Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giant Zucchini Meets Toddler

Today while doing my routine walk around the garden to pick any vegetable that were ready I found a HUGE zucchini. Even with picking every other day or so I must have missed it the last couple of times because it was HUGE. It will be good for shredding and making zucchini bread but not much else.

I picked it and put it on the lawn since it wouldn't fit in the bucket. While I was picking the green beans I heard Parker say "I did it." and then a crash. I looked up and didn't see the zucchini. I asked Parker where it was, and he pointed into the squash plant. I looked and looked for it, and couldn't see it. Finally I found it. It was safe, but I think Parker hit a crookneck squash with it that won't make it.

Not sure if Parker was seeing why it was called a squash, or if he was just trying to get rid of it so he wouldn't have to eat it.

My loot from today: we are getting a lot of produce now. I go out and pick the vegetable almost every other day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Max - 3 Months

Max is now 1/4 a year old!!!

Max is a very easy going baby.

However he disobediently sucks his thumb. I have however decided that if it gets me a full night sleep and a happy baby I guess I can live with it.

He is a GREAT sleeper.

We moved him out of our room and in with the computer. They seem to make good roommates.

He is now sleeping 9 hours straight at night. He is still sleeping a lot during the day. He is usually awake for about 1-2 hours at a time during the day, however he seems to be up for about 3-4 hours in the evening.

He also will fall asleep on his own. I just put him in his bed when he shows signs of being tired and then he falls asleep. If I try and hold him and rock him when he is tired he just gets cranky.

I also no longer swaddle him. Our house is warm enough that I don't even have to cover him with a blanket.

Max is VERY ticklish - it is a guaranteed way to get him to laugh.

Max eats quick he usually only eats for a total of 10-15 minutes. He's eating about 6-7 times a day.

During tummy time he doesn't pick up his head much, but he does kick his leg and if given enough time he will inch off the blanket. If he keeps this up he will be crawling before he picks up his head.

Max loves Parker - I love to see Max's eyes light up when Parker comes to say hi to him. I try to point out Max's smile to Parker, which makes Parker's day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

What is Bountiful Baskets?
A volunteer based food co-op available in about 16 states including: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

What do they offer?
Mainly fresh produce (in what they call a basket), but they also have additional items you can buy like granola, bread, and bulk items (ie 20lbs of peaches, or 35lbs of pears etc.). A basket contains 50% fruits and 50% vegetables consisting of about 5 varieties of each.

How often can you order?
Ordering can be done as often as once a week.

How do you order?
Orders have to be received between Monday at noon and Tuesday at midnight on the week you want to receive food. Ordering is done through their website .
When do you get your food?
Food is received on the Saturday following when you placed your order.

How much does it cost?
For one basket it is $16.50 [$15.00 (basket price) + $1.50 (processing fee)]. There is also a 1 time $3 fee the first time you order.

Where does the produce come from?
The produce is roughly the same produce you would get from the store. When possible they buy local.

Here are typical items they get from different areas:
State Spring Summer Fall Winter
Arizona Citrus, melons, carrots, lettuce, dark leafy greens, corn, melons corn, hard shell squash, carrots citrus, dark leafy greens, hard shell squash, broccoli, carrots, lettuce
California Soft Shell Squash, Corn, Tomatoes, Strawberries, dark leafy greens, apples, lettuce, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, plums, berries lettuce, apples, tomatoes Soft Shell Squash, Corn, Tomatoes, Strawberries, citrus, hard shell squash
Corn, Carrots Corn
Idaho potatoes, onions, grains & beans grains & beans potatoes, onions, Apples, grains & beans potatoes, onions, Apples, grains & beans
Texas citrus green beans, Cabbage green beans, cabbage citrus
Utah honey honey peaches, apples, corn, honey storage apples, honey
Washington grains & beans grains & beans apples, grains & beans storage apples, grains & beans
Mexico Soft Shell Squash, Corn, Tomatoes, Strawberries Berries Berries Soft Shell Squash, Corn, Tomatoes, Strawberries

I have now ordered twice from Bountiful Baskets, and have been please both times. I find for our family ordering twice a month is PERFECT!!! I love having the wonderful assortment of fresh fruits and veggies in my home.

Here is a sample of the Bountiful Basket I picked up just this morning:
Fruits: large bag of black seedless grapes, cantaloupe, 2 mangoes, 5 red plums, 4 bananas, 1lb of strawberries.
Vegetables: romaine lettuce, 2 bell peppers, 6 Roma tomatoes, 7 cobs of corn, 3 onions.

YUM I can't wait to eat it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Camping as a Family of Four

We went on our traditional yearly camp out with our two other friend's families. Many changes have occurred since last year. For our family that meant camping with an additional kid. Another friend got married, and the last ones now have 5 kids.

This year we camped at Nunn Park up Provo Canyon.

Our family got up there Thursday night, but most everyone else had been there since Wednesday. I just didn't want to camp with the kids alone, and with only having one car transportation would have been a nightmare.

We were in charge of dinner Thursday night I cooked baked potatoes and brought them hot. We also had chili and hot dogs. I thought it turned out OK, but I wish we could have gotten up there earlier so we wouldn't have eaten so late.

That night we learned that woodland creatures can open coolers and eat any left overs. By morning the only things left in our cooler were the ketchup and mustard. Something ate 8 hotdogs, 8+ buns, and a little less then 2lbs of cheese. I suspect it was a raccoon, since they have opposable thumbs.

Parker had a hard time the first night. He didn't really understand why we were having him sleep in a tent. He finally fell asleep around 10:30 or 11, but then woke a few times in the night. He finally woke up at 5:30 which woke Max. After I fed Max I knew getting Parker back to sleep was a lost cause so I walked with him to Bridal Veil Falls; there he just threw rocks into the water. The second night Parker did a lot better, but still was the first in our tent up.

Max was a happy camper. I was a little worried he wouldn't sleep very well, and I'd say bye bye to him sleeping 9 hours straight like he did at home. He slept great!!!

While we were up there Parker played with sticks, threw rocks (which was a no-no), played on the little playground, played with his Lego's, and surprisingly stayed mostly clean. Parker hates being dirty so that wasn't too surprising. He also obtain his share of bruises from falling down more than him or I cared to see.

I forgot how much I loved camping. I can't wait to go again.

After the camping trip I decided I want to buy a dutch oven, and a propane lantern.

Our Tent and Occupants

Hanging with my boys by the fire

Max working hard while everyone was packing up to go home

The whole camping gang

Proof you can survive camping with a 2 1/2 month old

To add to the craziness when we got home we had family picture. And then after that I went out to my parents to can peaches, and peach jam

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Garden As Of August 1st

I have really enjoyed having a garden. For future reverence I wanted to document how my garden is doing as of August 1st. Hopefully I can learn from this year's experience and have an even better garden next year.

First off my cantaloupe plants all died. I have one cucumber plant that survived, but but I don't have any expectations for it. Also my one pepper plant is probably not going to give me anything, but it may still surprise me.

Peas, Green Onions/Marigolds, Egg Plant

Egg Plant

I planted one egg plant start and have been very pleased with the production. I have already picked one egg plant off of it, and now have 3 more growing. I had to tie the stem to a stick to help support the poor stem that was being weighed down by all the fruits.

Green Onions
If you look really close in the first picture you can see a few. Last year we had one marigold plant here and I just let it over winter and then didn't worry about the seed when I was prepping the ground for planting. I'm guessing the marigolds won the fight and so now I only have a few green onions.

It is really past pea season and I should plant again for another crop during late summer early fall. This batch of peas did rather well. I was able to go out every few days and pick a large hand full of peas.

Corn/Green Beans/Watermelon/Yellow, Zucchini, Butternut, Acorn Squash/Pumpkin

In general these did OK, but the plants planted closest to the fence didn't survive so I lost a lot of plants. I'm not sure if they died because they didn't get as much water or sunlight or maybe a combination of the two.

I planted a whole row of pumpkins, but only 2-3 plants survived. I started them from seeds on May 14th. However the seeds were 3 years old so I didn't think they would grow.

I have about 5 good sized pumpkins ranging in size from a softball to a basketball.

Acorn Squash
This is the only fruit I know about. I was so excited to see fruit not just leaves.

Butternut Squash
This plant is not doing very well. It is significantly smaller then the other winter squash plants and doesn't have any fruit on it. I love butternut squash so I hope it can pull itself together and start producing something.

Yellow "Crook Neck" and Zucchini Squash
This massive pile of leaves consists of yellow squash, and zucchini plants. The larger leaves on the left are the yellow squash and the smaller leaves on the right are the zucchini. I have gotten about 5 zucchinis and 2 yellow squash from these plants so far.

The massive yellow squash plant's leaves

The yellow squash plant has a few squash growing.

Watermelon This plant has smaller leaves by they have gone every which way so it takes up a lot of space.

I have two good sized watermelons growing. This is the larger of the two. This plant is suppose to produce @6 lb fruits. I suspect this one might be ripe soon.

Green Beans These produce about 2 handfuls of green bean a few times a week. I think next year I'll plant two rows. I love green beans.

CornI wanted continued corn so I planted the right row first and then a week or so later planted the next row to the left and so on until the farthest left row was planted. I haven't picked any of the corn yet, but I think next year I'll plant it all at the same time as I suspect the pollination didn't go as well since not all the corn was at the same stage at the same time.

The corn should be ready by the end of the week. I can't wait to pick, cook and eat it all with in a few hours.

TomatoesI planted 1 cherry, 1 grape, 4 Roma, and 4 beefsteak tomato plants. All of them seem to be growing good.

Grape Tomatoes

These are super delicious and sweet.

Cherry Tomatoes I have only picked one cherry tomatoes. It was good and I can't wait for more to ripen up.

Roma Tomatoes

These get watered by the sprinkling system so many of them have blossom end rot. Next year I'll probably plant these somewhere else.

Beef Steak

none of these have gotten ripe yet

Strawberries I bought this planter, but I think I might replant them into the ground in the fall. I've gotten a few ripe strawberries, but it is too hard to remember to water it and I have just the spot for it. I just need to get rid of all the weeds :)

Some may have thought I was crazy for planting the garden the day before and the week after I had Max, but I absolutely love having a garden a being able to make dinner with fresh veggies and think the sacrifice has been worth it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sleeping Under The Stars

We finally did it. . . We put paint on the walls of our house (I know it only took 2 years) !!!

I wanted to do a space themed room for Parker. I wanted it to feel like you were in space, but wasn't sure how to do it without making it too dark, and then I thought I could just paint the top part of the wall dark blue, and the rest of the wall gray with a border in between. I put glow in the dark stars and planets on the ceiling and blue part of the wall. While putting the stars up I decided to organize some into constellations so he has the big and little dipper, along with the north star, and Orion. The planets are organized around the ceiling light as if it was the sun so Mercury is closest to the light and Pluto (yes the set it had included "8 planets and Pluto") is the farthest.

His new room
I was able to find an outer space toddler bedding set for a good price.
Little Dipper & North Star
Big Dipper (You can also see Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars)


The Happy Astronaut
I think it turned out cute. After we finished Troy asked if we could do this to our room :).