Friday, May 30, 2014

A Weekend of Friends and Family

Our Memorial Day weekend was one for the books! We spent the extra time off work road tripping to Oregon to visit with friends and family.

Look at my sweet nugget picking flowers with Grandma.

It should be pretty obvious from the picture above, but Jeff's mom is a master gardener. Check out this sweet succulent planter she made and hung on the side of her house:

She is also a collector of Glassybaby votive holders. 

And she's an all-around fantastic woman. Everett loved seeing his grandparents. One of the highlights for him was when a dump truck came to deliver gravel for Grandma's incredible garden creations. He wouldn't nap because he could hear the truck outside. So we had to go out and watch it - such a boy!

After getting Everett settled in Portland and snuggled in Grandma's lap, Jeff and I traveled down to Eugene...sans Bebe.

We spent 2 nights with a group of our best friends from college. I get a little depressed after spending time with these individuals because they were what made my college experience so memorable, and it's hard only being able to see them a couple times a year. There are 12 of us when we all get together, and each brings his/her own personality to the table. And we all get each other. An outsider looking in on our group will wonder what the heck we are talking about, and they will also wonder how they can become part of our circle. I know that if I ever asked, any and all of these individuals would drop everything to be there for me. I am one lucky girl, and I wish everyone could have just one friend like the eleven I have. Just try to imagine life with 11 kindred spirits!

Also, because I know you have all been dying to meet him, here is my GBF in the flesh. Isn't he so handsome and stylish and skinny? Yup, he's a pretty big deal and I know him.

As for an update on our house remodel, walls are all textured, we chose our paint colors, and we bought some stuff at Ikea last weekend. Things are happening!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


This little munchkin is 17 (almost 18) months old, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this fact. The last (almost) year and a half has been life altering, and now that I am on this journey, I could not imagine living life any other way.

Life with a child is...full. I cannot think of any other way to describe it. Being a parent is like being an on-call doctor: you have people constantly looking to you for leadership, you are always ready to respond to crisis, your touch heals, your presence comforts, you give life, and you are an expert in your field only after years of experience. Granted, you never get a vacation from your kids, and there is never another Everett's Mommy to relieve you, but all this hard work is totally worth it because from the moment the on-call doctor places your child in your arms, you know you would do anything to protect him. My sister said it best when she told me that having a child fills you with a love so profound that it consumes you.

Sometimes this deep, all-consuming love gets tested. Sometimes doctors get burned out, and so do parents. Having a baby who wants independence is exhausting. I have decided this is what makes toddlers so challenging: they want something, but are not yet aware of their limits or the limits of the world in which they live. "Everett, if you stand on the back of the couch you will lose your balance, you will fall, and you will hurt yourself." These are things he does not yet understand, and it is hard to know if it's worth the tantrum that will ensue as a result of my parenting intervention.

Do we let them fall and learn from their mistakes? Do we protect them from falling and make this a game (because it will turn into that) by rewarding bad behavior with attention? Where does our all-consuming love do more harm than good?

I will admit, it is more difficult for me as a parent to enjoy these firsts. A few months ago, I took Everett on his first trip to the playground. I watched him toddle around in the grass and took him down the slide for the first time, but was paralyzed by the fear that he would throw a tantrum when it was time to leave the park. Willow was pulling at the leash and barking at other dogs and Everett came up with a fun game of running away from Mom. I was completely stressed out, but when I looked up at the other parents at the playground, they were watching Everett trip and fall all over his clumsiness with smiles on their faces. They were enjoying this adorable toddler more than I was (because they didn't have to deal with a toddler fallout in 15 minutes), and I was so caught up in fear that I could not enjoy this moment: his first trip to the playground, his first slide, his first time walking in grass.

Since then, I've had to remind myself every day that this phase is one of exploration. Even though his emptying out the bathroom cabinets every morning when I am trying to get ready for work is impossibly annoying, he is learning a lot about textures, colors, tastes (yes, tastes), and fine motor skills - and maybe he's trying to figure out a better organization system for me. Having a toddler means the constant juxtaposition of joy and frustration. The innocence of a baby has worn off, and now we are attempting to focus on the joys, rather than the frustrations.

Every day I pray for guidance, patience, and endurance. I am SO blessed to have this baby - no, little BOY - in my life, and I so hope that I can be his loving mother in the way he needs me to be.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ebble's guide to #hotmess weeding: now I deserve a reward.

Sometimes you have a white trash yard. And sometimes you are ambitious and try to make it look less trashy. Sometimes you have to take an entire week off work, and this still doesn't give you enough time to make your yard not-trashy.

Take my word for it, white trash yards take a lot of work to get in shipshape. This will be our fifth summer trying to clean it all up. When we moved into our house the whole yard looked like this:

We rolled sod a couple years ago, which suffocated most of the weeds, but we still had a #hotmess situation around the perimeter of the yard - see above photo. We took a rototiller to it one year: this simply lifted up the weeds and re-rooted them. The next year we blitzed it with Roundup: this burned a lot of the weeds but they came back again with even deeper roots (not to mention the fact that this killed a lot of our plants...also, you know how much I hate toxins). Jeff's parents helped us clear the weeds a couple years ago, and this has thinned the weeds significantly. But many have survived the reaping.

This year, we are doing things my way! *We are going 100% organic and we are pulling these betches up by the roots.

*check back in a year...we will see if this works.

Step 1 of successful #hotmess weeding: start BIG! Get rid of the biggest weeds first. Focusing on one type of weed at a time is helpful. For example, start with the dandelions, then move on to smaller assholes. Try to remove as much of the root system as you can and throw everything away. If you find any slugs or snails throw them away. Earthworms stay in the ground. Sick looking bugs (ie mating beetles) get tossed over the fence into the neighbor's yard.

Step 2: once the big weeds are out, work on the little guys. These often have roots that spread out (like clover), and will spread (like weeds) once the bigger weeds are removed from the soil.

Step 3: water the soil and wait a day or two. Stragglers will start to emerge once the soil has settled. Pull these up now! These devils will come back to haunt you later. They are weeds, they are native plants to your yard, and they will survive.

Step 4: put in new soil and plant delightful flowers/produce. I like to use organic compost for my soil.

Your yard will go from this...

To this...



This was a pretty thankless task. At the end of a day weeding by yourself, the only reward you have is a sore back. Not to mention, these areas are much bigger than they look in the pictures, so it's kind of hard to believe that this could take someone 5 days. 

However, all my hard work was not in vain. I got to plant a lot of veggie seeds, and even bought a couple new flowering plants for myself. Lately, I am obsessed with hellebore. I think the flowers have such a dreamy, feminine look, and they bloomed for a really long time last year.

Soaking nasturtium seeds before sowing. These make good companion plants for cucumbers.

To help a sister out, I gifted my friend (a new mom) with easy-care plants for her birthday. I hated not having a beautiful garden during our first year as parents, so thought some low maintenance seeds and flowers made for a good gift.

Corn is basically grass, so in my mind it should grow well with simple day-to-day watering.

Finally, my last announcement is that I officially made my first baby toy! Now accepting orders!

That's all for now. Happy gardening everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Staycation: Mission Possible

Day 2 of Staycation 2014 has begun! The last two summers featured lazy pregnancy, mono recovery, and baby madness. As a result, our yard is in quite the state. Gardening has always been one of my passions, and I broke down in tears numerous times last year when I looked at our...situation. This is why I decided to take a week off this year. The week after Mother's Day is Spokane's official last day of frost, so this is prime planting/gardening time. Ladies and gays, I have my work cut out!

Look at all those dandelions!

There's really nothing I can do about my neighbors' trashy fence, so please just ignore it/them like I do.

More dandelions and overgrown lavender.

Even though it's a lot of work, it's important to have a positive attitude...

I continue to be amazed at how much my body has changed over the last 2 years. The last time I tried to do yard work I could only pull weeds for about 20 minutes before I was out of commission for the rest of the day. Thanks mono and baby! Yesterday, I went for a 3 mile run in the morning, went shopping, and made a HUGE dent in the weeds. I even had enough energy to do house chores after Everett went to bed. My hands are blistered, my body is sore, and my fingernails are bruised from pulling so many GD dandelions, but I am still ready to get my hands in the dirt for day 2. In conclusion, I must go! There is so much to be done!

Also, maybe I should harvest this rhubarb...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sheetrock N' Roll

Here's what went down this week...Insulation...

...And sheetrock.

The crew doing our sheetrock has been great. They are super nice, respectful, and 100% aware of how messy they are. This means they take messiness precautions and use our restroom before they start working, they clear a dust path to our laundry room every night, and they moved a basket of clean laundry from our laundry room to a dust-free room so they would not get powder all over the clean linens (so nice!).

Most importantly, they are obsessed with Willow. Any friend of Willow is a friend of mine, obviously.

I now need to make the decision for what color to paint  the downstairs. To cut back on cost and the number of times the paint sprayer will be filled with paint - and to get this freaking project done - we will need to paint four rooms the same color. This means the color needs to fit the mood of all major areas of the basement {minus the bathroom}, and needs to match our bedding. {I put my foot down and said we are painting the bathroom a spa color, so this will be the only room that is different.}

Right now I am leaning toward Revere Pewter. My thought process is that the neutral "greige" color will go well in all four rooms (bedroom, living room, laundry room, mud room/hallway), is not too light or dark, and is a warm enough gray color that the basement will not feel like a dungeon, yet we will still have the gray walls that are so fetch right now.

Our bedding is the Pottery Barn powder blue toile duvet set. We have had it for almost seven years, but I am still in love with the print, so I feel skeptical about changing it at the moment. Revere Pewter goes well with powder blue colors, and even if we do change our bedding, we will probably stick to something in the same color family.

Another color that might work is Thunder. It's a little darker, but still has that mushroom/greige feel.

Thoughts? Better ideas? Should I demand more colors for the rooms? I just had a thought: same color bathroom and laundry room? This has been the hardest decision so far!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day Card

Sweet baby boy made me a Mother's Day card! 

This is simple construction paper, pipe cleaner, Crayola finger paints, and crayons. And look, he even drew me a special picture inside!

I am the luckiest mom in the world!


He runs to grab the camera whenever I bring it out, then throws a tantrum when he can't have it...this picture is pre-tantrum.

My other child.

Not taking responsibility for this critter though.

Kittybean says: "Sending thoughts of love, peace, and blessings to mothers everywhere!"

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