3.19.2019

Our Family Is Growing Again!


Baby number 3 is arriving early October! 

I know it's been basically forever since I've posted on my blog, but how could I not come on here and share this huge news?! We are all very excited for this little one to join our family, and it was so fun being able to announce (on my instagram) while we were in Disney World this past week.

I'm so sorry for somewhat abandoning my blog, but I've made the decision that I'm going to start making time for it again because I miss this outlet so much, and I also really want to document this new journey in our life.

I thought I would share a little bit about this pregnancy real quick.... 

Due date? October 10th (I am currently 11 weeks now)

Are we finding out the gender? We will find out if baby is a boy or girl within the next week (is it not crazy how early you can find out now with the bloodtests?!) and will do a reveal after we find out!! 

How have I been feeling? I found out I was pregnant the day before my period was due back on January 28th, and I only took the test because I was cleaning out under my bathroom sink before bed and wanted to be able to throw away the last box of pregnancy tests that I had (it came with 7 or so and there was only 1 left.) Haha! We had been trying for the past 6 months and basically all the other months I could've *sworn* I was pregnant, but ended up getting false tests so this was actually the one month that I didn't think I was pregnant, but once I took the test the line came up positive within seconds! I couldn't help but scream and tell Billy right away. :) I started getting really bad morning sickness around 6.5 weeks and then the food aversions and exhaustion came with it too. So far this pregnancy has been completely different than the boys...I felt really good in general with both of them (I had some morning sickness with Grayson but nothing like I've had with this pregnancy) and my energy was up, but this time around I've needed a nap almost daily and just haven't felt much like myself! The morning sickness creeps in around 3pm and lasts all night, but luckily as of the past week I've started feeling much better! Another difference with this pregnancy is that I actually feel sick after I eat (versus with the boys food always seemed to make me feel better) and smells have really gotten to me. I can’t even change Grayson’s diapers sometimes without running to the bathrooms after. I know that all of this won't last forever and that it'll all be worth it for a healthy baby! 

How did the boys react? We showed the boys the ultrasound picture and they were so excited! Camden has been asking for another sibling for about a year now, haha. He has been baby obsessed lately. Grayson always says, "awww baby! so cute!" and then gives my belly a hug. They have colored pictures for the baby and seem to be pretty excited! 

Okay, now it's time for some fun old wives tales. I really don't believe any of these because they were all mainly wrong with both boys, but it's still fun to document and keep track of, right?!

Heartbeat: 140-145 (Camden’s heartbeat was always 160-165 and Grayson’s was around 140 as well) 
Cravings: Sweets, carbs, and fruit. Literally NOTHING in between. There have been many days that literally nothing sounds good! 
Morning Sickness: Yes
Sleeping on Left or Right Side: Right
Heartburn: No
Chinese Calendar Says: Boy (it said girl for both boys I’m pretty sure!) 
Headaches: Not many
Complexion: No breakouts!
Baking Soda Test: This one was correct with both boys. It fizzed for them, no fizz this time. 
Baby Bump is High or Low: I feel like I'm carrying higher this time so far, and I definitely started showing earlier. I have felt so bloated ever since I peed on that stick!
Mommy's Guess: Boy (mainly because it's all I know after 2 boys)
Daddy's Guess: Girl

I'll be back with another fun post soon! Thank you for coming back to read our news!!!!

9.25.2018

What To Pack For Your Disney Vacation

what to pack for disney world, travel agent, disney vacations

Ahem….ahem...is this thing on?? [[Taps microphone]]


Oh...hey! I’m here. I mean...it’s me! You know...Katie’s long-lost Texas BFF, Stephanie from like, 3624 blog years ago.


For those of you who may not know me, I’m Stephanie (obviously), an ex-blogger (dun dun dun), momma of two tiny terrorists (I mean, my precious little P’s...Paisley & Parker), a health and wellness junkie (where are all my Isagenix girls at?!) who also just so happens to specialize in vacation planning. And by vacation planning, yes, I mean I am the travel agent behind Traveling Ears Vacations. But not just any travel agent. You see...I’m #thatcrazydisneymom who drank the magical potion years ago and since then I’ve sent thousands of clients to the happiest place on Earth that is Disney World and Disneyland, as well as Disney cruises, Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii, and many, many other destinations. (Most exotic destinations thus far have been Iceland and the Grenadines!)


I’ve also been known to be crazy enough to plan a girl’s trip to Orlando, Florida for 30 grown women to spend four days in Disney...without kids. Yes...no kids at Disney World. And guess what?! Katie is one of them!


That’s right...tomorrow Katie will be flying down from the O-H to meet me down in Orlando to spend 4 glorious days at the International Food & Wine Festival hosted at Disney’s Epcot theme park each and every year.


30 women + wine + Disney...I mean, what could possibly go wrong.


That’s right...absolutely everything. ;)


With our Disney World vacation right around the corner, Katie asked me to step in and put together a post to include everything you could ever possibly need for your Disney World or Disneyland vacation. While this list could go on for days because …. #kids and the fact that they need #allthethings, I wanted to touch on some of the most important key items to include in your suitcase before you pack up and head to the castle.


Because Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, and has somewhat of a tropical climate, it is very important that you pack the proper attire for each and every day you’ll be there. Similar to Disney World, Disneyland requires proper packing as well. While it is warm in Disney World and Disneyland 7-9 months out of the year, the key to a stress-free vacation is a properly packed suitcase for your and your family. Additionally, because Disney has a very advanced technological vacation system, there are many items you want to be sure to include when it comes to packing your suitcase.



Walt Disney World/Disneyland Packing Lists


Attire:
  • Comfortable theme park clothes: I love me a good pair of denim shorts and a razorback tank for those HOT days in the parks. For the winter months, a cute pair of leggings and a lightweight sweater are perfect!
  • Tennis shoes: I LOVE my Nike's or these New Balance's for park days...and so do my feet! (Katie's picks are these Dr. Scholl's (seriously comfortable!) or these Adidas sneakers!)
  • Comfy flip flops: I find many times my feetsies need a change of scenery. I always pack my Sanuks with me to change into in the early evening to allow my feet to breathe.
  • Swimsuits: Disney heats the pools year-round. If you are traveling between the months of February-November, you can plan on dipping in a pool at some point during your vacation.
  • Rain poncho
  • Mickey/Minnie ears: You WILL feel out of place without them.
  • Sunglasses (these aviators are a favorite and very inexpensive so you don't have to worry if you end up misplacing them!)
  • Hat/Headband
  • Refillable water bottle, like this Swell one, for water throughout the parks


For the kids:
  • Comfortable/breathable clothes and shoes. The last thing you want is an uncomfy kiddo in clothes that are hot, scratchy or uncomfortable and sandals that kill their little feet.
  • Autograph books
  • Sharpies (for autograph books)
  • Princess attire: Trust me...you do NOT want to buy it there.
  • Strollers
  • Stroller fans
  • Sunglasses
  • Sippy cup/refillable water bottle
  • SNACKS. ALL OF THEM.


Toiletry Items:
  • Sunscreen or foundation with SPF
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Medications


Important Items for The Entire Family:
  • Birth certificate (for kids under 3 flying)
  • Form of ID
  • Travel documents (confirmations, hotel info, tickets, etc…)
  • Backpack: You’re going to need something to stuff all this crap in. A backpack is the perfect solution for your extra changes of clothes, shoes, snacks, memory cards, etc…) This, or a fanny pack, which are totally making a comeback! (Here are a few of my favorite backpacks: 1, 2, 3)
  • Pre-loaded Disney gift cards: We ask for these for every birthday and holiday and save them for our vacations to use on souvenirs. Additionally, you can use Disney gift cards to pay for your hotel reservation as well!
  • Cash
  • Small lunch tote/cooler (if needed for snacks)


Tech Items:
  • Magic Bands (for Disney World only): Your MagicBand serves as your hotel room key, park ticket, form of payment, ride entry and SO much more! I swear these things are magical!
  • Phone chargers: Your entire Disney vacation is run through the My Disney Experience smartphone app. All of your dining reservations, all of your FastPass attractions, all of your dining credits and park maps...they all live within an app on your smartphone. Pair that with paparazzi-style mom photography and videos being taken throughout the day and you’re bound to end up with a dead phone by 10am. Not exaggerating. Pack portable phone chargers with you at all times, and pack multiple!
  • Camera
  • Camera chargers
  • Memory cards
  • Tablets


Now for those of you going on a Disney cruise, your packing list is going to look fairly different.


Disney Cruise Packing List


Attire:
  • Swimsuits
  • Cover-ups
  • Resort attire
  • Formal outfit (for formal night)
  • Pirate costume (for pirate night)
  • Flip flops
  • Hat/Headband


For the kids:
  • Autograph books
  • Sharpies (for autograph books)
  • Princess attire: Trust me...you do NOT want to buy it there.
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes
  • Beach toys
  • Goggles


Toiletry Items:
  • Sunscreen and/or or foundation with SPF
  • Aloe vera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Medications
  • Motion sickness medication


Important Items for The Entire Family:
  • Passports
  • State-issued birth certificate (passport is preferred)
  • Form of ID
  • Travel documents (confirmations, hotel info, tickets, etc…)
  • Cash
  • Small cooler (if needed for snacks)
  • Beach bag
  • Lanyard for your ‘Key To The World’ card
  • Waterproof phone pouch
  • Door decorations
  • Cruise documents
  • Insurance cards


Tech Items:
  • Phone chargers
  • Camera
  • Camera chargers
  • Memory cards
  • Tablets


For my full Disney Cruise Line packing list, click here!


And if all of this felt like you were drinking out of a fire hydrant, that’s what I’m here for!


Traveling Ears Vacations is my Disney-focused travel agency where I specialize in all things Disney vacations. And the best part - it’s 100% free to you! That’s right...because we are authorized and contracted through Disney, Disney takes care of us financially so that you don’t have to. So whether it’s your first, fifth or fiftieth Disney vacation, I would love to show you how we can personalize a vacation that’s as special and unique as your family is. Feel free to check out our services here, request your quote here or follow us on Instagram to see what we’ve been up to! I’d love to hear from you or answer any questions you have!


In the meantime, be sure to follow our girl’s weekend at the happiest place on Earth by following mine and Katie’s Instagram stories!

9.17.2018

LIFE LATELY: A TON OF UPDATES!

Happy Monday! I've been working on this post for a few weeks, yikes! Is anyone else a little thankful that it's getting darker earlier? Bedtime is much easier and the boys are now falling asleep earlier, which is giving me some time to fit in blogging. 

We've had so much going on the past month that I just wanted to share all the fun (and some not so fun things) currently happening....


1. CAMDEN STARTED PRESCHOOL

He started the first week of September and he is in the purple room with Mrs. Curley and Mrs. Tatum! He goes just 2 days a week, but is loving it so far and has made some friends. He walks right in and I'm lucky if I get a big hug or smooch prior. Grayson cried the first few drop offs, but quickly snapped out of it when he realized mommy was going to give him some fun one-on-one time. I've been enjoying the extra time with him so much. I know Camden is going to learn so much this year and we're all happy for him because he was so ready. 

2. DISNEY WORLD

I leave in less than 2 weeks to go on a girls trip to Disney with Steph! Can you even believe it's been over a year and a half since I've seen her?! Another very very exciting thing? For those of you that don't know, Steph has her own travel agency business (Traveling Ears-look her up on insta or Facebook) and she offered to do GUEST POSTS on my blog!! Woo woo! I will keep you posted!

(you guys-my hair was about 6-7 inches longer than that longest piece pictured)

3. MY HAIR LOSS

I know I did a post recently explaining a little bit of what has been going on with my hair loss (due to my thyroid med), but unfortunately it's gotten even worse. I'm now on a different medication and although the scalp issues I was having while on the previous med (burning and itching) went away RIGHT after I stopped taking that med, the hair loss has continued and gotten even worse. It takes time for that old medication to get out of my system and boy is this depressing! I fill up my brush daily (yes daily) and had to get hair extensions put in last week because of how bad the condition my hair is in. I know there are way worse situations out there so I hesitant to use this word - but it's been traumatic for me. It's happening all over my head - not just the bottom layer. My top layer is about 4 inches long now. I can't believe I'm posting that picture but I wanted you all to see what I've been dealing with and that I'm not just being dramatic. The hair extensions I got put in are absolutely amazing and look just like my real hair - they are the length that I (used) to have and blend so nicely. I plan to do an entire post about the hair extensions and who I used soon so stay tuned!!




It's been legit ages since I've shared a recipe here, but after lots of feedback on instagram I wanted to share it here too. I have been making this recipe a lot recently (this time I didn't have red grapes so just used green) and serving it over lettuce as a snack in between my Isagenix shakes, or when I don't feel like cooking dinner! It's really good.



5. GRAYSON'S SPEECH

If you missed the post I shared on instagram, here's what I wrote....

This past week Grayson had his first speech therapy session. (He's had 2 now!) He has always been able to say almost any word (with prompting) but is just more on the quiet side when expressing on his own. We knew he’d benefit from speech therapy and that he just needed a bit of a nudge in the right direction. 💕 I could cry as I type this but just after one session and us working with him all week, he is now combining two words, talking so much more confidently, and has finally said the words every mama anxiously awaits to hear, “I love you!” 💙😭 So happy and proud of this angel!!!

So yes...speech therapy is going well for us so far! Like I said, Grayson can say a good 50-60 words but he hadn't combined two words yet, and rarely spoke up on his own without prompting. He also makes a "blowing" noise when trying to say certain words that isn't very noticeable unless you live with him, but he has done it for a very long time. We took him to an ENT to make sure it wasn't a larger issue and to get his hearing checked (which he passed with flying colors), and our ENT (we actually used him back when Camden had to go to an ENT!) said he thinks it's just an odd habit and to continue on with speech therapy and hope that as he continues to speak more that he will just stop making the noise. So far - he's correct because just after these 2 speech session he rarely makes the noise anymore and is speaking so much! Of course we're thrilled, but what's even better is that HE IS SO MUCH HAPPIER because he can communicate with us!

Phew. That was a lot in one post. Thanks for reading friends and hope you had a great weekend!!

9.12.2018

OUR DINING ROOM UPDATE

HI ALL!!

How is everyone doing?! I have so many updates that I want to share with you guys (post for Five on Friday!) but today I wanted to share about our dining room that is finallyyyy finished...for now. :)

Since the main table we eat at with the kids is right off the kitchen, this room isn't actually used much. I was a little hesitant about buying these chairs because of the fabric, but when I found them on super sale I told myself to go for it because I LOOOOVEEE them. Oh and can we talk about how it took me 6 months to find a dining room table and took 3 different rug attempts before I finally found this one and decided it was the winner? Sooo, yeah, indecisive is my middle name and I'm not really that great at this stuff BUT I'm happy now that it's all come together!

 The paint color on the wall is really hard to photograph-but it's really pretty in person. It's Dovetail by SW!

Many of you have asked me over on Insta for sources, so here they are!! (and I'll throw in there that all are pretty affordable🙌)

RUG (COLOR-INDIGO, THIS SIZE IS 7X10) // TABLE // BENCH // CHAIRS (OR HERE) // LIGHT // SIGN-HOBBY LOBBY // CENTERPIECE