Rain Garden, Winter 2016

I haven’t mentioned our rain garden in a while. It’s still growing, and working well at keeping water out of the rest of our yard. This year I didn’t do much new outside, and that includes in the rain garden.

That said, this year I did plant an apple tree in the dry, sunny back corner. Everything I’ve read talks about how sensitive apple trees are, and how they need special soil and all this tender loving care… None of which my tree will get. However, it’s grown from a seed to more than 24″ tall under my not-so-tender loving care, so hopefully more of the same won’t kill it.

Here’s what the garden overall looks like now. It’s quite excellently boggy, and clearly a great spot for the sedges, reeds, and other grasses. I have about three varieties fighting it out right now in the main pooling area. My goal is to provide a tiny slice of a wetland in our back yard. Maybe I can find some tall reeds for some of those empty spots…

image

image

image

From the back side by the fence, looking through the shoots of my not-yet-dead huckleberry plant:

image

image
This is what an apple tree seedling looks like from above.

Hard to see, but my most recent addition is a young hemlock tree, which prefers wet feet and shade. I’ve planted it in the wetter area, but behind the thickest grasses and underneath some leafy plants whose species I’m forgetting at the moment, which should provide decent shade even in summer.

image

As with all my additions, it was free (in a former life it served as mom and dad’s living micro-Christmas tree), but I’m still hoping it survives. I like evergreen trees, and hope to get at least a couple good ones going in our yard over time, plus a maple or two. Overall, my vision for our yard is to move it as much toward native Washington environment as we can. This is our small little start.

More Thanksgiving Break Playing

image
Started decorating for Christmas, and do happy to have a mantle for the first time ever!
image
Tossing rocks into the creek with Jolie and Miss Patty

We spent most of yesterday at my parents house, giving Ian time at home alone, and after nap took a stroll outside. It was still quite chilly. By pure delightful coincidence, we encountered a little girl and her grandma that Mom knows in the neighborhood, and they invited us to join them on their walk to a nearby creek. Benji had been whining and having a difficult day, but meeting his friend and playing at the creek totally reset our mood. We had a very nice time.

Also, on the way to the creek, Benji and I went by a house with a long driveway that had a newspaper at the end of the driveway. Benji said he wanted to deliver the paper to the door, and I said sure. As he did, the lady came out and was effusive in the thanks and praise. She introduced herself and we chatted for a bit. I think it made her day much happier.

Today, Saturday, we’re waiting to bike until afternoon to let it warm up outside. It was 23° when I got up, and that’s too cold for me to spend three or four hours outside biking. Hopefully by noon it’ll warm up more. Anyway, that gave us all morning to play, and we decided to make fresh playdough. (For the record, I used this playdough recipe, with great success, and I didn’t even have all the cream of tartar it called for.)

image
"I'm a good baker!"

I asked Benji what color he wanted, and he said, “Rainbow!”

image

Not too shabby, I feel.

Peeking at the Park

image

Benji and a friend from school, Andrew, peeking down at me at St. Edwards.

image

“THIS IS GREAT!” Actually, he was talking about his wiggly fingers in the water. And asking if I had spare clothes (no – he rode home in the car nekked).

image

Exploring with Andrew.

image

Painting the airplane with Liam. This airplane needed an alarming amount of maintenance.

Achievement Unlocked

Today at the park, a nice guy chatting with us asked Benji’s name. Benji said, “Benji — B, e, n, j, i.” It took me a moment to realize that Benji had spelled his own name! Then I was just really surprised. I guess all those times of spelling his name to him are paying off.

image

He also asked, “Who drive this car?” today when we were all going somewhere together. This is cool because “who” is another of those question words that kids this age are supposed to be picking up. He’s good on “why”, as he demonstrates about 10,000 times per day, and uses “what” perfectly fine.

However, right now he says, “Do Mommy go downstairs with Benji, play trains?” when he means, “Mommy, will you come downstairs and play trains with me?” Sometimes it’s also hard to tell past and future with him, since almost everything is present tense. Past tense is coming in a bit, but future is trickier.

Speaking of futures (and not the kind I’ve been reading about in my financial studying), I am scheduled to take my Series 65 class the beginning of next week, and the exam at the end of the week. At least it’s going to be over one way or another shortly… Although, in the extremely likely event that I fail, alas, the studying must go on.

At least I have a pretty pen to use.

image

What I Want to Know

… Why does Benji play by himself the best when he’s pooping?

… Why are some foods delicious one day and unspeakable the next?

Benji now says “One more very last (item; i.e., story)” and if you say yes, he immediately says, “Two more.” Then if you say yes to that, he says, “Six more.” Why must we negotiate every single thing? -I think I actually know the answer to that: Because he’s two, almost three, and that’s what kids that age do.

… Do I really say “definitely” that much? Because Benji now says “this definitely police car,” or “this definitely strawberry” for things that are self-evident. It’s pretty funny.