Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Category Archives: Parenting

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

Mom Guilt and Type 2 Fun…aka Making Lemonade

“Well, this sure is some slip-sliding fun!” I said with my best fake smile to both of my kids as we made our way down the gully to the base of the cliff.  We’d been hiking for about an hour along a trail that featured a steep incline, several hundred wooden steps, and LOTS of wet leaves.  Our pace had been slow but consistent, in a cold, misty drizzle that didn’t look like it had any intention of letting up any time soon, despite what the radar/forecast showed on my phone.  We were on our way to meet up with…Read the rest of this entry →

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Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

Big C’s First Project: Big Emotions, Little Body

“BUT I WANTED TO SEND IT!!!!!!!!!”  A distraught Big C let out while fighting back big crocodile tears.  He was trying to put up a brave front on the way out of the climbing gym, but the waterworks let loose once we got to the car. It was the end of Day 2 of Big C’s very first “legit” bouldering project (ie, only using holds that are “on.”)  For a while now he’s been able to climb the easier routes in the gym using the intended holds, but bouldering had always been a free for all “rainbow” session, using any holds…Read the rest of this entry →

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From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

From 1 Kid to 2…How Outdoor Adventures Have Changed…

A couple of weeks ago I received a question from reader Patricia T. that really made me stop and think.  She basically wanted to know specifics about how life has changed for us since adding another child to our family.  In her words – “…I’ve had so many people tell me that the second one really shuts your life down.  Now, I’m trying to take that with a grain of salt, b/c I think we (I’m assuming she meant outdoorsy folks) are cut from a different cloth.  But it still worries me.  What’s your take on this?”   I wrote a…Read the rest of this entry →

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“You’re a Good Mom.”

“You’re a Good Mom.”

Today’s post is for the moms out there that find themselves living in doubt.  It’s an experience that happened a couple of months ago when our family was vacationing in Disney World for my son’s 5th birthday.  I hope that it will serve as a reminder to not underestimate the power that we have to encourage (or discourage) our fellow moms… It started out as nothing more than a stubborn whine, easily drowned out by the swarms of folks making their way through Frontierland.  I glanced around – no one had even batted an eye.  I calmly scooted my rocking chair…Read the rest of this entry →

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Dare to “What If…” Like a Kid!

Dare to “What If…” Like a Kid!

As most of us are probably all too painfully aware, little boys (and little girls!) grow WAY too fast…and growing feet need new climbing shoes on the regular, often before the current pair is worn out.  So far we’ve been pretty lucky in the hand-me-down department (we’ve got several pairs in the garage just waiting to be grown into!)  Just recently I noticed that Big C’s shoes had gone from comfortable to what grown-up climbers would refer to as “performance fit”…great for sending that project, but not so great for little feet that are still developing.  So we went into…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Freedom of Stepping Back

The Freedom of Stepping Back

I learned a long time ago that any writing done when I am rushed and/or not inspired to write is writing that is not worth reading.  Which is why you may have noticed things have been a little quieter around here of late.  The arrival of Baby Z, combined with summer (meaning no preschool mornings for Big C…) has put a giant dent in the time I have available to write.  In fact, over the past few weeks I’ve seen the small windows of time that I previously had for myself shrinking away to practically nothing.   While Baby Z is a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Another Reason to Put Your Swimsuit On

Another Reason to Put Your Swimsuit On

Recently I read this article encouraging moms to put aside their body insecurities, throw on a swimsuit, and jump in the pool/ocean/lake with their kids.  The message was that a child will remember those carefree moments spent playing with you and couldn’t care less about how you look in a bathingsuit.  The writer emphasizes that “at the end of the day, it is not about me.  It is about my kids.”   I agree with those sentiments wholeheartedly.  And, as someone who for a long time struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food, this line resonated with me especially: “Because…Read the rest of this entry →

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Just Love.

Just Love.

“I just don’t know what to do.” was the very frustrated text I’d sent my husband one afternoon a couple of weeks ago.  Baby Z was wide awake…again, after trying to get her to sleep for the umpteenth time.  It was clear that my ordinarily fairly predictable little sleeper was having a series of off days.  I’d remembered Big C having plenty of days like this (call them growth spurts, developmental spurts, or just the age-old infant constant of “change.”), but knowing it was just a phase didn’t help get my day under control, hence the text of desperation.  I’m…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hey Moms, Slow Down!

Hey Moms, Slow Down!

Most of my runs these days are done behind the wheels of my trusty jogging stroller.  I leave the house in my running clothes, drop Big C off at preschool at 9 am, and if all goes according to plan, Baby Z is drifting peacefully off to sleep right about the time I pull back into the driveway.  I shuffle her into the stroller as quietly as I can, and I’m off – pounding the pavement for a 4-5 mile respite while my little girl enjoys her peaceful slumber. Sometimes I’m able to squeeze in a solo run on the weekend, sans…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Stick is an Excellent Thing…

A Stick is an Excellent Thing…

Recently while at the library, we checked out a book of poems geared towards encouraging outdoor play, entitled “A Stick is an Excellent Thing.”  It’s by Marilyn Singer, with charming illustrations by LeUyen Pham.  One of my favorite poems is the one that the book is named by.  I love it because it creates a beautiful imagery of what happens when children are allowed to let their imaginations run free during unstructured outdoor play times (what we refer to as “green hours” around here.)   Specifically, it reminds me of this special stick that C found out at the crag…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Newborn Days w/Baby #2 – Keeping Your Sanity the 1st Month

The Newborn Days w/Baby #2 – Keeping Your Sanity the 1st Month

Wow, just 6 short weeks ago I shared my last preggo update…10 days later I gave birth to a magical little girl, and today she is celebrating one month of life!  The past 4 weeks have been a whirlwind of eating, sleeping, and not sleeping…and showering every now and then.  Slowly but surely we’ve started to get into a groove with life as a family of four.  There have been a few key strategies and pieces of gear that have helped us find our stride, so I thought I’d share them… 1.  OLDER SIBLING ONE ON ONE TIME –  The…Read the rest of this entry →

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Why the Second Baby is Easier…and Harder

Why the Second Baby is Easier…and Harder

From the moment we told the world we were pregnant again, it seemed that everyone that had been there, done that more than once, felt obligated to express their opinions.  It seemed like everyone clearly fell into one of two camps – the “Number 2 will be a breeze compared to Number 1” folks, and the “Number 2 makes life really complicated” people.  With such a wide range of (unsolicited) experiences to take in, we really didn’t know what to expect.  (And considering that our number 2 is not even a month old yet, we hardly qualify as experts when…Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Cultivate Independent Play in Your Child

How to Cultivate Independent Play in Your Child

It’s probably safe to assume that most parents would agree that allowing your child to park him/herself in front of the TV all day is a bad idea.  So why is it that in 2009, the average 2-5 year old watched a screen (TV, DVD, iPad, computer) for an astounding 32 hours per week?!?  (And 6-11 year olds weren’t that much better, at 28 hours per week.)  That’s more than an entire day out of every week!  As shocking as those statistics are, I think the reason behind them is simple.  Parents are tired, and stretched too thin – an educational DVD…Read the rest of this entry →

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On Change…and How Love Multiplies

On Change…and How Love Multiplies

 As I sit here and type this with my little girl snuggled up against my chest in our Boba 4G carrier (review coming soon!), it’s getting harder and harder to remember what life without Baby Z was like.  I remember that strange phenomenon happening with C, but for some reason it still took me by surprise this time around.   I guess that’s because families aren’t  designed to stay the same.  Even if your family is finished adding members, everyone is getting older with each passing year (and each passing minute for the youngest ones!)  That means the family dynamic…Read the rest of this entry →

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The 5 Most Unpleasant Things I’m Thankful For This Year…

The 5 Most Unpleasant Things I’m Thankful For This Year…

Well, it’s Thanksgiving again, and like many of you probably have, I’ve taken some time to pause and reflect on what I’m thankful for this year.  However, at the risk of sounding cliche and sappy, this post is going to take a different perspective than the usual rote lists of blessings.  Often times, situations that seem unpleasant at first glance end up being the gateway to other blessings that we never would have encountered without the former unpleasantries.  I think it was Garth Brooks who once sang that “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”  I’ve certainly found that…Read the rest of this entry →

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“Just Like You, Mommy!” aka The Story of the Striped Pants

“Just Like You, Mommy!” aka The Story of the Striped Pants

“NO I DON’T LIKE THE PANTS WITH STRIPES ON THEM!”  C was shouting with the melodrama that can only come from being 3 years old.  I sighed.  As a mother to a strong-willed and highly opinionated little boy, I’ve realized that I need to pick and choose my battles wisely.  Last month, we had to visit our dentist at Delaney Park Dental, and because I could not give him the freedom I would’ve liked to in the office, he was very loud and obnoxious during the appointment, creating a really embarassing situation there. C responds best to freedom within parameters,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Being Patient with Toddler Fears…

Being Patient with Toddler Fears…

 Sometimes fear happens because of a traumatic event, such as a scary fall, or otherwise bad experience.  But other times fear can creep in without warning and show up suddenly – like at the first swim lesson of the summer for your 3 year old! Let me back up a bit first – as a 2 year old last year my son knew no fear in the water.  Dunking himself underwater, cackling with laughter as his Daddy tossed him high into the air, and gleefully jumping super man style into the water (with my outstretched arms close by, of course!) …Read the rest of this entry →

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15 Simple Ways Your Family Can Go Greener…

15 Simple Ways Your Family Can Go Greener…

In case you didn’t know it, today is EARTH DAY!  Today (and on every April 22nd since 1970), there will be thousands of environmental awareness events going on in communities worldwide.  Schools, libraries, workplaces, and parks will be buzzing with festivals, workshops, and eco-friendly activities geared towards promoting education about environmental issues.  For our family, it’s a good reminder to reevaluate the efforts our family has (or has not) been making to protect the earth for the past year.   Why is the message of environmental stewardship important for families?  On a personal, spiritual level, I believe that one of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Why You Should Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot…

Why You Should Let Your Kids Run Around Barefoot…

“It’s fluffy Mommy!”, announced C excitedly, as he danced and jumped around in the soft, tickly grass in our backyard.  Those first few barefoot days of spring are priceless – reconnecting us with the earth in the last gasps of winter.  For our family, footwear has always been optional in warm weather.  It’s not like we’re dirty hippies – we wear shoes to church, school, and the grocery store.  But shoes are the first to come off when we arrive back home, both inside and out when the weather is warm.  I’ll be honest, for us it’s always just been a comfort thing – who doesn’t…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Memory of Axel Charrette

In Memory of Axel Charrette

Ordinarily I’m very organized with the writing for this blog.  Initial thoughts may pour out of my head in a jumble, but by the time the words hit the page and I hit publish, they are constructed into nice and neat little packages.  Once I’m satisfied with the end product, the post goes into the queue, poised on deck until the timing is right.  But this post is not like other posts.  This is the hardest post I have EVER had to write.  As my thoughts fill up this screen my eyes fill up with tears, and as the words come…Read the rest of this entry →

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Adventuring with Toddlers – In a Nutshell Why It’s Worth It

Adventuring with Toddlers – In a Nutshell Why It’s Worth It

A lot of times I get asked what makes it worth it.  Why do I put forth so much effort to continue down such an adventurous path now that I’ m a mom?  Maybe because it seems so natural to me that I can’t imagine life any other way, but I sometimes have trouble finding the words to answer that question on the spot.  But as I look back and reflect on how much our family has been able to share together, I know that those memories speak louder than any words ever could…so here’s my attempt to (briefly) address…Read the rest of this entry →

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Lessons from a Toddler on Giving

Lessons from a Toddler on Giving

This week marked my annual attempt at domesticity, the one time of year where I actually break out the Kitchen-aid and pretend I know my way around the kitchen. I usually pick something that is easy to make, difficult to mess up, and of course, super yummy to eat.  This year, however, I had something else to factor in – an enthusiastic “helper,” one that might actually believe me if I told him I taught Betty Crocker everything she knows! My usual holiday repertoire consists of goodies that involve nothing more than compiling ingredients together and throwing them in the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Surviving a Toddler’s First Overnighter

Surviving a Toddler’s First Overnighter

This post could just have easily been titled “Surviving a MOMMY’s First Overnighter,” because I feel like this milestone was just as hard for me, if not more so!  As many of you know, my husband and I just recently took our very first trip away from Cragbaby last week…and since our family never does anything halfway, we decided to spend it enjoying the sandstone of Red Rock Canyon, just 30 miles outside of Las Vegas!  (Stay tuned for the trip recap in a couple of days…) We did a lot of different things to prepare C for our time…Read the rest of this entry →

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My ABC’s of Thanksgiving

My ABC’s of Thanksgiving

The alphabet song is definitely Top 40 at our house these days.  And I must say I never grow tired of hearing my little guy gleefully sing “em-em-ento-pee” in between bites of PBJ.  So instead of bullet-listing what first comes to mind that I’m grateful for, I thought I would honor my favorite little boy’s play list and come up with something for every letter of the alphabet.  So here’s my “thankful” list (in ABC order, of course ;))  A – Autumn.  I could make a case for any season, but I really do think Autumn is my favorite time…Read the rest of this entry →

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Adventures in Fatherhood

Adventures in Fatherhood

Not that I ever had a heart of stone before I had kids, but ever since Cragbaby came along I’ve noticed that I turn into a sappy ball of mush at the drop of a hat when it comes to reflective songs, movies, or conversations involving the love between parent and child.  For the first 6 months post-partum I blamed it on wild hormones, but at 26 months I hardly have that excuse anymore.  It may have something to do with that old adage that having a child means that you are forever destined to wear your heart on the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Moms: Endurance Athletes, Superheroes, and More (plus a GIVEAWAY from CLIF!)

Moms:  Endurance Athletes, Superheroes, and More (plus a GIVEAWAY from CLIF!)

What does it mean to be a mom?  Obviously that’s a question that runs deeper that one little blog entry.  But considering that this coming weekend is Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to post up a few light-hearted job titles acquired by moms everywhere.  (Let this also serve as a reminder for the forgetful folks out there to make “Call your Mommy” number 1 on your to do list for Sunday…)  As you read, be thinking of something to add to the list for a chance to win a chocolate-themed prize pack from my good friends at CLIF!  SUPERHERO…Read the rest of this entry →

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Just a Touch of Redneck

Just a Touch of Redneck

Dear Trango, “Sorry I haven’t been able to send in any videos yet.  I’ve been too busy catching cutting edge footage of my 2 year old son being hauled by a giant radio-controlled truck.”  This post shows that our family can have fun doing more than just climbing.  Unfortunately it also proves that our family also has a bit of a redneck side, which I hadn’t really been all that aware of until I found myself agreeing that this seemed like not only a great family activity, but also a perfect video opportunity.  But what can I do?  I might…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

  Recently I was asked about how our family handles Cragbaby’s enthusiastic climbing skills in and around the house – and more specifically, in areas that aren’t safe to practice heel-hooks and fist jams.  In non-climbing families, its probably easiest to implement a few hard and fast rules.  For example – NO CLIMBING.  For obvious reasons that mixed message would cause a lot of confusion in our house.  Though we are definitely learning as we go, here are a few concepts that have proved to be helpful for us – by all means they aren’t gospel, and I am very interested…Read the rest of this entry →

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LEAVES! And Family Lessons.

LEAVES!  And Family Lessons.

With the climbing hiatus in effect throughout most of the holiday season, our weekends were open for more than just baking, Christmas partying, and wrapping presents.  We also took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on household maintenance jobs that get overlooked the majority of the year when our weekends are filled with vertical adventures.  One such job involves tackling large heaps of leaves and dragging them out to the street. While I realize that most folks tend to view raking leaves as a work-in-progress activity to be whittled away at throughout the fall season, our family likes to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

Cragbaby’s Year in Highlights!

With all of the end of year Highlight Week talk that’s been going around our house, Cragbaby wanted in on some of the action as well.  But considering that his verbage is rather limited still (actually its more untranslatable than limited….), I thought it would be easier to share his highlights in the form of pictures and captions… 5.  An Adventure Suit – This spring Mommy got me an Adventure Suit so that I can play all day in the rain and not get wet! 4. Photography Lessons – Manuela let me be her special assistant. This will come in handy…Read the rest of this entry →

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5 Reasons for Families to Get Active – and some scary statistics!

5 Reasons for Families to Get Active – and some scary statistics!

It seems as though I’ve been on a family kick recently with my Green Hour posts, both immediate and extended family.  Ironically, however, I have also had a lot of conversations recently with parents of children who would rather stay inside and watch other people play sports than actually get outdoors and do something active themselves.  In addition to being just plain sad, I also found this both disturbing and odd, especially considering how many nature resources and sports programs are available for kids of all ages these days.  It prompted me to research a little further… It seems like…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week

In case you weren’t aware, this week is World Breastfeeding Week, which is meaningful for our family since Cragbaby is 16 months old and still nursing away with no signs of stopping.  So to celebrate, I wanted to do a post about breastfeeding – but not about the benefits of toddler breastfeeding, or how to find support in your area (you can find a lot of that information here, however).  My intent is not to judge those that formula feed, nor is it to  sound preachy towards folks that breastfeed for longer or shorter time than we have.  Everyone is free to make their own decisions about what is best…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Perspective on Risk Assessment

A Perspective on Risk Assessment

“Do you take less risks in climbing now that you’re a mom?”  If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this since Cragbaby entered on the scene…well let’s face it, I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely be able to buy more $4 frappucinnos at Starbucks!  The funny thing is, I never really feel like I have a good answer for this question.  I feel like the “correct” answer is, “Yes, the responsibility of raising a little person has made me less risky of a climber.”  But if I’m being honest, I don’t really think much…Read the rest of this entry →

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In Praise of Cloth

In Praise of Cloth

In my last Cragbaby post, I mentioned that our family uses cloth diapers.  I’ve received a few questions about it and decided there was enough interest to warrant a separate blog post.  It is something that I felt pretty strongly about before C was even born, but now that we’ve survived a full year almost completely disposable-free (except for the first week before the cord fell off and a time or two at the doctor when I forgot an extra…), I feel even more passionate about the merits of cloth.  But why on earth would anyone choose cloth over the “convenience” of…Read the rest of this entry →

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Canaan’s Birth Story

Canaan’s Birth Story

This is the story of how Canaan Ray Lineberry entered the world.  On Friday, March 19th, I finished my last day at Chesterbrook Academy, and was ready to enjoy two full weeks off before my due date.  Folks kept asking me what I was going to do with all that time off, and I jokingly would say that there’s no way the little guy was gonna let me have two weeks all to myself.  Steve predicted that I would go into labor at 4:00 Friday afternoon, right when I got off of work.  I was a little more cynical, and…Read the rest of this entry →

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