Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gardening Hell

So I hate gardening, and when I say hate I mean HATE it with a passion. I would choose to do pretty much anything besides going out to a yard/planter box and getting my hands in the dirt pulling up weeds (although some might think it weird because I do have an absolute love of earthworms). Gardening's not my thing. It's never been my thing and everyone in my family of garden lovers knows it.

I blame my utter disgust of gardening on my parents. You see when I was young they decided to plant a garden! "Oh how wonderful!" you say, but you weren't there having to weed and de-rock the new garden space. You don't know the tons of rocks that we pulled out and loaded into garbage barrels for $0.10 a barrel - child labor people! I also got the same pay for weeds (and when the pinecones fell it was the same price for a barrel of pinecones!) - there wasn't a union and I couldn't rebel against the "harsh" working conditions and low pay and so I was forced to suffer silently. (Okay maybe not silently, I'm pretty sure I let my feelings be known since I'm not really silent OR afraid to speak my mind.)

And then there was the issue of the tasks themselves - taking rocks and weeds out of the ground. Do you understand how mind-numbingly boring that is?! You can weed and de-rock a yard for 2hrs, stand up and walk away, look back at the spot you were working on, and guess what?! You can barely see the progress of what you did! Now if you were planting flowers - sure you can see what you did! Planting seeds? Yep after a little bit of time you can see the results. But taking rocks out of the ground? Not noticable! Pulling weeds? Only if there are a lot of weeds can you see a difference... So yeah not much excitement in the gardening I did growing up.

Now you might wonder why my 3 brothers liked gardening - simple, everything they did outside they got paid a decent amount for the work they did - mowed the grass, cut hedges, planted hedges, raked leaves, etc... Notice how they got the exciting/noticable work?! My outlook on gardening might have been different if I wasn't stuck with weeding. But it is what it is. 
Fast forward to now and I told the Monkey I'd plant some seeds with him so we could have a garden like we did last year at our old house (above and below pics are from our garden last year)...Yes, please laugh now.
This year I decided to get lots of seeds and a shovel so I wouldn't have to use a spoon like last year...And yes, I went a tad overboard on seeds, but better to have too many than not enough, right?!
Today the Monkey asked if we could plant the seeds and so like a good Mommy I said "Sure! But first we have to see where we can plant them and possibly pull some weeds to make space." Little did I know what I was actually talking about! So I got some gloves for him to wear, because this kid still doesn't like to get his hands dirty...
And no I don't have gardening gloves because that would mean I actually garden! But at least I had these on hand, otherwise he would've been wearing his winter mittens!!

So there we were, he in his gloves and a shovel, and me with my bare hands - ready to garden! We first checked the planters to see what we needed to clean out...
And after cleaning 6 of them (well planters and hanging baskets in the front yard) I realized we only had a couple we could actually plant in! So I said "Hey buddy, let's go check out that section, because I bet we can plant more over there!" Now "that section" would be a section of our front gravel drive where it's a rectangular garden/plot of dirt with some plants. (Here in England "yards" are called gardens, but the front of our house is not a garden in any sense of the word, but there is a small section that is a garden.) Little did I know that "that section" would become my new "hell", but one that for my child - who I promised he'd be able to plant seeds - I would conquer!

Now you might wonder why this small section (because it is small) would be hell, and I will tell you (because I was so dirty and I didn't have phone so no pics were taken) it's because of the ALIEN WEEDS!

I admit that it's been awhile since I've weeded anything, but I know that not all weeds are like the ALIEN WEEDS I encountered today. And yes, these suckers are coming to take over our world, today I attempted to thwart their plan, but after weeding for 1 hr and 50 min (that's right almost 2 hrs!!) I took a step back and it was hard to tell what I had accomplished!

So why do I think they're ALIEN WEEDS?! Because they're cute little fuzzy plants that look a little like a strawberry plant but instead have roots that are in the millions and one of their roots doesn't go into the ground, it travels above ground and then replants itself and creates a new ALIEN WEED - it's like an umbilical cord for the weed!! And then that new ALIEN WEED does the same exact thing. I think I pulled up at least 20 those suckers, along with other weeds, leaves, pruning (not sure I pruned the plants correctly, guess we'll find out!) and I still have about 50 ALIEN WEEDS to obliterate!

It's horrible! They are SO hard to get out - too difficult for Owen to get, and I think half the roots are still in the ground so I know those little suckers will be replanting themselves - probably overnight - and multiplying themselves - also probably overnight. I'm just hoping I can get the rest of those suckers out in the next couple days so I can let the Monkey plant some seeds sooner than later.

The good news? We found TONS of earthworms - some were huge and others were babies (small), so at least we have good soil! And we won't talk about how many rocks were in the dirt, because if you hadn't guessed - the rocks are staying, because you can't expect me to relive all my childhood gardening nightmares.

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll let you know how weeding is going and I'll definitely post pics of the garden once the seeds have been planted and start blooming. I do love flowers, so I know I'll enjoy the end results - it's just the whole "weeding" thing that I could really do without.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pictures with an 18 mo old

You know how you see beautiful pictures of families or kids or even just a parent with a child and you think "oh man, that's a great photo!"?! Yeah, well sometimes those pictures just happen with very little effort and you think "MAN! How did that happen?! We're looking at the camera and smiling!? This is a miracle!" and then there are the other times - which is about 90-95% of the time - where it's a struggle to just get one picture. But you never see other people's struggles to get that one picture, because they don't post the "oops" pictures, they only post the "perfect" ones. And thankfully we live in an age of digital pictures so we're not having to develop 10 "oops" pictures!
Well today I'm going to show you what it was like, you know to get a picture with the Munchkin...now, there are some pretty cute pictures - but I was really trying to capture her enormous laughing smile - not just her looking at the camera
I didn't take into account that she would find the most hilarious thing to be scratching and pinching me...
which as you can see are when she gave me her biggest smiles! If only I had cooperated we could've gotten a good picture right then!
But yeah, when mommy wasn't in pain, it just wasn't as much fun...
Seriously folks, the struggle is real! When she wants to cuddle there is no getting out of it, but when I want her to sit still for just a few seconds longer, yeah, she's not having it!
And then of course she wouldn't stop moving once she did decide she wanted to sit with me - so her smile kept getting covered up...
Oh we're almost there, we've got a smirk...but that was all...then she was done!
Well...okay, if she could play with her bellybutton she might pose again.
And then she wanted back up and we were almost there....
But it was time to play peek-a-boo!!
And that's how we ended our "photo session"...so we got close but never quite got the "perfect" picture...
Of course we did have a photo session a few days ago and we got some good ones then! You can't get winning pictures all the time, but it is fun to try. And on top of that my kids will never look back and think "we don't have any pictures with mom" - I make sure I get pictures with both of them all the time (in case you weren't aware of that. My grandma would be so proud of me)!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

A sunny British Saturday

The sun was out so we went to Stamford in the morning (no pics) and Wicksteed in the afternoon. Parker walked all around Stamford and then she walked to the park and around, but needed to be carried on the walk home (uphill so I got my exercise).
The Monkey and daddy went to the big playground after playing on the tow truck, so that's why the aren't really any pics of him...
The Munchkin and I played at the little kids playground and the tow truck for the majority of the time.
She was just a tad excited about getting to drive the tow truck - usually she's in the buggy so she doesn't get to on it. Not because I'm mean it's just I usually take her the on my 5mi walk and if I take her out before my walk it's goodbye walk! And many times she's asleep when we head home.
The Munchkin took a break from driving while the Monkey checked the engine. Boy is he gonna be upset when he discovers that's not how an engine gets checked!
The Munchkin doing her dog impersonation in order to show her excitement over climbing through the tunnel!
It was just so much fun!
The second time through was no where near as exciting though. After playing a bit more and going up to swing on the swings, she was getting very tired and so we headed out... But had to stop at the tow truck again - it was either play on the tow truck OR throw a tantrum...I'll let you guess which one won out.
This is what it's really like to take pics of this girl.
Unfortunately the time came, as it always does to head home... After all it was getting close to the exhausted girl's dinnertime.
We left at the perfect time too - on our walk home or started sprinkling... The rain came later once we were in our nice cozy home.

It was a pretty perfect day, both kids behaved and we all had a blast... And yes I know that means that in the next day or two we'll have an extremely horrible day...I know how kids work - gotta keep the parents on their toes!