Etta Rae Byrd
May 2, 2017
7 pounds, 10 ounces
21 1/4 inches
Our firstborn turns THREE tomorrow. Not sure how that happened. Can’t wait to celebrate our sweet girl all day but, until then, I’ll watch this video a million times. And probably cry every time 😉
Dear Lyla and Simon,
We are about five weeks away from welcoming your new sibling into our family and your mama is basically counting down the days (and hoping the countdown is a littler shorter than that).
Man, do I feel guilty admitting that.
I really don’t want to wish away the last few weeks that we have together as a family of four. We are in a great groove right now. We’ve figured out schedules that work for us. We’re happy.
But, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant.
As we near the end of this pregnancy, I find myself feeling guilty all the time.
Like when you ask me to chase you around the coffee farm and I can’t.
When all you want is to be held but my swollen body is just too tired to hold you for another minute.
When I skip out on family trips to the playground so I can have a few minutes in silence with my feet up.
When you tell me your belly hurts and my initial thought is “oh no, I don’t have the energy to be up all night”.
The bigger my belly gets, the shorter my fuse becomes. My nightly prayers are filled with cries to the Lord for more patience.
I start each day with the best intentions, and I almost always feel like I come up short.
It’s those times when I feel like a terrible mom. Like I’m failing you both.
But, somehow, you both know just when I need you to crawl into my lap for the extra snuggles. When I can’t break up another fight in the car so, instead, you hold hands. Your sweet little hearts are so loving and forgiving and I am beyond grateful for that.
I know I’ll have hard days when there are three of you running around the house. With each new stage there will be an adjustment period. I will never be a perfect mom, but with the complications from this pregnancy behind me, I know I will be able to do a better job than I am doing now. Because, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant.
Thank you for loving me always. For reminding me on a daily basis what sweet, loving beings you are. I can’t wait to see you in your new roles as big brother and sister (again!).
I Love You,
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FirstMomentsMadeSimple #ForBetterBeginnings #MomsFirsts #CollectiveBias
It’s April, people! Woohoo! I welcomed the new month with open arms as it means we are thismuch closer to Baby Byrd #3’s arrival.
Prepping for baby the third time around is so much different than for our first and second. Instead of getting things ready for our new baby, I’ve found myself focusing more on the toddlers and things that will make my life easier while home with all three.
Seeing as this is our third baby in three years, we have a lot of the basics covered but, one item that never made my “must have” list until now is the Diaper Genie®. Funny how having two little toddlers with wandering hands and a curiosity for every trash can in the house will push a diaper pail to the top of your list 😉
When I was pregnant with Lyla, Alex and I visited our local Babies “R” Us to create a registry so I knew that it would be the perfect place to pick up our Diaper Genie. (Pro Tips: if you are expecting your first and want to set up a registry – visit Babies “R” Us on the first Saturday of every month for their Registry 101 event. Then, once you have had your baby, head back to the store on the 3rd Tuesday of the month to receive discounts on un-purchased registry items at their Registry Completion events)
Simon had fallen asleep in the car on the way there so Alex stayed in the car with the kids while I ran in to pick up my new best friend. I headed towards the back of the store where the diapers and wipes are kept and checked out my options and ended up choosing the Playtex Diaper Genie Expressions™. This little beauty boasts the maximum odor control of the Diaper Genie systems, can hold up to fifty newborn diapers, and is customizable. Win, win, win!
Once we got it home, Lyla immediately started trying to get the box open so I let her help me take it out and put on the Designer Fabric Sleeve. I’m a big fan of home baby products that don’t scream “this is for a baby!!!” so I really appreciate the Cream Knit patterned sleeve that I chose.
I also really appreciate my husband who is always willing to be a hand model at a moment’s notice 😉
Now that I have a way to keep those little hands out of the stinky diaper trash, I had to think of something else to keep them busy so I put together a “busy basket”.
I loaded up one of our baskets with some of their favorite toys, a few books and snacks. I can see reloading this basket becoming pretty time consuming but I really think it will come in handy when I need them to be entertained without mom for a few minutes (like when I’m nursing).
As soon as Simon came downstairs from his nap, he found the basket and dove right in so I think this one will work – at least for a little while. Alex suggested filling a fanny pack with snacks and small toys so that I always have a distraction on my person. I think I married a genius.
I’m also spending some time looking around the house and designating some “high” areas where I can stash things that Alex and I might need for baby. Things like baby powder, medicines, nipple cream (me, not him), etc. We recently had an experience with a curious toddler and an open container of baby powder all.over.the.living.room. and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Hopefully some of these things will make our transition to life with three little ones a little easier on everyone. You can discover more tips for better beginnings here. Also, make sure to follow along with Playtex on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Our first family trip to Walt Disney World is in the books and it feels like a lifetime ago (even though it was only last month). I will forever cherish the week we spent together. Our last trip as a family of four. Such a special time in a special place.
What is your favorite family vacation spot?
Tell people you are planning on taking your toddlers to Walt Disney World and you will probably hear a lot of “Really? But they can’t ride anything.” to which I say “Ha! I beg to differ!” (except not really, I would never laugh in someone’s face like that, I’m far too polite) 😉
Sure, they weren’t lining up for the thrill rides that most adults consider the must dos of Disney, but they definitely weren’t bored.
Here are some of our favorite toddler-friendly attractions from our recent trip to Walt Disney World broken down by park…
Pretty much everything we rode here, Lyla wanted to do again (with the exception of Pirates of the Caribbean). Our highlights were the Festival of Fantasy parade, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel and meeting Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theatre (he talks!)
We had so much fun on our first day at Epcot that we decided to drop our second Animal Kingdom day and visit again! We loved Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends (and the aquariums that you can visit once you get off the ride) and Frozen Ever After but I think the real winner was the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion. Simon really took a liking to Donald Duck on this trip and every time we rode that attraction, he was dancing and laughing. So cute.
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
When I think of Disney’s Hollywood Studios I think of lots of great shows (that my kids probably wouldn’t sit through) and the more “adult” attractions like Rock’n’Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, so when I was planning our trip, I almost didn’t schedule a visit but I’m so glad that I changed my mind! I had made the kids an autograph book to take on the trip and we met a ton of characters at this park. The abundance of character meet and greets paired with Disney Junior Live on Stage and the fun Star Wars mini shows/parades throughout the day made for a great visit. We also stayed for Fantasmic (our only nighttime show of the trip) and the kids did better than I thought! Lyla thought some parts were a little scary and “too loud” but Simon loved it.
As I mentioned above, we originally had two days planned at this park but ended up dropping the second day in exchange for another day at Epcot. I don’t regret our decision at all, but unfortunately because we thought that we were returning to DAK, we didn’t hit up a lot of (ok, any) of the attractions that I thought the kids would love. No safari, no Festival of the Lion King, no Finding Nemo the Musical. It was our first full day at Walt Disney World. We only spent a few hours in the park with our friends who live locally but we still had a great time. The park is so beautiful and the kids were excited to be doing something besides sitting on airplanes for hours and hours. I did grab a couple of Fast Passes for Expedition Everest so that the big boys could ride, it looks like they had a good time 😉
So there you have it! Our favorite toddler-friendly Walt Disney World attractions. Are any of these on your favorites list?
If you would have told me three years ago that in a few years time, I would be hanging a dreamcatcher made from an old Chick-fil-A soup container on my daughter’s wall, I probably would have laughed in your face. I’m all for DIY projects but a soup container? Not my medium of choice.
Thankfully, motherhood has a funny way of changing you. Since having children, I’ve been able to step of out of the “everything has to be perfect” box and now really enjoy turning our “trash” into treasures.
As a member of the 2016-2017 Chick-fil-A Mom’s Panel, I was recently challenged to take our empty Chicken Tortilla Soup container and create something fun with it. I wanted to make something that I could do with my little crafting queen, Lyla, and since we have been working on getting her “big girl” room set up lately, I decided that we would use this opportunity to build a dreamcatcher together.
1 Chick-fil-A soup lid
string in two different colors
We started with a clean, washed lid and made small cuts around the perimeter using our craft knife. We thread our first string choice through each of the holes and continued to go around until we were happy with the design. After tying up all of the loose ends, we then made a longer cut along the base of the lid for our more decorative string. We cut pieces of that string, attached using a simple knot, and were good to go! Our string had some fun texture and glitter pieces already inside, but next time we might go through and add some feathers and sea shells for a little extra pizazz 😉
There are tons of creative moms on this year’s panel – you definitely want to check out their upcycle projects by following the #chickfilamomsDIY on your social media accounts!
What would you make?