Thursday, October 29, 2015

Buds & Butterflies

These two. I just love these pictures
There's a video to go with this of Iris chatting about the book and Ian smiling and saying "Yeah," after each thing she says. It's adorable.

Thank you, Gramee, for giving them matching books about one of your favorite things: monarchs! They are really enjoying them.

They have a really neat relationship and play together a lot at PMO. Ian loves to give hugs and Iris isn't crazy about them every time. She stands up for what she wants and Ian is starting to learn to respect it. It's neat to watch them interact and fun because our parenting styles are incredibly similar, making all of us feel comfortable with the interactions. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Full Fall Day

A few weeks ago my dad came to visit. He brought with him a little red wheelbarrow, which is perfectly Ian-sized and great for playing in our wonderful backyard. Thanks, Daddio!

We always try to get a little music session with him when he comes, so here he is playing the xylophone he gave us last spring and singing for Ian.
On his one full day here, we gave him the true New River Valley, autumnal experience. We went to The Palisades for brunch, which is an amazing restaurant tucked in an unlikely location in an old, run-down town. Seriously, I dream of their brunches. Each dish is unique and mouth-watering. It's reasonably priced, and kids eat free until they are five. Woot!

Next we went to Doe Creek Orchard, which has incredible views and a large variety of apples. We picked a whopping 84 pounds. Now, two weeks later, we only have five apples left. We used them to make apple sauce, butter, crisps, pies, chips, and then a whole lot of eating. Many bags contain frozen pie fillings and sliced, cored, and peeled apples to throw into baking and cooking throughout the year.
Ian napped for the first part of the picking and then came to join us.
He sure loves apples!!

This kid.

Ian and I picked a few more to add to the bounty that Jim & Grumps had already accumulated, and then we joined them down at the wine tasting. We didn't join in, though ;)
Next we headed to Joe's Trees, which is a wonderful pumpkin patch/Christmas tree farm between Blacksburg and the orchard. We couldn't have asked for better weather to show off our area.

Ian milked the cow...
showed us how tall he was...

and then led the way to the pumpkin patch.
Err, maybe just led me. Ha! I love this picture of three generations marching over the hill. We could have taken the hay ride, but the line was pretty long. We decided to take it on the way back.

Jim ran back to double-check on the pumpkin prices, so Grumps & Ian took some time to enjoy watching and waving to the tractors as they went by.

He was surprised to find that this one had a hole in it...
Me and my three pumpkins... that belly is growing, growing, growing.
22 Weeks Pregnant

"Hey Grumps, how about this one?"

We tried to take a few family pictures for our Christmas card. I'm saving them for later, in case we use them. But here's one of all of us :)
Me and my boy. He chose one little pumpkin to bring home.
But not after piling a whole bunch in my lap and counting them over and over again. "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, two... one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, two..."
Here comes the hayride!

First let's explore this tractor...

While we figured out which pumpkins we wanted, Grumps played with Ian.

Ian helped us choose a bunch of pie pumpkins to process later.
And soon our pumpkin hopped into the wheelbarrow with all of the other pumpkins to head home.
Our car was full of people, apples, and pumpkins. The sign of a harvest-full, autumn day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweet Relief

For the first time ever, I left Ian overnight. Actually, it was for three nights. I dropped him off at a friend's house (Thanks, Mary L!!!) and made the drive to Topsail Island, North Carolina. My mom was coming later that night to watch Ian and Jim was in the middle of a super busy rotation, but was able to do bath time with Ian most nights.

I spent the weekend with four other friends at our friend Joi's spectacular beach house. We got in late and pretty much just hit the sack. I woke up to this view in the morning, after waking up in my own time and at my own pace. What a glorious blessing.
 Their house has a 360 degree view of the inter-coastal waterways. A-mazing. This is where I tried paddle-boarding for the first time and went kayaking with a dear friend (Nicky) I haven't seen for over a year.
 We spent time on the beach. Walking, beach-combing (I found my first shark tooth!), chatting, and reading. On the last night, Nicky and I even went swimming as the sun started to set! We were surrounded by the beautiful pinks and purples of the sky reflecting off the water. It was spectacular. Though the weather at home was frigid, the beach was warm and inviting.
 We ate out one night and went to a fabulous local bakery, but otherwise stayed near the cabin. I love the detailing of their ceiling... it's slats from old porches, but it gives the feel of a ship. So neat.
 Nicky and I were a bit too cold after swimming to see the sunset, so we hopped into the hot tub. But, I did still catch this image after getting out of the tub! Oh, and this was before a full-body massage. Life was hard.
 The next morning, it was time for me to again hit the road. Farewell, for now, Topsail!!
 I returned to a happy boy and Äma! Apparently they had an absolutely wonderful time and Ian barely cried. He talked about how I'd be right back but never got too upset. My mom's exact words were: "I had so much fun!" Wooo!! Win-win :)

I felt like a whole new woman, wife, and mama. The trip did wonders.

The next day I had a follow-up ultrasound for our sweet baby. I didn't get the results right away and was a bit frustrated by the whole experience. Fortunately, though I was teary and flustered, Ian reminded me of the simple joys of life by facilitating play time in the leaves!!! It was a blast and he had me laughing.

Ian: "Where Ian go?"
Me: "I don't know. Where did Ian go?"
Ian: Giggle.
Me: "Is he under the trampoline?"
Ian: "Noooo."
Me: "Is he in the garden?"
Ian: "Noooo."
Me: "Is he in the chicken coop?"
Ian: "In da leeeeeaves!!!!"

So much fun, that kid.
Even still, last night was quite difficult and full of tears and scary research. This morning I continued to twiddle my thumbs waiting for answers. This afternoon the phone finally rang saying that all was perfect and that the baby is perfect!!!

Whew!! So, so relieved. I think it's time to play in the leaves again. This time, I won't be nearly as distracted and weepy!

And let's channel the relaxed woman that returned from the beach on Sunday ;)