Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Poulsbo

Little Man and I went to visit a friend who lives in Bremerton the other day and then headed up to Poulsbo to walk around and window shop.  It was a perfect day to be there. Crowds were gone, sunny and warm.

Poulsbo is a great little town with lots of cute shops and restaurants and a park right on the waterfront. My favorite stores were a toy store, bookstore, a fun furniture/antique store, and a cafe (sign said voted best coffee and it was amazing!).

Little Man got all dressed up for the event!


Our family loves books!!!



Nice peaceful place to dock a boat.


Park and boardwalk. 


Enjoying the sunshine.

Where is your favorite tourist town?

Phone Dump

All pictures of our adventures over the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

Tummy Time

Loving bath time these days!

Makes a mess eating and can't get food in his mouth fast enough.

Buster with his friend..."can we come in, can we come in."

Crisp fall day.

Hanging out.

Hi there!

Buster thinks he is human!

Morning nap time.

Waiting to eat.

Tired dog!


Quinoa...yum!

Hanging out in the pj's...we've done this a lot recently!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Snow Lake

We finally we were able to get a family hiking day!  All of us love to be outside and enjoy spending time together in nature.  We've been going to the zoo recently since we purchased a year long pass.


Little Man loves the Aquarium and can stare at the sharks all day long!

But we needed to go hike so off on a trail search I went.  Criteria was "close", no long forest service road, lake, and 4-6 miles.  All of my hikes this summer have been four miles or under so I was ready to increase mileage.

Snow Lake was chosen.  It is located at the end of the parking lot at Alpental and was very easy to find.  There were signs pointing the way!  The parking lot is huge thankfully since for a Tuesday quite a few cars were in the lot.  My guess is on the weekend it is packed!

The trail starts with some nice stairs to get you gaining elevation.


Poor Little Man was bundled up! He kept squirming so I took a layer off and he was much happier.  Must be a first time mom thing to make sure he isn't cold!



The trail was a little rockier overall and made it more challenging to enjoy with a baby in a front pack.  Would not put this on my list of hikes to do with a front pack.  When we reached the ridge and started to descend toward the lake I really slowed down to watch my footing.  For the trek out we moved him to my back for the first time.  



He feel asleep and enjoyed the ride for most of the way down.  Then we woke up, got squirmy, and was moved to the front where he watched the scenery in amazement!  It is time to purchase a backpack carrier.



We kept a nice steady pase on the way up and even passed a few groups.  Thankfully it was foggy on our way up and the temperature was very pleasant.  



Definitely a good fall hike if you have a baby strapped right next to you.  Our extra hot summer would have made this a miserable trip for Little Man and I if we had went earlier.  About half of the trail was exposed to the sun.  Another bonus was the bugs were gone!  I've put in a lot of work in avoiding sunny hikes and bugs and so far we have managed 5+ months with no sunburn and no bug bites!

On the way back down the sun came out and we enjoyed the views of the peaks around us.



There are still a few flowers hanging on.



When you arrive at the lake there are little trails that go in all directions!  



This is where you get to explore and find a piece of real-estate to call your own.  Good luck with any alone time unless you're willing to keep hiking around.  Everyone congregates at one section of the lake.



Buster couldn't wait to get in and let everyone know with his whining.  People think he is so cute....anyone else want to take him home?  The Big Man would throw a stick and Buster would rush to get it, then dodge the Big Man to drop the stick in the woods, and cry till it was thrown again.  He has us well trained!



We took a sleeping pad for Little Man to sit on and make diaper changes easier.  He still managed to get dirt everywhere!  All boy!  What a cutie! Oh and eating...wasn't having much of that...too many things to look at!



This trail was the perfect length and elevation gain for where our family is at these days. Would highly recommend this trail once you move the baby on your back.

What is your favorite season to hike in?  Mine is the fall. Love the cool crisp air and fewer crowds!

                Length:  6.5ish miles RT (My research gave me mileage anywhere from 6-7 miles.)
Trail Head Name:  Snow Lake 
    Elevation Gain:  ~1,700 in, ~400 out
          Trail Level:  Moderate
             Location:  Exit 52 from I-90 East, turn left, follow road to end, park in lot on left
                    Pros:  Views, lake, flowers, easy to reach trail-head
                   Cons:  BUSY


Monday, September 1, 2014

7 Tips to Hiking with a Formula Fed Baby

Getting out with a formula fed baby seemed overwhelming in the beginning!  It's just one more thing to pack and carry.  Trying to figure out the right quantity of formula to pack seemed like a nightmare.  This could have been due to our iradic feeding schedule and all the other feeding issues we were having.  As I searched for "hiking with a formula fed baby" what I found was not very encouraging.  It seems like almost everyone was breastfeeding and I actually read on one website that basically stated that only breastfeed babies were meant for the trail.  How disheartening!  Sometimes formula is not a choice, other times it is.  Either way we should all be able to be active! So if you are formula feeding more power to you for getting out there and doing the extra work!

Here are my 7 tips to make hitting the trail easier!

1.  Use a Bottle With Disposable Liners 
We use "Platex Nurser with Drop-Ins Liners". If this is not your normal bottle it is important to make sure the baby will eat from it.  Little Man switches back and forth between nipples easily so I am able to use different bottles.  Definitely not his favorite bottle but he will latch and eat. Be sure to do a practice run at home. Using these helps keep everything sterile and reduces the number of items and weight in your pack.




2.  Carry a Water-bottle Just For Baby 
Little Man has his own 14+oz bottle that I carry just for him.  This will make three six ounce bottles (With the formula in the liner you don't need exactly 6 oz and my last bottle was a little short.  I also fill the water bottle to the brim).  If your baby is going to be drinking more you'll need the next size up.  My goal is short hikes with him at this age so we will not be needing to go up in bottle size for a while.  It also helps if you plan your departure from the trail head right after a feeding.  Then you can have separate car water.




3.  Keep Everything Together in a Storage Bag 
Use a Ziploc or generic brand storage bag to keep bottles and parts together.  When everything is in one spot preparing the bottle on the trail goes a lot faster.




4.  Carry Emergency Supplies
Depending on where you are going and how long you will be out having one extra liner filled might be enough.  If you have left instructions with an early return time then you know people will be looking for you before to many feedings.  Also if you are on a popular trail (which I would recommend) you will be able to get help sooner.  But if you are planning to be out longer you need to have another plan.  This could include carrying a baggie of extra formula and extra liners.  Or it could include carrying an extra bottle (like MAM) and a baggie of extra formula.  The key here is do you have enough for your baby to survive.  You and I might be able to survive on a granola bar but a baby will probably need more food.  That and if they are hungry and screaming you might pull your hair out!




5.  Prep The Night Before 
Everything goes smoother in the morning if you put the work in the night before.  Estimate how long you will be on the trail, start time, and finish time.  Then look at your babies schedule.  How many feedings will you have?  Then fill the number of liners for estimated feedings plus one extra.




6.  Keep Hand Sanitizer Accessible 
It is easy to get everything dirty in the great out doors.  Having a little dirt on my food now and then doesn't bother me but when it comes to my child I'm a little pickier.  Keep hand sanetizer in an outside pocket or other readily accessible pocket.  Make sure to grab it first thing!




7.  Have A Storage Bag For Used Parts 
Pack out what you pack in.  In an effort to keep clean items together and not have milk drops all over your pack have a bag designated for used parts.  Put the liner bags and nipples in it.  When you get home clean up will be a breeze!




Now for the fun part...GET HIKING!