Friday, 28 February 2014

Hotel review: Holiday Inn, St. John's, NL

We stayed at the Holiday Inn in St. John's on our way back from Moncton last weekend. We booked here mostly because I have a goal to stay at all the hotels in the area. I have weird goals. 

Price: We ended up in one of their large suites, which was around $210 per night, but you can get a normal room with a king for maybe $175. Steep, but really pretty average for St. John's
Bathroom: Old and plain. The type where the bathtub and toilet are in a separate tiny room from the sink.
Pool: None. And this is the type of hotel that really should have a pool
Breakfast: None! Also, This really felt like the type of hotel that should have some sort of continental breakfast
TV: Our room had two huge flat screens. It was the type of system that is really hard to navigate and super slow. Not ideal
Location: Maybe 5 minutes from the airport. Pretty convenient
Parking: Good, free
Wifi: Free


- Their crib was super old looking, but Cohen slept great in it.

- The hotel is attached to an Eastside Mario's. We ordered supper from them, and they charged us 5 bucks to walk it up to our room! You don't even have to go outside! Jon could have walked down in about 30 seconds for free. Also, our meals were pretty mediocre. Hard bread, pasta on a small cafeteria plate.

- The best thing about this hotel room was the bed. Very comfy.

- We would probably not stay here again. For the price, I would always choose Sheraton or even Hampton Inn over this hotel.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

on the weekend

(examining a beer can on flight 1 of 4) 

(a pretty corner of the baby shower) 

(safety instructions on flight 3 of 4) 

(early morning sleep between J and I) 

(reading magazines)

How is it already Thursday? Our long weekend ended up being extended a little more because of the blizzard conditions on our way home on Monday. We stayed an extra night in St. John's, which meant room service and buying me a new computer (my old Mac was 4.5 years old, aka ancient). 

Highlights of the weekend:

- Increased Cohen's flight count to eight. Not bad for a 7 month old. 

- Got to see my sweet sister's 8 months pregnant belly. She looks amazing. 

- Celebrated her baby girl's future arrival with lots of her friends. We got pedicures, drank wine (not Kryssy, though she was happy to keep our glasses filled), opened presents, hung out.

- Introduced Cohen to his grandfather on Jon's side. I think they liked each other. They even went for a swim together

- Drank lots of Starbucks. I know this isn't much of a treat for most people, but I love my half decaf soy mocha no whip. 

- Got to hang out in the hotel hot tub with Jon, just the two of us, while my parents watched a sleeping Cohen. This was huge. What a treat. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Well baby visit

(naked baby, getting checked) 

(the loot)

The dude had his well baby checkup today. They give him his boosters, weigh him, measure him, see how we are doing. I must say, the follow-up here in Newfoundland has been really good. The public health nurses are available 24/7 to answer questions, which I find pretty amazing. 

So Cohen is 7 months 8 days old and weighs 16 lbs 2 ounces. This puts him in the bottom 15% of babies his age. He is so tiny! Tiny but healthy. We were sent home with a few new books, and a bath mitt. I am loving the packages we get at his checkups. 

Pictures from our weekend in Moncton for my sister's baby shower coming right up...

Friday, 21 February 2014

our Valentine's day

I know Valentine's Day was a whole week ago, but I still thought I would like a little record of what we did for our first Valentine's Day with Cohen. Jon had the brilliant idea to go out to eat at around 3 pm, between the lunch and supper rushes. So we went to the fanciest restaurant in town (which really isn't saying much, since there is a whole section on "la poutine" in the menu, but still. They had white tablecloths and fabric napkins, so that is better than most places around here), and we were the only souls there. It was perfect. Cohen enjoyed playing with sugar packets (always more fun than the toys we bring from home), and munching on some mashed potatoes. Jon and I had steak and salmon, and just enjoyed being out with our easygoing little babe.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Recent pictures of Cohen

 (a little uncertain after we dipped his sweet little feet in quick cement)

(loving life with his blocks)

(looking maybe a little Who-like?)

(lunch break love from Dad)


(hummus and guac)

(helping mom with laundry, always)

Can't stop taking pictures of our little coconut. So sweet. Also, yesterday Danielle from Miss Verse featured Cohen and I on her blog feature about working moms. Check it out! When I saw my little story on her blog, I felt so honoured since I love that blog. I mostly just blog for family and friends to see how we are doing since we live so far from everyone, but I do think there are lots of working moms out there who might like to hear about what it's been like for me.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cohen's February teaching day

(checking out his pupils)

Cohen met with his grade threes again today. Today was all about sleeping. I told the class about how Cohen sleeps every night with his teddy bear. Most of the kids in the class also had transitional objects. The teachers were pretty shocked to hear that Cohen sleeps from 7pm to 7am every night. It really is awesome, but we had to go through some rough sleep training to get here. 

Anyway, today Cohen was feeling pretty attached to me. He cried if I was more than a few feet away from him. So that was fine, I just sat him on my lap while the kids asked questions. The kids also each made Cohen a Valentine's card, and he got a little stuffed dog. So cute. Cohen enjoyed crumpling a few cards when we got home. He is such a sweet little dude. I can't even explain how proud I am to be his momma.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

7 months old!

(sweet potatoes everywhere)

(looking sweet and chubby)

Cohen is 7 months old today! And I am very sick. Like, stayed home from work sick. We actually debated still getting the babysitter to come so I could stay in bed today, but I decided against that. Being sick as a mom is rough! I have been sleeping through his naps. And I set him up on the floor with all his toys and set up a little makeshift bed for myself beside him. He seemed cool with it. Anyway, he is 7 months old! This is what has been up lately:

- he is comfortably sitting all by himself. He loves to sit on his little blanket on the floor and play with his blocks. 

- he is far from mobile yet, but he has started scooting himself backwards a bit. jon put up the baby gate on the weekend just in case.

- he is eating more and more solids. his favourite way to eat is to shove his whole fist into the bowl of food, then shove the fist right into his mouth. he refuses to take food by a spoon from jon and i, but our sitter reports that she can feed him, no problem. he seems to like oatmeal the best. 

- lately he loves to grab the hair on either side of my head, and pull my head towards him. then he sort of tries to eat my forehead. it feels like he is basically saying "you are mine." really cute.

And that's all because I need to take advantage of this nap to get in a little more sleep!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

on the weekend...

 (just starting to be able to sit up by himself)

(snowshoeing. always)

(he is so grabby with our food. here, a bagel)

(hanging out with dad. love those chubby little legs)

(sleeping in the entryway after a long walk. don't tell the physiotherapist)

Monday, 10 February 2014

on nursing and working and pumping

 (feeding the dude (6 months old) between patients at work)

If you are not a mom, you might want to skip this post. I know I was sooo not interested in stuff like this before I had Cohen. Anyway, sometimes I fall into a hole of blog-reading, where I end up reading about someone's life for hours. I recently became totally addicted to reading these adventures in breastfeeding stories on this really cool blog, Verse. My experience with breastfeeding has been so excellent and easy. This is what nursing has been like for me:

Saturday, 8 February 2014

So we finally got iphones...

(little dude loves his red rattle)

(fast asleep in his new carrier)

(afternoon babywearing)

(snowshoeing in the sun)

(new coworker = homemade cupcakes)

(loves to help mama fold the clothes)

(dad's first day at home with coco while mama works)

Friday, 7 February 2014

a few recent pics of our little dude

(he loves to grab the camera)

(another pool pic)

(post swim)

The week has flown by. J and I are looking forward to going for a little skate on an outdoor rink some neighbours made on the ball diamond near our house. I am thinking we'll pull Cohen around on the ice in his red sled. I am so loving my little family these days (and all days).

Monday, 3 February 2014

Baby's first swim

We were so excited to head in to the city this weekend so we could take Cohen for his first swim in the hotel pool (other family firsts here). There is only one public swimming pool in our town, and it is freezing. No good for our little baby. 

I ordered Cohen's sweet little swim diaper from here. The pool at the Sheraton in St John's is perfect for baby because it has a whole section that is only a foot deep for kids. The water is pretty warm too. 

As soon as we dipped his little feet into the water, he started splashing and kicking like crazy. Cohen's default facial expression is pretty serious, but I think he liked it. We let him splash around for about 10 minutes, then we wrapped him in warm towels. I can't wait to try again.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


We have had a few "firsts" in our family this past week. Last Thursday evening, J and I left Cohen with a babysitter for the first time (not including our daytime sitter when we both have to work). The awesome thing about Cohen sleeping through the night is that we can get a sitter after 7 pm, and Cohen will be in bed the whole time we are gone.

The occasion was J's first time playing for a crowd. J took up guitar a few years ago, and practices a little most evenings. When we went to the Clarenville coffee house a few months ago, J thought it might be the perfect crowd to play in front of for the first time. It was. The crowd consisted of maybe 100 or 120 people, with I'd say 70% seniors. Each performer plays two songs, and lots of the performers have never been onstage before.

As we waited for J's turn on Thursday, I could tell he was nervous, and he said his throat felt really dry, like a desert. The host is really friendly, and introduced Jon by making fun of our profession a little, which I think takes the edge off the performer's anxiety a bit.

Jon started playing his first song, "Let it be" by the Beatles. He sounded so good for the first 30 seconds or so, then he stopped. He started again, and stopped again. My adrenaline was pumping, so I can only imagine how Jon felt. Jon made a little joke, telling the crowd that he had heard this was a good audience to crash and burn in front of. The crowd applauded. The host ran up and told a quick story about how this had happened to him a few times in the past. It was awesome. Anyway, Jon decided to jump right in to his second song, "Sail away with me" by David Gray. This time, he nailed it. He took his time, and his voice sounded great. He sounded at ease. I heard someone behind me say that he sounded a little Bob Dylan-ish. When he finished his second song, the crowd applauded even harder. I had tears in my eyes. I felt so proud at that moment.

I love that I am married to someone who loves to learn, and is not afraid to make mistakes. He challenges me to step out of my comfort zone, just by example. After J came off, we rushed home to our sleeping babe. It was a night I'll never forget.
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