Archive for March, 2012

We moved into this house Memorial weekend of 2007.  Almost five years ago.  In that time, we’ve accomplished a few notable feats in the backyard: fencing the cleared portion so the pups don’t run off into the woods (and creatures from the woods don’t run into our yard!); fencing off a smaller section for my garden which has had about a 70/30 success rate–roses, weeping cherry, and hydrangeas have all been a success, and most other things have failed miserably; and we had stairs built on either end of the lower deck for easy access to the yard. And while these are all terrific accomplishments, none of them address the larger issues of our unwieldy weedy hill and our “grass”.

I’ve given up on the idea of a lush backyard lawn.  But I’ve also given up on this half-done yard.  It’s been five years–it’s time to get this yard into shape!

You might remember (or more likely, you don’t) that K and I went to Charleston in the spring of 2o10.  I didn’t even have to beg to get us signed up for a home and garden tour.  I’ve never been so inspired by backyards and gardens as I was on that trip–apparently I am a southern girl at heart.  I’ve had my dream Charleston garden in mind ever since, and I even created a rudimentary picture of what I imagined for this blog.  In case you don’t feel like checking through the files, this was my super high-tech picture:

We didn’t get to it in 2010–we decided to remodel the kitchen instead.  And we didn’t get to it in 2011–we decided Nellie needed a nursery (which in hindsight was totally ridiculous, since she hasn’t used it once–it’s basically just a closet with a changing station).  But it’s 2012.  It’s the year of the new job.  It’s the year of fanciful things.  And now it’s also the year that we finally take control of our backyard.

It started today with some spraypaint.

(Doesn’t it already look like my picture from powerpoint?!)

And then G did some tilling and some weed fabric-ing and some bricking and some pea pebbling. (Pea pebbles have replaced my solid brick path for reasons of money, time, and lack of desire to carry bricks from the front yard to the back yard.  Buckets of pebbles aren’t much better, but G is buying a chute!!)

I mean, we’ve got a lot more to do, and I predict Easter weekend will be a monster backyard weekend (luckily K will be here and happy to hold Nellie!), but I am pretty jazzed.

People who aren’t jazzed?–the UPS guy who delivered my Home Depot materials in three giant unliftable boxes that I left in the front yard and had G drag in at 1am when he got home from work.  I’m sure G wasn’t thrilled, but the UPS guy was super peeved.  Probably also because Nellie and I were watching out the window as he dragged out these beauties:

(Ignore the mess in the garage–dog food bags are SO easy to bust open all over everything.)

What did Nellie think of all this?  Well, she spent much of the afternoon in her carrier watching G do magical things with the grass paint.  But then we dressed her up for a fancy bike ride outside and she promptly fell asleep in her little bike.  So apparently, she is less excited than I am.


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Baseball Attire

We’ve only got one day with G this weekend–he worked until far past our bedtime last night, and he is working all day tomorrow.  So we’re making the best of it with trips to TWO hardware stores, in addition to, yanno, Starbucks.  Now we’re back, and it’s time to do as much as we can in the backyard before it rains.  Nellie is in her jumper, and I am hoping she will jump until she is ready to nap.  It’s super hard for me to oversee the spray-painting of grass (to mark our future backyard path) with a baby in my arms.

Speaking of that particular baby, she’s gearing up for baseball season!  We’ve got tickets for several games this season, and the first one is just two weeks away at Nats stadium!  Woot!  I ordered her some Nats gear for the season, but I had to play nice and order some Yankees stuff too (especially since we’ve already got tickets to see the Yankees this season).  She modeled one of her new outfits today to surprise G–the world’s biggest pair of 6-9 month pajamas.  Seriously, though, I just got these for the spring part of the season, and I am pretty sure they will still fit her when September rolls around.  She and G did a modeling round this morning since they both looked so adorable.

(Sadly, she came home from our errands and poopsploded, so the cute pajamas are no more.  It was my fault, though.  Lazy me threw her in a disposable when she woke up this morning because my cloth diaper bag of laundry already looked daunting, and I wasn’t sure I could fit even one more diaper in there.  Lesson learned.)

But here she is pre-disgusting!




Now it’s time to get to work.  I got a new Maryland flag to hang on the back deck, bird seed to fill my feeders, and 200 yard staples for weed barrier. Nothing says fun like 200 yard staples!

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Bike Rides

We go in circles around the kitchen.  Life is good.

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Back to Daycare

A giant card with hand prints, stickers, and marker signatures was waiting for Nellie at daycare today. It was her first day back in three weeks.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long — was she really out for Three Weeks?!  That said, she woke up at 445 with smiles and jazz hands excitement, so she must have known she was going somewhere.  She must have seen the bag of diapers and known it wasn’t shaping up to be another day where she could sleep in and be a lazy little monkey in the morning for her grandma.

Speaking of her grandma, we had to say goodbye this morning.  Mom is on a jet plane to JFK and then home to Cali.  There really aren’t words to express how grateful we are that she hopped on a red-eye flight two weeks ago in order to watch the puppies, bring things to the hospital, and then–when Nellie was discharged–resume her grandmacare duties right where they left off in December.  I’m pretty sure this was the best week ever for Nellie.  Besides the fact that she is feeling awesome these days, she got to sleep as long as she wanted, take naps in her stroller on long spring walks around the block, play with all her toys, watch Sesame Street, and laugh her little butt off every day with her grandma.

Since we wanted to send Mom off in style (and nothing says ‘celebration’ like dinner at Outback — yay Calvert!), we went out last night.  Nellie got her favorite foods — broccoli and sweet potato fries — so a good night was had by all.


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It seems almost silly to post — our St. Patty’s Day party (on the 10th of March) seems like eons ago.  But with the exception of Nellie’s worsening illness, it was actually a really fun night.  We enjoyed corned beef and cabbage (which the dogs subsequently ate while we were in the hospital), a St. Patty’s day cake (which the neighbors subsequently ate while we were in the hospital), and Irish beers (which I wish we could have had while we were in the hospital).  The house was decked out with clovers and shades of green.  I even picked up a little St. Patty’s day bling for the twins.  Nellie was in her St. Patty’s day best, but there are no pictures of her from the night — no fun taking sick baby pictures.

Here’s a refresh of her awesome outfit and the smile that was missing:

Here are some pics from our festivities — in hindsight, having the party on the 10th rather than the 17th worked out well, even if we did miss out on cake leftovers.

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Nell x 2

Mom and Nellie had visitors today: M, W, and Gma came bearing presents and lunch!  And while the visit was certainly prompted by Mom being on the east coast, there was no hiding the fact that they were here to check up on Nellie.  M&W came to the hospital on Monday, the first day Nellie had been admitted, so they saw Nellie at her sickest.  They also came on Saturday, just as Nellie was finally getting ready to be discharged, but the memories of the sick baby lingered and they had to check just one more time.

Nellie was Miss Personality today and showed off all her toys.  Here she is entertaining her great grandma with her piano.

Speaking of family, we’ve just purchased our tickets to Florida for some K family time.  Nellie has her swimsuits, swim diapers, pool cover up, and cool kid sunglasses ready to go.  She’s going to be the best dressed baby girl there.  Hard to think about that tonight, however, when our temps are plummeting and we’re on freeze warnings across the state.  Time to drag plants inside and stay toasty warm inside while G braves the elements to grill.  I was craving lamb burgers, so we stopped at the store to pick up lamb, mint, cilantro, feta, chimichurri sauce, naan bread, dolmas, and taboule.  It’s going to be a delicious night.

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Baby Uggs

Our weather has turned cold — freezing temps overnight tonight, and chilly rain in the forecast this week.  So it’s definitely not too late for an addition to Nellie’s wardrobe: Baby Uggs.  Grandma Judy was concerned about Nellie’s shoeless feet (to be fair, she outgrew her Pumas and it is super hard to go baby shoe shopping when I’m not on maternity leave), so today she bought her some warm fuzzy boots and a pair of white Mary Janes for her Easter dress and the myriad of other (I’ve been told impractical) dresses for summer.

What, like babies can’t learn to crawl in dresses?

But that’s besides the point.  Baby Uggs rock.  In fact, Nellie put these sweet shoes on her feet in the store and immediately fell asleep in her carseat for two hours.  If that’s not magic suede, I don’t know what is.

Here she is dancing with her dancing bear.  Except in the second one, where she’s not so sure what dancing bear is doing.

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