- Doll + Stroller Set – Emmy isn’t really into dolls yet but I think she will really like pushing around a stroller that is just her size.
- Dino Stuffed Animal – Emmy is really into dinosaurs right now and I thought these were so cute.
- Tiny T-Rex Book – To read while snuggling her new stuffy.
- Magna-Tiles Set – Both Cannon and Emmy love playing with these sets.
- Toy Laptop Emmy is always trying to get ahold of my laptop and loves to bang on the keyboard, so I figured it was time for one of her own.
- Patagonia Snow Suit – We have tried a few different snow suits for the kids but this one is the best! Keeps the kids warm without being too stiff or falling apart mid way through the season.
- Wooden Scooter – This is such a cute little scooter. Perfect for scooting around inside the house during the winter.
- Red Dress from Old Navy – This dress is so soft and cute, perfect for meeting Santa.
I am always feeling behind the ball getting ideas together for Christmas, this year I am hoping to get all of our ideas together before Thanksgiving. Here are some ideas we have for Cannon, some we have and love and some will be waiting under the tree for him this year.
- Digital Camera – Cannon loves messing around with our old cameras so we think he might love a kid friendly version.
- Helmet – We love the magnetic closure on these that prevent pinching.
- Kid Safe Headphones – with both bluetooth and wired connection these are great for travel.
- Disney + – We are pretty excited about this subscription, you can even download some movies.
- Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet – Key for travel also these things are tough, they have been dropped so many times.
- Strider Bike – Cannon is obsessed with riding his bike.
- Sunglasses – I love these little glasses, we have had a couple sets, they only last so long in the hands of babes.
- Little Blue Truck Christmas – The little Blue Truck books are so cute, I can’t wait to read this one to Cannon.
- Paw Patrol Fire Truck – What kid doesn’t love Paw Patrol
- Little Tykes Bounce House – We have enjoyed the Jr version of this bounce house for the past couple of years but with Cannon and his friends getting bigger we are ready to upgrade.
- Train Set – Cannon is obsessed with trains.
What are you excited to get your little ones?
I know everyone has already moved on to Christmas but I wanted to recap some Halloween fun from this year. Cannon is REALLY into Halloween this year and was excited to do all the fun activities.
We first visited Anderson Farms to find some pumpkins. We had freezing temps and snow so the pumpkins were a little sad. We had fun playing all in the corn maze and visiting the animals.
We were pretty excited to get our costumes delivered. Cannon was peter Pan and Emmy was Tinker Bell.
We went to our neighborhood’s fall festival.
Cory and I dressed up as Mr. Smee and Captain Hook, it was fun to see our friends all dressed up too.
The Shutter Bus was there and it was fun to get some family photos.
We also visited Rock Creek Farms for some trick or treating.
On Halloween I wanted to make the kids some fun meals so they had spider sandwiches for lunch.
For dinner I made them mummy dogs and pumpkin soup.
I would love to claim that I never thought I would be “that mom” that loves making themed food for their kids but I kinda always knew I would be like this. My parents were kind enough to join us for dinner then answer our door for us so we both could go out trick or treating with the kiddos.
Best quality photo I got from the night, it was cold but still really fun.
Already scheming about what our family costume will be next year.
Our sweet little Emmy is now 18 months old and has officially moved from baby into full toddler. Emmy remains joyful and so much fun but much more sass has moved in as well.
Not too much has changed for Emmy in terms of eating in the last three months. Possibly the biggest change is that we moved her from her high chair to a booster seat at the table, she also continues to be very messy eating most things.
On Emmy’s half birthday we had birthday cake pancakes to celebrate.
Emmy has officially moved to just one nap a day (finally) so I feel like we can do so much more. Her one nap a day is rarely more than two hours so I am always wishing for more. Overnight sleep remains the same about 6:30 PM to 6:00 AM. There have been a few nights where she wakes up when she is sick but other than that she is sleeping like a champ.
The area I have seen the most growth in during the last three months is communication. She is saying more and more words as well as yelling no at us often.
Emmy had to alter her routine when big brother started school. She loves riding in the stroller to walk Cannon to school and playing with her friends at his playground.
Snow season has started here and luckily Emmy seems to enjoy it this year. Last year she was not about being out in the cold. Sledding and playing in the snow gets her approval now.
Emmy also gained a few stamps in her passport with our trip to Germany, Switzerland and Austria
We spent a lot of time trying to squeeze all the fun we could out of summer.
Emmy loves going to the pool, splash pads and playgrounds. We are already dreaming of next summer.
Past Monthly Updates
Now that I have finally finished my recaps of our European Travels it seemed appropriate to share some of our favorites from our International travel with the kids.
One of the things I was most surprised about loving was Rick Steves travel guide for Germany. My parents offered us their 2016 version since they had bought an updated 2019 version. At first I though what is the point, you can just google anything you wanted to know. But while on the road this thing was GOLD. While we were in towns we could look up anything we wanted and read about what we were seeing. I don’ think I will travel again without one of his guides.
We bought new travel Strollers for the trip and they worked really well. They were cheap and light so I was worried they wouldn’t hold up against all the walking and cobble stone streets. Surprisingly the strollers held up great! We also got rain covers for them which was critical for our soggy trip.
Another favorite that was really helpful was our Fire Tablets. Sometimes the kids just needed some down time or distractions while traveling. The kid safe cases work so well, I can’t say how many times these have been chucked onto the ground and they haven’t broken or scratched.
We also had kid safe headphones that Emmy won’t really wear but work great for Cannon.
Emmy’s Patagonia Puffer Jacket was also key for our trip. It rained and was often chilly. This jacket kept her dry and warm and packs down small when we want to stow it away.
This jacket was actually Cannon’s when he was this age and has held up so well. Cannon wore it for over a year and it still looks new!
This year we are getting both Cannon and Emmy this coat.
I hope you are having a wonderful Friday!
For our second day in Austria we decided to drive down to Innsbruck.
We were excited to see more of Austria and visit the Alpine Zoo that we had heard great things about. We had trouble finding parking that would work for the RV, we eventually found something that was just for a couple hours near the university.
We walked into town and enjoyed a delicious lunch.
After lunch Cory took Cannon with him to look for longer parking while Emmy and I walked through town.
The downtown area was so gorgeous we could have spent way more time there.
We made it to the river where there were views of the mountains.
Unfortunately Cory and Cannon didn’t find any parking that could fit the RV for long enough to visit the zoo.
This was the first time having the RV was a liability, better planning would have helped us, we just assumed we would find parking. We decided to throw in the towel . We found a little park to give the kids a chance to play before we needed to get on the road back to Germany.
The next morning we drove into Munich to return the RV where we caught a ride to the airport. Our flight wasn’t until the next day but we didn’t want to lug around the carseats and extra luggage with us. The Munich airport offers a luggage storage service where you can leave your luggage for up to several days. After dropping our extra gear we caught the train into Munich to get to our Airbnb. We got settled into our room and were ready to explore Munich. We took a bus over to the English Garden. There is a wave right at the entrance of the park that is popular with surfers.
It was odd and really cool to see people surfing in the middle of the city. After watching the surfers for a little while the kids were ready to play so we found a park where they could have some fun.
These two really are best friends.
After we had our chance to play we walked through Munich’s Old Town.
Munich was beautiful and like most places I wished we had more time there.
We made it to the Marienplatz in time to watch the Glockenspiel.
The kids thought the clock was pretty fun to watch.
We then found a little family run Italian restaurant for dinner, the food was amazing.
After dinner we picked up treats for the next mornings breakfast.
Germans are serious about their pastries!
Back to the Marienplatz to catch the S-BAHN (subway) back to our rental.
The next morning we had to wake up very early to catch a bus, to the train to the airport. Getting out of Munich was quite the task, we had to wait in (long) lines many times to have our passports checked four times. Even with what we thought was plenty of time we still almost missed our flight.
We loved our adventure as a family but were ready to get home to our puppy, house and normal life.
Even though we had to compromise a lot of what we did because the kids were so little I wouldn’t change a thing!
European Adventure Posts
After our time in Switzerland we drove to Fussen, Germany so we could visit Neuschwanstein Castle.
“The Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.The castle is located in Bavaria, near the town of Fussen. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, also known as the “Fairytale King”. See our Neuschwanstein Castle Tour page.King Ludwig was a great admirer and supporter of Richard Wagner, the world-renowned composer. Neuschwanstein Castle was built in his honor and many rooms in the castle’s interior were inspired by Wagner’s characters. The third floor particularly reflects Ludwig’s admiration of Wagner’s operas.The Singers Hall, which occupies the entire fourth floor of Neuschwanstein also contains characters from Wagner’s operas. Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Castle” referencing of “the Swan Knight” one of the Wagner’s characters.” – Source
We woke up early and drove to town to look for coffee and breakfast. We then drove just a few minutes to the parking lot for Neuschwanstein. We made the decision to not take the strollers because we weren’t sure what the condition of the trail to the castle was. That was a mistake, we got about a third of the way up the hill and Cannon refused to walk any further. I didn’t think I could make it carrying him all the way so we caught a horse drawn carriage.
It’s a pretty long hike so it was a good choice to catch a ride.
The castle really is like a fairytale.
The castle almost didn’t feel real it was so pretty.
We walked around the castle and up to a bridge, Cannon had found his hiking legs at this point.
There were some amazing views along the way.
We walked around the courtyard but opted not to take the tour of the inside.
My brother had just visited last December and said the tour was boring. I am sure it would be amazing to see the inside but the kids were hungry and tired so we marched back down the hill (Cannon can apparently handle down hill hiking).
We went back to Fussen and found a nice little Indian Restaurant to have lunch.
After lunch we drove back out of Germany to Austria to take care of some boring essentials like groceries and laundry.
The next day we visited the Ehrenberg Castle Ruins. We were really excited to see a real piece of history and explore the ruins.
“Built in 1296, Ehrenberg Castle offers everything you would expect from a medieval castle, defensive walls, tall towers and a lot of history. The gothic castle complex was home to emperors and kings, princes and tzars. True history was written here. For a long period of time, Ehrenberg could lead a peaceful existence. This changed with the outbreak of the religious wars. Ehrenberg was in the center of wartime battles several times. In 1546, the Protestant Schmalkalden occupied the fortress. In 1552, it was taken by the Elector Moritz of Saxony. In 1632 the Swedes stopped in front of its walls. In 1703, Ehrenberg fell into the hands of the Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession. From 1716 to 1717, Ehrenberg became the exile of Russian Tsarevich Alexei, who fled from his father, Tsar Peter the Great. Even in the Napoleonic Wars, it played a role. Beginning in 1971, Fridolin Schennach from Reutte took over the condemned ruin and initiated a rescue operation with numerous other idealists. – Source
There was a really cute playground at the base of the hill that the kids enjoyed while we got tickets to ride the tram to the ruin.
Cannon and Emmy enjoyed the ride up.
The ruins were breathtaking and it was fun to think of all of the history that happened there.
We then traveled back to the valley where there was a wonderful Austrian restaurant.
It made me laugh that the beer on the menu was cheeper than the soda.
We had the best time in Bavaria, it was amazing to see the castles. On to Innsbruck, Munich then home!
European Adventure Posts
In researching for our trip we decided to stay in a small town near Interlaken was where we wanted to visit in Switzerland. We wanted to avoid the big cities and experience the Swiss Alps. We drove in from Rust, Germany to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. The drive wasn’t bad, it was just unfortunate that it was dark and we missed some amazing views along the way!
We made our way into town and found the best little coffee shop.
Even with unfortunate cloud cover and rain it was so enchanting!
We walked through town checking out the sites then made our way to the tram, to get to the train to Murren.
“Mürren is a Swiss mountain village at the foot of the Schilthorn peak, which is accessible by cable car. Featured in a James Bond film, the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant contains the Bond World 007 exhibit and has views of Mont Blanc. Near Mürren is the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with its subterranean, glacial Trümmelbach Falls. Themed trails on the Allmendhubel peak include the Flower Panorama and North Face paths” – Source
We rode up a cable car to get to the train station.
Murren is a cute little town with fantastic views. It would have been incredible without the cloud cover and rain!
We spent some time checking out the town and trying not to get soaked.
Everything was so gorgeous I wish I could see it in the summer and winter as well!
We were planning and so excited to take the kids to this alpine playground we saw online. It looked unreal it was so beautiful. We didn’t end up going because it was raining so much and was cold, we didn’t think it was a good idea to let the kids get completely soaked and then have a long commute back down the mountain.
We had lunch at a cute hotel with fantastic views, the kids had schnitzel while Cory and I shared fondue.
After lunch we traveled back to Lauterbrunnen. The rain had mostly let up and we found another playground to let the kids enjoy.
Walking a little further into the valley we found a tall waterfall that you can hike up behind.
We weren’t sure how far we would make it, the kids had already had a long day but we figured we could turn around at any point.
The hike was steep but fun, then you entered a long dark tunnel into the rock. The the hike got very slippery so I was holding onto Cannon’s hand and trying not to crush it.
Cannon hiked the entire way up and back, which was amazing. Cory also gets a gold star for carrying Emmy up and back.
Again the views were incredible.
After our hike it was time to hit the road, we had castles to explore! We left a little earlier so we got to enjoy driving in the Swiss countryside.
Cory was even generous enough to drive through Lucern to get some coffee and to see the famous Chapel Bridge.
Then it was back to Germany!
European Adventure Posts
We decided to add a theme park to our trip so we would be sure the kids had some time to run around and have some magical fun. Europa Park really hit that spot for us. I was so surprised about how magical and beautiful the park was. Europa park is large and famous for it’s amazing roller coasters so I thought it would be like a Six Flags but it was much more like Disneyland with the theming and trees and decorations.
We stayed in the resort’s RV park which had a cute old west theme. It was a very nice stay with plenty of restaurants, shops and facilities available.
A short walk got us directly to the main gate of the park.
There was no wait to get in and the “main street” entrance was beautifully decorated for fall.
The park is broken up into themed areas based on countries.
The kids had fun just running around the park.
There were lots of cute little boat rides and suspended rides that gave us beautiful views of the park.
Ireland was specifically built for little kids and had a large indoor (multilevel) playhouse and giant slides. We could have stayed there all day!
There was an enchanted forest area that was adorable.
There were even some rides that Cannon could do all on his own. I was nervous that he would jump out but he did great and loved it!
I was most excited about taking Cannon on a ride called “Arthur” it is a very fun ride that Cannon was just barley tall enough for. I was worried that it may be too scary for him but he loved it and so did I!
He actually rode it three times total before we were done.
Given that Cannon had just gotten taller than 40 inches he could do a lot of rides at Emmy couldn’t.
There was still plenty of things for Emmy to enjoy.
The theming is just beautiful.
There was plenty to do all together as well.
Cory and I didn’t get to do many of the big roller coasters but they looked amazing. We agreed that we need to come back when the kids are teens so we can ride everything together.
After two days in the park we still hadn’t done everything but it was time to move on to Switzerland. We had a nice dinner in the park then it was time to get back to the RV and leave Germany.
European Adventure Posts
Our travel day included an Uber to the train station then lugging all of our things and the kiddos through the station to the lower levels where the high speed trains are.
The train ride went smoothly and we had wonderful Germans who shared our table gave us advice on what to visit during our travels.
When we arrived in Berlin we ate lunch at the train station then grabbed a cab and headed out to where we were picking up our Motorhome.
When we told people we were traveling by RV a few people thought we were crazy. We are so glad we traveled this way rather than renting a car or trying to get around by train. The kids loved having a place they were used to and we loved not having to pack up all the time. We also liked that we could “eat in” more often, eating out gets old when you do it all day for almost three weeks.
The kids had fun checking out the property, playing with the chickens and exploring the RV. Once we were on the road we hit a local grocery store. The kids had done so well being cooped up traveling all day so we didn’t want to ask them to sit still in a restaurant. We found a very cute playground where we could have a picnic.
After dinner we loaded the kids into their carseats (they both fall asleep easily in the car) and drove to Nuremberg.
We found a great place to park overnight just outside the city and settled in for the night.
A quick breakfast then off to catch the train into Nuremberg. I was so excited to see this city, it felt just like I wanted Germany to be.
“Nuremberg, a city in northern Bavaria, is distinguished by medieval architecture such as the fortifications and stone towers of its Altstadt (Old Town). At the northern edge of the Altstadt, surrounded by red-roofed buildings, stands Kaiserburg Castle. The Hauptmarkt (central square) contains the Schöner Brunnen, the gilded “beautiful fountain” with tiers of figures, and Frauenkirche, a 14th-century Gothic church.” – Source
There is way too much to share from our day but it was like a fairytale.
We walked from the train station directly across the street into old town.
We did a ton of walking and checking out the sites. We then found our way to the Hauptmarkt, where the famous Christmas markets are held.
Cannon loved exploring Schöner Brunnen, a 14th century fountain.
The fountain has a gold ring that when turned three times is supposed to bring luck.
We then caught a tram tour of the town so we could see some sites outside of the main walk.
After our tour we went on the search for lunch. We found the cutest little local restaurant called Bratwursthausle.
Nuremberg is famous for their bratwurst, tiny little pinky sized sausages, they were delicious and so was the potato salad (very different than American potato salad).
Terrible photo but the inside of the restaurant was really cute.
After lunch we climbed the hill up to the imperial castle.
“Nuremberg Castle is a group of medieval fortified buildings on a sandstone ridge dominating the historical center of Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany. The castle, together with the city walls, is considered to be one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications.” – Source
We spent some time exploring the castle on foot, there were incredible views.
We would have liked to have taken a tour but the kids were DONE with getting in and out of their strollers and not getting to run free.
It started to rain so we made quick tracks back to the train station and back to the RV.
We had dinner in the RV then settled the kids in so we cold drive to Rust, Germany.
Up next, Europa Park!
European Adventure Posts