Weekend Away at the Company Cabin

One of the very nice perks about Josh’s new job is that the company has cabins that are available for employees to use.  Because of Josh only being recently hired we didn’t think it was something we’d get to take advantage of this year, but lo and behold a free weekend came up, he put his name into the lottery and his name was chosen!


“Cabin” we discovered was an understatement, so we invited Josh’ sister and brother-in-law and their kiddos to join us.  There was plenty of room for all of us to spread out and it had plenty of amenities.  We knew a lot of things were already provided, but still brought more than we needed to ensure our bases were covered (and now we know for next time what we don’t need).  I wasn’t sure whether or not to bring Phoebe’s jumper at first, but in the end I’m glad we brought it because Lady likes to jump.


While lots of space is nice, I could never live in a place that big long-term.  You know how sometimes at night when you want a glass of water, but it feels like such a long walk and you don’t want to (even though the walk really isn’t that far)?  Well, in this house, the walk really was that far.  Plus, you have to yell to be heard and I could hardly see Phoebe from the kitchen if she was in the living room and I didn’t have my contacts in.  Yeah, yeah, first world problems.


It really was a nice place, located in a quiet community on a lake with a nearby restaurant and playground for the boys.  One of the really nice things were all the dragon flies during the day keeping the mosquitoes away.  I don’t know if they’re always there, or if we just came at the perfect time, but it was so nice not having to worry about being eaten alive.

2014-06-29 11.49.08 2014-06-29 12.02.19

We did get some rain on and off, so it was a little hard to plan any day trips.  The cabin was located near Brainerd, so it was tempting to go visit Paul Bunyan Land, especially since we stopped there on our mini-moon after we got married, but instead we stuck around and played outside and in.  There were plenty of cars and trains and books and movies for the boys to keep them busy when we weren’t outside.

2014-06-29 12.32.52

Overall both kiddos did well in our home away from home, and I think we’re going to see about switching Enzo’s toddler bed out for a full-size bed one of these days considering how well he did in a regular bed.  It was also nice being able to lay down in bed with him when it was time to read books.  He didn’t typically want to go bed while on vacation, and for the most part we let him stay up later than his normal bedtime, but even he started to realize that he did actually want to sleep – he just didn’t want to be left out of any fun.  Considering both of our kids wake up at 6:00-6:30 during the week so we can leave the house by 7:00-7:15, they don’t typically sleep in on the weekend, so the lack of sleep and lax routine started to take their toll a bit by the time Monday morning rolled around.


It was nice to have a lazy weekend, though, and even Josh and I got a nap in each.  It was a very nice luxury, even if Enzo doesn’t always realize right away how lovely they are.  I’m kind of glad we can count on naps for at least another year.  😉 Toots is also starting to fall into a more regular nap schedule, which day care will probably help with as she gets even older.  She naturally seems to nap around 9:00-9:30 and then again in the afternoon, sometimes even three naps if they’re short.

2014-06-29 12.19.02


Anyhoo, it was a nice family getaway.  Enzo got to play with his cousin every day (which made him very, very happy), Josh got to go fishing with his brother-in-law at least one time, and I even stayed up late (way past my bedtime) one or two nights having some nice chats with my sister-in-law.  I’m hoping that one day I’ll have more to chat about than kids and parenting, but probably not. Ha ha. Nah, one day I’ll have more time and energy, but watching a baby grow into a person is just fascinating.  You learn so much about yourself and your entire perspective changes at times.  That, however, is discussion for another day since this post is probably much longer than it should be.


Overnight Trip with the Kiddos

Two weekends ago we decided to take the kids out of town to see a friend of Josh’s get married.  We really had no expectations since we knew anything could happen on the kids’ first hotel stay, and first long car ride.  The trip actually went much better than we had hoped all things considered, but we also didn’t get that many photos either.


Thanks to the Kindle, the drive wasn’t bad at all since Enzo was able to watch ‘Frozen’ and “Jack Frost” (aka ‘Rise of the Guardians).  It was a 4.5 hour drive, so we stopped once to feed Phoebe and let Enzo run around a bit and the rest of the time he napped.  When Phoebe wasn’t sleeping, she was happy just playing and looking around, although close to the end she did start to get more vocal, which was her way of showing us she wanted out.  Ha ha.


When we got to the hotel we were glad to see there was a microwave and a fridge (both really helpful with kids), but the AC didn’t work all that well and as far as cleanliness goes… yeah, not really that great.  Both of the kids were in good spirits, however, and really just wanted to get all of the wiggles out.  We got to the hotel right before dinner, and decided to just order in since we figured neither kid would want to get back in the car again.


Not surprisingly, bedtime was pushed back a tad, but Phoebe went down with little difficulty. Rather than bringing the pack n’ play we decided to just each sleep with on the of the kiddos and use pillows to keep them from rolling out. Enzo was thrilled to get to hang out with Daddy, and I only got feet in my back half the night. 😉  Unfortunately, though, Little Miss did not sleep the best and woke up early with a nasty cough, which also meant that everyone was up at 5:30.


We gave in and let Enzo watch TV, and despite the lack of sleep he was ready to run around.  We were the first at breakfast, which was helpful with the munchkins.  Enzo was all too happy to greet everyone as they came down to eat, but soon got a bit too rambunctious and Josh took him upstairs while I finished with Phoebe, who then decided it was time for a nap.


We had a few hours to get ready, and now that I think about it we probably should have planned to do more out of the hotel room, but with Phoebe needing bottles on a regular basis and eating mostly purees… the food part of things can be tricky.  We had a car bottle warmer and a thermos of hot water, but making bottles in the car and then feeding a very easily distracted baby is just not fun.


Thankfully the ceremony and reception was held in a nice location in a large park that had plenty to drive around and see, so we were hoping Enzo could get some wiggles out before the ceremony.


There were several other families out enjoying the day and Enzo desperately wanted to interact and play, but… how do I put it… most of the families were not there to interact with anyone else, so I told Enzo there would probably be other kids for him to play with at the wedding.  (Thankfully I was right).


The wedding itself was lovely and Enzo had a ball. We were that family, though. You know the one – the one with the toddler running around and not really sitting still during the meal.  We knew we were toeing the line on a potential meltdown, though, since he was missing his nap and had been up early.  We did our best to keep him from getting in the way and just let him run around like a crazy toddler.  Phoebe was exhausted as well and literally fell asleep while I was feeding her, so she snoozed in the Ergo while I ate and Josh kept an eye on Enzo who was making friends left and right.


I think our first little road trip was a success, and we definitely know what we’ll do the same and what we’ll do differently next time around.  Honestly, it’ll just be easier when Phoebe is eating more solids and we don’t have to worry about bottles, so we probably won’t do too many hotel stays until then, but really that’s not that many months away.  I think we’ve got some good travelers in the making.

A Day at the Zoo

Getting a zoo membership was definitely one of our better decisions.  At first we weren’t sure because of the drive, but we’ve already used it three times and considering toddlers sometimes only last a couple hours, you don’t feel like you’ve wasted any money by leaving early.


Last Sunday ended up being just perfect for a visit to the zoo. The weather was nice and we got there a little earlier in the day, so it wasn’t super busy yet.  Most of the animals were snoozing, but Enzo seems to enjoy people watching just as much (if not more than) animal watching.


This time his favorite animals were the prairie dogs, and he tried to climb out of Josh’s arms into their enclosure, which would have been adorable, but probably frowned upon. We also had another big first – he actually held my hand to walk for a bit.  This soon ended once it got more crowded, though, and hand holding was no longer appropriate, but running was.



The other favorite of the day was the draft horses. We ventured over to the farm area because we figured it would be a good place to eat lunch (and it was), plus Enzo got to pet some cows, was freaked out by the goats, and fell in love with the horses.  When we started walking away from them, he headed back and was a little upset that he couldn’t stay longer or touch them.  Guess we need to find someone with a horse. :p




After a rough January, I decided I needed to see some family, and since I haven’t seen my mom or sister since Enzo’s birth, it seemed like a good idea to visit one of them… so both my mom and I flew to Colorado Springs to stay with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew.  As a bonus, my brother and his wife drove up from Durango.


Enzo was super excited to meet his cousins, and he and Dustin were immediately smitten and buddies.  Aubrey warmed up pretty quickly to Enzo and they all got along pretty well considering the age differences.  It was funny to see Aubrey treat Enzo like one of her baby dolls and Dustin was like a big brother showing him all kinds of fun stuff.


Because of the nice weather (I miss Colorado weather and warm winter days) we were able to go to the zoo.  You can tell how excited Enzo is about his first trip to the zoo. :p


I think he had fun and he’d look curiously at a lot of the animals, like the giraffes.  I think he was also just busy taking in all of the people as well.  It was fun, though, and we got to see a baby giraffe as well as a baby gorilla!  So cute!


Their tiger exhibit was also really neat – she was really close to the fence at one point and came right up to see everyone. So close that people had to move because she was… er… spraying everything.  A lady she’s not.


As for the flight getting there… it wasn’t nearly as bad as I though it would be even though we were one of the last to board because we arrived a bit later then we meant to.  Enzo was a little squirmy and then dozed off for the entire flight.  The flight back?  That was a different story.  The wee man is teething and refused to nap… if you ever want to know what it’s like to fly with The Hulk in baby form, this was pretty close.  Would it have been different had Josh been there?  Maybe not, but it might have been easier to handle with two.


Maybe the little man was just sad to have left his buddies behind, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s a pretty social kiddo, and considering how much he likes his friends at day care, it’s no wonder he was thrilled to have friends to play with that he didn’t have to leave at the end of the day.

We’re getting a little back on schedule now, though teething is still making him a little cranky and he isn’t napping much. Plus, he may have gotten used to sharing a room with me as ever since we’ve come home he’s woken up in the middle of the night and not wanted to go to sleep… until we bring him to bed with us and he almost immediately passed out.  Yeah, probably not a good habit to get into, but… it’s only temporary? :p