Beach Baby – first trip to the beach

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Mommy Project – menu planner

I feel like I am the most unorganized person out there. Which is incredibly frustrating, because I really do try to be organized. I never used to be this way. I had the greatest memory and I never ever forgot things. Ever since I became a mom, I feel like I am so scatter brained. I am constantly losing things, like my cell phone. Which is probably still somewhere on the 22 freeway, because I left it on the roof of my car one day back in December. I am also constantly forgetting things, like Aaliyah’s doctor appointment last Thursday to get her second flu shot. The worst part is – I didn’t even know that I had forgotten until my mom asked me how her appointment went the next day. If it wasn’t for her mentioning it, I probably still wouldn’t know that I had forgotten about it. But you get the picture.

My newest Mommy Project is intended to help me bring a little more organization to my messy life. I created a Dinnertime Menu Chart for my kitchen. I figured it would be a huge asset for my personal organization. At the end of each week, I will use my board to create a meal menu for the following week. Then I will go through all of the ingredients I will need to complete each of my planned dinners. Once I know everything I will be needing, I can go through my cupboards and refrigerator to see what I have and what I need. At which time, I can create a shopping list for my trip to the store that weekend. Then on Monday I will do all of my mixing and chopping and what not to prepare for the upcoming week. Sounds good in theory, right? We’ll see. If anyone can mess this up, I probably could.

Meal Planning Chart

I created a cute little board out of a picture frame that I write on with a dry eraser marker. And it is really easy to do.

Materials Needed:
11 x 14″ Picture Frame
Glue
Markers
Card stock paper
Scissors
Dry Erase Marker

This is an easy project. One that allows you to get really creative. So have fun with it! I really did.

On the left side of your paper you’ll want to create 7 separate blank rectangles. Each one should be labeled for one day of the week. I recommend starting with the day of the week that you typically do all of your meal prepping. For me, it’s always Monday.

Then on the right side, you’ll want to make one long blank rectangle that will be labeled Ingredients and one small square labeled Grocery List.

Now it’s time to come up with a fun title for your board. And put that at the top. I chose Mom’s Cafe.

Once you have finished creating your meal planning page, put it inside your picture frame and close it. And you are finished.

Now it’s time to find a place in your kitchen to hang it up! Hopefully you’re feeling inspired like I am and are ready to start planning your family’s meals. Hopefully this will help us all get more organized when it’s Dinnertime.

Enjoy!

10 Things I loved about being pregnant

Tonight I was looking through all of our pictures on the computer. It’s one of my favorite things to do. When I came across my pregnancy photos, it got me thinking about how much I loved being pregnant. It was such an amazing experience.

These are my 10 Favorite Things about being pregnant

1. The prenatal vitamins strengthened my hair and nails. Everyday was a good hair day!

2. Feeling my baby girl moving around inside of my belly.

3. The sight of my belly brought a smile to people’s face.

4. Even total strangers were excited for me and would congratulate me.

5. Being able to wear pants with an elastic waistband. The holidays were great!

6. The random cravings out of nowhere.

7. Watching my husband’s eating habits and moods change along with mine.

8. Always having someone to talk to and sing to. I was never alone.

9. No matter how small a task, people were always impressed that I had completed it.

10. Not having to use harsh cleaning products.

What are some of your favorite things about being pregnant?

Our visit to Radiator Springs

Living in southern California has a long list of perks – great weather, good schools, beaches, and so much more. One of the greatest benefits is living within minutes of Disneyland. For quite a few years now, my family and I have been annual pass holders. We’ve found that It is completely worth it. We are able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth anytime and for however long we want. It’s great for short family outings or play dates with friends or even date night. The possibilities are endless!

Last Friday, they finally opened the new Cars Land at California Adventure. The Grand Opening has been greatly anticipated by all. The park has been a madhouse since its inception. Tuesday morning, my girlfriend and I decided to meet up at the park in the morning before work to take the kids to hang out for a bit. We got there first thing to try to avoid the madness, but that was impossible. The park was packed within minutes of it opening. We were able to wander through Cars Land though. Luckily, everyone was more concerned with riding the rides, so they were all standing in line. So it left us the ability to wander through the area freely.

Let me just tell you that they did a fabulous job creating Cars Land. It really looks like Radiator Springs. I was so amazed! It all seemed so realistic. We were also lucky enough to meet Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen. I have to share this with you, because I feel like you need to know what you will experience. Both Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater actually talk and drive through Cars Land. Very slowly, so there’s no danger, but it is very realistic. For all of you who have children who are or we’re in love with the Cars movie, like my nieces and nephews, this will be a huge treat. Like all of the other Disney characters, the cars characters actually drive through the park to a designated area for photo opportunities. I highly recommend that you pay a visit to our friends from Radiator Springs. But you might try to wait a few months, so you don’t have to wait in extremely long lines.

After we experienced all that Cars Land has to offer, we made our way over to Disneyland in hopes that it was less crowded. It was still early, so we decided to go see Rapunzel in her tower. My friend’s two year old daughter is infatuated with her at the moment, so it seemed like a fun idea. The wait time was only thirty minutes, and it was worth it. Brooklyn’s face lit up when she saw her. And we were lucky enough to be visiting with her when Flynn Rider showed up. Magical things can happen when you’re at Disneyland. It’s great! Aaliyah loved meeting Rapunzel. She grabbed a hold of her hand and wouldn’t let her go. It was so cute.

We spent another couple of hours at the park after we finished lunch and then decided to call it a day. It was only 12:30, but that’s the great part about being a season pass holder. We were able to head home early without hesitation, because we know that we can return anytime and do things we missed out on today. That’s the beauty of it!

Communicating with baby – Baby Sign Language

While I was pregnant with Aaliyah, I read different pregnancy and parenting books. I wanted to be as educated as possible about what was going on with my body and my baby. I was flying blind. I had never done anything like this and I knew absolutely nothing. As I read through all those books, I began to formulate a plan for becoming a mom and raising a child. Things like breastfeeding, dual language learning, homemade baby food, co-sleeping, etc. This plan I had formulated was filled with my ideals for being a parent. I had no idea how well my plans would workout or if they would fit into our lifestyle, but I wanted to try.

One of the things I really wanted to incorporate into our parenting strategy was baby sign language. I took a few sign language classes while I was in school. I wanted to learn a third language that could be useful, and it seemed like the most useful. I was incredibly pleased when I learned that it could be used to communicate with my daughter. It takes me so long to determine her new cues and sounds, and she comes up with new ones every week. So it becomes difficult to keep up at times.

There are several benefits to using baby sign. Infants rely on crying, smiling, and cooing to communicate before they are able to speak. They use nonverbal communication and cues to express themselves, because they do not possess the skills to speak. Baby sign language is an excellent method for communicating, because it is based on these same nonverbal cues and gestures. It is a great way to connect with your baby and initiate a strong bond.

There are also more long term benefits to using sign language. It helps increase children’s vocabulary. They are able to retain more words and spell more proficiently because they can physically spell out the words with their hands. Sign language also encourages children to communicate. They are able to use both verbal and nonverbal methods and it allows them to be more expressive.

Aaliyah has just reached nine months and it is the optimal time to begin using sign language. I am excited to begin this new chapter. I really do hope that it will be a successful endeavor. We’re going to start with just a handful of signs (about five). The ones that we would use most often in our daily routine – mom, dad, milk, more, all done. I am a little excited to see if it takes. I would love to be able to communicate with her, no matter how little until she is able to speak. We all know how frustrating it can be as parents at times, trying to decipher the meaning of a baby’s grunts and gestures. So for the few months, I will be using these signs while I speak to Aaliyah, and we will see if she picks them up. I’ll keep you posted on the success of this latest endeavor.