Weekly Update

Pompano Beach, FL

I’m writing this post from our sunny family room while lounging on the couch with Chad and Avery, while Alice is taking a rare but oh so needed nap.

We took a last minute family trip to Pompano Beach, FL (on the Eastern coast of FL) while Chad played in a golf tournament. The west coast of Florida is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico while the East coast is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, giving Pompano Beach much larger waves, and a darker sand- similar to what you might see surrounding Minnesota lakes.

We arrived at our oceanfront hotel on Thursday and went to get pizza for dinner at a cute Italian joint. After, we went for a walk on the beach in the dark. It was beautiful to watch the dark waves crashing against the shore, the white clouds passing over the moon above, all while being surrounded by the people I love most.

The girls insisted on playing a game of hide and seek on the beach, which was pretty easy as the picked the same hiding spot each time- and if they hadn’t, their giggles and white blonde hair lit by the moon would have given them away. These magical moments are what keep us traveling as a family. Which is good- because there are plenty of un-magical moments.

While Chad played a practice round of golf on Friday, Avery and Alice did what any kids traveling to a cool destination want to do- swim at the hotel pool. And so that is what we did for 6 hours straight. Alice recently discovered how to hold her breath underwater, so loves jumping in at any chance she gets. Once our cautious Avery realized that Alice had fun jumping in, she joined the fun.

As any golfer might do, Chad was keeping a close eye on Saturday’s weather- and much to his chagrin, we woke up on Saturday to a very windy, rainy day. The girls and I dropped Chad off at the golf course and wished him well (there is nothing cuter than Avery shouting “Good luck, Dad!”) before returning to our hotel. We watched kite surfers take advantage of the windy, wavy day.

Unfortunately, Alice had woken up with a bad cold. And she was doing the weird grunty breathing she does before she starts wheezing/ needs to go in to be put on steroids. I was watching her closely, hoping that I was just imagining things. My anxiety was increased as of course, this was the one trip where I didn’t bring my stethoscope or her neb machine. Her last episode of her asthma type symptoms was almost a year ago, last Thanksgiving. I was hopeful that she had outgrown the reactive airway disorder, as doctors said she might.

But alas, here we were. Given that her symptoms weren’t improving and we had a car ride home ahead of us, I took her into urgent care. Luckily, her oxygen sats were fine and the nurse practitioner couldn’t hear any wheezing. Chad finished his round shortly after we finished at urgent care. And might I note that despite the high winds and rainy weather, Chad won the tournament, adding yet another trophy to his growing collection.

I was hoping for an uneventful car ride home. (Why do I hope for these things?) Half way through the trip, Alice mentioned that her tummy hurt. Immediately I realized I forgot to give her the Benadryl I usually give her to pre-medicate before travel to prevent….my thought process was interrupted by the volcano of puke that erupted, covering Alice, her precious blankie and car seat.

Remember how I talked about magical moments that can happen while traveling with kids? Well, this was not one of them. Luckily, we made it home in once piece. Alice fell asleep after the puke incident at 6pm and slept through the night. As for Avery and me, we fell asleep on the couch at 7pm.

Alice continues to recover today…actually, all of us continue to recover. Our week ahead should be quiet, aside from our 5 YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY on Friday- crazy, right?

Funny moments from the week:

  • As we were eating breakfast, Avery said, “I love you” out of the blue & my heart melted. Then she kissed the muffin she was eating and whispered “I love you so much”. And it became clear she wasn’t talking to me.
  • Alice smacked Avery in the stomach and yelled “Tummy high five!”. I was about to tell her not to hit when Avery proceeded to whack Alice in the stomach and yell “Tummy high five!”, after which they both had a giggle fit. So, I guess we will consider it sisterly bonding.
  • “Mom, where are all my boogers? Who took all of them?!”- a very upset Alice
  • As we were walking back to the hotel from the beach, I looked back to check on the girls only to catch Avery dumping an entire bucket of sand over her head. Needless to say, despite numerous hair washes, she still has a head full of sand.

Sending love to all,


Weekly Update

Tofu & Turtles

“Be like tofu,” she said with a grandmotherly smile, “take on the flavor of Mayo (the hospital, not the food). Absorb its unique culture.” And just like my college days, I’ve been practicing taking on the flavor of Florida.

The culture here is quite the mix. I’ve been mistaken as Spanish speaking multiple times, with people speaking Spanish to me as if I must know the language. I do know a few phrases “Me gusta helado” (I like ice cream) and “Me llamo Laura” (my name is Laura). Both important phrases that have gotten me quite far in life and here in Florida.

This has been a week of firsts for us: Chad’s first nationals golf tournament, first alligator sighting (in the zoo), first dolphin sighting (at the beach, about 20 yards away from where we were swimming), and first time snorkeling in the ocean.  

We spent 7 nights in Palm Beach while Chad played in his tournament. The girls and I explored the area while Chad played in the tournament:

  • Manatee Lagoon – was a bust since it is not Manatee season. No manatees were spotted, but does look like a cool spot during manatee season.
Manatee Lagoon
  • Palm Beach Zoo – we saw their “white alligator”- which is pretty much the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen and a normal alligator (also creepy due to how well it camouflaged into the pond).
The only picture I have from the zoo. Alice was experiencing the effects of a sugar high.
  • Palm Beach Science Center – captivated us for hours. They had a lot of fun exhibits with my favorite being a neuroscience exhibit and the girl’s favorite being the kids area.
Science Center
  • Loggerhead Marine Life Center— A turtle hospital that cares for injured adult sea turtles and also cares for baby sea turtles who had trouble making it out to sea. While we were there, we were able to watch them do an ultrasound on a sedated 290 lb turtle. I was fascinated by all of this… my sidekicks however, were not.
The babies!!!!
An injured adult sea turtle
  • Juno beach – was gorgeous, but were unable to swim there due to big waves & “unsafe conditions”.
The waves @ Juno Beach

While we weren’t out exploring, we spent a lot of time at the resort hotel pool. The girls made a few “friends” who were fun at the beginning, but then turned into normal 3 & 4 year olds. As we tried to leave one day, 3 year old friend Gracie said, “NO! YOU CANNOT LEAVE!” And then I happily left her with her mom. There were sharing wars of course. But also fun things like the game of “let’s see how much water we can dump on mom’s head” and endless alligator rides. The childless women of the pool, luxuriously sunbathing in peace while sipping pina coladas, shot smiles of amusement as they watched me give endless alligator rides. Whenever I hopped out of the pool to reapply sunscreen or grab a drink of water (not vodka unfortunately), dictator Alice would yell (in a tone eerily similar to mine when they are in trouble), “MOM! GET IN THE POOL!” Jeepers, kid.

PGA Resort Pool

We came back a day early since Chad finished his golf round earlier than expected. After 7 days of hotel living, we were so ready to be back “home”. It feels lovely to be back in our Florida place, where we don’t all have to share one room. The girls don’t sleep well when we travel, so I’m enjoying full nights of sleep again.

On Saturday we went to the beach, where we saw the dolphin and a live sand dollar (which I learned is a living creature). To top off a lovely day, we stopped for ice cream on our way home at “Sweet Melissa’s”, where we are becoming regulars.

Building Sandcastles at the Beach.

The past two days have been gloriously humidity free, making 90 degrees feel… might I say, cool? *** Of note, our AC is finally fixed- thank goodness. We are looking forward to 3 weeks of no travel and then will be heading back to Minnesota for my sister Amelia’s wedding!!!

Sending love back home,


Weekly Update

“Do Not Fill With Alcohol”

I write this after returning from a five hour stint at the pool with Avery and Alice. It was a relaxing morning, and the girls would have continued to play for many more hours had Alice not yelled, “Mom! I’m pooping in the pool!” (Disclaimer 1: she was wearing a pool diaper. Disclaimer 2: pool was full of adults who did not know this.)

We are currently at a PGA golf resort in Palm Beach, FL for a vacation while Chad plays in a nationals tournament. Palm Beach is on the East coast, almost directly across from where we live. It was a 2.5 hour drive across the Everglades/ Big Cypress National Preserve. Each side of the highway is fenced in, which we speculate is in place to keep the gators and snakes off the road. Chad asked me how long I would survive if I got stranded in the Everglades. I told him I would probably only last a day. “What would kill you?” he asked. “Starvation,” I replied. He smiled, “Do you know that most people can survive over a week without food?” Not me. I need food every 4 hours.

Chad is in his glory, golfing every day. I am enjoying being surrounded by like-minded golf widows while lounging at the pool. We will be here for a week and then return back “home” to Estero, FL.

Avery and Alice are turning into fishies and it has been so fun to watch them learn to swim. I think Avery will be swimming within a month or so- she’s doing great with kicking, paddling, blowing bubbles, and she’s starting to put her face in the water. Alice likes floating around in her life jacket and has become very proficient at paddling wherever she wants to go. Despite SO MUCH SUNSCREEN, we’ve all turned a few shades darker.

Other things to report on prior to this trip:

  • Our AC has been malfunctioning for about a week. It’s not completely broken but it keeps the house between 76-78 degrees. Apparently it is some rare problem that two different AC guys have never seen before. A part has been ordered & hopefully will be fixed soon. We are very appreciative of the fact that we are renting and this is not our financial problem.
  • Alice is becoming quite the chatty Kathy. While waiting for Chad the other day, she plopped down on the floor and remarked, “I’m just going to sit here and talk.” And that she did.
  • I made a 75 year old friend, Gene, who is always at the pool. The first day I wore mascara while in FL he looked at me and smirked, “I don’t know how to tell you this but you have black circles around your eyes. I haven’t seen that in a long time!” He’s honest so I will keep him around.
  • The weather in FL is very consistent- 92 degrees each day with a 30 minute rain shower around 5pm; otherwise, sunny. It is a bit too hot for my liking, but we try to do our outside activities in the morning/ evening to work around it. I’m loving all the sunshine.
  • I tried going for a run at 3pm the other day and it was a very bad idea. Way too hot. It is tough to stay hydrated even on short runs, so I invested in one of those water backpack things. It had the funniest warnings: “Do not fill with milk” (duh, I’m not stupid), and “Do not fill with alcohol.” I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! So now I carry my water backpack filled with wine. Makes life a lot more enjoyable!

That’s all for now. Sending love,


Weekly Update

Next Female Tiger Woods

Well folks, we are officially 2 weeks into our time here in Florida. I have yet to spot an alligator, but am always on the lookout because I value my life.

Adjustment is a trajectory. The girls are finally sleeping through the night after about 7 days spliced with night time wake ups. Avery continues her pattern of joining us in bed at some point in the middle of the night; luckily, she always faces me so I get the snuggles and Chad gets the kicks.

Our daily pattern is beginning to emerge. We usually wake up around 8, eat breakfast and then either head to the pool or beach. We (me, Avery and Alice on weekdays, Chad included on weekends) stay until one of us has a meltdown, and then we head home for quiet time.

Quiet time is the worst. The girls refuse to nap, so I force them to do quiet activities. In return, they force me to be a good mom and read to them for an eternity. Here’s the thing: I like reading, but kid books are the worst. I’m not saying this because their content is bad. I’m saying it because they force me to read the same 7 books at least 2 times a day. So every day at quiet time, we read “Strega Nona’s Christmas” (actually a cute story that I’m not sick of yet), and 6 Paw Patrol books. Every day, the girls have the exact same argument over which book we should read first. Then we all get into an argument over whose turn it is to turn the pages. Then I threaten that if anyone whines one more time, I’m going to stop reading. Then someone whines, and just like that, quiet time is over.

Our evening schedule hasn’t fully emerged. It obviously always involves dinner and usually ice cream in one form or another. Sometimes Chad plays a round of golf and often I’m able to fit in a run as the sun begins to set and Florida cools off a bit.

The other night we played our first family round of mini golf. Here is how it played out: 1) Chad was wearing his golf attire to remind us all that he is basically a professional. 2) Chad spent a lot of time coaching Avery on her grip and swing. I felt like I was witnessing the birth of the female Tiger Woods. I should have videotaped it so they can play the clip in inspirational golf commercials when she’s famous. 3) Avery was decent. I was a little jealous, but I’ve learned to accept the fact that I will never have hand-eye coordination. 4) Alice and I hung out. I would putt horribly and then she would run, pick it up, and drop it in the hole. She’s my girl.

Surprisingly, nobody attempted homicide by golf club blow to head. Most likely person to do that? Alice. She has anger management issues. Like I said, she’s my girl.

All in all, we are really enjoying our time here. Sending love back home,