We arrived in town just before the parade started. I've mentioned it before...I'm a huge fan of parades. They just get me. I love that everyone waves and cheers and dances a bit to the marching bands. Honestly, how much I enjoy parades can get a little ridiculous. And now I get to share them with the little ones!
Sam was snug as a bug inside his stroller. He did not like the sirens at the start of the parade so Daddy covered his ears.
Oh no! I just realized we didn't get a picture of Pete with his cheese curds. Without exception, cheese curds are the first thing we buy every year. Pete offered to by buy mini donuts for me as we passed a stand, but I insisted we had to get those fried, cheesy pieces of heaven first. I don't love them as much as Pete, but it's pretty close.
Then we got the mini donuts.
The parade is so long at Apple Fest that we watch part of it, get something to eat, watch some more, walk a little, watch a bit more, and check out all the art vendors. It's the best time to see the art since the booths aren't crowded.
These were the greatest hammocks we've ever seen and they're made by a family just 20 minutes north of Duluth! Canvas outside, fleece inside. Yes, please. Tree to Tree has an online shop HERE.
After the art vendors, we helped ourselves to more apple goodness.
Could I love these two any more? Nope. I couldn't.
As per tradition, we bought kettle corn right before leaving to drive out to the orchards. If you know Pete, you know he's a guy who never does anything halfway. Go all out or don't bother. Therefore, I should have expected this when I sent him to buy the popcorn. Good grief! The bag is nearly as big as Ella! She was in heaven.
I love the little town of Bayfield. Little towns are my favorite. I grew up in one, so I can imagine what life is like there. Even as the main streets were packed with people, we managed to find a quiet alley for a stroll.
We also found Pete's favorite bridge. It's easy to miss. It sits between two streets lined with houses and is surrounded by trees. This is the gorgeous view of what sits below.
My three loves on the bridge.
We asked a stranger on the bridge to take our family picture, and it turned out not to be a stranger at all! It was Reid, a young guy who went to the church where Pete & I met years ago. We got to meet his wife of two months and catch up a bit. It was a unexpected interaction. I love those.
Then we drove out to the orchards. Bayfield is surrounded by them, but we go to the same one every year. We have a photo of Ella in an apple basket when she was Sam's age, so we were set on capturing the same image of Sam. Miss Ella wanted to be in the basket with him, which would have been adorable, but I think we would have returned a broken basket to the orchard owners. She was happy as a lark, though, when we piled apples around her in the grass.
Sammy on the top & Ella (3 months) below. I love how similar they are!
Yesterday Sam had his 4 month appointment and weighed in at 14 pounds 13 ounces. I wasn't at all surprised to learn that he had gained 10 ounces since his appointment 2 weeks ago since he was a nursing machine last week. He couldn't get enough! I think most of it went to his cheeks. He has the softest, pudgiest cheeks of any little boy I've met. I cuddle them a lot. A LOT.
Next on the list of appointments for our boy is an appointment with the eye specialist next week. That's expected for any baby with his diagnosis. Just need to make sure his little peepers are healthy!
In all regards, he's doing amazingly well. Sam's PT and OT are happy with his progress. He's lifting his feet in the air and playing with his hands, holding toys, turning his head when he hears a bell, and smiling a whole lot. We continue to do a little physical therapy every day in simple ways, mostly through how he sits in his bouncy seat or is positioned during tummy time. Little things can make big differences in his physical strengthening. We're so proud of how he's moving ahead!
We've been enjoying fall around here! It has certainly turned cooler and the leaves are letting go of their branches. (It even snowed last week, but we'll pretend that didn't happen. At least it didn't stick.) Ella helped me make apple decorations for the mantle and we collected leaves for a leaf garland to hang on the mirror above it.
And finally, last week Ella had school pictures. We got up just a bit early in the hopes of avoiding a mad dash out the door in a disheveled mess. We were successful! Her pigtails even made it through the whole morning at school. Her teachers told me at the end of the day that she was really excited about the pictures. The next day she told me she wanted to do them again! Ella sure loves having her picture taken. But we kind of knew that already, didn't we?