Posts Tagged ‘active family’

Hiking with Kids

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

img_7455One of our family’s favorite activities is hiking. When we decided where to locate pre-kids, we decided on Denver since there are so many places to hike in Colorado.  In the summer of 2012, we planned one last backpacking trip before we started to try to have kids.  We saw a family hiking up the trail in the opposite direction on our last day.  Trailing far behind the rest of the family was the miserable looking father, carrying a child, plus what looked like gear and water for the others.  I jokingly said to my husband, “That’s going to be you soon!” once they had passed. We had a good laugh, but we had a lot to learn about hiking with kids. The following tips to make certain no one looks as miserable as that poor father did.

  1. Research and try on a kid carrier before purchasing one. Be prepared to spend some money.  Your hips, shoulders, rest of your body will thank you. While our kids were still little, I carried them using my soft-structured carrier. Some people still use their woven wraps to carry big kids. When they were about 10 months, though, we purchased hiking carriers. Just like a good hiking backpack, make sure you find one that will allow you to adjust the load between your hips and shoulders.

  2. Make sure your kids stay hydrated. Even living in Denver, when we go up to the mountains, the elevation affects us. If we’re feeling the elevation, the kids are too. We encourage Lily to drink water often. To prepare Juniper for the hike, I would nurse her in the car before starting, on any breaks we took, and once we were finished hiking. I didn’t use a nursing cover with my girls, so I made sure to wear a nursing tank under my hiking shirt. Now that Juniper is a year old, we bring her water too. We also bring an extra liter of water on top of what we normally bring to ensure the whole family is properly hydrated. On longer hikes, as an extra precaution, we bring our water pump.  (We split the load.)

  3. Minimize travel time. Gone are the days of waking up at 5:30, driving the two hours to Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, then driving the two hours back home. We have found many hikes closer to home, within forty-five minutes of our house. Although the views are slightly less spectacular, everyone is much happier with the decreased travel time.

  4. Related to #3, plan your hike length appropriately. Even with frequent breaks and allowing Lily to hike on her own, our kids have about an hour and a half tolerance for hiking. Lily no longer naps, but when she did, we would try to plan to hike during naps so we could go on longer hikes. Be prepared to move slowly if you have a little one hiking on their own. Lily loves finding pine cones, sticks, rocks, and other treasures.  All the exploring greatly decreases the pace we move at.

  5. Expand your first-aid kit. When it was just the two of us, a first aid kit that only included limited bandaids, antibiotic cream, an ace bandage, and ibuprofen was sufficient. We’ve added Children’s Benadryl, extra sunscreen, emergency rain ponchos, additional bandaids, alcohol wipes, and tweezers. In addition to our expanded first aid kit, we also make sure we have a change of clothes for the girls and diapers for the baby.

Although hiking with kids is a little different that hiking pre-kids, it can be just as much fun (if not more).  Now it is not just a hobby that my husband and I share, it a favorite activity of the whole family.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to two girls, a three year old and a one year old, in Denver, CO who enjoys cooking for her family, running, and hiking.

Friday Family Spotlight: Meet Natalia’s Family!

Friday, September 28th, 2012



Get ready to meet one super cool and very active family! I really enjoyed learning more about Natalia’s family and hope you do too!

Who are the members of your family?
Daddy Dylan teaches traditional Choy Li Fut kung fu 蔡李佛 and Yang Tai Chi 太極拳. He is hoping to be Sifu (head teacher) of his own school someday. I am a first-time Mommy of Brandon Koa as well as a Ballet Instructor and Certified Massage Therapist. We are currently staying with my father (Brandon’s GongGong) to get out of debt and to be with family during this important transition into parenthood. It has been such a blessing for all of us!
How did you meet your significant other?
We met when I entered Eastern Ways Martial Arts school in Folsom, CA. We have been together and trained together ever since.

Natalia, 5 months pregnant, at the International Plum Blossom Tournament in San Francisco doing Tai Chi. She won the gold!

What is your favorite Mom’s Milk Boutique Product?
There isn’t a top favorite, I shop at MMB for nearly everything we need: Laundry Detergent/RLR, Dryer balls, Baby Bits, Bravado Nursing bras/tanks, Baltic Amber jewelry, Moby Wrap, Snappis, Naturally Luxe Wool Wash bars, Planet Wise, Wean Green, Sloomb (sustainablebabyish) UnderWoolies is my newest love!

What is your favorite baby carrier and why?
I actually have three favorites: Moby Wrap for comfort, Ergo Baby for back carry, and Maya Wrap (ring sling) for easy in-n-outs. My spouse says I am his favorite baby carrier. 😉

Daddy Dylan performing Crane Technique at the California State Fair

What is the best and worst parenting advice you have ever been given?

Best: Enjoy every moment and stage of baby’s life!

Worst: “Supplement with formula.” Even our pediatrician said it was “ok” to do so! However my Mom encouraged us not to as formula can negate the positive effects of human milk. My mother is an International Lactation Consultant and RN, so we get TheBestAdvice!

Brandon with his GongGong having a Grrreat time as usual!

What is one of your favorite quotes?

~The oyster turns into a Pearl the sand which annoys it~

Thanks Natalia for sharing your lovely family with us! Your $10 gift certificate to Mom’s Milk Boutique will arrive soon!

Would you like to have your family featured in a Friday Family Spotlight AND win a FREE $10 gift certificate to Mom’s Milk Boutique for your participation? If so email with the subject line “Friday Family Spotlight Inquiry” and share something interesting about your family in your email message.

Have a blessed weekend all!

-Sarah 🙂

Ideas on How to Exercise with Kids

Monday, May 14th, 2012

We all know the importance of regular exercise, yet when you have small children finding the time and space to exercise can be a challenge! Over the years I have had to adapt my exercise routine to the ever-evolving needs of my family. Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:

If you are exercising at a gym:

Select a gym with an awesome childcare – If the announcement “come on guys, let’s go to the gym” is met with excitement from your little ones, it’s much easier to have motivation to actually go to the gym. If they complain about going to the gym and it’s a struggle to get them ready to head out the door, you are less likely to feel like going. Choosing a gym for their childcare might mean going to one that is a little further away or even a little extra money a month, but it is worth it in the end if you end up using it more frequently.

Find out the schedule of your favorite childcare attendants – Some of the attendants will interact with your kids, have fun with them, and be silly with them. Some of them will hold your baby when he/she wants to be held. Others will park themselves in a chair their whole shift and think no ones knows that they are playing with their cell phone the entire time. It is typically this attendant that will come get you at the slightest fuss your baby makes rather than attempting to comfort baby. Find out the work schedule of the attendant your children like and see if you can coordinate your schedule with theirs.

Consider your child’s daily rhythms – To help ensure an optimal experience for everyone aim to go to the gym during your child’s playful time of the day. Avoid going when they are tired or hungry.

If you are exercising at home:

No equipment, no worries – If you are accustom to working out at a gym, sometimes the transition to working out at home can be difficult as you might be unsure how to workout without equipment. An easy first step might be to get exercise DVDs and books from the library. Another option is if you subscribe to Netflix, check out their exercise video options. Even youtube has some great videos that demonstrate basic exercise techniques. Here’s one my kids really enjoy!

Keep it simple – If you do want to invest in equipment, keeping it simple is usually best from both a space and budget standpoint. One piece of equipment I love that is inexpensive, takes up virtually no space, and provides an excellent workout is a jump rope. Plus it’s actually a lot of fun to jump rope! Another friend of mine has empty water jugs that she fills up with water to use as weights. Be creative and resourceful using everyday objects as part of your exercise regimen.

Seize the moment – Currently this approach seems to work well for me to incorporate exercise into my life. I call it the “Seize the Moment” plan. Basically when an opportunity arises I squeeze in a set of lunges, planks, squats, burpees, etc. It may be in the kitchen while I am waiting for a pot of water to boil or in the bathroom while watching the kids in the bathtub. You may not have an uninterrupted hour block of time to devote to working out, but by incorporating it throughout the day you can maximize the small chunks of time you do have.

Use the Park as YOUR Playground – This is hands down the easiest way for me to get exercise. My kids are always happy to go to the park and I know I can get a decent workout in while we are there. Pick a park with a nice grassy area so you can do sprints, bearcrawls, walking handstands, etc. Get over worrying about looking silly and just enjoy the feel of the grass, the fresh air, and the sunshine!

Play with your kids  – Chase your kids at the park. Kick the ball around with them. Climb on the equipment along with them. You are sure to get your heart rate up just mimicking whatever your kids do at the park. Engage with them and have fun with it!

Make it fun for the whole family – Walks, hikes, bike rides, and even runs are all possible with little ones. You might need to be creative in adapting these activities to include the whole family. The benefit is that you can enjoy exercising together and it models for your children the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.

How do you fit exercise into your life? Would love to hear some tips from other mamas! 🙂


PS. Check in tomorrow for my current favorite smoothie recipe! It’s sure to give you a burst of pure energy.