Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Minneapolis 2013 - Day 2

Day 2 of our Family Minneapolis Trip! (Monday, December 16, 2013)

- Today's adventure is hitting up the Mall of America to do some Christmas shopping.
- Surprisingly, Violet was OK with going back in the car for a bit more driving to get to the Mall. Turns out that we were about 5 miles away from the Mall. Not too bad and the directions were pretty easy to follow.
- Lots of walking and looking at everything, with Violet sitting on Daddy’s shoulder’s for quite a bit of it. We looked at quite a few stores and then headed down 1 level to do some more bumming around.
- While we were walking around, we decided to check out Nickelodian Universe to see if there was any rides that Violet could do. Because it wasn’t “peak season” for them, they had all the rides scheduled as to when they were going to run. And there wasn’t much that we could see for Violet to ride on.
- But as we walked out of there, we walked right into LEGO Land. And I was in Heaven! They had quite a few displays set up, but the thing that stole my heart was the HUGE Pick-A-Brick Wall that was on the back wall. I think they said something about 200 different pieces you can choose from. Wow.
- When we were done shopping in there, we went walking around the mall some more and found a gelato place. I was feeling in the mood for it (even though it was 11am), but I wasn’t sure as to how they’d taste. The guy behind the counter gave me a taste of the Mint Oreo and I got a medium size. Of course, I had to share with Violet.
- Then we decided to find out where the SeaLife Aquarium was and see if it was worth it. Ended up walking around half the first floor to get to it (it was on the other side of the mall from where we were). It was going to be $20/person for me and Keith (Violet was free as she was under 2), so we decided to check it out. It was something to do and hopefully Violet would like it. Turns out that was probably the best thing we did all day. We started it off by finding the sting-ray tank and Violet was enthralled with them. She kept looking at them and exclaiming “Water!” And then I noticed that they had a observation deck that you could go up on and look at the pool from the top. So I took Violet up there and she was excited about it. Had to convince her that there was more fish to go look at to get her down. Then we got to touch/pet some starfish that they had in a shallow pool. And they felt cool. Violet wasn’t sure about them, but when Keith showed her that she could touch them, then she was more interested. After we were done with them, I quickly took her to the bathroom to wash her off and then we continued on.
We kept walking until we found the Jellyfish. And they were cool. They had them in cylindrical tubes with lights on the bottom and surrounded by mirrors. Violet was so excited in there. She kept running from tank to tank and was so happy. Even when we walked out of there, she was still going around the tanks and calling out for the Jellyfish. Silly girl. After the Jellyfish, we found the Octopuses and Sea Horses, even though some were in hiding and sleeping. We also found the tank where they had all the fish from Disney‘s “Finding Nemo” movie. He actually said that he found Dory first, and then I found the rest of the fish. Lol. Then we found the underwater tunnel that was about 200 yards long and it was so cool! Violet was sitting on Keith’s shoulders so that she could get a view of everything. They had quite the variety of animals in there, including Sea Turtles, Sharks and numerous fish. Violet was so enthralled with them and so excited to see them. At one time, a shark actually swam right over her head and she just looked up with her mouth wide open in awe. So glad I can give her experiences like this.
- When we were done in the aquarium, we walked around the mall a bit more, but Violet was getting tired and cranky, so we decided to go back to the car, quickly stop by Wal-Mart for some stuff and then back to the hotel so that Violet could sleep.
- By the time we were pulling out of the parking lot, Violet was out cold. We needed to stop by the Wal-Mart that we saw on our way earlier. Found our way to the Wal-Mart, got Violet out of the car seat (who was still out cold) and into the store. We walked around for a bit and then realized that it would be better to grab the stroller from the car to put Violet in so that she could sleep some more as she was getting heavy for Keith to hold. Unfortunately, when we put her in the stroller, she woke up. Oh well. I tried to convince her to go back to sleep, but she wasn’t having it. We were grocery shopping Mom! We found some groceries that we’d need in the hotel room (and they were so cheap compared to home!) and then bought some more Christmas gifts. Not sure how we’re going to fit everything in the car for the ride home as the stroller takes up a chunk of the trunk.
- As we were pulling up to the hotel, Violet kept asking for home. And I told her that we’d be there shortly. When we pulled into the hotel parking lot, Violet said, “Home! That's not home.” I was doubled over laughing. And so was Keith.
- We got settled back into our room, turned the TV onto cartoons for Violet and while Violet was pre-occupied with having food and watching cartoons, me and Keith discussed whether or not to stay the entire trip. We were both bummed about the hotel and that there wasn’t much for Violet to do. There was no way I was letting her run around the hotel to burn off energy and the entire thing just felt blah. So we decided to pack it up and head home. I packed up everything and stuffed as much as I could into the backpacks and kept Violet entertained with her toys and colouring books. Also helped that I had a ½ hour shower with her again in the Rainwater Shower. Sigh. I really wish that we had looked more to see if they had a pool for her to play in.

Photos in no particular order :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Minneapolis 2013 - Day 1

Oops. A bit late in posting this.

We took our first family trip down to Minneapolis, MN for a couple days, just before Christmas 2013. It was nice to get away for a couple days and just spend time together as a family.

Day 1 (Sunday, December 15, 2013) was spent driving. Keith drove the entire trip while I kept an eye on Violet and gave Keith directions. We stopped in Grand Forks for food (Denny's) and then continued on our way.

Violet did amazing for sitting that long in the car and kept herself occupied pretty well, especially looking out the windows at everything and taking her naps as she needed them.

Took about 9 hours to get to our hotel in Minneapolis (with the 1-hour stop in Grand Forks). Although we kicked ourselves in the butt for the hotel that we got. We had booked our hotel on Hotwire, but it got changed into new ownership before we got there. And completely out of our league. And we were disappointed. We had booked it for several reasons (breakfast, fitness room, free internet and I think a swimming pool), and there was none of that there. Not even free continental breakfast. We were not impressed. And if we did order room service, it was WAY overpriced ($6 for a kids pb&j sandwich), $2 delivery fee (???) and 18% gratuity (???). Oh, and no tub in the over-sized bathroom. There was a rain-water shower, but no tub for Violet to play in. Not. Impressed. At. All. And according to the fire-sign on the back of the door, the rooms regularly went for $500/night! Glad through Hotwire, we only paid $80/night.

Spent the rest of the relaxing and watching cartoons. Tomorrow is shopping at Mall of America!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 7

Welcome to Week 7 of Project Life 2014 (February 9-15, 2014).

More stuff going on this week, and Baby ( is growing bigger and bigger everyday!

 The Title Card is from PL Midnight Kit with letter stickers from Basic Grey. I'm running out of those and I really like them! The Kids 4 Sale card is from September Blue. I really couldn't resist picking them up, as some days I need a journal/filler card that sums up a bad day. Tuesday was one of them. The journal cards are from the Midnight Kit, with the exception of the Currently Card, available from A Little Grace & Mercy.

Also, my car has decided that it really HATES winter and decided not to start again. I had a feeling it just needed to be plugged in for a bit, but my work has no plug-ins for employees and I wasn't parked close to the building in order to plug in. So my sister Sam came to my rescue and towed me home. Unfortunately, she had to tow me backwards as she couldn't find anywhere in the front of my car to hook up to. She drove backwards in my car (she's way better at it than I am) while I drove her car forwards. Had to take some back roads to get home, and then push it up her driveway to put into the garage to thaw for a bit. Poor car.

This week was also Valentine's Day. I named that day Pregnancy Emotional Day, and for good reason, but it turned out OK in the end. Violet went to one of her Grandparents for the night, and me and Keith went out for supper and then to a friend's wedding social.

All in all, a pretty good week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 6

Welcome to Week 6 of Project Life (February 2-8, 2014)

Another busy week in the Neufeld household.

Keith went back onto day shift as they had done another switch-up. And all was better in the house because of it! I also had to do my Diabetes Testing for this Pregnancy. That orange drink still tastes like HELL!!

The Title Card is a Groundhog Day Freebie that Cathy Zielske put up with the font First Order typed on there. The Heart Today stamp is Ali Edwards Heart Today Stamp. I realized that I use that one quite a bit (ahem...a lot!), but I like it, and it really sums up what I love. Because it's spread across two 4x6 photos, I had to "cut" it in my scrapbook program and line them up so that it worked and then re-coloured it with some digital paper. Love seeing Violet and Payton (her cousin) spending time with their great-grandparents. Violet even got her nails painted (she asks for it every single time we go down there). And apparently one of her toys (it's Rapunzel and her horse from a toy set she got for Christmas) need food in order to keep on playing. And all journal cards are from PL Midnight Kit.

Again, I needed three 8x10 inserts for notes/handouts from our Pre-Natal class that we're taking.

The Nap time stamp is from Ali Edwards This Time. I love getting photos of Violet sleeping, as sometimes we catch her in the weirdest of positions. Also enter more Daddy snuggles on the couch. The filler cards are from the Baby Girl Kit and the Seafoam Kit.