Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Summer Activities for Your Toddler at Home!

Summer is definitely here y'all. It may have "officially" started two days ago, but it started last month in Houston. Last summer, Chloe was still young enough to just go along for the ride. We were content inside playing together, running my errands and going with the flow, plus she took multiple naps. {Yay naps!} Now we're in the throws of toddlerdom...almost two. We're constantly on the go with my busy girl. The only problem is that she's actually kind of a homebody. She loves to be at home and hang out with her momma, so I've been trying to come up with some fun at home! Don't get me wrong, we're out and about fairly often, but I'm trying to have her home for most of the day a few days a week. I thought I'd share some of my current go-to summer activities at home or near home!

one. backyard splash pad


This splash pad was gifted to me by a neighbor and it is one of our favorites! {I know I've blogged about it before, but it really is that awesome!} Chloe always tries to drag it out from behind the grill when she's ready to play. We usually set the kiddie pool beside it because she loves to jump back and forth between the two. The best part about the splash pad is that she can play in it for an hour or more without wanting to do something different. Let's be real, her attention span is pretty short. Since we're outside in our backyard, there are tons of different things we can do! With the water on out there, we don't get too hot. You pretty much need water if your going to be outside during Houston summers. One of my favorite things about our splash pad days is that we can have a picnic lunch on the porch as a quick break before she heads out to play again!

If you don't have a little splash pad, a baby pool, sprinkler or any water source outside will do!

two. indoor playroom tent


Y'all this is another awesome gift Chloe received from one of her friends! We set it up in her game room with her table, chair and baby dolls. It really encourages independent play which helps this momma get things done. She'll go in there and play with her play dough, crayons, books and tea set, and occasionally come out to give me some tea or ask me to help her color or read a book. She's constantly going in and out of her princess tent to get something else to add to her collection. The best part about this tent is that I can see how it will grow with her. Eventually she'll play pretend even more and I can see this as a tool to enhance her creativity!

If you don't have a sort of indoor play structure, you can build one! Build a fort for you little one to play pretend in, you won't regret it.

three. park day


Okay, this isn't exactly an "at home" activity. But as far as I'm concerned, it is! I tell Chloe that we're going to the park and her face lights up! We're lucky enough to have a park just a half mile away, so we can load up the jogging stroller and walk over. I like to think that one day we'll have a big play set in our backyard, but for now, walking to the park is an adventure that Chloe looks forward to. She could swing for hours! When she's not on the swings, she loves to climb up and down the play structure and eventually goes down the slide. During the summer, it gets HOT at the park. We try to go in the morning because it's too hot the rest of the day. I also pack our swim gear in the stroller just in case. If we start to get overheated, we can just head to the pool to cool off! We've ended up in the pool a few times already and summer has just begun. It's totally worth it though because Chloe loves the park so much.


four. magic painting/coloring


Usborne to the summer rescue! I ordered the Magic Painting Book earlier this year thinking that Chloe would be ready for it by spring/summer, and I was so right. I went through my stack of books that I'm saving for a rainy day and found this one! Since every day isn't a good day to be outside, it's nice have some great indoor back up activities. Chloe is a little young for full fledged arts and crafts, but we still like to be creative and get our brains working! The best part about the Magic Painting Book is that you just need water and the colors come to life on the paper! We also love the Crayola Color Wonder books and the Magic Ink activity books. I'm not quite ready for markers on the walls, so we stick with the clear stuff. Chloe is entertained enough by it! I also give her crayons and coloring books of course. She'll sit and switch between coloring and painting for a little while especially if I'm doing it with her. If you're interested in Usborne book, let me know! I can hook you up with my amazing book lady.


five. plant a garden


You may not be ready for a full fledged garden, but even planting some flowers in a pot can be fun for your toddler. These pictures were taken at my parent's house earlier this year, but planting our flower beds is on our to do list for next week, assuming it doesn't rain all week. I know that Chloe will get wet anytime there is water around, so I put her in a swim suit and lathered her up with sunscreen for this adventure. You can let your toddler help with shoveling and spreading soil, digging a hole for the plant, and watering your pretty flowers! I found a little Melissa and Doug gardening kit at Home Goods, but it's on Amazon too. She loved helping and getting her little hands dirty!

If you have a little homebody like me, or if you just need a couple days at home if your toddler, here are some great options for you and your little one! The best thing about these ideas is that you can tailor them to fit what you have at home. Don't think that you need to go out and spend a lot of money to make sure your toddler is having fun. For the most part, they just want to play with you! The more you can engage with them, them more fun they'll have and the longer they'll want to play.

Happy summer y'all! Stay cool and have fun. I know we will!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

This Weekend I...



Once upon a time, I used to have fun weekend recaps on this blog to share with y'all my fun adventures! It's been a while since I did one of these, but I had a fun weekend so why not give it a go!

This weekend I...
  • went to my tumbling class Friday evening and did a half! I'm scared to do my full again, but I got half way there. Baby steps y'all. We'll see what this Friday has in store for me.
  • attended the Sportsman Gala benefiting Curing Children's Cancer Fund! A family friend of ours is the president for Curing Children's Cancer Fund and he invited us to come. Since it was put on by the Chelsea and Manchester United Houston fan clubs, they invited famous former players to speak. I was very impressed by Norman Whiteside's speech. He was so engaging and incredibly hilarious. It was also great that we were able to spend time with the Fergusons and JP's parents. 


  •  spent Saturday morning with my best girl while JP golfed with his friends!


  •  ran with Chloe to the new, smaller pool! It's a little over a mile away, so I got a nice little workout in before we played. We were originally going to play at the park, but I knew that as soon as Chloe saw the pool she would want swim. So luckily I packed a lunch box with snacks and a bag with our swim gear. Chloe thinks that swimming requires snacks, so a lunch box is always necessary. We ran around and played at the park for about 15 minutes before the pool opened then we headed straight in.
  • had a blast swimming with my baby girl. She's obsessed with the water and always has a great time. This pool has a great shallow section and a small play structure with a slide that Chloe can do all by herself. We'll be going to this pool a lot. We love our community pools!


  •  crashed hard after our park/pool/run time. Chloe napped for 2 1/2 hours while I got a few things done and sat on the couch.
  • ordered Mexican food to go and JP picked it up because we were all too tired to get dressed and go to dinner. Instead, we ate at our table in jammies and went to bed at 9:00pm...on a Saturday. No shame in my game. I stayed up late for the gala on Friday, so I get a free pass.


  •  celebrated Father's Day at my parents' house!
  • ate wayyyyyyy too much watermelon. Mostly Chloe ate too much watermelon, but I ate quite a bit too. It's so delicious!


  • went swimming again with my family! We were literally outside all day and it was perfect. We watched the Aggie baseball game {which didn't exactly end the way we wanted}, swam all day, had a few drinks, smoked ribs on the pit, laughed and did lots of ridiculous things because we can.



It was pretty much an awesome weekend. We didn't do too much and we didn't sit around and do nothing. Those are the best. You get to relax, but you feel like you did something at the same time. We also got this pretty awesome family picture...



Why yes, that is me standing on my husband's shoulders with our almost 2 year old daughter just floating in front of us. HA! Her eyes are open, just look closely.

Anyways, I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday goes by quickly! Happy Monday y'all!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A California Adventure


I'm finally finished going through all of my pictures and I'm ready to share with y'all our final day from our Disneyland adventure! Like with all of my Disney posts, I hope you're ready for lots of pictures and reliving my day. I love going back through everything!


After I finished my race, we got back to the hotel, I cleaned up and we hit the park as quick as we could! Today was Disney's California Adventure day! It was also Mother's Day, so as soon as we got into the park, we saw this sign next to tables filled with carnations. Disney really just does everything right! I let Chloe help me pick the prettiest bright pink one and we were on our way. First stop...meeting Anna and Elsa, Chloe's FAVORITE!


While we were waiting in line, Chloe was mesmerized with the videos playing all around her! They were playing favorite Disney songs and showing videos of the creative process for the characters. It was really cool actually. Since I love Disney songs, I was pretty mesmerized too.

After a quick 10 minute wait, we got to meet Olaf!


I was pretty excited about it as you can see. It took Chloe a few minutes to warm up to him though. He was the first character she met of the day after all.


She did hand over her book aka her autograph book which she is quite attached to. Olaf is an artist in case you're wondering. His signature is a self portrait, which Chloe loved.


Eventually Chloe did decide to give Olaf a high five and a kiss on the nose. It was so adorable and I'm bummed they didn't get a good picture of either one! At least we got a great picture of her big happy smile when we told her to say cheese!



Next up we got to meet Anna and Elsa! I think Chloe was a little star struck because she got kind of shy as we went to meet them. Can you blame the girl? They are her favorite princesses after all.



We couldn't get her to smile for a picture and she went into "I want my daddy" mode, but that's okay. What was more important to me was the HUGE smile on her face and her constant jabbering about Anna and Elsa that made it all worth it to me. Even though she was shy in front of them, she was so happy to meet them.

After meeting Chloe's favorite Disney characters, we were on our way to It's a Bugs Land!



This area is meant specifically for the little ones. Usually I'd be headed to the best ride, but this morning was about Chloe and just having fun with her before she got tired and cranky. {Remember, girlfriend had been up since 5am for my race and it's already about 10am at this point!} The first ride we did was Francis' Ladybug Boogie which is a ladybug version of the teacups! Chloe thought it was hilarious while Mommy and Daddy were feeling a little woozy towards the end.


Next up was Flik's Fliers which is similar to a flying swings type ride as you can see above. Chloe was so excited while we were standing in line. Luckily it was only about a 10 minute wait!


We were first on so we even got to pick our box of goodies to sit in. Chloe chose the raisins of course. She loves them, and this ride! She wanted to get back in line after we did it, but of course it double in size while we were waiting, so we opted to move on.

If you have little ones, this area is so perfect for them! They also have Hemlich's Chew Chew Train, Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies {you have to be 36" tall for this one} and Princess Dot's Splash Park! If we had been around the splash park later in the day, we definitely would have played there, but there was still a cool morning breeze.


We thought we'd check out the single ride line for Radiator Springs Racers, so Chloe and I stopped off at Flo's V8 Cafe while JP took at look. The plan was for him to ride it if it wasn't too long, but of course it was about 45 minutes which meant an hour and a half for both of us. To the Fast Pass station it was!


We grabbed some Fast Passes and went on our way around to the Boardwalk. We checked the Disneyland app on our phones {which is awesome by the way} and saw the California Screamin' Roller Coaster had a short wait! When we got there, the guys manning the ride entrance helped us out even more and told us the fastest way for both of us to get to ride it! It only took 30 minutes for both of us and Chloe got a tiny, little 15 minute nap while JP rode. The transfer from carrier to stroller didn't work like it had the day before.


On the plus side, since she was awake and we were right by King Triton's Carousel. Since "the horsies" were her favorite ride at Disneyland Park, how could we pass it up? Plus I got what is quite possibly one of my favorite pictures from the day! And in case you're wondering, Chloe is riding a colorful "sheshe" aka fishey while I'm on a dolphin.


As we were walking along trying to decide what to do next, we spotted Ariel's Undersea Adventure. The line was only 20 minutes long, so we had to jump in. Chloe of course loved the ride, but didn't love waiting in line so much. She was getting crabby, so we had to bribe her with some gummies. She was mesmerized by the ride. She recognized the songs and said "Oliol! Oliol!" aka Ariel every time we saw her.


For the next little bit of time, we actually just walked around taking everything in. I needed a caffeine pick me up since I had been up since 3:30am and run a half marathon, so I grabbed an iced coffee. We were kind of hoping Chloe would fall asleep plus we wanted to see the whole park, so why not take the time to walk and see it! We walked down the Boardwalk and along Paradise Pier and around Grizzly Peak. Did you know that the Grand Californian Hotel has an entrance directly into the park in Grizzly Peak? It was so awesome! Most of the rides in that area have height requirements, so we just walked through not wanted to deal with a long wait and rider swaps.

As we were walking, we spotted Judy Hops! Chloe wasn't falling asleep, so we had to meet her. We love Zootopia. The best part is that they were about to close her line to give her a break, but they let us in! Just a heads up, Judy doesn't sign autograph books because her signature in classified. She is a super cop/detective after all!


Since Chloe wasn't going to sleep, we decided to stop for a late lunch. At this point, it was about 1pm and Chloe had been up for 8 hours. She was determined not to sleep. At least she was being pretty good, so I wasn't complaining much. I just wanted my girl to be comfortable and happy. We ended up eating in Paradise Garden at the end of the Boardwalk area. I had a Mediterranean chicken kabob meal that was delicious! I didn't realize just how hungry I was!

After lunch, we wandered back up to the front of the park to ride the Monster's Inc ride and save Boo! It was much brighter and less scary than the rides like this at Disneyland, so Chloe wasn't yelling or crying the entire time. In fact, she liked it! 

For the next two hours, we watched some shows on Buena Vista Street, looked through the shops, saw some characters, grabbed a Mickey pretzel and finally at 4:00pm, we were able to get into line for the 4:30pm showing of Frozen. Y'all this was a Broadway style Frozen musical and it was amazing!


It was 100% worth getting in line as soon as they let you to see the show. My original thought was that Chloe would be completely exhausted and fall asleep during the hour long show. Nope. She was amazed, stayed quiet and paid attention for the whole show!



Throughout the show, anytime there was a scene change, Chloe would say "Anna? Anna?" because she wanted her to come back. It was adorable. Since she loved the show so much, we went back to see Anna and Elsa again. Maybe she would smile the second time around?


Not quite.


She was still shy, but she said hi and gave them high fives! Anna and Elsa also remembered Chloe which I thought was kind of adorable. I mean they have to see so many kids every day! 


Once we met Anna and Elsa again, Chloe couldn't stop talking about it which meant that it was completely worth going again! We had a little bit of time before our dinner reservation, so we walked over to Carsland to ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. This ride has a 32" height requirement that we weren't sure if Chloe would meet, but she did! Our little bug is getting so big!

Chloe was super tired in line and ended up falling asleep in my arms. Finally right? It's 7:00pm at this point and Chloe had been up for 14 hours with a 15 minute nap. We thought that she would wake up once we got on the ride but NOPE!


Y'all she slept straight through this ride. It swings you around in circles and is actually really fun, but I don't know how on Earth she slept through it!

We had dinner reservations at Carathy Circle which is one of the fancy restaurants at California Adventure! It has a Golden-era of Hollywood vibe with beautiful decorations, hand crafted cocktails and a cozy vibe. And Chloe continued to sleep through it all.


Luckily we were sat at a half booth table, so we were able to lay Chloe down on the bench. She slept right through dinner which meant that we were able to enjoy a quiet dinner alone!


The food was amazing here. Seriously, so delicious. We started with the Carathy Signature Fried Biscuits. You have to get these. For my main course, I ordered the Sesame and ginger crusted salmon. It came with a miso-lime broth on a bed of coconut red rice.


It was nice to have a quiet dinner without fighting with Chloe, trying to figure out what she actually wants to eat and reasoning with her to sit in her high chair. Instead we were able to talk and have uninterrupted adult conversations. Pretty much date night at Disney and we didn't even have to pay for a babysitter!


We finished with dinner and had just enough time to use our Fast Passes for the Radiator Springs Racers. We had to take turns since little Chlo was still fast asleep. I rode it then put her in our carrier while JP was riding. As JP was riding, the announcements came on that park was closing. Somehow I managed to wake up at 3:30am and stay at the park until it closed at 10:00pm. We were all exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel for a good nights sleep! Pretty much the best Disney day we could have asked for!

In case you missed it, here are some other posts from our Disneyland trip!

Downtown Disney & Expo | Breakfast with Minnie | Disneyland Park | Tinkerbell Half Marathon

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Chloe Photo Dump


Monday! Hello friends and happy Monday. Or happy-ish Monday? We might as well make it kind of happy right? I have a few pictures that may make Monday just a little bit better!

Last week I was mom-ing it solo, and I kind of lost my mind a little bit. This was definitely the hardest week I've had Chloe alone. She's becoming quite the two year old and she's testing me quite a bit. The good news is that JP is back and I may just have some time to blog again!


Instead of being super wordy, I thought I'd just share some of the many pictures I have of Chloe over the past month. I have so many pictures on my phone and I just want to share them somewhere!


Here is Chloe crying at the doctor's office because I won't let her climb on the rolling chair. Bad momma as Chloe would say. Instead of comforting my crying girl, I decided to take a picture because she's kind of cute when she cries!

I shared a similar one to the one above on Instagram, but I can't help it, I have to share another! Chloe thinks that necklaces are supposed to be worn under your chin. Every time I try to put it around her neck she gets mad at me and takes it off. The best part about is that I get adorable pictures of her cheeks and double chin.


When Chloe wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and I know it's going to be a day, I let her pick out her outfit and it's always going to be Anna or Elsa. I will say that she totally rocks her dresses though.


Another way to make Chloe super happy when she's acting two is to take her to see Emmy. When in doubt, my sister can always make Chlo happy. It's probably because she does really weird things and makes up strange games and let's Chloe do things that I wouldn't let her.


Chloe and I had an okay week last week, but I'm looking forward to a good week this week. JP is back home, and this past weekend, we spent time with both of our families. Aggie baseball in College Station and swimming in Sugar Land.


There you have it. All the cute pictures of Chloe. Most of the time she's being pretty nice in them. Here's to hoping today is a happy-ish Monday and that Chloe is a good-ish girl this week! So far, so good!

Also, my final Disneyland post is FINALLY going up tomorrow! Stay tuned...

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