Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Friday, December 20, 2013

My family tends to go all out for Christmas, and they love coming up with surprises. 

This year we'll be in Italy for the holidays, so during our trip to Florida in November we decided to celebrate a bit early.

Jacob and I didn't tell my family anything, just that on a particular Thursday afternoon/night they needed to be free.

They were pretty clueless as to what we had up our sleeves, and during a stop for dinner we finally revealed to them what we had planned.

I'd say everyone was surprised. 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is an event at Disney World where the entire Magic Kingdom is made-over into a winter wonderland.

Cinderella's castle was specially lit up for the occasion.

All of the good rides were open for the event, and here is the best part: There was barely any wait time.
If you've been to Disney World before than you know that the time spent waiting in line can be killer, so to be able to cruise through and hop on was amazing.

Feeling a little famished after all those rides? 

No problem, enjoy complimentary cookies and cocoa.
Just stop by one of the many stands located throughout the park and grab some treats.

Of course the party wouldn't be complete without Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade down Main Street USA.

This was the perfect gift for my family, and a wonderful opportunity to do something fun together.
Honestly, you can never be too old for Disney.

There is a pretty decent military discount for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party, which makes it more economical than spending a regular day at the park. I only hope that Disney continues their military discount for this event in the future! 

The military discount can only be used on select days, and they all happen to be in November. You can't purchase tickets ahead of time because they are only sold at the park. The good news is the military tickets can't sell out, so there really is no point to buying ahead of time anyways.
With an active duty military ID you can purchase up to 5 additional tickets.

Merry Christmas!

A look at Christmases past (A walk down memory lane with Pearls & Prosecco)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

One of the (many) awesome things about blogging is that you basically have your own virtual time capsule.
You can look back at past posts and reminisce about what was going on in your life and the person you were at the time.

I've been blogging here since 2009, isn't that insane?
Needless to say, I'm not exactly the same person I was in past posts as I am today.
Everyone changes and evolves over time.

I love that I can look back and read about our first Christmas as a married couple in Georgia.

(Read about Our First Christmas Tree)

I can see how different things were the following year as we celebrated our first Christmas by ourselves in another country.

(Read the Christmas Re-Cap of our first Christmas in Italy)

Looking back on these posts warms my heart.

Blogging isn't something I do for other people, it is first and foremost something that I do for myself.
It's wonderful to have these memories to look back on, and I know my husband appreciates it as well.

I guess you could call this my version of "Throwback Thursdays," but here are some of my favorite throw-back posts. For those of you who read this blog back when it was called "Newly Mrs Cravinho" I want to say a BIG thank you!

I hope you take the time to check out some of these old posts. I wasn't always blogging about bumpdates and traveling around Europe, and this is a great chance to get to know me a little better!

A New Outlook (One of my more personal blog posts. A look at what it was like being a new mil-spouse in the beginning.)

Sunshine in the South (A typical weekend for us in Georgia)

Mother's Day Brunch (The super cute brunch we put together for my mama!)

ALS Graduation (For some reason this post gets the most hits from Google searches, and it's always people searching "What to wear to ALS graduation" Ha!)

A Marriage Blessing (Since we didn't get married in a church, we had our marriage blessed after I was confirmed into the Catholic faith)

Very Exciting News! (Duh! How could I not include this?)

I had so much fun putting this post together, and I hope you guys enjoy it too!

Salzburg Christmas Market

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The day after Thanksgiving we woke up bright and early and headed up to Salzburg to visit their world-famous Christmas market. 

I can't think of a better way to kick-off the Christmas season.
The view while driving through Austria is always amazing, but it was made even more incredible this time because everything was covered in snow. 
It felt like we were inside of a Christmas globe. 

The market was big, and there were a good deal of vendors selling various Christmas goodies. From decorations to yummy food, it was definitely a great way to spend the day.

We picked up some fun pieces for our home, as well as a few things for little Jacob Douglas.

(29 Weeks)

We stayed until dark, which was great because it was wonderful to see the market all lit up at night.

The Christmas market was a lot of fun and the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!

31 Week Bumpdate

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How Far Along:
31 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A Pineapple, or a little over 3 pounds.
Total Weight Gain:
25ish pounds
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
Oh yea
No regular problems 
What I miss:
All of my clothes! :(
Food Cravings:
Food Aversions:
Occasional aches and pains 
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Getting everything ready for baby

Sorry for the selfie, it's not easy to get someone to take a phenomenal picture every week.
Week 31 (last week) was busy, and luckily I felt great.
The heartburn I had been experiencing in previous weeks has disappeared, which has been a nice relief. 
I had a routine doctor appointment and everything seems to be going well. Little Jacob kept running from the technician when she attempted to take his heart rate. It's still pretty fast, but within the "normal" range. The tech told me that some babies are just more active and therefore have faster heart rates. That's definitely our little man, he is always moving. 

This week I also attended a breast feeding class that was offered on base. Even though we aren't having our baby in the USA, it's nice that the base provides us with the same type of opportunities that you would find back in the States. I'm definitely taking advantage of them! 
I can honestly say I learned a few things from the class, and it made me feel much more confident about being able to successfully breast feed. The class was taught by the bases lactation consultant, so it was also nice to get an opportunity to meet her prior to our baby's arrival.

There hasn't been too much happening baby wise, I've just been growing like usual.
Wait until I share my 32 week bumpdate, so far it's not looking quite as peppy.

DIY: Holiday Card Wreath

Monday, December 9, 2013

For a while now I have wanted a place to put the Christmas cards that we receive, and a way to display them all as well.
I found the idea for a card wreath from Martha Stewart (of course) and thought it would be perfect for our home.
This holiday card wreath is super easy and quick, and doesn't require a lot of supplies.

You will need:
Largest embroidery ring you can find
Clothes pins (preferably small ones, but I had to made do with larger)
Thick decorative ribbon
Hot glue gun

Using the hot glue gun, I attached clothes pins all around the embroidery ring.

Next I tied a nice large bow with my ribbon, and also used the hot glue gun to attach it to the embroidery ring.

I needed a way to hang the wreath on my wall, so I got creative and took a part one of my extra clothes pins. 

Once again using the hot glue gun, I attached the metal part of the clothes pin to the back of my wreath.
It worked as a hook, allowing my to hang my new decor on the wall.

That's it! The entire project took me less than 20 minutes.

I'm so happy to have a place to display Christmas cards once we start receiving them.
Not only is the wreath functional, but it also adds a bit more holiday decor to the house!

An afternoon at La Sainte-Chapelle

If you recall my Paris bucket list, one of the things I really wanted to do during my second trip to my favorite city was visit La Sainte-Chapelle.

La Sainte-Chapelle is a medieval gothic chapel in the center of Paris.
What makes this church so special? 
It has one of the most amazing 13th century stained glass collections in the world. 

The chapel was damaged during the French revolution and restored in the 19th century.
It was undergoing more renovation during our visit, but the construction didn't take away from the beauty of it. 

La Sainte-Chapelle is located within the courtyard of Palais de la Cité, also known as La Conciergerie. 
When you enter the chapel on the main floor you'll find various souvenirs and trinkets for sale, which for me was a bit odd for the inside of a church. Don't let this discourage you. 
The upstairs is beautiful!

I loved my visit to La Sainte-Chapelle, and I'm so happy that we made time for it during our trip. 

Baby Registry

Friday, December 6, 2013

An interesting phenomenon that has occurred during my time overseas is my inability to actually shop in stores. 
I have become so used to the world of online shopping, that frankly these days I prefer it.

While we were in Florida we had big plans to look at all things baby.
The first store that we walked into was so incredibly overwhelming that both my husband and I simply froze. 
It was almost comical, the way we stared dumbstruck at the plethora of baby items to choose from.

How can you possibly know which stroller is the best or what car seat to buy when you are faced with so many options and so little information?
I don't know about you, but I like to read reviews! 
I want to know that the item I am buying or registering for is one that will fit our needs, and that others have had positive experiences with it as well.

I'm not going to lie, we continued to venture out into a few more baby stores during our trip.
I wanted to take advantage of actually being in the USA, but at the end of the day I definitely went online to create my registries. 

We are now registered at Pottery Barn Kids and Amazon.
I wanted to choose companies who's products we liked and that would easily ship to our APO address.
We chose to register on Amazon because they are the absolute best company when it comes to shipping to our APO address. I had such an easy time creating my registry on their site, and they tend to have the best prices.

Do you have any must-have items that we should be sure to include in our registry?

29 Week Bumpdate

Thursday, December 5, 2013

After Thanksgiving PJ party at our friends house.

How Far Along:
29 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A butternut squash or acorn squash
Total Weight Gain:
Oh jeez. Not really sure, somewhere between 20-25.
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
Actually, some maternity clothes have become tight so I've started wearing my husbands sweaters.
He will have a really active day, followed by a more mellow day. Guess he likes to wear himself out? 
No regular problems 
What I miss:
Being able to sit however I'd like
Food Cravings:
None really
Food Aversions:
Round ligament pain, backaches, inability to get comfortable. 
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Putting together the nursery

Third Trimester!

I am definitely feeling large these days.
I have days where I feel like nothing is fitting right, and I have discovered that my husbands sweaters might be my new maternity go-to.

I had a doctor's appointment shortly after we returned from Florida where I learned that I do not have gestational diabetes (yay!) and that Baby Jacob looks healthy and is in the 25th percentile size wise. He is also already positioned with his head down. All of my blood work also looks good, so I am getting all the vitamins that I need.

I feel like I am getting larger by the week, which is probably because I am.
Right now baby Jacob's main job is to put on fat, which he seems to be doing a great job of judging by how I've been growing. 

My energy level is still pretty decent. I hear that will start to diminish in another month, so I'm trying to do what I can while I still feel good.

27 Week Bumpdate

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Far Along:
27 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A rutabaga? (around 15 inches long and 2 pounds)
Total Weight Gain:
20 pounds :(
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
SUPER active this week! Showing off for family in Florida :)
I'm going to blame this on the time change 
What I miss:
Being a normal size
Food Cravings:
None really
Food Aversions:
Round ligament pain, occasional back pain
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Getting all the baby gear that JD needs! 

Week 27 was spent in Florida with my family, and it was fantastic. 

Jacob Douglas was extra active during our visit, and my family got to see and feel him moving around in my belly. 

We took advantage of being in the USA and looked at lots of baby stuff.
Between my mom and I, I'm pretty sure JD owns almost everything currently in Baby Gap.
They had great deals and we really couldn't help ourselves. 
I'd say he's pretty set for his first 3 (maybe even 6)  months of life.
While we were there we made registries at Pottery Barn Kids and Amazon that I will post a bit more about later!
We also did some extensive stroller research, and we found one that suites our needs perfectly.

I am definitely starting to feel some aches and pains as I head into my third trimester.
Walking for long periods of time is rough.
I'm so happy that I was able to squeeze in so much traveling during my second trimester.
I am definitely starting to feel the weight of my belly, although I know it's only going to get worse.

I can't believe I'm almost in my third trimester! Jacob Douglas is going to be here before we know it! 

26 Week Bumpdate

Monday, December 2, 2013

*This week I'm playing catch up with all of my bumpdates.

On the plane, heading to the USA!

How Far Along:
26 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A head of lettuce
Total Weight Gain:
17 pounds
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
Definitely active! I feel him all throughout the day. 
No complaints 
What I miss:
Being able to sit however I'd like
Food Cravings:
None really
Food Aversions:
Round ligament pain
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Seeing my family!

I started off this week still under the weather from that lovely flu shot.
I spent the majority of the week nursing my cold and trying to breath.
Being sick while pregnant really sucks.

Before leaving for Florida, I woke up one morning to a ridiculous pain that I can only describe as being around my bump. I knew the baby was fine because he was moving, and the pain was literally around the outer edge of my belly. I went to the doctor just to be safe, and learned that it was only round ligament pain. I felt kind of dumb, but it seriously hurt and I hadn't experienced anything like it before. He told me to just take it easy, and to get a bellyband to help support my growing bump. 

We flew to Florida to visit my family, and boy did I get lucky on the rotator.
(For those of you who don't know, the rotator is a plane that the military leases. We can fly from our base here in Italy to Baltimore for like $30).
My husband managed to get us seats in first class, which was a dream come true for this pregnant lady.
I was able to put my feet up the entire flight which was such a blessing. 
It was by far the best flight I've ever had.

I would say that this week was the beginning of the discomfort that I had yet to experience during pregnancy, and the end of my "I can't believe pregnancy is this easy" stage.