Monday, August 31, 2009

Someone Turned 60...

Hopefully turning 60 this year was more fun than depressing for my mom! We had a party for her on Saturday with a few surprises...

I printed the poem "Warning: When I am an old woman I shall wear purple..." for her to read while wearing a red hat and purple scarf.


She also had a basket of "gifts" that she will most likely be needing now that she is an old woman...

Ben Gay, Efferdent, prunes, a magnifying glass, Depends, large print book, shaving cream, etc...

There was good food, a beautiful cake, (wonderfully made by my sister's friend - check out her work here) and lots of special friends and family to help celebrate.

My mom was a great sport! I'm just hoping I look as cute as she does when I turn 60!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Officially Crawling

It's official, as of yesterday 8/27/09, my 7 month-old, soon-to-be-8-month-old, is crawling! (Daddy is so happy he can say that Gage started crawling at 7 months! Now I am sure he will be working with him on walking...)

I would say it was on our vacation that I noticed him rocking on all fours and ever since has been progressing a little farther each day. I am excited to have reached this milestone, but on the other hand I know that nothing is safe anymore!

And my latest question is, how do I leave him alone for a second to go to the bathroom??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So Close!

Gage is so close to being a crawler! He has been working on it for the past few weeks and getting better every day! I caught him on video last night:

video

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sweet Times Over Sweet Corn

Did you know that sweet corn only has a 2-3 day window of readiness for picking?After that it's too late.

I did not know that until yesterday! Craig's grandma told me. Every year for the past 3 years Craig and I have gone to his grandparents' farm in Earlham, Iowa to help them with their sweet corn. This year Gage got to join us! As always, it was a very sweet experience!

The process goes like this:
1. Pick the corn (we missed out on that this year - Grandpa had it done by the time we got there)
2. Shuck the corn:
3. Boil it:
4. Blanche it:
5. Cut it:6. And finally bag it (I was out of the room with Gage so I missed out on that this year)

And of course we made time for feeding the hogs...

...and snuggling with Great Grandpa and Grandma!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Boston

Have I mentioned that we love Boston?!

We spent our last day of vacation touring Boston. It was probably the best day of the trip! We have been there several times over the years and we always love going back. One of our favorite places is the Boston Public Gardens where the ducks congregate...

and you can ride the swan boats across the pond:

The classic book "Make Way for Ducklings" is set in the Boston Public Gardens.

We started the day off with a water taxi ride from the airport (where we returned our rental car) back to our hotel. I was a little nervous taking Gage on a small boat, but it turned out to be very safe and lots of fun with great views of the city!

We took Gage on a hop on and off trolley tour:

He loved all the different people he could flirt with! :) We stayed on the trolley most of the time, only getting off at the Boston Public Garden (it was sooo hot that day!)

We also went on a harbor tour:

Another Boston favorite of ours is Legal Sea Foods restaurant! It's a seafood chain on the East Coast with the BEST seafood and before-dinner rolls! It is a must to eat there when we can!

Daddy is comparing Gage's new stuffed lobster with the real thing!

We ended the long, hot, wonderful day with a walk from Legal's back to our hotel. Gage was asleep by the time we got there!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Conclusion of Our Trip...

I admit, I've lost steam in blogging about our East Coast trip! We got home and I got busy with laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. All that back-to-reality stuff!

On Friday morning we went out to breakfast and walked around Plymouth (as seen in a previous post) then drove 40 miles north to Boston. Craig has connections with a "higher-up" at a very nice downtown Boston hotel. So he made arrangements for us to get a suite with a great view, at a very good price. You can see the lobby area behind Gage, from the upscale "bar" where we had lunch:

Well Craig's friend, took very good care of us! We had a beautiful room and he even left a plate of fruit and drinks with a card attached in our room. It's nice to have connections! I don't know what I was thinking not getting more pictures of our snazzy room, but I do have one:

After we got settled in we drove another 40 miles or so north to see Aaron and Lesia in NH. It was probably the most beautiful day of the whole week and we spent it mostly in the car! Oh well, we enjoyed the day no matter what.

The next day, Saturday, was our last day out East.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Baby Carrier

We found out that our Ergo Baby Carrier works great on this trip! To give a little background...we used to have a Baby Bjorn before we went to Seattle, but someone left it on one of the flights (probably me, I'll admit it!) because we didn't have it when we arrived in Seattle. I did a little research and found that the Ergo Carrier is a good choice, possibly better than the Bjorn, so I found one on Ebay.

Craig and I had a little dispute over it since he thought I should wait to buy one when Baby #2 is here since it will mostly be used for him/her, but my thought is why not get it now and use it with Gage while we can?

Well look who's a natural at wearing the carrier:

Aren't they cute?

I would be happy to wear it if it would fit me comfortably...

Gage is such a trooper he is happy in the stroller or in the carrier. We put him in the carrier when it was more convenient not to have the stroller...like after a long, hot day when we took a taxi to our favorite restaurant "Legal Sea Foods"... Yikes! I was on pins and needles the whole time, thankfully it wasn't far!

Aaron and Lesia

Aaron and Lesia are friends of ours that we were fortunate enough to see while we were out east! They live in Manchester, NH, which is about an hour north of Boston. Aaron and Craig went to school together in the Quad Cities and were in each other's weddings. We almost missed seeing them because they are actually moving to Columbus, OH this week, so we were very happy we could spend a few hours with them on Friday night.


Gage enjoyed them too!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Plymouth Treasures

We couldn't leave Plymouth, MA without a picture of Gage at Plymouth Rock:

And the Mayflower (Replica):

Gage can barely see over the stroller tray! And yes, that's his foot up on the tray... how does he do that?! :)

This walk between the Rock and the Mayflower is so lovely and peaceful.
We just love this place!
We got a great deal on Priceline.com at the Hilton Garden Inn. It wasn't a suite, but we made it work:
Gage woke up very early on Friday morning. I ended up feeding him a little earlier than usual and then putting him in bed with us. He was so happy to be there. I was overcome with a feeling of pure completeness. I couldn't fall back asleep. I just treasured the moment, watching him go from joyful awake to peaceful sleep and feeling so blessed. At that moment nothing else mattered, nothing else was important, I had everything I needed. I believe moments like these are a glimpse of what Heaven is like.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Surprise Concert

So, while we were in Martha's Vineyard we saw a poster for a concert that day, and we couldn't believe our good timing...

If you have read my monthly Gage updates then you know who his favorite singer/cd is: SteveSongs! I had never heard of him until I started looking for kids' music on Amazon.com. I took a chance and ordered his "Marvelous Day" cd, which turned out to be the best kids cd ever! The music is so catchy and the messages in his songs are so good. I highly highly highly recommend him!

Anyway you guessed it - SteveSongs was going to be performing at 4:00pm the day we were there. What amazing timing. We had to get to that concert!

Do you remember that I had mentioned that our 2 1/2 hour tour turned into 4 hours?? Well that caused a little problem in getting to the stage by 4:00. We were dropped off in another town at 4:00 and didn't know how to get back to Oak Bluffs, where SteveSongs was performing. I was so bummed that we were so close, and we were going to miss the concert. Long story short, we hailed a taxi and made it to the concert about 30 minutes late. But the important thing was we got to hear some familiar songs...

...and meet Steve in person!

Oh yes, I was bound and determined to meet Steve! And oh yes, I was the annoying lady that everybody behind me wondered when would move on so they could have their turn! But I had to tell Steve how much my 7 month old loves his music, and how much I love his words, and that we were from Iowa and just there for the day so we couldn't believe we actually got to see him and...on and on! (Little did he know what a crazy adult groupie he has! Oh my goodness, I am laughing as I realize how crazy I am and must have seemed!)

When Steve heard that "Marvelous Day" is the song that Gage always lights up to, and we were late so we must have missed it, he started singing it to him right then and there. And Gage reached out and touched his face and held his hand. Oh, what a sweet moment it was! I love SteveSongs even more now.

So that was our very special surprise in Martha's Vineyard on Thursday. It seems silly to wonder, since it had no seeming effect on furthering God's kingdom, but could God have arranged a special little treat for us? Maybe meeting Gage encouraged Steve somehow? I sure hope so! And I'm so thankful for the great opportunity to meet my 7 month old's favorite singer.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Martha's Vineyard

While on our honeymoon five years ago it was recommended to us by our B&B owner that Nantucket is a much better choice for visiting than Martha's Vineyard. So that is where we went. This year we thought we'd visit Martha's Vineyard, and unfortunately learned how true it is - Nantucket is much better due to the lighthouses, remote beaches, has less traffic, is smaller and more quaint, etc. - but we still had a good time, despite the rainy weather. A wonderful surprise was in store for us too, which I will get to later...

From Plymouth, we drove to Woods Hole, MA, which is on Cape Cod, to take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard. It was 45 min long, and thankfully all indoor seating because it was raining the whole way. I was praying that the rain would stop by the time we got there, and it did! It remained overcast and at times misty, but no hard rain the rest of the day.

Our happy ferry ride:

We took a bus tour which was supposed to be 2 1/2 hours, and ended up being about 4! Gage charmed all of the passengers, who in turn kept him entertained and happy too. We sure don't go unnoticed these days with our little Charmer with us!

Gage hamming it up with some adoring passengers on the tour bus:

Quaint Martha's Vineyard cottages:

Gayhead cliffs and lighthouse: (The most beautiful view on the tour. Too bad it was such a yucky day!)

During a stop on the tour we were walking around when Craig spotted a poster announcing a very special, free concert, later that day... Can you guess who it possibly may have been?? This concert was so coincidental and so special it needs its own post, which is coming soon! :)