Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trip to the Park

We live walking distance from the park. We don't go as often as we should. The girls love it. Here we are, ready to go.

Caroline, racing toward her first trip down the slide:

She loves to climb these.

I tried to keep Will in the shade. Poor guy. I bet he can't wait 'til he's racing around with the girls.

Lucy is in heaven at the park. Give that girl a slide, and she is a happy camper.

I wish I'd taken a picture when we got home. Three tired, thirsty kids. I was able to transfer Will to his bed without waking him up. Lucy was eager for her nap. Caroline's still fighting it, but she's not going to make it long.

And sleeping kids make for a happy momma.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Midnight Bandit

Last night, late at night, I was awakened. Bob had checked the weather and determined that the overnight high was only going to be 73, so he turned off the A/C and opened our windows.

Out the windows, I heard the distinct clinking of empty soda cans. Enter the Soda Can Recycler. This has happened at least once before, where I notice that all the soda cans from my recycling bin have disappeared, but the garbage/recycling truck hasn't yet come by. So, of course, nosy woman that I am, I (first woke up Bob and then) hopped out of bed and joined Lily at the window to see who was out there.

I had suspected, as one of my FB friends had suggested, that it was a guy who rides around town on a bicycle, often pulling a trailer of recyclables. I was wrong. It was a large woman with a very small dog, armed with nothing but a large black garbage bag. I give her props for her thoroughness. She went through every single item in both the recycling bins. (Yes, I watched the whole thing.) (Lucky for me, I'd left the front porch light on, so the action was somewhat lit.) And then she and her dog disappeared into the night.

I think I may begin doing what my brother-in-law does: just completely separate all the cans so it's one-stop-shopping for the Soda Can Recycler.

*(I prefer to sort all my recycling, and I do, in the house, but then I throw it all in the bins together for the garbage/recycling truck. I wish our town required sorting, but they actually discourage it. Go figure.)

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today is one of those days when just making it to the morning naptime feels like a huge triumph. Toward the end of my pregnancy with Lucy, my back started killing me. It hurt during my pregnancy with Will. And now it's begun hurting me again. I think it has something to do with routinely walking around with 20-30 pounds of children on my left hip.

Anyway, last night, I hobbled up the stairs to help Bob with putting the kids to bed ... and then I just went to bed. I knew I didn't have it in me for another trip down & up the stairs. This morning, I'm better, but not much. I'm a little leery of pain medication, assuming I'm much more likely to do more than I should, if I'm not feeling the warning pain messages my body's sending me. So I've just been trying to lift the kids as little as possible (thank God that Will can now climb the stairs by himself!). The two little ones are down for a nap, and I'm about to lie down on the couch downstairs.

I'm going to be checking into my insurance coverage, because I believe I'm ready to see a chiropractor. I know they often get a bad rap, but I'm ready to give it a shot.

As my college roommate pointed out, I brought this on myself...

That's 40-ish pounds of children I'm carrying, and I do that more than I should.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let there be light.

Not too long ago, our neighbor's tree came the rest of the way down.

It took our power line down with it. And damaged the entrance cable. And other stuff that I don't understand.
This happened on a Tuesday. We were without power from about 2pm on Tuesday to about 5:30pm on Wednesday. And hosted a party at 8pm on Wednesday. It was CRAZY, but everything came together just in time. I am awfully grateful for electricity. I really take it for granted, but laundry, cooking, keeping food fresh, having light in the bathroom, cooling the house ... all these things are pretty essential to my everyday life.

I don't have much to report these days. Nothing new to the house, except the new electrical service. But I've been taking pictures of my garden, so that's what you get today.

That's a carrot.

A black-eyed Susan, transplanted from my sister's front garden in PA.

Begonias. (Still waiting to be planted.)

Lettuce. I like it.

Mother's Day rose. Still lovin' it.

A tomato blossom.

An eager cucumber vine.

If I can just keep Lily from destroying any more plants (current count: one bean plant, one squash plant, one leek), I'll be in good shape. The rope fence is not entirely reliable at keeping her out. We're looking into other options.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Change is in the air.

Bob has accepted a new position, and it was announced yesterday at work. He's excited about the new position but sad to leave his current one. He's been there for over six years, and though he's staying within the same company (and in the same building!), he's still grieving .

I understand how he's feeling (well, as much as I can, I suppose), but I'm excited. And the people that we've built relationships with are still going to be there. We'll still get to see them.

Bob won't be on call 24/7/365.
He won't have to leave parties that we are hosting (though, to his credit, he did make it back by midnight on New Year's Eve), or dinners with friends.
He'll be able to choose his hours, work from home if he wants, and figure out how he wants to do this job.
And get paid a little more, too.

I am THRILLED that he'll be working less. As the application/interview/second interview process went on, family time definitely became the biggest plus for me about this job.

He starts July 5th. Bring it on!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gardens make me happy.

My garden is starting to look like a garden, finally, instead of three burial plots.

Most of my vegetables are up and recognizable, but a couple things are looking like they're not going to sprout, like peppers and spinach. (I should have started both much, much sooner.)

I'm going to take you on a partial tour of the garden today.





And now, we'll move on to the rest of the grounds. Last summer was our first summer in the house, and Bob wanted to let the garden area around the garage do its own thing, so we'd know what we had there. Ooh, boy, did it look junky in all its glory. Tons and tons of weeds, with a few flowers thrown in.

This year, Bob's worked really hard (with the "help" of the girls) to weed the bed and prepare it for new flowers. We left the flowers that were there, of course. And by "we," I mean "Bob."

Some orange lilies:

Pink lilies:

Yellow and red are still waiting to bloom. They're gorgeous. Last year, we put some of the orange & red ones on my father-in-law's grave for Father's Day. I plan to do that again this year, if they're still blooming.

This hydrangea was part of the Easter flower arrangement at my mother-in-law's church. She gave each of the girls a plant, and I put them in the ground in front of the garage. I did a poor job of tending them, and we weren't sure they'd come back ... but they did!

My Mother's Day gift that keeps giving.

2010 is the Year of the Coupon at our house. This tree was free, using a coupon. I thought I'd killed it, leaving it for too long in our refrigerator, and not planting it in a big enough temporary pot. But when I finally put it in the ground, I started really faithfully watering it in, slowly & deeply, so the roots will grow well. And now I'm beginning to see little green buds on what was once a glorified stick. (By the way, these are the first pictures for which I've EVER used the manual focus option on our camera. It's a learning process.)

The first blossom on my new geranium.

The funny thing is, though, that as much as I love plants and flowers, I don't like to have too many in the house. I get overwhelmed by too many houseplants. My kitchen/sunroom have been overrun for months, and I'm dyin'. I'm moving them out. I can't take it anymore. Good thing they can all go outside, this time of year...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The evolution of a geranium

I like geraniums a lot. So I was really disappointed to discover that one of my children had broken off a huge bloom from one of my geranium plants. I put it in a vase with water and left it on my windowsill for a long time--longer than I should have ... but then I noticed it had developed roots! So I planted it and tried again. And again.

This is a newly vased set of four geranium cuttings (actually from one long stalk that snapped off, and then I cut it into sections).

This is a cutting that's been in water for a while. See those roots?

This is a geranium that was one of the centerpieces at my baby shower for Caroline, in 2006. Still going strong.

This is a pot of two geranium plants that I bought at the farmers' market last summer. These things are taking off. (And the pot itself was the first Christmas present I ever bought for Bob. He admired it at a museum, and I went back later and bought it.)

And this: this is a pot with some geraniums that I started in a vase. Yes, that's right. See all those new leaves? And those flower buds? I'm awfully proud of these little guys.

And, because I know you're dying to see it: the pulpit in our foyer. The story on that will have to come another time.