Our time in Northern Indiana was limited but jammed packed! Last night we had a late dinner with Uncle Mark, Aunt Cindy, and their kids and then went back to the hotel to enjoy a relaxing evening. I was glad we choose to stay in a hotel... there is something about a hotel that really feels like vacation... and the kids LOVE it!!!! We try to only stay in hotels these days that have at least one bedroom so we can close the door and not have us all sleeping in one room!!! We put all of the kids in the living room, two big kids on the pull out couch and Ethan in a pack-n-play beside them and then we sleep in the bedroom and bring Ethan in with us around 2-3am when he cries. This also allows the big kids to sleep in a bit even when Ethan wakes up early!
Besides having pretty relaxed rules in a hotel, the kids also love the continental breakfast!!! If we stayed at a hotel that didn't have one, I don't think the kids would know what to do. They are creatures of habit and the "pick whatever you want and as much as you want breakfast" is an event for the kids that they expect every more that we stay in a hotel! I think Addyson spends more time getting up to get things for herself and for us that she does eating! If you even utter, "I need ......" she is quick to jump and say, "I'll go get it for you!!" Even if you don't ask for it but she thinks you might need it, she'll got get it for you and say, "Here ____, I got this for you!"... which is how Ethan ended up with yogurt, several utensils, a waffle, and plate full of food!!!!
After breakfast, we spent the day entertaining ourselves. We didn't have a car to get around town and driving the RV around isn't so easy... so we just hung out in our hotel and the area around it! It was actually really nice to have a relaxing morning!!! And there was NO shortage of entertainment.... starting with the gaggle of geese hanging out outside our window!!!
Another thing we seem to do a lot of on vacation is eat!!!! And I'm proud to say that Ethan added new fruits to his list this vacation as well as eating more of fruits he has tried before!!!! Here he is eating an apple... he also eats strawberries, grapes, plums, and LOVES bananas!!!
After relaxing.... the kids started to have some pent up energy they needed to get rid of and I was ready for some fresh air! The sun was out so it was perfect for a morning walk!!! We stopped to throw rocks... Ethan has learned how to throw! He has a pretty good arm and is working on his aim!!!
We also found lots of pine cones to gather... and bring back to our room with us!!!
We had walked over to a local pizza place for lunch (yes, pizza twice in a row... but if you don't have a car, your options are a bit limited)... so after lunch we could stop to get arm fulls of pine cones to take back with us... at first I was rolling my eyes at the idea... the kids LOVE to collect things that end up just laying around for us to trip on, clutter my car, and/or sit there until mom picks them up... so I usually try to discourage them from collecting too many treasures throughout the day.
But, it ended up being a great idea... the pine cones came in handy while trying to entertain the kids while Ethan finished out his nap in our room!! We brought the pine cones to the lobby and I hid them like Easter Eggs for the kids to find. I think we didn't this 10 times before it was time to get ready for dinner!
While hanging out in the lobby, Aunt Wendy and cousin Olivia showed up to visit!!! It was good to spend some time with them.... the sad thing is, this is the only picture I got of their visit... Olivia is in the pink shirt, she grabbed onto Uncle Brad's and Addyson's hands to go check on Ethan in our room! So cute!!
The evening was spent with Brad's family; Grandma, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Leona, cousin Adam, Uncle Mark, Aunt Cindy, cousin Lisa, cousin Kevin and his girlfriend Amanda, and then Aunt Wendy and cousin Olivia. We had a room full of people at the restaurant!!!!
In order to keep the kids quiet and entertained so Brad and I could visit.... we gave in to some of the kids' favorite things at a Mexican restaurant.... first we let them bring the iPad....
then we let them eat all of the chips, salsa, and cheese dip they wanted.... hey, we're on vacation so it's okay... right?!?! I figured since they started with salsa they got their veggies in!! :) And Ethan at the salsa by the spoonfuls... literally.... see the spoon in his empty bowl!!! (he can't really eat chips yet... I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to chips and young kids.... Owen chocked on them until he was 2 or older so I really try to keep our little ones from chips from as long as possible... which is getting harder the more kids we have... hard to tell Ethan he can't have something the other 2 get....
AHHHHHH.... now I get it... now I get why I was always complaining that
my little brothers got privileges at an age before I did... they
probably did... it was just easier at times I'm sure!!! Speaking of when I was younger... anyone remember this machine?!?! I totally remember these from my younger years!!! I'm not a fan of these kiddie vending machines and never give my kids money to spend on them... but, this one was different!!! We HAD to give it a try... it was a great trip down memory lane!!!
Aunt Cindy is a kid magnet that also is good at helping entertain the kids!!! She had 2 of them on her lap for a period of time. So between the food, iPad, and other adults around the kids were great especially given how late it was and how long we were at the restaurant!!! I'm just so sad I didn't get a picture of all of us there!!!! I don't understand how I can be SO good at taking pictures through our average week.... and SO bad at taking pictures at events that only happen once a year! UGH!!
After dinner, we went to Uncle Mark and Aunt Cindy's house to continue our visit. At this point it was SUPER late and I wasn't sure how the kids would do but the change of scenery gave them a new boost of energy.....
AND the Easter Bunny came early to visit....s/he must have known where the kids were going to be!!! They were SO surprised and SO excited... and this is the only picture I have of all of the cousins..... shame on me!!!!
All of the kids got chocolate bunnies, Owen got a bunny table basketball game, and the 3 little kids got stuffed bunnies!!! SO cute!!! Ethan LOVED the bunny!! He took the bunny and ran around the house growling (all animals growl--- beside a cow that he knows "moos" and a dog that "woofs").... he actually was starting to sound like he was evil because he was SO tired he was getting crazy and amped up... but it was SO funny!!! He also took his bunny over to "attack" cousin Lisa! Signs it was time to wrap up our Saturday visit in Indiana and take our tired bunnies home and take them to bed.... it was a great visit and we needed to leave on a high note! Ethan ended up curling up with his bunny to go to sleep and when he woke up in the middle of the night I found him standing up in his bed holding his bunny!!!! I've been trying to encourage him to snuggle up with something these days so he will be comfortable to start sleeping on his own....maybe his new Easter bunny will do the trick!!!!