Boston Family Vacation

Outside of the cities I have lived, Boston is probably my next most visited city. For many years I spent every other Thanksgiving there, as well as summers in Cape Cod.

Here’s the backstory: my dad grew up along the South Shore. He’s the oldest of 8 (6 boys and 2 girls), and most of our family still live in the area. My grandma (Beach Grammy, which Finn named her years ago) has 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She also turns 90 later this year. My brother and I are the oldest grandchildren and my youngest cousin is 9, so we span lots of years!

While the 8 kids were born and raised just outside of Boston, they (and my cousins) are now spread out over Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and Holland. This was the first time 99% of our family would be in the same city, so Justin and I knew a Boston family vacation was a must this summer. And as expected, we had such a fantastic time!

The kids did an amazing job on the flights. Evie took a little snooze as we made our way to the hotel to settle in. (Random: every time I drive in the tunnels in Boston I think of Princess Diana. Strange?)

Boston

We spent our first full morning at the Boston Children’s Museum. Because we are members of the Science Center of Iowa we paid $0! The partnership among museums in this country is really incredible! The kids LOVED the museum. In fact, LOVE might be an understatement for what Finn felt. He would have slept there if we’d have let him.

Museum

Finn quickly made it to the top of this rope tunnel at the entrance. Other kids were screaming and getting lost. He was killing it. Ninja skills.

RopesEvie loved the lighted Tetris-like dance floor. Girl has moves for days. Just look at her get LOW!

DancingIf this is a look into my future, I’m in trouble. I also have an outdated phone in my future. Let me upgrade ya!

E phone

There is an area called “Kids Power” where kids use their humongous muscles to make things move. I love the teamwork and facial expression on Evie as they work to fling a ball in the air. They were incredibly proud of each other and kept high-fiving!!Pull PushLater that afternoon we filled the kids up with some very necessary nutrition…

Pre dunkin

… before we took a family drive to Quincy to visit the very first Dunkin’ Donuts. I am well aware Dunkin’ is not the mecca of health, but it screams BOSTON, and it was a history lesson for the kids, right? Hard work, determination, franchising, etc… :) Some people take historic tours of architecture when they visit the East Coast. Our family? Historic donut buildings.

Dunkin

As you’d imagine, Finn and Evie didn’t give a rip about the history lesson, they were just THRILLED to get a donut. So thrilled, in fact, Evie sang her donut a song. Seriously. She straight up sang to it! By the time her song was done, Finn had already digested his entire donut and was licking his chops for more. Hello, sugar high!

Dunkin kidsHopefully we aren’t the only crew to have taken a family picture in Dunkin’? Family Christmas shot 2014 right here, folks! Just print it off now.

Dunkin family

We spent every afternoon with my family, including 2 of my girl cousins who happily scooped Evie up into their hearts.  Evie was smittin’ and keeps talking about “Wiz and Kawa” … Liz and Cara :) Cara made her bracelets, which Evie calls her “power.” There’s no quicker way to Evie’s heart than super powers and pretty jewelry! All 3 of these nuggets are my super heroes! Love them.

E Aborns

Cara also introduced Evie to Kim Kardashian. CARAAAA!!!! :)

E social

My younger cousins took Finn in immediately and he was in heaven. Between soccer, swimming and running around, he never wanted to leave!

F cousins

Finn swim

With all of my aunts and uncles and cousins, there were at least 34 of us gathered to celebrate my Grandma’s 90th birthday later this year. These are most of my cousins on my dad’s side (we are missing 2 cousins and my brother). Do you see now why the kids never wanted to leave this land of magical fun and playmates?!? Entertainment for DAYS!

Cousins

The next day we took a trip to the New England Aquarium. It was amazing – Nemo and Dory live there, but let’s just say the Children’s Museum went over with a lot more excitement :)

IMG_7318

While Finn has visited the ocean twice before, this was Evie’s first visit. This is a big moment for my beach-loving heart! I watched as she walked closer and closer to the (freezing cold) water. As expected, she fell in love!

Evie beach

Justin and Kids

EvieFinn and Justin

She wanted to jump and splash, while Finn preferred to “Superhero punch” the waves. He also accidentally took a big gulp (rite of passage) and exclaimed, “wow, that’s salty!”

Finn beach

Finn sand

Family beach

And no hotel trip would be complete without flying toddlers, right? I wish I would have recorded this laughter. It was hysterical!

Evie fly

Finn fly

We had such a great time enjoying the city and our family. Maybe some day we’ll buy that Cape Cod beach house and make this an annual trip. Big dreams :)

Until next time, Boston, we love you!

Leaving

Have you gone on a family vacation this summer? Where to? 

 

My Mommy Mind

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  • Once again my dearest friend flies off to save the world.  Erin and her family left Afghanistan earlier this year, only to find a new destination in Indonesia. May they soar above it all! Always inspired by her.
  • I finally did it! Chopped my hair. Too many inches to count are in a trash can, and I couldn’t love it more.  FREEDOM! (In a few weeks when I’m whining about not being able to pull it into a wet bun, tell me to HUSH!)
  • All Evie wants before she sleeps is “a kiss, a hug and a high five” from Finn. Any other time of day, she rejects his love. If he’s not in the mood, watch out! Evie’s going to get what Evie wants. (This statement also translated into leaving a full cart at Trader Joe’s last week because Evie demanded a sucker… now… which she never did receive after a loooong time once we arrived home. We’re talking screaming and crying, laying on the floor, full-on fit! Whoa. Sorry, TJ’s!)
  • Speaking of Trader Joe’s, when I went back this weekend (solo) to refill my cart with the items left (grrrrr), I overheard this amazing dialogue between mother and son.
    Son: Can we have some cereal, mom?
    Mom: Yes, you can choose one box but it has to have 6 grams of sugar of less.
    Me: That is awesome! You’re a great mom!
    I seriously walked away in smiles and cheering.
  • We leave this week for Boston. Two kids, two adults, one hotel room, five nights, one rental car, and lots of family. The kids are going to have the time of their lives with all the cousins and family who will eat them up, regardless of how little sleep they (or we) get. We can do this!

What are your best tips for travelling with little ones? Spill the beans!!!

The New Food Economy

Robyn O’Brien is, without question, one of my heros. I was first introduced to her after Finn was diagnosed with food allergies. I was determined to figure out what really was happening to his body and why he was rejecting basic foods. My pursuit led me to Robyn, and life has never been the same! Her first TED talk literally changed my life.

She recently spoke at TedxFrontRange. Her message is clear and her questions important, the most important being: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?”

With 1 in 13 children diagnosed with food allergies and 41% of Americans expected to be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, it’s time we identify and fix the problem of health in this country. And I believe, that change starts with food.

The more I hear from Robyn, the more passionate I become about real food and making sure our family is as healthy as possible.  What do you take away from listening to Robyn?