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Our Romantic Disney Getaway: Day 3 Evening at Yachtsman and Animal Kingdom

We finished up at the pool and headed up to the room to get ready for our last night! We had dinner reservations at our actual resort (The Yachtsman) so it was really nice to be able to take our time knowing we just had to walk downstairs for dinner :) I loved that our view was overlooking Boardwalk! I've actually never visited the Boardwalk area but am super excited to do so sometime soon :) I love that there are practically endless options and opportunities at Disney World, you can go a million times and still have new things to experience!

How to Successfully Travel with an Infant

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Traveling with an infant is not always easy, but it is possible and it is worth it! We have traveled with ALL of our babies at young ages and have seen many benefits of starting to travel with them while they are young (they are all excellent travelers!). Wanting to make a trip with your baby but not sure how? Here are my tips for successfully traveling with an infant:

Our Romantic Disney Getaway Day 3: DHS and Pool

Our third day was also our last full day of our trip! We kicked things off with free food in the Club Level dining area...and coffffeeee too! Then we headed to Hollywood Studios! We totally took our time because we didn't have any ride we felt was worth getting there before opening to RUSH to. Sure, we love Toy Story Mania but this trip was more about taking our time and ENJOYING the days rather than being strategic and having to rush. 

Our Romantic Disney Getaway Day 2: Keys to the Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table

The second day of our trip was also our actual anniversary! Monday May 28th which was neat because we did also get married on a Monday :) My big gift from Zach for my birthday was getting to do the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. It's a behind the scenes tour at Magic Kingdom. I've been SO PUMPED for this experience and we booked it on our actual anniversary to make it extra-special :) It's so much easier rolling into the parks when you're kid free haha! No strollers, coolers, a billion kid items. EASY!

Our Romantic Disney Getaway Day 1: Shopping, Yacht Club, Carriage Ride and Cali Grill!

Zach and I have always put traveling together as a top priority in our marriage. We use our trips as a time to really reconnect and to keep our marriage strong. Over the years we've had to switch up when and how we go as the more kids we have...the more difficult it is for someone to keep 'em!  Zach works with Aflac and earns MANY free trips through the company so we try to stick to those as our "trips together" and do smaller, quicker trips other times of the year. We typically do a little getaway at Christmas as well as our Anniversary. This past year for my birthday Zach gave me the gift of an EPIC Disney trip ...but with us not knowing when Spear would be born we decided to hold off on it. Obviously we also didn't do anything for Christmas with Spear being born on December first. So we combined my birthday gift trip with our Christmas trip AND our Anniversary trip!  It really worked out so well because the kids got out of school right before we left

How to Help Relieve a Gassy Baby

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Whew. Nothing will drive you more crazy as a mom of a newborn as much as GAS will. Gas issues not only can cause pain for your little one, but can also reck havoc on sleep. Gassiness is also something easily overlooked as a new parent who is exhausted beyond belief and simply running on fumes. I've dealt with gas related issues with all three of my children when they were babies. With my first I couldn't figure out why he was crying and seemed in pain. I rushed him to the dr, typical "first time mom" move right?, only to find out it was gas pains! By the time I had my second baby I knew gas was a common culprit and had my toolbox of tricks ready to go to help. Many people think of Babywise  as a sleep training book but it's so much more than that. There is actually an entire section devoted to tips on helping relive gas issues for your little one. I have pulled out my book again and again to help me help my babies. I have also learned through the years some ex

Life with Four

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I'm pretty sure most little girls dream about the day they will become a mommy. I remember thinking through it all: how many kids, how many years apart, gender order, names, everything. My dream? Four kids. An oldest brother to look out for the younger ones and so his sisters friends would all have a crush on him. Then two girls so they could share clothes and be best friends. And last, another boy so he'd be able to look up to that older brother with a larger age gap where it'd be a role model type relationship. When I started dating Zach and things got serious he mentioned he wanted two kids. He came from a family of uneven numbers and wanted even. I might have fudged a little tiny bit and mentioned that I wanted six kids...so that way when we compromised we agreed on four ;) Now here we are. Not everything in life happens as we hope or dream or plan. But my babies surpass every childhood wish I could have imagined. I can literally look at them and see God's bless

Tour of our Home: Spear's Nursery

Monday, June 18, 2018

Zach and I love putting together each of our children's nurseries. It's so fun coming up with a theme and then making it happen! This room is so special to us. We had such a long wait for Spear and his room gave us something to focus on during that time and to help remind us that God would be blessing us with a baby, the perfect-fit baby who was meant to be ours! I will never forget the moment I read the email saying Mama E had chosen us to be her son's parents. I instantly started sobbing and raced into this nursery and sat on my knees just crying and thanking God for this opportunity. Now I'm here with this gift from God and will always cherish the wait that brought us to him :) We've never known the sex of our babies while I've been pregnant so Kye and Tess's nurseries were both gender neutral and Britt's I waited to decorate until after she was born (um that was a terrible idea haha). Spear was the first baby we've had when we knew he'd b

Tess School Work: Spring 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tess had SUCH a great year in K3. Her teacher this year was the same one that both Kye and Britt have had during their preschool career and I ADORE her. Seriously one of the sweetest people on the planet so I knew Tessie was in wonderful, caring hands :) Tess loved having Carter in her class this year. She talked about him all the time and played with him constantly at recess. It's so sweet that they have each other and I'm hopeful they will get to be together again next year before they go their separate ways in elementary school. Tess had a few social concerns in K2. She didn't like participating in the class activities and would kinda stick to herself and not want to open up. She also did have quite a few disciplinary actions (never pulling her clip past one time but still!) especially regarding not wanting to share and hitting. We didn't have ANY of those issues in K3. She LOVED her class. Her teacher talked to me about how different Tess is from Britt because

Britt School Work: Spring 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This year Britt made the big switch from preschool to kindergarten! She went to school all day rather than half day and rode the bus and ate lunch at school and basically just had a totally new environment and new daily routine! Britt is my first child to attend public kindergarten as Kye didn't start public school until 1st grade. I wasn't nervous one bit about how Britt would do. Britt is my most social child and I knew she'd thrive with a larger class size and would enjoy making all those new connections. She was thrilled to share a school with Kye and stepped up in many ways this school year. Britt LOVES school. She says her favorite thing about school is "doing work." It's neat to see her in the classroom environment because she's SO quiet and well mannered and soft spoken. Total opposite from home haha! In kindergarten their school doesn't do letter or number grades and instead bases grading on a rating system. In all areas she was in the t

What to do When you have Kids in a Wedding {Guest Post}

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever had a child in a wedding? I've had the experience a couple of times and it can be pretty stressful and overwhelming while equally such an honor and so adorable! Today Christine, from Christine Keys , is guest posting on this topic. You can read my post today over on Wiley Adventures about why we travel with our babies as infants! A couple of weeks ago my brother got married. Both of my children were part of the wedding party. They played the parts of page boy and flower girl. I'm not sure how other parents feel, but personally, I was somewhat anxious about how they would do. For reference, my kids were 19-months old and 3 years old at the time of the wedding. I didn't want them making a huge scene and causing major disruptions. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and I believe a lot of it had to do with the following tips. Be Prepared This involves communication. Don't expect the bride and groom to be the ones to always reach out. They may be tied up and busy

Kye's School Work: Spring 2018

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Kye had a wonderful third grade year! I remember 3rd grade being a "big year" of learning and that was true for Kye as well. He continued to excel academically. Each day when the kids bring home school work they sort through and decide what to keep and what to toss. What they keep we then go through and take photos of and sort again: toss and keep. The keep pile is VERY small and something I organize based on school year. This year Kye chose very few items to take photos of...another sign that he's really growing up!

Last Day of School 2018

Monday, June 11, 2018

All of the kids had a great year this school year! As a mama I had a good bit of "mommy guilt" this year as with us getting matched with Mama E right after school started I feel like I wasn't as involved as I'd have liked to have been in their classrooms. I felt like I didn't really  get to know their teachers or their school friends because I spent the first half of the school year traveling to Jax so much and then the second half of the year with a newborn at home! Tess had a MUCH better year in K3 than K2. She really blossomed and was more outgoing and had so many friendships and did so well with all of her participation and learning. I am SO sad about her starting K4 in the fall because it means she'll be gone every morning! I love our two days a week together but I know she'll do awesome and will continue to love school so much. On her last day they had Water Day which she was looking forward to!

Spear's Adoption Finalization - Team Parker is COMPLETE!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Since the day Mama E signed over her parental rights (On December 3rd!) we've been in the post placement phase of Spear's adoption. You can read what this stage of the process is all about in this post here! Even though Spear has been ours from the start, finalization truly completes the adoption process. It's when all the legal paperwork is cleared and Spear officially becomes a Parker! A judge grants the adoption as final and a new birth certificate is issued for him listing Zach and I as his parents and then he's able to also receive a social security number. All basically just technical legal things, but still a big moment for our family and one we've been looking very forward to for a LONG time!  We knew finalization typically takes place roughly 6 months after birth so we haven't been stressing it or anything. We finished up everything needed from our end (which was just two post placement visits from our social worker) and were just waiting to he

Preparing For the First Day of Preschool

Thursday, June 7, 2018

This post originally appeared on Mama's Organized Chaos Summer is in full swing and if you're child is attending preschool for the first time this fall, then this is a great time to start preparing them for the big transition! Here are some simple things to work on this summer to make the first day of school a breeze:

Kye's Baptism

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Kye has been asking for a couple of years now about baptism. It's something we've studied together with him and read over scriptures and have known for awhile that he fully understands what baptism is and why it's essential. Baptism is an extremely personal decision and is THE most important decision of our lives! Choosing to love God with all your heart and give your life to Him is HUGE. Zach and I have talked often about how to handle this tender time with Kye (and all of our other children as well).

Mother's Day 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This year we had a pretty full schedule the weekend of actual Mother's Day so we celebrated the Saturday prior as a family. With a new baby at home we had to keep things pretty low-key which really made for one of the BEST Mother's Day EVER! Zach and the kids really took time and effort to make sure I felt appreciated from start to finish the entire day and I loved every minute of it :)

Spear is 5 Months Old!

Spear turned 5 months old on Ma y 1st!  I use  What to Expect the First Year  to see where he's at in his milestones and development and I purchased  his monthly stickers here  :)

Spear Summary of Month 5

This post covers Spear's entire 5th month of life which was the full month of April. He was 4 months old during this month!

Tess Monthly Summary: April 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

All about Tessie from April! Tess LOVES to read. She loves books in general. Carrying them around, looking through them, being read to, and reading herself. I love her love of reading and hope it's something that continues as she gets older. I love that all of our kids love books! Always carrying a book and totally entertains herself everywhere she goes! She brought me Spear's Bible and asked me to read the WHOLE thing to her.  Shocker: she didn't even last through Genesis 1 ha! An ADORABLE thing she started doing this month was carrying around a small pocket Bible with her. She took it in the car. She carried it out and about. She even took it to Disney World and started asking to sleep with it every time she went to bed. So precious! I watched her outside as she found a little spot to sit and read her Bible! She is also at that age where she loves to pull TONS of stuff out and set it ALL up to play. And then I deal with th
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