I’ve always said Spring Break is just a tease for summer vacation and this year was no different. I throughly enjoy spending time with my boys and we made the most of our little break.
This year we decided to stay close to home for Spring Break and explore nearby attractions. We started our week with one of our favorite places, the Aggieland Drive Thru Safari. Although it’s marketed as a drive thru safari, there’s so much more to do! We fed giraffes, observed all the animals, hung out with the parakeets and enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather. It was the perfect little day trip for a toddler and an infant. https://animalsafari.com/aggieland-home-about-us/aggieland-animal-encounters/me
Up next on our Spring Break agenda was a new one, we found a little kids museum in the Woodlands and it did not disappoint. This little museum was full of interactive exhibits and centers for kids of all ages. O was able to play with everything and they had a small sectioned off area for baby L. They boys both had a great time and it was very affordable. https://woodlandschildrensmuseum.org/
After relaxing at home for a few days, we ended our week at Main Event. We weren’t sure if O was big enough for bowling but he did really well! He also enjoyed the arcade games and loved pressing all the buttons. Baby L was pretty mesmerized by all the lights and noises and did a fabulous job of people watching.
As difficult as it was to return to work after our break, I know it’s only temporary. We are already counting down the day until Summer Break and all the upcoming adventures we have planned.
We tried something new for Christmas vacation this year and decided to book a few nights at the indoor water park, Kalahari. The park is advertised as the largest indoor water park and it’s not too far away from us, about 2.5 hours. It’s located in Round Rock, TX which is just outside of Austin. On the day of departure we loaded up the car and the boys and headed off on our little adventure.
To be completely honest I didn’t have very high expectations, I am not a water park fan. Kalahari completely changed my mind, I absolutely loved it! More importantly, our boys loved it too!
We were a little nervous that there wouldn’t be many activities for the littles but half the park was designed just for them. My toddler went down so many slides, floated the lazy river, and enjoyed all the water table activities with his baby brother. We spent hours splashing around and playing in the water. I do have to say it was a tad bit chilly but we acclimated quickly. The water is kept at 84* but good ole Texas was having some pretty cold weather and we could tell while in the park. Anytime the boys seemed chilly we just hopped in the giant hot tub for a few minutes. Overall it wasn’t too bad.
The water park is the resorts biggest attraction but it also has an enormous arcade and adventure park with rides and activities such as rock climbing, bowling, escape rooms and several other things. We spent a good amount of time in the adventure park playing kid friendly games with our toddler. He’s never been to an arcade and absolutely loved all the games. He was even able to pick some pretty cool prizes with all the tickets we won.
Kalahari also has several resultants and shops which we took full advantage of. Before we left I followed the advice of my fellow travelers and we stopped at the store to pick up snacks and easy meals for the kids. Our room had a microwave and fridge so we were able to do simple breakfasts and lunches in the room. We did however grab pizza at the Italian restaurant, cocktails at the lounge, coffee and desserts at the cafe, and on our last night we had dinner at the resorts burger place. The food was pretty good, priced as you would expected for a resort. I’d definitely eat there again, it was super convenient and there were quite a few restaurants to choose from.
This place had any and everything you could possibly need to have a wonderful family vacation. Since it was the holiday season the resort was decked out in beautiful Christmas decor and made our trip that much more magical. I would definitely recommend Kalahari Resort to anyone looking for a family vacation. As a matter of fact, I’m already planning next years trip!
Every year for the past 3 years we’ve been celebrating the holidays in our favorite little tiny Texas town, Gruene. We meet up with our friends and enjoy the shops, food, and holiday festivities. The kiddos take pictures with Santa and the parents enjoy each others company. We sip, we shop and we end the evening by watching Santa ride in to town and light up the Christmas lights.
If you’ve never been to Gruene, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s a small little town right by New Braunfels. It’s famous for Gruene Hall which has hosted numerous famous musicians over the years. Since having children we go we rent an Air B&B. Before kiddos we stayed at Gruene River Inn, which is perfect for couples (I honestly miss staying there!). We get garlic fries at Mozies, blackberry wine at The Grapevine and listen to live music at Gruene Grove. If you need tips or advice about things to do and see in Gruene, just ask! We literally love everything place there!
This was the first year we traveled with two little ones and overall, they did fabulous! They napped in the car, enjoyed snacks at Buc-ee’s and were minimally fussy.
Our little pre-Christmas vacation made me so excited for the future and all the adventures we will plan.
We can’t wait to take our sweet boys on many more adventures!
Up next Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, TX ! We can’t wait!
Our first family of four trip was a success! 4 1/2 hours on the road and 3 days at the beach seemed a little daunting but we all survived and had a great time.
We decided to stick rather close to home and adventure down to Corpus Christi. I know Texas beaches get a bad rap but we visited last year and found the perfect little condo on the beach. The water was much clearer than good old Galveston and we were steps away from the ocean.
I have to admit I was nervous about taking our 3 month old on a 4 1/2 hour road trip but he did amazingly well. We stopped frequently, I occasionally had to crawled in to the backseat to entertain the boys but it all worked out.
ProTip: stop frequently, don’t rush the trip, provide snacks and entertainment
Our second concern was taking a 3 month old and a toddler to the beach. How long would they last? How do we protect them from the heat? The sun? Well, we figured that one out too! We lathered them up with sunscreen and threw on protective swim wear. We decided to just stay in the beach for about 90 minutes at a time, which was pretty much all the boys could really handle. We also found a company that you could rent beach gear from. They came at 8:00AM to set up a canopy and beach chairs. It worked out perfectly. All we had to carry down yo the beach were toys, towels, and the babies. We spent mornings and afternoons splashing in the waves, napping in the beach, and building sand castles for little O to knock down 🙂
ProTip: Rent beach equipment, it might cost a little more but it’s so worth it! You have more time to enjoy with your kiddos and you don’t have to worry about carrying all the extra junk to the beach.
Overall we had a pretty great time. Baby L enjoyed his first beach vacation and Little O soaked up the sun and sand.
I’m not ready for summer to be over, not even a little bit. After spending so much quality time with my littles I am devastated to return to work, especially given the circumstances this year. The passion and drive I once had for my careers is minimal in comparison to the passion I have for my little boys. Some days I dream about just staying home with my boys but I have so many great adventures and plans in the works for this upcoming year. I pray my boys stay happy and healthy and I make it through this school year to enjoy our next greatest adventure.
Stay turned, I’m booking our Christmas vacation as we speak 💙 🎄
It’s hard to put into words the overwhelming emotions you feel as a mom. Pure joy, immense anxiety, constant uncertainty, a sense of accomplishment and most of all the inexplainable, unconditional love just to name a few. Over the past few years I experienced all of these and more; being a mom is the toughest and most rewarding role I’ve ever played and I wouldn’t change a second of it.
On April 13th we welcomed sweet baby L into the family and our party of 3 became a party of 4. I am now officially outnumbered because, surprise, it’s another boy! I knew in my soul I was destined to be a boy mom and I’m okay with that. How can I not be when I look at my sweet, perfect little boys?!
When we welcomed baby O into our world a few years ago everything was so fresh and new. We were terrified and excited to become parents and had no idea what to expect. It took a lot of adjusting but we figured it out (and are still figuring it out daily with our wild toddler !). Surely we would have it all figured out with baby #2…
While I was pregnant with baby #2 I constantly worried about being able to divide my time between 2 little humans. How could I possible love someone as much as I love baby O? How will baby O feel when he’s not the center of our universe? All of these self-doubting questions and more popped up while we prepared to become parents one more time.
I expected baby #2 to arrive early because baby O did but boy was I mistaken. After almost 2 weeks of doing EVERYTHING to induce labor naturally we finally made the decision to be induced on April 13th, bright and early.
I dreaded labor and delivery but it honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered. I went in pretty confident in my birth plan and better prepared for postpartum recovery. After a full day of laboring and a few minutes of pushing, baby L finally graced us with his presence at a whopping 8 lbs 15 oz. We were blessed with another happy, healthy baby boy and it was time to figure out the new normal.
I remember holding baby L in the hospital, looking at his cute little chunky face and I still had that nagging question that filled me with mom guilt what would baby O think? I was ready to go home and introduce my sweet boys but the hospital had another plan. We had to stay an extra night, which meant one more night away from my O, I was not happy.
Thank God for my husband because the next morning he went all the way back to the house to pick baby O up from my mom and bring him to meet his baby brother.
Their first meeting couldn’t have gone better. O was a little nervous but determined to hold and kiss his new “brobber”, and of course we let him. We spent the whole morning together and O did great. There were minimal tears when we had to take him home but I knew watching them together that it would all be fine.
We still have some adjusting to do but 3 weeks in we are finding our new normal. O gets plenty of mommy and daddy time and is learning the ropes with his baby brother. He helps bring him his blankie, sings him songs, and does his very best to snuggle baby L gently. I know my boys will forever have each other and share the same unconditional love.
To all the moms out there with unanswered questions just know it will all work out 💙
Without further ado, meet the newest member of The Beam Family.
We’re at it again! We loaded up the little man and decided to head 10+ hours from home to visit the family for the holidays.
More than anything I want baby O to know and bond with his family, which can be quite challenging since they are spread out from Dallas to Missouri and everywhere in between.
Regardless of distance I think it’s important we see family, especially for the holidays. So once again we packed up and headed north.
Traveling with a toddler is quite different than traveling with a baby. On the plus side we don’t have to worry about bottles, formula or washing bottles etc… But on the other hand a toddler is a lot more active and needs constant stimulation.
Here are a few helpful hints for traveling with a little one:
Pack snacks! I use those plastic tackle box things and provide a variety of snacks for O. It keeps them organized and he has lots of grazing options.
Buy some new hands on toys. He loved opening new books and toys in the car. They definitely kept his attention just trying to figure everything out. ( I bought a cheap magnetic drawing board from The Dollar Tree, a coloring book that just used a water pen, a a pop-it toy, and a few new books).
Charge the Kindle and/or IPad. I made sure to download engaging apps on the Kindle and his favorite Netflix and Disney + shows on the iPad. He didn’t spend much time on either but they were a lifesaver when he got cranky at the end!
I was really worried about the almost 11 hour trip home but he did fabulous! We stopped multiples times for snacks, diaper changes and to let him run around. We took our time and enjoyed the trip. 10/10 will continue to travel with Baby O and his new brother or sister when the time comes 🥰
I once was just ONE and then I found you I became WE and WE became TWO A few years of waiting And WE became THREE Our perfect little family Just daddy, Owen and me Now Owen’s almost TWO And it’s time for one more… Our sweet family of THREE Will soon become FOUR
The adventure continues, Baby Beam #2 will be arriving April 2022. Owen is so excited to be a big brother and we are ready to make our little family complete.
Summer is my absolute favorite time of the year. I work exponentially hard throughout the school year so I can relax and enjoy my vacations, which is exactly what we did this year.
From Mexico to the Texas coast, we had quite a few adventures with our little man in tow.
After Mexico we decided venture somewhere a little more local. Usually we enjoy South Padre Island in the summer but we decided to try our luck in Corpus Christi. I’ve heard good and bad things about CC and honesty, we enjoyed our trip and we will definitely be back. I found a great little beachfront Air B&B that we really loved. The only bummer was all the rain! But, even with the torrential down pours, we were able to enjoy the beach and explore the Corpus Christi Museum off Science.
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels
We booked a trip to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels early in the spring and honestly, I was only slightly looking forward to it. I did my research and found a ton of toddler activities throughout the parks so I knew there would plenty for our little water baby to enjoy. I on the other hand, am not a fan of water parks. We decided to stay in a little cabin located in the park and the location was great but other than that, I was unimpressed. I think we will save water parks for when baby O gets just a little bit older.
We did however have a pretty good little road trip and stopped at our favorite restaurant in Bastrop, Maxine’s on Main (check it out if you’re every there!)
Our final trip of the season was just this past weekend. We decided to join our friends on a little last-minute getaway to Galveston. Of course, it once again rained, but we were still able to soak up the sun, play in the sand, and enjoy our time together.
Unfortunately our sweet little summer is coming to an end but don’t worry, we already have lots of adventures planned for the fall!!!
They say that traveling is good for the body, mind, and soul and I overwhelmingly agree. We knew from the start that we wanted to instill our love of travel and adventure into our children and in order to do so we started right away. At 6 months baby O was on a 14 hour road trip to Colorado. At 12 months another mini road trip to see Santa. And at 18 months, we decided to take baby O on his first international vacation to Mexico.
The unpredictability of traveling with a little one had me not only apprehensive but very anxious. So many unknowns, would he be okay? Fussy? Sleepy? Throw a fit? I was pretty confident in my ability to calm him down in any situation so we packed up and headed to Mexico with a dozen of our favorite people.
When I planned this international family vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, I wasn’t anticipating a pandemic and I was completely unaware of how traveling with a toddler would be. Overall I was pleasantly surprised! Our first big vacation with our little one was a complete success! 1800+ miles away from home, 4+ hours on a plane, and zero meltdowns; he did so well!
Here are a few things I learned on this trip:
When traveling with a baby/toddler:
Pack snacks ! Not just for the airplane but for the resort/hotel as well. Baby O eats a lot and frequently. Snack are a necessity at all times of the day!
Keep them entertained. Whether your little one needs screen time, toys, or books, pack them all!
We took advantage of baby O being under 2 and he sat in our laps on the plane. Next time he will definitely get his own seat.
If possible, book the plane ride during baby’s nap schedule. Baby O slept on the plane both ways!
Pack extra necessities such as sunscreen and diapers. We packed enough but if we needed them, they were expensive at the resort.
When traveling to Mexico for the summer stay on the pacific side. The other side is swamped with seaweed from May to September. If I would have known this in advance I would have booked Puerto Vallarta instead of the Riviera Maya area.
Book a local photographer for family photos! It was inexpensive and easy to do.
We couldn’t have asked for a better first big trip with baby O. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed family time, and were able to watch our sweet boy enjoy vacation as much as we do.
I know I’m not alone when I say this school year was beyond exhausting for teachers across the globe. We have undoubtedly earned this years summer vacation. But, instead of spending our first weekend at home recuperating and decompressing, we packed up and headed to Fredericksburg to visit the elephants at The Preserve.
When I first heard that there was an elephant preserve in Texas I knew I had to go. Elephants are hands down my favorite animals and I’ve always been fascinated with them. After doing my research I booked our Air B&B and tickets to see the elephants. I figured this would be the perfect way to celebrate the end of a rough school year.
As always our Air B&B did not disappoint. If you’ve never rented an Air B&B I highly recommend you do so.
We checked in the night before so we had time to relax before the big elephant adventure. It was a good thing we prepared ahead of time because the Bearded One was a little under the weather. Lucky for us me and baby O had plenty of room to run around the AirB&B while the Bearded One rested up.
The day of our elephant encounter started off rainy but cleared up by the time we arrived. I was a little nervous that baby O would be scared of the elephants and I didn’t know what to exactly what to expect.
Each encounter only allows about 30 people so it wasn’t crowded and we all were able to interact with the 3 beautiful Asian Elephants (Rosie, Kitty and Becky).
They staff did an amazing job explaining everything about these fascinating animals. They were knowledgeable and made the experience not just educational but interactive and fun.
We were able to give Rosie a bath, take pictures with Becky, watch Kitty get a pedicure, and so much more. Everyone was allowed to interact with “the girls” and baby O wasn’t even scared!
Overall I give this experience 10/10 and I would definitely do it again! (We might wait until Baby O is a little older and more attentive).
If you’d like more information please follow this link:https://www.visitthepreserve.com/ . The staff said they would soon be adding more animals and exhibits so stay tuned!