Saturday, May 31, 2008

Toadal Score!

I have a toad!

Whaaat? I'm not kidding! I actually have an actual toad! I got it from the farm while out thinning Shanghai Bok Choi (Yum!). Heather caught it for me.

Caitlin wants to call it Bouncer.

I'm just hoping we don't mow it down when we go to mow the grass.

I guess it must be time to clean out my pond and mow down that grass. It's waiting (Patiently!) in a "bug box" until we're ready. I have to make the place presentable for it (Her? Him? I respect its privacy! However, it's probably female.) ASAP. I guess those tomatoes can wait a little longer.

Photos later!

Updated to add photos!
Our victim waits for release inside the bug box. No food all night since she had to wait for the lawn to be mowed on Sunday morning. Poor thing!

Eric gets ready to release our toad into the wilds of the backyard. He's very careful not to touch it since toads exude poisons through their skin. Not enough to kill a human, but enough that he's just not interested in touching it. Besides, toads have that oogie-ness factor going for them.

She's loose! She didn't look so good upon initial release, so I made sure we set out a dish of water and set her in it for awhile, just to get her cooled down and moistened. I tried to send Caitlin for grubs for a toad snack, but she wasn't interested.

Last known whereabouts of Bouncer. I put out a cracked pot in one of the shadiest parts of the garden and put the bowl of water (with bathing toad) next to it. An hour later, she was gone.

Being a female, she doesn't make any noise, so I have no idea if Bouncer is still alive or expired due to my negligence. Or out of homesickness. Who knows! So I may have a toad, or not (Very Schrödinger's Cat of us.). Guess I'll find out at some point while I'm out weeding and I hear loud rustling in the flowerbed. Aieee!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Look Who's Crawlin' Now!

That's right!


He started crawling earlier today when Eric wasn't there to see it. Then when Eric showed up, Logan wouldn't perform. Finally, around dinner time we tried again.

And then, Dear Readers, then there was crawling.

I must say, Logan's beginning crawl is much more stylish than Emma's beginning crawl. I suspect he's been secretly practicing!

Let's see who's going to steal toys now, shall we?

Life with twins

I cannot sleep because of babies.

Having insomnia on top of that is just NOT FAIR.

Is this supposed to be an ironic twist of fate? Where do I submit my complaint?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Growing Challenge: Planting Season

It's just about the end of May and while I've grown several hundred tomatoes from seed, I have yet to put a single one in the ground at my place, for my own consumption. Or any of those seeds I bought.

I've been waiting for this:
First bed emptied of all flats and weeded. Now it's ready for seeds!

And this:
Six cubic yards of soil. That's a lotta dirt! Extremely helpful neighbor earned some prize tomatoes later this summer for his work.

And definitely this:
Finished beds! Getting filled with soil! Yeeeeeeee-haaaa! Yes, it is THAT exciting.

In the meantime, I've been pricking out and potting up yet more plants. On Monday night, after clearing out all the dead plants from the first bed, I washed up 108 pots (Hundreds left unwashed!) and then potted up 108 plants that I'd pricked out. Among them are Holy Basil, Heuchera, Chinese Asters, a few more tomatoes (The slower growing ones: Candy's Old Yellow and Black Cherry), Stevia (Really slow growing.), and some big yellow marigolds.

I've also been out weeding. Little by little, when they twins are sleeping (Hah! Speed weeding.), I rip a few out of the ground.

There is a serious downside to being too pregnant to weed - those buggers will do their darnedest to take over your yard while you're busy drinking water and laying down!
That pile of weeds may not look like much, but to put it into perspective, I used a 5 gallon pot to truck them to my bin and it took at least 4 trips. When swept up together, they made a big pile that I didn't bother photographing. Fortunately I did have some help with the weeding. Caitlin decided she wanted to give me a hand in the garden, so I had her pulling out purple coneflowers and lamb's ear.

Of course, I had to explain what the real definition of "weed" is: a plant you don't want. I told her we were editing the garden and taking out actual noxious weeds as well. Big prickly beasts that have been enjoying the cooler and wetter weather of the past few days. The bonus for me was that it softened up the ground enough that I could pry a lot of those taprooted weeds out pretty easily. Since this is my xeric garden, I don't generally water it until it gets seriously hot somewhere in June, although that tends to make weeding harder. Rainfall is always appreciated.
Unfortunately, I have about a zillion more weeds to pull! Grass, bindweed, coneflowers, lamb's ears, brown-eyed Susans, Damesrocket and more. Sometimes it's hard to look at my yard and see anything but work, work, work! But I try to look at it from my neighbor's perspective: it's pretty, not lawn, attractive to all manner of bees, butterflies and birds. Best of all, by the end of June it will have its share of hummingbirds again.

Oh well. Things are looking pretty good, even if I did ignore the yard for a year!
Now if only we had time to mow the lawn....

In the meantime, here's what's in bloom now:
Johnson's Blue geraniums.

Prairie Smoke.

White iris.

Wine colored multi-petalled columbine.

Yellow columbine.

Blue columbines. State flower!

Ice-blue iris.

Big old bumble-bee on catmint.


Blue flax.

Basket of Gold alyssum.

Yes, there are a whacking lot of columbines around here.

How's your garden doing?

Eight Months


Busy, busy, busy! Both me and the twins!
Emma is...

Eight months is looking pretty good so far. The twins are doing lots of fun things these days.

Making noise. Logan is an expert at making noise. There may very well be a gene that boys have that controls Noise Making or Making Bizarre Sounds that girls don't have. He doesn't just make raspberries, he goes Tzzzt! Tzzzt! Bbbbb! Da-da-da-da-da! and funny little grunting sounds when hungry and he's in the process of stuffing his face.
"Mm. Mhm. Mmm. Unh. Unh. Huhn. Mmm."

If you think about Tim Allen's character, with his bizarre grunting? That's roughly what Logan sounds like when eating. I suspect he's a foodie.

"Foooooood! Yeee-ha! Let's eat!"

Then there's the squealing and laughing. Logan seems to laugh at things more than Emma does and finds Emma hysterically funny. She, in turn, cracks up whenever he grins at her. Their little Laugh Fests can go on for minutes at a time. Super sweet!

Logan still inhales food like it's going out of style. He loves to eat. Loves it. Emma, finally has gotten into food, but it seems to be due more to the fact that we've given up on giving her pureed baby food and instead just give her tiny pieces of regular food.
"I try dis cheese. I not so sure if I gonna like it. When do I get da choklit?"
BTW, she loved the cheese. Crackers, too.

The only problem? Mealtime is now incredibly messy! So now we're back to multiple outfit changes a day due to all the food dropped and smeared all over their clothes. Bleah!

Glomp! Chomp! Chew! Masticate! "Baby Hulk Smash!" Snarf! Snarf! Snarf!

"Dis is goooood eatin'! I love dis stuff. Not dat cheese so much, doh."

"I got to tell you: I not so sure about dis food stuff orij- inee- at firsts, but now? Now dat dere's cheese an' crackers an' berries? Iz all good for me now."

Of course, solid food also means they are working on their pincer grasps and dropping food all over the floor. We have to sweep up after every meal or it's just too awful to contemplate.
Not so good at the pincer grasp. Emma shows us why she wears a lot of her snacks.

Step. Crunch. Step. Squish.


This is where it would pay off to have a dog, except for all the additional chaos and hair. Perhaps a rental? Dogs As Vacuums. Vac-A-Dog! Get right on that, would ya? Thanks!

Movement. Logan is still crawling backwards, not forwards. Emma, however, has her own thing going on with her crawling style. She's fast and accurate. Also? She comes when called! She cruises around holding onto anything that will bear her weight and quite a few things that won't.

*Crash!* *Thud!* *Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!*


Dominance. Emma has established her dominance. She is a Toy Thief. Logan can be sitting there, happily playing/chewing/drooling on something and Emma will cruise on over and take it right out of his hands. She's done this so many times that Logan starts up anticipatory crying before she has actually reached him and snagged his stuff.

I kid you not.

"Hey, dis look like a good book."

Cue the Jaws music. Emma does a half-walking crawl.


"Logan, whatchu got dere?"
"Uh oh. Nuffin! Nuffin you want!"

"Noooo! She be stealin' mai book!"


The face of Despair.

Logan plots his revenge: "I gonna poke you in da head when you sleepin'."
Emma: "What you say?"
Logan: "Nuffin."

Emma is still close by and Logan is still crying, thinking that she's going to steal the book again. I distracted her with a different toy after I stopped laughing and shooting. Poor Logan!

Off by himself, Logan finishes "reading" his book.

Sleep still eludes us, although we do get the occasional 5 hour stretch. Tandem nursing seems to help most at night, keeping them together, but during the day Emma just isn't as tired as Logan is. Not quite sure how to handle that one. If we try to keep him awake longer, he turns into a nutcase but if we try to put her down before she's ready, she screams bloody murder and keeps Logan awake.

Ahhh, life with twins!

At least they're cute!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekly Winners VII


Fun with Mirrors.

"Hey! Who are you?"

"You're pretty cute. Just like me!"

"Gimme a smooch!"

"We could be sisters! Logan, you gotta meet dis girl!"

"Emma, what's goin' on?"

"Who's dat in dat other room? She looks familiar."

"Hey! Check out dis guy!"

"He's funny!"

Imagine this if you will:


More Weekly Winners here.

More of my Weekly Winners here.
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