Tuesday, March 13, 2018

7 Months Young!

The princess of the bunch is officially 7 months old today! 

She is currently 16 pounds, 4 ounces and approximately 26 inches in length.  Wearing size 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers.  

Surprisingly not crawling just yet.  But she barrel rolls and spins like a champ, so she still gets wherever she would like to go.  Only a matter of time before she takes off!

Also... NO teeth just yet!  This is not unusual for my kids.  All of them have been late bloomers in the teeth department.  And so far with the older ones, it has translated to losing their baby teeth later than many of their friends too.  But I have no doubt that they are coming soon.  Our typically happy happy baby has had some nights of frustration, and just look at her gnaw on that spoon below.  

This month she has begun to grasp the whole eating with a spoon thing.  She has tried sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas so far.

She also traveled like a champ on our trip to Williamsburg!  We sure are blessed with this easy going girl.  We have another trip in the works for Spring, so I'm definitely thankful for a baby that can keep up with us so to speak.

Also, in the above pictures, she's sporting the first outfit I sewed for her!  This particular pattern is the Kate pattern (baby top version) and ruffle shorts from Violette Field Threads.  Little girls are so much easier to sew for, and I've loved making things for her.  They aren't perfect, but it sure is fun! 

Happy 7 months little love! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Williamsburg, Virginia

We spent the last few days on a family field trip to Williamsburg, Virginia!  We were blessed to have been given a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Williamsburg Plantation Resort and did our best to take full advantage of the sites and fun to be had.

Our trip began on Wednesday with eating breakfast, loading up the van and hitting the road just before 8am.  We packed our lunch and decided to stop at a rest area off the highway just outside of Williamsburg to eat.  Our check-in to our resort wasn't until later afternoon, so once we loaded back up, we went straight to colonial Williamsburg.

Twice a year, Colonial Williamsburg offers "homeschool days" and discounted tickets to be purchased online in advance at a special discount.  (A big part of why our trip was planned for this week even though, it's technically "off season.")  We parked at the visitor center and rode the shuttle over to the historical area.  If you ask the kiddos, they would probably tell you that riding the shuttle bus was a big highlight of the whole trip!  Haha!

Other favorites of Colonial Williamsburg was the capital building and learning about the laws of the time and how they were punished.  All felonies were punishable by death, however, only about 16% were convicted because of lack of evidence.  The kids also enjoyed checking out the jail.  Part of Blackbeard's crew actually spent time in the very jail that our kids were running around.  There was also the stocks outside of the courthouse which of course made a great photo opportunity, and some delicious cookies we grabbed in an old grocer store. 

And lastly was the horse drawn carriage ride.  An 18th century limo!  The kids kept seeing them around town and we couldn't resist.  We got a leisurely ride around the town, and learned a few things from our driver Dan.  And of course the horses, named "Tom and Jerry" were beautiful.  Joel was quite entertaining through the whole ride, waving, greeting and wishing everyone we passed a good day.  He thought he was in a pageant or a parade.  

We knew in advance of our trip that the weather forecast was calling for rain on Thursday.  Gradually through the week before we left, the chances increased until they were at 100%.  Obviously any outdoor plans were out of the question.  We went out to breakfast for local fare to a small hole in the wall called "Honey Butters".  The two concierge suggested it when we checked in.  I won't deny that when we pulled in, and saw the outside, we weren't sure we wanted to go in.... BUT, I am so glad we did!  The food was delicious.  Especially the garlic potatoes.  Mmmmmmmm....

After breakfast, we did some exploring-- we checked out the famous Yankee Candle flagship store, and also the local "Trading Post", and not quite as fun but necessary, a Food Lion for groceries! The kids dipped wax ornaments at Yankee Candle, and we goofed off at the Trading Post.  

We headed back to the resort for lunch and the two little ones took a nap while Daddy took the two big kids swimming in the indoor pool for our indoor afternoon on a rainy day.  Then we decided to head out to eat.  I'm not going to lie, vacations typically revolve around the food.  Is that the same for other families?  Even if we are packing our own food, the question of what snacks we are packing comes up before what clothes we are packing.  We also try to avoid chain restaurants and places that we could eat anywhere or at home.  For the most part, this has went well for us, and based off of online reviews or asking a local, we have found some good spots.  I can only recall one time that we've ever found a dud.  For dinner we found "Craft 31" and it did not disappoint!  Craft beers, a burger for the man, and oysters for me.  The kids even cleared their plates as well.  If we ever head back that way, we would definitely stop there again.  

Friday was check-out day so we began the morning early packing up our things, loading the van, and making sure the resort room was tidy.  We could not have been more thankful for our accommodations!  The resort was really spacious, everything we needed was provided for us, and the staff was very pleasant.  

Once we checked out we went to the Jamestown Settlement.  Now, the downside to going to such a fun place in the off season, is that you really have no idea what kind of weather you will be handed.  We knew before heading out that we would have rain Thursday and could avoid outdoor activities then, but we had no idea that Friday was going to be strong wind advisories.  The wind was BRUTAL!  Shortly after we arrived to Jamestown, they ended up announcing that they were closing the outdoor activities.  The wind was too wild and there were branches and things falling all over the place.  Thankfully they sent someone around to warn us that they were closing shortly and we were able to speed walk and do an express version of the outdoor sites including the Indian village, ships and colonial fort.  And then once we were back indoors, all of the enactors were inside giving demonstrations throughout the museum.  Honestly, I liked this set up better.  There weren't many people in attendance to the museum, (not sure if that's weather or season) and so our encounters with each person were very intimate, and the kids got to ask lots of questions and really get hands on.  We chatted with a Powhatan Indian captain, learned how to tie knots from a sailor and learned all about colonial weaponry and armory from a couple of soldiers.  

After we left the Jamestown Settlement, we went to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.  Both Jamestown and the American Revolution museum offer a homeschool discount daily by the way, along with special programming in the Fall.   Again with the high winds and being under a weather advisory, the outdoor activities were closed.  No express tour at Yorktown since they were closed before we got there, but again the enactors were indoors doing demonstrations and answering questions.  Lots of wonderful displays at the American Revolution museum, along with hands on trivia, sounds and games.  We chatted with a battlefield surgeon, played with some 18th century toys, checked out lots of weaponry, the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, and discussed what liberty means.  

Then we packed up and set our directions to head back home!  Sadly because of the wind advisory, we couldn't take the ferry on our way back like we had hoped, but considering that's the only thing we missed on such a full and packed trip, we definitely came out well.  On the way home, Daniel and I were already chatting about doing it all again in a few years when the kids are older.  Maybe then we would add in Bush Gardens too.  Definitely a great trip, rich in history and learning, but full of fun and family time.  And at the end of the day, family time is the best time!