travelling with a kid

We are on our way home from a mini vacation to my sister’s house in New York State. It has been a whole lot of driving for such a short visit but worth every mile/kilometre!

Having a chance to see my sister, her husband, and our niece and nephew is a rare treat – we try and visit once a year but they are the real troopers who haul the kids up to Canada more often than most sane families would dare. As mentioned before, all of our nieces and nephews live outside of the country which sucks, but at the same time, it is an excuse to travel.

Long gone are the days when Mike and I would get up at 3 am and beeline it out of Montreal, aiming to make record time to Halifax in the VW Golf TDI.

Now with a child, we have had to adjust and here are some tricks we’ve learnt on the road. David is five and has road tripped several times to Montreal and New York and also around California, Spain and Florida so he’s a backseat pro. This being said, it’s not always fun and he’s not always enjoyable but you can’t blame him.

  1. Always try to book a hotel with a pool. Especially if it will be a long day in the car and especially if you have another long day in the car the following day. A pool is a great way to burn some stored-up energy and it’s a great bribing insensitive on the road “Five more hours and thennnnn you can swim”.
  2. Food. Lots of snacks. It’s vacation so don’t stress about being healthy but the more you pack, the less gas station and fast food stops you will require.
  3. Invest in a good pair of earphones. I love these. They enjoy their movie and you can enjoy a good podcast or music up front.
  4. Stay at a hotel with free breakfast.
  5. Take the fastest route always. Kids don’t care much about the scenic route.
  6. Fill a basket with books, markers, paper, activity books, small toys and even an iPad. The more they can reach, the better.
  7. Start the day on the road early and finish early and plan ahead as much as possible so you can stay in a kid-friendly location.
  8. If you can, bring movies to watch on the road.
  9. But, if you have something like a movie, save it for when it’s really bad – do NOT give them all of the good stuff too early.
  10. Expect the unexpected and embrase the rest stops and playgrounds.

We decided to take a day off in between a seven hour day and a ten hour day of driving ahead. Right now I am at a hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire which has two pools, an arcade room, a movie room, DVD rentals, access to easy hiking, shopping and family restaurants. It is actually cheap (less than $100/night) because it is not peak season and it has hopefully helped us recharge before tomorrow’s journey.

Images below: A trip to the Discovery Centre in Binghamton

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Images below: A kid free night at an AHL game. Who knew there were two Nova Scotian’s on the Binghamton team. We spent most of the game yelling Port Hawkesbury! Antigonish! Thank you to Mat’s mom who got the kids to sleep before we got home.IMG_1543 IMG_1550 IMG_1556 IMG_1558

Images below: Binghamton has an awesome playground
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Images below: Hiking in North Conway, New Hampshire
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Let me know if you have any additional tricks. Safe travels!

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up and away

C’est Halloween (tomorrow)! This makes me relieved for three reasons:

  • The mini chocolate bars, that I’ve done a terrible job at not eating this week, will exit the house
  • The pumpkin flavoured/scented everything will hopefully be done! (marketing overkill much?)
  • I can compost the dead potted mums and the rotten pumpkins sitting on my porch

I am happy to report I have made it though another year without a Superhero costume. Nothing against all of the Superhero kids… I just like making stuff and my skills do not include sewing. To avoid this, I spent a bit of time on Pinterest looking for ideas which I then I shared with David. To my surprise, he picked his favourite and committed. Phew. Unlike last year, this costume is rather simple. We started with a sketch:


As you can clearly see, he is a HOT AIR BALLOON PILOT.

I bought a basket (50% off sale at Michaels) and cut out the bottom.* DSC_0540

I hung flour-filled balloons off the sides (aka propane tanks). DSC_0537

and made carrying suspenders out of braided twine I recycled from last year’s pirate ship.

The helium balloon was tied on with baker’s twine and ribbon. DSC_0542

David already owned the jean jacket and scarf but the aviator goggles and cap came from a party supply store. DSC_0534 DAVID

I actually got two helium balloons. My original plan was to use the little balloon for school and the big one for trick-or-treating but I am nervous the costume may be too awkward for the school hallway. Sadly, he may go to school dressed as a pilot. Dammit Janet! 

RHPS forever. Happy halloween y’all!

*  *  *

See David’s past costumes here.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

* When Halloween is over, I am just going to put extra throws in it… as a stationary blanket holder, you don’t really need a bottom.

leaving it to the pro

I’ve been thinking about an update to David’s room as he’s now four and it’d be fun to make a change to what’s going on in there. David’s room is small, like all of the rooms upstairs, (10×10 ish) and it has a teeny-tiny closet. The room was done before he was born so it’s somewhat neutral (although you can tell I had an inkling it was a boy = pale blue walls and orange accents).

I thought it’d be fun to show David twelve themes of boyish bedding… after all, he’s the pro when it comes to what four-year-old boys are into these days. Let’s just say, our tastes differ a bit but that’s to be expected.


all snapshots are from The Land of Nod!

Drum rolllllll, and the winner is “oh-bouy” – nautical, boats, beach, blue, red, grey and yellow. Shall we dive in?

The number one item on my (David’s) wish list are bunk-beds! What kid doesn’t want an extra spot for sleepovers? In a small room, you need to maximize your vertical space too! Also, it’s important to not overdue the theme too much – no need for sea sickness.

Boys Room

Here’s the low-down

  • A: Neutral curtains over an existing pull-shade.
  • B: A fun coastline bed-side light.
  • C:  These wall hooks are the best – I actually have a few spots in my home where i’d happily hang these guys!  Should I buy in bulk?
  • D/G: A slim teak desk and a foldable chair will leave less clutter but offers a space for homework.
  • E: A rug, which matches the curtains, will warm up the room.
  • F: Fun linens with a pop of colour!
  • H/I: Books books and more books – the nightstand and the red caddy will fill up.​
  • J/K:  Matching bed and dresser.
  • L:  With a desk long dresser, bunk-beds and a nightstand, there is no room to sit – so a pouf will float around nicely and act as a seat or table.
  • M: Wire bins – for socks, toys, and whatever else can be put in there, rather than on the floor!
  • N: The small closet will turn into open shelves – boys don’t need to hang much, so let’s maximize some storage space and use funky neon green shelves.
  • O: What nautical room is complete without a pipe-smoking seagull?
  • P: The world map – not THAT nautical, but I think every kids needs to know where they stand in this big ol’ world of ours.
  • Q/R/S/U: A sham to match the linens, a nautical quilt, an anchor pillow and a flag throw pillow completes the theme and can easily be swapped out when/if his taste changes.
  • T: Some fun desk decor.

So when is this happening? Probably not right away because landscaping is at the top of our list but it’s fun to have plan. – xomeg

oh, and just so you know, here’s what the room looks like now


psst… The Alphabet and Number prints will find a new home downstairs… technically I purchased them for my baby-to-be, but knew they’d always have a place on my walls regardless of what happened to the nursery.