30 Weeks with Madeline

Finally able to update on our little bundle of joy coming this January. The past few weeks have been crazy, I have been having some breathing problems doing about anything. My doctor referred us to a cardiologist which had me do a Echo cardiogram and a heart monitor for 24 hours to find out I have a mild case of Cardiomegaly which leads to shortness of breath and hopefully will be gone after I have Madeline. . I’ve also been having some family emergency’s going on, So updating on here as been on the back burner.
Highlights: 
  • Decorating her room and getting everything ready! 
  • Madeline is looking great on Ultrasound! 
  • Her Heartbeat is strong! 
Lowlights:
  • Restless legs when I’m trying to sleep is the worst
  • Having Braxton Hicks almost daily. 
  • Cardiologist says I have Cardiomegaly (Enlargement of the heart) 
Weight Gain/Loss:  13 weeks: 170 17 weeks: 165  27 weeks: 175 30 weeks: 180
Sleep: Wake up constantly
Best Moment This Week: 
Finally got into Dr. Smith which is the Doctor I had with the boys and I feel so much more at ease!
Movement: Madeline has been kicking me like crazy right before bed.
Food Cravings: Sweet things like fruit.
What I Miss: Having any kind of energy.
Mood: Emotional and cranky
Upcoming Appointments/Events: Coming up I have start going to the doctor every 2 weeks starting the 18th. We have a lot of Events going on this month with Bentley’s  birthday and were hosting a Friendsgiving dinner and hosting Thanksgiving  this year.

What I look forward to:  This whole month of fun and family time!

Thanks for reading
Jessica

Homeschool Room on a Budget

When I first even thought about homeschooling Bentley I immediately thought I needed an epic amazing top notch homeschool room. I looked up homeschool room ideas every day for a week. I watched mostly Vlogs of Angela from This Gathered Nest and a few others on how they set up their rooms or spaces. Obviously, something I noticed is that nothing was perfect, and every homeschool space was different. Your homeschool space doesn’t have to be the best it just needs to work for your family. You can use whatever space is open around the house, the dining room table, a spare bedroom, or even the floor if that’s what you want. It is your space to enjoy and do what you want to do with what you have.

We had an extra front room in our house that we dedicated to homeschool. I wanted a space just for school where Bentley could really focus and not watch tv and listen to what is actually going on. I just wanted to show you guys that you can have a great homeschool space without breaking the bank!

That small tote is from the Dollar Tree that I used for Easter one year and didn’t want to waste it, holds our daily workbooks. Also, all of our books are from the library! I could never stress enough about how the library is honestly your best friend, saves such a great deal of money by borrowing the books instead of buying them. If you love a certain book then you can buy it and add it to your bookshelf, It’s a great way to weed out some books the kids just aren’t feeling into.

Whiteboard

We bought our whiteboard at lowes for maybe $15, it isn’t magnetic but works perfectly! You can get a larger size as well and ask them to cut it for you.

Shelves 

Our cubed organizer is from Walmart along with the Fabric organizers but I found similar ones on Amazon as well. Just click here.  I keep all of Bentley’s curriculum other on top or in the fabric organizers, along with all of the extra supplies like flashcards, Manipulatives, and Supplies for anything we need that day.

Maps/ Posters

My mom went to a thrift store and found our large map for us for extremely cheap along with a lot of supplies, I also check the Dollar spot at Target right before school starts to find any teachers supplies that might come in handy!

Our Table

This is honestly my favorite thing to talk to you guys about. I found this table on the marketplace on facebook for $35 and its perfect. It’s basically just a wooden dining room table. It has a little sprucing up to do, like sanding the top and restaining, but It was such a deal it was hard not to say no!

TIP: Look around, shop in different places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and little Thrifts stores, you honestly have no idea what you can find that can turn your homeschool room into is a perfect fit for your family!

Also, your homeschool room or area will NEVER stay clean… here’s mine after a good days work!

Staying in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

For our Honeymoon My husband an I wanted to do something fun and different, we were thinking about going to Disney for a whole week, then we thought about going to Universal for four days, but one day James came home and told me about going to Tennessee. He said one of his co-workers had gone there and that it was beautiful and they loved it. We looked into it and ultimately we decided this was the place to go, I noticed while looking on Pinterest of things to do, there wasn’t really anything on Pigeon Forge and more about Gatlinburg, so I thought I’d write a few our favorite things we did and where we stayed just in case someone needed some ideas like we did!

So here are some of our favorite things we did and where we stayed here in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee!

Places to Stay

Obviously, this is a tourist area so there are many hotels to stay in down the main road to everything and all within 5 minutes of pretty much anything you want to do, But we stayed at one of the cabins from Cabins for You and it was by far such a better experience I believe then if we would have stayed in a hotel, We were in the cabin Hooked on Love and it was so adorable! One bedroom with an upstairs game room, it could sleep up to four with the couch in the large living room, a fireplace, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking to a beautiful view of the mountains. James and I would come back from going to a few museums and hop in the hot tub and eat dinner and just relax and watch the sun go down, It was perfect!

Places to eat

My first tip to you is when you go to Pigeon Forge and are staying in the cabins, go to the grocery store and buy food, like cereal, some snacks, and some quick dinner meals you can throw in the microwave or oven. It will save you a lot of time and money so that you don’t have to eat out for every meal and can spend more time doing other things like hikes or museums. When we did go out and eat, we avoided fast food and chain restaurants we know that we have back in Florida so we were getting something new when we went out to eat!

The first restaurant we went to was Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, and oh my gosh talk about some comfort food! It was so delicious, it’s family style eating so that means that you pay one price per person and you all basically share but it’s endless food and you can keep refilling your dishes So it’s definitely worth it. Our main dishes were The Best Ever Southern Fried Chicken, and the Chicken Fried Pork Chop. With the sides of Creamed Potatoes, Creamed Corn, Baked Mac and Cheese, and White rice. The Creamed Potatoes were my favorite along with the Baked Mac and Cheese. There is also a beautiful view from inside the restaurant looking out into the mountains.

The other place we went to was Fuddruckers, it was okay. Just an average burger place and is a chain restaurant but we had never been there so we wanted to try it.

Things We Didn’t Do

There was a lot we actually didn’t get to do because we ran out of time or it just didn’t seem that appealing to us, so here is a quick list of fun things to do if you got the time!

Things We Did

We had so much fun, we mostly went to Museums and they were all a blast. Our First stop was “The Island in Pigeon Forge”. It was 10 Minutes from our cabin and had a lot of things to do while you are there, LIke Eat at “Pauls Deen’s Kitchen”, and try some delicious moonshine at Ole Smoky Moonshine, where you can try 15 different kinds of moonshine for $5 a person. I personally do not like the taste of Moonshine, but James tried all of them and liked pretty much every single one.

We went on the Wheel that was on the island and had one of the most amazing views of Pigeon Forge. It was pretty expensive  ( about $15 per person ) for a ride on a Ferris Wheel but the view was worth it especially during a sunset, and we were on for a good 20-25 minutes.

Our Frist Museums we went to was Alcatraz East Crime Museum,  Where you go through to read and learn about the different criminals who went to Alcatraz and what they did, back to Bonnie and Clyde, and Ted Bundy,. Honestly, this was one of James favorite Museums being in Law Enforcement this type of stuff has always interested him. There was also an awesome tribute to fallen officers and the fallen Heros and Victims of 9/11 which was both beautifully done.

The Hollywood Wax Museum was up next and it was a lot of fun. As you can tell James had a blast with all the celebrities they had on show, and this is only a few pictures of what happened. We even got the ” VIP Tour” and went all the way to the top by the gorilla and got another beautiful view of Pigeon Forge.

 

Because we got the VIP Tour at Hollywood Wax Museum, Castle of Chaos passes came with it and I have to say I hated it. I will never bring my kids there, and if you don’t like Haunted houses, or Zombies I wouldn’t even waste the money or time. The only “childlike” thing was the Maze of Mirrors and that was it. Again I didn’t like it because I do not like Horror that much and I have horrible anxiety when it comes to stuff like that.

Our Last Day and our last Museum was the Titanic Museum there was no picture taking beside one room in the building but I do have to say it is amazing. The things they have found and the stories you hear about are just breathtaking. When you walk in you are handed a card with a passengers name on it, it tells the class you were in and a little bit about your self. You find our your fate near the end of the museum and also a beautiful memorial wall.

Our Tips to a great time!

  • Go in an off month, where school is still in session and there are no breaks. We went in April and I feel like we had Pigeon Forge to ourselves.
  • Wake up early and go first things when the Museums open.
  • Get a Cabin definitely worth it.
  • Don’t go to Chain Businesses you can go to when you are home! Explore and eat at different Resturants.
  • Definitely, use the coupon books your hotel or cabin employees give you. it could save you a few bucks here and there.

Pigeon Forge was the best honeymoon for us, we loved every second we were there and can’t wait to go back with our kids and explore some more places with them! I hope this has helped you in any way! If you feel we missed something you did in Pigeon Forge write it in the comments and let us know how your trip went!

5 things I learned in the first week of homeschooling

We recently pulled Bentley out of public school, for many reasons including that the communication with parents was unsettling and lacked tremendously. Bentley has had some problems with school recently with the new changes of starting kindergarten, going from a smaller class size to a much larger and overpopulated class size, from staying in his one classroom all day to now going to multiple places throughout the school. It just wasn’t working for him and he started acting out and getting in trouble during class. So we looked into home education for him, and it honestly is the best decision.

Here are 5 things I learned in the first week of homeschooling.

Have a set schedule 

Now obviously this varies from different families, but with Bentley, I have learned that he definitely needs structure and a routine to keep him motivated during the day.

Plan everything the weekend before.

I had been planning our lessons and getting them out the night before, but I have noticed it just is too much after a long day and that I probably should have gotten them done before the week started,

Go outside more.

Now we live in Florida and this week it rained almost every day all day, so it kept us locked up in our house the whole time, which made me realize the with homeschooling we definitely need to go outside a lot more so the kids can run around and explore.

Expect the unexpected.

Obviously I knew things wouldnt go 100% as planned, thats a given but I definitely was not expecting to have to go to the hospital. In the middle of our Space Science lesson Leo fell and split his tonuge open, we had to rush him to the hospital and he ended up needing surgery. We never finished the lesson that day, and just ended up pushing it to the next day.

The library is your best friend

So when I do something I go all out, I want all of the things, tools, and books. Well let’s be honest that’s just not happening. I started figuring out that spending all this money on books we might read once is just a waist. So I took Bentley to the library and he got his own card and went to the children’s section and got quite a few books and we definitely are going to get more next trip!

The first week was a chaotic surprise, but I still stand with our decision with home education. Obviously I knew all these things prior to starting but it didn’t sink in until now! If you’re starting your home education journey congratulations to you and I wish you luck! If you are thinking about starting, I honestly encourage you to look in to it a lot, it’s definitely worth it!

Life update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this specific page, I had a site through Siteground but just ended up switching back to this one. So that means you guys have missed a lot!

  • Leo’s first birthday

  • Our wedding
  • Bentley’s first day of Kindergarten
  • Some house updates
  • Possible homeschooling Bentley.
  • Tennessee Honeymoon
  • Growing by four feet

There’s just a lot that you have missed. Throughout the next few weeks, I’ll be posting what’s been going on and bringing our page up to speed!

Honestly, thank you to those who have stayed with us throughout this journey! We love and appreciate you all!

Maui’s in a Disney Park!

Okay Okay so he’s in Shanghai Disney Resort, but its a start right? The Demi God of the wind and sea from the movie Moana that came out in 2016, was pictured by Insatgram user Jessiiieowl. She stated on her post that Maui and the Chiefs Daughter Moana was in the new Summer Blast Castle Show in front of the beautiful Enchanted Storybook Castle.

FullSizeRender
 

Photo Taken By: Jessiiieowl

 

There is no update on the Shanghai Disney Resort page if he will become a regular Character meet at the new park that opened up in June 2016. It is stated that the Stage show “Golden Fairytale Fare” that the Summer Blast Castle took the place of is currently undergoing maintenance.  There is also no update from Disney if Maui will becoming to the states at Disneyland Resort in Califormnia, or Walt Disney World in Orlando anytime soon.

We definitely have our fingers crossed that the Hero to all will becoming state side soon!  Do you like our Disney News Updates? Let us know, leave a comment below!

Jessica

Celebrating fourth of July at Disneyland Resort.

If you are a local or are on vacation in Disneyland Resort in California make sure to check out the awesome entertainment coming from now until July 3rd, just to celebrate what an amazing country we live in. Straight from the source over at Disney Parks Blog, there are going to be many performances all over Disneyland. Including some awesome proformeces by the 300th and 119st Army Band,  United States National Guard, and the United States Air Force Honor Guard!

america-831925_1920.jpg

 

Here is the entertainment step up from now until July 3rd, from Disney Parks Blog.

June 28 – July 1: The United States Air Force Honor Guard out of Washington, D.C.

July 2: The United States Army National Guard Band

  • Disneyland park pre-parade – 4:10 p.m.

July 3: The 191st and the 300th Army Bands

  • Downtown Disney District main stage – Ongoing performances from 9:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
  • Disneyland park pre-parade – 4:10 p.m.

 

It’s sure to be a amazing site to see at the parks! If you like more Disney Parks news and details leave a comment, let me know what you think!

 

Jessica

10 Disney Gear must haves

Being an Annual Passholder at Walt Disney World for the last 3 years as helped me get what gear I need for our trips to the happiest place on earth down pact. I’d thought i’d share what I bring to the parks with you!

Blogging disclosure: Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com.  Raising Lost Boys earns a few cents of the dollar if you the readers purchase the items I recommend. Thanks so much for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!  Hat: GlitterWhipCO. Mickey Tape Pin: YesPleaseDisneyShop Shirt: Lularoe

 

10. Backpack/ Diaper bag

 

JanSport just came out with a new collection of Disney backpacks! Which makes it perfect for school and for the parks, also JanSport is always good qauilty so I know it last through our trips.  For our family of four we Bring our backpack and put all of our essentials in it, like wipes, diapers, extra clothes, snaks, and wallets.

9. Water Bottles

Did you know if you walk up to any quick service food station and ask for a cup of water they will give you ice water completely free, no purchase necessary, there are also tons of water fountains that have ice cold water.  We always bring our water bottles,  if we see a water fountain we just fill our bottles up and move along. Helps keep us hydrated during the day and no kids are upset because they need a drink, plus it saves so much money.

8. Magic Bands

Magic Bands are a defiant must have. They are what gets you In the parks, in your Disney Resorts if you’re staying on site, paying for your food, and also saves all those magical pictures you take with the photopass photographers all over the parks! You can customize them with a Magic Band skin or get one with designs on them already, And for the fancy laddies out there, there’s a Dooney & Bourke Magic band. You can also put on little “Charms” to personalize for each person for your family.

7. Ponchos

It’s Florida, and I have lived here my whole life and still can not explain to you why one minute its sunny and hot to a complete down pour, there is no predicting it ever! So having a poncho is nice to have as well. Just in case its starts randomly raining, or they can be used on rides like Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom , or Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.

6. Autograph Book

If you love charcters then you will need a Autograph book. When the kids (or your self ) go and meet Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and even Peter Pan you want to be prepared and have them sign it so you can have that souvenir. One year we too a blank picture mat and had them sign that, then put a picture of us in the middle and it now hangs in our kitchen.

 


5. Portable chargers

Now if you take a lot of pictures with your phone this is a must have. Your phone will die if you use it all day, and then what? So what we use is a portable phone charger. Now Disney has put the portable chargers stations by Fuel Rod in the parks, and resorts. There is a one time fee of $30, and when its dead you can keep it and charge it your self or switch it out for a new one at one of the kiosks. They come with the Fuel Rod, and charge cord for either Apple, and Androids users. It provides up to 8 hours of talk time or up to 4 hours of mobile tablet usage. My dad found out about these and loved it.

4. Family Shirts

Our last trip there was at one time 14 of us, see our trip tips for large families here. So having a large party we decided to have matching family shirts for everyday we went. My mother and I made them ourselves so super simple, or you can also find a Etsy shop who sells them, but making them your self is a fun family thing to do before the trip!

18582210_1053010421466303_1992640896821387469_n

3. Comfy Shoes

This ones if you don’t want your feet to hurt by the end of the day. Disney did collaborate with Vans and Keds to make some cute shoes, and if I know I’m going to be there all day I put some gel inserts in them.

2. Sunglasses/ Sunblock

That sun is horrible, so many people get sunburn while at the parks. Having a baby I have to bring the best sunscreen out there for babies/kids. Having some simple sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun too. During the summer its so hot, and sunny its best to be prepared.

1. Mickey Ears/ Hat

Obviously having Mickey ears is a must have, I mean you’re at Disney! There are so many kinds of ears! I never leave the house with out my ears, and a hat for James.

Thats what you can find with us when we go to the Disney parks. What do you bring with you when going to the parks? Leave us your must haves down below! Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Disney’s ‘Ohana Resturant Breakfast Review

Disney is known for their characters dinning experiences all over the Parks and Disney Destinations. You can eat with anyone from Pooh and Tigger at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, Mickey, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy at Chef Mickey in the Contemporary  Resort , and even Cinderella and Her Prince Charming at the Royal Table in Magic Kingdom. This year I was lucky to eat breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto at ‘Ohana in the Polynesian Resort with my family! Here’s my review for the Character Breakfast.

6a00e54ee7b64288330133edb99883970b-500wi

First off after a long morning of waiting in the bus line at the All-Star Sports Resort for an hour we finally had to take 2 Monorails over and made it to the beautiful Polynesian Resort. Take the bus to the Magic Kingdom ticket and car center, then hop on to the Monorail to Magic Kingdom, then jump on the Resort Monorail. When we got there they were a little behind and we were a little late, so it worked out for the both the hostess and our party of 10.

When we were seated our waitress Laura came and immediately said hello and told us that at ‘Ohana we are all cousins, family. Our Waitress and my mother got along great because both women had children who are Autistic so they instantly clicked!

You can chose between what assorted drinks they have or you can drink the delicious tropical drink they provide as part of the “family-style” dinning.

“family-style” dinning to us was perfect for our large party, basically its all you can eat for the whole family, so once you are done with one tray they bring out another. The menu for breakfast is short and sweet, and quickly served minutes after you are seated. Here’s the Menu.

Hua Paka (Scrambled Eggs),  Uala Kahiki (Fried Potatoes), Pua’a (Pork), and of course Mickey-shaped Waffles.

18620320_1053011341466211_7989612183130554367_n
 They also have Assorted Breakfast Breads (The bread was amazing)  and Seasonal Fruit.

Obviously you are not eating 5 star breakfast meals, but the food was quite filling for our trip to Animal Kingdom later on. The potato or “Uala Kahiki” were by far the best, they had a wonderful seasoning to them and were done. They serve the eggs scrambled which to me is how I like my eggs, but on the down side they were not fully cooked and a little soggy.

How character dinning works is while you’re eating the characters (in this case Lilo and Stitch, and Pluto) come to each table and take pictures and sign autographs. Now each character stay for around 5 minutes at each table, so if you want pictures you better be quick. Sometimes if you are there for a while you’ll see them twice. They also do a dance line and collect kids from their chairs and have them go around the restaurant with the characters and dance and have a little fun

The only thing I don’t like about character dinning is how fast they come and go, now i do understand they have to keep going to keep the pace up, but sometimes you want to play around with them and interact more then just a picture and autograph and bam their gone. Also another reason is because its so fast pace , its a tad bit crazy and unorganized at times, everyone’s standing up trying to get pictures with the characters. We had a photographer come and say we were next for Stitch to come see our family and then Pluto came up and Stitch completely skipped over our table.

Out of a rate scale of 5 , I’d have to give breakfast at ‘Ohana around a 3. They food wasn’t amazing but filling and endless. The characters were great for the 5 minutes we did get to interact and take photos with them. Id still do it all over gain just to see the look on my sons face when he saw Mickey.

18622389_1053016151465730_1620523527396680390_n

Thanks for reading! Whats your favorite character dinning experience ? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Jessica !

School is fast approaching! Check out these awesome Disney Backpacks by Jansport!

Click on a picture below to find out where to get one!