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There’s really no accounting for the long gap between posts, other than that the spark of writing inspiration somehow got buried deep in a pile of dirty laundry.

The storm damage clean-up in our yard (which was paltry compared to the heavily damaged parts of town) has been a gradual process. The upside is that I’m now proficient at dealing with all manner of tree men.

We went to the beach. At the time we had a crawling toothless baby.

Two months later I have a toddler with a mouthful of teeth who runs wind sprints with our dog around the back yard.

We had a garden party for the Sprout. She was shockingly delicate with her first bites of chocolate.

If I’m judging by the jars she foraged around for in the pantry this morning and brought into the den, she has now moved on and has a taste for capers and Caesar dressing. [To the worried grandmothers: don’t worry, the bottles were closed.]

The Goose has acquiesced to her new role as the Sprout’s best friend. I assume because of the added perks of the job [read: apricots, cheerios, popsicles].

We went to the lake with sweet friends. Absolutely no fun was had.

Against all my expectations, our resilient garden, after being crushed by a 100 year old oak tree in April, has grown back beautifully. Sprout likes to pick black eyed susans and cherry tomatoes. I am trying to get her to enjoy the squash and zucchini.

Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce using your own tomatoes? I have 13 juicy red ones in the window that I’m hoping to transform into some kind of sauce this week.

We ate our first ripe figs yesterday. Hooray. Sprout is eating them by the handful

We’ve enjoyed time with family as they’ve come through town, a family reunion, an unexpected funeral, and through the magic of Skype.

FCL has put in long hours this summer on a big work project, but it has made our time with him that much more precious. One byproduct is that we’ve gotten to scatter Cheerios all over the floor of his fancy downtown office on our visits there. It has also made our sweet neighbors that much more dear, as Sprout and I have spent many nights sharing a dinner table with them instead of eating alone.

So, the summer is zipping by. And on that note I will zip off of my computer.

So here’s what’s going on at our house.

Lots of time in the yard and garden. Look! Strawberries!

Garlic!

Radishes!

Lettuce!

Moles!

Moles. My perennial nemesis has returned to taunt me by tunneling directly under the fresh zinnia seedlings I transplanted last Sunday, rendering them rootless. The labyrinth of mole tunnels and gopher kingdoms running underground in our backyard might be in line for some Guinness Book record. Maybe that’s what’s going on here. A Shawshank style tunneling competition fueled by nutrients from the juicy roots of my tulips, dahlias, coneflowers, and so on and so forth.

Oh, and also this is going on at our house. Someone has wised up that the most lucrative spot to be during meal time is directly underneath a 10-month old’s fingers.

Oh, and also this. Because apparently the Sprout is weird like her mother.

By request, a few recent firsts for the Sprout.

Her first jaunt to select the perfect Christmas tree. She is very picky.

Her first taste of food. Luckily, she’s much more of a fan now, a few weeks in.

Her first Christmas socks (courtesy of Aunt Skort-ney).

Her first kiss from a schnauzer. She reports that while the mustache was a bit itchy, she’d do it again.

Her first sock monkey.

She woke up jingling on her first Christmas morning.

First white Christmas for the both of us.

First run-in with gilded Elvis.

The lack of attention she received was pitiful, really.

And finally… first cowbell, first bowl game. Good end to the holidays. More firsts to come, I’m sure.

Happy half a year to the sweetest sprout in all the land. You bring so much sparkle to my life!