Cousin Maddy Comes to Visit

In August, Jake’s niece, Madelynne, came to visit all the way from Michigan. She was a lifesaver of help while she was here, just like the last time she came!

Flashback to 2013:


No one ever accused my babies of being skinny!


Last time Maddy was here, she put together a fun “Baby Olympics” competition, featuring such legit sports as baby diapering, a timed stroller run, and best dressed baby contest– obviously, I won.


This time around, Samantha and Amelia were a lot more mobile and talkative (read: more exhausting). They clung to Maddy from the get-go and had the best time with their cousin!


On my end, it was nothing short of amazing having Maddy’s help. While Jake was at work, Maddy helped cook, clean, dress, and feed the girls and attended their normal activities, like My Gym, with me. With the extra set of hands, I almost didn’t know what to do with myself! Maddy also babysat for us several times and took the girls to the pool with Jake almost every day.


We went on a shopping outing so that Maddy could buy some new school clothes while she was here. The girls made a quick detour to the dinosaur section while Maddy was trying on outfits.


Samantha one handed!


Amelia loves “shopping.” IMG_8343

At home, the girls loved having Maddy read to them, do arts and crafts, make zuchinni muffins, and do some gardening. As the guest of honor, the girls let Maddy pick our first ripe mini pineapple we’ve grown in our garden. We only got a 1/4 inch chunk each, but man, was it the best pineapple we’ve ever tasted!


Poor Maddy had to be squished between the girls whenever we went somewhere.

Near the end of her trip, we all went to hang out at the beach in Oceanside and went to Legoland the next day.



Amelia checks in, suitcase in hand.



Chowing down.


Normally when we take the girls out to eat or to a hotel, it feels like way more of a hassle than just staying at home. With Maddy there, however, Jake and I were actually able to relax a bit and be on “vacation.”



On the pier.




Highlight: Jake and I eating breakfast together in the morning, while Maddy stayed with the snoozing girls in the hotel! By far our best hotel experience with the girls so far.

In the morning, it was Legoland time!


Since we’d never been to the waterpark portion, we decided to hit that first. I pretty much just sat back on a beach chair while Jake and Maddy took the girls in the wave pool, the tubing river, and down the slides.



Amelia and Maddy.


Samantha and Amelia spotted a log ride with a pretty intense-looking drop, and of course, wanted to go– against my wishes. When the girls returned, visibly shaking and with ghostly white faces, I knew I should have stuck to my guns!

Maddy and Jake recounted how the girls, sandwiched between them, were excited about the ride on the way up, but screamed hysterically on the way down and throughout the big SPLASH! It took a minute for both sobbing girls to calm down as the log rounded the corner, but after a bit, Samantha calmed down and announced she wanted to go, “Again! Again!”

Amelia screamed, “Noooooooooo!!!!” in protest. Just as the log ride was approaching the end, the ride made a “click click” sound on the track, similar to the click you hear when the ride is going up the hill. As soon as the girls heard the click of the track, they thought they were going up (and thus DOWN) again.

According to Jake and Maddy, Samantha and Amelia immediately turned to each other, clutched each other for dear life, and screamed their heads off in protest! That priceless imagery makes me wish I was there! My poor little wet koalas!

Samantha attached to Maddy after a traumatizing log ride.


After that, the girls opted to go on some tamer waterslides.



The water park was a blast…mostly because I experienced it sitting under an umbrella in a lounge chair sipping a smoothie!

After a morning at the waterpark, we spent the rest of the day sweating in the regular park.



Waiting in line.


I thought for sure that the girls would scream throughout the pirate ship ride that they begged to go on. Much to my surprise, they had no fear.

The girls are on the very back left, sandwiched between Jake and Maddy. Just watching this ride makes me sick.

The girls’ two favorite rides: the airplane and helicopter.





Considering I did basically no work the entire trip, our Legoland adventure was highly enjoyable.

We are so grateful Maddy was able to come out and we all had a big reality check the next day when she flew home. Luckily, per the girls’ request, we’ve already booked her for next summer. Something to look forward to!

Come again soon, Cousin Maddy!

Lots of love,


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