Virginia in June
Anna and Isaac traveled particularly well up the east coast from South Carolina to Virginia. We think they both were just a bit sleep deprived. But to be honest they both really love napping in their car seats. Isaac is a pro at napping period but the car helps.
The fun commenced the moment we arrived in Troutville. My parents doled out plenty of hugs but soon we were off riding tricycles and picking raspberries. Oh my were the raspberries perfect when we arrived. My parents ran out of freezer space and our bellies were filled with berry cobbler and berry yogurt before the garden ran out of berries! Anna loved having a chore that was ever present and she and Meme made so many trips out to the garden I lost count.
One afternoon, my parents kept Anna busy out in the garden for over two hours. She took water and potty breaks but loved playing in the dirt, weeding, digging, picking, and washing. When she came up to the house the two of us got into the pool. With her floatie vest and water wings, she was safe floating around and we had fun.
My sister heard that the Natural Bridge Wax Museum is closing soon as the for-profit park transitions into a state park. So we took the kids there. Jacob asked Anna to stand next to a wax security guard and she was so shy of it. Every time he said to move closer she took a tiny step and then would look back with a forced smile for the camera like, “hurry up dad, this is so uncomfortable!” Jacob made the best of their closing shop sale by purchasing some vinyl thumb “thumbtacks.” They are super creepy. And we are 80% sure they are the reason Jacob’s bag was searched on our flight home to Texas.
I, of course, started a project at my mother’s house. She just has so much fabric it is hard not to pick up something. I cut a few strips of fabric and was off making my first log cabin crib quilt. My sister was sweet enough to join me in the basement some nights after the kids went to bed to keep me company while I stitched away. When we get together we dream. We talked about projects we’ve been dying to do to our houses and what the future might hold for kids and work. I love having a sewing project because my mom is always busy too. Here is the latest progress on Anna’s bed quilt. My mother is so very close to finishing this!
Anna spent a lot of quality time with Pop Pop this trip. He was having a blast with his new GoPro camera trying to capture the fun. And Anna picked up on so many little things right from him, like fixing things. One of her favorite toys she found was my parents napkin holder which she made into a toolbox. “Want to play tool box girl? I’ll be the tool box girl. Okay…what broke?”
Our other big adventure with Aunty Rachel was to the Booker T Washington National Monument. Like the wax museum, this was a typical place for school field trips so the place was familiar but I didn’t really recall any details. The place was a perfect walk for my 3 year old, a little bit of grass, a few farm animals, a bridge and a dinner bell to ring.
It isn’t really a trip to my childhood home without one night of fireworks. Anna was very brave, she did great with her sparkler. She loved watching the big ones go off and the bottle rockets, spreading her arms out gracefully in awe with each explosion.
Even among all the holding and passing of the baby, we made sure Isaac got in his tummy time exercising. And it paid off, in Virginia he started to lift his chest of the ground ever so slightly. It is easy to to see how much Isaac has grown. He is following people with his eyes and head all the way across the room. His neck is getting pretty strong. Of course he loved all the cuddle time he got too. He can sleep happily almost anywhere but Meme’s chest was always the perfect antidote for his grumpiest moods.
Anna was so cheerful this trip. She was very helpful in the kitchen. One morning, I was holding Isaac but pulled down everything for Anna to transport to the dining room table and she took it all. She even poured her cereal and milk. Rachel came over and played rocketship. Isaac was the maintenance man who fixed the gears. Anna also helped Rachel make her lunch. And I watched Anna help Meme unload and load the dishwasher, she loved it and was so independent. “No, I can do it.” I am amazed at how much she has grown this vacation. And I’m grateful for the joy she feels playing with her family! As always, it was hard leaving the Mikulas compound.
Anna is always telling us “remember when…” stories from our vacation and asking about when we can go back and see the grandparents. Three weeks is a long time to be away from home but it was a wonderful time to spend with our families.