Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Famous Pants Hat

In a pinch.... don't worry an inch... if you forgot your babies hat.... I've got a solution for that!

Jokes aside have you ever felt really accomplished when you have finally arrived at your destination only to realize that you have forgotten something that you deem really important? Well I have done that ALOT even though I try to get everything organized before I head out the door. Today I am featuring the forgotten item 'The Hat'. When I was in Copenhagen I was feeling trapped in our house. It was a beautiful day and Etta was crying from being cooped up. I knew that if I could make it out the door then we could have a pleasant rest of the day. Finally I get outside and set up the blanket for Etta and I to play in the park. With little shade around I went to grab her hat only to find that I forgot her hat. That is when the 'pants hat' came into fruition.

Here is the pants hat. You take a pair of pants and put it around your child's head. Then you take the two feet and can either leave them in the floppy position or tie them up to create a cute bow. You can choose whether or not to cover up the ears if you are worried they will get burned. 

There you have it! The 'pants hat'!!!

The Pants Hat in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is the Bohemian Style.

The Bohemian Pants Hat. Side view. 

The Mr. Snuffleupagus style of the Pants Hat. The style was recently used while blueberry picking.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hiking with Children Part 1: Quarry Rock Hike

Quarry Rock in Deep Cove Vancouver is the perfect hike for people who do not do much hiking, parents with new babies and for young children to do on their own. We know of a 3 year old who did the hike just last year! Even better is that at the end of your hike you can get homemade delicious doughnuts at Honeys Doughnuts right in Deep Cove.

Since Etta has been born we have done the hike a few times. The first time the 1-2 hour hike turned into a full day affair. As Etta has gotten older hiking has become more efficient and easy going. In fact recently we went with Etta and completed the hike similar to how we would have before she was born. I attribute it to experience and the fact that she does not need to nurse as often and for as long.

Here is a contrast of what hiking was like before we had Etta vs. what hiking for the first time with a 6 weeks old looks like. Read on for a good laugh.

Getting Ready for Hiking
Before Etta:
Getting ready for the hike before Etta took roughly 20 minutes. Wake up, change, brush teeth, put on runners, pack some snacks, pack water and off we went! We left at about 10 am because we of course would sleep in till 940 am.

With Etta as a newborn:
Since sleeping in is no longer an option we had planned to leave shortly after Etta woke up around 7:30 am. Our goal was 8:30 am. At 10 am we finally were out the door after breastfeeding Etta (which when she was first born took a good 30-45 minutes), changing Etta, taking turns eating breakfast, packing food and water, changing Etta, putting on sneakers, breastfeeding Etta again (I was having to breastfeed her every 2-3 hours), keep breastfeeding Etta as it took 30-45 minutes. Finally another needed diaper change and we were off!
.......Then we turn back around because we forgot some much needed diapers and our 8:30 departure turned into a 10:00 am departure. Off we go again!!!

Already beginning to fall asleep to the sounds of nature.

Start the Hike
Deep Cove is a beautiful area. The hike starts between two peoples houses as you ascend stairs into the rain forest. The amazing thing as well about this hike is that if you have forgotten anything you can literally buy it ~200 metres from the trail head.

Before Etta
This would take roughly 5 minutes unless we needed to use the bathroom. We would put on our packs, take a sip of water and off we would go!

With Etta as a newborn
This ended up taking us 1 1/2 hours!!!! We did not start the hike until 1pm!!
Two things delayed us:
1. An explosion
- By the time we got to Deep Cove was 10:30 am.This is what happened: Cam went to go get a snack at a nearby shop. As I pulled Etta out of the car seat my worst fears came to be. Poop everywhere!!! All over the car seat and her clothes. Etta is crying as I am trying to hold her away from me while trying to wipe her down. She at least has a change of clothes and I do not! After a good 30 minutes of damage control and poopy clothes and diapers sprawled on the parking lot pavement. Cam finally returns with snacks with a big smile. Somehow he managed to avoid the whole disaster.
2. Breastfeeding
- Nobody told me that a newborn baby would need to eat so often and that it would take such a long time. Another 45 minutes past as I am sitting in the car breastfeeding Etta passing the time listening to some Van Morrison. I am continuously trying to keep her awake so that it does not turn into a sleep session as well so that we can get on with the hike.

The Hike
Quarry Rock is a really nice hike. The first 10 minutes are  steep and then it levels off going up and down, across bridges until you get to the look out, Quarry Rock. It is an easy short hike.

Before Etta
This took us roughly 11/2 to 2 hours depending on how long you want to hang out on the rock. If you choose to run the trail instead it is even shorter.
One of the few pictures we took when we did the hike before Etta.

With Etta as a newborn
This surprisingly also took us 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When we got to the view point we took a few quick photos and off we headed down. I did not want to stop and breastfeed Etta in the brisk air for 30 to 45 minutes, then have to change her and then head down. Since she was still asleep we decided to book it down back to the car.
Made it to the top! Etta was a champ and I had never been so exhausted.
Post Hike

Before Etta
Normally we would head out for a nice cold brew and nachos after the hike usually with friends who also did the hike with us.

With Etta as a newborn
By the time we finished the hike it was 3 pm. We got lunch at Honey's Doughnuts while I breastfed Etta. I had never been so exhausted after an easy hike. Hiking along with breastfeeding took it out of me more than I could have ever thought. Etta and I both slept during the car ride home.
I will never tire of these views.

Recently we did the hike when Etta was 10 months old. The hike was very similar to when we used to hike before Etta was born!! It does get easier!!!

At the rock. Etta even got to walk around and do a little 'hiking' herself!
A total of 3 generations hiking together!

Etta loving the fresh air! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tales of a 1 year old Nomad!!!

Today Etta turns 1 year old. I could not leave out this epic event from the blog and thought I would break down Etta's first year by listing all of her firsts. I am continually in awe that Etta became a part of our lives 20 months ago and took her first breath of fresh air 1 year ago.

Etta was born. Etta was no longer surviving in my belly but made it out into the world.

Etta had her first breath of fresh air, her first taste of breast milk, first poop, etc. 

Etta smiled. Etta laughed. Etta said mama mama and dada dada and goo goo ga ga. 

Etta held her head. Sat assisted. Sat by herself. Rolled. Crawled. walked!

Etta ate breastmilk. Ate Purées. Ate chunks. Now can eat by herself.

Etta has seen the Roughriders win the grey cup! (Hopefully this will just be the first time of many more in her life!)

Etta traveled Canada. She went to 4 different provinces and 8 ish cities/towns. Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Squamish, Whistler, Revelstoke (and all the towns in between) and of course Vancouver.

Etta traveled Europe. She went to a total of 6 countries in Europe. Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, and England.

Etta has traveled in a carrier, a stroller, a car, a train, a plane and a boat. (21 plane rides (!), many train rides and a few boat rides)

Etta has gone cross country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and running.

Etta went on a total of 4 camping trips. 3 in tents and one in a rustic Swedish cabin.

Unfortunately Etta had her first tick bite and mosquito bite.

She had her first bruise, scrape, cold, fever, runny nose.

Etta has swam in the tub, the pool, the lake, and two oceans (The Pacific and the Atlantic).

Etta has played on the beach and in the snow.

Etta learnt how to be apart of our family. She supported us and our dreams when Cam ran the 60 km Trailstoke and I went snowboarding and surfing!

And finally Etta has eaten birthday cake...... with sugar!