Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crepe Growth

Alright... since I'm ready for Spring, it's all I think about and you get to read about.

I take A LOT of pictures. Pictures of EVERYTHING! I have a visual memory. I can close my eyes and remember a detail by looking at that mental image in my brain. Same with pictures. I loved looking through the photo albums my mom had for us. It's how I remembered events in life. That's what I did this part weekend, was update the boys photo albums. I make yearly books via Shutterfly or MyPublisher, but I also have plain photo albums to flip through.

Besides my kids and dogs, I also take pictures of the yard and house. As I was going through pictures this weekend, I had so much fun looking through old pictures and seeing the progress our house and yard have made.

I grew up with Crepe Myrtles in Florida, but they weren't as beautiful as the ones I've seen here. The Crepe's thrive on heat and grow so fast! I did a lot of research and picked a crepe for my yard that would only get 15 feet tall and had the prettiest lilac flower.

I ordered them from the cheap from the University of Florida. Six trees for $4 each and they arrived in two skinny boxes!

They were basically twigs.

I wasn't disappointed because I knew how fast they would grow.

I used little plant stands to hold them up.

In a year, they were fuller.

I originally had six crepe myrtles (Yuma). Two of the twigs died, so I got two Acoma Crepe's to replace them. I really didn't need to do that. As they got bigger, I decided to remove the Acoma's and place them some where else in the yard. One is currently outside Mr. Brigglesworth's window. It's a lovely view.

Acoma Crepe Myrtle (Year 3)
Acoma Crepe Year 4

In two years, they got taller.

In three years, they were taller and fuller.

Each year, I tame the trunks with twine. Each variety has their own growth habit. Some are tall and skinny, while others have a wide "v-shape." The twine has really helped me shape them into trees. Along with trimming the lower branches.

Tree #2 - June 2010

Tree #2 & 3 - Dec 2012

By the fourth year, they were finally the height I was looking forward to. The goal was to have the trunks be as tall as the fence, and the top bushy part of the tree be above the fence.

July 2012

I said I wasn't going to trim them back this year, but I did. Just not much. I'm going to keep trimming them until they all catch up to each other in height.

December 2012

January 2013
September 2013

Crepe myrtles only bloom on new wood. I wanted to make sure I still had lots of pretty flowers this year. It's also almost time to pour the bug juice on the roots. Japanese Beetles LOVE my crepe myrtles, but the bug juice works! It's absorbed by the plant and when the beetle eats the leaves, the beetle dies. Some damage gets done to the leaves, but it's not as bad as normal.

It's amazing to see something grow and become so beautiful over time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs were visiting last night and the Big Bad Wolf tried to huff and puff and blow the house down!

It was the model sound of a freight train that they warn you about. At 6AM, we grabbed the babies and dogs and ran into the bathroom.

Thankfully none of our property was damaged. The breath of the beast moved Little JCrew's house and the heavy metal bench. It always amazes me when I see that.

There are a lot of neighbors with roof and fence damage. And I've seen two tangled trampolines (guess I won't be getting the boys one of those.)

That was the first time I've heard the wind like that. I'm no stranger to strong winds, but I really thought the roof was going to come off the house! Things shook!

News says there were straight winds 60+mph. I'm still checkin in with folks to see how they all faired. Looks like it might have been mild in our immediate area.

Boo to the tornado season upon us. The weather has been wacky lately. Not a good sign.

- Lindsay

Is Spring Here Yet?

We had some tolerable, cold weather over the weekend that was a nice break from the cold-cold stuff. But it has my itching to get back outside. Little JCrew helped me pick some weeds. We're finding all kinds of reasons to get outside after months of being locked up because of the cold and rain.

There's so much I am looking forward to this Spring. I always love watching the plants come back to life. I'm especially anxious for some experiments I did in the yard.

The type of Begonia’s I got last Spring were my favorite. They were HUGE! 

April 2012
July 2012

I purposefully did not dig them up during the Fall, and now they look like this:

January 2013

I did cut them down to help them come back in the Spring.

January 2013

That’s what I’m hoping for. I dug up the Vinca’s that were in that same spot last year and a few came back in the Spring. Some Annuals can come back. I’m hoping these Begonia’s will. I don’t remember the variety they were and I want the same exact ones. I have high hopes that they will sprout back up.

Can you tell I’m anxious for Spring? I divided those Iris and spread them all over in August, so I’m excited to see how they’ll look this year. 

Spring is just around the corner!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elmo Party

The weekend flew past me and Monday was already here. Now it's Tuesday and I'm wondering where the days are are in such a rush to go. Did I forget about a party?

Speaking of parties... on Saturday, Little JCrew and Mr. Bigglesworth were invited to their friend's 2nd birthday party.

It was Elmo-themed.

Elmo after after the little hands grabbed some fruit

The kids had a GREAT time and the food was so creative and yummy.

Jules did a great job with all the little touches. You can tell a lot of work was done.

Have you ever seen an Elmo sandwich cutter?

And would you believe she's a month away from having another? She's having a shower at my house this weekend, and I've been anxious to share the details next week. I love baby showers and parties. It's so much fun to hang out with friends and family.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nautical, Not Boats

Little JCrew’s room has been a fun one to put together. I went with a Nautical theme. This is not to be confused with a boat theme. 

There are only two boat objects in his room. It’s his painting of boats and a wire ship I got from Pottery Barn. It was my goal to decorate using things that are boat-related. I knew I could get tired of seeing so many boats in one room. The matching nursery themes go overboard in my opinion.

I linked the painting to let you know it is actually a poster! I bought the frame at Hobby Lobby and stapled the poster to it. There is no glass. That was a project I forgot I did.

I highly recommend I've gotten a few prints from there and was so impressed. They are posters of paintings for a fraction of what the real painting would cost.

Back to the room...

Every sailor needs a map.

Dock pillars to tie your boat to.

A pulley for the sailboat.

Fish that swim in the sea.

Lanterns to guide your way.

 Propellers to get over to big waves.

Sharks and Alligators.

The only thing I wanted, but don't have for this room was a boat rocker.

It was too pricey, but wouldn't it have been perfect?

And now we have a turtle shell that you find on the beach.

This is from Nate Berkus’ Target collection. I saw it and loved it, but didn’t know where it would go. I think I was on Little JCrew’s bed staring at the wall, when I found where I wanted to hang it. There was a perfect blank spot above his crib.

The crib originally had a mobile hanging in the center of the intials on the wall. Once that was removed there was a blank space.

The shell was a perfect fit. I might try to raise it a little and see what that looks like. Right now it looks okay, but everything on that wall looks like it's lined up to go to the cafeteria for lunch.

I think it's a great addition! It’s a SEA-turtle shell. (Grasping to make the idea work, eh?) 

What will be next to add to our nautical-theme?

I thought it was funny as I was linking the things in this room, how much of it is Pottery Barn inspired. I guess they do a lot of nautical  things I like. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Split Personality

My love for projects and my need for cleanliness do not mix well.

Because of the dear and precious kiddos, my projects take a long time. But I can't blame them for all the delays. Some projects need "curing" times.

When I do projects now, I break it up into manageable phases. It helps feed my sense of accomplishment at the same time!

These phases mean there is a constant stack of stuff on my dining room table. Ever since we moved in, it has been my work bench.

But then my need for a clean table kicks in and I quickly try to put things away. It feels like I am always picking up after myself, the husband and the kids.

As much as I love my projects, I think I have to give them up. I try not to do projects while the kids are awake, but sometimes I get that itch to finish SOMETHING! Sometimes Little JCrew helps me.

I guess I have been trying to find a balance and I am getting "hints" that it is not working.

Being a working mom, I need to spend my extra time with my kids. Why can't I be a superhero with the power to not need sleep? Mr. JCrew would argue that I already possess that power.

Lately, I stay up after Mr. Brigglesworth's 330 AM feeding and get my projects or chores done then. I feel accomplished by breakfast time!

My life has never been dull. I have always found something to do in my spare time. While working full-time, I got my masters degree. When I completed that, I found a second, part-time job to fill in the time I had since my classes were done. I quit both jobs before moving to a different state and then filled my spare time with projects (and a new job)!

Having kids just filled up my time even more. I just love having stuff to do, and my boys provide that.

I don't think my projects and kids are competing for my attention. But I could be wrong, and I would hope someone would be upfront with me about it.

I love doing my projects but I don't want to sacrifice my time with them for it. I've even become less of a neat-freak since my boys came into my life. I've learned a messy house means a happy family!

So, that's where my split personality came from. I am naturally Type-A about everything, but kids don't allow for that kind a silliness! I've had to adapt and learn to let things sit and not be touched for days.

I never said it was EASY!!

- Lindsay

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Small Things

The world changes when you become a parent. Before your first baby is born, you have a thought that hits you... you will never be able to pee in private!

 This kid is forever yours. You aren't babysitting.

Cleaning with fireplace tools.

The thought of having two can be scary, as you wonder how your heart has room to love another. But your heart grows.

I look forward to waking up in the morning and spending that time talking to Little JCrew and watching him eat his breakfast.

I take pride in the little accomplishments. High five for clipped nails? Sure! Bathed babies? Hooray! Clean clothes? You bet!

The pride increases if the tasks include BOTH babies. It really does get me excited. (I just admitted to how strange I am)

Brother is almost the same size.

Caring for someone else, besides yourself, is an honor. I am so glad I was picked to be the momma to my sweet boys. I'm a happy mom.

Brother amused at the entertainment (fountain) his brother is providing!

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