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Celebrating the 4th On LBI

June was pretty hectic around here. Parker finished school, Rob’s parents came for a visit, I flew home for my sister’s shower, and then a good friend came to help celebrate Canada Day. Needless to say come July 3rd I was so ready to head to the beach for some family time.

These kiddos are pretty much rock stars when it comes to road trips. For us an 8ish hour drive is now no big deal which makes travel so much easier. I have learned through the years what works for us and what doesn’t. They are happy with movies and lots of snacks to eat.

We spent the 4th with family at my Aunt & Uncles beach house. It was nice to see everyone, relax, and I even got to hold a squishy baby, eekkkkk. One day we decided to hit up the bay side which was perfect. There was a playground, organized events, food trucks, and calm knee deep water fenced in for the kids to explore.

Nope, there is no coffee inside that cup. I played a little guessing game on FB and it took forever for someone to guess it. A beer mimosa which was delicious, and I don’t even like beer!

We got to finally use these cups holders I made months ago to keep our drinks out of the sand. Although it doesn’t work well when certain kids grab them up and use them for sand castles…

I managed to get out 3 times for runs and completed the Pledge the Pink Virtual 1/2 Marathon.
July 4th – 6 miles at a 16’14” pace
July 6th – 3 mile walk with my mom
July 7th – 4.1 miles at 16’51” pace

Spending some quite time with my Mom was nice, we don’t get to do that much. So we spent most of the time catching up. Since we were just walking I took that opportunity to snap a few photos of some of the houses I had fallen in love with a few days before.

Every time we come to the beach we also try and take some family photos. The kids don’t make it easy but we try our best. My sister asked if I could snap some maternity photos at the same time.

Another tradition of ours is to take a walk on the beach at night decked out in glow sticks!

It’s always hard to leave a vacation but I think leaving the beach is the hardest. But I can’t say I am bummed about being home and able to finally take the week easy.

Let’s Get Out Of Here

Friday was pretty busy. I decided to sneak in another work out at the gym before heading to our favorite consignment sale. It wasn’t till I got there that I realized Rob had taken the stroller out in order to haul all the stuff we were selling. Luckily, I had my carrier so I was able to wear C and they always have a few run down umbrella strollers to use. P most definitely was maxed out on that weight so it was a struggle but we managed and both kids were amazing. I found some adorable clothes for the kids, two Melissa and Doug activity charts, and a walking bouncer for C.

We had enough time to eat lunch after getting home before a friend came over to look at the house. She was thinking of moving into the area and wanted to see our unique layout.

I tried to put the kids down for a nap but neither were having it and it was nothing but tears when Rob arrived home. The first words out of his mouth were, “let’s get out of here this weekend”. We made a 5 minute decision to head to Busch Gardens, got the kids up, changed, packed, and out the door in 45.


We stayed at an okay hotel. Was pretty pricey and not all that nice but it was close to the park and not bad since it was kind of last minute. It was senior day for several schools and Little Miss Princess something or other so it turns out we were lucky to find a room. We hit more traffic than we had anticipated so we ended up grabbing KFC before heading to the hotel. We had a nice picnic on the floor, took “big” showers as Parker calls them, then cuddled in bed.

Busch Gardens

Parker had a blast at the park and really enjoyed the rides. It was the first time he really went on actual rides and in a few cases he went by himself. I was disappointed when we found out he was just a smidge to short for the big swings. He rod the little ones but you could tell he was really board. He also went on a roller coaster for the first time!

It ended up being a really nice weekend, something we needed after a lost of frustration and bad news during the week. Sunday we met friends at the zoo so it was quite a packed weekend. It made us realize how much time we spend cleaning and maintaining the house instead of out having fun with the kids.

Lancaster Caribbean Water Park & Wingate Hotel

Rob and I decided to take the kids away for a little vacation during our long Valentines Weekend. After looking around at a few places we decided to stay at the Wingate by Wyndham in Lancaster, PA and visit the Lancaster Caribbean Water Park. It was only about a 3 hour drive and the water park sounded like a fun change from all this cold weather.

Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Lancaster, PA

The Wingate by Wyndham was 1 of 2 hotels that have access to the Caribbean Water Park. The other hotel, Budget Host Inn, which is connected to the Caribbean Water Park had some poor reviews that left us hesitant to stay there. The Wingate is across the parking lot which on a normal day would be no big deal. Unfortunately, we ended up visiting on one the coldest weekends yet so it was a little bit chilly.

Overall the Wingate was really nice. We requested early check-in and adjoining rooms for my parents and ended up with both. I highly recommend requesting adjoining rooms when traveling with little ones. We were able to put Parker down for naps and at night and then continue to visit in the other room without disturbing him. We have also done this in Disney and Ocean City and it has always made the trips a little more relaxing. The room was large enough to set up Parker’s P&P without it being in the way. There were two beds so Rob and I could each take our own as Caity is still sleeping in bed a majority of the night. There was a spacious bathroom complete with plenty of towels and toiletries, including make up remover packets. The room had a mini fridge, microwave and a safe in the closet for valuables. The first floor had a dinning area where a hot breakfast buffet was served, pool and hot tub, meeting room, a small gym and mini store for snacks and forgotten necessities. The rate with admission to the Water Parker was $159 a night.

Friendly's off Lincoln Hwy in Lancaster, PA

Rob took Parker over to the water when we arrived on Friday while I got us settled into the room. For dinner we jumped in the car and headed a few minutes away to Friendly’s of Lincoln Hwy for dinner. They were very sweet there and kept coming over to see the kids. While we were there I needed to nurse Caity, as usual. I hadn’t thought anything of it at the time but as we were leaving a woman stopped me and introduced herself as a LL Leader and told me how proud she was of me for not going into the bathroom to nurse Caity. It really made my day! Before we left our waitress gave Parker a yellow balloon which ended up being his favorite toy all weekend.

Photo Feb 13, 8 59 30 PM

Bam and Chief headed down Friday after work so they didn’t make it before it was bed time for Parker. They did enjoy a little quite time visiting with Caity though!


Saturday morning we headed down for a warm buffet breakfast then got ready for the water park.

Since it was so cold outside we didn’t get them into their suites until we got there. The facility has a family bathroom with a very sturdy changing table (it actually support Parker who is about 40 lbs now). It also had plastic chairs set up around the pool area to set your belongings. There was a balcony over looking the pool area where you could take a break and eat lunch. Towels were also provided. There are no lockers so I recommend taking one large bag, the Thirty-One Deluxe Utility Tote works great, so you can keep everything together. You can also purchase swim diapers there if you forgot to bring your own.



I got to try out our new Bitybean Ultra Compact Carrier which worked fantastic in the water. Caity felt right at home and was fast asleep about 5 minutes after getting in the hot tub. We purchased ours on Amazon for $59.95 Prime. In case you were wondering, the temperature was luke warm, similar to bath water, and only her legs were really in the water. She also got to try on her second hand Janie & Jack swimsuit with matching hat and bow.

Photo Feb 14, 10 04 49 AM

After the park we headed back to the room for nap time before heading to dinner. I think the park tired both Parker and Daddy out!

Photo Feb 14, 13 13 03

Since it was Valentine’s Day we decided to do a nice dinner and headed over the The Shady Mable for their special buffet dinner. The food was good, as usual, but there wasn’t really anything special about the buffet except the price was higher. They served Filet Minion but the cook didn’t seem to know what medium rare was. There was also a chocolate fountain with strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, and pineapple to dip.

I did manage to get the kids a little dressed up and even a few photos!



As usual the weekend went by too fast but we had a lot of fun and it was nice to get away for awhile. We had originally thought about going to a few more places on Sunday but the frigid air convinced us to head straight home.


Ocean City

I was so excited to get away for a few days once Rob returned home. It’s so easy to jump right into the life of chores, errands, and family responsibilities. I wanted him to have a little break before he went back to work and started school in July. We decided to go from a Sunday – Wednesday right before Memorial Day to save some money and beat the crowds. The weather ended up being a perfect cool and sunny combination.

Parker loved having his Bam & Chief around especially when Chief let him wear his keys. He only unlocked the doors a few times from the boardwalk and hotel room 😉
The boardwalk was fairly quiet which was great. Rob didn’t have to wait in long lines to complete his Ocean City dinning tour of Dumser’s, Dough Rollers, Fisher’s, Fractured Prune, and Thrasher’s. I also enjoyed the best funnel cake I have ever had and the largest water ice.
The last time we were in Ocean City was September 2009. We had only known each other for seven months and Rob had been deployed for three of those months. It’s amazing how much life can change in five years!  

One of the things I really wanted to do was take one of the surrey bikes out for a spin. The four person with a seat up front was perfect for us. Parker loved riding in the front sipping on his juice and eating snacks as he greeted everyone that we passed by. He also really enjoyed looking back and calling each of our names. 🙂 

It was such a good vacation and we left happy and well rested ready to face a rather long to-do list at home.

We’re Going To Disney!

Eeeek! I am giddy just typing this! I was about 6 years old when I went to Disney for the first time. Although I don’t really remember anything, I know that it was truly a magical time. My Mom still talks about how much fun she had preparing months beforehand. She spent hours packing our clothes, mapping out the different parks and making reservations. She still talks about that moment when we drove up to the sign and she started crying.

I know P won’t be old enough to remember this trip, but we will. It will be such a perfect time to get away as a family once Rob gets home from deployment. I am so excited about the plans we have already made and everything left on my to-do list!

We went back and forth on transportation. While I love flying, I tend to be very anxious. To feel calm and collected, I like to get to the airport several hours early. I also get so nervous about packing and having everything we need. Having P and all of the items we would need (carseat, pack n’ play, diapers, etc…) it was even worse. We weighed the pros and cons of taking a flight or the Amtrak Auto Train.

After looking at all of the pro’s and con’s it made complete sense to take the Auto Train. This way we could pack in laundry baskets and Thirty-One bags instead of buying suitcases. We could bring our Joovy Groove stroller, our pack n’ play and car seat and not worry about them getting damaged. While it will take longer, we can relax in our room, have healthier meals and a little less anxiety.

I am so excited that we will be staying at Shades of Green on WALT DISNEY WORD Resort. Shades of Green is the only Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) in the Continental United States. Even though it is run by the US Army, Shades of Green welcomes all branches.

As a partner to Walt Disney World, Shades of Green patrons can enjoy the Extra Magic Hours program and visit any of the Walt Disney attractions by riding their complimentary buses.

Pick a date – January 2014
Make transportation arrangements – Auto Train
Make hotel reservations – Shades of Green
Buy luggage – NOT NEEDED!!!

Create a Pinterest BoardDisney Bound
Pimp out our stroller
Create a packing list
Make lunch and dinner reservations
Make an appointment for P to get his hair cut at the Harmony Barber Shop in Magic Kingdom
Create a map with age appropriate rides for P
Buy baby essentials, some cute outfits for P to wear and a backpack leash
Buy breakfast items and snacks
Make a cute signature book for P
Find a pet sitter for Alice & Flip Flop
Schedule a few posts for while I am gone

I have so much to get done but I will enjoy every bit of it! I have been happily pinning on Pinterest and can’t wait to cross a few more things off my to-do list!