Monday, May 23, 2011

How do you like them...errr...strawberries?

I failed as a home gardener - mainly because I hate weeding and also I didn't enjoy all the bugs that accompany vegetable plants. Last summer I was amazed by some perennial tomatoes that regrew after a fairly mild winter of '09 (that was kind of cool). However, in the summer of '10 I gave up on beans, lettuce, asparagus and herbs and was happy with the tomatoes and a few strawberries that sprouted up out of a strawberry pot we bought - that was about this size:

After the 6 feet of snow melted in our back yard, I noticed something happening in the "garden"...and I'm not sure what to do about it...

It seems my little strawberry pot spawned some friends and now I have a strawberry garden.  Who says I can't grow my own food????  Anyone need jam?  I suspect that will be my next "do-it-yourself" project. Lord help me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Healthy fighting habits

After 18 years together my husband and I rarely fight.  We disagree about a lot of things but we don't fight. 

We had enough drama and fighting early on in our relationship to fill us up so since we've been married (11 years in August) we've been pretty cool.  Until the other day. When my hormones and motherly instincts got the best of me and I blew up.  And perhaps some profanities flew out of my mouth.  And I may have slammed a door on my way out of the house.  And I'm sure there was a noise that resembled GRRRRAAAARRRRGGH that came out of my mouth.

But given it was T-Ball night I gathered myself together, came back in the house and pushed on with our night.

And then the questions came out of Abby's mouth at the game:  "Why were you and Daddy fighting? Why were you so mad at him?"

And then it hit me. She's NEVER seen us fight - at least that I can recall. We argue but neither of us has ever left the house to cool off - or shown any real aggression towards each other.  And frankly, I'm realizing that could be a bad thing.

We aren't perfect - to say the least. We don't always get along. We are sometimes warm, sometimes cold towards each other.  But at the end of the day, we lead by example and I wonder what example we've set by not fighting at time or two?  Marriage is work - say "Hell Ya" if you know what I'm talking about.  And while I've raised my voice with the kids on couple several occasions, I rarely do it with my husband.

I'm contemplating if I should start throwing some objects across the kitchen?  Or slam more doors? Perhaps call him Poo-poo face more? And while I make light of it, I do wonder if we sometimes hold back for the sake of our kids and if that is the best choice. What do you think? Ever toss a vase across a room like in the movies?  I think I may go invest in some boxing know....for the sake of the kids.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High aspirations

My children only want the best. Kraft mac n' cheese.  Nestle chocolate milk. Third place.


Field Day is Friday for the kid's school, and since Abby snagged a 1st place ribbon in Kindergarten and a 2nd place ribbon in 1st grade she is desperate to win a 3rd place ribbon this year.  You make the set complete.

And, you'll be happy to learn that my son has already decided on his life's occupation. He proudly exclaimed today:

"Mommy. When I get bigger, I'm going to be a guy with gloves and a big trash bag and I'm going to walk around picking up all the trash on the ground."

So while most would think my kids are setting rather low standards, I argue the opposite. I think my daughter has learned that life is not all about winning or coming in first but completing the job...and her brother truly understands the environmental ignorance and its affect on his generation.

Our family would be proud of 3rd place trash collectors....what do your kids aspire to be?  A first place surgeon? They clearly don't get it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thou shall not have religion

If you and I sat at a bar 15 years ago and you asked me "So, when you have children do you think you'll raise them Catholic?" I would have laughed so hard the walls would have shook. No CCD for my kids. Religion shmaligion - in fact I believed the Bible was written by a bunch of stoned and drunk men telling stories around the hearth.  That could still be true.

However, if you ask my daughter today why she is excited for tomorrow she will tell you two reasons:

1. It's the Kentucky Derby
2. It's her First Communion day

Our decision to put our children in Catholic school had little to do with being Catholic. But what has emerged out of this situation is a new appreciation for faith, trust, respect, love and a bit of routine. It feels good to learn about tradition and ritual and to see my children glow when they talk about a universal love that is bigger than just the four of us and our extended family.  I'm learning more about faith then I ever imagined - in fact, it's really as if I'm going to Catholic school too and it's fascinating both historically and religiously.

And while I may not be the world's best Catholic, I appreciate and understand their love for their school, teachers and church.  And tomorrow, when my little girl is all dressed in white and smiling proudly with her friends, I'll be confident again we made the right choice. Then we'll be rushing home so she can see the horses race.  She is, after all, just an 8 year old girl with a love of animals.