I know many people think we’re crazy for traveling as much as we do with kiddos, but when you don’t live by any family it is a MUST (especially around the holidays). In addition to the extended family travel, we also took our first family vacation with just the four of us to Arizona in October.
We had such a fun, relaxing trip. We stayed at the Arizona Grand Resort where all of the rooms were suites. This was nice so we could spread out a bit. We have found that with children, having a separate area to sleep is a requirement. So luckily this hotel had just what we needed. There were also a number of pools and a waterpark at the resort to enjoy. Ella Rose had a great time at the pools every day and especially loved the lazy river at the waterpark. One night, we went to Old Town Scottsdale and enjoyed dinner for BK’s birthday as well as ice cream. For the ice cream, we tried this really neat spot called “Shakes and Cones.” Everything was all natural and home made, super cool and great tasting. It was SO Denver ;-). We always try to go somewhere or do something fun for our birthdays since they’re two days apart in October. The past two years we went to Breckenridge and this year Arizona. It was a really fun trip. I was so happy we finally were able to take a trip with just our immediate family. We all slept a ton and felt so refreshed. I hope we can take more trips in the future like this because it was just what we needed!
Moving on….we’ve had a very hectic past 8 weeks or so. Between all of the travels and being sick, Ella Rose had her first serious injury and trip to the ER. She fell out of the stroller and broke her arm while in the fitting room at the mall. This was exactly the reason why we avoid going out much after naps in the afternoon…we are always rushed leading to accidents like this…wahhhh. I’ve had a few friends ask me how I knew it was broken. When it happened, I could tell by the pain in her cry that she really was severely hurt. Her little cry was full of pain and she weeped. I asked her what hurt and she said her arm. So I lifted it gently out of her sleeve and it was all hot and limp. Right then, I knew it was broken, since I have broken my leg twice in the past and the feeling was familiar. We rushed to the ER, on a Friday afternoon, during rush hour. Of course, this happens at the worst timing possible! But we made it, and the staff was so great and sweet to her. Thank goodness we got there when we did; because a Friday night at the ER in any city is not where you want to be. Luckily, we left right as the coo coo’s were arriving. She had her arm in a sling for the weekend, and that following Monday I took her in to see the pediatric orthopedic doctor. He was amazing with her. She got to pick out a pink sparkly cast and had to wear it for three weeks. He kept laughing kindly at her sweet voice when she talked. He loved how she was so detailed and said she would likely be an engineer or dentist some day. She loved her cast and was so proud of it. I was SO proud of her through all of this, because she really handled everything like a champ. She didn’t complain and really was strong through it all. The only thing she mentioned was how she, “didn’t have much hands” to hold her magic clip dolls. She is now healed and is getting back into her activities. The doctor said the swimming will really help and be great rehab for her arm. We also start back at gymnastics this week as well. We wanted her arm to be fully healed before we went back. She is so excited to be out and about again, and back in the swing of things.
On top of this, Owen has been battling an on and off again fever/bad cold for a couple of months. For a while, I attributed it to him weaning from breast feeding, but the doctor said we made it past six months and some kids are just more prone to colds than others and he is just building his immunity. I don’t know about other mamas out there, but I swear the two times our kids have finished nursing they are sick for months! Ella Rose had constant ear infections and Owen has battled this on again, off again fever. I know they say it’s not related, but it is a very funny coincidence. Breastfeeding really is soooo healthy for them; so to the mamas out there who can do it longer, good for you, do it! Because, I promise you your kids WILL stay healthy.
But poor little Owen! He is always smiles even when he is sick. He recently caught a stomach bug/allergy too! This poor kid can’t catch a break. I have never seen a baby get sick like this. Even after he lost his breakfast on me, and I’m sitting there covered in it…he looks up at me and just smiles!That being said, he continues to be such a sweet little boy. Melts my heart… Anyways, I am really hoping he grows out of being sick VERY soon, because I don’t think we can possibly catch anything else. He is now eight months old. He is scooting/army crawling everywhere. He is so fast and loves playing chase and peek a boo. He also can sit up, and tends to lean after a while, whoops ;-). He is eating solids and loves anything and everything to eat, except green beans! And he is grabbing food off of his tray. It is fun to see him chunking up though, and everyone is saying that he looks a lot like Ella Rose did at this age. He is on two full naps, and rarely takes a third. He goes to bed early and wakes up early. One of his favorite things in life is bath time. He even has been crawling to the bath and tapping the tub to tell us he wants to take a bath because he loves it so much! Recently, he has started rolling in the tub and wants to sit up and splash just like his big sis. You can tell how proud he is when he does this; with his squeals and giggles. Some of his favorite bath toys are these Munchkin balls. He is also into playing chase post bath. He is so silly and always has a grin on his face. He just radiates happiness which make us all so happy together. My favorite thing is seeing him in the morning when he just gives you the warmest smile and real hug! He is such a loving kid.
Right before Thanksgiving, we had our sister- in- law and niece, Alissa and Isla, come and visit us here in Denver. We had such a fun time with them! It ended up being 80 degrees while they were here, which was amazing! We went to the zoo, walked to Cherry Creek for dinner, and went to Boulder. Such a fun visit with them. Isla, Ella Rose, and Owen had a blast all together.
The next trip we accomplished was seeing our families for Thanksgiving. I flew alone with the kids to Chicago for a few days to visit my side. I took my big, nice stroller, however; it was such a pain to travel with alone! Not easy to use, fold, etc with two little ones. With Owen in the carrier, and Ella Rose walking, it was just not user friendly. So as soon as I got back from this trip, I ordered the Zoe XL2 double light weight stroller. It had great reviews for traveling, and I am so far very pleased with my purchase. It is super light weight, easy to fold, and I can’t wait to travel with it. I have learned traveling with two that everything needs to be easily accessible. For example, I ditched my nice diaper bag and ended up getting this Fjallraven backpack. I absolutely love it. At first, I was just going to use it for traveling, however, I use it daily now because it is just perfect! It fits everything we need and you don’t have to dig in it for hours. When flying, I know Ella Rose likes to switch activities every 15-20 minutes while we’re flying, so I found some great activities to keep her busy. Melissa &Doug Water Wow’s and their puffy sticker pads are amazing entertainment and highly recommended. In addition, “Tiny Hands” apps on the iPad are well worth it as well. Between all of these activities and plenty of snacks, she is a flying queen!
We spent a few days with my family and did our annual tradition of going downtown Chicago to the Macy’s Walnut room for lunch. I love this tradition and I’m excited to pass it on to our children. Ella Rosie has been talking about the fairy that comes around to the tables there since we went last Christmas; and she couldn’t wait to see her again. When the fairy came to our table this time, Ella Rose was completely star struck. Yet, she was so excited to get a magic stone and magic fairy dust sprinkled on her! Such a special, fun moment to see. There is just something magical about Chicago around the Christmas holiday, I’m happy we get to show our children this, since it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. After we spent Thanksgiving morning with my family, we went to Brendan’s parents’ house. That was a lot of fun as well because we were there with most of his side. There were five little ones three and under and that’s just the beginning of the growing families, so it is always fun & chaotic. We had a great time visiting our families and can’t wait for the Christmas festivities with them as well.
We are so excited to enjoy our first Christmas eve and day here in Denver at our own home with our kids waking up in their own beds for Santa Clause. We just went to see Santa and it was the first year one of the kids didn’t cry. Ella Rose whispered to him that she wanted a red bike, scooter, and Barbie car; while Owen just kept looking at him like who is this guy…ha! We also went to see Disney on Ice, and it was such a blast to see Ella Rose enjoy the show so much. She danced the entire time and waved her magic wand around. Her favorite part, of course, was the Frozen show. It was really great! It’s so neat as a parent to see your child enjoy something so much. I can’t wait to take her to Disney World in a couple of years. We are anxious to start our own Christmas traditions as a family. I think we will do our own reindeer food (glitter/sprinkles/oatmeal) and carrots and open one gift from each other on Christmas eve. Then the kids have matching Christmas jammies to wear. There were these adorable jammies on the Smocked Auctions website with cute little Santas on them. We are also going to go to Christmas eve mass and do take out, and then the next day bake a big Christmas dinner. We will also watch a favorite Christmas movie together. We can’t wait to do these traditions as a family, and I’m sure more will develop over the years!
Merry Christmas~ Love, the Krueger Family