Category Archives: My Kids

Back in the Blogging Saddle

It’s been nearly two years since I last posted. TWO YEARS! I haven’t forgotten about my little blog. It’s been quietly nagging me in the back of my mind. For two years I’ve been thinking about and meaning to get back to it, but life has been so busy. In those two years I increased the amount of hours I am at work and our two kids are now school age and involved in more activities (soccer, swimming, gymnastics, piano). I value our quiet time and we all enjoy just hanging out at home and playing in the back yard. We aren’t usually involved in that many things at one time. However, in an effort to try different things and see what the kids really enjoy (in addition to wanting the kids to learn how to swim), it feels like we’ve been overdoing it. My son informed me last night that he’s ready to take a break from swimming. Right on. He’s been doing great and has really progressed since he started winter lessons in January, but a break is definitely due.

One of the highlights of the last year is that we now have backyard chickens! I plan to write a whole post on that, but in short: husband built a coop and a run, and in March 2015 we got six Golden Comet chicks (red sexlinks). The kids loved watching them grow from chicks and have continued to love and care for them. They even gave them names. The chickens deserve a blog post of their own, so we’ll cover all that next time around.

In the meantime, it’s April and the weather has been gorgeous (except for the last few days of heavy rain). We’ve gotten our garden started, and since my garden is the topic I blog about most (aside from my kids, maybe), I wanted to share a few pics of what we’ve got going. I’m also home today with a sick kindergartener, so while she’s resting and watching The Land Before Time (a favorite movie series around here), I decided to finally bring back the blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Our new chicken coop and run along the side of the garden. Also, last year Mr. L. added a fence around the garden to keep the chickens, dogs and deer out. It’s been working great!

 

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This is late afternoon and as you can see, the garden gets a good bit of shade then. I usually try to start planting in the far end and save the sunniest parts of the garden for tomatoes.

 

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The first transplants include cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. I will need to keep an eye on them so I can see when the cabbage worms start to show up, then take action.

 

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Our “walking onions” popping through! My dad gave me a bunch of these a few years ago and I save the bulbs to replant each year. They develop a flower at the top with a bunch of new bulbs that get heavy and plop over, starting a new plant, which is how they “walk”.

 

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These two were really into helping garden this month, so we harnessed that enthusiasm! They helped plant onions, potatoes, and green beans. Miss D. also helped transplant the Brassicas one afternoon when her brother was at soccer practice. We still have lots to do!

At the recommendation of my Uncle Joe, I’m currently reading Growing Great Tomatoes in preparation of planting our own tomatoes in the next week or so. I’m also checking out Straw Bale Gardens and am thinking of giving that technique a try at some point. There’s always so much to learn!

To be continued…

 

 

Gettin’ Dirty

What a gorgeous weekend! The late, heavy snows that we got in March delayed the start of our gardening, so I tried to get caught up this weekend. It was the perfect weather for it; just like those perfect couple of weeks of true spring weather that we get between winter and the hot summer weather that always seems to come too early. I remember a couple of years ago we had what felt like two full months of true spring weather. Hoping for another spring like that this year, now that spring has finally arrived.

We spent most of the weekend in our back yard, transplanting and sowing in the vegetable garden, as well as making a butterfly garden next to the kids’ play house. I’ll follow-up with a post on those, but in the meantime, here’s what we got started in the vegetable garden this weekend:

  • Egyptian (“walking”) onions (actually planted a few weeks ago; my Dad gave me these spring onions a couple of years ago)
  • sweet onions
  • potatoes (Kennebec and red)
  • lettuces (Buttercrunch, Bibb, and mesclun)
  • swiss chard
  • cabbage (early flat Dutch and red)
  • peas (frosty pea, sugar snap and dwarf sugar bush)
  • Tepary beans (heirloom from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company)
  • carrots (short n’ sweet, and rainbow)
  • radishes (easter egg mix)
  • arugula
  • parsley
  • dill

After all of that, I have over half of the garden planted already, which I always find a little depressing. I can never keep up with our garden, once the weeds move in. Then I wish it were smaller. But when I’m planting and sowing, I always wish it were bigger.

We all got very dirty and by Sunday evening, I was tired and sore. But it was a divine weekend. I took this photo of my daughter playing in the less-than-half of the garden that we haven’t planted yet. She had gone inside to fetch her favorite blanket and brought it out to the garden. This photo pretty much sums up how I felt about the weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hoping you also had beautiful weather this past weekend and got outside to enjoy it!

 

Where Has Summer Gone?

I can’t believe it’s already August and I haven’t posted a blog since January! The summer is nearly over, my boy is about to start kindergarten, and my garden is drying up and full of weeds. Ugh. There is just not enough time in the day to do all the things I want to do (or even to accomplish the list of things I should do)!

We did manage to take our first family vacation to the beach last month though! It was Miss D’s first time to the beach, and though it was Mr. D’s second time, he doesn’t remember his first visit (at 18 months old), so it was like his first time too. They loved it! I was just looking at some photos of our visit and was really appreciating this one in particular, which seems to simply say “slow down and enjoy the journey”.

A Beautiful Day for a Hike

It’s been so warm outside! It’s almost impossible to come up with an excuse to NOT be out there. Last week the four of us went to a nearby park that has a small network of trails. My son LOVES this sort of thing. He loves to lead the way while we follow. My daughter also enjoys being out in the woods, but we’re usually slow to get our act together on the weekends and we didn’t get to the trails until almost lunchtime, which is always followed by a nap for my daughter. So, she was starting to fade and we had to carry her much of the way. (I confess, part of me really looks forward to when we drop that afternoon nap!)

Of course, I had to bring my camera (much to my husband’s dismay, who said “Next time we go hiking, no camera!”) I guess I’m just not smooth enough with it to not let it slow us down. But I know if I hadn’t taken it, I would have been wishing I had. So, it’s always better if I take it along… “just in case”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It wasn’t long after we set off that my daughter asked to be carried. (Why do I always forget to bring that Ergo?) We took turns carrying her, but she got a special treat when Daddy put her on his shoulders.

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Everybody follow while big brother leads the way!

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The hikers share the trails with horses and their riders, so much of the trails are a bit muddy and heavily trodden, with horse “droppings” for us to dodge along the way. It’s not bad, but you do have to watch where you step. Little sister was happier walking in the drier stretches.

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But she still wanted at least a little help getting around some of the muddy spots.

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My son didn’t mind the mud. He was having a blast!

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“Daddy, take a picture of me and D!”

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Hiking around a bend, we came upon a small stream. The kids love to explore streams and big brother’s favorite thing to do is to jump over them.

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“I told you I could jump over it!”

Little D mostly just looked around and watched with curiosity…

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At one point she was mesmerized by a large pile of horse doody on the trail.

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I’m not sure what she spotted overhead, but it must have been interesting!

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A little wooden bench along the trail makes for a nice break and photo-op. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Little D started to lose steam, so it was back up on Daddy’s shoulders!

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When we got back to the parking lot, my son insisted that we sit at a picnic bench to have a snack break before heading home. So, that’s what we did. Then we went home for the rest of lunch and nap time.

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We’re really loving this warm weather. However, whenever Mother Nature feels like sending some snow our way… at least enough to pack a few snowballs or make a small snowman… we’re ready. ๐Ÿ™‚

Simple Things Sunday: Temporary Tattoos

Little Buddy LOVES temporary tattoos. Every time we’re at the doctor’s office and he gets to choose something out of the “goodie” cabinet, he goes for the temporary tattoos. We were there the other day and he wanted to apply the tattoo he picked out before we even left the building.

On Friday, after already having one temporary tattoo on his hand, he asked where we had more. (We usually have a few sitting around, from doctor’s visits, holidays, or parties at preschool.) We found a small stash of five or six and he decided to put all of them on. Then he beamed proudly at all of his tattoos, most of which were on is legs. It really is the simple things that make us happy, isn’t it?

Simple Things Sunday: Second Birthday and Spray Ground

I posted on Thursday afternoon, the day of my daughter’s birthday, because I was eager to participate in Thursday’s Embrace the Camera link-up. However, my post was premature, as the day wasn’t over. Here is DJ testing the icing on her birthday cake that the four of us shared after supper. She was a little hesitant at first and seemed confused by the two candles on the cake and our singing, but eventually dove right in.

Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet girl!

After dinner a quick shower rolled through and she was having fun watching it through the open door. She even ran out onto the deck for a few moments to play while it rained.

Then she ran back in, looked outside and said “wow! see?”

The next day I took the two of them to a spray ground. DJ was a little nervous about the whole thing, but Mr. D got into it, despite his slow start. Still, neither were running around and getting soaked like the rest of the kids there. It was pretty new for them, though, so perhaps next time they will enjoy it more. I mean, look how fun this is?

Mr. D did finally commandeer this piece of spray equipment. It turned into a series of duels between him and several other kids who took turns sitting on the other spray dome. D had figured out how to plug a few of the holes with his fingers in order to make it spray farther, and he was spraying the kids on the other end while they tried to do the same to him. But their spray dome didn’t work nearly as well. So he was full of devilish giggles. It was funny to watch.

I’m pretty sure their favorite part of the trip to this park was pitching a blanket on the grass and having a snack. DJ even cheered “yay!” when I laid out the blanket. Here’s a sweet photo I got of the two of them enjoying the scenery.

There was a walking/biking trail nearby so after snacks we took a walk. They thought this was so exciting and were happy to lead the way! Don’t they look like they are ready to take on the world together?

We’ll be heading back to this park again very soon… especially if this heat keeps up!

Embrace the Camera: DJ’s Second Birthday

Last year when my baby girl’s first birthday rolled around, I couldn’t bear to not spend the day with her, so I took the day off and had some quality mommy-and-daughter time. This year I wanted to do the same thing. Today is DJ’s second birthday and since she only takes one nap now, we could squeeze a little more in than we dad list year (which wasn’t much except for a little bit of shopping).

We started by visiting the garden store. That was more for mommy, but DJ didn’t mind. After that we went to Bounce-n-Play and spent a couple of hours there, though that might not have been the best choice on mommy’s part because DJ is still a little too small and timid to climb on some of the bounce houses/slides. She had fun in the toddler area, though. We had lunch while we were there. I could tell my girl was getting tired after lunch, so we headed home, stopping on the way for some frozen yogurt at Sweet Frog. We got chocolate frozen yogurt and topped it with cheesecake cubes, strawberries, pretzels, Reese’s pieces, and cookie dough balls. DJ liked the pretzels and Reese’s best.

I didn’t take my camera along (though, I’m regretting it a little) because I didn’t want to lug it around and I wanted to try to just be present and enjoy our time together. I did take several photos with my phone, which aren’t great quality. Here’s a fun little series of photos of me and my girl after our sweet treat.

This is her favorite funny face to make. Isn’t she cute?