To celebrate my youngest daughter’s 3 month birthday we decided to go on our first family hike since she was born. I have to be honest though… it is also a celebration of
the fact that I think I am recovered enough post-partum from child bearing and child birth to do a hike that involves a lot of incline.

 Preamble: We hiked earlier after we had my first daughter. The major difference this time is that I could not just worry about myself. I had to carry our newest edition up the mountain because my husband would be carrying our toddler. Although she is not her 27 lb sister she is already about 15 lbs!!! 
Anyways we decide to tell our toddler that we were going to the mountains for a hike about an hour before we had to leave. Big mistake… While I love that she was super pumped and running around the house screaming ‘yay mountains’, we then had to listen to her whine ‘I want to go hike in the mountains’ for the hour while we got ready to go. To top it off she saw the hiking carrier and she started screaming that she wanted to go in their NOW!!! Try teaching patience to a determined and independent toddler. Impossible.
Finally after getting organized, we drover the 45 minutes to Cabin lake which is on the way to Eagles bluff on Cypress mountain in North Vancouver. Our newborn slept the whole 45 minutes. Noo surprise there, because really newborns just eat, sleep and poop. Our toddler continually repeated that she wanted to get out of the car and go hiking …… For the whole 45 minutes. Again try teaching a toddler patience. Impossible.

When we got to the mountain our 3 month old woke up so I had to feed her. She was being fussy and I started to think that this hike was a bad idea. I was beginning to lose MY patience. Then we started to hike. That is when it became magical! Our youngest fell asleep and our toddler had a new found love for the carrier again. (She has been wanting to walk herself these days but since her new sister was in a carrier she wanted to be in the carrier too). 

The hike was a gruelling uphill for about 45 minutes up. My husband and daughter talked about the mountains and the trees. It was like she was taking in the outdoors in a way she never had before. She was aware at how amazing it all was. 
I… Who was carrying our newborn… Trudged up the hill slowly but surely. My motivation through the exhaustion? Both kids were having a great time. I was breathless but loving exercising and enjoying nature without any whining or crying. It was as if I had won the lottery. My face was beat red, my heart rate was 180 bpm and I was loving it!
Once at our destination we all had lunch, including our 3 month old. My husband and oldest daughter went for a swim in the ice cold water while I played with with our youngest in the shade. We hung around for about 45 minutes just enjoying and exploring the natural surroundings. It felt so great to be back in the mountains.
When it was time to go we changed the girls diapers, packed up our things and made the trek down the mountain. Both girls immediately fell asleep which was awesome. I was exhausted from exerting myself but new it was all downhill from there.
 Until… After 10 minutes of downhill there was a steep incline. We did not notice going downhill on the way up and I always notice a nice downhill after a long climb. We realized we went the wrong way and would have to climb back up to find the correct trail.
I was exhausted and started to complain.  I was getting stressed that our good luck with the kids on the trail would end. After mustering up some energy we turned around and trekked back uphill. After 20 minutes of uphill climbing we were back on track hiking down to the parking lot. ‘Crisis’ diverted and my legs were still functioning. 
Once at the parking lot both girls woke up. I decided to wait to feed our youngest because our toddler was happy. We immediately packed the girls in the car and drove home. 
About 20 minutes into the drive home our youngest started to cry. We decided to divert off the Lions Gate bridge and head to Prospect Point in Stanley Park so that I could breastfeed her. We enjoyed an incredible view of Vancouver, grabbed some fries and birch beer while I fed her. After an hour enjoying Stanley Park, we drove the 25 minutes home in a cry free/whine free car. It truly turned out to be a successful day outdoors hiking in the mountains and enjoying Vancouver.
By Annika
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