Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The End of an Era

About six weeks ago I got the worst letter ever. Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic but it truly brought my to tears. Not a full on cry but the kind were your eyes well up and one of them might drip a little. So what was the heartbreaking news? Every stay at home mom's worst nightmare- my local Gymboree Learn & Play was closing.

If you know me in real life or have followed this blog for awhile, you know that we have been part of the Gymboree family for a long time. When Aubrey was a little under six months old I signed up for classes two days a week just to get us out of the house. At the time I had no friends with kids who or who didn't work during the day so it was just Aubs and I all the time. There are only so may strolls around the lake, trips to Target and stops at the grocery store for one item before you go a little stir crazy. Gymboree helped me to get out of my stay at home mom rut. I also partially credit Gymboree for the reason why Aubrey is so sociable.

As Aubrey got older we went a little less but still had an incredible love for all things Gymboree. If you scroll through my archives you'll find many pictures of Aubs clutching Gymbo the clown, who she still sleeps with every night. About a month before we heard the awful news, Finley had started up Gymboree as well. I am so sad that she won't be able to have the same experience as Aubrey did. We have recently tried out a location that is a bit farther away but it's just not the same. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WW: Florida Girls

No big story here
Just two Florida girls enjoying an afternoon at the beach
Aubs in her signature heart-shaped frames
Sometimes I still have to pinch myself

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Linking up with The Paper Mama

Sunday, June 2, 2013

9 Months

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Dear Finley,

Wow baby girl, you have come a long way. You just seem to be getting better and better. You're 9 months old now and you've been out as long as you were in. A lot has happened in the past 3 months. You will now ride in a stroller a bit, you got 4 teeth, you're yapping up a storm and most importantly you started crawling. I thought in true second child fashion that you would crawl early but you took your time and started at exactly the same time as your big sis did, 8 1/2 months. Although you did master the whole pulling yourself up to standing about 2 wees before you figured out how to crawl. Crawling Fin is like a whole new baby, dare I say a happy one.

You are still very much a mama's girl, which I love and hate. I love that you love me oh so much but I wish you would let other people hold you when I am around. You had a good month when you did but now you can't stand to be held by anyone else if I am nearby. Sometimes you even give daddy the cold shoulder even though you say "dada" all day long. You also still adore your big sister Aubrey. No one can make you laugh the way she does. She loves you too and always wants to be there to help get you out of your crib when you wake up from naps.

I am so looking forward to seeing you develop from baby to toddler because you seem to be enjoying this stage of your life so much better than the newborn stage. I have a feeling that you are going to have a big personality and be even more fun than you are now. So keep on moving up little girl, clearly you only get better with age.

Lots of love,

Stats & Milestones-

18.13 pounds
27.25 inches

First two teeth on the bottom at 6 month, two on top at 8 months

Sitting up unassisted at 7 months

Pulled to standing at 8 months

Slept through the whole night for the first time at 8 months (still not consistent though)

Crawling at 8 1/2 months

Eating everything in sight and still nursing like a champ

Starting going to Gymboree but that has been put on hold a little because our location closed

Big ol' Finley photo dump

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oh, hi!

Obviously I haven't been around this ol' blog lately. Blogging is like everything else in life. When you're in it, you're in it and when you're not it's hard to keep up the momentum. When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I was blogging four to five days a week and I had every intention of keeping it that way even after the baby arrived. When baby Finley made her appearance I managed to still post, just not as frequently which I was fine with. About three weeks after Finley was born she became extremely fussy and needed constant attention and stimulation. On top of that she didn't sleep well and would often wake up at 2 or 3 and would need to be vigorously rocked for upwards of an hour to fall back asleep. There were many morning that I would put her in the wrap at 4:30 in the morning and walk up and down my driveway so that she didn't wake the rest of the house . It soon became obvious that I was have a hard time keeping up with everything in my life- blogging, photography, house work and oh yeah I also had a 2 1/2 year old who decided that she was finally ready to take potty training seriously right after Fin was born. Long story short, my beloved blog got pushed to the side.

I'm not quite ready to say that I'm back full swing but I am ready to make the effort again. Finley is actually quite delightful now and I'm happy to say that our family of four has finally become adjusted to the change. So I'm excited to report that I am ready to get back on the horse. I don't think I will ever be a five day a week blogger again because I have so on my plate and have been really focusing on my photography but I will be around more than once a month. I'm also looking forward to rejoin the beautiful blog community and visit all of my lovely blogger friends in the next few weeks. If you have a blog and are still stopping by to read mine, please leave a comment so that I can pay you a visit.

In case you were wondering..... yes my kids got even cuter.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Disney Spring Break

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We did the unthinkable- we went to Disney World during spring break. It was kind of last minute, our nephews were out of school so we figured, why not. We knew it would be busy but I don't think we thought it would be quite that busy. For example we got to Magic Kingdom at 8:30 in the morning and there was already an hour plus wait to see Mickey Mouse. It was nuts and that set us up for being in a sour mood about the crowds for the rest of the day. Did we have fun- yes. Would we have had way more fun when if it weren't such a mad house, definitely.

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Despite all the madness, it was still fantastic to see how excited Aubrey got about everything. She loves to watch the Dreams Along with Mickey show on YouTube so when she was able to see it in person she got a little overexcited. We got her a seat right up front and a Mickey ice cream to hold her over while she waited for the show to start. Joe sat with her but I was standing off to the side with a sleeping Fin. Aubrey got so excited when the show started that she waved her hands really fast and her ice cream fell on the ground. Of course she freaked and tried to pick it up so she got completely covered with ice cream and then was upset she was so messy. Joe ran to get napkins while I whipped out my wet wipes. By the time Joe got back the crowds had pushed in and he couldn't get close to Aubrey. Thankfully the nicest woman in the world was sitting next to Aubrey and helped clean her up. The same woman also sat through the entire show while Aubrey sang every song and excitingly announced everyone who came on stage. She told us she got a kick out of it because her daughter is eight and never gets that excited anymore. I swear if I could bottle up all that joy Aubs was radiating I would be able to cure all of the problems in the world.

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I have lived an hour and a half from Disney for a little over 10 years now so I have learned a few things. We have a great trips and some not so great ones. Unfortunately every time we have brought Aubs, it has been not so great. Hopefully we can get it together by the time she turns four. Here's some pointers:

-If at all possible the best time to go are September and October. We went once during the first or second week of September and we rode Splash Mountain 3 times in a row because there was literally only a 5 minute wait.

-Times to avoids are Christmas, Spring Break and the 4th of July.

-Best days to do Magic Kingdom are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday.

-Make sure you know when the parades and shows are because the kids love them and there is no wait to see them. Especially the Move It, Shake it, Celebrate it parade which is immediately followed by the Dream Along with Mickey Show.

-Have a game plan and stick to it. Try to work your way from the back of the park moving forward. Many people hit the attractions as they see them but if you work from the back you might be able to shave a little bit of time off of your wait.

-Unless you have a kid who is a fabulous stroller napper, then head back to the hotel for naps and dinner and go back to the park later for the light parade, fireworks or anything else you may have missed.

-Remember that you can only get one fast pass every two hours so make sure you're getting them for the rides you really want and need them for.

-If possible stay at a Disney Resort. They are pricey but the convenience of the extra magic hour and transportation can make your trip. We stay at The Art of Animation Resort and it was the perfect place for a family with young children.

-If you have a kid who is addicted to Disney Junior like mine then you have to go see Disney Junior Live at Hollywood Studios, they will flip.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Swing Away

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I love a good fair, carnival or festival. I particularly love small little ones because the lines are short and the prices are cheap. They also have the best cover bands who seem to have the exact taste in music as my dad did on road trips when I was little. Last month (sorry I'm a little behind) we went to a little festival in the park by my parent's house. We have gone every year since my parents bought their house here but this year was the first year that Aubrey was really able to enjoy herself.

I'm happy to say Aubs rode her first carnival ride and absolutely loved it. She went on the ferris wheel and the swings at least a half a dozen times a piece and also rode a bunch of other kiddie rides. Sadly I wasn't able to ride with her because Finley was in her standard spot, strapped to my chest in the Ergo, thankfully Gam was able to fill in. We were a little leery about letting Aubrey go on the swings because they were pretty official but we figured the worst that could happen was that she would cry. She smart enough to know not to jump off when she is 10 feet in the air. She didn't cry at all though, just hung on tight and smiled.

This is fantastic news for me because Joe hates carnival rides. Anything that spins makes his stomach queasy, he is such a baby that one. He is lucky that I love him so much because that would have been a deal breaker had it been anyone else. Maybe Fin will be have a queasy tummy too so she can keep him company while Aubs and I spin until our heart's content.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Aubrey's Rainbow Birthday Party

When I first began thinking about Aubrey's party I envisioned something that was perfectly themed
As the date drew closer and my stress level higher, I realized that her party didn't need to be pinterest worthy
It just had to be something Aubrey would love
Just a few of Aubs favorite things are rainbows, bounce houses, cupcakes, face painting and the park.
I made sure her party had all of that and most importantly- all of the people that she loves and that love her back

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and a few phone pictures that I love....

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