Capture Wonder (Daily December #3)

I’m no photographer (as you can tell from my over-edited picmonkey tomfoolery), so I plan to be creative with this December photo challenge. What better way to “Capture Wonder” than to get professional pictures of your adorable child and send a holiday card? I’m obsessed with the photography of Chrystal Cienfuegos, and you really should be also. If I could afford to pay her to follow me around full-time with a camera, I would. I can’t possibly spoil our holiday photos, though, so I’ll show you this adorable sample from their first “official” photo shoot.
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When your children are this cute, not just any card design will do. Luckily through the wonders of fate and the internet, I have befriended a fabulous graphic designer who just happens to specialize in cards featuring adorable children. Melissa of Sour Pea Design is always coming up with fresh new material for her Etsy shop. She creates custom or pre-made digital files at prices that are realistic for moms. Buying one of her designs and having it printed is not only cuter than your average photosite.com, it’s infinitely more affordable. I mean, check out these fabulous holiday options:

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AND there’s even an option for twin moms (featuring the lovely Steely twins, photographed at their teeny-tiniest by Chrystal, of course.) How could you resist?

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10 must-haves for the first 12 months

I compiled this list as a general guideline for new moms, specifically new twin moms. There are SO many products out there – you could spend a fortune before you’ve even purchased a single diaper. But you don’t have to! We made do with very little. The following products are ones that I found to be simple, (mostly) affordable, and more importantly, USEFUL. I cannot even tell you how many things I read about, heard about, or received as gifts that were barely even touched. This is just the bare bones – start here if you’re becoming overwhelmed.

1. aden + anais Rayon From Bamboo Swaddle Blanket 3 Pack, Azure

The softest, stretchiest, most luxurious swaddle blanket out there. Forget receiving blankets. You want these. A lot of them. They’re spendy, but worth it.

2. WubbaNub Giraffe

This way even if your children will never take pacifiers, they’ll look cute trying.

3. Alva Baby Cloth Diaper 4layers Antibacterial Bamboo Inserts Super Water Absorbent 12pcs 12mb

Hands down the best insert I’ve ever put in my pocket diapers. Buy 10. Or 20. We have 45.

4. Skip Hop Duo Double Deluxe Diaper Bag, Black

The king of all diaper bags. You will need this when your twins are small. Once they start toddling, switch to a backpack.

5. Baby Jogger 2012 City Mini Double Stroller, Black/Gray

The most versatile double stroller in its price range. We used it from day one (okay, day six) and cannot say enough good things about it.

6. Gerber 10-Pack Cloth Diaper Prefold Premium 6-ply with absorbent padding

These DO NOT make good cloth diapers. They DO, however, make the best burp cloths.

7. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote

Most twin moms (and nearly all working moms who plan to breastfeed) will need a pump at some point. Lactation consultants typically recommend hospital grade for twins, especially in the early days, but this is a great portable one. *If you’re planning to nurse your twins, I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s a must-read.

8. Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair, Scatterbug

These were great for bringing out and about from eight weeks to eight months. Our boys went all the over the place in these – a wedding, multiple restaurants, a taco shop – you name it! At eight months, we switched to all-plastic chairs as the straps on these were difficult to clean once they really got into exploring solid food.

9. bumGenius One-Size Snap Closure Cloth Diaper 4.0 – Moonbeam

Arguably the simplest and most versatile cloth diaper on the market. Stuff with one insert for home, two for naps or trips, two or three for overnight. Some will prefer the hook-and-loop closure, but we love snaps. They have a learning curve, but they’re invaluable when your children learn to undo hook-and-loop closures. Bonus: No untangling diaper chains out of the washer.

10. Graco My Ride 65 Car Seat – Preston

Reliable, functional, comfortable, cute. All you’re looking for in a convertible carseat. We were able to take the boys home from the hospital in these, with a little extra padding in the way of rolled-up receiving blankets. That allowed us to skip the bucket seats which translated to huge savings (Times four – two carseats for each car the boys travel in).

Have more to add? Let us know what worked for you!

*Disclosure: This post contains links that generate revenue as a part of the Amazon Associates program.