Spa Trips & Different Rules

My husband and I recently came back from a wonderful trip to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort! We mainly went for the spa and the highly-rated restaurants, but definitely want go back for the winter or summer activities once our daughter, Sadie, is a little older. The property is just outside of Pittsburgh, PA and it is stunning. I recommend paying it a visit and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Amazing spa: We went for 2 days of treatments and left feeling so relaxed and replenished. My favorite treatments were the facial (part of the woodlands classic package) and the hot stone shirodhara. The facial was so relaxing I drifted into sleep, and my face was glowing afterwards. The hot stone shirodhara really helped work through some muscle pain & tightness I’d been feeling (and it also felt so good!) In both cases, the masseuse was great about asking and understanding my personal needs, which I really appreciated.
  2. Delicious food: The restaurants did not disappoint. Although the décor was very understated, the meals went above and beyond my expectations. Every dish not only tasted exquisite, but looked beautiful when served!ny5
  3. Spectacular service: We stayed in the Chateau where we had a butler (which in itself was awesome and made me realize I need a butler everyday) but the service was fantastic anywhere we went on the resort. We felt very welcomed and waited-on the entire time we were there.
  4. Magnificent surroundings: The landscape and architecture on the property are beautiful. The Chateau displays art throughout the halls and attempts to push the limit on how many chandeliers you can have per square inch. ny6

There are also a wide variety of family activities and kid-friendly restaurants/areas, which is why we hope to return with Sadie. (There’s even pet care for those interested!)

Sadie and our dog, Wally, stayed with my in-laws in Philadelphia while we were away. Using our experience from Adult Week, we learned FaceTiming a couple hours before bedtime was best so Sadie wouldn’t miss us before going to sleep.

My in-laws have watched Sadie and Wally several times now. Even though they have different rules than I do, the little ones fare well in their care and are happy and healthy when I return. There were only a couple new things Sadie and Wally picked up that I had to teach them not to do with me; as long as I was consistent and firm, they picked up on my rules vs. my in-law’s rules pretty quickly.

We stayed at my in-law’s house for a couple days after our spa trip. I found when my MIL and I were together with the little ones, establishing who was in charge at that time reduced confusion on what the rules were and who would take the lead should chaos ensue. Since we were at her house, I handed over the reins a little more and I think it worked well.

Overall, it was a positive way to bring in the New Year and I hope you had a great holiday too!



Adult Week

Christmas is fast approaching and like many, we have lots of plans. Some of our plans are fairly complicated.

My mother-in-law graciously (and perhaps without realizing exactly what she was signing up for) offered to make the 13-hour drive up to Philadelphia with Sadie, our almost 2 year-old daughter, and Wally, our 2 year-old puppy, a week in advance of my husband and I. At first, I was upset about the idea of missing all that time with my babies around the holidays but then my husband smartly pointed out – we could have an adult week.


This got me onboard pretty quickly. We have a whole list of silly things we plan to do that you just can’t do as easily with kids (eat later, go to the movies on a weeknight, work out together, sleep in, etc.)

My mother-in-law is also the main caretaker when my husband and I go to work, so she knows how to keep Sadie & Wally happy, she can keep their schedule, and they are both very comfortable with her. Luckily Wally has been to my in-law’s before and got along with their dogs, but they’ve still promised to be cautious in re-introducing the dogs (keep them on leashes when they first see each other and slowly increase the time they spend out together).

After the week is over I’ll check back in to let you know how it went! (for us and the little ones) Hopefully everything stays merry and bright.

Little Acts of Kindness

I went to work Tuesday morning and it hit me – the sneezing attacks, the runny nose, the headache. I caught a cold.

I still worked through the day because I had a lot to do and I don’t see a cold as an excuse for a sick day, but it was rough. Even after taking DayQuil, I went through an entire box of tissues. (I kept my distance from everyone and wiped down my desk before I left.)

I got home – ready to suck it up and play with my favorite little ones – and something happened that I didn’t expect. My mother-in-law took one look at me and said “Come on Sadie, let’s go to my house and let mommy nap. She needs it.”

And that was the best nap I’ve had in a long time. 🙌🏻

I napped as deeply as Sadie did on this trip to the grocery store.


Same trip.

Has someone done something unexpected or wonderfully nice for you recently? I’d love to hear your stories or anything you have to say!

Learning to Share

I’ve taken a little break since my last post. We’ve been settling into our new routine and I have to say, I’m very happy with it.

My mother in-law recently moved down from Pennsylvania to become Sadie and Wally’s full-time caregiver. She lives in an apartment on the same street as us so she can literally walk over in the morning.

First, that’s quite a life change for any person to make so we couldn’t be more grateful. Some people have also been shocked at my decision to voluntarily bring my mother-in-law (MIL) closer to me; maybe they haven’t had great experiences with mother-in-law’s. I am one of the lucky few who actually gets along with my MIL and I absolutely love how she is with my babies (hence the decision for her to watch them).

I recognize this type of set-up is definitely not for everyone but it’s working really well for us. I don’t feel as guilty staying at work late if I need to because I’m leaving Sadie with someone she adores. And I don’t feel as suspicious of what’s going on during the day because the trust is already there (my MIL watched Sadie on her own multiple times before we decided to ask her to make this commitment, plus ya know, she’s family).

My MIL is very supportive of my husband and I having time together, so we’ve been able to have more date nights (yay). She also helped me finally start exercising again. When I got home from work, she’d offer to keep watching Sadie so I could fit in a quick workout. Now that I’ve built it into a routine I work out when Sadie goes to bed, but my MIL helped me finally bite the bullet!

One of the best things about my MIL is she loves going out with Sadie; she takes Sadie to the park, the library, the botanical gardens, and the high museum every week. Talk about awesome. She also takes Sadie on these trips at a consistent time everyday so Wally has learned their schedule and feels calm until they return. My MIL is very sweet to Wally so he’s always happy when she comes over!

There’s only one adjustment that’s been hard for me and it’s a tough feeling to describe. I don’t know if all moms have experienced this, but recently my friend put it well:

“When my sister’s little boy gets upset and she’s there, he refuses to go to anyone but her. I can tell she’s kind of annoyed she has to deal with it by herself but she also kind of loves it too.”

This used to be my daughter, Sadie. Whenever I was home, anything upsetting had to be taken care of by me. Although it was frustrating to have to handle it myself, I think it was actually more frustrating for my husband or anyone else who wanted to help because their efforts would just make Sadie more frantic. I tried to be sympathetic but I don’t think it always came off genuinely. It took me a while to admit that I loved how attached she was to me.

Since MIL has arrived, Sadie has been a lot better about showing affection for others even when I’m around. I’m so proud of her and happy to see her become this loving person. Her relationships with her dad and her nana have grown much deeper which is amazing to see. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to let go and share my Sadie hugs. Occasionally she still has days where she clings to my side or just wants me to hold her for a bit; these times help remind me that she still holds a special place for me in her heart and makes it a little easier to share. 😉

Please share any thoughts you have in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!

Admitting When Your Childcare Isn’t Working

Our first nanny for our toddler, Sadie, and our dog, Wally, was great. She kept track of what they did on a report card, she always kept the house clean, and Sadie and Wally were always happy when we came home. She called in sick a couple of times, but at least let us know she wouldn’t be coming the night before. Even though it was inconvenient, we thought, “She is still a great nanny, she is probably just getting over something.”

Then, she called in sick a couple more days (we’re talking 5 days in 3 months – that’s more sick days than I get in a whole year!). She also stopped giving us advance notice and was contacting us the morning of to tell us she couldn’t come that day. We started to wonder if we were doing something wrong. I put up a job posting to potentially interview other nannies, but then she came back the next week and, again, we thought it must have been a fluke.

She was such a good nanny when she did show up that it was hard for us to admit that she wasn’t a good nanny because she wouldn’t show up. 

The next week she was out sick again, Monday and Tuesday. I started to worry something was really wrong. Tuesday evening she told me she wouldn’t be able to come the rest of the week because her car broke down and she couldn’t afford to rent a car. Granted, I was aware her car had broken down a couple months prior but I thought it had been fixed. Also, in the past when she hadn’t rented a car, her husband or son had given her a ride so I knew she had other ways of getting to our place. I started to doubt whether she was telling me the truth and had to scramble to find care for the rest of the week. I advise not letting it get to this point – it’s not a happy place to be!

My husband and I finally decided to let her go and figure out a new care situation. Consistent care is just as important for your own piece of mind as it is for your kids (dogs included!) 

Have you had to deal with unreliable care? How did you handle it? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 🙂