March 31, 2014

Montgomery Bell & Bledsoe State Park

Finding time to blog our adventures is difficult with work and baby so I am catching up now. Here are two of our latest parks:

Montgomery Bell State Park
Our next state park was Montgomery Bell State Park. We were so happy to have Jonathan, Rebecca, and Edmond Moody join us. It was great sharing our hiking adventure with another family, although hiking with 2 babies makes for a long hike! The hike was about 6 miles. 

-So much beautiful terrain - creeks, hills, woods, lakes, fields - I loved the variety.
-It is a pretty big park so at times we felt far away from civilization.
-The company!

Not so great:
-Because it is a big park, there are a lot of amenities so we walked by a golf course, roads, and railroads for part of the hike, not so rustic.
-The beginning and end of the hike were beautiful but the middle portion was not that great. Unfortunately, there is no way around that. 

It really was a beautiful park, though, and I definitely want to go back when park turns green!

Bledsoe State Park
Spring is in the air! I am so ready for the warm weather to stay. We spent another weekend checking a park off our list. This time we drove north towards Hendersonville to Bledsoe State Park. 

-There were so many deer! We probably saw 30+ deer on our hike.
-There was a mix of terrain - private farm land on one side and the river on the other. It was beautiful.

Not so great:
-It was a pretty small park so you couldn't get far away from the road and the entire park loop was only 3 miles long. 
-Half the trail was in the woods but the second half, near the river, was full of RVs and campers. So it wasn't my favorite park. We are glad we went but we probably won't be back. 
We are loving these park adventures. 
I love our snuggles in the carrier and a chance to get some fresh air and exercise. 
I can't believe we have already been to 9 state parks!

March 14, 2014

Four Months Old!

We have a 4 month old baby and she is such a joy.
I feel like Genevieve is now showing more and more of her personality. It is the beginning of her ability to interact with the world, which is just so much fun. I am sure I will feel like this at every month but each month just gets better and better! She discovered her fingers and her feet. She coos and cackles at just about anything and she wants to put everything in her mouth. As I type this, Michael has her in the ring sling as he prepares dinner. She is so much more content just watching everything we do. I can tell she is an observer. She enjoys sitting in the crib looking at her toys and is very happy entertaining herself.

The long evenings of fussiness have started to fizzle. We certainly still have our moments, but overall Genevieve is much less fussy. What I have been dealing with is the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Month three Genevieve would sleep 8 - 10 hours straight at night. Now we are back to one to two feedings at night. However, each night she is slowly getting back to sleeping more. Thankfully, she takes two to three great naps during the day. Sometimes as long as three hours each. I am very grateful for a good sleeper. 

Month 4 highlights:
-First giggle on February 25th!
-Can sit unassisted for a few seconds by leaning over using her hands. We call it the gorilla pose.
-'Talks' all day and night long ;)
-Sits in the bumbo and watches me clean and cook
-Loves bath time
-Explored two more state parks
-Met the chickens
-Found her fingers
-Chews and drools on everything!

The gorilla pose
My Sweet Genevieve,
I longed for the moment that you looked at me and smiled. Now I get your darling grin every time you look at me. I love when I hear you stir in the morning and I open my eyes to your big smile. Thank you for being patient with me while I learn to balance work, home, and my new mommy role. It has been an adjustment for us all. We know each other so much better now. You seem much more relaxed and comfortable with this new life you have. You are an observer. You take in the surroundings and enjoy watching everyone go about their day. I can tell you are going to be a thinker, like your dad. You are starting to look more like your daddy, too. Which I think is perfect. I love that I can see both of us in you. You chew on everything, drool on everything, and you are starting to grab things. There is so much world to discover! I am so excited to have the privilege of exploring the world through your eyes in these upcoming months and years. You are my sweet girl.

March 10, 2014

Long Hunter State Park

Long Hunter State Park was the perfect hiking spot on an overcast day. 
We hiked the 4 mile Day Long Loop, which was a great mix between woods and hiking along Percy Priest Lake. Oh I am so excited for summer and swimming in the lake with Genevieve!

For anyone interested in finding local trails, here is a great free app: AllTrails
The app allows you to search local trails, read reviews, mark them as complete (and even time yourself hiking the trail), you can create a wishlist and a favorite list. I also like that it gives the length of the trail, if it is dog friendly, and some pictures posted by people who have hiked it. And of course it is great because it is free app.
 Michael captured another breastfeeding picture and we continued to work on our family self-timer skills!