Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to harvest

After the heavy rains last weekend, I was really worried about the potato plants. The water just wasn't draining well, and potatoes don't like sitting in wet soil. Throughout the week, I've been watching as the potato plants seemed to be slowly withering away. I considered them a total loss. Today, I was talking to my neighbor, who had also planted potatoes around the same time I did (in fact, I'd gotten my seed potatoes from her). She told me she'd decided to take out her own plants, since they were all dead, and she actually found potatoes. She was pretty surprised. So I decided to go back and dig up my garden, too. Lo and behold, I found potatoes! And tons of earthworms. Yay for healthy soil! I was rather excited. Now I don't know if the plants were wilting because the potatoes were done, or if it was indeed the water that did them in. I'm leaning towards water, because there were quite a few small potatoes that still had a lot of growing to do. At least it wasn't a total loss, though! Out of six potato plants (about 1.5 pounds of seed potatoes), I got 6.5 pounds of potatoes. Not a huge harvest, but at least it's something! Actually, I probably had closer to 7.5 pounds, but some of the potatoes I had to throw out because they were all mushy (I'm thinking spoiled from sitting in the wet soil). So for dinner tonight, we're having fresh boiled potatoes with butter and sour cream. Yum! I also decided to pull out my one and only kohlrabi plant, and we already at it up. If you haven't eaten kohlrabi, you should try it sometime. Just slice it up and eat it raw (you could dip it in veggie dip if you wanted to).

potatoes and kohlrabi


We also have an abundance of carrots. They are delicious!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fruits of my labor

Or rather, vegetables. :p I processed the second batch of kale today. I tore out 6 of my plants, which had somewhat fallen over after the heavy rain and winds on Saturday. They were the plants that I had already harvested a lot of leaves from, so they were a bit more susceptible to the weather, I guess. Anyway, I tore them out and took off the rest of the leaves to process today.

cleaned and ready to be cut


blanching process


nearly 8 pounds of vacuum packed kale, in 5 bags


Today's harvest doubled what's already in the freezer. I now have kale all ready for 10 batches of soup. Yum. I also saved some of the blanching water, to use as stock for soups or something. Now to figure out what to do with all the rest of the kale that's still growing out there. I may try freezing some without all the processing, just to use in frittatas or green smoothies or something. My freezer is going to be full of kale, haha!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Texas Downpour

Insane!

backyard


frontyard


neighbor's car


fire hydrant on our street

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go TEAM!

I knew this day would come. There's been talk of it for a few months now. Well, today, Bryan officially got invited to participate in the gymnastics team. He's going to start level 4 after we get back from Germany in July. The coach who talked to me said that he actually already has some of the skills for level 5, but they're starting him in 4, anyway. To start slowly, so he (hopefully) won't get burnt out. Good thing, too, I'm going to need a slow start on my wallet... :p I've known for a long time that Bryan has an incredible talent. Like, when he started climbing out of his crib at 18 months. Learned to ride a scooter at 2.5 years old. Insisted we take the training wheels off his bike just after his third birthday. Started doing flips from the recliner onto the couch and vice versa. Learned how to do a headstand just after his fourth birthday. Spent a full two months in his preschool gymnastics class before being promoted to the big boys' class when he was only 4.5 (and half the size of those boys...). He's incredibly strong and coordinated, and has amazing control over his body. It's really fun to watch him, and it was great to see a gymnastics coach be so excited about Bryan's talent and the prospect of having him on the team. I hope he's going to enjoy working harder, and starting competition. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Portraits

They are all done! My talented friend Tearese finished all the drawings she did of the portraits I had sent her (that my other talented friend Chalice took when we were in AZ). I love how they turned out, and can't wait to put them all up on my wall! :o)







Friday, April 10, 2009

Hair!

Let me tell you, I've been waiting for this for a long time! Now maybe people will stop referring to Elly as "he" (yes, they still do, never mind the pink pants or shirt she's wearing...). And yes, that's a fat lip. Don't ask. :p

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

She eats!

Elly, that is. We had a strong start with solids around 5 months or so. She was ready to eat, and she loved it! So much so that by 7 months, we were up to two feedings a day, almost ready to go to three. Then something happened, around 8 or 9 months. I'm not entirely sure what, but it resulted in Elly not wanting to eat solids at all. She started nursing more frequently again, and I wasn't overly concerned. Maybe her budding teeth started bugging her? They didn't poke through until 10 months, but I'm sure she could already feel them. Anyway, so she started refusing solid foods. She did like the little baby snacks, but those hardly even deserve to be called food. :p As Elly started approaching her first birthday, however, it became apparent that breastmilk simply wasn't enough for her anymore. She started picking up frequent night feeds again, every two hours around the clock. I know. Exhausting. She didn't even wake up that often as a newborn! We really needed to put more effort into getting more calories into her during the day. But feeding her was such a chore! On top of not wanting solids, she refused to sit in her highchair, as well. She had to be on a lap, and then she would eat a few bites. I did notice that on the days she ate well, she only woke up a couple of times during the night, so yeah, she needed more food! I talked about our issues with my doctor at Elly's one year check-up, and she didn't seem overly concerned. She said Elly was doing just fine, and breastmilk was just great for her. I said on principal, I totally agreed with her (and have I mentioned I love this doctor???). But the fact that I was waking up every two hours at night was not okay. :p She gave me a few suggestions, and encouraged me to just be patient and give it time. I went home feeling good about the fact that Elly was still thriving on breastmilk, but not so fond of the idea of putting up with such frequent night feeds for much longer. Then one day last week, I talked to a friend (or family member?) on the phone (or in person?). I totally can't remember who it was I was talking to. Blame it on sleep deprivation. ;o) Anyway, the dreaded feeding topic came up, and we started talking about the much-hated highchair. Then the idea came up to just take off the tray and push the chair up to the table. Maybe she just felt like she wasn't part of the action, with the tray blocking access to all the food fun. Hm, I thought, worth a try. On Monday, I finally got up the courage to take off the tray, and approach the highchair with Elly on my hip. In the past, Elly would start screaming before her feet even touched the chair. I tried every so often, always with the same result. Now, the tray was off. As we got closer, Elly curiously eyed the chair. I put her in it. Much to my surprise, she not only tolerated it, she loved it! She had a good time! I sat down and started feeding her, and she ate! Wow. A miracle. She now willingly sits in her chair, and lets us feed her. Or she feeds herself, depending on what's on the menu. Sitting in the chair helps keep her focused on eating, too, so she takes in a lot more food than she has before. Most excellent! So to whoever it was I was talking to, thank you thank you thank you! You more than likely helped save my sanity! :D

Here she is, loving the food.


Bananas, when mashed in your hands and put in your hair, make for an excellent "do". :p

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Voice

My niece posted this on her blog. I can't stop listening to it!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Girly!

During the last couple of weeks, Kaylee has been all into coloring her toenails and fingernails. Almost every day, she takes a purple marker and 'paints' her nails. Then she gets all sad when the color washes off when she cleans her hands or takes a bath. Today, I pulled out some of my nail polish, and got to work. She totally loved the result. I did our toes, and her fingernails, too. I didn't color my own fingernails, can't stand the feel of it. Kaylee was all over it, though! Fun times. :o)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sometimes, the system works!

A while back, I wrote a post about the awesome family doctor we're seeing here. I've seen her a couple more times, and she really is great. She's actually part of a big medical group, which came in quite handy today. You know how sometimes, when your kids get sick, you get the run-around to get all the tests done and whatnot? Well, today was one of those days that could have potentially turned crazy. But it didn't! Tyler's been sick for a little while. He had a bit of a cold last week, but then started getting better. Then Wednesday, he came down with a pretty high fever and a headache. I thought maybe he had caught the flu. He looked better Thursday, but then early Friday morning, the high fever and headache returned. With the weekend coming up, I thought it would be a good idea to call the doctor's office to see what they thought. They wanted to see him, of course. Our regular family doctor wasn't in today, but one of the pediatricians was able to see us. Tyler and I got there shortly before 11 a.m., and were called back pretty quickly. Saw the nurse, and within a few minutes, the doctor came in. He was really nice, checked Tyler over, then told me he'd like to do a quick blood test just to see. He thought it was viral, but said there's a possibility it's bacterial, and he just wanted to make sure. So off to the lab we went. Two doors down. For a seriously quick blood draw! The lady did it so fast, Tyler almost didn't even realize it happened. Awesome! Then we waited 15 minutes for the results. The doctor came back to the waiting area to see us, and said that Tyler had an elevated white blood count, and he wanted a chest x-ray done. So off we went, up to radiology on the 4th floor. Signed in there, got called back, and within a matter of about 15 minutes, we were back down in pediatrics in the waiting area. A little while later, the doctor came out again to call us back. He told me Tyler had walking pneumonia, and would be put on antibiotics. Then he gave me a quick run-down of what to look for etc., and then sent in the nurse with the rocephin shots. Two of them, in Tyler's bum. Poor kid. I'm not entirely sure we really needed rocephin, but the doctor thought based on what he saw on the x-ray, he'd feel better pulling the "big guns". The rest of the course is just oral antibiotics, for the next 5 days. We ended up having to wait another 15 minutes in the waiting area after the shots, just to make sure there weren't any immediate side effects from the antibiotics. Then we were off. All in all, it took us an hour and a half. Which, considering everything that happened, felt like no time at all! It was all so smooth, no extra paper work to fill out for the lab work, etc. etc. etc. One bonus point for the medical group. :p