Thursday, May 27, 2010


My boy. My oldest. My non-aggressive, perfectionist child. I just signed him up for soccer for the first time in his life (he’s 9). I think I’m more terrified than he is. He has been playing goalie at recess and is so good and really loves it. I think this could be really good for him, especially in that position, where it’s a little less kid-to-kid competition and more against oneself competition. He can be aggressive against the ball and not other kids. I will be rather anxious once the fall comes, but I hope this can become something really good for him.

My oldest girl. She starts karate next week. It was a toss-up between ballet and karate (since they’re both already in scouts, any more than one more activity would put me in the overscheduled category – for me, at least – and I’m anti-overscheduling kids. And their moms). My oh-so-girly girl chose karate. Naturally. I would love to see her develop some assertiveness. She’s been having some trouble with kids on the bus that is minor enough that she should be able to solve it without adult intervention, if she can stand up for herself. I hate to think that she might grow into someone who can’t (um, not like me, no, of course not. I thrive on confrontation. Crap. Yeah, that’s a lie).

Number three. She’s graduating from nursery school tomorrow night. I send her away to all-day kindergarten (no other options here) in the fall. I don’t think I can handle. It’s harder than sending the older two, who were quickly followed up by another child who was entering school. There’s only two years between each of the older three. There’s three years between #3 and #4 (we knew we wanted four kids, but it took a little longer to dive in). Somehow that has made a huge difference. Miss S has been my main companion for the past two years, since Miss V is really still a baby (okay, okay, an almost-two-year-old isn’t really a baby, but the interaction is different). I have a glimpse of how hard it’s going to be to send Miss V off in three years.

The Baby. This kid is hell on wheels. You know how people say “If this one had been born first, we wouldn’t have had any other kids”? Yeah, that. Actually, as I told Tom, we would have had one more, but not as close together and probably only one more. I’ve often said that our oldest (the most easygoing, happy baby there was) was a trick to get us to have more kids. I didn’t know how true that was. She seems like she can be in five places at once, destroying things. And then grin so big I can hardly keep a straight face while sending her to time-out. She’s actually very good for me as a mother. I’ve been sort of smug about my parenting skills, with my three easy kids. Ha, says Fate. Try this.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hopefully swinging up…

I’ve really let myself get into a funk. A massive funk. The kind where every little thing just sent me deeper into my funk. Lately everything has felt like a struggle – everything. Not even rushing my baby to the hospital brought me out of it like I thought it might. I felt like the whole "what if” worst case imaginings that turned out to be a normal childhood ailment should have made me grateful and aware of what a baby I was being. But no, the funk lived (lives?) on.

Tom and I went out Saturday night and had a nice evening with just the two of us. We talked about all of this and I’m starting to get over it. The main thing is I worked up the courage to tell him that I’m not anywhere near ready to go into business as a photographer. He and I agreed that I would get this semi-pro camera with the idea that within a year I would be earning money from it. And that’s put pressure on me. Which I need, honestly, but it was too much. I’ve been taking picture after picture and editing like crazy trying to get to a point where I produce consistent in camera and post processed images. I am going to go forward working on one aspect of my photography at a time rather than all at once. But I think to do this I actually need to take on some sessions with people other than my kids. So I need some courage to offer sessions to people I know. Big step for me.

Tom and I began planting my seedlings into our newly enormous vegetable garden (living on a farm does have some advantages – especially since farm owner – my FIL – enjoyed the fruits of my tiny garden last year and gave me a huge section of land this year). Miss V just played in the dirt while we planted rows of lima beans, squash, zucchini, watermelons, canteloupes and tomatoes. Oh, and my mystery plant. I ordered a bunch of seeds and planted them in a little greenhouse thing. I planted them in a certain order so I would know what was where. Most of them died (just one facet of my funk) but one plant thrived. All of them lived and look fabulous. But I can’t remember what they are. By process of elimination, they’re either eggplant or bell peppers. I *think* they’re peppers. But I can’t be sure until I see some fruit.

My garden is so me. Tom insisted that we have rows (last year it was sort of a jumble, but it was tiny and I didn’t have room to leave spaces for silly things like rows). So it’s slightly neat. But I have tomatoes here and more tomatoes a few rows over. I have a row that is eggplants, red bell peppers and roma tomatoes. Another row is carrots and cayenne peppers. I did draw a map. Now let’s hope I don’t lose it, like I did the notes on what I planted in my mini-greenhouse.

Yesterday was my Mother’s Day. And realizing it made me kind of unhappy. I had the day I truly wanted yesterday.  We worked in the garden, we drove around playing sweet car games that I played as a kid, we wandered around Lowe’s for hours picking plants and garden tools. When we got home, the kids and I worked in the garden more while Tom helped his dad with the farming. I made an easy dinner for the kids while I dined on freshly made salsa. I finished off the bottle of wine Tom bought for me last week and then read a bit of a book.

The thing that makes me unhappy is that I didn’t enjoy the actual day of Mother’s Day. Everyone in my family visits my grandmother and basically we have a big cookout at her house every year. But we now live two hours away. So I spent four hours in the car. I hate to think that I don’t want to go there, though. My family is hugely important to me and I’ll continue to go, because I kind of liked having my unofficial Mother’s Day yesterday.