Friday, January 29, 2010

Digging For Worms

We played outside a lot this week. Greg built us a second compost bin, while Lily and I pulled weeds and dug for worms out front. Okay, so I pulled weeds while she dug in the dirt looking for worms, snails and bumblebees. Even though she only found a few worms and one snail, she was way more successful than I was. My plans, especially my weeding plans, always turn out to be larger than what I actually accomplish, even when I’m not pregnant.

But we had so much fun! I was already outside weeding when Lily woke up from her nap, so as soon as she came out and saw my tools, she was hooked. She loves the spade and the weeder, and once we found the first worm, that’s all she was interested in. “Find wormy, find wormy, find wormy,” she kept saying over and over and over again.

Every time we would find one, Lily wanted to hold it and watch it wiggle in her hand. But I think the worms were a bit shell shocked because they didn’t do much wiggling. Eventually Lily would drop it back into the dirt and just watch it and anytime it moved she would tell me, “It’s moving!” It’s so cute to hear her talk because so often her words or sentences end with the inflection of a question, so instead of, “It’s moving!” It sounds more like, “It’s moving?”

Another silly discovery we had were a few old, forgotten carrots in one of the pots I never emptied out last year. I thought we were just digging through the dirt for worms, but out came several small carrots. She only found one tiny snail, and she tried to squish the body out of the shell with her finger. Yuck!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Lily likes mushrooms which is kind of cool. When we chop them in the kitchen and she’s standing on her stool, she’ll take a slice and eat it. Not usually more than one, and I think she’d rather play with them than eat them, but she does try them. During one of our gorgeous, spring-like days this week, when we were outside playing, she found some in the yard. This kid is good, I mean not only did she spot them when they weren’t that big, and when they blended into the muddy grass, but she knew exactly what they were. And she actually asked me if she could eat them. Nice going kiddo! Who would think that a 21-month-old who puts everything in her mouth, even just to try it, would ask me if she could eat a mushroom.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Lily, Dizzy and I went out to play in the gorgeous weather yesterday. We unearthed lots of old things from last year's garden, a few rotten leftover tomatoes, some toys--mostly Dizzy's--but a couple of Lily's too. Then she found an old empty snail shell which she immediately put in her mouth and tried to eat, maybe it looked like a veggie or fruit of some sort. She didn't, however, end up swallowing it and we saved it to show her daddy when he comes home from work. I don't know why she is fascinated with snails, but she is.

We even found a very old, fat, red Christmas light with a sharp broken edge under the Magnolia tree. Luckily I got to that one before Lily did. We dug in some of the dirt with our fingers and took turns smelling it. Smells like good dirt this year. Can't wait to get out there and plant some veggies!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lily and Gardening Books

There isn’t much gardening going on around here this week, since the monsoons have arrived, but there are plenty of gardening books to look at, for Lily too. She got a new one for Christmas called, In the Garden, by Leslie Bockol, illustrated by Jillian Phillips.

It’s a Green Start book which means it’s printed on 98% post-consumer recycled materials with only eco-friendly inks. Awesome! It’s been one of Lily’s favorites since she opened it and with each reading, (and depending on who is reading it to her,) it sort of goes through metamorphoses with her.

The first few times she just looked at the pictures and pointed out things she recognized like bumble bees, butterflies and ‘piders’, or spiders. Then, with Greg reading it to her, it became important to count how many bees or butterflies on each page. Next it was discovering even more animals, like the squirrel hiding in the tree and the worm eating through the apple. When Izzy came to visit, the new rage was to pretend picking all the veggies off the pages and eating them. Of course the book does say, “I pick it and eat it,” on every other page. So Izzy taught Lily to do just that.

After that it wasn’t enough fun just to pretend to pick it and eat it for ourselves; instead we had to feed the kids in the book too. So all the kids get bites of cauliflower, Lily’s new favorite word, tomatoes and apples. Yum! Yum!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We're Back!

We're back! Lily and I finally got out and played in the garden today. I know it's only the 2nd week of January, but it sure felt like spring had arrived and you bet we took advantage. I got out the pruners to cut away dead twigs, stems and flower stalks that I should have pruned back in the fall, but tried to ignore instead. I guess ignoring them didn't make them prune themselves, did it.

Lily brought her baby doll out with her in the baby doll's stroller and wheeled her around the yard showing her things and picking off the soft dried-up buds of the Japanese Anemone.

For a while she was content until she got this look on her face like she was contemplating something way too serious for a 20-month-old. All of the sudden she smiled and said, "Picking tomatoes," and "Lily wants tomatoes." Sometimes I can't get over how amazing her memory is. At the end of last summer we came outside every day in August and September to pick tomatoes from our plants and Lily gobbled them up.

I tried to explain to her that we have to plant them and wait for them to grow, but her toddler mind wanted them pronto. I sensed a min-tantrum coming on, but as quickly as she was starting to get upset she saw my pruners and wanted to use them. She loved them and called them "sarps" for sharp because I kept saying, "Be careful, they're sharp." I think if we hadn't eventually come in she could have squatted down and played with them for hours, which is more than I can say for myself. After five minutes hunched down my legs were killing me. Guess it's time to get back into gardening shape.

We are back, but I'm not exactly sure what that will mean for our garden this year seeing as April is a big month when it comes to planting out here, and I’ll be ten months pregnant, i.e. due any day, which means completely unable to bend down and dig, and more important, completely unable to get back up by myself.

So we know when the real spring arrives, we'll have a new baby. As for the garden, I guess we'll have to wait and see, which really isn't all that different from most years.