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

Currently 01.08.15

Edith Bubbles

Doing: Currently I am writing this post while trying to figure out what is going on our meal plan for the next two weeks. In other news around here we have been going through some nap strikes and a strange bout of eating strikes from the child who up until a few days ago would eat most anything – please tell me this is just a phase. Alder has been happily waking us up at 4am this week, another thing I hope is just a result of a developmental leap. Besides all that Edith started swim lessons this week, Alder laughs all the time, I’ve managed to clean up most of the first and second floors this week and Neil has been bringing home the (tempeh) bacon.

Thinking about: what we are going to eat the next two weeks and how I wish we had food right now because I want a snack (and a glass of wine).

Watching: Neil and I have been watching or should I say up until today binge watching The Good Wife. Back when it started we watched the first few episodes but dropped it not because we didn’t like it but because shows we were already dedicated to watching took over our screentime. When we saw that the first five seasons of the The Good Wife were on Amazon prime instant streaming we started it and became obsessed.

Looking forward to: Our playdate tomorrow aka mom chat time. Also the weekend because while this hasn’t been a bad week it has been a tiring and long week and I am so ready to have Neil home with us.

Reading: I am currently reading Gone Girl (and no I never finished The Book Thief); this book is seriously good and I only have 13% left to read so I am hoping to finish it before Friday night (at home) date night so that Neil and I can watch the movie.

Loving: Neil and how despite working all day that he gives me a break in the evening and he gets up to bounce Alder at 4am when he is fully awake and ready to party. 

This post is inspired by Sometimes Sweet.

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

Family Travel // Long Beach, WA // December 2014

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Neil’s birthday is coming up in just a few days and since it is so close to Christmas we usually forgo giving gifts and instead we do something fun. When it was just the two of us we traveled to snowy, beautiful Quebec City with a side trip to one of our favorite destinations Montreal. Another year we took the train to NYC for a long weekend where we found ourselves running around the city, quite literally (after eating a huge Indian feast) when I forgot our passes to Top of the Rock. We also spent Christmas at Disney another year and then this year we headed to the coast. We actually had decided not to a trip this year when at the last minute I decide that I just wasn’t ready to leave Alder for a date night (our original plans) and I ended up finding a deal for two nights at the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, WA (just over the bridge from Astoria).

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We decided that while we could really use a date night (still on the must happen in the next month list) that we also really needed a little bit of a getaway as a family. So we made the reservations and packed ourselves up and headed to the coast. Unfortunately heading to the beach doesn’t mean it’s going to be sunny and warm, although I really think that should always be the case and Edith agreed as she insisted she needed to bring her bathing suit with us. (Side note her tankini bottoms did end up making their way to the beach with us).  Anyways it ended up being super cold which meant that the time at the beach was limited but that didn’t matter because we had a beautiful view of the ocean from our room and we were able to explore Astoria aka our favorite travel destination.

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The first evening of our trip was spent freezing at the beach, eating the most amazing pizza (currently deemed the best pizza we have eaten on the West Coast) and fries and veggies at [pickled fish], we watched a Baby Einstein movie from the DVD selection at the hotel and then once the babes were in bed we shared a beer, chocolate and watched …I have no idea something on TV. Then we spent the remainder of the night attempting to sleep with little help from Alder.

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Monday morning we headed into Astoria for coffee and breakfast at Street 14 Coffee one of our favorite destinations. The drip coffee is decent, the pumpkin and apple bites are amazing and the other breakfast options are good. After properly caffeinating we headed to the Columbia River Maritime Museum one of our favorite spots to visit. We ended up getting a membership because it really is the best deal if you plan to visit a few times in the year. We are able to go to the 3-D movies as part of the membership so we watched Sea Rex, or rather we all watched the first 23 minutes of it before Edith and I made our grand exit and Neil stayed with a sleeping Alder to watch the remainder of the movie. We looked around for a bit after the movie before heading to Buoy Brewing for lunch and birthday beers. Then it was back to the hotel for naptime which ended up happening in the car so instead we had a little relax on the couch with tea and watch shows time because it’s too freaking cold to play at the beach. Once we had too much screentime we made the poor decision to head to Fort George for dinner because we had a gift card but dinner was kind of a bust so it was a less than fun experience.

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We ended our trip with more coffee from Street 14 Coffee and a little more playtime at the maritime museum before making the trek back to our freezing home. While this wasn’t anything like our exciting city birthday adventures of the past we did enjoy spending time as a family in a place that we love. I have to say next year I hope we can maybe make the destination to a beach that is a little bit warmer *sigh*  at least a girl can wish.

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How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Any big plans this year? 

 

12 Moments // 2014 in Review

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until tomorrow but here friends of ours kindly took over New Year’s Eve hosting duties which freed up some time to sit on the couch and snuggle Alder while working on this post. We have had quite the year so lets take a look back at 12 moments, one from each month of this past year.
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January: We started the year off with a bang and announced that we were once again expecting!
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February: We got hit with a massive snow storm (massive for Portland) and we spent a few days as a family snowed in and enjoyed playing in the snow.

Falls Hike- E&N2

March: We went on our very first hike of year and first hike at the Gorge. It was a beautiful hike and we can’t wait to head out again this year.

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April: We took a vacation back to where our lives started as a family of three – Vermont. We spent 10 days visiting family and friends and showing Edith where she was born.

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May: May was all about getting outside and visiting lots of Portland playgrounds.

Sou'Wester- edith sit

June: We took a trip to our favorite vintage trailers at the Washington Coast. Seriously one of our favorite things of the year and we are already planning our trip for 2015.

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July: Edith turned two!! I didn’t get any good pictures from our little party but here is one of her covered in dirt, chocolate and whipped coconut cream.

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August: Alder Grey joined the world August 1st and started our month off on a great note.

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September: We headed to the Oregon Coast with my parents for our first mini vacation as a family of four.

Halloween - Tots

October: We celebrate Halloween with great friends and these cuties.

Forest Park Hike photos

November: November was all about family time and making memories. This is from our first family of four hike in Forest Park.

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December: December was a busy month with lots of fun moments but this is just one of my favorites. We like to spend one weekend morning each week at a coffee shop and above is a photo of my two little photographers at our favorite Sellwood Coffee Shop Either/Or.

Well that wraps up 2014! We are off to get ourselves ready to enjoy some dinner, drinks and an early bedtime. Cheers!