One thing that i try really hard to do is save money and encourage the boys to eat fresh produce as much as possible. One way that i foster that is to encourage the boys to grow things that they are interested in trying. We don’t live on a huge piece of land and all of our gardening is restricted to containers because of limited space, but that doesn’t stop us from growing a lot. This year our garden has quite a few new vegetables growing in it due to the boys curiosity of them. Not only do they get to eat what they have planted they learn about taking care of plants and how they grow. To maximize the growing season i re-seed all pots throughout the summer with the exception of the cantaloupe, watermelons and pumpkins. I do not claim to be an expert, but our garden keeps us (family of 6) fed for the summer and the freezer stocked for the winter with veggies (more on that later). Here is what we are growing this year:
Cucumbers (regular and Argentinian)
Squash (crooked neck and straight neck)
Mr Stripey Tomatoes
Lemon Boy Tomatoes
Jellybean Tomatoes (somehow i think the boys will be very disappointed with this one)
Better Boy Tomatoes
Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Black Rainbow Tomatoes (we do a lot of sauces, can you tell?)
Lettuce (Butterleaf and Romaine)
I think that is all of them. A few flowers as well. D2 gardens under the fling it in a pot and it will grow…generally he is right about this. However this year he flung a packet of flower seeds and vegetable seeds into one pot then ran away. I have no clue what we will get, but it is growing. #3 grows sunflowers every year because he loves them. He has quite an impressive record with these. We are also trying to grow the pineapple from the store bought one’s top and celery from the store bought ones root base. So far so good, however i didn’t get pictures of those. Below is a small view of the gardening chaos around my house, we have very little land, but make due with what we have. Every little bit helps!
This has been some crazy weather that we have been having around here. It hasn’t really been summer summer weather, the hot insanely sticky heat that we see in these parts as soon as we get to May. It has my internal rhythm completely confused, i don’t know whether to go to the pool or buy a pumpkin. I know it is June and i am talking about pumpkins, but the mild weather is invoking images of fall. One thing it is great for is playing outside. I love that the boys are trying new things out with their friends and inventing games to play together. I know nothing about the rules or the point of them, but they all get a great big laugh and seem to enjoy themselves a whole lot. That’s really what it is all about.
I can say that with authority because in our house summer begins when the van starts to smell like chlorine. This indicates that the boys have been to the pool enough to qualify as fish. I do not know what the draw is to a pool for the boys, but the so love it. Even my cat-like child J who every time he gets a drop of water on him has to go change clothes or hide his socks in the couch. Why can i not teach this child to move a few feet and put his “wet” clothes in the wash? Oh that’s right he is modeling his father whose sole goal in life is to create a pile of socks large enough to qualify as a foot stool.
Despite my intense dislike for the actual pool, i do love summer. I love the opportunity to spend more time with my older boys who are growing older and thinking so much for themselves that i cannot keep up. I love doing different things with the boys and hearing what exactly goes through their heads. We have planned a lot of adventures for this summer that will hopefully keep the boys from driving each other crazy.
I don’t update my blog as much as i had expected to in the beginning this whole writing journey. When I started i had wild fantasies that my children would read this one day and think how valuable this insight was, but now i just hope to not sound completely crazy. If there was a way to download my thoughts into this, in some sort of order then my blogging every day would be more of a reality. Sadly there isn’t a way to do this and i need to be more consistent with blogging. If for no other reason then to record the slow loss of my sanity.
The other day i ran across a few of my journals from school that my friends and i used to keep. We passed these notebooks between classes, the three of us, because we wrote so many notes to each other that we started to lose track of story lines. At the end of our high school years, we each got to keep several of these notebooks. We had a secret language and code for the boys that we liked. I have kept every letter, note and card I ever received from my friends and family over the years and to this day still write letters. I prefer to write letters and send cards even though this is fast becoming a digital era. I find something very personal about this and i am sad to see that it is becoming a lost art…much like cursive. I still have penpals and encourage my boys to keep in touch with classmates that have moved away. I believe that I am not part of the norm in that respect though. I do believe that just because someone may move away it doesn’t change the friendship just the location. I don’t want my boys growing up thinking that just because a friend moved they no longer exist.
Plus who doesn’t love getting a letter or a card…now if I could only figure out how to send some of my overflow of tomatoes from the garden life would be great!
When I started this blog the intent was to record the daily doings of my boys for future posterity.for those times when the boys say “mom you never took us anywhere” or “I never did that” types of conversations. I seem to have really strayed from this in the last year. From writing about what rattles around in my head to not writing at all this blog has certainly changed. It isn’t what I wanted though,and I do need it to be more about the boys then me. I will not remember the majority of what life was like with them, I can barely remember what I am currently wearing. Trust me that is SO not important. I do worry that the boys will have questions about growing up that I will not be able to answer. I panic that I won’t be here when they want to ask the questions to which I will not be able to answer. M is not here with them all day long like I am, he is clueless as to what I have been doing with them. GAH! I simply must stop giving into the voices in my head. It is unhealthy. The boys will look back and read this and think “my mom is bat shit crazy!”. There could be a small grain of truth in that, but not completely.
So from this point on I will be focusing more on the boys and what we are doing daily. Maybe more people will read it? Who knows….
Sometimes when I set a goal for myself I lose track of why I put that goal there. The only thing I can focus on is getting to that goal and I will move heaven and earth to get there. What I may not realize is that along the way these steps being taken to get to said goal have changed me in small ways. These changes may at times not make the goal necessary anymore, all I really needed to do was make some small changes. I didn’t see this though and was focused on the end result. Somewhere along the way I lose sight of who I am, what I want from life and the joy in my life.
I will readily admit that i am largely materialistic, at times narcissistic and often condescending. Are these traits I am proud of? Nope, not at all. They are parts of myself that I recognize and look to change. Will I ever be rid of them completely? I like to hope so, but I also know that these are a part of who I am.
I know, I know, exactly where am I going with this? Nowhere really, it is these small realizations in the middle of life that keep me focused on my goal: to be a better mother, a better motivator for the boys and a better person all around. There will always be something in myself that I can change, but I hope that I can celebrate the small changes I make along the way also.
Tomorrow my sweet little 4 year old turns 5. He is my third child and is an ever reminder of how much I miss them being babies. He is such a sweet boy who still wakes up in the morning dragging his beloved Baba behind him like a version of Linus and his blanket. He still loves to cuddle with me and suck his thumb while leaning against my side. There are so many sweet and innocent things about him that I want to keep forever. I want to keep him a baby still, yet I know he wants to be more like his older brothers. He is ready for school and to have friends outside of the neighborhood like his older brothers. He often will come up to me and ask if it is time for him to go to school like his brothers, but he always makes sure to say “You will pick me up, right Mommy?”. I see him growing and I want to stop it, I want to keep them babies forever. It is the selfish part of me I know, but I also want them to grow into the men they are destined to be.
I spend a lot of time worrying that I am not making the right choices with them. We are too strict on them and expect too much. We don’t praise them enough or build their confidence up enough. I know we do our best, but I can’t help but wonder if it is enough. I know I miss them as babies, so much I can feel the ache in the pit of my stomach. My husband says I have blocked out all the stuff we went through with them as babies and the years of me being a milk cow attached to them or a pump so I could keep working full time. He is probably right, I have forgotten the negative because they were such wonderful babies and I miss that…a lot.
So tomorrow we will throw another big weekend long celebration for my boy who is turning five, complete with the theme of his choosing…dinosaurs. There will be a huge dinosaur bounce house up all weekend, a donut cake with donuts fresh from Krispy Kreme (a rare treat for the boys since they are rarely allowed sweets), family and friends galore to help him celebrate, presents, dinosaur crafts, 4′ blow up T-Rex and multiple smaller blow up dinosaurs to chase the big T-Rex around, his favorite foods (BBQ chicken with homemade BBQ sauce, green beans and carrots and sliced strawberries), phone calls from family that live far away and love lots and lots of love. We love to celebrate in this house and this weekend will be no exception…no matter how bittersweet it is to me.