Pics or It Didn’t Happen!

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Look! A picture of a blackberry! (And some gorgeous purple green beans we’re growing this year). So far, every blackberry that has sprung forth from our bushes this year has been promptly eaten, usually fresh off the bramble, before pictures could happen. This one was so gigantic and wonderful – the quintessential blackberry – that I reined myself in and kept from eating it long enough to snap a shot.

The color of the day is purple.

And then? Then I ate it.

Farm-to-Fork? More Like Farm-to-Face

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Willem is eating FOOD, guys! I’m not sure why I’m so excited about this, but I am. I mean, it was inevitable that the kid would eat food at some point, right? He’s not going to survive on breast milk forever.

Part of it is that, oh, holy crap, he’s already eating food. At this rate, he’ll be learning to drive before we know it.
20140724. I'm ready.

The other part is that so far, his first foods were lovingly made by ME last fall. With every messy bite, I’m brought back to that time, when I was so full of excitement and big dreams for this little creature I was anxiously waiting to meet. And now? Now he is here, and he gets to eat that excitement and those big dreams with every spoonful. How cool is that?

Sweet potatoes (or were those yams?) from the garden last fall…
20131102. Sweet potatoes (or did I plant yams?).

And straight into the gullet. The kid, he likes his sweet potatoes.
20140724. Sweet potatoes are GOOD.

Our annual trip to Anderson Orchard last September:
20130914. Anderson Orchard.

20130914. Annual Anderson Orchard visit.

Apple sauce making:
20130914. Old school is new school again.

Apple sauce eating. Verdict: apple sauce is GOOOOOD.
Apple sauce!

I honestly don’t see us ever buying baby food from the store. This is one-ingredient goodness right here, and it doesn’t get much closer to home.

Birdie, the Master of the Photobomb

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Our dog is a pretty spectacular little beastie in a lot of ways. She has amazing ears, is exceedingly snuggly, and has been described by the doggie daycare down the street at “the UN ambassador of doggie daycare.” She is also the master of the photobomb, and I thought it high time we begin compiling the magic for posterity’s sake.

Christmas family portrait:
20131225. Family photo.

Family photo photobomb:
Family photo!

Bath time photobomb:
20140312. Bath time! Note Birdie hiding under the table.

Exersaucer/I wanna go outside photobomb: Once you see her, you can’t look at anything else.
These guys. And yet another amazing Birdie photo bomb.

Okay, not exactly a photobomb, but she really wanted to play catch with this artichoke. Look at her sitting so nicely.
20130817. Birdie has an interest in artichokes.

Good dog, Birdie! Good dog!

Balance

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So… I was supposed to return from maternity leave to my old, full-time, wonderful job on May 15. I had been there six years and had very much climbed the ladder (and had been given the opportunity, trust, and support to do so from my boss, co-workers, our board, our members… everyone) in terms of both salary and job responsibilities/title. It was an awesome place to grow and learn, and in those respects it was very hard to not go back.

In the I-have-a-Willem-now respect, though, it was very, very easy to not go back. I just… I can’t even imagine working full time right now and am utterly thankful I am not having to make that work. However, being completely focused on a baby and someone else’s needs? That gets old fast, and so I am super lucky and thankful to be working very part-time for Growing Places Indy as their operations manager. I’m writing grants, tracking donations and entering data into QuickBooks, doing graphic design – basically, whatever needs getting done, I’ll do. It keeps me tied to the real world in an awesome way, since I get to work for an organization that is doing some amazing stuff in my city and that I really believe in and am interested in already.

I’m pleased as punch to see my signs around town for our new u-pick farm and farm stand:

Farm U-Pick and Farm Stand, Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center

Growing Places Indy's Urban U-Pick is open for business!

And the other day we got notice that we received funding on the first grant I’ve ever applied for. It seems weird that this is the first grant I’ve actually ever applied for; I’ve worked on grants for other people before but never really been the head grant-applicator. Or something. Anyway, it’s awesome, and it means we will be able to grow produce year-round AND support a year-round urban farmer, which is huge. I’m super proud.

P.S. Backyard panorama, just for scuzz.

Backyard panorama.

P.P.S. Speaking of “balance,” I’d be remiss to not post a picture of my Willem being cute, right?

The cutest.

Life Goals and Stuff

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New life goal: live life so the smile lines way outweigh the frown lines. Way easier said than done at times.

New life goal: live so the laugh lines far outweigh the stress lines.

Things to smile about: how much Willem loves watching the wind blow through the trees.
20140708. Watching the wind in the trees.

Chris’ new obsession/love of all things bees and our dreams of alpaca/bee farms in the mountains outside Asheville. Hey, it could happen.
Fat Honey Comb in my Top-Bar Hive - Day 62

First tomatoes:
20140708. State of the garden address.

Mad, mad gardens:
20140708. State of the garden address.

My Own Personal Gilroy Garlic Festival

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In Gilroy, CA, there is an annual garlic fest of epic proportions. It’s actually pretty lame, but I never went to it when I lived in Humboldt County and San Francisco. NEVER. Current me is berating past me for not recognizing that future me would think that was the most awesome festival ever.

And, really, my “own personal Gilroy Garlic Festival” is a bit of an exaggeration. Know why? The GGF has GARLIC ICE CREAM. And I have none of that. Which is sad.

However! I do have garlic! As of today, we have way more garlic than we will be able to consume in the next year. Seriously, garlic grows itself. If you’re interested in knowing how, hit me up. All you need is a little planning ahead (hint: plant those cloves in November, homie), a little patience (gotta wait until next summer, dawg), and a coolish, darkish place for them to dry out and cure a bit (like our super lo-fi basement hanger set up):

20140706. Garlic fest 2014.

In the latest edition of “babies are HARD,” we’ve had some serious sleep issues cropping up for the last month or so. It’s funny… my lack of schedule for him wasn’t a problem at all until SUDDENLY IT WAS A HUGE PROBLEM. They finally got so bad last week that the little bugger was only napping in half-hour increments and was chronically tired and cranky. No bueno!

Starting Friday, July 4, I started actually putting the kid on a schedule and trying some different ways of getting him to sleep. I’m happy to report that he has now slept until 7 am the last two mornings, and his last eight naps have been in his crib, as opposed to in my arms, the carrier, the stroller, etc. So far, it’s also been not too terribly painful – maybe 15 minutes of me settling him for each nap, sometimes re-settling halfway through, but nothing major and no crying until puking. It’s wonderful, and we are all feeling so much better about life already. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that jazz.

20140706. What new level of cuteness is this?!

Handmade goodies.

This is what it looks like when a creative, yet OCD, person tries to get a baby on a schedule. But look! See how the last two bars are almost identical? That’s what we want.

20140706. This is what putting a kid on a sleep schedule looks like in my creative/OCD world.

P.S. I was cleaning out the wallet I’ve been using for years and found the following tucked away in a secret pocket, given to me by Sean in probably 2002 or so. The paper is so worn it feels like fabric now. They have been moved over to the new wallet, and I’m so happy to remember their existence.

Wallet stowaways.

You’re Every Willem in the World to Me

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A few more new mommy observations on this absolutely gorgeous Saturday. These days, EVERY day is a Saturday!

First Fourth!

Unfortunately, every day is also a Monday.

Kicking it with this beautiful boy.

Sleep. Sleep is, like, really super important. I am SO good at sleep. Ask anyone. I can sleep anywhere and rarely make it through an entire movie without falling asleep on the couch. I used to go on work trips, down a latte at the airport, and be asleep in my seat before the wheels had left the ground. So yeah… I know a thing or two about sleep, but I apparently suck at teaching others the fine art and sweet beauty of sleep. More on that later.

Willem's first check out at the library.

Also? Having a baby is kind of like having Stockholm Syndrome. You grow to love and adore your tiny, drooly captor and would do anything for him.

Hanging.

We were away last weekend visiting family, and Willem’s sleep schedule got completely jacked. It already took a turn for the worse around 3.5-4 months, but upon returning home, it was abysmal. So starting yesterday, we are now in baby-sleep boot camp (which really means “getting the kid on a dang schedule already”). I was bracing myself for a horrible day and night, but the little guy did pretty all right! He took three long naps in his crib for the first time EVER yesterday, and then I was able to get him to sleep until 7 this morning. I call that a huge success already.

Yes, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that my son had never taken all of his naps in his crib. And I bounced or fed him to sleep every time. And he had zero in the way of a bed time/nap time routine. No wonder his sleep is all jacked!

In other news, our house is dreamy right now:
June 2014.

June 2014.

June 2014.

June 2014.

Why I’d So Much Rather Live in Indianapolis Than Portland

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I love this! Check out this video from Crafted Spoon, all about the Indy food scene, featuring Growing Places Indy and Amy Matthews from South Circle Farm, where we got married, among many others in our community. Chris and I had talked about moving somewhere like Portland or Asheville (and the latter may still happen at some point – hello, alpaca and bee farm in the Smokies), but in a place like Indianapolis, you aren’t preaching to the choir. There’s room for so much growth, and I think this video does a nice job of highlighting exactly how much room for growth there is.

(Sorry, you’ll have to click on the video to view it on Vimeo):

FarmCity from Craftedspoon on Vimeo.

Fast forward to 17:30 to meet Amy, the farmer at South Circle Farms who is the hardest working and one of the kindest women I know. Or fast forward to 19:40 to see the Indy Winter Farmers Market and my boss, Laura. :)

Seriously, this video makes me feel all the feels about my little pocket of the world.

College Plans and Sippy Cups

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File this under the latest in the dichotomy that is being a parent. I find it hilarious that I just started a college fund for THIS goofball. But I did! And I’m feeling very accomplished about it. I also learned today that the kid cannot yet be trusted with a sippy cup on his own. Let’s just say we’re on our fourth onesie and second bath of the day. You win some, you lose some.

Spot on, kid. Spot. On.

Muster the Rohirrim!

So this taggie helmet-wearing, sippy cup-spilling goof also has a college fund. Hopefully, he will have outgrown his love of taggie helmets and will have learned to drink from a sippy cup by the time college rolls around.

20140616. Working on the sippy cup action.

Just look at that shifty side-eye. You can tell he’s hatching a diabolical scheme to spill milk ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Dear Today, I Love You

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Dear Today,

Happy Summer Solstice, Today! How did that happen already? I swear, you get distracted for one minute and suddenly, Today, you pull a solstice out of your hat, and you’re all like, “Surprise!” And, “Shazam!” Maybe even, “Tada!”

You have been good to us so far, Today. And by this, I mean:

  • You convinced my son he should sleep until 7:45 am, and he woke up all happy and adorable and smiley and what-not. This is the latest I have slept since before the little guy was born, so this is nothing to sneeze at.
  • You then somehow convinced my son that he should take a nearly two-hour-long nap, which meant I had time to trellis the tomatoes, weed the garden, and feed the chickens some lovely arugula that went to seed weeks ago. Side note: I love when my hands smell like arugula, but hate when they smell like tomato plants.
  • You gave me an awesome husband who went on Willem-duty so I could mail my nephew’s birthday presents and make a run to the store WITHOUT A BABY. I had an entire cart to fill with stuff AND two free hands! It was amazing. Also, the post office was holding a passport party, which meant all these normally serious postal working ladies were wearing leis and grass skirts and sunglasses inside. And there were cookies. And, like I said – amazing.
  • You inspired me to make chocolate chip banana bread, which means our house smells like magic.
  • You presented me with a cardigan covered in pineapples, which, DUH, of course I had to buy. Because cardigan = yay for breastfeeding, and pineapples = yay for life.

In summation, Today, I think you’re the bomb. I’d totally marry you if I wasn’t already married to awesome dude (see bullet point #3).

XOXO,

Christie

P.S. Check out how wild and wooly the garden is this year. Rather than get all uptight over the OMG WEEDS EVERYWHERE, I’m embracing the crazy greenness. I feel like I shrunk or something, because everything – the apple trees, the perennials across the back of the house, the bee balm and lemon balm and green beans – are suddenly gigantic.

20140619. Wild garden.

Lettuce trying to go to seed, weeds everywhere, tomatoes going nutso, collard and kale out the yin-yang, monarda about to bloom – garden madness, I say.

20140619. Wild garden.

Second year of hops.

20140619. Wild garden.

Wildness from the other direction. Those perennials along the house are taller than me.

20140620. Garden time with Willem.

And my garden buddy. We spend time each morning, checking out the garden, before naptime.

20140619. Wild garden.

When will I learn that we really only need, like, TWO collard green plants, not eight?

Willem has an appreciation for green things, too. Kale, collards, and garlic scapes, coming right up!

Willem was very excited about the kale, collards, and garlic scapes the other night.

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