Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Bubba!

Today my baby bubba turns 5 and I kind of can't believe it! I remember the doctor telling me I was going to have a boy and literally being scared.  I don't know how to raise a boy, or what to do with a boy. I don't enjoy sports, legos or cars.  What were we doing to have in common?  When Tate was born he definitely gave me a run for my money and still does to this day. He may be crazy busy, always moving, and keeping me on my toes, but he is also the sweetest boy you'll meet. He is constantly wanting to help with the twins and loves them so much!  He just recently started kindergarten and its almost like he doesn't need me at all.  He doesn't want me to walk in and drop him off and today I went to visit him for lunch and he refused to take a picture with me.  That is my strong, independent son.  I can't wait to see what he does with his life, I know he will go far!
We love you Tate!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip

The kids are out of school, summer break is in full swing, and most families are starting to think about their upcoming vacations. Our family is no different.  Every year we take a trip to visit family in Northern Utah and most recently we have changed our route, and gone through St. George.  This route has more freeway, and no little towns to pass through.  It also has less wildlife crossing the freeway/highway, so if you are doing any of the drive when it starts to get dark, this is an easier route.  St. George is a beautiful city, full of red rocks and lots of things to do.  Whether you’re just looking to pass through or stay for a few days, here is a list of things to do.
Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip | East Valley Moms BlogHiking
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail – This hike is good for families, its an easy hike that leads to a little waterfall.  While its usually best to hike this during spring and fall, it can be done in the summer as long as its earlier in the day.  Families can cool off in the spring, crawl around in the waterfall, and there is even a natural slide that you can slide on.
  • Pioneer Park- One of the staples of St. George is the rock with the word “DIXIE” written on it.  On our most recent trip we decided to venture up and see if we could hike the rock.  What we found was Pioneer Park.  A short hike up to the top of Dixie rock and also a bbq with picnic tables.  From this spot you get a great view of the city its definitely worth the stop.
Places to eat:
  • Pizza Factory – Known as St. George’s favorite Pizza restaurant, the Pizza Factory is great for that family feel, and delicious pizza. They are also known for their breadtwists, which are the similar bread sticks, and they are longer than any bread stick I have ever seen.  They also offer salads, sandwiches, wings and calzones.
  • Larsen’s Frostop – Larsen’s is an old fashioned drive-in, and the food is typical of an old fashioned drive-in.  On the menu you will find hamburgers, french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken tenders and corn dogs to name a few.  They are also known for their milkshakes, it’s a perfect stop for families.
  • The Bear Paw – If you’re looking for a nice breakfast spot then the Bear Paw is your stop.  The menu has a wide variety of food in a cute little cafe feel.  Be sure to try one of their stuffed french toast and the home fries! You can’t go wrong with your choice of food here.
  • Judd’s – Judd’s is an old fashioned ice cream shop which also offers lots of old fashioned candy and sodas. Its a kids dream.  There is seating outside, for you to enjoy your treats.
Things to do:
  • Thunder Junction Park – If you’re looking to have your kids burn off some energy this is the perfect place. It is  an all abilities park that includes a splash pad and train ride (for an extra fee).  This park is so fun your kids will never want to leave.  Us adults even had a blast watching the kids swing and spin, they even have drums and a xylophone for the kids to explore their love of music. Definitely make time to stop here.
  • St. George Children’s Museum – The children’s museum is full of fun and interactive exhibits that kids will love.
  • Tuacahn Ampitheatre – Tuacahn is more for older kids and adults, but it is one of the coolest theaters.  It is set up against the red rocks, during the evening.  Some of the past plays have included, Mamma Mia, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Tarzan and this year the line up is Matilda, Cinderella and The Prince of Egypt.  It is definitely worth the money to experience a play underneath the red rocks.  
Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip | East Valley Moms Blog
So next time you’re on your way out of town and are looking for a place to stop, or looking for a new place to take a trip, I highly recommend stopping in St. George and seeing all that it has to offer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

5 ways to get the most out of your trip to Disneyland!

Those who know me know I am Disney obsessed!  I have visited Disneyland more than I can count.  Over the countless times I have visited I have come up with some tips and tricks to help your experience go smoother.

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare - Disneyland is sure to be exhausting. Make sure you are prepared for your trip. Comfortable shoes are a must. I would even say bring a couple pairs, a pair of sandals and tennis shoes. We always make sure we bring along a different pair of shoes so when we do water rides we can switch shoes and we don't have to spend the rest of the day with wet shoes.

2. Make a plan - Decide which rides you absolutely want to ride while you are there.  Make a plan on which ones you will go to first, and which ones you will get fast passes for.  I highly recommend paying the extra money for the maxpass, it is a fastpass you can get on your phone, which saves you from running around to the different fast pass locations. Another great tip a Disney employee gave me was to walk the park counter clockwise.  most people enter the gates and immediately go to the right, because its a natural tendency and its where space mountain is.  If you enter and go immediately to the left, you will experience shorter lines and ride more rides in half the time.

3. Stay close to the park - I think it is totally worth it to stay within walking distance of the park.  You don't have to deal with parking (it's expensive and a pain), and you faster access to your hotel room if you need a break anytime during the day.  This is also best if you have kids with you, we know they can't always last all day.

4.  Always make sure you have ziploc bags to put your valuables in while you do water rides.  You can also purchase ponchos for pretty cheap on Amazon, or at the dollar store if you would prefer not to get wet at all, personally that is my favorite part, especially when its hot. 

(Pic of my brother and my cute son on his first Disney trip)

5.  Book with Getawaytoday! I have used getawaytoday.com for all of my Disney trips.  They have the best prices on trips and you can bundle your tickets, hotel and even plane tickets if you need. Their customer service is amazing and I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Until next time....

Ditching the kids for Disney

The Happiest Place on Earth. 
But do you sometimes question how it could be the happiest place on earth when its often met with whining, fit throwing, and complaining?  I mean yes, seeing Disneyland through your child’s eyes is amazing. It’s fun to watch them meet the characters and sing along on It’s a small world. But have you ever experienced Disney without the kids. Let me tell you, it is heavenly.
The normal 6 hour drive, from the Phoenix area, actually takes six hours.  There aren’t lots of unnecessary stops, unless of course you want too. The car ride is also much more enjoyable, you won’t hear “Are we there yet?'”, “How much longer?”, or fighting coming from the car.  
Once you get to the park, everything seems less stressful without kids. You can decide which rides you want to go on and when. You don’t have to base it off whether your kids are tall enough, brave enough, or even in the mood.  There’s no fear of losing your child as you fight the crowds going from one place to the next, or fear of them wandering.  It’s much easier to keep track of adults, and even if you loose each other, a call or text will help to reunite quickly.
Waiting in line is also much more pleasant.  Instead of spending your time wrangling bored and tired children, time can be spend socializing with those around you, or just taking in the fun scenery. Have you ever waited in line with your child for what seems like an eternity, just for them to back out when you get to the front of the line? Hopefully you won’t have any situations like this arise.
Next on the list is the length of time you can spend at the park. I don’t know about you but because Disneyland is so expensive I always want to make sure I get my moneys worth.  One way to do this is to maximize my time spent in the parks and on rides.  If your bringing little kids this is doable, but usually hard. We always enjoy staying for the fireworks show and later, because often times the park is beginning to slow down and people are filtering out.  Not to mention lots of the rides and roller coasters are more fun at night.
So the next time you consider booking a vacation to Disneyland consider leaving the kids at home. Whether its a couples trip or girls trip, its definitely worth trying without the kids. It is definitely just as magical, if not more.

Exhaustion, Patience, Joy and Love

Never in a million years did I think I would be a twin mom. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I thought it would be fun to have a couple of kids, a boy and a girl maybe. I wasn’t sure the exact number of kids I wanted, but I knew twins were never on my radar. After having a girl and a boy I thought life was going pretty well, I was happy with the kids I had and thought we would have one more kid at the most. When we found out I was pregnant again I was anxious to find out if it was a boy or girl. I will never forget the moment the ultrasound tech said that she saw two heads.

Wait what?

Did you say two heads, as in two babies? Yep, she confirmed, congratulations you’re having twins. I held it together as I walked to the car. As soon as I got to the car I was in full on tears. I don’t know if it was the shock, the excitement, the exhaustion or probably a mixture of it all. I was overwhelmed to say the least.
I had no idea how I was going to take care of twins, along with the two other kids I had, plus continue to work my full time job. In the months leading up to the twin’s birth, I tried to collect all the advice I could. I talked to friends who had twins, joined support groups and just tried to prepare myself mentally for what was to come. Some advice stuck, some things didn’t.

Exhaustion, Patience, Joy and Love | East Valley Moms BlogPhoto credit: CC Shotz by Christy
My twins are 10 month now, and in their short life I have learned a few things. On the top of the list; be prepared to be exhausted, in every sense of the word. I find myself mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted more times than not.
Everyone said get them on the same schedule. Ideally that would be amazing, and my twins did great for a while, but then they decided that wasn’t for them anymore. One sleeps, the other is awake. One wants a bottle and the other could care less. They are constantly keeping me guessing and I have lost all sense of time and keeping track. But luckily, they let me know when they need something. I just pay attention to their cues and we go with the flow. That is what’s working best for us now.
I also learned that if I had any chance of leaving the house on a regular basis we better start early. So I did. I took all four of my kids out almost as soon as I could. We quickly got into a routine, my older kids learned how to help and we learned how long we could be out before the babies had a total breakdown. Not every trip is successful, but because they are now used to it, I don’t completely dread leaving the house.
Lastly, I realized really early to just expect everything I did to take at least twice the amount of time, if not more. I learned patience. I don’t know why, but when people see twins, they act as if you are a celebrity. No matter where we go we get stopped at least 2 or 3 times with people asking, “Are they Twins?”, “Boy/Girl?”, “No way, you are so lucky.”, or my favorite, “Man you have your hands full.” We are seriously like a circus act. Patience. Every twin or multiples mom needs to have patience. No trip can be simple and fast, even if you try to avoid contact and keep your head down. Someone will stop you.
Although my journey has been short so far, this experience has been exhausting and so rewarding. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I look forward to many more stops at the store, and a life full of more exhaustion, patience, joy and love than I ever thought possible.