Falling in love with your family

What to Take on a Day Hike

Day hike in the outdoors can be a fun and relaxing activity for your family or friends. But the simple idea of a day hike can actually catch many people off guard if something happens. Don’t get stuck unprepared.

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Going on a hike can be a fun and relaxing time for families and friends. There is nothing quite like heading to the trail and breathing in that fresh air. You should come prepared, though, in order to make sure you have a good of a time as you can! Just because it is just for the day or even an hour or two, many issues can come up causing a kink in the plans.  Here are some tips for taking what you need on a hike.

What to Take on a Hike

Water

Plenty of water for everyone. This may mean that everyone needs to carry their own, but it is vitally important that you stay hydrated when outdoors in the heat doing any exercise. Depending on how far or how long you intend to go, one bottle of water may not be enough. Pack accordingly. Even these little water filter straws can be a life saver in an emergency.

First Aid

A mini-first aid kit. You never know what will happen when you are outdoors. You don’t need to pack a bunch of things in your mini first aid kit, but be sure to pack some tweezers (for splinters), bandages in a couple different sizes, anti-bacterial ointment, an ace bandage, an instant ice pack, bug spray and bug bite treatment.

Suncreen

Sunscreen. This is especially important if you intend to be out for a while or your hike is long. You may sweat and although many sunscreens are now waterproof, you will still need to apply more as the day goes on just to be sure you are well covered. Even in the cooler fall and winter months you can get a sunburn.

Energy

High protein and high carb snacks. Things like cliff bars, shelf stable meat, jerky, cheese and crackers and granola bars are great for hikes. They are portable, don’t take up much room and give your body what it needs to keep going.

Map

A map of the area you are hiking. Even if you are very familiar with the trail, it is always a good idea to bring a map. You never know what can happen, so be prepared. And let someone know who isn’t going with you where you will be going, exactly. That way if you or someone you are with gets hurt and a search and rescue team has to come get you, they won’t be spending all of their time searching.

Clothing

Extra socks for everyone. The weather is an unpredictable force to be reckoned with and especially at higher elevations; a nice sunny day can suddenly become a rainy or even snowy one. Making sure you have dry socks to wear will be important not only for comfort but for safety and will keep the chance of blisters down to a minimum. Even though you are planning a day hike, bring something in case the the weather turns and it gets cold. Stay warm is a key factor to making it a great hike.

Protection

Sunglasses and lip balm. Just as important as taking care of your skin in the sun is taking care of your eyes and lips. It will be easier for you to see without glares and it will protect your eyes from harmful UVB rays. Also, it is easy to get dry lips when at higher elevations due to decreased hydration and wind.

Lighting

A flashlight or headlamp. While you may intend on going out just for the day and heading back before it gets dark, it is easy to get lost in time when hiking as you will probably be having a lot of fun. Take headlamps or flashlights for everyone in your party so getting back at dusk is much easier.

Weather

Cold weather clothing options. Even if it is warm now, it could turn cooler as you head higher up and as the day gets later. And if something wee to happen forcing you to be there into the night, warm clothing will be a must. Make sure to bring a jacket, hat and gloves so everyone stays warm and comfortable. Most important, have fun and enjoy making memories.

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Tips for the first day of school, 5 foolproof tips getting your little one to go to school with a smile, parenting tipsIn a Nutshell: Here’s a couple of tips that may help reduce the drama as homebodies go to school.

A decade ago, my first child walked into his Kindergarten classroom with a nonchalant “Bye, Mom” and a quick wave.  I was the one biting my lip until I could sob in the privacy of my car.  Other partings have been a little more…well…let’s just say it’s a shame Kindergarteners can’t register for classes in the drama department.  I’ve had one kid who would become near-hysterical, and another who would cry so pathetically in the back of the car that I felt I was sending him in to be eaten by wolves.  I’ve decided there is a very elite club of Those-Who-Do-Not-Go.  You didn’t do anything wrong if you have one–I’m convinced some kids come out of the womb as card-carrying members.  If you happen to be parenting a member of this club, here are a couple tips that may help get them through that door.

1) Watch your own emotions.

Having already admitted that I cry when my kids go to school, the first suggestion is to mind your own emotions.  Parents are powerful social transmitters of emotion to their children, and kids often look to us to see when they should be anxious, excited, or scared.  Be careful about saying things like, “What am I going to do without you?” or “I’m going to miss you so much!”  A child may internalize that you won’t be okay without them.  Be cheerful, upbeat, relaxed, and excited for your child’s new experience…and save your tears for the car.

2) Talk it out.

Don’t fall in the “suck it up” trap.  School is a big step for shy kids, and they are having very real emotions even if it doesn’t make sense to us.  Talk through their concerns.  Maybe they are worried about using the bathroom at school, or they may be concerned that you won’t be there to pick them up on time.  Take time to dig a bit.  Sometimes children just need to verbalize their fears and get reassurance.

3) Practice, Practice, Practice

Consider practicing saying goodbye.  This may seem silly but it is a winner for kids who do fine once you are gone, but have a hard time separating.    When one of mine was refusing to get out of the car at the drop-off, we drove back to school later that evening.  We had decided that big boys who go to school deserve a Chuck-E-Cheese token each morning.  I had already picked up the tokens, and told him when he had 5, we could go play.  We practiced giving one hug and two kisses (what he decided he needed) and saying goodbye.  He walked to the school doors and waved.  At home, I pretended to give him the token.  If there was a day we had a scene at the drop-off, I took him back later that evening to practice again.  It was a rough for a few days, but he never had another hard separation after that first trip to Chuck-E-Cheese.

4) Enlist help.

To solve my daughter’s shyness, it took a nice helper at the school who offered to walk her to her classroom.  My son had a sweet guidance counselor at his school that let him come visit her in her office first, before going on to his classroom.   If you communicate the problem to your child’s teacher, they may have a special job your child can help with before the other kids come in from the playground, or another great idea to help your child transition more easily.  I promise–they’ve seen it before.

5) Be creative!

Whether it is Chuck-E-Cheese tokens, hair bows, a special lovey tucked in their backpack, extra kisses to save for later, or a heart in their lunch, you can find something that will work for your child.  Brainstorm with your spouse, ask friends, or ask your child.  He may have a great idea.

As I write this, my now 12-year-old is standing by me, laughing at our recollections of his oh-so-sad  Kindergarten self.  He said that he kept, and still has, one of those Chuck-E-Cheese tokens from his Kindergarten year.  So, if your mornings are spent prying a little one off your leg at the classroom door, don’t worry too much.  I have it on good authority that your little homebody is probably going to turn out to be one marvelous kid.

What have you done to help children adjust to school?

Here is a little poem I wrote a few years back as I was feeling sentimental about sending off of my Emma for her first day of school.

One Week Before Kindergarten

By: Alison Moulton

                I see you from the window

As I do dishes

Again—

Sunshine soaking your hair

Mud soaking your dress

As you pet the cat and eat garden peas.

Crack

Peel

Chew

Pet

Again and again

For an hour or more.

You know your letters

And how to write your name.

You know what to do if someone tries

To take your lunch

Or pull you from a swing.

We’ve practiced all this.

But bells will soon ring

And lines will form.

You will try to find your place

And kids will laugh and cut

In front

Before the teacher sees.

So stay outside, love,

Soak up another hour of light

And garden

And mud.

Cross-contaminate your little hands

With peas and cat hair.

The sanitizer dispenser

Will be posted

By your classroom door

Next week.

So soon.

Too soon.

Falling in love with your family by Alison

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summer boredom buster idea, #summer, #boredom, #kids, #easy, #summeridea, #keepingkidshappy, #summervacation

Summer Boredom Buster Idea

We are only a couple of weeks into summer break and if I hear “I am bored!” one more time I am going to go crazy!  I have one child that is the biggest user of the word, but all of my kids have claimed to be bored more than once.  For the sake of my sanity, and my children not being sent away to boarding school I came up with this idea.  I had seen it a few years back via pinterest, but couldn’t find it again to save my life!  Oh well, I just made my own version.

The idea is that the child must have done everything on the list before he/she can claim to be bored.  I made it easy to read and will hang it on my fridge so no one can claim to forget.  This week will be the test to see if it actually helps.  I know that not all of the items on my list are pertinent to everyone, but it is a good starting point to help you brainstorm some ideas of your own.  Good luck!  If you try it, let us know how it works out for your family!

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One of the best things you can do is spend alone time with the person you love. A great example is a fun camping date night – even if it’s on the floor by the TV. Add a two person sleeping bag and a great tin foil dinner over a campfire or oven and you will always remember it! Whether it’s the fall cool weather or spring flowers – a great date night will really bring you closer together!

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