Getting Outside

I've been tracking our outdoor time this year in an attempt to improve it. We got outside quite a bit last year but I knew we could do better if I made it a priority and tracking the hours definitely keeps it in the front of my mind. I'm a classic overachiever.

After a rough spring, we had an okay summer. But summer is hot and I don't like to be hot, especially not when I'm pregnant. Even so, we are currently up to over 340 hours outside! My current goal is to hit 500 by the end of the year. Since we've got about 7 weeks until baby comes and I don't think we'll be out of the house too much with a newborn in late fall, this is still going to be quite a stretch. But I think we can do it! Especially since most weeks we are in the teens but the last few weeks have definitely been higher than our summer average. The weather has just been gorgeous.

We spent two long mornings at the transportation museum before our membership ran out.

Then yesterday we spent 4 hours exploring a nature preserve not to far from our house. We started off with a hike to a sod house. And of course, much of our walking time was spent talking about Laura and Mary and what life was like for them.

 Almost there!

Lucy was very surprised at how small it was.

There was a regular bridge and a stepping stone path on this particular hike. We all did the stones on the way there but Jonah wanted to take the bridge on our return trip. I did a very free range parenting thing and let Lucy take the stepping stones by herself. You can see her if you look for the blue shirt. She was so proud of herself for not being scared and was jumping up and down at our meet-up spot to tell me about it. I'm not sure if she realized I could see her the entire time but I didn't feel the need to mention it ;-)

Next up was the nature "classroom"/playground. This place was so neat and reminded me of a Waldorf playground. Loose natural parts to make fairy houses out of. Wooden log blocks to stack.

 A spiders web to crawl around in.

Some giant logs to climb over and crawl through. 

And both kids favorite, this climbing tree thing (that's only about half of it in the picture)

I thought the playground sounded neat on the website but didn't expect them to be so enamored with it. We stayed there for an hour and a half and probably would have played longer if I let them! By then my legs were about to fall off so I canceled the plans for another 1 mile hike but we did have enough energy to take one last little hike past some fairy houses,climb a tower overlooking a lake and do a bit of swinging. In all, I'd guess we hiked about 2 miles which is pretty good for a kindergartener, a toddler and a mom whose 8 months pregnant, I think!

Needless to say, we'll definitely be going back to this place again. Now on to 500!

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