Aug. 14th, 2010 09:11 pm
Today's forecast high was 83F: overcast with a chance of rain. It felt awesome most of the morning--I went to the market and then helped a friend rip out her garden.

So we headed to the mountains after lunch. The earlier rain and persistent heavy fog kept the pollen down. Temps were nice and low up there--possibly below 70F. Also, I'm glad there was only one cyclist on the parkway--the fog was pea soup most of the time.

We just hiked a bit south on the AT from Reed's Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway. About .8mi to a spot that apparently has great views when it's not in the middle of a cloud. It was breezy and slightly chilly up there--I was grateful for the sweatshirt I threw in. Kiddo wanted his jacket, too. Poor manbeast finally had to admit he was cold and wanted Ronan back up in the Ergo to keep him warm.

It was nice to be able to hike. Only one spot of asthma threatened, but it was after i moved a giant spire of ragweed away from my head while trying to keep a hold on Whiskey's collar as we passed a sodden boy scout troop. Albuterol helped, fortunately. I know some folks don't like the new propellants, but the old ones triggered my reactive airways. It's nice to have asthma rescue meds.

So, Tom ended up winning a handheld GPS from his school (or the consortium team) for participating in the DARPA balloon challenge. It arrived on the same day we opened a gift from my parents--an even nicer handheld GPS. Bonus! My BiL's holiday gift suddenly became a no brainer and we can get started on a new hobby. I'll have to get to the PO soon. I have a backlog of packages to mail.

So today we located our first two geocaches. I have a feeling we may also start seeking out earthcaches, because we're nerds. Ronan thinks treasure hunting is the best thing ever. Tom suddenly realized we can start sharing all of our random finger puppets (they clutter far too many drawers and pockets at this point). And I just like going out on long walks.

Slightly fuzzy pic of the urchin:
There it is!

It was a gorgeous day for our 3.5mi walk. Chilly, but the sun was pretty warm (when it was out) and our fleeces and brisk pace kept us warm. Well, somewhat brisk pace. Had I realized how many people have still not shoveled the sidewalks along their property, I'd have worn boots and carried trekking poles. And BigCoffeeChain was open, so we enjoyed a break to warm our toes and tummies before setting off back home.

We also spotted some neat graffiti near the tracks. Graffiti There are always a handful of cars parked here with "DO NOT HAMMER" printed on the side. I really want to organize a hammertime flash mob near the end of a UVA shift (parking lot abuts this ramp). Come on, pull out your hammerpants and join us.
When you have a God Hates Shrimp sign, you just gotta use it at all available opportunities.
or loan it to a friend )
We went hiking this weekend!

We chose an easy, mostly level trail. Of course, I forgot the trail guidebook which would have told me the full circuit was 3.8mi, not the 2mi it appeared to be on the map. Oops.

We started out at the South River Falls picnic area, walked downhill on the South River Falls trail until it met with the AT. We turned south on the AT, walked until it met a fire road, then turned left, and left again to get to the Saddleback Mountain Trail.

We'd walked almost a mile when we came upon a PATC trail hut. Ronan declared it snack time. Whiskey agreed.

Ronan asked about the map, so Tom explained how a map works. Ronan then had to figure out where the water goes. So Tom showed him a river on the map and they followed it.

Anyhow, Ronan walked, jumped, and ran for the better part of the first two miles. Then he had a meltdown, nursed in the woods, and fell asleep on Tom's shoulder. We managed to get him situated in the wrap for a front carry and the last mile and a half was a cinch. It's nice to meander with a toddler, but two miles at toddler speed is actually pretty tiring. So much waiting, anticipation, and frustration at realizing you have to cover just as much distance in order to get back to the car right at the point when you are *done*.

Still, he had fun. There were things to see. We touched touch-me-not, looked at mushrooms, saw bear scat, and talked about springs.
Title says it all, y'know?
Ronan's first composition and performance!
I just sat down and sorted through some camera pics from the last couple months. I'll make a link collection here, mostly for memory's sake.

Most are Ronan. I do have a silly one of the poodle dog. We occasionally buy mylar balloons for Ronan. Well, one followed Jericho into his crate. We were more amused than he was.

Ten months+:
Ronan in sunglasses. And his turtleneck is covered in cookie sludge. My clothing generally is, too.
Ronan stares at Olive. Olive's not in the frame. We were swinging at McGuffey Park and he apparently thought she was having too much fun. Not that he ever smiles in the swings. Oh, no. ;)

In mid-March, we hiked a short portion of the trails out at Ragged Mountain Reservoir.
I wore Ronan in the Ergo. We took a break at the summit of Round Top.

Eleven months+:
We don't really use the crib for sleeping, but Ronan likes exploring my pile of pillows from time to time.

In Early April, we went to DC for a day. We visited AU and said hello to our favorite moai. Well, Ronan wasn't too sure about it.

Yesterday, we went out to the campground to visit Mom & Dad. The campground owner is trying to gather together a petting zoo, so we went up to check it out. He had three goats (a nanny, an adolescent, and a kid) and a pig (pot belly cross). Ronan was super excited to see the goats, which he called out to as dogs. Once they realized we had no food, they were less than impressed. Ronan also found the fence worthy of study.

Will work for breastmilk Will work for breastmilk
Poor baby. He doesn't know about child labor laws yet. (ten months)
swings! swings!
yay! (ten and a half months)

A few more in the linked gallery.

And for those who wonder what most of my pics look like (thanks to mr. I WANT THAT SHINY THING), here is a quicktime movie/slideshow

ETA: I almost always putter around with the computer's sound muted. I had no clue iPhoto included music. I'm now laughing my ass off.

Brandon is the natural carrot-top. I'm the natural calico-top. We don't know what Ronan has yet. His hair appears dark indoors, but outdoors we can see blonde and red hiding amongst the darker strands. Tom thinks the baby will get some version of my hair. I'm holding out for boy's curls.

Five weeks, one day.
Evening time.
In the evenings, Ronan sometimes gets fussy. We try everything--bouncing, burping, Gripewater, massage, feeding, diaper changes . . . anything. Twice now, we've by chance discovered what he wants--he wants to lie on his back on the floor. For the first few minutes, toys are cool. He wants one of us near him. He then drifts off after looking around for a few minutes. I cover him up because the AC blows straight out into this room. Afghan by Toni.
Evening time.

About the pacifier . . . . I do encourage Ronan to use *me* as a pacifier, but he hasn't learned how to comfort suckle yet. Sometimes he gets very angry when he just wants comfort and gets copious amounts of fiercely squirting milk. This is usually at a time when he's already fussy. He's also very gassy and very urpy, so if he full-on nurses for comfort, we end up with a very gassy, unhappy baby who constantly barfs. He likes his pacifier and has no problems with his latch on *me*, so we don't mind if he uses it. I don't withhold the boob ever--he's very clear about when he wants the boob and when he doesn't want milk at all.
A certain poodle has been pleading for attention, claiming he is unloved and neglected.

Does this look like an unhappy dog?

We went for a drive today. Buckled the dog and baby in, crammed Tom in the backseat, gave Brandon shotgun, and we headed to the hills.

First stop was Nellysford, where the guys had barbecue. We then took 151 to 666 to 56, drove past Montebello up to the Parkway. We took the parkway south to Irish Gap, mostly to show Brandon the signpost for the spiral curve which shows a stick figure flying off a motorcycle.

Driving back north, we stopped at the Yankee Horse pullover, which is where Wigwam Falls cascades down through the hollow. Of note: cool salamander.

Tom and Ronan. Ronan seemed intrigued. Brandon and a rock. Me, in need of henna..

Tom and Brandon are going to the Dawning tonight for the In Tenebris CD release party. Ronan and I are staying here and playing games like "Boobie, boobie, who's got the boobie?" and "King of the Boobie" and "Duck, Duck, Boobie".
My belly has finally outpaced my boobs. Although this isn't the best angle to see that. (Clean, wet poodle next to me!)

Today. The scar under my arm is from the pericardial window I had five years ago. I can't believe it's been that long!
We had a short, easy hike today on the AT. We hiked from the Three Ridges overlook on the parkway to Reed's Gap. It was relatively level and followed an old hogwall and other remnants of Appalachian farm life.

[livejournal.com profile] nannar got to ride along with the stinky dog, since [livejournal.com profile] nothingoth was being a lazybutt and hadn't had lunch by 2:30, when we were leaving. (Okay, we made [livejournal.com profile] explodingcat sit in back with jericho, but that's because they both drool on long car rides.)

We saw a lot of damage from the Thanksgiving ice storm (the one that didn't hit C'ville)--treetops sheared, lots of downed trees/trunks/branches.

Jericho was thrilled, as usual. He really loves hiking.

Boy took an overexposed picture of me where my belly is still not overly visible . . . I need to teach him how to work the camera so that I can actually have some decent shots. Admittedly, it's hard when the sun is as bright as it was--makes it hard to see the LCD to know how the settings are working. ;) I have to throw my belly out and lift my boobs for anything to be visible. And the stake beside me has a white AT blaze, also over-exposed.

We joke that we're section-hiking the AT . . . a dozen steps at a time. ;)

Hiking! AT

Jan. 6th, 2007 11:45 pm
It was a creepily gorgeous day, so we went to the mountains for a hike.

We parked at the Dripping Rock pullover on the Blue Ridge Parkway (most of Skyline Drive is still closed from the Thanksgiving ice storm) and headed south on the AT.

After about a half mile of treacherous downhill wet stones and leaves, we arrived at the first overlook. We looked over the Shenandoah Valley while we basked in the sun. It was awesome.

Happy me.
Happy boy.
Happy poodledog.

I had super minor asthma tightness coming back on the steepest portions, but nothing so severe as what I was experiencing a month ago. And it resolved with rest. Woohoo!
rootofnewt: (car)
We like warning signs. I don't know why.

Vacation gallery.

I really wish there had been room to pull over and get a picture of the "In case of flash flood, climb to safety" signs.

Those made my week.

My RDA of chocolate can never be met.

I was able to buy my favorite brand of chocolate in Boulder. What's more, I found a variety I haven't had. After eating the first bar in one afternoon, we returned for more.
My RDA of chocolate can never be met.

[livejournal.com profile] explodingcat has been feeling fairly fatigued lately. Overworked, overstressed, underslept . . . so our hikes may have to be scaled down. To that end, I'm looking for more destination hikes and fewer "tramp through the woods" hikes. For a while, this will involve just picking viewpoints on the AT which aren't too far from a parking area, nor with much elevation change.

On Saturday, we went for what I consider a leg-stretcher. We parked at the northern picnic area on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiked the spur trail to the AT. It was about a quarter mile to the AT and then another half to three-quarters of a mile to our viewpoint--cliffs on the trail.

The picnic grounds are full of old hog walls. The spur trail runs near an excellent specimen for a little bit.

Once we were on the AT, we had minimal uphill climbing, mostly just a nice walk in the woods. At one point, though, Jericho decided to leave his calling card *right in the middle* of the trail. I wasn't carrying a shovel or bags, so I stepped off the trail to grab a bunch of chestnut leaves. And then I screamed, because this is what I saw immediately under my foot, which was in the air mid-step. I'm sure I woke it up. I backed away and turned on the camera, which then got to zoooooom in: sleeping babe. I told Tom to keep an eye out for momma while I snapped a few shots, then we backed off, picked up Jerry's waste, and moved on.

When we got to our destination point, we sat for a bit, enjoying the wind. We admired the rocks, not so much for their quartzite banding as for their bird droppings.

We eventually got chilled and headed back, peeking at the fawn briefly before moving on. It was still there, cozy in the weeds.

Tom got stuck in a tree and I had to leave him in the woods. Jericho went back for him, though, and we all came home together.
Low-quality quicktime vid of what boy subjects our poor dog to on a regular basis.

[livejournal.com profile] jericho_the_dog has his latest plushy toy--Schmutzie the Octopus--firmly grasped in his Jaws of Iron.

Right-click save as, else your browser may crash. No, I don't know why. Maybe it's just my luck of the draw for using a Mac.

Pope Jericho would like you all to watch a small public service announcement presented by Professor [livejournal.com profile] explodingcat.

Quicktime video
right-click save-as
option/alt-click download

Originally uploaded by jocelyndale.
Yeah. I finally opened an account.

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