Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our weekend adventures

One of the really unfortunate things about living somewhere as developed as the DC area is that it is HARD to find pick-your-owns anywhere within a reasonable driving distance.  When we were living in Centreville it wasn't too much of a drive down 66 to a few farms that had great produce.  Now that we're closer to the Beltway, I don't think there's anywhere less than an hour away.  So when I read about Butler's Orchard in Germantown, Maryland, I was pretty excited!  My aunt and uncle live in Germantown, so we went on Saturday morning to visit them and pick some strawberries.

I hadn't been strawberry picking since I was VERY young, so I was pretty excited to see how John Paul reacted.  He LOVED peach picking in the fall - he just wandered around the orchard with a peach he found early on.  This was a typical scene:



I assumed that he'd get pretty into strawberry picking, but he really didn't understand that he was allowed to pick the fruit off of the plant.  For a while he was really into the straw in the patch...



Then he just followed me around and took strawberries out of the box that I had just picked.  We're going to have to go back earlier next year - there were still plenty of strawberries to be picked, but I imagine it would go even more quickly earlier in the season.

Cecilia tried VERY hard to eat a strawberry - she's at that terrible 4-6 month age when she wants to eat EVERYTHING that we have but can't because we're not starting solids yet (contrary to our pediatrician's advice, we go with the AAP's 6 months exclusive breastfeeding MINIMUM).  This is also the "want to crawl and sit up but can't and that is REALLY FRUSTRATING" stage...  She managed to get part of a strawberry IN her mouth, but didn't know what to do with it.  Thank goodness! 

We picked at the field for maybe 30 minutes, ending up with about 4 lbs of berries (not including those consumed by a toddler and a husband).  I'm actually pretty impressed with this, considering much of this time was spent running after John Paul, trying to get him not to eat straw, rocks, bugs, or nursing Cecilia while standing in the middle of the patch.  Afterwards, we headed down to the market to pay for our fruit and check out what else they had.  There was a decent selection of local produce at typical farmer's market prices.  They also had delicious frozen strawberry lemonade ("So cold!  No fank you!") and a whole lot of homemade goods.  We got some kettle corn and marmalade and then checked out.

After a lovely lunch with the relatives (during which John Paul discovered the cat, much to the cat's chagrin.  John Paul:  "CA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAT!" while jumping up and down and laughing uproariously.  Cat:  "I might murder you.") and lots of playing, we headed back home.  Amazingly, BOTH kids fell asleep in the car, so we decided to take the scenic route and hopped on the GW Parkway, which is definitely one of the most beautiful roads in America.  One nap was continued at home, one was concluded by the time we hit the speed bump in the parking lot (guess which kid woke up?).

I was hoping to go to the pool when we got home but it started POURING and thundering so I thought that was out of the question.  An hour later?  Sunny and beautiful again!  Gotta love Virginia weather.  So we headed to the pool after dinner.

John Paul was rather terrified at first - he hadn't been to the pool since last summer, and he was a little confused.  Once he figured out that the wading pool is AWESOME, he did NOT want to leave.  We found a few toys there, so he spent 30 minutes just throwing balls into the pool and jumping in to retrieve them.  The water was 1-2 feet deep, just deep enough that if he fell down his face ended up in the water.  We ended up with a lot of choking and sputtering but he NEVER freaked out and I was very proud of him.  Eventually he figured out that stepping straight into the pool (there are no steps and there's no incline in the wading pool) wasn't the best idea, and the water inhalation decreased.

Cecilia LOVED the pool.  I need to get a picture of her in her swimsuit - it's so adorable!  She didn't care that much about the wading pool, but Andrew took her in the big pool and she was just all smiles and giggles the whole time.  I think we're going to be spending a lot of time at the pool this summer, particularly since John Paul started crying when it was time to leave (next time we're changing him in the changing room, not by the pool.  He REALLY wanted to go back in after he was dressed, but I think he'll forget about it if he can't see the pool). 

Sunday morning was pretty typical - Mass (one of our favorite priests is getting transferred and there's no replacement - sad :(), home for naps while Andrew was off singing.  But the rest of Sunday wasn't typical! 

I woke John Paul up early from his nap (he was FAST asleep - I even went in to take a picture to see if that would wake him up, and he didn't even stir) and we headed over to our church picnic.  Pentecost = Happy Birthday, Church!  It was pretty awesome and full of lots of firsts.  First moonbounce (kind of scary), first snowcone (so delicious, because John Paul's obsessed with ice), first cotton candy (also rather scary), first hulu hooping (mostly he just wanted to hold as many as he could find), etc.

There was an awesome train - he LOVED the first ride, and I made the mistake of trying to buckle him in on the second ride.  Kid is OBSESSED with buckles, so we spent most of the second ride buckling and unbuckling the seatbelt.  Fun.


He absolutely refused to try the cotton candy for a while.  I finally got him to touch it, which was interesting...


But still not delicious.  He let me feed him a few bites and then very politely pushed it away with a "No fank you..."

Then he cried very hard at the end of our last train ride because he didn't want to leave.  Next year we'll have to make sure to go for more than just the last hour.  It was definitely better than I expected - I figured there would be a little food and a little moonbounce, but there were THREE moonbounces, TONS of food, and all sorts of fun activities.  One of John Paul's favorite parts?  A man dressed as Uncle Sam on stilts - he chased him around the parish school calling, "Tall man...  Tall man..."


Coming up next: Our trip to the Building Museum (way more fun than it seems!)
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