I have this thing with always trying to make every trip as epic as possible. I need to go all the places, do all the things, and end up stressed about not doing enough… Having a 2-year-old is a great reminder to just slow it down. On a recent Mommy and Me trip so southern California we took the toddler pace and had a blast! With one big trek up a snow covered San Jacinto Peak and a lot of tiny hikes on tiny legs we had a great time connecting with each other and taking things slow.
Posts Tagged With: Mom life
My children are trying to marry me off…
Tea (11) “you promised me you were going to get married
Tajh (13) “We have a list”
And they proceeded to give me the list.
On it is a loud, foul mouthed “older” gentleman. My friend, a partner in crime, one of their favorite people. Not someone looking for a wife and 6 kids, someone looking to be free, and drunk. Another friend of a friend made the list. Not someone who is “stable” or to “normal”, but someone who is kind and the kids love. The rest of the list is either people who I don’t really know (including some of their teachers) and people already married…
“Umm.. he’s married”
Kids “That’s ok, we can break them up”
So apparently I have to get married. I did promise after all…
Applications are being accepted via firstname.lastname@example.org
The kids will look them over.
Oh my kids… these kids…
but I did….
(but I’m not telling you to)
Despite growing up in AZ I had never actually hiked into the Canyon. After having Tag and feeling great post birth (and in the best shape I have been in in a long time) I decided I would put everything I could on my “to-do” list and make adventures happen. Having limited time away from him at least half my training for my races has included hiking as steep an incline as I can find while wearing him. He has been quite the trooper and really taken to napping while we hike (which can be a bummer on a day I’m not feeling like hiking!).
I have hiked a lot while baby wearing, 13 years of baby wearing for me at this point. The biggest question I get is “aren’t you afraid of falling”. Well, yes I am. I used to live in a 3 story town house when I had only 2 little ones and I would constantly be scared of falling down the stairs with them. Curbs scare me when I’m holding little ones. Basically my fears come from the “normal” things in life. The things you aren’t normally thinking about, that is when accidents happen. When I am hiking I am very aware of every step and overly cautious. No, I am not going to stand on the very edge of the Canyon and stare over the side, but as long as I am conscious of what I am doing and paying attention, the likelihood of tripping is less then normal day to day activities. Plus when you are wearing (as oppose to holding) you have 2 hands free to catch yourself!
So the plan was set to do a Rim-River-Rim with baby Tag. Despite everything online telling you to not try to do it in a day, 18 miles seemed doable for me while baby wearing (totally not for everyone). I didn’t have many reservations but as the day grew closer and rain was in the forecast, I became a little concerned. I HATE being cold, and I really couldn’t worry about myself as much. I had to be sure Tag was comfortable. All this meant was some online shopping for the perfect baby gear.
Waking up the day of our hike I was reminded how difficult it is to get yourself AND a newborn ready for a big adventure. Waking up a baby to get him ready, having to pee, it being cold outside, trying to plan when I could nurse before we started, how I could not make everyone else late (we started at the same time as some other friends) and trying to make sure I didn’t forget anything… Exhausting! But it worked out and Tag (such a trooper) allowed me to get us both ready, nurse him, and he slept the entire way to the South Kaibab Trail head.
Honestly, it was a pretty uneventful hike (that’s a good thing!). My sister joined us on minimal training and we took our time into the Canyon. Down to Phantom Ranch took almost 4 hours with no stopping just slow walking. Tag nursed a little on the way down but mostly slept comfortably. There was a drizzle of rain but nothing too crazy. At Phantom we took a 45 minute break where Tag was awake and playing. He hung out, made friends, and had a diaper change in the fresh rainy air. Putting him back on to head out, he fussed some but went directly back to sleep.
Heading up Bright Angel the rain picked up some but Tag was unconcerned. As long as I kept the boob out, he had no worries in the world. I did not enjoy the cold boob or rain drops in my cleavage, but baby always wins. If you saw me in the canyon that day there is a good chance you saw my nipple, sorry about that! There were plenty of nice men I played leapfrog with on the way up (I would power up then wait for my sister. I was “that” annoying hiker but Tag needed me to move!). I got a lot of questions about how Tag was doing (what about mmmmeeee??) and my answer was almost always “sleeping”. At one point Tag was screaming and a couple of runners (dirtbag runners I believe) came by, “Are you ok?”… Me “Oh yes he just lost the boob”.. Silence…. I must have not thought about my audience for that one!
We made it out of the Canyon with a totally time of about 11 hours which included resting at Phantom Ranch and 2 other diaper change stops. Could I have done fast? Yes. I promised myself (and my sister) that there would be no time goals and no plan. Just a long walk all day looking at a beautiful place. Even with the rain and fog (that settled in as we were almost of the canyon) the Canyon is amazing. Don’t ask Tag about it though, he wasn’t very awed….
So let’s talk gear!
Sleeping- Camping with babies is always a pain. They move, sleeping bags move, they need to be warm! I bought Tag the Frosty Freeze Bunting by Columbia and was so flipping happy about it! We slept in the car and he slept on my chest. At one point as he woke up to nurse I reached in to feel his body temperature and he was on fire! I had to unzip him to cool him off some. Now with the fluffiness of it, if I didn’t co-sleep and have him touching me the entire evening, I may be slightly uncomfortable with him sleeping in it, but it worked perfectly for us.
Wearing- I am huge into more “traditional” carriers. I use mei tais, ring slings, wraps, nothing with buckles. A while ago a friend suggested a Boba Air and I decided to have it as a “keep in the car” carrier. Not only is it awesome in how little space it takes up, but I can wear a baby on my front and my hydration pack (Ultimate direction Jenny Vest) on my back! With how minimal the Boba air is (unlike a ergo with padded straps) the pack fits like normal and I was not uncomfortable at all, over 11 hours of baby/pack wearing and I felt awesome. I did end up with a small side blister from the Boba which I found entertaining more than anything. At no point did I feel it happening and only noticed the next day when I went running shirtless!
What Baby Wore- When I ordered the sleeping bunting I also ordered Columbia bugababy interchange bunting, oh my greatness! Tag was wearing a short sleeve onesie, a long sleeve footsie onesie, smart wool socks, and the bunting. He was dry and warm the entire time! I was actually jealous every time I put my hand in to feel how warm he was! My Northface shell is great but by the end I was cold and wet, not Tag! One thing I do regret is I bought 0-3 month and when I was wearing him I couldn’t pull the cuffs over his feet to keep them dry as well. I ended up wrapping a dollar store poncho around my waist to cover his feet which worked out just fine. I am so stocked with both my Columbia purchases and how well they worked for my little guy!
All and all it was a Grand adventure for the 3 of us! Do I recommend heading out the the Canyon right now for everyone? No. But with my experience and the time I took preparing both baby and myself, we were ready and had an amazing day together! Start with a small victory, a small mountain, a short trail, just get moving! Eventually your perception changes and anything is possible!
I’ve spent a lot of time as a Mom cleaning. I may preach “the mess will be gone before you know it, they grow up too fast”, but really my OCD takes over and I clean. I hate walking into a house with toys everywhere. My kids play and make a mess and I follow behind them cleaning it up… not always, but much of my “Mom career” was spent being the cleaning lady.
Nowadays my kids leave 50% of the time. I could easily keep a super clean house while they are gone, but now a clean house is sad. A toy not on the rug means no one will be coming back to it in a couple of minutes. Clothes on the floor means no one is there for me to yell at to put them away. Is this something all single Mom’s feel? The loneliness of a clean home? When they are here I clean too much. I still follow them around picking up after them. Try and have them keep their messes contained. But when alone, the stuffed animal stays in its haphazard home… the dirty sock doesn’t find its way to the laundry basket, the straw hat used to play farmer sits in my chair without a head to don. Am I really the only one?
I’ve learned to clean sections. The joy I feel of over cleaning accomplishment can be had, but I always see my kids still here. Today it’s the kitchen and living room, everything is in place and the smell of way too all natural cleaning products is in the air. Their room is untouched. Beds aren’t made, they were too busy playing before they left to make them themselves. Clothes are on the floor, shoes out-of-place, they will be back. It’s comforting in a way, but still sad. They are still missing… Does this feeling ever go away?
Sometimes I find myself pretending it’s nice to have a “break”, and maybe some days it is. Yes, a day off every once in a while is helpful, maybe every couple of months. Sometimes I get the feeling Moms who have their kids all the time are jealous of my freedom. Sometimes they express it, just a little, and I can’t respond. I want to scream. I want to tell them I never became a Mom to have all this down time. I want them to see the days I’m without my kids and “free” and how lonely it is. Maybe it’s silly, maybe it’s that “grass is always greener” feeling…. Whatever it is I’ve had it both ways. I would always take being a full-time Mom with no breaks over being a part-time Mom.
So now I’ll go back to scrubbing things that have already been scrubbed and leave the bunny in the middle of my floor until it’s friend returns.
It’s been three weeks of living outside and I have yet to have a good nights sleep. Normally I’m ok sleeping in a tent, but it just isn’t going well this time… Well until last night….
In the tent I have one extra sleeping bag to throw over people if the night gets extra cold. Last night the temps weren’t too terrible and I got to use this sleeping bag as a pillow, GLORIOUS! I was out! Warm, comfy, dreaming amazing dreams…
“Mommy, can you help me get in my sleeping bag?” says Tru. “Of course Buddy” and I reach for him… Back story, for the past week Tru has had “sick poop”, which means pooping 100 times a day (maybe a little less) and it just being not “normal”.
As I reach I smell a smell “Hey Buddy, did you poop?” Tru “No”… Because asking a 4-year-old if he pooped in his sleepy state is going to get you a truthful answer…. Skip to me having an itch on my face and rubbing it HOLY SHIT! Yes there is SHIT everywhere and now SHIT on my FACE!
That wonderful night of sleep is now ruined…
Tru is stripped naked and wiped with his clean clothing. Tea wakes and gives me her extra long sleeve shirt (thank goodness for Tea) and Tajh offers me his reading light so I can take a better look at things (my kids rock, except of the shitty ones.. (ok they rock too when they haven’t pooped everywhere)).
My comfy pillow is not Tru’s new sleeping bag, he wears only Tea’s long sleeve shirt (and is sure to remind me he isn’t wearing pants). I find there is poop ALL over my sweater so that along with all Tru’s stuff is thrown outside the tent. The top of my sleeping bag is a mess so I roll it a bit and only use it for my feet… Who needs warmth?
I guess, no sleep for this Mother… Everything is now clean, the kids are headed back to Phoenix for a while with their Dad, and I need a nap… *Sigh*
The glamorous life of a Mommy…