So please let me know if you guys are interested in this, but every Monday I thought it might be fun to share something regarding either motherhood or maternity. I find that hearing how other moms spend their days and tips they share are really useful. But, I promise this won’t be a total mommy blog. I will still blog about saving money, design, and fashion because that’s what I am interested in but I take my job as a full-time SAHM very seriously.
I am currently toying with the following theme days: (Thrifty Tuesdays? How We Do It Wednesdays (our routines/ habits/ DIYs), Thoughts for Thursdays (Design and Life), and of course Five for Friday/ Friday Favorites (which will include my fashion picks as well!) Occasionally, I might blog on a Saturday (like this past Saturday when I got in two shopping posts!) Now, in all likelihood I probably won’t be able to blog everyday forever (I see having a newborn putting a crimp in that plan;) but, I will plan on trying to publish those themed posts a couple days a week and up until then the more posts I get out the better! We still have a LOT to do in this house before baby comes, namely, starting on the nursery!
In the meantime, for our first Mommy Monday post, I thought I would share how our last Monday went in a sort of Day In the Life theme. Those are my favorite types of posts from other bloggers, and while this day was extraordinary (I will do another day in the life post soon on a normal day). Also, E was out of town all last week so I had to do more stuff with the dogs than I usually do. He is really helpful around the house with dishes after dinner, occasionally cooking on the weekends, and handles 80% of dog duties. I always find it interesting hearing other mom’s routines and their tips for excursions. Seriously Camp Patton and Sweet Southern Prep–how do you do it with so many little ones?! I find myself tired at the end of the day with one!
This past Monday, we went to the aquarium before my midwife appointment in Chicago. It was a beast of a day in terms of travel but B had a ball. Word to the wise: do not go to a free museum day on President’s Day. Luckily, my mother-in-law came with us, and I was able to drop off her and B at the museum and park the car (45 minute process). Below I have shared some tips and our schedule in case anyone is interested:
Tips for going to the Shedd Aquarium:
Go early (we didn’t go early enough and it was really crowded), also don’t go on national holidays. The museum was packed. We went on a free day at the Shedd (for all of the museum free days in Chicago, see this website.) For strollers, go to the stroller accessible entrance (on the right/ south side of the building). It has shorter lines than general admission usually as well! If you aren’t going on a free day (where you have to prove your residence with a state ID bypass the lines and buy a ticket online.) There is a nearby parking garage but it fills up really fast. I had to park at the Soldier Field parking lot which is probably a 10 minute walk.
Make sure to bring your own lunch or at least snacks for the little one. A stroller is really helpful for carting around not only kid but your coats and your diaper bag. They have coat lockers at the Shedd but they are really small. They are $1 for a full size (half height) and $0.75 for a small one.
And always, remember your diaper bag and hand sanitizer. Kids touch everything!
Ticket prices have changed this year. Previously, on a free day you get free general admission which is $8 savings for an adult, $6 savings for kids. You used to be able to access the Abbott Oceanarium (where the beluga whales are and the seals, and the otters are), and the Polar Play Zone (you can watch the penguins, and play on an interactive indoor slide/ play area) with general admission. But, now general admission does not permit you to go beyond the main floor. You can still see the Wild Reef, Amazon Rising, and Waters of the World. This was more than enough for B or most toddlers. Here is a printable map and explanation of the exhibits.
In the future, I would think about doing a City Pass if we were in Chicago for a few days and hit up a bunch of the big museums. Regular ticket prices for the Shedd (not including shows) are $31 for an adult, $22 for a child (children under 3 are free I believe). The prices can add up if you plan on seeing more than one museum. If you want to see more than three museums, I would recommend doing a City Pass for $94. Parking isn’t cheap either, it is $22 for the Shedd alone. If you are a public transit gal then you can even save more.
And here was our schedule:
7 AM B wakes up, put B in my bed with Netflix show while I feed the dogs, let them out, and take a shower.
7:15 After taking dogs out, leave them downstairs to eat breakfast, move dog beds from bedroom to office and doggy proof (make sure B hasn’t left any toys out that Ella might get into and chew). Tiaras and stuffed animals beware! Start oatmeal on the stove. Go upstairs and get dressed, grab B’s clothes, and bring her down to eat breakfast.
7:30 Breakfast for B and me, pack lunch for the museum and make sure diaper bag is good to go with nap stuff and glucose test for OB, throw stroller in car.
8:00 Clean up B, put dogs in dog zone (kitchen, bathroom, office, back hallway), lock house and start car
8:10 Load B into car, make sure we have a warm blanket, hats, mittens in case of car trouble (it is 16 degrees out and over three hours of driving so we always have to be prepared!)
8:15 Hit the road
9:45 Arrive in Oak Park, pick up Grandma and change diaper, drive into Chicago
10:20 Drop Grandma and B off at museum entrance with stroller, I park the car. Make sure to bring extra blanket for baby in the winter as the lobby is really cold and they had to wait for about 20 minutes in line.
11:10 After parking the car and waiting in line, I finally meet back up with them. Walk around the museum for an hour.
12:15 Leave museum for Oak Park. Give B her lunch in the car (PB sandwich, banana, applesauce squeeze pack, two slices Swiss cheese.)
1:00 Arrive at Grandma’s house, set up pack n’ play, go to the bathroom and drink glucose test drink
1:10 drive back into Chicago for 2:00 midwife appointment
2:00 midwife appointment, get blood drawn for glucose test.
2:40 leave Chicago for Oak Park
3:30 arrive in Oak Park and pick up B, give her a snack in the car and load second movie of the day on the iPad. Mom guilt ensues for having my kid in the car so much.
3:45 hit the road hoping to beat most of traffic
5:20 Come home, take dogs out, put dinner (stuffed pepper from the freezer) in the oven, warm up leftover mac n’ cheese for B because she is HUNGRY! B won’t eat it (what kid doesn’t like mac n’ cheese?) so I give her an apple with almond butter and a slice of cheese. It’s been a long day and even though I like to usually make her eat what is served for dinner, today I just want to get something in her stomach (and I am not going to force mac’n cheese down her throat if she is up for something healthier!)
6:00 clean up B after dinner, read books, clean up dishes, feed dogs dinner
7:00 tubby time for B followed by vitamins (big hit!) and teeth brushing (not a hit!)
7:30 B’s bedtime and I can finally relax and watch some Gilmore Girls on Netflix!
9:00 Take dogs out one more time (it is getting old–we desperately need to train them with the invisible fence!) call E to check in and go to bed!
Not too exciting of a day but definitely jam packed. My next appointment is in two weeks so I have planned it around another free day at a Chicago museum. Tying in an educational experience with the drive both ways helps me feel better dragging B around so much.
We use this Uppababy G-Luxe umbrella stroller when we are out and about. It is currently on sale for $199 because it is last year’s model. Here is this year’s model for $279.99. I think we paid around $212 for ours getting it at Buy Buy Baby with price-matching with Amazon 1.5 years ago.
If you want to read more about what we use in our house with B:
For what we do for baths (well what we used to do) but all of the products are the same, see this post.
For what vitamins we give her, see this post.
For what we bring when we travel overnight and what I keep in my diaper bag when traveling see here.
Alright, well I will be back tomorrow with a post on how we save money buying all of our meat in bulk! I am linking up today to a link party on motherhood, make sure to check it out and connect with other moms at Mommy Moments at The Life of Faith.