Etta Rae Byrd
May 2, 2017
7 pounds, 10 ounces
21 1/4 inches
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,
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?
Well, here we are. My first post of 2017. What in the world took me so long?
Things in a word have been…busy.
Did you notice the new blog layout? I’ve finally made the switch on my social media accounts to “Bringing up Byrds” and have been updating the website mostly on my own. [I am so thankful that I have a computer literate husband that can fix all my tech mistakes ;)] If you notice something that is broken or in the wrong place or something like that – please let me know!
Mid-January, I took off for my first weekend away from the babies. I met up with some friends in Los Angeles and we spent a few days at Disneyland and participated in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side! I say participated instead of run because, well, let’s just say I seriously underestimated how much harder 13.1 miles would be at 22 weeks pregnant. But! I finished! More on this later 😉
Back in Hawaii, Alex and the kids got to spend the whole weekend with Papa! We passed each other in the air (literally) both ways so I didn’t get to see him but I really enjoyed all of the photos and videos that Alex sent to me while I was gone and I’m so glad that they all got to have some quality time together.
I’ve been making an attempt to get us on a better schedule as far as naps and housekeeping goes. Slowing down, being more intentional with our time and soaking up as much of Lyla and Simon’s sweet little personalities as I can.
Mid-February we took our first family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort and had an amazing time. While there, we were lucky enough to see more family who was vacationing at the same time and got to catch up with great friends who live there now. It was dreamy and just what the doctor ordered for these Byrds.
Speaking of doctors, we all caught something nasty on the way home from vacation and it hit me especially hard. So hard that I earned myself an extra “vacation” in the ICU for 6 days. It was scary, and obviously not ideal, “…but the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17) and I am beyond thankful for that.
Little girls love their tea parties, don’t they? Lyla definitely does and after having countless tea parties with her stuffed animals and Dad, I decided it was time to host Lyla’s first “real” tea party.
We invited a few of her little girlfriends and their mamas over for a Christmas Tea Party at our home yesterday. We set our dining room table for the girls. Each place setting had a sugar cookie for decorating, a candy cane and a festive hair bow to take home. The girls also had a plate of PB&J tea sandwiches and a pot of
tea Capri Sun.
Lyla was so patient while we set everything up. She loves tea parties and she loves Christmas, so the table was very tempting but she left everything as it was until her friends arrived. I was impressed.
I was just as excited to have my friends over as Lyla was. I set out my tea set as well as a spread of tea sandwiches – ham, apple and brie and the classic cucumber cream cheese – as well as some cranberry orange scones.
Right on time, all of the little girls showed up in their Christmas dresses. They all looked so cute. A lot of the moms dressed up too which was fun. I think us stay at home moms appreciate an excuse to get dressed in something other than sweats once in a while 😉
^ aren’t they the sweetest? I love that the moms even dressed up the little sisters 🙂
It is so sweet to watch Lyla grow and develop friendships. We really had a great time and are already looking forward to hosting another next Christmas and making this a tradition.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world.
Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…
Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix.
From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development.
Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings.
He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite.
Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”
He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted.
He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile.
Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair.
He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story.
Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind.
He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes.
He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go.
Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such.
My sweet boy,
I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!