Babies in the Garden {p,h,f,r}

Leila Lawler is suggesting showing shots of our gardens-in-progress for today’s link-up, and so that’s what I’m gonna do! I also feel that I need to capture the garden in its as-yet still untouched growing glory– I know the deer are watching and waiting to devour and ruin our work. They’ve lobbed off at least 5 beautiful little bush bean tops, but some of them have bravely started re-growing. And then my dad lent us some super-smelly anti-deer spray, and (fingers crossed) it is working (so far).

Let’s start with the front bed, right below our dining room windows:

What you see is a TON of lettuce, that we originally planted WAY long ago (I think like early March!) as a cold-weather crop. It survived the randomly super cold spring, and we have much more lettuce than we can eat at this point. The empty spot at the end is where we planted our butterfly/bird flower garden (a mix that will hopefully attract lovely things like hummingbirds, finches, butterflies, etc.). There’s a dahlia at the end that our neighbor gave us, but those buds never seem to want to actually bloom into flowers. Maybe it gets too much sun??  Then an absurdly tall stalk of cilantro that requires assiduous pruning since it keeps wanting to bolt and seed. But at least we have fresh cilantro this year!! We also got two pink hydrangeas from Aldi’s for $10 each, which was a steal, and one of these days we (meaning Tom) will have a few seconds to dig up the clay-ey soil right in front of the bed, and plant those and mulch around it. So far, they’ve seemed pretty happy  in their pots though, and have bloomed considerably since we bought them.

Next, the raised beds:

 

Oh look, a TON of weeds, 3 squash (of the 8, I think, Tom planted) and then 3 volunteer tomatoes! Hooray for volunteers! We will put actual tomato seedlings in the empty (well, except for all the dang weeds) space in the back, and maybe some heat-tolerant spinach underneath, shaded by the tomatoes. We’ll see.

The next bed has bush beans, 2 rows of them, and you can see in the close-up that they will be multi-colored, some purple, some green, which will be really fun! Then a bunch of carrots, which may or may not survive being consistently pulled up by Lucy before they’re ready.

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The last little bed is just cucumbers, and hopefully, they don’t get demolished by deer like last time. (Also, what the weeds! We reallyyyyy need to weed. And we really do not have time! All that rain has made our lawn/weeds/invasive crazy vines just take over our yard and gardens).

And of course, we’re still growing these:

(I can’t believe how much Maeve has started resembling Tom of late. Is that not his face, right there, in miniature (and on a girl baby?))

I tried setting up the sprinkler for the girls last week when it was blazing hot and thought that this year they’d both finally be into it (Lucy was a little timid last year, while Lena put her face right in it and loved it). Surprisingly, Lena was TERRIFIED of the spray of water and screamed, “IT’S WET!!!” in the most surprised, injured tones every time the water touched her.

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Preparing for the sprinkler to pass over…

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…andddd reaction. Lucy smartly turns head away, while Lena screams right through it.

So, I guess we’ll have to dig out the kiddie pool.

Hopefully, I will be back soon with something other than pictures and captions. This week has been particularly cuh-razy as Tom is both wrapping up his school year/grades/summer camp prep AND starting grad school that is over an hour away, four days a week. The kids haven’t seen him very much this week, nor have I really, but next week he should be home more in the mornings and early afternoons, and (please, dear God!) I’m hoping Maeve will start napping better (or at all, really) during the day too. Feel free to send up any prayers you want to for us during the late afternoon or early evening witching hour/dinner/bedtime…doing it solo with all three is no joke! However, I really can’t complain, as military and medical residents’ wives have it so much harder. Teach me your ways, brave women! (Seriously. Leave me advice if you are one!).

Hope you have a wonderful, non-humid weekend!

 

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Ready for Fall (goodbye September!)

What’s up, world? We’re just over here, doing our usual, and getting a little a lot excited for fall’s recent tip-toe into our neighborhood. (Does anyone else get inordinately pumped about switching out most of the summer wardrobe for fall’s?? Or is that just me?).

I feel that over the last couple weeks, we’ve finally reached the point where our daily lives have some semblance of a predictable rhythm. Since Lena has officially and forevermore dropped her morning nap (for better or worse), it means we can actually have a bit of a schedule.

It’s nice to know we wake up at roughly the same time every morning, give or take 15-20 minutes, have the whole morning for breakfast, clean-up, second breakfast (Lena), and outside time or a short outing somewhere before the lunch/nap flurry. And since Lena’s only napping once, the girls’ naps overlap almost all the time now, which is the game-changer. I think the hardest thing about two little ones is having one go down to nap and the other one wake up 20 minutes later, leaving you in a deeply desperate place of no time alone whatsoever. So this is nice. And then the afternoons are good for walks, more outside play, or whatever the girls like to do in terms of destroying playing inside. I won’t go into the Witching Hour that follows, but I’m happy to emerge every evening with (most of) my sanity intact and something edible to serve for dinner.

For the end of our summer, before Tom had to return to work and the craziness that is September for teachers, we did a few fun summery family things like…

A humid afternoon in Georgetown, where we took the girls to the park where we got engaged

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Still got the fat rolls on her thighs. Love it! And check out what the humidity does to those curls!

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Not sure Lucy understood our explanation of, ‘This is the gazebo where Daddy asked Mommy to marry him…” etc.

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What a difference 3.5 years makes!

A couple of local nature centers, replete with as many turtles, frogs, snakes and even OWLS a toddler could possibly want:

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A lot of popsicles and outside play:

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Her favorite spot: INSIDE the flower bed…

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And some sisterly bonding over breakfast:

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And after tragically/stupidly forgetting to reserve some sourdough starter a few weeks ago before making my loaves, we went a few weeks with no homemade bread. The stuff is so, so delicious, and I’d managed to keep my starter alive and thriving for over 1.5 years. Thankfully, I’d given a stranger in my farm coop some extra a few months ago, and she paid it forward/back by giving me back some of her extra. All is now right with the kitchen again.

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A Walk in the Park

Life with two under two is often chaotic. We find ourselves at the end of the day, bone-weary and ready to pass out. Most of our weekends these days are filled with the new responsibilities of owning and upkeep of the house. Suffice it to say, we haven’t had many opportunities to do relaxing things together as a family. Sometimes, though, that’s exactly what we need, and if we schedule it in and plan it out a little in advance, it might actually happen! So we did that last weekend, in our desire not to miss out on the beauty of the outdoors in fall.

We drove to Great Falls National Park on Sunday afternoon, after naps were over, and with a few precious hours of daylight left. Apparently, lots of other people had the same idea as we did, and we spent almost 15 minutes in a line of cars to get into the park. But it was worth it! We let Lucy walk, since we chose a gentle trail. She loved it! There were dogs galore and little gravel pebbles on the trail to capture her attention/make us stop every .5 seconds. Everyone passing us (since everyone had to pass us to go at a normal pace) smiled at the little red-headed pixie who was happily bounding down the trail.

The weather was crisp, just as it should be at autumn’s zenith around here. Lucy got to see her first waterfall and play peek-a-boo with a pair of baby squirrels. It was what I think Sundays were made for– time together that isn’t harried or task-focused; a time to stop and notice the glories of our world and enjoy each other, gifts that we are in each other’s lives. No, life’s not always a walk in the park right now, but on Sundays like this, it can be.

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