Think back on your childhood. Your fondest memories, do they involve toys? Or do they involve you exploring the great outdoors with your siblings or friends and enjoying the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and the dirt on your hands?
I’ve been thinking about this lately, and what is the point of packing up the entire car, driving hours each way to a campsite and then unpacking the car, setting up your campsite only to have baby sit on a blanket and play with man made toys? There isn’t anything natural about that. I want baby to explore, I want him to jump over logs, to feel the bark on his skin when he misses and falls on it. I want him to learn. I want him to learn to take risks, to try new things. To get muddy. I want him to catch bugs. I want him to marvel and say “OOOOOOohhhh!!!” at all the wonderful new things he can explore and learn about.
So after our last camping trip to the Grand Staircase National Monument in Escalante, UT, I’m making that a promise to my family and myself. No toys, no distractions. All, good, natural fun.
For World Breastfeeding week, I’d like to join in and shout out to the world that I made it 6 months breastfeeding Rainier! YES, I’m shouting about it and so happy about making it that long even though people in the past have commented rude things to me about not breastfeeding for more than a year.
You see, I barely even made it past three weeks. But I did everything in my power to keep going regardless of the blisters, the anxiety of not being able to keep my supply up and the mental toll that took on me, working full time and commuting while pumping (“Pumping while working or commuting is the most fun thing to do!” said no one ever), Postpartum Depression, lack of sleep for someone that already has chronic sleeping problems as is and so much more. I honestly couldn’t have done it without a few people who supported me every step, question and concern along the way. Thanks to those amazing mammas who reached out to help. And, I applaud the working moms that made it past a year. #supermom
Before you open your mouth and voice concerns on someone else’s breastfeeding journey, you should know that it’s NONE of your business and you have NO idea what challenges (emotional, physical) etc a person had to go through to make the decision to continue breastfeeding or not. So think twice before you judge a new or repeat mom. Instead, SUPPORT them. Offer if there is anything you can do to help. Offer them your pump, pumping parts, etc (so they can leave one at work and have one at home for those that exclusively pump instead of hauling one back and forth to work on for instance, a BIKE.)
For me, the BEST THING was quitting breastfeeding. And in order to be a good mom and parent to baby, I must be sane and healthy too else I cannot care for baby in a way I need to. I do believe that #breastisbest though.
Not a single day goes by that I feel stopping breastfeeding had changed my relationship with my baby in a negative way. Sure, I wish I could have gone longer, but that’s my reality. I support every mom in her decision to breastfeed, or even not to breastfeed from day one.
You do what’s right for YOU and your family and don’t worry about what anyone else says or thinks. Congrats one every step you make towards feeding you baby, whether it be from the boob or from a scooper. <3
Special thanks to my Mother In Law, Susan, for taking these photos and setting up a wonderful relaxing evening in the bath with baby.
^^ He doesn’t quite understand fly fishing yet, but soon enough he will.
^^ ‘Cause this is how you wear sunglasses, ma!
^^ Rainier had a couple of firsts on this trip, including his first parade! He got to witness the Yellowstone Independence Day Parade. It started at Yellowstone Hotel and ended at the Lake Lodge where we watched. The Lake Lodge features rocking chairs on the porch. It wasn’t too crowded and we were able to snag some spots. Of course, once the parade came by, Rainier wanted to get up close and personal with the park rangers! So we abandoned our comfy chairs and raced to the side of the road.
Once the sun started to set the temperature quickly dropped. Even though the sun didn’t set until 10:00 PM or so, as it got lower in the sky the air would get a chill. We brought one pair of footsies but really should have brought a few more. We ended up having to do laundry mid trip to keep Rainier comfortable. Advice for you – pack like it is fall weather in the summer.
^^ There was a bison at the bottom of the hill at the drop off behind me and I didn’t even know until after this photo. Being a naïve tourist is BAD NEWS, especially with a baby. Lesson learned. Always survey your surroundings before your photo sesh. Yikes.
^^ We went on a cowboy cookout to celebrate our nephew’s birthday. We rode from Roosevelt Lodge Area on pioneer era covered wagons to the cookout. It was a fun ride with entertaining guides and the kids LOVED it.
^^ There were two black bears here about 20 minutes before this photo. We were one of the first wagons in the train, so we saw them. Our older nephew (not the birthday boy) spotted them first. Definitely a cool experience, though scary. After talking to the crew, we felt safe, even with all the food and the smells of deliciousness wafting. Nothing to worry about with kids, or a baby.
^^Rainier hoping to get some last drops of that cowboy coffee.
^^ The View fly fishing at morning at sunrise in the Devil’s Den Area.
^^ That view of Yellowstone Lake though!
We spent an entire week in Yellowstone National park in early July. It’s only a short 6 hour drive from Salt Lake City (I understand that may seem far for locals here, but for a New Englander, that is standard). We couldn’t believe our eyes!
We camped at Bridge Bay Campground, where four Bison live and visit once, or twice daily. It’s right on the Yellowstone Lake and best of all, next to the Marina. At the marina you can book a family trip to tour the lake and learn about the caldera. The marina also has a convenience store with beer, wine, milk and more which makes it convenient while comping for multiple nights. On that note, there is zero cell service for AT&T customers. To be honest, it was so nice to unplug for a week and just be with family (and the bears, elk, deer, and bison!)
There is so much wildlife in the park when you drive around. My favorite scenery in the entire park was the drive from Fisher Bridge to Canyon Village. It reminded me so much of Denali national park, and the amount of wildlife you see in that stretch is unreal. There are rolling hills, rivers and more. Don’t even get me started. The way above pic of me tossing Rainier in the air in a teal tank and purple flowers is shot from that section (the run in with the bison).
All in all, the history of the park, the wildlife, and the fact that it’s an active volcano are sure give you an adrenaline rush the whole time you are there.