Archives – June, 2007

June’s almost over already?

I can't believe it. July is right around the corner. It's my hubby's last week off before he starts his summer classes, so I'm taking a bitty blog break. Back soon.  

2 Comments June 25, 2007

our neck of the woods

 

The weather has been not so hot the last couple of days, so in the evening we head out for a walk. We used to take walks everynight, but have gotten out of the habit. I thought I'd take some photos of our neighborhood. Our section of the hood is only about  5 streets wide with about 4 blocks long. We are bordered on the north and south by swampy creeks and vegetation. The east side has a road that runs straight to the downtown area and the west is bordered by a large naval base. Most of the homes are pretty small, simplified Cape Cods and Bungalows. They were built between WWI and II to accomodate all the military families that came this way.

North


Keely insists that we start all our walks with a visit to "the jungle" as she calls it.


When I was little, my cousin and I used to play down here. We'd walk down that pipe on the right, hop down and travel down the creek. There used to be a tarazan style rope to swing off of too.

Here's midway through the neighborhood.


I love that we have lots of trees and sidwalks. Most new neighborhoods around here don't have either.

South end

   
A larger creek is behind the tree line there.
  
And lastly, your neighborhood windmill-a full-size, working windmill. What? Your neighborhood doesn't have one? 

 
Keely must stop to pet all the fire hydrants. She had the hardest time learning to say fire hydrant back in the day.  She'd say all sorts of funny things like, "hidrant fydrant" and we used to all laugh. Now she calls them all "fire hydrant fydrant hydrant fire hydrants". She goes on and on with this, laughing at herself. Goofball.

Happy Summer all. 

8 Comments June 22, 2007

spaces

I've been meaning to post my worktable that Ryan built for me so here it is…

It's great to have all my sewing stuff in one place AND I can leave it messy without having to walk by it every two seconds- which is how it was when it my stuff was in the dining room.  I have a few more things I want to get for here but it's great for now. Someday I may even sew something again! Next up…
I mentioned that I moved a little bookcase in our study for Keely. I've filled it mostly with educational goods and a few baskets that our loosly based on the Montessori kits idea. I read some about Montessori in college and every once in awhile I come back to it for inspiration. I really dig a lot of the Montessori goods. Too bad they cost so much. We just made up our kits with things we had or cheaply found goods at thriftstores. Keely made a few "kits" of her own too. There's a "pirate" basket where she keeps all her things that she thinks a girl pirate would need and a bean bag basket too. She seems to be enjoying it so far. All of her "artist" things are also there. She has a basket of paper so she can get it herself. She draws a lot! And now she is taking tape and hanging up all of her pictures on our walls. It's quite a sight. She calls this space her "artist" school or her "smart" school, depending on which activity she decides to do. Apparently, you can not mix the two. I have more I plan on doing/organizing/gathering for her, but for now that's how it is.
See that wooden cylinder thingie on the left? It's a pot maker. You take a scrap of newspaper and wrap it around it, push it down and it makes a little pot. You can fill it with dirt and seeds for early spring planting. When your seeds sprout enough, you then take the whole little package and plant it outside, paper and all. Groovy? I found it for $2. but I've seen it in catalogs before.
Another thing I've gotten together for Miss K is vases. She's picked some out  (.25) and I had some. She LOVES picking flowers outside and filling her vases. She gives us flowers all the time now. It's such a simple idea that pleases us all greatly. Alright so that's mostly indoor stuff, now for outdoors. We are trying to come up with a kiddie/nature space in our yard for her. It's just not coming together yet. I want to do a butterfly garden or maybe a senses garden for her (soft plants like lambs ear, smell good flowers, edible plants and herbs etc.). I also want to put out a birdbath and try to encourage some neighborhood frogs to move in to our place too. I'd like to incorporate some observation things for her too- like a rain gauge and some more bird feeders.
I think I need to narrow this list down though. Ya think? We do not have that big of a yard and don't have tons of resources or mass amounts of free time to tend to all of that. It's just some stuff I'm thinking about right now. We'll see if anything more than a rain gauge goes up out there.

15 Comments June 21, 2007

big sister

Yesterday we took Keely out to her first sit-down and be waited on restaurant. It was a local place we'd never been to. Keely was quite excited to go and to be there. We told her the baby news while waiting for our meal. Told her that she was going to be a big sister and all the details of that. She's been talking a lot about babies this month and what we'll do when we have a baby at our house someday, so she has the basics down in her head, but when we told her there was a baby currently growing in mommy's belly she whipped her head around pretty fast and stared at my stomach.  She took the news fine. Asked some questions. Proclaimed that she wanted a girl baby. Then later in the car she asked if this baby was going to be hers? We explained that we were the mommy and daddy, but that yes the baby was going to be all of ours. That didn't please her too much because she wants a baby.  She then said, "…but mommy, you already have a baby! Me!" It was kind of sad to me. Made me all sniffly. She's right though. She is my baby and she will always be. Sometimes she calls herself "mommy's baby" when she's being cuddly and lovie. What she meant was since I already have a baby I didn't need another one, so the newbie should be for her. Still. 

Anywho. We got around to taking our 4 (& 1/2) month pregger shot this weekend.
See that sweet Keely face above? See that odd thing on the table in front of her? It's a little air pump for inflating tires/balls etc. Well, while we were taking the photo she comes around to do this…
blasting me with air, laughing wildly….
I had to go get that little monkey. She thought she was soooo funny.
The girl has been so full of energy lately. How can it be that she has almost stopped all of her naps, but has even more energy than ever? Oy. Inutero baby has also been wiggling around a lot too. I guess they are getting me in training and already ganging up on me.

11 Comments June 20, 2007

the strip

We decided to head out to the oceanfront/tourist land/"the strip" this weekend. We hadn't been out there in years. The city puts on a pretty good show for the out-of-towners…filling the beach with fresh sand, making the beach bigger than it would naturally be 
and filling the shore with pretty umbrellas. It's quite picturesque.  
They even import shells from other countries to sell! These starfish had "product of the Philippines" stickers on them. I love it. Crack me up. There are blocks and blocks of tourist-y stores and a million hotels. Everything is over priced. Traffic and parking are not fun.  We went down there because there was an art show on the boardwalk and I thought we'd attempt to be normal residents of this popular destination.
 
Yeeeah. We are still not normal. We don't like crowds. We balked at the prices of everything. Fast food and gas stations even charge more near the oceanfront. If you drive 15 minutes out of that area, you get more reasonable rates. Crazy. This is not new news to me, but it still gets me. I'm also always shocked by how many people comfortably walk around almost naked amongst hundreds of people. I'm too self-conscious to wear anything close to a bathing suit on our empty beach. We just aren't the sort of people who sunbathe (we are too white/skin cancer) or swim in the water. To each her own I guess. Oh! While there, I also got scolded by an artist who thought I was taking photos of artwork. I know copyright schmopyright, but I was taking photos like this-
Ya know, a green chair that matched a section of stained glass behind it, NOT of artist's individual pieces. Stiffling my photography they were.
Keely was not happy here. It's just too much for her. She started moaning and groaning as we started walking the art stalls ("It's too hot" "Can we go?" "grrrrrr…" "oooooh.") and we quickly escaped back to our car. 
The good news is…I don't feel we are missing out on anything by not hanging out in that area. Our quiet, local beach is just fine (we even have shells and beach glass which the real beach does not) AND I so have somewhere to be on Thursday nights now.  
Bikini contest AND jello wrestling? Wow. Count me in. 

11 Comments June 19, 2007

about beans

 We got our first real batch of greenbeans from the garden this weekend!
Keely takes her job of farmer seriously, as you can see by her outfit.
The perfect gardening shoes, no?
We ate all the beans for dinner and are happily awaiting our next basket full. Tomatoes and cucumbers are on the way too. Keely and I also put a few bean seeds in a glass jar so she could watch them sprout and root since you can't see all that action when they are in the ground.

12 Comments June 17, 2007

nothing really

 
Since we've rearranged our living room there's been an empty space in one corner. I decided to put our old outdoor table there and currently it is holding Keely's dollhouse. Each evening she sits up there and plays with her dollhouse for a bit. I love to watch her. Little sidenote: She is now calling that bookshelf behind her the library and she takes a bag and pulls books off it to "buy". 

I heart dollhouses. 
—-
A treat we've been enjoying around here is popcorn. We haven't had popcorn in years and after hearing enough about the dangers of microwaveable popcorn, I decided we'd try the brown paper bag popping method. The first night it worked great and fast. We added a bit of oil, salt, and parmesan cheese. Last night I tried again and it took forever to pop. I was in the kitchen for almost an hour. I see why microveable kind was invented. Yeesh. We were experiencing technical difficulties. I made Ryan and I a batch with a tad of oil and sprinkled it with dry/powdered ranch dressing and it was really good. So good I had to make another bag. Keely prefers her with butter and salt. So we have to have two big bowls now.

15 Comments June 15, 2007

unveiling and tall ships

So. Here is our finished screened-in porch! Completely built by Ryan. By himself. All alone and he'd never built anything like this before. He has no construction training either. He was an English major for flip's sake. The porch blends with the outside of the house beautifully. The roof matches our existing one and well, I'm just impressed. Not that I was expecting a shacky lean-to made up of old metal signs and a sheet of corrugated tin for the roof, but still…this room looks really nice hon. Well done.  I can barely figure out how to sew an article of clothing and he can build a whole outdoor room from scratch. The only thing in this space before was some very over grown azaleas. Impressive my love. 
I still have to find some kind of thick foam to make cushions for the giant outdoor couch in the back there. It is driving me crazy being unfinished. I found the seagrass rug at a thrift store a couple weeks ago and we are so pleased with it because we were looking all over for some outdoor rug that was cheap and not ugly. I wanted some kind of natural fiber rug but they are so pricey new. Anyway. This is our new room.
 
Now, here's one of my little projects. 
This wood shutter (and another 5 of them) were on a neighbor's house for years. The lady took them off and put them out for trash. In step Ryan and I to rescue them.  It's taken me awhile to come up with something to do with at least one of them-paint it white and hang it over the bed. Ta-dah.
The heat has hit us, so there really isn't much hope of crafting over here, just like last summer. No air conditioning and 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity just doesn't make me feel very creative or like playing in layers of fabric.  
                 
One evening last week we went to the bay to see a rendezvous of tall ships that were meeting further down the water for a festival.  
 
There were about 20-30 beautiful ships resting (a very nautical term I'm sure) in the sunset. It was a neat scene to see so many of them. I could NOT get any good shots though because of all the people in the way. Yeesh.
There was also a helicopter there carrying photographers out over the water. I tried to flash my camera and a smile to them for a free ride, but I got nothin'. Then I showed them my official badge written in crayon on a crumbled receipt and still got nothin'. Ah well.  I DID capture Keely's face as she watched said helicopter take off a few feet from us. 
 
It was a pretty evening and we said how nice it is to live near the water. We sometimes forget. 

16 Comments June 11, 2007

warm weather =

 
flying around the backyard. 

a garden that's gone wild.
going inside to read and cool off.
more flowers in the yard than we've ever had before.
the beginnings of teeny freckles across Keely's nose.

 and we just might have to consider inflating that pool this weekend. It is going to be hot.  Happy Friday.

10 Comments June 8, 2007

questions AND answers

The questions.

from Lera – How far along are you? (Yes, that does count as a question.)

I'm four months now and tomorrow, after much delaying, I'm gettting the pessary removed (help!).

from Alicia H – How do you go thrifting with a "spirited child"?

Heh. Well, honestly for the first 2-ish years of Keely's life I hardly went anywhere.  The grocery store and fast trips out for necessities was all I could handle with her. Slowly she got more patient & more tolerant. When I started venturing out more and she'd sit in the cart, I kept little bits of Keely entertainment in my tote bag. Odd things that she'd never had before-small toys, "fun" household items, new books etc. I also had to be incredibly chipper, happy, and pay her lots of attention. Once I got a little over my germophobe-ness I started going straight to the books and toy sections at the thrift store and finding things for her to play with in the cart and I shopped really fast. Now that she is 3 1/2 she finds plenty of things to keep herself entertained. Believe me, I never imagined I'd ever be able to let her walk anywhere -but here we are.

from Haley – What are the names of the paints in your home?

I'm glad you asked. I get asked this a lot. I'm going to list the rooms and colors and lucky you gets to go search the "around the home" category to find the pictures of the rooms. I'm pretty sure they all came from Lowe's and we usually get the cheapo Enterprise brand. If you like one of these, I'm sure you can go to the paint desk and give them the name and they'll find you the chip. 

living room-It has one blue "accent" wall called Aster Petal 347-2 (don't know the maker) and the other 3 walls have been varying shades of tan. The current one is called Dust Bowl 325A-3  (don't know the maker)
dining room-First Frost 52-1  (Olympic)
kitchen -the only room that hasn't been repainted-Frosty Pine 409-3
study- Stratosphere C51-1a (Olympic)
mini hallway-Moss Point Green C68-5 (Olympic)
Keely's room-the one crazy bright wall is Tidal Wave 5002-7c (American Tradition)
bathroom 1- It looks like a light Robin's egg blue.It's called Springbrook 94-26c (don't know the brand)
bathroom 2- 3/4 of the wall is white wainscotting and the top portion is Fog of London 305-3 (don't know the brand)
our bedroom-It's all white!

How we paint: We used to pick a color, paint a room and always like what we chose. We've lost that touch now and we usually have to try at least 2 colors to get what we want. That's one reason we get the cheapest paint. We usually prep the room-move furniture, put a drop cloth or two around, remove switch plates, and tape of the ceiling and trim work. If it is "new to us" room, we always paint the trim before taping off and doing the walls. Then we paint one full wall and see if we like it. If not, go straight to the store and get the next color choice and start painting over.

Keep in mind all colors will look different in your house, with your stuff and your lighting. Also, the colors tend to look different throughout the day. I usually hang paint chips up on the wall and watch them as the light changes for a few days. It helps me weed out the ones I know I won't like. 

from Kristy – Do you co-sleep? Do you remember a hellish time when Keely became mobile? Do I have any sleep wisdom?

Yes, we have always co-slept. It was a necessity. We had no intentions of her sleeping with us before she was born. She had a lovely decked out nursery, but we never used it-not for a night or even a nap. She was an awful sleeper and she had some physical issues. She has always slept in between Ryan and I, so she never did wiggle/fall out of bed. She was also never in bed alone. When she was bitty, I breast fed her, she fell quickly to sleep and I laid her next to me. She awoke for her feedings through the night. I do remember when she got very mobile AND I stopped that bedtime feeding. I laid her next to me and she wiggled and rolled and played forever and wouldn't go to sleep and it drove me bonkers. We finally started a new bedtime routine where about 1/2 hour before bed we'd turn off all the house lights and all the noise and just sit on the couch/floor and do nothing really-maybe we'd talk quietly or let Keely play with a soft toy. This routine did help us through the mobile stage. As far as sleep wisdom…well, I had no idea how hard sleep could be for babies and parents before Keely. I'd been around many babies and babysat many babes and never saw one like Keely. I read all the books and tried all kinds of things to get her to sleep alone or just sleep more but nothing ever worked. She could cry for hours and her will always outlasted mine. I think you just have to do whatever works for your family and leaves everyone feeling good and gets everyone the most sleep possible. If what your doing is not working and you've stuck with it long enough, try another route. Eventually though, your baby is going to grow up and sleep fine and one day move out of your house. I know it is hard to think of that when you are exhausted and feeling crazy. My point though is this phase (whichever one it is) will pass. It's all temporary. Do what feels right. 

From Alicia H.-Am I being a question hog? Any tips on storage for children's arts/crafts supplies?

No! You are not. :) AND I change our storage methods all the time. I like to clean and organize. It's a sick little hobby of mine. Also, as Keely's interests change I try to change out her supplies. We have storage cubbies in Keely's room that hold most of her books/toys. I'm making a new storage bookshelf in our study for her more educational/art type things right now. She has a table that she calls her desk in there and all her markers/pencils/papers are going to be in the study. I had a small bookshelf in our kitchen where I was keeping her messy/arty/play things-playdough, colored rice, buttons, paints.  I just moved that out of our kitchen now so these things are homeless currently. Lot of help I am here, ay? If I had another closet door I would like to use one of those over the door clear shoe holder pocket things for the smaller arts and crafts stuff. It's easy to clean up. You can see what's in each pocket and the stuff you want your child to be able to reach can be hung in the bottom pockets and the scissors and such can go higher up.

When/if I finish her new shelves in our study, I'll post a photo for ya.

from Jamie – Why?

Funny. Well let's see. People have have always asked me (and everyone of you too I'm sure) what I wanted to be when I grew-up and I always said. "I dunno" and I still don't. That's why. 

from Abby – If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

Oh, tough one. Hmmm. Well, I'd like to go somewhere in the South Pacific since I've never been out that way. I'd like to do that someday. I don't think I'd be up for that long trip with a family though.  I've done the tour of Western Europe and a bit of Eastern Europe and there are plenty of places I'd love to go back to with my husband. I've only been to Costa Rica and the Bahamas with him. I guess if we were all going to get to go today, I'd pick Italy. We'll be travelling with lots of money and touring the whole country for a few weeks in this deal too, right? good. 

Alrighty, that's it. Questions have been answered and my email box has been cleaned out.                                                                                             

6 Comments June 5, 2007

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