Friday, August 23, 2013

camping with a toddler.

This was our first time camping with a child, specifically our child. This was back in May/June, but I realized I didn't post it. So, Matt and I love camping. We usually do camping the "right way".... lots of tasty food, alcohol, cozy air mattress in our tent, ragging campfire, along some body of water... glorified car camping. It's our favorite. We would always bring our 3 big dogs too, didn't matter the weather- pouring rain in coastal Oregon to snow camping in Colorado to warm summer days on a river in Idaho. However, this time was a little different.

We had recently bought a bigger truck- we sold Matt's Tacoma and upgraded to a Tundra. We love it for many reasons. But the plan was to build a camping platform in the bed of the truck so that our little family could sleep back there. Super cozy and safe. We researched for months how to build this platform. We came up with a plan and matt executed it (beautifully I might add). This platform is super functional and pretty. It makes it so we have a carpeted area to sleep on that clears the wheel wells and turns out to be a sleeping area a little bigger than a queen size bed, with a high density/memory foam pad on top. Then under the platform is storage. These compartments hold our camp chairs, firewood, stove, bedding, cookware...and oh just about everything.

So now we were ready to go "tramping" as my sister and her boyfriend call it. I think it sounds dirty. But it's truck-camping. And its actually rather clean. No tent to set up, or air mattress to blow up, Its so simple.
leaving our house, ready for the adventure!

We started on our trek with Cora up the Boise river. It's one of our favorites- it's close to town but far enough away in the mountains to be alone. We just chose a little spot we liked along the river....usually these spots are just national forest land that have river rock fire rings, a nice beach along the river to play/fish/ throw discs in our disc basket. It's beautiful.


So we pulled up to our spot. And done. Matt pulled out some beer.... and we went off exploring with cora. It was a blast. Nothing really to do but have fun. Cora loved playing the rocks, getting in the freezing cold river water.... just exploring, getting dirty. Then matt started the fire, warmed up our food, and I set up our sleeping bags in the back of the truck. It was peaceful, well until it was bedtime.



Oh boy. Bedtime. Ha. This is where our lack of co-sleeping bit us in the ass. Cora has never spent a night in bed with us. She loves her crib, her routines, she sleeps home. Her bedtime is usually around 6:30, with a bath right before it. Well, obviously no bath to be had. So cora and matt and I tried and tried.

in the boba carrier, wrapped in a quilt walking the river banks.... thinking sleepy thoughts.
her boy-pajamas we bought before she was born, dreaming of this exact situation
(they have bears and foxes on them, adorable... even if she does look like a sweet little boy)
7:30- all of us in bed. No go. just play time
8:30- cora in my boba carrier, walking with her, listening to the river, watching the fire... calming, however didn't fall asleep.
9:30- matt stays by the campfire, I get into bed with cora. Ha. Cora is just being her cute self, waving vigorously at matt by the campfire trying to get his attention. no go.
10:30 I ask matt to put the fire out and come into bed with us.... its now actually dark out. We all get into bed...and we try to pretend to be asleep. Cora is now freakin adorable and sweet...going between matt and I and trying to get us to play with her- she tickles noses with me (my favorite), and kisses us (a new skill she learned, its precious) and flops her body on matt (his favorite)... back and forth. We bust up laughing, tackle her. So fun, but seriously. She needs sleep. We ask each other at what time to we just drive home? Just then cora goes to climb over the bedding once again, but collapses mid-climb. Its hilarious. Not a movement. Sound asleep. So the rest of the night was comfy but restless. We both loved her little body tossing between us throughout the night- but it was new to us, no solid sleep to be had probably for any of us. She slept until 830am however, so that was nice. She woke up just like us... bed head, groggy, but wide eyed and with a smile on her face to see the river upon waking and smelling the fresh air. Just heavenly, this camping thing.

"rock hounder"

We did some more river exploring, breakfast, and playing in the reservoir for lunch on the way back. It was a wonderful first camping experience. We both didn't expect it to be so much fun, but cora was easy to entertain herself in the wilderness. She loves being outside, so this trip was perfect. We all had a blast...and we have since gone camping again.

Our tips for camping with a child:
  • we had a full first aid kit, just in case, full of Neosporin spray to bug spray. Our pediatrician told us to just spray bug spray on our kid's clothes not on her actual skin. So smart! No bugs this trip, but there will be soon.
  • cora sleeps with white noise- so parking next to the river was helpful. I also had a portable speaker with white noise "song" on the ipod just in case.
  • lots of changes of clothes and shoes for cora. its still chilly here in the mountains, and she was in and out of the river splashing.
  • pre-made foods. usually we cook a full tasty meal by stove or campfire. That takes time and hands that we don't have with a 1 year old. So we pre-made fajitas, and just warmed up the meat and tortillas on the stove....and assembled. Tasty and easy.
  • multiple clean sippy cups to use for milk/juice so we don't have to rely on washing them well.
  • I brought my nice DSLR camera. I never bring it on our outdoor excursions, then I am bummed when I see our photos. I loved having it to capture our family moments this trip.
  • we left our dogs at home. kind of sad, they are getting old... but I also know that I don't have the ability to keep them safe and cora too. maybe once our kids are older it would be doable.
  • the boba carrier- or any sling thing.... awesome. I was able to walk around (faster) being able to have her on me and safe. I also could carry her for longer periods of time without getting tired, which was awesome at night.

Next camping trip we will try:
  • fishing, that may or may not work out. (it did work out, it was fantastic. we either held cora while we fished, she held onto our short's leg while standing in the river, or the other person played with cora on the river-beach. awesome. and she loved looking at/trying to touch the caught fish)
  • waiting for the sun to go down to start bedtime (this worked better, still a struggle for our little routine-lover)
  • parking away from the line-of-sight of the campfire
  • camp-shower, a bag of water that heats up in the sun with a shower nozzle to simulate nightly bath time
fishing with dad on another camping excursion.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

week 29

29 weeks, that's right... it's been 5 weeks since I took a bump photo. But who is counting? Not I apparently.
Pregnancy wise:
Everything is great! I passed my glucose tolerance test- yay no gestational diabetes! I don't know how I could survive on a diet with these hormones. I hit the 200 lb mark, and exceeded it. That's always exciting. I hit it about at this week of pregnancy last time too. But he is growing, it makes me happy. Lots of restless nights- peeing, flopping over in bed, eating cereal. Silly stuff. Tater tot is moving a ton, I love it.
Life wise:
I had my first weekend away from Cora, it was sad and wonderfully relaxing at the exact same time. I haven't been so relaxed in 16 months?! I had a bachelorette weekend in California with some girlfriends, and then saw my parents too. There was some beach time, tasty foods, and girl time. I was also able to talk with my parents and just talk like grown ups, not be the old times. However, let's be honest... we really primarily talked about Cora. Cora was just fine without me- she had grandma, grandpa, and dad to keep her busy and happy. She really doesn't do separation anxiety anyways. She's a happy camper. I missed her like hell...but it was a good break and realization that I just love being with her, I love our life.
Cora and I went alone to a wedding this past weekend. Lovely wedding, not so easy being utterly pregnant in the summer chasing Cora- same old story on here. Matt wasn't there to help- he was in a friends wedding a state away, but we survived. I couldn't do a baby carrier- I love my boba carrier, but the belly hurts when cora sits in it now, and so we did the bob jogger. She was squirmy, nap-less, and as it turns out there is a lot of sitting still moments during a wedding/reception. We weren't that successful, but I'm proud of us.
Baby wise:
I think we are ready for this babe. I am getting ready to start tackling the tater-tot room in a boy-scheme. I think Matt and I decided on a baby name. We are still tossing it around to be sure for sure. I am just a super planner, I like to know our babe's sex and name before delivery. It helps me.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

tasty chocolate macaroons.

coconut chocolate macaroons.

Um yea. These little suckers are good. Good enough to make at 9pm on a Tuesday night, when I should be doing laundry, dishes, sleeping... drinking water with my prenatal vitamins... anything but eating lots of macaroons. I got hooked on macaroons when I was studying abroad on a ship in the South Pacific. The ship's "mom" used to make a heavenly version of this. Maybe it was the fact that the rest of the food tasted like crap, and we were literally in the middle of the pacific, so all I ate were coconut macaroons. Regardless I can't replicate it, but these come close. I have a feeling that "mom's" had sweetened condensed milk. I'm nervous to even go there, it might become a nightly recipe.

"Perfect Coconut Macaroons" recipe from
1 (14 ounce) package sweetened, flaked coconut                                                    


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Blend coconut, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Beat egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form.
  5. Fold coconut mixture into egg whites until just combined.
  6. Wet your hands. Roll spoonfuls of coconut mixture between palms to golf ball-size cookies; arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake cookies in the preheated oven until coconut is slightly golden and toasted, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 30 minutes.
  8. Line baking sheet with new piece of parchment paper.
  9. Melt chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over just-barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching.
  10. Dip half of each cookie in the chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Place in refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes.