Wisconsin Dells 2018

We had a nice long weekend in the Dells for our annual trip.

THURSDAY
We finished packing up and headed towards the Dells around 10am.

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We stopped about an hour into the drive to get some lunch, nurse Owen, and then head back on the road. Liam ended up sleeping after lunch and Owen slept most of the drive too.

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We arrived at Sherrie’s house around 2pm after picking up some coffee and doughnuts.

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Liam was so excited and needed to explore everything. We had a relaxing afternoon at the house.

Owen was tired but unsure about his new sleeping arrangements so I ended up snuggling him. I was able to sneak away from him and had to take a picture of him looking so little in the big bed before transferring him to the pack and play. He slept for a little while before getting up again.

We had dinner and then continued to play outside. Liam also showed us some cool workout moves with the weights he found.

Liam wanted to help Sherrie make some bars and of course had to make sure they tasted good.

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We put Owen to bed but let Liam stay up until my parents arrived. Then he was off to bed too.

FRIDAY
Both boys were up fairly early and ready to play. Liam was excited grandma and grandpa were there and snuggled right up with them.

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We had some fun pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast Owen went down for his morning nap.

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When Owen woke up we finished getting ready so we could go do something fun.

We took a cute picture in our Badger gear and then headed to mini golf.

Liam was so excited to golf. He walked up to the first hole, put the ball down, hit it, and got a HOLE-IN-ONE! We couldn’t believe it. He was so proud!

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Owen was a good sport watching us all play.

It was such a good time. It got really hot by the end and Liam was ready to be done.

We went back to the house for lunch and nap time. We saw a deer on the way home too.

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My mom brought the walker for Owen and he was walking all over the place.

After nap we went to the Tommy Bartlett Show. Liam was really excited to see what it was all about.

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It had been a while since we all had been to the show so we were all excited to see what was going to happen and to see what Liam thought.

He was in a trance watching all the different people and tricks.

Then when it switched to the land show after intermission he was really into that too.

Owen and Liam both did great at the show and we can’t wait to go again!

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When we got home it was quick dinner time and then bed time for Owen. Liam wanted to snuggle Sherrie on the swing before he went to bed.

SATURDAY
Everyone was up bright and early again. Liam wanted to go to the show again but we told him we would do that next year and we would do something else today.

We decided to go to the Deer Park for our morning activity. There were tons of deer!

There were other animals too.

Liam had fun looking at all the different animals and deer.

We then went back to Sherrie’s for lunch and the boys’ nap time. They both took really good naps.

After nap we went swimming. It was so hot outside so it was perfect.

Then we had an early dinner and headed downtown to browse the shops. Liam and I sat on the stage while everyone else was shopping. He thought the boat was cool.

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We went to go see the big clock that tells a story but we had just missed it be a few minutes. Liam insisted we needed to stay to see it but we would have had to wait an hour.

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We went back to Sherrie’s and put both boys to bed.

SUNDAY
After a rough night of sleep from both boys’ I snuggled Owen up in bed with me and slept until 7:30.

We got up and started packing up for our drive back home.

We got a group picture quick and then were on our way.

We set our big boy up with a movie but he ended up falling asleep pretty quickly into our drive and Owen fell asleep almost instantly. Owen slept the whole drive home and Liam slept most of it.

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We were home around 12:30 and were thankful to have the rest of the day to get reorganized and back into routine.

We had a wonderful trip to the Dells and thank you to Sherrie for hosting and always being up for anything!

Oregon 2018 part 2

Our trip to Oregon continued!

Saturday
We kept up with our same routine in the morning. Joe went for a run first with Liam and then I went for a run with Liam. He is a chatty running buddy.

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Once DJ and Alena woke up it was story time with Joe. The kids just love him. So cute!

Then Tyler, Joe, DJ, and Liam headed to Voodoo Doughnuts to get us some deliciousness. The boys enjoyed a doughnut there before coming back with a bunch of different ones. So good.

We needed to go to the store to get a few things so we took all the kiddos except Liam because he was napping to give Tyler a little break. They were all so good at the store.

When we got back Liam was awake so we headed outside for play time.

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Liam loved jumping on the trampoline. He told me no pictures but I took some any way!

Tyler and Joe decided to try evening fishing so they took the boys but didn’t end up catching anything.

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Then it was bedtime for the kids and us too.

Sunday
We got both kids in the bed in the morning and got them both to go back to sleep! Owen slept until almost 8!

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Joe went for a run but I decided to take the day off. I hung out with Owen while Liam went with Joe.

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When Alena and DJ got up they went out for some morning fun with Liam on the trampoline.

We got dressed and ready and then headed outside.

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The kiddos had some fun playing outside. It was a sunny, beautiful day!

It’s hard to get all 4 kids together for a picture so when the opportunity came up I gave it a whirl! HA!

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We decided we all wanted to do something, so we looked into things going on in the area and decided to go to the Rose Festival. The mountains in the distance on the drive there were so cool.

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We walked along the water to get to the festival.

Once we got in I had to feed Owen so we went to the kid’s art tent for a puppet show and activities. The puppet show was very odd but the kids liked it. It was super hot too so as soon as I was done we booked it out of there.

The kiddie rides were at the far end of the festival so we started walking that way.

Liam was hesitant about going on the rides but once he went on he had a blast!

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Owen and Alena were having fun watching as well.

The boys had fun driving the cars and the 4-wheeler. Liam thought he was chasing DJ the whole time. Too cute!

Then it was my turn to talk Liam on a ride. DJ and Tyler were behind us.

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Then we took all the kids on the merry-go-round.

DJ and Liam both wanted to play some games so they played a fishing game and pick-a-duck.

We were all starving so we all get different fair food and ate at the fair. DJ got a yummy dessert too (and so did I).

On our way home we had to take an emergency potty break for Liam. So funny!

Monday
Owen turned 8 months old! He is growing so much and so quickly!

Joe went for a run with Liam and then I did. He really didn’t want to go with me so my run was pretty short.

Tyler picked us up some coffee in the morning and made breakfast.

Owen and Alena were both taking naps and we were ready for lunch. Joe and I took Liam and DJ in the wagon to Qdoba to get some burrito bowls and tacos.

After lunch they wanted smoothies so they had those also.

Liam went down for nap and I took Owen outside until he got tired. I didn’t want to interrupt Liam’s nap so I snuggled up with Owen and he took a nap. During this time Joe and Tyler went to the outlets to get some crocs.

After nap time we went outside again. Chelby brought out a snack and all the kids gathered around. So funny!

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Joe had a work meeting so he went to that while we kept playing. We went to the front yard to play more.

Chelby had a bench she wanted to paint and she let the boys help. They had fun.

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We let Alena and Owen hang in the wagon together. She was being a little flirt. They are so cute!

Liam was getting really good at riding DJ’s balance bike. So cool to watch him learn.

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I put Owen on DJ’s shoulders and he thought that was pretty great.

When Joe got back we ate dinner and then he watched the kids outside for a little bit before bed time. Alena gave him some good snuggles. She really likes Joe.

I did a little bit of packing to prep for travel the next day. I tried to get both boys down a little earlier to adjust to the time change.

Tyler went and picked up some ice cream for our last night and it was delicious! We ended up watching The Girl in the Bunker as well and stayed up later than we should have.

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Tuesday
Joe went for a run in the morning while I stayed with both boys. I cleaned up the house a little and washed our sheets while I packed some more.

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Liam wanted to play with as much as possible before we left.

We gave Chelby and the kids hugs goodbye before heading to the airport with Tyler.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. We got some lunch and then went to the airport kid play area. How cool they have a spot for kids to play! I nursed Owen while in there and Liam played.

We boarded our plan and ended up sitting for an hour before they let us get off the plane due to a delay because of thunderstorms at MSP. Owen had slept while we were on the plane for that hour so him and Liam were both ready to play again when they let us off.

They said it would be at least another hour before we boarded so we went back to the play area and let the kids go crazy.

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We changed the boys into their pajamas and got back on the plane around 4:15 for our 1:30pm flight. Quite the delay!

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Even though the delay totally sucked, both boys did pretty good on the plane. Liam was a little crabby because he didn’t nap and by the time we landed it was way past his bedtime.

We got to baggage claim by 10:15pm. My dad picked us up. It took forever to get our bags. We ended up getting home around 11:30pm. So late! Right to bed we went!

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We had such a wonderful vacation. It is always fun visiting Tyler and Chelby and kids. They are great hosts! All the kids played so well together. It was great! Can’t wait to visit again.

Oregon 2018 part 1

We could not wait to visit our friends Tyler, Chelby, DJ, and Alena in Oregon! We have visited before but always felt our trips were too short so we decided to go for a week this time. Here is the first half of our week there:

Wednesday
We headed to the airport around 8am to make sure we made it through security and to our gate in time with two little ones. We ended up getting Subway once we there and we all were hungry so we just ate lunch early.

Once we got on the plane we hooked Liam up with his headphones and the iPad and let him watch shows. He was so good. Owen nursed during take off and then fell asleep almost instantly. He slept most of the flight. Liam and Owen both did really great on the plane.

We landed in Portland around 2:30 and waited FOREVER at baggage claim for our bags. Then Tyler picked us up and we headed to his house.

We got settled into our room we were staying in, tried to get the littles to nap, and then headed outside for some play time and relaxation.

Liam loved all the “new” toys and all the kids were excited to play together.

They even had a fun play space for Owen.

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They made us a meatball dinner and then we had individual ice creams for dessert. We told the boys after they ate half that they could save the rest for later (and then at every meal moving forward they wanted to save it for later).

Then it was time for our kids to go to bed. Joe did bedtime prayers and all the kids wanted in on it. So cute how they all cuddled up together.

Liam slept in the same room as Alena and Owen slept in our room.

Thursday
Liam ended up getting up around 4:30am. Tyler brought him to our room and we tried to get him to lay back down and go to sleep but he wasn’t really having it. Owen woke up around 5:30am and so that is when our day began.

Tyler, Chelby, and kids like to sleep in so we had time to kill in the morning. Joe took Owen for a run and then when he returned I took him for a run. Such a pretty run!

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When Ty got up he made breakfast for everyone. We hung out for a little while and then the guys decided to take the boys fishing.

The little boys decided they wanted to wear cowboy boots and cowboy hats fishing. They looked so cute!

Both the little ones caught a fish. They were super excited.

Liam wasn’t sure about getting too close though.

We had some play time at the house. Alena and Owen had some fun together.

So much fun hanging out with the kids and letting them play together.

We decided to go to Abby’s Legendary Pizza for dinner. It was an easy place to bring the kids with a salad bar and pizza. It was perfect and easy with 4 little ones.

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When we got home all the kids wanted to wear princess night gowns to bed. Seriously they crack me up! How cute!

The boys had to get one more round of practicing fishing in before calling it a night.

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Friday
We had another earlier morning but now as early as the last. We actually had Liam sleep in our room and he did really well.

Joe took Liam for a run in the morning and then he wanted to go again with me so I also took Liam for a run. They have the perfect running trails (with some deadly hills) to get a good workout in.

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We order breakfast from Biscuits Cafe for pick up. It was super good!

They guys took the boys fishing again and they had a ton of fun. They both caught fish again too.

The kids were all extra cranky for whatever reason. Tyler picked up Dutch bros coffee for us which was nice and needed.

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Alena and Owen are too cute together. Both are super bossy!

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I ended up taking Owen for a walk because he was so cranky. I thought he would fall asleep but he didn’t.

We played outside for a little bit.

The boys were loving jumping on the trampoline together and doing “flips.”

We then headed inside for bath time and jammie time.

I even got a little night time back massage from DJ!

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Those are the first few days of our trip! Stay tuned for Oregon part 2!

Washington DC

I took an extended weekend to go to Washington DC to visit my friend Amanda. I decided to bring Owen with. This was my first time in DC so I was excited to see Amanda and do some exploring.

THURSDAY
I decided I wanted to get a quick morning workout in since I would be missing my evening Zumba class. I got up early and went for a slow run that ended up being just over a mile but felt like 3 miles haha! I haven’t ran in a long time but overall it felt good to get outside, it felt good to run, and it felt good to get some exercise in before starting my day of travel.

 

My flight was at 12:25 so Joe, Liam, Owen, and I spent the morning together. Then we brought Liam to daycare and Joe dropped Owen and me off at the airport. We went straight to the security line and waited. It was a pretty long wait but Owen didn’t mind.

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Once we finally got to our gate there was about 8 minutes until boarding. We had made it just in time. However, there ended up being some maintenance that needed to be done so the flight got delayed by 30 minutes. Owen got a little fussy waiting (he was hungry and tired) but overall did great.

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They gave me a row to myself (they were 2 seat rows) which was so nice and let me bring Owen’s infant seat on. This was so nice because he ended up falling asleep and staying asleep the whole plane ride since he was in his seat and it gave me free hands.

 

Owen was awake once we landed and happy as could be. Amanda met us at the airport and we took a Lyft ride back to her place.

 

Owen was happy to not be travelling anymore (and me too). We decided to take a stroll outside to go to Sweet Greens for dinner. It is basically made to order salads and it was super good!

 

We headed back to Amanda’s place to put Owen to sleep and spent the rest of our evening chatting and catching up.

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FRIDAY
We had a pretty uneventful morning. It was a little rainy outside so we just stuck with Owen’s morning routine until things cleared up. He went down for his nap and we decided after his nap we would go see some of the monuments. Well he decided to sleep for over 2.5 hours. What a stinker, but I suppose he needed the rest!

 

We walked towards the monuments and saw some beautiful tulips, the Capital One Arena, and got some coffee at Compass Coffee.

 

We decided to stroll through the sculpture garden on our way. It was pretty neat.

 

We made our first stop at Washington Monument. It was pretty cool to see! We couldn’t get too close because of construction but what a neat monument.

 

From the Washington Monument we could see the Jefferson Memorial. It would have made our travels extra long to walk to it so we just admired from afar.

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Then we made our way to the World War II Memorial. Another really neat memorial with a lot of details to the structure. Such a cool thing to walk through.

 

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We then made our way to the Reflecting Pool. Owen was such a trooper and enjoyed getting out of the stroller to take a few pictures.

 

There were quite a few ducks swimming around in the Reflecting Pool. It was really a peaceful area and not too crowded with tourists.

 

We then walked over to the Lincoln Memorial. There was a beautiful view of the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool from the stairs leading up to Abraham Lincoln.

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I decided to just head up the stairs on my own to get a close up of the Lincoln Memorial. It is a large structure and the columns were just beautiful. Amanda stayed with Owen at the bottom of the stairs.

 

We took a quick glance and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

 

Then we headed towards the White House. On the way there we saw so many colorful trees and Constitution Hall.

 

We got a side view of the White House on the way and saw the snipers up top keeping an eye on everyone.

 

Then we made it to the front of the building. There were many pretty and colorful flowers. Owen fell asleep on the way there.

 

We were starving after our 6.2 mile walk around the monuments. We decided to pick up some Mediterranean food. We got it to go and walked by Chinatown (Amanda’s apartment is in Chinatown) and saw the Chinatown bridge.

 

We spent the rest of the evening at Amanda’s and were exhausted from all the walking we did.

 

SATURDAY
Little man turned 7 months old so we did a little photo shoot in the morning.

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Amanda had to head to the yoga studio for a few hours so I lounged with Owen. Once he went down for nap I did a quick at home body-weight workout and then showered and got ready for the day.

Before Amanda returned she picked up Sweet Green salads for us to bring with for out adventure of the day.

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Once Owen woke up for his nap we scheduled a Lyft driver to pick us up and headed to the United States National Arboretum. Owen was a little cool dude in his hat and sunglasses.

 

It was a beautiful day to be outside and the flowers were stunning!

 

We went to see the Bonsai trees first. There was the Chinese Bonsai tree exhibit and the Japanese Bonsai tree exhibit. They were all really fun to look at and one was from the year 1625!

 

Shortly after we arrived Owen fell asleep. There were some more flowers and just great landscaping we enjoyed before sitting on a bench for lunch.

 

After we ate we headed over to see these columns we could see in the distance. They were from the United States Capitol. These columns provided the backdrop for presidential inaugurations from 1829-1957 and were the site of many speeches, protests, and rallies. In 1958 the columns were dismantled to make way for the east front extension of the Capitol.

 

After the columns we went to see the Azalea collection however, it really wasn’t stroller accessible so I sent Amanda on her own while Owen and I stayed in the shade (and he continued to sleep).

 

We were able once she came back to walk along the edge of the trail and see some of the beautiful azaleas.

 

We then headed back to Amanda’s apartment to feed Owen and rest. We decided to go to &pizza for dinner. There was an interesting pizza call The Blueprint that I decided to try and it was super delicious!

 

We headed back to Amanda’s apartment for the remainder of the evening. I did some packing in preparation for our travels the next morning.

SUNDAY
It was a quick morning. I scheduled a Lyft driver for 8am for our 10:05 flight. It was a breeze getting through security and we had plenty of time before it was time to board the plane. I stopped and got a coffee from Dunkin Donuts and then sat and waited at the gate.

When it was time to board they let Owen and me on first which was super nice. We were the only ones on the plane for a while so I didn’t feel rushed to get the stroller folded and settled into our seat while others waited.

We had an amazing flight attendant who helped me out while I put our carry-on away and got all things ready (and went pee quick before take off). She was super nice and I am so thankful for her help.

 

Shortly after take off Owen fell asleep. I didn’t get to bring my infant carrier on this time because I didn’t know I would have the 2 seater row to myself again but I did. So I had to hold Owen during the flight which caused for some disrupted sleep for him. He was a really good flyer again.

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When we landed Joe and Liam picked us up. Joe had packed me a lunch which was so nice!

Liam ended up napping on the drive to pick us up so once we got home and put him down for nap, he wasn’t having it. We decided to let him get up. It was nice out so I took both boys for a quick walk outside.

Then we decided to go visit my parents. My brother and his two youngest kids ended up coming over too so we were also able to see them.

 

Then we headed to pick up take out at a new food place in town call VuDu Street Food. It was definitely greasy and some things were better than others. Not something I would crave in the near future.

After dinner we relaxed, put the boys to bed, and then being exhausted went to bed shortly after.

Owen and I had so much fun in DC. Thank you Amanda for letting us crash at your place and bringing us all over. 

Wisconsin Dells 2017

We had a wonderful family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells to visit my Aunt Sherrie. My parents, brother Blake, and brother Sean and his family all went to spend the weekend together.

FRIDAY

I started Friday bright and early with a morning workout. I wasn’t sure how much exercising I would be doing over the weekend so I wanted to get a workout in before vacation started. It felt so good to get it done and out of the way.

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I had an oil change scheduled for the morning so Liam and I went to do that. While we waited we headed next door to our local Farm and Home to look at the animals. Liam loved the fish and the birds. He liked the puppies too but cringed when he saw the mice. He did not like them at all.

Then we went back to the dealership to wait for my car to get done. Liam convinced me to give him half a cookie while we waited (who am I kidding, I wanted a cookie and he made me share lol).

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Then it was home to finish packing up and wait for Joe to get home so we could hit the road.

My parents, Blake, and Sean and his family all left Thursday night and spent Friday at the water park with Sherrie. Once we arrived at the Dells we quick dropped our things off at Sherrie’s and went to Noah’s Ark water park.

My mom and Sherrie met us at the kiddie pool when we arrived. We let Liam adjust to where we were and warm up to the excitement. It didn’t take him long.

Then we went to find the others. We found my dad and Blake lounging in the shade. Liam was excited to see them.

Then we found the others. We headed to another kiddie pool to hang out and let the little one’s play.

Liam had a blast playing with Uncle Blake. He had fun splashing and running in the water. He loves his “Uncle Bait.”

Sean and his family decided to close down the water park and the rest of us headed downtown to MACS for some mac-and-cheese. I had the Memphis Mac and Joe had the Chipotle Mac. Both were soooo good!

Then we went to get Liam a Packer hat. Joe and I also got some Wisconsin gear.

There was live music so we watched that for a little while. Liam did some dancing in the street. He was having so much fun.

It was starting to get late so we headed back to Sherrie’s to put Liam to bed. We stayed up and chatted for a little while before calling it a night ourselves.

SATURDAY

Joe was up early and went for a 4 mile run. He is crazy but he got his exercise in bright and early before most people were awake. Liam was up pretty early too but I left him for a little while because I knew he would wake everyone up if I got him right away. Once I did get him he was ready to play.

He wanted to go outside so Sherrie got some toys out and he played outside for a while.

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Then I wanted to go for a walk so me, Liam, Joe, my mom, Sherrie, and Ayla all went for a walk. It was a quick one but it was good to get moving.

After our walk it was time for a little watermelon snack.

Liam played outside more and then everyone was ready for some lunch. He found a cute headband he wanted to wear. So adorable!

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Sean and his family decided to spend the day downtown. Joe, my dad, Blake, and my cousin Andrew went mini golfing and on the go-carts. That left a really quiet house for me, Sherrie, my mom, and Liam. It was perfect for Liam to take a nap. I decided to shower and get ready while he was down and my mom and Sherrie spent some time in the pool.

Liam woke up tired and snuggly after nap. I did not mind the extra snuggles. Once he woke up we all finished getting ready and headed in to mini golf.

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There was a park at mini golf that we had Liam play at while we waited for Sean and his family to meet us there.

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We also took a family picture while we waited for everyone to be ready to golf.

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We ended up splitting up for mini golf because we were a pretty large group and some of us just moved ahead a little quicker. Joe, Blake, Liam and I ended up moving ahead and letting Liam hit a bunch of balls into the holes. He was loving hitting the balls and he LOVED his little putter.

Liam and Blake had to take a rest on the greens because it was so hot outside.

After mini golf we went back to Sherrie’s for a burger cook off between Sean and Joe. Both burgers were very different and most people said they liked both. It was really a great summer meal.

After dinner Liam wanted to swim so Sherrie took him swimming. He had so much fun even though he only wanted to swim for about 10 minutes.

Then it was Liam’s bed time. We put him down and my mom and Sherrie were so kind and offered to watch him while Joe and I had a little date night.  I wanted to do some “competitive” mini golf so we did that. We chose a different course then earlier in the day and had a lot of fun. It was so nice to be able to relax and just enjoy some time together.

When we got back to Sherrie’s my dad picked up Joe and they went off for a boy’s night of Zombie combat and go-karts. I checked on Liam before heading to bed for the night. He looked adorable and so big all stretched out in his bed. I was exhausted after the busy day so I was glad to stay home and crawl into bed.

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SUNDAY

Liam was up pretty early again and ready to take on the day. He wanted to see everyone who was sleeping, he wanted watermelon for breakfast, and he wanted to play outside. He is so funny!

Liam and my dad watched some dirt bike videos in the morning to keep him entertained for a little while. Liam was totally into it.

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Then we all had a big family breakfast together. It was really good. After breakfast we packed up our things and got ready for the drive home. We left around nap time in the hopes that Liam would take a good nap. He slept almost the whole ride home which was perfect.

We ended up going straight to my parent’s house and ended up being lazy with them. It was super hot outside so my dad took Liam swimming while Joe picked up pizzas and sweet corn on the cob for dinner.

After dinner we headed back home to unpack a little, give Liam a bath, and relax. Joe and Liam were very relaxed during movie time. We all ended up in bed before 8pm.

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We had a wonderful weekend in the Dells and we are so thankful to Sherrie for letting us visit her. We can’t wait to visit again.

Our vacation to Oregon part 2

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all amazing days on our vacation but we also had the best days Saturday, Sunday, and Monday!

SATURDAY

Liam woke up pretty early in the morning again but did go back to sleep in bed with us. Joe captured Liam and I dreaming and snuggling.

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The kiddos were ready to play right away in the morning again. Joe read them stories and played more ring around the rosie with them.

Chelby had school from about 10-2:30. It really was good timing for her class because basically it was lunch and then nap time that she missed. It was a beautiful day so we took the kids outside for some play time before lunch.

The guys tended to the boys while I snuggled up with Alena. She enjoyed the fresh air as well.

Then we went inside to put the boys down and Alena. I was able to get some really great sleep snuggles with her.

All the littles woke up so happy and ready to play. We decided to go for a walk to a park nearby.

Liam and DJ loved the park. I took Liam down the slide before I realized it wasn’t super fast and he could do it on his own.

There was so much to do at the park. It was also very clean and not too busy. Liam was able to “run free” for the most part and explore.

We sent Liam and DJ down the slide together. They thought it was pretty great.

They were both exhausted on the walk home. I couldn’t even get a good picture of them.

We let them play outside a little longer once we got home. Tyler was cooking dinner so we figured the kids would be better entertained outside. Liam loved their trampoline.

We had dinner, played a little longer, and then put the tired little ones to bed. Tyler picked me up some local cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. It was super yummy!

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Then it was bed time for me as well.

SUNDAY

Liam finally slept through the night in the pack and play and didn’t get up until about 6. Thank goodness!

We decided to head to Voodoo Doughnuts in the morning. We picked up a bunch of different kinds and brought them home to try. They were crazy combos and all were pretty good! My favorite was the Homer -a plain doughnut with strawberry frosting.

Liam wanted some Alena snuggles when we got back so that is what he got! So cute!

Chelby was then holding Alena and Liam really wanted to be by her, and then DJ wanted to be there too so she got surrounded by the kids.

I decided I needed to get outside and exercise after trying all those doughnuts. I went for maybe a 2-2.5 mile walk/run. It felt so good. Then I made Chelby and me a yummy smoothie that she showed me how to make. So good! (Coconut milk, plain greek yogurt, banana, spinach, and frozen blueberries —yum!)

After the kids were done napping we decided to head to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Seriously the tulip fields are so pretty however we all felt the tulip fields in Washington were better, but this tulip field offered more for the children to do.

We got some really great pictures with the tulips.

Honestly I took way to many but it was so pretty!

Liam wasn’t really into the tulips much and wanted to play on the tractors but we still were able to snap some cute pics of him.

They had pony rides which we thought Liam might like however he had no interest at all. DJ loved the pony ride though and did so good. Liam watched with much concern.

The boys also went into a bounce house. Liam liked that for a few minutes but then he was done. DJ ran all over the place and loved the bounce house too. There was a slide and some wooden shoes they could sit in.

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After, we went home and ordered some pizzas for dinner. We played outside a little longer because it was so nice out.

After pizza Chelby, Joe, Liam, and DJ all went back outside to paint a project for DJ’s gymboree teacher.

Liam was exhausted by bed time which was good. He went down pretty easily. I was also exhausted and again ended up in bed pretty early. I had to tell Ty bye before heading to bed because he had to leave early in the morning. It’s always sad saying good-bye but on the bright side I get to see him in a month (for a wedding)!

MONDAY

Liam slept until 5 in the pack and play and then slept until almost 7am in bed with me and Joe. It was so nice to get some extra rest.

This was our final morning in Oregon. We had to be to the airport by 11:30am. Chelby dressed Alena in one the outfits we got her so that we could see how cute she was in it in person. She definitely was/is adorable!

We tried to get a good picture of the 3 kids and I think we got a pretty good one! They are just so darn cute!

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I soaked up a few more Alena snuggles before we had to head out the door. Chelby brought us to the airport where we said our good-byes. Liam even gave her a hug and a kiss.

Liam was good on the flight again however he only slept for about an hour of the flight this time.

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My mom picked us up at the airport and we headed home. We ended up getting home around 8pm. We put Liam to bed, unpacked a little, threw a load of laundry in, looked at some pictures, and then also headed to bed.

We really had such a wonderful vacation. It was so hard to leave Tyler, Chelby, DJ, and Alena but we are so thankful we get to see them again soon. We truly can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and friendship.

Our vacation to Oregon part 1

We had the most wonderful time in Oregon visiting our friends Tyler and Chelby and their two little ones DJ and Alena. We honestly cannot say thank you enough. They were wonderful hosts and took such good care of us while we invaded their home. Below I will include Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of our vacation. I will post part 2 soon after on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of the vacation.

WEDNESDAY

We got up early and got ready to head to the airport. Liam insisted on having his morning smoothie.

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My brother Blake dropped us off for our 9:55 flight to Portland. Liam did such a good job on the plane and ended up sleeping for almost 2 hours of the flight. He really is a good traveler.

We arrived in Portland around 11:30. Tyler and DJ picked us up and we decided to head to a few waterfalls right away.

First we went to Multnomah waterfall. It was a little chilly and very misty from the water but it was so cool!

Then we went to Wahkeena waterfall. This waterfall was also really amazing to look at.

After the waterfalls we headed to Tyler and Chelby’s home in Wilsonville. When we got there we finally got to meet the adorable Alena Grace. Chelby dressed her so cute for our arrival. Liam was super excited to see the baby as well. He wanted to hold her. As you can see in the picture he wasn’t exactly sure how to hold her but he loved it!

They had made us yummy chicken tacos in the crockpot for dinner. They were super delicious!

Chelby had school in the evening but that was okay because we spent the remainder of the evening letting the kids play, snuggling Alena, and hanging out. We ended up in bed pretty early because of the time change but it was the perfect day and beginning to our vacation.

THURSDAY

Liam had a super rough night of sleep. We shared a room and he just wasn’t used to the new space so he ended up in bed with me and Joe. He woke up just about every hour to see if it was time to get up yet. Then at 4 he decided it was time. He stayed quiet and snuggled but wasn’t going back to bed. Little stinker!

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Since Liam was up so early Joe took him for a walk to go get coffee so that he was quiet while everyone else slept. I took that time to get ready for the day so that I could spend time with everyone else once they were awake.

Once DJ was awake we let the little ones play all morning. Liam was excited to see DJ and Alena in the morning.

Tyler had to go to work for the day which was okay and we knew would happen part of the vacation. He didn’t have to leave very early though and got home early too. I got to spend some quality time reading to little Alena throughout the hustle and bustle of the morning.

DJ goes to Gymboree on Thursday mornings so we were able to join them. Liam wasn’t too sure about the experience but did love bits and pieces of it. He would take breaks to go say hi to baby Alena which was sooo cute! He really loved doing Humpty Dumpty, Ring around the Rosie, and pretending to be a train.

After Gymboree Chelby took us to Dutch Bros to get some coffee. Oh my gosh….it was so good. Then we went home for lunch.

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I soaked up a bunch of baby snuggles after lunch and Liam snuck in some baby kisses before he went down for his nap.

After nap Tyler, Joe, DJ, Liam, and I went for a bike ride to the park. It was a beautiful afternoon and it was nice to get outside and enjoy it.

Chelby had school again in the evening but before she left we all had cauliflower fried rice for dinner. It was so good. I can’t wait to make it at home.

We again spent the evening just hanging out and relaxing. Joe went to give Liam a bath and DJ decided he want one too and crawled right in with Liam. It was so cute!

Then it was bed time for the little guys and shortly after it was bed time for me. Travelling and baby growing took a lot out of me (plus being up at 4am….)!

FRIDAY

Liam was up early again but slept much better than the night before. We again tried to keep him quiet so he didn’t wake anyone else up. He relaxed in the baby’s rock and play with his milk and watched cartoons. So funny!

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We decided to go for a morning walk while everyone slept. We also wanted to get some exercise in so it was perfect. We went for a nice long walk before heading back to the house. The trees are beautiful and huge and everything is so green and pretty. It was a really nice walk.

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Then, of course, it was morning play time again. Could these kids be any cuter?!?

Joe played ring around the rosie with the boys which they loved! I loved watching too. Alena got dressed super cute for the day and was just the most adorable little sleeper!

We decided to head to the coast after lunch. It was super windy and chilly but it was fun. Liam loved playing with the sticks and rocks on the beach. The ocean was so pretty and the waves were huge. It was so cool to see it and I am so glad we made the trip.

After the ocean we went to the casino for all you can eat seafood. We had a little bit of a wait so of course we tried to get some pics of the boys. The sun was too bright so the pictures are kind of dark but they were smiling and cooperating so well!

Once we sat down everyone hustled to fill their plates. I am not into seafood so I had to eat some of the other items but everyone else really enjoyed it!

Then it was back home to relax and let the boys burn some energy and go to bed.

Our first few days of vacation were amazing! Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were great too and that post will be coming soon!

 

Packing for a week in Mexico with a toddler

Honestly the thought of this was so overwhelming to me. I made sure to make a list and do a lot of research before packing for Liam.

I knew regardless of the research I would over pack just because I would rather be prepared. I decided to make a list of all the things we packed for Liam and whether it was necessary or not. I’m hopeful that this list helps others who are planning a vacation with a little one.

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This post will show what we packed in black and my feedback once we returned in red.

To the airport (going):

  • Pajamas-we had an early flight so we kept Liam in his pajamas.
  • Sweatshirt -to keep warm but also have as spare for chilly evenings and for the return to the frigid cold.
  • Socks-it is the dead of winter and cold so socks are a must; plus they will be nice to have as spares if the room is cold or we have a chillier evening –so thankful we had these because Liam ended up getting blisters and needed to wear socks with his shoes.
  • Keens -these are the shoes he will be wearing in Mexico as they are durable and breathable; plus since he will be carried into and out of the airport quickly we don’t have to worry about snow
  • Jacket -again it’s the dead of winter but we will be leaving this in the vehicle

Carry-On (diaper backpack):

  • changing pad
  • wipes
  • 6 diapers –3 or 4 would have been fine but it was nice to have extra
  • 2 spare outfits in a ziploc bag-Our flight was early in the morning so we left Liam in his pajamas. One of these outfits was for him to change into once we landed and the other was a spare just in case; the ziploc bag was for the dirty clothes if an accident did occur. The spare outfit is pants/tshirt combo so he can wear the pants home at the end of vacation. –this seemed like the right amount to me; better safe than sorry.
  • water cup
  • toys/books-I brought 2 small books with only pictures that he enjoys flipping through, 1 larger book lift-the-flap book, and his buckle turtle (he likes buckles) –he really did not play with any of these; not sure what my recommendation would be but he was way more into the people and things on the plane.
  • security item -Liam’s is a blanket –beyond necessary!
  • snacks-I brought 3 different snack items since he is a toddler and we flew during his breakfast time –he ate one of the snacks (an applesauce pouch) and we ended up buying him a fruit cup and banana at the airport
  • Ipad -Liam has never played games on our phones or on the iPad but we downloaded some apps for him to use at the airport and on the plane if necessary – entertained him for maybe 2 minutes. Should have given him a little exposure prior to the trip but not sure that would have helped either.
  • Soft blanket – this was nice to have on the plane
  • kids neck pillow –really helped support his head and my arm once he fell asleep. I would bring it again

Suitcase:

  • just under 60 diapers -I know this sounds like a lot but when we were planning for 7 days away we decided to bring extra due to the number of changes from swim diaper to regular diaper that may occur as well as the possibility of a reaction to some of his dietary options. –this was twice as many as we actually used and he had quite a few #2 diapers so use your best judgement but I would say 40 is plenty for 7 days.
  • 7 sleep diapers -we use pampers baby dry diapers at night time and pampers cruisers during the day –perfect amount.
  • around 40 swim diapers -again I know this sounds like a lot but thinking about the number of times he may be going in and out of the water I wanted to play it on the safe side. –Liam only went swimming a few times as he didn’t really enjoy it (water was a little chilly in the pools. The ocean was warmer but it scared him). I would recommend bringing 1 pack not 2 like we did and that would be plenty if your toddler does enjoy swimming.
  • Wipes – We ended up using all our diaper bag/travel wipes and so one full pack of wipes was great to have in addition to the travel/diaper bag wipes.
  • Security item -we have multiple of Liam’s favorite blankets so we packed a large one in the suitcase and a small on in the carry on
  • Clothes
    • 4 pairs of pajamas -I wasn’t sure on room temperature so I brought 2 shorts/t shirt pajamas, 1 tshirt/pants pajama, and 1 long sleeve/pant pajama –we did not use the long sleeve/pant combo but all other pairs were worn.
    • 3 swim shirts/3 swim trunks -again with being in and out of the water I wanted to have dry options for Liam – I would recommend at least 2 swim suits for sure and 3 if your child enjoys swimming. It is always nice to have a dry set.
    • 2 sun hats and 1 ball cap –the variety of options allowed Liam to wear the hat he wanted.
    • 3 bodysuits -one tank top/short and two tshirt/short – he wore all of these.
    • 3 dressy tshirt/short outfits -for pictures or nice dinners –he wore all of these.
    • 1 shorts/tshirt combos – he wore both.
    • 3 shorts/tank top combos – he wore all 3
    • 2 extra t-shirts –he wore these
    • 2 extra tank tops – he did not wear these
    • 1 light long sleeve zip up – wore this every day. Maybe would pack 2 next time.
    • 1 pair of socks –he did wear these and could have used an additional pair.
  • Thermometer/nail clipper/Tylenol/Ibuprofen/nose aspirator (nose Frida) –I used all but the thermometer but was glad to have packed it just in case.
  • 2 different diaper rash creams-Liam has not had a lot of experience with diaper rash so I brought 2 different kinds just to be sure -I read that humid temperatures can cause more diaper rash. Plus with being in and out of the water I figured all that moisture could lead to more rashes as well. – Liam did really good with rashes until the final few days. All the fruit he was eating loosened things up so I was glad to have these.
  • Sunscreen -one spray bottle and one lotion both 50 SPF – used every day; the lotion was good for his face and the spray made for quick and easy application
  • Milk cup –used every day
  • Snacks -some extras to have in the room if necessary and for the flight home –these were great to have in the room.
  • Toys -bedtime books, 1 toy car for the room, 1 toy car for the beach/pool, 2 plastic bath books for the pool or bath, plush Mickey Mouse –he was not interested in any of the toys except the bedtime books and the truck for outside
  • Portable crib sheet -crib provided by hotel –it did not fit for some reason.
  • Bubble bath/shampoo –yes!
  • toothbrush/toothpaste –yes!
  • forks and spoons –glad we brought these as Liam now requests to have a spoon or fork with his meals.
  • disposable bibs –These were very convenient for meals and could just toss them after.
  • 2 chair floats-one with canopy and other for spare if first one pops –I would recommend bringing only one. They have places to buy one if you need it.
  • outlet protectors –This made so much sense to me but we did not use these.
  • monitor –so amazing to have this.
  • sleep owl noise maker and night light –so glad we packed this.

To the airport (home):

  • Tshirt and pants
  • keens
  • sweatshirt and socks packed to add on once out of the warm temperatures

We also had to bring:

  • Liam’s car seat – this ended up being unnecessary as our transfer vehicle to the resort did not have buckles to strap the car seat in. –We had a transport to the resort from the airport and to the airport from the resort. Our transport vehicle did not have seatbelts therefore making the carseat completely pointless. Had we known this we would not have brought it.
  • Car seat transporter –very helpful for rolling the car seat around the airport and would work as a stroller if your toddler would sit in it -Liam would not.
  • Ergo baby carrier -we weren’t bringing a stroller so if Liam was not comfortable in his car seat/transporter we wanted a spare that would give hands free options – we did use this and not the car seat.

I truly hope this list is helpful as you are planning your vacation. I know packing can be hard but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and successes on this trip and pack lighter/smarter than I did. 

Cozumel 2017

This last week we went on vacation to Cozumel Mexico with my parents and for part of the time my brother Blake. The weather was mostly sunny and beautiful all week. We had so much fun and there is so much that we did in just one short week that it will be hard to write about all of it without making this post super long. So I will bullet some of the things we did each day and include some of my favorite pictures from the vacation. There are even more pictures on my camera and my mom’s camera that I could share too but these are just a few from my phone.

SATURDAY

  • 2am wake up -couldn’t sleep any longer
  • 2:15am -COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE
  • 3am wake Liam -he wasn’t happy about it
  • 3am head to the airport
  • 6am flight -Liam slept most of it -yay!
  • Arrive at our resort at 12 -find out check in isn’t until 3!
  • Change into our swim suits and jump in the pool
  • Spend the rest of the day poolside and checking out the resort
  • Joe, Dad, and Blake head into town to check out the grocery store.

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SUNDAY

  • Coffee and gym -yummy mint chlorophyll water provided
  • We spent our morning poolside until Liam’s nap
  • Poolside during Liam’s nap -thank goodness for monitors!
  • All the staff and guests loved Liam
  • We taught Liam to say “hola” -so dang cute
  • Packer game -they had it going in one of the lounge areas and there were a lot of packer fans
  • I committed to a night out with my brother Blake and it was great. We went to karaoke and spent a lot of time chatting

MONDAY

  • Beautiful sunrise -we are on the sunset side of the ocean so it was cool to see the sunrise through the trees
  • Breakfast outside with an ocean view -beautiful -we walked the beach after -Liam was not a fan of the sand.
  • Poolside all day!
  • Joe, dad, and Blake went snorkeling
  • Liam enjoyed a non-alcoholic pina colada -loved it
  • We watched an amazing sunset
  • Market in the lobby -mom and I bartered for some rings—it was crazy
  • Caribbean dancers -mom and I were able to catch a glimpse of the show waiting for our rings

TUESDAY

  • Liam finally sleeps in and is more in routine
  • Coffee and Gym
  • Joe and I were able to have breakfast together while my parents took Liam
  • Poolside while Liam takes a long nap
  • Floatie park with Blake and Joe (mom and Liam watched, dad was scuba diving) -definitely got a sinus rinse when Blake slipped and took me down with him haha! so much salt water!
  • Beautiful sunset
  • Dinner at el Patio which was the Mexican restaurant at the resort -very good

WEDNESDAY

  • Last morning for Blake -heading home
  • Another pool day (spent a lot of time by the pool because that is where our monitor reached and Liam hated the sand haha)
  • Tried to take Liam swimming in the ocean -he wasn’t having any of that.
  • After bedtime we played cards with my parents on our balcony -it was so nice and fun

THURSDAY

  • Coffee and exercise again! (wanted to stay kind of in routine)
  • Joe and I enjoyed the adult only breakfast restaurant again while my parents watched Liam
  • Pool day again -Liam finally enjoyed the water again and had fun swimming
  • Liam had a rough nap -could be all the sugar the grandparents pumped into him while we were at breakfast hahaha!
  • Another amazing sunset
  • Fire show -we thought Liam would love it but it scared him a little -poor guy
  • We tried to play cards again but it started to sprinkle so we called it a night

FRIDAY

  • Our final full day
  • We had coffee and did our final adults only breakfast while my parents watched Liam
  • Pool all day! We called it fry-day Friday because we all wanted to get as much sun as possible
  • There was a wedding at our resort so we watched a little of that -so pretty
  • One final beautiful sunset
  • It was Mexican night at the resort so they had a Mexican buffet that was really good and then later a Mexican show that my parents saw a little of
  • Cards again with the parents after Liam went to bed

SATURDAY

  • One last breakfast with our ocean view table
  • Pack and leave the resort at 9am
  • Flight at 11:55am
  • Land at MSP around 3pm and Blake picked us up around 3:30
  • We stopped at Jersey Mike’s to pick up subs and ate them once we got to my parent’s house
  • Picked up Marley
  • Home before 6pm —time to relax

We had such a wonderful vacation. The weather was amazing, Liam did so well, and we were able to enjoy our time together as a family. It was hard to leave but it felt so good to be home!

Our trip to the Dells

We took a long weekend trip to the Wisconsin Dells to visit my Aunt Sherrie. Prepare for lots of pictures!!!! It was super fun and Liam enjoyed his first trip ever to the dells! My Mom came with us because my Dad had golf on Thursday and was going to drive on his own Thursday night. We left at bedtime Wednesday night and made it to the Dells around 10pm. Liam transitioned well to the pack and play. We hung out and chatted for a little bit before calling it a night.

THURSDAY

Joe wanted Dunkin’ Donuts so bad so he went as early as he could and picked us up coffee and donuts.

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After breakfast we started our day with an almost 2 mile walk. I tried to run a little bit but the air was thick with humidity and as the sun came out it got hotter and hotter. We decided to head back to the house and straight to the pool.

We ended up spending most of the day by the pool. It was a very relaxing day.

After we all showered and got ready for the day we decided to go downtown to the main street and walk around and go to dinner.

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Joe wanted a new Wisconsin Badger hat so we headed to a sports store. We ended up finding Liam the cutest Badger hat too so we HAD to get it for him. He just looked too adorable in it.

There is this clock that tells a story every hour on the hour so we stopped there and watched for a little bit. We also went to the jerky store and cheese store before heading to dinner.

 

We couldn’t wait to have dinner at MACS Macaroni and Cheese Shop. We had been talking about it all day and what kinds we were going to get. My mom got chipotle mac, Joe got buffalo chicken mac, and I got jalapeno popper mac. All were really good but I think my mom’s was the best one this time. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of our dinners but don’t worry we went again on Friday with my dad and I snapped a few pictures.

After MACS we walked around a little bit more. They have a street blocked off where there is a boat and a stage for nightly entertainment.

Then decided it was time to head home to get Liam to bed. However before he went down Joe, Liam, and I went for a little ride on the UTV. Liam loved it. Don’t worry, he didn’t drive! 🙂

After Liam went down we spent the remainder of the night chatting and watching the Olympics.

FRIDAY

My dad arrived late Thursday night and got some great snuggles with Liam in the morning. Liam rarely snuggles anyone so this was a moment worth capturing. So cute!

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It was a super rainy morning so we tried to keep busy inside and watched more of the Olympics while we waited for the weather to clear. It worked out pretty nice because Liam was able to stay on schedule and get his nap in before we had plans to leave the house.

Once Liam was awake we decided to go to Timbavati Wildlife Park. This was the perfect activity for Liam. There were so many animals for him to see.

There was an adorable baby monkey. Liam liked the monkeys because they moved the most. They were fun to watch.

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There was also a parakeet enclosure where you could feed the parakeets. There were so many of them and they were so pretty. Liam was very entertained by all the birds but after about 5-10 minutes he had enough and was ready to move on.

They had pig races too so we decided to go watch that. It was a slow race and the lady had to encourage the pigs to move. However, the pig I chose, Sw-einstein, won the race.

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After the race we went to see the giraffes, kangaroos, and turtles. The giraffes were super close and they scared Liam.

This was a super fun family event. We weren’t super impressed with the park and the size of the enclosures but it was a good activity to get us out of the house and entertain Liam.

There was a candy shoppe by the park so we stopped there and got a few treats while Liam played on one of the carousel horses with Sherrie.

Then we decided to go mini golfing. We started at the little park they had there so Liam could get some play time in. He enjoyed it very much.

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Then the men mini golfed while the women watched.

I was able to get some cute pictures of Liam. He learned how to blow kisses this weekend and it is about the cutest thing ever!

Joe let me shoot the last 2 shots for him while he held Liam. It was fun!

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Then we headed downtown again and back to MACS. This time I got the taco mac, Joe got the hangover mac, my mom got chipotle mac, Sherrie got cheeseburger mac, and my dad got mama’s mac. My taco mac was really good. The cheeseburger mac was good as well but not what I was expecting. Joe and I both agreed that my dad’s mama’s mac was really good too and maybe one of the best ones there if you are looking for a simple mac and cheese dish.

We walked downtown a little bit more after and then the women and Liam headed back to give Liam a bath and to bed again.

Joe, my dad, and my twin cousins Riley and Andrew went to do a Zombie outbreak and go-karts after dinner. At Zombie outbreak they have to “kill” the zombies and I guess it is pretty scary. They had a lot of fun.

SATURDAY

The night it rained again and was a little rainy in the morning. After more coffee and more donuts, my dad and Joe went to mini golf again while we tried to decide what to do for the day.

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We ended up deciding to go to the outlet mall. It was huge and there were so many stores. I ended up spending most of my time in Old Navy and Nike. It was a lot of fun and Liam was a trooper.

Once we got home we decided to play croquet. We weren’t entirely sure of the rules but had fun playing none the less!

Liam woke up from his nap to watch us play and eat a snack. He looks so grown up!

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We decided to make dinner this evening instead of going out which was a good choice. We had burgers and they were just what we all needed.

We played with Liam after dinner then it was bed time for him.

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My dad and Joe decided to go mini golfing again while my mom, Sherrie, and I stayed back to relax and watch more Olympics.

SUNDAY

We had planned to leave around 10 or 12 but Liam had other plans. He woke up quite crabby. We ended up leaving around 8:30 and Liam slept the whole 3 hours home. He was a tired boy after such a busy weekend.

We spent the majority of our day relaxing and settling back in to life at home.

We did visit our friends Colin and Emily for a few minutes since they won’t be able to make Liam’s birthday party. It was great to see them.

Then it was bath time for Liam, bed time for Liam, and House of Cards for me and Joe.

We headed to bed pretty early to get some rest before Monday!

We are so thankful for such a fun and long weekend in the Dells! Thank you to Sherrie for hosting us! We are so happy to have been able to spend time with you!

Have a great week everyone!