Archive for the ‘family’ Tag

Downtown Disney

Monday, January 19th, 2015 by Jen

Last November we had the pleasure of joining Jordi’s immediate family, plus his dad’s brothers families in Orlando. We rented a huge huge house and stayed all together enjoying the pool and getting to play together. On our first day there we went to Downtown Disney to do some shopping, see the sights and introduce the kids to the idea and style of Disney.

The kids at 11 acre wood

It was such great weather to walk around in. We enjoyed checking out the lego structures and all the characters that were permanently posed for us. We had lunch at the rainforest cafe, after having to move away from the all too lifelike gorillas. The kids found the rainforest cafe to be a bit overwhelming with all the thunderstorms but enjoyed it more once they learned the rhythm and repetition of the events. They most wanted to have one of the birthday volcanos, but alas it was not near their birthday. Instead we had a giant sundae from the Ghiradelli shop!

Greetings from ArandelleFinding Anna and Elsa was a major highlight! Celia picked out her blinking wand for a gift here, Ewan got some duplo blocks and Josie picked out a Frozen story book. The place was decorated so beautifully, but once we had enough shopping and eating, we headed home with our new toys, after acting too cool for Cinderella.

Josie and Celia with Cinderella

Jordi’s parents and sister came to visit!

Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Jen

I’m still working back in July here, and for Ewan’s birthday Jordi’s parents and sister came up to Boston to visit us and enjoy a Boston summer! They first came right in and headed straight to Jordi’s office to check out the cool new digs at google. Once they enjoyed the coffee, a tour, some lunch, and some more coffee we headed back to Arlington to relax and unwind as they’d had a very early morning flight. We enjoyed some time at the playground before picking up some Thai takeout and going to the free concert at the library, meeting up with my parents too. Classic Boston summer where we can hang out outside without melting into a puddle most days 🙂

The next day we headed up to New Hampshire to Canobie lake park! After a quick stop at Costco to pick up the tickets we were on our way up to the park. We had a great day getting to go on the rides, Ewan did a few baby ones, Josie liked the bigger roller coasters (but not the super big ones) and lots of little kid rides for Celia. It was great having more people to go on the rides since Jordi isn’t a fan of the spinny rides and I got to go on all of them previously. We also hit up the water park to get wet and slide down the slides. Jordi and I spent a few minutes by ourselves and went all the way up to the top and got to dump buckets of water on other people instead of being the dumpee down below. Other people got to enjoy the log flume and I got to skip it! We even were serenaded by One Direction* during dinner! (*Note: may not have actually been One Direction, but a cover band instead, still had a lot of screaming teenage girls) Too soon for the kids though, we were tired enough to head back on home.

Saturday was Ewan’s actual birthday and we took it easier and slower with a trip to Quebrada in the morning and playing in the park. We all enjoyed some homemade carrot cake for Ewan’s birthday, although he wasn’t super interested in it yet. I didn’t let him have the frosting, but he took a few bites of cake. Don’t worry, he’s since learned that dessert is something worth asking for.

Ewan pointing at his cupcake

After his nap we went to a cool playground in Cambridge and then out to dinner at Cambridge Common Restaurant. Told you we took it easy! The next morning we again went playground hopping to Joey’s park in Belmont and enjoyed the sunshine before they had to head off in the afternoon much to our disappointment. It was a quick trip but we got to have lots of fun time together and give Ewan a fabulous birthday!

All of us on Ewan's birthday

We are family – August 2014

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Jen

Two very different styles, two vacations, all this month.


on the beach

at storyland


We are family – July 2014

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Jen


NYC [part 2]

Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Jen

Saturday morning we had a plan! We headed to the American Museum of Natural History. After a long trip on the subway, in which one train didn’t run on the weekends (yet didn’t say that anywhere) and then the train that did run, ran express past our stop only, we did make it. After the trip, we stopped for a smoothie and falafel from the trucks that are ubiquitous everywhere. Good snack for us vegetarians. We got into the museum gratis courtesy of Jordi’s job, and headed right for the dinosaurs.

Celia, Jordi, Ewan and Josie in front of the dinosaur

Ewan loved the exhibit, lots of room to run around and move and touch things. He’d had plenty of being trapped and strapped in places the previous day. The girls were fairly impressed, but mostly loved to play with any touch screen exhibit around the place. We spent time with the dinosaurs and then some other prehistoric animals, lunch and then some apes getting closer to humans and the planets. Celia very astutely noticed ‘they almost look like people!’ at the Neanderthals and other not quite homo-sapiens.

After the museum, we promised the girls a treat and found that one Magnolia bakery was not too far away. We headed down, Ewan asleep while carried, Celia passing out in the stroller on the way there. We picked up some cupcakes and cookies and went towards Central Park to nosh down on it all.

Josie enjoying the cupcake

She was super tickled to get one with this little pink rose. They were delicious, light and fluffy, and sweet. It gave me a good idea of how I was supposed to make my cakes look and taste from their cookbook! While we were in central park we found a playground to let the kids work off some steam and relax away from cars and sidewalks. We went to the adventure playground.  Ewan’s favorite thing was to find every bit of trash and pick it up and play with it. In the museum too, he found every program and map.

Ewan playing in the park with trash

Celia scaling the mountain

Josie also playing with trashWhile we were playing it rained on us a bit, but it passed pretty quickly. While we were sitting there our friend Larry got in touch and came to meet us there. He remembered playing at this same playground as a kid too! Electronic devices predicted that it would rain again, and soon, for a while so we decided to head across the park to the zoo where there would be a bit of coverage and protection from the rain. On our way it was raining. One stop we made per Josie’s request was at the statue of a dog named Balto. This dog delivered medicine to some very sick people in Alaska, and she had read a book about it just the previous week. So they were tickled to see the statue, even if we only hung out for a few seconds in the rain to take a picture. Oddly some other women were taking their picture with the dog too. I’m not sure I see the attraction, for the adults.

The balto statue

About the time we finally got across the park and to the zoo, it stopped raining. We watched the sea lions, the penguins, some ducks (and some pigeons pretending to be ducks as seen below). We hiked up to the Red panda and Josie regaled Larry with the entire story of Frozen, because he admitted he hadn’t seen the movie.

Jen, Ewan, Celia, Josie and Larry

After the zoo, we headed back toward Koreatown with Uber to a restaurant literally a few businesses up from our place, that unfortunately had no high chair. We scrambled for someplace else and came up with yet another nearby restaurant that produced some yummy bi bim bop and tofu soup for us all before we went back to our hotel, let the kids get some nice sensory bath time and went to bed, late again for them, early for us. Oh and before dinner, while we waited for the table we went to the top of our hotel to stare up at the empire state building for a few moments. The top is a bar though, so the kids weren’t really supposed to be there.

Each of these days Celia kept saying ‘oh I see the statue of liberty!’ when she saw an advertisement or statue for a tourist shop. So we felt like maybe we should give her a clue of what it really was. We knew we weren’t going to really go take the ship and go see it while they’re so young. We’ll bring them back when they’re older and they’d actually understand it and learn something from it. In the morning though we had plans to meet up with my cousin Will who we haven’t seen in a while. We met with him and his wife Sarah for some brunch. After yet more issues with high chairs (here’s the one table that fits your big group, yes we have a high chair, but no that high chair doesn’t fit at that bar height table as we figured out at seating) we had a very yummy and fun brunch together.

After brunch we headed south to the very tip of Manhatten to get a glimpse of the statue of liberty. Again the kids loved the wide open space to run around in, the gorgeous sunshine and could sort of see the statue. Josie and Celia even unprompted came together for a hug.

Staring at the statue

Josie in front of the freedom tower

Celia flying, Jordi supervising

Big balls, not sure why they were there

After some good run around time, we headed back north to Chinatown on the subway for some treats. The girls had some super cute cakes and we tried a sponge cake too. We also looked around for some dumplings before heading further uptown to Penn station for our ride home. The train was delayed, but we picked up snacks, tooled around a little before catching our train back home. We got in late, but it worked out with more eating, a bit more sleeping, and lots of bathroom trips again.

What’s always fun is watching the girls play out what we did on our trip when we got home. The girls had fun playing train and lugging around bags pretending to travel in the city, complete with requiring lots of hand holding and stroller holding!

We hit up NYC! [part 1 – NYC hits back]

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by Jen

At the end of May we took a family trip down to NYC, just for fun. Because traveling with three small children to one of the biggest cities in the world is fun right? Right. Well, we thought it would be. We used to regularly visit NYC and we took Josie a few times but Celia had never been (except in utero) and certainly not Ewan. So off we went. We decided to take the train, because Jordi and I are not fans of driving long distances, nor are our kids. The train lets us all move around more, eat, drink, pee whenever and I think even though we don’t spring for the express train we still get there faster than driving would be because we’d have to stop, probably more than once.

Us in front of our house

Above is us before we got on the bus, to take the subway to get to the train. Doesn’t Josie look thrilled. But we got out the door on time, with one carry-on suitcase, one hiking backpack and one regular backpack to carry all our stuff. We packed strategically and didn’t even need the extra clothes. I’d love to say the girls sat and behaved peacefully like the picture below.

Girls sitting on the train

But it was more like this one and then descending into more wiggles and trouble sitting still. Ewan was in the stroller wanting to get out and walk around on the subway. We already learned our lesson with that one and his request for walking on a moving subway was denied. Sitting down is not his favorite.

Girls actual behavior on the train

We made it to south station, bought all kinds of food for lunch, snacks and dessert and waited for them to call our train. We board our train, make it through the four hours of mostly staying in our seats with many many trips to the bathroom and a few walks. Ewan eventually takes a very late nap. We get to Penn station, find our way out of that maze with luggage, and walk over to our hotel and check in. Then we head south to the nearest green space we can find for the kids to run off some energy, Madison square park. Notice we’re all still wearing the same clothes! yay! no vomiting!

We're in NYC!

This would be the picture right before the vomiting. Turns out many hours on a train plus a very well oiled tire swing will do Josie in.

Josie and Celia on the tire swing

I stop her from the swing, and get Celia and the other kid off, and then Josie stands up and pukes on the tire. I get Josie out and try to start cleaning up. Celia has the biggest freak out I’ve ever seen her have in her entire life. So I have one kid sitting on the ground, puking again a bit, and another girl screaming ‘NO NO NO I DONT WANT TO GO HOME. SHES NOT ALLOWED TO BE SICK.’ or something to that effect. Ewan see’s Celia upset and decides that the fit has hit the shan, and starts crying too. I’m trying to keep other kids from climbing onto the puked on swing. Some other mom is offering Josie a half drunk water bottle, which I’m not so comfortable with and get Josie her own water. Celia is still screaming from across the park. I manage to clean up the puke, the swing, and shuffle Josie off to the side with the other screaming crying kids with Jordi and proceed to comfort them sequentially. Yeah, so, good times there. Eventually everyone calms down.

I had previously been trying to get a dinner recommendation from people at the park, but it seems no one actually lives in the city. Everyone I asked said they didn’t. Eventually one person said ‘go to Eatily‘, so we did. We found the pasta/pizza part of the store and put our name in and even though Celia and Josie were just barely hanging on for being slightly acceptable in public, we resolved to push through, because we had no idea what else to do. Once we finally got seated and the food, they perked up. Pasta and pizza make everyone’s day better, especially covered in copious amounts of butter and cheese. We headed home for the night and tried to get as much sleep as we could, late for the kids, but early for us grown ups!


Cape Codder resort — again!

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 by Jen

Oh how I keep falling behind on here, lots to keep us busy elsewhere! Earlier this month Josie decided that instead of a party, she wanted us to go to the Cape Codder Resort again with my parents for the weekend. She had the whole thing planned out, at least for the swimming and eating part of the weekend. She took us to Olive Garden on Friday night, Dunkies, Friendly’s and a local burrito place on Saturday and then IHOP and Not Your Average Joes on Sunday. And in most all of these places she told them it was her birthday trip and so we got lots of fun bonuses of singing and cake and ice cream. It was the first time my parents had ever been to the hotel and they enjoyed getting to see what we do every year! Since it was May and not February we got to spend some real time in the outdoor pool enjoying the lack of chlorine and some real sunshine. It felt nice and warm and not insanely freezing or snowing on our heads while in the pool. Josie and Celia have really been taking to swimming more lately as they’ve been taking lessons at the Y. Ewan mostly got put in the pool right when he was ready for naps, so I was often bringing him back to the room to snooze after a short time.

We had a good weekend and it was great to have the adult favored ratio of adults to kids. I even got to go shopping for a new bathing suit. On the way home we stopped at a beach to enjoy for a short time before some heavy rains came in. Ewan enjoyed his first time in sand since last summer. Lots of pictures!

All the kids in the pool

Jordi and Ewan


All of us before hitting the road home

Josie at the beach

Ewan on the beach

All the kids digging

Ewan and Papa

Watch out for that cloud!

Ewan lounging on the beach

We are family: May 2014

Sunday, May 18th, 2014 by Jen

Us on the beach on cape cod, right before it poured

We are family – April 2014

Sunday, April 27th, 2014 by Jen

In front of the bunk beds, with the interval timer

jordi, Ewan, Josie, Jen and Celia

We are family: March 2014

Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Jen

This is from the ‘this is real’ collection, because hey it’s the 31st and oh no the kids have to go to bed.

Josie, Jordi, Celia, Jen and Ewan

Chlorine smelling girls from swimming lessons, and a naked baby. In our bed, with a crown, and a book. This is us these days.