Geography, History

A Mystery in South America

My 3-year-old wanted a granola bar, some nuts, and 2 waffles for breakfast. As he was picking through our container of nuts, he would ask me what kind they were. When he came across the Brazil Nut he asked me where they were from and I told him I guessed they were from Brazil.

I then looked in our Amazing World Atlas book to read about South America and Brazil. I did not find any information about nuts, but Brazil does produce over 3 Million tons of coffee every year.

The thing I found most interesting was the Nazca Desert in Peru. According to the book the Nazca lines were scraped into the desert sand 1500 years ago. Some of them are pictures of animals and plants (“biomorphs”) and some of them are just shapes and lines (“geoglyphs”). The surprising thing? These pictures are so large that you can only see them from the air. How did they get there, and what do they mean? No one truly knows, but there are some interesting theories described in an article written by the UnMuseum. According to the article, the glyphs are actually dated to 200 BC and 300AD, and these are not the only breathtaking large-scale phenomena in South America.

I don’t know about you, but aliens was definitely the thing that crossed my mind first.

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Adventures

Thunder Knob Trail – Hiking with the Family

Happy 4th of July!

Today we took a day trip to the North Cascades National Park. Specifically, we went Thunder Knob Trail, which was 10 minutes north of the North Cascades Visitor Center.

This national park is located a 2 and a half hour trip north of Seattle. The drive is just beautiful. 2.5 hours in the car is a long time, especially with little kids. Mr. 1 fell asleep for about an hour, and Mr. 3 just looked out the window the whole time.

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You are surrounded by mountains and follow several rivers along the way. The Skagit river and the Sauk river stood out to me the most. I even bothered to learn their names on this trip, because they were so pretty. The Sauk river was nearly bright blue due to the mineral deposits coming off of the nearby mountains.

When we arrived at the parking lot, we had a quick picnic and were on our way.

Thunder Knob Trail is a 3.6 mile hike round trip with an elevation of 425 feet. The National Park Service describes the trail as great for kids. I think older kids would do great with this, and we saw several families with children older than the age of 10 speed by us.

The path had a mild incline and a few rocks to stub your toe on, but overall it was a really good trail. It was wide enough to hold hands at most places.

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Mr. 3 and Mr. 1 walked for a short while, but Mr. 1 kept walking back down the path or off of the path altogether. Mr. 3 kept asking to be picked up because he was tired. We rested a few times and enjoyed views like the one above.

I love my Ergo baby carrier. The biggest problem with it is that it only holds one child. It’s hard to know how far you’ve walked on a hike like this, but I carried the 45 pound toddler for about an hour, and the 25 pound toddler for most of the rest of the 2 hours. My shoulders are a little sore afterwards, but who wouldn’t be carrying that weight for 3 hours?

We finally made it to the top to enjoy this spectacular view.

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Special shout out to the nice family that gave us a bottle of water at the top of the hill.

Here is a hiking tip I learned today: Put your extra water bottles in the backpack, NOT the car. They are not helpful in the car because you will not be able to drink them.

The hike back down was easier, since Mr. 3 did a fair bit of walking by himself. At the bottom by the stream he resumed his favorite activity of throwing rocks and pinecones into the water.

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Overall, I’d say that we all had a good time and got a lot of good exercise.

Some other things I learned today:

  • Oso is spanish for bear, according to my husband.
  • Pack more food and water than you think you need, because walking makes you hungry and thirsty. (Also, save the cheerios for the car ride home! We don’t normally let them eat in the car, but it was such a long drive and eating cheerios saved us 30 minutes of crying on the last leg of the journey.)

Do you have any pro hiking tips to share?

 

 

 

 

Daily Lessons

Traveling with Young Children

My kids are no strangers to airplanes. They don’t do too well in the car for long periods of time, but they are great at flying. Here are some tricks we’ve learned along the way!

Young babies are very simple. You hold them on your lap and encourage them to sleep. If they are awake on take off or landing, you want to be sure to feed them to help with the air pressure change. Hold them and bounce them in your arms while standing in the aisles if they get restless.

Once your child is 2 years old you will be required to purchase them a seat on the airplane. I strongly recommend you bring their airplane approved car seat. It should have a sticker somewhere on it that says it is FAA approved.

The car seat will keep your toddler from escaping and even provide a more comfortable place to sleep. Most toddlers are used to falling asleep in the car, so the airplane should not be much different.

Next, be sure to bring some distracting and satisfying games and snacks.

Activities
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  1. Play Dough – I use Rachelle’s recipe at TinkerLab and just put a small amount in a baggie. My 3 year old loves playing with his diggers and the play dough and this keeps him very buys at home. Play dough is sticky though, so be sure to bring parchment paper to protect whichever surface you are playing on.
  2. Crayons and coloring/activity book. Great for all ages.
  3. Stickers/Tape – This can keep both my 1 year old and 3 year old busy for a long period of time. You can stick them on the back of some coloring sheets.
  4. Small but well loved books that you do not mind re-reading several times.

For this trip we are bringing Peek-A-Who which is an all time favorite with my 1 year old. We are also bringing Calling All Cars a lego story about a bank robbery. My toddler has been enjoying this series for the last few weeks. Most of the books are hard to read for me because the text can be a little annoying, but this one was pretty good.

Snacks

The best snacks are ones that aren’t devoured in five seconds. You want this to take a while…

Did you know you can bring food through security? You are not allowed liquids but solid food is allowed! 

I like to bring:

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  1. Small or cut up pieces of fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, pear, apple. You don’t want to choose things that can get too mushy and sticky such as banana and some peaches. (Not pictured because I want them to be as fresh as possible; I promise I will offer my kids fruit! )
  2. Chex mix. I use Chex cereal and pour in planters mixed nuts – low sodium. Sometimes I add broken pretzel sticks if we have them at home.
  3. Cheerios (plain) for young babies or young toddlers.
  4. Raisins are sticky but my kids love them.
  5. Other easy non perishable snacks such as yogurt melts, fruit chews, granola bars.

Just Remember:

You know your children best, and these are just suggestions to get you thinking. You can even ask them to help pack and choose a few of their favorite small toys (that they might not be broken up about if they get lost)… my kids love doing this.

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I hope you have a great trip!

 

About

Traveling for work… ick

I don’t know exactly how to describe the way I am feeling. I don’t know if I’m tired, sad that the sun has gone away again, PMS, perhaps even that 3rd child we’ve been trying for… but I feel … I feel bad.

My husband has been out of town for work this week, and he comes back tonight. Yay! I thought I was doing really well but today it’s catching up to me.

I was going to make a post earlier this week about how a can-do attitude can change everything, but now I think it takes more than that!

It’s so lonely being away from family and not having anyone to help out. I know it was only 4 days, and the kids are happy and healthy, but it’s been hard!

I have the utmost respect for those people who’s significant others travel a lot and I am very grateful that mine does not. Although maybe it gets easier with practice? 

All in all though, the kids have been great. Thanks to the sunny weather we spent a significant amount of time on the patio playing sandbox, or restaurant. We did some art, we read some stories. We played with trains and trucks. We walked the dog 3 times and saw a nearby construction site. 


Still, I told my husband for Mother’s Day I want to stay in bed all day!

(By the way, those Play dough creatures and tape collage projects are all inspired by Rachelle Doorley at Tinkerlab. )