Monday, May 16, 2011


Logan doesn't usually fight bed time at all. Whether it's because he likes climbing the stairs, turning on the night light, or what, I don't know, but it starts with brushing his teeth. As soon as I mention it he says, "Bruh!" (brush) and runs toward the bathroom. He doesn't leave until he has requested his cup ("Puck!") of water. Then he runs around saying a very quick, "Na, nie" (night, night) to all and heads straight for the stairs, provided he has already been changed; otherwise he will yell, "Dee-da!" (diaper) first. He'll even run to the far end of the room, once upstairs, and lay right down on the floor in preparation for his diaper. Granted, whether or not he will agree to actually getting in the crib varies from night to night; he loves running around on the carpeted floor upstairs, and he doesn't like to give up the opportunity to enjoy such an activity, though often once in my arms he will lean toward the crib and say, "Down." Some times that means he wants to get all the way down, but often it means he is ready for bed.

Tonight he wasn't so keen on running up to bed. I usually brush his teeth, but this time Brian and I switched some of our usual duties, and when he was all done I came prepared to usher Sweet Mr. Logan to bed. He had other ideas, immediately shaking his head and saying, "No." I squatted down and held my arms out, asking for hugs, and he came toward me, put his forehead to my lips so that I could kiss him, ran directly into the living room, saying "Dowch" (couch), and climbed right on up. I wonder if he thought it was me who would go to bed and he who would stay up late with Daddy.

Of course I scooped him up anyway, but I let him flip the light switch on the way up, and he quickly gave up his fight. Now, I typically stay with him until he falls asleep, but I don't hold him or lay with him. Some times though, to encourage that it really is time to lay down and sleep, I will lay down next to the crib. Lately I have been giving him my hand. --At nap time today he said "grace" and then "hand" because he wanted to hold my hand like he does when we say grace together at the table. Is that not just the cutest? Well tonight he needed some help pulling down his pant legs, so accordingly he said, "Pants!" After helping him with both legs a few times since he kept hiking them back up, I told him it was time to lay down and go to sleep now, so he said, "Okay," and lay down on his tummy. How long he will remain so cooperative I don't know, but for now he amazes me in this way! Anyway, once he was down and holding my hand again, and he had kicked his feet against the mattress for a while as he does when he is almost out, I was pretty sure he was just about asleep. Then I sneezed. It was not a small sneeze. He opened his eyes wide, and said "Oessyou!" which means, "bless you," of course. He sat up straight and practiced saying "bless you" for a while before ultimately settling back down for the night.

No, I don't think he could get any sweeter. He'll often even refrain from getting angry when Gabe gets angry with him for taking a toy that he didn't know Gabe wanted. Gabe will still be getting upset when Logan will look back at Gabe as if nothing ever happened, hand him the toy, and say, "Hee-ah," which means, "here." Tonight Tom brought out an old toy from his room. It has lots of toddler-sized round pegs that can be stuck into holes in a board or stacked inside one another. All three of them were playing with them. There was a bit of arguing about who needed more or what color, and Logan had his fair share, so I said to Thomas, "Logan is usually pretty agreeable. If you ask him for whatever you need, he will probably just give it to you," and Thomas replied with a very surprised, "Oh! Really?" He then stopped trying to reason with Gabe and asked Logan, and sure enough Logan handed over the toy.

I realize this may not last very long, but I'm eating it up right now! Don't get me wrong; he and Gabe do quarrel over toys from time to time, and I know that Logan is likely to grow more possessive in time, but one thing I have learned only through the incredible experience of motherhood is that a child's personality is not 100% experience based. There is clearly an element of individual wiring in each of my boys, and I love that. It gives me new things to love about each one. Logan's personality, so far, has been very easy going and happy. Sure, he gets into trouble, but afterward he's often ready with a great big hug, and he gives great hugs. He can also be eager for crazy excitement and join in with the wild antics of his two favorite brothers, and like other toddlers, he isn't a particular fan of staying in one place, but I think he also takes comfort in the company of his big brothers, and it shows. Have I mentioned how much I love him? ...How much I love all of them? Well... I do. :)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Hot Tea and Handspun

I'm sitting here with a large cup of tea (decaf), and I have to stop typing every couple of words to pick up my mug and warm my hands. I feel like I probably shouldn't be holding it until it cools down some or I might burn myself, but I can't stop! I guess that's what you get when you have had a cold spring week with no heat in the house. That's right. Our boiler has a gaping hole in it and needs to be replaced. We are thankful that it didn't happen any earlier, but this week has been cold for spring, and so, now, are we. The next few days are supposed to be sunny and warm, so we hope to be in the clear until fall, at which point we like to think we will have figured out some way to pay for a new heater. Joy.

I think I was just starting to get used to the cold air though. I have always said I prefer cold temperatures to super hot ones. (But no, growing up in the sticks, so to say, did not prepare me. We had a wood stove, and those who have had a wood stove can surely tell you that when that fire gets roaring, the house gets super toasty and warm; almost too warm.) It was 54 degrees inside when I woke up, but that was actually three degrees colder than it was yesterday, and I think I have tolerated it slightly better so far, minus the monster headache I woke up with this morning. (Logan, putting his face up to mine: "Mommy! Mommy! Hi." Me: "EEhhhhh." When I finally did open my eyes he got all excited, turned to Brian, and said, "Daddy! Daddy! It's Mommy! MOMMMYY!!" Then he put his face up to mine again, and I had no choice but to give him a happy-as-I-could "hi." No, I'm not much of a morning person to begin with, but having cute kids who wake up with grins and giggles - and in Logan's case, super cuddly hugs, sure does help!)

Next week we have some major work being done on the house (hence the waiting-until-fall to replace the boiler). The price tag is alarming at best, but I can't wait until it is done, which might seem odd when you find out what will happen; basically we are having our basement waterproofed. In the process we are having new windows put in as well as a sump pump, high quality dehumidifier, and the whole place cleaned and then walls sealed, amongst other things. Ultimately we aren't finishing anything down there. In fact, some of the interior walls will have to come down in the process, but I am looking forward to 1) the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we will no longer have any mold or water in our basement and 2) just having the whole thing cleaned. We were told that there wouldn't be a cobweb to be found - not even on the ceiling. We will try to re-organize when we move all our storage back down there, and I will look forward to a cleaner basement and one that is safer for the boys. I hope to let Gabe and Logan ride their little bikes down there, like I did in my house when I was growing up, and maybe I won't be so grossed out when I go down to tackle the laundry!

We definitely found ourselves in over our heads this year with expenses, and in hind-sight, we should have waited to replace our TV. What's done is done though, and we'll just have to work our way through it...

I do have lots of things to keep myself - and the boys - busy in the meantime. Gardening is something we all (except Brian, maybe) enjoy, and you know I have my own list of hobbies for entertainment. In fact, I just added a new one.

Do you remember when I wrote of saving up for a kindle? Well, one day I decided I really needed to use all those points to buy some new curtains, so the kindle would just have to wait. It wasn't a healthy obsession anyway (though I'm not saying I wouldn't still love one). I went ahead and ordered some curtains from, but in person they really looked nothing like I expected. I thought they were hideous. I asked Thomas if he liked them, as he needs new curtains for his room too, but he hated them also. Oh well. When I sent them back I opted to use the credit to purchase a drop spindle that I had added to my wishlist ages before, and some roving to go along with it.

I played with it several times over the course of a month or so, but it wasn't until this week that I finally managed to spin my own length of yarn. Thanks to my very generous friend, Stephanie, who turned me on to spinning in the first place and brought over a larger bag of roving one day, plus alerted me to an incredible deal on this video (it was temporarily marked down to ten cents - no joke), I now officially have my very own homespun. I am sure I made countless mistakes, it's horribly uneven, and I just basically still have so much to learn, but I am so excited because I enjoyed it anyway, and I can't wait to practice some more. How cool is it to make one's own yarn? To some of you, maybe very "un." To me, it's "very." :) I sense a new addiction in my immediate future.

Hopefully soon I will have a project to share. I'm going to try using my first homespun to knit up a small toy sheep or two. Then I will be back to spinning, I suspect. Of course, this has been a hiccup in my charity project, so I need to balance my time well enough to keep up with that too, and I really need to take an extra chunk of time to catch up on my Old Testament readings. Today, though, the sun beckons, so before anything else, I'll be taking Gabe and Logan out back for some play time and maybe a little gardening.

How about you?

"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Garden Update

The sweet peppers are in the far corner. For some reason they took in five out of ten pots, all in the same row. They were some of the slowest to germinate, but now they are doing better than some of the other plants in my little tray. The tall ones in the middle, clearly my best crop so far, are jalapeños, and hiding between the sweet peppers and jalapeños are a few spinach sprouts. They started to grow quickly, but half of them have withered already. I wonder if maybe it was too hot a week or two ago, but I really don't know what happened to them. There are a couple that are still growing healthily right now, but I am hesitant to assume that they won't suffer the same fate... To this side of the jalapeños are a few short cayenne pepper plants. Those also took a while to germinate, and a couple are still just starting to sprout. They are hard to see in the photo, but I think there are five right now. The spindly plants on the end are heirloom tomatoes.

I have no update on the strawberries yet. I bought the plants in a bag, in the same way that one might buy bulbs. There was nothing green on them at the time, which concerned me, but that was how they were sold, so I figured I would give it a try. They've been sitting in a small pot behind the garage for a week or two now.

I keep going back and forth about where to plant the vegetables outside. The tiered garden has three hostas that need to be moved, and there will be quite a bit of work involved in getting the garden ready. It is already littered with weeds, some of them stemming from super thick, super deep roots and coming straight up through the landscaping fabric. Part of me still wants to use it after I figure out how to attack the weeds and then the soil.... Another part of me wants to just create a raised garden bed (or 2), but that's not in my budget.

If any of you reading are local and have any extra landscaping bricks or stones - or some ply wood laying around, I would love to make a trade... Maybe for some harvest, provided I find any success(?) I do bake, knit, and crochet, too. *wink, wink* At some point I will (hopefully) need some kind of tomato stakes or trellises too.

The pumpkin, zucchini, and green bean seeds are anxiously waiting to be planted too. I was going to start them outside, but I might just have to make some newspaper pots for those green beans pretty soon.

What did you plant in your first vegetable garden? How did you make out? I would love to hear about it. ♥

Oh yes, and I have realized that if I am going to continue to garden each year I am definitely going to need to start making compost...