Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blueberry Picking 2014

Finally, it was blueberry picking day! Finley has been asking about going blueberry picking since the day after we went blueberry picking last summer.  Now last year, Dagny was basically stroller bound (though she was able to walk) and had no clue what to do with her blueberry bucket - though she did enjoy eating lots of berries as I recall.  This year, both kids were psyched to see the blueberry patch as we parked the car and couldn't wait to get in there.  Finley remembered just what kind of berries to pick and Dagny was just interested in eating any that we dropped into her box, but everyone was happy to we got to work.
 Finley got excited whenever he found "dark blue, big ones" and wanted to show me before he either ate them or dropped them into his pail.
 Dagny had lots to say as she tried to figure out which berries were ripe, and this face really reflects the stubbornness she can display when she thinks she's right!
 Finley loved it when he could sit or squat down in a "good patch" and just pick and pick and pick.
 Like a good big brother, Finley tried to school his little sister about which berries are ready to be picked.
 Learning is yummy!
 She really got the hang of it after a while and since her stomach was overflowing with blueberries, she actually started helping us collect them in our containers.
After we had filled these two containers (and then some), it was time to head out.
But Finley and I both couldn't help ourselves and just kept picking as we found our way out of the patch!  Finley also kept eating and since he'd mostly restrained himself during the picking process, he really pigged out as we walked back towards the car.

We checked out the farm animals and Dagny made a new friend with the adorable calico colored rabbit.
 "He's eating grass, Mommy!"
 My attempt at a posed shot.  Denied.
 We put our blueberries in the car and popped back into the shop to get some other farm fresh veggies (and two freshly made cider donuts!).  Finley and Dagny enjoyed their donuts outside and spent a little more time with the bunny.
Oh--and you see that pint container of cherry tomatoes on the table? See how it is overflowing with cherry tomatoes? Well, by the time we got home -- there were only about eight tomatoes left! My little vegetable monsters were not full after gorging on blueberries and cider donuts, because they snacked on those tomatoes (that were supposed to be for dinner!) all the way home.  

Three days later, we are still enjoying our large blueberry harvest and we happily gave away the smaller container to our friends who just moved into a new house this month.  Now, that's friendship!!  It was a great morning at Honey Pot Hill and we may just have to go back next week to restock.

I love going back to previous blog posts from year to year that are about the same activity and if you'd like to do the same, here are the last 3 years of blueberry picking posts!  Time flies!


Pizza for Two

We love pizza: pizza shops, pizza songs, books about pizza delivery animals, and of course, actual pizza!  For lunch this afternoon, we decided to make our own.  I cheated a little and got some pre-made dough, but that's legit with two eager sous-chefs, right?  Here they are goofing around (and licking sauce covered spoons) while the oven warmed up.
Soon enough, it was time for the sauce to actually go on the pizzas.  Dagny was thrilled to be doing some real cooking in the kitchen and Finley was very particular about spreading his sauce all around. "Come on, chef, put on your sauce," she told her big brother.
Now for the cheese!

 We sprinkled on a bit of oregano and then slid them into the oven for seven glorious minutes...during which time we turned on the oven light and opened the oven door to check on our masterpieces at least eight times. And then - ta da!
 And according to the kids, they were as delicious as they looked!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Same spot, same temperature, but even more fun!

After a poorly timed rainstorm last Wednesday, we got to the parking lot in Maynard for their annual library and police sponsored truck event on their planned rain date.  And boy, what a difference a week makes -- today was 88 degrees and painfully sunny! But that would never deter such devoted truck fans like us :)

Dagny was happily sitting in the shade of the stroller (since she still isn't too interested in driving these big trucks, just watching is good enough for her) and Finley basically pulled me across the street to hop into the first truck.
We've been to lots of these types of events, but today was our first ever mailtruck!
A big dump truck.
 A mini-excavator.
 Highway lawn mower truck (not official name, just my best guess).
Finley also took turns hopping into a street sweeper, a stretch limo, and a...garbage truck! It was hot, really hot and lucky for us the ice cream truck was parked nearby and giving out free ice cream novelties!! Finley picked a big green popsicle (rainbow inside) and I chose a push up one for Dagny.  We rolled over the shade to get in line to ride the "train" that's pulled by a tractor which Finley remembered from last year as soon as we parked the car.
Life is good, huh?
 Finley eagerly climbed into a carriage and showed Dagny and I were to get into the carriage behind him.  Dagny wasn't so sure about this, but seemed curious.
We all had a great ride and I think Dagny almost enjoyed it!
 We spent just less than an hour on the pavement in the heat and I was relieved that things were closing down by the time we were ready to head out.  We were pretty sweaty, but the smile on Finley's face was absolutely worth every bit of it.  As soon as we got in the car, Finley asked when this would happen again and I said next summer (When I'm five??? he asks.).  Hard to believe a whole year has gone by since we were at this toasty, truck filled fest --
I think we had even more fun this year and I think it's because both kids were a year older and it truly feels like a playdate being out with the two of them - fun, silly, and always memorable.

Dagny Weighs In

Dagny had her 2 year doctor's check up last week and she didn't exactly bring her A game to the appointment.  She was absolutely glued to me during the physical exam and barely said two words to the doctor (and you know she's got more than two to share).  There were tears when her ears got checked and I had to physically restrain her while she was laid down on the examining table.  Geez.
She weighed in at 28 lbs 9.6 oz (72%) and measured 3 ft .25 in (97%).  Impressive!

Good thing that I wasn't worried about her development in any way because the appointment lasted of all about ten minutes since she was less than cooperative.  What a pain! But here she is afterwards, looking like she was just at an amusement park.
Her appointment was followed by one shot and a blood draw for a lead test.  Neither of which caused her to shed a tear or let out a yelp.  I kid you not, she was stoic through both after causing such a scene with the doctor (who barely touched her!!).  Ah well, that's two-year-olds for you :)

Here are two other pictures from last week that capture Dagny in all of her girl glory wearing her brand new sunglasses!
We sure love this little pink puffball of energy and attitude!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer 2014 So Far

We aren't headed out of town for a few weeks, but we've been having plenty of fun on the home front so far this summer. I ordered this old-school fishing game that I remember from my childhood and both kids loved it right away.
 Finley is quite the fisherman now!
Dagny's not the only one with a summer birthday, here she is enjoying Finley's friend Delilah's birthday cake.
Lots of outdoor playtime lately and Dagny's still obsessed with soapy water fun.
Our 8th anniversary was a couple of weeks back and to celebrate I took the kids on the commuter rail (aka the Purple Train) into Cambridge to meet Dan for dinner. Finley was ecstatic for this rail adventure, but Dagny was a bit hesitant.
He encouraged her to cover her ears when the train approached, how sweet!
 We hopped onto a double decker carriage and Finley begged to go to the top level, so up we went.  Finley watched in awe for all of the ride (chatting away, of course) and while Dagny stayed on my lap, she did relax and enjoy the 30 minute trek into the city.
Wouldn't a nice picture of the four of us at dinner fit perfectly right here??? I wish I'd taken one!! But it was a lovely, delicious dinner and we all had a good time.

Here are the kiddos at our friend's little beach near their house.  Both kids were much more comfortable in the water after a week at Grammy's lake house!
And just so you don't think that the kids are the only ones having special summer adventures, here's me and my friend, Emily, after our 5K muddy obstacle course run last Saturday!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Red Line Adventure

Since we all love riding trains, last Sunday while Dan was away in NY, the kids and I drove into Davis Square and after a visit to Dunkin' Donuts--we hopped onto the red line towards the city.
While our final destination was only two stops away, Finley elected to ride further so that we could go above ground and see the city.  Dagny chose to ride in her stroller (I think she preferred to be buckled in on the fast moving train).
We hopped off at the Charles/MGH stop and got to see lots of city traffic before riding the elevator down one side and back up the other so head back to Harvard Square.
We got off at Harvard and walked the ten minutes to one of the most fun, natural playgrounds we know about.  Dagny could barely contain herself and dove right into the sand. Good thing we always travel with our own buckets and shovels!!
The conveyor belt caught Finley's eye right away and he got right to "work."
Soon, both kids were working together at a "bakery."  Dagny was making sand cakes and sending them down the conveyor belt where Finley was transforming them into bread at the end of the belt.
I LOVE seeing them actually play together with lots of conversation and teamwork.  Dagny was in her element with sand, her favorite shovel, and lots of pretend play.
After finding two sticks to be candles, Dagny sang Happy Birthday to just about everyone she could think of.

Eventually, Finley discovered the other fun elements available at this playground.  The water table with drains to open and close.
The cargo net.

The little rock wall up to a slide.
Dagny couldn't quite do the rock wall, but loved the slide.
After nearly two hours, the kids enjoyed a snack as we walked and rolled back towards the T.  We did have time, however, for a visit to the amazing Curious George bookstore.  This Harvard Square centerpiece almost closed a few years ago, but I am so thankful it is still around for us to enjoy.  After exploring all corners of the store and reading at least a half dozen books, Finley and Dagny each picked a book and had fun "reading" them on the way home.
What a great adventure!! While I certainly do miss having closer access to the city, special trips like this that are not as complicated as I would have imagined make wonderful memories :)