First Tuesday at the DMA

THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART

Did you know the Dallas Museum of Art has free admission?! Free!!! Did you know that every first Tuesday of the month is Toddler Tuesday?! The DMA is a fascinating place to visit any given day of the week but is especially exciting on Toddler Tuesday.  Each  month features a different theme and a variety of different activities to go with that theme. You can check out this upcoming month’s activities here. 

When you enter the children’s area you will find several interactive stations which encourage creativity. There are stations for children of all ages including reading, drawing, sculpture making and problem solving.

For the tiny tots, there is a room just for them called Arturo’s Nest. This spot is perfectly equipped with toddler friendly nature themed learning toys and books. There is a studio where art classes are held and kids can make their own works of art, this is one of my favorite memories from my own childhood !

When you have had enough kiddie fun, be sure to get your cardio in and check out the rest of the museum. There is always something new to see, it’s a great place to go for a walk if the weather, is hot, rainy or cold and the DMA is nice for a change of scenery. I used to take Dex here for walks all the time when he was a new born and I just needed to get out of the house.

When the weather is nice out, the DMA has beautiful lawns and sculpture gardens, I remember often going there as a child and running around outside having so much fun, and now I get to share that with my child.

I hope you get a chance check it our and create those precious memories with your children too!

image-0-02-01-4aceeee50d8050913461bdd5a8c1cec2e58f3ef76237120db63522f3c14e4d93-Vimage-0-02-01-07cc8ffe92aa3362c234f8e3aa15245ed257523a26a96f49430fbe3c7c610912-Vimage-0-02-01-20da2b52e3bfbd5e7829717b53220ef6582d633814882eaba92fc5b9e5674b23-Vimage-0-02-01-38e7a9145edc6e51cc5dc4433bdd69b629152579a7d0b7788552e285b11ef1ae-Vimage-0-02-01-306b6eb0ee14b9150c196524805767c5ae84f05cf6e81abb3e7d75ede5e485a9-VIMG_20160726_150227151IMG_20160726_150405531IMG_20160726_151616617IMG_20160726_152230554IMG_20160726_152757107IMG_20160726_153946056_HDRIMG_20160726_154526634

 

Bring yo kids, Bring yo wife…

REUNION LAWN PARTY!!!

This Summer is coming to a close and this is your last chance in 2016 to make it out to a Reunion Tower Lawn party. We went last year as one of our first nights out as a family. This year we will go for a parents night out, but this event caters to all ages.

The Reunion Lawn Party is a fun festival set up behind the reunion tower. The main event is live music however there are so many fun things going on! They have inflable games, and lawn games, a ton food trucks, beer and wine booths, and a light show!

It is so neat to sit right under the Dallas skyline and experience the city from a different perspective. The views from being sandwiched in between the iconic Reunion Tower and the dazzling lights of the Omni Hotel are reason enough to venture the trip. The festivities start at 6:30 pm and go until 10:30 pm.

My experience from last year was wonderful! It was not over crowded at all and there was plenty of room to lay your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Food- They had a wide assortment of food trucks with several different options for whatever suits your appetite. However some of the lines were extremely long and they DO NOT allow coolers or outside food (but we stuck some small snacks in our bag and did just fine).

Drinks- They had a bar tent were you could purchase beer, wine and alcohol drinks after purchasing drink tickets. The rules as above apply for drinks as well…. but again, you would be fine with some bottled waters in your backpack.

Parking- There is a map here of parking/DART options. If you live in the Dallas area I suggest taking UBER. We did it last year and brought our stroller and even strapped our infant car seat/ carrier right in. The total cost round trip was about $8. Pretty good deal!

This month’s entertainment line up includes the Mavs Maniacs, Mavs dancers and features music by Le Freak and more, I cant wait!!!!

Whether you ae looking for a family fun night or need a night away from the kiddos and are looking for a night on the town… literally, I suggest you check it out!

Check out more info at ReunionLawnParty.com

Ps… I probably look pretty beat down in the pictures, they were from when DEX was 2 months old and I was still adjusting.

Screenshot_2016-08-23-21-09-06image-0-02-01-9003feec32a4e3c5fb4c10f6d265040e1a7e18bf0ab07665825f0706b8bbcf49-Vimage-0-02-01-85ed1e8a66f3ee56dd769513ba26f3f00b9be617ba52a49af01d939b3a7c822c-Vimage-0-02-01-60bd47edbe9b6f10bcbb9b81554e3432955d19df203d3a87133cf07e09b9d457-Vimage-0-02-01-4e4481f88c84c7d9ec77de5063d4efa0461ea4acff420042812ab04043dc3aa0-Vimage-0-02-01-36958b3b16154ac49bba69e48b409d174f6a9544cda6383876122513d4e308b9-Vimage-0-02-01-6e7e46214e8b42799b54a2d0c0be0aafe1765662a943253b0e5f627748e1fe14-V

 

We had a baby without telling anyone!

No one knew? Yes that’s right!  We went to the hospital, stayed for almost 24hrs and delivered our baby completely under the radar. Why would we do this?

I am often asked about my birth story from soon-to-be mommies and repeatedly get a response of shock when telling it. I thought this would be an appropriate place to share my experience for those exploring their options.

HOW IT ALL STARTED:

I suggested to my husband a little over half way through my pregnancy that I was hesitant about all of the outside involvement from family up on delivering our first child.

First of all, I should preface with the fact that this was the first grandchild on either side and our families although completely thrilled were getting invasive (as most families do). I should also tell you that I HATE other people’s opinions, I HATE THEM! I also tend to get anxiety and easily irritated, especially being pregnant…. I just sound like a great big ball of fun at this point, I know.

I have seen many of my friends have babies, watched movies, TV shows and read many articles on the subject. I expressed to my husband that when it was time to have the baby I didn’t want to tell anyone, I wanted it to be just the two (almost 3) of us. As you can imagine, he did not take this well and many arguments ensued when it came up.

We decided to ask my OB his thoughts on the matter during our next appointment. To both of our surprise, he fully supported this decision. He actually recommended it based on all of his experience in delivery room. He validated my feelings that I should be in the most stress free environment possible, it is what’s best for the baby.

He did however suggest that we let our families know ahead of time that we would be doing it this way. We agreed that it was a good compromise. We left the doctor reassured and confident in our decision.

We told both of our families the next time we saw them, which was about 2 -3 months out from our delivery date. We expressed how important it was do this our way.
This is the most precious moment we will have as a new family and we will never get that time back. It was important to connect with our baby and each other as new parents.

Up on telling the fam our plan we received some mixed emotions about it, but when we explained that it was doctor recommended they were good sports about it.

THE BIG DAY:

When the day finally arrived (2 1/2 weeks early) we followed through. I was scared, nervous, excited and had no idea how the process would go. Daniel my husband came straight from work and met me at the hospital, I had packed his bags for him…. you’re welcome!

We were in labor for about 16 hours. Even though I opted out of the epidural for most of it and was in much pain and discomfort, I actually have good memories from that time.

Daniel and I were so excited and it felt so special to have this one thing just for us. We felt like we were getting ready to unveil the biggest surprise and we couldn’t wait! Because no one had a clue what we were up to, we weren’t getting swarmed with calls and texts wanting updates.

We disconnected ourselves from everything and it was extremely calming, relaxing and stress free. My husband was 100% focused on me and what I needed. I have never felt closer and more in synch with him and the birth went perfectly.

After the whirlwind of delivering and being handed my new baby which was an overwhelming sense of crazy emotions, we were seen by several nurses and hospital staff with an abundance of information… excuse me, I just had a freaking baby, can you chill for a sec?!!!Geez!

I cant imagine the added stress of having even more people in that room asking questions… no thank you!

After all the medical craziness  settled down we took in the moment, took our time, and took a breath. We allowed ourselves to be as selfish with our time as we wanted, rightfully so. If you are ever going to be selfish, this is your day!

Once we felt comfortable we sent a  photo of our new addition to both families at the same time. We politely asked them not to post anything on social media and keep it to themselves for now. We welcomed them to the hospital that evening for a visit, they were absolutely elated. We spent our first night in this world together just the three of us!

2 days later, which happened to be Father’s Day we finally posted a photo and announced our new arrival. We waited until the moment felt right. The great thing about social media, or photo text messaging, email…etc is that people get to see your little bundle of joy, but still keep a distance.

The truth is, having a baby is very stressful physically and emotionally and you don’t necessarily want visitors all the time but you want to share with your loved ones and friends.

Remember, this is your most precious time and you are allowed to do whatever is best for you and your family. The most important thing you can do in your delivery process and newborn stage is keep your stress level down which is important when it comes to breastfeeding as well!

If you are a soon-to-be mom I strongly urge you to take this method into consideration. I am so happy with the way everything played out and would do it all over again!

234567

 

-I would love to read your comments and thoughts on this post!-

 

Baby Bazinga!

THE PEROT MUSEUM of NATURE and SCIENCE-FOR TODDLERS

The fairly new Perot Museum of Science is easily a Dallas staple with it’s eye catching exterior and internal 5 floors of interactive science experimental fun! There is obviously so much to see and do for the big kids but what about the tiny tots? This post is for you!

The Perot has a Kiddville for toddlers with all kinds of Dallas themed interactive play stations. Dexter had so much fun at the Mini Farmers market which lets kids pretend to shop for fruits and veggies, transport, sort and organize them while teaching little ones the importance of nutrition.

My personal favorite, being a city girl and all, is the Dallas skyline, jungle gym. It is adorable mini version of our great city small enough for our babies to appreciate and enjoy. The Mini city has stairs, slides, ladders, tunnels, blocks on conveyor belts  and little surprises around every corner.

A favorite station among many of the pint-sized patrons is the water table, sounds messy right? Rest assured your kids will stay dry, everyone gets their own small apron and incase of any accidents, there are non-comedogenic air dryers. You will probably want to save this one for after they have been outside in the dino-dig station. WARNING: Children will get sandy (we usually opt out of this one).

My husband’s choice station is the camping and outdoor set up. After your kids have chosen their dress up attire of camping gear or animal costume, their imaginations can run wild in the make-believe forest. Their are live reptiles to see, trees and logs to climb in and out of, tents, picnic toys and a campfire!

For your more creative little ones, not to worry, there are several tables full of supplies for them to create whatever their little hands can make!

Your little Einsteins will have endless fun and imagination at the Perot Museum of Nature and science. Don’t forget to stop and splash around the entrance water fountains on your way out!

HOW TO PLAN-

  • TICKETS- ok, so there are a couple of options here…. standard admission is $19 for adults… Yikes! that’s kinda steep! You can save money on this and several Dallas attractions buy purchasing a Dallas City Pass which happens to be on sale right now at 41% off. The ultimate deal is a museum membership. Among many options, the most popular is the family membership. It’s only $110 per year for a whole family+ parking discounts + guest passes and more! This is the stay at home moms dream come true, especially in those colder months when indoor activities are key!

 

  • PARKING: Designated parking for the museum is under the Woodall Rogers bridge and costs $6, or $3 for membership holders. If you go during the week you can get lucky and catch a street meter spot and only pay $1!

 

  • SNACK: The Museum does have a full restaurant comprable to IKEA’s food court, but we always have been able to pack small snacks and waters for the babes and keep them in our bags!

DSC_5899DSC_5875DSC_5879DSC_5880DSC_5887DSC_5884DSC_5889DSC_5905DSC_5911DSC_5914DSC_5931DSC_5974

DSC_5969DSC_5970DSC_5990DSC_5902DSC_5944DSC_5947DSC_5955DSC_5959

Photos by: Margaux Digiovanni

 

 

Splash Pads and Fountains and Slides, oh my!

Tom Muehlenbeck Aquatic Center of Plano

It’s another  110 degree day here in Dallas and another great day to explore water parks! We found one that is unique being half indoor, half outdoor. When the Texas sun is blazing having an indoor pool option can be a safe way to get your swim on!

The Tom Muehlenbeck Aquatic Center of Plano is just what the dermatologist ordered. Attached to the the impressive rec center, this H2O playground has it all; Tall waterslides, huge swimming pools, fountains, waterfalls, spraygrounds, water jungle gyms and a lazy river…. both outside and in!

The cost is $6 for adults and Free for children under 2. There are plenty of picnic tables, lawn chairs and even a party room in case you need a good birthday party spot. If you are looking for UV free fun or want to swim and splash when it’s rainy or cold, now you’re covered…get it? COVERED!!!

Of course if you decide to touch up that tan, feel free to step outside and enjoy all aquatic activities offered there too! Just “DON’T RUN!”

IMG_20160701_113618009IMG_20160701_114155768_HDRIMG_20160701_122139313

image-0-02-01-a6650e5f0bd442503d57caa7c8ae7d80e7681cf8861be456ecfb0f5bf000ea34-Vimage-0-02-01-d1d585cd611b6d81328eb442ccbdc6a28961d93589aa5d92de2ee23c23901338-Vimage-0-02-01-f11cb58127fa16873f7a21c502fed81033915b3db0f17357601e0bb06977fba3-VmaxresdefaultMuehlenbeck-Rec-Center_Pool.600x399PicsArt_08-10-10.29.22PicsArt_08-10-10.33.24PicsArt_08-10-10.41.57

Stay-cation or Day-cation at the Gaylord Texan Resort

Today we day-cationed at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine to check out SummerFest featuring Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! It was the perfect little day get-away! If you have not been to the Gaylord and are in need some family fun time, I suggest you go immediately if not, sooner!

The Dallas temps this August have been excruciating to a point where you truly can’t go outside…like, CPS might come for you if you even look at a park! The Gaylord resort basically brings the outside in enclosing the entire complex with glass. We enjoyed trees, beautiful caves, rivers, waterfalls, koi ponds, birds and more all in a cool 74 degree, bug and allergy-free environment. What a breath of fresh air it was!

We ate brunch on the Riverwalk Café…..on the patio, and it was so glorious! It feels like we haven’t been able to enjoy a patio in a very long time! We ate an incredible all-you-can eat brunch with bottomless mimosas and bellinis.

Once we stuffed our faces with all the waffles, shrimp and breakfast tacos we could we burned it all off in the atrium where the Alice in Wonderland exhibit was happening. We saw live characters, caricature artists, displays and several interactive ways to play.

The cutest thing I saw was the cup & canvas stop in the Mad Hatter’s tea shop. It was basically Painting with a Twist for kids. Children were all given little easels and aprons then got to choose a canvas or mug to paint in an Alice theme. This is part of their Summerfest program including several activities through September to enjoy. You can find a full schedule and descriptions HERE.

Activities on the summer agenda also include events at the Gaylord’s newest addition Paradise Springs, a fully loaded waterpark! You have to be a hotel guest to use the waterpark but if you are looking for a weekend stay-cation, this will be where you will want to spend most of your time!

The resort is huge so parking can be a bit tricky, they have a valet service at $25 a car… whoa…. no thank you, or self parking very close to the entrance for $15. That is steep for parking, but if you eat at the restaurant you get to park for FREE!!!!

Go check out this indoor oasis and enjoy being outside again, sweat-free!

image-0-02-01-915e863557ba99368529b5dd5de8d9ec59508cd4726712f974d2873989a19d93-Vrwimage-0-02-01-d37d0237302c545f3c063b77791ffd7cda2c16fecd1e90542c903193d0a5737e-Vimage-0-02-01-1cd9611986e7da8c298e511cb5c6b317a782aee067bd217a36d94a2312dcb589-VIMG_20160807_155102791_HDRIMG_5577Snapchat-8314430945429012576IMG_20160807_153431310

IMG_20160807_155414405image-0-02-01-1fe250f191b8cbe63f8a1d6bd2dd72f763dde2fec44c3a69d97f854ad5e1d8a1-VIMG_5587image-0-02-01-dfb4b0dd0a8d71f3378792b7fd2680e011c6e6ad70a6c700fc3247a0f61d5326-V

IMG_20160807_155444478Gaylord-Texan-46-640x454

 

 

Rio, here we come!

DEXTER’S FIRST GYMNASTICS CLASS

I have a little boy who loves to climb, jump, and move constantly so I decided to put him in gymnastics. We have been to other baby specialty gyms near us, they are all great but they are pricey, especially when you have them in multiple activities during the week. ASI gymnastics has a Tiny Tots level which starts babies at 12 months and they also have 8 locations in the Dallas area. The monthly tuition is almost half of what the other places charge.

At an even lower price, I found this GROUPON for ASI gymnastics to try out the class. We had so much fun! I also got a chance to meet other moms that have had their kids in the Tiny Tots class for a while who were all raving about it. These moms had also been to some of the other baby gyms and compared the structure of the ASI class and the rate of development to be far more beneficial than the others.

The class included two coaches who were very hands-on and encouraging. The kids started by jumping on their own individual trampolines, then got to run through the gym down a long trampoline into a foam pit. Next up, circle time & singing songs with instruments, followed by an obstacle course, rounding out the class with stickers and stamps!

The children in this class ranged from 1-2 1/2 and were all able to follow directions… except my child, but we’ll get there. I was getting discouraged that Dexter didn’t pay attention, or sit still and equally participate like the other kids who were only months older than he was. All the moms made me feel better telling me he actually did better than all of their kids on the first day.

They went on to gush that the class supports toddler’s abilities to join and participate in a group, strengthen learning skills and developmental growth…not to mention the two hour nap when we got home. That was a win all in itself!

We can’t wait to go back for our next class, and then maybe Rio… who knows?!

You can check out other classes offered HERE.

1IMG_20160803_101816068IMG_20160803_101927773IMG_20160803_103713490IMG_20160803_104116133IMG_20160803_104547651IMG_20160803_105545671_HDRIMG_20160803_105513118

 

 

NorthPark Mall: Spend your time, Not your money

If you didn’t already know about all the cool things NorthPark mall has to offer, here are just a few of the many activities you and your kids can enjoy… all free of charge!

I know it is a pretty stereo-typical “Mom” thing to, do but NorthPark Mall’s layout is perfect for  walking quick laps with your stroller and the views aren’t bad if you’re into window shopping and people watching.

In addition to being a mall walker, you can attend several weekly activities put on by Book Marks, a Dallas public library. Our favorite is the sing-a-long and story time presented every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the North court.

There are usually 50+ kids ages 1-6, it is lead by a quirky lady who sings to the kids while they throw colorful scarves, play stick instruments and maracas. There is always more than enough for everyone!

A lighter version for the  bitty babies is also available at 12:30 p.m. in the Book Marks store, a great option not only if you have an infant, but also if you happen to be on “Mom Time” and miss the 10:30 session.

Another activity we recently came across and loved was Kid Yoga. This is available every Friday at 10:30 a.m., I would recommend this for the 3-7 age range. I brought some “yogi” friends who were 3 and 5 and they did great!

The instructor lead the kids through a little sun salutation with rhymes and cute sayings for the kids to follow along, surprisingly, all the kids did very well and happily participated. After the final Namaste all the kids were treated to a wonderful children’s story! Yoga and a Story???!!! Jackpot!

Of course, you can’t visit NorthPark with out visiting the ducks and turtles, a mall staple that I used to enjoy when I was little. If you need to take a breather while your kid spends their energy, you don’t want to pass up the pond. It’s indoor, cool and clean…. whew! Crisis averted!

NorthPark is a perfect go-to when you need a little something to get out of the house, kill some time, stay cool and keep your wallet safe. You can find a more extensive detailed list of events HERE.

IMG_20160714_104431750_HDRIMG_20160714_104525555IMG_20160714_105342045IMG_20160714_105338122IMG_8425IMG956453IMG_20160729_105636194IMG_20160729_103608846IMG_20160729_104712080