Monday, May 28, 2012

Risk of Frost... AIEEEEE!

There I was... toiling over the garden beds that The Hubs and I had spent countless hours prepping and filling with dirt and mulch and manure*. Working through supper time on Sunday to get all my lovely little plants into their new home, all plotted out on the cheat sheet that I'd put together weeks before of what would go where to maximize sun exposure etc. Got them all in the beds... a week early even! Yippee!

And then... dun dun duuuuun... "RISK OF FROST". Nooo! Save the precious little plants! Can you imagine losing all your from-seed green guys in one night?

And, what are the chances we'd get frost? Apparently, very good -- in fact I KNEW this, I'd done the research and looked up the dates and I knew there was still a chance of frost up until June 1(ish) in my area. And yet, seeing those garden beds all ready for their plants, I really couldn't resist! I jumped on the chance to get them all planted... and nearly got bitten in the *ahem* rear.

No matter, I had bought row covers for just this purpose. I'd just pull the covers over the hoops and we'd be all set. Until... the covers didn't fit. The hoops added at least 2' around each side of each bed, and I hadn't taken that into account. Oooops. There goes $23... *shakes fist*.

So... we found the biggest tarp we had stashed in the garage (which in our case is like an acre big... almost) and pulled that puppy over both garden beds, wee little plants all tucked in and warm for the night. Crisis averted!

I'm told there's no more risk of frost and we should be okay to leave the plants uncovered at night... except for the whole deer/gopher/rabbit issue... It's always something. We'll tackle that next -- for now we have a motion-sensor sprinkler aimed at the beds to deter the varmin.

* When we first bought the dirt, I made the mistake of assuming it would be 'plant ready'. Not so. It was listed as 40% organic garden soil... instead it was mostly dirt and sand. Ugh. Back to the garden centre we went (after totally filling the beds with this stuff... 48,925 wheelbarrows full... almost) to ask what we should add to the beds. The nice lady at the garen centre looked at The Hubs like he was really quite dumb and said "You haven't done that already??" Uhm... no. So one bale of sphagnum mulch and 6 bags of sheep manure loaded into the van, then unloaded, several wheelbarrows of dirt removed from the just-filled beds, and mulch and manure added to beds and mixed in... we were finally, actually READY for plants.

Just should have waited until after the risk of frost had passed. It's not always a good thing to be early!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

From Preschooler to Big Kid: Happy 5th Birthday to The Boy

My not-so-little boy turned five today.


Five years ago I was wondering what the HELL I was doing... who's great idea this whole 'baby' thing was and how the HELL I was going to get that baby OUT of there! (Still boggles the mind if you ask me.)

Five years later, I'm still wondering what the hell I'm doing. Funny how that never changes. Sure I can (and have) change a diaper with my eyes closed, wipe someone else's bum without blinking an eye, and I now know the best way to handle minor boo-boos that seem pretty major at the time (in a word: freezies).

But since every new day with The Boy is a stage we've never experienced, he gets to teach us how to parent in the moment, as we go. Isn't he lucky!

We don't yet know how to handle 'big school', or girlfriends, or broken bones (KNOCKING ON WOOD). We haven't put him on a bus by himself or helped him put together a project on Nefertiti or the Human Body. We have yet to send him careening down the street on a two-wheeler without training wheels, or deal with him running away or telling us he hates us (again, knocking on wood, though I know these things are probably coming). We haven't had to explain where babies come from or why pets have to die, or teach him to cross the bunny ears and loop-swoop-and-pull.

We'll learn all those things and more, I know. But we're not there yet... for now it's all band-aids on scrapes and time-outs and LEGO and three books at bedtime and the excitement of a playdate with your best friend.

Happy 5th Birthday little buddy. Love you.
1 year

1 week
2 years
3 years
4 years

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diary of a Real Pregnancy - Week 4: Finding Out

The following is a real-life account of what it's like to be pregnant, week-by-week. None of this "It's a miraculous time" / "You are glowing" crap. No -- this is the real deal. Come on the crazy ride with me...

Week 4: Finding Out

As anyone who's ever been pregnant knows, when you find out you're pregnant, you're usually already 4 weeks along. It's like, whammo, positive pregnancy test, and oh yeah you're a month in. What! If anyone ever tells you they're 2 weeks pregnant, they are lying. Haha.

In my case, because we were charting (I won't bore you with the details) and I knew exactly where I was in my cycle, I tested early, at 10 days past ovulation and got the Big Fat Positive -- I wasn't even 4 weeks yet. Let me just tell you: despite having tried for a bunch of cycles already (four to be exact) and waiting to get that second line, seeing it was still a shockadoodle.

I honestly figured it would be like all the other tests I'd done this time around: the days leading up to it, you have all kinds of symptoms that you think MIGHT be "it", then try to ignore them because you don't want to get your hopes up. But they are up, you can't help it, you tell yourself you're not pregnant but way down deep, you think, "Could I be?". You wait and wait... until finally you're far enough along in your cycle to test, break open yet another package, pee, and wait again. Finally you get up the nerve to look, heart pounding, convincing yourself it's going to be negative but willing two lines to appear, thinking maybe this time...

And then... stark white negative. Oh but it might still be positive? Maybe if you tilt it this way. Look at it under brighter lights. Squint and tilt your head? Take the whole test apart because clearly the stupid plastic window is getting in the way of seeing that second line -- gaah! But - there's no second line. Anger, frustration, disappointment. Throw that stupid thing in the trash. Stuff it way down because you're mad at it, and go about your day, waiting for your period to arrive. Stupid b*tch.

I admit, with most of these (okay, all of them), I'd go back later and dig that thing out of the trash hours later, thinking maybe I didn't look at it hard enough? Maybe a second line appeared right after I threw it out? Of course it looked the same as when I stuffed it in there, which just pissed me off even more, and inevitably the evil witch (my period) would arrive moments later, and I'd convince myself that it was horrible timing anyway and I'm totally fine with it. Totally. *sigh*

Until, of course the day of the positive. That's a good day. It's a strange day. Perhaps you've seen a whole year's worth of negative tests already, perhaps this is the very first one you've taken. But when you wait the alloted 5 minutes and then finally take a peek at that test, and see not one, but two lines... it's like, OMG. What?? Shut up. SHUT.UP. Nowayshutuprightnow.

So... here we are. Four weeks along. I don't care how long you've been trying to get pregnant, or if you weren't trying and it just 'happened', you still go through this crazy rollercoaster of OMG, what have we done, holy crap, a newborn, a child, OMG. Perhaps an "Oh shit" or "Yippee!" thrown in there.

Ironically, this time I didn't have to take a test at all. If I had just waited one more day, I would have known -- it's the boobs. They're a dead giveaway, as soon as I get pregnant, wham! Sore boobs. Like, don't hug me, don't touch me, don't even come near me, OW. But of course, I did take a test, because man, seeing two lines on a pregnancy test is just FUN. :)

positive test

Here we go..!

Next: Week 5: Fear and Trepidation in my Uterus

Friday, May 18, 2012

They're Just Trying to Make the Moms Cry

I swear, half the stuff set up for parents and kids are designed solely to make moms cry. And I'm not a crier! I didn't even cry at the movie Beaches, even though everyone else in the room was a blubbering mess.

Yesterday was a big day around here. The Boy had his Primary Orientation, which is the day they have all the 'newbies' come to Big School to get familiar with it before school starts in September. They also assess the kids to see where everyone will fit and assign teachers and classrooms accordingly. For parents of kids who are just starting for the first time, it's a chance to meet the teachers, and start to get a feel for this whole "school" thing.

Now, we aren't total newbies... The Boy went to preschool when he was three, and now attends a daycare with a preschool program, with a focus on learning and schedules and taking turns and working in groups -- all the things kids need before they start school.

And yet, taking my little boy into that big building with all the classrooms and big kids and a cafeteria and library... Aren't those things for big kids? Like, teenagers? Exciting, for sure. But big... a big deal, this whole school thing. And I really can't believe, as most parents have echoed, that the time is here already. How have 5 years gone by so quickly? It's really not possible... is it?

I've been told once kids start school, time speeds up even more. Everything goes in fast-forward and before long, your little boy with his brand-new backpack and pencil case and his name in his shoes is getting his driver's license and graduating from High School. I think that's what's getting me about him starting school -- it's not that going to Primary is so heartwrenching, it's the reminder that you can't stop time, and your kids just keep growing up. Exciting... but...

And then, the principal read us parents a poem, which I guarantee was just to get us all to cry. I was FINE up to that point. It was just orientation! Not like he's really starting school... yet... I held it together watching him walk to the front of the room and go off with 20 other kids to check out the classrooms, without us, like a big boy. But when the principal said to get our tissues ready, and began to read this poem about handing our kids over to the capable teachers and not being able to watch everything they do and achieve... well I admit I welled up.

We still have a few months before The Big Day (which we're told we're not supposed to make a huge hairy deal of so as not to scare the kids... HA!!), and then I will be a total mess. Until then, I'm enjoying every minute of my "preschooler" kid.

Okay, not every minute. I love him... but come on. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Garden update... my beds are in!

My beds are in!! Woot woot! The Hubs has worked tirelessly to make these gorgeous raised garden beds for me, and install them (level and everything). Aren't they *pretty*??

We just need to line the bottom with wire mesh to stop the critters from getting at my veggies from below, and fill them with dirt. Yay! Then the real work begins!

In other garden news... My not-so-little seedlings are growing like crazy! One very important lesson I've learned: transplanting seedlings at the right time is crucial. Case in point: I started these tomato plants at the same time from seed, and they were roughly the same size when I transplanted the one on the right to a bigger container. Seriously. That's the only difference. Whaaaat!

That photo, and these, were taken about 10 days ago. The tomato plants are about 18" now, and I've started hardening them off (putting them outside for a few hours a day to get used to the 'real world'). I've also turned off the grow lights at night. Tough love!
Green onion & carrots (we'll see how those do after they're transplanted...)

Zucchini, beans, tomatoes

Arugula & mizuna (so yummy, I've been sampling!), a couple of pathetic non-transplanted tomatoes, and a sad little leek. What's up with those?

Friday, May 11, 2012

My glorious day OFF!

When I heard that the kids' daycare would be putting on a Mother's Day event this afternoon, I decided to attend. Since I'd have to be there at 3:00, I figured, I better take the whole day off work. Heh.

There is really nothing better as a mom than an entire day (until 3:00 anyway) to do whatever. Anything. The day is MINE! I feel so free!!

So, what am I doing on my day off?

Cleaning. Laundry. Organizing. (well right after I finish this post...)

And sadly, I could NOT be more excited about this.

You see, as a work-outside-the-home mom it's very rare that I get any time in my house without other people (little and big) around, making messes and needing things. There are the ever-loving piles of laundry - clean and dirty - begging for attention. There are the scuzzy floors that almost never see a cleaning product. The toilets... 'science experiment' comes to mind. Yech.

So, after sleeping in (thankyouhubby!!) until 7:30 am (my 19-year-old self just recoiled), drinking coffee in my PJs ALONE, tending to my seedlings and plants (update on them to come soon), playing a little DrawSomething, and writing this post, I'm off to do laundry and clean toilets.


I really need a day off every week. An actual day off - not a weekend day, those are worse than weekdays! The errands, activities, messy kids... No, a real day off where I get to choose what to do with my time. If not every week, maybe every 6 months?

A girl can dream.