Monday, April 28, 2008

I Love My Yard

There, I said it. I really do love my yard. I have been mourning the loss of my old yard ever since I first saw this new house at the beginning of November. I remember looking at the house, peering in the windows and seeing the potential for what it could be. But the yard, never inspired the same feelings in me. Even after we poured money into some serious pruning, a parking spot and gravel path, and the most beautiful sod you have ever seen. I liked it, it looked much better then I ever thought it would but I did not love it.

My other yard was long and deep and had a giant pine tree right in the middle. It always smelled like the woods to me and reminded me of my grandparents. It didn't matter that the yard was almost always in a state of "white-trash" and that my 80 year old neighbors had a yard 10 times nicer then mine, for a while the renters next door even had a better yard. Every time I walked out the back door I was in love. One of the reasons we bought the house was because it had a hydrangea. I wanted one and when I saw the 60 year old hydrangea in the back yard I was sold. I know I can plant one at my new house but it won't have the same character.

Today I went to my old house for the last time. I left all the keys and locked the doors. When I shut the door for the final time, I admit it, I cried. I stood on the deck one last time and looked at my backyard and was sad. Even though the yard overwhelmed me a good 90% of the time it was still my favorite.

Until this afternoon. When the boys woke up from their nap the sun was actually shining. I quickly put on shoes and hats and out we went. I had no agenda except to kill time but once I got outside and saw the plants I had just bought, I thought I would try to plant them. I went to the Olympic View plant sale for the first time and scored some good buys. The trick is to go at 3:45, in the rain, on Sunday afternoon when they are at the end. The selection isn't as good but they were selling plants for more then half off. I bought annuals, bedding plants, and some good perinnials to fill in my flower beds.I spent an hour outside today and got all my plants planted. I even did some weeding. The whole time I was outside my boys played. Jack ran in the grass while Micah sat on it. They walked in the bark and played on their climbing cube. They even got out their bikes and rode on the cement patio. I was able to move around the yard, planting and weeding with no problem. Well, except for Nemo making a run for it, but the neighbor was kind enough to tell me I had lost my dog again. I stepped back at the end of the hour and looked at my yard. I have established plants that are starting to bloom, 3 huge lilacs that I love, some sort of fruit tree, and now some fresh plants that are favorites of mine. I wasn't overwhelmed or left the yard with a list of things to still do. I have some more plants I would like and some more pots but overall, I have to say, my yard is beautiful.

And I love it, I really do.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Mommy, You Gotta Kiss It"

This is what I hear from my three year old at least once a day. Any owie that occurs, big or small, requires a kiss to make it all better. Some are quick kisses and we are all better, others - ones that tend to leave a mark - seem to take several kisses plus some hugs before we are good to go. In order for the kiss to work it has to land on the exact spot that hurts. When it is a head injury that tends to be a little tricky because I am not always sure where exactly he bonked his head. I will end up kissing all over his head until he finally says "I'm okay". Some days he just seems to want extra love as he will say "Uh-oh I hurt again" and smile as I ask him where he needs his kiss. I've kissed his toes, knees, elbows, fingers, head (many times) and have been asked to kiss his butt and his tongue. These last two always make me laugh at which point he realizes it is funny and wants even more kisses.

As I look at my little boy who is the source of both continual joy and frustration, I wish I could always just kiss it and make him feel better. I love that he believes that I can ease his pain with a kiss but know that one day that will no longer work. I know he will have bigger hurts that can not be kissed away: friends who move away, the loss of a loved one, the pain of a broken heart. I know I can not protect him from life, from both the happiness and sadness it brings, nor do I want to. I want him to enjoy life and not be scared or worried about all the things that could go wrong. But when they do and he is hurting or sad I wish with all my heart that I would hear "Mommy, you gotta kiss it" and know that I could still make it all better with just a simple kiss.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tater Tots, Part Deux

My very first post was about tater tots and how much I love them and how my boys hate them. Well, I have not had any tater tots again until today. I figure that something so golden and delicious can not possibly be good for you. Also, most days by the time I finish feeding the boys I just grab whatever I can find to eat. Having tater tots for lunch requires a patience I do not always have.

But today I decided I did not care. I had spent the morning cleaning my kitchen, unpacking the very last boxes of kitchen stuff/crap and organizing my shelves again! I decided I wanted a nice little treat for myself for lunch. By the time the tater tots were done lunch was long over. I loaded up my plate with a few piping hot tots and headed into the play room to find the boys.

As soon as I sat down I had one little boy come walking up to see what I was eating. I knew this was a trick because neither of my boys like tater tots. I gave a very small piece to my baby to see what he would do and he ate it. That was kind of a surprise to me but I continued to eat my tater tots not unaware of how my life was about to change. Next thing I knew my 3 year old had also realized I had something yummy. He came over and asked for a piece. I told him he didn't like it but he was insistent that he did. So I gave up another small piece to him. "Yum" he says "that is good". WHAT??!! The boys do not like tater tots that has already been proven. Nope, now my oldest is back for a second piece and this time adds ketchup. It is all over after that. I quickly inhale the remaining tater tots on my plate while my baby is distracted and my toddler is still eating his piece. When he finishes he turns to me and says "Want more, mommy". At which point I have to say, "I'm sorry, they are all gone".

If I had known I was going to have to share I would have made the whole bag!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I admit it, I am completely addicted to Friends. It has never been a secret that I enjoy this show but lately my fondness for it may have reached an all-time high. Since I had my second child last April, and purchasing a DVR for our bedroom, I have watched Friends every night. At first it was the perfect show for watching during the middle of the night feedings, it didn't matter if the sound was on or not. I was half asleep anyway. Once we made it past the initial ugliness of having a newborn in the house, I would watch Friends during the last feeding when I would put my son to bed. If I was lucky I could get two shows out of it before he fell asleep. Some nights I would stay in the room and watch Friends while I folded laundry or cleaned up. On really bad days, I would go in my room as soon as my husband came home, shut the door, and watch an episode. Yes, I know how bad that sounds, but I also know my limits. There are times when being home with a baby and a two year old is extremely difficult. I remember days of holding my baby trying to rock him to sleep while my two year old watched TV pretty much all day. Or other days when my two year old and I would engage in battle of wills to see who was actually in charge. I did not always come out the winner. Those days I needed the peace and quiet of my room, and a few minutes to pull myself together before continuing with dinner, clean-up, bedtime routine, and of course quality time with my spouse.

Things are much better now. I think I am going to like having a three year old a lot more then a two year old! And I already love having a baby who does not rely on me for 24 hour food nourishment! But I am still watching Friends everyday. In fact, it is the only show recorded on my DVR in my bedroom. I still fold laundry while I watch it, straighten up the room, feed my baby, and take a few moments to myself.

The other night I was out with friends celebrating birthdays. As we made a wish on our dessert, I remembered a scene from the last episode I watched. I mentioned to the group, partly pleased that I even remember a quote - that is a whole nether blog - and as I described it, I heard one friend say: "She talks about them like she knows them". I laughed because, yeah, I guess I do. This past year has had it's good times and it's hard times, and through it all I have watched Friends. I saw Ross and Rachel get together, have a "break", Monica and Chandler continue a secret relationship, and now finally move-in together. The show makes me laugh no matter how many times I have seen it and I would have to say I agree: 'laughter is the best medicine'.