twenty-four hours at great wolf lodge. part ii.

I'm quite certain the staff and other patrons of the restaurant were not at all sad to see our group leave. We are all quite loud. Letteria especially. The waitress was particularly nice about it and assured me they are used to it but I mean still. So. Loud. Lots of excitement, I get it. So we headed back to the hotel and the kids changed into pajamas for their lobby dance party. Which went on for forty-five minutes. Those girls dancing must get so tired! Letty, Sylvie and Baylee were the last three dancing and they made it the entire time. We all ended up back in our room and just the kids hang out and watch tv and eat all the popcorn they wanted until it was time for bed.
Annnnnd day two was more of the same! Us Olsens all slept in (late for us) till about 8... all our coffee cups had been used the night before for popcorn so Matt left to get us Dunkin. Which took forever so by the time I had my caffeine in me it was too late for me to run. Gasp! I know. We were at the water park at opening and the kids were off once more! They rode slide after slide after slide and how they climb all those stairs over and over without passing out is beyond me! I'm so glad Toniel's phone fit into my water proof bag thing and she was able to grab some videos and photos of the kids! By the time lunch came around we (adults) were all shot! Not to mention it was like either stay till after dinner or leave mid-afternoon due to traffic concerns. We decided on mid-afternoon because like I said: exhausted.
This trip was just soooo much fun and the kids (and adults) made so many great memories! Such a great group of girls (and their mamas/daddys!). Will we do this again? Most likely. Most. Likely. And hey! The more the merrier!



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twenty-four hours at great wolf lodge. part i.

The kids had an odd half day last Thursday and no school on Friday which as you know I need to fill up with all the things... We had done this two years ago, sneaking them off to Great Wolf Lodge all under the ruse of "daddy has a claim far away here is your iPad." They still talk about that trip all the time so way back in November while looking at the kid's school calendars we decided to book another one night stay there. And not tell them. 

it's greased lightning!

Ever since Letty was two her Uncle T has taken her to see his school's musical performance... minus a year or two when the shows just weren't good for her... And this year he opened it up to my mom and nieces and sisters so we made a whole girl's night out of it! And the show was Grease... Which made me a little nervous. I tried to have Letty watch the movie with me over the summer and was quickly shown  how not a movie for kids that is... I guess when I was little it was either so far over my head or so heavily edited that I didn't notice? Regardless, I trusted that a high school rendition would be quite PG. And it was. So. We good.

The girls got to see their uncle's office and of course we had to pretend that they were in trouble a bit.... All in good fun! The show was really good too! Especially that Danny! I'm always so impressed  by the level of talent these kids have! They just nail it every time.


a much belated valentine's day

I was just scrolling through my iPhone photos last night and I realized I had never posted anything about Valentine's Day... Probably because this happened the very next day and I just plum forgot what I had done the day before so.... Here I am. A few weeks late. Better late than never as they say...

a day off in baltimore

Not one to stay at home on a day off of school I just had to make a plan for President's Day last Monday... And it just so happens I have a mama friend who shares my affinity for doing all the things with the kids and so we hatched this one up together! Toniel has a season pass type thing to the Baltimore Zoo so she got one adult and all the kids in for free (thank you friend!). We had never been and were so impressed! Elephants and giraffes and lions oh my! We spent a good two hours wandering around and counting children's heads before it was time to head to Inner Harbor for a late lunch.

a goodbye to grammy

Last weekend my 96 year old Grammy passed away. 

I'm having a slight difficulty in writing this because there were two versions of my grandmother in my memory. There is the rounder, younger and much healthier version. The Grammy who lived walking distance away from us in Maine. The Grammy who was like a second mother. "Only three fig newtons Laurie!" type of Grammy. The Grammy I would watch old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with and have sleepovers with. And then there was the Grammy later in life... The last ten years have not been easy on her. But she’s tough as nails and she stayed with us. From her coma to several breaks and falls and surgeries, she was still here. Having to leave her home for a nursing home was not easy for her but it was a physical necessity. It was a safety thing. And lately you could just tell... she was done. She had had enough. And I cannot blame her. Since I stopped working almost ten years ago I have spent every Monday (not as often lately as her health deteriorated) with her and my mom... but I wish my last visit with her could have gone better... And try as I might I know I won’t be able to forget it. But I do know this: I told her I loved her twice (the second time she responded that she loved me too, so thankful for that tiny miracle) and then she told me that she wanted to go home. And she is home, finally. I can only imagine her joy to finally be reunited with my Poppop after twenty-nine years apart. 

as the saying goes, let us skate!

Or something like that.

David's Cub Scout Troop did this last year, and as the hobbit-footed husband of mine could no longer skate I was the one to take him to the event. This year though it moved from the old arena to the actual Giant Center. Like where the Hershey Bears play.... Which if you are not local means jack squat to you I am sure unless you know that the Bears are the farm team for the Washington Capitals. I know a little bit of hockey lingo... I know, shocking. But! This is also where we always go to see Disney on Ice so... didn't I feel special?

He was insistent that he would not need my hand this year. Which surprise surprise, he did! Eventually he allowed me to help him a little but it still was slow going for awhile. There was a lot of oh hey mom can I do a lap on my own and such. I guess he may be too cool for me anymore? And I really try to be the cool mom so come on David, give me some credit! He thought the penalty box was the ballot box which was the cutest thing ever. And eventually after a few new blisters and a few falls he decided he was ready to head home. And I got him a Frosty for not making me stay the entire two hours because mama forgot to wear long socks and she had quite a few new blisters herself. Rookie move Olsen. Rookie move.

my niece turned two!

A few weeks ago (ish) the littlest little niece on my side of the family (for now, wink wink) turned two! And we all got together over the weekend to celebrate her! She had an ear infection again but that didn't stop her from playing and eating and opening all the gifts. As always my sister-in-law has all the theme on point, Valentine's Day this year, as it were.

I am also going to need a new phone. The portrait mode just is not what it once was.

so what's new with you?

I haven't done one of these since November...Because well, the holidays. And then January came around and that month is just so blah is it not? And it lasted longer than all of the fall and holiday months combined. At least that's how it felt to me and a ton of other people on Instagram.... And now here we are... already almost a week in to the month. Let us just all agree that the first three months of the year are the absolute worst months of the year and I don't care if they just go by in a blink. Unless I lived somewhere with palm trees and that gorgeous tropical water I love so much. Then they would be fine, I'm sure.

24 hours at the hershey lodge

You know me, when my kids have off school I want to do something. I want to make it special! I don't want to hear their fighting all day over a Minecraft avatar! So for last week's MLK day I thought hey! Let's try something I've heard about pretty much right in our back yard... the water park at Hershey Lodge. And literally the night before my brother-in-law and his family decided to also join us! We headed up after the gym on Sunday and were able to check in (and get our Hershey bars, naturally) right away even though our room wasn't ready yet... 

what i’ve been reading lately

I always love reading posts about what books people have read and whether I should be reading them too so here is my addition to said group. I track the books throughout the year for a reason right? I had a goal of reading a book a week in 2019 and I came in at 57 total for the year so, yay! Trying to figure out how to group these is kind of daunting... but I tried!

our final fun day at sea

Our final day at sea started off great! We went to bed the night prior expecting it to be a cold cold day so we were all so happy that it was warm! Enough to get the bathing suits on a final time! We took the kids to the water slides again and Letty even did the green one! As did I! Once was enough for me though!

a final beach day!

This day was much more organized! There was only one cruise ship at port which was huge. This was Freeport... The damage done to this island during the past hurricanes was something to see! Sad, of course! But to actually see it first  hand and not on the news was wild. They have done a lot obviously, but you can see they were hit hard. We got right on to a double decker open air bus and off we went! The driver was incredible informative but goodness did it feel like we were listing to the left the entire drive. No seat belts or windows oh my! My sister and I were a little anxious... and happy to get to the beach!

nassau and blue lagoon island!

Guess what this private island has? Can you guess? A blue lagoon. That is coincidentally my most favorite of shades of blue. And! Dolphins!!!! But first... getting there! After this pretty sunrise!

our time on princess cay!

Princess Cay is on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Try pronouncing that name huh? We ended up botching it and calling it uretha all day. Which is silly. It's such a beautiful island! You tender right off the boat and there are chairs all set up and a bar and food and it's just all prepared for a perfect day of beachy fun! Unfortunately my niece's health had taken a turn for the sick over the night so my brother and his family stayed on board. For the entirety of the cruise. Sick kids on vacation is no beauno! The rest of us headed out with our priority tender time which was just super! These platinum perks just keep on coming!

our new year's eve!

This was also the first formal night of the cruise. I love dressing up on cruises. That's the only place I enjoy it I think. And it was extra special because it was a holiday! Which incidentally, I hope you had a really awesome one! I felt like I was channeling my grandmother this night. The pleats in the skirt of my dress, the peep toe shoes, and of course her very own beaded clutch! I'm sure she would not have been imbibing on New Year's Eve but still. The girls wore their matching dresses and Harrison looked so stinking cute in his top hat! He even gave me multiple kisses this night. That boy. Has. My. Heart.

our second fun day at sea

Now this was more like it! The sun showed off... The kids slept really well... Alright alright so I spent the week sharing a twin bed with Dominic but I mean he's a good cuddle buddy and these days are fleeting so, moving on. And most importantly? It. Was. Warm. After first breakfast and then you know, second breakfast, the kids headed once more to the pool! And then immediately to mini golf. I hate watching my kids mini golf. It's sort of the worst. They always rush ahead. They are just awful at it. It's no fun. I'm sorry but... I said it. Thankfully we had the water slides and park area to get them away from the clubs....

our rocky and rainy first "fun day at sea"

That's what they call it. They as in Carnival. A Fun Day at Sea. And it normally is! They are kind of the best! Laying out and baking in the sun... taking multiple breaks for all the foods. All the drinks. Reading. That sort of thing. And since my kids are over the age of two that also means they can go to Camp Ocean and play with their peers.... 

we went on a cruise!

Oh how I loathe to be back. Back to school. Back to the routines. Back to the cold. Back to reality. My kids have been off of school for two weeks so... pray for us this morning as they go right back into real life (rude). Especially the day after a vacation. Especially the day after a vacation after Christmas! It's all too much to bear!

christmas day, the evening portion

Since the dawn of the Christmas Eve party Matt and I have taken to hosting Christmas Dinner. He cooks all day... I try to make the table look nice (I always feel like I'm Dorinda.... I MADE IT NICE!!!!).... And everyone comes to us. He makes quite a spread too! 

Our house isn't quite conducive to large gatherings of people opening presents so after a quick dinner clean up we headed to my parent's to open up all the gifts! The Secret Santa ones exchanged with my siblings and their kids and then my parent's gifts to the kids. And our gifts to them. My older brother is missing because well, he is off travelling the world or something like that. We miss you! But don't do that again! You promised!

The kids got more perfect gifts and the noise and the mess and the mayhem! I love it! We are a certain brand of crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way!