Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Hotel review: Fisher's Loft, Port Rexton, NL

We stayed one night at Fisher's Loft in Port Rexton, which is about an hour from our home in Clarenville. When I first called them, the first thing they asked is if there were any down allergies. I have never been asked that, but I was so happy that they pay attention to little details since Cohen is severely allergic to feathers. They were super accommodating on the phone, trying to find a room that would be spacious enough for a crib. 

(comfy bed) 

(the travel crib was already set up for us. i love that) 

(this living area is shared by all the rooms in this building. cute) 

(cool bathroom)

Price: This is the shoulder season, so we got our room for $135. 
Bathroom: Really nice. The toiletries were really good and the bath was huge and clean. 
Breakfast: We didn't make it to breakfast, but it is there, at a cost
Wifi: Yes, free
TV: There was a tiny wall-mounted tv that didn't get very many channels. I don't think people come here to watch TV
Pool: No
Location: Really close to the water and this cute coffee shop. There was an iceberg right in the harbor when we were there, which was cool. Fifteen minute drive from Trinity. 
Parking: Lots, free. 

- For whatever reason, Cohen would not sleep in this room. We tried everything, including watching cartoons while he cuddled between Jon and I, and nothing worked. After hours of Cohen getting more and more tired and less consolable, we bailed. We were only an hour from home, and Jon and I were loving the idea of getting some real sleep in our own bed. We got home around 11 pm, and Cohen smiled when he saw his own crib, and went right to sleep. Slept great all night. Toddlers are strange like that. So we technically didn't actually spend a whole night here. Maybe someday. We would definitely stay here again. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

On the weekend and dining at fancy restaurants with a 2-year old...

This chilly and rainy weekend we decided to drive an hour to a little town called Trinity for supper and to stay the night at a fancy hotel. We also did lots of walking and "family dates."

(I let Cohen play at these water grates for 45 min at a time. There is no traffic where we live, plus, I am right there beside him) 

(walking around Trinity on this windy day) 

(throwing rocks in the ocean) 

(hiking to supper) 

(testing out the luggage wagon)

We had been wanting to check out this fancy-ish hotel for a while. We heard the food was good. When I called, they explained that supper was 5 courses with no choices. Jon and I felt bold, and decided to try it with Cohen. I ordered a plain chicken breast for Cohen (since every single other thing they served had stuff he was allergic to), and Jon and I brought all our reinforcements (toys, snacks, iPad). By the time the first little course came (a tiny salmon cake on a silver spoon), Cohen was pretty much over the whole sitting in the high chair thing. We eat out at least once a week with him, but it's usually at a pub or family restaurant where he can drive his cars all over the table and run around a bit while we wait for our one single course of food. So this was different. And what did we do? We turned on the iPad to his favorite show, and let him watch the show for the rest of the meal. It worked perfectly, though the waitress seemed maybe just a little judgmental about it. 

Jon and I are usually pretty strict about how much screen time the dude gets, so this was a total treat for him. And I don't regret it at all. Jon and I enjoyed our four more courses in peace, got to chat about life and This American Life podcasts, while Cohen was safely right beside us. Other times we have taken a really fancy/expensive meal to-go to eat in our hotel room, but there is something nice about eating in the actual restaurant.

I am curious about what other parents do when they want to eat at a fancier restaurant. Always get a babysitter? Skip these kinds of restaurants for a few years? Bring the iPad? iPhone? Or maybe some two-year-olds are just content to eat and sit quietly for 1.5 hours? 

Friday, 22 May 2015

32 years of marriage

My parents recently celebrated 32 years of marriage. Their marriage feels so epic and important in my life.

(my family at my wedding)

One of the things that I remember really clearly is that mom always made the meals, and dad always did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen (when he was home, which was not all the time). I think small things like that help a relationship feel equal and strong regardless of who is the "breadwinner." Congratulations on 32 years, mom and dad!

Monday, 18 May 2015

On the long May 2-4 weekend

(finally warm and dry enough to get the bikes out) 

(smoothie picnics in the backyard) 

(we got all our camping gear out. it's been over 2 years since we camped) 

(cookies in the tent. everything is better in a tent) 

(more biking. the dude is obsessed. he kept saying, "this is fun!") 

(family selfie) 

(dinner at a diner) 

(love these two so much) 

(we visited five parks this weekend. jon and i were exhausted)

(a train ride at the local campground)

This long weekend is the one where everyone we know gets their camper situated in the campground it will be parked at all season long. Our town was super quiet all weekend. Jon and I took the opportunity to bike on the traffic-less roads, and visit the completely empty parks. The weekend in numbers:

Highest temperature reached: 18 degrees C. Very warm!
Number of restaurant meals: 3. Dude had a bun-less burger and fries every time.
Number of playground visits: 7. No joke. 
Cost of one 4-minute "train" ride around campground: $2 per person. So worth it. 
Number of times Cohen exclaimed "bike ride!!" at random: 100. At least. It's for sure his favorite thing of all time. 
Number of minutes spent on our bikes: 90. At least. Again, it's all Cohen could think/talk about. 
Number of bullet coffees consumed: 4 each. So good. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

An update on Cohen's wheat-free, nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free diet

We have been dealing with eczema and allergies for a while now, but things are starting to look up! We haven't had any Benadryl situations for a while, and those sweet cheeks are looking much better these days. 

(3 months old-perfect skin!) 

(5 months old- red cheeks) 

(6 months old-super red cheeks) 

(18 months old- not too bad)

(currently, 22 months old-just a teeny bit red)

Just a little reminder of how we ended up with such a restricted diet for our little guy:

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


(cannot resist a mud puddle)

(what a little sweet face)

(on last week's "family date" to Jungle Jim's)

(shopping for bike parts)

(painting/trying on mom's rings)

(taking a little break after eating two hamburger patties at McD's)

(that face again)

(loves ATMs. waiting to get into the pool)

(he doesn't like to go too far from these steps at the pool or his dad. i have started bringing a magazine instead of a bathing suit to the pool. so relaxing and fun to watch these two play)

(visiting work after drop in playgroup with his babysitter)

Since getting back from Miami, I have just been loving doing our normal life. Going on walks with the dude. The second we open the front door, he bolts for the road, and runs down the hill, yelling "Run, Cohen, run! Not too fast!" It's so cute. Obviously he is used to us telling him to slow down all the time. He likes to run on people's yards all the way to our community mailbox. He loves checking the mail. After that, it's all about dogs, birds, and mud. I often end up carrying him up the hill back to our house. We are currently without a stroller, and I am thinking maybe we will just buy a wagon instead? Cohen is just a little too wiggly to be willing to sit in a stroller for longer than two seconds, which I love. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's day was always kind of weird in our house because my mom is a florist, so Mother's day weekend is one of the busiest times for her. When we were in high school, she ran the only flower shop in our town, and we all worked for her sometimes: running the cash, answering the phones, delivering orders. We all spent a lot of time at that flower shop, because that's where mom was. 

I've always been so proud that mom is a florist. She has done hundreds of beautiful, insane weddings, and so many arrangements. Mom has made a career out of helping people give awesome gifts for special occasions. There's really no better role model. Happy Mother's Day, momma! I love and admire you so much!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

We went to Miami

I just got back from five days in Miami for a friend's bachelorette trip. We were a group of six (plus the bride's mom) who all went to the same high school, hung out in university, are friends for life material. The whole trip went shockingly well, and I had the best time, despite missing my little family so much. 

(flight #1)

(the pool at our condo. very nice, slightly eighties)

(a few of the girlies)

(this is the maid of honor/trip planner. she made the trip killer and amazing for everyone, though it meant she spent lots of time on her phone organizing and double-checking the next activity.)

(nothing better than catching a moment of joy. the bride and her momma)

(sweet seats at a Miami Marlins game)

Some stuff we did (Only of interest to someone planning a South Beach trip):

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