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Monday, March 31, 2014

Kye Growth Delay Update!

It's hard to believe it's already been a year since Kye's last growth specialist visit. During this year I did my best to put the entire thing out of my mind. I focused on things I could control...which weren't many. I mean you can't really make your kid grow haha! However, after our last visit I was even more mindful about Kye's nutrition. I started giving him three Advocare chewable vitamins a day. One with each meal! At breakfast he gets the V100 (which is just an all around multi vitamin), at lunch he gets a Citrizinc (which has extra vitamin c, zinc and vitamin d), and at dinner he gets a purple champs (which gives him added DHA). They are all fine to take together (I had two drs look them over including his pediatrician and the packaging says for ages 4 and up). I also make sure he gets at least 24 oz of milk a day and eats a well balanced diet. I've always been mindful about what my kids eat, but I knew that nutrition was pretty much the only thing I could really do this year to help him reach his full growth I took it even more seriously than I always have!

When we had the appointment last April they gave us orders to get another bone scan as well as lab work this year. Getting it all done in time for the appointment was a bit of a hassle, but we did it :) He was late to school a couple of mornings but at least it got done! Last time we did the labs at one hospital here locally and it was an awful experience for him. I really wanted to avoid that if it all possible! We talked a lot about it and I told him that he had to get the scan and labs. He remembered, vividly, having to have the labs done. But he was SO great about it! We talked about how it might hurt a little but that then it's over with and we'd get to go back to the doctor in Tallahassee where we get donuts after :)

Bone scan was a breeze!
This time for the labs we went to the pediatric unit at another hospital. It was neat to go up there as I've never been there other then when we take our babies back to the hospital a couple days after giving birth. So a lot of sweet memories came flooding back. The nurses there were AMAZING. The labs were SO, SO much better. They said they have special small needles and things that a regular, "adult" hospital just doesn't have. They were SUPER sweet to him and he didn't even shed a TEAR which is huge compared to last time where he sobbed and sobbed into my arms. I'm so thankful we went where we did and that it was such a great experience! I wish I could get my shots there ;)
Over this year I haven't been worried about his growth, because I know it's out of my hands. However, I have been mindful of his height, his changes, his clothing sizes. Last year when we went to those appointments he was still able to wear some size 24 months shorts! This year he is in a TRUE 5T. Isn't that crazy!? He pretty much skipped sizes 2T and 3T and went straight to a 4T and even that didn't last long!

Seeing his obvious growth (pants sizes don't lie!) made me feel very confident going into our appointment. Like I wasn't nervous at allll. How could he still possibly have any type of delay if he's wearing a size 5T and isn't even 5 years old yet?!?!? I was so confident that my confidence actually made me nervous haha. I've never felt SO SURE and I'm not used to feeling that way!

Originally we planned to take Britt with us to the check-up. Again, I felt confident that this would be our last visit to this specialist, so I wanted Britt to get to experience Krispy Kreme donuts ;) However, we ended up leaving her behind. We were leaving for Disney that weekend and didn't want her to spend that much driving time in the car! Plus it was good to get some alone time with Kye too :)

When we got there they measured him first thing. His blood pressure was 98/78, he weighed 40.6 lbs, and was 42.5 inches tall. Yes. 42.5 inches tall. At his four year old check-up (which was LESS than a year ago from this appointment) he was only 39 inches tall. That's a growth of 3.5 inches in less than a year!!! After seeing that number I was smiling from ear to ear :) Drs are only looking for a 2 inch growth each year so he grew significantly above that!

When the doctor came in she was also very smiley and relaxed and happy. She said right from the start "this is a positive appointment!" MUSIC TO MY EARS!!! She went over his stats and said she reviewed his bone scan as well. Last year when he had his bone scan it said his bone age was that of a 2 year old...even though he was 4 years old. This year? His bone age is that of a 4 ½ year old! So not fully caught up to his current age...but super close :)

Dr. Wright told us that he is fully caught up to his peers in growth, his hormone levels for growth are all up, the levels in his labs that made her a little nervous before are now fully fine and in normal ranges, and he is in the 50% for height now for his age (rather than 30% like last year). She also said he is now in the appropriate height range for our family history and that he was never actually medically short, but that just that he was behind where he should be for our family. I mean can it GET any better than that news?!?!?

Moving forward she said she does NOT need to see us again! That we just need to continue to monitor his growth at this regular yearly check-ups and if he ever doesn't grow those 2 inches in a year then we need to come back to her, especially during pre-puberty years. I asked about his milk intake and she said it's best to continue to give him 24 oz of milk a day and to continue with the vitamins and whatever I've basically done the last year because it's all helped :) 

She said she still believes that both of our children are "loyal kids" and that Kye will probably be like Zach. He will be "shorter" now but will continue to grow after high school and will end up being tall. Based on the Baby Center Height Predictor it says Kye will be 6 feet tall at age 18. And Dr. Wright said she suspects he will continue growing after age 18. Seeing 6 feet tall is a big relief for sure ;) 

When we talked about our "loyal son" I had to bring up Britt because last appointment the dr told us she suspected that Britt is an early bloomer like I was (meaning her bone age is actually older than her true age whereas Kye's bone age is younger than his actual age). I told her that at 2 years old Britt is already 36 inches and she laughed and said "yup, loyal daughter too!" Basically if the dr is correct, Kye (who appears short right now) will be tall like Zach and Britt (who appears tall right now) will be short like me! So funny b/c whenever people see our kids they ALWAYS say "he's short like his mama and she takes after her daddy!" Well, they are probably all wrong ;)

Zach and I both were SOOOO happy at the amazing good news all around at this visit!!! Praise the LORD for our healthy boy and for not more growth delay concerns!!! 

Kye actually has never known any specifics about any of this. I do NOT want him to ever feel ashamed or embarrassed by his height. Colt and Payton are MEGA tall. Zach is super tall. Most of Zach's family are all very tall (I mean Courtney is 6 foot and Casey and Mrs. Charlotte are like 5'10" I think?). So I never want Kye to not feel "good enough" in anyway about his height. I don't want him to be insecure about it, ya know? So I never have told him about any of these concerns and, so far, he has never seemed bothered one bit about his stature. Now that he's just as tall as his peers we hopefully won't have any issues with height self-esteem stuff! 
Donut Reward TIME!

I am truly beyond thankful for God's hand in all of this and how He has blessed us with such healthy children. I'm thankful that I had faith during this past year and that I didn't let this concern cloud my life in a negative way at all. Thank you to everyone who prayed for this visit! It truly could not have gone more perfectly and it was THE BEST way to kick off our amazing Disney trip :) 

22 Week OBGYN Visit

Just got home from my 22 week check-up! Since this was just a heartbeat quick check I decided to bring Britt along. I wanted her to get to hear her baby brother or sister :) It also worked out where Zach didn't have a meeting this morning so he was able to come too!

It was a frazzled morning and I ended up forgetting my birth plan on the counter in the kitchen when I walked out the door. Boo. Sidenote but I also forgot my bag of returns for Hobby Lobby and drove all the way there after the appointment before I realized it. Sigh. Thanks pregnancy brain :)

I LOVE the early morning appointments because you are in and out so fast! Right when I got there they called me back. The girl who took my blood pressure asked if I have typically low blood pressure? To which I answered...I have no idea. They always tell me when they check it that it's "good" so I just go with that :)

Britt was excited for the visit and LOVES to go to the doctor. How random is that? She crawled up on the table and sat with me while we waited for Stacy and we did the heartbeat check as soon as she came in. I loved watching Britt's little face as she listened. It sounded SO FAST to me but was in the 150s and Leo was moving like crazy! Enough to where I even saw a kick that made the heart beat finder thing bounce up in Stacy's hand :) Love our active baby! 

When we left I asked Britt if she liked hearing the baby and she said yes and I asked her what it sounded like and she said "the baby walking" which is pretty true! I'm glad she was able to be there to hear it and especially glad Zach was there too. There is no sound sweeter!

The visit was very quick but I asked a few questions:

  • Ireland is RIGHT around the corner. Stacy said to wear my compression stockings and to get up to walk around every 2-3 hours. Which is MUCH better than what the pediatrician told me last week...she said every 45 min! Stacy said that since the flight there is through the night that I'm okay to sleep longer than the 2-3 hours. 
  • She also said to take one baby aspirin on the travel days to help and that it's fine to take benedryl if I have any flight anxiety!
  • I asked about my back pain and she said she bought a pillow at Target that has a massager in it and has heat and she uses that to help her back. She said I'm doing all the things I can do to help it and that the belt thing I found may or may not make a difference. She said the belt thing is one of those things where the more you spend, the better it works. She also said she can write a prescription for one that would be better than anything I can find on Amazon. But that when she used it it was annoying so she'd always end up taking it off. I may just try to wait it out as long as I can!
  • I told her I'm going to bring the birth plan next visit since I forgot it. She feels confident that i won't need it but she wants to sign it and have it on file just in case she can't be there or something goes down, which I agree about!
  • I talked to her a good bit about when I go into labor. I'm hoping to wait until I'm 8 cm this time which is cutting it close. She said they've never had a car delivery for a first born baby but have had quite a few for a third baby. Zach was nervous about that haha! I asked if I should call the hospital to tell them I'm coming and she said it wouldn't really speed up any of the process but that I should text or call her and let her know so she can be prepared and that way too if she can't be there she can get ahold of Theresa and make sure she's there this time for us! 
  • I know this is my THIRD time doing this but I asked her how I will know when to leave for the hospital haha. But, legit, I did NOT know I was in labor with Britt! Ask Crissy and Robyn b/c I was texting them both asking them how far apart contractions should be and even when driving to the hospital I called Stacy and she didn't believe me that I was in labor b/c I sounded too upbeat haha. She said to make sure I don't come until contractions are 5 min or less apart but with Britt they were like 2-3 min apart very early on in labor so I don't know if the timer is too good of a judge, which she agreed about.
  • She said when I start to get miserable that it's probably a good time to go ahead and come. Zach gets SO NERVOUS while I'm laboring at home. She said to expect labor to be MUCH faster this time so I just have a feeling that my labor at home stage will be quick
  • We did talk more about the whopping cough. I know, I talk to her about it every visit haha! But there have been TWO babies here locally that have died from it so it's a legit concern. Unfortunately we can't get the vaccine at the ob office so I need to schedule an appointment for Zach and I to go get the DTAP somewhere else and I need to go after my next OB visit!
On my way out Stacy mentioned that based on their scales I've only gained 8 lbs total which is awesome for being this far along! I mean I never even look at their scale (home scale I did weigh yesterday and it says I've gained 4 total) but I'm glad she said it's good so far! Casey has only gained 10 total and is 7 weeks ahead of me so I'd LOVE to stay behind her weight gain but we'll see haha

It was a great visit, love hearing our healthy baby, and thankful Zach and Britt were able to be there with me! I don't go back for another month so I'll be sure to bring my birth plan along next time :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

One Year "Dave~aversary"

It is SO hard to believe that it's only been a year since we started embracing a more "Dave Ramsey" style of life. Want to read about the changes we made? You can do that here! I will be the FIRST person to tell you, we are NOT hard-to-the-core about Dave's system. We don't "live like no one else so we can live like no one else" and I'm okay with that. I know what Dave recommends and we have altered some of the things he suggests to better fit our goals and our priorities. While we DO want financial freedom, we also want to embrace the present. Sure, if we had started our adult lives with these principles we'd probably feel differently about it. But we have children. And our children will only be children for so long so we aren't willing to take some of the more drastic measures in order to get ahead financially. Zach and I both want that balance of spending smart, saving smart, but also enjoying the now. Yes, we travel. That is one of our #1 top priorities and it's something we never plan to stop doing! Yes, we have a nice home and nice vehicles and nice clothing and give nice gifts. But we also have a tight budget, bargain hunt like crazy, and stretch a dollar as far as possible. It's about balance and I feel good with where we are right now as well as where we are headed into the future. 

A year ago when we started our spending smart lifestyle our first thing was to get rid of debt. We had a good bit of medical debt (which was sadly made larger this past year with my foot issues). We also had a couple small loans. We combined all of our savings accounts and paid all of that off right from the start. The next issue of debt, once those were settled, were our cars. Dave would say to sell our cars and drive a junker that is paid for until we saved enough for a nicer car then sell the junker and get something nicer and so on. Again, I wouldn't feel safe having my children riding around in a "junker" and Zach drives wayyyy too much for work to drive one either. We decided rather than paying off my Traverse that we would instead start a savings account for a van. We knew we were going to be trying to get pregnant with Leo and knew the van life was going to be necessary with three kids (honestly, my couple of years with the Traverse really prepared me for a van...automatic doors sounded like heaven to me!). It made more sense to us to have cash to buy the van than it did to pay off a car we weren't planning on keeping for the long haul anyway.

As far as Zach's car goes, our payment is very low for that and for right now we plan to keep getting him a new car every couple of years since he puts close to 50,000 miles a year on a vehicle. I like that he's safer in a newer car and I like the warranty. As long as we can keep our payment the same, we may continue to go that route...until Zach stops driving so much ;) Honestly though Zach LOVED his Flex and really misses it so we may do that as his next vehicle and save to purchase it outright just depending on where he is with his amount of driving at the time etc. 

I was really, really hoping to have enough saved to pay straight cash for a van. However, things come up! You can't plan for medical bills. We also thought we'd have a good bit left in our tax account that ended up not happening. So we didn't meet our goal, but still did amazing for one year of saving. I mean it REALLY makes us both wonder where the HECK our money used to all go before we started living on a budget?!?!?! 

Speaking of the budget...not only did we set up a spending budget for each month but we also worked up how much we need to live month to month and Zach then knew how much he needed to make as well. His career is commission only and it can be tough to know how much money he will make in a given time period! We put ourselves a month ahead. So the money he makes this month we will use to live for next month etc. It has worked out WONDERFULLY. I cannot brag on Zach enough. He met our goal for his earnings every single month for this entire year. Not only that but he exceeded it many months! It was a HUGE blessing to us both. Zach loved having a goal each month because it helped minimize his stress to know what he needed to achieve. I loved that we used money he made from the month prior to life off each month because when I went to pay bills: the money we needed was in the bank! Before this set up I would often be stressing about where we'd come up with funds to pay for bills and would often have to transfer money from our tax account (being self employed we have a tax savings we put aside each month since the company doesn't take it out for us). I never, ever had to transfer any funds in order to pay bills for the entire year. We BOTH felt such less stress and our arguing over financial matters dropped drastically

Knowledge is power. And for the first time in our lives we both have FULL knowledge of where our money goes. That's huge! This knowledge has allowed us to save like we've never ever saved before. We were both focused on getting me into my "forever" vehicle and to have it paid for. Once that step is done then we move on to saving for 6 months living expenses which is Dave's 2nd step! We are PUMPED about knocking through these steps and becoming truly financially free :) This knowledge has also allowed us to give like never before too and our contribution to the Lord was def the biggest it's ever been in our marriage! That is an amazing feeling as we know that ALL of our blessings come from HIM!

Even though Leo won't arrive until late July/early August we decided to go ahead and get this van situation handled now. We waited until after taxes (in hopes that we'd have some left over) and then started the van hunt. I appreciate ALL the advice on which van to get! Doing my research about vans it was pretty clear from the start that the Honda Odyssey is where it's at. It's the highest rated van on like every website and the reviews were always the most positive overall when compared to the other van options. Also when I asked van owners which van they would recommend...every person who owns the Honda says they love it and practically everyone that doesn't own it said they wished they did! 

When we made the decision to go the van route we also made the decision to OWN our first vehicle EVER. Yes, we leased my CRV and we financed to own my Traverse but never had plans to own it. This van would be my first true car I've ever owned. We plan to keep it for 7-10 years. At first we kept saying "we'll drive it till it dies" but honestly, we would not do that! I don't want to be driving some unsafe vehicle that is about to die haha. So our plan is 7-10 years which I feel great about because I LOATHE car buying and am glad we won't have to do it again for a long time :)

It's true what they say...when you are paying cash (or when you are putting down a HUGE downpayment in cash) for something you take the purchase much more seriously. And we have. Even though I knew we'd probably end up with the Honda, we still went to test drive a couple of vans. And then once we decided what was best for us we price compared with three places. We told them what we wanted (getting out of my Traverse when we were upside down it in was important) and we let them come back and tell us their best price. I WISH Zach and I were knowledgable in the world of car buying to where we could sell my Traverse ourselves and then go on some big hunt for a barely used van. But we are just not those people. I hate, hate, hate the entire car buying process and cannot fathom trying to sell our car ourselves. No thanks. I know we could have gotten a better deal going used. I know we could have possibly gotten more for my Traverse selling private. Instead of dealing with all that mess and headache, we got this junk handled in a couple days through some phone calls :) 

When discussing prices we did not mention our down payment. At all. We simply told them we wanted 36 months financing. Which we've also never done. My Traverse? 3.9% APR with 72 MONTHS and still a $500 a month payment. Sure, we did better with that than we did with leasing my CRV but gah that was awful! With each vehicle we learn and grow and do better :) Honda has 0.9% for 36 months so we said we wanted that. We also were concerned with the big number: the total cost. Typically we are only concerned about monthly payment (hence why we end up with dang 72 months and higher interest...) so I went online and "built my Honda" and used that total figure to compare. Obviously we expected to pay less than that price! Our goal was for our bottom line price to be as low as possible and to be able to add in our saved amount as a down payment and make our monthly payment lower than what we currently pay each month for the Traverse but also have the 36 month financing option. 

When deciding which van model to get we went with the EXL model with RES (rear entertainment system). I price compared with the higher models and none of their added features made sense to pay more for. EX-L model was the lowest model that offered the powered lift gate (which, duh, is a MUST!) and when keeping it as long as we plan to leather just makes the most sense. Kids and cloth? Would be a mess! Originally when we decided to add the RES option we did so because the ONLY pictures of it on the Honda website showed the dvd player having the dual screen. Longgggg story short...we would not have added it if we'd known it was just a single screen! The up charge for that package is def not worth it and we could have gotten in cheaper after market. We also added the tow package and the roof rails (must haves with how much we travel!). 

And we called an after market company and are getting extra dvd players installed. Currently Kye uses the drop down in the Traverse on trips (we do NOT watch DVDS in the car unless we are traveling!) and Britt is rear facing so she has to use one of those old school travel dvd players. Which means I have to constantly climb in the back seat to change out movies, fix the sound, etc. It's a pain. If we're going to make this car investment, we're gonna do it right and we're gonna make sure it's something we can use for a long time. So we are having them install dvd players in the second row headrests. The headrests can be installed backwards and that way the rear facing kids can have their own DVD screen :) And they can even do it where we can change out the discs from the front seat!!! Once we no longer have rear facing kids then the head rests can turn back around and the third row kids can watch those and the second row kids can watch the drop down one :) 

We ended up working with our local town Honda dealership as they gave us the best pricing and they forgave the amount we were upside-down in the Traverse. For color I went with the same color as the Traverse. I personally think black is THE BEST car color. But this dark gray really doesn't show dirt nearly as bad so I'm all about low maintenance ;) When the van arrived the FIRST thing I went to see was the DVD player that came with the package. I hadn't gotten to see the dual screen in person and was pumped about it! That's when we realized it was just a single screen and I pretty much flipped out haha. BUT it worked out for the best because they ended up knocking a good bit more off the price to make up for the issue rather than us returning the van. 

Ready to see my new hot mama ride? ;)

 SO pumped for the sunroof :)
 The kids are THRILLED!!!
(and really crazy in their fashion choices that morning haha)

We did not tell them we had the down payment until Zach went to sign the paperwork. I've read that it's best for them not to know you have any money to put down, and our amount was very hefty so I'm sure it would have affected the deal they gave us! After our downpayment we were able to do the 36 month financing at 0.9% and our monthly payment is lower than our payment was with the Traverse which we were paying over 72 months! Lord willing, if we are able to continue to put money towards it like we have this past year then we should completely own it outright within the year. VERY exciting!!! 

I was really, really hesitant about entering the van world. I was ALWAYS one of those women who said "I will never drive a van." Vans just aren't cool. Then I drove the Traverse and I realized that the big SUV world is just as uncool as the van world. I mean no college age guy is driving around checking out mamas in suburbans just like they aren't checking out moms in minivans. Us SUV moms are just kidding ourselves thinking the SUV is any cooler than the minivan. Really, it's just a whole lot less convenient! I'm thankful for my time with the Traverse because it really made me READY for the van world. Hello automatic doors! 

Even though I was ready for the van life, it was HARD to write that big check. We worked hard this year to save save save for this and it was sad to see that savings account drop down to practically empty. And it was especially hard to dish out that dough for a van when it's not something I was necessarily excited about. That is...until I drove it. I've heard from a LOT of people that once they drove the van they loved it. And it's true. I LOVE IT. I love how low to the ground it is. I love how much I can SEE. I love, LOVE the doors (although I legit could NOT get them open when I dropped Kye off at school. Like I had to read the manual and the teachers and I were cracking up). I love how huge the back up camera screen is. I love the sunshades on the back windows. I just straight up LOVE IT and am truly SO owning this whole Van Mom thing. I rock a van and I'm PROUD :)

More than being proud of my soccer mom status...I am much, much more proud of Zach and I and how truly we have committed ourselves to Dave's steps and to living life on a budget this past year. We already see SO MANY huge benefits in our daily lives and now have our first BIG item to show for our hard work. The next several steps (after we get the van paid off) aren't as "exciting" (I mean saving for 6 months of living expenses? Not exactly the most riveting thing ever haha) but they will provide a lot more peace of mind for us both and will get us closer to the BIG deal thing which is paying off the house and being totally financially free!!! We are both on a mission to get to that last step as quickly as we can so we are focused and driven on our goals and I'm excited to see what the future holds!!!

Happy One Year Dave-aversary to us! Excited to see how much more we grow (and save!) in year two!!! I HIGHLY recommend for everyone to read a copy of The Total Money Makeover . It doesn't matter WHAT your financial situation's truly a life changing book!

Friday, March 28, 2014

22 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Growth: Leo is roughly 11 inches long and almost weighs a full pound! There is something about seeing that he or she weighs that much that is very comforting to's exciting! At this point Leo looks like a miniature version of what he or she will look like when delivery day arrives. 

I feel a harder spot right above my belly button and it makes sense why when I look at this picture...I bet Leo is turned the other way and it's his or her little booty I'm feeling at that hard spot!
My Symptoms: It has been a pretty stressful week for me. Thankfully I literally haven't left the house much at all other than driving Kye to school so the stress hasn't been overwhelming (no headaches! whoop whoop!). Originally I had planned to go to Atlanta this past weekend to visit my friends but it ended up not working out which really was for the best. We had a great little weekend as a family! We surprised the kids with Frozen Friday night!!! 
And Saturday morning we went on the big van hunt. I knew going into our test driving experience that we'd most likely end up with a Honda but I still wanted to see some in person to make the final decision. The kids came with us and were so pumped about climbing around inside the vans! Car buying is NEVER a smooth or fun experience. When buying a car, or dealing with major medical insurance, or other type of annoyances I'm always so thankful that Zach sells Aflac. Aflac is straight forwarded. It's easy to understand as a consumer and it's even easier to explain as the agent. All this other junk is complicated and it seems so tricky. We are still hashing things out right now so hopefully I will have a happy ending to this van tale soon :)

From time to time I get some random "blog haters" and that is always added stress on me. This week was probably the largest group of people I've had yet and some pretty crazy, rude, and hurtful comments came flooding in through my email as well as my Facebook blog page. Anytime these types of things happen I try to view it as an opportunity for personal growth. I do not respond to rude comments or to bullying or especially to attacks on my beliefs. I stayed firm on that and had to do a LOT of banning, blocking, and deleting this week. Although the words still hurt I tried to stay positive and really do have so much appreciation for everyone who has my back during such times :) If anything situations like those only make my passion for blogging stronger because I know the devil wouldn't be trying to stop me from doing it if it wasn't shining some light for the Lord right? :) 
Even though there were some stressful times this week, overall I REALLY focused on my pregnancy. I made it my top priority which I honestly haven't done as well as I should about up until now. I am having a LOT of back pain issues. And that is scary seeing as my belly isn't very big yet and we still have a long way to go. I know it's because it's my third pregnancy and because I am bending over constantly due to having two other children! I got serious about my heating pad use and it does relieve the pain. I also read up about tips to help and read that I should be squatting to lift anything over 10 pounds. Um. Thats crazy! So I started being extremely mindful of squatting rather than bending. So much so that my legs have been on FIRE. But hey, it makes a HUGE impact on the amount of pain my back has and squatting is actually a Bradley exercise to help prepare my body for child birth so it's a win win!!!

I have also gotten hardcore about pelvic rock exercises. Another Bradley exercise and it really helps to relieve back pain. I am doing about 50 or so a day. I do a session during naps and again at night. And other times if I'm feeling in pain. I'm also trying to sit on the floor more and do my "tailor sitting" (which is basically like indian style) while reading or taking notes or texting :) Basically I am just keeping Bradley stuff at the front of my mind throughout the day, rather than at the back of it where it's been the past 22 weeks :)

I am pregnant. I know that is obvious, but that's how I would describe my symptoms at this point. I ache. I'm tired. I struggle to get comfortable. Clothes are starting not to fit. I get worn out faster. It's all just coming MUCH quicker than I expected because I still have like 5 weeks left of the second trimester! I thought I was supposed to be feeling good at this point!

My skin is pretty broken out, which I normally experience earlier in pregnancy so I'm thankful the zits held out as long as they did! I had like this MASSIVE pimple on my chin and didn't even realize it all day haha. I'm just not used to break outs. My nails have also grown super long and are thicker, which is one of my favorite pregnancy symptoms for sure :)

I know people say I tell too many details but "down there" is def getting some attention as well. I have moments where I have to race to the bathroom and can't tell if I'm peeing myself or if it's just discharge. Lovely. I haven't resorted to wearing panty liners yet but the day is probably coming soon!

On a positive note (I like to end on positive notes rather than gross TMI ones haha) I am in NESTING MODE! The realization that I'm starting to get worn out quicker and that I am having back pain has really set a fire under my booty to get things done while I am still okay to do them! I remember being SO exhausted in the early days of this pregnancy and if that phase comes again I need to have everything done that I can so I can just sleep when needed! I have cleaned out so much random stuff to make more room in our home for Leo. I'm pretty on fire about it and it's been great having the free time in the mornings to work on things. Britt is such a good little helper too! I have gotten ALL my maternity stuff organized in my closet and have been working on getting some things out of Kye's current room that I may want downstairs when he moves up. I have cleaned and tossed junk and rearranged SO much and it's awesome :) I need to have babies closer together so my house can stay this organized ;)

Weight: I forgot to weigh in this morning again! Oops! Other than Bradley/back pain stuff I have also been more mindful about my eating. Use less peanut butter on everything, try to cut back on my portions, up my water intake, and be cautious about snacking. I'm doing a LOT better than I was before with it for sure!

Gender: I had my first dream about Leo! And Leo was a GIRL!!! If I remember correctly I think I used to dream that Kye was a girl and that Britt was a boy. So I don't know if I take the dream to mean anything about the gender at all. But she was a beautiful newborn and when it was time to announce her name Zach and I both forgot the name we had chosen and were super embarrassed haha!

This past weekend Zach and I had a date night! We have been SO blessed to only have family watch our kids but really Courtney, Casey, and I all need to find additional childcare outside of family. When Austin died it was tough b/c there are only so many family members and we needed more help than family could provide. I know with the new babies Casey and I def won't feel comfortable with help from non-family but it's good for all of us to have some babysitters we know and trust to have on call. While it stinks to have to pay someone, it's important for us to start using some new people on occasion so we can get to know them and so the kids can too! We just went to Olive Garden for dinner and were gone for an hour or so and it was a nice little date night :) It made us both feel SO OLD because we remember babysitting for kids who were the ages of our kids now! Yikes. 

Anyways...while at dinner we finally decided that we HAVE to make the call about this boy name situation. Yes, we both love both names. But our kid can't have two full names (assuming Leo is a boy). So we both talked it over...the pros and cons of each name...but did NOT give our opinion on which we should pick. Then Zach took two white sweetener packs and two blue ones and gave me one of each color and kept one of each color for himself. We decided white would be one name and blue would be the other. We each put the packet in our hand that we wanted to use for the name and dropped them both at the same time :) 
 You can't tell due to lighting but we BOTH picked the "blue packet" name :) 
So it's decided! We have BOTH a full girl name AND a full boy one!!!
Also I ordered sample swatches of each fabric for the nurseries so we can get going on that next month!

Maternity Clothes: Shout out to sweet blog friend, Danielle, for sending me the adorable dress! I'm getting excited for all of mine and Casey's showers and love that I have such sweet friends who have hooked me up with such cute things to wear!

Regular clothes are starting to be iffy. I am BIG about pregnant girls wearing shirts that are too short. Ugh so tacky! And I'm at that point where a lot of things are getting to the "too short" limit. Be warned that maternity clothes are probably gonna be making an appearance soon! I have been rocking some maternity yoga pants this week and they are beyond comfortable :) 

My bra is also getting tight (and it's a 36 D!) and it's also broken so I need to go into Victoria's Secret and have them size me. I keep putting it off b/c we are at the end of our budget for this month! Has to wait till next week at least!

Movement: I pressed on my belly and must have hit the baby in a spot it didn't like b/c oh my gosh it like hit me back!? It was the strangest thing!!! It was like a BIG jerk and pressure against my hand! Sorry Leo!!! 

On Tuesday I had my first concern about baby movement. I just didn't notice anything all day and it made me a little nervous so I layed down for a little while after the kids went down for nap, and sure enough I felt plenty of movement :) 

Sleep: After my exercises and my food/water intake SLEEP has been my next top priority. I can tell a HUGE difference in how I feel, how well I resist junk food, and how nice I am based on how much sleep I get. I've been aiming to be in the bed by 10. Looking back at my past pregnancies I ALWAYS went to bed early but so far this one have still been staying up until my usual 11. Not good! Getting that extra sleep has really been helping for sure and is something I probably will have to bump up even earlier as time goes on.

I am loving my pregnancy pillow and def sleep best with it. Although I often find myself on my right side when I wake up rather than on the left. I had AMAZING sleep Tuesday night because a cold front came through so it was much cooler in the house. I already warned Zach that we are in trouble with me having a summer baby...I am already getting hot at night!

Cravings: Seafood is still #1. When we went on our date I originally said I wanted to go to Red Lobster to get seafood but Zach doesn't love Red Lobster and I remember that Olive Garden has yummy shrimp pasta so we went there :) We also had some chips this week and those were awesome too! And I got to enjoy my pancake craving when we ate breakfast for dinner Friday night! At night I always crave a bowl of cereal and am trying to cut back on eating my "fourth meal" haha. 

Saturday was PJ day at Bruster's so the kids and I enjoyed a free ice cream treat!
And I made a batch of cookies for Zach and I to enjoy while watching Survivor Wed :)
What I Miss: Not having back pain! I do miss the cooler weather but only because I miss my house being cooler at night ;)

Best Moment of the Week: My children are such a joy in my life and a blessing to my heart! On Sunday during church Kye passed me this note: 
And he surprised me with another one on the day I had all that silly blog drama. It was EXACTLY the thing I needed to be reminded that I am doing a good job and am a good mom and that those that matter most in my life know that :)
Yesterday was a wearing day for me. I was just exhausted in every possible way (so much so that the kids ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner and I don't think that has EVER happened in our home!) and it's like the kids just knew my spirit needed lifting. They both showered me with so much love and both played with my hair and were just precious and it was wonderful :) One of those times you just want to hit the "pause" button!

I am also super proud of Zach. It's been an uphill battle lately with some financial stuff and he is just working so hard and the last couple of days have been a BIG stress taken off his shoulders which I'm thankful for! God is always good and always provides!!!

And we also are in the process of finalizing the BIG Ireland Trip! Zach is going to be doing a lot of golfing while we are there so I contacted the spa and booked myself a spa day where I'm going to get a prenatal hour massage followed by an hour facial and it includes lunch! Then another morning I'm just having a scalp/head massage :) I'm PUMPED!!!

  • I think I have finished Leo's registries! Will y'all look them over and let me know if you think of anything I should add or change??? Any experiences with any of the items I registered for that you can offer insight about would be great too! Here is the link to the Target registry and Here is the link to Amazon. I would have just done Amazon but I know locals like to go into a store so most of the items are on both lists if both had them available to add! 
  • Any tips for helping the back pain issues????
  • Speaking of back pain...I found this for very cheap on Amazon and it seems to have good reviews...any opinions or experiences??? Does it help? 

Goals for this week: Continue focusing on exercises, food/water, and rest! Get Zach to help me do relaxation stuff from Bradley book! Get Kye totally transitioned into new room upstairs, get van stuff all settled and squared away, get ready for Parker family trip next weekend! 

Belly Pictures: Y'all. My belly is NOTHING like it was during Britt's pregnancy. It's SO MUCH like Kye's it's not even funny! You can REALLY tell in this picture I sent to Robyn. It's a straight up "football" (like I was with Kye) and not a "basketball" (like I was with Britt). The negative of that is it's not NEARLY as cute of a pregnant tummy. The positive is I lost the weight a lot easier with Kye because I think the weight was more evenly spread out whereas it was harder with Britt b/c there was so much belly weight just right in the front, ya know? I look like I have a straight up tire around my middle. So gross!!!!

We took my pics this week in the morning which was a bad idea. Lighting was NOT good and neither were those awesome bags under my eyes :)

Notes from Past Pregnancies: Aw so neat that this week back when I was pregnant with Kye is when I met Jordan for the first time :) Who knew then that he'd be our brother and that he'd be getting ready to be a daddy himself!!! Super funny to me that in ALL three pregnancies THIS was the week where I was bothered by the temperature in the house at night, especially since all three have been due at such different times (Leo is Aug, Britt was Dec, Kye was March!). It makes me feel better about my aches and pains to see that I said LEGIT the same sentence as I did this week last pregnancy during the same week: "I am pregnant" haha I guess 22 weeks is my magical week where pregnancy just starts to set in. It's also the same week I got serious about Bradley while pregnant with Britt and the same week I registered when pregnant with Kye :) You can read about my 22nd week pregnant with Britt here (and there are links at the bottom of that post to link back to Kye's stuff!)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tips for Birthday Party Planning

It is no secret that I truly enjoy party planning. I love all kinds of event planning: bridal showers, baby showers, and birthdays. You name it, I like to plan it! But don't suggest for me to do event planning as a side job haha I attempted to help one bride plan her wedding and quickly realized I will never be doing that again. Yikes!

I know many mamas are not into the birthday party scene and I understand! But honestly, it's not as hard as it may seem to be. It also doesn't cost as much as one might think and doesn't take as much time and energy as the final product may appear!

Here are my tips and tricks for Birthday Party Planning!

1. Establish a Budget: Party stuff is so cute and it's super easy to get wrapped up in the party planning and end up spending more money than you thought possible. By having a budget you can be mindful of your spending and create a cute event without breaking the bank. I have a savings account with our bank just for holiday spending and birthday party throwing. I sat down and figured up how much we spend on our gift giving throughout the year as well as on our birthday parties then divided it up into a monthly amount that we set aside each month so when those events come up it doesn't hurt our budget. We have $200 per party budgeted. I used to struggle to stay in that limit, but have found tricks to help cut costs! Starting your planning EARLY is the BEST way to find the cutest things and be able to stay within your budget limits :)

2. Pick a Theme: Sure, the idea of having your child pick a theme is lovely. However, the reality of it can be much more difficult. I try to pick a theme based off things I know my children are enjoying at their given age, but also one that will be easier to plan. Broad themes are much easier to plan for than specifics, like certain characters. When I did a Woody birthday party for my son it was MUCH tricker to do than the firetruck one we did that following year. I basically will think up some theme ideas myself and then help guide my children to pick that theme on their own ;) When you are picking a theme you also want to have colors in mind. Again, simple colors are easier (red or pink rather than maroon or fuchsia)! It's always good to have a very basic color mixed into your theme as well. I try to have every party incorporate white as all of my serving platters are white :)

3. Hunt Ideas: This is a time suck so be warned! Before Pinterest I would come up with ideas on my own for the parties. Now, I jump online and search away. I always create a Secret Pinterest Board for my party planning. I don't like guests to know what's coming or to have expectations based on pins they may have seen ;) I always search for themed food ideas, themed activities, themed favors, and themed party printable packs. 

4. Find the Best Party Time for Your Family: My birthday parties are always in the late afternoon. Usually start time is either 3:30 or 4:00. My kids nap from 1-3ish so that later time means they will be well rested and in a good mood. It also is a convenient time for most of my family and friends who also have children that nap. Even better, it means I have ALL morning to get my house clean, prepare food, etc. Also having it at that time slot means guests don't expect a full meal (more on that later) so it lowers my party costs on food! 

5. Price Compare and Order Away: I do a LOT of my party shopping online. We live in a smaller town and don't have a lot of options. It also makes it easy to price compare when you are sitting at home on the computer! I usually pin all the things I want to order on my secret board and include the price for the items in the comments area of the pin so I can know by glancing how much the item costs. 
  • I highly recommend finding a party printable pack via Etsy to fit your theme. Usually they include everything from invites to banners to cupcake toppers. It's all coordinated and gives your party that professional look...without costing much at all! I buy a pack of white card stock paper and print everything on my home computer. It's a breeze! 
  • When it comes to invites I like to include a photo of the birthday boy or girl on the invites for their parties. Printing at home isn't best for that kind of quality so I always print from the UPS Store. They can do two 5x7 invites per piece of paper, request card stock quality, and they will cut them for you. Then you can buy 5x7 envelops for cheap at Walmart and you are good to go! 
  • I bargain shop using several different party sites. I try to get everything I can from one site to minimize shipping costs...and always remember to check Amazon
6. Buy More Than You Need: I LOVE Hobby Lobby. They have a 90 day return policy and they know me well up there :) I make two trips to Hobby Lobby. One about a month or so out from the party. During that trip I buy everything I think I might need for my event. Plates, cups, card stock paper for the printables, ribbon, balloons, anything I can think of! I buy WAY more of it than I think I might need. The worst thing to have happen, in my opinion, is being in the middle of a project and realizing I have to go out and buy more of something! It's better to buy more than to not buy enough. I always keep all of my party stuff together, in the original shopping bags. As I start to empty the bags I refill them with the items I don't use for the party. I keep the receipt with the items and I make my second trip to Hobby Lobby after the party is over, to return it all :) 

7. Keep It In The Kitchen: I store most of my party planning stuff in my laundry room which is just off my kitchen. We tend to gather at the kitchen table and I eat a lot faster than my kids (isn't that true of all moms?) so once I finish my breakfast or lunch I will grab some party stuff and use that time to cut things out, hole punch items, put things on ribbon, etc. Doing small things throughout the day is a breeze and makes the party day WAY less overwhelming!!!

8. Plan For Your Space: I always have my parties at home. I like to be in our home for entertaining and I think it's easier to be able to set things up in advance rather than have to take it all to another location the day of. I am mindful of my space when planning my event. I know I can only sit so many children around my kitchen table. I know exactly how many seats I have in the living room and how many additional chairs can be brought in. 
  • I've heard many rules about limiting the number of people invited to children's parties. I've never followed them! We have a HUGE family and a good bit of friends all who have multiple children. I like to aim for "smaller" parties but even "smaller" for us still means close to 40 people. 
  • I know our space may feel crowded so I try to spread everything out. I have the food in the dining room, the gift opening in the living room, the crafts in the kitchen. It helps make everything less crowded and to keep the flow of the party going!
9. Age Appropriate Activities: This is a tricky one as I have two children and they are at different developmental stages. Even when my daughter turned two, a lot of the party guests were my sons age of four so I needed to be sure to provide activities suitable for them as well as the toddlers that were there. I try to keep the focus on the age group of the birthday child, but also to incorporate things other ages will enjoy! My ultimate complement is when adults even enjoy things ;)
  • The one staple activity I ALWAYS have is a color page. Many times party printable packs will include a color page to match your theme and that incorporates your child's name and age. I print off several copies on regular printer paper and have buckets out with crayons so kids can color away. Every age enjoys a good color page!
  • More often than not, we've had bath weather on our party days. Like one year we had a legit tornado. In South Georgia! Due to our typically bad weather luck, I always try to limit the outdoor activities. And I make sure that they can be moved indoors (or in the garage) if needed! 
  • Crafts, crafts, crafts. Crafts are my FAVORITE activity for a party! All kids seem to enjoy them and it gives them an extra favor to take home and remember the party by. Plus you can always find crafts to fit any theme! Simple is better. Quick is important too! And I try to limit any adult being required for the craft to be completed (like no hot glue projects!). 
  • I personally don't do big group activities. At least not yet. I like the party to flow on it's own and not to have too rigid of a schedule on everyone. Having a big group activity requires having everyone in one space (which I try to limit due to crowdness) and requires all the children to be paying attention. I'd rather the kids be able to have their own fun! 
  • I try to put out toys to fit the theme or to offer up play type things to keep kids busy if needed. We have a nice playground in our backyard and I always let families know that their kids are welcome to play outside, assuming weather is okay!
10. Simple Food: The #1 way I cut costs on my parties was to change up my food. I used to feel like I had to FEED people. Like legit food. And a lot of it. I was more concerned about the adults enjoying themselves and having yummy things to eat than I was about the kids. I wanted to cut costs by inviting less people to the parties...but neither my husband or I really wanted to hurt any feelings (especially when most of the guests are family!) so we decided to change up the food we offer instead. Now we go for all sweet parties. And I know as a party guest that may not be the most desirable thing. Especially when your kids leave with a sugar high haha! But, we had to cut costs somewhere, and having a sweets-only event makes it much more affordable. Not only is it cheaper but it is easier to fit the party theme, looks way cuter, and makes the party prep process a BREEZE. The parents may not love me for it but boy their kids sure do ;) I am pretty hardcore about limiting my junk food for my own children so having their parties be a lot of "junky junk" (as they call it) makes it even more special!

11. Keep it Short: I am very mindful during my parties at the flow of the event. Typically everyone is gone within about 90 minutes. Yes, that is a SHORT party! But I know what it's like with young kids and I know how boring kid parties can get and how many times you catch yourself glancing at the clock wishing it was over. I know the adults have other things they want to be doing and that the kids only have a  certain time limit before they get antsy too. 
  • As guests arrive I greet them at the door and let them know where the food is and to go ahead and eat! I also let them know about the crafts and activity options. By now all my typical guests know the routine ;)
  • Once things get going I make sure to remind those who don't have food to feel free to eat and I remind about the crafts and activities as well in case I missed someone as they came in.
  • Pretty soon after the crafts seem to be getting finished up we announce that we will do cake. We do NOT "make everyone gather around" for the singing and such. If they want to, great! But it's not a high-pressure thing and we make sure everyone knows it's optional
  • As soon as the cake is eaten, we open gifts. It's my least favorite part of a party b/c I'm claustrophobic and it drives me nuts having a million kids crowd around me. Like the cake situation, I make sure everyone knows that they don't have to watch the presents. Some people love that, some people don't. I'm down for whatever and the birthday child doesn't tend to notice who is even watching anyway :)
  • After presents we have the birthday child thank everyone and then I head to the door to start saying goodbyes, thanking guests myself, and making sure they took home all their crafts/treats/favors etc. I like being the greeter because it allows me to make sure I visit with everyone! 
12. HAVE FUN: I put a lot of work into my childrens' parties, but when the event comes...I don't stress over it! I like to have everything ready to go in plenty of time prior to the party starting so I can unwind a bit and not have any stress. During the party I am mindful to greet and visit with guests, but I am mainly focused on the birthday boy or girl. I want to make sure they are having fun. The party is about THEM more than anyone else! I have a super amazing husband and he is also a people pleaser who is great at working a room. So usually during parties he tends to do more of the guest entertaining while I do more of the birthday child care giving :) It's a good balance that works for us and I feel that enjoying the party is like my reward for all the hard work leading up to it! You deserve to have fun too!!! It may be your child's special day...but you are the one who made it happen (both by giving birth to them and by hosting such an awesome event in their honor!). :)

13. Store It All: My husband jokes that I'm a pack rat but by keeping the party items I purchase in solid, basic colors I'm able to store things for later. Even if you don't have space you can still have one big storage tub that you toss party supplies in. Stick it in the attic and drag it down when the next event is coming up! I have lots of mason jars, colored pails, extra party favors, etc all in storage. It helps to save money for future events by utilizing things you already have! 

Here are the birthday parties I have hosted so far for my little ones! 

Looking for even more party planning inspiration? Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for ideas as well as the Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest Board! Also be sure to visit fellow Babywise Friendly Bloggers who are posting about birthday parties today: Chronicles of a Babywise Mom, My Devising, and A Mother Far From Home. Happy Planning!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Swim

I know I am kinda hardcore about several things, but swimming is def on that list! I am SO thankful we did survival swim lessons with both Kye and Britt and we will 100% be doing them with Leo as well as any future babies. To me, it's a must have...especially since we own a pool!!! I LOVE Tiny Bubbles and the skills they have given my children. Seeing how awesome they are in the water is truly amazing to me!!! 

Not only do I think it's important to have survival swim, I also think it's important to keep the kids in the water and to refresh them each year. Kye has learned so much every time we do lessons! This year Kye swam in the afternoons (one afternoon a week for 6 weeks) and Britt swam in the mornings (one morning a week for 6 weeks). Each child had an individual instructor for their 30 min in the water. I was more nervous for Britt's only b/c she hadn't had any experience with Tiny Bubbles other than her survival swim and I wasn't sure how she would do! Plus we haven't been in the pool for several months...I had no idea how she would respond or how many of her skills she'd remember! 

Kye, of course, was eager to get in the pool and excited to learn new things. At first I debated about doing a 6 lesson class or a 12 lesson class and he said he only wanted to go for 6 which shocked me b/c he's always LOVED it. Sure enough, once he started going he remembered how much he loved it and I regretted not having him go for longer! Good to remember for next year :) 

I feel bad that I don't remember Kye's instructors name! She was super sweet though and he really liked her ;) These mats are awesome and help position them correctly in the water for kicking!

Learning freestyle!
Slide is still his favorite part :)
Britt had her lessons while Kye was at school but obviously she also had to tag along for his lessons in the afternoons. I brought a ton of toys and things to keep her occupied but she ended up never needing any of them. She just wanted to watch him the entire time! So, so sweet! She would cheer him on and say "go Kye!"

Lots and lots of thumbs up were given as well ;)

Zach was able to come to one of Kye's lessons but sadly couldn't make it to any of Britt's (mornings are a tough time for him with work)

Practicing his "big circle" arms. When he first started trying to do freestyle stroke it was hilarious. He improved DRASTICALLY by the time we finished with our lessons!

First time learning back stroke

Kye is SUCH a great swimmer. It is so amazing to me to see how the things they taught him early on are now leading up to him legit swimming actual strokes. I love seeing him in the water and love that he enjoys it so much. Since we went to Disney the last week of Feb we had to double up on lessons the week before our trip so Kye actually joined two older children in their class. Y'all. I was MEGA impressed with him!!! He really thrived with the older children. Seeing them do so well and watching their abilities pushed him in such a positive way. He was SO cute and was SO proud of himself that day! 

Swimming is one of those things that pictures just do not do it justice. So I took a good bit of videos! Here are all the ones of Kye:
Britt's first couple of lessons were pretty rough. She cried a LOT. At first she was very excited for swim and came into Tiny Bubbles acting very sure of herself ;) Then when she got in the water, it all changed. She was very upset! I even had to go inside and sit so she could calm down. After the first two lessons though, it clicked and she was back doing her thing!

I am SO glad I worked with her so, so much over the summer last year. We swam at least 3-4 times a week! I am BIG about practicing b/c survival swim is no joke! It's amazing, but it's also very time consuming and much more expensive than just "update" lessons are. My goal is always for my kids to only need one round of survival lessons. I work hard to help them maintain those skills so we won't ever need a second survival round! I know many people who have their kids do the full survival course twice (or even more) simply b/c they started very young with it the first time or because they may not have a pool or a place to really keep them in the water a lot. I was nervous that Britt may need a repeat of it but she def didn't! She has grown a TON since last year so it took her a bit to adjust, but then she took off :) 

She cracks me up because her favorite part of swim is getting to jump off the steps. I could never get Kye to jump off the steps to me when he was little, I'm eager to get in the water with her and see how crazy she will be haha! Zach wasn't able to come watch her but one of the mornings Kye was actually there for her lesson to watch b/c he was on winter break. It was ADORABLE. She was so, so, SO proud to have him there watching her. She legit couldn't even SWIM b/c she kept looking at him the entire time. She also kept saying "watch this Kye! watch this!" and every time she came out of the water her eyes went straight to him to see if he was watching. She adores her brother and it was one of the most precious things ever :) One afternoon both she and Kye swam at the same time (again, it was due to Britt needing two lessons in one week leading up to Disney!) and both Casey and Mrs. Charlotte came to watch. She was also excited about having them there and kept looking at them, showing off for them, and telling them to watch her ;) Kye was proud to have them there too! But he was even more excited to have his sister in the water at the same time as him haha I think she was a bit of a distraction from his lessons!

Child has a BEAUTIFUL starfish!

Both of my swimmers!

So thankful for Mrs Margie, she's truly amazing!
Britt's biggest struggle: keeping her mouth shut haha shocker ;)

Swimming to the steps!
Jumping off the steps and swimming

My personal biggest struggle with swim this year was finding bathing suits to fit Britt! Child is SO LONG but SO SKINNY!!! She is in a 2T clothes (actually is in the 3T length limits but needs the 2T b/c her skinniness) but none of her 2T suits fit. I tried a bunch of 3T and found a couple that worked but had to tie back the straps on a couple because they were so big! 

Once everything clicked with Britt she really did amazing with swim! Her jumping off that step truly amazed me! She watched Kye go down the slide at his lessons and always said she wanted to do it too but when it came to be her turn, she was always too nervous. We started her at the bottom of the slide, then the next lesson moved her up to the middle, etc until she did finally go down on her own and, of course, she LOVED it :) Big girl, growing up!!!

Here are some notes from her lessons for me to be sure to work with her on over the summer:
  • When she is in her starfish have her put her hands on her belly button before she turns back over
  • Remind her to "zip her lip" before going under!
  • I need to make sure I am in as deep of water as possible for it needs to be at my shoulders when I swim with her. She tends to put her feet down when swimming when the water is shallow
  • When Britt is in her starfish she turns towards her the left part of her face goes into the water first. Important to remember when I help flip her, to flip her the correct way!
  • I need to work on rolling from her back to her tummy and also to keep her legs straight when kicking
  • When she turns from her starfish back to swimming she needs to have her legs together
  • Her legs need to be higher when she is kicking so put my hands under her thighs when on the mat. 
  • Practice "humpty dumpty" with her by having her sit on the ledge and sing the song then tell her to bend her belly and come off the ledge
  • I need to get a swimming ring to have her get and bring to me!
I also took a couple videos of Britt:
With being SUPER pregnant over the summer I am SO thankful both Kye and Britt not only enjoy the water, but can SWIM. I think we will be LIVING in the pool and I can't wait!!! I'm so proud of them both and how amazing they did during their lessons this year and I know we'll be back at Tiny Bubbles soon :)
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