Posts Tagged With: Adventures with kids

Road trips with a potty trained nursing toddler…

This summer Tag (17 months) has spent close to 4,000 miles in the car. We have adventured around Disneyland and gone back and forth multiple times to the San Juan mountains. I’ve done my best to make most of those miles during sleeping hours for Tag, but there have also been many hours in the car while he is awake. Tag has been such a trooper!

Probably 1/4 of our road tripping miles were spent with my other Littles in the car, which actually made things much worse! Tag wanted to play having them there and sleep was much more difficult for him. One evening drive was probably the worst I have heard him cry ever.. he was exhausted, the other kids wanted to sleep and didn’t feel like playing… So we stepped out of the car and watched the sun set..

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Eventually Tag fell asleep and I was able to rive the remainder of the way home throughout the evening while everyone slept peacefully. Rare quiet moments for a Mom…

So what tips do I have for road tripping alone with a toddler? Glad you asked..

Be flexible- I know, easier said then done… Any time we hop in the car I assume something is going to go wrong. I try and have a general idea of when he will nap, where we will stopped for gas, when we will grab a real meal, but I also assume it wont work out. Being a potty trained toddler he knows saying he has to go potty will stop the car immediately, he uses it. He also is still nursing and will ask for the boob when he wants out of his seat. I try and distract if I can, but I also do everything I can to respect his words.

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Have extra everything- I have extra water bottles for him, toys, books snacks,            EVERYTHING! Toddlers love to throw, and I would rather clean up 5 water bottles from the back seat when we get where we are going then fumble around trying to pick up the only one we have while driving. I also try and have a new exciting something to distract him from the fact that he is in his carseat again. New toys, stickers, anything to make him forget he is once again doing the thing he does not want to do ever, sitting still

Caffeine- That should probably be #1! An over caffeinated Mom is much more willing to sing, dance, and talk things out with a toddler. I might be a little crazy RIE parenting style, but toddlers do understand a lot. When Tag is having a moment in the car we talk, about everything. I explain to him we have to be in the car for a while longer and talk about the things we can do. It’s EXHAUSTING! But it works. When I give him options he can usually find something that will make him happy. Then I have some more caffeine… (I’m going to need a Hi-Ball sponsorship…)

Podcasts or Audio books- For you. Not gonna lie, one of the most amazing things is driving through the night while your kids sleep and you listen to your own happiness. Do it. The best kind of alone time you can get!

And always be willing to call things off. This last trip home I had big plans of driving through the night and getting home while he slept. Well, after weeks of travel and living in the mountains with kids my exhaustion level was crazy high. No amount of caffeine could help me make it… So I pulled off the road into the mountains and slept. There is no reason to risk falling asleep at the wheel, and after a great nap and some breakfast my buddy and I made it home safe and happy!

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My Kids Hate hiking

It’s that time of year again! My kids and I head out on some awesome Mommy and kid adventures: me smiling from ear to ear with pride, them skipping their way up mountains all day. I mean, that is what my social media shows after all! And for some reason that was what  I was expecting…

I have two tweens, and they happen to be two of my most opinionated children I own. Apparently they thought going to Silverton Colorado this year was going to be a lot of walking around town, hanging out at the library, and eating candy. Ummm?? Have they met their Mom??

My oldest is out-of-town so it was just the youngest 5 and I in a tent. Every single hike I suggested was met with whinnying and complaints. The tweens wanted no part of it. They picked apart every hike trying to decide which would take the least amount of time. They wanted to get hikes done quickly then go to town…not my idea of living in the mountains.

I was mad. I was hurt. I was legitimently wondering where I went wrong… We have spent countless summers in the mountains. We have spent days hiking together happily… What was different?

Then I had an epiphany-

A happy Mom is a caffeinated Mom. So, more caffeine for me…and headphones!

Look, I knew in my heart they would be happy once they go out there. Every runner that has been out for a while knows how hard it is to get that motivation back. I knew a couple of miles in they would find their groove and be those mountain loving kids again. But it was ME that was the real problem. I was getting hurt by their refusal, I just had to figure out how to get myself out there and “out there” in a positive mood!

So that’s what I did. I shoved my headphones into my pack and over caffeinated myself. I was ready for whatever foul mood they wanted to pull. And guess what? They had fun!

So Mom hack #207- Caffeine, caffeine, and more caffeine! Plus some headphones! (which I never ended up having to use!)

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Grumpy 3-Year-Old Hiking

Thought I would mix things up and actually show you how our adventures go! A last minute decision to head north and hike a little. Five hours on our feet for this short one with some creek time mixed in, five Littles and 2 dogs in tow. I’m dying with the lack of good kids packs, we are trying to make something work  but it’s turning into Tajh and Tea both wearing adult packs. I wore the Anton Vest by Ultimate Direction so I could wear Tru when he needed it. It worked out alright but it not the fix I’m going to need so this summer, I need to be able to carry my own water and wear Tru… Working on it….

 

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5 kids. 1 Mommy. 1 Big Peak. Humphreys.

I don’t like to compare my kids to other peoples, I get it, they are all unique and special in their own way… But mine are pretty badass!

Tenny is 4. She is adorable, funny, a pain in the ass, and full of energy.  She loves running but gymnastics is definitely her thing. This tiny little body is packed with muscle…. but she is only 4…

Most of the time when we hike she gets worn, because wearing two babies is apparently my thing

Spending time in colorado she spent a lot of time on her feet. The largest hike being nearly 4 miles with just under 3,000 of elevation gain (Island Lake). After hiking up, she slept on my back majority of the way down. Although she is clearly tough, the idea of taking a 4-year-old on an all day hike (oh yeah and 4 other children) alone is somewhat frightening. Apparently I like watching my life flash before my eyes…

When +1 said he had work to do in Flagstaff I said “great we will join you! I want to take the kids up Humphreys myself”. I’m pretty sure to anyone that just sounds stupid. 5 kids, age 11-3, almost 5 miles  and over 3,000 feet of climbing, sound like a good time?

They were all thrilled to be woken up early.

They were all thrilled to be woken up early.

Getting ready for an all day trek with everyone is stressful in itself. We rolled up the the parking lot and they all ran off to play. I did my best to round them up for sunscreen and to throw some packs on the big ones. Tenny was stoked to hike and took off in a sprint, which resulted in a potty break before we could even hit the trees “I have to pee now Mommy!” She almost got off the trail…

And we are off!

And we are off!

 

The first half hour she ran, a lot. Girl was excited to be on her own two feet. By an hour in it was snack time, eat and hike peeps we gotta keep moving.

Just keep moving.

Just keep moving… in American Apparel leggings of course.

*Note- I do not have a lot of pictures. My phone is super ghetto and the battery does not last long anymore. Even on airplane mode trying to save the battery for as long as possibly, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get a picture at the top if I wasn’t careful. Sorry…

So we snacked every half an hour or so and they kept moving. They love to play together while hiking and their was some sort of Pokemon/horse game going on. I was happy they didn’t need me at this point as Tru was in the worst mood ever! My Little hiking buddy needed a nap and was not having it for some reason.. ugh… there may have been threats of bear attacks if he continued to scream which did cause them to subside enough for him to fall asleep for a while. Pokemon/horse continued on.

I missed a turn. I know I suck. So we scrambled up. Teagan continued to question me and all I responded was “up”. We trudged on with Tajh behind Tenny to keep her from sliding down. Eventually we found the trail, hit the saddle, and into the rocks larger then Tenny.

Up!

Up!

“Tajh just push her butt up” I commanded after watching him try and have her step on his hand, which took forever. “This is awkward…” because he is 11 and everything is awkward.  At no point have we rested at all, I knew we didn’t have time in the day for that. We did though move off the trail if anyone was coming toward us. One of these times Tenny took the opportunity to lay down on a large rock “I just want to go to bed Mommy”, “Yes hunny, me too, lets go”.

So sleepy...

So sleepy…

She picked a nice view.

She picked a nice view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On we went. If was windy and cold up top and holding hands was necessary to help the Little Lady up the steps larger then she. No one was complaining, other then about being cold. I sent the Bigs ahead as soon as we saw the summit, and not gonna lie, I got pretty darn excited hiking up with Tenny.

Up go the Big's

Up go the Bigs

 

5 hours and 5 minutes after starting Tenny summited Humphreys Peak.

My Littles.

My Littles.

Second nap of the day for this guy.

Second nap of the day for this guy.

Snacks

Snacks

 

Rest

Rest

 

Snacks

Snacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sat and she ate her peanut butter cup (yup just one). The Big’s and I discussed letting her take a nap, but at this point it was pretty late. After a 30 minute rest we started down the mountain again. They discussed how heading straight down the scree would be much fast “see mommy then we just head through the trees to the car”. Sigh… That’s a no.

Having left without our sandwiches we had only snacks all day, everyone was starving. We daydreamed about pizza, all of us, and hiked. The horse game came back (no pokemon this time) and Tenny fell, “That was (insert horses name)’s fault. I’m ok”.  Although none of them ever had imaginary friends, they really commit when playing in the mountains.

We finished with only pizza on our minds, 4 1/2 hours after leaving the summit (down is hard when you are super short). Tenny was asleep within 2 minutes of driving but woke in time to eat. They probably all passed right out at bedtime you assume? Of course not!  They would not go to sleep! Does anything exhaust my Littles? I’ve yet to find it! When asked what he favorite part of the day was Tenny responded “seeing the top”, yup, that’s my girl. All my Littles continue to amazing me. I’m one proud Momma.

All 5 kids took in 3,850 calories over the nearly 10 hour day.

 

 

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Island Lake? Psh my 4-year-old can do that.

Did someone say epic? Oh yeah, that’s how we roll. A journey with 5 kids into the unknown? Yes please. Even better, let someone tell me there is “lots of snow up there” and apparently I decide it’s an even better idea. With +1 at the lead I strapped Tru on my back and headed to Island Lake.

Now we have done part of this journey before. Last year we drove to the parking lot at the end of South Mineral campground and headed up Ice Lake trail. To head to Island Lake you take a turn at some point, that’s all I knew. Last year I was in shape, this year I haven’t done anything in a nearly a month, I knew this was going to hurt, at least a little.

Now let’s remember, little Tenny is 4. I had NO clue how long this hike was going to be, but I knew from the start she was going to make it on her own 2 feet.

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first hour was a nice hike. Upness was there, but everyone was moving pretty well with Tenny moving at “4-year-old who randomly gets boosts of energy to catch her siblings” pace. River crossings were met with helping hands from siblings, and Tru took his first nap of the day. I’m pretty sure this kid only likes hiking for the naps!

First river crossing. They got larger!

First river crossing. They got larger!

See, larger.

See, larger.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I figured snack after an hour and then maybe another within the next half hour, they had other plans. These kids were hungry! So they ate and hiked and Little Miss Tenny got a second wind, even if it only lasted a little while.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Upness

Upness

"Mommy van!" -Tru

“Mommy van!” -Tru

Now about snow, I don’t like it. I am not a fan of being cold. So we hit some snow fields, and some more, and some sketchier ones. I spent a lot of time asking the kids to watch their feet and asking (re-asking) +1 if it was safe.

More snow.

More snow.

Snow

Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still snow.

Still snow, and Tenny!

Tenny does not like having cold and which did lead to some freak outs EVERY time she fell…which was a lot. Luckily +1 did help her through some of the extra crazy spots. And then we saw it:

 

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The amazing blue of the water could been seen through the ice layer, which the kids promptly began throwing rocks at. What kid doesn’t want to watch ice break? We had lunch, threw more rocks, and laid our shoes and socks out to dry. And then got attacked by marmots-

 

I can confidently say the best playground for children is a giant frozen lake over 12,000 feet in the sky. The only way to live.

 

Ice Breaking.

Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock throwing,

Rock throwing,

Time to leave.

The snow fields on the way drown were beyond sketchy. Sadly my phone died (then came back to life further down the mountain) so I wasn’t able to get any of the epic shots on +1 skiing on his feet down crazy snow fields at 12,000 feet or my Littles getting cold butts as they sledding (sans sled) down. We will have to head back and make it happen.

Drinking from waterfalls "best water ever!"

Drinking from waterfalls “best water ever!”

"Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls" Good plan kids... good plan.

“Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls” Good plan kids… good plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny napped on my back (girl deserved the break!) , Tru on +1’s (so thankful to have another adult for this trek) and we all made is safely back down. In case you are keeping track, My 4-YEAR-OLD hiked for 3 1/2 hours over 4 miles up with nearly 3,000 elevation gain. Yup, she is bad ass. All in all it was nearly an 8 hour day and so worth it! If only for the marmot eating Tay’s pee off the ground story…

 

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

and some others.

and some others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let me say, my Little people who have been fighting and struggling to be friends the last few months were AMAZING the entire 8 hours. Helpful to one another and kinder then I could ever ask for. Thank you nature!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a "shit" under my breath I'm met with "ok mommy?". Love him!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a “shit” under my breath I’m met with “ok mommy?”. Love him!

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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