August Recap – Flying Solo with a Toddler // Behind the Scenes

August Recap – Flying Solo with a Toddler // Behind the Scenes

August. The month of smoke, blistering hot days, and more smoke. Oof. I pitched taking our big vacation next year in August, even though I know that doesn’t work with my business, because I didn’t want to deal with another smokey summer. It’s so bad!

Because of the nasty weather, we spent a lot of time indoors and I had a pretty cranky kiddo on my hands. We could not have survived the month without babywearing, and I wore her A LOT.

1. I finally figured out how to back carry in a ring sling and N thinks it’s the best. It’s not my favorite back carry, but in a pinch, it’s nice to know that I can easily give her front snuggles or toss her up on my back.

2. Babywearing is the only way we survive, especially when someone skips her nap because she’s too excited about going to grandma and grandpa’s house.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

3. On the days when it was hot – but not yet smokey – we spent a lot of time hanging out on our patio in the evenings after N went to bed. I’d curl up in the hammock and we’d stare at the stars. I also found out that I can do longer exposures on my phone, which was fun. Still perfecting them, but I was pleased with this first attempt.

4. More babywearing, in a new sling, after a trip to Mobius. We would NOT have survived smokey days without Mobius. Best money we’ve ever spent.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

5. Tomato haul. We had some good producers this year, and we also ended up with a glut of tomatoes while house sitting for a neighbor. One day, I picked nearly two pounds of just cherry tomatoes! And then I did it again the next day…! Most of them were made into tomato sauce, which will be amazing on cold winter days.

6. Very very rarely does this girl need me for naps anymore, but after a busy morning, she woke up from her short nap only to cuddle me up and pass out again. I decided to soak up the snuggles because when did she get so big?!?! Aaaaaahhh.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

7 and 8: N and I took a day trip to Seattle to visit a friend of mine who was in town from Czechia. He was passing through on his way to run a relay race, and so we decided to fly over for the day and hang out. This is me on the way to the airport, and on the way home. It was a looooooong day, but it was also a really good day. She didn’t nap well, but she was still a pretty good kiddo for me. We’re planning on doing more mother-daughter solo travel next year, and this gives me hope that I can do it all!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

9: While in Seattle, we decided to visit the aquarium. N is absolutely obsessed with fish and anything in the water. She was in heaven, and I had the hardest time keeping up with her. She flat out ran from tank to tank to point out all the fish, adored the sea lions and the otters, and then properly collapsed in my arms on the train back to the airport – where we of course ate some mac & cheese while waiting for our (delayed) flight home.

10. We tried to put in one of those in wall tunnels for our tv cables, but ya’ll, old homes are strange and we ran into some obstructions in the wall. In order to properly skim the patches, I decided to skim the whole area. It’s now painted and I even moved the TV over above the piano (we don’t watch TV that much). I need to get an updated photo, because we’ve hung a bunch of art up on the walls now, and it’s looking so good!!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

11. We had one morning where it maybe dropped into the 60s? And N insisted on wearing her boots, jacket, and wool beanie when we went out to pick the garden. She’s been my little garden assistant this summer, helping me pick all of our produce, and I can’t wait to have her help me plant the garden next spring! [Also: one of our trees! That one is a peach tree]

12. One of the varieties of tomatoes we planted this year ended up growing HUGE tomatoes. This wasn’t even the largest one we picked, but here it is against a toddler for scale. It’s basically a pumpkin, haha! The variety is an Italian Heirloom, if you’re interested. We liked them, they were good to eat and didn’t have too many seeds, which I love since we mainly harvest our large tomatoes for making sauce for the winter.

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

13. Another cool morning, another use for a sweater (knit by my grandma for my cousins when we were kiddos) and her hat. She only wanted to walk, so we did and she had a blast watching all the trash trucks come through the neighborhood before playing on the slide and swings.

14. Helping me unpack some new memory cards. This girl is my big assistant in my office, and while that sometimes means I can’t find what I’m looking for, I love that she comes in and plays so that I can get a bit of work done while I’m home with her!

How to travel solo with a toddler // Adventures in Parenting

Whew! And that was that. August was a bit of a slower work month for me, which was nice because I had a bunch to catch up on from July and now September and October are really busy too. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the month and it’s FALL!!

July Recap — Summer Living // Personal Post

July Recap — Summer Living // Personal Post

I was pulling all the photos together for July’s post, and I kept saying to myself, there’s no way we did all these things in July! And, wait, did I not get photos of XYZ thing either??? Haha, I guess it was a busy month. It feels like just a couple days ago, we were in Portland at the end of June, but now it’s the almost the end of August and summer is basically over. This is a long post, because it was SUCH a busy month. Not sorry!

If there is any downside to my job, it’s that summer is my busiest season and I don’t have enough time to enjoy every minute of the summer. But, as you’ll see, I managed to squeeze in a little hammock time last month.

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1. I got these adorable glow stick ears at the conference in Portland, and little miss wanted to wear them around. Of course, she won’t ever wear a headband…

2. Walks with the family. With it being light so late, we try to get out for a walk and sometimes a little playground time after dinner and before little miss goes to bed. Sometimes we just play in the garden, but basically we’re doing everything we can to soak up every ounce of sunshine this summer.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

3. We made it up to Greenbluff for a family day and picked a load of blueberries! Someone had a blast picking them and shoving them in her mouth, and we even convinced her to put a few in the bucket. However, I think the highlight was getting bounced around in the wagon. She kept squealing with glee.

4. An inflatable pool, the greatest swimsuit ever (thank you, baby Gap), and a sunhat have brought us hours of fun this hot summer. She loves splashing around in the pool, and then running throughout the yard to dry off a bit before hopping back in. Maybe next time we visit the ocean, she won’t be so against going in?

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

5-8. The biggest thing we did in July was get the floors refinished upstairs. It’s something we’ve dreamed of since moving in and finding out that two of the three bedrooms had original hardwood underneath, but we met with a contractor a while ago who told us it wasn’t worth doing, and then never sent us a quote. So, thank you to our friends who had some work done on their house recently and recommended I reach out to their floor guys. I would 100% recommend them, and if you’re looking for someone in Spokane, drop me a message and I’ll get you their info! They were fast, kind, and let me hop up to take photos as much as I wanted (which was a lot).

Freshly sanded – the first coat going on – after the first or second coat dried – all done and furniture starting to come back in (before we put the rug back down).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a HouseLiving in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

9. THIS rarely happens anymore, but getting your floors refinished is hard work and sometimes you just wanna nap on mama. I’m trying to enjoy these moments instead of stressing out about all the things I needed to do while she napped. I know before I know it, she’ll be off to school and I won’t have these snuggles anymore.

10. I stopped by the beautiful library at UW after a meeting and had to snap a photo of this bookshelf. Remember: divided we fall. We are stronger together, we are a common people who should all want the same things – life, liberty, and equality.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

11. The stairs at the library at UW are so good. This building is beautiful and it almost makes me wish I had actually transferred to UW. Almost. #gozags

12. The green was gorgeous on such a beautiful July day, and it was calm and fairly tour free (the same could not be said for other areas of campus). College campuses just fill me with so much hope and energy. And make me want to buy school supplies – haha!

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

13. One of the strange perks of my job is getting to do crazy things, like climbing up on a rooftop to photograph the street fair. It was both exciting and terrifying, climbing up a ladder to a roof with my camera in my hands, and then making sure I wasn’t too close to the edge. I could even see my house from the roof (not pictured).

14. Hammock time to recover from shooting street fair and then an event in the same day. I was exhausted, but hey, this little lady was around to keep me company and play peek a boo while I recovered.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

15. I’m super thankful for a sweet husband who says ‘you go alone to pick berries, we’ll do stuff at home’ and then I can pick tons of berries for us to make jam and freeze them because our toddler is a blueberry monster and we go through so many of them every week.

16. Out of focus and I really don’t care. She’s gone through a phase again where she’s not a fan of babywearing, but that day she wanted up with me. And then proceeded to blow raspberries on my back and giggle while we made lunch. That dimple gets me right in the feels.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

17. I shot an elopement up at Mt. Spokane and it was so dang pretty! Right after I packed all my gear into my car, it started raining! And it was only like 72 out. By the time I got back to my house an hour later, it was 93 and sunny. So crazy that it’s so much cooler up at Mt Spokane!

18. If you’ve ever wondered what the best thing you can buy for your kid/spouse/yard/house is, it’s a hammock and a hammock stand. We use ours nearly every day from May-October, and the since it’s been so smokey and we’ve been inside more, we’re all a bit cranky. I’ve napped in it, read stories in there, and snuggled this silly kid (and my husband).

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

19. Remember those blueberries I bought? Yup. Getting ready to freeze them with my favorite kitchen assistant. Who’s wearing an apron that once belonged to my grandma or great-grandma.

20. And…boom. It was a busy month and sometimes you just gotta crash out in the back of the car with your bunny.

Living in Spokane with a Toddler and Renovating a House

April Recap – The Pacific Northwest with a Toddler // Travel & Lifestyle Photography

April Recap – The Pacific Northwest with a Toddler // Travel & Lifestyle Photography

I’m looking back at April, and I don’t feel like I took many photos, because the whole month felt long. And it seems, a month when my girl changed a lot. The last few months have been pretty rough on me, I’ve been dealing with some things behind the scenes and I think I’m going to take a while to step away from social media and maybe even the blog. My mental health hasn’t been what I need to to be to be the best version of me.

1. When you don’t want to wear pants, but it’s still too cold to go without? Leg warmers. And then she pulled up her shirt and started dancing. You’d think that our kitchen was a scene from Flashdance.

2. We picked up a double layer ring sling from Wildbird in early April, and as soon as I pulled it out of the box, she was demanding snuggles. It’s been in heavy rotation the last month or so. We’re fans of the bright blue!

Babywearing with a wildbird sling to making working from home easier

3. Walking home from the park with Grandma, in the sunshine on a beautiful spring day. We try to get out to the park almost every day, although now that the garden is coming together, we spend more time playing in the backyard.

4. Sometimes when I work, this lazy bum hangs out in my office and naps while our girl naps too. Here I was all bundled up in a sweater and a scarf because the heater in there was broken. It’s fixed now, so of course is 80+ outside. I’ll need it again in the fall, right?

Grant Park in South Perry Spokane with a rainbow in the Spring

5. I got N this rain suit from Oakiwear, and the first time I put it on her, she had an absolute fit. But then I shoved her out in the rain, and she ran around an empty park until her little legs didn’t work anymore. And now she loves her rain suit. Basically, she’ll do anything to be outside in any weather.

6. We went to Leavenworth for a few days to join H while he was at a work conference. They did a little painted rock scavenger hunt, and it turns out, my toddler is amazing at finding rocks. I’m not surprised, but she kept bringing them to me, including this beautiful heart rock.

Hunting for rocks and playing in the rain is easier with an Oakiwear rain suit

7. There is a goat behind a fence in Leavenworth (not this fence) and so N had to peek through every single fence to see if she could find the goat again. We wandered all around downtown, checking out the toy shop and having lunch outside while dad worked.

8. Hmm, should I do a spa day, or go golfing while I’m here? We stayed at Icicle Creek, which was a great place to stay with a kiddo. We opted to stay in a suite, so she could have the living room and we had some privacy in the bedroom (so I could work while she napped). Icicle Creek also had an arcade room, mini golf, and a small playground. We watched the big kids play in the arcade room, and spent a lot of time playing at the playground, as well as just walking all over the grounds there. Everyone was super nice, and even though it was slightly out of town, I’d stay there again. Although, the covered pool was a bit too cold for her, I think it’d be great in warmer weather.

Traveling to Leavenworth with a toddler can be easy with these few tricks and tips

9. What do you do when your toddler has had enough of being in the stroller and you’re walking along the side of the highway? You toss them up in a back carry so they can snuggle you and see all the big trucks go zooming by while you walk back to the hotel, of course.

10. I had a sweet little wedding at Gonzaga, and I had such a kick being back on campus when school was in session. The guys of DeSmet saw us, and started playing the wedding march through the (always present) speakers. Some things never change.

Babywearing in Leavenworth and at Gonzaga University for a wedding

11. I also got called for jury duty in April, but luckily didn’t get chosen to serve. It was an interesting experience, and someday I would love to serve, but maybe when I’m not juggling work and a toddler at the same time? Luckily, there was wifi and I had my laptop, so I was able to get a decent amount of work done while waiting to be called.

12. That tired toddler crashed out in her new ring sling, so I covered her up and pulled out my laptop to answer emails. Working from home is always an adventure, and whenever I figure something out, our status quo changes. It means I no longer get to work for hours and hours (unless she’s gone!) and instead, I work in short bursts of time whenever she’s napping, or otherwise occupied destroying my office.

How to juggle jury duty in Spokane with being a work from home mom

13. More sling naps. She’s getting so heavy, this really isn’t comfortable anymore, but I love the snuggles too much to try and transfer her or wake her up.

14. Now that spring is here, we’re spending lots and lots of time in our garden! I can’t wait to have help picking tomatoes and peppers and all our other veggies all summer long. My mom got her some tiny gardening tools, so she likes to “help” me weed and plant and water everything.

Keeping a toddler entertained and safe while gardening

February Recap — Maui Family Photographer // Personal Post

February Recap — Maui Family Photographer // Personal Post

Okay, I know I’m way behind on these, but combining two months makes these posts ridiculously long and then I get overwhelmed by all the stuff that has happened. Maybe this is the month when I catch up?! A slacking blogger can dream.

So, February. We went to Hawaii. The weather was bonkers, Maui was still beautiful, and of course the weather was fine while we were gone but snowed when we came back. NOT funny, Spokane. Sadly, our kiddo was not as big a fan of the beach as we were, so I guess we’ll have to try this again next year and see if she does better? I’ll be hunting for more plane deals.

Related: anyone want me to blog more about traveling with a kid? I feel like this isn’t the space for that, but I have a lot to say about traveling with a kid and home reno and life as a small business owner, so maybe I need to step it up and have a personal/home blog too? Or maybe just a personal Instagram? #toomuchtosay Tell me what you think!

Back to February!!

1.  This is bunny. Bunny is a lovey we picked up on an adventure (we have a backup, don’t you worry) who goes basically everywhere with our girl. She sleeps with him now, and loves to give him kisses, so of course, he protected our snacks for the flight. He’s a good friend!
2. I picked up this Yumbox a while ago for days when N needs to take a lunch to the nanny. It was a bit more expensive than some of the other ones we looked at, but I can attest to it’s leakproof status! We’ve packed yogurt and applesauce in it a bunch, and once, canned peaches without leaks. We took it with us to Hawaii, and it was nice, because N knew that it was her lunch box for days when we went to the beach. Also: we spent a lot of time hanging out together on the beach, because it turns out my kid didn’t like sand and thought the ocean was too big and scary (fair point, kiddo). Our trip didn’t go exactly as planned!

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

3. Someday I’m going to start a blog that is basically a journal of our adventures in traveling and renovating. And then I’ll really talk about how we ended up with seats for our lap infant on 3 of the 4 flights we booked. Here, N and I sat together on the short hop to Portland (it’s a Q400 plane, so 4 seats in a row, with a single aisle, H sat ahead of us).
4. Here we are on the long haul flight from Portland to Maui, where we ended up with an empty seat. Since we were already bringing the car seat, we planned to gate check it for any flights that we didn’t have a seat. We had a seat for all but the last flight, which was from Portland back to Spokane. She fell asleep shortly after the plane took off when we flew from Portland to Maui, and napped for a couple hours. Then she slept basically the whole way home (we were starting our descent) from Maui to Portland. I always pack her a couple books (a bedtime book and a couple favorites for her to read) plus a small bag of toys. I try to find something small and new for each trip, and hope that she’ll love it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. As you can see, bunny was our faithful companion here too.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

5. The one thing we really screwed up on was naps. N still naps with a sleepsack, and it was just a tiny bit too warm in Hawaii for her “isn’t it February still?” body, especially since we goofed and brought her winter weight one. The temp was only 2-3 degrees warmer than it is back home, but that couple degrees plus the humidity was all that she needed to be miserable. She napped and slept really poorly the whole week, and slept best in a baby carrier or on my chest. I did get some good reading in while she napped on me, but it ruined my plans to sneak off to doze on the beach while she napped at the house.
6. The start of a nice sunset over Lanai from the restaurant we ate dinner at one night in Lahaina (which was okay but not great). I will say, our kid was a champ at eating out and hanging out, and she got her first taste of ice cream that night. It was almost worth the dozen mosquito bites I ended up with.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

7. The view from a late lunch/early dinner at Frida’s Mexican Beach House in Lahaina. Which I would hands down 100% recommend. My husband ordered octopus, which I think is gross. I’ve tried octopus a half dozen times and never liked it. But this octopus was tender and perfect and I would order it. [In case you’re wondering, I had the tacos with the catch of the day and something else that I can’t remember, our friend got the Diego’s plate, I think, and we also ordered the corn cotija and the ceviche. All of it was amazing!] Seriously, best meal we had on Maui. Well, except for that Loco Moco I had at Down the Hatch. Those were probably the best two meals I had that entire week, although a lot of it was pretty good. Which reminds me that I need to try making some Loco Moco at home, because N was also a huge fan!
8. I successfully transferred N from a back carry in the Tula to the bed for a nap and I was so proud of myself. This kiddo was not a fan of the beach (she did much much better in March when we went to Prague. I guess she’s a city girl!) and yet, she was still a total trooper.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

9. N and I had our first shave ice at Breakwall Shave Ice – next door to Down the Hatch – and while she wasn’t a fan, I could see the appeal – especially after a long hot day in Maui!
10. On our last day in Maui, we were on an overnight flight (but had to check out before 11am), so after lunch, we went from Lahaina down towards the road to Hana. But by the time we got to Big Beach, N had woken up and was not happy to be stuck in the car any long. So we turned around and were going to head to a beach to hang out near the airport. Instead, we realized we were only a few minutes from the Maui Ocean Center. A couple turns later, we were inside and she was enthralled. From the jellyfish tank to the huge aquariums with living coral, this girl was oohing and aahing for almost three hours (we had to leave because they were closing). Plus, after running all over the place, inside and outside, she was beat.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

11. Back in Spokane just in time for it to snow. I took advantage of fresh snow and hit the dog park with Shadow one afternoon while Natalia was at the nanny.
12. Jet lag is rough, and sometimes you need a mama snuggle and a cat nap right before dinner.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

13. Leftover rice and eggs in a bowl I picked up at the Spokane Potter’s Guild Chili Feed. I’ve been loving this bowl, it’s the perfect size for a small lunch or leftovers.
14. My girl and I rocked the stripes together and she loved watching me put on my red lipstick.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

15. We took N to her first hockey game, and I think she’s a fan! She alternated giggling at the ladies behind us and watching the puck go from end to end, pointing it out to me. Although, if she could talk, she’d tell you that the highlight of the game was seeing Boomer as we left the stadium. She was in love with him, and it was adorable!
16. My little assistant and I on the way to a meeting with a couple vendors about Spokane Headshot Day.

Travel with a baby to Hawaii toddler in Maui

And, just like that, it was March! February flew by – and I’m not just saying that because we racked up some miles and it’s the shortest month – because it was so full of stuff going on. We snuck in a trip or two to Mobius as well, but I never have a chance to photograph her there anymore because she just goes and goes and goes!

 


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January Recap – Personal Post // Spokane Lifestyle Photographer

January Recap – Personal Post // Spokane Lifestyle Photographer

Oh my gosh, January feels like it was FOREVER ago. I think it’s because the weather was decent in January, and then got to be so nasty in February. I feel like January was last fall, instead of just two months ago.

Real talk: I was going to lump January and February together, but then I started looking through our vacation photos from Maui and I just wanted to post them all and this post was getting long. So…here’s a long, Hawaii-less winter post! Hahaha, I’ll get to February soon!

1.  Little miss got these Mega Blocks for Christmas and they’re a huge hit. She plays with them almost every day (and loves to Duplos at Grandma’s house just as much). I love that they’re in a bag that she can’t *quite* open on her own yet.
2. I bought another baby carrier. Yes, it’s a problem, and no, I don’t care. This is a wrap conversion Tula, for those of you who care, and it’s so soft and cuddly and worth every dang penny. Also, I’ve sold two carriers this month, so I am doing my best to keep it down!

3. This was the first time we ordered her a meal. And she ate almost all of it. I’m always impressed by how much she tucks away, but then again, I’m also impressed by how she never stops moving during the day. Toddlers have so much energy!

4. The power went out one night – of course right during dinner. So instead of making dinner, we had cheese and crackers by candlelight (and construction flashlight – thanks for the Christmas present, dad!). Then, since the power was off and the temp kept dropping and dropping, we brought little miss into bed with us. Oh, boy. First, we made the rookie mistake of forgetting to check which lights were on, so they all came on at like 3am – haha. Second, we’ve more or less never coslept, because our girl likes her space, and none of us slept very well that night. It was an adventure!
5. When you open the wipes container in your diaper bag and pull a bunch out, and then decide to clean your mama’s desk, you get photographed. Also: I wish I could take credit for those baby blues. #getsthemfromdadsfamily

6. Someday, I’m going to write a post about self care and self employment and motherhood and balance. Until that day, I’m going to try and squeeze in an occasional night out with girlfriends where we eat way too much sugar and laugh so much and dream up crazy plans for businesses and vacations and homes.
7. We got a Mobius membership in January, and we’ve used it a bunch. [Stop taking photos, ma, and just let me rock this seesaw.] I love having a membership because we just pop in for an hour or so, work out some energy, and when she gets cranky, we bounce. And the mess of a water table or rice table doesn’t come into my house. Win!

8. Sometimes I can’t believe how well these two get along. It’s absolutely adorable. She loves to climb into his dog bed and play with him and his toys. Or just climb all over him like a jungle gym.
9. January had a few nice, clear, days, and with next to no snow outside, we took our walker toy out and ran around on the patio with it in the rain chasing the dog.

10. Hikes! You’d think I snapped this photo a couple days ago, except for the fact that my kid is bundled up like crazy. We took a lot of nice, long, walks around the neighborhood in January, trying to get our HIB30 miles in. We did okay, until I got sick and just stopped caring.
11. My friend wrote a play! And it got published! So, I bought a copy. One of my goals this year is to support my friends who create things by buying their work. $$$

12 & 13: Asleep & Awake. I seriously could write a long song to our Clek carseat. N has been in it since birth, she’s rarely hated the car (and the worst trip we ever took, she was in her cheap-o travel seat), and she naps like a boss on road trips. She loves this seat and is always happy to be in it. I also feel like it sits up a lot higher than our other seat, so she can see out the window!

14. We stopped at a toy store and they had GIANT versions of our Jelly Cat bunny and N was in love. She was so bummed when we left without getting her one. Sorry, kid. She kept pulling them off the display and full on body hugging them on the floor. I don’t know why, but this kid loves her bunny!
15. We’ve had Shadow for more than 2 years, and this is one of the first times Lola has slept in his bed with him (she regularly poaches it when he’s not around). It hasn’t happened again since then, but I’m still holding out hope that they will become BFFs.

16. This one is blurry because I was laughing so hard when I took it. N has taken to poaching my scarves, especially my infinity scarves, and wearing them. She then crawled under my desk while I was working and started chatting away while poking at my computer. Luckily, she didn’t turn off my power strip (that time. She’s done it since and now doesn’t get to go near there).

And that was January! I can hardly believe we’re more than halfway through March now!! I need to get the February post up too. Haha, maybe I’ll get it done before April?!?!