Day Trip to Flagstaff

Have you ever tried to keep a two-year-old still? If not, I’m sure you can imagine what fun it is.

Before our overnight to the hospital with Auggie, we had been planning a day trip to Flagstaff. I wanted to see the leaves changing and we wanted to get out in the cool air to hike. We decided that the cool air and forced rest (strapped in car seat, strapped in hiking pack, back to car seat) might be just what the Auggie boy needed.

Saturday morning we threw some stuff in the car and took off. That’s the best part about a day trip – light packing. We didn’t need as much which made getting out the door so much easier!

Excited to get there.

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Perfect hiking weather.IMG_7950

Ready to go!

IMG_7947The destination: Red Mountain. The trail was 3 miles round trip and B walked the whole thing!

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Counting tree rings

IMG_7959The trees changed from Pinons to Ponderosa Pines

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B was really into the light layers. Notice she has two sweatshirts and a hat tied around her waist.

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How could he pick just ONE stick?!
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The trail winds through the a volcanic cinder cone. The gravel they are walking through was volcanic rock.IMG_7966 Can you see them way up in the middle?IMG_7968This might be the best picture I’ve ever taken

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This worked just fine on the way up. We didn’t think about how to get down….

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We made it!

IMG_7975IMG_7978Exploring the Hoodoos

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Little different picture on the way home

IMG_8011We took the long way home through Sedona to catch a few more changing leaves. Totally worth the detour! Especially when a skeptical Peter declared “Slap a bumper sticker on the truck because I am a Leaf Peeper and I don’t care who knows it!”. Which was a hilarious way of saying that he was enjoying himself. I snort laughed for the next 2 miles.

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As we pulled into Phoenix, we were welcomed home with one of the most amazing sunsets. A perfect end to a great day!

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If you want to check it out, see the link below for directions. This was a fantastic hikes for kids – flat and lots of interesting things to keep them moving and exploring!

Red Mountain Trail #159

What to Bring to the Emergency Room

Just a week ago, Auggie and I were sitting in the Emergency Room. We had been sent there by his pediatrician after he explained that he did not have the kind of breathing treatment Auggie need for croup. The poor guy’s lungs were working great, but his trachea was so inflamed, he was struggling for each breath.

Thankfully we live near a great pediatric ER (Scottsdale Healthcare Shea campus was fantastic!) and shortly after arriving, he was breathing easier. But because he was still having some difficulty, we got to stay overnight at the hospital so they could keep an eye on him.

As I laid on the bench in the quiet hospital room listening to Auggie breathe while he slept, I thought about what I would do for a sweatshirt and socks. Being that it had been 90 degrees that day, I was in shorts and flip flops. And I was freezing. But it was late and it had been such a long day, I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I eventually crawled into the bed with Auggie and layered on the blankets – all in the name of making sure he was breathing ok, of course.

So. If I had to do it all over, knowing what I know now, here’s my thoughts on what you need to bring if you find yourself in the same situation:

1. Sippy Cup.

This one I actually had. Auggie is a big water drinker so I usually have a cup in my bag. For almost any condition, they are going to be pushing the fluids on your little one so having a familiar cup is helpful.

2. Ipad. Iphone. Electronic game of some kind!

What a lifesaver. We don’t normally let the Ipad go with us, but he was feeling so crummy, I let Auggie bring it to the doctor. Thank goodness we did because you know what isn’t on those super fancy TVs in the ER rooms at 6pm? That’s right, cartoons. And when your munchkin is hysterical over the face mask they have to wear and are generally feeling bad, there’s nothing like a little electronic distraction.

3. Chargers.

If you have a second to think before leaving the house, grab your phone and Ipad charger. I did not have either and my phone died about 3 hours into our visit.

4. Sweatshirt and Closed Toe Shoes.

Hospitals? Are freezing. It’s good for keeping germs down, but not so good if you’re trying to keep your teeth from chattering.

5. Blankie / Lovey / Pacifier.

I thought more than once that having one of Auggie’s blankets might have made him a little more comfortable.

6. Call in Favors.

I think one of the reasons that we didn’t have to wait forever in the waiting room of the ER was because A. our pediatrician called ahead. They gave the ER the details on the medications Auggs had been given in the office as well as dosages so they were able to hit the ground running. And B. Peter called a friend of his who is an ER doctor at another campus of the same hospital network. He was kind enough to call the doctor at the ER we were at and ask him to get us in quickly. While I think we would have been well cared for without those things, it sure doesn’t hurt. Especially when you are stressed with a sick kiddo.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

No not Christmas. Although that part is great too…

It’s PLANTING TIME!! Well, in Arizona any way. Now that the temperatures have dropped below 100 and the mornings and evenings are spectacular, we’ve been hard at work getting our yard back in shape. There’s been lots of trips to the nursery, much fertilizing and a whole bunch of trimming. I’m so excited for the results of our work.

I love this view at the back door

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Two new tomato plants – a yellow grape and a red olive. I’ve never heard of olive so I’m excited to see what they’re like.

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I see lots of pesto in our future. It smells heavenly.

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And the lettuce table! I always get so excited to plant this guy. This year includes green leaf and two varieties of red leaf.

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A new addition is rainbow Swiss Chard. Really excited for these guys to grow in.

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Velvety Petunias

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Oooh, the Meyer Lemon. Like a cross between an orange and a lemon. These little babies are going to make some amazing vinaigrette!

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Something is blooming everywhere you look

IMG_7934 IMG_7935 - CopyAt the risk of sounding like a crazy woman…I stalk the nursery for this color of Geranium. It’s a deep red and just gorgeous.

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Auggie’s First Day

With Auggie’s first birthday came his first day at preschool. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been visiting his classroom a few times a week since August to ease him into his first day. And thankfully he has two teachers that could double as Disney princesses. They love him and he flirts up a storm with them. Auggie also has the greatest big sister who reassuringly told him to come find her if he ever feels scared.

Walking away from the school without Auggie on my hip was the strangest feeling. I’ve never understood when a mom tells me they sat in the parking lot and cried on the first day of school. Until today. I watched him happily digging in the sandbox and realized how big he is now but how little he looked. Having munchkin free time to work is really necessary and he is going to learn so much at school, but it was a bit heartbreaking to leave him today for reasons I can’t pin down.

As I peaked around the corner at pick up today, I saw him sitting sweetly at the tiny tables eating lunch with his buddies. I’m always amazed by this preschool and how they create a calm community at meal time. I picked up his birthday crown and he carried his truck lunch box out the door and we headed home for some much needed sunggles (for me…). The report from his teachers was glowing and Wednesday is Fire Safety day which means there will be a fire truck to sit in and that it is fire themed week. He’s in heaven!

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He was so pumped to have his OWN lunch box. He also refused to wear sneakers. Crossing fingers for Wednesday.

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Happy Birthday Auggie!

I can’t believe that this guy is already TWO. The saying goes that the days are long and the years are short and that couldn’t be more true with this guy. It feels like yesterday that I was dropping B at school and heading to the hospital.

We celebrated the birthday boy with a fra-mly party with a construction theme and I have to say, it came out pretty awesome. I think the birthday boy wasn’t the only one who had fun!

Who knew blue prints made such cute and easy table cloths.

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Fun party favors

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Ready to par-tay!

IMG_7866CHEEEESSSEEEEE!

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His home made cake didn’t turn out too shabby

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It’s too bad they don’t look like us….

IMG_7895Happy birthday Auggie boy! You are such a crack up and bring so much happiness to our lives. Please stop growing so fast!

Tuesdays with Auggie

I distinctly remember the day that Baylor and I had our first two way conversation. She had woken up from her nap early and was standing in her crib, crying. As I opened the door, I asked her what was wrong. She pointed to her ears and said “Ears. Hurt.”. It was like Helen Keller signing water. It was amazing to speak to her and have her answer back!

With the Auggie boy, our conversations sound a little more like this:

Mommy!!

Yes Auggie.

MOMMY!!

That’s my name.

MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!!!

Augustus. I’m. Right. Here. What do you need?

YOWD!!

Yes, hammering the train table IS loud.

Ok. Dank you, Mommy. 

I would give that kid a pony if he said orssie peas, mommy. Dank you. It’s so stinking cute, I can’t stand it!

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Ta da!!

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When we I thought our living room needed an update, I thought we needed a mirror over the side board. We went round and round on what size, what kind, what shape…and then it hit me. I wanted a barn wood mirror. Specifically old barn wood that we found ourselves in Montana. And because I’m married to a carpenter, I get what I want (well that and I’m pushy…).

We got the barn wood this summer and PW and compromised on a taller, horizontal rectangle. He spent an entire day plotting out how to cut the wood that we had which was all different depths, slightly different lengths and with a lot of character to be preserved. He is most proud of the little dowel that was stuck in one of the pieces.

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One thing we didn’t account for is how freaking heavy it is. Thankfully with several different heavy weight hooks, a lot of swearing and some luck, we made it happen. Thank you for being so good at this stuff PW!

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THE Best Kale Salad

The only thing you need to know is that A. Peter agreed to try this. B. He had seconds. And C. he said I should make it again and soon. Boom. Best recipe ever.

1 bunch Black or Tuscan kale, de-veined and chopped into small pieces

1/3 of a lemon

1 tsp garlic paste

2 count olive oil

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup graded (powdery) Parmesan cheese

Dried cranberries

Roasted pumpkin seeds

 

At least an hour before you’re ready to eat, toss chopped kale, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper. Make sure to work everything into the kale to tenderize it. Set aside for at least an hour.

Cook quinoa according to directions. Toss hot quinoa with the kale mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, some cranberries and seeds. Mix and taste for more lemon (it’s easy to add too much at the start!). Serve room temperature or chill.

Kale is super sturdy so this salad keeps really well over night!

If you are a fan of True Food Kitchen’s kale salad, you’re going to love this. It’s really similar and you could add in bread crumbs instead of the quinoa for the TFK version. Just go easy with the lemon.

Paige Denim

Why are good jeans so hard to find?? Shopping for good jeans is as bad as shopping for a good bra. Or a bathing suit. No one ever says “I’m so pumped to go bathing suit shopping!”. Jeans are the same way for me. I’m picking about the fit, the rise and of course, the length. Why are models 6 feet tall but jeans all have 30 inch inseams? Where do the tall girls get their denim?!

I found my answer last fall at Nordstrom. I was turned on to Paige Denim and I have to say, a year later, I love them just as much. Of course, Nordstrom stopped carrying the style I like. Which turned out to be a good thing because I found Paige.com instead. In trying to track down my favorite cut (Skyline Straight) in the wash I wanted, I emailed the company. I was shocked to see an email just an hour later from the customer service rep saying she had just personally restocked that style and wash and that she was holding out a pair in my size and how would I like them shipped to me. Amazing!

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I lived in these white jeans I bought from them this summer and just ordered the same pair in black hoping to get the same good use out of them. They carry several styles and fits – my favorite is that the straight cut jeans are on the narrower side at the ankle – skinny jeans without the tapered leg – perfection!

Check it out at www.paige.com 

Oh – and they have maternity jeans – where the heck were these when I needed them!?

 

Deliciously Free!

RUN to my lovely friend Stephanie’s blog, Many Hats of a Mom, and enter her contest! You could win $50 in Happy Family snacks!!

www.manyhatsofamom.com

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I’ve entered and done my bonus points…. now go! Get in there and win some healthy snacks!