Aug 22, 2010

Of Mice and Man

Ok, they're not called Mice, they're called Voles - some hybrid of a mouse and mole and the man ins question is non other than Cameron. And, its a good thing we didn't go all out with the summer garden this year as it was definitely a learning year. We never got to reap the benefits of our tomato and pepper plants thanks to the infestation of voles and squirrels behind us and next door to us.

Our next door neighbor seems to love nature so much he wants it in his backyard, which is still only the red clay we started out with. His way of luring all of nature there? Leaving a 5 lb bag of bird seed on the ground and open. We soon had squirrels running all over our backyard, using our bark to bury the sun flower seeds they pillaged from next door. Before we knew it, the squirrels had built a burrow in the field behind us. But then the squirrels stopped coming around, partly due to Cameron's efforts to stop them, but also because of the voles. Apparently the voles, while smaller than the squirrels, are tougher and actually push the squirrels out when a food source is located. Great! By this time we had produce on the plants and had planted pumpkin seeds in hopes of having some pumpkins for Fall.

Cameron went into combat mode, buying all kinds of different traps and poison. The first day he set the traditional mouse traps he was killing one of two of these rodents every 5 to 15 minutes. This did slow down the next few days and weeks, and there were definitely fewer of these things around but we still kept finding evidence of them. That's when Cameron started cementing around the base of our fence and almost over night the problem was no more. The pumpkin plants were growing like rapid fire and recently we started seeing pumpkins growing! Whoo hoo! Until we discovered a rather large pumpkin pulled off the vine and half eaten. After some investigating we discovered the voles had created a burrow in the middle of the main pumpkin plants! Cameron destroyed it best he could, but can't cement that part of the fence until pumpkin season is over, so we're not sure we'll get any good pumpkins this year. Only time will tell.

But to be honest, there's no way we wouldn't be going to a pumpkin patch this year any how - it's London's first Halloween and we can't pass up the photos ops a pumpkin patch would bring.

All that green in the corner are the orange pumpkin plants, taking over.

They're huge!

One of the pumpkins growing - so far untouched by the voles.

My white pumpkin plants - only 2 survived of 8 seeds, thanks to the voles.

We transplanted a few of the orange pumpkin plants to the 4th wine barrel to give the others some more space.

The grape vines looked beautiful this year. No grapes though.

After the tomato plants died, we planted some more permanent grasses and green plants.


A Gassy Morning

The other morning London woke up early and in a fussy mood. Usually she wakes around 7:30 AM, drinks a bottle and then sleeps a few more hours. That day she woke up at 7 AM and wouldn't take a bottle. After a diaper change, she was still fussy. We knew something was bothering her, as London usually wakes in a very happy mood - its when we get the most smiles and coos out of her each day. I took her downstairs so Cameron wouldn't have to hear her cries and screams while I worked at figuring out what was wrong and so he could work.

While downstairs I noticed London was having some very strong toots. Gas - that was her problem. Poor little girl had a belly full of it. I was able to get her calmed down and almost back to sleep, thinking the gas had passed, so I headed back upstairs to put her back down in her crib. No such luck. She started screaming again when I put her down. That's when Cameron took a break and began rocking her and patting the gas out. I got the Mylicon drops from the medicine cabinet. Cameron's half brother Marcus's mother Anne had given us some at the baby shower as they had saved her many a time when Marcus was an infant. Within a half hour London was passed out in her daddy's arms holding the monkey she'd been given on her flight to Minnesota. London ended up sleeping until 11 AM that morning and we had a very pleasant day from there.


Aug 20, 2010

First Flight

Recently London and I traveled to Minnesota so we could introduce her to my grandma. This meant it was her first flight as well as my first time flying with an infant at all and to top it off, I'd be flying without Cameron. I was definitely worried and a bit stressed the days before we left. Turns out, London is a natural. She ate just as we took off and sucked on a pacifier while sleeping as we landed, while also sleeping the whole time in between. The trip to Minnesota was great. Great Grandma Ruthie loved meeting London and listening to her coo. Grandma (my mom) flew in and out the same days I did, so she got a nice week of quality time with her daughter and granddaughter. My poor dad flew back to Arizona the day after we arrived, but he'll be visiting for a week at the end of the month, and needed to get home as he'd been in Minnesota for a week already. I also got to see most of my family and introduce London to them. Only one cousin wasn't around, but that's because he lives in Hawaii and then my cousin Jessie only brought her daughter Olivia for their weekend visit, so I didn't get to see Jack (her husband) or little Jack (her son). In the end, we got some great family shots of my grandma with all her girls around her which was the greatest blessing of all.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

London waiting for her first flight

While away, London turned 2 months!

My Grandma surrounded by all her girls

The girl cousins all grown up

My mom's sisters Laurinda and Raelene drove a couple of hours to see us and meet London while we were there

Another day my grandma's best friend Puddy came for a visit. We got some great pictures of London that day!

Great Grandma Ruthie with London