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Category Archives: News and Info

A Mother’s Day Wishlist… of the material kind

Starting very soon (as in any day now) I’ll join the league of females with their own special day to be appreciated each year:  Mothers.

Growing up, we celebrated Mother’s Day (and in August, my mother’s birthday) with a trip to the desert for some exploring of new roads and mountain tops, but with one slight change.  Mom got to pick where we were going all day long.  At every fork in the road we yielded to her whims.  I don’t know if it is how she wanted to be appreciated, but to us kids it seemed like a pretty big deal.  It seemed like a huge responsibility too… what if she chose wrong?  What if the adventure of a lifetime lay down the right fork, and she chose left?  I wondered if she might have appreciated a new sun hat more than the weight of Fate resting on her decisions.

Looking back I realize we never once regretted my mother’s choices–never once did we go home thinking “Man, that’s the last time we let her decide which way to go!”  And I also recall her enthusiasm about what we saw after each decision (“oooooh, look!  A Short-eared Owl is hiding in that Juniper!”,  “My goodness!  Have you ever seen such a view?” , “Those clouds remind me of a Maxwell Parish painting!”).  Adventure is in the eye of the beholder, and mom showed us how to recognize it, no matter which path you took. (more…)

Napping your kids outside. Everyday.

Have you heard of this?

When I say napping outside, I’m not talking about letting your child finish thier nap in the stroller after a walk or  letting them fall asleep in a pack while you hike – although those are both great ideas. I’m talking about people who put their children outdoors to take nap every single day, no matter what the weather. No matter where they are, which is often right outside their own home.

I first read about this idea on DesignMom, in a post about a trip she’d taken to Sweden. She described the country as “one big Waldorf school” where kids spend a lot of time outdoors. They play outdoors, spend school time outdoors, and yes, their kids take naps outdoors. It’s sounds like the OutsideMom’s version of a utopian society to me. (more…)

Losing an adventure buddy. Farewell little Axel Charrette.

I’ve had writers block before, but nothing like this.

I’ve mentioned Jen on this blog before. I’ve never physically met her, but from the moment I started following her blog I knew she was someone I’d love to be neighbors with. I had to be content to just follow her blog periodically, keep tabs on her families biking adventures, and occasionally shoot her an email when I needed biking advice.

Jen and her family have been living, playing, and working in Mexico for the last few months. They’ve been having fabulous adventures with their kids. Biking, surfing, relaxing and enjoying being together.

All this came to a screeching halt two weeks ago. Her youngest boy is gone. Forever. And I feel like I’ve lost one of my own. The online world is a weird one. Strange how you can let yourself be so vested in the life of someone else. What do you say to a Mom who’s lost their child? I could hardly bring myself to speak the news out loud to my husband.

Jen, Randy, and Kalden, my heart aches for you. It aches for Axel. It aches for the life that won’t be lived. It aches for the horror that exists in our world. I know that the way I feel is 0.000001% of how Axel’s family feels right now, and that makes my heart ache even more. And it is desperately looking for solace somewhere. I find it by hanging onto the conviction that there is more happiness, and peace, and love in this world than hatred and grief. (more…)

Combating cold symptoms while pregnant: Safe natural Remedies

About a week ago I came down with a terrible case of bronchitis.  Every pregnant lady I know tells me that you get sicker when you’re pregnant.  I concur.  I haven’t been that miserable in a decade, at least.  What’s worse is all the cold medicines you’ve been saving since your last bout with a cold are useless.  Robitussin?  According to the FDA:  pregnant women should only take it if the benefits outweigh the risks… and by the way we have no idea what the risks are.  Tylenol?  Sure.  In small doses and do not under any circumstances exceed the maximum dose.  Which means if your fever starts coming back around hour 3.5, you are just going to have to suffer until hour six to eight before you can get some relief again.  Nyquil?  No.  Sorry.

Sigh.

As I lay in misery on the couch, wrapped in ten blankets and wheezing, I researched home remedies (and called my mother)–natural ways to combat the cold symptoms that were leaving me in agony.  Here’s what I came up with… what’s your favorite natural remedy? (more…)

Addicted to Technology? Get outside.

My favorite news magazine is THE WEEK. I look forward to its arrival every weekend in my mailbox. Then I read it cover to cover.

Every week, THE WEEK’s editors scour hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and Web sites (U.S. and foreign), searching for the most intriguing stories and the most thoughtful commentary from a wide range of viewpoints.

I particularly enjoyed one of their recent cover stories: Addicted to Tech. The article gave excerpts from other write-ups in The Observer (Internet Addiction Even Worries Silicon Valley), The Atlantic (Are We Addicted to Gadgets or Indentured to Work) and Newsweek (Is the Web Driving us Mad).

My favorite excerpt came from an article written by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times (Blissfully Lost in the Woods). It was worth sharing.

I know of a good treatment, if not a cure, said Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. It’s called nature. When we get into the great outdoors, the illusion of control that technology provides disappears, and we are “deflated, humbled, and awed all at once.” In the “vast natural cathedral,” we are reminded of a world much larger than ourselves—one that predates us, will outlive us, and at whose mercy we exist. To escape our “post-industrial self-absorption,” we all need to leave our iPhones at home at least once a week, and go take a walk in the woods. Your devices will be waiting when you get back, and you’ll be a bit saner when you rejoin the endless conversation.

I say amen to that. Happy weekend.

The coolest outdoor family bloggers I’ve ‘met’

I know it’s kind of taboo to say that you’ve ‘met someone online’. I never thought I’d say that. But the truth is I’ve met whole families online! Really inspiring families that deserve some recognition for all the work they put into their blogs. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some of the coolest families I’ve had the privilege of ‘meeting’.

Do you know of more? Leave them in the comments!

Brave Ski Mom
Family skiing tips, unbiased resort and mountain reviews, off-season biking and hiking. We’re a western Colorado family that has seen it all and done a lot. I don’t just share our adventures. I provide information to help you fuel your own adventure — from skiing to parenting.

Tales of a Mountain Mama
Tales of a Mountain Mama (Family) aims to help inspire families to get outdoors and adventure, even with young children. We share our own stories and tips and feature weekly guest bloggers and experts to round out our own knowledge and experience. Watch for a diverse make-up of honest gear reviews and lots of giveaways!

The Kid Project
As a family, we want to live an adventure together. We want to play together. We want to live life and grow together. Our goal is to inspire families to get outdoors together, to provide gear reviews [for better or worse], family-friendly locations, posts/interviews from kindred spirits we’ve met along the way and encouragement on the road of parenting.

Velo Mom
Velo Mom is the place I share our family bike adventures, highlight inspirational families and kids on bikes, discuss exceptional products, great rides and the latest news.

Adventure Parents
Adventure Parents entertains and informs with stories about parents, families and kids who enjoy outdoor adventure in any of its forms. It has a mix of posts from personal narratives to news to product reviews that appeal to the outdoorsy parent.

Go Explore Nature
Go Explore Nature is all about connecting kids & families with nature, in your own backyard and beyond. You’ll find everything from tips on bird watching and backyard camping to ideas for backyard nature play. Happy exploring! (more…)

Random News Worth Checking Out

I often come across an interesting study, a fabulous article or some other random thing. I typically post such finds on facebook or twitter. But if you tweet and/or facebook like I do (which is not very faithfully) you tend to miss a lot of stuff. Here are 5 things I hope you didn’t miss.

If you have a random blog post or news item that struck you as particularly great, please share in the comments.

1. This post from Creative Star Learning Company has a ton of Earth Day activity ideas, many that correlate with books. This particular post highlights one of my favorite kids’ books called I’m In Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the post there’s about 56 different links to other Earth Day activities.

2. The very title of this article beckoned me to read it, and I was so glad I did! Einstein May Never Have Used Flashcards, but He Probably Built Forts. It’s one of the best articles on outdoor play, imagination and childhood that I’ve read in a long time.

3. Growing a Naturalist: Developing a child’s passion for nature. On of those articles that makes you say “aaaaah”. My favorite quote:

The way to grow a naturalist – someone with a voracious appetite to learn about the wonders of nature and an appreciation for what is found there – requires just two ingredients: unstructured time in natural places and an adult who models respect for nature and enjoys the outdoors.

4. I’ve been scheming a bikepacking trip. But with a new baby on the way, when exactly is that a good idea? I came across this article Babies First Bike Tour: At What Age? I thought it had some good insights, and at times made me sorta laugh.

5. You know what else made me sorta laugh. This video. Gotta get the gear…

Vacation in a SylvanSport GO? Yes please.

I’m not typically one to enter contests and giveaways, but when I heard about this I thought it sounded like it might be worth a try and figured others might be interested. I mean really, who wouldn’t want to live out of this (seriously, check out the pictures) for three months: – – – – – – – >

The SylvanSport GO looks like an amazing little contraption that can hold all your camping gear and up to 10 kayaks or 5 bikes, a few surf boards, rock climbing gear, rafting stuff, etc… AND provide a cozy place for you and your family to sleep.

To enter go to their homepage, and in 400 words or less  write about all the crazy adventures you would take in your GO expedition. They also want to know how you would promote your adventure. Blogging? Video? Bragging rights?

The three best essays win a gear package from sponsors like: Yakima, Kelty, Keen, Black Diamond, Wenger, Jackson Kayak, SPOT, Grand Trunk Goods, Orbea, and of course the GO itself for up to three months to live and document your adventure story. The most interesting and well documented story keeps the GO and a bunch of gear.

Contest ends May 31st 2012, but you may want to enter ASAP because each week contestants are automatically entered into weekly giveaways for chances to win prizes.

A risk worth taking? I want your thoughts.

Last week Adventure Parents posted a link (on their facebook page) to an article about a woman rock climbing with a  two-year-old on her back

This article was accompanied by the photo on the right.

I wanted to comment on his post. I just couldn’t find the words… I mean, the photo looks pretty sketchy, and while I personally wouldn’t have felt comfortable with this, I sorta get why she made this decision. I know what it’s like to want so badly to continue all the outdoor hobbies you did before you had children. You crave that feeling of adventure, adrenaline, the freedom and just plain feeling like yourself!

…and lets face it, you want to prove wrong all those people who made you think your adventurous life was over the day you got pregnant.

I’ve been just as tempted as the next guy to strap a pack-n-play to the front of a raft. But it never seemed quite like the good idea I wanted it to be. For me it came down to the risks involved. Or is it because as Menna says in the article: we have become a “sue-and-blame culture” where “so many people are nervous, so afraid of getting into trouble, and taking small risks.”?

I want your thoughts on this! Does this look like a “small risk”? Do you agree with her decision? Is our culture just over paranoid?

All thoughts are welcome!

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    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

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