Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Week with Three

This week I have been watching my niece Carolyne-Grace and her sister Madison. We have had so much fun having some extra friends around the house to play with : ) This week has been really great for Bennett as he learns to share his toys and share mommy's attention. It couldn't have come at a better time since BT's world will be changing in about 10 weeks when he becomes a big brother.

Our first day together we just hung out around the house. I wasn't quite brave enough to get out with all three just yet. There was lots of eating and playing outside!

Our second day together we decided to head to the splash pad. My mom came over to help and my grandmother and cousin brought over my cousin's little girls Lila and Ava to go with us as well. Bennett loved showing off his favorite place! I'm sure I was quite the site with two under two in a stroller, an almost six year old, and pregnant! HA!

We are planning to go to the Children's Museum on Friday and I can't wait to share more about that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 22 | Three Years

1,095 days.
156 weeks.
36 months.
3 years.
can't wait for a million more, adam kyle.

Jamie & Adam Leakey Wedding Video Sneak Peek from Hammond Studios on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Fun | Splash Pad

Staying cool this summer has been no easy task-not only is it pushing 100* everyday but I am also 7 months pregnant which is never a good combination! I am always on the hunt for fun, cool, places to take BT. The splash pad has been our go-to for the last several days to keep cool. It's about 10 minutes from our house and only cost a dollar for an all day in/out pass. There is also a really great playground that Bennett loves!

I definitely think we're going to make SP visits a weekly occurrence! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Classroom Finds

Being a teacher has so many perks, one of those being a much needed break in June and July! Even though I'm not surrounded by a classroom full of kiddos for these two months, I am still working almost daily on something for work. Whether it's lesson plans, getting back to school things ready, or buying supplies I am constantly thinking about my classroom. Last week I was able to find some really great additions to my classroom that I wanted to share!

Bennett and I have been frequenting Target almost daily to escape the heat and have something to do. While we were there one day last week they were unboxing the new dollar spot stuff. I knew immediately that it was the back to school items so we walked around the store forever waiting for them to unpack! I actually had to go back two additional times that day because they kept taking breaks from unpacking and it wasn't all out until later that night.

I was able to pick up a pencil chalkboard door hanger that I wrote my name on, a few pocket charts for vocabulary or centers, adhesive label protectors, telling time & multiplication flash cards and a U.S. puzzle map for a co-worker.

That same day Bennett and I also went to the dollar tree and I found these cute baskets. No idea what I'm going to use them for but I'm sure I'll think of something!

I have been eyeing this photo storage from Michaels for sometime and it finally went on sale (40% off). I am going to use it for task cards. I think it will be much easier for the kiddos to access when they are organized and labeled in this box.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Current Toddler Favorites | Bath Time

As a part of our predictable bedtime routine we give Bennett a bath every single night. From day one I have been adamant about using skin products on Bennett that don't have harsh chemicals and won't irritate his already sensitive skin. Since we battled with eczema a lot early on it has been even more important to me to continue using products that I know work well for him. It's not necessarily about the brand but more what works. If dollar store soap is what worked, that's what I'd be using so I don't want you to think I'm just mentioning these products because they are the "cool" thing to use.

Bath Time Favorites | Bennett

Honest Co. Shampoo + Body Wash | We love the smell (and benefits) of lavender essential oils so it was no surprise that we loved this shampoo + body wash.

Honest Co. Face + Body Lotion | I mentioned this lotion in my last favorites post but I wanted to mention it again because it's part of our nighttime routine with Bennett. After he gets out of the bath we head straight to his room for a diaper, lotion, and pj's. I spend a little extra time putting his lotion on, massaging his legs, and getting him calmed down for bedtime. Love love LOVE this stuff!

Aveeno Baby Bubble Bath | Bennett loves having bubbles in the bathtub and I love this bubble bath! Again, it has the lavender scent that calms and is fun for Bennett to play in. It's perfect for his sensitive skin because it has absolutely zero soap in it.

Pottery Barn Kids Towel | I'm not totally picky about the towels we use each night, I just grab one out of the closet when it's time to get him out, but I do love these from PBK! They are super soft and I definitely want to get one for Shep as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bennett | 18 Months

Pictures from his 18 month well-check. No shots, just a finger prick to check iron (at my request because he is constantly wanting to eat ice--thankfully his iron is fine!)

Bennett was officially 18 months old on June 4th. I cannot believe my sweet boy is one and a half! He is growing into such a fun, independent, WILD, toddler & I love every second of it. I will admit though, there are days where I am super emotional over him getting older. Pregnancy hormones, maybe? Either way it is so bittersweet to see the little baby in him slip further and further away everyday. I love that we can communicate and that he is developing his own personality and I am starting to realize that every phase truly is my "favorite" : )

Height/Weight: 25lbs & 33in. His weight has really mellowed out the last 6 months and he hasn't really gained much but that's because he's been growing like a weed and is in the 80th% for height! Tall & skinny! 

Hair: Bennett has had seven haircuts and is pretty much on a 4 week rotation with them now. He has started getting his haircut by the same lady who has cut his daddy's hair for the last 10 years which is fun. 

Eyes: The prettiest blue ever

Clothes: BT has the tiniest little waist and still wears mostly 6-12m shorts. Some of his shorts and Jon Jons from last year still fit because he has just gotten taller not wider. He wears mostly 18m-2t shirts. 

Diapers: Size 4. He has recently started taking his diaper off if he doesn't have shorts on and telling us when he needs a new diaper. We are not anywhere near ready for potty training but it is encouraging that he is starting the beginning signs of being ready. With Shep due just before BT's second birthday I am not even going to think about trying to PT until at least next summer. 

Sleeping: Bennett goes to bed at 7:00pm and sleeps until 6:45-7:00am. He takes two naps a day, one around 9:00am and the other around 4:00pm for about an hour and a half each. We are going to try to transition to one long afternoon (around 1:00) nap this summer because that's the schedule he will be on in when he goes back to daycare in the fall, but I sure am going to miss those morning naps ; )

Likes: Doing anything and everything by himself! He is so independent and does not want help with anything..until he realizes he can't do whatever it is he is trying to do and then will grab our hands and direct us where he wants us. It's funny but also a little annoying because I want him to be a baby and need his mommy more. 

Dislikes: Bennett still HATES getting his diaper and clothes changed. Apparently it's only at home with us because he doesn't do it at church or daycare so who knows but it's literally like wrestling an alligator. 

Eating: He pretty much eats anything he wants at this point. He is starting to be a little more picky about the things he likes but still has a pretty hearty appetite most meals. For breakfast he loves mini pancakes, bananas, and any kind of cereal. For lunch he usually eats some sort of sandwich with deli meat or left overs from dinner the night before. His favorite meal at dinner time is alfredo pasta. He eats SO much of it! Loves his carbs just like his mama ; )

Milestones: Bennett is saying SO many words and repeats everything! 

Baby items we can't live without: We are really enjoying our City Select stroller. This is the stroller we will use when Shep arrives since it's intended to be used as a double so I've started using it more regularly with Bennett and I just love how easy it is to use and that I have so many options for seat configurations and a ton of storage space underneath. We also couldn't live without outdoor toys. Bennett wants to be outside every second of the day. He mostly enjoys his Little Tikes truck, his slide, his sandbox, and his water table. 

I'm going to continue these fun updates every 6 months with Bennett because it's such a fun way to keep track of his development and look back and see all that he was into around certain ages. I have a baby book for him that I still fill out but this is just a lot easier ; )

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Registry Wish List | Baby #2

Entering into my 27th week of pregnancy (and ending the school year) has really lit a fire under me to start getting things ready for Shep's arrival. Since this is our second baby we anticipate having to get most of the things we want ourselves so we really want to be organized and strategic about our purchases. Since we do have most everything we need it is a lot easier to narrow down what's left to put on our list. There are a few things that I want to do differently this time around including using a different infant carrier. Below I've shared my top wish list items for baby number two.

With Bennett we had a Britax B-Safe infant seat, which I loved, but I really want something new for Shep. I feel like 90% of the stuff he is getting will be from his brother and I just want something completely new and fresh for him. Knowing just how much time he will spend in this seat for the first several months of his life really has me wanting to get a new one. 

I didn't wear Bennett a ton but mostly because I didn't need to. I imagine having a toddler + newborn will look very different than the first time around and I anticipate it being essential for me to wear Shep a lot. I actually just received this in the mail and am really excited to learn how to use it. There are some really great tutorials on the Solly Baby website that I will definitely utilize!

This is something that I really wanted to get for my hospital stay with Bennett and then it just completely slipped my mind. Looking back, I don't know that I would have worn it much because it was December and I was always cold. Since I'll be having Shep in September I know I will want something light and airy that still looks nice when we having visitors in the hospital + once we get home. 

I just really love the idea of having this swaddle for pictures! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Family Beach Trip 2016 | St. Augustine

Our family has been going to St. Augustine for as long as I can remember. It's one of my favorite beaches and we really enjoy vacationing there. Last year we went with my entire extended family on my mom's side. This year it was just my immediate family but we still had a GREAT time and it was really nice to get to spend so much time together!

We left Wednesday morning around 5:30am and arrived by lunch time. We have never left at this time for a trip so I wasn't sure how Bennett would do waking up that early but he actually did really well and we have definitely decided he travels much better during the early part of the day than any other time. I thought he would go back to sleep but he actually stayed awake for a while and only fell asleep at his scheduled nap time. We stocked up on tons of DVD's before the trip so that definitely helped keep him and CG (who insisted on riding with us because of the DVD player ha!) occupied.

We spent the first afternoon on the beach and I was so happy to see that Bennett did much better this time than he did on our spring break trip. When we went to Siesta Key for spring break Bennett was ALL OVER THE PLACE when we went to the beach. He wouldn't stay near us and play and just wanted to roam everywhere. I think having Carolyne-Grace there really helped keep him occupied.

That night we had decided to go to dinner at our favorite place, Osteins, but found out when we pulled up they were closed for vacation. We were so bummed but remembered another place we liked that was just down the street so we headed there. After dinner we walked over to the downtown area to get ice cream. We decided to take a family selfie and it will forever be my favorite picture of all of us together! I love the faces Bennett and Carolyne-Grace are making ha!!

We spent all day Thursday at Disney and then hit up the pool + beach all day on Friday. My parents old neighbors and good friends moved to Jacksonville a couple of years ago so they came over and spent the day with us. It was nice to catch up with them and see their boys. Bennett enjoyed hanging out with them too!

We ended up getting Salt Water Cowboys togo that night so the kids could swim late. We always like to take it easy a couple of nights too just because getting ready and going out to eat every night takes a lot of effort with kids!!

Saturday was a full on beach day! We set up the tailgate tent and spent most of our day under it because we were all burnt but it was such a fun, relaxing day. Bennett played so hard and took a long afternoon nap before we went to dinner. We went to the Conch house and got to eat in our own little tiki hut. It was so much fun and the kids loved being up high and being able to see the boats. The food was really good too! We will definitely remember it for next year. After dinner CG really wanted to play putt-putt so we found a place close by and went and played.

unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy these since I'm pregnant.. but they were too pretty to not snap a picture!

We had a lot of fun until about half way through. I posted this picture on Instagram with the caption "right before all hell broke loose on our night. BT fell and busted his lip, he cried for the next 10 holes, then he pooped and got it all over his clothes, freaked out when we were changing his diaper because he has a terrible diaper rash because of nasty diapers from teething & then ad came a mm away from backing into a car on the way out. just proof that life on IG ain't what it really is most of the time." I really need to share more "real" moments like that so y'all do think I've got it all together..because I promise I don't a lot of the time ; )

Adam and I decided to head back home Sunday morning instead of later that afternoon since Bennett was so ill the night before. He has 4 teeth coming in and was just a mess. The rest of my family stayed until Monday. We are so thankful for the chance to vacation with my family and can't wait to continue our yearly beach tradition next year!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Current Toddler Favorites | Diaper Changing

Since a lot of my friends are starting to have babies I am constantly getting asked what products we can't live without. I've been keeping a running list on my phone for some time so that I can share them here. Since the list is quite long I'm going to share in several different categories. First up, diaper changing essentials.

Wipes | These Water Wipes are hands down the BEST wipes on the market. I not only love how wet and soft they are but the fact that they are 99.9% water makes me feel so much better about putting them on Bennett's sensitive skin. All that to say, we do use Pamper's wipes as well for everyday quick diaper changes but anytime Bennett has a diaper rash or I need to clean his hands/face I use these every time. Since they are a little pricier I don't like to use them for every single thing. We typically purchase these wipes at Target but Amazon has a huge box of 720 wipes for $40 that I think we may invest in the next time we run out. 

Diapers | I have been a hardcore Pampers diaper fan since day 1. We have used every kind of Pampers diapers and have loved all of them. I have heard that the Target brand diapers are very comparable so I think we may try those the next time we run out just to see!

Honest Co. Face + Body Lotion | I put this on Bennett's legs and arms almost every time I change him. I just love the way it smells (made with lavender essential oils!) and it relaxes him while he's getting changed. Usually he is a wild animal when he needs a new diaper so this definitely helps keep him calm. 

Honest Co. Diaper Rash Cream | For the most part we have been able to keep diaper rash at bay, but when teething hits and bad diapers are happening every few hours it's almost inevitable. I have tried every kind of diaper rash cream on the market and this one is by far the best. It's smooth and thin, but not greasy. It works so quickly and smells great. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Our Current Schedule {Vol. 3}

I always love seeing what a "typical" day looks like for other moms and I've enjoyed sharing what our days look like as well (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2). I am officially home with Bennett for the next 9 weeks so our schedule looks a lot different now than it does during the school year but I wanted to give an update on how things are going with our schedule and share a "day in the life."

We are still using, and loving, the Moms on Call schedule. It has been essential for us to keep BT on a schedule. As he's gotten older we've been able to be a little more flexible with his times but for the most part he is a creature of habit and does things close to the same time everyday on his own.

This is the recommended daily schedule for a 15-18 month old (we haven't transitioned to the 18m+ schedule because that would require him to give up his morning nap. we're working towards that but right now we're still doing two.)

7:00 wake up
7:30 breakfast
9:00 nap
10:30 snack
12:00 lunch
12:30/1:00 nap
3:00 snack
5:00 supper
6:30 bath
7:00 bedtime

Here is what our day looked like one day this week...

6:45 Bennett woke up and drank his milk on the couch with me while he watched Little Einsteins **He typically wakes up anywhere from 6:30-7:00. If he happens to wake up any earlier we do not go in his room and 99% of the time he falls back asleep.

7:30 Adam took Bennett on a quick walk on our street while I caught up on one of my shows and got breakfast ready

7:45 Bennett had eggs, blueberries, and toast for breakfast. He is a really good eater and will eat pretty much anything we give him. His favorites for breakfast are mini pancakes, french toast sticks, toast, and eggs. He also loves the occasional taste of bacon and grits when Adam & I are eating them ; )

8:30 I decided to go get Chickfila, and should have known better leaving this close to nap time, because Bennett fell asleep in the car. I decided to just drive around for a little while and eat my breakfast while he napped. I went and looked at a couple neighborhoods we have been eyeing and then headed back home.

When we got home we played outside for a while, had a snack (strawberries), and played in his playroom. & then Shugie and Carolyne-Grace stopped by with smoothies! Bennett had strawberry-banana and loved it..until he spilt it all over my living room rug : /

11:30 we had lunch a little early today since I had a ton of errands to run. Bennett had ham on a Hawaiian roll (his favorite!) with some apple slices and popcorn. I had PB&J and popcorn...we're fancy around here ; )

12:00 Bennett and I went to Old Navy, Marshalls, Target, and Michaels. I have said this from day one, but getting out and about with Bennett is always a good idea. He loves being on the go and is just a happy little camper the whole time. Give him a snack, a sippy cup, and a paci and he is good for hours.

2:00 We got home from running errands and Bennett had another snack (cheese slices) and some milk.

2:30 Bennett usually goes down for a nap around 3:00/3:30 but he was overly tired after being out so I put him down at 2:30. He fell asleep pretty quickly and I took care of some business with AT&T (#boring) // this is part of the MOC schedule that I don't follow usually. At daycare he takes a nap at 3:00 so I try to keep that the same at home. I am working on transitioning him to an earlier nap time though because it works better for me.

4:30 Bennett woke up and drank some more milk on the couch with me. He never wakes up very good and always needs a few minutes of snuggles to be fully happy. I don't mind it one bit because he NEVER cuddles otherwise.

5:00 Adam got home and we hung out for a while playing with Bennett.

6:30 Normally at this time one of us (usually me) would give Bennett a bath but this particular day we were meeting some friends for dinner. Typically we would never go to dinner this late but our friends just moved 30 minutes away from us vs the 2.5 hours that they used to be so we decided to go anyway. Thankfully it wasn't an issue.

8:30 We got home and put Bennett to sleep. Once he was asleep we got ready for bed, watched the Bachelorette, and passed out!

Having a day where we follow the schedule exactly rarely happens but I love having it as a guideline. It was especially helpful in his younger days and I know it will be essential once Shep arrives!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Disney World | Our Day at Magic Kingdom

For the past several years we have gone to Magic Kingdom for a day or two. Last year when we were in St. Augustine we decided to drive over for the day and it has sort of become a tradition. We left last Wednesday for the beach and spent all day Thursday at Disney. I was a little unsure of how Bennett would do at this age but our day went great and I can't wait to take him back again next year!

We left St. Augustine around 9:30am and arrived at Magic Kingdom about 12:00pm. We walked in right in time to catch the Move it, Shake it parade. This might have been Bennett's favorite part of the entire day. He loved seeing all the characters and dancing to the music.

Our first ride of the day was Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel. Bennett rode on his own horse while Adam held on to him and I rode beside him. He thought this was the funniest thing and was waving to everyone. After the carrousel we watched Mickey's PhilharMagic 3d show. This is always our go-to for getting out of the sun and into some AC! The show is actually really good and probably Adam's favorite part of the day. Bennett was really into it for most of the show and then decided he was done with about 5 minutes left. I took him over to the side to finish watching it but it was still a great break from the heat.

About the time we finished we decided to eat lunch. We always take a medium soft sided cooler with frozen bottled water, snacks, and sandwiches. Food at Disney is good, but it's expensive, and with kiddos it's just so much easier to pack a lunch. We remembered a shaded spot with tables back in Fantasyland near the Splash 'N' Soak Station so we headed back there and found a shaded table with an umbrella. We ate lunch and then let CG and BT play in the water for a little while (we always bring a change of clothes!).

Since the splash pad was near Pete's Silly Slideshow we decided to jump in line to meet Donald and Goofy. I wasn't sure how Bennett would react to the characters but he did great. He waved and blew kisses while we waited in line and gave high fives once we were up close. He didn't want to walk up without me though.

Our plan was to ride Dumbo afterwards but Bennett was getting tired so Adam and I strolled him around while the rest of the family rode Dumbo, the tea cups, and Tomorrowland Speedway. My mom and CG also stood in line to meet Anna and Elsa while my dad and brother rode Space Mountain. This worked out great because they were able to do things Bennett couldn't do (other than Dumbo) while he snoozed away *you can see how dirty he got his stroller while eating lunch ; )

Once Bennett woke up we decided to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh while we waited to meet back up with the rest of my family. Bennett hated waiting in line for this ride (45 minutes) but LOVED the ride once we got on.

Once we met up with everyone else we decided on one last ride of the day... Under the Sea~Journey of Little Mermaid. We were contemplating doing this and then It's a Small World (my favorite!!) but ultimately decided to just do this instead because the wait time was significantly less and we were ready to leave. It's such a cute ride and another one that was super toddler friendly.

Of course I made us take the long way back to Main Street so I could get my beloved Pineapple Dole Whip. I cannot go to Magic Kingdom without getting one. It was the perfect way to cool off and end our day!

We got back to the car around 6:00, grabbed dinner on the way home, and I was hopeful Bennett would fall asleep in the car on the way back. No such luck with CG in the car and Barney on the DVD player ; ) We finally made it home around 9:00 and Bennett CRASHED.

We had such a fun day and I hope we are able to go back again next year! We would love to do a big family Disney trip and actually stay on site for a week or so once the kids are a little bigger. Right now it's perfect for us to scoot over for the day then head back to the beach. 

All in all, taking an 18-month old to Disney was not nearly as crazy as I had envisioned it to be. He totally fell into the magic of Disney and really had a great day!