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Showing posts from January, 2016

Hiking with Kids: Mushroom Rock

One of our favorite things about where we currently live is that an 8-minute drive takes us to Prentice Cooper State Park where we have a network of trails (totaling 35 miles) at our disposal.


Back in October we attempted the hike to Mushroom Rock. But instead found ourselves wandering in the woods for a couple of hours, missing the turn that would have lead us to the giant shaped mushroom in the forest.


Yesterday, thanks to a better map, GPS coordinates and a new series of signs that someone has placed on the trail, we redeemed ourselves.


With 35 miles of trails, it is easy to make a wrong turn before finding your destination. I counted the intersection of 5 trails when we finally arrived at the well-known rock.


I think this is the longest hike that Jack has completed to date. At 2.6 miles round trip we can tell he is getting stronger and building endurance, while hopefully also learning to love the outdoors as much as we do. For now, Isaac continues to just be along for the ride.


I&#…

Aretha Frankenstein's

With a name like Aretha Frankenstein's you know you are in for an offbeat experience, and such is the case when you eat at this quirky little restaurant in the North Shore of Chattanooga.

We discovered Aretha Frankenstein's several years ago when we were staying in a VRBO rental just down the street. We attempted a visit at the time, but the incredibly LONG lines deterred us.


On several different occasions we have driven by in hopes of a shorter wait, but to no avail.


More recently we ate at Crocket's Breakfast Camp in Gatlinburg where we tried the Aretha Frankenstein pancakes that were featured on the menu. The pancakes were amazing, so I decided we needed to make another attempt to try the local restaurant.

Daniel and I recently had the opportunity when Daniel was home on a weekday. After dropping Jack at preschool, we bundled Isaac up and headed down to North Shore.


Luckily for us, a cold Thursday morning is a perfect time to visit this popular joint. The decor matched the n…

First Snow of 2016

Last week Storm Jonas turned into a blizzard and dumped a ton of snow in the northeast after hitting a good portion of the south. It seemed like it was snowing everywhere but east Tennessee, but on Friday night, as Daniel made his way home from work, the rain turned to big fat, wet snowflakes. Jack rushed out the door to greet the snow as it began to pile on our deck.


By bedtime several inches of snow had settled on the ground, creating a blanket of white that muffled the night sounds and reflected the full moon with a brightness of a flood light. 


I love the calm and quiet that the snow brings (though as someone who has lived in the south for the last two decades, I also like when the snow leaves after a few days). 


After a week of school closings and delays for the cold, it was nice to finally have a reward for being cooped up.


We had just enough snow to get the sled out and pull Jack around our neighborhood park, right across the street from our house. The little trail l…

Baby 2: Our Favorite Baby Products (5-9 Months)

When it comes to baby products we love for our second child, the long and short of it is, pretty much everything we used for Jack we basically use for Isaac. 

So the good news is, if you are expecting baby #2, you already have all of the gear you need (and you have probably figured out the stuff you didn't really need in the first place). Since we have two boys, this philosophy extends to clothes too. Isaac gets mostly hand-me-downs, but really if your stuff is still in good shape, there is no reason to get something new. You can read my 0-4 month product recap here.

During the 5-9 month range, here are the products we still love, even four years later:


IKEA SUNDVIK crib – yep still using. At 4 months old, we moved Isaac from our Rock N Play in our room to Jack's old crib in the nursery upstairs. Our IKEA crib has served us well and I still love that it meets our criteria for form and function. We still haven't really decorated a nursery, but one of these days...

AngelCare M…

Isaac is Nine Months Old

A couple of days late... sorry kid, you're the second!

Currently Isaac is scooting backwards, but still not crawling forward. This gets him in trouble as he scoots himself under the couch and then gets frustrated. He easily moves from a seated position to all fours, but hasn't mastered pushing forward yet. Really, he just wants to stand...

It seems that he is determined to stand and cruise before crawling forward. Every time we hold him, he turns around and slides off of our laps onto the floor and holds the side of the couch. He really wants to start cruising, but hasn't figured out how to move his feet.

On the sleep front, I thought that we had finally turned a corner when he slept 9 hours straight at night, two nights in a row. But now that he is moving, he is in a regression stage. The problem is that he wakes up, scoots himself into a corner of his crib and then can't figure out how to move forward again. I know this is just a phase, but it is so hard to be losing s…