Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gardening With Grandma

Ever since I was a little girl, gardens have been a constant in my life. I remember my mom's giant raised beds from the perspective of a little girl up in Grass Valley. In my memory her garden stretched on forever and the green of the plants towered over me. In Indiana she had rows of corn growing in the ground, and we lived in hate of the beetles that liked to devour those delicious kernels as much as we did. She had raised beds filled with potatoes that were like little hidden treasures. When it was time to harvest them we'd pull buckets of spuds out of the ground and spread them out on the back porch. Also in her raised beds were wax beans, but well, lets just say I had one enemy in her garden. When we moved to Sacramento half the back yard was set up with raised beds, and in that space my mother grew the biggest tomato plants I have ever seen. We stuffed ourselves with BLT's all summer and enjoyed chili with canned tomatoes in the winter.

Now we have a new generation to pass the gardening bug onto, and this last week my mom did her best to do just that. While I was working on a new flower bed my mom and Claire planted potatoes together. I kept getting distracted from my project by the cuteness of the two of them playing in the dirt. It seemed only right that Claire got her first gardening lesson from the same person who gave me mine. 

 You will note the amount of mud around Claire's pacifier in the video. That happened in the picture right above it. I was going to take a photo of Claire inspecting a handful of dirt and just as I was snapping the photo she shoved the handful of dirt into her mouth. I just tell myself that she is learning how to test soil quality. Also note her pants from the knees down. That's not a shadow, that's mud. Le sigh. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bye Bye Boobies

I feel weird sharing this on the internet, but it's official, we are done breastfeeding (imagine fireworks and a marching band and a lot of silly mama style dancing in the streets)! Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things I loved about nursing Claire. I loved the way it gave us cuddly time each day. I loved that it was something only I could do for her. I loved knowing that I was feeding her the best food I could. Oh and if we're being honest, I loved having a reason to have a sit down every couple of hours! On the other hand, after about a year and ten months of not having my body be totally my own, it's nice to have it back.

I took a slow pace to weaning Claire. Honestly, I didn't delve too deeply into the theories of how one should a ween a child. Every one has an opinion that they are sure will make your child happier, healthier or a better eater in the long run. I did a few internet searches, read a few articles and decided to just go slow and steady with it.   I figured if we cut one feeding every couple of weeks it wouldn't be too much of a shock to Claire or myself. We got a little derailed when we all got sick over the holidays because I didn't want to cut out any fluids while she wasn't feeling well, but now its all done. She gets three sippy cups of milk during the day and my boobs are free to just be decorative.

Honestly, my biggest fear about weaning her was the middle of the night feeding. It was the last feeding I chose to cut because it worked so well at getting her right back to sleep when she'd wake up. Yeah, my 13 month old was still having trouble sleeping through the night. She had been doing it about a third of the time, but decided to stop from Christmas through February. Lately  however, she was starting to STTN again sometimes so I just bit the bullet and did it.

I didn't tell Jeff about it and tried not to think about it too much because honestly, I was a little sad to be ending this chapter of Claire and my relationship. It's not like it's something we can just go back to down the road if I change my mind. I know this sounds silly to get so worked up over but it's the truth. So how did I get through this? Wine. I had a glass late in the evening so I knew I couldn't chicken out and feed her before bed and then had her sippy cup ready to go for the middle of the night. It's been two or three weeks since I weened her and for the last week she's slept from 8:30 at night until at least 7:00 in the morning without waking up. Go Team Asbury!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baby Wrestling

For the last few days I have been waiting for Claire to look up at me and say, "Mama, cocaine's a helluva drug." She has been going 90 miles an hour and just having a grand old time. Earlier today, while she was wearing my dirty shirt and destroying a pile of laundry, she decided it was time to try wrestling. I've been wrestling with her for a while now, but she hasn't really wrestled back until today. Even though I am now covered in baby drool and she has a red mark on her forehead, it was totally worth it.

Towards the end of the video you can't see it, but Prince decided to get in on the action and attack me from behind.

While we were wrestling she kept trying to dive into my lap. I caught her before she smashed into the floor. Well, I caught her every time but once.

Luckily my little girl is a trooper and after a few hugs came back at me with determination, and a small red battle scar.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sodding Our Yard

In the three or four years that we've owned this house there have been many times when I wanted to put a sign out in our front yard that read "Dear neighbors, I'm sorry." Our yard has been an eye sore and a good example of why people invented HOAs. Of course we have good excuses. We started our efforts on the inside of our house so the yard has been dangling at the end of our to do list since purchasing the home. We've also been busy over the last couple of years with getting married, cookin' up a baby and then raising one. Now, however, we are looking to sell our beloved little home and have had to get crackin' on our long forgotten to do list. 

Earlier this week we decided that this Saturday would be devoted to laying sod in our front yard. Even before we had decided to sell, we knew we would want to sod that area this Spring because I finally gave in to the fact that a big front yard garden and a baby don't mix well. I was going to scale back my efforts, but with wanting to move we had to speed up our timeline. During Claire's naps this past week I weeded, tilled and leveled the empty half of our front yard and did the research and ordering of sod. The prep took about 4.5 hours, but wasn't as hard and I had anticipated. I had weeded that side of the yard earlier in the winter so my job wasn't quite as rough as it could have been. After breakfast Jeff went to pick up the sod and we got to work.

Laying sod we actually kind of fun. It was cool to do a yard project that produced instant gratification (a rare thing indeed) and the process of rolling our grass like it was carpet was just interesting. Part way through we realized we were going to have plenty of extra sod so Jeff set to work ripping out weeds and leveling the other side of yard to lay sod there. We had planned on doing bark around the raised beds, but we figured why waste the extra sod. We had enough to do about half of that side of the yard and will do the rest later this week. 

I wish we had decided to do this project before I got pregnant! It was so much easier than I anticipated and it would have been way less time consuming to take care of than a garden. It looks so nice out there now I kind of want to have a party before we sell the house to show everyone! No more making apologies for my front yard. Yay! 

A Wakin', A Wavin' and A Clappin'

In the last week Claire has made walking, waving, and clapping a part of her routine. The last two she's been doing for a while, but now they seem to have taken on real meaning in her communication. She claps when she's proud of something she's done or excited about something, and its not uncommon now for her to wave goodbye. Her wave before was actually more of a grabbing gesture because she wanted something, but now she's developed a gentler version to say goodbye with. Of course for the video she made me repeat myself several time even though she'd been waving every time I said good bye all morning, but that seems to be the nature of trying to capture anything cute she does on my camera. Though she did do it right before she took off so it was actually a goodbye.

The walking really just started yesterday, and at first she was only interested in doing it for Papa, and only if you caught her firmly standing of her own free will and called her over. Now she is happy to do it for both of us and will do it over and over again when we stand her next to something she can hold onto. I thought she'd be encouraged to walk because she'd eventually learn it's a better way to get around, but she's too good of a crawler for that. What seems to be getting her to do it is that it's become a game full of praises and giggles.

While I am super excited about the new possibilities Claire walking opens up in terms of activities she can participate in, I'm also aware of the fact that this is a new big step in taking care of her. Keeping up with a fast crawler is work enough, but it won't be long now before she's running from one bit of mischief to the next.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Picking Oranges

I sad confession, we've had some sort of mini orange tree in our back yard for three years and this is the first year I actually got around to picking the fruit off of it. Phew, glad I got that off my chest. What made this harvest even sweeter, besides being the first we've had, is that I had the cutest little helper one could ask for. She even volunteered to manage the quality assurance.

Claire was not certain she enjoyed the bitterness of eating the orange through the rind, but she was committed to her own style. She was very distrusting of a peeled section of orange that I offered her. Claire touched it to her lips once and quickly decided that I wasn't doing it right.