Dark Trail in Settlement Canyon

Hi friends! Today our little family geared up for a hike close to home. We also loaded up our Fur Baby, Emma (AKA Em Bemz, Emmi, Emma McMann) for her first hike since our honeymoon 3 years ago! Emma isn’t perfect, but she’s perfect for trails. It was so nice to travel a short distance to a trail.  It made me feel extra grateful for living and being in a tranquil place.

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Dark Trail in Settlement Canyon

is about 35 minutes from the city of Salt Lake and 15 minutes from Stansbury Park.  It is 3.3 miles round trip. It didn’t offer the beautiful mountain views and it honestly didn’t have a “reward” at the end! HOWEVER, it was the perfect hike for our family today and I’ll tell you why!

It was quiet, well paved, so green, running water, shaded while also having the sun peeking through, and a good elevation change of 393ft.  The most amazing thing about this trail was how there were open spots to stop and rest or in our case let Declan stretch his legs. I’ve had so much on my mind lately. Eric and I got to declutter my thoughts a bit. These conversations usually occur at the dinner table, but it was such a nice change of pace and scenery to figure it all out.

You can also take your horses on this trail and dogs are allowed as long as they’re leashed.  We saw a lot of runners, backcountry campers, and birds! This is an easy hike for anyone looking for an afternoon unwind or a quiet, shaded run out of the Utah sun! I was really glad we decided to check this trail off our list today, get regrouped, and also let Emmi get her paws dirty!

Anyone else just need some time outside and fresh air to declutter their thoughts!? What helps you feel centered and focused? IMG-1614IMG-1621

 

Easter “Basket” Fun

Trinket Ideas for Infants 0-1 Years

Happy Easter Friends! I hope you all are able to enjoy time today with your loved ones and celebrating our Awesome Jesus and the life he’s given us. Today I wanted to share a quick tid bit on what I put in Declan’s Easter TRUCK. Holidays and themes are my favorite, but this year especially because it’s a year of firsts for Declan. Well, I’ll hop to it! Here a few things we threw in Declan’s basket and could be purposeful for any baby 0-1 years old!

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Start with your base, the actual basket:  Baskets don’t always have to be traditional!  Get creative with it! Trucks, play purses, or a beach bucket are always a neat spin to throw on a basket and also reusable!  I used a dump truck that I received from a dear friend at Declan’s Baby Shower.

Books- This year we celebrated Declan’s ½ birthday and our friends and family stocked him up on good Easter themed books. Touch and Feel books are Declan’s favorite right now being as he is starting to develop his pincher reflex. I’m all about new textures!

Pacifiers- you can never have too many! Plus Declan just hit 6 months so we had to restock on all pacifier sizes and nipples.  (Side note: If I were to go back and register for items at my baby shower, I would register for the first year of sizes for pacies and nipples)

Carrot Teether– I got this cute carrot teether off Amazon! What baby doesn’t need this??  It’s simple, affordable, and fit the theme perfectly.

50 first word picture cards– for babies 0+ and up! I love these because they have real photographs with colorful words and on the back there are antonyms.

Plastic Eggs- Mostly for decoration, but I filled 4 with rice and sunflower seeds to make egg shakers! We also used them for another activity we did with Declan on Easter Morning.

Stuffed Bunny- What Easter basket isn’t complete without a cute plush toy? My cousin got this for Declan before he was born. We play with it all the time so I tossed it in for fun!

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Okay, now for the real fun! Declan just started scooting around last week and guys he’s picking up his speed!! We got some balloons and tied them to the egg. Declan thought this was so fun and it’s also a perfect cause and effect activity. Declan would scoot to the balloon and then tug on the string watching the balloon go up and down. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t just have to be an Easter activity. IT’s a cheap way to entertain your little one and get them moving!

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What did you all put in your little ones Easter Basket?? I’m curious!

Utah Trilogy

Yesterday I was talking to my other half who’s million miles away, back home in Florida.  We were diagnosing my Cabin Fever that had developed over the course of two weeks which, for the record was also a combination of homesickness. Moving across the country has definitely been an adjustment. From getting my 4 month old on a plane, setting up our new home, learning my surroundings, and a million trips to Wal-Mart to get things that nobody told me I would need I’ve been shell shocked. We were discussing how to bring down my fever, haha. While Krista and I’s typical conversations are about how we plan to be super teachers, execute and save the world and all the little children in it, our failed attempts at dinner plans and life through and through…  this conversation started off with me writing a story about my dogs. While that would have been super entertaining for a second grader (love you, Krista) we concluded that a trilogy on the move would be more appropriate. SO, I’m going to share with you a three-part adventure of moving out west and all that it entailed (so far).  Like every good teacher does, I’ll break it down into three categories.

Part One: Flying With A (very busy) Infant
Part Two: Moving Out West (The Things You Need But Didn’t Know You Needed)

Part Three: Unfamiliar Places and Faces

Let’s get rolling.

 Part One:Flying With A (very busy) Infant

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Declan was just shy of 4 months old when we flew from Florida to Utah, a 4 hour and 30 minute direct flight from Orlando. This flight had me stressing from the moment I booked it two months ago. Don’t be like me, because you have me! I’m going to help you not be stressed!

  1. Book a flight that is the best time of day for your babe. Declan has been a morning person since the day he was born. In fact, we don’t set alarms because we wake up to the sweet coos of Declan Bear. He’s most happy and chill after a good night’s rest.Also, book an aisle seat incase you have to get up and walk the aisles with your little bear.
  2. But also be prepared to throw your schedule that you worked so incredibly hard on (trust me, I know) out the window for the day and possibly the next day because you will be playing catch up, or adjusting to a new time zone.
  3. Take your car seat to the gate. This was something I had my mind set on from the get go because I’ve witnessed carseats getting tossed under a plane or just falling off the luggage cart in the middle of boarding. While I appreciate the people getting our luggage from point a to b, my carseat is also an investment. So, treat it like Fine China people. Also, how horrible would it be to arrive at your destination and your carseat be back where you left it?
  4. Wear your baby in a comfy carrier. This keeps them close to you, you limit their germs and people touching them, its secure and if your baby is anything like mine, people watching is a must. Number 3 and 4 might seem excessive and you’re probably saying “yeah, right I wasn’t born with 8 arms.” BUT here’s how we managed.  We used the handle on the carry on luggage and flipped the carseat over the handle.
  5. Formula prep! I mentioned before my formula dispenser has been a life changer (see original post in baby registry must haves). I use it every day from day to day to the night shift. I prepped bottles with the idea in mind that our flight MAY get delayed. I made a bottle for each hour that we would be in the air and I labeled them with small sticky notes. I made some full servings for Declan’s big meals, then I also prepped a few 2 ouncers for when his ears pop with elevation change.  I then went through security with two baby bottles with water in them. When you get to security just tell them you have formula and it’s not a hassle at all. We ending up using all 5 feedings that I had prepped. I will share a little secret … go through security with an empty water bottle (or two if you wish) and when you get on the other side of security you can use your empty water bottle to fill up at a water fountain. This saves you money because you won’t have to buy water to use for bottles on the plane.
  6. Entertainment for your baby. I read some blogs before I went that suggested hiding some of your kid’s favorite toys a week a head of time. This way when you reintroduce them on the plane, they’re excited. Well I tried this and Declan really could have cared less about them. So, my advice would be to just go to the dollar store and get you some new toys that light up.
  7. Head to Burlington or any home goods store and get a kids travel pillow. I used this thinking my arms would need some cushion while holding Declan during naps, which it worked great for. Declan also used it for Tummy Time on the plane and thought it was the most hilarious thing he’s ever seen. This may as well been his new toy.
  8. The last bit of guidance I have is, be patient and calm. I found myself getting super anxious during the descend and Declan was totally feeding off me. I also felt like every time Declan squealed or even started to cry everyone was judging me, like they were never a baby or something. I got up and walked Declan a couple times and luckily we had no turbulence so the seat belt sign was off most the time.

How I Packed Our Diaper Bag For Travel

  1. Make sure you have enough diapers to match bottles plus an extra. If you have a boy you always run the risk of a water fountain before you even get the fresh diaper on…
  2. Spare outfit for baby and you. Just incase there some projectile vomiting you don’t want to be wearing it the entire flight.
  3. Pack a gallon sized zip lock bag to put those soiled clothes in. Chances are you won’t need it, rather safe than sorry.
  4. A receiving blanket just incase the temperature on the plane is a little chilly.
  5. Phone charger, wipes, changing pad, and toys are a given.

Over all our first flying experiences was really positive and I’m forever grateful for my momma who flew with us. She was such a huge, huge help and confidence booster. Maybe some day I’ll fill those shoes…

Am I missing out on any more tips or tricks to flying with a little one? I figured this would be the easiest time flying since he’s so young. When we fly home next he will be a bit older and I know it will be totally different. Share with me!

Oxygen Masks

My pregnancy was nearing its end and it wasn’t the easiest or most glorious. I was ready to meet my baby, but I also knew that once he was here, getting my hair done and feeling great was out the window.  I splurged on a day at the spa. Life as I knew it was about to be over. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be. You guys… I love my hair and sometimes when I’m in a rut my ultimate fix is a hair care. My hair stylist and I were talking about how damn good it is to get your hair done. She explained to me a metaphor that I seriously want to get tattooed on my forehead. You’re on a plane and the flight attendant is going through the series of unfortunate events that COULD happen. They state “…If anything were to happen please put on your oxygen mask first and then help others.” Have you EVER thought of the irony between the two before?  You can’t take care of another human unless you take care of yourself first.

5 Things That Make Me Feel Like A Million Bucks

  1. Hair done. Nails done. Everything did. There’s absolutely nothing more refreshing than simply the smell of leaving the salon. I have no buyers guilt when I leave my salon. Schedule a day just for you get some highlights, wax your eyebrows, pick a nail polish that looks just as good on your nails as it did on the wall and rock it.
  2. Wedges. I spend my days with tiny humans, I crawl on the floor during circle time, I walk in wet grass on the playground, and somedays I leave work with glitter in my hair. But one thing that makes me feel polished with confidence and I believe it makes me teach better too, is a good pair of wedges.  Get a good pair that feels comfy and will match with just about everything. My personal favorites are Steve Madden Survive Wedge.  Ironic name, right? I wear them just about every day except for field trip day and even if my lesson was an epic fail, I’ve still got my wedges. If I can splurge on a nice shoe I can teach these kiddos the way they deserve to be taught.
  3. Paid bills. I don’t like being late to dinner dates, movies, plans with friends and I most certainly don’t like being late on my bills. When my bills are paid, it’s one less thing to stress about and one less thing on my To Do List. To become organized on your bills and when they’re due set up auto drafts if you can. If you can’t, space them out so you don’t feel like it’s Friday Night Just Got Paid and then broke as a joke. Set up your bills to be due at different times of the month if you can. Plus, you can’t buy that super adorable birthday gift for your bff if your bills aren’t paid. Ya dig?
  4. New underwear. I have no explanation, it is just the real deal.
  5. A Good Workout. Let’s be honest, its expensive being fit.  Gym memberships can get pricey and buying healthy food is not only time consuming but expensive too.  However, I feel better when I eat better and I eat better when I’m working out (otherwise it’s all a waste). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself out of going to the gym. Especially now with babes. Prioritize those workouts during nap time, do your squats in the shower, and do your planks during tummy time. I’m telling you…if you want it bad enough you will make time for it and you’ll be a better caretaker because of it.

The bottom line is this: Take care of yourself. How can you or me take care of a family, a baby, or even your fur babies if you don’t feel 110%?

Okay, so I’m challenging you…make a list. What are 5 things that make you feel like a million bucks but you never do them because of all the imaginable excuses you make in your head? Share with me those 5 things and commit to doing them for yourself!

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Feeling this Bootcamp workout at Gator CrossFit