Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Green Thumb

Spring is well on its way and I have been playing in the thawed and warmed dirt. This past weekend I spent a lot of time planting flowers and working on my garden. This is the first garden I have grown by myself. My first "grow-up" garden. My dad always had a garden and I would help him, but this one is all my own. My husband built the structure for me, to keep the deer out, but the rest is all me. I used the compost I've been working on for fertilizer. My goal is to have an organic garden. I also used to organic mulch to help with weed control. I planted several variety of tomatoes, peppers, onions, peas, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, watermelon, 2 blueberry bushes and some herbs.
Liv helped me plant the carrots, so I am starting to see them sprouting up all sorts of spots in my garden. But that's okay, my garden is not meant for beauty or order but to help feed my family and to help teach Liv about where food comes from. I'm also hoping that it will help her eat some vegetables. Tonight we had pierogies, she looked at the green peppers I sauteed with them and she said "yuck, I don't like this" She refused to even try it. I'm hoping once she sees then growing in our garden and gets to pick them right from the plant she might be more likely to try them. I find I am becoming obsessed with my garden. I have such pride in my garden and keep thinking how many wonderful meals I can make from my garden. I even checked out Balls Canning book from the library to preserve some of my harvest. I have very quickly understood why people enjoy gardening. The dirt in my fingers, digging in the earth, the physical labor, being out in the spring sun. I also love learning a new skill. Since being a SAHM I miss the intellectual stimulation from work or school.Gardening, at least for now, has seemed to fill that gap in my life. Even thought my dad gardened and even owns a garden supply store, there is so much I need to learn. First is learning how to garden organic, which is something my dad never did. But all learning how to do it myself. I usually just helped him plant, would water and then pick the harvest. But there is so much more. Crop rotations, how to fight infestation, staking and cages, planting, spacing, even learning what types of varieties there are. I really did not know that tomatoes come in a whole rainbow of colors, not just red. I'm also excited to learn more ways to cook and to save and preserve my harvest. And to taste fresh picked fruit and veggies, straight from the ground or vines. I feel very much like a homesteader or a housewife from the early 1900s, which I love. People with out gardens have no idea what they are missing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pee Pee in the Potty

I've been wanting to get Liv going on the potty for a while. I hate diapers and she has been getting diaper rash lately. She is not the type of child that the typical tokens work for. I've heard sticker charts, m&ms and all other sorts of behavior mod to get children to potty train.
For her I knew something very simple would motivate her. Seeing her older cousin in big girl underwear. It worked like a charm. Since their visit Liv has gone pee in the potty every time except at nap and nightime. She is still asking to poop in a diaper and I'm okay with that for now. One thing at a time. I love Liv getting to see children older and younger. With older children she can see where she is going and with younger children she can see where she has been. I think for a child her age, 2 1/2, somewhere in between baby and preschooler it is even more important since so many things are changing and she is growing up so quick. This is one reason why I would love mixed aged preschools. The ability to move around, freedom to be a baby or be with the babies if they need or to be a big kid and practice other big kid things. Since there are no preschools like this I just make an effort to have playdates with kids of different ages. Just because my friend's child is only 18months doesn't mean Liv can not play with her. I have a harder time finding older children since I'm one of the first on my friends to have children, but she does have 2 cousins, one a few months older. I often played with my younger cousins. I think it helped prepare me for being a mom. I also played with my older cousins, but being boys they taught me more about sports and being able to take some teasing. These things helped shape me helped me learn. Big girl underwear, seeing Lily wearing them was all the motivation Liv needed.Sometimes peer pressure can be good. She wants to get wear underwear too. So Liv understands that to wear them she needs to pee in the potty. Simple and yet it works. Nothing else worked before this. I didn't push any other methods too far, since with each of them she pushed back very hard so I just let potty training go for a bit. I'm hoping we keep peeing and eventually pooping in the potty. 1 in diapers is a little easier on my budget then 2.