August 13, 2017 | While D was on a guys’ lake weekend, I saw there was a cool Butterfly Festival happening at a garden/park about an hour away. Once again we grabbed Nana, and made our trek out to the event! First stop when you walked in was a wing-making station…and those wings are still in use today. We probably could have walked out the door after that and she wouldn’t have cared! We went through a set of double-doors to the free-flying butterfly area, and it was amazing. They were huge, and would land right on you! E was convinced that her wings were fooling the other attendees into thinking SHE was a butterfly… 🙂 Eventually we got lost in the garden…and it was like a survival trek to find our car again. E had to potty, as did I, and we were so hungry/thirsty after all of the journeying! There was a woman dressed head-to-toe as a butterfly, and E called her the Butterfly Princess. Her blue wings really made a big impression on E, and she loved her! We will be sure to return next year… 🙂
August 6, 2017 | When there’s a craft fair downtown, E, Mom and I have to go check it out. The Strawberry Swing has all sorts of fun handmade things, and E was thrilled to pick out a necklace and a couple of bracelets from Hazel & Ollie. Emily is the best! There was a food truck with the most amazing soup/bread (that took forever) but E got to wander around the Nelson a bit to find a picnic spot. Since we parked in the same lot of Kauffman Gardens for the shuttle, we thought a quick walk through the flowers was in order too. E liked the flowers, but the resident CAT was her favorite. 🙂
That night we hosted the C family for a cookout…Jenni and I talked so much that I only took one photos of the kids out back!
July 30, 2017 | I don’t remember how we decided, but this was the Summer we took E on her first flight/vacation! FL was the destination of choice, and thanks to a recco from a friend/client we chose Tradewinds as a family-friendly resort. Lots of on-property activities, and kid-focused fun seemed like the simplest way to go. This is going to be really long…and I’m not sure I remember all of the details over the course of several days, but I will try!
Day 1 she woke up and took the final chain off the countdown which was a SUN. We were armed with a TON of new books/toys/activities for the plane ride. I mean, a 3-yr-old on an airplane? I wanted to be prepared! Perhaps it was TOO much…but E loved having out suitcases all packed, and carrying her very first purse. Adorable! The airport was a breeze, and with E riding on our new luggage it was a snap getting from the gate to our rental car. She promptly fell asleep on the way to the hotel…so much excitement! But then she saw the beach for the first time, and loved the sand/waves. We brought out the new beach toys and she was so happy to just dig and play. It was cloudy and overcast (which was an omen of the whole trip), but she didn’t seem to notice.
Day 2 we woke up to more rain, so we tried the KONK club for a little crafting activity. It was fairly packed with a lot of kiddos that had to spend the whole day there (which is odd to me), but E painted a sea shell nightlight. It was pretty cute, and made it home in one piece. Despite the clouds, we still walked to the beach and played a bit in the sand. In a random turn of events we discovered that Aunt Susan and Cousin Kaylee were staying just 30-mins down the beach from us! They were at a condo, so the beach had a totally different feel than our resort (that was pretty nice). We were out in the water a bit, building sand castles, and later made a quick visit to William Dean chocolates! I had a photo-shoot (also random timing with long-time clients) so they all hung out and waited to have dinner with me VERY late. I think we got E to bed around 11 PM? Oops!
Day 3 was our one day of sunshine — and it was awesome to wake up to! We dressed right into swimsuits and made our way to the reserved cabana. Also it was finally time to have some cliche blended drinks (that were insane $$) including a virgin-strawberry daiquiri for E — which she loved. We split the time between the beach, and the pool, and all of us got a little bit of sun! That night it was photo-shoot time that I had pre-paid for. It was an interesting experience for sure, but we ended up with a few images that I really liked! E acted a little weird during the shoot, and wasn’t very hungry during dinner — despite eating really late AGAIN. Plus we promised her ice cream if she was good during photos, which she was. The next morning would explain that!
Day 4 E woke up feeling awful — so a quick run to the drug store for a thermometer and cold medicine showed that she had a fever. Which isn’t really ideal when it comes to vacation. We watched way too many shows on the iPad and lounged around the room for hours. Everytime we attempted to leave the room, the skies would open-up and we’d be running back the room. I know she would’ve loved to just watch shows all day, but it was the final hours of BEACH! D let me journey out to take some photos with my camera — which was left in the room all the time due to the rain — and hit one souvenir shop. We even drug her to a pirate show that evening which was…crazy. But hilarious. She was a total trooper!
The final day when it was time to go, the skies were sunny and the weather was perfect. Of COURSE! E was feeling better, and excited to get on a plane again. But with a little time to kill, why not stop at the chocolate shop again? Mom and Dad needed a little treat for watching Mosby…& we wanted some amazing chocolate too. E had a whole new set of fun things to occupy the flight home, and did amazing on the flight. When we got to our car and starting driving home, that’s when her sickness/tiredness hit her. She was so tired, and couldn’t get to sleep in her car seat, so a lot of tears ensued. Poor kid! Overall it was still a great trip, despite all of the madness, and she still talks about returning to FL someday… 🙂
And here are the few images from the SLR!
July 1, 2017 | Monday Mommy-Days are still in full-effect, and I love it. This particular day, I thought we would attempt TWO big places at once, since they literally share a parking lot! First Wonderscope, which has undergone quite a nice renovation. The Grocery room has the most improved overhaul, and it was definitely a top spot for E. After pretending the shop — and buy everything — we moved our way through the tennis-ball room, water tables, and climbing wall. Then a quick change into our swimsuits and we were at Splash Cove! A water park geared towards little kids, it’s great to let E swim/climb all over the whole area. She even went down some of the bigger slides! I tried to go down with her on one of them, but we were immediately scolded by the high-school-age lifeguard…”One at a time!!!”
June 8, 2017 | I threw some $1 store wings into the car, and went to get E from preschool. We had talked about the June Bug Ball in the morning, but she said she’d rather play water balloons. I thought maybe if I show her the new. purple. wings. with glitter…it would be a sure thing. But she still was thinking about the water balloons! I told her we should just go check it out to see if it was lots of fun…and she said “OK!”
So we got out of the car, strapped the butterfly wings to her, and made our way into the BALL! There were kiddos everywhere with costumes, antennae, dresses. E made sure to point them all out to me… 🙂 First stop was making her bug eyes/antenna. After a slow-moving line, we were finally on our way. She ran through the flag-maze, made some yummy/healthy bug-snacks (grapes on a skewer = caterpillar, celery boat w/peanut butter & carrot shreds/raisins = fuzzy caterpillar), and danced in the pavilion with some “big fairies”.
Then it was time for more science-type stations. She pet the BIG craw-fish, and held a baby one until it crawled and she threw it back into the volunteers’ hand. We found giant bugs on display, touched some worms, and she took off her wings ONLY to make the slides easier to play on.
By the time we walked back by the pavilion, the big-girls were actually dancing WITH the little girls. She ran up those stairs and instantly found a partner. It was the cutest thing EVAAAAA
Honorable mention; hammering a Home Depot tool-box together, on an aluminum picnic table with dozens of other kids/parents, is enough to make your brain go nutso… We will definitely be returning next year — perhaps getting started closer to 4 (vs 5:30 PM) since it closes at 7. Such a fun night!
June 3, 2017 | The things we do for our kiddos — but when they LOVE those pups…ha! I saw that the Paw Patrol LIVE show was coming to KC, and we coordinated with Abbey to get the cousins there with pretty good seats. Maybe too good…it made the adults slightly uncomfortable. First we ventured downtown with E to see the skyline and play hide-&-seek…she’s a blast!
Then it was showtime…all of the stuff in the lobby was insanity, but the kids were so pumped. The pom-poms were a nice (free) touch, and the costumes were pretty cool actually. If only we could have a turn in one! After the show we let the kids run around an outdoor Plaza downtown, where they pretended to “sleep” in the chairs… 🙂 Successful day all around!
June 2, 2017 | We don’t see this crew of friends very often, so I was so excited when Brian had the idea for a Royals game. Especially on K-State night — with free hats! All it took to keep the kids in one spot was a $1-store light-up wand and some new dinos… 🙂 I couldn’t believe we made it through the whole game AND the fireworks at the end!