A Roadtrip, an Anniversary, Passover, and Easter

We have had a very, very busy few weeks!

I took my first road trip away from the twins, and I survived! Tim’s mom Pat and I went up to New Jersey to surprise his cousin at her (surprise) baby shower. We drove up one morning, went to the shower, and then drove back the next day. It was exhausting, but a fantastic trip (and great to know that we can all survive when Mommy goes away). Tim, his dad, and his grandfather were on duty, and they did a great job with the kids! Plus, I got plenty of pictures throughout the two days, so I knew my kids were happy, healthy, and safe! Although we were gone for less than 36 hours, we managed a 6-hour car trip, a quick (and cold) trip to the beach, stories from Pat’s childhood (I absolutely LOVE to hear background about someone’s childhood and past, especially when we can visit those places), a visit with extended family, the shower (surprise!!!), breakfast at a great diner, and then another 6-hour car trip (and a stop at a favorite store on the way back to see their new improvements in a new location).

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The very next weekend, we were so lucky to be able celebrate two very important holidays: Passover and Easter. We had my entire family over for our Passover Seder, where we were able to do the entire seder and 10 songs in under an hour! And we had (relatively) happy toddlers the whole time. WIN! Big huge props to my mom for doing all of the cooking and prepping and bringing them to our house so that we could keep the kids comfortable and make it easier on us. Thank you!

Then on Sunday, we went Tim’s family’s church (well, the fellowship hour after the service), where the twins could meet many of Tim’s parents’ friends. Then we went back to the Doyles’ house for an Easter egg hunt and some playing.

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Oh, and in between Passover and Easter was our anniversary… so of course we had to take a trip to the local zoo so that the kids could see the animals. They loved it so much we may become members so we can go often.

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I love springtime because of the holidays, time spent outside and visiting, and the fact that summer is almost here! But, man, is it busy and exhausting! Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Our 2014 Trip to Savannah

I promise this post won’t be as long as the post about our 2013 trip to Savannah, but it was just as enjoyable!  Here’s why:

 

  • A Wedding! We got to celebrate the wedding of Tim’s cousin Mike and his beautiful (inside and out) bride Jess (and you can see more pictures on Mike and Jess’ blog Hokie Birds Fly South)


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  • Tybee Island! Oh yes, we most certainly made a return trip here to enjoy the incredible beach.

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  • The Food! Savannah has incredible eats and treats. Although we weren’t able to enjoy as many this time around (what with having 11 month old twins with us), we still got some great tastes in.

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  • The Ice Cream! Ok, this could have been lumped in with “The Food,” but since this was Babies’ First Ice Cream, I had to put it by itself.

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  • The Squares/Sights! We didn’t go sightseeing too much, but we were able to see some beautiful sights while driving around.

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  • The Weather! We spent our last evening at the gorgeous Forsythe Park, a dream we wanted to do since we found out that I was pregnant a year a half ago.

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  • The Hotel! We loved staying at the Embassy Suites. What a gorgeous hotel, amazing service, and enough room (barely) for us and all of our gear.

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  • Our first trip as a family of 4… by ourselves! And we only stopped 2 times going there and coming back. Success!


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It’s a Twin Thing

We took this video of Audrey and David when we were at our hotel in Savannah, GA, on a recent trip. Audrey was trying to “pants” David (in between lots of hugs), and David thought it was the funniest thing. I love my babies!

A Cleveland Visit

First of all, let me say how much I love my husband. Not only is he the world’s best dad and husband, but he has helped me to get my phone to become a wifi hotspot. So here I am on my computer on the internet in the car, driving back from our weekend trip to Cleveland. I can work on this blog post and get it uploaded while on the road! Exciting!

This weekend, we came to Cleveland to be with my extended Bedol family for my cousin’s bat mitzvah. It was a whirlwind weekend, but filled with love and happiness and lots of laughter. Because we were so focused on family and the twins, I didn’t get a ton of pictures (you know, living in the moment and everything). Here are the best pictures that I got:

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Family from California!

We were so lucky to have my Aunt Sherry (my mom’s sister) and Uncle Jeff come to the east coast from their home near San Francisco along with my cousin Jessie, her husband Mike, and their 5 week old daughter Matix.

We have been really fortunate to see them every summer for 3 summers in a row, even though the first summer was sadly because of my grandfather’s sudden death, and last summer was because of Papa Alan (and his twin brother Marshall)’s stone setting. This summer, though, was because of a happy circumstance! Sherry came to Cleveland for a friend’s wedding, and the whole family decided to come along and take the drive down to Virginia to see us, meet the twins, and we could meet Jessie’s baby too!

They could only be here for a short visit, but it was wonderful to see each other, pass the babies around, trade mommy stories, and just be together to celebrate life and happiness!

My mom and David:

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Uncle Jeff and his granddaughter Matix:CA Family Visit 2014

My mom and David in the background and Aunt Sherry and Audrey in front:

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Baby Matix asleep:

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Uncle Jeff and Audrey making faces at each other:CA Family Visit 2014

Daddy and David cuddles:CA Family Visit 2014

Matix and her daddy Mike on the couch:

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The two new sets of parents and their babies. Jessie and I are about the same difference in age as the twins and Matix:

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Uncle Jeff and David:

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Sweet love:

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We loved Matix’s faces in these pictures:

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CA Family Visit 2014

CA Family Visit 2014

Sherry and Jeff and Audrey and David:

CA Family Visit 2014

#CampTucker2014

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Each year, my family (the Tucker side) gets together for our annual reunion in Lake Guntersville, Alabama, for “Camp Tucker.” With our ever-growing family, we never know who is going to make an appearance, but we always manage to have lots and lots of fun on the water and with “camp activities.” Enjoy the rundown of this year’s festivities!

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The Trip to Alabama

Most of the time, we have no problem taking the 10-hour drive in one day. With two 8-month-olds, however, we planned on stopping after about 6 or 7 hours to stay the night in a hotel. Once we were about 5 hours in, however, we decided that we wanted to try and make it the whole way, in order to save on money and effort when you have all that baby gear to cart inside a hotel.

We left our house right at the first nap time, which worked out great for our morning last-minute packing. We decided to stop off at our brother- and sister-in-law’s house in Christiansburg for a play/food break, which was about 3 hours into the trip. The last 30 minutes were a little dicey, as Audrey really wanted to get out of the car seat at that point, but we made it. With red eyes, the moment I pulled Audy Bug out of the seat, she immediately started laughing and flirting with us all. David didn’t understand why she was so unhappy in the first place, but he flirted with everyone too.

After that break and family time (along with lunch for all of us), we hit the road again and later stopped at a rest stop about 3 hours later. We climbed a hill to a pavilion where I could nurse in private, the babies could play in the shade in their new pack-and-play (Summer Infant’s Pop n Play), and we could also go to the bathroom.

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We packed our own food, so we didn’t have to stop for ourselves, and that saved us some time. We stopped just once more, when it was close to the normal bedtime. We fed the babies with solids and nursing, and then we put them back in their car seats. As we drove down the road, we recited their bedtime books (that we know by heart), and after a couple tears (“We aren’t really supposed to fall asleep here are we?”), they were out.

We arrived at the lake at about 9:30 PM Lake Time (10:30 Eastern), and we let the babies stay up until my uncle (Uncle Steven/Stinky) and my cousins arrived. They got to meet the twins briefly, and then it was time for bed.

Sleeping Arrangements

For most of the trip, we slept in the same room as the twins, and we realized that that was HARD. We put them to bed and then had to be really quiet when it was our time to go to sleep. Plus, during naps, we couldn’t go into our room at all. This meant that we were really spread out. We had their gear and our clothes in their room, our toiletries in my parents’ bathroom, our shower things in a downstairs bathroom, and my pumping supplies in my parents’ bedroom. For the last two days, once the house quieted down a bit (and some of our campers left), we all moved downstairs to our normal room when we stay there, and we let the babies sleep in the empty room across the hall. This was much better for all 4 of us to sleep.

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The Meals

Camp Tucker is all about eating, and this year was no different.

We went to Huddle House for breakfast 3 different times (only 2 days we didn’t have breakfast there). While there, the twins tried grits for the first time! They weren’t crazy about the texture, but they kept asking for more, despite making “yucky” faces.

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My brother Josh was a rockstar and became our designated highchair holder and carrier, because we brought these chairs with us to all of the restaurants. We loved our new Ciao Baby high chairs!

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While the babies didn’t enjoy this, we also got Char Burgers at least twice (although I could have eaten them for every meal). They are delicious burgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes!

On a trip to Huntsville one day to go to Costco and visit the cemetery where my grandparents are burried, we also stopped at Gibson’s BBQ, where we used to always go with my family growing up. It hasn’t changed much, but the food is great! Here is where David and Audrey got their first taste of BBQ. They loved it, and we had to stop them eventually!

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Many more meals were eaten on our back screened in porch. The weather was perfect!

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Everywhere we went, we had our travel Ciao Baby high chairs, and we got so much positive feedback about them. They really were the perfect travel high chairs to bring along!

The Activities

When we are at the lake, we are always busy moving from activity to activity. Usually it is food, then a trip to Mike’s, then a trip to Lowe’s, then more food, then out on the water, then food, then hanging out on the back porch. This Camp Tucker was similar, except we chose to stay on land because of the babies.

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One of the nights, we always have an “Awards Ceremony” that centers around someone, where they get all kinds of gifts. We don’t know who will be the recipient(s) until we arrive, but then it just make sense. This year, my Aunt Liz was the lucky “winner,” as it was her birthday. Check out the toilet glasses that we found at Mike’s for her!

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As I mentioned before, we took our annual trip to the cemetery where my grandfather and grandmother Papa Bill (William Daniel Tucker, Jr) and Gran Chloe are buried. We visit them each time we come to Alabama, and this was a special trip because we were able to bring the entire next generation. The picture below has 3 William Daniel Tuckers (#2, #4, and #5… We should have taken a picture of my dad as well to get 4 of the WDTs!).

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If you know my dad, you know that he has a thing for flamingos (Does anyone remember this post from last year?). One of the Camp Tucker jobs was to set out all of the metal flamingos (and other birds) and display them. Tim and I had fun finishing this to surprise him.

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Each year, we add to our picture wall. I have had so much fun over the years being the official camp “photographer” and adding a couple of pictures to the wall. Pretty soon we will have to extend it to another wall entirely!

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The big event of Camp Tucker 2014 was decorating the big lure that my dad procured from a local artist. It was previously decorated, but we painted over it and made our own creation. We are pretty fond of it!

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The Other Fun

My dad has a list for each of us when we are at the lake. I was able to complete mine, even though things constantly got added to it!

After everyone left, we were able to take the babies out on the boats, and they actually enjoyed themselves!

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I was also able to sneak away for a jet ski trip with my brother, since I couldn’t go out last year (being pregnant with twins and all). We took a “tour” of the lake like we used to do on the first day that we arrived. Of course, that was when he couldn’t drive a boat by himself and I got to control the speed. It’s a little different when he is 19 and a lot more adventurous than I am!

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Baby Playtime

We were lucky to have very mild weather for an Alabama summer. This meant that we could be outside ALL THE TIME on our back screened-in porch.


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I made these Camp Tucker onesies for the twins, complete with our official logo and motto. They sat in Papa’s chair to take these pictures!

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Right at about the time we went on our trip, Audrey and David really started talking and laughing with each other. While their play may look like it hurts the other one, they don’t mind at all. They laugh and laugh at each other all day long.
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In their 2nd bedroom, the ceiling fan cord hung down, so that when Tim picked up A and D, they loved looking at it. This was about the time that Audrey started saying “va va va” for anything shiny and jewelry-like. This cord was definitely a “va va va va!”

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While at a trip to Walmart, I found this $10 Cabbage Patch Kid dressed up like a dog (looking very much like our Lucy). I quickly got it for Audrey, and once it was cleaned, she proceeded to give it many many kisses. We have now named it Desi (you know, like Lucy and Desi?).

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On our last morning there, we dressed up Audrey and David in the same Snoopy life jackets that all of us had worn as babies. No wonder all of the babies screamed bloody murder when they put them on. They were so tight that we didn’t even bother zipping them up. Thank goodness we had bought our own for this year!

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We also entered the world of the Squiggle Monster during the trip. This was one bedtime where they just would not stay still. Notice how Audrey has thrown herself over David to get to the book.

 

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The Family

We had the largest gathering of campers than in many past years. Although not everyone could make it, we had a lot of people come! I’m sorry I don’t have pictures with everyone in this section. I wasn’t the best Camp Tucker photographer this year!

My under Steven and my Dad (along with his dogs Max and Winston):

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My younger brother Josh (with David and The Lure):

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My nephew Liam:

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And my dad again with the babies. Lots of walking, cuddles, and even a bit of pine needle for David. He’s such a great grandfather!!!

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My Aunty Julie was there (pictured with Audrey) with her husband Erica and son Ethan:
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Sadly not pictured: my cousins Ashley or Ryan, my brother Tee and his girlfriend Megan, or Uncle Lee and Aunt Liz and their two kids.

The Views

There is nothing more relaxing than this lake! 
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The Drive Home

On the way home, we stopped at Kevin and Lauryn’s house again and stayed overnight. The next day, after a leisurely wakeup, we stopped at Virginia Tech for a quick view and to pick up some outfits for football season!
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#DoyleBeachParty 2014: Corolla Jeep Adventures Wild Horse Tour

*In order to encourage you to take this tour yourself, I am not going to go into a lot of details about the information we learned on this trip. It is worth paying the about-$40-a-person to take this tour yourself. I promise you, it will be better than a day of parasailing or watercrafts!

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On the Friday of our vacation, the middle generation-ers took a morning to go on a wild horse tour with Corolla Jeep Adventures.

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Our tour guide was John, and he was incredible. He reminded us of Matthew McConaughey with his accent, his energy, and his excitement, but the thing that stuck out the most was his passion. He loves these horses and knows them very well. He is an advocate for them, as many people are trying to control their populations by saying that they are an invasive species. I have to agree with John that they were anything but that. Peaceful, gentle, beautiful, and not at all harmful to the land. It was absolutely amazing to share space with these creatures who have evolved to survive but not demolish the land over hundreds of years on the island.

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The 10 AM tour started with a quick overview before hitting the road in our open-air truck. Once we got to the 4-wheel beach, we zoomed down it for a ways, hitting the bumps and making me hope that the cage above us was a strong roll-bar… just in case. Thankfully I sat in the front, but I know that those in the middle and back rows had a LOT more bumps than us.

Wild Horse Tour - DoyleDispatch.com

We veered off the beach to go to Penny’s Hill, the highest point on the island. From here, we could see acre upon acre, from the ocean to the sound. We also found a huge turtle up there, just hanging out. At this point, John taught a lot about the ecology of the island, including the signs to look for with the horses.

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We also got some pretty incredible shots of all of us overlooking the area. Please excuse the wind-blown hair.

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After a short drive more, we found our first horses, and John explained about this particular pack and the history of this harem.

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We even found Santa’s summer home!

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On driving back on the beach again, we found an area that was roped off, and John drove closer. Turns out that it was a beached baby seal, and it looked like animal control was trying to figure out what was happening to it and how they could help. The week before, a seal was found further south on the island, and biologists are trying to figure out why they are coming so far south. This seal was still moving, but we didn’t know if it was hurt.

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We found a second pack of horses further north, and it just confirmed how peaceful and amazing these gentle giants are.

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Upon racing back  on the beach (after 2.5 hours of our 2 hour tour), we suddenly stopped at the water’s edge for John to pull something from the water: 2 pieces of fulgurite. Fulgurite is made when lightning hits the sand and creates natural glass. It turns out we had seen these all over the beaches of Corolla, but didn’t know what they were. Once we could identify them, we got tons and tons back at our beach house. I later found out that the 4×4 beach and the beaches of Corolla are the best places around to find fulgurite. What a neat beach find for a girl who loves searching for perfect (and imperfect) seashells.

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On the drive back, I just had to capture how beautiful everything looked on this secluded beach.

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And then someone shouted “Horse on a porch!”

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And one final glance before leaving the 4×4 beach: a row of birds, enjoying the sunshine!

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#DoyleBeachParty 2014: My New Haircut

Tim’s cousin Rachel is an amazing hair stylist in New Jersey and owns her own salon (Salon Cartarae in Manasquan). When we were at the beach early in the week, I was talking to her about my hair and mentioned that I had often dreamed of cutting it all off, but I didn’t know how it would work out. From there, we kept talking until I knew that she was the one to do it. So, the next day I had an appointment after breakfast to get my hair cut! Here are some pictures from the event:

The best part about this cut is that I can wear it curly, blow-dried, or flat-ironed. While I still need to work on the first two looks, I love the versatility of this! Lately, I have been straightening my hair with the flat iron (it is how I always dreamed of wearing a short cut), because it only takes me 40 minutes from the start of a shower until the end of the hair ironing. I can get it finished during one of our shorter naps! Hooray!

Review: Go Pod Portable Activity Seat

Disclaimer: I received two of the following items for review. All thoughts are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Once the summer hits, we are traveling machines. This summer is no different… except we have two additional bundles of joy (and all of their stuff).

With twins, you must learn how to pack light… ha ha ha! For us, it is a constant struggle of utility vs lightweight vs easy-to-pack items. We have our bulky items to use at home and our easy-to-pack travel items.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Recently, we found out about the Kidco GoPod, which are portable activity seats. They are essentially like a combination between the foldable tailgate chairs and a jumper/walker (without the toys). I was fortunate enough to have Kidco send us two of the GoPods to use and review, and we are totally in love! Unfortunately, we didn’t get them in time for our beach trip (they actually arrived while we were away), but we have used them so much since then, and we are going to use them all the time this entire summer. In fact, they are going to live in my car, so when we visit our families and spend time at the pool or outside (or even in the house), we have a quick, safe place for the babies to go.


Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

The GoPod comes in a carrying case that you can quickly throw over your shoulder. To set it up, you simply slide it out of the case and unfold it. It has 4 height settings so that as the child gets taller, you can make it grow with your child. There is a locking button to make sure that it is secure and safe, and it comes with a floor pad so that your baby’s feet never touch the gross ground. I can’t tell you how perfect that is, considering Audrey and David’s feet are always in their (and each others’) mouths. There are also 5 clips to attach toys as well as drink/snack holders. Basically, it has everything you could need… and it is so lightweight. The Go Pod can be used from the point that Baby holds his head up (about 4 months) to walking. Weight-wise, your baby can use it from about 12-26 lbs.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

I absolutely love all of the features that it comes with. It’s like they thought of everything, and they have streamlined it down to the lightest carrying weight possible. Audrey and David love it too. I mean, they really love it. They sit in it. They stand in it. They play in it. They get to watch everyone and everything around them. It is fantastic.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

On the box, it says “No assembly required,” and it is absolutely correct. You literally take it out of the box and bag, unfold it, hear the “click” that locks it into place, and you are good to go. I put Audrey in it while I was feeding David (and then David in it while I fed Audrey), and it was amazing at how she took to it right away. She could lean back and sit with her legs resting, or she could push off the ground and stand up. Both positions seemed comfortable. I was surprised at how far down the fabric comes with the weight of the babies sitting/standing in it, but everything is very secure and it seems incredibly safe.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

To fold it up, you just have to find the button on one of the legs, push it in, and then press the legs together. You can even fold it up easily when you have adjusted the legs for a taller baby.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

The biggest downfall is that the fabric is spot-clean only. However, because it is made with tailgate chair material, I can imagine we can just hose off the entire Go Pod if it really becomes dirty enough.

Go Pod Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Overall, this is an item that I would highly recommend for anyone who is on-the-go with a baby, whether you have one baby or more. I am always looking for ways to travel smarter, and this is certainly at the top of the list. With an average $50 price tag, I know it can seem expensive, but this is an item that is worth every penny.

You can find out more information on Kidco and the GoPod at the Kidco website.

 

#DoyleBeachParty 2014: An Overview

Please bear with me, as this post is going to be long and filled with a TON of pictures. You know, Babies’ First Beach Trip and everything.


#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Deets*: We went to Corolla in the Outer Banks for a week with Tim’s family (his sister, brother, brother’s wife, mom, dad, grandfather, cousin, and cousin’s husband). It was amazing to have 10 adults and just the two babies. Lots of love, hands to hold, and quite a few breaks for Mommy and Daddy. We still had sleepless nights (getting up every 2-3 hours), but it made the days so much more bearable and relaxing!

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

 

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Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Setup: Get ready to be jealous of our beach-front house for the week.  3 master bedrooms on the top floor, Plus the kitchen, living area, dining room with huge table, and a half bath. The living area also had floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on the beach (yes, it is beach-front property). The second floor had 5 master bedrooms: 1 had a handicapped bathroom, 1 had a sliding door to the deck and hot tub, 1 was a bunk room with its own living area, and 2 were a little separated (and perfect for the 4 of us). Our room had a gorgeous deck looking at the ocean and private bath, and the room attached had 2 twin beds and a bathroom in between that room and ours. We moved the twin beds a little to fit the two pack-and-plays, and we were good to go. That floor also had a living space, pool table, and a wet bar with full fridge. The bottom floor had the gym, two-car garage,  heated pool, and private walkway to the beach. Oh, and the house had its own elevator!

Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Baby Gear: Traveling with two 6-month olds wasn’t without its fair share of challenges, especially with the gear. We started our packing list a month ahead of time, and we were constantly revising it up until the last minute as their needs changed. We have been having problems sleeping both during naps and at night, so we knew we needed to bring the rockers to help them sleep. Although I will do a separate post on packing for a week for 6 month olds, here are the big things we brought: 2 pack-and-plays (cribs), 1 MamaRoo, 1 travel swing, 1 tandem stroller with extra seats, 2 umbrella strollers, nursing pillow, Bumbo (doubles as a high chair), Summer Infant activity chair (doubles as a high chair), bath chair, diaper bag, diaper caddy, contoured diaper changing pad, travel diaper changing pad for upstairs, 2 containers of wipes, 2 huge sleeves of diapers (although we only used 1), white noise machine, video monitors, 2 Baby Bjorns, doorway jumper, stand-up walker, outfits, swim items, play mats, toys, sleepers, baby towels and bathing supplies, beach tent, picnic blankets, stroller fans, baby sunscreen, and burp cloths… Oh yes, that is a lot of stuff. But because of this, we had what we needed and didn’t have to freak out that we were without something.

Wild Horse Tour - DoyleDispatch.com

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Baby-Free Excursion: At the end of the week, the 7 middle-generationers took a trip with Corolla Jeep Adventures to go see the wild horses. It was an amazing trip, filled with lots of education (I’m such a nerd), sight-seeing, and amazing photo-taking opportunities.

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

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The Beach with Babies: We were blessed with amazing weather, and so it was never too too hot. In fact, with the breeze blowing, it was sometimes chilly. We still tried to avoid taking the babies out at the hottest point of the day. Because Audrey had just become a good sitter-upper, we only needed to take a Bumbo for David. They loved being down by the water with the waves, family, and sand. We tried to keep them as sand-free as possible with the sun tent and a beach blanket, but it was impossible to keep things completely sand-free. We just carried a bottle of water to wet and clean items when needed. When David got fussy, we would walk him down by the ocean and play “Hello Ocean, Goodbye Ocean,” where I would stand close to the tide line. When the waves came up, I would say “Hello Ocean,” and then say “Goodbye Ocean” when they would go away. He was fascinated with the ocean.

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

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The Pool with Babies: Thankfully, the pool was a salt-water pool (good for their skin) and heated, so we could enjoy it with them. Unfortunately, the air was chilly at the times of day we were ok with them outside, so we didn’t get to use the pool as much as we would have liked. Still, they really enjoyed swimming, with David kick-kick-kicking away and Audrey just trying to lick the water (so she didn’t get as much time as David).

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The Dinners: Each of the adults took a night to plan and cook dinner. We ALL went all out on these nights, turning them into total theme nights. We had cold cuts, kebobs, turkey burgers with brussel sprouts and sweet potato fries, burgers and hot dogs, a taco bar, an Italian night, and a clean-out-the-fridge-and-eat-all-the-leftovers. We had 3 full-size fridges, and we used just about every square inch of space. It was quite impressive, but we will hopefully plan and coordinate a bit more before next year so we aren’t all buying and brining the same things. Still, no one went hungry at all (or if they did, it was their fault).

#DoyleBeachParty 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

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Doyle Beach Party 2014 - DoyleDispatch.com

The Games: Each night after dinner, we either played a game or watched a movie. My personal favorites were our annual Doyle Yankee Swap (moved from Christmastime to the beach since we would all be together) and watching Uncle Buck in honor of Tim’s Uncle Dave (David’s namesake) who passed away last summer. Basically, if you have seen the movie Uncle Buck, you know Uncle Dave. It was wonderful to see it all together.

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The Sunsets: On the last two nights of our trip, I was able to sneak away (the first night on my own, and the second time with Tim) to watch the sunset. Although the sun sets on the sound side (and we were oceanside), we still got some amazing photos of the incredible colors.

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The Haircuts: Tim’s cousin Rachel is an amazing hair stylist in New Jersey. She owns her own salon and does amazing things with a razor! So, I have been toying around with chopping my hair off for a while, but I have never trusted anyone here in VA to do it. So, when I was talking to her about it, she offered to cut it for me while we were at the beach. I decided to go for it! She also cut my mother-in-law’s hair and Tim’s grandfather’s hair. She does an amazing job!

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The Family: Of course, the main reason to get away was to be with our family for the week. It felt so wonderful to wake up and have everyone there. We all see each other often, but to actually escape and be with each other and get along for a full week is amazing. Plus, it was Tim’s dad’s birthday week, and it was a great way to celebrate his special day! Oh yes, I married into an incredible family! I am so lucky! Plus, 10 adults : 2 babies = an amazing ratio!

*I’m sorry for using the term “deets.” I know that it’s SO 3 years ago (or longer?). I just had to do it so that when Audrey and David look back on this post in 10 years they will be so embarrassed.