Stories of "E"

By 4:16 PM , , , ,
I am long overdo to catch you up on round 3 of "stories with E." This post is all about my fun, adventurous 2 year old and the funny thing he says and does. 

-He has the order confused on 'ready, set, go' so whenever he is about to race or do something he wants everyone to watch he says, "set, ready, go"

-He sings "rain, rain go away" (just those four words) over and over a thousand times a day; he can also sing Jesus loves me, happy birthday, ABC, and row your boat

-he LOVES blueberries and loves picking them at my dad's blueberry farm as well

-We are from the south and live in the south and in the south so that means we teach our kids to say "no sir and yes sir" and "no mam and yes mam," well little guy has learned that is what we say but hasn't learned the difference in gender so every adult who asks him something the answer is "yes sir or no sir"

-He is a fish in the pool. 

-We go to the lake frequently and both my husband and I wake board. Little guy is usually on the boat when we do and little did I know he has been big time paying attention. He has started taking his toy train that has a string to pull it around by and using that as his 'wakeboarding rope.' He says watch me Mommy and grabs the rope and comes up with his feet in a wakeboarding position. He even "jumps the wake," too funny

-He loves Star Wars thanks to his older cousins and uncle. He loves to have sword fights with his light sabors 

-He drives his Little Tykes car around and puts mulch in the gas pump for "gas"

-He loves to go fishing and sometimes catches fish, he was REALLY excited this past weekend to catch "a worm," it was his bait

I truly am loving and trying my best to appreciate every stage. Sometimes I miss having a baby but I am loving this stage and all the times he says "I love you, Mommy" and "want a kiss, Mommy." Time you can slow down just a bit. 

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That Time Our Drink Got Spiked...

By 2:57 PM , , ,

I can not even believe I have been married to this incredible man for five years! In some ways it has flown by but in other ways it feels we have been together forever. I can't imagine life without him. We had shared so many wonderful and also bittersweet memories together over our past 5 years of marriage and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!  

He seriously makes my heart flutter even more now than he did 10 years ago when I first said "yes" to dating him exclusively. We had the opportunity to spend a few days together last week in Jamaica to celebrate our anniversary and you guys, it truly felt like a second honeymoon. We were asked numerous times if we were honeymooners and completely took it as a compliment when we responded "no" and were told that onlookers couldn't tell because we looked so in love. Case in point below. ;)

We stayed at the Couples Swept Away in Negril and had a blast. The water and beach could not have been prettier! We took full advantage of all the activities included in this all-inclusive and had a lot of fun. Although we did decide we are Sandals snobs and the Couples experience didn't fully live up to the experience we had at Sandals in St. Lucia. The biggest difference was the level of service at Couples compared to Sandals. Hard to say if that was a cultural difference but there was very little to no entertainment at Couples and the food and drinks also didn't quite compare to Sandals. All that being said we still had a great time. 

The Couples resort included a few extra included excursions that Sandals didn't include and we really enjoyed the included Catamaran and glass bottom boat ride. We did both of those excursions twice a piece.

I will say that although we are glad to say we have seen Jamaica, and it is very beautiful, we did decide it, unlike St. Lucia, is not a place we need to go back to. The poverty was extreme and you couldn't lay on the beach without someone coming up to you every five or less minutes trying to sell you something (typically pot as it is legal in Jamaica). We also had a negative experience with theft at the resort and we think someone slipped something in our drinks during the Catamaran boat ride. 

All that being said hanging out with my cutie drinking out of coconuts for a few days was just what we both needed to relax, recharge, and reconnect. 

Truly blessed God gave me this guy to do life with!  
Now where to go for the 10 year celebration?! 

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How to deal with sensitive skin and still enjoy summer

By 7:30 AM , , , , ,
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeToBe #CollectiveBias

My sweet little boy suffers from EXTREME eczema. We realized this early on as when he was only a month old he broke out in a dry rash all over his body. It was awful. Fast forward two plus years and I have learned that his eczema flairs up much worse in the summer. The first two summers we spent trying to figure out how he we could still get outside and enjoy the summer without him being in pain later from red, itchy skin. Now on our third summer I have discovered some tips and tricks that I would love to share with you all for any of your little ones suffering from sensitiveness skin. 

1. Dress appropriately.
If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you guys know we love to be outside. Whether we are at the lake, pool, beach, hiking, or just playing in the backyard we spend all the time we can outdoors. What I realized is whenever I would put sunscreen on our little guy he his eczema would get SO much worse. I have sense learned to apply sunscreen only when completely necessary and instead try to cover him in long sleeves when outdoors. They make awesome SPF proof long sleeve shirts that we wear all the time and SPF shorts as well. That paired with a hat greatly limits the amount of sunscreen we have to apply. 

2. The kind of sunscreen you wear matters.
Take it from me...I have tried every sunscreen on the market on my little guy and honestly the best luck I have found are the products that are made for sensitive skin. 

3. We ONLY use All Free Clear detergent. 
We made the mistake early of trying to use a different brand of detergent and our poor little guy broke out for weeks. Now we wash ALL our laundry (including dish rags, towels, etc. because yes he touches these too) with only all® Free Clear. Honestly I recommend this brand above any of the "baby detergents" you can find in the baby section. This brand is the #1 recommended detergent by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians and helps our family live free of skin allergens and sensitive skin worries. all® Free Clear was also awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association for having no dyes, perfumes, certain chemicals, and irritating residues. You can find all® Free Clear at your local grocery store or shopping store. I most recently purchased mine at Kroger. 

4. Be sure to wash all new clothes before wearing them.
Another mistake I made early on was to put an outfit I had purchased on the little guy or me before washing it. I have learned not to do this. I now be sure to wash all my new clothes with all® Free Clear detergent and often, their dryer sheets, before wearing it. Even though my husband or I don't have sensitive skin we still need to wash all our clothes first so the fabric doesn't rub off on "E" while we are holding him causing him to break out.

5. Get out and have fun. 
Now that I have shared my tips and tricks don't be afraid to get out and play. HAVE FUN! Another great thing about all® Free Clear is that it is great at fighting stains and brightening colors. I never have to worry when we are outside getting dirty because I feel confident that all® Free Clear will do the trick. 

If you anyone in your family suffers from sensitive skin I encourage you to make the switch to all® Free Clear and join the all® Free Clear community to connect with parents just like you! 

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Our Disney Schedule + Best Rides/Shows to Fast Pass

By 4:17 PM , ,
As promised here is my second Disney post that includes our schedule for the week and the best rides and shows to Fastpass. 

Our first day, Sunday, was spent at Magic Kingdom. 
We arrived at the park at prior to opening to catch the 20 minutes prior to opening welcome show at the gate and literally closed the park down after the firework show and night parade.  Full day in the park and got to experience probably 80% of all the rides and shows. One of the biggest highlights was seeing Mickey in the theater (see him immediately when park opens and you will have a very short wait). We had lunch at Be Our Guest (highly recommend but you will need a reservation in advance). We ate dinner out of our backpacks and at quick service restaurants. 
Our favorites in Magic Kingdom include: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Mickey's 4D Theater, Meeting Mickey at his Theater, Small World, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan
The best rides to fastpass are: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Splash Mountain (during summer months)

Our second day, Monday, was spent at Animal Kingdom. 
We started the park an hour before opening thanks to Magic Hours and finished at closing. We then headed straight to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. One of our all time favorites! The dinner is a buffet style that includes many delicious but good for you options. Our favorites shows were Finding Nemo and Lion King but I would recommend arriving early to both! 
The best rides/shows to Fastpass at Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safari, Water Ride, Expedition Everest

Our third day, Tuesday, was spent at Epcot. 
This park ended up being one of my favorite two parks tied with Magic Kingdom. We were there during Flower and Garden and it was simply beautiful. Ended up being some of the best food as well! 

Our favorites rides and things to at Epcot include: walking around and experiencing the lands, Nemo, Test Track, and tasting Coke. You can skip Ellen's ride...
The best ride to Fastpass is Test Track!

Our fourth day, Wednesday, was spent at Hollywood Studios. Our little guy loved the Toy Story ride and meeting the Disney Junior characters at this park. The fireworks show as also great. 

Best ride to Fastpass: Toy Story, Rock-n-Roll Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror

Our fifth AND sixth days we divided between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Same highlights as above. 

All in all in was an amazing trip and I think a week is the perfect amount of time at Disney! 

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2nd Birthday Party

By 9:26 PM , ,
Somehow, someway my baby is two...this has hit me hard. The fact that I have a FULL ON toddler and not a baby has weighed emotionally on me much more than I thought it would. This year for his second birthday we threw our little guy a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party. He has loved this show since he was little and after meeting Mickey at Disney a couple months ago the Mickey party was an easy decision. Here are the highlights...

First things first (this is not sponsored) if you have not purchased the quick fill water balloon Shark Tank invention yet you NEED to. Seriously...I bought these for E's party for only $9 at Walmart and they were worth every. single. penny. They filled over 100 water balloons in a matter of minutes and the kids loved them. Plus it was fun to watch them fill up and tie off all on their own. Totally genius. O.k. now back to the party.

The only negative to the party was it was outside. We had about 50 people and my house does not fit 50 people comfortably. Little did I know it would be the hottest day of the year. Seriously, heat index of 104...we have some amazing friends and family for sticking it out. Unfortunately we forgot to take a single photo of mommy and daddy with the birthday boy but I did manage to take some photos the party before the guests arrived. This sign greeted guests as they walked up. 

My mom, aka our all star cake maker,
 made the Mickey cake and cupcakes. 

These Mickey faces were posted all over the garage door as decor. (This picture makes me laugh as you can see us blowing up the awesome water balloons in the background.)

The party was set up in stations so next was the hopscotch game on the driveway. 

Since we knew it would be a hot one (not 104 mind you but yes still hot) we setup water stations around for the kids to plan in and asked them to wear bathing suits. So water stations were next. Another hit to the party was batting a water balloon off the tee. The kids LOVED it! 

We setup all the outdoor games like corn hole and ladder golf for adults and kids alike and then had this toss the ball in the Mickey bucket head for kids. 

To drink we had Pluto's lemonade and LOTS of water bottles in buckets. 

Here are the goody bags. The were stuffed with lots of Mickey items. 

We started a tradition last year where each year we buy a book for our birthday kiddo that is themed birthday of whatever kid of party they have. We have all the guest sign the book so the birthday boy can have it as a reminder of who all was at his party. 
The food table. 

 Included Donald's Dots, Goofy Grapes, Pluto's Cheetos, and others. 

Water, pinata, and gift fun.

Color a Mickey station.
My mother-in-law made this awesome 'pin the pieces on Mickey' felt board game for the kiddos. 

All in all, despite the heat, it was an another awesome party! We are so thankful for our sweet 2 year old! He is such a blessing we thank God for every day! 

If you missed his 1st birthday which was a Curious George themed party be sure to check it out here

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