Friday, July 29, 2016

The Wonders of Central Oregon

I know things have been kind of slow here in July with blog posts, but apparently I'm getting back in my groove here at the end of the month! Three posts in one week, what what!

Earlier this month, we took a little family trip to Central Oregon and while we were there, we were able to visit two of Oregon's Seven Wonders (at least according to Travel Oregon) - The Painted Hills and Smith Rock! They're both such gorgeous desert landscapes that are probably not what most people picture when they think of Oregon. However, they're really breathtaking and definitely worth checking out! I shared a few of these photos on Instagram already, but I wanted to share some more, along with our thoughts on visiting these places with a toddler in tow! :)



 Ever since I heard about (and saw pictures of) the the Painted Hills, I really wanted to check them out; however, since they're a little bit of a drive from Portland (over 4 hours) we hadn't gotten around to it. Earlier this year, we were considering going there to camp over Memorial Day weekend, however, it seemed like a lot of the camping in the area was first come first serve and we didn't want to take the risk of driving all the way out there and having no place to stay over a holiday weekend. Also, when I had previously looked online, I was had a little bit of difficulty trying to gather information about planning a trip to the Painted Hills as they're in a pretty remote area. So, we ended up just deciding to take a short day trip from Bend to see them instead, and that ended up being a really good choice!



The Painted Hills are just under two hours from Bend; I was concerned that it might be kind of long for Henry to be in the car to drive out there and then turn around and drive back, but it ended up being just fine! The drive was really pretty (you pass through the Ochoco National Forest) so it felt like it went by really quickly. Plus, we left Bend right around Henry's nap time and he slept the entire drive there :) The only problem was that on the day we decided to drive out there, the skies were cloudy and gray, which was not what I was hoping for after seeing so many amazing photos of these vibrant red hills against blue sky. But we continued on and initially headed towards the Painted Hills Overlook Trail; it's a super short trail that offers amazing views!




I know I've shared this photo like 3 times already, including in yesterday's post, but I love it!


I don't think we were out of the car for more than 15-20 minutes before it started POURING rain, so that was kind of a bummer! But since this is such a dry desert landscape, it was actually kind of neat to see it in the rain, even if it wasn't what I was initially hoping for when we planned this trip. And of course Henry didn't mind at all, he's such a happy little guy no matter the weather :)





I couldn't decide which of the photos of him waiting out the rainstorm in the hiking pack that I liked best, so I just included them all :) Anyway, we got back in the car to wait out the rain storm and not long after, it stopped! And the sun came out! And we had blue skies! It seriously felt like a miracle!



We quickly drove over to the Painted Cove Trail, which is a super short trail that features a boardwalk right through the hills, and it's probably the one you've seen in most of the Instagram photos from this area. And for good reason, it's stunning! You can see the hills up really close and really take in their vibrant colors.





It's a pretty small area though so it didn't take us long at all to walk around, take a few photos (ok, a lot of photos), and then we done. Which was perfect timing because the clouds started to roll back in and it started pouring rain again shortly after we got in the car! All in all, I think we spent less than two hours at the Painted Hills, but I honestly felt like that was enough time? Granted, we probably would have spent a little longer there had it not been raining, but once you see the hills and walk around a little, I feel like you kind of get the experience? Had we been staying closer to them, I'm sure there are other, more lengthy hikes in the area we could have checked out, but with Henry, we were totally fine with the short little walks we did. Also, I should mention that the Painted Hills are one of three units that make up the John Day Fossil Beds, so if we wanted to make a longer trip, we could have checked out the other two areas. (Although, the three units are pretty spread out and the other two are kind of a drive from the Painted Hills) But honestly, all I wanted was just to see the Painted Hills in person, and I'm SO glad we did. But I'm glad we ended up staying in Bend and just doing it as day trip, since Bend has a lot more to offer in terms of a getaway destination :)


On our drive home from Bend, we made a stop by Smith Rock! You can see the Smith Rock area from highway 97 driving north out of Bend, and usually we just see it out the window as we're headed to and from Portland. But this time, I thought it would be fun to stop and walk around a little and I'm so glad we did! Even though Smith Rock is world famous for rock climbing, it's also a great area to hike and to just take in the views! Since it was close to Henry's nap time when we stopped, we didn't end up doing a hike since we needed to get back on the road, but I know there are quite a few of varying length and difficulty that you can do in this area. It's definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it!

They had this mini rock climbing wall for kids that Henry loved, even though he was kind of little for it :)


Central Oregon is only a few hours from Portland, yet it feels like worlds away thanks to these dramatic dessert landscapes! It's been fun to get out and explore more of the state now that Henry is running all over, and I know we'll be coming back to these places down the road too :)

We're actually headed out this weekend to explore another area of Oregon that I've never been to, so be sure to follow along on Instagram (@inthepinkandgreen) for more on that over the next few days!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Baby #2 Second Trimester Recap

Although I can hardly believe it myself, I'm officially in the third trimester of my pregnancy! 

What everyone says about your second pregnancy going so much faster than your first is completely true, I feel like the time has flown. When I was pregnant with Henry, I'd look at my app tracking how far along I was almost daily and the weeks seemed to move slowly. I took bump photos every week, I was really consistent about posting regular "bumpdates" here on the blog, and I felt like I had so much time to think about the fact that I was pregnant. 

This time around, I really do feel like I forget I'm pregnant a lot of the time...ha! Henry is at such a fun age, but boy is he busy all.day.long. And even though life is less hectic in some ways since I'm no longer working, having a toddler is definitely a full-time job. But as I've said before, we're no less excited for this little guy to join our family, if anything, I think I'm probably even more excited for this baby than I was with Henry. With your first, in addition to the excitement, there's also a lot more uncertainty because you're trying to figure out what baby stuff you need and you really just have no idea what it's going to be like being a parent. This time around, we already have pretty much everything we'll need baby gear wise and I feel confident about things like nursing and changing diapers and all the other baby care stuff that seems kind of daunting during a first pregnancy. But more importantly, I feel like now that I've experienced just how amazing it is to have a child and to get to see them grow and their personality emerge, I feel like I'm so much more excited about meeting this little person and getting to know who he is! I keep thinking about how sweet it will be to have a newborn to snuggle, but I also can't help picturing what he'll be like when he's the age Henry is now and the two of them can really play together. It makes me smile just thinking about it!

I have a feeling that life isn't going to slow down at all over the next twelve weeks or so before this little man joins our family...just typing out the fact that I really only have twelve-ish weeks left is completely surreal, that seems like no time at all! So even though I haven't been doing regular pregnancy recaps, I thought it would be fun to do a little update on what the second trimester has been like with this pregnancy, so basically from when I announced I was pregnant here on the blog up to now! I was just going to write a more general overview, but I thought I might as well just go ahead and use the same prompts I used with Henry, for old times sake, along with a random collection of bump pictures from my phone :)

How far along:    
28 weeks today! (My due date is 10/20 for those curious!)

15 weeks at our friends' wedding in Michigan
 Baby's size:
I have no idea - ha! The first time around I kind of always went with the fruit/veggie comparisons it had on my app, but I was looking through it the other day and the order that they have the fruit in literally makes no sense. At 26 weeks it said the baby was the size of a scallion, which to me is pretty small. But then last week it said it was the size of a head of cauliflower, which can be pretty big? And then today it says that he's the size of an eggplant, which to me seems smaller than cauliflower? I'm going off on a tangent here, but surely I'm not the only one who has noticed this? Ha! The app says the baby is about 2 1/4 pounds at this point, and only time will tell if he'll be bigger or smaller than his brother! Henry was 9lbs 8oz when he was born, and I actually weighed the exact same amount when I was born. But Cameron weighed 10lbs 12oz when was born, so baby boy could be big!

16 weeks at my sister's baby shower - she's now about a month out from having her baby and my cousin (on the end) already had her little girl in June!
 
Weight gain/Bump status:
At my appointment last week, I was up 18 lbs from my recorded starting weight for this pregnancy and looking back at my old posts, it looks like I was around that same range at this point with Henry. But in all honesty, my "starting weight" this time was a few pounds higher than it was the first time around, but it is what it is. And there's no question that I just feel bigger this time, and looking back at my photos from before definitely confirms that. I felt like I started showing a lot more quickly than before, which I know is very common with second pregnancies. I don't remember at exactly what point during the second trimester that I felt like I really "popped" but I just remember that it was way earlier than it was with Henry. It's really kind of amazing how your body's muscle memory sort of just kicks in and all of the sudden you have this major bump! Also, this is totally not my way of fishing for compliments, I honestly really like being pregnant and I don't mind my pregnant body at all! (Well granted there are side effects of being pregnant that I'll get to in a minute, but I love having the bump!) I feel like I just see my body differently now than when I was pregnant with Henry; before it was like it's my body and I have this cute belly and that's that. But now it's like ok, I literally made a human, nursed that human for a year, and now I'm making another human - I'm not going to lose sleep over a few pounds at this point. (Granted, I am looking forward to getting back in shape post pregnancy!) I feel like I was able to get around really well during the second trimester, but I can tell that since my belly is feeling bigger that it's going to get a little more cumbersome in this final stretch! As far as any differences in how I'm carrying this time around, I feel like it's pretty similar in the sense that it's not super high or low? But then again, I'm kind of a bad judge of that, I just know it feels fairly similar. 

On a hike at 19 weeks
Gender:  
Another bouncing baby boy! We didn't do a huge gender reveal this time, but I'm so excited for Henry to have a brother! The only downside (or upside, I think) is that now any time I see cute clothes for Henry, I'm that much more quick to buy it since I know it will hopefully get worn twice - ha! 

  Movement:  
This time around, my placenta is in the front so I did not start feeling movement as early as I did with Henry. To be honest, I can't remember exactly how many weeks I was when I first felt this little guy moving, but I know it was definitely after 20 weeks for sure. Even now, I feel like I don't feel him quite as much as I did with Henry, but his movements are starting to get stronger and more frequent, which is exciting!

Camping at 20 weeks
  Food cravings: 
I've literally eaten so much gummy candy during the past trimester, specifically sour gummy candy, that it's kind of gross...ha. I haven't necessarily had intense cravings for specific things, but my diet has not been great. I feel like I don't have that much of an appetite at meal times and when I try to eat just a normal healthy lunch or dinner, it's almost like I really have to force myself to eat, especially when it comes to things like salads and meat. But then I've been very lax about indulging pretty much daily with the most random sweets and other junk food. So that's probably not the best,  but I'm trying to be honest :)

Sleep:  
Overall, my sleep in the second trimester has been pretty good! I actually haven't even gotten out my pregnancy pillow this time around, and I haven't really had to get up to use the restroom too much in the night. I think part of it is the fact that I'm more tired from taking care of Henry than I was from sitting at my desk job, so I sleep more deeply at night this time around...ha! Granted, Cam and I have been really bad over the past few months about actually getting in bed at a reasonable time so I probably could be getting more sleep than I have been, and that's definitely something I'm going to try to work on between now and October!

Toddler wrangling at 22 weeks
Miss anything? 
I definitely miss being able to have a glass of wine or a beer, especially when it's hot out and Henry is finally in bed. But overall, I felt really good over the second trimester so there wasn't too much I missed! I actually thought I would miss nursing Henry more, but he still loves to snuggle with me and it's so nice just being able to leave him and go out for a date night or whatever without having to worry about needing to nurse him or pump.

Workouts:
I went to prenatal yoga once during my second trimester, and honestly haven't done any other workouts besides walking and chasing Henry around...but that can be quite the workout! Thankfully though, I've felt good and we've been able to continue camping and hiking and enjoying being active this summer!

On a hike at 23 weeks
 Maternity Clothes?
 
Oh yeah :) I started wearing maternity clothes much earlier on in the second trimester than I did with Henry, mainly because I owned them all already so why not? I was actually kind of happy to get all my maternity stuff out again, I really liked the stuff I got the first time around and I haven't had to really get much else since the seasons I was pregnant were pretty much the same. (I have bought a few new maternity pieces though) When I was nursing Henry, I almost never wore dresses, so I've really been enjoying wearing dresses again this summer!

Symptoms:
  The first symptom that comes to mind that I didn't have with Henry is melasma, or the darkening of skin pigmentation in the center of the face. I know it's super common during pregnancy, but since it didn't really happen before, it's a little weird! I have this brown splotchy situation in the center of my forehead that just appeared a few months back - hopefully it fades! And then as a result of craving/eating so much sugar this pregnancy, I've also had more yeast infection type issues that I don't remember having with Henry. I know is another super common pregnancy symptom, but it's annoying. (Also, sorry if that's TMI but there are some not so glamorous parts of pregnancy that people don't always talk about so I'm just being honest...ha!)  Other than that, I haven't had a lot of noticeable pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester! I've felt really good and I'm thankful I've had the energy to keep up with Henry!


4th of July at 24 weeks
 Mood:
I'm a little annoyed at the moment because I have pink eye (which I think developed out of the fact that I caught Henry's summer cold and now I have to wear my glasses for a week, mehhhh), but other than than, I feel really happy! I don't feel the anxiety or sadness some second-time moms talk about experiencing when they think about their first child not being their baby anymore, I'm more excited about the thought of Henry having a little brother. And even though I don't know how I can possibly love another child as much as I love him, I know that my heart will expand when that day comes and I'm excited for that love to multiply. But I do think that I'm a little bit in denial about just how soon we're going to have a newborn in our house, this summer is flying! Also, I feel like my attitude towards my midwife appointments this time around is different; before, Cam would come with me to appointments and each one seemed so exciting. This time around, I've definitely gone longer between appointments and I honestly feel like I could not go to another one before I go into labor and it would be fine. Don't get me wrong, I love love love hearing the little guy's heartbeat, but other than that, it's mainly just taking my blood pressure, making sure I feel ok (which thankfully I do!), and asking if I have any questions. I've met all the midwives at this point, and it's just funny how much more relaxed I feel about things this time around :)

25 weeks at the Painted Hills

Best moments from the second trimester:
Our twenty week ultrasound was exciting, just getting to see this baby moving around and knowing that he's developing on track was great. It was also nice to get confirmation of the gender since they told us at our initial ultrasound they suspected it was a boy. And then finally feeling the baby move more over the past few weeks has been awesome, it's such a cool feeling. Henry doesn't really get what's going on and hasn't felt the baby move yet, but he does point at my stomach and say "bebe" which is the sweetest :) Also, my sister is pregnant with her first and due next month, so it's been really cool to be able to go through this experience at the same time.

Outfit repeating at 26 weeks in Michigan
 Looking forward to:
 Getting started on the nursery...because as of now, we haven't done a single thing. I've mentioned this in other posts over the past few months, but Cam is in the process of finishing our basement so until that's done, we can't really get going on the nursery since the basement is where Cam's office is going to be and then we're going to move our room into what's now his office so we can make our room the nursery. With Henry, I really wanted his nursery totally done before I went into labor, but this time around, I'm not as worried about it since we didn't really use Henry's nursery much at all the first few months. But still, it would be great for Cam to get the basement done so we can start moving rooms around and at least get the nursery painted before he's born :) And then I'm excited for my nephew to be born soon too! But once my sister has her baby, I feel like time will really fly until my due date!
 
The other two questions I've received most often from friends and family over the past few weeks are 1) do we have a name picked out and 2) am I going to get an epidural this time around...ha! As far as the name, we do have a name that I'd say we're like 90% sure on? But like with Henry, I do think we want to wait until he's born before we share it, especially since we could still change our mind. (But I don't think we will) And as as for the epidural, I didn't get one with Henry and the pain of that experience is definitely still pretty vivid in my memory. So if it seems like it's going to be a longer labor, I'll most likely get an epidural this time around. But I know sometimes second babies come a lot faster, so I may not end up getting one depending on how quickly things go. We'll just have to wait and see!

The last bumpie I had on my phone, taken on Snapchat at the Detroit airport last week :)
So there you have it, the second trimester of my second pregnancy! I'll hopefully take a few more bump photos here and there over the remaining weeks, so be sure to follow me on Instagram (@inthepinkandgreen) for those updates because I don't know if I'll really be doing too many more pregnancy posts before he's born! 

But if you have any requests for posts you'd like to see - either pregnancy/baby-related or something else, definitely let me know in the comments! Hope everyone's summer is going well :)

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Toddler Travel Essentials

We've been fairly busy with travel this month, and it seems like it's that way for most people in the summer. But now that Henry is getting older, I'm finding it takes a little more effort to entertain him when we're on the go! The struggle is finding things that will hold his attention and are actually worth the space they take up in your bag, as it seems like traveling with kids means always having to pack a ton anyway, without lugging along a bunch of extra stuff. That's why I thought I'd share some things that (I think) can be helpful when traveling with a toddler in tow!

(Also, full disclosure, some of these things are very recent purchases, meaning that I can't necessarily say that they are totally tried and true for us quite yet. But based on my first impressions, I'm a fan so far and I see them being super useful for future travels!)

Toddler Travel Essentials

1. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet - Henry has had this toy for awhile now, but he still seems to enjoy it. It has a few different modes, two volume settings, and it's not too loud or annoying, meaning you can pull it out on the plane without people hating you. It's also fairly small and so it's one I usually try to keep in my bag when we're going out because although it doesn't hold his attention for hours, it's a great one to pull out to distract him when he's getting antsy.

2. iFrogz Little Rockers Headphones - I picked these up at Target before our flight to Michigan, mainly because I thought they were cute and they were under $20. I wouldn't necessarily say that they're they're the most high quality headphones in the world, but they seemed to fit on Henry's head pretty well and they do have volume limiting so they can't get too loud. They have these interchangeable plates to go on the earbuds with different designs and Henry was really excited that there were "panes" and "choo-choos" :)

3. Target Dollar Spot - I am a huge fan of the Target Dollar Spot in general, I can never resist checking it out when I walk into the store and I've found some great things there. But it's also an awesome place for grabbing some small, inexpensive toys before you leave on a trip that you can pull out on the plane or in the car that will be new (and hopefully exciting) to your toddler. I found some really cute little books there before our Michigan trip, and it's just nice to be able to pull out something that your kiddo hasn't seen before once you're en route.

4. Skip Hop Monkey Zoo Safety Harness Mini Backpack - I picked this up while were in Michigan and I think it's so adorable! Like most Skip Hop items, it's very whimsical and cute while not being overly cartoonish. The reason I wanted to get this is because Henry loves to run when we're in public and since I'm pretty pregnant, I have no shame about trying out a leash for him...ha! But the harness is removable, so I like that it gives you the option to use it just as a cute little backpack. However, when I tried to use the backpack with Henry at the airport for our flight home, he was in a pretty unhappy mood (thanks to teething and a cold) and he wanted NO part of wearing it. So while I can't personally say yet that it's great for travel, I have multiple friends that have it and love it, and I'm hopeful that we'll get use out of it in the future! (Also, they have lots of other animals too!)

5. Melissa & Doug Water Wow! - I picked up a few of these at Target before our Michigan trip and man, they are such a genius idea! They come with a little brush that you fill with water and kids can use it to reveal the colors in this "coloring" book. Henry isn't super into coloring yet, and trying to bring a bunch of crayons on the plane and having them roll everywhere is annoying. The way the water instantly reveals the colors is more immediate gratification and the fact that there's no mess is amazing. The little brush is easy to fill with water on the go and it's just a fun activity to pull out while traveling!

6. Summer Infant 3Dflip Convenience Stroller - I've talked about this stroller before, but we're still using it and loving it! It's an umbrella stroller, so it's obviously not as sturdy or easy to maneuver as the BOB stroller we use at home, but we've taken it on tons of trips at this point and it's still in good shape! My favorite feature is that we can face Henry towards us and recline him almost flat, which has been amazing for situations where he has fallen asleep on the plane because we can just transfer him to the stroller when we get off the plane and he can keep sleeping. (However, the rear-facing option does have a maximum recommended weight of 25 lbs, so he is technically getting a little too heavy for that now!) It's easy to fold and unfold but it's also not crazy expensive, so if the airline does lose or break it eventually, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

7. Camelbak Eddy Kids' Water Bottle - Summer travel can be hot so you want to make sure your little one stays hydrated, and this is our favorite water bottle as of late. It seems pretty leakproof, it holds a good amount of water, and Henry loves it!

8. Amazon Kindle Fire Kids Edition - We ordered this for Henry on Prime Day earlier this month and it was a great deal! I love that it's a normal Kindle Fire that Cam and I can use, but we can switch it to kids mode for Henry. What really pushed me over the edge to order it was that it comes with a two year warranty and Amazon will replace it no matter what your kid does to it, that was basically a no-brainer! However, I haven't really played around with it a ton yet and haven't downloaded many apps, so Henry hasn't spent too much time on it yet. I'd love app recommendations if anyone has them, and I know we'll be getting a lot of use out of this in the future!

These are the things that have come in handy for us on our last few trips, but I'm always open to suggestion on how to make travel with a toddler go more smoothly so feel free to share if you have any!



PS - This post was not sponsored, these are all things we really use! :)

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