January & February 2016

Posted on March 7, 2016 by

I’ve settled on doing monthly posts as a pretty manageable and fun amount of posting for my photoblog. Of course, I missed the first month this year 😉 and it was relatively uneventful anyway. So this post is from both Jan and Feb.

One of the things I’ve been busiest with the last two months is getting the yard ready for a vegetable garden. I took this photo in the beginning of January as a “before” picture. At this point, it hadn’t snowed or really even been very cold the entire time we’d lived in our new house.
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Little Maple, around 13 weeks old here.
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Flattening out a geobin that I got to start a compost heap. It came rolled up in a tube and wouldn’t stay flat.
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Maybe not too exciting to most people, but I’ve always wanted to compost. I’ve made a few half-assed attempts at city composting before but living in group houses isn’t too conducive to composting unless everyone is on board. So starting a compost that I’ll actually be consistent with is exciting, and a heap is more my style and something we actually have room for in this yard.
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It drastically cut down on our waste. We were putting our garbage can out on the curb every week, although it wasn’t totally full usually. Now we only put out our can for pickup every other week and it’s usually still pretty empty. Pretty wild how much waste composting cuts down on.
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Garden pup. Maple insists on being in the middle of anything we’re doing. It’s cute, but makes everything take a little longer. I think this was the last week that she still had the ears that flipped forward.
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After that, they started both flopping to the same side.
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When we started looking at houses in Lansdowne, a few people mentioned the giant Sycamore that Lansdowne was known for. One day mid-January we finally made a point to go see it. Walking up to it, it seemed pretty unimpressive. A big tree, sure, but maybe not one I’d make note of on my own.
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But once we got up to it it was pretty impressive. It is said to be 30 years older than Philadelphia itself! They estimate that it started growing in roughly 1650.
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They’ve put in supports for it’s largest branch because it’s growing parallel to the ground and the branch is as thick as a regular tree trunk.
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Finally painting our kitchen. We painted most of our house in a flurry over a long week in November before moving all our stuff in, but we didn’t get to the kitchen or the stairway hall. We had a housewarming party scheduled so I used that as my incentive to finally get around to doing the kitchen. The stairway is still beige though.
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It finally started to get winter cold so I also hung an insulating curtain over our side door, which was one of the few really drafty place in the house. We expected the house to be pretty cold and drafty since it’s old and the windows and doors are also old, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it stayed pretty warm. Only a few spots leaked and were easy to take care of.
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A sudden warm weekend a few days later, because that’s how Philly winter has been this year, we had a few dog playdates for Maple. She had gotten bitey as she started to teethe and a dog trainer said the best thing to do was get her around a lot of other puppies and dogs because they correct each other and that’s how she would learn bite inhibition.
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Playing with Grace’s dog, Rosie.
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Our backyard at night is pretty unreal sometimes. I can’t wait for summer back there.
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Winter style. Roasted everything. (twice baked sweet potatoes with trumpet mushrooms on top, roasted brussel sprouts)
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A few photos from a week at work.
Leo approaching two, and Naomi a month away from turning one. These little buds have continued to be pretty easy going. Winter was slow but not nearly as slow and restless as some of my previous winters as a nanny. We were still able to get out most days, which helps a lot.
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Naomi looks so much more like a baby here than she does even now, only two months later!
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Housewarming brunch
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It was also the first big snow of the year that day, which felt cozy.
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Maple was not a huge fan of the snow. This is the second iteration of her funny ears, when they started flopping to the same side.
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Our one blizzard of the year. We got a winter’s worth of snow in one weekend and then didn’t get much more the whole rest of the time.
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Snowed in. We missed Leo’s birthday party due to the blizzard and just stayed in all day. We made breakfast and then watched movie’s all day. Our block was really good about shoveling sidewalks and driveways but our street wasn’t plowed until the next day.
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A fully house trained pup by the third week of Jan. I expected the house training process to be much longer, but within a month she was consistently going to the side door on her own to ask to be let out. She had only a handful of accidents the whole first month we had her and hasn’t really had any since (except for once by the door when she was waiting there to be let out but we didn’t know because we were upstairs!)
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A good example of Maple wanting to be in the middle of everything, including shoveling the snow.
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Nice light one weekend. Sometimes I forget that we have really nice light because for most of our time in the house until just recently, we left for work as it’s just getting light out and got home after dark. Every weekend was a reminder that it’s actually really bright in there.
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Trying to hit icicles with snowballs.
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A bad photo of one of our first planning meetings for First Time’s The Charm, an event in June that we’re helping organize.
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A Maple playdate with Greta and Pancakes.
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We started taking Maple to a puppy socialization hour once a week and to puppy kindergarten another day once a week. She was crushing it in puppy kindergarten but was kind of a bully in puppy club. She would target small dogs but wouldn’t play with bigger dogs. So we tried to get her some playdates with bigger dogs who might correct her a little if she was being too much. But mostly she just shys away from them.
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Back at work. A blurry but sweet photo of Leo trying to help Naomi drink from her sippy cup (even though she knows how to herself.)
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Showing Leo the flash on my camera.
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Concentration faces.
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The trying his hardest to patient when he doesn’t want to share face.
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Cool gal
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At Jeff’s bday hang, the first week of Feb.
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Black Sabbath playing at the Galentine’s Day cover show.
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The Clueless Soundtrack cover band.
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The Urinals.
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Bush
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Nacho night with Leslie and Jen
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Meanwhile, Mikey was on tour that week. It was also the wildest week Maple had had to date, and also the toughest toddler week I’d had with Leo. A truly deserved giant plate of nachos.
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She looks innocent here…. don’t be fooled.
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I ended up deciding to drop her off at our friend Jaime’s for the weekend and hitching a bus down to see the last of Mikey’s bands shows of their week long tour, just the DC, NYC and Philly dates.
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Mid-week, Mikey got his hand slammed in a venue door and took a chunk out of his finger! He almost couldn’t play that night but made it happen.
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Post-show jumbo slice at Duccini’s, a DC tradition.
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We stayed with Rob and Shira. They have a whole house to themselves, which seems rare in DC among our social group.
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After a couple stops and a lot of driving, we got up to NYC to the Silent Barn, one of my favorite show spaces on the East Coast.
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I can’t remember what this band was called, but the singer was tall.
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Sam played a solo Radiator Hospital set, which I hadn’t seen in at least a year. It was great.
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The Goodbye Party, Mikey’s band.
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Picking up Maple from Jaime, the dogsitter’s, house. Mikey hadn’t seen her in nine days.
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We had a rainy/sleepy day in Philly that Sunday before Mikey’s Sunday night show. We ended up driving by a sign past Lansdowne that just said “Swiss Cabin” so we followed it to this historic landmark by a creek. Definitely something to go check out again in the summer.
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Pre-show nap. Worn out from tour.
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And worn out from a weekend at Jaime’s house where there were three other dogs for her to relentlessly insist on playing with.
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Fred Beans, a young band that opened for Mikey’s show at LAVA.
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King Azaz
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Dark Thoughts
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The Goodbye Party
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Last weekend, building raised beds to start a vegetable garden. I knew I’d have to do a lot of soil amendment stuff so I got started pretty early on the boxes so it would be out of the way.
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A show at a house in West Philly last weekend. I had never been to this house and didn’t really know anyone there which made it fun.
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Ramona Cordova, someone I’ve been seeing play here and there for the last ten years and it still always feels refreshing.
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Last Sunday was Naomi’s first birthday party so Mikey and I headed down to that.
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I was showing her how to push the button on my camera and she snapped this photo of her dad, and I think her Grandma?
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She also took this selfie with another relative or family friend I had just met.
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Naomi and her mom.
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A giant pile of presents
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Leo taking a turn with one of Naomi’s new presents. We do our nanny share out of his house so he shares his toys with Naomi on a daily basis. At the party he got his chance to share her toys back.
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Leo showing off his bike seat that he rode over to the party on with his parents.
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Later that night at a dress-up Oscar’s party. We only stayed for part of it because we have early bedtimes. ;\
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Garden box progress, after hours of digging up sod, double digging the ground soil and turning in humus and compost. Relatively unimpressive looking for how much work I had put into them by that point. We actually got an official soil test so I knew what to amend our soil with and that our lead level was safe to grow in, which was a relief.
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This weekend we went drove out to pickup a table for our yard from someone on Craigslist and I can’t wait to make our yard usable and cute.
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More noticeable garden progress, filling in the boxes with 6 more inches of soil and compost. Slowly but surely… I can’t wait to take an end of summer garden progress pic.
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Maple, as of this weekend. I feel like she grew a foot in the last week!
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