Let’s Talk About Cups, Baby

About a year ago George and I rejoiced as we said farewell to bottles forever.  After the babies were born, bottles consumed our lives.  During their NICU stay we fretted over each milliliter the babies drank hoping they would learn to eat and come home.  Once they were at home we found ourselves running a milk bank of our own as we whipped up gallons of formula to fill up to 32 bottles daily.  Oh, and the bottle washing was the worst.  Bottles invaded our dishwasher so we succumbed to hand washing a gazillion bottle parts daily.  It was laborious.

preemie eating in the sidelying position

Make bottles for multiples for 24 hours at a time

This was a mere fractions of the bottles I washed daily.  We had 3-4 bottle drying racks at any given time.

This was a mere fraction of the bottles I washed daily. We had 3-4 bottle drying racks at any given time.

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Little did we know that ditching bottles meant searching for The Holy Grail: a toddler cup that doesn’t leak.  No one mentions this, but toddler cups be they sippy or straw are a nightmare.

Some of you may be wondering why we don’t just switch to open cups.  After all, open cups are supposed to be introduced around 15 months.  The quads are all capable of drinking from open cups and practice routinely during snack time outside or during bath tea parties.  They are not ready for open cups at every meal.  They are sloppy eaters and a few of them have no qualms about chucking a cup 20 feet across the kitchen.  To teach them responsibility, they clean up their messes, but they are barely two. I still have to go behind them to keep milk from souring on the tile.  I’m tired.  Always.  When they prove themselves capable of the self-restraint to drink from open cups we will go there for all meals. In the meantime I FINALLY have a cup we like for milk and another for water.  It took a year to find these gems, people.  A year.

In order to transition from bottles of formula to cups with cow’s milk we began with trainer cups.  We tried a variety of brands and styles that I can’t even recall now.  We found success with”> Nuby trainer cups with handles.  They were similar enough to bottles with soft spouts the babies didn’t protest them.  The handles helped their little hands manage a cup and learn to tip it.

Use sippy cup straws if your baby is learning how to drink from a cup, and enjoys throwing his cup

Nuby trainer cups with handles, which are attached to sippy cup straps (a lifesaver when you are beginning sippy cups with multiples!)

As the babies grew, I wanted them to learn how to use straws.  After all, the trainer cups were strikingly similar to bottles.  Whereas straws are socially acceptable for any age.  In fact, I love straws!  I even sip coffee from a straw to keep my teeth from being coffee coated and yellowing.  The babies weren’t ready for regular straws so we began using”> Nuby silicone straw cups.  The babies took to them easily.  They struggled, however, to switch between using sippy cups that should be tipped up to straw cups that needed to stay vertical.  Thus, we made a total switch to straw cups.

Nuby silicone straw cups

Nuby silicone straw cups

We loved the Nuby silicone straw cups until the fateful day when Harper learned to unscrew the lid and dump his milk.  We then switched to similar cups, “>Munchkin click ‘n’ lock silicone straw cups.  These were THE cups for several months.  Harper could not open them, the straws worked just like the other cups, and they were spill proof.  Until they weren’t.  Eventually the quads gnawed the straws and sometimes they poked their forks through the straws, which created leaks.  It wasn’t long before we started having a problem with fluid funneling up through the top and making a huge mess.  These were inexpensive cups so we planned to just buy new ones.  Except they were impossible to find.  George found Nuby’s click and lock straw cups, which seemed quite similar.  We liked Nuby before so why not?  Oh my!  These cups were awful….leaking from the sides, bitten straws, funneling.  The works.  We were exasperated.

Munchkin click 'n' lock silicone straw cups

Munchkin click ‘n’ lock silicone straw cups

toddler cups

This is our cup hoarde. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even include the earliest cups because many of those are long gone.

I polled moms of multiples about their favorites, and wondered IF the Holy Grail existed.  Many grumbled that ALL sippy and straw cups leak.

BEHOLD, the HOLY GRAIL at last…..

My quad mama pal, Krista, and another mom of triplets both swore by the Contigo Kids cups for water.  I was hesitant to purchase them since they retail for about $10 each.  Just getting one cup per kid was a $40 investment.  In the meantime, I experimented with a variety of cups.  All failures.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a set of Contigo Kids cups.

I was easily swayed when I noticed they came in the quads “assigned” colors: pink, blue, purple, and green.   The first night we had them, George attempted to dash my hopes of finding THE cup.  He taunted proclaiming these were too expensive for just another cup.  He practiced slinging them on the tile, turning them, and tilting them.  He could not make them leak!  YIPPEE!!!   We used our first set for a month or two before I found them in three packs at Costco at a discounted price.  I bought two packs for ourselves (spares aren’t bad) and bought a set for a triplet birthday party.

The Contigo cups are by far the best we’ve ever tried for water.  However, due to the flip top valve, I think it would be rather difficult to fully clean for milk.  We still needed a leak proof milk cup.

Contigo are the preferred cups for outings.  The flip top and handle make them easy to scoop up when we are on the go.

Contigo are the preferred cups for outings. The flip top and handle make them easy to scoop up when we are on the go.

Contigo kid's cup

Having a cup in each child's color makes identifying whose is whose a snap.

Having a cup in each child’s color makes identifying whose is whose a snap.

We haven’t had any problems with our Contigo water bottles.  However, they have a Limited Lifetime Guarantee if there are any defects in workmanship.

Another of my quad mama friends, Amber, suggested the “>Tommee Tippee Explora cups.  These were a little less expensive in two packs for $10.  Again, these cups came in the “assigned colors” so I snagged one for each of the quads.  I was admittedly hesitant to believe in these cups.

Rylin refused to drink from hers for well over a month because I couldn’t put a straw in it.  Just recently she agreed to give it a go when I told her the Bell quads used them (peer pressure at it’s finest).  One day I thought it was over, Sydney’s cup leaked.  I was ready to throw in the towel on this set too.  That was until another mom of quads told me she called Tommee Tippee to complain that their “leak proof” cups indeed leak.  They informed her of an instructional video to properly attach the valve.  I thought I knew how to work a sippy cup and tossed my directions.  Low and behold if you properly attach the valve the cup does NOT leak, even when tossed by a toddler.  Another perk?  These cups are insulated, which is fabulous for milk.

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Again, having a cup in each child's color is a win for us.

Again, having a cup in each child’s color is a win for us.

In addition to my two favorite milk and water cups, I like to use “>Take ‘n’ Toss cups when I make milkshakes, applesauce drink, or smoothies.  The quads cannot be trusted to drink from them regularly because they have a blast tipping them upside down to watch drips of fluid fall to the ground or table.  However, they work really well for thick liquids, particularly ones I don’t want gumming up my Holy Grail cups.

use take and toss cups for toddlers at a party

I snagged the idea of using Take ‘n’ Toss cups from my quad mama friend, Amber’s, birthday party. They were great for the toddler guests especially since we have white carpet now.

Alas, all of our favorite cups in harmony at the dinner table!

Alas, all of our favorite cups in harmony at the dinner table!

 

Hugs!

Amber

P.S. I was not compensated by Contigo or Tommee Tippee.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. However, this post contains affiliate links in case you would like to order any of the products mentioned directly from Amazon.  Please visit my disclaimer page for further information regarding affiliate links.

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Baby Hauling {Combi Twin Cosmo Stroller Review}

Nearly two years ago, I began reaching out to experienced mothers of multiples regarding baby gear.  Among my top questions were, “What kind of stroller do we need?” and “Should we get a quad stroller? OR Two twin strollers?”  The resounding answer, “You’ll need several baby haulers before it’s all said and done.”

To my surprise, they were absolutely right. First, we would need two twin stroller frames that our infant seats clipped onto, but those would only last as long as infant seats.  And, if I ever wanted to go anywhere solo, a quad stroller was in the cards.   The thought of choosing and buying such a variety of strollers was daunting to say the least. Shortly after the quads were born, my friend, Jenny, was kind enough to give us her old Combi Twin Cosmo stroller.  Prior to receiving this stroller, I was unfamiliar with Combi and really had no idea what a gem we received.  For many months, her stroller waited in attic storage while we relied upon stroller frames.   When the quads celebrated their first birthday we decided they were getting too heavy for infant seats.  Thus, we purchased toddler car seats, successfully rendering our stroller frames useless.

It was then I discovered the beauty of the Combi Twin Cosmo stroller.  Jenny’s stroller was already about five years old and had been well-loved in its hay day, but it cleaned up beautifully.  Without much effort (or a user’s manual), I unstrapped the seat covers, tossed them in our washing machine, and then let them air dry. They came out looking like new.  I also wiped the rest of the stroller down with a damp cloth to rid it of attic dust.  By looking at it, you’d never guess this stroller was five years old. Clearly, Combi made an exceptional product, built to withstand multiples. When an opportunity recently arose to give Combi’s newest model of Twin Cosmo in Bamboo Scribble a test run, I jumped at it.  I was already smitten with our older hand me down so I knew it would not disappoint.

Rylin was refusing to nap when our Combi Cosmo Twin arrived so she helped me open it.  In order to ship the stroller, the wheels and snack cups are unattached.  However, it took me less than a minute to attach everything and clip Rylin into it.

Rylin was refusing to nap when our Combi Cosmo Twin arrived so she helped me open it. In order to ship the stroller, the front wheels and snack cups were unattached. However, it took me less than a minute to attach everything and clip Rylin into it.

Perhaps my favorite feature of the Combi Twin Cosmo is the ease of folding and unfolding.  Seriously, this stroller takes mere seconds to both unfold and fold, and it’s never a battle.  Once folded, it’s light weight for ease of transport and stores in an upright position.  Even I have no trouble carrying or lifting it into the van.  I always compare it’s size in storage to a bag of golf clubs.  Twin strollers are double the bulk of a single, and I believe that this stroller is about as small as a full sized twin stroller could be.  A stroller’s folded size is of the essence to us since we need not one, but TWO twin strollers to fit in the back of our van.  The back of our van does not boast much cargo space, yet we can fit two Combo Twin Cosmos with a few other baby essentials back there.

I attempted to take a video clip of the “Three Second Fold”, but it proved more difficult to manage the timer and camera than I anticipated.  Nonetheless, here’s a quick demo of how I easily fold, unfold, and carry the stroller-

At 17 months of age, the quads are extremely squirmy and tend to attempt escapes from seats.  This is why I’m a huge fan of Combi’s five point, adjustable restraints. They allow us to adjust the straps for each child, making them tight enough to prevent escapees.  In order to remember our seating arrangements, we use monogrammed initial buttons as place markers.  Obviously, I do not have experience with this, but I suspect this stroller would work well for two children of different ages since the straps are adjustable.  I’ve spotted pictures of multiples in our groups as old as about four still riding in Combi strollers.  When dealing with multiples it’s commonplace to use strollers as long as your children are still within the weight limits.  Otherwise, it’s exponentially more difficult to keep everyone safely together.  Therefore, I presume we will be using them for quite a while.

When we are out and about, four high chairs (if any) are not always available so our strollers double as picnic hot spots. The five point straps unclip and convert to three point straps, allowing the quads to sit up better for meals.  I typically toss simple finger foods into the snack holders and use sippy cup straps for drinks.  Thankfully, the Combi Twin Cosmo strollers basically come apart for easy cleaning because picnics can be messy.

When we are out and about, four high chairs (if any) are not always available so our strollers double as picnic hot spots.  I generally toss finger foods into the snack cups, and use sippy cup straps for drinks.  Thankfully, the Combi Cosmo strollers basically come apart for easy cleaning.

Unfortunately, the babies’ communication skills are rather limited at this time so they cannot share their thoughts on the stroller.  However, based upon behavior while in their strollers, I believe they are rather content.  They seem to enjoy the side by side layout because they can see what’s in front of them as well as their siblings.  I’m certain they’d also agree that the sunshade and snack holders are handy creature comforts.

The babies seem far more comfortable side by side than front to back.  This layout allows them to see everything and lean back if they want, yet the design is also narrow enough to fit through standard doors.

Even with a side by side layout, the Twin Cosmo fits through all standard doors.  Consequently, I am now painfully aware of doorways that are not standard and ADA compliant.  I actually filed a complaint at a department store that had ridiculously narrow aisles that NO wheelchair could ever navigate.

While there are nice baskets below the seats, there's no way a bag fit four quads would fit in them.  That's not a problem however, we just use a large caribeener to strap our bags on the back.

While there are nice baskets below the seats, there’s no way a bag stocked for quads would fit in them (or any other stroller basket for that matter). That’s not a problem however, we just use a large carabiner to strap our bags on the back. Voila! I was pleased to find that the new model included not only child cup/ snack holders, but also a parent cup holder.  I always overlooked the fact that our old stroller didn’t have one because otherwise it was a fantastic stroller.

In addition to functionality, I appreciate that Combi’s patterns are cheery and gender neutral since we have boys and girls.  Considering the age of our hand me down stroller, I’d say the pattern doesn’t give it away, it’s rather timeless as patterns go. If you’ve been following us within the past six months or so, you’ve probably spied our Combi strollers in many pictures, that’s because we take them almost everywhere.  And, you may recall when we went to Legoland, our quad buddies also had Combi strollers.  We got a chuckle calling that outing a “Combi Con”.

Combi strollers and other products are available for sale from Combi’s Web Store, Babies R Us, and Amazon.

Hugs!

Amber

P.S. I would like to extend an enormous thank you to Combi USA for providing a new Combi Twin Cosmo stroller for the purpose of this review.  I was in no other way compensated for the writing of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Live Clean (Baby)

Between our four babies, it turns out that two of them have sensitive skin.    So sensitive in fact, we make our own baby wipes and laundry detergent! I never would have thought I’d be making those things, but to protect sensitive skin, it’s worthwhile.  Harper has a mild case of eczema that we keep an eye on, and Sydney is prone to break outs and diaper rash if we aren’t careful.  I really appreciate things that smell good whether it be our laundry or shampoo.  I mean who doesn’t love the scent of fresh sheets???  However, when making our own laundry detergent and using “sensitive skin” formulas we generally sacrifice scent in the process.

When I found out about a new line of Eco-friendly, organic baby bath products sold exclusively at Walgreen’s, I was excited to try them.  However, I wasn’t willing to try yet another line of the boring, unscented variety or something that would be too expensive for our family budget. I cruised into our neighborhood Walgreen’s for a sneak peek.  To my delight, the Live Clean (Baby)  products are affordably priced (similar to other products we buy) and had a nice light fragrance.  Just like all other baby bath products we’ve used, all Live Clean (Baby) products are tear free, hypoallergenic, and pediatrician tested.  I noticed that all of their products use plant-based ingredients.  For instance, the first ingredients in the shampoo are water, aloe leaf extract, and lavender flower extract (those things smell lovely, by the way).  They are also free of parabens, and sulfates, are vegan, and cruelty free (none of their products or ingredients are tested on animals).   Based upon those things I decided the Live Clean (Baby) product line was worth a test spin.

At our house, bath time is quite an ordeal so we alternate days that we give baths.  When I know it’s bath night, I often serve a messier dinner than usual, knowing a bath will follow.  Oatmeal is one of my favorite bath night meals because it’s thick, hearty texture is a good way for the quads to practice spoon-feeding themselves.  In the process, we usually get oatmeal facials all around, which warrant heavy-duty bathing.

On bath night, I often serve oatmeal for dinner.  It provides a hearty, thick texture for the quads to practice spoon feeding themselves.  But, they end up making oatmeal facials out of a good portion of their dinner.

The girls are doing a really good job with utensils and making most of the food go into their mouths.  Even so, they are messy at mealtimes.

The boys eat a little more haphazardly, and often lose the privilege of bowls and spoons.

The boys eat a little more haphazardly, and often lose the privilege of bowls and spoons.

It’s pretty clear that bath products have a big job at our house, and our Live Clean (Baby) products arrived just in time!  It was coincidentally bath night when our box arrived.

Our Live Clean Baby gift included bar soap, foaming wash, baby bath, shampoo and wash, lotion, and non-petroleum jelly.

Our Live Clean (Baby) sample set included moisturizing bar soap, foaming wash, moisturizing baby bath, tearless shampoo and wash, moisturizing lotion, and non-petroleum jelly.

I don’t typically make bubble baths, but the baby wash directions said to use a capful for a bubble bath so I gave it a whirl.

The baby wash created nice, thick bubbles, which Rylin was ready to explore.

The baby wash created nice, thick bubbles, which Rylin was ready to explore.

The quads really enjoyed running their hands and fingers through the bubbles.

The quads really enjoyed running their hands and fingers through the bubbles.  It was a nice sensory activity for them.

I know that lather doesn't have anything to do with effectiveness of shampoos and soaps, but I admittedly love soap with a rich lather.  I also know that sulfates generally are what create a lather, yet Live Clean Baby products are sulfate free and create an fantastic lather.

I know that lather doesn’t have anything to do with effectiveness of shampoos and soaps, but I admittedly LOVE shampoo and soap with a rich lather. I also know that sulfates generally are what create a lather, and Live Clean (Baby) products are sulfate free, yet they create a luxurious lather.  I used the wash/ shampoo on the girls.

I wanted to compare the foaming wash and shampoo/ wash so the boys got the foaming wash.  Guess what- the foaming wash created the same great lather.

I wanted to compare the foaming wash and shampoo/ wash so the boys got the foaming wash. Guess what- the foaming wash created the same great lather!

I never tried bar soap on the babies, and was pleasantly surprised at how the bar soap also created a nice thick lather, and seemed to moisturize their skin. I believe the bar soap will last us much longer than a typical bottle of liquid baby wash, which means it can save us money in the long run.

Sydney came out of her bath feeling refreshed and chipper.

Sydney came out of her bath feeling refreshed and chipper.

Following a dunk in the tub, I always give each baby a massage with baby lotion and use petroleum jelly to grease their hineys, creating a moisture barrier before bed.  The Live (Clean Baby) lotion had a light, refreshing floral scent that I liked even for myself.

Ahhh, two clean girls ready for bed!

Ahhh, two clean girls ready for bed!

Voila!  Two clean boys ready to hit the sack.

Voila! Two clean boys ready to hit the sack.

The true litmus test for these products came the next morning after the babies slept a solid 12 hours.  First of all, my two sensitive skin babies had no problems with the new products, which means it was gentle enough for them.  While the texture of the non-petroleum jelly was a bit thinner than our usual, it worked just as effectively the babies were diaper rash free the next morning.  My favorite part was they smelled as if they had just taken a bath even after 12 hours of slumber.  During the night, they tend to drool and sweat so most of the time the fresh bathed scent has long vanished.  After using these products, my mom even noticed their hair was really soft and smelled nice a full day after bath.  Amazing!!!

What measures do you take to protect your little one’s skin?

hugs!

Amber

P.S. I would like to extend a special thank you to Live Clean (Baby) for providing samples of their products for review.  I received no other compensation and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Noses Blown {BabyComfyNose Review}

With quadruplets, we have more stuffy noses than the average household.  Sydney seems to think her finger is the best booger removal tool, but I disagree.

With quadruplets, we have probably more stuffy noses than the average household.  Sydney seems to think her finger is the best booger removal tool, but I disagree.

When the babies were still in the NICU they had shockingly enormous boogers.  I was baffled at how such tiny noses could produce such disgusting stuff.  The NICU boasts a nifty device called the neo-suction where a tube is gently inserted into the baby’s nose and a powerful suction pulls the boogies loose (it’s similar to the suction used by dentists).   George was so enamored with the hospital grade neo-suction he searched high and low for a home version of it.  Because neo-suction is incredibly powerful, it’s not considered safe for home use without a prescription.  No luck for George.  Instead he found human-powered nasal aspirators online.  Being a rookie mom I was totally disgusted with the notion of using my mouth to clear out the babies’ noses.  I was convinced I’d get a mouthful of yuck, which was not appealing. I scoffed at them and settled for the standard issue blue bulb nasal aspirator.

I don't know it it's just our babies, or all babies, but we have a serious case of boogers.  It is nearly impossible to extract a boogie without the help of Little Remedies saline.  The babies and I are so happy it exists!  It is difficult to see, but there is a "Rylin Shawever" label on the side of the saline.  Each baby has a set of these nifty labels for the things we don't want them sharing and for bottles so we know who gets which one (they eat different amounts).  They are great for just about anything because they are microwave and dishwasher safe.  I ordered them from Mabel's Labels.

Just like most new parents, we dutifully used our blue bulb aspirator along with saline drops to clean out the little noses.  After a few weeks, our precious bulbs lost suction and were disgusting, but nearly impossible to clean.

A triplet mama friend told me how much she loved her electronic nasal aspirators so we invested in a couple of them.  They worked reasonably well, and were easy to clean.

When the babies were a few months old, a triplet mama friend told me how much she loved her electronic nasal aspirators so we invested in a couple of them.  They worked reasonably well, and were easy to clean.  However, they ran through batteries, their parts wore out, and lost suction in time.

Over the past 15 months we’ve had our share of stuffy noses and various methods for helping clear them.  I even whipped up my own nose wipes because the quad’s noses were getting raw and irritated with frequent tissue wiping. It wasn’t until recently that the quad’s noses were truly blown.  BabyComfyNose sent us their nasal aspirator to sample, and I was completely satisfied with the results.

Here’s what I love about this product:

  • really effectively removes even the stickiest, deep, and most disgusting boogies

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  • a gently wadded facial tissue serves as the filter, which is super cheap and easy to replace

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  • the bulb shape and tissue filter prevent any mucus from passing to the parent (Amen to that! My fears of getting a mouth full of snot are G-O-N-E.)
The challenge is getting a toddler to sit still for the procedure.  I've found that our crew is a mixed bag.  Harper is perfectly content with it and Rylin scampers off if she sees us coming at her with anything that may involve keeping her still.

The challenge is getting a toddler to sit still for the procedure. I’ve found that our crew is a mixed bag. Harper is perfectly content with it and Rylin scampers off if she sees us coming at her with anything that may involve keeping her still.

  • available in three colors so siblings can have their own ( I’ve been guilty of sharing a single nasal aspirator between the quads and that is totally unhygienic.  However, I hope Baby Comfy Nose will add a fourth color to their fleet because two of our kiddos have to use the same color.)

2-babycomfynose group

  • includes a mesh bag for storage, which keeps the parts together and away from surfaces (I personally don’t like boogie removal parts touching say, my counter top)
  • pieces are soft and easy to clean in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water
I put the BabyComfyNose aspirators in our dishwasher two ways: one in the bag with parts disconnected  and one with parts outside the bag.  Either way seems to work.  I also think our bottle sterilizer would get the job done.

I put the BabyComfyNose aspirators in our dishwasher two ways: one in the bag with parts disconnected and one with parts outside the bag. Either way seems to work. I also think our bottle sterilizer would get the job done.

  • sold on Amazon for about $11 (have I mentioned how many things we order from Amazon???)
  • made in the USA (that is something that will make my Dad happy)

BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator is my new go-to snot sucker.  However, I can’t toss the less preferred versions out just yet.  I’m hanging onto them for when the quads are left with babysitters since we can’t share the Baby Comfy Nose.

Rylin was not pleased when I used the Baby Comfy Nose aspirator on her, but it worked very well.  Bunny did a fantastic job of consoling one unhappy toddler.

Rylin was not pleased when I used the Baby Comfy Nose aspirator on her, but it worked very well once I wrangled her. Bunny did a fantastic job of consoling one unhappy toddler.

What do you think about human-powered nasal aspirators?  Would you try one to help your little one breathe easier?

hugs!

Amber

P.S. I’d like to extend a special thank you to BabyComfyNose for providing us with their nasal aspirators to sample.  I received no other compensation and all thoughts/ opinions are 100% my own.

Picky Palates, Pleased! {Good Groceries review}

Toddlerhood (or quaddlerhood in our house) is a time of many transitions from being a baby to a big kid.  This is especially apparent with feeding.  The days of bottles and thin purees are a thing of the past.  I knew spoon feeds were over when Harper started letting whatever was on his spoon drop from his mouth, filling his bib.  He quickly asserted his independence and insisted upon self feeding.  That doesn’t mean that feeding is necessarily more simple.  The quads are limited in what they can self feed since they have approximately eight teeth a piece and have finicky toddler palates to boot.

What the quads will eat varies from day-to-day.  For example, steamed carrots are usually a fan favorite, but they’ve been refused with animosity as well.  Plus, each of the quads has his or her own opinions about food.  Mason would be content to survive on fruit and yogurt alone while Sydney prefers protein and carbohydrates.

There is one thing they all consistently agree upon: cookies and crackers.  All four know how to sign, “more”, (“please” is emerging also) but they only sign for desired items.  When we were given an opportunity to sample a line of organic and natural snack items under the Suzie’s brand from Good Groceries, I jumped at the chance.  When feeding the quads, I prefer to avoid additives and preservatives as much as possible, and Good Groceries has the same philosophy.

I was puzzled when our UPS driver delivered a giant box to our doorstep a few weeks back. We order many things online, but I could not recall ordering anything of this size.  I excitedly sliced the tape off the top and peeled back the box top to find our shipment of snacks from Good Groceries.  They generously provided us with an assortment of their snack crackers and milk alternatives.  I was expecting something, but did not anticipate getting to sample so many products from their Suzie’s brand.

Our shipment included: cilantro naan crackers, plain unsweetened quinoa milk, vanilla sweetened quinoa milk, vanilla unsweetened quinoa milk, sesame kamut flatbread, ancient grain flatbread, breadsticks, olive oil crackers, rosemary sesame crackers, tomato oregano crackers, sourdough puffed rice crackers, ancient multigrain crackers, baby biscuits, thin cakes with sesame, and salted thin cakes.

Our shipment included: cilantro/ garlic/ green chili naan crackers, plain unsweetened quinoa milk, vanilla sweetened quinoa milk, vanilla unsweetened quinoa milk, sesame kamut flatbread, ancient grain flatbread, breadsticks, olive oil crackers, rosemary sesame crackers, tomato oregano crackers, sourdough puffed rice crackers, ancient multigrain crackers, baby biscuits, thin cakes with sesame, and salted thin cakes.

Shortly after our box arrived, it was coincidentally snack time.  Thus, we began our taste test with the baby biscuits.  Before giving the babies anything, I always sample first to make sure it’s okay.  I was pleasantly surprised by the light shortbread flavor and soft texture of the baby biscuits.  I hate to admit it, but I scarfed a few of these myself! They crumbled with ease so they would be safe for babies with few (or no) teeth.  Apparently the babies agreed as they gobbled the biscuits up and eagerly signed “more, please” repeatedly.  Needless to say, the baby biscuits did not last long in our house.

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As I snapped this picture, Rylin became impatient and attempted to grab the entire box for herself (she didn’t realize the contents were in the white bag centered on the table).

Sydney tends to be the most challenging to please, but she scarfed the baby biscuits as well as anyone else.

Sydney tends to be the most challenging to please, but she signed “more” for these with gusto.

In our house, we go through 3-4 gallons of cow’s milk per week. Since it takes up too much space in our refrigerator, we have to make multiple trips to the grocery store to keep the milk flowing. Sometimes, we run out of milk in the day so I keep a variety of milk alternatives that do not require refrigeration (until opened) on hand. I had no idea quinoa milk existed prior to receiving some. It is definitely another option or us to keep on hand for the days when cow’s milk is gone.

In our house, we go through 3-4 gallons of cow's milk per week.  Since it takes up too much space in our refrigerator, we have to make muliple trips to the grocery store to keep the milk flowing.  Sometimes, we run out of milk in the day so I keep a variety of milk alternatives that do not require refrigeration (until opened) on hand.  I had no idea quinoa milk existed prior to receiving some.  It is ideal for us to keep on hand for the days when cow's milk is gone.

Thankfully, we don’t have any dietary restrictions, but for those who do, quinoa milk is dairy and gluten free, and is also vegan.

I found the quinoa milk to have a rich, nutty flavor and wasn't sure the babies would approve.  They did!  The boys gulped it just like they do with cow's milk!    They even enjoyed the unsweetened version.

I found the quinoa milk to have a rich, nutty flavor and wasn’t sure the quads would approve. They did! The boys gulped it just like they do with cow’s milk! They even enjoyed the unsweetened version.

I'm personally not a big milk drinker, but I enjoy the occasional bowl of cereal for breakfast.  I thought the nutty flavor of quinoa milk was a nice balance for slightly sweet cereal.

I’m personally not a big milk drinker, but I enjoy the occasional bowl of cereal for breakfast. I thought the nutty flavor of quinoa milk was a nice balance for slightly sweet cereal.

All of the saltine crackers are packaged into four packs, which is perfect for making quick lunches or tossing in the diaper bag.  Four packs are always a winner with quads!

All of the saltine crackers are packaged into portion sized four packs, which is perfect for making quick lunches or tossing in the diaper bag. Four packs are always a winner with quads!  Plus, portion sized packages keep crackers from going stale.

The herbal flavors in the saltines paired well with crudites and cheese.

Each of the saltines paired well with crudites and cheese (any variety).  I especially enjoyed the herb flavored crackers- tomato & oregano and rosemary & sesame.  They were flavorful alone, but nice compliments to spreads.

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Sydney LOVED Suzie’s saltines and sourdough rice tops so much, she swiped one from Rylin. Notice, she has one in her fist and the other gripped between her teeth.

The babies screeched and begged for more rice thins at each snack time.  Unlike other rice cakes, Suzie's are extremely thin and soft enough for babies to munch.  As a decadent treat for myself, I spread chocolate hazlenut spread over them.  They were also tasty with peanut butter, which is a protein source I love for the quads.

The babies screeched and begged for more thin cakes at each snack time. Unlike typical puffed crackers, Suzie’s are extremely thin and soft enough for babies to munch. As a decadent treat for myself, I spread chocolate hazelnut spread over them. They were also tasty with peanut butter, which is a protein source go-to for the quads.

The naan crackers were the perfect companion for my crock pot green chicken chili.

The naan crackers were the perfect companion for my crock pot green chicken chili on a cool fall night.  Rylin caught me snacking on them one day and plead for a taste.  I was a little hesitant due to the heat in them, but she said, “Mmmm!” and signed “more please”.  I guess she is a true Texan with a pepper belly.

George and I found the flatbread perfect with our Greek pasta salad and homemade hummus.

George and I found the flatbread perfect with our Greek pasta salad and homemade hummus.  Just like with the crackers, they were flavorful enough alone, but paired well with spreads.

So what about nutritional value?  Suzie’s brand uses ancient grains: quinoa, kamut, spelt, buckwheat, and oats as well as flax, sesame, and poppy seeds.  Therefore, I was pleased to find at least two to three grams of protein in each serving.  Because these are snacks, they aren’t totally void of sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates, but these less desirable ingredients are minimal.  Therefore, I felt confident feeding them to the quads.  Best of all, our entire family enjoyed the products we sampled.

Suzie’s brand products can be found nationwide at supermarket, natural, specialty, and club stores, in addition to online at amazon.com and goodgroceries.com.  Because many of our household items are purchased via Amazon, I was very happy to know we could buy refills of our favorite Suzie’s items there.

hugs!

Amber

P. S. I would like to thank Good Groceries for kindly providing the array of snacks for us to sample and review.  No other compensation was provided.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.