Saturday, September 27, 2008

Clowning Around...Again

Grandpa brought along a false moustache on his last visit. And the silliness ensued...

Duncan was too dignified to wear the moustache. He thought wearing Mommy's big clown shoes was more his style.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mystery no More

Now that the buds are starting to open a bit, I discovered that my mystery plant is Swamp Sunflower. I'm disappointed. I really hoped it would be Asclepias (Butterfly Weed.) But no, it is a plant that I've considered a weed in my garden. I thought I had most of it out, and of course, here it is again. Bummer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dry as a Bone

It's been another dry month. The difference this time is that September has been dry and cool. Nice breezes. No horrible sweltering late summer days like some years. We're currently about 3 inches behind for our rainfall this month. We're hoping to re-seed the front lawn, but that means we'll have to water. We're not under a ban. And I guess technically, watering by hand is not a bad way to water in grass seed. A lot of work for me, though!

I'm happy to be participating in the local fall plant trade. I've already been digging stuff up to trade. I think it will be a small gathering, so I don't want to go overboard. Hopefully, there will be some cool stuff there.

In hydrangea news...I dug up to of the Annabelle Hydrangeas, and moved them from the Bank of Hydrangeas to the New Shrub Island. They're in shock, so I've been lugging buckets of rainbarrel water out every day to keep them hydrated. hopefully, they'll do just fine.

In Evan's Garden news...I'm thinking of using Blueberry bushes for my evergreen border in the back. They're pretty, bear fruit, and most important, Evan loved them. The berries, at least.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stinkin' Fresh Air

Today was a lovely day. A perfect day to play outdoors. So, we got packed up and went to the wild game ranch.

This is a place where rescued animals go and live out the remainder of their lives. Well, I guess. They don't ship them back to the wild, because they wouldn't survive. So, little kids and their parents bring these "poor creatures" snacks all day long.

When we first entered the ranch, the deer approached us looking for their handout, I mean, wholesome snack. Thankfully, they are fed well enough to not munch on little baby's toes. Although, they sure were tempting!

Much of the ranch is open forest area, with a path. Some animals roam free, but many others are caged. The whole idea of a wild animal sanctuary is great, but this place reminds me a bit of the crappy zoo we had in my town as a kid. I think they're trying to help hurt and sick animals with a place to live. I just don't think they have the funds to construct a bear enclosure that would be more suitable.

Duncan really enjoyed running around. And around and around. I made the mistake of uttering the words, "maybe this means he'll have a good nap." Jinx! He did have a nap, but it was only an hour. I had just put Miranda down, when he pops up. Typical!

Miranda and the pig nap.

The most fun was had at the bunny warren. There was plenty of space for all of the bunnies. And Duncan had a blast. He mostly ran around. He would stop occasionally and look at the bunnies. He bent down and pet one. But he mostly ran.

This little girl told me that the closest bunny was named Sally. She kept telling Duncan to stop running, because he was scaring the bunnies. Bossy boots.

So, after more than two hours spent on this pleasant day. We went home with goose poop on our shoes, dust in our hair, and an aura of wild animals on us. (I had to keep opening the windows on the way home.) No big deal for my little boy, who is part wild animal anyway!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birthday in Pictures

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Duncan tries to sneak a piece of birthday cake

Num Num!

Birthday Scowl

Do I Get Chocolate, Too?

I put the birthday cake into the fridge, and locked the door.

What? No More Cake?

Birthday Meltdown

Mommy's Snuggles Make it All Better

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Day in the Life of Miranda

Miranda wakes up in the morning, and starts the day with a big grin. She's a bit grabby first thing, and she can't get into my arms fast enough. She wants to be held and loved on, but mostly, fed!

My Brother is THE BEST!

Another big part of the day is watching Duncan. He is a pretty cool big brother. He kisses in Miranda's general direction, and says "Hi" to her. He jumps and drums his hands on the furniture to make Miranda laugh.


Miranda takes her workouts very seriously. She does crunches and pushups (not the sissy kind, either!) She rolls and scoots, and can sorta climb out of her chair. She's going to start crawling any day now.

At the end of the day, Miranda loves to spend time with her Daddy. Then, she goes to sleep to start it all over again the next day.

Miranda Falls Asleep in an Unlikely Position

Bloom Day

Solidago "Fireworks"

I went out this evening to take a few pictures of what's in bloom, and immediately wished I had gone out sooner. It was a cool, beautiful evening. Earlier in the day I saw a hummingbird on my Solidago. My mother in law is the only person I know who doesn't like hummers. She thinks they look like great big bugs. Weirdo.

Cutleaf Coneflower Rudbeckia laciniata

The Goldfinches love Cutleaf Coneflower. They are attractive plants, with nice dark green foliage, and bright late summer yellow blooms. They do get a bit droopy in dry weather and heat. And mine spread by root and I think by seed. So, I always have some to share. They don't seem to take over.

Spiderlily Lycoris radiata

I can see these Spiderlily blooms from the house (they're located at the back Woodland Garden.) Such unusual flowers. The color really stands out so well against all the green. I think I need more red. I've been considering getting some Oxblood lilies from The Southern Bulb Company for fall red. And maybe some Texas tulips from there for spring red. My son, Evan, loved red, so both would be a good addition to his memorial garden.

Toad Lily Tricyrtis hirta

I didn't manage to get a good picture of this Toad Lily. The flowers remind me of orchids. I need to find a place in the yard where it will be happier.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


This has been a difficult week. It started off with a playdate gone bad. Nobody got hurt, so don't get all excited. We met some other moms and kids at the playground. Duncan kind of does his own thing, so he didn't really care when the 3 year old boy told him that the mulch he was playing with was "not a toy" and that Duncan was a bad boy. The kid, I assume, thought Duncan was bad, because he was trying to knock down the mulch. Which, of course, was NOT a toy! And I thought I needed to take a chill pill! Can you imagine this kid's home life? So, I was busy refereeing, while the other moms chatted unawares. Fun.

I've endured four years of spitup (I'm three for three on spitters), but this week the spit (on top of the milk spills, mail spills, block spills, etc.) was just too much to bear. I would clean up a spot, only to turn around and see Miranda spewing again. Wednesday was going ok until I talked to Justin on the phone. He told me he was going out of town on Thursday through late Friday. " mean, tomorrow?" "Yeah." Miranda seems to choose days when Daddy is out of town to a) get up at 6am, and b) not nap. Did I mention lack of sleep makes me cranky? I managed to get through Thursday and Friday. I can't say that I didn't lose it, because I did. Having to change into my third or fourth outfit due to spitup just sent me over the top. Justin called around 5pm yesterday, and made it sound like he might not make his flight. I was already thinking about calling in emergency grandparent backup, when Justin called and said they made it. Overall, I was feeling prickly and depressed and just downright unloved.

But today was different. Because today I got a package in the mail. A package filled with chocolate. This is the package that Kristin has been putting together for me since I lamented that the chocolatiers of the world were plotting against me. She has carefully been collecting chocolate treats to send me to satisfy my urge for chocolate lemony goodness. And here's the haul:

Miranda Admires Mommy's Chocolate

Did I mention that Kristin is in France? So, here I am feeling all sorry for myself, thinking that nobody loves me, and I'm going to have to eat some worms, when someone halfway across the world loves me enough to send me chocolate. How cool is that?

Duncan Uses Chocolate as Cargo in his Front End Loader

Thanks, Kristin. You're timing is impeccable!

Dahlia "American Pie"

I finally got a decent picture of this little beauty. I've had scattered blooms from Dahlia "American Pie" (part of the Dark Angel series) for a few weeks. It's just a reminder of how poor my planning is in my front beds. I've got it in the back. It's not a great big plant, but it needs staking this year. Have I staked it? No. I just wish I knew what I wanted out of those beds. The intent was to have two symmetrical beds on either side of the front porch. But the problem is the right side (as you face the house) gets a lot more sun than the left side. So, the sun loving plants (zinnia, dahlia) have done great. The left side looks kind of rangy. I think I will give up the idea of identical beds, and just try to go with complimentary colors. Another problem is my foundation shrubs (dwarf Yaupon hollies) are still relatively small. They are no more than 2 ft tall. So, that limits the perennials and annuals I place in front of them. I'll figure it out one of these days!

Look What I Did! 2

I made this card today for my good friend, Mary Beth, who has just been blessed with daughter number 2. I used the Stampin Up Pick A Petal stamp set (loving it!), Stem Sayings (also from Stampin Up), LePlume markers (pink and black), Handmade Paper Jewel Palette assortment (from Target), and the Encore! Ultimate Metallic silver stamp pad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's in Bloom

Solidago "Fireworks"

September seems to be shaping up to be another dry month. We did get an inch of rain the other day. There's always a chance a hurricane/tropical storm will send some moisture our way. They seem to be mainly soaking the same poor folks, though.

We are getting enough rain to keep the plants alive. And some of them look pretty happy. Not all drought tolerant plants have done well this year for me. My Amsonia has already lost its leaves and my Gaura looks pretty ragged. But my native Solidago "Fireworks" looks amazing. As always. It's tough and consistent.

Solidago, Salvia Black and Blue and Apothecary's Rose (I think)

I don't have a whole lot of things in bloom together. My placement needs work. I got lucky when I planted the Salvia next to the Solidago. I'm still figuring out what looks good together.

Any Ideas what this is?

This Mystery Plant is growing in the pathway alongside my Butterfly Garden. It reminds me of Asclepias (Butterfly Weed), but it could be anything! It's exciting to have a mystery.

Garlic Chives Charming Blooms

The bees have gone wild over the Garlic Chives. It's been a tough year for the rest of the Herb Garden. I let the formal pruning fall by the wayside when it got hot, so it's looking pretty wild. But I also lost my Thyme and Oregano. The Clematis vines I have on a trellis in the center have gotten brown and crunchy. They may come back next spring. You just never know.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

He's a Little Bit Country, She's a Little Bit Rock and Roll

Duncan's vocabulary is growing again. He's started using Evan's old favorite "mamower" to describe the various lawnmowers in the neighborhood. After weeks of Mommy and Daddy saying "light out. light out. light out..." to encourage two word sentences, Duncan is now saying light out. Thankfully, he doesn't repeat it five times like we do! He also says, "Bye! See Ya!" and my personal favorite, "Hi! See ya!" But there's no question of meaning or pronunciation when Duncan says "No!"

Duncan likes to help with watering the gardens. I'll give him a bucket that I've filled from the rain barrel, and he dumps it out on the gravel right next to the rain barrel. Sigh. Sometimes he actually waters a plant by accident!

Miranda is starting to get into Guitar Hero, too. She's our little rock and roller. Mostly she's a roller.

Miranda has been getting on all fours and rocking back and forth a lot lately in preparation for crawling. She practices A LOT! She has already accomplished some scooting in order to get toys that are just out of reach. And now she can give herself a little clap when she succeeds! I don't have a picture of the clapping, but trust me, it's super cute!

Yeah, he's a rocker, too.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl is Growing Up

So in Love with Daddy

Just six months ago we had a newborn that was still in the NICU. At 9lbs 3 oz, Miranda was a big baby, but I still thought she was tiny. She was so helpless, like all new babies. She ate, slept, and pooped. And that's about it! It's astonishing how much babies grow and learn in just six months. Miranda has charmed our socks off! She smiles and laughs (she thinks her brother is hilarious!) I was so worried that Miranda would be a little sad child, because I was so desperately sad during the pregnancy. I cried A LOT. But she has been the happiest little blessing. Now she's getting her first tooth. We've also been treated to her sweet little voice with her babbling. She woke us up yesterday morning at 5am with a happy "Mamamamamama." She, thankfully, fell back to sleep! Miranda is also trying to go mobile. She gets up on all fours, and rocks back and forth, willing her body to move forward. She does get around some how, but she's not crawling...yet. She's very close. I know she'll be thrilled to be able to keep up with big brother!

Look What I Did!

I've been dragging my feet about writing some Thank You notes. I think it was mostly laziness. Then I purchased the Pick-A-Petal stamp set from Stampin Up, and I had to share. So, here's my latest creation. I hope to use it in my scrapbooking, too. I googled "Pick a Petal" and found all kinds of fun uses for the set, anything from flowers and ladybugs to turkeys. So, I'm seeing all kinds of great toddler projects on the horizon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What All The Babies Are Wearing This Season

The off the shoulder nightie is causing quite a stir in the world of baby fashion. This long gown is hiked up to give Baby more kicking room. Baby prefers having a bare shoulder on these balmy late summer nights. You go, girl.

Actually, when Miranda woke up on two separate occasions, we found that she had worked her arm out of her sleeping clothes. Not sure how she did it. Or why!