Thursday, April 29, 2010

Between work and the children ...

... I may never get anything done again ever. Like, ever ever ever.

Case in point: This garden project.

First, I nursed the tomatoes from seeds to seedlings in egg cartons. Then I was worried that it wasn't quite warm enough, so I planted all the colder-weather stuff and didn't have room for this stuff. Next, I simply moved the ones that were taller than two inches into pots. After that, husband was persuaded to build a fourth tier of the garden. When it was built, we didn't have enough dirt and nobody has had any energy to go back to Lowe's. So here they sit.

Now, a spider has connected the eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes with her web, and still they are all INSIDE. It is nearly May and the heating pad is still under the peppers. And there's storms predicted for the weekend.

Y'all. If I lose these mail-ordered heirloom plants, Brian will murdelate me. So, this is one time when a gardner is NOT praying for rain. Because losing the crop will definitely not bode well for my next project: Chickens.

As if I need another project.

But Organic Gardening magazine decided to use "Happy Hens: Choosing and Keeping Backyard Chickens" as their cover story. And now I've got chicken fever again. And you can get the chicks in the mail. And Brian is talking about shooting the neighborhood cats so we can keep them in the backyard. He's tempting me. I love cats, and it's not even legal to keep livestock in your backyard in our county, but have y'all seen how regal a Spangled Russian Orloff pullet is? Or a Blue Mille Fleur d'Uccle rooster? Give me strength, Lord because I just do not have enough will power not to order some baby chickens in the mail. I just don't.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog Layout

As you can tell, I've been experimenting with the look of my blog.  I can't find anything I like.  This one is OK, but I'm thinking of switching to Wordpress ... anyone have experience with that?

Funny Faces

John on left; Sam on right.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We made it.

Sam and I both survived my first day back at work. My neighbor watched him (along with her two girls) and with her mom's help, they managed to get him down for two 1.5 hour naps, which is more than I have done in weeks.

I was lonely at work, several times catching myself listening to see if I thought I heard him crying, as I do at home when I'm expecting him to wake up. We will both get used to it. It will get easier. IGBOK.

There were good and bad things at work ... I have a new office! It has no windows but is BIG (compared to the closet -- seriously it was an old book closet before it was office space -- that I used to be in with THREE other faculty members). That's good! But, four adjuncts have been using my space since I've been on leave. They all have keys. Which is fine, until you think about them needing something they've forgotten was in a drawer and me in there pumping.  That's the bad.

Poor Gary the History Professor is all I can say. I hollered for him not to open the door, but you know how some men are about listening.  I 'spect he didn't need those old Time magazines after all, since I couldn't find him later.

The next couple weeks will be shared by Brian and Macy.  Then I'm off for most of the month of May.  In June and July I'll teach summer school four mornings a week, but Brian will be home with Sam & John full time.  Bless. Their. Hearts.  I am so thankful we chave worked it out so Sam won't be in daycare until August, when he'll be eight months old.  Big Brother will be starting kindergarten at that time! 

Not much other news ... the bigs are out volunteering at Radnor, cutting back invasive species with loppers and likely getting drenched, as it is pouring.  Tomorrow we're going to the college graduation of one of B's former 8th grade students (from our first stint in Nashville).  She is the first in her family to graduate from college, and she is quite the little go getter -- president of her senior class and headed off to graduate school in social work. 

Happy weekend!  Drop us a line!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Birthdays & other important milestones

Happy Birthday Nanny & Mimi!

Happy Birthday Sam (tomorrow): 5 months

Other stuff:

- tomorrow I'm going back to work
- Sam slept 11 hours straight last night
- John woke every 2 hours last night
- I went to two grocery stores today and came away with no eggs but enough hair dye to
last several years.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two videos

I can't figure out how to do Youtube tonight, but here's a video of John swimming, and here's one of Sam in his jumper toy.  Grandmas, please let me know if the links don't work.


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I aspire to be one of those old women who drive a station wagon covered in 78 bumper stickers.  It's not so much the station wagon (though I would love an Audi); it's the stickers.

I am fascinated by bumper stickers. And they’re so cryptic. That’s what gets me.

I’ve been seeing these ones that read “IGBOK” and wondered what that means for weeks now. Intrigued, I followed a car into the Target parking lot last week, where I slyly parked and waltzed over to check it out.

In the fine print below the abbreviation, the bumper sticker explained: “It’s Gonna Be OK.”

Which is exactly what needs to be my mantra these days.

Side note: After I made my discovery, I entered Target, managed to get nothing on anybody’s list, and still spend $60.

Never you mind, self: IGBOK.

I’m starting to like this.

So I’m all like IGBOK for a few days.

And then the weekend.

This weekend, the Parenting Universe, as it is wont to do, tested me. To see if I could really embrace some adage on some banal bumper sticker.

Saturday morning, while I was making homemade Berry Blast Oatmeal with soymilk and honey, I heard, “UH OH.”

I looked out on the patio, where the boys were, and noticed dirt raining down everywhere from a huge brown thing whirling in the air. As the dust settled, I saw John holding an empty cardboard box, looking guilty as he stood next to Sam (in his exersaucer), covered in dirt.

“I’m sorry Mom. I was just trying to show Sam how pretty it looks when the particles of dust float in the sunlight.”

It was 7 a.m. and it seemed I had already lived two lifetimes since going to bed.

Never you mind, self: IGBOK!

It occurred to me that I may need to modify the acronym a bit because really?  Really? Is everything just gonna magically be OK?  Dirt on that sweet half-bald head (and shoulders and ears and down in his onesie is OK?  All of this –even before coffee – is OK?

Maybe IMBOK is more accurate. (M = might).

No, let’s not make things complicated, self. Black and white. Just avoid the gray areas.

IIGBOK. It IS Gonna Be OK.  

Just put the baby in the dadblame bathtub.

Yesterday.  At the park.  A little girl is pointing at John-John's painted toenails and saying, "Look Mommy, he's a boy and he has paint.  Why is he a boy Mommy?  Why does he have paint?" 

Reasonable enough. 

But then the mom just sits there in her billowy running shorts and says, "I don't know."

Not reasonable.  NOT OK. 

And John is starting to whine and say "Stop it!  Stop pointing at me!  It's not good manners to point!" 

And my BP is 600/400.  (Sam is asleep in the front carrier on my chest.)

But I know enough to know when it is NOT GBOK to discuss this with a preschooler and/or her mother.  So, we take off.  Me in my Sketchers Shape Ups and John on his scooter.  And he is going so fast that I cut through the grass to catch up with him.  As I stepped through a patch of clover, I felt something pop under my left shape-up.  Looked down and there's a turquoise plastic Easter egg, which has exploded and birthed a small piece of candy, fully enclosed in a wrapper with a ladybug on it.  I can tell it's one of those small soft mints that I love.  So, since John has not seen any of this, I did it.  I ate the candy.  I told myself IGBOK and I popped that mint in my mouth and chewed fast and hard. 

And then I had a moment of total panic that it was illicit drugs.  I remembered the last time I was at this same park and saw a woman, clearly tripping on acid or high on something, going up and down the slides with the preschoolers looking like why had she not ever thought of doing this before now. 

Had she also found some ladybug candy in the grass?

I tried to put it out of my mind, but then I started thinking about how I am nursing a baby for crying out loud and the drugs were gonna get into my milk and poison Sam. 

Stop it.  IGBOK!  Remember?  IGBOK.

And then I got that diarrhea's-coming feeling.  We high-tail it home.  I spent an hour in the bathroom.

Later that night, I remember that our next door neighbor's cousin had a b/d party in that exact park and that they had an Easter egg hunt as the activity.  I start an email to my neighbor's sister-in-law.  But how to word it?  Do I confess that I ate candy off the ground at a public place?  Finally I pound out something like I FOUND AN EGG AND A PIECE OF CANDY IN THE PARk TODAY ... DID YOU STUFF THE EGGS FOR MAYA'S PARTY WITH LADYBUG WRAPPER CANDY?  NOT BECAUSE I ATE ONE ... I'M JUST WONDERING.

She didn't write back for like HOURS.  I had more diarrhea. 

Finally, the next morning, she writes back that yes indeedy it was ladybug soft mints.  Phew. 

See!  It was OK after all. 


I am DESPAIRING about my impending return to work. It’s bittersweet really. I have found that staying home inspires me to brazen perfectionism, whereas working and parenting simultaneously tempers that tendency just a bit.

So far, I am lucky: Sam will be staying with our beloved neighbor one day, my sweet mom one week, and the very-tolerant Husband for the rest of the time til August. So, IGBOK.

But still I despair.

At the same time, I realize that staying home is not my lot. Lately I have found myself doing things like keeping John home from school just to have someone to talk to. And on the days when it’s just me and Sam (and there are no errands to run), I obsess everywhere. I embark on adventurous cooking expeditions with quinoa. I try new mixtures for homemade baby wipe solutions. I weed the garden during naptime as if my life depended on it. I overanalyze the monologues in my workout videos.

Plus, I have my dream job for this time in my life (and, I just got a promotion). 

So, I know that IGBOK. But for the first time in my life, I see both sides of the stay-home-or-work argument so clearly.

When John was just a little shaver, I remember when I went back to work part-time, and a family friend said, “Well, it’s hard. It’s hard if you work. AND, it’s hard if you stay home. Parenting is hard, no matter how you do it.”

And of course, her next line was, “IGBOK.”
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He went to Wal-Mart like this.

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Who, me?

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Bras & Candy

It's been busy around here, but the most important updates are as follows: John is still hiding candy wrappers under his bed and Sam has taken up with one of my bras.

Even amongst all those perties in his exersaucer, he still prefers that bra. I have visions of a three-year old Sam dragging that old nasty bra to preschool.

Now, with regard to this. We caught the Easter 2010 candy binge early, but we had already warned him not to put the wrappers under his bed. So, because the warning likely came after the binge had begun, he tried to clean it up by urinating under his bed, apparently in an effort to "wash away the trash."

This stash is nothing compared to the Halloween 2009 pile.

So, that's baking soda on his rug. I am really getting concerned about his hygeine. I also suspect he's been snorting dirt, based on the state his nose is in every night pre-bath.

There have also been some mysteries and new games around these parts.  This weekend I found Sam, in his exersaucer, on the porch, totally drenched from head to toe.  John had been watering the plants, but he didn't know anything about it.

And then there was a game of throwing a beach ball "to" Sam.  Not to be confused with what it might look like had he been throwing the ball "at" Sam.

And this morning I caught him attempting to sit "by" Sam, which, was weird to me because it looked an awful lot like what I might call sitting "on" Sam.

Prepositions are tricky.

And now picture me singing the opening few lines from "I Have Confidence" from The Sound Music:

What will this day be like?
I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.

I go back to work in less than two weeks.  I am despairing about this. Last night I dreamed that one of my colleagues fed Sam to a grizzly bear.

The good news is that I found a daycare for Sam, starting in August.  He'll go there until his first birthday, at which time he'll go to the same preschool John has been attending for the last couple years.  It's very close to our house and on the way to B's school, so he'll likely be dropping off Sam while I attend to our budding kindergartner.

And just to end on a good note, John has really been enjoying a series of books by Nancy Carlson, especially the Loudmouth George series.  Sam sits in my lap and tries to eat the books listens while we read.  John has also been enjoying the Children's Bible that the Easter Bunny brought and a book of Greek mythology, particulary the story of Medussa. 


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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter in Mississippi

Grandparents, tractors, guns, & candy: Little boy paradise.

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