Posts tagged hiking

The Mountain has a Summit

The Gemini Mama Hawk


I know that a lot of you out there are covered in snow. If I were in a place covered in snow I would grab my boots and snowboard and find a hill. I would also pack up my kids and go sledding, at least once. Obviously I am not there, and here we don’t see snow. Actually while we are on the subject, we are suffering from a sever drought because our mountains haven’t seen enough snow, so send some west.


When you live in an area that has beautiful temperature, you should take advantage of it. Yesterday we did. The whole family. As in every one including Scarlet, our dog. This was a big deal for her, because she doesn’t get to do much now that running is too much for her.



If you have been a long time reader here you may remember my post last September about our hike. I just want to say it is amazing what 25-30 degrees difference will do for you. We have only been on a few hikes since then, and they were focused on K1 being able to “hike” the whole time. Meaning that they were not challenging for the adults. When I suggested re-doing this hike S actually asked me if I could even do it. He reminded me that I had to stop a few times last time and we didn’t make it to the top. Duh, it was 100 degrees. Silly daddy.


Up we climbed as a unit. K1 walked about 1/4-1/3 of the way up herself. She is getting stronger and stronger every day.


The wind was nice, and kept us cool.


We got to see a few things on our way. Lizards, caterpillars, which were a nice surprise, para gliders, one hang glider, and two hawks! I am glad that we did not see the mountain lion that was spotted recently, and I am still fortunate enough to have never seen a wild rattle snake.


I wish my phone accurately captured how close to us the hawks were, but this was the best I could do. I have never seen a hawk in the wild so close. I could actually see the color of their feathers.


They were a pair hunting together. When they were done scouring this peak they flew off together to the next. It was beautiful.


Off in the distance of this photo you can see one of the para gliders.


I enjoy hiking, but view it mostly as exercise. Yesterday was a great reminder of all the beauty there is too see on my way to the top. Take that however you want, literal, or figurative. I also find that having kids with me on the hike I want to find beautiful things to show them, so that they will remain interested. I feel that they truly balance the experience for me.


What fun have you had in the great outdoors lately? 

Yesterday’s Hike

Yesterday was hot.


But we hiked anyway.


This is not a story about what not to do. We hydrated frequently. Both ourselves and our children. We listened to our bodies, and actually turned back at the halfway point. I was stopping to breath all to often, the kids said they were done, and our water was halfway gone, so it was time.


Yes those zig zags, also known as switchbacks, were the trail.

We got out there before 9, which was still later than planned thanks to my slow moving in the morning. By that time temps were already over 90.


The park rangers were worried about us hiking because yesterdays forecast called for 100 degree weather. It did get up to 100 yesterday afternoon but that was long after we were done hiking.

They encouraged us to take a cell phone and the phone number for the park office. I’m glad they said something. I was planning on leaving our phone in the car due to lack of reception.  It’s odd to me, but there was reception on the trail when there was none in the park.


It really was nice to get up and get going like this in the morning. A natural high of sorts. I wish cooler weather was closer in sight. We could do this more.

Next time we will get up earlier.

Naturally, the kids favorite part was snacking in the Jeep when we were all done. Tho they did like seeing and hearing the horses.

What were you up to yesterday?

Another Week In Photos

This time you get more than a week. I didn’t link up, or write an InstaFriday post last week after having written my vacation time and visitors post , it just seemed like it would have been a bit redundant. Enjoy the extras.


A quick stop at the playground before story time.

As I opened the gate to the playground the park ranger had just finished putting the last swing on. K1 screamed and ran right for them. I guess she had felt a bit deprived over the past few months. With the park having been closed since December until last month, and then opened with no swings, I guess she missed them.

Ahh. I think I need another trip back to visit. There is almost always traffic to get here, to this spot, in this photo. With two kids things like traffic are a deterrent for me. Maybe they should not be, but they are. Either way the reward is worth it, wouldn’t you say?

“Darling all I require are fabulous shoes”

Do I need to say anything more? Love shoes, there’s the girly girl in me.

Once she got it, she got it. Then it was so much fun. Cue Mary Poppins “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”.

If you haven’t taken your children, do it. It is totally one of those childhood memory things. They are cheap too for the amount of use you get. (the one pictured was $1, a whole dollar)

Nature. Family. Hike. Hike over all has a very broad definition. I often think of climbing mountains, and often that is what we do. This one was a very gentle hike, prefect for letting toddlers do all the walking. With out several feet in elevation there is still some great scenery to take in. The outdoors is magical for children, instant good moods all around. I often forget that. We should go on more walks.

This was the first time that we went to In-N-Out and were given these sticker activities for the kids. Awesome! All those other guys handing out crayons have nothing on stickers. Both kids loved this. I suppose that maybe other places do this too, we just don’t go out to eat a whole lot. If you know of any, tell me, I want to visit them next.

Thanks Uncle for coming by and helping with the car breaks. Wanna stay longer and let me do homework? Oh you do? Cool. Here are some crayons and coloring/activity books. Good luck. Just kidding, my kids aren’t that bad. They had fun together.

Vegan Mac N Cheese, roasted asparagus and broccoli, salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, topped with red wine vinaigrette.

At some point one of the kids turned the temperature on the oven down from 350 to 260. The pasta was going to be fine, because it does not really need to cook, just heat. The vegetables however took a bit longer to soften. I really only make this because it is one dinner that the kids will eat and ask for seconds, not my fav though. Remind me of that before I make it next time, because I also had to eat the leftovers for three days. Ack.

My second attempt at making home made jelly from scraps. The second time that the “jelly” did not set. Maybe there was not enough pectin. Meaning I needed more peels. Either way still kinda frustrating. I really want this to work. Just gotta keep on trying, but I am running out of patience. I also hate wasting all that sugar. I also read after my second attempt that strawberry jelly is one of the harder jellies to get to set. Super. Wish I read that before starting attempt # 2.

Everyone had noodles for dinner one night last week, and I just decided chop sticks were necessary. I have many different ones. Enough that I can pick a set that matches my out fit. However, since having my two beautiful children those things never get used at home, ever. It was kinda fun to pull them out and use them, like a holiday or something. Date night at home idea? Maybe? I might have something brewing here.


She made a new friend on the way home from the playground. Somehow she tried to use that as her chance to run off, back to play. Except she is the one who wanted a snack, so she came back, pretty quickly.

This probably should not be funny, but …..

K1 was crying hysterically. I could not figure out what was wrong. Did K2 bite her? Pull her hair? (because that does happen now a days) Take something from her? I was searching her and looking but could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong. When I asked her what was wrong she was crying to hard to formulate words. After I told her that I couldn’t understand her she spit out, “K2 hurts”. Confused I looked him over. Only to find what you see in the photo. Then I laughed, (maybe a laugh of relief) because it was just blackberry, and some berry juice staining him a here and there. Of course I helped her calm down. I didn’t really realize she was so sensitive, but she IS really sweet.

Now I should switch over and type up my essay on alternative media, woohoo. 

What did your week look like? I would love to see. Link up here;

life rearranged

(if you do link up let me know so I can go look too)


Vacation Time and Visitors

I have been very quiet on here this week, I know. We have just had a lot of excitement this past week, and it isn’t even over yet! 

We started the week off with a fun trip to the library for story time. Both kids really enjoy story time, it is just super exhausting for mommy, chasing kids around to collect all the books they pull off of the shelves.

An impromptu birthday gathering for a friend. By the way, the princess is a 32 year old man, but whatever.

Play time with friends in between trips to here and there.

A nice visit to somewhere I find to be most beautiful. It really has been too long. This was actually K2’s first trip here. I actually almost forgot how much I love it here.

Stopping to take a photo of little footprints, just so that I can remember how tiny they really were later. You know when they’re all grown up and stuff. (Yes I need a pedicure, I know, don’t judge.)

A trip to the park on a beautiful sunny day, to teach a little lady how to fly a kite. She was very much not interested at first. Then I adjusted the string so that it was much lower to the ground and she could actually see it. Then, she loved it. She ran back and forth with it trailing behind her. Totally worth the dollar we spent on it.

Off for a family hike to enjoy time with Aunt K and Grandma before it expires. With great weather, why not?

In and Out for lunch with Aunt K before she leaves. Oh and just in time for the power steering pump to sort of burst and leak everywhere, billowing smoke so that I thought something terrible happened. You know, normal every day stuff. What, that doesn’t happen to you while you are parking?

First dentist visits and cleanings. Balloons and stickers to go home with make every little person happy.

Coloring with an adoptive uncle while daddy fixes the car and mommy does home work. Truly a great week, and great time off with daddy. It’s not every week that he gets four days off in a row, or that Grandma and Auntie visit, we definitely made the most of it.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the past few days.

I also have another giveaway surprise tomorrow.

I gotta have it!

You may or may not know that I have been lusting after a back carrier for my DD.

Photo via

I carried her in a FF (front facing) carrier until it was physically painful while I was pregnant. So I wore her until she was about 16 months. Side note, I did wear her facing in as well. The carrier was not my favorite, I do not really know which one my favorite is, however it was sent to me and did the job. I am a trooper and do what I have to to make things work. This carrier was free, it was the only one I needed.

The Chicco You & Me Deluxe and I had a rough rough start. The very first time I put DD in it she almost died. No no no it was not a malfunction of the carrier. I had my friend, who sent the carrier, tell me stories about her daughter expecting to eat every time she got in it. She had also told me I could use it to keep baby upright after eating. So I decided to try it. DD was maybe 2 weeks old, had just fed, and apparently needed to spit up.

She couldn’t.
It turned into violent vomiting, and choking.
Crying, lots of crying.

I can still remember her eyes turning red looking at me to help her. I couldn’t get her out of the carrier.
I couldn’t get her out fast enough. I was the first time using it, I was inexperienced. It was not adjusted to me properly.

Photo via

We didn’t use it again for 4 months.

Then it worked fine, and I knew other mom’s using carriers. It worked until I wanted to go for a hike with a 5 month old.

I had received another Chicco carrier, the Smart Support Backpack. It is for 6-36 months and works great for hiking. we still use it. I feel evenly balanced, which I did not with the You & Me Deluxe.

Photo via

This carrier clearly states not to use with another carrier. This is kinda sad because I want to believe that I will still be able to go hiking with my two babies and no daddy.

Daddy got a Moby Wrap for me for Christmas. I had been talking about how I needed to get a wrap type of carrier so that I would be able to nurse the baby while standing by to catch DD at the playground. I also did not want to buy one if I wasn’t going to use it for that because then it would be a waste of money.

I wear DS everyday. He loves it. He does not complain at all. I have used two different wrap folds with him so far. I have to admit I have only nursed him in it a few times …. like less than five. It seems a little difficult to move him into the correct position.

Now I NEED a backpack carrier that you can wear tandem with the Moby wrap.

I have finally decided that I really really need one. I have decided that I will find a way to come up with the money for it.

I have been hunting and reading about SSC’s (Soft structured carriers) for weeks now. Maybe even months. Daddy is not concerned. He is tired of being updated on how this one has a higher back. He doesn’t GET how it will make life easier.

Clearly he has never had to play the toddler juggling game while wearing a baby.

Photo via

My arms are tired.

It is awkward to carry a 20 something month old while wearing a 3 month old. Right arm hurts switch, passing over baby, left arm hurts, try walking and holding hands for a bit …. and on and on.

I brought up the need for one again yesterday. I was going to bid on some Ergo’s on ebay, but I was made aware of people counterfitting and selling them as new or used. You can read about that here.
After reading about this again I decided that I will not be getting a deal on any SSC’s. I would rather a safe baby than save $50.

Daddy at one point looked at me and said “Do you need it?”

Now he asked me this because I am the logical one. I justify ever dollar I decide to spend. I turn off the wifi at night and the surge protectors to save $13 on our electricity bill. I always have a way to not need something. So when I looked at him and said “Yes I do”, I think he was surprised. I then proceeded to drift off and daydream about cooking dinner with DD on my back. (She always wants to watch) ….. he said “did I ask the wrong question” …. no he didn’t. When I explained where I went he was confused asking if it was an indoor carrier. There is no rule that says outdoor only, or indoor only, it is a baby carrier, and I need one.

I am pretty sure I want a Tula baby carrier, or a Boba 3G baby carrier. I’ll let you know when I get one.

You can still enter in my giveaway here.

Happy Wednesday!


Sickness and a stroller

Yes, that’s right. Sickness is making it’s way through the house.

I started it. Running in the mildly cold weather. Now everyone except the baby is congested. So how to you have a humidifier in two rooms at the same time again? Oh yeah … you don’t.

This also means we did not climb a mountain on Sunday. Don’t worry mountain I am coming back for you. I know you defeated me and the wee one, once, but not twice. I mean really, I have never not climbed to the top before. Once I make it to the top I will start scheduling hiking meet ups again. Cause I mean how can I go and be the cause of everyone not making it?

Did anyone ever tell you that selecting a double stroller is way more complicated than selecting a regular one the first time? You would have though the task would be easier. You have experience and know what to expect. Yeah well you also know what you do and don’t want. You also want every thing in one stroller purchase. You know, remember buying one, or four strollers the first time? Yeah you don’t want to repeat that, so basically you want what doesn’t exist. Maybe it does and you can’t afford it. All of this means bigger headache.

Oh well, I am off to deliver tissues to daddy. Next year he is getting the flu shot.

What was important to you in selecting a stroller? Price? Size? Color? Functionality?

Image: Public Health Image Library via 

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