What Surviving Summer Break Really Looks Like

Three months ago I wrote my blog post, Realities of Working From Home with a Child.  Summer has come and gone, and it is time to send my little Evie girl back to school.  We had adventures all summer; hikes, vacations, staycations, movies, playdates, and lots of ice cream.  Last week, as she started her new life in Transitional Kindergarten, I gladly sent her off. Mama needs some alone time. As I’m sure a lot of mothers can attest to, sometimes you just need a break.  We had some great times this summer, but I have come to the realization that this year was much harder than last summer.  She’s older and wiser, super active and lost interest in taking a nap in the day.  It’s a tough job, and it’s only going to get harder. For the first time, I find myself feeling that I don’t want her to […]

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Dogs Need Love Too: Toaster Time

With all the summertime adventuring, I wanted to also give a special day for Evie’s older sibling, Toaster.   He’s our “special” child who sometimes doesn’t get the spotlight so every now and then we try to plan some time just for him. I’ve always been a dog person, partially because I am so allergic to cats, but also because they are such loyal and lovable pets.  My first childhood dog was kept in a cage in the basement and played with us outside in the yard, but was never allowed to freely roam the house or be completely integrated into our lives.  Super sad, I know.  I knew when we adopted him that we wanted to try to take Toaster with us everywhere, but sometimes he’s not allowed or it becomes a cost issue. Traveling with a dog has become easier with airlines, but some of them do not […]

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Hiking and Hot Springs in Olympic National Park

Now looking back to blog about it, it seems like we were out in Washington for waaaay longer than we actually were.  From family time at my cousin’s wedding to camping in the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park, maybe I was a little too much from the kids to do a couple more days with me in Olympic National Park. I mean, I really wanted to take advantage of being out there with so many beautiful parks, but I could already tell it was starting to wear on the kids.  (Which in turn, starts wearing down all the adults too, so I guess the joke is on me). From Mount Rainier, we packed back into the car and drove about 4 hours to another gorgeous park in Washington.  Olympic is actually pretty special when it comes to the National Parks as it has a very diverse ecology.  From coastline to […]

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Disconnecting the Kiddos and Getting Back to Nature

After a whirlwind couple days of lots of family time for my cousin Sheena’s wedding, we were so excited to disconnect for a bit and enjoy some of National Parks in this beautiful state.  Washington has about 15 National Parks to enjoy; from biodiverse parks to Native American significance, to even a historic atom bomb park. TIP! For those who have so many options available to them, I would highly recommend purchasing a National Parks Annual Pass.  The pass itself costs $80, and this gives you unlimited park access (which some parks can charge up to $30 for this), one car entering (this can be anything up to $20 per vehicle), covers 4 people (for those parks that charge per person), and can even discount camping costs at some parks. Some parks are free, so I would consider where you are and where you plan to go before purchasing.  We […]

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Who Doesn’t Love a Good Family Out-of-State Wedding?

What’s not to love about out-of-state family weddings.  Especially if you have a large family as I do.  Of course, I miss them and I jump at most opportunities to see all of them, but weddings are on a different level for us. My family on my dad’s side has pretty large clusters of relatives all over.  Chicago, Toronto, and southern California are some of the larger clans and I have early memories of traveling to these cities for different weddings throughout my life. My cousin, Sheena (on my dad’s side), moved to Seattle a couple years ago and I was so excited because it just happens to be where my mom’s family lives, and she doesn’t have much family stateside.  Evie’s first time to this beautiful city was when she was about 2.5  years old, and she was excited to go back. It seems like forever since I’ve had some quality […]

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Top 9 Picks for Summer Break Staycation in San Francisco

Summer break can be tough with a little one, they are constantly on the move and need constant engagement.  We spent some time in San Francisco this summer to get a new take on the city on the other side of the bridge. Living in Oakland, the city of San Francisco seems so close yet so far away.  The long Bay Bridge and Treasure Island separate us from the downtown area, so it seems mentally further than the 15-20 minutes that it usually takes to get there from here. Staycations are a way we can experience a little break from the normal day activities and feel like you are experiencing something new. We spent the days wandering around and exploring some nooks and crannies that we had never been to before. Since we were walking around the city, we got to see a lot more than what we would normally […]

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5 Things Kids Learn with Tea Parties

Evie’s godmother wanted to take us out to have afternoon tea on a warm Sunday afternoon, and I think I was actually more excited than her.  Of course I would have jumped at the opportunity just thinking about it  and remembering playing tea party as a child. As a 4-year old, Evie has her own tea set and does play tea parties as well.  Her tea set is actually a mismatched set of ultra frilly or super unique cups and saucers that I had collected through garage sales and second hand stores.  I have been collecting this antique set for her since she was born, knowing that one day I would be able to play tea party with her. She sets up her stuffed animals and plays tea party, completely making up the dialog between the friends and answering herself.  (Something she has gotten pretty good at as an only child.) […]

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How to Explain the Pride Parade to a 4-Year Old

Now and days it’s pretty difficult to avoid having some pretty serious talks with my 4-year old. On television, social media, or even out on the streets she will come across things that make her question things.  Sometimes it’s really surprising what she comes across and asks me about. This week, she asked me what a booty clap was… apparently she heard an older cousin talking about it and thought to ask me… yikes. With “politicians” running around with hateful messages, I’d like to get in front of it all and consider how she processes different information.  I think I’m lucky enough to have 2 things in my corner that really help me in this mission: 1. Oakland is super mixed as far as the type of people that live here, there’s such a mix here that she’s offered experiences in a lot of different cultures and is exposed to […]

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Exploratorium Time with Danny

As I’m flying back to Oakland from Seattle I only find it fitting to blog about a recent visit from our friend (and old next door neighbor), Danny.  Not only because he used to live in both of those cities, but also because he just spent so much time in airplanes after what looked like an amazing journey all over Asia. After a couple years in Oakland, I got to become pretty good friends with the guy. Some nights after work were spent talking about different travel plans or travel-related experiences we’ve had. I have always been happy and partially jealous that he left to go on his new journey that lasted about 7 months to go experience new places and cultures. What made it slightly bittersweet was the fact that he was so close with Evie and had to leave her.  The neighborhood that we live in always joked about […]

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Celebrating a Rad Dad out in Central California

To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we decided to once again celebrate it out in nature on a camping getaway.  Mother’s Day was pretty amazing and I think my husband, Peabe, was feeling like we could do something similar for his holiday. We spent 2 nights out in Santa Margarita Lake, an area that we had never camped at previously but are somewhat familiar with the area.  His last birthday we took a train out to the central area of California to do some exploring in San Luis Obispo, and he loved it.  We’ve also been around Paso Robles a couple times from everything from RV-ing to wine tasting. A couple friends joined us to really make the whole experience fun and we all had a great time camping, hiking, swimming, beer tasting, and eating through the weekend.  I was also lucky enough to have my brother join us for […]

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