Category Archives: Winter

Mason’s 4th Birthday – The Cakes

Mason’s 4th Birthday is going to be forever remembered as “The Year of the Cakes.”

We decided to have a separate “friend party” and a “family party” this year as I knew Mason would have a hard time playing with his friends and giving his relatives attention at the same time.

So on the 22nd, Mason celebrated his birthday with his friends with a “Jake the Neverland Pirates” themed party and cake.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cake

Mason Blowing out his Candle

Then on the 23rd, we had a small family party at our house and Mason had a construction site cake.

Construction Vehicle Cake

Mason Blowing out the Candle

Mason’s actual birthday fell on Sunday the 16th, but I remembered last year that he was sad that they didn’t sing Happy Birthday to him at daycare and have a treat (I had dropped the ball thinking the daycare took care of this) so I sent him to school with monster truck cupcakes the Friday before his birthday. I unfortunately totally forgot to take pictures of them. #fail

AND

Since his birthday party was a week after his actual birthday, we couldn’t just let the big day go by without any fanfare so we also had a tiny little cake at home as just the three of us.

Mason with a tiny cake

We definitely need to figure out something different for next year since four separate birthday celebrations seemed absolutely insane, but at least we can say we’ve had our fill of cake!!?

How do you guys handle it when a kid’s birthday falls on a different day than their school celebration or birthday party day?

Catch the Moment #11 :: Project 365

Thursday, March 13
We had a wild un-handable pot belly pig in today at work to get neutered. It made the morning very… interesting.
Pot bellied pig

Friday, March 14
My friend and I road tripped nearly 80 miles one way so I could see the Veronica Mars movie. I’m a HUGE fan of the show and a definitely on Team LoVe and the movie DID NOT disappoint (even though my friend nearly fell asleep during it, oops)
march14

Saturday, March 15
My friend gave birth to her first son today, an adorable baby boy (Totally cheating, as I took this picture 8 days later)
march15

Sunday, March 16
I still have a birthday post coming, but on Mason’s birthday, we took a quick trip to Wal-Mart, hit the Children’s Museum, went out for frozen yogurt, and then at his request, stopped to play with his Cousin Chloe. We tried to get a picture of them together but they’d only sit still long enough to make silly faces.
march16

Monday, March 17
Mason was so thrilled with the golf clubs he picked out at Wal-Mart on his birthday that we totally forgot to open his “real” present on his big day. So we opened it the next night and he was SUPER thrilled as he’d been waiting for four months for this digger!
Birthday Boy & his Digger

Tuesday, March 18
Missed this day :o(

Wednesday, March 19
Mason got a new book order and Charly thought they made REALLY good bedtime stories.
Greyhound Bedtime Story

If you do a “photo a day” project, be sure to join the fun and link up with us here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

So Many New Things! – Wilderness Resort 2014

This month, we took our first trip to Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, but since going there, we’ve talked to half a dozen different families who have been there before and make it an annual (or regular) vacation spot and man, I can see why. Not only do they have so many fun things to do just in waterpark features alone, there is so much more to the resort than just waterparks and every year, they add new features and activities.

New for 2014 is a 4,000 square-foot, two-story lazer tag arena that looked super awesome. Teams of up to 15 players can challenge each other to a showdown! It looked like a great time. Mason was a little too young for this activity, but I would have done it in a heartbeat had he not been with.

Wilderness Lazer Tag

While we didn’t play lazer tag, we had a blast in the all new Marshall Training Lazer Maze. In it you have to use your speed and agility to successfully navigate through the maze. If you break a beam, your time is penalized. This totally reminded me of all the old TV shows where someone is trying to steal the diamonds and rubies and the building has super duper security so you have to crawl under all the lazer alarms and such. With three levels of difficulty, there is something for everyone, agile or not. Mason and I tried the Lazer Maze twice and while at first he was a little freaked out (he’s not a huge fan of the dark) we had a blast and he asked to do it again and again. (In case anyone is curious, I was the one who tripped the alarm the first time and Mason tripped it the second time, but we successfully completed both of our missions!)

Marshall Training Lazer Maze

While we were hanging out at the WaterDome waiting for the waves to appear, we could see the well disguised construction area where Wilderness Resort is opening a swim-up bar capable of serving 88 guests! The wave pool was fantastic but killing time between waves with a margarita would have been even MORE fantastic! Margarita’s Swim-Up Bar opens in May 2014 and you can bet I’ll be having a drink there on our next trip!

Margarita's Swim Up Bar

And if there weren’t enough food and drink choices already, this summer the Klondike Boardwalk will open upon the mezzaninen level of the Klondike Kavern, offering fun sounding eateries like Yukon Yogurt, Klondike Kate’s Libations, & Klondike Pizza Kitchen. I know when my husband was waterparked out, he would have been more than happy to munch some food and watch Mason get soaked by the giant bucket again and again. Next time, right honey?

The other fantastic addition coming this summer is the Wilderwoods Go-Kart Trail. They already have outdoor Go-Karts, but the indoor track will offer a fun option for those of us vacationing in less fortunate weather! The 525 foot long course will feature crazy turns, corkscrews, and 12 cars. I would love to challenge my husband in a Go- Kart race and I’m sure Mason would get a real kick out of it too.

With all these great things to do, one thing that made them even more enjoyable were our Wild Fun Passes. These passes each cost $24.95 and they really making having a great time easy and fun! Each Wild Fun Pass gives one person the chance to do the sky ropes course, two mini golf courses, the bumper boats, lazer tag, the Marshall Lazer training maze, the upcoming go-kart trail and a discount at Pistol Pete’s ice cream shop. We each had a Wild Fun pass and it made things SO convenient – hand them the pass and go have fun. No worrying about how much money each activity costs, if you should do one thing over another, instead, save some money and do EVERYTHING with one convenient pass! In the summer, there is an Extreme Wild Fun Pass for $29.95 which includes additional outdoor activities as well. We totally loved the passes and since they were running a Buy Three, Get One Free promo, we used our extra pass to repeat some of our favorite activities! Plus they never expire so you can save them and use them again if you don’t have time to do all of the activities. So much fun!

Disclaimer: Wilderness Resort provided a one night stay for my family in exchange for telling my readers about our awesome vacation and their upcoming attractions. All opinions are 100% mine. Photos in this post are property of Wilderness Resort.

Mason at 4

I keep meaning to sit down and survey Mason for what HE thinks life is like at four years old, but I keep forgetting. So today, I bring you MY take of Mason at four – styled like my old monthly updates I did his first 2 1/2 years!

At four years old, Mason is

  • Still wearing 2T clothes, although some of the pants are getting a bit too short
  • weighing in around 36 lbs
  • still rear facing in his car seat
  • suddenly remembering he skipped the terrible twos – we’re all about screaming “No!” and throwing horrible tantrums these days
  • addicted to Wii golf
  • convinced he’s going to be a speedskater and a snowboarder when he grows up. Thank you Winter Olympics!
  • wondering when it will ever be Spring
  • getting the hang of riding his bike without training wheels
  • into Paw Patrol and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • looking forward to going to “Big Kid School” this fall (aka 4k)
  • great at playing the kid’s version of “Uno”
  • napping some days at daycare and never ever at home
  • taking karate classes
  • having a love/hate relationship with Sunday school.
  • STILL using a potty seat *sigh*
  • more particular about which pair of undies he’s wearing vs what pair of socks
  • always playing with monster trucks or construction trucks or tractors.
  • still the king of bedtime delays (It’s 10:10 and he just finally fell asleep
  • the boss of Charly – he’s the only one the dog ever listens to!
  • knows all of his primary colors and can count to 12 reliably and 30 with help.
  • very into giving hugs and saying “I love you”
  • “Can I tell you something?” is his most used phrase
  • playing with his first Lego sets (birthday presents ftw!)
  • convinced that any time it’s light out that it’s morning.

At four years old, Mason’s favorites are:

  • Favorite breakfast is pancakes or Kix Cereal
  • Favorite suppers are chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza
  • Favorite drinks are milk and water (he’s not allowed to drink anything else)
  • Favorite snack is graham crackers with butter and/or peanut butter on them
  • Favorite vegetable is green beans.
  • Favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.
  • Favorite song is “The motorcycle song” (some adult rock song with motorcycles in the video)
  • Favorite friends are Aaron, Liam, Chloe, and Ethan
  • Favorite stuffed animal is his penguin collection.
  • Favorite game is golf
  • Favorite toy is the remote control digger he got for his birthday
  • Favorite thing to do is play games on the TV (aka Wii Sports) or play with his golf toys (sensing a theme here?)
  • Favorite treat is Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins or M&Ms
  • Favorite thing to do outside is play with his digger (which hauls lots of snow these days)

I’m really curious to see what Mason says are his favorites compared to what I believe they are. Stay tuned next week for HIS answers to his bi-annual survey!

What are your kids up to these days?

Wilderness Resort – The Waterparks

If you’ve been around here for any amount of time, you know that Mason LOVES water! We took his first swimming lessons just shy of 6 months old and going to the swimming pool, beach, and playing in his backyard pool are the highlights of his summer. We’re also lucky enough to live within driving distance of the waterpark capital of the world – Wisconsin Dells! We recently spent a whirlwind three days in Wisconsin Dells and despite the sub-zero temperatures, Wilderness Resort had us floating, sliding, swimming, and splashing to our hearts content! Which makes sense because they just happen to be America’s largest waterpark resort!

Wilderness Resort has over 500,000 square feet dedicated to just waterparks alone and four of these parks (over 200,000 square feet) are completely indoors and ready for play even in the dead of winter! Unlike other vacations where you’re worried how you’ll possibly be able to keep the preschooler entertained, I was worried we wouldn’t possibly have time to play everywhere we wanted to play!

With four completely different indoor waterparks, we had a hard time choosing what we wanted to do. SuperDad wanted to do the wave pool (America’s biggest indoor wave pool, at that!), I had my eye on some slides (like the Hurricane and the Black Hole) and I wanted to make sure that Mason got plenty of time in the areas just designed for kids his age as well as family raft rides, of which there was several!

We started out our wet and wild vacation at Klondike Kavern. It was here Mason fell in love with the dumping bucket. Every five minutes or so, a chime would ding and over 750 gallons of water would dump from a giant bucket. Standing under that gush of water was Mason’s nirvana and he could have done that for several hours a day had we let him!

Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump
wrbucket3

We hit up some family tube slides and SuperDad and I took turns playing with Mason while we went down some solo slides too. Every single slide was fun and added to the “let’s do that again later!” list. Then we headed over to the Wild WaterDome and played in the wave pool for a LONG time. Mason and I shared a double tube and SuperDad got his own tube and was responsible for pushing us back out into the deeper water as the crazy crashing waves pushed us back to dry land. We had a great time as a family laughing and hanging on tight as waves big and small crashed against our tubes. I was also totally in love with the 100% windowed roof (aka dome) There was sunshine on my skin for the first time in 5 months despite the extreme temperatures outside. It was glorious! In the end, the only thing that got us out of the wave pool was our hungry tummies!

wrwave

The next day, we hit up the “Wild West” which is the biggest of the four indoor waterparks. The presence of another dumping bucket made Mason super happy, as well as his chance to do another family raft ride with us. He loved being able to go on a big slide with Mom & Dad and we loved the quick lines and the opportunity to do something where all three of us could participate. I waited in line for the much anticipated Black Hole slide and it didn’t disappoint. You guys, this was the FASTEST waterslide I’ve ever been on and quite frankly, I could have went down it another twenty times had the rest of the family not been waiting for me! Then Mason and I played on the Ransack Ridge Play and Spray Structure and did some smaller slides while SuperDad hit up the body slides. So. Much. Fun. We ended up back at Klondike Kavern and I went on the Hurricane slide that I’d heard so much about. I had never been on anything like it and it definitely lived up to the hype!

On our third day, we attended the rubber ducky races at the Lazy River and then hit up all of our favorites from the first two days. We spent a ton of time crashing the waves in the Wild WaterDome and doing family raft slides and watching Mason get 750 gallons of water dumped on him over and over and over. We also took several laps around the Lazy River and Mason felt like a super Big Kid getting to ride his own tube around the tame, but relaxing, river.

We never made it over to Cubby’s Cove despite our best intentions, but I’m sure Mason would have loved all the Mason-sized slides, geysers, and spray guns! We also never remembered the bumper boats when we had our swimsuits on so they’re definitely on our to-do list for our next visit!

I loved that there was something for every age at each of the parks. Mason was more than thrilled to play in the youngest child areas in each park or go down some of the bigger slides with us and we were more than thrilled to have a great selection of tamer and more adventurous slides, as well as have stuff that we could do both with and without Mason. The provided life jackets and life guards at every turn helped give a real feeling of safety and security and allowed us to give Mason a bit more freedom, which gave him a bit more confidence to do things he might not have normally tried. And really, fun waterpark or not, that right there is always a parenting win!

wrslide

We also loved that the waterparks were open to resort guests only. While we intentionally went on a Sunday-Tuesday so there would be fewer people there, the fact that they don’t open up their waterparks to everyone who walks in really helps keep the traffic down and the lines for the slides a lot shorter than they are at other waterparks we’ve been to. And, yeah, as a mother of a 4 year old (and a slightly impatient person myself), less time waiting in line and more time playing is always a customer service win to me!

I was initially worried about the walk between waterparks being too much for a (nearly) four year old but the hallways were well heated and once we figured out the best route between locations, it was a snap getting around the resort. While it sounds strange, Wilderness Resort’s awesome towel service (which let us trade our wet towels in for dry ones at any moment) made things a lot less stressful too! We’d get fresh dry towels anytime we had to walk anywhere and turn in our wet ones when it was time to play again. This made it so handy to not have to worry about where our towels were and we never had to deal with wrapping a chilly kid up in a soggy towel. A total win if you ask me!

Throughout our three days there, we got a chance to see parts of the (empty and snow covered) waterparks outside through the windows. They looked like so much fun and Mason frequently asked “Can we go down THAT slide?!” With four MORE huge outdoor waterparks and several walk up dining and drinking establishments in each waterpark, I have no idea how or why anyone would ever leave the waterpark area in the summer!

If you’re trying to figure out a fun winter OR summer getaway for your family (or just as a couple?) we give six thumbs up to Wilderness Resort and their amazing waterparks!

Disclaimer: Wilderness Resort gave us 1 night of lodging in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own and not influenced by this exchange in any way.

Catch the Moment #9 :: Project 365

We were away on vacation for a mere 3 days and wow did it throw my blogging schedule off!

Thursday, February 27
Today we registered Mason for 4k. I had thought this was going to be a big to-do, but we basically turned in our paperwork and Mason played in both of his potential classrooms.
4k Registration

Friday, February 28
Slow news day. Haven’t taken a picture of Katze lately.
Katze cat

Saturday, March 1
Joe and Charly got a new shipment of Bully Sticks. They were very excited.
march1


Sunday, March 2

Mason hunted for Scaredy Squirrel while we waited to check into the resort.
march2

Monday, March 3
What Mason and Daddy do while Mommy looked for deals at the Outlet Mall
march3

Tuesday, March 4
This bucket dumped over a thousand gallons of water every two minutes or so. It was Mason’s favorite thing of the whole vacation.
Wilderness Resort Bucket Dump

Wilderness Resort Bucket Aftermath

Wednesday, March 5
Joe was happy to get home from his slumber party and sleep in his own our bed
march5

If you do a “photo a day” project, be sure to join the fun and link up with us here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

 

Catch the Moment #8 :: Project 365

This week’s photos sponsored by the words SNOW, COLD, and SICK OF WINTER.

Thursday, February 20
All week led up to severe winter storm warnings. It was forecasted to start snowing around 1:00 and snow 8-16″ on Thursday into Friday. This was our view at 4:00 when the snow finally started.Snow & Barn

Friday, February 21
School was cancelled and daycare was cancelled. SuperDad had picked up an extra shift, so Mason and I had a snow day.
Mason in the Snow

Saturday, February 22
So, I know I live in Wisconsin and I know it’s winter, but this right here is proof that this winter has been RIDICULOUS.
Weather Forecast

Sunday, February 23
We started playing Uno with Mason this weekend and he loves it. He also wins more often than not, even without our help!
Mason playin Uno

Monday, February 24
Monday night was my first Financial Peace University class. I had to settle for a picture of the kit as I didn’t want to creep out my new classmates.
FPU Kit

Tuesday, February 25
It never figures that when I’m running late, I get stuck behind the school bus (or a tractor)
Behind a School Bus

Wednesday, February 26
Charly apparently was very worried no one was going to remember to feed him.
Charly with his Bowl

Congrats to all of my fellow Catch the Moment bloggers – we’ve taken a photo a day for two months now!

Our Upcoming Vacation :: Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells

I’m so excited that we’re finally getting away from the endless snow and humdrum of staring at the walls and heading to WISCONSIN DELLS!

No, it’s not exactly outdoor waterpark weather and there will still be several feet of snow there, BUT, we’re going to have an awesome wonderful fun filled three days that not many places can compete with.

How? Enter Wilderness Resort.

Wilderness Logo

This place has FOUR indoor water parks. FOUR. Not just one, not two, but FOUR. Not only are they home of America’s largest indoor wave pool, but they also have thrill slides, family raft rides, and slides for every age range from young toddler to the elderly! They’ve thought of EVERYTHING from pool basketball, lily pad challenges, tube slides, zero depth spray parks, a multi-level kids play area, a lazy river, and basically every water feature you can imagine.

wrtykes wrpark wrtunnel
I would be over the moon about just the water parks, but there is so much MORE than that to do!

We will also be able to:

Play lazer tag!

Play mini-golf in any of the THREE indoor courses!
Wild Buccaneer Mini Golf Course
(Um, a pirate themed golf course? Color Mr. Mason MIND BLOWN)

Ride bumper boats!

Do a ropes course 30 feet above the ground!

Pretend we’re stealing a diamond and go through the lazer mazewrlazer

Eat at any of the five one-site restaurants!

Go on a carriage ride!

Play at an arcade!

And so much more!

I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do all the stuff available in just three days, but we’re going to try! Wilderness Resort, we will be seeing you soon! And blogger friends, get ready for PICTURE OVERLOAD! I can’t wait!!

**All pictures on this post are property of Wilderness Hotel & Resort. All excitement expressed in this post is mine entirely and was not bought in any way**

Catch the Moment #7 :: Project 365

I ended up with ALL cell phone pictures this week, but I remembered to take a picture every day, before bedtime even, so I guess that counts for something, right?

Thursday, February 13th
SuperDad spent all day shoveling snow off the roof. This resulted in huge piles of snow in front of all of our doors. Charly now has his very own “tunnel” to the backyard.
Snow Tunnel

Friday, February 14th
We aren’t really big on things like anniversaries and Valentine’s Day around here, but I sure appreciate the flowers my hubby picked up at the grocery store for me!
Grocery Store Flowers

Saturday, February 15th
One of my friends is having a baby in March and her shower was today. As usual, I managed to take no pictures of actual people.
feb15

Sunday, February 16th
Mason was super thrilled to go out and play in the snow.
Ready for Snow Play!

Monday, February 17th
My Equinox is in the shop and they sent us home with a RIDICULOUSLY large truck to drive in the mean time.
Chevy 3500 4x4 Truck

Tuesday, February 18th
We had breakfast for dinner
Pancakes for Supper

Wednesday, February 19th
Joe and I enjoyed a lunchtime walk to celebrate temps in the 30s.
Joe the Greyhound

Join us on our “Catch the Moment” aka “Photo 365” project here:

Nurse Loves Farmer

 

Please join me next Wednesday when I’ll be hosting a linky where we can all share our favorite phone apps! Click for more info!

Currently… 2/20/14

This week, I am currently…

shoveling big heaping spoonfuls of denial down my throat that I could possibly be registering Mason for 4k today. That just doesn’t even seem possible.

ignoring the weather forecast. Yet another severe winter storm warning, predicting 8-12 inches of snow today. Considering Monday’s storm warning was predicting 6-8 inches and we didn’t even get 3″, I refuse to fret over the frequently overblown weather forecasts.

savoring the sound of Mason’s laughter and the fact that he is constantly asking to play with me or for hugs or for tickle fights. These times won’t last forever.

hugging Mason and Joe T Greyhound as frequently as possible.

throwing away my to-do list as I’m having zero luck getting anything important done. I did, however, finish another book. That should count for something, right?

Mason is currently…

shoveling the deck. He really wants to be a good helper, so he’s convinced that he alone can shovel the four foot high snow covering we have on our deck.

ignoring us when we tell him that no, he cannot play another 2934823 holes of Wii Golf. No, not three more either. No, not even one more little hole. No.

inhaling macaroni and cheese. I’m fairly sure mac and cheese has now surpassed chicken nuggets as his favorite food.

hugging anyone that he knows. He’s such a sweetie.

throwing lots of tantrums when we tell him no or he feels that he didn’t get to play how he wanted to play. For example. he’ll ask to play with ABC Mouse then he’ll ask to play Wii golf and then he’ll ask to do something else and then when it’s time for bed, he throws a holy fit because he didn’t have time to play with his garbage truck. Oh, nearly 4, you’re such a “fun” age!

What are you up to?!

PS – It’s totally Colleen’s fault that I’m apparently using last week’s prompts. Oops.