Saturday, June 25, 2011

In love with zinnias

Yes, I am posting about my garden again, but hey- it is what I have going on in my life right now, other than potty training, and who wants to hear more yucky stories?(not me for one).
We started picking cucumbers this week- so far we have picked five, and there are about eighty-two more on the vine. Looks like I need to learn how to pickle.
The butternut squash plants have decided that the yard is not big enough and are making a run for the street.

I guess we won't even need to set up a roadside stand- people can just pick a few up as they walk to work.

My Zinnias have been the biggest pleasant surprise for me this year. I wasn't planning on planting them- I was looking for something more like a daisy, but couldn't find any on the little spinny rack thing in the store and zinnias looked sort of like them, so I grabbed a pack and threw them in the ground. Steve and I have been amazed at the variety and color of these flowers- they were not a flower my mom ever planted (that I remember) so they seem new to me.

Every day we bring in another one that we decide is our favorite. And they are so bright and cheerful. I love how God can make colors so bright without being too loud and tacky. If someone tried to to combine a similar group of colors in something man made, it would only look garish. And they are a great cutting flower. They last almost two weeks in a vase without wilting.

I also cracked up when the boys brought this bouquet to me today- two of them in their undies- one completely naked. That is also what I have going on in my life right now.

So all in all, the dandelions were sweet,

But I like zinnias better(and they make a handy cover-up too)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And to think I was worried....

...that our garden wouldn't grow.

Remember this?

And this?

Give it a few months, some humid weather and a lot of sun and you get this

Boy Howdy, has this been a learning experience.
Lesson # 1
Basil thrives in pots, not so much in the garden proper.
(I have four more pots of this- pesto anyone?)

Lesson # 2
Sunflowers really do get to be twelve feet tall

Lesson # 3
Never, ever underestimate the growing power of squash and tomatoes. I think we are going to need to open up a roadside stand.

Lesson # 4
Always plant some flowers along with the vegetables- there is nothing like the joy of seeing your own flowers bloom and filling vases with them.

All in all, we have had a blast doing this- the peas and beans have already been harvested, and we are looking forward to the first tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash. Gardening also gets you to try new veggies that you never thought you would eat. Who knew turnip greens could be so good? (well, simmered in cream and bacon anyway)
It is a lot of work, but the rewards are so great- such a sense of accomplishment and all the wonder that comes from watching a tiny seed explode with so much life. And now, does anyone know what to do with spaghetti squash?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Warning- Graphic potty training story ahead

So I have been potty training Seb this month. It is a bit early perhaps (he will be three in September) but summertime is the best time to do it, and I really didn't want to wait another year.
He has actually been doing great- at least with the potty part. The other part, not so much. He has managed to evade my notice every single day for two weeks to do his business in a private corner somewhere, and I was getting pretty sick and tired of hearing James announce that Seb had pooped on the rug again. So tonight we were determined. Steve put him on his potty seat and I told him he was not getting up until he had done his business in the right location.
Then I went off to do something or other that needed doing. Actually, I must be honest here- I was watching some Netflix. I know, nice mothering right? I was planning on checking on him in a moment of course, just as soon as the next scene was over. Well, I heard some crying, but I figured he could sit it out for a minute or two. The crying got louder and Steve went to check. I heard him start to laugh, which in my opinion, is never a good sign when potty training is involved.
I peeked around the door and was startled to see Etienne standing in front of Seb, who was happily sitting on the toilet still. Etienne was weeping copiously and it took me a minute to realize that he had pooped all over the floor. Poor baby. He had run to the toilet in an emergency, only to find his little brother in the way, and his mother totally ignoring his cries for help. He was so embarrassed he had tried to clean it up himself which only made things much worse. I will spare you a picture.
Sigh. I know these days will be over before I know it, but when they are happening, they seem like the days that never end. Sorry if this has grossed anyone out, but I had to vent somewhere and I did warn you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

What is it....

...about babies wrapped in bath towels?


My oldest turned six over the weekend. Six feels to me like over the hill for childhood. We are definitely out of babyhood and firsts- no more first steps, or first bike rides, or first girlfriends- wait, I guess we aren't quite done with all of the firsts. But it feels like it sometimes. He even finished his first year of school last week! How on earth did that happen? How do I now have a boy who asks if I can leave the light on a little longer at bedtime to finish a book that he is reading?

We had a fun little party- pirate themed, per latest obsession, with three of his favorite people over to play for the day (handily enough, they are all from the same family :)

We had a very short water fight and tons of time on the slip and slide, since it was ninety-five degrees out.

We had a pirate-ship cake (I went a little overboard on the cake this year, pun intended) and made homemade ice cream.

Then we played for hours with the pirate ship grandma gave him, with cannons that really fire plastic cannon balls- what more could you ask for?

Happy birthday James, my first.