Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tomato, Tomahto

Growing up, our gardens was my favorite part of summer.
The smell of the roses at noon and honeysuckle at night. Veggies galore. Peppers, melons, herbs and tomatoes.

Oh, the tomatoes. I would plunk myself right in the middle of the tomato area with a salt shaker for lunch. One summer I broke out with an incredible rash, that only intensified as the days went on. Diagnosis: tomato allergy. I'm fairly certain I had eaten little else for the previous week. Even after some heavy doses of Benadryl and laying off the fruits for a few days, the rash would return every time I ate anything tomato- ketchup, pasta sauce, soup- which was a major problem in my tomato heavy diet. No worries though, by the next year I was fine and realized I needed to bring a loaf of bread to the garden with me.

As an adult, I seem to be perpetually trying to recreate that rash. Every year I grow more tomatoes than I know what to do with. And every year I seem to plant more than the year before.

This was today's haul:

And the plants are still FULL. I only picked the ripest of the bunch. I may be starting a big batch of tomato sauce tomorrow and canning. Anyone want some?

Friday, July 30, 2010


Once your kid comes, people seem to move onto a slightly new topic to thrust their opinions upon you. I know it is just idle chatter, but I still find myself biting my tongue because any correction on my part always falls upon deaf ears.

It is the comparisons. The versus of my children. Physical and emotional- looks, demeanor, appetite, sleep. I know it is go to talk of second children. I find myself talking about it constantly. So here it is, once and for all..... Gracie vs Clare.

~~~Grace @ 8 weeks old ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Clare @ 8 weeks old~~~

Face- MINE. I don't care what you people say. These girls look like me. Sure, they have Matt's mouth, but the major features (face, nose and eye shapes) are all mine. The picture of Clare isn't as dead on, but they have the same shaped face with a pointy little chin, same soon to be bushy eyebrows and same nose- despite my inutero claim that Clare was sporting Matt's profile. They do however both sport Matt's mouth- which is a blessing because I have always lamented my lack of upper lip. You will definitely know they are sisters.
This is where their similarities end though.
Eyes- Matt and I are both hazel. His are a 50/50 green/gold combination while mine are 80/20 green/brown (they also still change intensity of the green depending on my mood).
*Gracie's eyes have been a deep chocolate brown, with little flecks of green starting to show.
* Clare has bucked both of us and has my dad's blue/grey eyes dead on. They are eerily beautiful.
*Grace was born a little cue ball. She always had just enough hair to let us know she would be Matt's shade of blonde, and this summer she is sporting the beautiful bleach blonde highlights of his Nordic heritage in its full glory.
*Clare this time opted for Matt's dad's shade of brunette (blonde based) as opposed to my dark (red based) shade.
Sleep- Polar opposites.
*Grace still only rarely sleeps through the night. She needs one of us, preferably Matt, to stay by her side while she falls asleep.
*Clare is out by 8:45 (at the latest) and can snooze, unassisted, for 11 hr stretches easy. Although to accomplish this, she eats for 3 hrs straight before going to bed.
*Grace was a battle to breastfeed. The first 6 weeks for such a challenge, but I was so dedicated to the idea of giving her breast milk. I have no idea why it didn't dawn on me to just pump and bottle feed her- chalk it up to inexperience. By the 3 month mark she was starting to get formula supplements and by 7 months she refused breast milk all together.
*Clare is a champ. Hours into this world and she was drinking in the easy, carefree manor I thought the process would be the first time around. At 3 months she has still never had formula. I wonder if I will be able to make it to the 1 yr mark with her...
Mmmmm .... my babies. So different and so alike at the same time. I keep holding my breath in anticipation for Clare to be able to play with her big sister. I wonder if it will be as beautiful of a sight as I imagine in my head.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It’s funny how we, as adults, get to move in and out of the realms of childhood imagination.

Over the last few months, Grace’s ability to pretend and imagine has blossomed. We have a play routine now on our drives home. First we talk about birds, which usually involves us shouting ‘WOODPECKER!’ at each other for 10 minutes and then delves into a conversation where I am expected to name every kind of bird I can think of and she decides who gets what bird.

Blue Jay- Daddy’s bird
Chickadee- Clare’s bird
Sparrow- Ricky’s bird
Cardinal- My bird
Pigeon- Her bird
Penguin- Daddy’s bird
Flamingo- Her bird
Eagle- My bird
Hawk- Clare’s bird
Raven- Her bird
Oriole- Daddy’s bird
Robin- Her bird
Seagull- Clare’s bird
WOODPECKER! – Her bird

And then she takes it all back.
‘Mama, I don’t want to share. All the birds in the world are mine, ok?’

Next we move onto monsters.
They are pink and purple and yellow and blue and every imaginable shade of the rainbow with polka-dots and glitter sparkles. They seem to live in the trees of the wooded roadside we pass driving home. They are easily deterred from coming into the car by singing The Monster Boogie and if they do penetrate the force field of our voices, they are plucked out the air and eaten. I tend to think Grace leaves holes in her force field to allow for the monster snacks, as they apparently taste like taffy and cotton candy.

There are dozens of other games, but these are the top two lately and occupy us for the majority of our 45 minute drive home. Yesterday, I was unknowingly pulled into another imagination.

I go to the daycare to see Clare during my lunch break, sneaking in and out without notice most days. This time I was pummeled with questions from the older children in the center.

‘Gracie’s mommy! Gracie’s mommy! You’re Clare’s mommy too, right?’
Ummm…. Yeah….?
‘S says that Clare is a boy’s name! Tell him it ISN’T a boys’ name because it is Gracie’s sisters name and Gracie’s sister is a GIRL!’
Ummm…. Yeah….?
Of course it is a girls name! S, you are full of hooey!
**To which S grinned, bashfully looked down at the ground digging his Crocs into the dirt.**

I had no idea what on Earth they were talking about and why Clare was involved, but forgot all about the conversation moments later.

I love moving in and out of the realms of childhood imagination…. And sometimes, unbeknownst to at the time, become part of the story.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Script

Over a month ago, NES called me out. Not in a mean, ‘you suck’, kind of way. It was a heartfelt ‘you are my friend so lets see your response’, kind of call out. Plus, I am sure she noticed I hadn’t been posting and meme’s are easy blog fodder. And she is right in the absurd notion that I’ve privy to so many peoples personal thought through their words and have never seen their signature.

Well, 34 days later I am answering the call. Here is the exercise:

Write down the following, snap a picture (or scan the document) & post it. (Sorry, I’m skipping the tag others bit)
1. Name/Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed or both
3. Favorite letters to write
4. Least favorite letters to write
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
6. Write in caps:
7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Any special note or drawing

Just in case you couldn't read my handwriting, my answer to #7 was:
There's more than one answer to these questions; pointing me in crooked line; The less I seek my source for some definitive; The closer I am to fine.
Thanks for the love NES!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two Years & 308 Posts

My yahoo reminders has told me that today is my two year blogoversary.

Really? Time flies.

As I said, I know I have been negligent lately, but that just means I will have a plethora of material once I get my head back on straight, right? Some upcoming topic previews are:
* Lots of baby stuff (you can't go wrong with babies, right?)
* My dad (the stories involve emergency personnel and handcuffs!)
* My new job (hurray!!)
* The demise of my car (and how GM is the worst company on the face of the planet.)

So if you hang in there with me there will be lots of tales to tell. If there really is anyone reading this out there, grant me an anniversary wish, will you? De-lurk and leave a comment. While I love my Google Reader too, they are tricky little things and make it tough to tell if anyone is out there. (Not that I really think anyone is reading, but it is worth a shot, right?)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Power of Purple

It's always the little things. Things that I don't even seem to think twice about. Objects that I selected for one reason or another, but that really don't make a difference in my world.

The other day we were sitting down to dinner and Grace starting gasping and pointing.

G: Mama! MAMA! Look! LOOK! Who bought that? Did you buy that??

Do you see anything? Yeah, I didn't either.

This is how the conversation went:

G: The SPONGE Mama! You bought a PURPLE SPONGE!!!
Me: Ah, yeah. Yeah I did.
G: I love the purple sponge and I love you for buying me a purple sponge.
Me: Umm- well I bought the sponge to scrub dirty dishes with Grace. They came in a pack and the purple one was on top.
G: Well the dirty dishes will love being scrubbed by the purple sponge Mama. That you for buying it.

And then she finished eating her dinner and never said another word about the sponge again. Who knew the love that could be shown by the simple power of a purple sponge.

Sunday, July 4, 2010