Friday, May 29, 2009

garden morning

I woke up really early this of the curses and luxuries of being 8 months pregnant, I suppose. I took the opportunity to photograph our growing garden in the morning sunlight.

strawberry sunrise

Remember how we started from this?
Garden Plot

Here's our garden box in the flesh. We made a few minor adjustments, though its essentially the same.
garden 5/29

Everything is growing quite nicely, with a few peapods on the vine, tomato and pepper blossoms popping out,
tiny strawberries ripening, and carrot, beet, chard, and few unknown veggies sprouting (I think they're cucumbers that sprouted from the compost we mixed in).
We've also got potatoes,
shallots, onions, yellow patti-pan squash, lemon cucumbers,
zucchin and cucumber
and lots of herbs. Yum... I can't wait.

They're pretty too.
chive blossoms

Other highlights outside include Addison's numbers drawn neatly from 1 - 20 (directly on the house, but hey, this is one of those battles that has not been chosen),
1 thru 20

and our one sunflower that sporuted and survived the transplant from indoor seeding.

Its going to be a fun summer close to home!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Season of changes

I'm kind of up to my ears, people.

The good news is, we had the luxury of, count 'em, 4 nights and nearly 5 days with no children in the house, which allowed us to tackle a number of things on our overwhelming to-do list as we prepare for huge life changes.

We finished up the final pieces of Addison's new big boy room, and we are pretty happy with the way it all turned out. Its nice to have most of the toys contained in his own room instead of being strewn about the house. He seems pretty happy with it too!

Addison's big boy room

We also got our child care situation squared away for the fall (after much toil and hard work by us, and un-professionalism on the part of the school we were originally trying to work with). And, we got rid of furniture we weren't using, set up the nursery in our ginormous bedroom, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, and even had time to relax!

33 weeks

It's nice to know that if this baby made her appearance tomorrow, we'd be ready for her.

big brother love!

There are still a gazillion things left to do, because we're also beginning the process of possibly buying our first house in the fall (I know right? Pile it on!!!) But, if we don't, we are perfectly happy with the many other changes that are coming right around the corner.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my idea, your idea

Like many people, I have some good ideas. Most of them have never been carried out... at least not by me. They sit in the back of my brain and I visit them every once in a while, thinking...that would be cool to do! But then its my son's bedtime, or the floor needs to be swept, and I am transported back to reality, where time for projects is sometimes scarce.

Here's one of my ideas: taking pictures of the inside of various people's refrigerators as a window into their daily lives. There is something extremely personal about this seemingly insignificant, but very telling part of our homes. It can tell you not only what a person eats, but can also lend insight into their values, priorities, lifestyle, and habits. I had really wanted to do this, but was never quite sure how to get myself in the situation where I would be taking a photograph of some stranger's open refrigerator. How does one start that conversation?

Well, somebody figured it out:

More here.

Good job, Mark Menjivar, you did what I could not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A day to celebrate!

No, its not my birthday, an anniversary, my son did not reach any huge developmental milestone today, and on the surface, all appears to be normal around here.

But just between us....ahem... WE HAVE NO MORE CREDIT CARD DEBT!!!!




We have worked extremely hard and deliberated extensively over personal finance decisions and made sacrifices to get to this point. And, we've had a lot of help from some key family members who have given much of their time to help us do what we needed to do.

I just want to say to anyone who is facing a lot of debt, and feeling overwhelmed by it all, that it CAN be overcome! There are some fantastic web tools and personal finance blogs that offer services and approachable, easy to understand advice to help you get on your feet.

One of the best things we ever did was to set up a personal budgeting account with and I can't say enough about how great it is to have all my expenditures funneled into this secure website where I can categorize each purchase by "groceries" and "clothing" and "auto payment" and "childcare" etc, etc. It has been a HUGE eye opener over the past year or so that we've been using it. We know exactly how much money we have left to spend on groceries for the month, if we've been out to eat too many times, and its easy to see which bills we still need to pay. Try it! You won't be sorry. (And no, no one is paying me to say all this).

Once you do all this, you may "find" money that you can re-purpose toward paying off your debts. Perhaps you had no idea you were spending $800 on groceries for your family of 3. Maybe you can cut your budget down for clothing by 10%, 25% or more.

There are a million blogs to check out with great money-saving tips and smart ways to think about how you use your money. Check out a whole list of them here.

Now, I'm off to work hard just a little more... celebrating will come with the long weekend ahead!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

at our house

Although the laptop is still broken (fixed, then wiggin out some more, so back to the shop it went), I FINALLY was able to get some of the pictures off of my camera. You have no idea how itchy I was getting about it!

We've been busy over at the Soon,Then household, trying to get all the to-dos done before our baby girl arrives in about 6 weeks! We've got a few more big things to do, but we've really accomplished a lot!

We finished planting the garden, and are enjoying watching the little carrots and chard sprout up from seed, and the peas grasping to the bamboo trellis. We've also planted golden beets, walla walla onions, shallots, pole beans, lemon cucumbers, yellow patti pan squash, brandywine tomatoes, sungold cherry tomatoes, red potatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, strawberries, and a variety of herbs.

I am so looking forward to the summer. Addison is entirely absorbed in writing his numbers on every flat surface outside with sidewalk chalk, and this can occupy him for a good deal of time while we work in the yard.

sidewalk chalk

sidewalk chalk

We've been having fun drawing our favorite foods, flowers, and people, too. He also loves to help me water the plants and is showing interest in climbing trees, watching worms and bugs, picking flowers (sometimes not ones I want picked!) and of course, sampling all the herbs. All I need now is a big comfy lounge chair back there so I can nurse and nap in the shade, or just watch Addison wear himself out on lazy afternoons.

Inside the house, we've been in a buying, selling, moving and repurposing furniture frenzy. We got an IKEA Expedit for Addison's room in an effort to contain most of his toys in his own room. Addison helped Ben build it with his little squeaky toy hammer.

helping daddy build the Expedit

little helper

The shelf looks great, and he loved helping me "redecorate" his room. He ran around putting toys and books just where he thought they should go. I'm so glad he's taking all the changes around the house quite well and enjoying it all. I can only hope he continues to be so positive when his baby sister arrives!

pregnant me: 32 weeks

I'm in the pretty uncomfortable last legs of this pregnancy, with about 6 - 8 weeks to go! It sounds like forever, and so soon at the same time... But for now, I am still enjoying mostly restful nights of sleep, being able to do projects around the house, cook meals, spend uninterrupted time with Addison, and I plan to get at least two more dates in with my husband before she comes!

Here's to being in the now....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

little airplant


I won this cute little airplant a couple of weeks ago on Alyson's blog, Unruly Things. I was so amazingly happy... I never win anything!


This was especially fun for me because I have memories of airplants from my mother's house when I was a child. Carefully placed in seashells in the kitchen window, with a little spray bottle nearby. I'm so happy to have this one in my home!

Thanks Alyson!