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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Weekend Update Part II: Family Hike

We decided to trek on the Rivanna Trail on Sunday evening.  We parked at the UVA Fontaine Research Park and headed over to the trail.

Pre-hike on the Rivanna Trail
Pre-hike on the Rivanna Trail

We each donned hats for shade (not that we needed any more shade under the treetops) and to protect ourselves from pesky bugs.

Steve wore his aerated sandals and suffered a few bites.  I sported my trusty Asics runners and tried my best not to slip in the muddy puddles into patches of poison ivy.  As far as I can tell, I succeeded.  I did find a tick crawling on my arm when we drove home.  I smashed the little sucker before it could bore into my skin and give me Lyme disease.

Aside from a few bugs, we had a refreshing hike on a 2 mile loop of the trail.

IMG_5996I love this photo with the gauzy sunlight overhead.

We hiked up several steep hills, around a mountain, over a stream, and through countless muddy puddles.

About the time Calvin grew a little antsy, we found sweet treasures.

IMG_6032We pulled lovely blackcaps from the bushes hanging over the trail.  Calvin plucked them from Steve’s fingers and said two words non-stop, “mmm” and “please”–the later word coupled with the sign language for extra emphasis.

The only way to get him to quit asking for more berries was to finish them up and tell him there were no more…until we found another bush heavy with berries.  We found quite a few.  We also noticed the raspberry bushes were jeweled with green berries which will be ripe in about 2 weeks.

IMG_6023The sunlight peeked through the heavy canopies at a few spots along our hike, but we were mostly shrouded by the dense treetops as we continued our way down the mountain, past the stream, and toward the muddy puddles (which is exactly where the berry bushes were ripe and beckoning).

IMG_6008The RTF trail blaze was easily identifiable when several paths split off.  However, when we made it through a clearing to a fire station and police station, we had to guess to find our way back to the trail and into the forest.  Steve’s a pretty good guesser when it comes to trail navigating.  Soon enough we were back on the right path after following a gravel road for a short distance.

IMG_6009We chanced upon 1 trail runner, 1 mountain biker, and  two women walking 4 little dogs who were not attached to their leashes.  That was evident when they came bounding up to us and tickled our legs with their wet tongues.  I didn’t mind slobbery kisses from strange dogs, but my bare legs didn’t appreciate the sharp scratches from the dogs’ claws.  Owch!

We continued on our way and found bright yellow fungus, and a billiant orangey-red mushroom that was too beautiful not to photograph.IMG_6013

Sturdy foot bridges allowed us to stay dry when crossing the streams.  While bounding through the trails, Calvin sang to hear the rhythm of his voice percuss with his father’s footsteps.  He pointed at trees, beckoned for more berries, and enjoyed the lush and green surroundings.

IMG_6038At the end of the hike, he was anxious to go home.  1) He was hungry. 2) He was sleepy. 3) Nature was calling.

IMG_6040A truly happy hiker who enjoyed having his berries before his dinner.

We had so much fun that we’re planning on an overnight camping trip in the near future.

If you haven’t yet, read Part I of this week’s Weekend Update for more Traveling with Baby fun.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

Calvin – 8 months

Something amazing happened this past Sunday, Calvin turned 8 months old!  I told Steve it was a milestone and we needed to sing to him.  In true Steve-like fashion, he exclaimed, “I’m not going to sing Happy Birthday to him!”.  Thanks for playing.  Anyway, I usually sing “Good Morning to You!” to Calvin to the tune of “Happy Birthday”.  So, it’s familiar.  He loves it.  Smiles, tries to sing along, all that good stuff.

Look at his face!  That’s no baby face.  That’s a little boy face.  With plenty of chubber cheeks for me to kiss.  Milestones just before he hit 8 months: he’s crawling on his hands and knees like crazy.  He’s climbing whenever he gets a chance and trying to stand himself up.  Childproofing just took on a whole different level of safety standards.  Whew!

As of 2 weeks ago, he had 7 teeth, 5 of which came in all at once: SEVEN!  THAT’s why sleeping was such a problem for poor baby boy with painful gums.

His hair is finally growing longer and not falling out, except for that little bald spot on the back of his head where he sleeps.

Whenever we drink from a glass, he wants to drink from that glass, too.  I really don’t think he’s thirsty, because he never drinks THAT much from his sippy cup.  He just wants to be like Mommy & Daddy.  We DID let him try organic, tangy, lemonade at the farmer’s market.  Boy, did he love that.  And unsweetened yogurt.  First few tries he made a sourpuss face as in, “WHAT did you just put in my mouth!”.  Then, he liked it…loved it…craved it.

Calvin digs bananas, sweet potatoes, green beans, apples, pears, squash, beefy stew, yogurt, and now lemon juicey ade.  Small palette, but we’re slowly expanding it as different things become available in season.  We tried goat cheese.  He didn’t really know what to do with that.

So, on Sunday, Calvin’s 8 Month birthday, we toured the gardens at the University of Virginia.  He loves going outdoors and looking at leaves swaying in the breeze, flowers, and birds.

We also took some photos of the Rotunda.  No better time to tour the UVa Grounds than on Sunday.  No classes in session–just quiet, peaceful sidewalks, beautiful architecture, and an unforgiving sun.

We also found some beautiful and fragrant magnolias.  I LOVE the south, and I love magnolias.