Sunday, July 31, 2011

Practice Run

First off I just want to state that we are all fine, but we did have a bit of a scare this morning...

On our way to church we had the unfortunate experience of being rear ended while sitting still at a red light. Not exactly how we planned our Sunday morning to go. Thankfully our trailer hitch seemed to absorb most of the impact, but it was still enough force for our seat belts to tighten and my head to be thrown forward.

The woman who hit us immediately got out and apologized – she was swapping out a DVD for her daughter in the back seat at the time of impact. Her main concern seemed to be whether or not she would get a ticket. We were concerned about the shape of our vehicle and what this accident might mean for me since I am 25+weeks pregnant.

Daniel called the police so that we could file a report and I called my OB to see if we should be concerned. Thankfully the lap part of my seat belt did not tighten and the chest part compressed mostly to the left and above my belly. I was feeling fine with just a bit of tenderness where the seat belt had tightened, so my doctor and I agreed that I didn't need to go to the hospital. HOWEVER if I started to experience contractions or bleeding, I needed to call her immediately. Our other concern was that if I did have any problems, I was about an hour from the hospital – not really enough time for any type of worse-case scenario.

Anyways after the police left and Daniel and I had a chance to regroup, we discussed it further and decided that as a precautionary measure, we would feel better if we at least went to Chattanooga to spend the day. We wouldn't go to the hospital unless we really felt something was wrong, but if I did experience contractions or bleeding, we would at least be in the right city and not an hour away. My OB said that any problems would present within 24 hours with the most concern being in the first 1-4 hours after the accident.

So we drove to Chattanooga, hoping and praying that the worst-case scenario of a C-section at 25 weeks would not be on our day's agenda.

We arrived in Chattanooga around lunch, so we went to The Terminal {one of our faves}. Following that we went to see a matinee at the dollar theater. Finally we ran a couple of errands and decided that after 4 hours in Chattanooga with no signs of distress for me or our baby that it was probably okay to go home.

This little incident made me realize how little control we have over our lives and also how we are not prepared to be thrust into parenthood at this exact moment. If it were to happen that way, we would do what needs to be done, but I pray that God will give us a little more time to prepare for the entrance of this little one {preferably until November!}.

On a side note, this is the THIRD time Daniel has been rear ended in this Altima.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Veggie Lasagna

Last week my menu plans included this recipe for Slow Cooker Spinach Mushroom Lasagna from The Way The Cookie Crumbles. Unfortunately I bought the wrong kind of noodles and ended up cooking it in oven instead of my crock pot. I also decided to add sauteed squash to the dish and it turned out really well. So, here is my version of Vegetable Lasagna. Bon apetit.

Veggie Lasagna
Serves 6 to 8

  • 9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1½ pounds white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1¼ cups (2½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Heat oven to 425ºF.
  • Saute zucchini in olive oil, then set aside.
  • Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil.
  • Add spinach, cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. Heat through, about 7 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, basil, egg, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together. Arrange 4 lasagna noodle pieces in 9x13 glass dish, overlapping if necessary, then dollop 9 rounded tablespoons of ricotta mixture over noodles. 
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella, layer zucchini on top, then spoon 1 cup more mushroom-spinach sauce over top. 
  • Repeat the layering of lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella and mushroom-spinach sauce twice more. 
  • For the final layer sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.
  • Cover dish with two layers of aluminum foil and cook until the lasagna is heated through, about 60 minutes. 
  • Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Porch Fan

Last weekend while I was out of town, Daniel was a sweetheart and installed a ceiling fan on our porch. We eat out there as often as we can and the fan makes a huge difference in how long it is comfortable to sit outside on a warm, humid evening. It also helps with keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay. 

We may eventually replace the other three lights with fans, but for now, having a fan over our outdoor eating area is a real treat.



Also wanted to give a special thanks to Daniel's dad, Wesley. Hopefully the next time you visit I will be in town and we can enjoy a meal under the fan together!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The skinny on the last week is that I have been completely and utterly exhausted and we aren't even to the third trimester yet :(

Being tired may have to do with the fact that I went on a girl's trip to see friends in Charlotte this past weekend OR the fact that I slept on a couch for three nights OR it could have been the house full of kids that did me in {there were always at least six kids under the age of seven roaming around}.

I'm not complaining though. It was great to catch up with old friends and observing kids is always good preparation for the real deal, right? Especially being around boys... I see lots of legos, Star Wars and toy guns in my future. 

The best part of the trip was that almost all of our Charlotte friends had boys first so I heard a lot of great advice from women who have been moms for as long as I have known them.

The #1 thing I took away from the weekend {surrounded by little boys} is that I am doomed to have the toilet seat left up for many years to come.

Thanks to Sara and Clint for a place to sleep and the great food! Thank you Courtney for inviting me to tag along. I really enjoyed the late night talks and visiting with everyone that we were able to see. Next time, hopefully Daniel can come too.

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday
Shirt from Target {pre-pregnancy}
Pants from Walmart {I bought them several years ago, still thrilled to be in my own pants}
Shoes from Target

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I have been sitting on some exciting news {at least for my family} for the last two weeks...

When I was in Nashville for my friend's baby shower, I stayed at my sister's house. She was a good sister and took me to Target to get a crash course on things that we would need to register for {vs crap stuff we don't need}. 

My sister was the perfect person for me to get advice from because we have similar views on money and what constitutes a necessity {not identical views, but probably closer than anyone else I know}. It should also be noted that she is a saint for doing this since she had just worked a night shift and was totally exhausted.

Anywho, after Target, we went back to her house and were discussing my ultrasound and other things related to pregnancy and my little man, when all of a sudden she asked me if I wanted to see her ultrasound...



It took a second to sink in. My little sister is expecting her second child in February!!! I knew they were thinking about it, but it happened pretty quickly. As Angela says, "Robert can just look at her and she ends up pregnant." Hah!

Anyways, I am incredibly excited for them. It will be fun to have kids that are only a few months apart and Izzy will have a blast being the older sister/cousin.

The only negative is that one of these days I am going to have to give back all of the maternity clothes Angela lent me!

For reference: Baby Moore {in utero} is 24 weeks old. Baby Stewart {in utero} is 12 weeks old. Izzy is 2 years old.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I am definitely getting big. Thankfully it is just in my mid section though.

I know that we live in the south, but we have officially ruled out: Billy Bob, Bocephus, Bodean, Bubba, Buck, Cletus, Cooter, Dallas, Earl, Horace, Jedidiah, Jethro, John Boy, Rifle, Roscoe, Rufus, Ruger, Trigger, Winchester and Woody.

I am definitely starting to feel more movement. Mostly late at night as soon as I lay down to go to bed {lucky me}. Last night there were some serious acrobatics occurring in my abdomen. Daniel has still not experienced the kicking.

10 pounds gained so far. This actually brings me up to my pre-pregnancy weight from last year {after we moved to Alabama but before I started a regular exercise program}. The weird thing is that weighing a certain amount in normal life verses weighing that same amount while pregnant is a totally different experience. Example: Pre-pregnancy I could easily get in and out of bed. While pregnant trying to roll over to get out of bed {or do anything else} is a serious challenge. 

Heat Wave
Thankfully I haven't been bothered my the excessive heat. I have read a lot about women who experience excessive sweating and general uncomfortableness due to heat and I don't seem to have those issues... we still keep our thermostat set at 78ºF during the day and as long as I have a fan I am pretty comfortable. 

I don't really think I have a lot of cravings. I have been on a kick of wanting sweets, especially those that include fruit, but it's not a do or die kind of thing. I can take it or leave it. Also my eating patterns are pretty consistent with pre-pregnancy life and I still can't overeat due to that lovely thing called heartburn. 

Muscle Pain
I had my first muscle cramp in the middle of the night this past week. Then yesterday I pulled a muscle in my groin {ouch} while walking Sophie {she kept pulling on the leash and I must have over compensated in an effort to not get pulled over}. I went to yoga this morning and was able to work out the kink. Back pain is fairly common these days. I have started putting a heating pad on my back in the evenings and it helps quite a bit. 

Sleep is definitely becoming more difficult. Mostly because I can't seem to get comfortable. I haven't really experienced the whole "having to pee constantly" phenomenon. I occasionally get up in the night but mostly I am thankful that I don't seem to be affected by that particular symptom.

My biggest take away from reading books and forums on pregnancy {and being pregnant at the same time as many of my friends} is that we are all different. No two pregnancy experiences are alike. Overall I feel very blessed to be having a pretty easy pregnancy, though I won't go so far as to say that I am one of those people that loves being pregnant. 

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday
Shirt from Forever 21 {yay for old, stretchy tees that fit over my pregnant belly}.
Jeans from Kohls {yay for relaxed fit, stretchy jeans from my pre-pregnancy days}.
Chacos from REI.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

There are very few recipes that I repeat but every once in awhile I get a craving for something that I really love to eat – maybe pregnancy is making me crave old comfort foods?

Tonight I decided to make a homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole that I used to make when Daniel and I were newlyweds. It has tuna, elbow macaroni, shredded cheese, cream of celery soup, celery and onions. 

Sometime in the last 8+ years I have misplaced the recipe. Tonight I looked through all of my cookbooks and cooking magazines. Then I googled the ingredients that I remembered. All to no avail. So I made up the dish as I went.

Notes to self: In the future use less noodles and more tuna {recipe below takes this into account}. Also I found the dish to be a bit bland – either I used to cook more bland meals or I needed to add more salt and pepper. Maybe dry mustard would kick it up a notch?

I still can't believe my original recipe has disappeared – I guess that is a by product of rarely cooking the same thing twice. For now I will live with tweaking the recipe below in an effort to get back to the dish that I remember and love.

Homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole
1/2 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 tuna packets {I prefer my tuna in sunflower oil}
3 ribs of celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350º.
Cook pasta as directed.
Saute celery and onions in olive oil.
Drain pasta.
Add sauteed vegetables, cheese and soup.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Put entire mixture into oven-safe casserole dish.
Melt butter and mix in bread crumbs. 
Add bread crumb mixture to top of casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

I think I used to add a cup of frozen peas to it as well. If you have any tips on the perfect tuna noodle casserole, please share. 

*Daniel gave this dish a 4.64/5 stars. We both thought it was bland compared to my usual cooking. Maybe instead of trying brand new recipes all of the time, I will experiment with old favorites to take them to the next level.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Not What I Expected

Have you been following along at A Cup of Jo as various women share their experiences of working and balancing motherhood? It has been a fascinating read.

More than anything it makes me realize how much my life has changed in the last year and how much more it will change in the year to come.

July 16th of 2010 was my last day at my job. Daniel and I had finally sold our house and it was time for me to join him in Chattanooga. It was bittersweet. In the days that followed, I handled the closing of our house, loaded what was left of our things into the car and drove Sophie and myself to Tennessee.

It was time. Daniel and I needed to be together again.

I always thought I would somehow manage to work at least part time and still be a mom. I never expected that the economy would fail so terribly. That we would end up moving to a tiny town in rural Alabama or that I would pretty much exit the work force before the age of 30. I didn't expect "keeping house" to be my main priority after more than 8 years of working full time. 

In one sense this new phase of life has been a relief. There was a year where I worked two jobs {teaching at night and working as a graphic designer during the day}. That was too much. Then another year of trying to hold it together while Daniel went through a layoff and 365 days of being unemployed. That was tough.

And now, we expect our first born. 

I know my role will change. It is doubtful that I will find full-time work in the "real" world in the near future – believe me I have tried. Most likely my work will shift to taking care of our child. It is a scary thought. But at the same time, I am ready to have more purpose in my life. I am ready to embrace change. To learn new things. To do something I haven't done before.

It wasn't what I expected. I thought my life would be more like those I read about in the posts about balancing motherhood and work. Sometimes you just have to embrace the life you are given.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

DeSoto State Park

Daniel and I have been itching to go hiking, but the south is WAY TOO HOT in the summer to hit the trails {especially if one of you is pregnant}.


Yesterday we had a cold front move through that cooled things off tremendously. It was in the 70s this morning and we decided that if we wanted to hike in July, we better find a place to go.

We wanted to stay within an hour's drive of our house, but this seriously limited our hiking options. 


We decided on a waterfall hike in DeSoto State Park. Namely because it was featured in Backpacker Magazine and had received a rating of 4/5 for scenery on

I think we are spoiled because the best we would have rated this trail was 2/5. 


To be fair it would be the perfect place to go mountain biking – lots of old growth trees and well groomed trails without a lot of technical parts {Daniel won't let me consider mountain biking right now... I can't wait for spring to get here}. For hiking, this trail was a disappointment.

Since it was overcast and very few people were on the trail, we let Sophie run off leash for a while but ended up revoking her off-leash privileges when she ran away and wouldn't come back. Daniel had to chase her down and found her laying in a creek next to a family that was hiking the trail.

We completed a 3.5 mile loop that included a stop at Lost Falls and Laurel Falls. Due to low water levels, they weren't much to look at. 

I am really missing the open balds of North Carolina and Virginia and would be in heaven if we could do a big mountain hike out west... that is just not in the cards for us right now.

While the weather was cool, the humidity turned out to be wretched. I was glad to get off the trail, but thankful that at 23 weeks pregnant I can still get out and hike.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sweet Tooth

I don't know if it is pregnancy or the fact that it is summer, but I have seriously been craving sweets. Especially recipes that utilize fresh fruit. Over the past several weeks I have been incorporating homemade desserts into our weekly menu and I haven't been disappointed. They may not be great for our waistlines, but they sure are yummy.

Blackberry Cobbler
Daniel gave it 4.86/5 stars
We ate it with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and it was delish.
Recipe from Pioneer Woman {via Three Many Cooks}

Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Daniel gave it 4.96/5 stars
I loved this and think it was even better as leftovers.
Recipe from Pink Parsley

Homemade Strawberry Gelato
 Daniel gave it 4.63/5 stars
Excellent use of my ice cream maker. 
Would be great with any kind of berry.
Recipe adapted from Apple A Day
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Daniel gave it 4.45/5 stars
Unfortunately a lot of the pineapple juice was lost when I flipped it. 
I also think I needed to cook it a bit longer. 
It was good, but could have been better.
Recipes from the Pioneer Woman
Red, White and Blueberry Trifle
Daniel gave it 4.91/5 stars
I was going to use this recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes
Sadly my internet was down, so I winged it.
White chocolate pudding layered with berries, angel food cake and cool whip = yummmm.
This dish was excellent for breakfast as well as dessert.
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Daniel gave it 4.95/5 stars
So this was a non-fruit recipe, but sometimes you just crave chocolate. 
The cookies were ginormous. 
The first batch was really running... I think the batter needed to sit first. 
Overall, definitely excellent cookies.
Recipe adapted from Nutmeg Nanny

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Greeting Cards: Cold Beverages

With the heat of summer upon us, cold beverages make me happy. 

*This is the seventh in my series of twelve "I Love You More" cards 
that I have designed and will be posting throughout the year.

© Cheree Moore 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This morning my yoga instructor told me that I finally looked pregnant – specifically that it looked like I had a basketball under my shirt. I sure feel more pregnant these days.

My biggest {continued} problem is trying to get a handle on my heartburn. Women that eat tons of food during pregnancy – I don't know how you do it. Just the thought of food gives me heartburn. Drinking water gives me heartburn. The only time I don't have heartburn is in the mornings {I don't know if breakfast is easier on me or if my morning workouts make me feel better}.

My OB told me to try Zantac or Pepsid before she wrote me a prescription for something stronger. I think I am going to need something stronger. Zantac did nothing for me. Tums work, I just have to eat a lot of them. I have bottles all over my house – in the bathroom, on my nightstand, in the kitchen, on the coffee table AND in my car. I couldn't survive without their chalky goodness. Daniel and I need to buy stock in Tums.

We are pretty close to finalizing a name for baby boy Moore. We are now debating whether to announce the name once we make a decision or to wait until delivery...

Besides the heartburn, overall I am still feeling good {other than some back pain}... still working out... still haven't really felt kicks.

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday:
Shirt from Target {maternity section}. 
Shorts from Old Navy {purchased years ago... yay that I can still wear my own shorts/pants}. 
Chacos from REI {I have an addiction}.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Battle of the Pony Tail

Since we are having a boy, I don't foresee this particular battle in my future...

My sister, Angela, was gracious enough to let me photograph her trying to "fix" Izzy's hair for church {and is even allowing me to post the photos online}.

Someday, Izzy may not be appreciative of this evidence of her little personality.

Robert, my brother-in-law, would have been fine taking Izzy to church with crazy hair, but Angela insisted on trying to tame it into a pony tail.

Izzy was having none of it!

What 2-year-old wants to have to sit still for any amount of time? Much less to get her hair done when she could be playing???

Monday, July 11, 2011

52 Books: Book 32

Book 32 on my list was The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg. This book is a compilation of short stories {articles really} that were written as an ongoing segment in the New Yorker and the New York Times over the course of many years. In this book, the stories are categorized month by month and take you through an entire year of rural living. 

I think the book is best read in bits and pieces since the stories are written over an extended time period and don't necessarily relate to each other. They also cover different locations so at times it can be confusing.

Overall I enjoyed the writing. I related to much of it since I currently live in a rural area.

Excerpts from the book:
Everyone reaches for fullness in summer, but the fullness that most of us know best belongs to the memory of childhood.

When you take on a property... you leave traces of yourself with every decision you make... In twenty years' time, a self-portrait emerges, and it exposes all the subtleties of your character, whether you like it or not.

A vista is no longer the point of departure for an experience... it has become the experience.

Some people dream of living in a world without work. But the better dream... is that of a world in which everyone has the work he wants.

... There's something static about a new house, something terminal. This old house invites adaptation because it embodies a history of adaptation. A new house just stands there, settling, waiting for someone to come along and wonder what's under those walls or why tow bedrooms can't be merged into one...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sharing the Pregnancy Experience

This weekend I had the privilege of attending one of my closest friend's baby showers...

Kristalynne and I have been friends for almost two decades {wow} and we are both expecting our first babies this fall {one month apart}. It has been such a joy to be able to keep up with her via the internet and I am looking forward to learning {alongside Kristalynne} how to be a parent.

I spent Saturday morning running errands before meeting up with Kristalynne for lunch and a pedicure session. Kristalynne's mom and mimi were there, so it was extra nice to catch up with them as well. 

During our pedicure, we discussed all things pregnancy related. Kristalynne is 4 weeks ahead of me and has decided not to find out her baby's sex. The guy doing my pedicure asked me if I was having a boy. Surprised that he guessed right, I said "yes." Then he looked at Kristalynne and asked if she was having a girl. She laughed and said that she didn't know. It will be interesting to find out if the pedicure guy was right or not.
Today was Kristalynne's shower and I enjoyed visiting with everyone. One of these days I am going to have to face registering for our baby so that I can join the shower circuit ;)

I had a wonderful weekend, but I am glad to be home with Daniel and Sophie again. Sophie was beside herself when I got home – which made me feel loved {Daniel missed me too}.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Blacksmith Bistro and Grill

After a day of errands {including finding out the sex of our baby}, Daniel and I decided to grab dinner before we went our separate ways for the weekend.

We decided on the Blacksmith Bistro and Grill in St. Elmo. We have been wanting to go here for a while, but never managed to get around to it.

Thankfully it wasn't too busy when we arrived. The hostess told us to go to the bar and order. The bar tender proceeded to tell us all of the drink specials – after which Daniel told me that I must not look that pregnant to be getting the scoop on drinks. 

Daniel decided on a grilled Salmon Burger topped with a Fried Green Tomato and a side of Onion Rings. It boggles my mind that Daniel HATES tomatoes but for some reason really likes fried green tomatoes... I decided on the 'Shroom Burger, topped with Hickory Smoked Bacon and a side of Fries.

Daniel's salmon burger was good, but he said the fried green tomato could have been better. The onion rings were delish {we split them}. My 'shroom burger was to die for. The bacon melted in my mouth and the mushrooms were out of this world. On the other hand, my fries were cold. The prices were a bit steep, but the food was decent and our server kept our water glasses full.

If it had been just a little cooler, we would have enjoyed sitting outside. Instead, we sat inside enjoying the AC and contemplated the news about our baby's gender and started the name discussion... we have some good contenders and I don't think it will be too painful to come to an agreement.

Overall we enjoyed our Blacksmith Bistro experience.

Blacksmith Bistro & Grill on Urbanspoon

The Big Questions???

The big questions are…

“Is our baby healthy?”

“Are we having a boy or girl?”

Lucky for us, today is the day that both of these questions get answered.

Up until now Daniel and I haven’t spent a lot of time being anxious about either of these questions. I mean there is nothing you can do but wait. And regarding gender, it’s not like a puppy that we get to pick out.

Sure Daniel wouldn’t mind a little boy that will love to play with legos in a few years {really this would just be an excuse for Daniel to explore his inner child}, but there is nothing to say that a little girl wouldn’t love legos just as much…

And maybe there is a small part of me that dreams of a little girl that would be a little mini me like I see with my sister and her daughter, Izzy. But having a mini Daniel would be just as good…


In all reality we could end up with a girly girl that we are clueless about or a boy who hates legos

So, without further ado…

The answer to question #1:

Baby Moore is healthy, weighing in at 1 pound and 1 ounce with a strong heartbeat of 142 beats per minute. Heart and brain and spine all look good and there are two arms and hands and two legs and feet with five toes each.

The answer to question #2:

We are having a BOY!!!!!

A little Daniel will be making his appearance in November.

Other Priorities and Things We Should Probably Discuss SOON

Besides outdoor life, here are the other things on our mind prior to having our first born...

We have also discussed whether we plan to use cloth or disposable diapers. This conversation stemmed from blog posts by Young House Love, Bower Power and The Organ Family. Mostly we agreed that our frugal selves are all for cloth diapers. Reality suggests we will use both – i.e. we aren't going to drop our kid off at a church nursery or with a baby sitter and insist they use cloth.
*Update: We used cloth diapers for the first 1.5 years ago) and it was one of the best decisions we made.
Things we have yet to discuss:
Baby Names – we are waiting to find out the gender before we put a lot of energy into this...

The Nursery – besides agreeing which room will be used, we haven't put any thought into this since gender is an important factor.

Registering for Baby Crap Stuff – not really on our radar. I don't think either of us are ready for our house to be taken over by baby things.

I feel like baby web sites and books have all of these lists of things you are supposed to be planning for and thinking about. We just aren't there. We have until November, there is no huge hurry to jump into this parenting thing. We are enjoying our life as it is right now. Yeah, we talk about stuff but we aren't making concrete plans or worrying about the future. We are taking life in stride. We will get around to the important things like finding the right car seat soon enough.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Getting Our Priorities Straight...

Things we have discussed regarding our baby:
With our first child due in four months, we have had a few things on our minds...

Introducing Our Kiddo to the Great Outdoors 
Thanks to Outside Magazine's June issue with a focus on raising active kids, we got some answers to questions we had been discussing {read Outside Magazine's questions/answers in green}.

How soon can we take our baby hiking/backpacking?

Photo of Daniel and I on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire (2011)

You can pretty much march out of the delivery room and onto the trail if you are so inclined. Just realize that the logistics are greater the younger the child.

*Update: First hiking trip. Jack was 5 months old.
*Update: First camping trip. Jack was 18 months old.
*Update: First hiking trip with two kids. Isaac was 3 months old. Jack was 4.5 years old.  
*Update: First camping trip with two kids. Isaac was 13 months. Jack was 4.5 years old.

How soon until we can go on bike rides?

Photo of Daniel after we biked the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, Virginia (2007)
With tots under 35 pounds, Outside Magazine recommends iBert's Safe-T-Seat. While the Burley's D'Lite trailer is great for hauling bigger toddlers {and dogs} behind you.

Mountain Biking: Eight is a good age to start; nine-year-olds can really crank. By ten, experienced kids will be wanting to tackle technical singletrack and launch off rocks.
Road Biking: At eight most kids will have long enough legs to ride a bigger bike with a bigger pedal crank to enable them to keep up with the big kids {you}.

*Update: First bike ride (10 miles on a combination of paved greenway and wooded, dirt trails). Jack was 18.5 months old.
*Update: First bike ride with two kids (neighborhood ride, about 1.5 miles, one kid riding in trailer, one on bike with training wheels). Isaac was 5 months old. Jack was 4.5 years old.
*Update: Jack learns to ride a bike without training wheels, age 4.5; rides 11 miles on a trail-a-bike.
*Update: Jack rides at the Pump Track and first short mountain bike ride at Stringers Ridge, age 5.5.

*Update: Jack's first real mountain bike ride was 9 miles to Edwards Point, age 5.5.

When will our baby be big enough to take on a paddling trip?

Photo of Daniel and I paddling the Nantahala River (2007)

If they are old enough to ride in a car, they are old enough to canoe.

Sea Kayaking: You won't get any real paddling help until age 13. Younger kids can be ferried in a cockpit hole or a double.
White Water Rafting: Five is the minimum for most guides; for Class III, seven is best; for Class IV, 12. Class V and up is too dangerous for kids.

*Update: First time canoeing. Jack was 11.5 months old.
*Update: First real canoe trip. Jack was 2.5 years old.
*Update: First paddling trip with two kids. Jack was 4.5 and Isaac was 1.
*Update: Jack tests out his own kayak, age 5.5.
What about climbing/rappelling?

Photo of me rappelling Aussie style at Bee Rock outside of Cookeville, Tennessee (2003)

Some four-year-olds can climb like geckos but panic at the top. By eight most kids are ready to tackle easier routes.

*Update: First time climbing (bouldering in our front yard). Jack was 2.5 years old.
*Update: Jack regularly finds and climbs new vertical routes on the rock face in our front yard, age 5.5

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


My Pregnancy By The Numbers...
152 prenatal vitamins taken.
128 days until our due date.
117 days of heartburn.
84 miles ran.
28 yoga classes.
21 kickboxing classes.
14 days of craving sweets {in normal life I prefer salty}.
8 pounds gained.
4 visits to the OB.
3 days of severe back pain.
2 times that I have potentially felt kicks.
2 days until we learn the gender.
0 days of morning sickness.

I feel like I look much bigger in person than what these photos are conveying... 
maybe that is just a self confidence thing???

On a separate note, I am linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday {since I have been taking my weekly preggo pics on Wed, it seemed like a good fit}. 
Leggings from Walmart. Shirt from Tar-jay. Chacos from REI. 

52 Books: Book 31

Even though I have been slacking on writing my book posts, it has not been for a lack of reading. I was actually reading three books at once over the last couple of weeks and book 31 is over 600 pages!

Book #31 on my list is Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. First I must confess that I have never read Moby Dick and since reading Ahab's Wife, I decided it would be prudent to read the American classic by Herman Melville as well {it is currently on my night stand}.

Since I had not read Moby Dick I had no idea of what to expect from this novel. Having read the overview on Goodreads, I have to admit that some of the meanings and connections to the original novel were lost on me. Having now read the first three chapters of Moby Dick, I can say that the new narrative blends perfectly into the old {so far}.

This novel introduces us to Una when she is a girl. Written from her perspective, it weaves a story of a girl growing up in unusual circumstances who eventually finds herself running away to sea as a cabin boy. Along the way she meets Captain Ahab and several other characters from the original book. We get a glimpse into what it might have been like had Ahab found love, but the love is not enough to overcome his madness to hunt the great white whale.

I found this to be a very intriguing story and I can't wait to get further into Moby Dick. If you have read the classic before, I would definitely recommend this prequel. If you have not read the classic, I would recommend that you pick up both books and read them together as I am doing.

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...