Life With Ida : 3 Years

Ida Rue is turning 3 yesterday! It feels like time has been flying, but when I look back on her 1 year and 2 year updates it seems like it was so long ago. Even just the last month was so full of new things.
Ida started preschool a last week. She can be clingy sometimes, so I wasn't sure if she would love it or cry when we left... turns out she loves it! When we dropped her off on her first day of school, she ran off to do some activities without even looking back. When I picked her up, she gushed about all her new friends and told me "I love my school!"
She is my little magnet and always loves to be by my side. Since I've been spending more time at home lately, we get to spend lots of time together. Ida loves to help out and chat or just sit there and cuddle. Sometimes when we're eating next to each other, she will reach her arm out and just rest her hand on my arm because she wants to cuddle at all times. ... and just when I think she is a momma's girl, she sees her dad and is all over him cuddling and playing. Ida gets to spend a lot of time with Ben during the day and they love to play and listen to music.

My little Ida loves to be outside. She jumps at any chance to get outside and run around. She likes to go on walks, help with the garden, run around with Clovey, picnic near the garden, and observe nature.

We spent a good amount of time this summer at the pool and Ida was quite the fishy. She was timid at first, but soon became excited for our weekly trips. We had play dates most weeks and she loved to run around with Cora's friends and their siblings.
Ida is really into reading. She will bring us books throughout the day and loves to cuddle up and read whenever she can. 
Happy birthday Ida Rue! You are such a light in our lives and a joy to watch grow.


Sharon Woods Outing

When we got back from vacation, I scheduled a couple of days off to readjust to our life at home (laundry, groceries, prepping for school, etc) and enjoy some of our last summer days together. We still had a long Summer to-do list so we figured we'd cross a thing or two off our list with my extra days off. One of our favorite chill nature adventures is to go on is to Sharon Woods. 

The Gorge Trail is a nice woodsy hike that is easy for the girls. Ida walked a bit and rode in the backpack a bit. They liked checking out the different overlooks, pointing out lots of nature things... and begging to go check play in the creek. 

It was a fun little adventure with the girls. I love that this is close to home and makes for the perfect outdoory adventure. 


Wisconsin Vacation

We made our yearly journey to our family cottage in Wisconsin at the end of July. We packed up the girls Friday evening and drove overnight to arrive around breakfast Saturday morning. The girls were so excited to spend the week hanging out at the cottage and swimming.
Each morning, we would putz around the yard and enjoy the quiet mornings. One of the mornings, my dad, Ida, and I went over to the neighbor's yard and walked around their boardwalk area. There are mounds of moss all over the ground and it is so neat. I would love to have a moss garden like that.

Cora learned to swim this summer, so she was most looking forward to swimming in the lake. She swam all day every day. As soon as it was warm-ish enough to swim, she would be suited up and ready to go. Ida would take a bit longer to warm up to the water, but also loved spending our afternoons in the water.

Towards the end of our vacation, we took our army of kayaks out and Ida really loved riding along on kayak adventures. There is a little cove close to our cottage and I love going over there and checking out the lily pads.

Cora was always off hanging out with my parents and brother, so I spent a lot of one-on-one time with Ida... which is also why most of my pictures are of Ida. I loved getting to spend so much time with her goofy self and watching her enjoy everything the cottage has to offer.

Towards the end of the week, my Aunt and Uncle invited us over to pick blueberries at their cottage. Cora loved running around grabbing all of the berries in sight... and Ida loved tasting all of the blueberries.

We had a wonderful relaxing week. The girls had the best time running around, swimming, and enjoying all of the family together time.

See previous Wisconsin vacation posts here.


Vegetable Garden : Expanding Our Garden

This year, we were hoping to expand our garden a bit. At the beginning of Spring, I got to work... I built two new raised beds (same plans as last year). I saved a bit of money by using 2x4s from a neighbor, but still purchased the cedar fencing planks to match our other beds. We filled it with dirt we still had from last year and took our sweet time loading them up. The girls like to dig around looking for worms, so they entertained themselves while I did most of the actual work.

Before all the weeds could grow in, I started working on cutting back some of the brush out in the back. I cleared a space so I could dump all of my yard waste (our town has a yard waste pickup day and can purchase stickers or bins for weekly yard waste pick up, but I'd prefer to just toss it in the back). I cut down a bunch of honeysuckle and trimmed some other areas. I also worked on tearing down a lot of the weeds next to the fence. I discovered multiple piles of brick covered in vines. I've been gathering those up and saving them for some small paths through our garden beds. I was hoping to tear out everything along the fence and plant some sunflowers, but I'm finding a lot of bricks, broken concrete, and glass so it is a bigger project than I anticipated.

Around mid-april, we started our seeds. I lay out our seeds on a damp paper towel. I fold them in half and put them in a plastic baggie to let sit for about a week. We have been so busy this spring that I kind of forgot about them. They sprouted nicely and eventually we transferred all the little sprout babies to small pots. I kept an eye on the weather and moved them inside on cold nights.

Early May, I started moving the plants to the garden beds. Because it was such a busy month, we forgot to do daily checks on the garden... and it did just fine.

Around the beginning of June, we started some watermelon, pumpkin, and bean seeds to fill up the other two beds. We hoped to make a little pumpkin patch between the raised beds and the garage, but the weeds were taking over too quickly so we'll push that project off for another year.

Last year, we had deer steal some of our veggies and we're already seeing some deer activity so far this year. The original plan was to finish enclosing our yard with a privacy fence in the spring, but our last couple of months have been insane and I have yet to submit for a permit. Since I've pushed the fence plans off, we still need to have a plan against the deer. I started a small fence around the garden before I realized I had significantly less chicken wire than I thought I did. Projects these days take way too long, so I also purchased some sort of Deer spray for the garden area. I'm hoping that will be enough to ward them off a bit, but we will see.

Lately, we have enjoyed lots of small picnics out near the garden. There are nice pockets of shade throughout the day, so it is a perfect spot to relax. The girls love having me pull them out there in the bike trailer so they can sit and watch me water and weed. I'm loving our little outdoor space as we expand and learn and play out there... and we can't wait to see where the rest of the season takes us.

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