(shakey didn’t go (sadly) so i’m counting the fatz in utero to round out the 4).
this year’s trip was to the mayan riviera.. a very kid-friendly, all-inclusive resort called azul beach. we were lucky enough to have our friends the patons there to join us for a week of fun in the sun.
the trip started in the wee hours of superbowl sunday. a car picked us up for the ride to the airport at 4:15am. we scooped dane out of bed and put him in the car in his jammies. he woke right up, of course, but was such a trooper for the whole morning. despite the super early flight, the airport was already jammed with long lines of bostonians in patriots jerseys eager to get the hell out of boston.
our flight was delayed which felt like the end of the world at the time because we had a tight lay-over and… superbowl sunday. but we made our connecting flight – just barely. it was a huge jet and we had a whole row of 4 seats to ourselves where dane was able to sprawl out and take a heavenly nap.
we got to the resort in the early afternoon (a really quick van ride from the cancun airport), ordered room service, swam in the pool and did a whole lot of nothing until the big game. we were so nervous and excited and i was just stupid happy about this vacation and life. it also happened to be my birthday. we ate birthday cake and i drank a whole beer. it was seriously heaven at this point.
this was my photo (“en vivo!”) to commemorate the INSANE final minutes of this game. i SO wish i had the camera out for mike’s dance after the butler interception (picture the grape-vine across the room with arms flailing).
our team won the superbowl!!!! oh man.
the next few days we just vacationed our little hearts out. the weather was perfect and we loved the resort.
alicha brought these two little water squirters and the boys were so cute parading around and squirting each other (and us) then running back to the showers to fill them up again.
these big cabanas were perfect for a long morning at the beach (you had to sign up for one at 3pm sharp the day before but it was totally worth it). we tried so hard to get dane to nap in it, but it wasn’t happening. the swim-up pool room was so nice to have during nap time. if you ever go here, GET a swim up room.
we had a million green smoothies from the juice bar. they were so good!
dane made that little bracelet on the beach and wore it the whole week [cuteness overload]. they had “kids club” workers walking around the resort each day with little activities for kids.
these loungey swings were in a central area called aquanox. this became our little home-base where we hung out before or after dinner or before meeting up with the patons.
fond memories of this spot! sigh.
the only real negative was the seaweed and the mushy ocean floor. there were guys with rakes and tractors every morning clearing away the seaweed, but even in a clear area it was a bit unpleasant walking into the ocean water. i prefer swimming in the ocean and spending more time on the beach than at the pool, so this may be a deal-breaker for me in terms of going back here.
despite the weedy shore line, i still would totally recommend this resort to anyone traveling with small kids. they have everything you need here.. kid’s meals and toys at every restaurant, stools and kid-sized things everywhere. they provide cribs, bottle warmers, changing tables, little bathrobes, strollers, floats, and sand toys galore.
can you even stand these two in their lounge chairs?
and dane, who squealed and panicked the first time we got in the pool together, turned into a little fish in no time. insisted on only swimming “all by himself!”
this whole pool was 2 feet deep!
the patons left wednesday which gave us thursday and friday to ourselves. the weather clouded up a bit the last couple days with some passing showers, but we were able to get plenty of sun in between rain storms.
una leche por favor!
i think what i will remember most about this trip was how much dane was part of the fun and such awesome company. instead of just being along for the ride he would weigh in on what he wanted to do and we could see him get excited about the different fun activities and play time. i’m just so lucky.
little things like not worrying about cooking dinner or cleaning up after meals were SO NICE for me, personally. i think all-inclusives are the way to go with young kids. they seriously give you a BREAK.
the views during those meals weren’t half bad either!
just one of the many daney faces…
these pictures are from our last morning of the trip. we woke up early and came right down to the beach. the sun was sparkling on the water and there was hardly anyone around. it was so nice and bittersweet.
we were all so happy here. it was so awesome spending these long days together without rushing into the car or folding laundry/washing dishes while urging dane to entertain himself. there was this one night late in the week where it was really hard to get him to sleep and i felt a little run-down the next day… but aside from that, he was pretty perfect with naps and sleeping in his little crib and our daily routines. he didn’t even put up much of a fight with the sunscreen which was a refreshing change.
being pregnant at an all-inclusive resort… not ideal. i mean, you could jump off our balcony and swim up to a bar for crying out loud. i had a few virgin sugary drinks and some sips of beer and it honestly wasn’t as torturous as i might have thought. no hangovers was of course a positive. i was about 24 weeks at the time which i think is the ideal amount of pregnant for a trip like this.
oh so there were these big pelicans and mike was so into them. i had to delete like 40 pelican pictures off the camera (sorry mike – here you go, this was the best one).
due to some annoying flight changes, we had a really long lay-over in miami on our way home. but again, dane was so good and fun and we made the best of it.
i never went on family vacations growing up, so i love that dane will be able to look back on all these trips and experiences when he’s older. sure this money could have been spent a million other ways, but life is so short… i can’t believe there will be a new family member on our next vacation(!) and i’m really glad we squeezed in this last special get-away as a family of 3.
hi. just barely surviving this horrific winter over here. with our elongated, unpredictable, daily commute in and out of boston, our time at home is that much shorter (almost non-existent) and there is just no time for much of anything aside from the necessary motions. its depressing. its taking a toll on me. and yes, i want to move. south. maybe someday…
on a brighter note, our vacation was awesome & i finally dumped all of the photos out of the camera. will recap soon. in the meantime, some daney dialogue i’ve been jotting down:
“is it christmas now?”
not yet… <brief pause>
“now is it?”
“does santa like that?”
you’re so big! did you grow today?
“yes. but when i’m big we can still do hugs and kisses.”
<standing on the scale> dane, how much do you weight?
“i know what you meanted”
is ruby in your music class.
is she a good singer?
“mom, watch this cross-over”
“daddy, we are on the blue team and we’re the villanovas!”
“i’m not dane, i’m rondo, and this is larry bird” <dane is always rondo. mike is always larry bird>
<sunday morning 6:30 am>
“mummy, lets go downstairs and play and you be santa and i’ll be pirate hook.”
<in the car>
“mum, when we get home are.. are.. are..”
<studdering a little … pauses… >
“why do i keep saying are?”
“mommy, you’re a good driver now because there are no more reindeer in the snow”
<in reference to the deer i hit a few months ago.. after which dane called me a “bad driver”>
<in his bed.. first thing he says to me when he wakes up a bit panicked>
“mommy, where are my tracks?
downstairs on your train table
“we didn’t give them all to riley?”
<he had a 2-year-old’s worst nightmare… giving all his train tracks away to his cousin!>
<looking out the plane window as we passed through white fluffy clouds>
“look at all that snow”
<the first morning he woke up in his own bed after vacation>
“i wanted to stay in mexico”
dane, what is the first thing you are going to say to your baby sister when she’s born?
<thinks about it> “… hello!” <with an british accent>
“m da m’s” (m&ms)
“pirate hook” (captain hook)
“be finity and beyond!” (to infinity and beyond)
around the holidays especially, i can have quite the impressive tower of packages waiting on my doorstep when i get home from work any given day. not necessarily because i am a raging shopaholic, but because i DON’T go to stores. including the grocery store… twice a month tops. i order everything online from clothes to dog food to a handful of necessities (deodorant, tp, vitamins) and groceries from amazon’s subscribe and save. late last week, i think i set a personal best.
i almost died when i saw all this outside my garage.
there are a few other fun things in this pile that i’ll share down the road, but these 3 things made me really happy over the weekend.
this totally rad side table from urban outfitters $179
not cheap, but marked down from $298… maybe i’m easily manipulated by marketing schemes, but i feel like i made out on this purchase. i mean.. are you loosing your whole entire mind over how amazing this little table its?????????!!
these stools from target $119 for 2
i got these on sale. they will go on sale again… that’s the thing with target. just stalk them for a while. we were without stools for quite some time… since i sold our old ones on craigslist after the big dining room table move. i’ve had my eye on these and finally pulled the trigger when they were 20% off a couple weeks ago. these stools are perfect in every way and i love them. all of them. equally.
this fabric $14/yard
i’ve had this for a while actually… originally was going to make a little curtain for the window above the bed in the basement until i realized its a really stiff indoor/outdoor type fabric. probably not curtain-able. (i know nothing about fabric or sewing.. obvious?). so i randomly folded it and put it on the table and i love it! really just the introduction of the greens in the room is so refreshing to me. i was trapped in grey and blue land for so long with no idea how to escape. this is working for me.
i need to give a little gift to our ups man.. i mean seriously. he is the nicest guy… and has been working overtime for me and my online shopping habit since i was pregnant with dane. around christmas time, he gave dane this little ups truck. i’m such a jerk, he’s giving us gifts?! what do you tip/gift to your delivery man? cash? a gc?
and ps – snow.
the “relax” definition was scraped off (that was my one job). i was a little sad and nostalgic about it since it was one of the first little projects we did here. but it was time.
but the real renovation that is going to be happening down here is the installation of wood-like tile. significantly more expensive than re-carpeting but hopefully a wise long-term investment. we started at home depot… hated the options (that we could see anyway… there weren’t many) and couldn’t, for the life of us, get help from any of their flooring specialists. later, we went to lowes. again we were frustrated by the lack of help available to us but liked their “style selections” brand. after waiting 20 minutes for their guy to come help us, we decided to just buy a box of our 3 favorites and try them out in the room.
that weekend i had planned to visit two local cape cod shops to check out their options and prices. the first was in harwich. they had some lovely tile, however they cost (at least) THREE TIMES per square foot as much as the lowes brand. once i heard the price range i quickly turned around and shuffled dane out of the store. we didn’t even bother going to the next one on my list. it was really eye-opening to realize how much more affordable these big box stores can be. i love the idea of supporting small business etc etc, and maybe there is a significant difference in “quality” but one thing for sure is that that tile was completely out of my reach… “for rich people” i said as we got in the car. god bless ’em.
any who. i literally had no strong feelings toward one of the three options we brought home from lowes. they were all about $3/square foot (not including installation). i kinda loved them all. so i thought i would take a stab at utilizing the democratic process… the pride of our great country…. an instagram vote.
shakey was obsessed with getting on the ice. he circled it for like 15 mins contemplating a way to get in. sorry, shakey rink is closed. and we really can’t afford 4 skates for you…
dane is such a little athlete… he’s just like we always imagined our little boy would be. when they play football, dane is tom brady and mike is “daddy gronk”.
sure enough, shakespeare finds a stray baseball. every. time. he has some sort of radar for lost balls. and he always insists on taking them home. inside. and they are always so filthy and gross. he’s a funny pup.
b o y am i happy its the weekend. this is officially a brewster weekend. its been a long time since we’ve spent 3 nights in brewster (july?). per usual there is sooo much we want to get done – namely, finish the sunroom and devise a plan for the basement floor. mike even wants to start painting down there (white!)… ambitious, but i like it.
here are some pictures from a few years ago (pre – renter era) when the carpet was in perfectly decent condition. we didn’t do much to the room. just sheer curtain panels, some hand-me-down wicker, those stumps, and crate & barrel (west elm?) throw pillows. don’t ask what i was trying to do with the weird tint in my photo editing here. its awful. here is my original sunroom post.
we never loved the yellowy walls but felt no urgent desire to paint.
its so bright and fresh and clean and i’m so excited to put the room back together.
oh, and my favorite – nice white outlet covers and switch plates. its the little things.
i have time, so i want to take my time with any purchases… i really shouldn’t need to buy much but man its hard once you start poking around. here are some sales i feel compelled to share.
land of nod changing pad cover i bought this, obviously. what a crazy sale. even with shipping (i hate paying for shipping) it was a great price.
hdc elephant hamper i’ve had my eye on this. i’ll probably buy it at this sale price, but haven’t committed yet.
uo rug all rugs are 25% off. i think this 5×7 would work.. i really like the geometric pattern (you can’t really discern in the pic above) which is pretty much the same as the rug on my wall. i’m going to keep my area rug options open for now though.
pottery barn kids light got excited about this one, then realized its just for the shade.. the base is another $40. but still awesome and maybe worth it.
the weekend we were in brewster discovering our flooded basement, the weather was really mild and beautiful and we stopped at our beach to play a while. just recently did i finally load all the pictures i took (beyond the wet basement rug) and realize that some are pretty awesome.
see, i was so focused on the doom and gloom that i didn’t take the time to remember the perfect afternoon and the smiles on my boys in their happy place under the glowing sun.
from now on, this is what i will choose to remember about our weekends in brewster regardless of what part of the house is currently sucking our savings dry.
any timer-cam attempt where we are all in the frame is considered a success in my book.
just catching up over here. and so ready for post-holiday down time (and sleep!).
but first, c h r i s t m a s .
i was more excited this year than i have been in a long time.
“now!?” dane would say every time we talked about riley and avery coming over and our christmas “party” and santa coming while he slept.. (only if he was a good boy). there was so much anticipation this year, which i think is what the holidays lack when you don’t have little ones to experience the build-up and magic through.
also, santa threats. they really work. we are totally getting that elf next year.
clam chowder and reubens is our xmas eve dinner tradition.
shakey’s christmas presents. every year.
finally, it was here. christmas morning. they somberly walked down the stairs not knowing what to expect… riley was up really early & we had to make liz stall so they could come down together.
i think dane honestly would have been happy with just the little toys in his stalking.
i set up his new trains & tracks in the other room & we told them the elves were playing with them last night… they loved it.
and mike put two presents in the front yard & told them they “fell off santa’s sleigh”… they went nuts. this age is so fun.
christmas was really awesome. its pretty exhausting hosting, but i wouldn’t want it any other way.
so we ripped up the carpet and are now faced with a major decision of what to do for flooring down here. more carpet? tile? paint and big area rugs? i wasn’t in the mood to think about this around the holidays. i mean, i usually am and to be honest, now that i’ve had some time to research, i’m sort of obsessed with a particular option that i will share later. of course its on the more expensive end of the spectrum, so i need to let it marinate.
the joys of multi home ownership.
in effort to not end the post with with damp basements and water buckets… here is the buffet with my new chairs and pillows. its coming along! i need to make the cushions and add a couple more pillows but its definitely progress.