Momo In The 6

Travel

Traveling with kids

Travel, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment
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TRAVELING WITH KIDS is always an adventure. We love to travel with our little family, it’s such a special time to make memories, explore together, and spend time just as our little family unit. With how crazy things have been while Sam finishes residency we haven’t been doing as many worldwide adventures as we’d like but we have spent weekends at the farm or cottage, or visiting his family in Florida for a week or two every winter - often with me flying solo with the kids!


All that to say I’ve learned quite a few tricks and essential items to have along the way.

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Snacks:

Bring more than you need! We love to bring small item snacks that will take them a while to eat, such as goldfish crackers, raisins, popcorn, trail mix etc. A little bowl of fishie crackers can occupy a solid 15 minutes of your trip, and every minute counts!

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Dock-a-tot:

This little lounger is a GAME CHANGER. I was given a complimentary dock-a-tot to review for you guys and all I can say is that I wish I had one for my other two babies, I can’t sing it’s praises enough! Designed in Sweden, it is adorable and comfortable - can we talk about the Oh Joy collab for this beautiful pattern?! It’s meant for lounging, playing, co-sleeping, and snuggling. The design makes it feel like the baby is snug as a bug (reminiscent of the good old days in mama’s tummy).

It’s perfect for traveling as it makes for easy resting and naps while in different places. Already when we’ve gone to someone’s house, to the farm, or the cottage we’ve brought it and Honey loves it so much. It’s perfect for her to lay in and have her brothers come and snuggle up and say hi!

Honey lounging in her Dock A Tot while the rest of us eat dinner

Honey lounging in her Dock A Tot while the rest of us eat dinner


Toys/activities:

We bought a couple of sketching boards for the boys when I was doing a six hour drive alone with the boys last year. These are a dream since they are compact and we can play lots of different games with them.


And the Dollar store is your best friend! We buy little Dino figurines, stickers, colouring books, play dough, glow sticks, slinkies, little books, etc and give them one toy every 30ish min to occupy them and keep things exciting!

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A WEEK IN VERMONT

Travel, MotherhoodMomo in the 6Comment

A FEW WEEKS ago we gathered up our troop for a six hour road trip out to Montreal then Lake Champlain in Vermont. Sam's family has a beautiful cottage on the lake that was the perfect escape for us. The weather was gorgeous, sunny but not too hot, and we got to spend time together as a family of four, as well as with Sam's Aunt and Grandmother who joined us.  Sam and I also managed to get lots of one on one time that is so rare for us which made the trip feel extra special.

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If you haven't noticed, we are normally the go-go-go type family and we love to jam pack our free time with lots of friends, family and adventures! This trip however we decided to not do the day trips we had planned and instead just lay low and take advantage of the opportunity to relax, savouring those last few moments of summer while we still can!

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We filled our days with time spent outside exploring, relaxing on the grass (this UV tent (similar here) for babies is such a lifesaver for letting Atticus join us without burning his fresh little skin!), throwing rocks into the water, playing in our makeshift pool (this raft filled with a bit of water, genius!), swinging on the old wooden swing, family time on the hammock, baking cakes, eating delicious snacks (mainly watermelon!), taking many naps *all the praise hands!* and talking. And once the boys were in bed for the night Sam and I had lots of time to reconnect and watch the sunset and talk. It was so wonderful.

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One thing I love in particular about Sam's time off is that both boys get some individual concentrated time with dad. Something about hanging with dad seems to help them grow and develop new skills at such a rapid rate - like this week Finny busted out numerous five or six word sentences. And Acey is now pushing himself into plank position on his knees (I think we'll have a crawler very soon!) Update: Since I wrote this post a month ago, Acey is officially crawling!

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We really feel so blessed to have so many places we can travel to for free, thanks to the generosity of our friends and family. It was such a perfect week away, the right amount of time for us to relax and spend loads of time bonding with our little family.

A POWER WEEKEND IN MONTREAL

Travel, City LifeMomo in the 6Comment

OH MONTREAL, YOU feel like home. This past weekend we loaded the kids into the car and headed to Montreal for the weekend for a friends wedding. It was a whirlwind of a weekend and we jam packed it full of friends and family to make sure we made the most of it! Sorry for the long post, but you'd be surprised how much we fit into the weekend!

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We arrived Friday evening and first thing Saturday morning we were out the door bounding to The Plateau to go meet up with my best friend Emily (who writes over at Our Nest in the City) and her three kiddos. We met for coffees, breakfast sandwiches and doughnut balls at Larry's before heading to the park to let the kids roam free. Since Sam was there to hang with the kids and Atticus was sleeping in the stroller, I had the opportunity for an *almost* uninterrupted conversation, catching up with Emmy - practically unheard of with five kids around!

We spent probably an hour sitting on the park bench, sipping coffees and talking. She is one of my favourite people for a million reasons but one of the biggest ones is that all our biggest passions are mutual. Jesus, family, theology, passion for food, writing, style, coffee... All shared. And because of this our conversations are so fun, one minute we can be laughing hysterically over something ridiculous, the next we'll be talking food and new recipes, and the next we will be digging deep and challenging each other or crying with each other over a trial in our lives. It is so refreshing to be able to be so real with someone.

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Saturday evening we ventured out to the West Island to meet up with our friends Dwight and Jess to hang with their fam and meet their FOURTH little baby, Stella. It was so nice to catch up and eat bbq pizza and relax. Jess and I also managed to steal some time to catch up on life, family, ministry at their church, Church 21, and relax together which was so wonderful, not to mention getting to snuggle a sweet little two month old who has all the same rolls that Finny did!

Sunday morning our little family stopped by Dispatch coffee for pour overs, a babyccino and some avocado toast. Stealing away just the four of us doesn't happen too often so this was a real treat! We sat on the patio in the sun and took an hour to just be together and catch up.

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Sam went to get ready with the groom and I took the boys to Église du Plateau-Mont-Royal, the church that Emily and her husband, Brad, have planted in The Plateau. Although my French is far from perfect (I probably understood about 60-70%), it was so refreshing and encouraging to worship Jesus with people in another language, and to see what God is doing through their ministry in Montreal, I loved every minute of my time there. After the service we popped over to St. Viateur Bagels to stock up and grab bagels for lunch on our way home and when I got to my car I realized that not only did I leave my window open, but I had left the lights on and killed my car battery. Two kids, without my husband, on a hot day, at nap time, with a dead car battery. I was on the verge of tears. Thankfully I found someone to help who called a volunteer service that comes and jumps your car for free. When that white SUV pulled up and four men jumped out with their car battery jump box I nearly cried... They looked my knights in shining armor pulling up!

Sunday evening was the wedding of our dear friends Salva and Aaron. I cannot begin to tell you how fantastic this wedding was. It was at Entrepots Dominion by the Atwater Market, the ceremony took place outdoors with the perfect city backdrop for their pictures. The service was so beautiful and overflowed with love. The cocktail hour was incredible - the signature cocktails were a gin and ginger beer with apple slices, mango mojitos, and an old fashioned. There was the biggest table of cheese I have ever seen. There were mini burgers, tuna tartare, saffron and shittake mushroom risotto being passed by you every two minutes.

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The reception was stunning, set in an old warehouse there were balls of light everywhere, incredible flower arrangements (the bride and groom are passionate botanists!), the menu cards had the guests name and a personalized note written to each person. Don't get me started on the band! The St. Royals from Toronto came and played and, even though this gal typically goes to bed at 9:30, Sam was literally dragging me off the dance floor at 1am to get home to relieve our childcare. What can I say, I love to boogie ;-).  I love weddings, I love the reminder of the commitment Sam and I made to each other, I love meeting new people and learning about the passions and interests of people different from me. I love food and drinks. I love music and dancing. And I love getting a night alone with my man. If I could go to a wedding every weekend (and not be broke, ha!) I would.

Shameless bathroom selfie ;-)

Shameless bathroom selfie ;-)

Thankfully the boys decided to let their "dance until the wee hours of the morn" parents sleep in until 8am, which was desperately needed. Then, en route to the cottage in Vermont we made a quick breakfast pit stop in at our bffs Hannah and Oliver's house. Not only is spending time with Hannah and Oliver one of our favourite things, but Finn and their daughter Cotton have such a special bond so it's always great fun to get the two of them together. And their son Quinn was born on the same day as Atticus, only three hours before, so naturally, they had lots to catch up on :-)

Montreal is such a special place to us. I have been feeling quite nostalgic lately about that beautiful city... the place we learned to be married, where we found out we were expecting, where we had our first child. We went through many monumental things and had many joys and many hardships while we were there. It will always remain one of my favourite places and I love that its just a five hour drive down the 401. À bientôt, Montréal!

For those who have asked, you can find the dress I wore to the wedding HERE.

 

MONTRÉAL, WE LOVE YOU

Travel, FamilyMomo in the 62 Comments
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LAST WEEK WE stole away to our home away from home, Montréal, for some quality time as a family and with our friends there. Montreal is such a special place for us... It holds all of our newlywed memories - I still remember loading up a Uhaul truck after our wedding and feeling all the excitement and anticipation of what our new life together in a new city would hold. It is where we found out I was pregnant with Finny, and I loved wandering around the city while super pregnant on missions to the bagel shop and all the cafés. It is where we welcomed our sweet Finny into the world. We walked through major joys and major hardships while we lived there.

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We made some of the best friendships we may ever have while living there. You know, those friends who are like family (especially while you all live away from your families) and you feel right at home with the moment you get together after any time apart. Once in a lifetime friendships that we are so thankful for.

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So when Sammy got a week off it was a no brainer that we should go to our home away from home. There is nothing quite like being in Montreal in the summer time. Maybe it's because the winters there are so hard, but the city comes alive in the summer. The parks are full, the patios are always bumping, people walk or bike everywhere. It's incredible. 

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We spent our time relaxing with our friends, enjoying great food, catching up, playing with the kids, going for walks and taking time to unwind. We even managed to steal away for a double date night out to Chuck Hughes' restaurant "La Garde Manger", which was a really fun and delicious night out.  Finny had his first experiences with ice cream and sushi while we were there!

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I even got to be pregnant with one of those friends and our sweet boys were born only two hours apart! Finny had a blast hanging with our friend's daughter, Cotton, who is one of the sweetest little ones we know. He always learns so much and advances so much after spending extended amounts of time with her. This time he came home speaking way more two and three word phrases and is much more willing to try to do physical things (climb on the couch by himself, step down stairs etc) by himself.

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We had some car troubles while we were there which were annoying but probably slowed us down and forced us to vedge out a little more than we would have. 

We did the drives there and back at night around the boys bedtimes so we could capitalize on sleep. Finny is a pro at the Montreal-Toronto trek since he has done it at least 10 times. We weren't sure how Atticus would do but he was such a champ and slept the whole way both directions! 

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We are home now, and it's good to be home. It was so sad to say goodbye to our friends and that city but thankfully it's only 5 hours down the 401 and we can't wait for our next time back!

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A QUICK FAMILY GETAWAY

Family, TravelMomo in the 6Comment

THIS WEEKEND WE decided to make a quick impromptu trip out of town to maximize Sam's week off of work. My Aunt and Uncle let us use their family cottage on the Kawartha Lakes and it was incredible. Oh to wake up to the sun streaming into the bedroom through the double doors and seeing the lake when you first open your eyes... there is nothing quite like it!

Sam and I laugh about the fact that neither of us are particularly "outdoorsy" people. We love life in the city and neither of us are too big on getting our hands dirty. Going camping isn't something we are dying to do but I'm sure we will do it to give our kids that experience. Cottage life however is a whole other ballgame. You get the perks of being outside and in nature while still having a big comfortable bed to sleep in and a kitchen to make nice meals in.

Finny loved being at the cottage, he would get outside and start "running" and laughing while shouting "Un! Un!" (run). He picked dandelions to collect in his pocket. He loved being able to see the water and the ducks swimming in the lake. He and Sam sat on the hammock right when we got there and they rolled in it and fell off... I'm pretty sure he is traumatized by hammocks now! When we would sit on it he would go "hammock... no!" and walk in the opposite direction. That kid is such a riot!

Since both our boys are down by 6:30pm, Sam and I got lots of alone time too which was wonderful. We spent the evenings on the hammock, eating ice cream and watching the sunset. It was such a dreamy escape and the perfect way to start Sam's week off.

AN IMPROMPTU ROAD TRIP TO MONTRÉAL

Travelmomointhe6Comment

LAST WEEKEND PHINEAS and I took a last minute road trip to Montréal to visit friends and eat delicious food. It was my first time doing the drive by myself and although I was a little nervous about it, Phineas was a star and made the trip way more fun! He is a very easy-going bubba and does so well in the car. He has, after all, done the Montreal-Toronto drive upwards of 15 times! vsco-photo-1 2

We spent just as much time relaxing with a few different friends as we did venturing around to our favourite cafés, restaurants and boutiques. I was on a hunt to get Phineas a new hat from one of my favourite baby stores Le Nid de la Cigogne (The Stork's Nest) and I found the most perfect knit balaclava hat in a plum picture that he loves and conveniently cannot take off on his own (we were having some issues with his ability to untie hats and pitching them out of the stroller...).

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I met up with my friend Emily at Boucherie Lawrence's for my first Banh Mi sandwich and it was incredible. I also bought these custard, chocolate and vanilla filled donut balls for dessert which were also amazing.

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Montréal was and will remain an incredibly important place for us. It is where we spent the first three and a half years of our marriage. Where we made friends who are more like family. It is where we found out we were having a baby, and where we welcomed our sweet Bubba Finn into our lives and then learned how to be parents. I left with a very full heart.

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A WEEKEND IN MUSKOKA

Family, Travelmomointhe6Comment

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Muskoka is, and always has been one of my favourite places to go in the summer. With the picturesque views, the beautiful lakes, the deep forests and towering trees, it is truly one of the treasures of Ontario! When my father-in-law invited us to go to his friends cottage for the weekend the answer was an obvious and resounding "Yes!". This summer trip up north was particularly special since we got to bring Finny and show him all the fun things you can do in Muskoka! We relaxed and played in the cottage, went swimming, relaxed on the dock, went for a couple of boat rides, we even took Finny for his very first tube ride! (Not to worry, Grandpa was in control and drove about as slow as the boat could go, easing this nervous mama into the idea of it).

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One of the things I admire most about Finn is how brave he is! So far he has taken virtually every new experience we give him with a fearless attitude. He wanted Sam to swim him out to the floating dock, he seemed to really like the tube ride (although he kept his signature stoic face and held on tight to mum and dad!). The weekend ended with a sleeping baby moments into our drive home, giving mum and dad a three and a half hour date for the drive back. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend with family.

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A WEEKEND IN MUSKOKA

Family, Travelmomointhe6Comment

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Muskoka is, and always has been one of my favourite places to go in the summer. With the picturesque views, the beautiful lakes, the deep forests and towering trees, it is truly one of the treasures of Ontario! When my father-in-law invited us to go to his friends cottage for the weekend the answer was an obvious and resounding "Yes!". This summer trip up north was particularly special since we got to bring Finny and show him all the fun things you can do in Muskoka! We relaxed and played in the cottage, went swimming, relaxed on the dock, went for a couple of boat rides, we even took Finny for his very first tube ride! (Not to worry, Grandpa was in control and drove about as slow as the boat could go, easing this nervous mama into the idea of it).

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One of the things I admire most about Finn is how brave he is! So far he has taken virtually every new experience we give him with a fearless attitude. He wanted Sam to swim him out to the floating dock, he seemed to really like the tube ride (although he kept his signature stoic face and held on tight to mum and dad!). The weekend ended with a sleeping baby moments into our drive home, giving mum and dad a three and a half hour date for the drive back. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend with family.

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