Monday, August 30, 2010

a week on the farm - simple pleasures

Being on the farm in Iowa is one of our favorite places to be. Janelle always bemoans the fact that there is nowhere exciting to go and nothing exciting to see. Exactly! That is what we love most about these visits: the excuse to just relax and enjoy simple tasks and the pleasant ache of a workday finished.

And they have cows.
River got a crash course on where the milk that he won't be drinking comes from. It was a little odd being on a dairy farm on a dairy-free diet. Milk, milk everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
milk truck

Gabriel and Liam spent most of their time out in the barn building new stalls with Jim for the cows. Liam was happy to dig in the dirt and the sand and give the skid loader plenty of space.
Gabriel was happy to get his hands dirty (okay, his entire body...shower every night, please).

And look at this guy. I can't help but smile.
The farm is just one gigantic playground for Liam.
The kinds of sweets he doesn't get at home...yum.
And because they're dairy-free! , I had my fair share of Oreos, too...
Corn fields to explore.
Kittens to meet
and to share.
and to snuggle.
We all had such a nice time. Really, this is our favorite vacation destination.
Liam is still talking about the farm, asking when we are going to go back and see Unca Gim (Uncle Jim) milking cows.
Next week? is his suggestion.

Friday, August 27, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thanks goes to Amanda for such a lovely idea.

Even more farm pictures coming soon. Liam is behaving just like a two-year old today. It's a bit exhausting.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a week on the farm - Iowa State Fair

We spent Thursday at the Iowa State Fair.

Gabriel has great memories of the fair from when he was a little kid, but I had never been before, and Liam jumped at the chance to see more cows...and pigs, sheep, horses, goats...

But first we had to consult a fairgrounds map, circa 1891.

At the fair, we made our way over to the Little Hands on the Farm, where they outfitted Liam with a farm apron, a bucket, and an oversized hat.

He followed the path from the veggie plot where he harvested some peppers, squash, onions, and carrots,
around to the apple tree, fresh for the picking but not for eating. Liam tried taking a bite of the plastic wasn't quite what he was expecting.
After a stop at the grain barn for both corn to give in exchange for milk and soy beans that became the fuel for his tractor,
he was off to the market to sell his goods
and earn some cash

just the right amount for a tasty treat.

fun fun fun

But the real fun was to be had in the barns...

This horse's back stood taller than Gabriel's 6'2"... And we didn't want to get one step closer, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

There were plenty of cows to see and pet
cows taking a bath
and blown dry until they're soft and fluffy
River took it all in, although his view from down in the stroller may not have always been ideal...
sweet sweet little cows
And then we saw some pigs. They wanted to see us, too.
I had a lot of sympathy for these poor mama pigs...
But everyone's favorite was the goats. This one in particular.
Liam was especially taken by him.
Okay, we all were.
It was all so much fun that it wore River out.
Tractor time!
Big tractors...
The first thing he said was, Where are the keys?
And what would a visit to the fair be without some food on a stick? Yummy pickle!
It was a big day. A fun day.
After the fair, we stopped at Gabriel's cousin Jared's house to visit him, Allison, Makenna, and to meet Colin for the first time.
Colin is 2 weeks younger than River, but also a good 2 inches taller. It was fun to see them side by side.
And these two. They were going non-stop.
You can see a video of all of the commotion over on Jared and Allison's blog here.
And trying to get a decent picture of the two of them together...well, it was about like this.
This is as good as it gets.
We had a nice visit with them, thanks guys!
And it was on the drive home to the farm late that night that a deer did this.
The picture doesn't really do it justice. Our poor car is in the shop until sometime next week.
In other news, River's appointment with the cardiologist yesterday was encouraging. Although the hole in his heart has not yet closed up, the doctor didn't think surgery would be necessary since River is thriving: he's growing well and is a very happy baby.
It's a relief. A big one.
But, of course, before we left for the appointment yesterday morning, we discovered that our refrigerator had stopped working. The freezer still works, and a repairman is supposed to come back with some replacement parts sometime tomorrow.
In the meantime, we have stuff in coolers in the kitchen, and our milk delivered last night has already gone sour. Boo.
C'est la vie, oui?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A week on the farm - day 1

We left extra early Tuesday morning so we could be to the farm by mid-afternoon. Both boys traveled great, and Liam was especially excited that we were going to see cows.

And this is where the littlest one spent a lot of time. We're still loving the Ergo carrier.

Extra special sleeping accomodations: Liam loved his tractor bed!
This has been another long day of post-trip housekeeping along with a 4-month old who's teething and grouchy.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post more pictures soon along with some commentary by yours truly. A certain someone was just sitting around waiting for farm pictures, so I am staying up extra late to oblige...
Tomorrow we meet with River's pediatric cardiologist at 10:00am. I'm hoping for good news to report.