In the yard

We’ve been spending a lot of time in the yard lately. It seems like we skipped right over Spring and are now in full Summer weather mode (for the moment!). It was 90 yesterday. That might not seem like anything special to a lot of you, but out here, wow. Especially in May! I used to live in high desert in CA so I know all about heat, but living in Chi-town has made me a warm weather wimp. That stuff about your blood thickening is really true: I can handle zero degrees with little discomfort, but anything above 85 has me reeling and feeling sick. A-n-y-w-a-y, enough about the weather. If you wanted to talk about the weather you’d be chatting with your grocer or neighbor. I’m sure you’ve got better reasons for being here!

So, the yard. We’ve been getting a lot of work done, in addition to all of the outdoor playtime we’ve been having. Over the weekend, Brian and I planted a whole host of hostas around the perimeter of our front/side yard. These hardy plants were given to us by our neighbors who wanted them out of their yard. Score! Check out the pretty lilac trees in bloom, too.

And, of course, I’ve been spending time in my garden. It’s crazy how fast weeds spring up. Here are my little plants getting bigger everyday! I can’t wait to eat them! Behind the garden you can see the old cracked cement foundation where the garage used to be (and little legs, exploring the terrain). Brian has been getting a workout with the sledgehammer, trying to break up the concrete. Once it’s out, we’ll be able to install a fence that will enclose the rest of the yard. I’m also hoping to put in another raised bed for my summer veggies!

And here is the rest of the yard. General up-keep on a yard this size is a lot of work (I’m told, I don’t do most of it!). Recently we’ve been able to clear the yard of all the random sticks/branches that accumulate over the winter. They are all sitting on our front yard waiting for the monthly branch pick-up. It’s so nice to see the blooms on all the trees!

And let’s not forget all the fun we’ve been having. With the hot days I knew it was time for some water fun. Our little pool from last year broke, so I improvised with a storage bin and the hose. I don’t think Parker minded at all. In true little boy fashion, he insisted on drinking from the hose. Oh what fun.

Love that little face!

I do eventually need that storage bin, so I decided to pick up another pool this morning. We got one from Target that shoots water off of one side. Parker just can’t get enough of it.

Splish splash!

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Plants!

This past weekend was exceptionally warm for these parts. We were in the 70s – 80s all weekend! It was just glorious. It seemed like everyone emerged from the winter hibernation to get some yard work done. It was particularly perfect timing for me as I had been hoping to get my spring planting done. Thanks to the weather, I was able to get everything I wanted in the ground!

Right now my garden is all soil, so you aren’t missing anything by not seeing a picture. Here is what I planted: Spinach, Carrots, Romaine Lettuce, Onions, Shallots, Garlic, and Asparagus. Whew! I’m being adventurous! This is the first time I’ve really planted from seed, so I’m a little nervous. I’m hoping we don’t get an extended frost, so they have the best chance of survival. I guess time will tell!

My Chives came back from last year’s herb garden. I had completely forgotten about them, so it was a nice surprise when they showed up. I also planted a nice little pot of Basil. The rest of the herbs will have to wait until it gets a bit warmer. The Basil can always come inside if it gets too cold.

And because Parker is apparently fascinated with all things gardening, I got a little kit for him to grow watermelons. He has his own little gardening tools now and he thinks they are the best. And let’s be honest, since eating dirt is his favorite part of gardening, the trowel acts a bit like a spoon. Oh, boys. Anyway, here we are planting out watermelon seeds.

Excited to be mommy’s little gardening helper.

Patting down the dirt after putting watermelon seed into little pots.

After eating some of the dirt left on his trowel. Crazy munchkin.

The finished product enjoying the sunny spot in the window.

Mr. Handsome trying out the other gardening products. Clearly gardening markers are a desirable thing to eat! Oh, what fun gardening is!

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PJs and Elastic

Is there anything cuter than a toddler in pajamas?

I mean, seriously, look at those cute chunky legs covered in firetrucks. They are the best.

As you can see, I got around to putting the elastic in these pantalones for my dude and they came out perfecto! (I’m making tamales this week, so I’m in a bit of an Espanol mood. Lo Siento.) Anyway, instead of following the patterns elastic instructions, I always do it the way my mom taught me. Rather than make a channel for the elastic (in which it inevitably gets twisted and bunched), I just overlock the elastic right to the pants, pulling the elastic tightly as I go. Then, just turn down the fabric to the width of the elastic and zigzag it all in place. So fast and no twisted elastic! Yay!

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Homemade Playdough

Parker eats everything. EVERYTHING. So I’ve been hesitant to try out crafts that would generally be inhaled by our young man. I had heard you could make edible (or eatable as the Johnny Depp version of Willy Wonka would say) play-dough, so I thought I’d give it a try. I felt extra motivated since I went to a children’s resale event this past weekend and picked up some cheap play-dough toys (a combo of molds, a grater, and a saw). Parker has been obsessed with the saw since I brought it home, so I figured he’d love getting to cut through the dough. So, here is what I did:

Edible Play-dough Recipe

1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 TBS of honey
1/2 cup of flour

Mix it all together until it reaches a play-dough like consistency. You may need to add more flour as you go. It’s that easy!

I floured a baking sheet for the working surface and it worked well. The dough is stickier than normal play-dough, so keep that in mind. I’m not sure whether you can keep the play-dough for future use or not. I think it might get too stiff if you kept it in the refrigerator. Let me know if you try it out and are able to keep it for future use!

Do I see a few crumbs on that face? Hmmmm. I think some snacking has been going on!

Showing off his skills and his new saw toy. Fun!

Parker did eat a lot of it. Heck, after smelling the peanut butter and honey combo I wanted to eat some of it. Surprisingly, he played with it a lot too. So, overall, I think it was a success! The only downside is that the color leaves something to be desired. I suppose you could add food coloring but I’m not sure how good it would look mixed with the peanut-butter-brown. Let me know if you try it out!

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Clothing Time

Wow. Clearly I grew up in the 90′s. Titling this blog made me laugh really hard. It made me start singing “Closing Time” with a lisp. Try it. It’s fun. Or maybe that’s just me.

Where was I? Oh yes, clothes. I made lots of clothes at our weekend sewing extravaganza. I had already cut nearly everything out before I left (you know, to reduce the amount of stuff I had to cram into my bag), so I had the leisure of trucking on through from one project to the next without pausing to cut out fabric. It was great and made me feel super productive. So, here’s what I accomplished:

I made a new top for myself using the Simplicity 3759 pattern. Even though my experience sewing clothing is limited, I found this pattern to be really easy and thorough. Something that doesn’t happen a lot when using commercial patterns (in my opinion). I’ll definitely make more of these with minor adjustments to the bustline. As it is, this is more of a date night shirt. Not so much a wearing to church shirt. *Ahem.*

Then I made these little guys for my little guy. They were taken from old shirts of Brian and re-purposed to fit the little dude. I made them a little big, so they should fit this summer. I really didn’t use the pattern (Simplicity 3856) much, just to cut down the shirts to size. I kind of winged it from there. They are so stinkin’ cute on him though. Yay!

And pajama pants ( from Simplicity 2734). As you know, I have a history of trying to find nighttime clothing solutions for my chunky monkey. I made these extra big so they should fit for awhile. Should. If he ever stops growing like a weed that is. I forgot to bring elastic, so I still have to put it in the front two pants. I haven’t made the tops yet because I’m not sure if I like the pattern or not. I’ll let you know what I decide to do with them!

Tomorrow I’ll show you all the quilting I finished over the weekend!

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