Monday, August 29, 2016

UPdate: Onward an UPward!

Guys, I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time.

Milo's doing well, we had his 1 year appointment and he is almost entirely average (maybe a bit of a big noggin and a skinny bod, but overall regular and healthy). He's learned how to walk and rarely crawls anymore. He loves answering questions ("Dah!" for yes and silence for no, "Noinoinoi" for wanting and he just mumbles words to himself all day long). He's a real toddler now, no doubt about it. MY BABY IS A TODDLER! holy smokes.

We're still boarding dogs, which has been a nice bit of spending money lately. As the summer is winding down, which I really appreciate because it seems like we've been nonstop since like May, we're getting ready to build our own small company! I don't want to divulge too much, but my goal is to have it launched by the end of the year. We're still in the conceptualizing and planning stages, but I'm really excited about it and I know that we have a lot of support! {THANKS IN ADVANCE}

As we get more information and such, I'll let you guys know. It is entirely possible that this blog will be assimilated into the company blog (or I'll just leave it separate for my own personal ramblings), but we'll see, obviously.

I think that's all for now. Follow me on instagram (@regulardonners) and facebook and snapchat (ellendonner) and twitter (@donnermom).

Miss Ellen

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Minnesota Trip 2016

Now that things have settled a bit...

We just got back from our big trip to Minnesota (the biggest one we've had yet, but like the 6th overall). Milo and I flew United (with only one mishap that had me running from gate B93 to gate B18 in Denver) and Sean took Strider on a very long drive (where he almost died on a cliff because of a spider). We all made it safely and visited some family and then took a mini-trip up to Duluth for the day to see Lake Superior. It was so pretty! Milo loved it. 

Then, after a few days at my in-laws, we took another mini-trip up the the cities to visit our friends the Penny's and their daughter Parker. They swam for a while and we had a barbeque with Bloom and the Smith's and their boys. So fun!

Then we went to the zoo with the Penny's and Sean's brother Brady and his family. Milo loves animals, he kept pointing at every animal he could. Even though he hadn't had a nap, he was so happy, which made things way better. He especially loved the monkeys! Probably cuz he is one.

When we got back to Waseca, more of Sean's siblings and their families were there. Milo loved playing in Grandma and Grandpa's HUGE yard! He started walking around more than crawling and babbling the whole way. He got nice and dirty a few times, which was perfect. 

This is only a very small view of it. Trust me.

Soon enough, we had picked up the camper and were on our way to Forestville State Park for a Donner Family reunion! It was the first time all the siblings had been together since 2008 and, as you could imagine, SO many people had joined the family since then (in total, there were 15 adults, 3 babies, and 2 dogs present for camping). We went on 2 hikes, walked by the river near our sites, and Milo was taken all the way around a few times by various aunts and uncles. We had some really good food and were only rained on at night (which wasn't a problem because camper). 
It was great seeing everyone! 

The Siblings 

Milo and Uncle Jeremiah

Milo and Aurora in the blow-up pool

On a hike

After camping, we said goodbye to a few of the Donner siblings and went back to Waseca where we had a Minnesota birthday party for Milo where he smashed his second 1st birthday cake like a boss (and got tons of fun presents). Also, in case you're wondering, Hy-Vee has some of the most delicious cake. I was thoroughly impressed, as was everyone who had some at the party.

This was Bloom's picture. (THANKS A LOT, BLOOM).

We were considering throwing the high chair in the lake or garbage because it was so messy. HAH.

Sean left the day after the party so he could make it home for sure before we flew in (turns out... too early).  Before Sean left, we went to the park for lunch and then visited his grandmother's grave. It was really special and it was raining when we got there, as if she was crying because she was happy to see us. 

Milo Fox riding a statue fox!

Milo, Daddy and Great-Grandma Grant

Laurelin (Sean's youngest sister) and I completed "Operation B-Town" and redecorated the parent's bathroom. It was great to see how excited Missy was! At first, she thought we'd just folded the towels and put them on the back of the toilet, haha! Laurelin put up the hand-towel hook up all by herself, which was a feat because there was a tiny screw that we didn't have a small enough tool for. 

We also did a good bit of cleaning and throwing away old stuff.

Sean's mom and I also went on a Rochester adventure the day before Milo and I left. It was really nice being able to spend time with her and I know she misses her grandkids a lot, so it was good to have those extra days, even if it meant a little homesickness. 

Our last day was last Thursday and it was truly bittersweet. I was so excited to finally be back in my own home with all my stuff after not having much for so long, but at the same time I knew we'd really miss being there and spending time with our family. 

Missy and Laurelin dropped us off at the airport security line. Let me tell you, the MSP airport is only like 1000% better and easier to get through than SLC. We went through without any problems, everyone was really nice, and I didn't have to go through any unnecessary rigamarole (SLC - shoes off, hands tested, liquids tested, electronics in separate bin, heavy trafficked lines. MSP - shoes on, no testing, TSA Agent helped with the stroller, liquids still tested, electronics still away)

But beyond the airport was a pain in the rear end. Milo and I flew Frontier on the way back and, to say it was uncomfortable and difficult would be an understatement. Their seats are extremely uncomfortable, their tray tables are the size of a postcard, and there are no amenities whatsoever. 

We got to Denver airport just fine, but from then on was the worst. We had a 3 hour layover, which I didn't mind, but when the time was coming to board the airplane, no one was at our gate. So after checking on the app to see where flights were, it was at the next gate down (which I was never notified of, either over intercom, phone notification, or boarding pass change via the app). We were some of the last ones to board.

There was something wrong with the tickets next to me, so a flight attendant sat there for a minute and then left because her connection was too tight in SLC and we were taking forever to leave. So I got the whole row to myself, which was incredible. Milo fell asleep on take-off and it was smooth sailing. 

Then, the worst of it happened. We landed in SLC and were stuck on the tarmac for an extra hour + because there was a broken plane at our gate (because apparently it's impossible to tow an airplane to an unused area to fix it (it's not impossible to tow an airplane, I saw someone else do it)) and we had to use a different gate. When we finally deplaned, I met Sean at baggage claim, where he'd been waiting for 2 hours already. 

Our carseat kept never coming. And never coming. So we talked to the baggage lady for Frontier (who was incredibly nice and helpful) and they'd lost our carseat. UUGH. So we got a loaner from them and they dropped our carseat off after a day and a half and took back their loaner. 

But before we left the parking lot (almost 2 hours after we'd planned to), the pay-parking booth broke on us. They had to pull everyone out of our line and into other lines and we had to finagle our way to the farthest booth to pay double what parking should've been. 

Eventually, after battling construction traffic at 10:30 at night, we made it home and Milo was SO excited to see all the things he remembered. He kept pointing and babbling about every little thing.  

It really is nice to be home and settled for a while. It was also really fun to be away for a while.