Monday, April 27, 2015

The garden is in!

Finally finally FINALLY we got our raised bed garden in and ready to go!  This was my "splurge" from our tax refund and hopefully it'll keep on giving us veggies for a long long time.  My sister and brother-in-law happened to be down for the weekend a few weeks ago and I recruited them to help.  I'm sure they were overwhelmed with joy to be "just helping a little" with major weeding and garden bed installation.  They helped me screw together the frames and left for home.

Whose next to help me weed this thing???  (This was last summer and I am hoping to prevent all this happening again)
What a helper!

I assembled the frames and then spent WAY too long stapling hardware cloth (like chicken wire only squares) to the bottom so that little burrowing friends will never make their way into the garden.  A layer of cardboard to prevent weeds and then all that was left was to fill it up with soil.  Easy peasy.

Sooo happy with our new shovel.

Except we don't have a truck, I didn't want to pay $70 for delivery, we don't own a wheelbarrow or even a shovel.  So the next weekend we borrowed a truck, got a cubic yard of good soil (for $30), bought a shovel and dumped it all onto our driveway at 9:00pm one evening.  The next day, my sister and brother-in-law drove down AGAIN and let us break in their new wheelbarrow and helped us move all that soil to the backyard.  It was actually a great time and I laughed more than I have in a long time.

They also gave our kiddo his very own sandbox and moved all THAT to the backyard too.


Working away!

Now all that's left is plants.  The easy part, right????  I have high hopes for this thing and I'm looking forward to experimenting with what works for us.  And I want tomatoes.  Lots of tomatoes. 

Things and Stuff

Don't mind me as I just write out a few things that have been on my mind lately.

We don't buy a lot of new things in our house, and we have a frustratingly long process for out-of-the-ordinary purchases (like our freezer purchase that will happen this year but has been 4 years in the making).

It started out because we don't currently have the funds for a lot of new things.  We definitely made a lot of sacrifices in order for me to stay home with our son.  It's not the smartest financial decision for us, but it's the best decision we could have made.

I've always been a painfully frugal person, and I think I've driven my mom insane because she has given me money to buy a certain item and I've used it on more practical things instead.  She gave me money for a sewing machine twice (as birthday or Christmas presents) before she just went out and got one for me instead.  Sorry, Mom.

But my need to save money has recently been overshadowed by the idea that I don't want (or need) to have more STUFF in the world.  Why buy something new when there is so much STUFF that is used out there that is perfectly good? Plastic STUFF everywhere.  Why do we all think we need something new and fancy?  Most of our STUFF just gets thrown out eventually anyway, to live out the rest of it's plastic life in a garbage heap.

Also, Dillon and I don't want our son to have everything he ever wanted.  That sounds harsh.  But I want our son to know the value of money; I want him to understand that we don't have the budget for XYZ toys or cereal with spongebob on the box; I want him to realize that he is among the richest people to have ever lived on the planet and have a desire to share his fortune with others; I want him to spend time with a few toys rather than be overwhelmed or wasteful (and not careful) with many toys.

Sometimes I think I should be one of those people who live with only 100 possessions.  But then I see something I really want. So don't get me wrong, I like new things too.  I've been bitten by the pinterest bug many many times.  I CAN'T WAIT for the day when we can get rid of our orange countertops and get some cupboards that match.  It's a hard balance to find, and I don't think I've found it yet.

At any rate, this has been on my mind as we've recently had to say "No" to a few things that I've really wanted or wanted to do.  We've set our priorities (me staying home and not giving our son a bunch of STUFF) and now we have to live with them, darn it. 

So what do you think?  Am I being too optimistic for my son's life lessons here?  Do you secretly love the orange countertops and hope they'll stay forever? 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


My most recent project was this large scale ruler to measure our son's growth.  You've seen them before, they're all over the internet; mostly because it's a really good idea.  When I was growing up, we marked our heights on the inside of a doorframe on our birthday every year.  Things would have been easier if our height had been tracked on something movable when the house was sold. 

Blurry but the best he could do!  Shaking his Easter egg shaker is too much fun to be still!

Enter, the growth chart made to look like a ruler.  I started 6 inches up, to account for molding.  And if Levi grows to be over 6'6"...well I'm sure he won't mind because he'll be an adult by then. 

It's just a 1x6 board, stained dark.  Then I printed out numbers 1-6 in my favorite "ruler-like" font.  That was Dillon's favorite part, I think. Choosing between 10 different "ruler-like" fonts.  I cut out the numbers and traced them with a pencil onto my board.  I used Martha Stewart craft paint to fill in the lines. 

Warning--this stuff doesn't wipe off easily.  If you make a mistake, get comfortable with it or be prepared to sand if off.  I had started out wanting to do thicker "inch" lines, but they looked wobbly because of the grain in the board.  So thinner, imperfect-looking lines won the day.  If you don't want to go through all the trouble with the painting, lots of people make vinyl stickers for this on Etsy.  I'm sure their lines look better than mine!! 

It took awhile to hang because I can't use a hammer currently because my de Quervains tendonitis is back.  So Dillon had to hammer the nails in the back and on the wall.  Measuring about a million times was my job, it's pretty important to get this sucker 6" exactly from the floor. 

Well it went up last night and we are all set for Levi's first birthday!  Now to get him to stand tall and straight next to it...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

11 months!

You are truly getting to be fun now!  Lots of work, lots of mess, lots of energy, lots of FUN!  You continue to take 4-5 steps only, although you could do more if you weren't such a chicken.  Your favorite thing to say is "boom"---- we are in trouble, I think!  I must be saying "boom" every time you fall down or drop something because you do too now. 

Although you dance less than you used to, it's been replaced with maraca shaking (instead of shaking the hand opposite the one holding the maraca).  We've been able to really play outside lately and you've been putting less and less in your mouth which is a welcome change in the great outdoors. 

You are a champion eater and are much cleaner lately.  Horay!  Looking like a "big boy" all the sudden and so sweet to mama and daddy, lots of kisses from you.  Oh it's a good life here!

Week 44

Week 45

Week 46

Week 47