About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

tree huggers

Silly Noah, he took the "I love trees" pose I suggested he strike a bit too far, hehe. :)

p.s. Claire informed me that I had switched around the trees owners- Noah's is the-little-tree-that-could, the ash, and mine is the pistache. :)

Earth Day musings

I've noticed a change in me since I started gardening.

I drive slower (and I drove slowly to begin with!!) so that I can admire the flowers and trees I'm passing.

I wonder how the city got that azalea to grow in full sun when usually they need a bit more shade.

I hear Claire point out the "rosies" she sees and "plant" (aka pile them together and call it a "flower family") some gladiolus bulbs and predict she will be a little helper soon enough.

I watch Alex dig happily in the dirt and wonder if gardening is in his genes too, or if he is just being a boy. :)

I smile when I pass the huge hydrangeas growing behind that house near my parents (can't wait for those to bloom this year!)

I don't mind dirt or earwigs as much as I used to, but I freak if I see a weevil.

I notice the subtle daily differences in our trees as they continue to grow.

I know that what is eating my hydrangea is spider mites and I know how to get rid of them safely and organically.

I know that where I used to want to plant a rose doesn't get nearly enough sun, but it would be a great spot for a Grace Ward lithodora.

I know that ladybugs are beneficial for more than just their lucky reputation (they also help control the pesky aphid population).

I know that the gorgeous blue flowers climbing up and over the fence on a particular house are morning glories. I drive an alternate route just so I can pass this gorgeous display.

I know that crape myrtle blooms on new wood (so you want to prune in late winter/early spring) and hydrangeas bloom on old wood (so you want to prune in late summer/early fall).

I know that I feel most spiritual contemplative (besides when I am in the shower or running on the treadmill!) when I am digging in the dirt.

I know that I inherited this affinity for nature on the Comstock side from my dad and from his dad before him. And even though Grandpa is gone from this earthly life, I know he is looking down from above, and hopefully he is saying to Granddad "Look at that Trachelospermum jasminoides (you know he would use its scientific name, not its common name, star jasmine) Emily planted! What a perfect spot!" Or maybe he is saying, "Oops, not such a great spot for that bachelor's button. That won't get nearly enough sun, Emily!"

I only wish my thumb would turn as green as Nanny's, who merely has to touch barren earth for life to spring forth.

And maybe someday my mind will be filled with half the gardening knowledge of my mother-in-law who always has answers (off the top of her head) to my questions about what pests are plaguing my plants and how to fix them.

And may I never forget that Claire assigned each of the four trees we planted last year to a member of the family: hers is the smallest yet most vibrant; Alexander's is the red-tip maple ("no, birdie, no! That's Alex's tree!"); mine is, appropriately, the ash tree from my parents, which Noah had given up on but that I kept watering and nurturing until it finally leafed out in late late LATE summer last year; and Noah's is the Chinese pistache whose brilliant fall color is just drop-dead gorgeous. And may these trees soon provide our house with shade from our brutal summer heat. :)

Happy Earth Day!! Go hug a tree! We did!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Simple things

I was feeling very "Little House on the Prairie" as I hung up the laundry with the clothespins that my helper girl handed me one by one.

For now, I'm soaking up this beautiful sunny weather, grateful for the free dryer. :)

It's quite relaxing, leisurely hanging up the wash while humming a tune (I'm not sure why, but the tune I was humming was a slower, softer version of "Jingle Bells").

Just had to take a picture of the smallest little panties!!

I'm smitten with my laundry line.

At this very moment, I am looking outside at another load of wash taking its time drying on the line, gently swaying in the breeze as birds faraway and nearby chirp away.

A little boy slumbers away and his sister (dress tucked into her panties from a recent trip to the potty) reads to her dolls.

A new book in front of me just waiting to be devoured, as one recently finished remains in its spot on my nightstand.

Yep, I love these simple things. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

making my life easier

"Cwaire's gonna ride in the yittle car, Mama!"

I swear, she was grinning from ear to ear the whole time (and quite dramatically manhandling the steering wheel, might I add!)
wondering where the heck his partner in crime is, and now eagerly awaiting his turn in the car (I'm guessing)

it isn't really about the cookies...

It's about being together, creating something from nothing, enjoying the results (a LOT!!) and laughing about the few ingredients that may have been added at improper times, hehe.

Even Alex helped by stirring the flour around in the bowl (with large amounts falling off the sides, hehe). He did not cooperate with me for picture taking, however...

Someday I hope they remember baking with Mama, and how much fun we had.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Sunday

For me, Easter is such an affirmation of fresh starts, new beginnings and the joy of family, friends and life.

We appropriately spent it in Visalia with most of the Comstocks, though Sarah, Isaac and Laura could not make it (and Claire was NOT happy about that, hehe)

Somebody was very fond of her cousin. :)

Here she is trying to snap his last snap closed. I know that if the shirt I am about to put on has buttons, then she will do them and undo them many many many times that day. She's pretty fast now!

Nana and Landon!

And this little boy was a litle explorer, especially in the kitchen where there are many more cupboards than at home. They're particularly fun to climb inside (and get stuck in!). Cutie bootie!!

daddy's way of entertaining the kids while mama takes a shower...


There's Alex, getting into the scrapbooks, and yes, Claire is without a shirt. :)

Hey, it was spring break, I'll let it go (just this once!) :))))

Tuesday = walk day

It was cold and windy, so layers were a must! (smiles optional, hehe)

We tried showing Claire how to use the big swing a few nights ago, and while she is capable of holding herself up during small swings, she prefers the bucket swing where she can FLY!! (not that she's going particularly fast or high in this photo...) And next to her is Laura (Mrs. Dietmeyer to the young crowd) and Baby Bonnie, whom Claire just adores...

...see, I told you!

...and again! She wants to touch her and play with her and look at her, etc. It comes in handy when she's being a belligerent toddler. We just say, "Do you want to see Baby Bonnie tomorrow? If you do (fill in the blank) again, we won't go see Baby Bonnie tomorrow." It (usually) works wonders. She'll be like "I want to see Baby Bonnie!!!" and then stop whatever she's doing that we don't want her to do.

I have realized that this is effective as long as I'm not bluffing. For example, if I say we aren't going to see Bonnie if she doesn't stop, then I better be willing to not see Bonnie myself. So far, so good!

And just because it is my garden pride and joy, here is my hydrangea, with buds that will soon become ginormous macrophylla flowers...I can't wait!! I don't know what color they are going to be, though. You see, Inga got me this hydrangea for my birthday last year. It was in bloom and gorgeous and blue (she knows the blue ones are my favorite). The problem is, hydrangea color is related to soil pH, the more acid the soil, the bluer the petals. Our soil here is not naturally acid enough to create blue blooms, but you can add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make it more acid thereby creating blue blooms. I have not been adding my alum sulfate because I'm curious what color will appear naturally. Pink or white is my guess. If I want blue for next year, then I can add the acid. I can do whatever I want!! Funny thing is that in places where the soil is naturally more acid, like the Pacific Northwest, they add alkaline solutions to the soil to create PINK blooms because they don't want them blue!! I guess it's human nature to desire that which we cannot have. And I guess if we're just talking about hydrangea color, then hey, do what you want!!

(please disregard the unsightly rocks and tubing, hehe!)

during naptime...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

playing together

Mama inside making dinner.

Daddy outside supervising the kids and catching up on some yardwork.

Claire and Alexander, happily playing side-by-side.

Noah told me that Alex was first pushing his toy and when Claire saw him, she rushed to get hers to play along.

Their dynamic is changing a bit. Whereas it used to be Claire was always in charge, Alex has come up with ways to lead on his own. For example, the not-so-nice things like pulling her hair and screaming like a banshee until she stops whatever she's doing that's bugging him. And sometimes, playing on his own until she decides that what he's doing looks so fun and so awesome that she has to join in...without terrorizing him. :)

Me = happy mama (especially that I got this picture!)

"seed flowers"

I have been trying and trying and trying to plant some seeds, but these things are difficult when a certain little boy enjoys pulling out my progress, hehe. He is the reason the eight French marigolds, five blue pansies and one lantana I planted in the back are without petals. :)

It's one of those things...I know when the kids are old enough to not pull out my flowers I will look back nostalgically on this time, hehe.

And if you are wondering why these seed packets are gently placed in the pansies,

just ask this girl...

"they are seed flowers, Mama. I put them here so they grow." :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

recent craftiness

adventures in applesauce eating.

Ok, mama, we'll give the spoon a try. (yeah, right!)

my hand is just so much more efficient...and fun!

forget hands, I want my applesauce NOW!!


Outside weather

The second thing I miss most about San Diego (first being Laura, of course), is the weather. Blue skies and warm temps almost year-round.

We are relishing our time outside before it gets to be ungodly hot and we're hoping for fall, hehe.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year.

Can someone please show me how to get my fair-skinned boy to keep his hat on??? :)

"Hello, hat? This is Alex. How are you?" hehe...lately everything is a phone. :)