Friday, June 27, 2008

The tomatoes just keep growing!

Tomato plants today, 6/27/08

And 2 days ago (June 25th):

And here they are on June 1st:

Here they are when first planted on May 17th:

The tomatoes are the Burpee Super Sweet 100s variety of cherry tomatoes. I bought them in 4" pots at Parlee's Pine Hill Nursery. They are grown in a self-watering container with the "Tomato Success Kit" from Gardeners' Supply. I highly recommend all of these products/companies based on my experience...just waiting to see how those cherry tomatoes taste!

Another turtle and perennial garden

I found another turtle laying eggs in the yard today. It's another spotted turtle momma.
The perennial garden is coming along nicely and blooming. The blooms are coreopsis, achillea, lamium, heuchera, salvia, cat mint, veronica, and dianthus.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pregnancy Update

D felt the baby move for the first time the other night. Before then I would tell him to put his hand on my belly when the baby was moving and the baby would stop moving.

When I lie on the couch I like to put the TV remote on my belly and watch it "dance" as the baby moves!

My sweet tooth is back and it craves soft serve ice cream--what we called a "creamee" when I lived in Vermont.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pregnancy update

I had my 26 week OB visit today (I'm a little off schedule because they changed my due date). Everything is good. The baby's heartbeat is 140 (he/she was sleeping) and I have gained 12lbs overall.

I've been feeling really great, although tired. On Friday I had a 1/2 day of work. I came home, made some lunch, vegged out, watched Oprah, read my book, and then fell asleep from 5:30 until 9:00. I got up for 2 hours and watched TV and then went back to bed!

Saturday I took D on his first trip to Babies R Us and we started our registry. D is concerned about where we're going to put all of the gear! People manage in much smaller spaces then we have so I have no doubt we'll find places for everything. I think baby registering is harder than wedding registering. For the wedding we knew what we wanted (for the most part) and we knew how and where we would use each item. So far I think we have used everything we received for our wedding except the big Le Cruset dutch oven (but someday I'll braise osso bucco for a crowd of 10 or more). I'm sure we'll use all of the baby stuff too, but it's just so hard to choose on some things.

The hardest choice for me has been the stroller. We live in a neighborhood, most of which has sidewalks. The thing is, we get a lot of snow and the plowing often leaves snow and ice behind. Plus, we have a sandy trail to a pond from the end of the street. So, although I never ever jog, I need the bigger wheels of an all terrain stroller. The problem is, they're expensive. And, I want one that fully reclines so I can put a newborn in it (most are for babies 3 months and up). This leaves a few options. One is the Kolcraft Contours which my sister got--I'm waiting for her review on it because it's very nicely priced. Another is the Phil and Ted's Sport Buggy. What I like about the Phil and Ted's is that it has a separate piece you can buy when you have a 2nd child to make it a double stroller. If I have kids 2 years apart this will be a big plus since we won't need to buy a double stroller. The problem with the Phil and Ted's is it's expensive!!

So that's the all terrain stroller thing. I have also registered for an infant car seat stroller base, and an umbrella stroller. It seems excessive to have 3 strollers, but I would like to keep the all terrain in the garage and the car seat base/umbrella stroller in the car. I don't want to have to use the big all terrain stroller if I go to the mall.

The rest of the registering has been easier for the most part. My sister and my friend Wendy have given me great recommendations. For example, the high chair I registered for is really pricey, but my sister is now using hers on her 3rd child so I know it will last.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Master Bedroom Renovation is Done!

When D and I first looked at our house during March 2007, we already had a vision for the front-to-back bedroom that we would use as our master. The room was a long rectangle with a small closet in the back corner. We both envisioned putting up a wall in the back part of the room and building a nice, big walk-in closet. Well, just a few days before the 1-year anniversary of moving into the house, that dream became a reality!

This is what the master bedroom looked like in January--it was full of junk (mostly mine) and D had started to pull up the mauve carpet in the area that would be the closet. The carpet really made the room look dark. The previous owner told me that the entire 2nd floor of the house had been covered in this mauve carpet when they moved in in 1998 (they had since replaced the carpet in the hall and the other 2 bedrooms). The paint in this picture was done by the previous owners the day before we looked at the house for the first time (it had been painted light pink).

This is what the master bedroom looks like now:

The new closet is in place (we still need to put up the ClosetMaid system), there is crown molding along the ceiling, a new ceiling fan, and a new maple hardwood floor.

The paint is Benjamin Moore Aura in "Prescott Green" on the walls and "Monterey White" for the trim. The colors were inspired by the bedding I had picked for my shower as well as some pictures I tore out of a Pottery Barn catalog and some magazines. If I hadn't seen these pictures I probably would have gone with white trim instead of the creamy-colored trim.

The ceiling fan is by Casablanca and is so quiet that unless it's on high I can't hear it at all! It's a huge improvement in style and quality over the helicopter propeller fan that had been in the room!

The floor is a 3/4" by 3 1/4" maple select hardwood from Bellawood. Originally we were thinking we would do a natural cherry floor, but once we picked natural cherry furniture we knew we would need more color contrast. I think we made a great choice--not only does it look great with the furniture, but it also makes the room look much lighter.

The furniture is from a local manufacturer/showroom called Cherrystone Furniture. All except for the bed was made in their Littleton, MA factory. The bed is from Lyndon Furniture in Vermont. There were a few things that really sold us on this furniture versus others we had looked at. First, the drawers are all dovetailed. Second, the drawers are on european glides (like kitchen cabinets) and are self-closing (I tend to leave my drawers partly opened and it's probably D's biggest pet peeve about me). Third, the drawerfronts on the dresser are made from one plank so that the grain matches across the drawers. And, finally, the owner matched the price we were given on a different set of furniture we had looked at somewhere else. This saved us maybe 20% of his regular price, and 20% on furniture is never something to scoff at!

We also got a new mattress. It's a Nature's Rest latex faom mattress. We spent some time deciding between the latex and Tempur-Pedic but settled on the latex. Both were very comfortable, but latex feels more like a traditional bed (it bounces).
Not pictured is our new bedding that I received last year for my shower. It will come out in the fall when it's not so hot in the house. Right now it's way too warm for the thick comforter!

I've still got a lot of decorating to do (window treatments, lamps, artwork), but it feels really good to be sleeping in this room! It's very serene and comfortable.

Perennial Garden

Remember the perennial garden we planted last fall? We purchased the plants from Bluestone Perennials as a planned starter garden. This is what it looked like when D planted it in September:

And this is what it looked like on May 13th:

And this is what it looked like on June 10th:

Can't wait to see what it looks like when more of it is blooming! I would recommend Bluestone Perennials without reservations to anyone who is looking for mail order plants. They have a great selection, good prices, and the plants are doing very well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another nesting turtle

Last night I saw this 4" spotted turtle presumably nesting in our yard. When I was looking up what kind of turtle she is, I happened upon The Turtle Conservation Project which has turtle info, and an opportunity to report turtle sightings at the website

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Momma Snapper Update

Just got this email from D (who works from home):

As I was making lunch today I noticed the turtle was back (in the mulch area of the back yard). This time I could only see between 1/2 to 2/3 of her as the back end was in a hole she was sitting in. 20 minutes later when I started cleaning up after lunch she was still there.

From Wikipedia (

--Snappers will travel extensively overland to reach new habitat or to lay eggs. Pollution, habitat destruction, food scarcity, overcrowding and other factors will drive snappers to move overland; it is quite common to find them traveling far from the nearest water source. This species mates from April through November, with their peak laying season in June and July. The female can hold sperm for several seasons, utilizing it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole,the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks. In cooler climates, hatchlings overwinter in the nest.

So, depending on the tempertaures this summer, her babies could hatch at the same time as mine!

9 weeks=August 6th
18 weeks=October 8th

I'm due September 20th!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Small World of Bloggers

I read the blog Hank & Willie on a regular basis. It's written by a woman I know from a program I did in college. Today she posted a link to this post where a fellow blogger has an unusual request (check it out, it's pretty unique). So, having many experiences to share with her regarding the request, I sent her an email. She emailed my back telling my my experiences were most valuable to her cause, and asked if I had taken a yoga class with her nearly 7 years ago. Well, I did! Turns out she and I sat next to each other for a month at a job I held for 4 months in 2001/2002 and we took a yoga class together through the local adult ed!! I love coincidences like this!

What's you're strangest coincidence? I think this might be my strangest to date, though I have had fun experiences running into people from summer camp (one in NYC outside the theatre where I saw Blue Man Group, a few at a Grateful Dead show in Vermont, one was my roommate when I worked at a resort, one did a very small college program with me, and one has worked at 2 different jobs with my friend Wendy). Do any of you know me from a past life??

Momma Snapper

As promised, here's a picture of a snapping turtle that was walking across my street into the cul de sac island on Saturday morning. Apparently, she has laid her eggs on the island in past years and the neighbors have seen 30 little baby turtles crossing the street to get back to the wetlands behind our house! Picture below with my size 9 garden clog is for scale.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Busy Weekend

What a busy weekend I had for a 6 month preggo. On Friday afternoon I weeded the front flower beds. They look awful because of the lack of flowers, deer-eaten shrubs, and dying bulbs, but at least they're weed free now. Our goal is to pull out or trim down the remaining mature shrubs and then shrink the size of the beds by planting grass. The beds are just so big that they're unmanageable.

On Saturday morning before a thunderstorm I quickly pruned the "azalea hedge" on the right side of the front door (can be seen in the pictures in this post). It's actually 3 very large azaleas that had been pruned into a hedge. I very much prefer naturally bushy azaleas so I hacked the things back like crazy. D had hacked the back of the "hedge" last summer to get it off the house, and there's some nice new growth from that. So, the bushes will be ugly all summer, but by next spring they should be looking good (and much more in proportion to the size of the other plantings).

On Sunday D and I did some more gardening. He pulled out all of the deer-eaten euonymous from around the lamp post. It looked really bad, and last year we had considered pulling it out, but never got to it. The deer made the decision to get rid of it very easy. Below are some pictures of just how bad it looked.

Now, since the front of our house is looking like such a mess (it's a work in progress), I decided that we needed at least one part of it to look good, so I decided to do a little bed around the lamp post. At the nursery I choose a Sarah Bernhardt pink peony, a mountain sage (perennial salvia), a coreopsis 'moonbeam', and a creeping bellflower (campenula birch hybrid). I was going to get a clematis to climb the lamp post, but couldn't find one I like, so I chose a couple of morning glories for this summer.

I defined a bed area in the big pile of dirt and planted the plants with some cow manure and Cockadoodle Doo fertilizer (chicken shit pellets). I also moved some alyssum D's grandmother gave me last summer into this area too. D then picked up some nice dark brown mulch, and I finished off the little garden. Now all we need to do is grass in the rest of the dirt. I'm pretty happy with how my new lamp post garden turned out.

This weekend also marked the near completion of the master bedroom. On Saturday our furniture was delivered, we bought a celing fan, and we finally bought a mattress. On Wednesday night we'll sleep in the finished bedroom (the only other time we slept in that room was the night we closed on the house a year ago). When the whole bedroom is complete I do a blog post of the "reveal." Check out this post for what it used to look like. The transformation astounds me!

This weekend we also looked at nursery furniture and a car. This time the Honda CRV. Unfortunately I was too beat on Saturday afternoon to take it for a test drive. After looking at it/sitting in it, it's still on our short list along with the Subaru Forrester and a Volvo V70 wagon. We wish that Toyota still made a Camry wagon--if they did we would buy one in a heartbeat. D's 1998 Camry has 200K miles and still runs like a champ!

And, the weekend was not all work and no play. On Sunday am we went to church at 8am (D's been going since March, this was my first time--8am is completely killer for me) and I met the couple that D runs into at the country store after church each week. They are a super nice couple who live in a nearby town and have been doing lots of work and gardening at their house. We sat and chatted with them for a while and I ate my 2nd breakfast. Then, I rushed out to meet my friend Karen (a friend I met through the newcomer's club last fall) for my 3rd breakfast of the day. I'm starting to make friends who live nearby which is a huge plus. All of my other friends live a minimum of 1/2 hour away or as far as across the country!

That pretty much wraps up the weekend, though I'll post tomorrow about the wildlife that visited us on Saturday. Oh how I love living in suburbia!!! (seriously, I do)