Family. Family. And more Family.

IMG_0758I got to see my new baby cousin Marshall in Toronto this week and I got to also see my cousins Riley & Ruby in Windsor too! I had so much fun!

IMG_0607He said

This week was all about winding down after our Christmas whirlwind, and then winding back up for a whirlwind tour to either sides of Southwestern Ontario to visit with family to kick 2015 into high gear. It was the perfect way to start the new year!

The early part of the week was a couple of open shifts at the store and then I was off for New Year’s Eve and Day. With that on our radar about a week ago and a new nephew to visit, Danielle and her sister Chantelle quickly orchestrated an overnight visit down in Toronto to ring in the New Year. Of course that visit managed to coincide with the American Girl store at Yorkdale Mall as well as a visit to Ikea…

IMG_0612With that out of the way we were safely at Charlie, Todd and Marshall’s place in the early afternoon. We spent the last day of 2014 getting in as much Marshall time as we could. Emelia is over the moon happy about her new cousin and was jumping at any opportunity to be the one to deliver a bottle. And thankfully for Emelia, he is in the middle of a growth spurt and happy to take a bottle from just about anyone.

IMG_0614We had a wonderful meal prepared by Chantelle and after dinner we settled in for New Year’s festivities on the boob tube. Emelia got to stay up way later than she normally does but she still wasn’t able to make it to midnight. Once she was off to sleep her way to 2015 we watched the ball drop in New York City and then the fireworks go off all over downtown Toronto from the perfect vantage point of their balcony that faces the downtown core. Pretty much the moment that our champagne toast was finished, we were off to bed.

IMG_0634The next morning we took a leisurely pace to the day waking up and moving at a snail’s pace. Chantelle and Todd whipped up another fine meal in eggs, bacon and toast and we continued to reel in as much snuggle time as we could with Marshall. Because by early afternoon, it was time for us to head back home. The visit was a little shorter than we would have liked, but it was also all kinds of perfect.

Danielle and I both had to work on Friday but as soon as we were both wrapped up and I was home, we were back in the Pilot off to Windsor for a weekend visit with my cousin Bill and his two daughters Riley & Ruby for a visit we had been trying to orchestrate for the better part of six months now. As soon as I got home, we loaded the truck and were on the road.

IMG_0643Bill had a great weekend laid out for us. When we initially planned this we were going to go to Frankenmuth to stay at a hotel that had an indoor waterpark… that was until we saw the cost of the hotel per night. Quickly we regrouped and Bill cobbled together all the same sort of fun, but where we could use his beautiful house in LaSalle as home base for the weekend.

Saturday we spent the better part of four hours at a brand new indoor water park called Adventure Bay in Windsor right next to the Casino on the Detroit River. It was awesome! Even if Emelia hadn’t had a great time—of which she clearly did—the grownups did! They had a wave pool, slides, a lazy river tube ride, tube slides and huge splash pad water area. All three girls and all three grownups had four solid hours of fun! And then we closed out the time there in the ball room they had as well. We picked an absolute favourite dining spot of Danielle and I during our university years in Bubi’s and then settled in for the evening in Bill’s house back in LaSalle not before donning our swim trunks one more time for a dip in his hot tub in the back yard.

IMG_0649Today was definitely the day Emelia was most looking forward to. We got up early and headed across the river into Detroit to take the girl for an hour of trampolining at Airtime Trampoline. The facility is the perfect way to let kids of any size burn off some steam and really tucker themselves out. And that they did. Emelia and Riley especially had to stop about three or four times to catch their breath or get a drink of water.

After wrapping up there we headed back to LaSalle to get a late lunch before heading out on the road. It was a bit of a tough drive back the closer we got to London with the snow and wind getting worse the closer we got to home, but we arrived and got the car unpack with enough time to unwind and relax.

IMG_0674One of the great side notes to the trip was that we were finally able to pick up the table that Bill had grabbed for us over a month ago when Danielle found it online at a retro used furniture store near where he lives. Now that table is in the room all that is really left is the art for the walls and the curtains for the windows. With any luck it won’t take us months to nail those down too…

She said

IMG_0679What a week! It was full of fun from start to finish and filled with time with the family we love so much. All in all it was perfect.

I had to get back although briefly back in the grind of work Monday and Tuesday. I had a full house including Emelia and one of my former daycare boys who is 5 ½ years old. Emelia and Reece get along like siblings but it was a ton of energy and with uncertain weather it made if very hard to get out of the house. By the end of the two days we were all ready again for a break.

IMG_0714As soon as we could New Year’s Eve morning we packed up and got on the road to Toronto. Emelia was more than excited to get in even more Marshall time and I could not wait to see my nephew and sister. We of course stopped at American Girl for Emelia. She had some gift cards and cash from Christmas she wanted to use at her favourite store. Once we finished battling Toronto traffic and the gong show that was Yorkdale parking we made our way to the store. Stock was low all around and Emelia was disappointed that the one big thing she really wanted was sold out. Thankfully her birthday is in a few weeks and she might be able to get her gymnastics set soon enough. Emelia was very careful to decide what she wanted, trying to think what would she play with most. Finally after extensive debate on her own part we came out of the store with her new salon station to do her beloved Ivy’s hair.

IMG_0750Once we left Yorkdale we made our way quickly over to Ikea, my sister needed some shelving and I wanted to pick up some more towel while they were still on the end of the year sale. Ikea of course was a gong show and we did everything we could to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. By the time we were done all the driving, shopping and more driving we were all more than ready to make our way to my sister’s place and settle in to family time and baby snuggles.

IMG_0768And snuggle we did, Marshall is in the middle of a growth spurt so in addition to being nursed he is being topped up with a bit of a bottle. This was much to Emelia’s joy because Aunt Charlie was giving her bottle duty anytime she wanted to, which of course was any time he needed a bottle. Emelia is just over the moon in love with this adorable little boy and so are we. We got a ton of time to spend with my sister and her family and Emelia got to spend a ton of time with some of her favourite people. The next day we headed back early in the afternoon so that my sister, Todd could get some rest while Marshall slept and we headed home to get our life back in order before heading out again on Friday.

IMG_0783Friday was a blur, I had spent Thursday getting things back in order here, Friday I had the kids back, a visit from my newest daycare family so their son could meet the other children and then in the afternoon while the children rested I packed our bags for the weekend. The day really went by in a flash.

John was finally able to get home shortly after 6, finish getting any last minute things together while I got the last minute things together for the pets. After bringing Taffy to my best friends for the weekend and grabbing some food for the road we were Windsor bound.

IMG_0790A couple hours later we were at Bill’s new place and the girls were off to play. The girls get along so well and picked up like no time had passed. With crazy schedules and a 2 hours distance between our homes we do not spend nearly enough time together and I know they would love to see each other more. But the certainly got in as much time together as possible. Finally long after their normal bedtimes after lots of one more kisses and hugs and a story or two the three girls were all out for the night for their very own slumber party.

IMG_0829The grown-ups could finally at that point catch up and have a drink or two before realizing that we needed to get to bed since the girls were going to get us up at the quarter to stupid early o’clock. Off we went to bed to get ready for the adventures of the next day.

Originally when the prices for the Frankenmuth trip were blowing up to insane we were disappointed. But quickly after we explored what was around Windsor we were more than happy and more excited with the idea of a quiet pace at Bill’s place and doing day trips that met the interests of three very active little girls.

IMG_0892After getting breakfast a Cora’s we made our way to Windsor’s new indoor waterpark. And what a park. Man I wish London had something like this. It was incredible and the price was a fraction of what we would have spent. We had a full day pass and the options were limitless. There was something for everyone. I had my new fake mini-me in Ruby to be my partner for the double waterslide. She wasn’t quite big enough for a lot of the bigger slides so we needed to double her with an adult. Emelia with her daddy, Riley with her daddy and Ruby with me, and we went over and over again. We would have spent our entire day going up and down the stairs for that slide if Ruby had her way but we did convince her that there were amazing other places to explore. There was a lazy river with various water fountains all around, a huge waterslide climber area that all three girls could safely explore together, there was a huge wave pool, and 5 large waterslides. All in all it was worth every single penny of the $20 per person admission.

IMG_0907After 4 hours of water play and another hour of play in the climber/ball pit playzone we were all hungry and ready the venture out.

Only 3 blocks away was one of our favourite restaurants when we lived in Windsor, Bubi’s. I spent many meals there with my dad and mom when I was in school and it brings back a ton of memories going back there. After a bit of working around I was able to find something my allergies could tolerate and we all had an amazing meal.

IMG_0794After dinner we made a quick stop so I could keep a promise I made to the girls earlier in the day, a spa night. So I bought them to pick out the colours they wanted for our special salon night. The girls had a great time and after a ton of trial and error we finally had our nails done and three very tired girls. It took slightly less convincing to get all three girls to sleep, after a couple chapters of Emelia’s book read to them, about 1000000 goodnight kisses and hugs the three girls were out for the night.

IMG_0792Today was another very full day. The two older girls were up bright and early but quietly entertained themselves while Bill went to get the fixings for breakfast. We had a yummy breakfast and a marathon of showers for all 6 of us before finally getting everyone in the truck again for another trip.

This time it was to Troy, Michigan just outside Detroit to a place that would be Emelia’s idea of heaven on earth. An entire facility just of trampolines, trampolines on the floors and the walls. She was in love. She had been fighting a cold so she had to take lots of breaks on the jumping but only long enough to take a water break and get right back at it. She and Riley made sure to hit every single trampoline and jumped for the full hour we had booked.

IMG_0916Once we made one more stop we made our way back home to sadly to get our things packed up and start heading home. The timing was perfect because the weather was just starting to turn and we got home through snow but ahead of any really bad weather.

And that was the week that was, crazy, busy and perfect in every single way. Now back to real life and last minute things that need to be done to be ready for tomorrow and next week’s return to work and school.

Happy New Year everyone, 2015 is going to be an amazing one!

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