middle child syndrome is real.

I firmly believe it is. The eldest is the trailblazer. Doing new things, carving the way and demanding attention in all these new endeavors. And the youngest is surrounded by the finality of it all. The smallness. The lastness. And so the middle one, while adorable in his own right, doesn't have the screen time that the other receive. And well, that's just not fair. Now is it?
He always wants to do the things his sister is doing. Mainly in regards to school. And it feels a bit unfair because I have a feeling him and school are gonna hit off like a hay bale on fire. But for now he is constantly answered with, oh when you are in school D. Next year D. When you're older buddy. Soon. Soon. 

We call him Howard. As in Mr. Howard Hughes, The Aviator. A man full of idiosyncrasies. A smart, smart man. But one of habit and odd little ticks. David is a man of habit. A smart man of habit, full of odd little tendencies that make him worthy of the name Howard. He's a bit of a whackamole, my David. But God love him so. He's always trying to negotiate his way out of a meal. He's always looking forward to what comes next, whether it's going outside after eating, to what he wants on tv after the current show ends, to rides at Hersheypark... he wants it all planned out and decided upon instead of focusing on the now.
And he says the most wonderfully funny things... Such as:

Girls have boobies. Boys have pecs. 

I need a hug!

You're a snicklefritz.

Why is Aunt Ashley sad?
(Because Lena doesn't want to play ball with her.)
Oh. Aunt Ashley? When I finish my ice pream we play ball is that a great idea?

Last night, I was in your belly. But I don't wanna be in your belly anymore. 

Hey dad. Nonna. Letty. Mom. 
(Yes David?)
I want a hug. 

Last night, I kicked my shoe off da bridge into da water. Mommy was so sad. I'm never going to do that again, okay? That a great idea?

How about a bull hug?

How about a quiet hug?

How about a tickle hug?

Hey! You look pretty! I like your shirt! I like your pants! I like your hair!

You're my mommy. You're my best mommy. 

Red beat ecks. 

Do I have to eat all my chicken?
How about I just eat one?
How about just two?
(How about you eat all of them, or no ice cream.)
Okay I'll eat all of them and then when I'm done I can have ice pream. Is that a great idea?

You're my best buddy.

Hey. Mommy. When we are done watching Blaze can we watch Paw Patrol?
(Blaze just started. How about you enjoy the moment?)
But when Blaze is ober can we watch Paw Patrol? 
(What did I just say?)
I don't know.

I love porn. Porn in my favorite. 
(Corn. Corn is your favorite.)


the white cliffs of conoy

There is a relatively new trail running along the Susquehanna River from Columbia to Harrisburg, about as far west as you can get in this county. The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, a gorgeous, flat, paved trail, great for strollers or bicycles. Lots of trees offer up shade, etc. I've gone running here many moon ago when I was training for the half marathon with my sister but haven't made it back since the construction has continued. I've heard about these "white cliffs" on Facebook from other locals and thought that well now, that sounds interesting and would be a great place to take Kerri on her final day with us. Best yet, the kids can accompany us. 

These limestone cliffs are some 60 feet high, right overlooking the river. They used to be on private property but with this new trail they are now very recently open to the public. There isn't much in the way of a fence to protect from a short drop and a sudden stop so I was a bit nervous about the kids. Those orange plastic fences are not only ugly on the eye but they won't do much to stop a toddler in full sprint. The walk there was fantastic other than the constant "are we there yet" chorus coming from the peanut gallery. I don't know what I was thinking, but it was a really long walk. Based off of our various iPhone apps that count such things, we figure it was about two miles out, two miles back. Which is a lot for little legs to handle, flat or not. I should have brought the double stroller. And their waters. We parked at Koser Park, which is off of 441 in Bainbridge for you locals. And from there head down river and the cliffs will be on your right.

We investigated a little, took a few photos, and then quickly turned heel to start the trek back to the van, because we were on a bit of a time constraint. Kerri and I had to hit the road at three to be sure to get her to BWI in time for her flight of course. As always, these weekends go by in the blink of an eye. I hope you recovered quite quickly from the level of noise. And thanks again for being so good to us up here. And for traversing miles with my three. You deserve a cuddle or a medal at least. 

Some of these photos are Kerri's, so thanks to her!


yuengling brewery tour. with kids!

Our next stop in the Kerri tour took us northward a bit to a sleepy town nestled into the side of a mountain. A town where not much goes on and most establishments are cash only, it appears. Over hills and down mountains and through windy back country roads to Pottsville. What this little town surprisingly has is America's oldest brewery, Yuengling.  They offer free tours six days week for young and old alike. So long as you can navigate 120 steps along the way and possibly slippery ground. Which we were bold enough to attempt with our three.

The line wasn't running as we went on a Saturday, which would have been cool to see, noise not withstanding. We started the tour in an underground cave, which is always a chill fifty some odd degrees. Water drips down from the ceilings due to an underground spring and its quite dark. The tour guide briefly mentioned something about haunting that I quickly tried to negate to Letty. I tried wearing Dom in the wrap but he just wanted his daddy to hold him, which my back didn't mind one bit. I think one of the coolest parts of the tour, minus the tasting of course, was the wall that the government built in the cave during prohibition. I just love that they left it partially there as a reminder. The whole tour lasts a little over an hour and ends with two samples. I went with the Lager and with the Summer Wheat. The latter of which I hated and instantly regretted. Lager for the win, I guess. For those who are under 21 or don't care for beer, they have samples of their Birch Beer available. Which Letty did not enjoy. An acquired taste, I guess. We checked out their extensive gift shop before wandering a few blocks over to Roma's Pizza. Which incidentally, was cash only. So. Make sure you have cash for purchases and coins for their parking meters if you should head up to Pottsville. Oh and snacks. Never ever go on any road trip without all the snacks. What is this? Our first rodeo? Also of note is the footwear required for this tour, which is closed footwear. And yes, they do check.

Some of these photos are Kerri's, of course.