Beaverdale Fall Festival

I love our neighborhood. We’re within the city of Des Moines, but it often feels like we’re in a small town. I get that feeling the most often during our fall festival. The neighborhood comes together to celebrate all things Beaverdale. We spent a lot of time enjoying it this weekend.

Last night we walked downtown to get some food and let the kids pick a ride. Audrey had never been on a ride and was incredibly excited to experience it (after all, Pig from If You Give a Pig a Party goes on carnival rides with her friends, so it must be amazing). Elliot got so far as to go up onto the platform and then screamed until John handed him back to me. 20180914_1809213789777245907480539.jpg

After the ride we let the kids try cotton candy. It was a HUGE hit.

They enjoyed the cotton candy on the walk home and we enjoyed the quietest walk we have had in quite some time.

This morning we were up bright and early. We loaded up the stroller and headed off to enjoy the morning.20180915_0858406182858676259470280.jpg Our first stop was my dear friend Laura’s house for brunch. It was great to catch up with her and spend some time with her family.20180915_0919202326140436678133535.jpgAfter brunch the whole house headed a few houses down to watch the Beaverdale Fall Festival Parade. I planned ahead this year and brought bubbles to keep the kids entertained until the parade started. I also brought a mimosa with me, which really makes parades more enjoyable. A little champagne makes firetrucks, horses, dancers, and members of Congress just a tad more enjoyable.

We had planned on heading back to the fall festival this afternoon, but it is so hot here we are staying put. Taking toddlers going through a post-parade candy detox out to a crowded street in 90 degree heat sounded like a recipe for disaster.

The Perfect Day

Greetings from the end of a wonderful day. The weather was perfect today, and we made the most of it.

We started our day at Center Grove Orchard, about 40 minutes from our house. Calling it an orchard doesn’t do this place justice. It’s full of entertaining options for little kids. We got season passes this year, so we will be there often.

We visited last year, but the kids were a little too young. This year Audrey is loving every part of the orchard. The jumping pillows were a hit with her.20180911_104239(0)1244462636535434436.jpgShe even braved the huge slide – all by herself!

We took a hayride to the train. Elliot was terrified of both rides. He has no issue with the train at the zoo, but this one was too much for him. Audrey liked it. She got to blow the whistle at the end, which she thought was very cool.

After the ride out with a terrified Elliot, I decided we would take the trail back to the farm-yard. It had a couple of hills that were steep for little legs, but it was worth it because we saw a turtle on our walk. After our walk we headed home for lunch and naps. We will be back again soon – we didn’t even play in the corn pit or feed the goats or ride the pedal tractors or visit the three little pigs houses. I think we’re really going to enjoy having season passes.

This afternoon we headed to our neighborhood farmers market for the last market of the season. I really wish the market would go later in the year, it’s still nice in September, and there is still plenty of produce to harvest. I picked up a tote bag (I have a tote bag addiction – they work so well as project bags) from the neighborhood association. I love being able to get a new tote bag and justify its purchase because I’m helping the neighborhood association.20180911_1924323089708464773164937.jpgWe had a picnic feast of all sorts of foods – a falafel wrap, a bean and cheese papusa, egg rolls and pad thai. We brought baklava home for John. The pad thai was awful, Elliot ate the eggs out and we threw the rest away.

I love it when we are able to spend most of the day outside. Warm, sunny weather and fresh air are good for my soul. So is not having to cook dinner. I hope your Tuesday was as joyful as mine.

WIP Wednesday: 34/52

Now that I’ve finished the Study Hall Shawl I’m back to working on my caramel sweater. It’s amazing how much progress you can make when you only have one project on the needles.

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Never ask my husband to take pictures of your knitting.

I hope to be on the sleeves by next week. I’m done with the green stripe and have about 25 rows to go until I bind off. I’m going to have a lot of ends to sew in. I know I could carry the yarn between stripes, but I think this will be a floppy front cardigan and it would really bother me to see the carried yarn. So I will just deal with ends.

After days in the 90s we are down to the 70s. It feels wonderful. The kids and I spent as much time outside as we could today. We walked with friends to a park and stopped for lunch on a patio on our way home. It is perfect out. I hope this weather sticks around.

 

Beaverdale Farmers Market

It was very hot here today, over 90. That didn’t stop us from heading to the Beaverdale Farmers Market. I love that a 10 minute walk takes us to our neighborhood market. On Tuesday nights I don’t have to worry about cooking. I know we will find food from a vendor to enjoy.

Tonight we passed our ice cream neighbor on our way to the market. He was headed out to run an errand, but he opened his garage door and pulled over to tell me to just go into the garage and take whatever treat we wanted. He said to leave the door open because he would be back soon enough. I took him up on it – Audrey had a mini drumstick, Elliot had a popsicle, and I had a Schwan’s orange push pop.

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After enjoying our frozen treats we walked around the market. None of the produce called to me, so we just had dinner. The kids split a pizza and I had a papusa. We have Tuesday night picnics down to a science. I keep a picnic blanket in the stroller trunk. We spread it out in the shade of the median of the road the market is held on.

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I have learned to order the kids a margarita pizza without basil. Audrey won’t eat pizza if it has green on it. If we are out in public it isn’t worth that battle. The people at Parlo Pizza are great at making pizza for kids. Their pizza is wood fired and gives it an excellent crunchy crust. Because they knew it was for the kids they didn’t cook it as long so the kids could easily bite through it. They also cut it into more slices so the pieces were kid sized. Elliot really liked that, and served himself several slices.20180710_172312856201908316333743.jpg

Audrey had a good meal and then rested and looked at the clouds. I think she would have happily stayed there all night had I not made her get up so we could get home to air conditioning

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Yes, it was ridiculously hot today, but it was so much better than a frigid day in January. Summer is short, and we’re trying to soak up as much of it as we can. I hope you are too.

Summer Tuesday

Today was the kind of magical day that I dream about all winter. It’s early enough in the year that things are still vibrant green. Everyone is happy to be outside. We don’t even care that it is ninety degrees out. Heck, in the shade that is downright comfortable.

We started with a walk to a splash pad. We are lucky to have one that is only a 20 minute walk away. I love that I get a good walk in on the way. On our walk we ran into a neighbor that we chat with a lot. He offered the kids popsicles, and even though it was only 10 in the morning I thought that was a wonderful idea. So did the kids.

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The splash pad was busy, but not totally packed. We were able to find a place in the shade to park the stroller. Elliot was scared at first and had me hold him in the water until he felt safe enough to stand on his own. Once he was comfortable standing it was about 90 seconds before he was splashing and having fun.

The kids are constantly blowing bubbles. Elliot also likes to “float”. He isn’t really floating, he’s just laying on his stomach. He is very proud of himself. I am proud of him too, as he is the kid who gets so upset when me mention taking a bath he makes himself throw up.

After swimming we walked home for lunch and a nap. We all needed a rest after being in the sun. We also needed energy for our afternoon plans – the Beaverdale Farmers Market.

I love that we can walk to a farmers market all summer. Part of that is knowing I can get the kids dinner from a food truck once a week. We had a picnic for dinner. We split a Parlo pizza. One pizza was enough for all three of us, especially because the little ones kept munching on kettle corn.

After dinner we grabbed cupcakes. Elliot wouldn’t stop devouring his for a picture.

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We were so hot when we got home I threw Audrey in the baby pool in our yard in her clothes. She thought that was pretty cool.

Tomorrow we have another full day planned. Unfortunately it will involve things like going to the grocery store because there isn’t a farmers market and I will need to make them dinner.

I’m now going to go drink a gallon of water and try to stay awake to finish my daily square. Wish me luck!