Westmoreland Park Nature Area

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Spring is officially here and we are back to visiting all the parks that the Portland area has to offer! I just finished up a feature on Westmoreland Park it’s the new Nature Play Area. If you haven’t been yet get down there and go because it is fantastic! Edith had a blast and we can’t wait to take her back. Click Here for the full feature or see above under the PDX Sites & Eats tab above.

Weekend Snapshots | Out of the House

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We have been stuck at home for the past week with the plague. Okay that’s a bit dramatic but yes we are going through the fun cycle of sickness. Edith was sick with something I am guess was viral and had a low grade fever for a few days and now is just showing cold symptoms. Of course that means the rest of us are now starting to get sick as well. I’d say Alder is sick because of all of the snotty kisses from Edith and Neil and I are sick from the snotty kisses and the fact that we have probably had a combined 20 hours of sleep in the past 7 days.

In spite of all the sickness we decided that we all needed to get out of the house this weekend and enjoy the sun and fresh air. For those few hours that we found ourselves out of the house we had a really nice time and we seemed to forget about the sickness, at least until Edith decided to wipe her nose on my arm. Now we are back in the sickness groove – one I hope we fall out of by the end of the week. I am hoping for clear skies, sunshine and warm temperatures this weekend so that we might once again spend it at the park.

A Day In The Life | 2.27.17 | Park, Coffee, Doc & More Coffee

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Friday started out a little chaotic as we ran to get ourselves together and out the door. The first stop was to drop Neil off at work and then the kids and I were off to the park. We were supposed to have a playdate but because I had to drop Neil off at work and then we had a doctors appointment later in the morning we decided to try again next week. We headed to a park near our old house (and hopefully one day where we return to) because I wanted to check out the new children’s play area. It was a bit of a gloomy morning but I love seeing signs of Spring everywhere! Being from Vermont Spring doesn’t really start until May whereas here it starts in late February/March. Anyways off the the park we went.

Edith spent a good hour playing in the sand and exploring the new park. Alder napped for awhile and then was bright eyed and smiling. We had a quick nursing break before packing Edith up and heading to our favorite coffee shop to warm up. Edith enjoyed a “coffee” (steam soy milk) and I had an americano. We both had a late snack of a bagel and Alder munched on styrofoam er…teething biscuits.

We had a few minutes before heading to the doctors so we popped in the children’s thrift store next door where I found a few new things for Alder and a few books for Edith (I’ll share them in a future post). After a toddler melt down, when I said we had to leave (I can’t blame her she was having fun with all the toys) we were finally on our way to the doctor for Alder to get a shot.

Shot done. Time for more coffee #oneofthosedays and off to drop a coffee off to Neil and to go for a lunch time walk. We walked the loop at Neil’s work and finally signed me up for the gym. Then it was time to head home for naps and lounge time after a busy morning.

Neil got a ride home from work and since it was date night we decided to head to the grocery store to pick up some day night provisions. We also picked up a noodle bowl for Edith since it would be way past her dinner time by the time we got home and made her something.

This isn’t our normal day at home but about once per month this is how our day seems to go. What does a day in your life look like?

 

The Future of Naturally Family | Reader Requests

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Hello Friends!

These breaks between blog posts are much longer than I would like and I can’t remember if I said this in a previous post or not but we are having some real sleep struggles over here which have resulted in Neil and I switching off nights that we hold Alder. It’s exhausting and time consuming but it’s what is working right now – well rather it’s the only thing that is working. This means blogging has taken a mini backseat and not because I don’t have anything to share but rather that I have a hard time typing with one hand.

Anyways this little break is actually not a terrible thing because it’s giving me chance to start thinking about giving Naturally Family a little more structure when it comes to posting. I’d like to share some regular monthly posts such as a regular toddler/baby meal or recipe, a glance at what we are reading, a day in the life style post and basically whatever else you might be interested in reading on a regular basis. On top of that I’ll be throwing in some additional posts here and there based on what we have been up to lately, anything of family related interest and I’m thinking I should share our unschooling journey that is just really starting to take shape.

That all being said I’d love to hear what you would like to see more of on NF whether it is a regular monthly or weekly post, specific questions you have or maybe a series of posts. Let me/us know below!

They Should Revoke My Library Card

Throwback to baby Edith and her books.

Throwback to baby Edith and her books.

I tell you this I have always been horrible when it comes to borrowing books from the library. I can’t even begin to tell you how much debt I have racked up in library fees but it’s not pretty. For a long time I just stopped taking books out from the library altogether but once Edith reached the age where she wanted to read books non-stop I thought let’s try this whole library thing again. Now I’m going to tell you that this was a terrible idea. I just returned three books today that were about 2 months overdue and I had received a restocking notice. I know that there are people reading this right now who are cursing me because they wanted to read Brownie & Pearl Go For Spin and we’ve been storing it the backseat of the car for months now. Side note who names their daughter Brownie and their cat Pearl? I mean seriously what’s next a book about a boy named Cookie and his dog named Frank? Anyways I finally returned the books today and I’ve decided to self-revoke my own library card.

That all being said I am trying to think of new ideas that doesn’t involve me going out to buy new to us books all the time because honestly I can only read about Sam and Pam going for ice cream* so many times before I’m ready to hide the book behind a cupboard we won’t move until the next time we move house. One idea I had is maybe doing a book swap. My idea would be to sign up to do the swap and then each person fills a medium or large flat rate box with books and mails it out and each person receives a new box of books. Thoughts? I also was thinking about participating in one of those book exchanges but honestly I find them to be super confusing so if someone can explain that whole thing to me maybe I’ll do that if no one else is interested in doing a swap. If you are interested in doing a book exchange let me know in the comments below.

Also please tell me that I’m not the only one who is terrible at returning library books. 

*Amazon affiliate link to books.

The Dreaded Sleep Post

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I really thought that I would be able to get through these early months with Alder without blogging about his sleep because frankly the first 4.5 months were pretty amazing. I don’t know why it is but I only want to blog about sleep when we are going through a tough time but here we are. I tell you I am actually really surprised because from the moment Alder joined us Earth side he was a great sleeper. I mean he was up a few times at night to nurse but I would nurse and he would go back in his co-sleeper and just sleep. When it came to nap time he would just fall asleep on the couch or in his bouncy chair without me having to nurse him. There were actually a few times where I got myself already to nurse him because I knew he was tired and I look over and he is fast asleep. These days that’s just not the case.

During the day I used to put him down for his first nap upstairs. I’d lay down and nurse him to sleep and then get up and leave him on the bed. During his second nap I would nurse him downstairs because as many of you know we all share a room so during his second nap it is Edith’s nap time so he sleeps downstairs. Anyways I would nurse him to sleep and then he would either sleep next to me on the couch, in the bassinet or in the bouncy chair. These days I go through the same routine for morning nap but he doesn’t want me to leave. He will either wake up right when I start to get off the bed or he will wake up within 15 minutes of me leaving- which means the morning nap just isn’t really happening. As for the second nap he won’t let me put him down. I end up spending Edith’s entire nap with him in my arms and don’t get me wrong I love the snuggles but I also use nap time to get work things done and things around the house which means neither are happening right now.

As for evenings Alder usually stays downstairs with us while Edith goes to bed and again the problem is he has to sleep on one of us. Neil and I have actually taken to alternating “hands free” nights so that we can each have a chance to get things done in the evening. We have tried putting him down and he wakes right up and I have tired going upstairs with him and nursing him to sleep in bed but just like at nap time he wakes when I try to leave or within 15 minutes of me being gone.

Last night was terrible. I only slept from 3:30-7 and even that was interrupted by a nursing session. I tell you I’m exhausted and we are all out of coffee. I feel like we were here once before with Edith and I remember feeling exhausted but back then things were different. We only had one child to think about. With two and our sleeping arrangement (which won’t change right now because despite my complaining we love it) it makes it challenging to figure out this whole sleeping thing.

Okay venting done. Now any words of wisdom?

Valentine’s Day | minted.

Around this time of year I remember heading out to Ames (who knows what I am talking about?) and I would pick out Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to my friends and family. Back then you could just get those little cards with cartoon characters on them and if you were lucky you might also be able to find the mini boxes of conversation hearts. Nowadays you just have to pop on over to Pinterest to find a million different homemade ideas which are all fun and super cute but if you’re like me you just can’t be bothered. That’s when I turn to Minted.

As you all know already we just love Minted around here. We have used it for birth announcements, New Years cards, Christmas gifts, home decor items and notebooks. That all being said it’s no surprise that we would want to once again feature there Valentine’s cards. I am so excited that you can buy individual cards along with a selection of postcards, photo cards and classroom cards. There are even supplies for your Valentine’s Day party and of course a selection of gifts for your Valentine.

One of the items I decided to order were these super cute classroom cards with Edith and Alder on them. I know neither of my kids are in school but Edith has lots of little friends that I thought she would enjoy handing them out to and we are going to send them to friends and family. I had such a hard time picking out a design because there were just too many cute ones. There are ones with photos and others with just cute designs such as the Smore one and that says “I Wish I Had Smore Friends Like You” or the fox in a canoe that says “Canoe Be My Valentine?”. Like I said cute right?

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Of course I had to pick up some additional Valentine’s for my Valentine and fro some family and friends. Here are a few that I really love and will be sending to friends.

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Oh and this one is by far one of my favorites because I think we all know a coffee lover who would love and deserve this card.
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Okay to finish things off I had to get some cute stickers to put on the back of our envelopes. And after too many naptime hours spent perusing the Minted site I finally placed my order. OMG I want one of nearly everything.

What are you favorite Valentine Card sayings? Do you like something simple, classic or maybe just a little cheesy? I personally like a little bit of both depending who is receiving the card.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a promo code to purchase a portion of our holiday cards and gifts purchase fromminted. As always all opinions are our own. Screenshots shared with permission.

Babywearing | Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid

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The newest addition to our wrap collection is the Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid in the beautiful color/pattern Aphrodite. As you all know babywearing is a big part of our lives and I have quite the diverse collection of carriers. I actually just had to de-stash some of my carriers because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and many of the ones we bought when we were first pregnant with Edith just aren’t ones that we use at all anymore. Anyways since becoming a babywearing educator I have really gotten more interested in wrapping and while I prefer woven wraps I know that there are those out there who love their stretch wraps so I have been on the lookout for the best stretchy wrap options.

This stretch-hybrid wrap is super soft, light weight and supportive. I recently wore it on a hike and Alder and I faired well with carrier. I did find that when he moved around, well basically tried to fling himself backwards out of it at one point because we wanted to nurse and we hadn’t arrived to a spot for me to easily stop and nurse, that it did start to loosen a bit but otherwise it worked well.

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One of the major things that is different about this carrier versus a stretchy carrier is that you can safely wear your baby on your back. The wrap has a bit of stretch but is secure enough for you to get baby in a proper and secure seated position on your back. The only major con for me for back carries is that the wrap is a bit too long for my preferred back carries. Despite  the length of the wrap being a bit long for me I do find that I am able to get both Edith and Alder in secure carries that last for a long time without losing positioning.

Overall I really like this wrap and it is one that I have come to use on a regular basis. There are a few cons that I have listed below but nothing that would deter me from recommending this wrap. Check out my pros and cons to see what I thought of this wrap.

Pros:

  • Stretch-Hyrid giving you the softness of a stretchy wrap with more of the secureness of a woven.
  • Supports children up to 35lbs – you can use it with your newborn or your toddler!
  • Folds up small into a zip carrying case for easy transport
  • Easy to nurse in!
  • Comes in a variety of colors – I love the Aprhrodite and the Hammy.
  • Under $100.
  • Fairly Traded.
  • Machine Washable.
  • Great tutorial videos – although I do have one con about these (see below).

Cons:

  • Length. This is my number one con because I just find it to be a bit too long for me. I wish like the Wrapsody Breeze that this one came in sizes.
  • The tutorial videos are great and really show you a variety of ways to wear your babies but I find that they are a bit rushed.
  • While there are a variety of colors in the wraps I’d love to see some solid colors.

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Currently 1.24.15

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Doing: Oh just getting really excited as I realize that tonight is only Saturday night and that I still have another weekend day to get ohh a million things done tomorrow. Who am I kidding? Let’s focus on just getting one or two things done. Right now Neil and I are catching up on Top Chef and Alder is being a wild man who was up ALL last night (seriously I slept from like 12a-1a and then maybe 15-20 minutes more until getting up at 2:30am with a crying Alder – seriously felt so bad for baby boy and at the same time being frustrated that I couldn’t just sleep. I ended up with him until about 5:45am before hearing Edith over the monitor and heading back upstairs. I finally got a few hours of sleep around 6:15a-8:45a. I don’t know what his deal is tonight but he is wild.

Thinking about: Oh the 30 different blog posts and YouTube videos that I am working on and how nice it would be to have a maid.

Watching: Top Chef! Trying to catch up so no spoliers but we are just loving this season because Gregory Gourdet from our favorite restaurant Departure is on it. Side note his restaurant is a client of a PR company that I sometimes go to events at and last November he was at an event at their offices and I totally geeked out.

Looking forward to: Getting out for a hike tomorrow.

Reading: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte — I’ll be posting a review soon! 

Loving: Red Wine. Babywearing (we got a new Tula Toddler — whoop whoop). Cooking. Skincare. Makeup. Running. My family (duh). 

 

This post is inspired by Sometimes Sweet.

Share something you are currently doing, reading, looking forward to, ect. in the comments below!

Quick Update!

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Hi Friends!

Sorry for such a long time between posts. Things have been kind of crazy here after the holidays and both kids and Neil have been since the past week. I’ve got a bunch of new fun blog projects in the works and can’t wait to get regular posting. That being said you can expect a new post tomorrow!

 

XO.

Lindsay