November 30, 2011

Alden Loses Tooth!

Today Alden lost his first tooth! The thing had been wiggly for several weeks and so we took him to the dentist in September. His dentist said that it was a little early for a loose tooth, so maybe he had some trauma... we could not think of any mouth-hits he had taken, so it may just be that he is ahead of the curve in this regard.

The last straw was brushing teeth tonight when the chomper twisted under pressure from the toothbrush. It came out when Alden spit to rinse, easy as you please.

There was no pain and no fuss, in fact Alden was pretty excited by the whole deal. We have a little plastic mouse-box our dentist gave us, so the tooth goes inside the box, under the pillow, and the tooth fairy will come and replace it with something awesome.

November 28, 2011

Winterizing the bees

For the past month we have been feeding the bees sugar water, hoping it will help them have enough food to make it through the winter. We also acquired some bales of straw to use as wind blocks.

Over the weekend we took away the sugar water, added an inner insulator board and wrapped the hive in some Styrofoam insulation and tar paper... This is the final step in winterizing the bees

The insulator board goes under the bottom cover and the bottom cover gets flipped, which means the bees clinging to the bottom cover get exposed to the cold. Bees shut down at around 45 degrees, which was about the air temperature over the weekend. So when we flipped the cover there were about three or four dozen bees freaking out. We tried to brush them onto the porch of the hive with old Goldenrod stalk with mixed success. I think we got most of them eventually, but it stressed everyone out.

Here is the hive, ready for winter, with a bale on the NE and SW sides, wrapped in tar paper with the entrance on the bottom open and an air vent at the top. I hope we will see the bees next February.

November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Chores

Thanksgiving was small this year. Ilana was out of the country taking a class for work, so Alden and I had the run of the house. We were able to get quite a bit done over the holiday.

I was able to get chores done that Ilana may have frowned upon due to the mess factor. I finally plastered and painted the sheet rock I hung on the bedroom ceiling (maybe three years ago... yipe). I threw down many drop clothes, but cleaning the dust was still a challenge.
I completed the woodshed with help from Karen (who watched Alden), Darrell (who helped with the walls and roof), and Scott who helped with the roof and wood stacking. All the wood is now safe and dry in its new home.

At the end of the holiday weekend, Ilana came home in a new used car. Since the truck got totaled a few months back we have been keeping our eyes out for something new to drive. Our friend James was getting a new vehicle so we were able to adopt his old Camry. We are all very excited about it.

November 15, 2011

Getting ready for winter

Summer is over and fall seems to be flying by. It seems lately we have been keeping our collective heads down and pushing forward.

I have been busy with chores all summer and fall. I have been renovating the house piece by piece, with the latest additions being a new closet (i.e. replacing a hole that lead to the basement) a new downstairs bathroom, finishing the downstairs hallways, a new upstairs guest room, a new equipment shed, a new compost heap, more weatherproofing around the house, and various landscaping projects. I also completed a new firewood shed in last week. Some of these projects have been over a year in the making. The bathroom was started over a year ago and I took a victory lap when we got working fixtures.... eight months later the last of the drywall was painted.
Alden and the floor of the soon to be woodshed.
Alden and the new compost heap
The corner of our new tiny guestroom

New Bathroom

Alden has been growing in leaps and bounds. He became fully potty trained awhile back, and he's now able to sleep through the night without accidents. He recently started making his own breakfast so we can sleep in (we place a bowl of cereal on the table and a cup of milk in the fridge and he puts them together by himself). He knows his letters and numbers and is sloooowly learning how to draw, although he still has no patience for it yet. His motor skills need to be honed so he knows more than he can do. His bargaining and negotiating skills are pretty advanced and he is very good at verbalizing what he wants. He still has a hard time talking about his day, the "what happened at school today" question is usually met with either vacant or distant looks and he requires additional prodding for answers.

Alden was rewarded with a homemade a train cake after he had no nighttime bedwetting for a whole week. No more diapers for this family - yippee!!

Ilana developed a new garden plot and headed our CSA membership garden all summer. Lately, she has mostly been taking advantage of travel related to work, for classes and workshops.