My Little Ones – Growing Up and New Gear For Our Outdoor Life

Alistaire tuns 6 weeks today! He has been growing a lot, very hungry. His 3 month clothing became tight over night and now he fits into the 3-6 month and most of the 6 month size clothing. I am so grateful I saved all of Walker’s clothing! The only issue is that a lot of Walker’s clothing was for spring and summer as he was born late March and well, it was actually a warm spring that year! It has been so cold here that Alistaire has been living in sleep and plays night and day. Kind of a bummer to see cute outfits go into the “garage sale” box and he never got to wear them! Oh well – still plenty of cute 6 month clothing ahead ๐Ÿ˜‰

From last week:

As I mentioned about it being cold and nasty – we have been having snow every couple days of late! On Sunday Walker got to run out and have fun:

A couple months ago he wasn’t sure about snow, now it is fun to him. He should love it in June and July when we are hiking in alpine and he gets to play on 6 foot deep snow!

Out on Tuesday running around our library :-) Our local library was built in the woods, rather than tearing down all the trees and replanting, so lots of play areas for little ones to enjoy!

Walker turns 2 on Saturday as well! I am planning his cupcakes (I am using a recipe from the new Cake Boy cookbook which I have been reading for review). When I look at him and Alistaire together I am constantly reminded what a big boy Walker is now. There is no baby left, he is a little boy!

Playing on Daddy’s camera gear last night:

And now that I am not pregnant and yay, reached 6 weeks, I can exercise again. Love getting that news! Hiking season is nearly here (OK, if it would quit raining/snowing/hailing). I was at Target and came across this:

It is an Eddie Bauer Backpack w/ Harness. Thing is, it is an actual functional backpack that fits a toddler perfectly. The harness’s leash is a bonus if you will…it can clip on or not – good for when you need extra security while hiking. The actual pack though is better made than most “kids packs” are and is affordable at $15. It has a main compartment that zips closed, a water bottle pocket, a front zippered compartment and a little mesh pocket. And the front has two sternum straps (hence making it a harness system) which also means the pack doesn’t shift around on him. He loves it and wants to wear it everywhere! If you want toddlers to love hiking you have to get them gear that looks like mom and dads – and fits them. He gets to carry his winter hat, mittens, sun hat, a juice box and a snack or two. Nothing heavy, but rather he gets used to wearing his own pack ๐Ÿ˜‰ I did that with Ford when he was young, it worked well. I figure I will watch him and when he is ready I will get him jr. trekking poles – but he isn’t ready yet for those. Too tempting/dangerous for him…hah!

Today was glorious weather though! Sunny as can be! So we went for a walk in the morning before naptime. I don’t miss sunny days if I can help it, especially after all the nasty weeks of weather we have had. When Walker was an infant I had seen Sammy Sacks at Stroller Strides – a couple of moms had them for their older toddlers and preschoolers. I bought one that year (2010) in the regular size. It is big, it now is fitting Walker, he will be able to use it for a couple of years. I got thinking about two weeks ago that buying an infant one for Alistaire might be a good idea, and it was. I received it in two days (they are made in Seattle!). It fit the car seat perfectly, I was amazed at how well it worked. Now I can take him out and not worry about the wind and rain as much. It fits like a boot over the seat and stays on. It can also be used for his Bjorn carriers to keep him warm and dry this spring and summer and as well, when older (like above 6 months) he can wear it over him in the stroller. I went the cheap route and got one of the on-sale prints (flames). Walker has the Blue Hawaiian. They might seem pricey but I can tell you they are worth the cost 0 a dry and warm baby or child is a happy one when going strolling or in a front carrier – especially if it is windy.

Walker with his on:

Alistaire with his:

My boys:

Walker agrees – if you want happy little ones when strolling, make their strollers into cozy little caves! Warm backs, toes and bodies make for happy tikes :-)


Spring Is Nearly Here – Walking Time!

I am so excited for Spring to nearly be here! We are finally getting some nice days for walking once again and I can take Walker and Alistaire out for strolls in their tandem stroller.

We went out yesterday for a trial run, to start getting ready for longer walks and when we got back I went through all the gear I had dumped into the stroller and was embarrassed. My stroller was not ready. Oops. I pride myself on keeping my hiking and walking gear ready to go…and due to my not being able to walk much while pregnant, my stroller kit was badly out of shape! I found expired meals, milk and clothing for Walker 2 sizes too small…lol! Oops indeed! So out came everything and I sorted through it. As a bonus due to it not being a jogger stroller I was able to dump my tire kit (although that wasn’t much of a weight savings I can tell you…pushing 55 lbs of kids plus another 50 or so in gear is a workout!).

After the fiasco last August where Walker’s jogger stroller fell apart on us I had kept the Bob Warm Fuzzy insert and was able to use it with the new stroller – a bonus because now Walker’s back doesn’t get cold when we go out (no liner and toddlers get chilled much faster!). And I can attach his SammySack to the seat bar as well:

For now I have a FullBelly cover over Alistaire:

It works great but the downside is not being water and wind resistant (which the SammySack is). I ordered one of the baby size sacks today for him, I will continue using the FullBelly, just under it, for warmth – it works great as a cozy blanket. That way I have less to worry about when we start doing long trips again, especially with cold winds in the valleys.

The stroller has worked well (outside of a cheap screw falling out second use) but has its limitations. It isn’t a jogger so I am limited to paved paths. For the upcoming months that will be fine as I don’t like taking babies under 6 months on unpaved trails, they bounce too much for my comfort. And the double joggers are all so wide I have fears of them fitting through the poles designed to keep cars off the trails. The nice thing is there are plenty of paved rail to trails where we live. But oh well, it allows me to get outside and get exercise, with the babies along.

Today we walked again, it reached 60 and was blue skies and sunny. The rain will return soon enough so I took them outside to enjoy it. I am working on gaining my hiking legs back after my 5 month hiatus of walking. Slowly I am getting back, I doubled our mileage this afternoon and did two miles. Once the weather is less rainy I am hoping to get back to where I walk to town to get a latte, that is a 5+ mile roundtrip with plenty of hills for working the thighs. What I worry most is getting my feet back into shape, so I don’t get toe blisters, more than anything. The actual walking is easy enough! I want by April to be back up to 10 mile walks or longer so I can be ready to hike this summer with all my boys :)


4 Weeks

Alistaire is 4 weeks old today. Where has that time gone? I know I have no clue….

I have lost about 40 to 41 pounds of the 47 I gained and can fit back into most of my regular clothing which really makes me happy. Right before i got pregnant I had done something unusual…I went out and bought a bunch of clothing from Coldwater Creek. Fastest way to get fertility? Buy new clothing thatย  costs too much…At least it is all like new – hah! Can’t wait for better weather to get here, it has been so cold/rainy and even snowy. I look forward to balmy spring days so I can take the boys out for long walks in the super stroller. That should help work off the remaining weight until I can start going to the gym again (hope I get cleared for working out next week!).

And I am excited….I am in the second week of weaning off my blood pressure medication that I have been on for the past 4 years. As I come off it I can feel my anemia lifting (it is the primary reason I am anemic, pregnancy only made it worse). I am working with my doctor to find meds that work for me, but am happy to have my energy coming back. Only a few more days and I am done with it. Woo!


Photos Of My Littlest Ones

A couple of photos from this morning of me and my two youngest ones :-)

Alistaire and I, with his eyes open:

Walker, me and Alistaire:

Alistaire napping –


17 Days

Yesterday was 17 days since I had Alistaire. Wow! It is going so fast it feels at times….

After avoiding the scale for a few days I weighed myself last night and I am 7 lbs from my starting weight back in May/June. I have lost 40 of the 47 lbs which is great news. I was able to put my wedding rings back on last night, which was just great! I had worn them around my neck for the last 5 or 6 weeks. My legs also have quit swelling for the past week so I broke out socks this morning and I can wear normal shows. Funny how the little things in life make one happy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love being able to wear my walking shoes again! That and I can wear 3 of my pre-pregnancy pants, my maternity pants have been sent to the thrift store – goodbye and good riddance!

I have an appointment next week to change my blood pressure medications, excited I can go back to the ones I used to take and not the anemia causing baby safe ones I have been on for a near 4 years!

And as well…I am sure some have noticed my cooking style is starting to swing back to vegetarian and vegan, my anemia is under control now that I have had the baby and I am craving a LOT less meat. My goal is to get us eating similar to how we were before my last pregnancy – lots of heart healthy veggie-friendly meals!


Nurturme Baby Food

Walker and I had the chance to try out Nurturme’s dried baby foods recently. I had seen the products at Babiesr’Us awhile back (back last summer or fall) and it had caught my eyes that it had potential. Specifically for parents who travel or have active lifestyles (it is perfect for hiking, camping, backpacking and air travel!)

Crisp Apples:

The apples in dry state:

I mixed the apples with ยฝ cup of Green Valley Organic Lactose Free vanilla yogurt till smooth –

It was very delicious – even Ford wandered down for taste testing and helped Walker enjoy it:

Crisp Carrots and the flexible spoon (the spoon is great!):

The carrots in dry state:

I mixed up the carrots to directions. You can use 3 to 5 Tablespoons water, breast milk or formula (or even milk) to prepare the dried food. 3 Tablespoons creates a thicker vegetable, perfect for older babies/toddlers. Stir and let it sit for a minute or two for best results:

The vegetables and fruits come back perfectly and rival any in a jar. It isn’t cheap but for convenience it is well worth it. The packets are tiny, flat and easy to pack – and in a pinch you can easily mix them up in a new snack size zip lock bag!


FTC Disclaimer: We received product samples for potential review.

Getting My Rhythm Back!

Finding my way again…after a 12 day “vacation” I had Kirk drive me to the grocery store and I took both Walker and Alistaire in to shop without him. It wasn’t too bad and I survived ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then the next day we went back out, with Ford along as well but no Kirk and I drove for the first time in two weeks (I try to not drive until I feel recovered…just safer for me and everyone else). Then I went to the store to see how it would go without any backup on Day 13. We made it! Dumb I know….but big steps for me! Walker thinks it is fantastic he gets to ride in the main part of the shopping cart…so I’ll take that as a bonus. And I finally fit behind the steering wheel again – super bonus!

Today we went to the doctors, first for a quick checkup of me with my OB and then to the pediatrician for Alistaire’s 2 week appointment. Shocking is the baby gained weight – big babies can lose rather than gain. He is up to 10 lbs 13.5 ounces and has also grown in length and head size. He is in the 96% percentile :-) Walker and Ford came with me and were my helpers while Kirk went back to work.

Alistaire today:

Walker has happily moved into his own room and loves that he has all his toys in there. Somehow my “baby” became a big boy overnight. I pick him up and he is so tall! And heavy! Well, at least compared to Alistaire….

Kirk found the cutest circus tent at IKEA for Walker – he can stand up in it and even run around inside:

And the kid’s version of the Poang chair (we have two of the adult ones, they are great for relaxing with babies in or just reading!)

When I took Alistaire to his his first pediatrician appointment I had stopped in at my OB’s office for a checkup of my blood pressure/show off the baby. The lovely receptionists (who are both so nice and friendly, even through nearly 4 years of seeing them!) handed me a slip of paper from Enfamil. The company rep had dropped off a pad of offers where if you called them, they would send 4 boxes of Enfamil Newborn Nursette Ready To Use, 2-Ounce (Pack of 6)! I called and they arrived on Monday via FedEx….wow! Fast and free, my idea of a great deal. The little bottles are really handy to have in the van and for hiking as well (and in the stroller as well). The hospital had given me a bunch of the “one use” nipples/collars when we were there, I saved them (please, they are washable!) so I have a nice stash. It was an even better deal knowing how much those bottles retail for. I am formula feeding Alistaire and I don’t hesitate to ask for samples. At the pediatricians office I scored 3 full size cans of formula (each retails for $14.99!). I had a pretty thrifty week for that! I also made sure I was signed up with each company for coupons (because you never know which one the baby will like best), just as I did with Walker. I always use the coupons to buy the ready to use bottles (making them affordable). I found with Walker that mixing dry formula with water in a bottle didn’t work well when we hiked, especially at altitude. Even at 5,000 or 6,000 feet (at say Mt. Rainier) in alpine, the formula wouldn’t dissolve right. So we started using the ready to drink bottles instead and had no issues.

Found a couple of cute sleep sacks at our local Kid To Kid resale store and then I saw this Sleep n’ Play and had to have it from Carters. So much for not buying more baby clothing for the baby! I was supposed to be looking for toddler clothing but somehow, middle of February and Kohl’s thinks it is summer. No pants, just a million pairs of shorts. Sheesh. Now I have an excuse to visit the Carters store and Gymboree ๐Ÿ˜‰ Darn!

But most of all I am finding myself again. The frantic first days are done. Kirk and I are finding time to sit on the couch for 30 minutes or so in the evening, Walker and Ford in bed and Alistaire in my arms, falling asleep. While Walker and Alistaire nap I clean the house, cook and write. I notice the more I get done, the more whole I feel! That I am getting my rhythm back!


My Little Boys

The other night Walker kept coming up to Alistaire and trying to gently tug on his legs, be it when he was in my arms or in the Lil’ Napper on our Pack n’ Play. I figured out what he wanted was to hold his brother more than anything. Kirk figured a solution, he had Walker sit on his lap and then he could hold Alistaire in front, against Walker and Walker would feel like he was holding him. It worked perfectly :-)

He was so happy and was very gentle with him!


Alistaire’s Story

I sit here and realize it has been over a week. A week already! Since I had Alistaire. Time goes way too fast, just a blur of feedings and sleep – for all of us.

I had a feeling on Tuesday the 7th as I went to my OB appointment (I was doing 2 a week visits) that we were getting to the end. My blood pressure sealed that deal. It was pretty bad, having raised even more from Friday’s appointment. I got put on the NST machine and had a great strip – the baby was doing just fine, it was me with health issues. After I got done my OB and I had “the talk” – which was “you need to go to the birth center as soon as you can today, you have been booked for an induction”. I saw no reason to argue….for I had carried the baby longer than any of my children (38 weeks and 3 days). I knew he was ready to come. She did a last-minute ultrasound to check if he was still head down and how his fluid levels were. All looked well, so I took a huge pile of medical records with me (which was good I did as the hospitals faxing crashed!!) and headed home to Kirk. Ford was at school, I called him and told him to not worry, just let himself in. We got my bag, Kirk signed off from work (that he works from home is a huge plus) and we headed to the hospital – with Walker along. My brother was coming down but he he had to take a ferry over first. Finally we got to the hospital around 11 am and I was admitted. And I found myself in the same wing as two years before, just a couple of rooms away. Felt like home or something. Then I went through a long set of assessments. Kirk entertained Walker as best he could and finally my brother showed up. Kirk drove him and Walker back to the house and then headed back again. My poor husband drove a lot that day.

So out of it all the decision was to start labor with Cytotec – something which many do not agree with. I am on the fence with it, it worked for Walker’s birth and knowing it worked was a good reason to use it again. But first they played with my blood pressure and got it stabilized and then started the Cytotec. I had been having 4 to 5 minute contractions for months so the first dose kicked up my contractions. Then they had to hold off and wait for them to slow down before doing dose two. It can take awhile, I know that! Inductions before 40 weeks can take 24 hours to get into labor so I had patience. Everyone was safe, I knew I just had to focus on me. That evening my friend Dani drove over after work to keep us company, a long drive for her. It was so appreciated! She left when they decided to do dose number two, around 11 pm. Due to my blood pressure I was told no walking, which honestly I was OK with. I was tired. I got woken up every hour or so for testing of my BP and was let off the monitors every couple of hours for 2 hours and was allowed a shower at least – it felt great around 1 am. Kirk slept at least – even if I had that last fitful sleep I have with each baby. So over the night I spent many hours as they tweaked my contractions with watching my blood pressure (which was doing just fine if I stayed in bed). Come morning my nurse said to me “eat a good breakfast” so I did and then I relaxed a bit. After checking on me and seeing I was to a 3, they started Pitocion. Waiting is always hard and especially when one is just sitting and having contractions, over and over. I met with the OB on call, a lovely lady, who works out of another clinic of the OB I see. I felt lucky in getting her by chance. We discussed things – and she asked me how open I was to an epidural (which I was) due to its abilities to lower blood pressure. As I have talked before – I have done natural childbirth and I have used an epidural. I had little to prove with this baby besides having him be safe. No 15 page birth plan for me. Just get him out. I held off on getting the epidural figuring I had time and it wasn’t bad. But slowly I noticed the contractions were getting stronger and I figured might as well get it before it got sucky. So Kirk called the nurse and she was calling up the anesthesiologist/getting stuff ready for him when I felt a “kick/pop” sensation and crap, my water had broken. And just like with Walker my contractions went from “I can handle this” to “owwwwwww”.ย  I went to a 4. Then the worlds slowest anesthesiologist showed up (OK, I kid, I kid…he wasn’t slow but it sure felt like it!) He stood there reading me all this paperwork and I wanted to scream “Just give me the shot, we’ll talk after!!” Hehheh. I had pre-filled out my paperwork for the epidural and suddenly no one knew where it was (how do you lose paperwork from hours before?). But soon enough he started it, between contractions that were maybe 3 minutes or less. I was starting to wonder though because my labor pains felt different. I had pressure in my lower back/rear and I started thinking. My first son was Posterior (sunny side up) and had felt the same way. The epidural slowly filled my back and the contractions went away but what I felt instead was the need to bear down. Oops. My nurse was 1 on 1 with me, a wonderful lady, Marsha. She was just what I had always wanted for a childbirth. A relaxed mom-like nurse who was more like a midwife. She checked me and I had gone to 10 cm in minutes. She paged the OB because I was really feeling the need to push. Her hope was I’d push a couple of times and be done. But with quick checking and realizing I was going to deliver Posterior, I ended up pushing for an hour. The hardest part was getting him to clear my pelvic bone. But he was doing well, his heart rate was great. The epidural was low and I was able to move around, even get on all 4’s and try as many positions as I could to get him out. It helped a lot that I could move. I was using just enough to numb the pain/lower my blood pressure. It was what I wanted – just me, the nurse and Kirk. No one else, just quiet to do what I needed. Unlike my birth of Walker where I had a room full of people due to his erratic heart rate this was as close as I was ever going to get to a perfect birth, the birth I had wanted. And I wasn’t numb, I could feel him moving along. And the epidural was useless as he crowned due to him being posterior. But it was good, even if painful. The only new faces in the room was the OB and two nurses helping with the final delivery. I felt in control, I was relaxed and it was amazing when I saw Alistaire for the first time. He was big. The ladies looked at me and said “This isn’t a 9 lb baby”. When he was weighed he was 10 lbs 6.8 ounces and 22″ long. No wonder my belly was so big. My OB had said to me on Tuesday morning at out last appointment as she sent me off “I’d expect a 8 1/2 to 9 lb baby” – I was supposed to have another ultrasound that week to get a size idea, so his being that big was a bit unexpected. I sat there and relaxed as they checked him over and got him warmed and then they handed him to me but I ended up handing the baby to Kirk as I felt pretty tired from my anemia and the pushing. I didn’t trust myself holding him.

He got a pretty smooshed head being born but within the hour his little head smoothed out! It was amazing to see how much Alistaire looked like Walker. The same nose and chin!

Then I was told I needed to be put on a 24 hour magnesium drip to make sure my blood pressure didn’t affect me. Ugh. Really? So it meant I couldn’t get out of bed for the entire time, preferably to be on my side. So not long after he was born (just after 3 pm), I got put on the drip. It was a long night and Kirk had to take care of Alistaire for me the entire time. Our nurse that night had lots of empathy for us though and she took the baby to the nurses station for an hour or so, just so Kirk could relax. In the morning Kirk went and got Ford and Walker to come meet their brother and then home – he drove a lot once again. It was a long day for me. I was told to not pick the baby up if alone, Mag can leave you very loopy but overall I handled it well enough. Finally at 3 pm on Thursday they took me off it and said I could get up. And then I did feel it, gravity 10X hit me. I ended up sitting down on the couch in my room and drank a huge bottle of juice and rested. Finally after an hour or so I felt OK enough to attempt showering. And then I was happy to go back to bed.

The head scratcher was the OB who visited me on Thursday morning. I was sitting there attached to the Mag drip and he blithely blurts out “You wanna go home today??” and the nurse looks at him and says “She is on a Mag IV!” Can I say I was glad he wasn’t the one on call for delivering Alistaire.

Spent an ancy Thursday evening just ready to go home but had to be woken up every hour or so to check my blood pressure. We had the same nurse that night as well and she took Alistaire for about three hours so we could sleep. It was very good but sleep was fitful for me. The carpal tunnel syndrome I had developed the last couple of weeks made sleep very hard, my hands would go numb within minutes. Morning came and I waited the rounds of doctors. The pediatrician came and was fine with Alistaire leaving and then my OB showed up (thankfully she was on call on Friday at the hospital). With my history she let me out and told me to show up on Monday for a blood pressure check. My blood pressure takes awhile to stabilize after each baby and losing the water weight from the IV’s is very important. I was pretty puffed up.

A week out I have lost 29 lbs – so yes, that is a lot of water that was in me. My carpal tunnel has nearly disappeared (thank you!) and maybe soon I can put my wedding rings back on! My feet still swell up a bit by night but are looking better each day. I’ll have to watch my blood pressure for a while, I am taking it easy and getting use to moving about again – but I have a healthy baby and that is plenty for me!

It is an odd feeling being done. Health wise I feel better but at the same time I miss the feeling of his kicks and punches but still I am glad he is here and safe. And now part of our family โ™ฅ


Lil’ Napping

Photos of the little one today :-)

Asleep in his Lil’ Napper next to me while his brother took a nap upstairs.

The best part is Walker has happily moved into his “big boy room” with no qualms. I am setting it up to be a fun place – toys, a circus tent, his new bed and more! That meant Alistaire was able to move into his crib – a pattern develops and a new rhythm :-)

And Alistaire’s umbilical cord fell off yesterday so first bath tonight!


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