• [#BamboobiesPartner] When I found out I needed a C-section with Blaire, the scar I would be left with was the last thing on my mind. While it's not what I'd call pretty, I do have to admit that it makes me smile because it reminds me of how strong I am. Now that we've had our last baby, I've started using Bamboobies® stretch mark + scar balm to help reduce the appearance of my scar. It is made with natural and organic ingredients—including vitamin e, sunflower oil, coconut oil and lavender—which I love. I know it will always be there, and I love that. It's such a precious reminder of what a mama will do to get her baby safely earth-side. From 3/1/20 - 3/15/20, @Target will have 20% off @bamboobies products. It's the perfect time to pick some up if you're wanting to try it for yourself!
  • Sloane has been working hard on this bod the last 4.5 months and she is ready to show it off. Come on warm weather! ☀️🥰 #happilytrista #momofthree #momof3 #honestmotherhood #fourthmonthsold #lovecarters
  • wishing a happy, happy birthday to my sweet six year old. the one who made me a mama. I set my alarm to wake up almost an hour earlier than usual. 🤣 made her a fun birthday breakfast, jason & I went to her school to take her lunch (and an afternoon snack for her class!) then hung out with her at recess. Ben & I made her a little cake while she was at school and wrapped her gift. she got to pick where we had dinner and we ended the night with our yummy birthday cake. she told us she felt so special all day and literally fell asleep with a smile on her face. seeing your kids grow up and develop, it’s fun to me to try to figure out her love language. she’s definitely a lover of quality time and words of affirmation... I just love birthdays so much! I love that they don’t have to be fancy... just small acts that show someone what they mean to you. #goblaireitsyourbday #happilytrista #momof3 #momofthree #mamahood #honestmotherhood
  • [ad] You know bedtime is a bit of a sore subject around here. I count the minutes to bedtime many days, but some nights bedtime itself seems to last hours. We are hoping to get Sloane started on the right foot when it comes to sleep, so we are just starting the @littleonesbabysleep program (for 3-12 month olds). I feel like I have a sleep guru holding my hand through this and I can’t wait to share our progress with you over the next month! 
#littleones #littleonessleep #littleonesbabysleep #happilytrista https://rebrand.ly/LittleOnesTrista
  • can someone PLEASE explain to me how someone so cute and sweet can also find so much joy in making me lose my darn mind? he gets in trouble and laughs. WHY?! he will be 3 next month and let me tell you I hope this combo of terrible twos and threenager is about to come to an end because 😅😅😅😅. #happilytrista #momofthree #threenager #terribletwos
  • 15 weeks ago • this picture was taken 15 weeks ago. I simply cannot believe it. I really don’t have much more to say other than time is a thief. #happilytrista #onemonthold #babywearing #wearallthebabies #1monthold
  • Q: what bites and scratches you like crazy when you try to feed her? A: my 4 month old. one of the things associated with her current leap is “wanting more physical contact when nursing” GIANT CHECKMARK THERE. [ad] I thought I was past needing nipple balm with each feeding, but nope. Here we are again. this Nursing Comfort Balm from @mustelausa is the bomb. 💣 it’s not sticky and hasn’t stained my clothes like some others. you can use my code to save 20% off when you order from mustelausa.com! it’s TRISTA20. Offer expires on February 28, 2020, 11:59 PM EST. #NewMomMustsBBxx #breastfeeding #happilytrista
  • feeling extra thankful for the skylight in our bathroom because this little girl lovesss staring at it while I shower. praise be for getting to shower without anyone crying. •

#happilytrista #candidslumber #babiesdontkeep #3under6 #momof3 #thosecheeks #siblings #loveyourjourney #motherhood #newbaby #thatsmiletho #realmotherhood #happycapture #motherhoodrising #honestmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw
  • Ben: Sloaney let me give you a kiss.
Sloane: *mom keep me up here*

#happilytrista #motherhoodintheraw #honestmotherhood #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #joyfulmamas #honestlymothering #therealparenthood #stopdropandmom #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #momof3
  • [#ruggablepartner] We have almost been in our house for 11 months. I can't believe it! We're finally making it feel like ours, room by room. I am so thankful for washable rugs by Ruggable Rugs. They are made up of two pieces, the top that is washable, and the bottom pad that you can easily wipe clean. I am showing ours more over in my stories. You can also use from code to save 15%, it's FUNTRISTA15! The link to shop is in my bio and in my stories. Okay, so who is harder on your floors... your kids or your pets? @ruggable #ruggable #happilytrista
  • #ad Do you remember the first items you added to your baby registry? The items you were super excited to receive because they made you realize just how close you were to welcoming your sweet baby? One of mine was the Boppy® Pillow. It came to the hospital with us when all three of our babies were born. Not only did it help me hold each of them while learning how to nurse, it also helped Blaire hold both Ben and Sloane for the first time. We keep it on the couch because I still use it while nursing Sloane, it just supports her perfectly and makes it so much easier! She loves laying in it and we even pull it down to the floor for her to do tummy time. The slipcover is machine washable, and we have an extra on hand to use while washing. Boppy® Pillow is now available at buybuyBABY.

@BoppyCompany #BoppyFeedingPillow #BoppyPartner #ShareMyBoppy #BoppyLove #happilytrista
July 10, 2019

things to do as a family in Bloomington, MN

Thank you to Crayola Experience for providing us with complimentary tickets.

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We wanted to use the long Fourth of July to get out of town as a family. Knowing we’ll be welcoming a new baby in just a few, short months, we’re wanting to make the most of our time together as a family of four. We decided to take a roadtrip to Bloomington, MN, the home of Mall of America. And gosh there are so many things to do in Bloomington, MN… especially if you have young kids/toddlers.

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Crayola Experience / Mall of America

I asked people for their recommendations (in my Instagram Stories) and the number one suggestion was the Crayola Experience at Mall of America. They’re open 10am – 6pm every day and you can come and go throughout the day. You cannot take in your own food/drink, but they do have snacks and a cafe available there. (Or you can leave to eat and come back.)

Their staff said it takes about 2 hours if you want to visit each activity, but I feel like we would’ve spent closer to 3 hours there if we did everything! It really was perfect for kids Blaire’s age (she’s 5). She was able to do each of the areas herself and was interested in everything. Ben (he is 2) loved wrapping the crayons, coloring the Scribble Scrubbies, Scribble Square and Toddler Town. (You can read about each area here). Children 2 and under are free. General Admission for 3+ is $21.99, but was $17.99 when purchased online vs. at the experience.

Crayola Experience at Mall of America
Crayola Experience at Mall of America
Crayola Experience at Mall of America
Crayola Experience at Mall of America
Nickelodeon Universe / Mall of America

I wasn’t sure there would be much for our kids since most of the rides seemed geared towards teens and adults, but I was pleasantly surprised! First of all, no matter your size/age you can get in line to meet various characters throughout the day. They have a character schedule online and each character is there for 30 minutes. We didn’t wait in line for more than 10 minutes for any of the characters we met. And each time there was someone extra. We thought we’d just see Chase but saw Chase and Marshall and then thought we were seeing Gill from Bubble Guppies, but we were able to see both Gill and Molly.

There were tons of rides both kids loved! Online and on each of the ticket kiosks the rides are grouped together by the size required to ride, as well as the size required to ride without a chaperone. The good news is if your child requires a chaperone for that ride, the chaperone is free. If you want to do a bunch of rides, the wrist band is definitely the best value!

In addition to Nickelodeon Universe there are also two mini golf courses located inside the mall. The kids had never played before, so it was fun to take them. Jason scores a hole in one on hole 18, so he won a free game. He and Blaire went back the next night and she even got a hole in one that round!

Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
Minnesota Zoo

We all loved this zoo! We went about 45 minutes after they opened. The line to get in was short and the only congestion was when we were walking through the first few exhibits. It was hot and humid, but there was lots of shade and they have stands with snacks, drinks, popsicles, etc. all throughout the zoo. I think we spent the most time in the farm area, even though we live in Iowa and see farm animals fairly often. Haha! I think it’s because they could so close to the farm animals and were able to pet them. There is a fun splash pad just inside the entrance to the zoo, so if it’s a hot day, definitely bring towels and swim suits for the kiddos. There are restrooms right there to make it convenient to change them.

Minnesota Zoo
Minnesota Zoo
Minnesota Zoo
Minnesota Zoo
Minnesota Twins Game / Target Field

This was the first MLB game either of our kids have ever been to. We have a minor league team in our hometown and they love to watch them play, but Blaire was blown away at the size of the stadium. It definitely got bonus points for all of the Target logos. We went on a Sunday so it was “kids day”. Kids meals were only $4 (for a hot dog, chips and a drink), there were games in the Target Plaza before the game and up until the 7th inning, autographs before the game and kids can run the bases after the game. The kids loved playing in “T.C.’s Clubhouse,” a playland type area where kids can play for free. We made it until the top of the 8th inning. It was hot, Ben fell asleep on Jason and the game was tied, so we decided not to stay to run the bases. It worked out in our favor because the game went into extra innings. Instead we went back to our hotel and the kids were able to meet the Bubble Guppies at Nickelodeon Universe.

The stadium does have Mother’s Rooms on a few levels, which I was excited to check out because I LOVE to see places thinking about the needs of mothers and babies, especially nursing moms who want privacy while feeding. The rooms were overflowing and they were cooled by a fan on the wall, so they were really hot and there was always a wait to be able to go in and sit down.

Pro Tip: Definitely head to the outfield to hunt down a bucket of fresh mini donuts.

Target Field / Minnesota Twins Game
Target Field / Minnesota Twins Game
Target Field / Minnesota Twins Game

We stayed at the Radisson Blu at Mall of America. It is attached to the mall, so it was really convenient! Jason got a really great deal through Priceline. We booked a King Room but they only had a Queen Room for us when we checked in. Each of us slept with a kid and I actually slept better than I do at home (where everyone climbs in our bed by morning). We tried the pool one night but were only able to make it for 20 minutes. It says it’s a Saltwater pool, but I swear my eyes burned so badly from chemicals in the air! I didn’t get in the water because it was cold and really crowded — two things kids don’t care about! Haha. You can park your car for free in the mall’s garages, you just have to fill out paperwork at the hotel’s front desk so security knows you’re staying at the hotel. Or you can pay to park in the hotel’s garage — around $20 per night. Overall it was a great hotel. The staff was all so nice!

Radisson Blu Mall of America Lobby

If you are looking for a fun, family-centered place in the Midwest, I’d definitely recommend Bloomington, MN / Mall of America! It was an easy drive from Iowa, the weather is beautiful there and the kids loved it.

things to do as a family in Bloomington, MN | Mall of America, Minnesota Zoo, Crayola Experience, Nickelodeon Universe

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    • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Breastfeeding.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
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#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
    • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
•
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    • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
    • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
    • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
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    • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
    • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
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#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
    • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
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    • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
•
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    • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
    • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
•
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