Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall Fav's!

This fall has been beautiful!  It's been sunny and warm making us excited to leave the house each day.

Sometimes we get all dress up and go out...mainly just to church!

And then we sit in the bark.  My hands were full and I needed to find my keys.  He enjoyed his time in the bark.  Pretty sure next summer will involve a lot of playing in the dirt.

We switched to the backpack for hiking and had to get everything adjusted at home first.

Our test run was walking around the block and taking pictures in front of random houses.

Then we took it to the park.  He liked the view but I missed the face to face interaction we had so he's back in the Ergo these days.

We spent a lot of afternoons playing outside blowing bubbles and watching the cars drive by.  Not sure who was the most entertained by the bubbles: Buster, Little Man or me.  Buster would run after them while trying to eat them.  Little Man would watch and if I could get a bubble close to his hand he would pop it.

Of course floor time is always in order.

And so is cuddle time!

Buster gets his daily walks and doesn't care what the weather is like he is HAPPY!  

Lots of walks with the stroller.

Our new fleece outfit for the winter.  Love that it has a hood, fold over mittens, and fold over feet.  He'll be nice and toasty warm!

The playground was empty the other day so Little Man had his first time in the swing.  Not a lot of reaction.  I'll assume he likes it!

I had the itch to bake so I whipped up a back of cookies...or four.

After all the excitement we had it was time for naps!

Everyone loves to eat!  This has only happened once and of course taking a picture was a priority!

My new favorite pajamas with moose on them!

He chose to play with the book by himself!  He already loves books.

And that is why this fall has been so much fun!

What has been your favorite thing about this fall?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

5 Tips to Carrying a Baby in a Soft-Pack & Backpack

There comes a time when your spouse goes back to work and you are left with an itch to go hiking but no one to carry the gear.  So what is a girl to do?!  Figure out a way to go!

Almost every website I looked at showed both parents hiking with an infant, so one was able to carry the baby and the other the gear.  If I waited to have the Big Man with me every time we would not get to hike as much (he works a lot and goes to school! busy man!)!  So I had to find a system that worked for me.  

The easiest plan would be to recruit a friend to help carry your gear.  All of my friends offered to help but I really wanted to find a solution that worked for me. 

So here are my 5 points to hiking with a backpack and soft-pack (front-pack).

1.  Put carrier waist-belt on.

{I started with the soft-pack since I wanted the waist-belt to be snug and comfortable.}

2.  Add backpack.

{I chose the smallest backpack I had, did not use the waist belt, and carried the bare minimum.  The straps on the backpack are thinner than the ergo.  Having the thinner straps against me reduced chaffing and sat easier on my frame.}

3.  Lift the little guy, give kisses...

and get the straps on.

{You can see in this picture how thick the ergo straps are compared to the backpack.}

4.  Fasten the back.

5.  Grab trekking poles and go!

When I wanted to take the pack off without setting the Little Guy down I would do the following:

1.  Unhook ergo back clasp
2.  Take off both left shoulder straps
3.  Add left ergo shoulder strap back
4.  Take off both right shoulder straps
5.  Set pack down
6.  Add right shoulder strap back
7.  Hook ergo back clasp

To put the pack back on I would reverse the above instructions.  

This set up worked really well for me!  I felt very balanced carrying both baby and pack.  It does make you pretty sweaty!  The best part is the freedom of hiking alone without being dependent on another individual.  

Any other ways of hiking alone with a baby under 6 months?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mason Lake

The weather was nice and the Big Man had one day off so we headed out to the mountains.  We are finally getting a rhythm down for getting out of the house!  Only took 6 months but glad it's finally happening.  Today was also a few firsts: switch to backpack, longest trail, and more elevation gain.  We did some trial runs with the backpack in neighborhood walks and the dog park so I had high hopes for this hike!

The trail-head is about 4 miles off the highway and fills up FAST!  When the lot is full the cars continue parking down the road.  This forest service road only had a couple rough pothole patches and there were quite a few sedans in the lot.  

The first section of the trail is nice wide and not steep!  We enjoyed talking, watching buster, and listening to listening to Little Man.  He seemed pretty happy with his perch and was greeted by most of the hikers that we passed! Then about a mile in the trail steepens up and the elevation gain begins.  Somehow I had forgot about this...just remembered the "flat" section.  Probably because I was in better shape!

There were views here and there giving us nice breaks!  About an hour in we stopped for a break and to switch packs.  Little Man did not look good and promptly threw up all over me and him.  Poor guy.  I'm not sure if it was because he ate more than normal that morning or was having motion sickness.  Being the over-concerned mom that I am promptly told mike to grab the burp cloth and the thermometer from the first aid kit.  The thermometer is a strip that you put on the forehead.  Little Man waved his arms and tried to get it off!  His temp was a little low and since he never spits up so much we decided to call it a day and head back down.  He was yawning like crazy so I bundled him up for nap time.  He always sleeps a sounder when he is really bundled up!  

He was so out!  Slept all the way to the trail-head and woke up in time to eat and play with dad before heading home.

I was sad we did not make it further up as the trail opens up and has gorgeous views.  That's ok because we had a great adventure!  Hiking with a baby is always an adventure no matter where we go.  His eyes light up and it makes every trail, long and short, the best trail yet!

                Length:  6.8 miles RT 
Trail Head Name:  Ira Spring Trailhead
   Elevation Gain:  2,420
          Trail Level:  Moderate
             Location:  Exit 45, turn left, follow road to end (about 4 miles)
                    Pros:  Views, lake, flowers, easy to reach trail-head, dog friendly
                   Cons:  BUSY

Sunday, September 28, 2014

33 Day Financial Challenge

Are you ready to make some changes in your life?!  Let's get prepared for our OCTOBER 1st start and write down our goals.  Without written goals it's hard to see progress.  So write down the trail you are going to FOLLOW!  Take the next half an hour and write out answers to the following questions.

1. Write a list of what you will give up?

  • Coffee
  • Fast Food
  • Take Out
  • Sit-down restaurants
  • Clothes
  • Junk Food
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Purses
  • Mani Peti
  • Whatever your most expensive habit is
2. How much do you want to save?

3. Who is your accountability partner(s)?

4.  What is your motivation?

5.  What will your reward be?

6.  Who can you invite to do this with you?

7. Sign up on Chase The Trails Facebook page to receive updates and encouragement!

Remember everything worth having takes some work!  I didn't get to the top of Rainier, Adams or Baker without some major work.  Hours of training, gym time, FAILURE, practice, hiking, classes, networking.  And it WAS worth EVERY minute!  The memories, the friendships, the healing, the emotions, the missed parties, the lack of sleep, the rescued tent, the excitement, the views, the challenge, the solitude, the stories, the fall, and the jello legs.  All it takes is that first step to get you started, the goal at the end, and putting your head down and seeing how important each step is.  The more you exercise a muscle, the better you get!  How else do guides climb all summer long?!

In our life we chose to take a big income cut so I could stay home with Little Man.  It's a challenge some days when I really want that latte...umm pumpkin spice latte for comfort!  Many times I have to remind myself that the reward is so sweet.  Thankfully I spend all day with my reward and have an awesome accountability partner.  We purposefully cut out luxury items (and if we do purchase them like our pack it has been planned and budgeted for) and are still living the dream!  Beside we are rich in so many ways: roof over our heads, whole food on the table, crazy dog, God to follow, clothes in our closets, a beautiful boy, and each other!  All our needs have been met!  

What are you willing to do to reach your goal?

Financial Challenge to START October 1st and END November 2nd.

24 Day Challenge to START November 3rd and END November 26th.
For all of you who told me you wanted to lose weight, gain energy, be in better health why not make participating in the 24 Day Challenge your goal for the Financial Challenge.