Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break - Day 3


The thought of taking another ferry ride this week wasn't really that appealing, but the weather was so great, and E wasn't going to let me back out this promised trip to Bainbridge Island. We grabbed Annie (her partner in crime) and made our way across the Puget Sound, again. We hit my favorite Blackbird Bakery, ran around 2 playgrounds, and stopped in at my favorite little feed store/nursery/cafe to check out the baby chicks and have lunch. It was a full day, but not overly exhausting and in the end I was glad we did it. These girls are connected at the hip, and were even requesting that I refer to them as sisters all day. They kept N endlessly entertained, and they're not shy in front of the camera either...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break - Day 2


We spent the morning in; we made french toast (check out the funky egg that came in our carton) & played on the floor. The cold and rainy afternoon was mostly spent trying to stay optimistic while circling a particular neighborhood of an unfamiliar city in the car for the better part of an hour and fighting off images of my lovely sister-in-law and her husband sprawled out on a Hawaiian beach somewhere sipping Mai Tai's. I can be a bit stubborn and extremely determined when it comes to tasks that could be considered a bit gender bending, like today with driving & directions. I had the frick-frackin' address, I was going to find the flip-flappin' place, D would do it, I will do it! Only after I stopped in the exact spot where our building should have been (an empty parking lot) did I succumb to calling and verifying the address; what had been given to me was wrong, like across-town-completely-different-address-wrong! Our plans today had included E participating in a kid's gardening class that afternoon at 2:30, but had missed that by a long shot. We tried to make ourselves feel better with a leisurely salmon meal at my sister's house, playing outside and then a nice warm bath with cousins. All was not lost, quite.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break - Day 1



The weather was in classic Spring form, literally changing every 10 minutes from gray downpour to warm springy breezes and back again. I threw the kids and a few snacks in the car, grabbed a coffee before I got in line down at the ferry dock for N's first ferry ride (he loved watching the birds soar & dive and feeling of that wind in his face). Then I piled everyone back into the van and drove about another hour on the other side to see our friends in Port Townsend. But not before the moment when I drove off the ferry and the thought crossed my mind that; "Hmmm, I kinda missed this place." I admit it everyone, it took 5 years, but yes, I did have a twinge of nostalgia for this place we called home for 3 years. When we packed up E, who was only 11 months old at the time and moved back from the peninsula I never looked back, and would in fact balk whenever anyone foolishly asked me if I missed it. Sure that place has some good memories, memories with people we already knew and loved before transplanting there. But much of that past life is better left behind, far behind. I'm glad to be back where we are now I have a vast network for support while D is gone, and I know this place like the back of my hand, it is home.

It is nice for a day and I did really enjoy our brief visit today. And herein lies the aforementioned exception to the rule; Lisa & Brian. They have been part of our life for at least 15 years or so, and these get-togethers always prove to be effortless and a comfortable ease. E spent the better part of the afternoon playing outside with Henry & Jess (their dog) while, N hung out on the floor with Oliver, and Lisa and I chatted. During our lunch I mentioned that E was really enjoying the Miss Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald. Lisa told us that Betty MacDonald used to live not too far from them and there was a road on the way in named for another of her famous books...so we found it on our way home. Thank you Olson's, what nice way to spend our day.


* I love this last one of N laughing in the wind, he looks so much like his dad when he was younger.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Really Getting Started


Yes, we have a few things in the ground (got the sweet pea flowers and strawberries done yesterday), This week will be serious stuff; we have potatoes, slicing cuc's, ghost pumpkins, bush beans & sunflowers seeds waiting in the wings. But today I only have enough energy to put the sugar pea starts in. As soon as I see tomato & zucchini starts I'll get those in the ground too.

TiltShift Generator


Found it! My favorite Photo App yet! You can buy it for your phone for 99cents. Camera Bag was a step in the right direction, but TiltShift by Art&Mobile takes it to a new and better level. It gives you total freedom in determining to what exact degree you edit those shots. Fabulous! And, and, you can get it for your desktop...hurry up now! Go get it! It will make you oh-so happy.


*The one of E was taken with my phone, and N's on my Nikon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Heaven Help Me!

Alright, Easter is about 1 week away. I have done a superior job of steering clear of the unforgivably delicious Cadbury Mini Egg.

Until today.

I hit a few stores to help with filling out E's Easter basket (will not be getting the cotton candy this year). And lo and behold, there they were: Cadbury DARK chocolate mini eggs! Why?! Why?! Why?! I may not be able to resist these as successfully. In fact, truthfully, I already opened the bag, and, um, it's not even 10:30 in the morning.

Heaven help me.



*Update: After devouring the whole bag (with E's help) we unanimously agree that we like the original milk chocolate eggs better. This comes a a huge surprise to me as dark = better in just about every other case.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spider

I h-a-t-e spiders. Yes, I know all the stats, I've watched Charlotte's Web too many times to count; "(that if there were no spiders) the bugs would get so numerous, they'd destroy the Earth."

But if I find those things in my house...they don't stand a chance. Especially if I am walking down a dark hallway before bed, flick on the light just in time to see this (now deceased) creature hanging on the wall just outside my bedroom. Do you see just how gi-normous that guy is, and it's not just he camera angle either! I like these warmer temp's that are making life around here so nice, but when vermin like that start making unprecedented appearances it's enough for me to be tempted to throw out my "green living" ideals and get the whole place sprayed!

The First Thing In


We bought a few things today for our garden; raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb. The weather was so wonderful even after dinner, I stuck N in the swing and E was running all over the place, while I rototilled a bit more before sticking anything in the ground. Then she helped dig the hole for the rhubarb and watered. I love that we are finally growing our own food this year.

Raspberries

When I pop a raspberry into my mouth I am instantly transported into the sunny backyard of my grandparent's home in Everett. My grandpa was a great gardener, there's no doubt that it's from him and my mom that this life in the dirt is so alluring to me. His backyard fence was lined with raspberry bushes on both sides, and picking them each summer was so much a part of our visits when we were young. Oftentimes it seemed my mom and grandma were in the kitchen cooking them up for jam just as fast as we could pick them.

When my grandparents moved from their home my uncle took a few of the plants to his house. For years I've dreamed of getting a few starts from him, and having a little bit of grandpa with me in the backyard. But year after year goes by and I've got nothing to show for it. So, this year while I trudged the kids up and down the aisles at Wights I flirted with the idea of just getting a few plants and see how they do. Kind of like babysitting before you have your own kid, a trial run before the real thing. I bought 3, well, 3 pots of dirt with dead sticks poking out from soil. The lady I spoke with about which variety to invest in assured me that soon we should see little leaves and by summer we'd have enough berries for jam! I relayed to her that it was because of my grandpa's berries that I was buying any at all and she pointed me to 'Meeker's' saying, "Then you probably want this one, an older variety; for the real raspberry lover." I am so so excited!

Similasan

We've been sharing a cold this week. Soar throats, gooey green noses, and a bit of sneezing. I've been looking for a more natural way of combating colds for the kids. I really hold off on the meds if I can, drinking tons of water, steering clear of dairy & letting their bodies fight it. But once in while (especially when E's well enough for school but just dealing with the byproducts of her cold, mainly the runny nose) I give her a dose of something.

Researched this natural cold relief, and we're giving it a try. So far it's doing a good job, and hey, E likes the taste...You can also get a $1 off coupon on their site!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quintessential Quince


This is one of my favorite early spring flowering shrubs. The bright pinky-orange flowers bloom on tangled & nearly barren branches, making quite a statement!

My Handyman

video

When D's not around, I gotta settle for the next best thing...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top O' the Mornin' to Ya!


I tinted E's oatmeal green this morning, and she drew this sweet little leprechaun for her teacher!

N had his 9-month check-up this mornin' - 23.8 lbs, and 31 inches!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where's the Baby?

N loves eating! I can't think of anything he refuses, and he'll always go for whatever little shreds of meat is on his tray first, the little carnivore. Right now he's eating table food about 1/2 the time, & baby mush the other. I'm trying to get thru all baby food before he starts turning his nose up at it.

Today he discovered the picture of a baby on the baby food jar and was pointing at it and grunting. I then turned the jar so he couldn't see the baby, and would rotate it until it came into view again. He'd point, babble something and often times lean in for a kiss. So cute, I had to get the video camera out:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Garden List

E helped me make our list of veggies/fruit/flowers for our garden:


  • tomatoes
  • peas
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • pumpkins
  • green beans
  • basil
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • sunflowers
  • sweet peas
  • strawberries
  • rhubarb
* notice the color coordinated words and apostrophe placement! Sometimes she asked for help with the spelling, but most of the time she was convinced she knew...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Goldilocks and the Three Bowls

I make 3 bowls of oatmeal nearly every morning. I start with 1/3 Cup toasted oat bran in each bowl, sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of whole ground flaxseed meal, then pour over 3/4 - 1 Cup boiling hot water & stir. What happens afterward determines who eats which bowl:


1) strait up brown sugar - E
2) dried cranberries, pecans & brown sugar - me
3) 2 or 3 cubes frozen mashed fruit - N (in this picture 2 plum, 1 pear)

Photo's of Photo's


We had the rare opportunity to be photographed this morning. Usually I'm the one behind the camera trying to capture our day to day life, so I rarely make it out in the open. A kind offer from Julie afforded me the very pleasant experience of having our lazy Saturday morning documented. It was full of book reading, toys, snacks and just lazing around the house. Thank you Julie, I cannot wait to see how they turned out, they'll undoubtedly be a treasured part of this phase of our life.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ready, Get Set, GARDEN!


I've had trouble figuring out a good spot for a vegetable garden at this house. We have a lot of extremely tall evergreens, and pine needles and shade don't make for a very fruitful pea patch. The one exceptional spot we do have I zealously planted my lavender starts a few years ago, they love their location, but tomato's, green beans and zucchini would have too...


Remember the pile of rotting wood planks that were piled up in our backyard? The pile that someone (bless them) took far, far away from my life forever? Bingo. I borrowed the rototiller from my dad, plotted out our spot, and held on for dear life. That little machine chews through hard ground that would take the patience of a saint to churn up by hand. Granted, it's not a walk in the park hanging on to that little digger, it jerks and skips around while you dig your heels in. And the little spot I'm trying out is in fairly close proximity to a huge ceder (with a huge ceder root system) so the soil is plagued with all sorts of obstacles, but I can almost taste the snap peas, so on we go!


I'll give regular updates on the progress of our home garden. I'm getting lots of inspiration from this site and of course using this as our handbook!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sun Out, Must Play


It was fantastic out today. Mandatory picnic lunch on the lawn with cousin Inger.