Trick-or-Treating Zoo Animals!

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After the Boo Bash Dash last weekend we drove straight to the Nashville Zoo to watch the animals go trick-or-treating. Luna didn’t get to see any animals during the Ghouls of Grassmere event, and this seemed like a fun opportunity to actually watch the animals be active. More fun for me than her, but still…fun. We like to be festive, so we all stayed dressed up in our Halloween running attire. We are also just too lazy to drive home, shower and change.

looking

The zoo was way more crowded than the Ghouls of Grassmere night, but not unbearably crowded. We didn’t arrive until lunchtime, so we had already missed half of the animals getting their treats (cricket-filled pumpkins). The plans was to run to the camels in time to see them eat, but we ran into the new kangaroo exhibit first and could not resist checking it out.

I swear this kangaroo is not dead...just sleeping.

I swear this kangaroo is not dead…just sleeping.

OMG. The “Kangaroo Kickabout” is fantastic! You can literally walk in the exhibit where they kangaroos live and walk around. You aren’t allowed off the paved path, but you are allowed to pet and love on the kangaroos if they come to you!!! We weren’t there at the best time (mid-day). The roos’ were all sleeping, sunbathing and not all interested in my affections, but that didn’t stop me from ooohing and awwwing over them. There was a Mommy kangaroo on her back and you could actually see the baby in her pouch moving around and peeking out! It was probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, with the exception of Luna playing with a kitten.

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We did finally make it to the other animals. We saw the elephants, giraffes, meerkats, goats, antelope, camels, lions and lots of other animals “trick-or-treating”.  And by “trick-or-treating”, I mean looking at carved pumpkins suspiciously. Most of the animals were not interested in eating them while we all stared on expectantly. The goats and meerkats were the most enthusiastic. Either way, the animals were out and about being cute and meandering around.

look at those adorable meerkats!

look at those adorable meerkats!

There were also a few “zoo talks” happening. I really enjoyed listening to the girl in the giraffe land. She told us about the baby giraffe that is soon going to be shipped to Animal Kingdom so that her Dad doesn’t try to mate with her. I’ll have to remember to look for her next time we go to Disney.

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Our favorite section of the zoo was by far the jungle gym. Their play area is ENORMOUS. We had a blast getting lost in “the largest community built playground in the United States”. It’s 66,000 square feet! I seriously cannot wait until Luna is big enough to play in the playground. The best part is the toddler area. They have an enormous covered area that is basically a giant room covered in 6 inches of foam and it is the greatest idea. Big kids aren’t allowed to play in this area and no on is allowed to wear shoes, so it’s virtually clean. Us, along with several other parents, relaxed in the shade while our babies crawled all over each other.

little flirts

little flirts

Luna enjoyed her second zoo trip, as did we. The Nashville Zoo has many many other events happening, including storytime every Saturday in November at 10:30. To checkout more of their attractions, go here!

my favorite animals!

my favorite animals!

Happy Halloween!!!!

Luna is 9 Months Old!

9 months

9 months. Where is time going? How is to going so fast?? This child brings so much joy, adventure, challenges and love to our lives everyday. I am constantly surprised by her and I swear I fall more in love with her all the time. I could stare at her all day and I love watching her learn more and more as each week passes, but I also just want to press pause for a moment. There are certainly times I get exhausted and frustrated (diaper changes with a wiggle worm and night time with a Mama’s girl), but then she smiles or laughs or sleeps in my arms or learns how to stand, and I just want to remember that moment forever and ever.

happygirl

This month has been a busy one. Luna went to her first art museum, where she learned to paint for the first time. We all went to Gentry Farm to pick out Luna’s first pumpkins. Then, there was our big trip to NYC, where Luna had MANY firsts. She’s also been to the zoo for the first time (and second time), ran the Boo Bash Dash, had a few playdates, visited Cheekwood, and actually slept through the night one night! (That last one is possibly the biggest accomplishment of all.)

ghost

I swear this child has done more in 9 months than I did the first 20 years of my life. Lucky duck.

so big

She is a speed crawler and a cruiser these days. She is FAST and gets into everything…including, but not limited to, dog food, cat food, chocolate, muffins, my underwear drawer, anything that’s plugged in and pretty much anything she shouldn’t touch. She is eating more solids foods, like cheerios (and pet food, unfortunately), and has even had some Mexican food. I am 99% sure she has said “Mama” to me on more than one occasion, and she is definitely understanding words like, “mama”, “more”, “no” and “Luna”. She even understands some sign language, but has yet to sign to me.

I can’t believe it’s already time for the holidays, and will be Luna’s first birthday soon after! So many things to look forward to!

Cheers!

The Boo Bash Dash

In the last few months we have run a handful of races, and much to my surprise, I’ve really enjoyed them. It may just be the medals, the tshirts or the fact that I get to dress-up in some sort of theme that makes it enjoyable, but that’s okay, as long as it keeps me running! We (and by “we”, I mean me and my friend, Bella, Peter is just forced to join us) have decided to sign up for a race at least once a month. This month we did the Boo Bash Dash.

Boo Bash Dash 2014

Boo Bash Dash 2014

The Boo Bash Dash is put on by CASA (advocates for abused neglected children). They encourage costumes, so we obviously wore them. Bella, myself and her Mom all dressed alike in the most ridiculous Halloween accessories we could find. Luna, clearly, had to join in on the theme. Our friend, Derek, was a green man. And, Husband is lame, so he dressed as “a runner”.

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Because of a back injury, I had to walk this race, but on the bright side, I got to push Luna in the stroller. Derek was one of the top finishers, and after he crossed the finished line, he ran back to get Bella and Peter and cross the finish line with them as well. Then, the three of them went back for the rest of us, and all 6 of us (Luna included) finished the race together. The organizers seemed impressed by our sticking-togetherness and we gathered quite a bit of attention with our big group, matching costumes and cute little baby.

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Could there be a more gorgeous run??

Could there be a more gorgeous run??

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We hung around for the awards ceremony, and were shocked that we ALL placed! Bella was first in her age group. Derek and Peter were first and second in theirs and I got first place in my age group for walkers! I’m 99% certain that I am the only person in my age range who walked (and several senior citizens beat my time), but whatever, I GOT FIRST PLACE!

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Then, as if that wasn’t enough, they gave out trophies for best costumes. The first trophy was for honorable mention. They announced that the “Halloween group” won and everyone just kind of clapped and looked around for the winners. The announcers then pointed to us and said “You! You are the ‘Halloween group’, you and the baby.” They were very clear that the baby gets the trophy for being so cute, and who could argue?

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Afterwards, one of the organizers came to thank us for coming, asked where we heard about the race and if we had any suggestions on how to improve the race for next year. I thought this was really nice, and we did have a couple of suggestions, which they took very seriously. It was so great to be appreciated! We loved the experience and plan to do this one again next year. It was worth the hour drive!

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Now, we just have to decide which race is next… the Mustache Dash or the …? Hmmm…guess you’ll find out in a few weeks!

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Cheers!

Because Your Baby Needs to be Spoiled Too

sad lip

Peter and I promised ourselves that when we had children we would do our best to not spoil them. We, ourselves, are trying to minimilize and stop buying crap we don’t actually need. I have to say that for the most part, we have done well. We rarely buy Luna toys and we haven’t shopped for ourselves in a very long time (Starbucks not included). We have also been cleaning out all our closets and it feels great! However, there is one teeny tiny little purchasing problem I can’t seem to break…clothes, clothes for Luna.

who could resist this dress??

who could resist this dress??

I love buying new clothes for Luna, and I can’t help myself. It’s totally not my fault that everyone is making the most ridiculously cute baby clothes ever. Have you been on Etsy lately? It is insane and addicting! Before I had Luna, I actually had a conversation with my Mom where I admitted I was afraid of having a baby because I didn’t know if I could be selfless enough. I couldn’t imagine wanting to spend money on someone else, when I like shopping for myself so much. NOW, I am embarrassed to admit how much time I spend searching Zulily, Very Jane and Etsy for new outfits for Luna and Luna only. She always looks like a million bucks and I’m rarely in anything other than workout clothes.

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The good news is that I am able to try some new brands, review the products and share them (as well as some giveaways and discounts) with you! Today, I bring you melime!

melime

Melime is inspired by Italian chic and the English countryside. It’s all handmade from high quality fabric and it is so sweet and stylish I could melt.

Luna wore her beige melime dress for our family pictures on the beach

Luna wore her beige melime dress for our family pictures on the beach

I discovered this Etsy shop months ago and have been itching to share it with you. I’ve only waited because I’ve had to wait for that little Luna of mine to grow into her new clothes. They’re just adorable, right?

eating leaf

Melime’s clothes are extremely well made and there’s only a limited number made, so you won’t see every other baby on the playground sporting a matching outfit.

look at the little white sleeve!

look at the little white sleeve!

ANNDDDD because Vanessa from melime is wonderful she is offering a 20% off coupon code to my readers! Just use the code THANKYOU20 when you check out! Sweet!

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Oh, and if you need some ideas on what to purchase, these are my favorite new pieces!

baby shoes babypolaroid babyromper babyskirt

Happy shopping, and look for many more reviews and giveaways coming soon!

sleeping peacefully in her designer dress

sleeping peacefully in her designer dress

Cheers!

My Nightmare in Nashville

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So, there is one thing that Luna has held us back from doing this year…haunted houses. They aren’t exactly baby friendly and it isn’t easy to find a babysitter, especially one who can sit until very late at night. Last year we went to 11 haunted houses, this year we finally made it to one on Husband’s 30th birthday.

We went to Nashville Nightmare in downtown after the annual Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot. As always, the lines were long, the crowds were obnoxious and 97% of them were smoking. (What is that attracts smokers to haunted houses?) Since we’re awesome we managed to entertain ourselves by being hilarious and playing Heads Up. We also began reminiscing about previous years haunted house experiences. I arrogantly began saying things like, “I wish I got as scared as I used to get….I guess I’ve just been to so many Haunted Houses over the years that they no longer frighten me…It kind of takes the thrill away.” Well, you know what happens when you’re overconfident, right? The universe come back to bite you in the butt, which is exactly what happened.

If you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you’ve probably had the pleasure of avoiding the creepy costumed people who walk around spooking everyone waiting in the long lines. I have never EVER been scared by these people, ever. But, as they say, there’s always a first time for everything. First, there was the creepy guy-in-mask who leaned on me for too long, then there was shovel-dragger, then scream-in-my-ear man and scare-me-from-behind girl…all made me jump and embarrassingly scream, but it didn’t end there. In fact, all that jumping and screaming made me one big target.

During my turn at Heads Up, I was going for a record (and you know I’m very competitive), when a zombie girl came over to try and scare me. She startled me as she snuck up from behind and whispered something creepy in my ear. I tried my best to ignore her because I was clearly trying to win the game. The zombie chick did not give up. She began panting in my ear and literally breathing down my neck. Now… you must know that I hate, absolutely HATE, strangers touching me, and breathing on me might be even worse.

I wanted to throw-up and take a hot shower after I felt her hot breath in my ear. OMG, I am reliving it as I type this and I just want to curl in a ball in cry, which, ironically enough, is what I did. I tried to move away from her quickly and continue playing the game, but the more I moved the more determined she became. She got in my face, stared into my eyes, and KEPT HEAVILY PANTING ON ME. The girl would not let up. At this point, I was close to panic mode, I began running circles around our little group and was laughing/squealing as I tried to play it cool and really did not know how to react. I guess laughing is my defense mechanism?

THEN, get this, another zombie girl sees the spectacle we are creating and decides to join in on the fun. The two of them are coming at me from all sides and my only choice is to curl into a ball in cover my face. They were touching me, breathing on me, panting, whispering and making me soooooooooooooooo uncomfortable. I was trying to yell or scare them off or something, but really I was only capable of mumbling “stop” from behind my hands. That is until, zombie chic #2 decided to up the ante and bite me.

Yes, she bit me, with teeth. I instantly stood and shouted, “OMG she bit me! That’s against the rules!” For some reason the “no one will touch you, if you don’t touch them” haunted house rule compelled me to finally shake off these creepers. I felt as if she broke a commandment. I mean, really, that one rule is what has always convinced me that I’ll be okay in a haunted house. I used to constantly go over that one rule before entering to assure myself that nothing bad could possibly happen, and this girl had the nerved to break the golden haunted house rule!

Everyone in line who wasn’t already watching the little show, was now looking at us, and I was not the only one horrified that I’d been bitten. Zombie girl #1 even felt compelled to tell me that she was not the biter. Although, heavy breathing in one’s ear isn’t much better than biting.

The 2 Haunted houses at Nashville Nightmare were good, even scary, but the creepers in line were definitely the worst part. And, I will never again say aloud that I have not been scared in a very long time.

Anyone else get frightened this year? Or bitten?

Cheers!

Little Monsters at the Zoo

ghouls

I am falling more in love Nashville everyday. We have been super busy with all the fall festivities in and around Nashville. Everyone told us that having Luna would slow us down, but the truth is, she keeps us motivated to do more. Thanks to Nashville Parent and the various flyers hanging up at Starbucks, I am constantly finding new family-friendly stuff to do in middle Tennessee. Last weekend kicked off the Ghouls at Grassmere annual event at the Nashville Zoo, and we decided it was a perfect time to take Luna on her very first zoo trip.

zoo

The Ghouls at Grassmere event is geared towards kids and is a really unique Halloween experience! The kids get to dress-up, trick-or-treat on the trails, see the zoo at night and participate in many other activities. They have a haunted hayride, a spooky house tour, a “scary-go-round”, carnival games, a dance party and more. Luna was a little young for most of the activities, but that little detail did not keep us from enjoying ourselves, or from trick-or-treating.

trick or treat!

trick or treat!

I have never been to the zoo at night, but OMG, it is SO much better! It’s not too hot, you can’t get sunburned, it’s waaayyy less crowded and kind of cool to see what the place looks like a night… also, a little creepy. It’s a really cool atmosphere for a Halloween event. There were lots of lights, light designs, Halloween decorations and really good music. It was full of activities, yet very relaxed. We took our time walking around, ate dinner and just enjoyed ourselves.

Foam party for kids!

Foam party for kids!

They had tons of popular characters for kids to take photos with

They had tons of popular characters for kids to take photos with

a scary spinny tunnel!

a scary spinny tunnel!

The best part had to be watching all the kids run around in their costumes! If you know me at all, you know I love dressing up and celebrating for just about any reason. It was sooo much fun to see how the creative costumes at the zoo.

Mary Poppins AND Napoleon Dynamite...love this family

Mary Poppins AND Napoleon Dynamite…love this family

yup...definitely doing this for Luna one day

yup…definitely doing this for Luna one day

Our favorite activities for us and Luna were definitely the “scary-go-round” and the “Monster Mash”. The “scary-go-round” was the carousel with creepy music and lights that blinked on and off. Come to think of it…I guess that was Luna’s first ride! The “Moster Mash” was a huge dance party. We all danced together and taught Luna how to shake that little tush.

scary go round dance party

The only downside to being at the zoo at night is that the animals aren’t out. We got to see flamingos and camels, but that’s all. I was hoping for Luna to see more animals, but we will just have to back. (As a matter of fact, we went back today! But, that’s another blog…)

flamingos

Anyways, only 5 more days until Halloween! How is everyone celebrating this week??? Oh, and if you are planning a trip to the Nashville Zoo soon, you’ve gotta check out their calendar of events here. They’ve got some really cool activities coming up!

I was so excited to find this perfect picture spot!

I was so excited to find this perfect picture spot!

Cheers!

A Little Garden Therapy

Lately, I’ve been battling more anxiety than usual. It’s typical that my anxiety goes up and down, yet it always seems like a surprise when it comes back. I know why it’s been worse, there’s been some stressful situations as of late, but no time to sit down and write about it, which I know I need. In fact, today isn’t the day to discuss panic either… Today, I want to talk about some beautiful gardens, and how a little nature, beauty and family time can wipe the blues and nerves a way.

harvest

Saturday was Husband’s 30th birthday. We did a lot to celebrate his big day, and it all began at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. We try to visit Cheekwood at least a few times a year. Fall is one of the best times to visit because it is stunning! The leaves are changing and Chrysanthemums of every color are planted everywhere! There is also a “Cheekwood Harvest” throughout the month of October.

bridge

The Harvest includes family ‘art’-tivities, live music, storytime, garden tours, museum tours, a pumpkin patch and a lot of locally made scarecrows. My original plan was to arrive early, and hit every single activity, as well as a reserved lunch in the Pineapple room restaurant. Bbuuuttttt as my good plans go lately, it was an epic fail. Between all of us being sick, trying to get sleep, a late Birthday breakfast of bagels and everything else that comes with a baby, we didn’t get to Cheekwood until lunch time. I wasn’t feeling very calm or peaceful when we finally arrived. I felt like Husband’s Birthday plans were very quickly falling apart. And, because I was already down, it just made me feel like a failure.

luna and dad

 

Something happened when I entered the gardens. Something changed. I stepped into the sunlight and felt it warm my skin. The scent of a myriad of flowers and herbs filled the air. I couldn’t help, but dance a little to the live music wafting through the gardens. I looked at Husband, looked at Luna, looked around at the other families enjoying the beautiful Saturday and began to feel grateful. Happy and grateful. Nature does that to me sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, the vitamin D or the walking, but with every step I took I felt more and more like myself. The more we toured the more I noticed my beautiful family and the less I noticed that nasty panic monster. Sometimes a sunny day with the people I love just washes the anxiety away. Even if it’s temporary, it’s lovely.

my outfit

We had a great day at Cheekwood. Everything we’ve previously done seems brand new now that we can experience it with Luna. We let her play on the pumpkins in the patch, which she drummed on to her hearts content.  We walked around the scarecrows and tried to guess which each one was before reading the descriptions. Most were easy (especially the 4 Olaf’s), others were a little harder to decipher.

scarecrow

Look at dat wittle baby scarecrow????

Harry Potter

Clearly, one of my favs

pumpkin patch

The day just kept getting cuter. Luna danced her little booty off to some live bluegrass in the herb garden. She also had her second art lesson. She “learned” to use tissue paper to stain paper, glue and do some more water color. Although, she was much more interested in eating her art than actually making it…

dancing luna's art

Cheekwood was a great start to Husband’s 30th Birthday celebration and a therapeutic trip for me. I think we will be back soon.

me and luna

Cheers!