Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We joined Jenny-Jen and Alex again this fall for a trip to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Nate enjoyed the walking, running, and climbing more than the animals themselves this year, I think.

He has grown a lot since last year:

The stroller was used primarily for carrying things:

But he really enjoyed petting and brushing the goats:

and the train ride:

We think fall is the perfect time to visit the zoo. We had the train ride to ourselves, and the conductor let Nate sit on the locomotive and ring the bell and toot the whistle. And the long walk in and out looks like this:

Many thanks to Jenny-Jen and Alex for such a fun adventure!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stay-at-home Dad

"Stay-at-home-dad" is a bit of a misnomer. The boys enjoyed a powerboat outing this week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nate's First Camping "Trip"

After Great Country Farms, we trekked a good forty yards from Honey and PopPop's front door, and pitched our tent next to the Rykers' tent. After dinner, we enjoyed a campfire before snuggling into our tent. Nate's cough took us inside before morning, but he was very excited to sleep in a tent for the first time.

Great Country Farms

For the third year,we took Honey and PopPop and Wesley (and this time Andrea and Rick) to meet up with  the Dinoia Family at Great Country Farms. We revisited all the old favorites, like the bouncy noodle, the giant slide, the donkeys, the sandbox, and the cow train. We also saw P. Rex chomp pumpkins, and had to sit on about a dozen tractors. Another perfect October day with some of our best buds!

Friday, October 19, 2012


After hearing how Nate had loved his two recent (quick) pony rides, my friend Julie invited us to visit the barn where she keeps her horse, Tex. The farm has a wonderfully patient pony, Gloria, who is used for kids' riding lessons, and Julie thought Nate would like a longer ride and a look at the barn.

Julie haltered Gloria and showed us how to clean her hooves, then helmeted Nate and set him in an adorable tiny English saddle. They rode around the indoor arena, then headed out "cross country" around the paddocks, including some rougher terrain, a first for Nate.

Nate was excited but relaxed for the entire ride. Better start saving our pennies; I think this one will want riding lesson when he's older. He may have company; I had a blast riding Tex, though I am sure the experienced riders in the arena are still snickering at me. (Tex would be, too, but he knows I have peppermints.) It was my first time in an English saddle.

Nate surprised me by asking to ride Tex with me. He got to hold reins for the first time, and seemed quite proud of himself. Many thanks to Julie and her sweet Labrador of a Thoroughbred Tex for their generosity and patience. It was a day we'll be talking about for a long time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

I'm embarrassed to tell you how many fall festivals we've been to this season, but this was the true pumpkin patch. This small farm has just enough going on for little kids, and is the perfect weekday adventure. On a perfect Tuesday, we drove there to check out the produce, the pumpkin house, and the few animals. And, of course, the tractor.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


On Saturday, we headed to the Fall Fest at Homestead Gardens. It had grown since last year, but Nate got to revisit some favorite activities like the pony ride, straw maze, and flirting with girls. He also sat on some tractors and went on a hayride.

The cold front that blew through while we were there has actually made it feel like fall. We went from shorts to jeans in just a day, and from Crocs to rain boots. Some of us mind that less than others.

Boys' (and bears') Day Out

Mark took Nate (and Goodman and Buddy Bear, who was visiting from preschool) sailing on a Harbor 20 on Friday. They got to check out the U.S. Sailboat Show from the water, and spotted a fireboat rushing to a boat fire. To hear Nate tell it (which we have a few dozen times since then,) "We went sailing in a boat. We raised the sail. We saw the boat show. We turned the boat, and the sail went to the other side. I held the tilder, and I not looking where I going, I looking where I been. We saw that other boat; that other boat is called Woodwind. We went back to the dock."

Mark says when the boat heeled, Nate braced with his foot, placed one hand on Daddy's leg, and didn't fret. I suspect this is just the first of many weekdays on the water for my guys.

Friday, October 05, 2012

{this moment} cupcake

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Idea courtesy of SouleMama