Christmas 2016

January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

I wanted to break the blog silence by writing about our Christmas!

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As usual, we drove up to Canada for about 5 days. This was our fourth road trip to Ontario with Henry and he’s really a champ about the long drives. He insists he never wants to fly on a plane again – only drive! (The above photo is actually a rare moment when we actually had to put Storybots on a phone to keep him going.)

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We drove all the way to Niagara Falls, Ontario the first day and stayed in a falls view room at the Marriott that night. It was freezing there, but beautiful!

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Because we drove about 9 hours the first day, we had just under two hours left to drive to my parents’ house in Woodstock the next day. It was very snowy.

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We settled in quickly with a jam session with Grandpa in the basement and later on, helping Grandma shovel snow off the deck.

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The rest of the visit was great, including many visits from family members and even dinner out to a Woodstock fish & chips favourite.

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Grandma also helped Henry build an enormous “tractor trailer” with 26 wheels out of old coffee boxes. He just realized yesterday that we hadn’t brought it home, but that will give him something to look forward next visit.

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What made this trip better than those in the past was that Henry happily slept in his own little bed beside ours! Here he is, watching two Spiderman videos before lights out.

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On Christmas Day, my sister’s family The Martins came over which bumped our kid count to 6!

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Things got a bit crazy by the end of the day, but they all had so much fun. A special shout out to my Mom who made such a delicious dinner while dodging children all day!

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…also to the Dads who policed the kids’ table full of 2 and 3 year-olds. (My brother-in-law is literally a policeman after all!)

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The next day, we said goodbye to my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Deb who lives next door, and drove two hours to my sister’s new house in Port Perry. The weather was not great, but their house is beautiful!

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Henry was thrilled to play with his cousins – jumping on beds with Ben and playing in the playroom with Jillian – before getting in the car to begin our long journey back home.

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Thanks for another great visit, Canada, see you soon!

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Great Wolf Lodge

January 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

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To add a little spice to a mundane winter, we booked a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos for the weekend!

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The drive is super short compared to our previous road trips to Canada – in 2 hours, we can get from Brooklyn to the Pocono Mountains and stop at Wendy’s on the way for lunch. Henry can also get a much-needed nap in.

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Of course, we did take a chance on traveling this weekend. “Snowmaggedon 2016” was predicted to dump a ton of snow on the North East, but we had already put down a huge deposit on this trip, so we decided to see it through. It worked out that when we arrived on Friday afternoon, it was really quiet.

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Henry got to run around and check out all the shops and activities.

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He loved the arcade!

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Helping dad win basketball games…

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Driving the ice cream truck… P1040319

Playing whack-a-mole…

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And throwing balls at clowns.

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We also hit up their massive waterpark. As much as I hate waterparks, this one was seriously impressive. Henry loved the little kiddie pools with their little fountains that sprayed up. I wish I took some photos in there, but I didn’t. You’ll just have to imagine his face.

We woke up Saturday morning to THIS.

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If nothing else, Henry enjoyed watching the three snowplows that worked the parking lot nonstop for 15 hours.

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Oh, did I mention their buffets were awesome?

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And Henry loved the singing animatronic animal shows in the lobby. They were pretty much the only thing that could keep him sitting still and keep his attention the whole weekend.

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We were happy and lucky to get home without any delays today. We had a great time and are looking forward to taking Henry again when he’s a bit older – maybe even with his cousins next time! (Hint hint, Jenn!)

Christmas 2015

January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Better late than never, here’s a look at this Christmas’ adventures and events!

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Since our summer drive to Canada went pretty well, we decided to do the same thing for Christmas rather than fly there.

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This time, we stopped in Syracuse to visit our friend Matt and to let Henry run around a mall (he wanted to buy all the dog calendars from one kiosk), but then we kept driving until we reached Watertown, New York and spent the night in a hotel.

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We left fairly early the next morning (delayed only by Henry falling into some carpet glue workers were putting down right outside the elevator doors when they opened. *eye roll*) and then finished our drive to my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.

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Usually, by the time Christmas comes around, the cottage is covered in snow and it’s very cold. This year we were very lucky to have warmer than normal temperatures. Henry was thrilled to still be able to play in the sandbox every day!

Our first night there, Henry scaled himself right out of the crib. We all stood around stunned for a while, then gave into the fact that I’d be sharing a bed with a toddler for the week. Look at those shifty eyes! He knew what he was doing.

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The next afternoon, we had a visit from my friend Eli and his two sons!

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Their mom was on-call midwife duty for the week and so the guys rented a mini van and drove all the way up to hang out with us. I was so glad to see them and that our kids could finally meet!

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Arlo and Henry are starting a truck-themed kid band.

The next day was Christmas Eve. For the first time since my parents moved up to the cottage full-time, our family had our Christmas celebration there instead of at my sister’s place. With 5 grand kids, 3 of us “kids”, spouses, grandparents, and my parents, it was a full house.

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It was fun to see Henry really get into Christmas this year. He still doesn’t know the Santa story, but was really excited to open all of his presents.

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Jillian the veterinarian.

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A coupla handsome Miller men.

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The kids had an unplanned black t-shirt and blue jeans dress code. The twins did not want mom to put them down.

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Colouring trucks with uncle Ryan and aunt Suzanne.

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And some calm once 5 grand kids were reduced to just one.

As per our now Christmas Day tradition, we met Julia, Jay, and Blake in Oshawa. This is our third year of meeting up on Christmas Day and having our little dudes play!

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We got to catch up while the little dudes shared snacks, toys, high fives and amazing hair tips.

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We spent the last day at the cottage with my parents. It was so nice to see them and to see how Henry really remembers them every visit now. He really took to my dad this time! Grandpa got many, many hugs.

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It was great to see everyone and to have Henry spend so much time with family and friends. Before long, he’s going to be asking when he gets to go to the cottage again, just like his cousins :)

Road Trip to Canada

September 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I don’t know if you noticed, but we were away in Canada at my parents’ comfy cottage last week! Here’s some photos and commentary if you’re interested in our first road trip with Henry…

After renting a car from Laguardia airport, we left our apartment Friday morning to do the first half of the 10 hour drive. Henry hadn’t been in a car since December and was pretty much horrified at the thought of getting into his car seat. After much encouragement from us and even our doorman, we gave him some cheezies to munch on and he gave into a nap.

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We stopped in Syracuse for the night and met up with our friend Matt, who took us to the State Fair that evening. Henry got to see goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens, and run around the bright lights and giant stuffed animals. He was very excited about the blimp floating over the fair and got to eat salty, deep-fried chicken fingers (probably much more delicious than the multigrain breaded organic kind from home ;)).

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We left our hotel Saturday morning and arrived in Oshawa for my twin niece & nephew’s first birthday party that afternoon. It worked out very well that we got to see my sister’s family before heading to my parents’ and Henry got to enjoy running around with other kids (and toy cars) before spending another 1.5 hours in the car. P1030849

Henry seemed to settle into the cottage faster than ever once we arrived, even playing us some guitar and enjoying our applause.

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Since we were on vacation, we let Henry stay up late and in turn, he’d sleep later than usual in the mornings. One day, he even slept until 10:00! (He was up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.)

Our days at the cottage were glorious. Grandpa cuddles…

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Enjoying a new selection of toy cars and tiny plastic animals… P1030853

Feeding chipmunks and blue jays peanuts…

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Visits from family…

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Cousin craziness…

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Serious sandbox time…

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Visiting Fenelon Falls’ beach and ice cream shops…

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Boat rides…

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And one day, my dad arranged for us to visit the local fire hall. Having a grandpa on city council has its benefits!

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A huge thank you to my parents for taking care of us for a week! And thanks to all my family who came for a visit. It was so great to see you!

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Now to plan our Christmas road trip…

A Quick Solo Trip To Toronto

July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

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This weekend, I took my second solo trip since Henry was born! I flew to Toronto Saturday morning and enjoyed reading, eating, and listening to music – basically a trip to the spa compared to flying with a small child ;) Untitled

I arrived downtown Toronto around 1:30 and met Sarah and Julia for a late lunch at Fresh, of course. Then they took me to a few cute new shops around Queen & Roncesvalles, including North Standard Trading Post. I’d been meaning to get Henry one of their cute hoodies and treated myself to a few things as well including one of Tami Noa Levy‘s provincial animal series prints.

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Sarah hosted a few lady friends at her new house for cheese and snacks before we all headed out to dinner at Burdock. Her and Phil’s new place is very cute and the cheese was delicious! It was great to see more examples of the homes my friends are starting to own in Toronto because Nick & I are getting very used to the idea (and starting to plan) how to do the same thing in a year or two!

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After dinner, we headed down the street to Bar Neon where Mike, Rob, and Tristan came to meet up with us. P1030769_2

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Although it was only one afternoon and evening of spending time together, I appreciate any time I get to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. Especially one pregnant Sarah Curtis! That night, my sister Jenn came to meet me for a sleepover at my hotel and although I didn’t get back there til 11:30, we still stayed up for a few hours chatting. I’ll take whatever I can get!

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The next morning, I met my brother Ryan for breakfast at The Beast. After eating the giant plates of food and maple bacon donuts, I agree that it is aptly named!

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After I left Ryan, I made one last attempt to enjoy the weak Canadian dollar before I went to the airport to fly home. Let’s just say, I am set for both yoga shorts and Canadian Dairy Milk for a while!

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It was really nice to get away, even for just one night, but also wonderful to return home to these two guys. I got the best Henry hugs ever when I walked in the door!

See you again soon, Toronto!

Thanksgiving in Canada

October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Last week, we flew up to Canada to spend my birthday/Nick’s birthday/Thanksgiving with my family!

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Sure, waking up at 5am and traveling for 7 hours wasn’t the funnest birthday activity, but the payoff was HUGE. We spent a quiet evening with my parents at their beautiful cottage and I ate 3 delicious birthday cupcakes, made with love by my Mom.

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None of this cupcake actually made it inside Henry’s mouth.

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Henry enjoyed running all over and exploring my parents’ place. Last time he was there, he was only crawling!

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On Saturday, we went to my sister’s place in Oshawa for Thanksgiving and met these two tiny babies!

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My Grandparents and brother & sister-in-law also met us there. My brother brought me a much-appreciated birthday gift: two giant Dairy Milk bars! (Canadian chocolate just puts American chocolate to shame.)

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For the first time, Henry got to run around with his older cousins. No one complained about him being boring this time!

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In fact, I think Henry got much more attention than he ever expected!

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Kids have been a presence at family gatherings for years now, but this time, it was like a kid explosion! Good thing they are absolutely adorable.

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My Dad needs a bigger lap for all his grandsons!

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These two just might be coming down with baby fever soon. I hear it’s contagious.

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My sister Jenn is doing an incredible job at raising four kids (FOUR!!!). I asked her if she ever loses track of where everyone is and she admitted that yes, sometimes she does. You can’t really blame her – the twins are the quietest people in the house!

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Although Henry didn’t sleep properly any of the nights we were there (he became my bed buddy), it was so great to get this trip in to see my family and meet my new niece and nephew. See you again at Christmas, Canada! Hopefully this time with more rest ;)

Grandma’s 80th Birthday Party

July 29, 2014 § 2 Comments

This year, my Grandma is turning 80! My parents were generous enough to offer their beautiful home as a venue for all my family to get together for a giant party to celebrate her. Nick, Henry, and I were so happy to be able to come too!

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We arrived Wednesday evening and despite a rocky start with sleep, Henry had THE BEST TIME.

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He loved being outdoors, seeing too many trees to even try to touch them all, the river, boat rides, and having so much room to crawl.

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And of course he loved spending so much time with family.

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We spent 4 days at the cottage and 1 day in Oshawa with my sister. Unfortunately, we had no time to get to Toronto to see friends, but I was so happy to have a visit from my friend Sara! (Also pictured: my cousin’s cute and friendly son, Kieran.)

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Sara and I have been friends for over 10 years, but she moved to Scotland about 6 years ago and got married last year. She was in town visiting her parents with her husband, David, and friend, Hana. It was so great to catch up and enjoy her new Canadian-Scottish accent ;)

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Later that evening, we had a campfire, complete with Grandpa selfies.

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The next day, Henry had his first ride on my parents’ pontoon boat. I didn’t think I’d be able to put his robot costume-sized infant life jacket on him without a fight, but he didn’t care – SO MANY TREES!!!! For the rest of the day, all he wanted was to go down by the river and look at everything. He is already more outdoorsy than his parents.

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Soon, more babies arrived! New parents Jeremy and Gioia brought an adorable 3 month old Dante.

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Henry continued to love life, chowing down on PC baby food (added sugar! woooo!) and yelling to join the dinner conversation.

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We had dinner at the longest table, sitting about 32 people. We enjoyed heartfelt tributes to my Grandma by my mom, aunt, and uncle. Tears were shed!

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Then the cupcakes came out. Of course, the great-grandchildren that knew how to blow out candles lent a helping hand.

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It was a really great weekend, filled with family. Unfortunately, we were missing the Martin family – my sister is too pregnant to travel that far away from her hospital. Twins come quickly!

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So on Sunday morning, we packed up and said our goodbyes so we could say hello to Jenn and her family. And one great big HELLO to that BELLY!

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I don’t know how she is doing it, but she looks absolutely fantastic and is still up and moving!

Henry is just about old enough to actually play with his cousins. It’s a pretty heartwarming sight. Of course, he is still a baby so at one point Jillian declared “I’m bored of Henry now.” I’m both looking forward to and dreading that honesty once Henry can talk. haha.

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What a great trip. I wish it was longer, but we were very happy to get home yesterday. Happy birthday to my Grandma and lots of love to my whole family!

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