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Archive for Family/Travel

Almost 3.5

Almost 3.5 is sass, opinions & non-stop chatting. 3.5 is princess & skirts, dresses & nightgown obsessed.

Almost 3.5 is anger, throwing & back talk. 3.5 is all-things-trains & dragons, monkeys & puppy dogs.

Almost 3.5 is 85% daytime potty-trained & no end in sight for nighttime pull ups.

Almost 3.5 is kicking & crying & screaming & flailing when they don’t get their way.

But almost 3.5 is also all the cuddles, hugs, slobbery kisses, high-fives, & I Love Yous that make exhausted parents of threeangers go to sleep with happy hearts.

Zach & Lucy’s first trip to the Zoo

We were in VA this past weekend to celebrate our good family friend Emily’s wedding Saturday night. The wedding was at Lewis Ginter gardens at 6p, gorgeous timing for flowers, sunset, dinner & dancing.

Suzstreats Emily's wedding

Emily looked radiantly beautiful & so happy! I enjoyed catching up with family friends, & enjoying a night out with the husband, my brother & SIL & my parents.

Before the wedding festivities, we had a full day open. My family, not one to let a full day go by unplanned, decided we’d go to the Metro Richmond zoo for the first time.

There are so many animals there & the best part is that they are so close!

suzstreats Zoo Trip

We fed goats, sheep & deer, & saw flamingos, prairie dogs, a tiger who loved walking right by Zach, a muddy rhino that was more Lucy’s nervous style, an alligator, camels, two buffaloes & more monkeys than my monkey-loving little guy (& me too!) could keep count of. Big chimpanzees & orangutans to tiny little monkeys who leaped & flipped & swung from their branches.  The “waddle waddle” penguins were adorable & also a favorite.

Suzstreats Zoo Visit

But the giraffes won our hearts & were definitely about who Zach & Lucy ran inside to tell their Pops (who hadn’t joined us)! My mom aka Cici & Zach fed giraffes out of their hands while I snapped photos & Lucy picked up the fallen food off the ground to hand to Cici & Zach (we didn’t pay for the cup of food). It was amazing to see them so close! (& yes they had hand santizer stations all over as well as bathrooms soon after the giraffe’s area.)

SuzsTreats Zoo Giraffes

At the advice of friends, we arrived soon after they opened so the zoo wasn’t super crowded & my mom had packed a picnic lunch so once we finished up, we were able to go back to the car to grab our coolers & then eat on picnic tables there within the zoo.

Suzstreats zoo picnic

If it hadn’t been nap time, I’d have loved to go back to get another peek at the tiger & also see if the lions had woken up from their naps!

We’ll definitely be going back to the Metro Richmond zoo, I’d say it’s great for all ages ~ my 90 year old Papa enjoyed it as much as my almost- 3 year olds did! Going from 10am-1pm worked well for us but you could take your time more or easily go back for a second look at your favorite animals & stay there all day long.

Teacher Appreciation Week {Bruegger’s giveaway}

Happy first full week of May! And May means for most kids, the winding down of school & thus taking the time to thank the teachers who have helped teach & care for your children this year.

Lucy & Zach moved up to the late 2s/early 3s room at their daycare a couple months back, so these teachers they didn’t have last May or over Christmas. Making this week my time to tell these ladies a big THANK YOU! For keeping L & Z happy during the day, for making sure they eat, nap, play nicely with their friends & each other, for learning & for getting Lucy almost completely potty trained (probably another post, another time)!

In the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to find images & ideas other moms have done for Teacher Appreciation, but as a non-super crafty, overly-tired, working mom of two almost-3 year olds, I leave the Pinterest projects to someone else.

I’m relying on my trusty favorites: food & gift cards! You can’t go wrong there right?! I figured I’d stop by Target after work & grab a lip balm & little gift card for each of their 3 teachers. I won’t have specialty printed paper, but I figured I could write “You’re the balm! Love, Zach & Lucy” as my nod to the crafty moms.

And for food, no question, the Bruegger’s Big Bagel Bundle. This way I can not only give breakfast to their two morning teachers, but show my appreciation to the whole staff with 13 bagels & two yummy cream cheese tubs! A handwritten note of thanks & quick stop at Bruegger’s Friday morning is simple yet perfect! & Bruegger’s is always a delicious hit in my opinion!

Because Bruegger’s is so awesome, they’re providing me with not one, but TWO $10 gift cards to give out to TWO awesome readers. Just leave a comment letting me know What have you done or are you doing to show appreciation for the teachers in your children’s lives?! If you don’t yet have children, leave a comment with what you think is a fun idea!

And I’ll pick two random comments ~ Congratulations Elana & Crystal! Y’all won! I’ll email you both for your addresses!

In exchange for this post, Bruegger’s is providing me with gift cards for me as well as the ones for the giveaway, but my thoughts & opinions are all my own & not swayed because of their generosity.

Whirlwind Charlotte weekend

My parents came to Raleigh Friday morning surprising Lucy & Zach at daycare quickly followed by Jason & I arriving there. After items all piled into our mini-van, off Cici, Pops, Lucy, Zach & I went to Charlotte!

I love when dual event plans work out ~ I was able to split time with my Papa & also gave my good buddy B (aka Classic Annie) a baby shower!

We made it to Charlotte in time for dinner at the clubhouse Friday night, went back to the condo for dessert & playing with Papa. Saturday morning, Mom & I (with L&Z strolling along for the ride) were among the first at South Park mall for maybe the speediest shopping at 3 stores ever before dropping me off to get Papa’s car to dash to Whole Foods & the baby shower. Cici, Pops & Papa entertained L&Z for the day!

B's baby shower food

B’s shower was so fun! It was a blast to catch up with her & her family & friends, see her gorgeous house & hug on that lil baby bump. And make sure that baby G will be appropriately spoiled come July!

B's baby shower cake

I arrived back at Papa’s condo in time for dinner. (& thanks B, the leftover cake pieces were a shared hit between the 7 of us!) Then back to hotel for baths, books & bedtime.

Thanks to snoring (Dad & Mom!) I was awoken at 3:09 am. Usually, that’d mean roll over & go back to sleep but not on 4/19/15, it was #LillyforTarget morning! I managed 3 quick check outs (& lots of cart drops) & am so thankful a couple toddler pieces, 2 women’s tops, shoes, scarfs, a tote bag & a bracelet are on their way to me now. I snoozed through my alarm but made it to a Charlotte Target at 8:12am. Only to see all but one pair swim bottoms (in my size!) gone from the rack. I traded a XL girls top for a XL swim top, grabbed a put back dress for me & was handed a part of shorts for me that didn’t work for someone else. I did a quick sweep of the store & found juice glasses & a flask. I check out quick & made it back to the hotel in time to pack up & get all dressed & ready for church.

Papa’s church was a great service as usual then we enjoyed brunch at the clubhouse (where L&Z ate their weight in berries & loved sneaking off to say hi to the birds). Then just like that, we were back in the mini-van, this time in the pouring rain back to Raleigh. Whirlwind trip, but so much fun mixing family, friends & a lil bit of shopping!

Cinderella Girls Night!

I had the pleasure this week to take a few rare bits of ‘me time’. First a work trip away from home one night where I was able to reconnect with coworkers & had a hotel room all to myself!

Next up was a midweek ladies night! I need to do these way more often & I was overdue to reconnect with my friend Kristen. Dinner & a movie one on one time was lovely when usually we’re either online chatting or juggling our 5 kids between us! I think the waiter came by 3 times before I’d stopped talking long enough to open my menu!

We rushed our bills & made our way into our seats just in time though. And as I’d heard rumored, we were treated to seeing Frozen Fever as the 7 min short story! Lucy & Zach will love it & will think Anna’s birthday day & the new song are so funny & cute!

Cinderella stars Lily James as Ella starting as a beloved child growing up in an idyllic small farm life with dotting, dear parents.

I loved seeing such a beloved fairy tale in real life live action. The set & scenery were gorgeous!

The make up & costume designers for the step-mother & sisters (Cate Blanchette, Holliday Grainger & Sophie McShera) as well as Ella, did an amazing job. Those ladies did a great job playing disliked characters!

Helena Bonham as the fabulous Fairy Godmother was spectacular! She was gorgeous & perfect for the role.

Someone else gorgeous was the Prince (the handsome Richard Madden) & Ella! I want to try on that glass slipper! Her ball gown will inspire lots of girls in blue dresses this summer & fall!

Speaking of girls, moms take yours to this film! It opened everywhere Fri March 13th! Beware there are 3 deaths & it’s 105 minutes. I don’t think Lucy could sit through it yet, but there were a few older toddlers & many little girls completely enchanted with Cinderella. Make it a sweet mother-daughter movie afternoon.

Or go like I did with friends! You don’t want to miss seeing your childhood favorite on the big screen. Cinderella made me believe in magic, fairy tales & happily ever after. And as Ella’s mom said, to help me to remember to teach my children to always “have courage & be kind”!