Monday, June 29, 2009

Update - June

Well - here are some updates on the kids, the yard, and whatever else I can think of as I type...

Yard - No progress in two weeks! The patio (or soon to be patio/stone paver area) is exactly like I left it two weeks ago when the temperatures rose to 95+ and stayed there. It's just too hot to sit in the boiling sun and work. But this week looks like we may have upper 80's for the highs, so it's back to work. I bought some Corsican Mint and Elvin Thyme to go in between the stones... but I bought it two weeks ago and I've lost most of it due to not planting it. I also have some Creeping Jenny to put back there that's still hanging on in it's store containers... I planted the mint and thyme in pots to try and keep them alive. Hopefully I will have some pictures later this week to show some sort of progress. The veggie garden is growing and growing... I've had about 4 tomatoes and a handfull of green beens... and all the herbs I need. I'm actually thinking of digging out the herbs and moving them to the patio area to give the veggies more room to grow. We'll see.

Kids - Logan is still huge. I need to do a photoshoot soon of both of them (together and separate). Nola is doing really good in her big girl bed. Only when there's thunder do we have a bit of a problem. Logan is starting to use little words... Hi, Papa, Mama, Bye, Ba-Ba (bottle), Gawdt (for "got it"). He is pulling up and standing, moving a little around the furnature but not walkign yet. He's already 10 months old! Two months until he's a year already! Such a big boy!

Other - I have to go to the DMV today to renew my car tags... I hope it goes smoothly.... I hate the DMV (I think there is a previous post on my last experience there, I hope NOT to have another one after today). I guess I don't have much 'other' news....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Girl Bed

Things have gone really well since we converted Nola's crib into a toddler bed. I was terrified of the change (as I usually am with any change) for no reason.

Day One, Friday: Converted the crib before nap time. Nap time was not good. It took us more than two hours to get her to sleep... and with a 3 hour limit on nap time we had to wake her up after 45 min of sleep. I was not looking forward to bed time at ALL! Kirk's mom came by that evening for a visit. Around 7pm we were all sitting around the table on the patio while Nola ran circles around the yard. I was hoping the exercise would ensure better success at bedtime... And in the middle of a casual conversation about summer time visits to Grandma's house Nola ended up asking to go that night. Grandma said yes, a bag was packed and off she went! So no rough evening for Mama, Yeah! But I was a little upset because that was one less evening of getting used to the crib with Kirk home as my backup... (he was off for four days, which was why we planned the crib conversion as we did. oh well)

Day Two, Saturday: Nola was with Grandma through her nap time so we didn't have to deal with bed-escape yet again... but again, one less opportunity to transition with backup on hand. We were so busy all day, and apparently so were Nola and Grandma. She slept for an hour in the car going here and there, but no real nap. When we got home we had the Maue's over for birthday cake and run around the backyard time. They left and we bathed the kids and put them to bed. We've started reading her books on the floor in front of her bed so that there is little to no escape route or distraction before getting directly into bed. There were about 2 exits on her part, one to "tell you someting" and the other to "go pee pees". But she slept in bed the rest of the night (or so I thought)...

Day Three, Sunday: It was after 7am and she wasn't up yet... This is late for Nola. So I went into her room to wake her up, plus I wanted to see her sleeping in her new bed, only to find her asleep on her floor. Not right alongside her bed, but diagonal across the middle of her room. It was cute. I asked her if she fell out and she said no. Later that day she said she had fallen out but that it didn't hurt. I'm pretty sure she wasn't aware that she could just get back in. So we went over that a couple of time. That day there was also no naptime. We had plans to be out and I had planned on her skipping nap time. But bedtime went good again. Books in her room, then into bed. Out only one time, claiming to "haff to go pee pees" and then in for the night (or so I thought)...

Day Four, Monday: It was almost 7:30am again and she wasn't up... So I went in to wake her. She was in her bed! Awweee.. big girl! But after talking to her and praising her for a few min she told me that she did in fact fall out of her bed during the night, but she got back in this time! That day was also the first time we had a real nap time in the big bed, after the first day. She did pretty good. She got up a few times but then stayed in her bed for over an hour sleeping. She only got up when she heard Kirk getting in the shower, it shares a wall with her room. Bed time that night was all me! Kirk was at Aikido class. It wasn't easy but after about 2 extra books, 4 extra stories (the kind I just make up and tell her while she's in bed) and 3 extra songs... she stayed in bed. And it was another successful night (or so I thought)...

Day Five, Tuesday: (actually very late Monday night: 2:30am) Loud booming thunder and a screaming Nola! She didn't get out and come get me, just yelled "MAMA" from her bed. So I spent an hour talking to her, telling her stories, explaining that the thunder wouldn't come in the house and that, no, I couldn't make it be quiet for her so she could fall back asleep. I finally gave in and got a pillow and a blanket and laid down on her floor. Then I heard Kirk awake and traded placed with him. I figured he would get her to sleep within 15 min because the storm was passing... But the next morning when Logan and I woke up they were both on her floor asleep together. Very cute! I let them sleep in. Nap time went good again and bedtime was okay too. She got up again to "go pee pees". And I told myself for the third night in a row, 'ask her to go BEFORE she gets in bed...'

Day Six, Wednesday - Today: Naptime went great. She slept for almost 3 hours! Bedtime was great too. And I remembered to have her go to the bathroom BEFORE she got in bed.... and it worked! She didn't get out of bed at all tonight. Well, not so far...

So overall she has done a great job and I didn't give her enough credit, as usual. It's hard for me to think of her as a real person sometimes... I think of her as a mindless extension of myself. I know that sounds bizarre but that's what she was for so long (I know she had a mind, but you know what I mean). She was an infant, then a baby - no real way to communicate thoughts and opinions and absolutely no self reliance... Now she's human. She walks and talks and even back talks. And she has opinions on things. Things are either 'coool' or they are 'baad'. And she thinks about things... Wow they really do grow up fast. And while I'm really glad I don't have to wipe shit out of her ass anymore, I miss my little baby girl. Good thing I had another baby! GO LOGAN!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden & Patio Update

First, the garden...

Here it was on June 1st:

And here it was on June 12th:

I now have tomatoes growing (I've even picked and eaten 2), tiny green beans, tiny cucumbers, budding bell peppers, giant zucchini and squash plants and even the onions, okra and watermelon plants are coming along nicely. The herb section is doing great. I need to remove some zucchini and squash plants before they take over the herb garden....

And then we have the patio (or stone garden as I will call it if it turns out nicely).

This is a before shot (again). I have one paver placed in the bottom right corner:

This shot has the first row, or step, placed and leveled... and my back breaking progress of leveling out the rest of the space:

Here it is, all level and ready to be made into something pretty!

Second row set in! And the rest of the pavers in their places:

And I did set about two more rows of pavers before quitting that day. Then the next day I set a few more stones and shoveled most of the excess dirt to another area of the yard because there was a chance of rain and I didn't want it all back in the paver area....

Today the rain came... Oh did the rain come! It rained and rained and rained. I went out to see my lovely patio area turned into a waterfall! Of course I grabbed the camera and took some shots.... Here is the down pour:

It's like a waterpark!

It was really rushing into the main patio from the paver area and the driveway.... how sad....

Still raining, but not a down pour here... You can see that the water had made more work for me when the time comes to get back to work... BUT the pavers I set in are still there and level. I even went out later and walked on them and they feel very sturdy. I will just have to dig out the back row or so... But over all it wasn't as much destruction as I thought it would be when the water was pouring over the sides.

So hopefully we will have a few dry days in the near future for me to finsih this up and get some things planted between the stones... I have some Corsican Mint waiting for me at the Farmer's Market next Saturday so I hope to plant-ready by then. And I will cross my fingers that planting will stop some of the waterfall affect we saw today....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Escape Artists

Tonight was a combination of bad luck, a bad mood, and BAD timing! Tonight sucked!

First of all, let me just say it all started with really good chocolate. Cayce came over this afternoon with some mighty fine chocolate. With Kirk's help, the three of us finished off the box. So at dinner time I wasn't hungry. I made the kids some dinner and planned on eating by myself around 8:15 once they were in bed.

So bedtime rolls around and Logan is super tired and cranky. Cranky, tired babies are the worst to get to sleep - the more tired they are, the worse it is. This is a cruel and unusual punishment to parents everywhere. On top of his bad mood he was sick for a few days and has been slightly spoiled by being held too long at bedtime. The past few times I've put him to bed I've had to let him cry himself to sleep (which thankfully had topped out at around 5-10 min). Logan has also learned to pull himself up into a standing position around the house. Tonight, after the couple nights of crying and pulling up onto his knees in his crib, he learned how to stand at the rails. For those of you without crib knowledge this means he can fall out. Until we lower his mattress to the lower level (which I can't do alone and certainly not at 8pm). We were goign to do that today but Kirk was sick and I forgot... So there was no 5 min of crying and then a sleeping baby... it was a matter of making sure he was sound asleep before putting him to bed. That did not happen. Every time I laid him down he would scream and pop up to a standing position. I tested him a little by walking away and watching what he would do... and damned if he didn't lean over. So I couldn't leave him... I wasn't too sure what I was going to do.

But as I was holding my screaming baby and thinking about my options I felt a splash on my feet... then I felt it go down my arm and the side of my shirt... He puked all over me. But then he was silent... What's a mom to do? I stood there with foul smelling vomit on me and kept rocking him. He finally fell asleep! And as I was bouncing and swaying over to his crib I heard a noise. What the hell was that? Then in runs Nola (who should be confined to her own crib in her own room!) saying, "Mama! I'm awake!" Logan wakes up, of course and I was scared shitless! I didn't expect her to be out of her bed. She's never before (until tonight) climbed out of her crib. What horrible timing that she figured it out the same night Logan did! I swear they conspire against me!

After putting her back in bed, not once but twice, and having Logan absolutely refuse to sleep without the threat of taking a flying leap onto the floor I went and found the pack n' play. Nola was in her bed with the threat of a severe spanking coming her way if she got out again and Logan was screaming bloody murder on the floor as I set up his temporary bed. I finally got the stupid thing set up, picked him up to calm him down a little before abandoning him in it, and I heard Nola's door knob turning. That crazy child was out again! I was ready to shush her at the doorway when I heard her open her door, take off her diaper and go into the bathroom to pee. I was furious with her... but really proud at the same time because that meant her potty training was basically complete at that point. I put Logan down before she could get into the room, assuming he would start to cry and I was cool with that. I figured a few min. of crying where he couldn't break his neck and he would be out cold... But the little bastard just looked up at me and closed his eyes. He was out.

I ushered Nola back to her room, put her diaper back on and convinced her that she could not get out again. I told her (which is true and was already planned) that tomorrow she was getting her big girl bed. Why couldn't she have just waited one more night!? And tomorrow we will also be lowering Logan's mattress first thing!

Now, I'm on the computer because I'm not about to turn the TV on and tempt the fate of my sleeping children. And I'm eating popcorn to silence my growling stomach (cause I totally missed out on dinner). I think my massive headache is subsiding due to the intake of food... This sucks. I'm not ready for the 2 1/2 year old to have free reign of the house at night. Or nap time! Shit! I didn't even think of nap time... I really hope nap time works tomorrow. I'm going to bed.

This is a picture from the morning, just awake and still in jammies, having milk and a bottle, watching some good ole Blues Clues together... before they caught the freedom bug and conspired to become escape artists.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Project in the Yard

We removed the old shed from the front corner of the back yard. It left a 9 x 8 foot square of dirt and sand. So I feel obligated to do something more than just throw out some grass seed and expand our yard. We have enough lawn, we don't need 9 more feet of it. Here is the empty space that will hopefully become a really pretty new area of the yard.

There were concrete pave stones under the old shed and in various other spots in the yard... so I'm going to reuse those and try to create a patio of sorts. In trying to keep with my mostly free landscaping I don't want to have to buy any more so it will not be a solid floor. Here is my idea for the design, roughly laid out:

(the first row of pavers is already set and level, making a first step up to the new area)

Here is a view from back in the yard, towards the house. You can see it's a big ole mess! I would like to add a trellis and some flowering plants to grow up it on the fence by the trash cans. Also to hide the yard from the driveway side and the driveway from the yard side. Maybe some other pretty plants and flowers along the fence and a birdbath or statue of some kind...

Here is the pattern a little closer up. Obviously the area isn't level yet and the stones need to be lined up just right. I plan on planting something low growing between the stones so it will all be level and walkable...

So that's my new project. I think I will cry over this backyard when we eventually do move.... Oh well, I like to do things out there and it will look so much better when it's all done.... IF it ever gets all done! I will keep pictures coming as the project comes along.