about a dream: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

seedlings!! we have seedlings!!!!!!!!!!

the tomato seeds have sprouted! germination ho!!

i am so happy. no news on the peppers yet, but i can relax now. something will grow. hooray!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

file under "cute things nina says"

while the girls were in the bath today i was folding laundry and listening to them talk. i don't know what maggie did to precipitate this, but i heard nina coo, "you're the cutest little baby in the world! the cutest little baby! and you just have the cutest little hands! i love your little cute hands!!" she absolutely adores her baby sister!

also, at dinner tonight nina described something as "unusual." but i can't remember the context at all! it was only a few hours ago, but totally gone... dad, do you remember?

none of my seeds have sprouted yet!

ok, it hasn't been that long for the tomatoes, but the peppers have been in the soil for almost 2 weeks! i read online that it can take a month, i am trying to keep my patience... but it's hard. the tomatoes i am expecting to sprout this week, but it would help if i could put them into a sunny window to warm the soil. grr... sprout little seeds! mama is waiting for you!

in other news, we've been managing to have a lot of fun in spite of the torrential rain we've had for the last 2 days. yesterday we did open gym at the Y in the morning and had a BLAST. we pulled out all of the toys there--the riding toys, hula hoops, lacrosse sticks and balls, basketballs, bikes, little toy bowling set, stop go whoa! signs that we put on the floor, even the huge parachute! the parachute was a hit, there were 4 of us moms to shake it and what... 6 kids, and they were playing on top and below it and just having a fantastic time. remember how much fun it was to play with the parachute in gym class as a kid? it was my favorite.

and nina is just the BEST big sister in the world. she pushed maggie around on a riding toy for at least a half hour. it was so sweet! maggie had the biggest smile on her face, screaming with joy, and nina was running as fast as she could. maggie is such a lucky girl!

then today, nina went to charlie and hattie's in the morning to dye eggs while maggie and i ran errands. maggie and i joined the play after our errands, and we all spent a good hour in the rain, having a merry, wet time. THEN nina had dance and maggie and i ran around the track. when we got home, the girls played in a nice warm tub for an hour. but they were both out by 8! finally!

tomorrow is supposed to be much nicer, so here's to hoping for some more outside time and sun for my poor, sad little seeds.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

maple syrup sunday

it was eh. the pancakes were reeeeeeeeeeally good, but it was COLD, and because of the funny weather they weren't making any syrup. but we got to see some horses and get a fun drive through the deep back woods of maine, so it was good.

but the cutest thing happened on the way home. we stopped in the hannaford in damariscotta, and while i was taking her to the bathroom maggie saw some balloons by the place where they sell lottery tickets and whatnot (what's that counter called? customer something?). well she asked if she could have one and i said we'd ask when we were done. so on the way back to nick and nina she remembered, and i went up and asked, and yes! there were free balloons for kids. so she picked out a yellow one for herself and an orange one for nina. she was so happy.

well, i told maggie, "hold on to it tightly now, you don't want it to float away where we can't reach it." because you know, that's what one says to a child with a helium balloon. then i picked out some ice cream, and when i looked at maggie again, she was clutching that balloon ribbon so tightly in her 2 little fists that her fingers were turning white! how is she always so heartbreakingly cute?? well i tied the balloon around her wrist and told her she didn't have to hold it that tightly, but she still clutched it like her life depended on it. so cute!

Friday, March 26, 2010


today nina and maggie had a playdate with their friend bernadette. she's more nina's friend, but the three of them play so well together, and the bigger girls are so good about including maggie, that it's pretty much a group playdate. i'm so proud of nina, she is such a good big sister! how many 4 year old girls would tolerate their not-yet-two-year-old little sister following her and her friend around all day, much less actively include the little sister in her play? not many! and bernadette is such a sweetheart too that she also plays with maggie and is happy to include her in the play. how very sweet they all are! vanessa was always like that with me and erik--all three of us always played well together--and i'm so happy that they have the bond that i do with my siblings. not everyone does!!

in other news, i've been talking with maggie a lot about not nursing at night any more. she's getting 3 new teeth, so i'm not about to night wean right now, but it's coming. so today when maggie wanted to nurse and i asked her if she wanted a snack instead, she told me "I have to nurse!" it was too cute!


yesterday we started the tomato seedlings! i just started all of them because i hear tomato plants are tough to get going, and don't transplant all that well, so i figured the more the better. so, i put maybe 4 seeds in each little egg spot (i'm using egg cartons to hold the dirt and seeds), and i'm using 2 1-dozen egg cartons. hopefully i'll get too many hardy little tomato plants and i'll be unloading them on our poor neighbors. i can dream at least!

in other seedling news, the peppers haven't germinated yet. i was reading online that it can take up to a month for pepper seeds to germinate, but i'm trying to keep them nice and toasty so i'm really hoping ours will go faster than that. today marks 8 days since i started the seeds, so we'll see.

yesterday the girls and i also made our berry patch. we're going to plant strawberries!! we're not starting those from seed though, too difficult. we'll buy small plants at the greenhouse. it's a great little strawberry patch though! it's in the front of the house on the left side where they'll get plenty of sun. the girls and i dug up some soil, put in some compost, put back the soil all loosened up, and topped it off with a few inches of nice black forest topsoil. full of worms! the sandy stuff off the side of the house had maybe 2 or 3 worms in the whole 2.5 x 2.5 foot patch, but the forest soil had at least 20 in just those few inches. it feels pretty heavy and clay-ish, but no soil is perfect, and at least it's got a lot of organic matter. i think i might dig some more up for the garden too. we're going to sow the spinach into the garden as soon as we hit a 50 degree spell in april, and i'd like to get some rich topsoil for that too.

i have some cute little girl stories to tell, but i'll do that in another post and leave this one totally devoted to the garden. i promise i'll take some pictures soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

more pictures of our great sandcastle

we took these pictures on our new phone.

i even let the girls help me!

nick took the pictures but wouldn't help with the sandcastle. he objected to the drizzle-sand technique

it was really a fantastic sandcastle. it was sleeping beauty's castle, in fact. before we built this one we build maleficent's castle (she's the evil witch from the sleeping beauty movie), and then bulldozed it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

i promise i'll stop talking about the weather

right after this!

saturday was AMAZING! it was 72 degrees (73?) at our house. in march! we went to hendrick's head for a picnic lunch and built a sandcastle and threw rocks into the water (we can do this for hours). it was so wonderful. then we came home and played outside. i had filled the wagon with water (it makes an impromptu water table. we call it the water wagon) and nina went "swimming" in it. she was hot! so much fun.

sunday finally brought us back to reality, it was only in the mid-40s or something. and today was more of the same, with some drizzle on top of it. oh well, it'll be summer again before we know it.

in garden news, my peppers haven't germinated yet. i had to find out what was going on so i dug up one seed. that's probably not good for it, but i had to know. my vegetable gardener's bible says they should germinate within 6-8 days, but the seed packet says 10 to 21. that's because ed (ed smith, author of the vegetable gardener's bible) says to keep the seeds at 80 to 85 degrees, and my seed packet says 75 to 80. ed claims that the lower temperatures not only slow germination but damage the plant's potential. but keeping the seeds at 80 to 85 degrees is very difficult. so what i've been doing, besides setting them in the bright sun on the warm days (and our mudroom gets pretty hot in the afternoon with the sun shining in), is putting them on my broiler pan with water on the bottom, and heating the water. i'm not letting it got hot enough to cook them, just toasty to get the soil somewhat warm. we'll see how this works out... so far it's been 6 days i think, and no germination yet. however, the seed did look plumper than when we put it in the soil, so something's definitely happening.

tomorrow we'll start the tomato seeds, those require lower temperatures, so hopefully we'll have faster, successful germination.

so exciting!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

our balmy weather just keeps on going.

tomorrow's going to be even nicer! then it's supposed to get colder again, but whatever, we'll see... they've been terrible at predicting the weather more than a day in advance (if that, exhibit A being the surprise hurricane we had a few weeks back. it's like living 100 years ago all over again. each day is a surprise! no time to prepare! hehe).

nina had a makeup dance class today, then we met some friends at the playground and rolled around in the dirt. that was maggie, she was playing mermaid. in the dirt. nina was building dirtcastles. i guess they were playing in the "sandbox," but when it's filled with dirt instead of sand, it becomes a dirtbox. and like, 2x as much fun.

i filled out the paperwork to run for the school board and turned that in yesterday. my first campaign for elected office! how exciting! "campaign" might not be the best word, since i really don't have the time or inclination to shake hands and promote myself, but i do intend to write at least one letter to the editor. that should be enough!
today i was looking info on the schools to acquaint myself with the situation i'll be facing. wow, worse than i had thought! the elementary school is actually OK, but the high school sucks big time. here, check this out: (i can't figure out how to make blogger open my links in a new window, so right-click this link and choose open in a new window to keep my humorous and touching blog open)

it's a chart showing the percentage of students in the school that met or exceeded grade standards in 4 subjects. ouch. abysmal.

you can tell already that i'd be a popular board member, huh? this should be fun!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i keep saying this, but I can't believe this weather!

it has been SO BEAUTIFUL! it was like, almost 60 again today! what the heck!! we love it. the girls played outside, and i filled the wagon with water and got a bunch of cups and such for them to play with. the love to play with water. they were pouring it everywhere, and then maggie started watering the bushes. then she said the bush was going pee pee and cracked up. it was too cute. she kept pouring water on it, laughing, and saying "pee-pee!!"

we also started our peppers for the garden. those have to be started indoors 8 weeks before they go in the garden, so i'm thinking that would be about now. next are tomato plants, they need to be sown indoors 6-7 weeks before last frost.

the girls were digging in the dirt with me. i was trying to mix up the soil so the leaves i put on top of the beds would have time to decompose before i start putting stuff in. lots of worms in there these days! last summer when i started digging up the garden space, i found about 2 worms total. today i saw like, 20, in just the little quarter i was digging up. big soil improvement! all that compost really paid off. boy am i excited now! expect a lot more garden blogging soon. in fact, i'm going to start labeling posts again, and label all of the garden posts.


monday was supposed to be a terrible day because vanessa and wyatt were leaving that day.

BUT we had no electricity on monday morning (more wind and storming on sunday, and they shut down the power on dover rd. to repair a tree/line situation. guess we're lucky we didn't lose power for a whole day!). without electricity, we didn't get to check on vanessa's flight before she left. it was canceled! unfortunately, mom dropped vanessa and wyatt off at the airport, but fortunately she rented a car and came back home (things were so bad going through NY that getting on another flight out of portland wasn't going to happen). so we got another day of vanessa and wyatt! yay!

nina's thoughts on the flower show...

i forgot to write about this. nina was telling us about the flower show, and said it was a good thing maggie couldn't go; she wouldn't have liked it. there were flowers, but there was no show.


now a saturday & sunday post

saturday and sunday were similar days, except saturday was beautiful and sunday was windy and rainy.

on saturday, the girls performed the puppet show they had been rehearsing. wyatt was asleep so he didn't get to see it, just aunt vanessa and aunt isabelle. they did great! maggie remembered her line "hi, i'm nemo!" and nina did the parts of dory and the diver. a blazing success!

nina went to the playground with erik, isabelle, and chester on saturday afternoon while maggie napped, and then the becks came over for dinner. lots of fun and a busy day!

on sunday aunt maria, uncle lee, grandma, jessica, and a friend of hers from film school came over. then, the mcconnell's came by to meet with jessica because she and her friend might film a short movie on their boat this summer! fun!

now i have to hurry off because nina has tap at 9:30. busy busy busy we are!!

i was going to do some catch-up blogging last night

but instead i went to bed at 8:30! nina went to bed then too, and little no-nap maggie was out for the count at 6:40! we were all soooo tired. mostly it was the great fun we had with vanessa, wyatt, erik, isabelle, and chester. but on top of that we lost an hour for daylight savings time over the weekend.

so, let the catch-up blogging begin!

ok, friday:
on friday, nina had a make-up dance class from 9:30 to 10:30. i dropped her off for that and took maggie over to story hour at the library, where a guy who teaches music classes for babies was performing at story hour. maggie loved it! she got right into singing, dancing, and playing with the instruments. i had always mocked the idea of spending almost $250 for 10 music classes for a baby, but i might sign us up. well, it's not $250 here in maine, and it's per family, not per sibling. so that makes a big difference.

mom, vanessa, and wyatt picked up nina from dance class and brought her to story hour too, so she got to participate at the end. then, we took wyatt and the girls down to the whale park because it was such a sunny, beautiful day. the girls' friends charlie, hattie, and james were there, so it was fun.

then, shortly after we got home, erik, isabelle, and chester got in! wow, if you didn't think 2 girls could get any happier, they did! they love their aunt and uncle and that crazy little dog. general merriment and passing around of the wyatt was had by all.

nina was fine with me holding wyatt this time, but maggie was not so happy. "no wyatt!" she'd say "it's my mom!!"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

this is from a few days ago but i didn't get a chance to write about it

nina, maggie, grandma, and i were in the car, telling jokes.

"knock knock," said nina.
"who's there?" i said.
"bird in the tree mailbox!" said nina (approximately).
"bird in the tree mailbox who?" i said.
"bird in the tree mailbox..." said nina. "you know, not all jokes have to be funny."

haha! she's funny even when she's not funny!

tanta nessa and wy-wis are here!

what a big, exciting day!

nina and grandma went to portland to pick them up, but first they had lunch together at the broadway deli, and then went to the flower show in portland. nina wore her nicest dress for the special occasion, and she and grandma had a fantastic time. they got to vanessa and wyatt in time and in one piece, so the day was a blazing success!

meanwhile, maggie and i had a playdate with lily and her mom melissa. she had a great time! maggie is big enough for her own playdates, sigh... big kid!

most importantly, vanessa and wyatt are great! wyatt is the happiest baby, and SOOOOOO cute! he's always smiling and playing, or else intently watching the world. the girls love him.

maggie is so happy that tante vanessa is here too. she kept running into the dining room while we were eating and yelling "tante nessa!" then she insisted on sitting right next to her for the rest of the meal. what's going to happen tomorrow with isabelle, erik, and chester here too? too much happiness!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

pictures of the storm destruction!

you can click on these photos and they'll get bigger. the register reported that wind gusts reached 72 mph! it was, for all purposes, a category 1 hurricane. we were so lucky to not lose our power!

finally able to download pictures again!

here are the nightgowns i made for the girls from an old sheet. nina's wasn't totally done in these pics--she got sleeves and a button for the back after these were taken. she'll get another button when i can find some more!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

what amazing weather we're having!

wow. it was like, 50 yesterday and maybe 55 today. amazing! it was spring! yesterday nick took the kids to the botanical gardens while i did some major spring vacuuming (i can't call it spring cleaning because vacuuming was as far as i got. but i vacuumed in and under all 3 couches, behind the TV stand... everywhere. i even vacuumed the closet doors in the family room (they're those shutter-type doors, they collect a lot of dust). i didn't get to vacuum upstairs though, i ran out of time). then in the afternoon we all played outside. such great fun!

today we went to hendrick's head to dig in the sand, the girls were so happy. there was a cold breeze coming off the ocean but it was worth it. then we did more outside play, and i got to start building my compost bin (i'm building it log-cabin style from big sticks lying on the ground. i'll take a picture of it when we're able to download pictures from the camera again).

cuteness of the day: maggie didn't want to wear pants today, so nick said 'ok how about these jeans, wear these.' she did. she looked so cute in them (jeans make her look older), and i said to her "maggie your pants are so cute!" and she said to me "it's not pants, it's jeans!" such a funny kid!

Friday, March 5, 2010

we had a movie night tonight

we watched the animated film Up at the parents' house. the new TV makes for a great home theater! the girls loved it--even maggie was riveted. it's amazing the way she can focus on a 96-minute movie, and actually follow what's going on! she laughed in all the right places, remembered the characters (there were dogs and a bird, so it was perfect for maggie. the only thing that could have made it better was a horse!). she did get confused because there was a princess tiana preview, and at first she thought that was what we were gonna watch. how cute!

earlier today (around 2 in the afternoon) mom took the girls in the hot tub. after a while in there nina said "i'm getting pretty tired. i need to get wound up!"

ohh also during the movie, there was something happening. and nina said someting like "what could he poss-is-a-... what could he poss-oss-ibl... what could he pos-is... what could he be trying to do?" it was so cute, she just couldn't get it out.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

i can't believe it's already march!

knock on wood, but i have to say that was not a bad winter! it didn't even get cold until the end of december, and it's been downright balmy for most of the past 2 weeks! (granted that i consider anything close to 40 balmy. but today almost hit 50!). the 10 day forecast has us in the mid-40s most days, with the exception of tomorrow and thursday, which are forecast for the upper 30s. still, i am one happy camper! i even read in the press herald that the sap has started running so early this year that it might be all done by the time maple sugar sunday rolls around (in which case they'll still have it on the scheduled day, i think that's the last sunday in march, except they'll just boil plain water in the evaporators instead of sap, so people can still get to see how it works. and of course we'll go!)

i write about the weather today because there's really not much else to talk about... maggie was in quite the mood today, screaming and crying and stamping her foot when she didn't get her way immediately. maybe something was bothering her, like teeth? she did have a tiny bit of a runny nose, maybe there was a sore throat with it, or she was just feeling under the weather. i think there was something going on beyond the typical almost 2-ness, because she really wasn't herself. either way, it wasn't too bad either. nina's good though.