Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let It Grow

I have been busy getting the teaching garden up and growing in the back forty. The kids are tolerating it with unprecedented aplomb - something about the mix of digging, dirt, snails, and orderly square-foot gardening inspires them. That, and many, many popsicles. If you walk through our yard, you'll encounter a path that invites you through into the meadow. A buddy rototilled a patch of our 8 acre meadow for a garden. I've managed to put in six 4' raised beds planted in the square foot companion gardening tradition featuring a mix of already started plants and seeds mostly donated by our beloved Noona.We'll have beans, peas, pumpkins, basil, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, carrots, and salad greens. Or not. They are coming, but with tons of rain, little sun and dogs who run through regularly [I totally haven't gotten up the fence yet] we'll be happy with whatever green things choose to take root. And what a sense of accomplishment! My son is learning to touch baby green tomatoes with ONE FINGER and how to plant seeds. My daughter, the lover of all things orderly, is quite keen to weed all living things out of the beds - I have to monitor her closely or she'll kill all our veggies along with the opportunistic weeds. That's her below saying "WEED!!!"

Behold the glory. Purple garden fairy is a lovely extra, eh?

The kitchen potager in the immediate yard is also coming nicely, filled with herbs, flowers and overflow veggies.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Finally, 2 hours after bedtime started. Has anyone noticed how little blogging has been going on? Bedtime has been, um, let's not even talk about it.

Homestead Mama's father is visiting with his wife. They are staying in the guest house, which is their 41' RV parked in our driveway, bump-outs out, awnings up, the whole experience. He can be seen at all hours strolling shirt-less around the property walking his 3 tiny dogs. This morning I had to remove some towels from under my windshield wipers which had apparently been put there to dry. We are going ghetto, my friends. Sadly, they will be driving their guest house elsewhere tomorrow morning and H-Mama will go back to work. It will be nice to get back to normal.

I finished getting the gardens in. I'll post pictures when I can make it all the way into the backyard without getting caught in a thunderstorm. I also have close to 3 gallons of strawberry & rhubarb stewed up to turn into sauce and jam and fruit leather. Busy busy! This is the summer of a pressure canner, so I can put up tomato sauce, home made ketchup - does anyone else think store bought is too sweet? - and I've already got many packets of basil pesto in the freezer, one of my favorite things to break out when snow is on the ground. I need a bigger larder, clearly.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


I encountered this fabric in the children's section at JoAnn Fabric. I tried to put it away in the correct section, but couldn't locate the gay porn shelf.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Current Best Thing

He pores over his truck book constantly. He sleeps with it. It is his best thing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cute Now, But Just Wait

Ever since Pequita started eating solid food, when we offer her another bite before she is ready she opens her mouth wide to show us that thank you, no, her mouth is occupied. Monito jumped right on this bandwagon with glee. Mostly, it has been useful as we know their intentions very clearly - quite the blessing with two kids spending most of their time in Tantrum Town. I wistfully took pictures of this the other day, though, as I can see the day coming when they'll just say 'no thank you'. I am well aware that this is one of those crazy things only a mother loves, but here you go - a full on view of my kids' train crashes. (And Auntie Kiko, if you teach them that little game you have to feed them til they turn 18.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just for the Record

If I wean the kids and DON'T get pregnant? I will be heartbroken and may not forgive...something...whatever is handy.

I am not ready to wean my 2 and 2 3/4 year old kids. NOT READY. When they ask and I give them ten seconds, counted down, so they feel the connection without causing let-down? INSUFFICIENT. Kills me every time. Just for the record.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

I suppose there is such a thing as TOO MUCH Winnie the Pooh, but we read it every night to put the babes to sleep. We also watch the dvd once a week or so. This has left me humming the songs and quoting the text. Super! I used to be able to toss off lines of poetry or insert a timely pun into a conversation. Now I can't stop saying, "Tut tut, it looks like rain!"

Holy cow, but the rain is intense. All day for the last few days, hard and driving or soft and fun to play in. We played in the house yesterday until the kids were ready for naps; lots of forts and tunnels and legos. Then, according to the master plan, we were going to end the browsing phase and actually buy our wedding rings. Since our regular babysitter, Auntie Kiko, was busy jumping out of a plane, we drove them to sleep and parked right next to the door of the local lesbian-owned jewelry store, left Burl Ives playing and the engine running for vibration, and darted inside to have a second visit with the wedding rings Homestead Mama selected on our first, rushed visit.

The kids love visiting the jewelry store - so many glass cases upon which to smear their hands, tall display cases to make shake and wobble, and two super nice clerks who get down on the carpet and play with them. There is a one-eyed coiled snake made of faux pearls that we named Pippi [we name everything Pippi] and I made up a story about how she lost her eye to a frisky mongoose in India. As much as we love that version of shopping, it was nice to be child-free, hold hands and make moony eyes at each other while we pondered a wedding ring. She finally selected a beautiful band ring with some modest but sparkly diamonds. The artist thinks he can get it back to us before we go on vacation to Martha's Vineyard, where we intend to have a tiny - the kids and us - ceremony. I will be using my grandmothers ring which my mother graciously and kindly agreed to hand down to me for the occasion. I have loved it always and am really thrilled to be able to use it as my wedding ring. Homestead Mama is having a new plain band made for me to accompany it; she will pair her new ring with her grandmother's simple platinum wedding band. We'll each have something old, something new.

Home again after shopping, we had to get really creative with activities to keep the kids happy. I pulled out the mosquito net found at the thrift store for $4 and attached it to the hooks in the ceiling where we swing in the winter. Oh, my goodness this was a hit. Some pillows underneath and voila, almost an hour of joy.

After tubby, stories and the requisite chapter of Pooh, I retired downstairs to perfect my Ruby June recipe. I found my vintage glasses and enjoyed a taste of sunshine as the deluge continued.

I woke up this morning at 5 when Monito starts rooting around for attention and realized that perhaps it would behoove me to actually find someone to marry us and make an appointment so we can go through with this next month.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Direct Quote

"Messy Foxy!"


Here is the fabric I have chosen to reupholster my thrift store wingback chair in. 'Graphic Mum' by Heather Bailey. Total folly to spend the time and money to do this in a light weight fabric, but I just can't find another fabric I like as much. Maybe I'll firm it up with light interfacing, or quilt it to muslin. Because I have all that extra time to fill, you know. And this is officially why my renovation is going so slowly.

Ruby June

According to a link on Soule Mama, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs classifies alcohol as "a maternal medication usually compatible with breastfeeding". Hear, hear. She offers a new rhubarb & tequila recipe called the 'Ruby June'.

Drinks at the Homestead tonight, anyone? I've got 5 lbs of rhubarb on my counter that doesn't stand a chance of becoming pie now. And to think, I ordered an additional 15 lbs of rhubarb from my CSA this past Wednesday before I even considered mixing it with tequila! How fortuitous. I've got JUST the vintage glasses to drink this in.

Monday, June 15, 2009


My baby boy, he turned two on Sunday. It was a glorious sunny day, and we invited a few friends over to celebrate at 10 am. Monito was pretty jazzed up and took off downstairs early. He remembered Christmas enough to know what to do with the wrapped gifts he found in the living room - I heard ripping and raced in with the camera just in time to see his face when he opened the wooden tow truck and tractor trailer. Utter joy and lots of vrroomming ensued. The zones we've created in the yard worked beautifully - it handled 25 adults and 6 kids with no fighting or crowding. At the last minute, Monito decided against having a garbage truck on his cake, and requested a front loader bucket: indigestion narrowly averted. He wore his beloved I Stink shirt to honor trash removers instead. I made a German chocolate three-layer cake, and followed a recipe for an easy-to-pipe frosting which performed beautifully. He was very happy with his green digger cake.
We partied with friends all morning. There was sandbox and gravel pit fun, swing set frolic, tag and chase - good for nap-prep, naked swimming, naked sliding, naked peeing-in-the-yard, and then NAP.
While my parents were visiting, the kids wanted to sneak in and wake them up each morning and from each nap to get in some snuggling. Grandparents didn't miss the sleep as they were so busy wallowing in the charming babies.

After naps, our friend Noona brought her 3 boys over and there was much more vigorous play. Wagon-pulling, bocce, sprinkler-jumping, and popsicles in the tent. My kids love having the big boys around, and the adults enjoyed an opportunity to ease up on the hypervigilence and drink a few beers. The evening ended around the campfire, roasting hot dogs and s'mores. The kids were pretty worn out towards the end of the evening.We may start a Sunday evening campfire tradition for the summer because it was so much fun. Late to bed but it was well worth it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Four is a Crowd

Pequita is going through some kind of developmental shift. That is a kind way of saying that she screamed like her fingernails were being pulled out last night as I tried to leave her bedroom after an hour of reading, nursing, and singing. She scaled her crib twice when I tried to put her in it since she refused to stay laying down in her big girl bed. Finally I left her screaming "don't leave, mommy" in between great raspy sobs and went downstairs to where grandpa was holding her whimpering brother to try to put him back to sleep. I could hear her leave her bed, and the screaming stopped. I was hoping she was snuggled in a cozy place and not at the desk beginning her tell-all memoir. Homestead Mama went up to her 10 minutes later and found her on the top stair, having scaled the baby gate. I heard her tiny voice say "I big girl, Mama, no cry". Then I cried because the whole thing was so draining, and I never know if we're putting her through all this 'sleep training' for nothing. All I want is for her to go to sleep in her own bed somewhat by herself.

Today was a wonderful 2nd birthday for Monito. We had a nice group of people to celebrate with us, and the kiddie pool, sandbox, swingset, toys and yard were all in hot rotation. We ended the day with a family cook out, hot dogs and s'mores over the campfire. All day I was dreading a repeat of last night. I let Pequita have her village help her get to sleep - Mama and I stayed with her the whole time, and grandma read a chapter of Winnie the Pooh, and was followed by grandpa singing a medley of Stephen Foster songs. Both Pequita and Mama are asleep in Monito's toddler bed; Monito was asleep in his crib an hour ago. Why can't kids come with a manual? How can I allow a kid to need four adults in the room for her to go to sleep? [Insert sigh of futility.]

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"...But When She Looked, The Cupboard Was Bare"

Well, I am on day 13 of this cycle with no egg follicles visible despite a rather vigorous wanding at the RE's this morning. (Wheeeee!). FSH is a solid 5, so no obvious problems with ovulatory function. This means that it is probably time to wean the kids. Damn it. Monito will hate it, but he spends a lot of our nursing time with his pacifier in his mouth and my breast pressed lovingly between his soft cheek and his beefy little hand. Pequita, on the other hand, actively nurses all the time. She has no other soothing items, and always asks to nurse when her brain is fried or she is overwhelmed. This will be a hard time for her to give it up - she is in a rough phase and is manic and frazzled a lot these days. My parents arrived yesterday for the birthday weekend - maybe having grandma and grandpa here to offer extra loving arms will help. Since Homestead Mama is still lactating a bit, maybe her supply will pick up and she can fill in a bit more when she's home. It is bittersweet to imagine passing on the role of Most Favored Supplier. She'll arrive home from work and the kids will fall upon her, grabbing at her legs and pulling on her clothes crying for boob, like zombies hungry for brains. This is what I've lived with for 2 years, being the over-producing primary supplier. Maybe they'll pick it back up after the next is born (pthuh pthuh) (spitting to ward off evil).

So I'll start torturing the children today and try again next cycle. Sigh. Um, I mean RAH! RAH! Bring it on!

Say No More

Friday, June 5, 2009


I'm wondering if it is possible that I do too much, expect too much of myself, put too much pressure on myself. (I can hear the resounding Yes! even through the internet.) Since I have WAY too much to do, it feels like I am never doing enough.

I had breakfast with Auntie Kiko this morning and while doing nothing in particular my back started twinging. She gently forced me to take care of myself right then on the spot - thanks, Kiko. She led us over to her chiropractor who fit me right in, and she played with the kids while I was treated. I am not a huge fan of chiropractic treatment, but I am so much less a fan of back spasms while caring for two toddlers. I WILL go back at least a few more times and see if it helps.

I haven't identified my usual focus points this birthday, and since it was a decade birthday (yay, 40) it is all the more important that I do this. Focus points are my version of resolutions. Every year I pay attention to where I need personal growth, and figure out how to get it done. Call it hokey, but it works for me. I think that finding a way to make time for myself daily and getting myself to where I need to be physically will be it this year. Meditation practice and fitness building are it. I spend a lot of time frazzled by the kids in general, and trying to have a third (!?!?!) won't alleviate that very much. I do not come by a quiet mind naturally, but I've found that my addictive personality latches itself just as willingly onto meditation as it does the less constructive behaviors.

And if I don't get healthy an fit now, then when? The sooner I lose the extra 40 lbs I carry around the better. I was playing with the kids and wanted to show them some fancy moves on the jungle gym, and, uh, not so easy to dangle and frolic with FORTY extra lbs pulling on me. I am really strong now, I can carry 70+ lbs of wiggly toddler up the stairs but how much nicer to have an easier time of it.

I am not carving out enough time for myself in general, but specifically I need to whip my core strength back/abs into shape. There is a 6am hot bikram yoga class that I fantasize about going to, but so far haven't made the leap of faith/ time/ brevity/ effort to start going. I usually get back into shape on my own in private before publicly exercising. Taking my out-of-shape butt to a class which would be, for at least a month, very very difficult would be out of character.

And so, today I open myself to it. All of it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


This post *was* titled "Are. You F-ing Kidding Me?" but I toned it down. I was awakened from a sound sleep by the chemically toxic, nauseating smell of direct skunk hit. I waited for it to leave my bedroom- hey, sometimes a skunk walks by outside the window and it wafts in. It only got stronger. I finally peeled the kids off me and went to investigate. H-Mama is sitting downstairs on the couch reading and watching Heroes on DVR (cause I don't like it). She arrived home from her late softball game after the rest of us went to sleep. In response to my gagging query about the odor she asked. "Oh, you can smell it?".

The smell is so thick upstairs I actually feel ill. I've opened windows, put a fan on, and taken a Benedryl to help my brain get me to sleep despite the stench and the fury of so careless a decision as to let 2 digs into the house stinking like this. (Fury = I must say, I hate to be awakened, and have oodles if trouble getting back to sleep under the best of circumstances.) It is 11pm, we haven't got the ingredients required to deskunkify the dogs or their beds - I've placed both out on the porch for tomorrow and hope the dogs will keep from barking all night. I'll have to deal with it after she's gone to work Friday, with 2 toddlers wanting to help and with 2 nights of sleeplessness under my belt. Sigh.

If you have dogs. Commit this to memory and stock up:

1 bottle 3% hydrogen peroxide

1/4 c baking soda

1 ts dish soap

Mix, dilute with water slightly and scrub, keeping away from eyes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I had a nice G&T to lay the last cycle to rest and kick off the next. Back to Syracuse tomoorow for more monitoring. Really, its a good thing. The kids have missed the carousel in the mall near the docs office.

*big fat negative