Paperclip Diaper bag that has a fold out changing station built in that is anti-microbial and anti-wet. This way your baby doesn’t need to touch the gross changing tables.

All Photos by: Kate Hauschka Photography

 

XO,

 

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Welcome To The World

Hello World! So if any of you follow me on Instagram, then you may already know that we welcomed our twin boys on Monday, March 5th! Ranger Joseph Buckley was born at 5:45pm weighing only 4 pounds 12 ounces and 2 minutes later he was joined by his brother, Bodhi Robert Buckley weighing in at 5 pounds.

Their journey into this world was quite the whirlwind. I had started having contractions the Thursday before they were born. I was admitted to the hospital to stop my labor and given medicine to halt any contractions. I was home by Friday afternoon. Then on Monday morning, my water broke, and I headed right back to the hospital. At this point there was no way to stop my labor, and the boys would be born that day.

My babies were born via C-section this time. Prior to going into labor there was concern about Ranger’s size and his lack of growth over the last weeks, and they were concerned he had IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). Bodhi had a dilated aorta and was being monitored closely for this condition as well. The decision to have a C-section was made between my doctor, Aj and I due to all of these contributing factors.

Although I wish I had my twins naturally, I was happy they were delivered safely. I just have to say C-sections are a trip! It was a bizarre experience (as having babies naturally can be too!) and far different from what I had originally envisioned. I think it took my doctor all of  1o minutes to deliver both babies.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka

Since I was only 34 weeks along, Ranger and Bodhi had a bit of a rough start. They were immediately taken to the NICU post birth as their little lungs had not fully matured. I didn’t get to do any skin to skin, or hold my boys for about a week. I was only able to see them the night of the delivery, and then touch then on their heads and feet for so many days after they were born. The boys both needed support breathing and caught an infection as well. They ended up spending 23 days in the NICU, and many of those days were an emotional roller coaster. It was one of the happiest days of my life when were officially allowed to bring them home.

I took a much needed break from blogging to recover from birth, the NICU and to really be present with my family. I have received so many kind and supportive messages from all of my followers and readers over this time. Thank you so much for your continued support. If anyone has advice on twins, raising three kids or preserving my sanity… please leave me a message in the comments below

XOXO,

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The Coolest Contraction Monitor: Bloom Life

I had just finished my 10th patient of the day, and suddenly there it was again. A strange pressure, and an intense tightening of my pregnant belly. Since being pregnant with twins is a whole new ball game to me, I thought Baby B was doing his usual roll from one side of my stomach to the other. Then ten minutes later it happened once more, and then again about twenty minutes later. I had four more patients to go, and had several more of these episodes as I finished work. It occured to me that these “episodes” were happening more frequently, although at irregular intervals. Yet they were starting to make me nervous, but I was reassured by the fact that later that day I would be seeing my doctor.

 

I rolled into my appointment per usual, and nonchalantly explained what I had been experiencing throughout my work day to my doctor. My doctor turned to me with a stern face and said, “do you know how far apart these contractions are happening?”

 

Contractions?? Say What??

The truth is I didn’t know they were contractions, how many I had been having or how far apart they were. I only knew they were happening a few times an hour over the last several days. And just like that I was put on a machine to monitor for contractions and had a really fun ultrasound (and by fun I mean not fun at all) to ensure my cervix wasn’t shortening or opening.

 

We found that my contractions were irregular, not causing any progression of labor or cervical changes, and if I kept off my feet they would slow down. I felt so funny as nurse, and one time mom already that I didn’t realize these were fake contractions. If I was going through my OB rotation in nursing school I would have definitely failed at this point ( I blame my pregnancy brain, because in nursing school I actually got an A in this rotation)! The doctor sent me home, and told me this time to track any and all contractions so I could report my activity to him at my weekly visit.

 

As I was leaving I thought to myself that is super simple and I will come back with a full report.  Except I would have these contractions taking Willow to school, while driving, when checking out at the grocery store, then forget to capture the time, length, etc. Needless to say my report was not accurate the next time I saw the doctor. That’s when I stumbled upon Bloomlife, a women’s health company focused on improving the health of moms and babies.

 

Bloomlife created the world’s first clinically validated smart pregnancy tracker that automatically tracks and counts contractions for you sending the data directly to an app on your phone. It is a small sensor that sticks directly to your belly, so you can remain hands free. I actually forgot I was wearing it a few times. As you go about your daily activities, Bloomlife’s automated contraction tracking and timing does all the hard work for you from the comfort of home.

 

I know what your next question will be already. Is it safe and what is that little sensor pumping into your body?? Well, Bloomlife has been clinically validated for accuracy and safety. The award-winning sensor technology is 100% passive and simply listens and decodes the natural electrical chatter of the muscle without sending any energy into the body. Need I say more?!

 

My doctor was overly impressed with me during my last visit as I was able to show him my Bloomlife app complete with my contraction pattern bar and contraction stats! It’s simple, safe and accurate!

This device honestly brings comfort to any expecting Mother. Use code ChicMamas20 to receive $20 off your Bloomlife at checkout.

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

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The Real Difference Between Boys and Girls

Growing up I was such a tom boy that I always thought Willow would follow in my foot steps. I was outside playing ball with the boys for most of my child hood. I must say that over the last four years my baby girl has been nothing but princesses, purses, make up and dress up. Things that she gravitated towards all on her own. Now that I am having two boys, I have been reading all about gender research, which shows more and more that gender differences can be hardwired since birth!

I fully understand that they can be born loving dolls or dresses and I am totally fine with that. They can play with whatever they choose as far as we are concerned. Yet the more I read I seem to find a common theme with little men according to science and gender research. Here are some facts about little boys:

  • They love to move. They tend to squirm, kick and wiggle more than little girls.
  •  Little boys will watch mechanical motion over human motion, and appear to have spatial skills starting as young as 3-5 months old (the ability to solve problems involving size, distance, and the relationship between objects).
  • The stereotypical notion that little boys are less emotional is completely false. Little boys are just as sensitive as little girls and should be treated as such.
  • Little boys tend to be less fearful than little girls according to multiple studies.

I cannot wait to meet these little boys soon! Do you notice gender differences in your children??

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A poem for my sons

I came by this poem on the internet and adjusted it to fit the twins. I hope you all enjoy reading it for the first time as much as I did! Pregnancy is such a special time and sometimes it can be hard to put it into words… this poem helped put into words some of my feelings.

Mamas, how did express some of your feelings about pregnancy? I would love to hear!

Time is moving slowly,

The day is almost here.

The anxiety and joy is building up,

For my baby boys will soon appear.

I can’t wait to see your smiling faces,

And hold your little hands.

Just then I’ll know deep inside

that you’re my little men.

I have so much to share with you

day after day.

And to you my sons I will give my love

in each and every way.

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#AskAbby: How To Manage Your High Risk Pregnancy

I keep getting questions from followers asking how I am managing my “high risk” pregnancy. So I thought I would share whats been happening in the last 29 weeks. I am considered “high risk” because I am carrying two babies, and when you are pregnant with multiples you have a higher risk of developing complications. Usually the most common risk is a premature delivery. This is why you have more doctors appointments, and must be monitored more closely. I seriously feel like I live at the doctor’s office and I am there every single week!

We talked at length about nutrition and a healthy, steady weight gain throughout my pregnancy. This was to ensure that the babies and I were healthy but also to help reduce any risk of gestational diabetes, increased blood pressure or aches and pains due to increased weight gain. As I have mentioned before, I gained 75 pounds with Willow and have severe back problems. So this time around I met with a nutritionist, Kevin Libby and we created a food plan in which I eat every two hours. This has been a major game changer for me, I feel full and have great energy. Thus far I have gained about 36 pounds so far.

I noticed in the last two weeks that I was starting to feel a tightness and pressure in my belly, multiple times an hour. I really thought this was the babies turning over for the longest time. It wasn’t until I saw my accupuncturist that she told me I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are your bodies way of preparing for the real thing, and usually are called “false labor”. I was starting to have them more and more, usually they correlated with me standing and working for long periods of time. Around this time I also started experiencing increased ligament pain that was unrelieved with laying down or a supportive belly belt. So my doctor made the decision to put me on maternity leave and gave me a serious talking-to about taking it easy or I would end up on bed rest.

I will do anything to avoid bed rest at this point, so I obliged and gave up working at the office. Now that I am in my third trimester I have been drastically more hungry and more tired. I really found that I must pay attention to my body to ensure I stay healthy for these two little boys!! After all I want them to stay put for as long as they can! Have you experienced a high risk pregnancy?? Let me know how you dealt with any restrictions in the comments below!