Outings With A Toddler & Newborn | Adventures at the Oregon Coast

*This post was written in collaboration with Orbit Baby.
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It’s been a few weeks now but we recently made a trip to the Oregon Coast and had an amazing time and adventure. Vacations just aren’t the same as they once were when we were kid free and honestly they have changed quiet a bit since adding a second child but anyway you look at it a vacation is all about having fun. After sharing some fun photos and tidbits from our trip I’ll also share some tips at the bottom. Enjoy!

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We rented a house just two blocks from the beach in Netarts, Oregon with my parents. This was our first trip to this part of the Oregon Coast and it was so incredibly beautiful. Check out the view above! Yes that was our view from our rental house, what’s not to love?

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We arrived in the late afternoon on Friday, unpacked and enjoyed a yummy dinner and then of course we had to make a trip down to the beach. Getting down to the beach was a little bit of an adventure as we had to basically go down the side of a steep hill to get there but luckily the Ergobaby Wrap came in handy or rather gave me hands to help get Alder and myself down to the beautiful, quiet and clean beach. We played in the sand and watched the sunset. We then made our way back to the house for bedtime.

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We started our Saturday out with a short hike at Cape Lookout.  The forest was so beautiful and check out the sun through the trees – how beautiful is that? This was my first postpartum hike so we didn’t go to far but nonetheless we had wonderful time. I wore Alder in the Ergobaby and Neil wore Edith up in the Ergobaby Performance. Edith is now getting old enough that she likes to do a lot more of the hiking/walking on her own so she walked back down the trail and headed straight to the beach to play before lunch.

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I had to share the photo above because look how beautiful this (last weekend of) September weather was! Unfortunately after taking this photo we walked over to Pelican Brewing and the wait was over an hour so we ended up turning around and headed back to the car to have lunch back at the rental. Lots of tears were shed when Edith found out we were no longer going to the restaurant although I have a feeling that she might have been disappointed anyways because we have come to find out that restaurant = Veggie Grill in Edith’s world. Oh well at least we got a great photo at the beach.

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We spent Saturday night just relaxing at the house attempting to put together puzzles and trying on funny hats.

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We woke up Sunday morning and after breakfast and packing up we made one last stop to Cape Meares Lighthouse before heading home. Of course on the 15 minute ride over to the lighthouse Alder fell asleep but YAY for the Orbit Baby Car Seat and Stroller*! I was able to move him from the car to the stroller base and put down the Paparazzi Shieldwithout waking him.

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Unfortunately it was really overcast so the views were not as amazing as they would be on a sunny day but we had a great time at Cape Meares.  Neil has a thing for reading informational signs and he is getting Edith into it; they stopped and read every sign they saw. It was super quiet so we had the entire park to ourselves and we took our time checking out the views – okay who am I kidding we took our time because it was all uphill back to the car park and there was a side wind slowing us down. We made it back to the car park and I hung out with sleepy Alder while Neil and Edith went to see the octopus tree and then after a few diaper changes and a nursing session we were back on the road to home.

 

 Tips for Travel with Two

  • Travel during nap times: We left right after lunch when Edith usually naps and 10 minutes into our trip both kids were passed out. The drive to Netarts is around 1 hour 45 minutes and Edith woke up 15 minutes before arriving.
  • Keep your routine (or at least try to): When you are traveling solo time/routine doesn’t seem to matter but with kids, especially toddlers it is important to keep some structure. We aren’t ones to follow the clock but we do follow a routine which is usually breakfast, play, lunch, books, nap, play, dinner, play, books and bed. We try to keep this same routine even while traveling because it means a happier child and more relaxing vacation. Nap time actually forces us to slow down and relax which I am finding to be really nice.
  • Do what you love (aka life isn’t all about kid focused activities): so maybe you can’t go out for fancy dinners or to beer/wine tastings (although you can find some friendly brew pubs and wineries) but it also doesn’t mean you have to spend your vacation at Chucky Cheese’s.  Take your kids to do things that you love and enjoy and most likely they will enjoy themselves as well. We love hiking (or rather Neil loves it and I enjoy it) so we take the kids along with us.  We take them (or rather try to) to restaurants that we want to eat at and don’t worry if they have a kids menu or not. We do things as a family and we always (okay 99% of the time) all enjoy ourselves because we are doing it together.
  • Travel with friends or family: We rented a house with my parents which meant they had someone else to play with aka we had someone else to entertain our children at times.  This gave us a break and made us feel like we were really on vacation and not just spending the weekend at someone elses house. Maybe going away with family isn’t for you but maybe you have some really great friends with kids your child(ren)s age and you could rent a house together.  I find that when Edith is with her friends she’s like ‘mom who’? and the kids spend their time entertaining each other which gives me a little bit of break.
  • Give yourself lots of freetime.  This is a follow up to keep your routine. Make sure that you don’t over plan your days. Playtime doesn’t mean you have to have some planned activity it just means doing something fun.  If you over schedule yourself/over plan you are going to end up exhausted and disappointed. Focus on one or two things that you “must do” on vacation and have a few other things you’d like to do but don’t over commit. It’s vacation! Relax and unwind!

What are your tips for traveling with two? 

This was our first mini trip with two kids and we have a bigger trip to Seattle planned at the end of November and then an even bigger trip in August to Vermont for a friends wedding. So more tips and sneak peeks of our adventures to come!

Duck Walk

We are lucky to live within walking distance to a beautiful Portland park which is just getting more beautiful as they finish the renovations. It has always been our park of choice to go down and do a family walk, feed the ducks, avoid being attacked by the geese and play a little ball. Now that the boardwalk is open we have been really enjoying our walks and get down as a family 1-2x per week.

39w2dbabyno2 Last night we headed down for an after dinner walk and to feed the ducks. I won’t lie I was hoping the long walk loop would help an convince this baby to come out and join us but alas I am sitting on the couch 39w3d pregnant and s/he has still yet to join us Earth side. While we are anxious to meet baby #2 we have been really soaking up the moments as a family of three and have been a little more relaxed with Edith’s bedtime (which doesn’t always work in our advantage) and have been doing a lot more activities outside the house during the week than we would normally. Last night was one more of those beautiful moments together where we played, laughed and enjoyed the sunshine. Who knows maybe it will be our last Duck Walk as a family of three.

P.S. you can check out the YouTube video of our walk at the bottom of this post! 
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What is one of your favorite activities to do as a family?

 

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Summer Bucket List // Berry Picking

With a baby on the way and lots of other changes happening over here our summer bucket list this year is on the short side. For me one of the top items however was to get out and go berry picking. We had planned to do this opening weekend but we were unable to go Saturday and by Sunday u-pick farms weren’t allowing u-pick because opening day had been so popular.  Well our weekends after that got to be pretty busy so berry picking was put on the back burner and honestly until today I didn’t think we were actually going to be able to cross it off our list.

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Neil had the day off from work so we started our morning with breakfast, coffee and a trip to the park. Since it was such a beautiful day we weren’t ready to go home and thought about doing a few things when finally I suggested we see if Bella Organic was open. We did a little Googling and found that it was and headed right over to get our berry picking on.

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We picked up a wagon, a few buckets and headed first to the blackberry and marion berry patch.  We had okay lucky but it was a little picked over and there were a lot of almost ripe but not ripe enough to pick berries.  After picking a few pounds we moved on to the blueberry patch which proved to be more successful. I have to say one of the biggest surprises was how amazing Edith did with picking. We showed her which berries to pick and 95% of the time she picked super ripe berries and she only snacked on maybe one or two- seriously impressed!

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All the berry picking got me to thinking about Edith’s birthday party this Sunday (umm yeah someone turns two this coming Wednesday) and I have decided to make up some (hopefully) yummy berry shortcakes. Along with our blueberries, blackberries and marion berries we also picked up three pints of strawberries (we weren’t able to pick our own because the strawberry fields were closed to u-pickers).

We had an amazing time out in the sun, picking berries and I think this little berry muncher enjoyed herself.

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Other things on our Summer Bucket List:

  • Hillsboro Hops Game (We have tickets for the last weekend in August!)
  • Ride the Portland Aerial tram
  • Thursday night music at Kruger Farms
  • Take Edith for a ride on the Oregon Pacific Railroad

How did you spend your 4th? What is on your summer bucket list? 

Portland With Kids | World Forestry Center

Last Spring we came across a Google Deal for a membership to the World Forestry Center. At the time we were trying to take in as much as Portland as we could so we decided to take advantage of the membership deal. Little did we know that this would end up being one our favorite museums in Portland. We have had our membership for nearly a year now and we still love the museum and plan to renew our membership.

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The thing that we love about this museum is how interactive it is and we have loved watching Edith play and learn here over the past year. Beyond the interactive forestry exhibits (you’ll see more photos of those below) there is always a rotating exhibit upstairs and there are events for adults and children throughout the year.

In the Fall they have a coffee event that we attended where we were able to meet some local roasters and taste a variety of coffees. Also starting in the Fall and on through Spring there are Mommy & Me Monday’s where local children’s performers stop by for music or storytime. We didn’t make it to many Mommy & Me Monday’s this year but the ones we did attend were so much fun and we hope to attend more this Fall (p.s. if this type of event interest you it’s totally worth buying the $50 membership just for this event).

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On our latest trip to the World Forestry Center Neil and Edith inspected various types of wood, took a “wild” white water rafting ride, snuggled with some bunnies, crawled through a log, planted some trees took a “ride” on the train and then visited the Dr. Suess exhibit. While every visit we see the same things I find that we explore them in a new way and we are all learning something new. IMG_8006 IMG_8042 IMG_7958 IMG_7945 IMG_8050 IMG_8059 IMG_8051What is your favorite Portland Museum? Have you been to the World Forestry Center?

Operation Kind Kids Coming to OMSI

operation kind kidsKIND  and Sprout have teamed up to launch Operation Kind Kids – a program designed to inspire kindness through everyday thoughtful acts. On May 31st, as part of its Kindness Counts initiative KIND  and Sprout will be hosting family-friendly events across the country. Preschoolers and caregivers are invited to attend and discover new ways to incorporate kindness into their daily routines.

Here in Portland this event will be held at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

WHAT: The special event, aimed at teaching kids the importance of being kind, will feature a variety of activity stations, including:

  • Get creative: Kids will have the chance to express what kindness means to them and share their vision as part of a collage wall.
  • A kind act a day: Attendees will take home a calendar to track daily kind acts
  • Pay it forward: Nothing brightens someone’s day quite like a flower, which is why kids will be invited to pick a flower and share it with someone in their life.
  • Strike a pose: The whole family will have the chance to capture their experience in front of a fun photo backdrop
  • Snack better: KIND Healthy Grains bars will be on hand for parents and their little ones to enjoy

Admittance will be free with the cost of museum admission ($13.00/adults, $9.50/kids, kids 3 and under are free)

WHEN: Saturday, May 31 from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Neil and Edith will be at the event and hope to see you there!

Not in Portland? Check here to for more details and to find an Operation Kind Kids event near you!

operation kinds kids mapDisclaimer: Neil is receiving free admission to OMSI in order to attend this event. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Park Adventures // Holly Farm Park

We are taking advantage of as many Portland area parks as we can this summer and we just crossed our first one off our list yesterday! Here are some photos from our adventure. If you would like to read more (or see more photos) about Holly Farm Park and our experience you can do so here.

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Vermont With Kids: ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center

We are back from Vermont and have so much to share!

When we lived in Vermont Edith was still a newborn so we didn’t take advantage of the kids activities available, besides baby yoga, because she was just too tiny. While we weren’t able to do as many kids activities as we had hoped we did take advantage of music time at the Fletcher Free Library and then we headed down the hill to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.

The last night that Neil and I visited ECHO I was pregnant with Edith and we had a great time ourselves but it was even more fun with a curious toddler.

We started our time at ECHO with a trip down the rabbit hole…

VT-Echo-Edith-RabbitHoleinto the Alice in Wonderland exhibit! This is a temporary exhibit and Edith LOVED everything about it.

VT-Echo-Edith-AliceSpin VT-Echo-Edith-AliceSmileOnce we finally tore E away from the Alice in Wonderland exhibit we explored the permanent exhibits.

First to explore some of the Lake Champlain creatures…

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Then some time uncovering beluga whale fossils at the dig site….VT-Echo-Dig-NeilEdith VT-Echo-EdithDig

Then off to the water area to explore some sea life including this cute starfish that E was able to pet! VT-Echo-StarfishEdithOh and of course we had stop for some water play that resulted in tears when we it was time to go – seriously E could have spent the entire day just at this activity.

VT-Echo-EdithWaterBoat VT-Echo-EdithIndependentWaterPlay VT-Echo-EdithWaterPlay VT-Echo-WaterStationNeilEdithWe ended our visit with a stop to play with these fun magnets – I think we need some of these for home because even I was having fun playing with them.

VT-Echo-Magnets-LindsayEdithIf we lived in Burlington still E and I would be hear at least weekly if not a few times per week. Upstairs they have an awesome preschool play area that I know we would end up spending a lot of time at (although the water area is just outside it so I think I would have to blind fold E everytime we went to the preschool room). There are also activities for older children so you can bet we will be back often over the next 10-15 years when we visit Vermont.

Disclaimer: this post is NOT in anyway sponsored. We purchased our own admissions to ECHO and just wanted to share our experience with you.