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Friday, September 25, 2015

Playing at the Botanical Garden

One of our favorite things to do here in Norfolk is visiting the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Every time we go, we are amazed at new, beautiful things to see there. Here are some photos from some of our late summer and fall visits to the garden.
 On certain nights in the summer, you can ride bikes in the garden. That was a really fun way to see lots without so much walking. 

 It was really hot and humid, so we had to take a break for the splash pad.

 Just enjoying a ride in the bike trailer with her puppy and her pancake.
 Sarah's favorite thing about summer and fall at the garden: the butterfly house!
 So many butterflies!
 She also loves playing in the playhouses in the children's garden, especially if we go on a weekday when there aren't any scary children around. According to Sarah, pretty much all children are scary.
 Monarch caterpillar
 They have an awesome sand park with a huge mountain of sand that you can climb up and slide down. Sarah skipped the slide and just went back down the sand on her belly.

 I found a bear!

 Frog! All animals are meant to be ridden, right?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Family Park Day

We went to a family fun day at one of the local parks over the weekend. They had a whole bunch of activities available to do for free. We love the parks here!
 Waiting in line for the paddle boats
 Going for a paddle boat ride up the river. Sarah's favorite part was the goose we passed just after we left the dock. She does an excellent goose sound.
 A little playground fun
 At the reptile show. Sarah is a fan of snakes. 
More geese! This officially makes it a good day.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sarah Just Being Sarah

Here are a few moments that didn't fit in to my other posts but are just great examples of Sarah being her delightful little self. We love her so much!
 Exercising with Mommy can be exhausting. Also, her sunglasses are adorable.
 Cold pizza and smoothie: breakfast of champions
 Getting out of the bath is hard.
 Read me a book, Daddy! She has this thing lately where she has to gather up every single book from her room and move them around the house. I finally gave her a bag to carry them in.
 Look, a bug! Hopefully she wouldn't kiss a real one, but I wouldn't put it past her.
 Couch snuggles with all of her friends
 Blanket forting with Daddy
 Baby's turn to wear the patch. She showed me very proudly.
 This is what happens when toddlers choose their own clothes for the day.
 I fit!
 Where's Sarah? She insisted that all of her friends join her in the crib.
 Daddy was tired, so Sarah brought him a blanket and pillow to tuck both of them in. She hasn't quite figured out the whole breathing thing.
 Taking in a little Clifford.
 Everything is better with goldfish.
 Sarah has a tendency to steal the fabric I am trying to sew with. Blankie!
 Surrounded by softness!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fall Garden

We discovered that we could possibly get two seasons of crops in our garden here! So, we decided to give it a first try. Our spring/summer garden had all but waned (except for the sweet potatoes and peanuts, which needed more time), so we only had half the space to use.

 Emily was out and about somewhere, and Sarah and I were home alone. We decided to get right to work. We dug up the old garden soil first and put it aside in Sarah's kiddie pool.

(Not sure what Sarah's issue was here. Wardrobe problems.) 

It still looked very rich, but I'm sure a lot of the Miracle Gro nutrients had leached out already. We mixed a bunch more Miracle Gro back into the garden soil as we refilled the planting bed.

The bottom of the bed was lined with a plastic sheet, presumably to keep out weeds and other meddling things. I poked a bunch of holes in it to allow water to drain, since this place gets so soaked. Then I covered the bottom with an inch or so of pea gravel as a drainage barrier.

Next I added dirt mixed with a little bit of the local clay dirt.

Then I added sand and mixed it with the dirt to get an evenly distributed composition.

I repeated the dirt and sand steps layer by layer until I filled the planting bed.

Finally, I squished the dirt down so it was compact, added bug killer and more Miracle Gro, watered the heck out of it, covered it with mulch, and let it drain and dry out for several days.
We chose peas, radishes, beets, lettuce, and beans, and spinach for our fall crop. The beans (above) came up fairly quickly, but a rabbit infiltrated and ate them. The radishes, of course, came up in two days (pictured below).
The spinach didn't make it. The rabbit also ate some of the peas so that they never had a chance to flower and keep growing. The beets, though, are still growing. We may have a crop of those yet.

And, of course, the yams and peanuts are still growing. They'll be done soon. Oh, and the miniature peppers are there in front too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dressing Up Sarah

Sarah is already such a girly little thing. Dress-up has become one of her favorite new pastimes. 
I was going through her closet to put away too-small clothes, and Sarah made off with a few things to play with. This jacket is now a favorite. Personally, I think it is rather dashing with the bonnet.
 Even better if you add a too-small dress and pants pulled up to the knees.
 Ketchup makes a delicious beverage, by the way.
 The dirty laundry basket can also provide endless entertainment. She came out of the laundry room wearing an upside down onesie, a pair of swim bottoms pulled up to her knees, Daddy's socks, and Mommy's high heels. She was very proud of her ensemble.
 Shoes provide an endless source of entertainment. Mommy's high heels are the best, but any will do.
 Scandalous little naked baby!
 A friend gave us a big bag of dress-up clothes, which has provided endless entertainment. The flowers and feathers are her favorite. Everyone gets to wear them. 
 Isn't she just the cutest mouse?
Looking fabulous!