Gardening, neighbors, kid bike, Spanish, Paleo-friendly dessert

The kids and I went outside to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine after nap. While they played I started pulling weeds, which I got down to in earnest once Ted was home to keep a steady eye on the small fry. We spent quite a while outside, talking with neighbors as they came by on their way home from work, going out for a run, or just to chat. I kept on plugging. Our teenaged neighbor came over and started weeding with me. By the time we all went inside to have dinner the front garden looked like an actual garden, as opposed to a weed farm with a few accidental roses.

The moment of hilarity came when we referred to the weed mound on the tree lawn as such and our neighbor, with a straight face said, “Really, those are weeds? But it looks so pretty!” Either he’s incredibly good at telling tall tales, or we have generous neighbors. I think it’s the latter. Nonetheless, Ted and I are looking forward to getting rid of it this weekend. We’re going to make a small mini-patio on that section of tree-lawn onto which we can put a picnic table for meals outdoors. And on the other side, which is currently hosting a cherry tree, very long grass, hidden sod-lumps and as-yet-unused pieces of flagstone, we’ll plant the two roses that are still languishing in their store pressed cardboard planters. We’ll get a few more annuals to fill in spaces that could use it, and a few more groundcover plants to speed the process. And I’m sure we’ll weed some more.

Hazel did a bit of weeding, and Emily wanted to dig, too. I think no matter what we wind up doing with our garden, there needs to be a place the kids can dig and play.

The last few days Emily has been trying hard to get Hazel’s (very heavy) bike upright. Tonight when the bike was lying on its side, Emily got up on the wheel and was standing there when I looked over at my neighbor’s gasp, perfectly balanced, grinning and giggling. She wants to ride. I think it might be time to get her a balance bike, even though she won’t be able to ride it properly yet (she’s so little!). The Skuut balance bike we had for Hazel (which is currently out on loan to friends) is so light that Emily could at least push it around without running the risk of seriously squashing herself. I think we’ll get another one, because of course, twins means two of everything! By the time Joanna’s ready to try too we’ll be getting the first one back, so it’ll all work out.

This afternoon, when I asked Hazel if she wanted more beets, she said, “Mas, por favor.” I think that’s the first instance that she’s used Spanish with me at home. It made me happy. I said, “Mas, por favor?” She happily corrected my pronunciation. I’m glad she’ll be doing a Spanish program this summer, even if she doesn’t get into the elementary school with the Spanish program in the fall. The longer she does it the longer it’ll remain in her brain.

After dinner tonight we put two pint containers of strawberries, a mango, and a can of coconut milk in the blender to make a dessert smoothie. It was inhaled by all five of us, with yum-sounds and giggles from every member of the family.

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