Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Nature Hike on the Donner Camp Interpretive Trail

It’s a beautiful, fall day in Truckee, CA. Zackery and I thought it would be nice to go on a “nature hike.” Will suggests we go to the Donner Camp Picnic Area (literally just a few minutes from our house), so that Brayden can walk around too. We often go for walks there (or “nature hikes” as we call it) because it’s close to home, and it’s a nice, easy, level loop trail that is great for kids. It’s a mostly dirt/gravel trail, but the favorite part for Zackery is the wooden boardwalk that spans over the marshy meadow. He loves to run ahead, of course with a giant smile plastered on his face!

Brayden had a grande old time as well. He waddled as quickly as he could, trying to catch up with big brother who was cackling way up ahead. He stumbled a few times, but we brushed him off, wiped away his tears, and he was off on his own again. It was such a joy to see both of our boys enjoying themselves so much.

Being the camera-happy Mommy that I am, I was constantly snapping photos in hopes of getting just one “perfect” picture. I really wanted to get one of Zackery and Brayden holding hands. I had to get Will to help me convince Zackery to stop for just one minute – but I got my picture!

If you are ever in the area, the Donner Camp Picnic Area is a wonderful place to stop. There are picnic tables, restrooms, and an interpretive trail perfect for your own “nature hikes.” It’s located approximately 2.5 miles north of Truckee on Hwy 89, and is a major part of history for the Sierra Nevada Mountains, especially here in Truckee.

For more information, read below and check out the following links:

Donner Camp Picnic Area (taken from the website: (Great Outdoor Recreation Pages))
At this site on Alder Creek near Prosser Reservoir the George and Jacob Donner families were snowbound during the winter of 1846. The Donner Party had earlier decided to take a shortcut through the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, which Lansford Hastings had written about in his guidebook “Emigrants Guide to Oregon and California.” The trail was rocky and portions were impassable for their wagons. The “Hasting’s Cutoff” caused the Donner Party to become three weeks behind the rest of the wagon train they had originally started west with. When they finally reached Truckee Meadows (Reno), the party made the fatal mistake of resting for a week before going over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Donner families were forced to stay behind at what is now known as Donner Camps Day Use Area to repair a wagon axle while the others in the Donner Party went ahead. Both groups of emigrants were caught in early winter snows. The party that went ahead made it six miles farther to the site of the Donner Memorial State Historic Park before the snow stopped them.

Three U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are nearby. Annie McCloud Campground, Lakeside Campground, and Prosser Campground are located on the west shore of Prosser Reservoir.

The Donner Camp Picnic Area is located 2.5 miles north of Truckee on Highway 89.


Thank you CuteCoconut for the Liebster Blog Award!

What a nice surprise I had, finally sitting down after putting the boys to bed, checking my email, to find a message that Shelomita from CuteCoconut awarded me the Liebster Blog Award!

In case you are not aware, this award spotlights the up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers. So what’s the catch for this award?

By accepting this award what we need to do is:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.

2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to us. (thanks again!….the link is at the top)

3. Reveal our top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

4. Hope that our followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

So, by accepting this award, I am not only honored and humbled, but I’d like to share the love by giving my top 5 picks…


A Little Whine & Cheese


Just Mom Things

Moms on the Edge

It’s Been One Year Since I realized I had (have) Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

1 in 8 Women Suffer from Postpartum Depression

Brayden is 16 months old today.

One year ago, I made one of the most important phone calls – and by far one of the hardest – I’ve ever made. I called my Doctor and told him I had Postpartum Depression.

Rather than get into all the details of the causes, signs and symptoms, I would like to share some of the information I used to determine for myself that I was suffering from PPD. Aside from talking to my Doula, my close friends and my family, the following websites were crucial in my quest to figure out what was wrong with me:

BabyCenter – Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

Postpartum Support International

WebMD Postpartum Depression

There were several other resources I referred to, and still do, but the ones above I would list as my top 3. I am still fighting it, although most of the time it seems well under control. I am honestly scared to come off my medication, especially going into another winter like we had last year. I know I have a great Doctor, a great husband, and a great network of supportive friends, but I also know I have a lot of circumstantial stresses in my life right now that I fear could send me back down into a deep, dark spiral. I still take it one day at a time. I am determined to beat this, and I’m determined to help as many other women who have, or are at risk for, PPD. It is a mean disease (in my opinion) that is also one of the hardest to diagnose. Good news is, there is help out there – all we have to do is ask for it…

To read more about my journey through PPD, click here.

If you or someone you know is suffering from Postpartum Depression, I would like to help. Please contact me if you are interested in one-on-one or group mentoring or counseling.

Five Little Pumpkins…

Five Little PumpkinsAnother day in the life of a stay-at-home Mom.

Long story short, the morning was rushed (as usual) but we all got where we needed to be on time. Zackery had preschool, Brayden had a play date / babysitter share morning with a friend, and I had a gazillion errands to run.

Zackery also had “Celebration” at school, a monthly event where all the parents and family get to come watch a themed presentation and partake in yummy, cultural snacks. The unfortunate part of Celebration (if it’s even fair to say it’s unfortunate, because it really is an awesome, amazing thing all the kids participate in and I’m so excited to watch my little Zackery… that being said), it’s always right smack in the middle of my “free” time. But, it is only once a month, so that’s not so bad after all, right? And it is my son; I really shouldn’t have anything to complain about…

I showed up at Celebration with all the other parents, and we all found seats on the little green benches that had been placed around our kids, all patiently sitting in a circle, waiting for their cue from Mrs. Fix to begin. The highlight for me was all the kids singing along to a cute little Halloween nursery rhyme, ‘Five Little Pumpkins.’ It goes like this:

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, “my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “there’s witches in the air.”
The third one said, “but we don’t care.”
The fourth one said, “let’s run, run, run.”
The fifth one said, “it’s just Halloween fun!”
Oooh, oooh went the wind,
And out went the lights,
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Despite not getting all the things done I wanted to today, and (unsuccessfully) trying 3 times to get Brayden to take a nap, my day was great. I am always happy in my decision to be a stay-at-home Mom. It is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had, but miles above as the most rewarding.

The best part of my day, was singing ‘Five Little Pumpkins’ with Zackery when Daddy got home from work. Well, that and the two chocolate chip cookies I’m enjoying with my glass of wine, watching Dancing with the Stars! 🙂

Sleepovers and Playdates

WOW, is it really Tuesday night (almost Wednesday now) already? I started this post Sunday morning, but then “life” got in the way of me actually finishing and posting it! Brayden’s been fighting a little stomach bug the last couple of days, and last night (hopefully) was the worst of it. I’m praying that tonight he sleeps peacefully, now that it’s all out of his system (literally).

So, pretend it’s Sunday…

8:30am this morning, my eyes barely open, I look at the clock. POP! I’m up and out of bed. “Time to get up,” I tell Will as I gently open the curtains. “We have to go get Zack.”

“Why?” he asks.

“M and T are coming over at 9:15am!” (*names kept private*)

Zack had a sleepover at the neighbor’s house right next door. They have 3 kids, their youngest, also a boy, a few years older than Zack. They had been playing together for several hours yesterday afternoon while Brayden was sleeping and Will and I cleaned out the garage (I must say it is sooo nice to be able to park my car in the garage again – just before winter!). Will and I had a party to go to, and we were invited to bring along our boys, but I thought, how nice would it be to just have one at the party? I walked over and told the neighbor I had a proposal, to which she could say “no” if it wouldn’t work for her and her family.

Lucky for me, she was happily open to hosting a sleepover. We both double-checked with Zack, just to make sure he would be okay sleeping somewhere other than at home, and almost before we could finish asking him, he was excitedly nodding his head “yes!” He has spent the night away from home, without Mommy or Daddy, a few times before, so I knew he would be fine.

I slipped back home and packed a quick overnight bag with jammies, pull-up, toothbrush, blanket, pillow, 2 buddies (Doggie & Teddy – yes, those are the unique names that Zack himself gave them), and clothes for the morning. Back next door, I gave instructions to Zack, the neighbor, and once more to Zack. I gave him a big hug and kiss and told him to have fun and I’d see him in the morning.

About and hour later, Will, Brayden and I were off to our party. It seemed oddly surreal to not have Zack with us, especially because it was so much quieter in the car! We arrived at the party and were greeted by happy friends, all wondering where Zack was? We told everyone he was at a sleepover, and most people responded similarly with “oh, he’s such a big boy!” Yes, he is…

As the party began to die down (it was pretty mellow to start with), and the time started getting closer and closer to being way past Brayden’s bed time, we agreed it was time to go. We changed Brayden into his jammies so he could fall asleep for the short 15 min car ride, buckled him into his car seat, and drove home.

Walking into our dark, quiet house, I again had a surreal feeling. It was so peaceful; I welcomed the silence, but still there was a slight emptiness. I knew Zack was safe and sound next door (and hopefully sound asleep) so I just whispered good night to him one more time and blew him a traveling kiss.

Aside from knowing that we had two other little friends coming over for a play date in just 45 min, what really got me up and out of bed was wanting to give Zack a big, giant, good morning hug! As soon as I was dressed (it really doesn’t take long to throw on a comfy old pair of house sweats – not always proud of this, but hey, it’s real) and Will was up and taking care of Brayden, I bounced down our front steps, navigated across our front yard, and knocked on the neighbors door. Zack was still in his full-footed, camouflage jammies, playing space Lego’s (or something of that sort). I asked how his night was, and in his usual 4-year old response, he said “good.”

I got him dressed and his makeshift bed on the floor somewhat cleaned up. I re-packed his overnight bag and got the full report from the neighbor. “He was perfect,” were her exact words. Wow! I was so proud of him, he really is growing up!

I knew he had fun because he didn’t want to leave. He kept wanting to show me “one more thing.” I finally got him out the door when we could see his friend’s car (well, actually, the parent’s car…) pulling up into our driveway. He was so excited to share that he was just coming home from a big boy sleepover. And then, of course, he asked when he could have his next one. 🙂

How old were your kids when they had their first sleepover?

Things I’m Grateful For

GratitudeI was just browsing around some other blogs, and came across an interesting one called Purple Chronicle. One of the posts was entitled ‘Thankful Thursday’ and I thought, what a great idea. It’s always inspiring to see what others are grateful for, so I thought I would share what I am grateful for today:

Amazing friends and family.

Living in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA – I always tell people I feel like I live in a postcard.

A wonderful husband, father, friend.

The most precious little boys a mother could ever ask for.

A roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my belly.

The opportunity to stay home and take care of my family.

Happiness and peace in my heart.

It’s not often enough that I stop to take a moment and truly reflect on the blessings in my life. I know my life is filled with them, despite the common, daily frustrations of being a Mom – and just life in general. I think it is so important for us all to honor the greatness in our lives and in our families.

The two biggest blessings I have ever experienced was the birth of each of my sons; they are the living beings created through the love shared between my husband and I. They are the fuel in my heart. They are the smile on my face. They are the tears of joy in my eyes. They are the angels of my every day.

What are you grateful for???

Conversations With a Four-Year Old

I love that Zackery is at the age now where we can have real conversations. Not just conversations about toy tractors and motorcycles, but actual semi-adult interaction.

We were driving to the KidZone Museum yesterday morning, and as the fog began to dissipate and the sun began to warm the chilly mountain air, I glanced back at Zack sitting next to Brayden in the back seat, both of them buckled securely in their car seats, and said “Zack, it’s going to be a beautiful day.” “Yeah, look at the clear blue sky!” he replied. Wow, I thought, did my four-year old actually say that?

“Zack, look at the snow on the mountain tops,” I said again.

“Ma Ma, we saw that when we went to Grandpa’s last time,” he said excitedly.

“Yes, we did,” I replied.

“When we go back to Grandpa’s next time, I want to go to another wedding,” he stated.

“Oh, okay. Whose wedding do you want to go to?” I asked.

“Mine!” he answered.

I giggled and asked, “Your wedding? Who are you going to marry?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “I just want to have a big party and dance!”

I concluded by saying, “Well, that sounds like a fun plan, Zack.”

And he ended by saying, “Yes, Mommy. I want you to come to my wedding with me.”

Nothing more could have put a smile on my face as big as I had after that conversation. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to talk to my son and have such an innocent, joyous dialogue. I can tell that his little brain is expanding with so much knowledge and new experiences. I have a hard time believing he is four, but when we have a magical morning like yesterday, it makes me proud. My little man is four and growing up (sometimes too fast…).

Zackery, I love you! Keep on talking…

Mommy Had Fun with Power Tools!

Saturday morning, a little chilly out, but beautiful, sunny, blue skies.

Will: “What’s your plan for today?”

Me: “I have a project to do outside.”

Will: “What kind of project?”

Me: “I’m going to weed whack our forest in the front yard. I’ve already talked to Mace (the neighbor) about using his weed whacker and it’s all ready for me.”

Will: “Okay…”

Zackery: “Mommy, where are we going?”

Me: “We’re not going anywhere. Mommy has a project outside this morning.”

Zackery: “What kind of project?”

Me: “I’m going to weed whack the front yard.”

Zackery: “Can I help?”

Me: “Um, well, you can watch. It’s very dangerous.”

Zackery: “Do you have to wear safety goggles?”

Me: “Yes.”

Zackery: “Okay, Mommy.”

Three hours later, completely exhausted and beginning to overheat, I call it quits. I’m 90% done. Mentally, I feel great – accomplished. Physically, I want to float in the hot tub and soak my achy muscles. Realistically, I can’t believe I got three whole hours to myself!!!

It’s Going to be a 3 Cup of Coffee Kind of Day

I used to barely drink one cup of decaf coffee a day, and then it slowly started increasing to always having 1 cup a day (still decaf), and then doing half decaf and half regular, until finally I bit the bullet and made the switch to fully leaded caffeinated coffee. Lately, my eyes stay pretty droopy until I’ve had a chance to enjoy my morning coffee (which I have to admit sometimes doesn’t occur until 2 in the afternoon…). This morning was no exception.

Will is back in town (thankfully) and so he got up with the boys, but 8am came all too quickly for me. Will had to leave for work, so Mommy was now officially on the clock. I pulled myself out of bed, traded my jammies for a pair of comfy sweats, and shuffled over to the kitchen. Brayden and Zack were both happily munching on some dry cereal so I actually had a moment to pour 8 oz of water into the Pyrex measuring cup and pop it into the microwave for exactly 75 seconds. Yes, I am sadly reduced to instant coffee these days. It doesn’t produce the wonderful aroma and taste of a brewed cup, but it does take less than 90 seconds from the time I start until the moment it touches my lips – to me, that alone is worth the sacrifice!

I find myself now, middle of the day, just finishing my second cup. Not sure if it’s the dreary-looking weather outside, or that Brayden is napping and Zack is quietly playing and watching a show (which leaves me a minute of solitude to actually enjoy my coffee), or that I just am so tired. It doesn’t really matter either way. I know that come 4 o’clock, I’ll be needing another pick-me-up before the hectic end of the day begins. And so, I’ll spend another 90 seconds preparing the most perfect cup of instant coffee! Cheers!

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