the sound of silence

Newborn. Toddler. Dog. Husband. Right now all 4 are sleeping, taking naps to re-charge for the rest of the day (except my dog, that’s all she does these days).

I’m on my keyboard, that being the only sound aside from the snores of my beagle and the air conditioner. I miss this silence. When things are quiet and I can actually sit with my own thoughts, embracing and soaking in the stillness. It doesn’t last long.

At this particular time we are maneuvering the demands of a toddler and the needs of a newborn. Both happening at the same time, and both carrying the same amount of importance and priority. My husband’s paternity leave is ending this weekend and on Monday it’s me + the kids. God help me. Oh, and did I mention we decided to potty train my toddler this weekend? Yeah, we’re doing that too. Cue head shake.

If someone should ask how I’m doing, I would say its complicated. With a moderate case of postpartum depression, missing my family and juggling to find my new normal come Monday, I would say I’m a *little* overwhelmed.

The real reality sets in when the dust settles and everyone goes back to their before-baby routine. Family goes back home, husband goes back to work, and just like that it’s just you and the kiddos trying to figure out how to get through the day. As a stay at home mom, Monday is staring at me with a “so what are you going to do?” look.

I’ve got no choice but to figure it out. It was daunting how me + new baby were going to get into a groove, and we figured it out. Me + toddler + new baby will also figure it out. It’ll be different, but eventually (after much trial and error), we’ll find our groove. To all the mamas out there freaking out about the same thing, trying to wrap their heads around how they are going to get through the day, believe me when I say it’ll happen. At the end of the day, we have no choice but to make it work, and we will.

In the meantime, I’m just going to sit here. Basking in the silence. Before the chaos commences once again.

Family Vacation: Banff, Canada (+ tips for traveling with a toddler)

Banff, Canada. The most picturesque place I have ever visited. Hands down. I don’t even have a top three that compares. This place has views that make you wonder if I just stood in front of a picture and made someone hold my camera for a shot.

Seeing Lake Louise in front of us while my family and I did tea time at the Fairmont was the highlight of the trip. The views that just surrounded us on the daily made it tough to leave- there is just no place that compares. Lake Minnewanka, Grassi Lakes Trail, Johnston Canyon, and even a gondola ride up to the tree tops had us in awe.

You guys, you need to go- you just do. My sister said it best, this is her #happyplace. I can totally see why.

Banff is for real people, let me count the ways:

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Although traveling with a toddler was challenging, it helps to have family members that you trust that are willing to help so you can have a breather. I don’t know if I would recommend this particular trip for a 1-2 year old just because (1) they probably won’t remember it and (2) they aren’t at the age where you can do a trail or hike and have him/her walk with you.

Here are some basic tips to make it a bit easier:

  • Rent equipment so you don’t have to lug it from home. We rented a stroller from One Tiny Suitcase (which also came with a booster seat for restaurants and at the hotel) which totally helped. We thought about bringing an umbrella stroller and I’m pretty sure we would’ve thrown it out the first day.
  • If you can swing it, stay at a resort where there is a dining area and activities during the day. Unfortunately the place we looked at was booked for months so we stayed at a beautiful hotel that had its own kitchen. While it totally helped, room service, a dining room and activities inside the hotel would’ve made it easier.
  • Pack toys and comfort items for your little one. We brought her favorite stuffed animals, books, bath toys and extra blankets (the hotel has a pack ‘n play and the padding on it is a joke.
  • Bring more clothes than you need. Two outfits a day is what we did and we totally used them. Our little one was drinking so much water that she would leak through her diapers almost everyday. Wardrobe change!

She did get her passport stamped and is a world traveler now, so there’s something.

I am grateful for my parents that have built this family that is undeniably wonderful and thank them for such an incredible experience. Banff, Canada- I’ll see you soon.

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