Friday, 30 August 2013

hotel review update: anchor inn, twillingate, NL

we stayed at the anchor inn again when we were in twillingate for work. i wanted to update my review because so much has changed since we stayed there last. 

(our sleeping arrangement)

(we no longer pack light)

price: around $110 per night
bathroom: average, with really good water pressure
pool: none
breakfast: so they say they have a continental breakfast, which included one kind of muffin, toast, cereal, and bananas and coffee. but it was $7. unless you eat a lot of toast, you can't really get your money's worth. 
location: perfect for twill
parking: free
notes: the breakfast thing was weird. other than that, we had a really good experience staying here this time. the rooms are obviously updated, which was nice. 

on road trips and hotels with 5 week olds

we just got back from a road trip to twillingate, about four hours away. we stayed at the anchor inn for three nights. 

(relaxing on the bed in the hotel room) 


(our sleeping arrangement)

while jon was at work, Cohen and I watched bad tv at the hotel, went for walks, and read books. when jon got off work every night we would get coffee or visit friends, then go for supper at the hotel. though we were both working (i consider breast-feeding and taking care of baby to be work!), being in beautiful twillingate made it feel like a vacation.

the biggest thing we tried to plan ahead was the sleeping arrangements for baby.  the first time we stayed in a hotel with Cohen, we tried co-sleeping in the giant king bed. that worked really well, but this time we only had a queen bed. the hotel had a travel crib that had barely been used that they offered for us to borrow. when we set up the travel crib we realized that the floor of the crib was almost on the ground. it seemed really inconvenient for me to be picking him up during feedings in the middle of the night. so, we pushed the armchair up to my side of the bed, put our sheet from home on the cushion, and let baby sleep there. whenever Cohen wanted to hang out with me in the middle of the night, i just reached over for him. though i think when we take our work trip next month, he might be too long for the armchair bed.

i actually think Cohen was less fussy than usual during our trip. maybe it's because he was constantly being held by friends we were visiting with or driving in the car. seems like babies really love driving. and being held. when we are home, i try to at least get a few things done around the house, so Cohen spends a little time in his bassinet or bouncy chair throughout the day. in twillingate, Cohen pretty much had my full attention.

this trip, we tried to pack pretty heavy for baby. we brought 20 outfits, 5 blankets, 50 diapers, tons of wipes, etc. and shockingly, we used almost all of it. though looking back, we probably could have left the huge stroller at home, because Cohen is really happy in the ergo.

one thing is for sure. traveling will never be the same for jon and i. and we are so happy with that. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

6 weeks old

Cohen is 6 weeks old today, and I couldn't resist sharing a few more photos. I can't get enough of that cute little face. a few notes about our Cohen-centric lives lately:

- Cohen has gained over three pounds since he was born. pretty good! he is also getting longer and has grown out of some of his newborn clothes

- he slept for four hours straight the other night, which was amazing, and we thought maybe he would start doing that every night. haha. no. he likes to get up every two or three hours to eat.

- j and i are pros at eating out with baby now. we order as soon as the waitress comes to the table, and we ask for the bill ahead of time. sometimes i ask for a takeout container just in case we need to bolt. we still eat out at least a few times a week

- Cohen's fav thing to do is stare into j's eyes. no blinking. for such i long time. it is so sweet, though Cohen does look sort of mad while he stares


we just got back from a three night work trip. we are buried in laundry, but had a great time. the little guy is a great traveller. he spent a lot of time in the ergo.

don't even get me started on how cute he is. he always looks so serious, though he has been giving us fleeting smiles lately. i love being his mom.

Friday, 23 August 2013

reading and feeding

breast-feeding is really time-consuming. i had no idea. our little guy eats every few hours, sometimes for 45 minutes. that's a lot of time for me to sit and read. i am going through magazines like crazy. we ordered ten books from indigo, and we will need to place another order soon at the rate i am reading. i am starting to embrace it instead of think about all the things i am not doing while i sit and feed cohen. what i have read in the past few days:

1. let's pretend this never happened by jenny lawson. soo funny. like, i was laughing out loud at 3 am. i haven't found a book this funny since tina fey's memoir. i recommend

2. let's explore diabetes with owls by david sedaris. also, so funny. i loved that it was short stories and essays. jon and i read a few out loud to each other. we both found the essays hilarious. so good.

3. wild by cheryl strayed. the true memoir about the girl who hiked the pacific crest trail. this book was an oprah book club selection, so it got a lot of publicity. i am currently in the middle of it. i am completely addicted. it's one of those books where you don't want to read it too fast because you don't want it to be over.

Monday, 19 August 2013

on the weekend

(photo op by the stream near our house) 

(taking a bath) 

(coffee time)

i had such a good weekend with my men. we took a few long walks around the neighbourhood. we got lots of good groceries. we drove a few hours to a coffee shop (two whales in port rexton) for brownies, homemade lemonade, ice cream. we hung out with our little man. life is good! 

Friday, 16 August 2013

it's friday

(such a sweetie)

the days are starting to run into each other as i get used to being off work. i really didn't know how i would feel about being home, as i tend towards a workaholic nature. but, actually, i love being home with him. taking care of a newborn is hard work, much harder than any job i have had. but awesome.

we are looking forward to a low-key weekend of hanging around town and eating good food. i am constantly thinking about food these days. i think it's the breast feeding. this afternoon we are reluctantly meeting with a couple potential sitters for cohen for my return to work. i am not very excited about it. really, i only want to leave him with jon at this point. but i know that many people end up loving their sitters, and they become almost like family. i want that for cohen, especially since we have no family less than two plane rides and a two hour drive away. wish us luck!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

our first overnight trip with baby Cohen

(taking a diaper and nursing break in downtown st john's)

we had to make a trip into st john's last weekend to pick up some things you can't buy in our little town. st john's is about two hours away from the town we live in, clarenville. we were planning to just drive up for the day, but when we got there, the forecast was calling for heavy rain, so we opted to spend the night. i was nervous about staying in a hotel, since sometimes 3 week old baby cohen is really fussy through the night, and i didn't want anyone to complain about a screaming baby at 4 am.

we booked into our usual hotel, the sheraton. we decided to have him sleep with us, since we hadn't brought our travel crib. jon got us a room with a king bed, and we slept with him between us. and it was absolutely fine. i probably slept lighter than usual, and i jumped to change and feed him every time he made the sounds he makes when he is about to flip out. i can really see how  some people love cosleeping with their baby. in the night if cohen made a little noise, jon or i could talk to him and pat him on the back to see if he would fall back to sleep. still, at home we will be keeping cohen in his crib.

the best thing about staying at the hotel was that there is the restaurant and bar downstairs. we were able to meet a friend there, and i could just run up to the room with cohen if he needed to eat or be changed. although i am getting more comfortable with breast-feeding in public, it really is easier to do it in private.

our first little road trip as a family of three was a success, and i am now basically a pro at changing diapers on my lap. so there you go.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

life lately...

(doesn't get old) 

(he keeps me company while i write) 

(this was all in the mailbox monday) 

(chilling at the end of my yoga mat)

life lately is all about cohen. of course. there is such a huge adjustment to becoming parents. but slowly we are getting used to it. every action is based on him now. i can't believe how fast the time is going. 

we are interviewing potential sitters this week, which makes me feel so emotional. i can't imagine leaving this little guy with anyone, especially someone we don't know. but lots of moms do it, and i am sure i will be grateful for a little more balance in my life. for now, j and i are loving this time with cohen. he really is the cutest.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

things i wish i brought to the hospital when i went into labour

as it were, the only thing in my bag when i arrived at the hospital when i went into labour was my ipad.  nice to have, but i could have used a few other items:

(taken 3 days before i went into labour)

1. phone charger. my phone died early on day two in the hospital, which made it tough to communicate with friends who wanted to visit.

2. camera. luckily, jon was able to go pick ours up soon after cohen was born. you will want at least a few pics (this is such an understatement. we took a million pics of cohen in his first 24 hours of life) also, some ladies seem to have pics from the actual delivery room. i'm not sure i would absolutely want pics from those moments, but to each her own.

3. shower sandals. you will be encouraged to take a shower at some point, and the shower will be gross and hospital-y. i was wishing very hard for something other than the toms i wore to the hospital which were not waterproof.

4. soap, shampoo, etc. our hospital didn't have any of these items. jon found some shampoo for me to use, which was good. the hospital did have lots of towels to use, though.

5. clothes, underwear, socks. while you are there, you will be wearing these weird mesh hospital underwear. but on the day you leave, you will have to wear something out of there. i guarantee you will want the hugest underwear possible (and also a giant maxi pad to go with them). you will also want a really comfortable outfit to leave. i would recommend a stretchy maxi skirt, or stretchy leggings, and a giant t-shirt or button up shirt. since i never had any clothes except the ones that i was wearing when my water broke, i ended up having to wear some basketball shorts and giant t-shirt jon found in his gym bag. i felt pretty funny walking to the nursery to talk to the pediatrician wearing an outfit perfect for a 15-year-old boy.  i also wished for some type of robe or large zip up sweatshirt to wear when people came to visit. i ended up flashing some of my visitors because i wasn't properly covered.
6. nursing bra. necessary, especially on the day you leave.
7. outfit or two for the babe. our hospital supplied us with tons of clothes for the little guy to use while we were there. we ended up having to secretly steal a sleeper when we left because we didn't have an outfit for him. i would recommend something you don't have to cram baby's head through for that first outfit. a sleeper that snaps all the way up is way easier.
8. food. for a healthcare facility, our hospital had some pretty unhealthy food. after the delivery, the doctor told me i needed to be eating really healthy, with lots of fruits. but there is no fruit to be seen at the hospital. i would recommend bringing apples, oranges, granola bars, a water bottle. luckily for me, one of my friends knows what a fruit fiend i am, so she brought me a big fruit basket. jon made a few subway runs also. also, the water bottle is key. the cups they have at the hospital must be made for dolls, they are so tiny. so if you are trying to drink a lot of water, you will need your own bottle.
9. hair elastic. seems so obvious. but, i never had one. no matter how many times i searched the bottom of my purse, i couldn't find one. so, i laboured with my hair all over the place. not a huge deal, but just bring an elastic. i even tried tying my hair up with one of my bracelets, which broke very quickly.
10. toiletries. toothbrush and toothpaste, makeup, moisturizer. you will definitely want to brush your teeth at some point. bonus points for the makeup. i don't think i would have bothered with it, even if i had it with me, because i was so exhausted.

others might recommend magazines, music, books. for us, we really didn't have time for any of that stuff. jon did pick me up some magazines, but i don't think i even opened then. all my time was spent on the phone with family and looking at the little guy.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

my brand-new-baby necessities

wow, a baby needs a lot of stuff. a few things that i have been loving...

1. aden and anais swaddles. Cohen is wrapped in one in the picture below. i can't believe what a huge difference his sleeping is when he is tightly swaddled. he loves it. i also use these to cover myself when i need to nurse in public. we have three, and basically use all three every day. 

2. the happiest baby on the block. this book talks about ways to comfort your baby, and i have found the suggestions spot on so far. though i still believe that your own intuition is better than the advice in any book. 

3. sleep pillow app for ipad. we use this for white noise at nighttime. sometimes i set the timer for 2 hours, and Cohen wakes up as soon as the noise stops. it's crazy how soothing the white noise seems to be for baby.

4. nursing pillow. i got the jolly jumper one at my baby shower. i use it every single time i nurse at home, and i find it especially awesome at night when i am half asleep. 

5. washer/dryer. wow, we have never done so much laundry ever. you would have to spend every afternoon at the laundromat if you didn't have laundry. 

6. nursing bras. there are so many ugly ones, but i did end up with this one cool wonderbra one. they are absolutely necessary, i'm afraid. 

and something i have found basically useless: newborn disposable diapers. he leaks right through these every single time. and he is tiny. we had to go up a size when he was just a few days old to avoid the constant leaks. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

library list

i loved checking out the library of our new town. the magazine selection is good, and there are a ton of cookbooks. i had to stop myself from signing out 50 books.

obviously my latest selections reflect that i am a new mom. i like reading how-to books, though i think breastfeeding and parenting a newborn is more about instincts than knowledge. now i have some things to read during the many feedings that have taken over my nights!

Friday, 2 August 2013

the first 2 weeks with Cohen

(he looks so annoyed when i kiss him and hug him. i love it) 

(my two favourite men in the world. best thing ever)

we are so in love. neither j or i have much experience with tiny babies, so we had no idea what to expect. i think the thing that surprised us the most is how animated baby Cohen is. he makes all these sweet and funny facial expressions that we could just watch forever.

the other surprising thing is how exhausted we are. i really had no idea that we would get almost no sleep for days and weeks. the thing is, even though i am so tired, i just love hanging out with him, even if it is 4 am and he is super fussy. he is just soo cute.

PS: read the birth story here

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