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Baby Box University!

Anyone else get severe anxiety when your baby is napping?? I have been known to go into the nursery and stare at my kids to make sure they are breathing still. Of course this causes them to wake up and results in me army crawling towards the door so I don’t interrupt nap time! SIDS anxiety is real and definitely contributes to my lack of sleep.

Enter the Baby Box, a sustainably designed safe sleeping space for your baby. In Finland, these boxes have famously been used (in conjunction with education) to reduce the infant death rate to less than half of that in the U.S. The boxes also include premium baby products to support new parents as well.  With all the baby products on the market now, it can be overwhelming in which to choose and expensive for items that your newborn will outgrow. So here is the best part, the Baby Box is FREE!!!

Here is how the program works:

Parents simply sign-up at Baby Box University, watch a short series of videos selected by local experts, and then receive a free Baby Box.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Go to BabyBoxUniversity.com and sign-up for a free account
2. Click on “Choose a Course” and select the location closest to you
3. Watch the videos that are part of your course. This will take 15-20 minutes.
4. Take the quiz
5. Receive your free Baby Box, along with helpful samples like diapers, breast milk storage bags and more!

My Baby Box came when the boys were still in the NICU, but that didn’t stop me from putting it to use when my friends brought their babies over! How cute is little Max? He slept so well in the Baby Box, while we had a little girl’s catch up and dinner. I love that the box can be taken anywhere, put in any room and you know baby is sleeping safely when he or she is in the box.

 

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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 Most Stylish Maternity Brand: Pink Blush

Getting bigger is never an easy thing, and dressing for a baby belly can feel difficult at times. When I was first pregnant with Willow, I had a hard time with my changing body. I constantly covered up with a giant muumuu. With this pregnancy, I have really learned to embrace and love my bump!

Since having more confidence in my pregnancy this go round, I have really enjoyed styling my bump. I have talked previously about how to shop while pregnant (see it HERE), but I wanted to share with you Pink Blush Maternity, a brand that has all you need for your maternity wardrobe.  Seriously they are a one stop shop, carrying everything from fitted florals, swinging maxi dresses, flattering wrap dresses to bathing suits for your growing belly.

I have worn their dresses to my gender reveal, on the red carpet and pretty much on the daily. They are stylish, yet comfortable making a Mama feel good! They have many on trend-items that won’t break the bank and help you keep your personal style alive!

Shop My Favorite Looks From Pink Blush:


Gender Reveal Dress:

Photo Credit: Kate Hauschka 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Ways To Pamper Yourself While Pregnant

It’s hard work creating human beings and sometimes you need to give your body a break. Pregnancy comes with that glow, but can leave your body achy and your mind feeling a little overwhelmed with all the hormones. It is really important to take time to focus on just yourself as you prepare to meet this new baby. Here are 5 ways to pamper yourself while pregnant:

    1. Indulge in some nice undergarments or nightgowns that fit appropriately and make you feel sexy. I have always gone by the saying, when you look good you feel good. Even if these are under your clothes or only what you wear to bed, it subconsciously makes you feel more confident.

2. Spa it up!! Prenatal massages, facials and mani/pedi’s are a great way to relax and soothe your body throughout your pregnancy. Some insurance companies will even cover some  prenatal massages! Call your provider to inquire about your coverage. Also there are so many apps now that offer these services in the comfort of your own home. I like to use the Priv app and you can use the code ” thechicmamas10″ for a discount at checkout!

3. Take a nap. I know this sounds like an obvious way to relax, but often as a Mom I put my own comfort last. When you are pregnant this is often the time to really listen to what your body needs. When you are exhausted, even taking a 20 minute power nap can give you a great energy boost. 4. Splurge on a nice accessory for yourself. I posted previously about how I usually buy basic, staple pieces when pregnant, that can be worn over again and grow with your belly. This way I’m not wasting money on things that I will quickly grow out of, and I can use that money to buy myself a gift! Jewelry, a nice hand bag, or maybe a beautiful pair of shoes… either way you deserve it!

5. Exercise. I know this sounds exhausting, but it is actual really good for you. You can go take an exercise class with friends for a little girl time or go solo for some much needed alone time. Exercise helps release beta endorphins that give a sense of well being. It also helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.

I hope this list is a little reminder to that you are a rockstar, but even rock stars need a little rest and relaxation!

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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!

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What I Packed In My Hospital Bag For The Twins

When I was pregnant with Willow I vividly remember packing everything plus the kitchen sink in her hospital bag. I’m not even joking, I packed nail clippers for my newborn baby! Since this is my second time around I am packing smarter! I want to bring what I will really need for the boys and that’s it! One pearl I really took home from Willow’s birth is that hospitals provide more supplies than you think. I went on hospital tours before she was born and only asked questions regarding her birth. A good tip for new Moms is to ask what supplies your hospital provides for baby before you pack your hospital bag.

When I delivered Willow the hospital provided onesies, hats, diapers, pacifiers, hand sanitizer, burp cloths and receiving blankets. Here is what I am packing for the twins in my Paper Clip Diaper Bag:

  • Two premie onesies, just in case they are born with a lower birth weight. I’m hoping they are chunky and full of baby rolls so they can fit into those newborn hospital onesies.
  • Swaddles that velcro or zip. These are so easy to use compared to wrapping a your new baby in the hospital blanket.I have these on my registry!
  • Eco-friendly diapers. Like I said before the hospital will provide their own diapers, but they usually are to eco-friendly or organic. I love the Honest Company and Aden & Anais brands.
  • Water wipes. I found these after Willow was born and really love them. Made with 99.9% water, they are natural and easy on a newborn’s skin. Find themHERE
  • Going Home Outfit. This was my favorite part for Willow! I can’t wait to pick out the boys outfits!! I’m still on the look out for the perfect outfits for them.
  • Going Home Blanket for the car seats! Love these two blankets! See them HERE and HERE. 

Let me know what you pack in your hospital bag for baby!! I always love getting advice from you guys!

Mom Guilt: Why We Really Need To Let Go Of The Shame and Start Living Our Lives

Hey Ya’ll I am back. Sorry there was a short hiatus here, but I have been working on a couple of things for all of you. One of them being this new series which you can follow over on my Instagram. Motherhood, it is an amazing journey filled with endless love. Yet, there are many aspects of Motherhood that people just really try not to talk about. We all have many, as I like to call them, “not so chic moments” of Motherhood. One of them being, Mom guilt.

 

Mom guilt as I like to call it, has many…many forms.

You leave your kids to go to work and make a living… you feel guilty.

You go out to see your girlfriends once a month… you feel guilty.

You tell your child the cookies are gone and you secretly ate them in the bathroom, well because you needed that cookie and some alone time… you feel guilty.

Oh and the above image is when my child decided to one up me and put herself in time out. Guess what?? It seriously gave me Mom guilt because I started to think I put her in time out too much!

Okay, that last one is a true story…guilty as charged over here, but is anyone else tired of the Mom guilt? I think we can be honest that we all don’t love every single minute of Motherhood. We aren’t robots and we most definitely are not perfect. So I am starting this little series in which every Monday I will share on my Instagram and blog a favorite Mom guilt from the last week. I hope this sparks conversation for us in which we can talk about it, laugh about it and for goodness sakes start living a little without it?

Have you had any Mom Guilt Moments?