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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pollen Season

For those of you not blessed to live in the Deep South, you may be completely unaware of a entire season we have down here. It falls every year -without fail- between winter and spring, and waits to begin until you have naively flung all your windows open and begun enjoying daily outings to the park once again. That is when it rears its nasty neon-green head. It's absolutely disgusting and lasts about a month. Y'all southerners know I'm talking about Pollen Season.

I grew up outside of Georgia and maybe it's just taking me a long time to catch on, but every single year I swear Pollen Season takes me by complete surprise. I never see it coming. I don't remember to remove my porch cushions or cover the grill and then one day I'll go to lay out on the hammock and instead shake my fist angrily out the back door at the sadistic green gods for besting me once again. The porch will be covered in inches of the filmy, sticky, sneeze-inducing, lung-coating powder. And I'll turn my back on the porch and with it my dreams of a whole spring-time full of lazy lemonade sipping afternoons in the backyard. Because while Pollen Season may only last a few weeks, it inevitably takes me several weeks after that to muster the energy to hose down, sweep out and wash up the porch. By which time it is June in Georgia, 98 degrees in the shade, and too damn hot to get off the couch.

But this year dear friends I have one less reason to hate Pollen Season. We may not be able to go to the park or get the mail without a face mask, but now the whole fam can sit on the back porch and watch the trees come into bloom without sneezing. It's a game-changer. The back porch has windows and walls and a solid floor and it is so lovely. We can sit out there and watch the chickens scratch and listen to the birds and see how the trees are transforming and no one gets dirty. I'm in love.

Here's the lovely "before" again for you:

And now after:

It needs some decor lovin' for sure - but right now these two chairs provide a good enough perch for watching the kids play or catching up on email and the kids seem to like the "less is more" approach when it comes to furnishings.

Anyone want to join me for a glass of sweet tea??

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Starting Seeds

Two years ago we planted our first vegetable garden. It was a wonderful learning experience for B Daddy and me; we got some great yields from our tomato, cucumber and zucchini plants and had zero luck with bell peppers.

Last year we really did intend to give it a go again. I remember spending a full afternoon moving soil from our compost bin in the back up to the front bed and spreading it around...but then the sad little patch of dirt (right in front of the front door) sat idle all spring, summer and fall. No veggies, no flowers, no effort and no reward.

This year is going to be different.

My due date is right around the last frost date for our area, so I've decided the best way to make sure I don't wimp out on planting because of the "I Just Had a Baby" excuse is to start a bunch of plants from seed so I'm already invested in the project by the time Baby L arrives. This idea is totally going to work out...right?

I did some Googling around last week (because I know very little about plants in general and even less about seeds) and discovered this gorgeous blog which thoroughly convinced me that starting plants from seed was not only possible but would be an amazingly fun endeavor.

So the Squirt and I picked up a Jiffy pellet tray (this thing is genius!) and watered, planted and labeled our little starter seeds earlier this week.

This was a GREAT toddler activity. He was pretty good about following directions and putting the seeds into each little pot. I'm really excited for us to get to watch them grow together... the Jiffy directions say to expect shoots in 7-10 days, but I have to admit I check about twice a day.

No sprouts yet, but you know I'm gonna keep you posted.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Monday!

Most years I curse daylight savings time. Today I am loving it. Both my children slept past 8am. And I appreciated that for the unusual treat it was. Which reflects the maturing process I've undergone in the past year. Thankyouverymuch. A year ago I fully expected the Squirt to sleep past 8am and took it for granted that he would so I could have both cups of coffee under my belt before dealing with his toddlerness each day. Today I'm just incredibly grateful for the extra minutes of stillness in my morning.

Besides the wonderful quiet late morning I enjoyed, Uncle Tonny is working on the porch today (oh joy!), the cleaning lady came this morning (hallelujah!) and I had my women's Bible study. Mondays like this are destined for greatness. We went to Chick-fil-A after Bible study and my kids were ANGELS. Seriously. The Squirt helped me get high chairs to the table, ate all of his food, sat quietly without touching his sister for the most part and the most irritating thing Sweet B did was repeatedly drop her sippy cup. I tell you all of this not to brag but because this was WAY outside the norm, an exceptionally great trip and definitely worthy of praise. We may or may not have topped off our great outing with an Ice Dream.

And in totally unrelated news - I uploaded a bunch of my iPhone pictures to my computer over the weekend and thought I would dump a few on you here by way of update:

The Squirt is totally into guns, swords and capes now. He loves being a superhero, fighting bad guys and all of that stereotypically boy stuff. He's also identified Cinderella as the girl version of a superhero (don't worry - he will eventually be introduced to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jo March as well) and asks if Sweet B is Cinderella every time she puts on a skirt. I die.

Sweet B is our little daredevil. She moved the stool in this picture over to the light switches so she could climb up and play with them. Seriously!?

She pulled a similar stunt last Tuesday which landed us in urgent care so she could get two stitches above her right eyebrow. - Sigh - Once again, I LOVE Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

The new chicks are laying!! Woo hoo. Beautiful brown speckled eggs. They are giving us about 4-5 eggs a week now between the two of them, but they are just maturing so I expect it will increase pretty soon. They still don't have names.

And finally....most excitingly....the porch looks something like this right now. It might be done this stay tuned for an update!

Thanks for reading. I Heart you guys.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Glow in the Dark Bathtime

Yesterday was rough. I don't know what happened to my little man, but he woke up on the wrong side of the bed and never recovered. There were tantrums, defiance, a mean-spirited little heart (oh how I hate that!) and whining, whining, whining. The time-outs and spankings just kept coming with no lasting effect. Finally, after yet another spanking at 5 o'clock I sat on my bed with E on my lap and prayed for inspiration. I didn't know how to break this ugly behavior streak and I was not going to make it to bedtime with my sanity intact at this pace.

Then suddenly it came to me - a bubble bath! He didn't need the bath, but it's a great way to contain the little man and give me a chance to sit still at the end of the day when we've run out of other things to do. And for whatever reason Sweet B FREAKS OUT if you put bubbles in the bath, but she's totally entertained watching Squirt playing in them. It's a Win-Win for me. If she's not in the tub, he can't hit, splash or drown her.

In went the Squirt with some bubbles and that's when I remembered my friend Ronda telling me about glow-in-the-dark baths. We rarely amp up bath time around here because I hate raising expectations. But yesterday called for drastic action, so I went to the hall closet and pulled out some of those glow-in-the-dark bracelets you get for 4th of July, cracked them open and tossed them in.


I was entertained for 20 minutes just watching Elijah's glee. The bubbles hid the sticks themselves so it was as if the water itself were glowing green, orange and blue in different spots.

He hunted for the glow sticks, waved them around like magic wands, had Britain toss them in to the water, stuck them between his toes, up his nose and all manner of other things. It was definitely a hit.

And praise the Lord, when he got out of the cold bath tub AN HOUR LATER, the nasty toddler attitude was gone. So thank you Ronda and thank you Jesus!

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