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day48
Day 48: Figs starting to ripen!

day49
Day 49: Passiflora lutea

day50
Day 50: Samson…such a sweet boy.

day51
Day 51: Starting to harvest the figs!

Day 52: No photo.

Day 53: No photo.

day54
Day 54: My birthday present to myself from the clearance rack at REI. So comfortable!

day55
Day 55: More figs!

day56
Day 56: Me and my niece Zoe!

day57
Day 57: Mom and I being silly in the dressing room of Motherhood Maternity. I was on the prowl for nursing bras and she was helping me find some. Apparently they have a little ‘belly’ belt you can put on if you aren’t showing yet so mom put it on and we had a good laugh!

day58
Day 58: My niece and nephew! I wonder how they are going to handle competing for attention when Forest arrives!

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Always fun to find one of these!

Tillandsia pruinosa information.

texasstarhibiscus
I’ve been patiently waiting for the Texas Star Hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus to bloom. As it is a hibiscus and incredibly tasty to the palate of deer, I managed to ‘hide’ a few plants near the house on the side garden behind a some other plants. This paid off in great growth from the hibiscus and rewarded me with a bloom the other day. Of course by the time I got around to getting a photo the bloom had closed up for the evening. There are a couple of other Texas Star Hibiscus plants that are near the beehive that I would like to move since they are continually getting chomped on by the deer, but I really need to Chris to move them for me while I’m pregnant or I’ll end up doing it sometime this fall when I’m not pregnant and can throw on my bee suit. I’m not sure where I plant to attempt to hide them from the deer just yet, but probably somewhere on the side garden as well.

tansy
I’m loving the tansy, too. I had to thin it back a little bit in the spring as it was getting out of control, but now I wish I hadn’t since the foxglove have withered away and now I’m left with large areas of empty space.

stachys

rainlilyseed
One of the rain lilies is setting seeds. I’m not sure which species this is, but it puts out giant pink blooms.

mountainmint
I love the whiteleaf mountain mint, Pycnanthemum albescens. I had to convince Chris to leave it in the garden since it is semi-aggressive, telling him that it would indeed bloom and it was worthwhile to keep around. I do have to trim it back quite a bit though.

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lily

gladiolus
A really late gladiolus…but I’m not complaining.

datura2
I’m really loving the daturas at the moment. They’ve finally grown quite large and grace us with blooms just about every evening now.

datura

coneflower
The deer finally left the coneflowers alone long enough for them to bloom. I was surprised to see flowers on them when I peeked around the garden the other day.

birdhouse

assasinbug
And a little wildlife in the form of an assasin bug. We’ve got several species of butterflies flitting about but I’m never with the long lens…I really should put it on one of these days and get some wildlife shots.

We finally had some rain here this evening after almost two weeks of seeming to miss every late afternoon t-storm that pops up around here. I had gotten to the point of starting to water all of the small trees we’ve planted over the last two years to help them along. It looks like we might have more rain later this week which would be great!

I love summer but it is hard to bend down and be nearly as flexible as a gardener with a expanding belly and a lot of extra weight. I find myself dreaming of October and cooler weather and the ability to move freely. I know I’ll miss summer when that time comes so I try not to project myself into the future too much.

I finally got around to finishing this video I shot back in January when Chris and I were in Austin. I’m having serious outdoor exploration withdrawls these days—the heat paired with being pregnant and unable/not feeling up to hike and get out of town has me missing this kind of stuff. Good thing my yard has a diversity of things to keep me entertained until fall and the baby arrives.

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cigarorchid

The first time I saw a cigar orchid was on private property at my job in Florida. I had walked by it without realizing it was an orchid until I walked back by it later on and it registered that it was a cigar orchid. They aren’t all that common but since seeing that first one I’ve gotten the chance to see a few others in Fakahatchee as well as the specimen that is probably the most well known down in Everglades NP. <---Check out the photo from my friend Kathy. I know Chris took some photos that day but I guess he doesn't have them up on his Flickr page.

This particular orchid above was found during the second day of the swamp walk when we were in Fakahatchee in March. Chris and I had just made it to the pond we were meant to explore when we heard one of our fellow explorers hoot through the swamp to come over to a drier part of the slough and check out the orchid in bloom. It turned out to be a new plant to add to the list of known cigar orchids in the strand.

It’s always exciting to see uncommon plants!

physostegia5

physostegia4

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physostegia

For the last month these blooms have been brightening up the flower bed directly in front of the house. We have at least two separate plants, one labeled Physostegia correllii and one labeled Physostegia digitalis corellii, but we believe they are both considered to be the Corell’s false dragonhead, which is a rare and endangered plant. I can’t remember where we bought them, maybe the SFA plant sale back in April, but they are in cultivation. The bloom stalks are extremely tall, in the 5-6′ range, though ours are now bent over and winding from rain storms and wind over the last month.

I’ve definitely noticed that bumblebees visit the blooms quite often and I’ve seen a few hummingbirds stop by for a sip of nectar. Slowly the blooms have faded up the stalk and I can only hope that the plants reseed an spread in the be next year. I love having them, they are almost as majestic as the foxglove that dotted the garden back in the spring.

Day 35: No photo…

day36
Day 36: A little hidden treasure in the baby’s closet.

day37
Day 37: A small shower for the baby held by my friend Erika (far right) with two of my friends from college. Good times and great cake!

day38
Day 38: The beggar bunny, Samson.

day39
Day 39: Harvested the garlic and it actually formed bulbs! Downside—should have harvested two weeks prior to this and I would have had more. Instead, some rotted.

Day 40: No photo

day41
Day 41: Devouring Written In My Own Heart’s Blood

day42
Day 42: Dancing lady ginger bloomed!

Day 43: No photo

day44
Day 44: Making spaghetti sauce

day45
Day 45: Quart of honey from the hive since the bees keep crossing their comb.

day46
Day 46: Black and blue salvia bloomed!

day47
Day 47: Oh, man, this is an awesomely good treat! I had to restrain myself from eating the entire box!

…without bending my knees! That’s an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!

32weeks

24_32comparison

It’s nearly mid-July, not quite midsummer. When folks found out my due date was very early September everyone was all “Summer! Pregnant in the summer is going to be miserable!” Well, it hasn’t necessarily been miserable but it has definitely put a damper in my abilities to do a lot of things in the heat of the day. Really, it hasn’t been all that bad—so far—to be pregnant in the summer. We blessedly live in a time of air-conditioning so I can imagine even 60 years ago when A/C wasn’t as common that it would have been even worse. I think the only downside is not being able to work outside when I want, not that we’d be out in the heat of the day anyway.

Along with the heat has come swelling. Some days it isn’t so bad, other days, particularly if I’m standing a lot or doing any kind of yard work the previous day, the swelling is up around my ankles and my hands. Of course I get a little paranoid ’cause we all know what happened to Lady Sybil, but my blood pressure has been steady and not in the range of anything to worry about, I drink a ton of water, and have been trying to keep my legs up in the evenings when I come inside if I do any work outside.

As for Teddy, he’s definitely a growing boy. Dude has been far more active in the last month than in previous months and I’ve gotten a kick out of feeling him move around, especially when he sticks his back of butt right up against my abdomen. I give him a good pat or rub and say hello and usually he’ll adjust a bit. The fun and funny movement is when he makes a big movement and my entire belly just jiggles…the no-so-fun moments are when he kicks or pokes me for an extending period—must be stretching—it gets quite uncomfortable. At my 32 week appointment yesterday the midwife and the nurse both thought he was rather long, which I agree with. I can feel him all the way into regions that makes me think a hand is going to pop out to just under my right rib cage. It looks like I may get an ultrasound done at 36 weeks to gauge his size, though estimations by ultrasound for weight can be off by several pounds in either direction.

Anyway, I am still holding out for the first week of September, though I think in the back of a lot of people’s heads they are thinking it’ll be August. Ack! Either way, the countdown is really on because I know July will zip right on through.

Teddy’s room is painted and semi-organized. Chris is still finishing up the closet and the guest room closet which he should be able to finish between some work-field projects here by the end of the month. We have an uber-cute wall decal that we got off of Etsy that we will need to put up sometime the first of August—it was recommended to put it up at least a month after the walls had been painted for the paint to be completely dry. Curtains are hung, we have a zillion baby clothes, tons of items from our showers and hand-me-downs….this kid is prepared (though we still have some things to get). Mom on the other hand—-I’m starting to freak out a little bit.

What am I freaking out over? I’m going to have a kid that’s MINE that I don’t get to hand back to their parents at the end of the day…what if I can’t breastfeed…I took a natural childbirth class but I have no idea what labor is actually like…when am I going to go into labor…where am I going to go into labor…what if he comes in August…I hope I don’t become a shut-in for September and October and cry all the time…yes, crying is to be expected, but I want take him out and show him the world…every article about people leaving their kids in the car during the summertime has me paranoid…and I’ve already mentally told him he can’t ride his bike in the street because people zoom by too fast even though they shouldn’t…what if he turns out to be a girl and the ultrasound was wrong…the list goes on and on. I still hold that this whole ‘thing’ is weird. Weird that we will have our own child. We’ve been together since the very end of 1997…alone…all of that time. I’m sure he’ll be kind of some strange extension of ourselves, someone we’ll look at and go “OMG, that’s me” but someone who will definitely have his own personality and quirks.

And that’s where I am at these days. Tired, feeling ready but not really ready. Savoring all of the quiet moments that I can.

leek3

leek2

leek1

I think this weekend I need to find a use for the remaining leeks we have in our garden. Earlier this month I used them in a leek and potato soup, salsa, and just chopping a plant up and tossing it in some beans and rice. Their blooms are almost fading and the plants themselves really need to be eaten. Maybe I’ll toss some into a pasta sauce or have Chris grill some with fish. They really have some magnificent blooms, though! Bigger and bolder than the onions and garlic, for sure.

Also, I’m giving some seeds away over at Sprout Dispatch this week. Drop by and put your name down for the four remaining packets I have!

PS: I noticed A Way To Garden is talking about FALL planting! WHAT? Yes, unfortunately it really is time to start thinking about that, but it threw me for a loop. It’s almost like seeing Halloween and Christmas decorations in July—but at least a little more reasonable to begin planning a fall garden. Can’t I just enjoy my tomatoes for a few more weeks???

PPS: I didn’t realize that mobile and ‘pad’ devices might not show this blog in its actual format, with three columns. I noticed this issue when I was last on my parent’s iPad a week ago. I attempted to fix it at one point and tried to install a WordPress App to fix that, but I don’t think it’s worked. Please let me know if it is all jacked up on your mobile or ‘pad’ device. I format for computers and I’m not that skilled at getting it to work for everyone else but would like to work towards that. Bear with me!

late29weeks_shower
Taken a week ago at my parent’s house at one of Teddy’s baby showers that was held over that weekend. Late 29 weeks pregnant here.

Y’all. I’m officially counting down the weeks now. I can’t believe that I have just July and August to get through and then Teddy will be here! At least, of course, if he arrives around the 40 week mark instead of coming early or lingering in a little late. I like that first week of September so let’s still stick with that, baby boy!

Within the last two weeks the emotional side of the third trimester has really kicked in. Crying over just about anything can easily happen now and there’s nothing more frustrating than being told not to cry. Well, too bad, it’s happening and sometimes it feels cathartic to just let it all out. Along with the emotional side of things has come more heartburn and a reluctancy to want to eat Mexican and Italian foods. That just leads to sleeping poorly since I have to sleep semi-elevated and attempt to keep myself from lying on my back. I love the nights when I can lay down completely flat and experience no reflux.

Other interesting things I’m finding is that my belly now touches my lap if I sit down, breathing is getting more difficult, and I can’t eat nearly as much since there seems to be no room for my stomach. Oh, and bending over and getting up from sitting down requires a lot more effort. I still can touch my toes without bending my knees but that’s becoming more difficult with a growing belly to contend with. I’m experiencing some swelling if I stand on my feet too long and paired with the heat I tend to need to get off my feet as soon as I can in the evenings after getting chores done around the house and yard.

I put off some of the reading I had been doing regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, and have switched to some good old fashioned fiction in the form of the newest Diana Gabaldon novel. The last novel came out in 2009 so needless to say it was about time for some time with my favorite time-traveling family! I need to pick up the La Leche League breastfeeding book again soon.

The most interesting thing in the last few weeks has been the pick up in movement with Teddy as well as feeling different parts of his body as he pushes up against my belly. Sometimes the way he moves can be extremely uncomfortable but most of the time it is fascinating and interesting to feel. After perusing the Spinning Babies website regarding baby positioning, I believe he bounces between left occciput transverse (LOT) and left occiput anterior (LOA). As those are good positions to be in for starting labor I hope he stays that way and doesn’t switch to posterior or even breech in the next 9 weeks!

My focus in the next 9 weeks is to get back on track with my Bradley Method exercises and relaxation practice, and getting back into walking again. It’s so hot and humid these days that I’m having to walk later in the evenings, but I really feel the need to be walking. I’m actually looking forward to being able to run and do heavy cardio this fall!

I guess that’s about it for now. I generally have a lot of rambling and incoherent thoughts throughout the day that I’ve been meaning to write down so I should probably start taking those notes so I can remember all of the little things I worry about or dream about.

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