24 June 2009


We have already discussed Beeb's dire need for hairstyling products, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he took matters into his own hands. The process went thusly:

1. Flip open cap

2. Pour into hand

3. Apply to hair

4. Snap lid shut

5. Wait about a nanosecond

6. Repeat over and over and over and over and...

The only catch? He was using Dr. Scholl's peppermint scented foot lotion. You could smell him a mile away. I think we may finally have to give in and get him a container of gel or mousse. Oh, and dude? The hairstyling would be more effective if you applied it to BOTH sides of your head.

15 June 2009

Garden Update

I can hardly believe it, but at least some parts of the gardening effort are thriving! The front porch tomato plant (with buds!) and its friend, Bean's pink snapdragon:

Four little pumpkin hills with almost vines (instead of just big leaves sticking out of the ground):

The garden with no longer free-range tomatoes (into the cage with ye!) and a lovely (except for holes in the green...darn buggies) row of radishes. There are some tiny beets intermixed, but I'm not sure they will survive radish harvesting. There is the odd fluff of carrot greens in the carrot row. I don't know if they are just slowpokes or if someone is dining on them.

The herb plots appear to be kind of a bust so far except for one little lonely fluff of cilantro:

Again, they may just be slowpokes, so I'm not writing them off yet. And, finally, our newest addition Hin II, a sungold tomato plant in a Topsy-Turvy. I thought we would give it a shot since we really didn't have another place for out new tomato plant!

So far the poor thing is trying to do gymnastics to get right-side-up. Hopefully, it will bow to the inevitable and give in to gravity. I'm considering this an experiment...I'm curious to see how it comes out!

13 June 2009

Little brother

Can you tell how much this little guy wants to be *just* like his big brother? This picture doesn't show it, but he wants to be just like his big sister, too. He watches both of them like a little scientist making important scientific observations and imitates them and tries to join in whatever they are doing. It's adorable, but baby dude? I know you want to be a big kid in the worst way, but can you stay a baby for a while for Mama's sake?

We have been enjoying the spring weather as much as we can. Just this past week, we spent parts of two days at parks, we walked to the library on Wednesday, and we went to an open house at our new CSA. After getting a tour each family got to pick out a bedding plant. We got a sun gold tomato and since Miss Bean was disappointed devastated by the choice, Farmer George helped her pick out a flower. He asked her what color (pink, of course), she rejected a geranium as not quite the right color before settling on a pink snapdragon that was just perfect!

Today, Bean and I went to The Sow's Ear to knit in public and watch the parade for Verona's Hometown Days. We had fun and it was a good reminder that I really need to make more one-on-one time with the kids. It turns out I'm a lot more fun when I don't have kids screaming at each other and bickering. They do play so well together a lot of the time, but they can both from zero to intergalactic crisis in about four seconds when the need arises. The more crises that Mom gets marinated in, the crankier she gets.

06 June 2009

(An Almost) Perfect Day

Yesterday was a glorious day! The only thing that makes me add the "almost" disclaimer is that we are just coming off a bumpy patch of shaken up routines and cranky kids and cranky mommy as we blunder around trying to find a comfortable groove. So there was enough crankiness to require the "almost," but with more days like yesterday, things should be smoothing out!

We started the day at the park with Bug's good buddy B. Both B's mom and I apparently have completely lost the entire month of May, but after not quite getting around to emailing each other due to chaos and endless to-do lists, we finally collectively said "To heck with it" and planned a park day and made it happen. I got to hang out and talk to a grown up, Bug got to run around the playground and be a Lego Agent with B, and, after the playground got overrun with a school outing, we walked around the pond and Beeb got covered in goose poop. All in all, a good morning. And a great reminder that we all NEED outings like this. After spending time with friends, the chaos gets better and the to-do list goes more smoothly.

After our play date, we drove to another park by Lake Wingra to meet our adopted grandma and grandpa (K and P) and his parents (who were visiting) for a picnic. They brought their canoe, a croquet set, a WONDERFUL picnic lunch, and some borrowed fishing poles. Bug and Bean went out with K and P in the canoe twice and Beeb and Bean and I went out with K once. Bug fished off the dock (actually just drowned worms, no fish were caught) with P's dad and Bean had a short go at fishing. We played croquet in various groupings with Bug and Bean making up rules and completely arbitrary scoring systems. A fabulous afternoon!

Then the icing on the cake was spending the evening with the divine Hog and Blog ladies at Late Night Knitting. I think that the best lines of the night were (probably paraphrased): "Poppy killed the wombat!" and "You just don't want to see that cut off and lying on the floor." The medicinal chocolate flowed freely in the form of birthday cake, smoothies, and creme brulee chocolate bars.

So after several weeks of general anti-social-ness, I wound up with three social engagements on the same day! A long, tiring day, but all three had just what I needed most right now!

04 June 2009


Phase I of the lofts is finished! Further phases will involve at least painting and bookshelves...who knows what else will evolve. For now, I'm just going to bask in the glow of having the first part done! Bug's loft:

He slept his maiden voyage in it last night and declares it very comfy! I had to kind of Kinnear Bean's loft as I couldn't get myself far enough into the closet to capture it:

Clearly, Beeb has figured out how to climb the ladder. My littlest monkey. Of course, he can't get down, so he just sits and hollers until someone comes to help him down. He tried climbing down once, made it part way and fell the rest of the way. No injuries, just shook up for a few moments. Since the picture was taken, Bean's mattress has been moved up. We had originally planned on her staying on the floor for a while since she still sleeps very soundly and wakes up disoriented once and a while. However she insisted on be "up" so we moved it. She decided that she would stay in her own bed all night so she wouldn't have to try and climb the ladder in the middle of the night (she usually joins us in the wee hours). However, shortly after getting all tucked in, she changed her mind and spent the whole night with us.

02 June 2009

Creative Energy

As the school year winds to a close for the public school kids, we have been sticking a littler closer to home that usual. EVERYBODY is taking end of the year field trips and some of our favorite places are unusually crowded with large groups of kids whose spirits are already on summer vacation, even if their bodies aren't! Since none of us really enjoys too much chaos, we'll wait them out and enjoy our favorite places again in a couple of weeks.

Even though we haven't been out and about so much, we have been busy! Here Bean models one of two new mama-made dresses. Over Memorial Day, we got a lot of good stuff on sale at JoAnn's and I also had two 40% off coupons, so I got two pieces of shirred fabric to make her two quick and easy dresses. I got most of both done yesterday, with just sewing down three more strap ends on the second dress. The straps on one dress have taken longer that the whole rest of the two dresses combined, but they are still pretty cute, instant gratification projects! The other is lime green with bright lady bugs, but pink with froggies will probably be her favorite of the two.

The boys got their summer hair cuts, so all three posed for a picture. I got a cute picture of Bug alone, but didn't have the same luck with Beeb. He didn't want to stand still, so one is focused and has his eyelids at half mast, so he looks stoned and the other is blurry. But the group picture turned out nicely for all of them!

Another project that has spun off of the loft project is a new flower press. We have lots of odds and ends of plywood left over, so I cut a couple of pieces and got bolts to make this:

After getting it put together, we made a trip out to a nearby state park and picked some wild flowers to press. Now I need to remember to ask at the grocery store for some corrugated boxes to make more layers! Then we can carry it with us when we go to the park and have some nice flat flowers to use in some of Bean's art projects or other activities (I have some ideas percolating...more later, I'm sure)!

01 June 2009

Weekend report

First up, we made great progress on the lofts on Sunday. We got the rest of the slats drilled and the pilot holes drilled (but not installed). We also got safety rails cut, drilled and put up for three sides of each bed. Here is Bugs:

and here is Bean's:

After some agonizing and pondering, we changed the location of Bean's bed and built a side ladder. Where it started, it had to be away from the wall a bit to accommodate the (kind of bulky) heat register. This way, it is across the window, but the vertical pieces are the only thing that touches the wall on that side, so there is plenty of room for the blinds and now Bean has a window in the lower level of her "house." Basically, all that is left is to make and install the safety rails on the fourth side of each bed and put in all the slats so we can put the mattresses up. I wanted to see how things fit together and measure Bean's bed before cutting the last sets of rails, but I think the rest should go pretty quickly!

Saturday was Last Saturday Knitting. Although we missed the delightful Ms. Bee, we are glad to hear that she is recuperating and has the Butcher flu, not the Swine flu. You know, Butcher flu: the people fight back and chop up those nasty little piggies! *snicker* (Yeah, I amuse myself). Other than that, no matter what combination of folks that show up, it is always a great time and this month was no exception. Knitting continues apace, but I'm at a bit of a slog point on everything, so nothing to take pictures of!

But! But! We do have garden pictures. Things are growing. The weather has been perfect. We get rain sprinkles over night fairly regularly and sun during the day (or at least part of the day), so things are growing like crazy! We have container lettuce:

I picked two of the bigger leaves out of the pots to put on my grilled hamburger Saturday night. After seeing me do that, Beeb did some aggressive thinning of the lettuce (especially the pot in the shade) on Saturday when we were all out playing in the back yard after supper. My littlest helper! The carrots are just peeking through:

You might be able to see some green if you embiggen, or you can just take my word for it! The tomatoes are going gangbusters (in spite of occasional abuse by small people playing) and the radishes are starting to get some real leaves:

The radishes still need to be thinned. The problem is that if Beeb sees me thinning, he will help and we won't get any radishes at all! I also need to get more tomato cages soonish. It just won't do to have them wandering around and I don't think one cage will hold the whole pack! And the pumpkins continue to go crazy:

One is a sugar pumpkin and the other is jack'o'lantern, but I don't know which is which off hand. And finally, the container tomato in front. I think this one is growing the fast of all the tomatoes. It is a little bit more sheltered and has some fresh potting mix, so it probably has better nutrition, too!

I am looking forward to seeing some flowers and little fruits. At this rate, it may not be long!