Being so close to Chattanooga you would think we would be more frequent visitors, but this was actually our first time to go together! I think when you do something a lot as a kid or it’s too close to home, it can lose some magic and novelty in your mind.
But all cities can grow and change and update while still having those familiar memories that conjure up your 4th grade field trip or a family vacation. The fact that family travel can resurrect the magic of old places through the eyes of your own child is another reason I love it! Travel with kids can also take you to little corners you otherwise wouldn’t go. (Itinerary included.)
Oh look, guys! I still have this blog! Our year has really put a damper on my documenting efforts (and man do I LOVE documenting... so that's been sad). I can't let a milestone like a birthday party fly past me though, so here is a month-late, phone-photo recap on our first "big kid" party!
The year was 2018... It was days before Rowan's actual birthday... We had no plan. He had asked for a rainbow party, then a fall-pumpkin-halloween party, then reptiles and snakes. Calm down, child! The darkness was closing in around us, and I had no ideas, no time, no faith, no hope. Then Zack cries out, "WE JUST NEED TO GET THE PET STORE TO BRING A SNAKE."
Cake! Snake! Text the neighborhood kids! 4 year old birthday party done! By golly, this just might work!
One insane part of life is how your opinions of things can change on a dime. I was never really into the 4th of July celebrations for some reason. Maybe it's my love for so many other cultures or my dislike of the summer heat, but good ol' Independence Day just was never a highlight of my year. Don't ask me why! I know fireworks are fun! But turn all of that upside down now, because it will forever be one of my favorite days to celebrate with this little firecracker-angel-blessing being "Born on the 4th of July."
We've been in the dinosaur phase a LONG time, you guys. So long that I was feeling officially tapped out on ever running around making dino toys roar, reading another dino fact book, or watching one of the MANY Land Before Time stories (the songs get rough, guys. Even Reba McEntire as a Pterodactyl can't save 'em). So this morning while the baby was snoozing, I tried out 3 different dinosaur themed preschool skill activities, and by golly THEY WORKED. 100% engagement! I'm pretty sure all of these ideas could be themed with any type of animal or characters with which your kid is OBSESSED. They build in literacy and math skills and help you not go crazy during playtime. WIN WIN!
The first one is for reading, the second for art, and the third for math!
When I was first contacted to review the new Ergobaby Omni 360, my first thought was that I didn't need a second Ergobaby carrier. But I thought, hey I can at least share my thoughts and give it away afterwards. Now that I've tried this one this year, you can pry it from my cold, dead HANDS! (Hahaha, kidding. Dramatic much?)
No but really, I love it. This is a great improvement on the previous Ergobaby designs. Here's why...
I was given this Ergobaby Omni 360 in exchange for an honest review, and this post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My blog has been a little silent recently, but I have a really great 7-pound-11-ounce reason, you guys! On the 4th of July our daughter Joie Flannery made her debut. It took me a long time to write and have the nerve to publish Rowan’s birth story from 2+ years ago, but — as I said then and even know to be truer now -- reading birth stories while pregnant was really helpful for me personally. So sharing this topic is important to me.
Birth is a CRAZY thing, y’all. It’s insane how it can even be possible and how *differently* it happens with each mother and each baby. I expected things to go similarly (or at least partially the same) as Rowan’s birth, so I was really surprised with how unique it was.
And cue the DISCLAIMER: This is a natural birth story that went the way I was hoping… which is not how all births go. I hope this journal is encouraging for anyone fearing birth or wanting a natural birth to know that sometimes it CAN go just as you plan and hope. I also don’t like for people to call me a hero-mom for having a natural birth… All moms are heroes for undergoing the most life-altering experience that exists. Those who endure complications should get way more props than me. I’m a proponent of being patient and trusting God with your birth — and then (when 100% necessary) welcoming the help from modern medicine when it’s needed.
This past weekend, my sisters-in-law threw me a baby "sprinkle" that -- as I mentioned in my last baby sprinkle post -- is pretty hard for people to actually do when a new baby is involved. It was probably more accurate to say we got drenched and showered with baby girl goodies.
They reserved Studio Bham which is such a great spot to have a bridal or baby shower. It's just the right intimate size while also being open and having all the set up items you need. I'm always a big fan of how events turn out there.
The "baby in bloom" theme was right up my alley and perfect for spring .. lots of flowers (wrist corsage by Gold Leaf Floral), greenery, potted succulents for game prizes + herb and flower seeds for favors.
Wow, I’ve seriously been trying to write this post for over a month now and can never seem to finish! Ha! #momlife. I’ve had some friends ask about how the 3-day method went, so I didn’t want to give up on sharing my thoughts.
Before actually getting started, you really must read the entire method created by Lora Jenson. There are so many things I heard about potty training and was doing *mostly* right. Rowan was even interested in it and used the potty at 18 months old! Had I not known this FULL method though, I don’t know if I could’ve sealed the deal for him to be fully trained before he turned 2 1/2… maybe not even by three! He's a strong-willed one.
Here are the 5 things that surprised me the most…
I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Since this blog serves as a journal for our kids, I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my ancestry testing that my dad got us for Christmas. Has anyone reading this done one of these tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well... especially if you did a different kind.
We did the ancestry.com spit-in-a-tube test and mailed it off. I've been into working on my family tree for a whole decade now, and it has been very interesting to me. I've found criminals and queens and that my paternal grandmother is first cousins 8-times-removed with Elvis.
I found the exact town in Ireland where my maternal grandmother's family lived before immigrating. When I took her there, I was able to say, "Well this is it! We are driving through the town!" It was basically just a farming area with not much to see... but it was special to us.
"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still,' they say, 'watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'"
So to my results...