Digging Holes: The Grand Finale

This weekend, I finally got around to digging up my gladiola bulbs. They’ve been done blooming for a while now, but per the directions I found online, I waited until the leaves started turning yellow.

So while Brian was sick and Jameson napping, I went outside and used some muscle. Just kidding, it was kind of wet out so it was really easy.

Okay guys, these bulbs are GROSS. Is this normal? They are covered in what looks like little white mushrooms! Perhaps I waited too long and they began to rot. This is disgusting.

I have mutant bulbs in there too because apparently I planted some too close together and they’ve become siamese bulbs. Ewwww

How could something so pretty be so revolting underneath? (I know that has to be a metaphor for something)

Ugh. Just ugh.

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Best Laid Plans…

This weekend was kind of  a bummer.

Friday, I left work early to pick up a sick baby. Jameson was clearly exhausted, and had vomited twice at daycare and then once again at home before taking a long nap. After that though he appeared to get better, no fever and very active. But we had an incident Friday night, then Sunday morning and Sunday evening. He’s otherwise very active and not acting sick except for the super long naps and a little bit of a whiny disposition.

(He’s being whiny in this photo. This is crying, not yelling or other fun baby noises, but I swear it looks like he’s smirking at me too)

The super bummer part came after Brian and I had our date night on Saturday, he woke up Sunday feeling ill. I thought it might be food poisoning, honestly, but he’s got that sickly hot-cold feeling, so I think he caught what Jameson has, only worse.

Sunday ended up mostly being something like this for Brian.

And this, because Jameson doesn’t seem to understand that he’s sick. Crazy baby. He’s not eating or drinking much of anything, so we’re just keeping him hydrated as much as possible and waiting it out. With no fever, there’s not much we can give him unless it gets worse and we need to head to the doctors’.

So, that also meant no Christmas tree this weekend. I did get a few decorations up, and we put up Christmas lights a couple weeks ago, so while Brian was miserable on the couch, I went camera happy and took some photos. After I made him pasta for dinner. Good thing he didn’t have much of an appetite, since I suck at cooking.

This garland is what is going to hold my advent stockings next year when I obtain all my ornaments.

This is a live rosemary tree. It smells lovely, and I am hoping I don’t kill it, I’d love to plant it next year. And in the background…

These are styrofoam snowflakes hanging from the banister upstairs. Last year, I did bulbs, which I still have, but I wanted to do something more neutral for Jameson’s party. These were precut like this, but I bought some circles too so I can try my hand at making my own smaller versions to go with them.

And the outside…

This is our street. That’s right, only 3 houses on my street, cul de sacs at either end (like a bone). We all happened to use white icicle lights, which looks lovely coming up the road.

(The lots were bank owned since the builder went under, but recently were purchased by another builder, so I am actually looking forward to possibly having more neighbors in a couple years.)

Unfortunately tonight Jameson will be missing out on the Polar Express! The Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad does this every year, and we were really looking forward to going with our friends, but the smart parental choice says that since he was sick yesterday evening, and Brian is also still ill, it wouldn’t be wise to go because we are germ carriers, even if it was just Jameson and myself.

Hopefully everyone will start to feel better soon!

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Pumpkin Patch Kids

This past week has been unseasonably warm, so we spent a lot of time outside last weekend. On Saturday, Brian and I went on a hike to Buttermilk Falls where we got engaged just over 3 years ago.

The falls were prettier this time around; there was more water. Also… I dressed nicer, and take better photos than when we were engaged. It was nice to come back there for the first time since then. The hike is always fun because it is not a true trimmed up trail–there are trees fallen across the path and you have to jump across a section of water in one place. So it’s a little adventure!

Meanwhile, Aunt Melissa baby sat Jameson (who slept away most of the afternoon and consequently was the easiest, more boring babysitting job ever).

He now has five teeth, going on six, and is occasionally cranky from teething, so we were happy he was such a treat for his grandma and Aunt Melissa.

Sunday, we went to Patterson Fruit Farm with his friend Jonathan and parents JP and Lisa.

Jameson was hard to take photos of because of all the activity around, but I did catch a couple good ones in my staged shots with the hay bales.

I must have a good eye for good photo shoot locations. A few people lined up behind me saying they were going to take pictures in the same spot!

Oh, and look at this ADORABLE baby. This is Jonathan, dressed up for the occasion. I love this outfit!

The farm was really busy. I think most everyone else had the same idea because of the nice weather… plus, pumpkins are actually expensive here (we didn’t purchase any), so I think that next year we’ll find a smaller, maybe more traditional pumpkin patch. Maybe one where we actually get to pick them.

Jameson loved the pumpkins; he was impossible to get looking at the camera, which is usually one of his favorite things.

Finally, I got a good shot in the “pumpkin patch”. Too bad the lighting was too poor to salvage in color. I went brown, but it’s still a great photo.

Patterson is really well known for their apples and apple fritters, so we bought both. My favorite apples are Jonagold, which are hard to find in the grocery store, so we bought a small bag of those. Last year I made some applesauce from the apples I purchased here, but I’m lazier busier now.

We ate one of our apple fritters each, fed the babies, and walked a little around the paths outside Patterson.

Then it was off to Holden Arboretum, which was also crowded in certain areas because of an event they were running for kids.

We played a bit, then meandered off onto less traveled trails. We may have gone in front of some kids to get this shot above…

Last time we were at Holden Arboretum, I was pregnant, and we talked about coming in the fall when the leaves were changing. I got my wish just over a year later, and it really was as pretty as I thought it would be.

I heard from Lisa that this coming weekend will be the best for observing the changing leaves, so hopefully it will be nice enough to spend some more time outside this weekend.

P.S. Jameson was forced to kept his shoes on the whole time, thanks to tight velcro.

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Welcome, Autumn

September 23rd was the first day of fall, but I pulled out my fall decor a couple weeks earlier. It is always exciting for me, because my house is already in fall colors with browns, maroons and oranges.

I had so much I wanted to share but I couldn’t fit it all in the board. I just love the vase with the mini faux pumpkins I bought at a craft store. I’m going on three years of using it and still haven’t gotten tired of it.

I love faux flowers, if they are quality made. I mixed my large floor vase with real dried cattails and grasses (also around 3 years of use).

Also toward the bottom are two plates that I painted at a class held by an All Fired Up store. This fall, I’m going to do a stained glass class. Fall is the best time for crafting.

And apples. I can’t wait to go to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch with Jameson.

But just when you think fall is really in swing, late blooming flowers arrive on scene. Hello, dahlias.

I hope they finish blooming before frost arrives. I would hate to see all their lovely potential go to waste. Happy Fall everyone!

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Family Fair Fun, Food, Fabulous-ness

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know I did. Friday, Brian and I took off and went to the fair with Jameson and my parents and sister (hence no blog post!)

It was a blast. We were there for almost 5 hours and Jameson didn’t complain at all, despite the heat wave and stroller sitting. He’s even giving us a (random, not on purpose) thumbs up! (P.S., do you see that hat? His head must have grown tremendously this month; it barely fits now)

We’ve always gone to this fair on the weekend since I was little, but going on a Friday was perfect with Jameson. It wasn’t crowded, and we even got shots of him with the traditional pumpkin. (No lines made it so much easier to take pictures with Jameson)

And, non traditional pumpkins.

Of course, it’s not a fair without seeing a few animals.

And, the men waiting for us women in the craft building.

Jameson started holding his own bottle consistently this week, and he was great about drinking it in the stroller. Meanwhile, Brian and I had fries, funnel cake, and I had Italian sausage. New this year is pulled pork on baked potato or nachos, so Brian and my parents tried that concoction. I wasn’t impressed with the BBQ sauce though.

By the end of the day, Jameson finally gave in to sleep. Those rosey cheeks are from the heat! We left soon after, and he napped the way home and after. What a champ!

After a fabulous Friday and Saturday, Jameson is having napping trouble today and yesterday after we went to the zoo, poor thing. What did you do this Labor Day weekend?

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A Moment

Usually I take photos of events, when people come to visit or Jameson is learning something new. However, Tuesday night the week before last, I took these photos for no reason at all. Sasha came outside and when we called her over, she actually sat next to Jameson. The editing was difficult and we were in the shade, so the tones in these photos are slightly vintage. It was a great moment!

It is chilly this morning, the sky is clear and the air is crisp, my “fire plants” (burning bushes) are starting to turn. I know fall is on the way, so it was nice to capture this before summer ends.

P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was so impromptu, Jameson had his dinner all over his outfit. I actually edited the food off his outfit. Maybe that’s cheating, but there you go.

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In Bloom

For the past couple weeks, my gladiola bulbs finally started blooming! Two weeks ago I shared the budded bulbs (and the discovery of the pumpkin plant in my flower bed) but since then they have exploded in an array of colors I had to share. Please forgive me, I couldn’t narrow the photos down, so here are all my favorites!

Along the side up to the porch and the back center flower garden I planted plumtart gladiolas, which are all a smaller bright purple flower. I’ve been clipping them for display inside; they are gorgeous and the perfect size for a tall skinny bud vase.

The rest of the gladiolas on the corners of the house are very large and in mixed colors, and they finally bloomed this past week in reds, deep purples, pink and multi.

This one  above is my favorite, I’m showing it off at and then, she {snapped}!

The pictures are so gorgeous, I almost felt like they could be a painting. I tried a couple textures out to see. I may have to get this printed on canvas, from the Groupon I purchased a couple months ago which I haven’t decided what to use on yet.

And the bokeh! Those lovely out of focus circle elements in the background. I can see why some photographers might dedicate their work to this style photography.

I have clipped one of these large stems for the house, and spent some time figuring out where to place it. I’ve settled on the entryway, because it needs to lean against a wall.

These blooms are completely worth the trouble of digging them up for winter storage. Sadly, I don’t think I will get to see the lilies, dahlias, or freesia bloom this year. The plants are big but without buds this season. We’ll have to wait for next year on those.

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To Granny’s House We Go

This past weekend Jameson and I drove down to my parents house for a visit. Poor Jameson just can’t catch a break — after a week of cheerful, happy baby, Mr. Jameson caught another cold. However, there was a silver lining: because he had a fever to go with it and couldn’t attend daycare, I was able to leave earlier on Thursday than originally planned.

Brian didn’t come with us this time, and my dad was out of town so it was just me, Jameson, his grandma and Aunt Holly. A bunch of lovely ladies to fawn over the little dude!

We did some shopping and I managed to purchase a few items that make me feel pretty for the first time in a while; we went on a lot of walks outside and at the mall; and his grandma and Aunt Holly even got to babysit one night while I visited with old friends.

For the first time, Jameson managed to get one of the puffs into his mouth. It wasn’t a pincer grasp though, we are definitely not there yet, but we are practicing! Even a puff on the nose is progress.

Oh, and he’s a champion sippy cup drinker now, but not with the handle-less sippy cups that I purchased originally. This one is a cheapy plastic cup with no valve system. He’s chewing on it here, but he is pretty adept now at sipping and playing with it. Since we only have one though, it is washed daily.

Because he had a cold, he was Mr. Cranky Pants, so we spent quite bit of time outside and on my parents’ deck because that always cheers him up to be outdoors.

Their garden is always amazing, and this year I was impressed with the number of “volunteer” tomato plants and sunflowers popping up on the other side of the garden. I guess that’s what happens when you feed the birds regularly. Next year when Brian and I put together our raised garden beds, we will have to start feeding them.

We came home with zucchini, cucumber, sweet yellow peppers and hot red peppers almost a foot long. The best part? Late harvest strawberries which were gobbled up immediately. Jameson wanted to help pick a few himself.

P.S. The subject is a bit of a joke, because we keep asking what my mom would like to be called and she keeps saying she doesn’t care. We like to threaten her with a Granny title. Hi, Granny!

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Flower Garden Update: Surprise!

I have a (I think) funny story. Thank goodness something funny happened this week, because I totally ran out of material. These people with children who are walking and talking seem to have a constant comedy show. My comedy show is in my own head. Trust me, no one else would find it funny.

[Example: Brian and I went on a walk yesterday and we always pass a stunted, no, totally f-ed up bush looking maple tree; Brian calls it the “Hilary tree” because he likes to make fun of me in completely immature middle school style. Cue me, laughing every.single.time. like its a brand new joke and stumbling over my own feet like a drunkard. End story.]

What I’m trying to say is that Jameson doesn’t do too much yet. His little farty noises are only funny to me. But today I have a relatively funny story, so here it goes (if you made it this far).

Remember my fiasco planting bulbs a little over a month ago? Well, things are going pretty good. I’ve had a few bulbs not come up, and a few don’t like the locations I put them in very well. Oh, and a couple plants that we didn’t help after I planted them in mulch, well, they didn’t stay planted very well. But all and all, not too shabby. A few things are sprouted, like the dahlias:

And some are even about to bloom! A few of the gladiolas.

And the hibiscus, solidly expanded in its second year, has plenty getting ready to bloom in a red glory.

To tell you the truth, I am a little surprised that I have anything blooming at all (aside from the hibiscus which was already there); I thought I had planted the bulbs far too late to really get anything blooming.

Then… there’s this thing. Sprouted between my three lily plants.

It’s steadily getting bigger. At first I thought it was a weed, because it grew so fast! One day it was there, already some 8 inches tall! But, I do tend to like some weeds, so I left it alone. Plus I wondered if maybe it had hitched a ride from the Netherlands in the bulb bags and maybe it was some sort of exotic weed

It’s been a few weeks, and it didn’t seem to do much except get a bit bigger. And it started looking remarkably like a squash plant. Zucchini squash, Brian and I concluded.

A few days later, picture Brian and I walking back to the house with Jameson. I noticed a tiny little yellow flower. And suddenly I wonder aloud, where in the world a zucchini seed would possibly have come from?

We are three houses along our road, and none of us have gardens. All together, we have a few tomato plants, pepper plants, herbs and Brian and I have a random brussell sprout plant which I don’t expect to yield.

Then it came to me.

Embarrassingly, Brian and I left our pumpkins out to freeze and then literally melt in that very spot. From October to February, they sat. If you’re counting, that’s almost 5 months of pumpkins rotting in the very front of our house.

P.S. I hear that pumpkin plants take a ton of water, and they take over gardens. We’ll leave it for now for fun to see what it does, but I’m not opposed to taking it down if it starts strangling those lovely gladiolas. Oh, and please don’t hassle me over the phone photos. I was in a hurry!

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Empty Lots

I’ve been having some meaningful thoughts recently, which I would like to write about soon. About my revelation about choices, and about the importance of being present. However, today, I am lacking good words. Instead, I will leave you with this.

Last Sunday the message was about the weeds among the wheat at church. I don’t often touch on religion, but bear with me.

The weeds and wheat parable refers to the end of days, and what I got out of it is that we should not be passing judgement on other people, that is for God to do, because how are we to tell which are the weeds and which are the wheat? And I know there are probably lots of other messages in there but I don’t pretend to have a good handle on theology.

I had been eying the empty lots across the street from our house for a while. And I had a thought. Because from this relative unattractiveness:

Are these lovelies.

But then, these are one of my favorite flowers. I have always considered them flowers and not weeds. When I was growing up I called them Queenyun’s Lace (all slurred together, and yes, I really thought that was what it was called forever)

And now I’m sure I’ve taken the parable way out of context or relevance. But hopefully provoked some thought, or some enjoyment of pretty pictures (take a moment to zoom in on a couple… I processed them specifically to bring out their lovely petals. Enjoy). Happy Friday everyone!

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