Saturday, 25 July 2015

A little bit of the (cold) truth

I've been in a bit of a funk this past week. Same with Jon. My coworkers too. It's just so cold here. I know how lame it is to complain about the weather, and lots of places have it way worst than us. But. We just need a little sun. This is that the weather has been like: We haven't seen sun in days and weeks, and I am not exaggerating. Right where we live, the temperature has been around 8 degrees C, which feels more normal for March or November. There is a frost warming for tonight. We have been wearing our fall jackets with hats and warm sweaters, and we are still cold when we go for a walk. 

(July 2013)

(July 2014)

(July 2015)

I am trying to look at the bright side, I really am. The weather forecast says it might be a bit sunny on Wednesday. And this weather is not too bad for running. And we are catching up on lots of Netflix. And at least we aren't in a drought. I am actually considering buying one of those sunlight machines.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Hotel Review: Merchant's Manor B&B, Carbonear, NL

Last weekend we stayed at the Merchant's Manor Bed and Breakfast in Carbonear for Jon's triathlon. We were the only guests on a Saturday in the middle of July. Kinda weird. This is one of those B&Bs were the owners do not actually live there, which I love. I have always found it sort of awkward to chat with the owners every time you step out of your room.

Price: Around $160 per night including tax. Standard for the area.
Bathroom: Pretty nice. The tub was cool. No toiletries.
Breakfast: The breakfast is included and it was sausages, eggs, and toast. I think it changes every day. Pretty good. I would say it would be worth $8 on it's own. Nothing crazy awesome.
Wifi: Good. We watched netflix after we put dude to bed in the bathroom.
TV: There was one, but we never even turned it on. It was far from the bed, which never makes sense to me in hotel rooms.
Pool: Nope. Though there is a decent community pool about 5 min away that we went to.
Location: Pretty good for Carbonear. Across the street is a little take out for fries and burgers, and just beyond that is the ocean. We saw some icebergs.
Parking: Good, free.

My number one issue with this place was the smell. The second you walk in, you are hit with that intense smell of mothballs and must and old-ness. It smelled exactly like my great grandmother's house when I was a kid. You adjust after a minute or two, but still. It's not the best. Also, the bed was super comfortable. J and I were loving it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

On the weekend

This past weekend was Cohen's second birthday and also Jon's first triathlon of the season. We are so not into the whole toddler birthday party thing as of yet (maybe because we have no family here), so we kept it simple by just making it a special day for Cohen. We had pancakes and cake for breakfast, went to multiple playgrounds, let him watch extra tv, took him swimming, and took him for fries and ice cream at Mcdonalds. 

(He got awesome gifts from family and his babysitter)

(This tool bench is his new fav thing. Thank you Paula!) 

(Dude has started walking into his room and falling asleep on the floor. So cute) 

(Heading to the mailbox wearing a new shirt he picked out from the store.) 

(Loves opening special packages) 

(I made him this shirt, which lasted for 5 minutes before being totally covered in frosting) 

(Watching shows en route to the triathlon) 

(Dipping fries in ice cream. Takes after his momma) 

(Cold, cold day for a race. Side note: this is the coldest July in over 20 years in NL. Awesome) 

(After the race. Man, I love those two)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Two years old!!!

Like every mom ever, I am totally shocked that Cohen is going to be two next week. It's hard to imagine him ever being a teeny tiny six pound baby. He was so tiny, but in my mind, he has always had the strong personality that he does now. 

I definitely want to remember that he loves to sing these days. He sings "wheels on the bus", 'itsy bitsy spider", "old macdonald had a farm." He sings them so clearly, and with actions. He also loves playing the harmonica to Great Big Sea songs. He always requests the radio and "rock and roll music."

Right now, he talks so much that I really have no idea what he is about to say. He used to just repeat things we said, but now he will come over and request that we go get hamburgers or go on a plane. He loves to say "not too bad" when he eats anything. What a compliment to the chef. He loves to say "run really fast down the hill." It's weird, but he says that sentence over and over, all the time.

He loves to do everything, "all by myself." He wants to put his shoes on, get dressed, fasten his seatbelt, climb into the car all by himself. Usually we are cool with that, but it does mean that we need to plan for at least 45 min to get from his bedroom to the car.

He's very shy, quiet, reserved in front of people he doesn't know. It takes a while for him to warm up to anyone. He likes to be silly, but only the few people who spent a lot of time with him see that side of him. When we are out and about he often says, "This is so much fun!" on repeat. We love that.

Favourite book: Tough, since he loves so many. Probably Hooray for Thomas.
Favourite foods: Popsicles, crackers, chicken, burgers, fries, toast, yogurt
Favourite toy: He still loves the ride-on toy his sitter got him for his first birthday. He also loves his school bus and his dinky cars. Of course, his teddy bear is so much more than a toy. He loves his teddy bear so much, and would not sleep without him.
Sleep schedule: He goes to be around 7:30 or 8 and wakes up at 6:30 or so. Has a 1-2 hour nap at noon. He has been sleeping great lately.
Favourite activity: Biking. We try to take him biking at least a few times a week. He also loves bath time and just lazing around, playing with his dinky cars. And he is obsessed with watching cartoons when we let him, which is probably a half hour every other day.

He amazes Jon and I all the time. Sometimes he will grab a book, come sit beside us, and flip the pages and recite the entire book to us. He has such a great memory. He is getting more affectionate with us lately. Sometimes he will be riding his trike, and he will come over to me and say "kiss before I go," then give me a little kiss before he races off down the hall. We are seriously so proud to be his parents.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Clarenville Day

Just a few pics from our town's official holiday. We had a great time with our little guy this year. 

(we got to ride a real train!) 

(checking out some trains) 

(Cohen could have stayed here all day) 

(hooray! we are going to ride the train again!) 

(driving to the next activity) 

(popcorn and coffee) 

(first carousel ride- just minutes after a complete breakdown*) 

(I am serious, this is his thrilled face)

*Cohen made a beeline for the ride that is just these little cars that go around in a circle. But he had to go on alone, which made him super upset. He wanted us to go on the ride with him. Complete breakdown ensued. So we did the carousel because we could go on with him. After, he still really wanted to do the car ride. So we got him all fastened into a car, and he was so happy, waving. Then a mom came over and asked if her 18-month-old could sit with Cohen in the same car. I (of course) said yes. They each had a steering wheel, and all was good for a minute. Then the little guy started using both steering wheels. Cohen started crying so hard! He was like, "WANT TO GET OFF!!" The dude running the ride was definitely not stopping the ride. So we just had to watch for the rest of the ride while Cohen cried and cried. Snot running down his face, the works. The other mom felt terrible, and gave us tickets to ride again, which was so nice. I took no pictures, regrettably. We took him on the helicopter ride after, and then he was all good. 

The train ride for sure the highlight of the day. The train itself is super duper old, with the windows all smashed and/or dirty and rust everywhere. There were three little dirty seats to sit on, and they took us about 20 feet forward, then back, repeat. We went on with some older kids, who thought it was lame, but Cohen was thrilled. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Our 3 year anniversary

(the most recent pic I can find of the two of us)

Three years! Though we cannot remember what we did for our past two anniversaries, I love having a day to celebrate the strength of our marriage every year. This year, Jon surprised me with tickets to The Once, a band from Newfoundland. I had bought their last CD, but didn't love it, so I had low expectations. Jon organized for our daytime babysitter to watch Cohen for the evening.

We ended up eating at this weird restaurant located in the basement of a church in the neighboring community. They only had sides and sandwiches, so we embraced it and got grilled cheese sandwiches and a sidekick-like rice side. Then we went to the concert, where I proceeded to cry my eyes out for the first two songs. So good. Some bands are just so much better live.

This past year has been easy. I know that sounds so lame and kinda unbelievable, but 'easy' is definitely the word that I would use to describe this year of our relationship. Work can be tough, and worrying about a tiny human is hard. But Jon makes me laugh every day. Our relationship feels low maintenance, but I think that might be because we are constantly maintaining it, so nothing gets too broken.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

And now we are home

After a week away, we are back home where we still have to wear fall jackets and hoodies. Where the coolest restaurant is Jungle Jim's. Where the produce is expensive and rotten. I know I make it sound bad, but really, we are so happy to be home. 



(family selfie) 

(being silly at supper)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A few more Halifax trip pics (and how to leave the airport with a toddler and no carseat)

(riding the luggage cart in St. John's) 

(watching cartoons with headphones on the first flight) 

(waiting with bunny in the bike trailer) 

(cow's ice cream on the waterfront) 

(the ferry to dartmouth)

Of note:
- traveling keeps getting easier for us now that Cohen is so easily entertained with cartoons. He doesn't get a lot of screen time at home, so it's a real treat on trips. Same goes for special snacks like drinking boxes, fruit snacks, flavored popcorn, chips. 

- the first full day we were in Halifax, Cohen was running down a sidewalk, and fell hard on his forehead. We usually let him pretty much run free in Clarenville because there is absolutely no traffic ever, so I think he found it hard to get used to us constantly telling him to slow down and stay away from the traffic. I was totally wishing for one of those kid leashes that look like backpacks. 

- the ferry cost less than ten bucks for all of us, and it was the best ten dollars we spent. Cohen was so excited and did not stop talking about it for at least two days. 

On traveling with no carseat:
When we decided to visit Halifax, we knew for sure that we did NOT want to bring our huge carseat. We knew that we would be just walking and biking everywhere once we were at our downtown condo. Carseats are so huge and annoying really. So I looked into how to get from the airport to downtown Halifax. You can get a cab, though after calling over ten cab companies, I learned that no cabs have carseats available. So you have to bring your own, or risk getting pulled over by the cops, or worst, getting into a car accident with your toddler not in a carseat. So cabs were out for us. You can take the city bus, which is super cheap (like less than ten bucks a person), though it only runs about once per hour. Not ideal for us, since that would have meant lots more airport time for our cranky nap-less kid. You can take a shuttle, but they only run at certain times, so you end up waiting. Also, more expensive (I think maybe $20 per person), and they only drop you off at the main hotels. So it was down to renting a car for us. We ended up renting from Hertz, and it cost us less than $75 in the end, including drop off fee and carseat rental. When we arrived downtown, Jon just dropped us off and drove the rental straight to the drop off place at the Marriott hotel on the waterfront, then he ran back to our condo. We had the rental for all of 1 hour, but it was still so worth the money for us. 

Monday, 6 July 2015

Canada Day in Halifax

Oh man. We just got back last night from an amazing (almost) weeklong trip to Halifax, then Fredericton. Here are a few pics from Canada day. Here in NL, Canada day is not a big thing, partly because it is also the day that we remember the Newfoundlanders who were killed in battle. So we were happy to be celebrating in Halifax, where it felt like the whole entire city came out in their red and white. 

After we found breakfast, we stumbled into the parade lining up. We watched from Citadel Hill, though Cohen was definitely more interested in the dogs with their owners than the actual parade.

We checked out a dog show at the Commons. We were staying only a few minute walk from the commons, so we were able to go back and forth from our condo to the festivities throughout the day. Good with an extremely introverted toddler.

The splash pad in Halifax is pretty sad. They definitely need an upgrade. Though the kids were loving it. Our little dude liked it as long as no other kids came anywhere near him. The first time he got accidentally shoved by a little sweet girl, he was out.

We had lunch at the Moustache. After being around a million kids for the morning, Cohen was so happy to be sitting in a safe little booth at the restaurant. He threw back an entire huge hamburger (sans bun) for a joke.

Running around the public gardens. Cohen loved the pigeons. He really wanted to pet one.

While I ran in to do a little shopping at American Apparel, my boys chilled outside the library and waited out the rain.

After a long day out and about, we decided to rent bikes from the waterfront and bike home. I'm sure one of Cohen's favorite parts of the whole trip was when the girl at the bike shop told him he could choose between the stars and stripes helmet and the flower helmet. He loves helmets.

Such a great Canada day. I think a new family tradition was born.
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