Swimming Classes, Easter & Oh yeah, we’re moving again!

Heyyyyy hey! How is it going? This recap is about to be long and jam-packed! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Speaking of jumping in…. Quinn started swim classes on March 21st. How about that segue? They don’t call me segue Sally over here for nothin’. Ok, they don’t call me that.

Anyway! This was right before her first class. 🥰

We are doing drop in classes through a local swim school. How cah-ute is the inside?

We have had a blast!!! Quinn really enjoys it, and she has the best naps after. The teachers focus on safety and general introduction to the water. They do fun activities too like guiding the babies around in a canoe or putting them down a makeshift water slide! We try to do one session a week right now.

For a fun little snack to recharge, I made Quinn baked plantains with cinnamon. I actually never realized how darn delicious plantains were until I made these!

I decided to step up DJ’s lunch sandwich and made a caprese one with fresh basil, pesto, mozzarella, tomato and balsamic drizzle.

We’ll be back to PB & J tomorrow 🤪.

For dinner, I made Quinn a pasta with homemade pesto sauce. I can’t remember specifically what I used for it, but something like avocado, vegan yogurt, an Italian seasoning blend, greens and maybe nutritional yeast.

March 23rd, I started the day with some of this Chia Squeeze in my oatmeal. I am not usually big on cherry flavored things, but I very much enjoyed this! I used it over several days just to add a boost of nutrition and flavor to my oats.

March 24th, I spent a good chunk of the morning planning Quinn’s bday. I dropped her off at daycare then I went to the venue where we are having the party in person and ironed out some final details. (It’d be tough to have at our townhouse since we don’t have anywhere for guests to park).

As soon as that was figured out, I picked up Quinn. She had a nap at daycare and was ready for some fun! I took her to Cafe O’Play – a place recommended to us recently by Gigi.

This is a giant play area for kids (think McDonald’s play areas from when we grew up with on steroids). Do they still have those, btw? Cafe O’ Play also has a cafe with tons of food options and surprisingly good coffee.

I grabbed an O’Play au lait then took my girl to the toddler area. Her hat is too small now if I fold it, so this is how we wear it now 😄.

She ventured around playing with the different toys, but watching the other kids entertained her more than anything.

For dinner I made her tempeh (one of her favorites) with brussels and yellow squash.

For DJ and myself, I made stuffed peppers with beef. Vegan cheese for me!

I was eager to show DJ the land of Cafe O’Play, so we went back the next day on March 25th. It’s really easy to make reservations online.

I went down some of the large slides with Quinn on my lap- she loved it, and definitely may be a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

I saw this easy activity recently where you put ball pit balls in a muffin tin and cover them with tape. I tried it out the morning of March 26th. It kept Quinn occupied for a little bit! She was more interested in the tape than anything.

That afternoon, we went to Layla’s fourth birthday party (my good friend Clair’s daughter). I just can’t believe she’s four. I feel like I was just meeting her and remember holding her when she was a little nugget. (Yes, I’m 100000% that person that says “I remember when you were *this* big!”). I also get more emotional even over other kids’ birthdays now that I have my own.

Aunt Clair showing Quinnie the new baby ducks they bought!

How adorable are these party favors for the kids?! These little stuffed puppies come with a cozy blanket and adoption certificate. Fun idea!!

For dinner that evening, I made Quinn kiwi, mushrooms and black eyed peas with some of the serenity kids beef pack over the peas for flavor (thank you, Kori, for the idea to use the pouches as a sauce on foods!).

I made DJ and me shrimp salads. I used vegan Violife feta for mine (the best vegan feta!).

Quinn adores Moose. They are two peas in a pod. They love chasing each other around the kitchen and our center island. DJ had a Rhodesian Ridgeback growing up and knew they were incredible family dogs. He aways hoped we would get one, which is why I surprised him with Moose for our anniversary 1.5 years ago. Moose could not be more loving, gentle, patient and protective of Quinn. It’s the sweetest thing!

I made Quinn a chia seed oatmeal with berries and peanut butter the morning of March 29th. She didn’t like the chia .. anything with a fine grainy texture she doesn’t seem to much enjoy. Quinoa, chia and couscous have not been a hit.

I got sent home from work early on March 30th due to low census, so I got to pick up Moose man early!

For dinner that evening, I had Banza spaghetti with vegan butter, vegan parmesan cheese, red pepper and a glass of non-alcoholic Giesen wine.

March 31st was a surprisingly chilly day. I got Quinnie all bundled then we ran a couple errands together.

April 1st we started the day with a gorgeous family walk!

There were crazy high winds later that day that scared Moosey. He sought refuge in our closet, where a sleeping Quinn (in the carrier) and I kept him company till things calmed a bit.

Then it was time to get ready for the evening!

Off to The Farm we go!!! We had to take three or four detours to find one that worked since there were trees down everywhere after the storm- crazy! Worth it though to see our fam, especially those visiting from out of town! This evening Gordie made insanely good pork chops. We had all the fixings with a delicious salad, green beans and a baked potato.

Funny story that evening- so we had our diaper delivery coming the next day (we use a Honest diaper subscription), and we were short just a few diapers for the evening. We had a ton of swim diapers though, so I decided instead of buying more we could just use the swim ones till delivery. Welllll, while at the farm, we discovered swim diapers do not hold pee apparently! Thankfully there were extra non-swim diapers at the farm we could use, and we just dried Quinn’s pants, but yeah we learned that lesson the hard way! 😅.

April 2nd DJ, Quinn and I went to Nervous Dog cafe. We brought her toys (the quieter ones, ha), and got some delicious caffeinated beverages. It was a peaceful, wonderful little family date out.

I wanted to grab a family photo and maybe should have found a place not directly looking into the sun 😄. Oh well!!

April 3rd, I used a daycare morning to prep food for the week. I used to feel very conflicted about taking advantage of the the unused daycare days when I was off work. What I discovered is if I use just a couple hours in the morning, I’m often able to get in a workout and get chores done 100x faster than I would otherwise. This makes me much more present with Quinn the whole rest of the day, and the cherry on top is she seems to genuinely enjoy daycare while she’s there. They do so many fun activities with her & she’s a social butterfly.

Anyway, this day I made this half baked harvest dish called Coq Au Vin. It’s essentially meatballs with mushrooms cooked in a white wine reduction. I didn’t have ground chicken the recipe called for, so I used ground turkey instead. I also used regular instead of crimini mushrooms. I love mushroom but cannot get on board with the crimini flavor. The recipe had little bits of bacon in it, which were a nice addition. I served it with French fries for dinner that evening (Ore Ida are the bestttt). It was overall unique in flavor. We enjoyed it well enough, but not sure I’ll make again?

Present day moment: I’m writing this in bed while Quinn is sleeping on me while eating yogurt. (I’m eating the yogurt, to be clear 🤪). I tried to put my yogurt on top of my headboard but missed the ledge, and it fell on my head, so pretty sure I have yogurt in my hair as I type this. Good times 😅.

Here’s a pic from the week from Marie. I love how happy Moose seems to be when he’s over there. We have to board him with her while we’re in Florida, and we’re going to miss him soooooooo much, but it helps to know he’ll be at his second home with Aunt Marie.

April 4th I tried to film a day in the life of a work day, and you guys, I don’t think the vlogging life is for me 😅. I was so embarrassed watching the videos back. I don’t even know why, but I don’t think I can bring myself to publish them 😂. I’ll stick to my Stone Age form of blogging for now.

April 5th Gigi came with us to Quinn’s swim class! So fun to have here there. We ordered Piada for lunch and had the best convos, per usual.

April 7th was an unexpected date day! DJ had off work, but daycare was still open- which never happens. They’re usually aligned with the holiday schedule. Sooooo we decided to drop off Quinn, have an impromptu date in the morning and then pick up Quinn.

We got our girl ready for daycare together. It was PJ day, so we had to put her in her little elephant robe, of course!

Once we dropped her off, we cleaned the house and knocked out the big chores. I also made Quinn’s Easter basket. I included the Easter Sunday Berenstain Bears book (not Berenstein, a commonly thought misspelling according to the Mandela Effect- you can go down a real rabbit hole with all that!), plushy eggs, a bunny Burt’s bees onesie, creamies, teethers and some pouches.

Then time for our little at home date! I still can’t have donuts with the dairy allergy, but I felt like the morning called for them, so I ordered some for Deej.

Jubilee is a nearby spot that has some good cake donuts.

I also made us some mimosas!

For my breakfast, I had avocado toast with an egg topped with crushed red pepper and HOT HONEY. You guysssss I can never eat avocado toast again without hot honey! Ok that’s a lie, I’m a millennial, I’d eat avocado toast in any form, buttttt still- this is a game changer!!!!

We tried to watch an episode of Succession, but we’re both pretty lost, having a hard time remembering where it left off. We decided we’d watch a recap of the previous season on YouTube or something before diving into the next season.

It was a fairly nice day, although a bit chilly. But I took Moose out on a run! I so enjoy my runs with him now that’s he’s old enough to jog along beside me.

After the run, I speedily pumped then we went to a house showing, shown by the the best realtor around- Gigi! I told DJ about three weeks ago that I’m finally in the space and frame of mind that if the perfect home came up for us that I could stomach another move. Anyway, we love our townhouse, but there’s just not enough yard for our 93 lb. Moose and for kids eventually. Well, y’all, that day the most perfect-for-us home plopped in our laps. It’s close to where we live now, so we don’t have to uproot our lives either. We put in an offer that weekend, and guess what- it’s ours 🥹. We found out on Easter! The way this all came together makes me feel this was entirely in God’s plans. I can’t wait to share more. We move in July, and I feel so at peace with this decision.

After the showing we picked up our girl and had lunch together. I made us cod over couscous with acorn squash and broccoli.

I accidentally got Quinn to 100 foods with couscous (I was planning on it being steak). I thought she had two foods left to get to 100, but turns out it was only one. We decided we would say the steak was a celebration for making it to 100 foods! (Also the app I used is called Solid Starts- can’t recommend it enough. It shows how to serve food for the different age ranges, provides precautions and even shared recipes for incorporating new foods.)

Saturday April 8th, we put Quinn in some fun spring colors for her 11 month photo. These pics are near impossible to get at this point. You should see the “blooper reel” on my phone. It’s simultaneously chaotic, funny and cute, so I can’t really get myself to delete many of the pics hah.

Quinn was much more interested in playing with this paper manual and Moose than getting her monthly pic. DJ kept reassuring her “only one more month of this, sweet pea!” Lol.

After Quinn’s first nap, Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat from Sutton’s Bay popped in to visit. Quinn didn’t miss a beat warming back up to them after not seeing them since September.

They so sweetly brought her this adorable Easter basket! Good job, Quinn, on reaching for the card first 😄.

“Just making sure this doesn’t have dairy mom!”

That sweet bunny above says the traditional nighttime prayer that my sister and I used to say before bed each night as kids. So special! I am going to start saying it with Quinn too.

For lunch we ordered Aladdin’s. LOVE this place. The mujadara salad with a side of spicy cauliflower & extra hot sauce is the way to go! Trust meeee. Although you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu in my opinion.

We got Quinnie changed into some more weather appropriate clothes and headed out for a big walk with all the dogs (AT and UP have a new puppy named Archie who is so adorable and gave me flashbacks of puppy Moose with the boundless energy!).

Quinn took a nice nap in my carrier while we showed them our usual trail.

We then took them to see our land and let the dogs run around. They had a ball, but got very muddy 🥴.

That evening we went to The Farm for steaks, corn on the cob and sweet potato fries! Watching this girl chow down on corn on the cob was stinking adorable.

And she was obsessed, and I mean obsessed, with the steak her Grandpa made. She ate an entire filet herself. (Of course Moose helped with anything that made it on the floor, but all in all, the majority actually did make it into her stomach). I looked at Gigi and said, “no wonder I craved meat so badly in pregnancy!”.

Then Sunday was Easter and our first day back to church! I woke up so excited to go back. He is risen!!!!

I got us dressed in our respective Easter outfits (thank you to my SIL, Renee, for my dress!).

Here’s Quinn giving me some bunny ears to match with the occasion 😄 🐰.

I tried to time up her nap so we could go to the 930 service, but she slept until 933. We decide to still try to make it. We were a smidge late, but it wasn’t a big deal. We checked her into the nursery, and they said she did really well! Her separation anxiety seems to be improving.

When we got home, we did Easter baskets!!

She found the teethers and it was game over! We also opened her adorable basket from Gigi too.

Showing Moose her favorite teether crackers.

For lunch, we went to Beau’s on the River for their Easter buffet and met up with my Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat.

This girl was due for a nap, so I was a bit nervous- but she did wonderfully!

My Aunt and I got these Michelada mocktails. Oh these were so good and nice and spicy! My new favorite brunch drink for sure!

Buffets can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming for my kind who want to try everything lol. This was a great Easter spread- there was prime rib, lamb, waffles, a salad station with tons of different salad options like a farro or quinoa mix, smoked salmon, shrimp, other hot fish options, roasted potatoes, an omelette station, a mouth watering dessert station … and the list goes on!

I had just about everything I could that was dairy free! The lamb and roasted veggies tasted particularly delicious.

Quinnie enjoyed her own little omelette, fruit and green beans!

We had a great view of the water below. Here’s Aunt Terry showing it to Quinn while I finished my meal 😋.

Quinn was tuckered after the big brunch, but we still managed to get a few family pics before she totally conked out.

It was tough to say goodbye to Aunt Terry and Uncle Pat, but we‘ll certainly treasure those weekend memories with them 🥰.

Rare sighting of a Quinnie Q fast asleep in the car.

We then went on an afternoon walk together.

In the late afternoon, we went to Sissy and Poppy’s house to say hi to the fam for Easter! Since Quinn’s leggings from the morning were basically tie-dye, we changed her into her Easter onesie and added a little bow. She had fun taking every single toy out of their play bin and then scurrying off to find a sharp corner in the room (thankfully she never successfully reached said sharp corners, but she sure has an eye for them 😅). (I use that emoji a heck of a lot more now that I’m a parent 😂).

Quinn was spoiled with Easter goodies from her Poppy and Sissy too 🐣.

And that wraps a very special first Easter for our Quinn. We can’t wait to keep going back to church too. Now that we’ve done it once, it feels so much more manageable. Plus it will force me to wear real human clothes at least once a week 😄.

Questions for you:

– Any funny examples of when you learned something the “hard way”?

– What’s a food you just don’t like?



17 thoughts on “Swimming Classes, Easter & Oh yeah, we’re moving again!

  1. I was just talking to my co-workers about those fast food restaurant play places and whether they’re still around! Our Chic-fil-A has one, but they’re in the process of building a new one and I’m curious if they’ll include one or not.

    I’ve been obsessed with the Chili Lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s on my avocado toast; seriously the absolute best! I put hot honey on pizza and have been making a sauce to go on ramen using a combination of hot honey, liquid aminos, and peanut butter powder–so yummy!

    No gonna lie, I get jealous every time you mention Piada in a post. I tried it for the first time last summer while visiting Minneapolis and was instantly hooked, but I don’t have one anywhere near where I live. 🙁

    That video with Quinn and Moose is adorable! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. So funny you were just talking about it too! I wonder the reason they aren’t as popular anymore.

      Oh my gosh- I have that seasoning in my pantry but don’t think I’ve yet opened it!!! Going to try now for sure 😍. Thank you for the delicious ideas !! Also genius with the ramen sauce 😋. Writing that down !

      Well if you ever visit northeast Ohio, I’ll treat ya! 😄 It’s been quite the life saver with the dairy / soy restrictions .

      Awww of course !! Thanks for stopping in, Bex!

  2. You look so gorgeous as does Quinn! I just adore this post. CONGRATULATIONS on your home! I am thrilled for you. You all deserve it.

    Thank you for that little shoutout! I seriously came up with our dinner tonight and planned to use her Serenity pouch as a sauce. We are so similar!

    That indoor play area looks like a blast! I want to get out and do so more with Ansley. There is a local Strawberry Festival that I plan for us to attend as a family. Summer bucket list includes the zoo and the aquarium. 🙂

    Thank you for taking the time to share all of this! It’s a bright spot in my day.

    1. Aw thank you , Kori!! 🥰

      Haha too funny!!! I’m going to make a Banza pasta we have in the pantry tonight and thought of you- we’re low on groceries but hoping she’ll be up for it mixed with a salmon pouch sauce ?! Fingers crossed!

      That sounds like a wonderful summer bucket list 😍. We’re going to the zoo in a few weeks & cannot wait to see Quinn’s reaction to the love animals!

      Aw that means so much! And your comment is a bright spot in mine 🙂

  3. Exceptionally beautiful and fun photos and videos!!! Love reading all of these and even more wonderful for us is we get to be a part of so many of these activities, love love having the three of you, and Moose, close by! Love, Gigi

    1. Aw so glad you enjoyed reading, Gigi 🥰 we are so thankful you’re nearby to make these awesome memories with – bring on a fun summer!!!

  4. Love all the photos and you guys looked great in your easter outfits!!
    Also congrats on your new home! We have tried here but i guess we don’t earn enough and the prices for everything have skyrocketed! 😩

    Anyway, congrats again, love that you guys still get to have your dates even if at home and get out of the house every once in a while 😃

    Hope you have a great week!

    1. Thank you so much, Rossy. It is WILD out there. I think if we had even tried a week or two later it may have been a different situation with the house- things are getting so hyper competitive again! Hope the right thing comes up for you all soon ❤️.

      Have a great week too, friend!! Thanks for stopping in!!

  5. Well, I’m back to finish the rest of the post I skimmed thru to find Quinn munching down on her corn cob. 🙂 I love all the pictures Mackenzie – what a beautiful little girl. Quinn is perpetually smiling, whether she is by herself, visiting with Moose or cuddling with you or other family members. Congrats on getting your first house and your upcoming move in July. I’m glad you will still be close to family who will appreciate watching Quinn (and future siblings) grow up. Moose is 93 pounds … wow!

    1. Aww thanks for stopping back in ☺️. And thank you for your sweet words!! Yesterday a new daycare teacher remarked how friendly she is- she just loves loves people and animals so much! I feel blessed to have such a sweet girl. I say that even as she’s entering those stubborn toddler years 😉 hehe!

      Im so glad it doesn’t change much with how close we are to family too! And yep- isn’t that wild?! I thought he was less than that but he’s really filled out since his last visit. Strong, big and protective older brother Quinnie’s got!

      Have a great day, Linda!!

  6. Omg congrats on the new house, love that for y’all! All your food posts look delicious, I’m gonna steal the hot honey avocado toast idea! All of my friends back home in Ohio rave about Aladdin’s, I’m gonna have to try it next time I’m there.

    & it’s sooooooo wild that you mentioned the whole Mandela effect with the Berenstein bears because I was JUST thinking about that today and I’d be willing to bet all the money in the world that it was definitely spelled with an E when we were kids in the 90s!! It’s so crazy.

    Hope all is well!

    1. Diam!! Hi, friend!! Oh I can’t wait for you to try hot honey and avocado toast- just talking about it, I think I’m going to make it for a second breakfast hehe.

      YES!!! Cant wait for you to try it! If you’re ever back I’d love to meet up too & treat you to Aladdin’s if you have the time!!

      No way, what are the odds?! And I thought the same. That stuff really messes with my mind-the other one I was convinced of is Jif was at some point Jiffy !!

      Hope you’re doing well too ☺️

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