The Big Bump Picture

In a little over a month, Jimmie will be one. I still can’t wrap my mind around that statement. Not only will Jimmie be one, but it’ll also be my one year anniversary of not being pregnant anymore. Is that a thing? I hated being pregnant. Most people probably thought I loved it because I have always thought being pregnant would be the best thing ever, but it was the exact opposite for me.

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My handsome, little man. Easter 2015.

I always wanted to be a mom and I always wanted to be pregnant. Never did I think I would hate it as much as I did. I had an easy pregnancy compared to a lot of people I know, mainly my sister-in-law who was sick the WHOLE time she was pregnant. Not only did I not have morning sickness, I didn’t have too many food aversions, and I never peed my pants. I slept pretty well for the majority of my pregnancy (Jimmie never kept me up, which is probably why he sleeps all night now!) and I only had back pain from 30 weeks on. (Although, at the time, the back pain seemed constant and never ending)

Women say how they miss being pregnant, but I don’t. I’d rather have Jimmie in my arms than in my belly. I worried too much while I was pregnant. And even though I worry too much now, I feel like I worry a little less. I didn’t think I could protect him more while he was inside of me, the way some people do. I hated “being fat.” I hated not knowing when the pregnancy weight would come off and I hated having to eat “extra”. Seriously, it was a hassle to eat so much food. (Turns out it all came off by 5 months and I am still losing weight, which is strange.)

Where I’m going with this is: Here is my bump collage. (Long winded, right?)

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And in black and white, just for funsies. I made these on collage.com. Pretty cool right? It took forever but I think they turned out great. I can’t believe how much I changed from the top left picture to the bottom right picture. At the time I thought I was a skinny, pregnant girl. Wrong. I was pretty darn big; I can now see it in my face. I had baby blinders on before. 

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Friday Five

1. We finally made the jump from Comcast internet/cable to Verizon yesterday. Some people say it was a mistake, but it has been a long time coming. We had so many issues with Comcast and half the time, our internet was too slow to even use. I’m sure it can’t get any worse than Comcast, therefore this was a good move for us. Plus, we saves $30 a month!

2. I’m way past ready for Spring to come and stay. Yesterday’s weather reminded me why I want to live down South. I would love having two or three “cold” winter days and the rest just pleasant days. I would gladly give up my UGGS and winter coats for good.

3. Who’s Charles? That’s the big question on all Pretty Little Liars minds. I’m pretty pissed that another season has come and gone and we still really don’t know who “A” is. We can only assume he is related to Allison. It could be Andrew or it could be Jason’s twin brother. Who knows? Really though, who knows? Give me their number. I wonder how Sara Shepard feels about all of these twists and turns. How cool was it that she was in an episode this reason? I definitely predicted that Mona wasn’t dead, and I was right. I’m glad she is back. I wonder how long the girls will be stuck in the creepy dollhouse. Aren’t they supposed to graduate soon? Go to college?

4. I’m currently reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It is an interesting book but I am dragging my feet on it. Hopefully I can find some time to read it this weekend. I try to read before bed but then I just get tired and want to go to sleep. Jimmie has been napping a lot in the Ergo, though, which means I have some time that I have to sit, which is when I have been doing a lot of my reading.

5. Jimmie must be getting another tooth. Yesterday he was very clingy, which is unlike him. He has also been fighting naps tooth and nail, pun intended. I hold my breath when I put him down and pray that he will nap. If not, into the Ergo he goes. The kid has to nap.

Five blog posts I am loving this week:

I wish Someone Would’ve Warned Me About These BIG FEELINGS (Of course I cried.)

Why I put my Kids to Bed at 7:00 (Jimmie goes to bed around 7. When we try to keep him up later, he fights it. He likes his 12 hours [or more] sleep schedule. Which is why I really can’t complain about naps.)

Chatty Patty (Kids really do say the cutest things. I found this blog over the weekend and I am loving what this little girl has to say! This Dad blogger is so sweet.)

The Most Insane List of Care Instructions Ever Left (This was me when we went to Disney. I lived with my parents for two months, not too long ago, and I still felt the need to go into great detail. But hey, my mom said my instructions were almost spot on, so go me)

Old Times (I’m still carrying Jimmie in his Ergo. I thought about this yesterday and how I have been carrying him around for almost 20 months [9 in my belly and 11 in the Ergo.] I’m going to be sad when he won’t go in the Ergo anymore. Jim just started wearing him on his back last weekend. I don’t like it as much because I can’t kiss his face when he is back there!)

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My little rocker

 

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Jimmie can go from standing to sitting, but not sitting to standing. Either way, he is so proud of himself when he stands.

 

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Jimmie thinks he is an elephant too.

 

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Brothers

 

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My new spot to blog while Jimmie plays in his playroom.

 

From Dining Room to Playroom

Now that Jimmie is on the move (still army crawling), we decided we should give him a little more space. We had our one (and only one) table in the dining room of our town home. Our kitchen is connected to a small room. We could have turned it into another eating area when we moved in, but we we decided to use it as a library/dump everything baby and random stuff in there because we didn’t feel the need to have two tables.

The other night while watching a documentary on Netflix called Tiny, I decided maybe we could put out dining room table into the library. Obviously, we didn’t downsize our home but somehow this revelation was inspired by the movie. It was 9:30 at night and we decided, let’s measure and then see if we could make it work. So we measured (Jim measured) and we figured out that there was a good chance that we could empty out the dining room and stick everything in other rooms. This would make space for the baby and utilize a room that is hardly used. Our “library” also has a fireplace. Since we previously had no where to sit in there, we hardly used it. Next winter we will be using our fire place a lot more. We also put a desk in the playroom to keep the laptop on and printer. Now all the baby stuff is in one room. Of course, it trickles out into the living room, but at least at the end of the night, I can put it in its place and have my living room back.

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dining room before

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dining room after

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kitchen

library before

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library after

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My before and after pictures obviously are not from the same perspective, but I hope you get the idea. I probably should have thought about this post before the switch, not after. Jimmie is loving all of the extra space and we are loving the new set up too. The best part is, we can look out onto our deck when we eat, which backs up to some woods. This, of course, distracts, Jimmie. I just close the blinds when that happens.

Book Review: Words to Dream On by Diane Stortz

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Words to Dream On: Bedtime Bible Stories and Prayers by Diane Stortz is my son’s first Bible. The book is split into two parts: The Old Testament and The New Testament. Not only are the words so powerful in this children’s Bible, the illustrations are just as moving. Each Bible story is written in a way that younger children can understand them. There are 52 stories total: 26 in The Old Testament and 26 in The New Testament. My son is only ten months old, but I wanted to start teaching him about God at a young age; I believe faith should play an important role in his life. This Bible will grow with him. Right now, he is more interested in the pictures, but eventually, he will learn to appreciate the words too.

I love the way Diane Stortz turns a Bible passage into a story that everyone, especially children, can understand and relate to. Each Bible story is written in two or three pages. Each story begins with “Words to Dream On” which is a specific Bible verse and then ends with a “Sleepy-Time Prayer” and a “Bedtime Blessing.” I have enjoyed adding a bedtime Bible story to our nightly routine. It calms us both down and reminds us to thank God for our day and ask him to bless us before we go to sleep.

As I stated previously, the illustrations by Diane Le Feyer are absolutely gorgeous. For a young child, these pictures are worth a thousand words. The installations are bright, detailed, and tell a story of their own.

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I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday Five

1. I think this whole “Race Together” Starbucks campaign isn’t the best idea Starbucks has ever had. If I still worked for the company, I would not participate. You know why? Because people shouldn’t be discussing diversity issues with strangers. Yes, Starbucks is supposed to be your “third place” between work and home. But do you really think people want to have deep discussion about race at 6 AM? I sure don’t. I knew a lot of my customers by their first names, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to have a in-depth discussion (while I am trying to work and they’re trying to get their coffee) about such hot topics. If people want to discuss race, they can with their friends, not their baristas.

2. I watched Chris Soules on dancing with the stars this week. He wasn’t that bad! His arms were a little stiff, which was mentioned by the judges, but other than that, this farmer has moves. I love his partner, Witney. I thought it was a little awkward when he forced her to motorboat him in rehearsal. How does his future wife, Whitney, feel about that? I’m pretty sure I don’t want anyone rubbing their face between my husband’s pecks, just sayin’.

3. The Blue Angels flew over Disney’s Magic Kingdom yesterday on a their way to an airshow in Florida. I had the pleasure of seeing a Blue Angels rehersal when I was living in Pensacola. They are truly amazing. What a special day for those visiting Magic Kingdom.

4. I am loving this article from Mama Lion Strong: To All of the Selfish Moms. I think there is too much pressure to be the perfect parent. There is a notion that if you don’t spend 24/7 with your kids, you’re “selfish.” I applaud all parents that make time for themselves (it’s easier said than done) and applaud this blogger. Kuddos!

5.  Today is the first day of Spring! We survived Jimmie’s first winter with one illness and not having to play in the snow. Of course, it’s snowing today. I woke up to let Toby out and thought, “Is this a joke?” I highly doubt I’ll go out and get my free Rita’s today. “They say” it’s supposed to be in the 60’s tomorrow. I guess I’ll just have to pay for my water ice.

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Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2015

flower gardenWhen Jim and I decided to go to Disney World, I checked all of my usual Disney blogs to see when the crowds are low/prices are low and also looked for when the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival was going to start. Originally, we were going to go during the first full week the festival was running (March 8-13) , but I soon found out that was the first week of the unofficial start of Spring Break in Disney World. Prices were a lot higher that week than the week prior, so I settled for two days of the Flower and Garden Festival and extended our five day trip to a 6 day trip. We ended up going March 1-6.

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101_8042Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival started on March 4 and will run until May 17. We went the day the festival began and the crowds weren’t too bad. We were obviously there to see the special topiaries and flowers, but also to ride our favorite rides. Wait times were low for rides and special outdoor kitchen booths. I didn’t eat too many things from the outdoor kitchens. I did have the Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart from the Florida Fresh kiosk and it tasted amazing; I should have had two.

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101_8010Our favorite part of the Flower and Garden Festival was the Butterflies on the Go walk through garden. Inside you can see dozens of butterflies flying all around. I saw a ton of different kinds of butterflies that I never saw before and was able to get really close to them to snap photos. My only complaint about the garden is that people were letting their kids touch the butterflies, which could actually kill a butterfly. Other than that, it was a great part of the festival.

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101_7990 The other garden I really liked was the new Disney Pixar film “Inside Out” Emotion Garden I loved the bold colors. Other than those two gardens, everything else was kinda eh. The topiaries were really neat, but there weren’t a lot of unique flowers, like we expected. I enjoyed being outside in the warm weather and inhaling the fresh flower smells, but I think Disney could have done more on the WOW factor. Why wasn’t there a huge rose garden? (Although, the Shakespeare garden was cool, there could have been more roses there.)

101_8059Overall, we weren’t super impressed with the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot. It was a fun one-time thing, but I’m glad we didn’t plan our entire vacation around it; that would have been disappointing. I wouldn’t not go if it were happening the week I planned on vacationing in Disney, I just wouldn’t go specifically for the festival again.

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101_8045Not only were the crowds were really low when we went to the festival, they were also low the entire time we were in Disney, which made it a perfect week to visit. The weather was way better than I expected (mid-80’s) and we never had to stand on a bus to or from our resort, Port Orleans French Quarter. We absolutely adored our hotel. Every time we went to get breakfast in the food quart I wondered where everyone was. It was the perfect place to relax without kids. My only hotel complaint was that there wasn’t a quiet pool. The main pool (with the slide) had loud music on the afternoon for kids. We easily could have walked to a quiet pool at Port Orleans Riverside, but we chose not to. Not only did we fit pool time into our “relaxing” vacation, we also roasted marshmallows at the resort. The resort builds a fire in a fire pit every night (weather permitting) and provides marshmallows (free of charge!) for roasting. How cool is that?

A very nice bonus to our trip was that we were able to see the carriage from the new Disney Cinderella movie. It was on display at Hollywood Studios. It doesn’t get much more magical than that. Speaking of Hollywood Studios, rumor has it that the park will get its third name changed since it opened in 1989. I still call it MGM. Maybe it could just go back to that?

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Taking a Vacation to Disney Without Your Kids

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Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

Jim and I decided back in September that we were going to go to Disney World in March, without Jimmie. He was about to go away to Arizona for two months and we knew we wanted to take a vacation when he got back to somewhere warm. I like the beach, he doesn’t. I refused to do a time change because I don’t do well with jet lag. We decided on Disney again because A)I love Disney and B) they give the military an amazing discount.

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Streets of America in Hollywood Studios

I kind of kept our vacation on the hush, hush because I didn’t want people to judge us. I didn’t want other peoples opinions to ruin our vacation. I know Jimmie is only 10 months, but I would not have left him if I didn’t think he was a good baby and that my parents could handle him. Jimmie sleeps through the night, naps regularly, and eats on a pretty set schedule. I worried, of course, and I missed him A TON, but we still enjoyed our vacation. We enjoyed our alone time, we needed it. Even though we enjoyed Disney without Jimmie, we can’t wait until Jimmie is old enough to go.  We are glad we chose not to bring him this time, even though we spent a lot of time looking at photos and videos my parents sent us.

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The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom

I really think it is important to spend time with your spouse after you have a child. This past year has been a difficult adjustment and although it was worth it, we needed some rest and relaxation. We could have brought Jimmie with us, but he wouldn’t have remembered the vacation. He would have been hot and probably cranky. We don’t get many “date nights.” We don’t have a babysitter here, and our parents aren’t close enough to us to just drop him off so that we can go out. We really don’t mind bringing Jimmie on our “dates” but sometimes we need it to be just the two of us. Which is why we took a year of “date nights” and put them into one vacation.

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Meeting Goofy and Pluto

Would we go on vacation without Jimmie again? Definitely. We are already thinking about going on a cruise next winter. As much as we missed our baby, we benefited greatly from just having some time for us. We did “adult” things, like sit at a bar where shared a beer sampler and dessert. We stayed up later than we normally do to watch a comedian. We went on rides that we know the baby won’t be able to go on for a long time. We were silly and in love.  It was perfect. The weather was amazing and we came back refreshed. I highly recommend this to all new parents. As for Jimmie, he enjoyed his vacation at his grandparent’s house too, even though it snowed most of the week. He was spoiled with hugs, kisses, new toys, and new clothes.

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Every vacation needs a duckface selfie

If Disney isn’t your thing, you could certainly go somewhere else. Just make sure you leave your little bundle of joy with someone who your child knows well and that you trust completely. I’m sure people are still judging us as they read this, and that’s fine. I honestly don’t care because I know that our vacation was the best choice for us and I look forward to doing it again. We probably won’t be taking as many of these vacations when Jimmie is older, but for now, they’re just what we need. Don’t get me wrong, we love taking Jimmie so many other places. We have been to zoos, small towns, new restaurants, and museums. When the weather is above freezing we go on weekend adventures to new spots in Maryland and Virginia. And of course, Jimmie went to Arizona with me to visit Jim while he was there. He is a great traveler and we are even talking about taking him on a two week road trip next summer. Embrace parenthood, but don’t forget about your marriage. Being a parent is an important job, but so is being in love with the man or woman you married.