Back in the Sunflower State

We are back home in Kansas and excited for some fall adventures here. Last week we headed to Grinter Sunflower Farm located at 24154 Stillwell Rd. Lawrence, KS 66044. (Lawrence is the home of college basketball powerhouse, KU and my amazing sister). The farm provided a fun, beautiful landscape to take pictures for Cecy’s 10 month birthday.

Not sure what to think of sunflowers?
Not sure what to think of sunflowers?

I think she was a little afraid of the sunflowers at first which is understandable because some are the size of her head. According to the Grinter’s blog, the sunflowers are fading fast and they are just about ready for harvest, so I’m glad we made it out there in time!

I’m a first time Mom, so things I’ll keep in mind for next year:

  1. Bring cash – we passed through a toll road on the way there. Also bring $1 donation in exchange for a sunflower to take home.
  2. Wear proper shoes! I wore cute sandals and got them very muddy and I slipped around. Next year we might go with cowboy boots because they’ll look cute in pictures and will be more practical.
  3. Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
  4. Bring a scissor or knife to cut the sunflower with. This year I tried to just break it off like a normal flower – basically I was wrestling a thick, prickly stalk that was taller than me with a baby in one arm and ended up with half the pedals on the ground and an angry baby.
  5. Plan ahead by checking the Grinter’s blog or Facebook page for prime sunflower season.
  6. Consider bringing a step-ladder to get a better angle of the field. They had a cart with hay on it for photo opportunities, but some people brought their own ladders which gave them options to take pictures in the middle of the field.
Sitting on cart
Sitting on cart

Baby Under Armour

Cecy has sensitive skin and riding in the carrier against her Dad’s back was making her little stomach break out in a rash because she’d get hot and sweaty. Now before we go on hikes I put a protective lotion like Aquaphor on her and then put her in a little pink Under Armour outfit I got at Scheels. I kind of felt silly buying Under Armour gear for my little one who can’t walk yet, but I’m telling you the breathable fabric helped so much. I think the key was getting a romper or onesie. I was afraid a shirt would ride up on her during hikes.

Under Armour Baby
Under Armour Baby

Here is a link to a similar outfit: Girls’ Infant Under Armour Kaleidostar Romper

Cecy’s first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park

As this summer winds to an end, it’s fun to look back at all of the fun trips we’ve had. This summer started for us on May 30th at an elevation of 10,013 feet with panoramic views of Rocky Mountain National Park and a little bit of snow. We strapped our six month old daughter to my husband’s back via our Ergobaby and hiked a six mile round trip trail up and back down Deer Mountain.

Deer Mountain trailhead
Deer Mountain trailhead

We chose Deer Mountain for our first family adventure in Colorado because some of the higher altitude hikes were still covered in snow. There was some snow near the top of this trail too, but far less than in other areas of RMNP.

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Cecy napped the whole way – how cute are her little feet hanging out of the carrier!? I didn’t have a clue what babies should wear on hikes, so I kept her in her pajamas. At least her little feet stayed warm, but I’ve since found better baby hiking apparel options which I’ll write about soon.

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This was a fun early season hike and also a great way to celebrate my husband’s birthday!

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Valencia Peak in California

When I think of hiking up mountains, I don’t normally think of seeing dolphins on the descent. Back in February we visited my brother who lives in Morro Bay, California and he took us to Montana De Oro State Park to climb up Valencia Peak which rises 1,347 feet. That doesn’t sound high if you are used to Colorado’s elevation, but we basically started right at sea level.

Valencia Peak with husband and baby
Valencia Peak with husband and baby
Ocean view trail
The trail is right on the ocean, gorgeous!

I was pretty proud of myself for chugging through the 3.7 miles! (roundtrip) I was also happy that Cecilia, who was only 3 months old, did so well strapped to my front in her Ergobaby carrier. When it got a little sunnier, we pulled up the hood to protect her head.

Yes, we had to change a diaper on the trail and she cried a little for milk towards the end, but hiking with my daughter was one of the things I was most excited for when I was pregnant.

The perfect weather, ocean views, my brother acting as an awesome ‘hike guide’, and spotting dolphins made Cecilia’s first hike pretty hard to beat!

Valencia Peak, Montana De Oro State Park, CA
Valencia Peak, Montana De Oro State Park, CA