Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Day In The Life: 18 Months

"Don't you get bored?" is a question I hear relatively frequently with my decision to stay home with my baby. Truth be told, if I am fully present, I don't even sort of get bored! There is so much to do and see as a stay at home mom, and I love it! Surprisingly, it's when I'm distracted or not "all there" that the days seem long. So I try my best to be present and immersed in the fun, and it is so.busy. My wonderful Mother In Law always says that no one is as busy as the mother of an only child. I'm her mom, teacher, playmate, etc. Seriously, never a dull moment!

I'm not saying that it's for everyone, and I do say "to each her own," but I thought it would be fun to share a little about my usual day with you all. I don't have pictures of everything, because sometimes it just isn't worth ruining the moment. And other times, it's just plain hard to snag a good picture of a super busy toddler! You'll also notice that baby girl's bow changes throughout the day. She loves to find and try new bows!

5:45 - Alarm goes off. Brad has been up already for about 45 min. I roll out of bed at 5:50. I shower and get dressed.

6:10- Scripture study/morning devotional. Today I studied about "mighty prayer." It was wonderful! And Kymri is sleeping great, so I get a decent study in before she's up.

6:50- Baby girl wakes up. She slept super well! She usually wakes up between 6:15 and 7:00. Today was a good day. If she wakes up before 6:30, Brad takes her so that I can at least read a little bit of scriptures. He's so amazing! Baby woke up super happy today, so I know she got enough sleep. We give hugs and kisses and change her diaper. She wanted to read a book this morning (you'll see that we drop what we're doing and read books a LOT. She loves them, and I couldn't be happier about it).

7:00- Breakfast. Little one eats toast, grapes, and milk today. She tells me about her dreams. She is uber talkative this morning and babbling away.

Daddy/daughter play time while I make Brad's lunch.

7:45- Brad leaves for work. Kymri had an extra hard time with him leaving today. She loves her daddy. After he leaves, we read a couple books to get happy again.

8:00- Baby girl plays on her own for awhile and I unload the dishwasher, sweep, and do the breakfast dishes. She plays really well on her own today, which is awesome. She's very into taking toys and moving them from one bucket to the next.

8:30- We head upstairs and I do my hair and makeup. Kymri loves this! She watches me and we talk about what we're going to do for the day. She likes to mimic me while I get ready.

9:00- Bath time for baby. She loves the bath! We splash and play with the bath toys for quite awhile even after she's clean.

9:30- Outing time. Since it's Thursday, we are going to the park. Each day, we do something different. Monday is grocery shopping/errands. Tuesday is the big park or a museum or something like that. Wednesday is story time at the library. Thursday is the little park. Friday is play group. Of course, this can and does change, but that's usually what we do. We have so much fun at the park today! Kymri is getting so big and loves to go down the slide all by herself! She's good about letting me help her to the top and then waiting to push off until I'm at the bottom to catch her. We have fun today chasing each other around. She loves to run around the pole and have me go the opposite way to "get" her. Nothing like those little squeals of joy!

10:30- Head for home, take a little extra walk since it's [finally] so nice outside!

10:45- Snack time. Baby girl wants a banana today. We don't have a very big morning snack, because she won't eat lunch if we do.

10:50- Play time. This play time is totally Kymri led. Whatever she asks for, we do. Today, she asks to play with Noah. She loves her ark and all the animals. (Shout out to my amazing mom for making such a fun toy)! We put them on the boat and practice making all the animal sounds. This reminds her of her favorite book, and we stop to read for awhile. We read the same book about 5 times. Then Kyrmi says "pa," and I know she wants to have a tea party. We clean up the animals and get out the little tea set. She loooves this. She chooses some of her favorite stuffed friends to invite to her party and asks me to get her some fishies. She puts the fishies in everyone's bowls and even tries to feed all of her friends. I'm feeling pretty adventurous today, so I let her put a little water in each of the cups. She thinks this is pretty great! Having a tea party with her is one of my favorite things. Then it's more books.

11:45- Time to clean up K's room. Brad and I do most of the cleaning while baby girl sleeps, but there are some things that are just unavoidable, like her room. So today, she "dusts" while I vacuum and then practices her somersaults while I finish dusting and tidying.

12:00- Lunch time. Baby eats some whole wheat pasta from last night, cooked carrots, and grapes. She insisted on the grapes, even though she's already had quite a few today. Choose your battles, I suppose. After she fishes eating, she goes off to play while I clean up the dishes. She comes back with a messy diaper. Good timing!

12:30- Diaper change, 2 books, 1 song.

12:45- Nap time. She falls asleep super fast. While she naps, I rotate the laundry, do a quick clean up job, and then blog or edit pictures, etc. Brad and I just started doing the deeper/more detailed cleaning together one evening a week, so that is super helpful (have I mentioned how great he is?? But seriously). So now, I just do 30-45 min of cleaning during nap time rather than using the full nap time for cleaning, which is great! Maybe that means I'll get back to more consistent blogging! Kymri's naps are super inconsistent, and range from 1 hr to 3 hours.

3:15 - Kymri is awake. Great, long nap! Diaper change and a book. Then it's downstairs for a little snack. Peas and crackers today.

3:25 - Afternoon playtime is a little more guided. I like to try to teach Kymri something new or practice something she's been working on and then have some creative/artistic time. Today we play with her felt board that I am slowly making. She still doesn't totally understand how it works, but she's having fun with it. Then it's music time! We love to play our instruments and sing songs. We play the drum and recorder. We march while singing "The Ants Go Marching." We sing Tootie Ta. We sing some other favorites. We also play the piano and sing "Heart and Soul," one of our very favorites. Baby girl has a bit of a breakdown and I can't figure out what is bothering her. After a mini tantrum, I realize that she wants to sit on my right side rather than my left on the piano bench. Yep... she's an opinionated little thing! Next we take a reading break. Then it's coloring time. Kymri loves to color, but gets pretty distracted.

4:30 - Walk to get the mail. I don't bring the stroller on this one. The mailbox is just at the end of our street, so it's a short little walk and Kymri is good about holding my hand. She likes to be in charge of the mailbox key on the way down. We go her speed and take our time to look at the trees, find the birds, etc. Kymri is super funny and if there are any rocks on the sidewalk from people's yards, she has to take the time to stop and put them back. When we make it back to the house, we usually stay outside for a bit. Today it is super windy, and Kymri is loving the wind on her face. So we go to the backyard and just enjoy, until a messy diaper calls us inside.

Did I mention it was super windy??

5:15 - Kymri plays on her own while I make dinner. Sometimes we have to turn on a little show for 10 minutes if I'm doing a lot of cutting type prep (for some reason, she doesn't like when I'm cutting things). But usually, like today, Kymri is happy to sit in the kitchen with me and "help" make dinner. She loves getting out a bunch of spoons and bowls and stirring up something delicious. Once it's in the oven, we play blocks for a bit.

6:00 - Brad is home!!! We all sit down and eat dinner together. It's fun to talk about our days and catch up on how things are going.

6:30 - Daddy Play Time. I think it's so important for Kymri to get some one-on-one play time with daddy, so they play while I start cleaning up the dinner plates.

6:50 - We clean up the toys, then it's Teeth brushing, hand washing, lotion, diaper change, pajamas, daddy reads a book, family scripture reading, a song, and family prayer.

7:15 - Brad and I take turns rocking Kymri. Tonight is Brad's turn. The other goes down and finishes the dishes. We rock Kymri while singing her songs and then lay her down to fall asleep on her own. We usually have to stay in the room in the rocking chair while she falls asleep (this is a new thing she's doing... doesn't like when we leave before she's asleep). She's usually asleep by 7:30 or so.

7:45 - I love getting to spend the evenings with Brad. We might play a game, watch a movie or show, or just talk. It's time to relax after a busy day and just be together.

9:30 - Couple scripture study and prayer.

10:00 - Bed. With such an early rise (5:00 for Brad and 5:45 for me), we try to get to bed relatively early. We don't always make it on time, and we don't always wake up with the alarms... but it's a work in progress.

So there you have it. A little glimpse into my daily routine as a stay-at-home mom of an 18 month old. It's busy, it's fun, and it's wonderful. I fully admit that there are times that it can also be tough, messy, and frustrating. But at the end of the day, I love it!

Tell me about your day. If you're a stay-at-home mom, what is your routine? I'm always looking for new ideas and thoughts.

Friday, September 9, 2016

POGO Pass Las Vegas

(This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting Two Best Friends in Love)!

We are really loving Las Vegas! It has been a lot of fun, and surprisingly has a lot of family friendly activities! If you remember a few months back, I posted about the Phoenix Pogo Pass! For my AZ friends, you can still use my code 2BF60 to get 60% off your passes. With the cooler weather coming, it's the perfect time to get your passes and hit up the zoo! Plus, you can plan some great fall break activities. And since they are good for a year, you'll still get all the fun summer activities too. Go HERE to order!

I also have great news for my new Vegas friends! Pogo is now open and active in Las Vegas! For you new friends, I wanted to do a quick breakdown of just how amazing this deal is.

Using my code LVPOGO60, you can get your passes for 60% off! That takes them from $124.95 to only $49.98! If you're hesitant, let me just break it down for you:

Cowabunga Bay: One visit: $30-$40 value (fall vs. summer pricing)

Power Up Gaming: 1 visit per month: $6 per visit x 12 months = $72 value

Sprigs Preserve: 1 visit: $5-$18 value (resident child to non resident adult)

Discovery Children's Museum: 1 visit: $14.50 value

Las Vegas 51's: 2 games: approx $12 value

Nevada Climbing Center: 1 visit: $10-$14 value

Battle Blast Laser Tag: 1 visit: $8.50 value

Bouncy World: 1 visit: $10-$12 value

Fat Lap Indoor Kart Racing: 1 race: $25 value

Rockin' Jump: 1 hour jump session: $14 value

Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station Bowling Allies: 2 games per location per month: that makes 8 games per month at $3 per game: $24 per month x 12 months: $288 value!! (Pass does not cover shoe rental)

Holy Cow you guys!! That makes the total value of the Las Vegas Pogo Pass...

It might seem like a lot of money at the start, but when you think about it, you are getting an entire year of family outings for only $50 each. And not only that, you will be saving over $450!
This is how excited we are about this deal!

To order your own Las Vegas Pogo Pass, follow this link HERE and enter code LVPOGO60 to receive 60% off your order!

We're excited to try out all of these new places in Las Vegas! Have you been to any of them? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pippi & Scout Hair Bows

This is not a sponsored post. I won a giveaway and loved the product so much that I just had to share!

Sometimes I enter Instagram giveaways. And I generally don't win. Read: I haven't ever won... until now! I actually won an Instagram giveaway and I loved the product so much that I just had to share with my readers. I seriously haven't ever put such a cute bow on my little girl!

"Bow" is one of Kymri's favorite words these days, and she is always wanting to put one on. Since getting these bows from Pippi & Scout, she is obsessed. I will put a certain bow on that goes with her outfit, only to have her insist on one of these. It's actually really adorable.

I was so impressed with Pippi & Scout. She contacted me right away after I won the giveaway and let me select which bow I wanted. I had such a hard time choosing, because they really have such an amazing selection! From sailor bows to school girl bows, pig tail bows to tailored bows, it was seriously such a hard decision! I finally settled on the Midnight Mirage Schoolgirl Bow and Pippi and Scout chose such a beautiful coordinating bow!

When we checked the mailbox, it was like Christmas had come early! There is something seriously great about happy mail!

I instantly went to baby girl's closet and started finding outfits that would coordinate with these adorable bows. And of course we had to have a photoshoot!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy we are with these bows from Pippi & Scout! They fit perfectly, are very well made, and use quality materials. Make sure to check them out! I know that I will be ordering from them in the future, and hope that you will be too!

Find them on their website HERE

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bellagio Botanical Gardens

Last weekend, we had a family date night to the Botanical Gardens inside of the Bellagio. It was an amazing date, and the best part was that it was totally free! Not only did Brad and I enjoy it immensely, but Baby Girl was absolutely mesmerized by the gorgeous flowers. 

And the icing on the cake was that it was an under the sea theme, and Baby Girl was able to walk through a large fish tank full of beautiful "fishies." 

This is definitely a date that we recommend to anyone visiting Las Vegas. We're really excited to go back in the fall, winter, and spring. The gardens change with every season, so it's different each time you visit. 

When we first walked into the hotel, we were greeted by these gorgeous hand blown glass flowers hanging from the ceiling. 

And then we entered the gardens and found some absolutely stunning displays. 

The Under the Sea theme was a big hit for our little family.

All of the creatures on display included live flowers.

In all, it was a perfect family date, and one that we would also do on our own.

And I seriously never get tired of watching Brad interact with our little one. He is such an amazing husband and father! I am truly blessed to have these two in my life!

To find the gardens:
3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

The gardens are just beyond the lobby on the way to the dining areas. 

We have loved finding dates that work with our favorite little tag-along. It's so important that date night doesn't stop after having kids! We have definitely had to get creative since babysitters are not always an option (and having just moved to a new place, we pretty much only know two people...). From stay-at-home date nights after baby goes to bed to fun family date nights like this one, we make it happen. What are you doing to make date night a priority, even after kids? We'd love to hear your ideas! Use #datenightdoesntstopafterkids on Instagram to share your ideas and see some of ours!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Miracle Mile Shops and Garrett's Popcorn

We've been in Las Vegas for about a month now and finally decided to brave the strip for a date night. You see, Brad is totally obsess with Garrett's Popcorn, which he discovered on a trip to Chicago years ago. What's really amazing about this is that Brad doesn't even like popcorn. But Garrett's? He can down an entire bag pretty speedily. Garrett's has a number of flavors, but in our opinion, there is only one that's worth it: Garrett's Mix. It's a mixture of caramel and cheese popcorns, which we admit sounds less than great. When Brad first told me about the mix, I was certain that he was crazy. But the first time I tried it, I was sold after the first bite. It's this amazing mix of salty and sweet and definitely worth the calories!

The popcorn is made fresh and most definitely needs to be eaten sooner rather than later. So plan on a little overdoing it, but still go with the big bag! Worth it.

Here in Las Vegas, Garrett's is found inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, so we decided to make a whole date of it. Inside the mall, you will find an indoor rain storm, quaint walkways that mirror Italian villas, joke shops, magic shops, and all the shopping you could imagine.

We had a great time and definitely recommend the date to anyone passing through Vegas. If nothing else, at least stop and get yourself a bag of popcorn!

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