Monthly Archives: October 2013

Knock, Knock…

… who’s there?  Not sure, but I’ll tell you who’s (or what’s) NOT there.  Let’s back up a little, shall we.  When we walked up to this house, we could barely find the front door behind the behemoth, overgrown, green monster.  Exhibit #1:

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Ok, so you might be thinking, “That’s not that bad.  It’s kind of nice to have a full shrub frame the front door.”  Maybe?  But then this happened, Exhibit #2:

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Yeah, that shrub grew 3 feet taller this summer.  We trimmed it twice and it just. kept. growing!  For some scale, you can see the size of a person (me) below holding G.

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That shrub also made it nearly impossible to walk around the house to the trash cans and back yard.  You actually had to walk on the grass just to get around it.  It’s size, inconvenience, and the fact that we really didn’t care for it all led to ‘someday we should remove it.  Hey, maybe we just transplant it to the side of the house for some instant impact?’  Well that day happened when it had been raining and I ran some trash out to the trash can and accidentally rubbed up against some of the branches and found myself soaked because all the leaves basically dumped water on me from head to toe as I tried to squeeze around it.

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That weekend was the time to say goodbye.

I figured it would take some muscle, but there seemed to be a decent amount of soil space at the base, so I grabbed the shovel and went on a mission.  Not without my little helper, of course:

No idea what expression is on our faces.

G thought she could handle it, so we let her take a few shots:

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What can I say?  She’s her father’s daughter. 🙂

Then the real work happened:

G was sure to supervise.

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You can see, transplanting this monster was a non-starter.  What we discovered was that the shrub was actually growing OVER the original concrete walkway to the side of the house.  Rather than trim the bush back, at some point, one of the previous owners simply poured another concrete walk next to the original one.  The only way this beast was coming out was to cut it back and spend 24 solid working hours using a shovel to VERY slowly, inch by inch dig out the root balls of the TWO adjacent shrubs.

Exhaustion and success after FINALLY getting the first root ball out!

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Milk Break while daddy starts on root ball #2!

After a her refreshing beverage, G had to get back into the action.  She wanted to show me the best way to remove the remaining surface roots:

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“Look, I can use two tools at once, why is this taking so long?”

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Digging, cursing, digging, sweating, sweating, cursing, cursing, sweating… and hours later, we finally had this:

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Do you not share in our excitement?!  Let’s show you a comparison:

Before

After!

Such an improvement, right?

Well after all that work, we decided it was playtime… (enter gratuitous photos or our little lady)…

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and garden… (seriously, her father’s daughter!)

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We’ve been busy around here and are working to get some updates out- new windows, unpacking, new deck, and some built in shelves to name a few.

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October 25, 2013 · 8:57 pm

Month 20!

You may wonder why G’s photo this month was taken while standing by the front door and not in front of our regular fabric backdrop. It’s really a simple answer…it’s the one place she stood still and cooperated for more than a minute, since it meant she got to “help” daddy dig out a bush. Anything to be out in the fresh air!

  • We’ve moved onto sentences around here. I’m a bit confused. No one warned me that 20 months after having a newborn baby, I’d have a walking running, talking, communicating little lady.
    “I want some milk please!”…”Daddy mowing the lawn?”…”Riese is excited!”…”Where’d the doggie go?”…”Gabby want to hold it”…
  • Gabby sings and dances on her own in the car, on walks…no music necessary! She’ll break out into song anytime, anywhere! New favorite songs include Hot Potato (not the nursery rhyme you think…we found this really catchy song and G loves nothing more than bouncing around the house to it! I’m warning you now…it’s catchy and fun and it’ll be stuck in your head too – you’re welcome!), Frere Jacques (aka Are You Sleeping?)…and yes, she sings both the French and English parts, skid-a-marink, 5 little ducks, ABCs, and Twinkle, Twinkle.
  • Gabs eats Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with mommy in the morning before work/school. For some reason, this just makes me feel like we have a 14 year old.
  • G Strausy spent quality time with Aunt Raq and Dave for a full 48 hours as Mommy and Daddy went away for their 5th anniversary. A great time was had by all!
  • And last but not least, it’s been about 6 weeks since we started potty training Gabriella and we’ve all learned a lot. Namely, there were so few accidents, G’s set the bar pretty darn high. Anything is possible if your toddler sets her mind to it…and your dog is there to help along the way. (Long story short: Gabby felt most comfortable using the potty when she could “show Riese!”…) Waiting until you’re done with the 3-day blitz and THEN going public with your success, is absolutely the right thing to do. Not having to worry about dirty diapers is kind of the most liberating thing ever. Finally, if you’re in the midst of it or about to start sometime in the near future, we can’t recommend this reading material highly enough: oh crap. potty training.

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October 7, 2013 · 2:12 am