Tuesday, May 26, 2009

As if by magic...

So far, I've been pretty surprised that stuff is actually growing in our garden. It's always so satisfying to go out to the garden each morning to see the progress our little plants have made. Some plants are creeping up little by little and the changes are barely noticeable. Others spring up as if by magic. Our corn, for example, suddenly shot up an inch in one day (I swear!). I'm so angry at the bunnies, tho! I don't see them as much as I used to but somehow the tops of our corn keeps disappearing. I have some of Alex's hair from his haircut so I'm going to go out and sprinkle it around the garden. (I did this last week, but watered right afterwards and I think all the hair got washed away. I've already watered the garden this morning, so now I'll go sprinkle the hair and see if that makes a difference)
The most shocking difference, however, has been our bush beans. I planted them last Wed and as of Sunday morning before we left for my parents, I couldn't find a sprout amongst the 30ish seeds. This morning, Tuesday, only two days later, I went out to find two rows of plants! They range from only a one inch sprout to a 4 inch tall plant. I am simply amazed. Our lone spaghetti squash plant (in the same plot of land) has decided to have a growth spurt, also.
I wish I knew more about how plants grow their fruit....our pepper plants have buds on them, and a couple have had a little white flower. I thought that a pepper would then grow from that, but the flower petals have now fallen off, and I don't see anything else growing in it's place. One even had the little stem that held the flower fall completely off. The garden looks nice, but looks won't mean anything if the plants don't produce!
Here's the rundown of what we have planted (and I've now learned that we've planted certain veggies next to their plant-enemies, but I"m hoping they bear fruit regardless. Next year I'll try to be more mindful of where we place everything).
Row 1: about 30 Pea plants
Row 2: about 15 white onions, about 12 red onions, 1 Hot pepper plant
Row 3: 1 yellow pepper plant, 1 red pepper plant, 2 green bell pepper plants, 1 zucchini
Row 4: 4 eggplants
Row 5: 2 tomato plants, 1 zucchini
Row 6: 7 corn stalks
In a seperate area of the yard (originally intended for melons and strawberries)
1 spaghetti squash
30+ bush beans (green beans)
I'm still hoping to clear a patch next to the house for some strawberries. Since they won't be edible this year, I'd like to get them started so we can start having them next year. I'm interested in grapevines, but understand they can be a bit difficult so we'll probably pass for now. Garlic is something else we'd like to get into the ground. I hear they can take over, but we'd really be okay with that since we use so much. Now we just need to get a few chickens to lay some eggs for us, and we'll be just about set! (only partially kidding about the chickens)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And so our summer begins

Whew! If our whole summer is going to be like this, I will have a couple of tired kiddos on my hands. We've had a busy few days, but they've been quite fun.

On Thursday night, Ajay had his last class of pre-preschool. We're going to miss his teachers and little buddies, but hopefully we can keep in touch with them. For the last class, we all headed to the park for a picnic. I made up some hummus (if you can call it that) and peppers/cucumbers. Ajay could barely get down half of his sandwich before he was off to play in the sprinkler pads and playground equipment. Alex didn't care to get wet, but was perfectly content to weave his way through the bigger kids to play on the slides and whatnot. (the park was packed!)

In the pics, we have Ajay with his teacher, Ajay running through the sprinkler pads, Ajay with his good buddy Alex, waiting for the sprinkler to go off, and Ajay and Alex enjoy the sprinkler as it was going off.

Friday morning, we woke up, whipped up another batch of hummus, and headed to a playdate. Since Alex woke up at 5:30am, he was able to nap from 8-9:30. Much earlier than usual, but it happened to work out great for our schedule for the day. (I was able to doze a bit while Ajay watched PBS Kids on the couch with me, otherwise I wouldn't have made it through the playdate!) The boys had a blast. There were 7 of us mommies, and the majority of children were boys. The kids ended up in the compost pile in our hostesses yard, and the watermelon patch, but no damage was done. I can't say that for the wagon. You can see in the pictures why it didn't make it through the morning.
Ajay ended up being a pilot, while his buddy Jacob was a police officer. Alex wandered around the backyard, torn between getting more bites of food from me and playing with the toys.

After our playdate we came home and got a little rest. When Biju got home from work, Ajay and I hit the library to get some new books, movies and a kid's music cd. As we got out of the van, our neighbor-girl said she and her friend were going to have a water balloon fight. Now you must understand that Ajay has been asking me to play with water balloons since Winter. He wasted no time getting into his swim trunks and running (with me and lil bro) across the street. He was on cloud-9! Again, Alex did not care for the water (he's fine with the tub, loves it, but I think the strange splashes are not to his liking). Nnotice the look of concern on Alex's face...he didn't really get what was going on

Today we had Ajay's last swim class for the month. The official last day is next Saturday, but I'll be out of town for a Norwex Party (cleaning without chemicals!), so he'll get to play with his buddy Parker. When we got back from his swim lesson, we headed to the backyard where I de-weeded half of our garden and gave everything a nice long drink. I'll have to take pics of how everything is coming along, the plants are getting so big! It's exciting to see the pepper plants get little buds on them.
I have a lot more pictures that I got off of my phone (thats where all of the above came from, since I'm out of room on my camera), maybe I'll get another post put together in the next couple days to share the other pics. Until then, God Bless!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Ohhh shoes.
Shoes around our house take quite the beating. Ajay loves his Velcro shoes pulled extra tight, tighter than the manufacturer would've ever imagined. I think it's time to get him some tie shoes. He's at the age he needs to learn to tie his shoes, anyway, isn't he? We've talked to him about this, but I don't think he understands the level of frustration that will come with tie shoes. He thinks he gets upset now!
Alex has Ajay's hand me downs. He clomps around our backyard in a pair of navy blue Velcro shoes that have been welllll used. We're talking bits-and-pieces-coming-off well used. But heck, it's just the backyard, right? Oh wait, he has worn those poor things out into public. I hang my head in shame. We have a very cute pair of shoes that we got from India, and since they're Velcro, too, Alex took one off while riding in the van. He chucked it to some unknown location and I had to put him in the "poor man" shoes for weeks. Luckily the Patron Saint of Things Lost (is it St. Anthony??) pointed me in the right direction and I found the missing shoe under the back bench seat of the van. I would like to get him another pair, so finding the chance to win a pair of shoes from Momma Molly's blog is quite fortuitous. Now I just need to figure out a way to rig the random generator to pick me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Garden Name Game

Okay, folks. As you might've surmised by now, I'm NOT one who knows a lot about the foliage of our great outdoors. I can name your typical rose or lily, or dandelion, but for the most part, I'm clueless. Therefore, I'm very curious to know the names of some of the greenery growing in and around our garden. The space that is now our veggie garden used to be a flower bed (vines overtook the pretties and it was a big tangled mess, so we just hacked it all down). Despite using the rototiller 2-3 times, many of the flowers are growing back. We transplanted what I think are the peonies to the edge but the rest of what is growing in is so random, I won't be able to move it. I have an idea for some Monday fun (to keep those of you at work away from your work!) - I will put some pictures up, and you all get to tell me what everything is! (a couple of the things I do know, but they were growing out there, so I took their pics)


B) (These are the same plant, one is just further along than the other)




F) What is wrong with our pepper plant(s)?

G) How do I get rid of this?




Just click on the "comments" button and write out your answers and any other suggestions :) (Okay, so by the time I got this posted, it was too late to procrastinate your Monday workday, but maybe you can ignore your bosses a little longer on Tuesday!)

Friday, May 8, 2009

A birthday for Biju

Another birthday has come and gone for Biju. We kept it simple, as we usually do with most birthdays. In the morning, Biju called his parents and brother back in India and he and Ajay had a nice conversation.

Biju chose to go to an Indian restaurant for his birthday meal (I think I enjoyed it more than he did and I was very pleased that both kids ate enough there to consider it their lunch). When we got back home, Ajay helped me make a cake (while both Biju and Alex took a nice long afternoon nap!). I thought I'd butchered the frosting (it was the egg white kind that you had to cook in a double boiler), but it all worked out in the end. Ajay was beside himself with excitement to put the sprinkles on.

Here is the finished product, with Biju's gifts "wrapped" up in handkerchiefs. The paper was a note Ajay had written to Biju - it says Happy Birthday Daddy (I couldn't find his markers or crayons, so he had to write it in a lime-green highlighter).

Alex wasn't able to help with the cake making but he discovered he enjoys standing on Ajay's stepstool.

I also worked on making my own wash for the diapers. It consisted of 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Oxyclean Free. I mixed it up and put it into an old calcium supplement bottle. This wash, which uses 4 Tbls. per load, does not have any detergent in the recipe so I'm hoping it gets the diapers clean enough. I've since done one load and I added a few drops of Tea Tree Oil as an antibacterial. I didn't look during the final rinse, but I'm hoping there weren't any bubbles. Out of the dryer they smell and look quite fresh so lets all cross fingers that this will be the end of my laundering woes! (I've also added a couple of tablespoons to each regular load of laundry to help boost the homemade detergent)

A few changes

You might notice I've made a few changes to my blog. The whole layout is the most obvious but I've also made it possible for guests (that means you) to post comments even tho you don't have a Blogger account. There are a few other things I've done that will hopefully make checking in on the family easier and more fun. I changed my language to Hindi for one post and since most of you cannot read Hindi I'll just tell you that the following post doesn't say anything more than, basically, "I changed the language to Hindi."
I hope you all enjoy the changes and remember to check back frequently!!

अनोठेर लैंग्वेज

इ थौघ्त आईटी'डी बे फूं तो टाइप अ पोस्ट इन माय हुस्बंड्स लैंग्वेज। थिस इस इन हिन्दी। थऐ वोर्ड्स अरे चंगिंग तो थे हिन्दी स्य्म्बोल्स अस इ टाइप, एंड आईटी अल लूक्स लिखे गिब्बेरिश तो में। आईटी'स फूं, थौघ।

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The end of April

We've now plunged into May, but there were a few photos from the end of April that I wanted to share. For some reason, I can't type next to the photos, I guess Blogger and I have issues with each other. So instead of having a nice running commentary, I'll just type out the descriptions of all the pics, then you can scroll down to see all of them.

First off (and not from the end of April, really, but somehow it didn't get put in here sooner), we have a pic of Ajay grating the bar of Ivory we melted down to make our homemade laundry detergent.

Ajay has decided he loves to have snacks outdoors. We have a pic of Alex and Ajay having a snack at a mini picnic table, and also a pic of Ajay having some grub at the table attatched to his playset.

Ajay wanted to help make our salad, so he peeled a carrot. Of course Alex wanted to get in on the action, so he's watching.

The boys love taking their baths together. Ajay is really into guns right now (I'm rolling my eyes) and he can make anything into a gun. Of course little brother wants to do everything like big brother, so they are both using their bath letters to "pew" at each other.

The boys have this spiderman set, two seats and a footstool. Here, Alex was trying to sit with Ajay on the same seat. I love the way they were both looking at each other and giggling.

Alex is an animal lover. He loves to go across the street with Ajay (and me) and see the neighbors dogs. He leans over and says "Hi, do-dee! Hi, do-dee!" He also likes to talk to Gracie, the kitty. He's a lot more gentle than Ajay has been with Gracie, tho he still has his moments. Here is a pic of him loving on his kitty.
Up next, we have a few shots of our place after the heavy rains. You can see the garden was still mostly under water (it didn't clear out til late that afternoon). On the shot of our front yard, you can see the water still hasn't gone down completely off the streets, and you can also see the rut from the car that was up in your yard. Biju has since filled in the ruts. He took that dirt that was dug up for the gardens, so hopefully that spot will heal up nicely.

The final two photos are of drawings Ajay did. I'm so proud of him :) He drew an alligator for his cousin, Jenna, and he wrote their names! I spelled the names for him and he wrote the letters. We've never practiced writing letters (he's traced some a few times in the past), so it was rather cute watching him create the letters. A few of them are backwards and upside down, but if you use your imagination just a little, you can make out "Brandon" "Jenna" and "Ajay"