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More Than One: Being a Parent of 2 under 2 years old by Melanie Dionisio 

More Than One: Being a Parent of 2 under 2 years old by Melanie Dionisio 

"Mom" one who sacrifices her body, sleep, social life, spending money, eating hot meals, peeing alone, patience, energy, and sanity for LOVE."

Hi guys my name is Melanie, im 27 years old and a mother of 2 under 2 years old. I know crazy right? How do I do it? The answer is I HAVE NO IDEA.

Me and my husband decided we wanted our kids close in age, but boy did we not think this through! Everyone said "it'll be easy your on the diaper and sleepless nights train already, it'll be smooth going", guys its the complete opposite! 

It's extremely hard, and of course some days are better then others but a lot of the times I'm sitting on the couch saying "how on earth am I going to tackle this day”. 

A lot of the days it's me trying to soothe both babies at the same time, because although it's nice that they're close in age and will hopefully be best friends, they are also just as needy as each other. They both need just as much attention; cuddling, rocking to bed etc.

Sometimes letting loose and crying isn't a bad thing! Don't think you've been defeated because you haven't. You have to let steam go, or take 10 minutes to yourself to recollect your thoughts! And that's ok! We are all amazing mama's but we're not superheros, or made of steal!

This could be very challenging most of the times, but I forget about it all once my kids say "mama" or come give me a hug, or when my little one just want's to cuddle! Everything goes away and i forget about all the struggles I've been through that day!

It's not always negative, let's talk about some positive things as well. It's so heart filling to see them interact, hugging, kissing, or just enjoying each other's company, watching them grow together and some day being best friends (let's hope lol)

As of right now I have to take it day by day, because I'd like to think that this (motherhood) will get easier one day! But as my mother always told me "as you got older my worries grew bigger" (ohh no) motherhood, is a forever thing! 

About me: Hey guys. My name is Melanie, and I'm 27 years old, a wife and mommy to 2 boys under the age of 2 years old! We live in Canada and have lived here our whole lives.  I love going for walks with the kids, watching movies, eating (who doesn’t) and of course spending time with the family! 
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12 tips for travelling with a baby and a toddler by @alexandtribe

12 tips for travelling with a baby and a toddler by @alexandtribe

I’ve travelled quite a bit with the kids since they’ve been born. I think Colton was on like 15 flights before he was 2.5 years old and Austin 8 flights before he was 6 months old, so I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two about simplifying trips with kids in tow. 

Here’s 12 of my top tips for international trips with a baby and a toddler. 

  1. Bring the double stroller. Now obviously this does slightly depend on the type of trip you’re taking, but so far, I’ve never regretted taking my Baby Jogger City Select double stroller. I debated it so much before we went to Europe, trying to decide if I should buy a smaller, lighter stroller and just let the boys take turns riding in it, but in the end, I brought it and it was a life saver so many times. Both boys napped in it at the airport during layovers. It also contained Colton at the airport which we needed for our sanity lol. It was also 100% necessary to have both kids in the stroller in cities like London and Rome. They are so big, with so many people; and we did so much walking, so it was a relief to be able to have the kids comfortable and contained. It was interesting getting it around on the tube in London though…of course none of the stations we used had an elevator. We made it work though! 
  2. Bring a baby carrier. I brought two different carriers with me (I’ve got quite a few different ones haha). I brought a semi-structured one, the Phil and Teds Airlight carrier which is great for travel because it folds up super small and barely takes up any room in your suitcase (as opposed to my Ergo 360) and it also has a mesh fabric to keep you and baby cooler. I also brought my Wildbird Ring Sling, which I love when I need to put the baby up quickly or for shorter periods of time. It also takes up very little room and I always kept it on me in my diaper bag. 
  3. Find accommodations that have crib or pack n’ play rentals. Let’s face it, as much as you try to pack light it’s not easy with kids. You’ve got a couple suitcases, a couple kids, a big stroller, a diaper bag…the last thing you need is another thing to carry. So, my advice is to book hotels or Airbnb’s that have cribs or pack n’ plays available for you. If it doesn’t mention it in the listing description contact the property, I’ve found that they’ll usually find a way to get you one. 
  4. Bring your iPad and load it up with shows. Obviously, I don’t love being the mom who hands her kid an iPad, but on a trip, anything goes in my opinion. We download a bunch of Netflix shows for Colton before a flight and let him watch it as long as he wants. This didn’t really work until he was over 2 years old. We tried using the iPad on a flight when he was 18 months old, but he had no real interest. It’s also handy to have when you’re in a drastically different time zone. Helps to have something to watch at 1 a.m. when you’re all wide awake. 
  5. Snacks, snacks and more snacks. For any kid over 6 months old, snacks can help kill time on the plane. I always bring a wide variety of both healthy options and treats. Food that takes longer to eat is always a win too, like a lollipop. You should also pack some snacks in your suitcase for when you get to your destination. We didn’t get to our Rome Airbnb until after midnight local time, after about 24 hours of travelling. We were so grateful to have some food tucked away in our suitcase for our grumpy two-year-old. 
  6. Don’t over plan your days. In the past when I’ve travelled, I’ve always loved to plan a super full itinerary. I love seeing as much as I can and doing as much as I can when I travel. This is not the case when I travel with my kids. Trust me, Europe was very different this time around than when I’ve travelled there in the past. Slow and easy days, without timelines are the way to go. I find having to be somewhere at a specific time way more stressful. You never know if someone is going to sleep bad the night before, fall and scrape a knee, have an epic meltdown for no reason or need an early nap. Just plan to go with the flow as much as possible and see what you can see. Everyone will be happier for it. 
  7. Plan stuff for you and the kids. I feel like a holiday with a nice mix of activities for the adults and kids is the way to go. Trust me, no kid is going to enjoy being toted around to museums and fancy restaurants all day, everyday. In Arizona for example we went hiking for us, but to the zoo for Colton. In Italy, we went to the Colosseum for us, but to a farm with animals for Colton. Honestly, seeing your kids happy and having fun is as fun as it gets. Most cities have pretty cool children’s museums, or zoos, or aquariums. If your kids are a bit older, give them a couple options to research and then let them pick what they want to do!
  8. Buy diapers and wipes there. Have you packed diapers and wipes for a trip yet? I have and they take up so much luggage space. And that was just with one child. Now that I have two, I literally have no room to pack that kind of stuff for them. Unless you’re in the middle of nowhere you’ll be able to find diapers and wipes when you’re travelling. Pack enough to get you through your first day or two and then buy the rest when you’re there. I like to look up the nearest supermarket before I get there so I’m not stressed about running out and having to find them. 
  9. Backpack diaper bag. I find this style of diaper bag so much easier for travelling. When you’re travelling you usually have more stuff with you than normal. Some toys to keep the kids entertained, drinks, snacks, cameras etc. This style of bag is just easier to tote around, especially if you have to wear your baby in a carrier at some point. I have the Freshly Picked one and I love it because its stylish and not too big. I’ll be using it for travel long after it’s served its purpose as my diaper bag. 
  10. Stroller lines at airport. Ok, this is the best part of travelling with small kids in tow. When you have your stroller you almost always get put into a priority lane at airports. Keep your eye out for a sign mentioning stroller lanes or look for a security guard, they’ll usually direct you towards one. There’s been times where I swear, we’ve avoided an hour-long line up at security. Finally, your kids are good for something 😉.
  11. Get Airbnb’s not hotels. I’ve done both hotels and Airbnb’s with kids and I can say with total confidence that Airbnb’s are way easier during the baby and toddler stage. Hotels are too noisy and too small. We put Colton in the bathroom in his crib once when we stayed at the Fairmont in Scottsdale and while that helped, we still had to whisper, and it didn’t prevent noisy people in the halls from waking him up. Airbnb’s with separate rooms for the kids mean that after you put them to bed you still get to stay up and enjoy yourself without tiptoeing around. There’s also more room for the kids to run and play, and kitchens to make some of your own meals and snacks, which I feel like is necessary with kids.  
  12. Mindset. This one is huge and probably the most important item to remember if you want to enjoy travelling with a baby and toddler. Keep a positive mindset. Dreading a flight puts you on edge before you’re even on a plane. Stressing about the what if’s make it so that you can’t enjoy the now. No doubt travelling with kids is hard, and totally different that travelling without, but if you accept that and keep a positive mindset, you’ll enjoy yourself so much more. Your baby is going to cry at some point on the plane. Your toddler will meltdown at a restaurant. So what, it happens. Your kids are also going to have all new experiences, meet new people, see different cultures. They’ll learn and grow, and you’ll get a totally great bonding experience as a family. The pros so outweigh the cons. 

Hope you found some of my tips useful for your upcoming trips. Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you have any tips of your own. Happy travels! 

About @AlexandTribe:

Hi, I’m Alex, a lifestyle and motherhood blogger located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mama to my two little men Colton and Austin. Thank you 18-month maternity leaves! Career me has been a communications and social media specialist for the last decade. I love living in Edmonton. We have the best food scene, small shops and events. I try my best to get out and experience the city as much as possible. Travel, fashion, food, wine and motherhood constantly inspire me and this blog is a chronicle of my escapades. 

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Mom Tips on Working From Home by Melissa Katz

Mom Tips on Working From Home by Melissa Katz

Hi Friends,
As someone who always works at home, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips and tricks for those of you new to it. It's really just a bit of wisdom I've gathered from others over the years. I'm sorry that it's hard for a lot of you. I have compassion for the adjustment you are going through. Honestly, I find comfort in being home and having the people I love around me. 
1. Wake every morning and make your bed. Put on something other than your PJs and eat breakfast. Establish your routine where you accomplish even a small thing early. I get up and workout first thing on the days I can. If you can’t get out of your house (rain, etc) try to do something to get the blood flowing.  
2. Review your schedule for the week on Monday. Build in time for getting out of the house for a social distance walk or run by looking at the forecast and then schedule the outside time on your calendar.
3. Zoom or FaceTime at least once a day with a colleague, a friend or even an elderly person somewhere who needs company (my 80 year old father is always available). 
4. Budget analog time on your calendar. Read a book or journal. I can recommend fiction, non-fiction, self improvement or career improvement (if you haven’t read Dare to Lead or Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, they are excellent!). Write an old fashioned letter. We sent post cards from our trip to retirement homes who can’t get visitors. If you don’t meditate, try it! Breathe is a great app (5-6 mins for meditation). 
5. Work in a space if you can designate it that is away from the rest of your life. I’m lucky enough to have an office, but I’m not gonna lie, on rainy days where I am exhausted, or if one of the kids is in my office distance learning, I work from my bed on a laptop desk. Forgive yourself for needing that!
6. GET UP EVERY HOUR. For a minute or two. And mark it down on a piece of paper. You should rack up at least 12 stand up and move around minutes a day (Apple Watch helps). Warning: Sometimes I get up and go get food. I have no solutions for this other than a padlock on fridge and cupboard.
7. Pay attention to your posture in your desk chair. Activate your core. 
8. Eat your lunch in the kitchen away from your computer (double up with your analog read time, maybe!)
9. Our family schedules evening activities together (a movie, Texas hold ‘em tournaments, last night we did an escape room in a box). It has been a long time since my kids were little, and I know this is especially challenging for people with small ones. Maybe you can comment with what you are doing to cope?
10. Try to stay positive. I know this is new for a lot of you. I personally love working this way and am far more productive. I do try to set boundaries so I am not working 24/7. Limit Facebook and other social media if they are a negative force in your life. There are lots of positive things to follow. If you don't work outside the home normally, start that hobby you've been putting off. 
You may not be able to do this all at once, but try at least one or two a day and develop some habits.
This too shall pass. I promise.
If this helps you, great. If not, I totally understand. "Be the water, not the rock."
Have a great day!

Splurge or Save: Baby Edition By Shannah Clarke

Having a baby is expensive, however there are definitely ways to save. With my first child, we basically bought everything new and it was PRICEY. Now, bring on baby number two and I was looking for all the ways to save! I've compiled a list of some of my favourite Splurge or Save products! Along with the GIGANTIC list of things I realized that I didn't need at all with baby number one! SO, I'm going to share my experience, let's chat! 

1. Nursery Furniture: 

This means the crib, dresser, chair, etc... SO this is something that the first time around we splurged, however, realizing the quality of stuff you can find on Facebook Marketplace (I bought a crib for Willow in BRAND NEW condition), I'm going to be honest when I say I probably wouldn't buy NEW nursery furniture again! So, this is a SAVE one for me! 

2. Clothes:

As cute as baby clothes are, buying a few outfits that you LOVE and then saving and buying 'lots' of used clothes for cheap. You can go through it, save what you like and resell! PLUS, babies really don't wear out clothing so more often than not used is still in new condition (toddlers are a different story). SAVE on the clothes! 

3. Carseat:

This one is different for everyone, however I'm going to give you my perspective from the mom of a VERY-fussy first born. We saved on the seat the first time around, buying a cheaper bucket seat. It was AWFUL. Rhett hated it from the moment he was born, assuming it was just him, my sister also used it for her son (literally the happiest baby on the planet) and he hated it too! SO, comfort-wise (because in Canada all seats go through the same testing), this would be a SPLURGE item for us! 

We went with the Britax 35 because of their standards when it comes to their limited use of flame retardants! BONUS is that I bought it from a friend (would only do with someone I trust) so I did end up saving! 

4. Highchair:

We bought an expensive, nice, fabric-covered highchair months before we ever even told anyone we were expecting. It was on sale (still for a ridiculous price) and we thought it would be PERFECT, we quickly learned after Rhett started eating that it was horrible to clean. I quickly ditched the expensive highchair and went for the $25 IKEA Highchair. It's so easy to clean, like SO EASY, you can literally put it in the dishwasher. 100% SAVE on the highchair! 

5. Monitor:

Again, this is a very personal decision for us. We breastfed and bed-shared for the first year, after that, we still really didn't use the monitor. HOWEVER, people who do have them say SPLURGE because they break frequently.

6. Toys:

Babies need to be entertained and stimulated as they grow, however all the toys in the world never seem to compare to a remote, keys, or containers for babies no matter how hard you try. Don't break yourself buying a ton of toys they will play with once, again you can find great second hand stuff or even DIY stuff, Sensory bottles are great, the simpler the better. But, toys are DEFINITELY a SAVE in my books (even for toddlers). 

7. 'Bells & Whistles':

by the 'bells and whistles' I mean, bouncy seats, swings, play mats, bumbo, Jolly Jumper, and so on, these I find are very baby specific. Some babies love some and hate the others, I would definitely say wait and feel it out, however Rhett's must-haves were the bouncy seat and Jolly Jumper! SAVE! 

8. Breast Pump:

If you're breastfeeding, a quality breast pump and the correct flanges are CRUCIAL for your journey. I did use a Hakka a lot on my journey but only because I had a really crappy pump with flanges that were WAY too big! There are a ton of breastfeeding resources available to learn which size is right for you! DEFINITELY SPLURGE. 

9. Baby Products:

This one is really important to me, this covers everything from diapers, soaps, etc. Baby products are among the surprisingly long list of everyday items that are shockingly toxic, that being said the words 'natural' and 'organic' mean literally NOTHING when it comes to advertising. Read the ingredients and do your research, it is worth it for your baby! For something like this SPLURGING up front can save a lot in the long run! 

10. Thermometer:

A good thermometer is a GREAT resource in parenting, being reminded that fevers are a good thing (in moderation) meaning your childs body is fighting something. However knowing the difference between a high fever and a dangerously high fever is SO HELPFUL. There are many different options of thermometers now, we have the ear one but I am upgrading to the forehead one soon! SPLURGE! 


Things I Had with Number One That I Didn't Use: 

- Diaper Genie
- Bath Tub
- Changing Table/Mat
- Wipe Warmer

What's on your SPLURGE vs SAVE list? 

- S


About Shannah Clarke

I'm a 25 year old, Exceptionally Ordinary Seeker of Limitless Strength and Freedom. Momma to a handsome little boy, soon-to-be momma to a little lady and a dog pack. Follow me for a story of parenting, animals, farming, homesteading, and life's humbly chaotic moments from and occasionally vulgar, yet very real perspective.


Website: www.shannahclarke.com

Baby registry and your wish list.

Baby registry and your wish list.

A Seamless Guide to Creating Your Perfect Baby Registry

Whether you’re a new or experienced parent, compiling a mindful baby registry can seem daunting.  Merely contemplating thousands of choices available can stop you in your list-making tracks.  There are seemingly endless items necessary for bringing a newborn into the world, and it’s even challenging for the been-around-the-block parent to keep up with new discoveries that will aid in making parenting easier, more enjoyable, and more comfortable. 

A registry is integral to setting up a healthy and successful future for you and your baby – and that can seem like a bit of pressure.  To save you time, stress, and energy, we’ve made you an all-encompassing checklist so that you won’t forget a thing - allowing you more moments for relaxing, getting that prenatal massage you’ve been wondering about, and prepping for your soon-to-be bundle of joy!

The Essentials

These are the must-haves, the baby bread-and-butter, the staples of your new life as a parent.  Getting familiar with these are necessary, and they’ll be the building blocks of your registry.

  • Crib
  • Crib mattress
  • Diapers
  • Bassinet
  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Breastfeeding essentials
  • High chair
  • Bottle warmer
  • Feeding/nursing pillow
  • Breast pump/accessories
  • Bath toys and essentials
  • Swaddling blankets
  • High chair
  • Mobile
  • Pacifiers
  • Rocker
  • Changing table/pad
  • Feeding/nursing pillow
  • east pump/accessories


 The health of your baby is especially important from the moment you bring your little one home with you.  Having an extensive set of wellness items on hand is needed for peace of mind and a well-prepared home.

  • Teething toys
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby toothbrush
  • Baby nail-clippers
  • First-aid supplies with common baby medicines
  • Baby thermometer
  • Baby monitor
  • Child-proofing gates
  • Baby shampoo and body wash
  • Furniture and television straps


Here’s the fun stuff.  Show your personal touch in your registry with cute baby clothes, exciting toys, and other practical items to suit you and your baby.

  • Play-mat
  • Baby books
  • Baby-specific furniture
  • LOTS of clothing and onesies
  • Baby socks/booties
  • Burp cloths, personalized by Cozy Gift
  • Headbands, bows, accessories, hats, caps
  • Toys!
  • Thank you cards

After you’ve built a hearty registry, what if you need to change things?  Know that nothing is set in stone, and your registry may ebb and flow.  As you go through the next few weeks and months, be prepared for sudden revelations to tack on to your list, as well as some items you’ll deem appropriate to remove.  Make sure to share your registry with your shower host, and verify that the information will be available on invitations.

Cozy Gift has been burping happy babies since 1997.  Our fast shipments and unique collection of cozy baby gift items make us a perfect inclusion to your list of must-haves.

A personalized gift with baby’s name embroidered on it is a favorite parent gift to receive.  If you are sending a gift to a newborn, let Cozy Gift do all the work.  We create, gift wrap and mail your Cozy Gift directly to your friend.  With specially crafted gift-sets and many personalized options, we’ve got a myriad of fun, soft playthings ready to be your baby’s new lovey.  If you prefer to send a gift card check out our instant Cozy Gift Cards available immediately by email.

Congratulations on your new addition, from all of us at Cozy Gift!