Thursday, July 30, 2015

Guest Post: Babbling with the Bogles

Hello Love, Lipstick and Pearls readers! I am a long time follower of Kristen’s blog myself. I just enjoy keeping up to date with her and her adorable family’s life together! Plus, I have gotten some amazing recommendations on beauty and baby products from reading along. I have a blog myself- one that I have admittedly neglected from time to time, BUT if you’d like to know a bit more about me and my family, head over to Babbling withthe Bogle(s)

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 This is us... Troy, Emma and I!

Let me start off by saying that I am an early childhood educator turned stay at home mom. This might help you understand what I want to share with you all today. Like Kristen, I am expecting my 2nd babe. Sometime between December 25th and December 30th we will welcome another sweet member to our family. This go ‘round we didn’t get a due date, we got a due range. I have no idea why, either.

As soon as I found out, I moved into planning mode. One of the first things I considered obsessed over was the best way to get Emma ready for the new kid on the block. Emma was only about 15 months old when we found out we were having another, so really, how would she understand what is going on? I don’t even think she will understand when she is 2 and we have a new baby in the house. To be 100% transparent, I don’t think my husband and I fully understand either.

I immediately started looking for books that could help us introduce the concept of a new sibling. Emma loves books- reading them, handling them, sticking her foot in them and smooshing her toes between the pages. I did quite a bit of research, looking for durable books with simple, engaging messages. I wanted to share some of my finds with you today. I figure it might be a nice resource or starting point for mama’s and families as they are expanding.

I have broken down what I have found into 2 categories: books to prepare for baby and books for after baby is born. Most of the books I have purchased are through Amazon, because I am obsessed with Prime. Again, these are mostly board books, geared for toddlers. There are so many additional resources for older children out there!

Books to prepare for baby:
This is such an amazing book. The only downside is that there isn’t a version for a big brother. It is a lift the flap book and the pages are nice and durable for a rough and tumble toddler. The mommy’s tummy grows throughout the book, as does the baby. Emma loves lifting the flaps and saying “Hello, baby!”

Waiting for Baby
This book is short, sweet and to the point. Even better, it is under $3! It is a board book so it is perfect for little hands. It is not super rich in content, but it is intriguing and you can certainly interact with it to expand the content. The little child in the book is ambiguous, so it is a perfect little book for a boy or girl!

Global Babies
This book isn’t specifically focused on preparing for a new baby, but it has been a long time favorite in our house. Since starting to read our preparing for babies books, Emma interest in babies has really peaked and she has been wanting to read this book a lot more. I love this book for its simple message and the pictures of diverse babies. If you love this book as much as we do, you can expand your collection to include the Global Baby Girls and Global Baby Boys books! I highly recommend books from The Global Fund for Children!

Families (Babies Everywhere)
This is another book that we already had in our library, but have been pulling out to read more often. This book states common things families do together, like go swimming or share snacks, and then provides a picture of a human family and an animal family doing such things. It is simple and engaging and Emma loves to practice ‘reading’ this one to us!

Books for after baby is born:
I have chosen to save these books to share with Emma, after our new baby is here. I figured she might make more connections with the content as she is experiencing it herself.

This is by the same author as Waitingfor Baby. The formatting is very similar- short, sweet and to the point. There are other books in this series, however these are the only 2 I have purchased thus far

I love this author! She writes simple books with engaging pictures and lyrical text. This book is no exception! I haven’t been able to find a big brother version of this book, however, I haven’t really scoured too hard.

This is a book from the perspective of a new big sister. It doesn’t just focus on all the positive aspects of having a new sibling, which is what I like most about it. However the central message is sweet and true- mommies and daddies have a lot of love to give to their families. There is a boy version of this book, as well, although I have not checked that out.

I’m a Big Brother  
We aren’t going to find out if we are having a boy or girl. We held out on our first pregnancy and it was really the best experience and surprise! Since we won’t know the sex, I have been limited in buying some books for after the baby is born. Here are some other books that I am considering purchasing once we have the new baby:

And FINALLY, if you have stuck around this long, hooray! I have saved the resource I am MOST excited about for last! If you haven’t checked out Twigtale, please, please do! It is a website in which you can personalize pre-written stories (written by child development experts) with your own pictures!!

I ordered the book Becoming a Big Sister for Emma and WE LOVE IT!! One thing I should mention, is that these books are not board books. My Emma is quite rough with her books and I believe in letting her explore and handle the books. The first book didn’t last long before a couple of pages fell out. I contacted Twigtale and they had a new book printed and in the mail for me the very next day. They followed up with an email and I told them about how much I LOVE the content of the book but worried about how long it would last us and they sent us another free book! Needless to say, their customer service is AMAZING.

So now I have 2 copies of the book. I put one aside for Emma to read and look at when she is older. In the other book I used my top secret book reinforcement process. It is really fancy people, I put plain ole’ clear packing tape in the spine of each page. This copy is the one I let Emma interact with. She loves looking at the pictures of herself. I plan on personalizing the I Have A New Sibling book once our new baby is here!

Those are the books that we have or plan to get for Emma once the baby is here. Seriously, this is just a small fraction of what is available out there! If you have any sibling book recommendations please share them with us!

Thank you so much Amanda for your guest post! I love all these suggestions and have bought I’m a Big Sister My New Baby, and Big Sisters are the Best! and we really enjoy reading them. Ellie loves to have them read to her repeatedly each night and point out things for the baby in the books. I think it's really helped her grasp the concept of big sister and baby a bit more. We'll have to snag a few more of these books for after the baby is here! Good luck with your little ones!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 37

The end of the pregnancy is near folks and I’ve been feeling it! My stomach has grown so much in the last 2-3 weeks, perfect strangers at the store have started commenting about how I’m so close to pop. My sister’s bridal shower is this Saturday and after that it’s full on baby mode. We have no plans for next weekend and we’ve turned down all invitations so we can spend it as a family together and doing last minute errands. I’ll probably take advantage of the free time to pack our bags too.

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36 Weeks 3 Days

- We’ve made some progress in the nursery! If you caught Our Weekend Shenanigans post you already know, but Matt was able to paint the room! For the wall color, I picked out a soft white with a gray undertone, but when he started painting the wall it looked white-white. I had a little bit of a worry that the room would look sterile with white walls and white furniture, but once we tore off the painter’s tape and plastic and saw the wall color against our baseboards, you could definitely see the soft white with grey undertone color that I had picked out- it looked exactly like the sample card and sample spot I painted. Thank goodness! Sometimes once you paint an entire wall/room, it looks totally different than just on one spot. It really made the white baseboards pop too. I am so relieved!! He also put the crib back together and it looks so great against the walls. I can’t wait to put up her dresser and d├ęcor, it’s really going to look great together.

- I took advantage of Target’s July Bogo sale for clothing and stocked up on some nursing tanks and bras. I’m hoping to nurse our little one for as long or longer as I did Ellie (read about our Breastfeeding Journey here) and I was in some need for some new gear. Two of the tanks I bought have a built in body shaper (like Spanx) underneath, so I was sold! Once I’ve used them, I’ll be sure to review how I liked them and if they worked for me. I love to use a nursing tank since I can nurse without showing my waist/back. Such a must-have if you nurse!

- I’ve really been feeling the aches and pains of pregnancy this week. Some days, I feel like all movement takes so much effort- getting off the couch, getting up from bed, bending down to pick something up, etc. My patience is also at an all time low, the littlest things drive me nuts. My hips have been killing me at night, no matter what tricks I use to help and on top of that I’ve been having to get up to use the restroom 4-5 times every night! Sleep has not come easy this past week.

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Kimono (here and here) // Jeans

- I have a doctor appointment this Friday and I can’t wait. Only one last appointment after it before she arrives! I’m getting kind of nervous about having a second c-section and bringing a new baby home. Ellie has been crazy attached to me, I know she knows things are changing and it’s going to be such a huge adjustment for her. I’m so thankful that children are resilient and I’ll be sure pay her extra attention while also letting her know that the rules are still the same as before in our house. It seems like common sense, but I was reading a few Pinterest posts about helping your child adjust and how easy it is to coddle them and let tantrums pass because there’s so much going on, but that it’s important to still be just as strict as you were before because young children will test their boundaries and see what else has changed since the new arrival and still parenting them the same way will help provide structure and reassurance.

Do any of you have any tips for helping your child adjust once a new baby is home? I have all of her big sister gifts ready- I’ll be sure to post about them, we’ve talked at length a hundred times about her baby sister with her (she refers to her now as “her” baby), and we’ve made sure to focus on quality time with her. Any other tips that have helped your families adjust?

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Weekend Shenanigans

This past weekend was a busy one!! Matt and I worked from sun up til sun down and got so much stuff done. We have some extra busy weeks coming up and we took advantage of this weekend to get a lot done.

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My work threw a surprise baby shower for me on Friday a little early before I start my leave and others go on vacation. It was so sweet and I really enjoy working with my team. I've been so lucky to work for such a great company and have always worked with some amazing people. Thanks again guys!

Matt and I both worked Saturday, so my sister and her fiance came up from San Diego to take her to swim class and a family party. They had so much fun together and Ellie was so excited to see them. After the party she stayed the night with Nana and Papa so Matt and I could have a date night and continue to work on things around the house for the new baby and my sister's bridal shower I'm hosting this weekend.

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After work, I got to crafting and made 63 tissue pom poms (which I never want to do again, total cost: $4!) and some other things for the party. This continued all through Sunday too, luckily I still have finger tips! They weren't completely burned off from a hot glue gun- winning!

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Once Matt got home from the event he was working, we went out to dinner. Of course we went to our favorite place, where we first met- Outback Steakhouse. We planned on going out for ice cream afterwards, but we were so stuffed and Matt knew the manager and he gave us the most delicious dessert! A salted caramel pretzel cookie topped with ice cream. Yummy!

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Sunday started bright and early! I woke up about 630 and started to tape off the nursery for Matt to paint. We ran errands, cleaned the house, did lawn work, crafted, etc. It was one of those days that feel like you did so much, Matt and I high-fived each other at the end of the day. We still have a lot to do for the nursery and the shower, but I think we'll get it all done easily.

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Our only break was for some lunch, a good hearty sandwich was the perfect thing for our long day. It was so good I'm thinking of getting more for lunch today! After lunch, Matt went out and worked on our yard. We've had such a terrible drought this year and right after he came in, it started pouring rain! Thank goodness his timing was perfect and our lawn really needed the extra water.

When Ellie came home, she had been sick all day at Nana and Papa's with a fever and had been sleeping most of the day. When she was home her fever started to go down and she was willing to eat some fruit and popsicles. Once her fever was gone, you never would have known she didn't feel good. She had dinner, was jumping on the couch, and singing, and couldn't stop telling us about her weekend. She had a great time with all of the family. Last night was a bit rough for her, but her fever never came back- thank goodness!

Hope you had a great weekend too! Sorry for the lack of posts the last two weeks, I have some great posts coming up, and I hope to get them all posted in the next 2 weeks. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 36

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35 Weeks 3 Days

Yesterday I had my 36 week check up and everything is looking great! Only 2 more appointments left before she arrives! This pregnancy has seriously flown by so quickly. When I was pregnant with Eleanor, I didn't have anything to distract me, it was pregnancy/baby 24/7 with all of the excitement, setting up, classes, etc. and it went by sometimes at what felt like a snail's pace. Now that Eleanor is 2 and running around everywhere and we have had a ton of family events I feel like I just found out I was pregnant a few months ago, not months and months ago.

Here are some updates from my appointment and the past week:

- She's still a she! I had a dream a few weeks ago that the baby turned out to be a boy so I wanted to double check that at the appointment. Mix ups do happen! I would hope if it did, he would look just as handsome in pink hand me downs.

- I've gained 16lbs so far, so one more pound from my last appointment. I'm in shock that's all I've gained, I expected to gain the same or more the 2nd time around.

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- I've been resting a lot lately due to Braxton Hicks (more below), but it finally gave me time to wash and fold all of Ellie's newborn and 0-3 months clothing. It made me super nostalgic going through her clothing and it made me sad that Ellie has grown so fast and the time has gone so quickly. It also made me excited to see some of my favorite outfits and know they'll get used again. Some of them, I remember dressing her in and taking her pictures like it was yesterday!

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- My sister threw me a little "sprinkle" at a restaurant with my aunts and cousins on Sunday. It was so nice and relaxing and great to catch up with everyone. There's so many birthdays, pregnancies, wedding events, and parties coming up it was also the perfect time to get everything on the calendar too with everyone! I loved celebrating with them!

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Black Dress (Target last year, similar here) // Hat (Target last year, similar here and here)

-  Cravings this week have mostly been sweets and fruit, nothing different from last week.

- This past weekend I experience Braxton Hicks for the first time. I never felt anything with Ellie, and just thought it was the way this baby was moving that made my stomach go all tight so I didn't pay any attention to it. Then Friday morning it was happening a few times in a short period of time and I realized it was a contraction. I immediately hit up my girlfriends on what contractions/BH felt like and it was exactly how they described it. I called the nurse and she said to lie on my side and drink water and they went away. Then it happened again Saturday  morning so I laid in bed for most of the afternoon and felt better. That's pretty much what happened all weekend long. I really hope this baby doesn't decide to come before our scheduled c-section!

Hope you're having a great week! Thank you for following along on my pregnancy journey!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Baby 2 Bumpdate: Week 35

For reals, I have 4 weeks until baby arrives. That's one month, where I have parties and family events every.single.weekend. We have everything to decorate the nursery, but we still have lots to do. Like paint it, then use the items we have to actually decorate it. LOL. I'm not worried so much about getting that stuff done, once it's painted putting things on the walls will just take an afternoon. I need to find our newborn insert for the carseat, wash our newborn clothes, sanitize my pump parts and bottles, and get out our swing/bouncer, etc. Looks like I have some things to do during the work week and can't keep tossing everything to the weekends. Oh, did I mention I'm hosting my sister's bridal shower this month too? NBD.

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This past week I had a Dr appointment and things are looking great! We are both healthy and on track for where we should be in the pregnancy. Here are the latest updates for the past two weeks (since I missed Bumpdate Week 34 last week).

-I'll definitely be having another c-section and we scheduled baby 2's birth day! I'm so excited and it's definitely one plus of having a c-section to be able to plan around a specific date and time. Matt and I can arrange everything for work, care for Ellie, let our families know, etc.

- I've gained 15 pounds so far. When I looked at my Bumpdate this week for Ellie, I had gained 21lbs already so I'm surprised I'm "behind" this time. I'm not doing anything different than before, so I'm not sure why my weight isn't closer to last time. I also noticed that my arms and face were puffier with Ellie and not so this time, thank goodness- I already have a full face as it is!

- The Dr also thinks that this baby is smaller than Ellie was (which could be why I haven't gained as much?), Ellie was born over 8 pounds and he is estimated this baby to be 7 lbs and change. He said a lot can happen in a month, but doesn't predict she'll hit 8lbs. We shall see soon enough.

- She has been moving so much lately, it's more pressure against my belly and stretching that feels like she's doing the splits or putting each arm straight out. Sometimes it can be pretty uncomfortable with the pressure she's putting against me when she's stretching. I've noticed she does this more than just kicking now, probably because she doesn't have enough room.

- It's been pretty hot and humid here lately and I had to take my rings off a few days ago. I think now that our humidity has died off, my rings will probably fit again, but I'm afraid that if I wear them, my fingers will swell and they will have to be cut off which I would absolutely hate.

-Speaking of the heat, it's been terrible! I've been so lucky this summer that it hasn't been that hot. I barely made it through May with Eleanor and thought I'd be dead by now with an August due date. On Friday, I felt so sick when I got home from the heat and the movement from the baby. We had the ac blasting and the fan going, but I was miserable. It's been better the past few nights and I hope I'll survive July!

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- Lately I've been craving an Icee and the hot and spicy chicken sandwich from McDonalds. Like having them for lunch almost daily. I've never even had the chicken sandwich until I was pregnant, I'm not sure what made me order it, but now it's a must have. I've also been craving Swedish Fish, watermelon, and lemonade. 

-I've grown so much in the last 2-3 days and I"m at the point where I'm short of breath, my body aches at the end of the day, and doing simple things can be a struggle. At least it's only this last month and not for longer! Maybe it will just be these few days? Here's to wishful thinking.

Hope you're having a great day! Thanks for reading and following along!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Recent Purchases: Mama, Ellie, and Beauty Goodies

I haven't been shopping too much lately (although I want to buy everything in the summertime for home, baby, hubs, beauty, and closet, etc), but here are the things I've picked up recently. I bought a few things for the baby too, but I'm waiting until her nursery is complete before posting anything. You know, because it's super secret and I'm waiting for a grand reveal. LOL. Anyways, here's what's made it into my cart and home with me recently.

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Top // Bottom

I have a ton of suits, but the supporting plastic bar on the side has ripped through a couple and has been scratching me, I should probably just sew them back in, but who has time for that? So last weekend I ran to Target for a new suit. I love their mix and match pieces, they’re so easy to wear and mix with suits I already own. Shopping while at the end of pregnancy is no fun. Thankfully, with a two piece it will fit post partum, but there are so many cute new styles out right now like high waisted bottoms and a bustier type top, that don’t work for a bump at all and if I get it for post bump I won’t get as much use of them. Next year I’m hoping will be more fun for suit shopping (bahahahaha who am I kidding here?).

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How fun are these shorts? I love the print and the lightweight fabric, perfect for this hot summer we’re having. The elastic waist makes it easy to wear with the bump and will still be great post bump. They're super comfortable and I've been wearing them almost non-stop.

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I love the pom pom and tulip/dolphin short trend going on right now. I bought these shorts with a giftcard from my Grandmother and I can’t wait to wear them. With the tulip hem, they’re not bump friendly, but only a few weeks left before I can rock these babies! They’ll be perfect for pool days and just lounging around the house.

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How cute are these summer tanks with a ruffle hem? Perfect for summer days and playing outside. Ellie comes home so dirty from wherever we are, I hate buying expensive clothes for the everyday. These $5 tops from Target are awesome.

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Our good friends gifted Ellie with the Ema Jane headband bow set for her first Christmas and we absolutely just loved them. They were the perfect size bow and had a color that matched every outfit. Now that she won’t keep a headband on for even a second and has enough hair to put up, I snagged the bow set in 4.5 inches in a flat second. I love the quality of these bows and now our little girl and Ellie can match when she arrives!

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I’ve been using this foundation for years and really like it. It’s lightweight and available in tons of shades. It lasts forever and I thought I was going to run out of my old bottle soon, but now that it’s summer I haven’t been using it much lately. This bottle is ready whenever the last drop is gone though.

I’ve never used NYC makeup before, but Brittany Kerr (Jason Aldean’s wife) swears by it and uses it on a lot of her clients so I figured why not try it? It’s a soft brush and goes on really dark black. It’s really wet and you have to let it set or it can smudge onto your lid, but it doesn’t bleed. It lasts well and doesn’t fade, it’s such a great price (under $4) that I’ll definitely buy it again.

I love L'Oreal's Lineur Intense, but it bled into my eye and hurt like the flames of hell so many times I wanted to try a different liner from them. This one is also Lineur Intense but has a felt tip, which I like, but I find it harder to get a thicker line when I want one. It’s also not as dark of black as Lineur Intense and shadow transfers onto it, so I won’t be buying it again.

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I finally found this gel top coat at Target! I used it Thursday night and I really like it, it dries pretty shiny and super quick. Like 2 minutes quick. I was in the pool all day for the holiday and although it doesn't look as great, it still stood up pretty well! I plan on re-painting them this week to really test out the top coat. So far, it's much better than the Sally Hanson one (see my review here).

Do you read Megan's blog? If not, head over now and check out all her reviews! She's the best and I've read her for years! She's posted about using e.l.f.'s HD Powder a few times and I always look at it on a Target run, but never bit the bullet. Now I finally bought it and have used it a few times. Still getting used to it and where it's best to wear it.

This is a random buy, I don't why I bought it, I wasn't looking for or needing a concealer, but it still went into my basket and home with me. It has a good consisteny and coverage, it creases if you use it under your eyes, but around the nose has been great. It's a great price point too for what you get.

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I don’t even know why I bother to buy any lip products with the amount I already own, but I love NYX’s butter glosses. They have great color and last for a long time. They look great layered over other colors and lipsticks too. They’re the perfect texture of soft and creamy. Strawberry Parfait is a nice bright color for a gloss and Eclair is more subdued, very similar to Creme Brulee (which I love) with a touch more lavender to it. If you haven't tried their glosses already, hop on it! I love the quality and texture of them.

I'm now at the point where I've slowed down on buying anything (these purchases have been over the last few weeks), I'm just waiting at this point for post bump. I have a ton of stuff I need to get for the baby and her nursery and I've bought a few items for Ellie's Big Sister gift so my extra mad money has been going there.

Hope you're having a great week! What have been some of your recent purchases lately?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our 4th of July

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4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, and if you've been reading for a few years, you already know this because I say it every single year. What's not to love about family, friends, BBQ, swimming, and fireworks? This year I was extra excited about it because Ellie is old enough to run amuck and enjoy it just as much as I do.

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We started the day off with some red toes and silver sparkle, I painted her fingers to match, but she would let me take a pic. It's the first time I've painted her nails, she's always on the run so I've waited to do it because I know she can't stand still long enough for them to dry. She was so excited about her nails and they were so extra cute on her little fingers. The first hand was awesome, but the second hand after I was done she made a fist and then thought she was hurt, red anything on her skin = blood to her eyes. It was pretty funny and I showed her she wasn't hurt and I could get it all off. She showed everyone at the party her nails and already asked me to paint them again for her. 

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We headed to Matt's sister's for the day, she has a great house for entertaining and only lives 10 minutes away so it's awesome. The party started with water balloons for the kids that turned into a balloon fight between the adults, men vs women. I forget how much fun water balloons are, or what a pain they are to fill. Matt's sister was in charge of filling them and his mom and I tied them off. We couldn't keep up with the kids at all though! Those puppies went so fast!

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We spent almost the entire day and into the night in the pool- swimming, chicken fights, floating, and relaxing. It was seriously the perfect day and everyone had such a great time! It was hot and the water was fantastic and we all got lots of color.The girls laid out on this raft for so long, it was the cutest thing ever! Ellie loved just laying there, she skipped her nap that day and was pretty tired, but held out strong without any fussing.

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Swimming while pregnant is the best, it's like you have no belly at all! It's great exercise too, although all I do is float around in a tube. My arms got some great color, but I have the worst tan lines on the back from having them on the tube all afternoon. LOL. I've also been making Starbuck's Passion Tea Lemonade at home and it's so refreshing. 

Happy 4th of July! I love our country and being an American, thank you to all our troops and their families for protecting and fighting for our freedom! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!