Friday, October 24

Autumn Update

I hate to admit that this pregnancy is taking it's toll on my energy and motivation, but it totally is.  I'm not complaining, because I'm more than thankful for a growing baby inside of me, and I know how important these "bulking up" days are, now that I'm almost 36 weeks along.  But phew.  I'm exhausted.  I blame my job which tends to suck the life out of me, quite honestly.  Either way, I just realized I haven't blogged in a month, and I feel so, so lazy.  And this?  All a collection of iphone photos from the past month - just to remind me that we did, in fact, participate in fall activities this year!

Elk.  One of our favorites is a visit to Elk County for the "elk rut".  As silly as it sounds, it's such an impressive act of nature.  Elk mate in the fall, so the males are in pursuit of a female, putting on a fantastic show of broad antlers and boisterous bugles.  Each year, Jesse insists on finding a less traveled path, so he woke us up before dawn to drive the hour to Elk County, and then picked a "promising" spot in the woods to park the car and set off for a morning hike.  We did hear a bugle not too far off, but didn't manage to see any elk.  On our way toward civilization, we did manage to see a few elk grazing.  Molly was impressed.  I was hungry (I don't skip breakfast well).  I'd still call it a success.

Apple picking.  For sure, growing into one of my favorite fall activities.  We took Quinton along this year, and he just loved it.  He and Molly munched on several apples while we filled our basket, and he was so proud to show them off.  As we were leaving, a farmer friend just happened to be riding on his horse drawn wagon, and offered us a ride.  It was the perfect end to the day (even though the bouncing made me question whether or not it really was fit for a pregnant woman.  I made it out safely, though).  The kids laughed and cheered as the horses pulled us along, and we caught a perfect fall sunset.  Sometimes, I think the less planned activities work out the best.  It really couldn't have been better timing.

Cooper Farm.  It's a must-do in our area.  Each fall, a little pumpkin patch sets up some fall activities, including a hay maze, petting zoo, apple cider, fresh apples, and tractor rides.  The kids love it, as simple as it is.  I can't believe the changes from year to year with these kiddos- Quinton is turning into such a brave young boy, and Molly- do you see her concern for her cousin, Noah?!  Seriously, that girl.   And Noah, well, that boy is always with a smile- seriously.  They finished the morning with a fresh apple in Aunt Judy's brand new car- sorry Judy!

I had to catch this quick drink break while Molly and Noah played- I'm not sure who was thirstier?! 

Daddy insisted on getting a picture at one of our favorite places on our drive home from the farm.  Last year, Molly sat with me.  This year, she ran from me  (and obviously, I couldn't catch her with that belly!)

Belly.  Speaking of?  I hate selfies, but this is my "I'm pretty sure this baby is already 7 pounds" face.  At 35 weeks.  Yikes.

Flu shots.  And we're all up to date on our flu shots, even Molly.  Not a tear was shed by that girl.  And at her 3 year well visit, she insisted she was 4 years old (I don't know where she gets this stuff), and topped the charts at 85th percentile for weight, 100th for height.  The girl has grown two inches this year.  She's an eater, and apparently she's going to take after her Daddy in size ;)

I'm going to try to keep up with our lives, but I imagine the upcoming arrival of baby brother/sister is going to slow me down!  We're so, so excited to meet this baby.  And so thankful for Daniel Tiger (a PBSkids show) for preparing Molly to "meet the baby" with the cutest show about Daniel's new baby sister, Margaret.  I'm off to do some more yoga, in hopes of encouraging labor!

Monday, September 22

Pittsburgh in a Day

It was a whirlwind trip to my favorite city this past weekend- but oh, was it a good one.  I'm so thankful for a last minute gift of Pitt football tickets from a coworker, which made this trip reality.  In fact, these tickets gave us about 12 hours to plan and execute a day trip with a carsick-prone toddler and a 31 week pregnant momma, which turned out to be just perfect.  Unlike most of our other trips anywhere, I didn't have the chance to plan anything.  Though I felt bad for missing out on seeing some friends, we still managed to accomplish most of my annual Pittsburgh bucket list, squeezing in a few hours with my sister and nephew during the game as well!  (Though we really should have known a college football game was not going to be as fun for a 3year old and 6 month old as it was for us.  Molly repeatedly told me her first football game was "too loud" and asked "can we sit in the car for a little bit, mommy?!", while Ethan was startled each time the crowd cheered :/   Lesson- learned.)

We left early in the morning Saturday, and ended up just a bit behind schedule after a quick trip to Starbucks to dull the motion sickness and energize Daddy.  Turns out, that stop was really just what we needed!

We ended up at Heinz Stadium just in time for the game, and got the perfect seats- just barely in the shade!  And we even caught a good game (as Jesse tells me), with good views of offense/defensive formations (in the meantime, I was still thankful for the shade).

After the game, we routed up to Mt. Washington to show Molly the views of the city.  She is fearless, and just loved it.  We're really thankful to the library, too, for letting us use their potty in a pinch ;)

Still without a nap, we headed to Southside to see if a quick dinner would be possible, and sure enough, that girl held strong through dinner (we love the Cheesecake Factory), and even seemed excited to stop in Oakland on our way home to check out my Alma Mater.  I had a (pregnancy-to-blame) minute of emotion as she oo-ed and aww-ed at the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt's campus.  This girl is going to be a college student one day- how crazy is that?!!  So I purposely shot a picture of her entering the Cathedral- maybe we can compare it to her 18 year old self someday (not that I'm going to force her to go to a specific college on anything)?!

But of course, the Panther was a hit for the vivacious and sleep deprived 3 year old, who was later inappropriately telling it to "giddy up, boy"!  (We left shortly thereafter. )

And we made it home by dark that night.  Phew.

I'm so thankful to God for birthdays- another healthy year with this family.  I really can't ask for much else.  It's the last birthday of my twenties, so I know it's going to be a good one ;)

Tuesday, September 2

Birthday Round Up


She's three!  We had her party over the weekend, and though it rained through most of it, we really had the best day.  The theme of this girl's party must've been cake and horses, though I didn't know it before!  Of course, I knew the cake had to be special.  She is a renowned cake lover, after all.   And that cake was a work of art.  Seven layers complete with confetti cake, birthday cake ice cream, and homemade vanilla buttercream.  I'm not sure we've loved any cake more.   It was so huge, but we had not a single slice leftover.  Bittersweet, I suppose ;) 

My mom brought along a few bottles of silly string for the birthday song.  Molly was initially disgusted, but later appreciative of NeeNee's humor.  Jesse immediately nominated her for porch cleaning.

She's been telling us all summer, after our horseback trail ride, she wants to "ride a horsey all by myself".  So we planned to take her and let her ride for her birthday.  Little did we know, she had been telling her Grandmas about this horse-riding dream of hers, as well.  The theme of her gifts was obvious.  She got a pair of cowboy boots (check that reaction), a barbie and horse companion, and a set of horse bed sheets (which she is napping in right now).   I didn't realize how much the girl loved horses- how ridiculous!   Today, she told her Daddy that next year, she wants a REAL horse.  Yikes.

We've got another ice cream gathering planned for tonight -her actual birthday, and I'm sure she'll love it.  The girl has been loved on so much these past few days.    I'm so thankful for all the sweet messages and wishes for Molly's birthday.   We can't believe we have a 3 year old!