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!


Monday, June 11, 2018

Schlitterbahn with a Toddler


Those of you that don't know, Schlitterbahn is a waterpark in New Braunfels, TX with over 70 acres of water slides, tube chutes, pools, hot tubs and resorts. We've been going to Schlitterbahn with my family since I was in 7th grade! Back when I was in school, my family would stay on the Schlitterbahn property at the resort for a long weekend, so we could enjoy the waterpark for a couple of days. It's definitely big enough for a multiday experience! These days we usually go for a weekend adventure playing at Schlitterbahn one day and floating the river the next. We even did this for my sister's bachelorette weekend two years ago!

This past weekend we did Schlitterbahn on Saturday and floated the river Sunday with Chloe in tow! I thought I'd share some of my dos and don'ts on doing Schlitterbahn with a toddler.

"I just want to go play and have fun Mom! Stop taking pictures of me!"

Packing your cooler.

You can bring food into Schlitterbahn, just make sure you don't have any alcohol {though they do sell it at the parks if you're interested} or glass in your cooler or bags. Make sure to pack lots of snacks that your toddler and you will enjoy! We try to stock up with lots of fruit, yogurt pouches, cookies and sandwich supplies. The snacks will be necessary with all the walking and moving you'll do all day.

Choosing a home base location.
When you get to the park, the first thing you need to do is find the perfect table to claim with all of your stuff for the day. This is going to be your home base, so make sure you choose wisely. I highly recommend being around the big lagoon in the main park. There is a kiddie area in the far, back corner. If you have a toddler, try to get near there so it's easy to go back and forth.

Storing your valuables.
There are lockers for rent in several areas around the park. I highly recommend getting one of these for your group. Go ahead and throw all of your phones, wallets and keys in together. This is why most of my pictures are from the end of the day because who needs a phone when you're having so much fun!


Toddler areas to check out.
There are several areas geared specifically to little swimmers!
In Schlitterbahn West or the Original Park

  • Lagoon Kiddie Park: This is the one I mentioned above. Several small slides in shallow water for the little ones!
  • Lagoon: Great for swimming around with mom and dad or relaxing in a tube.
  • Schatze's Central Park: Small child area with several slides and fun water features. Designed to look like a little German town.
  • Polywog Pond: Water fantasy area for little ones!
I'll admit, we spent most of our time with Chloe at the Lagoon Kiddie Park because it was close to our table. There are tables near the Polywog Pond area, but I don't think there area by Schatze's Central Park. But you'll definitely pass by Schatze's while you're walking around after finishing a tube chute. You'll even pass by it while floating along the Raging River and Cliffhanger!

In Schlitterbahn East 
Blastenhoff

  • Kinderhaven: A small pirate ship with slides for little ones. It's right off of the main wave pool, so it's easy to get to and see!
  • Han's Hideout: More supervision needed here, but it's the bigger pirate ship with easy body slides for kids. Toddlers can definitely do this, but you'll need an adult to take them up to the slide and another to wait for them at the bottom. You can't ride with them, so you'll find yourself running to the bottom if you're solo!
  • Torrent River/Wave Pool: This is a wavy lazy river. There are bottomed tubes for small riders, but make sure you hold onto them tight because the waves can get BIG! Chloe loved floating around and then playing in the waves at the wave pool.

Tubenbach

  • Sea Creature Cove: Shallow pool with several slides and water features for little ones. Chloe didn't play in here, but we stopped in to stand under the water mushroom!
Surfenburg
  • Kiddie Coast: Fun activity area for kids. This is a larger area with a pirate ship and submarine with lots of slides and space to play.
  • Kristal River: Lazy river with a quick pace! There are bottomed tubes to float in as well as some alligators to climb and ride around on.
Taking your toddler on bigger rides.
You know your toddler best, so depending on how brave and comfortable in the water they are will determine what you think they can ride! Obviously many body slides and tube slides have height requirements. Be sure to obey these requirements as they are set there for a reason. However, tube chutes don't have height requirements. These are the much longer rides lasting from 10-30+ minutes with varying levels of intensity. These are found in the old park and in Tubenbach. Chloe rode everything in the lower intensity list except Cliffhanger because we were getting snacks and playing in the Kiddie Park again.

Lower Intensity
  • Raging River
  • Cliffhanger
  • Congo River Expedition
  • The Falls
High Intensity: due to larger quick moving slides
  • WhiteWater Rapids
  • Hillside

In case you're wondering, I did go on the tube chutes that Chloe went on with no problem at all! They are quick at times and there are some slides on them, but nothing too alarming. Again, make sure you know your body and what you're capable on in pregnancy before riding. Don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable!

Traveling between parks.
There are free buses for you to use when transfering between Schlitterbahn East and West parks! You can choose to pack up your stuff and move it with you when you head over to another park, or you can leave your belongings at your table. We usually leave ours at the main park so we don't have to worry about packing up and unloading again. In over 15 years, we've never had any trouble with people stealing our stuff! If you feel more comfortable bringing your things, there are tons of tables available at each park. Just know that you may have more difficulty finding a table during the busiest part of the day!

Whatever you do, make sure you have fun! Schlitterbahn is one of my favorite summertime destinations. It's fun for all ages! This time I loved taking it a bit easier, skipping some of the bigger rides and playing with my girl in the kiddie areas. Don't get me wrong, I was able to do some things with my siblings while Chloe hung back with her grandparents. It was nice having both JP and my parents there to help out a little! It gave me the chance to relax or play. 


One more recommendation I have for Schlitterbahn is to go with a group! It doesn't have to be a huge group, but having a few friends or family makes it so much fun! If you have a toddler along with you, it also gives you that many more hands for helping!

Schlitterbahn is a must do in Texas if you have a free weekend or weekday that you're looking to fill! You get to beat the Texas heat and have fun at the same time. I highly recommend it and I'm pretty sure Chloe does too!

What are some of your favorite things to do with a toddler during the summer?
Have you ever taken your toddler to a waterpark? What do you recommend?


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