Small Outdoor Spaces | Water Table | Little Tikes

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This is post #2 in a series about small spaces with Little Tikes you can read my first post here

While a sandbox might not be on every parents list of desired outdoor items a water table should be. Water tables easily provide hours of fun for littles and it is a great way for them to cool off. I really don’t know why we didn’t get one sooner. In previous years we used an old plastic tote box for Edith to splash around in and a small kids pool but in our new space we couldn’t have the pool and a standing water table just seemed like a much better idea for both kids.

Little Tikes Water Table -E&S

This Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table™ is great because it’s the perfect height for both Edith and Alder to play. It also comes with a cup, a little net, and some super cute water animals. If Alder could he would probably spend all of his time playing at the water table. I mean as soon as I open our sliding door he is making a beeline for the water table and has a meltdown if he doesn’t make it before I shut the door.

little tikes water table

The only thing that I wish that this water table had was a little sun umbrella but we have made it work by putting it in a shaded spot on our balcony. I do love that it has a little drain in the bottom which makes it easy to change the water.

I have a feeling this water table will be something we use for years with both kids.

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Do you have a water table? 

Disclaimer: Little Tikes provided with us this sandbox at no cost. We did NOT receive any compensation for this post.

 

 

Small Outdoor Spaces | Sandbox | Little Tikes

little tikesWhen we were searching for a new home last year I was as bit disappointed when my desire for a yard would not be fulfilled. A yard has just become such a desire when you have too little ones who like to spend their time outside running around. While we didn’t end up with a yard we do have a decent sized balcony and have gotten a little creative to make it work for us.

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Our balcony is home to a variety of things and while it doesn’t look perfect it keeps the kids happy and therefore it keeps us happy. One of the items that has been entertained this summer has been a sandbox. Now I know what you are thinking a sandbox on a balcony? Yes, it’s there and while I don’t love all the sand it keeps the kids entertained for hours.

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The sandbox we have is the Cozy Coupe® Sandbox and when the cover is on it looks just like those little cars that kids love so much. I have to say that is a big selling point with this sandbox – the cover that is. We live in Oregon so while summers are usually pretty dry we do get a good amount of drizzly/rainy days throughout the year so the cover keeps us from having a mud box.

While an afternoon in the sandbox always requires a bath it’s worth it to see these two littles having so much fun. Overall this sandbox has been such a great addition to our small outdoor space. Do you have a small space? How do you make it work with your kids?

Side note these kids love the sandbox with or without sand. How cute is this little monkey?

2015_06_06_LIttleTikes-6Disclaimer: Little Tikes provided with us this sandbox at no cost. We did NOT receive any compensation for this post.

 

Edith Is Three.

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I wanted to get this posted before too much time has passed but it seems that time just can’t be stopped and Edith has already been three for 12 days. In the past 12 days she has finally come around to being three but let me tell you I had no idea how traumatic it was going to be for her. She spent the first week telling us she “missed her two” and she was sad about being three. For a few days she was 2 years and 366 days, 367 days and so on but it seems that at 2 years 377 days she finally has come around to three.

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Edith started her morning off with a donut and coffee before we headed to Bob’s Red Mill for a breakfast birthday party with a few of her friends. We are all about keeping birthdays pretty low key and we weren’t actually going to have a party until Edith insisted that we have one and that she have strawberry pie and rainbow ribbons (apparently this is a Daniel Tiger thing or a mash up a bunch of episodes). 2015_07_09_EdithIsThree-12After Bob’s we headed back to our house to get packed up for camping – side note don’t wait to pack until just a few hours before need to leave. Before heading to the campground we made a quick stop at Whole Food’s to pick up ice and snack and Edith was so tired out from her day that she ended up falling asleep in the car add-on on the cart. I actually didn’t even realize it until a lady passed with her kids and told them to be quiet as they passed by.

2015_07_09_EdithIsThree-7Finally hours later we made it to the campground and Edith got her rainbow ribbons. We had dinner and Edith got her pie although I was a lazy mom and just bought her an apple pie instead of making a strawberry pie (in my defense she had only requested a strawberry pie the day before). We also were able to see a mother dear and her fawn – so over camping trip even if it was just a short one.

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As for it being a short camping trip….Not to be a downer but this camping trip didn’t quiet go as we had expected because we didn’t bring water (there is usually potable water at the park but they had just cleaned their pipes so no water), we forgot an entire bag of cooking supplies, Alder had a rough night of sleeping and I ended up pinching a nerve. So we ended up only staying for one night but it was still a great time and we got make a detour to Hood River for the day and meet up with friends for dinner on the way home.

 

[TMI Talk] Postpartum Periods & GladRags

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST DISCUSSES POSTPARTUM MENSTRUAL CYCLES AND THINGS TO USE FOR THEM. IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN READING ABOUT THIS PLEASE CLICK THE X AT THE TOP OF THIS POST NOW.

Day 13

The postpartum period is one of those things that not many women really talk about. It’s probably, for me at least, one of the most dreaded things about the postpartum time. There is so much uncertainty as to when it will return, what it will be like after having a baby and of course having to deal with that monthly pest again.

Solly Baby Wrap

My period returned after both children right around six months postpartum. My period after Edith was simply a nightmare and I would attribute a lot of that to my Paragard IUD but beyond the woes of that I just found myself in a new and weird place. A place where tampons just didn’t work for me anymore. I know maybe a little TMI but hey that’s what this post is.

Anyways that just didn’t work well anymore and weren’t comfortable so I found myself back at 12 years old with my first period using sanitary pads. I know some women are fine with them but I feel like I just wearing a huge diaper and am self-conscious and uncomfortable all the time. Since those weren’t working for me I decided to try a menstrual cup and while it worked okay for me I just didn’t really love it so I continued to search for a better option.

GladRags

Finally I decided to try cloth sanitary pads. I figured I use cloth diapers with my baby so why wouldn’t I use the same sort of thing myself. I didn’t want to go in 100% because they can be pricey so I purchased just a few to give them a try and suddenly my life was changed. I finally had found something comfortable and that did the job.

The best part about cloth pads, like those from GladRags (my favorite brand), is that there are no chemicals, fragrances, plastics or adhesives. They are good for the body and for environment. They are good for 5+ years and are so easy to clean.

You might be thinking but how does it add up? On an average year using tampons I probably spent $125-135  basically the cost of a cloth pad kit. So that means with a life of at least five years that I will have saved over $500.

Have you tried cloth pads or a menstrual cup? Thoughts? 

Disclaimer: This post does not include sponsored content. GladRags kindly sent me one of their cloth pads to try and I have purchased a number since then. 

Three.

I’m a week late in writing this post but we have been busy celebrating the life that made us parents. Our sweet, independent, kind and generous (among many other wonderful things) little girl has turned three. I’m not sure where the time has gone but she is three and I am excited as can before her but of course a little part of me wishes that time would slow down. If you’re a birth story junkie like me you read Edith’s full birth story here. I’ll share some photos and highlights from her birthday this weekend or early next week. Until then here are some photos from the day Edith was born…IMG_9342 IMG_9347 IMG_9360 IMG_9396

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[Travel] Vintage Trailers at The Sou’Wester | Washington Coast

sou'wester signI’ve always wanted a place that we consider “ours”. A place you visit year after year and as soon as you arrive you think “this is my happy place” – for us that has become The Sou’Wester
sou'wester trailers

Neil was actually the first to visit The Sou’Wester a few years ago for a work retreat. He stayed in the main lodge and he had such a great time he couldn’t wait to return and to have a stay in one of the vintage trailers. So as soon as he arrived home we made reservations to return for Labor Day weekend 2013 as a family. Three summers later and we have made The Sou’Wester a yearly tradition; if we could we would live here if we could.
Sou'Wester Escape

This visit we stayed in the Imperial Spartan Mansion one of the family sized mansions. This trailer has a kitchen, bathroom, full living room, a bedroom with a full-sized bed and a bunk with two single beds. I wasn’t sure how this style was going to work for us because while Edith sleeps in her own bed at home it is still in our [family] bedroom. The bunks are actually in the hall that leads to the bathroom and bedroom. To our surprise things worked out fine and Edith slept soundly and comfortably on the bottom bunk while Alder, Neil and I slept in the bed. 
sou'wester lodge

While we spent a good amount of time cooking, reading and relaxing in our trailer you could also find us swinging in the hammock, picking up snacks at the main lodge shop, taking a peek into the Thrifty (onsite thrift trailer) or wandering around the property. Neil also took advantage of the complimentary bikes.  sou'wester lodge 4

Sou'wester hammock Sou'wester thrifty trailer

New since our last visit is the Garden Spa & Sauna. Unfortunately neither of us were able to take advantage of the dry Finnish Sauna but I’m planning to make sure we do next visit. sou'wester garden spa

To see what’s behind the door check out the photos here of this beautiful spa & sauna area. 
sou'wester garden spa skincareI did however buy a few spa products including the sea salt scrub and balancing spray. I have yet to try the scrub but I use the spray multiple times per day. 
sou'wester seaviewOne of the things we love about The Sou’Wester is the proximity to the beach. Just head down the road about a block and you will find yourself at the Pacific Ocean and you’ll also find access to Discovery Trail – a perfect spot for a bike ride. seaview beach edith seaview beach alder

It was as bit of dreary time during our visit so we kept to playing in the sand not the water but when the sunshine is shining it’s a beautiful spot to splash and play in the water. We also love to head down to the beach in the evenings to watch the sunset.
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The Sou’Wester is a special place. A place filled with history, creativity and a place where memories are made. A place we will return to year after year or basically as often as we are able to. We hope you are able to visit The Sou’Wester one day as well and create your own memories. Side note while we love to stay in the Vintage Trailers you can also bring your own RV or tent or you can stay in one of the vintage cabins, the glamping tent or a main lodge room.

Until next time…..which is November because we couldn’t let an entire year pass-by before returning for another stay. So stay tuned for our next stay! You can read about previous years here –> 2013, 2014 and A Day In the Life – 2015.

Disclaimer: The Sou’Wester provided us with a complementary stay. We we received no other compensation. This visit (June 2015) has been our only complementary stay – we have paid for all other stays and will pay for all future stays. We simply love this place and are thrilled to share it with you. 

[Day In The Life] Sou’Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR

[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR6am. Neil gets up and head to the couch to do a little reading…
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR6:38am. I finally roll out of bed leaving a sleeping Alder. I pass a sleeping Edith on the way to the living area where I find a sleeping Neil who stirs and wakes up.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR6:50am. Neil starts on coffee and I tidy up our space a bit.
7:15(ish). Edith wakes up
7:30am. I start on breakfast – tofu scramble with homefries.
7:35am. I set off the smoke alarm which startles all of us and wakes up Alder.
8am. It’s time for breakfast!
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR8:30am. We spend a awhile walking the grounds at the Sou’Wester, taking some traditional photos and we stop into the main lodge to secure some crayons and paper.
9:13am. We finally head back to the trailer and get ourselves ready for the day.[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR 10am. We head to the Willapa Interpretive Center only to find it was closed so we head to Leadbetter Point State Park.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR10:35am. We make it to Leadbetter State Park with the intention of going on a nature walk down to the beach. Little did we know that our nature walk would be a hike and it would a buggy and challenging one at that.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR [Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR11:34am. We finally make it to the beach after getting eaten alive and scratched up by trees. I have to admit when the path finally cleared we found ourselves on the beautiful sand dunes and out on to a quite beach. After the horrible hike down to the beach we decided to take a chance and walk the 1/2 mile down the beach to get on a different path. Luckily this path was much clearer, less buggy and lead us to another beautiful spot.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR12:45pm. We made it to the bay, another beautiful spot. Alder, who had been sleeping the entire time, finally woke up for the last .7 miles of our hike.
1:10pm. We stopped at a store for water and a snack before making our way to Astoria.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR2:30pm. We made it to Buoy Brewing for a late lunch with two silly kids and no sea lion.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR3:45pm. Coffee time! We pick up a coffee and some apple bites at Street 14 Coffee and wander around Astoria for a bit.
4:45pm. It starts to rain so we head back to The Sou’Wester Lodge
5:40pm. After a pit stop at the thrift shop we finally make is back and of course Edith has fallen asleep. We debate how long until we wake her up and decide due to the late hour that we would wake her up at 5:45pm.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR [Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR6pm. Neil heads to the Garden Spa & Sauna and Edith has a painting session in our trailer.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR6:10pm. Neil is back because the sauna closed for maintenance. Neil heads out in a bike ride and E continues to paint and I play a game with Alder that involves him dumping all the crayons on the floor, he picks eat one up, places in his mouth or attempts to and I say “crayons are not for eating” and return it to the box.
6:30pm. Edith wants to go for a walk to pick a new movie to watch while I make dinner.
7:30pm. It’s dinner time! We have Field Roasted Sausage sandwiches and salad.
[Day In The Life] Sou'Wester Lodge, Leadbetter Point State Park & Astoria, OR8p. Dinner is over and we walk over to the lodge just for fun. Edith picks up Connect 4 to play back at the trailer.
8:30p. Edith plays a game with Neil.
9p. I nurse Alder to sleep and read in bed. Neil puts Edith to bed.
9:10p. Neil attempts sauna one last time but now it’s full.
9:15pm. I hear Neil return and get up and join him on the couch. Edith is still awake so we hold of playing a game since she is on the bunks which don’t have door to close them off.
9:45pm. I decide that I’m just too tired to stay up and I head to bed. Edith is still awake – thank you evening nap.
10pm. Neil comes to bed.
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Finding Balance

Sou'wester hammock

It really hasn’t been my intention to let my posting on Naturally Family fall to the wayside but it seems that it has. I am just having a hard time finding the balance between my life as a mom, a partner, a blogger and everything in between. Unfortunately Naturally Family has taken a bit of a backseat. That’s not to say that Naturally Family is going anywhere; I actually have a good 10-15 posts already started, photos edited or ideas jotted down or recorded in the notes section of my phone. It just means post are coming at slower rate as I find the balance in life. In the meantime you can keep up with us on Instagram.

 

Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout

Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

Growing up my family did a lot of camping. We went tenting, we had a pop-up camper for many years as well and even my first trip to Disney World was a camping trip to the Fort Wilderness (hmmmm maybe this is how I’ll convince Neil to do a Disney World trip). Anyways I am so excited continue the camping tradition with our littles.

This summer is the first summer that we have done some real camping as a family. The past two summers we have gone to our favorite vintage trailers (stay tuned for more on that in another post) but this is the first summer we have done “real” camping. Our first camping trip was to Cape Outlook to celebrate Neil and my 7th Wedding Anniversary. We lucked out and got a last minute yurt which was perfect for our first camping trip. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

Cape Lookout is located on the Oregon Coast so of course our first stop was the beach. Both kids have a deep love for the water and the sand and they played and played until it was time to head back for dinner. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

Of course Alder took a little break with me while Neil and Edith wandered the beach some. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

We cooked up dinner at the campsite something we are still trying to perfect but one of the greatest things was that Edith wanted to help do the dishes. I don’t want to jinx it but this love of doing her own dishes has continued on at home and as she insists on washing her dishes after every meal.Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

We were all exhausted from traveling and our beach adventure so we easily fell asleep. Oh how glorious it was to have beds and a heater in our yurt. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

We woke up to a drizzly day and after a big bowl of berries, coffee and some oats we decided to head out for a drive down the coast. We ended up in Lincoln City where we stopped down by the water but it was a bit windy (see photo below: Edith was hiding from the wind) so we headed to get some lunch and then drove back to Cape Outlook.Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

When we got back to the campsite we decided to get out for a hike and hopefully beat the impending rain. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

Despite these unenthusiastic looks they where having a great time. Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally Family

We finished our hike off with a walk down the beach. We were searching for live crabs but alas we only found parts of shells and a whole lot of what I think were sand fleas (yuck). kIMG_5303Oregon Adventures | Camping/Yurting at Cape Lookout | Naturally FamilyAs soon as we arrived back at camp we started on dinner but unfortunately the rain started and we had to rush into the yurt. Thankfully Neil finished up dinner while we huddled in the yurt. So glad we were able to stay in a yurt because all that rain would have made packing up to go home miserable.

Side Notes Regarding Cape Lookout:

  • The yurt sites are all pretty good but if you can try and get a yurt with a door facing away from the road.
  • Get a deluxe cabin if you can.
  • This campground is popular with RV’s and unless you are staying in a cabin/yurt you probably want to have an RV.
  • There are very few sites that are good for large tents. Most sites will fit a small two or three person tent but bigger than that you might run into some issues.
  • There are private showers, electricity and flushable toilets (!!)
  • You’ve got the beach and hiking/nature walk.

When did you start camping with your little ones? Any tips?