Archive for the ‘Hiking with baby’ Category
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Nora is almost five months old – seriously, where does the time go? – so we were overdue for her first hike to Poo Poo Point. We drove to Issaquah on Sunday and, along with 93% of the Washington population, attempted to find a parking spot along the paraglider landing field.
Let’s just say it took a while…which we really should have considered beforehand, since it was a Sunday. And sunny. And 60 degrees. In January.
Dude, for reals, it was 60 degrees! In January!! I was massively overdressed in long running tights and a long-sleeved shirt, all black of course. Nora ended up hiking (as in being carried by dad) in just her wool unders, and even that ended up being a little too warm for her. She was a champ, though, staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the big trees until she fell asnooze in the Ergo.
I was kind of a champ, too. 1700 feet of elevation gain isn’t much, but it was the most I had done since June, when SPD got the better of me. I was prepared for it to massively suck, but it just felt good. Really, really good.
Nora woke up just in time for a snack and some playtime at the north launch point, then spent the rest of our lunch break sitting on my lap and just staring at all the people and all the dogs. I like to think she was admiring the view, too.
She even got to try paragliding!
The Mountain was out. Aaahh.
This was an amazing day. Now that we’re out of the fourth trimester and car rides aren’t traumatizing anymore, we’ll hopefully get to hit the trails a little more often. We’ve been hiking the hell out of our local trails, but I’m feeling ready for some mountainous terrain again. (There, I just jinxed this crazy weather we’ve been having and now it’ll be pouring down rain until July.)
Monday, November 10th, 2014
Nora turned two months last week and decided she was more than old enough for her first visit to Mount Rainier. Mama and papa were happy to oblige!
Between the end of Daylight Saving Time, a late morning nap for Nora, and the fact that everything takes about seven times longer than you expect it to when you’re travelling with a wee babby with a prodigious appetite, we didn’t hit the trail until about an hour before sunset. No worries, it gave us enough time to mosey along on the touristy trails above Paradise.
Nora insisted on keeping her cute little head outside of the Moby wrap to look at the scenery, so she clearly didn’t mind the fact that we were walking on paved trails for most of the way.
I say this every year and never actually follow through, but this year, dagnabbit, we will send out Christmas cards. It would be a crime not to after we scored this perfect Mukmukian family photo!
Speaking of Mukmuk, Nora’s Halloween costume shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads this blog. My dreams, thems done gone come true!
Back to Mount Rainier – while we may have gone deaf from the car ride there (and that’s a looong drive), seeing this little lady seemingly enjoying herself in one of my favorite places made the trip so worth it.
I know she can’t really see much of anything at all yet and probably won’t appreciate the views until she’s in her twenties, but I love being able to include her in our family traditions like this. Babywearing is such a wonderful feeling to begin with (and a workout, now that Nora is pushing 12 lbs!), but getting to do it while looking at views like these? Amazing.
JK got to do the babywearing this time, while I was stuck with the lame, non-adorable, non-warm, non-snuggly backpack.
Our hike ended with yet another nursing session for the hungry little hiker, with a side of excellent sunset views and happy cooing. One of my favorite moments yet.
…and luckily hiking is such hard work that Nora spent the entire drive home sleeping like, well, a baby. I’ll call our first real mountain outing a success for sure.
Monday, October 6th, 2014
Nora’s birth was even more emotional than I had thought it would be. My grandmother had passed away two days before, so there were huge, sad, bittersweet, circle-of-life type feelings swirling around in me on top of the all-encompassing love I felt the second I laid eyes on Nora.
Our bodies are pretty amazing things. I keep looking at this wonderful little creature and thinking we made her? From scratch? This perfect little being? Man, I love her. The birth itself was wonderful – I know it’s easy to say that now, since all memories of pain just evaporated the second I saw my baby, but I truly feel lucky that I was able to have the exact experience I was hoping for.
On Labor Day we went for a hike on Tiger Mountain to pick mushrooms, and I started feeling some contractions. I assumed it was just a continuation of the false labor symptoms I had been having all weekend (False Labor Day, I called it) and was somewhat in denial about the fact that they hurt much more than Braxton-Hicks when we were in the car on the way home. They were strong enough to wake me up in the early morning the next day, and a couple hours later, it finally dawned on me that wait, I think this is the real thing! I was only 38 weeks and 2 days along, so even though I suspected she would come early, I thought I had more time.
I got in the tub, which felt amazing all through labor (along with having warm water sprayed on my lower back and an ice cold washcloth covering my eyes, which allowed me to retreat into an introverted pain cave of sorts, where all that existed during contractions was myself and the music I had on – I realized early on that what I really needed to focus on to get through labor was to stay calm and avoid getting caught in the panic spiral of doom), and then we went to the hospital when the contractions got closer together. JK kept our families updated, and at 11:25 PM, just about the time when our people were starting their work days back home in Norway, little Nora made her appearance.
If you’re local, I highly recommend the midwifery clinic at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland. The midwives provide excellent prenatal care and support during delivery, and you have the added peace of mind of delivering in a hospital, with operating rooms and a NICU right there in case something should happen. Evergreen is also a certified baby-friendly hospital (the very first hospital to get certified in this country!), so you can get all the help and support you’ll need for breastfeeding.
I have never taken care of a newborn before, but Nora made the transition pretty easy for us. She’s been a very happy baby so far, and her Dunstan Baby Language skills are great, especially “neh!” (feed me, peasant!), “eh!” (burp me, peasant!), “heh-heh-heh” (I’m uncomfortable and probably working on a diaper present for you, peasant!). She’s also added her own word to the vocabulary: “flarn! flarn!” (how dare you undress me, peasant?!) – my only issue is lack of sleep, which obviously comes with the territory. It’s not really Nora’s fault, it’s just that I have always been a horrible sleeper, and feeding and changing her at night wakes me up so much that it can easily take 1-2 hours for me to fall back asleep, which is extremely annoying when sleep is pretty much the only thing I need right now. Oh well, it’ll get better.
So far, we’ve taken Nora out on two hikes on Tiger Mountain to pick chanterelles, but other than that, my interest in hiking seems to have disappeared completely these days. Five weeks in, all I want to do (except sleep, natch) is just to snuggle with this perfect little creature in our cozy little nest at home. I’m sure my love of mountains will prevail, and when it does, I’ll post more updates. Apart from this initial post, I don’t think I’ll want to post much about Nora except for hiking-with-a-baby type updates, since a) this is a hiking blog and b) Nora didn’t sign up to be blog material. This will admittedly be hard, because she is obviously the most amazing baby ever and I want to share all the cute things she does, but I’ll do my best.
(How can I not share things like this themed mushrooming outfit??)
In the meantime, my little lady and I will stay swaddled here in our little cocoon, simply enjoying life.
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
It’s always a little awkward to return to blogging after an unintentional hiatus. Instead of apologizing or listing a bunch of feeble excuses, I’ll just jump right back in. Since last we spoke:
We finally bought a new car, another Subaru Forester to replace our beloved Forester Gump. Our new adventure mobile is named Subie Sue (you know, like Zou Bisou Bisou) and allows us to venture beyond the Issaquah Alps again.
We’ve pretty much stayed in the Issaquah Alps anyway. I’m over snow. Bring on dry tails, wildflowers, and marmots.
I caught a cold, which normally wouldn’t be interesting in any way, except for the fact that this was my first time being sick since Christmas 2011. That’s huge for someone who used to pick up every single bug that went around. Alas, even my newfound iron immune system was defenseless when sitting directly in the line of fire of a coughing toddler for three hours in a car.
Oh well, it was worth it for a hike in the sunshine with my favorite little man.
JK started instructing for the Washington Alpine Club’s climbing class again, and I joined them on their first outing, Mount Si. I brought my Kindle and a sleeping pad and spent hours reading in the sunshine. Strangely, I was not the only person to do this, I saw a man spread out on a huge blanket, reading a newspaper. Now that would be a wonderful weekend tradition.
Si being Si – crowded – I got to chat with lots of excited hiking neophytes who were amazed by “the pristine views” (of I90 and North Bend). It made me realize just how lucky (and spoiled) I am when it comes to wilderness adventures.
A gentleman named Mike insisted on taking my photo in the rocks below the Haystack, giving me an excellent portrait of myself gazing dreamily towards the mountains (as I am wont to do).
I joined my very first trail work party with the Washington Trails Association! We started building a brand new connector trail on Cougar Mountain, which involved wrestling with giant ferns, digging lots of dirt, and clearing a walkable tread through a maddening system of rocks and roots.
I was surprised by how many people showed up (on a Tuesday), and inspired by the tight-knit but very welcoming community of retirees who are both in better shape and more adventurous than I am.
We made an impressive amount of progress on the new trail, and I immediately signed up for three more work parties. I’ll definitely have to come back enough times to earn my personalized hard hat…and to work on more little sections of trail that I will forever think of as my own. Oh, and to take part in nature’s CrossFit – if I hadn’t gone for a hike to loosen up my muscles after the work party, I doubt I would be able to move at all today. All that shoveling and fern-wrestling works your core muscles like the dickens!
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Is there anything better than meeting someone, hitting it off right away, and just knowing that you’ll be good friends? Why yes, yes there is – when you learn that those new friends have a family cabin in the mountains!
We would obviously adore these guys even without their excellently situated chalet, but they get bonus points for not only inviting us on our first voyage to Mount Hood, but somehow also scheduling a sunny Saturday in March.
A group of us gathered in the cabin in Government Camp, Oregon, to celebrate Lauren’s birthday, play board games, and eat damn good food (and lots of it).
We also took turns snuggling with the mascot of the trip (sorry, Mukmuk), a four month old little lady who is the easiest baby I have ever met (sorry, Nathan), and who spent the whole weekend probably giving us the wrong impression of what babies are actually like.
She even joined us, nestled in the Ergobaby, on our hike from Timberline Lodge to the top of the Palmer Chairlift, 8,500 feet. She slept the whole way, except when she was taken out of the carrier for a minute to put on her warm polar bear suit to protect against the stiff breeze near the top.
The rest of us had to make do with our much less adorable wind shells. And we had to use our legs, which seems unfair, but was probably a good thing given the feast we proceeded to gorge ourselves on when we returned to the cabin.
It was an excellent weekend indeed, thanks to our fellow cabineers, that gorgeous mountain, the creative cabin cookery, and of course our wonderful hosts.
– Palmer Lift | 4 miles | 2500 feet elevation gain –