Fall Family Bucket List

Alright so at the start of summer I made a bucket list for our family, but we have had a crazy summer so we didn’t get to everything. I’m just going to add those to next summer and get ready for my FAVORITE time of year…

img_4963img_4985

FALL

Again this is the first Fall with our little girl and she, and since she is now 8 months old our options for activities are growing! Here’s what I hope to do before the winter and the “Christmas Season” sets in.

  • Go Apple Picking and make homemade applesauce and pie
  • Take Family pictures surrounded in leaves and trees
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Complete a corn maze
  • Paint Pumpkins (More to come on this but I hate carving pumpkins)
  • Go for our first family hike
  • Go to a Harvest Festival
  • Go on a Hay Ride
  • Make Candy Apples
  • Go to a Football Game
  • Trick or Treat for Halloween
  • Enjoy a Foggy Morning Walk with Hot Apple Cider
  • Take a scenic drive
  • Charlotte’s first Thanksgiving
  • Drive through a Covered Bridge (Oregon is full of them and they are even more gorgeous with the Fall foliage)
  • Make a Handprint Turkey with Charlotte
  • Be Thankful for our beautiful little family

 

What do you all have planned for this wonderful time of year?

Love Always,

Sam

Advertisements

Sand Between Her Toes

We made our first trip out the coast this past weekend, and boy did my little girl LOVE the sand! She was completely obsessed with it and wanted nothing more than to play and sit in it. This trip was … Continue reading

We Survived Camping with a Baby 

Call us crazy but this past weekend we took our almost 7 month old, dog and ourselves camping with another family (who have 3 kids themselves). We were 12 miles from the closest town, with no cell service, and a … Continue reading

Prep for Camping with a Baby

Alright so we are braving a weekend in the great outdoors with our 6 month old. Naturally being the excessive planner I am, I’m already prepping for the trip even though its 2 weeks away. I’ve come up with a … Continue reading

Road Trippin’ With a Baby

We survived our first road trip with the little one. I call that a parenting a triumph and milestone for my husband and I. Now let me be real with you and say that there were definitely a few times when I was on the verge of ripping my hair out. Here are a few things that worked for us and kept all my hair firmly attached (messy but attached).

IMG_6743

Let the Baby Sleep and Drive

I tried to time the day with my daughter to where she would be ready for a nap when we were loading up and heading out. Our plan was to drive until she woke up and pray that we made it to our destination without a meltdown. This seemed to work great for us on the way there and she woke up just before we arrived. For the way home she wasn’t as ready for a nap and we paid the consequences. Picture a full blown “I hate my car seat” meltdown with an hour left to drive. Lesson learned: leave later with a tired baby.

Bring a Partner

Having two of us meant that one could drive and one could (attempt to) soothe baby, feed the baby or just offer moral support for the relentless screaming. Not having to face a very unhappy baby alone was seriously a lifesaver.

Have a Bottle Ready

We bottle feed our daughter (see my post on why here) and so we had a bottle made and easy to access in the car. On the way to our destination she woke up just before arriving and was hungry. We saved ourselves from an impending explosion of pissed off baby by having a bottle ready to feed her in the car. Boom happy baby, happy mommy and daddy.

Put Their Favorite Toy in Their Car Seat

My daughter has this little giraffe rattle-like toy that she finds super interesting, plus she loves putting it in her mouth (win-win for a 6 month old). This was just another meltdown prevention tactic that worked for short spurts of time. Anytime with no screaming in a moving vehicle is good.

Let Them Nap

We arrived to our destination past her bedtime plus she had been sleeping the way down so she was up late that night! Of course my daughter doesn’t know what sleeping in is so she was up at 5:30 am like usual. Now normally she takes two naps per day, morning and afternoon. The day after we arrived, however, I threw her nap schedule out the window. Instead I simply took cues from her and put her down to nap when she was tired. This provided with my happy little baby when she was awake, which was perfect because she met lots of family that day.

Overall our first mini road trip with our 5 and a half month old went pretty well. We learned plenty for the next one though.

What are some of your road trip tips?

Love Always,

Sam

Summer Bucket List

IMG_0936

This is our first summer with our little Charlotte and as a little family and I could not be more excited! She will be 6 months July 8th so I think she will be a super fun age to do some of these things with (and some of them I will admit are more for me to experience with her). We live in the Pacific Northwest but I think a lot of these will work for mostly anywhere. So here it is:

Blackberry Picking

Fishing

Go swimming (either a lake or river)

Trip to the coast (her first time seeing the Ocean)

Have a picnic

Attend an Outdoor movie or concert

Hike around Silver Falls State Park

Play at the Splash Pad

Ride the Carousel

Dallas Drive-in Theatre

4th of July Fireworks Show

First Road Trip

Finger Paint Outside

Feed the Ducks

Farmer’s Market

Lawn Seats at the Baseball Game

Logging Museum (Camp 18; this is the hubby’s contribution)

More Zoo Trips!

IMG_0919IMG_0937IMG_0182

What do you all have planned for the summer? Any suggestions I should add to my list?

P.S My husband has no idea what I have in store for him.

Love Always,

Sam

Our Trip to the Oregon Zoo

DSC_0110.JPG

Yes I realize that my 3 month old will not remember a thing from this trip but I was still so excited to take Charlotte for her first (of many I’m sure) visit to the zoo. This was also a great way for me to practice keeping expectations realistic in order to avoid being disappointed (see previous post: Expectations Versus Reality).

Going into the trip I was pretty positive that she would sleep the majority of the time and I was okay with that; I was still excited to watch her react when she was awake and to take a bazilllion pictures. Well the pictures just didn’t happen, for a multitude of reasons, but believe me, I was ready! I totally looked like one of those crazy tourists with a big camera around me neck!  We went with some friends and their 3 children between the ages of 9 and 2, and we had our diaper bag strapped around the double stroller they had rented (I will never again go without our own stroller, I don’t know what we were thinking!), so it was hard to get things in and out of the bag without holding everyone up constantly. With little ones, being held up just isn’t an option! So not having access to the bag meant no quick snapshots (mmm…or do I mean selfies) with my phone or retrieving the adorable sunglasses from target that I forgot to put on her (see them on her here: Instagram because they really are adorable). Besides all of that it was super crowded and really hot for us here in the pacific northwest! My husband had her in the chest pack (she was snoozing away) and we just didn’t want to block all of the other little ones that actually wanted to see the animals to take pictures of our sleeping baby. So we ended up with very minimal pictures. That being said I had a blast!

DSC_0043DSC_0037DSC_0034

You guys not having my phone ALL day and not being obsessed with getting the perfect shot constantly meant that I was engaged in our day. I was able to make memories with my husband and our friends. Putting away my phone was pretty awesome! There was no “hold on I need to type the perfect Instagram caption” but instead I was present and didn’t miss a thing! I loved the day and I want to make more of an effort to do this more often so that I can fully enjoy my friends and family without interruptions.

DSC_0107DSC_0104

We do have annual passes (thank you to my wonderful parents!) so I’m not denying that next time if its less crowded and she’s awake I will probably take those bazillion pictures because I can’t help it! I’m totally a mommarazzi.

P.S. If you are ever in Portland the Oregon Zoo is absolutely fabulous! It is easy to walk with little one’s because it is not overly large but it has a ton of great exhibits including an entire area for animals found her locally (black bears, cougars, etc), a huge new elephant enclosure, and my personal favorite animal the polar bear!

Have You ever had an experience where you disconnected from social media and had a fabulous time? Share it with me below!

Love Always,

Sam

DSC_0108DSC_0109

Expectations Versus Reality

Let’s talk about my Easter weekend for a second. You guys I had such high hopes, and I was so excited for everything that I had planned for the entire weekend. Reality then set in, including the Pacific Northwest living up to its rainy reputation.

Here is what I had planned:

  • Saturday morning I wanted to leave our apartment around 9 to make it to a (free) egg hunt at a local park
  • After the park we were going to get lunch at our favorite Mexican place (Charlotte could nap during this too)
  • After I wanted to head to a different park full of Cherry Blossoms to take some family photos (my sister-in-law was in town)
  • We would call it a day Saturday and head home to relax
  • Sunday I wanted to wake up and do Charlotte’s Easter basket, and take super adorable photos of her giggling and smiling while grabbing her new toys (totally unrealistic I now realize).
  • The rest of the day I just wanted to play and snuggle as a family
  • That evening my parents were coming into town and we were planning to go to their hotel and have Charlotte have her first time in a pool
  • And then end the day with a nice dinner

DSC_0318 (2)

So literally none of this went according to my “grand plan.”

First off Saturday morning it was POURING rain so out went the egg hunt. We thought about doing pictures with the Easter bunny at the mall but honestly it was expensive and I’m not super into the bunny photos. We  decided eventually to head out to the town where the egg hunt was to at least still get some yummy Mexican food. We drove around afterwards and tried to find something Easter-y to do but we were literally too late for everything we drove up to! Not going to lie I had a complete melt down, like it probably could have been considered a temper tantrum (not my proudest moment). I wanted to make all these memories for Charlotte’s first Easter and nothing was working the way that I wanted them to and my husband definitely heard about it.  The rain finally stopped so we did end up getting some cute photos at the park near our apartment, but it was freezing. By that point we went home and watched movies. I got over my melt down and we had a snuggle filled evening.

Now for Easter morning. Charlotte woke up cranky because that is what a 2 month old does sometimes. My husband took his sister to the airport at 4 am so he obviously came home and went back to sleep. My idea of a cute Easter morning was not happening. We ended up waiting and doing her basket when my parents arrived that afternoon, and she had no idea what was happening and the pictures just didn’t even happen because there was so much going on. On to the pool and Charlotte hated it (I think it was more that she was hungry), but she screamed the whole time! Luckily dinner went well, but this weekend taught me so much.

DSC_0577

Life does not go according to plan, especially when a child is involved. I need to learn to roll with the punches and to not get upset when my plan doesn’t work. Honestly this is much easier said than done for me. I am a “planner.” I always have all these expectations for “special occasions” and then I am almost always disappointed because life never works the way we want it to. My husband tries to remind me constantly that we have much more fun when we do things without my “grand plans,” but I just can’t help myself sometimes.

Hopefully I can work on it but I am positive that I will have at least a few more tantrums in my lifetime over plans going horribly wrong. But here’s to trying to limit the amount!

Do any of you have similar issues when your expectations don’t match the reality?

Love Always,

Sam

DSC_0529 (2)

DSC_0571

This is my wonderful sister-in-law Katie.