Friday, April 28, 2017

Flying with a Lap Toddler

The countdown is on, just two weeks, only 14 days until we take a family trip to Disneyland!!! Just the three of us and I can't wait. You know what that means? Another flight with little Chloe! Let's just say that at this point, Chloe is a pretty excellent flier. She's been on six round trip flights, five of which she rode on my lap and one we flew across the Atlantic. Not every experience has been great, but for the most part she's a champion. This trip to Anaheim is going to be her last flight as a lap child! All under two children can fly for free as a lap child which is great, but the older and bigger they get, the harder it is! Since I've had a bit of experience, I thought I'd share some of my tips and tricks to flying with a lap toddler.

one. Pack your carry on properly. Here's what you need:
  • SNACKS! Pack all the snacks. Seriously, if you think you have enough, go ahead and pack some more. You can't have enough. See first picture in this post. Toddler in the aisle eating snacks before the flight even takes off. It's true. 
  • Snack cup with lid. It helps keep the snacks contained and your risk of having snacks all over the place is slightly smaller.
  • Books. Pack a book or two in your bag. I recommend grabbing one of your toddler's favorites and a brand new one. The old fave will be one that you know can entertain them for a few minutes. The new one is well, new! Something new always helps to keep their attention for a little bit longer.
  • An extra activity. Coloring book, wipe dry board, magic ink book and pen, something that can keep their little hands busy. If there are two of you with your toddler, one person can hold your toddler and the other can let down their table tray for activities. 
  • Extra diapers and wipes. You never know what will happen. Once Chloe had a poop before the plane AND a poosplosion on the plane! It was messy. Very messy. Extra wipes and diapers were so helpful to have on hand. Another situation to think about is there's always a possibility of having your flight delayed. You never know what could happen!
  • Extra clothes. Be sure to pack a full outfit for your toddler. Spills, diaper leaks, poosplosions (see above), so many things can make a mess in a toddler's hands. Also pack extra clothes for you! Even if it's just a shirt. You never know if you're going to get puked on, spilled on, etc. I was so glad to have an extra shirt when Chloe poosploded everywhere!
  • A lovie. Don't forget your toddlers lovie, baby or stuffed animal. Something that comforts them when they're tired or frustrated. If you're lucky, maybe they'll snuggle you and nap on the flight...I did say if you're lucky, not that it was likely to happen :)
  • Tablet. See below for more info on this one!

two. If you can, take advantage of a lounge before flights.
Now I realize that this one is challenging and you can't always make it happen, but if you have the opportunity take advantage! {If you have an airlines credit card, they usually give you a couple of lounge passes per year!} Being in a lounge space allows your little one to have more space to roam preflight and it gives you a little more piece of mind. I always know that if Chloe is walking around in the lounge that she can't go far, and I can see her most of the time! If we're together, JP and I will take turns following her wherever she wants to go while the other relaxes and has a glass of wine. Another benefit of the lounge are all of the snacks! Snacks + Toddlers = Sanity. Always grab a little cupful of whichever one your toddler likes best to go!

three. Load up your tablet with toddler friendly fun!
Don't hesitate to go against what you would normally do at home to keep your toddler entertained. Load up your tablet with movies, shows and apps that you think will hold your toddler's attention while on the flight. Make sure you have options because if one doesn't work, you can move on to the next show or play with another app. Here are some of our go tos and new apps I've downloaded for this trip!
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode
  • Lion Guard episode 
  • Frozen
  • Peek-a-Zoo
  • Sound Touch
  • Eric Carle's My Very First App
  • Drawing Pad

four. Plan your flight in 10-15 minute slots.
Don't assume that since your flight is during naptime that your toddler will sleep. The craziness and excitement of travel will likely keeps them awake even though you're dying for them to just pass out. If they do sleep, you rock and your flight should be awesome! Since they probably won't, plan out your flight in 10-15 minute intervals. 10 minutes to read books, 15 minutes to watch a show, 10 minutes to color, 10 minutes to read another book, 15 minutes of a movie, 10 minutes on an app, 10 minutes for stickers, so on and so forth. You obviously aren't trying to schedule out the flight, but instead you're planning out the right amount of things to bring and/or download.

five. If everything starts to go wrong, don't give up.
Not every flight is a good one. Even if you have a toddler that has been flying since they were born, you're bound to have a flight or even part of a flight that just sucks. If you're lucky, a kind stranger nearby will help you out by holding something or playing peekaboo. If you're not lucky, you'll get ugly death stares and rude comments. I've dealt with both situations. When you're in the throws of the on flight tantrums, everything feels horrible and like it will never end. Trust me when I say that it will be okay. You know your toddler the best. Continue doing what you think will make things better for them. One thing to remember is that they don't know how to handle the pressure in their little ears, so if everything is failing, try a sucker!

Just remember that you are your toddler's favorite person or at least one of them! Pack things you think will keep them happy. Don't forget to add a few new surprises, presents are the best after all. If you're toddler just can't stay in place, let them walk up and down the aisles. Only if the pilot has okayed being out of your seatbelt of course! Do what you think is best and you'll make it through!

Now I'm just counting down until we get to board our flight to take us on our Disneyland family vacation! Until then, I'm going to enjoy the weekend. Happy Friday y'all!

Do you have any other tips to traveling with little people?
What are your favorite apps for toddlers?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chloe Meets Slider

Last weekend we went to the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy to watch Kristin compete at the NRBC with her horse Slider! Chloe was excited to get to put on her boots and see all of the neighhhhs aka horses. Her favorite part was walking along the stables and looking at all the horses. She would point at them and neigh with the biggest smile on her face!

We were able to watch Kristin compete at this same show last year when Chloe met slider for the very first time. She was pretty little and had no clue what was going on, but it was fun to see her reaction to Slider! 

As with everything else Chloe related, this year was so different! Last year at the show, Chloe sat in her stroller being a good, quiet little baby. This year...oh boy. She wanted to get up and down off of the chairs. Then she wanted to stomp around in her boots. Then she started screaming for Anna aka Frozen. A screaming toddler isn't the best at the arena because you don't want to spook the horses! So what Chloe wanted, Chloe got. Good thing I came prepared with the iPad charged and ready to go.

She plopped herself down in the middle of the floor and made herself at home with Anna!

After a few minutes it was Kristin's turn and she did great. She scored at 65 out of 70 and on Sunday she got 68 out of 70 which was her best score! I don't know a lot about horses or reigning, but I'm super proud of Kristin and all of her accomplishments!

Once Kristin was finished, Chloe was able to go for a ride with Kristin on Slider! She was kind of reluctant at first, but she ended up having a blast. She was waving to all of the other horses, talking to Kristin and of course neighing. It was kind of the cutest thing ever. I'm a little biased though.

I'm so thankful that my daughter has a love for animals. I love animals so much and I want her to as well! I think all of the trips to the zoo are paying off!

The horse show was such a fun adventure and something completely out of our day to day. Chloe had a great time and I got some adorable pictures. I also got to spend time with one of my closest friends that I've known for over 20 years. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Now we're back to the day to day. It's been a pretty low key week which is very needed! Happy Hump Day y'all!

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Favorites: Products I've been obsessing over lately.

Here's the deal. I've been thinking about several different things that I've bought, received or finally used over the past few weeks, and I knew I needed to share them with y'all! There a little all over the place, but read on and I promise you won't regret it. Who knows, maybe one of these things you'll just have to try! It is Friday after all!
A few weeks ago I received this palette from Influenster for testing purposes. Just so y'all know, I'm not required to share it on my blog. But I really like it, so here I am sharing with y'all the shimmery beauty of this palette. I'm not a full face of make up every day kind of girl. In fact, most days I swipe on some mascara, touch up my eyebrows and call it a day. However, lately I've been wanting to to play with the eye shadow colors and see if I can find a fun new look. On Easter Sunday, my sister-in-love who is a makeup wizard, did my eyes with this palette. See how it turned out below!

As far as the colors of the palette go, they are beautiful and range from pale nudes to darker natural & jewel tones. Compared to other palettes, the colors aren't quite as vibrant as they appear in the case. It's not a bad thing though, just an observation. You need to get a little more color if you want to achieve the color in the palette, that's all. I personally like a more natural look, so the slightly muted colors allow me to play with some of the darker colors without looking out of my element. 

While I'm on the topic of makeup, I might as well share this amazing mascara with y'all! I got this in my box from Influenster as well to enhance the use of the palette. I'm definitely a mascara girl and wear it every day. I have a few different types, but none that work quite like this one. It's by far the best lengthening mascara that I've ever tried. The best thing is that you can buy it while your at your local drug store picking up medicine or perusing the aisles at Target! Plus it isn't nearly as expensive as the designer brands that do the exact same thing. I need to get a good before and after comparison because the pictures above don't completely do it justice! Let's just say that if you're looking for a good mascara, you should give this one a try.

three. prAna Kara Jeans
Last month, I blogged about the prAna brand and mentioned how comfortable and versatile their clothes are for every day. After I tested their Cleo t-shirt and Mantra pant, I decided that I wanted to try out their jeans. I've been needing some new jeans for a while since my body has changed so much post pregnancy and breastfeeding. I wasn't comfortable in any of my jeans and I only wanted to wear yoga pants or athletic shorts. After reading all the rave reviews on these jeans, they seemed like the best fit for me. Luckily I had a discount code, so I gave it a go.

Oh my goodness, best decision! These jeans are so comfortable. They have an amazing stretch and allow me to move around with ease. This is really important for chasing around a toddler on a daily basis. They also fit great around my hips and stomach. As a mom, the hips and belly area are our most self-conscience areas. Oh wait, that's all women! But seriously, the reason I hate most of my jeans is because how they fit me around my midsection. These fit without squeezing or sitting in awkward places. They also fit my legs because of the nice stretch. Rarely can I find a pant that fits my waist and thighs at the same time. I highly recommend these to everyone! Especially if you need jeans that allow ease of movement and you want to be comfy.

One of our amazing neighbors ordered this for Chloe as a welcome to the neighborhood gift. {I'm telling you we chose to live on the best street with the greatest neighbors in the whole world!} We've already used it several times and had all of her little friends over to play in it too! The kids love to run around, splash and go down the little whale slide. I also set up our plastic baby pool right next to it for them to hop in and out. It comes with rings to practice stacking, an inflatable shark and whale slide! It's fun to watch them try different things with all the pieces and use their imaginations with the water. I highly recommend this to anyone with little ones and a yard! 

five. Oster Cordless Electric Wine Opener
Okay this last one may seem kind of silly, but I'm obsessed. It's funny because JP and I received this for Christmas a couple of years ago and it's been sitting in the box. The other day while hosting a baby shower, I needed a wine opener and we couldn't find our usual one. I remembered putting this in one of the cabinets and busted it out. Why on Earth has this been in a box for years? Why did I not get this out sooner? It's magical. It has the foil cutter in a nice little holder on the back side of the charging stand. All you do is cut the foil, place the wine opener on top of the bottle, press down while pushing the button and it does the rest of the work! Everyone needs this in their life. Especially wine lovers like myself.

There you have it. Five products that I've been obsessing over and decided that I needed to share with y'all. I don't do this often, but I knew I should when I kept thinking about them when deciding what to blog about this week.

Now that I've shared my current must haves, please send some my way! What are the current products you feel like you can't live without these days? It can be anything! I want to know.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tornado Brain & Booty Burn

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a billion thoughts running through your head? Like what time is it? What is the weather like? Did I switch the wash to the dryer last night? How much coffee do we have left? Did the dogs destroy anything now that they're being left out at night? Did another bomb or weapon of mass destruction get dropped on some country while I was sleeping? Is Chloe going to sleep in today? Should I go for a run? What time should I go to the grocery store? All of the most random thoughts often pop into my brain when I wake up. Not every day. Many days I wake up in slow motion, but some days I wake up with a tornado in my brain. Like this morning for instance.

The only problem with all these thoughts is that they happened at 6:00am after I HAD to go potty. I couldn't fall back asleep without going potty, so I went, but that left me wide awake. With all of these crazy thoughts when I should have been going back to sleep. Then I finally got back to sleep and the alarm went off. Whomp whomp. Now granted it wasn't my alarm; it was JP's. I didn't necessarily have to get up, but with my brain in hyperdrive, there wasn't much sleeping to be done. I thought about getting up to go run, but my brain told me to drink coffee and finish this post instead.

Last week I had a little blogging block, so I just took a step back. I'm not sure that block is gone, but the wheels are turning. Definitely today. Luckily the wheels were turning yesterday too because I came up with this awesome workout to share with y'all!

Just in case you aren't sure exactly how to do one or all of the exercises above, here are some videos to show you how to do them properly!

1. Squat Jumps
2. Lunges
3. Single Leg Donkey Kicks
4. Straight Leg Dead Lift
5. Step Ups
6. Superman Lifts
7. Burpees

Caitlin, the GM of the gym and one of my close friends, took that pretty sweet picture of me above while I was teaching my Monday Tabata class!

Anyway, now I'm hoping to wind my brain down for a bit. Maybe I'll go for a run...which would actually not wind my brain down, it would rev it back up. Maybe I'll sit here and watch another episode of Gilmore Girls and have another cup of coffee. It's up for debate. Right now the coffee is kind of calling my name...

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Monday, April 17, 2017

He is Risen, Indeed!

Hallelujah! As a Christian, Easter is always a wonderful, joyful weekend in my house. This year's was by far the best. It was Chloe's second Easter, but her first one where she got to hunt eggs, open her Easter basket and actually partake in the experience.

Our Easter extravaganza started on Good Friday bright and early. The local HEB was having an egg hunt at 9:00am! We needed to grab a couple of things from the store for our neighborhood Easter, so why not wake up a little early.

It was Chloe's first egg hunt, so it was kind of special that it was just JP, Chlo and me. She was a little scared of all the kids running around, but got the hang of it after a little help from mom and dad. While we were grocery shopping, she opened one of the eggs and discovered the candy. Oh dear...not the candy. You'll find out why this turned out to be a problem later on.

 After our morning egg hunt, Chloe's friends Harper and Kate came over! I decided to have a little hunt for the girls, so I filled some eggs with puffs, yogurt melts and cheetos to hide around our yard. JP actually did the hiding, and I was impressed with his skills. The girls weren't too sure about it. Kate caught on quickly, Chloe ran around and Harper hung out in the clubhouse. Eventually they all got some eggs and ate everything inside.

After their hunt, it was all about the splash pad and baby pool! It was a gorgeous day for swimming and the girls loved it!

The girls played until nap time was a necessity. After Chloe's nap, the fun continued! (Yes, we're still on Friday in case you're wondering...) We went to our neighborhood's 3rd annual Kegs and Eggs! It was obviously our first time to attend, but our neighbors are fun. Just saying. Lots of food, all the neighbors, a kegs, more food, tons of kids running around and of course, eggs!

Somehow we managed to get a majority of the kids together in one spot for a picture before the egg hunt began! Chloe's group (0-3) was first! She picked up one egg and was done. Why you ask? She was too interested with what was inside the egg to find anymore. That's right, the candy. She was ready for the candy. Don't worry, the candy thing gets worse. She ended up getting 4 eggs at the neighborhood hunt and she was happy about that. Luckily one egg was chalk and one was stickers!

The best part about Friday is that Kate came to town!!! We hadn't seen her in far too long and she hadn't seen our house yet! It was perfect because she got to start off her trip by meeting all of our neighbors and going on an adult Easter egg hunt! That's right, an adult hunt and it was amazing. Each couple that wanted to participate brought 6 eggs. I filled mine with mini Fireball bottles! Kate took over for JP and we had a blast. The little kids hid the eggs and the grown ups ran at them like children. It was awesome! I ended up with several small bottles of vodka, panties, an a tiny view finder camera with some very flexible women inside...enough said.

It was an awesome party, and it's safe to say that we chose the right house on the best street in town! No joke.

Saturday morning we all slept in which was necessary. I made pancakes, we played outside and Chloe got to open her Easter basket from her Jojo and Pops!

Mimmie and Mickme! Needless to say, she was obsessed with it. A dinosaur coloring and sticker book? Score! Jojo knows what her granddaughter likes! Eventually we all got ready to head over to my parents' house to stuff Easter eggs and go swimming! But first, a pit stop at Bourbon Street Daquiris!

We grabbed a few daquiris after all of our neighbors told us that we needed to go! They were delicious and dangerously potent! We stuffed eggs and went swimming, but by the end of the daquiri we were feeling fabulous. It's probably a good think that I don't have any pictures from the rest of the day. Let's just say we had fun and Chloe saw what we were putting in the eggs furthering her candy obsession.

After all the celebrating, it was finally Easter Sunday. We went to 9:00am mass where my brother in law was playing the French horn with the full choir and band! (He's very musically talented! Look him up on iTunes Matt Lewis.) When we got home from mass, the picture taking began.

Tons of family members means tons of pictures! These are just a few of the lot.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out, hunting Easter eggs and eating way too much food! The egg hunting pictures are all on my dad's phone, but Chloe had a blast again. She was upset that her eggs had puffs and cheetos instead of candy. She did manage to find candy throughout the day and eat too much of it! By the end of the nights, she was exhausted and screaming CANDYYYYYY! Yeah, it's bad. Needless to say, we're hiding/getting rid of most of the candy in this house. Baby girl needs to come down off of her high. No candy fixes for this girl!

I hope that everyone had an amazing Easter and that you were able to spend it with loved ones! Now it's another Monday and I'm off to the gym to teach my classes. Much needed after all the food I ate this weekend...oh and the daquiri!

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Monday, April 10, 2017

7 Years + How to Celebrate the 7 Year Itch

And just like that we're celebrating 7 years of marriage. Seven years! It's kind of hard to believe that 7 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. It makes me think of the Kenny Chesney song "Don't Blink."

Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your better half
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don't blink

Now I know I'm far from being married 50 years and my baby isn't grown up yet, but 7 years seems like a milestone and my baby quickly became a toddler all in the blink of an eye.

I'm so lucky to have the greatest friend and partner in crime by my side every day. Each day isn't always easy and marriage is definitely work, but we've learned so much about each other and how to maintain our happiness over the years. 

one. Have F U N
two. Find common interests and activities
three. Enjoy each other's company
four. Find joy in the little things
five. Be spontaneous
six. Enjoy the mundane as much as the exciting
seven. Always love each other

This year our anniversary celebration came a day early. Monday anniversaries aren't too much fun! Yesterday we decided to have a family day. We started off at the driving range! JP loves to golf and I haven't swung a club in forever. Plus our anniversary always falls right around the Masters so it seemed to fit the occasion.

We both actually did pretty well! I expected JP to, but I thought I was going to tank since I hadn't played since before Chloe was born. Chloe had fun running up and down the hills, collecting our balls, coloring and trying to pick up our clubs. Then she hit a wall and demanded that we eat. It's hard to argue with a hangry toddler. Luckily we were done and hungry too, so off to Torchy's we went!

Because who doesn't eat tacos on their anniversary family day date? The best part about Torchy's (besides the deliciousness of course) is that it's right by a lake with lots of ducks. Chloe loves ducks. She loves to chase them yelling quack quack quack! A family also gave her some food to feed them which she absolutely loved!

After Torchy's, JP took me to Best Buy where he proceeded to buy me an Apple Watch!!! I've been dying to have one for at least the last 6 months. I figured that I wouldn't get one until my birthday since our anniversary gift to each other is our Disneyland trip next month! But JP insisted and I wasn't going to argue with him or turn him down. (He was probably tired of hearing me drop "hints" that I wanted one so bad!)

When we got home, Chloe went down for a nap and we posted up on the couch to watch the Masters! And of course I played with my Apple Watch getting it all set up and everything. We relaxed and enjoyed just being together basking in our laziness after a busy morning.

JP suggested I take a bath which I quickly agreed to. I spent a solid 30 minutes relaxing and reading in the tub while JP watched golf and played his new fave game on my computer. It may sound kind of lame, but for us, it was perfect.

The rest of the evening we spent together as a family. Leftovers for dinner, Masters on the TV, Frozen on the iPad, an evening walk with the dogs and a lot of togetherness. It was pretty much perfect.

Every day is far from perfect, but I'm lucky to love this life I live. I don't want to keep on the rose colored glasses and say that everything is always wonderful. We have our hard times too, but right now we are in such a great place. There are a lot of things that are contributing to that. First and foremost though, it's JP and I putting our marriage first. Fighting for what we love. Fighting for each other. Finding our own happiness and bringing that joy to our marriage. Today we'll work like normal. Go about our lives like normal. Have a nice dinner at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. And continue to love and fight for each other. The real celebration comes in a month when we jet off to Disneyland!

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