Finding Time for My Oldest After Having Multiples

One of the biggest challenges I have with 4 kids, is the ability to make sure I am spending enough time with each one of them and making sure my time is divided equally. I know it will never be perfect and I know it will never be 100% equal, but I know how important it is, so I always try my hardest everyday.

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Going from 1 child to 4, was a huge shock and a big adjustment for myself, so I can only imagine how it must have been for Emily. Emily was only 17 months when the triplets were born and as much as we made sure to involve her in everything, it was still a big change to go from being the only child to 1 of 4.

I never want Emily to feel as though I have forgotten about her or I don’t have time to spend with her, so I have come up with a few ideas of things we can do together. I almost always take her to the store with me if I am running out by myself to pick up a few things and when the triplets are napping, I use that time to do an activity such as coloring or even having her sit in the kitchen with me if I have work to do. Just the other day when Olivia, Jackson and Levi were napping, Emily and I spent some time outside on the deck and had some lunch together. I was able to talk to her, listen to her and just be there for her if she needed something or wanted to ask me something. I know there is no need for the activities to be so complicated and I really do think she enjoys the little extra focus just on her.

It will be challenging at times to divide myself between 4 kids and all their needs individually. Finding the extra time during the day to give each one of them a little more attention and focus, will help to make sure I am letting them know I am there. When the triplets were born it was hard because when they needed me, I had to multiply that time by 3. Now that they are older and are capable of playing on their own and not relying on me for everything, I have the time to dedicate to Emily. In a way, I can now make up the time that I couldn’t give to her when the triplets where born!

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If you are subscribed to our YouTube Channel, The Baby Gang, then you would have come across our videos of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy. They are fun videos of Emily and I, baking or cooking some fun recipes together and then trying them at the end. Some videos include the triplets, but most of them are just of Emily and I.

I love to cook and bake and I am so excited to teach Emily some of the basic skills and techniques and of course the triplets, when they are old enough. Making the videos of us cooking or baking in the kitchen has been so much fun and Emily has really started to enjoy them. In our latest episode, we made chocolate chip cookies and I thought it was so cute to see Emily picking up on the way I say things or introducing ourselves. At some parts it may have been unclear as to what she was saying, but I know she was explaining the steps of making the cookies and it was just too adorable!

The recipes we chose are not complicated and only take a couple of minutes to throw together and I think that helps to keep the focus on the fun, which is what they are all about. It has taken me a little bit to get over the fact that the video may not go exactly how I imagined or planned, but even after the extra mess and extra time, everything has turned out great.


Baking or cooking is such a great hands on activity to do and allows Emily to learn while having fun. I think it is important to teach basic cooking skills and I find it keeps Emily engaged and eager to do more, as I am sure it would with every child! Not only does it help with learning to cook, but even with her vocabulary, learning new words and new foods and also being able to give directions when telling each step in the recipe. pb3

Sometimes it is a little bit of a challenge to find the time to set everything up and make the video, especially during the day when I am home alone. We have to wait for Jackson, Olivia and Levi to fall asleep and even then we only have a limited amount of time to record. The other option we have is to set up the chairs and have all three join us for the video! It is fun to have them included as well and I like to think Jackson, Olivia and Levi enjoy having a snack and watching us cook. It will be interesting to see how the videos will go when all 3 are old enough and ready to join in on the cooking!

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When we started In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, we were wearing our matching Christmas aprons. I had actually found them before we started the videos and they worked perfectly, but we needed an upgrade. Last weekend when we were in Buffalo, we were walking through Macy’s and in the corner of my eye I spotted an apron that said “mama” on it and as I was looking at them, I found a matching one that said “bebe.” They were so cute and exactly what I was looking for and on top of that they were on sale! Now we have some new aprons to wear and they add that much more excitement to each episode!

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At the end of the day, the main purpose of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, is to have fun and spend some quality one on one time with Emily. Even if we decided not to record the videos, we would still be cooking together and having fun!

 

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I encourage everyone to try baking or cooking with your kids. If you have multiple kids who are ready to get in the kitchen and start baking, set up a day every few weeks for each child to join you, that way you can include everyone in the fun, but still have the one on one time with each of them! And if you only have one child who is ready, but have little ones who aren’t, set up their high chairs, set out some snacks or toys and have them watch what is going on!

To check out all of our episodes of In The Kitchen with Emily & Mummy, visit our YouTube Page, Youtube.com/thebabygang and look for the Playlist IN THE KITCHEN WITH EMILY AND MUMMY.

We are always open to trying new recipes and any suggestions, so please leave any you have in the comments below! (We will give you a shout out too, if we make your suggestion!)

Here is our newest Episode of In The Kitchen With Emily and Mummy!

We are baking The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies!

*Emily was too cute and has really started to pick up on how the videos go!

 

Our first family science experiment!

We took advantage of a nice cold day to conduct our first ever Baby Gang science experiment!

With 4 young children who take up just about every minute of our time, we are a family who loves fun and adventure. What makes that special is doing it together, as a family. That is what family is all about.

Watching the kids grow has both Corrie and myself in such amazement to see how a developing mind works. Their curious little minds like little sponges absorbing all types of information makes me wonder how they see the world around them and what they are thinking about!

Recently on a cold day we took advantage to come up with a fun science experiment with the kids. It was -12 degrees Celsius (not including the windchill) and we wondered if water could evaporate in this freezing cold water. It had the kids super excited!

Makes for a great parenting win!  Watch below 🙂

Be on the look out for more fun with the kids!

 

 

 

 

 

HOW I TURNED MY CAR INTO A FAMILY VEHICLE

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Having multiple children at once (we have triplets) is something you can never expect to happen or plan for. We had a unique situation, we were planning for our second when Emily was 10 months old and 3 days before her first birthday we discovered we would be expecting…TRIPLETS!

To this day it still fascinates and shocks me that in 2015 we were going to have 4 kids under the age of two, but the thought of having our kids close in age was really cool! After spreading the news about our expecting multiples we had various friends and family tag us in specific baby products that could help make our lives easier or that we could use given our situation. Beds, cribs and car seats.. you name it and if it had the ability to fall under the multiples category you can guarantee that we would been tagged in it!

One product that always popped up and our friends were sure to tag us in was the Diono Radian RXT car seat. We were literally tagged to use this product 1000+ times as it had a very sleek design, reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, extended rear facing and a five point harness system… Basically it was super safe and looked very cool with 3 seats together!  – But how did that differ from other car seats?

We had the recent opportunity to partner and team up with the our friends the Parent Life Network and they were so great to inform me that I could turn my sedan vehicle into a family vehicle using these Diono Radian RXT car seats… What excited me most is after seeing this product multiple times, it was time to make it a reality!

WATCH HERE AS I TURN MY SEDAN INTO A FAMILY VEHICLE!

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The result!?

After testing out this product, and going on multiple adventures with my triplets; Jackson, Olivia and Levi + plus Emily on separate occasions, I was in awe! I was impressed with how easy they were to install and how awesome it was to transform my sedan car into a complete family vehicle!

Given my situation of having 4 kids I had to take it to the next step in upgrading one of my cars to a mini van [and the Diono car seats have proved to be a huge space saver in the van]! But it goes to show that if you are expecting to have 1 – 3 babies, that you do not have to go out and pay all this money to purchase a mini van/SUV – you can actually save money by purchasing a diono car seat and to safely and comfortably fit your kids in your car! the Radian RxT is a great space saver with a very unique design that has a very extensive set of safety features and I highly recommend them for any family big or small!

The Diono Radian RxT car seat is a game changer!

Things dad find cool = certified impressed!

 

 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK


Corrie and I went out to the grocery with the kids and we found ourselves in a little bit of a dilemma. It happens often actually, but as we got home the kids fell asleep in the car. Normally we leave them be, and can be a great way to catch up on some e-mails, social media, watch a movie or even hit the drive-thru and get a meal! To think you could do all that with 4 kids and not even have to leave your vehicle is a great hack itself! But sometimes you have somethings to do, and often enough you need to let your baby nap! Or else, it’s continued chaos for the rest of the day with cranky children. When you have multiples, you need to take advantage of every chance you get in letting your kids nap ESPECIALLY AT THE SAME TIME! 

Inspired by a friend through a fun conversation about our children. The idea to remove your child while still in the car seat came to me as a genius idea!

Watch me perform the ULTIMATE DAD HACK! 

Click the link below to watch such greatness!

No weakness here. 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK

The Last Week of Summer (Kinda)

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Well this is the last week of SUMMER!

I can’t believe summer is almost over and we are in the final week. That means one week left to cram as much of summer in as possible and do all the things you have yet to do this summer. One week left to be care free, stay up late, go to the park, play outside, go to the beach, eat ice cream and BBQ. I know I am already trying to plan out this next week and see what I can do with Emily and the triplets to make me feel like our summer is complete. I feel like there is still so much I wanted to do this summer and now I am scrambling to get it all done in the last week.

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I don’t know what it is about school starting that makes it feel like summer is over. It’s not like I have kids who are starting school or going back to school. Realistically we could just continue as though it is sill summer, but for some reason it’s just not the same. The weather is still nice, we can still go to the beach, go for walks, eat ice cream and BBQ, but it just doesn’t feel the same when that the school year starts. Maybe it’s because everything that was open for the summer months is now closed or only open on the weekends, kids aren’t running around at the parks or malls anymore and everyone’s holidays have ended, whatever it may be, it definitely doesn’t feel like summer once school starts.

We still have one week left of “official summer” and I plan on making the most of it! I did want to go to the Toronto Zoo today, but we didn’t plan ahead and now it is too late in the day to go, but luckily it is open all year-long and even on weekdays, so there is still lots of time to go. I wanted to take everyone to a big splash pad, maybe even two this week because I do think they close when school starts. I am hoping the ice cream truck comes by (that one is for me). I want to go to the park and have a picnic with Emily and the triplets, which I think is an easy and realistic idea for this week. I really wanted to go to Niagara Falls this summer and I am shocked we never went, so maybe I can fit that into my week as well. Lastly, I want Emily and the triplets to just have fun playing outside. I am going to set up their water table for them to play with, because they really enjoyed it the other day and then have them just run around outside.

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This week is just all about enjoying the last bit of summer and enjoying the feelings that summer brings. Soon it will be cold, there will be snow and I will be counting down days until next summer. It wont be as easy to get everyone out the door, there will be more pants, sweaters and coats to bring along and the process of leaving the house will take much longer. I just love the summer and everything that comes along with summer and I am sad to know it’s almost over.

 

Is there anything that you are going to try to do this last week of summer before it’s over?

Did you get to do everything you wanted to and planned to do during the summer?

 

 

We are Going on VACATION! (part 2)

We will be driving to Florida, so the next thing to think about before we head out, is how we are going to pack up the van and fit everything in. This will be our second road trip with Emily, but our first one with Jackson, Olivia and Levi. In 2014, when Emily was only 6 months, we took a road trip to Texas to visit my dad, stepmom and little sister, Alexa. It was so much fun driving down and Emily did extremely well for the long car ride. We did the drive down over 3 days, stopping for 2 nights along the way, as well as frequent stops during the day. It will be very interesting to see how the drive will be this time, with 3 little ones just under 1 year and Emily who will almost be 2 1/2. It should be a lot of fun and very exciting!

I am trying to create a list of everything that we will need for Dan and I, Emily and Jackson, Olivia and Levi. After I create a list for each of us, I know I am going to have to go back and really think about whether we need it or not. You would think with a van there would be tons of room to fit everything, but with 2 adults and 4 kids all in car seats, there is little space for everything else.

I am trying to think of the biggest thing we will be bringing, which I think include the portable high chairs, the play pen and the seats for the stroller since the triplets will be out of the stage one car seats. I know they won’t fit in the trunk, so I have been looking for a storage unit to put on the roof of the van. Luckily we added on a roof rack when we bought the van to help with extra storage. I have been looking into various roof top storage units and there are so many out there to chose from. They are also really expensive! We can’t afford to spend $300-$700 on a hard box storage unit, so I am thinking the best bet would be to go for a bag style unit. I have come across a couple that I think would be good, but I want to make sure I am getting the right one and for the best deal. I also want to make sure if we go with a bag storage unit, that it is waterproof. It would be the worst thing to store something up there, only to have it soaking wet from rain when we go to take it out.

If any of you currently use a rooftop storage unit or have in the past, we would gladly take any advice on what to buy and what the best brand to buy is! We have a Dodge Grand Caravan with a roof rack if that helps too!

Once we have the extra storage, it will make things a lot easier and will give us an exact idea of the space we have available to pack everything in. I think we will have to do a couple trial runs of packing up the van before we leave, so we aren’t spending 2 hours figuring out where everything is going that morning. I guess in the end if we can’t fit everything Dan will just have to compromise and only bring a small backpack for all of his things because I will be the first to admit, I don’t know how to pack light! 😉

Now I will just continue writing my lists and hope that I can think of everything before we leave!

We are going on VACATION! (part 1)

The Baby Gang is packing up and we are heading to Florida for our first family vacation as a family of 6! I am so excited and I thought it would be fun to share our experience of the whole trip. I wanted to start now and share some of the things we need to do before we go. There is going to be a lot to plan for and pack before we can actually leave and by sharing a lot of that with you, I think it will help me to keep on top of planning and organizing everything. This will also be a good way to make memories and save them for Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi to look back on.

A big part of what I have always looked forward to with having a family are the family vacations! We have always gone on vacations when I was growing up, and those are some of the best times and greatest memories I have. We took most of our vacations to Florida and we always had so much fun. Disney’s Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite places to visit and although we didn’t go every time we were in Florida, I still remember and love everything about it! I think I am the most excited to take Emily and the triplets there and to start creating memories for them. They may not be able to remember their first visit, but I will always have that memory of their initial reaction to seeing everything going on and experiencing their first time on a ride!

There are already so many items on our to-do list and I’m sure I will be adding a lot more, but the first thing we needed to do was make sure everyone had their passports. Dan and Emily had everything set with theirs, but the triplets needed theirs and mine expired last year. We went to Shopper’s Drug Mart for our pictures. With their hours open until midnight, even to get passport pictures taken, it was perfect for us, since our only time to go was 8 pm. When I took Emily to get her picture taken she was not even 2 months old and it was a lot of work to get her to look the right way. I was so surprised when the triplets cooperated and we were able to get a good picture in 2 tries! In total we spent about an hour at the store.

The next morning we got up and ready in hopes of leaving at 8 am to make it the passport office for 8:30 to avoid long lines. We finally left the house at 9 am, made it to the office and luckily there was no wait and we were in and out within half hour. When I got Emily’s passport I was told that if we are driving we don’t actually need a passport for a baby, but if there was ever an emergency and for some reason we needed to fly home, Emily wouldn’t be able to fly with us. To be on the safe side, I wanted to make sure I had passports for everyone!

We received the passports in the mail 8 days later and now that we have them we are on to the next thing to plan for!

For a little bit of cuteness today, here are the pictures of the babies and didn’t make the cut for their passport pictures! =D

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