Meg walking

Meg has been getting really good at walking in the last couple weeks. Just in the last couple days, she has started to switch from mostly crawling to mostly walking. It is pretty exciting to watch her. We are especially impressed by how well she can pivot, and can walk a few steps, stop, then walk some more. She is also really good at bending over and picking stuff up, and then bending back up (though in this video she does fall down when bending over). Today I finally got a pretty good little video of her walking. It also features Spencer playing with some monster trucks, and Great Aunt Jean encouraging both of them. And like all good baby videos, it ends with Meg trying to get the camera.

Garden 2011

Salsa ingredients from the garden - tomatoes and hot peppers
Salsa ingredients from the garden - tomatoes and hot peppers
Now that 2011 is over and the garden has been long gone, I am finally getting around to showing it off. This year I did a few things differently than in past years. Instead of using black plastic, I used weed block, with mulch on top of it. This seemed to work quite well in keeping the garden from getting too warm. It also helped keep in the moisture, and did in fact block the weeds, except in the peripheral areas of the garden where I ran out of weed block. Maybe next year I will spend a few extra dollars to get a bit more.
Garden progress - putting mulch over the weed block
Garden progress - putting mulch over the weed block

I also experimented with alternating rows of tall plants (tomatoes) and short ones – herbs, eggplant, peppers, etc. This seemed to work fairly well. The tomatoes did very well this year. I was particularly happy with the Black Krim, which produced a fair amount of incredibly tasty fruit. The pineapple tomato barely produced anything, which was disappointing. All of the cherry tomatoes did very good as in past years. The eggplant didn’t end up producing much. They had lots of flowers, but I only got about one piece of fruit per plant. I’m not sure what I did wrong there. And the giant pumpkin produced one giant pumpkin – 92 pounds. Speaking of squash, I also had a couple volunteer patty pan squash from the year before. In addition to all the tomatoes, I tried an armenian cucumber, which tasted very good – a little crunchier than a gerkin. We also tried a tomatillo plant, which thrived, but when they were finally ready to be harvested, we were too busy to figure out what to do with them. Oh well.Time to start planning the 2012 garden.
more details follow

New drumset

Spencer playing his new drumset
Spencer playing his new drumset
Today we received boxes 2 and 3 of the 3 boxes Great Aunt Jean recently sent us, which were filled with a kid’s drumset. Jeff had given it to Billy quite a few years ago, and he has since outgrown it. It was packed very well, and arrived in wonderful condition. I eagerly put all the pieces together. Spencer seemed quite excited about it, though he didn’t want to play it until I sat down and started playing my kit too. Thank you so much Jeff, Jean Ann, Billy, Shannon, Kristen, and Bill!