Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April Showers, Bring May Flowers?

Well, it's April 27th, and again I sit here without much to say. It's drizzly this morning and very dark. I woke up early because my back was throbbing so badly. I haven't been sleeping well. It's not even just the pure physical discomfort I'm experiencing, but the inability to turn my brain off. I used to have that problem when I was working full-time. I'd lay in bed thinking about loan files, if I'd returned a phone call, or what needed to be done to accomplish my monthly production goals. Now I am kept up with thoughts that are just ridiculous. I find myself awake at 1am, thinking about compost and where I should buy my perennials. I think about the fact that I should be sleeping because in a few weeks, I won't be getting much. That leads me to thinking about the baby and what I need to do to be prepared. Finally, I'll think- just count. I'll begin counting to myself and then realize I'm now thinking about why people count sheep. I mean, there are not any sheep to count. It's useless. Somewhere around 2am, I'll finally fall asleep.

As I mentioned, it's drizzly today. It's 8:30am and I had to turn on the lamps in the living room because of the lack of sunlight coming through the windows. Normally, Gavin is up by this hour. He's probably being kept asleep by the lulling noise of cars driving by on the wet pavement. Even the beagles are still in bed. They usually greet me downstairs, eagerly awaiting breakfast and to be let outside. Yet, there they lay, snuggled up together like puppies on a Hallmark card.

The spring rain is necessary though, as it works to green up the landscape. I planted quite a few vegetables out in my garden late last week. I have several growing inside and I can't wait to get them planted. They seem eager too as they grow towards the sunlight. I turn them daily so they don't grow sideways. I have drawn out plans for a cutting garden that is going to surround our patio- I bought seed packets of zinnias, larkspur, and other annuals. I'm not sure how they'll do but if it works out, it'll be $5.00 well spent. I normally don't want to spend money on annuals but this could be a good way to go. I love growing plants by seed. It's not the instant gratification that you get when buying transplants, but I like to watch the plants sprout up from nothing.

We are taking a vacation to Maine next week. We found a cottage to rent in Ogunquit, which is on the southern coast of Maine. I am so excited to see and smell the ocean. We're excited to have some time together as our little family of three before it expands. I plan on indulging in lobster rolls and New England chowder. It should be a fantastic getaway.

And, with that, I hear "Mama" being called out. Better run.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello Spring- my thoughts on life this week.

Hi again. I have to admit that I'm only posting because I feel bad when I neglect writing for over a week. These impromptu posts wind up being somewhat of a rambling of thoughts, my apologies in advance. My little family has been battling colds and allergies, like many others I know. Adam seems to have it the worst, with a cough that keeps us both up all night. Fortunately, he started taking antibiotics yesterday and should start feeling better soon. My cold has been more annoying than anything else and it's just adding to my exhaustion. My body is telling me to slow down and rest, while my mind keeps adding to the to-do list. I'm having trouble reconciling the two.

I think one of my favorite things about living in the northeast is the obvious change in seasons. I love watching everything turn green after it was brown and bare for so long. All of our trees are flowering and the grass is coming alive. The birds have returned and even my detested squirrels have revived swagger in their tails.  The beagles are happy to be outside for hours at a time. Even now, when I look outside, Starsky has a clear smile on his face.

I've been working on prepping my garden for planting. I'm glad that I did the heavy-lifting last year and just have to pull weeds and add some compost this year. I have started about 80 plants inside- they have all germinated but they are still very small. Next week, I will plant the lettuces, spinach, carrots, and peas outside. May 20th is the predicted last frost date, so I'll plant out the rest of my seeds and transplant my seedlings then. My mom recommended a book on square foot gardening by Mel Bartholomew. It really simplifies the entire concept of growing a vegetable garden, and, had I read it last year, it would have saved me a tremendous amount of work. I decided to test the method and Adam helped me build a small raised bed on the other side of the yard. Once I get the squares marked, I'll post some pictures. We still have some work to do, but our yard and gardens are starting to come together.

Meanwhile, the little tyke in my tummy is growing rapidly. I feel as though there is no additional space but it still has 10 or so weeks to go. If this one is on Gavin's timeline, he or she will arrive in just about 8 weeks. I'm excited to meet this little thing. (Is it weird to call a baby a thing?) We're going to start changing our guest room over to the baby's room and moving the guest room up to the loft. Yes, I've decided to rename our finished attic, "the loft." It sounds far more chic and once we get it all set up with an a/c unit, it'll be a nice place for our guests. Plus, they'll get a nice leg workout while they visit. Ha, now we can call it Canyon Ranch! Come, stay, enjoy upstate New York and leave with nicely toned quads! There is even a nice selection of yoga and pilates dvd workouts up there!

On that note, I'll end this rambling post. I hope you're all enjoying the beginnings of Spring.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Diannalynn's east coast visit...

Adam's sister, Diannalynn, visited us over the past week. She brought her youngest son Spencer, who is just 10 months old. It was interesting to watch Gavin's interactions with the little guy and get a little preview of what life will be like in a few months. He definitely displayed typical emotions like jealousy and neediness, but also took on a protective role as well. We had to watch him closely because he also tried to beat up the little guy a few times. Even in the picture below, Gav looks guilty of something... Oh, we're in for some fun this summer!
Adam worked during the weekdays so DL and I went on some short outings last week. Mostly just took the boys for walks to the park or down by the Hudson River. Everything just takes 10 times as long with kids, 2 strollers, diaper bags, etc. The weather was beautiful, low-to-mid 70s- perfect for relaxing out on the front porch.

On Saturday, we all went to Boston for the day. Again, the weather was absolutely fabulous! I had never been to Boston on such a beautiful day. Previous visits have always been rainy or dreary. Boston Common was packed with people picnicking and sunning themselves. Spring always brings such great energy to any city or town. We did a lot of walking- this time we walked the entire Freedom Trail. We started at Boston Common and walked down through Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market, over to the North End, and then over the Charles River Bridge. Rather than turning around, we continued walking through Charlestown and then passed over to Cambridge. We walked along the Charles River and then walked over the Longfellow bridge. That led us through Beacon Hill, a fabulous neighborhood that I had not been to before. The sidewalks are all cobblestone and the storefronts maintain old-world charm, even the 7-Eleven looked upscale. After a little more walking, we made it back to Boston Common. I would guess we walked at least six miles, probably more. After returning to the car, we drove back over to Cambridge and had dinner, complete with chowdah. It was an absolutely perfect day.
Walking along the Charles River in Cambridge, MA
Neighborhood of Beacon Hill
Random shots of storefronts on Beacon St.

Yesterday, I took DL over to Berkshire County to experience small town New England. We started in Williamstown, home of Williams College. I had read about the Library of Rare Books where you could view original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights. They also have an impressive collection of first edition books. This turned out to be a hilarious little adventure.

We went over to Williams College, where the library was said to be located. There was a sign that stated that the library had moved to a temporary location while the original space was under construction. We got out our walking map and headed to the temporary building. Once we arrived, we saw a call box where you had to be buzzed in. Ok... this is sort of weird. The door opened and we walked down a hallway where a gentleman welcomed us with a puzzled look. Keep in mind, we were each pushing a stroller and this guy was probably thinking, "what do these two moms want?" We followed him into a small room where there was a lady behind the desk and they asked how they could help us. It was beyond awkward. Diannalynn said, sort of sheepishly, "I hear you have some great books." Then I explained that I had read that you could see the founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence. I felt like we were in a scene of a Dan Brown novel, "I need to see the original copy of the Bill of Rights, STAT!" They informed us that during the 3 year remodel of the library, everything was in storage but the founding documents had been moved to the Clark Museum for display. The museum was, of course, closed on Mondays. They were very nice, but it really made for an awkward experience, yet funny. It still makes me giggle, even as I write this.
Outside one of the buildings at Williams College
New England architecture

We took a little break so the boys could play at the park before getting back into the car.

We walked around Williamstown a while longer and then drove over to North Adams, then through part of southern Vermont. We had a nice time driving along the winding roads. Well, Gavin didn't quite enjoy the winding roads. He got carsick as we arrived to Williamstown. He now owns sweats and a t-shirt with the Williams College logo. I knew I should have packed an extra outfit for him- total rookie mistake. Oh well... we had a nice day and met up with Adam for dinner back in Albany. I think we showed Diannalynn and Spencer a good time while they were here.