Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Four reasons why Disney Cruises are better for #familytravel

We went on our very first Disney Cruise the other week!

We have been cruisers in the past and we have traveled on three other major cruise lines. All cruise lines are a ton of fun and we don't have major complaints about any of them. However, you always seem to hear that Disney Cruises are the best! We thought about those proclamations throughout most  of the week because honestly, Disney Cruise Lines usually costs more than the others.

Is Disney Cruise Lines better?

In many ways, YES. In some ways, I'd say it's a tie. And in other ways, I think it depends on the ages of your children. My oldest is not into characters or princesses anymore and she didn't want to go to Kids Club on her own (note to self: travel with friends the next time). Our youngest was still too little to understand much of the excitement, but this mama really loved the optional nursery care.

So... in what ways did my family find that a Disney Cruise was better than others?

#1 - Service. We were asked about service by various managers and staff at least twice per day. They always wanted to know about our experiences and if we had any problems at all. We had no problems, but I am sure if anything had come up, it would have been addressed happily and quickly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Football eats from my favorite home chef

My friend Karen, over at In The Kitchen with KP, is my favorite home chef! She is always creating and sharing delicious snacks, simple family-friendly dinners, and mouth-watering desserts. I am lucky enough to know Karen in real life, which means I have been a willing taste-tester a few times. Perks!

Football season is upon us, and most of my fellow college grads are cheering on their teams on Saturday afternoons. My Tennessee Vols have suffered heartbreaking ending two weeks in a row now... which means I need more feel-good munchies to soothe my broken heart. 

Check out this huge football eats roundup from In The Kitchen With KP and many fellow food bloggers and make plans for your next delicious Saturday.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The separation anxiety continues...

Separation Anxiety...
"Anxiety provoked in a young child by separation or the threat of separation from their mother."

My little man, now 20 months old, is still a total mama's boy. He has a tremendous need to know where I am and what I am doing at all times. He has improved a little bit at his Monday daycare and his Tuesday/Thursday church program, but (seven weeks later) we have not eliminated those drop-off tears just yet.  

Separation anxiety is completely normal in older babies and toddlers. While separation anxiety is most common in small children between 8-15 months old, it is not considered a disorder or major problem until later, around kindergarten or first grade. I think my guy is just our snuggly sensitive one. Our daughter was born with a strong independent streak, but he would prefer to stay close to me at all times. And when he is away at daycare/school, he often repeats our names, "Mama... Dada... YaYa (sister)..." Reminding himself who we are and saying our names is his way of coping until we return.

Hopefully, as we continue to practice drop-off and pick-up three days per week, he will become more and more confident in his understanding that Mama comes back

If your child is several years older and still experiencing separation anxiety that has begun to affect regular life, this WebMD article may be helpful: Separation Anxiety Disorder. And, as always, keep your pediatrician informed of any worries. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Disney's The Jungle Book: new trailer!

Have you seen the first trailer for Disney's The Jungle Book, the all-new live-action epic? Check it out on The Jungle Book site!

From Walt Disney Studios:

"The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.  

The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. “The Jungle Book” seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world. 

The exciting adventure bounds into theaters everywhere (also in 3D!) on April 15, 2016!  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some great baby/newborn advice

Now that my little active guy is a running, jumping, opinionated, finicky - but fun - toddler, my baby advice days may be over. I am personally not a fan of the newborn stages; it can be really difficult!

If you are a new mom looking for some tips or expecting a second child and wondering how he or she will change your family, I have a few useful newborn advice posts to share from my friend Meghan over at JaMonkey.com.

In addition to parenting stories, product reviews, and advice, Meghan often shares really fun craft ideas and simple video tutorials. So click on over to JaMonkey.com and see what she's sharing this week!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I miss going to the bathroom alone.... #parenting

What do you miss from the time before you were a parent? 

There are several things for me.
Well, maybe a lot of things.

A few pop into my mind right away...

For one, I miss taking time to actually taste my food at a restaurant instead of constantly digging snacks and sippy cups and crayons and toys out of my bag while I scarf whatever edible concoction is placed in front of me so we can dash out the door before we hit the child meltdown zone. 

I miss waking on a weekend to see an 8 (or greater) as the first number on the clock. Even a 7 is a rare sight on the morning clock these days. It is sad when a 7:22 Saturday wake-up equates to "sleeping in". Way, waaaaaay back in the day, I remember thinking that ESPN's College Game Day program was on a bit too early on Fall football Saturdays..... it starts at noon. 

I also miss going to the bathroom all my myself. Seriously. I would like to have a couple quiet moments in the bathroom to do what I need to do without an extra body in there. These days, I have a toddler shadow who gets into absolutely everything. In the moment it takes me to try to pee, I take away the toilet brush (this week, he seems to think it is a big hairbrush), roll up at least twenty-two squares of toilet paper that he happily unrolled onto the floor, and pry little chubby hands from my bare legs.

He flushes the toilet before I am done. He plays in the trash can. He tries to climb into the tub and gets frustrated that he can't quite get a leg all the way overIf I lock him out, my bathroom tasks are serenaded by a screeching wail that could frighten an angry velociraptor. This is paired with frantic door pounding. 

It's no wonder that I generally head to the bathroom the moment I get home from dropping him at his Monday daycare or the church preschool!

Bathroom activities are not a team sport.

- - -
Linking up to Mama Kat's writer's workshop today! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When a toddler's cough just won't go away

My little guy, now 19 months old, has been hit hard by the start-of-daycare ickies. It began with a cold and ear infection over a month ago, then developed into a persistent cough that wakes him several times per night. For a while, we were up so frequently that it felt like we had a newborn again! More than four weeks later, he is finally beginning to sleep through a night without a coughing attack.

I brought him to the doctor a few times during this month of cough, but it was never directly treated. Persistent cough is common in toddlers who have had a cold and congestion, and it can last for a few weeks. A general rule is to take them to the doctor if they have a fever or if the cough has lasted four weeks.

How do you know if a cough is "bad"? I like this handy list from KidsHealth.org...

Kids Health - Coughing 
Understanding what different types of cough could mean will help you know how to take care of them and when to go to the doctor. 

Also, what kind of options does a parent have when all the cough medications are for children 4 or 6 years old and up? My friend over at Redhead Baby Mama compiled a smart list...

The Ultimate Cold and Cough Guide for Babies and Toddlers 
From honey pops to tame fiery throats to a simple vapor bath to help stuffy noses, colds and coughs don’t stand a chance! 

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