Monday, March 27, 2017

~Weekend Recap~

We had the best weekend to end March, even if I'm in shock that this month is almost over!

Rewinding to Tuesday, it was hubby's birthday! He requested a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I thought about attempting to make it myself but thought better and bought a perfectly sized cake at Sunterra. Low stress and it was delicious!

Audrey was very intent on helping put the candles on and light it.


And yes, he turned 9 ;)

We made a scavenger hunt for him to find his present, which the kids enjoyed probably as much or more than he did! The kids decorated his wrapping paper which included a lot of a heart, Paw Patrol and dinosaur stickers!

He received a sous vide machine which cooks meat with a precise temperature in a water bath. He's pretty excited about his new "toy" and has already used it a couple times.

Thursday was a busy day! I had my first midwife centering session in the morning so the kids went to the dayhome. Right after that I had another ultrasound to check the baby's growth since Leo was a little peanut. Baby is measuring perfectly and doing just fine.

I think the baby looks like both Audrey and Leo! Maybe a bit more like Leo.

I took advantage of a couple child-free hours and ran some errands before picking them up to go to the dentist. 

These two were absolute rockstars and let the dentist clean their teeth and do fluoride without a bit of hesitation or protest.  I'm so relieved that the dentist is starting out to be a positive experience for them. 

Afterwards we went for dinner at Milestones.

Friday we had chiro appointments and made a trip to Costco. I'm slowly learning my lesson that Costco trips on the weekend is not worth the extra hands. The kids are a bit disappointed that they weren't handing out samples though.

Preschool drop off usually leads to Leo passing out in the van. I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate the break.

I can't even remember what I did on Friday night- probably caught up on some episodes of Scandal since I'm finally getting around to watching it. So far I LOVE it!!

Saturday after dance, Miss A and I ran a few errands before stopping at Starbucks for a treat.

She gets more grown up with every day- I almost can't stand it!

That afternoon, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law took the kids for a sleepover! Audrey had been asking for awhile so we finally coordinated schedules. They were so excited to see them and of course we were excited for some quiet time!

In lieu of a dinner out, hubby decided he wanted to try his new sous vide machine. He made a delicious cod dinner and we ate in the dining room. It was our first meal together alone in the new house!

We went for a nice walk along the ridge and watched a couple episodes of Scandal.

Sunday morning we went for brunch at OEB. I had heard great reviews, but that it wasn't totally child friendly so this was the perfect opportunity for us to go. We went to the downtown location.

Wow- the food was amazing!! Hubby said it was the best brunch he has ever had which says a lot since he's such a food snob! We would definitely go back!

We walked over to Market Collective to check it out. I always enjoy checking out these small markets but there never seems to be enough time on the weekends.

I found this unique necklace by Amanda Parker. It's a ball of pink wire.

We also picked up this neat mountain shelf for the living room mantle from Needle and Pine.

The kids came back in the afternoon. I wasn't feeling so great (forgot my diclectin the night before) so I napped while Leo napped.

We had an early supper so afterwards we went for a bike ride/walk to the store to get ice cream! Audrey was still a bit nervous to ride her bike but she cruised down the hill like it was nothing! She just needs to strengthen her legs and get over her fear.

Hubby spent a lot of the weekend building stuff in the garage and making me some shelves for the storage room in the basement. Now I can finally unpack a bunch of boxes with extra kitchen and entertaining stuff. I "might" get the extra bedroom/storage organized before baby comes!

It was a perfect weekend of productivity and relaxing. It's spring break for Audrey this week which is a nice break from routine, without going away somewhere.

Where is your favourite brunch spot?

Friday, March 24, 2017

~Tips for Travelling with Young Children~

We've travelled enough times with our children, ranging from 6 months to now 5 years old that I feel I have gathered a few tips to share with fellow travelling parents.

Travelling can be daunting as an adult so it can be downright stressful when travelling with kids. I find that being super prepared ahead of time makes things go smoother but also knowing that plans can change quickly and to be prepared for the unexpected as well.

Tip #1: Bring a stroller if you are travelling with children under 5. 

Check your airline first but they are generally free and you can check it at the gate just before you board your flight and it's waiting for you as you leave the plane on the other side. It will be invaluable to use in the airport, either for carrying all your bags or actually hauling your child! 

I've brought my larger Uppababy stroller before but it is easier to travel with the smaller umbrella stroller.You can check it below the airplane but personally I like to use the stroller in the airport and I feel like it's less likely to get damaged when you check it at the gate.

This is where we dropped off the stroller.

Tip #2: Pack snacks and activities for them to do on the plane, regardless of age!

Flying can be boring so bring activities like colouring books, books, or the iPad to keep them occupied on the flight. Our kids didn't make a peep during the flight down since they played games and watched a movie on the iPad. They don't usually get to use it so it was novel for them. Check to see if your airline has an app ahead of time so you can download it and watch movies during the flight.

For snacks, we bring trail mix, granola bars and crackers. Unfortunately fruit is confiscated at the border if you are changing countries so don't make that mistake like my husband has before!
I also brought empty water bottles for everyone so that we could fill them up and use once we got past security.

Tips #3: Stock your carry on essentials

You don't want to carry too much onto the plane but it's also important to be prepared in case you are delayed, or someone has an accident. A change of clothes for the kids and an extra shirt for the parents to be on the safe side. Lots of wipes are a must! Each of our kids had their own small backpack, plus we brought a small rolling suitcase which we filled with their warm winter clothes, and their special blankets. There aren't any luggage carts between deplaning and customs, until you get through to baggage claim so I found having a rolling suitcase saved my arms and shoulders. I'd also suggest a backpack over a tote bag for the same reason.

Tip #4: Plan your travel around around the children's schedules, if possible.

The red eye might not be the best flight for children. You think they will sleep but there are so many distractions, the seats aren't comfortable and overtired= cranky. 

That being said, sometimes you have to fly during nap time, or at bed time. Our last flight home left at 9:30pm, so well past our kids bedtime but having the whole day in Phoenix was worth interrupting their regular bedtime routine. 

To make things easier, we did change the kids into their pjs before boarding the flight. We also brought along their special blankets to help them sleep and be comfortable. It worked better for one than the other and there were still tears but once we got home we were able to put the kids right to bed without messing around with pjs.

Tip #5: Give yourself lots of time while at the airport.

Travelling with children is not the time to cut it close. It's recommended to be at the airport 2 hours before an international flight. Remember, you have to park your vehicle (if you aren't being dropped off), and possibly take a shuttle from a Park & Jet lot so account for the time that it takes to do that. And we all know that it takes 3x longer to do anything with children ;) You will need bathroom breaks, and time to get food and water before boarding so you do not want to be rushed. Security can take extra time if you have a stroller or if you are bringing baby bottles and food that needs to be swabbed. If you are lucky, you might even get selected for extra security!

Just remember to breathe! Laugh!! You are going on vacation!!

What's your best travelling tip, with or without children?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

~Baby N#3: 29-30 Weeks~

How big is Baby N#3?

Baby is the size of a garden gnome! Approximately 15 inches and 3pounds.

Aversions or Cravings?
Chocolate...shocking, I know.

So much movement in the evenings. I can't figure out what position the baby is in either- unless it's transverse. Baby gets lots of hiccups still.

How I'm feeling?
Overall I feel good. Energy level is still pretty good. I do find it hard to walk fast though- I get out of breath from this big belly and I can't stretch my legs out!

What I'm Wearing?
Back to pants and socks :( I mostly wear dresses on work days and jeans/leggings on my days at home. What is with maternity jeans bagging out? So annoying. They start out perfectly and by a couple hours I feel like a slob because my jeans are so loose.

Belly Button?
It's popped. Can't totally see it through shirts but I sure feel it and it's weird! Linea Nigra is starting to show up too.

I could sleep forever! For the most part I'm still comfortable other than getting up for the bathroom 1-2x a night.

Managing 3-4 workouts per week. I'm doing a blend of pregnancy youtube videos and T25 workouts. Not a lot of cardio, other than walks now that the weather is nice. My goal is to walk at least 3-4x a week while the kids walk or bike, as long as the snow doesn't return. I'm trying to reach 10,000 steps per day minimum which is easier on some days than others.

What I'm Excited for? 
My Midwife Centering Class that starts this week! I did these classes during my last pregnancy and it was nice to chat with other women who were going through the same thing.
I also have an ultrasound this week to check on baby's growth since my last baby was smaller. I'm sure that won't be the case this time. I'm interested to see what position the baby is in right now too.

What I Miss? 
Champagne, wine and ciders! Working out intensely. My pre-pregnancy body...But I do love this bump and feeling the baby so totally worth it!

Being back home and to our regular routine. Spa day with my sister.

Baby Purchases & Projects?
I bought a grey polka dot blanket for the baby at Target, plus a few of my favourite Liz Lange maternity tanks that I wear even when not pregnant! I went through one bag of newborn boy/gender neutral clothes and pulled some out to wash. I still have to dig out the girl stuff. I ordered a few grey onesies so baby won't be completely naked when it comes. Most of my newborn clothes are long sleeved or fleece since my last two babies were born in the winter. May is tricky because it could be warm out (like last May) or we could get snow like we usually do on May long weekend!

The two hats on the top left were made by Alison's super talented Mom for Leo! The green knit sweater set was hubby's when he was a baby! The white onesie on the right, "Mommy & Daddy's Little Wish Come True" was from when I told hubby I was pregnant with our 1st baby!!

Bump Photo

Monday, March 20, 2017

~Weekend Recap~

This gorgeous weekend started off with a fun visit with Brie, Sully and Emmy on Thursday. The kids played so well together and Brie and I were able to get a good visit in.

Audrey and Leo practiced their big sibling skills on Miss Emmy. They were pretty fascinated with her so hopefully they will like our new baby!

I'm hoping our baby sleeps as well as Emmy!! Such a doll--  cooing, smiling and then falling asleep in my arms!

I practiced my "mom of 3" skills and I'm slightly terrified. How am I going to grate cheese with a baby in my arms? I so hope this baby is as easy going as my last two (and Miss E) so I have a hope in surviving this gig!

Thanks Brie for letting me snuggle your girl!

Leo skipped his nap so we went to the park and for a walk in the afternoon since it was so nice out!

After dinner, we went for a bike ride. I love daylight savings now!! So nice to have the sun out later!

Friday we worked on some St. Patrick's Day crafts and birthday cards for Daddy's upcoming birthday. I'm a terrible Irish girl and didn't wear any green but the kids did!

Leo conked out in the car after preschool drop off. We had to stop at two Starbucks drive thrus to get my Friday treat since the first one was closed and Leo didn't want to go into the store! Making up for skipping his nap yesterday!

After preschool, Audrey worked on this kitty pillow that she received for her birthday. She's a serious crafter!

Leo has been extra cuddly lately. I'm sure he is sensing the upcoming change. I'm not complaining!

We promised Audrey a new pedal bike for her birthday so we headed to Bow Cycle to pick one out Saturday morning after dance class. I tried looking on Kijiji but didn't find anything and Canadian Tire didn't have much of a selection right now either.

She needed a 20" bike that still had pedal brakes. We pulled this one out for her to try for size. At first she resisted- didn't want the green but we told her she there were other colours to choose from, just not on display. Well she tried it and fell in love-- with the bright green! We tried to convince her to get the pink, or teal or grey or yellow one but nope, she wanted the green one that matched Grandpa's bike.

Truthfully, I'm not thrilled about the colour but she LOVES it and had a huge smile on her face when she got on it outside with the training wheels. Hubby reminded me that this will be the first of many decisions she makes that I don't 100% agree with. She wins.

My sister and I had our afternoon spa date that we gift each other for Christmas. My prenatal massage was heavenly and my toes are so sparkly! We love going to Riverside Spa to be pampered.

Afterwards we went to Bazille for dinner. It was the perfect sister-date!

Sunday morning was a quiet one. Hubby went to workout while the kids and I had breakfast and... did more crafts! When he got back, I had a nail appointment.

Hubby had a meeting in the afternoon so while Leo had "quiet time" in his room, Audrey and I cleaned out some drawers in my bathroom. I let her play in some old makeup and it was quite entertaining seeing her put eye shadow on!

After a workout, I gave up on Leo napping and we headed outside for a bike ride. The sun was shining but the wind was chilly so we bundled up.

Audrey is so pumped about her new bike! She's still getting the hand of it and is a bit cautious (like her mama). At least I have a hope of keeping up to her!

This guy is crazy on his bike! He burned a hole through his running shoe going super fast and then braking! He also bailed pretty hard on a hill and didn't even bat an eye. Fearless!! He's going to give me a heart attack one of these days!

The rest of the day was pretty quiet... laundry, dinner, cleaning up, etc. I started watching Scandal so at least that makes laundry more exciting! 

I also have 4 books to read in the next 3 weeks so I better get on that! No more late nights browsing the internet! I'll be reading instead!

Another busy week ahead! Can't believe we are well into the last half of March!! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

~Phoenix Family Vacation 2017~

We could not have picked a better time to go away to Phoenix if we tried! Last year we talked about going in April since the flowers are in full bloom and it would be pretty hot. Every other time we have gone in November and while it was definitely warmer than at home during that time, all the plants were getting ready for "winter". 

We opted to not go last November because we had just moved and I had gone on a couple short trips already in the summer/fall. So when we found out we were having a baby in May we weren't sure a spring trip was going to be possible. 

We actually hadn't really even discussed it until around Christmas time. My in-laws (who winter in Phoenix) were trying to convince us to come down for a visit. The beginning of the year is pretty busy for me (RRSP and tax season) so I wasn't sure I could take the time off and I also didn't want to travel too late in my pregnancy.

After checking with work and my travel insurance turns out I could travel without issue in March. So we booked our tickets and started the countdown to our trip. The kids were pretty excited!! Audrey would snowbird now if she could. Leo loves his grandparents and airplanes so he was pretty pumped about that!

February flew by and soon it was time to hop on the plane! It wasn't too cold when we left but winter definitely came back with a vengeance while we were away. You don't know how happy I was to miss that!

This was the first time we flew where everyone had their own seat. There were some extra logistics to think about (like who sat with whom) but overall our flight down was uneventful. I'll share some travel tips with children in another post.

Once we arrived we quickly changed into more summery clothes and hung out in the backyard. The kids LOVE playing in this fountain.

We went on some walks that didn't involve boots, 3 layers, or mitts! Just a bit of sunscreen!

Hubby managed to get some golfing in which he was excited for. His family is really big into golfing- even his 80+ year old Grandma golfs at least a few times a week.

Being in a golf community means lots of rides in the golf cart! You can drive your cart on all the roads in the community and even on some of the more major roads with lower speed limits. These are definitely different golf carts than you typically see at home on the golf course. They have lights, soft sided covers to keep you covered in the rain or when it's cool, and signal lights. The kids loved riding around in them!

Unfortunately this little guy came down with a cold just before we left for Phoenix and he had a fever for a couple days. He wasn't his usual energetic self so we had a quiet day resting, reading books and napping.

Meanwhile big sis went to another relative's house to pick some citrus! We had freshly squeezed orange juice every day of our trip! It was amazing!

One day we went for a little adventure to Lake Pleasant to do a hike. It was quite busy since it was a Sunday- lots of ATVers so we had a hard time seeing the burros (donkeys).

It was so green from recent rain though.

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the water. It was a bit chillier this day which was good for hiking.

Audrey was great during the hike but Leo still wasn't feeling the greatest so he was a bit grumpy. He was carried a lot, plus he had a tumble at the beginning of the trail and scraped his face by his nose. 

Another day we ventured to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.

Checking out the jaguar sleeping above us! Big kitty!

Feeding the giraffe was probably the biggest highlight for everyone!

We took a Tram through some different sections of the Zoo. Managed to get a good shot of all 7 of us!

Ostrich!! Audrey got to hold an ostrich egg- which was the size of her head!

We checked out the Aquarium this time which we hadn't before. So many fish, eels, sharks and creepy things! We definitely spent the most time at the Zoo this time than any other time. Normally we are rushing home for nap time!

Leo touching a sting ray. He said it was slimy!!

Our best attempt at a family photo.

We took in a spring training game. The Kansas Royals train here in the off season. We watched the Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers play an exhibition game. Baseball is kind of a slow game, especially for the kids but they enjoyed it once we got some popcorn and ice cream! ;)

Leo making friends with the cops...

However, the game was right in the middle of Leo's nap time so he was majorly grumpy! He finally fell asleep in Grandpa's arms during the 7th inning! Of course!

We enjoyed lots of pool time!! We had to drag the kids out each day!

Making friends with other kids

I managed to squeeze in a visit to my beloved and much missed Target. I power shopped for an hour and could have bought a ton more if I had more time/space to bring stuff back.

I settled on stocking up on my favourite tank tops, a new blanket for the baby, sandals, Mint M&Ms that we can't get in Canada and a decorative banner, plus the hat above. I seriously resisted and not knowing the gender of this baby definitely kept me from buying all the baby things!

Great-Grandma gave Audrey a gift card to buy ice cream at the cafe so she treated us all to ice cream one day after the pool! She was super excited to order for us all and "pay" for it!

And eat it, of course!

Hubby and I managed to squeeze in a date night one evening. We went to Rio Mirage, our favourite Mexican restaurant there. This margarita was sooooo good!! Even without tequila.

We then went to see "La-La-Land" which was awesome!! We both love musicals so it was perfect for a date night! And we were the only ones in the theatre!

We were trying to think of the last movie we saw together in the theatre and we can not remember! I think it was after Audrey was born but I can't recall the movie!

One morning we went to a big playground that the kids love.

We spent a lot of time hanging out in the backyard, cooling off on the really hot days in the kiddie pool.

The margaritas my father-in-law kept making for me helped also....

Lots of bike rides. Audrey was super excited to ride a pedal bike (with training wheels). She is so excited to get a new bike for home! Leo burned a hole in his running shoe from going so fast and 'braking' hard! Might have to get him a new bike to save his shoes!

My heart melted when he wanted to hold my hand while riding his bike! I had to work hard to keep up to those two!!

We checked out the train on our last morning. Leo really wanted to play with it!

It was definitely tough to leave the hot and relaxing life of Phoenix, especially to return to -16C. Nine days was our shortest trip there so far and we certainly jam packed enough activities in! It was the perfect mid-winter escape and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! I'm sure we won't have a hard time convincing the kids to go back to Phoenix!

I'm hoping that the warm weather we brought back from Phoenix is here to stay. Goodbye winter!!