Friday, April 15, 2016

5 Tips to Make Your Pregnant Trip to Disney Great

Going on any trip while pregnant requires some special planning but, a trip to fast paced theme parks requires a lot of planning. I lived and worked at The Most Magical Place on Earth for nearly five years and thought I had done everything in the world there...until now. Going to Disney while pregnant is a completely different machine that what I'm used to. Here are a few things I found to be extra helpful when visiting Disney while pregnant.  


{one} Dress for Comfort

We went to Disney in April when I was rounding on 19 weeks pregnant and when we planned the trip I didn't think the weather would be too hot. I lived there for nearly five years and April was always warm but never miserable. Unfortunately it was 90 degrees without a cloud in the sky. I should've listened to my gut and brought my dri-fit capri pants to wear in the parts but I opted for my cute maternity khaki shorts...big mistake. Some women are fine in shorts but mine ended up being uncomfortable and ultimately ruined my day. Your shoes can make or break your day so this is the one time you can throw fashion to the wind and wear something that feels better than they look.  Listen to your gut and dress in what you know will be comfortable for you for those long hours in the parks.

{two} Don't Rush Meal Time

Let's be real, the food at Disney is one of the greatest reasons to visit when you're pregnant. A bonus is if you plan accordingly your meal time will be an opportunity to cool off and relax indoors. Taking your time during meals in the park will be your saving grace. Enjoy a meal somewhere that you've never visited of fear of too much time being taken up by the dining experience, if there ever was a time to do so it's now!

{three} Utilize Disney's Package Pick-up

If you're anything like me you want to pick up some adorable merchandise for your baby! The only downside is carrying and keeping track of it (oh hey pregnancy brain!) throughout the day. Disney offers a wonderful service called package pickup where you can opt to have your purchases sent to the front of the park to grab on your way out (allow at least 3 hours for it to get up there) or you can pick it up the next day at the main gift shop in your hotel. This came in very handy when my mom bought the baby her personalized "My First Christmas" ornament.

{four} Plan Your Activities Inside and Outside of the Parks

Using Fastpass+ is a wonderful way to plan out your day in the parks but don't let that be the only thing you take time to plan. It's difficult to have an open to close day in the parks while pregnant so plan things that help you still experience the parks. For example I made a late dinner reservation at 'Ohana at the Polynesian and because of our dining time we were able to watch Wishes, the Magic Kingdom fireworks, from the comfort of our table.The restaurant dims the lights and plays the music so you get to enjoy the show without the crowds. This goes for several restaurants at both Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Don't think that every waking minute needs to be spent in the parks...enjoy the pool, see what recreation offers your hotel has, and if you're lucky have some "me time" being pampered at one of the spas on property.

{five} Celebrate this New Chapter

Disney is all about celebrating everyday things and making them magical. The celebration buttons (birthday, anniversary, first visit, etc.) are easy conversation starters for cast members as well as fellow guests. I was lucky enough to find and amazing Etsy shop, CrowleyCastle, that makes adorable custom Disney buttons (seen in the photo above) that you won't find in the parks. We got them to use in our gender reveal and were stopped countless times by people telling us how much they loved them, wishing congratulations to us, and asking where to get them.

One of the greatest things about Disney theme parks is that they hold true to Walt's original vision of everyone, no matter your age or physical restrictions, can have fun together. I suggest planning things out and utilizing the My Disney Experience to scope out what rides are safe for expectant mothers. I didn't feel like this was a half done trip just because I was pregnant and if you plan your trip right you won't either. So girl go to Disney and treat yo' self to all the Dole Whips and Mickey pretzels your little heart desires and have fun on the world famous Peoplemover. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Halfway there...

I have officially reached the halfway point of my first pregnancy and I can't believe it! So many things have happened in the past 20 weeks and I can not wait to see what the next 20 weeks hold. When I announced our pregnancy I did a little post about how things were going so I figured it'd be nice to do another one so I can look back and remember how I was feeling.


Cravings

My appetite is finally back and food aversions are lessening by the day. My only consistent craving I've had is cereal and no, not the healthy kinds...straight up Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles for days! When my mom was pregnant with me she craved Fruity Pebbles all the time too. Besides that it's been really random things like having Brian recreated a brunch BLT from a great place in Orlando, spaghetti (which I usually am not a fan of), Zoe's Kitchen, and then Mexican and pizza...but I can't really blame that on the baby because I eat those all time pregnant or not.

Energy

When people say the first and second trimester are like night and day they aren't kidding. The first trimester can only be compared to a three month long hangover. The second trimester has been soooo much better. I don't feel 100% like myself but I feel leaps and bounds better than I did. The second trimester is the best time to travel so we've decided to make the most of it with a trip to Disney a couple weeks ago, another trip to Orlando this weekend for a friend's baby shower, and off to London and Paris next week, and my friend Molly's wedding in St. Pete in May!

Missing

Hot dogs, beer, and pork. I told Brian that as soon as I deliver the baby someone better be hightailing it down to The Varsity, only a few blocks from our hospital, to get me a hot dog. When I was in Orlando the other weekend we went to lunch with my friends Brandon and Katie. Brandon got a beer and I had to smell it because I miss it! I live in BBQ heaven and every time we go to a BBQ place and I have to order chicken my heart breaks a little.

Finding Out the Gender


We found out the gender very early on, the end of February to be exact, because we did Harmony Genetic Testing. Our insurance covered nearly all of the fees so we decided to do the test since I don't know the family medical history of my paternal side. I figured it was an investment for not only myself but, my sister when the time comes for her. One of the benefits of the testing is finding out the gender as well! I got the call from the doctor's office around 10:30am and managed to keep myself from telling Brian right away. I went and got a huge stork balloon that said "It's a Girl" and walked into the house with it to surprise Brian. We then facetimed our parents to ask them if they knew what type of weird bird we had in our front yard only to reveal the balloon.

Doctor's Appointments

My very first appointment was terrible, like I probably have a note on my record kind of terrible. I was so nervous and scared to death. The doctor we had wasn't the most nurturing so that didn't help, I ended up crying through most of it. Fortunately all of our appointments since then have been wonderful! The staff has been great, especially the blood lab girls who know me as "the girl afraid of blood work with two tattoos." Our next appointment is tomorrow and we can't wait to see our little girl again. According to Brian's app, she is now the size of a small cantaloupe.

Nursery

We decided to not do a strict theme in the nursery, instead we're finding coordinating pieces. The walls are a light grey and the furniture is white. Since we don't have the blessing of being close to friends and family we want to make sure to have photos of everyone throughout her room in hopes that she will learn their faces. I love the idea of having prints of children's book cover framed and on the walls of her room. Maybe we will find some cute nursery items in London and Paris!

Transition to Motherhood

I'll be honest...in the beginning I had a very rough time accepting that I would be a mother in a few months. I was afraid of being left behind and forgotten by my friends but, after talking things through I've realized the important people in my life who truly love me will never do that.  My fear has been replaced with excitement...well mostly because labor is not fun to think about. I think I was so scared because it happened so fast. I've heard stories of how couples will try for years with no luck but I guess we are very lucky so I focused on that instead. This baby happened exactly when it was supposed to and I had to get over the constant comments of "well that was quick" and the judgmental "we you even trying?" The fact that so many other ladies I know are pregnant too, and due within weeks of me, has been a lifesaver. Having friends to talk about this crazy journey with is amazing and knowing that I have other first time moms to talk with once the baby is born is so comforting. I feel like my friend Natalie and I will be calling each other ever day asking "did your's do this" and "is it time for Food & Wine yet?"

This was in the hotel lobby at Disney, Brian had to get a "bump" pic for his app lol

We are so excited to meet our little girl and can't wait to see what she looks like. I find often that girls look like their dads but I've got some pretty strong genes (I mean look at my sister and cousins!) so who knows what she will look like. Everything we plan moving forward we include this little girl in and once she's here it's going to be crazy. We know that this parenting thing is going to be messy and nothing like what we expected but, Brian and I are more than ready to take on the challenge.





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Our Last Visit to Disney Without a Stroller

This past weekend we visited my old stomping grounds of Walt Disney World. We knew that this was going to be the start of very different Disney trips for us but, we wanted to go to the place we fell in love one last time before the baby arrives.


Friday morning we made it on our 6:00am flight by the skin of our teeth because the Atlanta airport thinks it cool to have two metal detectors operating for the entire north terminal. After we ran like Macaulay Culkin to our gate we used our one hour flight to prepare for our day in the parks. We utilized Disney's Magical Express to our resort, where we quickly checked in and left our bags with bell services before hopping on a bus to the parks.

Our day started at Magic Kingdom where I had made a reservation for lunch at Be Our Guest. I have dined there but neither Brian nor my mom had so it was exciting for me to see them experience it. If you haven't been there I highly suggest it. Lunch is consider "fast casual" so you get the quick service price range with the table service experience. Brian and my mom were so surprised when our food was brought to us on real plates. I opted for the "order ahead" service and placed everyone's order a week in advance so all we had to do was pay and find our table. I loved that option and even if we decided when we got there we wanted different items we could have switched. Here are some photos I took at lunch...it's very dark in the restaurant so my apologies for the dim photos.


The Grand Ballroom Dining Area

If you look through the windows you'll see snow falling. 

The center of the Library area we dined in. 

My wonderful carved turkey sandwich.

My birthday cupcake topped with "grey stuff."


Once we finished with lunch we walked around the park scooping out places for our gender reveal pictures, that you can see HERE, while enjoying a couple rides in between. Most importantly though we got our favorite Disney treat...Dole Whips!!!


Around 3:00 I got the text that our room was ready and since the 90 degree heat had worn us down we decided to go back to the hotel for showers and naps. Once we got to the hotel I hit a wall, I was so exhausted and wanted nothing more than to stay in bed but, didn't want to ruin the day for Brian and my mom. We had originally planned to go to Epcot and walk around World Showcase to sample some of the goodies for Flower and Garden but, the thought of dealing with festivals crowds sober made me want to crawl under a rock. We decided to head to Hollywood Studios instead. I was ready to give another park a shot with my iced chai from Starbucks in hand but, that was very short lived. We only went on the Great Movie Ride before I began to feel very bad. We ended up going back to the hotel for the rest of the night. I was so disappointed in myself. I guess the former tour guide in me thought that if I could walk around for hours in dress shoes and head to toe polyester one day in the park pregnant would be a breeze. We settled in for the evening and after dinner Brian and I swam for a little bit and were able to watch the fireworks in the pool. 

The next morning Brian and I woke up and went to the dining hall in our hotel for breakfast. Our food was wonderful. All breakfast food has been good to me my entire pregnancy so I was very happy to get to breakfast. Brian got a pop-tart sandwich (eggs, cheese, and bacon between two pop-tarts) and I got a waffle platter. 


We lounged, because it was raining a lot of the day, met up with my friends Katie and Brandon, and lounged some more. That night I had made a reservation for dinner at my favorite Disney restaurant, 'Ohana. My friends Josh, Leanna, and Natalie (she's pregnant too) joined us for a meal we all had been texting about for a week. While we were waiting for our table we exchanged gifts. I had gotten Natalie some outfits for her baby girl. Natalie got our baby an adorable golf outfit and the Boppy pillow and case from our registry and Leanna got us an adorable Ralph Lauren outfit for the baby. We were seated right before Magic Kingdom's fireworks started so we were able to enjoy them, music and all, without the crowds. We went through two servings of pot stickers and didn't even blink.  



We were some of the last guests in the restaurant because we got so caught up in our gossip and Real Housewives convos. Luckily I get to see them next weekend too because I'm going back to Orlando for Natalie's baby shower! 

Our last day, Sunday, was spent at the pool with our friend Katie before getting lunch and catching our shuttle back to the airport at 3:30. The weekend was very busy but very fun. I think it's safe to say going to Disney while pregnant is not the easiest thing but it is possible. Later I'll share some tips from what I learned to hopefully help some other mommas out in the future. Thanks for reading!









Monday, April 4, 2016

Make it PINK...or...Make it BLUE?!






We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we are having a little PRINCESS! We love her so much and are so excited to meet her in August. One thing is for sure she is already adored by many!