Thursday, April 22, 2010

Teresa says

At 14 months and 1 week, Teresa is starting to say a few more words. She's not very verbal yet, but here's what she does say:

dada = Papa (she has said "papa" very clearly once)
mama
tsch = fish
kock = sock
suss or sssss = Jesus
dis = this
dat or datssss = that (usually, "I want that!")
hi deh = hi there
caw! = bird (the sound a bird makes)
yes
bah = bye
ah dah = all done
kuck = duck
dass = dance
boppa = Bop It (which she loves to dance to)
mun = I'm hungry, I want to eat that (an extension of mmmm, but we have no idea if it's supposed to sound like an actual word)

Note on the picture: that evening Teresa spilled her water on her tray, played with it, and then rubbed her hands in her hair - so David just added a little style to her creation ;)

How does your garden grow?

With a planter of herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, and cilantro)

A pot of rosemary (which definitely needs to be moved to a bigger pot so it can become a bush)

Some chocolate mint

A planter of strawberries

Two hanging baskets of forget-me-nots

Six tomato plants (two hybrids in the front - Burpee's Better Boy and Big Beef - and four organic heirlooms around and back: Purple Purden's, Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple, and Soldaki)

Some leafy greens and carrots (they got a late start, but we'll see what we can get out of them!)

Some newly sprouting green beans

A hill of butternut squash

And a hill of zucchini.

Just your average cuteness...

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Monday, April 12, 2010

If you know this won't work...


...just tell me now.

First I thought we might make tomato cages out of leftover metal fencing. Then I attended a gardening workshop and learned that such cages can stunt tomato production because they don't allow enough sunlight to reach the plants' leaves. The presenter recommended tall stakes. While chatting with my neighbor about her stakes, I learned that the store bought kind are not cheap. That bothered me.

When David and I were discussing the construction of our compost container (using scrap lumber and scrap chicken wire, probably), I discovered a pile of trimmed branches behind our shed. I removed all the twigs and trimmed them further. Then I artfully arranged them (ha ha) over the spots where I'll put my tomato plants. They're plunged deep into the soil - we'll see if they can bear the weight of my incredibly productive tomato plants (I hope!).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Laundry analysis

Because our water bills have been a little bit higher than we anticipated, David asked me to track how many loads of laundry I run. Our new washer is a high-efficiency front loader, so it actually uses very little water. But I was also curious about our laundry habits, so I kept a tally of loads for the month of March. The results:

12 loads of diapers (every 3 days, on average)
10 loads of regular clothes (about once a week I run a load of lights and a load of darks)
3 loads of scrubs (we always wash David's work wear separately in hot water)
4 loads of linens (2 towels, 1 sheets, and 1 bedding)
-----
29 loads total (an average of 1 load per day)

That's definitely more than I thought; since I don't do laundry every day (I like to run 3 loads in a row to conserve dryer heat, if possible) it seemed like less. Also, laundry is a chore I somewhat enjoy, so I don't make as big a deal out of it (in my mind, anyway) as chores I dislike, such as washing the dishes.

If it seems like our family of 3 washes fewer loads of regular clothes than most, remember my philosophy of wearing clothes several times to make them last longer and consume less water and energy. And if you're wondering whether we regret our decision to use cloth diapers, since they require a good bit of time (all that washing - and folding!): never. They have saved us so much money (and will continue to do so for YEARS!), they've kept an incredible amount of waste out of the landfills (it pains my heart to think of the mountains of disposables people throw away), and they're really not that difficult to use. Plus they're cute to boot!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Teresa walking

She's been taking a step here and there since she turned 1, but last weekend she really took off (age: 13 months old). She's already advanced from short zig-zags around the room (6-8 steps between objects, walls, adult legs, etc.) to longer toddles through rooms with perfectly executed turns, etc. Here's an example:

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