Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smuggler's Notch Family Retreat

So this past weekend was an absolute blast. We were treated to a weekend at Smuggler's Notch in Vermont and discovered a new vacation spot that we often pass on our way down to Stowe. In fact, we've been to Smuggler's before as my cousins have a condo there. But to stay overnight, experience all of its services and truly be on vacation is a whole different story.

We checked in Friday evening and drove off to our condo that lay on a hilltop. Were we ever speechless upon entering "Eagles 5". Three bedrooms, a full kitchen, 2 baths, 2 fireplaces, one balcony, one sunroom - we could definitely live here! Of course, Hannah opted to sleep in our bed rather than one of the five others in the condo but luckily we all fit nicely into a king sized bed.
Day one. We ate breakfast in our condo and got ready for an early start. I attended the bloggers' morning and had planned for everyone to be occupied during that time. Hannah would spend the morning at Treasures, Child Care Centre, and Chris would go to the Zipline Canopy Tour (an early father's day present).

After dropping Chris off in the forest, I was a bit hesitant that Hannah wouldn't let me leave her with "strangers". But the numerous fish tanks and warm staff at Treasures made her feel right at home.

Chris enjoying the great outdoors!

When it came time for me to pick her up she was even sporting a new look as they had headed to the stream for some rock throwing and her clothes got dirty in the process. The staff had some extra clothes and decked her out for the rest of the morning.

Post nap, lunch and thunderstorm, we chose from one of the resorts' 8 pools and 4 water slides. We opted for one of the indoor water parks and for someone who was hesitant to go down the slide, Hannah must have run up those stairs and slid down a good 50 times.
The definition of fun

After a snack, we headed off to the Fun Zone which is basically a giant tent filled with inflatables, toys and games. Again, I've never seen a kid have so much fun!

Dinner at the Morse Mountain Grille followed by ice cream at Ben & Jerry's (have you tried the new Late Night Snack with fudge covered potato chips?) and everyone was soon tucked into bed.

Father's Day Sunday started off early with a visit to one of the many playgrounds with a new friend in the making at the sand box.

Once the pools opened at 10am, we went to Mountainside as we had heard that there was a water slide that was just Hannah's size.
She ended up spending most of her time in the Little Smuggler's Lagoon

Post checkout, we packed up the car and headed home. Hannah slept the entire way. No surprise.

All in all it was an incredible weekend. I'd really like to call it the DisneyWorld of the north. But at this resort, parents can actually get a break. The excellent child care and camp programs let parents enjoy the outdoors and some alone time. And the resorts' shuttle means that the car stays parked and older kids can get around on their own.

It's a weekend that we'll never forget, hopefully will repeat and will change the definition of a family vacation for many.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why am I a Blogger? You Tell Me...

For the past two years (can't believe its been that long as of July!), this blog has been an outlet to express my experiences, voice my concerns and share special moments about motherhood. I have enjoyed getting your comments (when they come) and hearing feedback about other moms going through the same discoveries as myself.

From time to time I was able to take advantage of my blogger status with giveaways for my readers and a few promo codes here and there. But that all changed this weekend.

About a month ago, I was contacted by Smuggler's Notch to attend a blogger weekend with my family. We celebrated Father's Day in Vermont with an amazing weekend that can only be compared to DisneyWorld of the North for Hannah.

I'm in the process of putting together a full post with photos and highlights of our big weekend. But in the meantime, the blogger seminar featuring Nicole Ravlin of People Making Good Inc, Miss Magpie of Find and Go Seek, and Bill Patton of HMC2 Marketing, got me thinking....

What is the purpose of this blog? Definitely not to make money. But the perks are certainly nice! I'd love for it to become a travel blog but with a pending new baby and move that seems highly unrealistic for the next 6 months (unless free offers come my way).

So I put it out to you, my readers. What do you like best about my blog?
1. Hearing about Hannah's (and my) adventures
2. Finding out about family friendly events happening in Montreal
3. Getting a first hand mom account, trials, tribulations and all

Or is there something else that might make you log on more often?

I was thinking about putting a kiddie fashion spin on it since I love shopping for Hannah's clothes and have been told I've got one of the most stylish kids on the block. Think fashion steals and deals and how to stretch a kids' clothing budget.

You like?

Let me know! I need your feedback now more than ever!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Last Day

I can hardly believe it but today is Hannah's last day of school.

It seems like just yesterday that we were taking her for her orientation to meet her teachers and classmates. And when I look back on that post from August 2010 I can't believe how little she looks. Almost like a baby.

She's a real big girl now. A huge vocabulary, social skills (in the works), friendships, life lessons. Its amazing what a short 10 months can do.

While she'll be attending the camp "daycare" this summer, her days won't be as structured with learning but rather will focus on fun with time in the park, pool and other activities.

I've said it before but teachers really don't get enough credit. This 18 to 26 month period has been a formative one for Hannah and her teachers had so much to do with it. No amount of appreciation is enough to show how grateful we are.

I'm heading off for a school-wide lunch BBQ this afternoon. Will try my best to express my gratitude to them all.

To all of you moms with kids out of school....good luck! Hope your days aren't too hairy and the weather accommodates fun in the sun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

4 in the Bed...

Two nights ago there were four of us in bed.

Me, the husband, Hannah and the dog.

By the end of the night, I ended up sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed, freezing cold.

I think we have finally discovered the solution to our bedtime woes though. Yes, the door lock is one of them but the other seems to be for mommy to get out of the house.

Last night I went to see Water for Elephants with two friends (both who had also read the book) and Hannah went to bed with little complaint and ended up staying there the whole night. Daddy seems to have the magic touch. That, or the bad behaviour just comes out for mom.

I think its a bit of column A and a bit of column B.

Hannah had no school yesterday so my mom babysat. She had a big day planned of buying the dog a birthday gift at Safari (while looking at the animals), lunch at the Rockland food court and a nap in the car. Well, I advised her not to bring along the stroller since it would just be dead weight when chasing after Hannah.

But the report at the end of the day? Hannah was an angel.
Had mom been the activity planner I'm sure it wouldn't have been so easy.

So I'm starting to think that with the warm weather finally upon us maybe I'll make it a nightly habit to go for a nice walk around bedtime. I'll get my exercise and Hannah will actually sleep.

Wonder what dad will think about that. If it means not waking up to 2 little feet in his face I think it just might go for it...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stock up on Toys

With tons of summer birthday parties already in full swing, here's a great way to save a bit of money on gifts.

If we find our dream home soon I'm hoping to snatch up a play house for Hannah to put in the backyard!

Keeping her Captive

I made an unexpected stop on my way to work this morning. Walmart.

No, I wasn't stocking up on the latest diaper sale or perusing all of the water toys (perfect for this steamy day). I had a destination upon entering: the child safety section.

No scrapes, bumps or falls. I wasn't looking at the corner pads or drawer stoppers but rather the door handle locks.

Why you may ask? Because Hannah has mastered the art of opening her door and managed to escape from her room about 5 times last night.

We tried everything to get her to sleep: sleeping in her bed with her, sleeping on the couch, letting her sleep in our bed. But she just wouldn't settle down. Until 10pm. After being held hostage in her room, tears pouring down her face, she had finally exerted enough energy to fall asleep (in our bed of course) within seconds of hitting the pillow.

Unfortunate for her dad who found her lying horizontally on his side of the bed relegating him to the couch.

So, with my trusty new door lock and a hopefully easy installation, tonight she will be held captive in her room. Feel kind of like I am fending off a prisoner but the girls' gotta learn to stay put.

Not to mention that I keep envisioning her locking herself in her own room.

Putting all of my hopes for a good night's sleep in a round piece of plastic. Please work!