Summer Bucket List

Summer is a few weeks away and that means the kids are done with Mother’s Day Out and you need to find things to entertain them. The weather can be brutal in Dallas, you need indoor activities and all the ideas you can get. Here are a list of links to my favorite Uptown Mom posts to plan for a fun summer in Dallas!

Toddler time at the movies

Story time at the Farmers Branch frog pond

Family Friendly Feasting

It’s a party in the G.Y.M.

Story Time at Whole Foods Park Ln

NorthPark Mall: daily activities and story times

Summer Gymnastics at ASI

Splash Pads and Fountains and Slides, oh my!

The Perot Museum

The Dallas Museum of Art… for toddlers

Dallas’ Best Kept Splash Pad!

A dance club for the whole family!

Safari Run, an indoor Jungle Gym

Our Favorite Dallas Parks

Our Favorite Trampoline Parks

SEA LIFE AQUARIUM+ Toddler Tuesday

The Playdate Co. indoor play space

Aquariums and Gardens Made Perfect for Toddlers

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park

Saving lives one little swimmer at a time

 

WATER SAFETY at EMLER SWIM SCHOOL

Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under the age of 5, nearly 700 children die every year. 69% of fatal drowning swimming pool incidents occur under one or two responsible parent supervision. 3 out 4 of those children had been seen no more than 5 minutes prior to being found in the pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. The best way we can protect our children is to teach them water safety skills.

Of all the things we have to be scared of as a parents why not ease your anxiety by having one less thing to worry about. The importance of having your child in Swim School can make the difference in a life or death situation. Choosing the right swim school for your child is crucial to their swimming development and water safety. The award winning Emler Swim School  has developed a learn-to-swim program focused on love and safety. Children at Emler are never immersed aggressively or traumatically, they are taught with love and patience.

Their parent-involved class also gives you the confidence and guidance to apply the techniques on your own. Some of the water safety skills Dex (19months) is currently perfecting are breath control, we are now up to 8 second submersion. We are learning to turn around and grab the wall, walk our hands to the edge and climb out. We are always working on kicking our legs, rolling over to our backs and floating face up. These are all important survival skills that can save your child’s life if God forbid something were to ever happen.

Summer is just a few months away, now is the time to get your kids enrolled and ready for pool season. Aside from having the peace of mind knowing that your  child is aquatically prepared you can be on your way to even more relaxation. The sooner your child can fully swim on their own the sooner you can just lay by the pool and work on that tan!

REMEMBER:

  • Use code: UPTOWN MOM to get your FREE high quality, reusable swim pants
  • Babies 2mo – 5mo are FREE in the Bathtime Babies class (see previous post HERE)
  • Enroll your child HERE
  • Learn more about water safety tips HERE

 

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Small Spaces Living Essentials

THE “MUST HAVES” FOR THE SIMPLE BABY.

When I found out I was pregnant I started Googling things I would need. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears upon seeing the endless supplies I supposedly needed.

Two things crossed my mind; 1) We live in a small apartment with little space. 2) I despise clutter!

I wanted to have the things we needed but keep it to a bare minimum and keep things as clean, simple, and let’s be honest…chic as possible.

After a bit of research pre-baby and my own experience up to this point, I have narrowed down my favorite essential baby buys.

These also make great gifts! Click to buy!

1) TEEPEE – This teepee is one of my favorite things! Not only does Dexter love to play in it and have a space of his own, it looks cute in the apartment while concealing all the toys. That was huge for me to have a place to put everything without seeing it all the time. It was basically a decorative toy closet!

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2) SNUGGLE NEST (for newborns)- We actually received the Snuggle Nest which is a co-sleeper as a gift at our baby shower. This is perfect for small living spaces because it doesn’t take up any extra room.

This thing was the $#*%! As new, paranoid parents we loved having the baby sleep right between us without the fear of rolling over on him.

It made night feedings very easy as well, I never had to get up! This co-sleeper also has vibration and nature sounds which helped me sleep also! Bonus!

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3) ROCK N PLAY AUTOROCKER  (for newborns)- You have to have this. I repeat: You have to have this!!! This will be your best friend, seriously. We kept this in the living room and Dexter practically lived in it when we were at home.

I had several friends recommend it and boy were they right! There are different versions of the Rock n Play, make sure to get the auto-rocker. It also plays music and nature sounds.

It’s much cheaper than the Mamaroo, and it’s very light, portable and foldable… which is great if you don’t have space to put these things all over your house.

I would stick it in the bathroom while I took a shower, or could easily take it to my parents house and he could sleep in it for hours and hours! Go get it!

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4) PHIL AND TED’S POPPY HIGHCHAIR – We have been very happy with this highchair, it’s inexpensive, looks great, it’s easy to clean, and it converts in to a child’s chair. The seat is made of rubber so everything wipes clean! It’s that simple

 


 

4) ANGELCARE BATHTUB (for newborns) GREAT GIFT ALERT!! This one is my husband’s favorite pick on the list, I love it too!

We discovered this baby bathtub after using a super expensive, ultra fancy sink sitting tub. That became so cumbersome and took up a lot of unnecessary space that we just couldn’t afford to waste.

I also wasn’t comfortable transferring a dripping wet baby across a kitchen floor, it didn’t feel safe. We received the Angelcare bathtub as a baby shower gift and started using it after returning the other tub.

We put the baby tub right in our adult bathtub and Dexter loved it! It’s simple, light and portable, also made of rubber so it’s easy to clean. And it’s only 20 bucks!img_20161106_232837picsart_11-06-11-31-24


 

5) UPPABABY CRUZ STROLLER – Ok, I know a stroller is a big purchase. It’s quite a commitment to make, you will probably plan to use this for several years…if you get a good one.

We LOVE our Uppababy stroller. We did a TON of research and hands on testing for months to finally decide on The One.

Some people buy multiple strollers for different needs. Since I was limited on space I could only choose one.  We found it! The Uppababy is a bit on the pricier side of strollers but it’s perfect.

It’s very durable, it can be walked down city streets and last. It is light and easy to fold/adjust/use.

It has the largest bottom basket great for holding all my shopping goodies. It glides like butter and turns on a dime. It’s pretty!

For the newborn stage we went with this INFANT CAR SEAT which was fabulous as well! Its extremely light, and easy to carry. We used THESE ADAPTERS to attach it. picsart_11-06-11-34-53img_20161106_230337

I Hope you enjoy all these things as much as I have!

 

Aqua Therapy

BATH TIME BABIES with EMLER SWIM SCHOOL

I have said it before and I’ll say it again; if you have a baby, get out of the house! As I strongly pushed the importance of staying active with your baby in my previous post  Baby get your zen on I am adding another “must do” to the list… Baby swim lessons!

Did you know Emler Swim School offers swim lessons to babies from 2months old?! And guess what… swimmers up to 5 months old are free… FREE!!!!

The class is called Bath Time Babies and it’s amazing! I started taking Dex as soon as he was old enough at 2 months. I really enjoyed this class and looked forward to my weekly uninterrupted bonding time in the pool.

Reasons we love this class:

1) IT’S FREE and as you know daily activities can add up.

2) IT’S INDOOR- This is important because although swimming is fun, it can be a hassle putting on sunscreen and worrying about getting too much sun. Another reason this is a plus, you can take class all year long, rain or shine, night or day.

3) IT’S FUN – This is a great great bonding activity because you are learning together, holding your baby, and constantly communicating.

4) MOMMY NETWORKING- If you are new to the mom game you may not yet have friends with babies the same age as yours. This is another opportunity to meet Moms with babies in the same stage as you. It’s very helpful in navigating your way through parenthood when you can bounce thoughts and experiences off one another.

5) IT’S SAFE- You can never be too careful when it comes to water safety. This class allows little ones to get comfortable with being in the water and prepping them to learn safety skills.

I adamantly encourage all my new”bee” moms to try this class, EMLER has multiple locations all over the Dallas area. They also offer a wide range of times so all you stay-at-home moms and working moms or dads can participate. All you need is 2 swim diapers. Good news: if you mention UPTOWN MOM when signing up, you get a FREE swim diaper!!!! Yay! More free stuff!!!!

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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!

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

 

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.

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Baby get your zen on

LITTLE BIT YOGA at MEDICAL CITY of DALLAS

Being a new mom is one of the most exhausting, stressful, and emotional times in a mother’s life , I CAN NOT stress enough the importance of daily outings. It is imperative to your sanity and well being that you get yourself together, walk out of the house and see other human beings once a day…if possible.

Even something as simple as going to the mall and walking one lap around it and going home can really help give you a sense of accomplishment and normalcy. One of my absolute favorite activities to do with my new born I looked forward to every Monday was Baby Yoga.

I highly recommend all new moms go to this class, it is only $5 and is 1 hr long and leaves you feeling calm and connected with your baby. This class is  one peaceful hour of stretching and interacting with mommy and baby while in a judgement-free environment. 

The class is absent from fear that your crying baby would disturb others, and if you need to breastfeed you are welcome to do so right there on your mat… and we all did! I was able to incorporate all of the stretching and baby soothing methods at home which I put in to use on a daily basis when settling a fussy little one.

In addition to the wonderful instructor who makes you feel so comfortable with your new lifestyle and confident about your new body, I also made lasting friendships with other moms I still see on a weekly basis. I encourage you to try this class if your baby is anywhere from 2 months- 7 months.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE BUZZ

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