Our Kids' Blog

Grand Canyon Dirt

September 30th, 2009 by Mommy


One of Emily’s favorite things to play with at every place we went was dirt. She would check out the views, climb on any available rocks, push sister around in the stroller, and then play in the dirt. It was a good thing we took her to such cool dirt! It definitely kept her busy while we enjoyed the sights.

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Riding in the Car

September 29th, 2009 by Mommy


For the trip we rented a minivan; so that, we could take extra stuff and have some spare room. We filled the van pretty well despite the desire to have a little extra room. We encountered a variety of temperatures and situations and used almost everything we brought at one time or another.

This was the first time that the girls rode in a car together with space between them. Normally they are able to reach out and touch each other or for Emily to steal Julia’s toys. They adjusted pretty well, but I think they missed their general interaction. I was most happy that when Julia was asleep that Emily couldn’t wake her up by poking her.

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Hiking Bryce Amphitheater – Emily

September 28th, 2009 by Mommy



Emily’s introduction to the hike started with getting to run along the rim and look out at the view, then she found dirt to play in. We were combined two different trails to make up our hike. We hiked down the portion of the Navajo Loop Trail that goes through Wall Street and back up Queens Garden Trail. The complete length of our variation of the hike was about 3 miles. This was pretty ambitious for us given that we hadn’t hiked this far carrying Emily before. We wished that we could have added a third trail to our hike, but we knew better given what we had to carry and the patience of our children. The beautiful day was such encouragement for doing the hike. It was warm, sunny, and the sky was a gorgeous color against the red rock formations.

Emily was shy at first about talking to the other hikers when they spoke to her. On the whole trip we didn’t see very many other children for her to talk to and play with. She was more than happy to talk to her parents though. Emily has done some riding in the backpack before and settled in pretty quickly. Robby seemed to adjust to a new center of gravity pretty quickly hiking into the canyon.

Once we got to the bottom of the canyon, we allowed her to get out of the backpack and do a little of the hike herself. This definitely slowed the hike down some, but she had a blast. She collected sticks, found more dirt, saw squirrels, ran a bit, learned the arm swinging game with her parents, and got more comfortable talking to the other hikers. She started announcing to the hikers that ‘I hike’. She was very proud! It was pretty funny. She enjoyed the arm swinging game a lot. While it was a bit tiring for us to hike, count, swing, and repeat over and over again, it allowed us to cover some distance pretty quickly with her.

At the beginning of the ascent back out, we put her back in the backpack and picked up the pace. We found a cool tunnel to stop and play in. During the climb out, which was less steep than the hike down, but longer of a hike, we swapped kids. I had the privilege of carrying Emily out. I really felt like the turtle in the turtle and hare story. I just kept hiking slow and steady and we got out of the canyon. Emily was rewarded for being good by getting to run again along the rim edge as we walked back to our car and had a lunch snack.

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Hiking Bryce Amphitheater – Julia

September 27th, 2009 by Mommy



Julia was a great sport on this trip. Of the little freedom she has, she didn’t get to exercise it much. I think one of her favorite things to do on our trip, other than eat snacks, was getting into the front pack and going. It meant that she was with a parent, her legs were free to kick, and there was lots to see.

One of the must-dos for our trip was to hike in Bryce Amphitheater. There is a fairly steep hike in and out, but once at the bottom you get to hike between the amazing rock formations. Julia got to ride in the front pack with Mommy kind of out of default, because there was no way I could carry Emily on her back for 3 miles. Carrying Julia is a bit like being pregnant again, you can’t see in front of you and your feet are lost again. We went down slowly so that we could both enjoy the views and make sure we had good footing. This portion of the hike had really cool trees that were growing up around the the rock formations.

Julia was the entertainment for all of the other hikers. She had lots of smiles and sweet words from other hikers. She would kick her feet and wave her arms at the other hikers like she was thanking them for their attention. My favorite example of this was the bus full of retired French tourists. While we know no French we heard a lot of ‘Bébé’ and ‘Oo-la-la’.

Daddy had the pleasure of carrying Julia out of the Amphitheater. It was a good change of pace for his back. When we were done we had a well deserved snack of apples, cheese, and crackers. Julia snacked and then crashed in the car for a nap.

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Glenwood Springs

September 25th, 2009 by Mommy




The first stop of our trip was in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We met our friends Becky and Sharick for an evening of fun and dinner. We rode the gondola to the top of the mountain for the views of the valley. We haven’t seen Becky and Sharick since our last trip out to Colorado, so we were able to introduce them to the girls.

At the top of the mountain, they had several activities setup as a tourist trap and most were not friendly for our little ones, so we skipped them. Lucky for Emily, they didn’t charge extra for the activity of playing in the gravel. She had quite a collection of little stones and would have filled her pockets if she could have.

We talked the guys into riding a rollercoaster that took you down part of the mountain. The novelty of it was that you had control of your speed by the use of a break. They seemed to enjoy it a lot and were glad that they had gone.

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Travel and Rainbows

September 22nd, 2009 by Mommy


We are just home from our marathon family vacation out West. We did lots of great things and had great moments. One of these moments had to do with rainbows. Emily has been a fan of rainbows for a while – she loves the song ‘Over the Rainbow’ and has two rainbow nightgowns. While on our trip she found out that she can find rainbows in the sky. We found a double rainbow that reflected to the ground on both sides as we drove in Utah and another one in the Grand Canyon during a rainstorm. Both of these rainbows caused a lot of discussion about them. She announced to every person along the Grand Canyon rim that there was a rainbow.

There seems to be a lasting effect of this discovery. One is that she found a faint rainbow as we drove home. Another is that she also has started arranging colored things. The alphabet letters on the fridge were arranged in like colors and then arched in a rainbow shape. She also arranged her crayons in similar colors and all lined up. She put the yellow together next to the orange and so on. It is so much fun to see Emily grasp concepts and then apply them in her play.

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