Monthly Archives: March 2016

Coloring Easter Eggs

Last year, I didn’t even bother trying to dye Easter eggs with Henry since he was only one, and I remember the process as a kid being a whole lot of waiting and not a lot of doing (something 1 year olds don’t excel at). We made carrot cake cookies instead, and he loved it. So this year I decided we were going to dye eggs, but needed to decide how. Should we use the same kits I used as a kid (eww, vinegar smell), dye eggs with natural dye from fruits and veggies (don’t really have the energy to round up different food items to make the dye, and Henry won’t care much anyways), or find an alternative on Pinterest? 

  
I went with choice three and found an easy way to dye eggs using shaving cream and food coloring. Except I replaced the shaving cream with cool whip because the Hen still has a occasional tendency to put things in his mouth, and I figured the pretty colors could be a temptation (they weren’t, but it smelled nice). Henry chose how much dye we put in the cool whip (yay pink!), and then helped me swirl it all around. 

  
Now we were ready to color the eggs and get really messy! I demonstrated how to do it, and Henry jumped right in. For two whole eggs, he loved it, and was quickly over it. He wanted me to do the rest so he wouldn’t get dirty. This from the kid who lives and loves to get as dirty as possible. Don’t worry, he made up for it after I finished the eggs and put them aside to dry. 

    
There was plenty of the colored cool whip left, so I grabbed some paper and let him finger paint. This was exactly what he was waiting for. Thick globs of purplish-bluish- pink dessert topping were spread all over the paper (and him). He was having a blast, as I was trying to figure out how to get food coloring off of myself since I now had dyed hands and a boy quickly turning purple like Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka. 

   
   
Thanks to a quick Google search, I found that a first wash of soap and warm water followed by a vinegar scrub cleaned us mostly up (except my nails, but I’ve been meaning to paint them for Easter Sunday anyway). After Henry was all cleaned up and eating lunch, I rinsed the eggs and love their finished tie-dye swirls. It was a super fun activity for a rainy Holy Week morning.
   
 

Kissimmee Vacation, Part 2 – Magic Kingdom Resort Hopping

It may be weird to say that one of our priorities in visiting our family was getting pictures of the cousins in matching Disney shirts. I purchased them for the Disney cruise that did not happen, and wanted to make sure to get the kids in a group picture before they outgrew the shirts. Since Keith isn’t the biggest Disney fan, we didn’t want to spend an expensive day at the parks, so we spent a fun day exploring the Magic Kingdom Resort’s hotels!

    
First up: the Grand Floridian. Modeled after the Victorian era grand hotels that popped up along the Florida coast, it may be the most opulent resort at Disney World. This means it makes for great photo opportunities almost everywhere. It also holds a special place for Scott and Amanda because they were married in the Wedding Pavilion next door. We took some fantastic pictures of the kids, then hopped on the monorail for a ride to the Polynesian Resort for lunch.

        
We wanted inexpensive, yet delicious food, and we definitely found it at Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian. Serving American and Asian food, Keith got a spicy hot pho noodle bowl, I got a Hawaiian pizza, and Henry got his regular chicken tenders, and my bro and nephew ate dairy and peanut allergy-friendly meals (Amanda ate yummy cheese covered nachos). For dessert, we ate one of my favorite things ever – a Dole whip – from the Pineapple Lanai. Oh my goodness, it just hits the spot on sunny days, with its pineapple and vanilla soft serve mixed together. Henry thought it was dreamy, too. 

      
We would have stayed to swim at the Polynesian, but the large pool area is now locked off to all unless you are staying at the hotel and have a magic band to prove it. Instead, we took a monorail ride back to the Grand Floridian so the boys could swim at its Alice in Wonderland-themed splash pad. It was so fun – the boys really loved the poolside activities and games, even if Henry didn’t really understand them. They also enjoyed sliding down the water slides and splashing in the water. It was a cousin-fun-filled day!

   
   

Kissimmee Vacation, Part 1 – Playground of the Week – Lakefront Park

Let’s flashback a few weeks to that time we took a super short (little less than 48 hours) trip to visit my brother and his family in their new place in Kissimmee. They’ve been there since October or November, and hope to buy the cool, old house they are living in. It’s in downtown, historic Kissimmee, with tree-lined brick streets, and within walking distance of their church, restaurants, and parks. If you’re going to live in the Orlando area, it’s a pretty sweet setup.

   

   
I know I posted a playground of the week yesterday, but that was officially last week so I’m going to do another one back to back. This week’s playground of the week is brought to you from Kissimmee’s Lakefront Park, located at 201 Lakeview Drive, 34741. This park was awesome! It has two playgrounds adjacent to Lake Tohopekaliga, as well as a splash pad. We only visited the southern side’s playground, but there was plenty to do including the typical climbing, swinging, and sliding. It is next to the bathrooms, and there were benches and chairs for parents to sit and watch. Henry’s favorite part (maybe favorite thing ever as he is still talking about it) was blasting off stomp rockets in the large field in the park. If it hadn’t been lunchtime and the weather had been better, he could have played all day with his cousins.

   
    
 

Playground of the Week – Pinebrook Park

This week’s playground of the week was a pleasant surprise. Pinebrook Park, located at 7202 118th Avenue North in Pinellas Park, looked nearly unrecognizable from the photos posted on the City of Pinellas Park’s website, and this was definitely a good thing.
  

The playground equipment looked entirely new, with some sunsails providing portions of shade. Bright colors of climbing apparatuses stood out; Henry found some of them challenging but kept trying anyways. The ground was made of rubberized mulch affixed to the earth, so parents who have babies/toddlers shouldn’t be afraid of them eating the surface material. It was a totally fun place to be.

     

   

   
There were a couple of drawbacks, however. The swings were not in the shade, and have regular mulch underneath, but the mulch looked fresh and the swings were brand new. There were no bathrooms (the horror of being pregnant without a bathroom in sight is real, everyone!), so make sure to go before you play. 

  
Other exciting recreation opportunities include basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts, a baseball field, and two covered picnic areas with grills. I recommend this park for fun, and will make sure to go back when I don’t need the bathroom every 20 minutes.

  

The Third Trimester is Here!

At 28 weeks pregnant, I’ve made it to the third trimester! Baby boy is the size of a head of cauliflower, weighing in at approximately 2.5 pounds and measuring 16 inches long. There is never a moment I don’t feel pregnant these days. This little one moves around just as much as his big brother did in utero, and makes me feel tired a lot of the time. 

Uninterrupted sleep is a thing of the past; between getting up several times a night to use the bathroom or switch positions and dealing with nighttime Hen issues (maybe one day he will consistently sleep through the night), I’m just not getting great sleep. Growing a baby is hard work, especially when I’m chasing after an energetic two-year-old. 
Overall, our daily routine hasn’t changed: in the morning we eat breakfast, go to the gym, and then do an activity like a playground, library time, or errands; eat lunch, read, and nap (my favorite) in the early afternoon; and then watch a couple shows, make dinner, and play or clean until Keith comes home. We finish out our days by taking a family walk or having a family dance party, doing the bedtime routine with the Hen, and catching up on some television or other things at home. 

  

Keith and I attended our first childbirth class (out of five) this week, which are required by our Birth Center since I didn’t have a natural childbirth last time around. I think it will be helpful, especially when it comes to learning relaxation and breathing techniques for labor. The class is the same time as my prenatal yoga class, so I plan to resume that in April. I go to the YMCA four to six times a week, depending on how I’m feeling on a given day. I either go to Body Pump class (2-3 times a week) or run/walk on the elliptical and ride the stationary bike. I hope to continue until the baby is here, especially since I was able to lift weights and walk last time around. I’m feeling really great, and looking forward to the next twelve weeks flying by so we can meet our little guy.