I Took My 5yr Old On A Staycation - Mika Perry

I Took My 5yr Old On A Staycation

If you’re a mother, I’m sure you can relate that sometimes, PARENTING IS TOUGH.

I had been feeling not like myself as a parent lately, especially when it came to my 5yr old, Reese.  She’s smart, sharp, and stubborn. She’s my firstborn but is technically the middle child with Maddix above her and Paige below her, and the fights and frustrations often stem from butting heads with Maddix or having her toys taken by Paige. I’m an only child, so sibling dynamics and why they fight is still somewhat of a mystery to my and navigating that is a daily challenge. The “NOs!” and whining was really starting to wear on me and my patience was at what felt like an all time low. Plus, Russ has been traveling a lot these past few months, so there’s been a lot of solo-parenting nights and that certainly wasn’t helping things at all.

I’m not a “yeller” … but I was starting to yell.

Like a really stellar wife, one night in the middle of dinnertime-bathtime-bedtime I texted Russ. And by texting I mean I sent a looooong barrage of run-on sentences about how our children were insane. I call those texts hate texts and it’s so not fair to the husband but you know what – sometimes you have to vent. Russ understands that, so he booked a room for me for when he got home so I could have a night away from the kids and get a little breather; alone time is how I recharge (typical extroverted-introvert.)

But something nagged at my heart about Reese. And that was that it wasn’t that I needed to get away from her. I needed to rethink my time with her.

When Russ and I go a while without spending quality time together to connect again, we end up going through the motions of life and get frustrated at each other easily. That’s exactly what I realized what was happening a bit with Reese. Paige and I have alone time because she only goes to preschool part time. Maddix and I have nightly catch-up sessions after the two younger ones go to bed. I couldn’t remember the last time I had one-on-one time with Reese. She’s at school all day, comes home for homework and then we go out for activities and then it’s dinner and bedtime routines and then goodnight. We were going through the daily motions of life without purposeful time set aside for her and I to connect.

So, I invited Reese on my staycation. You should have seen her face when I told her that she and Mommy were going to a hotel together – WITHOUT HER SISTERS. And what’s funny is that when I told Russ of this decision, he apparently had been thinking the same idea. I told Reese the night before and she was up early and ready to pack and head out first thing in the morning.

I decided to stay off social media during the trip to stay present with Reese, but kept my phone out for snapping photos of our time. With a subject like her, I couldn’t resist.  Here’s a little photo journal of our staycation!


We stayed at Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley, which is about a 15 min ride from where we are in Scottsdale. It’s a hotel I’ve stayed at a few times over the summer and I love their midcentury-modern aesthetic.

After checking-in, we jumped on the bed. I did it, too, and it was a blast.

Note – jump on beds more often.

I love layered-frames and of course noted a few design touches I might consider for our own home. I love hotels and restaurants for home-decor inspiration.

The resort grounds are beautiful, tucked between Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain. It’s where a lot of resorts are located here in Phoenix and this one in particular is a rebuild and revamp of an old, historical resort that used to be in the location with the same name.

Barbies at brunch, of course. They served these chocolate chip cherry scones and after one bite Reese goes “MMMMMMM! Mom, these are incredible. Can we stay TWO nights??”

We made a map and checklist of the things we wanted to do on our staycation (all three meals, shopping, pool, movie in the room, etc.)

First things first, we checked out the hotel’s art gallery.

O U T F I T  D E T A I L S

Dress : Nordstrom Rack

Bow : Splendid Bow Shop

Boots : Gap

After about 3.2 seconds of interest there, we headed to the pool. Swimming in December…only in Arizona!

Reese was in charge of her Kindergarten class’ pet “dog,” Lil that weekend. It comes home with each of the kids and we journal about it and send it back to the class to tell the kids about Lil’s adventures.

I let Reese pack everything for the trip and she insisted on bringing this sun hat.

After swimming, we relaxed in the room and watched a bit of 101 Dalmatians.

Concerned look as the Dalmatians were taken away.

Then we headed out to Scottsdale Fashion Square where mommy was not going to shop and we were going so that Reese could pick out one special thing. I lied…I bought concealer.

She picked out a Descendants 2 art set and back at the hotel we munched on snacks (thanks, Mountain Shadows!) and played “office.”

Then we chased birds and played tag. I’m slow; she’s good. The concrete was “base” and grass was free ground.

O U T F I T  D E T A I L S

Bow : Target (similar ones here)

Leotard : Amazon,

Skirt : Lilchocopink

Shoes : Old Navy


We had room service in the room for dinner and she soaked in the tub while I read books to her.

The next morning we were up with the sun and had a room service breakfast with her barbies (she talked about getting sugary cereal the whole time so there you go, fruit loops.)

She brought her “wardrobe” (robe”) with her from home.

Then we went swimming again because WHY NOT.

And went into the bath again. WHY NOT.

Then we packed up and headed home. The beauty of a staycation – no flights, just a quick drive. (She picked out the same skirt again.)

O U T F I T  D E T A I L S

Jacket : Nordstrom Rack

Bow : Bella Bean Bows

Skirt : Lilchocopink

What I learned from the trip was that she is still so SMALL. Maybe I was pushing her too much with things, maybe I was not considering her level of maturity and understanding and ability to handle emotions. The things she got excited about (a scorpion lollipop in the room, eeek!) and wanted to do (play tag on the lawn) were so innocent and playful and served as a reminder to me that she is ONLY 5.

She may not remember much of this trip, but I hope the feeling of being the center of mom’s attention the whole time encouraged her heart.

For me, I soaked-in the funny little things she’d say and the astoundingly honest remarks she’d make (“Mom, I feel bad that the workers are working and we’re here relaxing” as she cleaned up the crumbs and straightened the table at brunch.) I was so happy I could do this with her, and certainly felt my batteries recharge to come home to a full house again.

Reese, you are a light to everyone’s lives. Thank you for being you!



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2 Responses
  • HH
    December 6, 2017

    Hi I always love ur blog!
    I need to ask where did you get ur phone case I’ve looked everywhere for that perfect marble pattern!

    xx Hilda

    • Mika Perry
      January 3, 2018

      Thank you so much!! I got it off of Amazon! I think I just searched “marble phone case” and it was one of the first to pop up! xo

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