Category Archives: Side Stories

From new parent, to seasoned vet?

At birth, the world is before in ways we could have never imagined. Photo taken by: Emily Goodstein

At birth, the world is before us in ways we could have never imagined. Photo taken by: Emily Goodstein

What a difference a year (or in this case 19 months!) makes. There are moments in life when you realize just how impactful that moment in time is, yet you have no way of truly understanding the full effect the changes that will come will have on you. For me, those moments have been leaving for college, graduating from college, marriage and the birth of my child. I’m sure more moments are to come, but for now, I’m reflecting on what has changed for me in that most recent significant moment. A reflection from my son’s birth to now…

New baby: Bundle him up, take diaper bag filled with every possible thing you could ever need, bring two back-up outfits, text everyone pictures of his outing.
One year later: Throw a diaper, and if I remember some wipes, in my purse and grab him as we run out the door because we’re late, take selfie of his food all over me when sitting at stop light.

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Top five things to keep in mind when planning a first birthday party

Birthday cake is happiness at any age.

Birthday cake is happiness at any age.

Ah, the first birthday party. It’s a tone-setter, a significant moment in your life, in the grandparents’ lives, even in your friends’ lives. It says – look at us, we made it through year one! It’s a celebration of the triumph over sleep loss, stained clothing, and insane childcare bills. It’s that opportunity you have to breath for a second because your child is just mobile enough for you to be excited and want more, but not yet at full capacity so you can actually enjoy a sip of coffee again. (Don’t get too excited, that only lasts about one day.)

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A great dyi gift idea for toddlers

Fun, colorful and a great tool for helping the little tikes learn about local birds.

Fun, colorful and a great tool for helping the little tikes learn about local birds.

It’s a jungle out there folks. And no, I’m not talking about the wooded trails this time. I’m talking about the adventure that is trying to find just the right toy for the toddler in your life.

While it’s fun to shop and even more fun to play with the prospective toys, it is overwhelming to make a decision on what to give. Did you know if you search Amazon.com for ‘toys for toddlers’, you’ll get 60,996 results? That’s a lot of options to choose from! Then, there are the questions you start to ask yourself as you walk through the aisles or navigate the websites: Does the child already have this? Are they ahead in their development? Are the parents OK with plastic? So I got to thinking, there must be something I can do that didn’t make my head spin. And there was — birdhouses!

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Acadia, Maine – The Adult-Only Trip That Revived Us!

Our first morning hike - Joshua Pond.

Our first morning hike: Joshua Pond. See more pics below!

I know what you’re thinking – on a blog about hiking with a baby, why is she highlighting the greatness about hiking without one? Well, I’ll tell you why, because it’s just as hard.

Growing up, when I’d roll my eyes at my mom about some ‘dripping with love’ statement she’d make, she’d say, “Just wait, you’ll understand how much I love you when you have children of your own.”

Never was that more true, than when my husband and I said good-bye to our son for our first nights away from him to hike the outrageously beautiful mountains of northern Maine.

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Hiking with Fido: 7 things to remember

Take the whole family along. Even the four-legged members!

Take the whole family along. Even the four-legged members!

Bringing a dog hiking with you? Dogs need a date with nature as much as you do so next time you’re headed out to trail, consider bringing man’s best friend along. Never done it before? Here are a few quick ideas to keep in mind:

  1. Know your limits. Many parks allow dogs on a leash, but not all parks follow this protocol. In fact, quite a few U.S. National Parks don’t permit dogs on the trail – with or without a leash. So be sure to do your research before heading out to a new trail. A simple Google search should tell you whether dogs are permitted in the park.
  2. Do a fitness test. Yes, just like humans, dogs need to be in a certain physical fitness to go the distance. Ease your four-legged friend into hiking by starting out with shorter, easier distances and then work your way up to the 10-miler.
  3. Find a Fido. Don’t have a dog of your own? Borrow a neighbor’s for the day and take them with you. The neighbor will love the extra attention their pup gets and you’ll have a trail companion to keep up your pace.
  4. Hydrate. Be sure to bring lots of water for them to drink. Dogs are resilient beings, but because they can regulate their body temperature so well through panting, they often will push themselves beyond their capabilities. So you must be the one to remind them to slow down and drink when hiking. We hike with a camping bowl for her – it folds up flat and small when in the bag, and then works great as a water bowl when the dog becomes parched.
  5. Watch what they drink. Not all water is good water. Just like you probably wouldn’t drink from a puddle or pond without purifying, don’t let your pet. Water in lakes and rivers can be ridden with parasites that could make your dog very sick. And if you’re lucky enough to hike near the ocean, salt water will certainly turn their stomach. To prevent too much unwanted water consumption, put out fresh water in a bowl before the near water sources and keep offering fresh, clean water throughout the hike.
  6. Do you need to scoop the poop? Yes! If your pet poops, you don’t necessarily need to bag it and trash it, but you do need to scoop it up and bury it at least 200 feet from the trail. Some parks post restrictions and will ask that you bag and trash so be on the look out for those policies upon entrance to the park.
  7. Have fun! There are plenty of new smells to follow and squirrels to hunt so let them do their thing. Keep your dog on a leash, but why not give that longer leash a go? And, if you’re dog is a never-ending ball of energy like ours, bring their favorite squeaky toy or ball and throw, throw, throw.
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