It was a weekend of goodbyes and hellos. My mom is getting ready to set sail for her winter adventure, so we had to say goodbye. I don’t she’s as concerned with saying goodbye to us as she is with saying goodbye to Ian. It’s going to be two months until she sees him again. With the rate he’s growing, he’ll be a completely different person by then!
My mom is sailing down the Tom Bigsby (I don’t know how to spell that, by the way) Waterway to the gulf. From there, she’s going to sail around Florida, and then possibly up the east coast. Wherever she’s made it to by December 26 is where we’ll go visit her for a late family Christmas this year.
With my mom leaving, we’ve had some other interesting family events of late. My brother has finally decided to go back to school and finish his degree. He was almost through with an associates of history a few years ago, but the family needed him to help with the family business, so he pitched in and learned the world of die casting. Now, 4 years later, the tool and die shop is closed, so Preston’s ready to get back on track with his education. I’m not sure that he’s entirely decided on what bachelor’s program he’s going to pursue, but he’s going to start in January to finish up his associate’s in May. Since he’s got a lot of work over the next few weeks with applying for financial aid, advisement, registration, etc. he’s come up to spend a few weeks with Brinn, Ian, and I where I can help him with the process and he can use our Internet.
While Preston is here, he’s helping Brinn with Ian so that Brinn can get a few things done while I’m off to work. The days of parking Ian in his swing or on the couch are gone. This little boy has learned to roll and loves his tummy time. I think Preston’s spending most of his time making sure Ian doesn’t roll off his matt and up under the couch.
I also discovered a new favorite for Ian over the weekend. A few weeks ago, a lady at church suggested putting a wet wash cloth in the freezer and giving that to Ian when his gums start hurting. While sorting through some shower gifts that I hadn’t gone through yet, I found some bath toys that are made from wash cloths. After a quick dunk under water, I threw the toys in the freezer, and bam, happy baby. Now he happily sucks the ice crystals off of tentacles and fins.
In addition to soothing Ian’s gums, we took him out Saturday to enjoy some of Tennessee’s fall splendour. I know that several states have some pretty fall colors, but even Brinn (who’s lived in Colorado and North Carolina) agrees that the variety in Tennessee’s color show puts Colorado’s gold to shame. I can’t decide if it’s the startling crimson I like best, or maybe the dayglo orange. There are just too many amazing colors to decide!
The leaves are not quite peaked at Standing Stone State Park. I used to take Bear and Reggie up to Standing Stone to trail ride, but then my life got super crazy with the new job and the addition of Ian to the family. I think Mogwai and Chaco miss mine and Tabitha’s mad dashes through the woods. We found one great side trail that had several downed trees. A nightmare for some trail riders, but great fun for hunters! Even thought the leaves aren’t quite peaking yet, it’s still super pretty out around the lake.
Even though I didn’t take Bear and Reggie out for a gallop through the woods, Mogwai and Chaco still made the most of their time at Standing Stone Saturday. Mogwai’s always inspecting and smelling on the off-chance that he might find a squirrel to tree. Unfortunate for him, we weren’t in the safety zone Saturday, so the squirrels had been run off by hunters who run their dogs on the public land. Chaco thought she was being very clever and jumping over a pile of rocks, but found herself taking a surprise dip in the creek. She’s not particularly fond of water or swimming, but she was a good sport about her chilly bath. She’s not the smartest girl, but she makes up for it with a great attitude. And she’s a very loyal VOL. See her orange bandana? She didn’t care that we were about to get stomped by Bama.
Ian’s all into grabbing lately. Spoons, toys, teething rings, bottles, hair, my plate, the church bulletin…and moss on rocks. It’s a constant battle to keep choking hazards out of his mouth!
Ian also loves leaves, and water. So spending time by the creek was a ton of fun for him, but stressful for me because I worry about his little hands getting too cold. He’s not happy unless he’s grabbing!
I wish I could’ve got a better picture of the water beside this dam. You can’t tell here, because I’m such a poor photographer, but this water is actually crystal clear. You can see straight down to the bottom of the creek.
All in all, we enjoyed a great weekend full of pretty colors, lively family conversation, and good food.