Disneyworld: Day 1

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Disney, Florida, FUN TIMES, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TRAVEL

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DISNEY DISNEY DISNEY!!!!

THE LONG AWAITED TRIP!

We held off on going to Disneyworld for 7 months. Partially, because we always go in September, since crowds are low, partially because we wanted Lexi to somewhat enjoy the experience. So when we got into our car and made that 3.5 hour drive, we were bursting with excitement and anticipation.

The big mystery and question was how Lexi would take to being away from home for 5 nights and dealing with the parks’ heat, people and stimulation. Based on her behavior prior to that day, I expected good things from this trip and it didn’t disappoint.

Day 1: Sunday.

Baby Beach Essentials

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Florida, Friday Finds, New Mom Experience, Other Recommendations, PHOTO, PRODUCTS, TRAVEL

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As the Florida summer heat subsides, I am planning on making many more trips to the ocean and having fun in the sand. Alexis is the ultimate water baby, and so am I. So the beach is where we both belong. In the meantime I have found a few things that have made our beach outings bearable even in the summer heat. Some of them are absolute must haves for a baby, as far as I am concerned. I have put together these items hoping they would make being at the beach pleasurable even with a young baby and to my surprise they WORKED FABULOUSLY!

1. FAMILY BEACH CABANA UPF 50+

Our Birthday Celebrations

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, LIFE, PHOTO

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I will keep this post short but full of pictures, because I would like to be able to look back and see what we did for our birthdays the year Alexis was born.

We are both August babies, Leos, so we celebrate our birthdays the same month which has always been pretty awesome. I had big plans originally. I was going to throw a huge party but what I failed to realize is that everyone who would normally be at that party would be gone for the summer ( the sucky part of having a summer birthday), including the location where I was going to throw that party in. Oopsie!

And out of the people that did stay in the area for the summer, a family of 4 caught a stomach virus, one had a Galapagos trip and another a business trip to NYC and so on and so forth. So basically out of  35 people who originally planned, only a handful were actually in town at that point. Story of my life. No biggie, though. Like one of the friends who couldn’t be there pointed out “Every day is your birthday, Elena!

The shape of you. The shape of me.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, PREGNANCY

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The title of this post might give you an idea of how much Dr. Seuss I read on daily basis.

Ok, so I’ve been asked to write about this multiple times and I have looked forward to writing about this, as well. Kind of. Sort of. The only but is that I don’t really have much to say on the topic of postpartum body and getting in shape. I have done absolutely NOTHING. :( So I’ll write a bit about what changes my body went through from pre-pregnancy to now and what I am planning on doing about it.

There are a few “quirks” about my body that need to be known to understand where I am at after giving birth.
Number 1: My strong spot is my abs. It’s virtually impossible for me to gain fat in my tummy. And when I gain weight, my belly is the LAST thing to grow (after boobies) and even then it still has some definition to it.
Number 2: My weak spot is my legs. That is the first place where I gain weight and it shows immediately. So the rest of my body will be fine, but my legs and face will show whether I am heavy or thin.
Number 3:

Gaylord Palms Resort

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Florida, FUN TIMES, PHOTO, TRAVEL

I wrote a little bit about our trip to Orlando a few weeks ago, but today I’d love to share with you the beauty that is Gaylord Palms Resort.

We woke up the next morning and set off to explore the humongous indoor “jungle”. It was time to get some breakfast and since our favorite Villa De Flora was closed, we settled for a really nice decaf tea and pastry in the courtyard.

In case you’re wondering, Andrew is using the non-toxic natural hand sanitizing Cleanwell wipes to disinfect the table and Lexi’s hands.

It’s really hard to describe the hotel. It’s like a mixture of Disney intricasies, whimsical decorations, country swamp decor, twinkling lights, tuscan architechture, wet green jungle and the grandeur of a glass domed greenhouse.

 Where else would you find balconies overlooking the depth of the jungle? Or  a moss covered tree in the middle of a wooden swamp restaurant?

Or an ancient vine covered castle inside a resort?

Countless waterfalls and exotic plants?

And then you walk outside through the “swampland” area of the resort, past the tranquil looking spa, down the a few steps and through the glass doors, you walk out into the clean looking Arizona style pool oasis.

We didn’t spent much time at the pool, we didn’t have our swim suit with us, but Lexi started bouncing in Andrew’s arms at the sight of these little fountains covering the shallow walk-in edges of the pool. So we tried them out.

She was so hilariously focused on grabbing one of them. Fountains are fun :)

Besides the big kid friendly pool with slides and water features, Gaylord’s had an adult only area with cabanas, lounges and a rectangular pool. That’s the area you would usually see us hanging out at, sipping drinks and laughing at each other’s jokes. Not this time though. We looked at what 1 year ago would be “our spot” and happily took our beautiful and tired daughter back to the room.

I know we will continue visiting Gaylord Palms whenever we are in the area, whether it’s to have dinner, go to the yearly ICE exhibit with Lexi, or just show off this gem to friends out of state. I don’t know if we’d stay there again. Not because it wasn’t fabulous, but because I just can’t pass up staying on Disney campus whenever in Orlando.

Hope you enjoyed the photo journey through Gaylord’s as much as we enjoyed visiting.

Stroller Feature: Mutsy 4Rider

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, PRODUCTS, VIDEO

When I was 6 months pregnant and working on our baby registry, the most difficult decision BY FAR was what stroller to register for. I am sure all new moms will agree with me that if you have a decent stroller budget, you are COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the choices and options and your future baby’s needs.

I spent days researching concepts that were so foreign to me at the time. Lightweight? Luxury? Air filled tires? 6 months and up? Bassinet? Reclining seat? Car seat adaptor? Full canopy? UV protective? Expensive? Cheap? Forward facing or rear facing? Tall or adjustable handlebar? Cupholder? Snack tray? Good suspension? iPhone charger? All terrain? Jogging? Shopping basket? EVA tires?

Seriously, your head spins with the amount of options out there. It’s beyond any other item I have EVER had to shop for, including high chairs, which was pretty hard but not THAT hard.

I finally gave up and registered for a reputable  brand because my friend had 2 strollers of theirs. I am sure that is exactly what most people do when they are too overwhelmed by options and don’t want/don’t care to research and make a decision.

I figured that most new mothers are probably faced with the same decision process I had to go through, so I decided to see if I can try to review a stroller in each different category to see which features are a MUST and which ones can be PASSED UP. At least, from my standpoint.

So in the next few weeks, you will see 5 posts that are a part of this STROLLER FEATURE. The 5 categories are: LUXURY STROLLER (Mutsy 4Rider), LIGHTWEIGHT/UMBRELLA STROLLER (Kiddy City’n’Move), AFFORDABLE ALL TERRAIN STROLLER (GoGo Babyz Urban Advantage), JOGGING STROLLER (Baby Jogger Summit XC) and HIGH TECH STROLLER (4Moms Origami).

MUTSY 4 RIDER

 



A Dutch stroller company Mutsy {pronounced [Moot-si] was established in 1937 with the most adorable little carriages you have ever seen. But it wasn’t until 1975 that they came out with their first ADJUSTABLE stroller with a reclining back and then in 1978, one that transforms from a bassinet into a seat. That, for me, is the essence of Mutsy as a stroller company –  ADAPTABILITY.

The versatility of Mutsy strollers is beyond anything I imagined and more than I had hoped for. Mutsy 4Rider, which is the red stroller you’ve been seeing in most of my pictures, is their top of the line luxury stroller that is MADE with your baby in mind ( and a few features to appease parents too). When I was looking at all the options different strollers had, I was convinced that  there wasn’t one stroller that had it all, and that in order to get everything I wanted, I had to get at least 3 strollers. However, after spending the last 7 months using the 4Rider, I can tell you honestly, THIS IS  as close to ALL-IN-ONE as you can get!

Now before I get further into the review, one thing you have to know is that it is by NO MEANS a lightweight stroller. It is VERY heavy. It’s not meant to be lightweight or compact.  It’s meant to be comfortable for baby and parents, and full of features. {Mutsy DID come out with a lighter, more compact stroller just a few months ago, Evo, with similar features as 4Rider, from what I can see}.

My favorite part of Mutsy 4Rider is the amount of options and features this stroller has. In fact, I am STILL learning new features as I write this review ( I’ve gone “Baby, did you know Mutsy can do this?” to my husband three times in the last hour). These guys have thought of pretty much ANY scenario.

We all know how different babies are and you just have NO way of knowing what your future baby is going to like or hate until you try it. This stroller pretty much ensures that you’ll have something to appease your little one with. That’s where the options the 4Rider offers really come in handy.

So let’s go over them quickly, shall we?

Let’s start with the most common configuration of the 4Rider, using its seat.

  • The seat snaps in and out of  the stroller with 1 click.
  • It reclines to virtually any position, including flat
  • It can be flipped to face forward or backwards ( rear facing strollers are very important for the few 6-8 months of a baby’s life, until they get object permanence, since they might get distressed in a stroller that is facing forward  when the parent isn’t visible).
  • It has TWO  slots to attach any of the following to it: Canopy ( it has good coverage, with a large peekaboo window at the top that gets rolled up and affixed with velcro, and a relatively large zip-up pocket in the back. It can also be moved to any of the two slots, making it sit further back or forward for more coverage), dinnertray (sold separately), arm rest.

Other features:

  • breaks
  • lockable front wheels
  • expandable handlebar ( this really comes in handy for us, tall people)
  • air filled tires (big air filled tires means that your baby gets less jostling when you’re walking or lightly jogging)
  • nice suspension ( again, this is by far the smoothest ride out of all the strollers I’ve tried)
  • solid construction (This is where the word luxury comes in (besides its price tag). The stroller feels SOLID, it feels expensive, there’s absolutely no flimsiness to it.)
  • expensive fabrics (In comparison to other strollers, Mutsy 4Rider has a really nice feel. The fabric is woven very tightly and is of excellent quality)



The following are other configurations and add-ons and is why I love the 4Rider so much:
  • Bassinet (It easily snaps in and out of the stroller. Sold separately.)
  • Parasol (It gets attached to the handle bar and moved in any direction you wish to block the sun. Sold separately.)
  • Funseat ( This configuration is the coolest of them all and I cannot wait to try when Lexi is old enough. Basically it’s a cool toddler seat with a fake STEERING WHEEL (!!!!!!) and a huge basket. Perfect for trip to the beach or the store! Sold separately.)
  • Beach bag ( A “gigantic BeachBag fits right inside the basket of the Mutsy FunSeat”. Sold separately.)
  • Extra shopping basket (Sold separately.)
  • Raincover (Sold separately.)
  • Graco, Peg Perego adaptors ( The stroller can house an infant car seat with an adaptor for Graco or Peg Perego car seats. Sold separately.)
  • Footmuff (Sold separately.)
  • Riding step up board for toddlers (A really cool feature, where you add this little step board with a wheel to the back of the stroller so that your 2 year old could ride with you and your infant. Sold separately.)
  • Mutsy Babysitter (A rocker frame that houses your Mutsy seat and makes for a really great infant seat/rocker. It has literally saved my sanity in the first few months because it was the only rocker Lexi would sleep in. It’s even been featured in Lexi Awards. Sold separately.)
  • Duo Seat (Converts your 4Rider into a double stroller)
I know that is a lot of information for a review and probably would get some of your overwhelmed and confused even more, so here is a bottom line:
While it’s expensive when compared to Graco or Safety First, it’s definitely reasonably priced in its class and quality. So if it’s in your bugdet, it’s going to be the best stroller you’re going to have.  It converts into pretty much any configuration imaginable for all stages and needs of life. It is NOT light, nor is it cheap, or made of cheap materials. It’s a large, heavy, solid, nice stroller, perfect for a 2 person family living in the suburbs. It has great maneuverability, amazing shock absorbency and a very smooth ride.
You’ve got all the pros of the stroller writeen out above, so here are the CONS:
  • Heavy (34 lbs with the wheels and seat)
  • Large
  • Doesn’t fold compactly (which is fine by me, because due to it’s weight, you can’t really take it with you while travelling)
  • Due to the size of the wheels, they get caught flipping sometimes, which can get annoying in very narrow areas.
  • The basket that it comes with could be larger.
To me personally, these PROS by far outweighed the CONS, especially if you can buy a cheap compact umbrella stroller to compliment Mutsy 4Rider.
So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions about it. We’ve been using it almost exclusively for the last 7 months and love it, so I can definitely answer any questions you might have.

For more information on MUTSY, visit the following:

I also made this cute little video of all the times we’ve been going out with our Mutsy 4Rider.

 

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Mutsy provided me with a stroller sample to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Blooper Reel {from Gender Reveal}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, My Pregnancy, VIDEO

If you watched and enjoyed our Gender Reveal from exactly a year ago, you might just as well have fun watching this.

I almost dropped this project for lack of time, but when I was cleaning out my video folders, I just couldn’t bring myself to delete the blooper shots, so I made a GAG REEL out of them.

It’s a good reminder of how much fun we had shooting the Gender Reveal video.

And it so happens that I made it in time for the  anniversary of finding out the sex of our baby!

Back from Disney!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Disney, Florida, FUN TIMES, PHOTO, TRAVEL

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We are back from Alexis’ first trip to Disneyworld!

It was definitely SOMETHING!

Different from our other trips but still so much fun.

I am cannot wait to share! It’ll have to be in several posts, though. I’ll also share some tips and things that worked for us, aside from the basic stuff that can be googled.

I’ll leave you with this adorable picture of Lexi watching the parade!

Introduction of Solids: Baby Led Weaning

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Cooking, FUN TIMES, Health and Fitness, LIFE, New Mom Experience, PHOTO

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I am so excited to be writing this post.

Other food posts:

Toddler Mealtime | Vegetable Soup | Baby Solids: What we cook  | Baby Solids Gear

Baby Led Weaning ( BLW) has been one of the most fun, relatively stress-free experiences so far, if I can say so, being only over a month into it. But I feel like it’s only going to get better from now on.