Puerto Vallarta

Sunday, March 20, 2016
About a month ago, we actually left on Valentine's Day, we had the chance to take a family vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was a week full of hours in the pool, delicious food, and nothing to think about aside from how often we applied sunscreen.


I was pretty nervous about travelling to another country with two little ones. I had only flown once before, and never with two kids in tow. I was afraid of not packing everything we needed, nervous about navigating airports without losing anyone, and definitely anxious about flying. I do not fly well. But it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Aside from forgetting wipes, which we were able to purchase at the resort, we remembered everything, made it through each airport without too much trouble, and we all had a wonderful time.

We almost missed our first flight, because there was an issue printing Colette's boarding pass, but once we were on the plane, both kids were so well behaved. We flew from Greenville to Dallas, had a two hour layover, and then from Dallas to Puerto Vallarta. Both kids slept almost the entire time we were in the air and we didn't have a single melt-down. All in all it was a very successful trip. And to top it all off, Cullen got to sit in the cockpit after our last flight and push all the buttons. I think it was the highlight of the trip for him, and it is something we will never forget!


Our trip home was a little more eventful. Our flight out of Mexico was delayed for about six hours. After a total of eight hours in the airport in Mexico, three hours of sleep in a hotel in Dallas, and an early flight to Greenville the next morning, we ended up making home eleven hours after we were supposed to. But both of the kids were wonderful throughout the whole trip home. They were so well behaved, which made things a little less stressful. 


We stayed at the Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, by far the most beautiful place I have ever stayed. This was the view from our balcony, and those are the pools we played in all week.


There were a few big group dinners, and a few nights were we ate dinner on our own in the restaurants on the resort. The group dinners always had activities for the kids, like pinata and kite making. We ordered lots of room service, especially at breakfast. And we either ate lunch pool-side or at the oceanfront restaurant. We all came home a few pounds heavier, but it was so worth it. Even Colette ate her weight in guacamole and quesadillas. 




We went down to the beach a few times, but after jumping in the waves for a few minutes, Cullen was ready for the pool again. And I don't blame him, the sand there was really too course to play in.




Cullen only got out of the pool to order another round of apple juice (if he didn't just swim up to the bar to order). He had the best time, jumping in the pool, swimming circles around his Daddy, and make lots of new friends. He also really enjoyed the kids show they had every afternoon. He got to sit at a picnic, eat a couple of popsicles, and watch a puppet show or a sea lion, then hop right back into the pool.




Colette and I played in the water a good bit as well, and she LOVED it! But we also spent a lot of our time in the shade, sipping (virgin) fruity drinks and napping. 






And can I just mention that this little girl can pull off a floppy hat like no one else. I'm a little jealous. 



After a full day at the pool, Cullen pushed Colette back up to our room where they both napped until we made them get up for dinner. Or just let them sleep while we ordered room service.




We had originally planned on spending one day in town, because it seems a little silly to us to go to another country and not even leave the resort. But at the last minute we decided the kids would enjoy the pool more than shopping and happy babies makes for a happy Mommy and Daddy. But we did get to see some peacocks and iguanas just running around, so at least that was something we don't usually see at home. And we have plenty of beautiful pictures to keep as souvenirs.


I could not have dreamed up a better week. It was the most relaxing week I have ever had with two kids, we got a break from some cold weather back at home, and we all got some much needed Vitamin D. We had a great time, Puerto Vallarta, and we hope to visit again soon.


Colette: Ten Months

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
We all know that children grow up way too fast. It seems like you blink and they are three years old already. But have you ever had a day where it seems like they change into a totally different person overnight? That was Colette the day she turned ten months old.


One day she was a quiet little baby who was very timidly crawling. From the minute she woke up the day she turned ten months, she has been crawling all over the house. Getting into the dog bowls, pulling groceries out of bags before we can get them put up, and scooting under and around furniture. And she finally started babbling. Lots of "ba-ba-ba-ba" and "ma-ma-ma" all day long. She is like a whole new little girl.


Her newest trick is waving and saying "bye-bye". And it is the cutest thing ever!


I can already tell that Colette with be our eater. She will eat anything put in front her. Broccoli, carrots, potatoes, quesadillas, guacamole, pasta, literally anything. She will also eat anything she finds on the floor. Which translates to me having to watch her like a hawk and vacuuming nearly every day.


I also had the shocking realization that my tiny baby will be a year old in just two months (even less as I write this)! She is already becoming more independent and less baby-like. I can put her in the floor with some toys and she cruises all over the room and just goes after whatever she wants. I'm able to get more done during the day without a baby on my hip. And she is starting to be so fun to be around, and more than just in the sweet baby coos kind of way. She interacts with us and Cullen, explores and examines toys, expresses her on opinions like she hasn't before.


We love you sweet little Colette! Happy Ten Months!!!


Cullen: Three Years Old

Saturday, March 5, 2016
Cullen has been three years old for over a month and a half now. I have been writing this post for as long. I am having a really hard time capturing in words everything I want to remember about Cullen at this age. I wish I could just follow him around with a video camera for a week, but I don't think that's very practical. So I'm going to do my best to express the very best things about this little boy.


I asked Cullen what some of his favorite things are, and these are his answers:


Favorite Thing to Watch: Curious George

Favorite Toy: Puzzles and Plus Plus Blocks

Favorite Food: Frosted Mini Wheats 

Favorite Place to Go: the park

What makes him laugh the most: silly noises and silly faces


In addition to his answers, he also still loves helping me in the kitchen. He will cook any chance he gets. And he likes helping take care of Macey. He fills her dog food bowl up almost every day; though it takes about 10 minutes because he fills it up five pieces at a time and asks "is this enough" over and over. I love how much he wants to help around the house and be involved in whatever we are doing.




But he is also into typical boy things. Its all planes, cars, bugs, and dirt around here. I can't even count how many times I've had to tell him to put a dead worm down. We have to stop and watch every plane that flies overhead. There are currently three dump trucks in our living room, and at any one time there are no fewer than fifteen Matchbox cars parked in our floor. And if he is awake he is going ninety miles an hour, jumping off furniture, and bouncing off the walls. I am now fully immersed in life with a boy and I wouldn't trade it for anything! 



Then there are those little things at every age that I want to remember forever. Small quirks or things he says that make us laugh every single time. Like how he says something is "degrossting" when he means disgusting. And the way he puts his hand on his chin and looks up when he thinking. How he walks around with his hand in his pocket like gown ups do. And how opinionated he is about what song is on the radio. The best is when he says "I look like a penguin" in a long drown out silly voice, most often when there is tension in the room. 


Cullen has fully embraced his roll as big brother. He takes his job very seriously and keeps a close eye on his little sister. He picks her up and moves her if he thinks she is going where she might be in danger. He tries to pick her up and put her in the stroller. He does his best to soothe her when she is upset. And he even shares his toys with her, almost always willingly. I knew from the first moment her saw her that he would love her with all of his heart, but it has been so much fun to see how he much fun he has taking care of her and playing with her. He definitely has those first born, take charge instincts, but in this case, it just melts my heart.


As sweet and loving as Cullen is, he is also truly a threenager. (Who came up with that term? It perfectly describes this age!) I don't know how one little boy can have so much sass and attitude. Lots of eye rolls and "uh, fine!" when we ask him to do something. And everything I say to him gets thrown back in my face. Things like "I told you that three times already!" It is really difficult to parent effectively when you want to laugh at everything they do, even when you shouldn't!


We love you so much Cullen! These past three years with you in our lives have been absolutely wonderful. I am so excited to see what God has planned for you and where life takes you as you grow!


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