I love to teach my kids about food through hard manual labor. If they want strawberries or cherries or anything in the summer they better get their tushes in the car and go pick some. I think it is the European in me. In Poland everyone in their smallest lot of land plants fruits and veggies to have for their own. I just want my kids to experience what I have experienced during my childhood and in reality want them to know that cherries are grown on trees, blueberries on shrubs etc. I want them to know what their food looks like before it hits the supermarket. Plus I want them to be dirty and exhausted. It is summer after all what else am I going to do?
Plus I love this. No this is not Tuscany or Provence or Napa either. This is Virginian countryside at its best. Why would anyone want to buy a house anywhere else unless they were planning to perfect their Italian or French.
Now back to Cherries. You can see how my daughter is already contemplating how not to work? Um what should I do?
Maybe if I act nice and cute she will pick me up and hold me for the next 2 hours.
Never mind it is not working but I have found this nice stick to help me walk if I get tired. Or better yet poke someone
We made some nice pair of earrings. What you have never done that? Those are the only earrings I was allowed to wear for the 10 plus years of my life. Nice beautiful Red Cherry Earlings.
I even recommend them for boys even though they do not look good past the 6th year of life.
I know I can count on my daughter to help me out. She is a picker like me and picks her nose in public too.
She is also a cherry lover just like me… My son? Not so much I had to chase after him since he would rather chat up the ladies at the cherry stand.
But then I got him hooked…. on this. This ladder was the biggest hit of our cherry picking adventure
It was a great drum where everyone could show off their musical skills
until Miss Angelic Face pushed a little boy out of the way
We took turns climbing the ladder with my son in charge. ” I got you, I got you”….
“You can do it”
After a couple of hours I finally had a bag full of cherries and 3 overtired kids.
Now I still have no idea what to do with 50 lbs of cherries but expect a lot of cherry eating in the food portion of this blog. If you live in Virginia and are interested in a road trip this is where we went.
I love Italian style from their clothing, cars, food, furniture and buildings and I am not talking about the Colosseum even though it is amazing. I can’t afford Italian style unfortunately but my lovely little boy can, I guess. Either that or he stole it.
Hey Mommy Mommy Cheese
Mommy….. You Cheese
Every year we head to Chesterfield Berry Farm to pick strawberries and pumpkins and participate in all fun activities available for toddlers. These hand painted props where my sons favorites, but I think the birds like them too.
The first time we went we had so much fun that we had to come back to actually pick the strawberries. Of course the day was super hot and there was dust blowing all over the place but that didn’t stop us from all the attractions.
On the right of the entrance there is a barrell train pulled by a tractor. The kiddos love it and you will have to be prepared with some bartering options in order to get them out from these cabooses, remember you can always come back.
next to the “train” there is the biker lot. At least 15 bikes to choose from from tractors to choppers. It must be some personality test. What do you choose a tractor, bike or chopper? Pink or Blue? Most of them do not work properly but that will make your child wonder how to fix them.
Then there is the sandbox with all these accessories included, no need to bring your bucket or shovel
There are Pony rides. Which I am not quite sure about. I mean last time I looked these were some really large ponies. In my book those are called horses. But what do I know? Really? Maybe these are Donkeys?
Oh and the moon bounces… go go go go …. faster to the moonbounce
There are duck races
Tons of farm animals from bunnies to chicks, turkeys and cows.
There is also this ride
and a shelled corn play area,
and wine tasting,
and paint ball target shooting,
and stone mining and and and and hayrides to strawberry fields so if you actually have time you can pick some strawberries too.
This past weekend the kiddos and I went to the Kids Fest at Deep Run Park. Even though it was terribly hot the park was filled with tons of activities.
There was face painting which we all enjoyed. Too bad my little stinker got some sunblock in her eyes and was not feeling too peachy.
A fun obsticle course that some how my kiddos were able to complete without any bruises, scratches or cuts.
Fun moonbounces and slides
Our favorites are always petting zoos. Where else can city kids experience lamas, donkeys or goats.
especially baby goats. These are so cute. I want one.
I wonder what my community association would think about that.
Maybe I can just graze it on the golf course across the street.
On the other hand I can totally do this. The Bookmobile was so cool.
Plus it was airconditioned which was so helpful in almost 100 deg heat, well at least it felt like it. And if you happen to be member of Henrico Public Library you could just take your favorites home and spend the rest of the day chilling on your home couch. My son did not want to leave the bus and had to be dragged out kicking and screaming. Seriously.
For the older kids there was this spin till you drop thingy. I am not sure what it is called or if it is suppose to prepare you for life in space but it will definatly make the older kids be quiet for a bit for fear of getting sick.
They also had some awesome tween/teen bands that made me wish that my daughter would drop her classical violin and pick up electric guitar. No not really, I want her to do both, why not? These bands were super talented and perform all over Richmond so I am sure you will be able to catch them again before summers end.
So if you missed the Kids Fest you better be there next year or for the other children’s fests available at Deep Run this summer.
Strawberry picking is by far my favorite thing to do. Not only is it totally toddler friendly and does not involve thorny bushes, tree climbing or toddler lifting the fields are open so in case a little stinker, or in my case two, decides to run off I can see them for miles. This weekend we found ourselves a nice strawberry farm and went picking twice. The first time the kids were too exhausted from the other excitement the farm offered to even think about dragging them to the field. So I had to come back for strawberries.
We came prepared, bright shoed and bushy tailed, and ohhh so clean
We sat in a tractor trailer and were transported onto the field
We hit the ground picking some of us more diligent then others.
in general I came to a conclusion that if my kids lived on the farm they would be fired. Unless working on the farm would mean being a product tester.
they would certainly be good at that
this strawberry definitely passed the test you can tell by her closed eyes. They got two binkies up. Seriously what is she thinking? Is she trying to not get dirty (too late for that), act more lady like or pick her nose at the same time?
at least she pulled some of her weight around here
Not like her brother that spent most of the day stealing from mommy’s basket
pretending like he is not eating anything or that he picked it himself
in reality he spent the entire afternoon running through the fields
causing trouble with his buddies
what are you laughing at punk?
after a couple of hours on the field my clean babies were clean no more and exhausted
just the way I like them dirty and tired
and with bellies full of berries. You would think they would have taken a nap.
I love to watch my little girlie eating. She is a tiny little thing and does not eat much about half as much as her twin brother, but when she does find something she really likes she does this routine.
Just like the best drama students the routine starts with a little steps:
First when she take a little bite and if she likes it she starts humming…. Ummmm… Ummmm
Second the Ommmm become louder and sometimes turn into Ammmmmmmm or
Then there is the closing of the eyes… sometimes they do a roll before closing…. and
tilting your head backwords. It is so dramatic that for some may take years to master but for her it comes naturally
When she is over tired the level of involvment doubles and her acting skills really show through.
No she is not sleeping she is deeply enjoying her flower bread while still humming.
If you get a chance I think you should get yourself one of these drama queen humminbirds. They are really a pleasure to have around, providing you can cook.
I guess we can always help you with that.
Happy Mirth Day to You !!!
Happy Mirth Day to You !!!
Happy Mirth Day Dear Mommy !!!
Happy Mirth Day to Yuuuuuuuuu !!
About a month ago my husband was driving with the kiddos when my 2 year old son had his first attempt in starting a conversation. Out of the blue he proclaimed: “I love kielbasa.” He yelled for everyone to hear his undying love for it. Not ice cream, candy, toys but kielbasa. He was used to saying I love you daddy, I love you mommy etc but he has never before stated that he loved anything else. I never in my wildest dreams thought that kielbasa would bring a larger love meaning to his young existance. He does like sausages, especially those sausage breakfast links and he can eat a lot of them, but love them like mommy and daddy well that is telling. Telling what exactly I am not quite sure.
Just in case you are wondering kielbasa is a Polish word for sausage and just like in English language it can come in large varieties not only the Polska Kielbasa kind that you find on your grocery shelves.
Maybe just maybe he was trying to tell his Irish American father that he in fact is Polish, or half Polish and there is nothing he can do about it. He will be eating sausages for breakfast, meat and cabbage for lunch and vodka for dinner. It is all described there in a one statement “I love kielbasa”. Don’t you see it. That has to be it.
Or maybe just maybe he was hungry and this was the first food that he thought of. Almost like saying “Daddy I love kielbasa so you have to stop right now and get me some…. C’mon I can’t live without it I am starving and mamma did not get me any today.”
Then there is the fact that he really does looove kew baa saa (as he says) and would eat it every day if he could. Maybe just maybe he wanted to say just that.
I have no idea where I have been for the past 5 years since I moved to Richmond. I must have been locked in a cellar or delivering babies because I fully missed out on the part of Virginia known as Wine Country. I think I was easily dissuaded by the fact that the wines were not as note worthy as Napa Valley ones and that it was so hard to find a driver or a willing adversary. In reality though Virginia is the fifth largest wine producing state and its winemakers win national competitions. And it so much less expensive to spend a weekend with girlfriends in the Blue Ridge Mountains than it is in Napa even if you hire a chauffeur. Plus with an 1.5 hour drive from Richmond I would love to do it every weekend just for the views and antiques. I really did have to contuniously pinch myself realizing that I was in fact in Virginia not in Sonoma.
First there were these gorgeous mountain views and rolling hills.
Then there were these chateaux filled with great artwork
And fun and creative home decor.
I remember my friends working in European wineries in the fall picking grapes and I imagined myself getting a fun job working here. Except that I may not be large enough but I am a great dancer and jumper that should for once mean something on the resume
The wine tasting is inexpensive and wineries offer some food options
This decor is just breathtaking. What I would do to have a barrel like that in my basement. What I would do for a basement
Just in case you do not live in Virgina you will be glad to know that all 50 states make wine and you will be able to make as memorable wine weekend will girlfriends as we did. If your tastes are more into Opus One or your state wine falls in a more undrinkable category then you will have to bring our own and rely on company alone. I say give it a shot you never know what may happen. Who would have thought that a wine from Kentucky, New York or Michigan (just to name a few) would get a rating of Excellent, in par with California.
Here are the Vinyards that we have vistied:
Sweely Estate Winery
Price Michael Vineyard