Anniversary Holiday

Last week we flew to Punta Cana to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We decided that we wanted to pretty much relax and not have to worry about much while we were there, so we booked our stay at an all inclusive resort. From the time we walked into the Iberostar Grand Bavaro we were treated like royalty.


When we arrived we were greeted with a cold towel. The whole lobby smelled so good! They had aromatherapy candles placed throughout the hotel. After checking in, and giving our luggage to the butler, we had a quick drink before our room was ready. Our butler walked us up to our room and showed us all the amenities and made our dinner reservations for the week. He filled our mini bar with whatever we requested, and he gave us his number in case we needed anything during our stay.

We spent pretty much the rest of the week at the pool and beach. It was so nice to swim up to the pool bar and get any drink we wanted, as well as grabbing a chair at the beach and having a waiter come by and take our order. Of course, we had to eat while we were there. Each day we had the buffet or room service for breakfast, enjoyed the pool grill for lunch, and ate one of the a la carte restaurants at the resort. The restaurants were very good, but I think the chef at the pool grill made the best food. He grilled up tuna, swordfish, salmon, ribeye, and lobster to order.

While we weren’t eating or drinking we went on 2 different excursions outside of the resort. Our dune buggy excursion was not a good experience. Our driver was about 20 minutes late to pick us up, and when we arrived we waited approximately another hour just to get into our buggy. Our buggy broke down 3 times, and the last time it totally died – we had to get another one to get back to the place we started. While waiting for our new ride, we got a good view of the livestock in the field next to the road.



Our second excursion was a better experience. For this excursion, we went horse back riding along the beach. Upon arriving at the ranch we were offered water and had to fill out a short form. Then we were given helmets, matched up with our horses, and given very minimal instructions before heading to the beach. After about half an hour we all got off our horses and watched a man climb up a palm tree to get coconuts for everyone. After taking a machete to cut off the top of the coconut we enjoyed the coconut water and then got back on our horses to head back to the ranch. The views were beautiful as we rode along the beach, but I don’t think we’ll be riding horses again anytime soon due to the soreness of our bottoms.

If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, I definitely recommend looking into the Iberostar Grand.



Potty Training

Owen never seemed to mind sitting in a dirty diaper, which had me convinced that he was going to be going to Kindergarten in pull-ups, but I’m thrilled to announce that with a lot of help from his Aunt Kim he has been in underwear for over a week now.  Yay! No more buying diapers! He still has some accidents here and there, but for the most part he lets us know when he needs to go. Today he even went poo on the potty!

I think being with his younger cousin Emma, who is potty training as well, really helped with pushing him to start. Also getting a prize once he gets enough stickers on his sticker chart has helped.


Deep Creek Part 2

We were lucky enough to spend another weekend at Deep Creek. Same place, different people. This time we had our family with us. It was great that everyone was free for a weekend during the busiest time of the year.

Friday morning we went to the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center. The kids were able to see and touch some animals as well as watch a presentation with a live owl. They almost sat for the whole presentation. After that, we walked outside to see some birds in the aviary and then headed back to the cabin.


We hung around the cabin for the most part while the kids played in the bounce house, colored, and pretended most of the weekend. The rain held out enough on Saturday night to have a quick fire and enjoy some s’mores.



The Best Kid Park in the World

Why would parents walk around for 12 hours in the heat without a drink in their hand? To see their kids smile. A few weekends ago we took a trip to Idlewild Park. We took Owen last year, but I don’t think it was as hot as it was this year. Last year Owen loved all of the smaller rides as well as Storybook Forest. This year he still loved all the rides, but he didn’t like Storybook Forest because he said there were monsters in the houses. Not sure where that came from.

Owen was really excited about all of the rides this year. He pretty much rode everything he could in the park, including the Ferris wheel with mommy. I thought that I would be ok with riding it, but I kept thinking that something bad was going to happen. The ride lasted so long, kept stopping, and Owen kept moving because he wanted to see everything. Needless to say, I’m not a fan of the Ferris wheel. Maybe next year he can bring a friend to ride all of the rides with him.

A Weekend Away

Last weekend we took a trip to Deep Creek, MD with friends. It was very nice to get away for a bit and catch up with friends. With 9 kids and 14 adults (all in the same house) it was crazy at times. I’m very thankful that we have close friends that want to be in the same house with us all weekend even if they don’t have kids themselves.

The weather was a little chilly when we arrived but warmed up enough to go on a boat ride on Saturday. For indoor entertainment we had dvds, toys, and of course a bounce house. We were hoping to set up the bounce house outside, but there wasn’t enough room for it. The biggest space in the house without moving too much furniture was the master bedroom (sorry Batch and Jen).

Owen went on his first boat ride on Saturday. He wasn’t really sure about it, and never let go of my hand, but I think he had a good time. He was worried when anyone got up to move while the boat was moving. Later in the afternoon we were able to have an adult only boat ride, which was made possible by 3 brave adults (one being Tony) staying back with the kids. Thank you, guys! Next time you will get to enjoy the boat ride.



Thank you, Melissa, for putting this picture together.



One Year Back

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been back in Pittsburgh for a year. I think we have all adjusted pretty well. It was hard getting used to having Tony work from home full time, but I’m very grateful that he is able to do so. I also started working part-time from home in January so we share an office a few days a week. Owen is in school 2 days a week, and he has been great at splitting his time.

We have made a few changes to our house this year. We updated the breakfast room, got new flooring in the kitchen, and updated the dining room. Nothing is fully complete yet, but these few rooms look a lot different from when we moved in.

Fun with tantrums

I want Owen to have fun and experience as much as he can, but pretty much everytime I try and take him somewhere – and even when we get there – he has tantrums. I know it’s just his age, but it is so hard to deal with. I keep trying to remember that every age has its ups and downs, but it is a real chore to go anywhere with him.

We went to the Children’s Museum on Monday to see the new Harley Davidson exhibit. Of course, there were a million field trips there that day so it was pretty crowded, but once Owen got over his first few tantrums we eventually had some fun. He didn’t like the new exhibit very much because of how loud some of the things were, but he did really enjoy trying to build a house.

For now, I’ll try to enjoy when he is cute and laughing.