Adventuring With Kids: Planning a Ski Trip!

This year has continued to be a whirlwind! Clara’s digestive/health issues are still a concern for us and now Tim has been sick for a few days, too… Plus we just returned from another vacation a few days ago. I haven’t had time to sit down and catch my breath and the laundry is piling up as I type this! Priorities, though: blog, then laundry.

BUT, I want to rewind back to our Whistler trip to share some tips about how to vacation at a ski resort with toddlers (or young kids).

I think a lot of families wish they could do more adventurous vacations with babies/toddlers/young kids, but are intimidated to try it, or think it’s impossible.

Obviously, the easiest way to go on a skiing vacation as a family is to either put kids in ski school, ski with them, or bring along grandparents who don’t want to ski and would rather watch your kid(s) instead.

However, those options aren’t feasible when you, like me, have a three year old and one year old, and no grandparents who are easily accessible for a babysitting gig. But with a little planning, a ski vacation can still happen!

Tips on how to plan/take a ski trip with young children

Here’s how to survive a ski trip with toddlers (or young children):

+ Rent a house.

Hotels on the ski slopes may be a thing of the past for you, unless those hotels have a bedroom and a kitchen. At least for us, we’re all about the Airbnb life! This past trip we rented a house with five other families, and it was awesome. We had a hot tub, we had all of the comforts of home, and we had room to spread out and socialize once the kids were (finally) asleep.

+ Prepare meals ahead of time.

Do you know what you might not want to do after a long day of skiing? Wrangle your kids into a restaurant and expect them to sit still! Or attempt to prepare a dinner yourself. Take-out is your friend! But also, if you’re only going to be spending a quick weekend on the slopes, it may be worth it to prepare a few meals ahead of time for breakfast and dinner. Egg casseroles, baked oatmeal, baked pasta… prep it ahead of time and bring it with you!

+ Utilize daycare.

We put both kids in the Whistler Daycare program, and it was great! I will say, though, it was pricey. We spent $100 (CAD) per kid, per day. The drop-off was right at the base of Blackcomb and the process of drop-off and pick-up was super easy. Another option (which we utilized last year) is to hire a babysitter through Babysitting Whistler. This is the cheaper option if you have more than one kid, but our experience wasn’t so stellar. However, other people RAVE about their experiences, so maybe we just got a new(ish) babysitter. The kids survived and had a great time, but they didn’t seem to be as responsible as the daycare service, in my opinion. (I could go on about the hilarity of what happened with these sitters, but I don’t want to scare people away from this option!) Most ski resorts offer similar childcare options.

+ Plan some fun in the snow.

We skied two days, but left one afternoon open to play with the kids in the snow. Of course, they didn’t last as long as we had hoped before full toddler meltdowns occurred, but I did get a few pictures of them on a sled! My main objective was to make sure we had a few hours to spend as a family so they wouldn’t view the entire trip as us ‘abandoning’ them to ‘snow school’.

+ Understand cancellation policies and prepare for possible chaos.

As usual, if you’re going to travel with toddlers, make sure you have some backup plans. Normally I’m a fan of planning ahead when it comes to vacations, but I had a lot of anxiety going into this particular trip. We had to pay for the house and daycare ahead of time, which made me worried that we’d be out a ton of money if one of the kids got sick and the trip couldn’t happen. If you’re planning an expensive trip (as all ski vacations are), I would be aware of the cancellation policies and try not to purchase things way ahead of time. For instance, we didn’t buy our lift tickets until the night before we went skiing – so we paid full price. Yes, it would have been cheaper to buy them ahead of time, but our girls had been sick leading up to the trip, so I wanted the peace of mind that we wouldn’t be wasting hundreds of dollars on lift tickets we couldn’t use. In the future I’ll also be flying Southwest when possible (because they refund tickets as credits if you don’t use them) and booking Airbnb houses with as flexible of a refund policy as possible.

And most importantly…

+ Don’t be afraid to go!

I was really nervous for both ski trips we went on last year because I had the additional hassle of pumping along with all of the other things to think about. However, we had a blast at both Park City and Whistler! This year’s Whistler trip was even more fun because the girls are older and I didn’t need to carry around a breast pump in a backpack all over the mountain! Next year (hopefully) Clara will be in ski school for part of the time, which means we’ll have a little less money, but will hopefully have a lot more fun as a family doing something we all love!

Tips on how to plan/take a ski trip with young childrenTips on how to plan/take a ski trip with young children

The point being, it is very possible to go on adventures with toddlers, and having a baby doesn’t mean you need to stop going on active vacations. With a little (okay, a lot of) extra effort, you can create some great memories as a family, and even escape your littles for a bit of peace on a mountaintop!

Have you ever gone on a ski trip with your small kids? Do you have any tips?!

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What I Learned in Jan/Feb

I’m a little late on this (what else is new?!) but I wanted to share a few things I learned in January and February.

What I Learned in January & February

January

One word: SLEEP

I learned how to do it. Guys, this sounds crazy, I know. In January I made a resolution to go to sleep by 11:30pm each night, and it was life-changing. For my entire life, I’ve been a night owl. Once 10pm hits, I think it’s a great time to start reading a new book. And then I stay awake to finish it… sometimes until 3am. This sounds crazy, right?! Especially with two kids who don’t always (ever) sleep through the night.

At first this resolution was hard for me to keep. Old habits die hard. But, little by little, I went to bed earlier and earlier. By the end of the month, I was going to bed at the ridiculously early time of 10:30pm! I still can’t believe it myself.

I actually took away this daily resolution in February because I had formed such good habits in January. It made me realize that I have never been good at listening to my body, and I am especially not good at recognizing when my body is tired. I’ve been so used to being tired and pushing through the signals, that I’d just stay up and push through it (usually doing absolutely nothing productive) rather than going to sleep. I have no idea why this is but I’m sure I’ll dig into it eventually at counseling or something.

The point is, I’ve been way better at listening to my body this year, and have noticed when my body wants to go to sleep. Sometimes I still stay awake to watch just one more show or read another chapter, but I realize I’m pushing it and then I go to bed right after it’s done, regardless of what the clock says.

I think a part of this change was giving myself grace to not accomplish all of the things every single day. Baby steps.

February

A love of the Enneagram

I am obsessed. I first took this test in high school and got a different result than I did when I took it recently. The first result was one I really didn’t resonate with so I never loved this particular personality assessment/test/what-the-heck-do-I-call-this? Anyways, the Enneagram seems to be newly trendy, so I listened to a few podcasts on it and read this book (Sacred Enneagram) and was motivated to determine my type, again. After reading more of the description, I feel so known! Way more known than I felt after taking the Myers Briggs. I’ll write another blog post about what I learned about myself from the Enneagram, but the main thing I learned is that some people are like me, and some people are so very different! (It sounds weird, but sometimes I have a hard time understanding why people don’t think the same way I do!) I asked a few of my good friends to figure out their types, too, which has been super interesting. And of course, Tim is a different type than me, too, and by reading about his type, I’m better able to appreciate him. I may or may not (I definitely do) make him listen to segments of podcasts that talk about my type, so he can better understand me.

It’s all such good stuff. If you want to know more about the Enneagram and your type, just read the descriptions here – click on the types for more detailed descriptions – and see if one stands out to you. (No assessment necessary, but there are some free ones you can find online.)

I could go on and on about this, so I’ll do it in a later post!

Great smoothie recipes

I read this book (“Body Love” by Kelly LeVeque) and loved it! I read some parts in depth and only skimmed other parts of it, but it was all pretty interesting, if not a little too in depth for me. What I got out of it is that I need to eat more good fat and plant protein in my diet, and I need to eat less “bad” carbs and dairy… bleh. But, an easy way for me to start my day off feeling good is to drink a smoothie in the morning. I’ve tried the smoothie thing before and it has never worked. I got tired of chopping up fruit and making sure I had fresh ingredients at home and not feeling full afterwards… basically I was doing it all wrong. BUT, this book has awesome smoothie recipes in it and I’ve tried a bunch of them and am a huge fan. I sub a smoothie for either a breakfast or lunch and can notice a difference in how I’m feeling, for sure.

You can find some of her recipes online here, but I recommend reading the book, too. I found it at my local library!

OK, that about sums it up for the past few months! A major thing I’ve learned is that having monthly/weekly/daily goals has really helped me this year! I’ve been focused on making big changes in my lifestyle in small steps, which has been great. In March I’m focusing on spending more time outdoors and moving my body. Wish me luck! I can’t wait to see what I’ll learn!

Have you learned anything life-changing this year?!

Posted in being introspective, consciously evolving | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Adventuring with kids: Skiing in Whistler!

I’ve been MIA from this blog for 2 weeks – which seems like forever! I miss writing on here. Let me just recap what has been going on in our life with one word: sickness.

We haven’t all been healthy in our house since the beginning of the year. And I am so tired. So drained. So over it. Earlier this month I was sick for about two weeks with a terrible cold. Most recently, Clara’s tummy has been bothering her… for a week and a half. We just found out she isn’t contagious – PRAISE THE LORD, but has been suffering from secondary lactose intolerance, caused by a virus she had earlier this month. The same virus that gave her some sort of eye infection… ugh. WILL IT EVER END?

I have been spending so much time cleaning all of the things.

BUT, I’m happy to report that the family was all healthy (and not contagious!) enough to take a trip to Vancouver & Whistler this past weekend!

Adventuring With Kids: Skiing in Whistler!

These girls were having more fun than it may appear. Probably.

A quick recap of our trip:

  • We spent two days last week in Vancouver. We stayed in an Airbnb* on the 18th floor, and it made me miss our high-raise urban pre-kids lifestyle.
  • Bonus: the condo building had an indoor pool!
  • We walked around downtown Vancouver, ate delicious Asian food, walked across a suspension bridge, and generally enjoyed exploring a new (to us) city.
  • On Friday we drove the 2 hours to Whistler to meet our friends at a huge house we were all sharing. There were 12 adults and 9 kids under 3.5 years old. It was the best kind of chaos.
  • We hung out in the hot tub, shared meals, played with toddlers, and (most importantly!) went skiing!
  • The snow conditions were outstanding and it snowed each night we were there. Two days of skiing just weren’t enough!
  • We explored Whistler Village and the kids went sledding and played on the playground.
  • All too soon, it was Monday morning and we were packing up to head back to Seattle.

The car trip home was not enjoyable. I had  big dreams of listening to podcasts and talking to Tim, but alas, the girls had other ideas. We left at naptime hoping for the best, but Clara chatted away for 2 hours straight. I swear she didn’t even stop to breathe. Then she fell asleep and within SECONDS (I’m not exaggerating), Isabelle woke up and started screaming. For 2 hours. By the time we pulled into our driveway, we hadn’t had even a minute of peace.

And now we’re home.

There’s laundry to be done and a million things on my to-do list. Actually, I’m so far behind that I don’t even have my to-do list written yet.

Wish me luck.

And health.

In the next day or two I hope to have a post written about how to survive a ski trip (in Whistler) with toddlers. Until then, here’s a post I wrote last year after our ski trip to Park City, Utah.

*Use this referral code to Airbnb to enjoy a $40 discount on your first rental!

I hope your week is off to a terrific start.

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Celebrating Love

I’m going to be honest here, I was a bigger fan of Valentine’s Day before it became a Pinterest-worthy event. Or have moms always spent the days before making heart shaped cookies and preparing gifts and all of that photo-worthy stuff?

When I was younger, Valentine’s Day was about cardboard cards that we had to tear apart at the perforated lines, and writing our names way too many times on all of those cards.

And then later it was about cute gestures between couples.

Post-college, Valentine’s Day became about going out on an extra-fancy date and an excuse to dress-up and maybe a bouquet of flowers.

And all of a sudden, with kids, it seems to be a bigger deal than ever! What the heck? I barely have the energy to figure out what to do for Tim, much less two little people, too! Story of my life (and every holiday), right?

This year my house is not decorated with hearts, but the kids are wearing pink! Mom win! Maybe I’ll make this day a bigger deal in the future – but today, it’s just not happening. Don’t tell my girls what they’re missing out on, please! (wink.)

Things I Love

In honor of a day all about love…

Things I Love

(in no particular order)

  • Meeting new people
  • The Olympics
  • Laughing
  • Hiking
  • Dark chocolate
  • A variety
  • Rainy days
  • Learning new things
  • Chai tea lattes
  • Living in Seattle
  • Camping
  • Mountains
  • Watching my girls play together
  • Cheese
  • Newborns
  • The Ellen Show
  • The Marco Polo app
  • Traveling
  • Reading
  • Shopping at secondhand stores
  • Clara’s extended preschool days
  • Volunteering at our local MOPS group
  • Handwritten letters
  • Yoga/boxing/running/being active
  • Taking photos and capturing memories
  • Changing seasons
  • Change in general
  • Writing/Journaling
  • Adventures
  • Airbnb (the only way I book travel for our family)
  • Podcasts
  • Seafood
  • Comfortable friendships
  • House slippers
  • Fluffy blankets
  • My (many) planners
  • Amazon Fresh
  • Witty people
  • Trying something new
  • Naptime (for the girls)
  • Sparkling water
  • Our community
  • Tea (I drink this one every day)
  • DVR
  • Planning
  • Library books
  • Mixed drinks
  • Top Chef
  • This pasta recipe
  • Toddler hugs

And Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my greatest loves – my husband and our two girls! I love that Tim is hardworking, silly, confident, and easy-going. I love that Clara is resilient, silly, nurturing, and enjoys learning. I love that Isabelle is affectionate, independent, brave, and enthusiastic. And (because self-love is important, too!) I love that I’m adventurous, witty, goal-oriented, and fun.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day celebrating love in all of its forms!

Posted in about me, favorite things, holidays | Tagged , | 3 Comments

I’m ready for spring!

It’s official – I’m over winter. Bring on spring.

We’ve had a bit of a weather change here in Seattle and it truly feels like spring. 50’s and sunny?! In February?! I’ll take it.

Gymboree 2018 Spring Collection for ToddlersGymboree 2018 Spring Collection for Toddlers

I started with such high hopes of getting a decent pic of the girls in their new Gymboree outfits. At the point of the second picture, I knew I was in trouble.

Last week was 40s/50s and rainy, which is more typical of winter/spring weather in the Pacific Northwest. But I’m not having it anymore.

This winter has been rough for our family. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we’ve been dealing with a stomach bug, a few colds, an eye infection (or two), and just general health chaos. It’s nothing major, but it’s draining my energy like none other.

Of course, my toddlers operate at full energy even when they have a little cold, but I (since I’m old), get a cold and am wiped out for a week!

Gymboree 2018 Spring Collection for ToddlersGymboree 2018 Spring Collection for Toddlers

She was so excited to get her picture taken, but she insisted on acting like a “spinning dog” the entire time and I decided to just let her go with it. Also, shoes were not happening. Sigh. But her adorable shirt is on sale here and her leggings are here!

So, yeah, I’m ready for spring. Sunshine, flowers, warmer weather, lighter jackets, less illness… bring it!

Now that the sun is out, the girls are ready to play more outside, which makes my heart really happy! Clara has gotten so much more imaginative and creative seemingly overnight in the past few weeks. She loves forcing us all to play ‘pretend’ with her, and it’s fun to see how she views the world! She usually makes us act out her typical day with her, and I think it’s both enlightening and hilarious.

Gymboree 2018 Spring Collection for ToddlersGymboree 2018 Spring Collection for Toddlers

Isabelle’s dress can be found on sale here and her tights are here!

She, of course, is a bossy three year old about the whole play thing, so poor Isabelle just needs to go along with what Clara is trying to accomplish, or face her wrath. Generally, though, they play well together, for which I am extremely thankful! We had quite a few months of the girls fighting nonstop, so I will take these peaceful moments when I can!

There’s something about fresh air that really makes the girls happy and helps burn off even more energy, and we plan on spending a lot of time outside while the weather is cooperating!

We’re in a fun season – both in the year and in life. I’m actually enjoying (a lot of) this particular stage of toddler parenting!

This post was sponsored by Gymboree, but all opinions are, of course, my own! I encourage you to check out their spring collection. It’s full of bright colors and graphics and a lot of it is on sale!

C’mon spring, we’re ready for ya!

Posted in motherhood, shopping | Tagged , | 2 Comments