Josh, Kelly, Everett, Emery, Atticus & Boo

Follow our day to day life through marriage, work, raising twins, and so much more. This is our Life As We Know It...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Convertible Car Seat

Emery is officially in her big girl car seat! Yesterday, I posted this picture of her testing out her new ride & got lots of questions on what kind of car seat it was. So, thought this would be a good time to let you know what I've researched about Convertible Car Seats.

The most important thing I was looking for was safety. Naturally this was where I started. Every year Britax is ranked as one of the safest car seats, if not the safest. Once I decided I was going to go with a Britax I quickly realized that they have a TON of options for Convertible seats. It was just a matter of narrowing it down to all the safety bells and whistles. 

I've included prices from because this is where I have found the cheapest prices with free next day shipping. You can buy them in stores but it can cost you up to $100 more. 

All of the Britax seats I've listed below allow your child to be rear facing up to 40 pounds & 49 inches. This was also important to me because they're now saying the longer you keep your child rear facing the better. Here is more info: Rear Facing Car Safety

Their cream of the crop seat is the Britax Advocate 70 G3. It's a huge seat. It has extra side impact cushion technology on the sides that make it really wide. We didn't go with this seat because it would be a really tight squeeze with two of them in the back of my SUV. Cost around $284.99.

Their next seat is the Britax Pavilion 70 G3. This is the one I went with. It has tons of great features! Cost around $254.99

HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology are affixed to the seat shell to ensure proper positioning while SafeCells compress to manage energy and provide resistance to the forward movement of your child in a crash, reducing the risk of head injury

EZ-Buckle System retains the harness buckle in a forward position and prevents the child from sitting on the buckle when boarding
  • True Side Impact Protection is deep side walls with energy-absorbing EPP foam along with a head restraint which offers a double layer of EPP foam to distribute crash forces, shield from vehicle intrusion, and contain the head, neck and body while keeping them “in true” or aligned
  • Base with SafeCell Technology features SafeCells designed to compress in a crash, significantly lowering the center of gravity and counteracting the forward rotation of the child seat which normally propels the child toward the front seat
  • Integrated Steel Bars strengthen the connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing of the child seat during a crash
  • Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat
  • Click & Safe® Snug Harness Indicator is an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness
  • Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness distributes crash forces across the strongest parts of the body and provides a secure fit
  • 70-pound Weight Capacity for safety and comfort as your child grows
  • Rear and Forward Facing Recline for child comfort and positioning
  • High Density Comfort Foam provides an extra layer of padding to gently cushion your child
  • Plush, Easy-Remove Cover with matching comfort pads and infant body pillow to provide extra comfort and easy cleaning without disassembling or uninstalling the child seat
  • Two Buckle Positions offer a snug and secure fit for your growing child
  • Infant Positioning Insert may be necessary for small infants to achieve a snug fit of the harness around your child (sold separately)
  • Quick-Adjust, No-Rethread Harness repositions the harness shoulder height without disassembling the harness straps
  • Premium Lower LATCH Connectors for a quick and simple installation featuring a push button for easy release
  • Built-in Lock-Offs ensure a snug lap and shoulder belt installation with minimal effort
  • Anti-Slip, Contoured Base grips and protects the vehicle seat while offering optimum vehicle fit
  • Harness Holders keep harness straps pulled to the sides when placing your child in the car seat
  • Certified for Aircraft Travel
  • Made in the USA with global components
*info. from

Next is the Britax Boulevard 70 G3. It has all the above features except for the Click and Safe Hug Indicator. This is a feature to make sure the child is in the car seat tight enough. Cost around $239.99. So about $15 cheaper to not have the Click and Safe. 
Then there is the Britax Marathon 70 G3. It doesn't have as much side impact as the ones above. It also doesn't have the Click & Safe Indicator or the Hugs Chest Pads with Safe Cell Technology. Cost around $217.99 
There are a few more but they had less features then listed above so I wasn't really interested in them and didn't think they were comparable. 

You may have noticed that all the above seats have a G3 attached to the name. This means it has the two new features: Hugs Chest Pads with Safe Cell Technology and EZ Buckle System. You can still purchase these car seats with out the G3 on the name, it just means it's a later model so won't have those two new features. 

We have had Everett's Britax Pavilion for a few months now and have really loved it! Now I just need to get a picture of both them riding in them!

Hope you find this information useful!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's Twin Tidbits - Room Sharing

So as you can imagine when I found out we were having twins the first thing I did was head to the book store. This girl that loves to research had to find out as much as I could about being pregnant with twins and raising them! Eeeek!

I did find a few books that I thought were great and had a lot of valuable information. (I'll post them later) But the one thing that almost every book had in common was the advice to have the twins share a room. They all said that they will get used to each other crying and it eventually won't wake them up.

Well, let me just tell you that this did NOT work for us. I really wish early on I would have had a twin mom tell me that they split their twins.

The first month the twins were home they slept in the pack 'n play together and it was fine cause they were still in their sleep coma. At 4 weeks, when Everett was diagnosed with reflux we put him in the Nap Nanny next to me on the ground and Emery stayed in the pack 'n play. So, when we moved the twins to their nursery at 4 months they were used to sleeping in separate beds but in the same room. 

I'd say until about 6 months sharing a room worked great. Every once in a while one would wake the other, but rarely. At about 6 months, they just became so aware of each other and their surroundings. 

The biggest problem for us is that they have completely different sleep needs. It can be really easy to have the same expectations for them since they're twins. But really, since they're fraternal twins, they are just siblings born on the same day. That's really the best way to explain it.  Everett is just like his dad and just doesn't require as much sleep. He also is very sensitive to getting over tired.  This means that he almost always takes a shorter nap then Emery and wakes earlier in the morning. 

Before I split them up Emery was always being woken up by Everett, but was still tired since she requires more sleep. When they were in the same room they also went to bed at the same time. But after we split them I quickly found that since Everett is so sensitive to getting over tired, he needs to go to bed earlier. Having them in separate rooms has made this so much easier. I don't have to worry about sneaking in with Emery to put her to bed but being worried that I'll wake up Everett. It also has made it so much easier for those random nights that they wake up because they're sick or teething. When they were in the same room I would have to rush in to the one crying so they didn't wake up the other one. And I'm totally in the camp that it's ok for a baby to cry sometimes.  So this made it really hard.

My husband and I were both really apprehensive to split them, but once we did at about 9 months, it made such a huge difference. I really wish I would have done it earlier. They were both able to get the sleep that they both require and not be bothered by the other one. They still are on the same schedule but Emery usually gets about 30 mins. more sleep then Everett. Not enough to throw everything off, but enough that she wakes rested. 

Hope someone can find this useful & know that it's ok to split twins! We did and haven't looked back!

Right before we split them. Didn't even bother hanging names since we were thinking about splitting them. Wish we would have so we could at least have a picture of the nursery when they were together. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mealtime Monday - Mommy & Baby

I'm completely obsessed with Pinterest. I really have no idea how I ever made dinner without it. It has opened up the world of cooking for me.

Recently I made a super yummy and healthy Kale salad that I found.

Strawberry Avocado Kale Salad with Bacon Poppyseed Dressing

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


6 cups baby kale {prewashed kind}
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 ripe avocado, sliced
for the dressing-
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt & pepper, to taste


Place kale, strawberries and avocado into a large bowl and set aside.
For the dressing, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain bacon on paper towels. Crumble into small pieces and whisk together with remaining ingredients. Drizzle over salad and serve.
courtesy of :

For the twins I found these English Muffin Pizzas. They were a big hit! I also liked that you spice it up each time you make it with different toppings. 

English Muffin Pizzas
  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce -or- Marinara sauce (pesto is also tasty!)
  • Pepperonis*
  • Spinach, chopped or ripped*
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Italian seasoning
* choose any toppings you want

When the twins are older I'll let them help make them, but for now, it's all me. 
I used the toaster oven on 425 because it's quick!

courtesy of :

Sipping on a Straw

My kids love to drink water from a straw! Yesterday I talked about just normal sippy cups that I use for milk. But, for water I use cups with a straw. I just figured they can have access to water all day long and it's much easier to drink walking around with a straw. 

I first introduced the straw to them at about a year. We started with Playtex First Little Gripper Straw Training Cup. It worked great. You squeeze the sides so liquid goes up the straw and into their mouth. After a few times they catch on that if they suck liquid comes out. Perfect way to introduce the straw. My only complaint about this one is that it has a cover so you can take it with you places, but when you uncover it liquid squirts everywhere.
Even once they figured out how to sip from a straw, they still were always wanting to lean their head back and drink since they're used to a normal sippy cup. So...I did some research. I found an awesome cup! It's the ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup! It has a weight at the end of the straw so it gets every last drip of liquid, plus the straw is flexible so they can tip it back like a normal sippy cup and the straw will fall to the lid. My kids love it! It really is a brilliant invention. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

411 on Sippy Cups

So if you know me at all then you know that I love to research. It's a blessing and a curse. I really don't like to buy gear for the twins unless I've scooped out what's on the market. This can be big ticket items like car seats all the way down to small things like utensils. The positive is that it usually means we get whatever is the best out there at a great price. The downside is that it takes a few days for me to buy things. Even silly things, like utensils, that really aren't a big deal. 

Well the last few months my focus has been on sippy cups. When the twins turned about 10 months I started exploring different options. But the last few months they've really been able to use them, so the experimenting has been much better. 

The very first one i tried was the Nuby No Spill Cup with handle. Well I should have known when I looked at it that it wasn't going to work. Since the twins are breast feed babies, this spout was way too much in their mouth. They just wanted to chew on it and play. 

The next one we tried was the Nuk Learner Cup. Right from the start they loved it. The spout was much smaller and more nipple shaped. They also seemed to hold it easier with the handles being at the bottom. After about a month of this cup though my daughter started chewing on the spout which made the little holes a lot bigger. This meant that the liquid would come out super fast and they would choke. I quickly ordered some replacement spouts thinking this would solve the problem. Well, in the week that it took the replacements to come in they had gotten used to the faster flowing liquid. we use sippy cups with holes in them. :) I also love the cute designs these come in!

During the week that I was waiting for the new Nuk spouts to come in I thought I'd try a few other sippy cups that they wouldn't be able to chew a hole in as easy. I tried the Dr. Browns training cup, but the hole was tiny so it took a long time for liquid to come out. They would get frustrated and just throw it on the ground. 
The other one I tried was the Born Free Sippy Cup. The spout on this one was completely different then all the other ones I'd tried. It was really long so a lot went into their mouth. It took a few times for them to get used to the spout, but they got the hang of it. It does seem to take them a little while longer to drink from this one though. This would be my second choice.
I will say that one positive to the Born Free and the Dr. Browns is that they have created a whole system. So if you used either of those bottles then you can still use them with the sippy cup just change out the top. Pretty smart! 

After trying out all these our favorite is still the Nuk Learner Cup. Even though they were able to put holes in this one easily, it's still the one I use. They drink from it the fastest and can handle it the easiest. They are BPA Free, affordable and come in great colors too!
NUK Training Cup - Amazon