Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Best Mommy App - My365

When your friends start unfriending you on Facebook and unfollowing you on Instagram, you may have become an annoying mommy.  We know you think you're baby is the cutest baby ever but you don't need to remind us every two hours!  #youmaybebiased

I started to go a little overboard on Instagram too, it's hard not to with all the cool effects and filters. I have found the perfect solution though, it's an iphone app called my365 (I swear they are not paying me to endorse their app - I wish).  As you can see from the snapshots below it is organized by calendar month which allows me to post a picture everyday of my growing babes.  I can even add a title and a comment for when something note worthy happens like Penny rolling over or Grandma is coming to town.  The comments I make also help me keep track of things like when Penny decided to become allergic to sleep...just for the record it has almost been a month now! The past few nights she has been waking every hour again. #lordhelpme

Anyways, check out the app if you are worried of losing some don't have to worry about family members though, they love a constant baby update.  Another tip is getting your baby their own facebook account.  We did this for Penny so I can upload a crap load of pictures without bombarding my "friends" wall. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Not a Sleep-Training Mommy

That's it! My mind is made, I am an anti-sleep training mama.  After endless research and opinions, I keep going back to my gut feeling.  I want to be there for my babes, I am not the type to let her cry it out in her crib alone waiting for me to help her.  She doesn't understand why she is being left alone to "learn" how to sleep, she does know how to sleep! And it's with the comfort of me, her mom, right next to us in OUR bed.  Yup, the truth is out we are a bed sharing, breastfeeding, non-sleep training family.  Call me hippy if ya will but that's just the type of parent I am. I am not alone in these decisions, apparently Mr.Loonie is a bit hippy dippy himself.  I found this letter written from the point of a sleep trained baby and I had a long cry, it was heartbreaking.  I know this topic is highly controversial because you either strongly agree or disagree with sleep training but we are doing what feels right for our family.
Taken from: Alternative Mama - Letter from a Sleep Training Baby

Dear Mommy,
I am confused.
I am used to falling asleep in your soft, warm arms. Each night I lay snuggled close to you; close enough to hear your heartbeat, close enough to smell your sweet fragrance. I gaze at your beautiful face as I gently drift off to sleep, safe and secure in your loving embrace. When I awaken with a growling stomach, cold feet or because I need a cuddle, you attend to me quickly and before long I am sound asleep once again.
But this last week has been different.
Each night this week has gone like this. You tucked me up into my cot and kissed me goodnight, turned out the light and left. At first I was confused, wondering where you’d gone. Soon I became scared, and called for you. I called and called for you mummy, but you wouldn’t come! I was so sad, mummy. I wanted you so badly. I’ve never felt feelings that strong before. Where did you go?
Eventually you came back! Oh, how happy and relieved I was that you came back! I thought you had left me forever! I reached up to you but you wouldn’t pick me up. You wouldn’t even look me in the eye. You lay me back down with those soft warm arms, said “shh, it’s night time now” and left again.
This happened again, over and over. I screamed for you and after a while, longer each time, you would return but you wouldn’t hold me.
After I had screamed a while, I had to stop. My throat hurt so badly. My head was pounding and my tiny tummy was growling. My heart hurt the most, though. I just couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t come.
After what felt like a lifetime of nights like this, I gave up. You don’t come when I scream, and when you do finally come you won’t even look me in the eye, let alone hold my shaking, sobbing little body. The screaming hurt too much to carry on for very long.
I just don’t understand, mummy. In the daytime when I fall and bump my head, you pick me up and kiss it better. If I am hungry, you feed me. If I crawl over to you for a cuddle, you read my mind and scoop me up, covering my tiny face with kisses and telling me how special I am and how much you love me. If I need you, you respond to me straight away.
But at night time, when it’s dark and quiet and my night-light casts strange shadows on my wall, you disappear. I can see that you’re tired, mummy, but I love you so much. I just want to be near to you, that’s all.
Now, at night time, I am quiet. But I still miss you.

 Waaaa! Gawd! That is awful, some may think the letter is a little dramatic but how else could the baby comprehend what is happening?  Since we are still in the thick of sleep regression, our methods are making this stage as calm and manageable. I feel that Penny will move to her own bed and learn to fall asleep on her own when she is ready.  I think of it as another milestone like rolling over (which Penny is finally doing!!) or walking.  With continuing with our style of "attachment" parenting, Penny will only learn to feel more comfortable and secure as she ages, aiding in the natural progression of her independence.  Another post worth reading : Alternative Mama - 8 Reasons to Avoid Sleep Training

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kitchen Backsplash

Sorry to keep all of you in suspense! I am the worst blogger ever.  Some weeks I am so interested in keeping this up and others, I just want nothing to do with it....this has been one of those weeks.  Just in a bit of a funk...Mr. Loonie is almost at the end of a long work cycle, it has been cold, snowy and windy and we are still going through the sleep issues with Penny.  I honestly had no idea of the internal struggles I would be having deciding on what type of parent I want/should be.  The amount of information out there in books, blogs, forums, mom's groups, etc. is overwhelming, it honestly makes my head spin. Just when I think I want to do things one way, someone throws their opinion at me and it makes me second guess myself. I then do endless research weighing the pros and cons of both sides but always end up going back to my original method, what feels natural to me.   Whoa....a little off topic, just getting things off my chest I guess!  My rant deserves a post of it's own I think.  So, back to tile.....

We are super pleased with the end result, the kitchen feels much more bright and updated. And remember the tile only cost us a dollar a sheet. So in total we used 27 sheets therefore $27!! Mr. Loonie has asked me like ten times since we finished, "So, are you happy with your kitchen?".  It's hilarious, he is just that happy with himself! I have to say I am pretty proud of us too, I feel like we could tile anything now.  It took us just over three hours which is a little long probably but trying to keep Penny entertained at the same time was a handful. We added water to the mortar a few times since it was drying out.  The next few days included grouting (we went with a white grout), wiping and sealing and then cleaning.  

Wondering why there is one dark handle and the rest brushed nickel?  I'm just trying one out before I change them all.  Let me know what you think? All dark (oil rubbed bronze) or all brushed nickel, a different style though?? HELP ME! I can't decide!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dreaming of a Banquette

The perfect corner for a banquette?!? I think so!!
I've always loved banquettes they just seem so inviting.  Who wouldn't want a cozy little spot to curl up into to read the morning paper (or check facebook on the iphone) while drinking a cup of coffee.  I've come to realize during my extra time at home that I really have the perfect kitchen for it, I just have to get rid of the cart, garbage can and spice cabinet.  Easier said then done but I can make it happen with a little kijiji selling and organization.

**Mr.Loonie just looked in while I was writing in this post and he thinks the idea of a banquette is stupid because the kitchen looks "wicked" as is.  Also, that I should enjoy my morning coffee on the couch like every other normal person. Men.....what do they know?! The only thing he knows is that building the banquette goes on his "honey do" list and cuts out on whatever he does like playing with his computer and car.

It wouldn't be that hard to build though just two long rectangular boxes with the top on hinges for storage and custom bench cushions.  Perhaps some trim, white paint and throw cushions to fancy it up abit. A cute round little table and chair would also be needed too. EASY! ;)

Another reason for wanting a kitchen eating area is for when Penny starts solids in a month.  I could use her high chair or just the bumbo for quick morning feeds instead of hauling everything to the dining table in the other room.  She could make as much mess as her little heart desired.

Here are some banquette ideas I've been pinning on Pinterest:

Love the wall opening to the front door - same layout as our house! It could be done!

Gorgeous, love the trim.

Love the area rug, round table and wicker!

A touch to modern but love the layout and the windows

Easy bench cushions.  Not liking the long table though.

Wish me luck.........

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Easiest Weeknight Dinner - Fish Taco

Have you ever survived on cereal, yogurt and crackers for a week straight? I have.  It happens every 21 days when Mr. Loonie starts his night shift cycle for 7 nights.  Once in awhile I cook supper for him to take to work but not very often since it has to be ready by four in the afternoon and I just have too much going on.......;). Most of the time Mr. Loonie yells from upstairs "I DON'T NEED A LUNCH! This is when I know he will be eating egg salad sandwiches and cookies the guys living in camp brings in or all the night shift guys have a big greasy meal planned like double bacon cheeseburgers or triple meat/cheese bacon lasagna.  All the stuff their wives won't allow them at home.  And the wives say, "I don't know why you are gaining weight honey, you eat so healthy!" (Insert hubby's guilty face here).  
So the point is...when I do get my shit together and crave something a bit more like a real meal somewhat on the healthy side, this easy fish taco is a go to. It can be adjusted to any type of ethnic cuisine you feel like or the ingredients you have on hand. The combinations are endless really. Asian with maybe some cabbage, cilantro, green onions and sweet chili sauce. Or Indian with mango chutney and a curry mayo/yogurt. Or Mexican with black beans, corn and salsa. I went with kind of a Japanese take with avocado mayonnaise and cabbage. All it takes is:
  • Baked fish sticks
  • Whatever veggies you have - I had cabbage, yellow peppers, cilantro and green onions
  • A sauce - I did a mashed avocado mixed with mayo 
  • Squeeze of citrus
  • Tortilla or wrap - I love the whole wheat Weight Watchers wraps - they are small enough to have two!
**Just cleaning up the grout today and applying the grout sealer tonight.  Almost soon!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Weekend of Tiling

The grout is a flyin' this weekend......finally! Well finally for the bathroom anyways.  We started the bathroom reno May long weekend with a little progress made in the summer but has been at a stand still now for which seems like forever.  So here we are in November getting this bathroom finished up! My Dad and Mr.Loonie are up there now laying it down while I get the kitchen blacksplash prepped and hangin' with little Pens of course. 

Bathroom Sneak Peek!

Yes, we are also tiling the kitchen back splash...something I never really planned on doing but when a deal came up at Wal-Mart for this glass mosaic tile pictured below, I couldn't refuse.  You are not going to believe me when I say this but a box, one 1ft x 1ft sheet was on the clearance rack for $1.00! One frekin dollar for real glass mosaic tile and it matches our colour scheme perfectly!! I saw almost the exact same sheet of tile at Home Hardware for $19.99.  We picked up 32 sheets which means we will be tiling the backsplash for $32.00 not including the cost of grout though.  The colour is called "ocean mist", found on the Creative Surfaces website.

Floor Tile, Countertop, Backsplash $1.00 tile!
Check out the before shot below. Yeesh, I could have at least put the dishes away and folded up the tea towel neatly before taking the shot.  Oh well, just keeping it real around here.  You can see one box of tile leaned up against the wall behind the sink, doesn't it just seem too perfect? I think so! Once the backsplash is done I am thinking of replacing the cabinet hardware as well.  The current handles are just a little too modern for me.  I picked them out five years ago while we were painting the cabinets but my style has changed over the years to a little more traditional/eclectic. I think that's how it would be described. Well, I must get back to work before the guys yell at me for being a slacker! haha

Stay tuned for the finished shots!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sleep Regression......huh?

This past week has been hell on the sleeping front.  Apparently we are going through the four month sleep regression stage.  I had never heard of this before until I stumbled upon it while Googling "WHY IS MY BABY UP EVERY 45 MINUTES??!" I was seriously going crazy.  Unfortunately the regression starting happening at the same time I thought it would be a good idea to "sleep train" and transition Penny to the crib since she was only getting up once a night.  I was struggling on what type of sleep training to even do with her.  Did I want her to cry out or the more gentler approaches of frequently popping in to console her if she fussed or even staying in the room until she fell asleep.  Nothing was working, she would not go to sleep unless she was lying next to me in bed with my boob in her mouth.  I thought I was in the beginning of years of a needy co-sleeping child and I was starting to question my ability as a mom.  I even cried to the lady at the infant massage class Penny and I went to....the extra sensitivity was probably a result of the lack of sleep. Even when Penny would fall back asleep for her next short "nap" I would end up laying there awake waiting for the next get up.  I swear I was going bonkers, it didn't help Mr.Loonie was on night shift so there was no subbing in on Penny duty, it was all me. I was just a little stressed until a friend on facebook posted this article ( coincidentally at the most perfect time.  It made me realize Penny is too young to be strict.  There was obviously something wrong in her little mind or body for her to be up so often and she must need her mommy.  I just needed to be there for her without worrying about the damage I may be doing because really we are not doing any.

Sleep Routine

I had no idea what was going on though....the first thing we thought was teething because of the hot red cheeks. But Penny is just too overtired, she just doesn't want to sleep.  There was no napping in the day even.  What I learned from reading about sleep regression is that she just can't shut that little brain of hers down,  she is going through a developmental milestone trying to process all that information and experiences from the day.  All she can get through is one sleep cycle at a time (45-90 minutes) and then needs my help to get back down. Good thing it doesn't take long just a quick snuggle or nurse but it still means an interrupted sleep all night.  And to think I was trying to do this for 3 nights while "sleep training", running back and forth to the crib.....not smart. Now that she is back in bed with us, the nights are a little more peaceful and less stressful.  So hopefully this doesn't last too long, from what I've read it is supposed to be only 2-3 weeks.

Since discovering what was actually going on, we are on a strict bedtime routine.  7:00pm at the latest we are in quiet play mode with the lights dim and the t.v. off. It has seemed to help a bit, only time will improve her habits even further. The only way out of this stage is through it!

Until the next regression at 9 months.......

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The 2012 Canadian Penny (both the coin and our daughter)

Did you know that the Government of Canada decided to ix-nay production of the Canadian penny as of 2012?! Well it is true! Apparently it costs more (1.6 cents) to make the penny than what it is worth (1 cent...obviously) and in total costs the Government around $11 million every year to produce the penny!! So what they are really saying is that "Canadians consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin".  But the coin is still in circulation, so really they are just as annoying as they ever were; filling up your wallet, pockets and empty texas mickey bottles.

I swear Mr.Loonie and I don't have this weird infatuation with the Penny which required us to name our first born in memory of the copper coin, it was just a coincidence really.  No one will remember that 2012 was the last year of the penny just like no one remembers the last year of the one dollar and two dollar bill.  If you are not a mint nerd, the years the loonie and toonie were introduced was 1987 and 1996,  coincidentally the same years our currency was labelled as funny money.  

So what does this have to do with Penny, our daughter? Well she will have a cool story to tell one day to someone who cares and she will have the most collectible 2012 penny ever....the one her daddy framed. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Round-Up 2012

Halloween was pretty quiet around here this year.  Mr.Loonie is on night shift so I was in charge of handing out candy but I didn't have to do it alone this year! Penny the owl was there to join me. Instead of buying a $20 costume Penny could wear only once we went the homemade route instead which is usually much cuter anyways. I started with an owl toque my aunt got Penny and then sorta copied the idea for the body from a picture I found on Pinterest.  It cost me a total of $5 for a pack of craft felt from Wal-Mart. I just cut it into into strips (scalloped on one side and straight on the other) and hot glued them onto a black onesie I already had.  We also already had the black leggings. Super easy, cheap and cute!!

And then there's carving the pumpkins....I always think it will be a fun activity but the pumpkins usually sit uncarved until the night before Halloween.  Mr.Loonie thinks it's hilarious to do something out of the ordinary.  Last year was the unamused face and this year he used a pumpkin already shaped like a bum to carve out hands and an asshole....we did have quite the reaction at the door though. I used star shaped metal cookie cutters and hammered them into my pumpkin.  I went this route because I honestly hate following those paper patterns and any type of precision cutting. 
Penny's 1st Halloween!
Ass Sphincter Says What?                                                                     Tissue Paper Lanterns
The lanterns I did last year, I think my first ever pinterest project! They are just some random glass jars with tissue paper modge podged on and light up with tea lights.

 Oooh and what do you get from carving pumpkins?! The seeds!! This year we went all fancy up in here using olive oil, black truffle salt (love The Silk Road Spice Merchant!) and black pepper.  All earthy and delicious.

My Dad's birthday falls only a few days before Halloween and this year I volunteered to do the cake...a HALLOWEEN cake! It was actually a cake shaped like a pumpkin using two bundt cake pans and boxed cake mix dyed three different halloweeny colours and layered to bake.  Yet another idea from Pinterest....just no originality here folks.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chalkboard Update - Frame Drawings

I am always trying to think of something cool and creative to fill up my chalkboard with like meaningful quotes written in unique lettering but I just end up with phone messages and stick drawings.  I did a quick search on Pinterest and found this easy frame idea that I could personalize anyway I want including the frame design and what to fill them with.  Since Halloween is just around the corner I did a jack o'lantern and then countdown to Christmas in another frame to keep us on track for gift shopping (I can't believe it's only 8 weeks away!!).  The rest of the frames were easy...a K for our last name and then love for my babes. 

What I wish I could do....

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Social Life...a thing of the past?

Before having kids I didn't understand how hard it would be to have a social life.  You just dump them at Grandma's and go right?  Yah....not so. When I was pregnant, I said I would always keep my social life on top of the priorities list because everyone knows it is healthy to have a life outside of the home.  What I have learned is that this is easier said than done.  It's been four months and I have yet to leave Penny for more than 3 hours which was on a double header volleyball night.  Three hours was stretching it too, Mr.Loonie had to take Penny on a walk and give her a bath to keep her calm. The biggest reason for not being able to leave her is Penny's resistance for the bottle.  This was maybe a mistake I made from not trying the bottle at an earlier age and my belief of not using a soother.  We have had some luck as of late though with a new type of bottle my mother in law picked up that looks like a mother's breast. The nipple is shorter (Penny was gagging on the long nipples of the standard bottle type) and the base or "the breast" is softer and larger so that baby can latch on like she would the mother's boob.  So with a bit more practice, I may feel more comfortable leaving Penny for more than a couple hours! Maybe even an evening out with my hubby and a few vodka tonics ( tonics with a lime).
I have to admit, it is not only the bottle issue. I think I am using it as a crutch.  If she doesn't take it then I don't have to go out.  I don't have to spend an hour doing my hair, squeezing into my pre-preggo jeans or pushing up these stretched out utters of mine.  I also don't have to worry about leaving her with someone and trying to push the worry out of my mind all night.  Is she okay? Is she playing shy and screaming her lungs out? Did she eat enough? Did she get to sleep? Ahhhh! But I would never leave her with someone who is completely stupid so if there was something wrong they would call or just take care of the problem. So who cares if I have to cut the night short at least I tried right? Wouldn't it be easier to just stay home though? To lie on the couch, eat some chips and cuddle with my babe? Yes, yes it would be. But Penny would be a 30 year old woman living at home and collecting cats. I would become a fat and lazy parent depending on Penny for companionship.  And Mr. Loonie's and I's relationship and sex life would go down the toilet.  So in conclusion:  it would be best for all of us for a night on the town even if it only lasts a couple of hours.  I could get pretty buzzed in that time and a quickie in the car doesn't take that long especially due to the recent drought.  So to those friends who may not understand how hard it is to break free of the baby and call four hours before a party....please remember that we are parents now.  Four hours won't work, we probably need at least four days!  It's sad but true, that's our life now.  It's not and we're not as easy and carefree as we used to be.  And another your judgement until you pop a little one out and she turns your world upside down.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Camping with Penny

For those of you who don't know us, the Loonie family, we are serious campers.  We try and go as much as we can in the summer, which is pretty short up here in northern Alberta.  Since Mr.Loonie and I have met we have been on a few BIG camping/road trips going for at least 3 weeks.  We've done the 3 provinces around us, Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C. and we also did a Wyoming/Idaho/Montana trip which is the three states Yellowstone National Park lies in.  These trips were full of partying, loving and a lot of driving so we could see as much as possible. Our most recent trip down the Oregon/Washington coast was a little different due to the addition of our little Pen Pen.  There was no partying on my part. Mr.Loonie may have got a little tipsy on red wine a few nights with his best buddy Stryker but we were pretty much in bed every night before 10:30 pm and up and on the road by 9 am (with a large coffee to go!) with Stryker walked and breakfast ate.

Gregoire Lake - July 2012
On all our previous trips we just used a quick pop-up tent and a small car. When I got pregnant, we decided that our 2 man tenting days with a dog were over.  We really should have bought a bigger tent back then to make things easier but nope, being the cheapskates that we are, we huddled in that little tent with Stryker and our luggage every trip!  To do our U.S. 2012 trip with Penny in a tent would have been absolutely crazy, and in the late fall of last year, we picked up a used tent trailer. The tent trailer can pack so much stuff , especially with the addition of the cargo box on top of the trailer and the car.  The box above the trailer held the stroller, hiking backpacks and extra wood - this all had to be removed before raising the trailer because of the weight.  The car's cargo box held  a laundry basket of extra clothes/shoes for all weather - we hit all extremes on our trip including rain storms, below zero temperatures, and hot dry sunny weather.  It also held the geocaching backpack, a spare box of diapers and other items needed at quick access.

So what did we need for Penny?

  • Diaper and more diapers
  • Changing pad and wipes
  • The Bumbo for joining us at the picnic/trailer table
  • MEC hiking backpack and the Baby Bjorn carrier
  • Mommy's boobs - I can't imagine doing this trip bottle feeding! How would you do it??
  • Clothes for all weather
  • Go Pod (camping chair)
  • Pea Pod (sun shade)
  • Blankets including one with vinyl on one side for lying in the grass or on the beach
  • Car seat entertainment - We have the "Fisher Price Music and Lights" which would usually put Penny to sleep
  • Sophie and other toys 
  • Baby toiletries and towel
  • Baby Aspirin....just in case.
  • The stroller was iffy, we could have done without it as it is always easier to carry her
  • Some kind of travel bed or not.
  • A travel neck pillow - perfect for nursing!
This picture is from Penny's first camping trip which also happened to be her one month birthday!  She was a trooper even with a couple bug bites on her forehead. 

The pictures below show our tent trailer set-up.  To the left by the door is the dry food bin.  Another bin of the same size full of cookware and dishes stacks on top, we found keeping this stuff in the cuprbords were just to hard to access and keep organized.

On both of the local camping trips we did this summer, Penny slept in her travel sleep bed.  See pictures below: this thing was awesome, we took it everywhere the first two months but she quickly grew out of it.  So the plan for our big trip was to make her a bed using a rubbermaid "under the bed shoe bin" with a foamy inside cut to fit to sit on the stove just like the travel bed did.  Great idea right? Well if it wasn't below zero or close to it most nights, it would have been. She just would have been too cold so the truth is, she slept with us in the bed.  Now I know you are thinking, how the heck did we get her back into her own bed when we got home? Well, all I can say is we got lucky!

My friend taught me about laundry basket packing - awesome for weekend trips for the 3 of us but for the big trip we had a lot more luggage.  Mr.Loonie and I shared a suit case and Penny had her own small duffel bag. The laundry basket was then used in the cargo box for quick access.
Below is the same view one cold night on our trip.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Baaaack.....

Wow, well I'm a jerk.  I just got up and left y'all with no goodbye or explanation as to where we were heading.  It has been a busy month and a half and Miss Penny has become quite the traveller for a four month old.  Yes, she is four months already tomorrow! Well four months date wise (born June 19th) but 17.5 weeks if you are counting weeks.  

So where have we been you ask? Well for most of September we were camping our down the Washington and Oregon scenic coast highway 101,  via the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and Vernon and Osoyoos, B.C.   Our original goal was to make it to California but a job interview for Mr. Loonie and Penny's growing hatred for the car seat quickly changed our plans causing us to head back up north only 100km from the California border.  Ahh well, that's life and California will be saved for another trip.  On the way home we booked er' on the 1-5 through Portland, a city I would love to visit again and then through the historic Columbia Gorge bi-way in Washington (gorgeous in the fall!) and then crossing the Canadian border up through Idaho to Alberta.  

Our Set-up.  Drove over 6000km round trip.
The trip was amazing, I don't know how many times we said, "We should move here!".  Everywhere was just so different from our neck of the woods, emphasis on the word "woods"! In Washington we hit the Pacific Ocean at a spot known as Deception's Pass, a strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island where the sun was shining both days, the hikes were amazing and the large trees and ferns took over the landscape just off the rocky beaches.  Mr. Loonie and Stryker had their first swim here, Stryker was a little more than surprised at the taste of the salt water! The funny thing was that he never seemed to remember that the water was salty our entire time at the ocean.  We were on the ocean most of the trip camping at beach side campgrounds when available, nothing beats the sounds of waves crashing while lying in bed.  

Deception's Pass - Penny's 1st view of the Pacific Ocean!
We saw mountains, sea lions, a whale, Oregon's largest Spruce tree, the world's longest beach , natural arches and caves in the ocean, a shit load of army bunkers, waterfalls, the world's largest frying pan, sand dunes, ocean sunsets, violent waves and blowholes, amazing bridges and botanical gardens but the best thing was watching Penny change from an infant to our little girl.  The changes we saw in her was awesome.  She was able to hold her steady by the end of our trip and sit in the bumbo comfortably without her head hanging and she is now forward facing in the carrier, a position she prefers so she can see the world! Penny just became more aware during that month, more smiley and talkative and much more comfrtable with both Mr.Loonie and I.

Holding her head up like a champ.

Devil's Churn
Columbia Gorge Waterfall
Long Beach, WA
Ecola State Park, OR (My favorite spot of the trip)

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR
One of the many ocean sunsets.

Outward in the carrier!
Beach Day!

And hiking.....I love to hike but yeesh no wonder I could fit into my pre-preggo jeans when we got back.  (Let's be honest with a muffin top). But everyone knows the only way to the best spots is to hike to them.  We did our fair share of geocaching too which lead us to the most amazing locations that only locals would know including ocean lookouts and secluded beaches.  

All in all, it was a great trip.  And for those who thought we were crazy for going with a 3 month old, I agree.  Haha No, it wasn't that bad at all.  It just took some planning and all the right equipment.  I will be posting a camping post to show you how we did it and what we would do differently next time.  

Now, if only Pen Pen could remember it all!! Thankfully, we have the 4000 pictures to show her when she is old enough to care! I also did a nightly journal entry to document our daily acitivities and journey with the coolest little polaroid pics taken with a camera Mr. Loonie got me for my 30th birthday.  Oh yah, remember a few posts back I wrote that I wasn't afraid of turning 30?! Well I guess that was a shit story since I ended up running from my own party.  The gist of it is.....Penny wouldn't take the bottle in time for the party and since I couldn't drink I decided to not go out at all.  So yah, I turned 30 but I still act like a child.