Saturday, May 28, 2011

Corner Lot

One of the draws of our house was that it was situated on a corner lot. There are only 4 corner lots in this subdivision that are interior (the others are exterior and open onto a busy road). This is what the house looked like when we bought it:

I want to draw your attention to the bed of pine straw in the foreground surrounding the street sign. The builder also put pine straw all around the permimeter of the house in "flower beds." I'm pretty sure it was just because they were too cheap to sod the 3/4 of it where they didn't plant "builder bushes." Anyway, we did nothing with these "flower beds" because I was 8 months pregnant with 2.0 (now known as Oscar) by the time we moved in, and then he was born, and then it was fall and Eli started a new job. All to say that the "flower beds" soon became a slumber spot for the ugliest, nastiest weeds, and the neighbors loathed us because our nasty corner "flower bed" caused all the property values on the block to drop (I'm exaggerating, but it was really bad--so bad that I didn't take a picture because I didn't want there to be evidence).

The last weekend in March, the in-laws came up to see the grandchildren and to also lend a hand in getting the yard ready for summer. I had been to the OHS plant sale the week before and gotten some flowers and vegetables, but didn't have a plan for them. I had also scoped out the mulch business in town at the request of my father-in-law. They brought a tiller and a truck, and also tons of lillies and irises that they had thinned from family members' gardens, and a few crape myrtle seedlings and treelets (yes, I made that word up) from outside their kitchen window. I hate being outside in the direct sunlight (shady spots are best for this girl's blindingly white complexion), but that day I spent all day outside helping. I took the truck (first time I've ever driven a pickup) to get mulch, and ended up getting two loads--one of decomposed black stuff to mix in with the tilled clay in the flower bed by the street sign, and another to put on top of the flower beds all around the house. When I got back with the second load, the Beavers had already planted lillies and irises into what had earlier been the weed bed on the corner, and we covered it with real mulch. The lillies, having been dug up for a few days, looked pretty sad, but we had hope that they would "perk up." Here's what the corner looked like when we were done:

Six weeks later, things were starting to look more alive--the lillies weren't all laying down and I couldn't remember what it had looked like earlier. It doesn't look too different, but it does look alive.

Well, after Elsie's birthday, we started to see flower pods shoot up (I learned that plants grow when you water them...AMAZING!) and had the first of our blooms. So far, these are the different varieties of lilly in our yard and I think there's at least two more:

I'm amazed and underwhelmed by the lillies. They are beautiful, but they only bloom for one day.

I just ran outside to see if there were any new blooms, and took yet another picture of the outside of the house to leave you with on this Saturday morning of a long weekend. Imagine the mailman driving by right then and sounds of a little blond girl with wet blond curls screaming and laughing in the backyard as she plays with her new sprinkler and her pool, but most importantly her daddy.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Doctor Updates for E & O

Fun day. Double doctor day for the kiddos. I paid my babysitter's daughter to come with me to the doctor's office since both kiddos were getting poked and prodded. Overall, it was not terribly traumatic. Here are the stats, for posterity's sake.

Elsie -- 2 years
Weight: 26 lbs. 4 oz.
Height: 34 inches
Head: 19.75 inches

Oscar -- 9 months
Weight: 17 lbs. 12 oz.
Height: 28 inches
Head: 17.75 inches

Time is flying and my babies are a-growin'!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

9 Months of O

Nine months. Oh, my. My little man is growing up. This month he's starting to try to pull up and to crawl, but isn't fully coordinated yet. It's going to happen any day now. He does love to stand and hang on to the sides of the crib or the rungs on the back of the chair. He got his second tooth two days after the first and I suspect that he's teething now because he keeps putting things in his mouth to suck on, particularly fabric items (burp cloth, towel, pacifier tether). He talks whenever he can get a word in edgewise and says a lot of "da da da," though the other day Elsie said "No!" to something, and Oscar said "Nooooooo." Just the once, though. He also likes the sound made when he's making a sound mouth open and puts his mouth on my shoulder and takes it off and puts it on and takes it off. It's a sound akin to the war whoops of my childhood. He also does this with his fist when my shoulder is not available.

We've finally had some success with solid foods. He's had a gag reflex that is super sensitive and would end up throwing up the contents of his stomach if he started gagging. I tried cereal and oatmeal, and neither one was met with success, so I decided to just start on the foods. Pears and peaches have been met at first with confusion and then with success. Oscar also loves the little cereal puffs that melt in his mouth. Elsie used to pick them up one by one, exercising her pincer grasp. He just gets a handful of puffs and just shoves in the general direction of his mouth hoping that some of them land there. I also suspect that some of our issues so far had something to do with texture issues, hence the gagging.

Oscar's not sleeping very well, and I suspect that is tied to the food thing. I think that once he gets to eating solids better, he'll sleep better. I've pretty much decided that one weekend I'm going to sleep on the couch while he cries it out overnight. Not yet, but before the summer is over. I'm so tired and exhausted all the time, something needs to change.

We go to the doctor for 9-month/2-year checkups on Monday. More to come..


Sunday, May 8, 2011

24 Months, or Welcome to the Terrible Twos

My baby turned 2 yesterday. I can't believe it has already been two years! What an adventure we've had in the last two years. Where does the time go? Her big day started with a big tantrum. She didn't want to wear the birthday outfit I made her, she didn't want to do anything except lay on the floor and scream. It was reminiscent of Easter day. So, when her party started, she was up in her room screaming. Yay.

This year we had a joint party with our little friend J, whose birthday is Monday. They're two days apart, and it seemed like (and turned out to be) a good idea to just put their parties together. We have a lot of the same friends and rather than have a ton of two-year-olds sugared up two times over, we decided to do it just once.

The theme was a kind of cowboy/cowgirl, country western, Texas-inspired motif. We decorated with bandanas and gave out cowboy hats as favors. We had fun, lots of sugar, and no real naps later. Here are some pictures from the day:

(Photo credits: Jill Clair)

Eli was home for Elsie's birthday and after cooking us waffles and wishing me and his mother a happy Mother's Day, left this morning for his next phase of military training. The next six weeks are going to be long ones, but we'll be okay. Hope y'all had a good day!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Latest, Greatest Obsessions of a Toddler

My sweet Elsie is obsessed with:

1. Water, anything that can hold water, anything that can spray water, baths, faucets, sinks, hoses, sprinklers.
2. Yo Gabba Gabba.
3. Hats, anything that can be worn as a hat, anythings that resembles hats...except hats that I want her to wear.
4. Sleeping in only her diaper. If I bother to put pajamas on her, she bothers to take them off. It's gotten to the point where I don't bother anymore, and there's less drama at bedtime.

Oh, to be two years old.

Short post, I know, but it's a busy week. My other half is coming home for a couple days this week! I can't wait! Come home come home come home come home!