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Saturday, September 10, 2016

#SharetheLuv–diapers are a necessity! #spon #ad

A lot of our friends are living the diaper-free life, but we are not quite in that boat yet. I spend a lot of time (& I always have) trying to figure out which diapers are a) the best fit and b) the best deal so I feel as though we’ve tried them all many times!

I’ve been given the opportunity to try Luvs again (thanks, iConnect!) – they have made so many improvements since I last tried them.

Luvs Product Pack Shot

Luvs are now softer and more absorbent than ever before and they feature large, refastenable stretch tabs – this is one of my favorite parts because anyone who’s ever diapered a wiggling, squirming kiddo knows that you don’t always get it right the first time! More than that, ensuring that right fit remains through toddler running and baby crawling is important too – the contoured Luvs shape really keeps a great fit adn the softness is gentle on baby’s skin.

The ultra-leakage protection (with Nightlock PlustTM) is a great quality – sometimes we get busy and don’t get to that diaper change soon enough or sometimes (for those lucky parents….) they sleep a loooong time at night, so that extra protection is key to a dry wakeup!

In the spirit of keeping life as affordable as possible, Luvs is offering a $2 off any diaper pack coupon*. Print this coupon at home and use it any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold –they come in size newborn to 6 with fun designs.  (you might even find some other useful coupons on coupons.com, too!)

Luvs $2 Print-at-Home Coupon Image

 

Don’t just take my word for it, though – Luvs has the Luvs Money Back Guarantee – if you aren’t satisfied with the leakage protection of Luvs, they’ll refund your money – visit www.luvsdiapers.com fo rmore inforamtion. I had no idea they did that!

 

Find out more about Luvs Diapers at their website (www.luvsdiapers.com) or the brand social media channels

 

Check out Luvs (again, if you have in the past), use the coupon and report back to me if you find them to be a great fit for you little one – #SharetheLuv!

 

 

*excludes trial/travel sized diaper packs and coupon expires 30 days from the date printed.

This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Practicing Grace

We were recently at a park with the girls and Mike and I noticed a set of parents pushing a double stroller and a single – I smiled at them thinking to myself what a full life they have right now. The mom stopped me on our way out to the car and asked what the age difference in our kids was, she thought they might all be 2 years apart, like hers, and she was so honest with me (a perfect stranger)– asking, when does this get easier?!  It turns out her kiddos were 3.5, 2 and 1 month old – and I told her, just as honestly, that it won’t feel easier for a while but then one day she’ll realize that it just IS easier than it was the day before. I encouraged her to keep doing everything she was already doing and when there was a moment of quiet in the chaos to hang on to it and remember it when that chaos ramped back up because she was doing a great job.

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This season of life, it is so difficult to navigate some days (and by some, I mean a lot) and can feel so lonely. I am a little bummed that we were at an out of town park or I totally would have asked her to meet me for coffee or back at the park but I hope that quick conversation helped to keep her going the next time she was feeling the heat of taking care of three little ones.

That encounter has been on my mind for the last week or so, mostly because despite being surrounded by a truly wonderful, supportive village - there are a lot of times that I still feel very alone and isolated.  As hard as I try to make sure everyone (& that includes me) is respectful, following the rules, being kind and helpful there are just (so many) moments where that doesn’t happen & I find myself feeling so defeated and thinking “why can’t we all just get along.” Moments of the day where these three blue-eyed beauties are truly running right over me – and then doing it all over again.

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I’ve found myself lately really beating myself up for the moments that don’t go well and that just isn’t fair at all - I need to remember the advise that I gave that mom at the park – to find a memory of peace and joy to hang on to as I pull everyone through a tantrum & then pat myself on the back (really quickly) for a job well done when the chaos subsides.

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It can be hard though, we dwell on the things that don’t go as we hoped way too much instead of the things that went perfectly. In the middle of one of those especially chaotic moments between the hours of 4:30 & 8 I heard the lyrics “it won’t be like this for long” and just cried a little – because it won’t. It won’t be this type of toddler/preschool/early elementary school chaos for long – it will be replaced by something else, I am certain, but someday the chaos won’t be followed-up by dance parties and sweet toddler snuggles.

For now, I need to remember to practice grace (for me and in my parenting), to remember it’s okay to lean in on my village when I need it and that it really won’t be like this for long – these moment’s don’t last forever and whatever frustration is happening will be gone soon.

So, I’m reminding you too – give yourself grace, you are doing the best job & if today didn’t go the way you wanted, tomorrow is a new day. We’re in this together – raising up awesome little humans and also raising ourselves (& our spouses & friends) up as we continue to grow in life.

And if everyone could be as happy as Aleesia is when she gets her face painted like a cat, the world would be a much smilier place!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tidbits & Hilarity

Life is constantly a special type of chaos, blessings & hilarity.

The hilarity (& chaos) is usually brought about by the girls, naturally. Having a threenager alongside 2 other kids has been a challenge - it is hard to keep a watchful eye 100% of the time! Some tidbits and snipits from our summer:

- Aleesia drew a mural on the dining room wall. While in timeout. To her credit, it IS a good cat...

- Aleesia also cut her own hair while I thought she was coloring.

- Vivian learned to open the doors and has let the dog out more than a few times.

- Gianna learned to ride her bike on 2 wheels and has experienced the freedom that comes with that. Such an awesome big kid milestone. Also one I never experienced!

- Vivian learned to climb out of her crib. She's only done it once so far, but I am not naive enough to believe that will be the last time.

- they all three love to put the boppy pillow around the tops of their heads like a wig and make each other laugh until they cry. It is hilarious!

- Aleesia learned to swim under water! And Gianna has improved her swimming skills so much as well. Vivian just wants to walk right off the edge of the pool & give everyone a heart attack.

- The kids have spent every moment we've allowed them playing with all of the neighborhood kids & it has been busy but amazing watching their friendships grow & these memories made.

There is so much more that has happened and memories that have been created - someday I'll get to all of them!
School starts this week for G and next week for A - we are ready but not at the same time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Disney World 2016: Hollywood Studios

Our first park day this trip was to Hollywood Studios. There is a lot of dreamworking going on in this park right now so we planned a character dinner and waited until after lunch to head to the park. It was a really nice, low-key morning at the pool which helped us to enjoy our park time!

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The Disney Jr. characters are outside of the Disney Jr. theater instead of inside like they have been in years past (inside now is Star Wars themed, Mike and G met Chewbaca!) so the kids were hot and sweaty, but I think my littles enjoyed meeting some of their favorite animated characters even if they seem a little skeptical!

 

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We had a snack break after riding Toy Storia Mania (which remains one of the most fun rides!) near where the new Toy Story land will be – that is going to be a super fun part of the park.

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Then we found Mickey and Minnie. The line was slow moving so I was glad we had some entertainment with us!

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We followed this up with dinner at Hollywood and Vine – Minnie’s Springtime Dine ate here last trip and the food was terrible. This time? That was thankfully not the case! The food was great and the character interaction was superb! I tried so hard to capture Aleesia’s amazing surprise/happy face that she made each time she saw a character – it was the best!

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Our next stop was to see Olaf! This was for sure the kids’ favorite.5.30  (182)

We did Frozen Forever which is the best sing-a-long ever. The kids had the best time. Then we rode Star Tours – it was my first time riding it and it was fun even if I have never seen Star Wars.

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Right now, in my opinion, this is a half day park – especially if you take advantage of late extra magic hours and/or don’t have thrill seekers who want to ride ToT or Rockin’ Rollercoaster. There are huge improvements coming and we can’t wait to go back to Hollywood Studios once all of the new areas are finished, it is going to be so great! And hopefully next time I can convince at least one of the kids to ride Tower of Terror with me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Disney World 2016: Polynesian Review

We went to Disney World at the end of May and stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for the first time. I previously really didn’t get the draw to the deluxe resorts but when we scored an awesome deal we couldn’t pass it up. Needless to say, I now FULLY understand the draw to the Monorail resorts, especially with kiddos who are still in strollers.

Let’s talk reviews because I have a lot to say!

Kingdom Strollers – we rented the CitiMiniGT and it came with a cooler and rain cover. I want to buy this stroller now, I loved it so much! And the rain cover came in handy at least once. The stroller was simple to order and pick up/return is right at the front desk.  We didn’t miss the stroller at all on our travel days – I wore Vivian in the airport and Aleesia and Gianna did great at holding our hands/navigating the airports. I could easily push any combination of girls with no issue, which was a double bonus.

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Garden Grocer – We got a delivery credit from renting our stroller and it was great. We got almond milk, a case of water, gateroade and some snacks. In all honesty, I over-ordered on snacks and if we could have had 1/2 a case of water that would have been ideal. But again, ordering was so easy as was picking up the stuff that I would do it again in a heartbeat. My only “negative” was that I found their website kind of hard to navigate as far as figuring out some specifics on products before ordering, but it wasn’t a huge deal. I had also packed snacks, which I probably won’t do next time.

Polynesian Review

We did the Magical Express and were the first stop, which was really nice. We stepped off the bus and the kids were amazed, as were Mike and I. The theming and decor is beautiful, I really felt like we were stepping into Hawaii!

We had kind of a haphazard checkin process – but we did online checkin so our room was ready as soon as we got there and our bags arrived relatively quickly. We didn’t get a balcony room, which I was a little disappointed about but our room in the Aotearoa longhouse was wonderful. We had a lagoon view and the doors opened to the outside and the view was perfect – we could see the magic kingdowm fireworks from our bed and we were so close to the Grand Ceremonial House and pool. We didn’t notice much extra noise from Luau Cove except when the last show ended as the guests walked right by our room, but it wasn’t a huge deal.  The walk to the TTC wasn’t bad either.

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The kids LOVED the pool! Gianna couldn’t get enough of the Volcano slide and everyone loved the splash pad. We specifically planned pool time into our days and I am SO glad we had the opportunity to enjoy the hotel and the pool. We never visited the quiet pool or the sand area, but that’s okay – everyone was happyily cooling off in the main pool area. It never felt overcroweded either, even on Memorial Day.

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We did the dining plan this time (as we have in the past). Probably my only ‘complaint’ about the resort is that the Captain Cooks (quick service) had more limited options than at the moderate resorts. We ate lunch there a few times and felt like we were always getting the same things. We also have picky eaters, so that was part of it. The flatbread though? WAS AMAZING. Honestly, all the food was so good there – the service is a little slow so don’t be starving when you walk in.

I had a polynesian pearl drink from Trader Sam’s which was super good and the awesome pineapple drink (pictured above). The iced coffee from Kona is something I’ve been craving since we left.

Other restaurant reviews:

Kona Cafe – this is my favorite breakfast in all of Disney World, so no surprise that I loved it once again. Tonga Toast is where it’s at!

Ohana – we had breakfast at Ohana our last morning and it was SO yummy. The juice was wonderful, the fresh fruite platter was a hit and I loved all the warm food. They were so accomodating to our crabby kids! Vivian called Stitch (who is all over the hotel in the gift shops and stuff) a bunny the whole time and was so excited to see the bunny in person! She, at the end of the week, had finally warmed up to the costumed characters and loved Pluto!

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My biggest regret is forgetting to buy our MemoryMaker/Photopass pictures in time (the day I went to purchase all of them, the first 2 days had disappeared and I didn’t realize it!)– there were just a few that I really wish we had, although I am lucky enough to have captured a version of every picture taken on my own camera. I have always discouraged against paying for MemoryMaker, but I have to say it really is worth it especially if your family splits up and there are some great ride pictures that get captured (I’m bummed not to have the pictures of Aleesia and I on the Mine Train).

 

More resort/dining reviews coming soon!

 

We’re already ready to plan a(nother) return trip….