Sunday Strolls in Nature

Two Sundays ago, after staying up late the night before cheering on the Utes football team as they played San Jose State, we woke not wanting to spend the morning in bed killing time on our phones before our afternoon scheduled church. Within the hour we were driving up Ogden Canyon towards an easy trail Landon had found, music playing through the speakers and sweaters on. 

The first thing that surprised me once we started was the reminder of just how happy the girls are when they're outside on a trail. The switch is remarkable. It's not that they were grumpy before. It's that their souls seem so much lighter.

The second thing that surprised me was how much I didn't mind hiking again! I haven't been down for a hike since before the summer heat and first trimester hit: when we explored Red Rock Canyon.

We took our time walking/hiking up Indian Trail till it opened up into a beautiful clearing about an hour in -- toddler walking time. Then turned around once we were all ready.

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Then last Sunday we headed up to Snowbasin Resort to see snow-capped mountains and another trail, this time Maples Trail. Again the girls were suddenly gigglier and better buddies than ever. When Hudson got too tired of walking, and our arms got too tired of holding her,  Paityn lept at the idea of helping.

"Hudson! I'll give you uppies!"

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We're going to set a goal to keep this up as long as we can, hopefully for at least three more Sundays in a row. And while I'm not sure if I'll be posting photos from each, I'm going to work on continuing to document our family through the changing seasons. It's one of my favoirte parts of getting back into blogging.

Baby Carrier Recommendations: Newborn and Beyond

One of the most comment Facebook messages I get from friends is some variation of the question "what baby carrier should I buy for my xx month old baby?" and I LOVE this question. I could talk people into buying things with their money all day. 

I also love babywearing. 

As I look ahead to our final babe I look forward to those first 9 months of babywearing, when they can't walk and they literally rely on their parents for being able to transport them everywhere. Before they find their feet and before you start to feel their ever increasing weight.

1. For the first 3-4 months the Solly Baby Wrap is my absolute favorite, and I've tried most of the popular options on the market.

The fabric of the Solly Wrap is soft and newborn worthy. You can easily put it on by yourself, compared to the Ergo for example which requires buckling a buckle that's located above your shoulder blades while you try to balance and keep a newborn baby balanced on your front. The Solly Baby Wrap, because of the design, protects their wobbly necks and hugs them in tight, compared to a sling that requires some extra tricks and effort, or a hand placed on their head at all times so that their little head doesn't accidentally fling back as you move around.

For our March baby I'm adding ochre to our shopping list.

2. Once your child has neck control I love Ring Slings. The Solly Baby Wrap will begin to phase out somewhere between 6-9 months (it maxes out around their 1 year birthday). Ring slings can be used truly from birth till your child is 4 years old / 35 pounds, at varying levels of comfort in those years. 

Companies to shop first:

  • Sakura Bloom: beautiful options and colors, silk as an option! (try it, I promise), wonderful community
  • Wildbird: budget friendly prices, sweetest owner, wonderful community

Overwhelmed already? Keep it simple! Choose either SB or Wildbird and grab a single-layer linen if you have a child under the age of one.

You won't need the support of a double layer yet, and it'll be easier to adjust if you haven't used a ring sling before. Once you get the hang of it -- Google and YouTube should have you feeling like a pro at ring slings in no time (shoot me an email if not!) then I'd recommend grabbing either a double layer linen or a silk sling from Sakura Bloom. The silk is incredibly lightweight but has the grip an hold that you'd want as your carry your child around.

Options I'm eyeing for baby no. 3: 

Wildbird Sandpiper + Sakura Bloom Fir (edit: their Fall line was released 9/28 am and those silks are SO good!)

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3. A baby carrier for when you're hiking / on active adventures. While I've happily hiked while carrying our girls in a sling in Spring and Fall temperatures, when the temps rise you're going to want a little space between your two bodies for airflow. 

Hiking carriers, though bulky, are wonderful for the job they're designed to do. Your growing toddler will appreciate the chance to be higher up on your back and looking around when their legs get too tired to keep up, or hike with you at all. 

An Ergo can be the man for the job if that's what you have on hand, but it can get sweaty, even with the back carry option. Check out Deuter and Osprey, or Craigslist listings if you're not looking to drop coin on something that may only be used occasionally. 

We've used the REI hiking carrier that my parents gifted us and will keep it going for baby no. 3!

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For parents on a budget or that are hesitant about babywearing as a whole: for some reason baby carriers hold value like nothing else I've ever seen. In most cases you can trust that you'll be able to sell your carrier once done to another parent for right around what you paid for it. This seems to be because of the limited edition selling patterns of colors, and the stashes of options many mamas like to accrue. 

Join a few BST groups on Facebook and learn the standards for resale -- important washing standards, even what detergent is best, and then you'll be in a group when it's time to list your carrier or trade out for a different color. Bonus perks -  those groups are often a babywearing community full of parents available to help with getting it right as well. Let me know if you need help finding a specific group.

Finally, the way I see it, you're going to be carrying that child everywhere for the first year of their life. I prefer to leave the 9-15lbs car seat in the car and go for the few oz option. Trust me, your body will thank you. ;)

Final Days of Summer | Peach Picking

Somehow I'd gone 26 years without ever picking a piece of fruit off of a tree. EVER. Though I'd like to put growing up in Alaska on blast for this, really I just need to get out there and live a bit more. We're embracing our new city and surrounding area and it's appreciation of all things peaches as summer comes to an end this year. 

When we got to the orchard I planned on only picking enough that we could reasonably eat that week: 4-5. Landon on the other hand came into it with plans of a peach cobbler. 

That husband of mine delivered. 

Life is good.

Fall can come now.

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16 Weeks: Baby No. 3

Her name this week: Remi Aspen

If you ask Paityn though, her name is sister Elsa, and she can't believe I think I get a vote on the matter.

Approx. size as of today: an avocado 

What's making me cry this week: Dear Theodosia, Regina Spektor

Pregnancy checklist: met and love the midwife we found, 100% on the fence about the hospital she delivers at, however

Shopping: Sakura Bloom linen sling in Farrow. Embracing pink with this babe!

Sweet relief: though a mini Landon would've been dreamy (give me all the toddlers with fade haircuts), girls are my thing. I can't wait to raise three girls.

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Most of all that beating heartbeat is what is makes my heart sing. 

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due March 3, 2018

First Trimester: Baby No. 3

Is there no better feeling than the first week after learning that you're pregnant? When it's still a secret, you're feeling 100% human and healthy, while exchanging smiles with your partner at random moments that now suddenly feel magical.

Experiencing this again took me by surprise -- it was one of the first moments that "we always knew we'd have three / we couldn't deny there was 'one more" turned into, "of course this is just as exciting as the first two girls." The baby suddenly became personal, and I couldn't wait to meet the last member of our family.

That is the first emotion that if I could bottle up I could -- that increase of love for my husband and the magic of it all. 

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The second emotion of pregnancy that'd I'd pay good money to bottle up is the relief that happens once the spontaneous vomiting and intense exhaustion finally disappears in the second trimester. 

In between those magical milestones are long days and nights, weeks and months that I'd like to call "Kyra when you read this post in the future you don't want a fourth baby; I promise you. I promise you. I promise you."

This pregnancy is my first pregnancy trying to work through the first trimester. I'm a lucky woman to be able to work from home. I literally have no idea how people survive in an office setting. I had weeks of laying in bed, completely exhausted, computer next to me, typing up emails and moving the mouse with one hand, while the girl's did their own thing. The messes increased and the girls lunches became incredibly simple. 

Landon would come home each night and save us, while I laid on the couch feeling as though the baby had put me on bed rest. We were in survival mode and that husband of mine kept us sane.

My first aversion this pregnancy was electronics near my body: specifically my Garmin watch and my laptop on my stomach. Both made me want to die. 

My second aversion was anything other than Ritz crackers. 

The gym absolutely did not happen a single time from mid-June to the end of August. I could barely do the dishes. 

The first trimester with this baby was still exciting for me on some level, despite it all, until at some point it wasn't.

And suddenly it was all annoying, every current and future reality of pregnancy,  down to realizing that birth didn't sound like a beautiful spiritual experience that I couldn't wait to experience again. It sounded terrible. The first trimester with this babe gave me an immense understanding and empathy for other mother's journeys through pregnancy that I would've never had before. This isn't a political side thought. But an acknowledgment that even with a baby that I knew was right, I was annoyed by the sacrifices it was requiring of me, I questioned the timing, and was so overwhelmed by it all. 

Someone create a business that sends first trimester moms handwritten notes of encouragement in the mail on random days from women who have just gone through it. Ginger ale and handwritten notes. And lovely bottles of fancy dry shampoo.

Speaking of needing encouragement, the last thing I'll want to remember about the first trimester is the fear that grew and grew about this baby not making it. About not being able to meet him or her in early March.  It wasn't until that first ultrasound at 15 weeks (just days ago) that I really relaxed a bit and felt that I could be confident that this was a child that would become a physical part of our family.