Friday, September 22, 2017

Mateo Turns SIX!

My biggest baby is SIX! 
It's crazy how much this guy has changed...even in just the last year.  The chubbiness is gone - he moves way too fasst/too much for that.  The hair is actually gone now too.  (The day after his birthday tio Brrrian shaved it!)  He looks so much older now.  Noooooooooooo.  
Ernesto added the mustache and it reeeeeee-aly aged him. 😂
Pokemon Pokemon Pokemon. I don't understand, but it's the craze this year.
Horrible blurry pictures, but at 630am this is what you get. 

Because his birthday was on a Wednesday, I planned a little get together at his soccer practice.  It was at a park with a playground and could not have been better.  Easy for mami and a blast for the kids! 
Pokemon was the theme (his latest obsession).
I threw up my little folding table, bought balloons, a piñata, cupcakes and drinks.  Done and DONE!
We usually throw more elaborate [food] parties at our house, so this was kind of an aaahaa moment.  Note to self: sometimes simple store bought parties are in order...and just as successful!

The kids were running all over the place and adults were able to hang out! 

Thanks for the soccer jersey Federiccis!
Did we bring a piñata to the park you ask?
Uh...... hello?
Most of the usual suspects made it to the party.

My parents flew down and it just so happens grandparents day was supposed to be the day after, but ended up being rescheduled due to a water leak.  We went anyway:)

Before heading over to the school, Paloma and grandma baked "Grandma's cookies" (oatmeal) 
 Mateo was excited to pass them out to his classmates as a birthday treat.
 His teacher Ms. Pettitt begged to keep all the extras. ha!

Tio Brrrian drove down from Asheville...
 Of COURSE I love having him at our house, but he is always encouraging shaving the heads.
For the record, I love shaved/bald heads on adults, but on my little boys, it's not my preference.  Of course my babies are gorgeous with or without hair (#biased) but it makes them look so much older with short cuts. Do you find that with your kids too?

Oh well.  Yes, I understand they are going to be picking their own hairstyles etc in no time, but I feel like I might be able to SWAY them for a little big longer.

Monday, September 11, 2017

An Extended Stay in Cancun

When you are sent a deal from your Starwood credit card for the newer Luxury Resort Westin LagunaMar in Cancun (four nights for $399?!?!)  which can be used anytime within a year- you buy it!  Even if you don't know when you can use it.  Well something I should have realized before hand is that you have to PLAN when you are going to take this vacation and reserve a spot.  You can't just call last minute (as our vacations often go) and hope a room is available.  
Yada, yada, yada, it all worked out. Look at that awesome souvenir we scored at a restaurant. 

We booked it for Labor Day weekend and then took the boys out of school for a couple days.  We showed them this picture from the hotel website
Needless to say, they were excited! We were off bright and early, ready for adventure...
And a few hours later.......
Air travel is the best, right?
We flew in a day early and used points at another Westin Resort closer to the airport.  We had stayed here a couple times before and it is wonderful! 

We were outside all day. Every day. duh
Sure, we took breaks for eating and drinks.
Nothing says vacation like a cold coke. (something we never have at our house!)
We also sipped on smoothies poolside. 
But why get out for a drink when there is a swim-up-bar.  Oooh was that a hit, these guys were sitting here like pros and asking for refills!
The grounds of the hotel were beautiful.

Although Paloma was a trooper keeping up with her brothers most of the day, she would eventually crash.

I had no problem holding her either, I mean look at my balcony view.  Sure, I can sit here a couple hours with you baby girl!

Our room had a little kitchen, so eating was pretty easy.  We made quesadillas for snacks (just like home!) and the hotel store was stocked with plenty of overpriced options, which we took advantage of.  Not to mention the hotel restaurants and poolside service, which were all DELICIOUS, but I can't stand to pay American hotel prices in Mexico. UGH.
  Right below our balcony was this oceanfront grilling area.

Across the street from the hotel were actually lots of restaurants, but let's be real here-who wants to take 3 tired [from swimming all day] kids into a restaurant. Not us.  But we did.  ONCE.

It did rain a little one day so we wandered around and enjoyed some of the games scattered around the hotel.

The kids also took full advantage of the deep bathtub "indoor pool" in our room. No bubbles were spared.

Water + Sun all day = easy bedtimes. These guys were pooped.  Every. Night.September happens to be mating season for sea turtles and at the Westin (and many other beach hotels here) they run a hatchery right in front of the water. (obviously!)
It was so cool!  All of those little stakes mark a separate nest of eggs.  They are all labeled with the date the eggs were collected and the expected hatch date. 
Predators are a serious problem.  You know the scene in Moana where she is holding a huge leaf over the baby turtle to shield it from birds trying to snatch it??  Well, unfortunately,  we got to see it from our balcony one morning at 6am.  Only the birds were tearing apart a nest of EGGS that a turtle had JUST LEFT.  We actually SAW the turtle getting back into the water.  And then swarms of birds hovering over the sand.
I didn't think quick enough to take a picture , which is why I just have the tracks, but we RAN down to the beach and there were already volunteers picking up any eggs that the birds had not broken yet.  So sad.
A nest was hatching one day, and we got to see these little guys up close.  Over a hundred of them.
I know, shitty picture. You'll have to zoom in. But!  It was amazing.
That night at 9pm, people gathered at the waters edge and watched the turtles being released.  They just know to go toward the water. It was a cool thing to witness.  Sadly, only a very small percentage actually survive. 
On the last day at the new Westin, we discovered that the hotel next to us had water slides?!?!?!
 Yep, we hung out all day.

It was time to go and the flights looked HORRIBLE [for standby] but we went to give it a shot anyway.  I mean, we had to get home, the kids had school! 

There are only a few morning flights back to Atlanta from Cancun, and we sat waiting for all of them. 
No Dice.  Shuttle back to paradise.  The kids actually liked the shuttle bus because they didn't have to sit in carseats.

Once you are packed and ready to go,  it can be quite annoying to have to shuttle it back to a hotel knowing you will have to do IT ALL OVER THE NEXT MORNING!
But then you arrive at the hotel and look out your window to this .....
And suddenly you are saying to yourself,  "it's really not that bad."

Until that alarm goes off.

 Of course, it SUCKED getting up before the ass-crack of dawn with still sleeping kids only to wait...and wait and wait.

I seriously have to hand it to my kids.  They are a LOT of things, but inflexible is not one of them.  These guys can fly by the seat of their pants most days (not sure where they get that-ha!) and roll with the punches (literally!)
Us:  "Well guys, there aren't any seats for us again today." 
Them:  "Are we going back to the hotel?  Can we go swimming? Can we go catch crabs?"
Us: "Sure"

An hour later we were checked back into the Westin and on the beach.

This rocky area is just a short stroll down the beach and FILLED with snails and crabs.
Marcelo is all about touching/picking up little creatures.  Mateo on the other hand is more of a pointer. Ha!
He would yell for Marcelo to come over and pick up whatever he had found.

They racked up quite a collection.

Oh, what the hell.  Let's have one last dinner on the beach.

On day two of "our last day in Cancun" the kids wondered if we really had a plan. 
Yes. Of course we do.
Well, Ernesto did.  He bought five tickets CONFIRMED to Mexico City where the flights to Atlanta [flying standby] on Delta looked good. 

Look at the brains on Nester!!!

Flying out of Cancun was bitter sweet.
Once in Mexico City, we made our way to the gate but unfortunately we were too late. 
It was the LAST flight of the day too.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Ok, now we were starting to wear down. haha! 

A little dinner at WINGS and we shuttled over to the Camino Real hotel... because it is right beside the airport, and price be damned, we needed hassle free.

No fun at all.  A little TV and bed. Up at 5am.  UGH!
Back at it in the airport the next morning.

Wait wait wait....
BUT!  Finally, FINALLY we got on.  All together.  And boy were we relieved. 
Atlanta here we come!!
As sick as we were of shuttle buses, the final one from Atlanta's international terminal to MARTA, was not so bad.  Home Sweet Home!
Such an awesome trip.  Did we have some unexpected bumps along the way?  Uhhh yeah - like FOUR DAYS of them! But hey! I will never regret traveling.  I can look back and remember the good stuff AND the hassles are now a "good story."


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