a nice day for some plane watching

On nice days we like to head down to the small local airport at the bottom of our hill and eat lunch while watching planes take off and land. As a bonus, the Boeing plant is connected to it as well so we often get to see them working on the big jets.

Today the weather is about as perfect as it gets in the Pac NW, so it's a great day for watching some little planes fly around!!


Flickr Faves Friday: puppy love

Obviously I have an affinity toward schnauzers... :)

digging in

Last year’s garden was not a success. We just had a super cold summer, so nothing ever really took off. Even though we’ve had a very cold spring so far this year, I still have high hopes for the 2011 garden!! To help make those high hopes a reality, we've recently invested some time and money into getting everything ready. Step 1 was pretty easy: start seeds. I've always had better luck with plants (tomatoes, in particular) that I start myself versus buying starters. So at the end of February, we set up our grow lights in the guest bedroom and I got my seed on. 50 little starts of tomatoes, tomatillos, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

Step 2 was a little more difficult: prep the garden for planting. Over the last year or so the garden had gotten completely out of control in the weeds and grass department, so we decided it would be worth it to hire someone to come in and whip it back into shape. We could have saved quite a bit of money and done it ourselves, but in this instance we chose to take the more expensive route so that we could have more time to play with WyBear.

I searched around the Coalition of Organic Landscape Professionals, sent off a bunch of emails to various organic landscapers, and found that hardly any of them service the part of town that we live in! I guess our organic hippy dippy ways are better suited to North Seattle than the Eastside. :) But I did finally find one guy, Michael Hunter of Natural Gardens who was willing to come out to our house. It took several weeks of trying to coordinate schedules with availability of product, but it’s finally done and I absolutely LOVE the results!!

Through discussing what we’d previously done to the garden, we realized that by putting down the mulch that we did in the pathways we actually encouraged re-growth instead of discouraged it! Amateur mistake!! But that certainly explains why the pathways didn’t even look like we’d used a sod cutter on them. So Michael and his crew excavated out the pathways, weeded the beds, dug in some organic compost, cut down the sad little weeping cherry tree in the back corner and then brought in about 4-6 inches of cedar bark chips for the pathways. They also pruned our fruit trees in the back yard, so those are looking much better now (although there are still some questions on if our little plum trees will survive much longer given their traumatic recent history). Once they were done with the prep work, I went out (with a little help from my inlaws) and got in the planting groove. Now our garden is ready to rock and roll!

Karl and Rocky built that cool little oblong planter for blueberries and strawberries using some landscaping stones that we repurposed from the front yard (and I had Jack Johnson's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle song playing in my head the whole time they were building it).

We’re going to use the back corner where the weeping cherry used to be for a compost bin area (sorry Henry, but we're going to block you off from your favorite ca-razy barking spot).

I've got 16 tomatoes, 5 tomatillos, 5 broccoli, 5 cauliflower, 5 cabbage and bunches of peas, potatoes, onions, carrots, beets and lettuce planted (not to mention strawberries and blueberries). Still to go in the ground are more tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and round 2 of lettuce, potatoes, carrots and beets.

And one bonus shot of the garden, from the upper part of our yard:

Here’s hoping that Garden 2011 is a success!!


Wyatt, month 10

Dear Wyatt,

You are 10 months old! Just 2 months away from the big ONE YEAR! Yikes. It makes my heart skip a beat just to think about it.

If we were going to put a label on your tenth month, it would be the Month of Moving! You started to army crawl right before you turned nine months old, and then within a week and a half you were “regular” crawling like a champ. You explore your daycare room all day long, and then when we get home you love to crawl up and down the hallway (usually in hot pursuit of the kitties or Henry). You don’t seem to notice obstacles, so you’ve got lots of bruises on your shins and knees. Nothing will get in your way, by golly! :)

You’ve also gotten really good at pulling yourself up and using objects to help you walk around. You cruise around the coffee table and all along the couch and ottoman, then you’ll crawl over to your walker and push it up and down the hall while you walk alongside it. Basically, you just love to explore. We’ll play in your room a bit after we get home from work (for me) and school (for you), and you love to grab a toy in each hand and then take off down the hall while pushing the toys on the floor. It’s so fun to see what captivates you, WyBear!

This month you continued the jabber-fest. You are definitely working on saying Papa, although we don’t hear you clearly articulate it very often like you do with Mama. No other really easy-to-distinguish words have happened yet, but you do babble all the time. And we can tell that you are listening and understanding us quite often as well.

You got your 4th, 5th AND 6th teeth this month! And each time it was accompanied by an ear infection, but you are handling those so well. We put mullein garlic drops in your ears each night after you’ve gone to sleep, and those seem to be working to keep the infection at bay. I’ve even gotten used to having you smell a little garlicky, too. ;)

You are continuing to get really good at independent play, and right now your favorite toys at home are your sorting board and books (Do the pets count as toys? Because they are your favorites, too.)When I visit you at lunch, we have a lot of fun playing with nesting cups and you consistently put the smaller cups into the bigger ones. I think I only had to show that to you once before you got it. Your little baby brain is so darn smart!

You’ve finally doubled your birth weight this month, by our unofficial stats. It took 10 months to double his birth weight? (some might ask) Well yes, but you have to remember that you were nearly 11 pounds when you were born!! By our scale at home you are now 21.5 pounds, which is just a hair above the doubling mark of your 10 pounds 10.5 ounces at birth.

I would wave at you to close out this monthly letter, but you’d refuse to wave back at me! You do, however, wave at Papa and at a whole slew of other people. I don’t take it personally though, and in fact I take it as a sign that you know if you wave to me it means you are saying goodbye and you never want to be parted from me. ;)

Here is a link to your continuing Flickr album of cuteness. I already love looking through all of these pictures, and I imagine that I’ll feel more and more nostalgic about them as time moves on.

XOXO, to the moon and back.



And one bonus picture, to show how hard it was to get you to sit still for your monthly photo this time. Our little squirmy worm just wanted to be on the move!