Monday, February 23, 2009
Almost finished compost towards the bottom of the pile.
As with everything, the more you involve yourself with a new interest or activity, the more you realize how little you know about that subject. Last year I bought the composter in hopes of making huge batches of it knowing I use at least 1 to 2 yards of it every year to amend my soil. Composting means you take kitchen scraps (plant based scraps) and yard waste - throw it in a big bin - add nitrogen and lime - add water - and wait for decomposition which heats up the pile and makes a nice, rich black organic mulch/fertilizer. Normally, you use one layer of green waste (veggies scraps, lawn clippings) then two layers of brown waste (dried leaves, brown cardboard, shredded wood trimmings). I'm still kind of perfecting the art of that system.
I was lucky that my composter worked and produced a nice topdressing layer of compost for the bed preparation this past week. However, after reading a few gardening blogs and websites, I realize I didn't compost as well as I could have. This year, I'm going to have to reinvent the composting routine. How I'm going to do that - not quite sure - but my system needs to be improved a bit. If you use compost twice a year in your garden, there really is no need to use synthetic fertilizers or chemical controls. No kidding. Sometimes I will soak a shovelful of compost into two gallons of water to make a "compost tea" and use that as a weekly liquid fertilizer and last year it seemed to work.
I've noticed that since I've separated my kitchen/veggies scraps out of the my garbage that my garbage load is much smaller. No kidding. I didn't realize how much I threw away in vegetable trimmings alone. In fact, since I've become a composting nut and recycling guru, I've managed to reduce my garbage can size to the SMALLEST one the garbage company offers. That's right - a family of five (one of them in diapers) uses the same size garbage can as a two family household. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
You may say to yourself - It's February, how can you be working in the garden? May I just tell you right back that I was going MAD inside the house and finally went out and started digging in mid-January. Most of what I do in winter is hardscaping stuff, clearing debris from the yard, and planning everything out.
Our backyard is like a long narrow bowling alley. It has never been properly maintained by previous owners and feels like a dumping ground for children and dog poop. I lived with this all last year mainly because I was postpartum and didn't have any energy to do anything about it. This year, however, Jeremy and I felt inspired. So we dug up a portion of the lawn right off the tiny deck off our kitchen. If it were up to me - we would demolish the deck and pour a concrete patio, but not in the budget this year. So we had a couple of yards of pea gravel delivered for an impromptu patio/firepit area.
This year I want to completely embrace organic vegetable gardening so Jeremy enlarged the existing planting beds - raised them up by a few more inches. He also gave me two new planting beds next to the house since that area has the most awesome southern exposure and it gets super HOT right there - -perfect for most summer veggies.
Then we decided to build up raised planter beds off the fence for landscaping and structure to the yard.
These are the raised beds next to fence - they are encased in shade because of the tall fence, so even though it is a southern exposure backyard, this bed will have mostly shady plants in it.
You see, I love love love to garden. Yes, I'm one of those people. In my opinion you either love it or hate it. My grandparents and mother were/are avid gardeners and somehow that gene got passed along to me. I would call myself an intermediate gardener. I have proven to myself that I can grow things and keep them alive. I know the species names of many plants that you may find in the garden. But still - so much to learn! I'm especially weak in the area of disease and pest control - I know very little about it.
Those who know me in person know that I simply cannot fight the call of dirt. My yard is often packed to the gills with new plants every season. Containers, vegetable gardening, and landscaping seem to be the things I enjoy the most. This new house we moved into is no different than any others. I vowed to only garden in one small section, yet somehow Jeremy and I have dug up and reconfigured most of the yard. So simply for my own garden timeline I'm going to document and talk about what I did "This Week in the Garden". Enjoy!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
*Roll of toilet paper - taken off the holder and thrown in - pratically new and totally ruined
*Floss - my good expensive "Glide" floss
*Cereal bar wrappers
*headphones for an ipod
*pair of safety glasses
And last but not least - 3 Pacifiers - the expensive silicone kind
A few posts ago I commented on how my new little baby/toddler walker loves to throw things in the toilet. Looks like I'm doing a bang-up job of keeping the doors shut to the bathroom. That kid owes me close to $30 this week alone in ruined items. Added bonus: the older boys are afraid of flushing the toilet - you conclude the rest.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
But ultimately if I decide to wear my Victoria's Secret PJs all day or workout clothes to their school, they normally don't notice or care.
Today was a crazy day as usual. Jackson had a robotics class in the morning. Blake had his cousin coming over for the day to play. I've been fighting a nasty cold for a few days. I had to fit Chase's morning nap somewhere in all the activity. So I decided to wear what I wore to bed throughout the morning - A pair of kelly green capri sweatpants (they are actually really cute, just very green), a bright pink VS T-shirt, running shoes, and a white hoodie. I thought I looked preppy and athletic.
Blake could not stop laughing when he saw me run out to the van to begin the morning errands.
"MOM! You're wearing green pants!" And he proceeded to tell me that every time we got out of the car and back in. Looks like I'll have to watch my appearance a bit more since the stature of limitations on bad fashion has run out in my house.
Friday, February 13, 2009
We walk into the program and we were greeted by Jackson's teacher and the school principal. I quietly pulled aside the principal and asked him if he knew someone had parked their car on the entrance sidewalk and he gave me a quizzical look that clearly told me that he did not know that and off he went to clear up the matter.
Jeremy, who had found us seats in the back, shook his head when I got to the seats and whispered, "Tattle tell". Huh?
You see, in our relationship, I'm the one who likes the bend the rules and he is the straight and narrow guy who follows the guidebook to the tee. So it really threw me when he questioned my judgement in telling the principal. I thought it would be a no brainer - I mean if someone is parked on the sidewalk BLOCKING the entrance to the school - thus creating a fire hazard - wouldn't you tell? He still thinks I should have kept my mouth shut, especially when the principal interrupted the kids' program to ask the owner to please move their car off the sidewalk. He told me that for sure the people would know who told on them. Yeah, what's your point? If someone parked their car on the sidewalk in front of Costco's entrance I'm sure he would have the car removed. Who parks a car in front of a school's entrance? Anyway, that's my adventure last night - pretty minor - but none the less you back me up in my tattletelling, right?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Now that he is walking, I have forgotten what it is like to have a little mini almost-toddler walking around. Baby toddlers like to transport and drop. Transport and drop. Transport and drop. So most of your waking hours are spent retrieving and picking up. Retrieving and picking up. For instance, I went into my bathroom yesterday and right before I sat down on the throne I noticed a bottle of children's Ibuprofen in the bowl. Huh? First of all, how did he manage to find a bottle of ibuprofen and second, when was he in here? Moving into my laundry room, I find an empty caramel wrapper and a Berenstein Bears book in an empty laundry basket. Huh? I swore I keep better track of this walking baby. And so it goes.... Everyday I find more and more things relocated around the house. I totally forgot about this one.
Most of the time, I can count on my cousin (Hi Heather) or my friends to warn me on what is to come through their blogs so I will be sure to watch for crayon on the windows and breaking out of the house via step stools and undone deadbolts.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
You seriously forget just how adorable a new walker is. Chase's MO is to walk with his arms straight up in the air with his hands in balled fists. (this video was taken last week - today he started with his arms at shoulder level - wah, he's growing up)
He prefers to walk now instead of any other method of transportation. If he falls, he crawls to someplace he can pull himself up on and then away he goes. I'm still getting used to this whitish/blond object moving at a low level. Several times I think it is the dog, but the dog is black, and that thing is CHASE - it still surprises me.
Lots of updates, lots has happened so let's get started. First, my dizziness. After visiting several doctors and one specialist - they all agreed that I don't have anything wrong with me technically. The ENT specialist thought I was having VESTIBULAR MIGRAINES. All of this a result of stress and fatigue. This third baby sure has put me through the ringer. I dont know if I 100% completely buy this diagnosis, but I have noticed the migraines and dizziness have reduced since visiting the dr. I insisted on an MRI, and I have yet to wait to schedule that appointment. I was so spoiled by healthcare in Seattle - much faster, much more efficient, much better quality. If I notice I'm getting dizzy or the colors on the rug start bouncing or if the rooms seems really bright - I take some migraine meds and wait for the auras to calm down. I've only had to so this twice in the last two weeks. I went in to my midwife's office to get a full panal done on my hormones just to see if they are playing a role in any of my symptoms. Seems way too early in my life to be on any sort of hormone supplementation, but you never know.
Chase started walking (he's now 11 months old) and he's talk, talk, talking right and left. He also started sleeping 12 hours without one wakeup!! Hurray! Sleep and more sleep for me.
No more excuses to not blog anymore so he we go. I'm still working on my attitude and trying to remain positive so time will tell if I accomplish this feat.