hey guys!

Just a quick post to say Hi! I'm alive!

Life has been all sorts of busy the past two weeks, and even busier on the weekends. I wish I were the type to keep up with blogging when things get especially hectic, but I'm just not. The only chance I've had for blogging lately is in my head, in the middle of the night, when I'm up to feed Ralph. They're always very well written posts that I immediately forget the next morning. Oh well.

But! This weekend is clear and I plan on carving out a good chunk for playing blog catch up. Until then, I will tell you this: Ralph is growing. So is our garden. So is my hair! I desperately need a haircut. Help.

That's all for now! See you soon.


ralph and the puffs.

Ralphie is a big fan of those little star-shaped, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet potato puffy things.

Yet, no matter how many times he's tried them, each puff gets a multitude of facial expressions, as though it's the first time. And then, once he's swallowed (most of) it, he's like MAN THOSE THINGS ARE GOOD. I don't understand it. But I like it.

And ps, the sound of those tiny baby teeth crunching on a puff just might be the cutest thing in this world.


Mother's Day

Afterlight Afterlight Afterlight Afterlight
Wanna know a secret? These photos were taken after Ryan and I had a big fight.

It was the kind of fight that was overdue and waiting to happen. You know the kind, right? Little things were building up and up and up and then on Mother's Day, of all days, I think the pressure of making the day a special one got to both of us, and everything spilled over. Ryan and I are kind of pros at saving our fights for "special" days. It's a gift, truly. :)

Eventually we got it all out of our system, and when it was over, we drove over to the lake and had a nice long talk in the car while Ralph napped in the backseat. A good talk, and some good, true apologies, and a few nice hugs, and a long laugh about the silliness of it all-- it was just what our hearts needed. Then we started the car back up and held hands while we drove along all the old lake roads we used to take Sunday drives on, back when we were just a family of two.

We drove until we got to our favorite beach. By then Ralph had woken up, so we decided to brave the chilly wind and walk down to the water, our little family of three.

So yeah, these photos were taken after a fight. But they were also taken after a really nice little moment in our marriage. The day turned out to be special after all, in its own weird, post-argument sort of way. And these pictures we took, of me and my boys-- I can't stop looking at them. All I've ever wanted in life was to be a wife and mother. I'm so happy to be theirs.


how does your garden grow?

We're having a really good day over here.
No, really, how does your garden grow? Do you have any tips?

All winter long Ryan and I talked about starting a garden. It was the thing we looked forward to most during those cold days filled with more darkness than sunlight. And now winter is over and spring is here and we're ready to plant!

I have visions of a lush English garden, with grey-green grasses, and lavender, and herbs. In my head I'm wearing a wind-catching sundress and a floppy hat, snipping blooms with my antique shears and dropping them into a straw basket. RECORD SCRATCH that's not how things are going. It's more like I'm sweaty, wearing muddy tennis shoes, and frantically pulling out dead branches and weeds before Ralphie wakes up from his nap. Things aren't quite so romantic as I'd like, but it's fun work all the same, and a different kind of exercise that makes my body feel tired in a good way. I may not have the English garden of my dreams yet, but today I discovered that we have a flowering tree, and that's something I've always wanted. We're getting there.
photo (49) Shopping for our first garden. Over the weekend the boys and I hit up the nursery. Lots of herbs and four little boxwood bushes came home with us. We're still waiting to see what will happen with the plants already in the yard, but I'm thinking most of it will come out and make way for new things that we pick out ourselves. The vegetable garden is going to be put in one of these weekends-- lots of tomatoes and beans and cucumbers and peppers. Ryan is working hard on the weedy lawn, and Ralph is working hard on figuring out what exactly grass is, and if he should taste it.
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So, spill it. Do you have any gardening tips? Any favorite perennials? I'm all ears!

And while we're at it, any favorite baby sunscreens? I've gotta protect those pudgy white limbs you see there.


ralphie and the apple

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At Ralph's six month well visit his pediatrician told me that most food restrictions for babies have been lifted. Apparently things like eggs, fish, and even peanut butter are just fine for babies to consume. (One at a time, and in moderation, of course.) I can't quite explain why, but this news absolutely thrilled me. It might be because it seems like there are so many rules for babies-- don't do this, don't do that, be careful, watch out, ahhhh! It was nice to hear a doctor say, Eh. Go for it.

So, the other day when I was eating an apple and Ralph was doing the usual long, drooly stares that he does when he watches me eat, I thought, why not, and handed him the apple to see what he would do. He took that apple in his pudgy hands and gnawed away for 10 straight minutes, happy as a clam. And it was CUTE.

(And for those of you who might be nervous about him choking, don't worry. I watched him very closely, and any bits of apple he was able to scrape off with his two little bottom teeth were tiny and quickly spit out. He has no idea what to do with them yet. :) )

The only downside to this is that I never get to finish an apple anymore.

I'm back over at You Are My Fave today, with a post on a DIY Wahoo board! This was a fun one to make. Special thanks go out to my sister Liz and nephew Oliver, for being such excellent and cooperative hand models. ;) Special NO THANKS goes out to Ryan, who has beaten me one too many times since I made the board. I DON'T LIKE LOSING AT MY OWN GAME.


the first sunny days of spring

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photo (39) The string of drool means he liked it.
Well whaddya know, Wisconsin decided to put on its sunglasses and catch up with the rest of the country. Temps have already hit the 80's and we are soaking.it.up. The past couple days have been filled with every
warm weather activity we can get our hands on. First up: the swings. The swings are Ralphie-approved, and the string of drool that hangs out of his mouth every time he gets in one confirms this.
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Strolling until the baby falls asleep has been a fun activity for me. It allows a little time all to myself outside-- good for browsing magazines, making lists, and admiring fat baby rolls. photo (41)
And naps in nothing but a dipe, with the windows open, somehow make this kid sleep longer than ever! The only thing growing in our yard right now are these sunny gals behind the garage. Also, maybe rhubarb?
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photo (44)Today is heaven.
But the best part of all of this nice weather? Parkin' it on a blanket in the backyard and watching Ralph figure out what life is like outside of the house. A happy baby with dirt under his fingernails and grass stains on his white onesie-- I dreamed about this all winter long! Putting that baby to bed and having enough minutes of light left in the sky to stroll the backyard with Ryan is the cherry on top. This summer is gonna be good, guys.