Boston - Days 4 & 5

Day 4

We took a ferry out to one of the Boston Harbor Islands. We chose the one with the shortest boat ride and the best views of the city. Callum was a bit of a handful on the boat there, but slept pretty much the whole time we were on the island, so enjoyed the boat ride back. We walked around the island before letting the kids play in the water. The island was really beautiful and a fun place to explore. The view of watching the planes take off from the airport was reason enough for me to go to the island! I was thoroughly entertained by that. 

After we got back to Boston, we walked to get a lobster roll. It was one of the things I really wanted to eat while we were there. It was quite tasty, but boy are those things pricy! 

Then we went and let the kids play in one of the splash pads on the greenway. This particular one was pretty intense, so Callum stuck to the sides. 

Day 5

We to the T out to Cambridge to see Harvard. The campus was beautiful. And it was so incredibly busy with tourists. I told Connor that my friend Mark went to Harvard and Ian gave me a look, like "really...", as I was meaning Mark that started facebook. The kids played pokemon go at Harvard and had fun doing that. And Ian and I enjoyed walking around looking at the beautiful buildings. 

Right across the street from Harvard is the only Curious George toy store in the world, so we stopped in there for the kids. Connor got his first ever mad libs and we had fun playing with it that night. Then we went to the most adorable, and tasty, bakery before heading back into Boston. 

We went to the swan boats in the public garden. We got there just in time because it started raining and we were the last group that got to ride before they shut down. Just across the street is a big shopping district, so we went walking around. We had some drinking chocolate, that literally tastes like you are drinking a candy bar, it's so sweet. 

Then we picked up some groceries on our way back to our apartment and ate dinner there. Speaking of that, there are two things I love when traveling with our kids. One is staying in a two bedroom place. It makes it so much easier for getting kids to sleep and us getting to hang out in the evenings. And two is staying in a place with a kitchen and being able to eat breakfast there every morning and making dinner if we want. It makes traveling with kids so much easier! 

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Boston - Days 1-3

Day 1

We started our adventure to Boston on such a high. We couldn't get a room at one of those park and fly hotels, so drove over the morning of our flight. We had to be on the road by 4am. We got ready, packed the car, then took the kids from their beds and put them in the car. Surprisingly, none of the kids cried. The drive over went well and we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Callum was getting pretty tired when we were boarding the plane. I thought this would be prefect. We would get in the air and he would konk out. Well, the joke was on me. That kid refused to nap and was on edge for hours. Finally, the seatbelt sign went on, which sent him into a full on meltdown. He was screaming hysterically for maybe 15 minutes before calming down and going to sleep. He slept for an hour and a half and woke in a better mood. 

We got to Boston and went to our airbnb apartment. Then we took the kids to a deli, picked up dinner and took it to a park to eat. I'm guessing because of our early morning start, all of us got on east coast time right away and went to bed at our normal time. 

Day 2

We woke to pouring rain. But we were full of optimism and decided to head out. We stopped at the Quincy Market for some food to escape from the rain, on our way to the children's museum. We made it about half way to the children's museum before our jackets had soaked through and we were now being soaked, so threw in the towel and got an uber for the rest of the journey. We should have just done that from the beginning! 

Anyway, we spent several hours at the children's museum and only left when it closed. By then the rain had slowed, though not stopped. But we decided to walk home anyway. We stopped at a chipotle we saw for dinner before continuing on home. The kids were super tired from playing all afternoon and went to sleep super easy. 

^^ This climbing contraption went up three stories!!! And lucky for us parents, the only exit was back at the bottom. 

Day 3

We took a trolly around Boston to kind of see the highlights. The only stop we got off at was MIT in Cambridge. We ate lunch at a food truck on campus, went in a building we weren't supposed to be in to let the kids go the bathroom and got in trouble for the kids playing on a monument on campus that apparently isn't supposed to be played on. MIT is a very kid friendly campus, haha! 

After the trolly ride, we stumbled upon a bunch of hulahoops in the park and the kids played with them for a while. Ian would roll the hulahoops and the kids would run and jump through them while they were rolling. They were actually quite successful at this and it was also quite entertaining to watch. 

^^ Isla saw some older girls doing this, so decided to give it a go

The Paul Revere house is literally right around the corner from our apartment, so we hit it up on the way home. What's really crazy is they have several pieces of Paul Revere's furniture still and it all is in very good condition and a few pieces look like things you would find in homes today. 

I wasn't quite ready to go back to the apartment, so started walking around and following this church steeple. We never got to the church because we stumbled upon a park just after I took this picture and the kids played for a while. Isla made a little friend and the mom (who is from Boston) said she knew of Modesto because of Scott and Laci Peterson. #awesome

We left the park and picked up some really tasty pizza on the way home. And, again, from such a long day, bedtime was super easy. 

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Our Front Yard

We are in the middle of completely redoing our backyard. Like EVERYTHING up to the edge of the pool has been ripped out and is being redone. Anyway, in the middle of all that, Ian asked our concrete guy about adding on a walkway in the front yard and since it was super reasonable, we went for it. We had the flagstone taken out (and now have the yellow spots on our grass to prove that they sat there for two days) and replaced with 3 foot by 3 foot concrete squares. My favorite part of this is that we now have a true path over to our driveway where we can see the front of my car stopped right at that path ;)

Here is what the front of the house looked like when we bought it.

Since moving in, we ripped out all the plants planted on the driveway side and replaced them with plants that make sense. I say "we", but what I really mean is my aunt and uncle showed up one afternoon in May with all the plants and did all the work while the kids and I sort of helped. You can't tell from a picture, but we also installed a small led can light in the arch above our front door, allowing us the privilege of now actually being able to see the key hole without getting out our cell phones to use as light to find it. And lastly, the walkway we just put in. Since this picture is in full sun, here is one from when the house was listed by the buyers

Did you know you can see all the photos associated with your house in the last several years on Well, because of that, we got to see what our house looked like before it was renovated in 2014. Here's the front of the house from then.

I just realized when I downloaded this picture that the house used to have a shake roof. They really changed a lot about the house when it was redone. And the tree on the right has grown a ton in just 3+ years! Anyway, here are a couple move photos of our new front walkway.

I really like it and am glad we made the last minute decision to do it. And Ian and I managed to place all that rock in half an hour. It was way easier than I expected. Also, in case you are wondering, I have no clue who put those pink flamingos in my front yard. They were just there one day when I came home. But the joke is on whoever put them there because I totally like them!

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Girly Girl

I remember when I had Isla, being afraid that I wouldn't be enough for her. You see, I am not a girly girl. I don't know how to really apply make up...a little mascara and tint on my lips is about all I can swing. And before I cut all my hair off, I wasn't high maintenance in that area either. I was (and still am a bit) afraid that when Isla gets older and turns to me for advice, I won't be able to help.

I like to think of Isla as a girly girl with flair. She loves her some skirts, but also loves pokemon and star wars. She loves makeup and hair product, but loves to play in the dirt like no other. Perhaps, well balanced would be a better way to put it.

A week ago, we went away for a couple nights with Ian's family. Ian's parents took all the grandkids into a toy store and let them pick out a toy or two. What did Isla end up with? A nail kit. The other day, she put on some nails, then went into my bathroom and "did" her hair. AKA: put a bunch of my hair product in her hair, threw in a few hair clips and called it a day! She also found some makeup and put it on. Then, she went and admired herself in the mirror. No matter how insecure I feel about not being able to help her with these things as she gets older, I couldn't help but love watching her looking so proudly at herself in the mirror.

Of course, all the pampering at five years old also has me a bit worried for the teen years!!!

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Little moments not to be forgotten

// drinking pool water //
// family Pokemon battles //
// chores //
// ice cream //
// sprinkler cool off //
// sprinkler cool off times two //
// pool jump //
// watermelon //

Summer and I are a bit of frenemies. I love all the downtime and fun activities that we get to do. Heck, just the fact that I don't have to set an alarm every morning is enough for me! But the heat. Oh, the heat. When it gets hot enough, it's just miserable. And I swear every member of my family gets irritable from the dang heat. See? Frenemies. 

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