Friday, September 15, 2017

Our DockATot Experience

When we found out we were having the twins, one of the items on the top of my list to get were Dockatots. I have been following them on social media for a while and saw so many different people using and loving so I had to get. My parents got them as a birthday gift for us so we were so excited! I have been getting lots of questions on Instagram so I thought it would be easier to compile those here.


It seems like anyone who has a Dockatot raves and raves about how it is the only thing their baby will sleep in. We were most excited about it because we coslept with Bradley, and we just had him in between us on the bed which was probably NOT a good idea, but it was what we did for survival with a newborn! With twins, we knew we had to look at everything so in addition to making sure we had a spot to put them if we coslept again, we purchased Owlet Smart Socks with a super generous gift card from a family friend. We started with the girls in Rock N Plays next to our bed at night, and one of the first nights Jolie's Owlet monitor alarm went off saying she had low oxygen! We freaked and still aren't sure if it was a false alarm or true, but got her out of that Rock N Play and never had her in there at night after that. Enter - the Dockatot! 


She slept (and still sleeps in it now at 4 months old!) soooo well! She is right in between us on the bed and we love that if she drops her paci, we just pop it back in her mouth without getting up, if she is hungry I can just lift her up to feed, we can hear her little breathing noises right next to our head, awesome! So this has been amazing for her and us since we are cosleepers. 

We tried putting two Dockatots between us and having Carmen in one as well, but there just wasn't enough room for two in our king bed so Carmen sleeps in a crib next to our bed. She does't sleep as well as Jolie and it could be because Jolie has the Dockatot or maybe Carmen is just not as awesome as a sleeper? Who knows. But for us, this arrangement is working.


What Dockatots are truly meant for (and awesome for!) is resting and lounging while awake. Unfortunately, we can't use them as often as we would like for this because with a crazy toddler running around it just isn't safe, but probably for anyone else this would be perfect! You can lay these on the floor, next to you on the couch, and also travel with them! I see a lot of people bringing them outside on a picnic blanket or to the park so their baby has a comfy and cozy spot to lay down. They also sell a toy arch which I wish we had purchased from the start. We have traveled with our Dockatots to the lake which is the only place we have gone since they were born, and they are so light and travel perfectly since they come in a zipped travel bag.


Now for the elephant in the room - safety. Obviously that is priority number one, and a big hot topic with Dockatots. They make it VERY clear on their website and on the label on the actual product to NOT use these in cribs even though I know that is how you see them used most. Because of that safety issue, I did one crib nap and was too nervous and haven't used it in a crib since. We haven't needed to since we use the Merlin Sleep Suits for naps in their crib, but keep in mind - they are NOT approved for crib use! Even cosleeping they kind of skirt the issue on their site and I'm not sure they are technically approved for that, because they say you must always supervise a baby in their Dockatot. So unless you plan on staying up all night long supervising your baby, it probably isn't approved! But every item you purchase for a baby is a personal choice as a parent, and it felt safer to us than a Rock N Play (that also says you aren't to use for sleep and I know many parents use - including us previously!) or swing at night because it is flat back. So moral of the story, use your best parental judgement on what works for you.

I am super glad we have these and they have been a great item for us! Keep the questions coming if you are curious and I missed anything! 

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bradley's 3rd Birthday!

We have a 3 year old!

We had lots of fun things planned for Bradley's birthday week. His Aunt Amy took Tuesday off so we could go see Bubble Guppies and Sea Life at the Mall of America (I can't go anywhere with the twins AND Bradley yet. I would lose one or more children). He was SO shy of the Guppies. :)


Then on Wednesday he got a birthday balloon at school!


On his actual birthday we went to Como Zoo in the morning with Grandma and the twins. He was in a sour mood so that wasn't the greatest. His favorite part was getting a new shark from Grandma. :)


But then for dinner Dada met all of us at the Rainforest Cafe treated by Grandma! We almost cancelled our reservation because of the bad reviews online but I am SO glad we didn't. We had the sweetest server, we actually really liked the food and Bradley could not have loved the ambience more!

He started off a little nervous of all the sights and sounds.


Then he got really curious.


And loved coloring pictures with Dada.


The girls did well with all the crazy noises, too!



(They wore their best rainforest apparel).


Bradley got pizza and actually ate a lot of it! Such a picky eater...


Pointing at the gorillas! Love how their kids meals come on cafeteria trays. :)


Nate and I both ordered the guacamole burger and delicious fries and ranch. 


My mom got fish tacos and liked them.


Of course we had to get the volcano for the birthday boy!



Loving his dessert!


Then Dada and Bradley stayed to go on rides and Bradley had the time of his life! I was so glad his birthday ended on a great note!





Then it was party time! I love planning his birthday parties so I was semi bummed to be able to put zero time into it this year. He loves Thomas so of course we had to do that as the theme, and it made it super easy to plan since you can purchase all the decor ready to go!







We also got our second pic ever as a family of 5!


We got a cake (marble with buttercream) from Hy-Vee and it was way tastier than I thought it would be. I'm not a big cake person and ate more than my fair share!





Sooo shy during the birthday song. :)


We kept the food easy and tasty.


So many of Bradley's favorite people were there!


The girls were supportive in their Thomas apparel.


After his nap he opened his gifts and loved playing with them!


And we got the cutest pic of Papa with the girls!


Carmen has found her hand - yes!


Wearing his new birthday Thomas jammies. :)


Checking out Papa's amazing art skills.



Then he had his 3 year wellness check up - 99% for height and 96% for weight. Big dude!


We got this Thomas bed on Craigslist earlier this month as our main birthday gift for Bradley. He has been in his crib up until now and hasn't tried to escape but we knew we had to transition at some point. He is obsessed and it has been such an easy transition! Can't believe it! We still have the crib in there to threaten if needed. :)



We are all recovering now from the fun filled week! I'm so glad we were able to focus so much on Bradley since he hasn't had it the easiest with being a big brother to two new sisters. We love him SO much and are so proud of our big buddy!


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

4th of July 2017

How was the 4th of July holiday over a month ago?? Can't believe time has flown so much. 


We had an awesome time at the lake with the full fam! My parents, my brother, SIL and their 3 boys, came in from Chicago, and the twins had their first 4th of July at the lake, too! (7 weeks old) Here is lots of picture spam from our week!



The cousins went strawberry picking before we got into town but we got to eat them all week.




We always love cousin bathies! :)


And matching cousin jammies!


How we bribe to get pics. :)


Tyler looooooves babies. 



So does Aunt Shannon!





Yogurt breakfast!



The twins and I stayed in most of the time but everyone else enjoyed the great weather! First they went to PM Park.





Patriotic apparel all day every day!











Great Gram, Great Papa and Aunt Coco (Kate) came up, too!





Then we made our flag fruit pizza like always!





Matching shirts from my Dad!



My brother has the best Breaking Bad shirt!


Beach time! 









The boys love their new towels from Grandma!




Our neighbors let us use their water trampoline - so fun for the boys!






The girls got a little fresh air, too. :)



The cousins all love to attack Papa. We had to create a rule that it was not allowed anymore.




Much better. :)



Sparklers!








Carnival time!













And of course boating.







And more babies!








We love having all of this time together since we all live in different states! (Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois). 







Papa picked out the cutest outfits for the girls!


It always goes too fast but it was awesome to be together! Can't wait until next year!

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