Thursday, June 21, 2018

What to do with a Toddler at the Beach


If you follow along with me on Instagram or my Facebook page, then you may have seen some pictures from our beach trip last Friday! {If you aren't following me, click those links above and follow along! Leave a comment and I'd love to follow you back!} We had a free day that was full of sunshine, so we decided to pack up a lunch and our outdoor gear and check off one of our summer bucket list items. Galveston Beach is just over an hour from our house and is a fun little getaway. Many Houstonians seem to hate or have bad things to say about Galveston, but I honestly believe it's because they haven't been in quite a long time. I really enjoy going for a day or weekend every year. The water may not be blue, but that's the Mississippi River's fault not Galveston's! These days the beaches are seaweed free and so much work has gone into giving Galveston more life.


I mean just look at that sand! No seaweed or trash that people always seem to complain about. I'm telling you Galveston has been making a come back for the last few years. Plus, it's a beach and not everyone has access to a beach just about an hour away.

I thought that it would be more fun to share with y'all fun things to do with a toddler at the beach instead of just sharing pictures of us at the beach. I mean, I know we're super cute and all, but some people are hesitant to take their little ones for fear they won't like it, won't want to be there, have a bad experience, etc. Toddlers can be super finicky and you never know what they're going to like or if they're going to have a good day. Luckily for us, it was a pretty good day for Chlo. She wasn't too keen on taking pictures, but we got them anyway!


Build a sandcastle
If your toddler isn't a fan of the water or if the ocean water seems a bit overwhelming to them, start off playing in the sand! It's less intimidating and getting dirty is always fun. If you don't already have some, invest in some fun sand toys. Buckets, shovels, strainers, shapes to fill with sand, etc. The good thing is that you can get these from a dollar store! It doesn't have to be fancy. I recommend bringing extra shovels because your toddler may not want to share with you, but you may be pretty invested in the building of the sandcastle.

Make sure to dig a big hole and fill it up with water! You can bring your toddler to the edge of the water with a bucket to get some water to fill the hole to introduce them to the ocean and waves. Plus the muddy water is fun and it's neat to watch it disappear.


Pack a picnic lunch
Food is important! Not just to a pregnant lady, but a toddler too. Be sure to pack lots of your toddlers favorite snacky foods. Fruits, chips, Goldfish, cookies, crackers, more fruit, juice boxes, PB&J, anything else your toddler loves. For us, watermelon was a must!

JP got this awesome little table in the picture below for Christmas from my mom, and it's so awesome. {Here's a link to the A&M one on Amazon, but they have tons of collegiate, NFL and solids to choose from if you're interested.} I had to share this because we kind of forgot that we had it, and this was the perfect opportunity to use it! Y'all, it has cupholders. Do you know how great that is at the windy beach? The chairs and table were perfect so that we could eat our food farther from the sand and I could sit in a chair for at least a little bit!


Go on a walk along the shore
I love going on walks, but Chloe is usually in her stroller. Walking on the beach is a much slower pace and your toddler can walk along with you! You can stroll along the sand where the water occasionally rolls up over your feet. You can hold hands and run and jump together. You can kick the water and chase the seagulls. It's also a great way to start introducing your toddler to the water if they're intimidated at all by it. Chloe is a fish and took to the water right away, but I know not all kids are the same!


Play jump the waves
One of Chloe's favorite things to do was to go out in the water and jump the waves with her daddy. She kept head butting my belly on accident, so I left the heavy lifting to JP. As each wave rolled around, JP would count to 3 and tell Chloe to jump. Then he'd lift her up and over the waves. She thought it was So. Much. Fun! It also allowed up to gradually get a little bit farther out into the water.


Cover your legs with wet sand
Something I loved doing as a kid was sitting where the water occasionally meets the wet sand and covering your legs with the muddy sand until the water comes to wash it away. For starters, its a great way to exfoliate your legs if you rub it in a little each handful you place on them. It's really fun for your little one because they're getting covered in mud without getting in trouble! Every so often, the water will come up and wash most of the sand away. When that happens, I recommend scooting over a bit or your going to have a very uncomfortable place to sit as the sand washes away from your booty cheeks!


Collect seashells and other treasures
Walk along to find fun shells and other treasures along the shore. You can do this when you're going on your walk or when you need a break from building your sandcastle. Sometimes you have to walk a little farther down the shore where there are less people on the beach to find the good shells! Once you collect them, you can decorate your sandcastle or save some of the good ones to take home!


Now that you have some fun ideas of what to do, make sure you know what to bring!

Make sure to pack:

  • a blanket
  • chairs, table, umbrella {if you have them}
  • a cooler with plenty of snacks and drinks
  • sand toys: buckets, shovels, strainers, mesh bags, sand forms
  • boogie board
  • lots of sunscreen
  • a hat
  • towels {bring extras}
  • change of clothes
  • goggles {if your kids like/need them}
  • anything else you think you may need!

There you have it! There are so many fun things to do at the beach even if your kiddos are younger and not able to run into the ocean and body surf the waves on their own. We had so much fun taking Chloe down to Galveston for the day, and I know that she had an amazing time too. We spent about 4 hours on the beach which was a good amount of time for Chloe. If you'll be at the beach for vacation and have quick access to a house or hotel, be sure to plan for naptime! Being in the sun and constantly playing will make for a good long afternoon nap or an early bedtime.

We loved our beach day, so I hope y'all do to! This was a check off of our summer bucket list before baby brother arrives and I'm kind of hoping that we have the time to do it again!

What are your favorite things to do at the beach?
Do your little ones love or hate the water?


Monday, June 18, 2018

Our Summer Bucket List


The first official day of summer is this week, but we've been in summer mode for nearly a month around here! Chloe's last day of school was May 24th, so we've been trying to keep busy with lots of fun activities since then.

I feel like this summer I'm trying even harder to focus on fun activities with Chloe since her baby brother will be joining us at some point in August! I want to have so much fun as our last summer as a family of three. I thought it would be fun to come up with a Bucket List of sorts for this summer! All the different things that I want us to do together that I know Chloe will love. Let's take a look:




A couple of extra items on Chloe's bucket list that are very specific to us include:

  • Help throw a baby shower for her brother and momma
  • Have a gymnastics birthday party
  • Turn 3 years old
  • Get a baby brother
  • Learn how to be the best big sister

Here's a peek at what we've done so far! I plan to update y'all every other week or so with everything that we've accomplished.



Ice cream, watermelon, pools and splash pads are staples during our week, so we checked those off pretty quickly!

We're working on learning her letters and I'd love for Chloe to be able to recognize all the letters by sight by the end of summer. So far we've gone through A-E. We spend a couple of days on each letter talking about what starts with that letter, different activities revolving around that letter, coloring the letter, phonics, so on and so forth. It's going really well so far and I hope it continues!

Two weekends ago we took a weekend trip with our family to New Braunfels to play at Schlitterbahn and float the river. You can take a look at our good time here if you missed it!

We took a day trip to the beach on Friday since JP had off! It was the perfect getaway. We went to Stewart Beach in Galveston for about 4 hours. Chloe loved having lunch at the beach, jumping waves, finding seashells and of course, building sand castles! I have lots of pictures that I plan to share later this week. Until then here's a peek at our little fish.


We have quite a few arts and crafts items to work on which I think will be fun for this potentially rainy week we have ahead of us in Houston. We've had so many sunny days that most of our activities include the water lately! I'm hoping to check a few more off our list this week. Wish me luck!

Is there something big that I'm missing? I want to make sure we get all the traditional and fun summer activities for toddlers covered! Obviously with a very pregnant momma some things like camping in the backyard are out of the question. Please share any additional ideas that you may have for us! Bonus points if you're in Southeast Texas and can suggest something specific that we do!

I hope y'all have a wonderful {and dry if you're in Houston} Monday!



Friday, June 15, 2018

30 Week Bumpdate

30 weeks feels like such a milestone!!! I had an appointment with my OB yesterday {we're already down to every two week appointments!} and we were able to see our little guy. He wasn't exactly being the most cooperative though, so we didn't get to see his sweet face. We were however able to confirm that he is indeed still a boy and about how big he is...stay tuned to find out!


How Far Along? 
30 weeks yesterday!

Size of Baby: 
According to my apps, this baby is supposed to be about the size of a zucchini or my personal favorite a tub of ice cream. At 30 weeks gestation babies are roughly 15.5-almost 17 inches long and 2.5-3.5lbs! They're getting close to the length they'll be at birth and just need to pack on the pounds. He should be gaining about 1/2 a pound each week from here on out!

Since we were able to do a grow scan yesterday, we found out that our guy is clocking in at 3lb 11oz right now! A little bit bigger than most babies at this gestation. His body is also measuring a week ahead at 31 weeks which makes sense that he's a little chubbier! I'd also like to note that he too has a Gougler head and that was measuring at 32 weeks and 2 days! The bigger the head to hold all of his brains of course. I thought that he was going to be bigger than Chloe and this leads me to believe I'm going to be right. Chloe always measured about 2 weeks behind and was in the 35-40% from birth until about 2 when she hit a growth spurt.


Weight Gain:
Up about 22.5 lbs according to yesterday's appointment!

Symptoms: 
Pretty much the same as the last several weeks. I'm incredibly hungry for most of the day and then not at all really in the evenings. I'm starting to feel really full and like I have no room by the end of the day. My back pain also gets much worse at the end of the day. I'm all about my heating pad!

Cravings: 
Everything cold: fruit, yogurt, ice cream, cereal and milk, more ice cream, more fruit, smoothies, etc. I also am still obsessed with tacos.

Mood: 
I posted the other day about feeling all the feels when it comes to Chloe no longer being the only baby. I know that everything will be just fine when baby boy arrives. I know I will be so in love with him and he is the greatest gift I could give Chloe. At the same time, these pregnancy hormones have me worried about how Chloe will handle it. It's been us against the world for the last 3 years. She's my best little buddy and I know things will be different for both of us when her brother arrives. We'll eventually figure out our new normal and it will be amazing. Until then we're just going to take on as much as we can and have so much fun this summer!


Nursery: 
No progress since putting Chloe's old furniture in a few weeks ago. I'm waiting on my shower at the end of the month to get more done in there! Above is a peek at the wall color and decal that were already in the room when we moved in. I decided to keep it as it fits in with our nursery theme. Dinosaurs needed trees to survive after all! The walls are a minty blue/green and I love them, but they're hard to capture on camera because the lighting in the room is weird most of the day. You can see a few of the dinosaurs already in his collection hanging out in the crib and a cute little dino bin from Hobby Lobby off to the right. I have all of his bedding and room decor on my baby registry since I don't need much other than nursery stuff, baby boy clothes and diapers for this little one. Hopefully I'll have a fun nursery to share with y'all by the 34 week bumpdate!

Movement: 
This kid is always on the move. Some days it's hard for me to tell what position he's lying in because he seems to poke, prod and jab at me from all angles! I'm happy to announce that he is head down! Over the last week I had a feeling he was based on some of the main pressure points I was feeling. When the ultrasound tech confirmed it, I was so excited. Now I just need him to stay that way.

Sleep:
I've been so tired in the evenings that going to bed is not a problem for me at all! I wake up a time or two to take a potty break and I'm up for good around 6:30am most days. I'm hoping I can keep this up and get as much sleep as possible before he arrives and I'm up all the time!


Workouts: 
Walking, easy jogging and lower intensity workouts all the way. Here's what my last week looked like:

Wednesday: 2.85 mile walk
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: 3.5 mile run {yes, I really ran!}
Saturday: All the walking and swimming around Schlitterbahn
Sunday: Rest/River Float Day
Monday: 45 minute cycle class + 30 minute Tabata class
Tuesday: 2.3 mile walk
Wednesday: 2.5 mile jog/walk 

What I Miss: 
Being comfortable in the evenings! I feel too full no matter how much or how early I eat. My back and feet ache. I can't find a position that feels good to actually relax. I'm just done by the end of the day and I'm not that pleasant to be around. God bless JP for being so patient and loving me while I grow our baby.


Belly Button in or out?
It's out there.

Labor Signs:
Occasional Braxton Hicks, but that's about it!

Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Not these days


Best Moments The Past Weeks: 
Our family trip to New Braunfels this past weekend! We had a blast at Schlitterbahn and floating the river.
We also got to see pictures of Baby Boy during our growth scan today which was amazing! I didn't have an ultrasound with Chloe after the 20 week scan, so it's nice to see him later in pregnancy.

Looking forward to:
My baby shower in just over 2 weeks and a beach day trip today with Chloe and JP just because we can!

There you have it. 30 week down and hopefully only 10 more to go! Some days I like being pregnant and most I don't, but I would do it over and over again to grow these babies that I love so much. 30 weeks is a big milestone and baby boy's birth is so tangible now. We even talked about labor and delivery a bit with my OB yesterday. While I'm not looking forward to being hugely pregnant over July and August, I'm honored to be this boy's mommy. I would carry him through the summer all over again if it meant he came to me healthy! 

Now we're off to the beach for the day simply because we can! Just checking another thing off our summer bucket list with Chloe...which I plan to share with y'all next week. Have a fabulous weekend y'all!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Disneyland Paris is for Twirly Skirts and Sparkly Ears


My last Disneyland Paris post stated that Monday's need Disney magic. You know what else needs Disney magic? Wednesdays! I have so many beautiful and fun pictures from Disneyland Paris sitting on my phone and computer that I just want to share with the world! We had an amazing and magical time exploring Disney with our little girl. Today I just want to share some fun and happy pictures from our second day there! 

Soon I'll get around to sharing some awesome tips for those of you thinking about or actually planning a trip to Disneyland Paris. But today, it'll be more pictures than words!



Those of you wondering, my skirt was specially made for me by my friend Rachael over at Pineapple Tree by Rae. She makes fabulous felt and sequin skirts that are the perfect accessory for any Disney park or cruise! Even pregnant I felt so fabulous in it which is why I had to take so many pictures!



As you can see, we started the morning with a photoshoot! We got into the park early with extra magic hours, so I took advantage of the bright sunny morning and lack of crowds to take some fun shots.


My ears are from Diamond and Wire and my watch bows are from Mouse on Main Street. Both shops are run by wonderful women that are SO easy to work with! I highly recommend both of them.

My diamond ears are actually double sided so they glitter and sparkle from all angles! They have several colors of diamonds to choose from as well as some FABULOUS bows. They also make wire ears hence the Diamond and Wire. If you want to look as extra as you really are, definitely find your way over there before your next Disney trip!


I mean, just look at how extra and fab my hubby looks!




After pictures we decided to focus on little Chlo and ride her favorites. First up, Prince Charming's Carousel!




I mean, just look at that cheese y'all!


A pit stop for a photo op before going to ride her other fave, Dumbo! I will say that Disneyland Paris has TONS of places to snap pictures which I absolutely loved.



We were so excited to meet Mickey and I knew that Chloe would just love him. But of course, she was in a funky mood when the time came to see him and she wasn't having it at all. Don't fret, our Mickey visit did not go to waste because this momma had a blast and got some great solo shots with the main Mouse!




 Later we did a walk through of Sleeping Beauty's Castle!


The tapestries that told the story of Sleeping Beauty were simply stunning! It was fun to walk through, but there were quite a few people. I would wait to go until later in the day instead of right around lunchtime when everyone is in the area! 


We had lunch with the princesses which I plan to share our character dining experiences in a post by themselves, but it was magical. It was quite a long lunch and we were pooped afterwards. It offered the perfect chance to head back to the hotel for Chloe to nap while mommy and daddy rested.


It was definitely needed and we obviously look recharged and ready to take on the evening! Also these princesses needed a quick outfit chance to combat the afternoon/evening sun. It was no joke.



We promised Chloe that we would go to the park as soon as we got to Disney. There were actually two parks for little ones to play at which was amazing! She just wanted to run around and slide without having to wait in line, so we stayed there for a while. JP was able to go ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while Chloe played.



Then it was back over to Fantasyland. We loved the Storybook boat ride as you can see by the over excited cheese that Chloe has going on. I mean, how could you not love riding through the actual Cave of Wonder?!


And of course the carousel one more time as the sun was setting!



I knew that I wanted to stay for fireworks at least one evening and this one was perfect. Since we got a nice mid afternoon nap, I thought we could make it up a bit later. We grabbed a spot off to the right of the castle about 30 minutes before showtime and it was worth the wait! Poor little Chlo was wiped and ended up falling asleep in her stroller just a few minutes before the fireworks and slept through the whole show.




Of course my awesome firework shots are videos, but these are just a few of the snaps I was able to get! The fireworks are definitely worth staying for. I wish that Chloe would have seen them because I know she would have loved them! But that little girl was not interested waking up.

So like I said in the post title, Disneyland Paris is for twirly skirts and sparkly ears. It's for feeling fabulous and a little extra. It's for having a blast and living through the eyes of your child. It's for enjoying every little bit yourself without a hint of guilt. It's for living your best life, smiling and soaking up the most magical place on earth.

I hope some of these pictures brought a little more joy to your Wednesday! It certainly lifted mine!


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