Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Since You Twisted My Arm...

My sister requested some tulip pictures. Last fall I planted 2,560 spring bulbs in my front beds. I know that sounds like overkill, but I really did come up with a plan beforehand. And I wanted to excavate, which meant everything had to be planted all at once...and now I'm done (that is, until I figure out what summer and fall-blooming perennials to throw in there). I mapped out the colors I wanted in certain spots, and then bought a variety of bulbs to give me those colors from early spring through June. I bought everything at, and highly recommend them for their selection, service, and prices. I've been taking photos every day or two since mid-March, and I'll make a slideshow of the flower progression when the bulbs are all done in early summer. But in the meantime, here is a little peek at what we've been enjoying in our front yard...

April 5--Crocuses. The dark pinks in the background are called tulip crocuses. They look like miniature tulips, and bloom early with the crocuses. Love their color!

April 13--These white flowers are a wild tulip called Turkestanica, a fabulous flower whether it's open to the sunshine or closed during cooler temperatures.

April 18--Hyacinths. The fragrance and color from these flowers is AMAZING! The whole front yard smelled of sweet perfume for three weeks.

April 18--I also cut some daffodils today. I planted 200 mixed daffodils that blooms throughout the spring...and I love the surprise of what type of daffodil shows up each week.

April 30--We had 4" of snow overnight, and I love how the pinks looked wearing their white blanket.

May 3--The wind blew these flowers together. It looks like the tulip is wearing a daffodil corsage.

May 3--I just love to come home to this! I asked Kent if the $700 I spent on the bulbs was worth it. He asked if they made me happy, which of course they do, so his answer was that it was worth it. I should add that many of the varieties I chose will reproduce underground and fill in these beds more in years to come, so this show will only get better!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

These Kids Are Getting Expensive!

I realized last week that we are entering the expensive phases of parenting.

Here's what the first part of that phase looks like:

When our dentist recommended recently that we get #1 to an orthodontist, I took a deep breath, prepared myself for the worst, and went shopping for a doctor. Because we have no dental/ortho insurance, I wanted to be sure we got good treatment for a fair price, knowing that the rest of our crooked-smile children would also go to the same doctor. I followed four recommendations from friends and family, and after two weeks of exams and consultations, we decided to go with Dr. Berg. Since I'm into plugging doctors lately, you can click here to see his website. I'm happy to recommend him to anyone else and tell you our comparison shopping story. The short of it is that I feel confident in the treatment he recommends, and his office is giving us a good deal on the price for #1 and siblings to follow.

It seems likely that #3 will follow soon, too. One of her front incisors came in too far forward, and Dr. Berg is concerned that it will break off if she falls off the monkey bars or gets hit in the face. (Did I mention she is in karate and wants to start tumbling next fall?) We'll take her back in July to see if the tooth has moved back on its own at I've dangled a little "carrot" in front of her. If #3 will push against that tooth whenever she is just sitting around, and the tooth moves back, I will give her FIVE DOLLARS! I hope it works, because I dread the $6,000 if that tooth does break off.

Last week when the ad for Gerber's college saving plan came on TV, I told the kids in no uncertain terms that I am not saving for their college and I do not plan on paying for it in the future. They can either get scholarships or jobs if they want higher education.

Still, my first little brace face made me realize that these kids are only getting more pricey to maintain. #1 is only three years away from jacking up our car insurance premiums, and then a wedding or two could very well happen in the next decade. Yikes!

Just for kicks, let's take another look at the $4,000 wire in my kid's mouth:

That's a pretty funky zig-zag. In fact...if you turn your head almost looks like a dollar sign! Oh, the mockery!