Summer Bucket List For Families With Small Children

Summer Bucket List

Summer is ALMOST here!! I am so excited because the older my kids get the more I time I want to spend with them! If you’re like me, then you will LOVE this list of things to do during the summer WITH your kids. I can’t wait to enjoy the memories shared and a lot of these things don’t cost much at all. So here it is!! ENJOY!

1.) Go on a hike near a lake

2.) Find rocks to paint

3.) Feed the ducks

4.) Go swimming at the beach

5.) Have a indoor camping trip at home (We don’t like bugs over here)

6.) Make crafts at home

7.) Go to an arts and craft shop together

8.) Go to the waterpark

9.) Find your favorite splash pad

10.) Make gifts to give to the children’s hospital

11.) Run through the sprinklers at home

12.) Fill up the small swimming pool in the back yard and splash around

13.) Paint the sidewalks with chalk

14.) Donate toys to the salvation army

15.) Fly at kite

16.) Have picnic at the park

17.) Go on a road trip (less than 2 hours; for you sanity sake…lol)

18.) Go to the Farmers Market

19.) Make a fruit salad

20.) Read 30 books

21.) Visit the local library

22.) Explore new parks

23.) Go to your favorite kids place (SeaLife, Legoland, Crayola Experience, etc)

24.) Go to your local arboretum and visit the children’s area

25.) Watch the fireworks together

26.) Make patriotic snacks for the Fourth of July

27.) Plant a flower in a flower pot. (Keep it small and simple)

28.) Go get some ice cream

29.) Play in slime!! It’s so fun.

30.) Blow up a ton of plastic balls and through around the house. (Make sure its in a area without anything to break)

ENJOY!!!

Motherhood Taught Me......

Well, here we are, three and half years after I embarked upon the journey of a lifetime, literally. I wish I could say that reading all the books prepared me for my journey of motherhood, but the truth is, it felt like a rude awakening. If you’re expecting your first child I don’t say this to sound negative. I am that person that rejects all negative advice and only wants the best. I want think, speak and see the best in every situation. This applied to motherhood as well. Everyone has a different journey, some are harder than others, but we each are given a grace for OUR journey. Here are a few things motherhood taught me:

  1. Embrace the imperfections. As a person that sets goals and gives it my all, motherhood taught me that things will OFTEN times not go as planned. It took me a LONG time to realize that this is something to embrace instead of fighting it. I felt like a failure as a mom at first. I remember feeling like I wasn’t doing this right when I had complications breastfeeding my firstborn, my daughter. It was a ROUGH journey, but it was my introduction to embrace imperfect.

  2. The world I knew before doesn’t exist anymore and now that I have a little person to look after the life I once lived is now enhanced in every beautiful and challenging way. I felt like I walked through a door and it shut behind me and disappeared. This new world of motherhood is all consuming if you let it. For me, I found a new identity still with my dreams intact. You don’t have to lose yourself in motherhood, you just find out who you are in the midst of it. Often times its a better version as the love you now exude transforms you.

  3. To slow down and enjoy the moments. These moments are simply some of the best moments of your life. I know it, I can feel, no has to tell me, the joy unspeakable is contagious and addicting. It’s the smell of flower I never want to go away. Its my favorite scent and while I want it to stay, it HAS to pass me by. Motherhood is not something to idolize, its something to enjoy, to experience.

  4. Be present. This world has changed. I am apart of the generation the remembers what it was like BEFORE the internet. The internet has made us more distracted. Whether you agree or not, we have more attention on our phones and online. The problem with this is these little people grow so fast and to me time sped up when I had children. As stated in number three, really try hard to cherish every moment. Take the photo, then put the phone down. Sometimes, don’t even take the photo, the beauty of that moment may best be shared in your memory.

  5. Be intentional about family time. From making weekly dinners to daily prayer times with your kids, I’ve learned that THESE are the big moments of my week. Being a stay at home mom has given me even more focus to create these moments. They are the glue to building solid and fruitful relationships with those that matter within our homes.

These are just a FEW of the MANY lessons I’ve learned. I may do a part two as my children grow because each age is different. I’m in the one to three year age range now and I’m even learning more now that I have a son and a daughter. The two are so different. What has motherhood taught you?

Trying to Conceive (Baby No. 3)

A few months ago, I let you all know that we are preparing to try for our last and final child of our family. We said we wanted three children so now that Josiah is almost 15 months, it’s time to start trying again. We’re excited for the journey but it does come with it’s fair share of things you think about. I’ll be 35 in a few weeks so while yes people are waiting much later to have children, the medical doctors still say it’s best to have them before 35. We do however realize that through our faith in God, nothing can stand in the way of His Will! Just look at the two miracles we already have!

So what are we doing to prepare? Well first I’m getting my hormones back in alignment. I have a condition called Prolactinoma and a undetermined diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It was once a final diagnosis but after researching my case, the doctors are unsure if o actually have it. They believe you need to have a secondary symptom physically to confirm it. Needless to say, I’ve already scheduled and seen my endocrinologist and my OBGYN. They prescribed me Caberglorin to get my prolactinoma in check. I just need to order my vitamins from my naturopathic doctor and start taking them. Once I’ve been on the medication and vitamins for 3 months, then we will start trying for baby number 3. Also, I’m working out, drinking lots of water and preparing my body to carry another child.

I’m excited but also a little nervous. Getting pregnant at 35 is a bit different so I’m just praying I can remain healthy and that all will go well. I will update my blog for our journey. It is my prayer that I help someone that is also trying to conceive and grow their family. We can do this together. Blessings! 😘😘

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5 Ways To Celebrate Awesome Dads That Make Life Easier This Father’s Day

From helping out with feedings, to cleaning up messes, or even that quick run to get us all dinned at the last minute, it’s no secret that having an amazing dad for your kids just makes life a little easier. I love celebrating dads this time of year –they need to know how much theymatter to us moms. We truly need their presence, help and attention, because raising children is a much better experience when you have dad’s support.

We all know moms do a lot, but when I think about it, so dodads– especially in today’s world. My husband is one amazing dad to our kids, and as Father’s Day approaches and I think about all the things he actually does, I can’t help but feel an immense gratitude. Not only for what he does, but for being so very present and active while he does it! From dinner duty to laundry duty and, yes, even diaper duty, I wanted to share 5 Ways you can celebrate your deserving dad this year–including some tips on putting together a kit to help him prepare for whatever life with littles can throw at him!

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1) His Favorite Foods They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach...so of course we’ll start here. Either order in his go-to meal from his favorite restaurant, or if you want to go even further, cook his favorite meal yourself! I’ll just stay away from the kitchen with my cooking skills, but if you’re so inclined, cook away! Lol! The key thing in this celebration is making it count through presentation and flavor. I know we have a lot to do as moms, but he will appreciate how you took the time and energy to make his meal. Super win.

2)His Favorite ActivitiesI’ve actually done this...are you ready? Give in and play his favoritevideo game with him. I know, I know...it’s not always our idea of fun, but get into HIS world and connect with the things he loves. If he doesn’t like video games, find an activity like golfing that he loves, share a game and tune into him. One of the things my husband needs is to connect with his me through activities like this (without the kids). This builds friendship and is a great way to let him know that he matters and what he loves to do matters, too. And there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, either.

3)His Ultimate Dad Kit Hook him up with the Ultimate Dad Kit to prepare him for the inevitable diaper duty on the gothe next time you leave him with the kids. I put together a #LoveTheChange kit by stuffing a stylish, dad-only diaper backpack with our favorite Pampers Cruisers 360 diapers and Pampers Sensitive wipes from Walmart. Then I added a few things like toys and extra pacifiers – because you can literally never have too many. We love Pampers Cruisers 360 Fit diapers because they’re super easy to put on and give baby freedom to move AND superior protection with a 360-degree stretchy waistband. Imade it easy for you by taking a photo of all my go-to essentials for a dad kit that will leave him blown away. All of these products are available in Walmart and found here: http://www.walmart.com/lovethechange

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4)His Favorite Things Create a bag of his favs! All it takes is alittle bit of thought. Gather up his favorite drink, candy, movie, piece of clothing or anything else he loves. Bundle it up together and make it cute and creative and watch him smile when he goes through it! Another way to make it extra special is to leave a note in his bag from you and the kids letting him know how much he means to each of you. Have the kids sign it or put their hand or footprint on it. I know this may even require a little bit more time, but just think about how special your man will feel.

5)His Favorite People One of the best things you can do is to just celebrate him with all the love and affection he can handle from the people he loves most. What is his love language? If it’s words of affirmation, make sure he hears you say how much you mean to him. If his love language is acts of service, getting his shirts dry cleaned may go much farther. If you’re not sure what his love language is, check outGary Chapman's bookThe Five Love Languages. It’s one of our favorite resources for couples to connect. This is key to knowing what makes each other tick!

Hope you enjoyed these ideas to help you celebrate all theamazing dads out there. I’m grateful for my hubby. He’s given me an up close perspective of an amazing dad, and it brings tears to my eyes to watch each day! Happy Father’s Day!

Side note: When you’re grabbing your #LoveTheChange kit essentials, try Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service. You can order your diapers and groceries online and have them loaded into your car at the store – it’s a huge help when you’re running errands! Just go to Walmart.com to check it out!

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Thank you Walmart.com & Pampers for sponsoring this blog post.

My Childbirth Experience (remembering the first time)

As most of you know, in 2016 I become a mom. It was the most amazing, scary, yet fulfilling day in my entire life. My husband and I felt all the things new parents feel. How is labor going to feel? Where will we be? What about delivery? When will we know? Are we actually taking a baby home? It was such a new experience for us. It is for that reason that we chose whichhospital to deliver in very carefully.

After my sister-in-law birthed both of her children at Medical City Dallas and then I got a referral from a friend to go there as well, we felt like it was a no-brainer for us. In addition to that,ourOB-GYN, Dr. Kathryn Waldrep, is a well-known doctor that not only could deliver babies there but her office was located a few floors down from labor and delivery. In addition, they gave us TONS of literature to help answer any questions that we just did not know to ask as new parents.

What sealed the deal, honestly, was the classes we took. We took the first-time parenting class and the breastfeeding class. They gave us tours of the labor and delivery wards, allowing us to ask all types of questions as we embarked upon our new journey as parents. The hospital and  doctors made sure that we knew what to do every step, starting with our pre-admissions appointment, that we barely had any questions! This made me feel like I had a team behind me instead of walking this new journey alone.

Due to my slightly high blood pressure, Dr. Waldrep decided to deliver my daughter Olivia at 39 weeks. I was scheduled to be induced that Tuesday. I ended up having a few “false labor” moments and went into the hospital twice the week prior to my scheduled induction. The labor and delivery nurses were SO nice and gracious. They never made me feel like I was overreacting or not in labor. They checked me in and allowed me to be fully examined to see if I was indeed in labor. I wasn’t,so I went home and was fine. Everything was so unknown to me and I had no idea what labor felt like, so going in to get their reassurance was such a relief.

When it was time to get checked in, everything flowed smoothly. I got my epidural, the nurses hooked me up to the baby heart monitor and I was ready to go. I feel like I had the BEST nurses ever! They were like angels. It’s so important to have people that just know what to say and how to make you feel when you’re in such a vulnerable place. Those nurses were amazing!

After Olivia was born, she never left my side except to go to the nursery every so often so I could sleep. I loved how my husband was able to be there with me overnight as we welcomed our child into this world. As we were loving on our daughter, they even gave us a Celebration Dinner. We had heard great things about this dinner from family and friends, so when we experienced it for ourselves it was the PERFECT cap to our new beginning. Basically, you get a gourmet meal (that’s different from the regular menu) that you and your husband can chose from. It includes a full meal with dessert and drinks. They even bring a table in the room for you as well. Here a picture below of our dinner:

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I was so excited I forgot to take the lids off before taking a photo, but the food is good!

Throughout the first day, various nurses came in to take tests on Olivia, give shots, make sure I could breastfeed, we even saw a lactation specialist right there in our room. She checked on me frequently to see how my breastfeeding journey was going. That was a HUGE relief because after labor and delivery, breastfeeding was the next journey that I embarked upon.You need someone there to help you. Trust me. Their lactation specialist is ALWAYS available to help. I felt so blessed.

After this experience, we had all the reasons for choosing Medical City Dallas to birth my son on March 29, 2018. The experience was just as good and we couldn’t have asked for a better doctor and hospital staff. All in all, very impressed with what they have over there and if you need a hospital and experience that will give you peace of mind, Medical City Dallas is your place. If you’re not in the Dallas area, you can also visit any of their other hospitals in North Texas We’re so grateful we listened to our friends.

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