Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stop it, stop it, STOP.IT. Just STOP.

 - Gretchen Rubin
"Please, please just stop growing up. PLEASE. STOP."

This was me pleading with my 14-month-old this morning, after she had lovingly placed a drooly kiss on my cheek, and then slapped me in the face with both hands. As you do.

Despite the slapped cheeks - or possibly because of them? - I found myself looking at her with tears in my eyes and trying to stop time by hugging it out of her: if I hold on tight and squeeze, maybe I can stop the growing up. Please, honey. Seriously - please stop.

That goes for your brother and sister too.

I see them changing before my eyes and I don't like it. Not one bit. They're getting bigger. They're getting those "big kid" eyes - the ones that one minute are laughing because you said "boogie" (I didn't mean THAT! Oh nevermind.), and the next they're looking at you sideways because you said no treats after supper. The big kid eyes that tell you they know stuff. They're starting know some stuff that I don't know. The balance is shifting. I don't like this growing up business AT ALL.

It's the little things:

I no longer need to unfold The Girl's socks for her, or button up her one pair of button-up PJs. I don't know when this started.

I pull jeans out of the dryer and don't immediately know whose they are - mine or theirs?

The way The Boy asks if I can play Mario Kart with him, and when I tell him I can't right now, he shrugs and says, "That's okay." Wait - what? It's okay? Like, that's cool. Whatever mom. I'm cool. *shrug* No whining? No tantrum? When did this start?

The way The Girl brushes her hair away from her face while she's drawing.

The way Baby Girl nodded and said "Yes." when I asked her if she wanted another cracker. Excuse me? Since when do you nod and say "yes" like you're a teenager or something? (I was so distracted, I didn't even do the requisite parental "Yes... please?")

The time The Boy was telling a story and added, laughing, "It was so random."

You don't even notice these things evolving, just one day they are happening and it's all around you - your kids growing up, having the knowing eyes and shrugging and tossing of the hair - and you can't stop time the way you'd like. They just keep doing their thing and getting bigger and it's just... it's not cool, okay?

So, I'll take those slobbery kisses (baby drool does have that faintly sweet smell that you never thought you'd love, but you do...) and even the double chubby-hand face slaps. And I'll just keep trying to hug the growing up out of them. It's worth a shot, right?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Even a Dum-Dum Can Grow Yum-Yums

I am proof that even someone who knows (next to) nothing about gardening and plants can grow stuff.

In fact, even someone who starts their seeds far too early, keeps them in containers too small and forgets to water them sometimes can grow decent sized plants.

IN FACT, even after trying to kill half the plants by letting them grow up to touch the lights they are under and half of them burn and whither as a result, I still have somewhat healthy-looking plants. The Yum-yum peppers - which I admit I ordered based solely on their adorable name - are doing so well that even though they got scorched, they are still producing flower buds (which I plucked off... should I have done that?). So far I am loving the yum-yums!

Monday, April 14, 2014

THIS is why I don't plant tulips!

Ahhhh spring. Finally -- the bulbs I lovingly tucked into the ground in the Fall are popping up.

Daffodils, hyacinth, crocuses...

... Tulips.

Uhm. Tulips? Right. I forgot -- tulips are like candy to deer. Frikken deer.

Note to self: don't waste time planting tulips!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Simplify: Not That Simple! (But one thing you can start TODAY)

It turns out, simplifying one's life is not that simple.

It's one thing to say, "Get rid of half your stuff"... and would definitely lead to a simpler, easier to maintain lifestyle. Thing is, paring down your stuff takes time. Then you have to do something with it -- donate it all? Yard sale? Sell it online? All these things take time, planning, organization.

There's a huge limit on my time and energy these days... with three kids, meals, chores, activities, and just the basics of keeping a household running (somewhat) smoothly, there is very little time OR energy left over. I guess this whole simplifying thing is a process -- a  long one, with a bunch of steps. It can seem a bit intimidating at the outset (like exercising! which I'm also not doing much of these days!)...

However, there is one thing you (and I) can start doing TODAY that requires no advance planning, no tools or research, and no real adjustments of the schedule. Yet it's something that makes a HUGE difference in your life. Are you ready for it?...