I can’t believe it’s almost the weekend again! I got so much accomplished last weekend, including spray painting some kid furniture, organizing my craft drawers and purging a ton of stuff. For whatever reason I was highly motivated, and hope that some of that motivation will carry over into this weekend as well. We also had a day of fun family adventure, too! David decided we’d take the kids fishing, and despite the cold Pacific Northwest weather, that is what we did!
It isn’t always easy taking kids this young somewhere this remote. In fact, sometimes it is really hard. You can’t let them out of your sight for a minute. But it’s always worth it. The kids see and find all kinds of things, and I want them to have these experiences in nature, with no house for miles and miles. Of course, I would never take them out this far by myself, but with two parents (or people) its fine. It does take a bit of planning though.
For us, planning usually falls into three categories:
1. Food & Snacks.
3. Clothing & Gear
Food & Snacks are a given, especially on long trips. It is so much cheaper to bring food, and often the next town is too far away to bother. Also, snacks can work wonders on long car rides, so they really double as entertainment.
While we try to have the kids just look out the windows and talk about what we see (including songs, i spy, etc), sometimes its easier after a while to just hand Chloe her ipad and headphones. At twenty-months, Leo is a pretty good traveler. Sometimes he’ll nap or be content to snack on something. When that doesn’t work we’ll hand him back various toys (cars, little animals, small board books) and as a last resort sometimes we’ll hand him an iphone. Unfortunately, he isn’t into shows like Chloe is, but he has a few apps that interest him right now like Peekaboo Wild, Where’s Gumbo, Wheels on the Bus and Itsy Bitsy Spider (the two latter by Duck Duck Moose). When we get where we’re going there always seems to be plenty to do – in this case, collecting rocks, seeing waterfalls, and discussing how a beaver gnaws down trees with his teeth to make his home.
Lastly there is Clothing & Gear. If there is mud, the kids will fall in it. If there is water, the kids will splash in it. That is life. I know this and always bring a full change of clothes and shoes. One thing I always make sure the kids have is quality long-underwear, usually purchased on deep discount from REI outlet. Chloe’s old ones get handed down to Leo (which is why his current bottoms are pink, but now I am buying them in neutral colors). Diapers and wipes are also necessities. Gear depends on where we go, but I always bring our becco baby carrier and sometimes we’ll bring our Kelty backpack carrier as well. For this trip, David also brought our pop-up shelter, which works as a “base” and makes a nice covered place to share a meal or hang out.
Like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t always easy. But easy isn’t always as meaningful, either, is it? So the kids get dirty and wet and I let them, knowing we’re prepared to clean them up once we get back to the car. We also try and listen and let the kids tell us when they’ve had enough. If they are too cold or uncomfortable, then no fun will be had and that isn’t the point.
And then we arrive back home to our cozy house and warm beds and all is right with the world…
Happy Birthday to the man I love! He requested a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and I surprised him (sort of, the stinker) with a fun little toy that he and the kids could enjoy. 🙂
Why does it seem like these fall weeks are flying by? This weekend David and I took the kids out mushroom hunting. David carried Chloe in the Kelty and I carried Leo in the Moby, since the areas we explore are densely wooded, steep and overgrown. Afterward, I was exhausted and sore in a way I couldn’t believe. Our haul was lighter than usual, mostly because it is slow going with two kids, but honestly, I think there are more people out mushroom hunting this year than I have ever seen before. David went back the next day by himself, and found plenty more, so we’ll still be set for the year no matter what.
I didn’t bring my camera mushroom hunting, but I did bring it to The Pumpkin Patch last weekend. I love this ritual of fall. We told Chloe she could pick any pumpkin that she wanted (and I was willing to stand by this, no matter what she happened to choose), but in the end she didn’t want one from the patch, but instead asked for a “baby” miniature pumpkin she had seen back at the farm store. I should have known.
A big Happy Father’s Day to my father, father-in-law, and husband, and to all the wonderful dads who love their children and make the world a better place.
Happy birthday to my wonderful husband – and a special thanks to the Freddi family for hosting a delicious dinner!
We had a really nice weekend – gardening and friends for dinner on Saturday and then fishing with Daddy on Sunday. We don’t go fishing with Daddy very often anymore. I might have said this before, but it is just too exhausting keeping a toddler safe on the riversides where David likes to fish. It is mostly exposed, so it is hot and we have to watch for sunburn, and the water is painfully cold, so you can only step in it for a handful of seconds. Chloe kept forgetting and I’d have to hold her back from just charging in.
Toward the end of the afternoon we left the grassy area and found a nice shady spot amidst a lot of mud and rocks. Here is Chloe examining the mud on her fingers and saying “Dirty!” over and over.
But, of course, she got over it quickly and just sat down to play. By the end she was dumping dirty water on her head over and over. She was a mess!
This was the only photo I took of Barkley. He LOVES coming to the river. We used to be able to throw a stick for him to swim and fetch, but he doesn’t do that anymore. I don’t know if it is his leg, or the temperature is too cold for him now that he’s older. We just found out that our next door neighbor’s dog was put down because of cancer. Makes me wonder how long we’ll have Barkley. I hope a long time, so that Chloe can grow up with a dog around.
And lastly, here is a photo of a little visitor who landed on me. We saw several butterflies that day, and I remember thinking how neat it would be if I could get a shot of one. However, none of them were still long enough, they just fluttered by. This one however, decided to give me my opportunity. It wasn’t ideal, since focusing an SLR one-handed is a challenge, plus I had to keep stopping to pull Chloe back out of the water. I couldn’t believe how long that butterfly stayed, too. You can see in the photo that it’s proboscis is fully unfurled and it’s rooting around for some nectar. You’d think it might be attracted to my sunscreen, except Chloe was wearing the same kind. Plus, it was the only one that stopped to say hello. I feel quite blessed by that experience.