Our Pensacola Trip – Goodbye Brother

smiling toddlerLast weekend my family, along with my parents and Grandmother, took a trip down to Pensacola, Florida to visit my brother, who is in college at PCC. I was not too thrilled about taking another road trip so soon, but we knew this would be our last opportunity before making our big arctic move. We still had a lot of packing to do when we got back and a small going away party to say goodbye to all of our family and friends. Needless to say, our schedule was tight!

riding with toddler
Riding to the Beach

The one thing (other than saying goodbye to my brother) that I wanted to do while in Florida was visit the beach, but it rained on the only day we could go. I decided I would at least stick my toes in the water even if it was raining, but I could not make it to the shoreline before beach patrol came along with their air horn and flashing lights telling me to get off the beach. Apparently lightning had been sighted in the area (I saw no lightning!) so it was not safe to be on the beach.

toddler with grandma
Playing with Grandma at the Motel
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Anneliese with Great Grandma

Instead of a day at the beach, the men went to the Pensacola Naval Air Museum, while I stayed with the napping baby and did some computer work. My mom and grandmom didn’t want to go either, so they stayed behind with me and read their romance novels. If you are ever in Pensacola (not Pensacola Beach) there is a delicious Mexican Restaurant beside the Comfort Inn, unfortunately I forgot the name of it.

baby visiting uncle
At Church with Uncle Bryant

On Sunday we went to church with Bryant at the Pensacola Christian College campus church, and I think he might have been a little embarrassed by our fussy toddler during the service. Then, when we got back to Alabama Sunday night, Jonathan and I went to work packing our belongings. We have been going nonstop and it is exhausting us!

Colorado Vacation Trip to Visit Family (Part 2)

{Click here to read Part 1}

toddler with german family
Aunt Anja, Anneliese, and Great Oma

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Anneliese in her old fashioned German dress.

When we were not sightseeing around Denver, we went shopping for cold weather gear (preparing for our move to the arctic) and spent time at Oma’s house eating her delicious food. The best store for cold weather gear was the REI and they had some awesome sales. We were able to buy almost everything we need for life in the arctic.

Jonathan’s family had so much fun shopping for Anneliese since she is the only baby girl other than Jonathan’s sister. We found a lot of cute toddler girl clothes throughout town and at various consignment shops.

german grandmother
Anneliese with her Great Oma
german goulash food
Well-Rounded German Meal

In the evenings we spent time with Jonathan’s Oma and she cooked amazing German meals. I’m pretty sure I gained five pounds by the time we left. One night she made Goulash with potato dumplings and red cabbage. Another night she made Schnitzel and Spaetzel with red cabbage. Of course, she always makes the deliciously strong German coffee that I love.

denver colorado snow

toddler snow colorado
Anneliese trying our her new arctic snow boots

Over the weekend we enjoyed about four inches of snow at Aunt Anja’s house, so Anneliese got to try out her new snow boots. The scenery was beautiful and I loved playing in the snow. It just made me even more excited about our new adventure in the arctic.

I am so glad to have the chance to visit with our Colorado family before heading out to Alaska. We had a wonderful time in Denver, Colorado and now we are going to visit my brother in Pensacola, Florida. So I have plenty of pictures yet to come, once we finish our Pensacola trip.

Colorado Vacation Trip to Visit Family (Part 1)

We had a safe and mostly enjoyable trip from North Alabama to Denver, Colorado but we were exhausted. The first day, we relaxed and visited with the family all day. It was nice to catch up with everybody here in Colorado and it was great to introduce Anneliese to her Great Oma (German for Grandmother) and her other extended family members.

toddler on train
Riding the Light Rail Train

Then, the second day in Colorado we road the light rail train to downtown Denver. Anneliese thought it was so much fun to ride the train! Walking through downtown Denver was fun but Anneliese passed out in her stroller, so she missed most of the sightseeing.

downtown denver
Walking through Downtown Denver
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Denver Zoo Play Area

baby at zooOn the third day of our trip, we went to the Denver Zoo! My energetic little toddler ran around most of the time having a blast looking at the animals and fish. Then she got to ride on a carousel for the first time and, after getting over her initial anxiety, she loved it. Special thanks to our Aunt Anja for taking us around and being our guide.

trip to denver zoo

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Riding the Carousel with Aunt Anja
walking toddler at zoo
Anneliese wanted to push her own stroller at the zoo.

I am still in the process of sorting through the pictures but I will tell you more about our Denver trip and the awesome German meals Oma cooked for us, as soon as I can finish the next post.

New Skin Perfecting Oil For Stretch Marks

I received some great information from a guest blogger in the UK and wanted to share this with you. When I was pregnant, I had trouble finding good information regarding reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Alex, our guest blogger from the UK, shared this with me, along with the real life experiences of other moms like us.

stretch marks guest

JOHNSON’S® Body Care Brand Launches New Skin Perfecting Oil to Help Improve the Appearance of Stretch Marks:

reduce stretch mark oilBecoming a mum is a wonderful experience, but the makers of JOHNSON’S® understand it can change your body and impact your confidence and self esteem. Research has revealed that 70% of new mums experience stretch marks, so if you do too rest assured you’re definitely not alone.

Luckily, help is at hand – new JOHNSON’S® Skin Perfecting Oil is clinically proven to improve skin suppleness, helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks in 4 weeks. Just in time for the summer season, perfect!

JOHNSON’S® Skin Perfecting Oil contains a blend of Botanic Oils and an anti-oxidant complex, including Vitamin E; the formula is designed to nourish and improve the skin’s elasticity, helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Furthermore the oil is formulated to minimise the risk of allergies, making it suitable for even sensitive skin, and it’s available in an easy to use spray.

Still not won over? Four ‘real life’ typical mums were asked to test the product over the course of 4 weeks – you can follow their stories on the JOHNSON’S® Beauty YouTube Channel here: Youtube.com/JohnsonsBeauty

One of the mums, Sam, was desperate to improve the appearance of her stretch marks so she could feel confident wearing a bikini on holiday again – see how she got on below. Remember, in just 4 weeks this could be you!

For more information on JOHNSON’s® Skin Perfecting Oil and other Body Care and Face Care products, visit the site at JohnsonsBeauty.co.uk today. Developed with 100 years of expertise in caring for beautifully soft skin, JOHNSON’S® extensive range of beauty products is great for all skin types.

Road Trip with a Toddler

toddler road tripMy family plans to be moving across the country to Kotzebue, Alaska in about a month so we decided to visit family in Colorado beforehand. My husband’s family members living in Colorado have never met Anneliese and they are so excited about us coming up for a visit. Plus, we will be able to peruse the cold-weather gear that is now on sale, and hopefully find what we will need for the arctic winter.

Driving 20+ hours with a baby / toddler is not my idea of a fun road trip but we bought many snacks and drinks. Also, we bought Anneliese a new toy to play with and a few magazines for ourselves. Then, we cleaned out the car really well and gave it a mini tune-up so that hopefully we will not have any trouble during our trip.

Toddler Travel Tips

  • Bring favorite snuggle bear and singing doll
  • Bring favorite blankets with pack-n-play
  • Buy new toy and save it for the trip
  • Buy favorite  non-messy snacks and treats
  • Bring plenty of small juice/water bottles to fill up sippy cup
  • Pack  an extra sippy cup
  • Stock up diaper bag
  • Bring extra pack of diapers and wipes
  • Bring plenty of clothes that can be layered
  • Have a wide variety of children’s music to play
  • Don’t forget baby bath and hygiene products
  • Pack a simple first aid kit for baby
  • Have a good cheerful attitude and it will catch on

toddler travel tips

Of course, it is impossible to be fully prepared for every situation with a toddler going through the terrible two’s (or almost two’s) but we can try our best. The trip has just begun, but I will update you on how well my preparations have worked as we go along. Come back soon to find out how it’s going! In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment with any travel tips, toddler vacation ideas, or crazy baby road trip stories!