I’m a wannabe, I want to be a farmer with chickens that lay eggs in white and browns and blue. I want goats that give milk that I can make cheese from. I’d like a garden that grows veggies year round. I’d plant new seeds every week so that we always have garden fresh veggies and herbs on our table.
But being away from home 11 hours a day and only having an hour or so of daylight when I get home, these goals are a little ambitious for this year. So we are starting small. We bought a package of mixed flowers from Costco that we will plant around the yard. They’ll bloom in the spring.
We only got around to getting three in the ground because the ground was so hard. We neglected our yard for quite a while when we first moved in since we were pretty busy with two newborns.
And while playing in the dirt after bath isn’t the most practical thing, my girls love being outside, so even if its only 20 minutes a day, it’s 20 more minutes of do anything time than we use to have when the girls were even just a few months younger and it’s a special 20 minutes to me.
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Time continues to fly, the girls keep getting bigger and smarter. This past weekend we said good bye to winter and sprung forward to spring.
The girls have been sleeping later these past couple if days, hopefully that will last. The last few weeks of 4:30 wake ups and the screaming that came with it was not fun.
The winter was cold but we made the most of it and spent lots of Saturdays and Sundays with friends and family. Now that the weather is warming up we are looking forward to morning walks though the woods and afternoons at the splash park. Summer is my favorite time of year. And based on how much our girls love the water I think it will be there’s too. I wonder if they will remember swimming in the pool.
Being a parent, especially a new one is an on going lesson in using your best judgment. I struggle constantly with how much freedom to give my girls. Where should I draw the line between letting them explore and keeping them safe.
Sure I could expertly baby proof every square inch of our home and make sure that nothing except baby tested and certified toys get into their hands, but I don’t think that’s the best way to raise independent, creative children. And despite the fact that the girls have toys that are safe and developmentally appropriate within arms reach at all times they would always prefer to get their hands on something new.
I read in a parenting book to try, as much as possible, to only say “no” to a child if they are in real danger of hurting themselves. It’s a way of keeping the word “no” a serious and meaningful one. Jordan is really good at listening when either of us says no, it kinda startles her. But she was always the one to jump at the slightest noise, even when she was a brand new infant. She is also a very cautious and careful child so she doesn’t get herself into dangerous situations too often.
Talia on the other hand is a little dare devil. She will jump off anything and everything. She automatically assumes that if we are within arms reach we will catch her. She is always climbing and falling and hurts herself many times in a day.
When you have a new baby the last thing on your mind is the day that they start running, usually with a small object in their hand, and then they fall. The thing is, it hurts little knuckles a lot when you land on them because the little hand was busy clenching a tiny toy and there is no way to prevent it. They will fall, they will get hurt and you, as the parent, just have to try not to freak out.
The girls have lots if toys that could present a hazard, we try as much as possible to supervise them when they are playing with these toys such as the Melissa and Doug stacker with its wooden stick or the drum sticks from their music set or even the bristle blocks that when stepped on hurt a good bit.
I took this video of the girls this past weekend. I can’t believe we are here already, they take turns so nicely until the very end when it starts to get ugly. But for a while they each take their turn. Talia starts out with a stick in her hand, which I took away because eyes are really hard to replace. But the whole time I was filming this I was saying to myself Talia, please sit before you go down the slide. And, begging for those little rubber soled shoe to not get stuck on the plastic slide. And for no one to fall off while climbing up and for none of the other hundred things that an go wrong in a second to happen. If you turn the volume way up you can probably hear me gasp a few times.
Oh, and to all the stranger that wished us good luck when they saw us out with our infant twins, we will take it now, we need it for their toddler years.
And you probably wondered where these pictures were taken. They were taken on our new deck! It was a long process but we now have a beautiful toddler safe deck and beautifully landscaped budget friendly backyard
Over a year ago when we moved into our current home to make room for babies the backyard was in much need of some serious TLC.
As much as I love being outside and digging in the dirt, No really, I’m serious, I would be a farmer if I could live on a farm close to family friends and a grocery store! , I was also very pregnant and could barely walk down the hall let alone clear overgrowth. And on top of that the inside renovations were still very much underway and that was priority with two infants about join our family.
So in the mean time because there was rotting wood and overgrown weeds there was the possibility of snakes in the yard. To not let this become an issue my husband had the yard cleared. Everything pushed to the wooded area in the back and the main part leveled out.
Winter set in and figuring out life with two babies filled all our time, so the back yard remained untouched.
Spring came and with warmer air and a little rain a soft coating of green covered some of the dirt, the idea of a green backyard was becoming a reality. But spring rains came with a vengeance, and all the green was washed away.
And to add to the issues of the back deck, babies who crawl and a deck with an old style railing are not a good mix. The deck was a great small space to spend some time outside taking in the fresh air while the babies were immobile.
But as soon as they got to moving on there own it wasn’t safe to be outside to let them play. It was a crazy hot summer anyway so we spent most of our days at the pool it in the shade at a nearby park. But with fall approaching and the babies birthday just around the corner we knew we wanted to make the investment in the backyard so that we could spend the beautiful fall days in Georgia outside.
It was done!
A few weeks later it was time to finish the yard. We contacted a few landscape architects and designers but they all wanted an obscene amount of money to do a basic landscaping job. We already had the people to install the yard, we just needed a design. I was pretty confident that I could draw a good looking yard, I did grow up with a dad who was pretty particular about our yard, so I knew basically what needs to go where. I was a little worried about how the sunlight in our yard would work with my design and how future additions may ruin what we do now but I got to drawing anyway. Here’s what I came up with.
next year we will add shrubs here or maybe azaleas.
the playset will be arriving soon!
the tree line is no longer a disaster
the gate keeps the toddlers in and the stones keep the dirt out.
past the steps in the side yard will be our garden, We plan to do a stone raised bed and grow a variety of herbs and veggies. We will play weekend warriors one weekend this winter and hopefully plant by early spring.
We even got a sprikler system installed so we can spend more time playing with talia and Jordan and less time moving around hoses!
We love our new deck and out tall trees and our amazing backyard. We are looking forward to plenty of days running around in the yard with kids and friends for years to come.
We can’t wait for summer to come so we can spend our weekends in the water, by the pool or at the lake. Even just to spend some time with our toes in the grass, it all sounds like fun to me. But in the mean time we have a nice deck and a few sunny days here and there. Our amazing nanny makes sure to get the girls outside every nice day for a walk or just to sit and on days that they spend time on the deck she always takes photos for me, I really appreciate that.
Talia -left, Jordan – right
Jordan – left, Talia – right
Talia – left, Jordan – right