Wednesday, July 28, 2010

el jardín

Mark and I both grew up with our parents creating incredible vegetable gardens. Our experiences were quite different--Mark's small town garden being the size of a small house and mine a bit more urban with beans growing up the back of the garage, and nice garden boxes strategically placed to maximize space. Living in apartments produced a deep sense of nostalgic longing for the work and product associated with a garden.

We were super fortunate to find a little house to rent with a yard out back! This immediately conjured up dreams of lush tomato plants and zucchini. We were also fortunate to have someone in our ward (our church congregation) who initiated a gardening co-op, where we paid 5 bucks, and he would start all the seedlings. WOA. Score.

Our co-op email in April mentioned the onion and peas being ready which kind of took us for surprise, but we got to work and started clearing the land.

Since the dirt was really clay, we decided to start small, and haul in some top notch soil--going square foot garden style. We planted our onions and peas and went out pretty much everyday to check on them. We felt like doting parents as we tracked the progress of our little plants.

We had intended to just use this as our garden, but when my mom came out to help after Jackson was born, she convinced me that 3 tomato plants were not going fit in a 4x4 garden--let alone a zucchini and cucumber plant. So, she did some more excavation and expanded a bit. We also had a friend who moved and gave us a bunch of herbs and pots--which added some nice aesthetic levels.

By the beginning of June, we had a solid amount of peas, and everything seemed to be growing well. The tomatoes, eggplant, jalapenos, cucumbers and zucchini's came on in July. The onions never really made it. They're all still out there, and we'll have to figure out how to better help them grow this fall when we try again. This picture is from early July when Peter Rabbit (and his wife and baby) decided to eat our first 5 tomatoes. RAAWWW. I never knew I had so much of Mr. McGregor in me.

Here we are at the end of July. You can see the cucumber plant that has pretty much taken over. It's very abundant. We've harvested 30 cucumbers in the past week and a half. Good thing we like them!

Here are a few of the first crops that didn't get eaten by Peter.

Since Jackson still doesn't like lettuce, the overabundant cucumber plant has come in very handy. I did not take this picture (found here), but we have managed to eat a TON of these delicious tomato and cucumber salads.

Now all we need is some chickens and cows, and we're on our way to sustainable living! ;)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Talkin' and Laughin'

Recently Jackson has taken to smiling when we smile, telling us why, and throwing in a little infant laugh. Sometimes he'll do it for so long our cheeks will hurt from smiling. Here's a clip of a happy baby in conversation.

Not sure why he's so happy, but we decided to keep him--despite painful cheeks. I have a theory that he's really just laughing at all the names we call him. He has quite a collection. Here's a fairly comprehensive list:


I try to call him Jackson enough so he'll know his name, but Bubbaloo is my favorite. Just imagine kissing those chunky cheeks and calling him Bubbaloo. Wow. Life doesn't get much better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The iMark

For months, Mark's favorite topic to bring up is apple's new must have--the iPad. He has been trying to convince me of its unique merits, since before it even hit the market back in April. Neither of us are "mac" people--Mark has an ipod from a few birthdays ago, we really only use it on really long driving trips when the other person wants to sleep. So the iPad's been a bit of a running joke/something to dream of ;) Whenever we run into a problem, we just shake our heads saying... "if only we had an iPad."

Well, for Mark's birthday I wanted to make him a version of the iPad. Mark really wanted it so he could organize his life, lists and schedule--which I knew did not take an iPad. So, I made him an iMark. Pretty much, it's WAY cooler than the 90's Franklin Covey Planner, and only cooler than an iPad because I made it :)

To really appreciate this whole process please watch apple's iPad commercial found here. Are you convinced you want one? Ya. I was pretty convinced.

Anyway, if--like our family--you haven't decided that it's moved from the want to the need list yet, you might enjoy an iMark--they're a bit more affordable :)
(Check out the commercial below.)

Mark definitely loved his Birthday present. BUT the best part comes later in the day.

My Mom's sister Michelle, and her family were in town, so we met them downtown on the mall. They're on a 3 week vacation traveling all over the Midwest and the East coast. Lucky for us, they thought DC was cool enough to visit also. Lo and behold, we meet up with them, and of course. My uncle Rob pulls out a brand new iPad.

AAHH! It was better than we could have planned. Mark and I had a blast playing with the spiffy toy, and it did live up to all the commercial's promises. Thanks Madsens!

Michelle and the girls were kind enough to entertain Jackson while we had fun with the iPad.

What fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


After getting his first shots yesterday, Jackson looked a lot like this:

Fortunately, after a good night of sleep, he looked more like this in the morning:

And even flashed enough of these...

enough times...

for me to finally capture a Jackson smile.

Happy babies are the best.

PS--Hair is slowly coming back. Funny, it came back with cradle cap! EWE. (Continuous peeling on the scalp, turning into a blizzard of large dandruff flakes.)