Behind the Author

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WW: Cheese Head!

Oh he's lucky he's so cute!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Life with a 2 Year Old



He's my super hero.
My tell it like it is, world explorer, adorably ornery,
always an eager learner,
two year old.

He keeps me on my toes.
Teaching me to throw schedules to the wind.
Making me want to be a better person.
And showing me that in life, you sometimes have to get messy to have the most fun.

Although, my days are long and they sometimes drag,
I know that my life is better than what I ever could have imagined
All because this little boy calls me mom.





Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Apple A Day, Doesn't Keep the Colds Away

It's been a pretty miserable week around here. Giovanni caught a cold and it has passed through our family.  Everyone seems to be on the mend, except me! I can't seem to kick this horrible cough. That being said, we've spent most of the week in our pj's around the house. Last weekend however, we went Apple picking!  
Last year we picked apples on the last possible day to go. The trees were bare and poor Dominic got sick with mono the next day..needless to say we had a much better time this year! 

Although, I suspect eating the apples straight from the tree, might have contributed to our colds... but you just got take risks now and then. And come on, apples taste way better fresh! ;)

*Be on the look out this week for another Disney planning post! It's getting close!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A 2 Year Old's Conversation with Spider-man


If you can't tell, he is ALL about Disney World...and super heroes!


WW: Future Olympian Swimmer..Move over Phelps!

Dominic has taken a big interest in swimming this summer, so we thought it was a good time to get him started in swimming lessons. Oh boy did he enjoy it! He wasn't old enough to take them by himself yet (he's only 2.5) so I was able to take them with him. It was such a fun bonding experience for us both. Something just for him and mommy!  
This week we had our last class for the season and Dominic got a special certificate, oh was he proud!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WW: Short Stack Turned Toddler!

Although, this is Giovanni's 3rd haircut, it's his first one that really made him look like a toddler. Our little bub is growing up so quickly!


Before:




After:



Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Days Drifting Away

Summer days are dwindling down around here. Although, my boys aren't in school yet, most of their friends that they play with will be. So, we decided to take one last play date to the zoo. It was crazy with 8 little kids and 5 adults, but it was fun. And let's not forget to mention I was able to try out the new camera. ;-) 

Entering the new Sea Lion exhibit tunnel in the St. Louis Zoo.
 It's truly beautiful.
Not all the kids were as excited though. ;)



I'm sad to see Summer come to an end, but that just means we are days closer to our vacation! :)
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Anyone else having trouble saying goodbye to summer?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Disney World Planning: Part 1: Facing the Fears!

Last year my parents and I started talking about taking a Disney trip this year, I thought they were completely crazy. With two little ones, just going to the grocery store can be exhausting, how in the world would we be able to go on such a big vacation? But my family can be pretty persuasive, and by late March, we were sold. That's not to say we didn't have a few concerns we needed to work out, before heading to Disney world with 2 kids under 3.

1. Why go now? Why not wait?

Well, Kids under 3 year are FREE!  

Secondly, and most importantly to us, my parents are not in good health. My mom is on oxygen full time. As I type this, my mom is currently in the hospital. That being said, I'm not sure how many chances we will have to enjoy any sort of vacation with them. And what a cool memory it will be for us all to have later! 

2. How could we afford it?
 Sure, memories are precious, but how could we afford that price tag? 

Well, like I said children under the age of 3 are FREE! My brother also works at an airline, so flying stand-by is the way we go. That right there saves a ton. But, that's not to say, you can't down on your costs too.

Starting off, check Disney World's site. It's all about the timing! They run deals ALL the time, especially in the low seasons! And certain times a year, Disney offers meal plans. Basically, for the price of the room, you get yours meals payed for. They have different packages depending on your needs and wants. With our plan, we have one big sit down meal a day, one quick service meal, and one snack per person. This doesn't include the boys, but as long as they can eat off "your" plate, then they eat free!   Also, book early!  The sooner you book, chances are the better deal you'll get. 

Buy a multi-day pass. The longer you stay, the less you pay per day in tickets. If you are wanting to go to the parks 4 or more days, then this is the way to go! 

Also, stay at a value resort. Let's face it, fancy hotels are nice, but when you are at Disney world, how often are you really in you room? Not much. I'm perfectly fine staying in a fun resort that is smaller and doesn't have a view, if it means saving a buck! And by staying on Disney property, we have no need for a car, they have shuttle service that picks you up at the airport and buses that drive you to the parks.

More money saving tips later. 


3. How can we keep the kids from getting too tired?
Before doing research, this was my biggest fear. Your tired, the kids are tired and crabby, and you paid for this glorious vacation that no one's having fun on. Now what? Well, Disney must have taken this into an account, because they created these Baby Care Centers around the parks. They provide a cool place with soft lighting for tried little ones to relax, a place to breastfeed,  and even potty training toilets for toddlers!

Disney also offers the FASTPASS reservation system. This reduces time spent in line, cutting down on boredom. It's a nice way to plan around the nap times. If you do have to wait in line, make sure to bring some things to the park that will keep your toddler happy while they are waiting. (I'll do a post on this later, but we have travel sized magna-doodles that will be perfect for said occasions.)

This maybe obvious, but take a stroller or rent a stroller! Little ones, even bigger ones, can only walk for so long!

Also, I've learned to keep in mind their limits. Just like we wear out, so do they. They need those naps and quiet times. For the sanity of everyone in our party, we are planning to leave the parks early to rest and relax at the hotel, before the next days activity. Even the value resorts have playground, splash pads, and swimming pools to relax by.  And let's face it, it's always better to take your time rather than run yourself ragged.


4. How are we able to ride the rides with little ones? 
Two words: Baby Swap! 

Baby swap is one of the coolest things Disney does. On the rides where a child is too young or too small, Disney World offers a "Baby Swap" option. What happens is one adult rides the ride, while the other waits with the child. When the first rider completes the ride, they return and "swap" places. It's not advertised by Disney, but it's available at all the attractions.  Just make sure when you get to the entrance to the attraction, you let a Cast Member know you are planning to Baby Swap. They will gladly help you out. 

And let's not forget to mention that there are several fun activities for all ages, size, and mobility! A great resource I found and highly recommend is allears.net. 


A Disney World vacation really is doable with little ones. With a little planning, you can alleviate the meltdowns and exhaustion, and have a unforgettable adventure! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WW: Synchronized Nap Time!

Sunday, our car battery died. Boo! Thankfully, a friend from church was kind enough to jump the car so we could drive it to the store to get a new one. While waiting the boys decided to sneak in a nap. It was so funny because, they both would flop over, randomly to the other side, as if on cue.

 

It's so hard to tell they're brothers!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Breastfeeding Week - Hooray for boobs!

August 1-7th marks world breastfeeding week! This is a time when we can all come together to help support, encourage, and recognize mamas who are giving their blood, sweat, and tears to provide that nourishing liquid gold to their little ones. Whether it was straight from the tap or pumped into a bottle, for one day or 2 years, way to go mamas
*google image*
I learned fairly quickly, that breastfeeding requires a little more than putting your baby to the breast. I went through so many challenges; latch issues, food sensitivity issues, tongue issues, nipple confusion, etc.  It's a definitely a learning process, and it's tough. 


Thankfully, you are not alone! There are many great resources out there to help you. Here are my top 3 favorites: 
  • Kellymom.com
  • The book: The Nursing Mother's Companion
  • The hospital's lactation consultant. Seriously, that's what they are there for, to help! If they aren't being helpful, check out llli.org
And remember at the end of the day, it's not how you fed your baby, it's that you fed your baby! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

So, I'm in LOVE..

...With this new Camera! (Look here.)

I had my niece play "model" the other day, just so I could try to feel out the camera. I must admit, I really enjoyed playing photographer. I'm no professional, but it was sure fun! And it helps that she was super sweet little model.

Here are some pictures from my VERY FIRST portrait type session, which lasted about 15 minutes. lol