I know, it’s been a while since I updated my blog. As it turns out, working fulltime outside the house, having 2 year old triplets, keeping house semi-clean, and the various other things I do tend to suck up a lot of time. When I get home from work, play with the kids, give them a bath and then clean up at the end of a night, I really just want to relax and fall asleep. There’s reason #1 why I haven’t updated the blog in so long.
Then there’s the fact that my camera has officially died. Pictures are hard to come by, because getting them from my phone is generally a pain in the butt. I have a backup camera now, but need to get some batteries for it. It’s a bit of a dinosaur (not that I don’t appreciate it, mom:) but it will work.
I do have a few pictures that I took with some disposable cameras, and my phone, that I had grabbed in desperation just before our Key West trip last month. (for the record, it took about 2 hours to upload/edit all these pictures.) The sad news is that I can’t seem to find the camera that held the photos of Easter.. the kids went on an awesome Easter egg hunt with their cousins and I actually got Lily to wear a dress!! It was adorable, so I am hoping those photos show up somewhere eventually.
So.. our trip. Lots of lessons were learned on this journey.
Lesson #1. I learned the hard way that DVD players are not the saviors that I thought they would be for us in the car. I was really nervous about driving the 7-8 hour drive to Key West, thinking the kids would need something to keep them occupied. I saved up and bought 3 DVD players. I could have gotten away with two… but I felt bad that Ben wouldn’t have his own in the back, since he sits in the last row while the other two kids are in the middle row. Technically he could probably see Lily’s screen just fine, but I got him his own anyway so he wouldn’t be left out. The night before we left, we set up the screens and they looked great, I couldn’t wait to try them out. We were on the road for about 20 minutes before I seriously considered throwing them out the window. Either that, or duct taping my children’s legs to the seats. (Just kidding.. mostly). I neglected to consider that the kids could actually reach the DVD screens with their feet (when did their legs get so long, anyway??), and they derived great pleasure from kicking the screens, and turning the movie on and off with their toes. Eventually, we just took the screens off and alternated giving them snacks and “new” toys, singing and pointing out things along the way as we drove.
We made it down to Miami in pretty good time, to pick up our au pair and her friend, who had spent a couple days in South Beach. It was lunchtime, so we figured we’d stop at a McDonalds playplace and let the kids run around a little bit and get something to eat.
Lesson #2- There are no McDonalds with playgrounds in South Beach. In the future, I will scout out possible lunch/play stops in advance instead of driving around South Beach in a minivan with hungry, whiny kids.
We made it down to Duck Key by the early evening, hoping to make it to the rehearsal dinner, but failing due to very slow moving traffic in and out of the Keys. We were eager to see the family, and planned on bringing the kids to my aunt’s wedding the next day.
I had booked a “room” at the Lime Tree Bay Resort.. it was a 2 bedroom (supposedly, so our au pair would have her own room.) It was supposed to be one level, and be on the beach. We arrived, and it ended up being a 3 bedroom-3 bathroom, 3 level townhouse, across the street from the beach, but on a canal. It had 3 balconies, and it’s own private pool. Actually, it was a great place, but not so much for 2 year olds. We ended up having to barricade the staircases with furniture from the bedrooms- luckily we had a pretty big master suite, so there was plenty of room for the Peapods that the kids (sort of) slept in. We got the kids fed and situated when we arrived, then snuck out for a late dinner by ourselves.
It was awesome.
That first night in the hotel room was rough.. the kids tossed and turned in their Peapod tents- and here’s another lesson I learned:
Lesson #3- Bring a nightlight!! My kids sleep with a soft lamp on in their room, and even though they fell asleep in their tents, they would wake up and be freaked out by the darkness. They would start crying super loud, and wake the others, and the next thing we knew they were all in our bed. This was a big “duh” thing for me. What was I thinking, not bringing a nightlight?! Of course, they slept just fine in the big bed- this was actually the first time any of them have slept in our bed, because we never do it at home.
I’m reserving my review of the Peapod tents until we are able to try them out again.. while they didn’t work that well for us, I think they might have been better if I had better prepared us for using them.
The next day, we headed over to my aunt’s vacation house to spend the day with our family before the wedding… The kids had a blast finding Easter eggs, and got sweet baskets from my aunt Lori, full of cool toys and candy. Unfortunately the candy didn’t all make it into their possession:) (But I did enjoy the Fun Dip!)
Later on, we headed over to the home where the wedding was held- it was breathaking. Unfortunately, we realized once we were there, that this wasn’t the best place for 2-year-olds. The perfectly manicured gardens would have been no match for my curious little flower-picking toddlers.. and then there was the large body of water directly behind the house, known as a canal. At the last minute, we decided not to bring the kids- we were planning on attending the ceremony, then going back to pick up the kids and Ploy and bring them to the reception, but I just foresaw too much stress for everyone involved in having them there. Part of the sadness lies in the fact that they didn’t get to wear the adorable outfits I had gotten for the event:(
Other than that… the wedding was great. Very laid back, and I think my aunt has found someone who really makes her happy, and that is what matters!
The day after the wedding, we headed down to Key West. It was only an hour drive, so we were able to get some fun in that evening. When we got there, Todd and I took a quick scooter trip while Ploy and her friend watched the kids at the hotel.
*Wait, let me back up a moment. I must share the lovely act that I caught my daughter in, minutes before we were getting ready to leave for Key West. I was getting packed up, moving around the room, picking up clothes and toys, and I looked over at her. She was WRITING on the white wall, with a BLUE CRAYON. Let me tell you, I didn’t bring any crayons into this place- I know better. She either smuggled it in like a convict with a concealed weapon, or found it under a dresser or something. Either way, I was ready to flip my lid but quickly found out that a wet washcloth can do the trick if you apply enough pressure while scrubbing. You may take off a little paint as well, but it’s a lot less conspicuous than leaving a giant display of blue crayon marks on the wall. Let’s call this Lesson #4- check your toddlers for contraband before turning your back in a hotel room.
Key West is beautiful.
There was lots of havoc to wreak in our new hotel room, but at least it was all one level! I unplugged the phone as soon as we got in, because I know they just can’t resist a phone..
That evening, we took the kids out for a walk on Mallory Square and Duval Street. Lots of fun stuff to look at down there!
Everyone gathers at Mallory Square each night for the sunset…
The next day, we took the kids to the beach… they always love the beach!
And this leads me to lesson #5- the beach in Key West… isn’t much of a beach. The water is beautiful, yes, but it’s pretty much impossible to even walk in the water because it is so rocky. There was a lot of broken glass and jellyfish as well. You definitely don’t go to Key West for the beach- but we had a good time nonetheless..
a little snippet from our hotel room in Key West. The kids loved playing in this rolly chair:)
Lily had so much fun at this park that was across the beach… they all did, of course. But she even made a friend, a little boy that she followed around for about a half hour. I think he was trying to escape her but she just kept following him from slide to slide… saying “come back!” She then proceeded to climb this giant play structure after he did. I had no idea she could climb that well, it’s a little frightening, actually.
Our last evening in Key West, Todd and I went out for dinner on the pier. It was awesome, of course.
And of course, as we were leaving, I remembered that we hadn’t seen the southernmost point.. It was dark, but I took a picture anyway:
The return trip home was uneventful.. we didn’t even bother with the DVD players, and the kids were just fine without them.. They played on their mini-magnadoodles, and slept quite a bit. I guess we’ll just hang on to those DVD players for when they get a bit older, and learn that they are not for kicking!
Since we have been back.. it’s been a lot of work, and some quick visits with family. The kids got to spend time with their cousin E at Disney this past week and they had an absolute blast. There is lots more to update on, but that will have to wait for another day:)
And There You Have It.