I hate to break it to you, but your friends, even your true friends, are not all that interested in what your children are up to. That doesn't mean they don't "care" about your kids (though they might not) but they really don't need to hear about them all the time. Especially if they don't have children of their own. (I was realizing this the other day, when it struck me that a large number of the friends from my past that I still stay in touch with (electronically) are childless. This can often put a damper on what I do share in emails.)
This is doubly true of pets, though perhaps you can join a cat-fancier or dog-fancier clique, where story trading is encouraged. However, if your friends (or co-workers!) do not have pets, they may not be able to even pretend to be interested.
And this is triply true for your vacations. Your friends probably are genuinely pleased you enjoyed yourself, but unless you truly are the "most interesting man in the world," stories of your vacation should be kept simple and focus on a few key events. In all my years, I've only encountered a single person who actually wanted a full travelogue. Try to polish your anecdotes so they last 30 seconds or less. Saving everything up for one end-of-year letter enclosed with your Holiday Card is also acceptable.
You can thank me later.