Always, Katie: April 2016


Monday, April 18, 2016

BarBABYdos: Where to Stay (Comparing Rosebank and Courtyard by Marriott)

When people email me to ask me questions about our experience with Barbados Fertility Centre and our time on the island, booking accommodations is almost always one of the topics they ask about.  So I figure, if so many people are asking about it, it must be blog post time :-)

BFC offers packages in which they will book your airfare and accommodations for you, even further reducing your potential stress level.  Of course, there is a reasonable upcharge for the convenience, and if the financial savings is one of the main reasons you are considering pursuing your fertility treatment in Barbados, you may want to avoid that extra money and book your own flights and hotel.  This is the route we took, and truthfully, it didn't add too much stress.  There are relatively few options for flights (only three airlines currently fly from the US to Barbados), and the Centre has a curated list of hotels in the area that they are happy to provide for you.  

While we obviously don't have experience with all of the hotels on the list, I can tell you about our experiences at two different properties - Rosebank and the Courtyard by Marriott - and give you some pros and cons of each to keep in mind as you make your decision. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

8 Magic Moves Mommas Master

When you're pregnant - or even thinking about getting pregnant - people are quick to tell you what a magic-filled time of your life pregnancy and parenting will be.  And they're completely correct!  In both super sincere and slightly sarcastic ways, mothers become magicians.  I thought about my daily repertoire of magic, then consulted some of my favorite fellow magicians - the fabulous parents in my twin mom club - and here are just a few of our many tricks:

The Abdominal Amplification  

Let's start at the very beginning... (a very good place to start.  Sorry, I'll stop with the lyrics now.) Our bellies get kind of ginormous.  Especially twin bellies.  As you're watching yours expand almost so quickly you can see it, you can't help but marvel at this super-cool magic trick you didn't even know you could do!

The Sedative Song 

You may have the world's second-worst singing voice (mine's the worst), but something about it still calms your baby.  Their reaction is almost trance-like, and I always picture that scene in The Little Mermaid when Ariel's voice is out of her body, swirling around toward Ursula's seashell necklace... except my voice seems to wrap around those tiny angry people and make their eyes glaze over and get very... very... heavy....

The Gibberish Decoder

When I hear a noise from the nursery, I can always tell you which baby it is, and 99% of the time, I can tell you what they want.  Their voices and needs have changed, but since they were a few days old, I've been able to translate like they are my second and third languages.  I'm much more fluent in Abbie and in Sam than I ever got in French... with eight years of study. And there's no textbook, dictionary, or tutor for these languages. Tell me THAT isn't magic! ;-)

The Medication Obscuration

Only by magic can we convince babies that the syringe of sickly sweet syrup they do NOT want to swallow is really an airplane they should open their mouths to let into the hangar.

The Auxiliary Appendage Acquisition

We can hold a squirming baby (or more), mix bottles, and (for many of us) keep an older child or even a pet from getting into trouble, all at the same time.  Each of those tasks require at least two arms... put a few of them together... magic!

The Perplexing Plaything Prestidigitation

In this trick, a toy that two kids are fighting over (or fighting with) suddenly disappears without a trace. It may or may not reappear at a later date ;-)

The Silent Slink

This is the ability to slip in and out of your sleeping babies' nursery to retrieve the cell phone charger you left there during their morning bottles.

The Tenacity Optimization

After a long day of being pooped on (figuratively and literally), of questioning and striving and loving and advocating... we go to bed exhausted, then wake up (usually too soon) and do it all again. Because we are magical creatures, and we love those little people so stinkin' much <3

What magic tricks did I miss? :-)  If you leave one in a comment, make sure I have a link to your blog if you have one... it may show up in a follow-up post down the road!

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Simple Spring Mom-iform (and a coupon code!)

Have I mentioned how I'm loving all of the spring colors and flowers in our back yard? :-)  The weather in Ohio is a little temperamental right now, so it's not necessarily feeling like spring every day, but it sure LOOKS like spring time! I'm gonna let you in on a little secret that could probably get my blogger cred revoked... I feel about the coming of spring pretty much the way everybody else feels about autumn ;-) It's fresh and soft and optimistic... and I can go barefoot more easily.

White and Gold Polka Dot Shirt: Kohl's (still see on clearance sometimes!)
Dark Peach Shorts: Kohl's (softest. shorts. ever!)
Shoes: circa 2004ish? And I can't even read the brand anymore.
Necklace: c/o The Vintage Honey Shop (Spring Daisy Ring)

This is my spring "mom-iform"... I keep it very simple.  I have a handful of skirts and pairs of shorts and several solid-colored or neutral tees.  I'd say all of my tops go with 3/4 of my bottoms, and all of my bottoms go with 3/4 of my tops.  I almost have to try to mismatch, haha! :-)  But neutrals and basics don't have to be boring!  Believe it or not, these fun peach shorts are really versatile - they look great with my white (or this white with polka dots), black, light blue, navy, and tan shirts! And I'd wear it with yellow if I had one... hm.  Maybe I need a yellow shirt. ;-)  I wear my favorite old (we're talking high school here, y'all), broken-in flats, and a Vintage Honey Shop necklace, and my mom-iform is complete :-)  

Each piece is deliberate but relaxed. Everything is interchangeable so when I get spit up on, I can change the dirty piece instead of the whole outfit.  All of my clothing is either loose or comfortably stretchy, allowing me to roll around on the floor, pick up Abbie and Sam, and bend and twist all day long. And my choice of jewelry entertains restless babies and soothes their poor teething gums :-)

Speaking of my Vintage Honey Shop teething necklaces, I have just been accepted as a brand rep and affiliate for their shop!  I've talked before about how much I love these necklaces, and I'm so excited that I get to offer my readers a coupon code for 10% off their orders!  And in addition to you saving 10%, I earn a little bit of money too... which will probably go back toward buying another necklace for myself ;-) So I SUPER appreciate you entering this code at checkout! :-) The code is:


Tell me about your "uniform!"  Do you have a closet full of super-basic basics like I do?  Or do you like to mix it up a little more?  And which Vintage Honey Shop necklace do you neeeed in your life? :-)

Happy April, friends! 

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