Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ramblings of an Insomniac

I am a tad bit sleepy. I seem to have caught a case of insomnia from my sister. And yes, I assure you it is indeed contagious - no need to google it, my medical opinion is very sound. I hate starting sentences off with 'and', but I already did it and I don't want to go back and fix it.

As you can see I'm into full blown ADD from sleep deprivation.

I am typically the kind of person that doesn't function well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Ideally I like to get 9. . . but that whole having kids thing can be rather incompatible with 9 hours sometimes. When I'm pregnant, the 7 and 9 turn into 10 and 12. . . at least for the first trimester. Luckily I'm not pregnant or else I may not have survived. You see, this week I have been getting a max of 3 hours each night. I was actually doing really well all week, but I took a nap just a few hours ago and it all came crashing down. I actually followed the old advice that all parenting books suggest and napped while my kiddos napped. The problem is I need my kids to take a 10 hour nap and they were not considerate enough to oblige me. They get that from their dad.

I was going to just go ahead and neglect the blog for the day since I clearly have nothing of importance to say. Not that my usual stuff is groundbreaking or anything, but it is in comparison to this. The thing is, if I don't sit down to blog I might be tempted to try to do something productive like mow my rather neglected lawn. It makes me dizzy with sleepiness just thinking about it though.

Today was one of those let-the-kids-stare-mindlessly-at-the-TV kind of days; AKA - mommy's mental health day. I don't have them often, but sometimes they are very necessary. Normally I would let the kids go outside to play, but the heat index is supposedly over 100 degrees and Kaelan had a rather high fever last night. I say supposedly because the heat index is currently just a number to me since I have not wandered out of the gloriousness that is AC. Well. . . I did at 6am since I was awake with nothing to do, my plants needed watering, and what else is a girl to do at 6am and she has been awake most of the night? But the temperature was quite nice at 6am. Oops, another sentence started with a conjunction. Maybe it is time to stop writing for the day! I don't know when I became a grammar nazi, this is a blog not a grant proposal.

Just so that I can say this wasn't a total wash of a post I will let Hailey entertain you with her interesting way of watching TV:
That's my girl!

She did eventually realize that there was a kitty under her and that said kitty had too many whiskers still attached. Poor kitty:

 Then Hailey slobbered and teethed on the kitty:
Better than a Sophie giraffe apparently!

Finally, a cute shot of my sick little booger being in an awesome mood considering he shot up to 104 degrees last night:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Purple Heirlooms - Oh My!

I wasn't going to do a garden update this week. I figured there wasn't much to tell, but then I went outside to water everything just now and found this:

I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty sure that I squealed out loud when I saw this puppy. I should have put my hand in there for reference but it is roughly the size of the palm of my hand.

It was buried in the middle of the plant so I hadn't seen it the last few days. This should be a purple heirloom tomato which is crazy because that plant is supposed to be the least hardy of all my tomato plants. . . at least that is what the farmer at the farmer's market told me. It didn't get the memo I guess, seeing as how it is the only tomato amongst all the tomato plants in the main garden. There are lots of flowers all over so there will be more soon, but it is the only tomato.

My Topsy Turvy plants are a different story. They have over a dozen tomatoes growing! They are all rather small right now but if I remember correctly (which I very well may not), the tomatoes on those plants are all smaller varieties.
Here is a close up of a few:

My pepper is coming along slowly but surely too:

The flowers in the front are looking rather spiffy too:
I'll keep this short and sweet for this week. If you want to catch up on my gardening journey I have lumped all of the gardening posts here. I'm hoping that by next week I can show off a purple heirloom salad!

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - June 29, 2011

I am cheating on the wordless part of Wordless Wednesday primarily because I don't want child protective services showing up at my door anytime soon. The bottle Kaelan had in this photo was completely dry - he just likes to play pretend. Secondly, I did not take these pictures. Hailey had just been born around this time and I was tending to my newborn. My hubby, recognizing a Kodak moment when he saw one, quickly grabbed my camera and snapped some shots without changing the settings or even lifting up the flash (insert eyeroll here); hence the horrible quality. Regardless, the story the pictures tell is too funny to not share.

Ok, wordless part starts now. . .

Review - OXO Soft Works POP Containers

How do you store dry bulk products in your pantry?

Until a few months ago, I either had them in their original containers sealed with chip clips, or I had them in large glass containers. The original packages with chip clips were unsightly, hard to organize, and weren't great for keeping food fresh. The large glass containers were cumbersome. I had searched for several months for a better option and had not found any containers to my liking until I came across the Soft Works POP containers made by OXO at Target one day.
The price is by far the biggest down side to these as they are not particularly cheap. There come in various shapes and sizes, but the larger ones get close to $20 and the very cheapest little guys are $6.99 (if I recall correctly). If I buy more, I will probably buy a multi pack online which can sometimes be found on sale.

Price aside, these containers are great!

Here are a few reasons why I love them:
  • The pop tops work very well and keep a really nice airtight seal meaning my dry goods stay fresh for a long time.
  • I have dropped one a couple of times and there has yet to be any cracking or breaking. I don't know about their long-term durability but I have had them for over 6 months so far and they all look like new despite heavy usage. Reading some online reviews I have seen a few complaints about cracking. While I haven't had any issues with this, I definitely recommend not being too abusive with them. Prior to having these I had glass containers so I have never gotten into the habit of just throwing them around.
  • The pop tops come on and off very easily which is nice when I am multi-tasking and only have one hand to grab something out of the containers. 
  • I love that they have perfectly vertical sides. Several containers on the market have slanted sides which take up unnecessary space in the pantry or counter top. These maximize space pretty well which is important for me since I don't have a whole lot to spare. 
  • They are also stackable.
  • They also come in convenient sizes meaning that they have a size that holds a standard bag of flour or sugar. I have had brands before where they held 95% of a bag, or were way too big and that always frustrated me.
  • Easy to clean - I hand wash the tops which don't require frequent cleaning and I throw the container part in the dish washer. I haven't had any issues with them in the dish washer but I think that hand washing is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • They are attractive.
  • OXO POP containers are all BPA free which is important to me when it comes to food storage.
OXO also makes a couple of other lines that include similar pop top products. One is the OXO Good Grips POP containers. I haven't tried them personally, but I did notice at the store, that one big difference between the Good Grips and the Soft Works is the shape of the containers. The Soft Works have the perfectly flat, vertical walls whereas the Good Grips are a little stylized towards the top. I like the Soft Works because they are so space efficient so I don't think I would get the Good Grips. Here is a photo showing this difference:
It isn't a huge difference, but enough of one to make me go with the Soft Works.

In my kitchen I have 7 POP containers:
  • 4.3 quart big square - flour
  • 4.3 quart big square - sugar
  • 1.7 quart rectangle - brown sugar
  • 1.7 quart rectangle - powdered sugar
  • 2.3 quart small square - spaghetti noodles
  • 3.7 quart rectangle - goldfish crackers
  • 2.6 quart big square - brown rice
I would really like a second 4.3 quart one for whole grain flour and a second 1.7 quart for corn starch. I will likely buy a multi-pack eventually.

The drawbacks of the POP containers:
  • Relatively expensive
  • They are more breakable than soft plastic containers (but probably less breakable than glass).
  • The POP top lids take up more space than conventional lids. I don't find this to be a big deal but maybe with the very small sizes that I do not own, this would be a bigger annoyance. I would probably never buy the smallest sizes for this reason.

Disclaimer - I do not have any affiliation with OXO. I was not payed or given anything free in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Miss Attitude

This is what I like to call Hailey's WTF face. . . except my precious little baby girl doesn't swear. . . not even in an abbreviation. So for purposes of this conversation - the F in WTF stands for frick. Anyhoo, I get this face a lot and while I'm sure it is almost always just her way of concentrating on something, I always picture her inner monologue to be something like this:

How about:

Or maybe:

When I am really bored:
Ok so maybe this last one is a stretch. . .
but on a serious note - name that movie.
It's only one of the best movies EVER!

I didn't sleep much last night. . . can you tell?

Hailey was fighting the good fight against her emerging teeth last night. While things were looking awfully desperate around 4am, I finally pulled out the big guns with Tylenol and Orajel. We managed to get a few hours of sleep at least. I wish Hylands weren't recalled; Those were awesome when Kaelan was a teething 9 month old. Our lack of sleep meant that I got to see Hailey's WTF(frick) face quite a bit today.

If you know me in real life (you know, outside of the interwebs), you probably have heard me talk about Hailey's violent tendencies or seen them for yourself. She shows affection by bopping people firmly and repeatedly in the face. I suppose we egg her on by reacting, but it is too funny not to. She is pretty good about not getting me anymore because I am better at not reacting since she is with me all day long. As soon as daddy comes around though it is bop city. Let's not even talk about how she handles her uncle:
Please excuse the mess, the room was in a state of
transition as you can see from the paint swatches on the wall.

Admittedly I *may* have contributed to her love for violence seeing as how I was the one making her punch her uncle. She was only four months old in the video. . . who knew it would catch on so well for her?!? Bad mommy.

Both sets of grandparents have special nick names for her. My mother in law calls her The Snake because you never know when she is going to strike. When she does it is fast and furious; especially when she is after the glasses on someone's face. My mom calls her Bam Bam - No explanation necessary.

She also likes to make a weird noise that makes her sound like a cross between a rabid raccoon and an 86 year old chain smoker with emphysema. Here is another video of Hailey showing off her weird noise and exuberance for swatting things to some very nice little girls at the playground:

She is a little crazy and she is a little spitfire, but she is my spitfire and wouldn't have her any other way. . . though I doubt that our cat would echo that sentiment: 
 It is her own fault though seeing as how she goes and lays next to Hailey on her own accord. I can't protect her from herself. We have another cat too, but he is smart and therefore does not go within 3 feet of Hailey.

 It is crazy how different Hailey is from her brother. Kaelan was always so laid back and Hailey. . . well Hailey. . . is not. Needless to say I am dreading the teen years with this little girl, but I love that she has so much personality. Yes, I think we will go ahead and call it personality for now. 

God I love my girl!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Question Friday - June 24, 2011

   1. What is your current favorite TV show?
I have been watching so little TV lately. . . you know, besides Sesame Street. The hubby and I did just finish watching the whole Dexter series through season 4 on Netflix and it is the best TV show I watched in a long time. Before then we watched Spartacus and Weeds off of Netflix and both of those were great. My hubby Mike and I don't click on a whole lot of genres when it comes to TV and movies so it has been really nice to find a few different series that we both really enjoy.  

   2. What's the worst haircut you ever got?

Oh man I don't have a photo because I refused to let anyone photograph it. I was 12 and went to an actual hair salon for the first time versus either having my mom cut it or going to a Cost Cutters type place. I had nice long hair and she cut it and styled it into a short poofy monster that looked like it belonged on an old blue-hair instead of a pre-teen. Needless to say I hated it and I remember crying about it when I got home.

   3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?

Umm only everything! When I was really little I was a rockstar.

Case in point:

   4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?

I don't know if they're great but I like to get family memberships to only a couple of places each year such as the MN Children's Museum and the MN Zoo. My kids are little and they like repetition so we get plenty of bang for our buck from the memberships.
My kids enjoying the science museum
They have a fabulous baby room that both kids really like.

I also try to keep up on local activities. The twin cities are frequently high up on those lists that rank cities on family friendliness. Part of the reason is that there are so many events for kids that are fun and often free. Our libraries put on all sorts of reading times and fun events. Our local Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) center has free drop in mommy and me classes for babies Hailey's age that Kaelan is welcome to attend as well. There are also free parks everywhere that are great for kids.

Every town/suburb around here has a special carnival weekend, often including a parade, throughout the summer. Our town's one is today so we will definitely be going. Wish us luck because last year it was rained violently stormed out.
Here my kids are on free pony rides at St. Paul's big festival - Grand Old Days. They had a petting zoo, face painting, games, etc. - all for free:


   5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?

Once I'm out of the baby stage I fully plan on taking at least one road trip per summer with the family. The hubs and I both went on many wonderful family road trips as kids, and they are memories that we want our kids to have. I certainly will be flying sometimes though.

We have yet to do any cross-country road trips as a family, but we have done a 5 hour trip and an 8 hour trip. When Kaelan was only 2.5 months old we went up with my in laws to Gooseberry Falls state park. It is just north of Duluth MN and it was fantastic: 
The jogging stroller came in very handy!

When Kaelan was 5 months old, we drove out to Chicago. My family followed behind the next day and provided some babysitting while Mike and I enjoyed the town alone for a while too.

Alas poor Hailey has yet to be taken anywhere further than an hour away.

Happy weekend everyone! After a couple of gloomy weeks we have a some beautiful sunshine and decent temperatures over here. We plan to take full advantage of it all.

Oh and just FYI - Blogger is driving me nuts with their funky re-formatting of my posts so please excuse any weird page breaks or lack-there-of.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adding a Third Child - Is It Smart to Outnumber Yourself?

Real quick, I just want to update from my last post that was written at 3am. My little angels slept in slightly past 10:30am for their momma on her birthday. Baby Boo needed a bottle at 7:00am which my lovely husband took care of and then she went right back down. I got to almost fully catch up on sleep. I love them all!

- Back to your regularly scheduled program blog -

As I have mentioned a few times now, the hubs and I eventually want a third child - Not as close in age as the 2 we have right now (ship's sailed on that one anyway - no sleep is being lost over that), but relatively close together still. Whenever I think of this, my mind starts to wonder what it will be like to have 3 kids. I often hear, usually from people with 2 children, that it isn't smart to have more children than you have parents. That made sense in mind and I have been a little apprehensive over the whole third child thing despite being very sure that our family isn't complete with 2. For me at least, going from 1 child to 2, was a bigger transition in terms of stress levels than going from none to 1. I kept imagining that going from 2 to 3 would be an even bigger jump.
Lately I have been thinking about it a little harder and am finding myself less worried. Outnumbered? I am home (or out and about) alone with my children most days of the week while hubby works; I am already outnumbered! Plus, I have come to find that with Little Dude well into his not-so-terrible-twos, that he needs a lot less immediate attention. He still needs attention of course, just not as on demand as a baby. With a third, Baby Boo will be hopefully around the age that my son is now when the new baby arrives. This will hopefully mean that she should be a little more independent by then too. When picturing a future family, it is easy to picture a newborn being added to the current lineup. That simply isn't reality though. 9 months is the minimum amount of time in which I *could* have another and that is a world of difference in terms of needs for both my kids.

Little Dude at birth, 9 months, and 18 months old:
Baby Boo at birth and 9 months old:

There are a couple of bigger scenarios that I imagine will test my patience and ability as a new mom of three. The first is the rare though ever-stressful times when crap hits the fan (hopefully not literally) and all kids melt down. These moments have been rare in my own household, but the few examples I can think of make me break out in a sweat and have my ovaries cowering in the corner. Add some fresh post-partum hormones and you have a recipe for some serious potential melt downs on momma's part.

I found this phase short-lived with two kids. Sure they do both melt down on occasion now, but with toddlers and older babies, you can simply take them out of the situation with a time-out. Then, you deal with the issues in order of severity - in terms of severity, poop related incidents usually trump everything else. It is when you have a newborn attached to your hip (or boob) where this can be more difficult. I remember feeding Baby Boo or rocking her to sleep as an itty-bitty when Little Dude would have a meltdown. I would then have to get up and disturb her while I dealt with him, and that automatically resulted in 2 screaming kids . . . and one very frustrated momma. Once they are a little older, it isn't (to me) such a big deal to allow one child to cry if you have a pressing issue to take care of with another. In fact, it is downright necessary sometimes since we are only human and can't be in 2 places at one time.
Having big brother "help" was a great way to take care of both kids' needs.

Breastfeeding in particular is a vulnerable time since it is harder to just get up and take care of a situation if need be; especially if you are still establishing breastfeeding with a newborn. Having double trouble on the loose while feeding a newborn third child will surely test my nerves and parenting abilities. In those moments of frustration and despair, I will have to remember that this stage is short-lived. Easy advice to dish out now; harder advice to remember and take later.

The second situation which I'm sure I will have some struggles with is going out. I'm not talking about actually being out somewhere (though I'm sure that'll be no picnic either); I'm talking about getting everyone ready, making sure we have all necessities, getting everyone out of the door, getting everyone safely to the car, buckling everyone into their car seats, and getting everyone safely out of the car once we arrive. This process takes me FOREVER with 2, so I imagine I may never be on time again once a third is added to the mix. It also takes a lot of mental and physical energy to go anywhere. I simply didn't have it when Baby Boo was itty-bitty, therefore, we stayed home almost every day. The fact that it was winter in Minnesota didn't help either.

I didn't really hit my stride until 6 months after having my daughter. Now our days of doing nothing all day are very rare and I feel that I've figured it out. I don't know how easy that stride will be to find in the first year of having 3, but I guess we'll see. I know I can do it, I just don't know how long it will take. It still takes forever to go anywhere though. I always relish the times that I am able to go out without the kids for the fact that I can just grab my purse and go. No cleaning dirty faces, changing clothes, wrestling on shoes and socks, making sure we have an extra bottle on hand, etc.
It was not love at first sight for big brother,
 but he slowly warmed up to his sister.

I'm not sure when I will actually jump on the baby train again. I am sure that when I do, I will coddle my newborn to death since I will be sad (and hormonal) that he/she will likely be my last baby. Call me crazy (I'll agree with you sometimes), but I can't wait to do it again!

It's my birthday and I won't sleep if I want to. . .

Insomnia sucks but it makes for lots of productive blog writing time at 3am! It is my birthday so I hope that the kids get the memo and let their momma sleep in as late as possible. K-Thx-Bye.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music to My Ears - A Child's Concept of Love

Learning to talk is such a fun and amazing adventure for a toddler. Some days it leaves me in awe how much my little guy picks up here and there. Words and phrases that I did not explicitly try to teach him pop up all the time now and I think it is so cool. One of the most exciting set of words you will hear come out of your toddler's mouth is "I love you". Kaelan has been parroting that back to me for months now. It was always cool to hear but I often wondered if it was anything more than mimicry.
Earlier today, Kaelan and I were chilling on the couch together. We were drawing together with his markers and having a nice calm moment while Hailey napped. I drew him a crocodile. Kaelan immediately recognized it, said "dat's croc-dile," and giggled in excitement. His amusement made me smile, and I told him "Oh buddy, I love you." He looked up at me, flung himself at me and buried his head into my side as he hugged me. Then he looked up at me, said "love you too mama," and gave me a kiss. I almost fell off the couch. It was so sweet it almost makes me want to employ one of those vastly over used blogosphere phrases like *I die* or *le sigh*. . . almost. It was the sweetest little moment ever though. It was so simple yet so genuine - I love my little dude so much! I might tear up just thinking about it. Ahhh hormones. I also think it is cool that he is starting to have a good grasp on a fairly abstract concept like love.
I'm sure the been-there-done-that parents can relate to how amazing it is when your child can show you that you're appreciated. It makes all the many frustrating moments of parenthood seem so insignificant; Truth is that in the long run, they are rather insignificant.

Being told "I love you," is the most literal form of showing affection, but these little kernels of joy are sprinkled throughout the daily routine. Some parents have a harder time realizing it, and certainly some days it is impossible to see. Kaelan has always been my independent little guy so I don't get that affirmation as much from him which made that little moment today all the sweeter. I know he loves me whether he tells me or not though. Hailey is much more obvious in her actions since she is a total momma's girl. Despite my occasional frustrations, I can't claim to hate that she reaches for me whenever I come into the room, or that she seems to have morphed into my shadow now that she can crawl fast enough. This "love" in baby form is a natural and necessary attachment that all healthy parent-child relationships have. As a parent, seeing evidence that you are getting such an important part of your child's emotional development right is an amazing feeling.

Fostering that attachment as my children grow older is important to me. I want the kind of relationship with my own kids (when they're adults) as I have with my parents. Second only to my husband, my parents are my go-to shoulders when I need advice, support, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to share joyous news with. I don't talk to or visit them out of obligation; I do so because I like spending time with them multiple times a week if I can. I hope my kids can say the same someday because I know way too many people in my life that cannot.
I suppose I will end this post now since I am getting all gushy on everyone. It's funny what the words of a toddler can spur, but I'm glad to have it written down for all to see. I hope this inspires all the parents reading this (all 3 of you) to stop and appreciate the little things like a simple, though genuine, I love you. What kind of things have your kids done lately that give you the warm fuzzies?

Wordless Wednesday - June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So. . . When did this turn into a gardening blog?

For someone who isn't "that into gardening," I sure do spend a lot of time gardening and blogging about it. I am at least switching gears a little and talking about my plant/flower garden in the front of the house instead of my veggie garden in the back. The front has been at various stages of neglect over the last 3 years that we have lived in this house. Over the last couple of months, I have slowly been working on improving the situation.

Here is a front shot from a couple of months ago:
As you can see, the most noticeable features of the front garden are the two sprawling bushes to both sides of the front steps. They were the first to go when I starting working on the front. I trimmed them down first and then dug out the stumps on my own.

The in between stages were not pretty:
Here you can see the bushes were cut down to almost nothing but the bases were not dug out yet.

I was planning on having Mike do the digging for me, but I was impatient and didn't want to wait until the weekend. He was busy either working or tearing down awnings for me so it would have taken a weekend or two longer if I had waited for him.
A couple of hours, a broken shovel, and a quick trip to Menards for a replacement later. . .
I finally had the bushes out!

Here is a work-in-progress shot with the bushes taken out: 
As you can see, the front was still a hot mess and there was a lot of work to be done still:
The next part I tackled was the border. Originally, the right side of the garden was deeper than the left. I like symmetry so this had been bothering me since we bought the house back in 2009. The easiest solution was to dig out the left side of the garden so that it matched the right so that's what I did. The above picture shows that as a work-in-progress too. It was a little more annoying than expected because there were several thick roots from the pine tree that ran along the new border line, but they were no match for a nice, new, sharp spade shovel.

The rest of the work was clearing out the weeds, other unwanted plants, and junk - such as the plastic bird bath that was never used. A week after ripping out the big bushes, my mom came and helped me get rid of the hydrangeas that were on the right side of the garden. I like hydrangeas but they weren't for me. My mom now has them in her yard and they are doing very well. I also dug up a random little evergreen on the left of the garden and a lime green plant that I never really cared for.

To Kaelan's delight, I found lots of earth worms while digging:

Around that time Mike had built the veggie garden for me out back so I left the front for over a month without touching anything. Finally last weekend I decided that enough was enough and that I couldn't just leave the front neglected yet again. By that point we had had a decent amount of rain and the weeds were in full bloom in my garden.

There were violets, clover, dandelions and God knows what else all mixed in there:

I started digging and tearing out weeds. Once I was done I transplanted a few plants so that they were spaced a little better and put in some new plants along the front edge of the garden and on the sides. The rest was left empty; I loosened the soil and planted some seeds. After having the business of the bushes, hydrangeas, and other miscellaneous plants, I wanted some simplicity so I picked some tall plants as well as some ornamental grass.  

Here is what most of the empty space will have once it comes in:
The seeds were teeny tiny:

I finished everything on Sunday afternoon right before we had to head out for father's day dinner. I was BEAT. I have a whole new appreciation for gardening - it is not necessarily easy work.

Hailey had fun watching me sweat:
Time for some progression pics!

                             The Left Side

Right after the snow thaw this April before any work had been done:

This past Friday afternoon - The bushes were taken out and the border had been moved forward:

After weeding, transplanting and putting in some new plants this past weekend:

A different perspective from the entryway stairs:

                            The Right Side

Right after the snow thaw this April before any work had been done:
This past Friday afternoon - The bushes and hydrangeas were out and I had just started weeding as you can see in the rightmost corner there:

Two different perspectives of the mess that was the garden:
This in between stage was not pretty!

After weeding, transplanting and putting in some new plants this past weekend:

The two different perspectives:
Soooooo much better!

In the middle of clearing out the right side, I found a little friend:
He was so cool! Kaelan fell in love with it and cried his poor little heart out when we took him away.

I am finally done for now. The seeds will need some time to grow so that it can fill in. Once they are big enough, I plan to put in mulch to keep the weeds at bay. I want a pretty, but relatively low maintenance garden; I think this is it. Every plant is a perennial and nothing needs major pruning. I do get a lot of color depending on when different plants are blooming. I have some irises, lilies, pink lady slippers, and other flowers in there. Here are a few shots I have captured this year:

Enough garden talk for now. I figured I would share since it was such a huge part of my weekend. Hopefully I can do a nice update in a couple of months with the seeds growing and the mulch in. Next year everything should look really nice.