5 Ways to Enjoy a Beach Trip with an Infant

By 1:17 PM , , , , , , ,
We got back last week from a family vacation trip to the beach for the first time as a family of four. We had a great time, ate lots of yummy food, saw some incredible sea life, and did it all with a 3 (almost 4) year old and a 9 week old that turned 10 weeks while we were at the beach. So what are the tips and tricks to having a good time with an infant at the beach? 

1. Seek out shade! 
Shade becomes your best friend. I mean the sun is totally overrated anyway right? I highly recommend purchasing a good, easy to break down baby tent (some snap right up but then are almost impossible to break down) and invest in a good large umbrella or tent as well. We bought our tent from Sam's club and it is a large 10x10 tent that allows for lots of shade and also have an infant tent we used the entire week - I would link to it but it was from Target and they no longer sell our model. Highly encourage you to read reviews especially when it comes to break downs before purchasing your infant tent. Our infant tent is pictured below with our little girl enjoying "laying out." 

2. Bring lots of long sleeve, light-weight infant PJs
The cute infant bathing suits you purchased while you were pregnant...while adorable they are pretty much only good for pictures at this young of an age, still worth bringing for that quick photo like the one I snapped below. I quickly found that putting my baby in light weight PJs was much more practical for walks on the beach and time spent in the sun as it protected her precious skin from the sunlight (you can't apply sunscreen until 6 months of age). Add a good sunhat and your baby is protected from the sun's harmful rays. Also, bring short sleeve little outfits that if your baby gets hot during mid day you can change the baby into while under the shade. 

3. Bring a baby carrier that your baby enjoys riding in for walks on the beach
My baby loved being able to look out and watch the waves and boats in the ocean and when she wasn't looking around would sleep in the carrier while we went on walks on the beach. 

4. Visit the beach before it gets too hot or after the hottest part of summer has past
April, early to mid May, September and even October are awesome times to visit the beach - it's not as crowded and not as blood coiling hot. However, if you must visit during the hottest summer months try to venture out to the beach early in the morning (you'll be up anyway) or later in the evenings and avoid the peak sun times. 

 5. Bring a plastic baby bath
You can fill the baby bath with a little water and your baby can use that to play in under the shade and cool down. Always remember to never leave a baby alone in the water at any time. As your baby gets older and becomes a toddler we always bring a plastic pool to fill with water and allow our older son to play in. He loves it. 

BONUS: Try to come without an expectations
Some babies like the beach more than others - my son we took at 6 weeks old and he hated it. It was the middle of July, blazing hot, and he couldn't stand being hot and sandy all the time. While our daughter at 10 weeks loved the beach the first week of May. I think the time of year made a big difference and also the fact she was a month older but at the end of the day I think the biggest difference was my expectation of our trip. The first time I had all these visions of my baby in cute swimsuits on the beach with wonderful dinners late into the night at fun restaurants. This time I had not one but two children and literally came with no expectations other than we were there to have fun together for a week as a family. We woke up without a plan everyday (super hard for me who is a super planner) and we developed our plan as the day went on and we could see how our kids were doing. We did have a ton of fun and even got to go to dinner every night and have some delicious meals but where we ate and what time revolved around how the kids were doing that day. 

All in all we had a wonderful beach trip with the kiddos and hope these tricks help you have a great trip if you are taking an infant as well! 

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Our Date Night-In

By 12:14 PM , , , ,

With an 8 week old that suffers from reflux and colic every night and a 3 year old it has become almost impossible to get a date night out with my man. That is why we SO look forward to our monthly date night-in box. With this box we can put our 3 year old to bed, baby in her swing (the only way this reflux baby is happy lately), and spend a little time together just having fun and focusing on us without putting any thought into it what to do. The box comes with everything you need and lists everything to do so pretty much no prior effort is required...perfect for exhausted parents like ourselves! Also, we love that it gives us something to talk about other than spit up, dirty diapers, and milk since that seems to be the majority of our conversation with a newborn lately. 

You guys this month's date night-in box was my favorite yet! It was a "blind date" and consisted of games to play while blind folded, cotton candy, face masks, and a fun game in which you answered questions about each other while blind folded. We haven't laughed so hard together in a long time. It was SO much fun. 

Here are some photos from our date night. 

Seriously we died laughing in this activity in which one partner used duct tape to create an obstacle course and then guided their blind folded partner through the course using just words. Josh actually took a video of me completing the course he created but we are laughing so hard you can't understand us so I decided not to post. 

This was a game in which you had to draw your dream day at the beach while blind folded. You did it several different ways (guided by the box). I think I did pretty good (see my drawing below) clearly it is us and our kids, a beach umbrella, waves, and a sunny day. ;) 

Date night-in also always posts a full menu for your date including drink recipes, appetizer recipes, main course, and dessert. While we didn't get to make the menu this time around I look forward to making it one night soon as it looks absolutely delicious. 

We are already looking forward to our next date night-in box. I highly encourage you to click on the photo below and sign up to get your date box. No investment you make in your marriage is to costly. I can't wait to see what you think of your date and see your photos! 

See prior date night in on this link. 

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First Trip to the Mountains as a Family of 4

By 9:21 PM , , , , ,
It is hard to believe our sweet girl is already 7 weeks old! Last weekend (at 6 weeks) we finally made the trip to our family lake house in the north Georgia mountains and introduced our little girl to our "heaven on earth." Considering her brother was only 8 days old at his first visit to our beloved lake house we figured now that I have recovered enough from my c-section it was time we make the trip! 

We spent the weekend at the lake house, had some great barbecue, and did some awesome hiking to waterfalls.  Below are some photos of our weekend. I highly recommend the wonderful waterfalls Rabun County, Georgia has to offer. The falls below are off of Warwoman Rd. past downtown Clayton, Georgia. They are simply gorgeous.

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Thoughts After 6 Weeks as a Family of 4

By 1:47 PM , , , , ,
Well it has been 6 weeks today since our precious little girl entered the world (a little over a week earlier than we anticipated)! To say time is flying would be the world's biggest understatement! Literally time has never gone so fast in my entire life. As any first 6 weeks of life the last 6 weeks have been full of many "firsts" for our family.This time around life with a newborn has taken more 'adjusting' as we settle into the reality of a family of four.

Here are some of my thoughts on the first 6 weeks....

We celebrated baby B's first St. Patrick's Day. 

I have come to the realization that getting a good picture of both kids at the same time at this age is IMPOSSIBLE.

Jealousy does not always show up in traditional ways. This kid has been nothing but super sweet to his sister. However, one day while dressing up the baby and taking photos of her he disappeared in his bedroom for a while (mind you the kid was in running workout shorts as he calls them and a t-shirt) and shows up a few minutes later in the above saying "take my picture" while doing all kinds of silly poses. He has also learned that disobeying and acting out gets Mommy and Daddy's attention quicker than waiting patiently while we finish whatever we are doing to take care of baby. So that's been real fun for all of us. Not.

This girl turned one month and we later learned that the first four weeks were much easier than the following weeks have been as baby B developed reflux right at 4 weeks. PS reflux sucks. We dealt with it severely with our first and were so happy to discover baby B didn't have it the first month of her life. Little did we know that there is something called silent reflux and it doesn't usually show itself until around the end of the first month. Since then we have set out on the journey of mommy altering diet, taking Zantac,and are now trying Prilosec and praying that helps. Day two and so far not much improvement.  We covet your prayers for improvement and much needed sleep for all! 

Our kids look a LOT alike. The above was each of them at one month. Yeah the genes run strong in this family. But hey...at least we make cute kids right? 

Have I  mentioned how much this kid loves his sister? It's all we can do to stop him from hugging her, kissing her, or trying to get on top of her every minute. Don't want to crush his sweet attitude towards her but poor sissy is like "hey can I please get some air space." Secret admission? I think she secretly enjoys the morning and early afternoons that he goes to school.  

Some days are really hard. Notice the unmade bed (that never got made - ok honestly hasn't been made in the last 6 weeks except for the days our house cleaner makes it) and the fact that I'm wearing the baby while wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt. Yup, that's my daily uniform now and I was wearing the baby here because that was the only way I could brush my teeth without her screaming. And that's the truth folks. Life has been much harder than it ever was with one kid. I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be like that but I was so wrong. It takes me forever to get us all ready and get out of the house. If I make it out before 10am I am high fiving myself. From an OCD Momma who likes the house to look great all the time nothing is ever "perfect" anymore, and most days it takes all the energy I have to make it on a single outing with both kids...and i'm talking easy outing folks; pick up our Clicklist order, run an errand, or go to lunch. I recently heard a sermon on progress over perfection. That's my new goal...progress...say it with me..progress..

Certainly a big part of us adjusting to life is the fact that we now have two kids (one who has severe reflux and one who is used to having all Mommy and Daddy's attention). The other part has been the C-section recovery. I have already mentioned it in prior posts so don't plan to spend much time on it but it has been much harder recovering from the c-section than it was a vaginal delivery for me. I was finally cleared last Tuesday at five weeks to hold my three year old which has been great and to lift baby B's car seat (life changing) but I still don't feel 100% myself. I would say that finally at 6 weeks I am 80% of the way there...the other 20% is in pain I will randomly have in my incision if I do too much (such as all the work I did for Easter) or if I twist the wrong way or run to chase or play with my son (no full workouts for me yet) and from the fact that my iron is still crazy low from blood loss which results in me getting dizzy and being exhausted all the time. I have been taking iron supplements to try to get it back to a normal range but it is still incredibly low so hoping I can get it higher again soon and get my energy up. The other awful part that I have not yet recovered from is random migraines which come on suddenly and I had never had before in my life prior to this delivery....and let me tell you a migraine is awful. Come to find out after talking with my doctor it is from my spinal tap during my c-section. Oh so fun.

Naps. I always prided myself on the fact that I didn't let naps dictate our schedule. Now?!? Not so much. The above is my worse nightmare when the big kid falls asleep in the car because it means a short nap for him (he won't transfer to his bed) and no nap for me. I have never been a napper but ever since baby B was born that has changed. Maybe its the very limited sleep I am getting at night, maybe it is the iron, or maybe it is just the fact that life with two kids is exhausting but either way I look forward to my daily nap even it it is only for 20 minutes. 

I have learned that not all my favorite baby products with E are my favorites for baby B. For example the rock and play sleeper. I raved and raved about it. Baby B could care less about it. This photo was taken in the minute and half she actually allowed herself to be set down in it. I am going to shamelessly plug two products that have been life changers for us this time around. One is the baby booties above that you see in almost every photo of our little girl. It is because they are the only shoes that 1) stay on, 2) fit her, and 3) actually keep her warm. They can be purchased off of Amazon here is the linkThe other is incredible diaper backpack which is the only way to go with two kids. We have this one and love it. It can be purchased here. When you are holding a baby or pushing a stroller with one hand and holding your older kid's hand a backpack is the only way to go. Trust me. 

We celebrated baby B's first Easter. Have I mentioned how hard it is to get a good picture of both kids together? And how much I love those booties. ;) 

All in all the past 6 weeks have been a total whirlwind. Most days I feel like I just woke up and it's already 5pm and I am not even sure what i have done with my day. I am SO thankful and blessed for these two precious children. To think that we were told we would never be able to have another child a little over a year ago and then to look at her sweetness now is truly a miracle from Heaven. 

Loving this sweet time on maternity leave and just praying that the next six weeks goes back wayyyy slower than the first six weeks have...

Thanks for all the well wishes, the love, the prayers, and the understanding on my not as regular posts due to exhaustion. 

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Free OREO Candy Bar - yes please!

By 6:00 AM , , , , , ,
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OREOChocolate #CollectiveBias
Did you know that OREO has a special flavored candy bar made with crunchy bits of OREO + mint creme filling + rich Milka chocolate candy? YUM! These OREO Mint Chocolate Candy Bars have delicious bits of OREO Cookie mixed in smooth, mint flavored creme filling and are coated in European Milka chocolate candy. You will want to be sure to stop by Walmart and pick a few of these OREO Chocolate King Size Bars while they are on Rollback for only $1!
While you are in store at Walmart picking up your $1 Rollback OREO chocolate candy bars, be sure to look and see if your store has the demo going on for the 1 Million Sample giveaway. During Easter weekend* participating Walmart stores are giving away these bars while supplies last. *March 29 - April 1.
Check the demo locator below to see if your local Walmart is participating!
 +Limited to one sample per customer.
++Limited supply available.
+++All times/events are subject to change.

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