Friday, March 28, 2014

Have You Seen My Head?

Because I can't find it. I may or may not have left it somewhere in last week... or perhaps the week before that.

Just when I think that I have everything under control, I find myself lost in a tornado of early spring colds, weird family stress and temper tantrums.

My children are amazing and wonderful. I never stop thinking that. Where I falter is my belief in myself. In my ability to believe that I can manage this whole two-kids-thing. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, ya'll. I kind of thought that it would be hard. In the same way that you pay lip service to understanding things that you know that you should have read up on, but didn't.

When is it exactly that I will feel like the one in charge? I read blog posts by women who serve their children red lentil with arugula soup and lightly toasted sprouted grain crostini with goat cheese... and I feel like an asshole for the "discussions" (read: arguments) with my four year old about weather or not she will eat anything other than the 6-8 foods currently in her repertoire... Then Alec D pulls himself up on my leg and starts bouncing and whining and honestly, I feel like walking out the damn door.

I don't, though. I try to take a breath. I try to calm myself... but I usually end up snapping irritably at one or both of the kids then trying to appease all of us with snacks and naps... in front of the t.v. ...


The weather is changing. Finally warming. I feel a little like maybe I'm warming too. We can go outside to play and walk the dog. We wait for the school bus while watching snails and pillbugs. Lily Ruth collects worms and Alec eats dirt while I thin out our garden beds and replant the thinned shoots. We get ready for bed while the sun is still saying goodnight.

Spring truly is a time of rebirth. Perhaps I can get in on this. Allow the new growth around me to open my heart. Let these warm breezes start to blow away needless worry and mismanaged stress. I know it's a lot to ask of a season. For a simple flip of the calendar to fix me. So maybe I admit that the work has to be done by me. I am the one who has to (yet again) reset my focus. Resolve (yet again) to be more grateful for the opportunity to stay home with our children. This is a blessing. I really shouldn't treat it like a curse every day at 5 p.m. when all three of us are left with patience stretched thin enough to be transparent.

Here's my idea: I want a kid-sized table right at the edge of the kitchen. I want them to be able to sit near me and play or draw or eat snippets of the upcoming meal. Since meal prep time happens to be inevitable, and has lately been a bit strained because the kiddos just want to be with me (and whine), and I just want some damn quiet time (and wine)... I dunno. I just feel like if we could be together instead of separated by walls with the t.v. blaring... hmpfh...

Obviously, my head is a bit jumbled. Cranky resentment, good intentions, grandiose plans. It's a bird nest up there. Apparently, coffee doesn't unsnarl bird nests. Neither does cheap wine. I wonder if expensive wine and/or tropical vacations are good unsnarlers. If so, could you send me one?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gardening Makes Me Hungry

I am fairly pleased with us as a family. We actually managed to uncover, till and prep the garden beds on time! We even planted a few things. The rest of the seeds will be planted soon, and we have a few seedlings coming from a junior high fundraiser.

If you care about this sort of thing, we covered the beds with hay a few weeks ago (after clearing them of leaves, acorns and the largest of the weeds). We could have (should have?) done this after clearing them from the last planting season, but a few weeks of weed suppression is better than none. In order to finish prepping them, we uncovered each bed (moving the hay to the weed covered areas around the beds) and tilled (using a tiller rented from Home Depot) a bag of Ladybug Revitalizer Compost Blend into each bed. Then we just had to rake the soil relatively flat and water the beds really well and we were ready to plant. We planted corn (step one of the Three Sisters garden), red runner beans for the tee-pee and my much loved Baby Mesclun Lettuce Mix. By the by - most of my seeds come from Renee's Garden Seeds, and they produce beautifully.

Oh, and as step one of my personal campaign to make our wonderful little house a place that is not so visually disappointing, we cleared out a completely overgrown and hideous bed in the front of the house to use for flowers and herbs. Very exciting (for me). Don seems invigorated by my plans and helps as much as he can on the weekends. If only I weren't overtaken by compulsions to make huge and sweeping changes in the middle of the week! With some weekend help, I managed to get rosemary, lavender, sage, lemongrass, and a few snapdragons planted. On the "*huh* didn't quite expect that" end of it, clearing the groundcover and weeds from the bed has liberated the grass. New, tender shoots of grass are poking up happily every half inch or so. Um, I guess we should have tilled that bed when we tilled the garden because the roots for the grass are obviously deeper than the raking that we did and new soil that we put down. Oi. Live and learn.


Both kids LOVE to be outside. Lily Ruth could play for hours in the garden, in her fort or running with her dog. Alec is crazy excited about the outdoors. He stands at our windows and stares out with fingers gripping the sill and eyebrows raised almost into his hairline in anticipation of going out there and putting everything he can see into his mouth.

All of this time thinking about and working in the garden means that I think about food even more than usual. Um, that's a LOT.

I've been doing my menu plans, but I've lost interest in sharing them. My recent lack of energy means that I can make good food, or talk about said food, but not both :-/

We've tried some new recipes, and have even loved some of them. I have started moving recipes that I like to my google drive. Maybe I'll just start sharing those instead :-)