This February, we took a family trip down to my parents’ condo in Bucerias, Mexico (25 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta). We booked it just over a week in advance and altered our itinerary to 18 days from the 10ish days we originally had talked about. It was certainly a great decision as the Edmonton area experienced a ‘polar vortex’ for virtually the entire month of February. Environment Canada issued extreme cold warnings nearly every single day… resulting in an absurd 60°C temperature difference!
The last time we took the girls to Mexico was in November of 2017. Brynlee was 2 ½ and Jess was 8 months. Apparently I didn’t blog about it… & thinking back, my fuzzy memory just includes Jessie being super miserable & irritable while cutting a gazillion teeth.
Luckily, Mexico has grown on Jess and she now enjoys it as much as her sister! They shared a room and bonded in a way I couldn’t have imagined. It certainly made the long nights and busy days with two young children extremely worth it.
Unsurprisingly our little fish spent every possible second swimming in the pool and making up games. She also enjoyed chasing the waves on the beautiful sandy beach.
Our first few nights were spent next door in a very generous family friends’ unit. Brynlee got to sleep in her very first bunkbed and the girls were thrilled to be able to slip on sandals and hop, skip or jump their way over to see their cousins staying at my parents’.
Having their cousins there certainly made an already amazing experience even more exciting. Growing up, I did not have the luxury of living close to any of mine, so seeing them play together made my heart burst.
Craig and I enjoyed a number of excellent full body massages at the spa just down the street. We walked down to the Bucerias square for churros & cotton candy at night, where Brynlee inevitably made new friends every single time. We also indulged in three once in a lifetime experiences: horseback riding on the beach during sunset; swimming with dolphins; and releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean.
At the conclusion of Brynlee’s session of swimming with the dolphins, she was concerned that she never got to feed the dolphins any treats or get them to do tricks (as per her favourite movie A Dolphin Tale). Thus, the trainer came over and asked if she wanted to do something that no else ever gets to do… Enter Brynlee the dolphin trainer! We were actually quite shocked that she actually picked up the fish!! She was ecstatic!
While Craig and Brynlee swam with the dolphins, I got to be a spectator and take some pictures. I also made a new friend ^^^ This little guy definitely tried to make his way into the dolphin pools
We actually did the turtle release twice because it was such a neat opportunity. Below is a video of Jess & Craig. It is probably the cutest and my most favourite video of Jess to date.
Starts her day off by asking where all of her important people are: ‘where’s Mommy’ ‘where’s Daddy’ ‘where’s Binny’ ‘where’s Floydy’ etc.
Stuns us every single day by spouting off new words, phrases and/or sentences.
Went from no vs. noooooo (yes) to Mhm Ya Yeah peeeeease (with an adorable little sign) to Yup
Occasionally walks with her hands clasped behind her back like a little old Asian man. Also enjoys wearing hats.
Had her first Mommy haircut not too long ago. Got bangs and now looks super Asian.
Finally allows ponytails to remain in her hair… which is still chocolate brown and still stick straight.
Currently a TERRIBLE sleeper. Not quite sure what happened there. But at some point she falls asleep on Craig or I… and often both, multiple times a night. It is wildly inconvenient, but we are trying to soak it in… for now.
Still livin that soother life.
Is thoroughly enjoying ALL of the holidays this year: decorating a spooky house and going trick or treating at Halloween. Eating all of the delicious food at Thanksgiving. Since putting up the Christmas lights, has put her clammy little hand in someone’s to ‘see yights’ multiple times an evening.
Loves ‘Santan’ from afar (sounds more like sun tan)
Being the 2nd born, religiously picks things up and deems them as ‘Jessie’s’
That being said, she is totally enthralled with her big sis and wants to do whatever Brynlee’s doing.
Loves to clean and hates having dirty hands. Will pick up the tiniest crumb, place it in your hand and say ‘garbage’
Favourite books: Toot, Goodnight Moon, Where’s Baby, and anything with bunnies
Enjoys giving her pup treats… but sometimes tries to eat them herself.
We took the girls to Christmas Glow, an indoor lights festival last Friday and they had an absolute blast! Brynlee was thrilled to be able to run around as she pleased and Jess just kept exclaiming ‘yights!’ everywhere we went.
From the magical LED swings to the beautiful hanging lights, the hopscotch pad was definitely the girls’ favourite. We will likely visit again since it is a fantastic indoor activity and open until January 19th!
Last winter I was incredibly honoured when the PICU social committee reached out to see if I would donate a session for their Christmas Party. Of course I said yes! And the beautiful and insanely compassionate nurse, Katelyn was the one to receive it. Her and her boyfriend met me out at my parents’ place one beautiful fall evening and brought along with them their gorgeous pup Abby. I had such a blast photographing their connection and love for one another. It was a great opportunity to see my two worlds collide!