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Our trip to the Bahamas….mon!

Our trip to the Bahamas….mon!

We just got back from a huge family vacation and couldn’t wait to share our pics! It was seriously an amazing week. To kick everything off my cousin got married! Then we took a trip to the Bahamas on a Carnival Cruise Ship, what more could you ask for!? We had to go about this the most affordable way as possible because we were lucky enough that we just went on another cruise in June so two in one year can be a little $$$$ (first world problems). My brother stayed with us in our room so that made it a little more affordable also! I was worried what having five people in one room would be like but it really wasn’t that bad at all. I would definitely do it again! We had a king sized bed that Brad, Jake and I slept in (not a big deal since he crashes with us at home anyway), then a bunk bed above us is where Owen slept (and where Jake would jump off of in WWE fashion and say “top rope!”), and then another fold down bed on the other wall for my brother Brendan. I mean of course we didn’t have a ton of extra room, but typically we don’t spend much time in there anyway. Our first day was the wedding, it was beautiful! In previous cruises I have seen a random bride or groom walking around on departure day and I’ve always been curious about the wedding logistics of it. It was great and if I had a do-over I probably would’ve went with a destination wedding. We were all able to get on board earlier than normal boarding time too which was nice, then we went straight to the Lido deck to have some lunch before the ceremony.

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The boys loved being on the ship and looking down to watch them loading the cargo on board and dancing around listening to the island music. The perfect way to kick off our vacation!

 

 

After we finished up with the wedding and reception we went to our muster drill (the only annoying part about a cruise lol) and then changed and went to dinner. We chose the early dinner since we had kids with us and so we could make it to the show right after. I truly think early dining is the way to go. I didn’t know 6pm was considered an early dinner lol! The dining room was the only part I was nervous about with having kids with us, but honestly they were awesome. The staff was so great with the boys, if they noticed they were getting irritable they would talk and ask them questions. Each night they immediately brought their juices over as soon as they sat down. My favorite part was dressing them up for dinner each night. Seriously these boys need a modeling contract. They’re naturals!

 

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And I’m sorry for the quality of this next picture because it is a picture of a picture but I can’t not share it…

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Our next day was a sea day, we spent it mostly outside. The boys loved the little kiddie pool (it looked to be an old hot tub that they just didn’t turn the heaters on or something). Since both were just a tad too short to ride the water slide we spent all of our pool time here at the kiddie pool. My boys must take after me because I’m perfectly content to sit in the sun with a fruity beverage.

Our first port was Nassau, Bahamas. I love this place! They really don’t get much credit. I’ve heard a lot of people say they just stay on board in Nassau and don’t really enjoy it but every time we’ve been here we have had a blast. There is a nice beach, Junkanoo Beach, just a short walking distance away. If you love to snorkel or want to try it out, this is a great spot for it! There are a TON of fish by the pier.

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Since we have kids with us this time we took a cab ride to and from to cut down on any whining that could potentially start. Who whines in the Bahamas!? Kids. They don’t give a F#*! where they are. This place is so special to me. We came here first just my husband and I, then the following summer we came here with my brother and brother in law, and then we came the summer after that with a group of friends (Rebecca was of course there too!), and now we were here with my family and my kids. Each time was great and I haven’t had a complaint yet. We did have a little accident this time where my son lost his flip flop on the beach. Possibly blew away? Luckily there are a ton of shops and I was able to get him a replacement pair to finish off the remainder of our vacation with. After about four hours of playing on the beach the kids started to get tired so we decided to call it a day. We boarded and went immediately to the Lido deck for some lunch. At this point naps were needed for ALL OF US! Everyone gives me shit for napping on vacation, but IDGAF thats what vacation is for! 

 

Our next port day we went to heaven. Literally heaven on earth. It is carnival’s private island called Half Moon Cay. My husband and I have been here before as well, but this time was even better because we had our family and kids with us. Hands down, this was my favorite day. Probably ever lol.

Since we had a big group with us my parents rented a Villa for us all for the day. It was AHHHMAZING. If you ever go here, get the cabana or villa, you definitely won’t regret it. Two stories of beach luxury. Hot tub, private bathroom, padded lounge chairs, snorkel gear, beach floats, towels, fruit tray, veggie tray, chips and guacamole and salsa, sodas….anything you could need to get you through the day. A little secret about the cabana’s and villa’s is that carnival lists the price as “per person” when it actually isn’t. It’s that one set price for the whole day. With the cabana it is up to 4 and up to 8 with the villa. In reality you could definitely do more than 4 or 8 but I guess that would be breaking the rules…

 

My favorite part was when my brother and I rented a kayak for the hour and went out sightseeing on our own. This island is so beautiful.

 

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The next day was our last sea day, we basically spent it the same way as our other sea day. Mostly at the kiddie pool. We did opt to go to the Dr Seuss character brunch which was $5 per person. It was great and totally worth it. The food is done up so cute, Dr Seuss style, and they have some characters come out and dance around and take pics with the kids.

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Overall this trip was amazing and I can’t believe I was nervous to cruise with two kids. They had so much fun and they only went to the kids club once for about an hour or so. And that was because there was an event they wanted to go to. I never once heard them say they were bored. My kids can be difficult to please so I thought for sure I would’ve heard some whining or complaining. My oldest is a gamer and begs me to “get the car with the wifi” and he didn’t even complain about not having wifi! It was amazing. And my youngest was just happy to get ice cream whenever he wanted…

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Some other pics from our vacation…

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Owen loved the towel animals each night. Of course we had to hurry and scoop it up before Jake destroyed them. We learned that on night 1.

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Usually I don’t buy pictures on our cruises because they can add up quickly, but I loved this one that the photographer snapped of us in the ocean at Half Moon Cay. <3

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I’m so proud of this one! I won this coveted plastic ship on a stick trophy at Friends Trivia. I got every question right, including the bonus points. This trophy is a long time coming because I was literally robbed of winning Friends Trivia on our last cruise. And I’m not being dramatic either lol. Another story for another blog…

 

 

Why We Don’t Do Elf on the Shelf

Why We Don’t Do Elf on the Shelf

We don’t do Elf on the Shelf.

*Gasp*. You may think to yourself, Elf on the Shelf seems like such a wonderful holiday memory! Why would anyone not want to share that with their kids? I will assure you that I am not a Grinch and I am not a bad mom (well jury is still out on that one). But seriously, let me give you the run down of why we don’t have an Elf. If you do have an Elf and love the tradition, I’m glad it works for you! These opinions aren’t anti-elf, they are just what works best in our house.

Reason #1: Santa is magical.

Growing up as a kid, it was amazing to me that Santa “sees you when your sleeping, knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” simply because he is SANTA and he knows things. To my husband and I, the fact that Santa needs to send a spy out to invade your home and watch your kids like a hawk kind of takes away from how awesome the illusion of Santa is for our children. If Santa is so great, why would he need a little snitch to run back to the North Pole every night to tell him what’s going on?

Reason # 2: It’s less stress.

We try to keep everything pretty simple around our home to keep it running smoothly. I know myself enough to be honest, I’m pretty lazy. I am sure that I would forget to move the Elf more often than not. We all have pretty busy schedules and by the time the kids go to bed, my husband and I are both just as exhausted. I mean, I’ve forgotten to be the Tooth Fairy more times than I’d like to admit, so why add another thing to my plate.

Reason #3: Once you are in, you are IN.

Think about it, when you do Elf on the Shelf one year, you have to do it every year after that. My oldest daughter first asked me about the Elf when she was 5 (she’s 9 now), her younger sister was 3, and we have another daughter who wasn’t even thought of then. So, if I had started when she first asked, I would have already been doing it for four years. My youngest is only 2-years-old now, so we are talking at least another six years. That’s 10 years of my life that I would have committed to needing to know exactly where the Elf is every December. To be honest, I know I’d lose it, probably more than once, and have to spend more money replacing it. Not to mention, coming up with clever schemes for it every night while its out. Which leads me to my final thought…

Reason #4: The Elf is mischievous

I don’t know much of the elf’s backstory, but maybe it explains why he’s so naughty. How is Santa going to send an elf to watch my children, then allow the elf to misbehave the way it does? I just really don’t understand why these elves are setting such poor examples for our children. Whoever understands that aspect, please explain…

With all that said, a few years ago my MIL decided to get one for her house while the kids are there. His name is “Elmer” and he’s pretty cool. To me, it makes more sense that Santa wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on them while they were at someone else’s house. It’s also something fun for them to look forward to while they are there.

While I wish I was full of energy and ideas about what to do with the elf, I’m not. I’m honest about it. I am also honest with the fact that I do enjoy seeing other people’s posts about what their elves are up to. Some of you parents are so creative!

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? Feel free to share stories of times you’ve forgotten to move the thing and how you’ve gotten out of it! If you don’t have an Elf on the Shelf, let me know if you agree with my reasons or if you have a different  reason why you don’t have one.

A Typical Mom Monday

A Typical Mom Monday

It’s Monday. That means it will be my worst day of the week. It never fails. I know most people hate Mondays, but I think Mondays hate me.

On a typical Monday morning, the kids and I all hit snooze multiple times. Any other day of the week at least one of us wakes up on time and gets everyone else up… But not on Monday! So, we all oversleep.

 

This is my legitimate alarm schedule
This is my legitimate alarm schedule

I wake up to my middle daughter telling me she has no clean underwear, my oldest daughter is wearing shorts (in 40 degree weather) and my 2-year-old has to potty RIGHT now! So, I blindly lead my toddler to the bathroom while I wipe away my eye boogies (apparently that is the official term we use in this house for those crusty morning eyes). Then, I search through clean laundry piles to find princess undies and long pants for the older two. There are at least three full baskets of clean laundry that I washed over the weekend, but never got around to putting away. Honestly, I could not care less about this laundry right now simply because it’s Monday and IDGAF.

My kids shove pop tarts in their face while I throw money in their book bags. I just don’t have the time or energy to pack their lunches. Let’s see, book bags are packed, shoes are on, kids are ready to walk out the door and… Oh, there goes the bus. I say something to the tune of, “OK kids, give me a few minutes to throw on a bra and some pants. This way I can take you to school and also look presentable enough to go through the Starbucks drive-thru.” I may not worry about much of anything today, but I still need my coffee.

 

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 Fast forward to the afternoon: My toddler wants jelly toast and graham crackers for lunch. No arguments from me, the girl gets what she wants. She knows it’s Monday, and we are just trying to survive. After lunch, she says, “Mommy I want to eat popcorn and go to sleep.” I then realize that I’m doing an awesome job teaching my kid how to prioritize her day.

During her nap, I don’t even pretend like I’m going to get things done. I just lay on the couch and binge watch TV until I hear her feet hit the floor. After nap, we watch The Nightmare Before Christmas TWO times in a row. It’s her favorite movie and I have probably seen the movie more times than anyone has seen any movie ever.

Next thing I know, it’s 6:45pm and I haven’t even thought about dinner. My stomach is achy because all I have eaten today was popcorn, and two coffees. Apparently, no one cares that I don’t feel well, my kids still expect to eat. I call my husband and ask him to pick up some dinner for everyone on his way home. He gives a pause, but doesn’t argue because he already knows how my Monday is going…

On Monday nights, my kids will just be getting in the bath at 8:15, even though their bedtime was at 8:00. They probably won’t end up asleep until 9PM. It’s all OK though because when we wake up in the morning it will be any day other than Monday… so tomorrow will be better.

Why I Don’t Enjoy Decorating for Holidays

Why I Don’t Enjoy Decorating for Holidays

 

If you are looking for holiday decorating inspiration, you are looking in the wrong place. Granted, I will post soon about my holiday decor, but before I decorate I need to bitch about having to decorate.

 

Decorating for holidays seems like so much fun! What a wonderful sight to behold! My parents didn’t do much decorating for any holiday except Christmas, and even then it was just putting up a Christmas tree and stockings. We might have also had Christmas lights every few years, if the ones my dad had put up the previous year still worked – because they were never taken down. We call those two-fers!

So as an adult, decorating for holidays seemed like a no-brainer. The first year of home-ownership was great. Stickies on the windows, garland wrapped around the banister, and candles themed to match the holiday. I also had lights strung around the porch and even wrapped around the tree in our front yard. Yet, after each holiday it was harder to be enthusiastic, because what goes up, must come down. Unlike my parents, I could not leave lights up all year round.

Let me not forget that I also always seem to get hurt in one way or another while decorating. I’ve managed to cut myself carving pumpkins, burn myself with a hot glue gun, and my favorite is when I get an allergic reaction while decorating the Christmas tree. It doesn’t matter whether it is real or fake, my hands and arms break out in some kind of rash…

 

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Holiday decorating often doesn’t end well for me.

 

With every year that passes by the eagerness of decorating for the holidays dwindles. I am 10 years into home ownership and now when I think about pulling all the big bins out of storage, taking the time to put everything up, then putting the empty bins back in storage it doesn’t sound fun. Mainly because three weeks to a month later, I have to pull the big bins back out, take down all the decorations, try to figure out how to fit all this crap back into the bins so that the lid will close, and then put those big heavy bins, back in the storage area!, while simultaneously repeating the process for the next holiday. “So just don’t decorate,” you might be thinking. Well it isn’t as simple as that.

 

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The problem about my new pessimism towards decorating for holidays is that each year my children become more and more aware of when the holidays are. In turn, they get more excited to decorate for each holiday earlier and earlier. If I was dealing with a man, this would force me to tell him that I think we are growing in different directions and we should end it now. Of course, it is ill advised to say that to small children, so I am yet again being pushed around by tiny dictators.

For example, I can no longer get away with sitting out a single, albeit large, pumpkin on the porch and saying we are decorated for fall. We must have multiple pumpkins, of multiple shades, carved into an array of small masterpieces. We must also start yet again, putting sticker decorations in the windows for each holiday, and having every inch of the house decorated for Christmas. It looks so nice when everything is up, but it feels like it’s a bunch of work for little satisfaction. That is until I see the light in those tiny human eyes of my children and it seems like maybe it is a little more exciting than my adult mind can understand. So, with all that said, I may not enjoy decorating, or un-decorating for that matter, but I will do it anyway – Super Mom style.

 

Stay tuned for posts about our holiday decorations for the rest of the year, plus Hailey’s Costume Halloween birthday party!

Do you despise decorating or do you love it? Let me know in the comments below!
Rebecca

Worst Tooth Fairy Ever!

Worst Tooth Fairy Ever!

So, I don’t know about the Tooth Fairy in your neighborhood, but ours sucks! She is forgetful, she is usually cheap, and she is not very stealthy. Like most relationships it started off well, and then slowly went downhill…

Our first encounter with the Tooth Fairy was about 3 years ago when Hailey was 5. She had just lost her first tooth, and then she legitimately lost her tooth! We couldn’t find it anywhere! So, she left a note for the Tooth Fairy under her pillow requesting Jelly Beans instead of money.

"Tooth Fairy I lost my tooth. Can I still have jellybeans?"
“Tooth Fairy I lost my tooth. Can I still have jellybeans?”

The Tooth Fairy was very excited to visit our house for the first time. She made sure jellybeans were gently placed under Hailey’s pillow and she sneaked in and out of the room undetected. We were all very impressed with her skills!

But things started to go down hill by the time she lost her 4th tooth. Hailey woke up to find a various amount of nickels and dimes in a Ziplock baggie under her pillow. She counted it up to be $1.35. The Tooth Fairy seemed ill prepared for the job.

Fast Forward to when Olivia lost her first tooth. Again, the Tooth Fairy was very excited to visit a child for the first time and she was seasoned now, no longer a rookie! But before she could start collecting teeth, Mrs. Fairy had to tuck in 2 kids and nurse an infant to sleep… and ended up falling asleep herself. The next morning we awoke to a very disappointed 5 yr. old who informed me that the Tooth Fairy never came. I cursed that stupid fairy up and down and then I did what all parents do in that situation. I lied to my child. “Oh no! I bet she is just running late. I heard a lot of kids lost teeth yesterday!” While Olivia went to brush the teeth that were still left in her mouth, the Tooth Fairy quickly scribbled a note, apologizing for being late, and left $1 under her pillow. I told Olivia to check one more time before leaving for school and she was delighted to find the treasure. Crisis averted… this time.

When Olivia lost her next tooth a couple weeks later, again she was excited for the Tooth Fairy to come. And again that bitch ass Tooth Fairy fell asleep early and forgot poor Olivia. I woke up so livid! I had a headache and I think it’s because I mentally punched the Tooth Fairy in the face. Olivia was so sad again! We told her the fairy was probably busy and we heard there were some shake-ups going on over at Fairy Headquarters. The next night the Tooth Fairy arrived and left money… but forgot to take the tooth. Olivia didn’t understand why she would forget the tooth and my husband explained that she was probably teaching some new fairies the ropes, “Those darn trainees!”

I honestly can’t remember the next couple mess ups that the Tooth Fairy made, but I was definitely caught once looking under Hailey’s pillow in the middle of the night and I had to explain to her that I was “just checking to make sure the Tooth Fairy actually showed up this time.”

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Our most recent encounter with the Tooth Fairy was a few weeks ago. It had been a couple months since our big move to another state and Olivia had been wiggling this tooth since we were in our old house. It finally came out and she hurried to put it under her pillow. I professed to my husband how the Tooth Fairy really needs to step her game up and NOT forget because I think it’s the last tooth she will lose for a while. I swore, Tooth Fairy won’t forget tonight… I mean it… NOT TONIGHT!

Guess what? The Tooth Fairy forgot. Mother F@$&%#! Seriously?! Yet again, I had the most disappointed child. We convinced her that the Tooth Fairy must not have realized we moved. We were sure that she would show up that night once she realized her mistake.

So, that night after all the kids were tucked in, I sat down with Chris to watch some TV. Hours later we headed up to bed. I got comfortable under the covers and laid down my head on the pillow. Soooo comfortable. My eyes slowly closed and…

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Can you tell this was hastily scribbled at 1:30am?!

F&$%! The damn Tooth Fairy didn’t come. That bitch ruins everything! OK. *Shakes husband awake* “Do you have any cash?” He grunts a reply that I take as a yes. I rifle through his wallet and see the options. $1, $5, or $20? I feel guilty for all the times Mrs. Fairy has royally ruined the fun of being a kid, but I didn’t feel $20 guilty. So, I settled on giving her a $5 bill… something Mr. Fairy gave me grief about for days to come; he’s old school and thinks $1 is pushing it. I informed him that if he wants to take over the Fairy business, he is more than welcome! Olivia ended up happy the next morning and that’s all that matters…

We’re hoping that our fairy can get her life together before she has to come back again because she is running out of excuses… Share your Tooth Fairy stories in the comments below!

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