Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Two posts in one day? Oh, yes! I just wanted to share my mini harvest from this morning. I picked three cobbs of corn.....I also got more cucumbers which brings the number in my fridge somewhere close to 20 and I picked a very lovely dark yellow squash, both of which I didn't deem important enough to share pics. I am really excited about my corn though! It doesn't look perfect like the corn you buy in the store, although it's a different variety from the mainstream monoculture, GMO, pesticide glazed corn that you would buy at the store too. Biased much?!? Yes! I have a feeling that it's not going to taste very good because let's face it, I know nothing to very little about growing and harvesting corn. It seemed a little too early to pick them, but the silks were drying out and falling off which would indicate that it was time to yank them. I don't think they pollinated very well, so next year I'm going to try something different with where I plant them and see if that helps. At this point I figure that anything that I get from my garden that is edible is a big bonus since this is my first year! Rome wasn't built in a day and gardening know-how isn't acquired in one measly season. Plus, I'm already ahead of my goals because we've had lot's of yummy goodies to eat from the garden! Positive thinking. I'll let ya know how the corn turns out!

I cut off the top parts because they didn't look very appetizing.

Dinner makin' kids

My girls made dinner for the very first time! Granted it was a pretty easy dinner and it was very supervised, but they did all the labor. I thought it would be fun to let them get their hands dirty and make their own pizzas. I've made pizza from scratch before and found the crust to be pretty time consuming and messy so this time I just bought 2 whole wheat pizza crusts and saved my time. In the future when the girls are older we'll try making, kneading and shaping the dough ourselves. I really enjoyed watching Maddie and Charlotte put sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and onions on their pizzas and they had a blast doing it all themselves! Everyday for the next week Maddie asked if they could make pizzas for dinner. I'm on the prowl for easy meal ideas where they can be more hands on and I can be hands off! Oh, and by the way......the pizzas turned out to be very tasty! They did an excellent job.

They both ended up putting like a pound of cheese on their pizzas and eating about a cup of cheese each! lol

The chef is taste testing her mushrooms! :o)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let them eat milk (and ice cream)

For those of you who know me......you understand that I am not a fan of summer here in North Carolina. Turns out, this year isn't any different. Weird. :o) Dan was looking up the weather the other day and informed me that while we were dealing with 94 degrees and humidity, Washington state was enjoying 48 degree weather. Washington is starting to sound really good right about now! My enjoyment of the summer here in NC is not helped by the fact that this is my second summer (out of 5) that I am pregnant and I've also been post partum for one summer......which for those of you who have given birth know is not much different than pregnancy what with the hot flashes, hormone fluctuations and constant nursing baby stuck to you. Anyway......

It's hot. I'm sure you understand that by now. The other day we spent some time outside delivering fliers to our neighbors for a BBQ we were co-hosting.....we were outside maybe 40 minutes before the girls started breaking down, the complaining and whining started and my shirt was soaked down with sweat. That was enough. We went home and I declared that we were having milkshakes for lunch. Just milkshakes. Not quite mother of the year as far as nutrition goes, but it was necessary, and it was GOOD. Maybe next time we'll have banana splits for lunch. Mmmmm.

Happy milkshake faces

And then Charlotte had a meltdown because I wouldn't let her use my camera.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garden in June

Things are going really well in the garden, but I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed. Everything is growing like crazy, my squash is trying to take over the world, I have so many cucumbers in my fridge I have no idea what to do with them and my lettuce and spinach went crazy while we were on vacation and have been pulled out due to bolting. It has been really hot and humid (hello North Carolina summer!) and I am getting bigger and more uncomfortable all which makes it less appealing to be outside gardening. Dan has been a big help on days I just don't feel motivated to get outside to water and weed, but I've found that it's more bearable to work around 7:00 when the sun isn't shining on my shoulders and the temp is a little cooler. A little bug spray to keep the evil mosquitoes away and I'm good to go. I have to say that eating the fruits of our labors has been a lot of fun thus far although I have to be creative and search for recipes so I can get rid of large quantities of certain veggies. This growing season has also been very educational and we are already making mental notes of what we would do differently next year. All of the pictures below were taken this evening! Enjoy.

Strawberries & potatoes

Sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, swiss chard & beets

Cantaloupe, basil, onions, sage & radishes

Tomato plant, sugar snap peas, baby spinach, and radishes

Bush beans, pole beans, bell pepper, eggplant, sweet potatoes, onions, thyme, marigolds & corn

White eggplant

Bell peppers

This is a sad bed right now.....I just pulled a bunch of stuff out and replanted.
Tomatoes, basil, oregano, rosemary, swiss chard, beets, marigolds & baby lettuce
Seeds planted: bush beans, radishes

I have about 50 HUGE tomatoes on this one plant and they just aren't ripening.....is that normal? They are supposed to be Cherokee Purple.

Cucumbers, sunflowers, bell peppers, squash, basil, thyme & marigolds

A gazillion cucumbers


Here's hoping we actually get some edible corn!!

Blackberries & raspberries
In need of a trellis!

I wasn't expecting any berries this year and we've gotten blackberries, raspberries & blueberries. They just keep producing berries.....not many at a time, but still BERRIES!!!

Sunflowers, corn & bell peppers
The corn isn't doing well.

This is pretty much our daily harvest.
Before the leafy veggies bolted we also had a ton of lettuce and spinach.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Surviving vacation

I wish that I could say our vacation was awesome. That it was relaxing and fun and recharged our batteries. But I can not say that. Our vacation was stressful and draining and almost every single day we talked about cutting our trip short and coming home. Our kids were CRANKY. We thought Charlotte was teething for the first couple days because she was irritable, drooly, not eating and waking numerous times at night....turns out she had a wicked canker sore on her tounge......which she gave to Maddie because we were not being on top of the sippy cup sharing. So then we had two girls who were cranksters, not eating, not sleeping and complaining the entire time. Add to that a horrible rash on Charlotte's diaper area that started spreading and an urgent care visit to discover she had a fungal infection.......all of this does not equal family vacation bliss. Dan slept in one room with Charlotte, I slept in the other with Maddie and no one really slept all that much during the week. There were tolerable and even happy moments scattered throughout the vacation, but most of those were preceded and followed by bad attitudes, temper tantrums and overwhelmed parents.

But that's life right?!?!? Things don't go as planned. Kids get sick at the least opportune times and we have to deal with it. It gave me a glimpse at what our future will be like.....if we plan to have a big family we will have to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life with many different personalities and coping abilities. And once our kids are older and are better able to handle canker sores, diaper rashes and fungal infections we'll have to deal with teenager 'tude. Joy. I don't think this bad experience has tainted us from future vacations, but I definitely don't feel the need to go anywhere in the near future. We've been home 5 days and Maddie has just started eating solid foods and both girls are just starting to sleep through the night again. We're still recovering from our beach vacation.

Other than the obvious difficulties, the weather at Myrtle beach was lovely, the ocean was beautiful, the pool was warm and we spent most of our time there. We ate good food, did a little bit of sight seeing and went to an awesome carnival and rode a gazillion rides. I didn't take many pictures because really....what fun is taking pictures of children that look like this:

But I did get a few good shots in between the insanity and so I have those to share below. One thing I really appreciated about this vacation/learning experience was Dan! His patience amazes me and his ability to make lemonade out of lemons is very handy. I have the best husband around, and even if they don't realize it now, my girls are VERY lucky to have Dan as a daddy. Cheers to summer vacation!

Beach time

Barefoot Landing
the girls picked jelly beans from a candy shop

Had to include Charlotte and some of her famous faces!


The pool
our second home

Carnival rides
We stayed there for 6 hours and rode SO many rides!
Maddie was tall enough to ride the big rides and seriously went on crazy fast carnival rides. She was only scared on the dragon swing and only when it was fully vertical.
Crazy thrill seeking child!! :o)

County McCounterson