Thursday, July 30, 2015

West Virginia / Pittsburgh Recap Part II: Swimming Pool & Blackwater Falls

The first day in West Virginia was pretty low-key. Zuzu wanted to go swimming, and David was a good sport even though the highs were in the low 80s and the pool was not exactly warm (I only wanted to dip my toes in). Zuzu swam and swam and jumped and jumped and didn’t want to get out even when she was shivering and her lips were turning blue.

Zuzu also gave us a scare at the pool. She has been in swimming lessons for the past seven weeks, and if you've been reading the blog for long, you know that she loves the water. I have been amazed at the progress she's made this summer with swiming, especially because before this vacation, the only pool times she had were half-hour swim lessons and one afternoon at a friend's house. She now swims under water on her own and loves to dive for toys (with help).

One of her favorite things to do (besides be thrown up in the air) is to jump off the side into the pool. We made her follow the same rules they have at swimming lessons: toes on the edge, make eye contact, count to three. But of course she wants to push the boundaries. For some reason, she wanted to jump in while standing on the cover for one of the drain things, which was about twelve inches back from the edge. David told her no (and she actually listened to him, which was a miracle in itself), but as she tried to move up to the edge of the pool, the concrete around the drain cover was slightly raised and uneven, and the ladder coming out of the pool was in her way on the right, and somehow she tripped and fell.

She fell into the pool, which would have made for a soft landing, except that she hit her little chin on the concrete edge on her way in--which made me panicky!

I was freaking out because I thought she could have bitten through her tongue or broken a tooth or gotten a concussion (etc., etc., etc.). As it turned out, she scraped her arm and the underside of her chin pretty good (it turned out to be fortunate it was the bottom of her chin because you couldn’t see the scrape in wedding photos). But she wasn’t seriously hurt. She was crying pretty hard (it scared her, too) but when I asked if she wanted to keep swimming or go back to the condo and get a bandaid, she chose to keep swimming. It was red but not bleeding, so we let her stay. She’s so tough. (And I did hook her up with an Elsa bandaid later.)

My brother and Jo drove down for the night, which was really nice. We were glad to see them and wished they could have stayed longer. They had to get back to Pittsburgh the next evening because they had so much going on before the wedding. We fixed tacos for an easy dinner that night and just hung out at the condo, talking wedding plans and letting Zuzu entertain everyone by freezing our hearts with her powers.

The next day we went to Blackwater Falls state park to see the waterfall. It was an easy “hike” down a boardwalk staircase, but a pretty nice view. 

West Virginia in general was so lovely and green. 

We loved the scenery, and even though I did miss my technology a little bit, it was lovely to be surrounded by nature. David and I even saw a little black bear cross the road in front of us one day as we were driving! (It looked JUST LIKE the bear in Blueberries for Sal.)

After our excursion to the falls, we played a round of putt-putt mini golf. I thought Zuzu would be into it, but she got bored really quickly and whined to go swimming for the last twelve holes. So charming.

Coco was super chill about hanging out in the stroller, but it was a parenting fail because even though sky was overcast and the breeze cool, her cheeks still got rosy from the sun. Zuzu is good about wearing hats, but Coco doesn’t tolerate them for long.

After putt-putt, Zuzu got her wish and we all headed to the pool. Coco pooped in her swim diaper (and out of her swim diaper onto my thigh) just after we arrived, so she and I made a quick exit to get cleaned up. My life is so glamorous.

That evening, we drove into Davis—a small town that’s about 10 miles from our condo. We were seriously out in the wilderness. I got no cell reception at the condo and felt totally cut off from civilization. I wanted to buy the wifi for the week, but David talked me out of it. I don’t like to think I’m utterly dependent on technology, but it did feel kind of unsettling to not check my e-mail for a week! (Plus I had SO MANY e-mails trying to sell me things.) And I really missed Instagram! I limit my social media use so the people I follow are genuinely my friends (this was not always true back when I was on Facebook!) and I missed seeing their faces. Or their kids, anyway. 

My mom and I did a little souvenir shopping at an artisan gallery in Davis while the others hung out in a coffee shop that had a play area outside. I bought a bar of soap that smells like cinnamon and cloves that I’m going to save for this fall, and a cutting board which seemed like a random thing to get, but it was really lovely and I’ve been wanting to get a new one, and this seemed like a more meaningful purchase than grabbing one at Home Goods. (Mmm... now I want to get some delicious cheese to put on my cutting board.)

We ate at a restaurant in Davis called Siriano’s, which was kind of a little hole in the wall but had yummy pasta and pizza. Coco discovered her love of pasta in oil and garlic sauce. She ate it three times while on vacation and I mean SERIOUSLY ate it. Her sweaty little head smelled like a garlic clove for hours—not to mention the epic diapers that came later (fortunately not in the swimming pool).

(In case you can't get enough of our family vacation, here's Part I.)

Want to see a bald baby? This is what I was blogging about two years ago.

And four years ago, I was eight months out from Eliza's loss and answering questions posted on Glow. Feels like ages ago... and yet most of my answers today would be the exact same.

And six years ago, I was thoroughly enjoying a very different sort of vacation.


  1. I love your posts and I love going back to your old ones.

    I hate that coco pooped through her diaper and (gag) onto your leg.

    that barrett holding back Zuzu's long flowing locks is adorable. :)

    In reading that post from four years ago, 2-5 years seems about right to me as well. As we approach 5 years, Jack's life and death is definitely incorporated into my life and I feel like I'm finally at a point where I can look back with fond memories (though of course it's still absolutely f*ing heartbreaking, not in a "well those were good times" kind of way. ). <- I don't think that makes sense.


  2. She and Benjamin are so similar. B loves the swimming and fully takes it upon himself to run as fast as he can and jump in the deep end while I'm still applying sunscreen 30 feet away. But putt-putt? Probably wouldn't even bother. or riding bikes. Hmph.