Fun Things to do in Fairfax County: Frying Pan Farm Park

frying pan farm park

Frying Pan Farm Park


Today Alan took the day off work, and we all visited a local Farm Park.  Everyone had a good time, in spite of the ever-present chill.  They had farm animals, a blacksmith shop, a wagon ride, a carousel, and a playground.
We felt like Caleb was really channeling his DaddyO in this fleece vest.
The Blacksmith Shop:  This is the very first time that all three boys actually listened to the demonstration given by the volunteer blacksmith.  We are crossing into new parenting territory with these oldest two growing up so fast!
   I think one of these two pictures of the brothers on the fence should definitely be framed!
27 weeks!
Joshua took a bunch of these pictures of Caleb while we were waiting on the wagon ride to start.  I think he did a really good job.
Dan’s first carousel ride
Daddy, being silly

Dan squeezed in a little playtime with his new Little People Zoo from Grandaddy and Nana.  He likes it a lot.  Thank you!  Joshua even helped me put it together!


…..and those were the highlights of our Spring Break.  Not too shabby, I thought.  I do hope April will bring us more warmth.  As you can see, my jacket is getting to be a bit small for me…….

The Power in the Things We Say

I can’t get over the stupid things people say to pregnant women, y’all! 

The power of words is an amazing thing, don’t you think?  Words have the power to build people up or squash a person like a bug.  Words can unite countries or begin wars.  Words make friends and enemies.  We remember certain things people say to us for years and years after we’ve forgotten everything else.

As you might imagine, this is something I deal with frequently, in my current condition.  Now, I will grant you that I realize I am an interesting sight to behold, though I often forget until it is pointed out to me by a stranger or acquaintance.  I’m a sight anyway, with my flaming red hair, walking around with three little boys, but add a giant pregnant belly onto that, and it is an open invitation for…….words.


   Some of it is quite humorous, and I am admittedly laughing in my head at some of the comments, but then there are others…. 

There are others that serve only to remind me that to the common observer I look like a whale, and why do I look so big?
   Why does it bother me, though?  Most of these comments come from well meaning people, who simply are amazed at how big my belly is and want to talk to me about it.  There’s really nothing wrong with that.  

  With that said, I think the women here have been nicer to me than any women I have ever known.  My friends in my neighborhood and at church have all been so kind and supportive.  I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me.  I have never experienced so much niceness when it comes to remarks about my pregnancy!

 So words also have a wonderful power that I need to use more often!  They have the power to encourage, inspire, and build up.

 “I don’t think anyone ever committed a mean act because too many people had been nice to them.  Indeed the opposite is usually the case.”


I need to take notes to MYSELF from all of this.  Let this be a lesson to me how important it is to say kind things to others.  

I need to make that my goal for this year:  to notice the good things about others and thank them for it!  Words really can make or break your day, even if it is a silly thing.

 The fact is we all hate having our feelings hurt.  Yet, I cannot say to the man on the street who says I must be having twins that that hurts my feelings.  Wait.  Maybe I could.  It would be awfully funny to see their face when I said it……hmmm..  

What do I say to such remarks!?  

I wish I knew.  I’m a delayed reactor as it is, but when I hear such things I’m always so surprised that I simply say nothing and smile.  Of course, I always think of dozens of things to say later on…..not really nice things though….

 Here, for your reading enjoyment, are comments I have received about the way I look, just this week:

 1.) lady at bounce place, where I took the kids:

“How far along are you?”

 Me:  (inwardly dreading her response to my answer)  6 1/2 months.

Lady:  *eyes widen*  Oh!

Me:  ….smiling politely

Lady:    You just look further along than that.

Me:  smiling politely

Lady:  *beginning to realize she may have hurt my feelings, I guess*  “Oh, well, you’re just so tiny that it really sticks out on you.”

(actually that helps)


#2.) I was taking a nap when Joshua rushed into my room to wake me up b/c someone was at the door.  I troop downstairs, still half asleep, and discover two packages and a man standing on the doorstep.  

 I figured he must be the mail or UPS delivery man, and I went to work scooping up the packages, not really paying him much attention, until I began to realize he wasn’t leaving.

He said, “So how far along are you?  I don’t mean to be rude.  It’s just that your legs are so skinny, I figured you must be…”

Now I hadn’t really looked at him until he said this b/c I was still in my drowsy state and wasn’t thinking about him, only the boxes (Dan’s birthday present from my parents), so I looked up at him and almost laughed at this unusual comment.

“6 1/2 months”  I said.  Hey, at least this salesman knew how to be nice!

He started to give a spill about roofing, so I interrupted him and let him know we’re just the renters here.

“Oh,” he said, “well, then I guess your landlords probably take care of that sort of thing.  So is this your second baby?”

…..Now what you don’t know is that I was wearing very minimal make-up, straightened hair, blue jeans, and a long sleeve t-shirt.  I looked way too young to have to say what I had to say in response to that question…

 I hesitated a minute, b/c for some reason I sometimes find this to be an embarrassing answer….

 “Actually, it’s my fourth, ” I said and chuckled because sure enough his mouth did unintentionally drop open…

 If only Alan could have been around.  He loves shocking people so much, and I really should just embrace it too.  Why start trying to fit in now?


3.) This one was today, from my chiropractor, who really knows better:

I walked in for treatment, and he said, “Let me guess, it’s twins and one is a girl!” 

 Now I go there every two weeks, so he knows good and well that I don’t like it when people comment on how huge I am–because I’ve told him that– and I am certainly not having a girl, which he knows that too.  

 My best guess is that he thought he was funny.   Sometimes I’m not sure I understand some people’s definition of funny!


4.)  Also today:  

  Caleb:  That baby is ready to come out.  He’s coming out any day.

 You know what’s funny?  Those little boys can say whatever they want about my belly, and it doesn’t bother me at all.  

 I tell them all the time, “Look how huge my belly is,” so really they are okay.  Perhaps I should teach them to be sure to never say that about anyone else’s belly though…..

And now I know that I’m not exactly known for being April the Sweet Darling, so I’m going to work on this myself!  I do not want to bring people down, but bring people up with my words!  

 Words can make someone’s day, especially sincere ones, and I need to be better about complimenting the good in people!



In other news:  I saw my midwife today.  

Believe it or not, my belly measured one week behind.  (Take that, pregnancy bullies.)   I took yet another glucose test, hopefully my final.  (They always think I have the gestational diabetes b/c I keep giving birth to massive babies.)  

 At my next appointment (April 24), I get to schedule my c-section, and I will even know which doctor will be performing it.  Roll Tide!


blood pressure:  120/69

weight gain:  total 22 pounds, but only 5 lbs since my visit 4 weeks ago, which is insanely good for me, in the third trimester!  I’ve usually gained about 30 pounds by now.

baby’s heart rate:  in the 150s  (normal)

fundal height (uterine measurement):  26 weeks  

 The midwife said that could just be the way the baby is lying.  This has always been a much greater predictor for me though, than ultrasond estimates.  

 The ultrasound tech always thinks my baby is average sized, but the doc always starts shaking their head around 32 weeks, and saying, “You’re measuring a few weeks ahead…” and sure enough, a baby with “macrosomia”     (large body for gestational age) pops out.  

 I think pregnancy is so weird and interesting!  

Hope you all have an interesting but happy Easter weekend, and may no one spoil your day with unkind words!      




Ancestry and Dan’s Birthday


Happy Birthday, Dan!  Anyone remember this?

I really should be tidying up and prepping for Dan’s mini-birthday party, but I wanted to pause and say thank you to Alan’s parents!
I got my Ancestry DNA results back today, so that was fun to see. Here are my basic stats:

89% British Isles (wow, that’s a lot of %)
8% Central European (Germany, Switzerland, and France, for me)
3% Unknown (But since I have done my research, I’m pretty sure this addresses my Native American background, of various tribes.)

They tried to match it up with my tree to show me on the map the birth places of some of my ancestors. I noticed that they didn’t pinpoint any of my early migrating ancestors (1600s), only the ones who came over in the 1700s. Did you see that with yours, DaddyO? And can you remind me what your results and Donna’s results were? I’d like to write that down in my Genealogy records.

Here are some individual surnames and locations. For those of you who are in my family, you may be surprised to see some of these random last names pop up in our history. There are thousands of random last names when you go back this far!

Clackmanshire, Scotland….last names Russell and Boyd. Russell migrated to Georgia, and I’m not sure about Boyd.

Wales: Ayers and Edwards, both migrated to South Carolina

England: Miles, Carlisle, McDaniel, Lansdell, and Heath

Germany: Buckholts

Switzerland: George (as last name)

……My people have all been Americans a very long time. 94% of people in my tree were born in the USA. You have to go back to the 16/1700s to trace us back to Europe, which is difficult to do. Records weren’t kept so great, and fires were way more common than you would think, and I don’t know how much of that had to do with Sherman!

In my own research, I have also found 2 surnames from France, innumerable ones from the British Isles, 1 Native American (that really wasn’t back all that far), and 1 other one from Germany.

Everyone takes a look at my hair and brands me Irish, and they are not far off. I get that from my great-grandmother, on my dad’s side, and it does appear that she had a great deal of Irish in her.

I also want to say thanks to my dad for the birthday message from Tom. (the app with Tom the Cat) Daniel watched it about 6 times, before I finally made him say bye-bye to Tom! Every time Tom said Daniel’s name, Dan would point to himself and smile. It was adorable.

And now for a “slideshow” of Dan, over his first 2 years of life:

3 months old
6 months old
23 months
15 months
about 1 year
classic first birthday messy-man
15 months
18 months
19 months
~10 months
~ 1 week
~ 1 week
12 months
~ 1 month or 2?  He used to nurse, and pass out.  Nursing babies to sleep is  such an awesome talent.  ; )
~6 weeks, snuggling with Nana
first beach trip
5 months
first Indian war-paint face  : )
7 months
8 months

Happy Birthday to our sweet little Carrot Top!

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