Monthly Archives: November 2012

Someday I’ll look back and laaaaugh… Foreign travel while pregnant

My husband works for the forest service as a fire fighter, and spends a good portion of the hotter months of the year away or on call.  So when we got married in February, we decided to delay our honeymoon until after the fire season was over.  We finally bought our tickets to Peru over labor day weekend.  On September 9, I found out I was pregnant.  Lindsey is an old pro at the whole pregnancy thing.  Every time she’s told me she was pregnant it was like.  So, yeah, I’m having a baby in nine months.  What are you going to be doing?

Me?  I went into shock.  How much yummy soft cheese had I digested in the last month?  Was that last glass of wine three nights ago the end of my baby’s future?  My body was going to change forever… in the wrong ways.  How was I going to get a job after finishing the PhD if I also had a baby?  And how in the world was I going to get back the money we’d spent on our Peru plane tickets? (more…)

Fun natural facts about your Christmas tree

We’ve never had a real Christmas tree, as in a tree that was once living. I grew up in a house where my Mom hated to “watch something die in the living room.”

But this year we thought we’d give it a try; the whole getting a permit and chopping down your own tree bit. I broke the news to Ari today thinking he would be thrilled. Our conversation went something like this:

Ari: (disgusted tone) Mom! We can’t just go walking out into the forest and get a tree!! It would take like 30 hundred people to carry it back!

Me: Well, I was thinking we could just get a small tree…

Ari: We have a tree, it’s the tree we always use! It’s in the basement, we just need to put it together.

Me: Ya, but don’t you want to get a different tree this year?

Ari: (still disgusted) Why can’t you just be happy with what you already have?

While he does have a very good point, I still want to cut down my own Christmas tree. And I finally convinced Ari that while I am grateful for the 10 year old pathetic looking fake tree in the basement, it was still a good idea to try cutting our own, just once, to see if we’d like it.

So, while we are out in the woods focused on finding the perfect coniferous tree I thought I’d take advantage of the occasion and make a list of interesting factoids to throw in casual conversation with my children.

Here is what I came up with: (more…)

Gifts to encourage your budding scientist

Last year I posted gift ideas for the outdoor family, this year I’m recommending giving the gift of scientific inquiry. So, here are few items we have had (or hope to have) success with:


Don’t tell Ari, but this is actually our big family gift this year. It came in the mail last week, Joe and I tore it open after the kids went to bed just to be sure it was all we hoped it would be. It was. Every day now I think of something I wish we could look at under the microscope. It’s going to be great.

We got an AmScope 10x-60x Stero Microscope. We got a stereo microscope (aka dissecting microscope) so we could look at everything from rocks to plants at a variety of magnifications rather than simply looking at microscope slides of unrecognizable cells (which can also be fun).


DIY: Convert your bike trailer into a ski trailer

We’re pretty cheap, or rather, ‘thrifty’. So when winter came around a few years ago and we wanted to pull our chariot around in the snow, we opted not to buy the official conversion kit, but rather build our own.

First, we rented the official version, skied around for a day, then came up with our own plan. To be honest, we actually like our version better than the real deal. Why? Allow me illustrate.

1. If you leave the wheels on you have a bigger range of motion and can go over stuff like this (photo below). 2. If you make your own you can use fatter skis, that means better performance in powder (photo below).






Or maybe we’re just trying to make ourselves feel better about being ‘thrifty’?

At any rate, here is a step by step guide on how we converted our chariot into a skiing machine. Note: Hold your mouse over the photos for explanations. (more…)

Review and GIVEAWAY of kids Chacos

Giveaway is closed, thanks to all who entered. Congratulations to the winner MAURA LANSFORD!

My son has two pairs of Chacos now. The Zanda and the Z/1 EcoTread. I reviewed the Z/1 this summer, and after running around the desert and sloshing through slot canyons I’ve deemed the Z/1 the greatest kid shoe ever. And why shouldn’t they be? Chaco sandalas are the greatest adult shoe ever too, in my opinion.

This time around Chaco has provided me with a pair of Zandas to review, which have been my sons primary footwear since summer (pictured below assisting him on a rope swing).

A few words I would use to describe this shoe: (more…)

And then there were 3: Road bumps in the life of an outdoor family

About two months ago, Meghan called me.  She’s an avid outdoors woman, soon to be mother of one, and the mastermind behind the Adventures in Parenthood Project. She’s spent a good part of this past year calling and interviewing parents who have managed to stay active in the outdoors with children in tow (more about her interview with me here).

Ever since she called, I’ve been half wishing she would have called me at this time last year instead, I think the interview would have been more upbeat.

Remember this “life comes at you fast” commercial? I’ve sorta felt like MC Hammer this past year.

Just. One. Step. Behind…..  Thinking about the ‘good old days’ when I was ‘2 Legit’.

Meghan asked me a whole series of questions, and I reminisced about long river trips before kids, exploring with just Ari strapped on my back, and even adventures with both of my little boys.  Her last question to me was: What would you have to say to an outdoor adventurer who is feeling uncertain about starting a family because it may compromise their adventurous lifestyle?

My answer: It does change your lifestyle.

There’s no may about it.  Children change everything. (more…)

My 10th Anniversary work of art

Joe and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last month. To commemorate the occasion Joe, knowing I’m a sucker for the hand made gift, made me a bit of art.

Some might look at this and wonder why on earth he would give me a bird made of dead plant matter instead of a diamond encrusted jewel on such an occasion. I think you guys probably understand.

There’s symbolism in this little bird. We met in the fall. Our first date was a hike among the changing leaves. We were married in the fall. Our boys were born in the fall. I’m somewhat obsessed with this season…

A the bird? It’s a wren. My favorite bird. So diverse, so happy. Most are rather small, palin and inconspicuous, but are known for their loud and often complex melodies. Joe thinks the wren and I have a few other traits in common. And my favorite wren? My daughter Viviann Wren. My new favorite piece of art? This one.



    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

    I don't blog alone! Meet outsidemom contributer Olivia