August 30, 2011

I'm Taking Over!

Hi!  I'm taking over my momma's blog because I'm growing so fast and learning so many new things that I just had ta' tell everyone! 
My favorite thing right now is my momma and papa.  I love it when they hold me.  I love my fingers a lot too.  They just taste so, so, yummy.  I can't get enough of them!  Also I like to look in the mirror.  I'm not sure what I see in there, but I really like it!  It makes me laugh and giggle.  And I like to grab my toys - I'm pretty good at grabbing things so you better watch out!  Also I like to taste things.  Sometimes my fingers get in the way, but I sure do try to taste everything.  My favorite toy right now is ducky.  He's big and yellow and his bright orange feet make a crinkly noise when I grab them.  He has a ball on his belly that's filled with colorful little pieces that shake when I pull the cord.  One time momma pulled the cord when I had ducky's beak in my mouth.  That freaked me out a little bit.  I didn't cry though, I'm tough like that. 
Speaking of tough.  My mommy and daddy and all their friends say I'm really strong.  Even Dr. K said I was super strong!  I like to stand a lot.  When I'm laying down and momma or someone grabs my hands to pull me up, I don't sit up, I stand up!  Standing is better 'cause I can see all around.  Sitting isn't bad though, either.  One time at my friends' house I sat up for a little while all by myself!  Also I guess laying on my tummy isn't all that bad anymore.  I used to not like it at all, but I'm okay with it usually.  And if I get tired of being on my tummy I can just roll over to my back, so it's okay.  Also I'm pretty good at rolling from my back to my side, which is a good thing because that's how I like to sleep.  It makes it easy for me to suck my thumb that way, in case my paci falls out.  Momma says pacis are better than fingers but I think she doesn't mind that I suck my thumb when I'm sleepy because then she doesn't have to come in my room and give me my paci when I loose it, and I fall right back to sleep on my own and sleep all night long.  Boy do I love it when I wake up in the morning and papa comes to get me.  I just lay there and talk and sing until he comes in, and he gets me and loves on me and takes me in to momma and I get to lay in bed with her for a while.  That's her favorite I think.  But I don't know because she says a lot of things are her favorite about me.  In the morning she always sings me the good morning song and I smile at her and she sings it some more.  I like that song.  Sometimes I sing my own songs and momma says that's her favorite.  I like to roar like a lion too.  And I can say my M sounds and G sounds and N sounds and L sounds and O sounds and some other ones too.  I like to talk and make noises a lot.  Also, I love to grab my feet.  They are just so fun to play with!  And when I pick them up really, really far I can get them in my mouth!  They don't taste as good as my fingers, but they aren't bad.  And when I kick them up like that I roll from side to side.  Mommy sings the rolly-polly song when I do that and it's so funny I laugh every time.  Bath time is probably my 2nd favorite thing.  I get to kick and splash and get mommy and daddy all wet! 
There aren't many things I don't like these days.  Well, one thing - that green ball thingy that momma sticks in my nose.  I don't like that very much.  She says it's to get my boogers out, but I don't care, I still don't like it. Oh and I don't like shots.  I don't get very many of them, but when I do it makes me cry.  Mommy says she doesn't like it either but she always holds me and makes me feel better.  Well, I better get off mommys computer.. it's starting to hiss and spark a little bit... I think it's from all my drool.  I can't help it, it just falls out of my mouth all the time!  Until next time-
Peanut Owen


So I forgot to post this last week, but better late than never, I suppose :) 

Tuesday afternoon (August 23) was Owen's first experience with a 'natural disaster' - and I'm not talking about a dirty diaper blow-out! 
Owen was in his pack & play taking a little nap, I was on the couch feeding Isaiah (the little boy I nanny for, 4 days older than O) and all of a sudden the couch started rocking.  Like, it felt like I was sitting in a rocking chair/glider and someone was pushing it.  I thought I was loosing my head - literally, I thought I was just feeling dizzy or something, so I started looking around.  The blinds were swaying, the leaves on the plant were trembling... an earthquake?  Surely NOT an earthquake in Charlotte?!  I got up and looked out the front door to see if anyone was stirring... nothing.  So I hopped on facebook and typed "Someone please tell me they felt that and I'm not going crazy" as my status.  A second later statuses starting popping up from all over Charlotte saying, "Did you feel that?" "Oh my gosh was than an earthquake?"  I knew at that point that I wasn't crazy.  I mean, that rocking went on for a good 30 seconds, which doesn't seem like a long time, but when you're home alone with two kids and the couch starts rocking, it's a long time!  It's hard to describe the feeling, but it wasn't a shaking or a trembling like I always thought and earthquake would feel like.  It was a gentle rocking sensation.  Kind of like when you're sitting on a busy road, stopped, but traffic in the next lane is still zooming past you and your car rocks from the wind - kind of like that.  Anyway.  Come to find out it, the rocking was from the 5.8 earthquake in Virginia and it was felt all up and down the east coast.  No damage happened here - nothing fell off the walls or anything, but it sure was bizarre to sit through an earthquake.  And Owen?  Well, he was still fast asleep when I peeked over at him.  He probably just thought it was momma rocking him.  :)

August 22, 2011

The View From Here

tummy time
after all.

Especially since he's successfully rolled over to his back three times after being put on his tummy.


August 19, 2011

Three in ONE day??

Okay, I know, three blog posts in one day is a bit much - but I can't NOT post this - Owen rolled over today!  Since I don't have a baby book I'm using the blog to chronicle this stuff and I had to post it.  He was having tummy time and rolled from tummy to back!  So of course we got out the video camera to capture it.. and he was perfectly happy to stay on his tummy... until he got mad and just put his head down and cried until we rolled him over.  I'll give him credit though, it was 7pm and he'd had a long day already. :) 

Sticks & Stones & Rainbows

It has been a busy 12 months for the Batterson family... ever since I returned from my Africa trip last summer I feel like things have been a whirlwind.  First, we found out I was pregnant... then I dealt with all the food issues that accompany that... and I was teaching full time... and doing photography on the side... and then we had family come visit... and then we had more family come visit... and then we had Owen.... and well, then we had a newborn... and then I had to clean out my classroom since I resigned from teaching... and then I had to have two garage sales to try and sell my classroom stuff because I had SO much... and then we volunteered at our church's VBS for a week... so it's been a little, smidgen of crazy around here.  I feel like we haven't had a second to catch our breath!  So I made the executive decision that our family needed a vacation.  Nothing fancy.  Just a day or two to slow down, get away and reconnect with each other and with God. 
So I set out in search of the perfect, cheap getaway to accomplish said mission.  And this is what I found:
This beautiful cabin was situated near the top of a mountain in Todd, NC.  This is the front of it... and here's the back of it:

Not sure if you can tell or not, but there's a fire pit and a bbq grill back there.. but more about those later.  Here's the front 'yard' and the driveway.

The owners have just planted a bunch of new trees in that little hill area - all of which are fruit trees - YUM!
We arrived on Saturday morning around 11:30, and after settling in to this quaint little cabin in the woods, we headed to the nearest city to get some essentials.

Kitchen, Dining, Living room... notice the lack of TV :)  YAY for escaping!
And here's the bedroom and bathroom..

There was a small TV in the bedroom, but it wasn't hooked up to anything but a DVD player - a good fallback for rainy days. 
After we got back from Boone the skies turned dark and the rain began to fall... lots, and lots of it.  Then in cleared up for a little while and we peeked out the back door to see this:
Can you see it?  Over the driveway? I can't believe we were high enough up to be at the TOP of the rainbow!  How cool is that?!  All I had was the point & shoot to snap a picture with so the photo doesn't do it justice - it was beautiful!  Then the rain came back so we made our bagel pizzas in the oven, rather than over the fire as we'd planned.  And it's a good thing I brought these as a back up incase we couldn't do s'mores :) 

So after Peanut was in bed for the night we played a rousing game of I let my husband beat me in a game of checkers and then chess before turning in for the night, falling asleep to the rain pounding on the roof and the thunder rolling in the distance...

Sunday morning we woke up ready for an adventurous day and headed out back around 7:30am.

Here's the back yard, with the trail that takes you to the top of the mountain. 
It's a pretty steep trail, but it wasn't too bad to get up, and it was a very short walk to the top.  We hiked it after a quick breakfast of blueberry pancakes and turkey bacon.  It was a cool morning and there were low-lying clouds from the thunderstorm the night before.  Everything was crisp and green and wet, but the day was looking promising with those blue skies surrounding us!

At the top the property owners had a huge plot of land gated off for their vegetable garden.  These guys were keeping sentry around the perimeter.  On the other side of the mountain, opposite the cabin, was a Christmas tree farm... those are pretty popular in the mountain region of NC. 
On the way back down I spotted this pretty little thing all alone amongst the greenery.
And I looked to the left and saw this cute little thing...
... sound asleep :)

We're nearing the cabin... can you spot it in this photo?  Love how green the rain makes everything - including the rocky trail.
After a  quick stop by the cabin for a drink, we headed down the driveway and around the bend to this pretty little gem...
Who doesn't love a lake nestled in the mountains?  It was still pretty early and the mist was just rising off the lake.

We walked around the lake, Peanut napping in the Moby the entire time, just basking in the early morning sunrise, admiring the dew resting on the plants, and watching the dragonflies dart around the water.


After our walk we headed back to the cabin for a family nap time, enjoyed some tuna salad, fresh strawberries and root beer for lunch, then headed back to Boone to explore the town a little since the weather was so nice.  We were on the hunt for a paved walking trail (similar to Charlotte's Greenway) but weren't able to find it despite our best efforts, so we just walked around downtown Boone for a little while, then meandered our way back to the cabin, taking a quick stop at a new development just down the road with views like this:

We also made a stop at a nearby field that was lined with weeping willows (my favorite tree) and had a little stream running through it.  We relaxed on the blanket for a little bit, and played with Peanut too :)
 Our time there was short, though because we started hearing thunder and seeing dark clouds roll in... and it was nearing dinnertime, so we headed home.  As soon as we got to the cabin we started building the fire... there was no way we were going to not have a fire the last night in the mountains!  Well... then the rain started.  And we were just SO determined... Bill stood over the fire pit with our big golf umbrella.  Oh how I WISH I had gotten a picture of this.  It was so funny.  The rain was pouring down, and there he stood, umbrella in one hand, matches in the other, keeping the firewood dry, while I was in the cabin entertaining Owen and watching out the windows.  Luckily the rain passed quickly and we were able (I say 'we', but really it was all Bill) to get a decent sized fire to cook our hot dogs on.  We ate a quick dinner in the cabin (since the picnic table was wet) with some pasta salad, more strawberries and some peas.  We ate fast so we could have time for s'mores before the rain came back.  :)  It worked!  We had just enough time to get some s'mores cooked and in our bellies before the clouds rolled in again.  We put Owen to bed and just relaxed with our novels for the rest of the night as the storm rolled in again.  

Monday morning we woke up and leisurely got packed up.  Little man fell asleep while we were eating breakfast :)
After he woke up we headed out, bound for Grandfather Mountain.  Bill & I have been before but we liked it a lot and thought O would like seeing the animals.  On the way we saw this adorable little mountain church so of course I had to stop and catch some pics.  Love the copper roof and red doors.

I love the windows!  There was this tiny spot behind the abandoned church with three graves... I loved the way the sun was streaming in through the trees.
As we neared Grandfather Mountain I stopped to catch the vista.

Owen was hungry when we got there, so we stopped in the nature center/gift shop to feed him before going out to the animal habitats.  Couldn't resist the photo-op :)

I love his face in this one, it's like "Um, dad, why are you holding me between this giant bear's claws?"
At the nature center the black bears were up wandering around...
 And the sea otters were frolicking in their pond :)  These guys are so darn cute, I want one. 
 There were also some deer in the exhibit, but they were hiding behind the rocks.  We stopped for a break in the shade before heading to the fudge shoppe.  Yum.
 This little baby deer was soooo cute - and SO close!  He was wild and had a sibling with him, but I didn't see the mom anywhere.  After I snapped a few photos a loud car went by and they got spooked and ran off.
Next we hopped back in the car and headed to the top of the mountain.
What a view!
 This is the famous 'Mile High Swinging Bridge'.  It's called that because it's at 1 mile above sea level, and it used to be a wooden swinging bridge.  In the early 2000's they rebuilt it with steel, and it doesn't really swing anymore.  Below is what's on the other side of the bridge, and those tiny specks you see on top of the rocks are people.
 Shortly after we moved to NC we came here and crossed the bridge... here are pics from our first trip:

We wrapped Peanut safe and sound in the Moby and headed to the top.  Here we are getting ready to head out to the bridge.
And here we are holding on for dear life because the wind was CRAZY!  You know that reflex that infants have when air gets blown in their face?  The way they gulp to catch their breath - yea, that's what poor Owen was doing over and over again because of the wind - and he couldn't catch his breath - he was freaking out!  So I flipped his hood up and cupped my hands around his head and he was okay, but he still didn't enjoy it all that much. 
So we snapped a quick picture by the bridge and headed back inside.
... Where he was more than happy to come out of hiding :)
We made a quick pass through the gift shop before heading back out into the wind and to the car to head home.  I couldn't resist trying on a coon skin cap... I mean, we were in the mountains, it only seemed appropriate. :)
 So that was our Mountain Getaway... we love, LOVE, loved it and had so much fun -- just the three of us!