Surprising Papa

My grandfather that lives in Charlotte turned 93th in the middle of January. My mom & her two sisters concocted the idea for them to plan to go spend a long weekend with him in February to celebrate his birthday & to have his grands & great-grands arrive Friday to surprise him with a big family visit & dinner Saturday. & it worked!

Tine & her family were the first grands to arrive late afternoon taking Papa by surprise. We left after work Friday & after a bunch of traffic leaving town, made it through north Charlotte without a traffic blip & arrived just after dinner. We snuck as quietly as two super excited 5.5 yr olds can sneak down the hallway & yelled surprise! My cousin Preston & his family showed up not even 5 mins after us. Just in time for the 5 great-grands to help Papa blow out his candles on cake #1!Suzs treats Papa greatgrands cake

All the family stayed at a nearby hotel with the cousins & kids being 3 rooms in a row making for lots of little cousin fun & late nights! We had breakfast together Saturday morning, all headed uptown to ImaginOn then Mom kids & I had lunch at the nearby 7th St Market.

Suzs Treats ImaginOn

Saturday afternoon, Jason & I took off to NoDa Brewery while the grandparents watched the littles.

Suz's Treats NoDa

We all met back up to get ready for dinner complete with lots of “look at my twirls” from the little girls & try my drink & hair wand from the bigger girls. Then it was dinner time. We had our own dining room but 5 kids 5.5 & under meant lots of Clubhouse shenanigans!

Suzs Treats Papa dinner

Followed by another late night at the hotel with kids running & bouncing from room to room before finally crashing at 11p! So much fun! So tired Sunday morning! We all decided to head back towards home in the rain Sunday morning. & thankfully all got home uneventfully.

Lucy & I even had time to make it to her first girl only birthday party for a classmate. Spa themed & Lucy left with make up on! This was such a wonderful weekend!

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.

Thanksgiving ’13

We celebrated another wonderful Thanksgiving down at OIB with my Mom & Dad & my Dad’s parents, Nana & Pawpaw. {We missed my brother & SIL in NY & my mom’s side in Charlotte!}

And their dog, Bocce was a huge hit with Zach & Lucy. Who needs toys when there’s a dog?! Even better that they’d just learned to say dog & woof woof & learned his name while we were there. Zach just followed him around & loved to pat him on the back & head. L liked to talk to him & look from afar & thought his fluffy tail was fun to pet. They were surprisingly gentle, & Bocce, who can be skiddish, did great putting up with them. I think Bocce’s a big fan of L & Z because he gets to do clean up floor duty after every meal & snack {bribery at it’s finest}.

Thursday morning, we made a chilly walk up for beach church on the sand. Rev John spoke quick because it was cold! Z ‘played’ with sand & had fun watching birds then got too cold even all bundled up. Lucy was snuggled into me & lasted in her owl fluffy hat & ruffle coat.

Thanksgiving was also my mom’s birthday! So we had birthday cake along with our Thanksgiving meal. 🙂

Dad enjoyed lots of books with L & Z including hallmark The Night Before Christmas which he recorded his voice reading. It’s so cool.

Thanksgiving Thursday

Friday & Saturday we shopped, ate & ate, played, L & Z had dance parties with Nana & their Cici.

Jason & I escaped for a day date to see Hunger Games Catching Fire & a quick Boj’s lunch. Our first movie since the weekend before I went on hospital bed rest.

Lucy & Zach took baths in Nana’s big garden tub. Zach loved it & I think he’s going to be our lil fish. Lucy liked a quick duck tub {within the tub} bath then to watch.

Saturday, OIB starts off the Christmas holiday with a bunch of events. L&Z were napping during parade time & we skipped the floatila bc it was dinner/bath/bedtime. But we made it to the fire station for cookies & meeting Santa. LOL. It didn’t go so well! Poor L was hating it!
Friday and Saturday Thanksgiving

Sunday, we went to my grandparents’ church {where we were married} & L & Z did great playing I the children’s room while we worshiped & listened to Nana in the choir. Afterwards we finally remembered to take a four generations photo!
Four Coggins generations

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now onto Christmas holiday posts!

Happy {belated} Independence Day

Just getting back to reality after a week long beach vacation. {Did you catch my liberating working moms post on it?!}

I downloaded the photos from our dslr & realized these are all that are on there. I’ll update later this week with photos my sister-in-law took & ones from my cell.

Needless to say, we had a wonderful break from reality. It was a fabulous week full of family- both my ILs as well as my parents & grands.

As you might’ve seen from instagram/facebook, Lucy girl got sick Friday afternoon & we cut our trip a few hours short.

But Jason took these photos Thursday evening of me & my babies.

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Lucy & Momma OIB July 4th

Lucy & Momma 2

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July 4th OIB Zach, Lucy & Momma

July 4th OIB Zach, Lucy & Momma

Love the evening light! Love them! {posting from our new mini-laptop chrome book so excuse weird photo errors}

Babies First Easter

Last Easter was my last time travelling while pregnant/without babies in hand. It seems like a lifetime & just weeks ago at the same time.

My parents, Lucy, Zach & I packed up & headed down to my grandparents’ on OIB Thursday night. Lucy & Zach slept & did great until about 15 minutes left & then I was finding Baby Eisten videos on youtube as quick as they would load!

Friday, we brought Lucy & Zach along for Mom, Nana & I to make Walmart & grocery store runs. They fell asleep in the van so we ended up shopping in shifts leaving one adult & both babies in the car at all stores. My Nana has agreed to make Lucy & Zach baptism outfits using the fabric from my mom’s wedding dress. We found patterns at Walmart & I’m so excited!

Friday night, my mom made this awesome shrimp & wild rice casserole. The recipe will soon be it’s own post & to be remade soon at my house.

Saturday morning, I took a mommy break with my Nana & went to Happy Nails for a pedicure & my first shallac manicure. So far, my nails are holding up to all that two babies can throw at them. I returned in time to feed both & for Lucy to take a nap while Zach accompanied Jason, Nana, my mom & me to the local neighborhood Easter egg hunt & raw egg toss. We just watched from the sidelines this year. But it’ll be so fun for Lucy & Zach to participate next year in something that’s been going on since before I was born!

Easter 13 1

Saturday afternoon, Mom & I took the babies for a long stroll {yay for stroller naps!}. We took over the floor in my grandparents’ den with baby toys. Their dog Bocce was unsure what to think of mobile babies at first. He quickly learned to like them after we let him clean up the floor around their high chairs! And he learned quick to follow behind to pick up dropped Cherrios from the stuffed plastic eggs we gave them to play with.

We dyed Easter eggs that evening. The babies thought they were pretty cool.

Easter 13 2

Sunday we started off at the beach church service. Both babies were interested at first then got warm & snuggly on us & took a nap. I found their super cute, casual & coordinating without being too matchy/matchy bunny onesies at The Children’s Place on clearance btw.

Easter 13 3

We arrived home by late afternoon {the babies napped most of the car ride while I read a book in the back seat!}, enjoyed Easter lunch KFC leftovers for dinner & went to bed early. Happy {late} Easter all!

Happy Times

I realize a few of my recent posts on motherhood {the sick, the social, the juggling} have had a negative nancy side. But life is good. The babies are at such a fun age {9 month posts to come soon}!

We had a great weekend. My parents came down Friday night. Lucy & Zach had their first playdate {where they could actually play & interact} when my friend Holly stopped by with her almost 4 & 18 month old daughters. It was a blast seeing the four of them interacting & playing with our toys. I enjoyed catching up with Holly & am hoping we can do it again soon.

They left as the SNOW was really coming down. Mom & I decided to wrap up the babies in warm layers topped with fuzzy bear suits & tiny mittens & let them play outside for a bit. There was more time getting us all dressed than there was spent outside. Also, pretty sure there were more cameras brought out than there were people. Four cell phones & my DSLR. But we captured flakes on Zach’s long lashes & Lucy tearing off her mitten to better crawl in the white stuff. Plus one of the better shots of the four of us in a while. It was awesome.

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The rest of Saturday & Sunday was spent cooking {Lemon bars & banana bread & artichoke mushroom chicken}, trying on dresses {yay for refitting into cute ones!}, packing, making bottles, & playing & hugging Lucy & Zach.

Matching crabby pjs!

Matching crabby pjs!

Also throw in grocery shopping & a Target trip where 1 return & going to buy face wash somehow relays into spending $35 on candy, sippy cups & baby snacks.

I spent just about 48 hours away from Lucy & Zach on my work trip. I met some new work friends, reconnected with coworker friends & rediscovered that I do enjoy having a few glasses of chilled wine & cold beer {alcohol gets warm when it takes hours to drink in between baby wrangling}.

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130a Mon closing down club fifth season. 🙂

 

I also remembered I like the ability to wear fun necklaces & having the time to apply eye shadow. I missed the babies; I showed off pictures more times than I can count. I also discovered I would not want to exclusively pump. My boobs thank me for that realization.