Archive for the ‘vacation’ Tag

Cape Cod 2015 (Part 3)

Monday, October 5th, 2015 by Jen

Our other big activity for going to Cape Cod is always the beach! We went for two big trips, and then again for some picture taking sessions. The kids loved digging in the sand. Celia and Josie loved going out deep in the water and playing on the boogie boards. They were a lot more confident this year than last and wanted to go out beyond the safe areas. At one point the tide was coming back in so fast that we almost got in over my head and I had to pull them back in against their wishes. Also for fun in the water was the new phone case I got my dad that is waterproof. So we took it out in the pool, and out in the ocean and it kept working and snapping and we didn’t even loose it!

Ewans early morning face

The mulligan clan

Silly Celia

The three loves

\My parents laughing

My dad flying his kite! We didn’t lose it this year!

Kite flying
The kids up in the lifeguard chair!

Up on the lifeguard chair

Ewan on the beach Josie on the beach

The picture of Ewan with the duck whistle, RIP duck whistle 2015.



The turtle wars!!!IMG_0914

Smiles on the porch with sisters goggles!


One day I made oobleck for the kids, cornstarch and water. Cheap easy entertainment when you can get messy outside!


Jordi under water!


Josie in the water!


Celia on the boogie board!


Post beach nap.



Ewan on a boogie board!


Here’s how non-graceful I end up looking on my photo shoots, this time I had to do it in a dress. It was super windy!


Lots of these photos are courtesy of my dad.

Cape Cod 2015 (part 2)

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 by Jen

Brr as fall starts to set in around here I better finish remembering our summer. At the end of July we were at Cape Cod and having a lovely time at our rental house in Mashpee.

A lot of our time at the cape we spend hanging out in the backyard and playing in the pool. This year we saw some fantastic leaps in swimming abilities for Celia and Josie. Josie had been swimming without any flotation device in lessons this year but she was still a bit nervous about it. Celia loves to use her floaties, but she made the mistake of jumping in once without them and then swimming across the pool. Then I pointed out to her that she had done it by herself. At first she was shocked and scared, but eventually she was proud of herself for having done it. As always with the pool comes the ice cream! That is one of their favorite parts. I prefer not having to clean the kids up after eating, as they just get wet and cleaned in the pool mostly. They are not neat ice cream cone eaters.

Ewan enjoying his ice cream

Josie enjoying her ice cream

Celia about to go swimming after the ice cream

My parents had brought a bunch of inflatibles, a giant ball, two turtles and two tubes. The turtles were fun for having ‘turtle wars’ where you try to bounce them into one another and see who comes up on top. The girls spent a lot of time hopping in and out of the pool with the toys, riding on different ones. Ewan was harder to convince to get into the pool. He spent more time walking around it although we did get him to wear the puddlejumpers a lot of the time so we wouldn’t feel the need to chase him constantly. He liked to play with water on the side and pour it into cups. Eventually I dragged him into the pool and he started to like riding around on the turtles which he calls ‘ugas’, short for ‘tortuga’ (turtle in spanish). I made him do some swimming too but he wasn’t terribly fond of it yet, or even jumping in. He used to enjoy jumping in last year.

Another toy we brought with us was Jordi’s new water rocket he got for fathers day. We took it out to the high schools field with lots of space, and it was good we had the space. This rocket really launches! It was super cool and lots of fun to fill it up and pump it up with the bike pump.

Dad flying his kite

Rocket launched!

This was Thursday morning right before lunch. As we were doing all this I started to get some phone calls from our carpenter. Our neighbor it seems had found our front doors open that morning and shut them for us. We had a cat sitter coming in twice a day to medicate the cats (argh). Somehow she managed to leave the front door open although swears she wasn’t using it because she couldn’t figure it out. The carpenter had the keys and went into the house to check on the cats at the behest of the neighbor. He couldn’t find a cat (two were upstairs, but only one was found downstairs when there should have been two). So I called the cat sitter and she came from work and couldn’t find George either. We let things settle a bit while we had lunch, I made some more calls back and forth and still no George despite ripping the house apart. There was no sign of him so we made the decision that Jordi would go back home to look for George. Good thing we were less than two hours away at least.

Jordi went home that afternoon, confirmed George was still missing and stayed up late trying to find him. Early the next morning thankfully George reappeared outside in our garage and after chasing him a few times around the house, Jordi was able to catch him and return him to safety. But that cost Jordi a day of vacation by the time he was able to clean up, eat and drive back. Then again at the end of the trip, the cat sitter managed to lock her keys in our house and called fire department before talking to us (and our neighbors who had a key). Thanks to the AFD for showing up, but we did finally get ahold of a neighbor with a full set of keys. But that cat sitter will not be back.

Back again with one more installment about the beach, and the ‘gift’ I conveniently gave my dad for his birthday.

Storyland 2014

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jen

This August we got to make a fun trip up to storyland with our friends Sarah, Alex, Anna and Sophie. We drove up on Friday afternoon and the kids did pretty well, Ewan slept almost the entire time and the girls made it through the long drive with only one stop for Panera. We checked into the condo hotel and headed right over to storyland to blast off for some awesome rides. This year Celia was much bigger than two years ago and so she could do almost everything, and Josie was big enough to do every ride she wanted to do, most of them she could do alone even.

Us five in the classic frame

First off Celia was mesmerized by the animatronic fruit and vegetables in the front. Sophie and Anna decided to spend their money on storyland drivers licenses. Up we went to the clock-cups ride. The first time we took the bigger kids, and then I tried with Celia and Ewan. Ewan tried to explore the door, Celia grabbed him because she didn’t want him to do that, and then bonked his head on the black center wheel. So before we even got moving, he was off.

Jen, Ewan and Celia in the cups

The train was interesting for all, just Ewan’s speed and helpful for getting around the park for those who didn’t have to push the stroller!

Riding the train!

On the way out of the park we met up with Cinderella to say goodbye!

Girls meeting Cinderella

That first day was short because we went for the deal where you buy a ticket in the last three hours of the day, and you can come back the following day. The next morning we were up bright and early and got to the park way before everyone else. Because I mis-read the opening time, oops 🙂 So we had a bit of time to kill and muddled around outside the gate.

Once we got inside we ran for the antique cars and enjoyed a shared loop around with Josie and Celia driving. For some reason this is the only ride that their height charts are messed up, every other ride Josie was over 48 inches, but apparently she had shrunk overnight and then grew again. Soooo some of the favorites of the day were the polar coaster (Celia and Josie), the new roarosaurus (my favorite) and the farm cars (Ewans). Josie has also taken a new liking to the tilt-a-whirl (called the turtles here) which was a favorite of mine as a kid. Now apparently my inner-ear fluid is solidifying and that ride comes close to making me sick. But of all four adults, I was the only one willing to go on spinning rides and roller coasters, so I got to go on a lot of rides! I let Jordi do the wet rides though, and went with Ewan to have some fudge and explore the nursery rhyme section.

In the early afternoon we also had booked tea time with Cinderella! She had a whole lot of tables all set up with tea and a rice krispie and talked with all her guests before reading them a story, taking a picture, and giving out a coloring book. It was very sweet

All of us before heading home

At the part and all weekend we had a great time, ate some ice cream, and took it easy back at the hotel. The less fun part was coming home, Ewan came down with a fever later on Saturday which came back on Sunday. When we stopped for lunch at a brick-oven pizza place, and were seated right next to it, it made his fever spike even higher and caused a febrile seizure. I had the hostess call 911 and I went with Ewan to the hospital in the ambulance where it took him a long time to feel better. Eventually Jordi and the girls caught up with us after finishing lunch and we kept waiting for him to smile but the poor kid wasn’t feeling so good. About 3 hours later he did finally get his fever down fairly low thanks to tylenol and motrin and we were able to bring him home. So the memories of the weekend are a bit overshadowed by the big scare, but they said that the fevers won’t hurt, and aren’t likely to happen again.

Cape Cod 2014

Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by Jen

This year at the end of July we went on our annual trip with my parents to Cape Cod for a week. This time we tried out a new house, still with a pool, but it was overall a bit smaller. We had a great time, but it’s always a pretty chill and relaxing week for us. We get there, play in the pool, go to the beach a few times, do an early morning trip of just me and the kids to dunkies and the beach, play more in the pool, do some grilling, eat lots of ice cream and pretty much that’s the week! The kids get older so their habits change a bit.

This year Ewan could do something on the beach other than just nap in the tent with me. He loved to dig in the sand and found low tide to be super fun to run around in the small puddles, jumping and throwing balls into them. We spent two whole days at the beach and low tide was near the end and they still all loved it. The water was warmer and shallower to run in.

Josie and Celia enjoyed their boogie boards going way out in the water with a grown up. They also liked finding hermit crabs and snails in the tide pools. Celia is still very big on digging and making castles whereas Josie wanted to spend more time in the water and even practiced a bit of swimming.

For our morning trip to the beach we were all a little too late with the super-early sunrise in July (rather than late August) to really get the good light, but we made an effort and they had fun digging and eating some munchkins.

Josie eating her egg and cheese

All three in a line

Three sitting down

Josie in some lovely light

The house this year was further from the beach, and so that made evening beach outings not so frequent. We only made it out once to fly kites and take pictures. But two of those days we were just barely getting home for dinner anyway from the beach. We also made it to one cotuit kettleers baseball game. (Note to self: no vegetarian food, bring dinner next year) We fed them a well rounded diet of popcorn, nachos with cheeze Celia refused to eat, ice cream and a cheese on a hamburger bun.

As always we spent a lot of time hanging around the house, letting Ewan nap, doing art projects and generally relaxing.

Jordi and Ewan out on the deck

Its a group effort to feed Ewan

Celia the model

Ewan on chevron print

One of Ewan’s favorite activities, typical of a 1 year old, was play with the pots and pans. The kitchen was super loaded with supplies and we only had so many cabinet locks so he had his pick of several pots and pans and enjoyed stacking and banging them.


On Thursday night we managed to get a beautiful day, an early dinner and got us all clean and out to the beach to take pictures. Last year was a serious flop, but this year we hit it right and didn’t have any diaper blow-outs. I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos of the year so far of us all!

Karen and Mike

helping me with my settings

The 5 of us

All seven

All seven sitting

Celia kissing Ewan

The three amigos

Beautiful evening

father and son

Ewan using his new toys

Girls flying the kite

Laughter when I told Celia to pretend to vomit on Josie


Cape Codder 2014!

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Jen

A few weeks ago we got to enjoy our regular mid-winter weekend  break with our lovely neighbors! We head down to the cape codder resort and enjoy a weekend of swimming, eating, sleeping and more swimming. Our trip down was nicely uneventful with Celia and Ewan sleeping most of the way, so we didn’t stop. We had picked Josie up right after school and made it down there by 4pm. After setting up the room it was 5 and so we headed out for an early dinner to Olive Garden which Josie and Celia thought was absolutely fantastic. Jordi and I were generally reminded as to why we don’t go to the olive garden. After dinner we went home for a late swim in the pool before bed. Christina and family arrived after our kids were already in bed, trying to avoid sleeping.

The next morning we were up early and after a quick breakfast provided by Dunkies, we headed over to the pool, where I cruelly force my children to take pictures for 3 minutes once during the entire weekend.

Celia, Josie and Ewan

But I must say I do always love the bright unidirectional light plus white sheets that the lovely beds provide for us and take advantage! My kids all have new headshots from this weekend for our walls!

Ewan and a ball

Ewan, playing with some swag.

Celia in her suit

After our morning swim, we head back to the room and get ready for lunch at Not Your Average Joes and check out the carousel at the mall. We’ve got this trip down to a routine at this point, and despite efforts to change it, it turns out not too much is open on the cape this time of year and so it just stays low-key.

Josie, Ewan and Celia

After lunch we have a rest back at the hotel before more swimming. This is the first trip Josie’s been tall enough to try the slides at the pool, and she was super brave and decided to try them! She can’t swim yet but she managed to get her feet down at the bottom of the slides and did them again and again and again. It was so much fun to see her try something new and out of her comfort zone.

Celia had a blast all over the pool with her floaties but she tuckered out quicker than usual. Ewan enjoyed his first time in a pool in a while and liked to splash himself while walking around in the pool. He found it fascinating and exhausting.

Later we went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant that with all 9 of us we take over almost half the restaurant. But it is oh so tasty and nice and cheap too. Josie and Celia were both a little under the weather as it seems someone always has to be when we’re down there. It’s the time of year for colds for everyone! After dinner we went out to roast marshmallows around the bonfire (in the background below is the wave pool).

roasting marshmallows

The next morning we eat, swim and pack up again before heading home. We took a detour and visited IKEA and Jordan’s furniture to try to figure out how to shift up the girls bedroom and didn’t make it home till late. Overall though it was a great trip and so much fun to see them all enjoy themselves.

Everyone all together!

Cape Cod in 2013

Sunday, October 6th, 2013 by Jen

Yep still more posts about Cape Cod and it’s past the end of September. I’ll make it the last.

Cape cod 2013!

We keep it low key on vacation. We generally spent the afternoon at the pool and most days just around the house, playing at the local school playground, swimming, reading and several days we went to the beach.

Josie and Celia reading

At the beach Celia had no question of what to do. The biggest problem was the sunblock which she does not like. We learned to put it on at the car so once she hit the sand she could just dig dig dig, scoop scoop scoop and pour pour pour. She kept herself busy for hours on end with no apparent goal, except the one she couldn’t clearly express from her own mind.

Celia and Mike digging in the sand

Josie on the other hand preferred to be in the water mostly. She really got into her boogie board this year (or more accurately enjoyed using Celia’s because she thought it was prettier). She did some digging, but had the most fun when she managed to connect with other kids. One day it was two brothers that she played school with (she was the teacher), another day two sisters from the UK.

Josie and her boogie board

Tere, Jordi, and Josie

We also did some art outside, painting, drawing, cutting, and even attempted some building with marshmallows and toothpicks. Josie was intrigued, Celia was not interested for more than a couple of seconds. It was tricky to get them to stick!

Mike and Josie building with toothpicks and marshmallows

Building with food

Other than some more random photoshoots in the green room to appease me…

Ewan smiling and sleeping at 7 weeks

All three vertical!

he's not a dog Celia

Forced hand holding

We spent our time in the pool! Josie learned to jump in both the shallow and deep end of the pool (with the puddlejumpers in the deep end) even going under water before popping back up!

Celia at the pool






And where was Ewan? Mostly he could sense the second I went into the water and cried for me, but sometimes we made this work. Outdoor swing!

Ewan in the swing

It was a great trip!

The five of us!

Celia wants to know…

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 by Jen

when will we go back to vacation? She really liked it apparently. Not hard to imagine why! One of our favorite things to do is have a picnic on the beach for dinner or just have an early dinner and play on the beach after dinner. Most nights there was wind, although not for a few of them oddly enough. Unfortunately on our last night Celia was flying my dad’s kite and let it go and it went into the power lines. This time we got a backup system so that won’t happen again!

Celia, Ewan and Josie on the beach at night

Jordi and his kite

Celia tossing a frisbee

More cape cod

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 by Jen

Did I say I was done posting pictures of cape cod? No, apparently I’m not.

They’re watching Jordi fly his kite on the beach.

This is the skyline late one morning right before a huge storm rolled in on us. We went to the beach for an hour anyway.

I handed over the camera to Jordi so I could get in a few shots with my girls.

This was taken just shortly after the other picture of my dad flying the kite, what a difference the settings make for what kind of image and emotion you get!

Celia only fell into the pool once, while trying to catch a ball. She was pretty dexterous otherwise since she mostly just wanted to play along side the pool rather than in it.

Phew and now that’s the end of the cape cod pictures.

More pictures from the white mountains

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by Jen

The scenery up around storyland is just lovely, big mountains, blue skies and lovely trees. I took some more pictures around the condo site and on our trip on the way home up high in the mountains. Josie enjoyed it, but Celia just lay on the ground and cried, she was not into having her picture taken, she just wanted to eat her weight in goldfish.

Yes indeed in the name of pictures (because that’s where the good light was) I told my children to stand in the road. But I was there too, and this was the back roads of the condo place, so no one came by.

Storyland on Saturday

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 by Jen

Saturday morning we got up early, had a quick breakfast and the girls humored me with some pictures outside in the nice light since we couldn’t go to the park till 9am anyway. I’ll show those later with some other pics though. We headed out to he car and go to the park before they even opened the gate! We got into a decently long line, but it moved fast once it was 9am and we were off to the races. Most importantly on Josie’s list was meeting up with Cinderella so we wanted to do that early on in the day so we wouldn’t miss her. We walked up to her castle and got the required meet and greet.

Somehow her castle is extremely dark, with no windows, so its super hot too. Poor girl is taking tons of sips of water and standing in front of a giant fan most of the time, not exactly the best set up for pictures, but it’s what we get!

On the way back from the castle, Josie and Jordi got to ride in Cinderalla’s coach that actually moves! Celia and I got to walk down the hill. Celia was very into the rides herself, loving the carousel.

By this point she had gotten used to the idea that we’d get off one ride and get to go on another, so she didn’t put up too much of a stink every time we switched rides. She was afraid of a lot of the rides though, refusing to get in Cinderella’s coach, or even the flying shoes. She did try the whales and actually she even went on the turtles which is one of the most intense rides in Storyland, but she didn’t want to do that one again. Next year will be a bit more fun as she will be able to go on everything, and maybe she’ll want to do it too.

We were there with the two other families, but our kids had divergent interests so it was tough to stay together. The boys mostly wanted to go on the water rides, and Josie does not enjoy being sprayed in the face with water at all. We all had lunch together and eventually went on this safari ride together, riding in the cage up front! They were all pretty hot and tired by then.

We also did some ‘home-style’ face painting as last years face painting caused many tears as we tried to get it off. It doesn’t look nearly as good as the real thing, but it was fun nevertheless.

This is just a pretty picture I like of Celia from the hot air balloon ride!

We revived in the afternoon with some ice cream. I think Celia’s favorite ride may have been the train. Towards the end of the second day Josie started to get much more brave and went on the biggest roller coaster and the bamboo shoots water splash ride. For the last ride of the day Josie went with me on the water raft ride which has lots of surprise sprays all over and mostly enjoyed it. Celia also enjoyed the ball room which has random vacuums and holes to shove balls into and then it pops them back out later with the push of a button or a timer.

I got to do a lot of the rides with the girls as Jordi has a much lower limit for spinny rides than I do, and they’re mostly spinny since they can’t do gigantic coasters or anything. We stayed until the very end, enjoying some funnel cake too, although neither girl really seemed to like it. We went back to our condo and had tacos together with the whole group for dinner before the kids totally melted down and we put them to bed. The trip home the next day was not fun, they were not good travelers and I think we are greatly considering driving home on Saturday night so we don’t have that trip home with a bunch of fun-hungover kids, if we manage to go at all.