Friday, June 29, 2012

Snowing in a Heat Wave (Watermelon Elementary)

It’s hot hot hot down here this week, and although we love watermelon when it’s super hot, the watermelons do not love it to be this hot.

watermelon sunscreen snow (18)Snowing in the watermelon fields!

It was blazing today and won’t get much better before the end of next week.

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The watermelon guru (Brad’s dad) and his boys are scrambling around to keep these growing melons protected from this heat. We are not ready to end our harvest, so we really want to keep the small melons from being damaged by too much sun.

What better way to defend against a heat wave than with snow?! It’s watermelon sunscreen! Right now, we are busy snowing field after field of melons to keep them from getting sunburned. If the sun burns the skin of the watermelon, it will go bad faster and won’t be good quality – especially for shipping. And we certainly don’t want any bleaching of those beautiful green stripes!

watermelon burnThis is a bit of an exaggeration because this picture was taken in August (a couple years back) after our harvest was over, but you can get the idea. See how the sun has burned the melon, and it has that really bad spot on the top? You know how in any produce the tiniest of spots can cause a huge mess… this is what we’re trying to avoid.

The guys use the tractor and watermelon sprayer to spray a protective layer over the fields of watermelons. The “snow” coats the tops of the watermelons to give the a layer of “melonscreen.”

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Since the watermelons grow quickly, snow has to be applied again and again. It’s like painting a balloon and then blowing it up some more… the paint spreads thin and needs to be reapplied (thanks to my honey for his good teaching with that example!)

watermelon sunscreen snow (16)See how the snow just covers the part that the sun hits the most? The lower part of the watermelon is still really green. (And the part that sits on the ground is on it’s way to creamy yellow… just as it should be in a yummy ripe watermelon!)

watermelon sunscreen snow (2)Hopefully we’ll see this baby coming through the barn soon as a big beautiful watermelon with beautiful skin!

You most likely won’t see the snow on watermelons in the store because it comes off fairly easily. And, we have brushes on our line to polish them up nice and shiny!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Whose dog is this?

Blair and Gus. That child loves that dog. He’s basically her best friend. (Thanks to mom and dad who keep her cooped up away from germs for most of the year!) She talks to him, reads to him, and plays with him. And when she hugs him, she says, “I’m lovin’ on ma dawg.”

And she’ll say, “Whose dog is this?” (Because she knows he was mine at one point.) And I’ll answer that he’s mine, and she’ll say, “No, this is MY dog!”

She likes him to be on his “yeash” – even though he really won’t go anywhere without us.

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Gus has more names than anyone I know. Gus, Gussy, Gustifer, Mutt, Mutt Dog, Herbal (Blair original), Buckey, GusBucket, Brown Dog, Gusbo… And he actually answers to many of them! And Blair continues to make them up.

Finally, after breaking our hearts for months ignoring her, Gus actually comes when Blair calls him, and he’ll “load up” on her bed on command. Hiding seek is the game of choice right now, and this is how I found her and Gus! He always has to play – he hides and hunts!

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The only thing is that she thinks she needs to be told “load up” to get in the Ranger (“Tell me ‘load up,’ Mama!”), and she’s told a friend to “load up” onto something a time or two. Oops. I told her that she couldn’t talk to people like that!

Gus knows and obeys “Gus, go to Blair’s room.”

003And here we have “Gus, get in your kennel.”

He also uses the camera remote to take pictures. (Look how patient he is with her!)

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So glad this baby has “her” dog!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

He has a name!

Same song, different verse for this little one. Everything I suggested to Brad got turned down for weeks on end. And his tolerance for talking about names? About 48 seconds at a time with days in between.

But, it was okay because there was nothing that I was so in love with that I was upset that I got a nay. I really liked Ford, from Brad’s name Bradford, but that one probably got the most adamant “no!” from Bradford himself. “Might as well name him Dodge,” he said. And it was okay because there were others that sounded better with our last name. Which is another issue. There are A LOT of names that don’t work with our last name – especially for a little boy.

And then there was the pressure of finding something as perfect as Blair’s name. We adore her name. It’s her, and it’s not common these days, but it’s not weird either.

After weeks of suggestions on both our parts (Brad did have those that he suggested and I turned down!), several flights with a name book in hand, there was finally ONE name that we both liked. Exactly the same thing happened with Blair. But then Brad wanted to keep it to ourselves for a while “in case we changed our minds.” I assure you that I was SURE we weren’t finding another name we both loved, but I complied.

Now Brad has started telling (and Blair too!), so I’m telling too! We’re getting close to meeting this little one:

Leighton Noble

I’m pleased to say that I’m as thrilled with this name as we were with Blair’s. I wasn’t sure we could do it. I pulled the name from a book initially, but we have a friend with the name (same spelling), and I know one other from my hometown who spells it with “ey.” I got the “I kindof like that” when I mentioned it to Brad for the first time – just like when I mentioned “Blair” 4 years ago. So there it stuck, and there it stays! Finally.

ASHLEE_73And here he is with Brad’s lips and Blair’s cheeks! He looks like me in some pictures; we’ll have to wait and see for sure! Just under 5 weeks to go!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When the baby bowie comes out...

Blair must be ready to meet her brother and have her normal mommy back. This is what I've heard in the last week.

Mama, when the baby bowie comes out... (with bright wide eyes and nodding head) can jump off the diving board. can wear your yellow bathing suit.

...and you have a little tummy you can jump (rope). can bend down!


Other conversations...

Mama, who's gon' open your tummy and get him out?

The doctor is going to help mommy get him out.

How's he gonna open your tummy and get him out?

I don't know, baby doll.

I think he has a knife!

... ~ ...

Mama, does the baby bowie have a bottom?

Yes ma'am.

Does he have teeth?

Not yet.

Does he have lips?

He does.

Where's his top lip?

Same place yours is!

Well when he comes I'm gonna give him some Chapstick if his lips hurt, okay?


And on the first packing day when she saw we had watermelons in the barn... "the watermelons are here! ...(a pause and then her mouth dropped and eyes widened)...IT'S TIME FOR THE BAAAABEEE!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Memorial Day in “Amabama”

It’s worked out for several years in a row for us to go up to Aunt Linnie’s at the end of May. This year we spent 4 nights with her, Ben, and Faegan.

We played and played and sewed and played some more! The first day we went to the fabric store and to Sam’s. The girls were so sweet eating fruit in the buggy, and then we all shared one piece of pizza! Faegan eats just as much as Blair does (or more); Blair is such a bird eater the majority of the time.

Blair and Faegan were both happy in the pool every day we were there.

memorial weekend at linnie's 052512 (33)memorial weekend at linnie's 052512 (5)memorial weekend at linnie's 052512 (8)Cute!

memorial weekend at linnie's 052512 (14)This is Faegan’s face that looks like her mama. Otherwise she’s all daddy!

Blair talked about going to Aunt Linnie’s for DAYS before we left. She loves Aunt Linnie. And she loves Uncle Ben from a distance. She asks about him and talks about him all the time; however, if he’s within her sight she’s not much on him. Poor Ben, he’s done nothing to deserve the cold shoulder!

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We used naptime to work on baby boy’s bedding.

memorial weekend at linnie's 052612 (1)memorial weekend at linnie's 052612 (3)memorial weekend at linnie's 052612 (7)Blair doesn’t nap quite as much as Faegan, so she helped.

And she loved her first jump on the trampoline!

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This was one of those things mommy can’t do right now, so she enjoyed it with Aunt Linnie and Faegan.

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We also got to swing and play on the seesaw.

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As the weekend went by, the sewing progressed…

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Until we had near completion and then a finished product!

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Faegan was precious as always.

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Blair was precious too, except when she got in trouble for taking Faegan’s toys or not wanting Faegan to play with hers. We’re working on it!

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We all had a great time just hanging out in “Amabama”!

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Getting Ready for Baby

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We’ve finally got some really fun things for our baby boy. Just as soon as daddy steals away from farming and moves some furniture….

More to come!