Spring in Suburbia

March 31, 2007

Spring is here in full force. On the weekends neighbors are out in their yards weeding, mowing, planting. During the week days the streets are filled with various workmen repairing, building, and beautifying. The local hardware stores and plant nurseries are crowded and throbbing with eager homeowners. On our street it has felt like the frenzy during the holidays when everyone was putting up holiday lights and decor. Each day a neighbor seems to add more annuals to their flower bed or some sort of new lawn decoration. A neighbor down the street proudly displays the Yard of the Month sign from our neighborhood association. And I have to admit I can feel that competitive fire starting to grow under my skin. This is a new feeling for me. Gardening has always been a very therapeutic activity for me. I love to get my hands in the dirt. I love weeding. I love watching seeds burst out of the ground. I love the connection it gives me to both of my grandmothers, my mother, my mother-in-law, and now my children. I love learning from other gardeners and I love sharing this passion with my kids (although Camille is still at the stage of pulling petals of anything that blooms in her reach!). I love the sense of community and connection that can happen through gardening. I love the whole cycle of growth and the creative aspect of planning a garden. But this new feeling of competition seems so strange. Perhaps it is because I have never gardened in suburbia before? Or because I haven't been in a setting with "awards" for gardening since my 4-H experiences in middle school? Or perhaps it is my current stage in life and my own struggle to find some outlet for measurable success or evaluation since the kids just aren't giving me performance evaluations on a regular basis (beyond the routine complaint that I don't pack enough junk food in Noah's lunch box and Camille's frustration that I don't feed her chocolate on a daily basis). Whatever the reason I must be honest and admit that I now am working towards the goal of winning yard of the month! There I have said it out loud. Something I never thought I would yearn for or at least publicly acknowledge. I am blaming it on suburban spring fever.

Fun with Emee

My sister spent her spring break with us two weeks ago and here are some photos from our day at Epcot. We all had a great time with her and Camille still wanders around the house calling her name.

What a week

Noah did great with his surgery but his recovery was a little more difficult than we had hoped. Turns out he brought home a nasty stomach bug from the hospital...five days of high fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea. Poor little guy. I also got to experience some his lovely illness which means our washing machine was running constantly. But we also realized this week that our washing machine is having some problems....staining all of our clothes with oily and rusty residue! And our yard is still a muddy mess because the guys have not come back to finish the little details. Also turns out they crossed into our neighbor's yard and cut into their irrigation pipes in several spots. The only redeeming factor for this past week was the beautiful spring weather. Towards the end of the week the kids and I were finally able to escape for some neighborhood walks...a very good cure for cabin fever. On one of our walks we stopped in to see what was growing in the community garden and Noah was able to put help with the tomato plantings. And on the way home we collected these wildflowers from the ditch. Happy Spring to all of you!

Hilton Head Island

March 23, 2007

We spent last week on Hilton Head Island and had a GREAT time! Adam got a kick out of walking down the beach in his uniform to attend the conference and the kids and I enjoyed spending our days on the beach. We also had a good time meeting up with Navy friends we knew from our time in the Northwest. Hilton Head was such a nice suprise to us...beautiful beaches, bike paths everywhere, tons of trees and very strict zoning so no neon signs and lots of preserved parts of the island. We are already looking forward to the next time we can escape to this special place.

Beaufort and Bluffton, SC

Beautiful old homes, big oak trees, azaleas, the South in the spring
Stunning marsh views, porch swings, and boats
And art....watching Patrick Dougherty install one of his creations at Palmetto Bluff
Visit his website (for those in the Northwest you will recognize the Tacoma Glass Museum)http://www.stickwork.net/

Hilton Head Beach Rides

Daily bike rides and discoveries

Mermaids and a Book Dog

Just a few of the mermaids scattered throughout Beaufort

Beaufort is a wonderful little town complete with a bookstore
on the waterfront and a resident "book dog" named Corey. They
also have a great collection of Gullah cds and books.

Doctors and Police and Workmen,Oh My!

Sorry for the lack of recent posts. It has been a very busy couple of weeks for us. I'll start with the most recent events. Noah had hernia surgery yesterday at the local Childrens Hospital. We got very lucky and our friend, Ann (THANK YOU!), was his nurse which made it a little easier...although it was still hard to see him being rolled away in the wagon towards the operating room. He spent the hour before surgery playing with all sorts of cool toys in the playroom so he was pretty pissed when he woke up from surgery...he kept saying "Who did this to me?!". He is doing great and seems to be recovering quickly. When we returned from the hospital we found a huge mess. Our yard was filled with workmen, big holes, and a police officer had dropped by earlier to press charges. It all started with the installation of an irrigation system and ended up in a big mess when the guys installing the system failed to check where lines were buried. They ended up cutting into the major line for our neighborhood's phone service, our cable service, and the electric dog fence previous owners had installed. It took the phone company most of the day to get phone service going again...a great way to make ourselves known in the neighborhood. The police are pressing charges against the irrigation guys but the guys have conveniently disappeared and who knows when all of these trenches in our yard will be filled (a great obstacle course for our monkeys complete with all of these cable lines that are waiting to be buried again by the phone and cable companies).

So once again another home renovation project gone bad. Stay posted as the saga continues.

Home Again

March 10, 2007

My San Diego adventure was wonderful...I caught up on four years of lost sleep, re-experienced the joys of a newborn (is there anything better than holding a sleeping baby?), and had a chance to visit with friends I love dearly. But I must admit I also really missed my sweet family. Adam did a great job of taking care of the kids and somehow also managed to organize our garage. The kids learned all sorts of new skills while I was gone...Noah riding a bike with training wheels and Camille learned to climb up scary things like a rock climber. And I swear it looks like they both grew a year older while I was gone...Camille went from looking like my sweet baby to a toddler overnight. I never thought I would miss the drool, the early morning wake-ups, or the muddy hugs but I truly did.

March 3, 2007

For the past two days, Lucia has been on a well deserved vacation to San Diego where she is visiting college friends and their 6 week old daughter. I have been "minding our two little monkeys" and doing my best to fill rather large shoes. Things are going pretty well, although Camille deciding to poop in the shower this morning was a special treat. I have also learned that our small table set can readily be converted into a functional stairway for a 15 month old monkey-girl...you should have seen the giggling smile of pride on Camille's face as she stood on top of the kids' breakfast table and I ran over to put her back on the floor!

Noah has been a great big brother. He has been looking out for Camille, and the three of us have had a lot of fun playing in the yard, going to a local park, and going for walks. Speaking of going for walks, today we put training wheels on his bicycle. He then proceeded to demonstrate that he can give a 32 year old guy in slip-on-shoes pushing a jogging stroller containing a 23 pound girl and a slice of pita bread a run for his money...work out the algebraic equation for that math problem and I'll mail you the pita bread...

I know that Lucia works very hard at home, but there is nothing like walking a mile in her shoes to really understand how hard she works. Thus enlightened, I offer up poetry:

"Ode to the Stay at Home Mother"

When the diaper is yet again pungently aromatic,
And food is being spit out for fun,
When the monkey girl's antics teeter on tragic,
And most would say, 'That's it I'm done!"
The stay at home mother is there for the family,
Right in the midst of the fray,
Racing around from park to schoolhouse,
Always managing to save the day.

When the only peace and quiet come at nighttime,
After the children make it to bed,
When the musical highlight of the day has been Raffi,
But you wished for Pearl Jam instead,
The stay at home mother knows this rhythm,
One not guided by a drum beat,
It's a pattern of movement, and playing and laughter,
The last one being the most sweet

When the husband puts on the shoes for a few days,
And starts to grasp the challenge of it all,
The balance of taking care of a family,
The pressure of making the right call,
It is then that the work of a stay at home mother,
Is finally understood just a bit,
The love and the caring, the joy and the sharing,
And that important discipline bit.

So here's to you the Stay at home mother,
Hard working both day and night,
In the words of the immortal Jimmie Walker,
You are quite simply "Dy-no-mite!"

Latest Instagrams

© Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish. Design by FCD.