Friday, June 11, 2010

Excitement in the Rockies

The truth is that ever since three railway workers stumbled upon a hot spring near the town of Banff in 1883, people have been falling hard for Canada’s first national park. Nowhere else in Canada can you do so much oohing and aahing in one place – over our sawtoothed mountains, our sweeping meadows, alpine lakes, backcountry tea houses, glaciers galore and hundreds of hiking trails. Now is the perfect time for Albertans to rediscover Banff National Park and enjoy the special events and anniversay specials being offered to celebrate the park's 125th anniversary. Check out some of these great events:
June 19th: Banff 125 birthday Launch: 4-5 p.m Banff Avenue Square
July 1st: Parks Canada annual Canada Day pancake breakfast: 9-10:30 a.m Parks Administration Building Canada Day Festivities: 12 p.m Central Park Fireworks Finale: 11:00 p.m. Central Park
July 2nd: CPR Heritage Train & Museum Car: 2-4 p.m. Banff Train Station
July 3rd: CPR Heritage Train & Museum Car: 10 a.m - 2 p.m. Banff Train Station History Stinks at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site: 9-6 p.m Street Theatre: 12 - 6 p.m Banff Avenue Square, Bison Courtyard, Central Park, Banff Park Museum, Masonic Hall Cascade #5 Performnace in the Park: 4:30 - 9:30 p.m Cascade Gardens Parks Administration Building grounds
July 4th: History Stinks at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site: 9-6 p.m
July 17th: Parks Day - free admission to the park Various guided walks and heritage activities throughout the day
July 26th: RCMP Musical Ride: 1-6 p.m. School grounds
August 12th: CPR Heritage Train & Museum Car: Lake Louise Train Station
August: Great Canadian Campout
September 6th: Retro Swim Event: 10 - 4 p.m. Banff Upper Hot Springs
September: Opening of the Banff Legacy Trail

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Healthy eating tips when travelling

May is a time when we see flowers bloom, the sun shines longer and we tend to indulge a bit more with barbecues and when family and friends get together. Below is a list of things to do to keep your health and weight in check when we go on vacations or just a day out with the family.

Healthy eating in the carDriving all day cuts your average daily calorie burn by 400. Follow these healthy eating tips to help readjust your intake (from your normal 1,800 calories to 1,400, for example) and bypass the thousands of junk-food-filled rest stop.
Drink up"The recirculated air in a car can make you thirsty, which you might mistake for hunger," says Charles Stuart Platkin, M.P.H., founder of diet Keep plenty of water on hand.
Seek fresh foodAlthough a handful of drive-thrus sit right off the highway, a grocery store—with many more good-for-you options—is probably only a few minutes further; there you can get a healthy meal—turkey on whole wheat from the deli, an apple, and fat-free yogurt—for less than 350 calories.
Pack healthy snacksLoad a cooler with low-cal, protein-rich foods, such as apple slices and peanut butter—the protein keeps you fuller longer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

so cool!

Well i stumbled upon the coolest thing for babies. PopATOT. The same concept as an exersaucer i guess, but its easily portable. I could not help but to become a retailer. I remember when my kids were at the pre walking age and it was difficult when we went somewhere and i could not put them down. We would go camping, to grandmas, over to friends etc. and i always lugged this huge exersaucer to keep them entertained. Well PopATOT folds up into a sinch sack about 5 inches around and 30 inches long. You could take it ANYWHERE with ease. They come in red & purple, pink, and camo. How great this is would be when you are travelling.

We are back

Well its been long time since there was a post on here. Thats because Kara has retired from the baby equipment rental business. She is going to be busy enough with her little ones. My name is Cheryl and i took over. I could not wait to jump in with two feet. I love to help people and what better way. I will provide exceptional service to all. I wish Kara the best of luck for the future.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Car seat safety

This article from Baby Center is a useful refresher on car seat safety. Have a read through to be sure that you are not making any of "the biggest mistakes parents make." If in doubt, have a certified car seat technician check the installation of your car seat. There are several here in Calgary.

This is my last blog posting before handing over the reins of Little Traveller to Cheryl Stankewich -- a mom of three and a seasoned traveller herself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Milo

I haven't posted anything for a while because I've been busy with my new baby boy born March 18. He's a great sleeper but with three little ones in the house, I've had my hands full! Here's a photo of the little guy sound asleep.

We've just booked our first trip for August when he'll be 4 months old. With 3 little ones under 6, we decided to play it safe and head to Tofino again for our summer getaway. We've been there before and we know the score. Some sand, sea and (fingers crossed) sun should help recharge our batteries!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's snow time

My 5 year old regularly goes cross-country skiing. I think she enjoys the time with dad more than the act of skiing itself, but either way she's out enjoying the sunshine and snow on a regular basis. And because she's familiar with the sport, she's loving the Olympic skiing coverage (although she insists on cheering for the person wearing her favourite coloured outfit.)

If Olympic fever has hit your home, check out the Everything Mom Olympics page which features links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Olympics.

If your family is not that into the Olympics but you still love to get out and ski, then the ski savvy info on the Savvy Mom website will come in useful. They have compiled a guide to ski lessons and daycare options at four ski areas close to Calgary.

And if neither the Olympics nor skiing float your boat, then head to the new interactive dinosaur display at the Calgary Zoo. Until October, the Prehistoric Park features 20 roaring, moving dinosaurs sure to thrill kids of any age.

And if you are travelling to Calgary for any reason this spring and need to rent baby equipment -- including snowsuits -- contact Little Travelller baby equipment rentals.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flying with toddlers: going the distance

Guest blogger Emma Folz recently returned from a trip to Perth, Australia with her easy-going (lucky her!) 11 month old. Here are some of her insights in to flying around the globe with little ones.

The Journey

* Planning is everything. We booked our flights early and were able to get bulk head seats on all our long-haul flights. Having that extra space in front of you is very helpful for both you and your young ones.
* Break up the flight
. Don’t try to do it all in one trip. Stay for 1-2 days at each connection point or after the long haul portion to have some time off the plane and get some decent sleep. We had a 15 hour flight from Vancouver to Sydney and then a 4 hour flight to Perth. Having 2 days in Sydney helped get us adjusted and made it easier on 11-month-old Joah
Pack a sling and a baby carrier in your carry on. Also, a small umbrella stroller can be checked at the gate on most airlines. I used them all at different times for different reasons
Sleep Training. Teach your baby to go to sleep in your arms with a trusted nursery rhyme before the trip. It will pay off on the plane
Safety. We took both the Baby B'Air and CARES harness
Toys and books. We packed a set of stacking cups and some plastic blocks which turned into many play combinations and doubled up as bath toys. We also packed a hand puppet. The plastic emergency instructions and paper bag in the airplane seat pocket were also a big hit. Lift-the-flap and pop-up books gave hours of delight
Carry on what you need, but not more. Take a good-sized carry on for your baby items: food, toys, diapers, wipes, creams, medications, clothes and books are critical. Don’t feel like you have to fill the bag right up, this will come in handy when you are looking for items quickly. Pack similar items in separate mesh or plastic bags within your carry on. Take lots of plastic shopping bags or ziplock bags for garbage etc.


  • Sleep before! We didn’t keep our son up late in the nights leading up to the flight. Let them get as much sleep and rest as they can prior to the journey.
  • Have a good sleep routine. I truly believe in a good sleep routine at home, which translates in to a good sleep routine when you are away. After bath, milk, teeth and storytime, it was clearly evident to our son that it was bedtime… time to sleep all night.
  • Adjusting to jet-lag. The first three nights, if Joah woke up and wouldn’t go straight back to sleep, we allowed him one hour of play and some milk (no food) before back-to-bed. After that, it was non-negotiable; he had to go back to sleep. It only took 2-3 days for him to adjust. It was easier to adjust going east-west, harder coming back this way!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Winter in the Rockies

If you are looking for something a little different to do next weekend, then head to Lake Louise on January 22-24th for the Ice Magic Festival. You can watch the ice carvers at work at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and vote for your favourite masterpiece. You can even try your hand at ice carving at the Little Chippers Festival in Lake Louise Village. There's also magic show taking place inside the Chateau. Click here for more information.

If your kids are old enough, bring your ice skates along for some fun on the ice rink on the lake in front of the Chateau.

The Olympic torch arrives in Banff on January 20 and moves on to Lake Louise on January 21. A number of activities are planned around these events, too. Admission to Banff National Park is free on Wednesday, January 20 in celebration.

Need to rent some baby gear for your trip to the mountains? Check out our website at Little Traveller for some great winter equipment that will make travelling with kids easier. We have snack trays for the road trip, a variety of baby carriers including backpacks and baby slings, and even snowsuits in a variety of sizes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Favourite Christmas Gifts

Our two children (aged 5 and almost 2) got some great gifts this Christmas. All of these would work well on a trip away from home and they are all fairly low-tech and easy to pack. Here are our top hits of 2009:

Pink and blue LEGO digital camera
huge hit with my 5-year-old daughter. And it's inexpensive enough to buy for a special trip, too. There's nothing like seeking out interesting objects to take pictures of to relieve the boredom of airports or restaurants or when forced to spend several days cooped up at home because it's too cold to go outside... It comes in a red/yellow/blue colour scheme, too.

"You Choose" by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharrat
A great book for any age, my 5 year old and 23 month old love looking at this together and because it's interactive you can "read" it over and over again. A fantastic book to share with your kids and stimulate the imagination, and a brilliant book to take along on a trip.

Maisy's Amazing Big Book of Words by Lucy Cousins
My 23 month old, who is just learning to talk, loves Maisy. This book is choc full of classic Lucy Cousins illustrations and includes flaps on every spread. My daughter also loves searching for Panda on every spread.

Little Doctor's Kit
Again, a big hit with both children. My five year old has received these in the past but the new one included a surgeon's dress-up outfit and some real band-aids and bandages that has kept the two of them busy for hours already. There's something about giving doll/sister/mum/dad a pretend injection that never seems to get boring.

Fairies: Petal people you make yourself by Rachel Haab/Klutz
This is some serious crafty fun for girls (and parents, too!). Once we'd made a couple of fairies, my daughter was off in a world of make-believe with them. The product is recommended for eight year olds and up and my 5-year-old daughter needed a fair bit of help with the fiddly gluing, but that's what I love about crafts: everyone gets involved. Klutz make a wide range of crafty sets so if you have boys, check out the Klutz website for more info.

Ease yourself into the new year!

Happy new year! We spent a quiet new year's eve this year at home with the kids tucked up in bed sound asleep. I confess that I, too, was snoozing well before midnight. At almost 30 weeks pregnant, I'm trying to bank up as much extra sleep as I can before baby number 3 comes along in March. (I don't think this is a scientifically proven system, but it feels so good!)

I started the year as I mean to go on in more ways than one. I enjoyed a prenatal massage today at Inner Balance Spa in Kensington. It was a relaxing way to spend an hour safe in the knowledge that it was also doing my achy lower back some good. My therapist was Margaret -- an experienced prenatal practitioner. I've had many massages, but this was the first time I'd experienced an abdominal massage. She also showed me a couple of simple stretches to do at home that will help relieve lower back tension.

Massages aren't just for pregnany mummies of course. If you're a Calgarian or just visiting the city for a few days, I recommend carving out some "me-time" for a visit with an RMT. There's no better treatment for the stiff back that comes from sitting on an airplane for long periods, carrying big babies around, or just generally being run ragged all day long. An hour will cost around $80.

There are many great spas in Calgary. I recommend Inner Balance close to the Kensington Safeway and Prema Sai. Check out their web sites for more info.