Sunday, August 24, 2014

We're home.

When we were discharged from the hospital on Friday, the nurse going over our discharge orders remarked multiple times about how calm we all were about going home with a newborn.

"You must have done this before, you look so relaxed!"

And really, somehow, I am. A few weeks ago I was panicking about how all of this would work but we've made it here and now I can finally remember: Oh yeah, we've got this. We're good at this.

Because we are. Jared and I? We make a great team. I am the boob-latching expert; he is the diaper-changing guru. We've done this before. We've done it well. The hospital was almost like a little vacation for us, because taking care of one sleepy newborn baby was so easy by comparison to our normal routine. We ordered Chinese takeout and had a date night in our hospital room with HGTV playing over the crappy hospital bed speakers.  It was one of the nicest nights we've had together in a long time.

On the drive home, we casually swung by Target to make a diaper run. (It's true, we had no newborn diapers. I didn't imagine a baby of mine could be so small.) When we pulled into our neighborhood, we saw that the road resurfacing work was going on right in front of our house. While we were carefully navigating our way through the neighborhood streets without wet asphalt, we heard William barf up a little bit and start coughing/choking on it. I stopped the car and Jared automatically unbuckled himself and leapt into the backseat to get William out of his car seat. Jared got him out just in time to get splattered in a second bout of baby barf. Then, as soon as William stopped choking, he curled his legs up, arched his back, and let out an explosive shit.

There are other, nicer, ways I could put it but let's be real. It was an explosive shit.

At that moment, pulled off to the side of a loud, active construction site in a car reeking of breastmilky vomit and hot asphalt, we both started laughing hysterically. Because this is our life. This is how things go. And let's be real:

It's pretty funny.

Once we were able to stop laughing, we continued the circuitous drive home and discovered that there was no way to get to our house except over freshly-laid asphalt. So we drove over it, leaving light tire indentations that forced the angry crew of steamrollers to drive over our tracks.

We smiled and waved with our barfy, poopy newborn as the steamrolling men drove by, then walked up to the house to find welcome home signs made by Colin & Oliver. And when I saw those signs I thought to myself, "Yeah. We've done well."

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing life right now. I don't know how I ever doubted us.

Ready to leave the hospital.

Taking a rest after eating.

Biggest brother Oliver and tiniest brother William.

Daddy, big brother Colin, little brother William.

Tiny 8 lb 13 oz baby and giant 2 lb 2 oz tomato from my garden.

Friday, August 22, 2014

One last baby.

The last member of our family decided to show up last Wednesday. This is William.

At 8 pounds and 12.6 ounces, he is by far the smallest of our boys. He decided to come out without an induction, and he was kind enough to be born in one contraction. He's a pretty considerate guy.

Oliver and Colin got to see him a couple hours after he was born. They both seemed to like him alright.

Since then, we've just been hanging out at the hospital watching mediocre home remodeling shows on TV.

After being admitted to the hospital, we finally figured out a name. His full name is William Sterling.

Does he look like a Will? A Bill? Who knows. Certainly not us.

We're waiting for some bilirubin test results before we can leave the hospital and head back home. So far, so good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I've just been sitting here doing a bunch of nothing, so I don't really have anything exciting to report. The kids have been in swimming lessons. They're resurfacing our road. Nothing else going on here. Here are some photos from the last few weeks. 
Monkeys at the zoo.

Riding the tiger.


Dhole statue.

Excitement of World's Largest Lefse museum.

Colin eating a donut.

Colin br(e)aking the train car.

Oliver trying his best not to be afraid.
Oliver swimming (with a lifejacket) for the first time.

Colin watching from the safety of the boat.

Disappointment at asking for a snack and getting his picture taken instead.

We tried our best to selfie on the boat.

The favorite part of the cabin - the rock gathering grounds.

Colin in his country club golf attire.

Watching the monarch chrysalises hatch.

Local Touch-A-Truck event.

Operating a forklift without proper certification.
Tubing down the Cannon River.

Haul of tomatoes from earlier today.
 Happy Tuesday.

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's bodily functions all over the place.

Yesterday we started the earnest effort of potty training Colin. I'd been feeling guilty for months about him still being in diapers at 27 months old. Yesterday he didn't want to be chased down for a new diaper so we threw our hands up in the air and said, "Fine. Go in the potty."

Since then we've been filling his cup with juice and loading him up with fruit to make him go about a million times each hour. Yesterday there was a reasonable amount of pee on the floor, despite the fact that Colin never seemed to really leave the potty. But today? Maybe it's working. First thing this morning he peed a little on the floor, but had the presence of mind to stop and run to the potty to finish. Since then he's gone on the potty every single time, #1 & #2.

Which, I know, probably isn't that exciting for you. And you're probably thinking, "Why is she doing this the week before her new baby is due?"

Because I'm crazy. Because our house always seems crazy. Because I can't imagine it being less crazy after the baby is born.

So why not.

In order to make the entire household excited, I instated a rule where we all get to party with a square of Hershey's chocolate for every successful pee attempt. Oliver being on board makes Colin so much more excited, because everybody knows Oliver's opinion is more important than mine. When Colin did his half miss/half hit performance this morning, Oliver was upset that I was praising Colin even though some pee ended up on the floor.

Oliver: Good job? That's not a good job.
Me: Yes it is. He stopped peeing on the floor so he could pee on the potty.
Oliver: He failed.
Me: No he didn't! He's learning and doing a good job. That's not nice to say to him.
Oliver, to Colin: Fine, Colin. Good job of peeing on the floor.

You have take the compliments you can get from Oliver.  He calls 'em like he sees 'em.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

End of July Garden

We just got back from a week-long vacation. I have pictures from last week, but the first thing I did when I got back in town was to run to the backyard and look at all of my plants. I left the garden in my mom's expert hands, and now it's looking better than ever.

All three beds hanging out earlier this morning.

Onions are starting to bulb.

One of a million dragonflies that likes to hang out in my garden.

Caution: spicy hot peppers. And we've got loads of them.

'Sugar baby' watermelons growing up their trellis.

One of four baby 'sugar baby' watermelons on the vine.

A hiding clump of green zebra tomatoes starting to turn zebra-y.

Tomatillos I've been waiting a long time for.

A hidden 'alibi' cucumber that's almost the perfect pickle size.

One branch of jalapeƱos from one plant.

A mystery variety tomato. Colin pulled out my garden markers, and I can only remember half of the tomatoes. I think I've narrowed it down between 'Tennessee britches'  and 'Cherokee purple' varieties.

This monster tomato makes me think it is indeed 'Tennessee britches' but I could be wrong! Time will tell.

A few little blueberries that didn't get eaten by birds on our baby blueberry bushes.

A giant bowl of green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and a hot pepper that my mom picked yesterday. We have more beans in the fridge. My parents already ate a few meals of beans. We've got a lot of beans.
It was nice to come back to the garden after a week away and see all of the progress it's made. Today we're pickling the green beans we've gotten so far, along with the cucumbers and some hot peppers. I think most of the other beans will be blanched and then frozen for use throughout the year. I'm waiting impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen so I can make salsa with the hot peppers and a couple onions. In the fall, the onion leaves will die and flop over and I'll dry the rest for use throughout the winter. The few blueberries we've had escape the birds have been eaten almost immediately by Jared and Colin.

It's kind of amazing how much food can be grown in 96 sq feet of dirt, with 15 minutes of my time each day.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Yesterday I left the kids watching TV while I took a phone call. When I came back out, I looked for Colin and couldn't find him. Actually, I noticed that the container of donuts was missing from the counter before I noticed Colin was nowhere to be found.

I  eventually found him (and the empty donut container) under the dining room table. He ate the last two donuts and a few grapes before passing out on the floor.

The scene of Colin's crime: a grape, a smear of chocolate frosting, and the empty donut box.
Ask Colin to go find his shoes and he can't. Hide a single M&M somewhere in the house and he will tear everything apart until he finds it. I call it the Law of Colin.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July in the garden.

I've spent my whole life thinking I don't like blueberries. Today, curiosity got the better of me while I was sitting on the deck and I ate one of the first ripe berries from our new bushes. To my surprise, it was amazing. I picked and ate all of the remaining ripe ones. I guess I've never had a good blueberry before now. I might even have to buy more bushes.

With July officially here, the garden is growing well. I'm so glad that we put my beds in this year, because I don't know how I would be sane if I didn't have this little naptime diversion each day.

A little snack of peas for Jared's lunch and a sampling of hot peppers for his co-worker.
Cherry tomatoes getting ready to start changing colors.

My new raised beds as seen from above. Beans, onions, lettuce, tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, carrots, and melons.

'Northcountry' blueberries gearing up for end of July harvest.

'Jelly Bean' blueberries starting to ripen right now.

'Marianna's Peace' tomato, on its way to becoming a 2 lb giant.

One of hundreds of tomatillo blossoms being pollinated by a little bug friend.

Lettuce waiting to be thinned.

Pole beans twisting to the top of their trellis.

Future cucumber pickle in the making.

A glut of what I thought were supposed to be lemon peppers, but they appear to be turning red. Surprise!

Onion scapes hanging out.

We have the contractors coming to our house tomorrow to (hopefully!) continue work on our project and get things sorted out. I'm kind of worried about that. I just want things to be done and to be done nicely.

But at least my garden looks good, right?