Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interesting Volunteer Garden Specimen

I know this kind of looks like a carrot we buried upside down in the soil just for kicks (except for the fact that it's hollow in the center). In actuality, we don't go burying hollow carrots upside down in our garden for fun, and it turns out that our garden is host to a really weird type of fungus called the stinkhorn (or at least that's my best guess as to what it is).

Last year we noticed these pinkish orange fingers growing randomly here and there in our garden beds. They are kind of disturbing, and very noticeable--the kind of thing that makes you raise your eyebrows and ask if that kind of thing can really grow in nature. They get bigger than the one I've taken a picture of which is already at least three or four inches tall. So far this year, this seems to be our lone random pointing finger but there's still time.

Nice Belly

I am beginning to get a belly, but really I'm at the looking-fat-not-pregnant-stage. Tucker, on the other hand, is the one sporting the belly. He has developed an affection for stuffing all the duckies he can find (usually two or three) under his shirt and running around like that (he likes to feel their softness on his belly, or that's what he says!). I don't think he's imitating me yet... in fact, I don't think he's noticed that my belly is expanding, but it is strangely coincidental timing.

34 Tomato Plants in the Ground

Since we've been married, we've never quite had enough tomatoes. Usually tomatoes are the epitome of garden bumper crops, but they've been disappointing for us, especially the past two years since moving to our new house. Last year all the ones we planted from seed died and we had to replace them with ones from Lowe's which apparently all carried a tomato blight which in turn killed all the new plants before the fruit ripened.

This year will be different.

Austin got an early start and planted the seeds about 5 weeks ago, aiming to have respectable seedlings by beginning of May. Instead, these seeds decided to outdo themselves, and became monster tomato plants within a few weeks. They became so tall we had to put them in a cardboard box so that they wouldn't topple over before they could be safely planted and staked in the garden.

Our last frost here is about May 1st, so we really didn't want to set them out until then, but by the beginning of last week the tomato situation in our sunroom was getting ridiculous. Finally, this weekend, with no frosts on the long term weather forecast, Austin took the plunge and put them out.

He filled up a whole garden bed with them, and still has 6 plants reserved in case a few die. I thought he should plant the remaining 6 anyway; I mean, what's there to lose? He thinks I'm insane. 34 tomato plants should be an amazing amount of tomatoes if all goes well. You can see by the picture below it really is a lot of tomato plants.

And this is Austin protecting the plants tonight from an impending frost.

This is Tucker helping Austin water the tomato plants (yes, Tucker's trying to poke a screwdriver into the stream of water).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Pacifier Fairy

The Pacifier Fairy visited Tucker this week. Tucker put all of the pacifiers that he still uses at naps and at nighttime in a basket on the porch, and the Pacifier Fairy whisked them away for the babies who need them, leaving big boy toys in their place.

Tucker is thrilled by the Matchbox dune buggy, the Mickey Mouse Pez dispenser, and the Winnie the Pooh and Barney videos the Pacifier fairy gave him. In fact, giving up the pacifier wasn't as bad as I thought. There have been no tantrums, and no tears. Tucker hasn't had any trouble going to sleep at night or getting back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night. All in all, the Pacifier Fairy had a very successful visit... except for one thing.

Did the Pacifier Fairy tell my son it was time to stop napping?????????????

This is day 3 of no pacis and day 3 of no naps. Tucker was already having an issue of fighting his naps with his newly discovered freedom of being able to get out of bed. But I thought we had gotten over the hump with that and were back to 2+ hour naps every day. But the lack of a pacifier has reset the naptime equilibrium again, and Tucker has turned into an insane, hyper little guy at naptime. He yawned when I put him down today, and yawned after I put him down (again) midway through his nap after going potty... and in between he gathered every car he could find on his bed and sang the Wheels on the Bus song.

Dear Pacifier Fairy, can you bring ME a present? Please bring back naptime!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'll spare you the picture...

...but Tucker really likes to be naked. In fact, his skills at getting his pants off and on are really increasing. So now at night, rather than just finding his diaper a few inches down, we typically find it around his toes along with his pajama bottoms. There have been several nights recently that I've had to climb onto his bed (around the bed rail), turn him over, put on a new diaper, get the old diaper off, and pull up his pants, all without him stirring an inch. Crazy.

Tucker is also very interested in being private about his bathroom functions. He closes the door and then there is usually a furious succession of activity before he emerges. I think he tries to pee, then empty the potty chair and wash it out with water and dump it back in the big toilet and flush it all in about 5 seconds, with his pants still around his ankles. I'm not sure how clean anything gets, but at least I have a reasonable assurance he is actually peeing.

This afternoon I asked Tucker if he wanted to take his sweater off as we were playing outside. He said that he was hot so I took the sweater off. Then he decided he wanted to take his shirt off too, and next thing I know I had a bare chested boy running around. I went around the corner to fill up the watering can, and by the time I was back, he was completely naked, standing there right next to our driveway. He was disappointed to learn that he had to put his pants back on, and ran around saying "I'm naked! I'm naked!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random pics


This weekend Austin and I had our second getaway since Tucker was born, thanks to eager babysitting by Henny and PaPa (THANK YOU!). It was a bit out of the box, but we decided to take a road trip to Cincinnati to hear a lecture by Wendell Berry and Gene Logsdon, a couple authors that we really enjoy and admire.

It was a fun break in the routine, and we enjoyed Cincinnati, which is an accessible city with a lot to do. We also got to watch the Masters golf tournament on TV totally kiddo free, which was a delight as well.

Tucker, apparently, didn't ask about us at all, he was so thoroughly enjoying basking at the the center of both Henny and PaPa's attention (though he did get into his Little Tikes car one night and tell them he was driving it to Ohio).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jail Break

Tucker has discovered that he can get out of bed and leave his room at will during naps and at night. Tucker thinks this is an exciting and stimulating discovery that requires a lot of exploration right now. Austin and I are hoping the novelty wears off quickly and in the meantime are spending a lot of time shaking our heads at each other in a combination of amusement and irritation.

We have established that there are two rules of naptime: 1) Be quiet and 2) Stay in your room. Obviously, these are very nuanced rules that need to be tested in depth. Tucker figured out the first day that if he needs to go to the potty, he gets to subvert those two rules. And so that first day he went potty every 5 minutes for about 5 times straight, squeezing out a tablespoon of pee each time. That did NOT work for me, who had to institute a third rule: Only one potty break during naptime.

He's up there now turning the monitor off and on, turning the lights on and off, shaking a noise maker, running vigorously to all corners of his room, and rolling cars all over the floor. But at least he's still in his room. Sounds like a good nap to me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We are pushing "please" and "thank you" hard these days, but so far with success only after prompting. A typical conversation:

Tucker: I want XXXX.
Me: Ask nicely.
Tucker: Nicely.
Me: No, ask again, but do it nicely.
Tucker: Ask.
Me: I meant, ask your whole question again but say please at the end.
Tucker: Please.

It feels a bit like a Three Stooges routine at this point, to me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Best Birthday Present Ever

...Was getting to see the first ultrasound of our baby today! I am at the end of my first trimester, and Baby Jamison gave me quite a show this afternoon, leaping and frolicking and generally being very squirmy. I told Tucker when I got home that I saw the baby jumping, but he didn't believe me and told me that babies can't jump. You can see from the picture that the baby already takes after Austin with its ramrod straight posture.

We asked Tucker on Easter if he wanted a baby brother or a baby sister. I explained that baby sisters probably would like to play dress up and dolls and brothers would like trucks, so of course Tucker said he wanted a baby brother. The key fact I left out was that Tucker would have to share his trucks if he had a brother... I think this would potentially (i.e. definitely) reverse his thoughts on the matter.

Tucker's real opinion, I'm afraid, is that he doesn't like the idea of a baby in the house. At our Bible Study, I occasionally have the gumption to hold my friend's baby who is now 5 months old... the first time Tucker saw me holding William, he had a fit and just completely dissolved. Ever since then he tells me before the Bible study and at other times during the week as he sees fit that "Mama not hold Henry's baby." In the nursery at church, Tucker tries to guard my lap and box the other kids out that might sit there. It sounds to me like learning to share Mama might be a little painful for all involved this fall!

Baby J is due on October 19th, which is an interesting choice of arrival dates given a wedding in Brooklyn, New York that I'm attending on October 10th. I think I will have to wear a muumuu and hide under a large boulder so that I don't accidentally make it into any of the wedding pictures... assuming, of course, that I don't go into labor in the middle of the ceremony. This is one case where I really wouldn't mind if the baby takes its time (I never thought I would say that after Tucker being 8 days late).

But in all seriousness, we are tremendously thankful for and blessed with this new life. I also am thankful for beginning to feel human again after a miserable first trimester--it remains bizarre to me that you can feel the most wretched during the part of pregnancy where the baby is smaller than the size of a walnut.

Happy Easter

We had a great Easter. Tucker really enjoyed hunting for eggs, and has been helping me upload the footage today with rapt attention. We had one of Tucker's little friends over for the egg hunt who was much more interested in playing with the tricycle than looking for eggs. It was probably for the best because Tucker was just about ready to hip check anyone who came between him and the eggs. The video really doesn't do the scene justice. After we found all the eggs, we hid them a couple more times so that the fun wouldn't be over so soon. In fact, Tucker would've liked to hide them all night but Easter dinner was calling (incidentally, even the promise of strawberries in the fruit salad wasn't enough to tear Tucker away from egg hunting, it was that much fun).

Like Father, Like Son

When we came home from working out on Saturday morning, Austin was mowing the lawn for the first time this season. Tucker immediately entered a lawn mowing frenzy and ran off to get the necessary equipment, which included finding both ear protection and a dust mask (the pollen is really bad right now) so that he could be exactly like his daddy. He proceeded to mow the hill with Austin, who admitted later he was trying to figure out a way to hand off the real 54" commercial mower to his son because Tucker is a much more enthusiastic lawn mower than Austin is.